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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

| October 1, 2019

TALKERS and The Epoch Times’ Co-Presented “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” Takes Place in NYC; Video Available for Viewing.  A 90-minute panel discussion took place in New York today (10/1).  The “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” was a panel discussion that included radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt of Salem Radio NetworkJohn Batchelor of WABC, New York, and Tom Sullivan of Talk Media Network, as well as a group of experts on the present state of China and its increasingly strained relationship with the United States including Nan Su of NTDTVJoshua Philipp of The Epoch Times and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times.  The conversation focused on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, China’s military buildup, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more.  See the video of today’s event here.

Ramsey Solutions Addresses National Student Loan Crisis. The company is working to help families avoid  traps of student loans and show them a better way to pay for college. Ramsey Solutions chief executive officer/“Dave Ramsey Show” host Dave Ramsey declares, “Americans have been fed a lie that it is impossible to afford college without student loans. That lie has the average graduate burdened with over $35,000 in student loans from the moment they’re handed their diplomas. The system is broken, and we want people to know the truth: It is possible to pay cash for college.” Thought leaders Ramsey, Mark Cuban, and Seth Godin are among those interviewed in “Borrowed Future,” an eight-episode podcast series featuring real-life stories that explore the student loan crisis. Anthony ONeal, author of “Debt Free-Degree: The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Kid Through College Without Student Loans,” remarks, “Parents and teens believe that student loans are the only option, but debt doesn’t open doors – it closes them. I travel the country speaking to thousands of people each year. I meet students all the time who are working hard, applying for scholarships and grants, and are actually graduating debt-free. I believe more parents and students can do this, but they need a plan. We’re here to provide that plan.”

NAB PILOT Program Announces Internship Grant Recipients. Launched this past spring, PILOT is the National Association of Broadcasters’ technology initiative which has thus far provided paid internships to 13 NAB member organizations for undergraduate students in radio and television engineering/technology positions. The program is provided in partnership with the NAB’s Leadership Foundation as part of an effort to grow technical and engineering talent for the industry. Grants for the spring 2020 term will be provided to the following NAB members: Michigan State University news/talk WKAR-AM, news/talk-classical WKAR-FM, and PBS affiliate WKAR-TV, East Lansing (Michigan); Butler County Radio Network (Butler, Pennsylvania) news/talk WISR, country WBUT, and rock WLER; Scripps Media Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV-TV; and Marquee Broadcasting Bowling Green, Kentucky’s WNKY-TV. NAB’s executive vice president and chief technology officer Sam Matheny notes, “We have been encouraged by the response to this program and are thrilled to continue it for a second year. PILOT and the NAB Leadership Foundation remain committed to assisting NAB member stations in attracting the best and brightest new candidates to a career in broadcast technology.” NAB Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke adds, “The NAB Foundation is happy to provide opportunities with PILOT for students in the broadcast technology and engineering fields. Our intent is to continue to expand the pool of talent for our industry.” The program seeks to help NAB members that do not currently offer engineering or media-technology internships. It will provide resources to assist selected stations in identifying and supporting interns, as well as assistance for the selected interns to attend next year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

TALKERS News Notes. Celebrities and politicians were omnipresent in Staten Island this past Saturday (9/28) at the nuptials of Salem Media Group New York news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” executive producer/talk host Frank Morano and his fiancé Rachel O’Brien. “This truly was the most unique assemblage of people ever to come to one party,” he maintains. It’s hard to argue that claim as Morano’s WNYM colleague, Joe Piscopo, got the afternoon started with a Frank Sinatra “New York New York”/“That’s Life” medley reminiscent of how Piscopo did it on “Saturday Night Live.” Morano is quick to note that Piscopo’s date for the affair was none other than supermodel Carol Alt. Among others spotted in the crowd were congressman Dan Donovan; former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey; billionaire businessman/New York City-based Red Apple Group chair/CEO (and new owner of New York City news/talk WABC) John Catsimatidis; former mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis; and criminal defense attorney Arthur Aidala, currently representing Harvey Weinstein. Syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher was in attendance as were talk host/author Kevin McCulloughRichard Bey, sportscaster Russ Salzberg, and Shelley Goldberg. There were no reports of fisticuffs or violence of any type at the wedding. That is actually quite remarkable and noteworthy, given that John A. Gotti and his sister, reality TV star/author Victoria Gotti, were there along with Guardian Angels founder/talk show host Curtis Sliwa. Things could have gotten particularly dicey as it was Gotti who was charged with ordering the 1992 kidnapping and shooting of Sliwa. Gotti went on trial four times with each trial ending in a hung jury. “Needless to say, we kept John and Curtis on opposite sides of the room,” Morano quips. “It did lead to one of the more interesting quotes of the evening. As Curtis was dancing, John remarked to me, ‘Do you think Curtis would mind if I cut in to dance with his wife?’” Also at the wedding was Maureen Gioeli, the wife of Tommy “Shots” Gioeli, who Morano describes as “the alleged acting boss of the Colombo crime family” ….. Six-year (2003 – 2009) Bernalillo County (New Mexico) sheriff Darren White will join Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talk KKOB “AM 770 News Radio” as midday host (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm), beginning next Monday (10/7). Cumulus Media Albuquerque vice president/market manager Jeff Berry comments, “Darren is one of the best political minds around, with deep roots in the Albuquerque media market and New Mexico politics. KKOB delivers the best lineup in radio and Darren is going to help us fill out our already amazing roster.” White states, “I’m honored to join the legendary KKOB and host a show in a time slot between a national radio powerhouse in Rush Limbaugh and a radio legend in TJ Trout. I’m grateful to Jeff Berry for this amazing opportunity and excited to get behind the mic to continue the long tradition of engaging talk radio.” Formerly a correspondent for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV, White was secretary of New Mexico’s Department of Public Safety and Albuquerque’s chief public safety officer ….. Pre-game and post-game host of Cincinnati Reds games, Tommy Thrall, will succeed retired hall of famer Marty Brennaman as the team’s lead radio voice on iHeartMedia Cincinnati news/talk WLW. After calling minor league Pensacola Blue Wahoos games for six years, Thrall joined the Reds crew this season. He previously was the radio voice of the Quad Cities River Bandits ….. Three-year senior producer/audience development & engagement Stephanie Curtis is promoted to Minnesota Public Radio’s MPR News director of programming. Executive director of news & programming Nancy Cassutt comments, “Steph holds a clear vision for what needs to come next in our programming in order to be relevant and engaging with our audiences. She understands our newsroom and where we have the best opportunities to grow and better serve our listeners. Combined with her wealth of talents, this makes her a perfect fit for this role.” Curtis has been with MPR for over 25 years and is the “Movie Maven” on the weekly “Cube Critics” podcast ….. WFPL news editor Jonese Franklin is boosted to local host for NPR’s “All Things Considered” on the Louisville Public Media news/talk station. WFPL director of news and programming Erica Peterson notes, “Jonese brings a diverse depth of experience to the job, including years working as a journalist, editor and broadcaster. I’m excited to hear her on the air every day, and I know our listeners will be as well” ….. Beginning next Monday (10/7), iHeartRadio Broadway debuts “Show & Tell with Frank DiLella,” a weekly Broadway-focused original podcast. New episodes will be available every Monday via the iHeartPodcast Network. Host of “On Stage,” Spectrum News NY1 theater correspondent DiLella is an Emmy Award winning journalist. According to iHeartRadio Broadway director Sarah Jane Arnegger, “We’re thrilled to have Frank DiLella join iHeartRadio Broadway. Frank has been an integral part of the Broadway industry for years. With his built-in audience, this podcast will serve as an extension of what Frank does best with his comprehensive reporting style and celebrity theatrical interviews.” DiLella remarks, “I am truly excited to be teaming up with iHeartMedia and iHeartRadio Broadway as it expands its Broadway programming. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the folks who make up the theater community in New York and abroad. With this new opportunity, I look forward to bringing my in-depth conversations and commentary with the movers and shakers of the industry to a larger audience.”

Cumulus Media Cluster Sets Annual “Christmas For Our Troops.” The fundraiser and series of donation drives that will benefit our service personnel will commence one week from this Friday (10/11) and run through November 12. In partnership with Step Up For Soldiers, Cumulus Media Wilmington, North Carolina will collect items donated by the community for deployed servicemen and women and raise funds to ship the packages overseas in time for Christmas. Cumulus Wilmington vice president and market manager Eric McCart states, “In addition to collecting items, an important need we have is to collect money for our ‘Christmas For Our Troops Postage Fund.’ It costs $14.35 to send each flat-rate box overseas. The more monetary donations we receive, the more Christmas packages we can send to our troops. We will be accepting both ‘Postage Fund’ and suggested item donations while we’re on location at our collection sites. ‘Postage Fund’ donations can also be made online.” Items to be collected will include writing utensils, games, snacks, bottled drinks, and anything else that is easy-to-use, easy-to-wash, and easy-to-store. In addition to WAAV “980 The Wave – News, Talk, & Sports,” the company’s Wilmington, North Carolina cluster includes WWQQ “Double Q-101.3 Cape Fear’s Country Leader,” adult contemporary WGNI “102.7 GNI Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” urban contemporary WMNX “Coast 97.3,” and classic rock WKXS “94.5 The Hawk.”

Stations Go From One Backyard To Another. Headed by Van A. Michael, Pennsylvania-based Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania, LLC closes on its purchase of seven Pennsylvania stations from … and here’s where it gets tricky … Daniel J. Farr’s (also) Pennsylvania-based Backyard Broadcasting PA, LLC. Neither of these Backyard entities has any other broadcast interests. Stations involved are sports talk WWPA “ESPN Radio 1340”; WWPA’s FM translator W267BJ at 101.3; WILQ “105.1 Today’s Best Country”; and hot AC WLMY – all in Williamsport; rock WZXR, South Williamsport; rock WCXR, Lewisburg (which simulcasts WZXR); and classic hits-oldies WBZD, Muncy. Kalil & Company, Inc. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Veteran consultant/programmer John Sebastian signs the first client for his “WOW Factor” format – KOAI, Phoenix – and as part of the deal, he will be the consultant and hands-on program director of the Riviera Broadcasting outlet. Riviera Broadcasting chief executive officer Michael Cutchall remarks, “John has been one of the most innovative programmers in the history of radio. There is no one better to connect with listeners and communities in his approach and philosophy to programming. His excitement to join our team is contagious and his desire to win is relentless.” Sebastian asserts that KOAI will be “the first of many ‘WOW Factor’ stations across America with an eclectic mix of music researched and curated for baby boomers.” His previous Phoenix programming background already includes KUPD, KSLX, and KDKB. Sebastian has programmed in other markets such as Los Angeles (KTWV, KHJ, and KZLA); Chicago (WJMK); Dallas (KPLX); Boston (WCOZ); Seattle (KISW); Minneapolis (KDWB); and Nashville (WSM-FM). According to Nielsen Audio PPM data, the February 2019 through August 2019 (6+) topline for classic hits-oldies KOAI is: 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5. It ranks #25 in August 2019; iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ is on top (7.0, 6+). ….. Former Bohn Broadcast Services vice president of business development Chris Roth is appointed program director of Entercom Washington, DC classic hits-oldies WIAD “94.7 The Drive.” Roth will “work closely” with Entercom classic hits-oldies format captain Chris Ebbott, who programs Los Angeles’ co-owned/similarly formatted KRTH “K-Earth 101.” Entercom Washington, DC senior vice president and market manager Phil Zachary comments, “One year into the format, we are satisfied with the station’s position, but we are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and improve. Chris Roth brings the vernacular and market knowledge to finetune ‘94.7 The Drive’ to DC’s particular tastes. He’s uniquely-suited for this role; I am excited to see him help our station excel.” Roth notes, “Programming ‘94.7 The Drive’ is a dream job for me. I’m passionate about the classic hits format and I’m looking forward to making it the fun destination for DC listening.” Roth previously was an on-air talent at Baltimore adult contemporary sibling WLIF “Today’s 101.9”; director of programming for WAVA, Washington; a reporter at Washington’s all-news WTOP; and director of programming and operations for Winchester, Virginia hot AC WINC-FM ….. As noted in this space just last Friday (9/27), Scott Roddy exited his brand/content director post with Hubbard Radio St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” for a “yet-to-be-revealed position.” Well, it didn’t take long for the mystery to be revealed as Roddy will join Entercom Portland next Monday (10/7) as program director/operations manager for country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” and hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.” Entercom Portland senior vice president/market manager Kim Martinez states, “Scott has an impressive track record programming leading stations; we’re fortunate to add him to the team. I am confident his proven leadership will enable him to step in and immediately enhance the programming efforts for our stations.” Roddy notes, “I’m stoked to join the iconic ‘Wolf’ and to bring some electricity back to the ‘Buzz.’ Kim Martinez is building a world-class operation at Entercom Portland. Her passion for our industry, audience, investors, and local team is unparalleled. I’d like to thank Kim; [chief programming officer] Pat Paxton; [regional president] Doug Abernethy; and [senior vice president of programming] Dave Richards for the opportunity.” Prior to joining WARH in February 2016, Roddy programmed stations for Entercom Indianapolis, Oasis Radio Group Fort Wayne (Indiana), and Saga Communications ….. This Saturday (10/5) at 8:00 am, iHeartMedia Chicago urban contemporary WGCI-FM, urban AC WVAZ “V-103,” and gospel WGRB “Inspiration 1390” will hold the third annual “Sista Strut” 3K breast cancer charity walk to benefit the Chicago chapter of the Sisters Network. According to iHeartMedia Chicago director of urban programming Derrick Brown, “We are dedicated to serving the community in which we live and work. We remain committed to doing our part in being a source of support and encouragement for those battling and recovering from this disease.” WGCI-FM morning show member Kendra G and WVAZ midday talent Bionce Foxx will host the event. Special guests will include “Steve Harvey Morning Show” co-host Carla Ferrell ….. Forming the new morning team at Emmis Indianapolis’ country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” are Caleb James and Mindy Winkler. James most recently programmed NRG Media Omaha rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9,” while Winkler arrives from WLHK’s adult contemporary sibling WYXB “B-105.7.” Former “Hank” morning driver Dave O’Brien is now doing similar duties at Entercom Denver classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” ….. Louisville alternative WGHL “Alt 105.1” program director/afternoon talent Phil “PK” Kukawinski tacks on  programming duties for Alpha Media adult hits cluster-mate WXMA “102.3 Jack-FM.” He succeeds Sarah Jordan, who continues as marketing director and mid-day personality (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) on co-owned CHR WDJX “99-7 DJX” ….. To help raise funds, supplies, and awareness for rescue dogs, iHeartMedia Colorado Springs hot AC KVUU “My 99.9” will team with the Lovepup Foundation for the initial “Lovepup Family Fest” one week from Saturday (10/12, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) at Weidner Field. KVUU morning drive talent Johnjay of the syndicated “Johnjay and Rich” show will host the event. All money and pet supply donations will benefit local Colorado Springs animal rescue organizations …..  Meanwhile, KVUU cluster-mate KCYY “Y-96.9 #1 For New Country” and Oakwood Homes join forces four weeks from today (10/29) for the first-ever “Boo Bash” to benefit HBA Cares. Hosted by “Y-96.9” afternoon drive host Shawn Patrick, the event will feature entertainment from Matt Stell, Noah Schnacky, and Tyler Walker Band. “Boo Bash” proceeds will benefit local transitional and accessible housing in the Colorado Springs area, along with other local community projects. Doors will open at 6:00 pm at Boot Barn Hall ….. WCYQ “100.3 The Wolf” nighttime talent Paul Orr exits the SummitMedia Knoxville country station to focus on his voiceover business. Before joining WCYQ, Orr worked in Birmingham (WZZK); Oklahoma City (KTST); Fort Myers (WWGR); and Shreveport (KRMD) ….. A “goat” is loose in Hagerstown-Chambersburg (Maryland-Pennsylvania) as Verstandig Media transitions CHR WNUZ “Now 92.1” to classic hits-oldies WIKG “92.1 The Goat – The Greatest of All Time.” This comes after a weekend of stunting with all-Christmas music; the station is inviting listeners to “Take Your Goat To Work.” Continuing the theme, the “goat herd” is airing 20 songs in a row in its first week.

Delilah Honored With AFN Challenge Coin. For her unwavering support of service members and veterans, Premiere Networks’ adult contemporary host Delilah received the American Forces Network challenge coin last Thursday (9/26) at the Radio Show in Dallas. Military challenge coins have been issued to servicemen and servicewomen since World War I as a symbol of honor, respect, gratitude, and loyalty. Delilah is heard weeknights at 7:00 pm in Japan, Korea, and central Europe on AFN Radio’s “Today’s Best Hits Adult Contemporary” channel. Pictured left to right are: Tom Arnholt of AFN programming and operations, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Delilah, who co-hosted last week’s NAB Marconi Awards, and Curt Eckstein of AFN programming and operations.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

| September 11, 2019

‘970 The Answer’ Presents Special 9/11 Show. On the anniversary of 9/11, Salem Media Group news/talk WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” is presenting a special program today (9/11) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on location from the kitchen table of Red Apple Group chief John Catsimatidis (soon-to-be owner of WABC, New York) with host Kevin McCullough and former New York Governor George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  McCullough says, “The unique and intimate broadcast will take place on location around the Catsimatidis kitchen table and will bring the two leaders together in person in a way seldom seen since this fateful day.”

WHO, Des Moines Listeners Respond to Call for Flag Planting. Afternoon drive personality Simon Conway tells TALKERS magazine that WHO, Des Moines listeners planted almost 3,000 flags in a local park to commemorate those who died in the 9/11 attacks after the city decided to cancel the annual event.  Conway says, “About four months after I arrived in Des Moines, there was a meeting.  How were we going to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11?  Some people wanted to rent the big arena in town and have a solemn service. I pointed out that was a big risk. It was the first or second NFL Sunday and how terrible would it be if no one showed up.  Eventually, I came up with the idea of planting a flag in the ground for every person who was murdered that day.  We have done that ever since.  Yesterday morning my listeners started to contact me saying that the city had cancelled this year’s [event] due to lack of flags and volunteers (total garbage by the way – they want to move on!).  There was no way I was going to let that happen and so using social media and the opening of my show yesterday, I directed people to the park. All the nearly 3,000 flags were in the ground before 5:00 pm!  THAT’S the power of the very best audience in talk radio!”

Entercom Wrestling with ‘Technical Issues.’ The company has been pretty tight-lipped about the technical issues that may have been caused by a cyber-attack that occurred over the weekend.  Entercom’s email system has been compromised and those trying to email someone at the company receive a message saying it is dealing with technical issues and directs them to call the local market via phone.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that the issue – again, the company won’t confirm it’s an “attack” – also has affected music scheduling, production, and billing.  Radio trade site RadioInsight is calling it a ransomware attack and reports the attacker(s) is asking for $500,000.  Whether it’s an actual ransomware attack or just the work of a devious hacker, the company has a lot of work to do.  Entercom’s public statement on the matter is that it is working around the clock to fix the problems.  An internal memo staffers received on Monday morning said they should not expect things to be back to normal for three or four days.

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Does Damage Control After Gay Slur Tweet.  Openly gay WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans evening sports talk host Seth Dunlap was the target of a tweet containing a gay slur that appears to have emanated from within the station.  According to a piece in The Advocate, many of Dunlap’s listeners may have learned of his sexuality after he wrote a personal essay questioning New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ affiliation with Focus on the Family, an organization that, among other goals, promotes gay conversion therapy.  Brees has recorded a video for the organization about the upcoming “Take Your Bible to School” day.  Entercom removed the offensive tweet and tweeted out the following: “We are aware of a tweet that went out today from the WWL account.  The content of the tweet is categorically offensive and abhorrent to the station.  We are actively investigating this incident and will take swift and appropriate action once we determine how this occurred.”

Todd Schnitt and Fark.com Partner for New Podcast. On-air pro Todd Schnitt and FARK.com founder Drew Curtis are launching a new podcast called, “Fark and Schnitt,” “a humorous approach to some of the more unusual story lines in the news cycle.”  It’s being managed by Steve Lapa and Lapcom Communications and represented by Crossover Media Group. It’s being promoted as “an entertaining, irreverent look at the stories you may have missed.  The ‘Fark and Schnitt’ podcast blends entertaining content with polished production to bring the audience the famous and the forgettable in an engaging format.”  New episodes are posted each Tuesday.  Schnitt says, “The explosive growth of podcasts cannot be ignored, and this delivery method will continue to grow exponentially.  While I’ve been part of repurposing my radio shows for many years, ‘Fark and Schnitt’ is all new exclusive quality content just for the podcast universe.  Soon, I’ll be Adam Carolla’s golf caddy.”  FARK.com is a successful news aggregator site with more than 2,000 link submissions daily, 20 million page views per month with more than 1 million uniques.

TALKERS News Notes. Joining the meteorologist staff at EnvisionVirtualServices Weather is Tom Hauf, who will deliver custom daily weather forecasts and severe weather coverage for affiliated stations.  Hauf says, “I’ve been passionate about weather forecasting since childhood, delivering my first forecast at age 10.  Weather is one of a very few things in the world that affects every single person every day.”  Hauf has 30 years of experience as a radio weatherman and possesses a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist certification from the American Meteorological Society. EnvisionVirtualServices Weather Reports from Envision Networks offer a complete locally derived weather solution for radio stations. The team of major market meteorologists deliver multiple daily reports and are ready to spring into action whenever inclement weather hits…..PodcastOne announces that it is teaming with Kc Wayland Productions for production, marketing and sales for the “We’re Alive” podcast series that has more than 160 million downloads to date.  The new season, “We’re Alive: Goldrush,” features guest-star appearances from actors Danny Trejo and Christy Carlson Romano as well as former “Bachelorette,” Kaitlyn Bristowe.  PodcastOne says “‘Goldrush’ is a multi-layered story that fully utilizes the audio drama medium, employing a multitude of audio-focused comedic gags, plot devices that force visualization, and scenes that take advantage of the soundscape.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Coming on the heels of our huge success with ‘22 Hours: An American Nightmare’ and the continuing strong showing of ‘Cold Case Files,’ our partnership with A&E Networks, the launch of ‘Goldrush’ not only gives us a strong, new entry into the scripted category, but also shows the strength of our content and promotional resources.”…..KPOJ-AM, Portland afternoon drive sports talk personality Travis Demers is named the new play-by-play voice of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers.  Demers has been the substitute play-by-play voice recently, filling in for Brian Wheeler who has been dealing with health issues.  Wheeler recently retired, leaving the position open.  Demers says, “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, it’s an absolute dream job.  I’m thrilled to be able to live out that dream in Rip City.”

Beasley Announces Esports Initiative at UNLV. Broadcaster Beasley Media Group is collaborating with the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies to launch Checkpoint XP On Campus.  Beasley XP is the company’s esports division that is leading this endeavor.  Under this initiative, the school will serve as the primary content creation and production hub for Checkpoint XP’s college-targeted brand extension.  Plans include a college-agnostic esports weekly video and podcast show, as well as extensive online content that will be featured under the Checkpoint XP On Campus section on CheckpointXP.com.  The weekly video and podcast will be officially launched tomorrow (9/12) on RADIO.com, as well as Twitch, YouTube, and via a podcast on bPod Studios.  It’s being hosted by Beasley XP’s Norris Howard, along with UNLV student anchors Daniel Agbuya and Jacob Brothers, with Kevin Kelly serving as the managing editor.  Additionally, UNLV will work closely with Checkpoint XP to recruit student correspondents from more than 30 of the country’s top journalism and esports colleges to provide additional coverage on the growing esports scene across many of the nation’s college campuses.  Beasley chief digital content officer Lori Burgess says, “The convergence of sports and entertainment has never been more real than with the esports academic curriculums, sports teams and arenas that are changing the face of campuses across the country.  Checkpoint XP On Campus intends to capture this lifestyle-based competitive sport as it continues to gain popularity and become a more serious part of the university experience.”  Pictured above at yesterday’s announcement are (from l-r): Dr. Kevin Stoker, director of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV; Dr. Robert Ulmer, Dean of the UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs; Caroline Beasley, CEO of Beasley Media Group; Norris Howard; and Leslie Fitzsimmons, director of underwriting and corporate sponsorship for UNLV’s public media outlets.

Trump Fires John Bolton, 2020 Presidential Race, NC Special Elections, U.S.-China Trade War, Immigration Policy, Antonio Brown Rape Allegation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). National Security Advisor John Bolton is fired by President Trump; the Democrats and Republicans vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Republican Dan Bishop wins a North Carolina congressional special election; the war of tariffs between the U.S. and China; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies; and the rape allegations leveled against Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cool Radio Opportunities in Phoenix. There are two positions that WestStar Multimedia Entertainment is seeking to fill. First, the Kim Komando show is looking for an on-air call screener and sidekick.  They ask: “Do you have an engaging personality?  Quick-witted? Funny?  And this is very important, have a passion for consumer electronics and all things digital?  We are looking for a superstar talent who’s hard working and wants to be part of national radio show and global TV show!”  See more about the position and to apply here.  Also, WestStar is seeking an affiliate relations manager with at least two years’ experience. The company says, “Kim Komando Multimedia is rapidly expanding in many divisions, as we are one of the fastest growing broadcast media companies in America!  For over 20-years, Kim Komando has led the industry in tech-lifestyle programming within the national radio category, reaching millions of people every week.”  For more on this position and to apply, click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Sales and management pro Donald St. Sauveur is upped to chief operating officer for Northeast Broadcasting and its stations triple A outlets WXRV, Boston “92.5 The River” and WNCS, Montpelier “The Point.”  St. Sauveur has been serving as general manager for WXRV for the past 11 years. Northeast Broadcasting CEO Ed Flanagan says, “Donald has shown an uncanny ability to integrate the sales and programming elements of the station, while simultaneously building brand and customer loyalty.  We are looking forward to seeing him succeed in this new role.”…..Programming pro Leigh McNabb joins Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA, Des Moines as program director.  She comes to Saga from her most recent gig as PD and midday personality at Entercom’s hot AC KZPT, Kansas City “99.7 The Point.”  Saga Des Moines vice president and general manager Tom Nankival says, “We are thrilled to be able to bring someone with Leigh’s experience and qualifications back to her hometown.  Her passion for KIOA’s heritage is unparalleled and the fact that she is already so well respected in our building made her the obvious choice to rejuvenate the station and lead our terrific team.”…..Premiere Networks syndicated morning star Bobby Bones is offering his listeners the opportunity to put their personal twist on The General Insurance’s jingle for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas to see Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots perform.   Fans can enter the contest by creating their own video showcasing their spin on the jingle.  The winning video will receive a three-day, two-night trip to Las Vegas to meet Bobby Bones and attend the Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots performance on November 15 at Reynolds Hall at Smith Center.

Friday, July 28, 2017

| July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3%.  With the pending EntercomCBS RADIO merger front-and-center in the radio news these days, when Entercom president and CEO David Field talks, people listen.  Analysts and industry watchers were no doubt eager to hear what Field had to say about the merger process and here’s what he told them on this morning’s conference call.  “We’ve made good progress towards completing the transaction. We’re well along in our post-merger integration work, developing our plans to optimize our structure, practices and strategies to ensure we move quickly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.  And we have entered into letters of intent on all of our planned divestitures with strong interest from a significant number of various parties for the various stations and we’re pleased with the outcome of this process.  That said, we’re still working to achieve approval from the Department of Justice on the divestiture plan and are in the midst of that process.  We believe we’ll remain on schedule for closing in the second half of this year.”  To the numbers, Entercom reports net revenue of $125 million during the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 3% compared to the same period a year ago.   Same station net revenue was up 1%, excluding political.  In a statement, Field says, “We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS RADIO that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending.  As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead.  Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political.  Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one-time-only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger.  We expect expense growth to recede in the third quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”  As of June 30, Entercom had outstanding $467.6 million of senior debt under its credit facilities and $27.7 million in perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock.  The company reports $8.6 million in cash on hand.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 9%; Subscribers Top 32 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM is reporting 2017 second quarter financial numbers, led by “record” revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% compared to Q2 of 2016.  Net income was $202 million in the second quarter, up 16% from $175 million in 2016.  The company’s free cash flow rose 6% to $417 million.  During the quarter, SiriusXM added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers, putting its total self-pay subscribers at nearly 26.7 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media.”

TALKERS Hears: Westwood One Signs Syndication Agreement with Walter Sabo.  TALKERS magazine hears that, according to unconfirmed inside sources, Westwood One has signed an agreement to syndicate a three-hour radio show hosted by Walter Sabo.  Sabo, CEO of the New York-based consultation firm Sabo Media, has been hosting a live, weekly two-hour talk show at 11:00 pm on Sunday nights on CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia for the past several years.  He uses the on-air name Walter Sterling.  The pact is the result of conversations between CBS RADIO and Cumulus Media to make the Walter Sterling Show (a CBS property) available to Cumulus stations and others in the late night weekend slot including an extra third hour.  TALKERS editors who have been listening describe the show as a departure from typical “left versus right” political news/talk fare focusing largely on social, family, and cultural issues of current life.  Noted radio impresario Kraig Kitchin is reportedly managing Sabo’s emerging on-air career and negotiated the deal. NEXT WEEK:  TALKERS will be presenting a special feature story by managing editor Mike Kinosian detailing the history of Walter Sabo’s colorful career from being a wunderkind 20-something radio executive in the 1970s and 1980s with ABC and NBC through his work as a leading consultant in the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating with his emerging presence as an on-air talent today.

Longtime KTRS, St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Exiting.  After more than 20 years onFrank the St. Louis talk station, afternoon drive host Frank O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will wrap his deal with CH Holding’s KTRS on September 14. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Craddock told his listeners that the parting was not amicable – he’s resigned – and that he’s not retiring either.  The paper reports that Craddock is not a KTRS employee but an independent contractor who brokers the show, getting inventory to sell.  Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Jon Kelly Takes Control of SummitMedia LLC.  The company announces that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly reaches an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in SummitMedia LLC held by Highpoint Holdings.  SummitMedia chairman/CEO Carl Parmer states, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder, pending FCC approval.  Not only is he a good friend, but he and his family have a long and incredibly successful history in broadcasting in the United States.  His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Conclave 42.  Consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above with conference chair Lori Lewis, VP/social for Cumulus Media/Westwood One) reports from Minneapolis with his notes on the Conclave Summer Learning Conference.  Among the topics discussed at this year’s conference were: the possibilities for radio with the growth of smart speakers, podcast strategies for radio personalities, the future of radio’s place in the car, and more.  See Cooke’s coverage here.

Salem Hosts at the White House.  Pictured above are some of the Salem Radio Network personalities and some of the hosts whose shows air on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk stations at this week’s “Made In America” radio remote from the White House.  Clockwise from left: Kevin McCullough (WNYM, New York), Joe Piscopo (WNYM, New York), Salem SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce, Craig Silverman (KNUS, Denver) and his son, SRN’s Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

Talking Issues with Jon Lovitz. “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Lovitz (right) is pictured here with talk radio star Lars Larson (left) at Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland studios. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that Lovitz appeared on his radio show and talked “Trump, guns, Caitlyn Jenner and a lot of other things.”

TALKERS News Notes. With the goal of making its 34 radio stations in 13 states available on to Amazon Alexa-supported devices, E.W. Scripps enlists XAPPmedia.  XAPP VP of sales Ryan Higbie says, “We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content.  The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand.  XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”…..SiriusXM announces comedian and actor Godfrey begins hosting a daily show on the Urban View channel on Monday (7/31).  “The Power Hour” will air daily from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature “dynamic and often provocative conversations on politics, pop culture, and social issues in Godfrey’s relaxed, comedic style.”

ObamaCare Repeal and Replace Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 24-28.  The GOP’s attempts to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to craft a replacement health care plan tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the threat by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to fire the entire West Wing to stop leaks to the press.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the military, followed by the announcement by Foxconn of plans for a new plant in Wisconsin 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/28) with Memorial Tribute to Alan Colmes by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/28) we posted the second of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Alan Colmes. Dr. Joy Browne’s tribute will be posted on Monday.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charlotte, air personality JT Bosch is named the afternoon drive host and assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat.”  Effective August 14, Bosch begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Bosch was most recently with the company as APD/evening personality at WMZQ, Washington.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile states, “I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT.  He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”…..Carson Daly is resigning from his morning show duties at CBS RADIO’s KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio,” in order to focus on his television projects and his other radio work.  He told his radio listeners that his desire to spend more time with his wife and three kids was a big factor in the decision.  “I just want to have breakfast with my kids,” he said.  Daly will still produce the weekend radio countdown show “Daly Download” while handling television duties that include hosting “The Voice,” anchoring on the “Today” show, and hosting “Last Call with Darson Daly.”…..The mystery surrounding the April disappearance of Kathy Hart from WTMX, Chicago’s popular “Eric & Kathy” AM drive show may soon be revealed to some degree or another, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He writes today that sources say action on her relationship with the station should come soon and it sounds as though she’s negotiating an end to her contract.  However, everyone seems mystified as to what caused her to choose to take a leave from the highly rated program 12 weeks ago, including radio partner Eric Ferguson.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom’s WLNK, Charlotte “The Link 107.9” inks a new deal with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch (pictured at right) for the two to continue hosting their syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show on the station.  Entercom Charlotte VP/GM Matt Hanlon states, “This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America.  We’re fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the ‘Bob & Sheri’ show brings to the airwaves every day.”

Friday, May 19, 2017

| May 19, 2017

FCC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Eliminate Main Studio Rule.  Many radio operators have been hoping the new Republican-led FCC would propose doing away with the main studio rule and that’s just what the Commission has done with yesterday’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  The main studio rule requires each AM, FM, and television broadcast station to have a main studio located in or near its local community.  The Notice also proposes to eliminate the requirement that the main studio have full-time management and staff present during normal business hours, and the requirement that it be able to originate programming. The FCC states, “The main studio rule, which the FCC first adopted more than 70 years ago, was originally implemented on the premise that local access to the main studio facilitated input from community members and the station’s participation in community activities.  Today, modern communications enable stations and community members to interact more directly, without the presence of a local broadcast studio.  In addition, community members already, or soon will, have online access to a station’s public file, removing the need for community members to visit the main studio to access the file.”

Dave Ramsey Wraps Spring Smart Money Tour in Orlando. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured above with some of the staff from iHeartMedia’s Orlando cluster as Ramsey visited the market for the final Smart Money event of the spring season.  Ramsey presented the Smart Money event before a sold-out audience at First Baptist in Orlando.   He combined forces with local affiliate “NewsRadio 102.5 WFLA” [WFLF-AM].  iHeartMedia Orlando VP of sales Mark Kanak says, “Having Dave Ramsey in town for an event simply brings the legend to life.  He is compelling, entertaining, and enormously effective.  If you have the opportunity to have Dave in your market, don’t miss it.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Chris Hogan, Ramsey, Kanak, iHeartMedia’s Mark Chamberlin, Bruce Stone, Joie Davis, and Bill Reese.

Hewitt and Prager to Host ‘Trump: First 100 Days’ Event. This Sunday, nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager of the Salem Radio Network are headlining the sold-out “Trump: The First 100 Days” live event at the Metropolitan Ballroom in St. Louis Park in Minneapolis, sponsored by Salem-owned WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot.”  Hewitt and Prager will participate in a panel discussion, moderated by HotAir.com’s Ed Morrissey.  WWTC general manager Nic Anderson comments, “President Trump has re-written rules on presidential politics.  So far, his time in office has offered plenty of excitement. We look forward to hearing the insight and analysis from this group of pundits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City news/talk WPGG begins airing its programming on the FM band on translator W281BH at 104.1 in addition to its 1450 AM signal.  The Townsquare Media station is home to theHarry Hurley in the Morning.”  It’s also available on the Townsquare app Radio Pup…..The weekend radio and TV talk show “Radio Night LIVE,” featuring host Kevin McCullough is joining the BizTalkRadio network for enhanced distribution. The program’s video feed is already airing on BizTV (the sister network of BizTalkRadio) and hitting markets including New York, Los Angeles, and 44 others.  McCullough says, “This will bring us some additional beautiful, big powerhouse AM and FM talk signals in Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Fresno, Sacramento, Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco.  And that’s just on day one!  The relationship with BizTV has been outstanding – truly a wonderful partner.  And we anticipate a replicative experience with BizTalkRadio!”…..Entercom news/talk WYRD-FM, Greenville, South Carolina “106.3 WORD” partnered with local firm Reeves Construction today to offer free pancakes to law enforcement officials in the Upstate.  “The Tara Show” was live and on location earlier today at Eggs Up Grill where first responders were encouraged to stop by for a free pancake breakfast as for the station’s salute those who sacrifice so much for the community…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show is added to the weekend program schedule at WASR, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire…..Futuri Media announces the promotion of Peabody Award-winning broadcast news executive Jill Manuel to product manager for the company’s TopicPulse service.  Also, Futuri brings Jason Page aboard the TopicPulse team to serve as content manager.  Page is a longtime radio pro who will head a team of writers who monitor TopicPulse’s real-time social insights and write data-driven topic starter ideas for its clients…..SiriusXM makes some changes to its Faction Talk channel.  Actress Anne Heche is joining Jason Ellis to host a Saturday program called “Love and Heche,” airing at 2:00 pm ET.   Also joining the Faction Talk channel is comic Nick DiPaolo, who hosts a nightly show from 6:00 to 8:00 ET…..Cumulus Media names Suzanne Smith VP/chief accounting officer.

Mueller Special Counsel Appointment Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 15-19.  The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel investigating the possible connections between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents and potential influence by the Russians in the 2016 election was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was speculation about a President Donald Trump resignation or impeachment.  Coming in at #3 was the North Korea nuclear missile program and threats against the U.S., followed by the U.S.’ Syrian airstrikes 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 Talker.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Talkers Convention Nearing Sellout, Registrations Close This Tuesday.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention will officially be sold out this coming Tuesday, May 23 at 5:00 pm ET.  It is also possible that it will reach maximum capacity before that date and time, so if you are planning to attend, register as quickly as possible.  Because attendance is limited to members of the media and communications students, registrations can only be taken over the phone with credit card.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison says, “The two things that make this convention such an ongoing industry favorite is that it features an amazing roster of luminaries, power-packed into a non-stop day of stimulating takeaways and networking opportunities… and it does it in an intimate, comfortable setting.  That’s why it sells out in advance year after year.”  For complete agenda, registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Oxnard-Ventura market, Cumulus Media appoints Matthew “Doughboy” Florence program director and afternoon personality for rhythmic CHR KVYB “103.3 The Vibe.”  Florence was most recently APD and afternoon drive host at American General Media’s CHR KDLW, Albuquerque “Z106.3.”  Florence says, “I’m really excited to get to Ventura and work with the team to make ‘103.3 The Vibe’ a major force in the market. I’d like to thank Chris Cox, Sommer Frisk, and the rest of the team at Cumulus Media for this great opportunity.”…..JVC Media is launching a new rock station in the Orlando market on translator W231CT at 94.1 FM, fed by the sister WOTF’s HD signal.  The station is being branded “Bud 94.1 The King of Rock.”…..Sully Fox is the new evening jock at Matrix Broadcasting’s hot AC WZSR, Crystal Lake in suburban Chicago.  Fox had previously been with Entercom in Milwaukee handling weekend shifts at CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM.”

Sean Ross Archives: A Look Back at the ‘Power Pig.’  Veteran radio trade publication writer (Ross On Radio) and Edison Research researcher Sean Ross was a staff member of the early incarnation of Radio-Info.com.  Many of his columns from that era have historical significance.  Beginning today (5/18), TALKERS will post select columns by Sean Ross from the RadioInfo archives starting with a provocative piece originally published on October 1, 2009 titled, “WFLA, Tampa: A Power Pig Looks at 20.”  To read it in its entirety with several additional new notes, please click here.  Meet Sean Ross at TALKERS 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2 in New York.

 

 

Round Four of April PPM Ratings Released. The fourth and final round of April 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s April 2017 PPM survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – A gain of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.9, 6+) enables Univision Radio’s KLJA “Mas Variedad 107.7” to move from #18 to #15 with its best 6+showing in exactly one year (3.1, 6+, April 2016). In a somewhat similar vein, Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” (#14 to #12) improves by seven-tenths to 3.7, which is its best 6+-stat since January 2016’s 4.1. Notching its third consecutive increase for a combined +1.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” marches from third to second. Elsewhere in that format, co-owned KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” is flat at 4.6 (6+) and stays at #7, while with a one-tenth increase (1.7 – 1.8, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). While on top for the fourth successive sweep, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” follows a March +.6 with an April decline twice that margin (8.5 – 9.1 – 7.9, -1.2, 6+). “Bob” returned to #1 in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5.” With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report, when it logged a 7.7, 6+), KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. News/talk sibling KLBJ-AM gains a cumulative full-share via four straight up or flat trends (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 6+), but backslides from ninth to tenth. Still in that Emmis cluster, triple A KGSR “93.3 Radio Austin” (#15 to #18) drops one-half share and remains within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th time in a row. Frozen on 7.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, KUT freefalls by nearly two full-shares to 5.8 (-1.8, 6+) as it tumbles from second to fourth. This represents the University of Texas-owned property’s lowest 6+-total since “Holiday” 2015 (5.6).

2) Raleigh – On the strength of an eight-tenths’ gain (4.9 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRDU climbs from ninth to seventh, with “100.7 Raleigh’s Classic Rock” matching the 5.7 (6+) it posted exactly one year ago (April 2016). Remaining in fifth place, co-owned WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” improves by seven-tenths (6.4 – 7.1, 6+), notching its best 6+-showing since last December’s 7.0. Even though it is flat at 8.5 (6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” is on top for the third successive sweep. Ousted from #1 in January and moved to the runner-up slot, “Mix” bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Its modest -.3 in March and no change in April aren’t typical for this station, considering its recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, WRAL was in sole possession of first-place eight times and thrice shared top honors. The station “Mix” succeeded at #1 in February – WUNC – logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before spiraling by nine-tenths. It caught “Mix” at #1 in March (both stations with 8.5, 6+), but WUNC flounders by six-tenths in April (7.9, 6+) and segues to the runner-up slot. Having sandwiched a 3.6 (6+) between a pair of 3.4 shares (“Holiday” 2016 – January – February, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC improved by seven-tenths in March to 4.1, its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.4 last April; however, “Sports Radio 99.9 The Fan” surrenders eight-tenths to 3.3 (6+), dropping from #12 to #14. As the result of three straight decreases, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (seventh to ninth) is off by a combined full-share (6.1 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.1, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – Two country stations in this Indiana market are currently going in different directions. More to the point, Emmis-owned WLHK “97.1 Hank FM” improves in back-to-back monthlies for a combined +1.3 (4.7 – 5.1 – 6.0, 6+) to vault from ninth to fifth, whereas Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” (fifth to seventh) is down a collective full-share via its third straight downward move (6.9 – 6.7 6.4 – 5.9, 6+). “Hank” reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since last May (6.3). Inching up from sixth to fifth, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its fourth successive increase that accounts for a +1.4 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). It is the strongest 6+-showing for “Q-95” since last July (6.0, as well). Sibling WNDE, however, drops four-tenths to 1.1 (6+), thus concluding at seven its string of consecutive sweeps without a decrease that produced an overall gain of six-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+); “Indy’s Sports Station” slips from #17 to #18. Also in that iHM cluster, urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted for the fourth successive month. Within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+) in each of the last eight ratings periods, Cumulus Media’s WRWM “93.9 The Beat” chalks up a +.6 to 3.2 (6+) but stays at #14. Following three straight upward moves for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL is off by two-tenths to 7.7 (6+), but is nonetheless #1 for the fourth consecutive month. WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). The dubious distinction of recording the highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 decrease goes to Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now,” which erodes by -2.1 (5.4 – 3.3, 6+) and drifts from #8 to #13. After dropping one-half share in February, “Radio Now” answered in March with a gain of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, 6+). In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Albeit off by an overall -1.2 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” stays in third-place. With a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, “Classic Hits 104.5” ended at four its string of consecutive up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Down or flat for seven consecutive sweeps – including recording a .7 in each of the last four survey periods (1.0 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+) – University of Indianapolis-owned WICR gains two-tenths to .9 (6+) and cracks the top twenty (#21 to #19).

4) Milwaukee – After floundering by -1.4 in February, Scripps Broadcasting news/talk WTMJ “Newsradio 620 – Wisconsin’s Radio Station” recoups all of it in March and April (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), as the Milwaukee Brewers’ flagship advances from fifth to fourth. Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. This time last month, WJMR “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” witnessed its string of four successive increases (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) that yielded two full-shares since November conclude with an exclamation point. The Saga Communications urban AC eroded by a whopping -2.3, but “Jammin 98.3” responds with a gain of one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #10). February’s 6.3 marked the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it crossed the six-share level (6+). Climbing from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” picks up one-tenth to 5.8 (6+), thus halting three successive sweeps of being locked on 5.7 (6+). At the same time, CHR sibling WXSS has its streak of consecutive increases that netted four-tenths end at three (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+) – yet – “Kiss 103.7” advances from tenth to ninth. After flaunting a March 2017 +2.5 to 11.2, mirroring its “Holiday” 2016 6+-share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” actually adds another three-tenths (11.5, 6+) and is #1 for the 25th consecutive sweep. Some other recent “Big” month-to-month moves include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); and +2.5 (March). Speaking of major month-to-month fluctuations, Saga Communications-owned WKLH “96.5 – Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” falters by one full-share (6.1 – 5.1, 6+), shifting from fourth to seventh. This is the lowest 6+-share for “Hometown Rock” in just over two years (5.1, 6+, March 2015). After posting a +.7 in March, Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned (AC-to-hot AC-back to adult contemporary) WLDB “B-93.3 – The ‘80s to Today” forfeits all but one-tenth of that increase (5.0 – 4.4, -.6, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Prior to March +.7, “B-93.3” was off a combined four shares since the “Holiday” 2016 report (8.3 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). Between March 2016 and April 2017 (15 total sweeps), the line for public triple A WYMS (#18 to #17) is confined to a high of 1.5 and a low of 1.1 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

5) Nashville –  The top five April 2017 finishers in “Music City USA” are separated by seven-tenths of a share. Off a combined six-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (6.4 – 6.2 – 5.8, 6+), Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK “92-Q” hangs out an increase twice that magnitude (7.0, +1.2, 6+), inching up from sixth to fifth. In the last three ratings periods, Midwest Communications’ adult contemporary WJXA has registered a 6+-share in the mid-six-share range (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), but “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” not only erupts with a full-share improvement to 7.7 (6+), it jumps from third to first. The last time “Mix” occupied the penthouse was in “Holiday” 2016, when it notched a 13.1 (6+). Displaced from the top spot after two months there and shifting to #2 is iHeartMedia’s WUBT “101.1 The Beat,” which – ironically – is without a loss for the fifth straight time for a collective +2.6 (4.9 – 5.9 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.5, 6+). As the result of a one-share dip to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” halted an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent the urban contemporary outlet below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). The huge country battle here finds all three FMs in the format retaining their March 2017 rankers. That includes “Beat” cluster-mate WSIX “The Big 98” ringing up a +.7 (5.4 – 6.1, 6+) but staying at #7. Meanwhile, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” (flat at #10) falters for the third straight time for a combined -1.4 (5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+) and sibling WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” follows up a +.6 in March with another one-tenth (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) to stay at #11, two-tenths behind “Nash Icon.” WSIX returned half of January’s full-share gain in February, halting at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+); “Nash FM” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the past 11 sweeps. Rebounding from February’s -.6 with a +.7, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” adds another six-tenths (6.5 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 7.2, 6+) and moves from fourth to third. The 5.9 that “The River” registered in February was the first time it had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Owing to six successive decreases, Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (flat at #12) has eroded by more than four full-shares (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).

6) Providence – Without a negative trend for the fourth straight time for a collective +1.1 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.6, 6+) The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH is steady at #11. Even though its net loss was just three-tenths, WELH had nonetheless been without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Stuck on 7.7 (6+) in “Holiday” and January, and then on 8.2 (6+) in February and March, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” picks up one-tenth to 8.3 (6+). It moves from third to a second-place tie with Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” (8.6 – 8.3, -.3, unchanged at #2, 6+). Having eroded by more than seven full-shares in January to 10.7 (6+), WPRO-FM’s adult contemporary sibling WWLI “Lite Rock 105” was a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+). It rings up a gain of seven-tenths in April though and is #1 for the 19th successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Up or flat the past three ratings periods netting a +1.2 (6.6 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” coughs up six-tenths to 7.2 (6+), but carries on in fourth-place. Following three straight up or flat trends that generated an overall gain of six-tenths (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM is off by four-tenths to 3.6 but remains at #7. At the same time, public news/talk WGBH-FM (steady at #10) is up for the third month in a row (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.1, #10, 6+) for a collective +.6. Rewinding for a moment to March 2017, two particular noteworthy oddities occurred: With the exception of an eighth-place tie, that month’s rankers were a carbon copy of February 2017 and no Providence outlet in March 2017 was up or down by more than four-tenths.

7) Norfolk – After rebounding from February’s -.5 with a gain of four-tenths in March, Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” piles on an additional nine-tenths (11.6 – 12.5, 6+) and is on top for the fourth straight time. In “Holiday” 2016, its adult contemporary cluster-mate – WWDE “2WD” – bumped WVKL to second after “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” had been #1 the previous 55 ratings periods. WVKL records its best 6+-share since last September’s 12.7. In fact, it is in 11.0 – 12.7-share for the 12th time in the last 13 sweeps and has been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014 – this is its 41st consecutive time. Inching up from ninth to eighth, iHeartMedia’s urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT “92.1 The Beat” improves by six-tenths to 2.6, its strongest 6+-share since October 2015’s 2.8. Following a massive +1.2 in February, co-owned urban contemporary WOWI (unchanged at #2) gained one-half share in March (7.6 – 8.1, 6+), but “Jamz 103” skids by eight-tenths in April (7.3, 6+). Before finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, WOWI was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Faltering by seven-tenths each are Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” (6.0 – 5.3, flat at #4, 6+) and rhythmic CHR sibling WNVZ “Z-104 All the Hits” (3.6, unchanged at #6). In January and February, “2WD” lost more than 60% of its “Holiday” 2016 share (13.4 – 7.0 – 5.2, -8.2, 6+), but it regained eight-tenths in March. WWDE netted one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 4.4. Prior to April’s -.7, “Z-104” had put together three consecutive increases yielding a +1.1 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+). A -.6 in March by Saga Communications WNOR “99 Rocks” ended four straight positive sweeps that yielded two full-shares (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+). Now, “99 Rocks” drops another one-half share (7.3 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+) but stays in third-place.

8) Greensboro – Once again, it’s a #1 – #2 – #3 finish for Entercom-owned properties, although the top two outlets swap places. Specifically, rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” posts its third straight improvement for a combined +1.2 (9.5 – 9.9 – 10.1 – 10.7, 6+) to take over at #1 (from the runner-up slot) for urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (10.3 – 10.0, -.3, 6+), which slips to #2. After being up or flat in four consecutive ratings periods netting a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), WQMG surrendered six-tenths in March. On top in January, February, and March, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” achieves double-digits (6+) for the fifth straight sweep; “102 Jamz” accomplishes the same (6+ double-digits) feat for the eighth time in the last ten survey periods. Completing Entercom’s top-three trilogy and repeating at #3 is adult hits WSMW “Simon” (9.4, +.3, 6+), whose previous last four fluctuations were -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); -.6 in February; and -.6 in March (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7 – 9.1, 6+). January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. The market’s two country rivals had a close race in March and it’s even tighter in April as iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” is up two-tenths (5.9 – 6.1, 6+ 6+) while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” improves by twice as much (5.6 – 6.0, +.4, 6+). They advance from fifth and six, respectively, in March to fourth and fifth, respectively, in April. A cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), “The Wolf” eroded by seven-tenths this time last month. Back in February, it reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. Up or flat for the fourth straight time (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), “Q-104.1” is a collective +1.4. In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. It was in September when “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” Owing to four three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” (tenth to ninth) nets a full-share. A loss of eight-tenths (6.7 – 5.9, 6+) though drops adult contemporary cluster-mate WMAG “99.5 The Triad’s Best Mix” from fourth to sixth and its lowest 6+-share since February 2015 (5.9, as well). After posting four straight gains that resulted in an overall +1.7 since November (2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” slips by one-half share to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Regressing by one-half share as well is Wake Forest University’s WFDD “88.5 – Public Radio for the Piedmont” (1.9 – 1.4, #11 to #12, 6+).

9) West Palm Beach – The rollercoaster ride continues for WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (eighth to sixth) which – in the last five survey periods – is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; -.7 (March) and now +1.4 in April (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 4.9, 6+). By registering a +.7 (to 1.3, 6+) in March, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1” applied the brakes to ten down or flat reports that accounted for a -1.5 dating back to last May (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 0.6, 6+). Now in April, “Mia 92.1” adds another half-share to 1.8 (6+), progressing from #14 to #11. Following three straight down or flat trends in which it lost more than two full-shares (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” adds one-tenth to 4.6 (6+), but actually backslides from sixth to eighth. Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+). Down nine-tenths since February (10.2 – 9.5 – 9.3, 6+), Alpha Media hot AC WRMF is nevertheless #1 for the fourth consecutive month. After improving by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Entering the April ratings period, co-owned WIRK hadn’t had a decrease in seven straight ratings periods for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), and in March, had its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6. The positive streak comes to an end in April though as “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” drops eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+), but remains at #3. In back-to-back declines (“Holiday” 2016 – January – February), adult contemporary cluster-mate WEAT “Sunny 107.9” lost twice as much as “Mia” did in the aforementioned dry spell (9.1 – 6.2 – 6.1, -3.0, 6+). “Sunny” bounced back though with a one-half share increase in March – only to surrender it in its entirety in April (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.1, 6+), but continues at #2. In addition to “Sunny,” iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO sputters by one-half share as well (2.2 – 1.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #12). Going back to last November, the 6+-line for “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” was (2.2 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – In the first three sweeps this calendar year, WOKV has been consistent: 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.4 (6+). The Cox Media Group news/talk operation erupts in April though with a +.9 to 9.3, its strongest 6+-showing since November 2012’s 9.9 and climbs from third to second. After registering six successive declines resulting in a collective loss of nearly four full-shares (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+), co-owned CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” enjoys a gain of six-tenths to 5.9 (6+) and remains at #6. In back-to-back monthlies, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” picks up one-tenth (12.3 – 12.4 – 12.5, 6+) and is #1 for the fourth time in a row. WQIK was +2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Steady at #10, adult hits sibling WWJK “107.3 Jacksonville – We Play Anything” is a combined +1.2 in four straight positive trends (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Up or flat for the fourth straight time yielding a +.7 (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5” carries on at #13. Via three consecutive decreases, WJCT “Your Community – Your World” (#12 to #14) is a collective -1.2 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.7, 6+). A loss of six-tenths to 4.3 puts an end to the 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.9 (6+) sequence of iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies outlet WSOL “V-101.5” (seventh to eighth).

11) Memphis – Powered by a +1.3 (1.7 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEGR “Rock 103” advances from #14 to #11. This is the best 6+-showing for “Rock 103” in roughly one year (3.4, 6+, June 2016). After trending 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.5 (6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97.1” hauls out a +.9 to 7.4 (6+), jumping from fifth to third. Without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective gain of one-half share (8.8 – 9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3, 6+), urban AC sibling KJMS “V-101” is #1 – as it was in January and February. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was +.2 in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). It is tied at #1 with Cumulus Media’s WRBO “Soul Classic and Today’s R&B,” moving up from #2 and a combined +.5 in back-to-back sweeps (8.8 – 9.1 – 9.3, 6+). Moreover, this is the most potent 6+-share for WRBO in its PPM-history. The market’s (6+) country share takes a -1.6 hit, with Entercom’s WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” off nine-tenths to 2.6 (6+) and drifting from #10 to #14. “The Wolf” had been without a loss the past three ratings periods for a net gain of seven-tenths (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+). In the meantime, the wild ride continues for Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +.8 in November; -.7 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2016; a monstrous +1.9 in January; +.8 in February; -1.0 in March; and now -.7 in April (4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). A net +.6 in that timeframe, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” segues from sixth to seventh. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Following its 12.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “The River – Continuous Soft Rock” has had a January-February-March line of 7.1 – 7.7 – 7.4 (6+), but “The River” spirals in April by eight-tenths to 6.6, receding from third to fifth. By dropping two-tenths to 6.7 (6+), co-owned hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 – Today’s Best Mix” (flat at #4) concludes three straight up or flat sweeps that produced a collective +.9 (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+). Down or flat for the fifth straight time for a -.8 (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits” manages to climb from #16 to #15.

12) Hartford – On the strength of a +.8, Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WNTY “Good Times, Great Oldies, Kool Radio” quintuples its March 6+-share (.2 – 1.0) and advances from #14 to #13. In three straight improvements, CBS Radio rhythmic CHR WZMX gains more than two full-shares (4.6 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.7, 6+) as “Hot 93.7” progresses from sixth to fifth. A combined +.9 in February and March (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” returns all of it plus two-tenths more, dropping to an even 10.0 (-1.1, 6+). Nonetheless, “Lite” is #1 for the eighth consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. The WRCH stream appears at #15 with a .5 (6+). Steady in the runner-up slot, co-owned hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” extends to six its consecutive string of positive or flat trends for a cumulative +2.1 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6 – 9.0, 6+). In addition to WRCH, Connecticut Public Broadcasting’s WNPR (flat at #9) plummets by -1.1 in April as well and is a combined -1.4 in its third successive downward move (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+). In a somewhat comparable situation, CBS Radio news/talk WTIC-AM (third to fourth) erodes by eight-tenths and has its third consecutive decline for a collective -1.5 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.3, 6+). Similarly-formatted, Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-AM (#13 to #14) is down or flat for the fifth straight time (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 -.6, 6+).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

| February 9, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Lands at WWBA, Tampa-St. Pete.  The Genesis Communications-owned station WWBA-AM, Tampa-St. Petersburg “NewsTalk Florida” announces the Bubba the Love Sponge morning show will debut there on Monday (2/13).  Bubba’s show most recently aired in the market on Beasley Media Group’s former rock station WBRN (now AC “B98.7”).  The station says it will be the new flagship for the regionally syndicated program.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda says, “We are extremely excited to enter into a partnership with the Bubba the Love Sponge show.  The show has an incredibly engaged audience across West Central Florida and we felt we could serve that audience exceptionally well with our distribution platform.  We have assurances that Bubba will do his best to be a good boy while providing his unique brand of content.”  Bubba Clem is currently in a legal battle with Nielsen Audio.  The ratings giant is suing him claiming it suffered damages as the result of Clem’s attempts at manipulating the market’s PPM survey.  Clem has filed countersuits.

Nielsen Reports 2016 Revenue Up 2.2%; Net Income Down 12.5%.  Ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. is releasing its financial numbers for the fourth quarter of 2016, and for the year as a whole.  Nielsen reports 2016 Q4 revenue of $1.6 billion – an increase of 2% over the same period in 2015 – and revenue for all of 2016 topped $6.3 billion, up 2.2% over the year 2015.  Net income for Q4 of 2016 was $160 million, down 45% from the same period in 2015.  For all of 2016, net income was $507 million, down 12.5% compared to 2015.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns states, “While 2016 was a challenging year, our results reflect the resiliency of our business.  We remain focused on our key strategic initiatives and we continue to drive productivity and efficiency in our operations.  In our Watch segment, our Total Audience Measurement initiative continued to excel, and we saw significant growth in adoption of its many components by both media buyers and sellers.  With the approach of the 2017 Upfronts, our Total Audience system is ready to play a key role for our clients.  In our Buy segment, emerging markets continued to deliver solid growth.  In developed markets, especially the U.S., trends in the fast-moving consumer goods industry put pressure on our business.  In response, we’ve accelerated investment in our Connected System initiative, designed to drive speed and efficiency for our clients.  We expect this to lead to a stronger, higher-margin business for Nielsen over time.”

Chris Matthews to Emcee RTDNF First Amendment Awards.  When the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s 2017 First Amendment Awards Dinner gets underway at the Grand Hyatt in Washington on March 14, MSNBC host Chris Matthews will be serving as emcee for the program.  RTDNF chair Kathy Walker says, “When it comes to American politics, Chris Matthews has seen it all and he’s done a remarkable job of explaining it all to a generation of viewers.  We’re delighted to have him as our master of ceremonies as we honor champions of the First Amendment and support the work of our Foundation.”  This year’s honorees include: Bill Whitaker, CBS News – Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award; Steve Jones, ABC News Radio – First Amendment Service Award; Stanley S. Hubbard, Hubbard Broadcasting – First Amendment Leadership Award; Mark Halperin/John Heilemann – First Amendment Award; and Nina Totenberg, NPR – RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jeff Sessions AG Confirmation/Sen. Warren Silenced, Trump Travel Ban Battle, Gorsuch on Trump Judge Comments, Yemen Raid Criticism, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Trump Nordstrom Criticism, and Christie Brinkley SI Cover Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/8). The confirmation hearings for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions and the related rebuking of Senator Elizabeth Warren for violating senate rules against impugning a fellow senator; the court and public opinion battle over President Donald Trump’s order restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch’s comments about Trump’s attack on Judge James Robart; the political and military fallout from the recent U.S. raid on Islamic State targets in Yemen; Iran’s latest missile test, the U.S.’ putting Iran “on notice,” and the possibility of designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization; Trump’s public criticism of Nordstrom for severing its ties with Ivanka Trump’s lines; and chatter about 63-year-old Christy Brinkley’s posing with her daughters in the new SI swimsuit edition, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick In Remission and Winning His Fight Against Cancer.  “News Radio 740” KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Matt Patrick continues to show his determination to beat cancer, with 2017 off to a strong start.  Patrick recently shared with his “Houston’s Morning News” audience and his syndicated afternoon program audience (KPRC, Houston and KFXR, Dallas/Ft. Worth) that the latest test results have shown that he is now in remission with no detectable cancer.  In September 2015, Patrick announced that he was receiving treatment for metastatic melanoma at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  The 37-year radio pro underwent brain surgery in late 2015, followed by multiple rounds of chemo, immunotherapy, and radiation in 2016.  Patrick has continued to work while undergoing additional treatments, including making his regular television appearances on Houston’s “FOX 26 News,” covering the 2016 GOP National Convention from Cleveland for iHeartMedia, and making public appearances delivering his “Overcoming Obstacles in Life” presentation.

TALKERS News Notes.  The nationally syndicated “Radio Night Live” show with host Kevin McCullough – a radio-television “supercast” – picks up new radio affiliates KKFT, Reno and legendary Atlantic City signal WWPG-AM (plus its FM simulcast on 104.9).  New TV affiliates include: WLLC-TV, Nashville; Adjuntas (Puerto Rico), KMRF, Reno; KPVT-TV, and Las Vegas…..SiriusXM is bringing actress, model, and best-selling author Brooke Shields aboard to host a new, weekly one-hour talk show on its Stars channel for a limited-run series.  The “Brooke Shields Now” show will feature “inspiring, passionate conversations between Brooke, experts and celebrity guests as they discuss topics and issues ranging from parenting and relationships to fashion, the arts and more.”  Guests already booked include: InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown and “TODAY” show hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

The Dana Show Invades the Skype Studio in Portland.  The Radio America-syndicated program “The Dana Show” is pictured above during last Friday’s broadcast from Alpha Media’s Skype Live Studio in Portland.  Dana Loesch’s show is heard on the company’s news/talk stations KXL-FM and KUFO and her appearance at the Portland affiliates included a meet-and-greet with listeners.  Pictured above with Loesch (right) is Todd Hoffman (left), star of Discovery Channel’s “Gold Rush.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At New York country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7,” Cumulus Media promotes Katie Neal to middays.  She’s been with the station for the past four years serving as a weekend/swing talent (she also was an AE for sister hot AC WPLJ).  She first joined Cumulus in Bloomington, Illinois as evening host at CHR WBNQ.  WNSH program director John Foxx comments, “Katie’s skill set, love for country music, passion for this city and understanding of the ‘NASH FM 94.7’ brand create the perfect alignment.  There’s a lot of creativity in Katie’s execution.  The investment that Katie has made in this product and in the relationships she has built on the dial, digital and social spaces have been explosive!”…..With the recent exit of afternoon personality and APD Todd Michaels, Beasley Media Group country outlet KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” makes some changes.  First, morning personality Kris Daniels again takes up the program director duties – a position she asked to relinquish back in July of last year in order to focus on her morning show.  She will remain co-host of the “Kris & Mad Dog” morning show.  Daniels says, “Now that I have a seasoned, experienced support team around me, I am excited and rejuvenated about the opportunity to lead the ‘Coyote!’”  The station welcomes 13-year market pro Emmanuel “Ransom” Garcia as afternoon personality and music director.  Daniels says, “Ransom Garcia’s music scheduling and social media skills are incredible and he will be enormously helpful!”  Also joining the “Coyote” is Paul Knight, who returns to the station to host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart.  Knight recently took an 18-month break from radio.  He says, “‘The Coyote’ is in my blood!  I miss the energy, listener interaction, events, and concerts. Let’s face it, I wanted to come home and be a part of my ‘102.7 Coyote’ family.”…..Cumulus Media Nashville announces that Sunday “Gospel Diva” program host Connie Denell is leaving urban contemporary WQQK “92Q” at the end of this year after three decades on the air.  Denell has been with WQQK since 1983 and has been hosting her “Gospel Diva” program since 1987.  She has won numerous awards for her community efforts including a Stella Award and an NAACP Award…..At the Sunrise Broadcasting station group in Wilmington, North Carolina, Max Miller moves from nights at CHR WAZO “Z107.5” to sister alternative WRMR “Modern Rock 98.7” to host the “Max in the Morning Show.”  Miller fills the daypart vacated by Vaughn, a.k.a. Zach McHugh, who exited last September to join Entercom’s WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”…..Westwood One says it will be a “red, white, and blue celebration” when the syndicator’s “Red Eye Radio” lobby booth once again becomes the premier celebrity rendezvous spot at the March 23-25 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.  WW1 says “This year’s star-studded event features live appearances and musical performances from country artists Lee ‘God Bless the USA’ Greenwood, Shane Owens, Jayne Denham, Tony Justice and a celebrity appearance by Edgar Hansen from “Deadliest Catch.”  “Red Eye Radio” host Eric Harley will be on site at the convention that draws some 70,000 attendees to introduce the lineup of country music artists.