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Ex-“stream”-ly Enlightening Net Results

| July 2, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — A little over three weeks ago (6/8) in New York City, an uncommonly tight-knit community gathered for “TALKERS 2018,” making it the 21st chapter of talk media’s longest-running and most relevant national convention.

Panel discussions and gathering-area locations alike were abuzz with optimism about spoken-word formats and recent ratings success stories.

There was justifiable reason for the palpable upbeat “Full Speed Ahead!” attitude pervasive at this year’s confab, especially given that literally within 72 hours after founder/publisher Michael Harrison gaveled the seminar to adjournment, May 2018 PPM results were released.

Five news/talk outlets chalked up top-two results (6+): WSB-AM Atlanta (7.5, #1); KMOX, St. Louis (8.3, #1); WOKV, Jacksonville (9.3, #1); WISN, Milwaukee (7.7,  #2); and WKXW, Middlesex-Somerset-Union (6.0, #2).

An equal number of news properties finished no lower than second as well (6+): WTOP, Washington, DC (9.7, #1); WBBM-AM, Chicago (4.9, #2); KCBS-AM, San Francisco (5.4, #2); news – talk hybrid KFBK, Sacramento (6.7, #2); and KCBS-AM, San Jose (6.4, #2).

A half-dozen sports talk representatives placed in the top five (6+), including WFAN, Long Island (4.7, #3); KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh (7.4, #3); WFAN, New York (4.7, #5); WIP, Philadelphia (6.1, #5); WBZ-FM, Boston (5.7, #5); and WXYT-FM, Detroit (5.3, #5).

The May 2018 sweep included six instances of public news/talkers being (6+) pacesetters in their respective markets: KQED, San Francisco (8.1, #1); KPBS, San Diego (6.4, #1); KCFR, Denver (6.0, #1); KOPB, Portland (8.0, #1); KUT, Austin (8.2, #1); and KQED, San Jose (6.9, #1).

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May 2018 PPM Analysis: Urban AC

| June 25, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Each month, we focus on three spoken-word genres and one music-intensive format.

In our fourth and final installment of May 2018 ratings overviews, urban AC takes center stage representing that latter category.

Previous special feature analyses of the most recent PPM sweep dealt with all-news (last Wednesday, 6/20); sports talk (Thursday, 6/21); and public news/talk (Friday, 6/22).

This summary is comprised of PPM-market urban ACs that rank in the top 20 (6+, May 2018).

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

Bottom-line matchups: The typical PPM-market urban AC meeting the above-stated criteria registers a May 2018 6+-share of 5.47, the best among the four genres we examined from that ratings period; the runner-up is all-news (4.41, 6+).

Additionally, it is customary for a qualifying urban AC to rank seventh (#7.16, 6+), which is the strongest of these four categories with all-news (#8.62, 6+) again placing second-best.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

| June 22, 2018

Corporate Programmer Chris Oliviero to Exit Entercom.  After a long history with CBS RADIO and seven months into the transition after that company’s merger with Entercom, EVP of programming Chris Oliviero is exiting the company to pursue new opportunities. “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”  A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization. We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

iHeartMedia Releases Revenue Projections in Bankruptcy Filing.  The revenue projections were part of a 251-page Disclosure Statement filed by iHeartMedia as part of the reorganization process.  Starting with 2018 and looking through 2022, the report says that “management has based its revenue projections in part on third party forecast audio market declines of -2.6%, -2.9%, -3.4%, -3.7% and -4.1% in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.  Management expects its core audio business to return to its historical market outperformance of 200 bps, as measured by standard industry sources, by Q4 2018.  Additionally, management anticipates continuing the 200 bps outperformance in each year from 2019-2022.  The Debtors’ core audio business, comprised of spot, streaming, and non-traditional and other markets revenue, was $2,289 million in 2017 and is projected to decline to $2,207 million in 2018 and $2,160 million in 2019.  Thereafter, it is projected to total $2,095 million, $2,025 million, and $1,949 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.”  The company drops in a forward-looking positive note when it reports that its “digital platform composition is moving towards home smart speakers.  As of April 2018, home consumer electronics comprised 22% of total monthly active users for the Debtors’ iHeartRadio app.”

Judge Orders Nielsen and Bubba Back to Mediation. The trial of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge is supposed to open in court on July 23, but a surprise Order from U.S. District Judge James Whittemore may – or may not – change that. Yesterday (6/21), Whittemore ordered both parties to mediate with U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.  This is not the first time Nielsen and Bubba have been in mediation.  The last session proved fruitless.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for damages related to allegations of Bubba’s attempts to manipulate the PPM ratings in Tampa. Bubba is countersuing Nielsen, alleging the company conspired with competitor Cox Media Group to entrap him into engaging in ratings manipulation.

Attorneys General File Objections to Sinclair-Tribune Merger. Petitions to Deny were filed with the FCC by attorneys general in Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island, objecting to the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media.  As most industry observers are aware, Sinclair and Tribune are primarily television companies, but Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is part of the proposed deal. Sinclair owns three Seattle market radio stations: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan criticized the merger that would give Sinclair penetration into “nearly 60% of U.S. television households.”  She says, “The massive Tribune-Sinclair merger contradicts the FCC’s principles of diversity, localism, and competition that ensure consumer choice in the marketplace. I urge the FCC to deny the Tribune-Sinclair merger because it will result in the loss of diverse viewpoints on national and local television broadcasts.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Pub talkers in general had a tough month, with 51% of stations losing weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the April 2018 survey.  However, comparing May 2017 ratings to May 2018, 51% of public news/talk outlets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share increase.  Looking at market rank, there are 10 public news/talkers that finished in the top five in May, and five stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both San Francisco and San Jose, as were KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See the entire report here.

Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball to Host Hill.tv AM Show. Conservative media figure Buck Sexton – who hosts his own Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio program – is co-hosting the new morning program “Krystal & Buck” with MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball on The Hill’s new Hill.tv platform. The show launched on the “digital, bi-partisan news channel” on June 13.  A press statement says the program is designed to “break through the façade of cable news to expose the real Washington.”   Recent guests on the show include: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Hollywood actor/producer Rob Reiner, Senator Ted Cruz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Illegal Immigration Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22. The Trump administration’s policy detaining and deporting illegal aliens and controversy over separating children from parents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump tariffs and fears of a trade war, followed by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally organizer’s application for a rally on the Washington Mall 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TV Comedy Writer Andy Cowan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The world of television sitcoms and late-night talk shows is explored in depth as former “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” writer Andy Cowan is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cowan discusses his new book, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writers Guide to Seeing Stars (Black Rose Writing, 2018) and the neurotic nature of his brand of comedy as well as comedians in general. The discussion includes a look at the fractionalization of TV audiences going forward into the 21st century. Harrison states, “Andy Cowan’s unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Radio Talk Show Producer Opportunity. The Salem Radio Network is seeking a radio talk show producer in the Washington, D.C. area. Candidates should be capable in booking radio talk shows and have radio experience both on air and in digital. The position is based at the Salem Radio Network News Bureau. Contact Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word for SRN at 212-857-9696, or email resume and qualifications to: Philip.Boyce@salemmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At JVC Media’s Orlando operations, sales pro Lisa Kitchener is named general sales manager.  In Orlando, JVC operates country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” and rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “Bud 94.1.”  JVC Orlando general manager Chris Ganoudis says, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. ‘103.1 The Wolf’ was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of ‘Bud 94.1,’ Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.  Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”…..Benztown names four new staffers to the company’s operations team with the addition of marketing coordinator Susan Aksu, imaging producer Matt Anderson, office manager/executive assistant Laura Keeney, and commercial production creative director Teddy Shrader.

March 2018 PPM Analysis: News/Talk

| April 30, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

The fourth and final installment of our special feature summary of March 2018 ratings overviews deals with (commercial, English language) news/talk outlets.

All-news was addressed last Wednesday (4/25); public news/talk the following day (Thursday, 4/26); and we highlighted mainstream rock last Friday (4/27).

The ratings criteria for PPM-market commercial news/talk facilities is at least a .5 (6+) in the March 2018 ratings period, which covered March 1 – 28. By contrast, eligibility to appear on the all-news; public news/talk; and rock panels is based on a top 20 finish (6+, March 2018).

Nielsen Audio releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive overview are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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March 2018 PPM Analysis:
Mainstream Rock

| April 27, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — Earlier this week, we reviewed March 2018 ratings performances of two spoken-word formats – all-news (Wednesday, 4/25) and public news/talk yesterday (Thursday, 4/26).

We now shift our attention to mainstream rock for the same March 2018 ratings period, which covered March 1 – 28.

Mirroring the two aforementioned summaries, this mainstream rock overview is comprised of PPM-market facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+, March 2018).

It is typical for PPM-market rock stations meeting March 2018 ratings criteria to rank ninth/tenth (#9.59, 6+) with an AQH of 4.18 (6+).

For comparison purposes, it is common in March 2018 that eligible all-news outlets rank seventh/eighth (#7.64) with a 6+-AQH share of 4.79; corresponding 6+ stats for public news/talk qualifiers are #10.92/3.74.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

| April 26, 2018

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Three public news/talk outlets – WBUR, Boston (+1.0); KOPB, Portland (+1.0); and KNOW, Minneapolis (+0.7) saw their 6+ numbers increase substantially from the month prior while Washington, DC’s WAMU continued its downward trend with a dip of -1.1.  Eight public news/talk stations are up by a full share or more from last March 2017 while only three are down by a full share or more.  As for market rankings, four public news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets in March 2018: KQED, San Francisco (and in the adjacent San Jose market); KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; and KOPB, Portland.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

RTDNA Names Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Recipients. This year’s recipients of RTDNA Regional Murrow Awards have been announced for “outstanding achievements in electronic journalism.”  The Radio Television Digital News Association has been presenting the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971.  The RTDNA says “award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism.”  The RTDNA splits the country into 13 regions (plus one International Region).  You can see all the winners here.  Meanwhile, national winners will be announced in June.  Just a few of the stations honored with regional awards that sent out press statements include: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington; Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix; Scripps’ WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; and Scripps’ KTTS-FM, Springfield, Missouri.

Nielsen Reports Q1 Revenue Up 5.5%.  The company divides itself into three segments: Watch, Buy and Operations.  The audio ratings operation falls under the Watch segment.  Although the Nielsen Holdings N.V. is reporting revenue of $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2018 (an increase of 5.5% or 2.4% on a constant currency basis), the Audio revenue increased by just 0.8% during the quarter.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes says, “Watch had another great quarter with growth driven by Total Audience Measurement.  Our ability to provide independent, comparable measurement to the industry is pivotal as media and audiences continue to fragment.”

Comey CNN Town Hall/Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump-Macron Visit, Iran Nuclear Deal, ‘Immigrant Caravan’/DACA Status, Niger Ambush Report,Chasing Hillary Book, Turner-NJ Cop Dustup, Kanye West’s Trump Love, Golden State Killer Case, and MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). Wednesday evening’s “CNN Town Hall” featuring fired FBI Director James Comey and the related Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the Donald Trump White House and his speech before Congress; President Trump’s stance on the U.S. remaining in the Iran nuclear deal; the “caravan” of immigrants from Central America at the U.S.-Mexico border and the related ruling against Trump’s effort to kill the Obama-era DACA Act; the report on the deadly attack on  U.S. forces in Niger; the revelations in the new book, Chasing Hillary; former Clinton financial adviser Caren Turner’s profanity-laced encounter with New Jersey police; rapper Kanye West stirs controversy with praise for President Trump; authorities make an arrest in decades-old Golden State Killer case; and Major League Baseball and NBA Playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. All-News stations KCBS-AM, San Francisco and WCBS-AM, New York are the recipients of four 2018 National Headliner Awards by The Press Club of Atlantic City.  Entercom’s KCBS-AM received the organization’s grand “Best in Show” award for its Breaking News coverage of the “Wine Country Wildfires,” and also received first place and third place recognition in two other categories.  This is the third time KCBS has received the competition’s highest honor and the first time since 2001…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting live coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft that gets underway tonight from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  Leading FOX Sports Radio’s coverage is FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer, who will be joined by FOX Sports’ lead college football game analyst Joel Klatt, FOX Sports NFL analyst Chris Spielman, and “FOX NFL Sunday” host Curt Menefee…..ABC News announces it will present special coverage of the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle with an extended edition of “Good Morning America” on Saturday, May 19 from 5:00 am to 10:00 am ET. “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts and “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir will lead live coverage from Windsor, England…..Pictured below are members of the staff of Beasley Media Boston during yesterday’s Day of Caring event at the Greater Boston Food Bank.  The Beasley team members packed more than 8,974 pounds of food (the equivalent of 7,478 meals).  This amount would feed a family of four for two years.  Beasley Boston VP and market manager Mary Menna says, “It was a great day of giving back to our community and our Boston team had fun while doing it.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, voice-over pro (and Chicagoland native) Diana Steele is handling the midday air shift on Entercom’s classic hip hop and R&B outlet WBMX while the station searches for a permanent midday star.  Steele famously served as the announcer on the old “Arsenio Hall” program.  Steele will do the show from her Bay Area home.  Program director Todd Cavanah says, “We’re thrilled to welcome this legendary voice and mother of two boys and two dogs to the new ‘104.3 Jams.’”…..Entercom’s classic hits WOGL and morning personality Marilyn Russell are helping celebrate remarkable women in the community through the inaugural “Marilyn Russell’s Remarkable Women, ‘Woman of the Year’ Luncheon.”  This year, Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office will be honored tonight at the Kimmel Center in Center City, Philadelphia.  The event is inspired Russell’s Sunday morning program, “Marilyn Russell’s Remarkable Women.”…..WAMZ, Louisville announces it is adding the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Bobby Bones” show to the program schedule, effective May 7.