PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The performance of the all-news format is very important to Entercom as it owns nine of the 12 all-news stations in our panel. Almost 60% of these stations went down (weekly, 6+ AQH share) from the March PPM survey to April. Comparing April 2018 to this year, 6+ ratings movement was even, with half the stations going up and the other half going down. Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington again ranks #1 in its market (the only all-newser to do so this month), while Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco and WWJ-AM, Detroit both ranked #2 in their markets. See Mike Kinosian’s full report here.
Cumulus Asks FCC to Allow Up to 100% Foreign Investment. The FCC has a rule that no more than 25% of an American broadcast entity can be owned by foreign investors. As Cumulus Media emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in 2018, foreign ownership of its voting stock was no more than 22.5%. The company made sure of that in order to facilitate the proceedings. Now, Cumulus is asking the FCC to allow foreign investment of up to 100%. The FCC public notice states, “Cumulus now requests approval to permit up to a 100 percent aggregate foreign investment to enable holders of warrants and non-voting stock to convert or exercise these instruments in exchange for voting stock and allow non-U.S. persons or entities to hold up to 100 percent of its voting stock and capital stock generally in the future. Specifically, Cumulus explains that upon grant of the Petition, the special warrants would be automatically exchanged, and foreign ownership of Cumulus immediately following such exchanges would then be approximately 34 percent on a voting basis and 31 percent on an equity basis. Notwithstanding that the foreign ownership which would result from exercise of the special warrants is expected to be much less than 100 percent, Cumulus states that it is requesting a ruling that would permit non-U.S. persons or entities to hold up to and including 100 percent of its voting stock and 100 percent of its capital stock generally. Cumulus believes that elimination of the overall limitation on foreign ownership of its shares will, inter alia, enhance the market liquidity of its stock and ‘provide the Company with the greatest degree of flexibility in accessing foreign investment capital.’ Cumulus asserts that grant of the Petition is entirely consistent with the public interest. In support of the Petition, Cumulus asserts that grant of the Petition is consistent with the reorganization plan, which has enabled Cumulus to emerge from bankruptcy in a stronger financial condition, and which, in turn, will enable Cumulus to raise capital, enhance its programming, better serve the public, and compete with non-FCC regulated entities on a more level playing field. Cumulus also maintains that grant of the Petition aligns with U.S. foreign trade policy and the U.S. government’s desire to ‘promote inbound foreign investment’ and encourage reciprocity with U.S. trading partners.” The public comment period is open through July 8.
Alpha Media Stations Moving into Chicagoland Mall. After almost two years of negotiations, the local village board in Gurnee, Illinois (near the Illinois-Wisconsin border) has voted to pay Alpha Media $200,000 to assist in the cost of moving its four north suburban stations – news/talk WLIP-AM, Spanish sports talk WKRS-AM, rock WIIL-FM, and hot AC WXLC-FM – into space at the Gurnee Mills mall complex. According to a report in the DailyHerald, mall owner Simon Property Group is paying Alpha $600,000 to help with the cost of the estimated $847,000 renovation project. In return, Alpha will produce at least 32 public events at the mall to drive foot traffic and will air ads for the mall.
TALKERS News Notes. The Kirk Minihane–Entercom relationship appears to be turning sour again with the sports media personality now threatening to take legal action to get the platform he desires. Brandon Contes at Barrett Sports Media writes an account of Minihane’s displeasure over his situation at Entercom that he expressed while broadcasting recently on Periscope. Minihane wants his own “network” on Entercom’s Radio.com platform within a month or he says he’ll sue. Minihane officially left the WEEI, Boston morning show last fall. At the time, Entercom said it wanted Minihane to do a show on Radio.com…..Media personality Michele Tafoya – whose work includes serving as co-host of “The Tom Barnard Show” on Cumulus Media’s rock KQRS, Minneapolis – was honored Monday at the 40th Annual Sports Emmy Awards in New York with the Outstanding Sports Personality award for her work as an NBC Sports sideline reporter for NFL games. Tafoya also won the award in 2012 and 2014. Cumulus VP, classic rock and Twin Cities operations manager Scott Jameson says, “All of us at Cumulus Minneapolis are very proud of Michele winning this prestigious Emmy award. We’re quite fortunate having her on our legendary morning show hosted by National Hall of Fame inductee Tom Barnard and the rest of the morning team.”…..Westwood One News picks up another honor for exceptional reporting as the organization and correspondent Jim Roope receive a Deadline Club Award for best “Radio or Audio Feature Reporting.” The award recognizes Roope’s 2018 report, “Las Vegas: Remembering and Healing,” in which he returned to Las Vegas one year after the deadly mass shooting and spoke with the community and the victims about how they were remembering, coping, and healing. The Deadline Club Award is bestowed by the NY Society of Professional Journalists for reporting across all media platforms, including newspapers, magazines, radio, digital, and TV…..Radio personality Walter Sterling is guest starring on news/talk KFBK, Sacramento this holiday weekend. He’s sitting in for Pat Walsh on both Friday and Monday from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Sterling’s syndicated program is heard Sunday evenings on the iHeartMedia station…..Forever Media closes on its acquisition of the 10-station group in Delaware and Maryland it purchased from Steinman Communications for $18.5 million. The signals include news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, Wilmington and news/talk WXDE-FM, Lewes, Delaware. Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. was the exclusive broker for the deal.
ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER: Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout! The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out. The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity. We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency. That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.” To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.
Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, 2020 Election Politics, New Anti-Abortion Laws, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The request from congressional Democrats for President Trump’s tax returns and financial records; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; Iran’s increased production of enriched uranium and the possibility of U.S. military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; and NBA/NHL playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, iHeartMedia names programming pro Brandon “Buster” Satterfield program director for CHR WIOQ-FM “Q102,” effective June 17. Satterfield moves north from his most recent position with the company as APD for CHR WFLZ-FM, Tampa. iHeartMedia Philadelphia SVP for programming Brian Check says, “Brandon brings a unique combination of top 40 radio experience on and off the air, as well as knowledge of the market and passion for everything Philly. His dedication to the brand and keen eye for programming and the latest music make him the perfect fit.”…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1” brings two-time Grammy nominee and radio personality Monie Love aboard to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show, effective today (5/22). Station director of branding and programming Terri Avery comments, “We are so excited to have Monie Love join the ‘KISS 104.1’ team. Her love of hip-hop, entertaining personality and star power make her a great addition to our afternoons here in Atlanta.”…..Westwood One’s internationally syndicated “The Ty Bentli Show” announces Adrian Kulp joins the show as senior executive producer. WWO says Kulp brings a wealth of creative experience across multiple entertainment mediums to the show. He served for almost 10 years as a television executive with positions including vice president of TV development at Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions, vice president of TV development at Chelsea Handler’s Borderline Amazing, and a stint at CBS’s “The Late Late Show.” NASH Network director of programming John Shomby says, “Ty Bentli continues to build a team that is focused on maximizing creativity! Adrian brings a different perspective to the table that will help the show build a unique vision and bring that to our listeners each morning!”
Newsmax TV Adds Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root Shows. Two new shows are added to the lineup at Newsmax TV. “The Schnitt Show” and “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” will air for one hour at 3:00 pm ET and 8:00 pm ET, respectively. Todd Schnitt’s radio talk show is syndicated by Compass Media Networks and airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. Root’s radio show is a joint venture with USA Radio Network and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Newsman CEO Chris Ruddy states, “At Newsmax TV, we hear from our audience that they are hungry for thoughtful, passionate voices for viewpoints that other media outlets ignore. Todd Schnitt and Wayne Allyn Root are proven broadcasting leaders and we’re sure our viewers will engage with them.”
Wading Across the Widening Mainstream. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says that it was no surprise that Megyn Kelly’s interview with Alex Jones fell short of NBC’s expectations in the ratings and that President Donald Trump is effectively adhering to a carefully honed strategy by playing exclusively to his base – even though it is resulting in an extremely low (by recent standards) approval rating. It is all a part of what Harrison describes as the new rules of the “widening mainstream.” In a provocative new article posted today (6/23), Harrison argues, “We are immersed in the digital era marked by a dizzying number of media platforms and their attendant human interests. Yet, we still hear the expression ‘mainstream media’ (MSM) used as though news and entertainment are still dominated by a handful of media outlets and patronized by a largely homogeneous society. We actually still believe there is a ‘general public.’ I laugh when I hear, ‘The American people have spoken.’ Who are they?” Harrison continues, “If we are going to insist on clinging to the ‘mainstream’ analogy for media we should at least recognize that it is no longer the narrow, deep river in which we used to swim as kids – capable of supporting the ocean liners that were network television. Now it’s a wide-but-shallow marsh only capable of supporting smaller, specialized vessels.” Harrison goes on to say that the strategy being employed by Donald Trump in maintaining his power within this environment is – at least for now – “Unstoppable” and explains why. To read the entire piece, please click here.
NRHOF Class of 2017 Includes Hannity, Handel and Quivers. For the past three years, voting for entrance into the National Radio Hall of Fame has been split into two segments – one voted on by the public and one the result of votes from industry people. This year, the National Radio Hall of Fame reports an unprecedented level of audience participation with nearly 300,000 votes cast for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. Those 2017 inductees will be Premiere Networks’ Bobby Bones and KFI, Los Angeles/Premiere Networks personality Bill Handel, respectively. The industry panel chose the following inductees in four categories: Active Local/Regional, 10+ years – Tom Barnard of KQRS, Minneapolis; Longstanding Local/Regional, 20+ years – John Records Landecker; Active Network/Syndication, 10+ years – Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity; and Longstanding Network/Syndication, 20+ years – Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern show. The National Radio Hall of Fame nominating committee also voted to induct two individuals for their contribution to the industry. They are: Joseph M. Field, chairman/founder Entercom Communications Corp. and Robert S. “Bob” Sievers, the late legendary Fort Wayne, Indiana air personality who was on WOWO Radio for 51 years. National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “Each year the enthusiasm and participation from those in our industry and the voting public grows by leaps and bounds. We’re so happy to induct this truly deserving, talented group of broadcasters this year into the National Radio Hall of Fame.” The induction ceremony takes place on November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago.
TALKERS News Notes. Washington, DC sports media figure Andy Pollin is entering the world of podcasting, launching a new weekly show beginning July 3. The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg writes about the former, longtime WTEM personality’s new project, noting that Pollin will use the Chatter studio facility in DC built by fellow former WTEM personality Tony Kornheiser and his business partners. Pollin co-hosts a weekly Saturday morning sports talk show with Thom Loverro on WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan.”…..Cumulus Media enters into a multi-year partnership with IMG College to broadcast Air Force Academy athletic events. As part of the deal KVOR, Colorado Springs will continue to serve as flagship for Air Force football and men’s basketball games. Jim Arthur continues as the radio “Voice of the Falcons.”…..Sinclair Broadcast Group buys Seattle news/talk KOMO-FM from Greg Smith’s South Sound Broadcasting for $6.75 million. Sinclair has been operating the FM signal under an LMA since acquiring KOMO-AM from Fisher…..Salem Radio Network morning drive personality Hugh Hewitt will host his nationally syndicated program from Bold Gold Media-owned affiliate station WTRW, Scranton “94.3 The Talker” tomorrow and Wednesday (6/27-28). Hewitt is speaking at the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s event and dinner tomorrow evening.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Begin Posting Tomorrow (6/27). The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, beginning tomorrow (6/27), its sessions will be posted to Talkers.com. Tomorrow, the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor will be posted. On Wednesday (6/28), the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke will be posted. On Thursday (6/29) the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity will be posted. Closing out the week on Friday (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted. Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.
BFoA Names Three to Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Kim Guthrie, president of Cox Media Group, and DuJuan McCoy, president/CEO and founder of Bayou City Broadcasting have joined its board of directors, and that Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott joins as an officer and vice president. The new members and Talbott were voted in during the Board meeting that took place in New York City last week. BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The addition of these highly respected industry leaders to our board and executive ranks will further enhance awareness of our mission to provide assistance to broadcasters in need. Their dedication to helping our colleagues who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will reverberate across our industry so that we can help more broadcasters in need.”
Republican Health Care Plan, Russian Election Hacking Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Johnny Depp ‘Assassination’ Comments, State of the Democratic Party, ‘Pizzagate’ Shooter Sentenced, Sinking Oil Prices, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; the testimony from former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election; the special counsel investigation into possible connections between Donald Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; reaction to actor Johnny Depp’s “assassination” of President Trump joke; speculation about the state of the Democratic Party in the wake of its loss in the Georgia House special election; Edgar Maddison Welch is sentenced to four years for firing an assault rifle in DC’s Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor while attempting to investigate the fake news story about a Hillary Clinton-run child sex ring; the recent dramatic fall in oil prices; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. St. Louis radio personality Paul Cook announces that he’ll be missing some time on the radio as he begins treatment for cancer. Cook hosts afternoon drive on CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY “Y98.” He posted via Facebook, “In case you’re wondering where I have gone for big chunks of the next six months. The reason is that I will be getting treated for stage four colorectal cancer. Big surprise to me as well. I have the best doctors, so much love around me and there is no better place to work than right here during something like this.”…..Alpha Media flips classic hits KOOI, Tyler Texas from its “Sunny 106.5” brand to “106.5 Jack FM.” Alpha VP of programming Ronnie Stanton comments, “Jack FM is such a fun, exciting brand and we are excited to add another Jack to the Alpha stable. We believe we will bring a refreshing new sound to East Texas and some of the genuine fun the Jack brand is famous for around the world.”…..iHeartMedia’s country WSIX “The BIG 98” is presenting the 7th annual “ACCU-CHEK Guide Guitar-B-Que,” a live concert and guitar auction to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on August 23 at Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville. WSIX personalities Tige & Daniel, Amy Paige, McKiddy and more will host the event that will feature performances by Brett Eldredge, Chris Janson, Michael Ray, Devin Dawson and DJ Sinister…..Pictured at left are WLNK, Charlotte and nationally syndicated morning hosts Bob & Sheri (background) behind Martha, the Neapolitan Mastiff just crowned 2017 World’s Ugliest Dog, and her owner. Bob & Sheri again emceed the international event that draws media coverage from around the world, including coverage on “Good Morning America,” the “Today” show and in People magazine. Held in Petaluma, California, The World’s Ugliest Dog contest benefits animal rescue and has been an annual event since 1962.
PPM Analysis: CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final format analysis based on data from the May PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on CHR. Comparing station performances to 6+ data from the April PPM survey, Kinosian concludes, “Virtually as many mainstream CHR panelists are up April 2017 – May 2017 (45%) as are down (47%), with the remaining 8% flat.” Comparing year-over-year results, he notes, “Over half the CHR stations in this sample are down May 2016 – May 2017 (57%); roughly one of three improve (36%); and 7% remain steady.” In May, seven CHR stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets. They were: KQMV, Seattle; KDWB, Minneapolis; WBLI, Long Island; WHTZ, Long Island; WNCI, Columbus; WZPL, Indianapolis; and WRVW, Nashville. See the entire report here.