Tag: "Detroit Lions"
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, 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, “The Good, The Bad, The Fake and The False,” looks back at this past week of December 14-18, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/medical doctor; Christopher Ruddy, CEO, Newsmax TV; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder Scamicide.com; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio 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 “Freedom 93.7”; 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; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Report: Wynter and Massey Show to Get 90-Day Tryout on WSB. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that the weekend (and fill-in) show “Word on the Street” co-hosted by Shelley Wynter (right) and MalaniKai Massey (left) is getting a 90-day tryout in the nightly 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta that’s opening due to Clark Howard’s ending of his regular radio programs at WSB this month. The “Word on the Street” program launched in mid-2019 as a weekly show that became a Saturday and Sunday program. Wynter and Massey have also been filling in for other WSB shows. WSB program director Drew Anderssen tells the AJC, “As a result of the breakneck pace of news in 2020 the program has been on quite a bit, tackling tough issues while keeping audiences engaged.” “Word on the Street” has a conservative-versus-liberal aspect to it as Wynter is a Trump-supporting conservative versus Massey’s progressive demeanor, but it’s not too in-your-face. Wynter comments that he “wants the show to be a bit like friends hanging out at a bar.”
Detroit Lions Jump to Entercom’s WXYT-FM Starting Next Season. The NFL’s Detroit Lions have signed a multiyear deal with Entercom to make sports talk WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” the flagship station for the team’s radio broadcasts beginning with the 2021 season. Under the current deal, Lions games are based at Cumulus Media’s WJR-AM, Detroit. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “The Lions are synonymous with the city of Detroit and this is a great opportunity to leverage our position as the unrivaled leaders in sports radio and deliver dynamic Lions content, both on game days and throughout the year. This partnership now makes ‘97.1 The Ticket’ the flagship station for all four professional sports teams in the Motor City, giving fans a one-stop destination for all of their favorite local teams.” As part of the deal, Entercom will manage the Lions Radio Network – an extensive radio network with more than 30 stations across Michigan and in northern Ohio. All Lions Radio Network programming, including live game broadcasts, pre- and postgame shows, regular season weekly shows and additional offseason programming will air exclusively on “97.1 The Ticket.”
Steve Sommers Re-Launches Overnight Show as ‘The Steve Sommers Overnight Drive.’ After his “America’s Truckin’ Network” program was cancelled by iHeartMedia’s WLW-Cincinnati early last month, Steve Sommers will re-launch his overnight talk program as “The Steve Sommers Overnight Drive” in a partnership with motor vehicle products company Lubrication Specialties Inc and its subsidiary Hot Shot’s Secret. In January Sommers will debut a new, five-hour live stream talk show (12:00 midnight to 5:00 am ET) direct from the brand-new Hot Shot’s Secret studios in the Cincinnati area. A press release says, “The initial motivation is to get Steve back on air as soon as possible, with long-term plans of massive distribution. More details on when and where to find the new program are coming soon.” Hot Shot’s Secret founder and CEO Chris Gabrelcik says, “Hot Shot’s Secret would not be here today if it was not for the persistence of Steve to give me some airtime on his overnight show many years ago when I was first starting the company. The five hours I spent in his studio that very first visit resulted in an avalanche of orders for our product and we have never looked back ever since. Hot Shot’s Secret is now the fastest growing performance lubricant company in the U.S. and I will never forget those early days when Steve was there for us when we needed it the most.” Sommers says, alluding to this past summer’s corporate dictate not to talk politics on his show, “I am excited to get back on the air. What you heard before from my show will be the same – frank talk. Trucking is a tough business, and so is radio. I actually started working in radio when I was just 15 years old in Cincinnati. Many relocations and radio stations later I had the opportunity to return to Ohio in 1996 to produce the radio show that my father Dale “Truckin’ Bozo” Sommers started back in 1984. I then took over the show in 2004 and have enjoyed every moment with my overnight listeners. This is my life. And right now, I can see that one good turn deserves another as my friend Chris Gabrelcik is doing whatever it takes to make this show a reality.”
KDWN, Las Vegas’ Steve Sanchez Named a ‘Top 30 Influencer.’ KDWN, Las Vegas early evening host Steve Sanchez has been named one of the “Top 30 Influencers” in Las Vegas by Las Vegas Entrepreneurs Magazine. Sanchez, whose show airs from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on KDWN, was #25 on the list. He tells TALKERS magazine that earlier this year, his program was able to donate 1,000 30-day use facemasks to the Las Vegas Children’s Hospital. Sanchez, who spent that last three weeks battling COVID-19 and pneumonia, adds, “This was very much needed by them since we did this in May, right in the middle of this horrible pandemic.” Currently, Sanchez’s program is syndicated nationally by GCN, but he says he’s ending the syndication of his program next month to “concentrate on growing my show with KDWN, focus more on my social media and digital platforms, and entertain the TV offers coming to me.”
COVID-19 Stats, Vaccines, Prevention Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 14-18. The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases, the rollout of vaccines, and policies for prevention combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the economy, stimulus talks, and business & school closings. Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s denial of his election loss and the Joe Biden transition. 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Next month’s “iHeartRadio ALTer EGO Presented by Capital One” is taking place virtually due to the pandemic. iHeartMedia announces that the fourth annual alternative rock show set for January 28 will be hosted by Woody, host of the syndicated “Woody Show” and will feature all-new performances and stories from Billie Eilish and the Foo Fighters. In addition, it will include previous ALTer EGO performances from Beck, The Black Keys, blink-182, Cage The Elephant, Coldplay, The Killers, Mumford & Sons, Muse, twenty one pilots, and Weezer. It will livestream exclusively for free on LiveXLive.com, the LiveXLive mobile and OTT apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV and broadcast live across more than 80 iHeartMedia alternative and rock stations at 9:00 pm ET…..Michael Baisden announces he’s leaving radio at the end of the year and will discontinue syndication of his daily show. He will be replaced by “The Jeff Foxx Show with Keke Brown and Nina” on the Sun Broadcast Group’s network lineup. Baisden says, “Sun Broadcast Group has been an incredible network partner and their team, along with Mike Love, have worked diligently to grow my show for the past two years. Unfortunately, due to the historic issues we faced with COVID-19 and the subsequent economic crisis, it’s been challenging to grow affiliation and revenue for the show. To that end, ‘The Michael Baisden Show’ will not be returning for 2021.”
Nunn Boosted to YEA Networks President. Three-year YEA Networks executive vice president of sales Shawn Nunn is elevated to the newly- created position of president at the independent radio and podcast company. Chief executive officer George Laughlin notes, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Shawn for more than 20 years. He is a trusted advisor and a highly-effective leader, who has been essential to the incredible growth and expansion of the company over the past three years. Under his leadership, YEA Networks will continue to deliver the highest quality products and services to the audio industry.” Nunn adds, “I am more than grateful to George for this opportunity. I have worked with many on the YEA team for much of my career and I am honored to take the lead. George’s vision and passion for this industry is immeasurable and I look forward to continuing this journey with him.” Texas native/Texas State University alum Nunn previously spent five years as Townsquare Media’s vice president of national sales; four years as GAP Broadcasting’s vice president of sales; and has held media industry positions in Dallas, Seattle, and Colorado Springs. YEA Networks’ syndicated programs include: various Kiddnation podcasts, “The Hollywood 5,” “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” and “Tino Cochino Radio.
WCMC-FM Shifts “SportsChannel8: The Radio Show” to Weekdays. Saturday morning’s 10:00 am -12:00 noon “SportsChannel8” will begin airing weekdays in the same slot on Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh sports talk WCMC-FM, starting next Thursday (8/15). As a result, “FM 99.9 The Fan” will have nine consecutive hours of local sports talk programming each weekday. WCMC program/operations director Dennis Glasgow states, “We couldn’t be more excited to add the ‘SportsChannel8’ brand to our weekday lineup. Not only do we add another two hours a day of outstanding local content, we’ll also be offering probably one of the most engaging, entertaining, and hyper-local shows I have ever heard in my six years in ‘The Triangle.’” The show is hosted by longtime North Carolinian Hayes Permar, along with Josh Goodson and Brian Geisinger. Permar remarks, “We are incredibly excited and humbled to be part of the already outstanding lineup that ‘99.9 The Fan’ offers listeners every weekday. Our crew is made up of guys who all grew up and became sports fans in North Carolina; our show has and will continue to reflect that.” Coinciding with the change, ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard will transition from WCMC to co-owned/similarly formatted WCMC-HD2 “Buzz Sports Radio” and add an extra hour (10:00 am – 1:00 pm).
TALKERS News Notes. Exiting Total Traffic & Weather Network, owing to restructuring, are senior vice president of affiliate services Roger Nadel; vice president of affiliate sales for the southeast Christopher Leonard; and head of operations for the southwest John Winder ….. After an 18-year career as an NFL QB (the first seven with the Philadelphia Eagles and the last 11 with the Washington Redskins), Sonny Jurgensen hung up the helmet and spikes in 1974. The soon-to-be (8/23) 85-year-old Hall of Famer is now hanging up the headsets as the longtime Redskins’ radio analyst. He made the announcement before last night’s (Thursday, 8/8) pre-season, pre-game show. Jurgensen commented, “I’ve had so many wonderful memories of teammates I’ve played with and talked about during my years in radio and television. The relationships with coaches and executives over the 50 years have been special. My broadcast partners such as Sam Huff, Frank Herzog, Doc Walker, and George Michael lived through the glory years together – all great memories. My good friend Andy Ockershausen was responsible for bringing together the original broadcast team of ‘Sonny, Sam, and Frank.’ After 62 years in professional football, I still have my health and wonderful family; a special thanks to my beautiful wife, Margo, for letting me work the weekends for all those years. I’ll always be a fan of professional football and appreciative of all that it has done for me, my family, and our city” ….. KTUL-TV, Tulsa marketing consultant Jessica Foster joins Stephens Media Group Tulsa as director of sales. SMG owner David Stephens notes, “Jessica has the well-rounded media experience we need to maximize revenue. Her ties to the local advertising community and reputation for excellence adds to the strength of our cluster.” Senior vice president of radio and digital sales Summer Kirkland comments, “Having worked alongside Jessica for several years, I have witnessed the way she incorporates her vast media knowledge with a passion for people to achieve success.” Prior to KTUL-TV, Foster worked at Interep/D&R; Entercom St. Louis news/talk KMOX; and several stations in Atlanta and Springfield, Missouri. The Stephens Media Group Tulsa cluster includes news/talk KCFO “AM 970 Talk You Can Trust,” sports talk KYAL “97.1 The Sports Animal,” contemporary Christian KXOJ and KXOJ-HD2, alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,” and KTSO “Totally Awesome 80s” ….. Part of next Monday’s (8/12) debut of iHeartMedia Reading, Pennsylvania’s news/talk WRAW “News Radio 1340” will be the return of Rush Limbaugh to the market. Regional senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Allentown and Harrisburg Jeff Hurley comments, “We’re thrilled to bring an all-star lineup of talk radio programs to Reading. We’re confident that WRAW will become a favorite source for compelling news, talk, and entertainment.” The station’s weekday lineup will include: “The RJ Harris Breakfast Show” (5:00 am – 9:00 am); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Limbaugh (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); Sean Hannity (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Buck Sexton (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” (9:00 pm – 10:00 pm) ….. As part of an extended relationship with NRG Media Omaha, all hockey, and men’s and women’s basketball games of the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks will air on sports talk KZOT “1180 AM – The Zone 2.” In the event of a hockey conflict, any and all basketball games will be heard on sports talk KOZN “1620 AM – The Zone” or KOIL “News Talk 1290.” NRG Radio Omaha general manager Mark Shecterle remarks, “We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with UNO. As the sports leader in Omaha, it is important that we associate our stations with great sports programs like UNO. We look forward to broadcasting UNO sports on our stations this upcoming year, and many years to come.” UNO vice chancellor of athletics Trev Alberts notes, “NRG Media has provided our hockey and basketball teams with a reliable radio home for many years; we are pleased to continue this mutually beneficial relationship. NRG Media is a recognized leader in sports broadcasting in Omaha, and its stations allow our fans to follow the Mavericks, both over-the-air and through live streaming.” Gary Sharp will be back for his seventh season calling UNO men’s basketball. He will work with former Maverick Kyler Erickson who will begin his first season as analyst for all home games. Likewise, Donny Baarns enters his first year of lead play-by-play announcer for UNO hockey broadcasts. He will work alongside Terry Leahy who has provided color commentary for all 22 seasons of UNO hockey. Lester St. James will return for his 10th season as the rink-side reporter for all home games. Meanwhile, Jon Schriner replaces Baarns as play-by-play voice of Omaha women’s basketball ….. The Wall Street Journal is among the first to report that Facebook is offering news outlets millions of dollars for the rights to put their content in a news section that the company hopes to launch later this year. The project involves the social network striking deals potentially worth millions of dollars to publishers including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Dow Jones, parent company of The Wall Street Journal, among others. The Journal reported yesterday (Thursday, 8/8) that Facebook representatives had told news executives that they’d pay as much as $3 million a year to license stories, headlines and other material. Publishers could pick between putting the stories directly on Facebook’s tab or putting previews in that go back to the original site. These arrangements would last for three years. Thus far though, it’s unclear if any publishers have signed on yet.
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, will be posted this afternoon (Friday 8/9) on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled, “The Nation Grieves and Argues!” looks back at this past week of August 5-9, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Mike Siegel, syndicated talk show host, GCN; Harry Hurley, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Rick Ungar, syndicated talk show host, “The Rick Ungar Show”/former CEO Marvel Entertainment; and Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist and medical profession podcaster. 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.
Cool Job Opportunity. There are actually three of them to share – all at Fox News. A freelance writer is needed for the Fox News Headlines team. You will write news for the national news network, conceptualize, write, compile enterprise stories, fact check, and build show content newscasts. This is a shift-based role, including overnight and weekend shifts. You will work some holidays and must be available off-hours in the event of major breaking news. Among the responsibilities are writing fast-paced newscasts; generating creative and innovative ideas for writing news segments; and communicating daily story development with producers and editors. A degree in journalism or related field is preferred. Click here to apply. In addition, Fox News Radio D.C./New York is seeking an overnight freelance anchor. The person in this position will work under tight deadlines, must have a passion for breaking news, and be flexible to work on a days’ notice. In order to be considered for this role, a link or MP3 file of a demo reel/air check is needed. Among responsibilities are writing for a one-hour live national newscast; writing five-minute and one-minute newscasts; and handling live breaking news coverage during national newscasts. Requirements include strong writing skills; ability to work under tight deadlines; flexibility to work primarily weekend shifts; and at least five years’ experience as a news anchor. Network or major market experience is preferred. Click here to apply. Needed as well is a freelance producer/news editor to supervise the staff for the network radio news operation. This person will work with news anchors to craft content and structure of a 24/7 news operation. Responsibilities include: formatting, programming, coordinating, and producing a live news program; producing segments and reporter hits; handling staffing issues when managers are not present; and working on developing stories as the day progresses. Candidates must: be highly skilled in writing and copy editing; have familiarity with social media; be able to handle breaking news situations; have strong editorial judgment; and be able to interact with high-profile talent. Click here to apply.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Director of sales for Townsquare Media’s four-station Cedar Rapids (Iowa) cluster, Brian Sines, transfers to Texarkana (Texas/Arkansas) to become market president/chief revenue officer of the company’s five stations there. Townsquare senior vice president Todd Lawley notes, “I have worked with Brian the past five years and watched him build Cedar Rapids into one of the top performing clusters at Townsquare. The Cedar Rapids market hasn’t missed a budget in three years and holds a dominant position with both their broadcast and digital performance. I’m confident that Brian will quickly build upon the high performing team that serves the community, our listeners, and the clients of Texarkana. It is extremely rewarding to again have the ability to promote from within, which is a direct reflection to the level of talent we have at Townsquare.” Sines remarks, “I am excited to join the team in Texarkana. Townsquare is fortunate to have such a long-tenured team in place that truly cares about our clients, our listeners, and super serves the community. I look forward to working with the number one media team in the market and starting a budget-busting streak of our own.” Sines formerly held market manager, GSM, and director of sales positions in Des Moines, Madison (Wisconsin), and Burlington (Iowa) at stations owned by the then-Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). Townsquare Media’s five Texarkana stations are country KKYR “Kicker 102.5”; CHR KPWW “Power 95.9”; classic rock KYGL “Eagle 106.3”; urban AC KMJI “Magic 93.3”; and gospel KOSY “790 AM.” ….. Program director Al Payne has left Cumulus Media Kansas City urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3.” Prior to his KC tenure, Payne programmed in Dallas (KRNB); Washington, DC (WKYS); Detroit (WMGC, WGPR, WDMK); Baltimore (WERQ, WWIN); and Greensboro (WQMG) ….. WLXX “92.9 Nash FM,” Lexington (Kentucky) promotes on-air talent Deidre Ransdell to program director of the Cumulus Media country outlet. Cumulus Lexington general manager Scott Frazier opines, “Having Deidre Ransdell as WLXX program director is like naming [Houston Astros RHP] Justin Verlander as your starter in game one of the World Series. She brings talent, experience, drive, and the will-to-win to the station. I’m very much looking forward to working with her.” Operations manager Anthony “Twitch” Longo comments, “It’s a great day when we get to promote someone as talented and hardworking as Deidre. She is a force to be reckoned with; to say I am excited to have her at the helm of “92.9 Nash FM” is an understatement.” After a 15-year career in education, Ransdell has been a Lexington on-air talent the past 18 years. She joined WLXX’s morning show in 2001 and has been heard in various other day-parts on the station. Last year, Ransdell added overnights at Nashville’s co-owned/similarly formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” and is heard on various other country stations on Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Radio Network …. As voted by the Academy of Country Music membership, the ACM announces its officers for the 2019 – 2020 term. They are: Ed Warm (chair); Lori Badgett (president); Chuck Aly (vice president); Carmen Romano (treasurer); Gayle Holcomb (sergeant-at-arms); Paul Moore (parliamentarian); and Tommy Moore (secretary). Outgoing chair Duane Clark comments, “The Academy’s history is one of continually building upon its successes and supporting the artists we love, and the music they create that shapes our culture. I am grateful for – and proud of – the hard work and dedication of the Academy’s board, our partners, and our passionate staff. With Ed [Warm] stepping in as chair, I am confident we are in the best hands to guide our organization to new heights.” Warm remarks, “I have greatly enjoyed my involvement with the Academy and am looking forward to carrying the torch from Duane. I’m proud to work with the many talented industry people who volunteer their time for our artists, industry, and fans.” ….. Adult contemporary WLDR “101.9 – Northern Michigan’s Music Leader,” Traverse City joins Blarney Stone Broadcasting rock sibling WQON “Q-100,” Grayling (Michigan) as an affiliate on the Detroit Lions radio network. Blarney Stone Broadcasting president/chief executive officer Sheryl Coyne notes, “We know how important Detroit Lions football is to their passionate fan base in Northern Michigan; we’re proud to be able to deliver all the games in such professional broadcasts.”
Rasberry Receives MIW “Airblazer Award.” Longtime co-host of YEA Networks’ syndicated “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” Kellie Rasberry, was honored with the 2019 MIW “Airblazer Award” during the 31st annual Talentmasters Morning Show Bootcamp (MSBC). Radio Advertising Board president/chief executive officer Erica Farber made the presentation. Now in its fifth year, the MIW “Airblazer Award” stems from an alliance formed between the MIW Group and MSBC and honors a deserving on-air radio personality. In addition to her work as co-host of “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” Rasberry co-hosts (with her husband, Allen Evans) the weekly podcast, “A Sandwich and Some Lovin.’” She is on the board of directors of Kidd’s Kids, a non-profit organization that takes children with life-altering conditions to all-expenses paid trips to Disney World with their family. After more than two decades in radio, Rasberry has won several “Favorite Female Radio Personality of the Year” awards. She was a co-host on Fox Television’s “Dish Nation,” “Love Letters with Matthew & Kellie,” and webcast of the “Blockbuster Entertainment Awards.” During “Women of Radio Week,” she co-hosted “Live! With Regis.” Pictured (left to right) are Farber, Rasberry, and 2018 MIW “Airblazer Award” honoree Mercedes Martinez of Entercom Las Vegas hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.”
July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Boston, Miami, and Seattle. 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.
Spoken-Word Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO, which nets +1.5 via seven successive positive or neutral trends (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.6, 6+). Moreover, July’s impressive +.9 propels “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” all the way into the top ten (#12 to #8), with 3.6 (6+) surpassing November 2014’s 3.3. Up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (.4 – .5 – .6, June and July, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” repeats at #26.
The combined sports talk share of this sports crazy market’s two high-powered FMs deflates by -2.4 (June 2019 – July 2019, 6+) with Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM absorbing 75% of that hit (5.6 – 3.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). Nine recent shifts for “98.5 The Sports Hub” include: +.9 (October 2018); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); +.8 (May); -1.4 (June); and July’s whopping -1.8. “The Sports Hub” is the lead station of the Stanley Cup runner-up Bruins; Super Bowl champion New England Patriots; and the Celtics. The month-to-month drop-off for Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM is one-third that of “The Sports Hub” (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, 6+); the flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox flagship slips from eighth to tenth. Sample shifts for WEEI-FM include: -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); +.6 (April); and -.6 (July).
WBZ-AM is truly locked on 5.0 (6+), as that is what “News Radio 1030” logs for the fifth successive month. The iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid progresses from sixth to fifth; it was +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+).
By regaining the one-tenth it lost in June (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Boston University news/talk WBUR returns to the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+), while WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH repeats June’s 6+ AQH share (2.2) and market rank (#16).
Boston Music Formats – Not only does Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR replicate June’s increase of six-tenths (7.6 – 8.2 – 8.8, 6+), “105.7 – 80s & More” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. When WROR dropped two-tenths in May, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (January, 7.3, and February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March and April, 7.8 – both times, 6+); WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+); WROR (June, 8.2 and July, 8.8, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” improves by six-tenths (2.1 – 2.7, #17 to #13, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” regresses by seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, seventh to sixth, 6+). A June loss of three-tenths by “The Bull” ended six successive sweeps without a loss that netted six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+). This is the highest 6+-share for “The Bull” since August 2017 (2.7, as well). “Country 102.5, meanwhile was a cumulative +1.3 in four straight “Holiday 2018 through April 2019 bumps (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). In four consecutive positive spikes, Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV gained a collective nine-tenths (1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), but “92.5 The River – Boston’s Independent Radio” forfeits six-tenths to 2.1 (#12 to #17, 6+). Up a combined-eight-tenths in May/June (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” forfeits one-half share to 6.4 (6+) but continues in third-place. June’s 6.9 was its highest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. Albeit a collective -1.2 in six straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” improves from #19 to #18. In the market’s CHR arena, iHeartMedia’s aforementioned WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” is a combined -.7 in June/July (7.6 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+) but repeats in the runner-up slot. A one-half share increase in May took “Kiss 108” to 7.6, its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is down or flat the sixth straight time for a net loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, #17 to #16, 6+).
English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” has lost just two-tenths and carries on at #18 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+).
Seven successive sweeps without a loss yielded three-tenths for Entercom’s WAXY (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+), but “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is off one-tenth in July to .8 (#25 to #26, 6+). Co-owned WQAM – which recently rebranded from “Sports Radio 560” to “560 The Joe” – has a January 2019 through July 2019 topline of .6 – .5 – .7 – .5 – .6 – .5 – 6 (#29 to #30, 6+).
While it remains at #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN falters by four-tenths to 1.9 (6+), thus snapping four straight up or flat reports that produced a net gain of two-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).
Miami Music Formats – Without an increase the last three ratings periods and down three-tenths in that March through June stretch (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” ends the slide with a +.6 to 3.2 (6+) and jumps from #16 to #12. This is its best 6+-showing since December 2018 (3.2, as well). In four straight drops, Spanish contemporary sibling WZTU was a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Tu 94.9” pulls the plug in July though by picking up three tenths to 3.7 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). June’s 3.4 was its weakest 6+-stat since October 2017 (3.4, as well). Flat at #15, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7,” which had faltered by seven-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), gains one-tenth to 2.8 (6+). Miami’s pacesetter the seventh consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” follows June’s increase of eight-tenths with a July loss of three-tenths (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.3, 6+). Eight-tenths has been a common fluctuation recently for “Easy” as it was down eight-tenths in February; up by that magnitude in March; and up again by eight-tenths in June. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Following three up or flat trends in succession that netted nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WFLC returns roughly half that increase with a one-half share decline to 3.3 (6+). As a result, “Hits 97.3” exits the top ten (#9 to #11); June’s 3.8 was its highest 6+-share since December 2017’s 4.0. “Hits 97.3” responded to March’s one-tenth loss with an April increase of six-tenths. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” recaptures half of June’s loss of four-tenths (2.6 – 2.8, +.2, 6+) and advances from #16 to #15. When “Y-100” added one-tenth in March, it curtailed five straight reports without an increase for a collective setback of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). WHYI posted a half-share increase in May. Even though Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF picks up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), thus suspending four straight sweeps without an increase that led to an overall -1.2 (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+), “101.5 Lite FM” slips to #4. It had been in third-place the past four months. Anchored at #7, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” is a collective -1.1 through six straight negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ is -1.1 in five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+) as “El Zol 106.7” falls from eighth to ninth.
Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the three-tenths it dropped in June (4.9 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM remains in fifth-place. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” is up a cumulative one-half share in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2, 1.4 – 1.7, flat at #22, 6+). This comes directly after losing roughly 43% (-.9) of its 6+-stat due to three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). In five successive negative or neutral reports, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” has lost more than half (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share since February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .7, #24 to #26, 6+).
Bonneville sports talk/Mariners’ flagship KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” is a collective -1.3 in three straight drops (4.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0, #13 to #14, 6+). With its 6+ stat sliced by more than 60% (-.9) via four consecutive slips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .6 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falls from #27 to #28.
For the third time in the last four sweeps, Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO logs a 2.8 (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+).
This calendar year, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW has ranked #1 (January, February, and March); #2 (April); #1 (May); #3 (June); and now #2 (5.6 – 5.5, -.1, July 2019, 6+).
Seattle Music Formats – June’s first-place tie is broken with an exclamation point. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” dials up a July uptick of nine-tenths and has the top spot all to itself. At the same time, Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders eight-tenths (6.1 – 5.3, 6+) and segues from that first-place tie to #3. Thus, the two stations that were locked together in June are now separated by nearly two full-shares. There’s much more to the story though as KZOK is an impressive +3.3 owing to eight straight bumps (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 7.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of this positive run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). A collective -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), KQMV applied the brakes in June with a gain of one-tenth. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. Tacking on six-tenths to July’s boost of eight-tenths (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” jumps from sixth to fourth. Moreover, Seattle’s version of “Jack” reaches the five-share threshold (5.1, 6+) for the first time in nearly ten years (5.0, October 2009). Not only has Hubbard Broadcasting’s KNUC more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in eight successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “New Country 98.9 The Bull” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Furthermore, it leapfrogs Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country,” which erases May’s +.9 with June/July’s combined -.9 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #12). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Bustos Media regional Mexican KDDS “99.3 La Gran D” pops on with a .7 (6+) and checks in at #26. Not only does a loss of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+) by Entercom’s KISW curtail three consecutive positive spikes that produced a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5 4.8, 6+), “Rock 99.9” fades from the top ten (#4 to #11). This is the third month in a row that Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” (4.5 – 4.4, -.1, flat at #6, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” (4.4 – 4.3, -.1, ninth to eighth, 6+) are separated by one-tenth. Prior to eroding by -1.1 in April, “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Warm 106.9” recorded a 4.8 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Without an increase the seventh time in a row for a collective -2.3 (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” is now in a four-way tie at #15.
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.
Beck Ordered to Identify Two Confidential Sources. In a ruling Tuesday (8/9), U.S. district court judge Patti Saris determined Glenn Beck must divulge the names of two sources cited for comments responsible for the Premiere Networks host to be sued for defamation and slander by a student falsely accused in early reports of involvement in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The suit against Beck was filed by Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who Beck claims was the “money man” behind those bombings. He called Alharbi a terrorist – although then-secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said publicly that Alharbi had been questioned about the bombings and he was cleared. Judge Saris categorized testimony about the sources’ information by Beck, producer Joe Weasel, and former The Blaze executive Joel Cheatwood “vague and often contradictory.” She further noted that documents supplied to the court did not validate the story Beck’s people say they were told. On his radio show yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10), Beck emphasized protecting the identities of sources is a longtime First Amendment tradition. The sources, he maintains, are at risk of being killed by “our government or our politicians or political institutions.” Beck, however, was victorious on the issue of applying Massachusetts law – not Texas law – to the case. For that reason, punitive damages will not be awarded. Saris dismissed a claim about another Beck comment that the judge determined applied to the bombers – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
WPRT Slots “Jared & The GM” in PM Drive. The weekday 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm pairing by Cromwell Group Nashville sports outlet WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” of Jared Stillman and former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese (“Jared & The GM”) starts next Monday (8/15). Stillman – who will be transitioning from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon – comments, “We have taken great strides to give the city of Nashville the best sports product and have had a lot of fun doing it. We have an unbelievable team and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Floyd Reese, who is an amazing [football] general manager and a great host – but most importantly – an even better person.” Reese – who moves over from being a “Sports Night” co-host – remarks, “I am really looking forward to our show. Jared was born and raised in Nashville and has been following Nashville sports his whole life. He is extremely passionate about sports and talk radio. As a sidelight, it’ll be a tremendous look at two generations: the baby-boomers, the finest generation ever produced, as well as millennials, who produced Pokémon Go.” Reese is obviously a baby-boomer, while Stillman is a millennial. In Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM sweep, “The Game” ranks #21 (1.0, 6+), while cross-town format competitor – Cumulus Media‘s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” – is #12 (3.7, 6+); Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” is on top with an 8.2 (6+).
Kellogg Transfers to Cumulus Fort Walton Beach as OM. Inbound from Columbia, Missouri where he was operations manager for Cumulus Media Columbia-Jefferson City the past 12 years, Chris Kellogg relocates to Fort Walton Beach for similar duties at the company’s five-station Florida cluster. Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete De Simone states, “The addition of Chris to our team will afford us the additional focus we need to continue to grow our ratings and revenue. We are excited to have the collective firepower of this dynamic programming team at work for our brands, listeners, and advertisers.” Kellogg comments, “Pete has created a terrific atmosphere to foster radio excellence. I appreciate his confidence in me and I am excited to collaborate with the programming team.” The Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach cluster consists of talk WFTW; WKSM “99 Rock”; adult contemporary WNCV “Coast 93.3”; country WYZB “Nash FM”; and CHR WZNS “Z-96.” In addition to his OM duties, Kellogg will program WNCV and WFTW, as well as co-host mornings (with Lisa Captain) on WNCV. He succeeds Hayden Green, who continues programming “Z-96” as he has done the past 16 years and is the station’s afternoon drive talent; Green has been with the cluster the past 23 years.
Neuhoff Names Shamus VP/Programming & Content. Seven-year Neuhoff Communications Lafayette, Indiana operations manager Mike Shamus (“Shamus”) is appointed to the newly created position of corporate vice president of programming & content. Neuhoff Communications chief executive officer Beth Neuhoff comments, “‘Shamus’ is a tremendous talent – a proven manager and leader with a great vision for growing and improving the Neuhoff product lineup. We are confident he will take ‘Media Made Locally’ to a whole new level.” Chief operating officer Mike Hulvey remarks, “We knew we had a rare opportunity to capitalize on Shamus’ vision for connecting with our audiences in meaningful and engaging ways. With our recent expansion, ‘Shamus’ is the guy to motivate and inspire our content and programming teams to create the best local media.” According to “Shamus,” The Neuhoff stations “are truly connected to the communities we serve. Knowing I can enhance that local audience relationship will truly solidify our position as the most important source of information and entertainment in the region.” Neuhoff owns 23 properties in five markets: Bloomington, Danville, Decatur, and Springfield (all Illinois) and Lafayette (Indiana). In addition to his operations manager duties, “Shamus” does morning drive (“Shamus & Annie”) on Neuhoff Lafayette’s WKOA “Lafayette’s Country Leader K-105.”
Odds & Sods. Former Greater Media-owned WMGC, Detroit sports talk host Sean Baligian will co-host Detroit Lions’ pre-game and post-game shows this football season on cross-town Cumulus Media talker WJR. Baligian will be teamed with WJR sports director Steve Courtney. The two see their first action together tonight (Thursday, 8/11) in the initial pre-season game as the Lions play the Pittsburgh Steelers ….. Theater columnist of The New York Post Michael Reidel joins Salem New York talker WNYM “970 The Answer” to host a Saturday 9:00 am – 10:00 am lifestyle show, “On The Town with Michael Riedel.” Vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley comments, “We are thrilled to have Michael on our team. We have a strong desire to support Broadway as the center point of the New York economy and Michael epitomizes both New York City and Broadway. He is going to add a unique quality to our station that is distinctly New York.” ….. McAllen talker KURV shifts Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” to 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. “She communicates the perfect mix of personality, entertainment, and uncompromising values for a new generation of talk listeners,” notes program director Sergio Sanchez.
Bob & Sheri Note Milestone Anniversary. Syndicated from Greater Media-owned flagship WLNK “107.9 The Link,” Charlotte – “Bob & Sheri” traveled to Hudson, New York to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first affiliate, iHeartMedia hot AC WCTW “98.5 The Cat.” Left to right in front of the WCTW prize wheel are Sheri Lynch, WCTW’s Tina Chambers, “The Cat” operations manager Bill Williams, and Bob Lacey. “Bob & Sheri” now have more than 50 affiliates. Their show airs weekdays 5:00 am – 10:00 am on “The Cat.”
Matchmaker Titus Signs With KMG Networks. Plans are in place through KMG Networks’ Krantz Media Group to roll out a radio show next year featuring matchmaker, relationship/dating expert, and author Matt Titus. KMG Networks founder and chief executive officer Gary Krantz says, “The minute I saw Matt in action, we knew immediately that he is the guy to step up and take the job that has been open in radio for years – that of the ultimate national relationship expert for today’s high tech, mobile listeners, appealing to both men and women. We are excited to launch Matt on radio, streaming, and podcasting through our new talent division and watch him soar.” At first, Titus will be available as a guest to stations on a market-exclusive basis through KMG. Among the stations on which he has already appeared are the morning shows of iHeartMedia Detroit CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5; co-owned classic rock WBGG “Big 105.9,” Miami; and Lotus Communications-owned KLPX “Tucson’s Real Classic Rock.” Titus’ television credits include Lifetime‘s 2009 reality show “Matched in Manhattan” and NBC-TV’s “The Match Off.” In addition, he has written “Why Hasn’t He Called?” and “Why Hasn’t He Proposed?” Earlier this year, KMG Talent, in association with Sungate Partners, launched “Always in Fashion” with Mark Weber.
Burns Fumes Over Nielsen’s Pending Policies. In a letter he sent yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10) to the FCC, the Nielsen Company, and the Federal Trade Commission, 3 Daughters Media chief executive officer Gary Burns addressed several issues including his opposition to the way radio stations are counted in specific markets and total line reporting. Nielsen has told subscribers total line reporting will be available only to qualified subscribers “in good standing.” Burns – who owns and operates eight stations in Virginia – writes, “I have strongly disagreed with the Commission’s policy of outsourcing its responsibility for defining radio markets to two commercial enterprises, Nielsen Ratings and BIA/Kelsey. Under a new Nielsen policy, only clients of Nielsen will be able to dictate how many stations an entity can actually own. Subscribers already dictate what counties are home to the metro. If this proposed new Nielsen rule stands, it seems that the Commission will be required to find a new method of determining how many stations are home to a metro. I respectfully request that the Commission weigh in on this policy and [ask] that Nielsen delay implementation of their new policy in order to insure that station counts are accurate, consistent, and to avoid unintended consequences of this new policy.”
Paris Attacks Aftermath and Brussels Tensions Top Weekend News/Talk Stories. The aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris, the question of how to deal with Syrian refugees and specific threats to Brussels, Belgium were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend. The Paris aftermath and the Syrian refugee question ended last week as the top stories, landing atop the weekly Talkers TenTM chart, and they continued to be top points of discussion for news/talk outlets that featured live and local programs or carried live national shows over the weekend.
Cumulus Expands Bill Hess’ Role in DC to Operations Manager. Programming pro Bill Hess – currently serving as program director for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington and Cumulus Media corporate PD/talk – is adding operations manager duties for the Washington. DC cluster. Hess’ 38-year radio career has provided him with experience across numerous radio formats. In addition to his news/talk and sports radio programming experience, he’s also programmed ACs WSNE, Providence; WHYN-FM, Springfield, MA; and WASH, Washington and classic rock WBIG, Washington. Cumulus SVP, content and programming Mike McVay says, “Bill is an exceptional programmer. The growth that WMAL has experienced under his direction is nothing short of astounding. He has excelled as a corporate PD and will continue in that role. Bill is deserving of this recognition.” Hess says of his new duties, “On the heels of our team’s success at WMAL, I’m thrilled to be working with Louie Diaz on the rebirth of Washington’s legendary ‘Mix 107.3.’ Thanks to Gary Pizzati, Mike McVay, Jake McCann and Beth Cohen for this opportunity.”
Bill Spadea Replaces Jim Gearhart on New Jersey 101.5 AM Drive Show. Back in September, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning drive personality Jim Gearhart suffered a severe concussion at his home while on vacation. Recovery from the injury has been difficult, putting Gearhart on an extended leave of absence. Now, Townsquare Media announces that Gearhart will not be able to return to his duties with the station and that Bill Spadea is assuming the role of host of the morning show. Gearhart had been with the station for the past 25 years and is a member of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. Spadea has been Gearhart’s chief fill-in since 2014 and voices the station’s daily feature “Bill Spadea’s New Jersey.” Spadea says, “I’ve always looked up to Jim Gearhart as a legend in New Jersey media. His shoes are too large for me to ever fill completely, but I am honored and humbled and will try my best to live up to his legacy of unequaled radio and service to the people of New Jersey.”
Detroit Lions Deny Trying to Silence WXYT-FM’s Mike Valenti. Usually when a radio station ceases to be a pro sports team’s flagship, it’s because of money – either the rights got too expensive or the station was outbid. But CBS RADIO Detroit market manager Debbie Kenyon says in a statement that Lions management wanted to pressure the station into firing talk host Mike Valenti for his staunch criticism of the team’s performance. Kenyon issued the following statement, “CBS RADIO and the Detroit Lions are parting ways. ‘97.1 The Ticket’ has served as the flagship station for the Lions for more than a decade. CBS RADIO says it has been negotiating with the Lions a long time. It is sad to say goodbye, but in the end it came down to the integrity of CBS — the refusal to be censored in talking about the team and making honest assessments on the air about this team.” Crain’s Detroit Business reports the team says that isn’t true. It quotes Elizabeth Parkinson, Lions’ SVP of marketing and partnerships, saying the mandate to fire Valenti in order to get a renewal with the club is “categorically a lie” and that Cumulus simply offered a better deal. But in the Crain’s piece, Valenti’s manager, Mort Meisner, said the team made Valenti’s firing part of the conditions for renewing with the team and that team officials were regularly calling Kenyon to complain about Valenti’s criticism of the team’s performance and its management. Read it here.
Odds & Sods. Conservative talk pro Steve Malzberg – seen nightly on Newsmax TV – is sitting in for Salem Radio Network’s Bill Bennett on his morning drive show, “Bill Bennett’s Morning In America” this Friday (11/27)…..The NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers will remain with iHeartMedia in the Steel City as the team and the company come to terms to keep games airing on rock WDVE and sports talk WBGG-AM/W292DH-FM. The renewed deal extends through the 2018 season and contains elements of promotional support for the Steelers via iHeartMedia’s six Pittsburgh stations.
Legendary WCCO, Minneapolis Personality Charlie Boone Dies at 88. As one half of the morning radio team “Boone and Erickson,” Charlie Boone was a fixture on Twin Cities radio for some 40 years, literally owning the daypart during the halcyon days of AM radio from the 1960s through the 1990s. He died on Sunday (11/22) at the age of 88. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports he and Roger Erickson worked together for 37 years before Erickson’s retirement in 1998. Boone continued to host a solo Saturday morning show from that point until 2010. Boone arrived at WCCO from his previous gig in Fargo in 1959. He and fellow air staffer Erickson hit it off personally and management put them together on the radio in 1961.
Bill Payne Dies at 76. Oklahoma broadcaster Bill Payne passed away in Tulsa on Friday 11/20 at the age of 76. Payne was the founder of the Oklahoma Academy of Radio. Payne was a pioneer in the field of FM broadcasting putting KWHP-FM, Edmond, Oklahoma on the air in 1962. His Payne Radio Group operates 13 stations across eastern Oklahoma. The company continues to be led by Payne’s son Will Payne.
Changes Coming to the Herman Cain Show in January. TALKERS sources hear there are some changes coming to the WSB-AM, Atlanta-based Herman Cain show with the New Year. Cain will remain with Cox Media Group’s WSB hosting the late morning show but Westwood One will no longer serve as affiliate sales and ad sales rep for the national syndication of the show. TALKERS hears WYM Media will serve as affiliate sales rep and there will be a new ad sales rep, but that deal has not been inked yet.
Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit to Serve as Lions Flagship in 2016. Detroit Lions play-by-play has been heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WXYT-FM for the past 12 seasons, but starting next year, the games will be heard on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR. The Detroit Free Press is reporting the story and says many of the details are not known at this time. Dan Miller and Jim Brandstatter are expected to remain in the booth going into next season.
New Talk Outlet to Debut in Bloomington-Normal and Champaign, Illinois Markets. The classic hits format will disappear from Smash Hit Media’s WWHP, Farmer City, Illinois on Monday and a news/talk outlet will spring up in its place. Former WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.7” morning drive personality Ian Bayne will serve as morning host on the new “Newstalk 98.3.” WWHP’s primary signal covers the area directly between the centers of the Bloomington-Normal and Champaign markets.
Art Bell and KABC, Los Angeles Collaborate for Thanksgiving Special. Los Angeles news/talker KABC and paranormal talk legend Art Bell are presenting “An Art Bell Out-Of-This-World Thanksgiving Special” on Thursday, November 26 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. This 12-hour special features programs hand-picked by Bell, who says, “We are thrilled to be back on the great 790 KABC, where we had great success. My loyal fans will love that I’m personally hand picking the best 12 hours of out-of-this-world radio.” Bell’s nightly program, “Midnight in the Desert with Art Bell” (syndicated by his own Dark Matter Radio), is airing on AM/FM outlets in addition to its internet home base.
Odds & Sods. The Grammy Award-winning band Train will perform at the official opening of CBS RADIO’s new New York performance space on Tuesday (11/24). The company announces the opening of the Adorama Live Theatre in Hudson Square in Manhattan, saying it will “serve as a showcase for artists, newsmakers, top athletes and other special guests.” It will play host to events from its six New York market radio stations, including sports WFAN and all-newsers WCBS-AM and WINS. The company says that in the coming weeks the theatre will present performances by Southside Johnny and Shaggy, as well as live interviews with Chris Martin from Coldplay and Charles Osgood, host of “CBS Sunday Morning” and the syndicated radio feature “The Osgood Files.” Today’s announcement marks the launch of CBS RADIO’s 11th performance space, joining outlets in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, among others…..Cumulus Media’s “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” in Nashville is presenting its annual “From Hunger to Hope Radiothon” on Monday, November 23 to benefit the Nashville Rescue Mission. The station will share stories and invite listeners to make donations to the Nashville Rescue Mission. WTN says that through the years its listeners have raised more than $750,000 for cause.
TALKERS Magazine Presents the 2015 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. Yesterday(11/19), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the fourth annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from #1 to #100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors. The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 15 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming. With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio. The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective. Being true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due. Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness. The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication. See the complete 2015 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here!
New Fantasy Sports Platform Provides Radio with Turnkey Method of Tapping into Booming DFS Industry. Tampa, Florida-based FantasyNXS is providing a custom-designed way for radio stations, networks, and personalities to generate revenue from the booming fantasy sports industry. FantasyNXS is the first online mall for daily fantasy sports (“DFS”). According to company president and CEO, David B. Hirsch, “Our platform enables radio stations, networks and personalities to get into the DFS business at no cost and provides them with a new and engaging way to monetize their audience.” Hirsch adds, “When a broadcast entity joins FantasyNXS as a partner, we create a customized hub or ‘storefront’ for them that features their branding, content and contests. It also has its own, easy-to-remember URL on our site, which facilitates off-line promotion and advertising.” What distinguishes FantasyNXS from the current big dogs in the fantasy sports business – DraftKings and FanDuel? Hirsch tells TALKERS that FantasyNXS provides a different business model, more game formats and free-to-enter promotional contests. He states, “Our business model is completely different. Think of us as the first online shopping mall for daily fantasy sports. Our platform enables third parties to get into the DFS business for themselves. We build a customized hub or storefront for our partners on our website. We then create contests for them designed to appeal to their target audience. These contests appear in their hub and in the general game lobby for all FantasyNXS members to play. Our partners promote their contests by driving prospects to their hub. We administer the contests and take care of all compliance and back-office operations. We then split the net proceeds we earn from each contest with our partners.” Hirsch explains, “We also offer more game formats than anyone in the business, including Salary Cap, No Cap and Top-X. We also offer all three of these formats in our proprietary ‘Beat the Pro’ setting, which is ideally suited for radio celebrities. In ‘Beat the Pro,’ all of the contest’s entrants compete head-to-head, but collectively against the celebrity show host. Everyone who beats the celebrity splits a portion of the prize pool. ‘Beat the Pro’ offers a fantastic way for radio personalities to personally engage their audiences.” How do participating broadcasters make money? According to Hirsch, “FantasyNXS works off of a revenue split. Our partners earn a portion of the net proceeds we earn from the contests they promote. Also, our partners are credited as the referring affiliate for all FantasyNXS members who sign-up through their hub. This means recurring revenue every time one of these members enters any cash-entry contest in FantasyNXS. Our turn-key system can put a station into the DFS business with no cost.” Hirsch advises, “We can put radio entities into the DFS business, but they will have to actively promote their contests and drive prospects to their hub. The more they promote, the more money they’ll make.” Broadcasters licensed to states that forbid DFS or have network listeners banned from playing due to their local state laws can become involved in another, non-monetary version of the FantasyNXS platform that specializes in “social gaming.” Has the recent negative news about some states’ stances on fantasy sports impacted the millions of people who regularly play fantasy sports? “Of course,” states Hirsch. “In particular, the recent cease and desist letter presented to FanDuel and DraftKings by the New York State Attorney General has left a lot of fantasy sports fans on the sideline. In the coming months, you’re going to see more of this type of activity as our society comes to grips with the daily fantasy sports phenomenon. We ultimately believe that DFS will continue to thrive, but in a regulated environment.” Broadcasters interested in learning more about FantasyNXS can email Brad Fain at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here for more information.
Syrian Refugee Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of November 16-20. The political debate over U.S. policy toward Syrian refugees was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week. At #2 was the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris. Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS and following at #4 was the investigation of the bombing of the Russian airliner over the Sinai Desert. 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. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Jesse Ventura Joins Michael Harrison for New Episode of ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ In this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (11/17), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined by former Minnesota governor and prolific talk media personality Jesse Ventura for a conversation described by Harrison as, “One of the up-closest and farthest-out episodes of this show ever.” Ventura currently hosts a weekly program on Ora TV titled, “Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura,” (www.ora.tv) in which he serves up an unfiltered dose of his opinions and commentaries on the issues of the day delivered in his trademark tell-it-like-it-is “wrestling rant” style. Ora TV is the trailblazing video platform launched several years ago by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim with Larry King as an internet platform upon which the legendary King could continue his post-CNN hosting career. Harrison – an admitted professional wrestling fan – and Ventura talk about the old days of the entertainment-sport when the future movie star and governor was making his mark as a colorful “bad guy” in the ring and then as the first “heel” color commentator (prior to Ventura, all ring commentators were biased toward the fan favorites – known as “faces.”) Ventura broke new ground as an announcer who openly rooted for the bad guys – know in the profession as “heels.” The conversation moves on to some heavy, controversial and provocative subject matter. Ventura discusses how his high-profile, anti-defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the late Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame (in which the court ruled in his favor) has led to him to presently being blackballed by the mainstream media. Ventura talks about his critical views on U.S. foreign policy, the George W. Bush Administration, hypocrisy, and several conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 and the war on terror. He talks about his show, “Off the Grid,” and how the title is reflective of his current lifestyle in which he lives part of the year in Mexico, untethered to paved roads, government provided utilities and, to a large extent, the internet. He discusses his turning to atheism and pacifism…and leaves a tantalizing hint that he just might become involved in the forthcoming race for the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party – which has shown interest in him as a possible candidate. To hear the conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.