Tag: "GCN"

Monday, February 1, 2021

| February 1, 2021

Mark Chernoff to Retire from WFAN, New York. An internal memo from Entercom New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero reveals that longtime WFAN program director Mark Chernoff will retire from his position with the station this year. Oliviero’s memo states: “After nearly 30 years of unmatched success, our colleague and industry programming icon, Mark Chernoff, will step down from day-to-day oversight of WFAN and CBS SPORTS RADIO later in 2021 after a worthy successor has been identified – which trust me will be no easy task. Since no one knows the job better, Mark will be a member of the search committee for the next sports content lead for both brands and, until that time, will remain fully responsible for all operations. Also, Mark will continue on as an advisor to WFAN after the search and transition is complete. I was lucky enough to first meet Mark in 1998 in his windowless sub-sub-basement office out at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens. I was a college grad groveling for part-time board op shifts at WFAN. That began a relationship that has evolved into one of the most rewarding, important and genuine friendships of my entire life. One that I have and always will cherish. When people think of WFAN, names like Imus, ‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ or Boomer often come to mind, but no name has been more responsible for the consistent excellence of ‘The  Fan’ than ‘Chernoff.’”

Monday Memo: Cancel Culture Canceled! “Cooperstown controversy! Social media malpractice! First Amendment flap! COVID contagion! Giddy over GameStop!” Anxious alliteration aside, this week’s column from Holland Cooke forewarns fake news fabricators. Read it here.

COVID-19/Vaccine Rollout, Trump Impeachment, GOP Election Deniers/‘Country First’ Drive, GameStop Trading/Financial Markets Activity, Putin Protests, and Myanmar Military Coup Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll and the complications affecting the rollout of the vaccines; the impeachment case against Donald Trump; Republican members of congress still implying that Donald Trump won the 2020 election, led by Georgia’s MarjorieTaylor Greene, and the “Country First” drive to “save the GOP” being launched by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger; the GameStop trading saga and the global financial markets activity; the protests in Russia over Vladimir Putin’s detention of critic Alexei Navalny; and the military detains Myanmar’s leaders were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: All Impressions Are Not Created Equal. Radio sellers are hawking impressions to potential buyers. But, as sales and management pro Steve Lapa says in today’s column, all impressions are not created equal. Just as your body uses the same amount of calories from an apple and a processed snack differently, the various “products” your station offers have different impression values. Read more here.

Holiday 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from the first round of Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2020 PPM survey that covered the period of December 3 – January 6. The annual Holiday PPM survey is usually not kind to the all-news and news/talk formats due in part to holiday music listening and the changes in listeners’ daily lifestyles because of the holiday season. However, this year was a little different because of the historical aftermath of the November elections. In New York, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR dipped only slightly from a 2.8 share in the December survey to a 2.4 share in the Holiday survey. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI adds one-tenth to finish with a 4.7 share and the #3 rank in the market. While Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM was flat at a 6.8 share and the #3 rank, Nexstar Media Group’s news/talk WGN-AM was up nine-tenths for a 3.7 share finish at the #7 rank. Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta remained the #1 ranked station while dipping seven-tenths to a 9.0 share. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle also stayed in the #1 position while flat with a 7.2 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Remembering the King. Pictured above are TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) and media consultant and host of RT America’s “The Big Picture,” Holland Cooke, as they discuss the talk media career of Larry King, who died at age 87 last weekend. During Harrison’s appearance, they also talked about Rush Limbaugh and the nature of today’s media. See it here.

‘ESPN Charlotte’ Expands Local Afternoon Drive Show. “The Afternoon Rush” program on 2G Media’s sports talk WZGV-AM/W248CO, Charlotte expands as program director and co-host Bobby Rosinski (left) moves morning personality Molly Cotten (center) to the afternoon show alongside himself and co-host Mark Yarbro (right). Cotten had been co-hosting the morning program with Walker Mehl. The station begins airing ESPN Radio’s “Keyshawn, JWill, and Zubin” in morning drive with Mehl continuing to host the morning edition of “SportsCenter CLT” as well as an evening edition of the program airing at 6:00 pm.

Colin Cowherd and iHeartMedia to Launch New Podcast Network. A collaborative effort between Colin Cowherd and iHeartMedia is producing another podcast network, this one called “The Volume.” The two partners have already created “The Herd Podcast Network.” Colin Cowherd says, “There has never been a more exciting time to develop new sports content. Podcasts have totally changed the game, and the expanded use of sports gambling makes this the perfect moment to launch this endeavor. I’m thrilled to work with iHeartRadio and this dynamic group of talent to start building ‘The Volume.’” FanDuel has signed on as a primary sponsor. Five new podcasts will appear on the network that debuts today (2/1): A new “Colin Cowherd Podcast”; an NBA-themed show called “The Jenkins & Jonez Podcast” starring LaJethro Jenkins and Dragonfly Jonez; “Moneyline Monaco” hosted by comedian and sports gambling fanatic Alex Monaco; “Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette” focusing on combat sports; and “Catchin’ Fades With Aqib Talib,” an NFL show hosted by Aqib Talib.

TALKERS News Notes. PhillyVoice.com reports that longtime Philadelphia sports talk personality Marc Farzetta is starting his own streaming sports talk show via YouTube called, “The Farzy Show with Marc Farzetta.” Farzetta was let go by Beasley Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” in early December. Prior to his two years with WPEN, he served with Entercom’s crosstown WIP for 13 years. The new program streams from 6:00 am to 7:00 am daily. Former Philadelphia Eagles star Hugh Douglas (a former co-host of Farzetta’s) will be a recurring guest on the program…..Nationally syndicated talk host Thom Hartmann publishes his latest book this week. The Hidden History of American Oligarchy — Reclaiming our Democracy from The Ruling Class (2021, Berrett-Koehler Publishers). The publisher says that in this book Hartmann “lays out the ways in which inequality in America has shifted over the last 50 years and identifies a handful of sensical, powerful solutions that address these issues at different levels, such as getting money out of politics, addressing social despair and economic inequality, strengthening democratic institutions of governance, and fighting fear.”…..Radio One’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte helped raise $255,000 for three charities in the Charlotte area. In partnership with Moments of Hope Church, WBT was able to donate $85,000 each to The Charlotte Rescue Mission, Kings Kitchen, and Camino Community Center. The awarding of the funds took place on “The Pat McCrory Show with Bo Thompson,” along with Moments of Hope Church pastor David Chadwick (who hosts a Sunday morning show on WBT) present. The live broadcast resulted in an additional $5,000 being donated, which was matched by Moments of Hope and rounded up so that the final total was $270,000, with each charity receiving $90,000…..GCN nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured at left getting her first COVID-19 shot from Pfizer. She says, “It was painless going in, but the next day or two I had some muscle aches, fatigue, and nausea. Thirty hours later, however, I felt great. I know the vaccine scares a lot of people and new variants keep popping up, but I feel we need to protect and plan for the here and now, with expectations that booster shots will be required for the newer strains. The vaccination is not without its risks but COVID illness is much riskier.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

| January 26, 2021

Programming Consultant Greg Moceri Working with ‘Our American Stories.’ News and talk radio programming consultant Greg Moceri joins American Private Radio – producer of the extremely successful “Our American Stories” program – as strategy and content consultant. The “Our American Stories” nightly program is currently heard on more than 300 stations, including new affiliate KEIB-AM, Los Angeles “The Patriot AM 1150.” American Private Radio CEO and show host Lee Habeeb says, “We’re thrilled to have Greg as a part of the team. We’ve long admired his well-earned standing in the business, his ability to help stations and talent be better versions of themselves, and his all-around excellence and cheerfulness, too. He is already making a real difference.” Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media, LLC, comments, “I have always been about content. ‘Our American Stories’ exemplifies this. Uplifting, wonderful stories about our nation’s most connecting and emotionally gravitating people in our amazing past and present. Just uplifting daily reminders, from people you may know, and people you don’t. A perfect antidote to division, politics, and the anger of day. Honored to be part of this brand and product.”

It’s Official: Kim Gordon Joins WLS-AM, Chicago as News Anchor. Yesterday (1/25), TALKERS reported a tip from Chicago media writer Robert Feder that Windy City news pro Kim Gordon had exited Nexstar Media’s WGN-AM and would sign with Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM. Today, Cumulus announces Gordon’s joining the station as afternoon drive news anchor. WLS-AM program director Stephanie Tichenor states, “Finding the facts and reporting the news has never been an easy job. Doing it in this environment hasn’t made it any easier. You need experience and grit to craft a meaningful, accurate newscast and Kim Gordon has both of those qualities in spades. I’m delighted to have Kim join our 890 WLS-AM news team as the PM drive anchor. Her attention to facts and detail will enhance our news product and yes, she can probably teach John Howell a thing or two about golf.” Gordon comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the WLS news team and to be working with John Howell in the afternoons. It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of John Dempsey. I’ve long admired his integrity and passion for news. I hope to continue that legacy at WLS.”

WECK-AM, Buffalo Owner Puts Republican Assemblyman’s Show on Hiatus; Denies Station Was Threatened by Antifa. The weekly, hourlong program on WECK-AM, Buffalo hosted by Republican New York State Assemblyman David DiPietro was put on hiatus by owner Buddy Shula but not because he received any threats from “leftists” to “burn the station down.” Shula tells the Buffalo News that it was a miscommunication between him and DiPietro over his rationale for the show’s hiatus. After DiPietro posted comments on Facebook suggesting that “leftists” threatened the station and forced Shula to cancel his show, Shula said, “I wanted to make sure I make it perfectly clear that Dave DiPietro did zero wrong in terms of me putting his show on hiatus. It was me being spooked by the Capitol events. That’s it. Nothing more.” Shula indicates he was speaking hypothetically about the station being attacked in the aftermath of the Capitol assault and believes DiPietro misunderstood him to mean that threats were actual. He adds he’d like to bring DiPietro back to the air with a Democrat on the other side of the table for balance.

New Affiliates Join Doug Stephan’s DJV Show. The nationally syndicated “DJV Show” – starring Doug Stephan and featuring Jen Horn and Victoria Keelan – adds new affiliate stations: WPMO, Pascagoula, Mississippi; KFOW, Waseca, Minnesota; KOMY, Santa Cruz-Monterey; KHOB, Hobbs, New Mexico; WTGB, Brownsville, Texas; WDOC, Pikeville, Kentucky; KBST, Big Spring, Texas; and KMAX, Colfax, Washington. Doug Stephan states, “I’d like to thank all of these new affiliates of the show. Our goal is to make our listeners lives better. We want them to be informed without having to sift through the vitriol.” McVay Media Consulting president Mike McVay adds, “What I like most about the ‘DJV Show’ is that it’s a talk show that is truly balanced in their opinions. It’s informative and fun. They’re a great first place to find what’s trending every day.”

Entercom Launches BetQL Audio Network; Unveils ‘The Bet’ Stations in Denver and LA. On the heels of Entercom’s acquisition of sports data and iGaming affiliate platform QL Gaming Group, the company is launching the BetQL Audio Network. The network is headlined by two daily shows – “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos and Ken Barkley and “BetQL Daily” with Joe Ostrowski and Ross Tucker.  Additionally, Entercom is debuting two radio stations to carry gambling-oriented programming. KEZW-AM, Denver is now “The Bet 1430AM” and KCBS-HD3 is now “The Bet 93.1 HD3.” Entercom president of sports Mike Dee comments, “With our acquisition of QL Gaming Group in November, we committed to leveraging our national scale to amplify the rapidly growing sports gambling landscape and deliver smart, data-supported sports-betting content to our listeners. By combining the BetQL brand and our deep collection of expert talent, this new network complements our industry-leading local sports broadcast portfolio and will further enhance our position as a leader for sports betting programming.” The new network is being promoted across Entercom’s 39 all-sports stations including WFAN-AM/FM, New York; WIP-FM, Philadelphia; and WSCR, Chicago “The Score.”

Newsmax TV and FreedomWorks Partner for ‘Save the Nation’ Program. A new, Sunday morning program titled, “Save the Nation,” is debuting on Newsmax TV via a partnership with FreedomWorks. The hour-long program – co-hosted by FreedomWorks president Adam Brandon and economist Stephen Moore – will premiere on February 7 at 11:00 am ET will provide “Americans with critical information they need on the economy, government policies, and the latest news.” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “We look forward to bringing our rapidly-growing audience exclusive content from respected economist Stephen Moore, Adam Brandon, and the team at FreedomWorks. It is one of the nation’s most effective and respected grassroots organizations in touch with the issues Americans care about.”

New York Festivals 2021 Radio Awards Open for Entries. Entries for the New York Festivals 2021 Radio Awards are now being accepted. NYF Radio Awards says that each year it carefully evaluates and updates the category roster to provide the most current categories to reflect the innovative content produced today. Vice president and executive director Rose Anderson says, “In a year marked by disruption of every kind, New York Festivals is implementing additional categories for social justice across all genres. These categories spotlight storytellers who are using all of their creativity to engage with their listeners on this critical topic.” New categories for 2021 include: Best Social Justice Report, Social Justice Reporting, Social Justice Documentary, Best Regularly Scheduled Social Justice Program, Best Social Justice Special, Social Justice Promo, Best Digital Social Justice Program, Social Justice Podcast, and Social Justice Student Content. See all of the 2021 Radio Awards Categories here. The New York Festivals is partnering with the NAB Show for the 11th year and again NYF will honor the winners in Las Vegas in October. Anderson adds, “Combined with our TV & Film Winners, it will be a celebration of innovative storytellers across all platforms.” For more information and to enter visit here.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Ray Appleton returned to the air on Cumulus Media‘s KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno on Monday (1/25) after a two-week suspension for a comment about news coverage of the January 6 Capitol attack in which he stated some news editors should be “hanged – maybe.” He said his words were tongue-in-cheek but station management meted out the suspension nonetheless…..New York news/talk outlet WABC is adding a new weekend program to its schedule. Fashion designer Joseph Abboud is joining the lineup of the Red Apple Media station beginning Saturday, February 6 at 5:00 pm as the host of “Threads,” a one-hour lifestyle program that looks at our world through the lens of fashion and design. WABC says, “From super models and fashion shows to the new world order of post pandemic fashion, Abboud will explore the evolution of one of the most creative and fascinating industries on the face of the earth, and how it weaves through our culture and our lives.”…..KQED, San Francisco “Forum” host Michael Krasny is retiring after his final broadcast on February 12. Krasny’s broadcasting career began in the late 1970s. He joined KQED in 1993 as host of “Forum.” To help commemorate his career on February 12, Krasny will be joined in his final broadcast by NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving who will co-host…..Two new affiliate stations – KCPS, Burlington, Iowa and KLMB, Roundup/Billings, Montana – add the “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” feature to their programming…..The GCN-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” program picks up new affiliates as KCPX-AM/K290CS, Spanish Valley, Utah and WHIR-AM, Danville, Kentucky add the show to their lineups.

COVID-19 & Vaccines Rollout, Senate Power Sharing/Battle Over Filibuster, Trump Impeachment, Social Media & Censorship, Dominion Sues Giuliani, and Biden Reverses Trans Troops Ban Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/25). The number of COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variant strains, and the vaccine rollout problems; Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer agree to a Senate power-sharing deal and Democrats don’t have the votes to eliminate the filibuster; the impeachment case against Donald Trump; MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is permanently banned from Twitter; election process firm Dominion sues Rudy Giuliani for defamation and seeks $1.3 billion; and Joe Biden reverses Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the military were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

| January 7, 2021

Radio News Organizations Spring into Action to Cover Capitol Riot. Numerous news organizations were already on hand in Washington, DC on Wednesday to cover the certification of the 2020 election results and they quickly shifted gears as hundreds of Donald Trump supporters turned from protesting to rioting as they stormed the U.S. Capitol, overwhelming the unprepared Capitol police. Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says that Salem Radio Network News and TOWNHALL News produced two extended, 15-minute special reports titled “Chaos At The Capitol” to provide their O&O stations and all affiliates the latest breaking news from Congress, even as the lockdown continued following security breaches earlier in the day. Tradup says White House correspondent Greg Clugston anchored the reports with updates from U.S. Senate correspondent Bob Agnew and U.S. House correspondent Bernie Bennett. Though both Agnew and Bennett were inside the Capitol when the breach happened, they were removed from their usual broadcast desks but were able to file their reports and update listeners using their cell phones. ABC News Radio offered breaking news coverage to affiliates as the invasion of the Capitol was taking place but also produced the special program “Chaos at the Capitol” that aired in the 7:00 pm ET hour anchored by Aaron Katersky with assistance from correspondents.

Townquare Media Completes $550 Million Senior Secured Note Offering. On Wednesday (1/6), Townsquare Media filed a report with the Securities Exchange Commission announcing that is has completed the sale of $550 million aggregate principal amount of its 6.875% senior secured notes due 2026 that it announced in December. Townsquare says that it used a portion of the net proceeds from the New Notes Offering to repay debt accrued under its term loan facility provided under the Existing Credit Agreement. The company also intends to use a portion of the net proceeds from the New Notes Offering, together with cash on hand, to redeem all of the Company’s outstanding 6.500% senior notes due 2023 on January 14, 2021, and to pay the premium, fees and related expenses. The New Notes bear interest at a rate of 6.875% and mature on February 1, 2026. Interest is payable on the New Notes semi-annually in cash in arrears on February 1 and August 1 of each year, commencing on August 1, 2021. Townsquare used a portion of the net proceeds from the New Notes Offering to repay borrowings under its term loan facility provided under the Company’s existing credit agreement, dated April 1, 2015. It also terminated its revolving credit facility under the Existing Credit Agreement and all other obligations thereunder were repaid effective January 6, 2021.

Save Time and Money in Public Affairs Programming. One of the requirements the FCC makes of radio stations is that they address “local issues and local problems” in order to serve the public. How stations do that is required to be part of their quarterly reports filed with the Commission. Shel Lustig, president of MediaTracks Communications, says that syndicated public affairs programming not only saves money but also saves time by including the quarterly reports the FCC requires. His company has been producing and syndicating award-winning public affairs radio programs for more than 30 years, with more than 1,200 affiliate radio stations across the country. He has more to say about the use of syndicated public affairs programs and you can read it here.

Radio’s Bob Lawrence Announces Retirement. Radio pro Bob Lawrence announces he is retiring from Revenue Development Resources after a 54-year career in the broadcasting industry. During that time, he’s been an air-talent, program director, and general manager. He served with the Radio Advertising Bureau for 14 years and spent the past six years with Revenue Development Resources. RDR president Mark Levy says, “I have had the great privilege of working with Bob Lawrence for 13 years, first at the RAB and then with RDR. During that time, he amazed me with his energy and the respect so many people in the industry had and continue to have for him. But even more than that, he never stopped learning, and he never was anything but nice to people. I know that last part is often brushed over, but it is truly something that made Bob stand out from so many others in this business. He’s been a cheerleader, a sounding board and a sage for so many people…the industry is certainly going to miss him!”

TALKERS News Notes. WGN-AM, Chicago is debuting “Blackhawks Live” on Monday (1/11). The hour-long program will air at 7:00 pm hosted by Chris Boden and Nick Gismondi. WGN sports director Dave Eanet says, “This is going to be a must-listen for Blackhawks fans. WGN listeners already know Chris and his knowledge of the Blackhawks, and we’re thrilled to welcome Nick and his Hawks expertise. Together they’ll deliver an insider perspective on everything from the players to the games.”…..Entercom announces that its campaign to raise funds for those without enough to eat raised more than $1.1 million – including a record-breaking one-day toll of $358,250 – as a part of the 35th annual Hungerthon campaign. Entercom’s New York stations – including sports talk WFAN and all-news WINS and WCBS-AM – partnered with WhyHunger for the campaign. Entercom New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “This year has presented all of us with unprecedented adversity and forced us to reflect on what’s important. Like we’ve proven time and time again, our ability to support one another in times of struggle is one of our greatest attributes as New Yorkers, and we are proud of our colleagues and listeners for coming together for our neighbors in need. As we’ve done since its launch, we are once again honored to support WhyHunger’s annual Hungerthon and the selfless mission to end hunger.”…..SiriusXM announced today it has signed a new agreement to become the exclusive audio broadcaster of the Masters Tournament. For the 2021 Tournament, scheduled for April 5-11, SiriusXM will produce and present live play-by-play broadcasts all four days of Tournament play from Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia…..WNYC Studios’ podcast “Death, Sex & Money” announces the launch of “Getting Real About Getting Older,” a special episode and live radio program “to create space to talk about aging – because we don’t talk about it enough in our society, and when we do, we don’t often do it well.” WNYC Studios says, “The project was inspired by a listener’s feedback that DSM host Anna Sale (who is 40) didn’t seem to understand aging. It was a comment that came in last year, at a time during which the value of people of a certain age was being challenged and questioned at every turn – from callousness surrounding seniors dying from COVID, to questions about Joe Biden’s competency for the job of president based on his age.”…..Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN News hires Paige Pfleger as the newsroom’s first arts, culture & music reporter. WPLN news director Emily Siner says, “Having this beat in our newsroom will allow us to give Nashville and Middle Tennessee’s arts and music community the coverage it deserves. Paige has the reporting and storytelling chops to show how the arts are a lens to understand broader civic and cultural issues.”…..GCN-syndicated talk radio host Dr. Daliah Wachs picks up new affiliate stations KBFI, Bonners Ferry and KSPT, Sand Point – both in Idaho – plus iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC as they add her show to their program schedules.

Trump Supporters Storm Capitol, Congress Certifies Biden Victory, Democrats Win Georgia Runoffs/Dems to Control Senate, and COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/6). Supporters of Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol disrupting the certification of Joe Biden’s victory; Congress reconvenes in the evening to certify Biden’s election victory; Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeat their Republican opponents in Georgia’s runoff elections, giving Democrats slim control of the U.S. Senate; and the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, December 18, 2020

| December 18, 2020

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 BeckThe Black Keysblink-182Cage The ElephantColdplayThe KillersMumford & SonsMusetwenty 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.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

| September 2, 2020

Round Two of August PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these 12 markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM dips a half share to finish with a 7.9 share and falls to #2 behind Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM which added eight-tenths for an 8.6 share and the #1 rank. Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” climbs eight-tenths to a 4.9 share good for the #7 rank in the market while iHeartMedia’s crosstown all-new WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” loses one-tenth, finishing the August survey with a 6.6 share but rises to the #3 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM remains unchanged at a 7.1 share and continues its now six-survey run at #1. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway from this report (and the first round!) here.

Cumulus Stations Sign Up with ABC Audio for News Service. With the shuttering of the Westwood One News service that took effect on August 30, Cumulus Media news/talk, sports talk and some music outlets were in need of a news affiliation. The company announces that 29 of its news/talk stations – including heritage signals such as WLS-AM, Chicago and KGO-AM, San Francisco — are now using ABC Audio’s news. At the same time, 12 of Cumulus’ sports and music stations are signing on to air ABC’s hourly newscasts. ABC Audio executive director of business strategies, programming and distribution Heidi Oringer says, “We’re excited to welcome these big stations back to the ABC Audio family after six years away. Through this partnership, our unmatched reporting including crisis coverage, breaking news, and special programming, will reach new listeners and help ABC Audio continue to be the best in the business.” ABC Audio VP and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku adds, “We’re in one of the biggest news cycles in history, with no end in sight. Our teams have worked nonstop to not only keep up with but also exceed listeners’ demand for trusted information. We’re thrilled that more stations are noticing our robust offerings and signing on to be part of our affiliate family.”

Pat McAfee Show to Air on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports. After exiting the CBS Sports Radio platform last month, former Indianapolis Colts punter and sports media personality Pat McAfee will be heard on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET, beginning September 9. McAfee says, “I’m very thankful and honored for the chance to be on Mad Dog Sports Radio. SiriusXM is such an incredibly massive platform and the freedom it allows is perfect for our style of show. To say we’re grateful to Scott Greenstein, Steve Cohen, Andrew Moss and all of the other awesome folks at SiriusXM for this opportunity would be an understatement. Let’s do the damn thing. We hope you’ll join us daily.”

Trump Visits Kenosha/Protests/BLM Movement, Presidential Race, Pelosi Salon Flap, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, Melania Trump Book, and New Stimulus Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/1). President Trump’s visit to Kenosha in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake, the protests in Kenosha, Portland, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the November presidential election; the controversy over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured maskless in a closed San Francisco salon; the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools and the flareups on some college campuses; former Melania Trump aid Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book about the First Lady; and a new stimulus deal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Report: Radio Listening Returning to March Levels. This week’s Westwood One blog includes data from Nielsen Audio from the August PPM survey and the May-June-July diary markets survey that indicates radio listening is returning to its March 2020 levels. The Nielsen data cited notes that “benchmarking against the March PPM survey, August average quarter-hour audiences increased again, now generating 90% of the prior audiences. In terms of weekly reach, AM/FM radio in the PPM markets has recaptured 96% of March cume listening. In diary markets, AM/FM radio has retained 97% of prior weekly cume.” Further, Nielsen says, “In medium and smaller diary markets, AM/FM radio is ‘pandemic proof’: AQH listening in the just-released May-June-July survey is virtually identical to the January-February-March period as AM/FM radio retains 100% of prior listening.” In a sign that more people are back in their cars in the morning, Nielsen notes “in the just-released August PPM data, most of the AQH growth occurred Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM and on weekends.”

iHeartMedia Reveals Results of ‘Trustworthiness’ Study. Based on information from data & analytics firm Engagement Labs, iHeartMedia says that one of the key findings is that “listeners’ trust in radio and its on-air personalities continues to grow as social media has become far less trustworthy over the past year.” The survey of radio listeners found radio to be 79% more or just as trustworthy versus a year ago while social media is 50% less trustworthy during the same time period. In particular, sentiment for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has plummeted in recent months, with Facebook down 56%, Instagram down 38%, and Twitter down 140%. The survey of radio listeners age 18-69 ranked media trustworthiness as follows: 75% trust radio, 66% trust television, 57% trust websites, 38% trust Twitter, and 37% trust Facebook. iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman comments, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever for Americans to get information they trust and to find ways to connect with people – and these findings show that radio continues to deliver a much needed and sought out trusted companionship during this historic and uncertain time.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and iHeartMedia are partnering on a 20-episode podcast series in which the former South Bend, Indiana mayor will discuss “the issues and choices that will define America’s next chapter.” “The Deciding Decade with Pete Buttigieg” debuts on September 9. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Pete created a groundswell of excitement during his presidential campaign run, and he is one of the most admirable and energetic young leaders of our time. We’re excited to bring Pete’s sharp intellect and remarkable eloquence to The iHeartPodcast Network.”…..A new podcast partnership between iHeartMedia and The Recount results in three new weekly shows: “Hell and High Water with John Heilemann,” “Just Something About Her with Jennifer Palmieri,” and “Battleground with David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt.” The Recount executive editor John Heilemann says, “The 2020 election is, without question, the most important election of our lifetime and this exciting trio of podcasts from hosts who’ve operated at the highest level of politics will help listeners cut through the bullshit and understand the big picture of what’s happening ahead of Election Day and beyond. Our content is resonating on our platform and across social media and we are excited to bring it to podcasting with iHeartMedia.”…..Pictured below is GCN nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs giving blood during National Blood Donation Week. Dr. Wachs tells TALKERS magazine, “We’re off to a great start to National Blood Donation Week. Multiple governors declared Blood Donation Months, all falling on September 4 (National Blood Donation Day). Not only does this week help raise much needed blood for our blood banks and medical centers that has been drastically lowered during the COVID pandemic, but it unites both Democratic and Republican governors in a common cause. Blood isn’t a political issue, it’s a human life issue and National Blood Donation week proves Americans can come together for a common cause.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Angelique Alston is promoted to brand manager for Entercom’s hip hop WPGC-FM, Washington. Since 2013, Alston has served WPGC as assistant program director, morning show producer and events producer. Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith says, “Angelique has done a tremendous job elevating our team and I am excited to see her expand her career as brand manager. Her unique way of providing entertainment for our listeners, educating the community with viable content and her engagement with the sales management team tells me she will thrive in this new role. Her ability to multi-task, implore creative thinking, work hard and commit to excellence has led to great success and we are delighted to have her lead WPGC 95.5 FM.”…..Rochester country WBEE announces that air personality Chris Konya is joining “The All New Bee Morning Coffee Club” program alongside Terry Clifford and TJ Sharp. This is a return to Entercom Rochester for Konya. Entercom Rochester SVP and market manager Sue Munn says, “Chris was a fan favorite during his time producing ‘The Breakfast Buzz’ and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to our airwaves alongside Terry and TJ. His humor and wit make him a perfect fit as a co-host for our new weekday morning program and together the trio will create a dynamic show for our community.”…..Premiere Networks’ syndicated Delilah adds three new affiliate stations. Picking up Delilah for evenings are: iHeartMedia’s KBFP-FM, Bakersfield “Sunny 105.3,” Cumulus Media’s WBZE-FM, Tallahassee “Star 98.9,” and McKenzie River Broadcasting’s KMGE-FM, Eugene, Oregon “Mix 94.5.”…..An application has been filed with the FCC for transfer of country KZTL-FM, Paxton and rock KRNP-FM, Sutherland in Nebraska from Legacy Communications to Eagle Communications. Kalil & Co is serving as the exclusive broker.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

| May 26, 2020

Memo: Copy Copy Like This. While listeners – whom your advertisers want to meet – have been disrupted, NOTHING resonates like empathy, succinctly conveyed. For this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke has collected examples instructive to commercial copy we craft for local retailers, and station imaging. Read it here.

Re-Opening Across America, Memorial Day Holiday, Michigan Protests, COVID-19 Tests/Vaccine Research, Presidential Race, Brazil Travel Ban, and ‘The Match’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. States across the country begin cautiously re-opening their economies; the Memorial Day holiday takes place without the usual parades and observances; Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s battle against lockdown protesters; the number of COVID-19 tests being done in the U.S. and the global work being done to create a vaccine; the November presidential election; President Trump puts a ban on flights from Brazil as the coronavirus sweeps through the South American nation; and “The Match” featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady playing golf were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: What’s All the Fuss About? Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column that great sellers have always been built to work remotely. He draws a sports analogy. “High-performing athletes are regularly well-coached and prepared. Then, on their own, away from the head coach – remotely – often with private coaches, they practice. When they return for the next session they are better… the takeaway here is the individual commitment to practicing ‘remotely.’” Read his column here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk formatted stations. It appears that radio listeners shifted from wanting straight news about the pandemic in March – when all-news outlets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares shoot up – to wanting to hear analysis and discussion about the COVID-19 pandemic in April. Seventy-eight percent of news/talk stations saw their AQH shares go up during the April survey, led by big gainers such as iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM, Milwaukee (+3.5, 9.3 share), Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+2.8, 8.8 share), and Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence (+2.3, 6.1 share). It’s important to note that radio cume was down across the board in April and that dramatic increases in time spent listening are driving these AQH spikes. With that said, some impressive year-over year AQH increases happened in April. Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta was up 7.3 shares over April 2019 (13.9 share, #1), iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento shot up 5.6 shares (11.6 share, #1), and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis was up 5.1 shares (10.3 share, #1). Also, in April there were 11 news/talk outlets that ranked #1 in their respective markets. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Erick Erickson Interviews Mike Pence in Sanitized Space at Waffle House HQ. Pictured above is Georgia talk radio host Erick Erickson (left) conducting an in-person interview with Vice President Mike Pence (right) on Friday (5/22) at Waffle House corporate headquarters in Norcross, Georgia. The interview aired on Erickson’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta afternoon drive show on Friday and on his statewide syndicated late morning show today (5/26). Erickson says of preparing for the interview, “I didn’t have to wear a mask. The Secret Service took my temperature, made me set up all my equipment, then made me leave the room so they could sanitize everything themselves. I was not allowed back to my equipment until the interview. It was a new twist on these sorts of interviews.” The two discussed the progress being made in re-opening Georgia, the what-ifs of a potential flare-up of coronavirus cases, and what might be expected for college football this year.

KOIL, Omaha Launches New ‘Local 1290’ Program. Omaha news/talk KOIL “News Talk 1290” says it is debuting a new, daily two-hour program “focusing on the local community as our friends, neighbors and businesses begin to face the new normal.” The live program is being hosted by Neil Nelkin and will focus on everything “local” in Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa as businesses start to re-open and figure out how to go forward. Other NRG Media on-air talent will join the program as co-hosts, including Nikki and Laura from KQKQ-FM “Sweet 98.5,” Mike’l Severe and Damon Benning from KOZN-AM “1620 The Zone,” and Matt Tompkins from KOOO-FM “101.9 The Keg.” Neil Nelkin comments, “Finally a positive show about our listeners, our community and businesses within the Omaha and Council Bluffs area.  We want to highlight the local business and hear their stories about how they are doing and re-opening. It’s a community feel good, as we are all in this together.”

TALKERS News Notes. The global pandemic can’t keep Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Tour” down. Miller’s SM Radio Productions says, “Until it’s safe to travel and gather in large groups again, the hysterically funny ‘Sexy Liberal Tour’ is now set to come into fans’ homes with ‘Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Virtual Tour.’” It will debut virtually on Saturday, June 6 at 9:00 pm ET / 6:00 pm PT and will feature Stephanie Miller, John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, Frances Callier, and Angela V. Shelton…..Nationally syndicated talk host Buck Sexton interviewed President Trump in the Oval Office for a conversation that aired on his Premiere Networks-syndicated show. Among the topics discussed were the president’s thoughts on the intelligence community, the judiciary, the “deep state,” “Russiagate,” Michael Flynn, and more. The president also told Sexton the country will “never do this again” and will deal with the coronavirus issue by employing the country’s “best resources” to put out any fires as they emerge…..The Times-Union of San Diego reports that Mexican signal XEPRS-AM, Tijuana could be back on the air as “The Mightier 1090” around July 4, to coincide with the return of Major League Baseball. As has been reported, Flagstaff, Arizona-based marketing executive Bill Hagen is leasing the former sports talk outlet and plans to build a lifestyle and sports talk station around afternoon personality – and former longtime “Mighty 1090” personality – Scott Kaplan. The sports talk format on XEPRS ended 13 months ago when Broadcasting Company of the Americas lost its lease on the signal…..GCN-syndicated host Kate Delaney is honored with a 2020 Communicator Award for Excellence from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Her DelaneyMediaGroup won in the Commercial Campaign category for “Her Story.” Delaney tells TALKERS magazine the feature airs on 70 stations and Amazon’s Echo…..Last Friday (5/22), WTKS-FM, Orlando’s “The News Junkie” radio show – hosted by Shawn Wasson, Sabrina Ambra, and Chris “C-lane” Lane – held “the World’s First Live Radio Broadcast With Social Distancing.” Pictured below is the trio at their broadcast booth. They say that fans arrived at staggered times to prevent a large crowd outside and those feeling sick were urged not to attend. Each table was limited to only a few guests and hand sanitizer and optional masks were available for all guests. Wasson says, “The show featured plenty of drinks, plenty of fun and games. What we didn’t do is have people shaking hands and hanging all over each other. We showed that with enough planning and preparation you can juggle being safe and having a blast.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Last week’s WKQX, Chicago radiothon supporting the Chicago Independent Venue League netted $34,000 for the association and its live music venues. The morning show trio of Brian, Ali, and Justin were on air for 34 hours and interviewed artists including Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day, Grouplove, Silversun Pickups, Cage The Elephant, Local H, KFlay, All Time Low, Powfu, Chip Z’Nuff, and Jerry from JBTV. The event was sponsored by Goose Island Beer Company, supporting Chicago music venues since 1988…..iHeartMedia flips classic hits WJDX, Jackson, Mississippi to hip hop as “The New Real 105.1.” The station’s lineup includes “The Breakfast Club,” with DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God in morning drive. iHeartMedia Jackson market president Mike Comfort says, “We are excited to launch ‘The New Real 105.1’ in Jackson and bring another choice for hip hop and R&B to the market. Based on our research, we know not only is this going to connect with our market’s audience, but this format is also going to produce a strong listener base for our advertisers – things just got real!”…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia re-brands alternative WRFF as “ALT 104.5.” Station PD and midday personality Amber Miller says, “Who doesn’t love the big reveal at the end of a makeover show. Well, ta-da! Philly’s Alternative Rock station is now sounding bigger and better than ever, combining the music and personalities our listeners love with this fresh, energetic new aesthetic. The station offers listeners the same music and entertainment they crave, just with a fresh new coat of paint.”

Talk Radio Rises to Coronavirus Challenge

| March 9, 2020

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS
Publisher

 

JUPITER, Fla. — This past weekend seems to have marked a tipping point in America regarding public anxiety over COVID-19, still commonly referred to as the coronavirus.  Fears and near-panic have infiltrated the beleaguered heath care systems of our communities, the stock market, and a number of inter-connected industries and public events.  Add to that, discourse about the problem in our politically oriented media have included the “weaponization” of issues per the troubling practice of each side tending to seek victory at the expense of truth.

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Friday, June 21, 2019

| June 21, 2019

Randi Rhodes Returns to Radio on ‘Real Talk 910 AM’ in San Francisco. Progressive talk radio personality Randi Rhodes joins iHeartMedia’s KKSF-AM, San Francisco “Real Talk 910 AM, Think Forward” to host the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  She says, “Being back on the radio in one of the greatest cities in America for a market-leading station like ‘Real Talk 910 AM’ is amazing.  I feel such a strong connection to the listeners here in San Francisco and I’m thrilled to get on air and shake things up!”  KKSF program director Cory Callewaert says, “We are beyond excited for the opportunity to bring Randi back to the Bay Area.  She is one of the most powerful progressive voices in the country and with her wit and sense of humor, she is exactly what we need and a one of a kind.”

TALKERS News Notes. The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight with Kate Delaney” program adds new affiliate WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut to its roster of stations…..The nationally syndicated financial talk program “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill is now heard on 3 Daughters Media’s WGMN, Roanoke and WBLT, Bedford in Virginia…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHO, Des Moines announces that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will attend and participate in the 23rd annual “WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride” at the Westfair Amphitheatre & Fairgrounds on Sunday, June 23 and Monday, June 24.  The “WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride” was started in Grinnell, Iowa in 1996 by WHO Radio’s Farm Broadcasters of the Year recipients Mark Pearson and Gary Wergin. The event was created to bring tractor enthusiasts together for fun, fellowship and celebration of Iowa’s rich agricultural heritage.  The inaugural ride included approximately 90 participants and has grown to more than 600 participants and countless fans.  Last year, tractors from more than 33 states made the trip to Iowa including tractor riders from California, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of June 17-21 Now Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (June 17-21) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  It currently airs on WONK-FM in the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Donald J. Trump Takes the Stage!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Mike Gallagher of Salem Radio NetworkLarry Young of WOLB, Baltimore and Richard Neer of WFAN, New York; political strategist and pundit Dick Morris; and social/political observer Victoria Jones of the DC Radio Company.  The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It was recently picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm.  According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, the program is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this show as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeartMedia picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and a number of stations have inquired about its availability.  We are in the process of figuring out where we want to go with it.”   For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.

At the NCAA College World Series. Pictured above is the broadcast crew for the NCAA College World Series National Baseball Championship preliminary games.  NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” again produced the games for the NCAA Radio Network, distributed nationally by Westwood One.  They handled 12 games in seven days from Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park.  From left to right are: Westwood One’s play-by-play voice Kevin Kugler, producer Mike Stibbs, color analyst John Bishop, and field reporter Gary Sharp.

Presidential Race 2020/Trump Campaign Kickoff Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 17-21. The Democrats seeking the nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Trump’s Orlando rally to kick off his re-election campaign was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week the Democrats’ impeachment talk tied with the testimony of Hope Hicks. Coming in at #3 was the U.S.-Iran tensions, including the attack on a U.S. drone, followed by the U.S.-China trade war tied with U.S.-North Korea tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Advertising Lawyer Jeffrey A. Greenbaum is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  During periods of technical and social change, it usually takes the legal system time to catch up with laws and regulations that address the new reality.  We’re experiencing such a syndrome today when it comes to the internet and digital era’s impact on advertising and intellectual property, including navigating the FTC, “influencer” social media marketing, the impact of bots on creating false metrics, and the idiosyncratic arena of branded entertainment.  A leading expert on these subjects, attorney Jeffrey A. Greenbaum, is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne presentation, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Greenbaum is the managing partner of the law firm Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz as well as chairman of the Global Advertising Lawyers AllianceBest Lawyers in America has twice named him “Advertising Lawyer of the Year” for the New York metro area.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

PPM Analysis: Urban ACTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian looks at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on urban AC. Half of the station on our panel saw their weekly 6+ AQH shares rise compared to the April survey, led by WVKL, Norfolk (+1.0).  Comparing May 2018 to May 2019, only 45% of the stations were up, with 55% taking a dip. Six urban AC outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets in May (6+) – WBLS, New York; WMXD, Detroit: WFXC, Raleigh; WVKL, Norfolk; WQMG, Greensboro; and KJMS, Memphis.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, Beasley Media Group promotes Dave “Cruise” Madden to has new co-host of “The Andie Summers Show” on country WXTU-FM.  Cruise initially joined the show as an interim host on January 2 and most recently worked over the past year as the afternoon drive host/APD at sister station WBEN-FM.  Station PD Mark Razz says, “When we needed him to step up and handle interim hosting duties for 925XTU, Dave delivered every day.  We’re glad to have him on as part of ‘The Andie Summers Show.’  He worked hard and deserves this opportunity!”…..West Palm Beach CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5” announces that Dave Hanson joins the station as creative services director.  In this role at the iHeartMedia station, Hanson will shape and deliver station imaging, and promotional, digital, and social content.  iHM West Palm Beach SVP of programming Rad Messick says, “Dave’s track record across multiple formats in South Florida is outstanding.  We’re excited to tap Dave’s skills, passion, and creative energy to create highly entertaining content that deepens our ‘WiLD 95.5’ audience connection.”  Hanson was most recently assistant director of branding and programming and music director at Cox Media Group’s CHR WFLC, Miami…..Programming and on-air pro Andy Meadows joins the Tracy Johnson Media Group.  He was most recently operations manager for LKCM Radio Group and hosted the midday show on country KFWR-FM, Jacksboro, Texas (Dallas-Ft. Worth market).  Meadows says, “I’m so thrilled to be a part of Tracy Johnson Media Group.  I’m humbled and grateful for this opportunity to work with talent on a full-time basis.  We have a lot of fresh new ideas in the pipeline, and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come.”

Monday, May 13, 2019

| May 13, 2019

Erica Farber Named TALKERS 2019 ‘Woman of the Year.’   The TALKERS editorial board has selected Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) president/CEO Erica Farber as the broadcasting industry trade journal’s 2019 recipient of its 20th annual Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman, also known as the “Woman of the Year” award. Farber joined the RAB as executive VP in January of 2012 and quickly ascended to its leadership in April of that year.  Prior to that, Farber served more than a dozen years as publisher and CEO of the historic radio trade publication Radio & Records.  Her extraordinary career in the radio business also includes a 12-year stint in various top management capacities at INTEREP, one of radio’s leading rep firms, including serving as its executive vice president/radio development director.  Erica Farber was also a significant pioneer in the history of women breaking the glass ceiling in the management arena of the major market radio station business.  During the early years of her career, she held positions at KRTH-FM, KABC-TV, and KIIS-AM in Los Angeles. In 1975, she was appointed general sales manager of WROR-FM, Boston and was promoted to general manager in June of that year. Her success then led to an appointment as VP/general manager of WXLO-FM, New York in 1976.  In making the announcement of Farber’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We have just scratched the surface of this great radio woman’s work history in today’s TALKERS story.  Erica could have justifiably claimed this honor many times during her stellar career and she has been awarded literally dozens of industry awards and accolades since her days in local radio management and sales.”  Harrison adds, “We look forward to day when a specific women’s award in radio becomes an obsolete concept.  We are getting closer to that day but still have a way to go.  But we are certainly a lot closer to it thanks to women such as Erica and the other outstanding female broadcasters who have received this award since it was established in 2000.  It was originally conceived as a tribute to the career of the independently syndicated talk show host Judy Jarvis who was taken from us by cancer that year at the age of 54.”   Past recipients of the award include: Caroline Beasley,  Mary BernerGinny MorrisJulie TalbottRobin QuiversRobin BertolucciHeather CohenGrace BlazerLaurie CantilloStephanie MillerRandi RhodesLaura IngrahamKim KomandoEllen RatnerAdriane GainesLynn DistlerLisa Evers, Gloria Allred and (posthumously) Judy Jarvis.  The award will be presented to Erica Farber at Talkers 2019:  Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.   The event is mere days away from a sellout.  For registration and agenda information, please click here.

Salem Media Group First Quarter Revenue Drops 5.2%. First quarter total net revenue reported by Salem Media Group was $60.5 million, down 5.2% from Q1 of 2018.  Breaking it down by segment, Salem’s broadcast revenue was $46.1 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.  Looking even closer, Salem operates 33 news/talk stations and the revenue from those stations was down 10.8% for the quarter.  This quarter they contributed 18% of total broadcast revenue.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said during Friday’s earnings call that “the biggest decline came from local revenue, which includes local spot, local program. and miscellaneous broadcast revenue.  Local revenue is down 8.9%.  On a same-station basis, the revenue is down 7.4% or $1.8 million.  About 20% of that decline was due to the absence of political revenue.”  Atsinger said they face two adversaries in the broadcast revenue sector.  “First, we continue to lose local revenue to digital, principally Facebook and Google.  Additionally, in several of our markets, where we play for ratings, we we’re seeing competitors pricing per share by packaging in other related stations into a buy for free. And basically, the other competitors have a larger cluster, they’ve got an advantage there.”  Atsinger also noted that the company’s focus on digital agency initiative Salem Surround has affected performance.  “To a certain extent, this has caused some distraction to sales staff, as we’re seeing some cannibalization of other local revenue streams and also a distraction in terms of time.  But the results that we’ve been seeing from Salem Surround have been quite favorable. Our local digital revenue grew by almost $1 million or 53%.  And Salem Surround showed a modest profit for the first time.”  Revenue for Salem Radio Network was off 6.6% during the quarter and that was attributed primarily to the changeover from the Michael Medved show to the Dr. Sebastian Gorka program.  Atsinger said SRN lost some affiliates initially, but the affiliate count is growing and the show is “progressing well ahead of schedule.”

Monday Memo: Twitter Tips. In the social media jungle, Facebook is still T-Rex.  But people on Twitter seem to live there, Donald Trump included.  With all the new-tech competition AM/FM broadcasters now have – and with so much of it robotic (i.e., Pandora) – social media can help differentiate and personalize us. And listeners are flattered when a celebrity (that’s you) interacts; and, most flattering of all, re-Tweets something they posted.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines tips for exploiting this powerful platform.  Read it here.

Free Talk Live Passes 200-Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated talk program “Free Talk Live” announces it has surpassed the 200-affiliate mark.  The program is co-hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge.  Freeman says, “It took 15 years, but we made it.  This week we crossed the 200-affiliate milestone! Thanks to all the stations that are currently airing and also have aired Free Talk Live at some point in the past. You have made this possible and I appreciate it.”  Freeman notes that, unlike some other syndicated talk shows, he works to keep his GCN-distributed program’s affiliate roster accurate and up-to-date, otherwise he could claim as many as 400 stations!  He adds that he figures he’s lost about 200 affiliates over 15 years as well so he’s proud to say the show has 203 active AM and FM affiliates.

Joe ‘Pags’ Show to Air in Evenings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show,” with host Joe Pagliarulo, is taking over the evening daypart on Entercom’s news/talk WPHT, Philadelphia.  That slot opened up when Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show moved from evenings down into the live 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart following Rich Zeoli’s promotion to morning drive.  The “Joe Pags Show” is currently heard on more than 70 affiliate stations across the U.S.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Tom Donahue reports that his program is returning in  on-demand form for streaming stations and podcast platforms.  The weekly program can be provided to radio stations and online streaming stations for weekend play.  Donahue says, “I will be joined by a contributing host and producer Angeline Marie who has hosted the ‘Truth Seekers Radio Show’ and created her own online station ‘K-Star Talk Radio.’  This is the first time ever for me to have a regular on-air contributor.  I have always flown solo…I felt taking this new approach for my talk show would infuse a dynamic and real radio feel.”…..Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry recently spent the morning on air with personalities of NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone.” Strawberry appeared on the station’s morning show with Damon Benning and Gary Sharp.  Strawberry was in town to speak at the “Fresh Hope Ministries” banquet and to meet fans and sign autographs at Friday night’s Omaha Storm Chasers game.  Pictured below are (from l-r): Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Greene; Benning, Sharp, Strawberry, and KOZN morning show producer Shane Schillerberg.

GAB Radio Talent Institute Begins Today. The Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the National Radio Talent System are announcing the opening of today’s GAB Radio Talent Institute on the campus of University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  Today’s opening day is hosted by Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons.  Cumulus Media EVP of content & programming Mike McVay and Cox Media Group VP of audience content Tim Clarke are speaking at today’s opening session.  Over the next 10 days more than 40 broadcasters from companies such as Cumulus, Cox Media, Beasley Media Group, Entercom, Urban One, iHeartMedia, and others will lead sessions.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber will lead the closing session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking Like a Pro.”  GAB president Bob Houghton says, “The Georgia Association of Broadcasters is proud of our partnership with the National Radio Talent System.  Over the past five years we have graduated over 100 students who are ready to make a contribution to the future of our industry.  I appreciate the nearly 40 broadcasters each year who give their time and talent to speak in the Institute.  Broadcasting, and specifically radio, has a proud past and, with this program, a bright future.”

2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Tlaib Holocaust Commentary Blowback, Mueller Testimony, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China; the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf and Iran’s threats; the reaction by Republicans over U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s comments about the Holocaust; House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff’s assurance Robert Mueller will testify before congress; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Connecticut classic rocker WFOX, Southport (Stamford-Norwalk market) tweaks its format, moving away from 60s and 70s rock and re-focusing on rock from the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  It has also re-branded as “Fairfield County Rocks.”   Station program director Kevin Begley states, “The Stamford-Norwalk market, even with the bleed in of New York City radio, is completely underserved with the next generation of classic rock.  The new version of ‘95.9 the FOX’ will supply that demand for those huge rock hits of the last 30 years.”…..Last week’s exit of talent from hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.1” – morning personality Jeff Dauler and afternoon jock Mike Marino – also included the departure of midday host Heather Branch. However, Branch was not let go and had given notice to Entercom in February that she would exit on May 10, the 10th anniversary of her joining WSTR…..iHeartMedia appoints Jared Fallon program director for CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM.” iHM Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore says, “We are very excited to add Jared to our programming team here in Seattle.  His passion combined with his enthusiasm and creativity make him a great fit to lead our amazing KISS team and will take the station to new levels.” Fallon moves west from his role with the company at CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.”…..In New York City, Bob Bronson announces via social media that he’s left iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” after 10 years as morning drive host.  Bronson hosted the “Bob and Christine” show with Christine Nagy.  No word yet on iHeartMedia’s plans for the morning daypart…..Alpha Media’s CHR KFRX, Lincoln, Nebraska posts the message that it has severed its employment relationship with Matthew Rydberg, a.k.a. Matt McKay.  This comes after Rydberg’s arrest for domestic assault on April 20.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

| January 3, 2018

KFYI, Phoenix Inks James T Harris for PM Drive.  Former KQTH, Tucson and WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host James T Harris is the new afternoon drive personality at iHeartMedia’s KFYI, Phoenix.  Harris’ show, “The Conservative Circus,” will air from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, effective January 15.  iHeartMedia West Division EVP of programming Steve Geofferies comments, “James is a special talent.  He has created demand not only from his radio audience, but a national demand through his social following.  The addition of James continues our strategy of acquiring top tier talent in Phoenix.”

Noted Talk Producer and Personality Rich Carbery (Angry Rich) Rejoins John Gibson on Syndicated Show.  The independently produced, GCN-distributed John Gibson (left) show has hired well-known talk media figure Rich Carbery, a.k.a. Angry Rich (right), to serve as its producer, guest-booker and featured on-air sidekick.  Carbery most recently has been booking and producing for Newsmax TV, working with Steve Malzberg, among others. During his career he’s been at WLS, Chicago and WRKO, Boston working for PD Mike Elder.  Elder brought him to Fox News Radio in 2005 where he became the original producer of John Gibson’s talk show that was a staple of the network for many years.  Gibson tells TALKERS, “Rich was the original producer of my Fox Radio talk show from the earliest days in the fall of 2005 through all those years on Sirius.  He is a spectacular booker, an experienced pro who brings name-brand guests and inside information and analysis to the audience.  Rich is also a great voice on air. While he is reliably conservative, he also has a sharp ear for spotting and calling out foolishness and weak arguments whether right or left.  As longtime listeners of my show also know, he is very funny and always added an extra dimension of both information and hilarity to the show.  I am delighted that he has joined me again.  It is a great way to kick off 2018!”  Gibson’s new show has been growing at a rapid rate and is heard weekdays live between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm ET.  For more information, please click here.

Leahy’s Talk Show Expands. Talk show host and conservative media figure Jeremy Leahy’s program “Standing Ground” is expanding to two hours this month.  The program is heard via both Red State Talk Radio and Talkamericaradio.us.  Leahy’s program launched in May of 2015 and also airs on WJHC, Jasper, Florida and WDDQ, Adel, Georgia “Talk 92.1.”  Leahy’s radio career includes time spent serving with Entercom in Boston, the former Greater Media talk station WTKK-FM, Boston, and CBS RADIO in Boston.  For the last several years, he has been actively producing an independent podcast discussing politics, law, and current events under Leahy Media.

Herskovitz: Woe Unto Us.  Talk radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about recent examples of radio’s “self-inflicted wounds.”  Herskovitz says that over the past week or so he’s heard numerous programming errors – from Christmas music being played after Christmas to a best-of sports talk show discussing upcoming games that, in fact, had already been played.  He says that programming flaws such as these current holiday examples are just recent signs of incidents that can be heard over an entire year.  Read his column here.

Harrison and Neer Take a Long Look Back at 2017 and Peer Ahead to 2018.  Music and sports talk radio pioneer Richard Neer of WFAN, New York is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The lengthy conversation between the two alumni of golden era album rockers WNEW-FM, New York and WLIR, Long Island (where their 50-year friendship and broadcast association began) engage in a New Year’s Eve chat based on the TALKERS chart of the 15 most-talked-about people and topics of 2017.  In addition to covering the people and politics of news/talk media, they talk about new movies, the revival of interest in Winston Churchill and the passing of legendary musical pop stars such as Fats DominoChuck Berry and Tom Petty.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Nuclear Saber-Rattling, Iran Protests, Hatch Retirement/Romney Senate Run, Trump ‘Dishonest Media Awards’ Tweet, Trump DACA Stance, Logan Paul Suicide Image Controversy, Frigid Weather, NFL Playoffs and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/2).  The war of words over each other’s nuclear “buttons” between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the political protests taking place in Iran; Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to retire and the possibility Mitt Romney will run for his seat; President Trump tweets about his forthcoming “dishonest media” and “fake news” awards; Trump’s policy on DACA and sanctuary cities; the controversy over YouTube star Logan Paul’s use of an image of a Japanese suicide victim; the frigid weather engulfing much of the U.S.; and the NFL playoffs and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Dallas sports talk outlet KTCK “1310/96.7 The Ticket” raised more than $540,000 for the Austin Street Center during its 17th Annual Normathon, held from December 7-26, 2017.  The Austin Street Center provides safe shelter and meets the basic needs of the most vulnerable homeless in Dallas.  Cumulus Media’s “The Ticket” has helped raise more than $4.7 million through the Normathon over the past 17 years…..In the Bay Area, Cumulus Media San Francisco’s stations, including news/talk KGO, talk KSFO, and sports KTCT recently reached the set goal of raising $500,000 for the Bay Area Fire Relief Fund, bringing relief to victims of the recent Northern California wildfires. The wildfires destroyed homes displacing thousands of Northern Californians and scorched areas including Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties…..The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the addition of three new members to the RAB board of directors: Erik Hellum, EVP, radio for Townsquare Media; Bill Hendrich, EVP, Cox Media Group; and Christine Travaglini, president, Christal Radio + Katz Partnerships.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Erik, Bill and Christine are welcome additions to the RAB board of directors.  Their industry stewardship and business acumen complement the board of directors and continue to enhance RAB’s mission.”

Envision Networks Announces January 18 Webinar. This series of webinars presented by Envision Networks is designed to “provide information and educate attendees on common goals radio professionals pursue while looking ahead to industry trends.”  The next one takes place on Thursday, January 18 at 1:00 pm ET and is titled, “Weathering the Storm with Hyper Local Coverage.”  Topics addressed will include: How to make your news and weather sound big regardless of market size; how to stay on top of local severe weather and emergency coverage; and how to use your coverage on air, online and on demand.  Envision president/CEO and webinar host Danno Wolkoff says, “Weather and news should be local in nature and customizable to the market.  It’s important to market your news and weather to listeners through personality and localization.”  You can register for the free event here.

Documentary About Historic Band Gunhill Road Capturing Golden Era of Album Rock Radio Is Released – Features Talk Radio Personalities. The long-awaited theatrical documentary film by young, rising filmmaker Eric Goldrich Every 40 Years – chronicling the amazing, almost-half-century odyssey of the 70s rock band Gunhill Road (of “Back When My Hair Was Short” fame) is now in full release on Amazon Prime and other leading digital venues in both streaming and DVD platforms.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who provides some of the commentary in the film, advised in its production.  It includes appearances by such radio personalities as Doug Stephan and the late Alan Colmes, among others.  Harrison was one of the original progressive rock radio personalities that heavily played this remarkably talented group back in the early 70s during his tenure as morning host on WNEW-FM.  He has enthusiastically championed their new music and compelling human interest story – in which they bravely returned to the studio four decades later to take a second stab at the glory that just barely evaded them the first time around.  It is a compelling tale about four extremely talented kids from New York – Glenn LeopoldSteve GoldrichGil Roman and Paul Reisch – who came painfully close to rock n’ roll stardom only to fall short because of a series of random circumstances and decisions.  It is told through the eyes of Steve’s son, filmmaker Eric Goldrich. A rock history freak’s delight!  Check out the trailer here. To book an interview with Eric Goldrich, he can be reached via email at eric@manifest-pictures.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  As Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports, Cumulus Media is breaking up the morning show at alternative WKQX “FM 101.1.”  Lou Lombardo is assuming the role of evening jock (taking over for the departed Josh Marconi) and Brian Phillips will host the morning show solo.  Lombardo is also taking on Marconi’s digital content captain duties…..Programming and on-air pro Zach “Vaughn” McHugh is the new program director and afternoon drive show host on Cumulus Media’s alternative rock WRXL, Richmond “XL102.” Vaughn comes to Richmond from the company’s WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” where he was music director and afternoon drive host…..iHeartMedia names Tamo midday personality for KLLT, St. Louis “ALT 104.9” and KDXA, Des Moines “ALT 106.3.”  Her air shift will be from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm…..Entercom renews Aaron Axelsen’s deal as assistant program director and music director for KITS, San Francisco “ALT 105.3.”  He’ll continue to host his “Subsonic” and “Soundcheck” programs…..The rollout of Premiere Networks’ syndicated alt rock morning program “The Woody Show” continues as new iHeartMedia affiliates “95X” in Raleigh (W237BZ/WDCG-HD2) and KUCD, Honolulu “Star 101.9” add the program.

 

Round Two of December PPM Ratings. December 2017 ratings information has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s December 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6. The vast majority of (but not all) major November 2017 – December 2017 improvements by music stations is attributable to a transition to all-Christmas music. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Up one-tenth in each of the last four ratings periods (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH erupts with a +3.3 in December to 7.8 (6+, seventh to fourth), its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.4. At this time last year, WASH notched a 5.9 (6+, December 2016). An overall -1.1 in six consecutive down or flat sweeps (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.6    – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” pulls the plug by logging a one-half share increase to 2.8 (6+, #17 to #15). In the process, it overtakes Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WRQX “Mix 107.3” (#15 to #16), whose July 2017 – December 2017 trends are a very consistent 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 (6+). A one-half share gain by WLZL “El Zol 107.9” (1.6 – 2.1, #19 to #18, 6+) elevates the Entercom Spanish tropical outlet to the two-share level for the first time in exactly one year (2.0, December 2016). Notwithstanding that it is down by two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (9.8 – 9.6 – 9.4, 6+) Hubbard all-news WTOP takes sole possession of first-place. Prior to November, WTOP was a collective +1.6 in three straight upticks (8.2 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 9.8, 6+), with October’s 9.8 its strongest 6+- share since 9.9 in March. In the runner-up slot from January through August, WTOP climbed to #1 in September. By notching a +.7 in August, WTOP halted four consecutive negative trends that yielded a collective -1.7 (9.9 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.7 – 8.2, 6+). It was tied for the lead in November with American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (9.6 – 8.9 6+) and falls to #2. WAMU exited the top spot in September, after spending eight straight months there. A cumulative -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounded in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+), but forfeited exactly twice that increase in June with a -1.4. February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. Off by seven-tenths as well and falling from fourth to seventh (4.0, 6+) is Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL, which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for an overall +1.5 (3.2 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately after hanging out a +1.4 to 8.4, the station’s best-ever PPM-showing, Howard University-owned urban AC WHUR surrenders one-half share to 7.9 (6+) and is anchored in third-place for the 12th time in a row. Entering the November sweep, WHUR was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for an overall -1.1 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.0, 6+). A loss of one full-share in August ended at five a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +2.4 (5.7- 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.1, 6+). Advancing from sixth to fifth, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WMMJ is up or flat for the third month in succession for a collective gain of eight-tenths (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0, 6+). “Majic 102.3” was a cumulative -1.8 in August and September (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+), before regaining four-tenths in October. September’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-share since December’s 3.8. Dropping from fourth to sixth, iHeartMedia classic rock WBIG “Big 100” is off a collective -1.4 as the result of four straight declines (5.8 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+). In ten (10) straight sweeps without an increase (1.1 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 – .4, 6+) Alpha Media’s WFLS has lost nearly two-thirds of its 6+-share and “93.3 Today’s New Country” departs the top twenty (#20 to #21).

2) Boston – Following five successive months without an increase for an overall -1.7 (7.0 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom owned adult contemporary WMJX roars back with an increase that is more than twice that deficit (8.8, +3.5, 6+). Moreover, “Magic 106.6 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” vaults from fifth to first. Whereas November’s 5.3 was its weakest 6+-stat in almost seven years (5.1, January 2011), December’s 8.8 is its strongest since 13.4 in “Holiday” 2016; “Magic” was 7.8 (6+) in December 2016. Exiting the top spot after three straight months there and shifting to second is iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.6 – 7.2, -.4, 6+). In September, “Kiss” wiped out August’s one-half share decline by racking up a +.9 to 7.9 – its highest 6+-share since July 2014’s 8.2. In five consecutive increases prior to the August sweep, “Kiss 108” was a cumulative +1.9 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.5, 6+). Having had its 6+share decreased by more than 50% (2.8 – 1.8 – 1.3, June – July – August, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation classical-formatted WCRB follows with its fourth successive sweep without a loss for a collective +.8 (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #18, 6+). Five straight downward moves by WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” have accounted for a collective -1.3 (5.6 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.3, sixth-place tie to ninth, 6+). In November, WBUR added nine-tenths to October’s one-half share gain, but the Boston University-owned news/talker regresses by one-half share in December (4.0 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 4.9, fourth to sixth, 6+). Its one-half share loss in September ended three straight sweeps without a decrease and erased the half-share it gained in that timeframe (4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+). In four straight increases, Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” (the property Entercom traded to Beasley for WMJX) was a collective +2.4 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7, 6+), but in December, the New England Patriots’ key station surrenders three-tenths to 5.4 (6+), slipping from third to fourth. Entering the August ratings period, “The Sports Hub” had been down or flat six straight times for a combined -2.5 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). While flat at #17, iHeartMedia’s WBWL has its fourth consecutive – albeit modest – decline (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+) for an overall loss of one-half share. Immediately prior to the start of this negative streak, “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” had four successive increases that accounted for a +.6 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, Beasley Media Group-owned WKLB “Country 102.5” is trending 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.4 (6+) and is unchanged at #8. Its September gain of one-tenth ended at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). In addition to changing ownership from CBS Radio to Entercom, hot AC WBMX adopts new calls (WWBX), transferring the WBMX call letters to its Chicago sibling formerly known as WJMK. Still using the “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” handle, WWBX is an overall -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+) but actually bumps up from #12 to #11.

3) Miami – The top three December 2017 finishers are separated by just two-tenths of a share. Included in that trio is Entercom adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM,” which is a collective +1.0 in three successive up or flat trends (5.6 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+) to climb from fourth to third. This is the best 6+-showing for “Lite” since February (6.6, as well). Its format rival – Cox Media Group’s WFEZ “Easy 93.1” – logs a +.2 for the third month in succession (6.2 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and progresses from second to first; 6.8 (6+) matches what “Easy” recorded in June. Dislodged from the top spot after a seven-month run is urban AC cluster-mate WHQT “Hot 105” (7.0 – 6.7, -.3, 6+), which trades places with WFEZ at #2. October’s 7.8 was the strongest 6+-stat for “Hot” since July 2016’s 8.0. Linked together at #8 (4.0, 6+) are CHR rivals Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” (-.2, seventh to eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” (unchanged from November in rank and AQH share). As a result of November’s -.3, “Hits 97.3” curtailed three straight up or flat trends that produced a gain of four-tenths (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Prior to a loss of four-tenths in September, “Y-100” was a collective +.6 in three consecutive up or flat monthlies (3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+). These two CHRs were tied for eighth-place in July and separated by one-tenth in August. Following back-to-back gains of one-tenth in October and November (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 – South Florida’s Classic Rock” erodes by nine-tenths to 3.0, its lowest 6+-showing since April 2016 (3.0, as well), and exits the top ten (#10 to #14). Immediately after registering a +.8 in November, Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” relinquishes all but one-tenth of it (5.6 – 4.9, -.7, 6+) to slide from fifth to sixth. Steady at #15, urban contemporary sibling WMIB “103.5 The Beat” is an overall -.7 in five successive sweeps without an increase (3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Although down or flat for the sixth time in succession for an overall decline of four-tenths (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), co-owned news/talk WIOD improves from #22 to #21. The May through November (6+) trending for Entercoms WKIS “Kiss 99.9 – New Country” is 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 (#18 to #17).

4) Detroit – The positive news continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 The ‘80s ‘til Now,” which posts its fourth straight increase to nearly double its 6+-share (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 11.8, 6+). In addition to logging the station’s highest 6+-share since the “Holiday” 2016 report when it reached 13.7, WNIC is this market’s pacesetter for the fourth month in a row. After registering three straight gains for a full-share improvement (5.2 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+), WNIC faltered by two-tenths in August; it is a collective +5.8 since August. In advance of gaining one-tenth in November, co-owned urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s Throwbacks and R&B” was -2.5 in four straight decreases (6.4 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+), a streak that followed a combined +2.4 in May and June. Now, “Mix” adds one-half share to 4.5 (6+) to crack the top ten (#11 to #8). Stuck on 4.4 (6+) in August and September before proceeding to 5.0 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95.5 – Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” advances from seventh to sixth. Up or flat for the third time in a row for a collective +.8 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio” carries on at #13. Owing to a loss of eight-tenths (6.5 – 5.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 Detroit’s Classic Rock” drops from second to third. Immediately after picking up three-tenths (in November) to pull the plug on four straight decreases for an overall -1.5 (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” falters by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, 6+) to dip from seventh to tenth; 4.3 is its lowest 6+-share since 4.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (unchanged at #18) – is without an increase for the seventh consecutive sweep and is -.8 in that May through December stretch (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Eleven (11) days into the December 2017 sweep (11/20), iHeartMedia transitioned WDTW “106.7 The D,” which had been classic rock (pitted against WCSX) and later adult hits to “Alt 106-7 Detroit’s New Alternative.” While steady at #19, WDTW is an overall -.9 in four consecutive negative trends (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Slipping from a third-place tie to fourth, Entercom all-news WWJ is off four-tenths to 5.5 (6+), curtailing four successive uptrends that yielded a cumulative gain of seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Unchanged at #5, its sports talk sibling WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” slumps for the third straight time for a collective -1.1 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.2, 6+).

5) Seattle – A scorecard might be needed to track recent Emerald City radio changes. For openers, as Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” was playing wall-to-wall Christmas music (12/4), it received a new challenger as Entercom transitioned newly-acquired (from CBS Radio) KMPS from country to AC. In addition to a new owner and a new format, KMPS became KSWD “The Sound,” the same call letters and identity Entercom used in its Los Angeles classic rocker, which is now Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KKLQ. On the strength of a +2.8 (5.3 – 8.1, 6+), “Warm” progresses from fourth to first with its strongest 6+-stat since 10.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Owing to a +.4 in November, “Warm” halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a combined -1.2 (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). It takes over the top spot from Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW, which held the lead position the past four months. Even though it segues to second-place, KUOW extends to five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that has netted a +1.3 (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). Its +.5 in August pulled the plug on three straight downward moves that produced an overall decline of six-tenths (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+). Meanwhile, Seattle’s version of “The Sound” fades from #8 to #15, dropping six-tenths to 3.2, the lowest 6+-share for the former KMPS since “Holiday” 2016’s 3.0. Despite KMPS departing country in favor of AC, Seattle still has a two-way battle country battle. The two aforementioned group owners are involved here as well with Entercom incumbent KKWF “100.7 The Wolf #1 for New Country” up one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, 6+) zooming from #18 to #12, while Hubbard’s KVRQ “Country 98.9 – Nobody Plays More New Country” is without an increase for the fourth month in a row (3.1   – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5, flat at #20, 6+). Up until December 4, KVRQ was “Rock 98.9,” but it conducted its format flip the same day as KMPS (12/4). While they remain in their respective formats, adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (4.4, +.3, sixth to fifth, 6+) and KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” (steady at #8, 6+) shift from Entercom/CBS Radio to iHeartMedia. “Jack” was a combined -.4 in three straight down or flat trends (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), while KZOK is -1.3 in its third consecutive decrease (4.9 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+). Classic Radio’s KING-FM “Classical 98.1” hasn’t had a decrease in the last seven survey periods for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9, steady at #22, 6+). Although anchored at #24, iHeartMedia’s KJR-AM “950 Entertaining Sports Talk” is up or flat for the fifth month in a row (.5 – .6 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3, 6+), nearly tripling its 6+-share in that timeframe and notching its highest 6+-share since January’s 1.7. Recapturing all but one-tenth of November’s -.7 (1.3 – 1.9, +.6, 6+), Educational Media Foundation’s contemporary Christian KLSW “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which had been locked on 2.0 (6+) in August, September, and October, climbs from #24 to #22. After posting six improvements in a row for a cumulative +1.5 (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), Crista Ministries’ similarly-formatted KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” falters by four-tenths to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). A -1.1 (5.3 – 4.2, 6+) takes iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” (fourth to sixth) to its lowest 6+-share since May 2015’s 3.9. Via three consecutive sweeps without an increase for a cumulative -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 2.6, 6+), Bonneville sports outlet KIRO-AM “710 AM ESPN Seattle” plummets from #11 to #19; this is its lowest 6+-share since 2.5 in March. Following six straight increases for an overall +2.5 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned KIRO-FM “97.3 – Seattle’s News, Seattle’s Talk” is off three-tenths to 5.7 (6+) shifting from second to third; November’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-showing in two years (6.1, December 2015). Locked on 2.9 (6+) in September and October before advancing to 3.2 in November, iHeartMedia CHR KPWK “Power 93.3 Seattle’s New #1 For Hit Music” sputters by one-half share to 2.7, slipping from #16 to #18 (6+).

6) Phoenix – Powered by a +.5.9, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ nearly doubles its 6+-share (6.2 – 12.1, 6+) and advances from second to first. It is the first time any Phoenix station has reached double-digits since KESZ did it in “Holiday” 2016 (16.5, 6+). Exiting the lead position after seven straight months there is Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7,” which is a combined -1.5 as the result of its fourth straight decrease (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.4, 6+). KSLX was +1.1 (6.8 – 7.9, 6+) in August, after a collective -.5 in June and July (7.3 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+). Not only does KJZZ leap from #13 to #7, the Maricopa County Community College news/talker reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history (3.2 – 4.0, +.8, 6+). After gaining one-half share in September to 2.4 (6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI forfeited more than twice that margin in October, cutting September’s 6+-share in half and freefalling from the top twenty (1.2, -1.2, #17 to #27, 6+). Disappearing from print in November, “88.3 Campesina” resurfaces at #14 (3.1), tied with Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KHOT (3.2 – 3.1, -.1, #13 to #14, 6+). Another regional Mexican facility – Entravision’s KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” – is right behind them (3.4 – 2.9, -.5, #12 to #16, 6+). The (6+) May through November line for KOMR is 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 1.4, but the Univision Radio Spanish adult hits station breaks out a gain of one-half share to 1.9, improving from #24 to #21. One-tenth ahead of it at a tie at #19 (up from a three-way logjam at #20 in November) is Entravision’s similarly-programmed KVVA “Jose,” which is up an overall eight-tenths in three successive gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+). Big ups/downs continue for Entercom classic hits-oldies property KOOL, which was a combined +1.7 in June and July (4.7 – 5.3 – 6.4, 6+); an overall -2.0 in August, September, and October (6.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4, 6+); +1.0 in November to 5.4, 6+); and now -1.2 in December (4.2, third to fifth, 6+). Back in July, KOOL crossed the six-share threshold for the first time since May 2016’s 6.0 (6+). With a July 2017 through November 2017 (6+) topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4, iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss-FM” erodes by -1.1 to 3.3 (6+) and drops out of the top ten (#6 to #13). Sputtering by six-tenths each are Hubbard alternative KDKB “Alt AZ 93.3” (4.0 – 3.4, #9 to #11, 6+); The Yucaipa Companies’ hot AC KMVA “Hot” (3.2 – 2.6, #13 to #18, 6+); and Bonneville sports talk KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (2.7 – 2.1, #18 to #19, 6+). An extremely steady 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 (April 2017 – July 2017, 6+), “98.7 Arizona Sports” lost one-half share in August; was a combined +1.5 in September and October (1.5 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+); and lost three-tenths in November. Having gained four-tenths in November (1.0 – 1.4, 6+), Family Life Broadcasting contemporary Christian KFLR “Family Life Radio” forfeits one-half share to .9 (6+, #24 to #28). An overall +.8 through four straight gains (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 – Today’s Best Country & All Time Favorites” drops three-tenths to 3.7 (6+, ninth to tenth). At the same time, Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” gains two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight declines for a collective full-share loss (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+) and advances from a four-way logjam at #13 to #11.

7) Minneapolis – Aided by a +2.6 (6.4 – 9.0, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” leaps from fifth to first with its strongest 6+-share since 15.9 in “Holiday” 2016; “Kool 108” notched a 7.6 in December 2016. Even though it improves four-tenths (7.2 – 7.6, 6+), co-owned KFXN “100.3 Sports Radio K-Fan,” the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings, falls from first (where it had been in October and November) to second. Its -.1 in November curtailed four consecutive increases that produced a +2.7 since June (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+). Following three straight dips (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM Playing What We Want” recaptures all but two-tenths of that collective -1.1 with a +.9 to 5.5 (6+) and progresses to the top ten (#11 to #6). In the market’s hot AC contest, iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97 – More Music, More Variety” posts a gain of one-half share to continue an up/down pattern that began in May (3.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.7, #14 to #12, 6+), while Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” sputters by six-tenths (6.5, second to third, 6+), halting three straight up or flat trends that netted one-half share (6.6 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The 6.5 by “KS-95” is its lowest 6+-share since February’s 6.4. Trending in the 5.0 – 5.6 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “98.5 Twin Cities Christian Radio” falters by nine-tenths (5.3 – 4.4, 6+) to slip from seventh to tenth. Flat at #3, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB is down one full-share since July as the result of five consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Having finished #1 in April, May, and June, “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” KDWB segued to #2 in July and back to #1 in August. Both of the market’s FM country outlets are off one-tenth from November 2017. Even though it hasn’t posted a gain in the last six ratings periods for a combined -1.7 (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+) and has its softest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6, as well), iHeartMedia-owned KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” inches up from tenth to ninth. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” is an overall -.8 in three consecutive declines (4.4 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6, #12 to #13, 6+) and remains one full-share behind KEEY.

8) San Diego – Not only does KYXY register its third straight positive spike for an overall +1.9 (3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 5.7, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary property rockets from ninth to third with its best 6+-share since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2016. As the result of its third improvement in a row, Grupo Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” is a collective +1.7 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 3.7, #13 to #12, 6+). Rebounding from November’s loss of seven-tenths with a gain of six-tenths (1.6 – 2.2, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ moves from #23 to #21. The initial trending for San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” was 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 (6+, August – September – October). By replicating November’s half- share gain, Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” (5.8, 6+) advances from third to second. November’s +.5 (to 5.3, 6+) ended four straight decreases that yielded a cumulative loss of -1.4 (6.2 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.2 – 4.8, 6+). Posting a December 2017 increase of one-half share as well is cluster-mate KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative”, which – in addition to being up or flat for the fourth month in a row for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+) – zooms from #21 to #15 with its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 2.7. This marks the first sweep since new Entercom siblings (CHR) KEGY and (country) KSON swapped frequencies. Whether directly attributable to that change or other competitive factors (including all-Christmas music on KYXY), the 6+-share for KEGY “San Diego’s Energy 97.3” is slashed by more than 50% (2.2 – 1.0, -1.2, 6+), while KSON-FM “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” spirals by nine-tenths (4.6 – 3.7, 6+); “Energy” fades from the top twenty (#19 to #25) and “New Country” exits the top ten (#6 to #12). When KEGY picked up one-tenth in November, it applied the brakes to four straight negative or flat trends (2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+) in which it lost four-tenths. Likewise, a November +.3 by KSON-FM halted four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in an overall -1.4 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). In addition to KEGY, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO also plummets by -1.2 (twice its -.6 in November) and segues from first to fourth (6.6 – 5.4, 6+). As a result of KOGO’s loss of six-tenths in November, its successive string of up or flat monthlies that generated a collective +1.9 was snapped at four (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 7.2, 6+); October’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for KOGO in its PPM-history. Marching from second to first with a gain of four-tenths to 6.0 (6+) is San Diego State University-owned KPBS, which pulls the plug on three straight monthlies without an increase that accounted for an overall -.6 (6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.6, 6+). This marks the fourth time this calendar year (February, August, September, and December) that KPBS is on top. It was within 5.0 – 5.5 range January through July (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+). Two streaks come to an end in the rock format. A combined +1.5 in five straight progressive or flat trends (3.1 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.6, 6+), Midwest Television’s KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM – BFM” surrenders roughly half that increase (3.8, -.8, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#4 to #11); November’s 4.6 was its strongest 6+-showing since transitioning to rock in January 2016. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” adds one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), thus curtailing four down or flat trends in succession that produced an overall loss of seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+); “Rock 105.3” remains in a tie at #19.

9) Denver – This time last month, Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” was in a flat-footed tie for first-place with country cluster-mate KYGO – each with a six-share (6+). There’s no question about the December 2017 victor though with KOSI hanging out a +1.8 to 7.8 (6+), while KYGO is down or flat for the seventh month in a row for a collective -.9 (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.7, first to second, 6+). Down six-tenths in August and September (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+), KOSI has roared back in October-November-December with a collective +2.9 (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 7.8, 6+). This (7.8) is its best 6+-showing since 11.6 in “Holiday” 2016; “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” was 6.5 in December 2016. An increase of six-tenths takes Colorado Public Radio classical outlet KVOD (2.0 – 2.6, #20 to #18, 6+) to its strongest 6+-stat since January’s 2.7. Having posted a -1.2 in November, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV responds with a one-half share increase (3.4 – 3.9, #14 to #11, 6+). Immediately prior to the November sweep, Denver’s version of “Positive and Encouraging K-Love” was a cumulative +1.5 as the result of three straight improvements (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+). Without an increase in each of the last three sweeps for an overall -1.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.5, 6+), Colorado Public Radio’s news/talk KCFR rings up a +.3 to (4.8, 6+), climbing from sixth to fourth. Off one-half share in June, KCFR answered with a collective +1.9 in July, August, and September (4.0 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), before returning one-half share in October. It reached the five-share level (6+) in August for the first time since March 2016’s 5.7. Even though iHeartMedia news/talk KHOW records its sixth straight sweep without a loss for an overall +.5 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), it backslides from #19 to #20. With a +.1 to 3.5 (6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS halts at four a string of downward trends that produced a -.9 (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+); “KS-107.5” progresses from a tie at #14 to one at #13. On the heels of posting a one-half share gain in November, hot AC cluster-mate KALC “Alice 105.9” returns it in its entirety in December (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4, #12 to #15, 6+). The combined one-half share that “Alice” picked up in June and July (3.4 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+) was erased in August (3.4, 6+); KALC added another four-tenths in September. Flat at #13, its format rival – KSE Radio Ventures’ KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” – is without an increase for the third sweep in succession and is off six-tenths in that stretch (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Regressing by one-half share (in addition to KALC) is Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 96.5” (2.8, unchanged at #16, 6+), thus returning its September-October-November +.5 (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). This is the third straight decline for iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” for a collective -1.1 (6.6 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.5, flat at #3, 6+). Dropping out of the top ten (#10 to #12, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” is off for the third month in a row for a cumulative -.9 (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+).

10) Tampa – Stalled on 1.2 (6+) in October and November Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WPBB “B-98.8 Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” doubles it to 2.4 (6+), advancing from a tie at #20 to #18. It is the first time “B-98” has reached the two-share level (6+) since it became an AC in early-January 2017. In addition to notching a +.7 to 6.3 (6+), thus pulling the plug on six straight down or flat trends that generated an overall -2.5 (8.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WXGL “The Eagle” moves from third to its familiar runner-up slot. Prior to November, “The Eagle” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Frozen on 5.2 (6+) in August, September, and October and then falling to 5.0 (6+) in November, Beasley Media Group’s similarly-formatted WRBQ “Q-105 Tampa Bay’s Hits of the 70’s, 80’s, and More” rolls out a one-half share increase to 5.5 (6+), proceeding from fifth to fourth with its best 6+-stat since March’s 5.6. An increase of one-tenth to 4.6 (6+, eighth to seventh) by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” applies the brakes to three downward trends in succession that accounted for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+); November’s 4.5 was its lowest 6+-share since February (4.5, as well). Even though a loss of seven-tenths to 10.4 ends three straight gains that netted +1.8 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.8 – 11.1, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the market’s pacesetter for the 63rd successive ratings period. November’s 11.1 is its most potent 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 12.7. Prior to an August decrease, WDUV had been a collective +1.8 (again) as the result of four successive uptrends (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.5, 6+). The stream of adult contemporary sibling WWRM “Magic 94.9 Tampa Bay’s Best Music” (.6 – 0, 6+) as well as Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The Joy FM” (4.8 – 4.2, seventh to ninth, 6+) decline by six-tenths. “The Joy FM” returns in its entirety November’s gain of six-tenths, following October’s -.7. When WCIE dropped two-tenths in September, it concluded four straight sweeps without a loss that netted a +1.3 (3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8 – 5.1, 6+); July’s 5.1 was the highest 6+-share for WCIE since the “Holiday” 2016 report (5.1, as well). Notwithstanding that it is up for the third straight time for a cumulative +2.2 (3.8- 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s #1 For New Country” must settle for a backslide move of second to third. Whereas in September, WFUS dropped seven-tenths to 3.8, its softest 6+-showing in almost seven years (3.3, Holiday” 2010, 6+), December’s 6.0 is its best 6+-performance in nearly four years (6.1, January 2014). Its format rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” – is off a collective two-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase, but advances from sixth to fifth (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+).

11) Baltimore – Things remain topsy-turvy for WLIF “Today’s 101.9.” The Entercom adult contemporary property dialed up a +.5 in August; returned all of it in September (-.5); displayed a +.8 in October; surrendered all of that in November (-.8); and now bounces back with a whopping +3.3 in December (6.4 – 9.7, 6+). Over and above posting its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.3, “Today’s 101.9” vaults from fourth to first; WLIF was 8.3 (6+) in December 2016. Having occupied the top spot the past four months, Radio One urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” takes over at #2. Ironically, however, “Magic” adds one-half share to November’s +.9 (7.8 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 9.8. Entering the November sweep, “Magic” was without an increase in each of the previous four ratings periods for a collective -.6 (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). A four-tenths June increase halted at four its consecutive string of downward trends that accounted for a -.9 (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+). Stuck on .7 (6+) in October and November, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC more than doubles it to 1.6, its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s 1.7 as “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Musical Station” jumps from #20 to #15. Consistently within 7.2 – 7.7 range from May through November, (7.7 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WPOC “93.1 – Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” spirals by one full-share to 6.2 (6+, second to third); it is the first time WPOC is below a seven-share (6+) since January’s 5.9. Owing to a loss of nine-tenths (4.9 – 4.0, sixth to eighth, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WQSR “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want for Baltimore” has its softest 6+-showing since 3.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Tied at #9 with identical 4.5 – 3.8, -.7 (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 profiles are Shamrock-owned WZBA “100.7 The Bay – Baltimore’s Classic Rock Station” and Entercom sports outlet WJZ-FM “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan.” The two were deadlocked at #8 this time last month. In November, “The Bay” was off two-tenths, thus ending at five a consecutive string of gains that netted a +1.9 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), while “The Fan” has its third straight downward move accounting for an overall -1.8 (5.6 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92-Q Jams” (6.6 – 6.0, third to fourth, 6+) and Hearst Television’s WIYY “98 Rock” (5.2 – 4.6, steady at #5, 6+) each sputter by six-tenths. This is the lowest 6+-share for WERQ in nearly three years (5.4, January 2015), while “98 Rock” notes its weakest 6+-showing since August 2016’s 4.4. The nine most recent trends for WIYY’s news/talk sibling WBAL are 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.1 (unchanged at #12, 6+).

12) St. Louis – Stymied at 4.1 (6+) in October and November, Entercom adult contemporary KEZK busts out a +2.6 to 6.7, its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 11.1, jumping from ninth to fourth. At this time last year, “102.5 The Best Mix of the ‘80s and Today” logged a 5.8 (6+, December 2016). Co-owned hot AC KYKY “Y-98” bounces back from November’s -.6 with a +.8 (4.1 – 3.5 – 4.3, 6+) and enters the top ten (#13 to #10). Before gaining four-tenths in October, “Y-98” was without an increase in each of the previous eight survey periods for a net loss of -2.5 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+). Making positive spikes of six-tenths each are Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 The Lou – R&B + Old School for the Lou” (third to second, 6+) and Hubbard adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” (fifth to fourth, 6+). The increase by “The Lou” concludes a down/up pattern that surfaced May through November (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.4, 6+). The yoyo effect, however, continues for “The Arch,” which was -.6 (6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, May – June – July, 6+); +1.2 in August; -.7 in September (7.0 – 6.3, 6+); +.5 in October; -.7 in November (6.8 – 6.1, 6+); and now +.6 in December (6.7, 6+). With a 7.0 in August, “The Arch” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last December’s 7.6. Following a November gain of nine-tenths to 8.1 (6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU forfeits all but one-tenth of that increase (7.3, -.8, 6+) but repeats at #1. Prior to November, KLOU was down or flat the previous three months for a -1.3 (8.5 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). On top in January, February, and March, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April, but returned to #1 in June, July, and August. On the heels of a six-tenths dip in November, Hubbard’s WIL “New Country 92.3” regresses by another nine-tenths (6.2 – 5.3, 6+), sliding from fourth to seventh. December’s -.9 curtails an alternating up/down pattern that “New Country” experienced from May through November (6.1 – 6.5 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+). In addition to losing six-tenths to fall from seventh to ninth (4.4, 6+), Emmis’ KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” has its consecutive string of positive trends that netted one full-share end at four (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Off by one-half share each are co-owned news/talk KFTK (3.6 – 3.1, #12 to #16, 6+); Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (unchanged at #6, 6+); and Hubbard sports/talk WXOS “101 ESPN” (3.4, 6+). In three straight decreases, KMOX is a cumulative -2.9 (8.4 – 8.0 – 6.0 – 5.5, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.0. A loss of four-tenths in October ended at three its consecutive winning streak which generated a collective +1.1 since June (7.3 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.4, 6+). In addition to exiting the top ten (#10 to #13), WXOS snaps at four its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+). Carrying on in eighth-place, Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” loses two-tenths to 4.6 (6+), concluding three consecutive increases which accounted for a +1.3 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+); November’s 4.8 was its strongest 6+-stat since May’s 5.0. Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) have been unlisted all calendar year.

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