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Monday, July 23, 2018

| July 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this month’s final look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Comparing 6+ numbers, 51% of news/talk stations saw their weekly AQH share decrease from the May 2018 survey to the June survey.  Looking at year-over-year numbers, 51% of stations realized AQH share gains.  In the June 2018 survey, 13 news/talk stations ranked in the top five in their markets (6+), with Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; and iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati ranking #1 in their respective markets. See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Nielsen Releases Podcast Insights Study. This “marketers guide to podcasting” from Nielsen Audio explores the purchasing habits of podcasting fans in the fast-moving packaged goods category – groceries, booze, pet goods, personal care items, etc.  Based on its Homescan panel with additional data from an online questionnaire of those panelists who identify as fans of podcasting, Nielsen says, “The podcast listener tends to spend more at the grocery store on a weekly basis according to our research.  Advertisers who can leverage the podcast audience may find a greater ROI since this group tends to spend more.”  The study examines the buying habits of avid podcast fans based on podcast genre.  For example, the graphic at right shows the top five product categories purchased by fans of news and politics podcasts, as measured by the influence those fans have had on a category’s annual sales.

WFAN’s Joe Benigno Off the Air Today.  Contrary to the report published on Friday (7/20) in TALKERS based on a New York Post piece, midday sports talk personality Joe Benigno will not be on the air today.  Benigno – who is accused of sexual harassment in a suit filed against him, WFAN, and other staffers in New York state court in Brooklyn by former WFAN sales exec Laura Lockwood – was on vacation last week when the suit was filed.  Initially, the station said Benigno would be back on the air today (7/23) and that it looked forward to defending itself and Benigno. However, after letting clients know that Benigno would remain off the air today, the station is apparently doing its own investigation into Lockwood’s claims and deems it wise to keep him off the radio for now.  The station has not made public his return date.

NBC Sports Radio Adds Chris Simms and Peter King to ‘Pro Football Talk Live.’  Two NFL experts are added to the roster of NBC Sports Radio’s “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio.”  The press release from NBC Sports says former NFL quarterback Chris Simms continues as a part-time co-host during the radio/TV simulcast hours on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN, and that NFL insider Peter King joins the program for a weekly, two-hour simulcast.  “Pro Football Talk Live with Mike Florio” launched in January of 2015 and is currently heard in morning drive on more than 150 affiliate stations.  It’s also heard on SiriusXM.

iHeartMedia’s ‘FM 96.9 The Game’ New Flagship for Orlando Magic.  Jumping from Cox Media Group’s WDBO-AM, Orlando to iHeartMedia’s simulcast of WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” is the NBA’s Orlando Magic.  The station will serve as the flagship for the franchise’s radio play-by-play.  Dennis Neumann is handling play-by-play, Richie Adubato takes on the color analyst duties for all home games, while Brandon Kravitz serves as pregame, halftime and postgame host for all games, and will provide sideline reports for all home contests.  Additional programming includes the nightly, half-hour “Magic Drive Time” hosted by Dante Marchitelli.

Wither ‘Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw?’  We know that Shelly Dunn is retiring from radio and the “Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw” program that’s been heard in the San Diego market for the past 28 years.  But now that rock KFMB-FM owner Tegna has announced that it and the show have failed to come to terms on a new agreement, where the show will land is the big question.  For its part, Tegna says, “After extensive negotiations and a generous offer to the DSC team, we were unfortunately unable to reach an agreement to keep the show here at KFMB.  We wish the DSC the very best with their future pursuits.  We also want to thank and wish Shelly Dunn well on her retirement, which she announced last week.  She’s had an incredible 30-year career and will be missed.  We are looking to the future and remain committed to our listeners in San Diego.”  Dave Rickards posted a series of tweets showing his removing the show’s stuff from the KFMB studios and saying he has a new place to put it, and ending with, “Announcement coming shortly.”  Some industry watchers believe the show might be destined for Entercom’s struggling sports talker KWFN, based on the idea that the DSC show would be a good way to draw listeners to the newly flipped station – that is if Entercom wants a non-sports show in morning drive.  Stay tuned.

Chad Benson Show Clears on ‘Power Talk 1360’ in Modesto-Stockton.  The Radio America nationally syndicated Chad Benson show is now airing in the afternoon drive daypart on iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFIV “Power Talk 1360” in the Modesto-Stockton, California market.  KFIV-AM is added to the recent list of affiliates to begin carrying the show, including KTAR-FM, Phoenix and KSTE-AM, Sacramento.

Trump-Putin Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-E.U. Trade War Threats, Trump-Rouhani Threats, Jeanine Pirro-The View Spat, Trader Joe’s Slaying/Standoff, Toronto Shooting, Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 Films, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; the Trump tariffs on goods from the European Union and concerns about a new trade war; President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchange threats; FOX News star Jeanine Pirro’s boisterous exit from an appearance on ABC’s “The View”; the slaying of a Trader Joe’s staffer after a standoff with an armed man in Los Angeles; the deadly shooting in a Toronto restaurant; the opening weekend of the Mama Mia 2 and Equalizer 2 films; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

EXCLUSIVE TALKERS AUDIO: Michael Harrison Interviews Former CBS Radio CEO/President Dan Mason About VSiN and the Potential Impact of Legalized Sports Betting on Media. Launched in 2017, VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network) is the first media network dedicated to providing news, analysis and proprietary data to the millions of Americans who bet on sports and make gambling a multimillion-dollar industry. Launched by sports media legend Brent Musberger and fueled by award-winning broadcasters and legendary odds makers, VSiN’s mission is to inform and entertain these consumers wherever and whenever they want it. A dedicated SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel (204) is among the platforms on which VSiN is available, which also include live video streaming, web (www.VSiN.com), mobile and social. One of the principals in the VSiN organization is former CBS Radio CEO/president Dan Mason who serves as a strategic advisor and investor participating in all aspects of the company’s operations. Mason, who served in the top position at CBS Radio for 15 years, is one of the most colorful and accomplished figures in the radio industry today. He is a Radio Hall of Fame inductee who also serves as an advisor to iHeartMedia and chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America, in addition to participating as a talent in network sports play-by-play announcing and commentary (women’s basketball and horse racing). TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who worked closely with Mason in the late 1980s establishing WZLX, Boston as one of the nation’s leading classic rock stations, caught up with him yesterday (7/17) for an exclusive telephone interview. They discuss VSiN and the potential impact of legalized sports betting on the media industry. To listen to the conversation in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking on the title of director of music programming in Baltimore for Entercom is Tom Cook.  The company announces he’ll be responsible for programming adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” and CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5.”  Cook was most recently Michigan regional operations manager for Townsquare Media.  Entercom SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys comments, “We are delighted to welcome Tom to our team.  He has an amazing track record of accomplishments at the various stations he has programmed and we look forward to him bringing that enthusiasm and experience to us here in Baltimore.”…..On-air pro Dan Day exits his role as evening host at Guaranty Media’s classic rock WDGL, Baton Rouge “Eagle 98.1.”  At the same time, the company announces that Mike Benson– who also serves as an account executive for the cluster, is returning to the air to host the midday program.

Friday, June 29, 2018

| June 29, 2018

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Special Presentation by Salem SVP, Phil Boyce.  Today (6/29), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s fifth installment features the special presentation by Salem SVP Phil Boyce titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”  Yesterday’s post was the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley.  This segment includes Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley.  Earlier posts this week feature Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity  as well as opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

How Much Time Will Entercom Give San Diego’s ’97.3 The Fan.’ It’s just one look at the San Diego sports talk radio scene with data from basically one Nielsen Audio PPM survey (May 2018), but the San Diego Reader piece by Ken Leighton doesn’t paint a rosy picture of the state of Entercom’s new sports talk KWFN “97.3 The Fan.”  The piece questions whether the station will remain in its current format after the San Diego Padres’ season is over.  Leighton reports that the station’s men 25-54 AQH is effectively 0.0 for much of the day (though not at night for Padres games), and wonders whether Entercom might open the checkbook to woo crosstown rock KFMB-FM’s market-leading “Dave, Shelley, and Chainsaw” morning program away from Midwest Television later this summer.  Entercom officials did not comment for the story.

Social Media Expert Hannah Stonehouse Hudson Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the nation’s emerging experts on managing and harnessing the viral nature of social media and the Internet, Hannah Stonehouse Hudson is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Hudson, a one-time insurance agent-turned professional photographer, speaks from personal experience.  She unexpectedly began her career as a highly sought-after digital era guru approximately five years ago when a photo she snapped of a man comforting his arthritic German Shepherd in the buoyant waters of Lake Superior went viral after being posted on Facebook.  According to the Huffington Post, it became, at the time, the most viral internet photo in history and set off a remarkable chain of events that changed Hudson’s life forever.  It is a compelling story of hope, love, and tragic loss followed by renewal, inspiration, and a whole lot of insight about modern-day communications.  Hudson now conducts seminars and workshops around the country on how to beat Facebook’s algorithm, social media storytelling strategy, crisis communication planning, reputation management, dealing with grief, and managing conflict.  To listen to this compelling podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

SC Justice Kennedy’s Retirement Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 25-29. The retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and the future makeup of the Supreme Court was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was U.S. illegal immigration policy and the related European migrant issues.  Coming in at #3 was the Tuesday primary election results, followed by the Supreme Court public unions ruling and the travel ban ruling at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Cool Sports Talk Gig. The search is on for an afternoon superstar for sports talk WSJS, Greensboro/Winston-Salem Sports.  Curtis Media says, “If you are an entertainer, a ‘lightning rod’ with your opinions and driven to win, we want to hear from you.  A strong knowledge of ACC and North Carolina sports is an advantage and preferred.  If this sounds like you, email general manager Al Bunch at abunch@curtismedia.comfor more details. EOE.

West Michigan Radio Legend Ed ‘Uncle Buck’ Buchanan Dies at 69.  West Michigan rock radio figure Ed Buchanan, a.k.a. Uncle Buck, died unexpectedly on Thursday (6/28) at age 69.  At the time of his death, he was part of the “Tony Gates Morning Show” on Cumulus Media’s rock WLAV, Grand Rapids, along with Michelle McKormick.  Buchanan started his radio career in the summer of 1967 at WMAX-AM, Grand Rapids.  Between 1967 and 1990, he worked as morning show host, on-air personality and program director in multiple formats at heritage West Michigan stations including: WERX, WGRD-FM, WAFT-AM, WFFX-FM, WMUS-FM and most significantly, at WLAV-FM, which he joined in 1974, later leaving in the early 80s and returning in 1995. In 1974, he hired current WLAV morning host Tony Gates and the two were reunited in 1995 when Gates reciprocally hired Buchanan back to WLAV as on-air host of middays.  He went on to co-host the WLAV morning show in 2006 with Kevin Matthews, took a hiatus to focus on his “free form” weekend program on WLAV and then returned to mornings in 2011 as co-host of “The Tony Gates Morning Show with Michelle McKormick and Uncle Buck.” Cumulus Media Grand Rapids VP and market manager Jeff Cartwright states, “Ed’s sudden passing is difficult news today for all who knew and loved him. He was a true giant of radio and will be profoundly missed.  In West Michigan, this is the equivalent of one of the Beatles passing, as Ed celebrated his 50th anniversary of broadcasting last year and has been a monumental presence in our community, where he lived his entire life. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Ed’s family at this sad time as we honor his memory and remember his lasting contributions to our community and to radio.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country air personality Don Brake exits West Virginia Radio Corp to take a new, yet-to-be-announced position.  He had been handling middays at country WKKW, Morgantown, West Virginia and afternoons at the company’s country WVMD, Cumberland, Maryland…..Imaging pro Josh Jensen moves from iHeartMedia’s Tampa cluster where he was imaging director for country WFUS and active rock WXTB “98 ROCK” to Los Angeles to assume the imaging position for alternative KYSR “ALT 98.7.”…..Max Media re-positions Denver urban outlet KFCO “FLO 107.1” from a classic hip hop and R&B outlet to a more contemporary hip hop station.  Max Media Denver president and market manager Jeff Norman states, “Over the past several months, ‘FLO 107.1’ has been spinning the top 10 rhythmic charting songs each week. Now, while listeners will not notice a huge difference musically, they will hear even more of what they have been asking for and the overall vibe of the station will certainly move at a faster pace.  We knew when launching the station as throwback hip-hop in 2015 the music had to evolve over time, and once we added Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J as our new morning team the decision was easy to push ahead with more current music.”