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Monday, March 15, 2021

| March 15, 2021

Monday Memo: Radio Has a 100-Year Head Start. Who ISN’T doing a podcast? “Your advertisers,” who consultant Holland Cooke notes, “are, increasingly, diverting radio dollars to digital shiny objects much less productive than assets stations can craft.” In this week’s column, HC outlines a strategy. Read it here.

Pending Business: Attitude Is Everything. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa writes in today’s column that a seller’s attitude is even more important now. “Negotiating any deal to a win-win can be delicate surgery. The economic variables, personalities, and now the lack of body language feedback can make the process frustrating.  As we move to a hybrid sales-work environment of online, in-person, Zoom, and mobile, negotiating takes on a new dimension.” Read his piece here.

Rita Cosby Returns to WABC, New York for Late Night Show. Talk and news media pro Rita Cosby makes a return to the WABC, New York airwaves as host of the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show, effective tonight. She fills the slot that opened when Red Apple Media recently dropped the “John Batchelor Show” from the late-night slot. Red Apple CEO John Catsimatidis says, “Rita Cosby is the best in the business, with a tremendous following and incredible background. ‘The Rita Cosby Show’ will bring a new and exciting dynamic to our important evening programming, with Rita’s top-notch interviewing skills, impeccable record in journalism, and deep ability to connect with our listeners. We are proud to welcome such a respected host to 77 WABC Radio and anticipate big success for ‘The Rita Cosby Show.’” Cosby – an Emmy-winning TV host who’s anchored programs on FOX News Channel and MSNBC – previously served with WABC from 2014-18 as a host and political editor. She says, “I am honored to be joining 77 WABC’s terrific lineup and working with legendary New York icon John Catsimatidis and his team. During this pivotal and unpredictable moment in our nation and communities, 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight will be a nonstop voice of reason and truth you will not want to miss.”

WEEI Officially Names Andy Gresh Midday Co-Host. As TALKERS reported last week, longtime Boston sports media personality Dale Arnold’s replacement on the midday show at Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM is Andy Gresh, the company announces. Arnold left the station after Friday’s program, capping a 30-year career on WEEI. Gresh partners with Rich Keefe for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm “Gresh & Keefe” show, starting today (3/15). Entercom Boston regional president Mark Hannon says, “Andy Gresh has a vast amount of experience covering the Boston sports scene, making him a perfect addition to our midday programming. We’re excited to team him up with WEEI’s Rich Keefe to bring listeners a dynamic midday show that will reflect what sports fans are talking about day in and day out.” Gresh, who exited Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence earlier this year, says, “I’m excited to be back on the radio in Boston. I think people know I’m pretty familiar with this time slot, but it’s time to present something new and fresh, with energy, focus and fun. Rich Keefe and I have always had a cool relationship that I truly believe will translate through the speakers.” During his career, Gresh has hosted at “790 The Score” in Providence; WFAN, New York; ESPN Radio; SiriusXM; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”

Sponsored Story: Take The Work Out Of Creating Sponsor Recaps And Airchecks. Leading networks and syndicated hosts effortlessly track key sponsor and advertiser campaigns. You can do so too by providing recaps that highlight in-show integrations, sponsorships and endorsements. Share detailed reports of when and where sponsors’ messages are delivered, complete with airchecks. Show off your talent and take your advertiser relationships to the next level.  Level Up My Insights

TALKERS News Notes. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Stephanie Miller’s first Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour show in Madison, Wisconsin, the entire cast is getting together on April 10 at 8:00 pm ET for an online Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour show featuring a look back at the last 10 years (plus all-new comedy just for the occasion). Joining Miller on the live event will be John Fugelsang, Frangela, and Hal Sparks…..Skyview Networks – the exclusive radio network sales and affiliate sales partner of VSiN, the sports betting network, announces six new stations in Phoenix, Palm Springs, Jacksonville, and Toledo sign on for VSiN’s content…..Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants and Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco agree to a multi-year extension to keep Giants games on KNBR through 2025. Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “We’re elated that Giants baseball and KNBR will continue to be the Bay Area’s favorite summer soundtrack for years to come. Between KNBR’s powerful AM/FM signals and our streaming platforms, we look forward to providing fans with multiple options to enjoy every Giants game.”

Migrant Crisis at the Border, Cuomo on the Ropes, Stimulus Package, COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Breonna Taylor Marches, Voting Bills, Georgia’s Trump Investigation, Everard Vigil Arrests, Deadly Myanmar Violence, and the Grammy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Biden administration’s immigrant problem as thousands of parentless children amass at the U.S.-Mexico border; the sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the fellow Democrats calling for his resignation; Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package becomes law; the number of COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, the removal of mask mandates in some states, and the rollout of vaccines; the protests in Louisville and other cities on the one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s slaying; the voting bills in various states critics say will making voting more difficult; the investigation into Donald Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State asking for more votes; the violence at the UK vigil for Sarah Everard; the deadly violence in Myanmar; and Sunday night’s Grammy awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

| March 10, 2021

Entercom Renews with Bloomberg News for Service to All-News and News/Talk Stations. The extension of this companywide deal between syndicator Key Networks, business news provider Bloomberg Radio and Entercom Communications keeps Bloomberg Radio’s business and consumer news on the majority of Entercom’s 26 all-news and news/talk stations, including 1010 WINS in New York, KNX-AM in Los Angeles, WBBM Newsradio in Chicago, and more. Under the new agreement, Bloomberg Radio will continue to provide Entercom stations with access to its world-class news content, including live, customized reports, “Bloomberg Money Minutes,” and Bloomberg specialty features including: “Bloomberg Business of Sports,” “Green Report,” “Small Business Report,” “Real Estate Report,” and more. Entercom vice president of news Bill Smee says, “As the unrivaled leader in local news radio, powered by some of the most iconic brands across the country, we’re proud to extend our partnership with Bloomberg Radio. Our news stations are committed to serving as a trusted source of vital information for our millions of listeners, and this partnership will continue to enhance the content they turn to on a daily basis.” Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green adds, “It is a privilege to bring the most in-depth business and financial news reports to Entercom stations that are best in class from coast to coast. This partnership brings Bloomberg-created content to listeners and advertisers and we look forward to building on this successful partnership with Entercom.”

Townsquare Media Repurchases Oaktree Capital Management’s Stake in Company. Spending $80.4 million in cash, Townsquare Media, Inc repurchases the entirety of Oaktree Capital Management L.P.’s 12.6 million shares and warrants of the company at $6.40 per security and retires those securities. Townsquare repurchases 100% of Oaktree’s 12.6 million shares and warrants, comprising 1.6 million shares of Class A common stock, 2.2 million shares of Class B common stock, and 8.8 million warrants. The purchase price of $6.40 per security reflects a 39% discount to the closing price of the Class A common stock on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, and a 19% discount to the pre-announcement share price. In addition, Townsquare will pay Oaktree a $4.5 million consent fee related to the transaction in four installments, the first of which is due on April 1, 2021. Following the repurchase, Townsquare has approximately 16 million securities outstanding, inclusive of common stock and warrants. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson says, “We could not be more pleased to share that given our strong cash position, we were able to repurchase 100% of Oaktree’s ownership interests in Townsquare, capturing a strong return for our shareholders. This is a beneficial transaction for our investors and the company. The Oaktree share repurchase is significantly accretive on an earnings per share and free cash flow per share basis in 2021, and entirely eliminates Oaktree’s ownership overhang for current and potential shareholders. We thank Oaktree for their long-term support of our company. We look forward to discussing our fourth quarter and year-end 2020 results as well as our first quarter 2021 outlook on our earnings call next week.”

Appleton Rock Station Fires Host for Limbaugh Comments. Rock WAPL-FM, Appleton, Wisconsin has fired longtime morning drive co-host Len Nelson, two weeks after it suspended him for a social media post in which, after opining about Rush Limbaugh’s effect on conservative politics, he closed with the statement “the world is a better place without Rush Limbaugh.” Nelson announced his dismissal with the following Facebook post: “My longtime WAPL radio partner, Rick McNeal, posted some nice words which I’m sharing here regarding my firing today and about our years together. I could not have asked for a better person, nor one more funny than he to have worked with. I am sad that it ends this way and that it puts so much pressure on Rick and the rest of my coworkers. But Rick is resilient, and our fans should rally to him as so many of you have rallied to me. Like I said in my previous post here, none of the air and sales staffs should be blamed for any of this. I put them in this situation, and I will regret that forever. As listeners and advertisers, you can make your own decisions but, in the end, WAPL and Woodward Radio Group are made up of lots of fine people with whom I shared decades of fun and profit. That hasn’t changed. Give them the respect they deserve and give Rick and Carol and whomever else will comprise the new morning crew a chance to entertain you and to serve you as clients. I know Rick is up to the challenge as is the rest of the WAPL team. Very little individual success ever happens without a team effort and I was fortunate to have a great team on which to play. I sincerely thank each of them for that.”

WABC, New York Officially Announces Greg Kelly Joins Station. In a move that was first revealed in the New York Post, Red Apple Media’s news/talk WABC, New York brings Greg Kelly aboard to host the station’s 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program. Kelly is also host of the 7:00 pm ET “Greg Kelly Reports” program on Newsmax TV.  Kelly is a former U.S. Marine who has served with television outlets NY1 and WNYW-TV “Fox 5 News” in New York. Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis says, “Greg Kelly is a broadcast veteran with a tremendous portfolio of experience in media. He is dynamic on the air, entertaining, and will bring listeners what they want to hear in a style that is uniquely his own. Greg Kelly is a terrific addition to our daytime radio programming and will bring along with him a loyal audience who appreciates his perspective on the political current events. We are happy to have him aboard.” Kelly is filling in for Curtis Sliwa, who is running for mayor of New York. Regarding Sliwa’s status with WABC, the station previously said, “77 WABC celebrates what is great about America. We support our democracy and our right to vote, fair elections, and the American process. It is with that in mind that, while Curtis Sliwa is a candidate for the Office of the Mayor of New York City, his radio show, podcast, and all related contributions to 77 WABC Radio are on hiatus.” Catsimatidis added, “WABC recently received notice that a longtime member of our WABC family, Curtis Sliwa, is officially running for mayor. Therefore, Curtis is currently on leave pending his mayoral bid. We wish him and all of the candidates good luck in the upcoming race. If Curtis is not successful, we look forward to him rejoining the WABC family.”

Entercom Announces Acquisition of Podcorn. This transaction puts the value of Podcorn at $22.5 million with an upfront cash payment of $14.6 million and a performance-based earnout over the next three years. Podcorn is a self-service marketplace that allows podcasters to connect with advertisers for native sponsorships. Entercom chairman, president, and CEO David Field says, “The acquisition of Podcorn expands Entercom’s product offering for advertisers and builds on our position as one of the country’s three largest podcast publishers and the #1 creator of original, premium audio content. By making it easier for brands to collaborate with targeted podcast creators of all sizes, we are addressing an important market opportunity in the fastest growing segment of media.” Podcorn’s marketplace includes nearly 40,000 creators and has facilitated thousands of podcast ad campaigns. Podcorn creates an infrastructure for enabling direct podcaster and advertiser relationships, surfacing the most relevant matches to scale native branded content, drive higher ROI for brands, and enhance how podcast creators monetize their content. Podcorn was founded by Agnes Kozera and David Kierzkowski following the successful acquisition by Google of their previous company FameBit, a marketplace for video influencers where brands and YouTube stars collaborated for branded content. Kozera and Kierzkowski will continue to lead Podcorn, joining Entercom’s leadership team. Kozera says, “Given the success that podcasters and brands have seen on Podcorn, we’re excited to join Entercom’s growing audio platform to accelerate our vision and help brands and podcasters succeed in an even bigger way. Together, we hope to provide the most effective podcast influencer marketing solution for brands and become the largest driver of brand deals for podcasters of all sizes.” Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley adds, “Remarkably, only a fraction of podcasts generate revenue. We want to change that. Bringing together independent creators, chart-topping talent, and advertisers under one roof – and providing the tools to streamline collaboration, transparency and efficiency – provides greater value for advertisers, creators and listeners alike.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “John Batchelor Show,” emanating from Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York, leaves Westwood One and is now being syndicated by CBS News. There’s not much information available as this was done quietly, but Batchelor affiliate stations tell TALKERS magazine the change happened earlier this week…..Twin Cities radio personality, sports writer and producer Dana Wessel is joining Cumulus Media’s active rock KXXR “93X” as executive producer of the “Half-Assed Morning Show.” Wessel previously served with iHeartMedia’s sports talk KXFN-FM “K-FAN,” and Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM…..SiriusXM announces that “Information Overload with Vernon Reid” launches on Friday (3/12) on the Volume channel. On the monthly program, musician and Living Colour guitarist Reid sits down with artists, authors, and celebrities to explore how the power of music can help in healing and creating change. Reid will explore topics from racism and social unrest to cultural moments and the onslaught of information and misinformation in social media.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Relaxed Mandates & School Openings, Stimulus Package, Andrew Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations, U.S. Border Chaos, Newsom Recall, and British Royals Interview Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/9). The number of positive COVID cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; the several states relaxing mask and occupancy mandates and the push for full school openings; Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package goes back to the House; the growing number of allegations of sexual harassment against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; the growing migrant chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border; the recall effort against California Governor Gavin Newsom; and the aftermath of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s interview with Oprah were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

| August 11, 2020

O’Reilly Set To Land at WABC? It certainly looks as though former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly could soon be in-place to join Red Apple Media New York City’s WABC “Talk Radio 77.” O’Reilly’s attorney, Fred Newman – through his assistant – tells CNBC, “We are in the final stages of a contract and a program should be on in the fall.” O’Reilly’s representative also confirmed the talks were being held with WABC, which New York businessman John Catsimatidis acquired from Cumulus Media in June 2019. Catsimatidis tells CNBC, “I will confirm that; I think he is one common-sense American.” The 70-year-old O’Reilly has been accused by multiple former Fox News employees of sexual harassment. The network ended his “O’Reilly Factor” show three years ago, after the revelation of several costly settlements for the alleged harassment. His follow-up “No Spin News” airs on his website; YouTube; and The First, a conservative streaming channel. O’Reilly has been maintaining a strong radio presence on Key Networks’ syndicated daily feature “The O’Reilly Update,” which has roughly 225 affiliates. WABC’s current weekday lineup consists of: “Red Eye Radio” (1:00 am – 5:00 am); “Fox News Run Down” (5:00 am – 6:00 am); “Bernie & Sid” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Brian Kilmeade (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Curtis & Juliet” (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); Rudy Giuliani (3:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Ben Shapiro (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Mark Levin (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and John Batchelor (9:00 pm – 1:00 am).

WBT, Charlotte Morning Host Pat McCrory is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Former North Carolina governor turned WBT, Charlotte talk show host Pat McCrory is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  McCrory is heard weekday mornings on the Entercom-owned heritage station with co-host, newsman Bo Thompson, 8:00 – 10:00 am on a highly-rated show that addresses local, regional and national topics along with a blend of pop culture items and a heavy dose of “fun.”  He has successfully held that position since 2017 after serving a four-year term as the Republican governor of North Carolina.  His gubernatorial service was a wild ride during which he garnered a tremendous amount of national attention, both positive and negative, due to the controversy surrounding his signing of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act – also referred to as”HB2″ – and became embroiled in the issue of transgender use of public rest rooms.  There was a political backlash against that move which resulted in North Carolina being the target of numerous economic boycotts that resulted in the loss of revenue and jobs for the state.  McCrory, who refers to himself as one of the first victims of the “cancel culture,” lost his bid for re-election following that episode by a razor thin margin.  Prior to that, he had a long track record of being one of North Carolina’s most popular political figures.  Before being elected Governor, he served seven consecutive terms as mayor of Charlotte and presided over the Queen City’s notable growth as a business and cultural center during that period.  Harrison and McCrory candidly discuss a variety of topics from the impact of hyper political correctness on public discourse to current political issues.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Wrap” located in the right-hand corner on every page of Talkers.com.

Bubba Launches New Podcast – Inks with Crossover Media Group Sales for Ad Representation.  One of the most colorful and, at times, controversial personalities in the talk radio industry, Tampa-based Bubba Clem, is on a positive roll with a revamped nationally syndicated show, “The Bubba Army,” and a brand new podcast titled “The Bubba Army Podcast.”  One of the industry’s fasted rising rep firms, NYC and LA-based Crossover Media Group Sales, has announced signing the podcast to its growing roster of programs. Dropping his longtime “Love Sponge” moniker, Clem now goes by the mononymous handle “Bubba” and has evolved into a more “polished” performer on both his syndicated show and new daily podcast focusing on top-tier guests and pertinent commentary.  The radio show and new podcast are produced and syndicated by his in-house Bubba Radio Network.  Bubba tells TALKERS, “We’re looking forward to delivering a guest-driven podcast that is fresh, current, relevant and that will become a daily destination for folks who want to have a little fun.” Commenting on his new podcast sales deal, Bubba adds, “The Crossover Media team has a great track record; they know the advertising marketplace and they’ve assembled a powerful portfolio of programs.  It’s great to be working with them.” Bubba’s daily morning show is carried on radio stations in Tampa, Orlando, Gainesville, Charleston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Phoenix and more.  It has a significant social media presence and is carried as an audio and video program on Twitch which confirms it is that platform’s number one radio show.  “Over his decades on air, Bubba has regularly shaken up the audio landscape and, along the way, he has attracted a massive and loyal listenership and high-profile celebrity guests who understand the power of his platforms,” says Sue Freund, Crossover Media Group Sales managing member. “And now Bubba brings that loyal audience to an entirely new, highly polished and potentially game-changing podcast that promises to take him to new heights.  Whether they’re fans or not, people are talking about Bubba – and we expect they’ll be talking about him even more once they hear the new podcast.”

Hewitt Lands Presidential Interview. It happened this morning (Tuesday, 8/11) as Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt scored an exclusive on-air interview with president Donald Trump. Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup remarks, “We are thrilled that Hugh Hewitt got to share President Trump’s views on breaking news with our nationwide affiliates today. In the 2016 election cycle, Hugh interviewed Donald Trump 16 times. With today’s interview completed, he only has 15 more to execute between now and November to tie his record.” Among other things, the wide-ranging discussion between Hewitt and Trump covered presidential politics; a potential Supreme Court vacancy; and international relations.

Miraldi Boosted to iHM’s EVP/Digital Content Strategy. Relocating to Nashville where he will oversee iHeartMedia’s new digital content hub, senior vice president of digital content strategy Paul Miraldi is promoted to executive vice president of digital content strategy. “During Paul’s time overseeing the national editorial, social & photo team, our monthly digital audience has enjoyed record growth, hitting a new all-time high last month,” notes iHeartMedia Networks group president Darren Davis. “Under his direction, the iHeart daily newsletter program has grown from four to eight daily mailings, most recently with the launch of the ‘Coronavirus Update,’ which has become our most successful newsletter. Paul will continue to lead the national editorial/social/photo team. The digital content hub will improve the efficiency and quality of our digital and social content across all of our local markets, as well as increase digital audience and social engagement.” Miraldi previously was vice president of editorial operations in New York and Clear Channel’s senior VP/digital programming & marketing. Eight years ago, he and Don MacLeod teamed to create full-service marketing agency Miraldi & MacLeod. The former director of marketing for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and classic rock WAXQ “Q-04.3,” Miraldi was executive producer of several major station events. His resume also includes stops at New York City’s WPLJ and WCBS-FM; Minneapolis’ KDWB and KEEY; and KSAN, San Francisco.

Entercom Division Cadence13 Launches “Pod Is A Woman.” Three former officials in the Barack Obama administration have initiated “Pod Is A Woman.” The weekly Cadence13 political podcast featuring former White House deputy director of Hispanic Media, Alejandra Campoverdi; ex White House director of press advance, Darienne Page; and former White House director of veterans outreach, Johanna Maska, started yesterday (Monday, 8/10) with Dr. Jill Biden as the first guest. According to Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran, “Campoverdi, Page, and Maska’s powerful and diverse voices couldn’t be more important to bring to the larger political conversation as we enter the home stretch to the 2020 presidential election and look ahead to the next four years. With their singular White House and campaign experiences, they will inform and engage listeners with wit, wisdom, and candor; we are thrilled to partner with them for this one-of-a-kind show.” In a joint-quote press release, the hosts state, “Throughout our years working in the White House for President Obama, we saw just what was possible when people of all backgrounds come together under a common mission of equality and opportunity. We also experienced firsthand the leadership role women played in getting the job done. This moment will be no different. At this pivotal time for our country, we’re thrilled to partner with Cadence13 to create space for honest, unapologetic, and representative conversations that will cut through the political noise and bring the focus back to the issues that really matter.”

NAB Show’s “Collectively Speaking” Kicks Off Next Month. The NAB online forum will look at issues facing the media and entertainment industries in the pandemic. NAB executive vice president/conventions and business operations Chris Brown comments, “‘Collectively Speaking’ will provide our global community new opportunities to collaborate, explore, and learn about trends and innovations as they develop. We look forward to the conversations that emerge and are committed to making the series an immersive and educational experience for all participants.” The series will debut September 2 with “Collectively Speaking: Production During a Pandemic.” It will feature USC Entertainment Technology Center‘s Erik Weaver discussing the use of advanced technology to re-open television and film sets and implement virtual sets. The series will include pre-recorded and live material in each session with audience questions.

Edison Research Ranks Top 30 Q3 2019 – Q2 2020 Podcasts. As it has been since Edison Research’s “Podcast Consumer Tracker” (PCT) was established last summer, “The Joe Rogan Experience” continues to be America’s number one podcast. The podcasts are ranked by reach – not downloads – among weekly podcast consumers. “Reach” is the percentage of weekly podcast listeners who say they have listened to any one of these shows in the last week. Edison Research senior vice president Tom Webster states, “Even with the work and life disruptions caused by COVID-19, people did continue listening to their favorite podcasts. We ultimately saw little to no reduction in reach among weekly podcast listeners.” The PCT Top 30 ranker is based on 8,080 online interviews with weekly podcast consumers (18+) in the United States. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Sampling was conducted continuously from July 7, 2019 to June 24, 2020.The top five podcasts include: “The Joe Rogan Experience”; “The Daily”; “This American Life”; “My Favorite Murder”; and “Crime Junkie.” All respondents were instructed to enter the names of all podcasts they listened to the week before the interview into an online diary and were provided instructions to obtain that information from their podcast client/player of choice.

TALKERS News Notes. Last Thursday (8/6), Sinclair Broadcast Group Seattle’s KOMO “News Radio 1000 & FM 97.7,” news/talk KVI “Talk Radio 570,” hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5,” and KOMO-TV held an all-day “Wishes in Flight” airline miles campaign for Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. In addition to $3,700 in cash, the effort brought in nearly ten million miles, which includes a 750,000 match from Alaska Airlines. One couple donated more than 200,000 miles that they were saving for a trip of their dreams, but decided the “wish kids” needed it more. After spending more than a year in isolation for treatment, “wish kid” Brianna visited Hawaii in 2018 with her family. She describes her wish as “a chance to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, instead of the darkness that surrounds [kids facing critical illnesses].” Over the years, this annual drive has helped to raise over 1,700 plane tickets donated by listeners and partners; however, hundreds of wishes are on hold due to COVID-19. “Make-A-Wish” will book flights as soon as it’s safe for wish kid travel to resume. The local organization continues to grant “safe” wishes, including virtual meetings with celebrities, online shopping sprees, and items that can be delivered to a child’s home … Effective one week from this Thursday (8/24), Premiere Networks/Fox Sports Radio’s weekday, 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (ET) Dan Patrick Show” will begin to be streamed on NBCUniversal’s Peacock. The show’s current YouTube streaming will end coinciding with the Peacock simulcast. Peacock executive vice president/chief revenue officer Rick Cordella comments, “We are excited to welcome Dan and his devoted following to Peacock. Dan adds a distinctive voice to Peacock as we continue to build our live topical sports offering.” Patrick added, “I’m thrilled to be coming back home to the NBC family to continue the show with the ‘Danettes’ and the rest of my talented team. A huge factor in partnering with Peacock is that our loyal fans can watch us for free. Who doesn’t love free? We can’t wait to get started.” His simulcast on AT&T’s Audience Network ended earlier this year … The National Hockey League’s expansion team Seattle Kraken names its first broadcaster – Cincinnati Cyclones (East Coast Hockey League) voice/director of media relations & broadcasting Everett Fitzhugh. While the team says his precise radio and television role “will be crafted as he works for the franchise,” Fitzhugh begins with the Kraken in three weeks (9/1). Prior to his five-year Cyclones tenure, Fitzhugh called games for the United States Hockey League’s Youngstown Phantoms. According to The Kraken, he will be the first full-time black play-by-play announcer in NHL history … Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl joins Bonneville Denver sports talk KKFN “104.3 The Fan” as a Nuggets analyst for the remainder of the regular- and post-season. KKFN program director Raj Sharan opines, “I’m not sure anyone in Denver was more excited about basketball restarting than Coach Karl. We’re thrilled to have him appearing on all of our shows to give his opinion on what he’s seeing from the Nuggets, delivering the honesty that he’s known for.” Karl previously worked as an analyst at ESPN and TNT … The revised lineup at Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” includes Jason Martin-hosted “The Wake-Up Zone” (6:00 am -9:00 am); Jonathan Hutton, Chad Withrow, and Paul Kuharsky “Midday 180” (9:00 am -1:00 pm); Blaine Bishop & Mickey Ryan (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Brent Dougherty and Dawn Davenport (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm). The “Midday 180” returns from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm for the “180 at 6.” Cumulus Nashville vice president/market manager Allison Warren remarks, “Since its inception, ‘104.5 The Zone’ has been a leader in live and local sports, and the appetite for sports programming keeps growing. With this lineup, ‘104.5 The Zone’ continues to offer the best and most comprehensive sports coverage and local play-by-play sports action to Middle Tennessee fans.” Program director Paul Mason notes, “I am excited that ‘104.5 The Zone’ now has four local shows for our listeners every Monday – Friday. The new lineup will give our on-air talent a larger spotlight to reach their full potential individually and as a team.” …  A central-Texas high school “Football Game of the Week” will air Friday nights on Entercom Austin news/talk KJCE “Talk Radio 1370.” Its partnership with high school sports media company Vype Media includes content sharing on websites and social media platforms and other year-round programming. Entercom Austin senior vice president/market manager Bob Mackay remarks, “High school sports have been a big part of our local programming for the past decade. We are proud to team up with Vype to expand our efforts and take our coverage to the next level. We look forward to bringing to life the stories behind the sports, shining a spotlight on exceptional student athletes across central-Texas and sharing high-quality high school sports coverage with our audience across all of our platforms.” Vype Austin editor Thomas Bingham adds, “[We are] heading into our third straight school year covering the Austin area and central-Texas. This opportunity allows our local web, digital and broadcasting coverage to reach new audiences and continue to promote local high schools, athletes, and coaches across the region.”

DuBois Debuts “Dead Life” Podcast. Medium Allison DuBois, whose aid to the Maricopa County (Arizona) district attorney’s office inspired the television series “Medium,” launches “The Dead Life,” a YEA Networks podcast. YEA Networks president Shawn Nunn notes, “We are so excited to welcome Allison DuBois to the YEA Networks family. Allison’s journey is quite unique and we are excited to bring her voice to a more intimate setting.” DuBois adds, “I wanted to start my podcast so I could reach more people and open people’s minds to life after death. My show will focus on teaching listeners everything I know about the dead, interviewing people who have insight into the afterlife, and our own soul’s journey.” The podcast began today (8/11) – with “Johnjay & Rich” co-host Rich Berra the first guest – and will post each Tuesday at 8:00 am (ET).

Coronavirus Radio Ideas Awards Nominees Announced. These awards will honor those in radio who used their brands and platforms in creative/innovative ways to better serve their listeners, partners, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sponsors Benztown, P1 Media Group, Radiodays Europe, Radiodays Asia, and RDE Podcast Day are asking radio and podcast individuals worldwide to vote for the best ideas presented by the nominees. Online voting began this morning (Tuesday, 8/11) at 9:30 am (ET) and continues through September 17. Benztown chief executive officer Andreas Sannemann comments, “To all the people who nominated their station, themselves or their ideas, we salute you and we are sorry we couldn’t have all of you as nominees, as the field was incredibly strong. As an industry, we can be proud of how we have supported people in this worldwide pandemic.” Roots of The Coronavirus Radio Ideas Awards can be traced to  Benztown and P1 Media Group’s Coronavirus Radio Ideas Facebook group, launched March 26. P1 Media Group partner Ken Benson remarks, “When we joined Benztown to open this page, we knew the world of radio and podcasting was full of innovative people with a special connection to their audiences and listeners. What has emerged from these awards is that radio is more than ever at the heart of communities and is a place in which listeners put their trust.” The Coronavirus Radio Ideas Awards will recognize the best ideas in ten categories: “Best Social Media Video Content”; “Best Virtual Event”; “Best Parody”; “Best Virtual Concert”; “Best On-Air Promo”; “Best Community Service”; “Best Social Media Visual”; “Best Community Spirit”; “Best Sales Promotion”; and “Best Mega Promotion.” Also part of the awards are “Best Podcast” and “Best Journalistic Content.” Nominees were selected from more than 300 ideas from industry professionals around the world. Awards will be presented in four months (12/14) at the Radiodays Europe conference in Lisbon. US nominees include: Cumulus Media Dallas country KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (“Best Station Promo”); Entercom New York news WINS (“Best Station Promo”); Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” (“Best Community Spirit”); Beasley Broadcast Group Fort Myers CHR WXKB “B-103.9” (“Best Community Spirit”); iHeartMedia Dallas (“Best Sales Promotion”); iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” (“Best Mega Promotion”); and iHeartMedia Atlanta CHR WWPR “Power 96.1” (“Best Mega Promotion”).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Labor Day Weekend Marks Cousin Brucie’s WABC Homecoming. The words “icon” and “legend” are often overused; however, they definitely apply to Bruce Morrow, affectionately referred to by millions of fans as “Cousin Brucie.” The 2019 recipient of TALKERS’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” returns to New York’s WABC beginning September 5 for the weekly, three-hour “Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party.” Although now a Red Apple Media-owned news/talk outlet, WABC is where “Cousin Brucie” introduced listeners of the then Top 40 powerhouse to the Beatles, Motown, and surf music. Morrow’s Saturday night extravaganza will be simulcast in Hampton Bays, New York on WLIR-FM, as well as streaming nationwide on the WABC app. In typical exuberant style, Morrow proclaims, “Cousins, this is literally one of the most exciting projects of my life. It completes a circle – a career circle. It all started at WABC, and here we are all these years later, and the magic is still here. What magic we’re going to make.” According to Red Apple Media owner John Catsimatidis, “Brucie is a national treasure and talent. Listeners everywhere can now hear their favorite music from the early days of rock and roll on our radio stations and streaming on our digital platforms. Red Apple Media is about bringing the best in information and entertainment to New York and all of America however they want to listen – on their phone, radio, smart speaker or computer.” Catsimatidis is busy in securing another major broadcasting talent to WABC, Bill O’Reilly (see separate story above). Regarding Morrow, Red Apple Media and WABC president Chad Lopez comments, “It’s an honor to be part of these two legendary brands coming together and to welcome Cousin Brucie home to WABC.” Senior vice president of programming for Red Apple Media and WABC Dave LaBrozzi notes, “We’re excited to bring ‘Music Radio’ back to WABC every Saturday night with Cousin Brucie. Everyone across America can stream him.” The debut show will be replayed on Labor Day (Monday, 9/7) from 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm (ET). Most recently, “Cousin Brucie” was heard on SiriusXM satellite radio, where he hosted Wednesday and Saturday night programs since 2005. In the 1980s and 1990s, Morrow was a mainstay in New York City on WCBS-FM … The fifth installment of Entercom Los Angeles smooth AC KTWV’s social change “Justice Now! – Communities 2 Unity” (subtitled “Politics to Policy”) airs tomorrow night (Wednesday, 8/12) at 6:00 pm. In addition to being broadcast on “94.7 The Wave,” it will stream nationally via Radio.com and on the station’s website. This particular show will feature candidates for Los Angeles district attorney – incumbent Jackie Lacey and challenger/former San Francisco district attorney George Cascon. It’s expected the two will discuss the American legal system in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer … Hundreds of listeners to KRWM “Warm 106.9” who drove through the Coal Creek YMCA this past Saturday (8/8) were welcomed with “Warm” virtual bearhugs as the Hubbard Broadcasting Seattle adult contemporary station gave away sealed teddy bears from its “Teddy Bear Patrol.” A second such event – emceed by morning talent “Seth” – is scheduled for this Saturday (8/15) … Nineteen-year Cumulus Media Buffalo WHTT “Classic Hits 104.1” program director Joe Siragusa adds similar duties at co-owned alternative WEDG. Also at “103.3 The Edge,” afternoon drive talent/music director Tiffany Bentley takes on assistant program director duties. Cumulus Media Buffalo vice president/market manager Jim Riley remarks, “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that Joe Siragusa will be taking the reins at WEDG. Joe has been part of Buffalo’s programming leadership for most of [the station’s] 25-year history. His understanding of its heritage and the Buffalo market make him the perfect choice for this opportunity. With Tiffany Bentley as APD, I think we have a formidable team.” Siragusa comments, “‘The Edge’ is a heritage brand with a tremendously talented and passionate staff. I am thrilled to expand my role at Cumulus Buffalo and be part of the future of such a remarkable radio station.” Bentley adds, “I feel honored to work with such a great team and to be able to continue to contribute to and grow such a strong brand in this expanded role.” Siragusa previously programmed WRCL, Richmond; KGOR, Omaha; and WRQN, Toledo. Prior to joining “The Edge,” Bentley did mornings on crosstown alternative WLKK and has held programming and on-air positions in Syracuse and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania …Former morning talent at Radio One Dallas rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat,” Veda Loca, returns to the Radio One Dallas cluster to host “Veda Loca’s House Party” on urban AC KZMJ “Magic 94.5.” The six-hour Friday and Saturday night show will air 6:00 pm – 12:00 midnight …When the contract of morning co-host Brooks Williams expires early next year, he will not be returning to Griffin Communications-owned KVOO “98.5 Tulsa’s Country,” opting instead to pursue a real estate career. Griffin Communications director of radio operations and programming Steve Hunter notes, “We’re sad that Brooks will be leaving us, but we’re excited for him as he starts this new chapter in his life.” Shortly after joining KVOO four months ago to do afternoons, Williams segued to morning drive where he is teamed with Amber Glaze … An Albany, New York format flip finds Pamal Broadcasting hot AC WKBE “107.1 The Point” transitioning to classic country as “Big Country 107.1 – Country’s Biggest Legends.” Pamal Broadcasting general manager Tom Jacobsen remarks, “We are proud to bring these great country memories to the Capital region and north country on a great signal; we expect listeners to really love our new station.” WKBE’s lineup includes: Kevin Richards (mornings); Jacobsen under the air name Jake Thomas (middays); and Sean McMaster (afternoons) …  Work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits are part of Tim McGraw-hosted “Workin’ Hard Country,” a four-hour Labor Day special from Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Nashville. Among those sharing stories about jobs they had before they became successful playing music for a living are: Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Florida Georgia Line, and Carrie Underwood. Also featured are songs from McGraw’s “Here on Earth” album, and his recent single, “I Called Mama.” … Following a 49-year radio career – including 26 years at the same station – Forever Media Johnstown, Pennsylvania adult contemporary WKYE “Key 96.5” morning host Jack Michaels retired yesterday (8/10), owing to health issues. Forever Media Johnstown music director Brian Wolfe succeeds Michaels … Fishnet Syndication’s weekly “The Red Dirt Flirt” names Rita Ballou host. Afternoon co-host with Eric Raines on Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative,” Ballou appears on KOKE’s morning show and manages the station’s social media and digital.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

| October 2, 2019

Fisher House Veteran’s Day Show Available. The Fisher House Foundation and The Jeff Wyatt Group announce WMAL-FM, Washington, DC morning drive personality Mary Walter is again anchoring the Fisher House Foundation’s 2019 talk radio special, “The Fisher House Story – In Their Own Words.”  The three-hour, one-hour, and 30-minute radio specials feature stories of America’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey.  The Fisher House program provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.  The homes provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.  Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker says, “‘The Fisher House Story’ talk show shares the inspiring stories of service members and veterans during Veterans Day and the holiday season.  Mary Walter skillfully guides us through these accounts.”  A clock and demo will be available by October 4 at www.radio.fisherhouse.org.  The show will be available for download November 1 for potential airing Veterans Day weekend through the holiday season, into Memorial Day and 4th of July weekend at the same website.  The Fisher House country radio show, “The Gift,” will continue to be produced by Sharla McCoy.  For more information email sharlamccoy@gmail.com.  For more information on this radio special, contact Jeff Wyatt at jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

Kris Foley Rises to Region President for iHeartMedia. Sales and management pro Kris Foley is promoted to region president for iHeartMedia South Ohio that includes more than 27 broadcast and digital stations in the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton markets.  Foley was most recently vice president of multi-market partnerships and business developments.  She also previously served the company as the senior vice president of sales in North Ohio. She says, “I started my media career in South Ohio as an account executive.  I’m absolutely thrilled to be working alongside the strong leaders and incredible team here in South Ohio and I can’t wait to take the region to new levels.”

Connoisseur Announces Launch of Ferocious Content. Partnering on this new project with Connoisseur Media are JJ Durand (left) and John Deptulski (right).  The new company, Ferocious Content, will focus on video and social media content.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “We are pumped to be partnering with these talented guys.  Our clients are increasingly asking for our help with video and social, so we decided to launch a brand-new company.”  Durand adds, “When we were given a chance to partner with such a blue-chip media company, we pounced on it.  We will be creating content that will help local advertisers eat up their competitors.”

TALKERS News Notes. Season two of the iHeartRadio Original Podcast, “Unobscured,” hosted and produced by Aaron Mahnke, premieres on the iHeartPodcast Network with Mahnke delving into the world of Spiritualism.  The first episode explores the life of Andrew Jackson Davis, a popular American Spiritualist, and how he helped to jumpstart the movement ….. Former KFRX-FM, Lincoln, Nebraska radio personality Matt McKay, a.k.a. Matthew Rydberg, was sentenced to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to domestic assault after an incident at his home in April of this year.  Lancaster County District Judge Darla Ideus sentenced Rydberg and also ordered him to follow the recommendations of his probation officer regarding alcohol counseling or treatment needed and to complete a domestic violence intervention program.  Rydberg was let go from the Alpha Media station shortly after his arrest ….. SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season with live play-by-play of every game, plus expert insight and analysis on the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel.  SiriusXM also announces that Gord Stellick and Scott Laughlin will host an all-new morning show on the channel the day the season begins ….. Pictured here is Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka board the airplane of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday evening as he accompanies Secretary Pompeo on his trip to Rome. Stops on their itinerary include meetings with Italian president Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and a visit to The Vatican.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are honored that Secretary of State Pompeo – who invited SRN’s Hugh Hewitt to travel overseas with him earlier this year – has now extended that opportunity to “America First” host Dr. Sebastian Gorka.  Our mission is to deliver breaking news and what to think about it, and the background gained on these important missions will prove valuable in the exciting days ahead.”

 

 

September 2019 PPM Data – Information for the September 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, Middlesex (New Jersey) and San Jose. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from three markets below.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – After gaining one-half share in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” relinquishes 40% of that increase (1.8, -.2, 6+) and slips from #18 to #20. Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has an extremely consistent March 2019 through September 2019 topline: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 (6+) and continues at #22. May’s one-tenth increase halted five straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths. Surrendering in its entirety the three-tenths it racked up in July/August (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – .9, 6+), news/talk WABC falls from #22 to #24.

Not only does WFAN (Yankees, Giants) falter by six-tenths (3.8 – 3.2, 6+), the Entercom sports talk outlet fades from the top ten (#9 to #13) with its softest 6+-showing (3.2) since March 2019’s 3.0. Off an overall four-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (Jets) ends the slide with an increase of two-tenths and returns to the top twenty (1.8, #21 to #20, 6+).

In three consecutive negative or neutral trends, WINS lost seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). The Entercom all-news outlet picks up two-tenths in August (3.4, 6+) yet backslides from #11 to #12. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (Mets) repeats July’s 2.5 but dips from #14 to #15. Prior to August’s improvement of one-tenth, WCBS-AM faltered by a collective full-share via four straight declines (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+).

Up an overall half-share in three successive reports without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM advances from #16 to #14. The February 2019 through September 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 (flat at #33, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – This marks Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM’s fourth consecutive positive or neutral sweep for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+) as “NEW 102.7” marches from tenth to eighth. There’s a similar positive story for cluster-mate WNYL “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative,” which nets six-tenths in six straight reports without a decrease (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s dip of four-tenths with a half-share uptick (3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). Immediately before August’s drop, “Amor 93.1” notched four successive up or neutral moves for an overall gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). In five straight sweeps without an increase, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT lost seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+) but “Hot 97” shakes loose with a +.4 to 3.5 (#12 to #11, 6+). Having logged a 6.8 (6+) in May, June, and July, WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” erupted with a jump of nine-tenths in August to 7.7 (6+). The iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility repeats that 7.7 (6+) in September and is #1 the 27th consecutive ratings period. The 7.7 (6+) in August and September matches what was recorded in March when “Lite FM” posted a one-half share increase; WLTW  surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), “Lite FM” was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). It has a full two-share lead over Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which hasn’t had an increase since June but has only lost one-tenth in that stretch (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). Although backsliding from a three-way tie at #18 to #19, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Station” yields eight-tenths in four successive boosts (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+). In addition to being up a combined half share in July/August (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ recorded its highest 6+-stat in more than two years (5.3, as well, in April 2017). While it carries on in fourth-place “Z-100” is down one-tenth in August to 5.2 (6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing May/June’s combined +.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+) with an overall -1.0 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, June – July – August – September, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” segues from sixth to seventh. This (3.5) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA has nearly doubled June’s .6 in July/August/September (.8 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+) although “AM 870 The Answer” regresses from #29 to #30. KRLA lengthens to four-tenths its lead over iHeartMedia-owned KEIB, which drops to .7 (#32 to #35, 6+); “AM 1150 The Patriot” had posted a 1.0 in three of the last four sweeps (1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), progressing from #40 to #38.

The flagship of the Dodgers and Chargers, iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (1.3 – 1.4, +.1, unchanged at #28, 6+) stretches to six-tenths its advantage over Disney-owned (Angels, Rams key station) KSPN “710 ESPN” (flat at .8, #36 to #33, 6+). In June and July, the two sports talkers were deadlocked at #27 (1.4, 6+).

With an extremely steady April 2019 through September 2019 topline of 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+), Entercom all-news KNX “1070 News Radio” advances from #14 to a three-way scrum at #12. Prior to picking up one-tenth in July, KNX had five straight negative or neutral monthlies accounting for a full-share loss in that January 2019 – June 2019 timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+).

Via three consecutive reports without a loss, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” nets twotenths (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+) but backslides from #21 to #23.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over the course of its nine successive up or flat trends that have yielded nine-tenths, Cumulus Media-to-Meruelo Media Holdings KLOS “95.5 Southern California’s Classic Rock” has recorded a 3.3 (6+) four times in a row (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLLI “Cali 93.9 – #1 For Reggaeton y Mas” doubles its 6+-stat via four straight reports without a loss (.9 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.8, #24, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” is off a collective four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+). At the same time that Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” adds six-tenths (5.0 – 5.6, third to second, 6+), smooth AC sibling KTWV “94.7 The Wave” falters by the same margin (4.8 – 4.2, -.6, flat at #4, 6+). While “K-Earth” pulls the plug on three downward trends in succession that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), “The Wave” suffers its fourth consecutive down or flat report resulting in a cumulative -1.0 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+). This (4.2) is the lowest 6+-stat for KTWV since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.6. In a 5.8 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.9 pattern (June – July – August – September, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” is #1 the 12th straight time. Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 through five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Despite recording its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), hot AC sibling KBIG “104.3 My-FM” must settle for a backward move (second to third). The 5.3 in August and September is KBIG’s strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, September 2018). Zooming from #16 to #12 with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2018 (2.7, as well), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105 FM” is up a collective one-half share in four consecutive sweeps without a decrease (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” applies the brakes to six consecutive negative or neutral sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to June, the last time “Kiss” was under a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory the 28th time in a row and records a 2.3 (6+) the fourth time in the last six reports (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, #19 to a four-way tie at #16, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned alternative KYSR has gained seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9, #12 to #11, 6+). “Alt 98.7” has a half-share advantage over format rival, Entercom-owned KROQ, which is +.5 as a result of four successive up or neutral reports (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4, #18 to #15, 6+). KROQ’s June gain of one-tenth ended four consecutive sweeps without positive movement that resulted in a collective half-share deficit (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). In the last ten ratings periods (“Holiday” 2018 through September 2019), Santa Monica College-owned variety KCRW has recorded a 1.1 (6+) six times and a 1.3 (6+) the other four (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1, #30, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, #16 to #12, 6+) takes Tribune Media news/talk WGN (White Sox) to its best 6+-showing (3.2) since February’s 3.5. WGN was locked on 2.9 (6+) in April and May and then on 3.0 (6+) in June and July. Conversely a loss of four-tenths forces Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM off the top twenty (2.1 – 1.7, #20 to #21, 6+); 1.7 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (1.7, as well).

Up a combined half-share in August/September (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (Cubs) progresses from sixth to fifth. Trending 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 (May – June – July – August – September, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” jumps from #25 to #23.

Flat in fourth-place, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM (Bears) is an overall -1.4 via eight successive down or neutral moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). WBBM-AM finished on top in January, February, and March.

In three consecutive spikes, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ gains four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) and climbs from #16 to #15.

Chicago Music Formats – Wiping away July/August’s -1.0 (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+) with a September +1.1 to 4.9 (6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” vaults from seventh to third and has its best 6+-showing (4.9) in nearly a year (5.0, 6+, October 2018). Not only is iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ a collective +1.4 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), “V-103” progresses from third to first. As is the case with aforementioned WLS-FM, WVAZ records its best 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.7, as well), which is the last time “V-103” reached #1. Departing the top spot is Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which craters by -1.5 (5.7 – 4.2, first to sixth, 6+). In July, the combination of a three-tenths uptick by WTMX classic rock sibling WDRV “97.1 The Drive” and an equal margin decrease by “The Mix” resulted in the cluster-mates swapping places at first and second. In August, “The Mix” notched a +.5 (5.2 – 5.7, 6+) and proceeded from second to first. WTMX was #1 in April, May, and June before giving way to “The Drive” in July; April’s 5.9 was the highest 6+-stat for “Mix” since November 2017’s 6.3. Repeating at #10, Cumulus Media’s WKQX “The New Home For Alternative” is a collective +.8 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). After logging three gains in a row for a collective increase of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Venture Technologies Group-owned adult contemporary WRME-LP returned two-tenths in August; however, “FM 87.7 – Me TV” rebounds with a September bump of four-tenths to 3.3 (#14 to #11, 6+). June’s 3.0 marked the first time WRME-LP reached the three-share level (6+) since November 2018’s 3.3. Its two AC rivals are down slightly in September. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WLIT “93.9 Lite FM,” which had been without a loss five times in a row for a collective gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), regresses by three-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s WSHE “100.3 SHE” drops two-tenths (3.1 – 2.9, #11 to #15, 6+). “Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+). Before faltering by one-half share in May, WSHE notched an overall increase of eight-tenths via four consecutive positive or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). The market’s two main country outlets have August 2019 to September 2019 fluctuations of one-tenth. On the plus side, Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” is 2.6 – 2.7 (+.1, steady at #18), whereas iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” is 1.6 – 1.5 (-.1, #23 to #24, 6+). This is the third time in the last six reports that WUSN “US-99” posts a 2.7 (2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+); WEBG logged a 1.6 (6+) the past three sweeps. Before dropping two-tenths in June, “Big” had been up or flat the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “98.7 – Chicago’s Classical and Folk Music Radio” is without an increase the sixth time in a row and is down an overall one-half share in that stretch (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, #29, 6+).

Christian Radio On-Air Opportunity. WAWZ, New York is seeking a program director/air talent.  The station says, “‘STAR 99.1’ is metro NYC’s uplifting Christian adult contemporary station.  We’re looking for the right person to lead our programming department and continue to build our brand on the New York radio dial.  But wait, there’s more!  You’ll lead a ‘live & local’ team of talent, create our on-air imaging, establish music philosophy, supervise hourly clock structure and execution, analyze PPM, online and auditorium research to serve our listeners and grow our audience.  When it comes to digital, social media might as well be your second language.  You will oversee text, video and voice content that drives traffic to our website, social and mobile communities.  Together with a great team, you’ll work diligently to reflect the tastes, interests and values of a Christian listener.  Apply today.  Looking for 3 years of successful programming experience.  Knowledge of NexGen, VoxPro, and Adobe Audition is a plus. To apply, submit your resume to jobs@star991.com.  No Phone calls, please.  WAWZ/Pillar of Fire is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio programming pro Steve Weed is retiring from radio and his position as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Central California region.  Weed, who’s served in the industry for almost 50 years, says, “It’s been an incredible journey, from weekend shifts while in college at UCLA, right up to today.  I’ve spent my entire working life doing the one thing I love, never holding a job outside of radio.  I’ve been truly blessed to have worked with so many gifted and talented people throughout my career and I hope along the way I’ve helped some advance their own careers.”…..The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” lets midday personality Amanda Kelly go after four months in the position.  She was a cast member on the station’s “Jeff & Jenn” morning show but moved to middays after Jeff Dauler exited the station…..Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Elvis Duran releases his first book – a memoir titled, Elvis Duran: Where Do I Begin? Stories (I Sort of Remember) From a Life Lived Out Loud (2019 Atria Books).  He launched the book with appearances on “The TODAY Show” on Tuesday (10/1) and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Monday (9/30)…..Cumulus Media gives Shreveport operations manager Jay Michaels program director stripes for the cluster’s country KRMD-FM. He also serves as PD and afternoon drive personality for the cluster’s hot AC KQHN “Q97.3.”  Michaels says, “To say that KRMD is a heritage brand is an understatement.  I’m excited to work closely and hands on with our talented air staff and reclaim our position as the dominant country leader in the marketplace.”…..The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Abilene Christian University names WAY Media president & CEO (and distinguished alum) John Scaggs ’90 the recipient of the 2019 Gutenberg Award.  The Gutenberg Award recognizes distinguished professional achievements of ACU’s Journalism and Mass Communication Department alumni.

Monday, September 23, 2019

| September 23, 2019

New Management Ousts Manley from WGN-AM Station Manager Position. Just a day after closing on its acquisition of Tribune Media, Nexstar begins making changes to news/talk WGN-AM’s operations, letting station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley go after six years in the position.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, new executive vice president Sean Compton hinted during a Friday meeting with staffers that there are more changes on the horizon.  Compton appointed news and operations director Mary Sandberg Boyle interim programming manager.  Feder notes, “In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the station tied for 16th place overall, with mornings, middays, afternoons and evenings all out of the top 10.”

KQFN, Phoenix Debuts New Morning Show. Sports talk KQFN, Phoenix “The Fanatic” announces the launch of the new “Bruce Jacobs & Helly” morning show starring longtime Phoenix radio personality Bruce Jacobs and former Dallas Cowboys lineman Dale HellestraeCRC Broadcasting president and CEO Ron Cohen says, “We are so excited to have two well-known Phoenix sports radio veterans team up together every morning on ‘The Fanatic.’  With Bruce and Dale on board, we’re really looking forward to increasing our growth and popularity in the coming weeks and months.” Jacobs has served with sports talk KGME-AM, news/talk KFYI-AM in Phoenix and nationally with FOX Sports Radio.  In addition to winning three Super Bowls with the Cowboys, Hellestrae has been a color analyst for the Arizona Rattlers, high school football, and college football.

Monday Memo: 2 Magic Words for Weekend Talkers. If you’re an attorney, realtor, veterinarian, financial advisor, or other professional services provider brokering weekend talk radio time to round-up new clients, consultant Holland Cooke says there’s good news and bad news.  Read it here.

PPM Analysis: August 2019 Spoken-Word Pacesetters. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis – based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey – in which he gauges “the temperature of spoken-word stations as a complete entity in all 48 PPM-markets.”  In this report, Kinosian determines the top spoken-word markets by 6+ share; the spoken-word markets by 6+ share increases from July to August; and the top spoken-word markets by 6+ share increases from August 2018 to August 2019; plus more. See his entire report here.

WABC’s John Batchelor Show to Broadcast from Azerbaijan. All this week, the John Batchelor show – emanating from WABC, New York – will air live from the Republic of Azerbaijan. Sponsored by marketing technology company Scala Inc. and in conjunction with the Embassy of Azerbaijan, Batchelor travels to the busy neighborhood of the South Caucasus to broadcast from the military front lines of the troubled Nagorno-Karakakh region.  The press release states, “For 25 years Armenia has occupied Azerbaijan’s territory and abused the villagers, despite a ceasefire agreement.  The John Batchelor Show aims to interview the farmers, soldiers, and leaders who live in hope and fear.  Later in Baku, John Batchelor will attend the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan’s conference, ‘Impact Investing: Opportunities and Challenges for Institutional Investors.’ Azerbaijan is the critical nexus for oil and natural gas flowing out of the rich Caspian Sea Basin and along pipelines to the needs of Asia Minor, the Levant and now Europe.  Considering the recent attacks on the Persian Gulf energy production, developing and securing the Caspian Sea energy is most timely.” Batchelor says, “I look to help my audience to understand the now two-generations-long brutality in Nagorno-Karabakh that haunts the South Caucasus.  I also aim to report on how the energy producers of the region are planning to provide ever more reliable resources to their customers, especially in Europe.”  Next Tuesday morning (10/1), Batchelor will participate in the TALKERS magazine produced “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” at the Hellen Mills Theatre in New York City.  See the full story below for details.

TALKERS News Notes.  In Lynchburg, Virginia, Mari White leaves her role with Three Daughters Media’s news/talk WIQO to take on the public information officer position with the Lynchburg Department of Water Resources. She had been co-hosting the “Mari and Brian in the Morning” program with Brian Weigand for the past six years. Weigand is continuing to host the morning show on WIQO…..Legendary radio personality Joey Reynolds emceed the 4th Annual Meatball Eating Contest held on Saturday (9/21) at the Feast of San Gennaro in the Little Italy section of Lower Manhattan.  At right, Reynolds (left) is pictured with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (right), who appeared on stage during the competition…..Leighton Enterprises enters into an agreement to acquire three Alexandria, Minnesota signals from Paradis Broadcasting of Alexandria.  The group includes news/talk KXRA-AM, classic rock KXRA-FM, and hot AC KXRZ-FM…..The Dallas News reports on the new brewery and taproom being launched in part by KRLD-FM, Dallas midday hosts Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade.  The brewery is being called Rollertown Beerworks located in suburban Celina and expects to open in 2020.  The piece notes that “Ben & Skin” have a passion for beer that “spawned an event series called the Brew Crew Tour, which invites hardcore fans known as TOLOs (turn on, leave on) to meet them for a pint at different taprooms in the area.”

Trump-Ukraine Controversy, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Iran Tensions, UN Climate Action Summit, Trudeau Brownface Scandal, Netanyahu’s Future, and Sunday’s Emmy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy over President Trump’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including Elizabeth Warren’s rise in the Democratic race; the military tensions between Iran and the U.S. over the nuclear deal and the attack on a Saudi oil installation; today’s United Nations General Assembly and the UN Climate Action Summit; the “brownface” scandal that is engulfing Canada’s Justin Trudeau; the close race between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz for prime minister of Israel; and Sunday evening’s Emmy Awards ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Gene Sandbloom is named operations manager for Alpha Media’s Portland stations and program director for triple A KINK-FM. Sandbloom was most recently operations manager for KROQ and adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM” in Los Angeles.  Alpha Media Portland SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “We are thrilled to have Gene join us. His leadership, creativity, experience and can-do attitude is a perfect fit. He will add a new dynamic to our team.”…..This past weekend, the ninth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival took place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Cage The Elephant, Camila CabelloChance The Rapper, Def Leppard, French Montana, Green Day, Halsey, Heart, H.E.R., Hootie & The Blowfish, Marshmello with special guest Kane Brown, Miley Cyrus, Mumford & Sons, Steve Aoki with special guests Darren Criss and Monsta X, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band and more.  For fans not in attendance, iHeartRadio on-air talent hosted a live backstage broadcast featuring exclusive artist interviews and performances that aired across iHeartMedia radio stations throughout the country in more than 150 markets and on iHeartRadio.  The CW Network exclusively livestreamed both nights of the festival via CWTV.com and The CW App, and will broadcast a two-night television special on Wednesday, October 2 and Thursday, October 3 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces the launch of two variety hits formats: Variety Hits-Pop and Variety Hits-Rock.  The two new formats will debut in October.  Variety Hits-Pop features artists including: JourneyMadonna, Michael Jackson, and Maroon 5; and Variety Hits-Rock skews toward artists such as: Aerosmith, Queen, Nirvana, and Fleetwood Mac.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “The variety hits format checks a lot of boxes for many markets and the time is right for us to build a satellite-delivered version that enhances our successful, custom music-scheduled format.  We designed this to accommodate our customers who wanted an unbranded, flexible structure, with up to 13 opportunities an hour to make it their own.”…..Alternative WHHZ-FM, Newberry, Florida “100.5 The Buzz” in the Gainesville market announces Kaylan Moody adds music director duties to her morning host role with the Marc Radio-owned station…..Country singer/songwriter David Kroll is back in his hometown of Burlington, Iowa where he’s the new morning drive host on Pritchard Broadcasting’s KDMG-FM “Big Country 103.1.” Kroll spent the past 10 years in Nashville where he wrote songs and toured with his band.