Tag: "Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island)"
Weekly Reach, Average Audience Post Highest Levels In 14 Months. As the nation continues to reopen and returns to pre-pandemic routines, the industry experiences another month of radio listening gains. According to results from Nielsen Audio’s May 2021 PPM survey period, radio’s weekly reach is at its highest level since March 2020 and has grown each of the past four months. In the latest sweep (May 2021), radio’s reach surpassed 122 million weekly listeners, which is within two million of where it was before lockdown precautions took effect last year. In May 2021, radio’s Average Quarter-Hour (AQH) audience also scored its highest level since March 2020. Coinciding with vaccination rollouts and more normal commutes, AQH audience levels have increased 11% since January. PPM’s year-over-year (May 2020 – May 2021) weekly reach and AQH comparisons stand at a 108 index and 120 index, respectively. From a weekly reach perspective, May 2021’s radio audience is 8% larger than this time last year, while the AQH audience is 20% larger versus May 2020. May 2021 listening gains were widespread, with all major dayparts at or near AQH peaks since COVID-19 began. Weekday morning drive and weekends hit their highest audience levels in 15 months. May 2021’s weekend AQH (6.6 million) is 300,00 higher than March 2020’s 6.3 million, before the peak of the lockdown. Even though news/talk is lower than in prior months (12.6% in May 2021, compared to May 2020’s 13.6%), it does remain the most-listened to format in PPM markets. Registering its third gain in a row (4.1% – 4.2% – 4.4% – 4.6%), sports talk posts its highest AQH share since COVID-19 began, surpassing October’s high point (4.5%) when football season was in full swing.
Round One of May 2021 PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). In presenting his “Ratings Takeaways” from this round of markets, Mike Kinosian notes that, while it erodes by one full-share from April 2021 (9.6 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group Atlanta’s WSB-AM & WSBB is the only mainstream news/talk outlet to reach #1 (24th consecutive month, 6+). Meanwhile, the lone news/talk stations from the aforementioned metros that finished in the top 20 (6+) and posted an April 2021 – May 2021 increase are Cumulus Media’s WBAP, Dallas (3.2 – 3.4, 6+) and Townsquare Media-owned WKXW, Middlesex (3.8 – 4.1, +.3, 6+). Off one-half share and three-tenths, respectively are Audacy NYC news siblings WINS (3.2 – 2.7, #11 to #14, 6+) and Mets key station WCBS-AM (2.7 – 2.4, #15 to #16, 6+). Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk KNBR (Giants) improves by eight-tenths (4.3 – 5.1, 6+) to progress from fourth to third. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete “Ratings Takeaways” here.
IBA/Vipology Technology Contest Creates Nearly $1 Million In Local Sponsorships. During an eight-week “Key Word Contest” (April 19 – June 11), participating Independent Broadcasters Association (IBA) member stations collectively generated approximately one million dollars of revenue from local sponsors. IBA president/Adams Radio Group chief executive officer Ron Stone notes, “Hundreds of our member stations were able to generate new revenue from our group contesting. “Vipology’s technology, member execution/management, and data follow-up was nothing short of spectacular. We are planning a second contest for the fall; many participating groups have already indicated their interest in participating again.” Vipology CEO Chris Peaslee adds, “From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Pittsburg, Kansas, I’m proud of our team for building the technology and supporting hundreds of stations across the country in their effort to sound big on-air and powerful in their markets.” Participating stations’ on-air personalities gave three key words throughout the day. Listeners were then encouraged to enter the words on the IBA “contest widget” on that station’s website. Listeners correctly identifying the day’s ‘Winning Key Word” became eligible for that day’s random drawing to win $1,000.
Shattuck Set To Join WTIC-AM. Formerly the senior editor of Lowell Massachusetts’ “The Lowell Sun,” Tom Shattuck will become the mid-day host (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) on news/talk WTIC-AM “1080 News Talk” next Monday (6/21). The Audacy Hartford outlet will feature all-local programming from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm. Audacy Hartford senior vice president/market manager Stephanie Perl opines, “Radio is best when it is local, when we can discuss and look at the local issues affecting our listeners. Being able to expand our local weekday programming further separates WTIC-AM from other radio stations in the state and we look forward to unveiling this new slate of content to our audience.” According to Shattuck, “[WTIC-AM] has been serving the people of Connecticut for almost 100 years. I’m truly honored to be given the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of this great station. These are extraordinary times and I look forward to talking about our politics and culture with the thoughtful, astute WTIC-AM audience.” Shattuck previously was editorial page editor of The Boston Herald and executive producer of Boston Herald Radio. In addition, he spent four years at Boston’s WTKK as executive producer of the afternoon drive show and was a content manager, web designer, and executive producer at cross-town news/talk WRKO. In other WTIC-AM changes, morning show co-host Brian Shactman will add “Extra Time with Brian.” As of next Monday (6/21), the station’s revised 5:00 am – 6:00 pm lineup will be: “WTIC Sunrise Special” (5:00 am – 5:30 am); “Mornings with Ray and Brian” (5:30 am – 9:00 am); “Extra Time with Brian” (9:00 am – 10:00 am); “The Tom Shattuck Show” (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); and “The Todd Feinburg Show” (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm).
TALKERS 2021 Was a Success! The 24th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important conference, the Talkers Convention, took place last Friday (6/11) on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The event was a presentation of TALKERS in association with Hofstra’s multi-award-winning radio station, WRHU. More than 50 industry leaders from talk radio and cable news/talk TV spoke during a non-stop day of presentations and panel sessions. Due to strict regulations adhering to COVID-19 protocols, attendance was limited to a sellout crowd of 175 people which was reached about a week prior to the event. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “We were delighted to be able to join forces again with our colleagues at Hofstra – the site of our very successful 2016 event – and be able to actually present a live conference in an extremely COVID-19 compliant environment which Hofstra was equipped to provide. The convention achieved its goal to boldly address key existential issues facing the talk radio and talk media industries at this dramatically critical juncture.” TALKERS will be posting extensive coverage of the event in the days to come including video documentation recorded under the direction of Art Vuolo covering every speech, presentation and panel discussion. Stay tuned for details.
TALKERS News Notes. After a five-year run at KNBR “The Sports Leader” and KTCT “KNBR 1050,” program director Jeremiah Crowe is set to depart the Cumulus Media sports talk facilities the middle of next month. A new assignment has not been announced for Crowe, who is reportedly relocating to Las Vegas … Starting next Wednesday (6/23) at 9:00 am, Audacy Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” will air a 24-hour “What About Chicago?” radiothon. In partnership with former Chicago Bears player Sam Acho, the radiothon will benefit Athletes For Justice and the Austin Harvest program. WSCR afternoon talent Danny Parkins comments, “I hate when people who don’t care about our city ask ‘What about Chicago?’ in bad faith. The name ‘What About Chicago’ is a defiant response and this radiothon will hopefully highlight what Chicago is really about: A Chicago radio station partnering with a Chicago charity with a mission to help improve the lives of Chicago kids in a Chicago neighborhood.” … In acknowledgement for its protest coverage following the death of George Floyd, Audacy San Francisco all-news KCBS-AM & KFRC has won a national Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Sigma Delta Chi award for “Best Radio Breaking News Reporting.” KCBS-AM & KFRC director of news & programming Jennifer Seelig comments, “I’m incredibly proud of my team’s thoughtful and compelling protest coverage. On behalf of everyone at KCBS-AM & KFRC, I’d like to thank SPJ for this prestigious honor. [We strive] to deliver comprehensive coverage of stories that resonate with our audience. This recognition underscores our unwavering commitment to our community.” KCBS-AM & KFRC was the only commercial station in the country to win in any category … Even though its officials have not released an official statement, Cox Media Group continues to rectify digital damage apparently caused by a ransomware attack. Those trying to stream a CMG station hear the following, “This stream is currently unavailable and we are working diligently to bring it back online. Our radio stations continue to broadcast 24/7; you can listen to us over the air – thanks for your patience.” Cox Media Group news/talk outlets include WSB-AM & WSBB, Atlanta; WHPT, Tampa, WDBO, Orlando; and WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.
Facebook Censors Harry Hurley’s “Heavy Hundred” Post. A post regarding Townsquare Media Atlantic City news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM” morning host Harry Hurley being named to the TALKERS list of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America (“Heavy Hundred”) has been censored by Facebook. In an article posted this morning on the “WPG Talk Radio” website, Hurley (pictured with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison at TALKERS 2021) says that his story about receiving the honor was taken down by the social media giant with the explanation that it does not meet Facebook’s community standards and that the URL to the feature is considered spam. To read the entire article, please click https://wpgtalkradio.com/facebook-censored-my-post-about-talkers-magazine-honor/.
Now Saluting “Kentucky Colonel” Roten. WVHU “News Radio 800” morning talk host Tom Roten was recently presented a plaque commissioning him as a Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Commissions as Kentucky Colonels are presented for contributions to the community, state, or nation, and for special achievements of all kinds. The honor stunned Roten, who happened to be emceeing a grant award ceremony. Kentucky Colonels executive director Sherry Crose spoke of Roten’s commitment to the community and years of promoting charitable organizations and then made the surprise presentation. Having just marked his 20th anniversary at the iHeartMedia Huntington, West Virginia – Ashland, Kentucky station, Roten remarked, “This is such a tremendous honor – I am very grateful.” Roten has interviewed hundreds of guests from the region including many from the Commonwealth. He regularly talks to state and federal lawmakers from the Bluegrass State and speaks to representatives of many Kentucky charitable groups. For over 10 years, Roten served as public service director for iHeartRadio’s Huntington-Ashland cluster and has written/produced hundreds of PSAs for non-profit organizations. Approximately 30 Eastern Kentucky charities received a portion of $2.1 million in grants that the Kentucky Colonels will award this year. Kentucky Colonels are that state’s ambassadors of goodwill and fellowship around the world.
Total Subscribers To Paid Audio Services Double in Six Years. According to data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear,” 47% of Americans 13+ now subscribe to at least one paid audio service. That’s just over double what it was in 2015, when 23% had a paid subscription. Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “While much of this doubling of the numbers is the redirection of money that was going to physical music formats to music streaming subscriptions, there is also the trend of more people paying to avoid commercials. I believe we’ll see more subscription efforts in the future, particularly from radio companies. Bauer Media in the U.K. recently launched a subscription radio service that offers commercial-free versions of their radio brands and other content. Such efforts are likely to be launched in the U.S. as well.” Growth has come across the board from SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Audible audiobook subscriptions to music streaming services such as Spotify Premium, Apple Music, and Pandora Premium or Plus.
KCUR Enlists Edgell As Midwest Newsroom Managing Editor. Effective July 6, public radio news/talk WFYI, Indianapolis project manager/assistant editor Holly Edgell will join University of Missouri-Kansas City’s similarly-programmed KCUR, Kansas City as managing editor of the Midwest Newsroom. KCUR general manager Sarah Morris states, “We are thrilled to have had such a strong pool of candidates and delighted that Holly will be joining the Midwest Newsroom as a KCUR employee. Holly has extensive leadership in working with newsrooms across the midwest and beyond. She will help form and create a highly functional and collaborative team for the hub.” NPR managing editor for collaborative journalism Kenya Young adds, “We’re excited to see Holly join our team of stellar managing editors leading the hub newsrooms across the country. Holly at the helm ensures our mission to plan shared coverage and create stories that reach local, regional, and national audiences. Holly will be an agent of change in the midwest region; I look forward to seeing how she shapes collaborative journalism within our network.” KCUR is lead partner in the NPR-formed Midwest Newsroom, a collaborative among Nebraska Public Media; Iowa Public Radio; St. Louis Public Radio; and NPR.
iHeartPodcast Network Adds Three True Crime Mysteries. The new entries include: “Missing On 9/11”; “After The Uprising: The Death Of Danye Dion Hones”; and “Algorithm.” From the producers of “Missing In Alaska,” “Missing On 9/11” traces the whereabouts of a woman living near the World Trade Center who disappeared on that horrific day. John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski-hosted “After The Uprising” is an 11-part series that examines the truth behind the hanging death of a St. Louis Black Lives Matter activist. From iHeartMedia and Tenderfoot TV, Ben Kuebrich-hosted “Algorithm” is an examination of a reporter’s algorithm he claims can detect serial killers.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — We’re stepping up to the plate taking this year’s second swing at the ratings performance of Major League Baseball radio flagships.
Unlike most of our other such overviews, this particular one comes with some unique ground rules and fine-print.
Leading off, the following scoreboards are for an MLB team’s English-language, Nielsen Audio subscribing key station during the July 2019 sweep (June 20 – July 17).
Some MLB teams have an AM and FM flagship and/or an emergency alternative (backup); however, we show one “designated hitter” per team.
Mirroring the one-station-per-team model, no MLB flagship in this analysis has ratings data from multiple Nielsen Audio metros.
Stats for the primary stations of the Mets (WCBS-AM) and Yankees (WFAN) are therefore limited to their home market of New York City, even though one or both of those stations may appear in ratings reports for Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island) and/or Middlesex-Somerset-Union.
The same applies regarding KNBR, the primary station of the San Francisco Giants. Even though the Cumulus Media sports talk facility is listed in both San Francisco and San Jose, only information from the SF report is used.
Things get a bit trickier with the Los Angeles Angels. Its main radio home – KLAA – has studios and offices at Anaheim Stadium but is unlisted in both the Los Angeles and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario reports (July 2019). As a result, we are using data from another Angels Radio Network station throughout this entire overview, KSPN “ESPN LA 710.”
No ratings information is available/shown for the flagships of the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays (CJCL) and the American League West’s Oakland Athletics (KTRB).
Data cited here is not limited to any specific day-part. All stats are full-week, Monday – Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight (6+).
With that out of the way, it’s time for the first pitch.
Connoisseur Media Management Buys Out Perot Holdings’ Interest. Led by chief executive officer Jeff Warshaw, management of Westport, Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media has bought out investor Perot Holdings and will now own substantially all of the company. This is the culmination of a series of strategic moves in which the company has recently closed on transactions that added to its Connecticut holdings and entered the Frederick, Maryland market. Warshaw points out that he and Mike Driscoll “started the company 15 years ago with the purchase of FCC construction permits in an auction. It is gratifying to now be able to work with our major investor, Perot Holdings, to buy their stake in the company. They have been terrific partners to us. We are looking forward to growing our company, and we are excited that members of our senior management team are now owners. Ultimately, many of our employees will become stakeholders.” Perot senior advisor Steve Blasnik comments, “We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the best leadership team in the industry and two of the best leaders we have ever partnered with.” Perot Holdings was founded by the late H. Ross Perot and his son Ross Perot, Jr. Connoisseur Media owns 23 radio stations in seven markets: Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Bridgeport-Stamford; New Haven; and Norwalk (Connecticut); Stroudsburg-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Frederick, Maryland; and Billings, Montana.
Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with Special Luncheon Presentations – Harry Hurley Saluting the Broadcasters Foundation and Vince Benedetto Honored as Humanitarian of the Year. 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 (7/17) posts present 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”). Posted yesterday (7/16): a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network. Already posted: the panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video. The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York. Already posted: the special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOne; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi Media; Michael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history. TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year. To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.
Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Name Hurley Broadcaster/Person of the Year. Now in his 28th year at Townsquare Media Atlantic City (New Jersey) news/talk WPGG “WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM & 1450 AM,” Harry Hurley (“Hurley in the Morning”) will officially be named The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Broadcaster/Person of the Year. While the announcement will be made today (Wednesday, 7/17) at 9:30 am at an event taking place at Philadelphia’s WPHL-TV, Hurley will receive the actual recognition November 22 at Philadelphia’s Hilton City Avenue Hotel. Hurley tells TALKERS, “My sincerest thanks go to my long-time employer, Townsquare Media, and our faithful listeners and advertisers, who have made all this possible. What an honor it is to be recognized by The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. It is especially gratifying, insofar as we are located in Southern New Jersey. It’s such an honor and privilege to be a broadcaster.” Last month, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association named Hurley the inaugural recipient of its “Broadcaster of the Year” award. Elected to the Philadelphia Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2013 and the New Jersey Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2015, he appears at #51 on “The Talkers Magazine 2019 Heavy Hundred” and was the 2016 recipient of Talkers’ “Humanitarian of the Year Award” for outstanding community service by a radio broadcaster.
Workplace Listening Opportunity Is Bigger Than Ever. At least that’s the conclusion of a NuVooDoo Media Services study, which reveals three of every five (60%) likely ratings respondents identified say they listen to radio at work. Furthermore, at-work listeners are more likely to listen to broadcast radio for more hours and more days. The study was fielded last month and represents opinions of over 3,000 respondents (14 – 54) from all PPM markets. NuVoodoo Media Services executive vice president/research insights Leigh Jacobs states, “We’ve chosen to start with a dive into at-work listening because the market for audio entertainment at work has never been bigger or younger. Fully 60% of the ratings-susceptible respondents we’ve identified say they listen at work. Savvy operators have been playing to this opportunity for decades, but the competition has never been more fierce.” Executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor, notes that 24% say they spend at least an hour a day with terrestrial, “but that number jumps to 41% among those who listen at work. [Forty-one percent] say they listen at least five days a week – that jumps to 61% among those who listen at work. That’s the potential for significant lift for programmers and marketers who play to this opportunity.” President/chief executive officer Carolyn Gilbert explains, “Our Ratings Prospects Study 14 revealed a significant opportunity for stations. Winning the workplace war for listeners should be at the forefront of all programmers’ minds, and the devil is always in the details.” The first installment of the NuVoodoo fall webinar series, “How To Win The Workplace War in 2019,” based on its “Ratings Prospects Study 14,” kicks off next Wednesday (7/24); there will be additional sessions on July 31 and August 5.
Presenting The 29 “Rising Through The Ranks” Scholarship Recipients. The “Rising Through the Ranks” program is presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio. Participants will attend this year’s seminar next month (8/13 – 15) at BMI’s Nashville office. The course will focus on management and sales techniques, including “problem solving, recruiting, difficult conversations, hiring and firing, personal brand building, and the role of today’s radio manager.” This year’s 29 scholarship recipients are: Luisa Banks (Cox Media Group Atlanta); Rebecca Bennett (Westwood One); Jill Bernhardt (Cumulus Media Atlanta); Taylor Brown (Neuhoff Media Springfield, Illinois); Alexandra Byrnes (Entercom Sacramento); Yvonne Cheng (iHeartMedia Washington, D.C.); Tiffany Davison (Katz Media Group); Katy Dempsey (Bryan Broadcasting College Station, Texas); Adella Fremstad-Nolden (Radio One Dallas); Jaime Guglielmi (Beasley Media Group Philadelphia); Pamela Hall (Kindred Communications – Huntington, West Virginia); Andrea Hansen (Entercom Madison); Nichole Hansen (Spencer Radio Group/Saga Communications – Spencer, Iowa); Traci Harris-Mason (Forcht Broadcasting – Hopkinsville, Kentucky); Dara Kalvort (Entercom Miami); Tori Kahl (iHeartMedia New Orleans); Shannon Kenefick (Townsquare Media Danbury, Connecticut); Adria Lawrence (Emmis Austin); Kate Maguire (Summit Media Omaha); Elizabeth Nifong (Beasley Media Group Charlotte); Debbie Payne (Cumulus Media Los Angeles); Katherine Pfahl (Radio One Washington, D.C.); Kristina Schoenbeck (Entercom New York); Crista St. John (Bonneville International/Mariners Radio Seattle); Ava Suppelsa (BMI Nashville); Brianne Thompson (Leighton Broadcasting Thompson, North Dakota); Denise Tolzman (Queen B Radio Platteville, Wisconsin); Dianna Towns (Neuhoff Media Ludlow, Massachusetts); and Ashley Williams (Cox Media Group Orlando).
ESPN Prepping “The ESPN Daily.” Set to debut in early-October, “The ESPN Daily” podcast will be published five times per week and will feature ESPN’s journalists and storytellers. ESPN senior coordinating producer Andy Tennant states “The ESPN Daily” will be “appointment listening for anyone interested in the world of sports. The show will be unlike anything now available in sports, anywhere, with stories, interviews, and analysis that only ESPN can provide. Every day, ‘The ESPN Daily’ will take a deep-dive into a specific event or issue in sports, using ESPN’s unmatched resources and deep roster of reporters, producers and commentators.” In June, ESPN Podcasts drew 5.8 million listeners, up 10% from June, 2018. This is the sixth consecutive month of year-to-year growth. Content created specifically for podcasts grew 15%; June increases were led by listenership of “FiveThirtyEight: Politics,” “The Lowe Post,” and “SVP & Russillo.”
TALKERS News Notes. Per a Los Angeles Times report, Los Angeles Clippers play-by-play announcer Brian Sieman is “close to finalizing a deal” to transition from the NBA team’s radio flagship, iHeartMedia sports talk KLAC “AM Sports 570,” to the Clippers’ TV broadcasts (on Fox Sports Prime Ticket). He would be filling the vacancy created by the retirement of iconic 40-year Clippers’ game caller Ralph Lawler, who will receive the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award this September. Further speculation is that, in a domino effect, Sieman will be succeeded on radio by NBA TV’s Noah Eagle. After doing games of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sieman joined the Clippers radio network in 2007 ….. Altamonte Springs-Orlando news/talk WORL “FM 105.5 & AM 660 The Answer” and W288CJ, Oviedo (Florida) are being sold by Salem Media of Illinois, LLC to JVC Media of Florida, LLC. The $900,000 deal does not include intellectual property or the call letters – which will be changed to WDYZ … Rumors of a Senate run by regionally-syndicated “Kentucky Sports Radio” host Matt Jones has led to him being placed on a leave of absence from “Hey Kentucky!,” which airs on Lexington’s NBC affiliate WLEX-TV “LEX 18.” Jones has written on social media that he will return to WLEX-TV if he decides not to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell. At least for now, his daily 10:00 am – 12:00 noon radio show on iHeartMedia Lexington news/talk flagship WLAP “News Radio 630” (and a statewide network of 35 stations) is unaffected ….. As of tomorrow (Thursday, July 18), it will be a half-century since a tragic car accident occurred on the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Noting the occasion, The Howie Carr Radio Network talk host/New York Times best-selling author Howie Carr has written a podcast, “Chappaquiddick: The 50th Anniversary.” Carr maintains, “We have the content, it is time we educate a new generation about these crimes and cover ups.” The Grace Curley-produced podcast can be heard on Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or the website of Carr’s regionally-syndicated program ….. Through a just-announced partnership with BizTV/BizTalkRadio, subscribers of travel technology platform Flyght Club will get a free, one-year membership to Bizvod, a BizTV/BizTalkRadio-offered streaming platform that has the largest library of online business videos on-demand. BizTV/BizTalkRadio chief operating officer Scott Miller notes, “So many of our viewers and listeners are business travelers. Flyght Club is a great app that gives its members the opportunity to network while travelling. We have hundreds of hours of business content that the traveler can watch on-demand while waiting for their next flight. We are always looking to offer our viewers and listeners products and services that make their lives easier.” Flyght Club founder Ajay Vonkarey remarks, “Flyght Club and Bizvod will be key for any business professionals that are road warriors” ….. At the forefront of digital loyalty systems for terrestrial radio in the United States, Canada, and the UK, Loyal Ears Digital brings fantasy sports to radio with a free weekly game, “Fantasy Free.” Given that it is doesn’t cost to play, it is, according to the company’s website, “completely legal and has all the excitement that comes with fantasy games.” Teaming alongside Loyal Ears Digital on this project as syndicator is MannGroup Radio, with its president Ed Mann indicating “Fantasy Free” is “approaching” the 100 affiliate threshold. He notes, “We are always looking for growth areas for our medium, and digital is it. The guys at Loyal Ears have got this locked down and key for us, huge TSV growth, with no element of gambling. The average ‘Fantasy Free’ player spends 9.7 hours per week constructing fantasy lineups and they’re spending that time on radio station websites. We could not be more thrilled to partner with the LE team.” Loyal Ears Digital chief executive officer Jimmy Risk opines, “Radio has finally figured out that listeners aren’t always ‘listening’, so you have to engage them for longer periods of time beyond the dial.” Mann points out the only political fantasy game designed for radio during the next presidential election, “Showdown 2020,” is coming early next year and will “attract broad and deep demographics.”
June 2019 PPM Data. June 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 survey period covered May 23 – June 19. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these four PPM-markets. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
Spoken-Word Formats – Virtually obliterating the -1.0 it lost via three straight drops (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” bounces back with a nine-tenths’ gain to 3.7 (#13 to #11, 6+); May’s 2.8 was its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 2.7.
Following four successive fluctuations of one-tenth (1.7 – 1.6; 1.6 – 1.7; 1.7 – 1.8; 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” falters by four-tenths to 1.3 (#18 to #20). Flat at #25, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” has a February 2019 through June 2019 topline of: 4 – .6 – .6 -.4 – .5 ( 6+).
Five of the six shifts this calendar year for KUT include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); and now the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk facility craters by -1.6 (7.4 – 5.8, second to fourth, 6+). This is its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).
Austin Music Formats – Rebounding from May’s one-half share decrease (8.7 – 8.2, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” posts a +1.1 to 9.3 – its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3) – and is #1 for the third month in a row. Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Piling on six-tenths to May’s increase of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” climbs from fourth to third. Adult contemporary sibling, KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” wipes away May’s three-tenths’ loss with a one-half share uptick (6.2 – 6.7, 6+) and advances from third to second. “Majic” recently has been -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); +1.5 (April); and +.5 (June). While it is unchanged at #8, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is a collective -2.3 in three straight drops (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). “La Z” was +1.2 in March. Owing to three consecutive January 2019 through April 2019 decreases, iHeartMedia country KVET-FM faltered by -1.3 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), but rallied in May with a +.9. Now, “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” regresses by six-tenths (5.8 – 5.2, 6+) and slides from fourth to seventh; KVET-FM was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). Co-owned/similarly-formatted KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” which had been +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+), surrenders four-tenths to 5.4 (fourth to sixth, 6+). April’s +1.2 halted its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that stretch, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. In addition to KVET-FM, Crista Ministries’ contemporary Christian KFMK is off six-tenths as well (3.4 – 2.8, 6+). “Spirit 105.9” drops from #11 to #13 and is below a three-share (2.8) for the first time since November 2018’s 2.9.
Spoken-Word Formats – In three successive positive or neutral trends, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK was an overall +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+), but “106.1 Stay Connected” is now a combined -1.2 in three straight declines (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.3, seventh to ninth, 6+). This is the 19th time in a row Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” (1.6 – 1.9, +.3, unchanged at #16, 6+) has recorded a 6+ AQH share between 1.0 – 1.9 and first time it has reached 1.9 in that timeframe.
This is third month in a row Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has both logged a 2.2 (6+) and finished at #15. Co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” has an August 2018 through June 2019 topline of: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 (#27 to #26, 6+).
Off four-tenths in May (7.4 – 7.0, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” has a June increase twice that magnitude (7.8, +.8, 6+) and inches up from third to second. WUNC followed January’s +1.0 with a -.6 in February.
Raleigh Music Formats – This market’s #2 to #9 finishers fluctuate by at least one-half share (May 2019 – June 2019, 6+). As a result of being +1.1 in May/June (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.2, eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR WDCG “G-105 – Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” eliminates its combined March/April -.9 (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). “G-105” was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+). The three most recent shifts for Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR-FM “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” are +.7 (April); -.5 (May); and +.6 in June (6.7 – 7.3, fifth to third, 6+). Displaying June 2019 gains of six-tenths as well are co-owned adult hits WBBB “96.1 BBB – Your Life/Your Music,” which logs its fifth straight sweep without a loss for an overall +1.2 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0, ninth to eighth, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7,” +1.5 in three consecutive positive or neutral moves (5.4 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.9, sixth to fourth, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is an overall -2.2 in five straight ratings periods without an increase (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the 11th straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. Owing to four successive sweeps without a gain (8.6 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.5, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5 – The Variety That Makes You Feel Good” is a collective -2.1 and drops from second to fifth. This (6.5) is the lowest 6+- showing for “Mix” since October 2018’s 5.3. Returning in full the seven-tenths it scored in May (6.2 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5,” which was -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), slips from fourth to sixth. Curtis Media Group classic country WQDR-AM debuted in print in “Holiday” 2018. In six up or flat reports, “Just Right Country – AM 570” progressed from a .1 to 1.0 (.1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 – 1.0, 6+). Roughly halfway through the June sweep (6/4), however, the station changed switched to hot AC; changed call letters to WPLW-AM; and adopted a new handle “Star 92.9.” With a loss of six-tenths to .4 (6+), Raleigh’s new “Star” departs the top twenty (#20 to #23). A loss of one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+) takes Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “HIS Radio” from #18 to #20. In six consecutive down or flat Raleigh reports (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, 6+), Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” has had its 6+ AQH share sliced precisely in half (-1.6) and slips from #16 to #17.
Spoken-Word Formats – Following a modest May move of three-tenths, Emmis news/talk WIBC “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” reverts to its more customary large fluctuation habit, and in this case, it’s a +.9 (5.5 – 6.4, seventh to fifth, 6+). Ten recent WIBC fluctuations are: -.7 (September 2018); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); -1.2 (April); and +.9 (June).
Returning the one-tenth it picked up in May (2.4 – 2.3, #16 to #17, 6+), Emmis’ WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” halts at three a consecutive string of up or flat trends that produced four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). It has a three-tenths advantage over iHeartMedia’s WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which has lost a total of eight-tenths in five successive sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), yet rises from #20 to #19. Following 16 consecutive sweeps of logging either a .1 or .2 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT “CBS Sports AM 1430” (#24 in May) vanishes (.2 – .1 – .0, 6+).
Even though it falters by seven-tenths (4.6 – 3.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI progresses from #11 to a tie at #10.
Indianapolis Music Formats – As far as Cumulus Media was concerned, three Indianapolis CHRs was a case of at least one too many. Consequently, the day after the June sweep commenced (5/24), the company flipped WYRG “Energy 93.9” from CHR to rock WNDX: “93.9-X” responds by more than doubling its 6+-stat (1.3 – 2.8, +1.5, #18 to #16, 6+). As a CHR, WYRG last reached the two-share level in September 2018 (2.1, 6+). After being off six-tenths in four consecutive down or flat reports (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, 6+), “Energy” gained one-tenth in May. Four consecutive decreases by Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU resulted in a roughly 37% loss (-1.5) of its 6+-stat (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” chalks up a June gain of eight-tenths to 3.4 (#15 to #13, 6+). Without an increase the past seven sweeps for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2 – .2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now,” tallies three-tenths to .5 (#23 to #22, 6+). When Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM sputtered by four-tenths in May to (5.0, 6+) it ended at four a successive string of up or flat trends that yielded eight-tenths (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Now in June, “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” rebounds with a one-half share increase to 5.5 (ninth to eighth, 6+). On the other hand, an eight-tenths’ May gain to 5.4 (6+) by rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WHHH curtailed four successive negative moves that led to a cumulative -1.5 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+); however, “Hot 96.3” now forfeits -1.0 to 4.4 (eighth to ninth, 6+). Ranking first the sixth consecutive month, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK nonetheless loses a combined half-share in May/June (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.7, 6+). In April, “Classic Hits 104.5” recorded a massive +1.7 to 10.2, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. In 2019, WJJK has been +2.9 (January); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 (April). After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January 2019. In an alternating up/down pattern that surfaced in September 2018, Entercom hot AC WNTR (ninth to tenth) has a 6+ topline of 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 3.9 and is down an overall two-tenths. Spiraling by eight-tenths each are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (second to third, 6+) and Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” (3.3, #12 to #14, 6+). After an April +1.9 suspended three negative moves in succession that accounted for a -9.5 (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), “B-105.7” is a combined -1.4 in May/June (8.8 – 8.2 – 7.4, 6+). In February 2012, “World Class Rock” recorded a 2.8 (6+) but then vanished from print until April 2019 (3.1, #14, 6+). WTTS follows May’s +1.0 to 4.1 (6+) with June’s -.8. Flat in fourth-place, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” loses one-half share (7.2 – 6.7 (6+), with 6.7 its lowest 6+-stat since March 2018 (6.7, as well).
Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back (April/May) sweeps, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ accrued a whopping +3.5 (5.9 – 8.8 – 9.4, 6+). In June, however, the Brewers flagship forfeits 20% of that increase (8.7, -.7, 6+) and segues from first to second. Recent WTMJ shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); +2.9 (April 2019); and -.7 (June). Up a combined six-tenths in April/May (5.1 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130” returns four-tenths to 5.3 (sixth to seventh, 6+).
Five Milwaukee sports talk outlets combine for a 2.4 (6+). Leading the field with one-third of that total is iHeartMedia’s WRNW “The Game,” nearly tripling its 6+-stat since April (.3 – .6 – .8, #20 to #17, 6+). CHR WRNW “Now” became sports talk “The Game” in late-November (2018). Tied at #19 are Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN,” which has lost roughly half (-.7) its 6+ audience via three straight winless sweeps (1.3 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .6, #16 to #19, 6+). With a very similar topline is Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan,” which loses eight-tenths in four straight dips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .6, #16 to #19, 6+). WRNW cluster-mate WOKY “The Big 920” posts a .2 (6+) for the sixth time in the last eight sweeps and remains at #24 (.2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2, 6+). After popping on in November 2018 with a .5 (6+), Good Karma Brands’ WAUK disappeared from print in the next seven ratings periods but is back in June, tying “The Big 920” with a .2 (#24, 6+).
While it is a combined -1.5 via four straight negative or neutral moves (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+), directly after three reports in a row without a loss netted a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet WUWM remains at #13. Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD loses four-tenths as a result of three straight down or flat moves (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+) and repeats at #16.
Milwaukee Music Formats – On the heels of May’s -1.5 (10.1 – 8.6, 6+), WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” answers with a positive spike of eight-tenths to 9.4 (6+) and is back at #1. The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet occupied the lead position five straight sweeps before segueing to #2 in May with its lowest 6+-figure (8.6) since December 2018’s 7.7. Having spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1, WRIT shifted to #2 in October 2018. “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its eight most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); +.7 (April); -1.5 (May); and +.8 (June). By logging an improvement of seven-tenths (4.8 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” advances from eighth to sixth with its best 6+-showing since December 2016 (5.5, as well). Swapping places with each other are iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” (5.3 – 5.9, +.6, seventh to fifth, 6+) and Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3” (5.8 – 5.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Whereas this (5.9) is the highest 6+-stat for “Milwaukee’s Best Country” since 6.6 in February, 5.3 for “B-93.3” is its lowest since November 2018’s 5.1. Down an overall -1.1 via four straight negative or neutral trends (8.1 – 7.9 – 7.9 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+) Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” remains in third-place.
Trump’s Tweets Ignite Controversial Firestorm; US Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; 2020 Presidential Race; Puerto Rico Protests; Amazon Prime Day; and Jeff Epstein Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16). President Donald Trump’s Tweets attacking four Congressional Democratic women of color and the backlash it has triggered dominated conversation in talk media yesterday (7/16) along with conditions for migrants detained at the border; the relative standing and contributions raised by Democratic Party presidential candidates; political upheaval in Puerto Rico; the huge impact of Amazon Prime Day and ongoing developments in the Jeff Epstein case, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM” midday talent Nikki Vaughn exits the Radio One Detroit urban AC to join cross-town Beasley Media Group rhythmic hot AC WMGC “105.1 The Bounce” for similar duties. Beasley Detroit vice president/market manager Mac Edwards comments, “We are most excited to bring Nikki’s talents to ‘The Bounce.’ Her respect for all things Detroit and appreciation for the great music that drives ‘The Bounce’ were exactly what we needed to complete our winning mid-day recipe.” WMGC program director John Candelaria notes, “After an extensive search, we are fortunate to add Nikki to ‘The Bounce’ family. Having grown up here, she is the ideal fit and brings a solid understanding of the market. Her dynamic personality, combined with 11 years of Detroit radio experience, makes her the perfect person for ‘The Bounce.’” With the addition of Fawn Conley (“Nikki Vaughn”), the weekday roster for Detroit’s “Bounce” is: “The Gello Show with Joanna (6:00 am -10:00 am); Nikki Vaughn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); J. Steele (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and DJ Dinero (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) ….. Meanwhile, the revised on-air lineup for Entercom-owned WLKK “107.7 & 104.7 – Buffalo’s True Alternative” is: “Brandi” (6:00 am – 11:00 am); “Axe” (11:00 am – 3:00 pm); Nik Rivers (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and “Kennedy” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm). “Brandi” moves from mid-days; “Axe” previously handled nights; and “Kennedy” had hosted “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” the past four years ….. Entering into a partnership are Krantz Media Group/KMG Networks and music television channel Ditty TV, which features daily music-focused entertainment, including live performances, music news, artist profiles, and album reviews. According to KMG chief executive officer Gary Krantz, “Ditty TV is the most robust video channel in the world dedicated to diverse and growing music categories. Americana continues to grow exponentially and is the passionate choice for 18 – 34 and 25 – 54-year-old adults underserved by mainstream media, yet highly desired by brands and advertisers. KMG is very excited to build success with several projects in the works for all forms of radio and podcasts.” Ditty chief executive officer Ronnie Wright comments, “Our goal since the beginning was to provide a platform for these amazing [Americana and Roots] artists; the addition of audio programming allows us to reach a much broader audience.” There are plans for daily and weekly podcasts, as well as a 24/7 Ditty TV audio channel ….. Two-year KFMB-FM San Diego afternoon drive talent Mikey Esparza exits the Tegna adult hits station ….. Most recent affiliates of Texas-based entrepreneur John Clay Wolfe’s three-hour (8:00 am – 11:00 am) Saturday morning “John Clay Wolfe Show” are iHeartMedia Colorado rock siblings KBPI, Ft. Collins and KBPL, Pueblo. Wolfe declares, “These stations are a perfect fit for what we bring to rock audiences. Everywhere we’ve gone with them, iHeartMedia has been a great partner for us; now, they’re turning us loose in Colorado.”
Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.
Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.
Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.
Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.
Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.
Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry. In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”
Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.
Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey 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 July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”
Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro; this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & Jubal; Johnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show. Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.
Rathert Named Morning Host at KSSZ, Columbia, Missouri. Taking over the morning drive program on Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group-owned news/talk KSSZ, Columbia, Missouri “HotTalk 93.9 The Eagle” is Branden Rathert. He was most recently afternoon drive personality at ADX Communications’ WNRP, Pensacola “Newsradio 1620.” Zimmer director of programming Jamie Mac states, “We are excited to welcome Branden to ‘Wake Up Columbia’ on ‘93.9 The Eagle.’ We feel Branden’s unique perspective, where he is able to take a specific topic and come at it in a non-traditional way, will translate very well in the Columbia market. His passion for making great radio, strong work ethic and creativity make him a great addition for our station and the talk radio community here locally.”
CBS RADIO’s Mick Anselmo to Retire. Senior vice president and market manager for CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster, Mick Anselmo, announces he’s retiring from the company at the end of the year. Anselmo has been managing radio stations in the Twin Cities for more than 20 years – for iHeartMedia and the old AM/FM and Chancellor groups – with the last seven spent working for CBS RADIO. The company is searching for Anselmo’s replacement to oversee news/talk WCCO “Newsradio 830,” country KMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM.”
Jeanine Pirro Podcast Debuts on PodcastOne. A new, weekly program featuring FOX News personality and former New York District Attorney Jeanine Pirro is launching on PodcastOne. Titled “Due Process,” the podcast will “provide the legal insight behind breaking news, high profile court cases and political issues, in addition to welcoming analysts and experts on these topics.” The show will also include TED speaker and content strategist Terri Trespicio joining Pirro each Monday. PodcastOne founder Norm Pattiz comments, “Jeanine has the intellect and the energy to do a great podcast. It will be entertaining, interesting, and deal with exciting subjects. It’s great to add her to our lineup, and it’s always good to know a judge.”
Odds & Sods. Southeastern radio pro Dave Cobb is named the general manager for MARC Radio’s seven-station Gainesville, Florida cluster that includes news/talk WRZN “NewsRadio 980.”…..Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania-based Forever Media is buying sports talk WGET “ESPN Sports” and country WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from the Times and News Publishing for $4.2 million.
CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome Visits Tampa. Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Jim Rome visited affiliate WHBO, Tampa “Sports Talk 1040 The Team” recently, taking part in a meet-and-greet during a live remote at Beef O’ Brady’s Restaurant. The Genesis Communications-owned station says, “Hundreds of Rome fans attended, giving Jim a standing ovation as he entered the restaurant. Jim made it a point to talk to every fan, sign autographs, and take photographs. People were lined up for hours to talk with him.” Pictured here are (from l-r): Rome show producer Kyle Brandt, Genesis president Bruce Maduri, Rome, and Sound Mind LLC chief Kraig Kitchin.
Nielsen Calls Audible to Publishing September Stats. Rather than spreading out the release of ratings information over four days as it typically does with its monthly data, Nielsen Audio is opting to consolidate its September PPM results into two – next Tuesday (9/29) and Wednesday (9/30). The first batch of markets is unaffected by the decision and will get their September numbers next Tuesday as originally planned. Those markets are New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Philadelphia; Atlanta; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (Los Angeles’ Inland Empire); San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The second group not only moves up one day, it will join group one – meaning 24 (rather than 12) markets will have data released next Tuesday. Group two consists of Washington, DC; Boston; Detroit; Miami; Seattle; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Stations from the remaining 24-PPM markets (groups three and four) get to see the outcome of the September 2015 sweep next Wednesday. Group three is Portland; Charlotte; Pittsburgh; Sacramento; San Antonio; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Kansas City; Orlando; and Columbus. Comprising group four are facilities in Austin; Milwaukee; Indianapolis; Providence; Raleigh; Norfolk; Nashville; Greensboro; West Palm Beach; Jacksonville; Memphis; and Hartford.
Ben Carson Muslim Controversy, Walker Drops Out/2016 Presidential Candidates, Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit, Russia’s Military Support of Syria, Muslim Migrant Issue, VW Emissions Scandal, Afghan Child Abuse Claims, David Petraeus’ Congressional Testimony, and Xi Jinping Visits U.S. Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22). The controversy over GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s statement he would not support a Muslim for president; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker drops out of the presidential race tied with the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates; Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; reports of military support for Syria’s Assad regime by Russia; the issue of Muslim immigrants in Europe and the U.S.; the emissions scandal plaguing Volkswagen; the controversy over allegations the U.S. military instructs personnel in Afghanistan to ignore sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan military commanders; former CIA director David Petraeus’ apologizes for relaying sensitive material to former mistress; and Chinese president Xi Jinping visits the United States were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.