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Monday, January 18, 2021

| January 18, 2021

Monday Memo: We Are Changed. “New Year, new challenges…AND opportunities!” consultant Holland Cooke reckons. In this week’s column, HC lists “10 Fresh Insights into People’s Changing Behaviors,” based on “billions of tweets (yes, with a B).” Read it here.

Wednesday’s Biden Inauguration Preparation, Capitol Assault Investigation, Impeachment, Trump Pardons and Commutations, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccinations, Social Media and Free Speech, Migrant Caravan, Navalny Arrested, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The preparation for Wednesday’s inauguration ceremonies for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; the ongoing investigation into the assault on Capitol Hill; the House’s vote to impeach Donald Trump again; speculation about the coming pardons and commutations from President Trump; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. and criticism of vaccine rollout problems; social media’s banning “spreaders of misinformation” and the issue of free speech; a new migrant caravan from Honduras crosses Mexico for the U.S.; Putin opposition figure Alexei Navalny returns to Russia and is detained; and today’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Pending Business: How Do You Like to Be Coached? Sales and marketing pro, and Lapcom Communications Corp president, Steve Lapa says he recently worked with two top 20 market radio stations with no formal system for sellers to give feedback to air talent handling live reads. “The pattern is predictable. The seller sells, the host does the endorsement read, and results are disappointing. The host reads are off target and the dance begins. No one has taken the time to adjust the feedback system.” Read his column here.

Joe Zarbano Exits WEEI, Program Director Role. The Boston Globe reports that Joe Zarbano has left his PD role with Entercom sports talk station WEEI, Boston. Zarbano first joined WEEI in 2007 as an intern and rose through the ranks to become program director in 2016. He stated in a company-wide memo, “After careful thought and consideration, the time has come for me to pursue new challenges and step away from WEEI. In May of 2007, I walked into 20 Guest St. to begin an internship that I was so excited about I couldn’t sleep the night before. Little did I know, it was the beginning of a 14-year journey that would lead me to some of the most challenging but rewarding years of my life.” The Globe says that while WEEI won a Marconi for Sports Station of the Year in 2018, the Nielsen ratings have been kinder to crosstown competitor WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” The paper notes that in the fall ratings period, WBZ-FM “was first in the market in the men 25-54 demographic, while WEEI was a distant fourth.”

WGFX-FM, Nashville Midday Trio Exits for Outkick Gig. According to a piece in the Nashville Post, the trio of Johnathan Hutton, Paul Kuharsky, and Chad Withrow – hosts of the “Midday 180” show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone” – are leaving the station for a new role with Clay TravisOutkick. Travis is building a new Outkick OTT Network that will launch later this year. The Post says Travis’ new venture intends to air from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm ET with live audio and video plus a podcast network. Hutton tweeted, “We’re parting ways with the station, but ‘We’re Not Leaving.’ We remain in the business to win. A priority for each of us was to ensure we’d continue to work with one another, as we are the closest of friends, and we will continue to raise the bar.”

Emily Pankow Named General Counsel for Red Apple Media. Longtime Red Apple Group counsel Emily Pankow is appointed to the general counsel role for Red Apple Media, owner of WABC, New York and operator of WLIR-FM, Long Island. Pankow launched her legal career with Red Apple Group as an associate. CEO John Catsimatidis says, “Red Apple Media and WABC Radio will be well served by Emily’s legal insight. She has proven herself time and time again as an asset to our company over the past 15 years. Since the acquisition of WABC, Emily has been instrumental in the day-to-day legal work and has earned this title. I have every confidence that Emily will succeed in the new position and is destined for great things in the future.” Pankow comments, “I’m honored and delighted to join the Red Apple Media team at this exciting phase of the company’s growth under John Catsimatidis’ leadership. I look forward to helping build upon Red Apple Media’s success. Red Apple Group is continuously expanding its horizons and it has been a pleasure and honor to learn and grow with the company.”

Jordy Culotta Exits WNXX, Baton Rouge. Co-host of the “Off the Bench” program (7:00 am to 10:00 am) Jordy Culotta exits the Guaranty Media spors talk station. Culotta co-hosted the program with T-Bob Hebert and it’s unclear at this time if the company will replace Culotta or continue with Hebert hosting solo.

Retired Wisconsin Radio Personality John Moser Dead. WTMJ, Milwaukee reports that longtime WBEV-AM, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin radio personality John Moser has died, just two weeks after delivering his final broadcast for Good Karma Brands’ WBEV-AM. The details surrounding Moser’s passing are not clear. His family says he went into the woods near Mount Horeb, Wisconsin to hunt coyote and did not return. Authorities later found his body and the cause of death is under investigation. Moser began his career in Beaver Dam in 1973. During his time there, he served as a news announcer, disc jockey, marketing consultant and general manager.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s not a lot of detail on this but Townsquare Media is dropping the Robert Pratt-hosted “Pratt on Texas” program from its talk stations KFYO, Lubbock “Newstalk 790”; KYYW, Abilene; and KWFS-AM, Wichita Falls. The company posted the following to its websites: “As of January 18, 2021 the show ‘Pratt on Texas’ will no longer be heard on Townsquare Media radio stations in Lubbock, Abilene, and Wichita Falls, Texas. Townsquare Media thanks Mr. Pratt for his years of service hosting ‘Pratt on Texas,’ and wishes Mr. Pratt the best in his future endeavors. An additional announcement will be forthcoming concerning future programming on KFYO, KYYW, and KWFS-AM.” Pratt posts on his website that the move is the result of “cancel culture,” apparently implying that his show has been pulled because of his conservatism. Pratt says his ratings “are as great as ever.”…..All day today (1/18), SiriusXM’s Urban View channel and the Joe Madison show are honoring the legacy and celebrating the influence of Martin Luther King Jr. Madison is hosting a special edition of his morning show featuring speeches, sermons, and never-before-heard interviews. Madison is sharing his address to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms on King’s legacy, King’s “Give Us the Ballot” speech and “Why Jesus Called A Man A Fool” sermon, Rev. C.L. Franklin’s “The Eagle Stirreth the Nest,” and exclusive new interviews with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, attorney Raymond C. Pierce of the Southern Education Foundation, former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, and journalist Joan Walsh. Topics will include the 13th Amendment, supporting Black colleges and Black youth in the South, health equity, and white supremacy…..ABC News Radio is offering extensive live anchored coverage of the inauguration events, starting with the COVID-19 memorial ceremony on Tuesday, January 19. On Wednesday, January 20 ABC News Radio will offer a primetime special report that includes coverage of the planned celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. Correspondent Aaron Katersky will anchor from the Capitol with reporting by correspondent Karen Travers, correspondents Alex Stone and Mark Remillard, and multi-platform reporter Ines de La Cuetara. Coverage will also include reporting and analysis by former White House correspondent Ann Compton, political analyst Steve Roberts, and ABC News’ political team and security experts. ABC News’ flagship daily podcast “Start Here,” hosted by Brad Mielke, will post a special edition on Wednesday featuring the latest reporting on the Inauguration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

| September 13, 2017

WFAN’s Craig Carton Professes Innocence in Ponzi Scheme Allegations.  Making his first public statement since being arrested and charged with fraud in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme, WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton said he is innocent of the charges against him.  His statement read, “I want to thank my family, friends and fans and especially Boomer [Esiason] for the outpouring of public and private support I’ve received over the past few days.  As you can imagine, it’s been incredibly hard to be silent while there is an endless stream of vitriol being hurled my way, but I’m confident that when the facts come out, you’ll see that I am not guilty of these charges.  My fight has only just begun and I know when this strange episode is over, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.  Thank you for all the kind words and good wishes as I continue on with one of the greatest battles of my life.”  Esiason spoke on WBZ-FM, Boston’s Toucher & Rich morning program saying he is “lost and heartbroken” over the matter.  He said he spoke with Carton on Saturday and he is being supportive of Carton during this difficult time.  Carton’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, issued a statement saying Carton is a “victim who was deceived, manipulated and used by individuals seeking to gather assets for their own fraudulent schemes.”

Francesa Won’t Turn His Back on WFAN.  Afternoon drive star Mike Francesa tells the New York Post that if WFAN is facing real programming trouble from the Craig Carton legal matter combined with his own pre-planned departure from the station in December he would not “turn my back on the company if I thought it was in trouble.  That’s something that had to play out in the weeks and months ahead.  And I don’t really know if it is [in trouble], so I don’t know if that’s going to mean anything.”  Some industry watchers have speculated that Francesa’s exit combined with Carton’s absence from the morning show could affect the most lucrative dayparts, putting CBS RADIO’s New York sports talker in a difficult situation.  Read the Post story here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey with today’s focus on sports talk radio.  The MLB playoff push and the ramp-up to the NFL season appear to have been good for sports talk stations with “roughly two of three stations (65%) on this sports talk panel up (6+)” from the July survey to the August survey.  But, a year-over-year comparison shows a different trend.  Kinosian notes that “more than half of these eligible sports talk stations are down year-to-year (53%) while 34% improve; the remaining 13% are steady.  No sports talk station ranked first in its market during the August survey – only CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit came close, finishing #2.  See the whole report here.

Larry Glover Moves to Middays at WVLK, Lexington.  Talk show host Larry Glover moves from the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart at Cumulus Media’s WVLK, Lexington, Kentucky.  At the same time, the Cumulus-syndicated Chris Plante show moves to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  The daypart opened up after Lee Cruse — who also works at WLEX-TV — resigned his position with WVLK due to time constraints.  He hosted the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Glover was the radio voice for the minor league baseball Lexington Legends for seven seasons.   In 2008, he was honored as the Kentucky Sportscaster of the Year.  Cumulus Media Lexington VP/market manager Scott Frazier comments, “We are very excited to have Larry Glover join our midday lineup on News Talk 590 WVLK.  I’ve always believed that Larry possessed the ability to reach beyond the world of sports talk to offer entertaining and informative commentary on a broad range of topics.  He will now have that opportunity and I think our listeners will love what they hear!”

FCC Report Indicates 50 U.S. Mainland Radio Signals Still Off the Air.  Due to the loss of power and flooding from Hurricane Irma, there are still a slew of radio stations off the air, mostly in Florida.  The signals – including translators – are: In Florida — WMFM, WAXY, WDOZ, W227CP, W250BH, W274BB, W298BO, W300CL, WAQV, WFLJ, WJFH, W251BM, WROK, WAOA- FM, WHKR, WLZR, WIOD, WOLZ, WINZ, WBTT, WCKT, WZTA, WSVU, WSWN, WOTW, WMFQ, WXUS, WYGC, W240CI, W295BJ, W233AP, WMKO, WEAT, WMFL, WWFR, WJFR, WTIR, WMYR, WCNZ, W294AN, WNWF, WEJZ, WGNE-FM, and WJGO.  Georgia stations off the air are: WLFH, WHFX, WBGA, WGIG, WEKL and WGCO.  This report was as of yesterday at 11:00 am ET.  Some of these stations may have returned to air by the time you read this.

WEEI Presents $4.2 Million Check to Jimmy Fund.  This year’s 16th annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon raised $4.2 million for the Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Pictured above presenting the ceremonial check at Tuesday night’s Boston Red Sox game are (from l-r): Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary; WEEI, Boston program director Joe Zarbano; NESN general manager Sean McGrail; NESN coordinating director Rose Marakian; Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation president Beverly Tangvik; and Jimmy Fund chairman Larry Lucchino.

Hofstra University’s Dr. Evan W. Cornog is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  For the second time in the past three years, Long Island-based Hofstra University’s WRHU (FM and .org) was presented the NAB Marconi Award for “Best Non-Commercial Radio Station” in the nation – a remarkable achievement.  Dr. Evan W. Cornog, dean of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, which oversees the institution’s radio department, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Cornog, a highly respected scholar with stellar credentials in both academia and professional journalism, brings a wealth of experience and insight to the conversation.  Prior to joining Hofstra in 2010, Cornog served as an associate dean at the Columbia University School of Journalism for more than a decade during which time he was publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review.  He was also press secretary to New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch and a freelance writer and editor whose stories have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, Slate and the Boston Globe.  Cornog also served as special assistant to the president of the New School in Manhattan.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard University, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in history from Columbia.  Don’t miss this fascinating conversation in which Harrison and Cornog discuss the rapidly evolving state of media and its impact on society, as well as the future of journalism.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Andre Fernandez Named to FCC Committee.  Selected to serve on the new Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) is CBS RADIO president and CEO Andre Fernandez.  Fernandez was selected by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on the committee that will “provide recommendations to the FCC on how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries.”  Leading the committee as chair is NetCommunications president Julia JohnsonShootingStar Broadcasting president and CEO Diane Sutter is vice chair.

Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Sanders’ Single Payer Bill, SCOTUS Rules on Refugee Ban, Hillary Clinton Book, Cruz Porn Video ‘Like,’ Apple Unveils iPhone X, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12).  The effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey on Florida and Texas; Senator Bernie Sanders announces his bill to create a single payer system for health care in the U.S.; the Supreme Court upholds the ban on travel for certain refugees for the time being; Hillary Clinton’s book about her loss to Donald Trump; Ted Cruz says “staffing issue” responsible for his Twitter “like” of a porn video; Apple unveils new iPhone 8 and the iPhone X; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and NFL 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. This change was anticipated and now it happens as Hubbard Radio hot AC WTMX, Chicago formally changes the name of “The Eric & Kathy Show” to “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip.  Eric Ferguson leads the morning show with castmates Melissa McGurren and Brian “Whip” Paruch.  Obviously, this comes on the heels of the official departure of Kathy Hart from the show.  She’d been off the air since late April in what appears to have been a contract dispute.  The station let her go last week.….Cumulus Media names Britt Rose afternoon drive personality on classic hits WJTQ, Pensacola “Jet 100.7” She was most recently with the company in Oklahoma City on classic hits KQOB and rock KATT.  WJTQ program director Chuck Whitaker says, “I am very excited to have Britt here as the new afternoon goddess in the ‘Jet 100.7’ cockpit.  It’s so good to see one of our own at Cumulus get the opportunity to advance in their career.  We look forward to Britt taking ‘Jet 100.7’ to new heights!”…..Lakes Media LLC flips WMPW, Danville, Virginia from its “MOREfm” adult contemporary format to classic country as “Country Legends.”  The company says that the online audience for the “Country Legends” stream has more than tripled in the last year.  That combined with the existence of sister AC WHLF already on the air, the decision was made to bring “Country Legends” to the FM airwaves on WMPW…..Sinclair Communications’ CHR KSXY, Forestville/Santa Rosa, California flips to alternative as “The 101 Modern Alternative.”  Program director Dray Lopez and air staffers Ashlee Sleek, Natalie, and Will Styles remain with the station…..Cumulus Media’s WGNI, Wilmington, North Carolina adds the nationally syndicated “Intelligence for Your Life” program starring John Tesh to its evening program schedule…..Premiere Networks radio personality Nikki Sixx is launching a new weekly program feature on his nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” radio program.  It’s called “My Favorite Riff” and it’s billed as “a first-ever multiplatform music and conversation series highlighting guitar legends and the hottest upcoming new artists.”  It launches tomorrow (9/14) with guest Joe Bonamassa.

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI

| August 8, 2017

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

BOSTON – While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling  to make digital dollars and digital traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for them.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.

Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.

Read More

Thursday, April 20, 2017

| April 20, 2017

Fox News Channel Announces New Prime Time Lineup.  In the aftermath of yesterday’s announcement that 21st Century Fox’s Fox News Channel has parted company with embattled personality Bill O’Reilly after a 20-year relationship, the cable news leader reveals its new prime-time lineup.  Taking over the 8:00 pm ET slot will be Tucker Carlson, who recently joined FNC after Megyn Kelly‘s departure.  Sean Hannity remains in his 10:00 pm time slot and moving into the 9:00 pm hour is the panel discussion program “The Five,” co-anchored by Kimberly Guilfoyle, Dana Perino, Bob Beckel, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters and Juan Williams.  Martha McCallum stays in the 7:00 pm hour but her show is re-named “The Story.”  Beginning May 1, Eric Bolling – regular O’Reilly fill-in anchor and “The Five” contributor – will launch his own program at 5:00 pm.

Clive Davis Chats with WABC at Stage 17.  Recording industry legend Clive Davis (right), talks with 77WABC entertainment reporter Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman (left) at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City yesterday (4/19).  Davis was in town promoting the premiere of the documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, which opened at the TriBeCa Film Festival last night.  During the interview, Davis discussed his early days in the industry as well as his years working with the legendary Whitney Houston and other iconic artists, including Simon & Garfunkel and Bruce Springsteen.  Davis also told Gunzelman he believes in the vitality of radio, calling it “vital” to creating hits.

No Charges Filed in the Michael Savage Kerfuffle.  According to a report in the East Bay Times, the Marin County District Attorney’s office says no charges will be filed against Westwood One talk host Michael Savage or John Spreckles Rosekrans, the man Savage accused of assaulting him outside a Tiburon, California restaurant.  Savage and Rosekrans placed each other under citizen’s arrest after a verbal confrontation escalated into a physical conflict.  Neither man required medical treatment nor appeared visibly injured, according to police.  The paper quotes Marin County assistant DA Barry Borden saying, “After a thorough review of all the police reports and communications with attorneys representing each of the two individuals involved with this incident, a decision has been made that charges will not be filed against either individual.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Southern California broadcaster Fred Lundgren’s website for KCAA, Loma Linda was hacked and directed to a porn site last week.  Lundgren details the arduous journey to recovering control of his station’s website in a piece published at Huffington Post.  Check it out here…..iHeartMedia and SpokenLayer announce a new relationship that will put nearly 40 SpokenEditions onto the iHeartRadio platform.  SpokenEditions are human-read versions of written content from premium publishers and the collaboration will bring the audio version of hundreds of news stories to iHeartRadio listeners each week.  Some of the publishers involved include: Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Slate, Time, Reuters, Wired, and more…..Alpha Media’s Portland news/talk “FM News 101” KXL is named the 2016 Radio Station of the Year from the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.  In addition to that, KXL was also honored with Best Newscast, Best Coverage of Breaking News, and Best Feature awards.  Alpha Media Portland market manager Lisa Decker comments, “These awards are great recognition and honor for an outstanding product that the KXL staff produces every day.”…..Football great AJ Hawk is joining Radiohio’s sports talk WBNS, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” beginning May 8 for a summer program titled “Off-Season with AJ Hawk,” that’ll also feature co-host Anthony Rothman.  The show will air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature talk about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the NFL, as well as other hot sports topics.  During the NFL season, the former Green Bay Packers linebacker will join the midday “Carpenter and Rothman” show for “Football Fridays.”…..CBS RADIO inks a deal with TrafficLand – one of the largest authorized aggregators of live traffic video in the U.S. – for CBS to use the company’s video management technology (VMC).  The TrafficLand VMC service provides integrated access to real-time video from more than 20,000 state and local department of transportation traffic cameras across the U.S. through a specialized interface that was built by TrafficLand for traffic reporters and first responders to improve situational awareness…..Total Traffic & Weather Network announces it inks an exclusive, nationwide agreement with TrafficCast, a provider of digital traffic information and technology.  In the multi-year partnership, TTWN will serve as the exclusive U.S. radio and television distributor and marketing partner for TrafficCast’s new smartphone app, TrafficCarma…..Red Rock Radio enters into an agreement to sell Duluth market sports talk duo WWAX-FM, “92.1 The Fan” and KQDS-AM to Twin Ports Radio, LLC. for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. represented Red Rock and Steve Moravec of Phoenix Media Group, LLC assisted Twin Ports Radio.

WEEI’s ‘Kirk & Callahan’ Visits the White House. Pictured above is the WEEI, Boston morning show cast posing for a photo with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during yesterday’s visit by the Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots.  The morning show was invited to the event by Spicer.  The Patriots were officially congratulated on their victory in a ceremony with President Donald Trump.  Pictured (from l-r) are: Gerry Callahan, Spicer, Kirk Minihane, WEEI program director Joe Zarbano, Kirk & Callahan senior producer Chris Curtis.

Hangin’ with Rusty Wallace. NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace poses for a photo with (from l-r): Chris McKee of the Motor Racing Network, AdLarge Co-CEO Cathy Csukas; Wallace; and AdLarge Co-CEO Gary Schonfeld.  Wallace serves as an analyst for MRN.  AdLarge is the exclusive national ad sales partner for MRN: The Voice of NASCAR.

Fox News and Bill O’Reilly Part Company, North Korea Nukes/‘Trump Armada,’ Russian Saber-Rattling, Iran Nuclear Deal, Aaron Hernandez Suicide, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19). Fox News Channel’s announcement that personality Bill O’Reilly will not return to the cable channel in the wake of sexual harassment allegations; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the controversy over misleading Trump Administration information about where in the region U.S. Navy ships actually were; reports of Russian fighters patrolling near Alaska; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s promise of a “comprehensive review” of the Iran nuclear deal; the apparent suicide of fallen NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez; and MLB, NBA and NHL 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.  In the Washington and Baltimore markets, iHeartMedia announces two promotions.  First, Tommy Chuck is named program director for adult contemporary WASH-FM.  He’s been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for two-plus years programming CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5” and country WPOC, Baltimore.  He’ll continue to program WIHT in addition to WASH-FM.  He says, “I am honored to now lead the two most-listened-to radio stations in Washington, DC.  Like ‘HOT 99.5,’ 97.1 WASH-FM is a blue-chip brand with an incredible history and even brighter future.”  At the same time, the company announces that Jeff Wyatt moves up from his vice president of programming for the company’s Virginia-Carolina region to become SVP of programming for the Baltimore market and program director for WPOC and adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM.”…..In the Savannah market, Cumulus Media names Mike “Big Mike” Bell program director for its hip hop outlet WEAS “FM/E93.”  Bell moves to Savannah from his most recent position with the company at its Florence, South Carolina operations where he’s been PD for hip hop WYNN.  Cumulus Media Savannah VP and market manager Eric Mastel says, “Mike’s creativity, positive energy and experience programming successful urban-formatted stations make him a tremendous addition to the ‘E93’ team.  Our listeners are going to love what they hear.”…..iHeartMedia San Antonio flips KZEP from urban contemporary to Spanish pop as “104.5 Latino Hits,” the new home of Spanish contemporary hit radio.  The station is kicking off today with 10,000 commercial-free songs.  Core artists include: Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Shakira, and Mana.  Effective May 1, Enrique Santos hosts wake-up show “Tu Manana con Enrique Santos.”…..Hubbard Radio’s WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” is celebrating the life of Prince all day tomorrow – the one-year anniversary of his death – dubbed “Purple Friday.”  “106.5 The Arch” will be airing special features throughout the day as well playing one of Prince’s hits every hour, on the hour.  WARH music director and afternoon personality Robert Fithen states, “As Prince broke through lyrical and musical boundaries, fans broke through with him.  His music taught me to challenge the rules and not be content with labels and confines.  Go ahead.  Try to categorize ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ a song that starts with a sermon, builds to a keyboard hook and ends with a blistering hard rock guitar solo.  Is it R&B?  Rock?  Pop?  It’s Prince!”

 

 

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey is released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Baseball “experts” are predicting great things this year for the Washington Nationals. The National League East team’s flagship – CBS Radio’s WJFK-FM – rebounds from February’s one-half share loss with a gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 1.5 – 2.2, 6+) as “106.7 The Fan” inches up from #18 to #17. Unlisted for the third straight month is its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+). Despite declining by one-half share (11.5 – 11.0, 6+), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” finishes first for the third straight time. Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+); February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. When WPRS “Praise 104.1” lost one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016, it ended five successive improvements that produced a collective +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). The Radio One-owned gospel outlet faltered by another eight-tenths in January; regained six-tenths in February; but in March, “Praise” sputters by -1.3 (5.0 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 3.5, 6+), skidding from seventh to tenth. Up a combined +1.2 in January and February (3.3 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL surrenders eight-tenths to 3.7 (6+) but carries on in eighth-place. After being down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+). That streak, however, concludes as “Majic 102.3” regresses by one-half share to 4.9 (6+), dipping from fourth to sixth. Its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR (+.3 and unchanged at #3) – posted a 5.7 (6+) in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a -.3 to .8 (6+), Alpha Media-owned WFLS “93.3 Today’s New Country” (flat at #20) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends – which netted a +.7 – end at five (.4 – .6 – .6 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+).

2) Boston – Over and above registering a strong +.8 to 8.5, its most potent 6+-share since last July’s 8.6, Beasley Media Group-owned WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” is #1 for the third successive sweep. The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; and now +.8 in March. In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the previous four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). In addition to “Boston’s Classic Hits,” CBS Radio’s WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” picks up eight-tenths as well, adding it to February’s +.7 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9, 6+), leaping from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2014’s 5.2. By gaining four-tenths in January, WZLX pulled the plug on four straight negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Both of Beantown’s mainstream CHR facilities increase by one tenth. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” is 5.6 – 5.7 (third to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned WODS “Amp 103.3” (unchanged at #13) is up or flat for the third successive time (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). The market’s typically robust FM sports facilities though erode by a combined -1.3, with “Amp” sibling/Super Bowl champion New England Patriots’ key station WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” -.7 (5.4 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+), while Entercom owned/Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM is off by six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). A combined +1.3 in January and February (3.4 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), talk-oriented public outlet WGBH-FM forfeits nine-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to tenth, 6+). Prior to January’s increase, WGBH-FM had been down or flat the previous three sweeps for a collective -.6 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+).

3) Miami – By notching a +.7 (3.3 – 4.0, 6+), CBS Radio-owned rhythmic CHR WPOW not only recaptures what it lost in four straight declines starting in November (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), “Power 96 – Miami’s Party Station” cracks the top ten (#12 to #8). The game of musical chairs at the top continues as Univision Radio’s WAMR picks up one-half share (6.8 – 7.3, second to first, 6+) and is back at #1 – as it was in January. “Amor 107.5” has recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the last seven ratings periods. One-tenth behind it and dropping from first to second is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which is actually up three-tenths (6.9 – 7.2, 6+). In February, “Hot” broke out a +.8 to 6.9, its finest showing since September’s 7.1 (6+). Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Sputtering by a full-share (6.6 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom’s WLYF “Lite FM” slips from third to fourth and is below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8. A one-tenth gain in January enabled “Lite FM” to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+); WLYF was #1 from July 2016 through October. Meanwhile, Cox Media Group-owned similarly-programmed WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (fourth to third) has its fifth successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) for a combined -1.1, directly after a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. Although it only slips from fifth to sixth, there is another major fluctuation for urban contemporary sibling WEDR “99 Jamz.” When WEDR declined by -.5 in December, its string of consecutive trends without a loss that produced a +.7 ended at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). Rolling out a +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016, “99 Jamz” floundered by -1.5 in January; posted a +.8 in February; but regresses by -.7 in March (4.7 – 5.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). Declining by seven-tenths as well is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” (4.1 – 3.4, 6+), which plummets from #7 to #14. At the same time, Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WRTO “Mix 98.3” is off by one-half share to 2.7 (6+), sliding from #13 to #16. Entering the March sweep, “Mix” was trending 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 (6+). Tied at #10 in February and at #12 in “Holiday” 2016, the market’s two mainstream CHR outlets continue to be nearly inseparable as iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” is flat at 3.8 (#10 to #11, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is one-tenth behind at 3.7 (-.1, #10 to #12, 6+).

4) Detroit – A robust +.9 by WWJ – #1 for the third successive sweep – takes the CBS Radio all-news operation to 7.4, the first time it has crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). Slightly less than two shares behind WWJ are three stations tied in the runner-up slot. All with a 5.6 (6+), they are classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WOMC (-.1, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC (also -.1, 6+); and Cumulus Media news/talk WJR (+.1, 6+). The country share in Motown swells by six-tenths, with WWJ sibling WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” up four-tenths (5.3, eighth to fifth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” gaining two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4, #16 to #15, 6+). “Detroit’s Country” was locked on 4.9 (6+) in January and February. After registering three straight gains for a collective +2.2 (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 5.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies WMGC “The Bounce” surrenders exactly one-half of that gain all at once (4.1, -1.1, 6+) as it exits the top ten (#7 to #11). It would be an understatement to note “The Bounce” has had its share of sharp ups and downs since transitioning from sports last July 1. It quickly posted back-to-back gains totaling a combined +7.3, vaulting from #23 (June 2016, .7, 6+) to #15 (July 2016, 3.1, 6+) all the way to #1 (August 2016, 8.0, 6+). Not only was it just a one-month stay at #1, “The Bounce” sputtered by -2.7 in September; -1.2 in October; and -.8 in November (8.0 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+). Down by more than 50% since August 2016, “Bounce” quickly plummeted from #1 (August) to #5 (September) to #12 (October) to #13 (November). Following four consecutive positive trends that generated a combined +1.4 (2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” is off two-tenths to 3.8 (6+), slipping from #11 to #12. By picking up three-tenths to 4.3 (6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WMXD “Mix 92.3” (#11 to #10) overtakes “Kiss” and ends three straight ratings periods without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0, 6+) that accounted for a -.7.

5) Seattle – On the strength of a +.9 to 4.5 (6+), Entercom’s KISW “Rock 99.9” cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). “Rock 99.9” had posted a 3.6 in four of the last five sweeps (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+). While flat at #18, Hubbard’s similarly-formatted KVRQ “98.9 Everything That Rocks” is without a decrease for the fourth consecutive ratings period (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). Not only does co-owned KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” hang out a +.6 (7.2 – 7.8, 6+) the mainstream CHR ranks first for the third consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. After progressing by nine-tenths in February, University of Washington-owned KUOW falters by -1.1 (5.8 – 6.7 – 5.6, 6+) but remains in the runner-up slot. In the four most recent ratings periods, KUOW is -.9 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.4 (January): +.9 (February); and now -1.1 (March) for a net gain of three-tenths. Having improved by one-half share in back-to-back survey periods (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” returns 80% of that combined gain (4.8, -.8, 6+) and drifts from third to fifth. Co-owned KJR-AM “Sports Radio 950” (#28 to #25) rings up a +.3 to 1.2 (6+), thus curtailing four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a collective -1.4 (2.3 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – .9, 6+). Three consecutive negative trends by Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” (#12 to #15) have yielded a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” drops four-tenths to 3.3 (6+), slipping out of the top ten (#10 to #12). In four of the last five sweeps, “Kiss” posted a 3.7 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+).

6) Phoenix – In 3.2 – 3.9 range (6+) since December, iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” busts out a +.8 to 4.1 (6+) and enters the top ten (#11 to #8). This time last month, adult contemporary sibling KESZ – which had been #1 for 30 successive ratings periods – held a nine-tenths advantage over its runner-up, Hubbard classic rocker KSLX. With KSLX gaining seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and KESZ faltering by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), however, that impressive KESZ streak comes to an end with the two outlets swapping places. Improving by one-half share and six-tenths, respectively, are KSLX cluster-mate KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock,” which has its third straight gain netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, fourth to third, 6+) and Univision Radio-owned KQMR “Latino Mix 100.3” (.9 – 1.5, #26, 6+). Four consecutive (modest) increases give Hubbard’s KDKB a combined +.8 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) as “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” climbs from #14 to #12. Following six consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -1.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” adds four-tenths to 2.2 (6+) and enters the top twenty (#23 to #20). As Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVK “K-LOVE” gains one-half share (1.9 – 2.4, #18, 6+), co-owned and similarly-formatted KLVA (also) “K-LOVE” is off by six-tenths (1.2, #23 to #28, 6+). KLVA was a combined +1.2 in January and February (.6 – 1.3 – 1.8, 6+). In a three-way tie at #14 in February, The Yucaipa Companies’ rhythmic CHR KKFR “Power” freefalls to #25 as a result of a massive -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+). Logging its fifth straight decline for a combined -1.7 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.5, 6+), Bonneville’s KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” drifts from #21 to #26. Up a cumulative +1.2 since the “Holiday” 2016 report (2.1 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ surrenders one-half share (to 2.8, 6+) and dips from #11 to #15.

7) Minneapolis – Improving by seven-tenths each are American Public Media Group’s news/talk KNOW (5.8 – 6.5, fifth to third, 6+) and triple A sibling KCMP (2.3 – 3.0, #14, 6+), with the latter having its highest 6+-share since September 2015 (3.0 as well). Unchanged at #2, iHeartMedia CHR KDWB displays a one-half share increase (6.4 – 6.9, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is down by three-tenths (7.6 – 7.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” is #1 for the third straight time. In January 2017, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” – follows up January’s +1.3 by stumbling one-half share (each) in back-to-back sweeps (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+), dropping from #11 to #12. “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). After being up a combined +1.2 (2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned news/talk KTLK returns more than half that gain (2.5, -.7, 6+) as it skids from #14 to #16. It is tied there with American Public Media Group’s KSJN “Classical MPR,” which is down three-tenths (2.5, 6+), halting at five its successive string of up or flat trends that netted a +.9 (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+). Meanwhile, a two-tenths drop to 5.4 (6+) marks the end of three straight sweeps without a decrease that generated a +.8 (4.8 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+) for University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM (sixth to eighth). February’s 5.6 was the best 6+-share for “98.5 Twin Cities Christian Radio” since September’s 5.8. In the Twin Cities’ country contest, iHeartMedia’s KEEY “K-102 Minnesota’s Country Station” adds three-tenths to February’s +.9 (4.7 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+) and remains at #6, while CBS Radio-owned KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” (+.5 in February) drops two-tenths (3.9 – 3.7, 6+) and is steady at #13.   

8) San Diego – Nearly identical to what we witnessed this time last month when the ten best finishers were separated by one share, the margin now dividing the first ten rankers is 1.1 shares. Moreover, the distance between the top five is a mere three-tenths. By adding just one-tenth (5.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS breaks out of February’s three-way tie at #2 and grabs the lead. After one month at #1, “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” segued from first (in January) to second (in February). Displaced from the top spot and falling to third is KPBS (5.4 – 5.2, -.2, 6+). A collective +.8 in January and February (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+) was enough to lift the San Diego State University outlet from third to first. February’s 5.4 was the strongest 6+-stat for KPBS in just over two years (5.5, 6+, January 2015). In three straight declines, iHeartMedia’s KGB was a cumulative -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+), but “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” recaptures three-quarters of that loss (3.6, +.6, 6+) and zooms from #16 to #12. This is the 17th straight time KGB is within three-share range (6+). Registering an improvement of six-tenths as well and jumping from eighth to fifth is XHTZ “Today’s Hit Music – Z-90.3,” which regains what was lost in its mini-slide (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). While steady at #22, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” triples its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+). Following a January boost of six-tenths, Imagen Spanish contemporary outlet XLTN (#12 to #14) is a combined -1.3 in February and March (3.6 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+).

9) Denver – Seven-tenths of a share separates the market’s top four March 2017 finishers. Having floundered by seven-tenths in February, Bonneville‘s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” recoups all but one-tenth (4.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, +.6, 6+) and leaps from #16 to #11. “The Fan” was -.5 in “Holiday” 2016 and +1.1 in January 2017. A loss of six-tenths in November 2016 halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+); October 2016’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Albeit down four-tenths (6.6 – 6.2, 6+), country cluster-mate KYGO repeats at #1. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. A full-share negative fluctuation in February sent iHeartMedia’s KTCL (7.1 – 6.1, 6+) from first to third; now, “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” falters by another six-tenths (5.4, 6+) to dip to fourth. Eroding by -1.3 in December not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps for KTCL that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. In back-to-back sweeps though, “Channel 93-3” was +1.8 (5.3 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+). As a result of its fourth successive increase accounting for a cumulative +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), triple A sibling KBCO “World Class Rock” cruises from ninth to sixth and has its best 6+-performance since last June’s 4.8. Steady at 3.5 (6+), co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” (#15 to #14) is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 16th successive sweep. Flat or down (modestly) in three straight sweeps for a -.4 (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+) going into the February ratings period, KIMN “Mix 100 Today’s Best Mix” dialed up a +.7 to 4.4, its best 6+-showing since last April (4.4 as well). The KSE Radio Ventures hot AC relinquishes that increase in its entirety though (4.4 – 3.7, -.7, 6+) and spirals out of the top ten (#6 to #12). It is tied there with its format rival, Entercom’s KALC “Alice 105.9,” which is up one-tenth (3.6 – 3.7, 6+) and climbs from #14 in February.

10) Tampa – Pulling the plug on four successive declines that yielded a collective -1.8 (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” notches a gain of six-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and carries on in fifth-place. Improving by six-tenths as well is hot AC cluster-mate WMTX “Mix 100.7,” which had been confined to 3.3 – 3.6 territory (6+) the past seven sweeps (3.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). Not only does “Mix” reach the four-share level (4.0, 6+) for the first time since last June’s 4.3, it leaps from #15 to a three-way tie at #10. Off two-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WQYK bounces back with an increase of one-half share to 4.7 (6+) as the country facility advances from ninth to sixth. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” remains at #3. This is the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well). Ahead of it and again at #2 is Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which (like “Q-105”) has its third straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+) but for a cumulative +1.1. Prior to February’s 7.1, “The Eagle” last soared to the seven-share level (6+) more than four years ago (7.0, 6+, October 2012). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. While co-owned WDUV “Lite Favorites” is on top for a remarkable 54th successive ratings period, the adult contemporary property falters by one full-share (9.7 – 8.7, 6+), recording its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Including a regression by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps, this is the third straight decline (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6, 6+) for iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (#18 to #19). Down the past four sweeps for a collective -.8 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 All the Hits” picks up two-tenths to 4.5 and remains at #7 (6+). Similarly-formatted WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel” departs the top ten (#10 to #13, 6+); the iHeartMedia-owned outlet is without an increase for the third straight sweep (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). Dropping from #15 to #16, news/talk sibling WFLA regresses by one-half share to 2.9, its weakest 6+-share since September’s 2.5.

11) Baltimore – Boasting impressive back-to-back increases of +1.2 (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WPOC tacks on another three-tenths (to 7.4, 6+) for its third consecutive progressive trend, with “Baltimore’s New Country” continuing in third-place. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. On top in the Washington, D.C. report (see above), American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” is without a decrease in Baltimore for the fifth consecutive sweep (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+) and remains at #15. Inching up from #17 to #16, Washington Adventist University contemporary Christian WGTS more than doubles its 6+-share in Baltimore with its fifth successive up or flat trend (.5 – .6 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). Without an increase since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “Q-92 Jams” picks up four-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and holds the runner-up slot for the fourth straight ratings period. February’s 7.3 was the lowest 6+-share for WERQ since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. Even though it is down (slightly) in consecutive sweeps (8.9 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” is on top for the third straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic 95.9” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. Frozen on 3.9 (6+) in January and February, Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “95.1 Shine – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” (#9 to #12) sputters by seven-tenths to 3.2, its lowest 6+-stat since August (3.0, 6+). Doubling its 6+-share via back-to-back gains (.7 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 – Maryland’s Classical Music Station” falters though by one-half share to .9 (#15 to #18, 6+).

12) St. Louis – The third straight increase (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2, 6+) by CBS Radio heritage news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” is by +1.1 and it represents the only (6+) February 2017 – March 2017 increase by at least one full-share in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released on Wednesday. With its finest 6+-stat since October’s 6.8, the St. Louis Cardinals flagship progresses from seventh to fifth. Up a collective nine-tenths via three successive sweeps without a decrease (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” moves from #15 to #12 and matches September’s 4.2 (6+). Unchanged at #17, co-owned KMJM “100.3 The Beat” improves by six-tenths to 2.6, its best 6+-showing since June (2.6, as well). This marks the third straight time at #1 for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU (7.4 – 7.6, +.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. It is three-tenths ahead of Emmis rocker KSHE, which is steady at #2 and without a decrease for the fourth successive ratings period netting a +.8 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.3, 6+). A full-share loss (4.8 – 3.8, its lowest 6+-share since March 2016’s 3.8) causes University of Missouri’s KWMU to drift from #9 to #14. More ups and downs for Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1,” which squandered seven-tenths in January; recaptured it in February, but regresses by one-half share in March (5.1 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+) to dip from seventh to eighth. Following its strong (#1) “Holiday” 2016 performance, CBS Radio’s KEZK has had three straight declines that have accounted for a cumulative -6.8 (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), but the adult contemporary property actually climbs back into the top ten (#11 to #10). Ironically, prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1). Unlisted for the third consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

| January 17, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Countersues Nielsen and Files Third Party Complaints Against Cox Media and WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta.  The battle between Florida-based, syndicated morning talk host Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, and Nielsen Audio just got more complicated after Bubba’s attorneys filed a countersuit against Nielsen Audio and fresh complaints against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning personality Mike Calta.  As industry watchers are aware, Nielsen is suing Bubba claiming that his attempts tobubba manipulate the PPM ratings in the Tampa market have caused damages to its business.  During the discovery phase of this case, Bubba’s lawyers have requested documentation and Nielsen responded by ultimately providing some 71,000 pages, but not in a manner deemed timely by Bubba’s team.  In fact, they state that their work in the discovery phase has been “seriously delayed as a result of Plaintiff’s untimely nielsen logoproduction of discovery materials and broad-brush approach to making confidentiality designations.  Moreover, Defendants’ use of the discovery materials has been severely limited by the terms of the Protective Order.  As a result, on November 18, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Amend Case Management and Scheduling Order to extend the discovery cut-off from December 9 to January 9, 2016.  The Court entered an Order granting Defendants’ motion on November 29, 2016.”  If Nielsen’s tactics were intended to cause Bubba to settle the matter, it didn’t work.  He’s doubling down with the aforementioned countersuit and new complaints against Nielsen, Cox and Calta for: Defamation (Counts I and II), Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships (Counts III and IV), Violation of thecoxmediagroup Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (Count V), and Civil Conspiracy (Count VI).  Bubba’s lawyers say their counterclaims and third-party claims “are based on various documents that were produced by Plaintiff in response to Defendants’ discovery requests.”  Here’s the breakdown according to the court filing: “In early 2015, Plaintiff entered into a conspiracy with Cox (one of Nielsen’s largest subscribers) to, among other things: (i) utilize Nielsen’s monopoly power over the audience measurement and ratings for the Tampa Market to prevent Defendants from broadcasting their morning radio show on WBRN in competition with WHPT; (ii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ caltamikecontractual relationships with Beasley Media Group and their other affiliates; (iii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ current and prospective business relationships with WBRN’s advertisers and US-based syndication partners; (iv) improperly manipulate Nielsen’s ratings for the Tampa Market to simultaneously increase WHPT’s market share to the benefit of Cox, while decreasing the share of WBRN to the detriment of Beasley, Clem and BRN; (v) publish knowingly false, defamatory allegations of ratings distortion activities against Defendants in an effort to conceal the fraudulent conduct of Nielsen’s employees with respect to the data included in Nielsen’s monthly ratings reports; (vi) unfairly apply Nielsen’s rules and impose unprecedented sanctions pressure on Beasley to bring about the termination of its contract with BRN and Clem; and (vii) engage in unfair methods of competition, anticompetitive behavior, and various unconscionable, deceptive, and unfair acts or practices in violation of Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, in order to further the interests of a large Nielsen subscriber over those of a smaller subscriber.  As a result of Nielsen, Cox, and Calta’s conduct, and the conduct of those conspiring with them, Defendants have incurred several million dollars in damages.”  As noted, much of Bubba’s evidence for the complaints comes from Nielsen documents but it is heavily redacted to protect Nielsen’s proprietary PPM information.  Regarding the complaint against Mike Calta, Clem’s lawyers allege Calta defamed him during an on-air phone conversation in which he made the following false statements: that Clem was cheating Nielsen’s ratings system; that Clem had control over PPMs; that Clem had PPMs on watch winders in a shed and/or a shipping container; that Clem had purchased a PPM from his dentist’s nurse; and that after Clem left WHPT, he stopped using the PPMs he allegedly had control over to benefit WHPT, causing its ratings to fall.  Bubba also alleges that Cox conspired with Nielsen for the latter to de-list heavy listeners to Bubba’s WBRN show and that Cox and Nielsen concocted a “sting operation” to entrap Bubba into engaging into ratings manipulation.  The complaint also states that “Nielsen admits that none of the PPM data obtained from any PPM panelist alleged to have engaged in ratings tampering activities with Clem was ever included in any of its monthly ratings reports and, therefore, it was unnecessary for Nielsen to reprocess or reissue any of its monthly ratings reports as a result of the ratings tampering activities allegedly engaged in by Clem.  Nevertheless, at the urging of Cox, Nielsen imposed its most severe response to the alleged ratings distortion activity by delisting Beasley’s WBRN for the month of September 2015.”  Neither Nielsen, Cox or Calta have commented publicly on the suit.

WEEI, Boston Promotes Alex Reimer to ‘Brand Personality.’  Sports media personality Alex Reimer has been part of the “third-chair rotation” for the “Kirk and Callahan Morning Show” on Entercom’s sports talkreimeralex WEEI, Boston since the fall.  Now, the company announces that he’s coming aboard full time as a brand personality.  Calling it a “move designed to augment both the on-air and online components of its media ecosystem,” Reimer will join the WEEI.com staff “creating columns, blogs, and podcasts” while continuing his rotating co-host position on the morning show.  The Boston University grad has previously served with Forbes, The Boston Herald and SB Nation.  WEEI program director Joe Zarbano comments, “Since joining the Kirk and Callahan third-chair rotation last fall, Alex has done a terrific job delivering opinionated and entertaining sports talk.  I’m excited that WEEI.com will now be an outlet for Alex’s insightful writing to our massive online audience.”

WVLK, Lexington Names ‘Kruser’ Program Director.  Eighteen-year WVLK-AM, Lexington air personality Dave “Kruser” Krusenklaus is appointed program director at the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  As part krusenklausdaveof the change, Krusenklaus will move from his midday talk show slot to the afternoon drive daypart.  Current station PD Scott Johnson transitions to the news director role for WVLK and the Cumulus Lexington cluster.  Prior to his work as a talk host at WVLK, “Kruser” worked as a programmer and air talent in both the rock and classic hits formats.  Cumulus Media Lexington vice president and market manager Scott Frazier states, “I look forward to ‘Kruser’ delivering the same powerful analysis and spirited attitude he has brought as an on-air personality to programming central Kentucky’s heritage news/talker, 590 WVLK!”

Trump Inauguration Protests, Trump NATO and EU Comments, Russian Hacking Allegations, World Economic Forum, GOP ObamaCare Plan, Istanbul Terror Suspect Caught, Wife of Orlando Terrorist Arrested, Eight Billionaires Statistic, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The planned protests for Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the boycott by numerous Democratic Members of Congress, and security plans; controversy over Trump’s comments about NATO being obsolete and his prediction about the end of the European Union; the allegations that Russia hacked the DNC emails in an attempt to influence the U.S. election; the World Economic Forum taking place at Davos, Switzerland; the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act; the capture and confession of the man responsible for the deadly terror attack in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve; authorities arrest Noor Salman, wife of Orlando club shooter Omar Mateen; the report that eight of the world’s richest people hold more wealth than half of the rest of the world; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

cookehollandCooke: Recalibrating Talk for the Trump Era.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today with thoughts about what talk radio can do to take advantage of the Trump era.  Cooke says that as social media flourishes, talk hosts should take that to mean that listeners expect to be heard and he adds that “the smartest thing talkers can do now is listen.”  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated “Red Eye Radio” show from Westwood One is being simulcast by C-SPAN during the Wednesday (1/18) broadcast from 1:00 am to 6:00 am ET.  The full live show plus break banter with hosts Eric Harley and Greg McNamara will be simulcast by the cable news network…..“Thecarollaadam Forbes Interview” podcast debuts today on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network.  The show is the first podcast to be developed jointly between Forbes and PodcastOne and delves into the minds of the most significant leaders of today – the people who have been, or easily could be, on the coveted cover of Forbes magazine.  The first interview by Forbes senior editor Steve Bertoni is with podcast superstar Adam Carolla.

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RadioInfo Web banner‘KISS FM’ Chicago’s Angi Taylor Joins ‘The Rendezvous.’  Chicago radio personality Angi Taylor is signed up for double duty as Premiere Networks announces she’ll partner up with Simon Marcel as the new co-host of the syndicator’s evening show “Thetaylorangi Rendezvous.”  Taylor will continue her role at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKSC “KISS FM” where she’s one half of the “Fred + Angi” morning show.  “The Rendezvous” is described as “the nightly radio program featuring insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.”  Taylor says, “I couldn’t be more excited to host ‘The Rendezvous’ along with the French captain of romance, Simon Marcel!  I’m so thankful for everyone at Premiere Networks for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.  Hosting a syndicated show is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to share the love, romance, and FUN with a national audience!”

erickathy17Hubbard Re-Ups Eric & Kathy at WTMX, Chicago.  Chicago morning show stars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart sign a multi-year contract extension with Hubbard Radio to continue hosting The Eric & Kathy Morning Show on WTMX “101.9fm THE MIX.”  The station says that over the past 20 years the show “has been a consistent market leader, ranking number one among advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old Adults, for most of their tenure at the station.”  Hubbard Radio president and chief operating officer Drew Horowitz comments, “I’m thrilled to have the most successful morning show team in Chicago radio history continuing their run on ‘THE MIX’ and remaining an integral part of Hubbard Radio.”

iHeartMedia Announces Lineup for Fourth iHeartCountry Festival.  The iHeartCountry Festival is comingiheartcountry17 back to Austin this spring.  iHeartMedia announces the big country show will again take place at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, May 6.  The lineup will feature acts including: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and The Raging Idiots, plus more to be announced.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes comments, “The iHeartCountry Festival has become an annual family reunion for the biggest stars in country music.  These artists grew up together and you can truly feel their deep friendships when they join each other on stage.”