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Friday, February 26, 2021

| February 26, 2021

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Feeding an Environment of Fear,” looks back at this past week of February 22-26, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, talk show host, WSBA, York, PA; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network / medical physician; Dr. Renee Kohanski, podcaster, Clinical Correlation, Medscape‘s MDEdge Psychcast / forensic psychiatrist; Rush Limbaugh, late talk radio icon; and Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, MD; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click 

      here
. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

iHeartMedia 2020 Q4 Revenue Down 8.8%; Full Year Revenue Declines 20%. Reporting its financial data for the fourth quarter and for the full year of 2020, iHeartMedia fares a little better than its two major competitors (based on the number of radio stations owned) Cumulus Media and Entercom Communications. Fourth quarter revenue was $935.5 million, a decline of 8.8% from the same period in 2019. For the full year, revenue was $2.9 billion, down 20% from the full year 2019. Although the company reports net income of $2.9 million in Q4 2020, that’s down 95% from the $62.1 million net income reported in Q4 of 2019. For the full year 2020, iHeartMedia reports a net loss of $1.9 billion. It reported net income of $11.2 billion in 2019. iHeartMedia says that strong sequential improvement is continuing since the height of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. It also reports that digital revenue increased 26% year-over-year, including a 91% increase in podcasting revenue. Company chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are pleased that the company continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 downturn – and it’s particularly rewarding to see the impressive performance from our areas of strategic investment, like podcasting, SmartAudio, digital, and Ad Tech. In addition, with our new reportable segments, we will be able to provide additional insights into both our largest segment and our fastest-growing segment, and help highlight the key metrics and impressive performance of each.” iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler adds, “Our swift response to the COVID pandemic and our diligent management of expenses throughout the year enabled us to successfully achieve approximately $250 million of savings in 2020. This cost management enhanced our operating leverage and helped us to achieve adjusted EBITDA of $265 million in the fourth quarter, which was an improvement of 64% over the third quarter. The continued sequential improvement of our revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow over the past three quarters has us well positioned for continued recovery into 2021, and our commitment to make the majority of the $200 million of COVID-19 related savings permanent will further enhance the company’s operating leverage as revenue recovers.”

iHeartMedia Unveils New Business Operating Structure. Saying that this new structure reflects the “increasing size and importance” of its digital businesses, iHeartMedia announces that its two divisions – the Digital Audio Group and the Multiplatform Group – will publicly report their financial data separately and will have dedicated management. The iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group includes the iHeartRadio digital service and its podcasting business while the iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group includes its broadcast radio assets. The company says that as of the fourth quarter of 2020, the Digital Audio Group encompassed almost 20% of the company’s consolidated revenue and 23% of its earnings, and during that quarter grew revenue by 53% year-over-year and Adjusted EBITDA by 74% year-over-year. The company expects the Digital Audio Group will continue to grow as an increasing proportion of its business in the future. It adds that separate reporting of these two operating segments will provide “improved visibility into the underlying performances, results and margin profiles of these distinct audio-driven businesses.” Here’s how it breaks down: The iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group includes the podcasting business; the iHeartRadio digital service; the company’s digital sites, newsletters, digital services and programs; and its digital advertising technology companies, including Jelli, RadioJarUnified and Voxnest, and will also include the recently-announced Triton Digital upon completion of the acquisition. Leading the division will be Conal Byrne as CEO and Darren Davis as COO, with Carter Brokaw serving as the president of digital revenue and Jessica Jerrick as EVP of digital distribution and platform partnerships. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group – representing almost 75% of the company’s revenue – includes the 860-plus radio stations in 160 markets; the company’s live and virtual events business; and its national sales organization (which will use iHeartMedia’s full array of products, from broadcast radio and events to its SmartAudio suite of data targeting and attribution products, which allows informed digital-like planning against targeted audiences with the benefit of broadcast scale and impact, as well as using all of the products from the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group). Premiere Networks, which includes the Total Traffic and Weather Network; and BIN: Black Information Network, will also join this group. Leading the iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group will be Greg Ashlock as CEO and Tim Castelli as chief revenue officer.  Julie Talbott joins this group as president of Premiere Networks; Hartley Adkins becomes president of the Markets Group; Jeff Howard remains president of national sales and Tony Coles as president of BIN: Black Information Network. Bob Pittman says, “These new reportable segments will enable us to strengthen the mission and tighten the focus of both the iHeart Digital Audio Group and the iHeart Multiplatform Group, while accelerating our ability to deliver industry-leading products and services to our listeners and advertising partners across all of our platforms. Creating these two business reportable segments will allow us to provide the investment community with increased visibility into the financial results of each segment – enabling them to better appreciate the strong growth and success of our digital businesses, including our industry-leading podcast business, as well as the continued strength of our broadcast radio and marquee events businesses.”

Entercom Announces New Programming Leadership Structure. This enhancement of Entercom’s programming leadership structure for its central programming team leaves Pat Paxton in his current position as chief programming officer. He says, “This enhanced leadership team will supplement our premium content offering throughout our portfolio and ensure we have the premier collection of personalities engaging deeply with our audiences nationwide. It will also allow us to best integrate the innovation of new products and content so we are continuously growing the impact and reach of our offering and super serving our 170 million listeners each month.” In this new structure EVP of programming Jeff Sottolano continues to manage Entercom’s sports, all-news, and news/talk brands. He is also being charged with growing Entercom’s content insights and analytics capabilities and overseeing its network and syndicated content development. Dave Richards joins the central programming leadership team as senior vice president of programming, rising from his SVP of programming of KISW, Seattle for the last 19 years and having developed programs like “The Men’s Room” and concepts like KISW’s annual “Live Day.” In his new role, Richards will be responsible for original content ideation, talent development, and coaching. He’ll spearhead Entercom’s efforts to support its expanding business portfolio, which includes RADIO.COM, Cadence13, and Pineapple Street Studios, through the generation of cross-platform content. Michael Martin continues to serve as SVP of programming and music initiatives and oversees Entercom’s relationships with artists, management, and record labels and lead its efforts to collaborate with the artist community on event, digital, and social opportunities. The company also announces the following members of its executive committee, who will collaborate to develop and oversee programming strategy across the company: Pat Paxton; Jeff Sottolano; Michael Martin; Dave Richards; Pam Russo, SVP and general manager, RADIO.COM; Bill Smee, VP of news; Matt Volk, VP of sports; Nikki Nite, VP of programming and brand manager, Entercom Austin; and Reggie Rouse, urban format captain, Entercom, and brand manager, Entercom Atlanta.

Round Three of January 2021 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. The January 2021 survey covered January 7 – February 3. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland jumps from the #6 rank to #3 on the strength of 1.4 share increase that helped it finish the January survey with a 6.2 share. Urban One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte tacks on 1.6 shares for a 6.6 share finish and a jump from #5 to #3. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFBK, Sacramento regains the #1 rank after adding 2.4 share to wrap the survey with a 10.2 share. In Salt Lake City, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KNRS-FM also claims the #1 rank after adding 1.9 shares to post a 7.9 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report for this round or markets (as well as his Takeaways from the first two rounds) here.

TALKERS News Notes. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM, Chicago is honoring the memory of former morning drive host Bob Collins, who would have been 79 on Sunday (2/28). Collins died in a small plane collision in 2000. On today’s Bob Sirott morning show, staffers WGN toasted Collins this morning (2/26) at 7:48 and, according to tradition, poured from the bottle of Jack Daniel’s found in Collins’s office. Also on the air with Sirott today were retired WGN morning host Spike O’Dell (who succeeded Collins) and retired agribusiness reporter Orion Samuelson.…..The nationally syndicated “Dan Bongino Show” hits the 100 affiliate station mark a year after its launch. Cumulus Media’s Westwood One says that – in addition to being heard on stations like KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KSFO-AM, San Francisco; and KSEV-AM, Houston – from the November election through February 22, the Dan Bongino Show podcast “boasted more than 51 million downloads on Apple, Spotify and other major platforms, rising 27% during that period.” Bongino says, “Growing up a fan of conservative talk radio makes this moment extra special for me. To be able to reach people across the country with a strong pro-liberty, pro-freedom message is the honor of a lifetime. Special thanks as well to the affiliates partnering with us in this venture.”…..A new sports radio imaging service called Game Plan is being offered to stations from SPLAT! and is syndicated by Sun Broadcast Group. SPLAT! says GAME PLAN is “a new kind of sports radio imaging service, designed specifically to sharpen the competitive edge of local stations, while simultaneously complementing the power of network sports brands. With GAME PLAN, a local station’s imaging sounds just as bold and powerful as their network imaging, maybe even better.”…..Entercom and Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates announce a multiyear radio broadcast contract extension for sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” to continue to serve as the Pirates’ flagship radio station. Under the terms of the new deal, all Pirates weekday afternoon games will air on “93.7 The Fan” and sister news/talk KDKA-AM/W261AX.

COVID-19 Stats, Vaccines and Variants Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 22-26, 2021. The falling number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the rollout of vaccines and the concern about variants creating another wave of cases combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of the U.S. economy tied with the education crisis. Following at #3 was the confirmation hearings for Joe Biden’s nominees for attorney general, interior secretary, and White House budget office, tied with Donald Trump’s planned speech at CPAC on Sunday. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

October 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Two

| October 28, 2020

October 2020 PPM Data. Information for the October 2020 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” for spoken-word formats from these 12 PPM-markets.

Noteworthy: The NFL season started September 10 – the first day of the October 2020 sweep.

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk

  • This time last month, Cumulus Media’s WMAL picked up one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0, 6+) yet slipped from second to third. Now, even though WMAL returns September’s +.1 (8.0 – 7.9, 6+), it nonetheless advances from third to a second-place tie. WMAL was on top four consecutive sweeps (April through July), before faltering by one-half share in August. April’s 0 marked the first time in WMAL’s PPM-history that it reached double-digits (6+).
  • For the 28th sweep in succession, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted.

Sports Talk

  • After being a combined +1.1 in July/August (1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) drops eight-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.1 – 1.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Its 4.8 (November 2019) is the highest 6+-stat by any D.C. sports talk outlet in the PPM-era.
  • For the fourth time in the last six reports, WJFK-FM’s internet stream logs a .3 (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3, May 2020 through October 2020, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths via three up or flat moves in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) but then down four-tenths through four successive sweeps without an increase (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7, Radio One’s WTEM “980 The Team” (Washington Football Team) ends the slide with a half-share increase to 1.2 and enters the top twenty (#22 to #20, 6+).
  • Following five straight reports of posting a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WSBN “630 AM The Sports Capitol” (Washington Football Team) gains one-tenth to .2 (#31 to #30, 6+).

 News

  • In addition to recording its third straight uptick for an impressive +2.6 (7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5 – 10.3, 6+) and setting the pace the third month in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM & WTLP-FM boasts its best 6+ stat (10.3) since January 2019 (10.4). Prior to taking the lead in August, “Washington’s Top News” spent three consecutive months occupying the runner-up slot.
  • Regaining the three-tenths it dropped this time last month (.7 – .4 – .7, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” advances from #26 to #22.
  • Unlisted in August and September, WDCH’s internet stream reappears with a .1 (#31, 6+).
  • For the second month in a row, Black Information Network affiliates WUST and WMZQ-HD2 do not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Answering September’s loss of nine-tenths with an October gain of one-half share (6.4 – 6.9, 6+), American University-owned WAMU repeats in fourth-place. “The Mind Is Our Medium” was +.6 in August. Entering the August sweep, WAMU was an overall -2.1 via four straight down or flat trends (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+). It was in a first-place tie with Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM in February and took sole possession of the lead in March.

BOSTON

 News/Talk

  • Bettering September’s +1.0 with an October +1.1, iHeartMedia-owned WRKO zooms from eighth to fifth and reaches the six-share threshold (3.9 – 4.9 – 6.0, 6+). Four setbacks in a row by “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” immediately prior led to a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+).
  • After losing a total of seven-tenths in four straight declines (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” halts the skid with a one-tenth gain to .5 (flat at #26, 6+). WXKS-AM nearly doubled (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in April/May (.6 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • In addition to logging its fourth straight uptick for an overall +2.9 (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.8, sixth to fourth 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (Celtics, Bruins, Patriots) has its highest 6+-stat (6.8) since May 2019 (7.0).
  • Up a modest three-tenths via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM (Red Sox) nonetheless backslides from #12 to a tie at #13. Before gaining one-tenth in July, WEEI-FM was an overall -1.7 in four consecutive downturns (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Conversely, WEEI-FM’s internet stream is down or flat the fourth time in a row for a net loss of one-tenth (.2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1, #32 to #31, 6+).
  • Providence sibling WVEI notches a .1 (6+) the fifth consecutive report and is tied with WEEI-FM’s internet stream at #31.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WEEI-AM is unlisted.

News

  • Within 6.1 – 6.7 range in six of the last seven reports (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM erupts with a +1.1 to cross the seven-share level (7.2, 6+). Moreover, “News Radio 1030” marches from fifth to a first-place tie. WBZ-AM was off one-half share in April/May (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+).
  • Having posted a .1 (6+) four straight months, Beasley Media Group business news WRCA “Bloomberg Boston” added one-tenth this time last month to .2 (6+), but regresses to .1 (flat at #31, 6+).
  • This is the second month in a row that Black Information Network affiliate WJMN-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • While it is up three-tenths through three straight up or flat moves (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Boston University’s WBUR remains at #9.
  • By posting a +1.0 to 3.3 (6+), WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH pulls the plug on four decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.3 (4.6 – 3.2 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+) and vaults from #16 to #11. The just-concluded negative streak followed three straight improvements that netted a +1.7 (2.9 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+), 6+).
  • Co-owned WCAI is unlisted the fifth time in a row.

MIAMI

News/Talk

  • Without a loss the fourth consecutive month for a net gain of nine-tenths (7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WIOD “News Radio 610 Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” leaps from #20 to #16.

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WQAM “560 The Joe” (Panthers, Dolphins) nets four-tenths in three straight up or flat reports (.6 – .7 – .7 – 1.0, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM last reached a one-share in May (1.0, as well).
  • While flat at #30, iHeartMedia’s WINZ “940 AM Miami’s Sports Station” (Marlins) is up two-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (.1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+).
  • Disappearing from print is Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (Heat), which doubled August’s .2 (6+) to .4 (#29 to #27, 6+) this time last month. The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the NBA title (10/11) by besting the Heat in a series that went six games.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WKIS-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • A combined +.6 in August/September (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Dade County School Board’s WLRN forfeits eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). WLRN previously lost an overall six-tenths in four consecutive slips (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+).

SEATTLE

News/Talk

  • Without an increase the past four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM (Seahawks) erases 75% of that shortfall with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+) and advances from second to first. “Seattle’s News/Seattle’s Talk” was on top six successive sweeps before segueing to the runner-up slot this time last month. .
  • Not only does cluster-mate KTTH continue an alternating down/up sequence that includes October’s robust +1.1 enabling it to cross the three-share level (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.6, June 2020 through October 2020, 6+), “Conservative Talk Radio” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Entering the September sweep, KTTH was anchored at #19 the previous four
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” ceased subscribing to Nielsen’s PPM after the March 2020 survey in which it posted a 1.1 (#22, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • Rebounding from a loss of three-tenths this time last month with an October improvement of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.9, 6+), Bonneville’s KIRO-AM (Mariners, Seahawks) advances from #20 to #17. “ESPN 710” was a combined +1.0 in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Adding one-half share to September’s increase of two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” repeats at #24.
  • This the 11th time in a row that co-owned KFNQ “1090 AM” hasn’t logged an increase for a net loss of three-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, #29, 6+).

News

  • Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO repeats September’s average quarter hour share and market rank (5.0, #5, 6+). It dropped one-half share in April and again in May (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+); gained one-half share in June/July (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+); forfeited one-half share in August (4.9 – 4.4, 6+); and posted a September +.6.
  • After logging a .1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KHHO is unlisted the fourth month in a row.
  • Hubbard Broadcasting business news KKNW does not appear in print the fifth consecutive report.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Duplicating September’s increase of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW bumps up from fourth to third. The last time it reached the six-share level was December 2019 (6.1). KUOW was off nine-tenths in April/May (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.6, 6+) and gained eight-tenths in June/July (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).
  • Following four straight months of logging a .1 (6+), Washington State University-owned KSWS is unlisted the second time in a row.

DETROIT

 News/Talk

  • Three consecutive positive spikes by Cumulus Media’s WJR (Lions) account for a +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+) as “News Talk 760” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This (4.7) is its best 6+-showing since April’s 4.8. WJR was +3.2 through four successive improvements (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 4.8, 6+), but then a collective -1.4 via three straight sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings) was +1.7 in July/August (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+); -.6 (5.3 – 4.7, September, 6+); and now +.5 in October (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to fourth, 6+). Its half-share July gain curtailed three straight drops that accounted for a -1.2 (4.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths (.1 – .5, 6+), WXYT-FM’s internet stream climbs from #26 to #23.
  • Cluster-mate WXYT-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (May 2020 through October 2020, #23 to #24, 6+).

 News

  • With an October increase of three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” erases 30% of August/September’s -1.0 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+) to progress from tenth to eighth. WWJ previously was a collective +2.5 through four successive bumps (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+).
  • From May through August, WDFN recorded a .2 (6+), but the iHeartMedia outlet/Black Information Network affiliate is unlisted in September and October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Despite dropping one-tenth (3.0 – 2.9, 6+), Wayne State University-owned WDET advances from #18 to #16. Its September +1.0 expunged a collective -1.0 from four straight down or flat reports (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+).
  • Without a loss the past four months for a modest net increase of one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Michigan Public Media’s WUOM drops two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) but continues at #21. WUOM was off seven-tenths in April/May (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+).

PHOENIX

News/Talk

  • Stacking a robust +1.4 onto September’s gain of one-tenth, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” jumps from sixth to third and nearly reaches a six-share (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s -.7, KFYI practically doubled (+2.3) its 6+ AQH share in seven up or flat reports in succession (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).
  • Bonneville’s KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) falters by one-half share in back-to-back reports (4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entering the September sweep, KTAR-FM netted two-tenths via three straight up or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Off six-tenths in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (Arizona Diamondbacks) roars back with three straight spikes for a collective +1.3 (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.9, #20 to #15, 6+).
  • Co-owned KTAR-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .3 (#32 to #31, 6+).
  • For the sixth consecutive time, iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” (Coyotes) records a .2 (#31 to #32, 6+),
  • Likewise, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KDUS “Sports AM 1060” logs a .1 the sixth month in a row (#32 to #33, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Bouncing back from a September loss of nine-tenths with a one-tenth gain (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ moves from #15 to #13. In eight of nine previous survey periods, KJZZ notched a 6+ AQH share between 3.4 – 3.8 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+).

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk

  • A combined +1.2 in August/September (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO (Twins, Timberwolves) relinquishes 25% of that increase (5.2, -.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). “News Radio 830” was -1.3 in June/July (5.6 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+) and an overall +2.0 as a result of three straight up or flat trends (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+).
  • Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia’s KTLK result in a net gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, #14 to #13, 6+). Entering the August report, “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” recorded a fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) and then notched a +.4 to 3.0 (6+).
  • While remaining flat at #16, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is down six-tenths in September/October (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), directly after gaining a collective four-tenths in July/August (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • To say iHeartMedia’s KFXN (Wild, Vikings) has stormed back from September’s modest loss of three-tenths would be quite the understatement. “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” registers the largest (6+) September 2020 – October 2020 increase of any station from these 12 PPM markets (5.3 – 8.2, +2.9, 6+) and leaps from #7 all the way to #1. This is the first time “K-Fan” has been on top since January. Following a May increase of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.9, 6+), KFXN forfeited nine-tenths in June/July (5.9 – 5.6 – 5.0, 6+).
  • Having doubled (+.2) its 6+ AQH share through three straight up or flat trends (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-AM is off one-tenth to .3 (#24 to #29, 6+).

News

  • Unlisted in August, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KQQL-HD2 resurfaced in September with a .1 (#27, 6+) but does not appear in the October report.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW regains the one-tenth it lost this time last month and repeats in the runner-up slot. KNOW has a June 2020 through October 2020 topline of: 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 7.2 (6+).

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk

  • By gaining four-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” applies the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a net loss of -2.2 (6.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+). Entering the May sweep, KOGO was a collective +2.8 via three straight bumps (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.5 – 6.6, 6+).
  • Co-owned KGB-AM (formerly Tegna’s KFMB-AM) repeats September’s 6+ AQH share and market rank (2.2, #18, 6+). This is the third time in the last five sweeps “AM 760” has notched a 2.2 (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).
  • Los Angeles sibling KFI “AM 640,” which was off four-tenths this time last month, recaptures one-tenth (2.0 – 2.1, 6+) and one ranker (#20 to #19).

Sports Talk

  • An overall +1.8 through five consecutive reports without a loss (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (Padres) falters by two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), but repeats at #14.
  • This marks the fourth consecutive time that iHeartMedia-owned KLSD (Chargers) has a fluctuation of one-tenth (.7 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” had lost eight-tenths in five straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+).

News

  • Co-owned Black Information Network affiliate KSSX-HD2 is unlisted the third successive sweep.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Recent fluctuations by KPBS include: -1.4 (8.5 – 7.1, May, 6+); -1.6 (7.1 – 5.5, June, 6+); +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, July, 6+); and now +1.3 in October (6.1 – 7.4, 6+), enabling the San Diego State University-owned facility to leap from third to first. KPBS was tied for the top spot in July and held sole possession of the lead in August.      

TAMPA

News/Talk

  • Winning ways continue for Cox Media Group-owned WHPT as five consecutive ratings periods without a loss yield “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” a +2.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.6 – 5.1, steady at #5, 6+).
  • Unlisted the second month in a row is WHPT’s internet stream, which was a combined +1.6 in July/August (.8 – 1.5 – 2.4, #19, 6+).
  • Despite being down two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA (Tampa Bay Lightning) inches up from #14 to #13. Prior to gaining six-tenths this time last month, “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” was down or flat the previous four sweeps for an overall -1.7 (4.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+). During this particular ratings period, The Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars four games to two to win the Stanley Cup (9/28).
  • After adding one-tenth this time last month (.1 – .2, 6+), co-owned WHNZ “1250 Tampa Bay’s Impact Radio” repeats September’s .2 (#30 to #29, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Steady at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE (Rays) is up four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+). This year’s World Series concluded last night (10/27), when the Dodgers beat the Rays in game six, 3 – 1. Prior to gaining six-tenths in August, “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” sputtered by seven-tenths through four drops in a row (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

News

  • As a result of five straight up or flat reports, Beasley Media Group business news WHFS has gained two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .3, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • This is the third time in succession that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WBTP-HD2 is unlisted.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Following a September gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, 6+), University of South Florida-owned WUSF forfeits one-half share to 3.2 (#12 to #15, 6+). In advance of the September report, WUSF was down or flat the previous five months for a -1.2 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Leading up to that, it was an overall +2.4 in eight consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 4.1, 6+).
  • WUSF’s internet stream has lost half (-.2) its 6+ AQH share in three straight down or flat moves (4 – .3 – .3 – .2, #27 to #29, 6+).

DENVER

News/Talk

  • Dropping from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia’s KDFD is off one-half share in September/October (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” improved by one-half share in July/August (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+).
  • Cluster-mate KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” (Broncos, Colorado Rockies) reclaims the two-tenths it squandered this time last month (2.1 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+) and repeats at #19.
  • Not only is co-owned KHOW up seven-tenths in five successive sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), “Talk Radio 630” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20).

Sports Talk

  • Practically doubling (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share via three straight upticks (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN (Nuggets) elevates from #17 to #11. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was -1.3 in June/July (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+).
  • Up one-half share in August/September (.3 – .5 – .8, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures-owned KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” (Colorado Avalanche) surrenders two-tenths to .6 (flat at #29, 6+).
  • Despite logging its fourth straight up or flat move for a modest gain of two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+), Bonneville’s KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600 AM” backslides from #31 to #32.
  • This is the fifth consecutive time that KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-AM records a .1 (#33 to #34, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Adding two-tenths to September’s +1.2 (5.5 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR repeats at #1. KCFR was +2.6 in March/April (5.2 – 6.3 – 7.8, 6+); -2.1 in May (7.8 – 5.7, 6+); and down three-tenths in July/August (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+).
  • Three straight reports without a loss by Community Radio for Northern Colorado’s KUNC yielded four-tenths (.6 – .6 – .8 – 1.0, 6+), but KUNC is off one-tenth in October to .9 (flat at #26, 6+).

BALTIMORE

News/Talk

  • Not only is independent WCBM an overall +2.6 via four consecutive positive spikes (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” jumps from sixth to third. WCBM was +1.8 via four straight increases (2.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), but then -.8 in May/June (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+).
  • Repeating September’s 4.3 (6+), Hearst Television-owned WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” nonetheless climbs from ninth to eighth. Its August increase of three-tenths interrupted three drops in a row that led to an overall -1.9 (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). That streak directly followed ten successive upticks that produced a +4.2 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 6.0, 6+).
  • Cumulus Media Washington, DC’s WMAL more than doubles (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in four successive up or flat moves (.4 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .9, #23 to #21, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Despite regressing by four-tenths to 3.5 (6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM (Orioles) reenters the top ten (#11 to #10). Baltimore’s version of “The Fan” spiraled by -1.0 in June, but was then +1.4 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.8 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).
  • Unlisted in August and September, co-owned WJZ-AM resurfaces with a .1 (#32, 6+).

 News

  • Business news sibling WDCH lost exactly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share through four straight decreases (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+); however, “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” suspends the skid with a gain of two-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #18). The just-ended negative streak followed five consecutive increases that accounted for a +1.3 (.5 – .6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).
  • M-10 Broadcasting-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WQLL “BIN 1370” doubled July’s .5 to 1.0 (August 2020, 6+); forfeited three-tenths in September (1.0 – .7, #18 to #23, 6+); and is now unlisted in October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Including October’s loss of one-tenth, Your Public Radio’s WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” continues an alternating down/up pattern (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.3, flat at #8, 6+).
  • Albeit off four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (1.0 – .9 – .6 – .6, 6+), American University-owned WAMU improves from #27 to #25.

ST. LOUIS

 News/Talk

  •  Down three-tenths this time last month (5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom’s KFTK rebounds with an October increase twice that magnitude (5.5, +.6, eighth to fifth, 6+). “FM News Talk 97.1” was a combined +1.1 in July/August (4.1 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+).
  • Three consecutive upticks by co-owned KMOX (Cardinals) accounted for a +2.0 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+), but “The Voice of St. Louis” relinquishes 75% of that windfall with a -1.5 to 5.2 (third to seventh, 6+). September’s 6.7 marked the first time KMOX reached a six-share (6+) since April (6.9). Directly after a +1.8 in March/April (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.9, 6+), KMOX was -2.2 in May/June (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.7, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 Sports” sputters by three-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). By picking up two-tenths in June, WXOS stymied four straight losses that accounted for a roughly 52% (-2.4) vaporization of its 6+ AQH share (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+).

 News

  • This is the third month in a row that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KATZ-HD2 is u

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Up one-half share in September/October (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), University of Missouri-owned KWMU progresses from #16 to #15.

Friday, August 7, 2020

| August 7, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM in Washington, DC.  This new episode titled “Each Passing Tik of the Clok!” looks back at this past week of August 3-7, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSMike Gallagher, talk show host, Salem Radio NetworkPat McCrory, talk show host, WBT, Charlotte / former Governor of North Carolina; Howard Monroe, talk show host / station owner, WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Levi Browde, executive director, Falun Dafa Information Center; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Salem Media Group Q2 Revenue Down 18.3%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2020, Salem Media Group says revenue for the quarter was $52.9 million, a decrease of 18.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Operating expenses decreased 9% during the quarter to $53.8 million from $59.1 million. After posting operating income of $5.6 million in Q2 of 2019, Salem reports an operating loss of $0.9 million. Breaking down the report by segment, net broadcast revenue decreased 19.6% to $39.5 million from $49.1 million; Station Operating Income (“SOI”) decreased 43.9% to $6.4 million from $11.4 million; and Same Station net broadcast revenue decreased 17.4% to $38.7 million from $46.9 million; and Same Station SOI decreased 43.9% to $6.5 million from $11.6 million. Salem’s digital media revenue decreased 5.2% to $9.4 million from $10.0 million; and digital media operating income decreased 22.6% to $1.8 million from $2.3 million. Publishing revenue was down 29.8% to $4 million from $5.6 million; and publishing operating loss increased to $1.6 million from $0.1 million.

Entercom’s Q2 2020 Revenue Decreases 54%. The second quarter 2020 financial report from Entercom reveals net revenue was $175.9 million, a decrease of 54% from the $380.7 million reported in Q2 of 2019. Spot revenue declined 65% on a year-over-year basis while digital revenue rose 19%. Entercom reports that reflecting its cost management initiatives implemented to address the pandemic and lower levels of advertising spending, station expenses for the quarter declined 32% to $188.9 million, compared to $277.9 million in the second quarter of 2019 while corporate expenses for the quarter declined 45% to $8.4 million, compared to $15.2 million in the second quarter of 2019. The company reported operating income of $64.8 million in Q2 of 2019, but this year reported an operating loss of $45.3 million (that included a non-cash impairment charge of $4.2 million). Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was a loss of $20 million, compared to income of $87.6 million in the second quarter of 2019. Entercom president and CEO David J. Field says, “While Entercom generated significant revenue and EBITDA growth prior to the pandemic, second quarter results reflect the impact of the national economic challenges that quickly emerged as many advertisers closed businesses and significantly reduced their ad spend. Given our national leadership position in sports, second quarter top-line results were also significantly impacted by the cancellation of virtually all scheduled sporting events during the quarter. Excluding the impact of cancelled sports play-by-play, second quarter revenues declined 47%. However, after bottoming out in April, we have achieved significant sequential improvement every month through the summer with third quarter business on books already 30% greater than where the second quarter finished. The pandemic challenges accelerated our on-going transformation initiatives with a heightened focus on enhancing our business model, accelerating our growth opportunities, more fully integrating our powerful product offerings, and improving our service to both listeners and customers. In this regard, we implemented a range of company-wide initiatives, which lowered second quarter total cash operating expense by approximately $97 million, which exceeded our budget. In addition, we secured our strong liquidity position through an amendment to our credit facility and ended the second quarter with $208 million of cash, up from $189 million at the end of March. Looking ahead, as the country’s #1 creator of original, premium audio content with robust data, analytics and attribution capabilities, scaled audience reach and a leadership position in virtually every segment of the dynamic and growing audio market, including broadcasting, podcasting, digital, events, network, sports and news, Entercom is strategically well-positioned for future growth and performance. Improving revenue trends combined with enhancements to our business model and active management of our balance sheet will enable Entercom to emerge as an even stronger company and build meaningful shareholder value. I want to thank our team for their resilience, dedication, and exceptional work as they have gone above and beyond to serve our listeners, advertisers and communities under the most challenging of circumstances over the past several months.”

Round Four of July PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s July 2020 survey period covered June 18 – July 15. You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Austin, Waterloo Media Group’s news/talk KLBJ-AM tacks on two-tenths for a 5.7 share and the #3 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WTKK-FM, Raleigh rises from the #6 rank to #3 after adding six-tenths and finishing the survey with a 6.8 share. Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis inches up one-tenth to a 7.5 share, good for the #4 rank. In Milwaukee, Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ holds steady at a 5.5 share but rises one spot to the #5 rank while iHeartMedia’s news/talk WISN dips four-tenths to a 6.8 share and the #4 rank. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville adds two-tenths to wrap the survey with a 4.8 share good for the #9 rank. In Jacksonville, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM continues in the #2 rank after dipping four-tenths and finishing with a 9.5 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

NAB’s Gordon Smith Averted Stroke. The report of NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s stroke yesterday (8/6) was premature, according to Smith himself. He issued a public statement that clarifies the original press release from the NAB and thanks people for the outpouring of support he’s received. He says, “Your prayers and kind words have meant the world to me and my family. I am delighted to tell you that after a very extensive MRI last night it was discovered that I did have a blood clot, but thanks to the quick medical intervention I received, an actual stroke was averted.”

Cumulus Media Announces New Employment Agreement with Exec Suzanne Grimes. A new employment agreement between Cumulus Media and Suzanne Grimes has been filed with the SEC. Grimes will continue to serve as executive vice president of corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One. The pact runs through December 2022 and includes provisions for automatic one-year extensions. Grimes’ base salary is $650,000 and she’s eligible for performance-based bonuses.

Shaffer Adds APD Duties at ‘104.5 The Zone’ in Nashville. WGFX-FM, Nashville
“104.5 The Zone” morning show producer Jonathan Shaffer adds assistant program director duties to his responsibilities. Cumulus Media says the 14-year Nashville radio pro will continue in his role as morning show producer for the sports talk station. Station PD Paul Mason says, “Jonathan has demonstrated that he is ready for this challenge. He’s earned this opportunity and I look forward to working with him as we move forward toward reaching our goals at ‘104.5 The Zone.’” Shaffer comments, “I am proud and honored to be part of such a talented, committed team at ‘104.5 The Zone’. I am very excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to contributing to The Zone’s continued success.”

iHeartMedia Names Tias Schuster SVP of Programming for West New York. Programming pro Tias Schuster moves from iHeartMedia’s Norfolk, Virginia operations where he was SVP of programming and PD for two of its music brands, to West New York to serve as SVP of programming for Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton. In this new role, Schuster will oversee more than 19 stations in the Rochester, Syracuse, and Binghamton markets. He’ll report to iHeartMedia West New York president Robert Morgan. Schuster says, “It is great to be back with my iHeartRadio family in Upstate New York. I’m honored to work alongside the legendary personalities and management in these markets! I want to give a special thanks to iHeartMedia for the opportunity.”

WIP, Philadelphia’s Howard Eskin ‘Walks to Tampa’ for Charity. Philadelphia sports media figure Howard Eskin is almost three-quarters of the way to Tampa (figuratively speaking) as he continues his PDQ Signature Systems-sponsored, two-month charitable effort. “Howard Walks to Tampa” has the “SportsRadio 94WIP” air personality walking the virtual 1,103-mile distance between the Philadelphia Eagles’ home base of Lincoln Financial Field and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, the location of Super Bowl LV, to raise money for fighting local hunger and animal welfare. Money raised from Eskin’s daily walks, which will run through September 13 prior to the start of the Eagles 2020 season, will benefit Philabundance, Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, and the Brandywine Valley SPCA, a nationally recognized leader in progressive and lifesaving initiatives in animal welfare. Eskin says, “It’s been a tough time in our country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without any games or practices to attend, I needed an escape. So, I started walking. It’s been great for my physical and mental health and raising money for two great charities like Philabundance and Brandywine Valley SPCA makes it even better.” To date, Eskin has walked 736 miles with only 367 miles to go before September 13 and has raised more than $10,000 for Philabundance and Brandywine Valley SPCA.

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a documentary about the rise and fall of former WFAN, New York sports talk personality Craig Carton set to be released on October 7 from HBO Sports and StreetSmartVideo titled, “Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth.” According to a story in the Rockland/Westchester Journal, the film will include Carton talking about his story in his own words. Carton was released early from his three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for fraud in June and is finishing his sentence in home confinement. HBO Sports VP Peter Nelson says, “Craig Carton’s radio persona gained him a public following, while his private struggles lost him everything one casino run at a time. Many knew Carton, but never knew his secrets, as we learn from Carton himself in this documentary about success, self-destruction, lies and blackjack.”…..According to a report in Dmagazine, a documentary film about the life and career of Dallas sports talk radio legend Mike Rhyner is being produced. Dallas media pro Crystal Vasquez – who met the now-retired KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas personality while filling in as a traffic reporter on Rhyner’s “The Hardline” program – is heading up the documentary project. Vasquez tells Dmagazine, “It’s not a documentary on ‘The Ticket.’ That’s his identity to a certain extent, but it’s a story about Mike’s life.”…..The “Bubba the Love Sponge” program adds a new affiliate station in 1TV.Com Inc.’s classic rock KBSZ-AM/K247CF, Apache Junction, Arizona “97.3 The Rattler.”…..Entercom’s all-news 1010 WINS, New York is inviting listeners to a wedding on Sunday! The station reports, “Ashley Isaacs, who works at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and her fiancé Israel Reches (both pictured at left) will reunite for the first time in months at their own wedding after spending time apart due to the pandemic and Reches’ health. As Isaacs was working to save patients with COVID-19 this past spring, Reches was battling stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, forcing the couple to separate. With Reches in remission just in time for the big day, the two are set to marry on Sunday, August 9 in a small backyard ceremony, and 1010 WINS listeners are ‘invited’ to the festivities. The station will be onsite the day of the wedding, airing audio of the ceremony on air and streaming it in its entirety via Facebook Live.”

WWJ News Radio 950 in Detroit Starts ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ Initiative. Detroit all-news WWJ “News Radio 950” unveils its two-part community programming initiative called “Breaking Down the Barriers” dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the city and its surrounding suburbs. The initiative includes two segments, “Voices of the Community” and “Black Business Minute,” both beginning August 10. “Voices of the Community” is hosted by WWJ traffic operations manager Lloyd Jackson and will profile community leaders, activists, and residents who are making a difference in their neighborhoods and throughout Detroit. “Black Business Minute” is hosted by WWJ city beat reporter Vickie Thomas and highlights local businesses in which Black business owners will discuss their companies, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are contributing to the success of Detroit. It will air five times daily each weekday. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “The diverse citizens of Detroit are an integral part of the fabric of this great city and we’re proud to use our platform to champion their stories. There are countless cases of business owners and leaders helping residents get through this crisis, and we look forward to employing this series as another way to shine the spotlight on them.”

95.5 WSB ‘Care-a-Thon’ Raises $1.5 Million for Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. This year’s 95.5 WSB Care-a-Thon two-day radio event was the 20th annual produced by the Cox Media Group news/talk station and helped raise more than $1.5 million for research and programs at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This year, due to COVID-19, Scott Slade, Clark Howard, Eric Von Haessler, Mark Arum, Erick Erickson, Brian Kilmeade and many other local radio personalities participated in the 95.5 WSB Care-a-Thon by interviewing patients and their families virtually via video and phone calls. The team encouraged listeners to donate and purchase one-of-a-kind experiences throughout the special radio broadcast. WSB director of branding and programming Drew Anderssen says, “Our entire team is so thankful for the phenomenal support we have received from our loyal listeners who continue to give to the Care-a-Thon, and all of our community service efforts at 95.5 WSB, year after year. This year’s fundraiser is one we’ll never forget because of the incredible financial strain coronavirus presented to our community of donors. I’m tremendously proud of the teams at 95.5 WSB and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for their work adapting this year’s effort to become ‘virtual’ as a result of the pandemic.”

The Presidential Race, Politics and the Vote-By-Mail Debate Top News/Talk Stories for Week of August 3-7. The November presidential election, politics, and the controversy over President Trump’s allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Tied at #2 this week was the interview with President Trump by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan and Deutsch Bank being subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General in a Trump Organization investigation. Coming in at #3 was the debate over opening schools, followed by health care, medications and the mask debate at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Beasley Media Group announces the cancellation of WKML-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina’s 2020 Stars & Guitars concert. Beasley VP/GM Kent Dunn says, “Thank you to our amazing sponsor and fans throughout the years for supporting Stars & Guitars event. These are unprecedented times. The safety of our community, staff, and country artists is our number one priority. As a result, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s event. We’ll be back bigger and better than ever in 2021!” To help fill in the gap, WKML-FM has hosted a series of special Stars & Guitars at Home social media concert experiences with some of the top artists in country music on the station’s website as well as entertained listeners with the station’s special Superstar Mini Concert series.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

| July 22, 2020

June 2020 Analysis: Cume & Coronavirus (Part 2). TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents part two of how cume (based on Nielsen Audio data from the June 2020 PPM survey) has been trending for radio stations during the COVID-19 pandemic with today’s focus on sports talk. Kinosian’s previous four analyses from the June 2020 survey have used weekly AQH share as the metric. Entercom’s WFAN, New York was the top-ranked sports talk station during the June PPM survey based on cume (547,700) with the company’s WIP, Philadelphia in second place (375,000). iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis rounds out the top three (350,500). In this report, see which sports talk stations gained cume and which lost it compared to the May 2020 PPM survey, plus more here.

WABC, New York Adds Weekend Programming. New York City news/talk “TALKRADIO 77 WABC announces it is adding three programs to its weekend schedule. The Red Apple Media-owned station adds “The Jeanine Pirro Show” – starring FOX News Channel personality Judge Jeanine Pirro – to the Sunday lineup airing from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik launches “Bernie Kerik, Behind The Badge” airing from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Saturdays (produced in conjunction with Lapcom Communications), and “The Walter Sterling Show” on Saturdays from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm. All three shows are being simulcast on WLIR-FM, Hampton Bays (Long Island). Station program director David LaBrozzi says, “New Yorkers want compelling content throughout the weekend and that’s what we’re going to deliver. Jeanine and Bernie are well-known to our audience and perceived as champions for New York. Walter’s syndicated show has done well in other markets and I’m delighted that he is doing a local New York show exclusively for WABC.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a story in the San Jose Mercury News, news radio pro Susan Leigh Taylor is retiring from her morning drive position at Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco on Friday (7/24), capping a 47-year radio career that includes more than 20 years at KCBS-AM. Taylor co-hosts the morning program with Stan Bunger…..iHeartMedia announces that it and Because – the vendor of direct-to-consumer personal care products for consumers 65-plus – have entered into multi-year, multi-million dollar strategic marketing partnership. iHeartMedia EVP of corporate development & ventures Peter Volynsky says, “We are proud to partner with a company that is dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults, offering a seamless way to access essential products and services that provide comfort, while also improving their quality of life. With our massive reach, iHeartMedia will help build awareness of these valuable personal care products and the convenience proposition that Because offers to millions of seniors and their families across the country.”…..This week’s Westwood One Blog shares podcast revenue data and forecasts for the segment. One source is the most recent podcast advertising revenue report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers. That report projects 2020 podcast revenues “will come in at 94% of last year’s prediction: The current 2020 podcast revenue forecast of $814M is only 6% less than what IAB/PwC predicted for 2020 last year at this time ($863M).” It also notes that “podcast ad revenues soared +48% from 2018 to 2019: The +48% rate of growth from 2018 to 2019 was nothing short of stunning. While the COVID-19 crisis has tempered 2020 growth rates, IAB/PwC still predicts a +15% lift in 2020 revenues.”…..Edison Research reports that its ongoing “Share of Ear” study finds that Americans’ digital device listening has crossed the 50% threshold during COVID-19 disruptions. Edison says that prior to the COVID-19 disruptions, “55% of the daily total share of time spent listening by those in the U.S. age 13 and older was done on traditional, more linear devices, and 45% was done on digital devices. During Q2 2020, 53% of the daily total share of time spent listening was on digital devices.” The “digital/on-demand” devices in the Share of Ear study include smartphones, computers, internet-connected televisions, and smart speakers. These are essentially the devices that Americans use to stream or listen to audio files on demand. The “traditional or non-linear devices” include AM/FM receivers, SiriusXM receivers, CD players, turntables, or TV channels like Music Choice.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Portland Unrest/Chicago Shootings, Trump’s Use of Federal Agents, GOP Relief Bill, Schools Opening Debate, Chinese Hackers Seeking Vaccine Data/Houston Consulate Ordered Closed, Ohio Bribery Scheme, Twitter’s QAnon Ban, and U.S. Sports Leagues Plan Seasons Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/21). The outbreak of COVID-19 cases in numerous states, projections for future cases, and President Trump’s first COVID-19 presser in three months; the civil unrest in Portland and the spate of shootings in Chicago; the controversy over Trump’s use of federal agents in Portland; the Republican-authored pandemic relief bill; the debate over opening schools in the fall; U.S. intelligence reports that Chinese hackers are trying to get U.S. vaccine data and the U.S.’s ordering of the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston; the alleged $60 million bribery and money laundering scheme involving Ohio’s House Speaker and three others; Twitter bans 7,000 QAnon-linked accounts; and U.S. pro sports leagues prepare to hold games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Atlanta, Entercom’s hip hop WVEE “V-103” moves afternoon drive personality Big Tigger to morning drive as host of “The Morning Culture with Big Tigger” and brings Kenny Burns back to the air staff for afternoon drive. Burns – an entrepreneur, producer, and author – hosted a program from 2011 through 2013. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “During his time with us at ‘V-103,’ I have seen Big Tigger take over Atlanta as a premier talent and generous community activist who is connected to the people. We believe he will bring his high energy and creativity to mornings at the station. Just as important, we see Kenny Burns bringing his added years of experience, industry work, and current show success to the station and we’re excited to welcome him back.”…..The internationally syndicated “Sunday Night Slow Jams” program adds Entercom’s CHR WEZB, New Orleans “B97” to its affiliate station roster…..iHeartMedia Phoenix adult contemporary KEZ, is planning “KEZ Christmas In July” this Saturday (7/25). Station PD Paul Kelley says, “In March, when we were first ordered to stay home, our worlds were turned upside down, but then KEZ played Christmas music on the weekends and our listeners responded positively. It’s July and it’s 110 degrees in Phoenix, and Johnny Mathis is on the radio – sounds pretty on track for 2020, doesn’t it?”…..Louisville public radio personality Duke Meyer is semi-retiring from Louisville Public Media’s alternative WFPK. Meyer, who’s been with the station since 2002, will continue to host the Saturday classic rock program, “Relics.”

Thursday, July 16, 2020

| July 16, 2020

Newsmax TV Shows Impressive Audience Gains. The Newsmax TV service has been rolling out new programming and has seen ratings triple over the last six months, becoming one of if not the fastest-growing cable news channel in the U.S. In a piece published by TALKERS magazine today (7/16), executive editor Kevin Casey writes that “the service from multi-platform news organization Newsmax Media has shown notable growth in the first half of 2020 in terms of audience increase and programming development in the highly competitive OTT [over-the-top] arena.” As Newsmax TV’s ratings show impressive increases, the company tells TALKERS its insurgent news channel is on course to overtake FOX Business Network (FBN) in viewership by the end of this year. Newsmax TV has already surpassed established brands like C-SPAN and Bloomberg TV and is closing in on FBN, which sits at 6.5 million in weekly reach. The network’s weekly household reach went from less than one million in 2019 to more than 3.5 million households, according to most recent Comscore data. Read the whole story here.

Report: DOJ Allows Liberty Media to Increase Stake in iHeartMedia. According to a story in Politico, the Department of Justice is agreeing to let Liberty Media add to its current 5% stake in iHeartMedia, allowing it to acquire up to 50% of its shares. The piece notes that Liberty Media also owns a controlling stake in SiriusXM Satellite Radio (which recently acquired Pandora) as well as a 33% stake in Live Nation Entertainment. A number of consumer advocate groups had opposed the deal saying it would be “likely catastrophic” on radio markets.

Rico Beard Joins Mike Valenti on WXYT-FM, Detroit. Motor City sports media pro Rico Beard is joining Entercom’s sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit for the afternoon drive program. The station says Beard will be heard alongside Mike Valenti on “The Mike Valenti Show with Rico,” weekdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, beginning August 3. Mike Sullivan has been a producer and on-air contributor for the program since 2014. His last day at the station will be July 31. Entercom Detroit president and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Rico’s immeasurable experience covering all avenues of the Detroit sports scene has granted him a front row ticket to some of the biggest stages in sports. Rico has been on our wish list of talent to join our team for quite some time and we look forward to him joining Mike Valenti in offering a dynamic afternoon show for our listeners. We thank Mike Sullivan for his contributions to the team and wish him all the best in his new endeavor.” During his career, Beard has served as a host of “The Spartan Beat” podcast as well as a co-host of “The Ryan and Rico Show” for ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’ He also worked on air at WJBK-TV, Detroit and WSYM-TV, Lansing.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the sports talk format. Without live sports since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports talk format has suffered in the monthly PPM ratings. Compared to the May 2020 survey, just 16% of sports talk stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers go up while 73% were down. The starkest comparison is June 2019 to June 2020 in which 19% of stations managed to improve while 75% of sports talk stations declined. In this case, iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis is the outlier posting a gain of 1.5 shares to finish June with a 5.6 share and climbs from the #12 rank to #7. Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia is the highest-ranked sports talker in the PPM markets during the June survey, posting a 4.7 share good for the #6 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete analysis here.

NPR Acknowledges Audience Hit from COVID-19 Pandemic. In a story by David Folkenflik at NPR.org, the extent of the ratings hit that NPR programming has taken since commuters largely vanished back in March is revealed. The story indicates that broadcast ratings for the network’s radio programs show they lost nearly 25% of their listeners. NPR senior director of audience insights Lori Kaplan says, “We anticipated these changes. This kind of change was going to take place over the next decade. But the pandemic has shown us what our future is now.” She says research shows the NPR audience is disproportionately made up of professionals who are working from home and appear to want to continue to do so after the pandemic is over.

Sandy Beach to Retire from WBEN-AM, Buffalo. Longtime Buffalo talk radio personality Sandy Beach is retiring from the station at the end of this month. The Buffalo News reports that Beach is wrapping his 23-year stint hosting the late morning show (9:00 am to 12:00 noon) on Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo at the end of this month. Sandy Beach’s career in Buffalo goes back to 1968 when he became part of the lineup at legendary CHR outlet WWKB-AM (then WKBW-AM). It’s also notable that Beach is enshrined in three halls of fame: the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

SportsGrid Radio’s Scott Ferrall to Air on ‘The Mightier 1090’ in San Diego. When XEPRS-AM, San Diego returns talk programming to its signal at “The Mightier 1090” – operated by advertising executive Bill Hagen – sports talk personality Scott Ferrall will be part of the station’s talent pool. Ferrall – part of the Elvis Duran Group’s specialized talent roster – is being syndicated by SportsGrid Radio Network (formerly the Fantasy Sports Radio Network). When the station begins the new format, it will air “Ferrall Coast to Coast” live from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and “Ferrall on the Bench” live from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Ferrall comments, “Returning to XEPRS is an amazing opportunity for me to reconnect with my loyal Southern California fans, many of whom have become friends through the years. Sun, fun and sports are my passion and I jumped at the opportunity to work with the Southern California flagship station to create a dynamic experience for our fans. I’m honored to bring back my gnarly, irritating, annoying, old leather voice to 1090 AM for many years to come. Shake it up!!”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report in Politico, President Trump has appointed Salem Media Group talk radio host (and former Trump aide) Sebastian Gorka to a four-year term on the National Security Education Board – which oversees the National Security Education Program that Politico reports “was created in 1991 to promote a pool of U.S. citizens fluent in foreign languages and skilled in international affairs.” Gorka worked in the White House for eight months, leaving in August of 2017…..According to a report published by Breitbart, the San Francisco police department has opened an investigation into death threats against Westwood One syndicated talk show host Michael Savage. The story says Savage received “two threats in the last seven days — one by postcard to his San Francisco home on July 10 and the second via Guerrilla Mail, an email address service where received emails are deleted after one hour.”…..Chicago media reporter Robert Feder writes that Midway Broadcasting’s news/talk WVON will be incorporating content from iHeartMedia’s new BIN: Black Information Network into its news programming. BIN programming is currently airing on WVAZ-HD2 in Chicago. Midway chair and CEO Melody Spann Cooper says, “WVON is hyperlocal, but what impacts Black America impacts us here in Chicago, where we represent one-third of the city’s population. Enhanced news is needed and iHeart’s timing is perfect.”…..ESPN reports that its ESPN Podcasts experienced 42.7 million downloads during the month of June, the eighth month in the last nine with a total of 40 million or more. The figure represents a 31% increase over June 2019. ESPN also says that according to The Podtrac Podcast Category Audience Rankings, in the sports podcast category ESPN has 11 of the top 30 podcasts, with “The Dan LeBatard Show” finishing as the third ranked podcast in the sports category…..Virtual News Center announces that Camellia City Communications’ WTHO, Thomson, Georgia is now using its services. WTHO now features the work of reporter Darrell Moody in its daily newscasts.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Navarro-Fauci Spat, Fall School Debate, Twitter Hack, Trump Tax Returns, Presidential Race/Primary Elections, Washington Redskins Name Change, and Sports Leagues Opening Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15). The spiking COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; the sparring between White House trade official Peter Navarro and Dr. Tony Fauci; the ongoing debate over opening schools this fall; the hack of Twitter accounts belonging to high-profile users Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and others; lawyers for President Trump continue to fight the SCOTUS ruling he must turn his tax returns over to the Manhattan district attorney; the presidential race and this week’s primary races in Alabama, Maine, and Texas; the NFL’s Washington Redskins agree to change their name; and the various U.S. pro sports leagues prepare to begin playing games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Groundbreaking Talk Radio Consultant and Talent Coach Bill McMahon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  TALKERS magazine will celebrate its 30th anniversary on July 23 and talent coach Bill McMahon, who was featured as “The TALKERS Interview” in its first (print) issue, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” McMahon was one of the most influential talk radio consultants in the early years of the format’s modern era – which many historians credit as beginning with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 and the subsequent rise of Rush Limbaugh. McMahon, founder and CEO of The Authentic Personality Biz based in Boise, Idaho, started out as a radio salesman in the 1970s and then rose through the ranks to manage and set the programming vision for highly successful personality-oriented talk stations KIRO, Seattle and KSDO, San Diego. He went on to provide programming consulting services to many of America’s most successful talk radio stations and personalities.  In 1988, he created the first formal training system for radio air personalities and program directors (also titled The Authentic Personality™ ) which is a method that identifies the common elements of great radio performances regardless of style or content. Over the years, nearly 1,000 air personalities and program directors from stations owned by the most successful broadcasting companies in the United States and Great Britain have participated in Authentic Personality™ seminars/workshops. McMahon has personally conducted hundreds of individual coaching sessions with great (and not so great) radio air personalities using his training concepts and methods.  These include Rush LimbaughDr. Laura SchlessingerKidd KraddickJeff ElliottMichael Harrison and Johnny Vaughan just to name a handful. In this podcast, Harrison and McMahon take a deep dive into the 14 basic traits possessed by successful radio talk show hosts and provide a panoramic view of radio’s past, present, and future.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the aftermath of Nick Cannon’s anti-Semitic remarks on his podcast, his firing from his MTV show by ViacomCBS, and his subsequent apology, he’s taking time away from his radio shows. He says via Facebook: “Morning radio family. I have decided to take some time away from my radio show so I can commit myself to deeper, more thorough reflection and education. I will use this time to establish an action plan towards real, impactful change and advocacy aimed at bringing people together. I continue to express my gratitude to the Rabbis, community leaders, and institutions who have reached out to me to help enlighten me. Their input and friendship will help me as I further commit myself to more profound learning and towards strengthening the bond between the Black and Jewish cultures every day going forward.” Cannon hosts mornings on Muerelo Media’s KPWR, Los Angeles as well as a syndicated afternoon show. Syndicator Skyview Networks says, “Nick Cannon has begun a period of self-reflection to address the pain he caused, and while we recognize his apology, this time is needed to establish an action plan towards real change and advocacy.  During this period, production of the ‘Nick Cannon Radio’ show will pause. Skyview Networks values all communities and faiths and we expect all programs and personalities we syndicate to adhere to these principles.” While Skyview syndicates the program, Cannon is the executive producer in collaboration with Ncredible Productions and Meruelo Media…..iHeartMedia promotes Carson to program director for country WNCB-FM, Raleigh “B93.9.” She has been serving as music director and midday host and she takes over the PD role from Carletta Blake, who moved to the PD position at the company’s country WGAR-FM, Cleveland…..iHeartMedia Memphis Gospel outlet WHAL-FM “95.7 Hallelujah FM” is hosting its Virtual Hallelujah Summer Jam tomorrow (7/17) at 7:00 pm. The station says the event will bring together the top gospel artists in the industry for a night of praise and fellowship on-air via “95.7 Hallelujah FM,” HallelujahFM.com and on Facebook Live. The event is made possible with support from Cricket Wireless, MidSouth Transplant Foundation, and Plummer Financial.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

| July 15, 2020

WBAL-AM, Baltimore Moves C4 to Morning Show; Yurpizy Morgan Moves to Middays. The new morning program on Hearst Television’s news/talk WBAL-AM, Baltimore is “Mornings with C4 and Bryan Nehman,” airing from 5:30 am to 10:00 am. Nehman has been hosting mornings on WBAL since 2012. Clarence M. Mitchell IV, a.k.a C4, had been hosting the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm program. Yurpizy Morgan – previously hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program since being promoted from weekends in January of 2019 – is now on air from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The station expects to name a new, permanent host for the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart soon. Station president and general manager Cary Pahigian comments, “C4 and Bryan are among Maryland’s most informed, outspoken, and connected broadcasters. Their frequent on-air collaborations always receive high marks from listeners. This new partnership, along with WBAL’s award-winning news coverage, further solidifies WBAL as Baltimore’s first choice for news and talk.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. June was a mixed bag for the all-news format as 50% of stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go down while 44% were up. Leaders on the positive side were Entercom’s KNX, Los Angeles (+1.0, 3.9 share) and iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+0.7, 6.6 share). Comparing June 2019 to June 2020, 69% of all-news stations were up, led by Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco (+2.7, 8.9 share); KYW, Philadelphia (+2.3, 6.1 share); and WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+2.1, 6.9 share). Two all-news outlets – WBBM, Chicago and KCBS-AM, San Francisco – ranked #1 in their respective markets in June. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Talkers 2020 Convention Officially Cancelled.  The 23rd annual installment of the talk media industry’s largest, longest running and most important national convention set for October 16 in New York City has been officially cancelled.  It was originally scheduled for June 5 and then postponed until October 16 in hope that the disruption of public events imposed by COVID-19 would be alleviated by the Fall.  In a statement issued this morning (7/15), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We regret that this decision had to be made. We waited as long as possible before coming to it. However, an event of this nature is completely impractical under the circumstances. Especially with all the hugging, kissing and ‘elbow rubbing’ that takes place at this iconic conference. Hopefully, next year will be better and we’ll pick up with Talkers 2021.” In the meantime, look for information to be posted shortly announcing details of an online, on-demand version of the conference’s key panel discussions, keynote addresses, and award presentations that will run in TALKERS for a week in late Summer or early fall. Those who have registered for Talkers 2020 will be receiving refunds and sponsors will be contacted shortly about plans going forward.

Gow Media Re-Brands SB Nation as SportsMap Radio Network. Effective July 27, SB Nation Radio becomes SportsMap Radio. Owner Gow Media says it is making the change to operate the network it has owned for more than 10 years under its own brand. Gow Media acquired the assets of Sporting News Radio and rebranded the network through partnerships to become Yahoo Sports Radio. That lasted five years. Then a deal was struck with SB Nation some four years ago. Gow Media CEO David Gow says, “We have benefitted from brand partnerships with great companies such as Yahoo and SB Nation but have ultimately concluded that we no longer want to be subject to the fate of another brand. Strategically, it is important to build our own brand. For our sponsors, we maintain our large audiences with a network of over 500 affiliate stations. For our affiliates, our strong lineup remains. What is different though is that by operating as SportsMap, we can partner with multiple entities (vs. a single brand partner) in the development of new content and the expansion to digital platforms.” Recently, Gow has added sports talk talent including Scott Ferrall through Sportsgrid and Tony Bruno and Eytan Shander through JAKIB Media. Network program director Craig Larson adds, “Top to bottom our lineup has never been stronger. We have gotten great feedback from our affiliates.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that former WCAU-TV, Philadelphia “NBC10” anchor/reporter Denise Nakano is joining Entercom’s all-news KYW-AM as a part-time anchor. Nakano exited the NBC O&O television station in June in what was a COVID-19-related financial move…..In Chicago, two WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM staffers are exiting. According to a report by media writer Robert Feder, sports anchor George Ofman and traffic and spot news helicopter reporter Kris Habermehl are leaving the Entercom station in what appears to be budget-related layoffs…..Numerous news outlets – including BBC News – are reporting that ViacomCBS is severing its relationship with television and radio personality Nick Cannon after a recent edition of his “Cannon’s Class” podcast “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” On the podcast, Cannon – who also hosts morning drive on Muerelo Media’s hip hop KPWR, Los Angeles “Power 106” and a syndicated radio show via Skyview Networks – interviewed former Public Enemy rapper Professor Griff in which the two discussed the theory that Jews control the media. ViacomCBS issued the statement, “ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism. While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces a partnership with Omnicast Media that brings the podcast “Something You Should Know” to the Westwood One Podcast Network. The program began decades ago as a radio feature and in September 2016 was launched as a podcast by host Mike Caruthers. In each episode, Carruthers interviews top experts in their fields to offer fascinating information and advice to help listeners save time and money, advance their careers, become wealthy, improve relationships, and simply get more out of life.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Moderna Reveals Positive Vaccine Results, Trump Reverses Foreign Student Ban, Biden Unveils $2 Trillion Climate Plan, Presidential Race & Primaries, Violent Portland Protests, Trump Signs Hong Kong Accountability Act, Ghislaine Maxwell Bond Hearing, and Sports Leagues Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/14). The spiking number of COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future cases; pharmaceutical firm Moderna says latest COVID-19 vaccine trial shows “robust” immune response; President Trump reverses his ban on foreign college students; presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden unveils his $2 trillion climate and infrastructure plan; the November presidential election and Tuesday’s primary results in Alabama, Maine, and Texas; the ongoing, violent protests in Portland, Oregon; Trump pushes back against China by signing the Hong Kong Accountability Act; a judge rules Ghislaine Maxwell must remain in prison as she awaits her trial set for next summer; and the status of sports leagues as they prepare to play games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mat Mitchell is named brand and content director for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM, Minneapolis “KS95.” Mitchell joins Hubbard from his most recent position with iHeartMedia in Phoenix where he programmed CHR KZZP, hot AC KMXP, and adult hits KYOT.  Minnesota region manager Dan Seeman says, “As you can imagine, this position attracted some of the best programming talent in America. We talked to a lot of smart and passionate programmers and Mat was the consensus favorite. He has great experience, vision, and a proven track record. Mat has the opportunity to work with one of the most talented staffs in radio. We are excited for Mat to lead the next chapter of ‘KS95.’”…..Digital/social media pro Lauryn Snapp is adding on-air contributor duties for the Premiere Networks-syndicated “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” and “CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan.” Premiere announces that effective immediately, Snapp will join Cody Alan each night, bringing pop culture and lifestyle stories to the country radio programs. When concerts and events return, she’ll also join Alan on the road as he provides listeners with artist interviews and behind-the-scenes reports. Alan says, “Lauryn’s winning personality and witty repartee make her a natural fit to join me on the mic every night. Her passion for music, culture, and fan engagement across our digital and social networks has quickly become an essential part of our programming.”…..SiriusXM announces the launch of its latest collection of exclusive radio channels dedicated to iconic musicians including: Beastie Boys, Bob Marley, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, and Queen, plus the return of The Prince Channel, that will be available through August 13.