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Thursday, March 23, 2017

| March 23, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Files Countersuit Against Nielsen.  This is not the first counterclaim filed by Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, against Nielsen Audio – several others were rejected by Judge James D. Whittemore.  Nielsen is suing Clem claiming his attempts at distorting the PPM ratings in the Tampa market caused it damages.  In this counterclaim, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Bubba Clem alleges that Nielsen conspired with Cox Media (owner of WHPT, Tampa and his former employer) to get him off Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa station WBRN, a competitor of WHPT.  Clem alleges that “Nielsen’s motivation for participating in the conspiracy with Cox was three-fold: (i) to appease Cox, one of its largest customers, by using its monopoly power to interfere with Clem’s contractual relationship with Beasley to get Clem fired by suppressing WBRN’s ratings and thus artificially increasing WHPT’s share in the Tampa Market; (ii) to encourage Cox to enter into new contracts to purchase expensive products and services from Nielsen; and (iii) to conceal the fraudulent conduct committed by its own employees and the other serious flaws in its ratings methodology caused by, among other things, Nielsen’s failure to maintain and/or implement and/or fairly apply its own quality control procedures.”  Clem further alleges that Nielsen conducted a “sting” operation, by installing a PPM panelist who would appear friendly to Clem to entice Clem into asking said panelist to engage in heavy listening to his show, thereby violating Nielsen’s rules.  Clem is seeking damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

Denver Talk Host Steve Curtis Charged with Voter Fraud, Forgery.  According to a report in the Denver Post, talk show host Steve Curtis has been charged with voter fraud and forgery after he allegedly used his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote during the 2016 general election.  Kelly Curtis contacted the Weld County clerk and recorder to determine what steps she needed to take to vote and, to her surprise, was told she’d already voted.  That started the investigation that led to the charges against Steve Curtis, who hosts two shows on KLZ, Denver – the 6:00 am to 7:00 am hour and the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour.  Curtis’ information is still on the KLZ website and it’s unclear if he’s still with the station or whether the programs he hosts are brokered.  The irony in this whole story is that Curtis – a one-time chair of the Colorado Republican Party – has, echoing President Trump’s comments about voter fraud, stated on his program that almost every case of voter fraud he can remember was perpetrated by Democrats.  KDVR-TV, Denver broke the story.

Steve Corbett Exits WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre.  According to a report in the Standard-Speaker of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, afternoon drive talk show host Steve Corbett has exited the Entercom news/talk station.  The paper says no reason has been given for Corbett’s departure but prints the contents of a staff email from general manager Ryan Flynn that states: “Effective immediately, Steve Corbett will not be returning to WILK.  Steve will be shifting his focus to work on some other projects outside our company.  We appreciate the work Steve has done on WILK and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”  Sixty-year-old Corbett worked for years in the Northeastern PA region as a journalist, accruing numerous awards.  He’d been hosting a show on WILK for the past 10 years.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Stops in Greenville, South Carolina.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money live event to Greenville’s Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday (3/22).  Ramsey and fellow best-selling author Chris Hogan shared with attendees information about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey combined forces with Entercom’s local affiliate WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate general sales manager Devon van der Merwe says, “At ‘106.3 WORD,’ we pride ourselves on being the leader in Upstate talk and part of that magic is our local personalities and content backed by some big, national names like Dave Ramsey.  Dave has become a household staple with our listeners every week with his real stories and life lessons on how to be financially responsible.  The last visit Dave made was in 2013, so this stop in his Smart Money tour is highly anticipated by listeners and clients alike.”  Ramsey (fifth from the left) and Hogan (fourth from the right) are pictured above with some of the WYRD-FM staff.

Schmaeling to Assume EVP/CFO Role at Entercom.  Effective April 18, Richard J. Schmaeling takes over as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Entercom Communications.  He succeeds 18-year Entercom executive Steve Fisher, who is stepping down on April 30 but will remain with the company to assist in the integration of the CBS RADIO merger.  Schmaeling was most recently CFO at Travel Leaders Group, but his experience in media includes time spent with Lin Media – operator of TV and digital media properties in 23 markets.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Rich is a proven leader with an excellent track record and outstanding reputation as a public company CFO.  His breadth of experience and hands-on leadership of successful integrations for the LIN Media/Media General and News Corp/Dow Jones mergers make him an ideal choice as we join forces with CBS RADIO and position ourselves for a dynamic future.  I am thrilled to welcome Rich to Entercom.”

Westwood One Ups Wildman to EVP, Strategic Partnerships.  After five months with the company, Westwood One is promoting Mark Wildman to EVP, strategic partnerships.  The company says that in this newly expanded role, “Wildman will lead the company’s rapidly evolving new business development initiatives for both the network and spot sales.  Wildman will be working with brand partners on strategic marketing solutions that leverage Westwood One’s robust portfolio of multimedia assets, award-winning content, digital audio, insights, and experiential opportunities.”  Wildman is based in New York City and reports directly to WW1 president of sales Steve Shaw, who comments, “In just a few short months, Mark has proven his commitment and his value as a motivating sales leader and creative problem solver.  He brings a unique vision, skill set, and a tremendous depth of experience to our senior agency and client partners.  I’m excited to have him spearhead our strategic alliances.”

Lew Dickey Exits Cumulus Board; Designates John Dickey as Replacement.  Founder and former Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey resigned from his position as vice chairman of the board of directors for the company and used his allotted replacement designation to fill the seat with his brother John Dickey.  The reason given by Lew Dickey for leaving the board was to pursue other professional interests.

Cumulus Surrenders License for WGPC, Albany.  The sports talk outlet’s transmitter tower was demolished during a January storm and it appears that Cumulus Media decided spending cash to fix it was not cost effective, so the company has given the license back to the FCC.  Albany news outlet WALB-TV reports that WGPC was the first commercial radio station to serve the market, signing on in 1933.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new morning show is being launched by Talk Stream Live with affiliate relations assistance from Genesis Communications Network.  News/talk personality Matt Ray is hosting “America’s 1st News,” which debuted on Monday (3/20), airing live weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET…..ABC NewsAmna Nawaz is hosting new podcast titled, “Uncomfortable.”  ABC says the show “goes one-on-one with influential voices in America to tackle issues dividing the nation – race, gender, economics, religion.”  Nawaz says, “We hear a lot about how our country is divided, about how far apart we are on some of the big issues that define us, as Americans.  But our divisions don’t go away if we ignore them.  On ‘Uncomfortable,’ it’s about taking a cold, hard look at where we are, as a country, and figuring out how we move forward.”…..Chicago Public Media announces that vice president of content and programming Ben Calhoun is leaving his position, effective next month.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Calhoun is expected to return to the staff of “This American Life.”  He was there for five years as a producer and reporter prior to moving up and eventually leading CPM’s programming for the public radio magazine show…..Westwood One and the NCAA are broadcasting the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Spanish.  This is a collaboration between Westwood One and ESPN Deportes Radio.  Calling games will be Rafael Hernández Brito (play-by-play), Greivis Vásquez (analyst), and Clemson Smith Muñiz (pregame/halftime host)…..KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota farm director Dustin Hoffman is being honored by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting with The Doan award.  The Doan award recognizes excellence in reporting skill, thoroughness, and attention to audience interest.  Hoffmann has been with Alpha Media’s KLGR since February of 2010…..The Association of Health Care Journalists awards KQED, San Francisco health reporter April Dembosky its top reporter prize as part of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.  Dembosky received the first place prize in the Beat Reporting category for her “2016 body of work.”

Cool Radio News Gig.  WTMJ Radio is seeking a news anchor/reporter to join its award-winning news team.  The news anchor/reporter would play a large role on “Wisconsin’s Morning News.”  The position also includes interaction with show hosts, live interviews, outside appearances, traffic reporting, online story creation and a visible role representing the station. Responsible for producing several newscasts during morning drive time and into the midday, writing multiple scripts for on-air and online, pulling interview bytes for use in newscasts and identifying/assigning stories.  Becoming part of the Milwaukee community, creating relationships with city leaders, law enforcement, state lawmakers, community advocates, business leaders, etc., are all critical aspects of the position.  Must be comfortable in front of a camera (for digital platforms) and be able to perform multiple tasks while bringing a credible voice to Wisconsin’s Radio Station, WTMJ.  Must have strong written and editorial judgement, excellent on-air presentation and reportorial skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills required, solid understanding of producing local enterprise content, proficient use of the digital platform, high work ethics and standards; ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation; knowledge of newsroom computers required along with familiarity of areas across southeast Wisconsin.  Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and proof of insurability. College degree preferred.  Minimum 2 to 4 years of prior broadcast experience required. EOE. Apply here.

 

 

KXQQ, Las Vegas Names Hernandez Midday Host.  Urban contemporary KXQQ, Las Vegas “Q100.5” names Natalia Hernandez its new midday personality.  Hernandez slides over to “Q100.5” from her on-air role at sister CHR KLUC.  Speaking about her new gig, Hernandez says, “Fourteen years ago I got my first radio gig at CBS RADIO in West Palm Beach and I’m so happy to be back with the company it all started with.  My career has come full circle and I have to thank our OM/PD JB King for believing in me for the midday opportunity at ‘Q100.5.’” I’ve already learned so much and am excited to keep growing with him.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At next weekend’s ACM Awards in Las Vegas, Cumulus Media and Westwood One will present an all-star lineup at “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards,” a two-day, exclusive showcase of brand activations and backstage audio and video coverage.  “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards” will feature exclusive private backstage performances from Curb Records superstars Lee Brice, Mo Pitney, and Jerrod Niemann plus Valory Music’s Delta Rae and Broken Bow recording artist Walker McGuire.  Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Seldom do you have this many superstars assembled in one location.  We are honored to have country music’s most popular artists perform exclusively for us.  It makes our backstage live experience even more special for our affiliates, brand partners and guests.”…..The nationally syndicated rock radio show “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” is celebrating 1,500 consecutive weeks of broadcast radio syndication.  It all started in June of 1988 when Dallas radio personality and music journalist Redbeard, in conjunction with Bullet Productions, launched the show to mainstream and classic rock radio.  For this week’s 1,500th episode, Redbeard is airing an encore presentation of his 1990 interview with Paul McCartney about his 1989 comeback album Flowers In The Dirt which is being reissued this month in multiple deluxe forms with additional music and extras…..Jerry Lee-owned hot AC WBEB-FM, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” was recently honored with five Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting.  They include: Outstanding Radio Promotional Announcements/Contest, Outstanding Radio Public Service Announcement/Campaign, Outstanding Radio Public Affairs Program/Program Series, Outstanding Radio Commercial, and Outstanding Radio: Judges’ Merit Award…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta, “KISS 104.1” announces the lineup for the 22nd Annual Flashback Festival that takes place August 12 at Lakewood Amphitheatre.  Acts will include: The Isley Brothers, Keith Sweat, Kid ‘n Play and Evelyn “Champagne” King.  Vice president of programming Tony Kidd says, “This year’s Flashback Festival looks to bring together lovers of old school R&B and hip hop for another great time.  I look forward to seeing all the ‘KISS 104.1’ family and enjoying the tailgate prior to the show.”

 

 

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey period covered February 2 – March 1.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Over and above dialing up a +.8 to 4.0 (6+) – enabling it to jump from #14 to #11 – Entercom classic rock KGON closes out eighth straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 since June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). At this time last month, the market’s top two finishers accounted for a combined 16.5 (6+). While they keep their #1 and #2 rankings, respectively, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” is off by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB erodes by one full-share (7.9 – 6.9, 6+), thus lowering that (6+) total to 14.6. Despite a roughly 50% drop-off since “Holiday” 2016 (15.3 – 8.6 – 7.7, combined -7.6, 6+), “K-103” is #1 for the 33rd time in the last 35 ratings periods. KOPB completely surrenders January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 (7.6 – 6.9 – 7.9, #2, 6+). Declining by -1.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” recaptured all but three-tenths of that loss in January (5.6 – 4.3 – 5.3, +1.0, 6+) and tacks on an additional +1.1 in February (6.4, fourth to third, 6+). This represents the strongest 6+-showing for “The Eagle” in just over one year (7.0, 6+, January 2016). Down seven-tenths since September (5.8 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), KLTH was +.5 in December. Stuck on 5.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 after reaching 6.1 in December 2016, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” busts out a full-share increase to 6.3 (6+) – yet – must settle for a move to #5 from a tie at #4. In addition to the aforementioned “Eagle,” also one-tenth ahead of “The Buzz” is sibling KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest,” which registers its fourth straight gain for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); “The Wolf” ranked third in January as well. While flat at 4.2 (6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” manages to inch up from tenth to ninth. A +.9 in January ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – In the period between October 2016 and January 2017, Radio One gospel WPZS’ 6+ trending was 3.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 2.8 – 2.9. A February gain of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+), however, lifts “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” from #16 to #12. This is the best 6+-stat for “Praise” since July 2015’s 3.9. Following four straight negative trends for a combined -1.5 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – We Play Anything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox” adds one-tenth (7.2 – 7.3, 6+) to repeat at #1. January’s +.8 (6+) halted a string of three straight downward moves by “The Fox” that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to a -.1 to 2.2 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-LOVE” (unchanged at #17) has its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” (5.6 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+); Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLXK “K-LOVE” (1.2 – .5, #19 to #20, 6+). Prior to January’s +.8, “The Link” had trended 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). Rebounding from December’s loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” added six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but surrenders the one-half share it gained in January (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), moving from #15 to #16. Down by one-half share as well – after sputtering by seven-tenths in January – is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), which drops from second to third. Leapfrogging WSOC is its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” (5.7 – 5.9, +.2, third to second, 6+) – which was +1.7 in January and -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016. It is quite a comeback indeed for “The Kat,” given that, in “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). For the second successive month, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.2, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

3) Pittsburgh – After improving by six-tenths in January, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on a full-share (6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. It is the first time that “Kiss” reaches the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). A one-half share increase by WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays The Hits” ended three straight dips that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Now, the CBS Radio hot AC dials up a +.9 to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since February 2016’s 5.3, to jump from ninth to seventh. As co-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” improves by seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+) to inch up from tenth to eighth, iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from eighth to tenth. Up three-tenths (10.0 – 10.3, 6+), WPGB’s rock sibling WDVE (+1.6 in January) repeats at #1. On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to #1 in January. Right on the heels of January’s +1.2, CBS Radio’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” returns all of it plus one-tenth (4.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, -1.3, 6+) to drop from sixth to ninth. By gaining four-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Fan” halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a cumulative -3.5 (7.6 – 6.5 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). After surrendering a -5.1 in January, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” forfeits another eight-tenths (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues from fourth to fifth. “Wish” was a combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016. For the ninth straight ratings period, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” (3.7 – 3.3, -.4, 6+) is at #11. In 2.1 – 2.9 range the past 18 sweeps, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) gains one-tenth to reach the three-share level (2.9 – 3.0, 6+).

4) Sacramento – Several unusual occurrences take place in California’s capital city, most notably CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” overcoming January’s -4.8 with a full-share increase to retake the lead (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, “Mix” was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Those market outlets displaying gains of seven-tenths each are hot AC cluster-mate KZZO (3.6 – 4.3, ninth to fifth, 6+) as well as co-owned rhythmic CHR KSFM (3.0, #16 to #13, 6+); and iHeartMedia adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM” (2.5 – 3.2, #13 to #11, 6+). Before February’s +.7, KSFM was a combined -.8 as a result of four consecutive down or flat trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). By notching a +.4 in January, “Jack” ended six consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). In 2.2 – 2.9 territory (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Entravision rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (#12 to #11) registers a six-tenths spike to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in just over one year (3.5, January 2016). Improving by six-tenths as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-LOVE,” which zooms into the top twenty (#21 to #15) with its fourth successive up-trend (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, 6+) that has more than doubled its 6+-share for a +1.3. Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia news-talk hybrid KFBK (8.7 – 8.2, first to second, 6+) and Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (fifth to seventh, 6+). Having finished six straight times in the runner-up slot, KFBK reached #1 in January. Its recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September 2016); +1.2 (October 2016); -.7 (November 2016) +.7 (December 2016); +.8 (January 2017); and -.5 (February 2017). This marks the fourth consecutive decline for “98 Rock” for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). One development with considerably more far-reaching implications than monthly ups and downs happened just after the February 2017 ratings period began. Entercom returned the license of KDND “The End” and transported the CHR format on 107.9 to the frequency of what was hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.” Thus, KUDL – as hot AC “Star” – goes out with a 2.4 (January 2017, #15, 6+), while the former KDND (4.5, January 2017, #6) now on its new frequency as CHR KUDL is eighth in February 2017 (3.8, 6+).

5) San Antonio – Off by seven-tenths in January, Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG not only recaptures all of it plus one-tenth for good measure (3.8 – 4.6, +.8, 6+), “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” returns to the top ten (#12 to #7). Its 6+ September through “Holiday” 2016 trends were 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5. Even though the net loss was only four-tenths, co-owned KISS had nonetheless been without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+) until February when “99.5 KISS Rocks San Antonio” breaks out a +.6 to 6.0 (6+), advancing from fifth to third. It is the first time that KISS has reached the 6-share level since December 2015 (6.2). When Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” dropped four-tenths in January, it snapped at three its string of consecutive gains which netted a combined +1.2 (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). “The Beat” though dials up a one-half share increase (4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and progresses from seventh to fifth. The market’s CHR battle tightens as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops two-tenths (#10 to #12, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” adds two-tenths (steady at #13, 6+). “Mix” is down or flat for the sixth straight time for a -.5 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), while “Energy” notches its fourth consecutive gain for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +1.2, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” (6.2 – 7.4 – 6.4, -1.0, first to second, 6+), swaps places with Cox Media Group-owned KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” (6.9 – 7.0, +.1, second to first). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) to progress from the runner-up slot to #1. Prior to February, KONO-FM’s most recent (6+) fluctuations are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned KAJA, which has been -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and now -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+), with “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drifting from fourth to eighth. Despite a +.1 (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” slips from third to fourth. Even so, the one-tenth (6+) advantage that “Y-100” had over “KJ-97” in January widens to 1.4. Having skidded from first in “Holiday” 2016 to sixth in January as a result of a -6.6, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” erodes by another full-share (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) and tumbles to tenth. Following a December gain of +1.5 to 4.8 (6+), KQXT added +5.5 to 10.3 (6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat since last March (also 4.2) for “Q-101.9,” whose HD3 channel drops one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, #19 to #22, 6+), as does Univision Radio’s urban-rhythmic oldies KMYO “Yo! 95.1” (3.1 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+).

6) Cincinnati – Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) Hubbard Radio country outlet WUBE answered in January with a +1.5 and “B-105” adds another eight-tenths in February (6.8 – 7.6, 6+) to carry on at #3. Down by a cumulative -1.2 via three straight decreases (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s WVXU bounces back with a +.7 to 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). Within 3.3 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Radio One’s WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” posts a +.6 to 3.9 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). A combined -1.7 since December 2016 (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS notches a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+), enabling “Kiss 107 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” to crack the top ten (#11 to #9). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first. It repeats there in February, gaining two-tenths to 9.2 (6+). Forfeiting the one-half share that it picked up in January (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” shifts from eighth to tenth. Not only is iHeartMedia’s WEBN a collective -2.2 as a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), it departs the top ten (#10 to #12). One of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease (ten in a row!) comes to an end as Radio One’s urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (#17 to #18) falters by three tenths to 1.4 (6+), halting a streak that started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+).

7) Cleveland – The market’s largest January 2017 – February 2017 (6+) jump belongs to Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF “Moody Radio Cleveland,” which improves by +1.4 (.9 – 2.3, #14, 6+). The religious outlet had not reached a one-share (6+) since October 2014 (1.0, 6+). Owing to a one-half share increase (5.9 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays the Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth. Albeit down two-tenths after January’s -1.3 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI repeats at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Consistently posting a 6+-share between 5.0 – 5.9 the past six sweeps, CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” flounders by eight-tenths to 4.6, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Right behind it – and making it a solid year that it’s been at #12 – is CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+). Although it remains unchanged at #13, Ideastream’s WCPN drops two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing eight consecutive up or flat trends that netted a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

8) Salt Lake City – Separated by two-tenths in January, the margin between country rivals KSOP “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.1 – 4.0, -.1, flat at #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.3 – 4.4, +.1, steady at #8, 6+) increases to four-tenths. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull 93” had faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” (#17 to #16) is up or flat for the fourth straight time (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Absolutely wild fluctuations continue for KSL, whose “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 – February 2017 stats are 6.8 – 8.9 – 6.8 (6+). The station’s six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and now -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Transitioning to the runner-up slot, the Bonneville talker yields first-place to adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (8.3 – 8.0, -.3, 6+). Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until January’s -12.3, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3 shares. Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY rebounded with a +.6 in January but “My 99.5” returns all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+), spiraling from #14 to #18. Locked on 2.5 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, Brigham Young University classical KBYU recorded a full-share gain to 3.1 (6+) in January only to forfeit half of it (2.6, 6+), dropping from #12 to #15. Unlisted in January 2017, University of Utah’s KUER “90.1 NPR Utah” (3.3, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returns in February with a 3.7 (#10, 6+).

9) Las Vegas – Having eroded by approximately 54% in five successive down or flat sweeps (5.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “Radio For Life” makes a serious dent in that collective -2.9 with a +1.2 to 3.7 (6+) and rockets from #17 to #10. After gaining six-tenths in January, CBS Radioowned KLUC tacks on nine-tenths (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. The last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (6.7 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” continues at #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for KSNE (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), “Sunny” was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. Notwithstanding it is unchanged at #13, adult hits sibling KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” shows an improvement for the sixth consecutive time more than doubling its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+).  Without an increase in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF displayed a +1.2 in January but relinquishes all of it plus four-tenths (5.0 – 3.4, -1.6, 6+), freefalling from the top ten (#6 to #11). In second-place the last three sweeps, KKLZ drops nine-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and shifts to fourth. The Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded from a -1.8 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.0 in January (6.6 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Before advancing to #1 in July 2016 – and remaining there in August and September – KKLZ was in the runner-up slot for six straight months; 7.4 in August was its best 6+-showing in over four years (7.5, July 2012). In back-to-back survey periods, Lotus Communications’ Spanish adult hits KWID falters by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) as it leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). Surrendering all but two-tenths of the +.7 it dialed up in January (4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, -.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull – New Country for Las Vegas” stumbles from fourth to seventh.

10) Kansas City –When Steel City Media-owned KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep, it did so with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). “Country 94.1,” however, was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+), before posting a +.5 in January and a +1.2 in February (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), rocketing from ninth to third. This is the best 6+-stat for KFKF since April 2015 (5.3 as well). In fact, it’s a clean sweep for the country format here as co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” (4.1 – 4.4, steady at #9, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.6 – 3.9, #14 to #12, 6+) are each up by three-tenths. A gain of one-half share (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) propels cluster-mate KQRC “98.9 The Rock” into the top ten (#13 to #10). Unchanged at #4, talk sibling KMBZ-FM is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Even though it drops a combined seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” repeats at #1. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight up-trends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in August, it closed four successive up or flat monthlies yielding a +1.5 (5.9 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+). In addition to shifting from third to sixth as a result of a -1.1 (6. 0 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” drops below a five-share (6+) for the first time in more than two years (4.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2014). Regressing by one-half share each are Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 7.3, flat at #2, 6+); Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 – Today’s Best Variety” (4.4 – 3.9, #7 to #12, 6+); and Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (3.4 – 2.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Before a loss of three-tenths in November 2016, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. In January, “KC-102.1” spiraled by -2.6 (7.0 – 4.4, 6+), while WHB gained seven-tenths.

11) Orlando – As it progresses from third to second, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is a combined +1.8 in back-to-back survey periods, (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0, 6+), thus erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. In the Cox Media Group cluster, rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” improves by six-tenths to 4.3 (tenth to ninth, 6+), while WCFB’s HD2 channel wipes out January’s six-tenths’ loss with a gain of seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.0 – 1.7, #18 to #16, 6+); the last three “Power” trends were 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7 (6+). Off by nine-tenths each are those stations’ siblings – WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” (7.5 – 6.6, unchanged at #4, 6+) and talk WDBO-FM (5.1 – 4.2, #10, 6+). In January, WMMO dialed up a +1.4 following a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.7 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+). Without a decrease from September through December (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), WDBO-FM lost nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but was +.7 in January. Although it repeats at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM sputters by eight-tenths to 11.7 from January’s 12.5, the highest 6+-share in the PPM-history of “Rumba 100.3,” which had been on top in October, November and December. WRUM was a combined +2.5 in November and December as it reached 12.1 (6+). Slipping from second to third (7.0, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” has posted wild fluctuations in the past 18 months or so, including +.5 (October 2015); -1.0 (November 2015); +1.6 (December 2015); +5.2 (“Holiday” 2015); -4.7 (January 2016); -1.2 (February); +1.3 (March); +.7 (April); +.6 (May); -.8 (June); -1.1 (July); -.4 (August); +.7 (September); -.5 (October) +.9 (November); +2.1 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2016); -7.6 (January 2017) and -1.5 (February). After six straight sweeps finishing in third-place, “Magic” progressed to the runner-up slot in December; #1 in “Holiday” 2016; #2 in January 2017; and now back to #3. Public WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 29th straight time (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, flat at #14, 6+). This is the second consecutive month that JVC Media’s country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” (1.4, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

12) Columbus – With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” marches from second to first. Before the January ratings period, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. It dislodges (and trades places with) country sibling WCOL, which surrenders approximately half of January’s robust +2.2 (10.5 – 9.3, -1.2, first to second, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, co-owned urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” fell to 3.5 in January but – like WNCI – gains seven-tenths (to 4.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). On the other hand, Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths and is a combined -3.8 in three straight downtrends (7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+), sinking from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to these declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). Up in three consecutive ratings periods for a net +2.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ regressed by half that margin (-1.1) in “Holiday” 2016. “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” bounced back in January with a +1.5; falters by one-half share in February (6.4 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+); but carries on in third-place. As was the case in January, Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) does not appear in Columbus’ February ratings report.

Monday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2015

bellart15Art Bell Ends Latest Talk Show Effort Citing Attempts on His Life.  Quite suddenly on Friday evening, Art Bell posted on his ArtBell.com website that he would not be going on the air that evening – or ever again, in fact – and explained that he and his family are in danger after recent attempts on his life.  Here’s what Bell posted: “I am sorry to have to announce this but I will not be on Tonight or any other night, yes I am going to hang it up.  Whoever this crazy person is, they are not stopping and it has come to the point that we as a Family do not feel it is worth the risk.  While I think the person or persons are after me, my Wife and now my Daughter are really scared, the other night after the latest incident my Daughter was off in the corner of her bed scared to death as the Police cars came screaming up.  I will not put my Family through this. As you all know I dearly love what I do but not at the expense of never ending Terrorism.  I want to thank those of you who have shown so much support and it has been my joy, short as it has been to have cracked that Mic open for a last time.  This was a Family decision.  The girls stuck with me and still would but if one of them were harmed because of what I love doing my life would be over.”  Bell had returned to AM/FM radio with a late night program called “Midnight in the Desert” via his Dark Matter Radio Network earlier this fall after years away from broadcast radio.  To say this is controversial in the minds of his fans is an understatement.  Chatter on the website DreadCentral vacillates between those who are sympathetic to Bell’s claim and those who simply don’t believe a word of it.  Regardless, Bell is off the air, seemingly for good. The network intends to provide programming to affiliates for the next 30 days with Rowland Communications Network airing either previous Art Bell-hosted shows or Heather Wade hosting the program.

gallaghermikeThree More Years at Salem for Mike Gallagher.  Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Mike Gallagher will remain in his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program on the Salem Radio Network through the end of 2018 after signing a three-year extension.  He’s currently heard on some 300 stations nationwide, including new affiliate WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.”  Gallagher states, “After 15 years with Salem, I’m still amazed at how fortunate I am to have a radio home at this amazing company.  I’m ecstatic and humbled to be continuing for at least another three years with this world-class organization.”  Salem Media Group SVP Phil Boyce comments, “Mike is one of the most talented, entertaining, and informative hosts in the country.  What a pleasure it has been to be reunited with him at Salem, and be able to have a small part in the next generation of his talk show host career.”

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: What Do Sam Goldwyn and Geraldo Rivera Have in Common?  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman offers his take on the suit against Cumulus Media filed by ousted WABC, New York talk host Geraldo Rivera:

Sam Goldwyn was a legendary movie producer from the early days of Hollywood.  In fact, the G in MGM was for Goldwyn.  Goldwyn died in 1974.  Geraldo Rivera is a legendary and prize winning investigative reporter and media personality who is very much alive.  So what do they have in common?  Sam Goldwyn wasriverageraldo quoted as saying that “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”  Once you get over trying to figure out the logic of this statement, the essential truth remains that relying on and proving an oral contract is a difficult task indeed.  Geraldo Rivera recently filed a lawsuit in state court in New York alleging that Cumulus Media, Inc., the owner of WABC – 770 AM radio in New York breached an oral, one-year contract with him pursuant to which he was to be paid $600,000 for 2016.  In addition, he alleges that Cumulus locked him out of his studio at WABC where he already was working as a talk show host.  Geraldo alleges that he had negotiated the contract with then vice president of Cumulus, John Dickey during dickeyjohna lunch meeting in July.  However, the contract was never reduced to writing and nothing was signed by the parties.  In the fall, there was a change of management at Cumulus in which its founder and CEO Lew Dickey along with John Dickey no longer were involved in active management of the company.  Although Cumulus has not, as of the writing of this, responded officially to Rivera’s complaint in court, Cumulus has responded with a statement by Davidson Goldin on behalf of the company which states, “We offered Geraldo Rivera a new contract commensurate with the value of his show and our offer was repeatedly rejected.”  As for locking Rivera out of his studio, no contract requires a radio station to give air time to someone under contract.  All the station is required to do is to pay the talent.  In this case, it would appear that Cumulus would have rather eaten the rest of Rivera’s present contract which would terminate under its own terms at the end of December rather than permit Rivera to air his grievances over the air.  As for Rivera, he has stated, “It is not about the money.  Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in salary.”  What are the real facts?  That will be determined in court where Goldwyn’s comment may take on new meaning.

bubbaBubba Lawyers Again Filed Motion to Dismiss Nielsen’s $1 Million Suit.  On Friday (12/11), lawyers for Bubba the Love Sponge filed a motion to dismiss the $1 million fraud suit filed against their client by Nielsen Audio.  Bubba’s attorneys say that Nielsen can’t prove that it has been damaged by their client’s ratings tampering incident, that allegations of additional attempts to tamper with the ratings have not been proven and Bubba’s already been punished for the one case to which he’d admitted.  They also point to Nielsen’s statements after the tampering became public knowledge that the company was able to root out the panelist in question and the rest of the market’s ratings were not adversely affected as proof Nielsen can’t show damages.  This filing comes just days after Beasley Media Group re-branded Bubba’s flagship station WBRN, Tampa from “Bubba 998.7” to “98.7 No Rules Rock,” bringing into question whether the business relationship between Bubba and Beasley in Tampa will continue in the New Year.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Issues Third Quarter State of the Market Report.  The latest edition of this quarterly report from the New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association is a “comprehensive analysis of the New York marketplace designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its prominent role in the local advertising landscape.”  NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan states, “In third quarter, retailers effectively used radio leading up to the holiday shopping season.  Radio has always done a terrific job of reaching people on the go, and is a huge benefit for influencing consumers closest to their point of purchase.”  Regarding radio advertising in the market, the report’s “research on the department store, mass merchandiser, home improvement, and fast food sectors found that exposure to radio ad campaigns increased sales, number of buyers, and dollars spent.  For department stores alone, sales increased by 10%, the number of buyers increased by 3%, and dollars spent per customer increased by 6%.”  See the report here.

Odds & Sods.  The patriotic rock band Madison Rising is beginning its preparation for its 2016 national tourmadisonrisingstill with the release of its “Soldier’s Christmas” song and video.  The presentation honors the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, along with their families who endure their loss throughout the year and during the holiday season in particular. The band (pictured at right) is on a mission to reignite authentic American culture through great rock music.  Its new album American Hero (RED) is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces, along with the police, firefighters and other first responders. The band just completed a 70-city tour, and is preparing to launch its next stretch on January 9…..Toledo market sports talkers WLQR-FM, Delta, Ohio, flips affiliations from CBS Sports Radio Network to ESPN and begins airing much of the latter network’s sports talk shows.  The Cumulus-owned station is keeping local personalities Bob Frantz (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and Mike Miller (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) on the program schedule…..There’s end-of-year programming available from ABC News Radio with programs including:  “Playback 2015” with Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky; a year-end edition of “Perspective”; “World News This Year”; “2015 As it Happened”; “The Economy 2015 Year in Review” with ABC News’ chief business and economic correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and ABC News correspondent Richard Davies…..KEGL, Dallas “The Eagle” afternoon personality Russ Martin is thanking police for their work rescuing him after he was the victim of a home invasion.  A story in the Frisco Enterprise reports that three masked men ambushed him outside his home, bound him and stole items from his house before escaping in Martin’s 2010 Dodge Challenger.  The men have not been apprehended yet.  Martin was not harmed.

herskovitzal‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes in a column posted today that this time of year represents what can be a boon for sports talk radio.  With the NFL’s season zeroing in on the playoffs and basketball, hockey and college sports also in high gear, the opportunities to get creative from a sales standpoint are numerous.  He notes some of the sponsored segments he’s recently encountered during play-by-play broadcasts.  “‘The collision of the game’ sponsored by a vehicle repair shop; The ‘injury time-out’ sponsored by a medical group; ‘The gem of the game’ (the best play) sponsored by a jewelry store.  I even heard one that was called ‘The catch of the game.’  It was sponsored by a bait and tackle shop!  Laugh if you must, but this special creativity has to be acknowledged.”  Read the entire column here.

marksidSid Mark Signs Contract Extension to Continue Hosting ‘Sound of Sinatra.’  The program has been airing in one form or another in Philadelphia for the past 59 years – the last 16 on CBS RADIO’s WPHT – and radio pro Sid Mark will continue to host the nationally syndicated “Sound of Sinatra” after recently inking a contract extension.  Mark comments, “My thanks to the management of WPHT, our sponsors and, of course, my listeners for making this possible. Look forward to a big bash for the 60th.”  CBS RADIO SVP/market manager for Philadelphia David Yadgaroff adds, “What Frank Sinatra is to music, Sid Mark is to radio.  We are so happy to continue the tradition that Sid started 59 years ago.”  As legend has it, “The Sounds of Sinatra” began with a call from a listener, who suggested that Mark spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra,” which presently airs on WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  It’s still heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast and is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

brownejoyXmasSweater15Bringing Joy to the Ugly.  Nationally syndicated (GCN) talk star Dr. Joy Browne invited listeners to enter photos on Facebook for her annual “Ugliest Christmas Sweater” contest.  She came up with two winners – both who work as interns at the York Theatre Company’s current Broadway production of a musical titled “Plaid Tidings.”  Pictured (l-r) Daniel Lees, Dr. Joy Browne, and Lucas Camp.  York Theatre Company’s slogan is “Where musicals come to life.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit and Tomorrow’s GOP Debate Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The passage of a week-long spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown after this week; the ‘Paris Agreement’ climate deal inked among the U.S. and 185 other countries; and tomorrow night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas were some of the top news/talk stories discussed on weekend talk radio programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, December 11, 2015

| December 11, 2015

rosenmikeKOA, Denver’s Mike Rosen Dials Back Radio Duties; Mandy Connell to Assume Midday Show.  Denver talk radio icon Mike Rosen is stepping down from his daily midday talk show at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOA “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM” after close to 30 years with the station.  Rosen – also a longtime columnist for The Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post – will continue to work with the company’s Denver talk stations as a contributor, a regular weekend host and a politicalkoa commentator.  He’ll also serve as an occasional guest host on both KOA and sister KHOW “TalkRadio 630.”  Rosen comments, “Doing my brand of radio, with 24/7 research and show prep, takes a work week of more than 60 hours.  After 35 years on-air, I’ve decided to give myself a little more well-earned leisure time as I pass my 71st birthday.  I’ve been with KOA for almost 30 years and have loved every minute of it.  connellmandyIt’s a wonderful station with a glorious history and a great team of people.  I couldn’t bring myself to just walk away from it, and a full-fledged retirement wouldn’t suit a Type-A guy like me.  So, I’m delighted to still have a presence with KOA as a part-time, on-air contributor.  While this may disappoint my long-time loyal listeners, to whom I’m eternally grateful, I hope they will find a little of Mike Rosen at least better than none at all.”  KOA program director Greg Foster is moving current KHOW morning drive host Mandy Connell to Rosen’s midday show, effective January 4.  He comments, “Mandy has a knack for creating solid, entertaining shows.  Nobody can replace Mike Rosen, but we’re confident that Mike’s fans will connect with Mandy and she’ll bring a new perspective to KOA NewsRadio.”  Foster has not announced who will assume the morning show duties on KHOW.

riverageraldoGeraldo Follows Through on Promise to Sue Cumulus for Breach of Contract.  After being “locked out” of the WABC, New York studios in late November with Cumulus Media apparently deciding it was ready to end Geraldo Rivera’s midday talk show on the station, Rivera said he wouldwabc logo sue Cumulus Media for reneging on its deal to extend his contract through 2016.  Bloomberg Business is reporting the suit was filed on Wednesday (12/8).  Cumulus has not commented on the matter but Rivera says, in a suit filed in New York, that his agent negotiated a deal to extend his $600,000 per year deal with then-Cumulus EVP John Dickey, which he alleges new Cumulus leaders broke upon assuming control of the company.  Back in November, Rivera threatened the suit via his Facebook page on which he wrote: “It is not about the money…Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.”

komologoElisa Jaffe Named Afternoon Anchor at KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle.  Seattle all-news KOMO-AM/FM lost a valued broadcaster this past August when Jane Shannon passed away unexpectedly.  Now, the Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned station announces that KOMO-TVjaffeelisa news pro Elisa Jaffe will co-anchor the afternoon drive program with Tom Glasgow from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  KOMO-AM/FM program director Rick Van Cise states, “Elisa is known and respected around the Northwest for her decades of hosting KOMO-TV’s ‘Northwest Afternoon’ and anchoring and reporting on KOMO 4 News.  She brings the perfect balance of personality, news credibility and compassionate storytelling to KOMO’s drive home.”  Jaffe comments on her new position, “I could never fill our friend Jane Shannon’s shoes but it’s an honor to follow in her footsteps.”

Odds & Sods.  Filling in today on iHeartMedia’s South Florida sports talker WINZ, Miami is former WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” Maxim Radio personality Michael Bower who hosts Andy Slater’s 2:00 pm to 4:00 pmbowermike program…..Good Karma-owned sports talker WUUB-FM, West Palm Beach “ESPN West Palm” announces Miami Dolphins EVP of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is joining the station for a weekly edition of its “ESPN West Palm Tonight” program as a recurring guest.  Tannenbaum will join host Jeremy Marks-Peltz Thursdays at 6:20 pm through the Super Bowl. He’ll discuss the latest news mohrjayfrom the Miami Dolphins and the NFL, and give his perspective as a current front office executive, and former agent and general manager…..FOX Sports Radio syndicated sports talk host Jay Mohr is nominated for a Grammy Award for his recent comedy album Happy.  The actor and comedian released the album that’s the result of his one-hour comedy special filmed during the Santa Barbara LOL Comedy Festival.  It features a “hilarious set of intimate stand-up comedy stories about his marriage to Nikki Cox, raising two kids, and great lessons in ironic behavior.  This special aired on Showtime Comedy and has the distinction of being written entirely by Cox, who for years has been Mohr’s trusted collaborator and creative partner.”

talkersten logoTrump Muslim Ban Proposal Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 7-11.  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal that all Muslims be prevented from entering the country to prevent terrorist strikes was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates.  At #3 was the San Bernardino shootings aftermath, followed by the Paris Climate Summit at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

bfoa logoBroadcasters Foundation of America Guardian Fund Annual Appeal Underway.  Most broadcasters are aware of the outstanding work that the Broadcasters Foundation of America does aiding broadcasters and their families who are beset by unforeseen disasters or medical emergencies.  Now, in an appeal to the industry titled, “Taking Care of Our Own,” Guardian Fund chairman and Whitney Media president and editorial director William O’Shaughnessy cites BFoA vice chair Dick Foreman who says, “It’s really all about taking care of our own.”  O’Shaughnessy states, “We are broadcasters.  And on that, and that alone, do we base our appeal to assist the hurting and almost forgotten in our own tribe.”  The BFoA reports that “last year, relying on your essential and vital contributions to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund, we dispatched almost $850,000 in life-sustaining grants.  We need your urgent assistance to continue that mission.”  It’s simple to make an online contribution by going to the BFoA’s site here.

Monday, November 30, 2015

| November 30, 2015

wabc logoGeraldo Exit from WABC, New York Appears Official.  There’s been no announcement from Cumulus Media and we don’t really expect one.  All of the information on this story comes from Geraldo Rivera himself.  As TALKERS reported last Thursday, Rivera first said on his Facebook page that he was informed by new Cumulus CEO Mary Berner and Cumulus NYC market manager Chad Lopez that the company will not be honoring “theriverageraldo handshake deal I made with ousted company chief John Dickey, an agreement to extend my current contract for a year.  The decision to renege on our deal on the eve of Thanksgiving is especially upsetting coming in the wake of my emotionally charged and highly rated coverage of the Paris massacre and frantic efforts by authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.  Last year, The Village Voice named me the ‘2014 Best AM Radio Host in NYC’, writing in part, ‘Geraldo Rivera actually has something to say.  The guy understands the issues of the day and has enough confidence in his opinions to call bullshit on blowhards,’ which I’m doing here.”  Since then, Geraldo added to his post, writing that he intends to make this difficult for the company.  “That slight will not go unanswered.  Trust me on this; it is not about the money.  I have enough and give away to various charities more than most.  But because of their unforgivable disrespect I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.”  Geraldo goes on to write about the value of his show to the New York audience.  “The pity is this misguided management has deprived my loyal New York audience a program that they have followed and engaged with during a turbulent time of crucial interest…”  Whether Geraldo can prevail in court remains to be seen, but of course it’s within Cumulus’ right to fire or hire talent as the company sees fit.

bozedavidDavid Boze Exits Bonneville’s KTTH, Seattle.  Saying that he’s leaving the station to pursue “ventures that can only be done in presidential years,” morning drive personality David Boze leaves Bonneville International’s KTTH, Seattle after 13 years with the station.  He says, “I leave the stationktth I helped found in the hands of a great company and good people.  I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of my listeners.  It is a wonderful thing to meet them and realize we are already friends thanks to the power of radio.  I’m also exceptionally grateful for my show sponsors, who have invested in my show year after year. Bonneville has been a great company to work for, and I will miss the people who have become such a meaningful, daily part of my life.”  The company has not named a permanent replacement for Boze.

hammerleeLee Hammer Adds KGO and KSFO OM Duties.  Already serving as operations manager and PD for sports talk outlets KNBR and KTCT, Lee Hammer is promoted from interim ops manager for sister talk stations KGO and KSFO to permanent OM for the pair.  Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Lee has been instrumental in leading KGO and KSFO over the past year while continuing to deliver record breaking ratings for KNBR.  We are confident that with his considerable expertise in the talk format, he will take our news/talk stations to new heights.”

Odds & Sods.  Former longtime KVI, Seattle talk personality Kirby Wilbur is soon to be back with the iconicwilburkirby conservative talker.  It’s not known at this point what daypart Wilbur will be hosting.  He was part of the original lineup of KVI as a conservative news/talk station.  It’s for this period in history that it’s considered by many to be the first talk station to be purposely programmed as an all-conservative talk outlet…..Nationally syndicated talk host Kevin Jackson announces he is leaving USA Radio Networks and will self-syndicate his daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show.

nielsen logoRound Three of November PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of November 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was October 8 – November 4.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

hickenlooperjohnSome Talk Radio Pros Take Issue with Colorado Governor’s Placing Blame for Shooting on Media and Campaign Rhetoric.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, in addressing the deadly shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs over the weekend, hinted that talk show hosts and bloggers are in some way to blame for the deaths of the three victims and the nine people wounded.  The governor said, in part, “Certainly it’s a form of terrorism, and maybe in some way it’s a function of the inflammatory rhetoric we see on so many issues now, there are bloggers and talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over.  Just intense anger.  Maybe it’s time to look at howtraduptom do we tone down that rhetoric.  No one is going to try to reduce free speech in this country but that rhetoric — if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced – that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.”  Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine, “Public officials who fail in their primary responsibility to protect the lives and property of the men and women who elect them should not use the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions on talk radio to scapegoat their own inadequacies.”

seltzerbrentHosp15Legendary News and Talk Personality Brent Seltzer Recovering from Brain Tumor Surgery.  Veteran radio personality Brent Seltzer, known most recently for his work on the nationally syndicated (GCN) “Brent & Meg Show” that he co-hosted with his wife Meg McDonald, is recovering from major surgery that took place in September at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank to remove a cancerous, golf ball-sized Glioblastoma Tumor Grade 4  from the front-left section of his brain.  This is the part of the brain that controls memory and language.  Seltzer’s colorful career dates back to the golden days of FM rock radio when he was a pioneer in the development of “rock ‘n’ roll radio style news” at such outlets as KGB, San Diego and KMET, Los Angeles among others.  He has also achieved considerable critical praise for his modern-era, short-form and podcast series, “Still at Large.”  Attendees at TALKERS conferences over the past four years will remember Brent & Meg as the events’ charismatic official greeters.  This past June, they served as emcees of Talkers 2015.  Seltzer (pictured here mugging for the camera after his surgery) tells TALKERS, “I have apparently been experiencing symptoms since September 2014 but it wasn’t until 11:15 am PT on Thursday, September 24, 2015 that my symptoms resulted in a seizure while sitting at my computer.  I crashed like a small bird out of a big tree.  If our ‘Brent & Meg’ radio show had not been on hiatus by that point, I would have had my seizure on the air.  In the months prior to the seizure, I was apparently doing some things without a clear memory.  My typing began to deteriorate and my quick recall for names, places and events often failed me.  I ignored symptoms that were bothersome but seemed innocuous and unrelated at the time.  But in truth, they were actually symptoms of a much bigger problem.”  Seltzer, who is now recovering at home while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, adds, “I share these things to let everyone know that I have begun what we hope will be a stunning return.  My recovery is an uphill battle which I’m very eager to face as I prepare for alerting everyone as to what has happened and what will come next  and as much pain and discomfort I am in… I’m Popeye and nothing is gonna get me down!”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have known Brent all the way back to my radio days in San Diego in the early 1970s.  He is one of the nicest, smartest and most talented guys I’ve ever met in this business.  He and Meg are beloved members of our TALKERS family and we pray for his speedy and full recovery.”  Brent Seltzer can be contacted via email at: brent@mcdonaldmediaservices.com.

Colorado Springs Shooting Dominates Weekend Talk Stories.  The deadly shooting in Colorado Springs and the related debate over gun control were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend on stations that air live and local shows and/or live national talk shows.  Other topics included the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday, and college and pro football, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

| September 29, 2015

cumulus logoCumulus Board of Directors Installs Mary G. Berner as CEO; Lew Dickey to Remain as Vice Chairman and Director.  New Cumulus Media chief executive officer Mary G. Berner has been a member of the board of directors of Cumulus since May and she replaces company founder Lew Dickey as CEO – although Dickey will remain a director of the company as serve as vice chairman.  The Cumulus board of directors states Berner is a “seasoned media business operator” who previous experience includes her most recent post as president and chief executive officer of the Association of bernermaryMagazine Media.  From 2007-2011, she was chief executive officer of Reader’s Digest Association and, before that, chief executive officer of Fairchild Publications.   The press statement continues: “During the course of her highly successful career, she has led some of the world’s best known brands and content platforms, including Glamour, TV Guide, W, Women’s Wear Daily, Every Day with Rachael dickeylewRay and Allrecipes.com.”  Cumulus board chairman Jeffrey Marcus – who also serves as a partner with Crestview Partners (which manages funds that own 27% of Cumulus stock) – says, “Under Lew Dickey’s leadership, the Cumulus team has built a formidable national and local footprint, becoming the second largest operator of radio stations in the country, with more than 460 stations across 90 markets, approximately 8,500 broadcast radio affiliates and numerous digital channels serving over 225 million listeners nationwide.  However, maximizing the value of these assets requires making them work together effectively and efficiently.  At a time when the media landscape continues to undergo seismic transformation, Cumulus needs a broad-based media operator who can leverage its outstanding resources – from its core strength in radio to its growing presence in digital, experiential and other emerging platforms – and capitalize on thedickeyjohn industry’s strong fundamentals.  The board has had the benefit of seeing Mary in action and is fully confident that she is the right leader for Cumulus.”  Berner comments, “I am honored to have been asked to lead Cumulus Media and am eager to work with the board and the company’s talented teams to implement Lew’s vision of building the next generation multi-platform media company.  As the director who led the Operations Review Task Force established by the board, I have insight into the issues that Cumulus faces, but I also know the operational leverage that can be generated by first focusing on execution.  Radio is a powerful and unique medium – the number one mass reach medium in the U.S. – and Cumulus possesses all of the elements to be one of the industry’s winners.  I look forward to bringing a renewed focus on operating excellence at all levels and in all functions to help Cumulus realize its potential and generate improved financial performance and increased value for shareholders.”  The press statement makes no mention of the status of John Dickey, EVP content & programming, but the New York Post is reporting he has exited the company and a “huge reorganization” is impending.  TALKERS has not confirmed those reports.  Cumulus stock, which has been battered in recent months, closed today (9/29) at 68 cents per share.

harrisonhurley15Michael Harrison Interviews Harry Hurley About “All Things New Jersey” – Including Host’s Two-Year Tenure as Senior Exec at Trump Atlantic City Hotel.  In a riveting one-one-one discussion about the various ways the Garden State has been recently evoked in the national presidential conversation, Michael Harrison interviews WPGG, Atlantic City “morning mayor” (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member) Harry Hurley on the latest installment (9/29) of the Podcast One international hit, “Up Close and Far Out.” Prior to launching a stellar 25-year career as a major New Jersey radio personality, Hurley worked directly for Donald Trump as the senior executive of one of his four Atlantic City Hotels (a job for which “The Donald” personally interviewed and subsequently supervised him) and candidly discusses what it was like being with the current GOP front-runner during those heady days along the Jersey Shore.  Hurley worked with Trump personally every weekend for two years and shares important first-hand insights into the billionaire’s management style, business instincts and character.  In addition, the Jersey-born talker shares his insights, based on experience, into the economic role and cultural direction of casino gambling in the nation.  He also talks about his personal on- and off-air encounters with Gov. Chris Christie (including insights to “bridgegate” and the Dallas Cowboys/Jerry Jones debacle) as well as the effect that the Miss America pageant (for which Hurley has served as a preliminary judge) has on the region.  Michael Harrison states, “New Jersey is an enigmatic, colorful home to nine million with its own unique set of extraordinary assets, daunting challenges and notably engaged local media.  I can think of no one more qualified to provide outsiders with an accurate explanation of this endlessly intriguing, largely misunderstood state and its compelling connection to current national politics than WPGG morning master Harry Hurley.”  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  Radio industry services start-up DGital Media launches a production division called DGital Media Studios.  The company says the division “will focus on developing and producing proprietary audio content” and its first project is a fantasy sports platform called Fantasy Sports Voices…..AMG/Parade announces the launch of “Athlon Sports Radio” on SiriusXM.  The Monday and Tuesday evening program will air from 7:00 to 9:00 ET on Sirius XM’s College Sports Nation.  The program grows out of the company’s 10-plus preseason magazines covering college, professional and fantasy football, college basketball, professional baseball, golf and NASCAR.  AMG/Parade was formerly Athlon Media Group which consists of the newspaper-distributed magazines Athlon Sports & Life, Parade, American Profile, Spry Living, and Relish…..British soccer legend Sir Alex Ferguson will sit down for an in-studio Q&A at the SiriusXM studios in New York as part of its “Town Hall” series.  Sir Alex will chat with SiriusXM host Charlie Stillitano before a live, studio audience on Friday, October 9. 

Trump Tax Plan, 2016 Presidential Race, Pope Francis Visit Aftermath, Boehner’s Exit from Congress, Obama-Putin Meeting, and Water on Mars Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28).  The unveiling of the Donald Trump tax plan; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; the state of the GOP in the wake of House Speaker John Boehner’s announced resignation from Congress; the tensions between Russia and the United States and President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin at the UN on Monday; and NASA’s revelation of the discovery of water on Mars were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.