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Friday, February 19, 2021

| February 19, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Forks and Bumps,” looks back at this past week of February 15-19, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Brett Winterble, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioHowie Carr, talk show host, WRKO, Boston / Howie Carr Radio NetworkDave Congalton, talk show host, KVEC, San Luis Obispo, CA; and Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, talk show host, the Joe Pags Show. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Delmarva; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Wisconsin Radio Host Len Nelson Suspended for Limbaugh Post. Rock WAPL-FM, Appleton, Wisconsin morning personality Len Nelson has been suspended indefinitely by station owner Woodward Communications for a now-deleted message he posted to his personal Facebook page that was critical of Rush Limbaugh. Nelson’s missive blamed Limbaugh for causing “damage to public discourse in America” and charged that his radio program was “steeped in bigotry, misogyny, hypocrisy, lies and malice.” He closed the post saying, “I will not celebrate his death, but I will not feel sorry for it, either. The world is a better place without Rush Limbaugh in it.” Woodward Communications posted the following to the WAPL website: “Recently we were made aware of a social media post placed on a personal Facebook page by one of our employees, Len Nelson. His personal views are not reflective of the core values of WAPL nor of Woodward Radio Group. We are deeply committed to being good people. We appreciate our listeners, sponsors and advertisers and want to assure each one of you this matter is being addressed swiftly. Thank you for reaching out to us with your concerns, we are listening.” Nelson posted an apology to his Facebook page in which he acknowledges he may ultimately be fired as a result of his actions. He also says he regrets not taking the time to consider how his actions may have affected others.

Rush Limbaugh’s Voice to Be Heard on Radio for the Long Term. According to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, “Our plan is to provide the millions of loyal listeners with the voice of Rush Limbaugh for the long term. No one can replace Rush Limbaugh. We will have a variety of hosts that will guide the audio of Rush for all of the important issues of the day, including recent guest hosts Mark Steyn, Todd Herman, and Ken Matthews. With over 30 years of audio, Rush has a definite view on all of these issues. Every single element of Rush Limbaugh-branded assets will continue, including his daily show and podcast, daily update, weekend ‘best of’ three-hour show and digital/printed offerings.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is reporting that WFAN, New York afternoon drive co-host Craig Carton is talking with the MLB Network about hosting a daily, morning TV show. Marchand says MLB Network declined to comment about the story…..The NAB announces new appointments to its NAB Television Board of Directors and its NAB Radio Board of Directors. On the TV side, RaMona Alexander, vice president and general manager of WDBD-TV, Jackson, Mississippi and Cox Media Group president and CEO Dan York join. On the radio side, Cox Media Group SVP and head of radio Rob Babin becomes a board member…..iHeartMedia announces the launch of “Calm Down with Erin and Charissa,” a talk show-style podcast hosted by sportscasters and longtime friends Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson. The podcast features Andrews and Thompson discussing their lives and careers and “pulls back the curtain on the lives of two successful women at the top of their field.”…..Cadence13 unveils the first three audio movies under its new scripted studio, C13Features, that is “focused on creating and owning compelling fictionalized feature-length audio stories of all genres that appeal to a wide audience.” Cadence13, part of Entercom, says that while the podcast space has traditionally used the serialized multi-episode approach, C13Features aims to tighten the storytelling experience with compelling and dramatic creative arcs, and not force listeners to have to wait for more episodes to find out what happens next. C13Features aspires to give listeners gripping stories with a beginning, a middle and an end, all in one feature-length 90-minute episode, for listeners to experience however and whenever they’d like.” It has three audio movies lined up for release this year…..Podcast producer Ramble, a division of Cadence13, is launching Marc & Heidi: The Other D’Amelios, a new weekly podcast hosted by Marc and Heidi D’Amelio, entrepreneurs and parents of worldwide social media phenoms Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. Known as “the first family of TikTok,” Marc and Heidi D’Amelio have a combined social media following of nearly twenty-three million followers. They are the parents of Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, the Gen-Z content creators who quickly evolved into a worldwide social media phenomenon with a combined social following of nearly 300 million followers.

#LovePup Working with Grocery Stores to Promote Animal Welfare. The animal welfare charity #LovePup founded by syndicated radio personality Johnjay Van Es (pictured here with his wife Blake) and his family is working with the Safeway and Albertsons grocery chains (operating in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah) to help save homeless animals in their communities. People visiting Safeway or Albertsons stores this month can donate at the PIN pad to benefit several animal welfare organizations in Arizona, Las Vegas and Las Cruces with the goal of raising $1 million. #LovePup says that homeless dogs and cats are a huge problem in the Southwest with more than 50,000 animals entering shelters every year. Those shelter organizations need funds to help with medical care, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and microchipping.

Former KMOX, St. Louis Personality Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Possession. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that former KMOX, St. Louis personality Harry Hamm has pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child porn and one count of access with intent to view child porn. Hamm was a longtime entertainment editor for KMOX, most recently appearing on the station’s “Total Information AM Weekend Edition” reporting on theater openings and movies. He was fired from the station after his arrest. The 79-year old Hamm is also being charged with felony charges of second-degree statutory sodomy, incest and possession of child pornography, to which he’s pleaded not guilty. Sentencing on the guilty plea has been delayed for two months.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 15-19. The declining number of positive COVID cases in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the related power struggle in the Republican Party, the investigation into the Capitol insurrection, and the aftermath of the Donald Trump impeachment. Following at #3 was the death of talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh at age 70. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

| January 5, 2021

Mike Luery Named Assistant News Director for KFBK, Sacramento. Radio and television news pro Mike Luery joins iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento “News 93.1” as 24/7 News and KFBK assistant news director for iHeartMedia’s Pacific region. iHeartMedia Pacific region news director Jayson Campadonia says that in this role, Luery will “help oversee news in California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. He’ll report on everything from breaking news to politics to state fairs. With his vast experience in the news business, he will additionally play a critical role in developing young news talent.” KFBK program director Bill White states, “We look forward to Mike being an integral partner in contributing to the news content on ‘The KFBK Morning News with Cristina Mendonsa and Sam Shane’ as well as ‘The KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O’Neal.’ Mike, with his decades of news experience in Sacramento, will be an excellent addition to our team of Northern California news veterans.” Luery served with Hearst Television’s KCRA-TV, Sacramento for 24 years. He began his career as news director at KZOZ-FM in San Luis Obispo, California.

WGY-AM/FM, Albany Adds Doug Goudie to Morning Show. Longtime Boston media figure Doug Goudie becomes part of the morning show at iHeartMedia’s WGY-AM/FM, Albany on Thursday (1/7), partnering with current air personality Kelly Lynch. Goudie assumes the role left vacant after Chuck Custer retired from the station in December following a 36-year career with WGY. Goudie, a.k.a. V.B. – short for Virgin Boy – got his nickname from Boston talk radio legend Howie Carr during his time working on Carr’s show at WRKO, Boston where he began his media career back in the late 1990s. WGY program director Jeff Wolf says, “With Doug’s rich experience as a recent midday talk host on iHeartMedia Boston’s WRKO, TV commentator on WFXT-TV, and long-stint on The Howie Carr Radio Show, I’m confident that he will satisfy the expectations of WGY listeners for years to come. The heart of what brings so many Capital Region listeners to WGY in the morning will remain unchanged. Doug and Kelly will both entertain and inform with meaningful conversations on the important local and national stories of the day but having fun will continue to be part of the show as well.”

Steve Czaban Exits WTEM, Washington; No Change to WRNW-FM, Milwaukee Gig. Sports talk host Steve Czaban announced via Twitter that he’s exited Washington, DC sports talk outlet WTEM “The Team” as his contract was up and new owner Entercom took control of the station from Urban One. While he won’t be doing a daily show in Washington, he will remain with Entercom on a part-time basis and will host a Saturday morning program on sister sports talker WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Czaban says the change in DC has no effect on his Milwaukee radio show heard daily in morning drive on iHeartMedia’s WRNW-FM “97.3 The Game.” Czaban calls his exit from WTEM a mutual one, telling the MBJ, “As my contract was coming to an end, I had been contemplating a change of pace and direction for some time now. This is the right move for me at the right time. I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity, and any others that may present themselves in the future.”

Beasley Media Group Begins 60th Anniversary Celebration. The logo you see here is being unveiled by Beasley Media Group to commemorate the company’s 60th anniversary. The company says, “On December 2, 1961, a young high school principal named George Beasley launched WPYB-AM in Benson, North Carolina with the vision of providing a voice for the voiceless in the local community! Today, Beasley Media Group is a multiplatform media company providing advertising and digital marketing solutions across the United States with 64 radio properties located in 15 large and medium markets across the country. Beasley also offers capabilities in audio technology, esports, podcasting, ecommerce, and events. Featured on the NASDAQ, BBGI is ranked among the publicly traded media companies in America.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “We are so thrilled to be able to celebrate the incredible legacy that our father, George, began back in 1961 when he built his very first AM station in Benson, North Carolina. It’s such a privilege to be able to build upon his forward-thinking vision and continue to blaze new innovative trails in today’s ever-changing industry with our outstanding employees and management team. Here’s to the next 60 years!”

Noted Record Producer and “Urban Philosopher” Robbie Stevens Rejoins TalkersRadio.  The TALKERS editorial board announces the return of Robbie Stevens to the talent roster of TalkersRadio. Stevens, who was the first talent signed for TalkersRadio – a service of TALKERS magazine – when it launched in the fall of 2013, has agreed to perform as a commentator on the platform for a “limited engagement” that will run through June of 2021. The Bronx-based New York City native is well-known in the music industry for his years of innovative studio work with a wide variety of high-profile artists, most recently on behalf of the estate and fans of the late John Lennon, for which he has achieved critical acclaim for his “raw” remix of the legendary artist’s Imagine album. He also most recently executive produced 13 Billboard #1 Dance Chart singles in a row, for Yoko Ono’s innovative ensemble Ono. He also recently produced (with Yoko Ono) the “John Lennon Anthology,” a four-CD set of unreleased material that was Rolling Stone magazine’s boxed set of the year. During his colorful career, he’s played on, mixed, or produced records by Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other high-profile musicians going back decades. During this time, Stevens has developed an alternative career as a talk radio host and commentator heard occasionally via on-air and online outlets provided by heritage NYC stations WOR and WNYM (in addition to TalkersRadio). On the return of Stevens to TalkersRadio, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations (and former WOR PD) David Bernstein says, “Robbie brings a real East Coast urban perspective that is reflective of both the street and academia to the news/talk radio conversation. His ‘tell it like it is’ style is a provocative blend of gruff ‘everyman’ street talk and intelligent, eclectic inquiry into the mysteries of the universe, combining politics with pop culture, science and down-to-Earth sociology. You don’t hear his progressive position that often on today’s terrestrial news/talk radio and frankly, regardless of your politics, it is amazingly refreshing.” For example, Stevens has served as vice president of the board for a well-known youth basketball/education program that’s won national championships and helps kids from diverse backgrounds reach their academic goals. To listen to Robbie Steven’s new series of commentaries on TalkersRadio, please click here. TalkersRadio is an “experimental” talk radio platform launched in 2013 by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts.” Since its launch it has been a temporary home to a number of spoken-word talents – both high-profile and obscure – who’ve used it to work and showcase concepts that have gone on to achieve terrestrial radio exposure and even national syndication. In addition to Stevens, current TalkersRadio hosts include Claire CarterMeg McDonald, and UK sensation, Graham Mack. At the time of his passing, Alan Colmes was working on a series concept called “Healed Planet” heard on TalkersRadio which offered a glimpse into the late FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star’s metaphysical interests. Files of that fledgling show remain archived on TalkersRadio as a tribute to Colmes. For more information about TalkersRadio, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Radio Advertising Bureau Updates Board of Directors. With the new year comes an update to the board of directors for the Radio Advertising Bureau. Connoisseur Media CEO Jeffrey Warshaw is the vice chair and Townsquare Media COO Erik Hellum is the finance chair. The RAB also announces that Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes joins the executive committee. Neuhoff Media COO Mike Hulvey continues to serve as chair and Univision president and regional radio general manager Sabina Widmann is serving as secretary.

New York Public Media Names Nsikan Akpan Health and Science Editor. Joining New York Public Media’s WNYC Newsroom is Nsikan Akpan, who begins his role as health & science editor on January 11. Akpan was most recently serving with National Geographic as science editor, overseeing COVID-19 coverage in addition to other types of science, health and technology news. Prior to that, he served for more than four years at “PBS NewsHour.” He and his team won a 2020 Emmy for the PBS NewsHour series “Stopping a Killer Pandemic” and in 2019 received a George Foster Peabody Award for the PBS NewsHour series “The Plastic Problem.”

Georgia Runoff Elections/Trump GA Appearance, Trump’s Call to GA Sec. of State, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, UK Lockdown, China and Pandemic’s Origin, Iran Seizes South Korean Oil Tanker, and the NYSE’s Chinese Telecom Delisting About Face Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The buildup to today’s runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats and Donald Trump’s appearance to stump for the Republicans; the controversy over Trump’s call to Georgia’s Secretary of State seeking to overturn his loss in that state; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. and the rollout of vaccines; the UK orders a lockdown to stem the tide of COVID cases; questions about China’s stifling the investigation into the origin of the coronavirus; Iran seizes a South Korean oil freighter in the Persian Gulf; and the New York Stock Exchange reverses course on plans to delist three Chinese telecom companies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

| December 8, 2020

Howard Stern Signs Renewal with SiriusXM for Five More Years. During previous investor conference calls, outgoing SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer said he believed Howard Stern and SiriusXM would come to terms on a new deal and today’s announcement bears that out. Under the new agreement, Stern will continue to produce and host “The Howard Stern Show” exclusively for SiriusXM for the next five years, and the Howard Stern archive of audio and video will continue to be licensed to SiriusXM for an additional seven years. Stern says, “Fifteen years ago, I joined SiriusXM, a fledgling group of broadcasters. I had been in a toxic relationship with terrestrial radio. And no matter how well I treated the medium, no matter how successful I made them, they abused me. Going to SiriusXM liberated me. I felt like Tina Turner freeing myself from Ike. And despite the naysayers and the ridicule, we have persevered, and are thriving. I’ve been proven right about satellite radio over and over again. With this contract renewal, I can’t wait to see what else I’ll be right about. Certainly, I have a lot more to say about Metamucil crackers and stepmom porn. Plus, now that I can work from home, I simply don’t have an excuse to quit.” Meyer says, “As the leading audio entertainment company, we couldn’t be happier to have Howard, the leading host in all of radio and audio, continue to make SiriusXM the home for his show, channels, and archives while at the peak of his broadcasting career. Howard’s home has been SiriusXM and it will remain that way, but we’ve expanded SiriusXM in recent years too, and we are excited about finding the right ways that select content from Howard can find audiences on additional platforms. May I add, I consider Howard a close friend and look forward to listening to him for years to come.”

Ron St. Pierre Out at iHeartMedia’s WHJJ, Providence; Jim Polito Takes Over Morning Show. Longtime Providence air personality and programmer Ron St. Pierre has exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ-AM, Providence where he hosted the morning drive show. Filling the programming gap is WTAG-AM, Worcester, Massachusetts-based morning personality Jim Polito. In 2016, iHeartMedia dropped the local morning show hosted by Adam Wright and Bo Sullivan on WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts and began simulcasting Polito’s show there. The WHJJ move puts the Jim Polito show in three of iHeartMedia’s New England markets.

Salem’s KRLA and KTIE Cut Ties with Brian Whitman. Southern California radio pro Brian Whitman exits Salem Media Group’s morning drive show “The Morning Answer” that he co-hosted with Jennifer Horn that was simulcast on KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, San Bernardino. Whitman shared the news on his Facebook page on Friday (12/4). He wrote, “I was provided the following from folks at Salem/KRLA this morning. The announcement was sent by the general manager to their kind and hardworking staff, making this news public. I’ll have very personal thoughts to share with members of the ‘Morning Answer Listening Family’ (as I came to know and regard you over many years) very soon. It will be in this space at a time that is more appropriate and comfortable. With all of my love and with the warmest gratitude for every moment that we’ve shared together, I offer words that I know fall far short of my heart’s sentiment. Thank you, thank you, thank you guys.” The message from management was as follows: “After eight years hosting ‘The Morning Answer,’ Brian Whitman will no longer be with us. We wish Brian all the best in the future. Chuck [Tyler] and I echo Phil Boyce who said, “Brian has been a hard-working and extremely talented employee for us for many years. We will always cherish his friendship, and our opportunity to work together at KRLA and KTIE.” Whitman was the liberal counterpart to conservative Horn.

Hubbard Radio Drops Sports Talker Chris Rongey; Re-Aligns Host Lineup. According to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar, afternoon drive sports talk personality Chris Rongey has been let go from Hubbard Radio’s WXOS-FM, St. Louis. Rongey had been part of “The Fast Lane” afternoon show since replacing D’Marco Farr in 2017. The station moves midday host Jamie Rivers into afternoons alongside Anthony Stalter and Brad Thompson and promotes Alex Farrario to the midday show co-hosting with Brandon Kiley.

Talk Radio Host Michael Berry’s Good Month Includes Raising $1.3 Million for PTSD Foundation. KRTH, Houston-based, nationally syndicated talk host Michael Berry had a very good month in which his program helped raise $1.3 million for Camp Hope, the residential treatment center run by the PTSD Foundation of America, of which Berry is the national spokesman. The organization was laying off staff, including the vital folks who counsel suicidal veterans who struggle with re-integration after war. Berry teamed up with sponsor Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale, owner of the Gallery Furniture chain, to raise funds. During the whole of 2020, Berry’s efforts have raised $3 million for the organization, almost its entire budget. Additionally, Berry made national news on Monday (12/7) for his interview with Houston-based Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue, during which Unanue said he gave U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez the company’s “employee of the month” award. This came after Ocasio Cortez called for a boycott on Goya products because Unanue publicly praised President Trump. However, Unanue says the boycott call produced a counter-protest in which supporters flocked to buy Goya goods. On top of that, Berry has added new affiliates, WPNN, Pensacola, Florida, and KNUW, Silver City, New Mexico and hopes to roll out seven new affiliates before the New Year. In case you missed it, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian profiled Berry back in October. Read it here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. The Nielsen Audio PPM ratings survey in the month prior to the November election (October 8 – November 4) was not as generous to sports talk radio stations as it was to news/talk, still TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports that 46% of sports talkers were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the October 2020 survey. Gainers from October to November were led by RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” (+0.7, 6.2 share) and Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville (+0.7, 6.0 share). Due to the pandemic’s effect on live sports, year-over-year comparisons have not been kind to the sports talk format and November 2019 to November 2020 is not different. 68% of sports talk outlets in PPM markets were down. However, 23% of stations gained with Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas leading the pack (+1.6, 2.8 share). While no sports talkers claimed the #1 rank in their market during the November survey, iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis came close, posting a 7.6 share good for the #2 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

WJR, Detroit News Director Dick Haefner to Retire. After a 51-year career in radio news, WJR, Detroit news director Dick Haefner is retiring. Haefner, an award-winning newscaster, reporter, and news director, has been WJR news director since 1989. Cumulus Media says that “his tenure is unmatched by any other Detroit broadcast news director. He is one of the most recognizable news voices in his hometown of Detroit, signing on to radio news in 1969 and signing off on December 11, 2020, Haefner’s last day on-air.” The company goes on to note that “under Haefner’s leadership, WJR News has been honored with nearly every national and local news award in the broadcast business, including: the Peabody Award, Associated Press national award for Best Broadcast Reporting, Edward R. Murrow Awards, and numerous state news awards… Some of Haefner’s projects have changed laws. A series on suburban toxic waste dumps resulted in tighter rules for handling waste. An investigation of fraud at gas stations brought about new regulations on service station inspections and fuel hauling, and even changed the way the IRS taxes the fuel hauling industry. Among the biggest stories Haefner has broken are Coleman Young’s baby, the Nancy KerriganTonya Harding incident heard around the world, and Detroit’s two side-by-side sports stadiums.” Haefner comments, “Anything I may have accomplished is because of other people, my wife Judy, and my family who allowed me to pursue adventures in broadcast news, and especially my co-workers. My most important job was to put them in position to do their best work. What they accomplished every day is my greatest reward. I have had the best job in Detroit radio news for almost 32 years. I’m the luckiest person I know.”

Susan O’Connell Retires from Compass Media Networks; Robert Blum Rises to Senior Manager of Affiliate Sales. Affiliate sales pro Susan O’Connell is retiring from her position as vice president of news/talk affiliate sales with Compass Media Networks, effective December 31. At the same time, the company announces that Robert Blum – a Compass Media staffer since 2011 – is being promoted to senior manager of affiliate sales for news/talk/sports. O’Connell has been in the news/talk affiliate sales business for the past 40 years, the last six with Compass Media. She previously served with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, ABC Radio Networks, CBS News, and the Progressive Radio Network. She comments, “The best part of my job has always been working with great broadcasters. Thank you all for sharing your time, talent, and friendship over the years. Compass Media Networks was the perfect place to wind up. Representing our stellar news/talk lineup and being part of this team has been an honor and a privilege.” Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann says, “Susan is a total superstar, friend, and treasured colleague. Through hard work, perseverance, and cunning, Susan established Compass Media Networks as a dominant player in news/talk programming with over 750 leading news/talk stations airing over a dozen hours of our daily, live, and original news-talk programming.”

COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Trump Challenges, Biden Transition, Stimulus Package, Georgia Runoff Elections, Pornhub Allegations, and Presidential Pardons Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the pleas from authorities to follow mask and gathering mandates, and the status of vaccines; Donald Trump continues legal challenges to the results of the presidential election; President-Elect Joe Biden continues his administration’s transition; the debate in Congress over a new stimulus package; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the allegations that porn giant Pornhub has promoted underage actors; and reports of Donald Trump’s pardon plans 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 and urban media personality Charlamagne Tha God, a.k.a. Lenard McKelvey, and iHeartMedia renew and extend their relationship. The deal means the co-host of the WWPR, New York “Power 105.1”-based, nationally syndicated “The Breakfast Club” will continue to work with iHeartMedia for the next five years.  He says, “I give my sincerest thanks to iHeart for empowering me over the past decade to be the best talent that I can be, and for honoring me as an owner and executive. I love the audio business and iHeart is the biggest and best audio company in the world. As co-founder and chief creative officer of the Black Effect Podcast Network and now senior creative officer of cultural content and programming at iHeart, all I want to do for the next five years is continue to move the culture of radio and podcasting forward by curating a new era of voices, programming, and events. GOD IS GREAT! Now, it’s time to get back to work.”

Friday, January 24, 2020

| January 24, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “New Boogie Virus in the Closet of Our Fears!” looks back at this past week of January 20-24, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Howie Carr, talk show host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Michael Riedel, talk show host, WOR, New York; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Dana Cheng, senior reporter China news, The Epoch Times; and Ryan Wrecker, talk show host, KMOX, St Louis.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm.  It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA;  KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.

Lynda Lopez Returns to WCBS-AM, New York. After leaving Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York in 2016, news pro Lynda Lopez is back with the station handling the midday news anchor position as well as serving as a special projects reporter.  The Emmy Award-winning journalist was most recently a television and radio news anchor for ABC News and previously was an anchor and reporter for WCBS-TV, WNYW-TV and WWOR-TV in New York.  She has also served as a contributor for Latina Magazine, Glamour, and Glam Belleza Latina.  She was a news anchor and special correspondent for WCBS-AM from 2009 through 2016.  Lopez succeeds recently retired WCBS news anchor Pat Farnack.  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “I’m happy to welcome Lynda back to our exceptional on-air WCBS 880 team.  I am confident her breadth of experience and her skillset engaging audiences, as well as her established presence in this market, will enable her to thrive in this role and successfully keep New Yorkers informed daily.”

Round Two of Holiday PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was December 5 through January 1.  As noted yesterday, the calendar month of December can be challenging for spoken-word stations as Christmas music becomes a popular choice for radio listeners and holiday activities break up typical listening patterns.  That said, Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” tacked four-tenths on to its December survey weekly 6+ AQH share for a 5.5 share and the #5 rank in the market.  iHeartMedia’s all-news WBZ-AM gains 1.2 shares to finish the survey at a 6.0 share and the #3 rank in the Boston market.  And in San Diego, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO adds three-tenths to finish the Holiday survey at a 4.7 share.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.

New York Festivals Radio Awards Debuts Storytellers Gala at NAB Show. On April 21 at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, New York Festivals Radio Awards kicks off its inaugural Storytellers Gala in celebration of the 10th year of NYF’s strategic partnership with the annual NAB Show.  New York Festivals says that with the digital audio arena encompassing music-streaming, podcasts, online, and satellite radio, radio has come a very long way since the first radio broadcast of election coverage by KDKA on November 2, 1920.  In honor of this momentous invention, New York Festivals Radio Awards will celebrate 100 years of radio while bringing together global storytellers from both the radio and TV & film industry on the same stage.  Radio storytelling begins with a distinctive voice and ends with a captivating narrative that engages listeners on a broad range of topics.  New York Festivals Radio Awards’ robust roster of categories celebrates the innovative storytelling from content creators from 40 countries around the world. From Live Shows to Entertainment Specials, Sports to Talk Radio, Music Shows to News, Serialized Storytelling to Podcasts and Audiobooks, powerful storytelling today succeeds in engaging listeners and illustrating that the voice of the storyteller is loud, clear and very much alive in radio.  TALKERS magazine publisher and NYF Radio Awards Advisory Board member Michael Harrison says, “The NYF is right in sync with the most important movement taking place in media today – a revival of enthusiasm for the art of storytelling. Storytelling has been the foundation of oral communications from the dawn of language to the present-day explosion in technology.  The idea of outstanding storytellers from around the planet gathering in Las Vegas to celebrate this most evolved element of human connectivity is deeply gratifying to those of us who love the spoken word and remain in awe of its power.”  The deadline to enter the 2020 Radio Awards competition is February 1, 2020. To enter please visit: here.  For additional information visit: Rules and Regulations.

TALKERS News Notes. Virginia-based conservative talk media personality John Fredericks is the focal point in a Washington Post piece about the Trump administration and news/talk radio.  In the story by Sarah Ellison titled, “Trumpworld Has Converted the Nation’s Regional Talk Radio Hosts Into a Loyal Army,” she writes, “Pouring attention on regional talk radio hosts is a classic Trumpworld move: giving relatively unknown characters proximity to the White House has paid off with a disproportionate amount of attention and praise lavished on the president and his agenda.” Read the piece here at Fredericks’ TrumpNationNews.com…..The National Sports Media Association has named WTOP-FM, Washington senior sports director and long-time Wizards radio play-by-by broadcaster Dave Johnson “D.C. Sportscaster of the Year.”  WTOP director of news and programming Julia Ziegler says, “Dave is one of the hardest working guys I have ever met.  We are so thrilled and excited to see Dave honored for the amazing work he has done throughout his career.  Dave is an incredible journalist and amazing person to work alongside each day.”  This season marks Johnson’s 23rd as the voice of the team on the Washington Wizards Radio Network…..The Consumer Technology Association – owner and producer of the annual CES – came under fire from some quarters for bringing Ivanka Trump in to serve as a keynote speaker for the CES 2020 earlier this month.  CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro defends the organization’s move – and has some choice words for its “totally uninformed” critics – on the Westwood One Podcast Network’s “Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin.”

Impeachment Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 20-24.  The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November.  Coming in at #3 was the Wuhan coronavirus and U.S.-China relations, followed by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and the subject of climate change 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two morning shows have been dismissed at Entercom’s San Diego station group.  AJ Machado and Sara Perry are gone from classic hits KXSN “Sunny 98.1” after a little less than two years there.  They had previously served with adult contemporary KYXY “96 Soft Rock” in the market.  Also exiting the cluster are Dana DiDonato and Jayson Prim from alternative KBZT “Alt 94.9.”  They came to San Diego from Cox Media Group’s CHR WBLI, Long Island, replacing the “Cantore & Woods” show.  There has been no announcement from the company on its plans for the morning dayparts on the two stations…..In Denver, Entercom names Chuck Sullivan the SVP and market manager for the cluster that includes four music brands – classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain,” CHR KALC “Alice 105.9,” nostalgia KEZW-AM “Timeless Music,” and hip hop KQKS “KS 107.5” — as well as comedy KQKS-HD2…..SuiteRadio’s 24/7 hot AC format “The Planet” – syndicated by Envision Networks – adds new affiliate station WKSO-FM, Natchez, Louisiana to is roster of stations.  The Planet’s on-air lineup features personalities Maria Todd, Atom Smasher, and Mark Carrillo. Core artists include: Adele, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna, and Coldplay.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

| July 17, 2019

Connoisseur Media Management Buys Out Perot Holdings’ Interest. Led by chief executive officer Jeff Warshaw, management of Westport, Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media has bought out investor Perot Holdings and will now own substantially all of the company. This is the culmination of a series of strategic moves in which the company has recently closed on transactions that added to its Connecticut holdings and entered the Frederick, Maryland market. Warshaw points out that he and Mike Driscoll “started the company 15 years ago with the purchase of FCC construction permits in an auction. It is gratifying to now be able to work with our major investor, Perot Holdings, to buy their stake in the company. They have been terrific partners to us. We are looking forward to growing our company, and we are excited that members of our senior management team are now owners. Ultimately, many of our employees will become stakeholders.” Perot senior advisor Steve Blasnik comments, “We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the best leadership team in the industry and two of the best leaders we have ever partnered with.” Perot Holdings was founded by the late H. Ross Perot and his son Ross Perot, Jr. Connoisseur Media owns 23 radio stations in seven markets: Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Bridgeport-Stamford; New Haven; and Norwalk (Connecticut); Stroudsburg-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Frederick, Maryland; and Billings, Montana.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Special Luncheon Presentations – Harry Hurley Saluting the Broadcasters Foundation and Vince Benedetto Honored as Humanitarian of the Year.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/17) posts present WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”).  Posted yesterday (7/16): a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network.  Already posted: the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Name Hurley Broadcaster/Person of the Year. Now in his 28th year at Townsquare Media Atlantic City (New Jersey) news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM,” Harry Hurley (“Hurley in the Morning”) will officially be named The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Broadcaster/Person of the Year. While the announcement will be made today (Wednesday, 7/17) at 9:30 am at an event taking place at Philadelphia’s WPHL-TV, Hurley will receive the actual recognition November 22 at Philadelphia’s Hilton City Avenue Hotel. Hurley tells TALKERS, “My sincerest thanks go to my long-time employer, Townsquare Media, and our faithful listeners and advertisers, who have made all this possible. What an honor it is to be recognized by The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. It is especially gratifying, insofar as we are located in Southern New Jersey. It’s such an honor and privilege to be a broadcaster.” Last month, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association named Hurley the inaugural recipient of its “Broadcaster of the Year” award. Elected to the Philadelphia Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2013 and the New Jersey Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015, he appears at #51 on “The Talkers Magazine 2019 Heavy Hundred” and was the 2016 recipient of Talkers’ “Humanitarian of the Year Award” for outstanding community service by a radio broadcaster.

Workplace Listening Opportunity Is Bigger Than Ever. At least that’s the conclusion of a NuVooDoo Media Services study, which reveals three of every five (60%) likely ratings respondents identified say they listen to radio at work. Furthermore, at-work listeners are more likely to listen to broadcast radio for more hours and more days. The study was fielded last month and represents opinions of over 3,000 respondents (14 – 54) from all PPM markets. NuVoodoo Media Services executive vice president/research insights Leigh Jacobs states, “We’ve chosen to start with a dive into at-work listening because the market for audio entertainment at work has never been bigger or younger. Fully 60% of the ratings-susceptible respondents we’ve identified say they listen at work. Savvy operators have been playing to this opportunity for decades, but the competition has never been more fierce.” Executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor, notes that 24% say they spend at least an hour a day with terrestrial, “but that number jumps to 41% among those who listen at work. [Forty-one percent] say they listen at least five days a week – that jumps to 61% among those who listen at work. That’s the potential for significant lift for programmers and marketers who play to this opportunity.” President/chief executive officer Carolyn Gilbert explains, “Our Ratings Prospects Study 14 revealed a significant opportunity for stations. Winning the workplace war for listeners should be at the forefront of all programmers’ minds, and the devil is always in the details.” The first installment of the NuVoodoo fall webinar series, “How To Win The Workplace War in 2019,” based on its “Ratings Prospects Study 14,” kicks off next Wednesday (7/24); there will be additional sessions on July 31 and August 5.

Presenting The 29 “Rising Through The Ranks” Scholarship Recipients. The “Rising Through the Ranks” program is presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio. Participants will attend this year’s seminar next month (8/13 – 15) at BMI’s Nashville office. The course will focus on management and sales techniques, including “problem solving, recruiting, difficult conversations, hiring and firing, personal brand building, and the role of today’s radio manager.” This year’s 29 scholarship recipients are: Luisa Banks (Cox Media Group Atlanta); Rebecca Bennett (Westwood One); Jill Bernhardt (Cumulus Media Atlanta); Taylor Brown (Neuhoff Media Springfield, Illinois); Alexandra Byrnes (Entercom Sacramento); Yvonne Cheng (iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.); Tiffany Davison (Katz Media Group); Katy Dempsey (Bryan Broadcasting College Station, Texas); Adella Fremstad-Nolden (Radio One Dallas); Jaime Guglielmi (Beasley Media Group Philadelphia); Pamela Hall (Kindred Communications – Huntington, West Virginia); Andrea Hansen (Entercom Madison); Nichole Hansen (Spencer Radio Group/Saga Communications – Spencer, Iowa); Traci Harris-Mason (Forcht Broadcasting – Hopkinsville, Kentucky); Dara Kalvort (Entercom Miami); Tori Kahl (iHeartMedia New Orleans); Shannon Kenefick (Townsquare Media Danbury, Connecticut); Adria Lawrence (Emmis Austin); Kate Maguire (Summit Media Omaha); Elizabeth Nifong (Beasley Media Group Charlotte); Debbie Payne (Cumulus Media Los Angeles); Katherine Pfahl (Radio One Washington, D.C.); Kristina Schoenbeck (Entercom New York); Crista St. John (Bonneville International/Mariners Radio Seattle); Ava Suppelsa (BMI Nashville); Brianne Thompson (Leighton Broadcasting Thompson, North Dakota); Denise Tolzman (Queen B Radio Platteville, Wisconsin); Dianna Towns (Neuhoff Media Ludlow, Massachusetts); and Ashley Williams (Cox Media Group Orlando).

ESPN Prepping “The ESPN Daily.” Set to debut in early-October, “The ESPN Daily” podcast will be published five times per week and will feature ESPN’s journalists and storytellers. ESPN senior coordinating producer Andy Tennant states “The ESPN Daily” will be “appointment listening for anyone interested in the world of sports. The show will be unlike anything now available in sports, anywhere, with stories, interviews, and analysis that only ESPN can provide. Every day, ‘The ESPN Daily’ will take a deep-dive into a specific event or issue in sports, using ESPN’s unmatched resources and deep roster of reporters, producers and commentators.” In June, ESPN Podcasts drew 5.8 million listeners, up 10% from June, 2018. This is the sixth consecutive month of year-to-year growth. Content created specifically for podcasts grew 15%; June increases were led by listenership of “FiveThirtyEight: Politics,” “The Lowe Post,” and “SVP & Russillo.”

TALKERS News Notes. Per a Los Angeles Times report, Los Angeles Clippers play-by-play announcer Brian Sieman is “close to finalizing a deal” to transition from the NBA team’s radio flagship, iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM Sports 570,” to the Clippers’ TV broadcasts (on Fox Sports Prime Ticket). He would be filling the vacancy created by the retirement of iconic 40-year Clippers’ game caller Ralph Lawler, who will receive the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award this September. Further speculation is that, in a domino effect, Sieman will be succeeded on radio by NBA TV’s Noah Eagle. After doing games of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sieman joined the Clippers radio network in 2007 ….. Altamonte Springs-Orlando news/talk WORL “FM 105.5 & AM 660 The Answer” and W288CJ, Oviedo (Florida) are being sold by Salem Media of Illinois, LLC to JVC Media of Florida, LLC. The $900,000 deal does not include intellectual property or the call letters – which will be changed to WDYZ … Rumors of a Senate run by regionally-syndicated “Kentucky Sports Radio” host Matt Jones has led to him being placed on a leave of absence from “Hey Kentucky!,” which airs on Lexington’s NBC affiliate WLEX-TV “LEX 18.” Jones has written on social media that he will return to WLEX-TV if he decides not to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell. At least for now, his daily 10:00 am – 12:00 noon radio show on iHeartMedia Lexington news/talk flagship WLAP “News Radio 630” (and a statewide network of 35 stations) is unaffected ….. As of tomorrow (Thursday, July 18), it will be a half-century since a tragic car accident occurred on the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Noting the occasion, The Howie Carr Radio Network talk host/New York Times best-selling author Howie Carr has written a podcast, “Chappaquiddick: The 50th Anniversary.” Carr maintains, “We have the content, it is time we educate a new generation about these crimes and cover ups.” The Grace Curley-produced podcast can be heard on Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or the website of Carr’s regionally-syndicated program ….. Through a just-announced partnership with BizTV/BizTalkRadio, subscribers of travel technology platform Flyght Club will get a free, one-year membership to Bizvod, a BizTV/BizTalkRadio-offered streaming platform that has the largest library of online business videos on-demand. BizTV/BizTalkRadio chief operating officer Scott Miller notes, “So many of our viewers and listeners are business travelers. Flyght Club is a great app that gives its members the opportunity to network while travelling. We have hundreds of hours of business content that the traveler can watch on-demand while waiting for their next flight. We are always looking to offer our viewers and listeners products and services that make their lives easier.” Flyght Club founder Ajay Vonkarey remarks, “Flyght Club and Bizvod will be key for any business professionals that are road warriors” ….. At the forefront of digital loyalty systems for terrestrial radio in the United States, Canada, and the UK, Loyal Ears Digital brings fantasy sports to radio with a free weekly game, “Fantasy Free.” Given that it is doesn’t cost to play, it is, according to the company’s website, “completely legal and has all the excitement that comes with fantasy games.” Teaming alongside Loyal Ears Digital on this project as syndicator is MannGroup Radio, with its president Ed Mann indicating “Fantasy Free” is “approaching” the 100 affiliate threshold. He notes, “We are always looking for growth areas for our medium, and digital is it. The guys at Loyal Ears have got this locked down and key for us, huge TSV growth, with no element of gambling. The average ‘Fantasy Free’ player spends 9.7 hours per week constructing fantasy lineups and they’re spending that time on radio station websites. We could not be more thrilled to partner with the LE team.” Loyal Ears Digital chief executive officer Jimmy Risk opines, “Radio has finally figured out that listeners aren’t always ‘listening’, so you have to engage them for longer periods of time beyond the dial.” Mann points out the only political fantasy game designed for radio during the next presidential election, “Showdown 2020,” is coming early next year and will “attract broad and deep demographics.”

June 2019 PPM Data. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these four PPM-markets. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Virtually obliterating the -1.0 it lost via three straight drops (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” bounces back with a nine-tenths’ gain to 3.7 (#13 to #11,  6+); May’s 2.8 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.7.

Following four successive fluctuations of one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6; 1.6 – 1.7; 1.7 – 1.8; 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” falters by four-tenths to 1.3 (#18 to #20). Flat at #25, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” has a February 2019 through June 2019 topline of: 4 – .6 – .6 -.4 – .5 ( 6+).

Five of the six shifts this calendar year for KUT include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); and now the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk facility craters by -1.6 (7.4 – 5.8, second to fourth, 6+). This is its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).

Austin Music Formats – Rebounding from May’s one-half share decrease (8.7 – 8.2, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” posts a +1.1 to 9.3 – its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3) – and is #1 for the third month in a row. Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Piling on six-tenths to May’s increase of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” climbs from fourth to third. Adult contemporary sibling, KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” wipes away May’s three-tenths’ loss with a one-half share uptick (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) and advances from third to second. “Majic” recently has been -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); +1.5 (April); and +.5 (June). While it is unchanged at #8, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is a collective -2.3 in three straight drops (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). “La Z” was +1.2 in March. Owing to three consecutive January 2019 through April 2019 decreases, iHeartMedia country KVET-FM faltered by -1.3 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), but rallied in May with a +.9. Now, “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” regresses by six-tenths (5.8 – 5.2, 6+) and slides from fourth to seventh; KVET-FM was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which had been +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), surrenders four-tenths to 5.4 (fourth to sixth, 6+). April’s +1.2 halted its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that stretch, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. In addition to KVET-FM, Crista Ministries’ contemporary Christian KFMK is off six-tenths as well (3.4 – 2.8, 6+). “Spirit 105.9” drops from #11 to #13 and is below a three-share (2.8) for the first time since November 2018’s 2.9.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – In three successive positive or neutral trends, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK was an overall +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” is now a combined -1.2 in three straight declines (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). This is the 19th time in a row Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, unchanged at #16, 6+) has recorded a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9 and first time it has reached 1.9 in that timeframe.

This is third month in a row Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has both logged a 2.2 (6+) and finished at #15. Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through June 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 (#27 to #26, 6+).

Off four-tenths in May (7.4 – 7.0, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has a June increase twice that magnitude (7.8, +.8, 6+) and inches up from third to second. WUNC followed January’s +1.0 with a -.6 in February.

Raleigh Music Formats – This market’s #2 to #9 finishers fluctuate by at least one-half share (May 2019 – June 2019, 6+). As a result of being +1.1 in May/June (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.2, eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” eliminates its combined March/April -.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). “G-105” was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR-FM “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” are +.7 (April); -.5 (May); and +.6 in June (6.7 – 7.3, fifth to third, 6+). Displaying June 2019 gains of six-tenths as well are co-owned adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB – Your Life/Your Music,” which logs its fifth straight sweep without a loss for an overall +1.2 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0, ninth to eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7,” +1.5 in three consecutive positive or neutral moves (5.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is an overall -2.2 in five straight ratings periods without an increase (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 11th straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. Owing to four successive sweeps without a gain (8.6 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.5, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good” is a collective -2.1 and drops from second to fifth. This (6.5) is the lowest 6+- showing for “Mix” since October 2018’s 5.3. Returning in full the seven-tenths it scored in May (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5,” which was -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), slips from fourth to sixth. Curtis Media Group classic country WQDR-AM debuted in print in “Holiday” 2018. In six up or flat reports, “Just Right Country – AM 570” progressed from a .1 to 1.0 (.1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0, 6+). Roughly halfway through the June sweep (6/4), however, the station changed switched to hot AC; changed call letters to WPLW-AM; and adopted a new handle  “Star 92.9.” With a loss of six-tenths to .4 (6+), Raleigh’s new “Star” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). A loss of one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+) takes Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” from #18 to #20. In six consecutive down or flat Raleigh reports (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” has had its 6+ AQH share sliced precisely in half (-1.6) and slips from #16 to #17.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Following a modest May move of three-tenths, Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” reverts to its more customary large fluctuation habit, and in this case, it’s a +.9 (5.5 – 6.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). Ten recent WIBC fluctuations are: -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); -1.2 (April); and +.9 (June).

Returning the one-tenth it picked up in May (2.4 – 2.3, #16 to #17, 6+), Emmis’ WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” halts at three a consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). It has a three-tenths advantage over iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which has lost a total of eight-tenths in five successive sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), yet rises from #20 to #19. Following 16 consecutive sweeps of logging either a .1 or .2 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” (#24 in May) vanishes (.2 – .1 – .0, 6+).

Even though it falters by seven-tenths (4.6 – 3.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI progresses from #11 to a tie at #10.

Indianapolis Music Formats – As far as Cumulus Media was concerned, three Indianapolis CHRs was a case of at least one too many. Consequently, the day after the June sweep commenced (5/24), the company flipped WYRG “Energy 93.9” from CHR to rock WNDX: “93.9-X” responds by more than doubling its 6+-stat (1.3 – 2.8, +1.5, #18 to #16, 6+). As a CHR, WYRG last reached the two-share level in September 2018 (2.1, 6+). After being off six-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+), “Energy” gained one-tenth in May. Four consecutive decreases by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU  resulted in a roughly 37% loss (-1.5) of its 6+-stat (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” chalks up a June gain of eight-tenths to 3.4 (#15 to #13, 6+). Without an increase the past seven sweeps for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2 – .2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now,” tallies three-tenths to .5 (#23 to #22, 6+). When Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM sputtered by four-tenths in May to (5.0, 6+) it ended at four a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Now in June, “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” rebounds with a one-half share increase to 5.5 (ninth to eighth, 6+). On the other hand, an eight-tenths’ May gain to 5.4 (6+) by rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WHHH curtailed four successive negative moves that led to a cumulative -1.5 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+); however, “Hot 96.3” now forfeits -1.0 to 4.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Ranking first the sixth consecutive month, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK nonetheless loses a combined half-share in May/June (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.7, 6+). In April, “Classic Hits 104.5” recorded a massive +1.7 to 10.2, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. In 2019, WJJK has been +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 (April). After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January 2019. In an alternating up/down pattern that surfaced in September 2018, Entercom hot AC WNTR (ninth to tenth) has a 6+ topline of 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 3.9 and is down an overall two-tenths. Spiraling by eight-tenths each are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (second to third, 6+) and Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” (3.3, #12 to #14, 6+). After an April +1.9 suspended three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -9.5 (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), “B-105.7” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (8.8 – 8.2 – 7.4, 6+). In February 2012, “World Class Rock” recorded a 2.8 (6+) but then vanished from print until April 2019 (3.1, #14, 6+). WTTS follows May’s +1.0 to 4.1 (6+) with June’s -.8. Flat in fourth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” loses one-half share (7.2 – 6.7 (6+), with 6.7 its lowest 6+-stat since March 2018 (6.7, as well).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back (April/May) sweeps, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ accrued a whopping +3.5 (5.9 – 8.8 – 9.4, 6+). In June, however, the Brewers flagship forfeits 20% of that increase (8.7, -.7, 6+) and segues from first to second. Recent WTMJ shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); +2.9 (April 2019); and -.7 (June). Up a combined six-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” returns four-tenths to 5.3 (sixth to seventh, 6+).

Five Milwaukee sports talk outlets combine for a 2.4 (6+). Leading the field with one-third of that total is iHeartMedia’s WRNW “The Game,” nearly tripling its 6+-stat since April (.3 – .6 – .8, #20 to #17, 6+). CHR WRNW “Now” became sports talk “The Game” in late-November (2018). Tied at #19 are Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) its 6+ audience via three straight winless sweeps (1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .6, #16 to #19, 6+). With a very similar topline is Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” which loses eight-tenths in four straight dips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .6, #16 to #19, 6+). WRNW cluster-mate WOKY “The Big 920” posts a .2 (6+) for the sixth time in the last eight sweeps and remains at #24 (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+). After popping on in November 2018 with a .5 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WAUK disappeared from print in the next seven ratings periods but is back in June, tying “The Big 920” with a .2 (#24, 6+).

While it is a combined -1.5 via four straight negative or neutral moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), directly after three reports in a row without a loss netted a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet WUWM remains at #13. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD loses four-tenths as a result of three straight down or flat moves (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+) and repeats at #16.

Milwaukee Music Formats – On the heels of May’s -1.5 (10.1 – 8.6, 6+), WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” answers with a positive spike of eight-tenths to 9.4 (6+) and is back at #1. The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet occupied the lead position five straight sweeps before segueing to #2 in May with its lowest 6+-figure (8.6) since December 2018’s 7.7. Having spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, WRIT shifted to #2 in October 2018. “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its eight most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.8 (June). By logging an improvement of seven-tenths (4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” advances from eighth to sixth with its best 6+-showing since December 2016 (5.5, as well). Swapping places with each other are iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” (5.3 – 5.9, +.6, seventh to fifth, 6+) and Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” (5.8 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Whereas this (5.9) is the highest 6+-stat for “Milwaukee’s Best Country” since 6.6 in February, 5.3 for “B-93.3” is its lowest since November 2018’s 5.1. Down an overall -1.1 via four straight negative or neutral trends (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+) Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” remains in third-place.

Trump’s Tweets Ignite Controversial Firestorm; US Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; 2020 Presidential Race; Puerto Rico Protests; Amazon Prime Day; and  Jeff Epstein Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). President Donald Trump’s Tweets attacking four Congressional Democratic women of color and the backlash it has triggered dominated conversation in talk media yesterday (7/16) along with conditions for migrants detained at the border; the relative standing and contributions raised by Democratic Party presidential candidates; political upheaval in Puerto Rico; the huge impact of Amazon Prime Day and ongoing developments in the Jeff Epstein case, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM” midday talent Nikki Vaughn exits the Radio One Detroit urban AC to join cross-town Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” for similar duties. Beasley Detroit vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “We are most excited to bring Nikki’s talents to ‘The Bounce.’ Her respect for all things Detroit and appreciation for the great music that drives ‘The Bounce’ were exactly what we needed to complete our winning mid-day recipe.” WMGC program director John Candelaria notes, “After an extensive search, we are fortunate to add Nikki to ‘The Bounce’ family. Having grown up here, she is the ideal fit and brings a solid understanding of the market. Her dynamic personality, combined with 11 years of Detroit radio experience, makes her the perfect person for ‘The Bounce.’” With the addition of Fawn Conley (“Nikki Vaughn”), the weekday roster for Detroit’s “Bounce” is: “The Gello Show with Joanna (6:00 am -10:00 am); Nikki Vaughn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. Meanwhile, the revised on-air lineup for Entercom-owned WLKK “107.7 & 104.7 – Buffalo’s True Alternative” is: “Brandi” (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Axe” (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Kennedy” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm). “Brandi” moves from mid-days; “Axe” previously handled nights; and “Kennedy” had hosted “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” the past four years ….. Entering into a partnership are Krantz Media Group/KMG Networks and music television channel Ditty TV, which features daily music-focused entertainment, including live performances, music news, artist profiles, and album reviews. According to KMG chief executive officer Gary Krantz, “Ditty TV is the most robust video channel in the world dedicated to diverse and growing music categories. Americana continues to grow exponentially and is the passionate choice for 18 – 34 and 25 – 54-year-old adults underserved by mainstream media, yet highly desired by brands and advertisers. KMG is very excited to build success with several projects in the works for all forms of radio and podcasts.” Ditty chief executive officer Ronnie Wright comments, “Our goal since the beginning was to provide a platform for these amazing [Americana and Roots] artists; the addition of audio programming allows us to reach a much broader audience.” There are plans for daily and weekly podcasts, as well as a 24/7 Ditty TV audio channel ….. Two-year KFMB-FM San Diego afternoon drive talent Mikey Esparza exits the Tegna adult hits station ….. Most recent affiliates of Texas-based entrepreneur John Clay Wolfe’s three-hour (8:00 am – 11:00 am) Saturday morning “John Clay Wolfe Show” are iHeartMedia Colorado rock siblings KBPI, Ft. Collins and KBPL, Pueblo. Wolfe declares, “These stations are a perfect fit for what we bring to rock audiences. Everywhere we’ve gone with them, iHeartMedia has been a great partner for us; now, they’re turning us loose in Colorado.”

Monday, July 15, 2019

| July 15, 2019

Sports USA Awarded $2 Million in Breach of Contract Suit. A Los Angeles superior court jury ruled unanimously in favor of independent syndicator of radio live play-by-play Sports USA in its multi-year violation of contract suit against Sun Broadcasting Group. The jury awarded Sports USA damages in excess of $2 million as compensation for Sun’s breach of its advertising representation agreement with Sports USA. According to Sports USA chief executive officer Larry Kahn, “[Sun CEO] Jason Bailey thought he could breach the contract by filing claims against us which had no factual or legal basis, but under no circumstance would we back down and drop our valid claims. The jury’s decision completely affirms what we have said since day one: Sun breached the agreement and had no valid justification for doing so.” Senior Manatt, Phelps & Phillips litigation partner Robert Platt asserts, “Sports USA is absolutely thrilled with [this] outcome. Despite numerous, non-meritorious countersuits and claims, our client would not be deterred in seeking the recovery of amounts that it was rightfully owed. After fighting tirelessly on behalf of Sports USA for two years, we are happy that the jury arrived at this just conclusion.” Sports USA and Sun signed an advertising rep deal in September 2015, in which Sun agreed to serve as Sports USA’s exclusive sales representative for the 2016 and 2017 college football seasons. In January, 2017, when Sun could not fulfill its financial obligations to Sports USA under the contract, Sun attempted to terminate the agreement and Sports USA filed suit.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Panel Discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio.”  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/15) post presents the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.  Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Denver’s “Freedom 93.7” Debuts. In addition to positioning itself as “Freedom 93.7,” the iHeartMedia news/talk simulcast of K229BS and KDFD (760 AM, formerly sports talk KDSP ) is using “Real News – Real Talk” as its secondary slogan. President of iHeartMedia’s Denver Region, Tim Hager, comments, “With massive FM coverage, a 50,000 watt AM signal [on 760], and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that ‘Freedom 93.7’ will quickly become a favorite destination for Colorado talk radio listeners.” The weekday lineup for “Freedom 93.7” includes: “Ground Zero” with Clyde Lewis (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am); “This Morning” with Gordon Deal (5:00 am – 7:00 am); Glenn Beck (7:00 am – 10:00 am); Rush Limbaugh (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Sean Hannity (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Buck Sexton (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Dave Ramsey (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm); Ken Coleman (10:00 pm – 11:00 pm); and “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” (11:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). According to Premiere Networks senior vice president of affiliate sales, talk, and morning shows, Peter Tripi, “The launch of ‘Freedom 93.7’ is an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the most-listened-to national talk radio stars, live in a single lineup, on this far-reaching simulcast. This is a win for Denver area talk radio fans.” Weekend programming, includes “The Jesus Christ Show”; “The Weekend with Joe Pags”; “Coast-to-Coast AM – Somewhere in Time”; “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk”; and “Live on Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham.” Limbaugh will continue airing on iHeartMedia Denver news/talk KOA through August; Hannity, and Beck will continue on news/talk sibling KHOW through August as well. New live and local programming line-ups for KOA and KHOW will be announced in the coming weeks.

Howie Carr Radio Network Expands With “Dirty Rats” Podcasts. A series of true-crime “Dirty Rats” podcasts will launch on the Howie Carr Radio Network two weeks from Thursday (8/1). According to Carr, the “Dirty Rats” podcast series “will educate and entertain a whole new generation about the vast scope of crime and corruption in recent decades in Boston – murder and mayhem on unprecedented scales.” HCRN president Kathy Carr notes, “This new project allows our sponsors to grow and reach new customers well beyond our current base. With the growth and success of our advertisers, we all continue to prosper.” More than 25 New England stations carry the 3:00 – 7:00 pm “Howie Carr Show.” Newsmax TV airs it weekdays, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. In addition to placing #16 on “The Talkers Magazine 2019 Heavy Hundred,” Carr is a New York Times best-selling author of true-crime books “Brothers Bulger,” and “Hitman,” as well as other fiction and non-fiction works.

Monday Memo: Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo about this time of the year when programmers can take advantage of people’s atypical routines.  He says, “As every station’s listeners’ routines are altered, they’re exposed to days and dayparts they might not habitually use.  When they discover you, will they instantly ‘get it?’  Is your elevator speech high-profile?”  Get more summertime tips here.

NPR Boosts Nelson to VP/Technology Operations. Overseeing the audio engineering and news flex teams at NPR the past three years, Chris Nelson is promoted to vice president of technology operations. President of operations Loren Mayor remarks, “Chris brings innovative technology leadership to his role. [He drives] collaboration between editorial, production, and technical staff, and promotes a culture of operational excellence and public service. He has focused considerable energy on building talented teams to design, deploy, engineer, and support the complex technology solutions and infrastructure at the operational heart of NPR’s editorial vision and signature sound.” Nelson notes, “I’ve seen this organization and our systems grow over the years – that would not have happened without the dedicated efforts of this team. Our technologists are innovators and leaders in their fields; they deserve recognition for the work they do to support nearly every facet of NPR’s operations. I’m proud to serve them all in this role.” The 1999 Middle Tennessee State University graduate joined NPR as an audio engineer in 2000 and has held roles that include technical director for live and recorded music broadcasts, and oversight of technical operations for multiple seasons of elections coverage. Nelson has produced documentaries for public radio and the National Hockey League, as well as serving as a Tanzania-based audio specialist for the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Media Institute To Honor Beasley. As part of its October 7 “Free Speech America” gala in Washington, DC, the Media Institute will honor Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley and The Washington Post publisher/chief executive officer Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. Beasley will be bestowed the American Horizon Award, which recognizes an individual for visionary leadership in the communications industry, while Ryan will receive the Freedom of Speech Award, recognizing an individual who has worked to advance free speech and the First Amendment. Beasley has served in her current capacity since January 2017 and has held a number of other posts at the company including executive vice president; chief financial officer; treasurer; and secretary. She most recently served as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. Former FCC chair Richard E. Wiley will be the master of ceremonies at the October 7 event, which will be keynoted by FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks. The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.

Thomson Elevated to Emmis’ Senior VP/Human Resources. During her nearly 15 years at Emmis Communications, Traci Thomson has been vice president of human resources and director of employee services. She is now boosted to senior vice president of human resources. In a staff memo, Emmis chair/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan writes, “Traci is an integral member of the Emmis senior leadership team and has played a critical role in all actions we’ve taken the past several years to reinvent Emmis. [This] promotion also sets the stage for the important role Traci will play in the months ahead with the formation of Mediaco Holding and the next steps on our path to invest in the future of Emmis.” Before joining Emmis, Thomson spent nine years at the First Indiana Bank.

Radio One Cleveland Gets Rude. The operations manager of Radio One Detroit, Yonni Rude, transfers to Cleveland where he will have similar duties. Rude replaces Bill Black, who left this past spring. Radio One regional vice president Eddie Harrell, Jr. comments, “We are thrilled to have Yonni join our team in Cleveland. His track record and programming acumen make this a perfect fit. We look forward to Yonni furthering our standing as the dominant force with respect to serving African-Americans in Northeast Ohio.” Rude notes, “I’m excited for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with the amazing Radio One Cleveland all-star team.” The company’s Cleveland facilities include news/talk WERE “News Talk 1490”; urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9”; urban AC WZAK; and gospel WJMO “Praise 94.5.” Its Detroit operation consists of urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” and WDMK-HD2 “Praise” and it operates urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” under an LMA. Rude previously was the three-year operations manager for Radio One Richmond.

TALKERS News Notes. Nine-year KSL mid-day (12:30 pm – 3:00 pm) talent Jay Mcfarland is departing the Bonneville Salt Lake City news/talk outlet. After being off the air for two weeks, he made the announcement last Friday (7/12) on an appearance with afternoon anchor Jeff Caplan. It has been speculated – but unconfirmed – that Mcfarland will run as a Republican in Utah’s 4th congressional district for the seat currently held by Democrat Ben McAdams. Before going to KSL, Mcfarland worked at Dallas news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM ….. Since joining the Portland Trail Blazers as the NBA team’s radio voice in 1998, Brian Wheeler called 1,823 Blazers’ games, but he will not return next season. Owing to illness, Wheeler missed significant stretches of the last two years on iHeartMedia flagship KPOJ “AM 620” and Portland’s 21-station radio network. The team’s president/chief executive officer Chris McGowan states, “Brian Wheeler has been an integral part of the broadcast team and Trail Blazers family since 1998. His voice is synonymous with all the many great play-by-play calls over that 21-year span. We thank Brian for his contributions to the franchise and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” Wheeler expresses gratitude to the team “for the incredible opportunity and honor of calling radio play-by-play the past 21 years. I was honored and blessed to be a Blazer for 21 seasons; fortunately,  I’ve accumulated some precious memories that will last a lifetime.” When Wheeler was unavailable, games were called by Travis Demers and Michael Holton.

 

 

June 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – News/talk KXL’s March/April -1.0 is officially obliterated by a May/June +1.1 (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) as Alpha Media-owned “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” jumps from tenth to sixth. Down three-tenths in May, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” bounces back with an improvement of two-tenths (2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). In this calendar year’s six survey periods (January 2019 through June 2019), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a 1.0 (6+) three times and a .9 (6+) the other three times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (#26 to #24, 6+).

Tied at #22 are KUFO’s sports talk sibling KXTG “The Game” (1.4, -.3, #21 to #22, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-formatted KFXX “1080 The Fan” (1.5 – 1.4, -.1, #23 to #22, 6+). “The Game” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat through five successive sweeps without a loss (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while May’s 1.5 by “The Fan” was its best 6+-showing since October 2018’s 1.7. After more than tripling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share via three straight improvements (.5 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” forfeits the entire increase in June and is back at .5 (-1.2, #21 to #28, 6+).

A combined -1.2 in May/June (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), after an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB continues in third-place. KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); a combined -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May).

Portland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 tacked onto May’s four-tenths’ increase (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.7, 6+) enables Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” to leap from sixth to fourth. The last time KUPL reached the five-share level (6+) was in April 2017 (5.5). Prior to dropping three-tenths in April, “The Bull” was a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Conversely, Entercom-owned KWJJ has May’s eight-tenths’ gain erased with a June decrease of nine-tenths; “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #12). KWJJ continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2018 (3.4 – 2.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 3.7, 6+), with May’s 4.6 its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). Logging gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which is up a collective eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, steady at #2, 6+) and rhythmic CHR sibling KXJM “Jam’n 107.5,” an overall +1.5 via four successive positive or neutral moves  (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.9, #15 to #10, 6+). This (7.8) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 when KKCW was #1. KXJM has its strongest 6+-showing since March 2016 (3.9, as well). A combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH not only picks up one-tenth to 7.9 (6+), “106.7 The Eagle” is #1 the fifth month in a row. When “the Eagle” faltered by three-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) in May 2011 (8.1, as well). A dip of six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+) sends Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” from eighth to tenth and below a four-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018 (3.9, as well). Down one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom alternative KNRK tumbles from #11 to #15. All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -2.4 in five consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #19, 6+). Immediately prior to losing seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) the first time since February 2017’s 4.2.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – By hanging out a robust June +1.2 to 4.4 (#13 to #12, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT completely evaporates the overall -1.2 it lost in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). May’s 3.2 was its lowest 6+-showing since September 2018 (2.9).

In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that stretch; the Charlotte Hornets flagship remains at #19.

The last three shifts for University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE were -.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.5 (May). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” is off an additional two-tenths in June to 2.1 (6+) but climbs from #16 to #15. Having logged a .3 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC gains one-tenth to .4 (6+) and is unchanged at #22.

Charlotte Music Formats – Vaulting from ninth to fourth as a result of a +.9 (4.8 – 5.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-10.7 More Music/Better Variety” records its strongest 6+-stat (5.7) since “Holiday” 2018’s 12.9 (#1). Notching increases of one-half share each are its urban contemporary sibling WPEG “Power 98” (4.6, #11 to #10, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.6, #18 to #14, 6+). Immediately prior to their respective increases, “Power” was an overall -1.9 in three slips in succession (6.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+), while “K-Love” was a combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Entering the June 2019 sweep, iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” was -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); and +.8 (May). Simply by remaining flat at 7.1 (6+) though, “The Lake” rises from second to first. In advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February, after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. Speaking of WSOC, it had been #1 the past four months, but “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5 – 6.9, -.6, 6+) segues to second. A May improvement of eight-tenths delivered WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well). Before gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” is +1.1 in four straight positive or neutral moves (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+) and continues in third-place. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). A combined +1.9 in April/May (1.2 – 2.0 – 3.1, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “89.9 Classical Public Radio” sees all but two-tenths of that bounty disappear with a -1.7 to 1.4 (#14 to #18, 6+). In four straight December 2018 through March 2019 down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), WDAV lost a collective half-share. Down six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WEND “106.5 The End” is below a three-share (6+) for the first time since February 2017 (2.8, as well). Via four straight gains, Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS accrued a +2.1 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), but “Kiss 95.1” forfeits two-tenths to 5.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). The positive streak immediately followed four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps (May and June), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI coughs up one-half share (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, fourth to sixth, 6+), virtually erasing its +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+). April’s 5.3 marked the first time “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” reached the five-share level since August 2016’s 5.2. Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #21 to #22, 6+). That deficit this time last month halted three successive up or flat trends which netted three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Tied at #32 are KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” (flat at .3, #31 to #32, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” (.2 – .3, +.1, unchanged at #32, 6+).

Off one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX falls from #13 to #16.

San Antonio Music Formats – It’s another month of musical chairs regarding Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 Worship Now” and co-owned/similarly-formatted KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” First, the backdrop. In May, KZAR posted a +1.0, pulling the plug on three successive negative trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 -2.0, 6+), while KZLV eroded by -1.0, immediately after April’s half-share increase (2.9 – 3.4, 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). The June update finds KZLV roaring back with a +1.5 (2.4 – 3.9, 6+) taking “K-Love” into the top ten (#17 to #10), whereas KZAR plummets by -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+) as “Air 1” departs the top twenty (#14 to #21). By gaining one-tenth to 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH “107.5 The Vibe” halts at four its consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe” in mid-April. Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” dials up a gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 3.2, 6+) and elevates from #17 to #13. “Latino Mix” had been within two-share range (6+) in each of the last 19 sweeps and finds the three-share threshold (3.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.0. Up a collective nine-tenths via three straight positive or neutral trends (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, #16 to #13, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” has its best 6+-showing (3.2) since November 2018 (3.3). Locked on 4.7 (6+) in April and May, Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” busts out a one-half share increase to 5.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Leading the pack the fourth month in a row, co-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” follows May’s +1.1 to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, with a loss of three-tenths (8.5 – 8.2, 6+). KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Faltering by one-half share each are Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” (4.3 – 3.8, 6+), which departs the top ten (#8 to #11), and Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). The last time “Jack” slipped below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Showing decreases of two-tenths each are Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (7.2 – 6.9, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Remaining separated by nine-tenths, KCYY (+.6 in May) and KAJA (+.4 in May) carry on at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); and +.6 (May). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK picked up one-tenth in May, it halted three straight sweeps without an increase that led to a collective -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” plunges nine-tenths in June to 5.2 (6+), sliding from second to fifth; KFBK was tied for first (with classic rock KSEG) in January. Flat at #14, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and has remained within 2.3 – 2.7 range: 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+).

Up three-tenths via three straight gains of one-tenth each (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” forfeits the entire three-tenths and is back to .7 (#22 to #24, 6+). In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, #25 to #26, 6+).

Adding two-tenths to May’s +1.0 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), KXJZ progresses from ninth to seventh. Prior to May, five decreases in succession by the Capital Public Radio news/talk station accounted for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through June 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 (#27 to #24, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by four consecutive upticks accounting for a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” marches from fifth to second. Ahead of it is Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which despite being off six-tenths (8.9 – 8.3, 6+), is #1 the fifth month in a row. That accomplishment includes January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK. “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Six of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); and -.6 (June). Wiping away April/May’s combined loss of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+) with an equal magnitude June bump (4.8 – 5.6, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” leaps from seventh to fourth. For the 16th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5 (2.0 – 2.1, +.1, 5+) and is anchored at #16. Co-owned Spanish adult hits KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” (#17 to #15, 6+) posts a half-share increase to 2.3, its best 6+-stat since November 2018’s 2.4. Also in that Entravision Communications cluster, rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.8, #15 to #17, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 (6.1 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KRXQ slips from second to sixth. The last time “98 Rock” was under a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2018 (4.3). Immediately following April’s nine-tenths’ gain, alternative sibling KKDO “Alt 94.7” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). CHR cluster-mate KUDL “106.5 The End,” which was an overall +1.9 through four straight up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), relinquishes three-tenths to 5.7 (6+) yet advances from fourth to third. Staying flat from May and thus remaining separated by one-half share from each other are the market’s two AC players – Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.6, eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” (4.1, #11 to #10, 6+). “Mix” is without a gain the third straight time for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+); this (4.6) is its weakest 6+-stat since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Entercom’s KDKA-AM -1.8 as a result of five straight February through June drops (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), “News Radio 1020” exits the top ten (#10 to #11); KDKA-AM was +1.1 in January.

Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), regains two-tenths to 6.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+). The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Returning in its entirety May’s gain of six-tenths (4.2 – 3.6, -.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” slips from ninth to tenth.

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Repeating in the runner-up slot, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is +2.3 in four straight positive spikes (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+) and reaches the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. This streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). A positive spike of eight-tenths takes iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW to 8.5 (steady at #3), its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. Replicating May’s increase of six-tenths (8.3 – 8.9 – 9.5, 6+), co-owned rocker WDVE, which lost nine-tenths in April, is #1 the fifth successive month. WDVE posted identical gains of eight-tenths in February and March (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+) and spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. In each of the last 50 ratings periods, Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting triple A WYEP has registered a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9, but in June, “91.3 Where The Music Matters” posts a +.6 to 2.3 (unchanged at #14, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot WLTJ “Q-92.9” improves by six-tenths and cracks the top ten (3.1 – 3.7, #11 to #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” falters by the same margin (5.0 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Consequently, the +1.9 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in May is down to seven-tenths. “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), while a March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately after Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” records a +1.4, “Wish 99.7” plummets by -1.1 (6.3 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). May’s gigantic increase suspended four consecutive declines that resulted in a net loss of roughly half (-5.0) of WSHH’s 6+-stat (9.9 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX is an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) as “105.9 The X” slips from #11 to #12.

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – After spiraling by -1.3 this time last month, Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” levels off in June by repeating May’s 6+ AQH share (3.9) and market rank (eighth). Prior to May, KSL had never fallen below a four-share (6+) in the PPM-era. Two-tenths behind KSL is iHeartMedia’s KNRS, which is up three-tenths to 3.7 (flat at #10), halting three straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was a combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). The January 2019 through June 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3 (unchanged at #21, 6+).

In four straight sweeps without an increase, University of Utah news/talk KUER is an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in April and May, Cumulus Media alternative KHTB “Alt 101.9” records a half-share improvement to 2.4 (#16 to #15, 6+), its best 6+-showing since January’s 2.7. Albeit down three-tenths after May’s increase of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” repeats at #1. Before segueing to the runner-up slot in April, KSFI was on top the previous five ratings periods. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a massive +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). On the other hand, in five consecutive negative moves, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” is an overall -1.5 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+). Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (8.2 – 7.6 – 6.8, second to third, 6+). It was an April-only stay at #1 for KRSP, which had been an overall +2.5 in five consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). “The Arrow” is overtaken by its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” – which is flat at 7.4 (6+) but advances from third to second. “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and was +1.2 in May. An increase of seven-tenths this time last month took Cumulus Media CHR KENZ to 3.0, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 3.5. “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music,” however, regresses by one-half share in June to 2.5 (#11 to #14, 6+). The market’s two major hot ACs are separated by just two-tenths as Capital Broadcasting’s KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” is off three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, steady at #4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Prior to the May sweep, “Now 97.9” had been down or flat three straight times for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+). Meanwhile, “My 99.5” is in an alternating down/up pattern that started in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.3 (6+). Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” continues a similar down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). May’s 5.4 was its best 6+-showing since December 2017 (5.4, as well). Flat at #11, iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” is +1.0 in three straight improvements (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining two-tenths (1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT, which was off six-tenths in May, returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). The 2.4 “News Talk Radio 840” logged in February, March, and April was its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 2.8. Flat at #23, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” has a January 2019 through June 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+).

Following five upticks in a row that nearly doubled (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR forfeits six-tenths to 5.2 (third to fourth, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE was a whopping -8.0 (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+). “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” rebounds in June though with a +1.2 to 6.0 (6+) and jumps from fifth to second. Prior to May, the last time KSNE fell below a five-share (6+) was October 2017 (4.8, as well). “Sunny” was #1 from September 2018 through January 2019. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. KSNE is now just one-tenth behind Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More,” which is -1.5 in May/June (7.6 – 7.1 – 6.1, 6+) but on top the fifth month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. There’s considerable shifting in the market’s hot AC battle as KKLZ cluster-mate KVGS “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” erupts with a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.9, #13 to #9, 6+) at the same time that Entercom’s KMXB “Mix 94.1” falters by -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to third, 6+). “Star” returned 60% of April’s +1.0 with a -.6 in May. Moreover, this is the best 6+-stat (3.9) for “Star” since it flipped from adult hits “Bob” in January 2015. The loss by “Mix,” meanwhile curtails three consecutive increases that netted +1.0 (5.5 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+), with May’s 6.5 its strongest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 6.7. Down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 2.7 (#17 to #13, 6+). An increase of six-tenths enables Lotus Communications-owned Spanish adult hits KWID “La Buena 101.9” to reach the five-share level (4.5 – 5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+), while a boost of one-half share by KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.6, eighth to seventh, 6+) gives the Entercom CHR its best 6+-showing (4.6) since September 2018’s 4.8. Its rhythmic hot AC cluster-mate KXQQ was a cumulative +1.1 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), but “Q-100.5” craters by -1.4 to 3.6 (fourth to tenth, 6+). In May, KXQQ reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018 (5.0, as well). In addition to erasing May’s half-share gain with June’s loss of six-tenths (1.5 – 2.0 – 1.4, 6+), University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 FM – Jazz & More” departs the top twenty (#17 to #22). This is the fourth straight decline for Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Jammin’ 105.7,” which is -1.0 since February (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1, #10 to #11, 6+). As a result of five successive setbacks, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” is -1.6 (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after posting a May +.7 (4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM surrenders eight-tenths to 4.4 (eighth to tenth, 6+). “News 96.5” was a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and -1.0 in March/April. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” drops four-tenths in June to 3.5 (#11 to #12, 6+) and is in 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) for the ninth time in a row. News/talk cluster-mate WFLF has a March 2019 through June 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 (6+) and repeats at #14.

Cox Media Group’s sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” more than doubles May’s .3 (.7, +.4, 6+) and jumps from #23 to #19, while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.8 – .7 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+).

Off seven-tenths in three straight slips (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” moves from #12 to #13.

Orlando Music Formats – On the heels of May’s eight-tenths’ increase, iHeartMedia-owned WJRR piles on a +1.1 (3.4 – 4.5, 6+) as “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #9) with its best 6+-stat (4.5) since February 2018’s 4.8. Entering the May sweep, WJRR was off nine-tenths through four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 8.7 (unchanged at #2), Spanish tropical sibling WRUM “Rumba 100” applies the brakes to three straight down or flat trends that led to a -1.0 (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018; in 2019, it was #1 in January, February, and April. Having surrendered one-half share in May to 4.2 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” follows with a June increase of six-tenths (4.8, tenth to eighth, 6+). Jumping by one-half share from May are iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.5, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” (6.0 – 6.5, fifth to fourth, 6+). Immediately following four improvements in a row that netted a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+), “XL-106.7” was a combined -2.0 in April/May (9.0 – 8.4 – 7.0, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in May, “Mix” was a combined +.9 in March/April 5.4 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+). Via four straight sweeps without a loss, alternative sibling WQMP “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” is up eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well). Over and above adding four-tenths to May’s +1.1 (7.9 – 9.0 – 9.4, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” repeats at #1. An April loss of three-tenths interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 each are Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” (fourth to sixth) and rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WPYO “Power 95.3” (#7 to #11). “Star” is an overall -2.6 in three straight setbacks (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 5.2, 6+) and below a six-share (5.2, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.5, June 2018). Meanwhile, “Power” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – While iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One,” which had a January-only stay on top, is off an overall one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+), the flagship of the Reds continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC, whose November 2018 through May 2019 topline was 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+), spirals by eight-tenths to 2.7 (#11 to #13, 6+). It was exactly one year ago when “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” was below a three-share (2.8, June 2018).

In five straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has its 6+-stat carved in half (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6, flat at #22, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has a similar 50% erosion (-.3) in three successive down or flat ratings periods (.6 – .4 – .3 – .3, #24 to #23, 6+).

A collective -1.2 via three straight drops (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, flat at #14, 6+) Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has wiped away the +1.1 it achieved through three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – When Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE accrued two-tenths in May, it pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+). In June, “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” adds a whopping +1.3 (7.5 – 8.8, 6+) and continues in third-place with its best 6+-stat (8.8) since January’s 9.4. Advancing from #15 to #14, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” logs its sixth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.1 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of four drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ was -1.0, but “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” picks up two-tenths in June to 5.7 (sixth to fifth, 6+). A May loss of four-tenths by Radio One urban contemporary WIZF curtailed four consecutive positive or neutral reports that yielded seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), but “101.1 The Wiz” bounces back with a June increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). There’s good and bad news for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR. On the positive side, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is #1 the fifth sweep in succession; however, its -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+) represents the largest (6+) May 2019 – June 2019 decrease by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far. Entering the June ratings period, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). Co-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock,” which gained a combined nine-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), surrenders a -1.0 to 5.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.3. Immediately after posting a May improvement of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” relinquishes eight-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #11, 6+); May’s 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2017 (3.9, as well). The six 2019 fluctuations by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (April); +.7 (May); and -.6 in June (7.5 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+); May’s 7.5 was its highest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6. Locked on 4.8 (6+) in April and May, Hubbard Broadcasting rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” sputters by one-half share to 4.3 (6+) but remains in seventh-place.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – After a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” has logged a -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 in June (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+). Flat at #19, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” which resurfaced in print in April, has a redundant April – May – June topline of .5 – .5 – .5 (6+).

In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK is a collective -2.4 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0, 6+); “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” fades from the top ten (#10 to #14).

Even though WCPN is down one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of positive or neutral sweeps that netted a +1.6 (2.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), the Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet progresses from #12 to #10.

Cleveland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 (7.3 – 8.4, 6+) enables Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” to zoom from fifth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since August 2018 (8.4, as well). WNCX is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country,” which substitutes May’s one-half share loss with a June gain of seven-tenths (7.4 – 8.1, fourth to third, 6+). Its May decrease halted four consecutive gains that accounted for an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, 6+). That streak directly followed five consecutive losses that resulted in a -3.7 (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Even though WZAK gains three-tenths to 7.8 (6+), pulling the plug on five successive sweeps without an increase resulting in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), the Radio One urban AC backslides from second to fourth. May’s 7.5 was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018 (7.5, as well). Trending 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.4 (February through May, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” hangs out a +.6 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. A combined +1.0 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” continues in seventh-place. In May, it reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0. Notwithstanding that it returns May’s gain of four-tenths (9.8 – 10.2 – 9.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI is #1 the seventh straight sweep. Five  recent fluctuations for “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” include +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and -1.0 (April). Entercom adult contemporary WDOK craters by -1.5 to its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well), as “Cleveland’s Star 102” skids from second to sixth. By losing roughly half its 6+ AQH share (1.1 – .6, -.5, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio 103.3” drops from #16 to #18.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly erasing completely March/April’s -.8 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+) with a May/June +.7 (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” elevates from fifth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” dropped two-tenths in March; gained three-tenths in April; lost two-tenths in May; and regains that two-tenths in June (2.1 to 2.3, #20 to #19, 6+). Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM,” which was off two-tenths through three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+) and continues at #22.

A combined +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). One-tenth behind the Royals flagship is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is up two-tenths to 3.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus halting four straight negative or flat trends that led to a -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

Through five straight up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+), KCUR netted a +1.9, but the University of Missouri news/talk outlet forfeits eight-tenths in June to 4.1 (6+) and drops from sixth to ninth.

Kansas City Music Formats – A stunning +3.8 as a result of five consecutive positive or neutral reports (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” returns to #1 from the runner-up slot. After a two-month stay in the lead, it was dislodged in May. Five recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); +1.1 (March); and +1.3 (June). Turnabout is fair play as KCMO-FM succeeds the station that ousted it in May – co-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” (8.4 – 8.6, +.2, first to second, 6+). This (8.6) is the highest 6+ showing since January 2019’s 10.1 for KCFX, which is +1.3 in three bumps in succession (7.3 – 7.7 – 8.4 – 8.6, 6+). April’s four-tenths’ increase halted February/March’s combined -2.8 (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). By piling on nine-tenths to May’s +.6 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT leaps from tenth to fifth as “99.7 The Point” crosses the four-share threshold (4.8) for the first time since September 2018’s 4.3. Owing to five positive or neutral moves in a row, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” is an overall +2.0 (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) and climbs from #14 to #12 with its strongest (6+) performance since January 2018 (3.5, as well). Following March/April’s +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q104 New Hit Country” is a combined -1.7 in May/June (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). On one hand, April’s 5.9 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well), while June’s 4.2 its weakest since December 2018’s 3.7. Remaining flat in June are country challengers co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” 4.8 (but jumping from seventh to fifth, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.5, but advancing from #13 to #12, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” is up one-tenth (2.6, flat at #18), ending four successive declines that accounted for a collective -2.0 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). That directly followed five consecutive positive or flat moves resulting in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3,” however, is -1.2 in three drops in succession (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0 – 2.8, #14 to #16, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Although flat at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” hasn’t had an increase in each of the last five sweeps and is an overall -2.3 in that January through June stretch (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+).

Ever since reappearing in print, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is 4.7 (April); 4.6 (May); and now off seven-tenths to 3.9 in June (seventh to ninth, 6+).

The January through June topline for Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is: 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Three straight upticks by Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND yield eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+) as “Rewind” jumps from #13 to #11 and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.1. A combined -1.4 in April/May (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+), co-owned WLVQ is up three-tenths to 7.6 (third to second, 6+). “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” previously amassed a +1.9 in three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 increases, (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+). This is the 19th sweep in a row that iHeartMedia-owned WCOL is #1 and “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017 (11. 7 – 11.1, 6+). Sample WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); -1.3 (May); and now -.6 (June). Immediately following May’s +1.4, co-owned CHR WNCI surrenders all but two-tenths of that gain (8.6 – 7.4, -1.2, second to third, 6+). Prior to May, “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was a collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). May’s 8.6 was its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. As a result of nine consecutive positive or neutral moves, Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2, #18 to #17, 6+).

On the heels of notching a May gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One gospel WJYD, which was +1.0 in nine successive July 2018 through March 2019 up or flat trends (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), is off six-tenths in June to 1.4 (#15 to #16, 6+); “Joy 107.1” was 1.7 (6+) in April and 2.0 (6+) in May. Three consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC netted +1.0 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+), but “93.3 The Bus” returns half that increase in June (4.6, -.5, fifth to seventh, 6+); May’s 5.1 was its best 6+-stat since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018.

Pay Inequality Prompts Young To Exit WPXY. “Walking away from a stable paycheck is risky at best and stupid at worst, but for me, it was necessary.” That candid Twitter assessment is how Whitney Young described the decision to leave her role as morning co-host on Entercom Rochester CHR WPXY “98-PXY.” She had been teamed there with Corey James. Exiting wasn’t over often-stated “philosophical differences” or an offer from another station, but for something that’s become prominent in recent headlines – equal pay for equal work. Further quoting her tweet, Young writes, “My male co-host’s salary was nearly double my own, and I was unable to negotiate a raise that would reduce the pay disparity. This inequality is in conflict with my most deeply held beliefs.” Young doesn’t seem to have any animosity whatsoever for James, noting he is “a good friend, a talented showman, a dependable colleague, and fully deserving of his salary.” She promises though to “continue speaking about the things that matter to me – mental health awareness being of utmost importance.” While Young has “no idea” about her next move, she states, “it won’t be on [WPXY] but I’ll talk to you soon.” Young initially worked at WPXY as a social media producer. She exited but rejoined for mid-day duty two years ago and became part of the morning show last year. No Nielsen Audio ratings numbers are available to quote for Entercom’s WPXY, as the market’s only subscribers to the winter 2019 book are seven iHeartMedia stations.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. A special “Meet & Greet” reunion of many of Detroit’s most famous radio personalities will be held September 14 from 1:00 – 6:00 pm at Novi, Michigan’s Suburban Collection Showplace. “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo, is hosting the open to the public, fan-based event that will honor 94-year-old Robin Seymour, whose “Motor City” on-air radio credits include WKNR “Keener 13,” CKLW “The Big 8,” and WKMH. His recently-published book, “The DJ Who Launched 1,000 Hits,” will be available ….. The program director of Cumulus Media Houston mainstream CHR KRBE, Leslie Whittle, adds corporate duties as Cumulus Medias vice president/hot AC formats. Cumulus Media executive vice president/content and audience Brian Philips comments, “With great strategy and spirit, Leslie has built a CHR powerhouse in Houston. She understands all nuances of contemporary music radio. We are fortunate to enlist her as VP of our hot AC formats. Her name has hit every list of the ‘Best PDs in America,’ and we are glad to spread Leslie’s brainpower and influence through our important hot AC stations.” Whittle notes, “I’m honored to have this opportunity and look forward to working with these amazing programmers and their teams, along with the talented people at Westwood One. A big ‘high-five’ to our team here at KRBE, led by Alex Cadelago and Dan Bennett as we continue to do great things in Houston.” After starting her radio career at Austin CHR KHFI, where she ultimately became program director, Whittle joined KRBE in 2000 and became PD in 2006 …..  Former Entercom Los Angeles all-news KNX anchor/reporter Karen “Cha Cha” Harlow joins Tegna San Diego adult hits KFMB-FM, where she’ll do a Saturday afternoon (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm) shift and swing work. It is a return to San Diego for Harlow, who has worked at KHTS, XHTZ, and XPRS. Director of FM programming Mike V. Vasquez notes, “I’ve been a fan of [Harlow’s] since first hearing her when I arrived in San Diego in 1998, so I’m thrilled to finally work with her. Her energetic, positive, vibe – combined with her extensive connections in San Diego – make her an ideal fit for us.” Harlow comments, “It is a thrill to join the family at the legendary KFMB-FM. I’m ready to shake the sand out of my beach towel and get back to playing awesome music on the radio – let’s have some fun.” ….. Having spent 31 years with Entercom San Diego, one-year senior director of promotions Chris Turner will be leaving the five-station cluster this Friday (7/19). Turner joined KSON as a part-time member of the country station’s street team in November 1988 and was eventually promoted to assistant promotions director. He later became director of promotions for co-owned alternative KBZT, before having the same title at KSON ….. In two weeks (7/29), Dena Fletcher will join Griffin Communications’ KVOO “98.8 Tulsa Country” as program director. Griffin director of radio operations & programming Steve Hunter comments that, “Dena will be a great addition to our team and a great fit for our culture.” As part of her 20-year resume, Fletcher has programmed cross-town Cox Media Group hot AC KRAV “Mix 96” and hosted afternoon drive on that cluster’s classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” ….. In an October 17 ceremony at New York City’s Javits Center, Cumulus Media Syracuse mainstream CHR WNTQ “93-Q” morning team (5:30 am -10:00 am) Ted Long and Amy Robbins will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. Cumulus Media Syracuse vice president/market manager Beth Coughlin comments, “When two amazing people create and produce a dynamic, platinum- standard product, and fine-tune it for many years on air, it can’t be duplicated. Ted and Amy’s influence as part of not only the ‘93-Q’ family, but also within the central New York community, has set them apart. We congratulate them, and thank the New York State Broadcasters Association for this Hall of Fame recognition.” Long & Robbins have been together for 30 years.

St. Jude’s Cites iHM Boston and Portsmouth “Bull” Siblings. During an event last week at St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis, iHeartMedia Boston country outlet WBWL “101.7 The Bull” and co-owned/similarly-formatted WTBU “95.3 The Bull,” Portsmouth (New Hampshire) were recognized with the Country Cares Radio Stations Of The Year Award. ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital regional development director Jenn Potter states, “St. Jude partners with over 350 radio stations throughout the year and is proud to honor ‘The Bull.’ They are the true definition of incredible partners and are always trying to do more for the kids of St. Jude.” Vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Boston region, Dylan Sprague, comments, “Receiving this award is a credit to our great teams in Boston and Portsmouth. The funds raised are a true testament to the dedicated listeners and our on-air team who make the St. Jude mission so relevant to the Boston and Portsmouth communities.” Shown (above, left to right) are: New England Region St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital managing director Kim Chisholm; WTBU “95.3 The Bull” program director Tim Moore; Jenn Potter; WBWL “101.7 The Bull” sales manager Ally Klein; WBWL program director Ginny Brophy; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Country Cares Program director/radio development Scott Hinshelwood; and WBWL and WTBU on-air personality Colton Bradford.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

| March 27, 2018

Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’   Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus.  Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been.  I think that’s the case on and off the air.  It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.”  What about the program’s targeting and positioning?  In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience.  It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand.  WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan.  WOR?  Well, I’m not sure whom they target.   Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show.  We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned.  Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.”  Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking.  Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years.  We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”

WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension.  There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO.  He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years.  As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America.  I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.”  iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston.  Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport.  In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers.  Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP.  This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis.  He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring.   Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.

‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement.  Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27).  Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego.  Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations.  Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ.  He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore.  XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio.  It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods.  They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other.  It’s going to be fun.”

Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends.  Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible.  Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners.  The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis.  The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.  This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde.  WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.

Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; and NBA action 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. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team.  His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team.  John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.”  O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station.  WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago.  His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation.  His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.  We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.”  Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas.  Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team.  He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’  This should be fun!”

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Monday, November 13, 2017

| November 13, 2017

Longtime ‘New Jersey 101.5’ PD Eric Johnson Joins Beasley for Philly Sports Talk Role.  After spending the last 19 years as brand manager and program director at Townsquare Media’s talk station WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5,” Eric Johnson is joining Beasley Media Group to take on the director of sports content position at the company’s Philadelphia operations, effective December 4.  In this role, Johnson will be responsible for programming sports talkers WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” and WTEL “610 Sports,” as well as managing the related digital platforms.  Beasley Media Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell states, “Eric Johnson has the perfect skill set and experience to help continue the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  He’s a Philly guy who understands that Philly sports fans are the best in the country and he can deliver a product with as much passion and knowledge as they have.”

Frank Rush Exits WIBQ, Terre Haute.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, program director Frank Rush exits Midwest Communications’ news/talk WIBQ/W250BZ in Terre Haute (also simulcast on WBOW, Paris, Illinois).  The move appears to be budget related.  In a story in the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Dave Taylor reports that Midwest is producing news content for WIBQ at its Evansville operations.  Read the Tribune-Star piece here.

Trump in Asia/Putin Election Meddling, North Korea Nuclear Program, Roy Moore Pedophile Allegations/Hollywood Sexual Assaults, GOP Tax Plan, Roger Goodell Contract Demands, College Football Games, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The president’s trip to Asia and his statement about believing Vladimir Putin’s claim he did not meddle in the U.S. election in 2016; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un; the allegations Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore pursued several minor women when he was in his 30s and the expanding allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood players; the nuts and bolts of the Republican tax plan; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s reported demands for his new contract; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WRKO Raises $90k for Disabled Veterans.  On Friday (11/10), news/talk WRKO, Boston presented a live radiothon from the Seaport Hotel from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm to benefit the Disabled American Veterans.  “Boston’s Morning Show” with Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie, “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong,” The Kuhner Report,” and the Howie Carr show highlighted inspirational stories from veterans of all ages and the DAV members who assist them.  Pictured above are WRKO PD Michael Czarnecki (second from right) and marketing director Adam Ralston (right) presenting the ceremonial check for $90,642.  Czarnecki says, “The passion the WRKO listeners have for our veterans continues to amaze me year after year!  It was an incredible day filled with energy and emotion and I am so thankful to the DAV and WRKO staff for all of their hard work.”

Broadcasting Veteran Dwight Douglas Pens Another Novel.  Longtime radio programmer and marketer turned author Dwight Douglas has just written and published a new, topical media-related novel that makes great fodder for talk radio conversation.  The book titled, If God Could Cry: The True Meaning of Mercy tells the story of a famous (fictitious) cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, who leaves New York on his quest to find truth.  He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism.  He once again asks, “If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?”  Since retiring from his 17-year stint as vice president of marketing at broadcasting software giant, RCS, Douglas penned If God Could Talk… The Diary of a Broadcast Journalist followed by Donald Trump: Repeal, Replace, Impeach.  This new book is his third.  Many TALKERS readers will remember Douglas from his days in album rock radio when he programmed several major market AOR stations and served as president of the radio consulting firm Burkhart-Abrams & AssociatesTALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “I used to work with Dwight back in the golden days of FM rock radio and always though he was extremely clever and very much in touch with the nuances of popular culture.  He was instrumental in the early career and rise of Howard Stern.  Now many decades later, it is exciting to read his books and see how his keen feel for the issues and culture of the times has matured into touching and powerful insights.  He makes a superb talk radio interview.”  For more information and to book an interview with Dwight Douglas, please click here.

MIW Accepting Applications for 2018 Mentoring Program. The window to apply for the 2018 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program is open now through January 12, 2018.  This program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group “pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.”  MIW says that Beasley Media Group is committing to provide support as the lead sponsor of the 2018 initiative.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2018 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, click here.   WSCR, Chicago/Chicago Cubs Radio Network general sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski says, “This unique initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.”

FOX Radio/TV Star Brian Kilmeade Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast.  Multi-platform talk show host and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”   Harrison and Kilmeade discuss a variety of current topics including the NFL’s struggles with controversial politics and the resurgence of baseball as well as the view of the Donald Trump administration from inside the president’s “favorite” cable TV news talk show, “Fox and Friends” (co-hosted by Kilmeade).  They also talk about the early decades of the fledgling American republic as chronicled in Kilmeade’s new history book, co-written with Don Yaeger, titled, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017). 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Weekend and fill-in jock Juline Jordan is promoted to midday personality at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit.  Beasley Detroit vice president and market manager Mac Edwards comments, “Juline is an outgoing personality who thrives on listener engagement on-air and in live settings.  She impressed us with an eagerness to share and assist in generating ideas for promotions and features that will continue to strengthen the WCSX classic rock brand!  Additionally, her creative digital and writing chops will help grow our social platforms in midday and beyond.”  Jordan has worked in the Detroit radio market for the past 20 years.  She’s also been heard on sister rock outlet WRIF.  She adds, “It’s my extreme pleasure to be given this opportunity and I’m more inspired than ever to give Detroit my very best.  I would like to thank my program director Jerry ‘JT’ Tarrants and our market manager Mac Edwards for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to rock Detroit every day!”…..At Entercom’s Denver cluster, oldies KEZW “Cruisin’ 1430” program director and morning personality Rick Crandall signs a new deal to remain with the station through 2020.  Entercom Denver VP of programming Mike Peterson states, “Rick is one of the best broadcasters in the business, with an undeniable passion for the community.  We’re lucky to have him!”

PPM Analysis: Urban AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the 6+ performances of urban AC-formatted stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing the stations’ September and October numbers 6+ weekly totals, Kinosian notes that “for all practical purposes, half of this urban AC sample declines between September 2017 – October 2017 (51%); 43% of these stations are up; and the remaining 6% are steady.”  However, looking at October 2016 numbers and comparing them to October 2017, “these urban ACs virtually flip the month-to-month stats, as 53% of them are up year-to-year, while 41% decline; the remaining 6% remain steady.”  Seven urban AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October 2017 survey – all of them in southern cities – they were: KMJQ, Houston; WHQT, Miami; WWIN-FM, Baltimore; WFXC, Raleigh; WVKL, Norfolk; WQMG, Greensboro; and KJMS, Memphis.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Friday, November 3, 2017

| November 3, 2017

Talk Radio Hosts at White House Radio Row.  Pictured above is New England talk radio star Howie Carr (right) – whose afternoon drive program is syndicated via the Howie Carr Radio Network to stations throughout the region – with President Trump (left) in the East Room of the White House.  Carr was one of a number of talk radio personalities who broadcast from the White House yesterday (11/2) as part of the second administration-organized radio row to promote the GOP’s tax reform plan.  Below, KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated talk personality Lars Larson (right) stands with President Trump (center) and his program’s executive producer Carl Sundberg (left) in the East Room.

Trump Shares Frustrations with WMAL’s Larry O’Connor.  Pictured above at yesterday’s White House radio row, President Trump told WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s Larry O’Connor (left) that he’s frustrated by the fact that, as president, his hands are tied with regard to investigating Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the Uranium One deal and the Trump-Russia dossier.  The interview got a lot of attention from media outlets covering the radio row with no fewer than eight print and online news operations reporting Trump’s comments.  The president told O’Connor, “But you know the saddest thing, because I’m the President of the United States I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department.  I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI.  I’m not supposed to be doing the kinds of things that I would love to be doing.  And I’m very frustrated by it.”

Joe Pags Talks Issues with Trump.  Above is WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo (left) interviewing President Trump (right) at yesterday’s tax reform radio row at the White House.

CBS RADIO Q3 Revenue Down $17 Million.  Third quarter results for CBS Corporation as a whole saw revenue at $3.17 billion – up 3% from the same period a year ago.  But the CBS RADIO revenue was $300 million in the third quarter – down 5.5% from Q3 2016’s $317 million.   This will likely be the last full quarter CBS reports its radio revenue with the Entercom-CBS RADIO merger expected to close on the 17th of this month.

Entercom Sees $100 Million in Post-Merger Cost Synergies.  That’s from one of the slides Entercom has prepared as part of its presentation to investors ahead of the consummation of the merger with CBS RADIO.  Among the points Entercom makes in the presentation is that the new company will be “one of the country’s two largest radio broadcasters,” “reaching and engaging” more than 100 million people with “combined reach in top markets” that rivals iHeartMedia’s.  The post-merger Entercom will operate 235 stations in 48 markets with the ability to reach 87% of the 12+ population in the top 50 radio markets.  The slide presentation also highlights the new company’s all-news radio portfolio calling it “the gold standard in news radio” and pointing to highly rated all newsers WINS and WCBS-AM in New York; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM, Chicago; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KYW, Philadelphia; and WWJ, Detroit.  Returning to the cost synergies, the company states that of that expected $100 million, $68 million of that should come from “eliminating redundant costs in overlap markets, consolidating operations, rationalizing station expenses, and realizing purchasing savings.”

What Is Your Liability When Endorsing a Product?  Yesterday’s story published here in TALKERS magazine reported on the matter of an ad for an investment that the SEC is calling a fraud that aired on Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  Not only did it air, but talk host Drew Garabo endorsed the investment.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says that although it’s rare that the FTC comes down on stations and personalities that endorse such products, there is liability for both written into the law and broadcasters should be aware of them.  Read this important column here.

Hannity Crowned Cable News/Talk King for October. The prime-time cable news/talk ratings – based of course upon Nielsen numbers – are out for October and FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity rose to the top of the ratings heap in October, averaging almost 3.2 million total viewers and 686,000 adults 25-54.  Hannity’s show moved to the 9:00 pm ET hour after Bill O’Reilly’s departure but during the July, August, and September months, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had scored some ratings victories.  In total viewers, FNC’s Tucker Carlson finished second in October (2.8 million) and Maddow came in third with 2.5 million average total viewers.  On a side note, Hannity was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame last night (11/2), but he chose to remain in New York to do his program live rather than travel to Chicago to accept the honor in person.

WFAN, New York AM Drive Sub Profiled in NYPost.  New York native Gregg Giannotti – who left the area to gain experience as a sports talk radio host in Pittsburgh – has been sitting in with WFAN morning star Boomer Esiason recently.  With the departure of embattled former co-host Craig Carton, Giannotti has been spending a lot of time on the WFAN morning show, causing the New York Post to wonder if he’s the odds-on favorite to get the full-time gig alongside Esiason.  Check out the Post piece here.

ESPN Radio’s Bomani Jones the Subject of Cancellation Rumors. After a Tweet by FOX Sports’s Clay Travis alleging that ESPN Radio is on the verge of cancelling Bomani Jones afternoon show on the network because it’s lost more than 90 affiliate stations, speculation is swirling about what’s really going on.  ESPN is not making comments specific to Jones’ radio show but says he’s an important part of its “audio strategy.”  Another part of the story is that Jones is starting a new ESPN cable show and rumor has it he’d be delighted to end his radio show duties.

The Mueller Investigation and Indictments Tops Talkers TenTM This Week.  The investigation into Trump campaign-Russia connections and indictments by special counsel Robert Mueller was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of October 30-November 3.  At #2 this week was the New York City terror attack that left eight dead.  Coming in at #3 was criticism of the Obama Administration’s Uranium One deal, followed by the allegation by Donna Brazile that Hillary Clinton assumed control over the DNC before she’d won the primary 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.

 

 

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Hot Pick to Click.  TALKERS/RadioInfo in-house music director, the fabulous Duane Doobie Jr., occasionally finds something out there on the way up that catches his keen eyes and ears.  There is one such group in LA that falls into this category and word on the street is they have the attention of several major labels.  The Doob says, “This hot West Coast ensemble that you may not yet heard of – but will be kicking yourself if you don’t follow up on this – is the band WOLVES.  They just dropped the video for their hit-bound indie single, ‘Animal,’ which is bringing them the necessary critical mass to get CHR/hot AC/rock listeners’ attention.” KIMN, Denver and WRMF, Palm Beach are all over this #33 on the Nielson Billboard Indicator Charts track with multiple plays per day in prime-time slots.  Some background: Marc AverySean Carney and Rockwell Sands came together last year to form what they thought “the ultimate project” would be – a band with pop sensibilities that married urban and rock music into one unique sound.  Sands writes about the band’s influences, “We wondered what it would be like if we took all these different influences we loved – artists like Michael Jackson, the Eagles, and Coldplay – and rolled them all into one band today.”  From the forthcoming EP Hold On For The Night, “Animal” is full of dazzling synths and bass that embrace lead singer Avery’s unique Jackson-esque vocals.  Doobie says, “Play this song and watch what happens!”  You can listen to the track here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves — Heritage rock station KSHE, St. Louis is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Tuesday (11/7).  As the station says in its press release, “Back in 1967, KSHE became one of the first radio stations in the United States to play rock music on the FM band and was a pioneer of the Album Oriented Rock radio format.”  The Emmis Communications station is featuring 12 hours of special programming (6:00 am to 6:00 pm) that will include not only the music that made the station but classic imaging, recordings of historical personalities, and messages from rock greats…..On Thursday (11/9), iHeartMedia Chicago’s urban stations – hip hop WGCI, urban contemporary WVAZ “V103,” and Gospel WGRB – will take part in a radiothon called “Music in the Schools” to benefit Scott Joplin Elementary School, a school located in the heart of Chicago’s South Side.  Proceeds from the event will go the school’s music programs…..Classic rock KLKK, Mason City, Iowa “103.7 The Fox” is adding Envision Networks’ and Sun Broadcast Group’s “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” program to its lineup…..Alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is announcing that Weezer will headline its fourth annual “Movember Gala” on Friday, December 1 at The Block inside of Harrah’s Philadelphia.  The event is a culmination of the “Movember Mondays” fundraisers happening throughout the month in which all proceeds will be donated to the Movember Foundation, a global men’s health charity investing in programs to address prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, and physical inactivity…..The lineup for the annual “Ten Man Jam at Bill Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth is set.  The show is a production of Cumulus Media’s country KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and this year fans will hear:  Darius Rucker, Gary Allan, Kevin Fowler, Roger Creager, Tyler Farr, Scotty McCreery, Jerrod Niemann, Midland, Carly Pearce, and Brandon Lay…..iHeartMedia’s Atlanta alternative rock WRDA “Radio 105.7” announces the lineup for its annual holiday concert “Holiday Spectacular 2017” will feature X Ambassadors, Portugal.The Man, and Welshly Arms on Friday, December 1 at Coca Cola Roxy.

Round Four of October PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s October 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s October 2017 survey period covered September 14 – October 11. View all the numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Not only does University of Texas at Austin-owned KUT repeat at #2 and post its third straight gain for a stunning +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), the news/talk outlet has its highest 6+-share in nearly a year (9.0, November 2016). It trails Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” by just four-tenths. While on top for the ninth successive month, “Bob” is without an increase for the third time in a row for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). KBPA was a combined -1.7 in April and May, with May’s 7.4 its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 7.4. Following five straight up sweeps for an overall +1.0 (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), triple A cluster-mate KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” drops three-tenths to 2.8 but continues at #15 (6+). Prior to September, KGSR had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) the previous 19 consecutive sweeps; September’s 3.1 is its best 6+-stat since February 2016 (3.1, as well). All three of the market’s FM country properties are (modestly) up from September, including “Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM, which is without a loss for the eighth time in succession for an overall gain of eight-tenths (1.7- 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Flat at #16, this is the best 6+-showing for “Austin’s Country Alternative” since September 2016 (2.5, as well). Meanwhile in the iHeartMedia cluster, KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” adds one-tenth (6.5 – 6.6, unchanged at #3) and co-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (seven to fifth) is up three-tenths to 5.1, its best 6+-showing since January’s 5.5. As the result of three straight declines, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” (3.7 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+) has lost roughly half of its 6+-share (-1.8) and stumbles from #16 to #18. This is the first time “Spirit” is below a two-share (6+) in more than six years (1.5, August 2011). Trending 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+) since May, iHeartMedia CHR KHFI regresses by one-half share as well (to 4.6, fifth to eighth, 6+) as “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” has its softest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5.

2) Raleigh – A cumulative +1.9 via three straight improvements (2.4 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC posts its best 6+-stat since 4.1 in March, as “99.9 The Fan” cracks the top ten (#14 to #10). Off by -1.8 in four straight negative trends (8.5 – 7.9 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC roars back with a combined +1.4. in August, September, and October (6.7 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 8.1, 6+). It continues in the runner-up slot with its strongest 6+-showing since 8.5 in March. In four consecutive increases, Educational Information Corporation’s WCPE has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.8 – 1.9 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+). Up two full-shares since June, “89.7 The Classical Station” climbs from #15 to #14. Even though it surrenders September’s half-share gain, Radio One urban AC WFXC “Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the fifth straight month. October’s -.5 to 8.7 (6+), however, curtails six straight upticks that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+); September’s 9.2 is its highest 6+-share since 9.6 in May 2011. Without an increase for the eighth successive sweep for a combined -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” carries on in fifth-place. This is the first time WRAL is below a six-share (6+) since February 2013’s 5.9; “Mix 101.5” finished first for four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June. Having registered four successive increases for an overall gain of +2.1 (4.3 – 4.9 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB, Your Life – Your Music” has spiraled by a combined -1.3 in September and October (6.4 – 5.6 – 5.1, 6+), dropping from sixth to seventh. A May increase of six-tenths brought to a close three consecutive downward trends that accounted for a six-tenths’ loss (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Debuting in July at #14 with a 2.4 (6+), the stream of WBBB disappeared from print in August and has not reappeared. Down by one-half share as well is its CHR sibling WPLW “The Pulse FM” (3.9 – 3.4, #13 to #15, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since February (3.4, as well). An overall -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains at #7 with its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013’s 5.0.

3) Indianapolis – Whereas Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” hangs out a +.8 to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6 and leaps from sixth to third, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” falters by seven-tenths (7.1 – 6.4, 6+), segueing from second to fifth. WFMS was a combined +.8 in May and June; -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; and now -.7 in October (5.9 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+). Four-tenths ahead of “Hank” is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which tacks on sixth-tenths to September’s +.5 (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.5, third to second, 6+). Like other stations in the market, the aforementioned three properties are chasing Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK, which is up for the third straight month for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+) and repeats at #1. Moreover, this is a true benchmark for WJJK, which registers its highest 6+-share in the PPM-era. Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). Three straight gains by Emmis-owned WFNI (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0, unchanged at #14, 6+) lift “The Fan – Indy’s Sportscenter” to the three-share level for the first time since March 2016’s 3.1. Advancing from seventh to sixth with a two-tenths gain to 6.3 (6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” halts at three a consecutive string of losses that generated a -2.1 (8.2 – 7.7 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+). After dialing up a +.8 in August, hot AC cluster-mate WNTR is a combined -1.5 in September and October (4.9 – 5.7 – 4.9 – 4.2, 6+); “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” departs the top ten (#9 to #11). As a result of July’s -.1, “The Mix” snapped at five its string of up or flat trends that produced a collective +1.5 (3.5 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). Regressing by seven-tenths as well is the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies HD2 channel of WNOW (1.1 -.4, #21 to #23, 6+). Putting an end to its July – August – September (6+) trending of 6.5 – 6.9 – 6.5, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” falters by six-tenths (to 5.9, fifth to seventh, 6+) and falls below a six-share (6+) for the first time in nearly five years (5.3, November 2012).

4) Milwaukee – It is another strong month for Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which is an impressive +2.2 via three straight gains (4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+) to move from fourth to third. Moreover, this is WHQG’s highest 6+-share since it began appearing in print in December 2014. Prior to a -.6 in July, “The Hog” posted a 5.5 (6+) in three of the previous four survey periods. Two-tenths ahead of it is Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Radio 620 Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” which ironically, scores a September 2017 – October 2017 +1.2 as well (6.1 – 7.3, 6+) to progress from third to second. The Green Bay Packers’ flagship registers its best 6+-stat since December 2015’s 8.2. A combined +1.1 in June and July (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WJMR surrendered a whopping -1.8 to 3.7 in August and September, but urban AC “Jammin’ 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” answers with a +.7 in October as it returns to the top ten (4.4, #11 to #9, 6+). Setting the pace for the 31st consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” continues a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4, 6+). After being up or flat for four straight sweeps for a net gain of +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+), co-owned WMIL is a combined -1.5 in September and October (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+) as “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” falls from sixth to eighth. Prior to the August ratings period, the last time WMIL crossed the six-share threshold (6+) was in July 2016 with a 6.3. After posting three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+), format foe – Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” – is off by a collective four-tenths in September and October (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), yet moves from #10 to a three-way logjam at #9. On the heels of September’s one-half share loss, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” regresses by an additional six-tenths (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, fifth to seventh, 6+). A +.8 in August to 6.3 gave “Mix” its highest 6+-stat since September 2016’s 6.5. Even though iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV is without an increase for the fourth consecutive month for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” improves from seventh to sixth; 5.4, however, is its lowest 6+-share since August 2016 (5.4, as well). No higher than 1.5 (6+) or lower than 1.1 (6+) over the course of the last 21 sweeps – which covers March 2016 through October 2017, Milwaukee Public Schools’ triple A WYMS “88 Nine” (flat at #18) has a 6+-line of: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3.

5) Nashville – A combined +2.3 in three straight hefty positive spikes (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” enters the top ten (#11 to #10) with its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.3. Prior to a one-half share increase in May, the flagship of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans plummeted by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Simultaneous with co-owned country WSM-FM racking up eight-tenths to 5.1 as “95.5 Nash Icon” reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.5 (tenth to ninth, 6+), similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops one-half share to 3.2 matching its 3.2 in August 2016 (#12, to #13, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” adds four-tenths (5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and advances from eighth to seventh. Following a combined half-share increase in July and August, “Nash FM” was -.6 in September. Off one-half share in September, “The Big 98” had its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 5.0. Classic country WSIX-HD2 is flat at .8 and remains at #21, while Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the fourth consecutive survey period. Following September’s one-half share improvement, Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM adds another seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.7 – 6.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) propelling the “NPR News and Classical Music” outlet to its best 6+-share in the PPM-era, eclipsing the 5.7 it established this time last month (September 2017). A mere three-tenths of a share separates Nashville’s first four October 2017 finishers, including Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which vaults from fourth to second. With its best 6+-showing since April’s 7.7, “Mix” is a collective +1.0 in three straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4, 6+). Just one-tenth ahead of “Mix” is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B,” which surrenders two-thirds of September’s +1.5 (8.5 – 7.5, –1.0, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its 8.5 this time last month is its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). For the second straight month, co-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” spirals by nine-tenths (7.5 – 6.6 – 5.7, 6+) to slip from fifth to sixth, with its lowest 6+-share since January’s 5.4. Three straight increases doubled the 6+-share of WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM since June (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.0, 6+), but “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” returns 80% of that collective +1.0 (1.2, -.8, unchanged at #16, 6+).

6) Providence – Without a loss for the fourth straight sweep for an overall gain of +1.3 (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI progresses from eighth-place to seventh as the Boston Red Sox radio network affiliate has its best 6+-performance since February 2015’s 4.1. In another spoken-word arena positive streak, iHeartMedia’s WHJJ “News Radio 920” has nearly quadrupled its 6+-share in six successive up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.6 (.6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). In a similar vein, Cumulus Media’s WPRV “AM 790 – Talk & Business” practically triples its 6+-share in six consecutive sweeps without a loss (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+) and is unchanged at #14. Carrying on at #5, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” erases September’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8, 6+). The September loss of four-tenths curtailed five straight increases that netted a cumulative nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). Having lost two full shares over the course of the last four survey periods (9.8 – 9.1 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” pulls the plug by registering a +.4 to 8.2 (6+), moving from fourth to third. While 9.8 in May is its highest 6+-share since February 2015 (also 9.8), 7.8 in September is its weakest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.7. An aggregated +1.6 via three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI “Lite Rock 105” dips two-tenths to 11.2 (6+) but is #1 for the 25th consecutive ratings period; 11.4 in September is its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. “Lite Rock” dropped six-tenths in both May and June (11.0 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+). While it occupies the runner-up slot for the fourth time in the last five sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY – Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” returns in full September’s one-half share increase (8.5 – 9.0 – 8.5, 6+). The string of four straight decreases for an overall loss of -1.5 (6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.1, 6+) ended for hot AC cluster-mate WSNE in September when it registered a +.2, but “Coast 93.3” regresses by one-half share to 4.8, shifting from fifth to sixth. This is the lowest 6+-share for “Coast” since 4.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

7) Norfolk – Between June and October, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE has been a model of consistency as “101.3 2WD” (unchanged at #5) hasn’t had a loss in that stretch and is up an overall three-tenths (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+). Three straight improvements by urban AC cluster-mate WVKL netted +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+), but “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” slips in October by one-half share to 13.7 (6+). Nevertheless, it is #1 for the tenth time in a row; earlier, it was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods. WVKL registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 18th time in the last 19 ratings periods; September’s 14.2 is the highest 6+-stat ever reached by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. A September gain of seven-tenths by hot AC sibling WPTE erased August’s -.4, but “94.9 The Point” erodes by nine-tenths in October (4.4 – 3.5, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its consecutive string of up or flat trends for an overall increase of +1.4 concluded at seven in August (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+). Having hauled out a +1.4 in September to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat in two years (10.4, 6+, September 2015), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” surrenders exactly half that gain in October (8.1, -.7, 6+), sliding from second to third. April through August, “103 Jamz” was trending 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 7.4 (6+). Flat at #12, rhythmic hot AC sibling WMOV is down for the fifth straight month (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). In that timeframe, “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” has lost approximately 64% of its 12+-share (-1.8).

8) Greensboro – The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH, which cobbled together three straight improvements for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+), only to follow with five successive losses accounting for a collective -3.9, including September’s massive -1.8 (10.7 – 10.4 – 10.1 – 9.6 – 8.6 – 6.8, 6+). Rebounding in October though, “102 Jamz” regains exactly half of September’s decline (7.7, +.9, 6+) and vaults from sixth to third. Over the course of the last 16 survey periods (August 2016 – October 2017), “Jamz” has been in double-digits (6+) 10 times, missing out this year in January, February, July, August, September, and October. Steady in the runner-up slot, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined +2.1 in four consecutive increases (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9, 6+) and notches its strongest 6+-share since July 2016 (10.9, as well). Despite being off eight-tenths (12.7 – 11.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the fifth straight time and posts double-digits (6+) for the eleventh sweep in succession. It has occupied the top spot each month this calendar year except April and May and posted a +1.5 in September and June. Steady at #7, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” posts its fourth consecutive increase for an overall +1.2 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5, 6+); WPTI was 4.7 in April. A combined +1.5 in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.2, 6+) immediately after three straight negative trends that accounted for a -1.1 (6.8 – 6.7 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+), adult contemporary sibling WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” is now a combined -.9 in September and October (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3, 6+). It slips from fifth to sixth; 7.2 in August was the strongest 6+-stat for WMAG since “Holiday” 2016’s 15.2. After improving by seven-tenths in September to 7.8 – its highest 6+-share since 7.9 in January 2016 – co-owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” forfeits one-half share (7.1 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+) and dips from third to fourth.

9) West Palm Beach – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (1.4 – 2.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” advances from #14 to #12 with its best 6+-stat since June 2016 (2.1, as well). After sputtering by one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, co-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” regains 60% of that decline (4.8, +.6, 6+), rocketing from seventh to third. The 5.2 in August by “KOOL” was its highest 6+-share since January’s 5.9. Following three successive months without a gain in which it was a collective -2.1 (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), WOLL was a combined +.6 in April and May (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.1, 6+). Up one-tenth to 4.2 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted WEAT “Sunny 107.9” applies the brakes to four straight negative trends for an overall -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). September’s 4.1 is the lowest 6+-share for “Sunny” since 3.1 in January 2014. In addition to ranking first for the tenth consecutive month, hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” is up by one-half share to 11.3, the strongest 6+-share for WRMF since November 2015 (11.3, as well). A one-tenth loss in September halted four straight increases that delivered an overall +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 report, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. It fell to second in July 2016, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. It is a yoyo effect for WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF, which had a July – August mini-slide that led to a cumulative -.9; followed by a September +.8; but “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real WAY-FM” falters by -1.0 in October (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 5.0 – 4.0, 6+). WAYF drifts from third to eighth with its lowest 6+-share since January’s 3.7. In the runner-up position for the fifth time in a row, iHeartMedia’s WKGR “98.7 The Gater – The Palm Beaches’ Rock Station” registers a loss of seven-tenths to 6.3 (6+), thus suspending at six its consecutive string of positive trends that accounted for an overall +2.2 (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 7.0, 6+). The 7.0 it logged in September represents the station’s best 6+-performance in more than four years (7.1, 6+, August 2013). Trending 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 (July – August – September, 6+), Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” is off six-tenths to 4.3, slipping from fourth to sixth with its lowest 6+-share since August 2014 (4.3, as well).

10) Jacksonville – A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK has more than compensated in September and October with an astounding overall +3.2 (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+). Over and above being on top for the tenth straight time, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” boasts its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, passing the 12.8 it logged in January, and its +1.9 in October is the largest (6+) September 2017 – October 2017 increase in the 48 PPM-markets. Conversely, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country” is a cumulative -1.3 in three consecutive decreases (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #3, WJGL-FM “96.9 The Eagle” makes quite the impressive rebound as it dials up a +1.4 to 7.7 (6+) as the Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet takes aim at an overall -3.3 in three straight declines (9.6 – 9.1 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+). The majority of that massive loss came in August when “The Eagle” plummeted by -2.7; WJGL was down one-half share in July after a +.9 in June. Via three gains in a row, iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss FM” is +1.5 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) and records its highest 6+-share since June 2016 (4.9, as well). By a margin of one-tenth, “Kiss” overtakes its direct competitor – Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” – which erodes by a combined -1.8 in September and October (6.6 – 5.8 – 4.8, 6+) to drift from fifth to eighth. WAPE had been up a collective six-tenths in July and August (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+). A one-half share increase to 3.7 (6+) enables Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ “X-102.9 Jacksonville’s Alternative” to crack the top ten (#11 to #10). One hefty September 2017 increase (+1.3 to 9.7, 6+) by news/talk cluster-mate WOKV leads to a nearly equal October decrease (-1.2 to 8.5, 6+) but “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” (8.4 – 9.7 – 8.5, 6+) remains at #2. Prior to September’s 9.7, WOKV last reached the nine-share level (6+) in April (9.3). Given that it is a combined -1.5 in September and October (5.7 – 4.9 – 4.2, eighth to ninth, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” has nearly exhausted its August +1.9. No station in any of PPM’s 48 electronically-measured markets had a higher (6+) July 2017August 2017 increase than WWJK’s +1.9; August’s 5.7 is its best 6+stat since June 2016 (5.7, as well).

11) Memphis – The battle between iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” and Cumulus Media-owned WRBO “103.5 Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” has to be one of the closest contests for the top spot in any of the 48 PPM-markets. In the ten 2017 survey periods thus far, “V101” has emerged victorious six times (February, March, May, June, July, and October); WRBO has come out on top in January and August; and the two were tied in April and September. That, however, only tells part of the story as the (6+) difference between the two has been no greater than eight-tenths (once – July). The two were separated by one-half share in June; just two-tenths in January, February, March, May, and October; and only one-tenth in August. The bottom-line in October finds “V-101” up four-tenths (10.0 – 10.4, 6+) and WRBO adding two-tenths (10.0 – 10.2, 6+). Fighting back from September’s mammoth -1.7, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Halleluiah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” posts a gain of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+) and continues in seventh-place. September’s 4.6 is the lowest 6+-share for “Halleluiah” in its PPM-history and the first time it ever fell below a five-share (6+). Co-owned WEGR continues its rollercoaster ride: It was +.7 in May (3.0 – 3.7, 6+); -1.3 in June (3.7 – 2.4, 6+); +.7 in August (2.3 – 3.0, 6+); -.7 in September (3.0 – 2.3, 6+) and now +.7 in October (2.3 – 3.0, 6+). “Rock 103 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” jumps from #14 to #10. Duplicating September’s -.7 (3.5 – 2.8 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” falls from #12 to #14. In September, “The Wolf” concluded three straight increases that accounted for a +1.1 (2.4 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Without an increase in each of the last four sweeps for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WKIM “98.9 The Vibe” has its lowest 6+-share since January’s 2.4 and departs the top ten (#10 to #13). On Halloween, it began playing all Christmas music as “Christmas 98.9.”

12) Hartford – Tacking on nine-tenths to September’s one-half share gain (4.4 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), CBS Radio news/talk WTIC-AM jumps from ninth to seventh. September’s +.5 halted seven straight decreases in which its 6+-share was carved exactly in half since January (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). The 4.4 that WTIC-AM registered in August was its weakest 6+-share in the PPM-era. Conversely, Connecticut Public Broadcasting news/talk WNPR surrenders nearly half of September’s staggering +1.6 (6.3 – 5.6, -.7, 6+), sliding from fifth to eighth. Prior to September’s 6.3, WNPR had not reached the six-share level (6+) under PPM methodology. Returning to the CBS Radio cluster, rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” dusts itself off from September’s -1.5 to 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since January’s 4.6, with a +.8 (6.4, eighth to fifth, 6+). Adult contemporary sibling WRCH “Lite 100.5” (10.2 – 10.3, +.1, 6+) finishes first for the 14th successive ratings period. Prior to July, “Lite” had been in double-digits (6+) eight times in the previous nine sweeps. Its online stream scored a .5 (6+) in four straight survey periods before disappearing in print in August; it returned in September with a .5 (#15, 6+); but vanishes again in October. “Lite” has a 2.5-share advantage (6+) over iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music,” which despite not having an increase in the last four sweeps for a collective -1.0 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), climbs from third to second. Ever since Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” began reappearing in print in August 2016, it has not been above or below the two-share range. That changes in October though as “Radio 104.1” (unchanged at #10) posts its third straight gain for a collective eight-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+). Down or flat for the third straight sweep, CBS Radio hot AC WTIC-FM is a collective -1.5 since July (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 6.8, 6+). It segues from second to third with its lowest 6+-share since August 2016’s 6.3. Steady at #4, CHR cluster-mate WKSS “Kiss 95.7 All The Hits” netted nine-tenths in three straight improvements (5.7 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+), but is off one-tenth in October to 6.5 (6+).