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Thursday, July 15, 2021

| July 15, 2021

Round Two of June PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s June 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s June 2021 survey period covered May 27 – June 23. Today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM dips four-tenths for a 3.6 share (6+ weekly AQH share) finish and the #11 rank in the market. Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP also loses four-tenths, finishing the survey with a 7.7 share and falls to the #3 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston sheds two-tenths for a 3.7 share but remains in the #9 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM also dips two-tenths for a 5.7 share and again finishes ranked #5 in the market. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM falls out of the #1 spot after losing seven-tenths and falling to a 5.9 share good for the #3 rank while Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM adds 2.2 shares to climb to the #1 rank on the strength of a 6.5 share finish. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets here.

FCC Denies Petitions by Larry Wilson and Paul Stone to Nix Alpha Media Applications for Assignment of Licenses. Minority stake holders Larry Wilson and Paul Stone filed petitions with the FCC to deny the assignment of licenses for the stations that will comprise the new New Alpha, whose pre-packaged Chapter 11 plan has been approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In a ruling handed down on July 13, the FCC’s Audio Division, Media Bureau denied both petitions, paving the way for New Alpha to emerge as scheduled. Wilson argued two points: 1) that the FCC’s assigning the licenses would authorize the restructuring of the company thereby causing him economic injury as a minority stakeholder; and 2) that Alpha officers engaged in corporate misconduct by taking actions – including filing the prepackaged bankruptcy plan – without a vote of the board of directors. (Stone’s petition to deny centered around the FCC’s foreign ownership regulations.) In denying Wilson’s petition, the Media Bureau ruled that he (as well as Stone) has failed to show he has standing in the proceeding since his arguments center around his private interests and not the public interest with which the FCC in concerned. It adds that Wilson’s complaint about corporate governance is outside the Commission’s purview and belongs in a state court. You can read the ruling here.

WCNN-AM, Atlanta Unveils New Program Lineup. From a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM “The Fan” has made changes to its program lineup. First, joining the morning drive team of Brian Finneran and John Michaels are three station personalities from other dayparts. “Hometeam” Brandon Leak, Joe Hamilton, and Hutson Mason are joining the morning show on Monday (7/19) as the show changes names from “The Front Row” to “The Locker Room.” Midday host Buck Belue – currently paired with Mason – will go solo from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. The new midday show will air from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and star Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino. The afternoon drive show hosted by Chuck Oliver and Matt Chernoff moves to the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart and its producers, Brian Hoyt and Carlos Medina, will host a 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show called “Fun Bag” when Atlanta Braves games are not airing. Owner David Dickey tells the AJC, “We’ve got the deepest bench in town with local, live talent. It’s not about how many people are in the room. It’s about the right chemistry. It’s about the right energy. It’s about having the right diversity of voices to reflect the modern conversation about sports.”

Report: Good Karma Brands Talking with ESPN About New York and LA Radio Stations. According to a piece by Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, WEPN-FM, New York and KSPN-AM, Los Angeles owner ESPN is in “serious talks” with Good Karma Brands to have the latter operate those two stations as GKB is currently doing with ESPN’s WMVP-AM, Chicago. Marchand writes, “ESPN would make such a move to reduce the head count on Disney’s books, which is nearly 40 people. In New York, it would also alleviate some of the massive cost that ESPN pays to Emmis Communications to lease the 98.7 FM signal. That would effectively put the local business sales and marketing in Good Karma’s hands, while ESPN would retain oversight of the station’s content.” Marchand asserts that ESPN’s interest in radio is taking a back seat to its efforts in the podcast genre.

WGFX Adds ‘The Install with Greg Cosell’ to ‘104.5 The Zone Podcast Network.’ The new podcast platform branded “104.5 The Zone Podcast Network” from Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville announces a new program hosted by NFL analyst Greg Cosell called, “The Install with Greg Cosell.” The podcast is being co-hosted by WGFX-FM midday personality Buck Reising. The show promises to bring “a different approach and sound to how Cosell covers film, as Cosell and Reising go through NFL film that Cosell has watched, through a Tennessee Titans lens.” The show also covers the rest of the NFL. Cosell, a nephew of legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell, is the co-author of the book, The Games That Changed the Game: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays (ESPN 2011) with Ron Jaworski and David Plaut. WGFX program director Paul Mason says, “I am thrilled that Greg Cosell is partnering with Buck Reising to host ‘The Install with Greg Cosell’ as the latest piece to the expanding 104.5 The Zone Network. ‘The Install’ along with Cosell’s weekly appearance on the Zone with ‘3HL’ will allow him to take Titans fans to even more places.”

KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner Michael Zwerling is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast, Sort Of. One of the most colorful members of the radio industry’s endangered species list – the independent local radio station owner/operatorMichael Zwerling is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Zwerling (known to his friends, employees and station listeners as “MZ”) has owned the 10,000-watt Central California heritage news/talk flamethrower, KSCO AM 1080 for the past 30 years. He is widely known in the radio industry for his eccentric personality, tongue-in-cheek humor, prowess in NTR marketing and unwavering commitment to local, community-involved broadcasting. Zwerling, himself, hosts a weekly two-hour, Saturday morning, commercial-free program titled, “The Saturday Special,” in which he tackles a wide variety of issues while taking listener calls and interviewing guests. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined MZ as a guest on the show this past Saturday for a half hour segment that candidly addressed political correctness, the First Amendment, the state of media and the future of talk radio. The provocative conversation between Harrison and Zwerling recorded on that broadcast is the basis for this week’s installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview.” So, in a sense, Harrison actually serves as Zwerling’s guest on this week’s podcast. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

COVID-19 Delta Variant & Vaccines, Trump and the GOP/New Trump Book, January 6 Investigation, Senate Democrats’ Budget, Cuba Protests, Voting Legislation, Western Heat and Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/14). The surge of COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states and the stalling rate of vaccinations; former President Donald Trump’s relationship with the Republican Party and the new Trump book, I Alone Can Fix It; the House panel to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol; the Senate Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget; the protests taking place in Cuba and in Florida’s Cuban community; controversy over the new, stricter voting policies enacted in several states; and the Western heatwave and wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

| January 27, 2021

WCBS-AM, New York News Pro Rich Lamb to Retire. After 50 years as a radio news pro, Rich Lamb announces that he’s retiring from Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM on February 26. Lamb is currently city hall reporter for WCBS 880. WCBS news director Tim Scheld says, “Rich is a one of a kind reporter and human being. He will be missed not just for his broadcast journalism and eloquent story telling but Rich is a selfless friend, colleague and mentor whose influence and friendships can be seen across the New York City landscape in business, journalism and politics. Rich may be leaving, but he has left each one of us at WCBS 880 with something to help us carry on his legacy.” Lamb says in an internal memo to fellow staffers, “My career began in 1970 in the Detroit market. After working at 3 stations there, in 1974 I landed at WXLO, New York, known then as 99X, a rock station. In the course of doing street work, the legendary WCBS political reporter Steve Flanders, after whom the plaza in front of City Hall is still named, urged me to try out for the reporter’s position being vacated by the renowned Jerry Nachman. I assured Steve there was ‘no way’ that would happen. But, in December of 1977, news and program director Lou Adler hired me. His first assistant Rob Sunde called to say the station had a budget issue, and that my start date would be February 26, 1978. Thus, I have requested that my last day will be February 26, 2021, 43 years to the day after my first assignment covering the ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ in Coney Island.”

Sandra Golden Leaving Atlanta’s ‘The Fan’ Next Month. According to a report by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, morning drive personality Sandra Golden announces she’s leaving Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM/W229AG “93.7/680 The Fan” after the February 19 program. Station owner David Dickey tells the AJC, “It was Sandy’s decision. She recently got married. Her folks are older and she wanted to focus on family. As she put it, she has done tremendous things in sports radio and sports journalism. She has been fantastic.” Golden is married to former “Regular Guys” personality Larry Wachs, who worked for two rock stations in the market but now works in the mortgage industry, according to Ho’s report. Golden says she’s leaving the station on “great terms” but says, “The show with me, Steak [Shapiro] and Brian [Finneran] was the best one I’ve ever been a part of.” But says that the COVID-related departures of Shapiro and [midday personality] John Kincade in the fall caused her to assess her situation. “I didn’t like Steak and John leaving. They were legends at the station, two of the best voices in the market. It shook me. I had to do a reset.” John Michaels and Brian Finneran will continue to host the morning show as a duo.

‘America’s Healthcare Advocate’ Expands to Two Hours. The Radio America-syndicated health advice program, “America’s Health Advocate” adds an hour and now airs from 8:00 am to 10:00 am ET on Saturdays. Radio America says, “‘America’s Healthcare Advocate’ is a weekly program that helps listeners understand the complexities of America’s healthcare industry, navigate the system, and make informed choices.” Guests include prominent experts and industry leaders in medicine, insurance, health and wellness. “America’s Healthcare Advocate” – hosted by nationally recognized healthcare policy expert and Benefits By Design president Cary Hall – currently airs on more than 100 stations across the U.S.

iHeartMedia Names Yesenia Bello SVP of Diversity and Inclusion. This is a lateral move into a newly created position at iHeartMedia for Yesenia Bello, who’s been serving as senior vice president of multicultural sales since October of 2019. In this new role as SVP of diversity and inclusion, Bello will work closely with chief human resources officer and chief diversity officer Michele Laven “and iHeartMedia’s executive leadership and Human Resources divisions to drive comprehensive long-term and measurable diversity and Inclusion strategies across iHeartMedia, as well as develop and implement specific Diversity and Inclusion goals and solutions for employee, community, client and agency engagement that drive inclusive behaviors and business practices.” Bello states, “I’m excited to move into this critical new role at iHeart at such an important time for our company and our country. I’ve seen iHeart’s commitment to diversity and inclusion up close since joining the company in 2019, and I’m looking forward to working closely with our entire company on new, exciting initiatives to continue to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion at iHeart.” Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Bello served at Telemundo Network, Hulu’s Latino division and Google, where she focused on Multicultural strategy and sales for YouTube advertisers.

Application Deadline Extended for MIW’s Mildred Carter Mentoring Program. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group announces the application window for the 2021 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program is being extended through Friday, February 5. The MIW’s annual mentoring initiative connects mentees with accomplished women recognized as leaders, mentors, and game-changers within all aspects of radio broadcasting. This year’s program is being sponsored by vCreative. Four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry within the sales, marketing, programming, and digital disciplines will be selected for the 2021 program. Mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply can be found here. Entercom VP, national partnerships Lindsay Adams – who also serves as chair of the mentoring program and was a 2009 mentee – says, “The MIW’s Mildred Carter Mentoring Program has been instrumental in providing guidance, leadership, and bridging connections within the industry.  From personal experience, I can attest it’s an invaluable experience that helps shape and curate career paths and potential.”

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Issues/New Strain Concerns, Trump Impeachment, Capitol Attack Investigation, Biden-Putin Phone Call, Conway Family Social Media Mess, and Runup to Super Bowl Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26). The problems plaguing the efficient rollout of vaccines across the U.S. and concerns about their effectiveness against new virus strains; the process of the second impeachment of Donald Trump; the investigation into the attack on the Capitol building; President Joe Biden’s first phone call with Russian leader Vladimir Putin; the chaotic social media messages from the Conway family and allegations Kellyanne Conway may have posted a semi-nude picture of daughter Claudia; and the runup to Super Bowl LV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, September 21, 2020

| September 21, 2020

Monday Memo: Attention Is Not for Sale. What’s for sale? Clicks, on Facebook and Twitter and Google. And broadcasters and podcasters are buying. And as consultant Holland Cooke warns, “If you’re broadcasting and not also podcasting, you’re late.” In this week’s column HC offers 7 tips “before you spend a dime on social media ads.” Read it here.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies/Supreme Court Justice Battle, the Presidential Race, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Western Wildfires, the TikTok Deal, Tropical Storm Beta, and the Emmy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the battle over the nomination for her seat; the November presidential election; the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the wildfires burning in California, Oregon, and Washington; the deal to allow Oracle to acquire the U.S. version of TikTok; Tropical Storm Beta bears down on the Gulf Coast; and Sunday night’s Emmy Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: What’s That Computer Doing? Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes today about what radio sales people have to offer that programmatic sales cannot. Read more here.

Pandemic Forces Changes at Atlanta Sports Talk “680 The Fan.” As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Dickey Broadcasting Company-owned WCNN-AM “680 The Fan” has let a number of air staff go in a move forced by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on company revenue. Morning drive personality Stephen “Steak” Shapiro and early afternoon host John Kincade are both out, as is WFOM-AM/W292EV “Xtra 106.3” host Mark Zinno. The company has moved talent from “Xtra 106.3” to WCNN and will now simulcast all programs across all of the signals. Moving to mornings alongside Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran is John Michaels. “Hometeam” Brandon Leak and Joe Hamilton move to “The Fan” in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot, and Hutson Mason and Tug Cowart join Buck Belue for the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program. John Kincade had worked alongside Belue for the past 20 years.

WFLA, Tampa Morning Personality Jack Harris Celebrates 50 Years on Air. A piece in the Tampa Bay Times recognizes WFLA morning host Jack Harris’ celebration of 50 years in the radio biz, almost all of it spent in the Tampa Bay market. The 79-year-old Harris got his start in his native West Virginia while still in high school. He’s been hosting the “AM Tampa Bay” program on iHeartMedia’s WFLA-AM, Tampa Bay for the past 27 years.

Mary Sandberg Boyle Upped to Vice President and General Manager for WGN-AM, Chicago. Rising from her general manager role to vice president and general manager at Nexstar Media Group’s WGN Radio is Mary Sandberg Boyle. The company says, “She joined WGN Radio in 2015, where she was instrumental in the development and launch of ‘The Opening Bell,’ a weekday morning business show. She has held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility at WGN Radio, including executive producer, director of news and operations, and acting general manager. Sandberg Boyle was named WGN Radio’s general manager in December 2019 and has led the station through the current COVID-19 pandemic, initiating a series of new policies and procedures designed to improve workflow and keep the staff safe. She has also overseen a number of programming and personnel changes that have increased WGN Radio’s ratings, which are up 31% among adults 25 to 54 according to the latest available ratings.” Nexstar EVP Sean Compton says, “Mary has done an outstanding job under less than ideal circumstances. She is innovative, thoughtful and determined, and she has forged a great working relationship with the staff. She is a respected leader in Chicago media and this promotion is well-deserved. I look forward to WGN Radio’s continued growth under Mary’s guidance.”

TALKERS News Notes. WBAL-AM, Baltimore talk host Clarence Mitchell IV, a.k.a. C4, is named Best Radio Host by the readers of Baltimore Magazine in its 2020 Best of Baltimore Readers Poll. Mitchell had been serving as the Hearst Television station’s midday personality until this summer when he moved to morning drive as co-host alongside Bryan Nehman…..Sports media giant ESPN says that the unusual confluence of all major professional sports in August “heated up ESPN Podcast listenership, as ESPN posted its best month ever and grew 29% over August 2019.” ESPN Audio vice president, digital marketing and strategy Tom Ricks adds, “It is clear that when current events are on the mind of listeners – be it sports or politics – fans turn to our network of podcasts for the best in analysis, storytelling and discussion. As baseball heads towards the playoffs, the NFL starts up and the election comes closer, we are focused on delivering our best for fans in a time like no other.” ESPN says that according to the Podtrac Podcast Category Audience Rankings, in August ESPN was home to 13 of the top 30 podcasts, including five of the top 10. “The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz – which in August added two hours of podcast-exclusive content each weekday – ranked second with a unique audience of 1.282 million.”…..Westwood One’s “Dan Bongino Podcast” featured President Donald Trump speaking with host Dan Bongino in which the president shared his thoughts on polling accuracy, Twitter, Section 230, and other topics…..FOX Sports Radio’s new iHeartRadio original podcast, “Lights Out with Shawne Merriman,” launched on Friday (9/18) and featured Merriman speaking with two-time NFL Pro Bowler Quentin Jammer about athletes and depression, and how he nearly committed suicide.

Joe Madison to Host ‘The Vote Must Go On’ Broadcast Special. Talk host Joe Madison will host a special program on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel titled, “The Vote Must Go On: In Person or By Mail,” that will air tomorrow (9/22) at 7:00 am ET. The program addresses issues such as how voters can safely and fairly cast their ballots amid the pandemic, the potential for voter suppression, voter fraud, and more. Madison will lead the discussion that will include top elected officials from several states – representing both parties – along with members of Congress including: Ellen L. Weintraub, Commissioner of the U.S. Federal Election Commission; Debra Cleaver, founder and CEO of VoteAmerica; Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman and House Oversight Committee Chair; Scott T. Nago, Hawaii Chief Election Officer; Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State, Tahesha Way, New Jersey Secretary of State; Kim Wyman, Secretary of State of Washington; and Bill Burgess, president of the Oregon Association of County Clerks.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Over the weekend, iHeartMedia presented the 10th edition of the iHeartRadio Music Festival with a virtual stream of performances on The CW App and CWTV.com, and a radio broadcast on iHeartMedia stations nationwide. The event featured performances from: Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, BTS, Coldplay, Kane Brown with special guests Khalid & Swae Lee, Keith Urban, Migos, Miley Cyrus, Thomas Rhett with surprise guest Jon Pardi, Usher and more, recorded live on stages in Nashville and Los Angeles. The CW Network will also broadcast the two-night televised on Sunday, September 27 (8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET) and Monday, September 28 (8:00pm to 10:00 pm ET)…..Broadcast Music Inc, Beasley Media Group, and Xperi’s HD Radio are launching a new radio program series titled “100 Years of Hit Makers.” Beasley says it’s part of a year-long campaign to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast in the U.S., and to highlight the continuing importance of radio, especially in our current climate. The series will take acclaimed songwriters from the country, rock, and R&B/hip-hop genres and give music fans everywhere a behind the scenes glimpse into the writing of their hit songs. “100 Years of Hitmakers” will air on 33 Beasley Media Group radio stations, as well as on demand here.….Hubbard Radio’s alternative KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ 93-3” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated morning program “The Woody Show” for the 5:00 am to 10:00 am daypart. As a result, “The Mo! Show” moves to the midday daypart.

Monday, May 20, 2019

| May 19, 2019

Vince Benedetto Selected to Receive TALKERS 2019 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award.  One of the rising stars in the field of independent radio station ownership, Vince Benedetto, founder and CEO of Bold Gold Media Group has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2019 recipient of “The Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster” – also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  Locally owned, operated and programmed, Bold Gold was founded by Benedetto in 2005 with the aim of becoming the preeminent radio broadcast group in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. Bold Gold serves three primary regions: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, The Pocono Lake Region (Northern Pocono Mountains), and the Catskill Mountains of New York.​  It consists of a combination of 14 music- and talk-formatted stations.  Before entering broadcasting as an entrepreneur, Benedetto was a U.S. Air Force captain who also served as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (known as OSI).  Special agents for OSI are responsible for conducting felony level investigations and engaging in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism activities world-wide in support of our Air Force and Department of Defense operations.  Benedetto came under consideration for the TALKERS award for the work he has done in establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization with a mission of supporting the education and training of tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  Bold Gold, through its fundraising and charitable efforts, provides education and training support, as well as funding to educational institutions and organizations who are preparing America’s future communicators.  The organization also works to raise awareness of the importance of young thought-leaders seeking a career in the field of broadcasting, media, and journalism. One of the Foundation’s first major projects was to build WRFH-FM (101.7 FM)/WRFH-LP “Radio Free Hillsdale” at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan.  The new campus-based radio station that signed on the air in 2015 offers students an opportunity to receive both academic and first-hand experience in the art of communicating over the airwaves to large audiences.  The foundation’s second project was to build a recording studio at the Allan P. Kirby Center of ​Constitutional Studies and Citizenship located in the heart of Washington, DC.  The studio, also dedicated in 2015, is used by the Kirby Center to further its mission of teaching the U.S. Constitution, the debate that brought it to life, and the principles that give it meaning.  In addition to Kirby Center staff, the studio is also used by Hillsdale College faculty and students, visiting broadcasters and journalists, and national leaders.  The “Humanitarian of the Year” award will be presented to Vince Benedetto at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  The convention is four days away from being completely sold out.  To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or click here for more information.

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

Monday Memo: Them. Long-ago English teacher Holland Cooke turns in a book report sure to challenge those of us in talk radio.  In Them: Why We Hate Each Other, How to Heal, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, details how media feed and exploit our angry national conversation; and where we go from here.  See HC’s entire column here.

‘Andy and Randy’ New Midday Show at ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. Sports talk WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” announces its new midday show is “The Midday Show with Andy and Randy,” – hosted by Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael.  Bunker moves to middays from his evening show with the station and McMichael – who enjoyed an 11-year NFL career – has been hosting the Saturday morning “College Game Time” show at the station.  They take over for John Michaels and Rick Kamla, who exited the station in March. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Andy has been a listener favorite since he joined ‘92.9 The Game’ and has built great chemistry with Randy.  Andy and Randy’s collaboration, along with their bold and honest take on Atlanta sports, will be a great addition to our programming.”

TALKERS News Notes. The latest book from nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin bump’s Howard Stern’s newest memoir from its perch as the top-selling book on Amazon.  Levin’s book is titled, Unfreedom of the Press (Threshold Editions, 2019), and has achieved the top ranking based on pre-order sales…..Former KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive personalities Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill are launching a weekly podcast and a real estate company 18 weeks after being let go by the Bonneville news/talk outlet.  The Seattle Times reports that the popular duo, whose contracts were not renewed, have both earned their real estate brokers licenses and have formed Ron and Don Brokers with Windermere Real Estate.  Read the story here…..Alexandria, Minnesota news/talk outlet KXRA-AM is adding another FM signal to its broadcasts.  The Paradis Broadcasting-owned station broadcasts on its 1490 AM frequency as well as on translator K262AT at 100.3 FM.  Now, the company is adding a second translator at 105.7 that will allow it to cover Pope County…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of WVON, Chicago overnight personality Alpheus “Ywain” Fields, who died at his home on Saturday (5/18) at the age of 57.  Fields first joined WVON in 1983 as an intern.  He was soon hired as a board operator and production assistant.  During his 36-year career with the station he served in numerous capacities in the programming department.

Nashville Talk Host Phil Valentine Renews with WWTN-FM. Talk radio pro Phil Valentine inks a new, long-term deal with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his daily, afternoon drive show on WWTN-FM, Nashville “99.7 SuperTalk.”  Cumulus says that in addition to hosting his program, the new deal includes Valentine working with the company “on a variety of projects, including the development and creation of original content podcasts, and other multimedia projects and events.”  The first in a series of podcasts to launch is PodGOATS, hosted by newcomer Campbell Valentine and co-hosted by his father, Phil Valentine.  The show is “a dynamic conversation between a Baby Boomer and a Millennial with thought-provoking and hilarious discussions on everything from what they would possibly do if the grid went down, to spies, to the top historical events that changed the world to religion.”  Phil Valentine says, “I was the morning guy when we launched ‘SuperTalk 99.7WTN’ back in 1995.  That’s where I started in talk radio.  I plan to finish my career at WTN sometime way down the road.  This is home, and I’m glad to be here for the long haul.”

Nolan to Lead Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal Operations. Sales and management pro Libby Nolan is joining Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal, Missouri operations to serve as market president and chief revenue officer.  Nolan was most recently with Entercom and Emmis in St. Louis as general sales manager.  Townsquare’s Quincy-Hannibal cluster includes news/talk KHMO-AM, country KICK-FM, classic country KICK-AM, and adult contemporary KRRY.  Townsquare regional VP Kelly Quinn says, “Libby is a perfect match for what we look for in a leader at Townsquare.  She brings with her exceptional experience in building sales teams and utilizing local talent to its fullest potential, which will enhance our ‘Local First’ approach in Quincy-Hannibal.”

Justin Amash Impeachment Tweet, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran War Talk, New Anti-Abortion Laws, Trump Immigration Plan, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash issues a tweet saying President Trump has committed impeachable offenses; the tariffs the U.S. and China are planning to place on each other’s exports; President Trump’s warning to Iran to “never threaten the U.S. again”; the highly restrictive abortion law passed in Alabama and a similar bill expected to become law in Missouri; the Trump administration’s immigration plan; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Michelle Stevens joins Entercom’s New York operations to serve as assistant program director for hot AC WNEW-FM and classic hits WCBS-FM.  Stevens comes to Entercom from her most recent position as director of brand management for Connoisseur Media.  Entercom New York market manager Susan Larkin states, “Michelle possesses valuable expertise in programming and talent development, and she will be a much-welcomed asset to our stations.  She has a stellar track record for developing top-rated brands and we are looking forward to her contributions at two of New York’s most loved stations.”…..Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle “New Country 98.9 The Bull” names Wingnut the station’s midday personality, hosting the 9:00 am to 2:00 pm program. Additionally, he’ll serve as APD and music director.  Station PD Scott Mahalick says, “You can have the best strategy in the best building in the world, but if you don’t have Wingnut in your hallways you’re only half steppin’.  I’m proud to say we have us a Wingnut in OUR hallways!”  Wingnut was previously afternoon drive host and APD/MD at Entercom’s crosstown country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”…..At Milwaukee non-commerical triple A WYMS “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” music journalist Evan Rytlewski is named web editor for the station’s site.  Rytlewski served as music editor for the local alt-weekly Shepherd Express for 13 years and has been a regular contributor to Pitchfork, among other national music publications…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated rock show “The Chop Shop” celebrates its 15th anniversary.  The program is hosted by WRIF-Detroit’s Steve Black, who says, “My love of rock ‘n’ roll directed me into radio nearly 30 years ago.  It was that same passion that opened these shows to syndication 15 years ago.  And I see the impact music makes on our lives every day.  Some of my happiest moments are helping listeners find new music or remember a special moment attached to one of their favorite songs.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined seven-tenths in March/April (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

In back-to-back reports, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” gains one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 -1.8, 6+) yet drops from a tie at #17 to #19. This marks the third time in the last five ratings periods that iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” logs a .6 (.6 – .5 – .4 – .6 – .6, flat at #24, 6+).

January 2019 through April 2019 fluctuations by KUT are +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); and a mammoth -2.0 in April (9.5 – 7.5, 6+). On top the past three months, the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet segues to second-place with its lowest 6+-showing (7.5) since August 2018’s 7.1.

Austin Music Formats – The (6+) adult contemporary share in Texas’ capital city balloons by +2.4. Leading the way is Entercom’s KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” whose nine latest report-to-report shifts are: -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and +1.5 in April (5.0 – 6.5, seventh to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” While off nine-tenths in its first sweep in the new format, “Star” erases that deficit completely with a magnitude-matching April increase (1.1 – 2.0, +.9, #20 to #16, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned triple A KGSR-HD2 debuts with a .8 (#23, 6+). A robust +1.2 by iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (5.7, eighth to fifth, 6+) puts an end to its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that timeframe, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and lost six-tenths in February. Directly after posting a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” is -1.3 in three straight decreases (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). The market’s other country player – Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” – is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.0) and market rank (#16). A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). Improving by three-tenths in March/April (8.4 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot to #1. This is the first time that “Bob” occupies the top spot since December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z,” which was +1.2 in March (5.5 – 6.7, 6+), surrenders two-thirds of that increase (5.9, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). Prior to March, KLZT last reached the six-share level in October 2016 (6.1). After finishing with a 1.0 in March (#21, 6+), Principle Broadcasting Foundation triple A KDRP-LP “Sun Radio – The Best Music Under The Sun” vanishes from print.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – By dropping four-tenths to 6.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Progressing from #18 to #17, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” improves by four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

In an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has a topline of: 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Contrast that to co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” (#25) whose August 2018 through April 2019 topline is: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Regaining half (+.1) of March’s two-tenths decrease (7.5 – 7.3 – 7.4, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” continues in third-place. WUNC was -.9 (November 2018); +1.0 (January 2019); and -.6 (February).

Raleigh Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” are +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.9 in April (5.4 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Moreover, this (6.3) is its best 6+-showing since September 2015’s 6.5. Co-owned WNCB posts an impressive April gain of nine-tenths as well (2.9, #15 to #13, 6+), wiping away February/March’s loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). “New Country B-93.9” logs its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (also 2.9). Meanwhile, its format foe – Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” – tacks on seven-tenths to a March gain of three-tenths (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+), and climbs from fifth to fourth. Since debuting in print in “Holiday” 2018, classic country cluster-mate WQDR-AM “Just Right Country – AM 570” has a 6+ topline of: .1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 (#21). Even though it is a collective -1.5 in three straight down or flat trends (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the ninth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. A combined -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WQOK “K-97.5” drops from third to sixth. This follows three straight sweeps without a loss that yielded two-tenths (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). On the heels of a March decrease of six-tenths, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” falters by another seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 1.2, #16 to #20, 6+). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM All The Hits” concludes at three its consecutive string of up or flat moves that led to a gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). March’s 3.7 is its highest 6+-stat since June 2018’s 3.8. Similarly-formatted WDCG, which was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), is a combined -.9 in March/April (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+) as iHeartMedia-owned “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective -1.4 in four straight reports without an increase (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), but advances from #17 to #16.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – To say the least, the nine most recent ratings periods have been a wild rollercoaster ride for Emmis news/talk WIBC. In that stretch, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” has been: -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); and -1.2 in April (6.4 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). The high points (7.2, 6+) came in November and February, while April’s 5.2 is the lowest 6+-stat in that timeframe.

While remaining steady at #16, sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” improves by three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and opens up a full-share advantage over iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which loses one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, #17 to #18, 6+). After five straight times of logging a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT doubles it to .2 (#22, 6+); this is the 15th consecutive sweep that “CBS Sports AM 1430” has notched either a .1 or .2 (6+).

All but one-tenth of Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI’s collective +1.5 in three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) is obliterated by an April -1.4 to 4.3 (6+); WFYI departs the top ten (#7 to #11).

Indianapolis Music Formats – While perhaps not quite as volatile as the recent ratings history of Emmis news/talk WIBC (noted above), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” has experienced some significant shifts lately. It was a whopping +2.9 in January (virtually eliminating December/“Holiday” 2018’s -3.0); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 in April (8.5 – 10.2, 6+). Not only is WJJK #1 for the fourth month in a row, it registers the highest 6+-share (10.2) in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. A non-Christmas music month +1.7 would usually grab top honors for largest increase in a market, but WJJK’s feat is outdone by Emmis adult contemporary WYXB, which is +1.9 to 8.8 (6+), as “B-105.7” progresses from third to second. The huge uptick applies the brakes to three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 58% (-9.5) loss of its 6+ AQH share (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). It leaps over Cumulus Media’s WFMS (second to third) even though “95.5 The Country Station” follows March’s +1.1 with a gain of seven-tenths (6.2 – 7.3 – 8.0, 6+). Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was +1.0 (April 2018); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); +1.1 (March); and is +.7 (April). Three successive bumps by Emmis-owned/similarly formatted WLHK netted a +2.2 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), but “Country 97.1 Hank FM” returns one-tenth in April to 6.5 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. Prior to adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” gains eight-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) and advances from ninth to seventh. The last time Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS appeared in print was more than seven years ago (February 2012, 2.8, #16). “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” resurfaces in April with a 3.1 (#4, 6+). As both Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” and Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” drop one-half share, they display identical March to April profiles: 5.1 – 4.6 (6+), tenth to ninth. WNTR’s March 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 5.5; “Hot” is a cumulative -1.5 in four successive negative moves (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off seven-tenths in three straight declines (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4, flat at #12); while co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in succession for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2, #22, 6+). In four consecutive down or flat reports, Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” is off six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – No station in Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets makes a greater (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 escalation than Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ (5.9 – 8.8, +2.9) as the Brewers flagship leaps from fourth to second. Its March 5.9 marked the first time “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” slipped below a six-share (6+) since January 2018 (5.3). Some of its representative shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and +2.9 (April 2019). Climbing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which sputtered by -1.7 in February/March (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), regains four-tenths to 5.5 (6+). “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2.

Off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” slips from #15 to #16. Surrendering half the six-tenths it gained in February/March (1.3 – 1.0, -.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” tumbles from #15 to #18. Prior to February’s increase, WKTI was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). In late-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to “97.3 The Game.” The station’s December 2018 through April 2019 topline is: 2.8 – .3 – .6 – .4 – .6 – .3 (#21 to #22, 6+). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” returns the one-tenth it picked up in March (.2 – .3 – .2, #23 to #24, 6+). After popping up with a .5 (6+) in November 2018, Good Karma Brands’ WAUK has disappeared from print.

Three straight sweeps without a loss by WUWM led to a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet surrenders four-tenths to 4.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). While flat at 1.1 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD advances from #18 to #17.

Milwaukee Music FormatsMilwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” is an overall +1.8 in three straight bumps (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+) and moves from #12 to #11. Whereas January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, this (4.3) is its best since August 2017’s 4.3. Rebounding from a March loss of eight-tenths with an April improvement of nearly the same magnitude (9.4 – 10.1, +.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fifth sweep in succession. Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its six most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.7 (April). After scoring back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” forfeits approximately 78% (-1.4) of that February/March bounty with a -1.4 to 4.9 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. With a 6.3 in March, “Kiss” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2012 (6.1). Hot AC sibling WMYX “99.1 The Mix” has lost seven-tenths in four down or flat reports (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). Unchanged at #11, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV is a collective -2.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Immediately prior to the February sweep, “V-100.7 Jams” was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019, and then on 3.6 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” sputters by four-tenths and is back at 3.2 (#13 to #14, 6+). In three straight improvements, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC netted seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), but “Talk Radio 1510” forfeits three-tenths to 1.4 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (5.5 – 4.8, sixth to ninth) continues an October 2018 through April 2019 alternating up/down sequence: +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); -.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and -.7 (April). Ironically, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” (+.2, #17 to #16) is also in an up/down pattern: 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, (6+).

Following a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.3 in March/April (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, flat at #10, 6+). With an April loss of seven-tenths, its internet stream all but disappears, as evidence by this January 2019 through April 2019 topline: 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .1 (#28, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Six-tenths proves to be particularly noteworthy this sweep for two stations in the Midwest Communications cluster. In the case of adult hits WCJK, a gain of six-tenths to 8.4 (6+) pushes “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” from the runner-up slot to #1. From January 2019 through April 2019, “Jack” nets a +2.4 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+) and reaches the eight-share level (8.4, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 8.1. Its five most recent shifts are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and +.6 (April). On the flipside, adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which had been #1 the past 15 ratings periods, forfeits six-tenths to 8.2 (6+) and assumes WCJK’s vacated position at #2. “Mix” is an overall -5.9 in four straight setbacks (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Eleven recent fluctuations for “Mix” are: +1.0 (June 2018); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); and -.6 (April). January’s -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that led to a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Continuing to enjoy its progressive roll, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a collective +2.2, owing to five straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+) and advances from fifth to fourth. Prior to March, “103.3 Nash FM” last hit the six-share threshold in June 2013. There is a similar story for iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which racks up a +1.7 in four consecutive up or flat trends (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from eighth to seventh. Unchanged at #8 is the other country FM in “Music City USA,” Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which has lost two-tenths in four successive mostly flat/modestly-down sweeps (5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Posting increases of seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Educational Media Foundation WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.0 – 3.7, #14 to #13, 6+) and WAY Media’s WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (1.5, #21 to #18). Both of these contemporary Christian outlets were down six-tenths in March; WAYM was actually a combined -.8 in February/March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+). Up six-tenths in April, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (seventh to sixth) has an alternating down/up “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 pattern of: 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.9 (6+). Flat at #4, co-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.3, fourth, 6+), directly after logging a +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. Down two-tenths in March, WPRO-AM’s February gain of one-tenth halted three successive down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). For the third report in a row, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (#11 to #12) has a month-to-month shift of two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+). After having lost a collective four-tenths through three straight down or flat Providence reports (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and advances from #18 to #15. By returning the two-tenths it acquired in March (.6, flat at #20), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” suspends four straight (modest) increases that nearly tripled (+.5) its 6+-stat (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in January onto to return a combined six-tenths in February/March, Entercom sports talk WVEI dials up a four-tenths gain in April (3.6 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+).

After being tied at #12 in February and March, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (flat at 1.6, #12 to #13, 6+) get a bit untangled. By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). In January, WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) following “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – Shaking off a March loss of one-half share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (fifth to fourth) roars back with a +1.6 to 7.6, its highest 6+-share since July 2018’s 8.1. In four straight positive spikes (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.2 (fourth to third); this follows a collective -3.1 as a result of three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Debuting in February with a .3 (6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WNBH “Big 101.3” follows with a .4 (March, 6+) and .5 in April (#21, 6+). Immediately after “Holiday” 2018’s lofty 16.2 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI posted a consistent January – February – March topline of 9.1 – 9.3 – 9.2 (6+). Not only does “Lite Rock 105” have a one-half share bump to 9.7 (6+), it advances from second, where it had been the past three sweeps, to first. Prior to shifting to the runner-up slot in January 2019, “Lite Rock 105” was #1 for six consecutive sweeps; “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Displaced from the top spot after three straight months there and segueing to second-place is iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll,” which falters by nine-tenths to 9.6 (6+). The loss interrupts four consecutive ratings periods without a loss that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. This Rhode Island market’s 6+ CHR share softens by -1.3, virtually equally divided between Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (-.7, #9 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” (7.2, third to fifth, 6+). “Fun 107” has now lost more than 50% (-2.3) of its 6+-share in three straight slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this negative stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). WPRO-FM’s April -.6 pulls the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.4 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+); 7.8 in March is its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.4.

Norfolk – Not only has iHeartMedia alternative WNOH gained six-tenths in four straight upticks (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), “Alt 105.3” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Following five negative or (mostly) flat sweeps for a net loss of three-tenths (1.6  -1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), rhythmic oldies cluster-mate WHBT “92.1 The Beat” gains four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+) and is steady at #9. The January 2019 through April 2019 toplines of Saga classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” are virtually identical. “The Fox” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 (third to second, 6+), while “103 Jamz” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 7.8 (unchanged at #2, 6+). A combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is nonetheless #1 for the fourth month in a row. Until April’s 10.5, it had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. WVKL had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which was up three-tenths in March, surrenders eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to fifth. Its December/“Holiday” 2018 +7.9 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. After being a combined +1.0 in February/March (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but remains in eighth-place. As a result of seven successive down or flat sweeps, WMOV was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); and was -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+). While it carries on in seventh-place, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” drops three-tenths to 2.8 (6+), thus curtailing three straight gains that yielded a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, WPTE was a collective -1.5 in four straight declines (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being an overall -1.8 in three straight setbacks (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” manages to progress from second to first. This is WOKV’s lowest 6+-share since September 2018 (8.6, as well), while November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Even though iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is down or flat the sixth consecutive time for a net loss of one-half share (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+) it returns to the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #19).

A cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is off two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) but advances from #12 to #11.

Jacksonville Music Formats – After posting a +1.2 in January, iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WSOL was a combined -1.4 in February/March (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Now in April, “V-101.5” logs a gain of seven-tenths to 5.4, climbing seventh to fifth. Gospel cluster-mate WKSL-HD3 is without a loss for the third straight time for a net increase of one-half share 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). Conversely, co-owned rock WKSL-HD2, which was trending 1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 (6+), disappears from print. It is a March-only stay at #1 for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which is off six-tenths to 8.3 (6+) and segues to a second-place tie. In addition, the decrease pulls the plug on three bumps in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia-owned WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #12, 6+), curtailing three gains in succession that accounted for a +1.8 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). In December/“Holiday” 2018, WWJK was a combined -1.4 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was an overall +2.1 in three successive up or flat moves (5.2 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), forfeits one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. Entering the top twenty at #19 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2, which gains two-tenths in eight straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3, 6+). As a result of seven consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” is a -2.5 and slips from fifth to eighth. Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” – erases February’s half-share loss with a March/April increase of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) and continues in ninth-place. At the same time that WGNE’s adult contemporary sibling WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” slips by four-tenths (8.7 – 8.3, third to a second-place tie, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 102.9” adds four-tenths (4.5 – 4.9, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in March, WEJZ lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). It was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Meanwhile, by relinquishing six-tenths in March, WEZI surrendered roughly half of January/February’s +1.1.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By piling on four-tenths to March’s +.3 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from tenth to ninth and has its best 6+-showing (2.7) since July 2018’s 2.9. A combined -.7 in February/March (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is up three-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #11, 6+). After having lost roughly 55% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share in four successive negative moves (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” wipes away half that deficit with a +.8 to 2.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). Doubling (+.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD enters the West Palm Beach top twenty (#22 to #20).

In August 2018, co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent nine sweeps.

Slipping from seventh to eighth, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN has lost eight-tenths in three successive decreases (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL lost one-tenth in March, it snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). “Today’s Kool 105.5” answers in April with a +.7 to 7.1, its best 6+-stat since July 2016’s 7.5, and advances from third to second. Conversely, following a March increase of seven-tenths, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-programmed WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” spirals by -1.2 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+) and trades places with WOLL (second to third). “Sunny” was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+). Up six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is steady in fourth-place and has its highest 6+-share (5.9) since May 2018’s 6.2. Immediately on the heels of erupting with a +2.0 in March, co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” craters by an even more humongous -2.2 (9.2 – 11.2 – 9.0, 6+) but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its March 11.2 is its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. A cumulative -1.9 via five consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” halts the slide by picking up two-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and remains in ninth-place. Off one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+), Moody Bible Institute gospel WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” fades from #15 to #20.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being -1.2 in March/April (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI departs the top ten (#10 to #11); “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” was +1.4 in January/February (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+).

After more than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive increases (.4 – .5 – .6 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth to .8 (#15 to #14, 6+).

While it remains anchored at #13 for the 12th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” erodes by seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+). Off three-tenths to .5 (#16 to #17, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC halts at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia CHR WMKS have generated a collective +1.8 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “100.3 Kiss-FM” climbs from tenth to ninth and reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.1, April 2018). Improving by seven-tenths (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (6.5 – 7.2, steady at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” (2.5 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to faltering by one-half share in March, WJMH was an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Five straight declines by WQMG resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), but “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” applies the brakes with a +.6 to 9.7 (6+). Moreover, the Entercom urban AC marches to #1 after a March-only stay in the runner-up slot. Up one-full share in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 in 2018 before segueing to #2 in December. While setting the pace in January and February (2019), its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January (2019) at 26. In March, WQMG was replaced at #1 by adult hits cluster-mate WSWM “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything,” but the roles are reversed in April, as WQMG pushes “Simon” from first to third. The four most recent fluctuations by WSMW are +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); and -1.6 in April (9.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to March, the last time WSMW reached #1 was August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Whereas March’s 9.8 its best 6+performance since July 2018’s 10.0, April’s 8.2 is its weakest in more than three years (8.1, March 2016). In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it squandered in March (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” loses a cumulative seven-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” substituted January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). April results keep WPAW and WTQR at #6 and #8, respectively.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the one-tenth it lost in March (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was a combined +1.8 in January/February (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), progresses from tenth to eighth.

Dipping from #11 to #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is off four-tenths via three straight reports without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; and resurfaces in March and April (.1 – .1, #18, 6+). It is tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase for the tenth straight time (including eight consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Notwithstanding that it has back-to-back upticks of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” carries on in fifth-place with its best 6+-showing (7.0) in exactly one year (7.1, April 2018). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in February and March, Entercom’s country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” displays an April improvement of six-tenths and enters the top ten (3.9, #13 to #9, 6+). On top the sixth time in a row and in double-digits the 13th successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is nonetheless -1.2 in March/April (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012) for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). In addition to KJMS, co-owned WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” erodes by -1.0 as well and is actually an overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2018 -.7 and a January +1.5, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a cumulative -1.8 in February, March, and April (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.8, eighth to tenth, 6+). Forfeiting the one-half share gain it attained in March (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” drops from #14 to #15. In “Holiday” 2018, WKIM reached the five-share level (6+), but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Its AC rival is steady in third place, but Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” is -1.2 in March/April (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of one-tenth, WRVR’s seven most recent moves were: +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and -1.1 (March). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked in third-place, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is an overall +2.4 via four straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Off a collective four-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM slips to #15; “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” had finished at #14 the past three reports. This marks the 11th report in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17).

The November 2018 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 (unchanged at #12, 6+).

As part of an alternating up/down pattern that began in December 2018, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is +.3 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); -.9 (February); +.1 (March); and -.6 in April (5.3 – 4.7, flat at #9, 6+). After losing four-tenths in March, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” erases half that decline with an April gain of two-tenths (1.5 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – By racking up a robust increase of nine-tenths after its March +.4 (7.2 – 7.6 – 8.5, unchanged in second-place, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” brings to a halt the down/up pattern it began in August 2018: 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 (6+). This (8.5) is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6). Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Connecticut’s Classic Rock”  improves by seven-tenths in March/April (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). In addition to climbing from eighth to seventh, “The Whale” has its best 6+-stat since October 2017 (6.0, as well). Entercom adult contemporary WRCH has certainly experienced considerable shifting in each of the past seven reports. “Lite 100.5” was -.8 (November); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); and is -1.3 in April. Although #1 for the 34th consecutive ratings period, WRCH drops to 9.8 (6+); it had been in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the last 32 sweeps. A combined +1.1 in February/March (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” surrenders eight-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+); March’s 6.1 is its best 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.5. Flat at #5, Entercom-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.4 in March/April (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+), following a January/February +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+).

Monday, March 18, 2019

| March 18, 2019

Atlanta’s ‘92.9 The Game’ Ousts Midday Hosts Rick Kamla and John Michaels. First reported by Atlanta Journal Constitution writer Rodney Ho, the midday team of Rick Kamla and John Michaels – together on the air since 2016 – has been let go by Entercom sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game.”  Kamla was part of the station’s morning show when WZGC launched as a sports talk station in 2012, but later moved to middays.  He was joined by Michaels in 2016.  Michaels confirmed his exit via Twitter saying they were given a number of reasons why they were being let go, including “not connecting with the audience.”  WZGC has made no public comments about the changes, including its plans for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.

Kridel Reduces Air Time at WBBM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, news anchor Kris Kridel is scaling back her time on the air at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago to part-time status.  The 34-year station veteran will now be heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  She had been on the air for six straight hours.  Feder reports that Lisa Fielding will be on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program with co-anchor Keith Johnson most weekdays.

Monday Memo: The Boys Are Back. Consultant Holland Cooke delivers this week’s Monday Memo from the heart of Red Sox Nation with advice about the return of baseball to radio’s airwaves: “Mathematically, baseball may be affiliates’ best friend for the next several months, when play-by-play invites new cume, and tune-in to fringe hours; and is full of suspense and commercial inventory that sells without numbers.” In this week’s Monday Memo, Cooke – ALREADY wearing his Red Sox jersey – offers three tips for boosting awareness and recycling and impressing advertisers.  Read it here.

Westwood One Promotes Stuart Greenblatt to SVP. Serving in his 20th year with Westwood One, Stuart Greenblatt is promoted to senior vice president, affiliate sales.  In his previous VP, affiliate sales post, he was in charge of station services for the network’s talk show properties.  In his new role, Greenblatt will oversee the distribution and marketing of all Westwood One programs and affiliate services for radio stations around the country, as well as supervise the national affiliate sales team and manage station client relationships.  Greenblatt says, “After working in affiliate sales for almost 20 years, I am honored to be leading the affiliate sales team here at Westwood One, truly the best in the business.  I look forward to working together with our station partners and our outstanding sales team to grow and promote our first-rate programming across the board.”

Nielsen’s National Media Impact Added to Westwood One’s Audio Insights Platform. This deal between Nielsen and Westwood One allows the latter to license the national version of Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) powered by Nielsen’s Total Media Fusion.  NMI is a cross-platform media planning and optimization solution that helps clients understand total campaign reach, frequency, and duplication using advanced audience segments.  It will enable Westwood One to demonstrate the value that its unique audiences bring to an advertiser’s media plan and illustrate radio’s substantial incremental reach.  Cumulus Media EVP of marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “With Nielsen Media Impact, we can show our advertising partners the effect on overall campaign reach and frequency when money is moved between media.  Advertisers will be able to access this tool through the groundbreaking Westwood One ROI Guarantee audio insights platform.  It’s a new dimension in making media investments work smarter for marketers using radio, podcasting, and streaming to drive ROI.  We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate the power of adding audio to a media plan, giving agencies and brands the information they need to understand the true value of our medium in driving sales.” Nielsen says that in 2018, it enhanced NMI to include national radio.  Nielsen’s national radio data within Nielsen Media Impact allows buyers and sellers to understand the value of radio as a medium at the national level, as well as the incremental reach achieved by including national radio in the media mix. With the national version of Nielsen Media Impact clients can plan and optimize media allocation and compare total radio, radio formats, and radio owner groups with other national media (including TV, digital, print, cinema and digital place-based media) in advanced audience segments.

Randi P’Pool Joins Aptivada as Chief Marketing Officer. Leaving her role with Alpha Media as vice president of marketing is Randi P’Pool, who joins Aptivada, a provider of promotions contesting and audience engagement tools as chief marketing officer.  In her role with Alpha Media (which, along with iHeartMedia and Bonneville,is a client of Aptivada) P’Pool led national promotions, corporate partnerships, digital contesting, company communications and PR, events and cross-platform brand marketing.   In her new role, she’ll join Aptivada’s leadership team focusing on the strategic evolution and growth of Aptivada.  P’Pool says, “Not only does Aptivada offer the optimum digital marketing platform but it also provides extremely innovative solutions to generate new digital revenue for broadcasters.  The opportunity to support, foster and endorse a company as innovative and remarkable as Aptivada is the utmost honor and privilege for me!”

TALKERS News Notes. As long as the court schedule doesn’t change, former WFAN, New York morning drive personality Craig Carton will learn his fate on April 5 at his sentencing on conspiracy and fraud charges.  According to sentencing guidelines, Carton could get as much as 45 years in prison, although it’s likely he’ll serve far less than that. Two of his convicted co-conspirators have already been sentenced.  Michael Wright is serving a sentence of almost two years and Joseph Meli is doing six and-a-half years.  The three were involved in a Ponzi scheme that took money from investors in a VIP concert ticket re-sale business.  Prosecutors convinced jurors Carton spent some of the money paying off gambling debts and for personal expenses…..The Buffalo News reports that Entercom has sold its radio tower on Grand Island – one that carries the signal for CHR WKSE-FM “Kiss 98.5” to Vertical Bridge for almost $1.5 million.  WKSE’s signal will continue to emanate from the tower under a leaseback deal…..Condolences to the family and friends of Dave Sandler – a former longtime traffic reporter for Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore – who passed away last Thursday evening at age 58 after a long illness.  Sandler was known as “Detour Dave Sandler” to WBAL and rock WIYY-FM. He exited WBAL in 2017 after 31 years there.

Mosques Massacre Aftermath, Trump’s Weekend Tweetstorm, College Admissions Scandal, Boeing’s 737 Woes, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/Kirsten Gillibrand Announces, Midwest Flooding, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Seeding Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of the mosques attacks in New Zealand that left 50 people dead; President Trump’s weekend tweets that took aim at General Motors and a UAW boss, the late Senator John McCain, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”; the blowback from the college admissions cheating scandal; Boeing’s challenges with the 737 Max planes in the wake of the second crash in five months; the status of the investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russian agents; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020, including the entrance of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; the devastating floods in Nebraska and Iowa; NBA hoops action; and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon (left) poses for a photo with former NBC anchor Jackie Nedell (right) on the set of the satirical musical comedy review, “Hexagon 2019: Romp in the Swamp,” in Washington on Friday (3/15).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Des Moines alternative rock KDXA “ALT 106.3,” Alex Mac is named assistant program director, adding the duties to his roles as afternoon drive personality and music director.  iHeartMedia Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Alex has a bright programming future and has displayed all the characteristics of a great programmer. We are excited to see him further develop his career.”  Prior to joining the iHeartMedia Des Moines market in October 2017, Mac served as evening host and promotions assistant for WRXL-FM, Richmond…..Entercom radio personality Ken Hicks is being recognized by the Georgia State Senate for his career in radio and community service.  Hicks hosts the morning show at WUSY-FM, Chattanooga “U.S. 101” that serves a large portion of Northwest Georgia.  Entercom Chattanooga SVP and market manager Nichole Hartman says, “In his nearly 35 years with ‘U.S. 101,’ Ken has raised millions of dollars for charities, assisted in relief efforts for dozens of disasters, and has served and continues to serve the Chattanooga and North Georgia community with his whole heart.  Ken epitomizes the distinct group of people deserving of this honor and I am proud that he is a part of our team.”…..In the Palm Springs market, Tommy Carrera, a.k.a. Tommy C, exits his PD roles with Alpha Media.  He’d been programming both country KDES “98.5 The Bull” and classic hits KDGL “106.9 The Eagle.”