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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

| October 23, 2018

Report: WLS-AM, Chicago to Get Lineup Re-Vamp in 2019.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM will get a programming makeover early in the New Year.  Feder writes, “Once among the top-rated stations in Chicago, the 50,000-watt AM giant never recovered after the loss of longtime morning star Don Wade, who died in 2013.”  He reports recent ratings figures reflect more success in middays with Cumulus’ Washington-based Chris Plante and Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, leading one to conclude changes are more likely for drive time where market legend Steve Dahl hosts afternoons and mornings are hosted by Big John Howell and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens. Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren wouldn’t comment specifically but said the station will continue with a combination of local and syndicated programming.

NYPost: MSG Goes to War with Entercom and WFAN. A story in the New York Post by Andrew Marchand reveals the bad blood between Madison Square Garden executive chairman and Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan over WFAN sports talk host Maggie Gray’s rant against him that aired on the station this summer.  Gray didn’t hold back when she called Dolan a “vile piece of trash” while accusing him of hypocrisy after his band – yes, he plays in a band called JD and the Straight Shot – released a song about Harvey Weinstein called, “I Should’ve Known.” Gray alleges Dolan and Weinstein were close and that he did know.  In retribution, MSG banned all Entercom and WFAN staffers from getting special access to players and that players and coaches would not be allowed to appear on any show on WFAN.  Gray did ultimately apologize for her name calling during the rant but not for the thrust of her critique.  At the same time, WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa is being accused of throwing Gray “under the bus” during his comments about the feud.  Although Francesa is probably irked about losing access, he did call out MSG for holding a grudge after Gray apologized.

But Wait!… There’s More Francesa News. Also from the Post’s Andrew Marchand – or more accurately, from Mike Francesa himself – comes the question of whether Francesa’s afternoon drive program on WFAN can co-exist with his “Mike’s On” app. The Post story, based on Francesa’s on-air musings, indicates there are still contractual issues regarding the app between him, Entercom, and CAA that haven’t been settled.  Francesa went so far as to say, “We haven’t really come to a deal yet, which makes me think that maybe the app and show don’t work together and that’s something we’re going to have to adjust one way or the other.”  He followed that by saying the app is here to stay.  He also reflected on his return to the station after a brief retirement, admitting that it’s been “more uncomfortable” than he thought it would be after bumping Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott from the afternoon drive daypart.

WHO, Des Moines Listeners Help Raise $35,000-plus for Veterans Charity. Pictured above (in scooter) is Korean Conflict veteran Denny Dorman, the oldest recipient of a Puppy Jake Foundation service dog – named Puppy Simon – along with WHO PM drive personality Simon Conway, who adopted the organization as his show’s official charity.  The Puppy Jake Foundation acquires, raises, and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans.  Conway tells TALKERS that five years ago they held a BBQ fundraiser in the WHO parking lot and raised $4,000.  The next year they brought in $6,000.  Years three and four pulled in $22,000 and $29,000, respectively, and last Friday’s event raised $35,500.  He says, “It is really incredible how my audience, and indeed some of my show’s sponsors, have taken this charity to their hearts.”

Ann Marie Mulholland Named Market Manager for Hubbard Seattle. Emerald City media management pro Ann Marie Mulholland joins Hubbard Radio as vice president and market manager for its Seattle properties, including “Alternative Talk” KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV “Movin 92.5,” country KNUC “The Bull,” adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9,” and nostalgia KKNW-AM.  Mulholland comes to Hubbard from CRISTA Media.  Prior to that, she served with Entercom and Sandusky in the Seattle market. Hubbard president/COO Drew Horowitz says, “We are looking forward to having Ann Marie, with her exceptional operational credentials, assume the leadership role in Seattle.  She brings strong market experience and will be an excellent fit with our Hubbard Seattle team.”

Midterm Elections, Khashoggi Death Aftermath, Migrant Caravan, Gender Definition Issue, Trump Threatens to Exit INF Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The November elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the Honduran migrant caravan headed for the U.S. border; the Trump Administration’s plan to require legal gender based on genitalia at birth; President Trump threatens to exit the Intermedia-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the weekend’s NFL action; and the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox 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. On-air changes take place at Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” as the company promotes Tyler Reese from his part-time role with sister classic country WSM-FM “95.5 NASH Icon” to midday host and assistant program director at WKDF.  Also, Kelley Bradshaw-Brock moves from Entercom’s WUSY, Chattanooga, where she was part of the “Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” morning show to host afternoon drive on WKDF.  Program director John Shomby states, “We are excited for Tyler and Kelley to join ‘NASH FM 103.3.’  These are two very talented stars that are ready to shine in the Music City!…..The vacant program director chair at Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise doesn’t last long as Matt Derrick arrives from his most recent gig as director of FM programming at NRG Media’s Omaha cluster to assume the PD role.  Derrick takes over for Rich Summers, who exited the station last week…..Entercom rock WTPT, Greenville, South Carolina “93.3 Planet Rocks” partners with the local Thomas Creek Brewery to create The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner inspired by the station’s morning show, “The Rise Guys.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “We are excited about this partnership and the ability to share the best beer on ‘The Planet’ with our dedicated fans.  The Rise Guys P1 Pilsner is a salute to the P1 army.  This refreshing and crushable beer fits our personalities and those of our listeners.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

| June 12, 2018

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Rocks New York City.  The 21st installment of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/8) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing some 250 talk media industry players to the Big Apple.  The TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! conference featured a record-breaking 71 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, workshops, and networking/meal receptions.  The majority of the program was streamed live in real time on Talkers.com by Livestream and video of the event is currently available to view on the main page of Talkers.com.  In the weeks ahead, TALKERS will present standalone videos of key panels and presentations along with additional coverage of the event.  Visit Talkers.com regularly for details.  Pictured below is TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) conducting the opening-session fireside chat with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right).

Chris Plante Hits Chicago for ‘Politics and a Pint.’ Pictured above is Westwood One and WMAL-AM/FM, Washington talk show host Chris Plante (center) on stage at Rock ‘N Ravioli in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.  He was taking part in a discussion about politics and current events at WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Politics and a Pint” live event with WLS morning show personalities Big John Howell (right) and Ramblin’ Ray Stevens (left).

WSB-AM, Atlanta’s Jamie Dupree Gets a ‘Voice’ Thanks to Text-to-Speech App. Industry insiders are aware of the case of WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree: due to a rare disorder called tongue protrusion dystonia – in which the tongue slips forward and out of the mouth during attempts to speak – that has all but eliminated Dupree’s ability to speak clearly, his continued future as a radio news correspondent has become tenuous.  But, employer Cox Media Group and Dupree have been searching for a possible solution in the form of text-to-voice technology and have found one made by a Scottish company called CereProc, and it works pretty well.  Yes, Dupree’s “voice” sounds a bit robotic, but not as much as you’d expect. Read Dupree’s blog about his situation and hear a sample of his “voice” here.

Gow Media Announces Simulcasts on Houston Sports Talkers. As reported by David Barron in the Houston Chronicle, Gow Media’s Houston sports talk stations announce a new simulcast and programming schedule.  The company operates KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” and KFNC-HD2/K231CN “Sportsmap 94.1.”  Simulcast on both signals will be “The Bench” with John Granato and Lance Zierlein from 7:00 am to 9:00 am; Charlie Pallilo from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm; and “The Blitz” with Fred Faour and A.J. Hoffman from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The rest of ESPN 97.5’s lineup is John Granato with Raheel Ramzanali from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and “The Usual Suspects” with Joel Blank and Barry Laminack from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  On “Sportsmap 94.1” it’s “Golic & Wingo” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, Stephen A. Smith from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and Sean Salisbury from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Shaq Expands Role at PodcastOne. Four-time NBA champion and entrepreneur Shaquille O’Neal is expanding his role at PodcastOne – the podcast platform on which he hosts “The BIG Podcast with Shaq.”  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz is promoting Shaq to general.  In this role, he’ll establish greater visibility for his own podcast and will also take part in the promotion and curation of the sports network’s programming slate.  Shaq says, “I have a blast doing my podcast every week and I always like to have my hand in the hottest businesses. Podcasting continues to heat up and now is the time for me to take the next step into the space – who better to do it with than PodcastOne, who has led the way in podcasting since its inception? They have a phenomenal vision for the sports community.  So here I am.  The general of PodcastOne Sportsnet.”  Pattiz comments, “As someone who wears one of Shaq’s championship rings on my finger, I know firsthand of his passion for success.  There is no one bigger – in size or spirit.  Shaq will stand for everything PodcastOne Sportsnet is – quality, sports IQ, big fun, and a connection to fans everywhere.”

TALKERS News Notes. Buffalo talk radio personality Sandy Beach is celebrating his 50th anniversary in the radio business this Friday (6/15) and Entercom Buffalo’s WBEN-AM is throwing a special party for him that day.  The station and Beach are welcoming special guests as well as members of the local media in studio during his Friday program.  Plus, a reception will be held on-site following the conclusion of the show where he’ll be available for interviews with confirmed media. In-studio guests will include: legendary DJ and talk host Joey Reynolds, former WKBW (now WWKB) personality and NYSB Hall-of-Famer Danny Neaverth, and former WKBW jock Stan Roberts…..In the Lamar, Colorado market 25-7 Media flips KLMR-AM from classic country to news/talk.  The station is serving up local programs including morning shows “Ag on the High Plains” with host Ty Harmon, “High Plains Morning News” and “Agri Talk.”  It is also airing Westwood One’s “First Light” and Clark Howard shows, plus Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved.  25-7 recently closed on the station as part of a deal with Cherry Creek Media…..Salem Media Group promotes Laura Sheaffer to the general sales manager position at New York duo news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian teaching WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.” Sheaffer joined Salem New York in the spring of 2015 and has since been promoted to national sales manager and digital sales manager.  Salem New York VP and general manager Jerry Crowley says, “I have rarely worked with anyone who has Laura’s drive and determination and I am ecstatic to have her in this position.  Her work has been beyond exceptional and crucial to our operation.  I am positive that she will lead our team to new levels of success.”…..iHeartMedia‘s new Bay Area progressive talk outlet KKSF “Talk 910” is airing Westwood One‘s “Sterling on Sunday” program hosted by Walter Sterling…..SiriusXM is presenting exclusive national radio coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship, June 14 through June 17.  SiriusXM’s programming will feature a minimum of 32 hours of live hole-by-hole coverage across all four rounds of play.  Brian Katrek will anchor the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst in the booth…..FOX Sports announces its multiplatform coverage of the 118th U.S. Open Championship that includes nine live hours of programming originating from Shinnecock Hills on Thursday and Friday (6/14-15) during the first and second rounds of the tournament, with broadcasts by “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” the Doug Gottlieb show,” and JT ‘The Brick.’  FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer also reports live from the course throughout the duration of the championship and will host his Sunday program on location.

Salem Syndicated Hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager Named to Jewish Newspaper The Algemeiner’s List of Top 100 Individuals Who Have Positively Influenced Jewish Life This Past Year (2017).  Nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts Larry Elder and Dennis Prager – both members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred – have been named by the Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner as two of the top 100 individuals who have had a positive influence on Jewish life in 2017.  The Salem Radio Networks hosts are joined on the prestigious “J100” list by such high-profile figures as President Donald Trump, noted attorney Alan Dershowitz, and legendary folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. To see the entire list, please click here.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, Trump G-7 Aftermath, Trump-Russia Investigation, Net Neutrality, Tony Awards, Tuesday Primary Elections, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  The meeting in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the aftermath of President Trump’s criticism of U.S.-Canada trade relations and his exit from the G-7 meeting; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules; Sunday evening’s Tony Awards and Robert DeNiro’s anti-Trump speech; today’s primary elections in Virginia, Maine, Nevada, and South Carolina; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Louisville market, Alpha Media names Steve Bearance SVP and market manager for its five-music-station cluster. Bearance was most recently with Cumulus Media as VP and market manager. Prior to that gig, he served with Cumulus in Louisville…..iHeartRadio has opened up voice voting for the top five finalists in the Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star Competition.  For the past seven years iHeartMedia has partnered with Macy’s to host the music competition that introduces fans to up-and-coming artists.  Listeners vote for their favorite act and the winner performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.  Beginning today, fans can now cast their votes for the finalists using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.  After they ask to “Talk to iHeart Rising Star,” users can hear the five finalists introduce themselves and listen to a clip from their song before voting.  At the end, voters will enjoy Macy’s mstyle Radio on iHeartRadio which features all of the finalists. The whole experience is “hosted” by James Maslow, the winner of last year’s competition…..25-7 Media flips classic rock KLMR-FM to hot AC and re-brands the station “The Heat 93.5.”  The station adds the “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” to the lineup with local personalities Aaron Leiker in middays and Amy Jacobs in afternoon drive.

Round One of May PPM Data Released. Ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s May 2018 survey period covered April 26 – May 23. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Duplicating its April 2018 +.8 performance (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” jumps into the top five (eighth to fifth) with its best +-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), the Yankees’ flagship picked up four-tenths in March. Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Meanwhile, the key station of the MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – returns two-thirds of April’s +.6 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.1, -.4, 6+), dipping from #15 to #18. A March +.1 by WOR ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WINS is a combined -1.2 in April and May (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0, 6+) and remains at #4, while co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is off a cumulative six-tenths in those same two sweeps (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to March, WCBS-AM was stuck on 2.8 (6+) the previous three survey periods; 3.3 (March 2018) is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Following three months in succession at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN posts a +.4 to 1.7 as “98.7 ESPN New York” climbs from #22 to #21. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). This marks the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) and Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, #23, 6+) mirror each other. The latter’s last 13 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is off four-tenths (3.4 – 3.0, flat at #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is flat at .6 (#28 to #27, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – A loss of eight-tenths (8.5 – 7.7, 6+) drops iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW to its lowest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.0. Nonetheless, “106.7 Lite FM” remains at #1 for the tenth successive sweep. A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). The market’s rhythmic CHR tussle remains tight. In the last eight survey periods, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” is trending 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 (flat at #9, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” is 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 over the same (November 2017 – May 2018) stretch and is unchanged at #10 (6+). This is the fourth time in the last six survey periods that Emmis urban AC WBLS “#1 for R&B” posts a 5.7 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7, steady at #3, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Rebounding from April’s -.6 with a +.1 (2.6 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” is back in the top ten (#13 to #10); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). With an identical 2.6 – 2.7, #13 to #10 6+-profile as KNX is Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California.” Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI continues a down/up pattern that commenced in December (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), as “AM 640” advances from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). The December 2017 – May 2018 topline 6+-trending for sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN” (#29) is 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0. Tied at #30 are iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (flat at .9, #31 in April, 6+) and Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” (1.0 – .9, -.1, #29 in April, 6+). Elsewhere in the news/talk format, iHeartMedia’s KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) for six straight sweeps, is now off a collective two-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (1.0 – .9 – .8 – .8, #34 to #32, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” dips from #39 to #40 (.5 – .4, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Albeit flat at 5.7 (second to first, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” supplants adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (6.0 – 5.6, -.4, first to second, 6+) at #1. Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), KOST bounced back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Over the past 33 Los Angeles sweeps (dating back to December 2015), KOST and KBIG have had a stranglehold on the #1 position. “Coast 103.5” has been on top 20 times (December 2015 through January 2017; December 2017; “Holiday” 2017; March 2018; and April 2018), while “My-FM” has set the pace on 13 occasions (February 2017 through November 2017; January 2018; February 2018; and May 2018. Flat at #4, Entercom smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” is a collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). After four successive increases for a collective +1.7 (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), co-owned adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips two-tenths to 4.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). There is a massive seven-way logjam at #10 that includes mainstream CHR cluster-mate KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” (2.5 – 2.7, +.2, #16 to #10, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” – is flat at 4.5 (6+) and carries on at #5. Unchanged at #19, Entercom alternative KROQ is a combined +.2 in three straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), whereas format foe – iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” – gains four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, 6+), climbing from tenth to ninth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 31st time in succession, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (2.2 – 2.1, -.1, 6+) departs the top twenty (#20 to #21); March 2018’s 2.0 is its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). Debuting at #40 is Entravision regional Mexican KDLD “La Tricolor 103.1.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – While it was up an overall eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), WBBM-AM is now a collective -.4 in three straight sweeps without a gain (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+). Nonetheless, the Entercom all-news operation actually manages to progress from fourth to second; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” is now +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+) as the Chicago Cubs flagship cracks the top ten (#13 to #7). “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). An overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ falters by two-tenths to 2.8 (#15 to #16, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 2.2 (flat at #21, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN pulls the plug on three successive decreases that produced a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). A gain of three-tenths in March by the Chicago White Sox key station ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Format rival – Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM – is off three-tenths in three consecutive down or flat moves (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 1.7, #22 to #23, 6+). Immediately prior to this, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). For the fourth sweep in a row, ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #24 to #25, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – In five straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” nearly doubles its 6+-stat (a combined +2.3) and elevates from fifth to third. Albeit anchored at #6, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” is an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Off two-tenths to 5.9 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the fifth month in succession; WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September, as well. In addition to snapping at four its consecutive string of increases that netted a +1.7 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (4.6, -.4, 6+) slips from second to fifth. Prior to March, “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. This is the third time in succession that Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” posts a 3.5 (seventh to ninth). It has an eight-tenths lead over Hubbard AC WSHE “100.3 SHE” (2.6 – 2.7, +.1, #19 to #17, 6+), which was off by one-half share in April. Approximately one-third into the March ratings period, Merlin Media-owned classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love,” which Educational Media Foundation is operating until the sale is finalized. WCKL eroded by -1.9 in that sweep (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+); disappeared from print in April; but resurfaces in May with a 1.5 (#24). At the same time, similarly-formatted WJKL (using the same “Positive, Encouraging K-Love” branding) plummets from 1.3 to .1 (-1.2, #41, 6+). Gone as well in April was Window to the World’s WFMT, which had been trending 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 (6+) since “Holiday” 2017; however, the classical outlet is back in May with a .9 (#28, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – While #1 for the fifth time in succession, KQED sputters by three-tenths (8.4 – 8.1, 6+). The Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talker was a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+) and had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM nevertheless continues in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Following an April gain of nine-tenths, Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Tied at #13 are the key station of the Oakland A’s – Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game”- and Cumulus Media news/talker KSFO. “The Game” is without a loss for the ninth time in a row, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, up from #16 in April, 6+). KSFO’s (6+) March – April – May trending is identical to that of KGMZ (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). News/talk sibling KGO is trending 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #23).

San Francisco Music Formats – Licensed to Vacaville, Alpha Media-owned adult contemporary KUIC nearly doubles its 6+-share (.7 – 1.3, +.6, 6+) as “95.3 Your Hometown Station” checks in at #26. Also in the AC format, iHeartMedia’s KISQ is an overall +.5 via three straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+) with “98.1 The Breeze” carrying on in third-place. Simultaneously, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT “96.5 Today’s Hits – Yesterday’s Favorites” registers a positive spike of one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, fifth to fourth, 6+). By way of a one-tenth uptick to 3.3 (ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” applies the brakes to three consecutive losses that accounted for a -1.0 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). It is tied with similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3,” which is -.8 in four straight (modest) declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, seventh to eighth, 6+). Unchanged in fourth-place, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is down two-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three increases in a row that netted nine-tenths (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+). After each was without an increase the past four ratings periods, Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (1.7, #24, 6+) and hot AC sibling KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” (1.4, #25, 6+) are up two-tenths and one-tenth, respectively. “Bay FM” was -.6 in that stretch (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), while “Mix” was -.2 (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” is +1.2 in April and May (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Over and above that, KTCK vaults from #12 to #6. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Bunched together this month are North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA (2.3 – 2.5, +.2, #21 to #18, 6+); Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM (2.6 – 2.4, -.2, #17 to #20); sports talk sibling KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (2.4 – 2.3, -.1, #18 to #21, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” (flat at 2.2 and continuing at #22). KRLD-AM’s -.2 in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Before a +.5 in April, Texas Rangers flagship “The Fan” posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). Although flat at 1.1 (6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” progresses from #32 to #30. Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is down two-tenths (1.0 – .8, #33 to #34, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is flat at .6 (steady at #35, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia-owned KHKS #1 for the fifth straight month, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is an overall +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. In five straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6, steady at #3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KSCS “96.3 New Country” is a +.7. Co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” slips by one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, flat at #5, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE was up six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), but “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” is off four-tenths in May to 2.7 (#14 to #15, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 (February – March – April, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” regresses by one-half share to 3.0 and exits the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+). Having recorded a 3.9 (6+) in February, March, and April, iHeartMedia’s KEGL adds one-tenth to 4.0 as “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” continues at #7. Co-owned hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” is a collective -.7 in four successive sweeps without an increase (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8, sixth to eighth, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH rockets from #16 to #11; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Flat at 3.6 (6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF – which was +.6 in January – remains at #15. After recording a .7 (6+) in four ratings periods in a row, iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” nearly doubled it in April to 1.3, but the flagship of the Houston Astros drops one-tenth in May (to 1.2, flat at #22, 6+). Tied at #25 are Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (flat at .8, #26 in April, 6+) and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” (.7 – .8, +.1, #27 in April, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – In five of the last seven reports, Liberman regional Mexican KTJM has notched a 2.1 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), but “La Raza” busts out a +.7 in May to 2.8 (#20 to #17, 6+), its best 6+-showing since September 2017’s 2.9. Meanwhile, a gain of one-half share (4.3 – 4.8, ninth to seventh, 6+) takes Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” to its best 6+-stat (4.8) since 5.1 in “Holiday” 2017. Its urban AC sibling KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” improves by two-tenths (7.0 – 7.2, 6+), but iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” gains twice as much (7.0 – 7.4, +.4, 6+), thus breaking April’s #1 tie between the two; “Majic” shifts to #2. Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny” segued to second in March. It answered March’s -1.1 with an April +.8 to return to the top spot tied with KMJQ. KODA, which finished second in October and November, was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Majic” was stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, dropping to 6.8 (6+) in March. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ was +1.7 but “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is now -1.1 in April and May (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+), drifting from fourth to ninth. A combined +1.5 in March and April (4.9 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” surrenders roughly half that gain in May (5.7, -.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). As the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.7, #13 to #14, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” tumbles by a cumulative -1.5.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to seven successive sweeps without a decrease (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is +.8 as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves continues at #20. On the heels of April’s +.7, Entercom sports talk WZGC surrenders all but one-tenth of that increase (3.3 – 2.7, -.6, #14 to #18+); “92.9 The Game” was -1.1 in February. In advance of February’s loss, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). On top for the 30th successive ratings period, WSB-AM is nonetheless -2.7 in three consecutive negative moves (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). The Cox Media Group news/talk facility – which was +1.6 in January – notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WSB-AM. Without an increase for the third sweep in succession for a -.5 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE remains at #8. A loss of two-tenths (2.0 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” from the top twenty (#19 to #21). Prior to April’s 2.0, WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. Up one-tenth (.6 – .7, 6+), Georgia State University news/talk WRAS moves from #29 to #28.

Atlanta Music Formats – Due to three downward trends in succession (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR was a cumulative -1.4, but “Star 94.1 Today’s Hits” wipes out all but three-tenths of that deficit with a +1.1 to 3.6, jumping from #17 to #11 (6+). Three consecutive positive spikes by Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WVFJ “The Joy FM” account for a +1.1 (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9, #18 to #16, 6+). At the same time, this is the fifth negative move in a row for Salem Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFSH “104.7 The Fish” (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.2 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+), which is -4.5 in that stretch (more than a 50% loss). “The Fish” was a combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+). Steady at #2, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” has its fourth sweep in a row without a loss for a combined +1.3 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.1, 6+). Not only is this (7.1) WVEE’s best 6+-performance in more than two years (7.3, April 2016), “V-103” now trails frontrunner WSB-AM by just four-tenths of a share. A one-tenth gain by iHeartMedia alternative WRDA “Alt 105.7” (1.6, steady at #22, 6+) halts four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). In five straight positive or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ was +.5, but “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” returns all of that and one-tenth more (4.0, -.6, seventh to eighth, 6+). Flat at #11, Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” is off for the third time in a row for a collective loss of nine tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). After generating a +2.0 via five up or flat trends in succession (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), its adult contemporary sibling, WSB-FM “B-98.5,” slips by one-tenth to 5.8 (6+) but remains at #4. Unchanged at #6, iHeartMedia’s country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” also drops one-tenth (to 4.6, 6+), curtailing four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). In a continuation of the theme, Cumulus Media-owned country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” loses one-tenth as well (to 3.5, #12 to #14, 6+), thus pulling the plug on four successive up or flat trends that accounted for an overall +.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+)

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s FM sports talk format erodes by -1.3 as Entercom’s WIP is -.8 (6.9 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is -.5 (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #17, 6+). Huge shifts have been common lately for Phillies flagship WIP, including an overall -1.1 (December and “Holiday” 2017); +2.6 (January 2018); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); and now -.8 (May). “The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. Public news/talk WHYY sputters by seven-tenths (4.4 – 3.7, 6+) but remains at #9. WHYY chalked up a +1.0 in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Down three-tenths (5.0 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KYW falls from seventh to eighth. The all-news outlet was +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but then surrendered one full-share in April; KYW improved by +1.0 in January. Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” gains one-tenth (1.5 – 1.6, #23 to #20, 6+), while Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” loses one-tenth (1.6 – 1.5, flat at #21, 6+). WPHT was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March before dropping to 1.5 in April. Meanwhile, WKXW was a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+) but lost two-tenths in April.

Philadelphia Music Formats – The winning ways continue for Entercom-owned WXTU, which posts its fifth straight improvement for an overall +2.1 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.7, eighth to seventh, 6+). The last time “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” reached the five-share level (6+) was in August 2016 (5.3). There is a seven-tenths April 2018 – May 2018 surge in the market’s (6+) urban AC share, basically equally split between Radio One’s WRNB “100.3 RNB” (2.6 – 3.0, +.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which is an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, fifth to fourth, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is #1 for the third straight month. Its January 2018 – May 2018 topline is an ultra-consistent 8.3 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 8.4 (6+). WBEB was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Even though it is a combined +1.9 in four upticks in succession (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” shifts from second to third; this (7.2) is its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 7.4. As the result of eight consecutive up or flat trends, Connoisseur Media hot AC WPST “94.5 PST” has nearly doubled its 6+-share (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, steady at #24, 6+). An April increase of six-tenths to 3.4 (6+) gave Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM its best 6+-showing since October 2016 (3.4, as well), but “95.7 BEN-FM” stumbles by -.8 in May to 2.6 (#12 to #14, 6+). The dry spell continues for Radio One gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9 – Philadelphia’s Inspiration Station,” which is -.9 is 14 straight down or flat sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, #26, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a +1.1 in April (2.9 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” follows with a +.7 to 4.7, leaping from seventh to third (6+); the New York Yankees’ flagship was -1.1 in February. Meanwhile, the key station of the New York MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – forfeits all of April’s +.6 and two-tenths more (3.1 – 2.3, -.8, #13 to #17). WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), before returning three-tenths in March. Five consecutive upticks by Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (+1.2) more than double its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, #19 to #17, 6+). Bouncing back from April’s -.5 with a May gain of three-tenths (2.8 – 3.1, #15 to #12, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS is once again ahead of co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #14 to #17, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. Without an increase in Long Island for six successive survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WINS was +.4 in March. Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 (6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM moves from #24 to #23. Flat at 1.4 (6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC slips from #25 to #26.

Long Island Music Formats – Trending 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+) in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), iHeartMedia New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU breaks out a +.8 to 4.2 (tenth to eighth, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+) enables Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – #1 for R&B” to crack the top ten (#12 to #10). While it is #1 for the eighth consecutive time, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is -6.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+). “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. As a result of dropping eight-tenths (3.7 – 2.9, #9 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” has its lowest 6+-share in Long Island since November 2017 (2.9, as well), while a loss of seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.8, 6+) drops Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” from the top twenty (#16 to #21). Off one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” dips from third to fourth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 43rd consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” regains the one-tenth it lost in April (2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #13, San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+). Immediately prior to February, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – May 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 – .5 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” finishes at #17. Part of a four-way pileup at #20 is the former KUBE – iHeartMedia’s KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” – which is flat at .3 (6+).

Riverside Music Formats – Following five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” erases more than half the deficit with a +1.8 to 6.4 (fourth to second, 6+). It now trails Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA by a mere one-tenth. While the market pacesetter for the fifth month in succession, KOLA is -1.9 via three downward trends in succession (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+). January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January (2018), KOLA last occupied the #1 slot in January 2016 with a 6.9 (6+). Even though it is an overall +1.3 as the result of four positive spikes in a row (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” falls from the runner-up slot to #3. Unchanged at #12, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo” is an overall +.5 in three (modest) gains in a row (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.7, 6+). On the heels of April’s -.5, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB surrenders another six-tenths (3.0 – 2.5 – 1.9, 6+) but carries on at #10. “Que Buena 96.1” was +.9 in March and 3.0 in March is its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. This is the fourth straight sweep without an increase for All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” (flat at #14), which is -.5 in that timeframe (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Although down in April and May by a combined -1.9 (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED is #1 for the fifth straight month. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five successive sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April 2017. One-half share behind KQED is Entercom’s KCBS-AM, which finishes second for the fourth time in a row (6.3 – 6.4, +.1, 6+). The all-news operation was -.8 in February and up one-half share in April. After posting a +1.6 in April, Cumulus Media sports talk and San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” falters by three-tenths to 4.3 (fourth to seventh, 6+). In April, KNBR reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Cumulus Media-owned news/talk KSFO is without a loss for the fifth month in a row for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). On the other hand, cluster-mate KGO is down for the third time in a row for a -1.1 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0, #17 to #20, 6+); KGO was a combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+). Regaining the one-tenth it lost in April (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” remains at #29. Frozen on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, the key station of the Oakland A’s gained two-tenths in February but dropped one-tenth in March and April.

San Jose Music Formats – No other station in the San Jose report makes a larger (6+) April 2018 – May 2018 increase than Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVS. “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” nearly triples April’s .6 to 1.7 (+1.1) and finishes at #26. Replicating April’s +.8 (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.3, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” surges from fifth to third. Gaining eight-tenths as well in May are Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (4.4 – 5.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) and Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “Q-102.1 The Bay Area’s Throwback Station” (2.3, #16, 6+), which was down four-tenths in three (slight) decreases in a row (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in four straight decreases (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), Alpha Media-owned hot KEZR recaptures one-half share to 4.5 (ninth to sixth, 6+). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM “Radio Lazer 93.7” falters by eight-tenths, roughly cutting its 6+-share in half (1.5 – .8, #30, 6+). A combined +2.6 in six successive up or flat sweeps (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” surrenders one-half share to 5.3 and carries on in third-place. Forfeiting one-half share as well in May is iHeartMedia-owned KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 2.5, #13 to #15, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility and New York Yankees flagship is an overall +1.1 in three straight upticks (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Trending 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 (6+), all-news sibling WINS breaks out a +.6 to 1.7 (#25 to #24, 6+). Off nine-tenths in April, co-owned/similarly-programmed WCBS-AM drops another two-tenths to 1.8 (#21 to #22, 6+). Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), WCBS-AM answered with a +.7 in March. It is tied at #22 with iHeartMedia news/talk WOR (1.8, -.5, #18 in April, 6+). The New York Mets flagship had been without a loss the past four Middlesex sweeps for a net gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+). Sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+). After being on top in each of the previous four ratings periods, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and segues to #2. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. The five latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 (#24 to #25); WABC was +.4 in January. Down three-tenths (2.5 – 2.2, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM falls from #16 to #19. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), the public news/talker was a cumulative +1.2 but was -.8 in March.

Middlesex Music Formats – Not only does this represent the third successive Middlesex-Somerset-Union uptick for Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH for a +1.8 (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 4.0, 6+), “94.7 Nash FM” enters the top ten (#14 to #10). Moreover, 4.0 is the strongest 6+-showing for WNSH in this New Jersey market since June 2016 (4.0, as well). A gain of seven-tenths (4.2 – 4.9, 6+) elevates iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ from seventh to fifth; this (4.9) is the best 6+-stat for “Q-104.3” – New York’s Classic Rock” since 5.3 in November 2017. Improving by one-half share each are co-owned mainstream CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (4.5 – 5.0, sixth to fourth, 6+); Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” (2.9 – 3.4, #15 to #12, 6+); and Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.1 – 2.6, #20 to #15, 6+). After trending 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+), “Mega 97.9” regressed by one-half share in April. When WPLJ picked up two-tenths in April, it ended five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.2 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is an overall -5.3 as the result of five straight down or flat trends (11.5 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” advances from second to first. Returning in its entirety the one-half share gained in April (2.9 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WBMP “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” drops from #12 to #15; April’s 3.4 is the best 6+-share for WBMP since June 2017 when it was a mainstream CHR (“Amp”).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

| March 14, 2018

‘Our American Stories’ Hits 100-Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program announces it has hit the 100-affiliate station mark with the recent addition of such notable American news/talk station as Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Crawford Broadcasting’s KLZ, Denver and WYDE-AM/FM, Birmingham.  The daily, two-hour program is produced by American Private Radio and is hosted by Lee Habeeb.  He says the show is showing such phenomenal growth due to the desire for values-based, non-political programming.  “Amidst the divisiveness of today’s political landscape, the growth of our program proves stations want something that inspires people, not drives them apart, and ‘Our American Stories’ focuses on what makes America special in the first place.  We want to tell the story of America to Americans, from our great heritage in art and sports and innovation, to the great things ordinary people do every day in this great country.  So much of the good and the great gets lost in the noise of hardline politics…People love good story telling and there is such a rich catalogue of American stories out there – from sports, business, entertainment, even personal stories of community heroes, past and present.”  KMOX, St. Louis operations manager Steve Moore comments, “We were looking for something to complement our nighttime programming and ‘Our American Stories’ provides positive-impact stories that appeal to a broad base of listeners.  The show is not only driving great listener response, but a new way of thinking about driving revenue.”

WSCR, Chicago Announces New Lineup.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported yesterday, Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score” is making a number of changes to its lineup.  Jason Goff and Matt Spiegel exit their roles as show co-hosts and “The Score” brings both Dan McNeil and Connor McKnight back to full-time roles.  McNeil is being partnered with Danny Parkins on the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show and McKnight pairs up with Dan Bernstein to host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program.  In a press release, WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen says, “Jimmy [de Castro] and I are pleased to announce that we have signed two Chicago radio free agents — the return of ‘Score’ original Danny Mac, who will join Danny Parkins in afternoon drive, and former ‘Score’ on-air host Connor McKnight, who will join Dan Bernstein in middays.  Adding these two players makes our all-star team even better.”  McNeil has been hosting a Sunday morning program and McKnight had been a sports anchor with Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM.

WABC, New York Adds Chris Plante to Midday Schedule.  With the move of Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg to the morning drive daypart on April 2 (taking over for Don Imus), Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talker WABC, New York will add the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante program to the schedule airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  In a memo to staff, WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Chris has been a pentagon correspondent for CNN and an Edward R. Murrow award-winner for his work during the terrorist attacks on September 11…Expect Chris to make the trip to NYC often as he wants to become part of the WABC family and grow NYC endorsement opportunities for WABC.”

WJOX-FM, Birmingham Announces New Midday Show.  After moving “The Roundtable” starring Jim Dunaway, Lance Taylor, and Ryan Brown to the morning daypart on March 5, Cumulus Media names the hosts of the new midday program on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Former Auburn Tigers star Cole Cubelic, Tuscaloosa News writer Aaron Suttles, and Landrum Roberts are the new personalities set to assume the midday show beginning March 26.

Entercom Announces Executive Changes; Susan Larkin to Manage New York Cluster. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is taking on the role of market manager for Entercom’s New York cluster.  She will continue her position with the company as regional president overseeing San Francisco and Sacramento.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer comments, “We are thrilled to have Susan take on the market manager role for Entercom New York.  She has demonstrated incredible leadership skills and is a strong, strategic player who builds great teams and drives outstanding results.  With her energy and experience, there is no better person to take on the management responsibility in America’s #1 media market.”  Larkin says, “I am looking forward to joining Entercom New York.  As a native New Yorker, it is exciting to be home and at the center of the media universe, representing some of Entercom’s most iconic brands, including 1010 WINS and WFAN.”  Concurrent with this move, Entercom names Gregory Nemitz senior vice president/market manager of the San Francisco cluster.  Kieran Geffert is upped to vice president/director of sales in the same market, and Jeff Federman assumes regional oversight of the Southern California markets, including San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, while continuing in his post as SVP/market manager of Entercom Los Angeles.

TALKERS News Notes. It’s not certain what format Salem Media Group will flip KZTS-FM, Little Rock to when it begins operating it under a Local Marketing Agreement on April 1, but it’s a safe bet that hip hop will remain the format.  Salem is buying KZTS from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  KZTS is licensed to Cammack Village, Arkansas – northwest of downtown Little Rock – but its primary signal covers much of the Little Rock market.  Salem is currently operating KHTE as conservative news/talk “96.5 The Answer” in the market so it seems unlikely that KZTS will flip to news/talk…..Cox Media Group names Michelle Miguelez VP of communications and public affairs, effective immediately.  The company says that in her new role, Miguelez will “create proactive communications strategies that align with business objectives and engage employees, further strengthening CMG’s role as an employer of choice.”  Miguelez joins from her most recent position as director of corporate communication for Georgia Power.

Trump Ousts Tillerson, Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Issue, PA Special Election, Feds vs California/Immigration Policy, Poisoned Russian Spy, National School Walkout, Austin Package Bombs, and NFL ‘Legal Tampering’ Period, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson exits as President Trump names Mike Pompeo his replacement; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the battle by porn star Stormy Daniels to talk publicly about her affair with President Trump; Tuesday’s Pennsylvania special election between Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone; the Feds’ suit against California over its sanctuary policies, the Mexican wall and immigration policy; Britain’s attacks on Russia and Vladimir Putin after the poisoning of a former double agent; today’s National School Walkout in response to the Parkland, Florida shooting and gun laws; the deaths in a series of package bombings in Austin, Texas; the NFL’s “legal tampering” period; and NBA Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More news from the Little Rock market as iHeartMedia flips classic hits KHKN to CHR as the new “HOT 94.9, All The Hits.”  iHeartMedia Red River Region president Clyde Bass says, “The new ‘Hot 94.9’ is playing 10,000 songs in a row for Central Arkansas with ten chances at $1,000 dollars every weekday and soon there will be first-ever opportunities to win tickets to live events like Wango Tango and the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour.  Central Arkansas has needed a hit music station that connects listeners with their favorite artists both on-air and backstage, so I’m excited that the new ‘Hot 94.9’ is finally here.”…..SiriusXM launches a new music channel curated by GRAMMY award-winning producer and DJ Diplo, titled, “Diplo’s Revolution.”  The channel will feature global rhythmic music hand-selected by Diplo, as well as regular original shows hosted by Diplo, Dillon Francis and Major Lazer members Jillionaire and Walshy Fire.  Diplo’s exclusive SiriusXM channel will launch with a special live performance from the Faena Theater in Miami Beach on Thursday, March 22 at 9:00 pm ET.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

| December 5, 2017

Report: Analyst Says Creditors Seeking iHeartMedia Bankrputcy.  From a report published today in the San Antonio Express analyzing the recent offer to lenders and bondholders from iHeartMedia and the counteroffer from the Franklin Resourcesled group, comes the quote from Bloomberg Intelligence credit analyst Philip Brendel that “the lender group is not moving much.  They believe their best interests will be served by the company filing for bankruptcy” as opposed to an out-of-court agreement over debt-for-equity.  Although negotiations are continuing, Debtwire senior credit analyst Seth Crystall is quoted saying that creditors don’t want iHM management to “have anything.”  Last week’s counterproposal by creditors seeks 95.3% of iHeartMedia and 100% of iHM’s ownership of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.  Creditors would then recapitalize the company with $7 billion in new bonds.  For iHeartMedia, $324.2 million in debt comes due in 2018 with $8.4 billion due in 2019.  Read the Express story here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Suffers Heart Attack; Awaits Surgery.  Longtime Buffalo talk show host Tom Bauerle – who co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Entercom’s WBEN-AM with David Bellavia – recently suffered a heart attack and is awaiting more tests as doctors prepare to do quadruple bypass surgery.  In a Facebook video, Bauerle explains that he went to the hospital after feeling short of breath and experiencing chest pain.  Doctors have determined he has significant blockage.  He says he expects to be off the air at least through December and likely through much of January.  Bellavia will continue to host the show in his absence.

TALKERS News Notes. The video news channel Newsmax TV expands its footprint with a new carriage distribution deal with DISH.  Newsmax says that Newsmax TV is now available on channel 216 to DISH customers who subscribe to the pay-TV provider’s America’s Top 120 and above programming packages.  Newsmax TV launched in 2014 as a 24/7 cable news channel.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “DISH is one of the biggest satellite operators in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their system.  We believe DISH subscribers want more cable news choices, and we have demonstrated that Newsmax TV is bringing in new viewers who want more than the conventional news lineup.”…..The Denver alt-weekly Westword has been following the status of former KOA, Denver morning personality Steffan Tubbs.  If you recall, Tubbs was arrested back in July on a charge of domestic violence by telephone and the iHeartMedia news/talk station dismissed him from his position.  Those charges have subsequently been dropped (although they could be re-filed before the July anniversary if prosecutors change their minds) but Tubbs says he’s been told he won’t get his job back.  The Westword story gives a pretty detailed account of the people and incidents that have put Tubbs in this situation.  Read it here…..Two staffers of Pilot Knob Broadcasting’s KIOW-FM, Forest City, Iowa have been let go from their positions after their racist comments were broadcast on an online video channel.  The DesMoines Register reports that longtime high school sports play-by-play announcer Orin Harris and board operator Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt were talking during a break from the KIOW-FM broadcast about the names of players on one of the high school basketball teams playing in the game they were broadcasting.  The conversation turned racist in nature and although the radio station was in a commercial break, the online video channel serving local schools was using the station’s audio and the conversation was heard on that broadcast.  Kusserow-Smidt also works for a local school district as a third-grade teacher.  She’s been suspended during an internal review of the matter.  Read the Register piece here…..Public radio station WBUR, partners with Reddit for a new podcast, “Endless Thread,” hosted by Ben Brock Johnson.  WBUR says Johnson and producer Amory Sivertson “will guide listeners on an unexpected journey by uncovering the best stories from ‘the front page of the internet’ and bringing them to life in audio form.”….. Westwood One News is producing two long-form, year-in-review programs for stations.  The first is “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning.  Second is “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout. The network is also providing stations a 20-part series of one-minute reports, each on a major story of 2017, from President Trump’s first year to the year in business, entertainment, and sports.  Both specials and the 20-part series are available to Westwood One News affiliates and Cumulus stations.

Entercom Promotes Power of Radio in Ad Age Spread.  The multi-page paid presentation in Ad Age is titled, “The Sound Solution: Why Radio Is the Key to ROI and Reach Advertisers Need Now,” and contains a lot of the data industry insiders are aware of.  But it’s packaged as a Q&A with Entercom CEO David Field answering questions with that data that includes statements about radio’s 93% reach, its “loyal” and “engaged” audience, the “$10-to-$1 return on investment,” and more.  Check it out here.

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises Almost $500k for Fisher House Foundation.  Pictured above are (from l-r) WMAL, Washington “Mornings On The Mall” co-host Vince Coglianese, Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker, WMAL and Westwood One personality Chris Plante, and WMAL afternoon host Larry O’Connor at the station’s two-day, live radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation.  It took place last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2) and raised more than $456,000 in donations.  The Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Roy Moore Senate Candidacy, GOP Tax Reform Bill, Trump Jerusalem Recognition, ABC News-Brian Ross Reprimand, SCOTUS Wedding Cake Case, Utah National Monument Issue, Travel Ban Takes Effect, Conyers Sexual Misbehavior Allegations, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/4).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; former Alabama judge Roy Moore’s candidacy for U.S. Senate and allegations of sexual predation against him; analysis of the Republican tax reform bill; international concern over President Trump’s desire to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the blowback against ABC News after Brian Ross’ incorrect report that Trump asked Michael Flynn to contact Russians during the campaign; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of a Colorado bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple; President Trump orders Utah national monuments reduced; the Supreme Court allows Trump’s travel ban to take effect while lower courts review it; the allegations of sexual misbehavior against Congressman John Conyers; the four teams selected for the College Football Playoffs and other bowl games; 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.

Seattle Format Flips Change Country, Rock, and AC Landscape.  One company is ditching one of its country stations for adult contemporary and another is leaving the rock music behind for country.  Hubbard Radio puts an end to KVRQ “Seattle’s Rock Station” and flips to country as “Country 98.9 FM.”  This change comes as Entercom ends the country format on KMPS and goes soft AC as “The New 94.1 The Sound.”  One staffer from KMPS is staying with the company as Deanna Lee moves to Entercom’s sister country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” to host the midday show.  Now, the country battle in Seattle will pit Entercom’s KKWF against KVRQ.  In the AC wars, KMPS will go up against Hubbard’s KRWM.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At alternative rock WNOH, Norfolk “ALT 105.3,” Brett Ballard is named program director and afternoon host.  Ballard comes to Norfolk from iHeartMedia’s WTKX, Mobile where he was program director.  iHeartMedia Norfolk SVP of programming Tias Schuster comments, “After the successful launch of ‘Hampton Roads Alternative Rock Station ALT 105.3,’ we knew that this station needed one of the best programmers to take the helm.  I had the privilege of working in the same market as Brett Ballard and knew of his ability as a dynamic rock programmer. We look forward to welcoming him to the Norfolk team and having the privilege of working alongside him as we continue to give Hampton Roads a better choice with ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Nationally syndicated afternoon drive personality D.L. Hughley signs a new, multi-year agreement with Reach Media to continue syndicating his program.  Hughley states, “I’m excited that my radio show continues to grow on a national basis, but the honesty and interaction with my audience make it the ‘biggest local and personal show in radio.’  Extending the relationship with Reach Media gives me the opportunity to address what’s important to people I care about in an entertaining, but meaningful way – making a difference in their day!”…..Premiere Networks is presenting an exclusive holiday special for country radio stations hosted by award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan. The four-hour, barter-free “Home for the Holidays with CMT’s Cody Alan” includes conversations with country music stars including: Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts and family traditions. The show is available to air anytime between December 22- 25…..Entercom announces the call letter changes in Boston and Chicago.  Hot AC “Mix 104.1” in Boston becomes WWBX as its WBMX calls are shipped off to the company’s Chicago hot AC “Mix 104.1.”

Round Four of November PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of November 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered October 12 – November 8. View 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. Please note the Entercom takeover of CBS Radio was concluded nine days after the final day of the November 2017 sweep (11/17); we will cease using CBS Radio references beginning with the December 2017 sweep.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – On the heels of logging a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI bounces back with a gain nearly twice that deficit (5.5, +.9, 6+) and zooms from eighth to fourth. From May through September, “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” was trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since posting a 5.5 in August 2016. It is, however, a mixed bag for its co-owned country siblings. As is the situation with “Kiss FM,” KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” improves by nine-tenths in November (6.6 – 7.5) and is anchored at #3, but KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share (5.1 – 4.6, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last eight sweeps, KVET-FM last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). Meanwhile, “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which hadn’t been without a loss since February for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), slips by two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is flat at #16. October’s 2.5 was the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). In three successive uptrends, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, tied at #19 to #16 tied with KOKE, 6+) and reaches the two-share threshold (2.3, 6+) for the first time since March (2.1). Improving by one-half share as well (8.3 – 8.8, 6+) is Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which is #1 for the tenth successive month. The November increase to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March, halts three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). “Bob” was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. While remaining in the runner-up slot, University of Texas at Austin’s KUT falters by three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), thus ending three straight gains for an inclusive +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Its 7.9 in October was the news/talk outlet’s highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. Following three straight declines in which it lost approximately half of its 6+-share for a -1.8 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+) and continues at #18. With October’s 1.9 (6+), “Spirit” fell below a two-share (6+) for the first time in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Off by eight-tenths (6.3 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” remains at #4, tied with KHFI.

2) Raleigh – After eight successive sweeps without an increase for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” answers with a full-share improvement to 6.6 (+1.0, 6+) as it carries on in fifth-place. “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; however, in October (5.6), it was under a six-share (6+) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. More than doubling its 6+-share (+2.6) as a result of four straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 5.0, 6+), sports talk sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan” not only moves from #10 to a three-way tie at #7, it boasts its best-ever 6+-stat (5.0) in the PPM-era. A combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB applies the brakes with a November surge of nine-tenths to 6.0 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Prior to September, “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). A May boost of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not resurfaced. In addition to curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a -.6 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 – Raleigh’s Classic Rock” recaptures all of it – plus three-tenths more – and cracks the top ten (4.7, +.8, #12 to #10, 6+). Apparently partial to November sweeps, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5 Real Hip-Hop and R&B” registers a one-half share increase to 6.9, its strongest 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.9, November 2015), climbing from fourth to third. Up two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the sixth straight month. A loss of one-half share this time last month stopped six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 was its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Having amassed two full shares since June in four consecutive increases that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” surrenders 70% of that increase (2.4, -1.4, 6+) to tumble from #14 to #16. It is a tough ratings period for the market’s two country FMs as Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (7.7 – 6.9, unchanged at #3, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “New Country B-93.9” (3.9 – 3.1, #12 to #13, 6+) each sputter by eight-tenths. WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods and has its weakest 6+-showing (6.9) since January’s 6.9; likewise, this is the lowest 6+-stat for WNCB since “Holiday” 2016 (3.1, as well). A combined +1.4 in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC slips two-tenths to 7.9 (6+) but continues in the runner-up slot. Prior to August, the news/talk outlet was -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Flat at #7, iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” is an overall -1.9 in five monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), matching its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0).

3) Indianapolis – The yoyo effect goes on for Cumulus Media’s WFMS, which was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; and now +1.1 in November (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5, 6+). When the dust settles, “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative +1.6 in that stretch, advancing from #5 in October to where it was in September – #2. In the process, it bypasses Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which is flat from October in both (6+) market share (7.1) and market rank (#3). A +.8 in October took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Just one-tenth ahead of WFMS is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WJJK, which drops three-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but has been #1 since September. The loss, however, ends three straight progressive months for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). In addition, October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Four increases in a row by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+) account for a +1.4 and enable “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” to match the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. As a result of a one-half share increase (4.3 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” jumps from tenth to eighth. Following gains of one-half share in September and six-tenths in October, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU relinquishes that entire +1.1 and an additional six-tenths more (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 5.8, -1.7, 6+), shifting from second to sixth. It is the first time Indianapolis’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is below a six-share (6+) since December’s 5.6. Although unchanged at #7, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB sputters for the third time in a row for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+) with “Soft Rock B-105.7” recording its weakest 6+-share (5.5) in five years (5.3, November 2012). Down seven-tenths (4.9 – 4.2, 6+) co-owned news/talk WIBC not only has its lowest 6+-share since April’s 3.9, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Even though it returns in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in September and October (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” carries on at #13. In four consecutive downward moves (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3 – All Hip-Hop and R&B” (unchanged at #12) is an overall -1.1.

4) Milwaukee – To invoke a bit of sports vernacular, this Wisconsin market’s November 2017 sweep is punctuated by upsets. Over the course of the last 42 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” has prevailed over Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” but that streak is finally halted. Even though WKTI is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), it not only advances from ninth to eighth – “94.5 KTI Country” bypasses WMIL, which falters by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), trading places with WKTI. Immediately in advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), WMIL is now a combined -2.2 in September, October, and November (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3, 6+). An even more staggering situation occurs in CHR as, for the first time in the PPM-era, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” (4.0, +.8, #14 to #11, 6+) catches Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” (4.4 – 4.0, -.4, #9 to #11, 6+). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “Now” reaches the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). This is the 11th sweep in succession that “Kiss” has been between 4.4 – 4.9 (6+). By contrast, it truly is a tossup in the news/talk arena between Scripps-owned WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station” and iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130.” In the most recent 12 ratings sweeps (December 2016 to October 2017, each station has prevailed six times. In November 2017 though, it is WISN (fourth to second, 6+) that emerges victorious over WTMJ (7.3 – 6.4, -.9, second to fourth, 6+) as the two trade places; WISN is +1.0 in four straight gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0, 6+), while WTMJ was a combined +1.3 August – September – October (6.0 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and registered its best 6+-stat (7.3) since December 2015’s 8.2. Flat at #6, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” is up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), halting four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); October’s 5.4 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). On top for the 32nd consecutive ratings period, classic hits-oldies sibling WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” (+.6, 6+) continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0, 6+). There is a bit of good news as well as some slightly bad news for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which advances from #3 to a tie at #2 – but – is off one-tenth to (7.0, 6+), curtailing three straight gains that netted +2.2 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+). October’s 7.1 represents the highest 6+-share for “The Hog” since it began appearing in print in December 2014. On the strength of four increases in a row (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” (steady at #5) is an overall +1.9 since August and has its best 6+-showing since January (6.5, as well). Dropping from #12 to #14, Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” is -1.4 in three consecutive dips (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

5) Nashville – By replicating October’s +.8, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+) jumps from ninth to sixth and registers its best 6+ showing since 6.0 in October 2016. Recouping 20% of October’s -.5 (3.2 – 3.3, +.1, 6+) similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” carries on at #13. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Elsewhere in the country format, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (seventh to ninth) continues an alternating down/up pattern that began in February (5.5 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+). Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Unchanged at #21, co-owned classic country WSIX-HD2 is up two-tenths (.8 – 1.0 (6+), while Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the fifth consecutive sweep. Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in August and September before moving to 3.2 (6+) in October, Cromwell Group alternative-formatted WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” hangs out a +.6 to 3.8, inching up from #13 to #12 (6+). In October, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM surrendered 80% (1.2, -.8, 6+) of a collective +1.0 from three straight increases which doubled its 6+-share since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+). Now, “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” bounces back with a half-share gain to 1.7 (6+) and continues at #16. Conversely, Educational Media Foundation’s similarly-formatted WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #12 to #14, 6+). Improving by one-half share (in addition to WAYM) and cracking the top twenty in a three-way tie at #17 is Cromwell Group sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (1.3, 6+), which had lost two-thirds of its 6+-share owing to five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 1.8 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .8, 6+). Steady at #10, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WGFX “104.5 The Zone” falters by two-tenths to 4.8 (6+), thus ending a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 for the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). October’s 5.0 was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Over and above registering its fourth straight surge for an overall +1.3 matching April’s 7.7 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” marches from second to first. April was the last time “Mix” occupied the pacesetter position. Dislodged from the top spot after two months there and shifting to second is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” (flat at 7.5, 6+). In October, “The Beat” forfeited two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+); September’s 8.5 was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). A combined +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” returns more than half that increase with a -.7, tumbling from fifth to seventh (5.7, 6+). At the same time, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” drops six-tenths and departs the top ten (5.0 – 4.4, tie at #10 to #11, 6+). The market’s two CHR rivals each erode by six-tenths: iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is flat at #3 (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” remains at #15 (3.0 – 2.4, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well is WNFN’s adult hits sibling WCJK “Jack-FM,” which has the same (6+) profile as “The River” (7.2 – 6.6, steady at #3, 6+).

6) Providence – By wiping out October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (8.1 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” progresses from #4 to a tie at #3. Roughly tripling its 6+-share since June (.6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+), public (The Wheeler School) news/talk WELH “Rhode Island Public Radio” climbs from #13 to #12. On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” regains the two-tenths it lost in October (10.4 – 10.2 – 10.4, 6+). Prior to that sweep, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+); 11.4 (September and November) represents its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. With the MLB season now over, Entercom sports talk and Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate WVEI surrenders seven-tenths to 3.2 (6+), segueing from seventh to eighth. The decrease pulls the plug on four straight WVEI sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+); 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. Following modest back-to-back increases in September and October (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB “Latina 100.3” surrenders one-half share to 1.7 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #10, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ “News Radio 920” – which nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) – slips by one-tenth to 2.1 (6+). A similar positive streak for a Providence news/talk outlet comes to an end as Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” – which practically tripled its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) – stumbles by three-tenths to .5 (#14 to #15, 6+).

7) Norfolk – It is another benchmark ratings period for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which – in addition to being #1 for the 11th time in a row – logs a +.8 to 14.6, the highest 6+-stat reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The “old” mark of 14.2 was set just two sweeps ago – by WVKL. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 19th time in the last 20 ratings periods. Following five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative loss of -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and inches up from #12 to #11. The August – September – October – November 6+-topline for Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (unchanged at #2, 6+). Locked on 6.4 (6+) in September and October after August’s 6.5 (6+), co-owned WAFX sputters by six-tenths to 5.8, its lowest 6+-stat since 5.5 in May, but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” carries on at #4. In each of the last six ratings periods (June through November), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (flat at #5) has recorded either a topline 6+-share of 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Down or flat for the fifth time in a row, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” is a collective -.4 (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2, #11 to #12, 6+), while Saga Communications’ adult standards WJOI “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” is without an increase for the third consecutive ratings period and has lost 70% (-.7) of its 6+-share since August (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3, 6+).

8) Greensboro – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI remains at #5, the winning ways continue for “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station,” which posts its fifth consecutive increase for an overall +2.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+). The last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (5.0, November 2016). Within 4.0 – 4.7 range (6+) in each of the last seven sweeps, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” hauls out a +.9 to 4.9 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. Dusting itself off from October’s -.8, Entercom urban AC WQMG responds with a one-half share gain (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4, 6+). In addition to being #1 for the sixth straight time – and each month this calendar year except April and May – “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” posts double-digits (6+) for the 12th sweep in a row. It posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.5 in five straight increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share in its PPM-history. In three straight decreases, co-owned country WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is off by a combined -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, fifth to sixth, 6+) and falls below a six-share (5.8, 6+) for the first time since March (5.6). Its format rival – iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #4, but has lost a collective seven-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1, 6+); September’s 7.8 was its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016. Owing to three losses in a row (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG is a combined -1.3, yet “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” actually improves from sixth to fifth. While August’s 7.2 was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2, 5.9 in November is its lowest since April (5.9, as well). WMAG was +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+), immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by one-half share to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT halts four straight monthlies without an increase for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September and October’s 4.1 was the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. It is now one-tenth behind iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” (4.7, -.1, third to fourth, 6+). Plummeting one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, WOLL regained 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+). Its 5.2 in August was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at 11.2 (6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” ranks first for the 11th consecutive month. This is its highest 6+-share since November 2015 (11.3). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. After three straight gains for an overall +.8 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5 – The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” regresses by four-tenths to 4.4 (third to sixth, 6+). October 2017 stats for some West Palm Beach stations were readjusted after the October sweep was released.

10) Jacksonville – Following three consecutive decreases for a cumulative -1.3 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 and is back in the top ten (#11 to #9). Nearly eight full-shares ahead of it is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which – despite a whopping -1.3 (13.6 – 12.3, 6+) – is #1 for the 11th straight time. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). In fact, October’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January. Furthermore, its +1.9 in October was the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. In the CHR battle here, simultaneous with Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” regaining in its entirety the full-share it squandered in October (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, eighth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” drops two-thirds of October’s +.9 (4.3, -.6, seventh to tenth, 6+). While up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), WAPE was a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” was +1.5 in three positive spikes in a row (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, 6+) and recorded its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). Unchanged at #14, the (gospel) HD3 channel of WKSL improves one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Continuing to make up substantial ground on its -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” is now +2.3 in October and November (6.3 – 7.7, 8.6, 6+), climbing from third to second. The majority of that massive (-3.3) loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Trading places with “The Eagle” is its news/talk cluster-mate WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which is a combined -2.0 in October and November (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7, 6+), wiping out September’s +1.3. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+).

11) Memphis – At this time last month, the (6+) difference between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” (10.4, #1, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” (10. 2, 6+) was a mere two-tenths. Much has changed though as “V-101” explodes by nine-tenths to 11.3 (#1, 6+), but WRBO freefalls by -2.1 to 8.1 (6+) and moves to #3. In the 11 survey periods thus far this calendar year, “V101” has emerged victorious seven times (February, March, May, June, July, October, and November); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. Until now, the (6+) difference between the two had been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. In addition to KJMS, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM improves by nine-tenths to 3.5 (#13 to #11, 6+). The +.9 ends four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) by the station most recently known as “98.9 The Vibe.” Starting on Halloween, however, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.” In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” is locked on fluctuations of seven-tenths, as it gains seven-tenths in November after losing seven-tenths in both September and October (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1 – 2.8, steady at #14, 6+). In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.4 in three losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), slipping from sixth to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since April (4.9, as well). The wild ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock,” which carries on at #10. Specifically, it was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+); +.7 in October; and picks up (another) +.7 in November (3.0 – 3.7, 6+). Registering its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (5.2, 6+, November 2016), Cumulus Media’s WXMX “Maximum Rock – 98.1 The Max” is up one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).

12) Hartford – An impressive +1.4 (5.6 – 7.0, 6+) propels iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet WHCN to its strongest 6+-stat (7.0) since January’s 7.6 with “105.9 The River” sailing from eighth to third. Steady at #10, Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” registers its fourth straight gain for a collective +1.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+). In addition to setting the pace for the 15th successive ratings period, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” is an overall +1.1 via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0, 6+). Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August. It returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); vanished again in October; and reappears in November with a .5 (#14, 6+). After being down or flat the past three sweeps for a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM rebounds with a +.6 to 7.4 (6+), advancing from third to second; October’s 6.8 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. There are more ups and downs for Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR, which was +1.6 in September; -.7 in October; and now +.5 in November (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.6 – 6.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Without an increase in the last five sweeps for a collective -2.3 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” falls from second to fourth. Off seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” drops from sixth to ninth.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

| October 18, 2017

Tax Reform Radio Row with the Trump Administration.  Pictured above is WMAL, Washington and Westwood One talk show host Chris Plante (left) interviewing President Trump (right) during yesterday’s radio row, organized by the Trump Administration to promote its tax reform policies, at the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.  As TALKERS reported yesterday, talk hosts taking part in the daylong event that made not only the president and vice president available to talk hosts but numerous administration officials and tax reform experts included: Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher; Plante, WMAL’s Mary Walter, and Vince Coglianese; WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall; and WIBC, Indianapolis’ Tony Katz.  Pictured below (l-r) are WMAL “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese, Vice President Mike Pence, and morning show executive producer Heather Hunter.

WTMJ, Milwaukee Makes Lineup Changes.  Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ Radio moves 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host Steve Scaffidi to the late morning slot and brings Jeff Wagner back to the early afternoon daypart where he’d been for more than 10 years.  When longtime station personality Charlie Sykes left the station, Wagner moved from late mornings to the early afternoon show and former Oak Creek, Wisconsin Mayor Steve Scaffidi joined the station to host late mornings.  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks comments, “Steve has grown tremendously since joining the station in early 2017.  He has capitalized on his unique perspective as a former politician and community leader.  His show is quickly growing and we are excited to put him in the daypart where our audience has come to expect political and issue-driven talk.  Meanwhile, Jeff Wagner will resume his early afternoon program where he consistently beat his competitors in Milwaukee – especially Rush Limbaugh and other shows piped in from out of town.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Tulsa operations of E.W. Scripps has a new general sales manager.  Dan Smith, most recently with Enid, Oklahoma-based Williams Broadcasting, is familiar with the market, having served with Cox Media Group’s crosstown cluster for 11 years.  Now, he’ll head the sales efforts for news/talk KFAQ plus sister country KVOO, CHR KHTT, classic country KXBL, and classic hits KBEZ. Scripps Radio Tulsa vice president and general manager David Abel comments, “Dan brings with him a tremendous track record of results and a deep understanding of the Tulsa market.  He’s a proven leader who has a long history of talent and business development, which make him a perfect fit to lead our veteran sales team.”…..At iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida cluster, Seth Harp is promoted to his new position as program director for sports talk WFXJ-AM “Sportsradio 930.”…..Sirius XM announces a new, one-hour weekly show starring Rickey Gervais set to launch on October 24 at 11:00 am ET on its Comedy Greats channel.  The show is called “Ricky Gervais Is Deadly Sirius,” and SiriusXM says the show will present Gervais “tackling more ‘sirius’ topics with some of the most respected experts in their fields.  Whether it’s a conversation with scientist and author Richard Dawkins about religion and the afterlife, or rocker Noel Gallagher on hijinks with his bandmates and his musical influences, Gervais will have thought-provoking discussions about the topics he feels the most passionate about, namely music, science, art, and ethics.”  Gervais states, “I started out in radio, and SiriusXM made me an offer to return that I couldn’t refuse.  With 32 million subscribers, editorial control, my own playlist and absolute freedom of speech, it’s the perfect platform for me, and hopefully the listener too.”…..Hearst-owned news/talk WBAL, Baltimore is adding an FM translator to its transmission after the company agreed to buy W268BA, Church Hill, Maryland from Hope Christian Church of Marlton for $650,000.  The FM 101.5 signal’s transmitter is located due east of Baltimore, across Chesapeake Bay.

Walter Sterling Featuring Talk Hosts ‘Who Should Be Working.’  On his Sunday night, WPHT, Philadelphia-based and Westwood One-syndicated talk show, Walter Sterling is unveiling a new feature in which he invites talented talk show hosts who are out of work – and who he says should be working – to appear and showcase their skills.  Sterling says that the guest star selects what they feel is the hot story, gives their opinion and why they should be hired.  He adds, “It’s ridiculous how many ratings-growing hosts are out of work and I want them to be heard — and to work.  Ed Tyll was the first to appear on the show and Casey Bartholomew is next.  Tyll got immediate response from the industry.  I welcome these amazing story tellers.”  You can reach Walter at: waltermsterling@gmail.com.

Trump Tax Reform Plan, Fallen Soldiers Controversy, North Korea War Threats, Puerto Rico Devastation, Marino Drug Czar Withdrawl, Iran Nuclear Deal, Weinstein Scandal-#MeToo Campaign, Mandalay Security Guard Case, Travel Ban Halted, MLB Playoffs, NFL Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/18). The Trump Administration’s tax reform plans and yesterday’s White House radio row; President Trump’s comments about former presidents not meeting with families of fallen soldiers; North Korea’s missile program and its threats of war; the state of post-Maria Puerto Rico and the problems delivering aid; U.S. Rep. Tom Marino withdraws name from drug czar consideration after reports of his close ties to big pharma; the Iran nuclear deal and President Trump’s threat not to certify Iran’s compliance; the Harvey Weinstein sexual predation scandal and the subsequent #MeToo campaign; the “missing” security guard from Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay hotel appears on “Ellen” to talk about the deadly mass shooting; a Hawaii judge halts the latest version of the Trump travel ban; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the NFL anthem protests and weekend action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Tampa Launches Support Effort for Regional Businesses. Tampa Bay was spared a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, but many local businesses were greatly impacted by the storm that left them without power, with lost inventory, or even needing to close their doors for days.  Because of this, Cox Media Group is launching its philanthropic initiative, Cox Media Group Cares Tampa Bay.  The company says that “with the generous support of sponsors, The Miggs and Swigg Radio Show, DeBartolo Family Foundation, Pepin Distributing Company and Great Bay Distributors, Cox Cares will help small businesses recover after Irma through marketing and promotional outreach.”  Each Saturday between October 21 and Small Business Saturday – November 25 – local companies will be featured on Cox Media Group radio stations. The businesses will receive free on-air, online and social media promotion throughout the week. The supporting station will also be on-site at each business location that Saturday.  Cox Cares will provide assistance to more than 40 small businesses in the Tampa Bay area with approximately $250,000 in promotional support.  CMG Tampa VP and general manager Keith Lawless states, “CMG understands local businesses are an important part of our communities.  The disruption from Hurricane Irma has greatly impacted these businesses.  We are proud to help support them at a time when they need it most.  With the help of our local sponsors, we are promoting Tampa Bay area businesses across all six of our CMG radio stations.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Promoted at iHeartMedia’s Jacksonville, Florida station group is programmer G Wiz.  He rises to SVP of programming in addition to his roles programming hip hop WJBT “93.3 The Beat” and urban AC WSOL “V101.5.”  At the same time, country WQIK program director Cindy Spicer takes on the new title senior program director and Skip Kelly assumes the programming role at CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” in addition to his incumbent role as PD of adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River.” …..Making the switch from mornings at Townsquare Media’s CHR KSAS, Boise “103.5 Kiss FM” to afternoons at sister country KAWO “WOW 104.3” is Chris Cruise.  KAWO PD Rich Summers had been hosting the afternoon show but is giving it up to focus on programming.