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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

| April 6, 2021

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Names Skyler Cooper ‘Evening News’ Host. Nine-year KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa staffer Skyler Cooper rises from his reporter position to a new role as the host of the “KRMG Evening News” that airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm weeknights. Station director of branding and programming Levi May says, “The ‘KRMG Evening News’ has a great history of hosts informing and entertaining Tulsa’s radio audience on their drive home. Skyler’s the perfect local host to carry on this tradition.” Cooper is a Tulsa native who began his career with the Cox Media Group station as a part-time board operator and moved up through the ranks. During his nine years with the station, he’s covered the construction and opening of the Gathering Place, the historic 2019 Arkansas River flood, tornadic weather, and the tragic shooting of two Tulsa Police Department officers in 2020. He says, “I am beyond excited to take on this new challenge and I am looking forward to working with the ‘KRMG Evening News’ team. It’s such a thrill to work for the most powerful radio station in Oklahoma and it’s right here in my hometown!” Cooper replaces Dick Loftin who served as the “KRMG Evening News” host for eight years.

Larry Blumhagen to Lead Cumulus Media San Francisco. Radio sales and management pro Larry Blumhagen is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group that includes news/talk KGO, news/talk KSFO, sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, and classic rock KSAN-FM. He takes over for Doug Harvill, who announced his retirement from the industry in January. Blumhagen was most recently VP and director of sales for Audacy Los Angeles. Cumulus EVP of operations Dave Milner says, “Larry brings a strategic mind focused on building successful sales organizations and positive cultures. Aligning his exceptional leadership abilities and deep knowledge of the San Francisco market with our talented team and strong brands is a winning combination.” Blumhagen comments, “I’m beyond thrilled to return to San Francisco and to join the exceptional team at Cumulus Media. Leading these great brands forward while meeting the needs of both our listeners and advertisers will be an exciting journey. I’m fortunate to be stepping into Doug Harvill’s shoes, as I know first-hand that he is a man of deep integrity and immense passion for the industry.”

‘The Dana Show’ Announces New Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated midday program “The Dana Show” – starring Dana Loesch – adds a number of new affiliate stations. Syndicator Radio America reports that “The Dana Show” recently replaced “The Rush Limbaugh Show” on KURV-AM, McAllen-Brownsville, Texas; KJNO-AM/FM Juneau, Alaska; and KJMT-FM, Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Other stations to recently add the program to their lineups include: KERN-AM, Bakersfield; KYUL-AM & KIUL-AM Wichita; and KGYN, Guymon, Oklahoma.

Sebastian Gorka’s ‘Reality Check’ Debuts on Newsmax TV This Sunday. Former Trump White House strategist and deputy assistant – and current Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk radio host – Sebastian Gorka’s new television show on Newsmax TV debuts this Sunday (4/11) at 7:00 pm ET (with a rebroadcast at 10:00 pm ET). The program is called “The Gorka Reality Check” and Gorka says, “Newsmax is the new force for truth in the face of a morally bankrupt legacy media and I am honored to join Chris Ruddy’s sterling team. There is a good reason that Newsmax’s daily shows are scaring legacy competitors, and our new weekly show, ‘The Gorka Reality Check,’ will reveal the truth behind the most important stories our loyal viewers need to be aware of in order to stop the radical Left.”

Martha Zoller’s Show Expands on WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Martha Zoller’s talk show on Jacobs Media’s news/talk WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia is getting a new name and another hour of air time. The AJC’s Rodney Ho reports that the station’s program changes in the aftermath of the death of 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk legend Rush Limbaugh include the expansion of Zoller’s program. While the early afternoon daypart previously occupied by Limbaugh is being filled by syndicated radio personality Todd Starnes, Zoller’s show grows from one to two hours and now airs from 9:00 am to 11:00 am daily. It’s also changing its title from “Morning Talk with Martha Zoller” to “The Martha Zoller Show.”

The Mightier 1090’s “Kaplan & Crew” Airing on So Cal Cable TV. According to a story in the Times of San Diego, best of segments of the XEPRS-AM “The Mightier 1090” afternoon drive show “Kaplan & Crew” are being featured in an hourlong program airing from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly on Cox Communications’ regional cable channel “YurView.” Scott Kaplan, along with co-hosts John Browner and Alex Padilla, re-joined XEPRS for its re-launch in August of last year. The station’s previous operator Broadcast Company of the Americas lost its lease with XEPRS’ owner and Flagstaff, Arizona-based advertising executive Bill Hagen began the process of bringing “The Mightier 1090” back to the airwaves. Kaplan tells the Times, “We are stoked to add TV as a distribution platform. Two years ago, we were heard exclusively on radio, then we evolved into a podcast broadcasting on terrestrial radio and now cable TV. I am excited to share with the Cox viewers our brand of sports and life talk. Thankfully, my man Bill Hagen revived 1090, who has been instrumental in our growth, and getting us onto televisions throughout the mega market.”

Former Nielsen PPM Panelist Sues Ratings Company for Revealing His Identity in Bubba the Love Sponge Ratings Manipulation Case. A report in the Tampa Bay Times indicates that the rabid fans of radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge forced Nicolas Tabachuk and his family to move out of Florida after his identity was revealed along with this role in outing Bubba in a PPM ratings manipulation scheme. Tabachuk is suing Nielsen in Pinellas County, Florida complaining that the company promised to keep his identity hidden but failed to do so. This suit stems from the 2015 case in which Nielsen sued Bubba the Love Sponge for paying a PPM panelist to tune in to the show. Bubba and Nielsen settled that suit for an undisclosed amount. This suit claims that after promising to keep Tabachuk’s identity secret, Nielsen revealed it to Bubba during a meeting with him. It goes on to claim that Bubba’s fans harassed Tabachuk with death threats, rape threats and stalking, hacking his social media accounts, showing up to his home and the home of his parents. The suit is seeking in excess of $30,000 from Nielsen. Bubba the Love Sponge is not named in the suit.

WWO: Podcasting Accounts for All the Growth in Audio. Using data from Edison Research’s Q4 2020 edition of the Share of Ear study, this week’s Westwood One blog observes what it calls “stunning news” – that “for the first time, audience shares for podcasting surpassed the combined audiences of ad-supported Pandora and ad-supported Spotify.” Some of the takeaways from this blog report include: AM/FM radio’s 74% share of ad-supported audio is 11 times bigger than Pandora’s and 19 times larger than Spotify’s; adding podcasts and AM/FM radio streaming generates incremental reach to over-the-air AM/FM radio media plans; and podcasting now accounts for all the growth in audio. A four-year comparison of Share of Ear  data reveals ad-supported Pandora and Spotify shares have dropped from a 12% share in 2016 to a 11% share in 2020. Over the same period, podcast shares increased 4 times, 3% to 12%. See the Westwood One blog here.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report at Syracuse.com, radio sales and management pro Rick Yacobush has come out of retirement to join the sales and marketing team at Cumulus Media’s Syracuse cluster as a senior account executive. Yacobush has worked for more than 42 years in the Central New York radio market. The Cumulus cluster in Syracuse includes sports talk WSKO-AM and three music brands…..New York Times bestselling author and TV personality Nicole Lapin announces the launch of her new daily financial podcast, “Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin,” distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network. The podcast is a call-in style financial podcast “that demystifies money topics for everyday people.” Each week, Lapin invites a listener to come onto the show for a one-on-one “listener intervention,” where she has an extended conversation with the listener about a money issue and gives them advice so they can “rehab” their finances…..Audacy’s Cadence13 and NBA veteran JJ Redick and Tommy Alter’s ThreeFourTwo Productions unveil “FAIRGAME,” a limited-run podcast series hosted by former world No. 1 champion golfer Adam Scott in which “he’ll take listeners inside the ropes to provide a never-before-heard account of what it takes to compete at the game’s most prominent event, the 2021 Masters Tournament.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting coverage of the 85th Masters Tournament from Wednesday (4/7) through Sunday (4/11). Each day during the tournament, Westwood One will offer two-minute-long leader board updates and breaking news reports at :16 and :46 past the hour for a total of 102 updates throughout the Masters. In addition, Westwood One Sports will air “The Masters Tonight,” an hour-long show featuring highlights, player audio, and more to recap the day’s events, hosted by Kevin Kugler with former PGA Tour player Charlie Rymer…..The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announces it has partnered with Cumulus Media’s KCSF-AM, Colorado Springs “XTRA Sports 1300” to broadcast Switchbacks games in 2021. KCSF-AM program director and afternoon drive host Ryan Kaufman will handle play-by-play duties. He’d served as TV play-by-play announcer since 2018.

COVID-19, Biden Infrastructure Plan, Border Troubles/Immigration Policy, Derek Chauvin Trial, Voting Rights/MLB Moves All-Star Game, Matt Gaetz Investigation, Hunter Biden Book, Credit Suisse Loss, and Netanyahu Corruption Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/5). The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the spread of the variants, and the rollout of vaccines; President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan; the problem of large numbers of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the new voting laws in Georgia, the Democrats’ federal voting rights bill, and the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star game out of Atlanta in response; the investigation into allegations of sex with a minor against Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz; the new book by Hunter Biden that details his addiction troubles and more; Credit Suisse loses $4.7 billion after a hedge fund collapses; and the corruption trial facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

| March 30, 2021

Entercom Changes Corporate Name to Audacy. This change was teased by Entercom on Monday in a tweet but makes the news official today, marking the change from Entercom Communications Corp to Audacy, effective immediately. In a press release, the company says: “Over the past three years, the company has purposefully evolved into a scaled, multi-platform audio content and entertainment organization with the country’s best radio broadcasting group and a leadership position in virtually every segment of the dynamic and growing audio market—including broadcasting, podcasting, digital, network, live experiences, music, sports and news. Audacy is also the #1 creator of original, premium audio content.” Chairman, president and CEO David Field adds, “We have transformed into a fundamentally different and dramatically enhanced organization and so it is time to embrace a new name and brand identity which better reflects who we have become and our vision for the future. ‘Audacy’ captures our dynamic creativity, outstanding content, and innovative spirit as we aspire to build the country’s best audio content and entertainment platform.” The company says its evolution has been fueled by: the acquisition of the CBS Radio group, the launch of RADIO.COM and building the fastest growing digital audio platform, the acquisition of Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, enhancing its sports platform with the acquisition of QL Gaming Group and its partnership with FanDuel, and more. The company’s ticker symbol will change from ETM to AUD effective on or about Friday, April 9. Along with the name Entercom, effective today, the company will also sunset the RADIO.COM brand and align its direct-to-consumer platform under Audacy.

Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw Adds ‘Markley, Van Camp & Robbins’ for Early Afternoons. Saginaw, Michigan news/talk WSGW-AM/FM announces it is filling the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart previously occupied by the Rush Limbaugh program with Compass Media Networks’ “Markley, Van Camp & Robbins Show” featuring Jamie Markley, David Van Camp, and Scott Robbins. The Alpha Media station says in mid-March it switched “from the Rush recordings to this new, live show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. WSGW wanted a show that would serve conservatives on the hot topics of the day in an informative and entertaining style. The MVC&R Show does that perfectly because they include a Millennial, Gen Xer, and a Baby Boomer. The range of audience listenership this trio brings closes the generation gap and provides a unique perspective that no other show can do. At the end of the day, it’s three friends hanging out and talking about everything! It is a great show and 100.5 & 790 Newsradio WSGW is excited to announce their addition to the lineup.”

WDUN-AM/FM, Gainesville, Georgia to Air Todd Starnes Show in Noon to 3:00 pm Slot. The Gainesville, Georgia news/talk outlet announces it will fill the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart with the “Todd Starnes Show.” Jacobs Media’s WDUN-AM/FM is overseen by EVP and general manager Bill Maine, who says, “We know our listeners will miss Rush. He was the absolute best at what he did, and no one can replace him. But we are fans of Todd Starnes and we think moving Todd into that time slot, as well as adding more locally produced programs gives WDUN an exceptionally strong lineup of news/talk programs.”

KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City Expands Local Shows in Talent Shuffle. Salt Lake City news/talk KSL-AM/FM announces a series of changes in its lineup that includes the expansion of three programs. The Bonneville station says that with the departure of Lee Lonsberry from this station, Boyd Matheson’s “Inside Sources” program moves from the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon slot to the new 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daypart. The “Utah’s Noon News” show expands from 30 minutes to a full hour from 12:00 to 1:00 pm and “The Dave and Dujanovic Show” grows by an hour to air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. KSL program director Kevin LaRue says, “Boyd is just too important of a voice to the community to only have him on KSL one hour a day. We’re excited to provide listeners a longer program to cover important issues. The thinking he offers about the news and current culture is unparalleled.” Matheson also serves as the opinion editor of the Deseret News. He says, “Having spent most of my career as an international business consultant really gave me a look at how things work, what leadership looks like, and how you pull people together. Then my time in Washington DC as a chief of staff understanding the behind-the-scenes things that go on where the real levers of power are in DC and of course our connection to politics here locally. ”

‘Free Talk Live’ Host and Co-Founder Ian Freeman Awaits Bail Ruling; Faces Fraud and Money Laundering Charges. The lead host and co-founder of the nationally syndicated talk radio program “Free Talk Live” – Ian Freeman– is awaiting a ruling from federal Judge Magistrate Andrea Johnstone on a bail request from his attorney, according to an article in the Manchester Union-Leader. Freeman is being charged with money laundering, fraud and conspiracy after a recent raid on his home by federal authorities. Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgina MacDonald alleges that Freeman and others operated a Bitcoin-dollar exchange program through churches with which they are affiliated and called Freeman a “sophisticated cybercriminal.” The Union-Leader reports the feds allege that Freeman used Shire Free Church accounts to convert dollars to Bitcoin and that those dollars came from “romance fraud, investment fraud, and your-friend’s-in-jail fraud.” MacDonald says Freeman “offered anonymity, didn’t ask questions and charged a 10% exchange fee” when “legitimate” exchange services charge 3% or less. In requesting bail, Freeman’s attorney, Mark Sisti, argued that Freeman is not a flight risk and that he’s known about the federal investigation for years because people agents interviewed would tell Freeman about their encounter with authorities. Sisti says Freeman could have fled before his arrest. Industry observers who follow this TALKERS Heavy Hundred program know that its main freedom-based theme and Freeman’s ongoing antagonistic position on laws he considers unconstitutional have provided it with provocative and compelling “reality show” type material even though it has been a source of irritation to both local Keene, New Hampshire (where the show is based) and federal law enforcement agencies. Part of the show’s formidable appeal to an ever-growing number of affiliates and loyal listeners has been the willingness of its primary host to “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk.”

Sam Tatum Promoted to VP, Integrated Marketing & Partnerships for Radio One and Reach Media. Rising from his director of sales for Radio One’s Washington, DC cluster to the newly created position of vice president, integrated marketing & partnerships for Radio One and Reach Media is Samuel Tatum. In this new role, Radio One and Reach Media say they are further unifying their sales and integrated marketing efforts across both divisions to help brands and agency partners effectively connect with the coveted and influential Black consumer through authentic and powerful multiplatform touchpoints. Tatum will lead a team of marketers and project managers in developing and implementing new innovative marketing solutions for national advertisers and agencies utilizing all of the Radio One and Reach Media assets. As the primary liaison between the national sales teams and other departments within Radio One, Reach Media, and other Urban One divisions, Tatum will streamline communications, ensure the continuity of national and corporate partnerships, and make sure the sales teams continue to provide their advertising partners with the absolute best-in-class cross-platform solutions. Tatum states, “I am humbled by the confidence Reach Media and Radio One has placed in me and am excited to continue to grow the legacy of our founder, Cathy Hughes, in this new role. Radio One and Reach Media have a rich portfolio of assets, and I am passionate about the opportunity to create, develop, and execute unique, on-brand, and culturally appropriate solutions that provide reach and engagement with the Black consumer for our advertisers and partners. Let’s blaze new trails!”

Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville Announces Content Partnership with A to Z Sports. Nashville sports talker WGFX-FM “104.5 The Zone” announces it has entered into a content partnership agreement with popular online sports information and entertainment destination, A to Z Sports. Cumulus Media says, “The agreement brings together the two biggest sports entertainment brands in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, allowing them to create and share unique, deep-dive sports content across their respective digital platforms, including streaming and on-demand content, podcasts, social media, and much more, plus live and local on-air programming on ‘104.5 The Zone’ and high-engagement live events for area sports fans.” Per the terms of the agreement, “104.5 The Zone,” the flagship home for the Tennessee Titans and Nashville affiliate for University of Tennessee Volunteers, will regularly feature A to Z Sports personalities, while “104.5 The Zone” personalities will appear regularly on A to Z Sports’ popular programs. The partnership will create shared and complementary original programming between the brands and their platforms to give fans more and better sports news and talk than ever before. WGFX program director Paul Mason says, “We are truly excited to partner with A to Z Sports! This opens up more doors for both WGFX and A to Z to be more creative and implement new ideas in the market. The true winner in this partnership is the Nashville sports fan.” A to Z Sports is co-owned by Zach Bingham and Austin Stanley. Earlier this month, “104.5 The Zone” signed sports journalist Buck Reising as its midday air personality (10:00 am to 1:00 pm). Reising had previously been a frequent guest host on WGFX, but is mostly known for his “615 Sessions” podcast and live weeknight show, “A to Z Sports Primetime,” heard on A to Z Sports Nashville.

Audacy Unveils New Relationship with BetMGM. The new Audacy, formerly Entercom, unveils another sports betting deal, this time with BetMGM. This relationship is a multi-year deal designating BetMGM as a betting partner of Audacy across its sports broadcast stations, the Audacy, and Bet QL apps and digital platforms, and the “BetQL Audio Network.” The partnership will bring BetMGM’s sports betting content to Audacy sports talk listeners and gives BetMGM preferred access to Audacy talent. The partnership comes on the heels of several recent moves made by Audacy in the sports betting space, including the acquisition of sports data and iGaming affiliate platform QL Gaming Group and the launch of the “BetQL Audio Network, both of which are fundamental components of this deal. Audacy president of sports Mike Dee says, “The advent of legalized mobile sports betting has presented an unprecedented opportunity to bring the action closer to the audience than ever before and, as a result, provide our partners with a direct line of sight to tap into an attentive, fully engaged audience of potential sports bettors. We are proud to partner with BetMGM and wish to thank them for their confidence in us as we become one of their largest media partners. In light of our BetQL acquisition and related offerings, we believe this commitment is the latest validation that no other media company offers the wide variety of ways to connect with the sports betting audience the way that we do on a multi-platform basis.”

COVID-19 Cases Rising/Vaccines, WHO Virus Origin Report, Derek Chauvin Trial, Biden Economic Stimulus Plan, Suez Ship Freed, Lil Nas X Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/29). The rising number of COVID-19 cases and the CDC’s warning of a fourth wave, plus the rollout of vaccines; the World Health Organization’s COVID origin report that suggests the coronavirus jump to humans from animals; the beginning of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the Biden administration’s multi-trillion dollar economic plan that first focuses on infrastructure; the container ship that blocked the Suez canal for almost a week is freed; and the controversy over the new song from Lil Nas X and the accompanying “Satan Shoes” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, December 4, 2020

| December 4, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Hazy Shade of Winter, looks back at this past week of November 30 – December 4, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneHeidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; Stephanie Miller, talk show host, WYD Media ManagementAmy Hao, talk show host, KSCO, Santa Cruz; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“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; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio 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.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 PPM survey (October 8 – November 4), today focusing on the news/talk format. This survey leading up to the November 3 presidential election was, in general, a boon to the news/talk format. In fact, 78% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share increase from the November of 2019 survey to this November 2020 survey. Comparing the October 2020 survey to the November survey, 68% of news/talk stations’ ratings were up, with gainers led by iHeartMedia’s WKRC, Cincinnati (+2.3), KNRS-FM, Salt Lake City (+1.9), KFYI, Phoenix (+1.7), and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+1.7). Returning to year-over-year numbers, big gainers here included iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM, Milwaukee (+7.6), KFYI-AM, Phoenix (+5.0) and WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+4.5). In what is a first, the top 10 news/talk stations by market rank were all #1 in their respective markets during the November 2020 survey. See which stations those were and a whole lot more in Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Dan Le Batard and ESPN Agree to Part Company. This is one of those separations that might have been termed a “shocker” simply because of the successful nature of the relationship between ESPN and Dan Le Batard. But as industry watchers are aware, the relationship has been contentious recently and Le Batard made no secret about his displeasure with ESPN’s directive during the summer to steer clear of politics. He was also not pleased that ESPN laid off his radio producer Chris Cote as part of its staff cutbacks (Le Batard brought Cote back by paying his salary out of his own pocket). Pile on top of that the fact that ESPN recently moved the video simulcast of his show from cable’s ESPNews to the subscription ESPN+ platform and reduced his radio show from three to two hours. Le Batard’s final programs will be on January 4. In a statement, ESPN EVP and executive editor Norby Williamson says, “It was mutually agreed that it was best for both sides to move on to new opportunities and we worked together closely to make that possible. We thank Dan for his many years and contributions to ESPN and wish him all the best going forward.” Le Batard’s official statement is as follows: “Gracias to ESPN for unleashing Papi and Stugotz upon an unsuspecting America, and for lending its substantive credibility to our careening clown car. Can’t believe Stugotz finally achieved his dream of becoming a high-priced free agent. I’m forever indebted to Erik Rydholm, Matt Kelliher and their vibrant team for providing a creative oasis across a decade, and for expanding the Le Batard family to include so many brilliant colleagues who have become forever friends, bonded eternally by laughter and love. Want to also extend my gratitude to Chuck Salituro, Jimmy Pitaro, Traug Keller, Marcia Keegan, Connor Schell, Juan Diaz, Mike Foss, Amanda Gifford, Liam Chapman, Megan Judge, Elizabeth Fierman, the Hialeah-soaked crew at Imagina …and when did this become a droning acceptance speech instead of a quick goodbye? In short, thank you, Disney and ESPN, for a quarter century of absurd blessings. To our loyal army of concerned fans, and to everyone who walked along and played an instrument in our Marching Band to Nowhere, know that it is a very exciting time for us, not a sad one. And that you’ll be hearing our laughter again soon enough.”

New ESPN Radio Schedule to Launch on January 5. With the departure of Dan Le Batard from the ESPN Radio and ESPN television schedules, ESPN announces the broadcast schedule for the radio network that begins effective on January 5. ESPN moves “Greeny,” with Mike Greenberg from the early afternoon slot to Le Batard’s current 10:00 am to 12:00 noon air time. It inserts the WEPN-FM, New York duo “Bart & Hahn” – Bart Scott and Alan Hahn – into the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm daypart. As for the television program “Highly Questionable,” it will continue with a “contributing team” consisting of Elle Duncan, Domonique Foxworth, Israel Gutierrez, Bomani Jones, Mina Kimes, Katie Nolan, Sarah Spain, Pablo Torre, and Clinton Yates.

Joe Madison to Be Honored by the National Black Radio Hall of Fame. Talk radio pro Joe Madison is being honored by the National Black Radio Hall of Fame as a 2021 inductee for the “National Satellite Talk Radio Award.” Organization president Bernard Hayes says, “We as a board decided that it would be only fitting to continue the honoring of our leaders in Black Radio despite the current climate in our country and have thereby decided to continue honoring the legacy of those who have done so much to support our communities at large. We will fulfill this task by using the services of the Zoom application.” The National Black Radio Hall of Fame, whose main facility is located at Harris Stowe State University, will have its program hosted by its National Board Members and the local Atlanta Chapter on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm ET.

WDUN-AM, Gainesville, Georgia Talk Host Martha Zoller Recovering from Health Issue. Georgia talk radio host Martha Zoller is off of her regular talk show on Jacobs Media’s news/talk WDUN-AM, Gainesville, Georgia after having emergency surgery on a burst abscess on a lung that sent her to the hospital on November 21. She tells TALKERS magazine that she is recovering at home and will be away from her radio show for a couple of weeks and then expects to be hosting her program from home until she’s cleared to return to WDUN’s studios.

WAMU Staff Joins SAG-AFTRA. The content creation staff at American University’s public radio outlet WAMU-FM, Washington voted unanimously to recognize SAG-AFTRA as its union. The new bargaining unit will cover the public media professionals who create content for all areas of the station, including DCist.com, “The Kojo Nnamdi Show,” “1A,” “The Big Broadcast,” “Hot Jazz Saturday Night,” and the podcasts “Dish City,” “What’s With Washington,” and “Diane Rehm: On My Mind.” The newly formed bargaining unit will be made up of 80 employees, including hosts, reporters, producers, editors, and engineers who create content for the news, programming and digital units. WAMU “Morning Edition” host Esther Ciammachilli says, “WAMU’s content creators, as a collective bargaining unit represented by SAG-AFTRA, are thrilled to advance our shared beliefs in transparency, accountability, fairness and most importantly, the truth.”

Longtime Chicago Cubs TV Personality Len Kasper Joining WMVP Radio for White Sox Broadcasts. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, 16-year Chicago Cubs television play-by-play man Len Kasper is joining Good Karma Brands-operated sports talk outlet WMVP-AM as announcer for Chicago White Sox broadcasts. Feder says that Kasper – who replaces Andy Masur in the play-by-play role – will work alongside analyst Darrin Jackson.

COVID-19 Spike, Vaccines, and Prevention Tie for Top News/Talk Story of the Week. The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the anticipated rollout of vaccines, and prescriptions for prevention of the disease tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of November 30 to December 4, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s continuing to claim election fraud. Coming in at #3 was the pardons granted by President Trump and the possibility he’ll grant pardons to his children and himself, followed by the Georgia Senate runoff elections 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 complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Las Vegas adult contemporary outlet KSNE-FM “Sunny 106.5” and KLAS-TV “8 News Now” is presenting a special broadcast titled “A Very Sunny Christmas” to benefit Opportunity Village in Southern Nevada – a nonprofit organization serving adults in the Southern Nevada community with intellectual and related disabilities. Airing on the iHeartMedia radio station and KLAS-TV on December 18 and 25, it will feature Sunny 106.5 morning hosts AJ and Joanna plus performances by Nevada-based entertainers including Wayne Newton, Little Big Town, Debbie Gibson, Darius Rucker, Mat Franco, Brian Newman, Russell Dickerson, Shin Lim, Daniel Emmet, Piff The Magic Dragon, Xavier Mortimer, and many more. AJ says, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought numerous challenges to Opportunity Village and the people they serve, particularly with the upcoming event season as their normal holiday events like Magical Forest have been cancelled for the 2020 season.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

| November 20, 2019

WIBC, Indianapolis Talk Host Tony Katz Speaks with VP Pence at White House Radio Row. In the photo above taken at yesterday’s White House Radio Row on the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning host and syndicated late morning personality Tony Katz (right) interviews Vice President Mike Pence (left).  Katz says he was one of just three talk hosts to interview Pence at the daylong event that featured a number of GOP members of Congress and Trump administration officials speaking with the invited group of radio hosts.  Pence’s comments to Katz on the China-Hong Kong tensions made national news, with the VP saying, “The president has made it very clear; it would be very hard to do a deal with China if there is any violence or if that matter is not treated properly and humanely.”

Lori Lewis Launches Social Media Consultancy. Social media and radio pro Lori Lewis announces the launch of her social media consultancy firm, Lori Lewis Media.  She says her firm offers “brands the most affordable way to finally put a social media strategy in play with proven, winning tactics to drive audience and revenue growth.”  Lewis served for three years as vice president of social media for Cumulus Media and Westwood One.  Prior to that, she was director of digital and social strategy at Jacobs Media.  She’s also worked in the radio industry as a programmer and talent.

FOX Sports Radio Reports October Audience Growth. The sports audio network cites October 2019 data for its radio and streaming ratings as well as podcast listens, reporting record audience totals.  FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – says that “The Herd with Colin Cowherd achieved its “single greatest month in average quarter hour audience, growing +31.4% with Adults 25-54 and +36.2% with Men 25-54.”  “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” “had its best AQH month ever in October, increasing +38.3% with Adults 25-54 and +53.5% with Men 25-54.”  Also, FOX Sports says it posted its largest streaming audience in the history of the network with total listening hours increasing +21% year-to-year in October 2019.  The network also set another record for total monthly podcast listens in October, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens.

Entercom Adds Local News Content on Google Assistant. Leveraging the power of its all-news radio stations, Entercom is adding local news audio content to the new “Your News Update,” on the Google Assistant.  Entercom says that through this partnership, local content from stations including 1010 WINS and WCBS 880 in New York, KNX 1010 News Radio in Los Angeles, WBBM Newsradio in Chicago, Newsradio 1080 KRLD in Dallas, WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit, KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia, KCBS All News in San Francisco and News Radio 1120 KMOX in St. Louis will be featured as part of the “Your News Update” platform.  This follows the stations’ exclusive participation as part of the platform’s beta-testing phase.  “Your News Update” will showcase a mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on users’ interests, location, history, and preferences, as well as the top news stories from publishers from around the world including Associated Press, FOX News, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and more.

Vanessa Wojtusiak Named VP of Marketing for iHeartMedia Hartford/New Haven. Marketing pro Vanessa Wojtusiak joins iHeartMedia Hartford/New Haven as vice president of marketing.  The markets include news/talk WPOP-AM, Hartford and WELI, New Haven plus sports talker WUCS-FM, Hartford and WAVZ-AM, New Haven.  Wojtusiak joins iHeartMedia from Nexstar’s WTNH-TV, New Haven where she most recently served as the director of audience development and executive digital producer.  She’s also served as national director of social marketing for iHeartRadio, an online marketing manager for WHTZ, New York “Z100” and the marketing assistant for WXKS-FM, Boston “KISS 108.”  She says, “I am thrilled to be back home where I started my media career 18 years ago.  Radio has been my longstanding passion and a medium that still has a meaningful and powerful presence in local communities.  I can’t wait to keep elevating the iconic local brands alongside a very talented team.”

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is continuing his watch over the sports talk radio scene in New York and reports that current WFAN 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm personality Bart Scott is expected to jump across town to ESPN-owned rival WEPN as co-host of the show in the same time slot.  ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith – currently hosting the ESPN Radio network show in that daypart – is leaving his radio duties with the company for more TV work, leaving that time slot open.  He also says sources indicate current WFAN midday team Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts are odds-on favorites to assume the afternoon drive show on WFAN when Mike Francesa moves to the RADIO.COM platform.  Read his column here…..iHeartRadio launches a new branded podcast in collaboration with T-Mobile for Business, titled “This Time Tomorrow.”  In it, podcast hosts Oz Woloshyn and Karah Preiss look closely at how innovations in 5G connectivity will revolutionize the way people work, socialize, and interact with the world…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa  launches its 14th annual Stories of Light fundraiser to benefit Make-A-Wish Oklahoma.  The goal is to raise $300,000 during the three-day radiothon.  The KRMG team moves its entire broadcast to LaFortune Park in Tulsa for the radiothon and encourages listeners to stop by with donations.  This event has raised more than $3 million since its inception…..SiriusXM and Amazon announce that SiriusXM’s On Demand library is now available to subscribers with Amazon Alexa and Echo devices, as well as several third-party devices with Alexa built-in.  The move allows subscribers with streaming access to simply ask Alexa to play their favorite SiriusXM shows and compelling content whenever they want it.

Edison Research Unveils ‘Podcast Consumer Tracker’ Report. This new report from Edison Research is what the company calls “the first successful endeavor to present a unified look at audience information at the publisher/network level.”  It says the Podcast Consumer Tracker also contains “competitive intelligence, audience demographics, and sales targeting information for podcast publishers and networks.  It currently has 10 charter subscribers, including NPRPodcastOne, Wondery, ESPN, WarnerMedia, and “other significant publishing and agency partners.”  While the comparative rankings of publisher networks are available only to subscribers, Edison offers some of the findings of its first report: “The Joe Rogan Experience” is the leading podcast in terms of reach amongst weekly podcast consumers; there are significant content consumption differences between iPhone and Android users, rendering ‘Top Podcast’ charts derived exclusively from users of either to be unrepresentative of total listening behavior; and while the study tracks the relative reach of the top podcast networks, 54% of weekly podcast consumers have listened to an unaffiliated, independent podcast in the last week.  Edison Reasearch SVP Tom Webster says, “This is the first study in the podcast space to tackle a universal measure of reach.  There are, of course, various charts of downloads that cover parts of the overall universe, but those either reflect only a portion of the podcast audience, or they only measure publishers that opt-in.  The Podcast Consumer Tracker’s goal is a truly inclusive measure of the comparative penetration of the leading publishers and networks.  In that, we have been highly successful.”

Impeachment Hearings/Ukraine Allegations, 2020 Presidential Race/Atlanta Debate, Epstein Guards Charged, Israel-Syria Skirmish, and Hong Kong University Siege Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19). This week’s impeachment testimony about the allegations of President Trump’s impropriety with regard to Ukraine military aid; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and tonight’s debate in Atlanta; the charges being filed against the Manhattan prison guards on duty when Jeffrey Epstein died are charged as the investigation continues; Israel fires at Iranian military targets in Syria; and the Hong Kong University siege were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

The Story of The Fisher House Foundation. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian writes about the birth and growth of the Fisher House Foundation and its harnessing the “power in radio” to raise awareness of the organization’s mission.  As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, the Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where family members of military personnel and veterans can stay while their loved one is in the hospital.  Since its inception, the Fisher House estimates it has saved families $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for housing and transportation.  How the Fisher House Foundation began and how its relationship with radio – especially news/talk radio – is an interesting story.  Read Mike Kinosian’s piece here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Los Angeles, entertainment, news & traffic reporter Lisa May announces she’s leaving the “Frosty, Heidi & Frank” morning show at Meruelo Media’s classic rock KLOS, effective December 13.  The longtime Los Angeles radio personality is moving to Palm Springs to work in the personal fitness business…..A surprise on Long Island as longtime adult contemporary WALK-FM morning drive personality Mark Daniels exits the station.  Newsday reports the 63-year-old Daniels has been with Connoisseur Media’s WALK since 1985.  Daniels’s on-air partner Jamie Morris is staying on and will be part of the new morning show set to debut in January…..YEA Networks announces that the “Tino Cochino Radio” show is being added to the programming lineup on hip hop KQKS, Denver “KS 1075,” its first Entercom-owned affiliate station.….On Friday (11/22), the iHeartRadio album release party with Coldplay, celebrating the release of Everyday Life takes place.  The hour-long on air special will feature a performance and an exclusive interview hosted by iHeartRadio on-air personality, Harms.  It airs at 8:00 pm local time on iHeartMedia alternative and triple A stations…..BMI announces the appointment of Nexstar Media Group president and CEO Perry Sook to the BMI board of directors, effective January 1, 2020.   Board chair Michael J. Fiorile says, “We’re extremely pleased to welcome Perry Sook to the BMI board of directors.  Perry has achieved incredible success at Nexstar and we know he will be a valuable addition to the board as we continue our mission of protecting the rights of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and advocating for the value of music.”

Friday, June 14, 2019

| June 14, 2019

Cumulus Media Splits WMAL-FM and WMAL-AM to Create ‘ESPN 630 – The Sports Capitol.’ The AM/FM simulcast of news/talk on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM will end on July 1 as the company creates a new sports talk outlet for the Washington, DC market branded “ESPN 630 – The Sports Capitol.”  The news/talk format on continues on WMAL-FM and its digital platforms.  The new sports/talk station will carry ESPN Radio weekday programming, including “Golic and Wingo” in morning drive and “The Stephen A. Smith Show” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  It will also air ESPN’s NBA and MLB schedule, Washington Redskins games and sports talk shows hosted by local personalities.  Cumulus Washington vice president and market manager Jake McCann says, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the two biggest sports brands in D.C. – ESPN and the Washington Redskins. We look forward to creating compelling content for our listeners and advertisers as a natural expansion of our relationship with the Redskins.”  The station will announce its full lineup in advance of the July 1 start date.

Martha Zoller Returns to Talk Radio at WDUN, Gainesville. Longtime talk radio personality Martha Zoller is re-joining her former radio station after spending the last five years in politics.  When she returns to Jacobs Media’s WDUN, Gainesville, Georgia on June 24, she’ll be hosting the 9:00 am to 10:00 am hour.  Zoller ran for congress in 2012 lost the runoff election to current Republican Congressman Doug Collins.  After that she worked for U.S. Sen. David Perdue and later for Gov. Brian Kemp, where she served as a policy advisor and outreach director.  She says, “After spending the last few years traveling around Georgia and meeting Georgians from every walk of life and political persuasion, I’m excited to be back at WDUN to share how the sausage is made. You might be surprised at some of the insights.  I can’t wait!” WDUN EVP and general manager Bill Maine comments, “She’s uniquely qualified as a broadcaster.  She’s well connected, knowledgeable, and her show mattered both to the listeners and politicians she talked about.  I’m thrilled we’re getting her back on the air, and I think the audience will be, too.”

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Names Broadcaster of the Year and New Members of Hall of Fame at Annual Convention.  The annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) convention just concluded (6/12-13) at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and from all reports it was a rousing success.  Among the highlights of the event, WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (pictured above, right, with NJBA president Paul Rotella, left) was named the 2019 Broadcaster of the Year – the inaugural presentation of this prestigious award – and a number of Garden State broadcasters were installed in the association’s New Jersey Radio Hall of Fame.  Among them, Salem Media Group VP of spoken word format, Phil Boyce.  In honor of the occasion, Salem’s New York outlet WNYM (AM 970 The Answer) broadcast its morning show hosted by Joe Piscopo live from the convention.  Pictured below are (from l-r): WNYM’s Kevin McCullough, Boyce, Piscopo and WNYM’s Frank Morano.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison made the presentation to Hurley via video.  To view it, please click here.

The John Batchelor Show to Broadcast from Uzbekistan. WABC, New York talk radio host John Batchelor is taking his late-night show to Tashkent, the capital of the Uzbekistan Republic, where it will broadcast live next week.  The venture is being sponsored by marketing firm Scala Inc in conjunction with the Central Asia, Mongolia, Caucasus and Afghanistan Forum and the Rumsfeld Foundation.  WABC says, “Uzbekistan is deep into the heart of the legendary Silk Road, and host John Batchelor and co-host Christopher Nixon Cox will interview young entrepreneurs who are striving to transform a region of 80 million people into an economic engine to bring prosperity to a civilization that was ignored by the Russian Empire and abused by the Soviet Empire.”  Batchelor adds, “Tashkent is part of a chain of ancient city-states of traders and farmers that created cultures of wealth and art more than 2,000 years ago, attracting conquerors from Alexander the Great to Tamerlane and Genghis Khan.  In between this dusty game of thrones, the city states achieved breakthroughs in geometry, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics that Western Europe would not see until the Enlightenment.  Today, the Central Asian states are starting to recover their own history and with it a sense of pride.  And Uzbekistan, the most populous state of Central Asia, is looking to America for a guide on how to awaken and enhance its pioneering ambitions.”

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” for Week of June 10-14 Now Posted.  The recently launched, one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (June 10-14) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  It currently airs on WONK-FM Saturday mornings at 9:00 am but will move next week to the key position of Friday at 6:00 pm as a dynamic programming punctuation mark of the week’s conversation.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “The Drums of Impeachment, Hatch, Hyde and a Helicopter!”) features a lineup of guests that includes TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey; radio talk show hosts Harry Hurley of WPG, Atlantic City; Jack Riccardi of KTSA, San Antonio; comedian/social commentator Jimmie JJ Walker; and ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley.  The non-partisan-but-hard-hitting program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It was recently picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm.  According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, the program is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this show as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.  The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeartMedia picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and a number of stations have inquired about its availability.  We are in the process of figuring out where we want to go with it.”   For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety please click here.

Round Four of May PPMs Released.  The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is released for the group of 12 markets that includes: Austin, Raleigh-Durham, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this group of markets on Monday (6/17).

Robby Bowen Named VP/Director of Sales for Entercom New Orleans. Sales pro Robby Bowen was most recently general sales manager for Entercom’s Dallas operations.  In his new role as vice president and director of sales for the New Orleans station group, he’ll be leading sales efforts for news/talk WWL-AM/FM, and four music brands.  Entercom New Orleans SVP and market manager Kevin Cassidy says, “Robby has an exceptional track record of leading sales teams and programs for clients.  We are pleased to keep his talents within Entercom and welcome him to the bayou.”

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Enshrined in Iowa Broadcasters Hall of Fame. WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) were inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame at the awards luncheon yesterday (6/13) in West Des Moines.  The annual awards luncheon honors and recognizes Iowa broadcasters who make a difference through their great stories of leadership, integrity, reliability, service over self, team building, and mentoring across the state.  Harden and Lucas are the fourth and fifth WHO personalities to be inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame joining the ranks of legendary broadcasters such as Jack Shelley, Jim Zabel and Keith Kirkpatrick. Harden says, “Just coming to a job you love where you can have fun and help people every day is amazing enough in itself.  Especially when I’ve been able to do it with such an uplifting and fun co-host for over three decades.  Being inducted into the Iowa Broadcasting Hall of Fame with so many incredible broadcasters is truly a surreal and over-the-top experience.”  Lucas adds, “This job is not work.  It’s having fun talking with your friends, inviting them into your world. It’s being in the middle of all the news that’s happening both locally and all around the world. It’s working with a co-host for decades who has been my friend for 40 years.  We don’t do this for awards, but this award is extremely special.”

Democratic Party Impeachment Talk/John Dean Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 10-14. The intensifying talk among Democrats about beginning impeachment proceedings against President Trump and the related testimony from Nixon White House Counsel John Dean was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Mexico deal and immigration reform.  Coming in at #3 were the Hong Kong protests, tied with U.S.-China relations and U.S.-North Korea relations, followed by the Trump foreign campaign intel controversy 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.

Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College Begins Monday. The 2nd annual Beasley Radio Talent Institute for students, interns, and young professionals begins at Emerson College in Boston on Monday (6/17). It is an intense, 10-day program in which participants have the opportunity to meet with and learn from radio professionals currently working in the broadcast industry.  Beasley Media Group chief operating officer and executive vice president Brian Beasley officially kicks off the sessions. Students will learn from some 40 experts in the broadcasting field working at companies including: Beasley Media Group, iHeartMedia, Entercom Communications, Hall Communications, the New England Patriots, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Celtics and more. The Beasley Radio Group Talent Institute is part of the National Radio Talent System produced by Dan Vallie that takes place on select college campuses across America each year.

VSiN Partners with Gow Media to Distribute Sports Betting Radio Content. The Las Vegas-based Vegas Stats & Information Network enters into a relationship with Houston-based Gow Media to distribute sports betting content via what they are calling “the nation’s first terrestrial radio network dedicated exclusively to sports betting news and information.”  It will debut in August.  VSiN chairman Dan Mason says, “We’re thrilled to provide Gow Media with select sports betting content for terrestrial radio syndication on this exciting new platform.  Establishing itself as the leader in the sports gambling information industry, VSiN is differentiated not only by delivering the most credible, actionable sports betting news and insights, but also by adding the entertainment factor with a variety of personalities.  Over the past 10 years sports radio has exploded and now there’s a new, younger audience emerging that will use analytics to inform their wagers within the growing regulated betting markets.  This new network fits perfectly in that space, combining great personalities and legendary odds makers with sophisticated analytics.”

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Mainstay Harry Hurley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who has been waking up South Jersey listeners from 6:00 am to 10:00 am on heritage talk station WPG-AM/W238CZ, Atlantic City for more than a quarter century, Harry Hurley, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Hurley is about to be honored with the very first New Jersey Broadcaster of the Year Award at the forthcoming New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) convention this week on Thursday (6/13) at Atlantic City’s Tropicana Hotel.  Hurley, who also serves as the lead FOX News Radio substitute host, is a past recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award for his remarkable philanthropic work in raising more than $800,000 over the past dozen years via his Hurley in the Morning Charity and distributing it to hundreds of worthy causes and organizations in Atlantic City and across the Garden State. Harrison and Hurley – who is positioned this year at number 51 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” list of the Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – discuss the state of politics, media, journalism, and popular culture in a fascinating conversation that dives deep into the workings and thought-processes attendant to executing today’s talk show.  Don’t miss it!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, Radio One promotes urban contemporary WPHI “Boom 103.9” midday personality and APD Paris Nicole to program director for the station.  The company notes that this promotion makes Nicole the youngest program director currently employed by the company. Radio One Philadelphia station manager Ezio Torres says, “Paris earned this promotion by stepping into a void at our station months before the position was created.  From managing and scheduling the staff, to orchestrating ‘Boom Class of 2019’ flawlessly, she proved what we already knew – Paris Nicole is a natural leader.  With that skill and her incredible relationships, she will take ‘Boom 103.9’ to the next level.”…..Westwood One is presenting an Independence Day special called “Celebrate the USA,” hosted this year by RCA Records recording artists Old Dominion.  Joining the band for the radio special will be fellow country artists Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and many more. The program is available for air Thursday, July 4 through Sunday, July 7.…..Telcom Supply Inc agrees to sell former classic hits KETX-FM, Livingston, Texas to Christian radio operator KSBJ Educational Foundation for $385,000.  Greg Guy and Jason James of Patrick Communications, LLC served as exclusive brokers for the deal.

Round Three of Nielsen’s May PPMs Released. May 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 May 2019 survey period covered April 25 – May 22. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – In addition to erasing 50% of March/April’s -1.0 with a one-half share increase (3.7 – 4.2, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KXL “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). Anchored at #18, iHeartMedia’s KEX falters by three-tenths (2.3 – 2.0, 6+); “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” was up two-tenths in April. Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” return’s April’s one-tenth increase and has a January 2019 through May 2019 topline of 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 (#24 to #26, 6+).

Having more than tripled (+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” jumps from #23 to #21. It is tied there with Alpha Media sports talk KXTG “The Game,” which has nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat through five successive sweeps without a loss (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, flat at #21, 6+). After losing one-tenth in back-to-back reports, Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” picks up four-tenths to 1.5 (steady at #23, 6+), its best 6+-showing since October 2018’s 1.7.

Following an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB erodes by nine-tenths (7.9 – 7.0, 6+) and shifts from second to third. This calendar year, KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); -1.6 (February); a combined -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May). This (7.0) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 6.9.

Portland Music Formats – Entercom-owned KWJJ posts a +.8 in May and continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2018 (3.4 – 2.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+); “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” reenters the top ten (#12 to #6) with its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). An increase of four-tenths by Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KUPL takes “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” to 4.6 (ninth to sixth), its highest 6+-stat since February 2018’s 4.7. 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+). On top the fourth month in a row, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH “106.7 The Eagle” is nonetheless a combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+). 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+) exactly eight years ago (May 2011, 8.1, as well). Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” erodes by -1.4 (5.1 – 3.7, 6+), the largest (6+) April 2019 to May 2019 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. Moreover, “Charlie” plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12) with its lowest 6+-stat (3.7) since September 2018’s 3.6. A loss of seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, 6+) sends iHeartMedia classic rocker KFBW “105.9 The Brew” from #11 to #15. After scoring an overall +2.3 in four straight sweeps without a loss (2.4 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” surrenders six-tenths to 4.3 (sixth to ninth, 6+). While unchanged at #17, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -2.1 in four consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+). Immediately prior to sputtering by 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+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2.

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after notching back-to-back gains of four-tenths (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT is an overall -1.2 in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). May’s 3.2 is 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, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost one-tenth in that timeframe; the Charlotte Hornets flagship remains at #19.

A  combined +1.1 in January/February, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” follows with a -.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.5 in May (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+). This is the fifth time in the last six sweeps (and third time in a row) that South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC logs a .3 (flat at #22, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Steady at #7, Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” racks up a +2.1 via four straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+). This immediately follows four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Tacking on a +1.1 to April’s +.8 (2.0 – 3.1, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV jumps from #17 to #14. Entering the April sweep, “89.9 Classical Public Radio” lost a collective half-share in four straight down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Not only does a positive spike of eight-tenths deliver Beasley Media Group-owned WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well), “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including a February tie for the lead). Prior to 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+). On top in September 2018, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Even though iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WKKT is a cumulative +1.1 in three straight bumps (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+), “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” backslides from a second-place tie to third. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Leaping over “The Kat” is its adult hits cluster-mate WLKO “102.9 The Lake.” As is the case with WSOC, “The Lake” notches a May spike of eight-tenths (6.3 – 7.1, steady at #2, 6+). Its six most recent fluctuations are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); and +.8 (May). Immediately 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. Pulling the plug on six straight sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.6 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link Charlotte’s Best Mix” dials up a one-half share gain to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Owing to three slips in succession, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” is an overall -1.9 (6.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). A combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” falls from #16 to #18.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of April’s +1.1 (4.2 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI forfeits roughly half that increase (4.8, -.5, 6+) but repeats at #4. April’s 5.3 marked the first time WOAI reached the five-share level since August 2016’s 5.2. Before dropping one-tenth in March, “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” was an overall +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). A dip of one-tenth to 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+) by Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” suspends three successive up or flat trends that netted three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).

Locked on .4 (6+) in March and April, KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” drops one-tenth to .3 (6+) but stays at #31. The 6+ AQH share of iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” shrinks by two-thirds (-.4) in  April/May (.6 – .3 – .2, flat at #32, 6+).

After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX repeats April’s 3.1 (6+) and inches up from #15 to #13.

San Antonio Music Formats – Off six-tenths in March/April (8.0 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” obliterates that deficit with a +1.1 to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8. On top the third month in succession, KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. In advance of slipping to #2 in November 2018, KONO-FM finished at #1 the previous ten sweeps. A full-share increase to 3.0 (6+) by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR propels “Air 1 Worship Now” into the top twenty (#14) and halts three successive negative trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 -2.0, 6+). Conversely, co-owned/similarly-formatted KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” erodes by a full-share immediately after April’s +.5 (2.9 – 3.4, 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). “K-Love” was off three-tenths in February/March (3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share balloons by +1.0, nearly equally divided between Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (6.5 – 7.1, +.6, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (5.8 – 6.2, +.4, 6+). KCYY and KAJA continue at #2 and #3, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.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). Wild shifts continue for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9.” It bounced back from January’s -10.7 (14.9 – 4.2, 6+) with a February +.4; was -.6 in March; +.8 in April; and now -.6 in May (4.8 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without an increase, Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH “107.5 The Vibe” is a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, #21, 6+). Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe” in mid-April. Up eight-tenths through three straight positive or flat trends (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate KBBT “98.5 The Beat” regresses by two-tenths to 4.2 (6+) but stays in ninth-place. April’s 4.4 is its best 6+-showing since August 2018’s 4.5. A one-half share decrease (5.0 – 4.5, 6+) drops Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” from fifth to sixth.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three straight sweeps without an increase that led to a collective -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” picks up one-tenth to 6.1 (6+) and remains in the runner-up slot. KFBK was tied for first in January. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018: 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6, #15 to #14 (6+).

In addition to reaching a one-share (6+) for the first time since December 2018’s 1.0, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” adds one-tenth the third sweep in a row (.7 – 8. – .9 – 1.0, #24 to #22, 6+). Flat at #25, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+-stat in four straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6, 6+).

Five decreases in succession by Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ 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+). Ending the slide with a +1.0 to 4.5 (6+), KXJZ returns to the top ten (#12 to #9); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history.

Falling from #26 to #27, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through May 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 (6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Erasing March/April’s combined -.6 (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) with a May uptick of nine-tenths (8.0 – 8.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” is #1 for the fourth month in a row (including 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. Ten of its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); and +.9 (May 2019). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s KYRV “93.7 The River,” expands by one-half share via three consecutive (modest) spikes (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7, seventh to fifth, 6+). As a result of four straight up or flat trends, Entercom CHR KUDL “106.5 The End” is an overall +1.9 (4.1 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.6 -6.0, fifth to fourth, 6+). As adult contemporary sibling KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” falters by -1.1 (5.7 – 4.6, 6+) dropping from third to eighth, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” gains four-tenths (3.7 – 4.1, #10 to #11, 6+). A combined -7.8 in January/February (13.8 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “Mix 96” was up two-tenths in March but surrendered one-half share in April. 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+). Forfeiting two-thirds of April’s +.9 (5.6 – 5.0, -.6, 6+), Entercom alternative KKDO “Alt 94.7” slips from fifth to sixth. The market’s (6+) country share sputters by a combined half-share as Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” is off three-tenths yet actually advances from eighth to seventh, and Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” drops two-tenths (2.2 – 2.0, 6+) and remains at #16. Having benefitted by an overall +1.4 in three consecutive improvements, “New Country 105.1” is down eight-tenths in April/May (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, this is the 15th successive survey period that “The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5.

Pittsburgh

 Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit unchanged at #10, Entercom’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” follows January’s +1.1 with four straight drops accounting for a -1.4 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+).

After gaining four-tenths in April, co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, 6+) and slides from fourth to fifth. Continuing at #22, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has an ultra-consistent September 2018 through May 2019 topline of .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 (6+).

Down a combined -.7 in March/April (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” erases all but one-tenth of that deficit (4.2, +.6, 6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – Sharing top honors for largest (6+) April 2019 – May 2019 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” (6.3, +1.4, seventh to fourth, 6+). Moreover, “Wish 99.7” applies the brakes to four consecutive declines that resulted in a net loss of roughly half (-5.0) of its 6+-stat (9.9 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). Progressing from third to second, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is +1.3 in three straight upticks (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+), directly following a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). Answering April’s loss of nine-tenths with a May gain of six-tenths (8.3 – 8.9, 6+), WDVE is #1 for the fourth successive month. The iHeartMedia rocker posted identical gains of eight-tenths in February and March (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. By not having an increase the past three sweeps, co-owned CHR WKST was off a collective seven-tenths (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.4, 6+), but “96.1 Kiss FM Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by six-tenths in May to 6.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+). Alternative cluster-mate WXDX is an overall -1.7 in three straight decreases (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1, 6+) as “105.9 The X” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Forever Media-owned classic hits-oldies WKPL falters by one-half share (2.3 – 1.8, 6+) but remains at #14. There’s little movement in the hot AC contest as Entercom’s WBZZ “Star 100.7” repeats April’s 5.0 (sixth to seventh, 6+) and Steel City Media-owned WLTJ “Q-92.9” is up tenth and is trending 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 (#12 to #11, 6+). 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+); “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Having logged a 5.2 four times in the last six sweeps (5.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” craters by -1.3 to 3.9 (sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” follows with three straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, ninth to tenth, 6+). The January 2019 through May 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 (flat at #21, 6+).

Repeating at #15, University of Utah news/talk KUER loses one full-share as a result of three drops in a row (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned classic hits-oldies KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits,” which netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and roars back in May with a +1.2 (7.4, steady at #3, 6+). Dialing up a May +1.1, independent KSOP-FM continues an alternating down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 (eighth to sixth, 6+) “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” notches its best 6+-showing since December 2017 (5.4, as well). An increase of seven-tenths takes Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” to 3.0 (#14 to #11), its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 3.5. Adding six-tenths to April’s +.1 (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ climbs from #13 to #11. The last time “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” reached the three-share level (6+) was in July 2018 (3.2). Down or flat the past three straight sweeps for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+), Capital Broadcasting hot AC KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” ends the slide with a +.4 to 5.8 (6+) and carries on at #4. The one-tenth lead that Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” had in April over adult contemporary cluster-mate KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” dissipates as “The Arrow” falters by six-tenths to 7.6 (first to second, 6+) and “FM 100.3” adds two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3, second to first, 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+). 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 mammoth +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+). Its format challenger, Cumulus Media’s KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” has its fourth consecutive decrease for an overall -1.2 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and is unchanged at #11.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Up or flat four straight times for an overall +.8 (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” forfeits 75% of that increase and fades from the top twenty (2.4 – 1.8, -.6, #15 to #21, 6+). February, March, and April’s 2.4 is its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 2.8. For the fourth time in the last five sweeps and third time in a row, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” notches a 1.1 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1, flat at #23, 6+).

Over and above climbing from fifth to third, Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR (+1.2 in May) extends its consecutive string of positive spikes to five and nearly doubles (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – A combined -1.2 in March/April (3.9 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102.7 The Coyote – #1 For New Hit Country” erases all but one-tenth of that shortfall with a May +1.1 to 3.8 (6+) and reenters the top ten (#14 to #9). Immediately prior to the March report, “The Coyote” recorded five successive monthlies without a loss for a net gain of eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+). In five sweeps in a row without a loss, Entercom rhythmic hot AC KXQQ is a cumulative +1.1 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+). “Q-100.5” zooms from eighth to fourth and reaches the five-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.0, as well, May 2018). Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF “Zona Mx 103.5”  wipes away April’s one-half share loss with a May increase of the identical magnitude (1.8 – 2.3, +.5, #19 to #16, 6+). Advancing by one-half share as well are Lotus Communications-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station,” which is trending 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.6 (#18 to #14, 6+) and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 FM – Jazz & More,” whose January 2019 through May 2019 topline is 2.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 2.0 (#22 to #17, 6+). Despite dropping one-half share (7.6 – 7.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. The station it succeeded at #1 in February, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday,” is -8.0 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+) and shifts from third to fifth. The last time KSNE fell below a five-share (6+) was October 2017 (4.8, as well). Prior to being #1 from September 2018 through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to returning 60% of April’s +1.0 (3.4 – 2.8, -.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” exits the top ten (a three-way tie at #10 to #13). In April, it reached the three-share level (3.4, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 3.0. Format rival – Entercom’s KMXB “Mix 94.1” – is +1.0 in three consecutive increases (5.5 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). This (6.5) is the strongest 6+-stat for “Mix” since July 2018’s 6.7. In four straight declines, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS is -1.3 (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) as “SOS Radio” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

 Orlando

 Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing 70% of March/April’s -1.0 (4.5 – 5.2, +.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM progresses from tenth to eighth; “News 96.5” was a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). The November 2018 through May 2019 topline for iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is exclusively between 3.1 – 3.9 (6+): 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9, flat at #11). Locked on 2.5 (6+) in March and April, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF adds four-tenths to 2.9 (#15 to #14, 6+).

Despite dropping one-tenth (.8 – .7, 6+), sports talk sibling WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” advances from #20 to #19. Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” repeats April’s .3 (6+) but backslides from #22 to #23.

Flat at #12, Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” is off six-tenths in April/May (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – When Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” dropped three-tenths in April, it interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Promptly responding with a robust May +1.1 to 9.0 (6+), “Sunny” storms from third to first. Ousted from the top spot and segueing to second is iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100,” which is -1.0 in three straight down or flat trends (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). This calendar year, WRUM was #1 in January, February, and April. “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017’s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Down nine-tenths via four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, 6+), co-owned WJRR “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” dials up a +.8 to 3.4 (#14 to #12, 6+). Within 5.2 – 5.9 range in each of the last five survey periods (5.2 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.3 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” logs a +.7 to 6.0 (eighth to fifth, 6+). Immediately following four improvements in a row that netted a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” is a combined -2.0 in April/May (9.0 – 8.4 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). Unchanged at #4, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” is a combined -1.5 in April/May (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3, 6+) with 6.3 its lowest 6+-stat since September 2018 (6.3, as well). Faltering eight-tenths to 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” falls from sixth to ninth. By picking up one-tenth in April, “Magic” ended three straight decreases accounting for an overall -8.5 (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+). WMGF was a combined +8.5 December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+). The “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 topline for Cox Media Group-owned WWKA is 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.7 (6+), but “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” surrenders one-half share in May to 4.2 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Even though Entercom alternative WQMP is up eight-tenths through three straight bumps (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well), “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” backslides from #13 to #14.

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – Anchored in the runner-up slot, after a January-only stay on top, iHeartMedia news/talk (and flagship of the Reds) WLW is down a combined half-share in April/May (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4, 6+). Exiting the top ten (#10 to #11), co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” has a November 2018 through May 2019 topline of 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+).

Sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” erodes by two-thirds (-.4) in four straight down or flat trends (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8, #22, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has its 6+-stat sliced in half in April/May (.6 – .4 – .3, #21 to #24, 6+).

The overall +1.1 that Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU accrued through three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+) vanishes completely in April/May with a combined -1.1 (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6, #13 to #14, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – Displaying its highest 6+-showing (7.5) since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” progresses from fourth to third. Its five shifts this calendar year are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (April); and +.7 (May, 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). Posting a May +.7 as well is Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), which cracks the top ten (#12 to #9) and has its best 6+-performance since February 2017 (3.9, as well). Anchored in eighth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” adds one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), thus suspending four consecutive ratings periods without an increase that led to a loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+). Notwithstanding that Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WNNF remains at #15, “94.1 Nash FM” logs its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.1 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). Off -2.1 in three straight drops (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-formatted WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” picks up two-tenths to 7.5 (6+) and continues in third-place. Not only is Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR #1 for the fourth sweep in succession, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is +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, WGRR 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+). While it is unchanged in sixth-place, Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” is -1.0 as a result of four drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). A collective +.7 in four consecutive reports without a loss (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” forfeits four-tenths in May to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – The three most recent fluctuations by iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” are -.6 (March); +.9 (April); and -.7 in May (5.8 – 5.1, seventh to ninth, 6+). The Indians flagship logged a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). Salem Media Group news/talk WHK resurfaced in print in April and, while it repeats April’s .5, “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight” drops from #18 to #19.

Ensconced in tenth-place, Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is a collective -1.4 in an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+).

An overall +1.6 via five straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+) Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN is steady at #12.

Cleveland Music Formats – A combined +.9 in April/May (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WMMS advances from ninth to seventh as “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” reaches the five-share level (5.6, 6+) for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0. Recapturing all but one-tenth of the seven-tenths it surrendered in April (3.2 – 3.8, +.6, 6+), Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” proceeds from #12 to #11. Its March increase of three-tenths curtailed three successive negative moves that led to an overall -1.6 (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). A May gain of four-tenths by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI (9.8 – 10.2, 6+) wipes away 40% of April’s -1.0 as “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the sixth straight ratings period. Five of its recent fluctuations include +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and -1.0 (April). Despite being down or flat the past five ratings periods for a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK remains in the runner-up slot. This, however, is its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018 (7.5, as well). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 7.4 (third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” concludes four consecutive bumps 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+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined eight-tenths in March/April (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” slices that deficit in half with a May gain of four-tenths to 5.2 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Flat at #20, co-owned KMBZ-AM  “Talk 980” dropped two-tenths in March; gained three-tenths in April; and loses two-tenths in May (2.3 to 2.1, 6+). Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” is off two-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, #21 to #22, 6+).

Both of the market’s major sports talk outlets forfeit one-tenth in May. The flagship of the Royals, Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio,” was a combined +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), but drops to 3.9 (unchanged at #10, 6+). As a result of four straight negative or flat trends, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” is -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+).

Not only is University of Missouri news/talk KCUR +1.9 through five straight up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+), it zooms into the top ten (#11 to #6).

Kansas City Music Formats – An April increase of four-tenths by Cumulus Media-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” halted February/March’s combined -2.8 (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In May, “The Fox” not only adds another seven-tenths to 8.4, its highest 6+ showing since January 2019’s 10.1, KCFX progresses from second to first. Albeit +2.5 via four consecutive reports without a loss (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” is dislodged from the top spot after a two-month stay and shifts to #2. Four recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); and +1.1 (March). An improvement of six-tenths propels Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” into the top ten (#13 to #10) with its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (3.9, as well). Exactly doubling (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three up or flat moves in a row (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” inches up from a three-way tie at #15 to #14 and has its strongest performance (3.0) since January 2018’s 3.5. The market’s three major country players find May 2019’s sweep to be a mixed bag. Halting a March/April slide that was responsible for a -1.1 (4.1 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” gains one-half share to 3.5 (#15 to #13, 6+) and Steel City Media’s KFKF “Country 94.1” improves by three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), continuing at #7. Co-owned KBEQ “Q104 New Hit Country” though relinquishes 60% of March/April’s +1.0 with a loss of six-tenths (5.9 – 5.3, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. April’s 5.9 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well). Faltering by -1.0 in April/May (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3” slides from #11 to #14. Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3” (4.4 – 3.7, #8 to #12, 6+) and Entercom’s KQRC “98.9 The Rock” (5.1 – 4.6, fifth to eighth, 6+) regress by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively. By dropping one-tenth to 2.9 (#15 to #17, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” ends four successive increases that netted +1.2 (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.0, 6+). Prior to April’s 3.0, “X-105.1” last reached the three-share threshold (6+) in September 2016 (3.1). A collective -2.0 via four successive declines (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+) by Cumulus Media CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” (flat at #18) directly follows five consecutive positive or flat moves that resulted in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase in each of the last four reports for an overall -2.0 (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” drops from fifth to sixth.

Unlisted in January, February, and March, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” displays an April 4.7 (6+) and a May 4.6 (sixth to seventh, 6+).

As was the case in April, Ohio State University news/talk WOSU (4.7 – 4.6, -.1, 6+) is tied with WBNS-FM; in April it was at #6, in May it is at #7.

Columbus Music Formats – A collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” obliterates that in one step with a whopping +1.4 to 8.6 (third to second), its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. Co-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus” is +1.0 in three straight up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+) and drives from eighth to fifth with its best 6+-stat (5.1) since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018. One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” notches a gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+) and carries on in ninth-place. Accustomed to significant monthly swings, iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” (13.0 – 11.7, -1.3, 6+) sets the pace for the 18th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. 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); and -1.3 (May). In three straight increases, Saga Communications’ WLVQ amassed a +1.9 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+) but “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” follows with a combined April/May -1.4 (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+) and slips from second to third. Even though Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.6) its 6+ AQH share as a result of eight consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), it has had consecutive backward moves, #16 to #17 in April and #17 to #18 in May. Owing to five straight positive or flat reports, Saga Communications hot AC WVMX netted seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+), but “Mix 107.9” is off three-tenths in May to 2.6 (6+), dropping from #11 to #12.

Monday, April 1, 2019

| April 1, 2019

Monday Memo: “Here’s What’s Happening…” In today’s Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke reminds radio news people that “local information is something radio’s non-local, new-tech competitors just can’t deliver.  And if recent cutbacks have competing stations mailing-it-in yours will be conspicuous by comparison.  And if you’re relevant and user-friendly to those busy in-car listeners advertisers want to meet, you’re gold.”  Read HC’s Monday Memo here.

iHeartMedia Revenue Rises 6% from January to February.  Those following iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization process are aware the company has been filing monthly revenue reports since April of last year – a month after it declared Chapter 11.  The most recent report filed with U.S Bankruptcy Court in Houston on March 28 shows revenue of $246.2 million for the month of February, up 6% from January.  Most of the figures in the report – revenue, operating income, net income (loss) – have bounced around a lot since April 2018.  Although revenue was up in February, that followed a drop in revenue of almost $100 million from December to January.  Net income in February was $14.3 million, a turnaround from January’s loss of $9.5 million.  Operating income was $24.1 million in February, a bounceback from January’s $7.6 million figure, the lowest reported number since April of 2018.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Half of the news/talk stations on our panel improved (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the January survey to the February survey, led by Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City (+1.0).  Comparing February 2018 to February 2019, about half the stations showed improvement with Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis leading the pack (+2.2) and Cumulus’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (+2.0) close behind.  Three stations ranked #1 in their markets in February: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

2019 Radio Mercury Awards Deadline Is Now April 19. The deadline for submitting entries for the RAB’s 2019 Radio Mercury Awards is being extended to April 19.  The “biggest creative awards show for radio and audio” will honor broadcasters’ efforts in numerous categories.  They include: Radio station produced commercials and campaigns; radio station produced promotional spots; creative use of audio: podcasts, branded content and activations, interactive audio, and more; creative use of sound/music: sonic branding, jingles, songs and music, etc.; integrated campaigns with radio/audio; PSA spots/campaigns; and Spanish-language spots/campaigns.  You can listen to last year’s winners, learn about the prize money, get more information, and enter by clicking here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Washington, DC all-news station WTOP is celebrating 50 years as an all-news radio station and features a nice, historical piece on its website that chronicles the station’s evolution.  The idea for making the station a news-intensive one came from Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who’d been listening to suburban AM WAVA present an all-news format and instructed WTOP’s managers to focus on news.  WTOP was owned by the Post at the time…..A piece published at NJ.com speculates about whether former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton could pop back up at the Entercom-owned sports talk station if Carton avoids jail time at his sentencing on Friday (4/5).  Citing a comment by WFAN program director Mark Chernoff in Newsday in which he said the station would welcome a discussion about a chance to return if he avoids prison, writer James Kratch reports Carton’s attorneys suggest Carton would be able to pay restitution if he’s allowed to work.  However, Newsday also reports that the judge is unlikely to be so lenient about such serious fraud crimes.  According to a story in the New York Daily News, prosecutors are seeking six to seven years in prison…..As per Chicago media maven Robert Feder’s reportErich Mancow Muller’s morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM is starting a bit earlier as the station makes a minor schedule change.  Instead of starting at 6:00 am, the Mancow show starts at 5:30, effective today (4/1)…..Sports talk radio host Dan Sileo – who hosts the morning drive show at Entercom’s San Diego sports talk station KWFN “97.3 The Fan” – is also hosting a new, two-hour weekend show at the company’s WEEI-FM, Boston. Sileo’s show – airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm – debuted over the weekend.  Sileo is a Connecticut native who played college football at Miami and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1987.    

Podcasting Is Now Mainstream (or Is It?).  According to a new study by Edison Research, podcasting continues to permeate and gain ground within the general public’s media usage.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sited these latest stats on his RT America “The Big Picture” TV show (3/29) and examined their implications by interviewing TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs.  To view the segment in its entirety, please click here.

Central American Aid Cuts, Joe Biden Inappropriateness Allegation, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Border Wall/Immigration Issues, Mueller Report Aftermath, AOC FDR Snafu, Trump vs Obamacare, NCAA Tourney, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump administration plans aid cuts to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras; allegation about inappropriate touching by Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to face President Trump in 2020; the status of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the flow of migrants to the border; the aftermath of the Trump-Russia investigation report from Robert Mueller; Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that Republicans engineered the 22nd Amendment to force FDR from office; the Trump administration’s effort to repeal Obamacare; the NCAA tournament action; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio pro Danita Maldonado is named afternoon personality and web/social media manager for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  She previously served on air at country KMRK-FM, Odessa, Texas and country KFTX, Corpus Christi, Texas as well as with production companies and ad agencies in New York City…..Swick Broadcasting adds the “O’Reilly In The Morning” program with Phil O’Reilly to WLKI-FM, Angola, Indiana. This is a move of flagships for O’Reilly who most recently broadcast his syndicated show from Midwest Communications’ WNWN-FM, Battle Creek, Michigan.   O’Reilly says, “I am very excited to be part of the teams at Swick Broadcasting and Local Radio Networks.  My family and I reside just up the road in Battle Creek, Michigan and we are very happy to stay right here and continue to have fun on the radio!”…..Programming pro Brian Stephenson is named operations manager for Townsquare Media’s six-station Yakima, Washington cluster that includes rock KATS-FM, CHR KFFM-FM, and country KDBL-FM…..Resonate Hawaii LLC is buying adult hits KBGX-FM, Keaau and country KKOA, Volcano from Mahalo Multimedia LLC for $550,000.  Susan Patrick and Jason James of Patrick Communications were the exclusive brokers for this transaction…..Westwood One’s new urban AC morning stars Rick Party (left) and Sasha the Diva (center), attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend.  Below, they pose for a pic with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah (right).

Monday, August 27, 2018

| August 27, 2018

Scott Miller Named Afternoon Talk Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois. Illinois radio pro Scott Miller is the new afternoon drive talk host at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois, effective September 10.  Miller has worked at numerous Chicago outlets: as executive producer/personality at Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive,” producer at Tribune’s news/talk WGN, short-lived all-news “FM News 101.1” (WKQX), and more. Speaking about his new gig, Miller says, “I’ve worked with and learned from the best in Chicago for over 20 years. It’s time to follow in the radio tradition of stealing all their bits and making them my own on WJBC!  Now if I can just get a hold of Piranha Man, 100,000 disco records and re-work the lyrics to ‘on top of a pizza!’”

Gallagher Appointed DOS at WGN, Chicago. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that radio exec John Gallagher is the new director of sales at Tribune’s news/talk WGN. Gallagher, who most recently was vice president and general manager at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster, assumed the role held by Jeff Hill, who exited earlier this year to become VP of sales at Cumulus Chicago.  Gallagher also served as president and GM at WLS-AM. WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “John is filled with the entrepreneurial spirit we treasure at WGN.  Having his leadership in our hallways is a game changer for our brand and our business partners.”

Barrett Sports Media to Introduce ‘Jeff Smulyan Award’ at February Event.  At next winter’s “Barrett Sports Media Summit” in Los Angeles, Barrett Sports Media will bestow The Jeff Smulyan Award upon its first recipient. BSM president Jason Barrett says he’s “taking the initiative to make sure the contributions of a select few members are permanently remembered.”  The Jeff Smulyan Award will be given to “a chosen member of the radio industry who demonstrates a consistent ability to lead, take risks, and produce results.”  Speaking about the Emmis Communications chairman, Barrett says, “If Jeff Smulyan hadn’t rolled the dice to launch an all-sports station in New York City in 1987 and stuck to the plan when it made no sense to do so, sports radio may never have received a second chance.  Jeff’s ability to lead and deliver results, combined with his willingness to take risk, not only benefited WFAN, but it remains the driving force behind Emmis Communications’ success.  As new threats for the sports fan’s ear emerge from outside industries, it’s important for us to remember who paved the way to make this possible, while recognizing those who continue to blaze new trails to help us secure a prosperous future.”  The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit takes place in Los Angeles inside the Clive Davis Theater at The Grammy Museum on February 21 and 22, 2019.

iHeartMedia Twin Cities Unveils ‘Sports Radio 96.7.’ The new station is heard in Minneapolis-St. Paul on translator K244FE and is fed from the HD-3 channel of classic hits KQQL.  iHeartMedia is calling the station “KFAN Plus, Sports Radio 96.7” and is airing the FOX Sports Radio lineup, including Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb.  Station PD Chad Abbott states, “We’re thrilled to bring the Twin Cities some of the biggest and well-known national names in sports radio.  ‘KFAN Plus’ will be a great expansion of KFAN programming, providing our listeners with even more around-the-clock, exclusive sports news content that they love.”

TALKERS News Notes. Vice president of social media Lori Lewis announces via Facebook that she’s resigning her post with Cumulus Media/Westwood One after a three-year stint with the company.  As for her next move, she only says that she “cannot wait to share this next phase of life” with the industry.  Lewis joined Cumulus from her previous position with Jacobs Media…..The New York Post is reporting that Entercom is moving to acquire the rights to New York Mets play-by-play for all-news WCBS-AM.  Currently, Mets games are heard on iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WOR.  Entercom has the rights to Yankees broadcasts that air on sports talk WFAN. Prior to WFAN getting the Yankees games (back when CBS RADIO owned the station) they aired on sister WCBS-AM…..According to The Wrap, sports media personality Ryen Russillo is going to be working with Bill Simmons on his The Ringer Podcast Network.  The former ESPN Radio host is expected to host a regular, weekly football podcast as well as make appearances on Simmons’ own show…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR, Chicago operations director Mitch Rosen is among the list of 10 being inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame this year.  Feder writes that “as recipient of the group’s Media Award, Rosen will be cited for The Score’s contributions to Chicago area sports journalism since 1992.”…..Pictured below is Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) with World War II veteran Herb Cohen (left).  Wachs spoke to a group of vets from the Jewish War Veterans of Southern Nevada, Post 64 during an event at the Suncoast Hotel.

Entercom Stations to Air Special on Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The program is called “I’m Listening” and will air across all Entercomstations on Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 am local time.  The company says this marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week and the company’s year-long campaign that includes suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos, and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions.  KISW, Seattle morning personality BJ Shea is hosting the program that will feature medical experts Dr. Chris Nowinski – co-founder and executive director of Concussion Legacy Foundation – and Dr. Ursula Whiteside, a clinical psychologist and CEO of NowMattersNow.org.  Guests scheduled to join the program include Mike McCready and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, Olympian Michael Phelps, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, singer Alessia Cara, and many others.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives, while simultaneously creating awareness for this truly lethal silent threat.  The number of people impacted by mental health issues is staggering.  The effect it has on their lives and lives of their friends and families is devastating.  If we help save just one life or help remove the stigma around mental illness, our time will have been well spent.  We can’t solve this issue during one program, but we can be part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”

Beasley Celebrates Its Top Performers with 2018 Operating Achievement Awards. At its annual management meeting in Boston on Friday (8/24), Beasley Media Group announced the winners of the company’s annual Operating Achievement Awards.  The 2018 Winners include: Mary Menna, Market Manager of the Year/Boston; WKLB-FM, Boston, Station of the Year; Tina Murley, Director of Sales (DOS) of the Year/Boston; David Corey, Program Director of the Year/WKLB-FM; Ed McCormack, Technology Award /Boston; Leslie Hamand, Market Controller of the Year/Tampa; Nicole Sellers, Digital Content Professional of the Year/Charlotte; and Deena Roemer Herman, Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Philadelphia. Pictured above are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group COO/EVP Brian Beasley, Murley, Corey, CEO Caroline Beasley, founder & chairman of the board George Beasley, Menna, and president Bruce Beasley

John McCain Passes, Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Pleas, Silent Sam Statue Toppled, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, Neil Simon Dies at 91, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Arizona Senator John McCain at 81; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on fraud charges and the campaign finance violation guilty pleas entered by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; the toppling of the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill; the shooting at a Florida egame tournament that left three dead; playwright Neil Simon dies at 91; NFL pre-season action, and the MLB playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Kristie Graybill joins iHeartMedia’s CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” as co-host of the AM drive program.  She partners with Jordan DeSocio for the “Jordan and Kristie in the Morning” show. KSLZ program director Matt Johnson comments, “Kristie is a strong, well-known radio personality within the iHeartMedia family.  We auditioned several talented on-air personalities to join Jordan, but Kristie’s drive, creativity, and talent made her our ideal candidate.”  She says, “I genuinely want to thank iHeartMedia St. Louis for giving me this amazing opportunity.  I am thrilled to be working with Jordan and I can’t wait to connect with the St. Louis listeners bright and early every morning.”  Graybill moves to St. Louis from Cincinnati where she was afternoon drive host on iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1.”

Monday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2018

Imus: Show Will End on March 29.  There’s no official word from Cumulus Media or Westwood One, but Don Imus announced on the WABC, New York-based morning program today (1/22) that he will end the “Imus in the Morning” program on March 29.  The iconic New York and nationally syndicated program has been part of the broadcast landscape in America since the early 1970s.  Stay tuned as more information about the change is revealed.

WTVN, Columbus Talk Host John Corby Dead at 61.  The Columbus Dispatch reports that afternoon drive host John Corby had been off the air a few days prior to his unexpected death at 61 on Saturday (1/20).  No cause of death has been announced but the Dispatch story says fellow station personalities said on the air that he passed peacefully at Mount Carmel West Hospital.  He is survived by his wife Jodi and a daughter.  He worked at WTVN from 1984 to 1994, when he left to host at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh.  He returned to WTVN in 1997.  Read the Dispatch obituary here.

Profile: Reliable Remote Royalty Comrex.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of the company so many broadcasters have turned to over the years to provide them with the high-quality, American-made equipment to get “studio-quality” audio from remote locations to their transmitters.  The 60-year-old Comrex Corporation was born as a firm dedicated to providing wireless microphones to the Broadway theater and live events markets.  But, the company quickly transitioned into one that used telephone lines to deliver “higher-quality audio” from remote locations to broadcast facilities.  Comrex truly upped its game by leading the industry with its mastery of voice-over-Internet protocol in its line of ACCESS products.  Read all about it here.

Are Radio and Agencies Missing the Mark by Not More Heavily Targeting Boomers?  Two noted media consultants think that the radio and advertising industries are blowing a huge opportunity by not paying more attention to the increasingly growing 65-plus crowd.  TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke and Jacobs Media CEO Fred Jacobs tackled the issue this past Friday on the latest installment of Cooke’s weekly TV talk show “The Big Picture” on RT America.  The two boomers make a very strong case for their generation’s radio marketplace pertinence showing statistics and examples of the affluence and influence wielded by today’s upper-demo audience.  To see the video of “Baby Boomers: The Most Consequential Generation,” please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The sale of Boston AM signal WBIX, means the demise of the Salem Media Group conservative talk format in the market.  Salem is selling the station to religious entity International Church of the Grace of God Inc. for $685,000 — $185,000 more than it paid for the signal when it bought it from ABC/Disney almost three years ago.  The church is already airing a Portuguese-language format on the station under an LMA…..The fourth signal that made up Connoisseur Media’s “Talk of Connecticut” format is being sold to Trignition for $260,000.  WWCO, Waterbury and the construction permit for an FM translator were not part of the recent announcement of the sale by Connoisseur of WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden to Red Wolf Broadcasting for $8 million…..At San Diego’s Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas, Jenny Rose Gonzalez is promoted from her local sales manager post to general sales manager for the cluster that includes: sports talk XEPRS “The Mighty 1090,” sports XEPE “ESPN 1700,” and classic hits XHPRS “105.7 Max-FM.”  Station president and general manager Mike Glickenhaus comments, “It is always great when you can promote from within your organization.  This promotion reflects the dedication, creativity, passion, leadership, and great work ethic that Jenny Rose has demonstrated day in and day out since she walked in the door.”…..Nationally syndicated urban radio morning personality Steve Harvey is getting another year for his television talk show.  NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution announces that it is picking up a second season for the “Steve” program.   Of course, Harvey’s daily radio show is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  NBCUniversal says that Harvey’s show delivered “a season high 1.5 rating for the week ending 1/7/18.”  The program “recently averaged a 1.4 national household rating for the November 2017 sweep, delivering the highest November sweep rating for a new, first-run, one-hour syndicated program in five years.”…..In Maine, Townsquare Media steals Boston Red Sox play-by-play away from Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor.  With the new affiliation with the WEEI, Boston-based Red Sox Radio Network, Townsquare’s WEZQ, Bangor “92.9 The Ticket” holds the play-by-play rights to all four Boston sports teams.

Government Shutdown, DACA/Immigration Policy, Women’s Marches, Allegations Hillary Clinton Investigation Was Fixed, the SAG Awards, Middle East Peace Talks, Kabul Hotel Attack, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The federal government shutdown and the politics of crafting a solution to the impasse; the Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn the Obama era DACA act and its immigration policy; the weekend’s women’s marches that took place across the country; allegations that former members of Robert Mueller’s team knew that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted in the emails investigation ahead of time; Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards show; Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Israel after visiting Egypt and Jordan for Middle East peace talks; terror attacks at the International Hotel in Kabul; and Sunday’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the establishment of the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund to honor the iconic broadcaster who passed away last week at the age of 91 in Palm Beach, Florida.  McLaughlin was at the helm of ABC Radio Network for many years and is responsible for putting legendary talk host Rush Limbaugh into syndication in 1987.  McLaughlin was a longtime chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation and held the title of chairman emeritus at the time of his death.  To donate to the Edward F. McLaughlin Memorial Fund, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email: info@thebfoa.org.

Karen Hunter Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Described by Michael Harrison as “one of the most important talk media personalities in the industry whose time has definitely come,” SiriusXM Satellite Radio star Karen Hunter joins the TALKERS founder as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Hunter hosts a daily 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm talk program on the SiriusXM’s “Urban View” channel that has been receiving glowing industry acclaim.  She is also a prolific New York Times best-selling co-author; CEO of highly successful Karen Hunter Publishing; and a professor of film and media at Hunter College in New York City.  (The name is coincidental.)  Hunter is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was the first female African American news columnist at the New York Daily News.  Harrison and Hunter discuss today’s hottest issues regarding media, race, society, gender relations, education, science, religion and politics.  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. If Cumulus Media gets its way and a bankruptcy judge allows the company to get out of its deal to buy WKQX and WLUP-FM in Chicago from Merlin Media, Merlin principal Randy Michaels says the company is prepared to step in and operate the alternative and classic rock stations, “essentially, as is.”  That’s according to Robert Channick’s piece in the Chicago Tribune.  Cumulus appealed to the court to get out of certain deals that are losing ventures – such as the White Sox and Bulls play-by-play contracts for WLS-AM that are revenue negative.  Cumulus told the court that the Merlin LMA of the two rock stations has cost it $8.4 million to date.  Merlin exercised the option in the contract to sell the stations to Cumulus for $50 million.  Cumulus is asking the court to allow it to get out of that deal, as well.  Cumulus and Merlin have been trying to negotiate a new deal but have not been able to come to terms that each side like.  A judge is set to decide on Cumulus’ requests by February 1.  Cumulus hopes to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by May 29…..Alternative rock radio pro Lisa Worden is adding program director for KSYR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” to her responsibilities for iHeartMedia.  She was appointed vice president of programming for the station and alternative rock brand manager for the company’s National Programming Group when she joined it back in November.  She was previously assistant program director and music director for crosstown KROQ-FM, Los Angeles prior to the station’s sale from CBS RADIO to Entercom…..After two years in the St. Louis market as regional SVP of programming for iHeartMedia, A.J. moves to the company’s Charlotte market where he’ll be the new program director for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1” and adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” effective February 12.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments,  “Bringing A.J. to Charlotte is a game-changer for the market.  He is passionate and creative as well as analytical and strategic.  He’s the perfect addition to team Charlotte.”  In St. Louis, he programmed CHR KSLZ-FM “Z107.7” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Entercom and KMXB, Las Vegas “Mix 94.1” agree to terms on a contract renewal for morning personalities Mercedes Martinez (right) and JC Fernandez (left).  Entercom Las Vegas SVP and market manager Dan Kearney states, “‘Mercedes in the Morning’ is an integral part of the Las Vegas community’s morning and we are proud to continue our partnership with the iconic Mercedes and JC for the years to come.  Both bring an exciting energy to ‘Mix 94.1’ and we are looking forward to seeing them take the show to new heights.”…..Sean Stewart is the new program director and morning drive personality at Entercom’s rock WRXR, Chattanooga “Rock 105.”  Stewart, who moves to WRXR from his post as music director at crosstown CHR WDOD, says, “This role is a huge opportunity and I’m excited to bring new life into Chattanooga’s best rock brand.”…..Westwood One is again the official radio broadcast partner of the Recording Academy and the “60th Annual GRAMMY Awards.”  As part of its build-up to the January 28 awards show, Westwood One is presenting 13 “intimate performances for passionate music lovers and dedicated station listeners” live from the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 high atop Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Hot AC WPLJ and country WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” are hosting the invite-only performances that will feature: Troye Sivan, Lauv, Bleachers, Cody Simpson, Logan Henderson, Shane Owens, Max, Marshmello, Jessie Chris, Lauren Alaina, PJ Morton, Midland, and Kelly Clarkson.

Monday, October 30, 2017

| October 30, 2017

Beasley’s Q3 Pro Forma Net Revenue Flat.  Pro forma net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was flat at $58.7 million, a comparison to the same period in 2016.  Actual third quarter numbers for Beasley Media Group show net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at $58.9 million versus $27.7 million during the same period in 2016.  As the company points out, “On November 1, 2016, Beasley acquired 18 radio stations (net of divestitures) (‘the Greater Media stations’). The actual results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the acquired Greater Media stations. On January 6, 2017 the Company completed the sale of WFNZ-AM and three Greater Media stations in Charlotte.  On May 1, 2017 the Company completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville. The pro-forma results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the aforementioned Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations, as if the transaction had been completed on January 1, 2016.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The operating and financial benefits of the Greater Media transaction are becoming more visible as we continue making progress on our synergy realization and integration initiatives, which are focused on driving SOI margin expansion. Pro forma net revenues were flat compared to the prior year period, despite the non-recurrence of $0.6 million in political revenue, while we reduced pro forma station operating expenses by 5.2% or $2.3 million…Throughout the third quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations.  We remain focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership.  Revenue at Beasley’s combined clusters rose 0.1% in the third quarter, outperforming the overall markets, which declined 0.8% according to Miller Kaplan. Of particular note, our Detroit cluster generated double-digit revenue increases and our Philadelphia cluster rebounded from a transition-related revenue decline earlier this year to an increase of 1% in the third quarter.  These increases were offset by declines in our Tampa, Charlotte and Las Vegas clusters.”

John DePetro Leaves WADK, Remains on WNRI in Rhode Island.  Longtime Providence, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro announces some changes to where his show can be heard in the Ocean State.  Since the beginning of the year – after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM – DePetro has been heard on WADK, Newport.  Shortly thereafter, DePetro began airing his show on WNRI, Woonsocket.  Now, DePetro announces that he’s leaving WADK and expanding his program on WNRI.  He says his show will now air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  “The time change will allow me to pursue other projects I am working on. WNRI is 95.1 FM and AM 1380.  My sponsors are all happy and the listeners are excited.”

Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan to Receive IBJ Award.  The annual Mike Carroll Award is bestowed by the Indianapolis Business Journal in honor of a community member who has demonstrated the qualities of determination, humility and devotion to the central Indiana community as exhibited by former Indy deputy mayor and civic leader Mike Carroll.   This year Emmis Communications founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan will receive the award at the IBJ’s upcoming “Engage Indiana” event on Friday, December 8.  IBJ publisher and president Greg Morris says, “Jeff Smulyan’s contributions to central Indiana extend far beyond what he has achieved at Emmis Communications.  He cares deeply about the community and as a result is always happy to help out organizations large and small.”

Hollins Named Research Director at Jacobs Media. Media research pro Jason Hollins is joining Jacobs Media as research director.  The company says that Hollins will work closely with Fred and Paul Jacobs to lead its expanding research initiatives in radio, digital media and beyond.  Hollins has spent his entire career with Edison Research, including 12 years as vice president.  Fred Jacobs states, “We are proud and excited to bring someone of Jason’s talent and experience to the Jacobs Media team.  He’s spent nearly two decades working in radio and media research, both broadcast and digital, and has been integral in helping a vast array of companies better understand their current consumers, as well as helping them stay ahead of the curve on emerging media.”

Mueller Investigation Charges/Clinton-DNC Funding of Russia Dossier; GOP Tax Reform Bill; North Korea Nuclear Threats; Spain-Catalan Independence Battle; Dodgers-Astros World Series; NCAA Football; and NFL Anthem Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Special counsel investigator Robert Mueller announces filing of first charges in investigation into Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election and last week’s news that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Republican tax reform bill; North Korea’s threats of nuclear attacks on the U.S.; Catalan’s declaration of independence from Spain; the Los Angeles Dodgers-Houston Astros World Series; Saturday’s college football action; and Sunday’s NFL anthem protests and the game action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

An Oral History of Sex on Talk Radio.  This week’s edition of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is an information-packed sizzler.  Joining the TALKERS founder is notable spoken-word radio newcomer (and “romantic boutique” owner) Beth Liebling who hosts a truly groundbreaking, weekend sex talk show, “Love and Laughter with Beth” on, of all things, a sports station – ESPN 97.5 FM, Houston (KFNC owned by Gow Communications).  Actually, the podcast is built around a conversation between the two that took place on Liebling’s show where Harrison appeared as her guest this past weekend.  Harrison and Liebling talk with remarkable candor about the changing role of sex talk down through the decades on licensed broadcast media subject to FCC regulations.  They talk about changing community standards, taboo words, and the evolving societal attitude about sex as reflected on what has commonly been referred to as the “public airwaves.”  The conversation includes discussion of such names as Lenny BruceGeorge CarlinHoward SternLeslie GoldBill BalanceDr. Laura SchlessingerDr. Joy BrowneDr. Ruth WestheimerDr. Drew Pinsky, Dr. Daliah Wachs, and more.  Reflecting upon the podcast, Harrison says, “What Beth Liebling is doing on her little weekend show is indeed groundbreaking and, if nothing else, the radio industry should know about her.  We had a heck of a conversation!” 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.

Investigative Reporter and Former Talk Show Host Mark Shaw Weighs in on Released JFK Files.  Investigative reporter, author, and former radio talker Mark Shaw, author of the best-selling book about the untimely death of ‘50s/’60s media icon Dorothy KilgallenThe Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016), tells TALKERS founder Michael Harrison this morning (10/30) that he is disappointed at the limited information being made available by this first round of released government files containing information about the JFK assassination as it pertains to the widespread suspected connection to Kilgallen’s death.  In an audio conversation with Harrison, he discusses his findings, suspicions, and expectations.  According to Harrison, “Mark Shaw has done a fantastic job of digging into the story of one of the most important-but-largely-forgotten multi-media figures of 20th century talk radio and newspaper journalism – Dorothy Kilgallen. If there is the possibility of a cover up pertaining to the murder of JFK, you can be sure she had gotten to the bottom of it.”  To listen to the conversation between Harrison and Shaw, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Retired Topeka, Kansas radio personality Marlena Adkinson was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Adkinson spent all 41 years of her career at Alpha Media’s country KTPK-FM. She has served in traffic, news, production, promotions, and programming.  At the time of her retirement in March, she was the production director and midday personality…..CBS RADIO is presenting an electric roster of New Year’s Eve weekend shows at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  Beginning Friday, December 29 and lasting into the early morning hours of 2018, the company will present four shows headlined by Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, and Zac Brown Band, with a special performance by Sir Rosevelt…..Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte stations – country WSOC, CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” hip hop WPEG “Power 98,” urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9,” classic hits WXRC/W234BY “94.7 SMOKE,” adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” – are partnering with Hendrick Automotive Group and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to host a massive food backpack collection on Saturday (11/4).  The event benefits local children in need of weekend meals.  Employees from the six Beasley Media Charlotte stations and Hendricks Automotive Group will come together to fill more than 1,000 backpacks with nutritious, easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food items for children who do not have regular access to food outside of school…..SiriusXM is preparing to launch eight commercial-free holiday music channels on Wednesday (11/1).  The channels will offer listeners a variety of traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, country Christmas classics, contemporary holiday tunes, soul music, Hanukkah music and Latin seasonal music.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

| May 5, 2015

berrymichaelMichael Berry Renews with iHeartMedia.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry inks a new long-term deal with iHeartMedia that runs through 2020.  Berry’s program is based at news/talk KTRH, Houston and is heard on iHeartMedia stations in 13 additional markets.  The former Houston city councilor started his talk radio career with the company in 2005.  Berry states, “While I’m loyal to the company I’ve worked with for so long, this agreement is about the future, not the past. From Bob Pittman, our chairman and CEO, and Rich Bressler, our president, COO and CFO, to Kelly Kibler, my EVPO; Eddie Martiny, my market manager; and Marc Sherman and Bryan Erickson, our programming directors in Houston — every single one of them is committed to our show, our team, and the way we do things.  They’ve provided a platform for me to serve my sponsors, entertain our listeners, and raise money for Veterans, and I’m incredibly excited about our future.”  Bob Pittman comments, “Michael is a great talent, and his audience loves and relies on him – both for the news and important information he provides every day, and for his strong commitment to his community of listeners and the causes important to them.  We are very pleased that Michael will continue his strong work for us, and delighted that he’ll continue to be such a key part of our team.”

lewisloriCumulus Brings Digital and Social Media Pro Lori Lewis Aboard.  This new relationship brings industry-respected digital and social media maven Lori Lewis together with Cumulus Media as she becomes the company’s new vice president of social media.  A press release says in her new position, she’ll work with Cumulus’ programming and sales teams to develop integrated social media strategies for the company’s radio stations and the Westwood One network.  She will also provide social media solutions to Westwood One’s affiliate partners as part of the company’s Enterprise Solutions Group.  Lewis will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Lewis was most recently with consulting firm Jacobs Media.  Lew Dickeycumulus logo comments, “Lori is our industry’s foremost authority on social media.  She has architected successful social strategies for many of the biggest brands in radio.  We are excited for Lori to bring her unique experience and expertise to our station group as well as to our affiliate partners at Westwood One.”  On joining Cumulus, Lewis says, “I am honored to take this newly created role within Cumulus, and to create real value and impact socially for our audiences, advertisers and affiliate partners.  Many mistake social for volume, when in fact it’s about differentiating.  This move, on behalf of Lew Dickey and [Cumulus SVP] Gary Pizzati, speaks volumes of their leadership and foresight in moving Cumulus forward, and I thank them for that.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Kramer to COO, Names Levy to Board of Directors.  Station group president Louise Kramer is promoted to chief operating officer for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a press statement, the company says, “Kramer is a media veteran who has been withkramerweezie Entercom since 2000, most recently serving as station group president.  In this role, she spearheaded the company’s reinvention efforts, focusing on enhancing the company’s future growth and directly overseeing several of the company’s markets.  Ms. Kramer is a member of Entercom’s operating committee and, since 2013, has served as chairperson.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Weezie is an enormously talented and effective leader who has made a huge impact on our organization since she joined Entercom in 2000.  Like so many great leaders, she is totally and selflessly committed to her team’s success, bringing levydavidher vast energy, intelligence, creativity, and high standards to our entire organization.  I am thrilled to see her continue to rise to the highest levels of our company.”  Also, the company reports that David Levy is named to the board of directors.  Levy has served as president of Turner Broadcasting System since 2013.   In this role he oversees all creative and business activities of the Turner signature entertainment networks —TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim — and their digital brand extensions, as well as Turner Sports.

wmal logoCumulus Has a Buyer for WMAL, Washington Transmitter Site.  According to Bethesda Magazine, Cumulus Media has a deal with two prominent area home builders who will turn the Bethesda, Maryland site of WMAL-AM, Washington’s transmitter into a 76-acre housing development.  Winchester Homes and Toll Brothers are reported as the buyer but no sale price has been announced yet.  According to real estate firm CBRE, the land could hold up to 300 homes on quarter-acre lots in accordance with current zoning regulations.  Cumulus will relocate the WMAL-AM transmitter.

younglarry and cohostsRadio One Revamps WOLB, Baltimore’s Larry Young Show.  The urban morning drive talk show lead by radio personality Larry Young is now being simulcast on Radio One’s translator W291BA at 106.1 FM.  That signal airs Christian music and is branded “PRAISE 106.1.”  Joining Young (center) and co-host Coach (left) is former WWIN, Baltimore “Magic 95.9” midday personality Tim Watts (right).  The station says, “We’re combining the best of the Praise format with the information, entertainment and ‘ground level’ interaction that our listeners already expect from Larry’s show.  For additional color, we’ve welcomed Tim Watts back to be part of this daily roundtable of all things Baltimore and our community.”

gordonmaryGordon Named Sales Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa. The appointment of Mary Gordon as sales manager for iHeartMedia‘s Tampa cluster takes effect in four weeks (6/1). Senior vice president of sales Fernando Bauermeister comments that, “Mary’s experience of leading successful teams made her a natural choice for the position. We are excited to have Mary join our staff and we look forward to her helping our clients grow their business.” Gordon states, “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to join the team of talented professionals at iHeartMedia Tampa. I look forward to utilizing the amazing assets that iHeartMedia has in its arsenal to find solutions to the key marketing objectives in the west Florida region.” Gordon’s background includes a stint in sports marketing for IMG (International Management Group), as well as being general sales manager – and later director of sales – for Cumulus Media Atlanta’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” and WYAY. The eight-station iHM Tampa cluster includes: urban contemporary WBTP “The Beat”; WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio”; talk WFLA; CHR WFLZ “The Hit Music Channel”; country WFUS “US-103.5”; talk WHNZ “Impact Radio”; hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7”; and WXTB “98 Rock.”

hoyttomHoyt Heads to Louisville as Salem Media Group GM. Founder-president of Missouri-based AdAbilities Tom Hoyt – is named general manager of Salem Media Group Louisville talk outlet WGTK “The Answer” and WFIA “The Spirit – Christian Talk & Praise.” Salem vice president of operations Mike Moran notes, “We were looking for a general manager with a combination of strong leadership skills, management experience, and a proven sales orientation. I believe with Tom we found a man who delivers on all those fronts and brings the additional benefit of knowing and loving the city of Louisville.” Hoyt comments, “I cannot imagine a more ideal opportunity than this position with Salem Media Group in Louisville. The stations are heritage properties with a veteran staff. I am thankful that Mike has selected me and I am looking forward to building on the success the team has established.” Hoyt – who succeeds Tim Hartlage at the Louisville talk combo – previously worked in the market for Cox Media Group; was vice president and chief sales officer for CommunityLink Publications; general sales manager of Emmis St. Louis; and director of sales for Barnstable Broadcasting‘s stations in Greenville, South Carolina. Hartlage continues working for Salem, focusing on local ministry.

sagaSaga Communications Q1 Revenue Down 1.2%; Radio Division Dips 2.6%.  For the first quarter of 2015, Saga Communications is reporting net revenue decreased 1.2% on income of $29.1 million.  Revenue for the radio segment was $24, 276,000 – a decline of 2.6% compared to the same period a year ago (the TV segment was up).  Other data reported included free cash flow up 5.2% to $3.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $3.4 million for the same period last year.  Station operating expense decreased 0.8% to $22.8 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) compared to $23.0 million for the same period last year.  Operating income was $3.8 million.  Net income for the period was $2.1 million ($0.36 per fully diluted share).

Odds & Sods.  Philadelphia news/talker WPHT will play a role in the local appearance of Kentucky Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul.  After his press conference at the People’s Plaza on Independence Mall onwpht logo Monday, May 18, the senator will make a special appearance at the Independence Seaport Concert Hall for a discussion focused on his book, Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.  WPHT host Dom Giordano will moderate…..Longtime WGN, rosenbergmiltChicago radio host and current WCGO, Chicago personality Milt Rosenberg was recently honored by the City of Chicago for among other things, “bringing the world of ideas to millions of listeners, combining a scholar’s understanding of the humanities broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Prophet Drawing Contest’ Shooting, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Baltimore Aftermath, and California Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4).  The influx of new candidates for president in 2016 including independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee; the aftermath of the weekend’s shooting of two purported ISIS followers at a “prophet drawing contest” in Garland, Texas; Bill Clinton’s dismissal of criticism of the Clinton Family Foundation finances; the civil and political situation in Baltimore and questions about how Freddie Gray died; and the worsening drought in California and the battle over water policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

deneme