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Thursday, August 19, 2021

| August 19, 2021

California Political Expert Wayne Avrashow is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted Los Angeles-based, attorney, law professor, author, columnist and political insider Wayne Avrashow is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Avrashow is a regular contributor to RealClearPolics.com and is described by Harrison as “a wonderful ‘go-to’ resource for solid, non-partisan insights about what’s happening in Los Angeles and the entire Golden State.” Harrison and Avrashow take a deep dive into the state’s gubernatorial recall special election, explaining how it works and assessing talk show host Larry Elder’s prospects of becoming California’s next governor. They also discuss the issues of crime, homelessness and exodus of businesses and workers to Arizona, Nevada, Texas and even Florida that are challenging the nation’s most populous state addressing the question, is California losing its mojo? According to Harrison, “Elder’s role in this key recall is of major interest to the talk radio industry because it illustrates the importance and influence of the platform as a staging ground for a political career of consequence – similar to what we witnessed years ago with the rise of Mike Pence.” To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here.

The Radio Agency Points to TALKERS Heavy Hundred as ‘Goldmine’ for Brands Seeking Marketing Leverage. A blog post by The Radio Agency CEO Mark Lipsky highlights an advertising strategy for businesses that he says can be leveraged to dramatic effect with the recent shift in the talk radio landscape. Lipsky points to TALKERS magazine’s 2021 “Heavy Hundred” list as a “potential goldmine for brands looking to get valuable marketing leverage from some of talk radio’s brightest luminaries.” Lipsky goes on to say, “The death of Rush Limbaugh left a vacuum in conservative talk radio with no shortage of would-be successors to entertain Rush’s audience. That creates opportunity for new talk radio advertisers to buy primetime airtime for less than the premium rates that Limbaugh once commanded.” While noting that securing a talk host’s endorsement is not a simple task and requires professional representation, Lipsky explains, “Every market has influential talk show hosts able to present the benefits of your product or service with the earnest credibility of a trusted next-door neighbor. The challenge is securing their endorsements at a fair price that will deliver incremental sales to cover or exceed the incremental cost of their services as spokesperson.” Read Lipsky’s complete blog post here.

WBAL, Baltimore Traffic Reporter Jim Russ Dies Unexpectedly at 57. Longtime Washington, DC and Baltimore radio traffic reporter Jim Russ died suddenly yesterday morning (8/18) at the age of 57. WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM VP and general manager Cary Pahigian writes in a memo to the Hearst Television staff: “Jim is the unquestioned Dean of Baltimore traffic reporting, keeping watch on the roads in the WBAL/98 Rock listening area for the past decade, with many more years of experience at WTOP in Washington and later the service we know today as the Total Traffic & Weather Network.  Along the way he helped mentor a generation of traffic reporters in the DC/Baltimore area… NO ONE loved the job of reporting traffic more than Jim did. He saw it as his duty to keep people in Baltimore moving to their destinations as quickly as possible and attacked that responsibility with passion and dedication. The sterling reputation of WBAL as a news and information leader was strengthened throughout Jim’s tenure, and his departure leaves a void both professionally and personally for his colleagues who enjoyed his company and commitment to excellence.”

Cumulus/Westwood One’s Suzanne Grimes Talks About the Value of Radio to Advertisers with Forbes. In a piece by Brad Adgate for Forbes, Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes answers six questions about the radio industry – from how the hosts who’ve filled the midday slot formerly occupied by Rush Limbaugh to how shifting a portion of media buys to radio provides a lift in return on investment. Addressing the latter, Grimes says, “The acquisition of Arbitron by Nielsen made the introduction of ROI and sales-effect studies possible for brands and marketers. For the first time, Nielsen’s credit card and grocery shopper card data can be matched to Portable People Meters to prove the impact of radio advertising. Across a large variety of categories, Nielsen found that for every dollar of radio advertising, ten dollars of incremental sales are generated. CPG and QSR return three to one. Retail sixteen to one.”

iHeartMedia Selling Portsmouth, New Hampshire Broadcast Facility. According to a story at InDepthNH.org, iHeartMedia is putting its Portsmouth, New Hampshire studios at 815 Lafayette Road on the market with a current asking price of $3.67 million. A number of the company’s Portsmouth stations are located in the building, including news/talk WQSO-FM “Newstalk 96.7.” The piece cites a “reliable source” indicating that the live and local broadcasts will emanate from the company’s Manchester, New Hampshire studios by the fall. The two cities are about 40 miles apart.

Report: Max Kellerman to Move to ESPN Radio Mornings. According to a story by Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, Max Kellerman will be leaving the ESPN television show “First Take” that he currently co-hosts with Stephen A. Smith and is expected to join the ESPN Radio morning drive show with Keyshawn Johnson. He would replace Zubin Mehenti. The report also indicates that Kellerman could also get a one-hour show on the TV side in the 2:00 pm ET hour.

NAB Show to Require Proof of Vaccination. The National Association of Broadcasters EVP of global connections and events Chris Brown announces the organization’s policy regarding attending the 2021 NAB Show taking place in October in Las Vegas. He says, “While the enthusiasm is building, we are keenly aware of health and safety concerns tied to the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and want to assure you that we are putting in place a comprehensive, data-driven plan that prioritizes safety and creates a productive environment at these events. We have worked for the past several weeks to finalize protocols that will maximize the experience and safety of all members of the NAB Show community. This process has involved extensive consultation with health and safety experts, gathering feedback from a range of exhibitors and attendees, and review of the safety measures recommended by national and local health authorities, including Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s important announcement this week regarding large events. Taking this all into account, we will require all attendees and participants to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. We think this is a positive step in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will provide further details on implementation as well as other safety measures under consideration.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from Newsweek launches titled, “The Diplomat,” hosted by former Middle East envoy for the Trump administration, Jason Greenblatt. The show is inspired by Greenblatt’s work in foreign affairs with the intent of fostering candid conversations on a wide set of global and domestic issues. “The Diplomat” will release one or two new episodes every week, featuring one or more guests with first-hand experience in a specific arena sharing their stories and insights. The show’s first guests will be former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman…..SiriusXM announces the launch of the SXM original podcast “Huuuge Fan,” hosted by LaChina Robinson. The program features in-depth conversations with some of today’s biggest stars of stage and screen – famous actors, musicians and other celebs who are big sports fans – about their favorite team. Joining rabid sports fans Tracy Morgan, Ashley Judd, Nelly, Michael Bublé and Tim McGraw as guests on the show are Drew Carey, Monica, Adam Duritz, Michelle Williams, Anthony Ramos and many others…..Seven Bridges Radio’s sports talk WJXL-AM/FM, Jacksonville “Jax Sports Radio” inks a deal with VSiN, The Sports Betting Network to bring more than 50 hours of sports betting news, analysis and insights to Jacksonville and Northeast Florida each week. Station president and GM Steven Griffin says, “It’s important for us to be on the cutting edge of the sports betting media revolution and to serve our audience with this new focus on sports betting content. We’re excited to collaborate with VSiN to bring the best programming in the business to Jacksonville’s sports fans and betting enthusiasts. In addition, we’ll feature VSiN’s industry-leading on-air talent on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, August through January, to offer insight and opinion on the biggest sporting events.”…..Good Karma Brands announces that it has struck a deal with Milwaukee Panther Sports Properties to broadcast University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers men’s basketball on WAUK-AM/W266DR “540 ESPN” beginning this fall. Scott Warras will continue to serve as play-by-play voice for the broadcasts.

Taliban Takes Afghanistan, Russia-Taliban Relationship, COVID-19 Stats & Mandates, Southern Border Crisis, Newsom Recall, Tropical Storms & Flooding, Western Drought & Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/18). The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and criticism of President Joe Biden’s execution of the withdrawal; Russia’s relationship with Taliban leaders; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases and full ICU beds in several U.S. states and the battle over mask and vaccine mandates; the migrant crisis at the U.S. Mexico border and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey extends the National Guard border patrol for another year; the recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom and talk host Larry Elder’s chances of winning; the tropical storms dumping rain on the Eastern U.S. and causing flooding; and the drought and wildfires affecting the Western U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

| July 20, 2021

iHeartMedia Voluntarily Prepays $250 Million Loan. The company announces that its indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary, iHeartCommunications, Inc., has successfully completed the previously announced voluntary prepayment of a portion of both its $2,070 million Term Loan and its $446 million Incremental Term Loan, utilizing cash on hand, while concurrently repricing the Incremental Term Loan at a new rate of LIBOR + 3.25%. The prepayment was applied to the Term Loan and the Incremental Term Loan on a pro-rata basis, resulting in $206 million being used to prepay the Term Loan and $44 million to prepay the Incremental Term Loan. The interest rate on the remaining $402 million balance of the Incremental Term Loan was lowered by 100 basis points, including the impact of a 25-basis points LIBOR floor reduction. The prepayment and the new rate are expected to save iHeartMedia approximately $13 million in interest expense on an annualized basis.

Emmis to Cease Broadcasting on WFNI-AM After Agreeing to Transmitter Site Deal. According to a report by Alex Brown at Inside Indiana Business, Emmis Communications will shut down the 1070 AM signal of sports talk WFNI, Indianapolis “The Fan” after August 1 because it has sold a part of the transmitter site. The company will continue to broadcast “The Fan” on WIBC-HD2 and FM translators W228CX at 93.5 and W298BB at 107.5. Emmis founder and chairman Jeff Smulyan says, “As long-time owners of 1070, we are working diligently on finding the next great use for the signal. We were offered a wonderful opportunity to monetize the property and felt it was our obligation to explore that. Ultimately, it made the most sense.” Emmis tells IIB that “it had the tower site rezoned for mixed-use commercial, office, and residential developments more than a year ago. The entire site covers 70 acres on Perry Worth Road near I-65 in Whitestown and additional parcels are currently listed for sale.”

Music Radio Royalty Update: Are Labels Hastening ‘The Day The (free) Music Died?’ — Battle lines are drawn over performance payments FMs fear. And dueling congressional actions demonstrate Washington-speak 101: “Fairness” vs. “Freedom.” On his TV show “The Big Picture,” consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke (above, center) discusses with Talkers Radio GM David Bernstein (left) and Texas station owner Paul Gleiser (right). And for Talk stations, how’s Life-after-Limbaugh? Panelists react to a clip from Michael Harrison’s Fireside Chat with Bill O’Reilly at the June 11 TALKERS 2021 Conference at Hofstra University. Watch it here.

SRN’s Eric Metaxas Interviews Mike Pompeo at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network host Eric Metaxas (left) with former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during their live broadcast interview from Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in Tampa yesterday (7/19). This year’s event attracted more than 3,000 high school and college activists and included speakers such as Pompeo, Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka, and Turning Point USA founder and SRN talk host Charlie Kirk.

TALKERS News Notes. Denver talk radio host Steffan Tubbs was interviewed recently by KCNC-TV, Denver about his bout with COVID-19. Tubbs is afternoon drive personality on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KNUS, Denver and he told KCNC-TV that he was not vaccinated, spent a week in the hospital and missed 51 days of work. While he says he’ll not tell others to get vaccinated, he did say, “To those who think COVID is a hoax, you’re crazy”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Aisha Jefferson is promoted from her part-time digital content producer role at Audacy’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM to full-time producer. She joined the station in 2019. WBBM brand manager Ron Gleason writes in a memo to staffers, “Aisha has been with us for a couple years and has patiently awaited this well-deserved opportunity.”…..SiriusXM announces a week-long tribute to legendary comedienne Joan Rivers. The SiriusXM Comedy Greats channel will play exclusive, never-before-released recordings from the final 20 years of Rivers’ career. SiriusXM says that now, for the first time ever, each day throughout the week fans will get to hear some of Rivers’ best stand-up moments. The special will include material from Rivers’ performances in London, Boston, West Palm Beach and more…..The “Motley Fool Money” show starring host Chris Hill adds Midwest Communications‘ WHTC-AM/W259CO, Holland, Michigan as its newest affiliate station.

PodcastOne to Launch New Show ‘Cheating: When Love Lies.’ The new podcast from PodcastOne is called “Cheating: When Love Lies” and his hosted by Jillian Hamilton. PodcastOne says it’s a “deep dive into the complex emotions surrounding these secret unions.” Creator and host Hamilton delves into the taboo topic of cheating and asks the hard questions about affairs: how common are they, who’s having them, and why? These questions illicit unexpected answers that reveal both men and women as people actively seeking something – validation, escape, understanding, vengeance, thrill, love, sex, and romance – outside of committed partnerships. “Cheating: When Love Lies” resists the condemnation of affairs as uniquely wrong or bad and instead considers their usefulness in learning as much about relationships as we learn about ourselves.

Audacy Debuts New Podcast Starring Carmelo Anthony. Top-10 all-time NBA scorer, 10-time NBA All-Star, and three-time Olympic gold medalist Carmelo Anthony today announced that he and his multi-platform content company Creative 7 are partnering with Audacy’s Cadence13 to launch his viral, wine-focused YouTube series, “What’s In Your Glass?” On the podcast, Anthony invites listeners to sit in on intimate chats with leading guests from the worlds of sports, wine, business, entertainment, music, politics, and more over a glass (or two) of wine. Notable guests include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, songstress Andra Day, Oscar-winning filmmaker Shaka King, rapper T-Pain, NBA star JJ Redick, and more.

COVID-19, Twitter Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene, U.S. Blames China for Microsoft Hack, Voting Legislation/Texas Dems Case, Biden Infrastructure Bill, Urban Crime Wave, January 6 Investigation, Western Heat and Wildfires, Bezos Space Trip Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19). The rising rate of COVID-19 cases in all 50 states and the stalled rate of vaccinations; Twitter temporarily suspends Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene for spreading COVID misinformation; the Joe Biden administration publicly blames China for the recent hack of Microsoft’s exchange email server; the numerous state laws toughening voting requirements and the Texas Democrats who fled the station to avoid voting on that state’s bill; this week’s debate on the $1 trillion Biden infrastructure bill; the soaring rate of violent crime in many of America’s big cities; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack and the sentencing of the first to be prosecuted; the heatwave and wildfires plaguing the U.S. West; and billionaire Jeff Bezos’ trip into space were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Salem Media Group Seeks Talk Host for Christian Talk KKLA-FM, Los Angeles. Salem Media Los Angeles is looking for the next host for its live daily talk show on Christian formatted 99.5 KKLA. The company says: “This is talk radio with a difference. It’s a Christian perspective on news of the day. The average length of time hosts have held this position is eight-plus years, and our current host is moving on to other ministry work. Affinity for and understanding of the target audience of Christians, or spiritual ‘seekers’ is necessary. Impacting the culture and lives can be deeply satisfying, so much more so than many typical ‘shows.’ If you are still reading this posting, tired of less meaningful hosting, if you are ready for a change, if you are intrigued by this opportunity, pray about it and don’t hesitate to get in touch for more details. This show can tend to be off the radar of ‘general market’ talk radio, so in case you are wondering, this is a legit afternoon drive talk show, topics, guests, listener calls. Salem is a public company, we are not a church, we are a commercial radio station. Most of us here have a background in competitive ‘general market’ radio. And we have been attracted to working for Salem because of the difference it makes in our own lives, and the lives of our audience base and communities. The show is heard in both Los Angeles and San Diego during afternoon drive each weekday. It’s a huge opportunity for the right person. We would enjoy speaking with you if you have any questions.” Contact KKLA program director Rodney Miller at: Rodney.miller@salemla.com.

KNBR, San Francisco Seeking Full-Time Writer/Web Producer. San Francisco sports talker KNBR is seeking a full-time writer and web producer. The station says: “As a member of the San Francisco Cumulus digital team, the writer and web producer will be responsible for covering Bay Area sports as a writer, reporter and content creator, while also supporting the KNBR digital team’s efforts in creating digital content related to the KNBR radio station. The job will include but is not limited to writing, on-site reporting, interviewing, editing, headline writing, social media skills, going on-air or on-camera, collaborating on digital content both within the department and with other departments such as programing, sales and promotions.” See more information about the position and apply here.

Friday, June 25, 2021

| June 25, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Bridges, Roads and Condos,” looks back at this past week of June 21-25, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Mandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver; Harry Hurley, morning show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupDr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkSid Rosenberg, talk show host, WABC, New York and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

WABC, New York Host and Former Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Suspended from Practicing Law in New York. The New York State Appellate Division, First Department suspended the law license of former NYC mayor, former Donald Trump attorney, and current WABC, New York talk host Rudy Giuliani. The court ruled that Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.” It added that Giuliani’s conduct “immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law.” The fate of Giuliani’s New York law license hangs in the balance as the court added, “We find that there is evidence of continuing misconduct, the underlying offense is incredibly serious, and the uncontroverted misconduct in itself will likely result in substantial permanent sanctions at the conclusion of these disciplinary proceedings.”

Audacy Unveils Sports Podcast Studio Building 2400Sports. The new podcast studio for production of Audacy sports podcasts is being launched. 2400Sports houses Audacy Sports’ digital audio content, including both new and existing original podcasts. It is the latest addition to Audacy’s podcast portfolio, which contains premium podcast companies Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, as well as the recently acquired Podcorn. Audacy chairman, president and CEO David Field says, “We’re excited to launch a third major studio with a goal of building 2400Sports into the home of the country’s best sports podcasts. We look forward to developing elite partnerships, including our just-announced deal with MLB, to create truly special, riveting sports content.” In the new partnership with MLB, Audacy and the league will collaborate on the production and distribution of official podcast programming for the league and its clubs. The studio will launch with a new flagship podcast series in development that revisits baseball’s most dramatic and thrilling postseason campaigns. The first installment, coming this fall, will take a deep dive into the Chicago Cubs’ historic march to the 2016 World Series championship. Audacy will work with all 30 clubs to develop new podcast content. Also concurrent with the studio launch, Audacy announces a development deal with award-winning podcast producer Jody Avirgan’s Roulette Productions. Over the coming months, Avirgan will contribute to 2400Sports’ slate of programming by developing and creating new original shows across a range of sports and genres. From 2016-2020, Jody Avirgan was the executive producer and host of ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcasts.

KBLA, Los Angeles Adds Black Information Network News. The new talk station launched by Tavis Smiley – KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” – is adding BIN: Black Information Network’s national news service to its programming, according to Premiere Networks. KBLA will feature Black Information Network News’ :60 newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour, as well as breaking news, from experienced and award-winning Black journalists. Premiere says the news service is available on more than 40 stations nationwide and is “the first and only 24/7 comprehensive national audio Black News service dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.” KBLA president and COO Elston Butler says, “We’re excited to partner with Black Information Network News. We knew it would deliver the trusted news and information that is valuable to our listeners. Other news sources offered KBLA a nice piece of the news pie, but with BIN, we felt we would receive the whole recipe that our listeners deserve.”

Cumulus Media Completes $175 Million Debt Paydown. The company completes a multi-step procedure it began in May of this year to pay down $175 million of debt using cash on hand. Here’s how it happened: On May 17, Cumulus Media completed a $60 million repayment of its ABL Revolver due 2025, which represented the entirety of the amount outstanding under the facility. Following the paydown, the ABL Revolver due 2025 is undrawn and available as liquidity for general corporate purposes. On May 25, it paid down approximately $89 million of its Term Loan Credit Facility due 2026 related to a mandatory prepayment obligation arising from the company’s previously announced sale of land in Bethesda, MD, in June 2020 and sale of towers and related assets in September 2020. Pursuant to the terms of its 6.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2026, on May 26, 2021, the company launched a tender offer to repurchase approximately $26 million of the Notes at par, which represents the pro rata amount required to be offered from the proceeds of the Tower Sale. As of the expiration of the Tender Offer, approximately $3 million of Notes were validly tendered, accepted for payment and subsequently cancelled. Giving effect to the impact of the Tender Offer, approximately $450 million principal amount of Notes remains outstanding. Finally, on June 24, Cumulus submitted an irrevocable paydown notice to the administrative agent of the Term Loan to effectuate a required paydown of $23 million, which represents the remainder of the initial amount of the Tender Offer that was not validly tendered prior to the expiration date. Cumulus EVP and CFO Francisco J. Lopez-Balboa says, “As the improvement in economic and public health conditions continues to drive momentum in business trends, we felt it appropriate to accelerate several debt repayments in order to expedite our balance sheet de-levering, reduce interest expense, and increase our free cash flow generation. We believe this better leverage and free cash flow profile, more than $200 million of available liquidity and solid rebound trajectory are significantly enhancing our financial flexibility. Given our strong competitive position, proven execution track record, and numerous revenue growth drivers, we are confident in our multiple pathways to grow shareholder value.”

The Score’s Danny Parkins Leads Fundraising of More Than $650,000 for Food Bank. The Athletes for Justice’s Austin Harvest food mart project was the beneficiary of WSCR, Chicago’s “What About Chicago Radiothon.” The Audacy sports talker helped raise more than $650,000 for the charity launched by former Chicago Bear Sam Acho and its mission to erase a food desert and build a permanent facility that can fully service the community and those in need. 670 The Score brand manager Mitch Rosen says, “What a tremendous 24 hours. ‘The Score’ asked and the audience delivered for Austin Harvest to build a permanent food mart. I can’t thank our dedicated listeners, our score team, Danny Parkins who led all of us, and Sam Acho enough. We’re so proud to help support a great cause. Thank you, Chicago.” Parkins adds, “That’s the Chicago that I know and love. We saw a problem and helped to solve. So, when people ask, ‘What about Chicago?’ I want people to tell them the story of Austin Harvest, Sam Acho and ‘670 The Score.’ Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us erase a food desert and fund the construction of a permanent facility for Austin Harvest.” Austin Harvest is in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and was originally a pop–up food mart that was a converted liquor store. The mart addressed a food desert in the city and was staffed as an after-school program three days a week by local kids.

‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Raises $27,000-plus for Boston Children’s Hospital. The Beasley Media Group sports talk station raised more than $27,000 to benefit the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (P.A.C.T.) Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital via the 10th Annual Who’s Your Caddy? Classic charity golf tournament. WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” afternoon drive personality Tony Massarotti created the original event in memory of his nephew who was cared for by the P.A.C.T. Unit. Pictured above (from l-r) are: Massarotti, Chris L. and Erika O. from Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast and “The Sports Hub Golf Club” host Hardy.

Pompeo Speaks at National Religious Broadcasters Conference. Pictured above is former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) with Salem Radio Network VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup (right) at the annual National Religious Broadcasters conference in Dallas. Pompeo warned the 3,500 attendees of the dangers posed by teaching Critical Race Theory in schools and applauded Christian broadcasters for “helping protect religious freedom and traditional American values in our nation.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass is hinting at a return to the talk radio business after taking a buyout from the paper that’s been acquired by hedge fund Alden Global Capital and launching his own media platform johnkassnews.com. He currently is hosting a podcast called “The Chicago Way with John Kass” on WGN-AM’s digital platform. In the past, he hosted a talk show on WLS-AM, first with co-host Jake Hartford, then with Lauren Cohn.  Kass tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder, “I’m in meetings now with various broadcast entities to continue talking to people in Chicago. I think they might want to hear what I have to say.”…..Audacy announces that Mike Hoss is the new play-by-play announcer for New Orleans Saints game day broadcasts on news/talk WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Hoss will work with color analyst and Saints all-time leading rusher Deuce McAllister in the booth. Audacy New Orleans SVP and market manager Kevin Cassidy says, “When we started our search for the new ‘Voice of the Saints,’ the goal was not only professional play-by-play, but also someone with a deep connection to the team, the Saints amazing fan base and our community. Mike checks all the boxes. His extensive experience covering the team both on and off the field has allowed him to paint a front-row picture for fans over the course of his career, and we trust his knowledge will enhance our coverage on game days.”…..The GCN nationally syndicated “America Tonight with Kate Delaney” adds new station KTLR, Oklahoma City to its roster of affiliates…..Colorado Springs-based Way Media announces the addition of Steven Thompson as vice president of technology. Thompson was most recently VP of technology for Hope Media Group and KSBJ, Houston. WayFM VP of broadcast operations Jim Marshall comments, “The addition of Steven to the WayFM roster puts us in a position to further solidify our operations. He played a key role in KSBJ’s expansion in South Texas and I’m thrilled that Steven has joined our leadership team. He has a heart for God and a desire to excel in the technical arena. I love that combination.”

Former ‘Talk 106.7’ Atlanta Host Mike Brooks Dies at 66. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, former WYAY-FM, Atlanta “Talk 106.7” talk host Mike Brooks died unexpectedly Wednesday (6/23). Brooks was a former police officer who also had served as a correspondent for CNN, among numerous other career ventures that included hosting a talk radio show on Cumulus Media’s former news/talk station “Talk 106.7.”

COVID-19 Vaccines, Goals and Delta Variant Top News/Talk Story This Week. The controversy over the vaccinations against COVID-19, the Biden administration’s goals, and the Delta variant combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the blocking of the For the People voting bill and race relations, followed by the economy and the compromise infrastructure bill at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

NEED A GREAT EXPERT GUEST? Newsom Recall Attracts National Talk Media Interest. The official word that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) will definitely face a recall election has sparked interest in the subject of California politics at talk media outlets across the nation. Attorney/author Wayne Avrashow is a reliable non-partisan expert on the subject of California politics and is available for interviews on the Newson development as well as all things Golden State. He is a frequent contributor to RealClearPolitics and a California political insider. He has an extensive background in California politics, served on two government commissions, was chair of a Los Angeles County ballot proposition, and co-authored ballot arguments. He began as a campaign manager for two victorious Los Angeles City Councilmembers and later served as chief of staff. As a lawyer and lobbyist, he represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at Southwestern University School of Law and was an adjunct professor at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers and in legal, business, and real estate publications. He authored Success at Mediation: 10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys, a book used by law students at the University of Southern California School of Law. And he is the author of a current Amazon best-selling novel Center Stage: A Political Thriller (2021, RealClearPublishing) about a rock star who runs for the U.S. Senate. His experiences in politics, government and business, and as a practicing attorney provide unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns. His website is www.wayneavrashow.com. He can be contacted directly at 818-995-1100 or walaw@sbcglobal.net

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

| October 2, 2019

Fisher House Veteran’s Day Show Available. The Fisher House Foundation and The Jeff Wyatt Group announce WMAL-FM, Washington, DC morning drive personality Mary Walter is again anchoring the Fisher House Foundation’s 2019 talk radio special, “The Fisher House Story – In Their Own Words.”  The three-hour, one-hour, and 30-minute radio specials feature stories of America’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey.  The Fisher House program provides “a home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.  The homes provide temporary free lodging so families can be close to their loved ones during a medical crisis.  Fisher House Foundation president Dave Coker says, “‘The Fisher House Story’ talk show shares the inspiring stories of service members and veterans during Veterans Day and the holiday season.  Mary Walter skillfully guides us through these accounts.”  A clock and demo will be available by October 4 at www.radio.fisherhouse.org.  The show will be available for download November 1 for potential airing Veterans Day weekend through the holiday season, into Memorial Day and 4th of July weekend at the same website.  The Fisher House country radio show, “The Gift,” will continue to be produced by Sharla McCoy.  For more information email sharlamccoy@gmail.com.  For more information on this radio special, contact Jeff Wyatt at jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

Kris Foley Rises to Region President for iHeartMedia. Sales and management pro Kris Foley is promoted to region president for iHeartMedia South Ohio that includes more than 27 broadcast and digital stations in the Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton markets.  Foley was most recently vice president of multi-market partnerships and business developments.  She also previously served the company as the senior vice president of sales in North Ohio. She says, “I started my media career in South Ohio as an account executive.  I’m absolutely thrilled to be working alongside the strong leaders and incredible team here in South Ohio and I can’t wait to take the region to new levels.”

Connoisseur Announces Launch of Ferocious Content. Partnering on this new project with Connoisseur Media are JJ Durand (left) and John Deptulski (right).  The new company, Ferocious Content, will focus on video and social media content.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “We are pumped to be partnering with these talented guys.  Our clients are increasingly asking for our help with video and social, so we decided to launch a brand-new company.”  Durand adds, “When we were given a chance to partner with such a blue-chip media company, we pounced on it.  We will be creating content that will help local advertisers eat up their competitors.”

TALKERS News Notes. Season two of the iHeartRadio Original Podcast, “Unobscured,” hosted and produced by Aaron Mahnke, premieres on the iHeartPodcast Network with Mahnke delving into the world of Spiritualism.  The first episode explores the life of Andrew Jackson Davis, a popular American Spiritualist, and how he helped to jumpstart the movement ….. Former KFRX-FM, Lincoln, Nebraska radio personality Matt McKay, a.k.a. Matthew Rydberg, was sentenced to two years’ probation after pleading guilty to domestic assault after an incident at his home in April of this year.  Lancaster County District Judge Darla Ideus sentenced Rydberg and also ordered him to follow the recommendations of his probation officer regarding alcohol counseling or treatment needed and to complete a domestic violence intervention program.  Rydberg was let go from the Alpha Media station shortly after his arrest ….. SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season with live play-by-play of every game, plus expert insight and analysis on the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel.  SiriusXM also announces that Gord Stellick and Scott Laughlin will host an all-new morning show on the channel the day the season begins ….. Pictured here is Salem Radio Network host Dr. Sebastian Gorka board the airplane of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday evening as he accompanies Secretary Pompeo on his trip to Rome. Stops on their itinerary include meetings with Italian president Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and a visit to The Vatican.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are honored that Secretary of State Pompeo – who invited SRN’s Hugh Hewitt to travel overseas with him earlier this year – has now extended that opportunity to “America First” host Dr. Sebastian Gorka.  Our mission is to deliver breaking news and what to think about it, and the background gained on these important missions will prove valuable in the exciting days ahead.”

 

 

September 2019 PPM Data – Information for the September 2019 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, Middlesex (New Jersey) and San Jose. Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 survey period covered August 15 – September 11. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from three markets below.

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – After gaining one-half share in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” relinquishes 40% of that increase (1.8, -.2, 6+) and slips from #18 to #20. Townsquare Media’s similarly-formatted WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” has an extremely consistent March 2019 through September 2019 topline: 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 (6+) and continues at #22. May’s one-tenth increase halted five straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in an overall loss of four-tenths. Surrendering in its entirety the three-tenths it racked up in July/August (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – .9, 6+), news/talk WABC falls from #22 to #24.

Not only does WFAN (Yankees, Giants) falter by six-tenths (3.8 – 3.2, 6+), the Entercom sports talk outlet fades from the top ten (#9 to #13) with its softest 6+-showing (3.2) since March 2019’s 3.0. Off an overall four-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.0 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (Jets) ends the slide with an increase of two-tenths and returns to the top twenty (1.8, #21 to #20, 6+).

In three consecutive negative or neutral trends, WINS lost seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). The Entercom all-news outlet picks up two-tenths in August (3.4, 6+) yet backslides from #11 to #12. Co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM (Mets) repeats July’s 2.5 but dips from #14 to #15. Prior to August’s improvement of one-tenth, WCBS-AM faltered by a collective full-share via four straight declines (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.4, 6+).

Up an overall half-share in three successive reports without a loss (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM advances from #16 to #14. The February 2019 through September 2019 topline for co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM is .4 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .2 – .3 – .3 – .3 (flat at #33, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – This marks Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM’s fourth consecutive positive or neutral sweep for an overall gain of eight-tenths (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+) as “NEW 102.7” marches from tenth to eighth. There’s a similar positive story for cluster-mate WNYL “Alt 92.3 – New York’s New Alternative,” which nets six-tenths in six straight reports without a decrease (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5, #16 to #15, 6+). Bouncing back from August’s dip of four-tenths with a half-share uptick (3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1” cracks the top ten (#12 to #10). Immediately before August’s drop, “Amor 93.1” notched four successive up or neutral moves for an overall gain of six-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). In five straight sweeps without an increase, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT lost seven-tenths (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+) but “Hot 97” shakes loose with a +.4 to 3.5 (#12 to #11, 6+). Having logged a 6.8 (6+) in May, June, and July, WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” erupted with a jump of nine-tenths in August to 7.7 (6+). The iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility repeats that 7.7 (6+) in September and is #1 the 27th consecutive ratings period. The 7.7 (6+) in August and September matches what was recorded in March when “Lite FM” posted a one-half share increase; WLTW  surrendered seven-tenths in April. A combined -5.3 in January/February (12.5 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), “Lite FM” was +5.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 9.1 – 12.5, 6+). It has a full two-share lead over Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits,” which hasn’t had an increase since June but has only lost one-tenth in that stretch (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). Although backsliding from a three-way tie at #18 to #19, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WQXR “New York’s Classical Music Station” yields eight-tenths in four successive boosts (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+). In addition to being up a combined half share in July/August (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ recorded its highest 6+-stat in more than two years (5.3, as well, in April 2017). While it carries on in fourth-place “Z-100” is down one-tenth in August to 5.2 (6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Erasing May/June’s combined +.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5, 6+) with an overall -1.0 in three straight decreases (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.5, June – July – August – September, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” segues from sixth to seventh. This (3.5) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2. Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA has nearly doubled June’s .6 in July/August/September (.8 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+) although “AM 870 The Answer” regresses from #29 to #30. KRLA lengthens to four-tenths its lead over iHeartMedia-owned KEIB, which drops to .7 (#32 to #35, 6+); “AM 1150 The Patriot” had posted a 1.0 in three of the last four sweeps (1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+). Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is up one-tenth in back-to-back reports (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), progressing from #40 to #38.

The flagship of the Dodgers and Chargers, iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (1.3 – 1.4, +.1, unchanged at #28, 6+) stretches to six-tenths its advantage over Disney-owned (Angels, Rams key station) KSPN “710 ESPN” (flat at .8, #36 to #33, 6+). In June and July, the two sports talkers were deadlocked at #27 (1.4, 6+).

With an extremely steady April 2019 through September 2019 topline of 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.7 (6+), Entercom all-news KNX “1070 News Radio” advances from #14 to a three-way scrum at #12. Prior to picking up one-tenth in July, KNX had five straight negative or neutral monthlies accounting for a full-share loss in that January 2019 – June 2019 timeframe (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+).

Via three consecutive reports without a loss, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” nets twotenths (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+) but backslides from #21 to #23.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Over the course of its nine successive up or flat trends that have yielded nine-tenths, Cumulus Media-to-Meruelo Media Holdings KLOS “95.5 Southern California’s Classic Rock” has recorded a 3.3 (6+) four times in a row (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). Co-owned Spanish contemporary KLLI “Cali 93.9 – #1 For Reggaeton y Mas” doubles its 6+-stat via four straight reports without a loss (.9 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.8, #24, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” is off a collective four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+). At the same time that Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” adds six-tenths (5.0 – 5.6, third to second, 6+), smooth AC sibling KTWV “94.7 The Wave” falters by the same margin (4.8 – 4.2, -.6, flat at #4, 6+). While “K-Earth” pulls the plug on three downward trends in succession that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), “The Wave” suffers its fourth consecutive down or flat report resulting in a cumulative -1.0 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+). This (4.2) is the lowest 6+-stat for KTWV since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.6. In a 5.8 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.9 pattern (June – July – August – September, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” is #1 the 12th straight time. Prior to January when it surrendered a -6.8 to 6.2 (6+), KOST was an overall +8.4 through five improvements in a row (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 9.0 – 13.0, 6+). Despite recording its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (4.1 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), hot AC sibling KBIG “104.3 My-FM” must settle for a backward move (second to third). The 5.3 in August and September is KBIG’s strongest 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, September 2018). Zooming from #16 to #12 with its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2018 (2.7, as well), Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105 FM” is up a collective one-half share in four consecutive sweeps without a decrease (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+). By picking up two-tenths to 3.8 (seventh to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” applies the brakes to six consecutive negative or neutral sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). Prior to June, the last time “Kiss” was under a four-share (6+) was in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Entercom-owned/similarly-formatted KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory the 28th time in a row and records a 2.3 (6+) the fourth time in the last six reports (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, #19 to a four-way tie at #16, 6+). In four consecutive sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia-owned alternative KYSR has gained seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9, #12 to #11, 6+). “Alt 98.7” has a half-share advantage over format rival, Entercom-owned KROQ, which is +.5 as a result of four successive up or neutral reports (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4, #18 to #15, 6+). KROQ’s June gain of one-tenth ended four consecutive sweeps without positive movement that resulted in a collective half-share deficit (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). In the last ten ratings periods (“Holiday” 2018 through September 2019), Santa Monica College-owned variety KCRW has recorded a 1.1 (6+) six times and a 1.3 (6+) the other four (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1, #30, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of four-tenths (2.8 – 3.2, #16 to #12, 6+) takes Tribune Media news/talk WGN (White Sox) to its best 6+-showing (3.2) since February’s 3.5. WGN was locked on 2.9 (6+) in April and May and then on 3.0 (6+) in June and July. Conversely a loss of four-tenths forces Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM off the top twenty (2.1 – 1.7, #20 to #21, 6+); 1.7 is its lowest 6+-stat since March (1.7, as well).

Up a combined half-share in August/September (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” (Cubs) progresses from sixth to fifth. Trending 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 (May – June – July – August – September, 6+), Disney/ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” jumps from #25 to #23.

Flat in fourth-place, Entercom all-news WBBM-AM (Bears) is an overall -1.4 via eight successive down or neutral moves (6.2 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). WBBM-AM finished on top in January, February, and March.

In three consecutive spikes, Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ gains four-tenths (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+) and climbs from #16 to #15.

Chicago Music Formats – Wiping away July/August’s -1.0 (4.8 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+) with a September +1.1 to 4.9 (6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” vaults from seventh to third and has its best 6+-showing (4.9) in nearly a year (5.0, 6+, October 2018). Not only is iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ a collective +1.4 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+), “V-103” progresses from third to first. As is the case with aforementioned WLS-FM, WVAZ records its best 6+-stat since October 2018 (5.7, as well), which is the last time “V-103” reached #1. Departing the top spot is Hubbard Broadcasting hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which craters by -1.5 (5.7 – 4.2, first to sixth, 6+). In July, the combination of a three-tenths uptick by WTMX classic rock sibling WDRV “97.1 The Drive” and an equal margin decrease by “The Mix” resulted in the cluster-mates swapping places at first and second. In August, “The Mix” notched a +.5 (5.2 – 5.7, 6+) and proceeded from second to first. WTMX was #1 in April, May, and June before giving way to “The Drive” in July; April’s 5.9 was the highest 6+-stat for “Mix” since November 2017’s 6.3. Repeating at #10, Cumulus Media’s WKQX “The New Home For Alternative” is a collective +.8 in six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). After logging three gains in a row for a collective increase of six-tenths (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Venture Technologies Group-owned adult contemporary WRME-LP returned two-tenths in August; however, “FM 87.7 – Me TV” rebounds with a September bump of four-tenths to 3.3 (#14 to #11, 6+). June’s 3.0 marked the first time WRME-LP reached the three-share level (6+) since November 2018’s 3.3. Its two AC rivals are down slightly in September. Specifically, iHeartMedia’s WLIT “93.9 Lite FM,” which had been without a loss five times in a row for a collective gain of six-tenths (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), regresses by three-tenths to 4.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while Hubbard Broadcasting’s WSHE “100.3 SHE” drops two-tenths (3.1 – 2.9, #11 to #15, 6+). “Lite FM” was a combined +10.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.2 – 8.4 – 13.3, 6+). Before faltering by one-half share in May, WSHE notched an overall increase of eight-tenths via four consecutive positive or flat moves (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). The market’s two main country outlets have August 2019 to September 2019 fluctuations of one-tenth. On the plus side, Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” is 2.6 – 2.7 (+.1, steady at #18), whereas iHeartMedia-owned WEBG “Big 95.5 Chicago’s New Country” is 1.6 – 1.5 (-.1, #23 to #24, 6+). This is the third time in the last six reports that WUSN “US-99” posts a 2.7 (2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+); WEBG logged a 1.6 (6+) the past three sweeps. Before dropping two-tenths in June, “Big” had been up or flat the previous seven survey periods for an overall gain of four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “98.7 – Chicago’s Classical and Folk Music Radio” is without an increase the sixth time in a row and is down an overall one-half share in that stretch (1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, #29, 6+).

Christian Radio On-Air Opportunity. WAWZ, New York is seeking a program director/air talent.  The station says, “‘STAR 99.1’ is metro NYC’s uplifting Christian adult contemporary station.  We’re looking for the right person to lead our programming department and continue to build our brand on the New York radio dial.  But wait, there’s more!  You’ll lead a ‘live & local’ team of talent, create our on-air imaging, establish music philosophy, supervise hourly clock structure and execution, analyze PPM, online and auditorium research to serve our listeners and grow our audience.  When it comes to digital, social media might as well be your second language.  You will oversee text, video and voice content that drives traffic to our website, social and mobile communities.  Together with a great team, you’ll work diligently to reflect the tastes, interests and values of a Christian listener.  Apply today.  Looking for 3 years of successful programming experience.  Knowledge of NexGen, VoxPro, and Adobe Audition is a plus. To apply, submit your resume to jobs@star991.com.  No Phone calls, please.  WAWZ/Pillar of Fire is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio programming pro Steve Weed is retiring from radio and his position as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Central California region.  Weed, who’s served in the industry for almost 50 years, says, “It’s been an incredible journey, from weekend shifts while in college at UCLA, right up to today.  I’ve spent my entire working life doing the one thing I love, never holding a job outside of radio.  I’ve been truly blessed to have worked with so many gifted and talented people throughout my career and I hope along the way I’ve helped some advance their own careers.”…..The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1” lets midday personality Amanda Kelly go after four months in the position.  She was a cast member on the station’s “Jeff & Jenn” morning show but moved to middays after Jeff Dauler exited the station…..Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Elvis Duran releases his first book – a memoir titled, Elvis Duran: Where Do I Begin? Stories (I Sort of Remember) From a Life Lived Out Loud (2019 Atria Books).  He launched the book with appearances on “The TODAY Show” on Tuesday (10/1) and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Monday (9/30)…..Cumulus Media gives Shreveport operations manager Jay Michaels program director stripes for the cluster’s country KRMD-FM. He also serves as PD and afternoon drive personality for the cluster’s hot AC KQHN “Q97.3.”  Michaels says, “To say that KRMD is a heritage brand is an understatement.  I’m excited to work closely and hands on with our talented air staff and reclaim our position as the dominant country leader in the marketplace.”…..The Department of Journalism and Mass Communication of Abilene Christian University names WAY Media president & CEO (and distinguished alum) John Scaggs ’90 the recipient of the 2019 Gutenberg Award.  The Gutenberg Award recognizes distinguished professional achievements of ACU’s Journalism and Mass Communication Department alumni.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

| July 24, 2019

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  With baseball season in full swing and the NFL season still two months away, 57% of sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their weekly AQH share decrease from the May to June surveys.  Year-over-year, half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets are up and half are down.  Gainers include Beasley Media’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” (+1.3), Entercom’s WFAN (+1.3) in the Long Island market, and Union Broadcasting’s WHB, Kansas City (+1.0).   WFAN is the only sports talk station to rank #1 in a market – in this case, the Long Island market – but three other stations ranked #4 in their respective markets in June.  They were: Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia; Beasley’s WBZ-FM, Boston; and Entercom’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Limbaugh’s ‘Stand Up for Betsy Ross!’ Shirt Raises $2 Million-Plus for Charity. A few weeks ago, TALKERS magazine reported that Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio star Rush Limbaugh had launched a campaign to sell t-shirts with the message, “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” in response to Nike’s decision to pull the flag-themed sneakers from its line after a complaint from former NFL star Colin Kaepernick.  Now, Limbaugh’s team reports that they have raised more than $2 million from the sale of the t-shirts to benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The charity was named after the New York City firefighter who lost his life on 9/11.  The money raised has paid off the mortgages on the family homes of six slain American heroes.  Tunnel to Towers CEO and chairman Frank Siller says, “Thanks to the generosity of Rush and Kathryn, and the listeners of ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show,’ six families who have lost their husbands and fathers, killed while they were protecting us at home and abroad, can rest a little easier knowing they own their homes free and clear.”  Beneficiaries of the donations are: Kissimmee, Florida, police officer Matt Baxter, killed in the line of duty on August 18, 2017, while responding to a call on patrol. He left behind his wife and fellow police officer, Sadia, and their three daughters; Appleton, Wisconsin, firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard, killed in the line of duty on May 15, 2019, shot by the person whose life he was trying to save. He left behind his wife, Lindsey, and three young sons; Auburn, Alabama police officer William Buechner, killed in the line of duty on May 19, 2019, after responding to a domestic disturbance call. He left behind his wife, Sara, and their two children; Kirkersville, Ohio, police chief Steven DiSario, killed in the line of duty on May 12, 2017, while responding to reports of an armed subject. He left behind his wife, Aryn, who was expecting their seventh child at the time of his death, and their six children; Arizona deputy U.S. marshal Chase White, killed in the line of duty on November 29, 2018, while serving a fugitive warrant. He left behind his wife, Sue Ellen and their four children; and U.S. Army chief warrant officer Jonathan Farmer, who was among four Americans killed in a suicide bombing on January 16, 2019, in Manbij, Syria. He left behind his wife, Tabitha, and their four children.  Information on the charity and to donate, visit: Tunnel2Towers.org.

Skyview Networks and Amplifi Media Partner to Provide Custom Audio Solutions. This new, strategic partnership between Skyview Networks and Amplifi Media will help “drive the development of custom audio solutions for brands seeking to reach consumers across all audio platforms and devices.”   The two firms say this new service “will be a strategic resource for agencies and clients looking to curate branded audio content through digital devices, allowing them to extend the conversation with millions of consumers.”  Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein says, “What we know for sure in our work with radio, podcast, and smart speakers is that one-size-fits-all solutions rarely work. We are excited to be teamed with Skyview Networks to innovate, develop, and maximize audio content solutions for each platform.”  Skyview president and COO Steve Jones adds, “Branded podcasts are a rapidly emerging segment of podcast revenue, having grown more than 6X to $67 million from 2018-19, and are forecast to increase to $100 million by 2021.  Working with Amplifi Media, we’ll be better positioned to meet the developing needs of consumer brands that are seeking a voice strategy.”  Skyview says that under the new arrangement, chief marketing officers seeking to differentiate their brands with custom audio content will have access to its network of 5,000 radio stations to create awareness of their branded podcast and/or smart speaker initiatives.

Buck Sexton Interviews Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pictured above is Premiere Networks personality Buck Sexton (left) speaking with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Mexico City during Pompeo’s Latin America tour aimed at strengthening U.S. partnerships.  Sexton traveled with Pompeo on Air Force One as he visited Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Mexico City; and San Salvador, El Salvador.  Sexton broadcast the interview on last night’s program in which the two discussed the migrant crisis, the Iran standoff, China and North Korea negotiations, and the Venezuelan leadership fight.  You can hear it here.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/24) post: the Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Justin Chase, EVP of programming, Beasley Media Group; Lee Harris, morning anchor, WINS, New York; Wayne Allyn Root, host, USA Network/Newsmax TV; and Walter R. Sterling, host, Westwood One.  The panel was moderated by Harry Hurley, host WPG, Atlantic City and introduced by Alex Fife, VP of regional operations, Total Traffic & Weather Network – Southeast.   Posted yesterday (7/23): the panel discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Thom Hartmann, host, WYD MediaJoe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, the Joe Pags Show; Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, the Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDalyCentrist.com.  The session was moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.   Posted prior to that (7/22): the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): the discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversitySid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session was moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Also already posted: discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  Also already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.   Also posted: special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Mueller Testimony, 2020 Presidential Race, House Israel Boycott Vote, the Squad vs Trump, Puerto Rico Protests, Johnson Assumes British PM Role, Trump Sues NY AG, Russia-South Korean Skirmish, and Big Tech Anti-Trust Review Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/23).  Today’s testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the House votes against Israel boycott measure; House Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley and their battles vs President Trump; the ongoing protests in Puerto Rico over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s leaked chat messages; Boris Johnson wins the race for Prime Minister of Great Britain; President Trump sues New York’s attorney general to block access to his state tax returns; a Russian bomber crosses into South Korean airspace; and the U.S. Justice Department begins an anti-trust review of the big tech sector were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM afternoon drive news anchor and fill-in host Lauren Cohn makes an appearance in the premiere of the Comedy Central television program “South Side” tonight at 10:30 ET.  The program is shot on location in Englewood on Chicago’s South Side.  Cohn’s appearance shows her as a TV news anchor on the set of “In The Loop,” a show she hosted on WYCC-TV.  Feder reports she’ll appear in about four or five episodes of the program…..Krantz Media Group Networks partners with bourbon expert Fred Minnick to create an array of audio programming.  Minnick is a best-selling author, editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine, a personality on the Spirits Network, and the curator for the annual “Bourbon & Beyond” music festival held in Louisville.  He says, “I couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to work with such a dynamic radio executive [KMG CEO Gary Krantz] and company like KMG to build an audio platform.  This partnership will help accomplish my goal of having a hand in every media for spirits.”…..The MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers and WTMJ-AM have signed an extension for the station to continue as the team’s radio play-by-play flagship. The station has been the team’s radio home for all but two years of its 49-year history in Milwaukee.  This is the first Brewers contract inked by WTMJ’s new owner, Good Karma Brands, which acquired the station from Scripps Media earlier this year…..At this fall’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas (9/24-26), leaders from the podcast industry will participate in the panel discussion “The Podcast Revolution,” on for Wednesday, September 25.   Panelists will include Carter Brokaw, president of iHeartMedia’s digital revenue strategy; Neal Carruth, National Public Radio’s general manager of podcasts; and Oren Rosenbaum, emerging platforms and podcasting agent at United Talent Agency, discussing podcasting trends and strategies with moderator Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The business of podcasting is still so nascent with broadcasters experimenting and producing podcast networks that are leading the way.  This session will help any size broadcaster, audio specialist, and advertiser understand what’s working and what you can do to produce quality and revenue-generating podcast content in your local market.”…..Entercom’s Charlotte operations strikes a partnership extension with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers for news/talk WBT-AM/FM to continue serving as the team’s flagship for play-by-play broadcasts.  As part of the deal, sister sports talk WFNZ-AM will provide promotional support…..The “2019 SiriusXM NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/25) featuring live shows from all 32 NFL teams’ training camps.  The series will present one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Emily West is named midday personality for Entercom’s hot AC WNEW-FM, New York.  West has been with Entercom since 2017 when she became a fill-in on-air personality on the “Scott Shannon in the Morning with Patty Steele” show on sister classic hits WCBS-FM and as a traffic reporter for sister all-news WCBS-AM.  She also currently serves as a fill-in traffic reporter for WNBC-TV, New York.  Entercom New York regional president and market manager Susan Larkin says, “Emily has held various roles and done an exceptional job for our collection of New York stations.  We’re thrilled to have her on board at WNEW hosting her own show, featuring shorter commercial breaks to better spotlight our advertisers and offering an improved listening experience for our audience.”…..iHeartMedia alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” announces the third lineup for its 10th Annual Free Summer Block Parties.  The Sunday, August 18 event will feature live performances by The Head and the Heart, Meg Myers, White Reaper, and The Dirty Nil…..Envision Networks’ “Full Metal Jackie Radio” is now airing on Stephens Media Group’s rock KHHK-HD3/K295BT “The X 106.9” on Sunday evenings.  Station PD Sean Knight says, “Our listeners wanted a metal show and having been familiar with Full Metal Jackie from previous stations I’ve worked at, it was the obvious choice.  Jackie knows her metal and the guests she has on are great!”