Monday Memo: Say It Shorter. In this week’s concise column, consultant Holland Cooke barely says ANYTHING, “and that’s the point.” Read it here.
The Presidential Race, Biden VP Choice Speculation, Vote-By-Mail Debate, and Stimulus Exec Orders Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend (8/8-9). The November presidential election, speculation over Joe Biden’s pending VP selection, the failure of Congress to arrive at a new stimulus package with President Trump responding by signing contestable executive orders to move the process along as well as the controversy over his ongoing allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this weekend according to TALKERS research of the most talked about topics on issues-oriented news/talk radio. Other heavily discussed topics over the weekend included the school closing debate and COVID-19 stats and projections.
Pending Business: Talk to the Winners. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about how radio sales professionals should have faith in the resilience of local, small business based on the premise that many WILL survive the COVID-19 era. He suggests that radio sellers seek out those whose innovation clearly has them on a winning track and talk directly to them, customizing campaigns that are in sync with their efforts. Read it here.
Update: WAMU-FM Sexual Harassment. As we reported here last week (TALKERS, 8/5), American University-owned public news/talk outlet WAMU-FM, Washington, DC is in a state of chaos over sexual harassment allegations. WAMU-owned publication DCist ran a Rachel Kurzius-written story detailing allegations of harassment and improper behavior by former WAMU-FM reporter Martin Di Caro. Numerous employees were asking for station general manager J.J. Yore to resign, something he said he was not prepared to do. That situation changed, however, late last week as the station’s six-year general manager has indeed stepped down. Vice president of people and external affairs/chief of staff Seth Grossman states, “American University thanks JJ for his years of service to WAMU; we wish him well as he pursues his next endeavor. We are announcing a series of critical steps designed to address issues in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, human resources, and management, as well as how matters of misconduct are handled at WAMU. These actions are a combination of immediate and longer-term steps to accelerate WAMU’s work to enhance culture and workplace. The changes will provide important support to the WAMU staff, who we thank for continuing to focus on producing award-winning journalism that the Washington, DC region relies on amid this period of change. We believe these actions will offer support for the entire WAMU team and provide a foundation for the station’s next chapter.” An interim general manager will be named in “the next four to six weeks.” In addition, a human resources employee relations consultant with “proven experience in improving organizational culture and creating inclusive workplaces” will be put in-place. Interim chief content officer Monna Kashfi becomes the permanent chief content officer, overseeing WAMU and DCist. WAMU’s former chief content officer, Andi McDaniel, left the station last month to join Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago as president and chief executive officer; McDaniel begins those duties next month. As indicated in the The DCist piece, McDaniel was well aware of Di Caro’s behavior, having signed off on a “Level III Final Written Warning for Serious Misconduct” given to Di Caro after “almost two years” of complaints.
Coronavirus Affects Cumulus’ Q2 Numbers. Second quarter figures for Cumulus Media include a 47.8% year-to-year revenue decrease to $146 million. The company witnessed its net income transition from a gain of $42.9 million to a loss of $6.4 million and adjusted EBITDA dropping from $61.8 million to -$6.4 million. Despite the pandemic’s material impact on revenue, Cumulus Media president/chief executive officer Mary G. Berner explains, “The company generated over $90 million of cash in the quarter through quick and decisive expense actions, strong working capital management, and the completion of sale of land in Bethesda, Maryland. Ending the quarter with nearly $200 million of cash, we have entered into an agreement to monetize our tower portfolio for more than $210 million, proceeds which will further add to our liquidity and contribute to significant incremental debt paydown.” She adds, “Our demonstrated ability to rise to a challenge, strong liquidity position, and resilient balance sheet are critical assets as we operate through this uncertain environment. We believe we remain very well-positioned to drive long-term shareholder value through continued aggressive debt reduction and the execution of our growth initiatives.” Broadcast station revenue was down 51.6% to $114.2 million. Spot revenue was off 55.6% and network revenue declined by 42.7%. Meanwhile, digital revenue was up .7% to $20.3 million.
COVID-19 “Impacts” Townsquare Q2 Results. Commenting on selected results for the second quarter that ended June 30th, Townsquare Media chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks that, as expected, the company’s “second quarter financial results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA declined 34.5% and 93.1%, respectively, as compared to the prior year. Advertising net revenue throughout the quarter, however, “experienced sequential improvement,” Wilson reports. “Together with our Live Events, net revenue has experienced the brunt of the negative business impact.” To Wilson’s point, one second quarter highlight is that, compared to the second quarter of 2019, Live Events net revenue decreased 99.5%. Wilson observes that by the end of the second quarter, “Advertising net revenue had materially improved, from -42.1% in April to -29.6% in June and continued to show improvement through July and early-August.” Townsquare Interactive added approximately 900 net subscribers, ending the quarter with approximately 20,750 subscribers, with Wilson commenting, “Townsquare Interactive’s growth continued in the second quarter, with net revenue increasing 10.5%, at an Adjusted Operating Income margin in excess of 30%, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of 850 (or more) net subscriber additions. During this pandemic, the Townsquare Interactive team became a tremendous resource for their local clients by strengthening online presence and capabilities and powering their online communication strategy. Our thesis has always been, that Townsquare Interactive is a recession-resistant subscription business and will continue to grow its revenue and subscriber base throughout the year.” Wilson explains that Townsquare Media “enacted approximately $1.7 million of monthly fixed cost savings during the second quarter, in addition to the reduction of variable costs related to the decline in revenue, which led to total direct operating expenses declining 14.8%, compared to the prior year. In addition, we have reduced our planned capital expenditures, which declined 30% in the second quarter compared to the prior year. Our board of directors elected to cease paying our quarterly dividend moving forward. Even with all the challenges and unknowns during this pandemic, we have not had to alter our core strategy. Instead, the pandemic placed a spotlight on the need to double-down on executing our existing long term strategy. We believe our ‘Local First’ strategy, together with our talented team and diversified and differentiated product offering, ensures that Townsquare will emerge from this crisis well-positioned for the future. Although a very tough Q2, we believe our revenue, profit and cash flow results will be among the best in the radio – as well as in the local media – industry.”
Why Are “You” Voting? That’s the simple question iHeartMedia is putting forth to listeners, cultural influencers, athletes, and musicians. It’s in advance of the November election, of course, when – in addition to the presidential contest – Americans will be voting for 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representative seats. Soundbites start today (Monday, 8/10) and run until Election Day (11/3). President of iHeartMedia entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “With voter turnout expected to hit record numbers, ‘Why I’m Voting’ presents a rare opportunity for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to have their voices heard by millions of their fellow Americans before we cast our votes.” Listeners can record/submit their own 20 second or less audio or video message. Meanwhile, also debuting today (8/10) and running through Election Day is iHeartMedia’s longer-form “Why I’m Voting” podcast, which will feature conversations with a wide-range of celebrities on why/how this year’s election will shape our future. The podcast will showcase personal stories behind why voting means so much for our nation. The “Why Are You Voting” series of soundbites will air on iHeartMedia’s 850+ broadcast radio stations in 160 markets, podcasts, social media platforms, and the iHeartRadio app.
Podcast Ad Spending to Surpass $1 Billion Next Year. That forecast further predicts that more than one in five digital radio ad dollars will go toward podcasts. By the end of this year, podcast ad spending in the United States will reach $782 million, up 10.4% from last year, giving it a 21% share of the US digital radio ad market. Spending is expected to jump nearly 45% next year to $1.13 billion. Insider Intelligence eMarketer forecasting director Shelleen Shum comments, “Growth in podcast advertising spend will be more resilient this year relative to digital radio advertising as a whole, which will see double-digit declines. The continued growth in podcast advertising is no surprise, as investments have made podcasts accessible to a wider audience. The news genre, a focus of many podcast advertisers, has performed well during the pandemic. While some ad campaigns were paused due to the uncertainty from COVID-19 lockdowns, we expect a rebound in Q3 and Q4. One key challenge in podcast advertising is the lack of uniformity in measurement. [The Interactive Advertising Bureau] has released a set of guidelines to establish a common set of ad metrics for podcasts, which should bring some standardization to the industry and give advertisers more confidence.” This year, 105.6 million people in the US will listen to podcasts, the first time podcast listening will surpass 100 million.
KYW Silences Familiar Sound. Owing to pandemic-related budget cuts, a number of well-known voices on spoken-word and music-intensive formats across the country have been eased off the air. A longtime fixture at Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is gone, but it had nothing to do with the bottom line or COVID-19 – and it isn’t a human. The station has eliminated the teletype sound effect that – for decades – has been played underneath its news broadcasts. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, KYW program director/brand manager Alex Silverman remarks to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “They stopped making the ribbons for the trusty teletype in 1986 and our supply finally ran out; so, old reliable is out of commission until further notice.” To that, co-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” brand manager Spike Eskin mocks in a tweet, “Just excuses again from Alex Silverman. Are we to believe he couldn’t find a new one on Ebay, or simulate the sound somehow? Does he think we are fools?” On a more serious note, Silverman states, “As technology has evolved over the years, so has KYW. The sound of the station should reflect the modern, nimble, multi-platform news organization we’ve become.” KYW has recently updated its jingle and logo. Entercom’s other top ten market news and news-talk hybrids include: WCBS-AM and WINS, New York City; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM & WCFS-FM, Chicago; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; and KRLD-AM, Dallas.
Leadership Training Program Accepting 2021 Applications. Designed to prepare senior-level broadcasters to advance into ownership or executive positions, the NAB’s Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) program is accepting applications through August 19 for next year’s session. BLT program founder and dean/ ShootingStar Broadcasting founder, president, chief executive officer Diane Sutter states, “As we transition to a hybrid online and in-person model, we look forward to expanding the reach of the Broadcast Leadership Training program. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we cultivate the next class of diverse industry leaders and equip them with the knowledge and training to advance their careers.” As it moves into its 21st year, this executive MBA-style program teaches the fundamentals of purchasing, owning, and operating radio and television stations to senior-level broadcast professionals. All education sessions planned through the end of 2020 will be held online, with the starting gathering to be held next month (9/24 – 25). Broadcast professionals from all areas of the industry, including general managers, sales managers and department heads, as well as regional and corporate executives, are encouraged to apply. Fellowship opportunities are available for women and people of color. The complete schedule will be made available in early-October.
TALKERS News Notes. Starting one week from today (Monday, 8/17) and lasting through next Thursday (8/20), ABC News Radio is set to cover this year’s Democratic National Convention and plans to do the same the following week (8/24 – 27) for the Republican National Convention. Aaron Katersky and Karen Travers will anchor; Alex Stone, Ryan Burrow, and Jim Ryan are slated to serve as reporters; and Steve Roberts joins for analysis. Multiple one-minute “Status Reports” will air each night, as will the network’s daily Brad Mielke-hosted podcast, “Start Here.” Meanwhile, each day during the conventions, the Karl & Klein-hosted podcast “Powerhouse Politics” will release special editions featuring interviews and analysis … Former iHeartMedia Jacksonville senior vice president of programming Tommy BoDean joins Cumulus Media as operations manager of its four-station Melbourne (Florida) cluster, which includes sports talk WLZR “1560 The Fan.” Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “I am really excited Tommy is joining the Cumulus Melbourne team. He’s going to make an immediate impact – and at a time [when] programming and operational leadership are critical.” BoDean adds, “The world we live in is changing every minute; radio has not just an opportunity, but an obligation, to get plugged in and help. Now is the perfect time to step into a role that both challenges and excites me every day.” In addition to his OM duties for WLZR and classic rock WROK “95.9 The Rocket,” BoDean will be the day-to-day program director for CHR WAOA “107.1 A1A” and country WHKR “102.7 Nash FM.” He previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia Cincinnati and programmed Nashville CHR WNFN “Hot 106.7.” … Effective today (Monday, 8/10), Bustos Media Tucson’s KVOI “AM 1030 The Voice” adds “The Joe Walsh Show” to its weeknight (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm) lineup and shifts “Our American Stories with Lee Habeeb,” which had been in that slot, to 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm … Twenty-year Spokane television and radio journalist Teresa Lukens will return to Morgan Murphy Media Spokane’s KXLY-AM “920 News Now” next Monday (8/17) as morning drive co-host. After three years as a reporter on KXLY-TV’s “Good Morning Northwest,” Lukens transitioned to radio as morning host on co-owned KXLY-FM “Classy 99.9 FM” and then as news anchor on KXLY-AM. Lukens left KXLY-TV in 2010 and hosted “Health Matters” on Spokane public television outlet KSPS.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Every Friday this month, iHeartMedia San Antonio joins forces with San Antonio Metro Health for the “Friday Night Virtual Dance Party” (7:00 – 7:30 pm). Participating stations within the iHM cluster include adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9”; CHR KXXM “96.1 Now;” country KAJA “KJ-7″; and Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits.” According to iHeartMedia San Antonio senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim, “There is nothing like the power of music. [We] are excited to partner with our friends at San Antonio Metro Health for ‘Friday Night Virtual Dance Party’ [and] look forward to raising our community spirit during these challenging times – all while abiding by the state’s safety guidelines to fight the COVID-19 virus.” Mayor Ron Nirenberg notes, “We want to send an encouraging and positive message to San Antonio to keep doing the things that make our city great, but do them in a safe way so we can continue to stop the spread.” … A country music special hosted by four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is among several, three-hour ABC Audio Labor Day weekend specials. “Luke Bryan: Born Here Live Here Die Here” takes listeners through each song on Bryan’s new album, which has produced three #1 singles. “Labor Day Rock Salute: Frontline Edition – From Speakeasy” honors frontline workers who stepped up during COVID-19. Hosted by ABC Audio’s Matt Wolfe, the special features hits from artists including ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks. Top rock artists will also share what they’ve been up to during lockdown. Meanwhile, the Aaron Katersky-hosted news special “How America Works Now” explores how people are coping through the pandemic. It questions what the future of American life and labor may look like, and puts a spotlight on those adapting to the new normal … “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” takes over 12:00 midnight – 5:00 am duties in Santa Rosa, California on Amaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned KFGY “Froggy 92.9 Today’s Country.” Alan comments, “Our show is excited to be a part of the ‘Froggy 92.9’ lineup. We already feel like part of the ‘Froggy’ family. I can’t wait to get to Sonoma for a visit to wine country.” Amaturo Sonoma Media Group vice president of programming and operations Jim Murphy notes, “Cody creates unique, multiplatform content that really resonates with country fans; we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the ‘Froggy’ family. The station’s revised lineup includes: Amber & Tanner (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Jenn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); Dano (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Lia (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight); and “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am) … Former four-year wakeup duo at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3, Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway (“Bud & Broadway”), sign with Houston-based SuiteRadio for morning show syndication, gearing up for next month’s start (9/7). The show will be represented on a market exclusive basis by Colbert Media Group. Prior to exiting WIL this past May, “Bud & Broadway” worked in Tulsa and Dothan, Alabama.
Longtime St. Louis Radio Personality Guy Phillips to Retire from KTRS-AM. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Guy Phillips will retire from news/talk KTRS where he’s been afternoon drive host since February of 2018. Phillips joined KLSQ-FM in 1979. It changed calls to KYKY-FM and he left the Entercom hot AC in 2018 to join KTRS. He tells the paper, “I’d say I thought about (retiring). I’m going to be 68 and I have a granddaughter now, our first. So, it just seemed like the right time.” Phillips was originally co-hosting the show with Julie Buck but she left in early 2019 and Heidi Glaus has been his co-hosted since then.
Florida Air Personalities Test Positive for COVID-19. According to a piece in the Tampa Bay Times, WHPT, Tampa “102.5 FM The Bone” air personalities Mike Calta and Anthony “Spanish” Polichemi, as well as three DJs from Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WLLD “Wild 94.1” have tested positive for COVID-19. Calta and his cast members work for Cox Media Group and are broadcasting from home studios for now. Beasley closed its St. Petersburg offices to all but essential employees after a staffer there tested positive.
KMZQ, Las Vegas Morning Host Heidi Harris Tests Positive for COVID-19. Las Vegas morning drive talk host Heidi Harris told listeners via Facebook that she’s tested positive for COVID-19. Harris writes that she started with a cough last Thursday and, after getting worse that night, called in sick on Friday. She says she got considerably sicker over the weekend with intense body aches but did not suffer breathing troubles or nausea. She intends to do her radio show from home assuming she’s able to handle it.
TALKERS EXCLUSIVE: A Conversation with Lee Habeeb of “Our American Stories.” The two-hour, nightly syndicated storytelling radio show, “Our American Stories” produced by American Private Radio, continues to pick up major affiliates and receive stellar reviews. It is now making an impact in Texas having recently added KTRH, Houston and KRLD-AM, Dallas to its growing roster of what now totals more than 225 news/talk stations across the US. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently conducted a fascinating conversation with American Private Radio CEO and the host of “Our American Stories,” Lee Habeeb. They discuss the program’s unique business model and non-partisan, storytelling approach to unifying the American public through positivity and a knowledge of history. To listen to the conversation in its entirety, please click here.
BLM Protests/Rayshard Brooks Killing, Seattle CHOP, COVID-19 Statistics/Beijing Outbreak, U.S. Re-Opening, SCOTUS Gay-Transgender Ruling, John Bolton Book, and Russia Jails Accused U.S. Spy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/15). Protests in New Mexico, Tennessee, and Oregon and the police killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta; the status of the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest in Seattle; the COVID-19 statistics in the U.S. and the current outbreak in Beijing; the re-opening of states across the U.S.; the Supreme Court’s ruling against firing on the grounds of being gay or transgender; former Trump national security adviser John Bolton’s book prepares for release; and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan is sentenced to 16 years hard labor by Russia for espionage were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WIND-AM, Chicago morning news anchor Amy Jacobson’s ban from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has been rescinded. Jacobson – with the assistance of the Liberty Justice Center – sued Pritzker and his press secretary after they banned her from press briefings because she appeared at a rally to protest the governor’s stay-at-home orders. They argued she lost her journalistic cred for taking “an extreme position” on the issue and speaking out about it. The Illinois attorney general’s office did not explain its decision but simply stated Jacobson is allowed to participate in press briefings “to the same extent that any other media is allowed to participate.”…..At yesterday’s iHeartMedia Annual Meeting of Stockholders, Gary Barber and Brad Gerstner were elected to the company’s board of directors to serve as Class I directors, each for a three-year term ending at the 2023 annual meeting of stockholders. Barber is co-founder of Spyglass Entertainment and previously served as chairman and CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Gerstner is founder and CEO of Altimeter Capital…..Newsday’s Neil Best writes that Entercom New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says he won’t rule out bringing former WFAN sports talk host Craig Carton back to the station after he completes his prison sentence for running a Ponzi scheme to pay off gambling debts. Oliviero says it’s the question he gets asked the most. “I understand why people would ask that, especially based on our long history. But the answer is: Who knows? There are so many variables. That said, if a time in the future came where Craig had gotten his life back on track, fulfilled all that was asked of him and was in a position to resume his career, of course we’d talk and discuss.” Fifty-one-year-old Carton is one year into a three-and-a-half-year sentence in a minimum-security prison.
Cleveland Radio Stations to Present ‘Justice for All.’ Five radio groups operating in Cleveland are cooperating to present a 90-minute program titled, “Justice For All: A Conversation about Race, Equality and Inclusion,” that will air on 21 stations tomorrow (6/17) afternoon at 1:00 pm ET. The program will feature Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Police Chief Calvin Williams and other area civic leaders. The show is being anchored by former WOIO-TV news anchor Romona Robinson. Broadcasters Radio One, iHeartMedia, Entercom, Good Karma Brands, and Salem Communications issued the following joint statement: “A discussion as significant as this one requires all of us to come together and listen to each other. Together, our radio stations reach more than 95% of the people in Cleveland – people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. We all recognize this unique inflection point in the history of our city and our country. Now is the time to share in a meaningful dialogue that allows us to hear people on all sides, recognize our similar views and discuss how we can begin to work together toward meaningful progress, including justice and equity for all.”
New Format for 2020 Radio Mercury Awards Announced. The Radio Mercury Awards Advisory Council and the RAB executive committee are announcing “a shift to the 2020 awards competition, a new slate of award categories and a virtual event in lieu of the previously publicized NYC event.” Submissions to the 2020 Radio Mercury Awards are free and open to agencies, advertisers, radio stations/groups, production companies and students. There will be no prize monies or trophies given in 2020. Current Radio Mercury Awards entrants will have their work automatically moved into the 2021 competition. Additionally, 2020 winners will be automatically entered into the 2021 competition. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The Radio Mercury Awards has a long-lasting heritage and reputation in recognizing outstanding radio creative. The advertising and radio industries have put a lot of heart and soul into serving their consumers during COVID-19, and we are looking forward to honoring the excellence of the creative community.” Honorees will be announced via a livestream event at 7:00 pm ET on October 6, 2020.
MIW Radio Group Announces Mentoring Program’s 2020 Class. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group introduces the MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program’s Class of 2020. Each year, four candidates from the radio industry, representing the sales, marketing, programming, and digital disciplines, are selected annually for the mentoring program. The 2020 class is comprised of the following professionals (pictured above from l-r): Nicki DellaPosta, general sales manager, Entercom, Chicago; Jill Masek, director of sales, NRG Media, Lincoln, Nebraska; Dana Schaeffer, producer, ABC News Radio, New York; and Alyson Sprague, senior director of research & analytics, iHeartMedia. Entercom VP national agency partnerships Lindsay Adams, chair of the 2020 MIW Group Mentoring Committee and a 2006 graduate of the program, says, “The quantity and quality of candidates desiring to develop their careers in radio is astounding. Given the challenges we have all faced this year, the program will prove to be even more valuable to our 2020 mentees who highly reflect the excellence we’re seeing in applications. Let the mentoring begin!”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Antonio, Alpha Media flips KTFM-HD/W277CX from classic hip hop to rhythmic CHR as “WE 103.3.” Alpha Media executive vice president of content/programming Phil Becker comments, “Hip hop is the most consumed music in the world and one that our company is passionate about and believes in. The addition of ‘WE 103.3’ to our San Antonio cluster gives us the ability to offer our advertisers a new demographic and puts us in a great position to continue to be one of the markets most listened to radio operators.” The brand will be programmed by current CHR KTFM-FM program director Ernie Martinez…..On June 25, iHeartMedia and sponsor P&G are presenting “Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community, ” a virtual relief benefit designed to help raise visibility and funds for LGBTQ+ communities most impacted by COVID-19. Artists taking part in the event include: Adam Lambert, Big Freedia, Billy Porter, Katy Perry, Kim Petras, Melissa Etheridge, Sia, Ricky Martin, and more. iHeartMedia says the celebration will culminate in a one-hour special hosted by Elvis Duran and actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox. It will stream on iHeartRadio’s Facebook and Instagram pages, iHeartRadio’s PrideRadio.com and broadcast on iHeartMedia stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio app June 25 at 9:00 pm local time…..WTHR-TV, Indianapolis reports the death of Radio One regional Mexican “La Grande 105.1” program director Grisel Barajas. The 31-year-old also was a TV personality on Telemundo Indy. She died on Sunday (6/14) after being in a motorcycle accident. Barajas was a passenger on the motorcycle driven by her boyfriend, who survived the crash. Radio One RVP Deon Levingston states, “The sudden passing of Grisel Barajas has deeply shocked and saddened us. As the program director for ‘La Grande 105.1,’ Grisel was a valued colleague and trusted friend. She was taken away from us too soon and will be missed by all of us at Radio One Indianapolis and the entire Urban One family. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Grisel’s family and friends.”
Sports USA Awarded $2 Million in Breach of Contract Suit. A Los Angeles superior court jury ruled unanimously in favor of independent syndicator of radio live play-by-play Sports USA in its multi-year violation of contract suit against Sun Broadcasting Group. The jury awarded Sports USA damages in excess of $2 million as compensation for Sun’s breach of its advertising representation agreement with Sports USA. According to Sports USA chief executive officer Larry Kahn, “[Sun CEO] Jason Bailey thought he could breach the contract by filing claims against us which had no factual or legal basis, but under no circumstance would we back down and drop our valid claims. The jury’s decision completely affirms what we have said since day one: Sun breached the agreement and had no valid justification for doing so.” Senior Manatt, Phelps & Phillips litigation partner Robert Platt asserts, “Sports USA is absolutely thrilled with [this] outcome. Despite numerous, non-meritorious countersuits and claims, our client would not be deterred in seeking the recovery of amounts that it was rightfully owed. After fighting tirelessly on behalf of Sports USA for two years, we are happy that the jury arrived at this just conclusion.” Sports USA and Sun signed an advertising rep deal in September 2015, in which Sun agreed to serve as Sports USA’s exclusive sales representative for the 2016 and 2017 college football seasons. In January, 2017, when Sun could not fulfill its financial obligations to Sports USA under the contract, Sun attempted to terminate the agreement and Sports USA filed suit.
Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Panel Discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio.” TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. Today’s (7/15) post presents the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video. The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York. Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’ Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOne; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi Media; Michael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history. TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year. To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.
Denver’s “Freedom 93.7” Debuts. In addition to positioning itself as “Freedom 93.7,” the iHeartMedia news/talk simulcast of K229BS and KDFD (760 AM, formerly sports talk KDSP ) is using “Real News – Real Talk” as its secondary slogan. President of iHeartMedia’s Denver Region, Tim Hager, comments, “With massive FM coverage, a 50,000 watt AM signal [on 760], and unmatched digital distribution, we are confident that ‘Freedom 93.7’ will quickly become a favorite destination for Colorado talk radio listeners.” The weekday lineup for “Freedom 93.7” includes: “Ground Zero” with Clyde Lewis (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am); “This Morning” with Gordon Deal (5:00 am – 7:00 am); Glenn Beck (7:00 am – 10:00 am); Rush Limbaugh (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); Sean Hannity (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Buck Sexton (4:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Dave Ramsey (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm); Ken Coleman (10:00 pm – 11:00 pm); and “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” (11:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). According to Premiere Networks senior vice president of affiliate sales, talk, and morning shows, Peter Tripi, “The launch of ‘Freedom 93.7’ is an exciting opportunity to showcase some of the most-listened-to national talk radio stars, live in a single lineup, on this far-reaching simulcast. This is a win for Denver area talk radio fans.” Weekend programming, includes “The Jesus Christ Show”; “The Weekend with Joe Pags”; “Coast-to-Coast AM – Somewhere in Time”; “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk”; and “Live on Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham.” Limbaugh will continue airing on iHeartMedia Denver news/talk KOA through August; Hannity, and Beck will continue on news/talk sibling KHOW through August as well. New live and local programming line-ups for KOA and KHOW will be announced in the coming weeks.
Howie Carr Radio Network Expands With “Dirty Rats” Podcasts. A series of true-crime “Dirty Rats” podcasts will launch on the Howie Carr Radio Network two weeks from Thursday (8/1). According to Carr, the “Dirty Rats” podcast series “will educate and entertain a whole new generation about the vast scope of crime and corruption in recent decades in Boston – murder and mayhem on unprecedented scales.” HCRN president Kathy Carr notes, “This new project allows our sponsors to grow and reach new customers well beyond our current base. With the growth and success of our advertisers, we all continue to prosper.” More than 25 New England stations carry the 3:00 – 7:00 pm “Howie Carr Show.” Newsmax TV airs it weekdays, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. In addition to placing #16 on “The Talkers Magazine 2019 Heavy Hundred,” Carr is a New York Times best-selling author of true-crime books “Brothers Bulger,” and “Hitman,” as well as other fiction and non-fiction works.
Monday Memo: Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo about this time of the year when programmers can take advantage of people’s atypical routines. He says, “As every station’s listeners’ routines are altered, they’re exposed to days and dayparts they might not habitually use. When they discover you, will they instantly ‘get it?’ Is your elevator speech high-profile?” Get more summertime tips here.
NPR Boosts Nelson to VP/Technology Operations. Overseeing the audio engineering and news flex teams at NPR the past three years, Chris Nelson is promoted to vice president of technology operations. President of operations Loren Mayor remarks, “Chris brings innovative technology leadership to his role. [He drives] collaboration between editorial, production, and technical staff, and promotes a culture of operational excellence and public service. He has focused considerable energy on building talented teams to design, deploy, engineer, and support the complex technology solutions and infrastructure at the operational heart of NPR’s editorial vision and signature sound.” Nelson notes, “I’ve seen this organization and our systems grow over the years – that would not have happened without the dedicated efforts of this team. Our technologists are innovators and leaders in their fields; they deserve recognition for the work they do to support nearly every facet of NPR’s operations. I’m proud to serve them all in this role.” The 1999 Middle Tennessee State University graduate joined NPR as an audio engineer in 2000 and has held roles that include technical director for live and recorded music broadcasts, and oversight of technical operations for multiple seasons of elections coverage. Nelson has produced documentaries for public radio and the National Hockey League, as well as serving as a Tanzania-based audio specialist for the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Media Institute To Honor Beasley. As part of its October 7 “Free Speech America” gala in Washington, DC, the Media Institute will honor Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley and The Washington Post publisher/chief executive officer Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. Beasley will be bestowed the American Horizon Award, which recognizes an individual for visionary leadership in the communications industry, while Ryan will receive the Freedom of Speech Award, recognizing an individual who has worked to advance free speech and the First Amendment. Beasley has served in her current capacity since January 2017 and has held a number of other posts at the company including executive vice president; chief financial officer; treasurer; and secretary. She most recently served as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters board of directors. Former FCC chair Richard E. Wiley will be the master of ceremonies at the October 7 event, which will be keynoted by FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks. The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation specializing in communications policy and the First Amendment.
Thomson Elevated to Emmis’ Senior VP/Human Resources. During her nearly 15 years at Emmis Communications, Traci Thomson has been vice president of human resources and director of employee services. She is now boosted to senior vice president of human resources. In a staff memo, Emmis chair/chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan writes, “Traci is an integral member of the Emmis senior leadership team and has played a critical role in all actions we’ve taken the past several years to reinvent Emmis. [This] promotion also sets the stage for the important role Traci will play in the months ahead with the formation of Mediaco Holding and the next steps on our path to invest in the future of Emmis.” Before joining Emmis, Thomson spent nine years at the First Indiana Bank.
Radio One Cleveland Gets Rude. The operations manager of Radio One Detroit, Yonni Rude, transfers to Cleveland where he will have similar duties. Rude replaces Bill Black, who left this past spring. Radio One regional vice president Eddie Harrell, Jr. comments, “We are thrilled to have Yonni join our team in Cleveland. His track record and programming acumen make this a perfect fit. We look forward to Yonni furthering our standing as the dominant force with respect to serving African-Americans in Northeast Ohio.” Rude notes, “I’m excited for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with the amazing Radio One Cleveland all-star team.” The company’s Cleveland facilities include news/talk WERE “News Talk 1490”; urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9”; urban AC WZAK; and gospel WJMO “Praise 94.5.” Its Detroit operation consists of urban AC WDMK “105.9 Kiss FM” and WDMK-HD2 “Praise” and it operates urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” under an LMA. Rude previously was the three-year operations manager for Radio One Richmond.
TALKERS News Notes. Nine-year KSL mid-day (12:30 pm – 3:00 pm) talent Jay Mcfarland is departing the Bonneville Salt Lake City news/talk outlet. After being off the air for two weeks, he made the announcement last Friday (7/12) on an appearance with afternoon anchor Jeff Caplan. It has been speculated – but unconfirmed – that Mcfarland will run as a Republican in Utah’s 4th congressional district for the seat currently held by Democrat Ben McAdams. Before going to KSL, Mcfarland worked at Dallas news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM ….. Since joining the Portland Trail Blazers as the NBA team’s radio voice in 1998, Brian Wheeler called 1,823 Blazers’ games, but he will not return next season. Owing to illness, Wheeler missed significant stretches of the last two years on iHeartMedia flagship KPOJ “AM 620” and Portland’s 21-station radio network. The team’s president/chief executive officer Chris McGowan states, “Brian Wheeler has been an integral part of the broadcast team and Trail Blazers family since 1998. His voice is synonymous with all the many great play-by-play calls over that 21-year span. We thank Brian for his contributions to the franchise and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” Wheeler expresses gratitude to the team “for the incredible opportunity and honor of calling radio play-by-play the past 21 years. I was honored and blessed to be a Blazer for 21 seasons; fortunately, I’ve accumulated some precious memories that will last a lifetime.” When Wheeler was unavailable, games were called by Travis Demers and Michael Holton.
June 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.
Spoken Word Formats – News/talk KXL’s March/April -1.0 is officially obliterated by a May/June +1.1 (3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+) as Alpha Media-owned “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” jumps from tenth to sixth. Down three-tenths in May, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” bounces back with an improvement of two-tenths (2.0 – 2.2, #18 to #17, 6+). In this calendar year’s six survey periods (January 2019 through June 2019), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” has logged a 1.0 (6+) three times and a .9 (6+) the other three times: 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 (#26 to #24, 6+).
Tied at #22 are KUFO’s sports talk sibling KXTG “The Game” (1.4, -.3, #21 to #22, 6+) and Entercom’s similarly-formatted KFXX “1080 The Fan” (1.5 – 1.4, -.1, #23 to #22, 6+). “The Game” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-stat through five successive sweeps without a loss (.9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, 6+), while May’s 1.5 by “The Fan” was its best 6+-showing since October 2018’s 1.7. After more than tripling (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share via three straight improvements (.5 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” forfeits the entire increase in June and is back at .5 (-1.2, #21 to #28, 6+).
A combined -1.2 in May/June (7.9 – 7.0 – 6.7, 6+), after an April gain of six-tenths, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB continues in third-place. KOPB has been +1.2 (January 2019); a combined -2.0 in February/March; +.6 (April); and -.9 (May).
Portland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 tacked onto May’s four-tenths’ increase (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.7, 6+) enables Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” to leap from sixth to fourth. The last time KUPL reached the five-share level (6+) was in April 2017 (5.5). Prior to dropping three-tenths in April, “The Bull” was a collective +1.2 in three straight gains (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Conversely, Entercom-owned KWJJ has May’s eight-tenths’ gain erased with a June decrease of nine-tenths; “99.5 The Wolf” – The Northwest’s Hottest Country” drifts from the top ten (#6 to #12). KWJJ continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2018 (3.4 – 2.7 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 4.6 – 3.7, 6+), with May’s 4.6 its best 6+-stat since July 2018 (4.6, as well). Logging gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103,” which is up a collective eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, steady at #2, 6+) and rhythmic CHR sibling KXJM “Jam’n 107.5,” an overall +1.5 via four successive positive or neutral moves (2.4 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.9, #15 to #10, 6+). This (7.8) is the best 6+-stat for “K-103” since “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 when KKCW was #1. KXJM has its strongest 6+-showing since March 2016 (3.9, as well). A combined -1.1 in April/May (8.9 – 8.6 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH not only picks up one-tenth to 7.9 (6+), “106.7 The Eagle” is #1 the fifth month in a row. When “the Eagle” faltered by three-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +3.5 (5.4 – 7.1 – 8.1 – 8.9, 6+). Prior to February, KLTH last reached the eight-share level (6+) in May 2011 (8.1, as well). A dip of six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+) sends Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” from eighth to tenth and below a four-share (6+) for the first time since March 2018 (3.9, as well). Down one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom alternative KNRK tumbles from #11 to #15. All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” is a collective -2.4 in five consecutive down or flat moves (4.4 – 4.4 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 2.3 – 2.0, #17 to #19, 6+). Immediately prior to losing seven-tenths in March, KQAC was without a loss four times in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reached the four-share level (4.4, 6+) the first time since February 2017’s 4.2.
Spoken-Word Formats – By hanging out a robust June +1.2 to 4.4 (#13 to #12, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT completely evaporates the overall -1.2 it lost in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+). May’s 3.2 was its lowest 6+-showing since September 2018 (2.9).
In an alternating up/down sequence that began in “Holiday” 2018 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” has lost three-tenths in that stretch; the Charlotte Hornets flagship remains at #19.
The last three shifts for University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE were -.6 (March); +.5 (April); and -.5 (May). “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” is off an additional two-tenths in June to 2.1 (6+) but climbs from #16 to #15. Having logged a .3 (6+) in each of the last three sweeps, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC gains one-tenth to .4 (6+) and is unchanged at #22.
Charlotte Music Formats – Vaulting from ninth to fourth as a result of a +.9 (4.8 – 5.7, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-10.7 More Music/Better Variety” records its strongest 6+-stat (5.7) since “Holiday” 2018’s 12.9 (#1). Notching increases of one-half share each are its urban contemporary sibling WPEG “Power 98” (4.6, #11 to #10, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (2.6, #18 to #14, 6+). Immediately prior to their respective increases, “Power” was an overall -1.9 in three slips in succession (6.0 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.1, 6+), while “K-Love” was a combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Entering the June 2019 sweep, iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake” was -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); and +.8 (May). Simply by remaining flat at 7.1 (6+) though, “The Lake” rises from second to first. In advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO posted eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). Beasley Media Group cluster-mates WSOC and WBAV dislodged “The Lake” from #1 in February, after WLKO’s January-only stay on top. Speaking of WSOC, it had been #1 the past four months, but “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.5 – 6.9, -.6, 6+) segues to second. A May improvement of eight-tenths delivered WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well). Before gaining nine-tenths in January, WSOC had been without an increase the previous four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” is +1.1 in four straight positive or neutral moves (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.4, 6+) and continues in third-place. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). A combined +1.9 in April/May (1.2 – 2.0 – 3.1, 6+), Davidson College-owned WDAV “89.9 Classical Public Radio” sees all but two-tenths of that bounty disappear with a -1.7 to 1.4 (#14 to #18, 6+). In four straight December 2018 through March 2019 down or flat trends (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), WDAV lost a collective half-share. Down six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WEND “106.5 The End” is below a three-share (6+) for the first time since February 2017 (2.8, as well). Via four straight gains, Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS accrued a +2.1 (3.2 – 3.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), but “Kiss 95.1” forfeits two-tenths to 5.1 (seventh to eighth, 6+). The positive streak immediately followed four consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps (May and June), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI coughs up one-half share (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3, fourth to sixth, 6+), virtually erasing its +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+). April’s 5.3 marked the first time “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” reached the five-share level since August 2016’s 5.2. Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth in consecutive reports (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3, #21 to #22, 6+). That deficit this time last month halted three successive up or flat trends which netted three-tenths (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5, 6+).
Tied at #32 are KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” (flat at .3, #31 to #32, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” (.2 – .3, +.1, unchanged at #32, 6+).
Off one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX falls from #13 to #16.
San Antonio Music Formats – It’s another month of musical chairs regarding Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 Worship Now” and co-owned/similarly-formatted KZLV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” First, the backdrop. In May, KZAR posted a +1.0, pulling the plug on three successive negative trends that accounted for a -1.3 (3.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 -2.0, 6+), while KZLV eroded by -1.0, immediately after April’s half-share increase (2.9 – 3.4, 2.4, #13 to #17, 6+). The June update finds KZLV roaring back with a +1.5 (2.4 – 3.9, 6+) taking “K-Love” into the top ten (#17 to #10), whereas KZAR plummets by -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+) as “Air 1” departs the top twenty (#14 to #21). By gaining one-tenth to 2.1 (#21 to #20, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH “107.5 The Vibe” halts at four its consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for a collective -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe” in mid-April. Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KMYO “Latino Mix 95.1” dials up a gain of eight-tenths (2.4 – 3.2, 6+) and elevates from #17 to #13. “Latino Mix” had been within two-share range (6+) in each of the last 19 sweeps and finds the three-share threshold (3.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.0. Up a collective nine-tenths via three straight positive or neutral trends (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, #16 to #13, 6+), Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” has its best 6+-showing (3.2) since November 2018 (3.3). Locked on 4.7 (6+) in April and May, Cox Media Group’s KISS “Rocks San Antonio” busts out a one-half share increase to 5.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Leading the pack the fourth month in a row, co-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” follows May’s +1.1 to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, with a loss of three-tenths (8.5 – 8.2, 6+). KONO-FM had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Faltering by one-half share each are Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” (4.3 – 3.8, 6+), which departs the top ten (#8 to #11), and Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Que Buena 92.9” (3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #13, 6+). The last time “Jack” slipped below a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Showing decreases of two-tenths each are Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (7.2 – 6.9, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+). Remaining separated by nine-tenths, KCYY (+.6 in May) and KAJA (+.4 in May) carry on at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); and +.6 (May). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); and –1.9 (March).
Spoken-Word Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK picked up one-tenth in May, it halted three straight sweeps without an increase that led to a collective -1.6 (7.6 – 7.0 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” plunges nine-tenths in June to 5.2 (6+), sliding from second to fifth; KFBK was tied for first (with classic rock KSEG) in January. Flat at #14, co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and has remained within 2.3 – 2.7 range: 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 (6+).
Up three-tenths via three straight gains of one-tenth each (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” forfeits the entire three-tenths and is back to .7 (#22 to #24, 6+). In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK “Sports 1140” has lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, #25 to #26, 6+).
Adding two-tenths to May’s +1.0 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), KXJZ progresses from ninth to seventh. Prior to May, five decreases in succession by the Capital Public Radio news/talk station accounted for a roughly 50% loss (-3.4) of its 6+-share (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through June 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 (#27 to #24, 6+).
Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by four consecutive upticks accounting for a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” marches from fifth to second. Ahead of it is Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock,” which despite being off six-tenths (8.9 – 8.3, 6+), is #1 the fifth month in a row. That accomplishment includes January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK. “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Six of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); and -.6 (June). Wiping away April/May’s combined loss of eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+) with an equal magnitude June bump (4.8 – 5.6, 6+), Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” leaps from seventh to fourth. For the 16th successive survey period, Entravision Communications’ similarly-formatted KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” logs a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5 (2.0 – 2.1, +.1, 5+) and is anchored at #16. Co-owned Spanish adult hits KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” (#17 to #15, 6+) posts a half-share increase to 2.3, its best 6+-stat since November 2018’s 2.4. Also in that Entravision Communications cluster, rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (2.5 – 2.3 – 1.8, #15 to #17, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 (6.1 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom-owned KRXQ slips from second to sixth. The last time “98 Rock” was under a five-share (6+) was “Holiday” 2018 (4.3). Immediately following April’s nine-tenths’ gain, alternative sibling KKDO “Alt 94.7” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2, sixth to ninth, 6+). CHR cluster-mate KUDL “106.5 The End,” which was an overall +1.9 through four straight up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), relinquishes three-tenths to 5.7 (6+) yet advances from fourth to third. Staying flat from May and thus remaining separated by one-half share from each other are the market’s two AC players – Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites” (4.6, eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” (4.1, #11 to #10, 6+). “Mix” is without a gain the third straight time for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+); this (4.6) is its weakest 6+-stat since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is Entercom’s KDKA-AM -1.8 as a result of five straight February through June drops (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), “News Radio 1020” exits the top ten (#10 to #11); KDKA-AM was +1.1 in January.
Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), regains two-tenths to 6.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+). The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 (#22 to #23, 6+).
Returning in its entirety May’s gain of six-tenths (4.2 – 3.6, -.6, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” slips from ninth to tenth.
Pittsburgh Music Formats – Repeating in the runner-up slot, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is +2.3 in four straight positive spikes (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+) and reaches the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. This streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). A positive spike of eight-tenths takes iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW to 8.5 (steady at #3), its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. Replicating May’s increase of six-tenths (8.3 – 8.9 – 9.5, 6+), co-owned rocker WDVE, which lost nine-tenths in April, is #1 the fifth successive month. WDVE posted identical gains of eight-tenths in February and March (7.6 – 8.4 – 9.2, 6+) and spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. In each of the last 50 ratings periods, Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting triple A WYEP has registered a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9, but in June, “91.3 Where The Music Matters” posts a +.6 to 2.3 (unchanged at #14, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot WLTJ “Q-92.9” improves by six-tenths and cracks the top ten (3.1 – 3.7, #11 to #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” falters by the same margin (5.0 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+). Consequently, the +1.9 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in May is down to seven-tenths. “Q-92.9” gained a combined half-share in February/March (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), while a March loss of one-tenth by “Star” curtailed at three a successive string of increases that led to a +1.2 (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+). Immediately after Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” records a +1.4, “Wish 99.7” plummets by -1.1 (6.3 – 5.2, fourth to sixth, 6+). May’s gigantic increase suspended four consecutive declines that resulted in a net loss of roughly half (-5.0) of WSHH’s 6+-stat (9.9 – 5.8 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.9, 6+). In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX is an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+) as “105.9 The X” slips from #11 to #12.
Salt Lake City
Spoken-Word Formats – After spiraling by -1.3 this time last month, Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” levels off in June by repeating May’s 6+ AQH share (3.9) and market rank (eighth). Prior to May, KSL had never fallen below a four-share (6+) in the PPM-era. Two-tenths behind KSL is iHeartMedia’s KNRS, which is up three-tenths to 3.7 (flat at #10), halting three straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” was a combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). The January 2019 through June 2019 topline for Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” is .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3 (unchanged at #21, 6+).
In four straight sweeps without an increase, University of Utah news/talk KUER is an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, #15 to #16, 6+).
Salt Lake City Music Formats – Stuck on 1.9 (6+) in April and May, Cumulus Media alternative KHTB “Alt 101.9” records a half-share improvement to 2.4 (#16 to #15, 6+), its best 6+-showing since January’s 2.7. Albeit down three-tenths after May’s increase of two-tenths (8.1 – 8.3 – 8.0, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” repeats at #1. Before segueing to the runner-up slot in April, KSFI was on top the previous five ratings periods. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a massive +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). On the other hand, in five consecutive negative moves, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” is an overall -1.5 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+). Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP “103.5 The Arrow” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (8.2 – 7.6 – 6.8, second to third, 6+). It was an April-only stay at #1 for KRSP, which had been an overall +2.5 in five consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). “The Arrow” is overtaken by its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned KODJ “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” – which is flat at 7.4 (6+) but advances from third to second. “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and was +1.2 in May. An increase of seven-tenths this time last month took Cumulus Media CHR KENZ to 3.0, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 3.5. “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music,” however, regresses by one-half share in June to 2.5 (#11 to #14, 6+). The market’s two major hot ACs are separated by just two-tenths as Capital Broadcasting’s KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” is off three-tenths (5.8 – 5.5, steady at #4, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” improves by four-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Prior to the May sweep, “Now 97.9” had been down or flat three straight times for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+). Meanwhile, “My 99.5” is in an alternating down/up pattern that started in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.3 (6+). Independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” continues a similar down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.2 (sixth to seventh, 6+). May’s 5.4 was its best 6+-showing since December 2017 (5.4, as well). Flat at #11, iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” is +1.0 in three straight improvements (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – By gaining two-tenths (1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT, which was off six-tenths in May, returns to the top twenty (#21 to #19). The 2.4 “News Talk Radio 840” logged in February, March, and April was its best 6+-showing since February 2017’s 2.8. Flat at #23, Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” has a January 2019 through June 2019 topline of 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+).
Following five upticks in a row that nearly doubled (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR forfeits six-tenths to 5.2 (third to fourth, 6+).
Las Vegas Music Formats – In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE was a whopping -8.0 (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+). “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” rebounds in June though with a +1.2 to 6.0 (6+) and jumps from fifth to second. Prior to May, the last time KSNE fell below a five-share (6+) was October 2017 (4.8, as well). “Sunny” was #1 from September 2018 through January 2019. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. KSNE is now just one-tenth behind Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More,” which is -1.5 in May/June (7.6 – 7.1 – 6.1, 6+) but on top the fifth month in a row. February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. There’s considerable shifting in the market’s hot AC battle as KKLZ cluster-mate KVGS “Star 107.9 Vegas’ Best Variety” erupts with a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.9, #13 to #9, 6+) at the same time that Entercom’s KMXB “Mix 94.1” falters by -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to third, 6+). “Star” returned 60% of April’s +1.0 with a -.6 in May. Moreover, this is the best 6+-stat (3.9) for “Star” since it flipped from adult hits “Bob” in January 2015. The loss by “Mix,” meanwhile curtails three consecutive increases that netted +1.0 (5.5 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.5, 6+), with May’s 6.5 its strongest 6+-stat since July 2018’s 6.7. Down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of nine-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KXTE “X-107.5” answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 2.7 (#17 to #13, 6+). An increase of six-tenths enables Lotus Communications-owned Spanish adult hits KWID “La Buena 101.9” to reach the five-share level (4.5 – 5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+), while a boost of one-half share by KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.6, eighth to seventh, 6+) gives the Entercom CHR its best 6+-showing (4.6) since September 2018’s 4.8. Its rhythmic hot AC cluster-mate KXQQ was a cumulative +1.1 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), but “Q-100.5” craters by -1.4 to 3.6 (fourth to tenth, 6+). In May, KXQQ reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018 (5.0, as well). In addition to erasing May’s half-share gain with June’s loss of six-tenths (1.5 – 2.0 – 1.4, 6+), University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 FM – Jazz & More” departs the top twenty (#17 to #22). This is the fourth straight decline for Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Jammin’ 105.7,” which is -1.0 since February (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1, #10 to #11, 6+). As a result of five successive setbacks, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio” is -1.6 (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, #12 to #13, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after posting a May +.7 (4.5 – 5.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM surrenders eight-tenths to 4.4 (eighth to tenth, 6+). “News 96.5” was a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+) and -1.0 in March/April. Stuck on 3.9 (6+) in April and May, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” drops four-tenths in June to 3.5 (#11 to #12, 6+) and is in 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) for the ninth time in a row. News/talk cluster-mate WFLF has a March 2019 through June 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 (6+) and repeats at #14.
Cox Media Group’s sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” more than doubles May’s .3 (.7, +.4, 6+) and jumps from #23 to #19, while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” is down one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.8 – .7 – .6, #19 to #21, 6+).
Off seven-tenths in three straight slips (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” moves from #12 to #13.
Orlando Music Formats – On the heels of May’s eight-tenths’ increase, iHeartMedia-owned WJRR piles on a +1.1 (3.4 – 4.5, 6+) as “101.1 – Orlando’s Rock Station” enters the top ten (#12 to #9) with its best 6+-stat (4.5) since February 2018’s 4.8. Entering the May sweep, WJRR was off nine-tenths through four straight decreases (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 2.6, 6+). Owing to a +.2 to 8.7 (unchanged at #2), Spanish tropical sibling WRUM “Rumba 100” applies the brakes to three straight down or flat trends that led to a -1.0 (9.5 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.5, 6+). “Rumba” spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018; in 2019, it was #1 in January, February, and April. Having surrendered one-half share in May to 4.2 (6+), Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country” follows with a June increase of six-tenths (4.8, tenth to eighth, 6+). Jumping by one-half share from May are iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” (7.5, steady at #3, 6+) and Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” (6.0 – 6.5, fifth to fourth, 6+). Immediately following four improvements in a row that netted a +1.7 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4 – 9.0, 6+), “XL-106.7” was a combined -2.0 in April/May (9.0 – 8.4 – 7.0, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in May, “Mix” was a combined +.9 in March/April 5.4 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+). Via four straight sweeps without a loss, alternative sibling WQMP “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” is up eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well). Over and above adding four-tenths to May’s +1.1 (7.9 – 9.0 – 9.4, 6+), co-owned classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” repeats at #1. An April loss of three-tenths interrupted three consecutive increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Eroding by -1.1 each are Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” (fourth to sixth) and rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WPYO “Power 95.3” (#7 to #11). “Star” is an overall -2.6 in three straight setbacks (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 5.2, 6+) and below a six-share (5.2, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (5.5, June 2018). Meanwhile, “Power” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.3, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – While iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One,” which had a January-only stay on top, is off an overall one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+), the flagship of the Reds continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC, whose November 2018 through May 2019 topline was 3.6 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.5 (6+), spirals by eight-tenths to 2.7 (#11 to #13, 6+). It was exactly one year ago when “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” was below a three-share (2.8, June 2018).
In five straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has its 6+-stat carved in half (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6, flat at #22, 6+), while co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” has a similar 50% erosion (-.3) in three successive down or flat ratings periods (.6 – .4 – .3 – .3, #24 to #23, 6+).
A collective -1.2 via three straight drops (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, flat at #14, 6+) Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU has wiped away the +1.1 it achieved through three consecutive gains (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+).
Cincinnati Music Formats – When Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE accrued two-tenths in May, it pulled the plug on three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+). In June, “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” adds a whopping +1.3 (7.5 – 8.8, 6+) and continues in third-place with its best 6+-stat (8.8) since January’s 9.4. Advancing from #15 to #14, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” logs its sixth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.1 (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). As a result of four drops in a row (6.5 – 6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WKRQ was -1.0, but “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” picks up two-tenths in June to 5.7 (sixth to fifth, 6+). A May loss of four-tenths by Radio One urban contemporary WIZF curtailed four consecutive positive or neutral reports that yielded seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+), but “101.1 The Wiz” bounces back with a June increase of seven-tenths (3.0 – 3.7, 6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). There’s good and bad news for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR. On the positive side, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is #1 the fifth sweep in succession; however, its -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+) represents the largest (6+) May 2019 – June 2019 decrease by any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far. Entering the June ratings period, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). Co-owned WOFX “92.5 The Fox – Cincinnati’s Classic Rock,” which gained a combined nine-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), surrenders a -1.0 to 5.0 (fifth to sixth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 4.3. Immediately after posting a May improvement of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” relinquishes eight-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #11, 6+); May’s 3.9 was its best 6+-performance since February 2017 (3.9, as well). The six 2019 fluctuations by Cumulus Media adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” are -8.2 (January); +.4 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (April); +.7 (May); and -.6 in June (7.5 – 6.9, third to fourth, 6+); May’s 7.5 was its highest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.6. Locked on 4.8 (6+) in April and May, Hubbard Broadcasting rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” sputters by one-half share to 4.3 (6+) but remains in seventh-place.
Spoken-Word Formats – After a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” has logged a -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 in June (5.1 – 5.6, ninth to eighth, 6+). Flat at #19, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” which resurfaced in print in April, has a redundant April – May – June topline of .5 – .5 – .5 (6+).
In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK is a collective -2.4 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0, 6+); “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” fades from the top ten (#10 to #14).
Even though WCPN is down one-tenth to 3.6 (6+), thus snapping at five a consecutive string of positive or neutral sweeps that netted a +1.6 (2.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), the Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet progresses from #12 to #10.
Cleveland Music Formats – A lofty +1.1 (7.3 – 8.4, 6+) enables Entercom-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” to zoom from fifth to second with its strongest 6+-stat since August 2018 (8.4, as well). WNCX is three-tenths ahead of iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country,” which substitutes May’s one-half share loss with a June gain of seven-tenths (7.4 – 8.1, fourth to third, 6+). Its May decrease halted four consecutive gains that accounted for an overall +3.5 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.9, 6+). That streak directly followed five consecutive losses that resulted in a -3.7 (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+). Even though WZAK gains three-tenths to 7.8 (6+), pulling the plug on five successive sweeps without an increase resulting in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+), the Radio One urban AC backslides from second to fourth. May’s 7.5 was its lowest 6+-showing since October 2018 (7.5, as well). Trending 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.4 (February through May, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WENZ “Z-107.9” hangs out a +.6 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. A combined +1.0 in three straight upticks (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” continues in seventh-place. In May, it reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0. Notwithstanding that it returns May’s gain of four-tenths (9.8 – 10.2 – 9.8, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI is #1 the seventh straight sweep. Five recent fluctuations for “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” include +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); and -1.0 (April). Entercom adult contemporary WDOK craters by -1.5 to its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well), as “Cleveland’s Star 102” skids from second to sixth. By losing roughly half its 6+ AQH share (1.1 – .6, -.5, 6+), Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio 103.3” drops from #16 to #18.
Spoken-Word Formats – Nearly erasing completely March/April’s -.8 (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+) with a May/June +.7 (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” elevates from fifth to fourth. Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” dropped two-tenths in March; gained three-tenths in April; lost two-tenths in May; and regains that two-tenths in June (2.1 to 2.3, #20 to #19, 6+). Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM,” which was off two-tenths through three straight down or flat trends (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+) and continues at #22.
A combined +1.7 in March/April (2.3 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” has lost seven-tenths in May/June (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). One-tenth behind the Royals flagship is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which is up two-tenths to 3.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus halting four straight negative or flat trends that led to a -2.0 (5.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).
Through five straight up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.9, 6+), KCUR netted a +1.9, but the University of Missouri news/talk outlet forfeits eight-tenths in June to 4.1 (6+) and drops from sixth to ninth.
Kansas City Music Formats – A stunning +3.8 as a result of five consecutive positive or neutral reports (5.4 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” returns to #1 from the runner-up slot. After a two-month stay in the lead, it was dislodged in May. Five recent KCMO-FM fluctuations include +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +1.2 (February); +1.1 (March); and +1.3 (June). Turnabout is fair play as KCMO-FM succeeds the station that ousted it in May – co-owned KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” (8.4 – 8.6, +.2, first to second, 6+). This (8.6) is the highest 6+ showing since January 2019’s 10.1 for KCFX, which is +1.3 in three bumps in succession (7.3 – 7.7 – 8.4 – 8.6, 6+). April’s four-tenths’ increase halted February/March’s combined -2.8 (10.1 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). By piling on nine-tenths to May’s +.6 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT leaps from tenth to fifth as “99.7 The Point” crosses the four-share threshold (4.8) for the first time since September 2018’s 4.3. Owing to five positive or neutral moves in a row, University of Northwestern St. Paul contemporary Christian KJNW “Life 88.5” is an overall +2.0 (1.5 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) and climbs from #14 to #12 with its strongest (6+) performance since January 2018 (3.5, as well). Following March/April’s +1.0 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.9, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q104 New Hit Country” is a combined -1.7 in May/June (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.2, fourth to eighth, 6+). On one hand, April’s 5.9 is its best 6+-stat since June 2018 (5.9, as well), while June’s 4.2 its weakest since December 2018’s 3.7. Remaining flat in June are country challengers co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” 4.8 (but jumping from seventh to fifth, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.5, but advancing from #13 to #12, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” is up one-tenth (2.6, flat at #18), ending four successive declines that accounted for a collective -2.0 (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). That directly followed five consecutive positive or flat moves resulting in a +1.4 (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+). Co-owned urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3,” however, is -1.2 in three drops in succession (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.0 – 2.8, #14 to #16, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – Although flat at #6, iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” hasn’t had an increase in each of the last five sweeps and is an overall -2.3 in that January through June stretch (7.0 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.7, 6+).
The January through June topline for Ohio State University news/talk WOSU is: 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.8 (seventh to fifth, 6+).
Columbus Music Formats – Three straight upticks by Saga Communications classic hits-oldies WNND yield eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+) as “Rewind” jumps from #13 to #11 and reaches the three-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 3.1. A combined -1.4 in April/May (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.3, 6+), co-owned WLVQ is up three-tenths to 7.6 (third to second, 6+). “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” previously amassed a +1.9 in three straight “Holiday” 2018 through March 2019 increases, (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.1 – 8.7, 6+). This is the 19th sweep in a row that iHeartMedia-owned WCOL is #1 and “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017 (11. 7 – 11.1, 6+). Sample WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.2 (April); -1.3 (May); and now -.6 (June). Immediately following May’s +1.4, co-owned CHR WNCI surrenders all but two-tenths of that gain (8.6 – 7.4, -1.2, second to third, 6+). Prior to May, “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” was a collective –1.1 through three successive decreases (8.3 – 8.0 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+). May’s 8.6 was its strongest 6+-performance since September 2018’s 9.4. As a result of nine consecutive positive or neutral moves, Ohio State University’s WOSA has more than doubled (+.7) its 6+ AQH share (.5 – .9 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2, #18 to #17, 6+).
On the heels of notching a May gain of six-tenths (3.7 – 4.3, 6+), One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). Meanwhile, Radio One gospel WJYD, which was +1.0 in nine successive July 2018 through March 2019 up or flat trends (.5 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), is off six-tenths in June to 1.4 (#15 to #16, 6+); “Joy 107.1” was 1.7 (6+) in April and 2.0 (6+) in May. Three consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia adult hits WODC netted +1.0 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 5.1, 6+), but “93.3 The Bus” returns half that increase in June (4.6, -.5, fifth to seventh, 6+); May’s 5.1 was its best 6+-stat since 8.7 in “Holiday” 2018.
Pay Inequality Prompts Young To Exit WPXY. “Walking away from a stable paycheck is risky at best and stupid at worst, but for me, it was necessary.” That candid Twitter assessment is how Whitney Young described the decision to leave her role as morning co-host on Entercom Rochester CHR WPXY “98-PXY.” She had been teamed there with Corey James. Exiting wasn’t over often-stated “philosophical differences” or an offer from another station, but for something that’s become prominent in recent headlines – equal pay for equal work. Further quoting her tweet, Young writes, “My male co-host’s salary was nearly double my own, and I was unable to negotiate a raise that would reduce the pay disparity. This inequality is in conflict with my most deeply held beliefs.” Young doesn’t seem to have any animosity whatsoever for James, noting he is “a good friend, a talented showman, a dependable colleague, and fully deserving of his salary.” She promises though to “continue speaking about the things that matter to me – mental health awareness being of utmost importance.” While Young has “no idea” about her next move, she states, “it won’t be on [WPXY] but I’ll talk to you soon.” Young initially worked at WPXY as a social media producer. She exited but rejoined for mid-day duty two years ago and became part of the morning show last year. No Nielsen Audio ratings numbers are available to quote for Entercom’s WPXY, as the market’s only subscribers to the winter 2019 book are seven iHeartMedia stations.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. A special “Meet & Greet” reunion of many of Detroit’s most famous radio personalities will be held September 14 from 1:00 – 6:00 pm at Novi, Michigan’s Suburban Collection Showplace. “Radio’s Best Friend,” Art Vuolo, is hosting the open to the public, fan-based event that will honor 94-year-old Robin Seymour, whose “Motor City” on-air radio credits include WKNR “Keener 13,” CKLW “The Big 8,” and WKMH. His recently-published book, “The DJ Who Launched 1,000 Hits,” will be available ….. The program director of Cumulus Media Houston mainstream CHR KRBE, Leslie Whittle, adds corporate duties as Cumulus Media’s vice president/hot AC formats. Cumulus Media executive vice president/content and audience Brian Philips comments, “With great strategy and spirit, Leslie has built a CHR powerhouse in Houston. She understands all nuances of contemporary music radio. We are fortunate to enlist her as VP of our hot AC formats. Her name has hit every list of the ‘Best PDs in America,’ and we are glad to spread Leslie’s brainpower and influence through our important hot AC stations.” Whittle notes, “I’m honored to have this opportunity and look forward to working with these amazing programmers and their teams, along with the talented people at Westwood One. A big ‘high-five’ to our team here at KRBE, led by Alex Cadelago and Dan Bennett as we continue to do great things in Houston.” After starting her radio career at Austin CHR KHFI, where she ultimately became program director, Whittle joined KRBE in 2000 and became PD in 2006 ….. Former Entercom Los Angeles all-news KNX anchor/reporter Karen “Cha Cha” Harlow joins Tegna San Diego adult hits KFMB-FM, where she’ll do a Saturday afternoon (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm) shift and swing work. It is a return to San Diego for Harlow, who has worked at KHTS, XHTZ, and XPRS. Director of FM programming Mike V. Vasquez notes, “I’ve been a fan of [Harlow’s] since first hearing her when I arrived in San Diego in 1998, so I’m thrilled to finally work with her. Her energetic, positive, vibe – combined with her extensive connections in San Diego – make her an ideal fit for us.” Harlow comments, “It is a thrill to join the family at the legendary KFMB-FM. I’m ready to shake the sand out of my beach towel and get back to playing awesome music on the radio – let’s have some fun.” ….. Having spent 31 years with Entercom San Diego, one-year senior director of promotions Chris Turner will be leaving the five-station cluster this Friday (7/19). Turner joined KSON as a part-time member of the country station’s street team in November 1988 and was eventually promoted to assistant promotions director. He later became director of promotions for co-owned alternative KBZT, before having the same title at KSON ….. In two weeks (7/29), Dena Fletcher will join Griffin Communications’ KVOO “98.8 Tulsa Country” as program director. Griffin director of radio operations & programming Steve Hunter comments that, “Dena will be a great addition to our team and a great fit for our culture.” As part of her 20-year resume, Fletcher has programmed cross-town Cox Media Group hot AC KRAV “Mix 96” and hosted afternoon drive on that cluster’s classic rock KJSR “103.3 The Eagle.” ….. In an October 17 ceremony at New York City’s Javits Center, Cumulus Media Syracuse mainstream CHR WNTQ “93-Q” morning team (5:30 am -10:00 am) Ted Long and Amy Robbins will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. Cumulus Media Syracuse vice president/market manager Beth Coughlin comments, “When two amazing people create and produce a dynamic, platinum- standard product, and fine-tune it for many years on air, it can’t be duplicated. Ted and Amy’s influence as part of not only the ‘93-Q’ family, but also within the central New York community, has set them apart. We congratulate them, and thank the New York State Broadcasters Association for this Hall of Fame recognition.” Long & Robbins have been together for 30 years.
St. Jude’s Cites iHM Boston and Portsmouth “Bull” Siblings. During an event last week at St. Jude’s Children Hospital in Memphis, iHeartMedia Boston country outlet WBWL “101.7 The Bull” and co-owned/similarly-formatted WTBU “95.3 The Bull,” Portsmouth (New Hampshire) were recognized with the Country Cares Radio Stations Of The Year Award. ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital regional development director Jenn Potter states, “St. Jude partners with over 350 radio stations throughout the year and is proud to honor ‘The Bull.’ They are the true definition of incredible partners and are always trying to do more for the kids of St. Jude.” Vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Boston region, Dylan Sprague, comments, “Receiving this award is a credit to our great teams in Boston and Portsmouth. The funds raised are a true testament to the dedicated listeners and our on-air team who make the St. Jude mission so relevant to the Boston and Portsmouth communities.” Shown (above, left to right) are: New England Region St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital managing director Kim Chisholm; WTBU “95.3 The Bull” program director Tim Moore; Jenn Potter; WBWL “101.7 The Bull” sales manager Ally Klein; WBWL program director Ginny Brophy; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Country Cares Program director/radio development Scott Hinshelwood; and WBWL and WTBU on-air personality Colton Bradford.
Anderssen Adds Atlanta Duties at WSB-AM. Continuing as Cox Media Group’s news, talk, and sports format coordinator, Drew Anderssen is appointed senior operations/program manager for the company’s Atlanta news/talk outlet, WSB-AM. Director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs notes, “Drew and I have worked in lockstep for the last five years as format leaders for all of our outstanding Cox Media Group news/talk stations. He brings an overwhelming amount of experience and passion and I look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure [WSB-AM] remains a dominant leader in the radio space.” Anderssen comments that WSB-AM is “one of America’s strongest and most iconic radio stations. It has been a career-long dream of mine to become part of this award-winning team. I am thrilled to work one-on-one with Pete Spriggs and the entire team to help shape the future of the WSB brand.” Anderssen previously oversaw programming, news, digital, and social media planning as OM/PD at co-owned WDBO-FM, Orlando. Prior to joining Cox Media Group in 1998 as Tulsa news/talk KRMG’s operations manager, he spent several years in promotions, research, and programming in Texas and Oklahoma. WSB-AM – which had been #1 the past 37 Nielsen Audio sweeps – is a combined -2.1 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (8.6 – 7.9 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues to #2. Prior to November 2018, WSB-AM was a collective +1.1 in three straight gains (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2 – 8.6, 6+).
Thrall To Call Some Reds Ballgames. Seven-year Pensacola Blue Wahoos play-by-play announcer Tommy Thrall bumps up from the Double A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds to “the show,” joining the Reds’ broadcast team on iHeartMedia news/talk WLW and the Reds’ radio network. After 45 years of calling Reds’ games, Marty Brennaman will be retiring after this season; Jeff Brantley will continue working alongside Brennaman as color analyst. Reds senior vice president of business operations Karen Forgus notes, “Tommy Thrall was added to our broadcast staff for 2019 as our ‘utility’ broadcaster. His duties will include hosting the ‘Reds on Radio’ post-game show and producing stories and interviews for the radio pre-game show. Additionally, he will fill-in on play-by-play for the games Marty is not working. We have no plans beyond 2019 at this time.” Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith comments, “We are incredibly proud of Tommy for taking this well-deserved step in his career. Since Opening Day 2012, he has been an invaluable part of our organization and we are grateful for his numerous contributions to ‘Hoosville.’” Thrall and Brantley worked together on three games last September. They are scheduled to call the Reds – Chicago White Sox spring training matchup later this month (2/27).
Applications Now Accepted For Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program. In its 18th year, this experience pairs up-and-coming women currently working in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media. Beasley Media Group is once again lead sponsor of the initiative for women interested in advancing their careers. Chair of the 2019 Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group’s mentoring committee/Entercom Chicago national sales manager Lindsay Cerajewski states, “This unique initiative provides an amazing opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge, and access to some of the most influential women in radio. It is very rewarding to watch our mentees grow professionally throughout the year.” MIW Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik adds, “We are absolutely thrilled Beasley Media Group has once again generously offered to serve as lead sponsor of MIW Group’s heritage Mildred Carter Mentoring Program; we look forward to another successful year.” Four candidates within the radio industry will be selected for this year’s program. At least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot for a digital candidate. The MIW Group Mentoring Program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter, who, along with her husband, Andrew “Skip” Carter, founded the first African-American-owned radio station in the United States, when they signed-on Kansas City’s KPRS in 1950. Deadline to apply for the mentoring program is in less than three weeks (2/20).
Blues Skating To Hubbard St. Louis. Effective with the 2019-2020 National Hockey League season, games of the St. Louis Blues will shift from Entercom news/talk KMOX to Hubbard sports talk WXOS “101 ESPN.” According to Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski, “It has always been a dream to partner with the St. Louis Blues organization. The Blues management team is a class act and their fans are the best in professional hockey.” WXOS band content director Chris “Hoss” Neupert adds, “The ‘101 ESPN’ team is excited to be the new home for the St. Louis Blues. Our entire team is looking forward to our partnership with the St. Louis Blues and the opportunity to offer innovative content, exclusive interviews, analysis, and coverage for St. Louis fans.”
Veteran Talk Programmer and Communications Professor David Bernstein Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most seasoned radio programmers in the industry, David Bernstein, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bernstein, who’s programmed such heritage outlets as WOR, New York; WRKO and WBZ-AM, Boston; WTIC-AM, Hartford; and WPRO-AM, Providence, is currently the general manager of TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio showcase TalkersRadio and has been serving as a professor in the Department of Communication at Caldwell University in New Jersey for the past three years. Harrison and Bernstein engage in an informal chat about his view of our changing society from the front-line perspective of teaching a college communications class. Check it out! To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page on Talkers.com.
FSR Sets Super Bowl Programming. Among the highlights on Fox Sports Radio’s schedule this Sunday (2/3) is a weekend edition of “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” who will be joined by betting experts Steve Fezzik and Brad Powers, as well as FSR personality Jonas Knox. Super Bowl Sunday, of course, is considered the biggest sports betting event of the year. The network’s complete lineup this Sunday includes: Andy Furman and Brian Noe (6:00 am – 9:00 am); Mike Harmon and Kelvin Washington (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” (12:00 noon – 1:00 pm); Mark Willard and Rich Ohrnberger (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); Steve Hartman and Ephraim Salaam (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Arnie Spanier and Chris Plank (throughout the Super Bowl game); and Jonas Knox (11:00 pm – 2:00 am).
RTDNF Tabs Klobuchar As “First Amendment Defender.” This year’s First Amendment Defender award from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation to Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be presented next month (3/13) in Washington, DC. RTDNF chair Scott Libin comments, “Senator Klobuchar has been a staunch defender of First Amendment freedoms over the years. She has supported cameras in courts; worked to advance government transparency; and pursued protections for the press through oversight, including her questioning of Attorney General-designate William Barr. Her record represents exactly the sort of leadership RTDNF seeks to recognize. As a constituent of Senator Klobuchar and as someone who has led Twin Cities newsrooms during the decades of her distinguished career, it is my honor to extend this recognition.”
WBUR’s CitySpace Opens Later This Month. The 8,700-square-foot, high-tech multipurpose facility at The Lavine Broadcast Center officially opens to the public in several weeks (2/28), but Boston mayor Marty Walsh joined executives of Boston University-owned public radio news/talk WBUR for a ribbon cutting at the Commonwealth Avenue site on Wednesday (1/30). WBUR general manager Charles Kravetz comments, “CitySpace will be the home for public conversation in Boston. It brings the best of WBUR and NPR to life – it is a destination where people can come together to engage in civic dialogue, to wrestle with big ideas, to be inspired, to be entertained, and to be educated on topics that impact our community and our lives.” Mayor Walsh notes, “The city of Boston is excited to welcome WBUR’s CitySpace, a convening space that will help bring diverse thinkers, innovators, and performers together to create an inclusive community for all that it serves. This new space will act as an important public hub engaging our residents on issues that are shaping Boston and the country.” The calendar of events already includes discussions with Boston Marathon champions; authors and chefs; brown-bag musical performances by Boston University students; trivia nights with WBUR staff; and adult spelling bees. The venue accommodates up to 275 people and has state-of-the-art audio and robotic high-definition video technology for live streaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. First-year CitySpace guests scheduled to appear include comedian/former Air America host Janeane Garofalo, “The Good Place” creator Michael Schur, composer Philip Glass, and author Margaret Atwood.
Southern California Broadcasters Association Shares Its 2019 “Automotive Overview.” In an ongoing series, the Southern California Broadcasters Association delivers an in-depth analysis of a particular industry or topic directly relevant for its members and the radio industry. This particular report, available on SCBA’s website, “challenges the auto industry’s focus” on non-radio digital platforms by “making a compelling case” for broadcast radio and the influence radio advertising has on today’s car buyers. The overview reveals that “year-over-year vehicle sales have remained essentially flat to down the past four years, highlighting SCBA’s case that media reallocation and a true ROI analysis of current ad spending by the automakers is urgently recommended.” SCBA president Thom Callahan remarks, “Based on factual research, it is our view that broadcast radio is the underrated and undervalued workhorse for the auto industry. Not only will 23% of auto buyers visit a dealership after hearing a radio ad, but one in ten will actually buy a vehicle after hearing a dealer radio ad. The auto industry must reevaluate its dependence on digital since increased digital ad spending has not delivered increased retail sales. Spending 63% of automotive ad budgets with digital is not sustainable.” Previous SCBA reports include topics such as “E-Commerce Basics to Know,” “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Pandora,” and “Consumer Response to Broadcast Radio versus Digital and Social Media.”
Michael Harrison Addresses South Florida Art Community. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison served as special guest speaker addressing a gathering of approximately 70 emerging local artists last evening (1/30) at a workshop titled “The Thriving Art Exchange” at the CJR Fine Art Gallery in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. The event was presented by the Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists and honored the work of Rickie Leiter, publisher of a Palm Beach County-based art industry trade publication, The Rickie Report. In his speech, Harrison focused on opportunities available to independent artists in the rapidly evolving digital era in both the creative and marketing arenas. He opened his talk with a humorous anecdote, “The last time I addressed a group of visual artists was when I served as keynote speaker at the first annual convention of the National Association of Cave Wall Painters.” Harrison said, “It was a time when the standard method of painting was to put colored pigments on your hands and paint directly with your fingers onto the walls of caves. The big issue that year was what to do about the introduction of a new gadget called the paint brush and whether images created with this new technology were truly ‘art.’” Harrison concluded, “The argument became a non-issue when the stone tablet was invented shortly thereafter and paintings could be taken to places outside the cave. That form of disruption was the first example of mobile media!”
“PodGOATs” Launches Today. The series of Comworld Media-produced “PodGOATS” podcasts features Cumulus Media Nashville news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host Phil Valentine and his millennial son, Campbell Valentine. The elder Valentine remarks, “I can’t remember having this much fun doing something in a long time,” while recent University of Tennessee graduate Campbell counters, “You can’t remember – period.” The two will discuss everything from their top three picks of events that changed the world to what to do if an electromagnetic pulse took down the electrical grid. They talk spies, conspiracy theories, and anything else in today’s society and culture. Five episodes debut today (2/1) with a new podcast – available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, – released once a week each Sunday afternoon.
Grabbing Gronk. Preparing for its coverage of Super Bowl LIII this Sunday (2/3) when the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams, the NFL’s exclusive network radio partner – Westwood One – has been interviewing players, coaches, and special guests for their weeknight “Road to Super Bowl LIII” program; “Super Bowl Preview”; and “Super Sunday” shows airing prior to Sunday’s big game in Atlanta. Seen above is the voice of NFL Films, Scott Graham, chatting with New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. This is the 32nd consecutive year – and 46th time overall – that Westwood One will broadcast the Super Bowl.
CBS News Radio Offers Radio Version of “Intelligence Matters” Podcast. Starting tomorrow (Saturday, 2/2), former CIA deputy director/intelligence analyst and CBS News national security contributor Michael Morell begins hosting a one-hour radio version of the “Intelligence Matters” podcast, which emanates from CBS News’ Washington, D.C bureau. CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler notes, “We are delighted to offer Michael Morell’s programs and expertise to our affiliates. Michael’s keen insight into the world of intelligence is a hot topic in today’s fast-moving world. It is the right time to bring his hugely successful podcast to radio audiences everywhere.” Leaders throughout the U.S. intelligence community will discuss national security policy and current events with Morell, a central figure in the most significant U.S. counter-terrorism efforts of the past two decades.
Rockcastle Media Networks’ Radio Nebraska Network Launches Next Monday. The national radio network expands by creating a Rockcastle Regional Networks division, with the Radio Nebraska Network scheduled to deliver its first newscasts via FTP download next Monday (2/4). Rockcastle Media Networks president/chief executive officer Will Sterrett comments, “When we learned the Nebraska Radio Network folded, our thoughts turned to serving those affiliates and listeners with high-quality radio news. We are excited to offer four newscasts each weekday with much more to come down the road.” As is the case with all other Rockcastle Media Networks programming, the Radio Nebraska Network is available on a market-exclusive, 100% self-contained barter basis. Prior to Rockcastle Media Networks, Sterrett worked in radio news at the CNN Radio Network; Texas State Network; Waitt Radio Networks, Omaha; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTRH, Houston; and WLW, Cincinnati.
Border Wall Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-February 1. The ongoing battle over funding for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers Ten. At #2 this week was Robert Mueller‘s Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was President Trump‘s attacks on intel chief Dan Coats over his report on North Korea and Iran, followed by the record Midwestern cold snap at #4. The Talkers Ten 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.
SiriusXM Finalizes Pandora Purchase. The $3.5 billion deal (at a ratio of 1.44 new SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share) creates a digital audio entity reaching 100 million North America listeners. The closing comes three days after Pandora stockholders approved the acquisition. The deal was okayed by the Department of Justice approximately six weeks ago (12/21). In a prepared statement, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer – who now leads the combined company – notes, “This is a tremendous outcome for two organizations with complementary platforms and large audiences. We could not be more excited to be moving forward as one company. SiriusXM is a subscription-based national service of curated and exclusive content and programming, and Pandora is the largest U.S. streaming music provider with its highly personalized free ad-supported service. This is a powerful platform under one roof for consumers, content creators, and advertisers. We look forward to creating unique audio packages that combine our strengths and offer an even wider range of content to our listeners.” Pandora’s 16-month chief executive officer and Sling TV founder, Roger Lynch, is leaving the company, as are general counsel Steve Bene, chief financial officer Naveen Chopra, and chief human resources officer Kristen Robinson.
PPM Analysis: A Closer Look at “Holiday” 2018. Each month, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes an in-depth look at four formats and reports on some of the trends he’s noticed. Adult contemporary is in the spotlight today as Mike delves into the mostly ups – and occasional downs – AC experienced in the “Holiday” 2018 ratings period. The format that leads the way in the all-Christmas music programming strategy accounts for 77% of “Holiday” 2018 #1 finishers (6+). In addition, Bonneville-owned Salt Lake City AC KSFI is the only station in any PPM-market to reach the 20-share level (21.8, 6+) in “Holiday” 2018. Check out all the facts and figures here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas contemporary Christian KAWA “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” general manager Tim Dukes is named mid-south regional manager over parent company WAY Media properties in Nashville and Clarksville (Tennessee); Louisville and Bowling Green (Kentucky); and Birmingham and Huntsville (Alabama). WAY-FM Network chief operating officer Lloyd Parker states, “We are excited that Tim has accepted the role and challenge of managing our mid-south region. Tim is respected and uniquely-qualified for this position with his many years of mainstream radio experience, plus his time on the pastoral staff at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth and as chief operating officer of the Dallas-based Halftime Institute. He’s going to do a great job.” Dukes – who will continue to manage KAWA until a new general manager is named – remarks, “Joining WAY-FM in 2015 has given me some of the most enjoyable, and certainly the most fulfilling, years of my career. Louisville is my hometown. I went to college in Nashville and started in radio there, so this is an especially exciting appointment to me.” His past programming credits include Chicago’s WLUP and Cincinnati’s WEBN, as well as being director of FM programming for Jacor San Diego ….. Today (2/1) on his syndicated show, Tom Joyner announced the “One More Time Experience” multi-city tour, which begins May 10 in Washington, DC and continues throughout the summer. Joyner states, “I hope everyone will be as excited as I am to celebrate with good music, good fun, and good hugs. We have 25 years’ worth of partying to achieve, so let’s do it together.” Confirmed dates and places so far – in addition to May 10 in Washington – include Cleveland (June 7); Indianapolis (June 8); Columbus (July 12); St. Louis (July 13); Raleigh (July 19); and Charlotte (July 20). Also on today’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker announced he is running for president ….. Starting next Thursday (2/7), Afentra – who formerly did mornings at Entercom Kansas City alternative KRBZ “The Buzz,” (“Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz”) – will join cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KCJK “X-105.1 Kansas City’s Alternative” for 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm duty. Cumulus midwest region vice president Donna Baker states, “Afentra has the gift of observing life in a manner that is real, whether hilarious or poignant, and sharing that in a way that truly connects.” Cumulus Media and Westwood One executive vice president, content & programming Mike McVay comments, “The opportunity to bring Afentra to the Cumulus Kansas City cluster was one we simply couldn’t pass up. A talent with her skills, experience and market heritage is a rare find.” KCJK program director Mike O’Reilly notes, “Sometimes in a lineup strategy, you get lucky and make a big splash. Adding Afentra is more along the lines of a tidal wave for Kansas City alternative, while Afentra explains that KCJK “didnʼt just say they wanted me, they showed me. Wanting me – my thoughts and my experience – speaks to my soul. I’m rested, excited, and ready to win.” ….. Assistant music programmer Brian Denicola is promoted to program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. Senior director of programming Lou Simon writes in an internal memo, “Brian has exemplified a great level of care and focus and has developed relationships with each of you, making sure he has what you need and providing you with inspiration for added creativity. His copywriting; attention to detail in editing logs; and his creativity have all led to this appointment. I will remain in a position of oversight and Bond Collard will remain as the channel coordinator, doing a spectacular job in that role.” Denicola had been programming the channel on an interim basis ….. Three-year WRQX “Mix 107.3,” Washington, DC afternoon drive talent Jason Kidd exits the Cumulus Media hot AC. “Mix” program director/Cumulus Media vice president of hot AC programming Rob Roberts is seeking Kidd’s successor ….. Mainstream CHR KYYY “Y-93” Bismarck (North Dakota) program director Joey Dee transfers to iHeartMedia Omaha sibling KISO “96.1 Kiss FM Omaha’s #1 For All The Hits” as program director/afternoon drive host. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Omaha Erik Johnson comments, “We are extremely excited to welcome Joey Dee to the ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ team. His major-market experience and creative ideas will help make [KISO] a market leader.” Dee adds, “Making my pilgrimage to Omaha is a dream come true for me as a CHR programmer. I am incredibly excited to work with the entire iHeartMedia Omaha team and I look forward to taking ‘96.1 Kiss FM’ all the way to number one.” Dee previously was assistant program director for Hubbard Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’ 92.5” and has programmed Bismarck’s KKCT ….. On-air lineup adjustments at Entercom Buffalo’s WLKK “Alternative Buffalo” find “Emily” in extended morning drive (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Brandi” middays (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Axe” handling 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight duties.
WOR, New York to Launch Live and Local Evening Show. Beginning February 4, iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York “The Voice of New York” adds the new “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” to the program schedule in the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daypart. WOR program director Tom Cuddy says, “The New York area is known for its diversity and 710 WOR will be able to offer listeners just that each night with a unique mix of issues. Joe and Lis come from different sides of the political spectrum, which should make things quite interesting and unpredictable.” Concha is a reporter and columnist for The Hill and Wiehl is a former federal prosecutor, former investigative counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, a best-selling author and a legal analyst. The station says the new show “will be a New York-centric show spotlighting a mix of top news stories, politics, movies, television, Broadway, pop culture and consumer issues. Additionally, the hosts will offer their views on the stories of the day from both sides of the political aisle and will take calls from listeners.” Concha states, “Our show will obviously talk politics, but we’re also going to offer up the kind of news and views that people deal with every day. We want to tell stories people can relate to as well as empathize with and hope to make you laugh a few times in the process.” Wiehl adds, “This show is going to be a one-stop shop in a three-hour package, delivered to your radio. You’ll get hard news shared by two people who are news veterans and experts in the fields of law and media. Plus, you’ll get ‘water cooler’ news delivered to you by two hosts who are parents, taxpayers, pet owners, and pop culture enthusiasts.”
Radio for the 55+ Listener. Former WSYR-AM, Syracuse morning host Mark Wainwright writes a piece for TALKERS magazine in which he suggests that successfully reaching Baby Boomers with radio programming requires “rekindling their relationship with radio.” Wainwright states, “The 55-72 ‘Boomer’ demographic is the last generation that genuinely cared about radio. They grew up with radio, they were actively engaged with it, and it was an integral part of their lives. At a time when our industry is struggling to stay relevant, we need to reconnect with listeners who still care about us and what we offer.” Read the entire story here.
Mary Rogers to Lead Sales at Entercom’s Dallas Station Group. Sales and management pro Mary Rogers comes to Entercom Dallas from Cox Media Group’s San Antonio cluster where she was most recently director of sales. Effective January 28, she’ll assume the vice president and director of sales position for the cluster that includes news/talk KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080,” sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” and four music-formatted stations. She says, “I am excited to join Entercom Dallas, working alongside [SVP and market manager] Brian Purdy and his amazing team. I began my career in Dallas and it is a great feeling to be back working with these iconic brands and audiences.”
TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Violeta Podrumedic has left her role as afternoon traffic reporter on Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago to join the “Eric in the Morning” show – led by Eric Ferguson – on Hubbard Radio’s crosstown hot AC WTMX. She’s been part of WGN’s afternoon drive Roe Conn program since 2016…..Entercom confirms that Howie Rose will continue to call the play-by-play for the New York Mets as all-news WCBS-AM begins serving as the flagship station for Mets broadcasts this season. Rose will be joined by color analyst Wayne Randazzo. He was previously pregame and postgame host for the Mets. Longtime WFAN Mets beat reporter Ed Coleman will conduct pregame coverage, including the daily “Managers Show with Mickey Callaway.” Randazzo will host the station’s postgame coverage immediately following each game broadcast. WCBS 880 morning sports anchor Brad Heller will serve as the utility player on the team presenting sports coverage for the station, as well as fill-in on pregame coverage…..In Fredericksburg, Virginia, Alpha Media’s four-station group – including news/talk WNTX-AM/FM – is working to aid furloughed federal workers by creating a web page with listings of businesses from Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland that are assisting federal workers during the government shutdown. Many businesses are coming together to help the community during this time of need by providing free or reduced fee meals, services, groceries, and even temporary employment opportunities. Alpha Media Fredericksburg market manager Beth Vickers comments, “The Washington DC market is severely affected by the furlough. We feel Alpha Media Fredericksburg has a duty to provide support and information to government workers and their families during this time.”…..USA Radio nationally syndicated radio host Wayne Allyn Root reports that his television simulcast seen on Newsmax TV is getting a second daily airing on the cable TV network. His program airs live at 8:00 pm ET each evening. Now, repeats of the program will air on Newsmax TV the following day at 1:00 pm. Additionally, Root says all three hours of his radio show are available on-demand via iHeartRadio.
Border Wall Battle, Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, 2020 Presidential Race, Brexit Chaos, U.S. Soldiers Killed in Syria, Nairobi Hotel Attack, Gillette Ad Controversy, Netflix Price Hike, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16). The political battle over President Trump’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border; the effects of the federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the possible candidates for president in 2020; British Prime Minister Theresa May survives a vote of no confidence after her Brexit plan fails; four U.S. soldiers are killed in Syria; the deadly terror attack on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya; the controversy over Gillette’s ‘toxic masculinity’ ad; consumer backlash over Netflix’s announced price increases; and the NFL playoffs 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 Entercom’s CHR WBBM-FM names Julia Lepidi its new evening host. She takes over for Corey B who left the station in November to transfer to the company’s alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3.”…..As reported by Rodney Ho in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Ali Mac has exited the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” where she worked alongside Cadillac Jack, who remains host of the AM program. Also, at the Cumulus Atlanta cluster, air personality Byron Cooper exits the evening show at CHR WWWQ “Q99.7” after 13 months in the position.