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Monday, July 26, 2021

| July 26, 2021

Monday Memo: Is Your On-Air Product Old-School? Podcasting delivers on consumers’ expectation for on-demand EVERYTHING and consultant Holland Cooke calls it “an opportunity to let retailers sponsor pertinent special interest topics.” But, in this week’s column, he cautions that “these are still digital dimes, compared to the analog dollars solid live programming and painstakingly-crafted commercials will earn us.” To read what makes your station special, please click here.

Pending Business: Going Up.  In this week’s “Pending Business” column, radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, discusses the state of your “elevator pitch.” Will it work in less than the 60 seconds it takes to go to the eighth floor? Try this: Create one sentence that describes what your station does better than any of your competitors. Ask yourself is there a payoff for the advertiser in that one sentence or is it all product information?  Are you connecting a #1 with an advertiser benefit?  Have you taken the time to update your elevator pitch to put a more contemporary feel to the language? Lapa discusses these important points and more in an article that touches on the very basics of cutting right to the chase in presenting your station in a clear and positive light to a potential advertiser when time is of the essence.  To read more, please click here.

Davis Sets Departure From iHeartMedia. Nashville-based iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group chief operating officer Darren Davis will exit at the end of this year, but will continue with the company as an advisor. In a memo to the staff, iHeartMedia chair/chief executive officer Bob Pittman and iHM president/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler write, “Darren has a deep love for iHeart and a true passion for our business and our success. [He] has grown up through our organization continually taking on new roles and more responsibility, becoming a critically important contributor as part of our senior team. After almost 30 years with iHeart, Darren is looking forward to spending more time on a variety of other projects he’s passionate about, including real estate development; local community projects; and traveling with his family. Although his day-to-day operating expertise will be missed, we appreciate all he’s done for our company and are very pleased that he will continue his association with us, albeit on a more limited basis. Darren will be working closely with Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne through the balance of 2021 to continue our momentum and to effectively organize the Digital Audio Group for the future.” Davis has been with iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) since 1992 when he joined adult contemporary WASH, Washington, DC as a programming intern.

iHM, Sports Illustrated, and SI Studios Partner For Multi-Year, Audio Content Deal. The agreement includes eight co-produced Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Studios, and iHeartRadio podcasts, as well as distribution of Sports Illustrated’s existing podcasts through the iHeartPodcast Network. Mutual marketing and promotion commitments will apply to all joint projects; two of the eight original podcasts are scheduled to launch by the first quarter of next year. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group chief executive officer Conal Byrne comments, “We are thrilled to partner with Sports Illustrated to introduce a brand-new slate of sports podcasts – limited series and ongoing shows alike. It’s an iconic brand that sports fans instantly trust, knowing that they will get the most credible and in-depth industry coverage. We look forward to expanding that footprint into the audio space where we uniquely have the reach and scale to bring Sports Illustrated the audience and monetization they deserve.” According to Sports Illustrated & Maven chief executive officer Ross Levinsohn, “Storytelling is at the core of what SI stands for. The opportunity to partner with iHeartMedia to create and distribute dynamic stories and shows featuring our incredible voices further expands our footprint.” Chief operating officer of 101 Studios, David Hutkin, adds, “While traditionally sports are very visually focused, this venture allows us to introduce audiences to the most memorable events in sports history in unexpected ways. With this new partnership, we have the unique opportunity to tell these historic, remarkable stories to audiences globally.” Set to debut later this year, “Sports Illustrated Weekly” will feature the best of Sports Illustrated’s journalism in an audio magazine. Each 45-minute episode will feature deep-dive segments on the biggest news of the week and the most compelling personalities, trends and themes in sports. Developed by SI Studios, “Lateral Damage” will offer an innovative take on the true-crime genre. Publishing early next year, the podcast tells the story of University of California, Berkeley football player Mariet Ford, who was convicted of viciously murdering his young son and pregnant wife; Ford has maintained his innocence for almost 25 years. The podcast will explore the indelible effect the murder has had on the core group of people in Ford’s sphere.

Local Journalism Sustainability Act Has NAB Support. Introduced by Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell (Washington State); Mark Kelly (Arizona); and Ron Wyden (Oregon), the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021 would aid local news organizations through tax credits to incentivize hiring more journalists, subscriptions and advertising from local small businesses. In a prepared statement, National Association of Broadcasters president/chief executive officer Gordon Smith notes, “At a time when misinformation and disinformation plague online platforms, broadcast radio and television continue to serve as reliable beacons of news that keep local communities informed and connected. We urge congressional passage of this legislation.” According to Senator Cantwell, “The COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear that local reporters and newsrooms are essential to keeping the public informed and safe, but their importance spans well beyond health emergencies. At its core, local news is about holding the powerful accountable. The strength of our democracy is based in truth and transparency. Local newsrooms are on the ground in our communities asking the critical questions, countering misinformation, and telling our stories. We have to protect these vital parts of our communities – once they’re gone, they’re gone.” Senator Kelly comments, “Local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations are pillars of our community, bringing trusted local news [and] information about community events and the latest on public health updates in their area. The pandemic made an already difficult financial situation for these news providers even harder, which is why I support the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. By providing tax credits for individuals to support local news outlets, they can continue to provide important coverage for readers, listeners, and viewers.” Senator Wyden adds, “The decline of local news has had devastating effects on our communities. Local news has often been the only window into the city council or mayor’s office. Without these outlets, these important institutions in our communities go uncovered. Further, the decline of local news has only fueled the growth of misinformation as Americans lose their most trusted sources of information. As the son of a journalist, these developments trouble me greatly. Our bill would provide financial support to local news at this critical time for our democracy.”

WMVP To Repeat A $50,000 Ad Giveaway. It’s part of an ongoing “Supporting Small Business” campaign by Good Karma Brands Chicago sports talk outlet WMVP “ESPN 1000” and First Midwest Bank. Good Karma Brands Chicago market manager Mike Thomas comments, “We’re excited to continue our partnership with First Midwest Bank to help a local small business see success. Supporting local businesses in our community is central to both ‘ESPN 1000’ and First Midwest Bank. This is a great way for us to introduce the passionate sports fans in our area to a small business.” First Midwest Bank chief marketing and communications officer Jim Stadler adds, “This past year has reminded us of the importance of small businesses and the role they play in creating employment opportunities and momentum for economic growth in their local neighborhoods. We are proud to partner with ‘ESPN Chicago’ for the second year to bring valuable and well-deserved public exposure to these important businesses.” Last year’s “Supporting Small Business” award benefitted Breaking Bread Catering & Deli.

TALKERS News Notes. Former 13-year Tampa Bay Lightning director of broadcasting & programming Matt Sammon is appointed manager/business development & strategy for Skyview Networks. Sammon joined Skyview last September as an executive producer overseeing Notre Dame sports broadcasts and spent two years freelancing with Sammonsez, LLC … After reporting part-time for NPR the past several months, David Gura will join the network next Monday (8/2) as business correspondent. Most recently the host of MSNBC’s weekend morning show “Up With David Gura,” he previously was a Bloomberg anchor. Gura began his career as an intern at University of North Carolina news/talk WUNC, Raleigh … The next installment of the “Gracie Interview Series – Virtual Gatherings” will be this Thursday (7/29) at 2:00 pm (ET). “The Breakfast Club” co-host/“Angela Yee’s Lip Service” host Angela Yee moderates the interview of Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. Registration is free at https://allwomeninmedia.org/events/gracie-interview-series-virtual-gatherings/  … iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO “News Radio 1040” afternoon drive talent Simon Conway took his show on the road to Groton, Connecticut for several broadcasts aboard the USS Nautilus. Conway received a tour of the USS Iowa (pictured), guided by captain James Quintin. According to Conway, “The two shows we did from our submarine base at Groton were very exciting. All my questions were answered and the feedback from my audience has been incredible.” In addition to WHO, Conway’s afternoon drive show is heard on iHeartMedia stations in Cedar Rapids (WMT) and Davenport (WOC) … Nexstar Media Group promotes Ron Romines to senior vice president and regional manager. Romines will oversee the company’s broadcast and digital operations in various markets and will report to Nexstar Media Group president of broadcasting Andrew Alford.

Top Talk Topics This Past Weekend Headed By COVID-19.  As has been the case in recent years, the news cycle no longer slows down on the weekends. The most-discussed topic on news/talk radio this past weekend has been COVID-19 with a focus on the Delta variant, vaccine hesitancy, controversy over mask mandates and the potential for more shutdowns.  This was followed by intense partisan bickering over the formulation of the January 6 committee, followed by climate change, 2020 election denial, and the Olympics.

Acción Adds Tampa and Jacksonville. Effective immediately, Star Over Orlando’s WRSO “Acción 97.9 – La Primera En Noticias” will be simulcast in Tampa on iHeartMedia-owned WHNZ which had been English-language news/talk; a West Tampa translator at 105.9 that was simulcasting English-language news/talk WFLA; and WMTX-HD2. In addition, it will be heard in Jacksonville on iHM’s WFXJ and WKSL-HD2. iHeartMedia senior VP/Hispanic Strategy Hector Marcano comments, “Acción represents a solution for the Hispanic audience eager for a Spanish-speaking newscast and companies that are looking for this fast-growing audience interested in developing a life in the USA.” Division president Linda Byrd notes, “I’m excited to expand the Acción brand to other important Hispanic markets in Florida. Getting the news and information to Florida’s growing Hispanic population in their native language will be very impactful.” Area president for iHeartMedia West Central Florida Chris Soechtig remarks, “We are very excited to deliver a first of its kind Spanish language news platform to the Tampa Bay Hispanic community. With the changing demographics in our area, this is a natural addition to our diverse portfolio.” iHeartMedia North Florida area president Paul Rogers contends, “No other media company can truly help our advertisers, brands, and community organizations reach the full spectrum of the First Coast’s diverse populations like iHeart. We are thrilled to [bring] the first full-service Hispanic news/talk station to Northeast Florida.” Acción – La Primera En Noticias launched in 2018 and news director Jesús Manuel Torres states, “For the past few years, we’ve worked as a team to keep our Hispanic community informed of the events that have changed history. This time, our commitment continues to grow, and our team is ready to continue bringing relevant information and analysis to each market.” Among persons 6+, WRSO is trending 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.8 (April – May – June) and ranks #16 (Nielsen Audio, June 2021). Star Over Orlando-owned WRSO is operated by iHeartMedia under an LMA.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

| April 27, 2021

Shari Gonzalez Promoted to Market President for iHeartMedia Miami. Radio sales pro Shari Gonzalez is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Miami/Fort Lauderdale station group that includes news/talk WIOD, sports talk WINZ, WXBN “Black Information Network,” and eight music brands. She was most recently regional SVP of sales for the cluster. iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd says, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to promote Shari into her first market president role. In the short time that we have worked together, I have seen her competitiveness, work ethic and ability to move her team in the direction we need to go. Shari has the experience and smarts to make a great market president of iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale. She will be a great leader in one of our most important markets.” Gonzalez comments, “I am honored and thrilled for this opportunity. To continue to work with and now lead this incredible portfolio of brands and this ‘best-in-class’ team of talented, passionate colleagues is a dream come true. Miami/Fort Lauderdale is experiencing a boom like no other market in the country and the South Florida market is filled with a culture and uniqueness that is second to none. As our market continues to grow as a multi-cultural, global economic and entertainment destination, we at iHeartMedia Miami/Fort Lauderdale remain committed to being the largest and most meaningful connection to millions in South Florida.”

‘The Rich Eisen Show’ Joins Audacy for Live Streaming and On-Demand Service. Sports media personality Rich Eisen enters into a content distribution partnership with Audacy to add his “The Rich Eisen Show” to the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” streams live daily from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. The show, as well as his new podcast, “Just Getting Started,” are available on-demand on the Audacy digital platform. “The Rich Eisen Show” emanates from Los Angeles and is simulcast on NBC Sports on Peacock. Audacy EVP of programming Jeff Sottolano states, “Rich’s show is a terrific addition to our Audacy platform and reinforces our position as the unrivaled leader in local and national sports audio content. We’re thrilled to bring Rich’s mix of sports and culture to our audience, just in time for this week’s NFL Draft.”

Tricia Gallenback to Lead Cumulus Media’s Eugene Stations. Sales and management pro Tricia Gallenback is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Eugene, Oregon station group that includes news/talk KUGN-AM, sports talk KUJZ-FM, and three music brands. She most recently held the same position at Reno Media Group’s stations in Reno, Nevada. Prior to that she was director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina operations. Gallenback says, “It’s an exciting time to work in radio! Cumulus is a dynamic and innovative company and I’m honored that [Cumulus RVP] Don Morin invited me to join the talented team in Eugene. The Cumulus stations in Eugene are iconic brands and have a history of commitment to community and partnership success. I’m looking forward to discovering how much more we can accomplish together.”

Ernest Fears III Rises to Director of Sales at Radio One Washington, DC. Radio sales pro Ernest Fears III is promoted to director of sales for Radio One’s Washington, DC station group that includes sports talk WTEM-AM “The Team 980” and news/talk WOL-AM/W240DJ. Fears was most recently general sales manager for the station group. Fears says, “During my 40 years in the business in the DC market, I’ve had the chance to work with so many professionals that I have learned from. If not for them, I would not stand where I am today. I look forward to paying forward the help and guidance that I received to my team and their clients.” Radio One senior regional vice president Jeff Wilson adds, “For decades, Ernie has been one of the most respected leaders in Washington, DC media.  But today, we celebrate his leadership and innovation moving forward as we blaze new trails while creating unprecedented solutions for our business partners.”

WWO Blog: What Changes in TV Viewing Mean for Radio. In this week’s Westwood One blog, chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard addresses the changes taking place in the television industry as viewers shift from linear TV to ad-free streaming options. This is a massive challenge for advertisers who’ve made TV a big part of their media plans. The piece is peppered with ominous stats, including: Nielsen’s just-released Total Audience Report reveals linear television’s weekly reach among persons 25-54 has dropped from 85% in Q3 2018 to only 77% in Q3 2020; pay TV lost 5.5 million subscribers in 2020; MoffettNathanson reports that residential penetration of traditional pay TV is down to 61% of occupied households. This is sharply reduced from pay TV’s peak 89% penetration in 2009; and according to MoffettNathanson, in Q4 2020, 67% of all broadcast network viewership was from the 50+ audience. So how does radio advertising play into this? Bouvard says that putting AM/FM radio in the plan generates triple the reach of connected TV – for example, adding 50 points of AM/FM radio to 250 points of TV (225 linear TV GRPs and 50 connected TV GRPs) generates a +24% increase in reach, triple the incremental reach lift that connected TV can add alone.

TALKERS News Notes. A deal between direct mail firm We Mail America.com and the Independent Broadcasters Association to “bring the We Mail America.com business model to independently owned radio markets of all sizes.” A press release says, “We Mail America.com is reinventing the traditional direct mail model by coupling it with a full suite of digital advertising services that works precisely and in conjunction with each radio ad campaign and mail deployment. This comprehensive view of advertising fortifies audio marketing strategies across all mediums, screens, and devices.” IBA president (and Adams Media CEO) Ron Stone says, “Independent radio has never had so many competitors, and direct mail is certainly one of them.  We Mail America.com brings a no-nonsense approach to direct mail and provides radio operators a new tool for their clients. The model that [We Mail America.com founder] Gary [Pizzati] has created enables independent stations to add a new source of revenue to their cluster that does not just move money from one pocket to the other.”…..Audacy’s C13Originals is expanding its longtime partnership with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jon Meacham to launch Shining City Audio, a podcast studio co-venture focused on creating a wide-ranging slate of audio documentaries and series centered around history with some of the most well-respected historians and voices joining at launch. The Shining City Audio initial 2021 slate features two new series written and narrated by Meacham: “Fate of Fact,” a limited-run series examining the question of how and why so many conservative Americans have become prone to disinformation and anti-democratic narratives, and a daily podcast focused on this day in history…..SiriusXM today announced that it has acquired 99% Invisible Inc., the company owned by Roman Mars, the creator, host, and executive producer of the “99% Invisible” podcast. The acquisition brings the podcast host and his team to SiriusXM, where they will continue to operate 99% Invisible, the podcast “What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law,” and develop new podcast projects…..Observing the reaction to the “Saturday Night Live” cast’s befuddlement at the news that Elon Musk will host an upcoming episode of the sketch comedy show, KZRG, Joplin, Missouri program director Peter Thiele is inviting Musk to appear as guest host on “KZRG Morning News Watch.” He says, “Elon Musk is one of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs! We are proud to invite him to be the guest host of the ‘KZRG Morning News Watch!’ Joplin, Missouri’s convenient location on two major freeways with a fantastic airport makes this offer even more tantalizing.”

COVID-19, Biden 100 Days Address, Deadly Police Shootings/Race Relations, Iran-Israel Tensions/John Kerry Allegation, Southern Border Crisis, Newsom Recall, and Oscars Show Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/26). The rates of positive COVID cases in U.S. states, the rollout of and concerns about vaccines, and the overwhelming cases and deaths in India; President Joe Biden’s Wednesday address before Congress marking his first 100 days; protests over recent deadly police shootings of Black citizens and the call for a complete release of body camera video in the death of Andrew Brown Jr.; the military tensions between Iran and Israel and the allegation former Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Israeli air strikes with Iran’s foreign minister; the mass of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; petitioners gather enough signatures to put the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom on the ballot; and Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

| April 15, 2021

Audacy Extends Contract with CFO Richard Schmaeling. The company and chief financial officer Richard Schmaeling sign a new contract set to begin on May 1 that keeps Schmaeling in his CFO role and adds the position of executive vice president, strategic initiatives to his duties. The new contract runs through April 30 of 2025 and pays Schmaeling an annual base salary of $800,000 that will be increased by not less than three percent annually beginning in May of 2022. Other aspects of the contract include: a target annual cash performance bonus at 90% of his annual base salary, to be earned based on Audacy’s performance; a grant of 60,000 restricted stock units as soon as practicable following May 1, 2021 which will vest 50% on May 1, 2023; 25% on May 1, 2024; and 25% on May 1, 2025; and restricted stock unit grants of 50,000 in 2021; 40,000 in 2022; 30,000 in 2023; and 20,000 in 2024, with vesting 50% on the second anniversary of the grant date and 25% on each of the third and fourth anniversaries of the grant date.

Galaxy Media Promotes Maine to Chief Revenue Officer; Greenlar to Chief Content Officer. Two Galaxy Media managers are rising to new positions within the company. Nick Maine is promoted to chief revenue officer from his current director of sports marketing position. In this new role, Maine will oversee the sales operations for both the Syracuse and Utica markets. Galaxy Media president and CEO Ed Levine says, “Nick Maine is a force of nature. It’s rare to have somebody that has been so engaged, so excited, and so competent all in one package. I can’t wait to see where he takes our sales effort over the next many years.” At the same time, Marissa Greenlar – brand manager for rock WKRL “KROCK” – is promoted to chief content officer for the company. She’ll continue in her role as brand manager for “KROCK” and will oversee all of the Galaxy brands and digital content. Levine comments, “Marissa’s contribution to Galaxy has been extraordinary. From starting as a sales assistant to working with the events team, to overseeing much of our social media and then assuming day-to-day programming responsibilities for ‘KROCK,’ she has impacted every aspect of Galaxy over the past 12 years. This newly created position is a reflection of the respect she has from her peers and an acknowledgement of her massive contributions to Galaxy.”

Cumulus Launches ‘104.5 The Zone TV’ in Nashville. The new “104.6 The Zone TV” will be more than just cameras in the WGFX-FM, Nashville studios for its daily radio programs. The Cumulus Media sports talk station says original sports programming on “104.5 The Zone Podcast Network,” original shows, and instant reaction specials every evening – including “The Ultimate Tennessee Podcast” – will be available on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch. The station also says that after a big game or a huge event in Nashville, hosts will be live on “104.5 The Zone TV” to instantly react with fans from their home studios. WGFX-FM program director Paul Mason says, “‘104.5 The Zone TV’ is going to offer our fans a whole new experience when consuming ‘104.5 The Zone.’ Our listeners will now have the option to watch and interact with their favorite ‘104.5 The Zone’ personalities as they video stream their shows live on a variety of different social media platforms. With our recent partnership with A to Z Sports, the launch of ‘104.5 The Zone TV,’ and with more to come, ‘104.5 The Zone’ is continuing our reputation as the gold standard for sports content.” Will Boling is digital content producer for the station, and he says, “‘104.5 The Zone TV’ gives the listener a behind-the-scenes and in-depth look at the faces and voices behind the microphone from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. It also provides sports fans with a chance to skip the call-in line and instantly react to the biggest headlines with our hosts in the chat. Whether it’s watching the shows on our daily lineup during the week, reacting to digital exclusives in the evenings, or pregame/postgame shows centered around the biggest events in Nashville sports, ‘104.5 The Zone TV’ will expand Zone coverage – and that’s a huge win for sports fans. There is more excitement to come, so stay tuned!”

Audacy: Audio Is Driving Force Behind Vaccination Willingness. Citing results from a recent study it commissioned, Audacy says the S. Radoff Associates research that tested audio’s trust and influence during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic indicates audio is the leading media source in the fight against COVID-19 and a driving force behind Americans’ willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The study concludes that for the vaccine hesitant population, audio is the most trusted source of information about COVID vaccination (46%), ahead of TV news shows (42%), friends and family (40%), articles in a local (37%) or national (36%) newspaper, and social media (27%). The study also found that the vast majority of vaccine hesitant U.S adults (81%) say they will take some form of action if they hear a local radio or podcast host provide information about the benefits of COVID vaccines and recommend that listeners receive a COVID vaccine. Audacy SVP of research and insights Idil Cakim says, “Since the onset of the pandemic, audio has served as a trusted companion for listeners seeking vital information, local news and sports and entertainment. As America slowly but surely returns to normal life, the vaccine is a major step towards doing what we all love again – going to sports events, dining at our favorite restaurants, or creating memories with loved ones – and our study shows how big of a role audio is playing in inspiring Americans to make a plan to get their shot.”

Noel Paul Stookey is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. A true, elder statesmen of American folk music, as well as an iconic popularizer of the civil rights movement going back to the protest songs of the early 60s, Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Stookey discuss the evolution of the civil rights movement from the freedom marches of the early 60s to the current reckoning of the early 20s among a number of other fascinating topics. Stookey also discusses his latest charitable project. Don’t miss this extraordinary conversation between two extremely articulate individuals that spans the decades and connects the dots. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

The Todd Starnes Show Adds Affiliate in Salem, Oregon. The Memphis-based programs featuring conservative talk media personality and best-selling author Todd Starnes are being added to the program schedule at Willamette Broadcasting’s KYKN-AM, Salem, Oregon. The station is putting “The Todd Starnes Show” in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot long held by Rush Limbaugh. It is also airing the “Todd Starnes Weekend Edition” as well as the “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” feature.

COVID-19, U.S. to Exit Afghanistan, Minneapolis Protests/Chauvin Trial, Democrats’ Court-Packing Bill, Russia Sanctions/China Threats, Reparations Bill, Matt Gaetz Case, and Bernie Madoff Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14). The “pause” on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the high COVID numbers in Michigan, and the variant running wild in Brazil; President Joe Biden’s move to end U.S. operations in Afghanistan; the protests in Minneapolis over the police shooting death of Daunte Wright, the manslaughter charges against former cop Kim Potter, and the ongoing Derek Chauvin trial; Democrats’ plans to introduce a “court-packing” bill to expand the Supreme Court to 13 justices; the expected sanctions against Russia for hacking and election interference and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before Congress about China’s threats to the U.S.; U.S. House Democrats file a bill to study slavery reparations; the allegations of paying for sex with minors against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz; and Ponzi scheme orchestrator Bernie Madoff dies in prison were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

| September 26, 2019

‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ – Day 2.  Pictured above is conservative writer and media figure Ann Coulter (left) speaking on the air with Bill Meyer of KMED-AM, Medford, Oregon (right) at the 13th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row, presented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  This year, 72 talk radio hosts are taking part in the radio row, debating immigration policy, interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and those who live and work along the Southern border.

WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans Talk Host Seth Dunlap to Sue Entercom; Company Brings Police into Anti-Gay Slur Incident.  WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans owner Entercom released a statement yesterday (9/25) regarding its investigation into the use of the station’s Twitter account to publish a gay slur about station sports talk host Seth Dunlap on September 10.  At the same time, Dunlap’s lawyer – Megan Kiefer – released a long public statement implying that Entercom has not shown Dunlap any proof of its investigation into trying to find the perpetrator and concludes saying they are preparing a suit against Entercom. (Read that in Kevin Allman’s piece in Gambit.)  Dunlap has been on leave from the station since September 12.  However, Entercom says in its statement, in part: “WWL has completed its investigation into the highly offensive, unauthorized tweet sent from WWL’s Twitter account on September 10, which directed a homophobic slur at Seth Dunlap.  WWL conducted this investigation with the assistance of and external digital forensic firm and outside counsel, and expended considerable internal resources both in New Orleans and on our corporate staff.  We determined that the most appropriate next step is to involve law enforcement.  At this point, the investigation is in the hands of law enforcement and it is not appropriate for us to comment any further on the substance of our findings.”  Kiefer says in her statement that Dunlap has taken and passed a polygraph test indicating he is not responsible for the tweet and, in promising the lawsuit, she adds that Dunlap has endured a “history of discrimination” during his eight years with the station.

Alpha Media and Salem Media Group Content to Be Available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM. The content distribution partnerships between Entercom’s RADIO.COM and broadcasting companies Alpha Media and Salem Media Group will put live channels for all of Alpha’s and Salem’s radio stations on the digital platform and provide a destination for the companies’ on-demand audio and podcasts.  Entercom’s growth of the RADIO.COM platform beyond hosting just its own content is seen in recent content distribution agreements with CNN, Bloomberg Media, Cox Media Group, and Bonneville.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “These partnerships further position RADIO.COM as the premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in markets all across the U.S.”  Alpha Media content to be available on RADIO.COM includes livestream broadcasts from 183 stations in 12 markets. Salem Media Group content to be available on the digital platform includes livestreams from their portfolio of 115 radio stations, including 73 stations in the nation’s top 25 markets and 25 stations in the top 10, and over 700 podcasts. Salem Media Group will also partner with RADIO.COM to reach listeners directly and share information about local events, programming and promotions from their portfolio of stations.

‘WOR Live’ at The Cutting Room.  Pictured above are WOR, New York personalities and their guests who appeared in the second installment of “WOR Live,” yesterday (9/25) at The Cutting Room in New York City.  They had a spirited conversation about some of the day’s top stories, their radio careers, what has changed in radio in recent years, and how news reporting has changed in the wake of 9/11.  From left to right are: WABC-TV reporter Toni Yates, WOR personalities Mark Simone, Joe Bartlett, Len Berman, Michael Riedel, Joe Concha, and WABC-TV reporter N.J. Burkett.

Seen and Heard at the NAB/RAB Radio Show. TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay checks in from the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas in which he reports on the “2020 and Beyond: Insights from the Top” session with executives from top radio companies, as well as thoughts about monetizing podcasting and terrestrial radio in the era of media convergence.  Read his report here.

TALKERS News Notes. On the same day that e-cigarette manufacturer Juul announced it is suspending all marketing efforts in the wake of the recent deaths being attributed to vaping, Entercom sent an internal email to its sales force that it is no longer accepting advertising for vaping products.  Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency and banned the sale of all vaping products for four months…..The new podcast from Lemonada is titled, “Last Day,” and is hosted by Lemonada co-founder Stephanie Wittels Wachs.  The program addresses the opioid crisis – reported to have taken 72,000 lives in the U.S. in 2017 – focusing on the last day of a victim’s life.  Wachs lost her brother Harris to opioid addiction.  She says, “We’re telling my brother’s story because it’s emblematic of so many stories of people taken too soon by this disease, and we think demystifying one person’s last day and their overall experience will help remove the stigma and shine light on solutions.”…..Season 4 of iHeartRadio’s Original Music Podcast, “Disgraceland” – produced and hosted by Jake Brenan – premieres today (9/26) on the iHeartPodcast Network.  iHeartMedia says, “In the first episode of the musical true crime podcast, Brenan covers hip hop legends N.W.A., the self-proclaimed, ‘most dangerous hip hop group in America.’  Other programs this season include and examination of: Led Zeppelin and the dangers of the band’s guitarist, Jimmy Page; the story behind Madonna’s difficult and deeply saddening rise to fame; and even explores Eric Clapton’s drug addiction and his murderous drummer.”

Trump-Ukraine Controversy/Impeachment Inquiry, 2020 Presidential Election, Brexit Chaos, Jacques Chirac Dies, and Joker Screening Threats Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). The controversy over President Donald Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the Democrats’ move to begin an impeachment inquiry; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the political chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy; the death of former French President Jacques Chirac; and the reports of possible threats of violence and public screenings of the new film, The Joker, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Charlotte Job Opportunity. In the Charlotte, North Carolina market, Entercom is seeking a part-time news anchor for news/talk WBT-AM/FM.  The company posts the following job description: “You’re an engaging, experienced on-air personality.  You’re a great storyteller.  You know how to get to the heart of a story and make it relatable to the listener. You’re never satisfied with knowing just the “Who?, What?, Where?, and When?” of a story; you always seek to know, “Why?”  If this sounds like you, News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT Charlotte would like to hear from you.”  Get more information and apply here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In New York City, iHeartMedia names Greg T the new co-host for the morning show on hot AC WTKU.  The new “Carolina with Greg T in the Morning Show” debuts on October 9.   Carolina Bermudez says, “After a summer of having the opportunity to share the studio with some of the best and brightest on-air hosts across the country, it just made sense to welcome my brother Greg T to the KTU family.  I couldn’t be happier and can’t wait to welcome him to his new radio home!”  Greg T has been a part of the Elvis Duran show for the past 23 years.  As he moves across the hall to his new gig, Duran says, “Greg T is a major part of our show’s 25-year success story and I will miss him dearly.  We applaud his courage and determination to keep moving forward. I am so proud of him!”…..iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNR, Las Vegas “Sunny 106.5” names AJ Maguire morning drive personality in which he joins the station’s Joanna Baumann for the “AJ and Joanna Morning Show.”  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Tony Matteo says, “We’re excited to have AJ anchoring morning drive on ‘Sunny 106.5.’  Adding AJ’s skill as a storyteller and entertainer to the already strong ‘Sunny 106.5’ Las Vegas brand puts the station in the perfect position for growth and success.”  Maguire joins the station from Cox Media Group, where he most recently served as the afternoon host for country WWKA and classic hits WMMO in Orlando for the past three years…..Entercom’s hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” names programming pro Jerry McKenna program director, effective September 30.  McKenna was most recently with Cape Cod Broadcasting as director of programming.  He previously served with Entercom in Springfield and Boston, Massachusetts.  Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “I am excited for Jerry McKenna to bring his breadth of knowledge to ‘Star 94.1.’  His insight and experience will be invaluable as we continue to deliver the engaging content Atlanta listeners deserve and expect from our station.”…..Skyview Networks announces “The Dana Cortez Show” is added to the program schedule at Riviera Broadcast Group’s hip hop KKFR-FM, Mayer, Arizona (Phoenix market).   This is the first top 15 market station to add the show to its lineup…..Sun Broadcast Group reports the Michael Baisden show is back on the air in his hometown of Chicago on dance-formatted W236CF, Chicago/W236CG, Bolingbrook “95.1 FM Club Steppin.”…..Townsquare Media Billings, Montana brings Michael Foth aboard as brand manager for classic rock KMHK “103.7 The Hawk.”  He says, “Reaching people on digital platforms is something that was only imagined by most terrestrial broadcast companies 10 or 15 years ago.  Radio is in the middle of a unique transformation and Townsquare Media is a leader in the industry.  I’m excited to be a part of this evolution.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

| August 7, 2019

Entercom Acquires Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Media. This morning’s (Wednesday, 8/7) press release doesn’t indicate a transaction amount for the two podcasting entities; however, The Wall Street Journal (first to report the story) pegs Cadence13 at roughly $50 million and estimates Pineapple Street Media at $18 million. Two years ago, Entercom shelled out nearly $10 million for a 45% stake in Cadence13 but now owns it entirely. According to Entercom chair/president/chief executive officer David Field, “Today marks another transformational event at Entercom – we are thrilled to welcome the outstanding teams and content partners at both Pineapple Street and Cadence13. Entercom will stand as a unique leader in the audio universe with both the greatest collection of premium, original local audio content along with arguably the best national podcast content. We are well-positioned to participate in the exciting audio renaissance and the powerful opportunities to work with our thousands of customers across the country on their increasingly important audio strategies.” Entercom’s chief digital officer J.D. Crowley remarks, “It is an exciting day for all lovers of audio – creators, listeners and advertisers. The leadership teams at both Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Media are the best in the business; their tenacity, creativity and reputations are unmatched.” Pineapple Street Media will be renamed Pineapple Street Studios, a division of RADIO.COM, with Jenna Weiss-Berman and Max Linsky continuing as co-heads. It is a production house that creates original podcasts, working with partners such as ESPN, WNYC Studios, Netflix, and The New York Times. Headquartered in New York City and with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Cadence13 launched in 2015 and will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Entercom. CEO Spencer Brown will join the new organization as head of the division. Chief content officer Chris Corcoran will continue to lead content and Cadence13 president John Murphy will also be part of the leadership team. Pineapple Street Media co-founder Max Linsky says, “This is an incredibly exciting day for us and our team of podcast producers. We started Pineapple three years ago with the simple goal of making great shows that found huge audiences. Joining forces with the amazing teams at Entercom and Cadence13 means we can do that at a scale we never imagined. Co-founder Jenna Weiss-Berman adds, “This is an amazing time for podcasting. This moment is unprecedented – the energy, the growth, the talent coming to the medium. I am thrilled to be working with the incredible leadership teams at Entercom and Cadence13.” In a joint statement, Cadence13 founding partners Spencer Brown, Chris Corcoran, and John Murphy write, “Consolidation with Entercom will greatly accelerate the next phase of our growth. Through its robust portfolio, Entercom offers Cadence access to a national audio platform that will accelerate revenue and development of our audience engagement efforts. This acquisition helps us extend the reach of our partners and build their audiences across the audio landscape.”

Entravision Elevates Melendez to President/Local Media Sales. West region executive vice president Eddie Melendez is boosted to Entravision’s president of local media sales. Markets reporting directly to him include Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Orlando, McAllen, and El Paso. Entravision chief revenue officer Karl A. Meyer explains that, “Entravision has a comprehensive offering of traditional and digital media assets, which provide a powerful omni-channel platform for advertisers to reach the growing U.S. Hispanic market. We now have a single holistic sales structure that fully aligns with our integrated sales strategy approach. This provides consistency for our team and our marketing partners which will improve productivity and enhance the service we provide to our advertising clients. Eddie is a proven and inspirational leader with almost 30 years of experience and we are excited to have him driving our local sales efforts.” A part of the “Entravision family” since 2002, Melendez notes, “It’s an honor to be leading our local sales efforts. We have an exceptional platform and talented associate team that allow us to offer advertisers a comprehensive marketing solution that truly reaches and engages consumers at different stages of the value chain. I believe we are well-positioned to meet the needs of local advertisers today and in the future and build long-term relationships.” Positions Melendez has held since joining Entravision include vice president of business development and vice president/director of national sales. In other Entravision personnel news, Juan Navarro is appointed to the newly-created role of regional vice president/local media sales; Chris Jordan is named Las Vegas’ senior vice president/sales; and Laura Hernandez becomes senior vice president/sales in Midland-Odessa (Texas).

Wilson To Keynote RAIN Summit. The keynote speaker of next month’s (9/24) RAIN Summit in Dallas will be Bill Wilson, the two-year chief executive officer of Townsquare Media and a digital frontrunner in internet media and radio for over 25 years. As president of AOL Media, he managed consumer-facing brands across news, finance, sports, entertainment, and technology destinations. In Dallas, Wilson will describe the priorities and initiatives that have helped define Townsquare Media as “a local media and digital marketing solutions company.” RAIN president Brad Hill notes, “We are delighted and privileged to spotlight Bill Wilson at our Dallas event. In the 12 years that I’ve known Bill, he has been resolutely forward-looking, adroitly meeting the challenges of digital transformation and creating success across media categories. His executive experience and viewpoint illuminate new possibilities for radio and local media.” Wilson won an Emmy in 2006 for the “Live 8” program. He joined Townsquare Media in 2010 as chief content & digital officer and became CEO seven years later. Townsquare has innovated on the digital side through content and marketing initiatives such as Townsquare Ignite, the company’s fastest growing business in 2018, and Townsquare Interactive.

Entercom’s Q2 Results. Year-to-year net revenue rose 2.3% to $380.7 million, with Entercom’s operating income more than doubling from $27.6 million to $64.8 million. As TALKERS is reporting, Entercom this morning (Wednesday, 8/7) announced the purchase of Pineapple Street Media and an agreement in principle to acquire Cadence13. Chair/president/chief operating officer David J. Field explains, “This will make Entercom one of the country’s three largest podcast enterprises.” In another item on our site this morning, we cover the company’s launch of the RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network. Field points out, “It will debut later this month with a compelling lineup of daily radio shows and weekly podcasts. [The Cadence13, Pineapple Street Media, and Sports Digital Network] moves highlight a series of strategic investments that are positioning Entercom to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities in the audio space fueled by rapidly emerging catalysts, including podcasting, smart speakers, audio search, enhanced analytics and attribution.” Regarding the Q2 results, he notes that, “Second quarter revenue and EBITDA were up 2.3% and 7%, respectively, driven by strong growth in national, network and digital, partially offset by declines in political and events.”

TALKERS News Notes. With over 65 hours of daily live programming, Entercom’s RADIO.COM Sports Digital Network debuts in 12 days (Monday, 8/19). Shows will be available in podcast form with four additional weekly podcasts. Entercom sports president Mike Dee comments, “We are thrilled with the extraordinary lineup of talent we have assembled to launch this new venture. The commitment to create and distribute 25 hours of dedicated sports betting audio and video weekly to super serve that growing audience is an example of how the network will adapt quickly to the new trends that are shaping both consumer and advertiser interest. We look forward to the onboarding of more great content to the network in the coming months.” The weekday lineup will include: “Home and Home” with Ross Tucker and Dave Briggs (8:00 am – 11:00 am); “Scal & Pals” with Brian Scalabrine (11:00 am – 1:00 pm, starting 9/23); “Swing & Mrs.” With Cody Decker and his wife Jennifer Sterger Decker (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm); and “You Better You Bet” with Nick Kostos (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm) ….. There are personnel additions and subtractions taking place at NPR. Some newsroom positions are being cut, while other departments are adding jobs. As of September 6, for example, national security correspondent David Welna will depart. Senior vice president of news/editorial director Nancy Barnes addresses the issue in a staff memo by writing that less than ten jobs are being eliminated, however, the reason isn’t “about saving money.” Instead, she indicates it is a realignment of resources. Staff is being added to report on such topics as climate change and opioid addiction. An spokesperson says those facing layoffs will have the chance to apply for new openings within NPR ….. There will be two huge changes for E! News next year. Instead of airing at 7:00 pm, it will become a morning show and relocate from Los Angeles to NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Center studios in New York. Approximately 25 E! News Los Angeles staffers will be laid off, although the company hopes to place them in new positions. The cable channel’s 2020 slate of entertainment news programming includes multiple additional hours of original weekday content, including two new series based in NYC. Its weekday schedule will include eight original entertainment news and commentary series.

Aftermath of El Paso and Dayton Shootings, US-China Trade War, and Stock Market Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday and this Morning (8/6-7).  The aftermath of the tragic shooting violence in El Paso and Dayton this weekend dominated all conversation on news/talk radio Monday (8/5), yesterday (8/6), and continuing into early today (8/7) with President Trump’s visit to both cities distantly followed by discussion about China’s devalued currency in a hard ball move per the US-China trade war and its impact on Wall Street according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

JackFM Wants Skyview, LRN for Sales/Syndication Services. The agreement doesn’t go into effect until the first of next year (1/1/2020), but Sparknet Communications, owner of adult hits “JackFM” and the trademarked “Playing What We Want” slogan heard in 62 markets, will have an exclusive partnership with Skyview Networks and Local Radio Networks (LRN) for their “full package of syndication services.” Scottsdale-based Skyview will be the exclusive network sales partner/satellite distribution provider for JackFM, while LRN will lead affiliate relations and provide automation technology. Skyview Networks and LRN entered into a collaborative partnership earlier this year. Sparknet president Garry Wall comments, “This move will upgrade the product quality for our affiliates in every aspect of the JackFM ‘listener experience.’ This also puts us into a partnership aligned around innovation, growth, and customer service.” Skyview Networks chief executive officer Ken Thiele states, “We are proud to offer Sparknet, in partnership with LRN, our full-service solution for syndicating and monetizing its successful and popular JackFM music format. This partnership brings together the synergies of three compelling audio companies experiencing unprecedented growth. I am impressed with the leadership strategy of LRN and believe in the opportunities we bring to the industry as partners for top content creators like Sparknet.” Skyview executive vice president/general manager Jeanne-Marie Condo explains, “In an ever-evolving audio industry, Skyview is constantly seeking opportunities to create value for our clients; JackFM offers programming solutions that are unmatched in the industry. We are proud to call them a partner and look forward to building on their success.” Local Radio Networks chief executive officer Steve Swick remarks, “The combined expertise and services of LRN and Skyview creates the most powerful 24/7 music format syndication solution for radio station owners, personalities, and content creators. JackFM is a proven audience-winner and a perfect addition to LRN’s lineup of quality 24/7 music formats.” LRN executive vice president Pat Crocker notes, “I worked for a decade with Garry and the JackFM format. I know firsthand the quality of the product and incredible creative energy he and his team dedicate to its production. We look forward to working with the Sparknet team to increase the already extensive footprint of the JackFM brand across the US.”

MIW Accepting Applications For Annual Mentoring Program. The program is a collaborative effort of The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) and Nielsen Music that creates greater opportunities for women interested in management positions in music broadcast programming. This year’s application window opens today (Wednesday, 8/7) and closes two weeks from today (Wednesday, 8/21). MIW Group executive committee member/Presslaff Interactive Revenue founder and president Ruth Presslaff states, “The continued support by Nielsen Music of women in programming through this mentorship program is appreciated by all MIWs and is truly appreciated across the industry. Together, we are helping women succeed, while creating stronger talent for radio – everybody benefits.” Nielsen director of radio Haley Jones comments, “Nielsen places great emphasis on driving diversity in the workplace. In our third year as the co-sponsor of the Annual MIW-Nielsen Music Mentoring Program, we remain inspired by the number of young professionals looking to advance their careers. We are confident that this mentor program will continue to have a lifelong impact on the winners.” The one year mentorship program matches a female programming candidate with key mentors from throughout the broadcast industry, including the MIW Radio Group and Nielsen Music. It is designed to sharpen the mentee’s programming and professional skills and further her music programming career. The mentorship is available to one female program director, assistant program director, and/or music director from any music format.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After a 16-year tenure at Entercom Portland, vice president of programming/director of country programming Mike Moore exits as his position has been eliminated. Moore joined the Oregon stations from Nashville’s WSIX to program similarly-formatted KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.” In addition to WSIX (2000 – 2003), Moore previously programmed country stations in Orlando (WWKA) and Hartford (WWYZ). The Entercom Portland cluster consists of sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan”; classic rock KGON and blues KGON-HD2; sports talk KMTT “910 ESPN”; alternative KNRK and KNRK-HD2; hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz”; aforementioned country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf”; and adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie.” ….. Among inductees who will be added to the Philadelphia Music…..Walk of Fame’s Class of 2019 is Beasley Broadcast Group Philadelphia (rock) WMMR mid-day personality Pierre Robert. The Radio Row award recipient came to Philadelphia from San Francisco in 1981 and embraces the best of the new music releases as well as heritage rock. Other honorees include The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Hooters, The O’Jays, Evelyn “Champagne” King, music industry executive Jody Gerson, and philanthropist Dorrance “Dodo” Hamilton. Honorees will be formally inducted October 22 during afternoon ceremonies along the Avenue of the Arts and celebrated that evening with a gala event at The Bellevue Philadelphia.

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats. Four successive sweeps without an increase by KSFO have accounted for a loss of six-tenths (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, #21 to #24, 6+), driving the Cumulus Media news/talk station below a two-share (1.7, 6+) for the first time in exactly two years (1.8, July 2017). When cluster-mate KGO gained three-tenths in May, it ended seven successive down or flat sweeps that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4, 6+), but KGO has now dropped one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.7 – 1.6 -1.5, #26 to #25, 6+). By gaining one-tenth (.1 – .2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KKSF-AM “Real Talk 910 – Think Forward” jumps from #41 to #35.

At the same time that Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader” improves by eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+) vaulting from ninth to third, Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ “95.7 The Game” flounders by -1.1 (3.0 – 1.9, 6+) and plummets from the top twenty (#11 to #21). Up one full-share in April, KNBR is the flagship of the Giants. Powered by May’s +1.4, Golden State Warriors flagship KGMZ nearly doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss, (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 3.3, 6+).

Off a combined half-share in June/July (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which had a May-only stay at #1, repeats at #2. It spent four straight months in the runner-up slot before picking up three-tenths in May to progress to the top.

Replicating June’s gain of three-tenths (6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED repeats at #1. KQED had been on top four sweeps in a row, but faltered by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (7.3 – 6.8 – 6.3, 6+), segueing to #2 in May. Down a collective half-share via four straight drops (1.3 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .8, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” ends the slide with a gain of two-tenths to 1.0 (#30 to #28, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – An overall -1.4 in three straight dips (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” pulls the plug by picking up one-tenth to 3.7 (steady at #6, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of six-tenths, “The Breeze” was +1.2 through three straight gains (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Not only does co-owned hot AC KIOI pick up three-tenths to curtail five successive down or flat trends that resulted in a one-half share loss (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), “Star 101.3” returns to the top ten (3.2, #12 to #10). In four straight negative or neutral sweeps, Bonneville urban AC KBLX surrendered a collective -1.1 (3.3 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), but “Today’s R&B and Old School” adds one-tenth to 2.3 (6+) and climbs from #18 to #15. After a May increase of one-half share (3.5 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” is a combined -1.3 in June/July (4.0 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Before dropping two-tenths in April, “The Bone” was +1.1 in three successive improvements (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+). Although slipping from sixth to seventh, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 13th time in a row (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6, 6+). April 2019’s 3.7 represents its best 6+-stat since October 2018’s 3.9. Following five straight up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), Bonneville’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock” dips one-tenth in June and July (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, flat at #22, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Without a loss the past survey periods for a  +1.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.1, “Holiday” 2018 through June 2019, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” forfeits one-third of that increase in July (3.5, -.6, sixth to tenth, 6+). An increase of one-tenth to .6 (6+) pushes Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” from #36 to #34. Three straight down or flat trends by Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM resulted in a loss of two-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3, 6+), but “570 News & Information” is up one-tenth to .4 (6+) and moves from #38 to #36.

Tacking on one-half share to June’s increase of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” is back in the top twenty (#22 to #20). Entering the June sweep, the flagship of the Texas Rangers lost roughly 52% (-1.6) of its 6+-share in four straight declines (3.1 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Notwithstanding that it levels off at 1.7 (6+) after June’s -1.0, Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports All The Time” slips from #23 to #24. “The Ticket” notched a 2.7 (6+) in March, April, and May. Down one-tenth in both June and July (.9 – .8 – .7, 6+), Disney/ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” repeats at #32.        

A streak that lasted approximately 2.5 years comes to an end as KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” logs a 1.8 (#21 to #23, 6+). The Entercom news-talk hybrid had been within a (6+) high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0 since “Holiday” 2016. Moreover, KRLD-AM is off a collective seven-tenths in three straight declines (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

Off a collective -1.0 in four straight negative or neutral moves (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet KERA dips from #11 to #14.

Dallas Music Formats – Locked on 4.2 (6+) in April and May before slipping to 4.0 (6+) in June, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY erupts with a +1.1 to 5.1 (6+) as “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” zooms from seventh to second. This (5.1) is the loftiest 6+-showing for KLTY since February 2015’s 5.1. One of its format rivals, Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 – Worship Now,” notches its third consecutive gain for an overall +1.2 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+) and jumps from #16 to #13. In addition to logging a July improvement of eight-tenths to 3.8 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” cracks the top ten (#13 to #8). In addition to chalking up a +.6, iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS “Lone Star 92.5” records a 5.1 the third time in the last six sweeps (5.1 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 5.1, fifth to second, 6+). After being a cumulative -1.1 in six straight down or flat moves (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” ends the slide with a gain of one-tenth to 2.8 (#16 to #15, 6+). Even though it has lost nine-tenths as a result of three straight negative or neutral moves (6.7 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), its CHR sibling, KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music,” is #1 the seventh month in a row. Its May dip of four-tenths brought to a close four successive up or flat sweeps that netted eight-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+). April’s 6.7 was its best 6+-stat since May 2018’s 6.9. On top 12 straight times, “Kiss” shifted to #3 in “Holiday” 2018. Meanwhile, July’s full-share setback by Cumulus Media-owned country outlet KPLX wipes away its combined May/June +.7. (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 3.9, 6+); “99.5 The Wolf” tumbles from second to seventh. Regressing by one-half share each are Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 Nobody Plays More ‘80s” (4.8 – 4.3, third to fifth, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (3.3 – 2.8, #11 to #15, 6+). After having its 6+ AQH share cut exactly in half in June (1.4 – .7, -.7, 6+), KLNO’s similarly-formatted cluster-mate KFZO “Zona MX 99.1” drops another three-tenths to .4 (#34 to #36, 6+).

Houston                              

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase the third time in a row for a net loss of four tenths (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH falls from #14 to #15. “News Radio 740” was -.7 in December 2018 (4.3 – 3.6, 6+); -.7 in “Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 2.9, 6+); and +.7 in January 2019 (2.9 – 3.6, 6+). Frozen on .4 (6+) in March and April, co-owned KPRC “AM 950 – Houston’s More Stimulating Talk Radio” has now been stymied at .3 in May, June, and July (#31 to #28, 6+).

While steady at #22, iHeartMedia-owned KBME “Sports Talk 790” is off one-tenth to 1.1 (6+), thus halting four straight positive or neutral trends in which the flagship of the Houston Astros more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-stat (.5 – .6 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). KBME has a one-tenth advantage over Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610,” which repeats June’s 6+ AQH share (1.0) and market rank (#23). It is the same scenario for Gow Communications’ sports talk KFNC “ESPN 97.5,” which is unchanged from June in those same two (share and market rank) categories (.7, #25, 6+).

After gaining four-tenths in June (2.1 – 2.5, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF returns one-tenth (2.4, 6+) but carries on at #19.

Houston Music Formats – Within 3.1- 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last nine survey periods (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KHMX not only logs an impressive +1.3 to 4.7 (6+), “Mix 96.5” rockets into the top ten (#15 to #8). “Mix” reaches the four-share level (4.7, 6+) for the first time since October 2018’s 4.0. Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” picks up one tenth to 5.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight decreases of six-tenths each. It was 6.7 – 6.1 (6+) in April; 6.1 – 5.5 (6+) in May; and 5.5 – 4.9 (6+) in June. Before eroding by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2018, “Que Buena 102.9” was a collective +3.3 through five successive increases (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 8.0, 6+). Two streaks continue for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA. On the positive side, “Sunny 99.1” is #1 the 16th sweep in a row. Conversely, KODA is an overall -5.5 in seven straight declines (12.1 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of this spiral, “Sunny” was a cumulative +4.9 via three consecutive gains (7.2 – 7.5 – 9.7 – 12.1, 6+). Airing a variety of musical genres including jazz and blues, Texas Southern University’s KTSU posted a .8 (6+) in May followed by a .5 (6+) in June; however, “90.9 Your Community Station” disappears in July. The four-tenths lead that Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “The New Country 93-Q” had in June over Entercom’s similarly-formatted KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” is reduced to one-tenth as “93-Q” drops one-tenth (4.8 – 4.6, 6+) while “The Bull” adds two-tenths (4.4 – 4.6, 6+). KKBQ and KILT-FM remain at eighth and tenth, respectively. Before losing two-tenths in March, “The Bull” had been +1.7 via three bumps in a row (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+). In five successive negative or neutral reports, Liberman Broadcasting’s KQQK “El Norte 107.9” has lost eight-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.6, #17 to #18, 6+).

Party Man and Diva Honored. At a music and radio award ceremony held this past Sunday at Backstage Atlanta to salute excellence in the industry, Westwood One’s urban AC “Rick and Sasha” (pictured at right) were cited as having the “Best Syndicated Morning Show.” Rick Party formerly worked at Cox Media Group Miami urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” while “Sasha The Diva” most recently was heard on CMG’s similarly-formatted WALR Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” Rick and Sasha debuted nationally in January of this year.