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Round Four of November PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s November 2019 survey period covered October 10 – November 6. Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: In Raleigh, Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talk WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” adds another two-tenths to its recent full-share increase to land at a 3.1 share and the #14 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ flagship news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” rises six-tenths to a 6.4 share good for the #5 rank; and Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds six-tenths to its recent 6+ uptick for a 4.8 share and the #11 rank in the market. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.
Dave Ramsey Launches ‘Borrowed Future’ Podcast Examining the Student Loan Crisis. This new podcast series from Ramsey Solutions is hosted by George Kamel in which bestselling author of Debt Free Degree – Anthony O’Neal – joins him to “explore the lies we believe about college, the soaring cost of tuition, and the predatory nature of the student loan industry. Listeners will learn how to pay for college without going into debt and find out if college is even the right choice for them.” Guests on season one of the eight-part “Borrowed Future” podcast include: Mark Cuban, Mike Rowe, Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Meg Meeker, Seth Frotman, and Ramsey Network personalities Ken Coleman, Rachel Cruze, and Chris Hogan. Apple Podcasts Review says, “This is the first honest approach to the student loan crisis that you will hear. Not just a commentary or criticism, but real-world solutions to the #1 personal finance challenge in America.”
Key Networks Launches ‘O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.’ A new, morning drive program featuring Bill O’Reilly is being offered in national syndication by Key Networks. “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition” is a two-minute feature and companion to Key Networks’ 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” currently airing on more than 180 stations. The three-minute program – two minutes of content with two embedded 30-second network spots – officially debuts in January. Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green says, “‘The O’Reilly Update’ has been a great success in a short amount of time. We have heard from stations that asked for an opportunity to have O’Reilly’s content available for morning drive and Key Networks delivers with ‘The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.’ The best way to start your day is analysis from the best commentator in the business. I can’t think of a better way to start 2020 than to bring this expansion of ‘The O’Reilly Update’ to the market.”
Crossover Media to Lead Sales Efforts for Bleav Podcast Network. Cross-platform ad sales firm Crossover Media Group Sales is leading the advertising sales for Bleav Podcast Network’s 150-plus podcasts. The Bleav Podcast Network focuses on sports team content, “uniquely providing team fanbases with former players as hosts in football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.” In addition to team shows, Bleav creates local and national podcasts with topic experts in multiple categories such as golf, tennis, fitness, gymnastics, family, action sports, racing, film, esports, law, music, self-help, and more. Bleav says that based on the highly exclusive local and national content experience, its advertisers see a very high awareness, retention, and response rates based on the show host’s live read endorsements. Crossover Media managing partner Sue Freund says, “We’re excited to be working with Bleav. This is an ideal partnership as both Crossover Media and Bleav are rapidly growing companies within the podcast market. Bleav is introducing new podcasts daily to the marketplace and we’re looking forward to giving advertisers the opportunity to partner with their network of fantastic hosts and content.”
Logan Upped to OM at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Programming pro Bruce Logan is promoted to operations manager for Hubbard Radio’s West Palm Beach station group. Logan has been serving as program director for country WIRK-FM and adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9.” In this new role, he’ll add oversight for news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM “FOX Sports 640,” hot AC WRMF, and urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3.” Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach SVP/market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “We have an exceptional cluster of stations in West Palm Beach and I’m pleased to have an exceptional leader in the OM role. Bruce has made an immediate impact on our cluster in the short time he has been with us. I look forward to putting his talent to work on all of our brands.”
KBME, Houston’s Greg Koch to Leave Station to Focus on Health. Former NFL offensive lineman and midday sports talk host Greg Koch told his listeners on Monday (12/2) that he’s leaving his role with KBME at the end of this week to focus on his health. Koch – who co-hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with fellow former NFL player N.D. Kalu – was diagnosed a year ago with Parkinson’s disease, but says he realizes he’s been feeling the effects of the disease for more than 10 years. The iHeartMedia sports talk station has issued no statement about its plans for the program after this week. Read the Houston Chronicle account here.
Townsquare Ups Sieks to Regional VP. Sales and management pro Christine Sieks rises to regional vice president for Townsquare Media’s Northeast Region. For the past two-plus years, she’s been VP for Townsquare New Hampshire. In her new role, she will continue to directly oversee sales in New Hampshire as well. Prior to joining Townsquare, Sieks served in senior management with iHeartMedia New Hampshire. Townsquare SVP Rob Williams says, “Christine Sieks made an immediate impact on our performance and culture when she joined Townsquare in 2016, distinguishing herself among our best local market leaders and strategic thinkers. I’m thrilled to work more closely with her to help our teams continue to learn, grow, and perform.”
BFoA Commences Year-End Giving Appeal. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is launching its annual year-end appeal today (12/3) in conjunction with the national charitable giving event, Giving Tuesday. The BFoA’s drive asks for tax-deductible personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative. The Broadcasters Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity, and the only organization dedicated exclusively to providing aid to broadcasters and their families whose lives have been upended by tragic illness, accident, or catastrophe. The Broadcasters Foundation will award more than $1.3 Million in aid this year. Monthly grants have increased over 75% since 2015, and more than 500 emergency grants have been awarded since 2017. Over the past 19 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed over $11 million to broadcasters in need. Donations can be made by visiting www.broadcastersfoundation.org/donate. BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “These funds make a huge difference in the lives of broadcasters and their families. Our grant recipients are hard-working broadcasters who have experienced unthinkable tragedy and desperately need and deserve our support.”
Impeachment Proceedings/Republican Report, NATO Summit, 2020 Presidential Race, China Bans U.S. Military from Hong Kong, U.S.-France Tariffs, Jeffrey Epstein Case, and ‘AGT’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2). The impeachment proceedings against President Trump and the Republican-authored report attempting to refute the Democrats’ case against the president; the controversial start to the NATO summit as President Trump calls comments by France’s Emmanuel Macron about the U.S.’ reliability “very insulting”; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; China enacts a ban on U.S. military ship stopovers in Hong Kong because of the U.S.’ pro-democracy act; Trump ramps up tariffs on French goods; the Jeffrey Epstein case returns to the news cycle after BBC interview with Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre; and the controversy over the exit of judges from “America’s Got Talent” due to allegations of a hostile workplace were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Derrick Brown is promoted to vice president of urban programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago region. He’d been serving the company as director of urban programming and program director for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103.” He’ll continue to program “V103.” iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of programming James Howard says, “Derrick’s exemplary record of success with our urban brands puts this promotion into the no-brainer bucket of decisions. We are beyond fortunate to have him at the helm of the Chicago region’s phenomenal urban brands.” In this role, Brown will be responsible for overseeing all urban programming and digital operations for “V103,” hip hop WGCI and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”…..Programmer Eric White is adding PD duties for alternative WRMR, Wilmington, North Carolina to his current role as program director at Sunrise Broadcasting’s co-owned hot AC WILT. White, who takes over for Laura Lee, says, “I’m grateful to Valerie Brooks, Sunrise, and Capitol Broadcasting management for this opportunity. I look forward to digging in and taking on the already solid modern rock brand and growing it to new heights in 2020.”