Good Karma Brands to Sell Wisconsin Signals. Two Southeastern Wisconsin radio signals will change hands, pending FCC approval, and will air a news/talk format. Wisbusiness.com reports that Good Karma Brands is selling WAUK-AM, Waukesha and FM translator W266DR at 101.1 FM to New WTTN, LLC, led by Wisconsin broadcaster and company CEO Michael Crute. The terms have not been announced. The signals are currently airing sports talk but will flip to news/talk when New WTTN takes control. Crute is co-host of the Madison-based “Devil’s Advocates” program heard on the company’s WTTN-AM/W224EG, Madison “Devil Radio 92.7.” WAUK will be branded “The ‘SHA” and will “broadcast Waukesha-first news, sports, traffic, and weather in 2022 and beyond.” Initially, the station will simulcast the Madison programming that includes: “Matt Flynn Direct” from 6:00 am to 8:00 am; WYD Media’s “Thom Hartmann Program” from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm; “Dueling Tangents with Luke Mathers and Bryan Kelly” from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm; “The Devil’s Advocates” from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; and “The Earl Ingram Show” from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. It intends to add locally hosted programming in the spring. Bryan Kelly will serve as operations manager for the station. WAUK has leased an office space and will immediately build a studio location in downtown Waukesha. Crute says, “We are excited to serve Waukesha, a community lacking a locally focused news/talk commercial radio station. WAUK Radio will immediately offer $50,000 total in ‘Good Neighbor’ small business or non-profit grants to help serve the Waukesha community from day one. The grants are for advertising on WAUK. They will be awarded throughout January to locally owned, Waukesha businesses. We will begin accepting applications for our Good Neighbor grants on January 3, 2022.”
Westwood One Blog: Strategies for Successfully Advertising in Local Radio. This week’s CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog outlines what it calls “five strategies to help build a successful local audio plan.” Stating that due to the “shift of TV audiences to advertising-free video platforms, local advertisers are turning to audio to build their brands and drive sales,” the Audio Active Group proposes the following: 1) Allocate the budget to align with how people use audio: A well-balanced audio campaign puts 63% of the budget into over-the-air AM/FM radio and 11% into AM/FM radio streaming. 26% of the budget goes to a combination of pureplay streaming and podcasts; 2) Determine the monthly campaign objective (minimum, maintenance, high impact, or launch/grand opening) and budget accordingly: To determine the monthly budget, multiply the market cost per point against the GRP levels. In a market with a $10 cost per point, the minimum monthly campaign would be $2,000. The grand opening campaign would be $5,000 per month; 3) Align impressions and media weight with listening by time period to get the largest possible campaign reach: Per Nielsen, 60% of AM/FM radio listening occurs outside of morning and afternoon drive. Spread media weight across all days and dayparts. About a quarter of media weight should run in middays. Place 20% of the budget respectively into weekends, mornings, and afternoons. 8% goes to nights and 5% to overnights; 4) Find the right audience with AM/FM radio programming formats: While the audience composition of TV shows can vary widely, AM/FM radio station programming formats are very cohesive, appealing to the same audience around the clock. Find the AM/FM radio programming formats that match your target using either median age, total reach, gender skew, presence of children, or household size; and 5) Based on the marketing objective, determine the weekly number of ads to run on a station from four types of schedules (very light, light, medium, or heavy): A very light station schedule reaches one-third of a station’s audience an average of 1.4 times. A light schedule reaches half of a station’s audience two times. A medium schedule reaches two-thirds of a station’s audience three times. A heavy schedule reaches 78% of a station’s audience 4.3 times. See more here.
KIRO-FM, Seattle Unveils ‘Leaving a Legacy’ Podcast. A new podcast from Bonneville’s KIRO, Seattle “News Radio 97.3 FM” launches today (1/4). KIRO-FM late morning personality Gee Scott hosts the “Leaving a Legacy Podcast” in which he “takes listeners on a journey to discover how some of our most influential public figures want to leave their legacy on this world, and how his own experience can be contributed to the shoulders of giants that came before him.” Scott says, “My father always talked about legacy, and this podcast connects me to him now that he’s gone. I’m so excited to learn from these powerful influencers to see what they’re passionate about and what they want their legacy to be. It’s a powerful question, and one that truly puts into perspective our why during the short time we’re all here on Earth.” The inaugural program features former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver and current “CBS Mornings” host Nate Burleson. Other guests include author, activist and journalist Amanda Knox, the ‘King of Twitter’ Josiah Johnson, and Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price, who famously decided to pay all his employees a $70,000 minimum salary.
CES 2022: 5G, 4 Wheels, 3Days. This year’s show wraps a day early, on Thursday, “as an additional safety measure” and COVID concern has scared-off major exhibitors and what TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke estimates is “less than half of 2020’s 170,000-some.” But he says “there’s still lots to see (if not touch)” and that he is “among longtime attendees who appreciate the elbow room.” Read more here.
Audacy Announces Deal with Samsung for Podcast Distribution. A new content partnership between Audacy and Samsung will make Audacy’s entire podcast library available on Samsung platforms, including the Samsung Free platform that comes on Galaxy smartphones. Users will have access to content from Audacy’s Cadence13, Pineapple Street Studios and 2400Sports podcast studios, along with hundreds of other Audacy podcast titles. Audacy EVP of strategy and corporate business development Tim Murphy says, “We’re delighted to expand the reach of our robust podcast library to Samsung Free users across the country and put our award-winning titles on more devices for more consumers.”
TALKERS News Notes. After 12 years of leadership under Gordon Smith, the National Association of Broadcasters has a new president and CEO as Curtis LeGeyt assumed the role on January 1. NAB Joint Board of Directors chairman David Santrella (CEO of Salem Media Group) says, “The broadcasting community is extremely grateful to Gordon for his many years of service as an influential advocate for our industry. We are excited to now have Curtis at the helm to guide the organization into its next chapter. He is a proven leader and skilled fighter on behalf of broadcasters, and we are thrilled to have him serve as our voice in Washington and around the world.”…..Later this month, Newsweek will build on its in-depth coverage of the British Royal Family with a new podcast. “Royal Report” will be hosted by Newsweek’s British royal correspondent Jack Royston and American culture critic, royal watcher and author Kristen Meinzer. New episodes will appear every two weeks and will provide American royal watchers with fresh reporting and analysis of the House of Windsor…..The board of directors of New England Public Media announces that Matt Abramovitz is named the new president of NEPM. “In his role as president, Abramovitz will be responsible for leading NEPM’s efforts across radio, television, and digital media platforms, furthering its mission of serving the people of western New England by providing trustworthy journalism, cultural content, events and initiatives, educational services, and community engagement.” Abramovitz has been serving as vice president of programming for New York Public Radio‘s classical station WQXR-FM.
USA Radio’s Brad Bernards Passes. Sad news from USA Radio Networks as the organization reports that USA Radio night and weekend anchorman Brad Bernards has died. USA Radio COO Janet Porter Bro says Bernards was a key component of USA’s quality broadcast team. He was a school teacher in the Valentine, Texas school district who launched an internet radio station to cover local news in Presidio County, teaching the broadcast business to student interns. Bro adds, “It has been a very trying four months for the USA Radio Networks family. We lost CEO Fred Weinberg in September and long-term Christian interest news anchor John Clemens last month.”
COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Trump Family Subpoenas, Filibuster-Voting Rights Battle, Epstein Fallout, Holmes Verdict, and Southeastern Snow Storm Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/3). The fast-spreading Omicron variant and battles over school attendance policies; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the New York attorney general subpoenas Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump in the investigation into the Trump Organization; Senate Democrats threaten to change floor rules regarding the filibuster if it doesn’t take up voting rights legislation; Prince Andrew’s battle with U.S. courts over his relationship with Jeffery Epstein and Virginia Giuffre; Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of three of 11 charges in the Theranos case; and the Southeastern U.S. is pounded by rare snow storms were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KXL-FM, Portland Talk Host Lars Larson Names Whistleblower on FOX News Channel. KXL-FM, Portland talk radio host Lars Larson – who also hosts a nationally syndicated show via Compass Media Networks – was doing a segment on FOX News Channel’s “Outnumbered Overtime” yesterday (11/7) when he revealed who he believes the whistleblower in the Ukraine affair is. Larson told KGW-TV, Portland, “I believe all of Washington knows, all of the press corps knows, and the only people in the dark are the American people. If you’re talking about removing the president, chosen by the American people, you have an obligation of telling them who’s accusing [the president].” FOX News tells the Hollywood Reporter that it has not confirmed nor independently verified the name of the whistleblower.
Entercom Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 2%. Third quarter 2019 financial data from Entercom Communications is released and the company reports net revenue of $386 million, an increase of 2% over the same period in 2018. Operating income for the quarter was $79.5 million, compared to $78.7 million in the third quarter of 2018. For the first three quarters of 2019, net revenue was $1.07 billion, an increase of 2.3% over the same period in 2018. Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field comments, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered strong organic growth in the third quarter with Adjusted EBITDA up 13% and Adjusted Net Income Per Share up 23%. Revenues increased 2% (just under 3% ex-political) driven by digital, national, and network. In October, we announced the launch of DVR-like functionality for live radio on our RADIO.COM app, becoming the first company to offer that important product feature. This new feature and our recent acquisitions of podcasters Cadence 13 and Pineapple Street Studios highlight the multiple ways we are working to enhance our product line and grow our relationships with our listeners and customers.”
NPR and Edison Research to Unveil Spoken Word Audio Report. The data from the new Spoken Word Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research will be made available via a free webinar on Tuesday (11/12) that you can sign up for here. The study – derived from a national quantitative survey, one-on-one interviews, and five years of previously-unreleased data from Edison Research’s U.S. Share of Ear study – explores consumer behavior in the spoken word audio category. It details: How the spoken word audio category has changed in the last five years; how the balance between music and spoken-word content consumption is shifting; the role spoken word audio plays in consumers’ lives today – from where people listen to when people listen; and what people are looking for from spoken-word content on different platforms. The study concludes that the share of time spent listening to spoken-word audio has increased 20% since 2014.
NOW POSTED: New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” 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, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (11/8). The new episode titled “Hearings and Smearings!” looks back at this past week of November 4-8, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Howie Carr, talk show host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist/medical podcaster; Holland Cooke, media consultant/talk show host RT America; Duke Brooks, talk show host, WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, DE; Daliah Wachs, M.D., medical doctor, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network; Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch Times; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as well as other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; and KBKW, Aberdeen, WA as a special week-in-review and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeartRadio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
National Campaign Launched to Protect Press Freedom. The nonprofit organizations the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the Committee to Protect Journalists, along with a coalition of 23 media, technology and nonprofit partners, including Barron’s, CBS, Comcast-NBC Universal, CNN, Facebook, Los Angeles Times, McClatchy, The New York Times, NPR, Reuters, Scripps, Sinclair, Twitter, The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, and The Washington Post, yesterday (11/7) launched the “Protect Press Freedom” campaign to mobilize the public to stand up for press freedom and actively protect their right to be informed. Through video, radio, digital, print, and social media assets, the campaign communicates the message: In order to be free, we must be informed. The creative illustrates the crucial role the free press plays in everyday life by depicting a world in which people are unable to access news about issues that are important to them. On the campaign website, visitors can learn more about the threats to press freedom, explore key moments for the free press in America’s history, and take a quiz to assess their knowledge. “Americans across the country rely on diverse news sources to help them make informed choices every day, but many don’t see the threats that are putting that information at risk,” Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press tells TALKERS. “When one journalist or news source is threatened — whether it’s verbally, physically, or legally — it threatens a fundamental American freedom that’s essential to understanding and participating in our communities. We’re proud to bring news outlets and organizations together to have a conversation with the public about press freedom and encourage people to stand up for their right to information.” Attacks on journalists’ safety and the public’s right to know occur with troubling regularity. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which the Reporters Committee and CPJ are partners, there were at least 35 physical attacks on journalists last year, most notably the murder of five people working at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland. So far in 2019, at least 28 journalists have been denied access to government events that are traditionally open to or attended by the press, leaving members of the public without crucial information about their government’s activities. Relentless disparagement of the media contributes to an increasingly dangerous climate for journalists. For more information about this please click on the website www.ProtectPressFreedom.org. To listen to a conversation about the campaign between Bruce Brown and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison click here.
Miltz Named Director of Marketing and Promotions for Bonneville Denver. Marketing pro Melanie Miltz is named director of marketing and promotions for Bonneville’s Denver station group that includes sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” sports KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver,” country KYGO-FM, and adult contemporary KOSI-FM. She most recently held the same position at Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM, Minneapolis. Bonneville Denver senior regional vice president and market manager Bob Call states, “We couldn’t be happier to have Mel join Bonneville Denver and take over the leadership of our marketing and promotions department. Mel is well-recognized and highly respected as a promotions and marketing professional with a high level of branding expertise, attention to detail, and follow-through on both the strategic and tactical elements of marketing. Mel’s wealth of experience make her the perfect choice for Bonneville Denver.”
TALKERS News Notes. At the end of this year, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze will shut down its cable television channel. A story in The Hollywood Reporter says that TheBlaze will focus on its subscription video-on-demand service, its website, and the radio program. The piece notes that because TheBlaze is largely a digital enterprise and its contracts with cable operators prevent much of the video content presented via cable from being shared online, it makes business sense to focus on the VOD space. Blaze Media CEO Tyler Cardon tells THR, “Given our record growth this year on our direct-to-consumer SVOD business, podcasts, various web properties and other digital distribution channels, it has become a conflict to continue programming a traditional, legacy cable channel.”…..Entercom announces that its RADIO.COM platform with its collection of premiere sports, entertainment, news, and music audio content is being made available to Samsung’s Bixby scalable intelligence platform. RADIO.COM will be available in Bixby Marketplace, where Samsung smartphone users in the U.S. can add the capsule to enhance their Bixby experience. Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “This is an exciting integration with Samsung to bring the RADIO.COM listening experience wherever and however our listeners want it. With Bixby, we are able to bring RADIO.COM to millions of listeners, making it easier than ever to discover and engage with our premium audio content as part of our listeners’ daily audio habit.”…..ESPN Radio says its October PPM numbers for its daytime sports talk radio shows (men 25-54) are up 7%. For instance, the morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show saw a monthly increase across platforms of 13% compared to the September 2019 PPM survey and “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was up 25% over September on terrestrial radio…..Westwood One Podcast Network’s “Think About This with Shelly Palmer and Ross Martin” hosted Facebook VP global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson to discuss the personal and corporate responsibility of the social media platform. Responding to a question about why Facebook runs political ads with false claims, Everson stated, “For decades, political advertising has not been monitored. The FCC has made it very clear by law that broadcasters are not allowed to censor or change political advertising, and we have chosen to follow that, even though we are not required to do so by the FCC – as have all of the other platforms – because we think it’s very dangerous for a tech company, a CEO, or any private or public company to determine what is true and what is false.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa welcomed FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio superstar Brian Kilmeade to town today (11/8) for a listener event and book signing for Kilmeade’s new book, Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers: The Texas Victory That Changed American History (2019, Penguin Publishing). KRMG director of branding and programming Levi May comments, “KRMG is proud to be able to bring one of our most popular radio and TV hosts to Tulsa for an opportunity to interact with our listeners and give people a chance to see what goes on as part of his live broadcast.”
The Impeachment Process and the Ukraine Affair Tied for Top News/Talk Story of the Week. The impeachment process against President Trump and the related Ukraine quid pro quo allegations was the top news/talk story for the week of November 4-8, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Tuesday election results in Virginia and Kentucky and the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election. Coming in at #3 was court ruling that President Trump must turn over eight years of tax returns to a Manhattan Grand Jury, followed by U.S.-China trade negotiations and the U.S. economy 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 chart here.
PPM Analysis: Country. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on country. From the September 2019 survey to the October 2019 survey, about 60% of country stations in PPM markets are down (weekly, 6+ AQH share). The year-over-year comparison is split a bit more evenly, with 47% of stations seeing an increase and 51% seeing a decrease. Just two country stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the October survey – Bonneville’s KYGO, Denver (6.1 share) and iHeartMedia’s WCOL, Columbus (10.7 share). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s CHR KNOU-FM, St. Louis “Now 96.3,” program director and midday personality Scott Ellis leaves the station to return to Springfield, Missouri with his girlfriend. Ellis previously worked on air and as PD for CHR KSPW-FM, Springfield. Assuming his programming duties at KNOU is cluster operations manager Cat Simon…..A round of job cuts at Entercom Seattle include three from the programming department. Jean Ashley leaves her morning co-host and APD gigs at adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound.” Midday personality and rhythmic AC KHTP “HOT 103.7” assistant program director Jamie “Tanch” Tanchykh exits, as does alternative KNDD “107-7 The End” evening personality Cody Whistler.
News/Talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Cuts Ties with Jeff Styles. The longtime WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality had been suspended by Cumulus Media after his arrest on aggravated assault charges stemming from a road rage incident on June 15. Now, after the station’s internal investigation, Jeff Styles has been let go from the news/talk outlet. A portion of the station’s statement says, “There is nothing more we can say about it because we do not know the specific considerations and scope of the internal investigation nor the specific findings of the internal investigation.” Styles recently launched a website dedicated to telling his side of the story. During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington. On the JeffStylesAmerica.com site, he lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations. Styles’ attorney had argued that there was no probable cause to charge Styles but the judge eventually bound the case over to a grand jury. WGOW-FM’s “The Morning Press” show is being hosted by Jim Reynolds and program director Kevin West.
WABC, New York Launches ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ Program. Beginning September 9, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg debuts his new, weekly sports talk show, “Sid Sports Sunday” from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Cumulus Media’s news/talk 77 WABC Radio. Rosenberg co-hosts the station’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program with Bernard McGuirk. The station says the show “is created with the listener’s sports needs at its epicenter – from expert fantasy picks, to incredible player interviews, to live look-in’s at stadiums across the country.” Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez adds, “Our listeners and our advertisers have been begging for Sid to contribute to New York’s explosive sports conversation with more regularity. ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ will cover it all every week.” Rosenberg says, “I’m so proud of the work we do daily on the ‘Bernie and Sid in the Morning’ show. There is no better variety show in the country. But it is no secret that I wanted to get back to my roots and host a serious sports show. I want to thank Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb for this wonderful opportunity.”
Annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon Raises More Than $4.4 million. This year’s fundraiser was the 16th annual to benefit the Boston-based Jimmy Fund that supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002, regional sports cable channel NESN joined the cause in 2003. This year’s event helped raise more than $4.4 million and, to date, the “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” has raised more than $53 million. Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “The Jimmy Fund makes significant contributions to those battling cancer in the Boston area and we are proud to support its efforts through this yearly event. It is an honor for our team to give back to the community by raising funds on behalf of the organization and we are blown away by the incredible generosity of WEEI listeners who make this event so successful year in and year out.”
Rich Brody to Wrap 45-Year Sales Career This October. Currently serving as an account executive for Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston, Richard Brody will retire from the radio business on October 26 after 45 years of service to the Boston radio industry. The company says that in addition to being an “extraordinary and award-winning sales professional,” Brody is known as “a great mentor and friend, and fierce advocate for the radio industry as a whole.” During his career, Brody hosted a jazz program on WCAS, Cambridge and worked in the sales department at Boston stations including: WCOZ, WBCN, WVBF, WXKS “Kiss 108,” Mix 98.5 (now Mix 104.1), WZLX, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and, of course, WROR. Beasley Media Boston GSM Jesse Carbone says, “When Richard Brody walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to retire, at first I didn’t believe him. I didn’t think Rich would ever stop working, but after a few minutes I realized it was in fact true. The guy who had spent more than four decades becoming a legend in the radio industry was finally ready to travel, visit family and friends, and hopefully sleep past 3:00 am. Throughout his career, Rich not only sold the stations for which he worked but he also championed the medium with unmatched passion. The radio industry will not be the same without him.”
Edison Research: 54% of Radio Listeners Hear Medium ONLY in the Car. This data point is one of a number from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study that will be revealed during the company’s presentation at the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show in Orlando. As you can see in the infographic above, the younger a consumer gets, the more they only hear radio in the car. Find out more from Edison Research at its “Miles Different: In-Car Audio 2018” presentation on September 27 at 1:30 pm at the Radio Show.
NextRadio Available on New Samsung Galaxy Note9. The inclusion of an FM chip and the support for NextRadio by Samsung on its new Galaxy Note9 is thrilling for NextRadio, says NextRadio president Paul Brenner. “The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is especially exciting, as this model is a showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. We look forward to the Galaxy Note9 being available to millions of users who will be able to listen to free radio on their phone in North America…Through the free NextRadio app, Galaxy Note9 consumers can listen to live, local radio stations. Also, when cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations.”
iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE Launched to Assist Auto Dealers in Marketing Decisions. This marketing tool for auto dealerships is a collaborative effort between iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE that features daily sales and market share data throughout each region to help dealerships market smarter and faster. iHeartMedia says, “In an age when real-time analytics and insights are vital to a business’ success, dealerships have been confined to analyzing OEM reports and 60- to 90-day-old registration data to guide their sales and marketing strategies. Now, for the first time, auto dealerships will be able to utilize iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE tool to receive up-to-date, daily automotive sales insights from their surrounding area, allowing them to completely customize and quickly update their sales and marketing strategies based on current market dynamics and trends.” iHeartMedia EVP of automotive business developments & partnerships John Karpinski says, “We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio. AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market. With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers.”
TALKERS News Notes. WPEN-FM, Philadelphia executive producer Eric Camille is promoted to assistant program director for the Beasley Media Group sports talker. Camille joined “97.5 The Fanatic” in 2009. Program director Eric Johnson says, “Eric Camille cares deeply about ‘The Fanatic.’ It shows in everything he does…whether it’s creating compelling imaging, making sure of all our on-air schedules are coordinated, or acting as a programming, sales and promotions liaison. It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”…..The Federal Communications Commission is getting into the podcast game with a new series called, “More Than Seven Dirty Words,” designed to educate and, as the press release says, “maybe even do the impossible: make telecom interesting.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai comments, “One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast. What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place.” The podcast is hosted by FCC policy advisor Evan Swarztrauber. Guests will share their personal stories behind some of the headline-making news from the commission and break down issues across the spectrum of the FCC…..There are two management announcements from Midwest Communications as the company brings former NRG Media Omaha market manager Kurt Luchs aboard to oversee its five-station Kalamazoo cluster that includes news/talk WKZO and sports talk WQLR. Also in Michigan, Midwest appoints Mark Jaycox manager of the four-station Lansing group that includes sports talk WQTX-FM. Most recently, Jaycox was with Adams Outdoor’s Lansing office…..Kevin Gabbay joins news/talk 77 WABC, New York and the rest of the Cumulus Media New York cluster as director of marketing & promotions…..According to a report in Variety, ESPN is making some changes to the “Get Up!” morning program hosted by Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose. The story says Beadle is exiting the show and re-locating to Los Angeles to focus on her other ESPN duties, including hosting “NBA Countdown.” Jalen Rose will continue to appear on “Get Up!” when his “NBA Countdown” duties allow. Greenberg exited the successful ESPN Radio “Mike & Mike” show to take on the role hosting mornings on the company’s flagship cable channel…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live coverage of the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York…..Westwood One is continuing to urge all major commercial broadcast radio stations to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for additional mobile broadband data services. These potential services could create insurmountable interference to programming that thousands of stations receive by satellite. The deadline for registration is now October 17, 2018. Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies. It is possible the FCC will later charge the $1,500 study fee. Westwood One’s satellite provider, SES, has set aside a pool of funding to reimburse those broadcasters for whom the $435 registration fee is a hardship. This reimbursement is subject to the terms set by SES for earth stations registered between July 25, 2018 and October 17, 2018 in the continental United States. For questions, contact SES directly at FCCregistration@ses.com
John McCain’s Passing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Lanny Davis-CNN Story Controversy, Trump Announces U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, the White House’s reaction, and speculation about who will fill his seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis admits to being source of CNN story that claimed Trump had knowledge of Trump Tower-Russia meeting; President Trump announces steps toward new trade deal with Mexico; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at an egame competition in Jacksonville; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Chuck Fredrick to Lead Cumulus Indianapolis. Former iHeartMedia Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick is joining Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for its Indianapolis cluster that includes CHR WYRG, country WFMS, and classic hits WJJK. Fredrick comments, “Grateful to Mary Berner and Dave Milner for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do. I am especially excited about joining and partnering with the Indianapolis team, giving our best in all that we do.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Kansas City hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces its new morning show will be “Ponch & Nikki in the Morning” featuring Brian “Ponch” Hudgens and Nikki Vivas. Ponch joins the Entercom station after working for 17 years at Steel City Media’s crosstown CHR KMVX “MIX 93.3.” He says in a Facebook post, “I’m coming back to morning radio in Kansas City on ‘99.7 The Point!’ I will also continue my journey with Strange Music. Managing, promoting, and developing some of the best artists on the planet! Music and radio are two of my BIGGEST passions. Being able to do both, I am literally living my dream. As a bonus I get to do a morning show with one of my dearest/closest friends, Nikki Vivas!!!”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Lou Lombardo is the new midday jock at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois. Lombardo previously worked at Cumulus Media’s alt rock WKQX, Chicago…..News about the new morning show at Community Broadcasters-owned alternative WZLB, Fort Walton Beach “103.1 The Blaze” is expected soon as station program director Wes Styles announces the station has ended its carriage of the “Bubba the Love Sponge” program. Styles comments, “We’re excited about the evolution of the station. A new logo, voice, and morning show. Things are happening at ‘THE BLAZE!’ And we are confident these changes will create a better listening experience for our devoted fans and an enhanced advertising environment for our clients.”…..Chicago radio pro LaMont Watts’ Future Vision Entertainment is buying two FM translators from Windy City Broadcasting for $3.5 million. They will be fed by an HD signal of SBS’ WLEY-FM and will air Watts’ “Clubsteppin” R&B format that currently airs online. The translators are W236CF, Chicago (atop the Willis Tower) and W236BF licensed to suburban Bolingbrook.
Emmis Communications Reports 2016 Fiscal Q3 Numbers; Radio Segment Basically Flat. For the company as a whole – which includes radio, publishing and emerging technologies – net revenue was down 5.7% compared to the same period a year ago. But publishing took the big hit. Emmis Communications’ radio segment was basically flat – down 0.4%. For the first nine months of the company’s fiscal year (March-November), the radio segment was down 1.2%. In its filing with the SEC, the company explains, “For the nine-month period ended November 30, 2016, our performance exceeded the market average [as per Miller Kaplan data] in St. Louis, but we lagged the market average in New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis and Austin…Our weak performance in Los Angeles mostly related to a format competitor that began directly competing against our station there in February 2015. The revenue impact has been most pronounced since the fall of 2015. Emmis expects net revenues in Los Angeles will be up slightly from prior year for the three-month period ended February 28, 2017.” Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Emmis Radio is not accustomed to underperforming its markets. I was disappointed in our performance, but remain hopeful that recent ratings gains in Los Angeles and Austin, coupled with continued stellar performance in St. Louis, will lead to better performance in fiscal 2018. The general sluggishness in the radio industry makes the need for NextRadio all the more important. NextRadio, the smartphone app that provides free, portable FM radio listening, recently surpassed 10 million downloads and 25 million listening hours. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are now FM-enabled across all major wireless carriers in the United States and we reached an agreement with Sprint that keeps NextRadio preloaded on their Android devices. If NextRadio succeeds, as I believe it will, it will help solve major challenges for every radio station, including ours: establishing a one-to-one relationship with our listeners, regaining our portability, and making us relevant to a generation that thinks terrestrial radio is uncool. NextRadio gives us new, interactive revenue opportunities with current and potential advertisers – and it takes the compelling content created every day and provides a new platform for it.”
WABC, New York Expands ‘Bernie and Sid’ Show. New York City news/talker 77 WABC Radio officially announces the expansion of the late morning “Bernie and Sid Show” by an hour – now airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Both Bernard McGuirk (right) and Sid Rosenberg (left) continue their roles on Cumulus Media’s WABC-based “Imus in the Morning” program – McGuirk as sidekick and Rosenberg as sports anchor. It was a year ago that WABC launched the “Bernie and Sid” show that the station describes as delivering the duo’s “passionate conversation about the biggest topics in New York and across the nation” featuring “incredible guests and interaction with great New York listeners.” WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Bernie and Sid came out of the chute strong and haven’t slowed down. We are thrilled to add more time to this great show.”
FNC Moves Tucker Carlson into Megyn Kelly’s Slot. With Fox News Channel star Megyn Kelly now moving to NBC News, the cable news outlet announces that Tucker Carlson will move to the 9:00 pm ET slot held by Kelly. Carlson launched a 7:00 pm ET show on FNC in November and Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch says, “In less than two months, Tucker has taken cable news by storm with his spirited interviews and consistently strong performance. Viewers have overwhelmingly responded to the show and we look forward to him being a part of Fox News’ powerful primetime lineup.” Taking over Carlson’s 7:00 pm ET slot is longtime FNC anchor Martha MacCallum.
Stan Hubbard, Nina Totenberg, and Steve Jones Honored with RTDNA First Amendment Awards. The 2017 First Amendment Awards honorees have been named by the Radio Television Digital News Association. There are five awards that will be presented at a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 14. Hubbard Broadcasting CEO, president and chairman Stan Hubbard will receive the First Amendment Leadership Award. NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg will receive the RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award. ABC News Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones will receive the First Amendment Service Award. Bloomberg Politics co-managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will receive the First Amendment Award. And, CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker will receive the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award. RTDNF chair Kathy Walker comments, “At a time when freedom of the press is facing unprecedented challenges, our honorees stand up for values that are critically important to democracy.”
2017 Consumer Electronics Show. “It’s getting hard to find a computer here.” Media consultant Holland Cooke reports, from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In today’s report, read how one popular Christmas present is both a radio friend and foe. Click here for more.
Russian Hacking Allegations, Future of ObamaCare, Chicago Torture Case, WaPo Fake News Incident, Trump vs Ford and GM, Obama Lame Duck Actions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4). The debate over whether Russia was involved in the hacking of DNC emails and President-Elect Donald Trump’s backing of Julian Assange’s assertion it wasn’t versus the CIA’s belief it was; the Trump Administration’s intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act; the case of a man with special needs tortured live on Facebook in Chicago; criticism of the Washington Post’s incorrect reporting of the Russian hacking of the U.S. electrical grid via a Vermont utility; Donald Trump’s challenges to automakers Ford and General Motors to not move American jobs to Mexico; the actions being taken by President Obama to preserve his administration’s legislation; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Odds & Sods. In the Orlando market, iHeartMedia announces that talk WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1” program director Jack Bradshaw is now also overseeing the programming at sports talk W245CL “96.9 The Game.”…..Sports talk radio programmer Jason Barrett – president of Barrett Sports Media – reports he’s entering the podcasting space with a new, weekly show that will “give media professionals and sports radio and television fans a deeper look into the careers, strategies, and experiences of the industry’s best personalities, contributors, programmers, and executives.” Barrett’s first episode hits the “air” on February 8…..Pubcaster WBUR, Boston – the market’s NPR affiliate is inviting public radio journalists, age 35 and under, to submit entries for the annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize. Eligible works will have been broadcast or published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. The $5,000 Schorr Prize – sponsored by WBUR and Boston University, and funded by Jim and Nancy Bildner – recognizes a rising star in public radio and seeks to inspire a new generation of journalists to stretch the boundaries of the medium.
Entercom Splits WAAF, Boston Simulcast; Launches Urban ‘The New 97.7.’ For years, Entercom has been simulcasting rock outlet WAAF (licensed to suburban Westborough) on the 107.3 frequency and on WKAF (licensed to south suburban Brockton) on the 97.7 frequency. Now, the company splits that and launches an urban outlet on WKAF branded “The New 97.7, Boston’s #1 For R&B.” Entercom says for WAAF the simulcast “delivered little appreciable audience beyond the primary station’s booming signal.” Programming the new urban outlet is Chris Malone, who arrives from Cumulus Media’s WRBO and WKIM in Memphis. The station is being consulted by Jay Dixon, KBLX/KRBQ, San Francisco director of programming and operations Elroy Smith, and Sean Ross, VP of music and programming for Edison Research. Entercom New England VP/market manager Phil Zachary says, “Boston has a higher concentration of African-American consumers than San Francisco or Los Angeles, but no rated urban signals. The prospect of reaching almost 8% of the population with one radio station in a top 10 market is almost inconceivable in 2017.”
CBS RADIO Flips WZMP, Philly to AC as ‘Today’s 96.5.’ The former CHR outlet drops the hit intensive “96.5 AMP’ brand and re-positions WZMP as a workplace-friendly adult contemporary as “Today’s 96.5.” Bobby Smith is serving as the station’s program director. He states, “This is a station that will make you forget that you’re still at work, with one great song after another, while delivering on the promise of having fewer interruptions so you can always look forward to hearing another great song.”
iHeartMedia Orlando Promotes Brian Mack and Dwight Ricketts. At the Orlando cluster of iHeartMedia, Brian Mack is being named the new program director for adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7.” In addition, Mack will become the vice president of branding for the cluster. This is a newly created role in which he’ll oversee the marketing strategy for the company’s nine radio stations. He will also continue to serve as the program director for CHR WXXL “XL 106.7.” At the same time, “104.5 The Beat” afternoon personality Dwight “D-Strong” Ricketts is named PD for the hip hop outlet heard on translator W283AN (licensed to Altamonte Springs).
Matt Cord Moves to Mornings at WBEN, Philadelphia. Making the move from rock to adult hits is Matt Cord, who is partnered up with Kristen Herrmann for the morning drive show on Beasley Media’s WBEN-FM, Philadelphia. Cord was most recently evening personality on the company’s sister rock outlet WMMR. Cord says, “Coming from WMMR, I know how important and powerful morning radio can be. Moving to mornings on BEN FM is a great opportunity for me to stay with Beasley Media Group and offer another great option for Philly morning radio listeners. I’m thrilled to work with Kristen, too. She’s super talented. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Denver market, Kroenke Sports Entertainment names Bo Jaxon program director and morning personality (alongside Jenny D) at its country KWOF “92.5 The Wolf.” Jaxon, who takes over for Ed Hill, continues his role as program director for the company’s hot AC KIMN “MIX 100.”…..In San Francisco, KFOG morning host Matt Pinfield announces he’s taking some time off from duties at the Cumulus Media triple A station to deal with his alcohol abuse issues…..Rick Daniels is named the brand manager at Leighton Broadcasting’s country KYCK, Grand Forks, North Dakota. He replaces Brandon Young…..At Impact Radio Group in Boise, Curtis Booker moves up from APD and afternoon personality to program director for hot AC KZMG “My 102.7.”
PPM Analysis: CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of CHR-formatted stations based on data from the December 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Find out which stations saw the biggest (6+) increases from November to December and from December 2015 to December 2016. Also, five CHR outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) in December. Find out which ones, and more, here.