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Thursday, April 8, 2021

| April 8, 2021

Cumulus Fires PD and Morning Hosts in Aftermath of Racist Bit at WGRF, Buffalo. As reported by WGRZ-TV, Buffalo, Cumulus Media has taken further action after the March 24 morning program radio bit by “The Morning Bull” personalities in which the three cast members discussed the color of Black female celebrities’ skin, comparing them to burnt toast. On that day, WGRF-FM, Buffalo “97 Rock” morning host Rob Lederman was fired and co-hosts Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein were suspended. Now, the station has fired Gaenzler and Klein as well as program director John Hager. Cumulus issued the succinct statement: “Upon further consideration following the racist incident that occurred on ‘The Morning Bull Show,’ we decided to terminate the whole morning show in addition to the program director.” Rich Gaenzler also lost his gig as arena announcer for Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bandits games and as stadium announcer for University of Buffalo football.

Richard Baum Named Chief Revenue Officer for Sun Broadcast Group. Sales pro Richard Baum joins Sun Broadcast Group as chief revenue officer. SBG says that in this newly created position, Baum will lead partner strategy, revenue growth, and oversee the growing ad-sales team. SBG adds that Baum’s “proven success in sales planning, team management, revenue strategy, and business development blend seamlessly into his new role, as he will focus on leveraging both sales and ROI to drive growth for Sun Broadcast Group.” Sun Broadcast Group president Warren Friedland comments, “When looking for our new CRO we wanted to find an industry professional with vast knowledge of network radio, emerging tactics, an impeccable reputation as well as an eye for growth, and Baum fits all those characteristics. His knowledge will allow us to provide more comprehensive and competitive solutions for both clients and agencies, while maximizing revenue growth across all platforms.” Baum says, “In searching for my next opportunity, I was looking to join a team with a strong infrastructure, a solid foundation, and the available resources to grow aggressively. Warren and his team at Sun fit that criteria perfectly. I am excited to work with the crew at Sun and Gen Media Partners to continue to help build a best-in-class network audio company.”

Hillsdale Weekend Program Available Via Salem Radio Network. The “Radio Free Hillsdale Hour” program produced by Hillsdale College is being made available for radio stations via Salem Radio Network. The one-hour, weekend radio program is divided into four segments with each episode featuring multiple guests including Hillsdale faculty members, speakers who visit one of the College’s campuses, alumni, and others. WRHF, Hillsdale “Radio Free Hillsdale” general manager Scot Bertram is host of the program and he says, “We’re thrilled to be able to offer the program through Salem and give radio stations another option for airing the show. Talk radio listeners already know Hillsdale by reputation, but this is an opportunity to hear more directly from the college’s faculty, staff, alumni, and others. Our goal always has been to reach as many listeners as possible across the country. The ideas and arguments discussed here at Hillsdale are relevant to all citizens, and this radio program is one way to share them.” Stations that recently added the program to their lineups include: WIBX-AM, Utica, New York; WZUS-FM, Decatur, Illinois; and KTOE-AM, Mankato, Minnesota.

Westwood One Offers Barstool Sports’ ‘Picks Central’ to Radio Stations. In a deal between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and Barstool Sports, the Barstool program “Picks Central” will be made available to radio stations live from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET or for delay broadcast.  The daily gambling and sports show is hosted by Brandon Walker with a rotation of Barstool personalities including Dave Portnoy and Dan “Big Cat” Katz, in which they “provide the scoop on the best gambling lines of the day. The crew discusses relevant sports topics, bad beats, moneylines, and over/unders. They also offer their thoughts on where to place winning bets for every sport under the moon.”

Hallerin Hilton Hill Named to Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. Knoxville talk radio host Hallerin Hilton Hill – heard in afternoon drive on Cumulus Media’s WOKI-FM, “NewsTalk 98.7” – is being inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2021. Cumulus Knoxville market manager Ken Slayer says, “Our entire team is very proud of Hallerin and his career accomplishments. No one deserves this honor and statewide recognition more than he does. His commitment to broadcast excellence and service to our community are unsurpassed.” Hill also works as singer/songwriter, author, motivational speaker, and trainer. He wrote “Who Would Imagine a King” with Mervyn Warren which was recorded by Whitney Houston for the film, The Preacher’s Wife, and was included on the film’s Grammy-nominated soundtrack.

Gimlet Media and The Ringer Podcast Producers Unionize. The writers and producers at Gimlet Media and The Ringer – both owned by Spotify – ratified first collective bargaining agreements as members of the Writers Guild of America, East. The contracts affect 48 members at Gimlet Media and 65 members at The Ringer. Some of the key components of the union contracts provide for: Significant increases to salary minimums with The Ringer establishing $57,000 plus overtime as an entry-level floor and Gimlet Media beginning at $73,000 for associate producers; limitations on the use of contractors within bargaining unit positions; minimum of 2% guaranteed annual increases; minimum severance of 11 weeks for all employees, regardless of tenure; and more. Writers Guild of America, East executive director Lowell Peterson comments, “The collective bargaining agreements at Gimlet Media and The Ringer demonstrate that the people who make podcasts, from writers to producers to editors, bring enormous value to the major platforms for whom they create content. Collective bargaining ensures creative professionals have a seat at the table to address issues like inclusion and equity, intellectual property concerns, and sustainability of careers.”

Adnan Virk to Contribute to Meadowlark Media. According to a story in The Wrap, Adnan Virk is joining the talent stable at Meadowlark Media – the company launched by former ESPN chief John Skipper and sports talk personality Dan Le Batard. In addition to his work as a contributor, Virk’s “Cinephile” podcast will become part of the “Le Batard & Friends” network. Virk says, “I’ve had the amazing fortune to have John Skipper as my boss at ESPN, DAZN, and now Meadowlark. Clearly the third time is the charm and I’ve long enjoyed John’s ambition, erudition, and sense of humor. Skipper adds, “Adnan is a unique talent – the kind of broadcaster who can thrive in any sport and in any environment. We’re thrilled for the opportunity to welcome a friend who offers a diverse voice and shares our desire to create high-quality content that pushes beyond the boundaries of sports.”

WPHT USO Radiothon Raises More Than $95,000. The March 19 “Talk Radio 1210 WPHT USO Radiothon” raised more than $95,000 to benefit the United Service Organization of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey (Liberty USO). The 12-hour radiothon was hosted by WPHT, Philadelphia talk show hosts Rich Zeoli and Dom Giordano and included interviews and stories from USO staff and families, dignitaries and special guests such as actor Justin Melnick, WWE announcer Lillian Garcia, and Phillies broadcaster Larry Andersen. Audacy Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We’re proud of another successful year raising funds and awareness for Liberty USO. These individuals have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and it’s our honor to band together with our listeners to support them and their families.”

COVID-19, Biden Gun Control Moves, Infrastructure/Tax Plan, Voting Legislation, Border Crisis, Derek Chauvin Trial, and Matt Gaetz Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/7). The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S., status of variants, post-COVID effects, and vaccine rollout; President Joe Biden moves to ban ‘ghost guns’ and stabilizers; the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan and the proposed tax changes to pay for it; Georgia’s restrictive voting laws and Democrats’ plans for a national voting rights bill; the large number of unaccompanied minors amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; and the investigation into allegations U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz had sexual relations with a minor were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, April 2, 2021

| April 2, 2021

The Michael Harrison Wrap Reaches 100 Installment Milestone.  This weekend’s installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” marks the program’s 100th episode.  It is heard weekends on stations and regional networks coast to coast in the US and across the UK and is available on a market exclusive basis to stations in syndication by Talk Media Network (TMN).  For affiliate information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Trillions and Trillions,” looks back at this past week of March 29 – April 2. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkDerek Hunter, talk show host, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioVince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupRichard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeartPodcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Supreme Court Unanimously Overturns 3rd Circuit Court’s Vacating of FCC’s Ownership Regulations. As most media watchers are aware, in 2017 – after what many radio operators say was a long time coming – the FCC concluded that three of its ownership rules no longer served the public interest and it repealed the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule and the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule and it modified the Local Television Ownership Rule. Shortly thereafter, a collection of public interest and advocacy groups known as the Prometheus Radio Project appealed the FCC’s ruling to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals which vacated the FCC’s reconsideration order holding that the record did not support the agency’s conclusion that the rule changes would have minimal effect on minority and female ownership. The FCC petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case and yesterday (4/1), it ruled that the FCC’s rule change was not “arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).” The unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court said, in part, “In challenging the FCC’s order, Prometheus argues that the Commission’s assessment of the likely impact of the rule changes on minority and female ownership rested on flawed data. But the FCC acknowledged the gaps in the data sets it relied on, and noted that, despite its repeated requests for additional data, it had received no countervailing evidence suggesting that changing the three ownership rules was likely to harm minority and female ownership. Prometheus also asserts that the FCC ignored two studies submitted by a commenter that purported to show that past relaxations of the ownership rules had led to decreases in minority and female ownership levels. But the record demonstrates that the FCC considered those studies and simply interpreted them differently. In assessing the effects of the rule changes on minority and female ownership, the FCC did not have perfect empirical or statistical data. But that is not unusual in day-to-day agency decision making within the Executive Branch. The APA imposes no general obligation on agencies to conduct or commission their own empirical or statistical studies. And nothing in the Telecommunications Act requires the FCC to conduct such studies before exercising its discretion under Section 202(h). In light of the sparse record on minority and female ownership and the FCC’s findings with respect to competition, localism, and viewpoint diversity, the Court cannot say that the agency’s decision to repeal or modify the ownership rules fell outside the zone of reasonableness for purposes of the APA.”

The NAB Comments on the Supreme Court’s Ruling. The National Association of Broadcasters issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s overturning the 3rd Circuit Court’s vacating the FCC’s ownership rule changes. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “NAB commends today’s unanimous decision by the Supreme Court that the FCC’s recent and long-overdue modernization of its broadcast ownership regulations was lawful and appropriate. It is critical that the Commission continue to examine its media ownership rules to ensure that America’s broadcasters are able to compete and meet the needs of local communities across the nation in today’s media landscape. We look forward to working with the Commission on this effort given the essential role radio and television broadcasters play for all Americans.”

Meadowlark Media Secures $12.6 Million in Funding. According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, Meadowlark Media – the company formed by former ESPN president John Skipper and former ESPN radio and cable personality Dan Le Batard – has raised $12.6 million in a “Series A funding round.” Investors include DAZN, DraftKings, Snap Inc. chairman Michael Lynton, EMJ Ventures, Verance Capital, Wasserman, and Carmen Busquets. The THR story says the money will be used for “key hires” and for the “first slate of projects.” Skipper says, “With the intense competition to retain audiences at established media and to attract customers to new streaming services, we and our investors see an exciting opportunity for Meadowlark to work with the industry’s best storytellers to add the highest quality sports-focused original programming to their existing entertainment offerings.”

Buffalo Association of Black Journalists Meets with Cumulus Buffalo in Aftermath of Rob Lederman Firing. According to a report by WKBW-TV, Buffalo, the Buffalo Association of Black Journalists has met with local management of Cumulus Media’s WGRF-FM “97 Rock” in the aftermath of the firing of morning host Rob Lederman and the suspension of morning show cast members Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein. Cumulus took the punitive actions after the three engaged in a bit about color of famous black women’s skin. BABJ issued a statement noting that Cumulus has implemented steps to “accelerate diversity training in Buffalo” and has scheduled meetings with members of Buffalo’s Black community. The statement also says BABJ is pleased with the “progress being made at ‘97 Rock’ and Cumulus Media” and is advocating for increased diversity at the cluster.

Westwood One Presents Coverage of Men’s and Women’s NCAA Final Four and Championships. This weekend’s NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four games as well as both championship games are being presented by NCAA exclusive national audio partner Westwood One. The broadcast of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Final Four begins on Saturday with The Final Four Show at 3:30 pm ET leading up to the first game between the Houston Cougars and Baylor Bears, followed by coverage of the semifinal between the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs and the UCLA Bruins. The NCAA Men’s Championship Game will tip off on Monday with the pre-game at 7:00 pm ET and the game following at 8:00 pm. Westwood One will also present coverage in Spanish, called by Rafael Hernández Brito, former Puerto Rican national team coach Carlos Morales, and Clemson Smith Muñiz. Westwood One’s presentation of the NCAA Women’s Final Four this afternoon at 5:45 pm ET, as South Carolina takes on Stanford, followed by Arizona versus Connecticut. Coverage of the Women’s National Championship Game will be on Sunday at 5:30 pm ET. The Westwood One broadcast crew for the Women’s Final Four will include Ryan Radtke on play-by-play and Debbie Antonelli as lead color analyst, her 18th time in that role and 25th year overall. Krista Blunk will serve as pregame, halftime, and postgame host.

TALKERS News Notes. The Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated program “America Tonight” with host Kate Delaney is added to the program schedule at KROS Broadcasting’s KROS-AM, Clinton, Iowa…..The podcast network Ramble announces the launch of “Crazy Stupid Fangirls,” a new weekly podcast hosted by YouTube star Elle Mills and creator Michelle Platti. Ramble – a studio division of Audacy’s Cadence13 – says the podcast features the longtime friends and fellow fangirls diving into pop culture spanning decades from all angles, debating and dissecting their favorite movies, music, streaming shows, television, artists, creators, iconic moments and more. In addition to sharing their own fangirl picks and stories on the show, Elle and Michelle will be joined by a wide range of guests who will share their favorites.

COVID-19, Vaccines, Variants and Origins Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. The combination of COVID-19 stats, vaccines, concerns about variants, and questions about the origin of the coronavirus made up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of March 29 – April 2. At #2 this week was the Derek Chauvin trial tied with race relations, and police reform. Following at #3 was the Joe Biden infrastructure stimulus initiative and the related U.S. economy. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

| January 14, 2021

Key Networks Names Deidra Hoye to Lead Expanded Sales Team. Syndication firm Key Networks appoints network advertising sales executive Deidra Hoye to the senior vice president, ad sales position in which she’ll lead the company’s newly expanded sales team. Los Angeles-based Hoye will supervise the enhanced sales team of veteran network radio sales professionals that includes recent hires Maggie Sisco, vice president, Eastern sales; Brian Pollina, vice president, Midwest sales; and Michelle McLynn, supervisor of sales support & operations. Hoye previously served as vice president, network sales, for Premiere Networks. Sisco joins Key Networks from PodcastOne, where she was vice president/director of sales, Eastern region. Pollina comes to Key Networks from United Stations Radio Networks, where he was vice president of digital assets and Midwest sales. McLynn joins Key from Westwood One, where she was affiliate services manager. Key Networks and Sun & Fun Media CEO Rob Koblasz says, “We are delighted to welcome Deidra to the Key Networks team. Her wealth of experience in the network ad sales arena will allow us to serve our partners now and as we grow our network. Deidra’s leadership along with the breadth of experience of our team is a winning combination for our customers.” Key Networks syndicates “The O’Reilly Update,” starring Bill O’Reilly to almost 250 radio stations. It also manages all network advertising sales, affiliate sales, and marketing for Bloomberg Radio and distributes “Shawn Parr’s Across The Country,” as well as news/talk program “The Jesse Kelly Show,” alt rock morning program, “The Billy Madison Show,” and Virtual Jock programming services.

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh News Anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas to Retire. Pittsburgh news anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas is retiring from her PM drive anchor post at Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM after 45years in the broadcasting business. Ryan-Douglas has been with KDKA-AM since 2002. She joined KDKA-AM after anchoring the morning news at crosstown (current classic hits outlet) WWSW “3WS” for almost 20 years. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Rose has been the ultimate news professional. Not only will we miss her on the air but her calming influence in the newsroom is irreplaceable. On behalf of all of us at KDKA Radio and our listeners we thank her for the tremendous work she has done over the years.” Her last shift will be Friday, February 26.

Seth Goldberg Exits ‘ESPN Syracuse’ for Gig with the NBA. Syracuse.com reports that WTLA-AM, Syracuse “ESPN Radio Syracuse” host and producer Seth Goldberg is leaving the radio station to take a position with the NBA. Goldberg began working at WTLA in 2015 producing “Upon Further Review” with hosts Chris McManus and Steve Neikam while still a student at Syracuse University. Joining WTLA full time after graduating in 2016, Goldberg has been co-host and producer for “Orange Nation” (co-hosted with Steve Infanti), and produces “On the Block,” a program with Syracuse.com’s Brent Axe. Both programs also are featured on the WTLA-SU Twitch streaming channel ‘Cuse Sports Talk.’ Galaxy Media CEO Ed Levine says Goldberg’s on-air role on “Orange Nation” will be filled in the interim by Paulie Scibilia.

Beasley Media Group’s Preliminary Q4 Net Revenue Down 5.8%-6.5%. Releasing preliminary financial data from the fourth quarter of 20201, Beasley Media Group says it expects net revenue for the period to be approximately $67.4 million to $67.9 million. Compared to the same period in 2019, the figures represent a decrease of between 5.8% and 6.5%. The company says the change reflects a year-over-year decrease in commercial advertising revenue due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, partially offset by growth in digital, esports, and political revenue. Other data points include: fourth quarter 2020 Station Operating Income increased by approximately 23.1% to 28.8% year-over-year to approximately $19.2 million to $20.1 million; and fourth quarter 2020 EBITDA increased by approximately 25.0% to 33.8% year-over-year to approximately $17.0 million to $18.2 million. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “We expect to report top-line revenue improvement in the second half of the year, with sequential quarter-over-quarter growth in both the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Our preliminary fourth quarter performance also demonstrates the significant operating benefits from the actions we took earlier this year to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses and negotiating discounts with landlords, service providers, and partners. Although it is difficult to predict what the impact of COVID-19 will be in the coming months, we remain optimistic that the commercial advertising market will return to more normalized revenue levels as we move further into the year, following broad vaccine distribution.”

CES2021: Technology Is Merely the Plumbing. As the (virtual) convention that reporters are scolded for calling “the Consumer Electronics Show” wraps today, consultant Holland Cooke urges broadcasters to focus on product, not package. Read his analysis here.

First Detroit Sports Talk Show Hosted by Frank Beckmann? Not So Fast… Former longtime Detroit Free Press writer John Smyntek reaches out to TALKERS magazine to let us know that legendary Detroit radio personality Frank Beckmann – who announced his retirement from Cumulus Media’s WJR-AM on Wednesday (it takes effect at the end of March) – was not the first to host a sports talk program on Detroit radio as the press release from WJR claims. Smyntek says, “WXYZ-AM (1270, now WXYT-AM) had the late Dave Diles hosting a daily sports talk and caller dial-in show from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm weeknights starting, I think, in 1967 and running through 1969 or 1970. Then Ron Cameron had a sports call-in format on WXYT-AM under the Chuck Fritz regime for several years in the 1970s, long before Beckmann’s show started.” Smyntek – who retired from the Free Press in 2008 – says Beckmann’s “Sportstalk” program, launched in 1981, was indeed the first sports show to air on WJR-AM.

WSB, Atlanta Talk Star Erick Erickson Is This Week’s Guest on the Harrison Podcast.  One of the rising stars of talk radio, Erick Erickson of WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” He’s one of the most important talk radio figures in the Peach State where, for the past eight years, he’s been hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” a 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on the Cox Media Group heritage station. He also hosts a recently launched, daily three-hour show airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on his own independent network of almost 20 stations stretching across Georgia that many industry observers say is ready to expand nationally. His background is fascinating. Born 45 years ago in Jackson, Louisiana, he was raised between the ages of five and 15 in Dubai where his father worked for Conoco Oil as a production foreman. Returning to the U.S., he received a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and a J.D. degree from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law. He practiced law for six years at a major legal firm in Georgia. He served four years as an elected city councilman in Macon. He was one of the founders of RedState.com which he managed as editor-in-chief for 10 years. He’s been a regular contributor to CNN and FOX News Channel over the years. He’s currently attending a seminary where he is working on earning a theological degree and he’s one of the talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh turns to when he needs someone to fill in. Erickson is a conservative who has not been reluctant to tell his audience the truths he thinks they need to know as opposed to engaging in the daily dance of affirmation and only telling them what they want to hear – especially when it comes to his opinions about President Donald Trump. Don’t miss this extremely timely conversation about the state of talk radio and politics in America today recorded the day after the Capitol insurrection. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Report: Dan Le Batard and Former ESPN Boss John Skipper to Form New Sports Media Company. According to a report by Michael McCarthy at Front Office Sports, former ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and former ESPN chief John Skipper are partnering for a new “politically progressive sports media company” that is “described as the strategic opposite of Clay TravisOutkick.” The Le Batard-Skipper partnership was first reported by the Miami Herald. McCarthy’s piece says that Le Batard and Skipper are seeking talent including former ESPN talent Jemele Hill, Bomani Jones, and Kate Fagan. Hill tells FOS, “We’re trying to figure out the most productive way to work together. Both John and Dan know I have such a deep level of respect for them. So, me working with them again always felt like it was inevitable.” Skipper is currently executive chairman of sports streaming platform DAZN. Hill, in the aftermath of her departure from ESPN, formed her own production company that produces the Vice TV show “Stick to Sports,” and the “Jemele Hill is Unbothered” Spotify podcast.

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit talk station WFDF “910 AM Superstation” announces that former Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who served as mayor during the city’s water scandal, joins the station as a talk host. She’ll appear Monday-Friday in the 8:00 am to 9:00 am hour. Adell Radio Group CEO Kevin Adell says that with former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder being criminally charged with willful neglect in conjunction with the Flint water crisis, bringing Weaver aboard is timely. “Mayor Karen Weaver watched this disgraceful water episode unfold firsthand and will have much to talk about as Rick Snyder works his way through our legal system”…..The Armstrong & Getty Show – starring Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announces that QBS Broadcasting’s talk WBQO-FM, Brunswick, Georgia adds the program to its lineup. WBQO program director Paul Andresen says, “There’s a reason Armstrong & Getty’s reputation precedes them. So, when tasked with finding a replacement for Clark Howard, it was a no-brainer. A&G brings a much-needed change of perspective and influx of personality to not only 93.7 WBQO, but our market as a whole. The listeners’ response, from the first show onward, has been nothing short of fantastic and I couldn’t be prouder to have Armstrong & Getty in our on-air lineup.”…..The “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” announces that it has added 23 new affiliate stations in 2021 so far, bringing its affiliate roster to more than 460 stations!

U.S. House Votes to Impeach Trump, Capitol Attack Investigation, States Prep for More Attacks, Social Media and Free Speech, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, WHO Investigating COVID Origin in China, and Powerball Jackpot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13). The U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach Donald Trump; the investigation into last week’s attack on the Capitol; states across the nation move to protect their capitals from potential future attacks; the removal of Donald Trump and others from social media platforms and questions about free speech; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the WHO enters China to investigate the origin of the coronavirus; and the record Powerball jackpot were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

| September 4, 2019

Michael Brown Returns to KHOW, Denver in Middays. Former Under Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Brown is back on the radio in Denver on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KHOW hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show.  Brown got his start in talk radio on KHOW 13 years ago and had recently moved to the company’s sister news/talk KOA for evenings. Last spring, the cluster began retooling its talk and sports programming and bumped Brown’s show off KOA for a sports program.  Brown tells TALKERS magazine that iHeartMedia Denver president Tim Hager “has made some bold moves of late, creating ‘Freedom 93.7’ to host Premiere Networks’ syndicated programming and creating a significant sports and news presence on KOA.”  Brown says he’s excited to be back on the air after his brief hiatus.  “I’ve always loved radio and I’m grateful to iHeartMedia for their confidence in me to return me to my roots in talk radio.”  He continues to produce his personal podcast, “Michael Brown Unplugged,” that can be found on the iHeartRadio App and iTunes.

‘101 ESPN’ St. Louis Drops Kevin Wheeler from Program Schedule. There’s no official word from Hubbard Radio, but St. Louis sports talk personality Kevin Wheeler announced via social media that WXOS-FM let him go. He posted on Facebook: “Last Thursday was my last day at 101 ESPN in STL. It was not my choice and there really wasn’t much of an explanation given, which isn’t unusual in our stupid business, but I have a pretty good idea of what it was.  Ratings were good, advertisers were happy and I’m probably as low-maintenance as a radio guy can be so… yeah.”  There’s speculation that Hubbard will not bring in another host but will expand other shows to cover the three hours.

Envision Networks and GAB Radio Unveil Daily Smart Talk Radio Network Lineup. The Smart Talk Radio Network – a cooperative effort from Envision Networks and the GAB Radio Network – unveils its weekday program lineup.  This comes several weeks after the new network’s weekend programming was announced.  As a result, the Smart Talk Radio Network offers seven days of original programming covering business, finances, sports, home improvement, food, pets, and autos. Weekday shows include: “Small Business Advocate,” “Straight Talk Money,” “Wanna Bet?!,” “The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum,” “Jared Dillian Financial Show,” “The Sports Circus,” “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show,” and “Today’s Comedy.”  GAB CEO Chuck Duncan states, “The idea of Smart Talk Radio Network was born from the notion of good, healthy, intelligent conversation and information sharing.  Smart Talk Radio Network presents a forum for discussion, info and entertainment covering myriad life topics to create a very complete arena of fun, healthy, interesting and entertaining radio.”

Pat McAfee Inks Podcast and Radio Deal with Westwood One.  Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One sign a deal that brings the “The Pat McAfee Show 2.0” podcast to the Westwood One Podcast Network, starting September 9.  McAfee (pictured here at center with his crew) is also beginning a new, daily radio show via Westwood One that will air live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  That program will be video simulcast on sports streaming platform DAZN.  McAfee’s popular podcast has garnered him more than 2 million social media followers and helped him sell out his recent stand-up comedy tour.  McAfee says, “Some of my earliest and fondest memories are with my dad in the car listening to WDVE in the morning in Pittsburgh.  I believe that’s when my affinity for talk radio truly began…When I was drafted to the Indianapolis Colts, I knew I had arrived in Peyton Manning’s city but also the city of a staple of morning talk radio, ‘The Bob and Tom Show.’  They invited me to come on one morning, let me do my thing, and it was love at first opportunity.  I knew that no matter where my life would go, talk radio was going to be a passion for me.  It’s a special intimate bond between the host(s) and listener that is impossible to duplicate in other avenues of entertainment.  I am so incredibly grateful to Westwood One for affording me the opportunity to experience a lifelong dream.”

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit sports talk station WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” is launching its own special edition beer in partnership with Ellison Brewing and Spirits.  The Entercom station says “97.1 The Ticket American Lager” and “97.1 The Ticket DDH Hazy Pale Ale” beers will be available on tap and in limited edition cans throughout Michigan, beginning September 9.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “‘97.1 The Ticket’ is thrilled to launch its very own lager and pale ale.  It’s been a fun venture working with Ellison, a veteran owned and operated business from East Lansing.  Like ‘97.1 The Ticket,’ Ellison is committed to excellence both in its quality and community relationships.  We think our listeners, over 21 years of age, will enjoy these new creations.”…..SiriusXM Radio and FOX News Media announce they’ve signed a new, long-term agreement for the satellite broadcasters to continue to carry FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, and FOX News Headlines 24/7.  As part of the new deal, FOX News On-Demand Audio will be distributed via SiriusXM’s On-Demand platform and on Pandora as podcasts.  FOX News president and executive editor Jay Wallace says, “SiriusXM has been a valuable partner to FOX News Media and we are excited to extend our relationship beyond streaming, providing on-demand access of our powerful primetime lineup to millions of listeners across the country.”…..A new podcast from FOX Sports Radio overnight personality Ben Maller is launching on the iHeartPodcast Network titled, “The Fifth Hour with Ben Maller.”  The weekly program debuts this Friday (9/6) and will focus heavily on football and betting topics.  The popular “Benny vs. Penny” football betting feature from the weeknight program will now be exclusive to the podcast.  Maller says, “Hosting a radio show four hours a night, Monday through Friday, still isn’t enough time to cover all the sports topics that listeners want to hear, so I’m excited to add this ‘fifth hour’ that we’ve been promising for years – and this time, it’s not a joke!  I’m looking forward to diving deeper into the stories that our audience wants to hear.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.”…..Today (9/4) marks the debut of the all-new “The Adam Schein Podcast,” a new, weekly podcast hosted by SiriusXM personality Adam Schein.  Throughout the NFL season, Schein will have conversations – with football as the theme – with various celebrities and athletes.  On the debut episode Schein talks with former New York Mets captain David Wright about fantasy football.  The program is available on SiriusXM On Demand and on Pandora…..Radio and TV personality Andy Cohen is bringing SiriusXM’s Radio Andy Theater to Los Angeles to perform live with a celebrity cast that will include: Kristen Johnston, Vanessa Bayer, Molly Shannon, Amy Phillips, Bridget Everett, Emily Spivey, and more.  They will re-create an iconic episode of the ‘Real Housewives’ as a radio play.  This special, live edition of SiriusXM’s Radio Andy Theater narrated by Andy Cohen, in front of an audience of SiriusXM subscribers, will feature a live reading from this season’s “Real Housewives of New York” (episode “Life Is Not a Cabaret”).

Hurricane Dorian, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-China Trade War, Brexit Chaos, Walmart’s New Guns Policy, and California Boat Fire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/3). The status of Hurricane Dorian and the devastation it caused in the Bahamas; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the battle of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the political chaos in Great Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy; Walmart’s decision to stop selling handgun ammo; and the California dive boat fire that killed 34 people 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. Urban programming pro Jay Hicks joins Entercom to serve as program director for hip hop WPGC, Washington, effective September 16. He was most recently with Townsquare Media as brand manager for urban contemporary WBLK and adult hits WBUF.  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary comments, “From the beginning, we were seeking a creative visionary with an appreciation for WPGC’s rich history in the D.C. market.  Jay pays respect to the station’s past while clearly comprehending the present competitive landscape in one of America’s most spirited urban radio battles.  He’s ideally suited to lead our veteran air staff.”…..In Philadelphia, radio pro Charlie Maxx is the new evening personality at Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU.  Maxx, who has worked at numerous Philadelphia outlets during her career in addition to serving with stations in Washington, Baltimore, and Wilmington, Delaware, most recently was on the prep+ affiliate relations team at ReelWorld and handled weekend shows on WXTU.   Beasley national country brand manager David Corey states, “Charlie really impressed me from the moment I met her last year.  I am so happy that the on-air lineup is now complete on XTU.  What a great way to round it out!”…..Beasley Boston country station WKLB “Country 102.5 FM” adds Jonathan Wier (left) to the morning drive show alongside Ayla Brown (right) and moves Jackson Blue from AM drive to the afternoon drive daypart.  Wier was most recently the evening personality at Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-FM, Kansas City.  Beasley Boston VP of programming Cadillac Jack comments, “Jonathan is the perfect addition to our team of world class talent.  We’re excited to welcome him to Beasley Boston and look forward to many successful years together!”…..Programming pro Mike Kennedy joins Entercom’s Kansas City cluster as program director and operations manager for country WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” and hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point.”   Entercom Kansas City regional president and market manager Dave Alpert says, “It’s fantastic to welcome a seasoned, celebrated and successful programmer like Mike Kennedy to the Entercom Kansas City team.  Mike is a natural winner and we are looking forward to him leading ‘The Wolf’ and ‘The Point’ to new levels of success.”…..iHeartMedia’s  Milwaukee hip hop outlet WKKV “V100.7” announces that Bailey Coleman extends her broadcast agreement as midday host through 2022.  She will also serve as urban program director for the company’s Western Great Lakes Region.  iHeartMedia Milwaukee SVP of programming Kerry Wolfe states, “We are extremely fortunate and over-the-moon excited to have the talented Bailey Coleman as part of the iHeartMedia team in Milwaukee.  She is one of the most respected leaders in urban and hip hop radio and I look forward to working alongside Bailey for many years to come.”

August 2019 PPM Data – Information for the August 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk). Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 survey period covered July 18 – August 14. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these nine PPM markets.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat five straight survey periods for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” gains one-half share in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0, #20 to #18). Unchanged at #22, Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW has a very consistent March 2019 through August 2019 topline of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 (6+). May’s one-tenth increase halted five straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths. “New Jersey 101.5” is now tied with news/talk WABC, which is up three-tenths in July/August (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2, #23 to #22, 6+), following four successive decreases accounting for a loss of six-tenths (1.5 – 1.3 -1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

Despite adding two-tenths (3.6 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN (Yankees, Giants) backslides from eighth to ninth. Repeating July’s 1.6 (6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (Jets) drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #21). This (1.6) is its weakest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 1.4.

Even though WINS has lost seven-tenths in three consecutive negative or neutral trends (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), the Entercom all-news outlet advances from #13 to #11. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (Mets), which faltered by a collective full-share via four straight declines (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+), ends the slide with a one-tenth pickup to 2.5 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Off a collective eight-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM gains two-tenths to 2.3 (#18 to #16, 6+). The February 2019 through August 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .3 (#35 to #34, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – After posting a 6.8 (6+) three months in succession, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” busts out a +.9 to 7.7 (6+) and is #1 the 26th consecutive ratings period. August’s 7.7 (6+) matches what was recorded in March when “Lite FM” logged a one-half share increase; WLTW  surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), “Lite FM” was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). The one-half share (6+) advantage it held over Emmis urban AC WBLS in July widens to 1.9 (6+) as WBLS sputters from 6.3 – 5.8 (-.5, flat at #2, 6+) and is below a six-share (5.8, 6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2018’s 5.6. An uptick of seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3, 6+) enables iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” to jump from eighth to sixth with its strongest 6+-stat in nearly two years (4.3, as well, September 2017). In five straight sweeps without an increase, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” has lost seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, flat at #12, 6+). It is tied with Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1,” which had notched four successive up or neutral moves for an overall gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), but drops four-tenths to 3.1 (#11 to #12, 6+). Between February 2019 – July 2019, Spanish tropical sibling WSKQ  recorded a 5.0 (6+) three times and a 5.3 (6+) the other three times (5.3 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+) but “La Mega 97.9” is off two-tenths in August to 4.8 (unchanged at #5, 6+). While Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM is up a combined six-tenths in three consecutive positive or neutral sweeps (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), “NEW 102.7” backslides from eighth to tenth. It is the end of an era in New York City ratings books as the WPLJ calls disappear from print. In back-to-back (June 2019 and July 2019) losses totaling a massive -2.7, WPLJ virtually wiped away its May AQH-stat (3.1 – 1.5 – .4, 6+), plummeting from the top twenty (#20 to #31). In August, WPLJ is unlisted. Coinciding with its sale from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation, WPLJ flipped from hot AC to contemporary Christian “K-Love Classics.” The legendary contemporary music outlet went out on a very positive note leading up to the format flip though, as it posted five straight New York City gains for a cumulative +1.1 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 3.1, “Holiday” 2018 through May 2019, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.8 in May/June (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” falters by six-tenths in July/August (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+), slipping from fifth to sixth. In July/August, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA has nearly doubled June’s .6 (.8 – 1.1, 6+) and “AM 870 The Answer” jumps from #34 to #29. It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia-owned KEIB, which repeats July’s 6+ share (1.0) and market rank (#32). “AM 1150 The Patriot” was off an overall one-tenth in three straight down or flat sweeps (9 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+) before adding two-tenths in May to 1.0 (6+). Having lost half (-.3) its 6+ AQH-share in three straight setbacks (.6 – .5 – .4 – .3, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” pulls the plug with a one-tenth gain to .4 (#42 to #40, 6+).

In June and July, iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (Dodgers, Chargers) and Disney-owned KSPN “710 ESPN” (Angels, Rams) were deadlocked at #27 (1.4, 6+). The tie is broken in August though as KLAC – which is trending 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 (6+) – falls to #28 and KSPN erodes by six-tenths to .8 (6+), spiraling to #36.

Up one-tenth in July, Entercom all-news KNX “1070 News Radio” forfeits two-tenths (2.8 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to July’s +.1, KNX had five straight negative or neutral monthlies accounting for a full-share loss in that January 2019 – June 2019 timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+).

In back-to-back sweeps, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” adds one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0, #23 to #21, 6+).

Los Angeles Music Formats – Elevating from fourth to second, iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “104.3 My-FM” records its fourth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (5.3) in nearly a year (5.5, September 2018). One-half share ahead of KBIG is its adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5” (5.9 – 5.8, -.1, 6+), which is #1 the 11th straight time. After its “Holiday” 2018 13.0 (6+), “Coast” has followed with 6.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 5.8 (6+). Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 through five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), co-owned KYSR lost two-tenths. In August, however, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” answers with a positive spike of one-half share to 2.7 (6+) and vaults from #19 to #12. “Alt 98.7” has a three-tenths lead over format rival, Entercom-owned KROQ (2.0 – 2.4, +.4, 6+), which returns to the top twenty (#21 to #18). KROQ’s June gain of one-tenth ended four consecutive negative or neutral sweeps that resulted in a collective half-share deficit (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Anchored at #8, Cumulus Media-to-Meruelo Media Holdings KLOS “95.5 Southern California’s Classic Rock” posts its eighth straight up or flat trend for a net gain of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+). Both of the market’s principal CHRs are unchanged from July. In the case of iHeartMedia’s KIIS, it repeats its (6+) rank (#7); “102.7 Kiss FM” has lost eight-tenths in six consecutive negative or neutral sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to June, the last time “Kiss” was under a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory the 27th time in a row (flat at 2.3, #17 to #19, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in April and May and then on 3.0 (6+) in June and July, Tribune Media news/talk WGN (White Sox) drops to 2.8 (#13 to #16, 6+). After doubling (+1.1) its 6+ AQH share in seven consecutive reports without a loss (1.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM surrenders one-tenth to 2.1 (6+) but continues at #20.

Off a combined four-tenths in June/July (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (Cubs) wipes away 75% of the deficit with a +.3 to 4.1 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Trending 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4 (May – June – July – August, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” slips from #24 to #25.

Unchanged at #4, Entercom news outlet WBBM-AM (Bears) is an overall -1.4 via seven successive down or neutral moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). WBBM-AM finished on top in January, February, and March.

In three consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ was off a collective nine-tenths, but is now +.3 in July/August (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, #19 to #16, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – The top of the leader board game of musical chairs between Hubbard Broadcasting siblings continues. In July, the combination of a three-tenths uptick by classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” and an equal margin decrease by WTMX “101.9 The Mix” resulted in the cluster-mates swapping places. Now, “The Mix” balloons by one-half share (5.2 – 5.7, second to first, 6+), while “The Drive” holds steady at 5.4 (6+), backsliding from first to second. “The Mix,” which was #1 in April, May, and June before giving way to “The Drive” in July, has a January 2019 through August 2019 topline of 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 5.7 (6+); April’s 5.9 was its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 6.3. In addition to WTMX, iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-half share as well (3.8, ninth to seventh, 6+). The increase ends a mini-June/July slide that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Not only is Cumulus Media’s WKQX a collective +.8 in five successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), “The New Home For Alternative” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Up a combined half-share in June/July (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WCKL forfeits the entire increase (1.0, -.5, #27, 6+). July’s 1.5 was the best 6+-stat for Chicago’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” since February (1.5, as well). It’s mostly good news for Chicago’s three leading adult contemporary properties. On the positive side, iHeartMedia’s WLIT “93.9 Lite FM” is without a loss the fifth time in a row for a collective gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5, steady at #5, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s WSHE “100.3 SHE” zooms from #16 to #11 (2.8 – 3.1, +.3, 6+). “Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+). Before faltering by one-half share in May, WSHE notched an overall increase of eight-tenths via four consecutive positive or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). On the flipside, Venture Technologies Group-owned WRME-LP “FM 87.7 – Me TV,” which logged three upticks in succession for a collective increase of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), returns two-tenths to 2.9 (#11 to #14, 6+). June’s 3.0 marked the first time WRME-LP reached the three-share level (6+) since November 2018’s 3.3. The market’s two main country outlets are separated by one full-share as Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” is down two-tenths (2.8 – 2.6, #16 to #18, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” notches a 1.6 (6+) the third time in a row (unchanged at #23, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in June, WEBG had been up or flat the previous seven sweeps for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats. As part of four successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO fell below a two-share (1.7, 6+) for the first time since July 2017’s 1.8. KSFO rebounds in August though with a +.3 to 2.0 (#24 to #21, 6+). After dropping one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.7 – 1.6 -1.5, 6+), cluster-mate KGO gains one-tenth in August to 1.6 (#25 to #24, 6+). At the same time, iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” repeats July’s 6+ AQH share (.2) and market rank (#35).

San Francisco’s top three (6+) August 2019 finishers are spoken-word stations, including Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR (Giants, 49ers), which is +1.1 in three straight up or flat sweeps (3.3 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.4, steady at #3, 6+). “The Sports Leader” was up one full-share in April. Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” however, sputters by -1.8 via three consecutive declines (3.3 – 3.0 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+) and spirals from #21 to #26. KGMZ nearly doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss, (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+).

Off a combined half-share in June/July (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), KCBS-AM (Raiders) improves by four-tenths to 6.5 (6+) and continues at #2; the Entercom all-news station was #1 in May.

In three bumps in a row (6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED gains an overall eight-tenths and is #1 the third time in a row with its best 6+-stat (7.1) since 7.3 in March. KQED had been on top four sweeps in a row, but faltered by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+), segueing to #2 in May. Flat at #28, San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is trending -1.0 – .9 – .8 – 1.0 – .9 (April – May – June – July – August, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – As a result of four successive down or flat trends, iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KYLD lost eight-tenths (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” answers with an August gain of seven-tenths to 4.0 (ninth to fifth, 6+). A combined -1.3 in June/July (4.0 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is up four-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #10). Before dropping two-tenths in April, “The Bone” was +1.1 in three successive improvements (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Faltering by one-half share each are Bonneville CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – The Bay’s #1 For All The Hits” (3.5 – 3.0, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” (3.1 – 2.6, #11 to #12, 6+). In addition to departing the top ten (#8 to #11), “Now” has its lowest 6+-showing since January (3.0, as well). Although slipping from seventh to eighth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range the 14th time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). April 2019’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. Following five straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” has lost two-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8, unchanged at #22, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from July’s -.6 with an improvement of four-tenths to 3.9 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP leaps from tenth to sixth. Entering the July sweep, “News Talk 820” had been without a loss six successive survey periods for a +1.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+). Three straight sweeps without a loss by Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM result in a gain of two-tenths (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+) as “570 News & Information” continues at #36. It pulls ahead of Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer,” which drops two-tenths (.6 – .4, #34 to #37, 6+).

Unchanged at #20, Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” (Rangers, Cowboys) slips two-tenths (2.3 – 2.1, 6+), after a June/July +.8 (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+). Locked on 2.7 (6+) in March, April, and May, Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time” is stuck on 1.7 (6+) in June, July, and August (#24 to #25). This is the fourth time in a row that Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” has a month-to-month fluctuation of one-tenth (.8 – .9, 6+); (.9 – .8, 6+); (.8 – .7, 6+); and (.7 – .8, #32 to #31, 6+).        

Having lost a total of seven-tenths via three straight declines (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” is up one-tenth to 1.9 (6+) and repeats at #23.

Four straight negative or neutral moves by KERA resulted in a collective -1.0 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), but the North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet ends the slide with a +.3 to 3.2 (#14 to #11, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – The nine-tenths that iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” squandered as a result of three straight negative or neutral moves (6.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+) is wiped away with an August increase of that magnitude (5.8 – 6.7, +.9, 6+). “Kiss” is #1 the eighth month in a row. Its May dip of four-tenths brought to a close four successive up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). April’s 6.7 was KHKS’ best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Down two-tenths in July (1.6 – 1.4, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KNOR “La Raza 93.7” responds with a half-share increase to 1.9 (#23, 6+). Three consecutive gains by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KYDA resulted in an overall +1.2 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), but “Air 1 – Worship Now” surrenders more than half that increase (2.4, -.7, #13 to #18, 6+). The wild ride continues for WAY Media’s similarly-formatted KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real,” which was -1.2 in March; a combined +1.2 in April/May (1.1 – 1.6 – 2.3, 6+); -1.4 in June; +.2 in July; and now -.5 in August (1.1 – .6, #30 to #32, 6+). The station KYDA and KAWA are chasing – Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” – follows July’s +1.1 with an August increase of four-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and continues in the runner-up slot. KLTY was stymied on 4.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping to 4.0 (6+) in June. Off one full-share in July/August (3.7 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KDGE slips from #11 to #15. “Star 102.1” is below a three-share (2.7, 6+) for the first time since June 2018’s 2.9.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the fourth time in succession for a net loss of one-half share (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH repeats at #15. “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December 2018 (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). In five straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” has lost half (-.2) of its 6+ AQH-share (.4 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2, #28 to #31, 6+).

When sports talk sibling KBME (Astros) lost one-tenth in July, it curtailed four straight positive or neutral trends in which “Sports Talk 790” more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat (.5 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). KBME is up three-tenths to 1.4 (6+) and sticks at #22. “Sports Talk 790” has a four-tenths advantage over Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (Texans), which has an April 2019 through August 2019 topline of: 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 (#24, 6+). Down two-tenths (.7 – .5, 6+), Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5” dips from #25 to #26.

Surrendering one-tenth in back-to-back survey periods (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF carries on at #19.

Houston Music Formats – For the fifth time in the last six reports, Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot” posts a 6+ AQH share between 5.0 – 5.7 (5.1 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), progressing from fifth to third. Airing a variety of musical genres including jazz and blues, Texas Southern University’s KTSU “90.9 Your Community Station” posted a .8 (6+) in May; .5 (6+) in June; disappeared from print in July; and resurfaces in August with a .6 (#25, 6+). Over and above reaching the six-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 6.1, Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” escalates from second to first. Supplanted from the top spot after 16 sweeps in a row there is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1.” Not only does “Sunny” slip from first to second, it has lost roughly 51% (-6.2) of its 6+ AQH share in eight straight declines (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 5.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this spiral, “Sunny” was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). It had been more than two years since KODA slipped below a six-share (June 2017, 5.8, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths as well in August 2019 is urban contemporary cluster-mate KQBT “93.7 The Beat,” which is off an overall eight-tenths in four straight reports without an increase (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.6, #12 to #14, 6+). In five successive down or flat reports, Liberman Broadcasting’s KQQK lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+) but “El Norte 107.9” stops the slide with a gain of two-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and stays at #18. Owing to five consecutive negative or neutral trends, Cumulus Media CHR KRBE “104.1 – Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” has lost an overall eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+) and drifts from fourth to eighth. The market’s two main country FMs are separated by two-tenths of a share (6+) and finish at eighth and tenth. Specifically, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New Country 93-Q” is trending 4.8 – 47- 4.5 (6+) and stays at #8, while Entercom’s similarly-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull,” which added two-tenths in July, relinquishes three-tenths in August (4.6 – 4.3, flat at #10, 6+). Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three bumps in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – July/August’s +1.3 (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.6, 6+) amassed by WSB-AM more than offsets its -.8 in three straight sweeps without an increase (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). Moreover, the Cox Media Group news/talk station progresses from second to first. Following three straight months at #1, WSB-AM slipped to the runner-up slot in April. Down or flat the past three reports for a 50% loss (-.2) of its 6+ AQH share (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2, 6+), Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” picks up one-tenth to .3 (6+) but backslides from #28 to #29. It is tied with Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.1 – .3, .2, #32 to #29, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640” has lost three-tenths via twelve straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #32 to #33, 6+).

An overall -1.2 in five straight negative or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” (Falcons) cuts the shortfall in half with a gain of six-tenths to 3.4 (#14 to #11, 6+). In six consecutive monthlies without a loss, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN (Braves) is up a cumulative nine-tenths (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), as “Sports Radio The Fan” carries on at #17.

Even though City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE returns July’s gain of one-tenth (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), it inches up from #12 to #11. Georgia State University news/talk WRAS repeats July’s (6+) AQH share (.6) and market rank (#25).

Atlanta Music Formats – Not only is Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM a cumulative +1.3 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 6.0, seventh to sixth, 6+), “B-98.5” reaches the six-share level (6.0, 6+) for the first time in more than four years (May 2015, 6.1, 6+). Up six-tenths as well in August 2019 is Clark Atlanta University-owned WCLK “91.9 Atlanta’s Jazz Station – Classic, Cool, Contemporary” (1.4 – 2.0, 6+), which reaches the top twenty (#19). Both of Atlanta’s country FMs post gains of four-tenths: iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (4.5, #8 the third month in a row, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” (2.9, #16 to #14, 6+). The April 2019 through July 2019 topline for “The Bull” was 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.1 (6+). When “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in June, it interrupted three straight increases that produced a +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). The increase by “Kicks’ suspends three straight dips that accounted for a net loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). Off three-tenths in March, “Kicks” later faltered by four-tenths in May. On top the past four months, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” craters by -3.8 (8.5 – 4.7, 6+) and fades to seventh. The -3.8 is the largest (6+) July 2019 – August 2019 decrease by any station in the nine PPM-markets highlighted here. When “The Fish” lost three-tenths in July, it halted at five its consecutive string of bumps that netted an overall +3.9 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9 – 8.8, 6+). A collective -1.6 through five consecutive negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” halts the skid with a +.1 to 3.7 (6+) and carries on at #10. After faltering by two-tenths in July (3.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” regains one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) and continues at #9. Frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, “Power” gained seven-tenths in March; was down one-tenth in April; and dialed up a +.6 in May. Sputtering by one-half share each are WWPW’s format rival – Cumulus Media-owned WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” (3.1, #10 to #13, 6+) – and Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” (#13 to #14, 6+). In July, “Q-100” returned the four-tenths it gained the previous sweep; it logged a +.7 in January; relinquished six-tenths in February; and had a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6 (6+). In the last five reports, “Star” has posted a 2.9 (6+) three times and 3.4 (6+) the other two (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined half-share in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” adds one-tenth to 1.8 (6+) and reenters the top twenty (#21 to #20); July’s 1.7 was its weakest 6+-showing since June 2018 (1.7, as well). In five consecutive decreases, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW lost roughly half (-.8) its 6+ AQH-share (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .7, 6+) but “New Jersey 101.5” is up one-tenth to .8 (6+) and continues at #25.

Locked on 5.9 (6+) in June and July after losing seven-tenths in May, Entercom sports talk WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” (Phillies, Eagles) erupts with a +.8 to 6.7 and jumps from fourth to second. While it repeats July’s 2.3 (6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” slips from #17 to #18; June’s 2.1 was its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 1.8.

Anchored at #10, Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” hasn’t shown an increase seven sweeps in succession and is an overall -1.3 in that timeframe (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+).

Public news/talk WHYY is up three-tenths (2.6 – 2.9, 6+) and advances from #14 to a four-way tie at #12.

Philadelphia Music Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM  improves by a half-share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, fifth to third, 6+). Prior to July, “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” lost eight-tenths since March via three consecutive negative or neutral moves (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+). A collective -1.0 as a result of four straight losses (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s Hits 96.5 TDY” pulls the plug with a +.1 to 2.4 (#17 to #16, 6+). After nearly quadrupling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in nine straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One-owned WPPZ “107.9 – Philly’s Classic R&B” lost one-tenth in July but rebounds with a +.4 (2.9 – 3.3, #12 to #11, 6+). WPPZ transitioned from gospel in mid-December 2018. Frozen on 6.6 (6+) in May and June, WMGK gained four-tenths in July, enabling it to proceed from second to first. While off one-tenth in August to 6.9 (6+), the Beasley Media Group classic rocker repeats at #1; July’s 7.0 was its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 7.1. The yoyo effect continues for Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which was a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+); -1.2 via four straight April through June down or flat sweeps (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+); +.8 in July; and now -1.0 in August (6.7 – 5.7, second to fifth, 6+). Entercom-owned sports talk WIP was on top in January; WOGL in February; adult contemporary sibling WBEB in March; WMGK set the pace in April; WBEB did so in May and June; and WMGK is #1 in July and August. Following six straight sweeps without a loss that yielded a +1.2 (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN “88.5 Vinyl At Heart” is -.8 in July/August (2.6 – 2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #20, 6+). Four successive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL netted eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), but “Power 99” surrenders six-tenths in July/August (4.5 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) and continues in ninth-place.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to logging the largest (6+) July 2019 to August 2019 increase of any station in the nine PPM-markets shown here (+1.5), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR extends to five its consecutive string of bumps that have netted a +2.5 (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 4.7, 6+), as “710 The Voice of New York” rockets from #11 in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) all the way to #4. In four consecutive decreases, news/talk WABC lost one-half share (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) but stops the slide with a +.1 to 1.1 (#25 to #26, 6+).

In six straight up or flat reports, Entercom sports talk WFAN (Yankees, Giants) is +1.3 (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+) and is #1 the fifth month in a row. This is its highest 6+-share in Long Island since October 2018 (5.6, as well). Off a combined four-tenths in June/July (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” picks up one-tenth (2.0, #19 to #18, 6+).

Tied at #12 are Entercom all-news siblings WINS (2.9, +.2, #13 to #12, 6+) and WCBS-AM (2.9, +.4, #15 to #12, 6+). WINS was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in May and June and then dropped three-tenths in July. Entering the August sweep, WCBS-AM was -1.3 via three straight down or flat trends (3.8 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+).

After losing eight-tenths through six successive sweeps without an increase (2.1 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM gains two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) yet backslides from #24 to #25.

Long Island Music Formats – Without a decrease in each of the last five sweeps for a net gain of one-half share (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” advances from fourth to third. Entercom New York City classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which was -1.0 via three consecutive decreases (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+), ends the slide with a gain of two-tenths to 4.3 (seventh to sixth, 6+). Three straight drops by Connoisseur Media-owned classic hits-oldies WBZO accounted for a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, 6+), but “103.1 Max FM” is +.6 in July/August (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7, #14 to #15, 6+). Spanish contemporary Christian WNYG “Radio Cantico Nueva” records an August increase of nine-tenths (1.5 – 2.4, 6+) and cracks the top twenty at #17. Five consecutive up or flat reports by Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3” account for a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, #16 to #15, 6+). Cox Media Group-owned classic rock WBAB, which was +1.1 in three straight positive or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+), forfeits all but one-tenth of that bounty (4.1, -1.0, 6+) and tumbles from third to eighth. A collective +1.1 through three straight Long Island reports without a loss (3.5 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” surrenders four-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to seventh, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “Q-104.3” reached the four-share threshold in Long Island was in January (4.0). After three Long Island declines in a row resulting in a loss of more than 75% (-1.7) of its 6+ AQH-share in that April 2019 through July 2019 stretch (2.2 – 1.9 – 1.5 – .5, 6+), WPLJ vanishes from print. The sale of the legendary hot AC from Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation closed on May 31 and EMF immediately switched WPLJ to contemporary Christian “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.”

Thursday, August 8, 2019

| August 8, 2019

Cumulus Media Q2 Assessment: “Making Great Progress.”  According to second-quarter results, Cumulus Media’s net revenue fell 2% year-to-year to $279.6 million from $285.2 million in 2018. Net income was down to $42.9 million, owing mostly to a net corporate loss, offsetting gains on the radio group side. Adjusted EBITDA was down 6.8% to $61.8 million. President and chief executive officer Mary Berner comments, “We continued to make great progress against the goals we set when we emerged from bankruptcy a little over a year ago. We delivered a solid financial performance, with same-station revenue and Adjusted EBITDA up 1.8% and 3.7%, respectively, on an ex-political basis, driven by continued growth in national and network revenue, as well as industry-leading digital growth. We have now closed several strategic portfolio optimization transactions and announced one more. The $146.5 million of gross proceeds from the closed transactions, along with cash from operations, allowed us to prepay $165 million of debt since our last earnings announcement. [That reduces] our total post-bankruptcy debt by approximately $250 million. Given the results of the past year, I am more confident than ever that the company will continue to deliver significant value to our investors, employees, listeners, and advertisers.”

Media-Savvy McAfee Adds Daily Syndicated Radio Show. Definitively proving there is life in the media after being an eight-year Indianapolis Colts punter, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) analyst Pat McAfee will host a daily sports talk show syndicated by Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and streamed on the DAZN video network. The program will air weekdays from 10:00 am -12:00 noon (ET), starting in just over four weeks (9/9). Among the 40 stations already clearing “The Pat McAfee Show” are Cumulus Media’s San Mateo-licensed KTCT, which simulcasts KNBR, San Francisco; and Cumulus Media Indianapolis’ WXNT “CBS Sports 1430 AM.” In addition, 2017 – 2018 Barstool podcaster McAfee recently signed a deal to serve as a college football analyst for ESPN. Last year, he did similar NFL duties at Fox Sports. As part of his DAZN arrangement, the 32-year old McAfee will appear on its nightly MLB “Changeup” show and will create football segments for the video network’s outlets in Canada and Germany.

Stayin’ Classy: “The Ron Burgundy Podcast” Returns. California Senator/Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is the guest on the season two opener of iHeartRadio’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek “The Ron Burgundy Podcast,” co-produced with Funny Or Die. Channeling his Ron Burgundy persona and remaining completely in character, Will Ferrell emphatically states, “My podcast, quite simply, can only be described as a raging success. I’ll admit that when I first started in this rodeo, it was my first rodeo, and I had no idea what a podcast even was. But through diligent research and persistence, I quickly climbed my way up to the top. Now, it is not my first rodeo – it is literally, my second rodeo. Word on the street is that I am already the best rodeo rider that has ever lived … and podcaster, too. This is a fact, folks.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “When Ron first started trying to force us to make this podcast with him, we resisted, as it’s clear he’s an unhinged man; however, people are actually listening. I have no idea why. Doubly baffling, and for reasons beyond my grasp, they actually want more. Seriously? We have to go through this whole thing again? Fine. Season two. Whatever.” The podcast’s initial season debuted with 12 episodes in December 2018. In addition to Senator Harris, Ron Burgundy’s guests this season will include actress Brooke Shields, historian/political commentator Doris Kearns Goodwin, and feminist activist Gloria Steinem. Approximately 270 iHeartMedia broadcast stations in virtually every format are scheduling Sunday Night Podcasts, which begins this Sunday (8/11) with “The Ron Burgundy Podcast.” Sunday Night Podcasts is part of iHeartMedia’s “Podcast, Meet Broadcast” initiative that utilizes the company’s consumer reach to introduce the rapidly growing podcast sector to iHeartMedia’s quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners. A much more serious Byrne states, “We’re thrilled to bring some of the world’s best and most popular podcasts to our broadcast listeners every Sunday. We are uniquely able to provide the scale critical to introducing podcasts to the millions of Americans who aren’t yet familiar with them. Research shows that more than two-thirds of the population still are not dedicated podcast listeners – many have never even heard a podcast. Sunday Night Podcasts will help introduce different audio series from a variety of genres to a whole new audience.” In October 2017, Mark Ramsey’s “Inside Psycho” aired as a one-hour special on more than 70 iHeartMedia news/talk outlets. Episodes of “Family Secrets” and “Monster: The Zodiac Killer” aired on iHeartMedia stations before they were available anywhere else.

WFAN Splits Simulcast For Certain Yankees, Giants Games. When your station is the flagship of two major sports franchises, it helps to have two signals to accommodate scheduling conflicts. Entercom New York’s sports talk simulcast of WFAN-AM & WFAN-FM will take advantage of that situation three times this month and four times next month: WFAN is the flagship of both the (MLB) Yankees and (NFL) Giants. When both teams are playing on the same date, the Giants will shift to WFAN-AM (660), while the Yankees will continue on WFAN-FM (101.9). Senior vice president of Entercom New York Mark Chernoff explains, “August marks the beginning of another exciting start to football season and WFAN remains at the forefront of New York Giants coverage while remaining the home for New York Yankees baseball. Splitting the WFAN signal will allow the station to super serve fans of both iconic teams.” August dates involved for the simulcast split are tonight, Thursday, 8/8 (Giants-Jets/Yankees-Blue Jays); the 16th (Giants-Bears/Yankees-Indians); and the 22nd (Giants-Bengals/Yankees-A’s). In September, the simulcast will be suspended on the 8th (Giants-Cowboys/Yankees-Red Sox); 15th (Giants-Bills/Yankees-Blue Jays); 22nd (Giants-Buccaneers/Yankees-Blue Jays); and 29th (Giants-Redskins/Yankees-Rangers).

United Stations Names Janoff Chief Revenue Officer. In that role, Greg Janoff will oversee all of United Stations Radio Networks’ advertising sales efforts. USRN chair/chief executive officer Nick Verbitsky comments, “We are beyond thrilled that we now have Greg Janoff overseeing our revenue streams. Greg is passionate about our medium, knows radio inside and out, and will absolutely be a tremendous asset for our company. The next decade is around the corner and we have landed the right executive to lead our current successes forward into the future.” For the past 24 years, Janoff has held several upper management posts in New York City for Entercom and the former CBS Radio. His titles there have included vice president and general manager for all-news WINS; vice president and director of sales for WINS, co-owned all-news WCBS-AM and sports talk sibling WFAN “The Fan”; and station manager for WINS. As Townsquare Media’s regional vice president, Janoff was in charge of the company’s Michigan and New Jersey markets for three years, following two years as executive vice president of revenue for Merlin Media’s five stations in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Janoff succeeds Jim Higgins, who exited USRN last week.

iHeart Set To Debut Podcasts in Native Languages. By the first quarter of next year, iHeartMedia will translate/distribute a number of its podcasts around the world, marking what it says is “a significant step in internationally available, regionally targeted content for the podcast industry.” According to iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne, “Our goal is to deliver exceptional content to listeners anywhere and everywhere in the way they’d like to hear it. By expanding some of our most popular podcast content into new languages, we see a major opportunity to introduce podcast listening at scale to whole new audiences abroad. What has always set podcasting apart is the engagement of the audiences – the ‘superfans.’ It makes sense to engage international audiences further and to super-serve them with content in their own languages to build their relationship with the content.” In the first round, the iHeartPodcast Network will translate six podcasts series into the most- spoken languages in the world. To be made available in Spanish, Hindi, Portuguese, French, German and other languages will be “Stuff You Should Know,” “Stuff You Missed in History Class, “Stuff Mom Never Taught You,” “Stuff To Blow Your Mind,” “BrainStuff,” and “TeachStuff.” Through these new translations, iHeartPodcasts will be available in the native language of more than a billion people worldwide.

TALKERS News Notes. In a South Carolina cluster that includes news/talk WGTK “94.5 The Answer,” Salem Media Group Greenville-Spartanburg appoints Pat Kelley general manager. Salem Media Group regional vice president Val Carolin comments, “I have known Pat for many, many years and am excited to have a person of such high character and ability leading the terrific team in ‘The Upstate.’ Pat is a strong leader, and a person of great integrity, creativity, and skill. He will drive our operation to greater success and will be a true asset to Salem as a whole.” Kelly, who began his new duties earlier this week, adds, “I am thrilled to be leading the charge in upstate South Carolina as part of Salem Media’s local market leadership team. Great things are ahead.” Kelley spent over 25 years in Chicago and has held management positions for iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media, and Viacom Media …..Affiliates of Fox News Radio’s five-minute news service will be able to download two, one-hour Labor Day weekend specials in three weeks (8/28). Jessica Rosenthal-hosted “Securing America: Cyber Threats,” looks at data theft and manipulation from personal information to elections, while “The Wise Guys: A Fox Nation Special” features Bill Bennett, Gordon Chang, Charles Hurt, Mark Penn, and Solomon Wisenberg in a multi-topic roundtable discussion.  

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Veteran programmer Rob Roberts is named director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group San Antonio classic hits-oldies KONO “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” and hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music.” Cox Media Group San Antonio director of operations Jeff Garrison comments, “Rob is an experienced broadcast professional with a proven track record for achieving great success for high-performing brands. His vision and leadership will be key to the future of KONO and KSMG. We are excited to add his talents to the CMG San Antonio team and welcome him back to the great state of Texas.” Vice president of audience and content Tim Clarke notes, “Rob is one of the industry’s great programmers; I am so thrilled he is now on our San Antonio team. We will benefit greatly from his experience and leadership.” Roberts adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to become part of the Cox Media Group team in a city I love. It’s the job I’ve always wanted – programming two highly-rated legacy stations is a dream come true.” Most recently, Roberts was vice president of programming for Cumulus Media Washington, DC hot AC WRQX, which – on May 31 – flipped to contemporary Christian under new owners Educational Media Foundation. Elsewhere in his 27-year radio career, he has programmed Dallas hot AC KDMX; Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q-99.7”; Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100”; and Denver classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105.” ….. The nine-year tenure of Entercom Washington, DC vice president of programming Steve Davis will come to an end on October 4. That’s when he will leave the cluster where he programs rhythmic CHR WPGC and classic hits-oldies WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” ….. One week from today (Thursday, 8/15), Carrie Neuman will take over afternoon drive duties at Towson University triple A WTMD, Baltimore. WTMD general manager/program director Scott Mullins comments, “Carrie has a lifelong passion for music, and she brings the excitement and enthusiasm of a fan who can’t wait to share new music discoveries with her friends. She is energetic, knowledgeable, fun to listen to and will be a great asset to WTMD.” Neuman notes, “I am more than just thrilled to be coming to Baltimore. I humbly join a legendary, music-centric staff that prides itself on discovering and sharing an unprecedented array of music. I am honored for the opportunity to work at WTMD. It’s the musical heartbeat of the city I so love.” Neuman formerly did mid-days at Annapolis, Maryland’s similarly-formatted WRNR ….. Speaking of Empire Broadcasting System triple A WRNR, Jeff Boden is appointed president/general manager there. Empire president Steve Kingston states, “Jeff has an extensive background in station management and sales. He spent many years working for ABC, Citadel, and then Cumulus Media in positions ranging from sales manager, director of sales, and president/general manager of [Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk] WMAL and [its then hot AC cluster-mate] WRQX. He most recently was president of Delmarva Broadcasting, which owned stations in Wilmington [Delaware] and other markets in the region. Much to our benefit, Delmarva was recently sold to Forever Broadcasting, allowing Jeff to bring his vast knowledge and experience of the business, his winning track record, and winning strategies to WRNR.” ….. Elsewhere in Maryland, college student Hunter Landon joins Adams Radio Group of Delmarva (Salisbury-Ocean City) as news director. Adams Radio vice president and general manager Lisa Layne comments, “Once again, we have struck gold with the addition of Hunter Landon. The news format will be timely, local, and live across all our brands. I am thrilled to add Hunter to the ‘dream team.’” Landon adds, “As a lifelong Delmarva resident, it is a career highlight to be running the newsroom for a first-class radio operation like Adams Radio of Delmarva. I am ecstatic to be delivering the news to the people of Delmarva on radio and digital for the market’s best stations and launching a fresh and revamped news department focused on the local community.” Working on a degree in broadcast journalism, Landon formerly was a reporter for WGMD “News Radio,” Lewes (Delaware). Adams Radio Group of Delmarva is comprised of WGBG “Big 107.7 Delmarva’s Classic Rock”; CHR WOCQ “OC-104 Today’s Hits”; WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies”; WUSX “US-98.5 Everything Country”; and WZBH “93.5 The Beach – Delmarva’s Rock Station.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.

Washington, DC

 Spoken-Word Formats – The wild ride continues for WMAL which chalks up a July +.9 to 5.3 (seventh to sixth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three successive March through June decreases that accounted for an overall 2.4 (6.8 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.4, 6+). Immediately before that streak, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet amassed three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 improvements for a collective +2.5 (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). March’s 6.8 was WMAL’s best 6+-stat in the PPM-era. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the 12th sweep in succession.

Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” repeats June’s 6+ AQH share (3.4) and market rank (#13). In June, the Nationals flagship recaptured nearly half (three-tenths) of the eight-tenths dissipated in May. After nearly doubling (+.4) its 6+ AQH share via four straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .9, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” surrenders two-tenths to .7 and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21, 6+). Roughly halfway through the July 2019 sweep (7/1), Cumulus Media ended its news/talk simulcast of WMAL-AM & WMAL-FM. WMAL-AM became sports talk WSBN “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol,” which checks in with a .1 (#29, 6+).

Following six straight months at #1, Hubbard Broadcasting all-news WTOP segues to the runner-up slot. Moreover, it falters the sixth month in a row and is an overall -2.5 in that January 2019 through July 2019 stretch (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7 – 8.7 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). January 2019’s 10.4 was its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). The March 2019 through July 2019 topline for Entercom business news WDCH is: .4 – .5 – .4 – .5 – .6 (flat at #24, 6+).

Not only does American University-owned news/talk WAMU post a gain of four-tenths to 8.4 (6+) thus curtailing three successive slips that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (8.9 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.0, 6+), “The Mind Is Our Medium” shifts from the runner-up slot to #1. It supplants WTOP (see above). Immediately prior to gaining three-tenths in March, WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – A positive spike of six-tenths to 2.7 (#18 to #17, 6+) by Radio One gospel WPRS “Praise 104.1” all but erases its May/June loss of seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). Steady in fifth-place, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 – Washington’s Variety” logs its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a collective full-share gain (4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). WASH has its best 6+-performance (5.4) since “Holiday” 2018 (10.4). On the final day of May (2019), Cumulus Media’s WRQX pulled the plug on its hot AC format. Under new owner Educational Media Foundation, “Mix 107.3 More Music – More Variety” became contemporary Christian WLVW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” May 2019 marked the final sweep before the format transition and “Mix” added six-tenths (3.5 – 4.1, 6+) to exit as a top ten station (#11 to #8). Its January 2019 through May 2019 topline was 3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 (6+). In its new format, however, WLVW erodes by roughly 78% (-3.2) in June/July (4.1 – 2.2 – .9, 6+), plummeting from #8 (May) to #17 (June) to #19 (July). An overall +1.4 through three gains in succession (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.7 (sixth to tenth, 6+). June’s 4.6 was its best 6+-showing in nearly two years (4.6, as well in August 2017). There is a similar scenario for cluster-mate WMZQ, which was +1.3 through four consecutive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1, 6+). In July, however, “98.7 Today’s Best Country” falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Up a cumulative seven-tenths via four straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WPGC regresses by three-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and leaves the top ten (#10 to #13). There isn’t much movement in the market’s urban AC contest, although a gain of two-tenths to 7.7 (6+) by WMMJ “Majic” is enough to halt three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (8.2 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Immediately prior to the just-concluded skid, “Majic” put together six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Having dropped four-tenths in June (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Howard University’s similarly-programmed WHUR levels off at 6.1 (6+). Down one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), WHUR regained that deficit with a May pickup of two-tenths. Its March loss of one-tenth suspended three successive increases that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). WMMJ is anchored in third-place for the eighth time in a row while WHUR is has been in fourth-place in May, June, and July.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without an increase, WSB-AM was down an overall eight-tenths (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), but the Cox Media Group news/talker bounces back with a +.3 to 6.6 (steady at #2, 6+). Following three straight months at #1, WSB-AM slipped to the runner-up slot in April. Entercom’s WAOK “1380 The Voice of the Community” is down or flat the third time in a row (.4 – .3 – .2 – .2, 6+) but climbs from #29 to #28. Tied at #32 are Salem Media Group-owned WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (.3 – .2 – .1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640,” which has lost three-tenths via eleven straight down or flat trends (.4 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #34 to #32, 6+).

Even though it is an overall -1.2 in five straight negative or neutral sweeps (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” moves from #15 to #14. At the same time, Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is up a cumulative six-tenths in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (1.6 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), as the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #17.

Steady at #12, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is up one-tenth (3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Gaining one-tenth as well is Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (.6, flat at #25, 6+), which suspends three down or flat moves in succession that resulted in a collective loss of three-tenths (.8 – .6 – .5 – .5, #25, 6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – After improving by two-tenths in May and then spiraling -1.1 in June (6.3 – 5.2, 6+), Radio One’s WAMJ “Majic” answers with a July boost of six-tenths to 5.8 (unchanged at #6, 6+). “Majic” was +2.5 via three successive increases (4.4 – 5.4 – 6.3 – 6.9, 6+) but faltered by eight-tenths in April. Even though urban contemporary sibling WHTA is an overall -1.6 through five consecutive negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+) “Hot 107.9” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). One streak continues for Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH but another ends. On the plus side, “104.7 The Fish” is #1 the fourth month in a row; however, it loses three-tenths to (8.5, 6+), snapping at five its consecutive string of upticks that netted an overall +3.9 (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 7.0 – 7.9 – 8.8, 6+). Even though it falters by two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” advances from tenth and ninth and overtakes Cumulus Media-owned format rival, WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits.” The latter returns the four-tenths it gained in June (3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+) and shifts from eighth to tenth. Ironically, June’s +.4 enabled “Q-100” to leapfrog “Power,” which dropped three-tenths in June (4.2 – 3.9, 6+). “Q-100” logged a +.7 in January; relinquished six-tenths in February; and had a February 2019 through May 2019 topline of 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.6. Frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019 before dropping to 3.0 (6+) in February, “Power” gained seven-tenths in March; was down one-tenth in April; and dialed up a +.6 in May. The same two owners are involved in the market’s country tussle. As iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” picks up one-tenth (4.0 – 4.1, 6+) Cumulus Media’s WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” stumbles by that same margin in consecutive sweeps and is actually off six-tenths through three straight dips (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+). “The Bull” and “Kicks” continue at #8 and #16, respectively. When “The Bull” dropped one-tenth in June, it interrupted three straight increases that produced a +.8 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+). “Kicks” faltered by four-tenths in May, after being off three-tenths in March.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a bit of a mixed bag for Entercom’s WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” which is down a combined half-share in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+) and has its weakest 6+-showing since June 2018 (1.7, as well) but climbs from #22 to #21. In five consecutive decreases, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has lost roughly half (-.8) its 6+ AQH-share (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .7, #24 to #25, 6+).

Down seven-tenths in May, Entercom sports talk/Phillies flagship WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” repeats June’s 6+ share (5.9) and market rank (fourth). Rebounding from June’s loss of six-tenths with an increase one-third that magnitude (2.1 – 2.3, +.2, 6+) Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” advances from #20 to #17; June’s 2.1 was its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 1.8.  

This marks the sixth sweep in succession that Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” hasn’t shown an increase for an overall -1.3 (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7, flat at #10, 6+).

For the third time in the last five reports, public news/talk WHYY logs a 2.6 (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, #16 to #14, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Four straight down or flat sweeps by Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL  produced a -1.2 (7.1 – 6.8 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.9, 6+), but “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” erases two-thirds of that deficit with a +.8 to 6.7 (fourth to second, 6+). WOGL was a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.0 – 6.3 – 7.1, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks,” which lost eight-tenths since March via three consecutive negative or neutral moves (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+), posts a half-share uptick to 5.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Stuck on 6.6 (6+) in May and June, Beasley Media Group classic rock WMGK records an increase of four-tenths to 7.0 (6+), enabling it to march from second to first. This (7.0) is its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 7.1. Owing to its July -1.5 (7.0 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is displaced from the top spot and drifts all the way to seventh. The last time “Today’s 101.1” fell below a six-share (6+) was more than four years ago (5.8, May 2015). WBEB was +10.1 (6.5 – 10.4 – 16.6, 6+) just prior to January 2019’s -10.3 (16.3 – 6.3, 6+); it gained one-half share in March. Co-owned sports talk WIP was on top in January; classic hits-oldies sibling WOGL in February; WBEB in March; WMGK set the pace in April; WBEB did so in May and June; and now WMGK is back at #1 in July. Four successive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL yielded eight-tenths (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+), but “Power 99” surrenders one-half share to 4.0 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. After nearly quadrupling (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in nine straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One-owned WPPZ “107.9 – Philly’s Classic R&B” falters by one-tenth to 2.9 (flat at #12, 6+). WPPZ transitioned from gospel in mid-December 2018. Entercom-owned WTDY “Today’s Hits 96.5 TDY” is off the fourth time in a row for a collective full-share loss (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.4 – 2.3, unchanged at #17, 6+).

Talk Radio Pioneer Mike Siegel is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran conservative/libertarian talk radio personality Mike Siegel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Siegel, a former private practicing attorney and school teacher, currently syndicated by Genesis Communications Network (GCN), was one of the early broadcasters to emerge in the late-eighties post-Fairness Doctrine period described by Harrison as “the modern era of talk radio.” During that period, Siegel – who hosted shows on such stations as KING and KVI in Seattle – was, according to Harrison, “the quintessential, local, muckraker aggressively holding local politicians, government and big corporations accountable for their actions.” Harrison and Siegel, whose latest book is titled Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (Page Publishing, 2016), informally chat about the changes talk radio has experienced through the years as it has evolved from the analog era into the digital age, not to mention the transitional state of journalism itself. 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.