Tag: "GCN"

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.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

| September 8, 2016

beasley-logoBeasley Presents to Lenders Regarding Greater Media Acquisition; Expects $6.2 Million in Combination Synergies.  After the acquisition of Greater Media is consummated, Beasley Broadcast Group will jump from the 17th largest radio operator (by station count) to 9th largest with 73 stations (before the divestiture of three signals in Charlotte).  In a presentation to lenders, Beasley executives are reporting that after the deal is completed, the company expects to realize $6.2 million in synergies from the combined companies.  Specifically, Beasley believes it will save $4.7 million with the elimination of Greater Media executive staff and duplicative corporate departments, as well as other consulting, legal and Board of Director fees.  At the station level, it expects to save $1.5 million in group benefit costs for employees and $900,000 in elimination of duplicative research, consulting and outside labor and advertising costs.  It will, however, add about $1 million in costs in the operating expenses column.  One specific item Beasley is budgeting for is about $300,000 to staff newly re-formatted classic hip hop WMGC, Detroit.   You can see the whole presentation here.

Doug Stephan Re-Tools Syndicated Morning Show; Re-Branded ‘On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria.’  In addition to now being distributed by Envision Networks, Doug Stephan re-brands his former “Good Day” nationally syndicated morning program “On Air with Doug, Jen and Victoria.”  Envision says the show stephanlogo16“delivers passionate discussions on items affecting listeners the most in their daily lives.  Hosts Doug Stephan, Jen Horn and Victoria Keelan each bring a distinctive perspective to their highly entertaining conversations.  Additional contributors round out each hour by providing listeners with news they can use on pop culture, entertainment,stephanhoststrio16 astrology, health, technology, pets, travel, finances, home improvement and much more.”  Moreover, each discussion in the program is self-contained so stations can opt to air all three hours or less and listeners won’t miss out on any part of the conversation.  The show is delivered via satellite or FTP download to allow stations to broadcast it live or tape delayed based on their programming needs.  Envision also says the show can be tailored to fit multiple formats including talk, adult contemporary, classic hits, hot AC, oldies and more.  Stephan says, “I’ve done a lot of radio and have never had as much fun as I am now.  And I know listeners love it.”

Cumulus Announces Staff Moves at Montgomery Cluster.  There are three career moves to report at Cumulus Media’s Montgomery, Alabama station group.  First, Rick Hendrick is promoted to operations manager for six-station cluster.  He’ll continue to serve as program director for rock hendrickrickWXFX.  Greg Thomas, who’s spent the last 14 years with Townsquare Media’s Tuscaloosa station group, joins Cumulus Montgomery to program country WLWI-FM.  Joe Hunk moves from WJOX, Birmingham to Montgomery to program sports talk WMSP and news/talk WLWI-AM.  Hunk will also serve as afternoon drive personality on WMSP.  Vice president and market manager Marvinhunkjoe Kopman says, “The passion, energy and talent of these three programming professionals are undeniable and together, they will create a strong force for programming excellence in Montgomery radio.  Rick was a natural choice to lead our cluster operations as operations manager, with his leadership skills and experience within our cluster and community.  Both Greg and Joe are tremendous additions to our programming team, and we welcome them and look forward to their contributions.”

Radio Tribute Show for Dr. Joy Browne Set for Tomorrow (9/9) on GCN.  A group of industry figures who have worked with or knew the late Dr. Joy Browne have organized a live tribute show in her memory to air tomorrow (9/9) on her regularly scheduled program between 12:00 noon ET and 3:00 pm ET.  It will be carried bybrownejoy the Genesis Communications Network (GCN) on Dr. Joy Browne’s roster of approximately 100 affiliates in addition to streaming live at www.gcnlive.com.  Participants include (in alphabetical order):  gcn-logoDavid Bernstein, GM, TalkersRadio; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio; Bernadette Duncan, author, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016); Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem Media Group, New York; Ron Hartenbaum, Managing Partner, DGital Media; Mike Kinosian, managing editor, TALKERS; and Doug Stephan, president, Stephan Multimedia. The program, consisting of personal anecdotes and commentary, will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The conversation will focus on the significance of Dr. Joy’s career and its important place in talk radio history as well as a look at her life and times.

careytrevornation16Fresno’s ‘Powertalk 96.7 and 1400’ Having Fun with ‘Trevor Nation World Tour.’  Afternoon drive personality Trevor Carey has been in that daypart on iHeartMedia’s news/talk simulcast “Powertalk 96.7 and 1400” (KALZ-FM, Fresno and KRZR-AM, Visalia) since February after moving from the company’s Stockton-Modesto talk combo.  Now, Carey is setting out to “meet and thank every listener” he has on the “Trevor Nation World Tour.”  The “World Tour” will stop at a variety of locations throughout the Valley, with Carey meeting his fans and listeners face-to-face during his live broadcasts.  The first stop is the Elbow Room in Fig Garden Village this Friday, September 9.  The tour will continue at Vino & Friends in Fresno on Friday, September 16.  Carey adds, “I hear the voices of callers, I read emails and social media posts, and I want to shake hands with all of my listeners.”

nielsen-logoNielsen: August PPMs Good to News/Talk. According to research from Nielsen Audio, its August PPM survey (July 14 – August 10) indicates that as a format, news/talk listening was up compared to the same period in 2015.  Not only was 6+ listening up from an 8.7 to a 9.6 (AQH share), but in both Persons 18-34 and Persons 25-54, AQH share was up 3.5 to 4.3 and 6.1 to 7.1, respectively.

The Presidential Race/Wednesday’s Candidate’s Forum, Iran Cash Payment Controversy, U.S.-Philippines Relations, iPhone 7 Reveal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/7).  The activities of the candidates for president including the buildup to last night’s candidate’s forum; the controversy over the U.S.’ payment of $1.7 billion to Iran at the same time four hostages were released by the country; President Obama meets with Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte days after Duterte threatened to curse at Obama; Apple reveals details about the new iPhone 7; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallNewspaper Media Columnist and Former Television Producer Dave Berg is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.   In what can be described as a media freak’s delight, Orange County Register and USA Today media columnist Dave Berg and Michael Harrison engage in a multi-faceted dialogue about the evolving history of late-night television in America and its role in reflecting, as well as influencing, societal change.  It all happens on this week’sbergdave installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (9/6).  Berg served 18 years as co-producer of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and wrote the best-seller Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show (Penguin Publishing, 2014).  In his career he has served as a producer for Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, a writer for NBC News and the Los Angeles bureau chief for CNBC.  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 of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Monday, July 18, 2016

| July 18, 2016

Republican National Convention Begins Today in Cleveland.  Numerous news organizations – in additioncbsradionewsCleve16 to dozens of talk shows broadcasting from the site of the convention – are in Cleveland to report on this week’s Republican National Convention.  The team pictured at right is from CBS Radio News and among the four news pros, they tradupCleve16have covered 24 national political conventions.  The CBS Radio News correspondents are (from l-r): Steve Dorsey, Steve Portnoy, Dan Raviv and Steve Futterman.  Also in Cleveland is Salem Radio Network.   Pictured at left manning the vacuum cleaner at the SRN broadcast booth late Sunday evening is VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup.  SRN hosts broadcasting from Cleveland will include: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Eric Metaxas, Michael Medved and Larry Elder.  The Westwood One News convention team includes correspondents Bob Costantini, Jim Roope, Alan Scaia and Karin Caifaww1NewsCleve16 among its reporter and producer crew.  Chas Henry will anchor long-form coverage and Michael Toscano will anchor evening short-form special reports.  The team will operate from its Westwood One News broadcast booths inside the arena (pictured at right). Programming will include a live podium feed of all sessions; anchored coverage of the presidential and vice-presidential acceptance speeches and other major events; four special reports per hour during evening sessions; live correspondent Q&A opportunities for affiliates; and a live simulcast of CNN TV coverage.

The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Baton Rouge Officers Slain, Attempted Turkey Coup, Rio Olympics Troubles/Russian Doping Allegations, Pokemon Go Craze, and British Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland; the shooting of three Baton Rouge police officers by a lone gunman; the attempted military coup of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympic Games and the related Russian doping allegations; the Pokemon Go craze; and this weekend’s British Open golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ Hits 100-Affilliate Mark.  Less than a year after sports media personality Colin Cowherd joined FOX Sports from ESPN, his nationally syndicated radio show on FOX Sports Radio, a division of Premiere Networks, gets its 100th affiliate station.  Recent additions to the show’s affiliate rostercowherdcolin include: WINZ, Miami; KHHO, Seattle; KGME, Phoenix; KDSP, Denver; and KFXX, Portland.  Premiere president Julie Talbott states, “The reaction to Colin’s show over the past 10 months has been incredible – we’ve surpassed every goal we set for the first year of the program.  The rapid success of ‘The Herd’ is a testament to Colin’s unique voice in the world of sports media and his ability to engage millions of fans across numerous platforms.  We look forward to reaching many more milestones together.”  Cowherd adds, “You can’t be happier professionally than I am today.  The support is so extensive that it only makes me want to work harder and this is just the beginning.”  Cowherd also appears on cable’s FS1.

Gow Media Teams with SB Nation for New Sports Audio Content.  This relationship means the end of Gow Media’s partnership with Yahoo! Sports Radio as of August 1.  At that time, the sports radio network with sbnationre-brand as SB Nation Radio.  SB Nation is a digital sports brand operated by Vox Media.  In a statement today, the two companies say they will “collaborate to develop and distribute audio content, available across SB Nation’s community of over 300 digital properties, as well as Gow Media’s network of over 500 affiliate radio stations, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and other mobile and digital platforms.”  They plan to create new “podcast franchises” and “various on-air show formats.”  SB Nation staff expected to be part of the radio efforts include: Spencer Hall, Paul Flannery, Dan Rubenstein, Ariel Helwani, Thomas George, “as well as experts from some of SB Nation’s 300 team-specific communities, which will join Gow Media’s existing 24/7 programming lineup and capabilities.”   Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “SB Nation is young, fast-paced, and digitally savvy.  This is the tone and energy audiences will hear on SB Nation Radio.”

Odds & Sods.  In the Houston market, iHeartmedia inks a deal with IMG to be the official radio partner for The University of Texas football and men’s basketball play-by-play broadcasts.  KBME “Sportstalk 790 AM” will be the primary outlet for broadcasts but select games may also air on news/talk sisters KTRH and KPRC…..Bravo Mic Communications-owned country outlet KXPZ, Las Cruces, is the new flagship for New Mexico State University football and men’s basketball games, and the coaches’ shows.  The deal with Learfield runs through 2021…..Radio news pro Kris Ankarlo joins the news staff at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles as reporter/anchor.  Ankarlo, son of talk radio pro Darryl Ankarlo, most recently served with CBS RADIO’s all-news WNEW-FM, Baltimore prior to that station’s format flip late last year.

4th Annual Radio Talent Workshop Begins Today at WKU.  Today begins the 4th annual Kentucky Broadcasters Association Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute with 35 broadcasters discovering and preparing young talent with a strong desire to be in the broadcast industry.  Twenty four students from across the state and region have been accepted into the Institute and all will be taking the RAB course toWKUInst15 become certified as Radio Marketing Professionals.  They’ll also learn from broadcasters about other aspects of radio, including: on-air, sports, news, production, promotions and digital/social media.  Some of the guest professional faculty are: Steve Newberry, president of Commonwealth Communications; Bud Walters, president of Cromwell Radio Group; Chris Hillard, president of Forever Communications; Kristin Cantrell, owner/CEO of CapCity Communications and Seven Mountains Media; Mike Tarter, president and Terry Forcht, chairman/CEO of Forcht Broadcasting; and Lynn Martin, president of LM Communications.   The Ben Davis and Kelly K show (pictured here at last year’s Institute) from WDJX, Louisville will broadcast live from WKU on Friday morning.

siegelbook16Broadcast Veteran Mike Siegel Publishes Book About Pivotal Period in Talk Radio History.  In a new book that is part-memoir/part-history, veteran talent Mike Siegel has released a book that covers the early days of talk radio’s modern era following the repeal of thesiegelmike Fairness Doctrine.  Titled, Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (2016 Page Publishing) the book was written with Stan Emert with a forward by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  Siegel, who currently hosts a national show distributed by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and does part-time and fill-in work for WRKO, Boston, is available for interviews.  He can be emailed at mikesiegel2000@yahoo.com or phoned at 206-510-9494.

Friday, October 30, 2015

| October 30, 2015

beasleymediagroupBeasley Media Group Q3 Financial Data Shows Mixed Results.  Last December’s asset swap with CBS RADIO – in which it exchanged five stations in Philly and Miami for 14 CBS stations in Tampa, Charlotte and Philly – makes this third quarter financial report from Beasley Media Group a bit more complex.  It’s required to report the five stations CBS received under discontinued operations for the 2014 third quarter, despite having operated them through November 2014.  Therefore, on a combined basis, third quarter top-line revenue was up 7%, but on a pro forma basis third quarter net revenue decreased 4.5% while station operating income declined 12.2%.  The company says, “The decline in pro forma revenue largely reflects weakness in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Fayetteville and Wilmington, which reduced operating leverage and impacted SOI.  However, we continue to make progress with the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Charlotte integration initiatives and reduced combined station operating expenses in these markets by approximately $700,000, while company-wide cost reductions led to a 1.5% reduction in third quarter station operating expenses.  We are now approximately 11 months into our integration and transition plan related to the asset exchange and despite it being more difficult and time consuming than expected, we believe our success in expense management combined with our ratings strength should lead to financial benefits from the swap in late 2016.  In the meantime, we continue to make progress in reducing debt, while returning capital to shareholders.  During the third quarter we made credit facility repayments totaling $3 million, reduced borrowings to $90.2 million at September 30, 2015 and declared our eighth consecutive quarterly cash dividend.”  In issuing its forward looking statements, Beasley says it remains “focused on operating our station clusters to match or exceed their markets revenue performance while further strengthening our balance sheet.  We believe our ratings and programming are in great shape and look forward to benefiting from the integration, programming, personnel, cost-efficiency and operating changes put in place over the last year.”

hannityLA15Sean Hannity Packs iHeartRadio Theatre in Los Angeles.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity appeared in Los Angeles recently to a standing room only house at the iHeartRadio Theatre.  Hannity is heard on iHeartMedia’s KEIB, Los Angeles and the station reports that listeners were treated to breakfast and more than an hour of political conversation, jokes, personal stories and Q&A with the Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel personality.  Pictured here backstage at the iHeartRadio Theatre are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Los Angeles market president Kevin LeGrett, Hannity, and KEIB and KFI program director Robin Bertolucci.

wmgc sportslogoSmall‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ Adds Two Personalities to Revamped Lineup.  With the recent exit of longtime Detroit radio personality Drew Lane from the PM drive daypart lastsharpdrew week, Greater Media’s sports talk WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1,” adds two new personalities to its new lineup.  Drew Sharp joins Matt Dery for the new afternoon program and Sean Baligian is now part of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Tom Mazawey baligianseanand Marc Fellhauer.  Baligian has been hosting the afternoon show on iHeartMedia’s Grand Rapids sports talk WMAX “96.1 FM ESPN.”  He also works for USA Hockey and is in his seventh year as the voice of Wayne State Football.  Drew Sharp is a 30-plus year Detroit Free Press columnist.  Program director Dave Shore says, “This new lineup is very exciting and we will continue bringing Detroit the most knowledgeable and most thought-provoking talent in sports radio.”

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Ratings Released.  The fourth and final round of October 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio is released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  You can find all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Twelve Takeaways from this round of data at our sister publication’s site here.  The October 2015 PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7.

brownejoycircus15Bringing Joy to the Visually and Hearing Impaired.  Hardly a week goes by when past-recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year award, GCN-syndicated talk star Dr. Joy Browne is not involved in a high-profile charitable initiative.  This past Wednesday (10/28) America’s leading relationships talker performed the role of honorary ring master at the Big Apple Circus presentation of “Circus of the Senses” – a specially adapted performance of “The Grand Tour” – at New York’s Lincoln Center for children and adults with vision or hearing impairments and other disabilities allowing them to experience the joy and wonder of the circus. Dr. Browne (l) is pictured in full ringmaster regalia with Big Apple Circus regular ringmaster John Kennedy Kane (r).  Browne tells TALKERS, “It was a wonderful experience introducing the show.  Through the use of audio headsets, Braille descriptive programs, American Sign Language interpreters, and a special ‘touch session’ after the show, anyone and everyone could experience and enjoy the extravaganza!”

talkersten logoGOP Debate and 2016 Presidential Race Top News/Talk Stories for Week of October 26-30.  Wednesday evening’s GOP primary debate and the 2016 presidential race tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was Paul Ryan’s ascension to the Speaker of the House.  Coming in at #3 was the congressional budget deal followed by the U.S.-Russian military skirmishes 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

| September 17, 2015

kantar media logoKantar Media: Total U.S. Ad Spend Down 3.9%; Radio Up 5%.  The comparison of the total U.S. ad spend – the 3.9% figure – is both from the first quarter of 2015 to the second and the January to June figures from 2014 to 2015.  The positive news for radio is in local ad sales.  Kantar Media reports that from the first quarter of 2015 to the second, local radio ad spend was up 10.6%.  For the same category, the Jan-June 2014 versus 2015 figure was also up, by 7.9%.  the not-so-good news is that Kantar reports the network radio ad category was down 8.4% and 5.4%, respectively.  National spot radio was up a little bit from Q1 to Q2 this year – 1.2% — but comparing the first six months of 2014 to the same period this year, the category is down 1.6%.  See the whole Kantar Media report here.

wbix logoSalem Media Group Debuts Boston Talk Station on WBIX.  The newly acquired Boston AM signal WBIX starts life anew as a news/talker for Salem Media Group.  The station is being branded “AM 1260 The Buzz” and features Salem Radio Network stars Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas.  The calls have been flipped back to WBIX from the WMKI calls that identified the station when it was owned by Disney and aired the company’s “Radio Disney” pop music format.

patrickmattHouston Talk Host Matt Patrick Fighting Esophageal Cancer.  KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Matt Patrick announced his morning drive audience  that he is battling esophageal cancer.  He also went on colleague Michael Berry’s talk show on Wednesday to further discuss his medical situation.  During the segment with Berry, Patrick explained that he’s receiving treatment for the malignant tumor at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson clinic in Houston.  The 30-yar radio pro is a recovering alcoholic and he told the audience this will be the second toughest fight of his life.

globalmediaservices logoNew Production Service ‘Radio Spot Shoppe’ to Launch on September 28.  The new three-part production service is being offered by Global Media Services and includes script writing, commercial production and imaging from “one professional source.”  Global Media Services is partnering with AdLarge Media for barter national ad sales representation.  Global founder Tony Garcia states, “Producing good creative quickly has always been a challenge for radio.  That is especially true as bottom line pressure increases and the head count decreases.garciatony  Radio Spot Shoppe gives stations the ability to outsource services rather than relying on the same voices, the same production staff, and the same AEs to write commercial copy.  Not only does that free-up internal personnel to focus on their core responsibilities, it also brings a dedicated team of production, script-writing, and imaging professionals to your station.”  Garcia says the market-exclusive barter service allows stations to choose the level of service based on their needs.  Check out www.radiospotshoppe.com, call Garcia directly at 303-557-1961 or email him at: tony@globalmediaservices.co.

hurleyharryHarry Hurley Re-Ups with Townsquare’s WPGG, Atlantic City.  With almost 25 years under his belt at WPGG, Atlantic City, morning drive star Harry Hurley can feel safe about easily surpassing the 25-year mark after inking a new, multi-year contract with Townsquare Media.  Hurley says, “To have a broadcasting career with one company that’s measured in decades is a dream come true.  We have the most dynamic founder, chairman and chief executive officer in Steven Price.  Mr. Price’s pedigree is incomparable.  He has served our federal government in the Pentagon as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.  And, Mr. Price is such a visionary in the areas of terrestrial radio, all digital platforms and live events.  He truly understands how government, business and industry intersect, along with working with and serving our various communities at the highest level.”

fccnewBroadcasters Applaud New FCC Contest Rules.  The long awaited revised contest rules for radio and television stations that allow licensees to post contest rules online have been approved by the FCCNAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton states, “NAB applauds the FCC for updating its contest rules to better reflect today’s media environment.  Providing flexibility about where and how contest rules can be posted online allows broadcasters to best serve our audiences based on the wide variety of contests we run.  NAB looks forward to working collaboratively with the FCC to help radio and TV stations adhere to these revised rules.”

Odds & Sods.  Targeting fans of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, the “30 Minutes of Geek” podcast is expanding to a full hour and is now available for radio stations.  Midnight Entertainment, LLC announcesgeekuniverse the Jim Yelton-hosted program, dubbed, “Geek Universe with Jim Yelton,” will discuss “everything related to the science fiction, fantasy, horror genres across movies, television, games, and more.”  The show launched into national radio syndication in July on the brand new GLN Radio Network with guest Carl Gottlieb, the screenwriter of the classic summer blockbuster Jaws.…..Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the nationally syndicated radio show “Café Mocha” has joined forces with Hyundai Motor America gellerBull15to launch the Salute Her presented by Hyundai: New Thinking, New Possibilities campaign.  With a mission to salute and reward women who are demonstrating new ways of thinking and creating new possibilities in their communities, prizes will include one-on-one professional coaching sessions, all-expense paid trips to the 47th NAACP Image Awards and one grand prize, a 2016 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T…..Consultant and author Valerie Geller (left) poses for a photo with LBC London talk show host Clive Bull (right) at the Next Radio 2015 conference at the Royal Institution in London.  The annual conference is billed as the place where “the best new radio ideas are shared.”

wnymcruise15All Aboard!  Salem Entertains Clients on Twilight Yacht Cruise.  The annual Salem Media Group client yacht cruise around lower Manhattan took place last evening (9/16) during which the staff and hosts of WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and WMCA “AM 560 The Mission” sailed, wined and dined with an invited gathering of advertisers, clients and media friends.  Pictured (l-r): TALKERS GM/broadcast operations, David Bernstein; nationally syndicated GCN talk radio legend Dr. Joy Browne (heard on WNYM); and Salem NYC VP/GM Jerry Crowley.  Not pictured: Hugh Hewitt whose image was on all of the yacht’s television monitors tuned to his outstanding participation as one of three select questioners in the second Republican presidential debate simulcast on CNN and Salem Radio Network.

Trump Candidacy/Wednesday GOP Debate, European Migrant Problems/U.S. Immigration Policy, Iran Nuclear Deal, Russia’s Syrian Military Aid/Obama Administration’s Syria Policy, North Korean Nuke Threat, and Student Home-Made Clock Arrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and the anticipation of Wednesday evening’s GOP primary debate; the migrant problems facing European nations and the debate over the U.S.’s immigration policy; the nuclear deal with Iran; reported military aid to Syria from Russian tied with the Syria military policy of the Obama Administration; the nuclear weapons threats made by North Korea; and the case of the high school student arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

| May 27, 2015

recode logoFormer Dial Global/WW1 Execs Launch Program Sales and Distribution Firm. Former Dial Global and Westwood One executives Spencer Brown and David Landau announce they are partnering with Michael Rolnick to form the firm DGital Media.  They describe it as “an audio engagement company that partners with media brands to create, distribute, and monetize spoken-word audio products.”  The company’s first venture will be the creation of the Re/code Radio network in partnership with Revere Digital LLC.  Re/code is a tech news web destination founded by journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.  The first program to be rolled out will be “Re/code Decode” with host Kara Swisher, expected to go live in June.  Revere Digital COO Lorenzano Kennett comments, “With the proliferation of mobile devices and the popularity of podcasts, we want to make sure our content is available to our audiences wherever they are – in the car, in the office, etc.  By partnering with DGital Media, Re/code will be able to leverage our authoritative content and brand with outstanding audio programming, distribution and monetization.”  DGital Media co-founder David Landau adds, “Partnering with Re/code as a brand accomplishes exactly what we set out to do – which is to amplify media brands through audio.  The Re/code Radio network will bring the same excellence in reporting and analysis to readers through the spoken word.”  Also joining the company as chief content officer is Chris Corcoran, former EVP for content at Dial Global/Westwood One, and as executive vice president for sales and strategy, Grace Carrick, formerly vice president of sales at Dial Global/Westwood One.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 to Mark 25th Anniversary of TALKERS Magazine.  The forthcoming 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2015 – will also serve as the publication’s 25th “birthday party.”  TALKERS was launched by publisher Michael Harrison in June of 1990 with the first issue of TALKERS: The Information-Radio Newspaper hitting the streets on July 23rd of that year.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This is an important milestone, not only for us, but for the talk radio and media industries as well.  That little trade publication provocatively named ‘Talkers’– that dared to refer to the relative handful of spoken-word stations that existed at the time as an ‘industry’ — has chronicled, championed and inspired one of the most colorful and historically significant chapters of American broadcasting ever gathered and archived in one continuous collection.  This year’s conference will serve as a milestone honoring that achievement and rich body of work.”  Casey adds, “Not only will Talkers New York 2015 have features that make note of this history but we will be publishing a number of retrospectives looking back at the past quarter-century in the days and weeks surrounding the conference and leading up to the official anniversary date in July.”  Talkers New York 2015 is sold out but a few choice sponsorship opportunities remain available.  For information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest updated agenda, please click here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Pay $38,250,000 for Morris and JMJ Stations.  From a filing with the FCC, we learn the price for the 36 stations that Morris Communications and JMJ operate in Topeka and Salina, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Palm Springs and Victor Valley, California; Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska; Grays Harbor-Hoquiam, Washington and Wenatchee-Columbia River, Washington: $38,250,000.  This is not an all-cash deal.  Morris will receive $20 million worth of Alpha Holdings private stock (8,196,722 units in the aggregate), $6,585 worth of Alpha Holdings II private stock, and $18,250,000 in cash.

delaneykateKate Delaney Joins NBC Sports Radio for Weekend Shows.  Sports and news/talk radio pro Kate Delaney is adding weekend talk duties at NBC Sports Radio to her plate as she takes over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday shows from Anita Marks, who left the network to join WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM.”  During the week, Delaney is host of the GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” late night news/talk show.  NBC says Delaney’s show will feature “players, coaches, experts and analysts…from the locker room to the playing fields and beyond.”  Delaney’s sports pedigree includes being the first woman to host a solo sports radio talk show on WFAN, New York City and KRLD, Dallas.  She’s covered 15 Super Bowls, 10 U.S. Opens, and 15 Final Fours.  She has also been to the Kentucky Derby 10 times along with the other two Triple Crown races, the Preakness and the Belmont.  NBC Sports Radio program director Jack Silver comments, “It’s a major coup for us to have Kate with us on the weekends.  She connects really well with sports fans.  She’s smart, funny, and she knows her way around the world of sports.  Kate brings great energy, insight, and opinion to our weekend lineup.”

Odds & Sods. Joining the lineup of weekend talk shows at Talk Media Network is the “Into Tomorrow withgravelinelogo Dave Graveline” program.  In welcoming the almost-20-year-old program to the company’s roster, Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “The ‘Into Tomorrow’ team travels the globe to deliver the most comprehensive technology discussion available on radio, each and every week.  Talk Media mcpheemicheleNetwork is proud to offer radio stations this valuable program via satellite, for easy automation and scheduling.”…..Journalist and talk show host Michele McPhee – formerly with Entercom’s WRKO, Boston – is the new afternoon drive personality at WMEX, Boston, the daypart held briefly by Howie Carr before WRKO again became his syndicated program’s Boston affiliate.

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Is FOX News Bad for GOP?’ Flap, Hillary’s Role in Benghazi, Clintons Finances Scrutiny, ISIS Successes in Iraq and Syria, Amnesty Order Loses Round in Court, Obama Accuses Russia of Aggression, FIFA Scandal, Deadly Texas and OK Floods, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/26).  The activities of the potential candidates for president in 2016; reaction to historian Bruce Bartlett’s contention that FOX News is “self-brainwashing” conservative voters; more debate over Hillary Clinton’s role in the deadly Benghazi attack; ongoing scrutiny of the Clintons’ financial dealings and income reporting; the success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and questions about America’s Iraq policy; President Obama’s amnesty order loses round at the Appeals Court level; Obama accuses Russia of military aggression; a report of widespread corruption at FIFA – soccer’s governing body; the deadly flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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