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Friday, April 23, 2021

| April 23, 2021

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “The Air That We Breathe,” looks back at this past week of April 19-23. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Larry Elder, talk show host, Salem Radio NetworkJoe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioJoan Michelson, talk show host / producer, Green Connections Radio; and Holland Cooke, media consultant / talk show host, RT America.  The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast 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.

KMOX, St. Louis Unveils New Live and Local Midday Show. Legendary St. Louis news/talk outlet KMOX-AM/K254CR goes local in the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm daypart. Audacy’s “News Radio 1120AM / 98.7FM” will debut “St. Louis Talks” featuring KMOX personalities Carol Daniel, evening talk show host Ryan Wrecker, and longtime St. Louis radio personality Bo Matthews on May 3. Audacy St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan comments, “Now is the time to expand our local content offering for the people of St. Louis, and we are thrilled to have three established, well known and trusted St. Louis voices to help usher in this new era for our station. We look forward to Carol, Ryan, and Bo working in tandem with the KMOX newsroom to report and react on local, regional and national topics that affect our community as we continue building on our position as the voice of St. Louis.” Daniel says, “This is a dream come true for me to host a show on a historic radio station with talented, funny, and curious people like Bo and Ryan. My goal is to bring listeners stories about the people, places and things in the region we all love but want so much more out of.” Wrecker states, “This is our chance to do something new and exciting through one of the most significant radio stations in America. I can’t wait to work alongside Carol and Bo.” Matthews, who’s been serving with the station part-time since 2019, adds, “Getting the opportunity to share the stories of St. Louis and hear about the people that make it the special place that it is will be an honor. To get to do that with Carol and Ryan makes it even better. This is proof that you can dream big, but God dreams even bigger and makes them come true.”

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s March 2021 sweep covered March 4 – 31. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Although it drops 1.1 shares, Waterloo Media’s KLBJ-AM, Austin remains ranked #4 in the market with a 5.1 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share). Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis is steady at #3 losing a full share and posting a 7.2 share. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s WISN-AM declines 1.4 shares to finish the March survey with an 8.4 share and falls from #1 to #2 while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown WTMJ-AM sheds four-tenths and wraps the survey with a 5.6 share and stays in the #5 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets – along with his Takeaways from the first three rounds – here.

Midwest Communications’ WMBD, Peoria Makes Programming Changes. Peoria, Illinois news/talk WMBD-AM/W262BY is making changes to its program schedule. Effective May 3, the Peoria-based, Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, Van Camp and Robbins” show – hosted by Jamie Markley, David Van Camp, and Scott Robbins – moves to the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot formerly occupied by Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and former “Markley, Van Camp and Robbins” producer Craig Collins returns to the station to host the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. Additionally, WMBD is adding Radio America’s “The Dana Show” starring Dana Loesch in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart. About the changes, Midwest Communications Peoria VP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Trying to replace Rush Limbaugh with a similar type program is a really tall order. The approach of ‘Markley, Van Camp and Robbins’ is differentiated from Rush and we can clearly point to their very successful ratings track record.” He also addresses Collins’ new role in afternoons. “Craig was the natural choice for us there. Craig is passionate, he’s already a part of the community, and because he was part of our group in the past, we know how he can contribute to the culture and success of our entire operation.”

Salem and Charlie Kirk Renew Podcast Deal. The deal between Salem Radio Network and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk in which SRN distributes and handles ad sales for “The Charlie Kirk Show” podcast is extended for multiple years. SRN says “The Charlie Kirk Show” podcast has become one of the top 10 news podcasts in the country on the Apple Podcast rankings amongst nearly 1.7 million podcasts on the platform. Salem first began selling ‘The Charlie Kirk Show’ podcast in November and now will sell and manage the program through the Salem Podcast Network for years to come. Kirk says, “I am thrilled and excited to extend our relationship with Salem. Salem has become a giant in conservative media and is the perfect partner for our team.” Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce adds, “Charlie’s radio show is already doing a great job filling the void in the 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET daypart. This podcast already delivered over 100,000,000 downloads in the last 12 months, and is valiantly fighting the culture war that we face in conservatism.”

WKNR-AM, Cleveland Welcomes Back Danny Cunningham. Sports media pro Danny Cunningham is rejoining Good Karma Brands’ WKNR-AM, Cleveland “850 ESPN” as a content teammate in which he’ll handle producing, writing, hosting, reporting and social media duties. Cunningham comes to WKNR from his most recent position as Minnesota Timberwolves reporter and “Vikings Vent Line” co-host at Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM, Minneapolis “SKOR North.” After launching his career at WKNR in 2015, he served with Mid-West Family’s sports talk WOZN, Madison, Wisconsin. ESPN Cleveland director of content Matt Fishman says, “We’re thrilled to add someone of his skill and experience to the team.”

Roy Masters Dies at 93. According to a Facebook post from his son Alan Taylor, Roy Masters a pioneer in the self-help talk radio genre died yesterday (4/22) at the age of 93. Alan Taylor posted, in part: “It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father Roy Masters, author, teacher and radio counselor to millions worldwide for nearly six decades. Following a storied American tradition, Roy was an immigrant who fell in love with this country from afar. Looking across the ocean from war-torn Britain, he was determined to make the ‘land of liberty’ his home. Since 1963 Roy Masters has been a radio counselor and for more than 50 years, the foundation he created has served and has continued to serve seekers worldwide on their journey to the eternal Truth that seeks us all.” Roy Masters was also the founder, along with now-retired radio executive Alan Corbeth, of Talk Radio Network which syndicated Roy Masters’ radio show for a period, and launched the syndication of Art Bell’s “Coast to Coast AM” as well as Michael Savage’s “Savage Nation. ” Masters’ son Mark Masters served as CEO of the company for many years.

Derek Chauvin Verdict and Race Relations Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 19-23. The trial and verdict in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between police reform and the Columbus, Ohio police shooting death of knife wielding teen Ma’Khia Bryant and Lebron James’ threatening tweet, followed by mass shootings in America and gun control at #3. 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.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

| April 21, 2021

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2021 survey period covered March 4 – 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets and he reports that in the Washington, DC market Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM loses 2.1 shares from the February to March surveys and finishes with a 3.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) dropping from the #4 rank to #9, while Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #2, although it shed nine-tenths for a 9.0 share finish. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO stays in the #8 rank while posting a 4.4 share, a decline of eight-tenths while sister all-news WBZ-AM slips 1.1 shares to a 6.4 share and slides from the #1 rank to #4. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle remains ranked #1 even though it lost nine-tenths and wrapped the survey with a 6.4 share. And Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle lost just two-tenths and stayed in the #5 spot with a 5.0 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (and yesterday’s group of 12) here.

Tweet by KFAB, Omaha Talk Host Chris Baker Draws Criticism; Station ‘Reviewing it Internally.’ According to a story published by the Omaha World-Herald, KFAB-AM afternoon drive talk host Chris Baker is being criticized for posting an image of a small group of Black natives in loincloths and brandishing spears with the caption, “Guilty!” immediately following the verdict against Derek Chauvin. Although the tweet was removed, it was screen captured and iHeartMedia management was made aware of it. iHeartMedia area president C. Taylor Walet III, told the paper the situation is under review by the company. He stated, “We are aware of the completely inappropriate tweet that was posted late Tuesday afternoon. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values. We take this situation very seriously and are reviewing it internally in order to take appropriate action.”

Markley, Van Camp & Robbins Approach 100 Affiliate Stations Threshold. The Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, Van Camp & Robbins” talk radio program is rapidly approaching the 100-affiliate station mark after adding some two dozen new affiliates including 17 live clears. The program – co-hosted by Jamie Markley, David Van Camp, and Scott Robbins – was recently added to stations in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot at stations such as: WLAD-AM, Danbury, Connecticut; KPNW-AM, Eugene, Oregon; KJNO-AM, Juneau, Alaska; KMED-AM, Medford, Oregon; WMBD-AM, Peoria, Illinois; WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw, Michigan; and more. WSGW-AM/FM operations manager Dave Maurer comments, “The live ‘Markley, Van Camp and Robbins’ show is making a positive contribution to the programming of 100.5 & 790 Newsradio WSGW! The guys get on the hot topics of the day, but they also know when to take the off ramp and add some entertaining elements to the show. I’m confident they are bringing us a broader audience including younger listeners and more women.” Alpha Media EVP of content Phil Becker adds, “‘Markley, van Camp and Robbins’ have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor. This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”

WFAS-AM to Broadcast with All-Digital Signal. White Plains, New York talk station WFAS-AM receives permission from the FCC to broadcasting its signal in a digital format and eliminate the analog broadcast format. The Cumulus Media station posted the following on its website: “In October 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a new rule allowing AM radio stations to operate using all-digital broadcast signals. 1230 WFAS-AM, licensed to White Plains, New York, has notified the FCC of its intention to switch from its current analog operation to all digital beginning on May 24th, 2021. Once WFAS has switched to an all-digital operation, only radios equipped with HD radio technology will be able to receive and play the station programming. WFAS will no longer be available on analog-only AM radios. Broadcasting in digital will eliminate annoying static and interference, improve the sound quality to equal FM radio and streaming and extend the range for clear reception.”

Political Voices Network and Counterpoint Partner to Provide Multi-Platform Home for Political Humor. A new partnership between Political Voices Network – an audio-and-video destination for political talk from popular hosts such as Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmannand Counterpoint – a source for the latest political humor from top opinion cartoonists such as Pulitzer recipients Nick Anderson, Darrin Bell, Michael Ramirez as well as the Washington Post’s Michael de Adder – are joining forces to provide news junkies a twice-weekly side order of cartoon humor alongside their political-talk diets. Cartoons will be presented every Tuesday and Thursday with text-based commentary from the artists. New York- and Los Angeles-based Crossover Media Group Sales handles advertising and sponsorship sales for Political Voices Network. Political Voices Network co-founder Ron Hartenbaum says, “One of the most enduring and popular aspects of political opinion and commentary has been that great and especially American tradition of the political cartoon. The combined objective for Counterpoint and Political Voices Network is to expand both the audience for this top-flight creative content and fan sponsorship and support of this format. Thanks to this alliance we’ll be able to entertain fans with a service that blends seamlessly with our existing multiplatform offerings in a convenient destination for multi-format viewpoints on the day’s news.”

Three Award-Winning Content Creators Join New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announces the appointment of award-winning global storytellers Jennie Caltaldo, Helen Shaw, and Carole Zimmer to the Radio Awards Advisory Board. The 13-member Advisory Council provides NYF’s Radio Awards competition with ongoing knowledge of emerging trends and critical industry insights. Jennie Cataldo is an award-winning radio and podcast producer who serves as vice president of programming at BMP Audio in San Francisco. Helen Shaw is an award-winning producer/director who runs digital and broadcast storytelling agency Athena Media in Ireland. Carole Zimmer, reporter-at-large, is the host of the podcast “Now What?” about big life decisions, transitions and how you navigate all those curves in the road. The three also serve on the 2021 Radio Awards Grand Jury. This year is the eleventh year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show and all convention attendees will have access to the multi-day NAB event which is the world’s largest media entertainment marketplace and takes place in October 2021. The deadline to enter the 2021 Radio Awards competition is May 20. Find information about entering the competition here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Independent Broadcasters Association, Feeding America, and 375 radio stations partnered to hold the 2nd annual “Radio Cares – Feeding America Radiothon” on April 14 that raised $40,000 to provide 400,000 meals for individuals and families facing hunger in America. IBA president and Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone comments, “Hunger in America escalated because of the pandemic and there are families still struggling to put food on the table. I’m very proud of the stations that participated again. The work that Benztown, McVay Media, and Vipology put into this effort is unmatched – they truly define the word volunteerism!”…..The impactful mentoring message of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America will be highlighted on more than 850 live broadcast radio stations as the result of  a new partnership between the organization and iHeartMedia. iHM selected BBBSA for its Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program, the goal of which is to provide a platform for organizations to inspire, educate, and empower listeners to take a stand against systemic racism and promote social justice. Yesterday (4/20), a series of PSAs featuring voices of current youth (called “Littles”) began airing on iHeartRadio stations and the iHeartRadio app focusing on the need for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors, and most especially Black men. The campaign runs through the end of the year…..The USA Radio Network-syndicated “Dan Sileo Radio Show” sports talk program is added to the lineup at KXEG-AM, Phoenix.

Delmarva Radio Personality Wayne Cannon Dies at 72. Longtime Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland music radio personality and talk show host Wayne Cannon died on Monday (4/19) at the age of 72 after a battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. After a stint in the Army, Cannon got his start in the early 70s at WETT-Ocean City, Maryland. He moved to WWTR, Bethany Beach, Delaware, then WSEA-AM, Georgetown, Delaware before returning to WETT. He joined WGMD, Rehoboth Beach in 1993 and served there for 20 years but continued to make contributions for another seven years.

Chauvin Guilty Verdict, COVID-19, Border Crisis/Immigration Policy, and EU Climate Deal/U.S. Climate Summit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). The guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the exploding rate of COVID cases in several countries and the rollout of vaccines in the U.S.; Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s deploying of National Guard troops to the Mexican border to respond to the migrant crisis and the Joe Biden administration’s immigration policy; and the EU agrees to a climate deal ahead of Biden’s Thursday climate summit that will include China’s Xi Jinping were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Pens Lyrics to Animal Welfare Anthem – Appears on New Gunhill Road Album and Video. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has been an outspoken supporter of the animal welfare movement for most of his adult life. Now he has the opportunity to express his views on the subject through his lyrics and performance of a song titled, “I Know You’re Real,” on the latest album by the historic group, Gunhill Road, that has roots going back to the golden age of album rock. The album is titled, What Year Is This! and it was produced by the band with remote technology during the pandemic year of 2020. In the process, Harrison has become an official member as a vocalist and songwriter of the long-lived band that has been in existence since 1969. Harrison tells TALKERS, “I go all the way back to 1971 with this great NYC-based ensemble when I played them every day on my morning show on WNEW-FM. They had two albums in that era that received critical praise and lots of airplay on FM album rock stations. They also had a hit single on top 40 radio – ‘Back When My Hair Was Short’ – in the early 70s. They had the reputation in those days as being the ‘best opening act’ in the NYC album rock club scene and appeared on the bill with some of the biggest names in music at such historic venues as the Bitter End.” Since then, the members of the group kept its spirit (and fan base) alive by continuing to record, release new material and play occasional concerts. Their longevity was the subject of a documentary feature film about the group that made a splash on the film festival circuit and was carried on Amazon Prime. Although the founding members eventually went in different directions (and successful careers) in their private lives, they kept the spirit of Gunhill Road alive through the decades by remaining very close friends and appearing sporadically at special events and charity concerts. The lyrics of the song “I Know You’re Real,” written by Harrison and performed by him in a spoken-word presentation on the new album and video, take an emotionally uplifting view of the connection between humans, animals, and the entire universe. There are two versions of the song on the album and video. The other features band member Brian Koonin singing the lyrics. Both versions have been posted to YouTube. The version spoken by Harrison can be viewed below

Harrison says, “The song is a spiritually uplifting tribute to animal welfare… which has long been one of my main interests and guiding themes of my life. If you have love and respect for all of Earth’s sentient creatures, please take a look and listen to the song and share the link with friends who might enjoy and appreciate them as well.” Harrison is available to appear as a guest on talk media shows to discuss the subject of animal welfare (not to be confused with animal rights) as well as what it was like to record with a band via Zoom during the pandemic. To book Michael Harrison on a talk show please call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS, 413-565-5413. To read a feature story about Gunhill Road and this experience written by Harrison, please click here.

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, May 31, 2019

| May 31, 2019

SRN Places Full Lineup on KJJC, Salt Lake City. On Monday (6/3), KJJC Media Group is debuting the market’s new talk outlet, “The Place 1230 AM, KJJC, Common Sense Talk Radio.”  The lineup will include Salem Radio Network programs including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, and others.  The station’s brand – The Place – is a reference to Mormon leader Brigham Young’s comment he made upon settling in the region.  KJJC Media CEO Roger Lonnquist says, “There’s probably never been a time in our country’s history when the need for relevant talk radio programming has been so significant.  KJJC Media Group recognized the opportunity for serving listeners with high-quality programming that is not only entertaining, but also reflects the values of our communities in the greater Salt Lake region.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word formats Phil Boyce says, “Salt Lake City is home to the smartest and most engaged listeners to be found anywhere.  Our hosts look forward to engaging with the Salt Lake radio listeners on the issues that have an impact on all of us.”  Lonnquist says he plans to add an FM simulcast to the station’s signal by the end of summer.

FOX News Radio Names ‘Guy Benson Show’ Afternoon Program. The new “Guy Benson Show” replaces the “Tom Shillue Show” in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart on the FOX News Radio network, effective Monday (6/3).  Shillue remains host of “Quiz Show” (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on the subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation).  Benson previously hosted the “Benson & Harf” show with former FOX News contributor Marie Harf.  She left the company to take a position with the presidential campaign of Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA).  The “Guy Benson Show” is based out of FOX’s Washington, D.C. operations.  Benson, who joined FOX in 2013 as a contributor, also serves as the political editor of Townhall.com.  Throughout his career, he has served as a Media Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks Double Down on ‘Markley, van Camp & Robbins’ Show.  With the original co-host back on the show and a new, multi-year extension of the partnership for programming and syndication signed, Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks are moving full-steam ahead with the newly rebranded “Markley, van Camp & Robbins Show.”  Based at Midwest Communications’ WMBD, Peoria and heard on more than 50 affiliate stations, the show features Jamie Markley, David van Camp, and Scott Robbins.  Robbins was Markley’s original partner but a massive heart attack in 2015 forced him off the air.  He recently returned to the show as a contributor and is now a full-time member of the show.  Alpha and Compass say the addition of Scott Robbins accentuates the show’s focus on addressing topics from the perspective of a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer, and a Millennial by having a host from each generation.  Alpha EVP of content Phil Becker says, “Markley, van Camp and Robbins have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor.  This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”  The show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

Davis Media Expands ‘All-News 102’ on WBKQ-FM. In Eastern Virginia, Davis Media is dropping the classical music format on WBKQ-FM, West Point (southeast of Richmond) and will add it to the group of signals airing the “All-News 102” format.  That brand is based at WXTG-AM/FM (1490 AM and 102.1 FM), Portsmouth and is also heard on W270DA at 101.9 in Hampton.  Davis Media says, “The new format will be the historic district’s only all-news radio station powered by 10 journalists in the Southside, Hampton-Newport News region and Williamsburg.”  The multi-media company publishes local print brands Southside Daily, Hampton Newport News Daily, and Williamsburg Yorktown Daily.  It also has a content-sharing partnership with WVEC-TV, Hampton “13NewsNow.” Dee Patel, a former 10-year KYW, Philadelphia news director, serves as general manager and news director for “All-News 102.”

Four More to Enter WGN ‘Walk of Fame.’ The sixth class of inductees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame has been announced and “includes four native Chicagoans, two of whom are present-day voices, one who hosted a show for 60 consecutive years, and a behind-the-scenes staff member with 52 years of service to the station.”  The honorees are: Andrea Darlas, longtime WGN news director and now senior director of constituent engagement at the University of Illinois; 22-year WGN air personality and current midday host John Williams; “Tenpin Tattler” Sam Weinstein who hosted a bowling feature on the station for almost 30 years; and Marlene Wells, a member of the station’s marketing and sales team for more than 50 years.  See more about the inductees here.

Alexander Hamilton Descendant to Speak at Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation Event. At this year’s annual event presented by the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, Douglas Hamilton, the fifth-generation great grandson of Alexander Hamilton, will speak to attendees.  The Bold Gold Foundation’s 5th Annual Event – being held on June 12 in Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom – will celebrate the life of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the founding of America, which, in addition to remarks by Douglas Hamilton, will include a special keynote address by Dr. Stephen Knott.  Dr. Knott is a national security affairs professor at the Naval War College and is one of the nation’s leading scholars on Alexander Hamilton.  He’s also author of the best-selling book, Washington & Hamilton:  The Alliance That Forged America.  Attendees of this very unique event will receive a signed copy of Dr. Knott’s book and have an opportunity to take photos with Dr. Knott and Douglas Hamilton.  The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation assists students in preparing for careers in broadcasting and media and proceeds from this event directly support those efforts.  The organization was founded by Bold Gold Media president/CEO Vince Benedetto, who will be one of 67 industry speakers participating in a power-packed agenda at the sold out 22nd annual TALKERS convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story– next Friday, June 7 in New York City.   He will also be this year’s recipient of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  For details about the convention, please click here.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” 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 (May 27-31) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Mueller Speaks!”) features a lineup of guests that includes syndicated talk show hosts Howie Carr and Thom Hartmann along with Los Angeles Times columnist/podcaster and KPCC, Los Angeles host Patt Morrison; WFAN, New York host Richard NeerDC Radio Company executive director Victoria JonesTALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey and TalkersRadio general manager/Caldwell University, NJ professor David Bernstein.  The non-partisan program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It has just been picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm. According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, it is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this program 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.  iHeart picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and number of stations have inquired about its availability.  For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety here.

WABC’s Joan Hamburg Hosts Pre-Tony Luncheon.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Joan Hamburg (center) during her annual Pre-Tony luncheon at Arno Ristorante in New York with actor Santino Fontana (left) and Lilli Cooper (right), both nominated for Tony Awards for their roles in “Tootsie.”  The sold-out audience witnessed appearances by Broadway stars including: Jeff Daniels, Tony Award-winning actor and Tony nominee this year for his role as Atticus Finch in the smash Broadway play, “To Kill A Mockingbird”; “King Lear” actress Glenda Jackson, who won the Tony last year for Best Actress in a Play for her work in “Three Tall Women”; Damon Daunno, Tony nominee for his work in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma”; and Susie Essman of television’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  Highlights of the show will air on 77 WABC in two parts – on Saturday (6/1) and Saturday (6/8) at 1:00 pm.    Part 1 will air this Saturday, June 1st, at 1:00 pm, while Part 2 will air the following Saturday, June 8th at 1:00 pm. The 2019 Tony Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, June 9th, at 8:00 pm ET, from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Joan Hamburg’s Pre-Tony luncheon is a must-attend for Tony nominees.  The event is yet another example of the respect Joan has throughout New York’s theater community.  We are fortunate to bring the best of Broadway to 77 WABC and our listeners.”

‘SVP & Russillo’ Returns in Podcast Format. For six years, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo co-hosted the “SVP & Russillo” show on the ESPN Radio Network.  That show ended in 2015, but now ESPN is putting the two back together for a one-hour podcast on its digital platform.  The first program debuts on June 3.  After three monthly editions, in September the show will become bi-weekly. Van Pelt says, “We just figured, if we are going to talk on the phone for 45 minutes, we might as well record it and make it a podcast.  We enjoyed our time together on radio and it’s amazing the loyalty and appetite our listeners still have for us.  I couldn’t be more fired up.”  Russillo adds, “It’s been a few years since we stopped doing the show and I’ve always been amazed how many times people come up to me and say how much they still miss it.  It was a daily part of people’s lives.  Even people at ESPN who have different roles and positions today say how much they loved the show.  We both knew we would do something again.  I’m just happy it’s still with ESPN.”

Robert Mueller’s Justice Department Statements Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 27-31.  Special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference at the Justice Department in which he declined to say the president had not attempted to obstruct justice was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the intensification of impeachment talks among Democrats.  Coming in at #3 was the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China over trade issues, followed by the new anti-abortion laws being passed in several states 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.

Edison Research Analyzes Social Media Use; What’s Up (or Down) with Facebook? Using data from its national telephone survey from the 2019 Infinite Dial study, its own national online survey, and its own in-person, in-depth interview survey, Edison Research presents “The Social Habit 2019” study.  Edison concludes that in the big picture, “there are now approximately 223 million social media users age 12+ in the U.S., and their original social media platform of choice, Facebook, is losing ground among users of all ages, for various reasons.”  Facebook reportedly has 15 million less users in the U.S. in 2019 than it did in 2017.  Edison SVP Tom Webster says, “Not only have millions of Americans stopped using Facebook entirely, nearly a third of Facebook users tell us they are using the service less.  While Facebook remains the leading social media brand in America, it is being wounded on multiple fronts, as every demographic has their own reasons for spending less time there.”  Some of the other findings are: 1) The “core users” of the different social media brands, (those who use that one ‘most often’) have different demographic profiles; 2) Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter have the highest composition of U.S. users age 12-34.  Facebook and Pinterest have the highest composition of U.S. users age 55+; 3) In qualitative interviews, Edison Research spoke with social media users age 18-29 who report using Facebook less recently or have stopped altogether.  Those users describe some of the reasons they are using Facebook less, including avoiding family members on Facebook, experiencing discomfort with some of the “attention-seeking” they see on social media, and gravitating to other, more photo-heavy platforms. Paradoxically, though, the same users articulate FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, as they scan social media platforms, and feel compelled to participate in social media.  See more here.

Legendary Music Radio Programmer John Sebastian Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He was one of the most prolific music radio PDs of the 70s, 80s and 90s – programming small-, medium- and large-market stations in the genres of top 40, AOR (album-oriented rock), classic rock, smooth jazz, and even country to notable success between Boston and Los Angeles.  Then as the 21st century unfolded, he did some consulting and eventually went on to a viable career as a voice actor.  But the itch to get back into music radio has prompted John Sebastian to go back to the drawing board and scratch out a brand-new music radio format targeting a familiar old segment of the population – the underserved 55-72 baby boomer demographic.  He calls it “The Wow Factor” and he’s out there talking it up to everyone and anyone who owns an FM stick.  Of course, today’s conventional wisdom in commercial radio is to follow the advertising agency money which is clearly aimed at the younger demos.  But Sebastian says it is foolish to leave all the revenue on the table that can be generated by serving the baby boomer demo which remains active, affluent, and grew up listening to radio.  Sebastian is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This podcast is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio history and would be fascinated by a deep-dive analysis of the modern-day industry’s frustrating logic of underserved demographics.  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 and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pictured in the photo at right is Big Al Mack from the YEA Networks nationally syndicated morning radio program, “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” (center) with country star Blake Shelton (left) and Gwen Stefani (right).  Big Al was asked if he’d introduce Blake at the Memorial Day weekend Grand Opening of Shelton’s new live music venue, The Doghouse at Ole Red, in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.  Shelton told Big Al the reason he asked him was because, “Every time I look on Twitter, you’re always saying something nice about me!”  Proceeds of more than $145,000 from the ticket sales went to benefit the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation…..In the photo below, Westwood One syndicated personality Blair Garner, host of “The Blair Garner Show,” poses at the private Center Point Road listening party for Thomas Rhett fans who won their way in to the special event at Cumulus Nashville’s country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” last week.  Listeners got to hear Rhett’s new album before its release and hear him speak about his life and career.  From left to right are: Valory Music’s Ashley Sidoti, Chris Palmer, Rhett, Garner, WKDF PD John Shomby, Tyler Reese, and Kelley Brock.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

| May 21, 2019

ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

WGN, Chicago Names Mary Sandberg Boyle Director of News and Operations. In Chicago, Tribune Broadcasting is promoting Mary Sandberg Boyle – executive producer of the Steve Cochran morning show – to the position of director of news and operations.  Sandberg Boyle assumes the role left open when Stephanie Tichenor jumped across the street to take on the program director position at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM.  Sandberg Boyle began her service with WGN Radio in 2015 and helped to launch the station’s weekday morning business show, “The Opening Bell.”  WGN-AM station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley says, “Mary brings us years of success managing high profile talent and a fresh vision for the next generation of WGN Radio.”

KTSA, San Antonio to Tweak Lineup.  The talk show lineup at Alpha Media’s news/talk KTSA, San Antonio changes, effective June 17.  Trey Ware remains in morning drive from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and will be joined by current KTSA air personality Sean Rima from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Rima then goes solo from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. New to the lineup is the “Markley and Van Camp” program (featuring Jamie Markley and David Van Camp) for the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Dave Ramsey remains from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and longtime midday personality Jack Riccardi moves to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  Check out the station’s promotional video here.

Nielsen Audio Podcast Investigates Neuroscience and Radio Ads. In a two-part podcast titled, “Your Brain on Audio,” the Nielsen Audio Podcast features communications professor Dr. Rob Potter from Indiana University to share his findings from a career spent researching how the brain responds to sound, and what it takes to capture listener attention and create memorable commercials.  Nielsen Audio says, “The first step in that process is understanding how the brain works and how it’s evolved to process information.  This knowledge is important all along the marketing cycle, particularly in today’s cluttered media world.  There are distinct differences between automatic attention and controlled attention when it comes to our physiology, and different tools radio producers can use to trigger those parts of our brain.  Everything from the music bed in a commercial to the pitch and number of voices used affects how consumers pay attention to a particular message.  Then, once attention has been captured, creative shoulders the important task of imprinting the message into memory networks.  One simple way to affect memory is to play on emotion using words or music, and the cutting edge of neuroscience marketing research is exploring the specific ties between music and emotion for use as a tool in making better ads.”  Check out the first podcast here.

WSB, Atlanta Presents Video Documentary of the Jamie Dupree Story. Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the story of WSB, Atlanta-based Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree’s battle with tongue protrusion dystonia that’s left him unable to speak.  Now, the station is featuring a video documentary telling Dupree’s story on its website.  Titled, “Voice of Reason,” the program details Dupree’s story and reveals how Cox Media Group identified a new, pioneering approach to return Dupree’s voice to radio.  CMG worked with Edinburgh-based speech synthesis firm CereProc. It sent hours of his archived radio reports to Scotland where engineers and audio specialists digitized and recreated his voice so that Dupree can write a script for a report that is converted into an audio file that sounds nearly identical to his natural voice.  Dupree says, “My health is fine, but my voice is not – and I honestly don’t know if I will ever speak normally again.  I’ll be forever grateful to my WSB and CMG family for getting me back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0.”  See the video, directed by WSB Radio videographer Jesse Brooks and produced by Cox Media Group digital content manager Zac Morgan, here.

Glenn Johnson Named OM for Cumulus Pensacola. The five-station Cumulus Media cluster in Pensacola has a new operations manager.  Glenn Johnson moves from the company’s NASH studios in Nashville where he was executive producer for “The Ty Bentli Show” to serve with the cluster that includes news/talk WCOA-AM and four music brands.  Cumulus Media regional VP Pete DeSimone says, “This is a win-win – a homecoming for Glenn and an opportunity to retain a very talented broadcaster.  We are extremely excited to have him leading the Pensacola programming team.”

Guaranty Media Brings Elliott Aboard as OM for Baton Rouge Stations. Programming pro Chris Elliott joins Guaranty Media in Baton Rouge as operations manager for the cluster that includes: news/talk WBRP-FM “Talk 107.3,” sports talk duo WNXX-FM/KNXX-FM “ESPN Baton Rouge,” and two music-formatted stations.  Elliott comes to Baton Rouge from his most recent position as brand manager for Manning Media’s hot AC WAFY, Frederick, Maryland.  Guaranty president and CEO Flynn Foster says, “Because great radio should reflect the ever-demanding needs of a local market, we are happy to announce the installment of our new OM to help us meet these demands.  Chris will be a powerful addition to our team.  He will lead our five stations, enhance our existing programming, develop new local talent, and expand our digital platforms. We are very excited to have Chris join us.”

Digital Talk Brand MoJo 5-0 to Support Veterans Causes. Digital talk radio station MoJo 5-0 – a new station focusing on conservative and libertarian content – is involved in two Memorial Day programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to assist veterans.  MoJo 5-0 was founded by late talk radio host Doc Thompson, who had a passion for veterans’ causes.  First, Matt Locke, host of the “Conservative Cartel” on MoJo 5-0, will broadcast live from the Warrior Tent on the 16th hole of Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge.  There he’ll interview numerous veterans to help bring attention to non-profits that benefit them.  Second, the 2019 Memorial Day Celebrity Softball Classic, benefitting CarryTheLoad.org, will be held on Saturday (5/25) at Airhogs Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas. MoJo 5-0 hosts Matt Locke and Rocci Stucci are scheduled to play alongside professional athletes, musicians, celebrities, and military heroes.  Locke says, “The Dallas-Ft. Worth area is a huge part of what we are at MoJo 5-0, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to give back via both of these events.  We’ve been very vocal about honoring our military heroes and continuing the legacy that Doc Thompson established, and we’re thrilled to support these non-profits that play a vital role in veterans’ causes.”   MoJo 5-0 was developed, launched, and is managed by Cuddle Me Buff, LLC, a partnership of broadcasting experts encompassing all areas of the production spectrum, from operations to talent, business to sales.  Within six months of launch, MoJo 5-0 went from 0 listeners to 110K unique sessions weekly, and recently celebrated its one millionth download. MoJo 5-0 is distributed by iHeartRadio, and broadcasts from custom studios near Fort Worth, Texas.

iHeartMedia Appoints Kareem Chin to Investor Relations Position. Now that iHeartMedia is listed on the NASDAQ following its exit from Chapter 11 reorganization, it is naming media industry pro Kareem Chin SVP and head of investor relations.  In this position, Chin will manage iHeartMedia’s relationship with the investor community to ensure the company strategy is aligned with the needs of its equity holders.  Chin will work closely with COO and CFO Rich Bressler, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, EVP and general counsel Paul McNicol, and leaders of iHeartMedia’s finance and communications teams, and will oversee the company’s investor conferences, investor meetings, and quarterly earnings releases and financial filings.  He spent the last three years as VP of investor relations for Viacom.

iHeartMedia Boston Appoints Adam Ralston VP of Marketing. Boston marketing pro Adam Ralston is named vice president of marketing for iHeartMedia’s station group there that includes: news/talk WRKO, news/talk WXKS-AM, all-news WBZ-AM, and five music brands.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “Adam’s leadership, programming and sales strategy, event experience, knowledge of the market and long history of success coupled with his strong local relationships stood out and I know he is the perfect fit.  I’m thrilled to have him lead our best-in-class marketing team and contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”

Raiders Games to Air on KYMT-FM, Las Vegas. For the 2019 NFL season, Oakland Raiders’ games will air on iHeartMedia’s classic rock KYMT “93.1 The Mountain.”  Raiders games are produced and distributed by Compass Media Networks.  The play-by-play is being called by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger.  Former All-Pro tackle Lincoln Kennedy is handling color analysis and Chris Townsend serves as sideline reporter.  This is the team’s last season playing in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before it relocates to Las Vegas in 2020.

Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, New Anti-Abortion Laws, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). A federal judge rules President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over documents requested by congress; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; reports Iran has heightened production of enriched uranium as the U.S. warns of possible military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pictured below is CMT personality Cody Alan (second from right) with members of Little Big Town at the second-annual “Live in the Vineyard Goes Country” three-day music and wine festival.  Alan chatted with all of the artists appearing at the festival and interviewed Little Big Town for the syndicated radio show “CMT After MidNite” and “CMT Radio Live” on June 3.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

| March 5, 2019

Talk Host Scott Robbins Profiled in Comeback from Serious Health Issues. The story by Steve Tarter in the Peoria Journal Star is accurately titled “From death’s door to three radio shows a day” as it recounts the scary health odyssey of radio talk host Scott Robbins.  Regular TALKERS readers remember Robbins was co-hosting a successful talk show with Jamie Markley on Alpha Media’s WMBD-AM/W262BY, Peoria in 2015 when a massive heart attack felled him.  Five bypass surgeries later Robbins was on a challenging road to recovery, but he made it and today is back as a cast member on WMBD’s midday “Markley and van Camp” show (with David van Camp), his own sports talk show on Alpha’s WPBG-HD3/W240DM, Peoria and the morning drive show on Great Plains Media’s news/talk WRPW, Bloomington “Cities 92.9.”  Robbins admits his previous lifestyle wasn’t ideal – drinking lots of beer, smoking cigars, and not seeing a doctor for two decades. He says the convalescing was a challenge.  “It’s a dark tunnel.  I know that three years ago I couldn’t walk or talk.  I try to give others (in that situation) some sense of encouragement.”

Lauren Lapka Named Afternoon Traffic Reporter for WGN-AM, Chicago. WGN-AM, Chicago brings news pro and air personality Lauren Lapka aboard to handle traffic reports during the John Williams midday show and the PM drive Roe Conn show with Anna Davlantes.  She’ll also host the “Weekend Warnings” video series on wgnradio.com and cover transportation stories for WGN Radio News.  WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “Having Lauren back in the WGN Radio family is a huge win for afternoon drive.  Her playful intelligence is the perfect complement to Roe & Anna and John Williams.” Lapka previously served with Tribune Media on the short-lived sports station “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In 2015, she transitioned to TV as a news reporter and anchor for KODE-TV and KSNF-TV in Joplin, Missouri.  As Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports in his column, Lapka was working as morning anchor for Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KVAL-TV, Eugene, Oregon when she refused to record the now-infamous promotional video the corporation had crafted that basically accused most other media sources of being “fake news.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Trump Administration official Sebastian Gorka is giving up his contributor role at FOX News Channel in order to focus on his Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated radio show and his work with television operator Sinclair Broadcast Group.   According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gorka stated, “I’m still supporting Sean Hannity and other Fox shows as a free agent as my new schedule permits.”…..iHeartMedia and Skyview Networks agree to terms for the former’s news/talk KOA, Denver to implement Skyview’s AdView live read capture software for Colorado Rockies play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the agreement, all Colorado Rockies Radio Network live advertiser mentions will be cataloged by time, date, and advertiser in a personalized database and scheduled across the entire season.  The data and proof-of-performance provided by the system streamlines the billing process, which will allow KOA to manage and bill live reads alongside standard commercial units.  iHeartMedia Denver VP of sports sales Jeff Johnson says, “We’re excited to enter into this broadcast agreement with Skyview Networks.  The AdView system will allow us to serve our advertisers and partners with the Colorado Rockies better.”…..Tegna’s San Diego news/talk KFMB-AM is presenting a live event for listeners at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts on March 28 called “News, Views and Brews” that will feature the station’s personalities will talk about current events while listeners enjoy a beer or coffee.  Taking part are Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty of the Armstrong & Getty morning show, Mark Larson, Mike Slater, Brett Winterble, and Roger Hedgecock…..New York Public Radio announced COO Depelsha McGruder will become interim CEO, beginning April 1.  She takes on this role after Laura Walker left the CEO post following a 23-year career with the public radio organization.  McGruder joined NYPR in October 2018 after a 17-year career with Viacom.

Four Stations to Leave the Aloha Media Trust for EMF. This deal between the Aloha Media Trust (former Clear Channel stations waiting to be sold off) and religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation gives iHeartMedia ownership of six translators it’s been leasing from EMF in exchange for four full-market FM stations.  EMF will take over WEKL-FM, Augusta, Georgia; WSFF-FM, Roanoke, Virginia; WSNZ-FM, Lynchburg, Virginia; and WLRX-FM, Huntington, West Virginia.  iHeartMedia gets translators W277BF, Shoreview, Minnesota (KQQL-HD2 “ALT 93.3”); W292DH, Pittsburgh (WBGG-AM “ESPN Pittsburgh”); W221CR, Memphis (WREC-AM), K266BD, Carmel Valley, California (KOCN-FM), K253BV, Oklahoma City (KBRU-FM); and W248BQ, Nashville (WNRQ-HD2).

House Trump Investigation, Trump-Russia Probe, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, AOC Campaign Violation Allegation, Deadly Alabama Tornadoes, Luke Perry Dies, and NBA and NCAA Basketball Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The U.S. House begins investigating the operations of the Trump organization; the status of the probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the growing list of Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the allegation of a major campaign finance violation by the chairman of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s election campaign; deadly tornadoes kill 23 in Alabama; actor Luke Perry dies at 52 after suffering a stroke; and NBA and NCAA hoops action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Kris Abrams is appointed FM operations manager for Cumulus Media’s five Albuquerque FM stations and program director for country KRST “NASH FM,” classic country KBZU “NASH Icon,” and adult hits KDRF.  Abrams returns to the Albuquerque market after serving with Cleveland-based Futuri Media since March of 2016.  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “I’m so excited to announce the return of Kris Abrams to ABQ. He has a strong history with and passion for these stations, our company and Albuquerque. We’re looking forward to having Kris’ extensive product knowledge, experience and leadership skills back in our building and at work for our listeners and advertisers.”…..In the Bakersfield market, Alpha Media names Danny Palacios operations manager and program director for CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3.” Palacios adds these responsibilities to his PD role with rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3.”…..On-air personalities Jordan Soto and Michael Mason are the new hosts on Townsquare Media’s country KUAD, Fort Collins/Greeley, Colorado. The “New Country Mornings with Jordan and Michael” launches on Monday (3/11).  Townsquare Fort Collins market president Evan Harrison states, “At Townsquare we are completely focused on entertaining and engaging our local community in Northern Colorado.  Jordan and Michael are the perfect duo to lead this charge on ‘New Country Mornings.’  Jordan lives the new country lifestyle completely and is a Colorado native.  Like so many of us living here, Michael is new to the area and he is so eager to dive in to experience it all.”…..Air personality Jen Lewis is the new midday jock at Max Media’s adult contemporary WVBW, Norfolk, Virginia “92.9 The Wave.”  She takes over for Rusty James, who is giving up is air shift to focus on his vice president of operations and programming role. James says, “I’m so excited to get one of Hampton Roads’ most-loved radio personalities back on the radio at ‘92.9 The Wave.’”…..SiriusXM says that country star Trisha Yearwood is debuting a new, weekly show called “Trisha’s Café” on The Garth Channel.  Yearwood is well known for her home cooking and has published three best-selling cookbooks. She also hosts the EMMY-winning “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” cable TV show.

Friday, October 12, 2018

| October 12, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  More than half (54%) of the sports talk stations on Kinosian’s panel saw their weekly AQH share go up from the August 2018 survey to the September 2018 survey, led by Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone,” which enjoyed a 1.4 share increase.  Comparing September 2017 to September 2018, some 55% of sports talkers improved.  Interestingly, Cumulus’ KNBR enjoyed a 1.2 share increase year-over-year in the San Jose market but dipped a tenth in the adjacent San Francisco market.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” ranked #1 (6+) in the September PPM survey in the Long Island market – the only sports talker to achieve a #1 ranking.  See the entire report here.

Cumulus Makes Prepayment of Portion of Loan. This $50 million discounted prepayment means Cumulus Media has paid off a portion of its $1.3 billion senior secured term loan facility due May 2022. Cumulus successfully purchases $50.2 million aggregate principal amount of term loans under the facility for $50 million (a discount to par value of 0.40%).  The transaction closed on October 11, 2018 and was funded with cash from operations.  The company notes that it will recognize a one-time, non-operating gain of approximately $0.2 million in its fourth quarter 2018 earnings, and its annual interest expense will be reduced as a result of this transaction.

KVI, Seattle Hosts Listener Appreciation Event. Seattle news/talk station KVI held a listener appreciation party on Tuesday (10/9) at Sinclair Broadcasting’s KOMO Plaza.  The station’s local hosts joined producer Phil Vandervort on stage for a discussion of such topics as the coming midterm elections and their favorite local restaurants.  Pictured (from l-r) are: KVI program director Rick Van Cise, station manager Gary Greenberg, morning host John Carlson, late morning duo Jamie Markley and David van Camp, early afternoon host Lars Larson, afternoon drive personality Kirby Wilbur, and Compass Media Networks VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur.

Doug Stephan Celebrates 30th Anniversary as a Continuously Running Independent Syndicated Host.  It began as a morning show titled “Good Day” in a basement studio at WCKY, Cincinnati 30 years ago this week and has been on the air as a general news/talk weekday show hosted and managed by veteran broadcaster Doug Stephan ever since.  Along the way, it evolved under different names and has been co-hosted by a variety of personalities alongside Stephan in addition to spawning a number of specialty shows under the corporate banner of Stephan Multimedia.  The program is currently titled the “DJV Show” and, in addition to central figure Doug Stephan, is co-hosted by Jennifer Horn and Victoria Keelan.  In marking the milestone, Stephan tells TALKERS, “I think for the first few months, I was talking to myself, and now after all these years, I have spoken to millions of listeners…how many…who really knows?  Plus being on over 1,400 stations in the collective over the years, I am humbled by the support of so many station managers and program directors.  If my count is correct, we still have some 24 stations who were on at the beginning or close to the beginning of this fabulous ride, and to all of them, and all of you, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I could not remain as the only host/producer of these programs which have nothing but advertiser support… no big company, no big advertiser, no big benefactor – just me and the folks on the team made this happen…wow!”

TALKERS News Notes. Programming pro Michael Cross is named operations manager for Cherry Creek Media’s seven-station cluster in Wenatchee, Washington that includes news/talk KPQ, talk simulcast KKWN-FM/KWNC-AM, and sports talk KYSP in addition to four music-formatted stations. Cross – who starts his new gig on November 5 – was most recently OM with NRG Media’s rock KFMW and classic hits KOKZ duo in Waterloo, Iowa.  Cherry Creek Wenatchee market manager Kevin Andrus says, “Michael has a passion for radio and clearly understands the influence radio has in our listeners lives.  He understands how to win ratings, coach talent, and manage those under his direction.  Cherry Creek Media is excited to have Michael join the team.”…..Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford inks a deal with Division III school University of Saint Joseph to broadcast the team’s home games during the school’s men’s basketball team’s inaugural season.  The partnership will run through the 2018-19 collegiate season.  The school recruited former University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun as its head coach to launch its men’s basketball program.  As part of the partnership, Joe D’Ambrosio, co-host of the station’s “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” program, will handle play-by-play duties for the games…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, weekly show hosted by former open-wheel racing star Danny Sullivan – winner of the 1985 Indy 500 and 1988 CART Series champion – on the Dan Patrick Radio channel.   Titled, “The Real Spin with Danny Sullivan and Bill Armour” it will debut on October 15 and air every Monday…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio program with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate KSOO-AM, Sioux Falls, South Dakota to its roster of stations.

Hurricane Michael Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 8-12.  The destruction in the Florida panhandle from Hurricane Michael was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the release of the UN Climate Change Report and its dire warning about continued global warming. Coming in at #3 was the global stock selloff and the related interest rate hikes, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation aftermath and the related issue of Democrats accused of incivility 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.

“Cousin” Bruce Morrow Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The legendary “Cousin” Bruce Morrow is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow is one of the most celebrated radio personalities of all time whose remarkable career as a big-time disc jockey goes all the way back to the late 1950s when he broke into New York City radio at WINS and is still going strong today as a featured host on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio ‘60s on 6’ channel. Harrison and Morrow take a deep conversational dive into the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, their shared memories of growing up in Brooklyn, the great top 40 stations, the universals of radio communication, Morrow’s successful years in station ownership and the importance of keeping up with advances in technology. This is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio! Harrison says, “It was a thrill for me to be able to spend so much time in conversation with one of the true greats of our industry and culture. Cousin Brucie is full of joy – it pours out of him and that’s what keeps him going at such a remarkable and admirable level. It is deeply gratifying for me as a radio student, historian, and professional broadcaster to present this episode of my podcast to the world.” 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 newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Operations Manager Position Open at Dick Broadcasting’s Eastern NC Cluster. The five-station cluster of Dick Broadcasting in the Greenville/New Bern/Jacksonville, North Carolina market is seeking an operations manager. The company says the successful candidate will “manage a team of great program directors, air talent, and promotional personnel. We need someone that knows what leadership means! Someone who can inspire a team!” Dick Broadcasting operates sports talk WRNS-AM “The Bull,” CHR WERO-FM “Bob 93.3,” rock WXQR, country WRNS-FM, and adult hits WQSL/WQZL. The company says candidates must have experience as a supervisor, leader, music programmer, strategic thinker, and the ability to coach air talent. On air experienced preferred. The cluster is managed by market manager Tony Denton and vice president of programming Jason Goodman. E-mail all materials to newbernresumes@dbcradio.com. DBC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

WQYK, Tampa Seeks AM Drive Co-Host. Tampa country outlet WQYK is seeking a morning show co-host. The Beasley Media Group station says the successful candidate must possess strong digital skills. “We’re seeking a great communicator and story teller with a great sense of how to create great content that will be displayed across all of our platforms. The perfect candidate is great on the air, great digitally, is forward thinking and is a true content innovator. This is a very active station, heavily involved in the community and requires someone who is fearless and willing to get out of the studio and meet listeners. If you are ready to work in a building full of incredible talent with a family atmosphere and a must-win attitude, we would love to hear from you.” Qualifications include: At least three years of proven success as a morning show co-host; full understanding of PPM best practice as it applies to an on-air show; proficient with Vox-Pro, WordPress social networking platforms, interviewing, and LIVE broadcasts; and more. Send materials to operations manager Travis Daily at: Travis.daily@bbgi.com. Beasley is an EOE.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix-based, nationally syndicated morning duo “Johnjay & Rich” – Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra – were inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony last night at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale.  The program is heard in Phoenix on iHeartMedia-owned flagship CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM” and is syndicated by Premiere Networks.  The program debuted in Tucson on KRQ.  It moved to KZZP in 2006.  It’s currently heard in 20 markets across the country…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekly Wolfman Jack show adds new affiliates” WCCW-FM, Traverse City, Michigan; WOWY, State College, Pennsylvania; and KMGZ, Lawton, Oklahoma.  The stations add the classic radio program in time to also air the two-hour special “Wolfman Jack Halloween Party.”  WOWY program director Bob Steele says, “I have been searching for this show for years.  Knowing what a legend he was and how much fun the show was, I knew it was going to be an instant listener favorite!  He is probably the most referenced DJ in history. Everyone has heard of him.  I think it’s his personality that resonates with people.  He makes people laugh and feel good.  He often had a shocking side and I think that may be what keeps people glued to his every word.”…..Country artist Jessie Ritter from Fort Walton Beach, Florida is named the winner of Cumulus Media’s 4th annual “NASH Next” competition.  The final competition event took place last night (10/11) at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon and featured live performances from the top 10 national finalists, and a special performance by Radio Romance, last year’s “NASH Next” winner whose single “Weekend” rose to the top 40 on the country airplay charts.  Ritter will receive national radio airplay on Cumulus stations and gets a recording contract with Nash Next Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella…..Country music legend Dolly Parton was on the NASH campus in Nashville yesterday joining “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” in-studio to talk about her latest Netflix project, “Dumplin’,” in which she found herself working with Jennifer Aniston and Sia. Pictured below are (from l-r): Ty Bentli, Parton, Kelly Ford, and Chuck Wicks.

Monday, September 10, 2018

| September 10, 2018

iHeartMedia Reports July Financial Figures.  As is required by the US Bankruptcy Court, iHeartMedia has been filing its 8-K form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission each month that provides basic financial information.  The latest monthly operating report for July 2018 shows revenue was $281.1 million, an 8.4% decrease from the June 2018 period where that figure was $305.9 million. However, net income was $55.2 million, a change from June’s loss of $119.7 million.  During July, the company’s payments to professionals leaped from $1.4 million the month prior to $15.7 million.

WPG, Atlantic City Unveils New Programming. Atlantic City news/talk WPGG-AM/W281BH announces a new program lineup that includes the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and Van Camp” program – hosted by Jamie Markley and David Van Camp – in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  Also, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s San Antonio-based syndicated program is added for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am program.  The Townsquare Media station says it has enhanced its weekend programming with the addition of Radio America’s Dana LoeschFOX News Radio’s Todd Starnes, Compass Media Networks’ Lars Larson, and Westwood One’s Walter Sterling.  The station is also beefing up its news reporting with newscasts four times per hour during middays.

Judge Denies Craig Carton’s Request to Keep Documents from Prosecutors.  New York radio personality Craig Carton’s attorneys wanted to submit required documents (detailing subpoenas) only to Judge Colleen McMahon and away from the prosecutors charging Carton with fraud in the trial that will get underway on October 29.  The argument from Carton’s side was that his defense team’s strategy would be revealed to prosecutors.  But Judge McMahon cited Carton’s own words in The New York Post in shooting down that request.  She said the defense’s strategy to argue that Carton was running a legitimate ticket business and was duped by associate Joe Meli is already public knowledge because Carton said as much in a story in the Post.  In that story, Carton said, “I’m not pleading to anything because I firmly believe that when the facts come out, you’ll see I was running a legitimate, legal business.” The September 6 Post story by Kaja Whitehouse reports that Carton’s lawyer will argue that Carton “was a professional gambler who placed bets at casinos around the world on behalf of investors — not someone who used investor money to pay off his own gambling debts, as the feds have charged.”

Joe Benigno Returns to WFAN Air.  Midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno was back on WFAN, New York after being off the air since July in the aftermath of being named in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former sales exec who worked at WFAN when it was owned by CBS RADIOLauren Lockwood’s suit alleges a frat house-like atmosphere at WFAN – an allegation current owner Entercom denies.  She further alleges that Benigno propositioned her to take part in threesomes and that he carried out an affair with a female subordinate.  Benigno said he couldn’t talk about the suit but thanked his wife, PD Mark Chernoff, and Entercom executives before getting back to sports talk with co-host Evan Roberts.

Westwood One Announces News Additions. News pro Linda Kenyon joins Westwood One News as a full-time Washington correspondent. She was most recently with Salem Radio Network News covering congress. At the same time, WWO announces that Bob Costantini is now White House correspondent. Kenyon comes to Westwood One with more than 25 years of broadcast news experience.  She has served as a Capitol Hill correspondent, White House correspondent, anchor, and general assignment reporter, writer and editor at three national news networks, including the Associated Press and Salem.  Costantini has been covering Capitol Hill and other beats since joining Westwood One in 2015.  His career includes reporting for FOX News Channel, Tribune Television, NBC News Radio, and CNN Radio.

Beasley Names Gregg Stiansen NSM for New Jersey Group.  Sales pro Gregg Stiansen comes to Beasley Media Group from his most recent position with Salem Media Group in Philadelphia to take on the national sales manager position for the company’s New Jersey stations, including news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick.  Beasley SVP and regional market manager Dan Finn says, “Gregg is a perfect fit for Beasley Media Group New Jersey.  He is synonymous with New Jersey radio, especially on the national front.  Gregg understands the uniqueness of the job and we’re confident he will hit the ground running in his new position.”

Ivy Savoy-Smith Promoted to VP/Director of Sales for Entercom Washington DC. Rising from director of local sales for the company’s hip hop WPGC and Spanish pop WLZL in Washington, DC is Ivy Savoy-Smith, who is now vice president and director of sales for Entercom Washington’s cluster that also includes sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan.” Senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary states, “Ivy is a natural leader who has embraced every challenge and earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and her competitors.  Those privileged to benefit from Ivy’s mentorship are not only better professionals but better people, and her positive influence casts a wide net across the region and the industry.  I can’t think of a better person to lead DC’s elite radio and digital marketing team.”

Cooke: Podcast Listeners Like Booze.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today citing Edison Research and Nielsen Audio data that indicates avid fans of podcasting are consumers of spirits. Of all of the product categories that moved podcast listeners, liquor is one that was either tops or close to tops for many of the podcast categories cited.  See Holland Cooke’s piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. WKNR, Cleveland sports talk personality Aaron Goldhammer said back in April that he’d eat horse poop if the Cleveland Browns chose Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick of the draft.  Well, they did and last week Goldhammer followed through on his promise (pictured here).  WKRC-TV has the story here…..A more appetizing story from Cleveland comes courtesy of iHeartMedia as its news/talk WTAM adds an FM translator to its broadcast as W295DE at 106.9 FM begins carrying the signal.  The 195-watt translator gives the station an FM presence in the central Cleveland area. iHeartMedia North Ohio president Keith Hotchkiss says, “As the need for accurate news and information increases, we’re proud to be able to share the great reporting, content, and sports play-by-play with listeners on the FM dial.  And listeners all over the US can always hear WTAM on the free iHeartRadio app and more than 200 devices and smart speakers.  Quite simply, WTAM is everywhere, as it should be.”…..For people who love podcasts and fly Southwest Airlines, iHeartMedia has good news: iHeartRadio Podcasts are now available on all Southwest Airlines in-flight entertainment experience portals. Passengers can now not only listen to their favorite iHeartRadio music but can now also choose from iHeartRadio’s massive library of podcasts from 35,000 feet in the air – without purchasing WiFi!

Trump-Russia Investigation, NYT Opinion Piece/Woodward Book, Obama Campaign Speech, Trump vs Google, China’s Anti-Religion Actions, Les Moonves Resignation, Hurricane Florence Threat, NFL’s Opening Weekend, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump administration operatives and Russia agents; the controversy surrounding the anonymous op-ed piece the NYT says was written by an administration official and the new Bob Woodward book about the Trump White House; President Obama’s campaign speech in Illinois criticizing the Trump administration; President Trump’s battle with Google and the possibility of a GOP-led look into the company’s practices; reports of China’s crackdown on churches and mosques; CBS chief Les Moonves resigns in the wake of sexual misbehavior allegations; Hurricane Florence threatens the East Coast; the opening weekend of the NFL season; and the Major League Baseball 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. Country radio pro Rod Phillips is promoted to executive vice president of country programming strategy for iHeartMedia.  The company says that in his new role, Phillips will continue to lead the Nashville-based iHeartCountry team in overseeing iHeartMedia’s country formats and further extend the company’s country brands across the broadcast, digital, social, and live events platforms.  He will continue to guide and develop the company’s roster of country programmers and on-air talent, as well as book artists and produce events for iHeartMedia including the iHeartCountry Music Festival.  He will also continue to head up iHeartCountry’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, that has played a key role in breaking artists such Granger Smith, Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Lauren Alaina, Devin DawsonCarly Pearce, and Morgan Evans…..iHeartMedia’s Dallas classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” announces that Bo Roberts and Jim White, hosts of “The Bo and Jim Show,” are being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.  Roberts and White will officially be inducted on November 3, 2018.  iHeartMedia region president Kelly Kibler says, “Bo and Jim are true radio legends but more than that, they are outstanding people.”

August 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. August 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 survey period covered July 19 – August 15. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – On top in both May (with 8.2 that month its best 6+-showing since November 2016’s 9.0) and July, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT erodes by one full-share in August (8.1 – 7.1, 6+) and segues from first to second. Immediately in advance of being a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Albeit flat at #10, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is up two-tenths to 4.4, its highest 6+-share since March (4.6). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Just prior to that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn,” off nine-tenths in July after being up one-half share in June, gains one-tenth (2.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+) and remains at #18. A one-tenth gain in May halted three straight January through April down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline for iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is .5 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5, flat at #24 (6+). Its +.2 in June halted four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a 50% loss (-.3) of its 6+-share (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – A July -1.1 (5.8 – 4.7, 6+) by Entercom hot AC KAMX completely erased a collective +1.1 in April, May, and June (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+), but “Mix 94.7” responds in August with a gain of seven-tenths (5.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). June 2018’s 5.8 is its strongest 6+-stat in seven years (6.1, August 2011). Improving by seven-tenths as well is KLZT “107.1 La Z” (4.4 – 5.1, eighth to seventh, 6+). KLZT was off one full-share in June, following a May increase of six-tenths to 5.3 – the highest 6+-stat for the Emmis regional Mexican station since November 2017’s 5.4. A one-half share increase (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) takes Entercom hot AC KKMJ “Majic 95.5” to its strongest 6+-stat (6.7, steady at #3) since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.4. In five straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” has improved by a cumulative six-tenths and climbs from  #16 to #14. Despite a loss of two-tenths to 7.3 (6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” advances from second to first. It was a brief one-month (June) stay at #1 for “Bob,” which – in July – returned all of June’s +.6 (7.5 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+). On top four months in a row, Austin’s version of “Bob” segued to second in May, owing to a massive -1.4 (8.9 – 7.5, 6+); KBPA was +1.0 in April. Prior to picking up one-tenth in March, “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In four straight downward trends, iHeartMedia-owned country KVET-FM (fourth to eighth) is an overall -1.7 (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). While April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2, this (4.7) is its lowest 6+-performance in over two years (4.6, April 2016). As it is in August, “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. It is overtaken by co-owned and similarly-formatted KASE, which was -.5 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (July) and now +.4 in August (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). Racking up a +.7 in January ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). KASE and KVET-FM were tied for fifth in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” picks up two-tenths to 1.0 (#23 to #21, 6+), halting three straight dips that produced a -.6 (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .8, 6+). Forfeiting in full July’s +.5, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK (2.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+) slips from #13 #14. Prior to July, “Spirit 105.9” logged a 2.4 in three of the previous four survey periods (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+); July’s 2.9 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.1. Univision Radio-owned Spanish adult hits KLJA “Amor 107.7” is an overall -1.0 in five straight down or flat trends (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and drops from #18 to #19.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive significate fluctuations have University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” going from third to first in June (+9); first to third in July (-1.1); and third to first in August (7.6 – 8.8, +1.2, 6+). Prior to that, WUNC was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. Off three-tenths and slipping from eighth to ninth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” logs a 5.1 for the third time in the last five ratings periods (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). Its +.4 in July curtailed three down or flat trends that produced a loss of three tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+), while an April decline of two-tenths ended three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Steady at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” is up by a collective half-share in six straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). In May, WPTF finished at #18, but prior to that, it occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. As a result of three losses in a row, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has surrendered more than 50% (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, #14 to #16, 6+). Raleigh’s “Fan” was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; -1.3 in June; and -.6 in July.

Raleigh Music Formats – Consistently within 4.5 – 4.8 range between “Holiday” 2017 and July 2018 (4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU erupts with a +1.5 to 6.2 (6+), jumping from tenth to sixth. This marks the first time that “Classic Rock 100.7” has reached the six-share level (6+) in almost three years (6.1, October 2015). Nearly slicing in half July’s -1.3 (7.7 – 6.4, 6+) with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL progresses from fifth to fourth. “Mix 101.5” was a collective +2.6 via three major April, May, and June improvements (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+). That streak, however, was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in WRAL’s 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). June’s 7.7 is its strongest 6+-showing since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. In the market’s country race, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country” is a collective -1.2 in three straight downward moves (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, fourth to fifth, 6+), whereas iHeartMedia-owned WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” (#13 to #12) is up six-tenths through four straight (modest) increases (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Following a string of six straight up or flat trends that generated a +3.1 (5.9 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 9.0, 6+) and enabled Radio One urban contemporary WQOK to leap from fifth to first in July, “K-97.5” drops three-tenths to 8.7 (6+) and shifts to second. Virtually erasing July’s increase of seven-tenths with an August -.6 (4.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Having posted a 6+-share between 3.0 – 3.9 in each of the last 13 sweeps, CHR cluster-mate WPLW “Pulse FM” is off by six-tenths as well to 2.8 (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined -1.1 in three straight down or flat trends (6.3 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to eighth.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI a combined +1.8 in four straight increases (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), it enters the top ten (#12 to #10). WFYI was down seven-tenths in April and +1.1 in January. Recapturing two-tenths of July’s -.7 (6.0 – 6.2, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center,” which posted a +1.1 in June, remains in sixth-place. Prior to May’s -.3, WIBC was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WFNI (#17 to #18) is a collective -.7 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+). Jumping ahead of it (#17 to #16) is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which notches a +.1 in back-to-back reports (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+). July’s +.1 ended three down or flat sweeps in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A combined -1.7 in June and July (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” slices that deficit roughly in half in August with a +.9 to 4.1 (#14 to #12, 6+). Its +.6 in May stopped three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). It is a history-making month for Cumulus Media’s WJJK. In addition to repeating at #1, “Classic Hits 104.5” registers a +.7 to 8.6, the most potent 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history – and first time in eight-share range (6+). On top of that, this is WJJK’s third uptrend in a row for a cumulative +1.8 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+). Inching up from third to second, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 – Indy’s Classic Rock” displays a one-half share increase to 7.4 (6+), thus wiping away a loss of three-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). While unchanged at #8, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is up one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), snapping at four a successive string of down or flat trends that led to an overall -2.0 (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). On top in April, May, and June before being displaced by co-owned WJJK in July, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is a cumulative -1.2 in July and August (8.2 – 7.7 – 7.0, second to third, 6+). July’s one-half share loss suspended four straight upticks that netted +2.3 (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. Its representative July 2017 – August 2018 fluctuations include: -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); and now -.7 (August). Four-tenths behind WFMS is Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” flat at 6.6 (6+) but slipping from fourth to fifth. In July, “Hank” regained four-tenths of June’s -.9. Immediately prior to that, WLHK was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+). On the strength of a January gain of seven-tenths, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps that led to a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May’s 7.1 is its strongest 6+-showing since 7.6 in September 2015. A collective +1.2 via four consecutive increases (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” returns two-tenths to 5.7 but remains at #7 (6+). After logging a 1.3 (June, 6+) and .5 (#22, July, 6+), co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 disappears from print in August.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – Surrendering one-half share each and finishing third and fourth, respectively, are Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” (7.8 – 7.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” (flat at #4, 6+). In April, Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ more than doubled February’s +.9 with a whopping +1.9; two months later (June), WTMJ virtually eliminated May’s -.6 with a +.5. After posting a +.9 in May (6.8 – 7.7, 6+), WISN is a combined -1.5 in three decreases in succession (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). With downward trends in three straight January through April sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, 6+), “News Talk 1130” was an overall –1.6. Up one full-share in January, WISN was a combined -.9 in February and March. Anchored at #14, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 16th consecutive sweep (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s loss of one-tenth, WUWM was up eight-tenths in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). The March 2018 – August 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 (unchanged at #16, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant wobbles continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH, which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); +.9 in June; and now +1.2 in August (7.2 – 8.4, third to second); “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was a modest -.1 in July. Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” tacks on eight-tenths to July’s +.3 (4.0 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+) and moves from tenth to eighth. In the lead position for the 42nd consecutive ratings period, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” regains four-tenths of July’s -.7 (9.8 – 10.2, 6+). Prior to July’s decline, “Big FM” had been +1.7 in four straight February through June increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+). Over the past 13 sweeps, WRIT has been in double-digits (6+) five times: November (10.0); “Holiday” 2017 (11.6); May (10.3); June (10.5); and August (10.2). The market’s (6+) country share deflates by seven-tenths as WRIT cluster-mate WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” is down three-tenths (5.6 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” dips four-tenths to 3.8 (6+), but stays at #11. WMIL rebounded from June’s -1.0 with a +.5 in July. Prior to June’s loss, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” was a cumulative +2.5 in five straight “Holiday” 2017 through May 2018 increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+). Entering the August sweep, WKTI had been within 4.0 – 4.4 range the past six months (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, February through July, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Even though Entercom CHR WXSS posts its third gain in succession for an overall +.9 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (5.0) since December 2016’s 5.5, “103.7 Kiss FM” backslides from eighth to ninth. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRNW “97.3 Now” (flat at #15) is without an increase for the third straight month for an overall -.8 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Through six straight February through August down or flat trends (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance classic hits-oldies WZTI has eroded by more than 50% (-.6, 6+), as “Fonz FM” drops out of the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.9 in five straight down or flat trends (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” improves by one-half share to 4.9 (ninth to seventh, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October 2017 to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. Without an increase the past six monthlies for a -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” trots out a +.6 to 3.6 (#13 to #11, 6+). “The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. It trails co-owned news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #12 to #10, 6+) by two-tenths. Entering the August ratings period, “Super Talk” had a fluctuation of two-tenths in April, May, June, and July (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .8, the topline May 2017 – August 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” (#18 to #20, 6+) is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.2 – .8. Flat at #21, Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” is an overall -1.9 in four straight decreases – three of which are by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+); “The Game” recorded a +.7 in April.

Nashville Music Formats – In addition to notching its fourth straight uptick that has a produced an overall +1.5 (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” marches from fourth to second with its best 6+-stat since January (7.8, as well). Nearly two full-shares ahead of WNRQ is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” (8.8 – 9.7, +.9, 6+), which is #1 for the seventh month in a row. “Mix,” which was +1.0 in June and -.5 in May, ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017. It shifted to second in January, but returned to #1 in February. The last five 6+-stats for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT are 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.3, but with a loss of seven-tenths in August to 6.6 (6+), “101.1 The Beat” (third to fifth) has its lowest 6+-showing since February (6.7, as well). The market’s (July to August, 6+) country share is off seven-tenths, compared to -1.4 (June to July, 6+). Improving by four-tenths (6.2 – 6.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from sixth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April, following March’s -.3. A January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) erased its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” (eighth to ninth) is a collective -1.6 since April (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.3, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat (4.3) since “Holiday” 2017 (4.1). “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February; -.5 in March; and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). Following three straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a combined -1.0 in July and August (4.6 – 3.8 – 3.6, flat at #11, 6+). “Nash FM” was off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing July’s -.6 with an August +.7 (3.4 – 4.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI climbs from eighth to seventh. In advance of July’s decrease, WVEI was a collective +1.2 in three upticks in a row (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Similarly, as it entered the February sweep, WVEI was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+). It then , however, was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it gains three-tenths to 4.0 (6+), thus ending three straight sweeps without an increase for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. May’s eight-tenths’ loss wiped out the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each, for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The combination of WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH gaining four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, #11 to #10, 6+) and The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH dropping two-tenths (#10 to #11, 6+) results in the two swapping places. Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two outlets finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10. WELH is -.5 in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). A two-tenths’ improvement to 1.3 (#16 to #14, 6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ applies the brakes to five straight decreases that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). That streak started immediately after “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” picked up six-tenths in February. Originating from Boston, co-owned WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” appears again in the Providence report, following an approximately 6.5-year absence: Its four latest 6+-stats in the Rhode Island metro are 1.4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 (flat at #18). One-half share behind WBZ-AM is Cumulus Media-owned WPRV, whose January 2018 – August 2018 topline is .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 -.6 – .5 (6+); “AM 790 Talk & Business” remains at #20.

Providence Music Formats – After being down seven-tenths in July, Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM racks up a positive spike of one full-share to 9.1, its best 6+-showing in more than a year (9.1, as well, in June 2017). Moreover, “92 PRO FM – Today’s Hit Music,” which had been within 8.1 – 8.8 range (6+) in each of the previous five sweeps (8.1 – 8.7 – 8.5 – 8.8 – 8.1, 6+), progresses from fourth to second. An increase of one-tenth (9.9 – 10.0, 6+) is enough to propel adult contemporary cluster-mate WWLI from the runner-up slot to #1. “Lite Rock 105,” which has been in double-digits (6+) in ten of the last 16 sweeps, was on top in May and June, with June’s 10.3 its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Dislodged at #1 and tumbling to #4 is Hall Communications’ WCTK (10.1 – 7.9, -2.2, 6+). The -2.2 in August negatives a healthy chunk of the +2.9 “Cat Country 98.1” garnered in seven straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8 – 10.1, 6+) and is the largest (6+) July 2018 – August 2018 decrease by any station in the 48 PPM-markets. July’s 10.1 marked the first time WCTK reached double-digits (6+) since March 2012 (10.0). Consistently posting a 6+-share between 9.0 – 9.8 since December 2017 ( 9.5 – 9.2 – 9.5 – 9.6 – 9.2 – 9.4 – 9.0 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” (flat at #3) erodes by -1.2 to 8.3, its lowest 6+-stat since July 2017 (8.3, as well). Spiraling by eight-tenths each are WHJY’s classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings WWBB “B-101” (7.3, fourth to fifth, 6+) and WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.5, flat at #6, 6+). Entering the August sweep, “B-101” was +.3.1 in five upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) and reached the eight-share level (8.1, July 2018) for the first time in nearly three years (August 2015, 8.0). The last three fluctuations for “Coast 93.3” are -1.2 (June); +1.1 (July); and now August’s -.8 (5.4 – 4.2 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). June’s large decrease directly followed three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). A combined -1.8 in four straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB is up one-tenth to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Down one-half share each are Townsquare Media CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (1.7 – 1.2, #12 to #15, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned WCIB “Cool 102 – Cape Cod’s Classic Rock Station” (1.6 – 1.1, #13 to #16, 6+) – both re-appearing in the Providence report in July 2018 after a roughly 6.5-year absence.

Norfolk – It is yet another history-setting month for Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which is a collective +3.4 in five straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3 – 14.6 – 15.5, 6+) and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 29th time in the last 30 sweeps. On top of that, it is #1 for the 21st time in a row and – with a 15.5 – sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.6 (6+) WVKL tied this time last month (July 2018). CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” continues its own positive string by being a collective +1.2 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3, sixth to fifth, 6+). In addition, August’s 5.3 is its highest 6+-share in more than four years (5.4, May 2014). Conversely, Saga Communications’ classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is a cumulative -1.8 via four dips in succession (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.3, 6+) and is tied with WNVZ at #5. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). An overall +1.3 in June and July (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” drops one-tenth to 6.2 but carries on in third-place. Just prior to May’s -1.1, WWDE posted three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). After losing 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” picks up three-tenths in August (1.0 #12 to #11, 6+). While flat at #4, Saga Communications’ WNOR “99 Rocks” is -2.3 in three straight declines (8.3 – 7.3 – 6.1 – 6.0, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since “Holiday” 2017 (6.0, as well). Up a combined six-tenths in May and June (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB “Hot 91.1” erases  that gain completely in July and August (1.5 – 1.0 – .9, #11 to #12, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Hot” was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a roughly 50% loss (-.8) of its 6+-share (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+). Similarly, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” (unchanged at #7) was +1.0 in back-to-back sweeps, (2.9 – 2.6 – 3.9, April-May-June, 6+), but hands back 90% of that increase (-.9) in July and August (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” backslides from ninth to tenth. WPTI posted a gain of two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, April – May – June, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in July. Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+). For the fourth sweep in succession, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC finish at #13 and #14, respectively. WFDD is up one-tenth to 2.1 (6+), suspending at four a consecutive string of down or flat monthlies for an overall -.5 (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). The May 2018 through August 2018 topline for WUNC is 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). In five straight down or flat sweeps, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS has lost 75% (-.6) of its 6+ AQH share (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4 – .2 – .2, 6+) and stays at #16. Immediately before that, owing to three straight increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – With a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.6 (6+), iHeartMedia rock WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” breaks out a .9 to 4.5 (tenth to ninth) and has its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 4.9. Anchored at #12, CHR cluster-mate WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits,” a collective -1.4 in three downward moves in a row (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), is up two-tenths in August to 2.9 (6+). Immediately prior to April, “Kiss” was +1.5 as the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+). Albeit -1.7 in four straight decreases (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5, 6+) Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the eighth straight sweep and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March, but then +1.2 in April. In the runner-up slot for the eighth consecutive time, co-owned adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is off three-tenths to 9.7 (6+). A July gain of nine-tenths halted five consecutive decreases that generated a -2.5 in (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). Wiping away July’s -.3 with an August +.4 (6.9 – 7.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” jumps from fifth to third. July’s decrease ended its streak of three straight upticks for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+); June’s 7.2 is the highest 6+-share for “Q-104.1” since October 2017’s 7.3. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW levels off at 5.6 (steady at #7, 6+), following July’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6, 6+); “93.1 The Wolf” spiraled by -1.5 in June (6.2 – 4.7, 6+). Immediately prior to that loss, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April), with April’s decrease curtailing three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since October 2017’s 7.1. After a lengthy hiatus, Dick Broadcasting cluster-mates WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” recently returned in print. The February through August topline for “Rock 92” is 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 5.7, unchanged at #6, (6+) for a collective +.6, while WKZL is 4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.6 (flat at #8, 6+) and an overall -.6 in that same timeframe.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past three ratings periods for a -.6 (2.1 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” bounces back with an August +.5 to 2.0 (#16 to #13). “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). Out of Miami, co-owned news/talk WIOD is trending 1.1 – .9 – 1.0 (#19, 6+) as it returns to print in West Palm Beach. Clumped together are Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which regains the two-tenths it lost in July (3.1 – 2.9 – 3.1, flat at #9, 6+); iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, ninth to tenth, 6+); and Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850,” which gains two-tenths for the third month in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3, #11 to #10, 6+). The -.6 by WJNO halts four straight up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). A June slip of four-tenths by WLRN ended five consecutive up or flat monthlies that generated a +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). WFTL had been +1.0 in four straight “Holiday” 2017 through April 2018 sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Sports talk sibling WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” – up seven-tenths in four straight increases (.1 – .2 – .3 – .5 – .8, 6+) – has its 6+-share sliced in half in August to .4 and is flat at #22 (6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – After logging five successive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a loss of one full-share (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “Country 103.1” obliterates that deficit completely with a +1.2 to 5.1 – its best 6+-stat since June 2017 – and advances from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia classic rock WKGR answers July’s -1.1 with an August gain of one-half share (4.1 – 4.6, 6+), “Gater 98.7” backslides from fifth to sixth; July’s 6+-showing was its lowest since April 2016 (4.1, as well). Spanish contemporary cluster-mate WRLX “Mia 92.1” (#14 to #12) is up one-half share to 2.1, its strongest 6+-stat since February (2.1, as well). A combined +.4 in three straight up or flat trends (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF sets the pace for the eighth month in a row. When “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” logged a +.3 in June, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. Down by -1.6 in May and June (4.3 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “Wild 95.5” responds with a collective +1.3 in July and August (2.7 – 3.8 – 4.0, flat at #7, 6+). In the market’s adult contemporary battle, Alpha Media’s WEAT “Sunny 107.9” is up four-tenths after July’s half-share loss (4.4 – 4.8 fifth to fourth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” dips two-tenths (6.3 – 6.1, steady at #2, 6+). July’s 4.4 by “Sunny” was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2017’s 4.1. Frozen on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, “Kool” was +.6 in June. Prior to April, it was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – A one-half share gain in August by Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV (8.7 – 9.2, 6+) nearly erases July’s -.7; “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” continues in the runner-up slot. Immediately in advance of July’s decline, WOKV was +2.1 in three upticks in a row (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+). Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8, but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). Off nine-tenths in March, WOKV was #1 in May. Anchored at #12, public news/talk WJCT has a very steady January 2018 – August 2018 topline: 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.4 (6+). WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+). Up two-tenths to .5 – its best 6+-stat since January’s .7 – iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” climbs from #20 to #19.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A collective -1.2 in three straight down or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI makes up two-thirds of the deficit with a +.8 to 4.2 (6+) as “Easy 102.9” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). More than six full-shares ahead of “Easy” though is Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ (10.3 – 10.6, +.3, 6+), which is #1 for the third month in a row and in double-digits (6+) for the same number of successive months. This (10.6) is the best 6+-showing for “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. A loss of two-tenths in May knocked WJEZ (which was +1.4 in June) from first after just a one-month stay on top; it was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Having recorded a March 2018 through July 2018 topline of 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKSL “97.9 Kiss-FM” dials up a one-half share increase to 4.4 (ninth to eighth), its strongest 6+-share since January’s 4.7. Dropping from second to third, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” was -.5 in June; +.8 in July; and now -.7 in August (8.7 – 8.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of June’s one-half share loss, “The Eagle” was a combined +1.8 in five straight up or flat trends (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+). It is even more of an up/down affair for iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” which was off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+); +.8 in May; -.5 in June; +1.0 in July; and now -.4 in August (5.5 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+). July 2018’s 5.5 is the highest 6+-share for “The Beat” since June 2017’s 5.6. Down three-tenths (7.1 – 6.8, 6+) iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 Jacksonville’s Country” carries on in fourth-place. A collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” bounced back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (June, 6+). Its +1.1 in March suspended four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 13.6 is the best-ever (6+) PPM-performance for WQIK, which was #1 in January 2018 and March. In four straight negative moves (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+), Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted WGNE is an overall -1.3 and remains at #7; “Gator Country 99.9” was +1.1 in April.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to July’s +.2 (3.1 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). July’s increase pulled the plug on five straight sweeps without an increase for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). January 2018’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. After slumping six-tenths in July (2.9 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” adds one-tenth in August to 2.4 and stays at #12 (6+). Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” is up or flat for the fifth time in succession for a net gain of three-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – On the strength of a mammoth +1.5 (4.8 – 6.3, sixth to fifth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time in more than two years (6.2, July 2016). Owing to three straight increases (3.4 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” is an overall +1.8, climbing from ninth to seventh. June’s +.5 halted four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” remains at #13. While iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is on the top for the fourth month in a row, “V-101” regresses by seven-tenths to 10.4 (6+), halting three straight up or flat trends for a +1.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1 – 11.1, 6+). After four consecutive months at #1, “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017; it rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. A loss of nine-tenths to 3.1 (6+) drops Cumulus Media’s WXMX “98.1 The Max – Maximum Rock” out of the top ten (#10 to #11) and interrupts its April 2018 – July 2018 (6+) sequence of 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 4.0. Following four straight gains that produced a collective +1.7 (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” erodes by eight-tenths to 3.9 (eighth to ninth, 6+). A combined -1.5 in July and August (6.8 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM slips from fifth to sixth. Entering the July sweep, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” was an overall +2.3 in four straight increases (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+); June 2018’s 6.8 is its strongest 6+-showing since May 2017’s 7.0. Without an increase for the third successive sweep for a combined -1.2 (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” nonetheless continues at #2. Immediately in advance of the June sweep, WRBO was +2.3 in three straight positive trends (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+); May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2. A combined -1.7 in four downward moves in a row (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” remains at #3. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC cluster-mate “V-101” at #1. Co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, sixth to eighth, 6+); this is its lowest 6+-stat since September 2017 (4.6, as well). Continuing in fourth-place, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” is off one-tenth to 8.0 (6+), after July’s +.6 to 8.1, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. Even though Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM improves in back-to-back reports for a +.3 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), “98.9 The Bridge” backslides from #13 to #14.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Following July’s one-half share gain, which stopped three straight down or flat trends in succession for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM is unchanged in 6+ AQH share (6.2) and 6+ AQH market rank (seventh). Prior to July 2018 and August 2018, “News Talk 1080” last reached the six-share level (6+) in June 2017 (6.7). An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just before that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Remaining at #9, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR records its seventh straight down or flat trend for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time WNPR was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). Up three-tenths to 1.6 (flat at #13, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” halts five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Immediately before that, it was an overall +1.1 in three straight December through February gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+). The January 2018 through August 2018 topline trending for Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC- AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1, flat at #14 (6+).

Hartford Music Formats – In three straight up or flat trends, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM (steady at #8) is a cumulative +1.9 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” scores its best 6+-stat since last October’s 6.0. Fighting back from July’s -2.2, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH cuts that decrease roughly in half with a +1.2 to 11.4 (6+). “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 25th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits (6+) for the 22nd time in the last 24 sweeps. August’s +1.2 applies the brakes to four straight March through July downward moves that accounted for a -4.1 (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4 – 10.2, 6+). WRCH was  +1.1 in March, but then -1.1 in April. The three latest fluctuations for hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” are -.7 (June); +1.5 (July); and now -1.4 in August (8.6 – 7.2, second to third, 6+). July 2018’s 8.6 marked the first time WTIC-FM reached the eight-share level (6+) since its 8.3 in July 2017. “Today’s Best Variety” was a collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+). Rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” (unchanged at #4) is -1.3 in three straight decreases (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths (7.1 – 6.4, fifth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” has its lowest 6+-share (6.4) since 6.0 in March. Even though mainstream CHR cluster-mate WKSS sputters by six-tenths to 7.3 (6+) to curtail three straight upticks that netted +1.0 (6.9 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.9, 6+), “Kiss 95.7 – All The Hits” manages to inch up from third to second.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

| May 30, 2018

Entercom Brings Adam Klug West to Program ‘97.3 The Fan’ in San Diego.  Sports programming pro Adam Klug is named program director for Entercom’s San Diego sports talk KWFN-FM “97.3 The Fan” and the San Diego Padres Radio Network, effective June 11.  Klug has been serving with CBS Sports Radio in New York City as a producer for national radio and television personalities Bill Reiter and Doug Gottlieb.  Prior to that, he spent two years with ESPN Radio.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger comments, “‘97.3 The Fan’ is thrilled to welcome Adam.  His extensive career in sports radio will strengthen the team and help us continue to provide engaging content to the San Diego community.”

Nielsen Audio Gains MRC Accreditation for Five New Markets; Loses San Francisco. In a move that brings the total number of PPM markets for which the Media Rating Council has provided accreditation to Nielsen Audio to 30 of the 48 PPM markets.  Today’s news is the MRC grants accreditation for the Columbus, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo.  At the same time, the MRC board voted to remove accreditation for the San Francisco PPM market.  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly states, “We are pleased to have achieved MRC accreditation in these additional markets.  This demonstrates our continued commitment to quality for the industry’s gold standard audio measurement and it helps enhance our client’s confidence in the currency.”  Regarding the San Francisco removal, Nielsen states that it “stands behind the estimates produced for San Francisco and will continue to work with the MRC and clients to regain accreditation in this market.”

KVI, Seattle to Add ‘Markley and van Camp’ to Program Lineup. The “Markley and van Camp” show has been successful on KXL, Portland for several years, and Sinclair Broadcasting’s KVI, Seattle hopes the show is a hit in that Pacific Northwest market, as well.  The program, syndicated by Compass Media Networks and starring Jamie Markley and David van Camp, will take over the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart on June 4.  The station is moving Kirby Wilbur to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot to make room.  Compass says “Markley and van Camp” “has been #1 adults 25-54 on KXL-FM in Portland for 36 straight books and has been rapidly adding affiliates.  Now heard in over 15 markets including Seattle, Portland, Orlando, Peoria, West Palm Beach, Oklahoma City and Baton Rouge.

Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root Inks Deal for Trump Book. Nationally syndicated radio talk host Wayne Allyn Root signs a deal with Humanix Books to author a book on “Donald Trump’s business and political success,” due out in early 2019. Root, whose USA Radio Network program is based at flagship stations KBDT, Dallas and KBET, Las Vegas (also simulcast on Newsmax TV) says, “President Trump has achieved awe-inspiring success in business, entrepreneurship, branding, PR, publishing, television and now, of course, politics.  I’ve studied Donald Trump’s life for decades (since I graduated Columbia University and started my business career in 1983) and owe much of my own success to the remarkable lessons learned from this man.”  Root has authored almost a dozen books in the fields of politics, business and personal development.  In addition to his television, radio and author careers, Root is also the national politics opinion columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal and his articles have appeared regularly at Newsmax.com, FoxNews.com, Breitbart.com,TownHall.com, Blaze.com, RealClearPolitics.com and many others.

TALKERS News Notes. At Entercom in Miami, Brian “The Beast” London adds assistant program director duties for sports talk duo WAXY “790 The Ticket” and WQAM to his responsibilities.  London co-hosts the “Tobin, Leroy, and Beast” midday show on WAXY…..Tomorrow afternoon, Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee continues its “Community Conversation” series as WTMJ News addresses the recent, controversial tasing of Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Sterling Brown.  The Thursday 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm special program is being hosted by John Mercure and Melissa Barclay…..Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting announces that its effort to “promote American values” includes airing the nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (hosted by Lee Habeeb) across its stations in Wyoming and South Dakota.  Mt. Rushmore president Jan Charles Gray says, “This is a wonderful way to air public affairs issues in a format that listeners can understand and embrace.”

ABC Cancels Rosanne, Trump vs Mueller, North Korea Summit, Italy Economic Fears/Financial Markets Activity, China Tariffs, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/29).  ABC-TV cancels “Roseanne” after Roseanne Barr issues a series of bizarre Tweets; President Trump accuses special counsel Robert Mueller of meddling with fall elections; the status of possible negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea; Italy’s shaky political state and its effects on the European economy and the world’s financial markets; the issue of trade concerns between the U.S. and China; Starbucks’ bias training program; the new Star Wars film Solo; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Elvis, a.k.a. Dan Lay, joins Entercom’s San Francisco alternative rock outlet KITS-FM “ALT 105.3” as morning drive host.  He was previously partnered with Jeff Vandergrift on “The Dog House” on “WiLD 107” in the market.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “We’re thrilled to welcome Elvis to the Entercom team.  His passion and drive for radio and its multiple platforms, coupled with his knowledge and connection to the Bay Area will provide our listeners and partners with the engaging live, local audio content they enjoy daily on ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Air personality Christy Taylor is the new midday jock, APD, and music director at Go Media’s alternative KQGO, Minneapolis “GO 96.3.”  She was previously with Riviera Broadcasting’s hot AC KMVA, Phoenix “HOT 97.5/103.9” hosting the evening program…..In Sacramento, Entercom names Michael “Big Mic” Buhrman program director for hip hop KSFM and announces the arrival of air personalities Mia Amore and SOOSH*E who join the station as on-air hosts, effective immediately.  Interim market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “We are excited to welcome Michael’s skill set, dedication, and passion to 102.5 KSFM.  His knowledge of the format and reputation in the industry will be an asset to the team. The additions of Mia and SOOSH*E to the KSFM staff solidifies a great line up of talented on-air personalities who understand the importance of being topical, relatable and entertaining to an already passionate listener base.”…..Zander is promoted to operations manager and program director for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX “104.9 The X” and sister sports talk WNTA “Sportsfan 1330.”…..Pictured below at WPLJ, New York’s holiday weekend remote broadcast are (from l-r): “Todd & Jayde in the Morning” executive producer Joe Pardavilla, Jayde DonovanJason Mraz, and Todd Pettengill.  Last Friday, the program broadcast from Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.  Mraz, along with fellow artists Echosmith, MAX, and John Splithoff performed on the boardwalk.

Friday, March 23, 2018

| March 23, 2018

Pittman and Bressler Memo Staffers on Bankruptcy; Call Out Forbes Columnist. In an effort to keep morale up during the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization and prevent staffers from taking information to heart that they say isn’t true, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler penned a memo to all the staff praising the consumer press they say is getting the story right and chiding one they say has it all wrong.  The memo starts off: “It’s been a week since we reached an agreement with our lenders to give iHeartMedia a capital structure that finally matches its strong operating business.  We’re pleased that a number of news outlets got the story right.  For example, The Wall Street Journal quoted analyst Lance Vitanza, who said, ‘This company going bankrupt is not a problem – it’s the solution.’ Forbes wrote ‘…that agreement will reduce its crippling debt by more than $10 billion, effectively cutting it in half. That could be a game-changer for the company.’  And in The New York Times, ‘…when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position.  We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.’  Of course, there is always someone who wants to tear us down. In fact, one sadly misguided and uninformed freelancer wrote an opinion piece claiming that we were going to sell off all our radio stations.  Clearly this is someone who didn’t bother to read anything published on the company or any reliable analyst reports.  (TALKERS referenced this piece on Wednesday and you can read it here.)  The debtholders have spoken; they traded their $10 billion of debt for equity in our company. They don’t want to break up the company. So, if you see anything else like this, you now have the right filter for how to think about it.”  The two also take the opportunity to take a few jabs at social media – and specifically Facebook – as an advertising medium.  “Broadcast radio is one of the most brand-safe environments for advertisers.  We are even regulated by the Federal Communications Commission and deliver live, human and authentic programming to nine out of 10 American consumers every week.  Nothing bears this out like the scandal we’ve seen in the last few days about Facebook, which had a relationship with a company that harvested and exploited private member data without permission, manipulating the social media activity of tens of millions of people.  While advertisers have been directing significant dollars to social media, in light of this massive data breach, many advertisers are seriously rethinking it because they are not getting the ‘influencers’ they think they’re paying for; in fact, because of social media fraud, they’re often not getting real people, they’re getting ‘bots.’”

‘Markley and Van Camp’ Welcome Scott Robbins for Contributor Role.  Back in 2014, Scott Robbins was suffering from serious health issues, having had three heart attacks and several subsequent bypass surgeries.  That was happening just as he and on-air partner Jamie Markley were preparing to have their WMBD, Peoria-based talk show syndicated.  Robbins had to leave the show to focus on his health and Alpha Media partnered Markley with David Van Camp – who, as “Markley and Van Camp” will launch into syndication via Compass Media Networks on April 2.  (Alpha also airs the show on KXL, Portland.)  Now comes news that Robbins will join Markley and Van Camp as a contributor to their show while continuing to host his daily, two-hour sports talk show on the company’s WNGY-HD2/W262BY, Peoria “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild says, “Scott is a walking miracle and an inspiration.  He’s also an amazing talent and his intense passion for radio was never so clear as during his recovery.  He couldn’t wait to get back on the air and, remarkably, he’s still the same compelling personality even after all he’s been through.”  Jamie Markley adds, “Scott and I have been like brothers for years, and I’m sure he’d tell you I irritate him like a brother, at times.  He’s always made me laugh so much; we’re beyond pumped he’s with us on this ride.  It was a long shot he’d survive, let alone be able to do radio again.  I thank God for his recovery and the opportunity for all of us to do this show together. I think Scott’s comeback is truly a great story.”

Imus to Appear on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’  Radio legend Don Imus will appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” (9:00 am ET) this week with Anthony Mason to talk about his career.  Imus prepares to sign off after the March 30 broadcast as Cumulus Media is cancelling his WABC, New York program in what is believed to be a cost-cutting maneuver related to its Chapter 11 process.  A teaser from CBS reveals that Imus says he would put himself and Howard Stern on the list of the best-ever radio performers.  The segment also addresses the numerous times he’s been fired, including by CBS RADIO in 2007 after his infamous comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Norm Pattiz Pens Pro-Podcasting Piece for Adweek.  Radio syndication visionary, Westwood One founder and PodcastOne chairman Norm Pattiz is published in Adweek, writing a piece that points out the pros of podcasting as a medium that delivers passionate consumers to advertisers.  He points out the rise in podcast listening.  “According to Edison Research, in 2006, 11 percent of the U.S. population (P12+) had listened to a podcast.  Last year, that figure had reached 40 percent.  Our own digital research shows that in the last five years, consumption of our network programming has grown from 1.3 billion downloads to 2.8 billion downloads last year.”  Read his piece here.

Nielsen: News/Talk Audience Share ‘Increased Significantly.’ With the wrap of the first quarter of 2018, Nielsen Audio releases some information it calls “trending long-term radio listening habits” by format based on PPM survey data.  The metrics are culled from PPM surveys going back to February 2011.  Nielsen says news/talk listening (which includes public radio news/talk) increased significantly since its recent low point in February of 2014.  For persons 25-54, for example, the format AQH share was 6.3% in February 2014.  The format AQH share was 7.3% in February of this year.  For persons 18-34, the February 2018 AQH share was 4.2%, second only to last February’s 4.7% share over the course of the last eight annual February tallies.  It bears repeating that Nielsen includes public news/talk in this report and that would likely skew the listenership younger than a survey of strictly commercial news/talk listeners.  Nielsen’s chart below reflects the 25-54 numbers.  See the whole report here.

Trump-Russia Probe Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 19-23. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the suits against President Trump by Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and Summer Zervos.  Coming in at #3 was the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica case, followed by President Trump’s China tariffs and the related financial markets activity at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Lieberman, who ran as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic Party ticket in the historic 2000 election, rarely gives interviews since retiring from the Senate five years ago after 40 years of elective public service.  He currently lives and works part-time in New York as an attorney with a major law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, and serves as a professor of political science at Yeshiva University, in addition to being active on a number of non-profit boards and in bi-partisan political advocacy groups.  Last year, he was on President Donald Trump’s short list of candidates to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.  Harrison and Lieberman engage in a wide-ranging discussion that includes the history and present state of politics and media, including his fascinating relationship over the years with talk radio, his view of the Electoral College (he and Gore won the popular vote), the old Democratic Leadership Conference, and his opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle radio personality Seth Hughes joins Hubbard Radio as midday host on KNUC “Country 98.9.”  Hughes was most recently with Entercom’s KMPS, Seattle as an air personality prior to its recent flip from country to adult contemporary.  He says, “For as long as I can remember it was a dream of mine to play country music on the radio in Seattle.  Twelve years ago, I travelled across the country to make that dream and so many others come true.  Thanks to Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye and Greg Strassell for helping me keep the dream alive.  To start a new job with a company as respected as Hubbard and NOT have to even smell the inside of a U-Haul trailer is truly a blessing.  I’m so excited to start the ‘Country 98.9’ chapter of my life.”…..Entercom promotes Clay Walker to program director for country WPAW, Greensboro “93.1 The Wolf.”  Walker had been serving the station as digital integration director and assistant program director.  He takes over for Dale O’Brien who’s giving up the PD post to focus on the morning show and to spend more time with his family.  Entercom Greensboro SVP/market manager Brent Millar says, “Clay Walker is a dyed-in-the-wool radio fanatic, interested in every aspect of the business.  He has long dreamed of having the opportunity to program and has devoted himself to doing his best to be ready when that time comes.  It has come and we are proud to have him on the team.  I also want to thank Dale for breathing new life into ‘The Wolf,’ as proven by our very impressive 2016 versus 2017 ratings growth. We’re all very glad to know that Dale will continue to lead the ‘Wake Up with the Wolf’ morning show.”…..In Houston, air personality JC removes the “interim” from his title as host of the evening daypart at Entercom’s country KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull.” JC has been hosting “The Bull After Dark” for a year.  Entercom Houston vice president of programming Bruce Logan says JC “has great on-air energy, is amazing at using the phones to engage the audience, and he has very good social media skills, as well as experience in creating and editing video.”…..Envision Networks names Max Lowther its newest affiliate relations manager.  Lowther is a Cleveland native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he worked at campus radio station WBGU-FM.  There he was afternoon drive host and later became the promotions director, working with sales, marketing, and hands-on trade show experience.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We’re very excited to have Max as part of the team at Envision Networks.  We feel that his work with WBGU-FM, combined with his drive to forward his career in the radio industry will make him an invaluable asset to our affiliate relations team.”

Round Four of February PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 market, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s February 2018 survey period covered February 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin Spoken-Word Formats – After being -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is a combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, steady at #2, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). October 2017’s 7.9 is the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Despite gaining two-tenths (4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from eighth to ninth. After four straight negative moves that produced a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), KLBJ-AM erased the deficit completely in January with a +1.3. In the sports talk arena, Genuine Austin Radio’s KTXX “The Horn” is off one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, #19), while iHeartMedia’s KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is flat at .6 (#24, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Via three losses in succession, including back-to-back drops of six-tenths, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT is a combined -1.5 (5.4 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+); however, in February, “107.1 La Z” is +1.0 to 4.9 (tenth to eighth, 6+). Having eroded by roughly 55% in January (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 6.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. In three upticks in succession, hot AC cluster-mate KAMX “Mix 94.7” is +.8 (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and it is right behind KKMJ at #4. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was in July 2016 (5.1). At the same time that iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” posts a +.5 (4.6 – 5.1, seventh to sixth, 6+), co-owned/similarly formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin, Texas Original” sputters by nine-tenths (5.9 – 5.0, third to seventh, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Trending -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017); +1.7 (January 2018); and now -.6 (February), Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” repeats at #1 (6.7 – 8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4 7.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2, without a loss the past five sweeps nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), returns half that increase (2.8, -.7, #12 to #14, 6+).

2) Raleigh Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down four-tenths (9.1 – 8.7, 6+) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” inches up from third to second. On the strength of January’s +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), WUNC recorded its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. Following three straight decreases that accounted for a -1.4 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is +1.1 in January and February (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9, ninth to eighth, 6+). Off one-tenth in February – after regaining the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.0, 6+) – Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” remains at #19. Flat at 3.4 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC slips from #12 to #13; “99.9 The Fan” was -1.3 in January. Co-owned/similarly formatted WDNC is up or flat for the sixth time in a row for a +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Not only does an improvement of +1.1 to 5.4 (6+) enable Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a -1.7 (6.0 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” jumps from tenth to sixth. Making up all by three-tenths of January’s -1.3 with a +1.0 (5.9 – 6.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” progresses from sixth to fourth. Even though iHeartMedia CHR WDCG duplicates January’s +.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), “G-105” remains at #5. When WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); November and December’s 5.0 matched the lowest 6+-share of “G-105” since “Holiday” 2013. Improving by seven-tenths as well (to 4.1, #12 to #11, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” curtails three straight drops that generated a -1.0 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Up one-half share (3.1 – 3.6, #14 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM – All The Hits” records its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.9. An overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC surrenders 60% of that increase with a -1.2 to 9.5 (6+). Nonetheless, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is on top for the ninth straight month; January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October 2017 halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). On the heels of experiencing a combined +3.5 (6+) in January, the market’s two country players are -1.7 in February as Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” is -1.1 (9.4 – 8.3, second to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country” is -.6 (4.0 – 3.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), “Today’s Best Country” delivered a staggering +2.6 in February. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. “B-93.9” was +.9 in January (3.1 – 4.0, 6+) and had its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. There are noteworthy February 2018 losses for both “Mix” and “Kix.” Specifically, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is -.7 (6.1 – 5.4, fourth to sixth, 6+), while Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” drops one-half share (4.8 – 4.3, seventh to tenth, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” – which was -4.3 in January 2018 – finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was tied for the lead in “Holiday” 2017 with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). “Kix” lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but bounced back in January with a +1.1. A loss of eight-tenths to 1.5 (#15 to #18, 6+) by Education Information Corporation’s WCPE “89.7 The Classical Station” ends its repetitive November 2017 thru January 2018 (6+) topline of 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.3.

3) Indianapolis Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at #10, Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” is a combined +1.6 in January and February (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0, 6+), directly following four straight downward moves for a collective -1.8 (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Off three-tenths (3.3 – 3.0, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI continues at #14. As was the case with WIBC, WFYI notched a +1.1 in January. In four straight down or flat trends, Emmis sports talk WFNI “The Fan” has lost one full-share (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, flat at #16, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” returns 60% of January’s +.5 (2.0 – 1.7, -.3, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – No sooner did Radio One CHR WNOW break out a +1.1 in January, “100.9 Radio Now” does it again (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+) and leaps into the top ten (#12 to #8). Nearly matching that February +1.1, rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” is up one full-share, extending its consecutive string of up or flat trends to four for an overall +1.5 (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.8, #13 to #11, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Hot” since 5.0 in November 2016. Having lost nearly two full shares (-1.9) since December (7.7 – 5.9 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” posts a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fourth, 6+). The top three Indianapolis finishers in February 2018 are separated by just three-tenths of a share (6+). Included in that trio are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” (7.9 – 7.3, -.6, first to second, 6+) and Entercom CHR WZPL (7.3 – 7.4, second to first, 6+), which swap places at #1 and #2, respectively. “Soft Rock,” which was #1 in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, is a collective -6.1 the last two sweeps, after +7.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), “99.5 ZPL” erupted with a +1.4 in January. The “Holiday” 2017 – January 2018 – February 2018 sequence for hot AC cluster-mate WNTR “107.9 The Mix” is -.6, +1.3, and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#8 to #12). Erasing the +.6 it racked up the past two sweeps (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) with a February -.6, iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” is back at 3.9 (#10 to #13, 6+). The fifth- and sixth-place spots are occupied by Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” (repeating its 6.2 and #5 rank from January, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (6.4 – 5.9, -.6, fourth to sixth, 6+). With a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+); October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. An overall +.8 in May and June (2017), WFMS was -.9 (July); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); and now -.5 (February 2018).

4) Milwaukee Spoken-Word Formats –  Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+), Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” makes up 45% of that deficit with a +.9 to 6.2 (6+) and remains at #5. In the runner-up slot for the fifth consecutive survey period, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” is down one-tenth (8.4 – 8.3, 6+), after posting a +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). For the tenth report in succession, University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.3 – 2.4, +.1, flat at #15, 6+). In another case of consistency – this time in the sports talk genre – the five most recent trends for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” (unchanged at #16) are 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 (November 2017 through February 2018, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – It is a strong sweep in Milwaukee for the country format as Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” is up six-tenths (3.4 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” gains one-half share (4.5 – 5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). The +.6 by “KTI Country” applies the brakes to six successive down of flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately in advance of that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Meanwhile, until registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” include -1.0 (December); +.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (January 2018); and now +.6 (4.6 – 5.2, eighth to sixth, February 2018, 6+). November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Before the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). As a result of sputtering in consecutive sweeps (11.6 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” ends an alternating down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+) but is #1 for the 36th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). A +.5 in January by Saga Communications’ WKLH recaptured approximately half of its -.9 in “Holiday” 2017; however, “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” replicates that -.9 in February (7.2 – 6.3, third to fourth, 6+). WKLH was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). Co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” returns more than half of January’s +1.4 (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, 6+) but stays at #3. Entering the January sweep, “The Hog” was down three straight times for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+). Still in that Saga cluster, urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” which had been within 4.2 – 4.4 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4), falters by six-tenths to 3.8 and exits the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+). Both of the current (negative) CHR streaks come to an end as Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” gains two-tenths (3.9 – 4.1, 6+) as it returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 Now” picks up one-tenth (2.9 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). “Kiss” had been down or flat the past five survey periods for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+); “Now” ends three successive decreases for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). With a 4.0 in November, “Now” reached the four-share level for the first time since September 2012’s 4.1.

5) Nashville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.9 In January and February (3.0 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” progresses from #13 to #11. January’s half-share improvement suspended three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). Unchanged at #17, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is off one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that it followed “Holiday” 2017’s -.6 with a January +.9, no other station in the 48 PPM-markets has a larger (6+) January 2018 – February 2018 erosion than Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (6.5 – 3.9, -2.6, 6+), which slumps from #4 to #11. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, #15, 6+), Cromwell Group’s similarly-programmed WPRT “102.5 The Game” has its best 6+-showing since 2.4 in May 2017; “The Game” improved by one-half share in January. Adding three-tenths to January’s +1.0 (5.0 – 5.3, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” climbs from tenth to ninth. January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era.

Nashville Music Formats – After a three-sweep stay at #1, Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA shifted to second in January, but with a +1.0 in February (7.7 – 8.7, 6+), “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” returns to the top spot. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Departing (after just one month) and segueing to second is iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” (7.8 – 7.0, -.8, first to second, 6+). Its -.8 in February curtails four gains in succession that netted +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s 7.8 represents its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (7.8, as well). Without an increase the past five ratings periods for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat – Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” dials up a +.7 to 6.7 (sixth to fourth, 6+). Following two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. Virtually disappearing from print in January with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” makes up about one-third of the deficit and returns to the top twenty (1.0, +.9, #19, 6+). Erasing the December and “Holiday” 2017 -1.7 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+), Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” bumps up from eighth to sixth. In January, iHeartMedia’s WSIX logged a +1.1 to end three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+) and “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” tacks on six-tenths (5.2 – 5.8, ninth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, following four straight gains for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops three-tenths to 4.7 (6+), but continues at #10. Returning in full the one-half share it gained in January (4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” dips from #12 to #13; “The Buzz” was frozen on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017.

6) Providence Spoken-Word Formats – When Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). In February, “News Talk 630” picks up three-tenths to 4.2, progressing from eighth to seventh (6+). Having lost three-tenths in January (1.7 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” rebounds with a gain twice that margin (2.0, +.6, #13 to #12, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) before picking up one-tenth in January, adds one-tenth (.4 – .5, #16 to #15, 6+). An overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI surrenders all but four-tenths of that increase (3.6, -1.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Finishing back-to-back are public news/talkers The Wheeler School’s WELH (2.2 – 2.3, +.1, eighth to ninth, 6+) and (from Boston) WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH (1.9 – 2.2, +.3, #11 to #10, 6+).

Providence Music Formats – On top for 28 ratings periods in succession, Cumulus Media’s WWLI was knocked off the mountain in January. Powered by February’s +1.3 though, “Lite Rock 105” is back at #1 (8.9 – 10.2, second to first, 6+). The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, WWLI was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Even though it leaves the #1 slot, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” is up one-tenth (9.5 – 9.6, first to second, 6+) and posts its best 6+stat (9.6) since September 2013 (9.6, as well).Owing to a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, sixth, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” records its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.6. Faltering by six-tenths (2.7 – 2.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB drops out of the top ten (#9 to #11). “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, basically doubling its 6+-share. In its June 2017 – February 2018 ratings history (ten reports since returning into print), WKKB has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+).

7) Norfolk – The +7.2 that Entercom adult contemporary WWDE registered in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) vaporized completely in January, but “2WD” roars back in February with a +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) as “101.3 2WD” continues at #5. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE logged its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” notched a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Consistently within 3.5 – 3.8 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104” busts out a +.6 to 4.4 and remains at #6 with its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. An overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” virtually wipes out that deficit in January and February with a collective +2.4 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.4, third to second, 6+). Nearly four full-shares ahead of “FM 99 Rocks” is Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today,” which stumbles by seven-tenths (13.0 – 12.3, 6+). Nonetheless, it is #1 for the 15th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 23rd time in the last 24 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). In an up/down sequence since November (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2 – 8.6 – 8.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from second to third.

8) Greensboro Spoken-Word Formats – Forfeiting nearly half of January’s +1.6 (5.9 – 5.2, -.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” slips from fifth to sixth. An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), WPTI coughed up over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. A combined +.5 in January and February (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” continues at #11. In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). While up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC stays at #13. Flat at #14, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” is trending .2 – .3 – .6 (6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Apparently undaunted by plummeting 10 full-shares in January, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix,” which finished first in “Holiday” 2017, bounces back with a +.9 (6.1 – 7.0, flat at #4, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” responds with a February +.7 (8.0, unchanged at #3, 6+); a December +1.5 took “Jamz” to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since July 2017’s 9.6. Steady at 12.1 (6+) and recording double-digits (6+) for the 16th sweep in a row, urban AC sibling WQMG repeats at #1. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. A January increase of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia-owned WTQR stymied four straight declines that accounted for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” falters in February by one-half share (5.6 – 5.1, 6+) and continues at #7. In four straight sweeps without an increase, co-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” is -2.0 (4.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), dropping from ninth to tenth.

9) West Palm Beach Spoken-Word Formats –  Flat at #10, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is a collective -1.2 via three straight decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), immediately after three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). It is tied with co-owned WZZR (#12 to #10, 6+). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), but is now -.6 in three consecutive down or flat trends (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1, 6+). After gaining three-tenths, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” is flat at 1.3 (#14 to #15, 6+). Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN, which was +.9 in January, is flat at 3.2 and stays at #9 (6+). This is the third straight time at .3 for Alpha Media sports talk WMEN “Sports Radio 640 The Hurricane” (flat at #18, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – The four most recent (6+) fluctuations for iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” are +.8 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); and now +1.0 in February (5.4 – 6.4, third to second, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. This (6.4) is the station’s highest 6+-share since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Alpha Media’s WIRK logs a February 2018 +1.0 (4.9, eighth to fifth, 6+), with “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” having its best 6+-share since September 2017’s 4.9. As the result of three positive spikes in succession (4.2 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.2, sixth to fourth, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is +1.0 and notches its best 6+-share since June 2017’s 5.4. Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8 – 10.2, 6+), co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” repeats at #1. In advance of January’s big increase, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). After 12 consecutive months on top, it dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). By notching a +.7, JVC Media’s WSVU “True Oldies Channel” boosts its November 2017 through January 2018 topline of 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 to 1.8 (#15 to #13, 6+). Immediately after busting out a +.9 (4.4 – 5.3, 6+) WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” craters by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. It is tied there with iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 – The Palm Beaches #1 Hit Music Station” (4.6 – 4.0, -.6, flat at #7, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since July 2017 (4.0, as well).

10) Jacksonville Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV has erased nearly half that margin (+1.2) in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, unchanged at #2). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Owing to a January increase of four-tenths, WJCT pulled the plug on five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+) and the public news/talk outlet piles on another half-share in February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, steady at #12, 6+). Returning in full its January +.3 (.4 – .7 – .4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” dips from #19 to #21.

Jacksonville Music Formats – A number of adult contemporary outlets marched to #1 in the “Holiday” 2017 report and then departed the top spot in January. A rare example of a station in that scenario, however, that reclaims #1 status in February is Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” (7.6 – 8.3, +.7, third to first, 6+). Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-stat since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Supplanted at #1 and dropping to third is iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country,” which is -5.7 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. While remaining at #4, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” is a combined +1.1 in January and February (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7, 6+), after freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Picking up six-tenths as well is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 (.1 – .7, #19, 6+). Without an increase in four straight sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), co-owned urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” is now +.6 in January and February (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+). Cox Media Group urban AC WOKV-HD2 is up one-half share as well (1.8 – 2.3, #15, 6+). With a +1.0 in January, iHeartMedia’s WKSL ended three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+), but “97.9 Kiss-FM” surrenders half that increase in February (4.7 – 4.2, -.5, seventh to ninth, 6+).

11) Memphis Spoken-Word Formats –  Despite losing two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” manages to improve from #11 to #10. Prior to the February stats, WREC’s two latest fluctuations were -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and +.9 in January. Its loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC since 3.6 in February 2017. Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+); however, “ESPN Sports Radio” added six-tenths in January and is flat in February (3.1, #12 to #11, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Three stations in the iHeartMedia cluster improve by seven-tenths: urban AC KJMS “V-101” (9.4 – 10.1, 6+); gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (steady at #5, 6+): and WDIA “1070 The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (seventh to sixth, 6+). In addition to bouncing back from January’s -.6 with February’s +.7, “V-101” repeats at #1; it departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. Regarding WHAL and WDIA, “Halleluiah” is +2.3 in four upticks in a row (5.0 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+), while “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” is +1.8 via five straight increases (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Roaring back from a -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.4 in January, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” now forfeits nine-tenths (4.0 – 3.1, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Unchanged at #17, Shelby County Schools’ urban AC WQOX registers a .8 (6+) for the fifth time in the last six survey periods (.8 – .7 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+).

12) Hartford Spoken-Word Formats – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” is +1.1 in January and February (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and carries on at #7. Flat at 1.0 (6+) and remaining at #13, Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” was +.2 this time last month to end three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). After responding to a “Holiday” 2017 -1.3 with a +.9 in January (to 5.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” levels out at 5.9 (6+) and is steady in sixth-place; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since August 2017’s 4.7. Owing to three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz, is a cumulative +1.1 and continues at #11. Entering the January sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – Fighting back from January’s -.8 with a one-half share increase (7.2 – 7.7, 6+), Entercom-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” progresses from fifth to second. Prior to January, “Hot” was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). Adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” drops two-tenths (13.4 – 13.2, 6+), but remains at #1 for the 19th consecutive ratings period. January’s -4.9 stymied at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 16th time in the last 18 sweeps – and eighth in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Following four sweeps in a row without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is up one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) and continues in ninth-place. This is the fourth time in a row that Red Wolf Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WNTY “Good Times – Great Oldies – Kool Radio” is without an increase (.4 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #15, 6+).

deneme