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Round Two of April PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington DC, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s April 2021 survey period covered April 1 – 28. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, although Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM adds one-tenth for a 4.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share), it falls from #9 to the #10 rank. Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM dips nine-tenths but retains its #2 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston sheds one-tenth for a 4.3 share and remains ranked #8 while sister all-news WBZ-AM adds two-tenths for a 6.6 share finish and is steady at #4. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM falls from #1 to #2 after losing two-tenths for a 6.2 share finish while Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM falls from #5 to #8 after losing nine-tenths and wrapping the survey with a 4.1 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways from this second round of markets (as well as yesterday’s first round ) here.
KERN-AM, Bakersfield and KIVA, Albuquerque Add ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show.’ Effective Monday (5/24), two news/talk stations add Premiere Networks’ “The Rush Limbaugh Show” to their program schedules. American General Media’s KERN-AM, Bakersfield “Newstalk 1180 & The New 96.1 KERN” announces the addition of in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart and Rock of Talk LLC‘s KIVA-AM, Albuquerque “The Rock of Talk” adds the show in the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daypart. KERN regional director of operations & programming Robert Lewis says, “‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has always been the gold standard of talk radio. Having the opportunity to add Rush’s wise words to our broadcast day was a very easy choice for KERN Radio.” KIVA program director and Rock of Talk LLC CEO Eddy Aragon says, “I understand the tremendous value of the Rush Limbaugh brand for our audience as the legacy of the greatest radio host in American history continues. ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ is the perfect complement to our impressive talk lineup. May the second century of radio live on with what we have been blessed to have known!” Premiere Networks says, “The program features Limbaugh’s relevant and entertaining audio from his award-winning career in broadcast excellence. The audio is guided by familiar voices of the program, including Todd Herman, Ken Matthews, Jason Lewis and Brett Winterble.”
Jim Blasingame Announces End to ‘The Small Business Advocate Show.’ Longtime host of the daily talk radio program “The Small Business Advocate” – Jim Blasingame – announces he’s ending the show after more than 23 years after this Friday’s program. Blasingame says that he just turned 72 years old and he’s getting tired of getting up at 4:20 am to begin his broadcast day. He says he’s also putting his weekly syndicated column to bed after 22 years and more than 1,100 columns. He says, “Started my first job in the 4th grade, grew up on a farm, punched a time-card for the first time in 1966, and haven’t missed a day or a deadline since. And as much as I’ve loved every minute of my work as ‘The Small Business Advocate,’ I don’t mind admitting that trying to program and write small business relevance during the pandemic and lockdowns has taken its toll. Perhaps you can relate… The good news is that I plan to maintain my library of archived content, so any interviews we conducted will still work. Please continue to leverage them to your advantage.”
Focus360 Reveals New Logo, Campaign Theme. National radio sales and syndication network Focus360 unveils its new look including a fresh logo and campaign slogan for 2021, “Speak Volumes.” The company says the refresh is the first in several years for the network and follows a record start to 2021 with the company seeing growth of more than 20%. As part of its brand launch Focus 360 is rolling out a new website, a modern, image-focused ad campaign, all new internal graphics and communications and a very active social media strategy across all platforms. Their 2021 campaign slogan “Speak Volumes” was chosen to highlight the company’s success across several of its offerings including the Jelli network which covers major markets across America and reaches almost 100% of the available audience. Founder and CEO Phil Brown comments, “This is an exciting day for all of us here at Focus 360. Our new logo, website and the Speak Volumes campaign tells our story in a most powerful way. It’s been an incredible year so far and we want to show the entire radio industry more of what we have planned. Stay tuned!”
January 6 Commission, COVID-19 Mandates/Vaccines, Israeli-Hamas Conflict, Asian Hate Crime Bill, Trump Organization Investigation, AZ Vote Audit, and Andrew Giuliani’s Gubernatorial Bid Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/18). The U.S. House to propose creation of January 6 Commission to investigate Capitol invasion; the loosening of COVID-19 mask mandates and the battle against vaccine hesitancy; the ongoing rocket fire between the IDF and Hamas in Gaza; the U.S. House’s COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to prevent hate crimes against Asians; the New York State probe into the Trump Organization widens to criminal wrongdoing; the audit of 2020 election votes in Maricopa County, Arizona; and Andrew Giuliani announces bid for New York governor in 2022 among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. An agreement between Newsmax TV and iHeartMedia puts the audio from Newsmax TV shows on iHM’s iHeartRadio digital platform. The deal also allows iHeartRadio users to hear Newsmax podcasts including “The Newsmax Daily with Rob Carson” and “Greg Kelly Reports.”…..A new study from Edison Research called “Clubhouse Users in America” indicates that 15% of social media users 18+ say they have ever used Clubhouse – the invitation-only, audio-based social networking platform that debuted last year. Although Clubhouse has a relatively small number of users compared to other social media networking services, it has garnered significant attention due to its premise of shared audio spaces and the exclusive nature of its invitation-only membership. “Clubhouse Users in America” found that the percentage of social media users who use Clubhouse remained relatively flat over the survey period (Feb 2021 – Apr 2021) and that time spent using the service declined in April. However, those that do use the service use it often, with 44% of Clubhouse users saying they use the service at least once per day, and 28% saying they use it at least once per week. See more from the study here…..The Independent Broadcasters Association announces its next webinar in its members-only series, “Selling In The Culture of Response,” will be held at 2:00 pm ET on Tuesday, May 25. The webinar will be presented by Paul Agase, CRO of advertising analytics and attribution company AnalyticOwl. The webinar offer broadcasters, streamers, and publishers advice on using historical response data to demonstrate the results that broadcast delivers and help advertisers and agencies build effective campaigns. See more information about IBA here…..This weekend (5/20-23), SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive play-by-play and talk coverage of the 2021 PGA Championship from Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Live hole-by-hole coverage, which SiriusXM will co-produce with Westwood One, airs starting at 1:00 pm ET Thursday through Sunday and continue through the completion of each day’s play…..The Fishnet Syndication program “On the Right Side” with host Reid L. Rosenthal adds new affiliate KRQN-FM, Vinton, Iowa to its roster of stations.
Business Rockstars Radio to Debut. Via a strategic alliance with the Wall Street Business Network, “Business Rockstars Radio” will premier its national radio syndication effort on March 31 on 10 major market stations. Business Rockstars Radio, hosted by Ken Rutkowski, features “rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups and targets the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S. The March 31 rollout is the “launch pad” for the national rollout of the program. Salem Radio Division president David Santrella states, “Salem is excited to be adding more compelling and relevant content to our Wall Street Business Network. We thank the Good Life Network for their efforts in securing the Business Rockstars Radio program for our growing business-format platform, and look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship with both the Good Life Network and Business Rockstars Radio.” The program will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and debut on: KDOW, San Francisco; KVCE, Dallas; KTEK, Houston; WZAB, Miami; WAFS, Atlanta; KKOL, Seattle; WBZW, Orlando; KYCR, Minneapolis; KSAC, Sacramento; and KGU, Honolulu. Business Rockstars Radio co-founder Steve Lehman comments, “Business Rockstars Radio is loaded with powerful entrepreneurial content presented in a fun, fast-paced, two-hour daily show. The program has big name CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups that discuss their adventures in starting, growing and funding businesses. These stories inspire and educate listeners, from billion dollar start-ups to business train wrecks.”
Greater Media Philly Named a Top Workplace. This is the third successive year the company has earned such recognition from an annual survey conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. Hundreds of companies take part in the survey and as Greater Media Philadelphia vice president/market manager John Fullam states, “Great companies start with great employees. We are fortunate to have an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners, and advertising partners every day.” Judges are employees and evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program is based upon feedback from a fall 2013 employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics. The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a special publication insert yesterday (3/23) to announce the honor. Greater Media’s four-station Philadelphia cluster consists of adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben-FM,” WMGK “Philadelphia’s Classic Rock,” WMMR “Everything That Rocks,” and sports WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”
Cumulus Nabs Agase for VP Sales Post in Chicago. Chicago market sales pro Paul Agase is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM “Chicago’s Talk Leader” and classic rock WLUP “97.9 FM The Loop.” Most recently, Agase was general sales manager at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM. He’s also worked in the market at sports talk WSCR “The Score,” triple A WXRT, WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM,” and WBBM-FM “B96.” Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Pinch comments, “Paul has made a significant impact driving sales for Chicago radio. His talents are an ideal match for Cumulus Chicago’s iconic stations and we are excited to welcome him to the company.”
Comrex Welcomes Torelli as Market Development Manager. Multi-disciplined media pro Joe Torelli joins Comrex Corporation as market development manager. The company says that in this role, Torelli will spearhead awareness and drive acceptance of the Comrex LiveShot products in the broadcast, education, worship and government markets. Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Joe comes to Comrex with extensive experience on both sides of the broadcast industry starting as a photojournalist at WFLA-TV, Tampa where he first used Comrex products. Capitalizing on his field experience there and over a decade at NBC News covering world events, he transitioned to design and delivery of market focused products at Avid, Quantel and, most recently, Apple products that became standards in the industry. That background will help Comrex grow the acceptance of the LiveShot products.” Torelli says, “I see LiveShot as truly amazing technology and I’m no stranger to highlighting new technology and differentiating features to the market. I’m excited about the opportunity to help extend LiveShot’s appeal and acceptance.” Comrex LiveShot delivers live video and audio over a range of IP networks. LiveShot is used by TV stations and networks to deliver high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio from anywhere internet access is available.
Ethan Bearman Adds KGO, San Francisco to His Roster of Radio Homes. Multi-platform talk show host Ethan Bearman, one of the 2014 first-time members of TALKERS magazine’s newly published “Heavy Hundred,” has just been named regular host of the Sunday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot on KGO, San Francisco. Bearman has also been retained by the Cumulus San Francisco cluster to do fill-in at KGO’s sister station KSFO where he’ll be keeping the mic warm next week for morning host Brian Sussman (also a 2014 Heavy Hundred inductee) between 5:00 am and 9:00 am on April 3 and 4. The hard-working Bearman also has a two-hour weekend syndicated show carried by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and is a regular member of the air staff at Michael Zerling’s nationally famous KSCO, Santa Cruz where he hosts 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm weekdays. Bearman tells TALKERS, “I am blessed and honored to be working with some of the best professionals in the industry – Michael Zwerling is one of the most ardent examples of a broadcaster dedicated to serving the local community and creating breakthroughs in modern marketing techniques. Ted Anderson is a dynamo of entrepreneurial innovation, who has built GCN into a powerhouse among the up-and-coming syndicators. And now, the mighty Cumulus, where I am honored to work at one of the truly legendary sets of call letters in America – KGO – with a staff that is the very embodiment of broadcasting professionalism.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been quoted as saying, “I have heard one of the major voices of talk radio’s future and it emanates from a young man named Ethan Bearman.”
Media Usage Research (and What You Can Do With It). Media consultant Holland Cooke pens a brief synopsis of some of the recent media usage research that’s been published recently and takes it a step further and offers some advice that station operators can use to put their best foot forward. Smart owners and programmers are not getting depressed about the changing media landscape; they are doing their best to adapt to how people are using media. Cooke offers some thoughts about working with that mindset. Read it here.
Sam Sorbo to Launch Daily Talk Show. Actress/author and True Feminist CEO Sam Sorbo is beginning a daily, three-hour talk show on Wednesday (3/26). A press statement says she’s being “tapped by America’s Talk Network, Inc. to host a new daily talk show that will be syndicated and exclusively represented by Talk Radio Network Enterprises.” The eponymous show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. CEO Mark Masters says Sorbo is “an ‘independent conservative,’ an accomplished entrepreneur, who has an uncanny ability to connect with the listeners on a visceral level.” Sorbo states, “I view it as a privilege to be behind the microphone…Ronald Reagan understood the power of humor, satire and good-natured ridicule in ways that created a massive ‘Big Tent of Voters.’ My goal is to follow that model in creating a ‘Big Tent of Listeners’ for ratings success for our stations.”
Houston Judge Allows KCOH Suit Back Before Court. The months-long dispute between former KCOH, Houston talk show host Michael Harris and South Houston Community Development Corp. president Jesse Dunn will return to the courts after being dismissed last month. Harris claims Dunn made false representations to induce Harris into obtaining personal lines of credit totaling $130,000 to finance radio station equipment and operations. Last month the case was dismissed but Harris’ lawyer Robert Collier argued he was unaware of the motion for summary judgment and didn’t have time to respond. The suit was reinstated on March 11 and, according to the Houston Chronicle, Collier will ask that the court put KCOH assets into receivership for accounting and control.
Eastlan Adding Three Markets. Tallahassee, Florida; Columbus, Georgia; and Hammond, Louisiana are the metros that the ratings company will begin surveying this spring. Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “As Eastlan rolls into our fifteenth year, we are grateful to the small and medium market radio leaders who have recognized the value in carefully scrutinizing their radio ratings/vendor relationship. We never imagined we would be fortunate enough to become the senior radio ratings provider in the United States.” Nielsen Audio is already measuring Tallahassee and Columbus; Hammond was an unrated metro. Roughly five months ago, Eastlan added 11 other markets in Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.
Chris Stigall and Taylor Swift Goofing in NYC. WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (right) takes what he calls the “ultimate selfie” with pop and country superstar Taylor Swift (left) at the 8th Annual Taste of Hope Wine Dinner to support City of Hope in New York City’s Tribeca on March 20. This event is just one of the fundraising projects City of Hope produces to help raised funds to cure — and ultimately prevent — cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.
Coast to Coast AM from Boise. Nationally syndicated late-night star George Noory (left) poses for a photo with KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) backstage at the Egyptian Theater in Boise during a visit to the city. The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Coast to Coast AM” personality was in town for a live show at the Egyptian Theater. Also pictured here is Noory Productions president Tom Danheiser (c).
HD Radio Cited in Growth of Broadcaster Traffic Consortium Revenue. The Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC), is a nationwide broadcasting network that distributes location-based data — including: local traffic, weather, and fuel prices via radio technology to navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems. The consortium reports that revenue for 2013 continued to grow and it anticipates more growth in 2014. The consortium was established in 2007 and since that time its total revenue compound annual growth rate is 50.8%. The addition of HD Radio technology for traffic data in 2011 comprises 20% of the BTC’s total revenue. Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth says, “Greater Media is now seeing a return on our investment in BTC. The transmission of traffic data via our HD signals allows us to be an integral part of the digital dashboard. We are pleased to see that revenue growth is exceeding our expectations.” Getting traffic data via HD Radio allows users to avoid eating up their allotted data on bandwidth-intense activities like traffic. The BTC says, “The smooth launch with auto manufacturers Honda and Mitsubishi last year has opened the door for additional automakers to realize the value of HD Radio Data real-time traffic.” The founding members of the BTC include: Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio, Inc.; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications Corp.; Greater Media; NPR and Radio One.