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Thursday August 13, 2020

| August 13, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 9, 2019

| December 9, 2019

Monday Memo: Start in the Middle?  If you’re a radio newscaster, consultant Holland Cooke warns that “this week’s column is like a solar eclipse.  Look away!”  But for DJs, hosts, and commercial copy writers, he has a curious suggestion.  Read it here.

More Than $500,000 Raised in WMAL Fisher House Radiothon. Commenting on Cumulus Media Washington DC’s just-concluded two-day radiothon for the Fisher House, WMAL PD/Cumulus Media vice president of news/talk, Bill Hess, remarks, “Wow, listeners once again have come through with their support for the wonderful work of the Fisher House Foundation, donating $523,866 to this year’s radiothon. I say ‘thank-you’ from the bottom of our hearts. The Fisher House is recognized as one of the premiere nonprofits working to support quality-of-life for our military and their families. Ever since its inception (30 years ago next month), it has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation; more than 32,000 families were served in 2018. Over the past 17 years, WMAL listeners have donated more than $7 million to the Fisher House Foundation. Pictured left to right are Hess, WMAL on-air talents Larry O’Connor, Chris Plante, and Vince Coglianese, and Fisher House president Dave Coker.

Cumulus Media Transfers Howell To Little Rock. Inbound from Oklahoma City where he was an on-air talent at Cumulus Media sports talk WWLS “98.1 The Sports Animal” and executive producer of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s radio broadcasts, Toby Howell arrives as program director at co-owned Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM “News Radio 102.9,” sports talk KARN-AM “920 The Sports Animal,” and the Arkansas News Network. He will also program religious KAAY. Cumulus Media Little Rock market manager Keith Liesman remarks, “We are very happy to get a guy like Toby with his radio background and look forward to watching him grow [our brands] across the Little Rock community.” Howell notes, “I’m very lucky to be able to work with the Cumulus Media group in Little Rock. To be in the news format at a time like this with 2020 on the horizon is very exciting.” He replaces Peter Thiele who exited roughly nine months ago.

Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Coming To Northern Arizona University. Along with support from the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is set to launch next summer (July 13 – 22) at Northern Arizona University. Hubbard Radio chief executive officer Ginny Morris comments, “All of us at Hubbard are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and the Arizona Association of Broadcasters on bringing this proven program to Northern Arizona University. The program is a great asset for the industry and a wonderful and expansive experience for the students that participate.” Vallie founded the National Radio Talent System in 2013 so radio stations can recruit young talent from their own region or nationally. Arizona Broadcasters Association President/CEO Chris Kline states, “There’s nothing more important to the future of broadcasting than helping to build the next generation of media leaders. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is exactly what we need in Arizona to ensure that new ideas continue to flood into the radio industry from young broadcasters. We couldn’t be more excited to support this program, to meet the participants, and to build new relationships.” NAU Media Innovation Center director Brian Rackham remarks, “We are delighted to be part of this prestigious opportunity for our students. There are jobs out there waiting for our graduates and the Hubbard Talent Institute is a great pipeline to the industry. We look forward to partnering with a great radio group like Hubbard, and the experts at the National Radio Talent System.” Sessions during the ten-day talent institute include on-air, production, news, sports, social media, podcasting, promotions, videography, sales, engineering, and includes the RAB’s radio marketing professional course. Applications are being accepted from college students/young talent from all universities in the region. Final application deadline is March 6, 2020; only 25 students will be accepted.

TALKERS News Notes. After an 11-year run on WTOP-FM “Washington’s Top News,” Chris Core will retire from the Hubbard Broadcasting DC all-news operation one week from Friday (12/20) following his “Core Values” commentary. He previously spent approximately 25 years at cross-town news/talk WMAL as a newscaster and sports anchor ….. This week, former Arizona congressman and Newsmax anchor JD Hayworth is doing his first live and local Phoenix news/talk show in approximately ten years. Guest-hosting today (Monday, 12/9) through Wednesday (12/11) for Seth Leibsohn in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Salem Media Group-owned KKNT “AM 960 The Patriot,” Hayworth was Mike Huckabee’s “designated guest-host” and has filled in for Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Mike Gallagher, and Laura Ingraham ….. Tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 12/10, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm) 12th annual Toy Field presented by Cumulus Media Nashville and Planet Fitness will benefit The Salvation Army’s “Forgotten Angels” program. Toys collected at Nissan Stadium will help fulfill the dreams of many “forgotten children” this holiday season. The Salvation Army will reach nearly 8,500 “angels” – less fortunate children and elderly. According to Salvation Army Nashville area commander Ethan Frizzell, “Thousands of toys have been donated throughout the years and we hope to see the same enthusiasm this year. We would not be able to provide for all these children, without the support of Cumulus Media and our community.” In addition to news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” and sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” Cumulus Media Nashville consists of country outlets WSM-FM “Nash Icon 95.5,” and  WKDF “103.3 Nash FM,” and urban AC WQQK “92-Q.” ….. According to The Des Moines Register, former Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell (KBGG, KXLQ, KXNO) has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court. Indicted this past February, Tirrell accepted a plea deal Friday (12/6) and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced at a hearing April 7; nine other counts were dismissed. He was charged of scamming victims out of $1.5 million in a sports ticket reselling scheme …. The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters is accepting entries for its annual “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” competition, which recognizes outstanding performance among radio and television stations. All entries must be submitted electronically – the deadline is January 6 (2020). Winners will be showcased during the “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” luncheon March 30 at The Hotel Hershey. Meanwhile, the Colorado Broadcasters Association is inviting radio and television stations in that state to compete in over 50 categories; entry deadline is (Friday) January 10 (2020). The “Awards of Excellence” celebration will take place (Friday) April 17th in downtown Denver at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

iHM Charleston Fundraiser Brings in Over $176,000. The 12th annual iHeartMedia Charleston “Cares for Kids” radiothon raised over $176,000 to benefit Medical University of South Carolina Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. According to iHeartMedia Charleston area president Alene Grevey, “We’ve anticipated broadcasting from the brand new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for 12 years. Seeing this labor of love come to fruition thanks to the generosity of iHeartMedia Charleston’s listeners and advertisers is so inspiring.” This year’s two-day, fundraising “Cares for Kids” broadcast was held last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm. The event featured iHeartMedia Charleston on-air talents Ric Rush, Brian Cleary, Kelly Golden, and Gary Goldman, as well as WCSC-TV personalities Justin Biegel, and Kaitlin Stansell. The radiothon featured more than 40 stories from MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital patients and their families. In addition to WSCC “94.3 The Lowcountry’s News Station,” iHeartMedia Charleston is comprised of adult contemporary WXLY-FM “Y-102.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” and WEZL “103.5 Charleston’s #1 Station for New Country.”

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. The music-intensive format in the spotlight this month is urban contemporary. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian notes that approximately half the stations on his urban contemporary panel improve (49%) October 2019 – November 2019 (6+). Meanwhile, a virtually identical 51% of urban contemporary panelists show November 2018 – November 2019 growth. Five urban contemporary stations ranked second (6+) in November 2019; the typical format finish was #11.41 (6+). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Beasley Media Group Holiday Soiree Features Lady Antebellum. As part of the company’s third annual “Holiday Soiree” client party last Thursday (12/5) in New York City, Beasley Media Group welcomed performances by Lady Antebellum; Joe King and Issac Slade from The Fray; and actor/musician David Duchovny. Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley, president Bruce Beasley, and chief operating officer/executive vice president Brian Beasley thanked guests for their ongoing support. Shown from left to right are Big Machine Label Group senior vice president of promotion Mathew Largis; Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group national country brand manager/country WKLB, Boston program director David Corey; Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group executive vice president of programming Justin Chase; and Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum).

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-six year WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9” midday personality Debbi Calton officially retired from the Beasley Media Group Philadelphia outlet last Friday (12/6). Prior to joining WMGK in 1993, Calton spent 10 years at cross-town rocker WYSP ….. Per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning host Courtney Landrum and evening talent Jill Devine have departed Entercom St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98.” A member of the station’s morning show the past 20 years, Landrum was promoted to top billing (“Courtney & Company”) two years ago when Guy Phillips left the station after a 38-year run. Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff, Lance Hildebrand, and Tim Convy remain at the retitled “Y-98 Morning Show.” Devine joined “Y-98” eight years ago. She previously worked in the market for CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7”; country KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull”; and hot AC WVRV “101.1 The River” ….. In celebration of their 20th year in radio syndication, “Big D & Bubba” were treated to a surprise party last Friday (12/6) at Silverfish Media’s Nashville studios where company president Patrick Thomas recalls that, “On December 6, 1999, The Big D & Bubba Morning Show first aired in Amarillo [Texas]. That marked the beginning of syndication for the show, which was based at WYNK, Baton Rouge. Syndicated mornings in the country format was widely known to be an impossible task.” According to Patrick, it is the country’s longest-running syndicated morning show and has more than 75 affiliates. Helping to note the occasion in person were Compass Media Network chief executive officer Peter Kosann, and fellow syndicated country talents Lorraine Crook & Charlie Chase (“Crook & Chase), Evan Paul, and Amber Atnip ….. Wrapping up last week’s (12/2 through 12/6) “Stuff-A-Bus” toy drive to benefit the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM” collected 70 school buses worth of new unwrapped toys. Senior vice president of programming David Edgar notes, “[This] is one of our biggest events throughout the year. The overwhelming response from ‘Kiss’ listeners and the Pittsburgh community will help many children have a great holiday this year.” ….. Through the Smiley morning show’s 23rd annual, 36-hour “Make-A-Wish Request-A-Thon,” Cumulus Media Indianapolis CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s Number One Hit Music Station” raised $839,638 for central Indiana children with life-threatening illnesses. Listeners called in last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) to request their favorite songs in exchange for a Make-A-Wish Foundation donation. Throughout the broadcast, WZPL shared inspiring wish stories from local Make-A-Wish kids and their families. Cumulus Media Indianapolis vice president/market manager Chuck Fredrick comments, “What a great way to head into the holiday season helping so many kids’ wishes come true in our community.” Operations manager JR Ammons adds that, “Thanks to the generosity of listeners and sponsors, we were able to surpass last year’s record total of $736,298. As a result, Make-A-Wish will be able to grant 83 wishes for kids here in central Indiana with life-threatening illnesses.” Over the course of the last 23 years, WZPL has helped raise more than $7.5 million for Make-A-Wish ….. Rosemont, Illinois’ Allstate Arena was the site of this past Saturday’s (12/7) 20th annual “B-96 Pepsi Jingle Bash” presented by Entercom Chicago CHR WBBM-FM. Katy Perry headlined the event. Entercom Chicago senior vice president and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “The ‘B-96 Jingle Bash’ has been a must-see holiday event in Chicago for two decades and has become a highly anticipated night of pop music and a beloved holiday tradition.” ….. Concluding today (Monday, 12/9) is iHeartMedia Atlanta CHR WWPW’s fourth annual “House of Toys,” a six-day “Power 96.1” fundraising event to help collect toys for the “Toys For Tots” program. Morning drive personality PK notes, “We want to be sure every child has the best holiday they can. We are thrilled to team up with our listeners once again and help underprivileged children receive the joy of a new gift this holiday season.” WWPW’s fundraiser is presented by Delta Community Credit Union ….. Filling the midday spot at Adams Radio Group Fort Wayne, Indiana’s country WBTU “US-93.3” is Erica Gray, who most recently had the same responsibilities in Gainesville (Florida) at Gillen Broadcasting CHR WYKS “Kiss 105.3.” ….. The inaugural “Not So Silent Night” benefit concert featuring local artists will be held this Friday (12/13) at Panama City, Florida’s Salty Hobo. Proceeds from the event – sponsored by iHeartMedia Panama City’s WDIZ “96 Rock” – will benefit the Toys for Tots Program. Program director Paco notes, “We look forward to an evening filled with music and holiday giving.”

Thursday, September 19, 2019

| September 19, 2019

Nick Reed Back in PD Chair at KSGF, Springfield, Missouri. News/talk KSGF-AM/FM, Springfield, Missouri morning personality Nick Reed is promoted to program director of the SummitMedia station. Reed joined the station in 2010 as PD and morning host but, for the past several years, has focused solely on his morning show.  Now, he again takes on the program director role.  SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Nick’s insight and years of experience are a great asset to our group.  We’re fortunate to have him on our team!”  Reed comments, “I am so very happy to be with KSGF under SummitMedia right now.  There really is a positive energy underway that made me want to be back in the saddle as program director of KSGF.”

Cumulus Media Announces Pricing of $525 Million Senior Secured Term Loan B. In the process of announcing in the pricing of a new $525 million senior secured term loan B due March 2026, Cumulus Media says that upon the closing of the new term loan (expected next week), it “will have fully refinanced the $1.3 billion term loan that the company assumed upon emergence from Chapter 11 on June 4, 2018.”  The new term loan will have an interest rate of LIBOR plus 3.75% with a 1.00% LIBOR floor, issued at 99.5% of par. Proceeds from this issuance, along with cash on hand, will be used to pay down and refinance the company’s existing term loan. Cumulus’ debt will then consist of the $525 million new term loan and $500 million of secured bonds issued in June 2019, representing a $275 million reduction in total debt since emergence.  Cumulus says its financial position will be further improved by the lower interest rates and 2026 maturity of the new debt.

Erick Erickson Show Deep-Diving into Georgia Politics. The recently launched, WGAU, Athens, Georgia-based Erick Erickson show reports that it is doing what it intended to do when host Erickson and Cox Media Group first began considering the project – covering Georgia politics. Erickson’s new program is distributed statewide via the Georgia News Network, airing live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The company says, “A month into the new Erick Erickson Radio Show, Georgia political leaders are taking advantage of having a new statewide radio program.  In just the last three days, Erickson has interviewed Governor Brian Kemp, Senator David Perdue, and Congressmen Doug Collins and Jody Hice.  Collins is the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee and Erickson was able to interview Collins to update listeners on the headline-grabbing proceeding of that committee.”

WOR Live Event to Address ‘Rebuilding NYC’s Skyline.’  Next Wednesday (9/25), the “WOR Live” series at The Cutting Room brings in experts to discuss “Rebuilding NYC’s Skyline: Past, Present & Future.”  This event is being moderated by Len Berman, co-host of “Len Berman & Michael Riedel in the Morning” on WOR, New York. Joining Berman at the lunchtime event will be: Gary LaBarbera, president of Bldg & Construction Trades Council NYC; John Murphy, international rep for United Assoc Plumbers and Pipe Fitters; Thomas Hill, SVP of Boston Properties; and Mark Gregorio, president of TEI Group.

TALKERS News Notes. At the “Drive to Digital 2019” conference taking place at London’s The British Library Knowledge Centre on October 30, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley will be featured in the “Driving the Digital Dash” automotive portion of the conference. Beasley, along with numerous audio and tech experts from around the world, will share her insights on key automotive technology trends and the impact on radio listening in cars…..Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform is announcing a new, original podcast for New York Yankees fans, hosted by legendary Yankees play-by-play man John Sterling, titled, “Pinstripes & Bright Lights.”  The weekly podcast will focus on baseball and Yankees history.  RADIO.COM SVP and general manager Pam Russo says, “As part of our ongoing content strategy, we seek to diversify on-demand audio offerings on RADIO.COM, the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio and sports content in the U.S.  John is a legendary broadcaster with an unprecedented reputation among baseball fans across the country and we’re looking forward to hearing his insider stories.”…..The nationally syndicated “Around The House with Eric G.” show – syndicated by Envision Networks – is added to the program schedule at Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVI-AM, Seattle “Talk Radio 570.”  Eric G. says, “After spending most of my design career in Seattle, it is good to be back home.”

Iran’s War Threats/Saudi Oil Attack, 2020 Presidential Race, Kavanaugh Allegations, Dems Impeachment Strategy, and New National Security Adviser Named Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/18). Iran’s threat of “all-out war” after being accused of responsibility for the attack on a Saudi oil production facility; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and criticism of The New York Times’ opinion editor; the ongoing talk of impeachment of the president by congressional Democrats; and the naming of Robert O’Brien as the new national security adviser 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 Northeastern Wisconsin, Roger Utnhmer is retiring, and his Nicolet Broadcasting is selling its five-station cluster – along with two digital local news platforms – to his sales manager, Bryan Mazur.  Nicolet owns adult standards WBDK, Algoma; classic hits WRKU, Forestville; country WRLU, Algoma; WSBW, Ephraim; and translator W277BP, Sturgeon Bay.   In a Facebook post, Utnhmer says, “I appreciate the great people who have made Nicolet Broadcasting a successful company.  Those include Jeff Wagner in Antigo, Bruce McNeill in Eagle River, Paul Eck in Park Falls and Paul Schmitt and Tim Kowols in Sturgeon Bay.  These guys made me look better than I really am… Thank you for being among the best of the best.  And now to Bryan Mazur I wish you all success going forward. You are inheriting a very solid staff and one of the most beautiful markets in American radio.”…..Pictured below is Beasley Media Philadelphia air personality Kathy Romano (left) with ABC News and “Good Morning America” chief meteorologist Ginger Zee (right) at the 95.7 BEN FM 3rd annual Her Story Luncheon, held yesterday (9/18) in Philadelphia.  Romano is co-host of WMMR’s “Preston and Steve” show as well as the weekly “Her Story” program on sister WBEN-FM. The program showcases dynamic women that are making a significant impact in the community via their business, their charity work or a combination of both.

Friday, June 14, 2019

| June 14, 2019

Cumulus Media Splits WMAL-FM and WMAL-AM to Create ‘ESPN 630 – The Sports Capitol.’ The AM/FM simulcast of news/talk on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM will end on July 1 as the company creates a new sports talk outlet for the Washington, DC market branded “ESPN 630 – The Sports Capitol.”  The news/talk format on continues on WMAL-FM and its digital platforms.  The new sports/talk station will carry ESPN Radio weekday programming, including “Golic and Wingo” in morning drive and “The Stephen A. Smith Show” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  It will also air ESPN’s NBA and MLB schedule, Washington Redskins games and sports talk shows hosted by local personalities.  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann says, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the two biggest sports brands in D.C. – ESPN and the Washington Redskins. We look forward to creating compelling content for our listeners and advertisers as a natural expansion of our relationship with the Redskins.”  The station will announce its full lineup in advance of the July 1 start date.

Martha Zoller Returns to Talk Radio at WDUN, Gainesville. Longtime talk radio personality Martha Zoller is re-joining her former radio station after spending the last five years in politics.  When she returns to Jacobs Media’s WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia on June 24, she’ll be hosting the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour.  Zoller ran for congress in 2012 lost the runoff election to current Republican Congressman Doug Collins.  After that she worked for U.S. Sen. David Perdue and later for Gov. Brian Kemp, where she served as a policy advisor and outreach director.  She says, “After spending the last few years traveling around Georgia and meeting Georgians from every walk of life and political persuasion, I’m excited to be back at WDUN to share how the sausage is made. You might be surprised at some of the insights.  I can’t wait!” WDUN EVP and general manager Bill Maine comments, “She’s uniquely qualified as a broadcaster.  She’s well connected, knowledgeable, and her show mattered both to the listeners and politicians she talked about.  I’m thrilled we’re getting her back on the air, and I think the audience will be, too.”

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Names Broadcaster of the Year and New Members of Hall of Fame at Annual Convention.  The annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) convention just concluded (6/12-13) at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and from all reports it was a rousing success.  Among the highlights of the event, WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (pictured above, right, with NJBA president Paul Rotella, left) was named the 2019 Broadcaster of the Year – the inaugural presentation of this prestigious award – and a number of Garden State broadcasters were installed in the association’s New Jersey Radio Hall of Fame.  Among them, Salem Media Group VP of spoken word format, Phil Boyce.  In honor of the occasion, Salem’s New York outlet WNYM (AM 970 The Answer) broadcast its morning show hosted by Joe Piscopo live from the convention.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WNYM’s Kevin McCullough, Boyce, Piscopo and WNYM’s Frank Morano.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison made the presentation to Hurley via video.  To view it, please click here.

The John Batchelor Show to Broadcast from Uzbekistan. WABC, New York talk radio host John Batchelor is taking his late-night show to Tashkent, the capital of the Uzbekistan Republic, where it will broadcast live next week.  The venture is being sponsored by marketing firm Scala Inc in conjunction with the Central Asia, Mongolia, Caucasus and Afghanistan Forum and the Rumsfeld Foundation.  WABC says, “Uzbekistan is deep into the heart of the legendary Silk Road, and host John Batchelor and co-host Christopher Nixon Cox will interview young entrepreneurs who are striving to transform a region of 80 million people into an economic engine to bring prosperity to a civilization that was ignored by the Russian Empire and abused by the Soviet Empire.”  Batchelor adds, “Tashkent is part of a chain of ancient city-states of traders and farmers that created cultures of wealth and art more than 2,000 years ago, attracting conquerors from Alexander the Great to Tamerlane and Genghis Khan.  In between this dusty game of thrones, the city states achieved breakthroughs in geometry, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics that Western Europe would not see until the Enlightenment.  Today, the Central Asian states are starting to recover their own history and with it a sense of pride.  And Uzbekistan, the most populous state of Central Asia, is looking to America for a guide on how to awaken and enhance its pioneering ambitions.”

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of June 10-14 Now Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (June 10-14) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  It currently airs on WONK-FM Saturday mornings at 9:00 am but will move next week to the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “The Drums of Impeachment, Hatch, Hyde and a Helicopter!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Harry Hurley of WPG, Atlantic City; Jack Riccardi of KTSA, San Antonio; comedian/social commentator Jimmie JJ Walker; and ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley.  The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It was recently picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm.  According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, the program is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this show as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeartMedia picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and a number of stations have inquired about its availability.  We are in the process of figuring out where we want to go with it.”   For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety please click here.

Round Four of May PPMs Released.  The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is released for the group of 12 markets that includes: Austin, Raleigh-Durham, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this group of markets on Monday (6/17).

Robby Bowen Named VP/Director of Sales for Entercom New Orleans. Sales pro Robby Bowen was most recently general sales manager for Entercom’s Dallas operations.  In his new role as vice president and director of sales for the New Orleans station group, he’ll be leading sales efforts for news/talk WWL-AM/FM, and four music brands.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Kevin Cassidy says, “Robby has an exceptional track record of leading sales teams and programs for clients.  We are pleased to keep his talents within Entercom and welcome him to the bayou.”

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Enshrined in Iowa Broadcasters Hall of Fame. WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) were inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame at the awards luncheon yesterday (6/13) in West Des Moines.  The annual awards luncheon honors and recognizes Iowa broadcasters who make a difference through their great stories of leadership, integrity, reliability, service over self, team building, and mentoring across the state.  Harden and Lucas are the fourth and fifth WHO personalities to be inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame joining the ranks of legendary broadcasters such as Jack Shelley, Jim Zabel and Keith Kirkpatrick. Harden says, “Just coming to a job you love where you can have fun and help people every day is amazing enough in itself.  Especially when I’ve been able to do it with such an uplifting and fun co-host for over three decades.  Being inducted into the Iowa Broadcasting Hall of Fame with so many incredible broadcasters is truly a surreal and over-the-top experience.”  Lucas adds, “This job is not work.  It’s having fun talking with your friends, inviting them into your world. It’s being in the middle of all the news that’s happening both locally and all around the world. It’s working with a co-host for decades who has been my friend for 40 years.  We don’t do this for awards, but this award is extremely special.”

Democratic Party Impeachment Talk/John Dean Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 10-14. The intensifying talk among Democrats about beginning impeachment proceedings against President Trump and the related testimony from Nixon White House Counsel John Dean was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Mexico deal and immigration reform.  Coming in at #3 were the Hong Kong protests, tied with U.S.-China relations and U.S.-North Korea relations, followed by the Trump foreign campaign intel controversy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College Begins Monday. The 2nd annual Beasley Radio Talent Institute for students, interns, and young professionals begins at Emerson College in Boston on Monday (6/17). It is an intense, 10-day program in which participants have the opportunity to meet with and learn from radio professionals currently working in the broadcast industry.  Beasley Media Group chief operating officer and executive vice president Brian Beasley officially kicks off the sessions. Students will learn from some 40 experts in the broadcasting field working at companies including: Beasley Media Group, iHeartMedia, Entercom Communications, Hall Communications, the New England Patriots, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics and more. The Beasley Radio Group Talent Institute is part of the National Radio Talent System produced by Dan Vallie that takes place on select college campuses across America each year.

VSiN Partners with Gow Media to Distribute Sports Betting Radio Content. The Las Vegas-based Vegas Stats & Information Network enters into a relationship with Houston-based Gow Media to distribute sports betting content via what they are calling “the nation’s first terrestrial radio network dedicated exclusively to sports betting news and information.”  It will debut in August.  VSiN chairman Dan Mason says, “We’re thrilled to provide Gow Media with select sports betting content for terrestrial radio syndication on this exciting new platform.  Establishing itself as the leader in the sports gambling information industry, VSiN is differentiated not only by delivering the most credible, actionable sports betting news and insights, but also by adding the entertainment factor with a variety of personalities.  Over the past 10 years sports radio has exploded and now there’s a new, younger audience emerging that will use analytics to inform their wagers within the growing regulated betting markets.  This new network fits perfectly in that space, combining great personalities and legendary odds makers with sophisticated analytics.”

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Mainstay Harry Hurley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who has been waking up South Jersey listeners from 6:00 am to 10:00 am on heritage talk station WPG-AM/W238CZ, Atlantic City for more than a quarter century, Harry Hurley, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Hurley is about to be honored with the very first New Jersey Broadcaster of the Year Award at the forthcoming New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) convention this week on Thursday (6/13) at Atlantic City’s Tropicana Hotel.  Hurley, who also serves as the lead FOX News Radio substitute host, is a past recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award for his remarkable philanthropic work in raising more than $800,000 over the past dozen years via his Hurley in the Morning Charity and distributing it to hundreds of worthy causes and organizations in Atlantic City and across the Garden State. Harrison and Hurley – who is positioned this year at number 51 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” list of the Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – discuss the state of politics, media, journalism, and popular culture in a fascinating conversation that dives deep into the workings and thought-processes attendant to executing today’s talk show.  Don’t miss it!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, Radio One promotes urban contemporary WPHI “Boom 103.9” midday personality and APD Paris Nicole to program director for the station.  The company notes that this promotion makes Nicole the youngest program director currently employed by the company. Radio One Philadelphia station manager Ezio Torres says, “Paris earned this promotion by stepping into a void at our station months before the position was created.  From managing and scheduling the staff, to orchestrating ‘Boom Class of 2019’ flawlessly, she proved what we already knew – Paris Nicole is a natural leader.  With that skill and her incredible relationships, she will take ‘Boom 103.9’ to the next level.”…..Westwood One is presenting an Independence Day special called “Celebrate the USA,” hosted this year by RCA Records recording artists Old Dominion.  Joining the band for the radio special will be fellow country artists Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and many more. The program is available for air Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7.…..Telcom Supply Inc agrees to sell former classic hits KETX-FM, Livingston, Texas to Christian radio operator KSBJ Educational Foundation for $385,000.  Greg Guy and Jason James of Patrick Communications, LLC served as exclusive brokers for the deal.

Round Three of Nielsen’s May PPMs Released. May 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. 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.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – In addition to erasing 50% of March/April’s -1.0 with a one-half share increase (3.7 – 4.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). Anchored at #18, iHeartMedia’s KEX falters by three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, 6+); “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” was up two-tenths in April. Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” return’s April’s one-tenth increase and has a January 2019 through May 2019 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 (#24 to #26, 6+).

Having more than tripled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share via three straight improvements (.5 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” jumps from #23 to #21. It is tied there with Alpha Media sports talk KXTG “The Game,” which has nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat through five successive sweeps without a loss (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, flat at #21, 6+). After losing one-tenth in back-to-back reports, Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” picks up four-tenths to 1.5 (steady at #23, 6+), its best 6+-showing since October 2018’s 1.7.

Following an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB erodes by nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, 6+) and shifts from second to third. This calendar year, KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); -1.6 (February); a combined -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May). This (7.0) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 6.9.

Portland Music Formats – Entercom-owned KWJJ posts a +.8 in May and continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2018 (3.4 – 2.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+); “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” reenters the top ten (#12 to #6) with its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). An increase of four-tenths by Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KUPL takes “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” to 4.6 (ninth to sixth), its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 4.7. Prior to dropping three-tenths in April, “The Bull” was a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). On top the fourth month in a row, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” is nonetheless a combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+). When “the Eagle” faltered by three-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) exactly eight years ago (May 2011, 8.1, as well). Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” erodes by -1.4 (5.1 – 3.7, 6+), the largest (6+) April 2019 to May 2019 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. Moreover, “Charlie” plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12) with its lowest 6+-stat (3.7) since September 2018’s 3.6. A loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, 6+) sends iHeartMedia classic rocker KFBW “105.9 The Brew” from #11 to #15. After scoring an overall +2.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.4 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” surrenders six-tenths to 4.3 (sixth to ninth, 6+). While unchanged at #17, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -2.1 in four consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+). Immediately prior to sputtering by seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after notching back-to-back gains of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT is an overall -1.2 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). May’s 3.2 is its lowest 6+showing since September 2018 (2.9).

In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost one-tenth in that timeframe; the Charlotte Hornets flagship remains at #19.

A  combined +1.1 in January/February, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” follows with a -.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.5 in May (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+). This is the fifth time in the last six sweeps (and third time in a row) that South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC logs a .3 (flat at #22, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Steady at #7, Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” racks up a +2.1 via four straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+). This immediately follows four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Tacking on a +1.1 to April’s +.8 (2.0 – 3.1, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV jumps from #17 to #14. Entering the April sweep, “89.9 Classical Public Radio” lost a collective half-share in four straight down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Not only does a positive spike of eight-tenths deliver Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well), “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including a February tie for the lead). Prior to gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September 2018, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Even though iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKKT is a cumulative +1.1 in three straight bumps (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” backslides from a second-place tie to third. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Leaping over “The Kat” is its adult hits cluster-mate WLKO “102.9 The Lake.” As is the case with WSOC, “The Lake” notches a May spike of eight-tenths (6.3 – 7.1, steady at #2, 6+). Its six most recent fluctuations are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); and +.8 (May). Immediately in advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February, after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. Pulling the plug on six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.6 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link Charlotte’s Best Mix” dials up a one-half share gain to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Owing to three slips in succession, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” is an overall -1.9 (6.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). A combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” falls from #16 to #18.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of April’s +1.1 (4.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI forfeits roughly half that increase (4.8, -.5, 6+) but repeats at #4. April’s 5.3 marked the first time WOAI reached the five-share level since August 2016’s 5.2. Before dropping one-tenth in March, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was an overall +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). A dip of one-tenth to 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+) by Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” suspends three successive up or flat trends that netted three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Locked on .4 (6+) in March and April, KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” drops one-tenth to .3 (6+) but stays at #31. The 6+ AQH share of iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” shrinks by two-thirds (-.4) in  April/May (.6 – .3 – .2, flat at #32, 6+).

After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX repeats April’s 3.1 (6+) and inches up from #15 to #13.

San Antonio Music Formats – Off six-tenths in March/April (8.0 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” obliterates that deficit with a +1.1 to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8. On top the third month in succession, KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. In advance of slipping to #2 in November 2018, KONO-FM finished at #1 the previous ten sweeps. A full-share increase to 3.0 (6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR propels “Air 1 Worship Now” into the top twenty (#14) and halts three successive negative trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 -2.0, 6+). Conversely, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by a full-share immediately after April’s +.5 (2.9 – 3.4, 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). “K-Love” was off three-tenths in February/March (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share balloons by +1.0, nearly equally divided between Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (6.5 – 7.1, +.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (5.8 – 6.2, +.4, 6+). KCYY and KAJA continue at #2 and #3, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); and +.6 (May). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March). Wild shifts continue for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9.” It bounced back from January’s -10.7 (14.9 – 4.2, 6+) with a February +.4; was -.6 in March; +.8 in April; and now -.6 in May (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH “107.5 The Vibe” is a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, #21, 6+). Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe” in mid-April. Up eight-tenths through three straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KBBT “98.5 The Beat” regresses by two-tenths to 4.2 (6+) but stays in ninth-place. April’s 4.4 is its best 6+-showing since August 2018’s 4.5. A one-half share decrease (5.0 – 4.5, 6+) drops Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” from fifth to sixth.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three straight sweeps without an increase that led to a collective -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” picks up one-tenth to 6.1 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. KFBK was tied for first in January. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018: 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6, #15 to #14 (6+).

In addition to reaching a one-share (6+) for the first time since December 2018’s 1.0, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” adds one-tenth the third sweep in a row (.7 – 8. – .9 – 1.0, #24 to #22, 6+). Flat at #25, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+-stat in four straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6, 6+).

Five decreases in succession by Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ accounted for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+). Ending the slide with a +1.0 to 4.5 (6+), KXJZ returns to the top ten (#12 to #9); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history.

Falling from #26 to #27, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through May 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Erasing March/April’s combined -.6 (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) with a May uptick of nine-tenths (8.0 – 8.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK). “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Ten of its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); and +.9 (May 2019). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s KYRV “93.7 The River,” expands by one-half share via three consecutive (modest) spikes (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). As a result of four straight up or flat trends, Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” is an overall +1.9 (4.1 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.6 -6.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). As adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” falters by -1.1 (5.7 – 4.6, 6+) dropping from third to eighth, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” gains four-tenths (3.7 – 4.1, #10 to #11, 6+). A combined -7.8 in January/February (13.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “Mix 96” was up two-tenths in March but surrendered one-half share in April. This (4.6) is its weakest 6+-stat since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Forfeiting two-thirds of April’s +.9 (5.6 – 5.0, -.6, 6+), Entercom alternative KKDO “Alt 94.7” slips from fifth to sixth. The market’s (6+) country share sputters by a combined half-share as Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is off three-tenths yet actually advances from eighth to seventh, and Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” drops two-tenths (2.2 – 2.0, 6+) and remains at #16. Having benefitted by an overall +1.4 in three consecutive improvements, “New Country 105.1” is down eight-tenths in April/May (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, this is the 15th successive survey period that “The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5.

Pittsburgh

 Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit unchanged at #10, Entercom’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” follows January’s +1.1 with four straight drops accounting for a -1.4 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+).

After gaining four-tenths in April, co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, 6+) and slides from fourth to fifth. Continuing at #22, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has an ultra-consistent September 2018 through May 2019 topline of .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 (6+).

Down a combined -.7 in March/April (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” erases all but one-tenth of that deficit (4.2, +.6, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Sharing top honors for largest (6+) April 2019 – May 2019 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” (6.3, +1.4, seventh to fourth, 6+). Moreover, “Wish 99.7” applies the brakes to four consecutive declines that resulted in a net loss of roughly half (-5.0) of its 6+-stat (9.9 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). Progressing from third to second, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is +1.3 in three straight upticks (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+), directly following a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Answering April’s loss of nine-tenths with a May gain of six-tenths (8.3 – 8.9, 6+), WDVE is #1 for the fourth successive month. The iHeartMedia rocker posted identical gains of eight-tenths in February and March (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. By not having an increase the past three sweeps, co-owned CHR WKST was off a collective seven-tenths (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), but “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by six-tenths in May to 6.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Alternative cluster-mate WXDX is an overall -1.7 in three straight decreases (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1, 6+) as “105.9 The X” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Forever Media-owned classic hits-oldies WKPL falters by one-half share (2.3 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #14. There’s little movement in the hot AC contest as Entercom’s WBZZ “Star 100.7” repeats April’s 5.0 (sixth to seventh, 6+) and Steel City Media-owned WLTJ “Q-92.9” is up tenth and is trending 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 (#12 to #11, 6+). A March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+); “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Having logged a 5.2 four times in the last six sweeps (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” craters by -1.3 to 3.9 (sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” follows with three straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). The January 2019 through May 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 (flat at #21, 6+).

Repeating at #15, University of Utah news/talk KUER loses one full-share as a result of three drops in a row (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and roars back in May with a +1.2 (7.4, steady at #3, 6+). Dialing up a May +1.1, independent KSOP-FM continues an alternating down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 (eighth to sixth, 6+) “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” notches its best 6+-showing since December 2017 (5.4, as well). An increase of seven-tenths takes Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” to 3.0 (#14 to #11), its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 3.5. Adding six-tenths to April’s +.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ climbs from #13 to #11. The last time “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” reached the three-share level (6+) was in July 2018 (3.2). Down or flat the past three straight sweeps for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” ends the slide with a +.4 to 5.8 (6+) and carries on at #4. The one-tenth lead that Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” had in April over adult contemporary cluster-mate KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” dissipates as “The Arrow” falters by six-tenths to 7.6 (first to second, 6+) and “FM 100.3” adds two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3, second to first, 6+). It was an April-only stay at #1 for KRSP, which had been an overall +2.5 in five consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Before segueing to the runner-up slot in April, KSFI was on top the previous five ratings periods. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a mammoth +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). Its format challenger, Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” has its fourth consecutive decrease for an overall -1.2 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and is unchanged at #11.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Up or flat four straight times for an overall +.8 (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” forfeits 75% of that increase and fades from the top twenty (2.4 – 1.8, -.6, #15 to #21, 6+). February, March, and April’s 2.4 is its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 2.8. For the fourth time in the last five sweeps and third time in a row, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” notches a 1.1 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1, flat at #23, 6+).

Over and above climbing from fifth to third, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR (+1.2 in May) extends its consecutive string of positive spikes to five and nearly doubles (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A combined -1.2 in March/April (3.9 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote – #1 For New Hit Country” erases all but one-tenth of that shortfall with a May +1.1 to 3.8 (6+) and reenters the top ten (#14 to #9). Immediately prior to the March report, “The Coyote” recorded five successive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+). In five sweeps in a row without a loss, Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ is a cumulative +1.1 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). “Q-100.5” zooms from eighth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.0, as well, May 2018). Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5”  wipes away April’s one-half share loss with a May increase of the identical magnitude (1.8 – 2.3, +.5, #19 to #16, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well are Lotus Communications-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station,” which is trending 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.6 (#18 to #14, 6+) and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 FM – Jazz & More,” whose January 2019 through May 2019 topline is 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 2.0 (#22 to #17, 6+). Despite dropping one-half share (7.6 – 7.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. The station it succeeded at #1 in February, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday,” is -8.0 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+) and shifts from third to fifth. The last time KSNE fell below a five-share (6+) was October 2017 (4.8, as well). Prior to being #1 from September 2018 through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to returning 60% of April’s +1.0 (3.4 – 2.8, -.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” exits the top ten (a three-way tie at #10 to #13). In April, it reached the three-share level (3.4, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 3.0. Format rival – Entercom’s KMXB “Mix 94.1” – is +1.0 in three consecutive increases (5.5 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). This (6.5) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Mix” since July 2018’s 6.7. In four straight declines, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS is -1.3 (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) as “SOS Radio” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

 Orlando

 Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing 70% of March/April’s -1.0 (4.5 – 5.2, +.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM progresses from tenth to eighth; “News 96.5” was a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is exclusively between 3.1 – 3.9 (6+): 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9, flat at #11). Locked on 2.5 (6+) in March and April, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF adds four-tenths to 2.9 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Despite dropping one-tenth (.8 – .7, 6+), sports talk sibling WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” advances from #20 to #19. Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” repeats April’s .3 (6+) but backslides from #22 to #23.

Flat at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” is off six-tenths in April/May (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – When Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” dropped three-tenths in April, it interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Promptly responding with a robust May +1.1 to 9.0 (6+), “Sunny” storms from third to first. Ousted from the top spot and segueing to second is iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100,” which is -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). This calendar year, WRUM was #1 in January, February, and April. “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017’s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Down nine-tenths via four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” dials up a +.8 to 3.4 (#14 to #12, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.9 range in each of the last five survey periods (5.2 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.3 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” logs a +.7 to 6.0 (eighth to fifth, 6+). Immediately following four improvements in a row that netted a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -2.0 in April/May (9.0 – 8.4 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). Unchanged at #4, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” is a combined -1.5 in April/May (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3, 6+) with 6.3 its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018 (6.3, as well). Faltering eight-tenths to 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” falls from sixth to ninth. By picking up one-tenth in April, “Magic” ended three straight decreases accounting for an overall -8.5 (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+). WMGF was a combined +8.5 December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+). The “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 topline for Cox Media Group-owned WWKA is 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.7 (6+), but “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” surrenders one-half share in May to 4.2 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Even though Entercom alternative WQMP is up eight-tenths through three straight bumps (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well), “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” backslides from #13 to #14.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored in the runner-up slot, after a January-only stay on top, iHeartMedia news/talk (and flagship of the Reds) WLW is down a combined half-share in April/May (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+). Exiting the top ten (#10 to #11), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” has a November 2018 through May 2019 topline of 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” erodes by two-thirds (-.4) in four straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8, #22, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has its 6+-stat sliced in half in April/May (.6 – .4 – .3, #21 to #24, 6+).

The overall +1.1 that Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU accrued through three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+) vanishes completely in April/May with a combined -1.1 (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Displaying its highest 6+-showing (7.5) since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” progresses from fourth to third. Its five shifts this calendar year are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (April); and +.7 (May, 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). Posting a May +.7 as well is Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), which cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) and has its best 6+-performance since February 2017 (3.9, as well). Anchored in eighth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” adds one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), thus suspending four consecutive ratings periods without an increase that led to a loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+). Notwithstanding that Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WNNF remains at #15, “94.1 Nash FM” logs its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.1 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). Off -2.1 in three straight drops (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-formatted WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” picks up two-tenths to 7.5 (6+) and continues in third-place. Not only is Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR #1 for the fourth sweep in succession, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, WGRR spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). While it is unchanged in sixth-place, Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” is -1.0 as a result of four drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). A collective +.7 in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” forfeits four-tenths in May to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – The three most recent fluctuations by iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” are -.6 (March); +.9 (April); and -.7 in May (5.8 – 5.1, seventh to ninth, 6+). The Indians flagship logged a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). Salem Media Group news/talk WHK resurfaced in print in April and, while it repeats April’s .5, “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight” drops from #18 to #19.

Ensconced in tenth-place, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is a collective -1.4 in an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+).

An overall +1.6 via five straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+) Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN is steady at #12.

Cleveland Music Formats – A combined +.9 in April/May (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMMS advances from ninth to seventh as “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share level (5.6, 6+) for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0. Recapturing all but one-tenth of the seven-tenths it surrendered in April (3.2 – 3.8, +.6, 6+), Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” proceeds from #12 to #11. Its March increase of three-tenths curtailed three successive negative moves that led to an overall -1.6 (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). A May gain of four-tenths by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (9.8 – 10.2, 6+) wipes away 40% of April’s -1.0 as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the sixth straight ratings period. Five of its recent fluctuations include +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and -1.0 (April). Despite being down or flat the past five ratings periods for a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK remains in the runner-up slot. This, however, is its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018 (7.5, as well). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 7.4 (third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” concludes four consecutive bumps that accounted for an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, 6+). That streak directly followed five consecutive losses that resulted in a -3.7 (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined eight-tenths in March/April (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” slices that deficit in half with a May gain of four-tenths to 5.2 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Flat at #20, co-owned KMBZ-AM  “Talk 980” dropped two-tenths in March; gained three-tenths in April; and loses two-tenths in May (2.3 to 2.1, 6+). Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is off two-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+).

Both of the market’s major sports talk outlets forfeit one-tenth in May. The flagship of the Royals, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio,” was a combined +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), but drops to 3.9 (unchanged at #10, 6+). As a result of four straight negative or flat trends, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” is -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+).

Not only is University of Missouri news/talk KCUR +1.9 through five straight up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#11 to #6).

Kansas City Music Formats – An April increase of four-tenths by Cumulus Media-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” halted February/March’s combined -2.8 (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In May, “The Fox” not only adds another seven-tenths to 8.4, its highest 6+ showing since January 2019’s 10.1, KCFX progresses from second to first. Albeit +2.5 via four consecutive reports without a loss (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” is dislodged from the top spot after a two-month stay and shifts to #2. Four recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); and +1.1 (March). An improvement of six-tenths propels Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” into the top ten (#13 to #10) with its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (3.9, as well). Exactly doubling (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three up or flat moves in a row (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” inches up from a three-way tie at #15 to #14 and has its strongest performance (3.0) since January 2018’s 3.5. The market’s three major country players find May 2019’s sweep to be a mixed bag. Halting a March/April slide that was responsible for a -1.1 (4.1 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” gains one-half share to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+) and Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” improves by three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), continuing at #7. Co-owned KBEQ “Q104 New Hit Country” though relinquishes 60% of March/April’s +1.0 with a loss of six-tenths (5.9 – 5.3, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. April’s 5.9 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well). Faltering by -1.0 in April/May (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” slides from #11 to #14. Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3” (4.4 – 3.7, #8 to #12, 6+) and Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” (5.1 – 4.6, fifth to eighth, 6+) regress by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. By dropping one-tenth to 2.9 (#15 to #17, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” ends four successive increases that netted +1.2 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.0, 6+). Prior to April’s 3.0, “X-105.1” last reached the three-share threshold (6+) in September 2016 (3.1). A collective -2.0 via four successive declines (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+) by Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” (flat at #18) directly follows five consecutive positive or flat moves that resulted in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase in each of the last four reports for an overall -2.0 (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” drops from fifth to sixth.

Unlisted in January, February, and March, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” displays an April 4.7 (6+) and a May 4.6 (sixth to seventh, 6+).

As was the case in April, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU (4.7 – 4.6, -.1, 6+) is tied with WBNS-FM; in April it was at #6, in May it is at #7.

Columbus Music Formats – A collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” obliterates that in one step with a whopping +1.4 to 8.6 (third to second), its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. Co-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” is +1.0 in three straight up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+) and drives from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-stat (5.1) since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018. One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” notches a gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+) and carries on in ninth-place. Accustomed to significant monthly swings, iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (13.0 – 11.7, -1.3, 6+) sets the pace for the 18th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Sample WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); and -1.3 (May). In three straight increases, Saga Communications’ WLVQ amassed a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+) but “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” follows with a combined April/May -1.4 (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+) and slips from second to third. Even though Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.6) its 6+ AQH share as a result of eight consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), it has had consecutive backward moves, #16 to #17 in April and #17 to #18 in May. Owing to five straight positive or flat reports, Saga Communications hot AC WVMX netted seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+), but “Mix 107.9” is off three-tenths in May to 2.6 (6+), dropping from #11 to #12.

Friday, December 21, 2018

| December 21, 2018

The Top News/Talk Radio Stories of 2018.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents its annual year-end feature ranking the most-talked-about news/talk radio stories and people of the year.  Not surprisingly, the Trump-Russia investigation was at the top of the stories list this year and President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about person.  Immigration issues, mass shootings, the midterm elections, and the Kavanaugh confirmation rounded out the top five stories on this year’s chart while Robert Mueller, Vladimir Putin, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi followed President Trump as the most-talked-about people on the chart. In all, there are 20 stories and the people related to those stories listed on this year’s chart.  See it in its entirety here.

iHeartMedia Announces Deal to Split from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The separation of iHeartMedia – the radio and digital business – from billboard segment Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is part of iHM’s Fifth Amended Plan for reorganization.  Today the companies announce they’ve agreed to terms for the separation.  iHeartMedia currently owns 89.1% of CCOH’s outstanding common stock.  William Eccleshare – currently as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel International – will become chief executive officer of CCOH. Eccleshare joined CCI in 2009 and went on to lead Clear Channel Outdoor, including full operational responsibility for CCI and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, before assuming his current role. Eccleshare will be based in London and will also continue to lead CCI as part of his new role.  Scott Wells will continue to lead CCOA as CEO.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Today’s announcement is recognition that while iHeartMedia and CCOH are both very strong in their respective areas – iHeartMedia is America’s number one audio company and CCOH is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies – their key constituencies have little strategic overlap. We believe that the separation of the two businesses makes strategic and financial sense and will allow each company to better achieve their individual missions.”  CCOH’s current leadership and board of directors will remain in place until iHeartMedia exits its restructuring process, at which time the new executives and board will assume their responsibilities.

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to Register as an Early Bird for Talkers 2019 Convention!   The opportunity to save $50 in registering for Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will end TODAY Friday, December 21 at 5:00 pm ET.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place again at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. However, those registering before 5:00 pm ET on December 21, 2018 pay only $279. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Announces New Program Schedule. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces its new lineup for 2019 with the addition of Wendy Bell and Lynne Hayes-Freeland as afternoon drive host and midday host respectively.   The Entercom station says it is also expanding its local weekday news coverage to 8:00 pm and will add local morning newscasts on the weekends.  KDKA is moving current afternoon drive host Robert Mangino to the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot (with weekend duties as well). It moves current late morning host Marty Griffin to the afternoon drive daypart with new co-host Wendy Bell.   It combines the late morning and early afternoon shows into one 10:00 am to 2:00 pm program hosted by Lynne Hayes-Freeland.  Bell – a 21-time Emmy and five-time Edward R. Murrow Award winner – says, “KDKA is a powerhouse radio station and Marty Griffin is a trusted friend who, like me, loves helping people.  Spending four hours a day with a team that truly cares about this city is a tremendous honor and I look forward to the opportunity to serve our listeners.” Hayes-Freeland began her career with KDKA-AM as a producer back in 1976.  She worked at KDKA-TV as a reporter, producer, and talk show host since 1977.  She comments, “Radio is a perfect place to learn, explore, and grow, and I look forward to the chance to do just that with listeners just as curious as me every day. It feels great to be back home on KDKA.” The station lost longtime early afternoon host Mike Pintek back in September. He passed away after a battle with cancer.

Beasley Inks 98.5 The Sports Hub’s ‘Toucher and Rich’ to Contract Extension. Morning drive duo Fred Toucher (right) and Rich Shertenlieb (left) re-up with Beasley Media Group to continue hosting their morning program on sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  They have been the hosts of the morning show since the station launched as a sports talk outlet in 2009.  Station program director Mike Thomas (who also serves Beasley as national format brand manager for spoken-word programming and esports) says, “‘Toucher & Rich’ are the most creative guys I know with real raw talent that you cannot teach.  ‘Toucher & Rich’ will always be one of the biggest success stories in the history of ‘The Sports Hub.’

Gonzalez to Lead Sales at iHeartMedia Wilmington. Sales and management pro Steve Gonzalez is returning to iHeartMedia to take on the senior vice president of sales position at the Wilmington, Delaware station group that includes heritage news/talk WILM-AM, sister news/talk WDOV-AM, and sports talk WWTX-AM. Gonzalez was most recently an EVP with Target Media.  He previously served with iHeartMedia as a general sales manager in the Philadelphia cluster.  He says, “I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to iHeartMedia.  I look forward to leading the strong team [retiring SVP] Martha [Masters] has developed and trained over the past years and my goal is to continue to provide the Delmarva business community with the numerous iHeart assets and platforms that will increase consumer engagement and grow their business.”

CMG Unveils Cox Trading Desk. This new service comes from Cox Media Group’s CMG Local Solutions and provides its clients with programmatic advertising technologies and a team of traders to eliminate charges for fraudulent advertising impressions.  Vice president of digital media Joe Weir explains, “At Cox Media Group, we understand the importance of avoiding fraudulent impressions and providing a transparent ecosystem for our clients.  The Cox Trading Desk is designed to protect our clients by delivering the highest quality of inventory that translates into an industry-leading return on investment.”  Cox says in its press release, “Because Cox owns and operates newspaper, television, radio and digital assets across the country, CMG Local Solutions knows the current landscape of premium publishers and the challenges this industry faces with malicious activity.  Senior director of data and programmatic Joseph Naylor adds, “With CMG being TAG registered and an active member of the IAB, it is our publisher-centric mindset that compels us to make this pledge to all of our advertising clients.

Neely Joins Entercom Board. Chairman, president and CEO David Field says that Susan K. Neely “brings an outstanding breadth of expertise to the board and we look forward to having her join us at such an exciting time in our company’s growth and transformation.”  Neely is the president and chief executive officer of the American Council of Life Insurers and she brings an impressive set of credentials with her.  She served as special assistant to President George W. Bush and helped create the U.S Department of Homeland Security.  She later became the first DHS assistant secretary for public affairs.  Neely led the American Beverage Association for 13 years as president and CEO before joining ACLI in September 2018.  Neely’s appointment is an expansion as the board now is comprised of nine people.

TALKERS News Notes.  Today (12/21) is the final Steve Dahl show on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago. As previously announced, Dahl is leaving the news/talk station where he’s been hosting the afternoon drive show, although he’ll continue to do his regular podcast with co-hosts Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley.  Chicago media maven Robert Feder writes about it here…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago, “670 The Score” announces that the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and Pat Hughes have signed a multi-year contract extension for him to remain in the play-by-play booth beginning with his 24th season with the team in 2019.  Ron Coomer serves as color analyst. Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Pat is the iconic voice of the Chicago Cubs. We are both proud and honored to have him on our team at ‘670 The Score’ and Entercom Chicago.  Pat is the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans both in Chicago and worldwide.  We are thrilled he will continue as the radio voice for multiple years to come.”…..CBS News Radio is distributing “Eye On Travel” with host Peter Greenberg.  “Eye On Travel” is a new series of short- and long-form shows featuring CBS News senior travel advisor Peter Greenberg.  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler comments, “We’re delighted to offer Peter Greenberg’s insightful programs and expertise to our affiliates and listeners.  Peter brings a unique perspective to the world of travel and empowers listeners so that they may make informed decisions when traveling throughout the world.”

Wade and Abel Join National Radio Talent System.  The National Radio Talent System names Taylor Anne Wade and Aimee Abel to the newly created position of institutes director.  Wade has worked with Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and Talk Show Boot Camp, was a volunteer at the Country Radio Seminar, and was a Student Scholar at the NAB/RAB Radio Show.  Abel moves from part time to full time.  She was previously an anchor for iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic and Weather Network.  National Radio Talent System president Dan Vallie says, “Both Taylor Anne and Aimee completed the Kellar Radio Talent Institute when they were students at Appalachian State University.  They bring a passion for the industry and for helping people.  We wanted them to be on the team and they wanted to be here.  Things worked out well.  I’m thrilled they are on the team.”  The National Radio Talent System is currently producing eight Radio Talent Institutes annually.

Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story Again This Week. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents remained the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the battle over the border wall and the related short-term spending bill. Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, followed by activity on the world’s financial markets and the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Armstrong & Getty Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Syndicated morning show hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  They started out as a couple of music radio DJs who joined forces in the early 90s in Wichita and worked their way up to landing a big-time slot in 1998 as the morning team on news/talk station KSTE in Sacramento.  They quickly developed a reputation throughout the radio industry for their freshness and youthful dynamics.  Their show became a huge success in the California state capital and began to spread into regional syndication up and down the west coast where today – 20 years later – it still emanates from KSTE but is also heard in the mornings on such major radio stations as KGO, San Francisco; KFMB, San Diego; KHHO, Seattle; KEX, Portland; KMJ, Fresno; KKAT, Salt Lake City, and KTBL, Albuquerque, not to mention stations in Eugene, Monterey-Salinas, Palm Springs, Reno, Riverside and Ventura.  And now, as we enter 2019, the show is being offered to stations around the country as a full-fledged nationally syndicated radio show.  Michael Harrison says, “When I first heard Armstrong & Getty, they sounded to me more like the kind of talk show hosts one would expect to hear on a rock station than on a ‘serious’ news outlet.  They were funny and irreverent and surrounded with a cast of characters that gave their show more of the feeling of a morning zoo than a roundtable of stuffy panelists.  But even though they were zany and played the goofball roll to a certain degree, their antics were offset by obvious intelligence, keen insight, biting satire, excellent interviewing skills and a ton of information about what was happening in the news.”  Harrison caught up with Jack and Joe last week to discuss their fabulous radio partnership… where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it hopes to be going – set against the backdrop of turbulent political times and extraordinary social/technological change.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. He’s been away from Entercom country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” for five years, but Stoney Richards (center)is making his return to a full-time air shift on the station.  He begins co-hosting the morning show – titled “Y’d Awake” – with co-host Kristen Buccigrossi (left) and producer Cowboy Curt (right).  Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Stoney Richards means country in Western PA.  He’s beloved by Pittsburgh country fans and the Nashville hitmakers alike.  We are thrilled to bring Stoney back home to ‘Y108’ every weekday.”  Richards has been serving with the station (and sister news/talk KDKA-AM) as a fill-in personality…..iHeartMedia Asheville unveils new alternative rock outlet “ALT 101.1” The station is heard on translator W266CP but it’s not immediately clear which station is feeding the translator. Senior vice president of programming Brian Hall states, “There is a huge appetite for alternative music in Asheville. So many of the artists that you will hear on ‘ALT 101.1’ have already performed live in Asheville and I’m excited to know that local fans now have a radio station to listen to their favorite musicians and to call their home.”…..Entercom’s “Hot 92.9” (WWWL-AM, WEZB-HD2, and W225 CZ) announces the addition of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner show to its program schedule in morning drive.  Senior vice president and market manager Kevin Cassidy comments, “We are absolutely thrilled to have legendary morning man Tom Joyner on ‘The New Hot 92.9.’  Tom is already well known to listeners across New Orleans and we look forward to expanding his audience in 2019 and beyond.”