KPAM | TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.” : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Tag: "KPAM"

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

| October 9, 2019

FOX News Radio Utilizing Series of Hosts in 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET Slot Beginning with Harry Hurley as Immediate Replacements for Starnes.  As reported in TALKERS (10/3), FOX News Radio has kicked off a midday show titled, “Fox Across America,” to replace Todd Starnes (who departed the network last week) in its midday 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET slot.  Reports indicate that Fox will be filling the vacancy with a series of hosts with no word yet on the company’s timetable or whether it is even looking for a permanent talent to take over the show.  The first host being utilized in the position is WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley who, in addition to his daily morning show, has been serving as one of the top fill-in personalities on the network for more than a year.  Hurley, a member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” and the 2019 New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year,” has been hosting “Fox Across America” since last Thursday (10/3).   He has hosted mornings in Atlantic City for more than a quarter century where he enjoys legendary status.

TALKERS News Notes.  Sports talk radio pro Chris Carlin announces via Twitter that he’ll be doing some fill-in work on ESPN’s WEPN, New York with afternoon drive host Michael Kay when Peter Rosenberg takes time off for the Jewish holidays.  Carlin was let go from Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WFAN last month as the station pared some expense from its early afternoon show that featured Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott…..PRX announces that it is ending production of “Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen” after 20 years.  PRX chief content officer John Barth comments, “‘Studio 360’ has presented a who’s who of diverse cultural leaders, performers, and creators with verve and style.  Anchored by Kurt Andersen’s sharp, inquisitive, free-range mind and personality, a generation of creative producers has explored an impressive scope of arts and culture.  We’re proud of all that ‘Studio 360’ has brought into the lives of listeners over a remarkable 20 years.”…..MLive.com reports on the sale of Michigan radio group Jackson Radio Works from owners Susan and Bruce Goldsen to Jamie and Katina McKibbin.  Jamie McKibbin has worked for the company – as a radio host, station manager, and since 2015 as general manager – for the past 23 years.  The cluster includes news/talk WKHM-AM/W268CA, sports talk WKHM-HD2/W270CJ, CHR WKHM-FM, and country WIBM-AM/W240DG “The Power Cow.”  Jamie McKibbin says, “I love Jackson, I love the community, I love being a part of the community.  I’ve had a passion for radio since I’ve been a kid.”…..Salem Media Group closes on the swap of KKOL-AM, Seattle to Intelli LLC for that company’s KPAM-AM, Portland.  Salem has been airing its conservative news/talk with its Salem Radio Network programming on the station as “AM 860 The Answer” under an LMA.  Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage was the exclusive broker for this deal.

Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens’ Ukraine Business, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Syria Policy, and NBA-China Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/8). The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump and his administration’s announced refusal to cooperate with requests for documents and testimony; the Republicans’ interest in the Ukraine dealings of Hunter and Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the U.S. military policy in Syria as Turkey prepares to invade Northern Syria; and the NBA’s controversial relationship with China after the Houston Rockets’ general manager made a public statement supporting Hong Kong protestors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Stephens Media Group Closes on Mapleton Acquisition. The $21 million deal that transfers 37 radio stations from Jim Shea-led Mapleton Communications to David StephensStephens Media Group closes.  The deal includes seven stations in the Medford, Oregon market; six stations in Merced, California, five in the Monterey, California market; six stations in the Redding, California market; six signals in Spokane, Washington; three stations in Alexandria, Louisiana; and four stations in Monroe, Louisiana.  The acquisition doubles the size of Stephens Media and completes Mapleton’s exit from the radio business.  KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

WWO Blog: Marketers on Audio.  In this week’s blog from Westwood One, data from presentations at the recent 2019 ANA Masters of Marketing conference is presented for the radio industry.  WWO says three hot topics were audio, brand building, and the power of emotion.  Some of the positive news regarding audio included the observation from Accenture Interactive that, “Forward-looking CMOs recognize the growing potential of audio and interactive voice as a dominant medium, elevating the importance of determining smart marketing strategies that can deliver brand messaging without a screen.”  Also noted was Proctor & Gamble’s use of AM/FM radio: “Major brands like P&G are using AM/FM radio to supplement digital and make their TV better.  Marketers and agencies were amazed to learn that P&G is now America’s fifth-biggest advertiser on American AM/FM radio after being absent from AM/FM radio for decades.”

Beasley Feted at ‘Free Speech Gala.’ Pictured above is Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley (right) with Frederick J. Ryan, publisher and CEO of The Washington Post (left) and Media Institute president Richard Kaplar (center) at Monday’s 40th Annual “Free Speech Gala” at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC.  Beasley received the American Horizon Award for her visionary industry leadership in helping grow a family-owned radio business from a single AM station into a 65-station multi-media corporation.  Ryan received the Freedom of Speech Award for upholding principles of free speech and free press throughout a journalism career that has spanned print, broadcast, cable, and digital media.  FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks delivered the keynote remarks.  Photo: Gerald Barnes

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In celebration of the release of his autobiography, Me: Elton John (2019, Henry Holt & Co), Elton John and iHeartMedia are teaming up for an exclusive event on Wednesday, October 16 at 10:00 pm ET (7:00 pm PT) at iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles in which the company will host “iHeartRadio ICONS with Elton John.”  The event will feature an exclusive interview hosted by Jim Kerr and will be broadcast across more than 297 iHeartMedia stations digitally on “Big Classic Hits” and “Soft Rock.”  The CW Network will also livestream the event on The CW App and CWTV.com…..iHeartMedia Atlanta announces that Enrique Santos will anchor mornings on its Spanish hits WBZY “La Z 105.3.”  The “Tu Mañana con Enrique Santos” morning show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Station PD Orlando Rosa says, “With the increased importance and size of the our U.S. Hispanic audience in Atlanta, both Spanish and English speaking, we’re excited to welcome a top-rated, on-air talent like Enrique Santos in morning drive on ‘105.3 La Z’ with Karla, our local talent who will integrate the local happenings in Atlanta with Enrique.”…..WAY-FM chief operating officer Lloyd Parker announces that current Charleston station manager Brian Driver is named general manager for the WAY-FM properties in South Carolina.  Driver comments, “Thirty-one years ago as a 15-year-old in Dallas getting started in radio, I could have never imagined I would have the opportunity that I now have today.  I have been honored to work for WAY-FM in every facet that I have since day one and could not have gotten as much accomplished in Charleston without the help and leadership of Jim Marshall.  To now be the general manager of WAY-FM Charleston, in such an incredible ministry, is an absolute honor and a blessing that I could not have imagined.”

Friday, July 26, 2019

| July 26, 2019

NY Post: Pitaro and Le Batard ‘On the Same Page.’ According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro are “on the same page” regarding the media organization’s stance on purely political content after yesterday’s face-to-face meeting in New York City.  Le Batard violated that directive last week when he chose to comment on the “Send her back” chants shouted at President Trump’s campaign rally, calling them “un-American.”  After being called out by management, Le Batard criticized ESPN, calling it “cowardly” for avoiding such issues with the blanket policy.  Marchand’s source for today’s story offers no details on yesterday’s meeting other than that the two have an understanding and Le Batard will continue his work on the company’s radio, cable, and podcast platforms.

New Air Talent Join ‘ESPN 630’ in Washington, DC. Washington sports radio pros Andy Pollin and Bram Weinstein are joining Cumulus Media’s new sports talk WMAL-AM “ESPN 630.”  Weinstein is a 10-year veteran of the DC sports scene as a reporter and talk host. He also spent seven years as an ESPN anchor.  He is the new afternoon drive talk host.  Additionally, he’ll host the 6:00 pm “Redskins Today” show.  Pollin, a longtime crosstown WTEM personality, will serve as morning drive sports update anchor during the “Golic & Wingo” show.  He’ll also be a features correspondent for the station.  Program director Bill Hess says, “We’re thrilled to welcome these DC sports radio icons to ‘ESPN 630’ and look forward to sharing news of further additions to our team in the very near future.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Cumulus Washington DC vice president/market manager Jake McCann, Weinstein, Pollin, and Hess.

Chessare Named Market President for Townsquare’s Princeton Cluster. Radio sales pro Steve Chessare is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Princeton, New Jersey station group that includes sports talk WNJE “920 The Jersey,” as well as CHR WPST and religion WCHR-AM.  Chessare – whose resume includes service with Westwood One, WLTW-FM and WCBS-FM in New York, and Greater Media – was most recently vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut operations.  Townsquare senior vice president Rob Williams says, “Steve Chessare is among the most talented media executives I have worked with. He has led some of the biggest brands in our industry and has an extraordinary ability to build winning teams that deliver consistently strong results for our clients.”

‘ESPN Upstate’ Host Mark Sturgis Recovering from Stroke. Sports talk host Mark Sturgis is recuperating after suffering a stroke earlier this week (7/23).  Sturgis hosts the “Straight Up ith Sturg” afternoon drive program on Entercom’s sports talk multi-cast “ESPN Upstate” (WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL). Sturgis’ wife Theresa posted the following message on his Twitter account: “I am sorry to inform y’all Mark had a stroke yesterday morning. He’s in ICU and will be off the air for some time.  Hopefully will be able to go home from the hospital, but short-term rehab in a nursing home is a possibility.  Just send him a positive thought.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Political Theater on Both Sides of the Pond!,” looks back at this past week of July 22-26, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TVVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyThom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media/Free Speech TVKaren Hunter, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View Channel;” Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; and Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beaches.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Lisa Wexler Show Moves to WICC, Bridgeport. In Connecticut, “The Lisa Wexler Show” begins airing on Connoisseur Media’s WICC, Bridgeport, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective August 5.  Wexler’s program launched on WSTC/WNLK in Fairfield County in 2006.  And most recently has been airing on WGCH, Greenwich from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Wexler is an attorney admitted to the Connecticut and New York Bars.  She’s been serving as the Westport/Weston Probate Judge since 2013.  She comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the legendary WICC AM 600.  The WICC audience is incredibly knowledgeable and engaged.  I will be discussing the issues that occupy our thoughts and bringing to the airwaves the people that influence our lives.  Our emphasis will be on what is happening right here in our own communities.  Listeners are encouraged to call into the show to air their opinions and provide their own perspectives.”

Nik Miles Moves to New Portland Flagship. Portland, Oregon-based automotive radio host Nik Miles moves his flagship station affiliation from Alpha Media’s KXL-FM to Salem Media Group’s crosstown KPAM “860 The Answer.”  His program, “Our Auto Expert,” is nationally syndicated via Envision Networks.  Salem Portland general manager Dennis Hayes says, “Not only are we excited to add ‘Our Auto Expert’ to the ‘AM860 The Answer’ weekend lineup, but we are honored to be the ‘home station’ for the show, Nik Miles, and his team in Portland. We enthusiastically welcome them to the Salem Media Group and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship!”

Sports Garten Network’s ‘Wanna Bet!?’ Enters Syndication Via Envision.  The sports talk and betting show “Wanna Bet!?” – hosted by Tom Barton – is being syndicated by Envision Networks and will launch in four markets: Chicago, Las Vegas, Richmond, and Paducah-Cape Girardeau.  Sports Garten Network’s Wanna Bet?! debuted on WRCN-FM, Long Island “103.9 FM LI Radio” in September 2018.  Now, it’s joined the Envision Networks lineup as a four-hour, daily show.  Barton says, “The time is now for sports talk to reach an audience craving not just wagering news but knowledgeable information.  The response to what we’re doing is phenomenal. Radio is ripe for a transition from arguing hosts and home team bias to important decision-making information and guests whose opinions are not only entertaining but informative. This is a game changer.”

Brad Carson Upped at Entercom Memphis. Programming pro Brad Carson rises from his director of branding and sports programming to operations manager/sports brands, effective immediately.  Carson has been leading the programming on Entercom’s Memphis sports stations WMFS-AM/FM and WMC-AM “ESPN 92.9.”  Carson has served with the Memphis station group for the past 15 years.

Museum of Broadcast Communications Names Susy Schultz Executive Director. Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications names Susy Schultz its executive director, effective August 19.  Museum board chairman David Plier says, “Susy is experienced in developing and implementing innovative programs with key stakeholders.  She also has demonstrated the ability to initiate and foster robust partnerships and strategic alliances with community, journalists, sponsors and donors.”  Schultz has been serving as president of the nonprofit community media training organization Public Narrative since 2013.  She takes over for Julian Jackson, who resigned from the post this March. Schultz comments, “I look forward to working with the board in developing a strong curriculum to discuss the history, the impact, and the relevance of broadcast and digital media.  Chicago has and always will be integral to the history and future of television, radio, and beyond.”

Mueller Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 22-26. Wednesday’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller before the House judiciary and intelligence committees was the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 Presidential race and President Trump’s war of words with the Democratic congresswomen known as “the Squad.”  Coming in at #3 this week was Boris Johnson’s election as the UK’s new prime minister, followed by the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Britain’s Fix Radio Produces Boris Johnson Viral Video. “Fix Radio” is a radio station for tradespeople working in Great Britain.  It’s led by broadcaster Graham Mack, who also serves as a TalkersRadio personality and as The Michael Harrison Wrap’s British correspondent. The organization got a lot of attention after creating a video purporting to show newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson auctioning off items left at 10 Downing Street by former PM Theresa May.  Check it out here.

Ancient Interview with George Harrison Played on This Week’s Installment of Michael Harrison Podcast.  Inspired by the recently released film, “Yesterday,” and the ongoing popularity of the 2011 Martin Scorsese documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug into the archives and pulled out a 43-year-old interview he conducted with the late Beatles lead guitarist back in 1976.  It was originally recorded at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles to be a promotional radio special (“A Personal Musical Dialogue with George Harrison”) released by Dark Horse Records in conjunction with the debut of George’s solo album, “33 1/3,” and aired on hundreds of stations around the world.  It serves as this week’s “retro” installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This recording is widely regarded as one of the best interviews ever conducted with George and contains fascinating information and insights into his life at that time as well as the never-ending Beatles story.  The segment in which George discusses his legal battle over the “My Sweet Lord”/“He’s So Fine” plagiarism case holds up today as one of the most-thorough explanations of the historic intellectual property rights clash ever recorded.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here www.MHInterview.com or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Cool Promotion and Marketing Position. In Baltimore, Hearst Television is seeking a highly motivated promotion and marketing manager for news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98Rock.” The company says, “This person must be able to manage numerous projects simultaneously while elevating the sound and image of our legacy brands.  This person will also be a key player in helping develop and produce targeted, promotional campaigns that connect with our audiences across all platforms.  Among other duties, you will oversee, manage and lead marketing & promotion department; identify and implement strategies for increasing station brand awareness and resonance; develop ongoing marketing strategies on all platforms including production & placement of television commercials; manage, along with news & program directors, production of compelling image & special event campaigns and topical promotion for all platforms; attend outside community functions and meetings and manage our Baltimore Ravens promotional partnership, including on-site events.  See more and apply here.

PPM Analysis: Alternative.TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on alternative.  The June ratings period saw more alternative stations go up (weekly AQH share) than down. Entercom’s KXTE, Las Vegas led that group with a +0.7.  Comparing June 2018 to this year, about half the alt rock stations in our panel were down, but big gainers during that period include Hubbard Radio’s KPNT, St. Louis “105.7 The Point” (+1.6), Entercom’s KITS “Live 105” in San Jose (+1.2), and iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” (+1.0).  KPNT was the highest-ranking alternative station in the June survey, coming in at #3 in the St. Louis market (6+).  See the entire piece here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Memphis operations of Entercom, programmer Chris Michaels is promoted to operations manager/music brands. Michaels has been the director of branding and programming for hot AC WMC-FM, adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River,” and country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf.”…..In Raleigh, PMC Broadcasting names Brian “B” Paiz director of branding for hip hop WAUG-AM/W250AZ “Hot 97.9.”  Paiz was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming in the Columbus-Albany, Georgia market…..Atlanta radio personality Jeff Dauler and his wife Callie have launched a podcast titled, “The Upside with Callie and Jeff.” Dauler was most recently morning drive co-host on WSTR “Star 94.”  Prior to that he was executive producer and air talent on the syndicated “The Bert Show.”  In a press release, the two say, “We’ve had the idea for a while to create something to spread the message about gratitude and finding the positive in every single situation.  That mindset has changed our lives for the better… and we want everyone to understand what we have learned.  It was just an idea… until Jeff lost his job.  We decided just a few days later that now is the time.”

Thursday, April 18, 2019

| April 18, 2019

Radio News and Talk Pro Brad Messer Dies After Illness.  Former KMET, Los Angeles news director and former KTSA, San Antonio talk show host Brad Messer has died after a long illness.  LARadio.com reports on Messer’s death, noting that he worked for 47 years in radio in markets including Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, and San Diego as well.  While at KTSA, Messer was regularly honored on TALKERS magazine’s “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Hosts” annual list and was the ONLY person in the history of the list who came to us and requested that he no longer appear on the list so that his space could be used for a young-up-and-comer!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Brad Messer was the quintessential radio newsperson of the modern era, the greatest of his generation – not to mention a superb talk show host – and one of the finest human beings I have had the privilege of knowing in the broadcasting business over these past 52 years.”

‘Godfather of Sports’ Chet Coppock Dies at 70 After Car Accident. Numerous Chicago news outlets are reporting the death of Chicago sports media legend Chet Coppock.  WLS-TV is reporting that Coppock passed away yesterday (4/17) from injuries suffered in an auto accident near Hilton Head, South Carolina on April 11.  During his career, the Chicagoland native worked in television, radio, and print in Chicago as well as New York and Indianapolis.  Windy City media writer Robert Feder notes that Coppock “was a top sports anchor at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 in the 1980s.  He segued to radio where he became known as the ‘Godfather of Sports Talk Radio.’ His colorful career included stints as an announcer for the Roller Derby and World Wrestling Federation.”  Coppock left his TV gig in 1984 to join WMAQ-AM to host his interview-driven sports talk show.  In 1988, he transitioned to WLUP-FM.  Read his official bio here.

iHeartMedia Names Jeff Cage to Region SVP of Programming Position. Programmer Jeff Cage is promoted to region SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis Region that includes more than 33 stations in Missouri and Iowa, including legendary Des Moines news/talk outlet WHO-AM.  comprised of music, talk and news formats.  Cage is now responsible for spearheading programming, promotions, and digital strategies for radio brands in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri as well as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport, Iowa. He’ll also serve as SVP of programming for the Des Moines market and program director for CHR KKDM-FM “107.5 KISS FM.”  Cage arrives from iHeartMedia Little Rock where he spent 15 years and recently served as the program director for CHR KHKN “HOT 94.9” and rock KDJE “100.3 The Edge.”

Portland’s ‘860 The Answer’ Debuts New Weekend Shows. KPAM, Portland “860 The Answer” announces the addition of three new weekend programs to its lineup.  Two food-oriented, one-hour shows are airing back-to-back on Saturdays – “BBQ Nation” and “Grilling at the Green” – both hosted by renowned food expert and television personality Jeff Tracy.  “BBQ Nation” delves into all things barbeque while “Grilling at the Green” explores the ways many people live the golfing lifestyle via the stories, lives, and kitchens of those who love and live the sport.  Also airing on Saturdays is the new, two-hour “Around the House with Eric G.” starring Portland radio personality and home improvement expert Eric Goranson.  KPAM is operated by Salem Media Group.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM “Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM” is honored with nine 2018 Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Contest awards.  They were bestowed at the Spring Convention of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association in Normal on April 13.  The Entercom station was honored for: Outstanding News Operation; Best Spot News – First Place for “No Mercy”; Best Spot News – Second Place for “The Jason Van Dyke Verdict”; Best Sports Report – Second Place, George Ofman for “Rocky Wirtz”; Best Hard News Feature – First Place, Mike Krauser for “Cat Rescue”; Best Digital Presence – First Place; Best Newswriter – First Place, Mark Friedman; Best Reporter – Second Place, Lisa Fielding; and Best Newscast – First Place…..iHeartMedia Pittsburgh announces it has extended its broadcast agreement with the Pittsburgh Steelers through the 2023 NFL season.  The Steelers Radio Network is originating from rock WDVE and sports talk WBGG- 970 AM & 106.3 FM, with additional promotional support across all six iHeartMedia Pittsburgh stations and websites.  The partnership also includes Steelers Nation Radio, broadcasting 24 hours of Steelers programming on WDVE-HD2, iHeartRadio, Steelers.com, and the Steelers Official Mobile App.  The station will debut several new Steelers programs, including the “The Point After” – a weekly wrap-up program featuring the Steelers radio broadcast team, as well as “The Steelers Preview Show” airing on Thursday nights.

Release of Mueller Report, Southern Border Crisis/Barr’s No Bail for Asylum Seekers, 2020 Presidential Politics, Search for Columbine-Infatuated Teen, North Korea Weapons Test, Notre Dame Fire, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17). The anticipation of today’s release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the migrant situation at the Southern border and Attorney General William Barr’s no bail for asylum seekers decision; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Trump’s criticism of CNN’s Town Hall with Bernie Sanders; the end of the search for the armed, Columbine-infatuated teenager; North Korea resumes weapons testing; the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire; the NBA playoffs; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Signing a new contract with Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK, Philadelphia is afternoon drive personality Andre Gardner.  He is celebrating his 17th anniversary with the station this month.  WMGK program director and company rock format brand manager Bill Weston says, “Andre Gardner is king of the DJ hill in Philly.  No one brings more passion or runs a tighter board with a pervasive knowledge of music. WMGK has benefited from his talents for 17 years.  I am so happy we’re continuing Andre’s nearly two-decade run of success.”

March 2019 PPM Data – Round Two. March 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 March 2019 survey period covered February 28 – March 27. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets below.

Washington, DC

Spoken-Word Formats – For the third month in a row, WMAL sets a record for its best 6+-stat (6.8) in the PPM-era and continues in fourth-place. Moreover, the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet is a collective +2.5 via three straight upticks (4.3 – 5.7 – 6.6 – 6.8, 6+). After posting a .2 (6+) in August 2018, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted for the eighth sweep in succession.

Regaining the one-tenth it lost in February (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom sports talk WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” carries on as part of a three-way tie at #13. Its “Holiday” 2018 increase of two-tenths followed four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to .7 (#25 to #23, 6+), Radio One’s similarly-formatted WTEM “980 The Team” concludes at three a consecutive string of setbacks that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (.9 – .8 – .6 – .5, 6+).

While off a combined seven-tenths in February/March (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.7, 6+), Hubbard all-news WTOP is #1 for the third month in a row. January 2019’s 10.4 is its best 6+-performance since March 2018 (10.4, as well). Having set the pace 11 straight ratings periods, WTOP segued to the runner-up slot in December. Even though Entercom business news outlet WDCH is flat at .4 (6+), it climbs from #27 to #25.

Entering the March sweep, American University-owned news/talk WAMU was -2.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +2.5 (January 2019); and -1.2 in February. “The Mind Is Our Medium” gains three-tenths in March (8.6 – 8.9, 6+) and is unchanged in second-place. Immediately prior to “Holiday” 2018, WAMU was an overall +1.9 via five straight increases (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.3 – 9.0 – 9.5, 6+).

Washington, DC Music Formats – Through six straight spikes (6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ “Majic” is an overall +1.8 and is in third-place for the fourth time in a row. Format rival – Howard University’s WHUR – repeats at #5 but drops one-tenth to 6.4 (6+), thus curtailing three successive upticks that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+). An overall -1.4 through four straight September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 declines (4.9 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+), Atlantic Gateway Communications’ contemporary Christian WGTS “91.9 Christian Music Radio” bounces back with three straight improvements netting a +1.1 (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). After being a combined +5.6 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.8 – 7.3 – 10.4, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH “97.1 Washington’s Variety of the ‘80s ‘90s and Today” sputtered by -6.1 (January); rebounded with a +.7 (February); but regresses by -.6 in March (5.0 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). Surrendering in its entirety February’s +.6 with a March -.6 (3.5 – 4.1 – 3.5, 6+), Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX slips from seventh to ninth. “Mix 107.3” was a collective -1.3 through three consecutive losses (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.5, 6+). The sale of WRQX to Educational Media Foundation is expected to close later this year and the station will flip to contemporary Christian. In addition to WASH and WRQX, iHeartMedia-owned WBIG “Big 100 – Washington’s Classic Rock Station” falters by six-tenths as well (3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Steady at #8 after February’s +.8, Radio One urban contemporary WKYS (3.9 – 3.8, -.1, 6+), is within three-share range (6+) for the 24th straight time. The last time WKYS wasn’t between 3.0 – 3.9 (6+) was in May 2017 (2.9.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – A gain of two-tenths elevates iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO from #17 to #14. In three straight positive or flat trends, “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” is up three-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+); November 2018’s 3.2 is its best 6+-stat in more than four years (3.3, November 2014).

The key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, as well as the Celtics and Bruins, Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” is unchanged from February in 6+ share (6.4) and market rank (#3). “The Sports Hub” previously was +.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); and now -.5 in March (3.7 – 3.2, 6+). The flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox departs the top ten (#9 to #11).

A combined +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” relinquishes half (-.6) that increase in March (5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+).

The rollercoaster ride continues 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 -1.6 in February/March (5.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Off by one-half share in March as well is WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH (2.7 – 2.2, #15 to #18, 6+).

Boston Music Formats – Not only is Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR an overall +2.2 through three positive spikes in succession (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “105.7 – 80s & More” advances from second to first. Ousted from the top spot after January and February stays there is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which returns February’s +.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.3, first to second, 6+). 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. Within 3.0 – 3.8 (6+) range in each of the last eight survey periods (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.2), Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WBQT busts out a +.8 to 4.0, its highest 6+-share since July 2018’s 4.1 as “Hot 96.9” enters the top ten (#13 to #9). Frozen on 5.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, and February 2019 following December’s 6.0 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WZLX “100.7 Boston’s Classic Rock” dials up a March +.7 and is back at 6.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+). Co-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country,” is up one-tenth to 1.9 (#18 to #20, 6+), pulling the plug on four straight sweeps without an increase for a -.3 (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Its format foe – Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” – nets seven-tenths in three consecutive gains (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2, 6+) and jumps from ninth to seventh. January’s +.1 ended seven successive down or flat reports that accounted for a combined loss of -1.2 (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Improving by one-half share in March as well is Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV “Independent Radio 92.5 The River” (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+), which reaches the two-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 2.0. On the heels of posting a February gain of one-half share, iHeartMedia urban AC WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 For R&B” surrenders eight-tenths (3.4 – 2.6, #11 to #13, 6+). February’s 3.4 is its best 6+-performance since appearing in print in January 2017. Off by one-half share (each) are Beasley Media Group’s WBOS (2.8, flat at #12, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” (2.8 – 2.3, #14 to #16, 6+). After being “Alt 92.9 Boston’s Alternative,” WBOS became “Boston’s Rock 92.9” last Thursday (4/11). The station was a collective +1.0 in January/February (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.3, 6+) and reached the three-share level (6+) for the first time since August 2016.

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 2.4 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD adds one-tenth to 2.5 (#19 to #18, 6+). “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” was a combined -.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 but recaptured two-tenths in January.

Tied at #27 are Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (flat at .7, #26 to #27, 6+) and co-owned WQAM “Sports Radio 560” (.5 – .7, +.2, #29 to #27, 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+). By gaining two-tenths in March, WQAM halts three consecutive sweeps without an increase that led to a loss of four-tenths (.9 – .9 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Following January’s seven-tenths’ improvement, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN lost two-tenths in February but regains one-tenth (2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2, flat at #20, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Powered by an increase of eight-tenths – completely erasing its February decline of that magnitude (7.4 – 6.6 – 7.4, 6) – Cox Media Group-owned WFEZ “Easy 93.1” breaks February’s three-way logjam at #1 and has sole bragging rights of the top spot. Dislodged from their share of the lead are co-owned urban AC WHQT “Hot 105” (-.2, first to second, 6+) and Entercom adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” (6.6 – 6.2, -.4, first to third, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. 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. An overall +1.9 through three positive spikes 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. Thus, for the 11th straight ratings period, an adult contemporary controls or has a share of Miami’s lead position (6+). February marked the first time at #1 for “Hot” since May 2018, when it logged a 7.5 (6+). It currently is in an alternating up/down pattern that began in August 2018: 6.1 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.4 (6+). One of the market’s mainstream CHRs gains one-tenth while the other drops one-tenth; the two rivals are separated by three-tenths of a share (6+). Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was without an increase the past five sweeps for a collective loss of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+) applies the brakes with a +.1 to 2.6 (unchanged at #17, 6+), while Cox Media Group’s WFLC “Hits 97.3” is -.1 to 2.9 (flat at #14, 6+). Prior to slipping to 2.9 (6+) in March, WFLC had been within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last 15 survey periods. In the market’s urban contemporary contest, Cox Media Group’s WEDR “99 Jamz” has a “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 4.5 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 (6+) and remains in ninth-place, while iHeartMedia-owned WMIB “103.5 The Beat” regains the two-tenths it lost in February (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9, #16 to #14, 6+).

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – There are three parallel stories among this market’s news/talk outlets. After its January/February combined +1.0 (4.9 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM plunges by -1.1 to 4.8 (third to fourth, 6+). In a similar vein, co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” erases a January/February increase of six-tenths (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+) with a March decrease of seven-tenths (1.4, #21 to #22, 6+); a December/“Holiday” 2018 mini-slide resulted in slicing in half (-1.5) its 6+-share (3.0 – 2.1 – 1.5, 6+). Meanwhile, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570,” which wiped away its December/“Holiday” 2018 loss of four-tenths (1.3 – 1.2 – .9, 6+) with a January/February +.7 (.9 – 1.4 – 1.6, 6+), forfeits three-tenths to 1.3 (#23 to #24, 6+).

With a more positive story, Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “ESPN 710,” down roughly 50% (-2.0) in four consecutive declines (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.0 – 2.1, 6+), answers by making up 40% of that deficit with a +.8 to 2.9 (6+) as the Mariners’ flagship returns to the top twenty (#21 to #17). Regaining two-thirds of February’s -.6 (1.0 – 1.4, +.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM progresses from #24 to #22. “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” was down a collective four-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+), following four consecutive up or flat sweeps that nearly tripled (+.9) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .7 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Albeit flat at #15, Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO is up seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+) in four straight reports without a loss.

A combined +2.1 in January/February (5.9 – 7.4 – 8.0, 6+), Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW hands over roughly half that increase (8.0 – 6.9, -1.1, 6+) but is #1 for the third month in a row. In the runner-up slot in December and “Holiday” 2018, KUOW was on top in September 2018.

Seattle Music Formats – Within 2.2 – 2.9 range (6+) from October 2018 through February 2019 (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” erupts with a gain of nine tenths to 3.2 (#19 to #14), its strongest 6+-showing since September 2018 (3.2, as well). A collective +1.1 in four straight upticks (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8, 6+), co-owned KZOK advances from fifth to fourth. Immediately in advance of this streak, “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” was -1.6 in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). After surrendering a combined January/February -7.2 (11.2 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9” rebounds with a gain of eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+), leaping from ninth to fourth. 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+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Four-tenths ahead of “Warm” is Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound,” which is an overall +1.5 via three consecutive positive spikes (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, fourth to third, 6+). September 2018 marked the first time that “The Sound” overtook “Warm” since KSWD’s format shift from country (KMPS) approximately 16 months ago. 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+), KSWD was +1.7. The June 2018 through February 2019 topline for iHeartMedia adult hits KJAQ has remained in 3.3 – 3.9 (6+) territory, but “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” logs a March increase of six-tenths to 4.0, its best 6+-stat since May 2018 (4.0, as well). Furthermore, Seattle’s version of “Jack” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Owing to four successive sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), Hubbard’s KNUC is a collective +1.2 as “New Country 98.9 The Bull” jumps from #17 to #12. A dip of eight-tenths (3.5 – 2.7, 6+) plummets KNKX “Your Connection To Jazz, Blues, and NPR News” from #12 to #18. Not only is Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ off by -2.0 in three straight downturns (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, #11 to #15, 6+), “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” has its lowest 6+-stat (3.1) since May 2017’s 3.0. Following February’s +.9, Classic Radio, Inc.-owned KING “98.1 Listener-Supported Classical Music” returns roughly half that increase and departs the top twenty (2.9 – 2.4, -.5, #16 to #21, 6+). Its October 2018 through January 2019 topline was a consistent 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 2.0 (6+).

Detroit

Spoken-Word Formats – Following January’s increase of seven-tenths, Cumulus Media’s WJR “News Talk 760” lost two-tenths in February and is flat in March (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), backsliding from #13 to #14.

Unchanged as well in 6+-share is Entercom sports talk WXYT-FM“97.1 The Ticket,” which repeats February’s 5.0 and eighth-place finish (6+). The Pistons, Red Wings, and Tigers flagship was -1.3 in “Holiday” 2018 and +.6 in January 2019.

In an odd turn-of-events, co-owned WWJ was a combined +1.6 in January/February (6.1 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+), yet had to segue from first to second whereas in March, its loss of eight-tenths to 6.9 (6+) is sufficient to boost “News Radio 950” from second to first.

This marks the third sweep in a row that Michigan Public Media news/talk WUOM makes a fluctuation of three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3, #19 to #21, 6+). Despite being down one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Wayne State University news/talk WDET advances from #21 to #20.

Detroit Music Formats – It’s big news that the familiar WLLZ call letters from the 1980s and 1990s resurface in the Motor City. This time, it is at iHeartMedia where alternative WDTW “Alt 106.7” became classic rock WLLZ “106.7 Detroit’s Wheels” last month. In its first monthly report, “Wheels” more than doubles (+1.9) the 6+-share on that frequency this time last month (1.5 – 3.4, 6+), popping on at #15, compared to WDTW’s February #21. The station it is targeting – Beasley Media Group-owned WCSX “94.7 – Detroit’s Classic Rock” – sputters by -1.3 (7.8 – 6.5, 6+) and shifts from first to second. That spiral follows back-to-back spikes 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 by Entercom classic hits-oldies WOMC “104.3 Detroit’s Greatest Hits.” Flat at #6, the latter is a combined +.8 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Albeit unchanged at #12, WOMC’s adult contemporary sibling WDZH “98.7 The Breeze” logs its fifth successive report without a loss for an overall +1.7 (2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). WDZH transitioned from CHR “Amp Radio” to adult contemporary “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). Incumbent AC, iHeartMedia’s WNIC “The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today,” has spiraled by -11.7 over the past three sweeps (17.9 – 7.1 – 6.6 – 6.2, 6+) yet remains at #3. 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+) and was #1 in December 2018 and “Holiday” 2018. Locked on 3.2 (6+) in January and February after “Holiday” 2018’s 3.6 (6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WJLB “97.9 Detroit’s Hip-Hop and R&B” explodes with a +.9 to 4.1 (#14 to #11, 6+), its best 6+-showing since 4.4 in September 2017. Trending 5.4 – 5.6 – 5.5 (6+), co-owned urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 Detroit’s R&B and Throwbacks” adds one-half share to 6.0 (fifth to fourth, 6+). After Entercom-owned WYCD “99.5 – Detroit Country Music” and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” each regressed by six-tenths in February, the former is up four-tenths (4.7 – 5.1, ninth to seventh, 6+) and the latter gains three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, steady at #19, 6+). Faltering by -1.0 (5.9 – 4.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Rocks Detroit” drifts from fourth to ninth. Up nine-tenths in January/February (1.8 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), Detroit Classical & Jazz Educational Radio’s WRCJ “90.9 Classical Days/Jazzy Nights” surrenders seven-tenths to 2.0 (#17 to #18, 6+).

Phoenix

Spoken-Word Formats – Stuck on 3.4 (6+) in January and February, Bonneville news/talk KTAR-FM dials up a +.7 to 4.1 (6+) and vaults back into the top ten (#11 to #8). Despite dropping three-tenths (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550 carries on at #18.

After relinquishing two-tenths in February (2.2 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville sports talk/Phoenix Suns, Arizona Coyotes, and Arizona Diamondbacks flagship KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” posts a gain of three-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and continues at #22.

A combined +1.1 in January/February (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+), Maricopa County Community College news/talk KJZZ is off one-tenth to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten #9 to #12, 6+).

Phoenix Music Formats – As a result of four straight sweeps without a loss, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOMR “Amor 106.3” has more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.7, 6+) and cracks the top twenty (#17). Likewise, iHeartMedia regional Mexican KOY “El Patronexactly doubles (+.7) its 6+-figure from a month ago (.7 – 1.4, #27, 6+) and has more than quadrupled its (6+) January showing. As a result of three successive advances (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Farmworker Educational Radio’s similarly-formatted KNAI “101.9 La Campesina” is up a collective nine-tenths, climbing from #12 to #11. Another regional Mexican outlet – Univision Radio’s KHOT “Que Buena 105.9” – displays a March gain of one-half share as well (2.5 – 3.0, #19 to #15, 6+). The latest shifts by iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January/February); and now -.8 in March (6.7 – 5.9, 6+). Nonetheless, “95.5 The Mountain – We Play Everything” repeats at #1. As a result of three significant drops in succession, adult contemporary cluster-mate KESZ is an overall -9.7 (15.0 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+). It continues in the runner-up slot, following five straight times at #1. January’s loss suspended 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. The last time KESZ fell below a six-share (6+) was in September 2017 (5.8). It is tied with Hubbard’s KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” (5.3, -.1, fourth to second, 6+), which sputtered in February by -1.1 to 5.4, its weakest 6+-stat in just over two years (5.4, as well in January 2017). Regressing by six-tenths (each) are iHeartMedia’s KNIX “102.5 Today’s Best Country” (4.5, flat at #6, 6+) and Entercom classic hits-oldies KOOL “94.5 Phoenix Classic Hits” (4.6 – 4.0, eighth to ninth, 6+). Entering the March sweep, KNIX gained one-half share via five consecutive survey periods without a loss (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+). Up eight-tenths in January/February (2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+), Riviera Broadcasting hot AC KMVA “Hot” forfeits one-half share to 2.5 (#15 to #20, 6+); February’s 3.0 is its best 6+-showing since September 2018’s 3.1. Fading from #13 to #18, Entravision Spanish adult hits KVVA “92.7 La Suavecita” drops one-half share as well (3.1 – 2.6, 6+).

Minneapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after gaining eight-tenths in January/February to end 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+), Entercom-owned Timberwolves and Twins flagship WCCO “News Radio 830” forfeits seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3, #11 to #12, 6+). It is one-tenth ahead of Hubbard news/talk KTMY, which had been +1.2 in January/February (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) but “My Talk 107.1” slips two-tenths to 3.2; even so, KTMY moves up from #14 to #13. Frozen on 3.3 (6+) in January and February, iHeartMedia’s KTLK “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” falters by one-half share to 2.8 (#15 to #16, 6+).

Four setbacks in succession by KTLK cluster-mate KFXN accounted for a -2.3 (6.7 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4,  6+), but “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” bounces back with a +.4 to 4.8 (ninth to eighth, 6+). Prior to November, the flagship of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild logged four consecutive increases that yielded a +3.0 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.9 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Unchanged from January and February in 6+ market share (.7), Hubbard sports talk KSTP-AM “ESPN 1500” moves from #25 to #24.

In a down/up sequence (4.2 – 4.0 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio news/talk KNOW inches up from tenth to ninth.

Minneapolis Music Formats – The Twin Cities’ (6+) hot AC share escalated by +3.1 (January); deflated by -1.3 (February); and now improves by +.8 in March. To be more specific, Hubbard’s KSTP-FM “KS-95” was +1.9 in January, regressed by -.8 in February but is +.6 in March (6.4 – 7.0, second to a first-place tie, 6+). Having held the lead position seven straight times before being ousted in August, KSTP-FM returned to #1 in October and November. Meanwhile iHeartMedia-owned/similarly formatted KTCZ “Cities 97.1” was +1.2 (January) -.5 (February); and now +.2 in March (4.0 – 4.2, level at #11, 6+). “Cities 97.1” spiraled by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 3.3, its lowest 6+-performance since April 2018 (3.3, as well). Sharing the top spot with KSTP-FM is iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station,” which repeats February’s 7.0, its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 7.2. KDWB progressed from third to first in February with a gain of seven-tenths. In addition to “KS-95,” Cumulus Media adult contemporary WGVX “Love 105 FM” also notches a gain of six-tenths (to 1.8, #22 to #20, 6+), erasing January/February’s -.6 (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Owing to 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” is an overall +1.2 and climbs from #16 to #14. Without a loss six times in a row for a collective +1.1 (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Minnesota Public Radio classical outlet KSJN falters by nine-tenths in February/March (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.2, flat at #17, 6+). As a result of dropping one-half share, Entercom country outlet KMNB “102.9 The Wolf” falls below a three-share (3.4 – 2.9, #13 to #15, 6+).

San Diego

Spoken-Word Formats – A March gain of two-tenths by iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO slices February’s -.4 in half (4.4 – 4.0 – 4.2, tenth to ninth, 6+). January’s one-half share increase curtailed three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a collective loss of eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a collective +.8 via three upticks in succession (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.4, 6+), Tegna news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760” backslides from a tie at #18 to #19. Without an increase the past five San Diego sweeps for a loss of six-tenths (1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ similarly-formatted KFI “AM 640” picks up one-tenth to 1.2 (#24 to #22, 6+).

In the market’s sports talk contest, Entercom-owned/San Diego Padres flagship KWFN “97.3 The Fan” regains half (+.2) of February’s -.4  (1.1 – .7 – .9, #26 to #23, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KLSD “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” is up one-tenth (.4 – .5, flat at #27, 6+). Notwithstanding that 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.

On top for the third month in a row, KPBS posts its third straight gain for a +2.6 (5.1 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7, 6+). The San Diego State University-owned news/talk outlet was a combined -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.1, 6+).

San Diego Music Formats – Three down or flat moves in a row by Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV accounted for a collective loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.0, 6+), but “Amor 102.9” answers with a March gain of eight-tenths to 2.8 (#18 to #15, 6+). Leaping by eight-tenths as well is Local Media San Diego-programmed urban-rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5, The Beat of San Diego” which is +1.3 in three consecutive improvements (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.9, fifth to second, 6+). In four straight downturns (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 half-share spike to 4.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). By dropping seven-tenths (4.8 – 4.1, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KMYI “Star 94.1” slides from sixth to tenth. An overall +2.2 through three consecutive improvements (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.9, 6+), co-owned KGB relinquishes six-tenths to 5.3 (third to fourth, 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. Owing to three straight upticks, Entercom-owned KSON was +1.9 (4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 6.1, 6+), but “103.7 San Diego’s #1 New Country” is off three-tenths in March to 5.8 (second to third, 6+). A February improvement of six-tenths by classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” (.7 – 1.3, 6+) followed a “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 -1.7 (2.4 – 1.2 – .7, 6+). It is somewhat of a non-issue that “Max” drops one-half share in March (1.3 – .8, #22 to #26, 6+) though, as the station has gone silent.

Tampa

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of three gains in succession (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WFLA “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” is +1.4 as the flagship of the Tampa Lightning moves from ninth to seventh. Stuck on 2.9 (6+) in January and February, Cox Media Group news/talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” adds two-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and carries on at #15. A January gain of three-tenths suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that accounted for a -1.0 (3.6 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+).

After being up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” is a combined -.6 in February/March (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, #17 to #19, 6+).

The “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline for University of South Florida news/talk WUSF is: 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.9 (#17 – #18, 6+).

Tampa Music Formats – The only station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted thus far making a February 2019 – March 2019 (6+) increase of at least two full-shares is Cox Media Group-owned WXGL “107.3 The Eagle – Tampa Bay’s Classic Hits” (7.5, +2.1, third to second, 6+). 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+). The last time WXGL reached the seven-share level (6+) was in August 2018 (7.1). Right behind it in third-place is Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WRBQ “Q-105 Tampa Bay’s Hits of the ‘80s & More,” which busts out a robust +1.2 (4.9 – 6.1, sixth to third, 6+); “Q-105” last reached the six-share threshold (6+) in September 2018 (6.2). Up or flat the fifth successive sweep for a +1.1 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” advances from tenth to eighth. Through four straight October 2018 through January 2019 increases, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WWRM was a +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+), but “Magic 94.9 – Tampa Bay’s Best Music”  dropped six-tenths in February. It wipes away that deficit completely though with a March +.6 (5.3 – 5.9, 6+) and continues in fourth-place. There’s good news/bad news for its adult contemporary cluster-mate, WDUV. On the plus side, it is #1 for a truly staggering 80th successive ratings period; however, WDUV “Lite Favorites” is a cumulative -3.1 in three consecutive dips (13.7 – 11.8 – 11.6 10.6, 6+). Its January decrease suspended 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. Via seven successive sweeps without a loss (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WMTX was an overall +2.3, but “Mix 100.7” forfeits approximately half that increase with a -1.2 to 4.0 (fifth to ninth, 6+). A combined +1.5 in January/February (4.9 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group country WQYK “99.5 QYK” surrenders eight-tenths to 5.6 (second to fifth, 6+). Three losses in a row just before that resulted in a -1.8 (6.7 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+).

Denver

Spoken-Word Formats – The flagship of the Colorado Rockies iHeartMedia news/talk KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” is unchanged from February in 6+-share (4.7) and 6+-rank (seventh). Co-owned news/talk KHOW has a “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 (#24 to #25, 6+). Before improving by three-tenths in January, “Talk Radio 630” was off a collective seven-tenths in three successive reports without an increase (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.1, 6+).

Shifting from #13 to #17, Bonneville-owned KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” is a combined -1.2 in February/March (4.1 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). “The Fan” was an overall +1.9 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) followed by -1.2 December/“Holiday” 2018; +.9 (January 2019); and -.8 (February). The December 2018 through March 2019 topline for KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” is .3 – .4 – .5 – .3 – .4 (6+); the flagship of the Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche bumps up from #29 to #27.

The only station in the 24 PPM-markets we’ve highlighted thus far making a February 2019 – March 2019 (6+) decrease of at least two full-shares is KCFR (7.6 – 5.6, -2.0, first to third, 6+). The Colorado Public Radio news/talk facility was a combined +1.2 in January/February (6.4 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+) and was on top in September 2018, October, and November before segueing to #2 in December. Trending 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8, (“Holiday” 2018 – January 2019 – February – March, 6+), Community Radio for Northern Colorado news/talk KUNC enters the top twenty (#22 to #19.

Denver Music Formats – The three most recent fluctuations for KSE Radio Ventures’ classic hits-oldies KXKL are +1.2 (January); -.6 (February); and now +1.2 in March (5.1 – 6.3, 6+) as “Kool 105 – Denver’s Greatest Hits” leaps from third to first. Not only is iHeartMedia CHR KPTT a combined +1.6 in back-to-back sweeps, (2.6 – 3.2 – 4.2, 6+), “95.7 The Party – Denver’s #1 Hit Music Station” breaks into the top ten (#15 to #10). February’s +.6 ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Up by a total of nine-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS-107.5” proceeds from #17 to #13. A combined January/February -8.2 (12.8 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101.1 Real-Music-Variety” answers with a March increase of seven-tenths to 5.3 (6+), vaulting from ninth to fourth. In three straight sweeps without a loss, KOSI totaled an overall +7.9 (4.9 – 4.9 – 7.6 – 12.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (with a 12.8, 6+). The last time any Denver station reached the 12-share level (6+) was more than four years ago (KOSI, 12.4, “Holiday” 2014). In addition to KOSI, country cluster-mate KYGO advances by seven-tenths as well and is +1.4 as a result of three positive spikes in succession (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.7, fourth to second, 6+). Replicating February’s +.6 (4.0 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KRFX “Classic Rock 103.5 The Fox” jumps from ninth to fifth. Recent moves by Entercom hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” come in increments of seven-tenths. It gained seven-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) but is down seven-tenths in March (4.7 – 4.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). That +.7 in February pulled the plug on three straight downturns that were responsible for a loss of … seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). A decrease of one-half share (2.1 – 1.6, 6+) sends Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD out of the top twenty (#18 to #22). After being an overall +1.3 in five successive increases (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative KTCL “Channel 93-3 Denver’s Modern Rock” falters by three-tenths to 5.1 (second to sixth, 6+). February’s 5.4 is its highest 6+-stat in nearly two years (5.5, April 2017).

Baltimore

Spoken-Word Formats – Independent news/talk WCBM “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” is down three-tenths (3.4 – 3.1, 6+) but stays at #11, while Hearst Television news/talk WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” is off one-tenth (2.8 – 2.7, 6+) and carries on at #13. Doubling (+.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 moves from #27 to #26.

Unchanged at #10, Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” is -1.0 in three slips in a row (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), after being a combined +.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.1 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+).

Co-owned business news WDCH, which more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ Baltimore stat between December 2018 and February 2019 (.6 – .7 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+) forfeits four-tenths to .9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#19 to #21).

A combined +1.1 in January/February (2.3 – 3.1 – 3.4 (6+), Your Public Radio news/talk WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” surrenders roughly half that gain in March (2.9, -.5, #11 to #12, 6+). Even though American University-owned news/talk WAMU gains one-tenth (1.4 to 1.5, 6+), it backslides from #16 to #17.

Baltimore Music Formats – Over and above logging a March improvement of seven-tenths (7.6 – 8.3, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WERQ “92 Q Jams” repeats at #1. Its January +1.0 halted three consecutive declines that resulted in a -1.2 (7.9 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+). Entercom gospel WLIF-HD2 is up one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, #17 to #16, 6+). Meanwhile, unchanged at #3, adult contemporary WLIF-FM is trending 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.4 (6+), after “Holiday” 2018’s 15.2 96+). Still in that Entercom cluster, WWMX “Mix 106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” is without a loss the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.0 (4.2 – 4.2 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, steady in sixth-place, 6+). This is the third uptick in succession for iHeartMedia alternative WWDC “DC-101” for a net gain of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2, #15 to #14, 6+). A combined +1.3 in January/February (4.9 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+) after being an overall -1.2 in three straight downturns (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WZBA “100.7 The Bay” drops four-tenths to 5.8 (flat at #5, 6+). This marks the eighth sweep in a row that 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 – Anchored in seventh-place, Entercom news/talk and St. Louis Cardinals flagship KMOX “The Voice of St. Louis” is up one-tenth (5.0 – 5.1, 6+), following a February loss of six-tenths. Co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1,” which was a combined +.8 in January/February (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5, 6+), falters by three-tenths to 2.2 (6+) but remains at #17.

Despite duplicating February’s loss of one-half share (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+) Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 Sports” carries on at #16.

On the heels of February’s +.4, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU posts a March decrease twice that magnitude (4.5 – 3.7, -.8, 6+) and drifts from the top ten (#9 to #14).

St. Louis Music Formats – The wild ride continues for Hubbard’s KSHE “95 Real Rock Radio,” which was tied with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU for February’s lead position but KSHE has sole possession of first-place in March. Its five most recent fluctuations are +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); and now +1.3 in March (7.6 – 8.9, 6+) with 8.9 its highest 6+-share since November 2016 (8.6). Regarding aforementioned KLOU, it was +1.6 in January but is now a combined -1.1 in February/March (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+) as “103.3 St. Louis’ Greatest Hits” shifts from first to third. Following four straight down or flat trends for a collective -1.8 (4.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B For The Lou” erases all but three-tenths of the deficit with a February/March +1.5 (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.6, 6+) and rockets into the top ten (#14 to #10, 6+). Posting March increases of seven-tenths are Hubbard’s WIL “New Country 92.3” (6.1, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Entercom-owned CHR KNOU “Now 96.3 All The Hits” (3.7 – 4.4, #14 to #11, 6+). In February, WIL was down six-tenths to 5.4, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (5.4, as well); “Now” recorded an increase of nine-tenths in January. WIL’s format rival – iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” – returns in full February’s half-share improvement (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+) and departs the top ten (#9 to #12). A boost of six-tenths (4.2 – 4.8, 6+) by Hubbard adult hits WARH propels “106.5 The Arch” into the top ten (#11 to #8). Following a February one-half share increase, Entercom adult contemporary KEZK “The Best Mix of the ‘80s & Today” craters by -1.8 (7.0 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). Three straight up or flat tends (5.2 – 5.2 – 9.8 – 15.6, 6+) resulted in KEZK tripling (+10.4) its 6+ numbers; it spent December and “Holiday” 2018 at #1, with “Holiday” 2018’s 15.6 the strongest 6+-share by any St. Louis station in the PPM-era.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

| November 28, 2018

Former KPAM, Portland Personalities Win Unpaid Wages Case.  In a case before the Bureau of Labor and Industries in the state of Oregon, former KPAM, Portland personalities Margie Boule and Carl Wolfson prevailed in a decision to pay them back wages.  Pamplin Broadcasting, which no longer owns the station, hired Boule and Wolfson as independent contractors and argued that as such, they were not due overtime wages.  Pamplin argued that, alternatively, that if the two were employees, then they were exempt creative professional employees.  The BLI did not buy Pamlin’s arguments and ordered the company to pay Boule and Wolfson $12,361.52 each.  It also ordered Pamplin to pay $30,700 in civil penalties.  The agency concluded that although the two were called independent contractors by KPAM, they were treated like full-time staffers.  For example, witnesses for KPAM testified that requests for Boule and Wolfson to attend client events, charity fundraisers, and seminars – duties outside execution of their radio show – were “purely optional.” But the BLI ruled that “part of any job is to cooperate with people with whom one works” and claims that requests were optional are not “credible.”

Grappler’s Guide To Grinding Out Pinpoint Podcasts. Managing editor Mike Kinosian talks with pro wrestler and podcaster Brimstone about his new venture, “The Grindhouse Radio” podcast. Brimstone says he’s aware people find the huge number of podcasts out there daunting.  “Some are amazing and others aren’t so good.  Podcasting gives people a taste of the grandeur of show business. People can do it from their phone or from one microphone in their bedroom. It is fantastic that podcasts can be done at so many different levels.  Many other podcasts don’t take pride in sound quality like we do.  Our show is classified as ‘comedy,’ but we are all about popular culture.  While we aren’t comedians, we are fun and funny.”  Read the whole story here.

Entercom Honored for Mental Health Special. The September nationally broadcast special “I’m Listening” earns Entercom a 2018 Community Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Texas. “I’m Listening” was a two-hour live, commercial-free broadcast special to raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention as part of Entercom’s multi-platform “I’m Listening” campaign. The broadcast aired across all of the company’s stations nationwide on Sunday, September 9, 2018 and via their respective livestreams on RADIO.COM to mark the start of National Suicide Prevention Week.   The special broadcast welcomed medical experts, artists and celebrities connected to the cause to join the conversation about mental health, as well as live calls from listeners.   The year-long campaign also included suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions.  Entercom SVP programming innovation Liana Huth says, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives.  We know that talking makes a difference and our stations are proud to help remove the stigma around mental illness.  It’s okay to not be okay.  Many thanks to our partners, including the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. Together we are part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”

‘Coast to Coast AM’ Christmas Album Re-Released to Benefit Veterans Charity. The holiday album “Holiday Magic Coast Style” is being re-released in time for this year’s holiday season.  Sales of the disc benefit various veterans’ hospitals across the country.  It features traditional holiday songs and poems performed by fan-favorite guests of the Premiere Networks-syndicated radio program, including best-selling author Whitley Strieber, author and paranormal expert Rosemary Ellen Guiley, paranormal investigator Joshua P. WarrenUFO Phil, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, actor/singer Pat Boone, and others.  “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory also performs a special rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  It is produced by “Coast to Coast AM” senior producer Tom Danheiser and TDClark Entertainment and is currently available for purchase on Amazon.

Facebook Takes Big Step in Gaining MRC Accreditation. Considering all the negative press Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg have been getting lately, clearing this step in the Media Rating Council accreditation chase is good news. Broadcasters won’t be happy, but Facebook and Instagram have passed an audit of its internal data collection process and that’s a step toward getting accreditation from the MRC for third-party measurement of ad viewability.  The next step in the process is for the MRC to audit the process of Facebook and Instagram getting their data to third-party measurement firms. See the Ad Age story here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Plea Deal, Caravan Migrants/Border Wall Issue, Trump Denies Climate Change Report, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Hyde-Smith Wins Miss. Senate Seat, GM Job Cuts, Pelosi’s House Speaker Battle, Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/27). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related collapse of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s plea deal; the caravan of Honduran migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the related border wall funding issue; the government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s declaration he doesn’t agree with it; Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine; Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins the Mississippi U.S. Senate seat race; reactions to GM’s announcement that it will cut U.S. jobs and close plants; Nancy Pelosi’s battle to regain the House Speaker role; the latest action in Britain’s move to exit the EU; and the weekend’s NFL 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. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that 11 positions in all and two overnight jocks were let go from Hubbard Radio’s Chicago station group.  The air personalities – Mike Roberts of hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” and Brian Travis of adult contemporary WSHE “100.3” – both hosted the overnight daypart.  While there were criticisms of Hubbard’s decision in the comments section of Feder’s story, he points our that “Hubbard Radio Chicago had been among the last local station groups to broadcast live around the clock at all of its stations.”…..Premiere Networks announces the availability of a country music holiday special hosted by CMT personality Cody Alan.  “Home for the Holidays” is a four-hour, barter-free show highlighted by conversations with country music stars including: Braid Paisley, Maren Morris, and Martina McBride, among others, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts, and family traditions.  The radio special will also feature a mix of chart-topping and holiday-themed songs. It’s available for air from December 22-25.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

| March 6, 2018

Will Tomorrow Be the Day iHeartMedia’s Future Becomes Clearer? On Sunday, iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders entered into a Forbearance Agreement that put off iHM’s defaut on an interest payment on 14% Senior Notes until midnight tomorrow (3/7).  That gives both sides more time to work out a solution to the company’s $20 billion in debt and avoid putting the matter into the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  Analysts watching this case are taking note of the fact that John Malone’s Liberty Media purchased $400 million of iHM’s debt last week and now becomes a creditor in the event of a bankruptcy.  Just how important Liberty’s involvement as a creditor becomes remains to be seen but, remember that Liberty came to the aid of SiriusXM when it needed cash and now controls a majority interest in that company.  A lot of the consumer press stories covering the iHeartMedia debt saga that TALKERS editors have seen imply the company is on the verge of “failure.”  But the reality – borne out by its quarterly financial reports – is that the company is making money.  It’s just not making enough to cover interest payments on the massive debt.  The latest term sheet from iHeartMedia summarizes a proposed restructuring of the company that would reduce its debt (in exchange for equity) to $5.75 billion.  As part of the proposed terms, it would spin off Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings.

And ‘The Loop’ in Chicago Goes to…Educational Media Foundation!  At first, today’s FCC filing to transfer classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago from Merlin Media to non-profit Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation for $21.5 million seems surprising, but EMF did recently acquire KSWD, Los Angeles from Entercom and, unlike many secular, commercial broadcasting companies, it has money in the bank.  If approved, it’s expected that EMF will install its “K-Love” Christian contemporary format on the station.  Unfortunately, the deal means the current staff – including morning personality Erich “Mancow” Muller – will be out of work.  The other Merlin Media station still on the block in Chicago is alternative rock WKQX.

Salem Media Group LMAs KPAM, Portland.  In a press release issued Monday (3/5), Salem Media Group acknowledges that it is operating news/talk KPAM, Portland and adult standards KKOV “Sunny 1550” – both stations in the process of being sold by Pamplin Broadcasting to Intelli LLC.  The presser is titled, “KPAM is Alive and Well” and notes that KPAM airs “live and local drive-time programs – ‘First Edition’ from 6am to 10am and ‘Afternoon Northwest’ from 3pm to 6pm – and syndicated programs such as ‘The Clark Howard Show,’ ‘The Schnitt Show,’ ‘The Michael Medved Show,’ and ‘The Joe Pags Show.’  Hourly news, weather, and sports as well as drive-time traffic are also featured.”

WRKO, Boston Adds Joe Pags Show for Evenings.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe Pags show – hosted by Joe Pagliarulo – is joining the program lineup of iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston.  The Joe Pags show – heard in more than 100 markets across the country – airs in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says “We are thrilled to have Joe join the WRKO weekday line up.  Joe does so much more than just political talk.  He entertains, makes you think, makes you laugh, heck he even sings.  This makes him the perfect addition to the WRKO family.”  Pagliarulo states, “When you hear the call letters WRKO, you hear heritage – and a station most hosts can only dream of being on.  I’m psyched beyond words that my show is coming to this amazing station.  It’s an opportunity I cherish and simply cannot wait to talk with the great people of Boston on a daily basis.  Thank you so much to the management team for the trust and support!”

Saga Communications’ Fourth Quarter Net Revenue Rises 2.3%.  During 2017, Saga Communications executed the sale of its television stations and purchased radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Those transactions resulted in net income increasing $9.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 and $36.5 million for the year.  Saga reports that net revenue increased 2.3% to $31.5 million during Q4.  For the entire year, net revenue decreased 0.7% to $118.2 million.  For the fourth quarter, operating income decreased $433,000 to $5.3 million when adjusted for the $1.5 million charge for impairment of intangible assets.  Station operating expense increased 5.4% to $23.2 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) primarily due to the acquisition of the Charleston and Hilton Head radio stations.  Free cash flow was $6.3 million compared to $7.6 million last year.  Same station net revenue decreased 4.2% to $29.5 million primarily due to a decrease in gross political revenue of $1 million and same station operating expense decreased 2.5% to $21.5 million for the quarter.

Urban One Reports Q4 2017 Net Revenue Down 4%.  The silver lining in this fourth quarter 2017 financial report from Urban One is that broadcast and digital operating income increased 2.8% compared to the same period in 2016.  But overall, net revenue was approximately $109 million, a decrease of 4% from the same period in 2016.  Adjusted EBITDA was approximately $38.7 million for the quarter, compared to $30.9 million for the same period in 2016, an increase of 25.6%.  Urban One president and CEO Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “Overall, we produced a strong quarter from an Adjusted EBITDA standpoint, and as a result we were able to show full year Adjusted EBITDA growth, despite the challenging market conditions.  Our core radio revenues were up slightly for the quarter, excluding the impact of political revenues.  Our TV advertising revenues suffered from weak ratings delivery, which was somewhat offset by growth in affiliate revenues.  Our digital business benefitted from the integration of our acquisition of the Bossip, Madame Noire and Hip Hop Wired brands, and was up significantly in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA compared to prior year.  We were able to control costs, most notably at TV One and Corporate.  During the quarter, we repurchased a further $20 million of our 9.25% notes at a discount, and we remain strongly committed to reducing net leverage.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports giant ESPN announces James Pitaro is the company’s new chief, taking over for John Skipper, who suddenly stepped down from his position in December in order to address what was termed a long-time substance abuse issue.  Pitaro has been serving the Walt Disney company in an executive capacity in the digital realm.  Pitaro will also serve as co-chair of Disney’s television segment…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Riverhead “LI News Radio 103.9 FM” is presenting a “Spring Back to Business” event designed to be a “networking social get-together” on March 26 at its studio operations at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma.  Station personality Frank MacKay will introduce FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade who will take part in a Q&A with attendees.

Bill Lally Dies After Battle with Cancer.  Family, friends and the Southern California radio community are mourning the loss of Bill Lally, who passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.  Lally was a longtime operations manager and APD at KFI, KLAC and KTLK in Los Angeles who exited the company in 2009 during the massive round of layoffs that took place at then-Clear Channel that year.  Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Lally had also served with WABC, New York; Westwood One; WMCA; and CBS RADIO during his career.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Sam Nunberg Subpoena, Financial Reforms Rollback, North Korea-South Korea Talks, Trump Tariffs/Trade War, Senate School Safety Bill, Netanyahu-Trump Meeting, the Oscars, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5).  The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the bizarre media tour by former Trump aide Sam Nunberg after being subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposes rolling back reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meets with South Korean officials; President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s move to block them; the U.S. Senate proposes a school safety bill in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting; embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington and his meeting with President Trump; Sunday night’s Academy Awards show; and NBA 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.  The morning show at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia “Power 99” adds Roxy Romeo to the cast.  She’ll join the “Rise & Grind Morning Show” featuring Mikey Dredd and Mutha Knows, effective March 12.  iHM Philly director of urban programming Derrick Corbett says, “To be able to add a talent the likes of Roxy to our staff is phenomenal.  She’s an incredible personality who has the ability to make you feel as if you’ve known her for years upon first listen. We’re excited to be able to share her voice with the city of Philadelphia, and that she’s chosen to make ‘Power 99’ her new home.”  Romeo was most recently midday jock, APD and music director at the company’s “REAL 103.9” in Las Vegas…..Nate Bell is named program director at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “Mix 92.3” in Detroit.  EVP of urban/hip hop programming Doc Wynter says, “We are so excited to have Nate back in our urban programming brain trust.  He was missed, but it was destiny for him to come back to iHeartMedia.  Things are about to heat up in Detroit!”…..In Charlotte, iHeartMedia names Brooke Morrison afternoon personality for CHR WHQC “Channel 96.1.”  Station PD A.J. says, “We are very excited about what Brooke will bring to Charlotte.  Her high level of engagement, work ethic and passion for music and entertainment make her a superstar on and off the air.  I look forward to her joining the team as we build the next chapter of ‘Channel 96.1.’”