Tag: "Pineapple Street Media"
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.
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+).
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+).
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.
Honolulu Morning Mainstay Rick Hamada Guests on this Week’s Harrison Podcast. Longtime, KHVH 830 AM, Honolulu morning host Rick Hamada is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Hamada and Harrison discuss the view of life – nationally and locally – seen from the perspective of an iHeartMedia-owned conservative news/talker in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They discuss the North Korea crisis, immigration reform, race relations and a number indigenous topics impacting the lives of those who call the 50th state home. Harrison says, “I met Rick Hamada at the recent FAIR ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ immigration reform radio row in Washington, DC and was a guest on his show. I was taken by his gentlemanly manner and articulate insights into the worldview from the United States of America’s most westerly outpost and knew right there I’d have to invite him on this podcast. I’m glad I did. This is a real cool conversation.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI. While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling to make digital dollars and traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for their station and brand. The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media, into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms. Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight. The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain. To read all about TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s story covering this phenomenal success, please click here.
Davis Deal Keeps Him at iHM for Four More Years. On the heels of celebrating his 25th anniversary with the company, Darren Davis agrees to a four-year contract extension as president of iHeartMedia Networks Group. “We are pleased that Darren will continue to lead the integration of our Networks group that enables iHeartMedia to harness the unparalleled power, reach, and scale of our digital and broadcast platforms,” notes iHeartMedia chairman and chief executive officer Bob Pittman. “His 25 years of experience working in every facet of iHeartMedia means he has a unique understanding of every aspect of our company, from our broadcast radio stations and iHeartRadio to our sales teams and partnerships, and how they can all work together to best serve our consumers, partners, affiliates, and advertisers.” Davis, who was appointed to his current position three years ago, comments that he is always “amazed by iHeartMedia’s evolution, which is built on broadcast radio and now provides one-of-a-kind programming and opportunities to connect our advertising partners across our unparalleled range of multiple platforms in ways that no other company can.” Davis continues as president of iHeartRadio’s live-streaming and podcasting and oversees integration of the company’s multi-platform assets. He started at iHeartMedia Washington, DC in 1992 as an intern at WASH-FM (then owned by Evergreen), where he graduated to program director of the heritage adult contemporary outlet. The George Washington University alum later advanced to regional vice president of programming for the company’s Chicago and Detroit operations and to senior vice president of programming and executive vice president/general manager of national programming.
CBS Radio Second-Quarter Revenue Down 2.2%. While Q2 revenue for parent CBS Corp. rose 9% year-to-year to a record $3.26 billion from $2.98 billion in 2016, radio division revenue was reported at $306 million, down from $313 million (-2.2%) in 2016. Conversely, that figure is up from $250 million in 2017’s first-quarter. A noncash charge of $365 million for discontinued operations resulted from reducing the carrying value of CBS Radio to the level of the stock valuation of Entercom as it prepares to merge with Entercom in the second half of this year. In terms of CBS Corp. earnings, CBS Radio is classified as “held for sale,” adjusted each quarter based on Entercom’s stock price until that deal is finalized. CBS Radio recorded a $7 million restructuring charge tied with reorganizing some of its business operations, including severance costs and fees from ending some contractual obligations. According to CBS chairman and chief executive officer Les Moonves, “We continue to have more and more success as the landscape continues to change. Revenue was up 9% with top line growth in every one of our four business segments and EPS was up 12% to $1.04, representing our 30th consecutive quarter of EPS growth. Both of these totals were second quarter records for us. Our base advertising business is strong and growing, and at the same time, we’re laying new groundwork to ensure even more growth ahead. We are not only capitalizing on the changes in our industry, we are shaping the direction of these changes.” Local media revenue, which includes the company’s owned and operated television stations and CBS Local Digital Media, was $412 million, up 4% from $396 million last year.
PPM Data – Round One. Information for the July 2017 ratings period has been released for 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 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. See the data from these 12-PPM markets here.
Frandsen, Hoffar to Host “KNBR Tonight.” Bay Area natives Kevin Frandsen and Drew Hoffar are the two on-air talents selected for “KNBR Tonight” on Cumulus Media San Francisco sports talk KNBR “The Sports Leader.” The 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm program debuts next Monday (8/14). KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe opines, “Drew and Kevin are primed to make a huge impact in their new roles. Their work ethic is unmatched and both are committed to the smallest of details that will generate a great listener experience. They are relatable to the common fan, yet they each possess a vast knowledge of the overall sports landscape. I applaud Cumulus San Francisco for putting them in a position to shine.” A San Jose State University grad, Frandsen was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2004 and played for the team from 2006 – 2009, before joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2010), Philadelphia Phillies (2012 – 2013) and Washington Nationals (2014) before ending his 10-year MLB career with the Giants in 2015. He has filled in regularly on KNBR the past two years and remarks, “In my time as a major leaguer, I prided myself on performing in several roles as a utility player. Since arriving at KNBR. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the format’s most established personalities across a variety of timeslots. This evening post is a chance to advance my relationship with one of the best young talents in radio, connect with the best sports fans in the country, and move the KNBR brand forward into the digital age.” Hoffar grew up in San Leandro and has over 12 years of hosting experience and most recently served as lead host on KNBR morning show “The Audible,” alongside Frandsen. Hoffar previously held anchor and host positions at KGMZ, San Francisco and KHTK, Sacramento. “I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to reach so many diehard Bay Area sports fans on a nightly basis,” he states. “Hosting evenings on KNBR carries a responsibility to serve fans the quality content they deserve as the daily news cycle hits a close. Kevin and I will provide a unique perspective on the games and will look to entertain/inform listeners every time we open the mics.” The station’s revised weekday on-air lineup is comprised of “The Show Hour with Patrick Connor” (5:00 am – 6:00 am); “Murph & Mac” (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Gary Radnich & Larry Krueger (10:00 am – 1:00 pm); “Fitz & Brooks” (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “Tolbert & Lund” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “KNBR Tonight with Drew Hoffar & Kevin Frandsen” (7:00 pm -10:00 pm); and CBS Sports Radio (10:00 pm – 5:00 am).
NPR Adds Bennett As Fourth White House Reporter. After serving as an NPR congressional reporter the past five months, Geoff Bennett is named White House reporter. In addition to Bennett, NPR’s team covering the White House now includes national political correspondent Mara Liasson, and White House correspondents Scott Horsley and Tamara Keith. NPR senior Washington editor Beth Donovan comments, “Just a few months into his return to NPR, Geoff has demonstrated the substantive reach, solid sourcing, and fluidity in stories. Those of us lucky enough to work alongside Geoff know he has done it with the grace and good humor we so need.” Before becoming a Washington reporter with NY1 News, Bennett spent almost six years at NPR as “Weekend Edition” editor.
McDonald Podcast Added to iHeartRadio. Two-time Emmy winner Rushion McDonald is making his “Money Making Conversations” podcast available on iHeartRadio. “I have known Rushion McDonald for over a decade and we have worked together on many projects,” states Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. “I can honestly say he is one of the great creative business minds of our time. He has the uncanny ability to understand and solve the marketing needs of clients with innovative solutions involving talent, media, and events.” McDonald comments that he is “excited to share” his “Money Making Conversations” podcast “across iHeartRadio’s vast number of device platforms. Being available on iHeartRadio will allow me to help even more people reach their dreams through my meaningful discussions with celebrity friends and small business leaders.” Among others, guests thus far on McDonald’s podcast have included Cedric The Entertainer, Patti LaBelle, Carl Lewis, Roland Martin, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Sherri Shepherd, Rickey Smiley, Stephen A. Smith, Michelle Williams, and Charlie Wilson.
Salem Q2 Revenue Declines. Consolidated second-quarter total revenue for Salem Media Group decreased 2.5% year-to-year to $66.1 million. Net income was down from $3.4 million to $1.3 million and net broadcast revenue fell 1.4% to $49.3 million. Meanwhile, digital media revenue was off 1.6% to $10.9 million. Publishing revenue dipped 11.3% to $6 million. Salem Media Group is projecting third quarter total revenue to be off by 6% to 8% year-to-year, owing to lack of political revenue; reduced book release schedule; elimination of four loss-making magazines; and a continued soft Dallas market.
Texas Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Inductees. There are 16 new members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. In alphabetical order, they include: Nick Alexander (Dallas/Fort Worth); Mark Carrillo (San Antonio); Ed Chandler (Marble Falls); R.W. “Catfish” Crouch (Houston); Bill Davis (Tyler); Roger W. Garrett (College Station); Bill Harrison & Dana Adams; Bill Ingram (Houston); Tempie Lindsey (Dallas/Fort Worth); Bobby Lopez (San Antonio); Sam Malone (Houston); John McCarty (Dallas/Fort Worth); Chrissie Murnin (San Antonio); Denise Partridge (Houston); and Mark Watkins (Dallas/Fort Worth). The class of 2017 will be honored in three months (11/4) at the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore.
Comcast Advertising Execs to Headline Radio Breakfast. Members of Comcast Cable’s marketing team, including senior vice president of media strategy & sciences Kavita Vazirani, will participate in a discussion moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber regarding the company’s relationship with radio. According to Farber, “Radio drives behavior, and Comcast Cable is a prime example of a top advertiser using radio as a method of communication to new and existing customers about new products and services. We look forward to welcoming Kavita Vazirani and her marketing team in Austin at the Radio Show to discuss radio’s role in their advertising mix.” The event will be held (Thursday) September 7 (7:30 am – 9:00 am) at Austin’s JW Marriott. The Radio Show is produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the RAB.
WNYC Studios Adds Bharara Podcast. “Stay Tuned with Preet,” a podcast hosted by former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York Preet Bharara, has been picked up for distribution by WNYC Studios. The podcast – described by WNYC as being a series about justice and fairness – is produced by his brother Vinit Bharara’s media firm Some Spider Studios and Pineapple Street Media. According to New York Public Radio president and chief executive officer Laura Walker, “WNYC Studios is honored to add Preet Bharara’s compelling and timely podcast to our lineup. We have built our portfolio around distinct personalities; ‘Stay Tuned with Preet’ promises to bring podcast audiences and people interested in our political and legal culture something new, relevant, and utterly engaging.” Vinit Bharara adds, “I am really looking forward to Preet launching his podcast and sharing with the world his unique insights about justice and fairness – especially at a time when those two issues are at stake.” Initially asked to stay on board by the administration, Preet Bharara was fired by President Trump in March.
TALKERS News Notes. Hosted by NPR international correspondent Gregory Warner, “Rough Translation” is a new podcast about how topics that are discussed in America are handled in other countries. Debuting next Monday (8/14), “Rough Translation” will release new episodes weekly. Correspondents from NPR bureaus worldwide will contribute stories to the podcast, a product of NPR StoryLab ….. As first reported by the Rochester Post-Bulletin, Rich Peterson last Friday (8/4) closed out his 43-year radio career and 18 years as host of Townsquare Media Rochester, Minnesota news/talk KROC’s “Good Morning” show. In addition to two separate KROC “AM 1340” stints, Peterson worked at Omaha news/talk KFAB. Taking over the KROC morning slot are “This Morning with Gordon Deal” and Salem’s Mike Gallagher.
KDAY Back as Raiders’ Los Angeles FM Affiliate. Syndicated via Compass Media Networks and originating from Entercom San Francisco’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” Oakland Raiders football broadcasts will be carried in Los Angeles on Meruelo Media’s KDAY “Back in the Day Hits.” KDAY program director Adrian Scott declares that, “KDAY is the perfect [radio] home for the Raiders in Los Angeles. Hip-hop fans are the most passionate Raiders’ fans in Southern California and we are thrilled to continue to be the exclusive FM radio station delivering the Oakland Raiders.” The Raiders’ radio team consists of Greg Papa and former Raiders quarterback (1960 – 1966) and head coach (1979 – 1987) Tom Flores. The NFL franchise played in Los Angeles for 12 years (1982 – 1994) and have committed to move to Las Vegas upon completion of a stadium projected for the 2020 season.
O’Brien, Smith Added to WJXA Morning Mix. In two weeks (8/21), Midwest Communications Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” will debut a morning show featuring Brandon O’Brien and Ricki Smith. O’Brien most recently was the afternoon talent at Sinclair Telecable Norfolk country outlet WUSH “US-106.1,” while Smith arrives from Hubbard St. Louis adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” where he was morning co-host. They will join producer/co-host Clint Redwine and succeed Kim Leslie, who exited after 10 years to develop a non-profit organization. Meanwhile, former “Mix” morning co-host Anna Marie is segueing to nights. Vice president and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon states, “When you find the talent you feel will help add exciting new chapters to the storied history of ‘Mix,” you only have one choice – hire them. I can’t wait to hear this [morning] show come together. Anna has been the heart and soul of ‘Mix’ for a long, long time. I am delighted we can apply her special talents to the evening show where she can fully expand on her unique ability to connect with listeners.” Operations manager Barbara Bridges comments, “I am so excited to add Brandon and Ricki to the morning show. These two individuals have a ton of talent. This combination with Clint will elevate an already successful morning show to the next level – we are thrilled this all came together. Anna has a 20-year track record of success with our female audience; our fans absolutely love her. The warmth and connection she will bring to a special nighttime show will be amazing. I can’t wait to hear what we can do when Anna gets rolling.” O’Brien remarks, “Not only do I live in the greatest city in the world, I will also have an opportunity to be a huge part of the Nashville community and work alongside some amazing and talented folks.” Smith notes, “A personality looks for nothing more than what happens every day with this incredible team of talented people in Nashville. I am totally pumped about being able to contribute to the station’s continued success.” Anna Marie adds, “I love my listeners and this move gives me the opportunity to get closer to them. We have had a wonderful 20-year relationship so far – now we get a new time and space to get together.” July 2017 results will be released on Thursday (8/10), but among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM report, “Mix” finishes in fifth-place (6.8, 6+), one full-share behind the pacesetter, iHeartMedia classic rocker WNRQ (7.8, 6+).
TKRN Taps Thomas for Affiliate Relations. Former program director and brand manager of Entercom Charlotte hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link” Darla Thomas joins the affiliate relations department of the Tom Kent Radio Network (TKRN), representing adult contemporary and hot AC products. TKRN senior vice president of affiliations Ed Douglas comments, “Having a pro of the stature of Darla Thomas join our affiliate team is a dream come true. She understands the adult contemporary world and she values the commitment Tom Kent has made to making great radio.” Thomas notes, “I have known Tom for years and I am so impressed by the network he has built across the country. When Ed asked me to join the team, I just couldn’t resist the chance to help build the TKRN brand and make it even bigger. I am excited to get started.” Thomas’ previous programming credits include iHeartMedia Charlotte adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake,” and five years as operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group Tucson, after programming that company’s Omaha hot AC KSRZ “Star 104.5.”
Charlotte’s “Block” Inks Dutchess. One of the stars of the VH1 series “Black Ink Crew” – Dutchess – is added to the on-air lineup of Radio One Charlotte urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block.” The Charlotte native and cum laude graduate of North Carolina A&T State University will handle Sunday 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm duty. Radio One Charlotte vice president and general manager Doug James states, “Dutchess is an exceptional artist and media personality. We are very excited that she is bringing her talents to our fantastic lineup.” Radio One Charlotte program director Mary K. notes, “I am thrilled to have Dutchess join [our] team. She has great energy, a contagious spirit, generous heart, and immeasurable talents.” Splitting time between North Carolina and New York, Dutchess opened a tattoo shop, Pretty in Ink, in Charlotte.
Sanderson, Ramsey Headed to WNFN for Middays, Nights. Arriving from iHeartMedia Nashville CHR WRVW “107.5 The River,” where she was assistant digital PD and part-time on-air talent, Kage Sanderson crosses the street to Midwest Communications’ similarly-programmed WNFN “i106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” for midday duty, as well as being the station’s social media coordinator. In addition, JR Ramsey from Townsquare Media Portland, Maine CHR WJBQ “Q-97.7” joins “i106.7” to handle nights. Sanderson comments that she is “stoked for this new role at WNFN. Doing radio in Nashville – an electric city that I truly love – is unbelievable. I can’t wait to connect with our listeners and be part of this fantastic growing station.” Ramsey notes, “I can’t express how excited I am to be making this big move to Nashville. I am really looking forward to cracking the mic and entertaining the city.” He and Sanderson begin their new assignments in roughly two weeks (8/21). Meanwhile, WNFN assistant program director/music director/9:00 am – 2:00 pm personality “Butter” adds on-air duties at co-owned adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” and will be videographer for WNFN; “Mix”; and co-owned adult hits WCJK “Jack-FM.”
Now Appearing – Harry Connick Jr. Currently promoting his television show “Harry,” Harry Connick Jr. stopped by iHeartMedia Milwaukee CHR WRNW “97.3 Now” prior to his guest appearance at the Wisconsin State Fair. Pictured left to right are “Now” morning show personalities Rahny Taylor and Binky Lee, Connick, and morning show producer “Dave.”
Cumulus Media Des Moines Tickets Taylor as Operations Manager. Six-year Townsquare Media St. Cloud, Minnesota operations manager Chad Taylor transitions to Cumulus Media Des Moines for similar duties at its five-station cluster. In addition to his OM duties, Taylor will host afternoon drive on country KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon.” Cumulus Media Des Moines vice president and market manager Craig Hodgson comments, “Chad is a highly-regarded operations manager, program director, and on-air talent. He is as active and community involved as they come. We will enjoy having him on our team and look forward to achieving great things together.” Taylor notes, “My wife was born and raised in Altoona. She is set to enjoy all things Iowa again and has already purchased a family pass to Adventureland. I’m beyond excited to work alongside the talented team at Cumulus Des Moines.” Prior to working in St. Cloud, Taylor was operations manager/program director for Community First Broadcasting’s three Iowa Great Lakes-area stations. The Cumulus Media Des Moines cluster consists of KBGG “1700 AM News-Talk-Sports”; KGGO “Classic Rock That Rocks”; KHKI “97.3 Nash FM”; KJJY “92.5 Nash Icon”; and KWQW “98.3 The Vibe Classic Hip-Hop.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Scheduled to perform at CBS Radio Los Angeles adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack’s 12th Show” October 7 at Irvine’s Fivepoint Amphitheater are 311, Cypress Hill, Gin Blossoms, Eve 6, Lit, and The Offspring. Proceeds will benefit Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) ….. Approximately 17% ($50,000) of the $294,091 Entercom Greenville, South Carolina helped raise during the Children’s Miracle Network radiothon was given by a father whose son was killed by a drunk driver ….. After hiring Tom Ferguson (“Ferg”) for afternoon drive duties, Entercom Wilkes Barre-Scranton classic rock WMQX “Max 102.3” operations manager Michael O’Donnell comments, “He is a born and raised Northeast Pennsylvania guy who knows his audience. He has a natural ability to relate to them and will raise the roof on PM drive.” Ferguson formerly worked at crosstown Times-Shamrock alternative WFUZ “Alt 92.1” ….. The former music director of Townsquare Media Flint, Michigan rhythmic CHR WRCL “Club 93.7” Art “Artemis” Smith remains in the Great Lake State as he joins Midwest Communications mainstream CHR WLMI “i-92.9,” Lansing today (Tuesday, 8/8) as brand manager. Midwest Communications vice president of programming Jeff McCarthy remarks, “We are excited to have Art lead our team. He has demonstrated a solid work ethic and strong working knowledge of the contemporary hit format.” Prior to working at WRCL, Smith was promotions director and night talent at WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan ….. While a replacement hasn’t been named yet to succeed her, afternoon drive personality Nikki Reid (also known as Erika Kay) departs iHeartMedia Tulsa CHR KTBT “92.1 The Beat.” Reid/Kay joined “The Beat” in March 2016 from WNDV “U-93,” South Bend (Indiana) ….. Following an extended medical leave, former WSLC “Star Country 94.9” midday talent Robynn Jaymes returns to the Mel Wheeler-owned Roanoke, Virginia station for weekend/swing duty. Taking to Facebook, she writes, “When illness took me off the radio, I wondered if I would ever [again] have the privilege to be on the air, sharing music and connecting with [the audience. Returning] this past Sunday [8/6] was a dream come true.” Jaymes has undergone surgery and multiple treatments since 2011, when she began battling pancreatitis ….. Meanwhile, 2013 Country Radio Hall of Fame inductee Don Carpenter returns to Springfield, Missouri, signing on with Midwest Family country outlet KOMG “100.5 The Bull” to host a classic country show. In the 1980s, Carpenter did morning drive in the Missouri market at CHR KWTO-FM before grabbing similar duties as “Dr. Don” at CBS Radio Detroit’s country-formatted WYCD. In two separate tenures, “Dr. Don” spent 18 years at WYCD; he has been off the air the past two years ….. WUSW “US-92.7,” Springfield, Illinois program director and morning co-host Kellie Michaels will leave the Mid-West Family Broadcasting country station in two weeks (8/21). She has been co-hosting “Brian & Kellie” with her husband Brian Pierce for 25 years. After 15 years at co-owned adult contemporary WNNS, they went to country KFDI, Wichita (2007 – 2015), before returning to Springfield at “US-92.7.” Pierce will continue as morning co-host with Troy Armstrong assuming the co-host role. Michaels remarks, “I wanted to step back and spend more time on other interests. I’ve had a great time with Brian doing mornings. I will certainly miss the fun he and I have had, but certainly won’t miss the early morning hours.”