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Thursday, April 8, 2021

| April 8, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 24, 2019

| October 24, 2019

iHeartMedia and BuzzFeed Create ‘Impeachment’ Podcast. Just two days after former Donald Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon started his “War Room: Impeachment” podcast and radio show, iHeartMedia and BuzzFeed News roll out “Impeachment Today,” a daily podcast covering the Trump impeachment process hosted by BuzzFeed News senior reporter Hayes Brown.   The show is distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network beginning today (10/24). iHM and BuzzFeed News call it “a digestible, 10- to 15-minute news breakdown of the day’s impeachment process, debuting each morning and helping listeners make sense of the all-consuming political and legal saga that will captivate U.S. politics in the months to come.”  iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne states, “The current climate of fast changing news cycles often makes it difficult to keep up with complex topics like the Trump impeachment proceedings.  Podcasting is an ideal medium to dissect this news coverage and make it available to listeners in a way that is quick and easy to digest while on the go, and Buzzfeed is the perfect partner to breakdown this crucial information for listeners in an appealing daily podcast format.”

The Herd Podcast Network Launches Dallas Cowboys Podcast. A new football podcast dedicated to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys debuts on The Herd Podcast Network.  FOX Sports Radio and Premiere Networks announce the launch of “The ‘Boys and Girl Podcast,” hosted by Dallas-based NFL Network reporter Jane Slater and NFL Network field producer Bobby Belt.  New episodes of the podcast will be available on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout football season, with episodes continuing in the off-season.  Slater says, “As a Dallas native who reports on the Cowboys daily, I’ve found there is no offseason – the appetite for more content is as strong as Ezekiel Elliott’s desire to be fed on the field.  When Colin Cowherd approached me about this podcast, it was a no brainer.  My producer Bobby Belt and I talk this beat 24/7 and we’re excited to share those conversations with the fans.”

Michael Koolidge Show Adds Third Hour. The WROK, Rockford, Illinois-based Michael Koolidge show adds a third hour and is now airing from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Koolidge says that affiliate WZUS, Decatur, Illinois “Talk 101 FM” requested the additional hour.  “Talk 101 FM” operations manager Storm Edwards says, “Mike’s show has been on ‘Talk 101FM’ from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm for over five years now and it’s extremely popular with our listeners.  When we asked Mike if he could create an additional third hour from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, he jumped at the chance and we all couldn’t be happier about it.  I’m sure other affiliates will take advantage of it as well!”  Koolidge’s show is heard on a number of regional affiliate stations including: WTAX-AM/FM, Springfield and WTAD, Quincy in Illinois as well as Hillsdale College’s WRFH-LP, Hillsdale, Michigan.

Tegna Chief Dave Lougee to Receive BFoA’s Golden Mike Award. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Tegna president and CEO Dave Lougee is the recipient of its 2020 Golden Mike Award.  The award will be presented during a black-tie gala on Wednesday, March 4 at the famed Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The annual event is a major fundraiser in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.  Lougee says, “When devastation strikes one of our colleagues, it’s good to know the Foundation is there to help.  I’m so very proud of the generosity of the many broadcasters who support and donate to the Broadcasters Foundation and I am honored to receive their Golden Mike Award.”  BFoA chairman Dan Mason adds, “As a member of our board of directors, Dave has made a difference in the lives of the many broadcasters the Foundation helps.  Dave is an exemplary broadcaster who leads his team in serving their local markets with journalistic integrity.  We are proud to honor him.”  Previous recipients of the Golden Mike Award include: Perry Sook, Emily Barr, David Barrett, Michael Bloomberg, Bob Pittman, Gordon Smith, Jeff Smulyan, and more.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio executive and McVay Media principal Mike McVay and Sun Broadcast Group announce that McVay is serving as an advisor to SBG with his focus being on the company’s international platform.  McVay’s role will be to consult Sun CEO Jay Bailey and the company as they grow their international digital and international product line…..One of the carriers of the new “War Room: Impeachment” talk show hosted by former Breitbart exec and former Donald Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon is the John Fredericks Radio Network based at WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia…..RADIO.COM’s Pineapple Street Studios is producing “The Catch and Kill Podcast with Ronan Farrow” in partnership with Ronan Farrow. The podcast will serve as an audio companion to his bestselling book, Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators (2019, Little, Brown and Company).  Farrow says, “Catch and Kill is full of incredibly compelling men and women and this podcast will give you the opportunity to hear their voices directly, in intimate, candid conversations with me.  We’ll provide a deeper understanding of the plot that unravels in the book and feature brand new details and pieces of evidence directly from the investigation.”…..iHeartMedia and Fatherly launch a new iHeartRadio Original podcast, “Finding Fred.”  iHM says, “The show digs into the deep and simple language of Mister Rogers to uncover his very adult lessons about how to build a meaningful life.”  The 10-episode podcast is hosted by New York Times bestselling author, memoirist, and award-winning podcaster Carvell Wallace.  He says, “‘Mister Rogers’ has had a huge impact on an entire generation of children.  As this generation becomes parents, raising children of their own, it’s important to discuss how his words and ideas are still relevant today.”

Impeachment Inquiry/Republicans Protest Closed-Door Deposition, Zuckerberg on Capitol Hill, 2020 Presidential Race/Gabbard-Clinton Feud, Syria Pullout/Turkey Sanctions Lifted, California Wildfires/Power Blackouts, Katie Hill Ethics Investigation, and 39 Deceased Found in British Truck Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23). The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the Republicans’ attempts to gain access to the closed-door deposition; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee about his cryptocurrency plans; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and the Hillary ClintonTulsi Gabbard feud; the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Syria and Trump lifts the sanctions against Turkey; the California wildfires and power blackouts; the ethics investigation being initiated against U.S. Rep. Katie Hill; and the discovery of 39 bodies of Chinese nationals in a truck in Essex, England were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro JJ Kincaid has joined Cumulus Media’s Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q 99.7.”  He made his first appearance on the station yesterday (10/23) in the midday daypart but it’s not clear yet if he’ll be the permanent midday jock or is destined for another daypart on the station.  Kincaid was most recently morning drive host at iHeartMedia’s CHR KPTT, Denver “95.7 The Party.”…..The Skyview Networks-syndicated “Dana Cortez Show” adds three new Texas stations to its roster of affiliates.  Adding the program to their schedules are: Alpha Media’s KBTE-FM, Lubbock and KVWE-FM, Amarillo; and Four R Broadcasting’s KMDX-FM, San Angelo…..SiriusXM announces that jam band Phish will perform an exclusive concert for SiriusXM and Pandora listeners on Tuesday, December 3 at The Met in Philadelphia.  The live performance will mark the smallest venue the band has played in nearly 20 years and will be broadcast live on Tuesday, December 3 at 7:30 pm ET…..Condolences to the family and friends of former, longtime KNCI, Sacramento air personality Dan Cheatham, who died Tuesday (10/22) at age 50.  At this time, the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office is saying the cause of death is undetermined.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

| March 20, 2019

Steve Jones to Leave ABC Radio for President and COO Role at Skyview Networks. Longtime ABC Radio executive Steve Jones tells his staff there that his decision to transition from ABC to Skyview Networks was made “after very careful consideration and consultation both with Skyview and ABC News — two organizations I care deeply about.  In the end, the opportunity to help lead the growth and expansion at Skyview convinced me to take the position of president and chief operating officer, reporting to CEO and co-founder Ken Thiele.”  In his new role with Skyview, Jones will help lead the company’s growth in sports play-by-play, content creation across platforms, syndication, network sales, distribution of audio, and technology innovation.   Jones starts with Skyview on April 9.  Skyview CEO Ken Thiele says, “Steve is a highly respected leader in the audio industry and his addition to Skyview will accelerate what already has been a period of explosive growth.  Since Skyview Networks and ABC News partnered in 2014, Steve and I have worked side-by-side in developing new business that has resulted in great success for both companies.  During more than 30 years at Disney/ABC, Steve received dozens of awards recognizing his role as a business leader, innovator, and content creator.  He now brings his experience and expertise to Skyview to help prepare us for our next phase of aggressive growth.”

WABC Launches Podcast with Longtime Radio Contributor Bo Dietl. Debuting this week on 77 WABC Radio’s OG Podcast Network is the “One Tough Podcast” program hosted by former New York City police detective, private investigator, and longtime “Imus in the Morning” contributor Bo Dietl.  The program allows Dietl to “give his unfiltered and uncensored take on true crime, issues of the day, and New York City stories.”  This week’s premier episode features an exclusive interview with FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity. The next episode will feature a conversation with WABC personality Curtis Sliwa.  WABC says Dietl is one of the most highly decorated detectives in the history of the New York City Police Department, with several thousand arrests to his credit. He is the founder and chairman of Beau Dietl & Associates, an investigative and security firm.  He co-authored the book, “One Tough Cop,” a story about his life as a New York City police detective that was made into a major motion picture. He’s also a regular contributor to 77 WABC’s “Bernie and Sid In The Morning Show” and to FOX News Channel and FOX Business Channel.

Brandon Chase to Program ‘FOX Sports’ Charlotte. At Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster, programmer Brandon Chase adds PD duties for sports talk WBCN-AM/W234BY/WSOC-HD3 “FOX Sports Charlotte” to his responsibilities. He currently serves as APD, music director, and midday personality for adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” and is a production director at the cluster.  Beasley Charlotte VP and market manager Bill Schoening says, “Brandon is experienced in the sports format.  He has a great work ethic and I’m very excited to have him paving the way for success on FOX Sports.  I cannot wait to utilize all of his creative ideas and perspective.”

Des Moines Sports Talk Host Dies in Highway Collision. An accident on Interstate 80 took the life of KBGG-AM, Des Moines “1700 The Champ” sports talk host Gantry R. Miller, a.k.a., Wolfgang, on March 19.  The 44-year-old radio personality had pulled over and exited his car around 9:45 am when he was struck by a semi-truck.  He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.  Miller co-hosted “The Drive with Wolfgang and Steen.”  The station wrote on its website, “It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of our dear friend and fellow broadcaster, Gantry ‘Wolfgang’ Miller…Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Hillsdale College’s WRFH is Racking Up Honors. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) have awarded the relatively new radio program at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan with more than 10 major awards for the past year.  WRFH “Radio Free Hillsdale” GM Scot Bertram reports these include Ben Dietderich taking First Place nationally at the IBS Awards in the Best News Interview category for his John Bolton Interview from CPAC 2018 and WRFH being named the 2019 College Radio Station of the Year by the MAB.  Hillsdale College’s adherence to Constitutional principles has made it a favorite among many of the nation’s conservative news/talkers.

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia.  Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018.  The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media.  Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.  Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications.  “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world.  Now, I have an opportunity to give back.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.  Don’t miss this!

Neuhoff Communications Launches Fast Forward Leadership Program. Radio company Neuhoff Communications is launching its inaugural class of the Fast Forward Leadership Program.  The Neuhoff leadership team nominated several candidates for consideration and six were chosen: Chad Baker, Neuhoff Media Danville; Taylor Brown, Neuhoff Media Springfield; Jeremy Hardman, Neuhoff Media Bloomington; Emily Phillips, Neuhoff Media Decatur; Amanda Van Meter, Neuhoff Media Lafayette, and Dianna Towns, Neuhoff Communications.  The company says The Fast Forward program will demonstrate and continue the mission of Neuhoff Communications as the single-most important source for local news and entertainment in the markets it serves.  Each member of the Fast Forward team has been assigned a mentor from the Neuhoff Communications leadership team to assist in their professional development.  The team will also work together on a capstone project that will be presented to each of the Neuhoff Media markets and to the Neuhoff Communications Advisory Board.  Neuhoff president and CEO Beth Neuhoff says, “Anyone who doubts there is a deep bench in the local media business need look no further than these talented individuals. The future is very bright.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Amanda Van Meter, Dianna Towns, Jeremy Hardman, Mike Hulvey, Beth Neuhoff, Emily Phillips, and Taylor Brown. (not pictured: Chad Baker)

Mueller’s Trump Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Electoral College Debate, NZ Mosques Attacks Aftermath, Dems’ Reparations Discussion, George Conway Trump Criticisms, College Admissions Scandal, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Bracket Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19). Speculation about the final scope of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation and the timeline for completion; the growing list of Democrats vying to run against President Trump in 2020; the debate over the value of the Electoral College; the aftermath of the New Zealand mosques attacks; chatter among Democratic politicians about the reparations issue; George Conway’s criticisms of President Trump; the blowback from the college admissions scandal; the floods affecting several Midwestern states; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

MORE SPEAKERS BEING NAMED for 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his long-standing role as the morning breakfast host and kickoff speaker for this convention.  Hannity will be joined by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison in the event’s annual one-on-one opening keynote conversation.  Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019.  Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio.  A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group;  Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOneMike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupMichael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMediaJim Bohannon, host, Westwood OnePhil Boyce, SVP spoken word format, Salem Media Group and VP/operations, Salem Radio Network, New York Region; Howie Carr, host, The Howie Carr Show; Kathy Carr, president, The Howie Carr Show;  Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC; Kate Delaney, host, NBC Sports; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi MediaSebastian Gorka, host, Salem Radio Network; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, Our American Stories; Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Scott Lakefield, assistant program director, WOR, New York; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversityJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, The Joe Pags Show; Dave Robinette, Chief Marketing Officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed DialSid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Todd Starnes, host, Fox News Radio;  Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston/brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley BroadcastingDr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications NetworkBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz.  More speakers to be named in the days and weeks ahead along with a complete agenda.  The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports a number of changes taking place in the market including the exit of Chris Reese from the evening show at hot AC WTMX.  The station has not named a new evening personality but has announced it has hired former, crosstown WBBM-FM “B96” personality Nikki Imbrascio as part-time personality…..Feder also writes that Weigel Broadcasting’s WRME-FM “Me-TV FM” has brought market radio pro Bob Lawson aboard as a production/programming assistant.  He served for many years as a production director at WJMK-FM…..Pictured below his Little Steven Van Zandt (left) with WXTL-FM, Syracuse “The Rebel 105.9” program director Dave Frisina (right).  Van Zandt, host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” stopped by his Syracuse affiliate while in town for a speaking engagement at Syracuse University on March 18.  In addition to visiting with the staff, Little Steven took over the mic for an hour to play some tracks from his personal catalogue, as well as select songs from Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Darlene LoveThe Jellybricks, and a special tribute to the late Dick Dale.  He also played some songs from his upcoming album with the Disciples of Soul.

February 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Not quite equaling January’s robust +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL nonetheless chalks up an impressive +.9 to 6.6 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Moreover, WMAL establishes a new record for its best 6+-stat (6.6) in the PPM-era, breaking the “old” mark of 5.7 established … last month. After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the seventh sweep in succession.

In back-to-back survey periods, Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM falters by one-tenth (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), but “106.7 The Fan” manages to move from #14 to #13. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase of two-tenths followed four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). A combined -.4 via three straight (minor) setbacks (.9 – .8 – .6 – .5, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” slips from #23 to #25.

The recent up/down pattern for WTOP is -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); and now -.6 in February (10.4 – 9.8, 6+). Nevertheless, the Hubbard all-news operation repeats at #1. January’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Having set the pace 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December.

There is a quite similar major shift pattern for American University-owned news/talk WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium,” evidenced by -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and now -1.2 in February (9.8 – 8.6, unchanged at #2, 6+). Immediately prior to “Holiday” 2018, WAMU was an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+).

Entercom business news outlet WDCH drops two-tenths (.6 – .4, #23 to #27, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Even with a healthy eight-tenths’ gain (3.1 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WKYS remains within three-share range (6+) for the 23rd straight time – but – it zooms into the top ten (#14 to #8). May 2017 (2.9) marked the last time WKYS wasn’t between 3.0 – 3.9 (6+). An overall +1.5 through five straight increases (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9, 6+), co-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” continues at #3. Format rival – Howard University’s WHUR – posts its third successive positive spike for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+) yet backslides from fourth to fifth. Having sputtered -6.1 in January to 4.3 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” bounces back with an improvement of seven-tenths to 5.0 (6+) and is unchanged at #6. WASH was a combined +5.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+). An overall -1.3 as the result of three consecutive setbacks (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” erases roughly half the deficit with a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #7). The sale of WRQX to Educational Media Foundation is expected to close later this year. On the heels of January’s -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications’ WETA surrenders another seven-tenths (2.7, #12 to #16, 6+). When “Classical 90.9” dropped three-tenths in December, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a collective +1.4 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). A loss of one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) forces iHeartMedia CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5” out of the top ten (#8 to #12). Exiting the top ten as well is Entercom hot AC-turned-classic hits-oldies WIAD (#9 to #11). An overall +1.5 via four straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.8, 6+), “94.7 The Drive – DC’s Greatest Hits” has its streak snapped with a one-tenth loss to 3.7 (6+).

Boston

 Spoken-Word Formats – Having notched a January increase of one-tenth, iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is unchanged in 6+ share (2.2) and 6+ market rank (#17). November 2018’s 3.2 is the best 6+-stat for WRKO in more than four years (3.3, November 2014).

Over the course of the last seven (7) sweeps, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” has been: +.4 (September 2018); +.9 (October); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); and now -.8 in February (7.2 – 6.4, second to third, 6+). WBZ-FM is the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the Celtics and Bruins. In the same timeframe, Entercom-owned/2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM is -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); and now -1.0 in February (4.7 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Adding one-tenth to January’s +1.2 (5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” progresses from sixth to fifth.

The rollercoaster ride continues for Boston University news/talker WBUR, which has been -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat August through “Holiday” 2018 ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+); +1.5 (January); and now -1.1 in February (5.7 – 4.6, fifth to seventh, 6+). Adding one-tenth to January’s increase of two-tenths (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH carries on at #15.

Boston Music Formats – Replicating January’s +.6 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” advances from third to second. By gaining six-tenths (2.7 – 3.3, 6+), cluster-mate WBOS “Alt 92.9 Boston’s Alternative” reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since August 2016 (3.0). Locked on 2.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019, after December’s 3.3 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” posts a gain of one-half share to 3.4 (#13 to #11, 6+), its best 6+-performance since appearing in print in January 2017. Co-owned mainstream CHR WXKS-FM follows January’s gain of six-tenths with another one-tenth (6.7 – 7.3 – 7.4, 6+) as “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” repeats at #1. This (7.4) is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018. Albeit without an increase the fourth straight time for a -.3 (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), yet another iHeartMedia property – WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – climbs from #19 to #18. Nearly two full-shares ahead of it is Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5,” which is up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7, tenth to ninth, 6+). Its January +.1 ended seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+).

Miami

Spoken-Word Formats – Although level at 2.4 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD backslides from #18 to #19. “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was a combined -.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 but recaptured two-tenths in January.

In a noteworthy Spanish news/talk development, Actualidad Media Group’s WURN-AM “Actualidad 1040” has more than doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat in January and February (1.0 – 1.4  2.1, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #20.

Without an increase the past three reports for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+), Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” picks up one-tenth to .7 (6+) and continues at #26. It overtakes co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560,” which loses four-tenths via three consecutive down or flat trends (.9 – .9 – .6 – .5, #26 to #29, 6+).

Flat at #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN follows January’s seven-tenths’ improvement with a loss of two-tenths (2.3 – 2.1, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – The huge news here is a three-way tie at #1 among Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (7.4 – 6.6, -.8, repeating at #1, 6+); co-owned urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” (6.4 – 6.6, +.2, second to first, 6+); and Entercom adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.4 – 6.6, +.2, second to first, 6+). Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Meanwhile, “Lite FM” had been an overall +1.9 through three positive spikes in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+) and notched its best 6+-stat (7.3) since January 2018’s 7.4. Thus, for the tenth straight ratings period, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+). Meanwhile, this is the first time at #1 for “Hot” since May 2018, when it logged a 7.5 (6+). On the heels of January’s +.7, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” forfeits one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth to ninth, 6+). Its January increase curtailed three straight flat or down trends (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+). Skidding from #15 to #17, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is without an increase for the fifth straight sweep for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). Its mainstream CHR rival – Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” – posts a 3.0 (6+) for the fourth time in the last seven reports (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0, #12 to #14, 6+). Penetrating the market from West Palm Beach, Alpha Media hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety From the 90s & Now” reappears with a .7 (#26); the station’s sale to Hubbard is pending.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +1.0 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM continues in third-place. Immediately prior to January, KIRO-FM was -1.7 in three straight down or flat trends (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+). Somewhat similarly, co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” is a combined +.6 in January/February (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, #22 to #21, 6+), after a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide that resulted in slicing in half (-1.5) of its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+). In the same boat as well is Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which erases its December/“Holiday” 2018 -.4 (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, 6+) with a January/February +.7 (.9 – 1.4 – 1.6, #24 to #23, 6+).

Conversely, the market’s (6+) sports talk share softens by -1.5. Absorbing 60% of that impact is Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710,” which is down roughly 50% (-2.0) in four consecutive declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.1, 6+); the flagship of the Seahawks and Mariners fades from the top twenty (#14 to #21). Returning in its entirety the six-tenths it racked up in January (1.0 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM drops from #23 to #24. “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was down a collective four-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat sweeps that nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

In three straight up or flat trends, Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO is up six-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0, #16 to #15, 6+).

Tacking on six-tenths to January’s +1.5 (5.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW repeats at #1. In the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, KUOW was on top in September 2018.

Seattle Music Formats – At the same time that Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” adds a whopping +1.3 to January’s +.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1, tenth to fourth, 6+), Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” surrenders a combined January/February -7.2 (11.2 – 4.8 – 4.0, fourth to ninth, 6+). In September, “The Sound” overtook “Warm” for the first time since KSWD’s format shift from country (KMPS) roughly 15 months ago. As the result of six successive months without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), KSWD was +1.7. Entering the January sweep, “Warm” more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight gains (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+). Immediately after being a collective -1.6 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” is up a collective eight-tenths in three straight positive spikes (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). With a consistent October 2018 through January 2019 topline of 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+), Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” erupts with a +.9 to 2.9 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#21 to #16). A loss of one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, 6+) sends iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KUBE “93.3 Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” from #14 to #18. Following five straight positive or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNDD “107.7 The End – Alternative Seattle” falters by four-tenths to 4.3 (sixth to eighth, 6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Off two-tenths – after January’s increases of seven-tenths – Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” (3.7 – 3.5, 6+) slips from #12 to #13.

Three improvements in a row by Entercom sports talk/Pistons, Red Wings, and Tigers flagship WXYT-FM accounted for a +1.8 (4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); “97.1 The Ticket” has since been -1.3 (“Holiday” 2018); +.6 (January 2019); and now -.2 in February (5.0, flat at #8).

Despite being a combined +1.6 in January/February (6.1 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” segues from first to second.

Although relinquishing the three-tenths it scored in January (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6, 6+), Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM continues at #19. By gaining one-tenth in September, WUOM curtailed eight straight survey periods without an increase for a collective -.3 (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+). Down or flat the past three reports for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET gains it all back (1.5, +.3, #22 to #21, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Not only does Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX haul out back-to-back upticks of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+), “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” storms from third to first. January’s +.9 erased half of December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. In the market’s sudden adult contemporary battle, Entercom’s WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” registers its fourth consecutive up or flat trend for a collective +1.3 (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6, 6+) and advances from #14 to #12. WDZH transitioned from CHR “Amp Radio” to adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed incumbent WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” erodes by a combined January/February -11.3 (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6, second to third, 6+). Its 17.9 in “Holiday” 2018 though is easily the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Via four straight increases, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+) and was #1 in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018. A combined January/February +.8 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” jumps from ninth to sixth. Both of the market’s country players regress by six-tenths: Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” (5.3 – 4.7, sixth to ninth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (1.6, #18 to #19, 6+). In January, WYCD logged a +1.6, thus applying the brakes to three successive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.9 (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 3.7, 6+). WDRQ’s August 2018 through January 2019 topline was a very steady 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 (6+). Co-owned hot AC WDVD surrenders all but two-tenths of January’s +.7 (4.5 – 4.0, -.5, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Entering the January sweep, “96.3 Today’s Best Music and More” had been down or flat five consecutive times for a -1.4 (5.2 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – While it repeats January’s 3.4 (6+), Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Up six-tenths in January, KTAR-FM was an overall -1.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.3 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it follows January’s one-half share gain with a +.1 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” backslides from #17 to #18.

As a result of forfeiting two-tenths (2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk/Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” exits the top twenty (#20 to #22).

Down or flat three straight sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is now +1.1 in January/February and enters the top ten (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.6, #13 to #9, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – Over and above obliterating “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2 with a January/February +1.6 (5.1 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” progresses from third to first. Corresponding with its February increase of seven-tenths is a seven-tenths decrease by adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ (7.0 – 6.3, 6+), which – after five straight times at #1 – segues to #2. KESZ is now a combined -8.7 in January/February. January’s loss interrupted four positive spikes in succession that netted +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. After spending ten straight sweeps at #1, KESZ shifted to the runner-up slot in September. Progressing from#19 to #15, Riviera Broadcasting hot AC KMVA “Hot” is up eight-tenths in January/February (2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (3.0) since September 2018’s 3.1. Before picking up two-tenths in January, “Hot” had been without an increase six sweeps in succession for a collective -1.3 (3.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+). In addition to eroding by -1.1 (6.5 – 5.4, second to fourth, 6+), Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” has its softest 6+-stat in just over two years (5.4, as well in January 2017).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of January’s +.7, which ended six straight down or flat moves accounting for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom-owned Timberwolves and Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” adds another one-tenth (4.0, #12 to #11, 6+). Off seven-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Hubbard news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is now +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, unchanged at #14, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130,” which is flat at 3.3 (#14 to #15, 6+).

After logging four consecutive increases that yielded a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), KTLK cluster-mate KFXN “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” is -2.3 in four setbacks in succession (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4,  6+). The flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild drops from eighth to ninth. Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” is unchanged from January in 6+ market share (.7) and 6+ market rank (#25).

Erasing 70% of January’s +1.0 with February’s -.7 (5.0 – 4.3, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW falls from sixth to tenth.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KDWB  advance from third to first with a gain of seven-tenths (6.3 – 7.0, 6+), “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” has its best 6+-stat (7.0) since September 2018’s 7.2. Major ups/down continue for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM “Always Uplifting” KTIS-FM, which was a collective -.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+); +.9 (“Holiday” 2018); -.6 (January 2019); and now +.6 in February (4.6 – 5.2, tenth to sixth, 6+). As a result of three straight gains (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “Go Radio – Modern Minnesota Music” is an overall +1.1 and climbs from #18 to #16. Whereas January’s (6+) hot AC share in the Twin Cities ballooned by +3.1, it collapses in February by -1.3. Specifically, Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95,” which was +1.9 in January, regresses by eight-tenths (7.2 – 6.4, 6+), dropping from first to second, while iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1,” +1.2 in January, surrenders one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, flat at #11, 6+). Having held the lead position seven straight times before being ousted in August, KSTP-FM returned to #1 in October and November. Meanwhile, “Cities 97.1” spiraled by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Down or flat six times in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN returns two-tenths to 2.9 (#16 to #17, 6+). Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” was an overall +.8 in four straight sweeps without a loss (5.6 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.6 (January 2019); and now -.3 in February (6.5 – 6.2, second to fourth, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a one-half share increase, iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO surrenders four-tenths (4.4 – 4.0, eighth to tenth, 6+). January’s gain curtailed three straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Tacking on one-tenth to January’s +.3 (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” advances from #20 to #18. In five successive San Diego sweeps without an increase (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” is down six-tenths and tumbles from #22 to #24. While flat at #21, Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” is +.7 via three consecutive up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+). This (1.6) is its best 6+-performance since February 2018 (1.6, as well). After three straight sweeps without a loss for an overall gain of four-tenths (.7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1, 6+), Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” forfeits the entire four-tenths (.7, #24 to #26, 6+). A loss of four-tenths by iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” cuts its January 6+ stat in half (.8 – .4, #26 to #27, 6+).

A combined -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+), San Diego State University-owned news/talk outlet KPBS follows with a +2.4 in January/February (5.1 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+) and repeats at #1. KPBS was #1 in October, November, and December before shifting to #2 in “Holiday” 2018.

San Diego Music Formats – Advancing from sixth to third, iHeartMedia-owned KGB not only reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 5.1, “San Diego’s Classic Rock” is an overall +2.2 via three consecutive upticks (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+). Furthermore, its +1.4 is the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets shown here. It is a very similar scenario for Entercom-owned KSON “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country,” which is +1.9 in three successive positive spikes (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 6.1, third to second, 6+). A staggering -1.7 in just two sweeps (2.4 – 1.2 – .7, 6+), classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” answers with a February improvement of six-tenths to 1.3 (#27 to #22, 6+). This marks the third down or flat move in a row by Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” for a collective loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.0, #13 to #18, 6+). Co-owned regional Mexican KLNV “Que Buena 106.5,” which was +1.3 in four straight up or flat trends (4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.5, 6+), is off one-tenth to 5.4 (second to fourth, 6+). A cumulative -2.3 in four straight downturns (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from sixth to eighth. In four negative moves in a row, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVJ was a collective -1.6 (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+), but San Diego’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is unlisted for the second month in a row. KLVJ posted a +1.1 in September when it reached the three-share threshold (3.7, 6+) for the first time since March (3.1).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” answer December/“Holiday” 2018’s combined -.7 (3.8 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+) with a January/February +1.2 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3, the Tampa Lightning flagship enters the top ten (#12 to #9). A January gain of three-tenths by Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” repeats January’s 6+ share (2.9) and 6+ market rank (#15).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” returns that combined two tenths (2.1, #18 to #17, 6+).

It is tied with University of South Florida news/talk WUSF, which adds one-tenth to January’s +.3 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1, #19 to #17, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – Tacking on nine-tenths to January’s +.6 (4.9 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group country WQYK “99.5 QYK” proceeds from third to second. Three losses in a row resulted in a -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+). Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7,” which is an overall +2.3 in seven successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.2, seventh to fifth, 6+). While unchanged at #10, co-owned urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” is +1.1 via four consecutive upticks (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+). Down two-tenths after January’s -1.9 (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is nonetheless #1 for the 79th successive ratings period. Its January decrease suspended three straight gains that netted +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. Meanwhile, adult contemporary sibling WWRM “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music,” +1.0 through four straight upticks (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+), forfeits 60% of that increase with a -.6 to 5.3 (second to fourth, 6+). January’s 5.9 is WWRM’s strongest 6+-stat since July 2018 (6.4). In five successive sweeps without an increase, co-owned WXGL is -1.5 (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), but “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” inches up from fourth to third.

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting a January increase of one-half share to 4.8 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” drops one-tenth (4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). Entering the January report, the flagship of the Broncos and Colorado Rockies was an overall -1.9 in three negative moves in succession (6.2 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KHOW repeats January’s 1.4 (6+) but slips from #23 to #24. Prior to improving by three-tenths in January, “Talk Radio 630” was off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues for Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” whose recent activity includes four increases in a row for an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) followed by a December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.2; +.9 (January 2019); and now -.8 in February (4.1 – 3.3, #10 to #13, 6+). Having added one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” returns to a .3 (#27 to #29, 6+). The flagship of the Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche switched from country KWOF “The Wolf” in September (2018).

A combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+),Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR repeats at #1. KCFR was on top in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Flat at #22, Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC is trending 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 (6+).

Denver Music Formats – Regaining the seven-tenths it squandered in three straight downturns (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” (4.7, +.7, 6+) enters the top ten (#11 to #7). Dialing up a February gain of seven-tenth as well is Entravision regional Mexican KXPK “La Tricolor 103.5” (2.6 – 3.3, #17 to #13, 6+). Leaping from sixth to second, iHeartMedia alternative KTCL “Channel 93-3 Denver’s Modern Rock” is an overall +1.3 in five successive positive spikes (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+). This (5.4) is its highest 6+-stat in nearly two years (5.5, April 2017). Dialing up improvements of six-tenths as well are iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” (4.0 – 4.6, #11 to #9, 6+); and CHR sibling KPTT “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.2, #17 to #15, 6+), which applies the brakes to three straight setbacks that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Locked on 5.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018, iHeartMedia triple A KBCO logged a January +1.0, but that vanishes in February as “97.3 World Class Rock” is -1.1 (6.0 – 4.9, second to sixth, 6+). A combined January/February -8.2 (12.8 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI drifts from fifth to ninth. In three straight sweeps without a loss, “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” totaled an overall +7.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (with a 12.8, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was more than four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Immediately after notching a January +1.2, KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” slices that increase in half with a -.6 (5.7 – 5.1, 6+) but remains at #3. Down six-tenths as well in February is iHeartMedia’s KWBL “106.7 The Bull – Colorado’s New Country” (2.7 – 2.1, #15 to #18, 6+). Similar to “Kool 105,” Entravision’s KJMN recorded a January increase of +1.2 but “La Suavecita 92.7” forfeits one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11).  

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – After adding nine-tenths in January, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” remains the same in 6+ share (3.4) and 6+ market rank (#11). WCBM was off one-half share in December and “Holiday” 2018 (3.5 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). Up seven-tenths in January, Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” improves by one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) and continues at #13. Prior to the December sweep, WBAL had a (6+) fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row: 2.5 – 2.4; 2.4 – 2.5; 2.5 – 2.6; and 2.6 – 2.5. Up or flat for the third straight sweep (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL moves from #28 to #27.

A combined +.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM  is now -.8 in January/February (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); “105.7 The Fan” spiraled by -1.0 in November.

Answering December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.0 (3.3 – 3.0 – 2.3, 6+) with January/February’s +1.1 (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” advances from #12 to #11.

Surrendering all but one-tenth of January’s six-tenths’ gain (1.9 – 1.4, -.5, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU falls from #15 to #16.

Entercom business news WDCH has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ Baltimore stat since December (.6 – .7 – 1.1 – 1.3, unchanged at #19, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – An overall -1.2 in three straight downturns (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” is now a combined +1.3 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.2, steady at #5, 6+). Albeit down one-tenth (7.7 – 7.6, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” progresses from second to first. Its January +1.0 halted three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Knocked out of the top spot is its urban AC sibling WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9,” which suffers the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 erosion of any station in these 12 PPM-markets (9.0 – 7.4, -1.6, first to second, 6+). After 11 straight survey periods at #1, “Magic” shifted to second in December. It remained there in “Holiday” 2018 when it lost seven-tenths, but took over at #1 in January by logging a +1.1. On the heels of recording a January increase of seven-tenths, Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “Maryland’s Classical Music Station” relinquishes six-tenths (1.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, flat at #14, 6+). For the seventh time in succession, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – Down six-tenths (5.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” nonetheless continues in seventh-place. Prior to picking up two-tenths in January, the St. Louis Cardinals’ flagship – which was #1 in September 2018 and October – was an overall -3.0 through three straight decreases (8.4 – 7.5 – 6.9 – 5.4, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December/“Holiday 2018” (2.8 – 2.5 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” responds with a January/February +.8 (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, #18 to #17, 6+).

Relinquishing in its entirety “Holiday” 2018/January 2019’s +.5 (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+) Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” fades from the top ten (#10 to #16).

After logging a January gain of nine-tenths, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU follows with another four-tenths (3.2 – 4.1 – 4.5, tenth to ninth, 6+). Prior to January, KWMU was down or flat five successive sweeps for an overall loss of three-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – A combined +.9 in January/February (3.2 – 3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” advances from #14 to #12. Following four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (4.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” erases one-third of the deficit with a +.6 to 3.7 (#16 to #14, 6+). On the heels of January’s -9.1 to 6.5 (6+), Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” answers with a one-half share increase to 7.0 (6+) and continues in fourth-place. Three straight up or flat tends (5.2 – 5.2 – 9.8 – 15.6, 6+) resulted in KEZK tripling (+10.4) its 6+ numbers; it spent December and “Holiday” 2018 at #1, with “Holiday” 2018’s 15.6 the loftiest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era. Up in February by one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” (4.0 – 4.5, 6+), which enters the top ten (#12 to #9). At the same time, Hubbard’s similarly-formatted WIL “New Country 92.3” surrenders six-tenths (6.0 – 5.4, 6+) but carries on at #6 with its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (5.4, as well). It’s a January-only stay at #1 for Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY (8.6 – 7.3, -1.3, first to third, 6+), which was up a combined six-tenths in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.0 – 8.1 – 8.6, 6+). Reappearing in print in April 2018, “99.1 Joy FM” has reached #1 in August 2018, November, and January 2019 with January’s 8.6 its highest 6+-share in the April 2018 through February 2019 timeframe. Despite dropping three-tenths, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU is one of two stations succeeding KLJY at #1 (7.9 – 7.6, third to first, 6+); “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was +1.6 in January. Tied with KLOU in the lead position is Hubbard’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio,” whose four most recent fluctuations are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); and now -.5 (8.1 – 7.6, second to first, 6+). Prior to January, the last time KSHE reached the eight-share level (6+) was in November 2016 (8.6). In that same vein, the yoyo effect for co-owned KPNT “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” includes -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.5 (January); and now -.7 in February (6.4 – 5.7, flat at #5, 6+). Separated by one-tenth in January, both of the market’s CHRs gain three-tenths in February: iHeartMedia’s KSLZ “Z-107.7 – St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” (3.5 – 3.8, 6+) and Entercom-owned KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (3.4 – 3.7, 6+). They are unchanged at #13 and #14, respectively. Before notching a +.4 in January, “Z-107.7” was a collective -1.2 via five consecutive survey periods without an increase (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), while “Now” broke out a +.9 in January.

Friday, December 8, 2017

| December 8, 2017

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey.  Looking at stations’ 6+ numbers, Kinosian reports that “virtually one of every two news/talk stations on this sample is down between October 2017 – November 2017 (49%), while more than one of every three improves (36%); the remaining 15% are flat.”  When comparing 6+ ratings from November of 2016 to this year, “nearly as many stations on our news/talk sample are up November 2016 – November 2017 (48%) as are down (51%), with 1% remaining unchanged from a year ago.”  Three news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in November – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Three others ranked #2 in their respective markets – Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle and KSL, Salt Lake City; and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee.  See the entire report here.

Nielsen: ‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  A PPM market-wide review of sports talk stations’ performances by Nielsen Audio indicates that this time of year is good for sports talk stations.   Nielsen looks at the month-by-month uptick in sports talk listening (across PPM markets) since June in three demos – persons 6+, persons 18-34, and persons 25-54.  In each, we see a gradual rise over that period.  For persons 25-54, the average quarter-hour share was 4.3% in June and over six months rose to November’s 5.7 share.  Looking at persons 18-34, June’s AQH share was 3.1%.  In November, that AQH share was 4.3%.  Nielsen says baseball was a big factor in November’s numbers.  “Both the National and American League Championship baseball series took place during the November survey (which ran from Oct. 12 to Nov. 8), as did the World Series, which went to a deciding game seven for the second year in a row. These contests had a notable impact on sports radio listening, especially since the teams hailed from major markets.”  See the Nielsen report here.

Football Great Warren Moon Takes Leave from Seahawks Radio Broadcasts After Sexual Abuse Allegations.  Legendary footballer Warren Moon is revered by most in Seattle for his football heroics leading the University of Washington Huskies to the 1978 Rose Bowl and for his NFL career that included time playing for the Seattle Seahawks.  But now, after allegations of sexual abuse from a former employee at his Sports 1 Marketing firm, Moon is taking a leave of absence from Seahawks Radio Network radio broadcasts in which he has been serving as a color analyst.  Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle serves as the flagship station for game play-by-play.  In Moon’s absence, KIRO’s Brock Huard and Dave Wyman will share color analyst duties.  Read Matt Calkins’ piece in the Seattle Times here.

Mike Francesa Reveals Some Post-WFAN Plans.  Speaking to SI.com.’s Richard Deitsch, WFAN afternoon personality Mike Francesa says that one likely place for him to pop up in the immediate aftermath of his WFAN career is on Bill Simmons’ podcast.  “A lot of people want to know where I will go to finish my football picks, which are very popular.  A couple of people have asked me to sell them.  I said no.  Bill has offered me a home to pick them on his podcast, which I am thinking about.  The NFL Network has offered me the opportunity to do it.  So, I will do it somewhere.  I don’t know where.  But I would say the likeliest place is Simmons’ podcast because of my relationship with him.”  Francesa’s last radio show on WFAN is next Friday (12/15).  Read the SI.com piece here.

New Programming Changes at KXTG, Portland.  Just five months after naming Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey the late morning show on sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH, Portland, Alpha Media makes changes and the duo exit the station.  The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is now CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome.   Myers and Pouncey were brought in shortly after Dino Costa arrived at KXTG to host afternoons.  Costa exited the station in August.  The station is airing CBS Sports Radio’s Bill Reiter in that daypart.  “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano” is the only local daily show currently on the program schedule.

Keillor Tells Star-Tribune MPR Never Asked for His Side of the Story.  In a piece by Neal Justin in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, public radio legend Garrison Keillor says, “I wish Jon McTaggart [American Public Media CEO] had asked to hear my side of the story.  Every story has two sides, sometimes more.  He could have looked at the e-mails and the phone texts.  It would’ve taken about an hour of his time and it could’ve saved us all this drama.”  Last week, Keillor’s business relationship with American Public Media-owned Minnesota Public Radio was severed after an allegation of sexual impropriety leveled against him by a former staffer, although the story indicates MPR has evidence of a series of improprieties.  Meanwhile, Keillor says lawyers from both sides are talking and he has hopes for a “happy resolution.”

The Franken and Conyers Resignations Top Talkers TenTM for Week of December 4-8.  The resignation of U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Senator Al Franken, along with allegations against various entertainment figures of sexual impropriety, tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 this week was President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, followed by the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled, former judge Roy Moore at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

TALKERS News Notes.  Among the numerous, recent dismissals in the media world, there’s been a reversal at MSNBC, where the cable news/talk channel has brought Sam Seder back aboard after releasing him because of a “provocative joke” in a 2009 tweet.  You can read CNN’s account here.  MSNBC chief Phil Griffin said in a press release that the company had “erred” in its decision to fire Seder from his contributor position…..Tonight (12/8) at 7:00 pm ET, SiriusXM is airing a special show in its Town Hall series featuring Heisman Trophy winners Steve Spurrier and George Rogers.  SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour will host as the two sit down in front of an audience at the SiriusXM Studios in New York City the day before the 2017 Heisman Trophy is presented to the nation’s top collegiate football player.  They will also take questions from audience members in the studio.  The program will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. …..The most recent episode in ESPN Audio’s 30 for 30 Podcasts series is out.  Its titled, “Madden’s Game,” and explores football legend John Madden’s connecting with upstart video game company Electronic Arts (EA) in the late 1980s and how that helped grow EA into a video game empire…..WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby checks in to share this photo of her taken with President Donald Trump at the White House Media Christmas Party.  She says it was only hours after news broke that former national security advisor Michael Flynn had entered into a plea deal with the Feds and the president planned to take no personal photos or speak one-on-one to any journalists attending the bash.  However, following his very brief remarks to the packed room, President Trump spotted Cosby – whom he’s known for decades – and immediately stepped off the podium to greet her and share a few private words.  It’s believed to be the only shot he took with the media during this annual White House event.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Evening AC superstar Delilah is back on iHeartMedia’s Chicago adult contemporary WLIT “The New 93.9 LITE FM” in the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart.  The Premiere Networks star comments, “I’m so excited to be back on the radio every evening in the Chicago area.  ‘The New 93.9 Lite FM’ is the perfect place to reconnect with so many listeners and pick up where we left off.  It’s an early Christmas present!”…..Jerry Lee‘s hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” announces the winners of its 9th annual “Christmas Choir Competition” in which two school choirs – one at the K-8 level and one at the high school level – won $5,000 cash prizes for their schools’ music departments.  They also got the chance to sing with the Philly Pops at “A Philly Pops Christmas” performance this month. Neshaminy High School Select Choir won the high school division and Bridle Path Elementary School Choir won the grade school division.  To enter the contest, school choirs submitted videos of their performances of Christmas songs.  The winners were chosen by public vote on the WBEB website…..iHeartMedia alternative rock KRAB, Bakersfield “106.1 KRAB Radio” adds “The Woody Show” for morning drive, effective Monday (12/11).  The Premiere Networks syndicated show features Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas…..Pictured below are country duo Big & Rich with the cast of Cumulus Media’s “Ty, Kelli, & Chuck” show after stopping by to visit to chat about their plans for the holidays, among other things.  From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John Rich, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks, and Big Kenny.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.