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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

| January 2, 2018

Holland Cooke and Michael Harrison Present TALKERS 2017 in Review on RT America.  Noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent/columnist Holland Cooke was joined by Michael Harrison during a special year-end wrap up of 2017 on Cooke’s RT America show, “The Big Picture.”  The two counted down the 10 most-talked-about topics and people on talk radio in America during 2017 according to TALKERS, offering personal insights and commentary along the way.  To view the entire segment, please click here.

CMG, Mike Calta and Matt Loyd Sued by Hulk Hogan in Sex Tape Case.  The infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape is back in the news in Florida as the former pro wrestler (real name Terry Bollea) is suing Cox Media Group, WHPT, Tampa air personality Mike Calta, and former WHPT staffer Matt Loyd for unspecified damages.  According to a report by WFTS-TV, Tampa, the defendants had asked that the case be dismissed, but a Pinellas County court judge has ruled the case can move forward.  If you remember, Hogan sued Gawker over its posting of a video of him having sex with Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem and won a $100 million judgement.  But Gawker’s subsequent bankruptcy declaration and sale make it unlikely he’ll collect on that.  So, now Hogan is going after CMG, Calta, and Loyd, claiming that the defendants are guilty of “stealing, disseminating, using and exploiting illegally-recorded video.”

Mike Felger Re-Ups with Beasley’s ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’  Boston sports media personality Mike Felger – co-host of the afternoon drive “Felger and Mazz” show on WBZ-FM – signs a multi-year contract extension with Beasley Media Group to continue his duties with the station.  Beasley EVP and COO Brian Beasley says, “We are thrilled to have Mike continue entertaining Boston’s loyal and dedicated sports fans.”  The company says the afternoon show – co-hosted by Tony Massarotti – has finished #1 with Men 25-54 for the 22nd consecutive quarter.

Sports Talk Host Dan Sileo to Leave ‘Mighty 1090’ San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo announces he’s exiting the morning drive show at Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” for a new, yet-to-be-announced gig.  Sileo says, “It’s with GREAT sadness that I informed the ‘Mighty 1090’ that I will be moving on to a great opportunity! But, I want to thank the folks at 1090 for SAVING my career.  Mike Shephard has been amazing to work for! JT I see why Jim Rome had so much success.  I love the on-air guys like Scott Kaplan and Darren Smith…amazing lineup.  Once again SD, Sileo is NOT going anywhere.  Stay tuned!”

Great Stock Market Gains For 2017; But Not in Radio.  In 2017, Wall Street had its best year since 2013 with the Nasdaq jumping 28% and the Dow Jones gaining 25%.  However, those stellar double-digit gains didn’t extend into the radio sector as the majority of radio stocks saw double-digit decreases, led by Cumulus Media, whose stock has evaporated following the company’s late-2016 8-for-1 reverse stock split and subsequent bankruptcy filing.  Stock in Entercom (ETM) – despite its buyout of CBS RADIO, Townsquare Media (TSQ) and Salem Media Group (SALM) all slid about 25% in 2017.   E.W. Scripps (SSP) and Saga Communications (SGA) sank nearly 20% for the year.  Shares of Urban One (UONE) underperformed, losing more than 40% last year, and Pandora (P) plummeted from a closing high of $13.58 on February 17 to $4.82 on December 29.  Shares of Emmis Communications (EMMS) were basically flat, closing at $3.52 on December 29 – which was 10 cents higher than the stock closed for trading on January 3, 2017.  There were two noticeable radio winners, however.  Radio’s bright light was Beasley Broadcast Group (BBGI), which opened at $6.15 on the first day of trading of 2017 and closed at $13.55 on the last day of trading for the year.  SiriusXM (SIRI) delivered a gain of more than 20% in 2017.

TRN Receives Permission from Appeals Court for Extension; Status of Programming Uncertain.  Just before Christmas, a number of affiliates of Talk Radio Network reported that they were receiving no programming from the syndicator and had received no notice relative to the missing programming.  At this point, it’s still unclear what the status of the company’s operations is, but the appeal of its suit against Cumulus, Westwood One, Lew Dickey, and Charles Steinhauer is continuing.  TRN was granted an “extension of time to file” its brief to January 26.  As you may recall, TRN sued Cumulus/WW1 and others alleging anti-trust practices.  That suit was dismissed.  TRN’s second suit against many of the same parties was dismissed because the claims were almost identical to the previous, already-dismissed suit.  Back on September 20, TRN filed an appeal.  But, because of the November Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Cumulus/WW1, those parties have been granted stays.

What Have You Learned Doing Television?  That’s the question recently put to media consultant Holland Cooke a couple months into his gig hosting “The Big Picture” Fridays on RT America.  Ever the consultant, Cooke happily offers his thoughts on what the medium has taught him relative to the talk radio business.  He says his first lesson is the importance of scripting his opening monologue – something he’s had a difficult time selling to talk radio hosts who prefer to “wing it.”  Check out his thoughts on that and six other items he’s taken away from his television talk hosting experience here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Los Angeles news/talk outlet KFI raised more than $462,000 last month during its seventh annual “KFI PastaThon.”  The iHeartMedia station’s on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need benefits Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 3,500 underprivileged children five days a week in more than 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.  During the 17-hour, live broadcast on December 8, KFI personalities Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, Tim Conway Jr. and Aron Bender were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “Over the past seven years ‘KFI PastaThon’ has raised over $1.8 million dollars and 347,000 pounds of pasta and sauce.  We are honored to join our listeners in support of chef Bruno Serato and his outstanding organization, Caterina’s Club that helps thousands of children in Southern California.”…..Beginning on January 8, the nationally syndicated Steve Sanchez show expands to a daily program via Genesis Communications Network.  Sanchez says, “I still will be hosting my Sunday night live flagship show but GCN wanted me to expand and utilize my large social media platform and live stream as I do the show.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliate stations WCGO-AM, Chicago and KLAY-AM, Tacoma are both airing the weekday program…..Entercom Communications names Gene Vidler director of sales for the New Orleans station group that includes news/talk WWL-AM/FM and CHR WEZB “B97,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” urban contemporary WWWL-AM/W297DF “HOT 103.7,” and AC WLMG “Magic 101.9.”  has joined the New Orleans cluster as the Director of Sales for B97 (WEZB-FM), BAYOU 95.7 (WKBU-FM), HOT 103.7 (WWWL-AM), MAGIC 101.9 (WLMG-FM) and WWL AM-FM.  Vidler was most recently VP of sales for Tyler Media’s nine-station cluster.

Iran Protests, North Korea Nukes, Trump Pakistan Criticism, the New Year Holiday, Frigid Winter Weather, NFL Playoffs, and College Football Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The violent protests taking place in Iran; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un’s overture to South Korea; President Trump criticizes Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism; the New Year holiday; the unusually cold weather affecting much of the U.S.; the NFL playoffs scenario; and the College Football Playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A new adult hits station takes to the airwaves in Oklahoma City as Cumulus Media launches KQOB “ALICE 96.9 FM.”  Cumulus OK City VP/market manager Jay Davis says, “We created ‘ALICE’ for the listeners who wanted something compelling and different from the traditional radio fare.  ‘ALICE 96.9 FM’ lives by the mantra ‘We Play Anything,’ and surrounds the great music it plays with a playful, clever, and authentic persona.  While ‘ALICE 96-9 FM’ does not have traditional ‘announcers,’ listeners will find plenty of personality on the station.”…..Entercom re-brands alternative KITS, San Francisco ‘The New ALT 105.3, The Bay Area’s New Alterntive.”  The move marks the end of the “Live 105” moniker after 31 years.  At the same time, Michael Martin is named program director for the station…..Cumulus Media appoints radio programming pro Paul Horton program director and morning show host for adult contemporary WMXS, Montgomery “Mix 103.3.”  Horton joins Cumulus from Back Door Broadcasting’s crosstown Christian contemporary WVRV Montgomery…..Cumulus flips WRWM, Indianapolis from classic hip hop to CHR as “ENERGY 93.9.”  The on-air lineup will be: the nationally syndicated “The Bert Show,” (PD) Jay Michaels from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Rachel Ryan from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Justin Luvv from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and the syndicated Zach Sang from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am…..Cumulus Media appoints programming pro Gary Nolan program director and midday host for KQHN, Shreveport “Q97.3.”  He was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WMAG, Greensboro…..Alpha Media launches adult hits KSAJ, Topeka “98.5 Jack FM.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRDA, Atlanta “ALT 105.7” adds “The Woody Show” for mornings, effective tomorrow (1/3)…..Cumulus Media Amarillo will flip the frequencies of country stations KPUR-FM “The Armadillo” and KARX.  KPUR moves from 107.1 on the dial to the more powerful 100,000-watt signal 95.7.  KARX-FM will segue to its new home at 107.1 as “NASH Icon 107.1 FM.”

Round One of December PPM Ratings. Information for the December 2017 ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 survey period covered November 9 – December 6.  More often than not, sharp November 2017 – December 2017 improvements are attributable to stations playing all-Christmas music (usually about a week before Thanksgiving). View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – In four straight gains, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is a collective +2.8 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8, 6+). On top for the fourth straight time, “106.7 Lite FM” has its best 6+-share since 13.3 in “Holiday” 2016 and is one-half share ahead of December 2016’s 8.3. After finishing at #1 for three consecutive months, “Lite FM” dropped to #2 in August. Its loss of seven-tenths in that sweep (6.7 – 6.0, 6+) completely erased three straight gains that yielded that exact margin (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU, which had been off one full-share over its last three sweeps (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), regains half that loss and carries on at #11 (3.5, +.5, 6+). One-tenth ahead of it and remaining at #10 is its format rival, Emmis-owned WQHT “Hot 97” (3.6, +.2, 6+). When “Hot 97” picked up one-tenth in November, it ended three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of nine-tenths (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3). The market lost one of its two CHR players on November 9, as Entercom transitioned WBMP “Amp” to “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative.” The station’s June 2017 through December 2017 6+ topline is a very consistent 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.1; WBMP slips from #17 in November to #18. Former top 40 rival – iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” – is down a combined six-tenths in November and December (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+) but moves up from eighth to seventh. In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WCBS-AM picks up one-half share (2.6 – 3.1, #13 to #12, 6+), while co-owned similarly-formatted WINS declines by that same margin to 5.8 (6+) and remains in second-place. Immediately prior to this ratings period, WINS was a cumulative +1.6 via four straight upticks (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.3, 6+); its 6.3 in November 2017 represents the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history. By recording a +.2 in August, WINS halted four straight dips that resulted in a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). In two-share range (6+) in each of the last 14 sweeps, WCBS-AM reaches the three-share threshold (6+) for the first time since its 3.0 in October 2016. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -1.1 (6.6 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WCBS-FM “New York’s Greatest Hits” gains two-tenths to 5.7 (6+), inching up from fourth to third. It exited the #1 spot in September after only a one-month stay there. A one-half share dip in August curtailed at four a streak of successive up or flat trends that generated a combined seven-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+). Prior to August, the last time “New York’s Greatest Hits” was at #1 was in May. Also in that Entercom cluster, sports talk WFAN-FM plummets by -1.3 to 3.9 (fifth to eighth, 6+). “The Fan” had been without a loss since June for a collective +1.7 (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.2, 6+). The 5.2 that it registered in October and November is the station’s best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era and first time above the five-share level (6+). On two prior occasions, “The Fan” dialed up a 4.5 and it reached a 4.6 (6+) in September 2017. Down or flat for the sixth straight time for a combined loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” remains in sixth-place.

2) Los Angeles – So, how did the transition to all-Christmas music affect KOST “Coast 103” in sunny Los Angeles? The iHeartMedia adult contemporary nearly doubles October’s 4.4 (8.7, +4.3, 6+) to march from third to first and is 2.3 shares better than its 6.4 (6+) in December 2016. As a result of “Coast 103” picking up two-tenths in October, it halted three consecutive off-trends that resulted in a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Ousted from the top spot after a run of ten (10) straight months there is co-owned hot AC KBIG “My-FM,” which is flat at 5.9 (6+) and shifts to second-place; KBIG was down one-half share in November (6.4 – 5.9, 6+). In October, “My-FM” regained in its entirety the four-tenths squandered in September (6.4 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+). Prior to September’s -.4, KBIG posted four successive up or flat trends that netted eight-tenths (5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 6.4, 6+). Remaining in sixth-place, news/talk cluster-mate KFI is without a decrease for the sixth time in a row for a collective +.8 and is trending 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1 since January (6+). Having recorded a 1.9 in three of the last four sweeps (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, 1.9, 6+), Pasadena Area Community College news/talk KPCC “89.3 Southern California Public Radio” breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 2.5, reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since February’s 2.1 (6+) and cracks the top twenty at #15. Tied at #13 are iHeartMedia-owned KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” (2.6, -.1, flat at #13, 6+) and its format rival, Entercom’s KROQ (2.6, +.2, three-way tie at #18 to #13, 6+). With a gain of two-tenths in November, “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” ended eight consecutive down or flat trends for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). After nine monthlies in a row for without a loss for an overall gain of one full-share (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), KROQ regressed by two-tenths in both October and November (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4). September’s 2.8 was its strongest 6+-showing since June 2016’s 2.9. One week into the December ratings period (11/16), Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” became Educational Media Foundation-owned contemporary Christian KKLQ “Positive & Encouraging K-Love.” In its final ratings performance, “The Sound” notched a 2.8 to finish at #12 (November 2017, 6+). The last song played by “The Sound” was The Beatles’ “The End.” Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” debuts in December by forfeiting more than half of November’s 2.8 (1.2, -1.6, 6+), freefalling to #28. Following five successive sweeps without an increase for a net loss of seven-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” bounces back with a gain of four-tenths to 4.8 (6+) and is steady at #3. At the same though, smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV “The Wave” is a collective -1.7 in four successive down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+) but stays at #5; “The Wave” occupied the runner-up slot from March through September. Even though it is down three-tenths to 1.0 (6+) to end at seven its streak of up or flat trends that yielded a net gain of one-half share (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), KSPN “ESPN LA 710” – the flagship of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Lakers – improves from #30 to #29. After trotting out a +.7 to 1.7 (6+) in November, matching the audience draw in Vin Scully’s swan song after 67 consecutive years as the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1.7, 6+, November 2016), iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM 570 Sports” falters by -1.2 to .5 (#25 to #36, 6+).

3) Chicago – The noteworthy accomplishment of iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” doubling its November 2017 stat (see above) is taken one step further by its “Windy City” hot AC sibling WLIT “93.9 My-FM,” which more than triples November’s 2.8 to 8.5 (6+). In the process, “93.9 My-FM” rockets from a four-way logjam at #12 all the way to #1 and is 2.2 shares in front of December 2016’s 6.3 (6+). WLIT fell off the top twenty in October (2.5 – 2.2, -.3, #21, 6+), but recovered in November with a gain of six-tenths. Knocked out of the penthouse where it resided in October and November is its hot AC foe, Hubbard’s WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which segues to #3. After registering six straight improvements for a collective +1.7 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), WTMX surrenders eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+). Prior to November, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share level (6+) was in May 2013 (6.4). “Mix” finished in the runner-up slot in July, August, and September. Stuck on 2.4 (October, November, 6+) and within 2.4 – 2.9 range (6+) the past nine sweeps, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” explodes with an increase of two full-shares to 4.4 (6+) and catapults from #22 to #5. Up until November 9, Chicago’s 104.3 dial position was the home of classic hits-oldies WJMK “K-Hits,” but that’s when Entercom transitioned “K-Hits” to WBMX (the calls formerly used by its new Boston sibling); “The Long & Winding Road” (Beatles) and “Changes” (David Bowie) were the last two songs played by WJMK before the format flip. The last time the former WJMK reached a four-share (6+) was in July 2015 (4.1). It is a tough sweep for the market’s sports talk outlets. Not only is Entercom-owned Chicago Cubs flagship WSCR a combined -2.8 in November and December (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” sinks from #6 to #21; WSCR posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+). Meanwhile, after being a collective +1.1 via three straight gains (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+), WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is off by nine-tenths to 1.5 (#22 to #24, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WGCI-FM “Chicago’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.3 – 2.7, #9 to #14, 6+) and Merlin Media alternative WKQX (#12 to #20, 6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat for WGCI-FM (2.7) since March (2.6); WKQX is a cumulative -.8 in four straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Off for the fourth straight sweep for an overall loss of one full-share (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. With a +.1 in November, Entercom-owned WBBM-FM ended five consecutive down or flat trends for a collective -.7 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3, 6+) but “Chicago’s B-96” returns that one-tenth and is back at 3.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) San Francisco – A November 2017 – December 2017 increase of +2.3 (4.5 – 6.8, 6+) elevates Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” from third to second. December 2017’s 6.8 (6+) is two full-shares better than its 4.8 in December 2016 and represents the station’s highest 6+-share since 9.2 in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of KOIT-FM finishing second, it ends 11 straight months of KCBS-AM occupying that runner-up slot, as KOIT-FM’s all-news sibling shifts to #3. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM is a combined -.4 in November and December (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February (6.8, as well). When KCBS-AM added two-tenths in September to 6.0 (6+), it ended four consecutive down or flat monthlies that yielded a loss of one-half share (6.3 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+). Down one-tenth in each of the last four ratings periods (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” ends the pattern with a gain of six-tenths to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in San Francisco since 3.3 in “Holiday” 2016, and jumps from #14 to #7. From October 2016 through November 2017, the 6+ high/low variance for KMEL was just seven-tenths. Up one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” checks in at #21. While this marks the 12th successive time that KQED-FM sets the pace in San Francisco, the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet erodes by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+). A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). It added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+), but relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+). At this time last month, KQED-FM hung out a +1.3 (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After picking up three-tenths in November to halt six straight down or flat trends for a cumulative -1.4 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses by seven-tenths to 2.4 (6+) and again exits the top ten (#9 to #14). Having doubled its 6+ stat via four straight positive spikes (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+), news/talk cluster-mate KSFO surrenders four-tenths in December (3.0, 6+), falling from seventh to ninth. Locked on 2.9 in October and November (#11, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” slips one-half share to 2.4 and is tied with KNBR at #14. A collective +.9 as the result of six straight up or flat moves (1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), University of Southern California classical KDFC gives back one-tenth in December to curtail the streak (2.6, #12 to #13, 6+). For the ninth month in succession, KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock” is unlisted in San Francisco, but it still appears in print in San Jose. The station’s March 2017 6+-San Francisco stat was 1.5.

5) Dallas – Not only does KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” nearly double its 6+-share (2.6 – 5.0, +2.4, 6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet zooms from #17 all the way to #4 with its strongest 6+-stat since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Seven-tenths of a share separates the top seven December 2017 finishers. Included in that scrum (in addition to “Star”) is Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV,” which bounces back from November’s half-share decrease with a December gain twice that margin (4.2 – 5.2, +1.0, 6+); November’s 4.2 was its lowest 6+-stat since January 2015 (4.2, as well). In the process, KLUV vaults from seventh to a first-place tie with iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5, which is an overall +.7 in three consecutive increases (4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+). After four straight gains that netted nine-tenths (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), KZPS was down or flat the next four ratings periods for an overall loss of one full-share (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). “Lone Star” repeats as a co-occupant at the top spot. Its November partner, however, was Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “The Wolf” which after 11 successive months on top, tumbles to fifth. “The Wolf” posts its fourth straight negative trend for a collective loss of one full-share (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8, 6+). On the heels of trending 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 (6+), Entercom adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM” notches a gain of six-tenths to 4.1 (6+) and continues at #8. This is the sixth month in succession that iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks’ is either up or flat for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.8, ninth to tenth, 6+). Once a heritage adult contemporary facility, KVIL in recent years repositioned itself to hot AC and then to CHR as “Amp.” Simultaneous with Entercom officially closing on its ownership of KVIL (11/9), the station became “Alt 103.7 DFW’s New Alternative.” In PPM’s 12 reports covering calendar year 2017, KVIL notched a high of 2.9 (February) and a low of 2.1 (April). Down an overall half-share in back-to-back sweeps (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+), KVIL moves from a four-way logjam at #17 in November to #20. Meanwhile, steady at #3, iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “Kiss” improves in back-to-back sweeps by a cumulative seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Following nine straight up or flat trends that more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+), co-owned sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” returns six-tenths of that +1.7 (2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). In 13 monthly reports since “Holiday” 2016, co-owned news/talk KRLD-AM (#21 to #19) has been within a high of 2.4 and a low of 2.0 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). A collective -1.1 in November and December (3.9 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” slumps from #11 to #15.

6) Houston – The significant up/down pattern continues for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which gained eight-tenths in August; lost it all in September; picked up one-half share in October; surrendered eight-tenths in November; and now logs a whopping +2.8 in December (6.4 – 7.2 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.1 – 8.9, 6+). After back-to-back stays at #2, “Sunny” cruises to #1. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). This is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3; KODA was 7.3 in December 2016. Trading places with “Sunny” is Radio One urban AC KMJQ, which is actually up one-tenth to 7.5, but shifts to #2 after three straight months at #1. When “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was off three-tenths in November, it ended three straight gains that netted seven-tenths (7.0 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.7, 6+). “Majic” spent six consecutive months on top before segueing to #2 in August. It was +1.4 in May; -.6 in June; and -.7 in July. Somewhat similar to its AC sibling KODA, cluster-mate KTBZ has a bit of a yoyo effect, as “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” was up a combined full-share in September and October (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+); dropped eight-tenths in November to 3.8 (6+); and now regains six-tenths in December (4.4, tenth to eighth, 6+). Having entered the top twenty in November with a gain of eight-tenths (1.3 – 2.1, 6+), co-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” forfeits nearly twice that increase (.6, -1.5, #20 to #26, 6+). Following October’s +1.6, Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN is a combined -1.8 in November and December (4.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 4.5, 6+) and dips from third to sixth. It was -.5 in March; +.7 in April; -1.1 in June; -.7 in July; +.7 in August; -.5 in November; and now -1.3 in December. Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and dropped to third. A loss of one-half share by Entercom adult hits KKHH (fifth to ninth) takes “95.7 The Spot” to 4.3, its lowest 6+-showing since 3.5 in January.

7) Atlanta – A November decrease of one-tenth by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH curtailed at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+); however, “104.7 Fish” answers in a big way with a December +1.6 (5.6 – 7.2, 6+), swimming from fourth to second. This marks the first time that Atlanta’s “Fish” has reached the seven-share level (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.1. Even though it replicates November’s increase of seven-tenths (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+), Cox Media Group urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1” backslides from a second-place tie to third as it is leapfrogged by WFSH. Its gain of seven-tenths in November ended four consecutive declines that resulted in a cumulative -1.1 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1, 6+). Steady at #6, Radio One-owned and similarly-formatted WAMJ “Majic – The Real Sound of Atlanta” drops two-tenths (4.9 – 4.7, 6+) following a November improvement of six-tenths. “Majic” was a combined -.5 in September and October (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+). By chalking up a one-half share uptick (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” records its best 6+-stat since May’s 6.5, yet must settle for a fourth-place finish (down from November’s #2 tie with WALR). Having notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is now a combined -1.1 in November and December (10.0 – 9.1, 6+), but is #1 for the 24th successive ratings period. Prior to June’s +.2, WSB-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a combined -2.1 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 8.6, 6+); January 2017’s 10.7 represents WSB-AM’s best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Elsewhere in the news/talk arena, City of Atlanta Board of Education-owned WABE surrenders one-half share (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result of declining by seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” has its lowest 6+-share since April (3.1, as well). Down or flat in four straight ratings periods for a net loss of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WWPW picked up two-tenths in November, but “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share in December to 3.7, its softest 6+-share since 3.6 in March, and departs the top ten (#9 to #11). Its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WWWQ – is down or flat for the third straight time for an overall loss of six-tenths (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) as “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” slips from eighth to ninth. Having lost roughly 70% of its 6+-stat in five successive down or flat trends since June (1.8 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.0 – .7 – .5, 6+), Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Georgia Country” adds one-tenth to .6 (#30 to #28, 6+). Elsewhere in the format, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull – Atlanta’s #1 For New Country” returns to the top ten with its third straight modest increase (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, #11 to #8, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” returns November’s +.3 but remains at #13 (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth consecutive sweep, Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” is an overall -.8 (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+) and drops from ninth to tenth.

8) Philadelphia – Ousted from #1 in November, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB roars back with a gain of five full-shares as it returns to the top spot from #2. In four straight increases, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective +6.1 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8, 6+) and has its highest 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016; WBEB logged an 11.1 in December 2016. It is the only station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here to reach double-digits (6+). Prior to September, the last time “More FM” occupied the top spot was February when it ended a seven-straight month run there. Owing to a gain of one-half share (1.1 – 1.6, 6+), University of Pennsylvania triple A WXPN “88.5 Vinyl at Heart – Rhythms, Not Algorithms” registers its highest 6+-share since August (1.6, as well) and it enters the top twenty (#20). In five straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF was a modest +.3 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), but “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” spirals by one full-share in December to 3.0, fading from #7 to #13 (6+). The market’s (6+) sports talk share erodes by -1.4 as two positive streaks come to an end. Specifically, Entercom-owned WIP forfeits nine-tenths (7.1, first to second, 6+) and Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” regresses by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, #15 to #18, 6+). Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP was a combined +3.5 as the result of four straight increases (4.5 – 5.3 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+) and reached #1 in November for the first time in the PPM-era by recording its best-ever 6+-stat (8.0). Off a collective full-share in June and July (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), WIP gained eight-tenths in August. Prior to December, “97.5 The Fanatic,” the key station of the Philadelphia 76ers, notched five straight up or flat trends for a collective +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+). Following five consecutive up or flat trends that netted an overall +1.5 (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WISX “Real 106.1 – Philly’s Real #1 for Throwbacks” returns one-third of that increase (3.0, -.5, 6+) yet actually improves from #14 to a tie at #13 (with WRFF). Immediately before the November sweep, WISX was within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 18 survey periods. Although unchanged at #5, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL declines for the fifth straight month for an overall -2.2 (7.5 – 7.4 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.6 – 5.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – Over and above repeating at #1, Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM is a whopping +3.3 in November and December (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7, 6+), following an October loss of nine-tenths. “Real Variety 97.5” was on top between June and September, as well. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), WALK-FM dropped one-tenth in July; bounced back with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In five successive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW has nearly doubled its 6+-share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 4.5, 6+) as New York City’s “Lite FM” soars from #13 to #4 with its strongest 6+-showing in Long Island since 7.8 in “Holiday” 2016. In addition to being up or flat for the fourth month in a row more than doubling its 6+-share since August (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.5, 6+), public news/talk WNYC-FM breaks into the top twenty at #15. After four straight increases that produced an overall +1.9 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “The Fan” relinquishes all but four-tenths of that increase (4.4, -1.5, 6+), skidding from second to sixth. In November, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB gained one-half share to 5.5, its best-ever 6+ PPM-performance, but “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” falters by twice as much as that +.5 (4.5, -1.0, 6+) to slip from third to fourth. Although within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 37th consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” falters by seven-tenths (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) and drifts from #14 to #18. Its urban AC cluster-mate, WBLS “107.5 – #1 For R&B,” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the 15th sweep in a row but is down two-tenths and departs the top ten (3.7 – 3.5, #9 to #11, 6+). Recording a negative trend for the fourth time in succession Cox Media Group CHR WBLI is an overall -2.1 since July (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Ending at 13 its consecutive string of three-share showings (6+) in Long Island, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM has its third straight decrease for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+).

10) Riverside – On top for the 26th consecutive ratings period, Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” recaptures all but one-tenth of November’s -.8 (6.9 – 7.6, +.7, 6+). When “Jose” gained three-tenths in August, it ended six consecutive decreases for a net loss of -2.7 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.9 – 6.7, 6+). It was in that stretch that “Jose” fell below a seven-share for the first time since May 2016’s 6.5. Winning ways continue for Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “89.7 Family Friendly,” which is a combined +1.1 in five successive ratings periods without a decrease (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+). Climbing from ninth to seventh, KSGN, in September, reached the two-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2015’s 2.0. Albeit that it slips from fourth to fifth, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona MX 101.9” notes its fourth straight monthly without a decrease (3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), repeating its best 6+-share in the Inland Empire since April’s 4.9. It is tied with Spanish contemporary cluster-mate KLVE “K-Love 107.5,” which is an overall -1.2 in four straight survey periods without an increase (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). Having doubled its 6+-share in November (1.2 – 2.4, +1.2, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI forfeits all of that increase and two-tenths more (1.0, -1.4, 6+) as “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” falls out of the top ten (#8 to #14). Prior to November, “Hot” was off a collective nine-tenths in six straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+). Four consecutive up or flat moves by LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE netted an overall gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+), but “Old School 104.7” coughs up more than twice that increase with its 6+-share cut by one-third (2.6 -1.3, sixth to eighth, 6+).

11) San Jose – It has been a rollercoaster ride for Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits,” which was a combined +2.3 in August and September (3.7 – 4.8 – 6.0, 6+); a collective -2.0 in October and November (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.0, 6+); and now +1.6 in December to 5.6 (6+). September’s 6.0 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.0 in the “Holiday” 2016 report. It is tied in third-place with Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which has an identical 4.0 – 5.6/eighth to third November 2017 – December 2017 profile. KOIT-FM’s adult contemporary rival – iHeartMedia’s KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” – tacks on nine-tenths to the one-half share it added in November (3.6 – 4.5, 6+) to zoom into the top ten (#11 to #6). Prior to November, “The Breeze” had been -1.3 in three straight negative or flat trends (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). A gain of seven-tenths boosts Universal Media Access world ethnic KSJO “Bolly 92.3 – The Bay Area’s Bollywood Station” to 1.0 (6+, #28). Doubling its 6+-share since October (.9 – 1.2 – 1.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” checks in at #23. When Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KSOL lost one-tenth in November, it ended at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that generated a +1.1 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Ironically, “Que Buena” is -1.1 in December (3.8 – 2.7, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). October’s 3.9 was its best 6+-share in San Jose since last December’s 4.1. Likewise, as a result of returning 90% of November’s full-share increase (4.2 – 3.3, -.9, 6+), Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now!” exits the top ten (#6 to #11). While it is on top in San Jose for the fifth straight time, Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED-FM slips by one-tenth to 8.1 (6+), thus halting three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Back in July, KQED-FM recaptured 80% of the cumulative -1.5 it lost in four straight downward moves (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) to advance from #3 to #1. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED-FM returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and had been on top through April; November’s 8.2 was its highest 6+-share since reappearing the first of this year. Eroding by eight-tenths each are Entercom all-news KCBS-AM (7.2 – 6.4, steady at #2, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” (4.5, third to sixth, 6+); and Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad,” which was off six-tenths in November (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+) and drifts from fourth to ninth. Entering the December sweep, “Star” netted +1.8 in four successive increases (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). At the same time, as a result of four straight upticks, Entercom sports talk KGMZ nearly tripled its 6+-share (.4 – .5 – .5 – .6 – 1.1, 6+), but “95.7 The Game” is off in December by one-tenth to 1.0 (6+, #28). For the third straight time, Cumulus Media’s similarly-programmed KNBR has a fluctuation of one-half share (3.2 – 2.7 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), yet “The Sports Leader” actually climbs from #13 to a three-way tie at #12. With a -.1 in November, co-owned KSFO ended three straight up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +.7 (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and now the news/talk slips by another seven-tenths (2.1 – 1.4, 6+), tumbling out of the top twenty (#20 to #26).

12) Middlesex – In addition to notching its fifth straight Middlesex-Somerset-Union gain for an overall whopping +4.2 (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 8.5, 6+), iHeartMedia New York City’s WLTW “Lite-FM” marches from third to first as it practically doubles its 6+-share. Moreover, 8.5 is its best 6+-showing in this New Jersey market since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.7. It displaces WKXW, which had been #1 the past 11 ratings periods. The Townsquare Media news/talker surrenders all nine-tenths of November’s +.9 – and one-tenth more – to segue to #2 (7.2 -1.0, 6+). November’s 8.2 was its strongest 6+-stat since 8.2 in September 2016. As a result of a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one month in the runner-up slot. A +1.5 (2.3 – 3.8, 6+) enables Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” to reach the three-share level (6+) for the first time since April’s 3.0. Moreover, “Star” rockets from #20 all the way into the top ten at #8. Having registered a 2.2 (6+) in three of the last five sweeps (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM breaks out a +.6 to 2.8 (6+), entering the top twenty in a three-way tie at #15. By dropping two-tenths to 5.0 (6+), sports talk sibling WFAN-FM concludes three straight increases for an overall +1.4 (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+), but “The Fan” manages to inch up from fifth to fourth. Having logged a 2.8 (6+) eight times in the previous ten sweeps – including the past four – iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+, #15 top #13). On the heels of dropping one full-share in November, Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” sputters by another nine-tenths (5.3 – 4.3 – 3.4, 6+) to exit the top ten (#6 to #11). After three straight increases for a collective +1.1 (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1 New York’s Hip-Hop and R&B” surrenders seven-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and – likewise – departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Faltering by one-half share each are co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock,” a combined -1.2 in three straight sweeps without a gain (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8, fourth to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3,” which was off by eight-tenths in November (3.2 – 2.4 – 1.9, 6+), fading from #16 to #22.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

| March 23, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Files Countersuit Against Nielsen.  This is not the first counterclaim filed by Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, against Nielsen Audio – several others were rejected by Judge James D. Whittemore.  Nielsen is suing Clem claiming his attempts at distorting the PPM ratings in the Tampa market caused it damages.  In this counterclaim, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Bubba Clem alleges that Nielsen conspired with Cox Media (owner of WHPT, Tampa and his former employer) to get him off Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa station WBRN, a competitor of WHPT.  Clem alleges that “Nielsen’s motivation for participating in the conspiracy with Cox was three-fold: (i) to appease Cox, one of its largest customers, by using its monopoly power to interfere with Clem’s contractual relationship with Beasley to get Clem fired by suppressing WBRN’s ratings and thus artificially increasing WHPT’s share in the Tampa Market; (ii) to encourage Cox to enter into new contracts to purchase expensive products and services from Nielsen; and (iii) to conceal the fraudulent conduct committed by its own employees and the other serious flaws in its ratings methodology caused by, among other things, Nielsen’s failure to maintain and/or implement and/or fairly apply its own quality control procedures.”  Clem further alleges that Nielsen conducted a “sting” operation, by installing a PPM panelist who would appear friendly to Clem to entice Clem into asking said panelist to engage in heavy listening to his show, thereby violating Nielsen’s rules.  Clem is seeking damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

Denver Talk Host Steve Curtis Charged with Voter Fraud, Forgery.  According to a report in the Denver Post, talk show host Steve Curtis has been charged with voter fraud and forgery after he allegedly used his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote during the 2016 general election.  Kelly Curtis contacted the Weld County clerk and recorder to determine what steps she needed to take to vote and, to her surprise, was told she’d already voted.  That started the investigation that led to the charges against Steve Curtis, who hosts two shows on KLZ, Denver – the 6:00 am to 7:00 am hour and the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour.  Curtis’ information is still on the KLZ website and it’s unclear if he’s still with the station or whether the programs he hosts are brokered.  The irony in this whole story is that Curtis – a one-time chair of the Colorado Republican Party – has, echoing President Trump’s comments about voter fraud, stated on his program that almost every case of voter fraud he can remember was perpetrated by Democrats.  KDVR-TV, Denver broke the story.

Steve Corbett Exits WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre.  According to a report in the Standard-Speaker of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, afternoon drive talk show host Steve Corbett has exited the Entercom news/talk station.  The paper says no reason has been given for Corbett’s departure but prints the contents of a staff email from general manager Ryan Flynn that states: “Effective immediately, Steve Corbett will not be returning to WILK.  Steve will be shifting his focus to work on some other projects outside our company.  We appreciate the work Steve has done on WILK and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”  Sixty-year-old Corbett worked for years in the Northeastern PA region as a journalist, accruing numerous awards.  He’d been hosting a show on WILK for the past 10 years.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Stops in Greenville, South Carolina.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money live event to Greenville’s Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday (3/22).  Ramsey and fellow best-selling author Chris Hogan shared with attendees information about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey combined forces with Entercom’s local affiliate WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate general sales manager Devon van der Merwe says, “At ‘106.3 WORD,’ we pride ourselves on being the leader in Upstate talk and part of that magic is our local personalities and content backed by some big, national names like Dave Ramsey.  Dave has become a household staple with our listeners every week with his real stories and life lessons on how to be financially responsible.  The last visit Dave made was in 2013, so this stop in his Smart Money tour is highly anticipated by listeners and clients alike.”  Ramsey (fifth from the left) and Hogan (fourth from the right) are pictured above with some of the WYRD-FM staff.

Schmaeling to Assume EVP/CFO Role at Entercom.  Effective April 18, Richard J. Schmaeling takes over as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Entercom Communications.  He succeeds 18-year Entercom executive Steve Fisher, who is stepping down on April 30 but will remain with the company to assist in the integration of the CBS RADIO merger.  Schmaeling was most recently CFO at Travel Leaders Group, but his experience in media includes time spent with Lin Media – operator of TV and digital media properties in 23 markets.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Rich is a proven leader with an excellent track record and outstanding reputation as a public company CFO.  His breadth of experience and hands-on leadership of successful integrations for the LIN Media/Media General and News Corp/Dow Jones mergers make him an ideal choice as we join forces with CBS RADIO and position ourselves for a dynamic future.  I am thrilled to welcome Rich to Entercom.”

Westwood One Ups Wildman to EVP, Strategic Partnerships.  After five months with the company, Westwood One is promoting Mark Wildman to EVP, strategic partnerships.  The company says that in this newly expanded role, “Wildman will lead the company’s rapidly evolving new business development initiatives for both the network and spot sales.  Wildman will be working with brand partners on strategic marketing solutions that leverage Westwood One’s robust portfolio of multimedia assets, award-winning content, digital audio, insights, and experiential opportunities.”  Wildman is based in New York City and reports directly to WW1 president of sales Steve Shaw, who comments, “In just a few short months, Mark has proven his commitment and his value as a motivating sales leader and creative problem solver.  He brings a unique vision, skill set, and a tremendous depth of experience to our senior agency and client partners.  I’m excited to have him spearhead our strategic alliances.”

Lew Dickey Exits Cumulus Board; Designates John Dickey as Replacement.  Founder and former Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey resigned from his position as vice chairman of the board of directors for the company and used his allotted replacement designation to fill the seat with his brother John Dickey.  The reason given by Lew Dickey for leaving the board was to pursue other professional interests.

Cumulus Surrenders License for WGPC, Albany.  The sports talk outlet’s transmitter tower was demolished during a January storm and it appears that Cumulus Media decided spending cash to fix it was not cost effective, so the company has given the license back to the FCC.  Albany news outlet WALB-TV reports that WGPC was the first commercial radio station to serve the market, signing on in 1933.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new morning show is being launched by Talk Stream Live with affiliate relations assistance from Genesis Communications Network.  News/talk personality Matt Ray is hosting “America’s 1st News,” which debuted on Monday (3/20), airing live weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET…..ABC NewsAmna Nawaz is hosting new podcast titled, “Uncomfortable.”  ABC says the show “goes one-on-one with influential voices in America to tackle issues dividing the nation – race, gender, economics, religion.”  Nawaz says, “We hear a lot about how our country is divided, about how far apart we are on some of the big issues that define us, as Americans.  But our divisions don’t go away if we ignore them.  On ‘Uncomfortable,’ it’s about taking a cold, hard look at where we are, as a country, and figuring out how we move forward.”…..Chicago Public Media announces that vice president of content and programming Ben Calhoun is leaving his position, effective next month.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Calhoun is expected to return to the staff of “This American Life.”  He was there for five years as a producer and reporter prior to moving up and eventually leading CPM’s programming for the public radio magazine show…..Westwood One and the NCAA are broadcasting the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Spanish.  This is a collaboration between Westwood One and ESPN Deportes Radio.  Calling games will be Rafael Hernández Brito (play-by-play), Greivis Vásquez (analyst), and Clemson Smith Muñiz (pregame/halftime host)…..KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota farm director Dustin Hoffman is being honored by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting with The Doan award.  The Doan award recognizes excellence in reporting skill, thoroughness, and attention to audience interest.  Hoffmann has been with Alpha Media’s KLGR since February of 2010…..The Association of Health Care Journalists awards KQED, San Francisco health reporter April Dembosky its top reporter prize as part of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.  Dembosky received the first place prize in the Beat Reporting category for her “2016 body of work.”

Cool Radio News Gig.  WTMJ Radio is seeking a news anchor/reporter to join its award-winning news team.  The news anchor/reporter would play a large role on “Wisconsin’s Morning News.”  The position also includes interaction with show hosts, live interviews, outside appearances, traffic reporting, online story creation and a visible role representing the station. Responsible for producing several newscasts during morning drive time and into the midday, writing multiple scripts for on-air and online, pulling interview bytes for use in newscasts and identifying/assigning stories.  Becoming part of the Milwaukee community, creating relationships with city leaders, law enforcement, state lawmakers, community advocates, business leaders, etc., are all critical aspects of the position.  Must be comfortable in front of a camera (for digital platforms) and be able to perform multiple tasks while bringing a credible voice to Wisconsin’s Radio Station, WTMJ.  Must have strong written and editorial judgement, excellent on-air presentation and reportorial skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills required, solid understanding of producing local enterprise content, proficient use of the digital platform, high work ethics and standards; ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation; knowledge of newsroom computers required along with familiarity of areas across southeast Wisconsin.  Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and proof of insurability. College degree preferred.  Minimum 2 to 4 years of prior broadcast experience required. EOE. Apply here.

 

 

KXQQ, Las Vegas Names Hernandez Midday Host.  Urban contemporary KXQQ, Las Vegas “Q100.5” names Natalia Hernandez its new midday personality.  Hernandez slides over to “Q100.5” from her on-air role at sister CHR KLUC.  Speaking about her new gig, Hernandez says, “Fourteen years ago I got my first radio gig at CBS RADIO in West Palm Beach and I’m so happy to be back with the company it all started with.  My career has come full circle and I have to thank our OM/PD JB King for believing in me for the midday opportunity at ‘Q100.5.’” I’ve already learned so much and am excited to keep growing with him.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At next weekend’s ACM Awards in Las Vegas, Cumulus Media and Westwood One will present an all-star lineup at “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards,” a two-day, exclusive showcase of brand activations and backstage audio and video coverage.  “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards” will feature exclusive private backstage performances from Curb Records superstars Lee Brice, Mo Pitney, and Jerrod Niemann plus Valory Music’s Delta Rae and Broken Bow recording artist Walker McGuire.  Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Seldom do you have this many superstars assembled in one location.  We are honored to have country music’s most popular artists perform exclusively for us.  It makes our backstage live experience even more special for our affiliates, brand partners and guests.”…..The nationally syndicated rock radio show “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” is celebrating 1,500 consecutive weeks of broadcast radio syndication.  It all started in June of 1988 when Dallas radio personality and music journalist Redbeard, in conjunction with Bullet Productions, launched the show to mainstream and classic rock radio.  For this week’s 1,500th episode, Redbeard is airing an encore presentation of his 1990 interview with Paul McCartney about his 1989 comeback album Flowers In The Dirt which is being reissued this month in multiple deluxe forms with additional music and extras…..Jerry Lee-owned hot AC WBEB-FM, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” was recently honored with five Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting.  They include: Outstanding Radio Promotional Announcements/Contest, Outstanding Radio Public Service Announcement/Campaign, Outstanding Radio Public Affairs Program/Program Series, Outstanding Radio Commercial, and Outstanding Radio: Judges’ Merit Award…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta, “KISS 104.1” announces the lineup for the 22nd Annual Flashback Festival that takes place August 12 at Lakewood Amphitheatre.  Acts will include: The Isley Brothers, Keith Sweat, Kid ‘n Play and Evelyn “Champagne” King.  Vice president of programming Tony Kidd says, “This year’s Flashback Festival looks to bring together lovers of old school R&B and hip hop for another great time.  I look forward to seeing all the ‘KISS 104.1’ family and enjoying the tailgate prior to the show.”

 

 

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey period covered February 2 – March 1.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Over and above dialing up a +.8 to 4.0 (6+) – enabling it to jump from #14 to #11 – Entercom classic rock KGON closes out eighth straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 since June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). At this time last month, the market’s top two finishers accounted for a combined 16.5 (6+). While they keep their #1 and #2 rankings, respectively, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” is off by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB erodes by one full-share (7.9 – 6.9, 6+), thus lowering that (6+) total to 14.6. Despite a roughly 50% drop-off since “Holiday” 2016 (15.3 – 8.6 – 7.7, combined -7.6, 6+), “K-103” is #1 for the 33rd time in the last 35 ratings periods. KOPB completely surrenders January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 (7.6 – 6.9 – 7.9, #2, 6+). Declining by -1.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” recaptured all but three-tenths of that loss in January (5.6 – 4.3 – 5.3, +1.0, 6+) and tacks on an additional +1.1 in February (6.4, fourth to third, 6+). This represents the strongest 6+-showing for “The Eagle” in just over one year (7.0, 6+, January 2016). Down seven-tenths since September (5.8 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), KLTH was +.5 in December. Stuck on 5.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 after reaching 6.1 in December 2016, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” busts out a full-share increase to 6.3 (6+) – yet – must settle for a move to #5 from a tie at #4. In addition to the aforementioned “Eagle,” also one-tenth ahead of “The Buzz” is sibling KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest,” which registers its fourth straight gain for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); “The Wolf” ranked third in January as well. While flat at 4.2 (6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” manages to inch up from tenth to ninth. A +.9 in January ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – In the period between October 2016 and January 2017, Radio One gospel WPZS’ 6+ trending was 3.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 2.8 – 2.9. A February gain of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+), however, lifts “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” from #16 to #12. This is the best 6+-stat for “Praise” since July 2015’s 3.9. Following four straight negative trends for a combined -1.5 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – We Play Anything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox” adds one-tenth (7.2 – 7.3, 6+) to repeat at #1. January’s +.8 (6+) halted a string of three straight downward moves by “The Fox” that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to a -.1 to 2.2 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-LOVE” (unchanged at #17) has its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” (5.6 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+); Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLXK “K-LOVE” (1.2 – .5, #19 to #20, 6+). Prior to January’s +.8, “The Link” had trended 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). Rebounding from December’s loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” added six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but surrenders the one-half share it gained in January (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), moving from #15 to #16. Down by one-half share as well – after sputtering by seven-tenths in January – is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), which drops from second to third. Leapfrogging WSOC is its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” (5.7 – 5.9, +.2, third to second, 6+) – which was +1.7 in January and -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016. It is quite a comeback indeed for “The Kat,” given that, in “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). For the second successive month, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.2, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

3) Pittsburgh – After improving by six-tenths in January, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on a full-share (6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. It is the first time that “Kiss” reaches the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). A one-half share increase by WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays The Hits” ended three straight dips that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Now, the CBS Radio hot AC dials up a +.9 to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since February 2016’s 5.3, to jump from ninth to seventh. As co-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” improves by seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+) to inch up from tenth to eighth, iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from eighth to tenth. Up three-tenths (10.0 – 10.3, 6+), WPGB’s rock sibling WDVE (+1.6 in January) repeats at #1. On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to #1 in January. Right on the heels of January’s +1.2, CBS Radio’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” returns all of it plus one-tenth (4.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, -1.3, 6+) to drop from sixth to ninth. By gaining four-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Fan” halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a cumulative -3.5 (7.6 – 6.5 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). After surrendering a -5.1 in January, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” forfeits another eight-tenths (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues from fourth to fifth. “Wish” was a combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016. For the ninth straight ratings period, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” (3.7 – 3.3, -.4, 6+) is at #11. In 2.1 – 2.9 range the past 18 sweeps, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) gains one-tenth to reach the three-share level (2.9 – 3.0, 6+).

4) Sacramento – Several unusual occurrences take place in California’s capital city, most notably CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” overcoming January’s -4.8 with a full-share increase to retake the lead (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, “Mix” was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Those market outlets displaying gains of seven-tenths each are hot AC cluster-mate KZZO (3.6 – 4.3, ninth to fifth, 6+) as well as co-owned rhythmic CHR KSFM (3.0, #16 to #13, 6+); and iHeartMedia adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM” (2.5 – 3.2, #13 to #11, 6+). Before February’s +.7, KSFM was a combined -.8 as a result of four consecutive down or flat trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). By notching a +.4 in January, “Jack” ended six consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). In 2.2 – 2.9 territory (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Entravision rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (#12 to #11) registers a six-tenths spike to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in just over one year (3.5, January 2016). Improving by six-tenths as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-LOVE,” which zooms into the top twenty (#21 to #15) with its fourth successive up-trend (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, 6+) that has more than doubled its 6+-share for a +1.3. Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia news-talk hybrid KFBK (8.7 – 8.2, first to second, 6+) and Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (fifth to seventh, 6+). Having finished six straight times in the runner-up slot, KFBK reached #1 in January. Its recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September 2016); +1.2 (October 2016); -.7 (November 2016) +.7 (December 2016); +.8 (January 2017); and -.5 (February 2017). This marks the fourth consecutive decline for “98 Rock” for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). One development with considerably more far-reaching implications than monthly ups and downs happened just after the February 2017 ratings period began. Entercom returned the license of KDND “The End” and transported the CHR format on 107.9 to the frequency of what was hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.” Thus, KUDL – as hot AC “Star” – goes out with a 2.4 (January 2017, #15, 6+), while the former KDND (4.5, January 2017, #6) now on its new frequency as CHR KUDL is eighth in February 2017 (3.8, 6+).

5) San Antonio – Off by seven-tenths in January, Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG not only recaptures all of it plus one-tenth for good measure (3.8 – 4.6, +.8, 6+), “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” returns to the top ten (#12 to #7). Its 6+ September through “Holiday” 2016 trends were 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5. Even though the net loss was only four-tenths, co-owned KISS had nonetheless been without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+) until February when “99.5 KISS Rocks San Antonio” breaks out a +.6 to 6.0 (6+), advancing from fifth to third. It is the first time that KISS has reached the 6-share level since December 2015 (6.2). When Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” dropped four-tenths in January, it snapped at three its string of consecutive gains which netted a combined +1.2 (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). “The Beat” though dials up a one-half share increase (4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and progresses from seventh to fifth. The market’s CHR battle tightens as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops two-tenths (#10 to #12, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” adds two-tenths (steady at #13, 6+). “Mix” is down or flat for the sixth straight time for a -.5 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), while “Energy” notches its fourth consecutive gain for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +1.2, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” (6.2 – 7.4 – 6.4, -1.0, first to second, 6+), swaps places with Cox Media Group-owned KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” (6.9 – 7.0, +.1, second to first). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) to progress from the runner-up slot to #1. Prior to February, KONO-FM’s most recent (6+) fluctuations are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned KAJA, which has been -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and now -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+), with “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drifting from fourth to eighth. Despite a +.1 (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” slips from third to fourth. Even so, the one-tenth (6+) advantage that “Y-100” had over “KJ-97” in January widens to 1.4. Having skidded from first in “Holiday” 2016 to sixth in January as a result of a -6.6, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” erodes by another full-share (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) and tumbles to tenth. Following a December gain of +1.5 to 4.8 (6+), KQXT added +5.5 to 10.3 (6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat since last March (also 4.2) for “Q-101.9,” whose HD3 channel drops one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, #19 to #22, 6+), as does Univision Radio’s urban-rhythmic oldies KMYO “Yo! 95.1” (3.1 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+).

6) Cincinnati – Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) Hubbard Radio country outlet WUBE answered in January with a +1.5 and “B-105” adds another eight-tenths in February (6.8 – 7.6, 6+) to carry on at #3. Down by a cumulative -1.2 via three straight decreases (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s WVXU bounces back with a +.7 to 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). Within 3.3 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Radio One’s WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” posts a +.6 to 3.9 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). A combined -1.7 since December 2016 (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS notches a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+), enabling “Kiss 107 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” to crack the top ten (#11 to #9). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first. It repeats there in February, gaining two-tenths to 9.2 (6+). Forfeiting the one-half share that it picked up in January (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” shifts from eighth to tenth. Not only is iHeartMedia’s WEBN a collective -2.2 as a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), it departs the top ten (#10 to #12). One of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease (ten in a row!) comes to an end as Radio One’s urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (#17 to #18) falters by three tenths to 1.4 (6+), halting a streak that started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+).

7) Cleveland – The market’s largest January 2017 – February 2017 (6+) jump belongs to Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF “Moody Radio Cleveland,” which improves by +1.4 (.9 – 2.3, #14, 6+). The religious outlet had not reached a one-share (6+) since October 2014 (1.0, 6+). Owing to a one-half share increase (5.9 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays the Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth. Albeit down two-tenths after January’s -1.3 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI repeats at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Consistently posting a 6+-share between 5.0 – 5.9 the past six sweeps, CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” flounders by eight-tenths to 4.6, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Right behind it – and making it a solid year that it’s been at #12 – is CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+). Although it remains unchanged at #13, Ideastream’s WCPN drops two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing eight consecutive up or flat trends that netted a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

8) Salt Lake City – Separated by two-tenths in January, the margin between country rivals KSOP “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.1 – 4.0, -.1, flat at #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.3 – 4.4, +.1, steady at #8, 6+) increases to four-tenths. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull 93” had faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” (#17 to #16) is up or flat for the fourth straight time (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Absolutely wild fluctuations continue for KSL, whose “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 – February 2017 stats are 6.8 – 8.9 – 6.8 (6+). The station’s six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and now -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Transitioning to the runner-up slot, the Bonneville talker yields first-place to adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (8.3 – 8.0, -.3, 6+). Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until January’s -12.3, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3 shares. Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY rebounded with a +.6 in January but “My 99.5” returns all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+), spiraling from #14 to #18. Locked on 2.5 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, Brigham Young University classical KBYU recorded a full-share gain to 3.1 (6+) in January only to forfeit half of it (2.6, 6+), dropping from #12 to #15. Unlisted in January 2017, University of Utah’s KUER “90.1 NPR Utah” (3.3, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returns in February with a 3.7 (#10, 6+).

9) Las Vegas – Having eroded by approximately 54% in five successive down or flat sweeps (5.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “Radio For Life” makes a serious dent in that collective -2.9 with a +1.2 to 3.7 (6+) and rockets from #17 to #10. After gaining six-tenths in January, CBS Radioowned KLUC tacks on nine-tenths (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. The last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (6.7 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” continues at #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for KSNE (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), “Sunny” was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. Notwithstanding it is unchanged at #13, adult hits sibling KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” shows an improvement for the sixth consecutive time more than doubling its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+).  Without an increase in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF displayed a +1.2 in January but relinquishes all of it plus four-tenths (5.0 – 3.4, -1.6, 6+), freefalling from the top ten (#6 to #11). In second-place the last three sweeps, KKLZ drops nine-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and shifts to fourth. The Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded from a -1.8 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.0 in January (6.6 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Before advancing to #1 in July 2016 – and remaining there in August and September – KKLZ was in the runner-up slot for six straight months; 7.4 in August was its best 6+-showing in over four years (7.5, July 2012). In back-to-back survey periods, Lotus Communications’ Spanish adult hits KWID falters by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) as it leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). Surrendering all but two-tenths of the +.7 it dialed up in January (4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, -.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull – New Country for Las Vegas” stumbles from fourth to seventh.

10) Kansas City –When Steel City Media-owned KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep, it did so with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). “Country 94.1,” however, was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+), before posting a +.5 in January and a +1.2 in February (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), rocketing from ninth to third. This is the best 6+-stat for KFKF since April 2015 (5.3 as well). In fact, it’s a clean sweep for the country format here as co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” (4.1 – 4.4, steady at #9, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.6 – 3.9, #14 to #12, 6+) are each up by three-tenths. A gain of one-half share (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) propels cluster-mate KQRC “98.9 The Rock” into the top ten (#13 to #10). Unchanged at #4, talk sibling KMBZ-FM is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Even though it drops a combined seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” repeats at #1. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight up-trends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in August, it closed four successive up or flat monthlies yielding a +1.5 (5.9 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+). In addition to shifting from third to sixth as a result of a -1.1 (6. 0 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” drops below a five-share (6+) for the first time in more than two years (4.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2014). Regressing by one-half share each are Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 7.3, flat at #2, 6+); Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 – Today’s Best Variety” (4.4 – 3.9, #7 to #12, 6+); and Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (3.4 – 2.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Before a loss of three-tenths in November 2016, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. In January, “KC-102.1” spiraled by -2.6 (7.0 – 4.4, 6+), while WHB gained seven-tenths.

11) Orlando – As it progresses from third to second, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is a combined +1.8 in back-to-back survey periods, (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0, 6+), thus erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. In the Cox Media Group cluster, rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” improves by six-tenths to 4.3 (tenth to ninth, 6+), while WCFB’s HD2 channel wipes out January’s six-tenths’ loss with a gain of seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.0 – 1.7, #18 to #16, 6+); the last three “Power” trends were 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7 (6+). Off by nine-tenths each are those stations’ siblings – WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” (7.5 – 6.6, unchanged at #4, 6+) and talk WDBO-FM (5.1 – 4.2, #10, 6+). In January, WMMO dialed up a +1.4 following a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.7 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+). Without a decrease from September through December (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), WDBO-FM lost nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but was +.7 in January. Although it repeats at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM sputters by eight-tenths to 11.7 from January’s 12.5, the highest 6+-share in the PPM-history of “Rumba 100.3,” which had been on top in October, November and December. WRUM was a combined +2.5 in November and December as it reached 12.1 (6+). Slipping from second to third (7.0, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” has posted wild fluctuations in the past 18 months or so, including +.5 (October 2015); -1.0 (November 2015); +1.6 (December 2015); +5.2 (“Holiday” 2015); -4.7 (January 2016); -1.2 (February); +1.3 (March); +.7 (April); +.6 (May); -.8 (June); -1.1 (July); -.4 (August); +.7 (September); -.5 (October) +.9 (November); +2.1 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2016); -7.6 (January 2017) and -1.5 (February). After six straight sweeps finishing in third-place, “Magic” progressed to the runner-up slot in December; #1 in “Holiday” 2016; #2 in January 2017; and now back to #3. Public WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 29th straight time (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, flat at #14, 6+). This is the second consecutive month that JVC Media’s country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” (1.4, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

12) Columbus – With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” marches from second to first. Before the January ratings period, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. It dislodges (and trades places with) country sibling WCOL, which surrenders approximately half of January’s robust +2.2 (10.5 – 9.3, -1.2, first to second, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, co-owned urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” fell to 3.5 in January but – like WNCI – gains seven-tenths (to 4.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). On the other hand, Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths and is a combined -3.8 in three straight downtrends (7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+), sinking from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to these declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). Up in three consecutive ratings periods for a net +2.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ regressed by half that margin (-1.1) in “Holiday” 2016. “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” bounced back in January with a +1.5; falters by one-half share in February (6.4 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+); but carries on in third-place. As was the case in January, Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) does not appear in Columbus’ February ratings report.

Monday, September 26, 2016

| September 26, 2016

Kim Guthrie Named to Replace Retiring Bill Hoffman as President of Cox Media Group.  After 38 years with Cox, Bill Hoffman is retiring from his Cox Media Group president post at the end of the year.  Taking over inguthriekim January will be current executive vice president of national ad platforms and president of Cox Reps, Kim GuthrieCox Enterprises president and CEO John Dyer says, “Kim has been with Cox for nearly 20 years and is an inspirational leader who has helped our media properties transform.  She played a key role in the successful creation of Cox Media Group in 2008 and has been recognized as one of the media industry’s most influential leaders.  She is a natural fit to ensure Cox Media Group continues to deliver innovative products and compelling news content.”

cbsradioReport: CBS RADIO to Take on $1.5 Billion in Debt.  This report from Reuters, says that sources are telling it that CBS RADIO is preparing to take on as much as $1.5 billion in debt ahead of its initial public offering that’s expected to take place but still has no firm time frame.  According the report, the bulk of the proceeds would be paid back to parent CBS Corp. with the rest to be used by CBS RADIO for “general corporate purposes.”  In its report, Reuters notes that “a radio company IPO may be a tough sale as new digital competitors have emerged and depressed advertising sales for the medium for years.”  Read the Reuters story here.

Lew Dickey Pens Book on Changing Media Landscape.  The book is published by Tourbillion International – a subsidiary of the Dickey family-owned Modern Luxury Media – and is titled, The New Modern Media – Remaking Media for a Mobile Culture.  We now know what Lew Dickey has been doing since he was ousted from the Cumulus CEO role last year.  The book is described as “an indispensable guide to the profound dickeylewbook16and disruptive changes rocking the media industry.  It examines the implications of a new, mobile culture and challenges the widely held belief that most media companies’ true source of profits is their content.  It makes the case for the importance of distribution as a key driver of firm value in the legacy mediadickeylew business model, be it a newspaper, magazine, record label, television network, local broadcast television or radio station.”  In the book Dickey makes the case for why traditional “radio broadcasters will be unlikely to benefit from subscription revenue for their core service, leaving them highly exposed to the ad markets.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is quoted reviewing the book, “I’ve spent my entire professional life in the media business, and today technology is enabling media to evolve at an ever-faster pace to meet consumers’ changing needs. Lew’s book is a timely resource for anyone working or investing in the media industry – shedding an important light on some of the critical challenges and opportunities inherent in today’s vibrant and complex media landscape.”  Pittman’s iHeartRadio just announced a two-tier subscription service last week – clearly another step in the grand plan to transform iHeartMedia from a legacy radio company to a competitor in the digital entertainment industry.  But getting back to Lew’s book, it’s a safe bet this will be the talk of the radio business this week.

Mike Gallagher Broadcasts from Hofstra University.  In advance of tonight’s first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Salem Radio Networks syndicated personality Mikegallaghermike Gallagher broadcast his program from Hofstra University on Long Island, the site of tonight’s debate.  Gallagher’s guests included pollster Pat Caddell, Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer, Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis, and, via telephone, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.  Gallagher says, “I’ve bird-dogged these candidates through the primaries and caucuses and both national conventions.  So, it is a thrill to bring my audience into the final hours of preparation for this historic debate which is expected to draw 100 million or more via radio and TV.”

ktzriHeartMedia Launches New Tucson Talk Station.  This will be a sister talk station to iHeartMedia’s existing news/talk KNST and consists primarily of syndicated fare.  KTZR flipped from Spanish music to talk this morning (9/26) as “The Talk of Tucson.”  The programming lineup is: Premiere’s Glenn Beck in morning drive, followed by USA Radio’s “Trending Today USA with Rusty Humphries,” Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation,” KTRH, Houston-based, syndicated personality Michael Berry, local personality Rob Hunter, Premiere’s “AMERICA Now with Meghan McCain,” “Ground Zero,” “AMERICA Now Rewind,” and GCN’s Alex Jones.

henryalanbook16Alan Henry Memoir Published.  One of the progenitors of modern day talk radio and the all-news formats has written his memoir.  Alan Henry’s new book is titled, A Man And His Medium: An Indelible Signature on Radio Television Cable.  It was a young Alan Henry – charged with turning around Metromedia’s poorly rated KLAC, Los Angeles – who hired raconteur Joe Pyne to host the evening program.  Pyne had just been fired by crosstown KABC.  Henry and programmer Jim Lightfoot gave Pyne control over his show content and the program took off, eventually being syndicated to more than 250 radio stations.  Henry’s influence continued when, after leaving KLAC, he joined Westinghouse in New York and proposed a new all-news format for WINS.  He was named sales manager of the station and, although it took a while to bring advertisers around, history reveals its eventual success.

The Presidential Race/First Debate, Police Shootings of Blacks, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russian Military Tensions, George Bush-Michelle Obama Photo, Growing National Anthem Protests, MLB Playoff Push and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the buildup to this evening’s debate; the aftermath of the recent Tulsa and Charlotte shooting deaths of black men by police; the Syrian civil war and Russia’s role in the bombing of Aleppo and air convoys; Saturday’s dedication of the African American History Museum in Washington and chatter about the widely published photo of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush; National Anthem protests spread to the college football ranks; the playoff push in Major League Baseball, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  There are changes in the air talent lineup at ESPN-owned/Cumulus operated KESN-FM, Dallas.  Matt Mosley leaves the station and his afternoon drive partner Tim Cowlishaw.  Midday personality Mark Friedman also exits the station where he co-hosted with Steve Dennis.  There are rumors in the market that Dennis will join Cowlishaw in afternoons and Jean-Jacques Taylor and Will Chambers will take over the midday show…..Radiohio-owned sports talker WBNS, Columbus “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” extends its relationship with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets for another three seasons.  WBNS’ partner – Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting System’s alternative WWCD “CD102.5” – will serve as the secondary signals for the team’s games…..GatesAir announces three important wins in Vietnam that signify the over-the-air TV and radio transformation taking shape across the Asia-Pacific region.  Vietnam Television recently placed two orders for transmitter network expansions.   On the radio side, Vietnam is investing in existing FM infrastructure with improvement and expansion projects.  Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, recently ordered five Flexiva air-cooled solid-state transmitters — two 5kW and three 10kW models — for VOV4, which serves as the broadcaster’s Ethnic Languages Channel.

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The Yappy Tour Rolls On.  Prolific radio talk show producer turned author Bernadette Duncan recently brought her “Yappy Tour” to the television viewers of Western Massachusetts by appearing as a guest on the WGGB-TV (ABC-40) “Western Mass News” to discuss her buzz-worthy book, Yappy Days; Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016).  The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Above, Duncan (left) is pictured with newsman/show host Chris Pisano (right) on Channel 40’s “Western Mass News” midday talk show.  Duncan’s national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year.  She has already appeared on more than 25 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Friday, November 6, 2015

| November 6, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 5.  Today (11/6), TALKERS magazine concludes its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we sum up the opinions and philosophies and ask what does it all really mean?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says management often makes the mistake of trying to duplicate a successful artistic product – whether it is movies, television shows, books, or, in this case, radio programming – by approaching it formulaically… a mindset that totally misses the point.  “When Rush Limbaugh became a phenomenon by talking conservative politics, corporate focused on the conservative aspect of his stunning success as the magic formula and a whole slew of talent-challenged Rush wannabes spewing conservative talking points just for the sake of ‘being conservative’ were unleashed upon the airwaves.  Only a relative handful of them who were truly ‘talented’ have withstood the test of time.”  And so it is with women on talk radio.  The problem is not so much an equal opportunity “employment” issue as it is the larger question of where “news/talk radio” is willing to go to increase its audience, broaden its demos and insure its viability to survive in the years ahead in what is clearly becoming a brave new world… while remaining an “issues-oriented” medium.  One answer may be to find “magnetic” women and see what they can do in news/talk radio versus laying out the formula for a news/talk show and filling the job with a woman.  Read the entire piece here.

wtop logo NEW 1-15Rumors of Cuts at Hubbard’s WTOP and WFED in Washington.  TALKERS sources in the Washington market tell us that budget-related cuts are taking place today at Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP and its sister station WFED.  Some of the staffers reported to be exiting are traffic reporter Ari Ashe, digital manager John Myer, and WFED afternoon personality Francis RoseTALKERS is also hearing that the company will not fill the role vacated recently by reporter Andrew Mollenbeck and that there may be an unnamed sales staffer who is also out.

entercomEntercom Q3 Report: Up 3% on Same-Station Basis.  This quarter’s financial report from Entercom reflects the new income from its deals with Lincoln Financial Media and Bonneville International that saw Entercom add stations in major and large markets — Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego.  As a result, the company posts a net revenue increase of 15% on $114.7 million compared to the same period a year ago.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “I am pleased to report anfielddavid outstanding quarter for Entercom driven by strong organic revenue growth across our station group and the seamless integration of our new acquisitions in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, San Diego and Denver.  While we are delighted with our progress and opportunities at the new stations, we are particularly pleased by our strong market share gains in the rest of our markets which enabled us to post approximately 3% same-station revenue growth for the quarter, and just over 4% growth when excluding the impact of political advertising.  We also achieved strong double-digit growth in free cash flow and adjusted net income per share and believe we are very well positioned for continued strong performance in 2016 and beyond.”

cumulus logoNew Cumulus CEO Mary Berner Reports Q3 Financial Data: Net Revenue Dips 7.8%.  Chief executive officer Mary Berner has been on the job for less than a month after replacing Lew Dickey and her first quarterly report was full of financial challenges for the company; but as a board member since the spring, she knew all the figures.  Cumulus Media stock has been beaten up over the past year, and not without cause.  The 2015 Q3 net revenue was $289.4 million, that’s a 7.8% drop versus the same period a year ago.  For the first three quarters of the year, net revenue was $859.9 million, down 8% year-bernermaryover-year.  Cumulus also recorded an impairment against intangible assets and goodwill of $565.6 million.  For the quarter, broadcast advertising was down 4.3% while digital advertising sunk 35.4%.  Berner says, “Despite Cumulus’ recent challenges, my early experiences have reinforced my appreciation for the strength of the company’s aggregate assets, including its people.  I was hired by the company’s board of directors to maximize the value of those assets and I believe that, through focused execution, we will be able to capitalize on the operational leverage that appears to exist in the company.  While such efforts will not be easy nor, in many cases, immediate, I intend to institute a relentless commitment to improvement over the coming months to drive results for all stakeholders.”

ewscrippsE.W. Scripps Radio Segment Flat in Q3.  The Cincinnati-based company got into the radio business as a result of the merger with Journal Communications, acquiring its TV and radio properties (with Journal getting E.W. Scripps’ publication segment).  In this third quarter report, Scripps president and CEO Rich Boehne says the radio segment was flat.  “Radio revenue and expenses of $20.4 million and $16.3 million were essentially flat with the prior period.  Segment profit in the radio division was $4.1 million in the third quarter of 2015, compared to $4.5 million in the 2014 quarter.  The company is committed to its digital segment and recently acquired podcast platform Midroll earlier this year.  “Digital revenues were $10.9 million, up $3.7 million from the prior period.  Excluding Midroll, revenue increased 25%…Segment loss in the digital division was $3.6 million in the third quarter of 2015, compared to $5.6 million in the 2014 quarter.”

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Partners with FOX Business Network and FNC for GOP Debate Coverage.  The means that audio of the November 10 GOP primary debates in Milwaukee will air on 130foxbusiness iHeartMedia-owned news/talk stations.  FOX Business Network and FOX News Channel are producing the debate in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal.  The FBN primetime debate will be moderated by managing editor of business news Neil Cavuto and global markets editor Maria Bartiromo, along with WSJ’s editor-in-chief Gerard Baker.  iHeartMedia says that radio stations broadcasting the event will also host debate parties highlighted by pre and post-event coverage from local personalities.

beckerKMBZObama15Radio Personalities Visit White House for ObamaCare Event.  The White House calls it the “latest installment of ‘Live from the White House’” with President Obama conducting a round of interviews with radio personalities on the topic of the Affordable Care Act and the importance of reducing the number of people without health insurance.  The radio news anchors spent Thursday, November 5 with Obama Administration advisors and the president himself.  Taking part were: Mary Shedden of non-commercial WUSF, Tampa; Alice Rios of news/talk KRLD, Dallas; E.J. Becker of news/talk KMBZ, Kansas City; Dave Ross of news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle; and Ryan Cameron of urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V103.”  Pictured here is KMBZ’s E.J. Becker (left) interviewing President Obama (right) in the Oval Office.  Becker says, “It’s not every day that you get a call from the White House, asking if you can be in Washington the next day.  With the current political landscape, the importance of so many issues affecting Kansas Citians, along with the honor of interviewing a sitting President, who could say no!”

bobandtomBob Kevoian Announces Retirement at National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  One half of the Bob & Tom Show morning team took the opportunity of last night’s induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame to announce his retirement from the business.  Bob Kevoian told the gathering in Chicago that he will retire from the nationally syndicated radio program by year’s end.  Kevoin said, “I always thought you had to die or be retired for five years to be considered for any hall of fame.  Thank God I’m not dead, but I am going to retire at the end of this year and walk away from the mic.”  Partner Tom Griswold commented, “It was a huge thrill to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame with my partner Bob.  He will always be a part of the Bob & Tom Show, and his presence will continue to be felt as we broadcast the show for many years to come.”

ramseyCruzeHoF15Dave Ramsey Inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame last night (11/5).  Although Dave himself was unable to make it to Chicago for the ceremony, his daughter, New York Times best-selling author Rachel Cruze (pictured), was there to accept the award on his behalf.

2016 Presidential Race and Trump’s ‘SNL’ Appearance Tied for Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the controversy over Republican hopeful Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance on “Saturday Night Live” tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the crash/possible bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.  Coming in at #3 was the military relationship between Russia and Syria followed by the UC-Merced stabbings 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

| September 29, 2015

cumulus logoCumulus Board of Directors Installs Mary G. Berner as CEO; Lew Dickey to Remain as Vice Chairman and Director.  New Cumulus Media chief executive officer Mary G. Berner has been a member of the board of directors of Cumulus since May and she replaces company founder Lew Dickey as CEO – although Dickey will remain a director of the company as serve as vice chairman.  The Cumulus board of directors states Berner is a “seasoned media business operator” who previous experience includes her most recent post as president and chief executive officer of the Association of bernermaryMagazine Media.  From 2007-2011, she was chief executive officer of Reader’s Digest Association and, before that, chief executive officer of Fairchild Publications.   The press statement continues: “During the course of her highly successful career, she has led some of the world’s best known brands and content platforms, including Glamour, TV Guide, W, Women’s Wear Daily, Every Day with Rachael dickeylewRay and Allrecipes.com.”  Cumulus board chairman Jeffrey Marcus – who also serves as a partner with Crestview Partners (which manages funds that own 27% of Cumulus stock) – says, “Under Lew Dickey’s leadership, the Cumulus team has built a formidable national and local footprint, becoming the second largest operator of radio stations in the country, with more than 460 stations across 90 markets, approximately 8,500 broadcast radio affiliates and numerous digital channels serving over 225 million listeners nationwide.  However, maximizing the value of these assets requires making them work together effectively and efficiently.  At a time when the media landscape continues to undergo seismic transformation, Cumulus needs a broad-based media operator who can leverage its outstanding resources – from its core strength in radio to its growing presence in digital, experiential and other emerging platforms – and capitalize on thedickeyjohn industry’s strong fundamentals.  The board has had the benefit of seeing Mary in action and is fully confident that she is the right leader for Cumulus.”  Berner comments, “I am honored to have been asked to lead Cumulus Media and am eager to work with the board and the company’s talented teams to implement Lew’s vision of building the next generation multi-platform media company.  As the director who led the Operations Review Task Force established by the board, I have insight into the issues that Cumulus faces, but I also know the operational leverage that can be generated by first focusing on execution.  Radio is a powerful and unique medium – the number one mass reach medium in the U.S. – and Cumulus possesses all of the elements to be one of the industry’s winners.  I look forward to bringing a renewed focus on operating excellence at all levels and in all functions to help Cumulus realize its potential and generate improved financial performance and increased value for shareholders.”  The press statement makes no mention of the status of John Dickey, EVP content & programming, but the New York Post is reporting he has exited the company and a “huge reorganization” is impending.  TALKERS has not confirmed those reports.  Cumulus stock, which has been battered in recent months, closed today (9/29) at 68 cents per share.

harrisonhurley15Michael Harrison Interviews Harry Hurley About “All Things New Jersey” – Including Host’s Two-Year Tenure as Senior Exec at Trump Atlantic City Hotel.  In a riveting one-one-one discussion about the various ways the Garden State has been recently evoked in the national presidential conversation, Michael Harrison interviews WPGG, Atlantic City “morning mayor” (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member) Harry Hurley on the latest installment (9/29) of the Podcast One international hit, “Up Close and Far Out.” Prior to launching a stellar 25-year career as a major New Jersey radio personality, Hurley worked directly for Donald Trump as the senior executive of one of his four Atlantic City Hotels (a job for which “The Donald” personally interviewed and subsequently supervised him) and candidly discusses what it was like being with the current GOP front-runner during those heady days along the Jersey Shore.  Hurley worked with Trump personally every weekend for two years and shares important first-hand insights into the billionaire’s management style, business instincts and character.  In addition, the Jersey-born talker shares his insights, based on experience, into the economic role and cultural direction of casino gambling in the nation.  He also talks about his personal on- and off-air encounters with Gov. Chris Christie (including insights to “bridgegate” and the Dallas Cowboys/Jerry Jones debacle) as well as the effect that the Miss America pageant (for which Hurley has served as a preliminary judge) has on the region.  Michael Harrison states, “New Jersey is an enigmatic, colorful home to nine million with its own unique set of extraordinary assets, daunting challenges and notably engaged local media.  I can think of no one more qualified to provide outsiders with an accurate explanation of this endlessly intriguing, largely misunderstood state and its compelling connection to current national politics than WPGG morning master Harry Hurley.”  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  Radio industry services start-up DGital Media launches a production division called DGital Media Studios.  The company says the division “will focus on developing and producing proprietary audio content” and its first project is a fantasy sports platform called Fantasy Sports Voices…..AMG/Parade announces the launch of “Athlon Sports Radio” on SiriusXM.  The Monday and Tuesday evening program will air from 7:00 to 9:00 ET on Sirius XM’s College Sports Nation.  The program grows out of the company’s 10-plus preseason magazines covering college, professional and fantasy football, college basketball, professional baseball, golf and NASCAR.  AMG/Parade was formerly Athlon Media Group which consists of the newspaper-distributed magazines Athlon Sports & Life, Parade, American Profile, Spry Living, and Relish…..British soccer legend Sir Alex Ferguson will sit down for an in-studio Q&A at the SiriusXM studios in New York as part of its “Town Hall” series.  Sir Alex will chat with SiriusXM host Charlie Stillitano before a live, studio audience on Friday, October 9. 

Trump Tax Plan, 2016 Presidential Race, Pope Francis Visit Aftermath, Boehner’s Exit from Congress, Obama-Putin Meeting, and Water on Mars Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28).  The unveiling of the Donald Trump tax plan; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; the state of the GOP in the wake of House Speaker John Boehner’s announced resignation from Congress; the tensions between Russia and the United States and President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin at the UN on Monday; and NASA’s revelation of the discovery of water on Mars were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.