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Friday, May 15, 2020

| May 15, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled, “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of a New Day!” looks back at this past week of May 11-15, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Brian Kilmeade, talk show host, FOX News Channel / FOX News RadioIan Anderson, musician, Jethro Tull, UK; Ken Matthews, talk show host, WHP, Harrisburg, PA; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN, the Virginia Talk Radio Network, Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA, Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of April 2020 PPM Data Released. Ratings information from the fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio’s April 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s April 2020 survey period covered March 26 – April 22. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets and some movement of note among spoken-word stations includes: Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin adds 1.4 shares in April to finish with a 6.4 share good for the #3 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis continues its upward trend with the addition of 1.5 shares to move into the #1 position with a 10.3 share; iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN-AM, Milwaukee takes the #1 rank after adding a whopping 3.5 shares to leap from fourth to first with a 9.3 share while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown WTMJ adds six-tenths to finish at #3 on the strength of a 6.3 share; Cumulus Media’s Providence news/talker WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM shoots up 2.3 shares to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville tacks 1.6 shares on in April to remain at #1 with a 13.4 share. You can check out all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

Michael Medved Show and CRN Partner to Expand Distribution. A partnership between CRN Digital Talk Radio and Medved Communications includes the launch of “The Michael Medved Show” on CRN 1 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  As part of the deal, CRN will distribute and provide marketing, ad sales, production, social media, and promotional support for Medved Communications. CRN Digital Talk Radio president and CEO Michael Horn says, “I am thrilled to help expand the Michael Medved show. Michael is one of radio’s best storytellers. He provides knowledge, a unique perspective, and truly entertains his listeners every single day.” CRN will distribute “The Michael Medved Show” and the “Medved Entertainment Minute” with Genesis Communications Network on their XDS Satellite.

Josh Innes to Join ‘ESPN 97.5’ Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that sports talk personality Josh Innes is joining Gow Media’s KGOW-FM “ESPN 97.5” to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, effective Monday (5/18). He’ll replace ESPN Radio’s Will Cain on the station’s program schedule. Innes has been hosting a podcast since he exited iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker KBME in March of 2019.

Adams Radio Group Transitioning Back to Offices. In all of the market in which Adams Radio Group operates, staffers are beginning to return to their offices and studios. Company CEO Ron Stone says employees have been working from home for the past nine weeks. He says, “Adams markets have begun the transition of returning to normal operations at our offices and studios. Each market is staging the return of employees in phases, beginning with on-air staff. We will have 100% of our employees back on all sites by July 15, which allows time needed for some employees that have requested additional time to transition. Our employees have done an incredible job keeping our stations live and local during this health scare. Listening to our stations, one would never have known our people were not in our studios. I can never say enough about our news staff and the incredible job they have done keeping our communities up to date with local information. We have amazing teams and I am extremely proud of every person on our staff. What radio has done all over the country over the past nine weeks certainly proves the value of live and local radio and why it is so important to every community.”

Health & Medicine Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 11-15. The medical aspects of COVID-19, including the drive to develop a vaccine, the push for more testing, and the treatment for infected patients combined for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the statistics on confirmed COVID-19 cases, the death toll, and projections for future cases. Coming in at #3 was the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, followed by the debate over ‘lives vs livelihood’ and concern about the erosion of civil liberties at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com and you can see this week’s complete chart here.

NRG Media Omaha Offices Re-Opening with the Help of Plexiglass and Shower Curtains. Pictured above is Studio 1 at NRG Media Omaha as the company prepares to bring staffers back into the facility. As with many radio stations across the country, on-air personalities have been working remotely or in separate studios. The company says no studio was occupied with more than one on-air personality at any given time in an effort to keep everyone safe.  Now that some of the restrictions are being lifted, NRG Omaha is starting to bring back all on-air personalities and staffers. As you can see in the photo, they are using plexiglass and shower curtains to mitigate movement of airborne particles. General manager Mark Shecterle states, “COVID-19 has challenged every business and made us all stop and think about how we operate. My number one priority during these challenging times has been and will continue to be keeping all of our employees safe. Therefore, we had to get creative and shower curtains are a perfect and safe barrier for our talent, sellers, and employees who share an office. Moreover, during the holidays we can have some fun with it. My promotions department already ordered a Freddy Krueger one for Halloween.” KOZN-AM “1620 The ZONE” personality Damon Benning commens, “I am so ready to get back into the building and work alongside my co-host Mike’l Severe even though there will be a clear shower curtain between us. We have not missed a beat, but nothing beats being in the same studio with your producer and co-host. I’m ready.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Nights with Elaina” program will feature special guest hosts all next week (5/18-22). The ladies are taking over Westwood One Nashville’s “Nights with Elaina” as Gabby Barrett, Ingrid Andress, Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, and Lindsay Ell will each guest host an evening from home and provide their fans an update on what they’ve been doing during quarantine. Host Elaina Smith says, “Spending time away from listeners is always difficult, especially in these times. But I am so thrilled that these strong, powerful, talented women will be keeping everyone company while I’m gone! I know they’re gonna crush it and continue spreading positivity all throughout the country! Lord knows we need it.”

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

| December 3, 2019

Round Four of November PPM Ratings Released. The fourth of four rounds of November 2019 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford.  Nielsen’s November 2019 survey period covered October 10 – November 6.  Some 6+ ratings gains of note for spoken-word stations during the November survey include: In Raleigh, Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talk WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” adds another two-tenths to its recent full-share increase to land at a 3.1 share and the #14 rank in the market; Emmis Communications’ flagship news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” rises six-tenths to a 6.4 share good for the #5 rank; and Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds six-tenths to its recent 6+ uptick for a 4.8 share and the #11 rank in the market.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Takeaways” from these markets here.

Dave Ramsey Launches ‘Borrowed Future’ Podcast Examining the Student Loan Crisis. This new podcast series from Ramsey Solutions is hosted by George Kamel in which bestselling author of Debt Free DegreeAnthony O’Neal – joins him to “explore the lies we believe about college, the soaring cost of tuition, and the predatory nature of the student loan industry.  Listeners will learn how to pay for college without going into debt and find out if college is even the right choice for them.”  Guests on season one of the eight-part “Borrowed Future” podcast include: Mark Cuban, Mike Rowe, Seth Godin, Dave Ramsey, Dr. Meg Meeker, Seth Frotman, and Ramsey Network personalities Ken Coleman, Rachel Cruze, and Chris Hogan.  Apple Podcasts Review says, “This is the first honest approach to the student loan crisis that you will hear.  Not just a commentary or criticism, but real-world solutions to the #1 personal finance challenge in America.”

Key Networks Launches ‘O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.’ A new, morning drive program featuring Bill O’Reilly is being offered in national syndication by Key Networks.  “The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition” is a two-minute feature and companion to Key Networks’ 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” currently airing on more than 180 stations.   The three-minute program – two minutes of content with two embedded 30-second network spots – officially debuts in January.  Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green says, “‘The O’Reilly Update’ has been a great success in a short amount of time.  We have heard from stations that asked for an opportunity to have O’Reilly’s content available for morning drive and Key Networks delivers with ‘The O’Reilly Update – Morning Edition.’  The best way to start your day is analysis from the best commentator in the business.  I can’t think of a better way to start 2020 than to bring this expansion of ‘The O’Reilly Update’ to the market.”

Crossover Media to Lead Sales Efforts for Bleav Podcast Network. Cross-platform ad sales firm Crossover Media Group Sales is leading the advertising sales for Bleav Podcast Network’s 150-plus podcasts.  The Bleav Podcast Network focuses on sports team content, “uniquely providing team fanbases with former players as hosts in football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer.”  In addition to team shows, Bleav creates local and national podcasts with topic experts in multiple categories such as golf, tennis, fitness, gymnastics, family, action sports, racing, film, esports, law, music, self-help, and more.  Bleav says that based on the highly exclusive local and national content experience, its advertisers see a very high awareness, retention, and response rates based on the show host’s live read endorsements.  Crossover Media managing partner Sue Freund says, “We’re excited to be working with Bleav.  This is an ideal partnership as both Crossover Media and Bleav are rapidly growing companies within the podcast market.  Bleav is introducing new podcasts daily to the marketplace and we’re looking forward to giving advertisers the opportunity to partner with their network of fantastic hosts and content.”

Logan Upped to OM at Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach. Programming pro Bruce Logan is promoted to operations manager for Hubbard Radio’s West Palm Beach station group.  Logan has been serving as program director for country WIRK-FM and adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9.”  In this new role, he’ll add oversight for news/talk WFTL, sports talk WMEN-AM “FOX Sports 640,” hot AC WRMF, and urban contemporary WMBX “X102.3.”  Hubbard Radio West Palm Beach SVP/market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “We have an exceptional cluster of stations in West Palm Beach and I’m pleased to have an exceptional leader in the OM role.  Bruce has made an immediate impact on our cluster in the short time he has been with us.  I look forward to putting his talent to work on all of our brands.”

KBME, Houston’s Greg Koch to Leave Station to Focus on Health. Former NFL offensive lineman and midday sports talk host Greg Koch told his listeners on Monday (12/2) that he’s leaving his role with KBME at the end of this week to focus on his health.  Koch – who co-hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with fellow former NFL player N.D. Kalu – was diagnosed a year ago with Parkinson’s disease, but says he realizes he’s been feeling the effects of the disease for more than 10 years.  The iHeartMedia sports talk station has issued no statement about its plans for the program after this week.  Read the Houston Chronicle account here.

Townsquare Ups Sieks to Regional VP. Sales and management pro Christine Sieks rises to regional vice president for Townsquare Media’s Northeast Region.  For the past two-plus years, she’s been VP for Townsquare New Hampshire.  In her new role, she will continue to directly oversee sales in New Hampshire as well.  Prior to joining Townsquare, Sieks served in senior management with iHeartMedia New Hampshire.  Townsquare SVP Rob Williams says, “Christine Sieks made an immediate impact on our performance and culture when she joined Townsquare in 2016, distinguishing herself among our best local market leaders and strategic thinkers.  I’m thrilled to work more closely with her to help our teams continue to learn, grow, and perform.”

BFoA Commences Year-End Giving Appeal. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is launching its annual year-end appeal today (12/3) in conjunction with the national charitable giving event, Giving Tuesday.  The BFoA’s drive asks for tax-deductible personal donations to the Guardian Fund and corporate contributions to the Angel Initiative.  The Broadcasters Foundation is a 501(c)3 charity, and the only organization dedicated exclusively to providing aid to broadcasters and their families whose lives have been upended by tragic illness, accident, or catastrophe.   The Broadcasters Foundation will award more than $1.3 Million in aid this year. Monthly grants have increased over 75% since 2015, and more than 500 emergency grants have been awarded since 2017. Over the past 19 years, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed over $11 million to broadcasters in need.  Donations can be made by visiting www.broadcastersfoundation.org/donate.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “These funds make a huge difference in the lives of broadcasters and their families.  Our grant recipients are hard-working broadcasters who have experienced unthinkable tragedy and desperately need and deserve our support.”

Impeachment Proceedings/Republican Report, NATO Summit, 2020 Presidential Race, China Bans U.S. Military from Hong Kong, U.S.-France Tariffs, Jeffrey Epstein Case, and ‘AGT’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2). The impeachment proceedings against President Trump and the Republican-authored report attempting to refute the Democrats’ case against the president; the controversial start to the NATO summit as President Trump calls comments by France’s Emmanuel Macron about the U.S.’ reliability “very insulting”; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; China enacts a ban on U.S. military ship stopovers in Hong Kong because of the U.S.’ pro-democracy act; Trump ramps up tariffs on French goods; the Jeffrey Epstein case returns to the news cycle after BBC interview with Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre; and the controversy over the exit of judges from “America’s Got Talent” due to allegations of a hostile workplace were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Derrick Brown is promoted to vice president of urban programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago region.  He’d been serving the company as director of urban programming and program director for urban contemporary WVAZ “V103.” He’ll continue to program “V103.”  iHeartMedia Chicago SVP of programming James Howard says, “Derrick’s exemplary record of success with our urban brands puts this promotion into the no-brainer bucket of decisions.  We are beyond fortunate to have him at the helm of the Chicago region’s phenomenal urban brands.”  In this role, Brown will be responsible for overseeing all urban programming and digital operations for “V103,” hip hop WGCI and Gospel WGRB-AM “Inspiration 1390.”…..Programmer Eric White is adding PD duties for alternative WRMR, Wilmington, North Carolina to his current role as program director at Sunrise Broadcasting’s co-owned hot AC WILT.  White, who takes over for Laura Lee, says, “I’m grateful to Valerie Brooks, Sunrise, and Capitol Broadcasting management for this opportunity.  I look forward to digging in and taking on the already solid modern rock brand and growing it to new heights in 2020.”

Friday, March 22, 2019

| March 22, 2019

Michael Savage Celebrates 25 Years in Talk Radio on Sunday. This Sunday (3/24) Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage celebrates his 25th anniversary in talk radio.  Savage hosts “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast.  He’s a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame and is also a best-selling author.  Westwood One is recognizing Savage’s silver anniversary with a special program airing on Monday, March 25 that will feature clips of highlights from over the years, special call-ins, and other surprises.  In January, Savage repurposed his daily three-hour radio show into a new hybrid radio show and podcast that’s been named to Apple’s New and Noteworthy podcasts.  Commenting on his achievement, Savage says, “This has been my 5th career.  Social worker, teacher, medicinal plant explorer, author, talk show host.  Where have all the years gone?  I only hope I have made the world a better place.”  In June, HarperCollins will release Savage’s latest book, A Savage Life, featuring favorite stories and all-new, never published material.

Wheeler Morris to Lead Hubbard’s Corporate Podcast Strategy. This is a move from a focus on the Twin Cities market to a corporate focus for Wheeler Morris, who takes on the title, manager of corporate podcasting for Hubbard Radio.  Morris has been serving with the Minneapolis cluster developing and executing successful podcasts.  In this new position, Morris will lead the company’s expansion into the podcast space, overseeing content creation, distribution and sales, and marketing.  Hubbard Radio currently produces more than 150 unique podcasts that reach more than 500,000 listeners every month.  Hubbard Radio SVP programming Greg Strassell comments, “Wheeler has been very involved in original podcast launches over the past few years in the Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul studios, and recruitment of new outside opportunities for Hubbard Radio.  It is time to recognize his leadership to focus on the growing on-demand focus at a corporate level.”  Morris says, “Since Hubbard’s 2015 investment in PodcastOne the personnel within Hubbard’s markets have put a lot of great work into growing within this space.  I am very excited to help this initiative continue to grow from both an audience and monetization standpoint, working with all of our markets, PodcastOne, and podcasters outside of Hubbard.”  Morris will also work closely with Hubbard Radio VP/corporate digital strategy Jeremy Sinon in exploring and developing emerging technology to maximize distribution and discovery of Hubbard Radio podcast content.

Lineup Shift Takes Place at ‘SportsTalk 790’ in Houston; Adam Clanton Returns. With the recent departure of sports talk personality Josh Innes from the morning drive daypart at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790,” the station announces a lineup shuffle that takes effect on Monday (3/25).  The station moves Sean Salisbury from afternoons to the morning drive daypart.  The new morning show features Michael Connor, Rachel Van Oranje, and Adam SagerMatt Thomas and “In the Trenches” hosts Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu remain in middays and the station brings Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton back to the station to host the afternoon drive program “The A-Team.” iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson says that the station will announce Clanton’s co-host in the days to come.

FSR’s Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon Hits 400 Affiliate Mark. The nationally syndicated late-night sports talk program “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” hits the 400-affiliate mark.  Syndicator FOX Sports Radio (a division of Premiere Networks), announces the achievement adding that some of the newest affiliates include: WBCN-AM/W234BY, Charlotte; WRNW-FM, Milwaukee; WHBQ-AM, Memphis; and WLVL-AM, Buffalo.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We are extremely pleased to welcome 400 affiliates to the club!  ‘The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon’ has proven time and time again to be the place to go for instant reaction to all of the big games in sports. When major moments happen on the field or court, Jason and Mike have every angle covered.”  Smith (left) joined FOX Sports Radio in 2014.  Prior to that, he hosted “NFL Fantasy Live” on the NFL Network.  Harmon (right) has been partnered with Smith since 2014 and he also hosts Sunday mornings on FOX Sports Radio.

WFAN Denies Adam Schein for Mike Francesa Scenario. Whenever WFAN’s Mike Francesa is the focal point of a story in the New York media, it’s a big deal – at least among sports fans and sports talk radio watchers.  Thursday (3/21) was no different when the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote that Entercom had been in talks with SiriusXM and CBS Sports personality Adam Schein to join WFAN and take over for afternoon host Mike Francesa.  Marchand includes a statement in the piece from WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff that reads: “We are 100% committed to Mike Francesa, who is the #1 Sports Radio talk show host in afternoon drive.  There is absolutely no truth to any reports about Adam Schein joining WFAN.”  But Marchand explains that he never said Schein was joining WFAN, but that discussions were held about bringing Schein aboard to replace Francesa should he leave the station again. Read the Post piece here.

Envision Networks Appoints Peter Welpton Director of New Business Development. Longtime broadcaster Peter Welpton joins Envision Networks as director – new business development. The company says he’ll manage its newest office in Dallas.  Envision says that Welpton has more than 30 years in the broadcasting business and moved into the digital product ownership, development, and sales field in 2010.  He’s worked with major media brands such as Oprah, the Dallas Cowboys, NBC, Scripps, the NFL, and the Game Show Network.  Welpton says, “I can’t tell you how elated I am to be working with [CEO] Danno [Wolkoff] again.  I’ve admired his and [COO] Laura [Orkin]’s success as business owners and the growth they’ve achieved with Envision.  I look forward to bringing my background in digital products, sales, and experiences to their company and opening new lines of business.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a new member of the Salem Media Group board of directors as Causeway Strategies founding partner Heather Grizzle is appointed to the unexpired term of Roland Hinz, whom she replaces.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “I am delighted that Heather Grizzle has agreed to serve on Salem’s board of directors.  Any shareholder who will take the time to review Ms. Grizzle’s background further, much of which is readily available online, will quickly come to appreciate what a tremendous resource she will be to Salem Media Group as a member of its board of directors.”…..Pollack Broadcasting will fire up FM translator W240EH, Evanston, Illinois and begin simulcasting news/talk WCGO-AM, Evanston on the 95.9 FM signal.  William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly” program that airs nightly from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm, reveals the news to TALKERS magazine.  He tells us the station’s engineer says the primary coverage area will be similar to WCGO’s nighttime pattern – “about 15 miles west, southwest, south in a teardrop shape, along with North Shore up to about the Lake Bluff area.”

Robert Mueller’s Trump Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 18-22. The status and scope of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the New Zealand gun ban and the aftermath of the mosques shootings. Coming in at #3 was the growing number of 2020 Democratic hopefuls, followed by the electoral college and reparations debates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

A View of Modern Communications and Journalism from the Leading Edge of Academia. Former NBC News and ABC News executive and producer Mark Lukasiewicz was appointed dean of Hofstra University’s highly reputed Lawrence Herbert School of Communication in 2018. The multi-decorated journalist (10 Emmys, two Peabody Awards, grand prize of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards and more) is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Over a career that spans nearly four decades, Lukasiewicz spent 16 years in roles that included executive-in-charge of the NBC News Group Transformation Project, senior vice president of NBC News Specials, and he was the news division’s first vice president of digital media. Before joining NBC News in 2000, he spent 11 years with ABC News, where he was executive producer of “Good Morning America,” senior producer of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and senior producer of “PrimeTime LIVE with Diane Sawyer and Sam Donaldson.” He’s also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Harrison and Lukasiewicz discuss the state and future of journalism tackling such red-hot topics as ethics, audience-targeting, storytelling, exponentially evolving technology, and the general transformative state of 21st century communications. “The field of communications has never been a bigger part of our daily lives, nor more important and critical to the civic life of our nation,” Lukasiewicz says. “I’ve been privileged to work with, and learn from, some of the best professionals in the world. Now, I have an opportunity to give back.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the daily TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com. Don’t miss this!

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston hip hop outlet WJMN “JAM’N 94.5” announces the launch of the “Ashlee & The New JAM’N Morning Show” on Monday (3/25). The cast is pictured here (from l-r): DJ Pup Dawg, Santi DeoleoAshlee Feldman, and DJ4eign.  Feldman was most recently the station’s afternoon drive host.  Back in 2013, she was a co-host on the iHeartMedia station’s morning program.  She was also a cast member of the 24th season of MTV’s “The Real World.”  She’s served with radio stations in St. Louis and New Orleans.  Feldman says, “‘JAM’N’ has always been my family.  I remember playing basketball at Northeastern and worrying about how I could get my hands on some cash because I just had to buy a ticket to Summer Jam.  I’ve had many different roles at ‘JAM’N 94.5’ but I always knew where my home was and that is back in the mornings.”.….Entercom adds an FM translator to the hip hop station “96.3 The Block” – currently emanating from WFBC-HD2 – that allows listeners to hear it on W299BO at 107.7 FM.  Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “‘96.3 The Block’ has become the top choice for hip hop and R&B fans in Greenville and Spartanburg over the past four years.  We’re excited to answer the call-for-service in Anderson County by adding 107.7 FM.”…..Midwest Communications agrees to acquire WNFZ-FM, Knoxville from owner John Pirkle and is flipping it from alternative to adult hits as “94.3 JACK FM.” The station had been operated under a local marketing agreement by Oak Ridge FM.  Midwest assumed the LMA yesterday afternoon (3/21).  Station brand manager Randy Chambers says, “We’re excited to introduce a totally different radio station to East Tennessee.  The radio market and advertiser needs continue to evolve and we’re evolving with those needs.  ‘JACK-FM’ is a music-driven, innovative, and energetic format that is designed for an adult audience and built around the promises of variety, low repetition, fewer commercials. and less clutter.”  This acquisition adds to Midwest Communications’ Knoxville cluster that includes classic rock WIMZ, adult contemporary WJXB, and country WDKW.  Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. brokered the transaction.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. February 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 February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it is a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+) following December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (4.5 – 3.7 – 2.7, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” backslides from #11 to #12.

In four straight decreases, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” is off a collective nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, #19 to #20, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth consecutive time as well, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is down three-tenths (.7 – .7 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+) and continues at #24.

On the heels of posting a January +1.6 (7.8 – 9.4, 6+), University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT falters by six-tenths to 8.8 (6+) but repeats at #1. Prior to January’s increase, KUT forfeited an overall eight-tenths in three straight declines (8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.8, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Trending 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.4 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK dials up a +1.2 to 4.6 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Furthermore, “Spirit 105.9” reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.0. Piling on a +1.1 to January’s gain of seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” cruises from ninth to sixth. “Kiss” was off a combined nine-tenths in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). The seven most recent shifts for Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ are -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (4.6 – 5.5, sixth to fourth, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Even though hot AC cluster-mate KAMX logs a +.6 to interrupt three straight downturns that resulted in a loss of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6, 6+), “Mix 94.7” slips from a sixth-place tie to seventh. After improving by +1.2 in January (3.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” surrenders half that increase (4.3, -.6, 6+) and drifts from fifth to tenth. In “Holiday” 2018, KASE spiraled by -1.9. Elsewhere in the market’s country contest, co-owned KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original,” which also posted a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), drops three-tenths to 5.9 (6+) but remains at #3. When KVET-FM gained one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, it ended three straight decreases that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). By picking up four-tenths (2.3 – 2.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM  progresses from #16 to #13. When “Austin’s Country Alternative” dropped one-tenth in January, it suspended three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Adding four-tenths to January’s +1.5 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5, 6+), WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” pushes from sixth to fifth. Immediately prior to January, the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet had been -1.7 through three straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 4.6, 6+). While it remains at #19, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” falters by three-tenths (1.6 – 1.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in November, WPTF had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

Returning half of January’s +.2 (1.8 – 1.7, -.1, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC continues at #17. Entering the January sweep, “99.9 The Fan” was an overall -.8 in three consecutive decreases (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+).

After having notched a +1.0 in January (7.1 – 8.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” forfeits 60% of the increase (7.5, -.6, #2 to #4, 6+). January’s boost curtailed five losses in a row that resulted in a collective -1.7 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.1, 6+). WUNC has moved from third to first (June 2018, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2); first to second (September, -.4); second to third (November, -.9); fourth to second (January 2019, +1.0); and second to fourth (February, -.6).

Raleigh Music Formats – Having surrendered a -2.6 in January, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL roars back with a +1.6 (7.0 – 8.6, fourth to second, 6+). In three consecutive up or flat trends (5.3 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 9.6, 6+), “Mix 101.5” was a cumulative +4.3; “Holiday” 2018’s 9.6 is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 10.4. With an October 2018 through January 2019 topline of 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.2 – 5.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” posts a +.6 to 6.2 (seventh to sixth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since August 2018 (6.2, as well). In addition to snapping at five its successive streak of down or flat trends that resulted in a -1.5 (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+), Radio One gospel WNNL “103.9 The Light” (3.9, +.2, 6+) returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). The five most recent fluctuations for urban AC cluster-mate WFXC are +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.1 in February (11.0 – 9.9, on top for the seventh time in succession, 6+). January’s 11.0 is the highest 6+-stat for “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” in the PPM-era. While it more than doubles (+.7) its 6+-stat in five straight up or flat trends (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WPTK “Just Right Radio” repeats at #20. Without a loss in six straight July through “Holiday” 2018 sweeps in which it more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.2, 6+), regional Mexican sibling WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is now -1.1 in January/February (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1, #13 to #16, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Rather amazingly, Emmis news/talk WIBC posts a fluctuation of nine-tenths for the fourth sweep in succession: -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.9 in February (6.3 – 7.2, fifth to third, 6+). Previously, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” was -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); and +.7 (November).

Sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.0 (#14 to #16, 6+). It is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which drops one-tenth (1.8 – 1.7, 6+) but advances from #18 to #17.

Recent shifts by Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI include +.8 (November/December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); and +.5 in February (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – After stumbling by seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom CHR WZPL  is +1.7 in January/February (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Furthermore, “99.5 ZPL” reaches the six-share level (6.3, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 6.6. In January, Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” enjoyed a two-share (6+) advantage over Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” That lead, however, shrinks to just three-tenths in February as “Hank” gains seven-tenths (5.2 – 5.9, eighth to seventh, 6+), while WFMS erodes by -1.0 (7.2 – 6.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). An overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) before adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was -1.5 in September and then +.6 in October. Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); and -1.0 (February 2019). Without an increase seven straight times for a collective -1.4 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” rebounds with a January/February +.9 (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.2, #15 to #14, 6+). As highlighted above, both of Indy’s country stations are accustomed to wild sweep-to-sweep fluctuations. The same applies to Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5,” which slumps by -.7 (9.8 – 9.1, 6+) but repeats at #1. Its January +2.9 (to 9.8) virtually eliminated December and “Holiday” 2018’s -3.0 (9.9 – 9.2 – 6.9, 6+). After spending six straight sweeps at #1, WJJK slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. Its November decrease of one-tenth interrupted five successive increases which netted a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, “Classic Hits 104.5” reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Sputtering by six-tenths are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (7.6 – 7.0, third to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WOLT “Alt 103.3 Indy’s Alternative” (#12 to #13, 6+). A combined +9.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 9.0 – 16.4, 6+), “B-105.7” eroded by -8.8 in January. Its “Holiday” 2018 16.4 represents the highest 6+-stat by any Indianapolis station since WYXB notched a 17.7 in “Holiday” 2016. “Alt 103.3” is in a November 2018 through February 2019 up/down sequence of 4.5 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 (6+).

An overall +.6 through three straight up or flat trends (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has that streak halted with a loss of two-tenths to 3.9 (6+) but remains at #12.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s two major (commercial) news/talkers are separated by just one-tenth as Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” dips one-tenth (6.3 – 6.2, sixth to fifth, 6+) while iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” falters by seven-tenths (6.8 – 6.1, fourth to sixth). By picking up one-tenth in January, WTMJ halted three straight downtrends that produced a -4.2 (10.4 – 9.4 – 6.8 – 6.2, 6+) for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Bucks, and Brewers. Some of its representative shifts include -.8 (January 2018); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and -.6 (“Holiday” 2018). A combined -2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.9 – 6.3 – 4.6, 6+), following its October and November +1.3, “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2 to 6.8 (6+). January 2019 marked the first time since May 2018 that WISN prevailed over WTMJ (6+). In that sweep, WISN notched a 7.7 (6+) to WTMJ’s 7.3 (6+).

A gain of three-tenths to 1.4 (#15 to #14, 6+) by Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative loss of eight-tenths (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). An overall -3.7 in nine straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ country-to-sports talk convert WKTI “94.5 ESPN” picks up one-tenth to .8 yet slides from #17 to #20. Up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+) and then plummeting in “Holiday” 2018 by -2.5, iHeartMedia’s WRNW “97.3 The Game” doubled “Holiday” 2018’s .3 (6+) to .6 (6+) but loses two-tenths in February (.4, #21 to #22, 6+); WRNW was formerly CHR “97.7 Now.” Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” is unchanged from January in market share and market rank (.2, #24, 6+).

Even though University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM adds three-tenths to January’s +.9 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), it backslides from ninth to tenth. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD nearly doubles January’s .7 (1.3 +.6, #19 to #15, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – An increase of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4, ninth to eighth, 6+) elevates Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” to the five-share level (5.4) for the first time since September 2018’s 5.1. Down four-tenths in a “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 mini-slide (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.4, 6+), Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH “96.5 Hometown Rock” answers with a +.7 to 8.1 (third to second, 6+). The four latest fluctuations for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); and +.6 in February (9.6- 10.2, 6+) as “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the third straight time. WRIT spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 before shifting to #2 in October; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Gaining six-tenths as well in February is Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB (5.8 – 6.4, eighth to fourth, 6+). A combined +5.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 7.7 – 10.3, 6+), “B-93.3” sputtered in January by -4.5. In “Holiday” 2018, WLDB reached double-digits (10.3, 6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Co-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” nearly erases January’s -.6 with a half-share gain (2.5 – 3.0, steady at #13, 6+); January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ (PPM) stat. An overall +2.0 via three successive upticks (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” forfeits 55% of that increase with a -1.1 to 5.4 (fifth to eighth, 6+). Without a direct country competitor since WKTI flipped to sports talk in November (2018), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” is a combined -1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018; +1.3 (January); and -.9 in February (7.5 – 6.6, second to third, 6+). Slipping by one-half share are Saga Communications’ urban AC WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3” (4.2 – 3.7, #11 to #12, 6+) and co-owned rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” (1.8 – 1.3, #14 to #15, 6+). WJMR gained seven-tenths in January, completely erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). When “Energy” lost three-tenths in January, it halted five straight reports without a loss that netted +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” gains four-tenths to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). Adding one-tenth to January’s one-half share increase (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” carries on at #19.

Continuing an up/down sequence that began in October 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk/Tennessee Titans’ flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); and -.7 in February (5.1 – 4.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” notches a +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #18 to #17, 6+). A December loss of one-tenth halted three consecutive improvements that netted a +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+).

While it remains in sixth-place, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+). December’s +.4 suspended three down moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Without an increase five straight reports for a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. August 2018’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ since January 2018 (7.8, as well). Posting gains of seven-tenths are Midwest Communications adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” (6.0 – 6.7, fourth to third, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (4.9 – 5.6, ninth to seventh, 6+). “Jack” followed “Holiday” 2018’s +1.2, which applied the brakes to five downturns in succession that led to a cumulative -2.0 (8.1- 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+), with a January -1.3. “The River” had been -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.8 – 5.0 – 4.9, 6+). On the heels of a January +1.2 (4.2 – 5.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” tacks on another half-share to 5.9 (6+) as the country outlet repeats at #5. Prior to January, “Nash FM” last reached the five-share level in January 2018 (5.0). Finishing at eighth and ninth, respectively, are co-owned/similarly-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (5.1 – 5.0, -.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which is flat at 4.7 (6+), following a January gain of +1.2. Prior to that increase, “The Big 98” had been -2.0 via three consecutive setbacks (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 3.5, 6+). In January, “Nash Icon” returned the one-tenth it gained in “Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+). It was -1.0 (September); +.8 (November); and -1.5 (December). Notwithstanding a January/February -4.8 (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is #1 for the 14th successive ratings period. January’s  -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that netted 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. Among its recent fluctuations are: -6.7 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); and -1.3 (February).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – After being an overall -1.0 via three successive down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM adds one-tenth (3.9, ninth to seventh, 6+). Immediately prior to this just-concluded streak, “News Talk 630” was +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Having erased December and “Holiday” 2018’s one-half share loss (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) with a January gain of seven-tenths, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” is up two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1, #12 to #11, 6+). In seven straight Providence sweeps without a loss, co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM netted six-tenths (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4), but “News Radio 1030” is now off four-tenths in January/February (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #18, 6+). For the third time in a row, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” picks up one-tenth (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6, steady at #21, 6+).

Unchanged in sixth-place, WVEI follows January’s seven-tenths’ improvement with a dip of one-tenth (4.2 – 4.1, 6+). The Entercom sports talker was a combined -1.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.4 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+).

Tied at #12 are The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (2.1 – 1.9, -.2, #11 to #12, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, #14 to #12, 6+). 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+). WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) in January after “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – For the third sweep in succession, iHeartMedia’s WHJY logs a 9.8 – matching its best 6+-stat since June 2018. Prior to taking over at #1 in January, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll” was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018; WHJY was +1.2 in “Holiday” 2018. Steady in third-place, Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +1.8 in January/February (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4, 6+), immediately following a collective -3.1 as a result of three straight declines (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Having more than tripled (+3.0) its 6+-share 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+), Townsquare Media’s Fairhaven, Massachusetts-licensed CHR WFHN “Fun 107 – The Southcoast’s #1 Hit Music Station” has that streak halted with a one-half share decrease to 3.7 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI shakes off January’s -7.1 with a gain of two-tenths (9.1 – 9.3, 6+) and repeats at #2. “Lite Rock 105” posted three straight up or flat trends that yielded a +6.8 (9.4 – 9.4 – 12.1 – 16.2, 6+) and finished at #1 six sweeps in a row before segueing to second in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Remaining in eighth-place, iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” is in a (6+) September 2018 through February 2019 up/down pattern of 5.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 3.8. Likewise, classic hits-oldies sibling WWBB “B-101” has been down/up since September: -.9 (September) +.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.5 (December); -.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2 (January 2019); and -.4 (February, (6.9 – 6.5, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Norfolk – In back-to-back sweeps, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” posts a +1.0 (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6, unchanged at #6, 6+). January’s gain halted five consecutive down or flat reports that resulted in an overall -1.7 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). It has been quite a rollercoaster ride lately for iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV. Through seven successive down or flat sweeps, “Movin’ 107.7” was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); then +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+); and +.8 in February (1.6 – 2.4, steady at #8, 6+). When WPTE “94.9 The Point” recorded a January increase of two-tenths, it suspended four straight declines that resulted in a collective -1.5 (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+). The Entercom hot AC tacks on seven-tenths in February to 2.9 (6+) and continues at #7. Up two-tenths (12.7 – 12.9, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL repeats at #1. “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. WVKL posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 36th time in the last 37 sweeps; its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. After a “Holiday” 2018-only stay at #1, adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD” is -7.3 in January/February (13.6 – 6.8 – 6.3, flat at #4). Its +7.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. On the heels of recording a +.8 to 6.7 (6+), which curtailed three straight downturns that accounted for a -1.0 (6.9 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” falters by one-half share (6.2, 6+) and carries on in fifth-place. After racking up consecutive gains of one-half share (6.5 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” drops one-tenth to 7.4 (unchanged at #2, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit down seven-tenths (10.4 – 9.7, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” repeats at #1. November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Without an increase for the fourth straight sweep, iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that timeframe (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5, flat at #20, 6+).

Although it remains at #12, public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is a cumulative +1.3 in four straight increases (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats

An overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” bounces back with a January/February +1.3 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6, third to second, 6+). The market’s (6+) country share dwindles by -1.4 as iHeartMedia’s WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” erodes by -1.8 in five successive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2, fifth to seventh, 6+), while Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” is off one-half share (4.3 – 3.8, flat at #9, 6+). On the heels of January’s +1.2 to 6.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WSOL “V-101.5” surrenders nearly half that gain (5.6, -.5, fifth to sixth, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything,” a combined -1.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+), recaptures that deficit in January/February with a +1.4 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6, 6+) and remains at #10. In the market’s adult contemporary tussle, Renda Broadcasting’s WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” has lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, second to third, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WEZI “Easy 102.9” is +1.1 in the same two sweeps (4.0 – 4.7 – 5.1, steady at #8). WEJZ 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. WEZI’s January +.7 halted a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.3 (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+). In advance of the December report, WEZI posted four straight improvements that netted a +1.9 (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+).

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being down three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR exits the top ten (#9 to #11). “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” was +1.0 in “Holiday” 2018. It is four-tenths ahead of co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk,” which is off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, flat at #12, 6+). January’s +.3 suspended three straight declines that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). In three consecutive negative moves, Hubbard’s WFTL “News Talk 850” has lost roughly half (-1.5) its 6+ AQH share (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4, #13 to #15, 6+). Unchanged at #22, iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD gains two-tenths to .7, immediately after having its West Palm Beach 6+-stat sliced in half (-.5) since December (1.0 – .6 – .5, 6+).

The six most recent (up/down) fluctuations for Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN are +.5 (October); -.6 (November); +.5 (December) -.8 (December); +.7 (January 2019); and -.3 in February (3.7 – 3.4, flat at #6).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Owing to three upticks in succession, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is a collective +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+) and is steady at #3. Off eight-tenths in three straight setbacks (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+), Hubbard urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” erases three-quarters of that deficit with a +.6 to 5.5 (unchanged at #4, 6+). Somewhat similarly, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” notches a one-half share increase to 2.8 (#11 to #9, 6+), which wipes away its -.5 in three consecutive losses (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+). Repeating January’s 9.2 (6+), Hubbard hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” sets the pace – just as it did this time last month. After finishing on top in 12 consecutive ratings periods, WRMF shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2018. A combined +1.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), WRMF sputtered by -1.0 in January. Immediately after posting a January increase of eight-tenths, erasing a December/“Holiday” 2018 -.7 (3.6 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), cluster-mate WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” forfeits all but one-tenth of it (3.7 – 3.0, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). A collective +.8 owing to four straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “Big 105.9 South Florida’s Classic Rock” falters by four-tenths (1.6, #13 to #14, 6+). Through four consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” is -1.6 and slips from eighth to ninth.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s +1.3 (3.0 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” adds one-tenth (4.4, steady at #9, 6+). WPTI was -1.2 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+).

While up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” falls from #16 to #17.

Locked at #13 for the tenth consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” is up one-half share in January/February (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat four straight times for roughly a 50% loss (-.5) of its 6+-stat (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (6+) but backslides from #15 to #16.

Greensboro Music Formats – Adding six-tenths to January’s +.2 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” progresses from #12 to #11. Its recent fluctuations include +.5 (August 2018); +.5 (September); -.6 (October); +.9 (November); a combined -.9 (December/“Holiday” 2018); and +.6 (February 2019). Also notching a February improvement of six-tenths is Winston-Salem State University-owned WSNC “90.5 Jazz In All Its Colors” which is trending .1 – .5 – 1.1 (“Holiday” 2018 – January – February, #16 to #14, 6+). Steady in fourth-place, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” is an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Its “Holiday” 2018 increase halted six straight sweeps without an increase for an overall -2.1 (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). Despite being -1.8 as the result of four straight setbacks (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” repeats at #1. Its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January at 26. A +1.0 in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 before segueing to #2 in December. For the third sweep in succession, country cluster-mate WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” has a shift of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019): and +.5 in February (5.2 – 5.7, eighth to sixth, 6+ ). Prior to January’s gain, “The Wolf” was a cumulative -1.2 in three declines in a row (5.9 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.7, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” substitutes January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, sixth to eighth, 6+) as the two country rivals swap places. “Q104.1” was -1.6 in December. After each station posted January gains of nine-tenths, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” (8.9, flat at #2, 6+) and Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL “107.5 The #1 Hit Music Station” (5.4 – 6.3 – 5.7, fifth to sixth, 6+) now register declines of six-tenths. “Simon” was a combined +.9 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (8.6 – 8.6 – 9.5, 6+). Prior to January’s increase to 6.3, its highest 6+-stat since resurfacing in print in February 2018, WKZL was off three straight times for a collective -.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.4, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only has iHeartMedia news/talk WREC improved in back-to-back sweeps by a combined +1.8 (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” cracks the top ten (#11 to #8).

In doing so, it leapfrogs Entercom sports talk WMFS (flat at 4.0, #10 to #11, 6+); “ESPN Sports Radio” was up six-tenths in January. Flat at #18, co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase for the eighth straight time for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Replicating January’s increase of eight-tenths (8.3 – 9.1 – 9.9, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO carries on in second-place; “103.5 The Best Mix of R&B” was a combined -2.4 in December/”Holiday 2018 (10.7 – 8.7 – 8.3, 6+). The six most recent moves for Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River” are +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); and +.7 in February (8.2 – 8.9, unchanged at #3, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6). Regaining 20% of January’s -1.5 (11.3 – 11.6, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS is #1 for the fourth time in a row and in double-digits (11.6, 6+) for the 11th successive sweep. “V-101” was a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +2.3 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+) with “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 its highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012). After being an overall +1.1 through four successive up or flat trends (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7” plummets by -1.3 (4.3, sixth to tenth, 6+). Falling seven-tenths are Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” (5.6 – 4.9, flat at #6, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” (5.1 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). “FM 100” was +1.5 in January, after being down seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. “Kix 106” most recently has been -.5 (October 2018); -.5 (November); +.7 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.7 (February).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to three consecutive declines, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a cumulative -1.8 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), but “News Talk 1080” is +.7 in January/February (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9, seventh to sixth, 6+). Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” is unchanged from January in share and market rank (1.3, #14, 6+); January’s +.4 curtailed three downturns in a row that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+).

The November 2018 through February 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 (#12 to #13, 6+).

After seven straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” was then +1.4 in four straight gains (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+). It was -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); and -.9 in February (6.1 – 5.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is up three-tenths in January/February (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5, #14 to #12, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Over and above answering January’s -6.9 with a February +1.0 (11.1 – 12.1, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the 32nd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (12.1, 6+) for the 29th time in the last 31 sweeps. “Lite 100.5” was +7.4 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.6 – 12.4 – 18.0, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 18.0 the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017. A February gain of nine-tenths to 5.3 (tenth to eighth, 6+) by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM erases its “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 -.8 (5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+) and gives “102.9 The Whale – Connecticut’s Classic Rock” its best 6+-stat (5.3) since September 2018’s 5.4. Trending 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.0 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” improves by one-half share (5.5, eighth to seventh, 6+). After being -.9 in “Holiday” 2018 and +1.0 in January 2019, co-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” is -.7 in February (7.7 – 7.0, second to fourth, 6+). There is a similar significant shift pattern for Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM”: -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.4 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (7.7 – 7.2, unchanged at #3, 6+). Whereas January’s 7.7 is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6), 6.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 marked the first time it fell below a seven-share since March 2018’s 6.7. Back-to-back at #10 and #11, respectively, are Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ-FM “Radio 104.1” (4.5, -.1, ninth to tenth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 (3.0 – 2.5, -.5, flat at #11, 6+). In three straight improvements immediately prior to the February report, “Radio 104.1” was an overall +1.0 (3.6 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.6, 6+).

Thursday, March 14, 2019

| March 14, 2019

KBME, Houston Drops Josh Innes Morning Show. Houston Chronicle writer David Barron reports that iHeartMedia has dropped sports talk radio host Josh Innes from its morning drive daypart on sports talk KBME, Houston.  Innes’ info has been scrubbed from the KBME website and Barron reports that Innes tweeted yesterday that his show was dropped for “budget reasons” and “I do not have a show anymore.”  Innes joined KBME in October of 2016 after returning to Houston from Philadelphia where he had served with sports talker WIP for three years.  Barron reports that ratings appear to have been the cause for Innes’ departure, writing, “Innes’ ratings have mirrored those of the station and of Houston sports radio in general.  KBME’s morning drive audience share as of the most recent Nielsen Audio ratings ranked 25th among all Houston radio stations among men 25-54, the key demographic for sports radio, and trailed the station’s competitors at KILT and KFNC ‘97.5 FM’.”

Bubba the Love Sponge Sues Cox Media Group, Personality Mike Calta, and Former Cast Member Matthew Lloyd. Florida-based talk radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, is suing Cox Media Group for anti-competitive actions and two individuals for allegedly playing roles in a purported conspiracy to ruin his show.  The complaint, filed in Pinellas County, Florida alleges that Cox, along with the help of its own WHPT-FM, Tampa show host Mike Calta and former Bubba show staffer Matthew “Spice Boy” Lloyd, worked to destroy Bubba’s show that was airing at that time on Beasley Media Group’s then-WBRN-FM, Tampa.  Bubba alleges Cox took actions that caused Nielsen Audio to ultimately sue him for damages due to allegations of ratings tampering.  (Nielsen and Bubba reached a confidential settlement over that matter.)  Bubba’s complaint says that the result of the tampering allegations was Nielsen not listing WBRN-FM’s ratings in October of 2015, thereby hurting the station’s ability to sell his show and that ultimately led to Beasley dropping Bubba’s show in Tampa and Fort Myers.  Bubba also alleges that the defendants stole and leaked to Gawker a video of pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan having sex with Bubba’s then-wife.  Hogan sued and settled with Gawker, netting a large award that forced Gawker out of business.  The motive for all of this alleged behavior on the part of the defendants is Bubba’s success at the expense of former employer Cox, its station and staffers. Bubba is seeking damages (over $15,000) to be determined at a jury trial.

New Director of Sales at Entercom’s Greenville Station Group. Radio sales pro Devon van der Merwe is named director of sales for Entercom’s Greenville, South Carolina station group that includes news/talk WORD-FM “WYRD-FM”, sports talk WORD-AM “ESPN Upstate” and five music-formatted stations.  Devon van der Merwe moves up from her general sales manager position.  Entercom Greenville SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “Devon has displayed an exceptional ability to lead sales efforts since she joined the Greenville market, and I am fully confident in her continued success.  Under Devon’s direction, our sales teams will continue to thrive and reach new milestones.”

KIRO-AM, Seattle Partners with ‘Coaching Boys Into Men.’ The Bonneville sports talk station announces it is partnering with the local nonprofit Coaching Boys Into Men to focus on the goal of helping teach student athletes – as well as school coaches and athletic department leadership – to learn youth leadership skills, prevent domestic violence, and achieve healthy relationships.  KIRO-AM program director Mike Salk says, “We are excited to partner with an organization that makes such an important difference in our community.  Coaching Boys Into Men has a unique ability to positively affect young people by helping them grow as leaders, while also changing long-term views on consent and respect.”

TALKERS News Notes. The NHL’s Washington Capitals and Entercom sports talker WJFK-FM, Washington renew their deal for the station to serve as the flagship for radio play-by-play of the team’s games.  Caps games will also air on the company’s RADIO.COM platform.  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “We are thrilled to bring Capitals hockey to D.C.’s top-rated sports station ‘106.7 The Fan.’  In addition to all games, the station will provide fans with full coverage of their favorite team through premiere programming on air, online and on demand.”…..The Elvis Duran Group and SportsGrid are broadcasting live from this weekend’s National Fantasy Baseball Championships (3/15-16) via their Fantasy Sports Radio Network (FNTSY Radio).  The broadcast team includes FNTSY Radio host Gregg Sussman, sports analyst and author of the best-selling Fantasy Black Book series Joe Pisapia, and former Major League Baseball pitcher Brad Ziegler…..Seven Bucks Productions, Andrew Jenks Entertainment, and Cadence13 announce the launch of a new interview series on the hit podcast “What Really Happened?”  Written and hosted by documentarian Andrew Jenks, in the interview series he examines and contextualizes famous figures and historical or widely-publicized events while discovering untold stories and unraveling newfound narratives…..Cumulus Media is adding “The BOB & TOM Show” to the morning drive daypart at classic rock WKXS-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina “94.5 The Hawk,” effective Monday (3/18).

Manafort Sentenced/Trump-Russia Investigation, College Entrance Cheating Scheme, Boeing 737 Maxs Grounded, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls/O’Rourke Joins Race, Clinton Email Matter Testimony, Brexit Chaos, Bomb Cyclone Hits U.S., NFL Signings, and NBA and NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13). Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort receives his second sentence and the related Trump-Russia investigation; the college entrance cheating scheme; the U.S. grounds Boeing 737 Maxs after pressure following the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Beto O’Rourke’s entrance into the race; just-revealed testimony from former FBI attorney Lisa Page that the agency was directed by the Obama DOJ not to charge Hillary Clinton in the email server investigation; the political chaos in England over Prime Minister Theresa May’s failed Brexit plan; the Mountain West and Midwest hit with bomb cyclone weather effects; the trades and free agent signings in the NFL; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, Entercom announces that former country WXTU personality Frank Lario is joining current morning host Marilyn Russell for the new “Frank and Marilyn Morning Show” on classic hits WOGL.  The duo debut on Monday (3/18)…..On-air pro Sean Strife moves from iHeartMedia’s Cedar Rapids, Iowa CHR KOSY “HOT 95.7” to the company’s Madison CHR WZEE “Z104” where he’s the new afternoon host and APD/MD…..Air personality Audrey Constant is named afternoon personality at CodComm’s adult contemporary WKFY, East Harwich, Massachusetts (Cape Cod).  She was most recently with Plymouth Rock Broadcasting’s AC WPLM-FM, Plymouth and takes over for Rob Walker…..Cumulus Media is adding “The BOB & TOM Show” to the morning drive daypart at classic rock WKXS-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina “94.5 The Hawk,” effective Monday (3/18).

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

| August 1, 2018

Emmis Pursues Zoning Change for Land Containing WFNI, Indianapolis Towers. A report in the Indianapolis Business Journal says the 70-acre parcel of land owned by Emmis and currently home to the six-tower array of sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan” (formerly WIBC-AM) could fetch as much as $28 million in a sale.  The land is near a proposed I-65 freeway exit that should be open in 2021 and the zoning change from light industrial to urban business would enhance the value. If Emmis is able to sell the land, it would have to relocate the towers for WFNI, but with a possible gross of $28 million, it would be well worth it for Emmis.

Sean Hannity’s Status Atop Cable News Ratings Noted in New Forbes Piece. A new interview piece by Mark Joyella was published yesterday (7/31) in Forbes and cites Sean Hannity’s recent four-month stretch as top cable television personality – number one in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen – with an average audience of 3.4 million during July.  The piece touches on Hannity’s reported relationship with President Trump, how he handles his critics, and what motivates him each day on his FOX News Channel TV program and Premiere Networks-syndicated radio show.  Read it here.

Attorney: Houston Sports Talker’s Career Hampered by iHeartMedia Bankruptcy.  According to Houston attorney Ed Burwell (as reported in the Houston Chronicle), his client, sports talk personality Jayson Braddock’s ability to work in the market is being adversely affected by the iHeartMedia bankruptcy.  Braddock was let go from iHM’s sports talk KBME in June with the company citing revenue and ratings shortfalls.  However, Burwell says ratings for the first five months of 2018 indicated Braddock’s show was the highest-rated of the station’s programs.  Complicating matters is that he was offered work at crosstown Gow Media, but iHM threatened to enforce his no-compete clause.  Burwell says any legal action he could take to allow Braddock to fight his case is complicated by having to go through the bankruptcy court.  In the end, Braddock may be forced stay unemployed to wait out his no-compete.  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The midday ESPN Radio show hosted by Stephen A. Smith joins some of its fellow shows in simulcast on the ESPNews television channel, effective August 13. “The Stephen A. Smith Show” join “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “The Will Cain Show,” making the channel the TV home of all four of ESPN’s weekday national radio simulcasts.  Smith also appears on “First Take” with Max Kellerman and moderator Molly Qerim on ESPN from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Cox Enterprises announces the hiring of Luis Avila-Marco as SVP of strategy and corporate development. The company notes Avila-Marco has served with Juniper Networks and Scientific-Atlanta in addition to working as an independent consultant…..Westwood One promotes Julie Kim from senior traffic director to VP, traffic.  She oversees the traffic and continuity departments responsible for managing the commercial quality control and audio content delivery to more than 8,000 affiliates and satellites, client and agency partners, producers, and engineers.  She also works closely with Westwood One’s sales planning team to manage commercial inventory and maximize revenue…..Entercom sports talk KIFM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” signs a multi-year broadcast partnership with Sacramento State University and Learfield’s Hornets Sports Properties to air play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball…..Delta Communications’ WNTN, Boston adds “Reel Talk w/ The Hollywood Kid” to its lineup.  The program is hosted by Mike Di Stasio, a.k.k The Hollywood Kid, and targets lovers of “movies and television, especially retro lovers.”  Di Stasio says, “My show brings listeners back to a time when five or six channels was all they had on their TV sets.”  He interviews showbiz greats such as: George Hamilton, Paul Sorvino, Linda GrayKen Wahl, Gianni Russo, Ann JillianBernie Kopell, Stacy Keach, and many more…..WTOP, Washington film critic Jason Fraley is publishing his “ultimate list for movie lovers” – a list of 750 of the best movies of all time across 30 genres.  He says, “I’ve always wanted to put together my own ‘definitive’ ranking because my love of movies was sparked by devouring countless ‘best’ lists by other publications, from the American Film Institute to Sight & Sound Magazine.  In an era where you can pull up any movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime, such lists are no longer a historical exercise, but rather a living, breathing guide to what you can rent on any given night.”  View the full list here.

Hubbard Acquires TiWi Digital’s TriggerEx Ad Delivery Technology. There is no mention of a sale price or any other compensation, but Hubbard Radio and subsidiary 2060 Digital are purchasing the TriggerEX ad delivery technology from TiWi Digital.  Hubbard is a client currently using TriggerEx.  The press release says, “With the acquisition of the TriggerEX ad technology, Hubbard Radio and 2060 Digital will expand their digital solutions platform by offering advertising partners this unique and productive digital advertisement delivery solution.”  Hubbard Interactive Twin Cities director of digital sales Bernie Laur comments, “We have been using the TriggerEX tech for four or five years and not only does it deliver consistently more productive ad campaigns, but it also provides a nimble and timely ad message that our clients have come to expect.  And to prove it, our clients come back year after year.”

Salem and Loyal Ears Digital Collaborate for Hugh Hewitt’s ‘Midterm Fantasy’ Contest. Fantasy sports and entertainment provider Loyal Ears Digital is providing its “Midterm Madness” fantasy platform to Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt to run his “Midterm Fantasy” contest.  Listeners will handicap 25 key congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial races fantasy-style, all chosen by Hugh Hewitt, including research pages to aid the user who will be trying to win a coveted “winners” guest spot on Hewitt’s show right after the election.  Hewitt says, “Everybody’s an expert in a bar or when watching their favorite cable news show.  Everybody thinks they know who is going to win which race.  Well, we are going to find out who really knows the score…the political score.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word radio Phil Boyce – who commissioned the fantasy approach to the midterms – says, “We know there is intense interest amongst our listeners in the midterm elections.  No radio show is more on top of this than Hugh Hewitt.  This is a fun and engaging way for Hugh’s listeners to take a stake in following these races, all the way to election night.”

Walter Sterling Launches ‘Sterling Express’ – a Novel New Form of ‘On Demand’ Programming.  Ever since radio consultant Walter Sabo assumed the air name “Walter M. Sterling” several years ago and launched a Sunday night show on WPHT, Philadelphia, he has begun to take on the yappy characteristics of a radio talk show host who continues to incessantly comment on things even after the mic has been turned off.  Sterling, whose weekly show “Sterling on Sunday” is now heard on almost 60 stations, tells TALKERS, “My wife Katie asks me to please not do my show in the house.  Do it on the air.”  In a recent phone conversation with his old friend Michael Harrison, the TALKERS publisher agreed with Katie, telling Sterling, “Geez, Walter, do I have to hear a commentary about life every time we talk on the phone?  You’re starting to sound like a talk show host.”  “The problem,” explained Sterling, “is that I’m only on once a week, yet every day dozens of emails and notes come in wondering why I’m not on daily.”  Harrison replied, “Well, when I talk to you on the phone now, it’s like hearing an abbreviated, fast-food version of your radio show… sort of like those restaurant and hotel ‘outposts’ called ‘express’ versions of their larger incarnations.  I’m going to begin referring to my phone conversations with you as ‘Sterling Express.’  You should make yourself available to your P1 listeners this way during the week.  Call ‘em on the phone and bend their ears for a few minutes.”  Sterling replied, “That’s a great idea!”  This past Sunday night “Sterling on Sunday” listeners got to sign up for the Sterling Express.  Sterling told the first 10 callers he would call them during the week and perform a Sterling Express, one-on-one show.   Sterling will call 10 listeners per week and share his “deep thoughts” with them during the course of a few minutes — Express!  Sterling says, “Katie and the kids will be a lot happier that I’m not doing the show in the house and listeners get their wish of hearing me all week.”  He plans to turn recordings of Sterling Express into a weekly podcast to serve as a companion piece to his “Midnight Misfits” podcast.  “Sterling on Sunday” is distributed by Westwood One.  The website is  www.waltermsterling.com.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Tampa Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, Portland ICE Protests, Russian Election Interference, Apple Nears $1 Trillion Value, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; President Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; the protests against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Portland and criticism of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s treatment of ICE officers; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and intelligence indicating it intends to meddle again this fall; Apple’s quarterly report indicating its value is close to $1 trillion; the raging Northern California wildfire; the heatwave setting record temps in Western Europe; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio syndicator Westwood One is assuming the syndication of the two mix shows featuring The Baka Boyz.  The company says the two shows – “All Star Hit Mix” and “Hip Hop Master Mix” – feature researched and tested hit records and air on more than 60 stations nationwide.  Baka Boyz agent Gary Bernstein says, “The Baka’s have been PPM friendly well before PPM was even the measurement of choice.  They deliver quality, reliability, and an unmatched track record of success across all the contemporary music formats. We are excited to be with the Westwood One family and are looking forward to expanding our relationship in the future if the marketplace calls for a daily program.”