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Friday, March 19, 2021

| March 19, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Arm Shots, Gun Shots, and Pot Shots,” looks back at this past week of March 15-19, 2021.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Rob Carson, talk show host, Newsmax TV; Duke Brooks, talk show host, WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; Howard Monroe, talk show host, WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Martha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; and McGraw Milhaven, talk show host, KTRS, St. Louis. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Newsmax TV Adds Jason Miller and Andrew Giuliani. Two former Trump administration figures are joining Newsmax TV as contributors. Jason Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump and a principal at SHW Partners joins as a contributor to “provide commentary on a wide variety of issues facing the nation, such as immigration and trade.” Former White House aide Andrew Giuliani – a regular guest on Newsmax – also joins in a contributor role.  Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “Jason and Andrew have been Washington insiders without becoming part of the problem. Both of these gentlemen have tremendous track records in media and government, making their analysis of news events even more insightful for our viewers.”

New Jersey 101.5’s Town Hall to Present ‘A Year with COVID.’ Next Thursday (3/25) at 7:00 pm, Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” presents the latest in a series of Town Hall broadcasts designed to help New Jersey deal with the ongoing pandemic. “A Year with COVID” will look back on the last year and ahead to what many hope will be a normal summer. New Jersey 101.5’s Eric Scott leads the news and digital departments in bringing medical, business and education experts together to talk about the road ahead. He says, “One-million residents are fully vaccinated and New Jersey appears to be on a pace to fully reopen this summer. This program will look at the lessons we learned over the last year, and what must still be done to return to some sense of normalcy.” The program’s on-air expert panel will feature: Dr. Susan Boruchoff, infectious disease specialist at RWJBarnabas Health; Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association; and Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey School Administrators Association.

KGMZ-FM, San Francisco’s Kate Scott to Join All-Female Warriors Broadcast. In celebration of Women’s Empowerment Month, KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” morning show personality Kate Scott will take part in an all-female broadcast of the Golden State Warriors vs Chicago Bulls game on Monday, March 29, as part of the station’s flagship coverage of the team. Scott will handle play-by-play duties alongside fellow broadcaster Mary Murphy, who will serve as color commentator. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke will host pre- and post-game coverage of the broadcast on “95.7 The Game.” Scott says, “I can’t thank the Warriors and ‘95.7 The Game’ enough for this incredible opportunity. As a play-by-play announcer, you dream of getting the chance to cover the teams you grew up cheering for, but more often than not those dreams never realize. So, as a lifelong Warriors fan, to be given the opportunity to call Bulls vs. Warriors and get to share this special night with two talented women who I’m lucky to call dear friends…it’s unimaginable.” In addition to her work with KGMZ, Scott serves as a play-by-play announcer, anchor, host and reporter for the Pac-12 Networks in addition to play-by-play assignments for NBC Sports Networks and Stadium.

TALKERS News Notes. Iconic singer and current WABC, New York weekend program host Tony Orlando releases a best-of album via Time Life titled, Timeless: The Big Hits. The album features re-recorded versions of his million-selling songs as well as a bonus track, “America Is My Hometown.” Orlando debuted the bonus track on 77 WABC during his weekly radio program, “Saturday Nights with Tony Orlando.” WABC was also the first station to play Orlando’s debut single, “Halfway to Paradise,” in 1961…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WSCR “The Score” morning drive co-host David Haugh is adding co-host of the weekend baseball show “Inside the Clubhouse” with Bruce Levine from 9:00 am to 11:00 am Saturdays. Afternoon drive co-host Matt Spiegel is also doing summer baseball show duties as co-host of “Hit and Run,” that airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon Sundays…..CBS News Radio announces a new feature available to affiliates called, “SportsBrief” – one-minute reports available twice daily on weekdays that present the “stories behind the scores.”…..BIA Advisory Services is debuting its first podcast called “Leading Local Insights” that looks at the local media marketplace. The program is hosted by Rick Ducey and each episode will “feature its analyst team delivering insights and analysis for broadcast and digital media business professionals.”…..NRG Media’s Omaha sports talk radio duo KOZN and KZOT “The Zone” renew their deal with Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals to continue airing the team’s play-by-play through the 2022 season. NRG general manager Mark Shecterle says, “We are extremely excited to continue to be the Kansas City Royals broadcast home in Omaha.  The Royals have been a great partner and we look forward to another two years of carrying the Royals games.”

COVID-19 Vaccines, Variants and Stats Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 15-19. The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the rollout of vaccines and the concerns about variants combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was immigration reform and the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by the Atlanta spa murders tied with Asian Americans under siege and gun control at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com See this week’s complete chart here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

| April 29, 2020

iHeartMedia Orders Employees to Take Two Unpaid Weeks of Vacation. Audio giant iHeartMedia is taking another step to help reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on on its business by requiring certain staffers to take two week’s unpaid vacation this year.  Here’s an excerpt from the memo sent to all company employees by CEO Bob Pittman and CFO/COO Rich Bressler: “We’re sure you have seen news stories about states’ extended stay-at-home orders and questions about the continuing impact of COVID-19 on businesses across the country, and that includes our business as well. We’ve had to make some difficult decisions which you’re aware of to address the economic impact on our company, and we have done our best to find ways to reduce that impact while avoiding layoffs. Unfortunately, the longer than anticipated shutdown of businesses means that we must do more, with the goal of keeping our business healthy while still avoiding permanent layoffs. Therefore, after reviewing all of our options, we are taking a difficult step but one that we hope will be our last action impacting employee compensation: Requiring that employees who make over $50,000 a year in base compensation – excluding bonuses, overtime or commissions — and who have not already volunteered to take a salary reduction of 5% or more, to take two weeks of unpaid vacation in calendar year 2020, with the first vacation week taking place between now and June 30 and the second vacation week taking place between July 1 and September 30. These two unpaid vacation weeks in total are the equivalent of an approximately 4% salary reduction for the year and must be scheduled with your manager to ensure appropriate staffing at all times.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format. As its cousins all-news and public radio news/talk have done, commercial news/talk stations have for the most part earned more listening credit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty-four percent of news/talk stations on our panel saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares go up and 20% were unchanged compared to the February 2020 survey. Big gainers included: iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento up 1.9 shares for a 10.3 share and the #1 rank in the market; Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland up 1.8 shares for a 6.7 share and the #3 rank; and iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati up 1.8 shares for a 10.1 share and the #1 rank. Looking at year-over-year changes, 64% of news/talk stations were up from March 2019 with a number of outlets making huge gains.  They include: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta adding 5.8 shares to finish March 2020 with a 12.9 share; KFBK, Sacramento rising 4.1 shares for a 10.3 share; iHeartMedia’s WTVN, Columbus climbing 3.9 shares for a 9.4 share in March 2020; and Entercom’s KFTK-FM, St. Louis going up 3.3 shares to a 5.5 share. There were five news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their PPM markets in March, see which ones in Mike Kinosian’s report here.

NRG Media’s Omaha Stations Presenting Live COVID-19 Town Hall. News/talk KOIL-AM and sister sports talk stations KOZN “1620 The Zone” and KZOT “1180 Zone 2” are presenting a COVID-19 town hall broadcast titled, “Omaha – The New Normal,” this evening (4/29) from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The program will feature key figures in politics, education, athletics, the medical field, and the non-profit industry.  NRG Media says company personalities Mike’l Severe and Matt Tompkins “will take a deep dive into the new normal with Nebraska Congressman Don Bacon; Governor of Nebraska Pete Ricketts; Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert; Omaha Public Schools superintendent Cheryl Logan; University of Nebraska Medicine chief of internal medicine Dr. Mark Rupp, director of athletics at Creighton University, Bruce Rasmussen; and more.” NRG Media Omaha general manager Mark Shecterle says, “As broadcasters, it’s our job to keep our listeners and the community informed. Our town hall guests did not hesitate when to participate and we are so appreciative. Providing the answers to the questions we are all asking is very much needed in Omaha. I’m just thankful we were able to put this together.”

‘Radio Cares: Feeding America Emergency Radiothon Takes Place Tomorrow.  Radio stations wishing to take part in tomorrow’s radiothon can do so by visiting RadioCares.org here. It’s being organized by Cumulus Media and Westwood One.  The “Radio Cares: Feeding America Emergency Radiothon” will benefit Feeding America and its 200-member network of food banks.  It will air across Cumulus’ 424 stations as well as on Westwood One’s programming.  Cumulus EVP, content & audience Brian Philips and Adams Radio Group president Ron Stone spearheaded the organization of the event.

U.S. Coronavirus Statistics & Projections, States Begin ‘Re-Opening,’ Health Care System/Testing Capabilities, Pence at Mayo Clinic, China’s Role in Pandemic, Presidential Race/Biden Accusation, and Trump Orders Meat Plants to Stay Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28). The tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections for future cases; several states begin “re-opening” their economies; the preparedness of the health care system to deal with the pandemic and the country’s testing capabilities; Vice President Mike Pence is criticized for not wearing a mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic; questions about China’s role in the coronavirus becoming a pandemic; the November presidential election and the accusation of sexual assault by Joe Biden’s former senate staffer; and President Trump’s ordering meat processing plants to remain open were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cox Media Group Unveils New Employee-Designed Logo. The new corporate logo for Cox Media Group that you see here is the result of the company’s Design Our Logo Challenge. Hundreds of entries were submitted by employees, before the field was narrowed to three. The finalists were thoroughly vetted through a rigorous series of internal and external research studies, before the winning logo designed by CMG-TV Jacksonville art director Kim Colombero.  CMG president and CEO Kim Guthrie says, “The Design Our Logo Challenge was a great success and we were amazed at the level of participation from our people.  While we had hoped to launch our new logo in a bigger, public celebration – we simply could not wait any longer to unveil it and share the news with our winning designer.”  Colombero adds, “I was both thrilled and humbled to learn that my submission had made it to the final three, let alone that it had been chosen as the winning logo.  I am so proud to work for a company that is so inclusive and actively celebrates employees and their work.”

TALKERS News Notes. Research firm Jacobs Media announces it is doing a second national tracking study the week of May 11 on how the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is impacting Americans’ lives, “from the way they shop, to how they are working (or not), to how they consume media.”  The first such study took place in mid-March. Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs comments, “The impact of COVID-19 has disrupted broadcast radio, but timely data is key to the industry understanding the new landscape and adapting to it. This second tracking study will provide broadcasters with the quantitative ‘radar’ they need to shape their tactics and strategies.”…..The Society of Professional Journalists is sponsoring a “Day of Giving Back” tomorrow (4/30) in which it is soliciting donations to its fund to support journalists affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  The SPJ says, “In these days of COVID-19 exacerbating an already volatile time for the news industry, many journalists are finding themselves furloughed, laid off and left to wonder how they will make ends meet and what will be left of their careers. This is at a time when the news they provide not only informs our lives but saves lives as well.”  The Journalists Emergency Fund will provide assistance of up to $500 to help with bills and other living expenses and as this fund is supported through generous donations, these grants do not have to be paid back. You can donate here.…..The Connecticut stations owned by iHeartMedia have launched a website with dedicated resources to help residents navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. WeAreConnecticutStrong.com provides community resources, a listing for local businesses and their hours, hiring and job postings, exclusive interviews with Connecticut leaders, as well as a listing of local nonprofits and charitable causes.  The portal is available across all 11 radio station websites.  iHeartMedia president for the Hartford region Steve Honeycomb says, “We want to be as accessible as possible to help convey local business messaging through our local radio stations.  Small businesses across Connecticut are the cornerstone of the state’s economy and we want to be able to help spotlight them on WeAreConnecticutStrong.com as well as on our airwaves.”…..Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago was honored with four 2019 Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Contest awards.  The station won the following: Outstanding News Operation; First Place for Best Spot News for “Chicago Public School Teachers Strike”; First Place for Best Sports Report for “69 Cubs”; and First Place for Best Newscast…..iHeartMedia announces it is holding its Annual Meeting of Stockholders on Monday, June 15, 2020, at 2:30 pm ET virtually via live webcast.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Buffalo oldies outlet WECK-AM adds another FM frequency to its multicast.  Radio One Buffalo says translator W261EB at 100.1 FM joins the feeder signal 1230 AM and fellow translators W263DC, Tonawanda at 100.5 FM and W275BB, Cheektowaga at 102.9 FM.  WECK president and CEO Buddy Shula says, “WECK has always been a stand-alone AM radio station, and as we all know, AM radios have had issues with static and interference over the past decade with more electronic devices vying for frequency space. Our third FM signal in metro Buffalo is truly unique.  I am not aware of any AM station in the U.S. that has three FM translator frequencies in the metro, along with the main AM station. It is our chance to provide Buffalo’s #1 oldies station on FM just about everywhere in the Buffalo DMA.”

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

| August 14, 2019

And the (Topical) Hits Just Keep on Coming – Stay focused on China!  Although the news itself can hardly be called “good,” news/talk radio continues to be the beneficiary of a non-stop tsunami of intensely compelling topics playing out on multiple tracks that has kept the format a major appointment destination for news junkies as well as people with a casual interest in current events. According to TALKERS research, yesterday’s (8/13) most-discussed topic remained the mysterious and controversial death of Jeffrey Epstein (which it has been all week) followed closely by the economic implications of the US-China trade war.  The Hong Kong protests have generated enormous interest and people are still extremely engrossed in the Dayton/El Paso shootings which have spawned opinions and analysis of gun control legislation, violence in American entertainment and the nation’s handling of mental illness.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “It appears that talk show hosts would be wise to stay focused on China and educate themselves to every aspect of its Communist government’s relentless strategy to compete with US interests on all fronts going forward from a position of unfair trade practices to outright hostility for what will likely be years to come.”

Arizona Coyotes Now Skating With KGME. As part of a multi-platform broadcast and streaming agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and the Arizona Coyotes, iHM sports talk KGME “Fox Sports 910” takes over as the NHL team’s principal radio outlet. Additionally, the Arizona Coyotes Audio Network will provide exclusive content via the iHeartRadio app (when the NHL season starts on October 3). Coyotes’ games were previously carried by Bonneville Phoenix-owned KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7.” According to iHeartMedia Phoenix market president Linda Little, “The entire team at iHeartMedia is excited to be the new home for the Arizona Coyotes, especially at such an exciting time for the team. Working together, we will build our all-in agreement between the Arizona Coyotes and ‘Fox Sports 910’ across our entire iHeartMedia platform of well-known audio brands in Phoenix and on our iHeartRadio app.” The Coyotes were recently acquired by California-based Meruelo Group, whose holdings include Meruelo Media. Coyotes president and chief executive officer Ahron Cohen comments, “We are thrilled to partner with ‘Fox Sports 910.’ As we strive to build and cultivate new Coyotes fans, this multi-dimensional partnership – including iHeartMedia’s multitude of media platforms – provides us with unparalleled touchpoints to a broad cross-section of the Valley’s population. Equally important is iHeart’s ability to deliver an exceptional fan entertainment experience for all of our robust Coyotes content that will enhance our fans’ connectivity to the team.” Play-by-play announcer Bob Heethuis will return for his 15th season with the team and Paul Bissonnette will be back as analyst. All 82 regular-season games will air on “Fox Sports 910” and simulcast on Tucson sibling KTZR “Fox Sports 1450 AM.”

KOZN Prepares Severe Homecoming. Host of “The Bottom Line” on SummitMedia-owned sports talk KXSP “AM 590 ESPN Omaha,” Mike’l Severe, returns to cross-town NRG Media’s similarly-formatted KOZN “1620 “The Zone” tomorrow (Thursday, 8/15) after a five-year absence. Severe and Damon Benning will form “Severe and Benning in the Morning” (6:00 am – 10:00 am). NRG Omaha market manager Mark Shecterle comments that University of Nebraska football national champion Benning and local radio/television sports personality Severe “will offer listeners a new blend of morning sports radio. They will be able to give listeners an intense focus on all local sports. We are excited to bring back Mike’l Severe to the NRG family.” Former morning show co-host Gary Sharp transitions to mid-days (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) replacing Nick Bahe. Shecterle notes that Sharp will have “the platform to fully exhibit his expertise in sports analysis and his legendary interviewing skills. Gary has deserved his own show for a while and we are thrilled that he will be anchoring our mid-day slot. By moving [Sharp] to mid-days, we truly believe we have a sports-talk line-up second to none.” John Bishop and Josh Peterson-hosted “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” continues in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), while Nebraska football post game show, “Big Red Over Reaction,” will be simulcast on KOZN’s classic rock cluster-mate KOOO “101.9 The Keg.”

iHM Wheeling/Parkersburg Boosts Bommer to MP. The onetime vice president of business operations for the Wheeling Nailers, Craig Bommer, is named market president for iHeartMedia’s West Virginia stations in Wheeling and Parkersburg. Region president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and West Virginia Tim McAleer states, “I am excited for Craig to lead and demonstrate his leadership capabilities as market president by helping to grow each market’s revenue.” Bommer remarks, “This opportunity is a new and exciting challenge in my career path. I look forward to working with everyone to help build upon the success each market has achieved.” The West Liberty University alum began his career at iHeartMedia in 2016 as senior vice president of sales for the company’s Wheeling and Parkersburg stations. Those outlets include: news/talk WWVA “News Radio 1170”; news/talk WLTP “News Radio 910”; sports talk WBBD “Fox Sports AM 1400 Wheeling”; WEGW “Eagle 107.5 The Rock Station”; adult contemporary WKWK “Mix 97.3”; WOVK “Country 98.7”; CHR WVKF “Kiss 95.7”; classic hits-oldies WDMX “Mix 100”; WNUS “Country 107”; and CHR WRVB “102 The River.”

TALKERS News Notes. After working at Premiere Networks the past 21 years, senior director of affiliate sales Tom Garrett departs. Garrett previously programmed in Rockford (Illinois) at WROK & WZOK. In addition he was responsible for non-traditional revenue event marketing for Connoisseur’s Rockford and Quad Cities (Illinois-Iowa) stations ….. The relationship between afternoon drive talent George Plaster and Ryman Hospitality Properties’ WSM-AM, Nashville has come to an end after one month. In a tweet sent out yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13), Plaster writes, “Sorry to pass this [a]long, but I have parted ways with WSM-AM. My intention is to begin a podcast with a target around Labor Day. Thanks to all of you who supported us.” Plaster hosted “Sports Night” shows in Nashville on sports talk stations WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WPRT “102.5 The Game,” as well as WWTN “Super Talk 99.7.” He took a break from radio three years ago but joined WSM-AM in 2017 for a weekend program; Plaster’s weekday effort commenced July 15 ….. Brand manager/morning host of Townsquare Media Bangor (Maine) sports talk WEZQ “92.9 The Ticket,” Dale Duff, will segue to 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, effective next Monday (8/19). Duff makes room for Wayne Harvey’s 6:00 am – 8:00 am “Morning Line.” Harvey has worked at Bangor stations WABI-TV and WZON-AM “The Zone.”

The Return of the Pitch Pod. For the second straight year, attendees of “Podcast Movement 2019” can venture inside CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One “Pitch Pod” and tell their story for a chance to win consultative services from the Westwood One Podcast Network. This mini-studio is located in the main hallway of the conference. The Podcast Movement kicked off yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13) and runs through this Friday (8/16) in Orlando at Rosen Shingle Creek.

Urban One, Smith Slapped with Sexual Harassment Suit. On the same day “Hurricane” Dave Smith exited as Radio One Atlanta’s vice president of programming/operations, former urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” on-air personality Feleg Abraham (using the air name Shorty Mack) filed a lawsuit in the (Georgia) state court of Fulton County alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment by her then-boss (Smith). After working at “Hot 107.9” for 14 months, Abraham left in February 2018 and now does mid-days for Davis Broadcasting Columbus, Georgia urban contemporary WFXE “Foxie 105.” Radio One parent, Urban One regional vice president Timothy Davies last week declined to comment about Smith’s dismissal; however, in a published report last Monday (8/5), Smith claims he was terminated owing to “a misunderstanding.” Urban One executive vice president/chief administrative officer Karen Wishart states, “The allegations made by Feleg Abraham against Dave Smith, both former employees of Urban One, are unsettling. As a company founded by an African-American woman [Cathy Hughes] with a long history of empowering women in the workplace, Urban One takes these allegations very seriously. After Ms. Abraham left Urban One to take a new job, we were notified of her complaint and conducted a thorough, independent investigation. In light of the ongoing litigation, we cannot provide further comment on this matter.” Charges in Abraham’s lawsuit include intentional infliction of emotional distress by Smith; negligent infliction of emotional distress by Urban One; negligent hiring, retention, and supervision; assault and battery; and false imprisonment. The suit claims Smith made “unwanted sexual comments about Ms. Abraham’s body and would often ask her when he would be allowed to see her naked.” It references an incident that allegedly took place on May 22, 2017 in which Smith is said to have trapped Abraham in his office. As Rodney Ho reports in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, a statement regarding the lawsuit released yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, 8/13) by Smith reads, “This is an organized attempt by some former employees looking to capitalize on the #MeToo climate. I categorically deny these disgusting statements. I have no further comment.”

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Music director and afternoon drive host of Entercom Miami classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach,” DJ Holiday, adds even more responsibilities as assistant program director. Entercom South Florida senior vice president/market manager Keriann Worley explains, “This is a natural move for DJ Holiday and our station. DJ Holiday has grown up with this music and has an intimate knowledge of the market, having spent many nights spinning at Miami clubs. We’re thrilled to have him step up into the APD role and look forward to his increased contributions to the station’s success.” Holiday, who has been with “The Beach” since it debuted in 2016,  opines, “There’s always something new to learn and room to grow professionally. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my Entercom family for the opportunity to do so.” … KNDD “107.7 The End” mid-day talent “Alyssa” is promoted to music director at the Entercom Seattle alternative outlet. Program director Leslie Scott remarks that, “In her three years here, Alyssa has proven to be a huge music lover, a supporter of all things ‘107.7 The End,’ and a champion of the power of radio. I can think of no better team in alternative than ours and Alyssa’s new position reinforces that.” Alyssa notes, “It is an honor to be part of this incredible team. I’m looking forward to jumping into this role under the guidance of Leslie and [assistant program director/afternoon drive talent] Walt [Flakus].” … Effective this Friday (8/16), seven-month KXOJ “94.1 Tulsa’s Christian Music Station” evening show host Jeremiah St. James adds assistant program director duties at the Stephens Media Group contemporary Christian station. According to Stephens Media Group owner David Stephens, “Jeremiah is one of those rare talents whose potential seems limitless. He is forward-thinking and is more about where radio is going than where it has been.” SMG senior vice president of programming & technology/KXOJ program director Bob Thornton notes, “Jeremiah is a gifted imaging and branding specialist who is going to bring a tremendous amount of energy and new ideas to our building.” ….. Program director Caleb James exits NRG Media Omaha rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9” and hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5.”

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for San Antonio, Sacramento, and Pittsburgh. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+); an equally divided -1.0 in May and June (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3,  6+); and now +.7 in July (5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Up until April when it logged a 5.3, WOAI hadn’t reached the five-share level (6+) since August 2016’s 5.2. For the third month in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1, #22 to #24, 6+).

In June, KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” were tied at #32. Both are flat at .3 (6+) and are again deadlocked – this time at #30.

This is the seventh report in a row Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (+.3, #16 to #12) logs a 6+-share between 3.3 – 3.7 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Roaring back from June’s one-half share loss with a July uptick of eight-tenths (3.8 – 4.6, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Prior to June – when it slipped to 3.8 – San Antonio’s version of “Jack” last fell below a four-share (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Enjoying a July 2019 jump of eight-tenths as well and zooming from #17 to #11 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits,” which records its third bump in succession for a collective +1.4 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.5, 6+). This (3.5) is the first time in exactly one year that “Latino Hits” hits a three-share (3.1, July 2018). Five successive negative or neutral trends resulted in a nearly 50% decline (-.6) of its 6+-stat (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), but iHeartMedia regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 1.5 (#22, 6+). When Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH gained one-tenth in June (to 2.1, 6+), it suspended at four a consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for an overall -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). “The Vibe” now adds another six-tenths to 2.7 (#20 to #16, 6+). In mid-April, Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe.” While Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM is the market pacesetter the fifth month in a row, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.1 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+). Whereas May’s +1.1 took KONO-FM to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, July’s 7.1 is its  lowest 6+-showing since 6.0 in “Holiday” 2018. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Significant alternating ups/down continue for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV. In the last four reports, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has been +.5 (April); -1.0 (May); +1.5 (June); and now -1.2 in July (3.9 – 2.7, 6+). KZLV spirals from #10 to #16. Entering the July 2019 sweep, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH notched three straight positive or neutral trends netting nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, 6+). That entire increase drifts away with a -.9 to 2.3 (#13 to #19, 6+). June’s 3.2 was its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (3.3). Four consecutive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM accounted for an overall gain of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+) but “96.1 Now” (#11 to #14) falters by seven-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-stat since December 2018 (3.1, as well). Within two-share range (6+) 19 sweeps in a row before dialing up a June gain of eight-tenths to 3.2 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (#13 to #16, 6+). June’s 3.2 marked the first time since December 2017’s 3.0 that “Latino Mix 95.1” hit a three-share (6+). There’s just no separating Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station.” They both showed June decreases of two-tenths and now July losses of one-half share: KCYY is 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.4 (6+) and KAJA is 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.5 (6+). The country rivals are anchored at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (May); and -.5 (July). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); –1.9 (March); and -.5 (July).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately following an erosion of nine-tenths this time last month, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” repeats its June 6+ AQH-share (5.2) and market rank (fifth). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and includes July’s positive spike of seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.2 (#14 to #12, 6+).

In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, 6+), but “Sports 1140” ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (#26 to #23, 6+). It is now tied with Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which repeats June’s .7 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Albeit flat in seventh-place, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ notches its third straight increase for an overall +1.5 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through July 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – There is interesting June 2019 – July 2019 movement for Lotus Communications regional Mexican stations with the KVMX call letters. On the plus side, KVMX-FM – which notched a .3 (6+) in April, May, and June – hangs out a multiple of seven in July to 2.1 (+1.8, 6+) and pops in the top twenty at #15. On the other hand, KVMX-AM, which was trending .9 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.7 (6+) for a collective March 2019 through June 2019 gain of +.8, vanishes from print in July. After checking in with a 1.3 (#20, 6+) in June, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB disappears as well. Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in March, April, and May before slipping to 4.1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL adds six-tenths to 4.7 (6+) as “V-101” progresses from tenth to eighth. Notwithstanding it is #1 the sixth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters -1.1 in June/July (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Seven of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.6 (June); and -.5 (July). In each of the last 16 survey periods, Entravision Communications’ KNTY notched a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5. That streak comes to an end as KNTY drops eight-tenths to 1.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). That’s not the only thing though that KNTY dropped during the July 2019 sweep: Country “101.9 The Wolf” became regional Mexican La Tricolor and is simulcasting KRCX (1.7 – 1.6, -.1, flat at #18). Returning all of June’s half-share increase and one-tenth more (2.3 – 1.7, -.6, 6+), Spanish adult hits sibling KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” slips from #15 to #17; June’s 2.3 was its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in November 2018. Three straight downturns (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) by Entercom alternative KKDO produce a combined -1.9 and “Alt 94.7” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). This immediately follows April’s gain of nine-tenths. While it repeats at #2, iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” surrenders three-tenths to 6.3 (6+), thus halting four consecutive upticks that netted a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+). Adult contemporary stations hold this California market’s eighth and tenth slots in July 2019. Specifically, Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites,” without a gain the past three sweeps for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 4.7 (#8, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” is off two-tenths in June/July (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). “Mix” and “The Breeze” continue at eighth and tenth, respectively. June’s 4.6 was the weakest 6+-stat for “Mix” since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of six straight February 2019 through July 2019 decreases (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is -1.9 and slips from #11 to #12.

Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), forfeits the two-tenths it picked up in June (6.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 (#23 to #17, 6+).

Bouncing back from June’s loss of six-tenths with a July increase of three-tenths, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” progresses from tenth to ninth and is trending 4.2 – 3.6 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX was an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+); however, “105.9 The X” erases one-third of that deficit with a July uptick of six-tenths (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+). July 2019’s top three “Steel City” finishers are separated by one-half share. The combination of iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 3WS” gaining four-tenths and co-owned rock WDVE sputtering by twice that margin (9.5 – 8.7, -.8, 6+) results in “3WS” progressing from third to first and WDVE segueing from first to second. WWSW is a combined +1.2 in June/July (7.7 – 8.5 – 8.9, 6+) with July’s 8.9 its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. The six most recent shifts for WDVE, which was #1 the past five reports, are: +.8 (February); +.8 again (March); -.9 (April); +.6 (May); +.6 again (June); and -.8 (July). In four straight upticks, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK was +2.3 (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+), but “96.9 Bob FM” relinquishes eight-tenths in July to 8.4, sliding from second to third. In June, “Bob” reached the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. The just-concluded positive streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” records its third straight boost for a net gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9, unchanged at #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” has its third consecutive down or flat report for an overall loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1, flat at #8, 6+). The +2.0 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in April is down to two-tenths. Apparently, it is that time again for Forever Media to pull its Nielsen Audio subscription as five Forever Media stations that have been listed in April, May, and June disappear from print, as they’ve done before. The five are: classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.7, June 2019, 6+); classic country WLYI (1.4, June 2019); country WOGI (.9, June 2019, 6+); country WOGG (.8, June 2019, 6+); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (.7, June 2019, 6+).

Thursday, May 16, 2019

| May 16, 2019

2019 RTDNA Newsroom Survey Shows More Radio News Being Produced, More Staff Added. The 2019 RTDNA/Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University Newsroom Survey – conducted annually for the past 25 years by Emeritus Distinguished Professor Bob Papper – indicates that “more radio and TV stations are producing more news, hiring more staff, investing in investigative and community-service reporting and adapting to changing technology.”  The news for commercial news/talk radio stations isn’t necessarily good since it appears greater participation in the survey by public radio newsrooms and major market newsrooms has beefed up those numbers.  Papper says, “The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey shows the typical (median) radio news operation had a full-time news staff of one – the same as it’s been since I started doing these surveys 25 years ago.  All told, 80.8% of all multi-station local groups operate with a centralized newsroom.  That’s down 3 points from last year’s 84.1%.  The biggest differences in radio news staffing are between commercial and non-commercial stations. Along with a news director, the average commercial radio station has half a reporter (0.5) while the average non-commercial station has almost 2 (1.9). On the other side, the average commercial station has about a third of a person (0.3) in sports, and the average non- commercial station has zero. Usually, we go from year to year in radio news staffing with little to no change. Not this year. The median – or typical – number of radio news people at a station remained at 1.  That’s the same number it’s been for the quarter century that I’ve been doing this survey. But the average number of radio news people (per station) in this year’s survey soared from 2 to 3.1.  That’s a huge jump. And while we see that jump at its most pronounced at major market stations, every market category went up.”  Read more here

WMFS, Memphis to Launch ‘Giannotto & Jeffrey’ Afternoon Show. Sports talk WMFS-AM/FM, Memphis “92.9 FM ESPN” is launching a new 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show featuring Mark Giannotto and Jeffrey Wright on Monday (5/20). Giannotto is a lead columnist for the Memphis Commercial Appeal who previously was a sports reporter for the Washington Post.  Wright serves as producer for the station’s 9:00 am to 11:00 am show hosted by Geoff Calkins and lead fill-in host.  The station says Connor Dunning will serve as the show’s executive producer. Dunning also is the social media/web/marketing lead for Entercom Memphis.

WSGW’s ‘Listen to the Mrs.’ Debuts in Podcast Form. The “Listen to the Mrs.” show has aired on WSGW, Saginaw, Michigan for the past 66 years, making it one of the longest-running talk shows in Michigan.  Now, the program that began as an “on-air, kitchen-to-kitchen network sharing recipes and homemaker tips over the phone” is morphing into a podcast.  Alpha Media announces the debut of the podcast version of “Listen to the Mrs.” with co-hosts Ann Williams (left) and Art Lewis (right).  Williams serves as the station’s news director and Lewis hosts the daily 9:00 am to 10:00 am program on the station.  Operations manager Dave Maurer says, “While we still like to hear from people raving about a great dish they had and sharing the recipe, the days of listeners calling to ask if we have a meatloaf recipe have given way to the Internet browser. Our new approach is sharing food trends, new cooking methods, and lifestyle information.”  WSGW has published 11 limited edition cookbooks over the past 30 years.  Only number 11 remains available.

KOZN, Omaha Hosts Olympic Champion Katie Ledecky. Olympic swimming champion Katie Ledecky (center) is pictured above with sports talk hosts Gary Sharp (left) and Damon Benning (right).  She appeared on the station’s morning show to promote the Olympic Swim Trials returning to Omaha.

TALKERS News Notes. The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Bubba the Love Sponge is in danger of losing his Bubba Raceway Park property in Ocala, Florida that contains a racetrack, and his Bubba Radio Network studios.  The paper says he’s facing foreclosure on the property as Valley National Bank is suing him saying he owes more than $94,000 after defaulting on a line of credit…..The Weiss Agency – a talent agency representing award-winning local and nationally syndicated radio personalities and producers – is launching TWA Podcast Studio and its first program is, “Ghost Magnet with Bridget Marquardt.”  Celebrity paranormal investigator Bridget Marquardt is best known as a star of E! Networks’ “The Girls Next Door.”  In this podcast, she embarks “on an exploration of self-described ghost magnets and the spirits, poltergeists, and pookas they attract.”   This newly launched podcast division is headed by radio and publishing pro Joe Garner and will develop, produce, and distribute podcasts with the agency’s roster of talent as well as third party partnerships with outside talent and producers…..Westwood One News is presenting a Memorial Day Weekend program that takes listeners back to 1939, titled, “America on the Eve of War.”  The half-hour program is hosted by Westwood One News correspondent Barbara Kusak and explores the events leading up to the year Germany invaded Poland, Britain and France attacked Germany, and World War II was launched.  It’s available to affiliates for air Friday, May 21 through Monday, May 24…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio show hosted by Chris Hill adds Hutton Broadcasting’s KTRC, Santa Fe to its roster of affiliate stations…..Pictured below is FOX Sports Radio personality Clay Travis – host of “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” – at the Regions Tradition Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Hoover, Alabama last week.  From left to right are: Widespread Panic lead singer John Bell, Travis, professional golfer Steve Stricker, singer/American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, and University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart.

U.S.-China Trade War, Alabama Abortion Law, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Immigration Reform Plan, U.S.-Iran Tensions, and China’s Moon Exploration Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15). The trade war between the U.S. and China; the passage of a strict anti-abortion law in Alabama and the threat to Roe v Wade; New York Mayor Bill de Blasio enters the Democratic race for the nomination in 2020; President Trump announces his immigration reform plan; the military tensions between the U.S. and Iran; and China’s exploration of the dark side of the moon were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York City air personality Cubby moves over from iHeartMedia’s hot AC WKTU to the company’s adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” to co-host the morning show with Christine Nagy.  He takes over for Bob Bronson, who left the station last Friday after 10 years hosting mornings.  Cubby’s move from WKTU means Carolina Bermudez will host the WKTU morning show solo until a new co-host is named.  WLTW PD and iHeartMedia AC brand manager Chris Conley says, “Cubby is one of New York’s most entertaining and highly respected on-air personalities, and we’re incredibly excited that he’ll be joining the ‘Lite FM’ family.”…..Country WQNU, Louisville “Q103.1” names Kristin Monica afternoon drive personality and assistant program director, taking over for Kevin “Gravy” Canup, who is now serving as SummitMedia’s Knoxville cluster operations manager. Monica was most recently with Cumulus Media’s country WFYR, Peoria…..Bustos Media Holdings acquires KRCW, Royal City, Washington from Farmworkers Educational Radio Network, Inc. for $200,000.  Bustos Media CEO Amador Bustos says, “The purchase of KRCW will give us our ninth FM station in Eastern Washington.  Starting today (5/15), KRCW will be operated under an LMA and become part of the popular “LA MAQUINA” radio network.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

April 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Washington (D.C.), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three straight improvements that yielded a collective +2.5 (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+) and its best 6+-stat (6.8) in the PPM-era, Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL relinquishes 52% of that increase with a -1.3 to 5.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+). For the ninth sweep in succession, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted; it posted a .2 (6+) in August 2018.

Adding eight-tenths to the one-tenth it gained in March (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Nationals flagship WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” jumps from a three-way tie at #13 into the top ten (#9). Steady at #23, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” is up a combined three-tenths in March/April (.5 – .7 – .8, 6+).

In addition to being an overall -1.7 in three straight setbacks (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 8.7, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP, which had sole possession of first place the past three sweeps, now shares the lead. January 2019’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Stuck on .4 (6+) in February and March, Entercom business news outlet WDCH adds one-tenth to .5 (6+) and stays at #25.

Albeit down two-tenths (8.9 – 8.7, 6+), American University-owned news/talk WAMU moves from second-place to a first-place tie with WTOP. Prior to gaining three-tenths in March, “The Mind Is Our Medium” was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 (February).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Steady in sixth-place, contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” is an overall +1.8 as a result of four upticks in succession (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.6 – 5.3, 6+). The Atlantic Gateway Communications outlet erases its -1.4 through four straight September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 declines (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+). A combined +.7 in March/April (2.7- 2.8 – 3.4, 6+), Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications-owned WETA “Classical 90.9” advances from #16 to #13. Within three-share range (6+) in each of the last 24 ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS gains two-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and carries on in eighth-place. The last time WKYS wasn’t between 3.0 – 3.9 (6+) was May 2017 (2.9). While it remains in third-place for the fifth time in a row, its urban AC cluster-mate WMMJ “Majic” forfeits four-tenths to 7.8 (6+), thus curtailing six successive increases that netted a +1.8 (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Its format foe – Howard University’s WHUR – drops one-tenth in back-to-back reports (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+) yet progresses from fifth to fourth. Its March loss of one-tenth pulled the plug on three successive upticks that accounted for a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). Ups/downs continue for iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today,” which was a combined +5.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+); sputtered by -6.1 (January); rebounded with a +.7 (February); regressed by -.6 (March); and now adds one-tenth in April (4.4 – 4.5, steady at #7).

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Even though iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO remains at #14, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is without a loss the fourth time in a row for an overall gain of four-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+). November 2018’s 3.2 is its best 6+-stat in more than four years (3.3, November 2014). Conversely, co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” is down or flat for the third straight time (.6 – .5 – .4 – .4, #27, 6+).

While it continues in third-place, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” is off one full-share via three straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+). Recent fluctuations for the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (as well as the Bruins and Celtics) include +.4 (September 2018); +.9 (October); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); and -.8 (February). Meanwhile, Entercom-owned WEEI-FM has been -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); and now +.6 in April (3.2 – 3.8, 6+). The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox returns to the top ten (#11 to #10), although it is actually down six-tenths from a year ago (4.4, #9, April 2018, 6+).

A combined +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” is unchanged from March in 6+ share (5.0) and market rank (sixth).

Major shifts continue for Boston University news/talker WBUR, which was -1.5 through five consecutive down or flat August through “Holiday” 2018 ratings periods (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.1 – 4.2, 6+); +1.5 (January); and now -2.4 in three drops in a row (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.3, #8 to #11, 6+). WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH is off a combined seven-tenths in March/April (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.0, #18 to #19, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Anchored in seventh-place, Beasley Media Group’s WKLB is an overall +1.3 in four straight upticks (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). By gaining one-tenth in January, “Country 102.5” applied the brakes to seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Format challenger – iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” – is without a loss the fifth time in succession for a net gain of four-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2, #20 to #16, 6+). An overall +2.2 through four consecutive up or flat trends (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR “105.7 – 80s & More” repeats at #1. In the market’s CHR contest, iHeartMedia-owned WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” has a January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 7.3 – 7.4 – 7.3 – 7.1 (6+) and carries on in the runner-up slot, while Entercom’s WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is in two-share range (2.2, -.2, #14 to #16, 6+) for the 18th time in a row. February’s 7.4 is the highest 6+-showing since August 2018’s 7.8 for “Kiss,” which was #1 from January 2018 through November 2018, as well as January 2019 and February 2019. Gaining one-tenth (each) are Entercom hot AC WWBX “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” (3.8 – 3.9, tenth to ninth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WXLO “104.5 XLO” (#20 to #19), which reaches the market from Worcester. Up seven-tenths in four consecutive positive or flat trends (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), WXLO has its best 6+-stat since November 2014 (2.0, as well).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – This marks the fourth consecutive sweep without a loss for iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station,” which gains one-half share in that timeframe (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, #18 to #17, 6+).

Extending a positive streak as well is Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket,” which scores two-tenths in five straight positive or flat sweeps (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8, #27 to #25, 6+). Before picking up one-tenth in February, “The Ticket” was down or flat three successive reports for a loss of three-tenths (.9 – .6 – .6 – .6, 6+). Co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” returns the two-tenths it picked up in March (.5 – .7 – .5, #27 to #29, 6+). March’s +.2 ended three consecutive sweeps without an increase that led to a decrease of four-tenths (.9 – .9 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Advancing from #20 to #19, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – In addition to bouncing back from a March forfeiture of one-tenth with an April increase of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3” leaps into the top ten (#14 to #10). Prior to slipping to 2.9 (6+) in March, WFLC had been within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 15 survey periods. Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” – has a steady December 2018 through April 2019 topline of 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+) and slips from #17 to #18. When “Y-100” added one-tenth in March, it curtailed five straight reports without an increase for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). The two rivals are separated by one full-share (6+) in April, compared to three-tenths in March. Notwithstanding a drop of one-tenth (7.4 – 7.3, 6+), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” is #1 for the fourth report in succession (which includes February’s three-way tie at #1). Its March increase of eight-tenths completely wiped away February’s decline of that magnitude (7.4 – 6.6 – 7.4, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Carrying on in third-place is Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF “101.5 Lite FM,” which has a January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 (6+). An overall +1.9 through three October 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 gains in succession (5.4 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 7.3, 6+), “Lite FM” notched its best 6+-stat (7.3 in “Holiday” 2018) since January 2018’s 7.4. Adult contemporary outlets “Easy” and “Lite” traded places with each other in January, as WFEZ went from second to first and WLYF segued from first to second. Consequently, for the 12th straight ratings period, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+). Off a combined eight-tenths in March/April (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WXDJ “El Zol 106.7” drops from seventh to ninth. As a result of four successive down or flat moves, co-owned WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” is -1.0 (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.1, fourth to sixth, 6+). Still in that SBS cluster, Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7” is off six-tenths in March/April (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #16). In the market’s urban contemporary contest, Cox Media Group’s WEDR “99 Jamz” has lost eight-tenths via three straight declines (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia-owned WMIB “103.5 The Beat” has a consistent January 2019 through April 2019 topline of 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 (6+) and remains at #14.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Stabilizing from March’s -1.1 (5.9 – 4.8), KIRO-FM is unchanged in 6+-share (4.8) and market rank (fourth). The Bonneville news/talk outlet was a combined +1.0 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+). Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” has lost roughly 43% of its 6+-stat (-.9) in March/April (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.2, #22 to #23, 6+), following a January/February increase of six-tenths (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+). It is now tied with Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which falters four-tenths in March/April (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2, #24 to #23, 6+), after gaining seven-tenths in January/February (.9 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+).

Tacking on a massive +1.4 to a March gain of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.9 – 4.3, 6+), Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” rockets into the top ten (#17 to #6). In four consecutive November 2018 through February 2019 declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.1, 6+), the Mariners’ flagship lost roughly 50% (-2.0) of its 6+ AQH share. Down one-tenth (1.4 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” remains at #22.

In four straight reports without a loss, KOMO was up seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), but the Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news operation forfeits three-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and slides from #15 to #18.

On the heels of March’s -1.0 (8.0 – 7.0, 6+), KUOW craters by another -1.3 to 5.7 (6+) and segues to second after three months in a row at #1. The Northwest Public Radio news/talk outlet was a combined +2.1 in January/February (5.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station,” which nets +1.9 in five straight bumps (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), progressing from fourth to third. Immediately in advance of this streak, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). Even though it has logged five successive up or flat sweeps for a collective +1.4 (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s “New Country 98.9 The Bull” KNUC backslides from #12 to #13. The three most recent shifts for Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” are +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and now +.7 in April (2.4 – 3.1, #21 to #15, 6+). Its October 2018 through January 2019 topline was a consistent 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+). Sandwiching a 2.5 (February and March) between a 3.0 in January and April (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KUBE “Seattle’s #1 For Hip-Hop” progresses from #20 to #17. Despite losing a collective four-tenths in three straight down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV moves from second to first. It is the first time at #1 for “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” since November 2018. An overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” relinquishes a -1.1 to 4.1 (#3 to a three-way tie at #8, 6+). As the result of six successive months (May 2018 through November 2018) without a loss (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), country KMPS-turned-AC KSWD was +1.7. Overtaking “The Sound” is adult contemporary rival, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KRWM “Warm 106.9,” which records a 4.8 for the third time in the last four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). Entering the January sweep, “Warm” more than tripled (+7.8) its 6+-share as the result of three straight improvements (3.4 – 4.1 – 8.8 – 11.2, 6+); KRWM was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Faltering by six-tenths are Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country” (4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+) and Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3” (2.7, 6+), which drifts from #12 to #19. Prior to April, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight bumps (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), while “Spirit” was up one-half share in February/March (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). In four straight sweeps without an increase, Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ is a collective -2.0 (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, flat at #15, 6+); moreover, “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.1) since May 2017’s 3.0.

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Having posted a 3.7 (6+) in January, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” notches a 3.5 for the third month in a row (#14 to #15, 6+).

Locked on 5.0 (6+) in February and March after January’s 5.2 (6+), Entercom sports talk/Tigers flagship WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket” is up four-tenths to 5.4 (eighth to sixth, 6+).

Co-owned WWJ erodes by eight-tenths in back-to-back reports (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+) as “News Radio 950” shifts to the runner-up slot after a March-only stay in first-place. WWJ was a combined +1.6 in January/February (6.1 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+).

For the fourth time in succession, WUOM logs a fluctuation of three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.6, 6+); the Michigan Public Media news/talk facility returns to the top twenty (#21 to #20). Wayne State University news/talk WDET is down one-tenth in consecutive reports and trades places with WUOM (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #20 to #21, 6+).

Detroit Music Formats – Down six-tenths in February, Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” has gained nine-tenths in March/April (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.4, #19 to #18, 6+). This (2.4) is its highest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 2.5. Country rival, Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music,” surrenders half of March’s +.4 with an April loss of two-tenths (5.1 – 4.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). As was the case with “Nash FM,” WYCD regressed by six-tenths in February, as well. It’s been a seesaw experience lately for Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX. In March, “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” sputtered by -1.3 (7.8 – 6.5, 6+) to shift from first to second. Now in April, it loses another two-tenths (6.5 – 6.3, 6+) yet reclaims the top spot. The March/April decline of -1.5 follows back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+). January’s +.9 erased half of December/“Holiday” 2018’s -1.8 (7.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+). WCSX spent four straight months at #1 before being dislodged in September. As of March, “Detroit’s Classic Rock” has a direct competitor in the form of iHeartMedia’s WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels,” formerly alternative WDTW “Alt 106.7.” In its first monthly report, “Wheels” – resurrecting the WLLZ call letters used in the “Motor City” in the 1980s and 1990s – more than doubled (+1.9) the 6+-share on that frequency in February (1.5 – 3.4, 6+). “Wheels” now adds four-tenths to 3.8 (#15 to #14, 6+). A combined +.8 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits” falters by two-tenths to 5.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). Its CHR sibling, WDZH “Amp Radio,” transitioned to adult contemporary in early-November (2018), as “98.7 The Breeze.” With its new format, “The Breeze” is an overall +1.7 in six successive reports without a loss (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.0, #12 to #11, 6+). The station it is chasing – iHeartMedia AC WNIC – has eroded by nearly two-thirds (-11.8) over the past four sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+) yet inches up from third to a second-place tie. Its 17.9 in “Holiday” 2018 is by far the largest 6+ AQH share by any Detroit station in the PPM-era. Via four straight increases, WNIC more than tripled (+12.2) its 6+-share (5.7 – 6.2 – 6.6 – 12.2 – 17.9, 6+); “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” was #1 in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018.

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM follows with a March/April gain of eight-tenths (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+) and stays in eighth-place. Albeit flat at 2.6 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” nonetheless climbs from #18 to #17.

An increase of one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+) is enough to push Bonneville sports talk/Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” into the top twenty (#22 to #20). In a noteworthy Spanish sports talk development, Univision Radio’s KHOV “Univisión Deportes Radio” gains one-half share (.1 – .6, #32, 6+).

While off one-tenth in back-to-back-reports (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ carries on at #12; KJZZ was a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – After trending 6.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 (January – February – March, 6+) for a net loss of -1.2, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” erases that deficit completely with an April +1.2 to 6.5 (6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. It trails iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” by one-tenth. The four latest shifts by “The Mountain,” which is #1 for the third month in a row, are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); -.8 (March); and +.7 in April (5.9 – 6.6, 6+). An overall -9.7 through just three drops in succession (15.0 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), adult contemporary sibling KESZ pulls the plug by gaining two-tenths to 5.5, but backslides from second to third. January’s -8.0 halted four positive increases in a row that netted +8.9 (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 9.7 – 15.0, 6+), with 15.0 its highest 6+-showing since 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s KMLE “Country @ 107.9” dials up +.6 to 4.0, its best 6+-showing since September 2018 (4.0, as well) and cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Entering the March sweep, iHeartMedia’s KNIX improved by one-half share via five consecutive survey periods without a loss (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). In March/April, however, “102.5 Today’s Best Country” has now lost eight-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.3, sixth to seventh, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KAIZ “Air 1 – Worship Now” debuts with a .5 (#34, 6+). Up a collective nine-tenths via three successive improvements (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI “101.9 La Campesina” loses all but one-tenth of that increase (2.9, -.8, #11 to #15, 6+). Sputtering by seven-tenths are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3” (2.0, #17 to #22, 6+) and iHeartMedia regional Mexican KOY “El Patron” (#27 to #31, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss, “Amor 106.3” more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.7, 6+), while “El Patronexactly doubled (+.7) its 6+-figure (.7 – 1.4) in March and more than quadrupled its (6+) January showing. Not only does a loss of six-tenths to 3.3 (6+) knock Entercom rhythmic CHR KALV “Live 101.5” out of the top ten (#10 to #13), it suspends three sweeps without a loss that accounted for a gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Transforming its March decrease of seven-tenths into an increase more than twice that magnitude (3.3 – 4.8, +1.5, 6+), Entercom-owned Twins flagship WCCO returns to the top ten (#12 to #8). By gaining eight-tenths in January/February, “News Radio 830” ended six straight down or flat moves accounting for an overall -1.2 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+). Although off one-half share in March/April (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), after being +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting news/talk KTMY “My Talk 107.1” remains at #13. In three straight down or flat trends (3.3 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.6, unchanged at #16, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” has lost seven-tenths.

Immediately after gaining four-tenths, which halted four declines in succession resulting in a -2.3 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4,  6+), KTLK cluster-mate KFXN erodes by nine-tenths (4.8 – 3.9, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Prior to November, “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” logged four consecutive increases that yielded a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Posting its fourth report in a row without a loss for a net gain of two-tenths (.6 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” carries on at #24.

Continuing its down/up sequence that began in December 2018 (4.2 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW slips from ninth to tenth.

Minneapolis Music Formats – Tacking on an impressive +1.1 to March’s +.1 (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KQRS leaps from fifth to second. “Minnesota’s Classic Rock,” which had been within five-share range (6+) in each of the last 13 sweeps, has its best 6+-stat (6.7) since December 2016’s 6.9. A collective +1.9 via three straight bumps (4.6 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 6.5, 6+), University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KTIS-FM advances from fifth to third. “Twin Cities Christian Radio – Always Uplifting” reaches the six-share threshold (6.5, 6+) for the first time since January 2016’s 6.4. The Twin Cities’ (6+) hot AC share escalated by +3.1 (January); deflated by -1.3 (February); improved by +.8 (March); and is +1.0 in April. That latter increase is equally divided between Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-FM “KS-95” (7.0 – 7.5, repeating at #1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KTCZ “Cities 97.1” (4.2 – 4.7, #11 to #9, 6+). “KS-95” was +1.9 in January; regressed by -.8 in February; and was +.6 in March. Meanwhile, after plummeting nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well), “Cities 97.1” was +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); and +.2 in March (4.0 – 4.2, level at #11, 6+). With a February gain of seven-tenths, mainstream CHR cluster-mate KDWB progressed from third to first. In March, “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” repeated February’s 7.0, its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 7.2, and shared the top spot with KSTP-FM. An April decline of six-tenths to 6.4 (6+), however, sends KDWB from a first-place tie to fourth. Co-owned classic hits-oldies outlet KQQL “Kool 108” has lost roughly 54% (-6.8) of its 6+ AQH share through four straight negative or flat trends (12.6 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 5.8, third to fifth, 6+). An overall +1.2 in four successive improvements (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KZGO “Go Radio – Modern Minnesota Music” has that streak halted with a loss of two-tenths (2.9, #14 to a three-way tie at #13, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO “News Radio 600” eliminates February’s loss of four-tenths. January’s one-half share increase curtailed three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective forfeiture of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). An overall +.9 as a result of four successive increases (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 – Talk & Breaking News” progresses from #19 to #18. After picking up one-tenth in March to halt five consecutive San Diego losses that eventuated in a collective -.6 (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” regresses by two-tenths to 1.0 (#22 to #23, 6+).

Entercom-owned KWFN “97.3 The Fan” nearly doubles March’s .9 (1.7, +.8, 6+) as the flagship of the Padres  advances from #23 to #21. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” does double February’s 6+-stat (.4 – .5 – .8  #27 to #25, 6+). Even though Interamericana de Radio’s XPRS-AM was +.7 through four consecutive up or flat trends (.9 – .9 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6, #21, 6+) with 1.6 its best 6+-performance since February 2018 (1.6, as well), “The Mighty 1090” has gone silent.

Three straight gains by San Diego State University-owned news/talk outlet KPBS resulted in a +2.6 (5.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+), but it craters by -1.7, the largest (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 decrease of any station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve reviewed so far, to 6.0 (6+). Even so, KPBS is on top for the fourth month in a row.

San Diego Music Formats – Adding nine-tenths to March’s +.3 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – San Diego’s Greatest Hits” jumps from fifth to second with its best 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.9, as well). As a result of four straight setbacks (6.6 – 6.0 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHTS was a cumulative -2.3, but “Channel 93.3 – San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” rebounds with a combined March/April +1.2 (4.3 – 4.8 – 5.5, seventh to fourth, 6+). By adding an April increase of six-tenths to a one-tenth gain in March (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+), Local Media San Diego-programmed alternative XTRA-FM “91-X” advances from #20 to #17. Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia-owned KGB “San Diego’s Classic Rock” (fourth to seventh) and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “Amor 102.9” (2.8 – 2.0, #15 to #20). An overall +2.2 through three consecutive improvements (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+), KGB is -1.4 in March/April (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+). In February, “San Diego’s Classic Rock” reached the five-share level (5.9, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 5.1. A March uptick of eight-tenths by “Amor 102.9” stymied three down or flat moves in a row that accounted for a collective loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.0, 6+). Following three bumps in a row for a net increase of one-half share (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KIOZ “Rock 105.3” surrenders the entire spike (2.7, -.5, 6+) and falls from #12 to #16. In three consecutive improvements, Local Media San Diego-programmed urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM was a collective +1.3 (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), but “Magic 92.5, The Beat of San Diego” surrenders four-tenths to 5.5 (second to fourth, 6+).

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – Owing to a downturn of nine-tenths to 3.6, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” has its successive string of increases which netted a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+) halted at three and drifts from the top ten (#7 to #13, 6+).

Frozen on 2.9 (6+) in January and February, Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” added two-tenths in March, but regresses by six-tenths in April (3.1 – 2.5, #15 to #17, 6+). A January gain of three-tenths interrupted three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+).

Down by a combined six-tenths in February/March (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” answers with an April spike of nine-tenths to 2.6 (6+) as the Rays’ key station jumps from #19 to #16.

The “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 topline for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is: 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7 (#18 – #19, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – A mini-slide by Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE that resulted in a one-half share loss (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) concludes as “The Joy FM” notches a +1.0 to 4.9 (6+) and vaults into the top ten (#11 to #6). Anchored at #8, iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” is without a loss the sixth successive sweep for a +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). In three-share range (6+) in each of the last 16 reports, Cox Media Group CHR WPOI breaks out a +.7 to 4.1 (#13 to #10, 6+), as “Hot 101.5 – Tampa Bay’s New Hit Music” reaches the four-share level for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.0. It overtakes iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WFLZ “93.3 Tampa Bay’s #1 Hit Music Channel,” which is trending 4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 (February – March – April, #9 to #11, 6+). The consecutive string at #1 for Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV hits 81, but “Lite Favorites” is a cumulative -4.7 in four straight setbacks (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 9.0, 6+). This (9.0) is its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018’s 8.9 and ends its streak of reaching double-digits (6+) at five. Its January decrease interrupted three straight gains that netted +4.8 (8.9 – 9.7 – 10.8 – 13.7, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.7 is the highest 6+-stat for any Tampa station since WDUV’s 14.9 in “Holiday” 2015. On the heels of March’s mammoth +2.1, co-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” relinquishes roughly 43% of that gain (7.5 – 6.6, -.9, 6+) but repeats in the runner-up slot. In five successive sweeps without an increase prior to the March report, “The Eagle” was an overall -1.5 (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+); it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in August 2018 (7.1).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – After posting January’s 4.8 (6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was frozen on 4.7 (6+) in February and March. The flagship of the Colorado Rockies notches a half-share increase in April to 5.2 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Co-owned KHOW “Talk Radio 630” has a “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.3 (#25 to #24, 6+).

While flat at #17, Bonneville-owned KKFN is a collective -1.5 in three straight setbacks (4.1 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was -1.2 December/“Holiday” 2018; +.9 (January 2019); and -.8 (February). KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” doubles February’s 6+ stat (.3 – .4 – .6, 6+) and continues at #27.

Not only does Colorado Public Radio news/talk KCFR erase 45% of March’s -2.0 with a +.9 to 6.5 (6+), it reclaims the top spot. KCFR was a combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+) and was #1 in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Surrendering the three-tenths it picked up in March (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.5, 6+), Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC falls from #19 to #21.

Denver Music Formats – Good news continues for Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS, which is a collective +1.7 in four straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+). Moreover, “KS-107.5” cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). Improving by one-half share (each) are hot AC sibling KALC “Alice 105.9” (4.5, #11 to #10, 6+) and classic rock cluster-mate KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to fifth, 6+). KALC gained seven-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.7, 6+), curtailing three straight downturns that were responsible for a loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+), but was down seven-tenths in March (4.7 – 4.0, 6+). Repeating in the runner-up position, Bonneville’s country KYGO is +1.4 via four straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). Leaping from fifth to third, iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” nets +1.4 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+). The four most recent fluctuations for KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL are +1.2 (January); -.6 (February); +1.2 (March); and -.9 in April (6.3 – 5.4, 6+). “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” concludes its March-only stay at #1 and segues to #3. On the heels of March’s increase of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” plummets by -1.3 to 4.0 (6+), fading from the top ten (#4 to #12). An overall +7.9 in three straight sweeps without a loss (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+), KOSI was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (with a 12.8, 6+), but was a combined -8.2 in January/February (12.8 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was more than four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). Owing to three successive setbacks, Entravision’s KJMN “La Suavecita 92.7” is an overall -1.2 (4.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.5, 6+), slipping from #11 to #13.

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – While it remains at #11, independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” is down or flat the third time in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). This is the third time in the last four survey periods that Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” logs a 2.7 (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7, #13 to #12, 6+). Having doubled (+.3) its 6+ Baltimore stat in four straight up or flat sweeps (.3 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talk WMAL is off one-tenth to .5 (#26 to #28, 6+).

Following three slips in a row that resulted in a -1.0 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk/Orioles flagship WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” slices the deficit in half with a half-share gain to 4.4 (tenth to eighth, 6+).

Co-owned business news WDCH answers March’s loss of four-tenths with an April uptick of seven-tenths (.9 – 1.6, 6+) and returns to the top twenty (#21 to #16).

Off by one-half share in back-to-back reports (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” slips from #12 to #13; WYPR was a combined +1.1 in January/February (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+). American University-owned news/talk WAMU, which gained one-tenth in March, drops three-tenths (1.5 – 1.2, #17 to #19, 6+).

Baltimore Music Formats – In addition to being a robust +2.2 in March/April (7.6 – 8.3 – 9.8, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” is #1 for the third straight time and reaches the nine-share level (6+) for the first time since July 2016’s 9.2. Its January +1.0 applied the brakes to three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Up one-half share in March, Entercom gospel WLIF-HD2 surrenders nearly twice that magnitude (1.9 – 1.0, -.9, #16 to #20, 6+). After posting a 15.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, adult contemporary sibling WLIF-FM is trending 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8 (third to fourth, 6+). Still in that Entercom cluster, WWMX “Mix 106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix,” which had been without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.0 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+), falters by four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but continues in sixth-place. Following three positive spikes in a row for a net gain of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WWDC “DC-101” drops two-tenths to 2.0 (#14 to #15, 6+). For the eighth sweep in a row, Peter and John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM is unlisted; “95.1 Shine FM – Baltimore’s Positive Hits Station” was #13 in August 2018 (2.6, 6+).

St. Louis

Spoken-Word Formats – The only station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted so far making a (6+) March 2019 to April 2019 increase of at least two full-shares is Entercom news/talk KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” (5.1 – 7.3, +2.2, 6+). Moreover, the St. Louis Cardinals flagship makes one of the most significant leaps within the top ten by vaulting from seventh to a first-place tie. The last time KMOX occupied the top spot was October 2018 (8.4, 6+). A combined +.8 in January/February (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is now off four-tenths in March/April (2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1, #17 to #18, 6+).

After back-to-backs losses of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” picks up one-tenth to 3.2 (#16 to #15, 6+).

Having posted a February gain of four-tenths, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU is now -1.3 in March/April (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.2, #14 to #15, 6+).

St. Louis Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia’s KSD are +.5 (4.0 – 4.5, 6+, February); -.5 (4.5 – 4.0, 6+, March); and now +.9 in April (4.0 – 4.9, 6+), as “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). In late-2018, KSD was -.8 (August); +.5 (October); +.9 (November); -.5 (December); and -.6 in “Holiday” 2018. Its format rival – Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL “New Country 92.3” – was up seven-tenths in March, but sputters by three-tenths in April (6.1 – 5.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to sixth. In February, WIL was down six-tenths to 5.4, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (5.4, as well). A genuine model of consistency, urban AC cluster-mate KATZ-FM has recorded a 6+-share between 2.1 – 2.5 in each of the last 16 sweeps. In April, however, “100.3 The Beat” erupts with a one-half share gain to 2.7 (6+) and continues at #17. Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio” was tied for February’s top spot with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU and then took sole possession of first-place in March. Now in April, KSHE again has to share the lead – this time with Entercom news/talk KMOX (see above). The six most recent shifts for KSHE are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); and -1.6 in April (8.9 – 7.3, 6+); 8.9 is its highest 6+-share since November 2016 (8.6). Aforementioned KLOU “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” was +1.6 in January but has since floundered by -1.7 in three dips in succession (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.2, third to fourth, 6+).

Thursday, February 28, 2019

| February 28, 2019

Mike Thompson Named PD for NRG Media’s Omaha AM Stations. Programming pro Mike Thompson is joining NRG Media to serve as AM stations operations manager/program director for the company’s Omaha properties.  He’ll oversee sports talkers KOZN “1620 The Zone” and KZOT “1180 Zone 2,” news/talk KOIL, and regional Mexican KMMQ-AM/K258DC “La Nueva 99.5.” NRG Media market manager Mark Shecterle says, “Mike will be a great addition to our already talented and award-winning staff.  He has an outstanding programming mind as well as a strong sales mentality.”  Thompson has served with ESPN in New York and Los Angeles, in addition to WCNN, Atlanta; KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas and WABC, New York. He says, “I am excited to join a great brand of sports and news talk with NRG Media in Omaha.  NRG Media’s slogan is Great Local Radio – for me that’s what I am all about.  Working with market manager Mark Shecterle and talented hosts and producers, it will be rewarding to always live up to that slogan.”  Thompson has most recently been involved in acting and voice work in L.A. He begins at NRG Media Omaha today.

Scott Vowinkle to Lead Sales Effort at NRG Omaha. Sales pro Scott Vowinkle returns to the Omaha market to take on the director of sales position for NRG Media’s seven-station cluster that includes news/talk KOIL, and sports talk duo KOZN “1620 The Zone” and KZOT “1180 Zone 2.”   Vowinkle was most recently with Cumulus Media as general sales manager in Beaumont, Texas.  He previously worked in the Omaha market with Scripps.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. Sports talk bounced back from the Holiday 2018 survey with 68% of stations going up (weekly 6+ AQH share), led by Boston sports talkers WEEI-FM (+1.7) and WBZ-FM (+1.6).  About half the sports talk stations on the panel were up year-over-year and the two biggest gainers benefitted from the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff success.  Entercom’s KCSP was up 1.1 share and Union Broadcasting’s WHB was up an even 1.0 share.  It’s rare that a sports talk station ranks first in its market, but Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia accomplished that by riding the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff run to a #1 ranking with a 7.2 share. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Nielsen Q4 2018 Revenue Down 5.8%; Audio Ratings Segment Dips 2.3%. Financial data from the fourth quarter of 2018 and the full year are being released by Nielsen Holdings plc – the media ratings and consumer behavior research company. Looking at the fourth quarter, revenue for the entire company was $1.66 billion, down 5.8% compared to the same period in 2017.  The company posted a net loss of $952 million in Q4, compared to 2017’s Q4 gain of $84 million.  The audio ratings division operates within the company’s Watch segment.  It earned $128 million during Q4, down 2.3% from 2017’s $131 million. For all of 2018, revenue from the audio ratings segment was off just 0.8% on earnings of $497 million, compared to $501 million for the full-year 2017.  Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “2018 was a challenging year but we delivered on our key operational metrics for the second half and positioned ourselves for 2019.  I am excited to join Nielsen at such a pivotal time in the company’s history.  Our focus for 2019 is on transforming into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions.  We expect these strategies to translate into improved performance in 2019 and beyond as we increase our value to clients.”  Kenny also addresses the strategic review being undertaken that could see the company sold.  “The strategic review is ongoing and the board is working with urgency on this process. As previously discussed, this could include continuing to operate as a public, independent company, a separation of either Nielsen’s Global Media or Global Connect segment, or a sale of the whole company.  The process that we are undertaking will enable us to determine the best path forward in order to maximize value for all of our shareholders.”

Talk Radio Fact-Finding Tour of Ireland Planned.  A group of diverse talk radio broadcasters is getting ready to take a comprehensive tour of Ireland in early April.  The tour will include a six-day, guided visit to some of the Emerald Isle’s most iconic attractions and interview opportunities with some of Ireland’s most important leaders from the fields of politics, international relations, business, the arts, food, technology, and history.  Organized by the DC Radio Company in conjunction with the Irish government’s tourism bureau, the project marks a return to the type of international fact-finding missions that were a talk radio staple in the 1990s and early 2000s.  DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones tells TALKERS, “I am so excited to get the ball rolling again on these trips that provide hosts and their listeners with the opportunity to take a real deep-dive into the culture of other countries around the world.  And now in the age of the Internet, tours like this give stations and networks the opportunity to tease the interviews with short clips on the air and full, long-form programs and specials on their websites.  Plus, they are attractive content packages for local and national sponsorships.”  Jones is a well-known talk radio figure who, in addition to having major market credentials at several top stations in Washington, Boston, Detroit, and Nashville, as well as in national syndication, served more than a dozen years as a senior White House correspondent for the Talk Radio News Service before launching the DC Radio Company last year.  Her live commentaries are familiar to listeners in hundreds of markets.  She has been involved with a number of the successful talk radio fact-finding missions that brought hosts to such diverse countries as Taiwan, Israel, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, and more.  Talk broadcasters signed up for the Irish tour include, Doug Stephan of the syndicated “DJV Morning Show,” Danielle Lin of the syndicated “The Art of Living and Science of Life,” Kate Delaney of the syndicated  “America Tonight” program, Michael Zwerling, owner of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, and Scott Thompson, owner of Big Radio, a group of eight radio stations located in Monroe, Wisconsin; Freeport, Illinois; Janesville, Wisconsin; Beloit, Wisconsin; and, South Beloit, Illinois.  Ireland’s 2019 tourism theme is “Fill Your Heart with Ireland.”  According to Jones, more international trips of this nature are being planned as several nations have expressed strong interest in creating communication ties with American talk radio.

Comrex to Debut New Rackmount Audio Codec at NAB Show. This updated version of the popular rackmount Comrex ACCESS – the ACCESS NX Rack – will be unveiled at the NAB Show in Las Vegas taking place from April 6-11.  Comrex says the industry standard Comrex ACCESS Rackmount (first released in 2005) is being updated to incorporate the technical advances from the last decade.  The ACCESS NX Rack features completely new hardware, allowing for AES67, AES3, or analog audio I/O.  ACCESS NX Rack can connect to Wi-Fi and 4G modems and supports a wide range of connection protocols and audio encoders.  It’s driven via a new HTML5-based web user interface.  Further, it is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs as well as the Comrex FieldTap smartphone app.  ACCESS NX Rack also includes Comrex CrossLock technology, a proprietary suite of tools that solidify connections over IP networks.  By sending two identical streams through two separate networks (redundancy mode), CrossLock provides a fail-safe in the event that the primary network falters.  ACCESS NX Rack also includes HotSwap, a new function included with the latest version of ACCESS firmware. HotSwap allows users to designate one network as a backup that will only engage when the primary network has failed. Fall-over to backup happens in a matter of seconds, and fallback is seamless.

Broadcasting from CPAC.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher (left) posing for a pic with the newest member of the SRN syndicated talk show host family, Dr. Sebastian Gorka (right).  The two are producing their programs live from the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference taking place in National Harbor, Maryland through Saturday.

TALKERS News Notes. WCCO, Minneapolis is getting its new imaging package from noted radio voice-over and imaging legend Sandy Thomas’ new company, CORE Voice Imaging and Sound Design (a division of Thomas Voice Imaging). The Entercom heritage news/talker is re-branding with the assistance of the new imaging package with reportedly positive initial results.  The highly charged package features Thomas and his wife Rebecca.  Check out a demo of the WCCO package here.  Interested stations can reach Sandy Thomas at 800-516-3370 or email CORE@ThomasVoiceImaging.com…..The news of President Trump’s breaking off talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un came on short notice and SRN News vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS that their affiliate stations were able to hear it live, thanks to their coverage.  Tradup says that via its longform news channel SNN Right, they were able to go live with the breaking news and deliver audio from the live news conference from Hanoi that had been moved up that included President Trump’s wide-ranging remarks on the summit, political battles facing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his reaction to Michael Cohen’s testimony, new negotiations with China on trade, and other breaking news…..WBUR, Boston produced “On Point” is presenting its first special four-part series from co-host Meghna Chakrabarti that explores the nation’s complicated housing landscape, titled, “Where We Call Home.”  It debuts March 4.  Chakrabarti will investigate the changing landscape of neighborhoods across America and the economic, social, aesthetic, and political forces that factor in to where and how Americans choose to live.

Michael Cohen Testimony, Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, India-Pakistan Tensions, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Trump-Russia Investigation, Border Wall/Emergency Declaration, Venezuela Unrest, and NBA/NCAA Hoops Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27). Wednesday’s congressional testimony by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen; President Trump’s Hanoi meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the military tensions between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the U.S.-Mexico border wall project and challenges to President Trump’s emergency declaration; the situation in Venezuela as Nicolas Maduro clings to power; and NBA and NCAA basketball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. This season of ABC TV’s “American Idol” debuts on March 3 and iHeartMedia is joining ABC in promoting the show with a radio special hosted by Ryan Seacrest and broadcast across more than 90 iHeartMedia AC and hot AC radio stations nationwide.  The thirty-minute special will air Sunday, March 3 and feature songs from current “American Idol” judges and past contestants, exclusive content and information about the iconic series…..Cumulus Media announces that Justin Taylor is the new operations manager for its Oxnard-Ventura, California cluster and program director for country KHAY.  He’s taking over for the retiring Chris Cox, who will step down on March 4 after a 45-year career in radio. Taylor says, “I could not be happier to be joining [RVP] Sommer Frisk and her amazing team as the operations manager for Ventura /Oxnard, and even more excited to take over the ACM nominated K-HAY!”