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Friday, March 30, 2018

| March 30, 2018

KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City’s Doug Wright Wrapping Daily Radio Show.  After a 40-year career at Bonneville’s heritage news/talk KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City, Doug Wright is stepping away from his daily late morning show duties.  The station says Wright will continue at the station as a special news consultant and correspondent, providing insight and commentary on top news stories for both KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio.  He’ll also continue to host the popular and long-running “KSL Movie Show” on Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Station GM Tanya Vea says, “Doug Wright is synonymous with KSL.  His show is the place where thought leaders go to talk and tune in to listen.  Doug’s insights and interviews have made a significant impact in this state.  He is an irreplaceable part of the KSL legacy.”  KSL is filling the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart with the new “Dave and Dujanovic” program.  The talk show, currently airs at night, hosted by longtime KSL-TV investigative reporter Debbie Dujanovic and former news and sports producer Dave Noriega.  Dujanovic says, “It’s impossible to fill Doug’s shoes.  However, we’ll emulate Doug by doing our best to be inclusive, understanding, and most importantly – by bringing to light the issues affecting Utahns the most.”  For two months beginning Monday, April 2, KSL will introduce “Dave and Dujanovic” Monday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon following a two-hour Doug Wright show.  Then, after Doug’s 40th anniversary and last daily show on Friday, June 1, “Dave and Dujanovic” will expand to a full three hours.

Status of KEGY, San Diego’s Kevin Klein Show Unclear.  The new morning drive show on Entercom’s recently flipped sports/hot talk hybrid “97.3 The Machine” starring Kevin Klein was supposed to launch yesterday – opening day for the San Diego Padres.  But, after Klein’s ill-advised promotional Tweet that got serious blowback for being insensitive to suicide, his show did not debut after all.  If you’ve been following this story, you are aware that the San Diego Padres were incensed about their new flagship station’s morning show promo and alluded to being concerned about the general tenor of the station in a recent piece in the San Diego Union Tribune.  The station has not publicly addressed the matter – other than issuing Klein’s profuse apology for the lapse in judgement.  It’s a safe bet that Entercom and the Padres are in serious talks about how to move forward and Klein’s status may be a part of that discussion.

Trump-Russia Investigation and Diplomatic Expulsions Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The ongoing investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the diplomatic expulsions by Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. ties for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Stormy Daniels litigation and her ‘60 Minutes’ interview.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s rising approval rating, followed by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ op-ed opinion calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the 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.

PBS NewsHour’s Steve Goldbloom Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He is a writer, producer, filmmaker and performer known for creating “Brief but Spectacular,” the weekly interview series for “PBS NewsHour.”   Steve Goldbloom is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne weekly series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Goldbloom is a young, multi-media practitioner who has developed several comedy series for digital platforms, including “Everything But The News” for PBS and “On The Brink Of Greatness” for AOL.  He has also contributed to the “PBS NewsHour” as a special correspondent in addition to his work on “Brief but Spectacular.”  Thirty-four-year-old Goldbloom also serves as host of the weekly PodcastOne series “Forbes Under 30.”  In this important program, produced in conjunction with Forbes magazine, he talks to outstanding entrepreneurs under the age of 30 who are shaking things up and creating disruption in the new digital marketplace of the 21st century.  Harrison and Goldbloom talk about this exciting new business arena as well as the ambitious young people who are fueling its dynamics.  They delve into the fascinating characteristics of the Millennial generation.  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

NAB Names Officers for Radio Board. The National Association of Broadcasters announces the results of the 2018 NAB Radio and Television Board elections.  These are two-year terms and they begin in June.  NAB Radio Board members are (* denotes new member): Hartley Adkins, president of integrated revenue strategy, iHeartMedia; David Bevins, chief operating officer, Connoisseur Media; *Justin Chase, executive vice president of programming, Beasley Media Group; Larry Fuss, president, South Seas Broadcasting; Kim Guthrie, president, Cox Media Group; Margaret Perkins, president and CEO, First Natchez Radio Group; *Dhruv Prasad, co-chief executive officer; Townsquare Media; Tony Richards, vice president, Federated Media; Tom Walker, president, Mid-West Family Broadcasting; Jim Watkins, general manager, WHUR-FM, Washington; and *John Zimmer, president, Zimmer Radio.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  From the Windy City, media writer Robert Feder reports that because of “specific safety and security concerns,” the WGCI-sponsored “TakeOver Jam” concert at the Chicago Theater was cancelled abruptly before it was to happen last night.  The event was to be a third anniversary celebration for morning show team Kyle Santillian, Kendra Gilliams, and Leon Rogers.  The public was not made aware of what the specific safetly concerns were, but theater owner Madison Square Garden Entertainment made the announcement hours before showtime…..Toledo radio personality Tricia Courtney Tischler is exiting her role on the Denny Schaffer show on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WQQO, Toledo “Q 105.5.”  Tischler is leaving the show to spend more time with her family but she acknowledges that she set out to prove she could still do her radio work every day after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  She’s been with the Denny Schaffer show since Schaffer’s return to the Toledo radio scene in September of 2014…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis’ hot AC WARH “106.5 The Arch” and WIL “New Country 92.3” teamed with CBS’ KMOV-TV to hold a 12-hour radio telethon yesterday (3/29) and raised more than $136,000 for Shriner’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Ryan Seacrest Accuser Files Police Report.  Former Ryan Seacrest hair stylist Suzy Hardy says she’s not going away and has taken her sexual harassment claims against radio and television superstar Ryan Seacrest to the police.  Hardy says she was fired by NBC after an investigation by the network into her allegations that concluded there was no evidence to support her accusations.  NBC contends her contract ended when Seacrest’s work at “E! News” wrapped.  Seacrest maintains his innocence.  You can read Hardy’s The Hollywood Reporter piece (with NBC’s statement) here.

PPM Analysis: Classic Rock.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on classic rock.  More than 60% of classic rock stations saw their 6+ AQH share go up from the January 2018 survey to the February 2018 survey.  Thirty percent were down and 9% remained flat.  Comparing February 2017 to February 2018, 58% of stations were up whereas 40% declined.  Just three classic rock stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in February – iHeartMedia’s KZPS, Dallas “Lone Star 92.5”; Entercom’s KSEG, Sacramento “Eagle 96.9”; and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City “101 The Fox” all landed on top.  Fifteen other classic rock outlets finished in the top five in their respective PPM markets.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

| March 28, 2018

MLB’s Padres Critical of Flagship Morning Host’s ‘Insensitive’ Tweet. On-air pro Kevin Klein begins his new gig as morning drive host at Entercom’s sports/hot talk KEGY, San Diego “97.3 FM The Machine” tomorrow, but he’s already irked the San Diego Padres and some of the general public with his Tweet promoting his new show.  The Tweet used an image of the Coronado bridge (with its history as a site of numerous suicides) and the text “JUMP! To a new morning show.”  The Padres – whose games emanate from KEGY as flagship station – among others, complained about the “insensitive and completely unacceptable” nature of the Tweet.  Klein removed the offending images and apologized for his error in judgement, writing, “I’d like to sincerely apologize to San Diego and listeners of 97.3 for a distasteful and insensitive social media post…The comment was reprehensible and inexcusable.  I’ve failed at making a good first impression, but I hope that you will give me another chance to provide entertainment and good-natured laughs when I go on the air on Thursday morning.  Once again, I apologize to all the listeners and the city of San Diego.”

Report Indicates Padres “Evaluating” Relationship with KEGY.  Apparently, it’s not just the above-mentioned Tweet snafu, but the MLB club is not thrilled with the station’s overall programming philosophy.  The San Diego Union Tribune’s Bryce Miller reports that Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler has issues with the programming tenor on the team’s flagship radio station.  “We’re going to get through this first home stand, then sit down and evaluate it.  We’re going to assess our legal obligations.  We just want a good radio partner that’s not offensive to the community.”  He also called the programming since the station flipped “almost shock-jock radio” and “not what we intended to be involved in.”  No doubt Entercom is working hard to save this relationship as the cume that baseball is likely to bring to the station is crucial to its successful launch.   Stay tuned.

PPM Analysis: Sports TalkTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his report on the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the sports world moved into the post-NFL portion of the calendar, sports talk stations took a hit to their AQH share.  Only 9% of sports talkers saw their 6+ numbers go up, while almost 70% suffered a decrease compared to the January 2018 survey.  But, year-over-year comparisons show about half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ shares increase from February 2017.  Just one station – Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP, Philadelphia – ranked #1 in its respective market; and just one other – New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston (#3) – ranked in the top five.  See Kinosian’s whole report here.

Cumulus to Place Four FMs in Divestiture Trust.  In its latest FCC filing, Cumulus Media reveals, among numerous other things, that it will divest of four FM stations in markets where it is currently over the FCC’s ownership limits.  The company says that it currently holds a grandfathered attributable interest in more radio stations than is permitted under the Commission’s local radio ownership rules in the Albany, Georgia; Columbia, Missouri; Green Bay; and Toledo markets.   Cumulus is therefore filing an application with the FCC to assign the licenses of country WNUQ-FM, Albany; classic hits KJMO-FM, Linn, Missouri; country WPCK-FM, Denmark, Wisconsin; and sports talk WTOD-FM, Toledo.

Craig Carton to Launch Daily Show on FNTSY Sports Network.  Former WFAN, New York morning personality Craig Carton is starting a daily program on SportsGrid’s FNTSY Sports Radio Network tomorrow (3/29).  The “Carton and Friends” streaming program will air from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm via TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and others.  FNTSY calls the show “innovative, irreverent, entertaining, compelling and a must listen…Craig and his group of celebrity friends together with a fresh group of off the wall real-life characters broadcasting live from Studio 34 in heart of Manhattan.”  Carton is in a legal battle with the Feds after being charged with fraud in connection with an alleged concert tickets Ponzi scheme.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post reports that sports personality Dan Patrick is not going to return to NBC’s “Football Night in America” program.  He says he is going to renew his deal with AT&T/DirecTV – the TV show that is simulcast for radio and syndicated by FOX Sports Radio.  Patrick says he was offered a new, five-year deal to continue with the NBC TV show but says he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit to the program for that long…..The new host of the Public Radio International-syndicated, New York Public Radio-produced talk program “The Takeaway” is Tanzina Vega.  The CNN news pro is taking over the permanent position from longtime host John Hockenberry, who left in December after allegations of inappropriate behavior.  Todd Zwillich has been hosting the show in the interim.  Vega begins on May 7.  NYPR president and CEO Laura Walker states, “At this critical moment in our nation’s history, when America is so polarized, public media has an opportunity and a mandate to bring people together to debate, discuss, and share experiences and perspectives that have been buried for too long.  With her deep expertise unpacking tough subjects with thoughtful insight and analysis, Tanzina is the perfect person to lead this urgent national conversation.”…..ABC Radio promotes Josh Cohan to the manager of digital audio position.  ABC News vice president and general manager Steve Jones says, “In his new role, Josh will help lead our expansion of podcasts and other programming across digital audio platforms while continuing to play an important role in our newsroom operations and editorial.”…..iHeartMedia Albany’s sports talker WOFX-AM “FOX Sports 980” renews its deal to serve as the market’s affiliate station for Boston Red Sox baseball through the 2020 season.  “FOX Sports 980” has aired Sox games since 2012…..Sun Broadcast Group announces that Paul Capodanno joins the firm as vice president of marketing and digital.  In the past, Capodanno has served with Zimmerman Advertising where he worked on major campaigns including: Office Depot, Party City, Michaels, and AutoNation…..Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz announces that Emmy Award-winning NBC News executive Mark Lukasiewicz is appointed dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.  The school says that Lukasiewicz brings “deep experience as a broadcast journalist, production executive and transformational newsroom leader known for his innovative methods of integrating digital media and traditional television platforms.”  He begins July 1.

Mark Simone Welcomes Geraldo Rivera.  710 WOR, New York midday personality Mark Simone (right) poses for a pic with news and talk legend Geraldo Rivera (left) in the iHeartMedia New York studios.  Rivera appeared on Simone’s show to kick off his book tour for The Geraldo Show: A Memoir (2018, BenBalla Books).

Trump-Russia Investigation, Justice Stevens Calls for Second Amendment Repeal, 2020 Census Citizenship Flap, California Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Kim Jong Un in China, Stephon Clark Shooting Death Protests, the NCAA’s Final Four, NFL Rule Changes, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ call for a repeal of the Second Amendment; the controversy over the questions about one’s citizenship on the 2020 U.S. Census; the tensions between California and certain of its cities over sanctuary policies; North Korea’s Kim Jong Un visits China; the protests in Sacramento over the police shooting death of Stephon Clark; the NCAA Men’s tournament Final Four; free agency signings in the NFL; Thursday’s MLB season openers; and NBA action 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. Longtime Detroit TV newsman Stephen Clark is tapped for the new morning show on Entercom’s classic hits WOMC.  The company says the new show debuts on Monday (4/2) with Clark and a co-host to be revealed on Thursday, April 5.  Clark recently retired from WXYZ-TV after 16 years as anchor of the 6:00 pm and 11:00 pm newscasts.  But, he was a disc jockey and radio reporter before moving into TV.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Stephen is an integral part of the fabric of Detroit and we are thrilled to have him open this new chapter in the station’s rich heritage.  Stephen’s connection with our local community, his personality and love of music make him a great fit to take the helm of the new WOMC morning show.”…..On-air pro Chad Pitt (left) is joining iHeartMedia’s WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107-7” as co-host of the “Magic Morning Show,” effective April 2.  Pitt will work on air with incumbent personality Leslye (right).  Station PD Brian Mack says, “Although, nothing will replace our beloved John Forsythe when he embarks on his well-deserved retirement after 50 years of radio, we can take solace in reunification with an old friend.”  Pitt returns to iHM Orlando after working on air in markets including Memphis, Tampa, and Houston…..Envision Networks’ “The Country Oldies Show with host Steve Warren” is added to the program schedule at WJJM, Lewisburg, Tennessee.  “The Country Oldies Show” features a half-century of the greatest country hits from the 1950s to the 1990s.  Warren has been the host and producer of the program since its inception…..Milwaukee Public Schools-owned non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” is unveiling the grant and educational initiative “Backline” designed “to help Milwaukee musicians succeed, establish Milwaukee’s reputation as an emerging music city, and help Milwaukee companies attract and retain young employees.”  The station is working with business accelerator gener8tor.  “Backline” will recruit four Milwaukee area musicians or bands for its first 12-week session this summer, modeled on gener8tor’s nationally ranked business start-up accelerator.  Selected musicians and groups will be eligible to receive grants of $20,000 for financial support and initiatives identified through the accelerator process, such as recording, promotion and touring…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the Daytime Village at the iHeartCountry Festival on Saturday, May 5 will feature live performances by: Luke Combs, Brett Young, Lauren Alaina, Dylan Scott, and Danielle Bradbery.

Monday, March 5, 2018

| March 5, 2018

iHeartMedia Gets Breathing Room to Settle Debt Issue.  Industry watchers were expecting iHeartMedia to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection over the weekend as the default on a missed $103 million payment on 14% Senior Notes was about to kick in.  That didn’t happen and iHeart announces that yesterday (3/4) it “and certain lenders party thereto (the ‘Consenting Lenders’) entered into a Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Agreement’), with respect to the Credit Agreement, dated as of May 13, 2008, as amended and restated as of February 23, 2011 (as further amended or supplemented from time to time, the ‘Credit Agreement’), among iHeartCommunications, as the parent borrower, the subsidiary co-borrowers and foreign subsidiary revolving borrowers party thereto, iHeartMedia Capital I, LLC, as a guarantor, Citibank, N.A., as administrative agent, swing line lender and letter of credit issuer, and the other lenders from time to time party thereto.  The Consenting Lenders constitute the lenders required under the Credit Agreement to grant a forbearance.  Pursuant to the Forbearance Agreement, the Consenting Lenders agreed to temporarily forbear from accelerating the obligations under the Credit Agreement or otherwise exercising any rights or remedies thereunder as a result of any actual or prospective event of default under Section 8.01(e) of the Credit Agreement resulting from iHeartCommunications’ failure to make an interest payment beyond the applicable grace period with respect to its 14.00% Senior Notes due 2021 that was originally due on February 1, 2018.  The forbearance became effective upon all parties’ execution thereof and will terminate immediately and automatically upon the earliest to occur of (i) March 7, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Central time and (ii) an event of default under the Credit Agreement other than those that resulted in the entry into the Forbearance Agreement (the ‘Forbearance Period’).”

Erick Erickson Signs New Deal with WSB, Atlanta.  Afternoon drive personality Erick Erickson has signed a new contract with Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta to continue his work with the station through 2020.  Erickson joined the station in 2011 and moved into a prime daypart in less than one year.  WSB director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs states, “We are excited to have Erick as part of our radio family for the long term.  He came into radio having never expected to be on radio and has thrived.  The contacts in his phone are a ‘Who’s Who’ of newsmakers and power brokers.  Atlanta is genuinely listening to the most connected man in radio.”  In addition to hosting “Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson,” weeknights from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, he also provides political analysis for “Atlanta’s Morning News” and occasionally fills in for WSB’s Herman Cain.  Erickson says, “I fell into radio by accident, and it has been fun to really move from being a blogger and TV pundit into the role of talk radio host.  These last couple of years were not at all what I expected, but I get up every day excited to keep Atlanta entertained and informed with what is happening locally, nationally, and around the globe.”

Entercom Officially Announces Launch of ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego; Kevin Klein to Host Morning Drive.  Last week, TALKERS magazine reported Entercom’s plans for former CHR KEGY, San Diego – to turn it into a hot talk/sports hybrid with former XEPRS sports talker Dan Sileo in middays and the KISW, Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” show in afternoon drive.  Now, Entercom sends out an official presser announcing former alternative KITS, San Francisco personality Kevin Klein will be morning drive host, effective March 29.  Until that time, the station will air rebroadcasts of “The Men’s Room” in mornings.  As previously reported, the station will be the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball.  Entercom says the station will present a “unique mix of compelling personalities, comedy, sports and curated classic rock music…evenings and weekends when not broadcasting Padres baseball, ‘97.3 The Machine’ will provide music fans in San Diego with a true classic rock curated playlist ‘That Rocks,’ framed by entertaining comedy.”

Author Suing Sid Rosenberg and WFAN for Fraud.   Today’s New York Post is reporting that author Joseph DeBlasi is suing WABC, New York talk show host Sid Rosenberg and WFAN, New York for $20 million.  DeBlasi alleges in his complaint that Rosenberg was paid $5,000 to get DeBlasi interviews on the radio to promote his book, Polarized: Sex, Lies and Family Betrayal.  Rosenberg’s lawyer says the allegation is a lie and that Rosenberg was never given any money.  DeBlasi’s complaint states that the June 2014 deal was supposed to get DeBlasi on Geraldo Rivera’s program on WABC.  It further states that after Rosenberg attempted to get him the interview, DeBlasi learned that the deal with Rosenberg was illegal, violating payola laws.  DeBlasi did appear on WFAN three times when Rosenberg was filling in on the morning show.

‘The Conservative Cartel’ Now Syndicated by USA Radio.  Beginning today (3/5), “The Conservative Cartel” – co-hosted by Matt Locke and Chris X – is being syndicated by USA Radio.  The Fort Worth-based program airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET daily.  The program continues to be distributed via TheBlaze Radio Network for weekends.  The program will debut in 15-plus markets.  USA Radio general manager Janet Bro says, “We’re extremely excited to announce the addition of ‘The Conservative Cartel’ to the daily lineup of shows available from USA Radio.  Matt Locke and Chris X are the perfect addition to syndicated radio and the USA Radio family.”

WBEN, Buffalo Airing 12 Hours of Talk About School Safety and Guns.  Calling it “#12Voicesin12Hours,” WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger says in a blog post that today’s 6:00 am to 6:00 pm broadcast addressing school safety and guns may “make you uncomfortable at times…But to advance change, meaningful and helpful change, you need to understand those who disagree with you and hear them out.”  Wenger says, “The hard part about this ‘conversation’ is that while most people want to have it, most walk away from it as soon as ideas are presented that go against their own personal thoughts and beliefs on the issues.  Most ‘cable news’ conversations go ‘ugly’ in a hurry and simply build a brick wall between two warring sides.  Unless that changes, nothing changes…this broadcast is, by design, not laden with politicians who are looking for a spotlight.  But it will, in the end, include some thoughts from some willing members of our Congressional delegation who may well be charged with advancing legislation that could impact us all.”  Wenger notes that each hour of the broadcast will be saved as a podcast for listeners to check out later.

TALKERS News Notes. In New York, Salem Media Group is launching a news weekly program featuring John Catsimatidis called “Cats At Night” on WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show debuts on Wednesday (3/7) and airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Catsimatidis also hosts a Sunday morning interview program called “The Cats Roundtable” that airs on WNYM and six other stations.  Catsimatidis says, “I love doing radio.  It’s the most enjoyable hour of my week.  I am excited about expanding my radio presence to drive time with ‘Cats at Night’ and the opportunity to share my views on what’s really going on in New York and the world.  My thanks to Jerry Crowley and his team at WNYM for their ongoing support.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he recently had the pleasure of interviewing Atlantic County resident Helen Turner, who will turn 111 on April 1.  Hurley says he reached out to Atlantic County executive Dennis Levinson live, on the air requesting he make April 1, 2018 Helen Turner Day and he agreed.  Turner is also a huge fan of FOX News Channel star Tucker Carlson.  Hurley reached out to Carlson to see if he would announce Turner’s birthday on FNC and provide an autographed photo for her and he also readily agreed…..WTMJ, Milwaukee’s WTMJ Cares “Game Night for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight” recently raised a total of $54,758 to fund WTMJ Honor Flights for 150 veterans to see their memorial in Washington, DC.  The unique partnership with the NBA‘s Milwaukee Bucks featured a pre-game party at historic Turner Hall where guests met Vietnam Veterans.  After the party, the group enjoyed the Bucks game against the Washington Wizards.  The event was the finale of a three-week on-air campaign led by WTMJ Radio afternoon host, John Mercure.  Mercure’s “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project told stories of the service of Vietnam Veterans in the area. To complete the fundraising, WTMJ held a radiothon where WTMJ listeners donated $32,758 in three hours…..TribLive.com is reporting that the new owners of KQV, Pittsburgh hope to restore the all-news format that aired on the station prior to the previous owner’s shutting it down and selling it.  Robert and Ashley Stevens – principals of Broadcast Communications Inc. – are paying $55,000 for the station and its assets.  Stevens tells the news outlet, “We would like to be able to do the news.  I would like to be able to do it as a news station very similar to the way it was.  We just need to make sure we can do it in a way that would be financially feasible.”…..Northpine.com is reporting that WRRD, Milwaukee majority owner Michael Crute has entered into a deal with Good Karma Broadcasting to lease WTTN, Columbus, Wisconsin (Madison market) in order to air the “Resistance Radio” progressive talk format currently airing on WRRD.  WTTN’s primary signal is northeast of Madison but Crute has applied for an FM translator at 92.7 that would cover much of Madison.  Crute also has a construction permit for a 250-watt translator at 101.7 in the Milwaukee market.

Trump Tariffs/Trade War Talk, Trump Admires Xi Jinping, NRA Membership Spikes/Gun Control Issues, Russian Election Hacking, Sunday Night’s Oscars Awards, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Reactions to President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and the related issue of trade wars; President Trump’s comments about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s elimination of term limits for his position and suggestion that the U.S. should do the same; the NRA reports a spike in new memberships and the related issue of gun control measures; the allegations of Russian hackers targeting U.S. elections; Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After last week’s departure of afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau from Hubbard Radio’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago, the company announces the new afternoon team and several other air talent moves.  Former FOX TV Chicago personality Jenny Milkowski, a.k.a. Jenny Milk, is teaming up with Jay Styles to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Styles moves from his role as the Chicago producer of the “Brooke & Jubal Morning Show” on WSHE.  Filling his shoes there is evening jock Robb Rose.  His 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight shift is now being hosted by station weekend personality Brian Middleton…..After moving country KIIX from the 96.1 frequency in Spokane to KZFS-AM/K257FX, iHeartMedia launches new alternative rock outlet “ALT 96.1.”  The station is airing Premiere Networks’ Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” in morning drive…..The nationally syndicated Tino Cochino program is airing in evenings on Alpha Media’s CHR WNGY, Peoria “G 102.3.”  Cochino comments, “I’ve been a fan of the ‘G’ brand from the beginning.  Alpha took a different, much needed approach and it’s clearly working.  To partner our show with ‘G 102.3’ is beyond exciting to say the least!  I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to extending our brand in the Peoria market.”.….iHeartMedia announces Taylor Swift will present the world premiere of her new video for the hit single “Delicate” at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards this Sunday (3/11).  The event will simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET in addition to airing on numerous iHeartMedia radio stations…..The sale of four radio stations from MTS Broadcasting to Draper Media closes.  Draper acquires Maryland stations country WAAI-FM, Hurlock; oldies WTDK-FM, Federalsburg; adult standards WCEM-AM, Cambridge; and adult contemporary WCEM-FM, Cambridge for $700,000.  Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker…..Premiere Networks and Viacom’s CMT announce a multi-year extension of their deal that syndicates CMT personality Cody Alan’s “CMT After MidNite” country music show.  As part of the deal, CMT and Premiere Networks will continue to collaborate and develop programs and events for multiple platforms.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on rhythmic CHR.  In this report, Kinosian compares 6+ share fluctuations from the Holiday 2017 survey to January 2018, January 2017 to January 2018, and more.  See the whole report here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

| March 2, 2018

iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Filing Likely This Weekend.  That’s what industry and financial business watchers are saying as the grace period on iHeartMedia’s February 1 non-payment of $103 million in interest runs out.  For example, Bloomberg’s Emma Orr says that advisers working with iHeartMedia senior creditors have been made privy to bankruptcy papers designed for the first day of bankruptcy court proceedings.  Orr writes, “Despite a year of negotiations on a restructuring plan, a formal support agreement still isn’t in place with the most-senior lenders, and the creditors aren’t in restricted talks with the company…Creditors typically agree to restrict some of their activities in exchange for non-public information when talks heat up.”  iHeartMedia and senior creditors have been unable – so it seems at this late hour – to come to terms on a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan making it likely that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy will take place that could, in Orr’s words, “turn into a free-fall, with some of the biggest and most contentious specialists in distressed companies potentially tussling for years over about $20 billion of debt.”

Entercom Flips CHR KEGY, San Diego Hot Talk/Sports Hybrid.  Or so it would seem as Entercom dropped the CHR format on KEGY, San Diego yesterday afternoon at 2:00 pm and began stunting with rock songs.  A website for the station indicates it’s being branded “97.3 The Machine, Talk That Rocks” and displays a program schedule that includes the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon drive show “The Men’s Room” (Miles Montgomery, Steve The Thrill Hill, Mike Hawk, and Thee Ted Smith) in both morning drive and afternoon drive.  Sandwiched between in middays is former crosstown sports XEPRS morning host Dan Sileo.  The site lists “music & comedy” to air from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Though the site doesn’t mention San Diego Padres baseball, a previous presser from the MLB club indicated games would air on 97.3 FM this season.  A number of industry watchers – including TALKERS magazine – expected the station to flip to sports talk.  Time will tell if this stunting is a bit of misdirection or if Entercom is really going go with a hot talk/sports hybrid.  Stay tuned!

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from the January 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on news/talk.  Historically, the format experiences a ratings dip during the Holiday survey period and rebounds in January and things are no different this year.  Kinosian writes that “more than eight of 10 of these news/talk panelists are up between Holiday 2017 – January 2018 (82%, 6+), while only one in 10 (10%) of the qualifiers listed here are down; the remaining 8% are flat.”  But, comparing January 2017 to January 2018, “roughly three of every five stations on our news/talk sample register a year-to-year decrease (61%, 6+), while approximately one in three (32%) improve; the remaining 7% are unchanged.”  Two talk stations managed to rank #1 in their respective markets in the January survey – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Twelve other news/talk outlets ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Gun Control Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 26 – March 2.  The debate over gun control in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and the related televised White House meeting in which President Trump favored raising the minimum age for gun ownership was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the resignation of White House communications director Hope Hicks the day after her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s public criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the FISA abuse allegations, followed by the Trump-Russia probe at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

USA Radio Network Refutes Industry Scuttlebutt.  The radio syndication firm says rumors that it is canceling its “Daybreak USA” morning talk program are untrue.  USA Radio Network says the show is continuing with new hosts RoddWilliam Stowell and his wife Rachael Marie.  Company general manager Janet Bro states, “There are always rumors in this industry, but this one is unfounded and obviously unconfirmed with USA Radio Network.  We have made several changes in other shows and will soon be adding other programming opportunities for you.  Canceling Daybreak is not even a consideration.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago sports talker WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is adding ESPN Radio’s “Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz” to air in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot, beginning Monday (3/5)…..CBS News Radio’s “WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP” celebrates 80 years on the air on March 13.  CBS notes that the program is America’s longest-running newscast program.  On March 13, special programming “will explore the first broadcast in 1938, its significance to the history of radio at the time, and how the ‘WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP’ has evolved to remain relevant today.”  CBS News Radio general manager Craig Swagler says, “People have lots of choices for news, so achieving 80 years on the air is an incredible landmark.  We are proud that millions of Americans rely on the reporting of CBS News every day.”…..SiriusXM is launching two news sports talk channels on Monday (3/5), one each dedicated to a college sports conference.  SiriusXM ACC Radio will super-serve fans of the Atlantic Coast Conference with programming including “ACC This Morning,” hosted by Mark Packer and Wes Durham.  The afternoon “ACC Today” show is hosted by Chris Spatola and Jac Collinsworth.  The SiriusXM Pac-12 channel focuses on Pac-12 Conference sports, including a morning drive show hosted by Guy Haberman and former Washington State quarterback and Pac-12 Player of the Year Ryan Leaf.  The afternoon “Pac-12 Today” is being hosted by Kate Scott, Utah alum Sean O’Connell, and former Oregon lineman Geoff Schwartz.

Christopher Nixon Cox Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. He is the son of Tricia Nixon Cox and New York State Republican Party chairman Edward F. Cox and the grandson of the 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon. Attorney, international businessman, and GOP strategist, Christopher Nixon Cox is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Cox discuss the state of politics in America, the first year of the Donald Trump presidency, his memories of growing up in a major American political family, and his involvement in talk radio in the US and abroad. Harrison describes Cox, who served as New York State executive director of U.S. Senator John McCain‘s 2008 presidential campaign and is a former congressional candidate as “a bright and articulate young man with an extraordinarily colorful past and an extremely bright future.” Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Hillsdale College Students Reported from CPAC.  At last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, students from Hillsdale College conducted more than 50 interviews over two days.  WRFH, Hillsdale “Radio Free Hillsdale” general manager Scot Bertram guided students Ben Dietderich, Shad Strehle, and Ryan Murphy through interviews with an array of personalities, from conservative thinkers to celebrities to college alumni.  This was the first time the college hosted a booth on CPAC’s media row.  Above left is Strehle interviewing former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and at right, Murphy files a video report.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Seattle, Entercom names Emily Raines co-host of the morning show on country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”  Raines joins “The Morning Wolfpack with Matt McAllister” on Monday (3/5).  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We are excited to welcome Emily to our ‘Morning Wolfpack’ show alongside Matt McAllister.  She is a very talented personality, compelling storyteller and has a competitive spirit that understands what it takes to play at the highest level of major market radio.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WSHE afternoon drive personality Cara Carriveau’s last shift on the Hubbard Radio adult contemporary station is today.  In a statement, Carriveau  says, “I am so appreciative of all of the wonderful opportunities Hubbard Radio Chicago has given me.  To have hosted afternoons on WSHE after hosting middays on WTMX makes me extremely proud of the past decade in my career.  I will deeply miss the amazing people I have worked with for so many years.”…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones morning show re-ups with Adams Radio Group’s country WBTU, Fort Wayne “US99.3” through 2024.  Bobby Bones comments, “I am pumped to be staying with ‘US93.3.’  No station has been more supportive.  And in return I’ve tried to show my support back by going to Fort Wayne multiple times to do shows for my awesome listeners.  Shout out to everyone at Adams Radio Group and PD Randy Alomar for fiercely promoting the show every day.”

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

| May 2, 2017

Entercom Names Sports Exec Mike Dee to New President Post.  Named to this newly created position – president of Entercom sports – is professional sports executive Mike Dee.  He comes to Entercom’s Philadelphia headquarters from San Diego where he was president and CEO of the MLB’s Padres.  He’s also served as president and CEO with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and as COO of the Boston Red Sox.  In this new position with Entercom, Dee will be working on “creating value for the company’s sports business enterprise…with a focus on revenue development from national sales and marketing programs, new platform opportunities, key partnerships, expanded sports distribution, direct-to-consumer offerings and other entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level. He will be responsible for elevating Entercom’s position as a leading sports media partner in support of the company’s expansive suite of local sports radio stations and personalities and sports play-by-play relationships.”  After the closing of the Entercom-CBS merger, the new company will have an increased portfolio of sports talk stations and affiliated digital platforms.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Mike is a highly talented and accomplished executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with some of the most respected organizations in the world of sports.  The creation of this new role underscores our commitment to leveraging our sports platforms to compete more effectively with other media as we drive new opportunities and expand our customer base.  Mike is uniquely equipped to help us develop cohesive national opportunities across sports and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”

Ernie Brown New Host of ‘Trending Today.’ After the recent departure of host Rusty Humphries, Liftable Media announces it brings talk radio pro Ernie Brown aboard as the new host of “Trending Today USA.”  Brown has worked in markets such as Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Diego, as well as for seven years in mornings at KRLD, Dallas and five years at KOMO-AM, Seattle.  Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown says, “We are innovating and attempting something new in audio programing.  We are creating a social media news feed program and placing that programing in traditional broadcast radio.  We see over-the-air radio as a natural addition to the distribution points for the content we create every day.”  The program is syndicated by the USA Radio Networks.

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports on First Quarter.  This 2017 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group is a bit more complicated due to the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations and the pending deal to sell the Charlotte stations.  In reporting the 2017 and 2016 first quarter pro-forma results, these numbers reflect the legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the divested Greater Media Charlotte stations, as if the transaction had been completed January 1, 2016.  Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley reports, “Our first quarter revenue, SOI and net income growth reflect the contributions from the Greater Media stations, partially offset by the absence of political revenue and softer national revenue trends.  On a reported basis, the 95.7% increase in consolidated first quarter net revenue drove SOI growth of 31.1%.  Pro forma revenue was down 5.7%, or $3.3 million, of which approximately $1.0 million was attributable to the lack of political revenue, with the remainder attributable to transitional matters related to the Greater Media stations as well as lower national revenues. This was partially offset by a 5.7% reduction in pro-forma first quarter operating expenses…On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue declined by $2 million, with approximately 35% of the decline related to the absence of political revenue and the remainder partially attributable to the reformatting of a station in Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Greater Media properties had a first quarter revenue decline of approximately 4% on a stand-alone basis, which was attributable to the political spending levels, as well as certain specific integration-related issues particularly in Philadelphia and declines in national revenues.”

Hannity Denies He’s Trying to Get Out of Fox News Channel.  In the immediate aftermath of the exit of Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine, there was speculation in the form of a Mediaite piece citing Fox insiders who said Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity is negotiating his exit from the company and would probably be out by Friday.  Hannity responded via Tweet to an Independent Journal Review story reporting that he is not negotiating an exit, writing, “If I have anything to say about @FoxNews, I will say it tonight at 10 est.  All I’ll say now is this is true,” referring to the IJR report that he’s not leaving. With the recent ouster of Bill O’Reilly, and the exits of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, there’s been a lot of chatter about wholesale changes at Fox News Channel, even a potential shift in programming philosophy.  However, even as Fox adjusts its prime time programming, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of major changes.

Beasley Retains Lori Burgess as Integrated Marketing Strategy Consultant. Working in area of content and advertising alignment, Lori Burgess is being retained by Beasley Media Group as an integrated marketing strategy consultant.  The company says that Burgess’ expertise is a “focus on building revenue through creative multi-platform marketing and new media solutions.”  In the past she’s worked with such brands as The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Salem Tweaks Lineup at KCBQ, San Diego.  Saying it wants to use its two top-rated hosts in mornings, Salem Media Group adjusts the morning drive lineup on news/talk KCBQ-AM, San Diego “AM 1170 The Answer.”  Beginning May 15, the Hugh Hewitt show will be expanded and air from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, followed by two live hours of the Mike Gallagher show from 7:00am to 9:00 am.  Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Salem Radio Network now provides live news and issue-oriented programming from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight ET with some of the best hosts on radio.  This new lineup will be well received in San Diego and will allow us to properly use the Salem assets at our disposal in the most efficient way. These two hosts are at the top of their game, and we’re delighted to give them more time in such an important market.”

TALKERS News Notes. Legendary Dallas station WBAP-AM is celebrating its 95th year on the air today (5/2).  The Cumulus Media news/talk signal is one of the oldest radio stations in Texas.  It was founded by Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and debuted on May 2, 1922, when stations in Texas were still given call signs beginning with a “W” instead of a “K.”  Pictured at right is one of the station’s first remote broadcast vehicles…..There were a number of cuts at iHeartMedia stations yesterday (5/1), including KOA, Denver sports director Mark Johnson.  He exits the station after 13 years there.  He continues his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Colorado Buffaloes via his deal with Learfield Sports…..Also exiting an iHeartMedia station is sports talk host Matt Shepard, who departs WDFN, Detroit after 16 years there.  The Detroit News reports that there were also cuts at the company’s Grand Rapids station group…..New York radio personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the Bernie & Sid midday show with Bernard McGuirk – is venturing back into the sports talk realm and will start hosting a weekend show on the CBS Sports Radio network on May 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump’s Andrew Jackson-Civil War Statements, Status of New Health Care Bill, Trump Budget, UT Stabbings, Trump’s Kim Jong Un and Duterte Meetings, Climate Change Controversy, May Day Protests, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The assessment of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; President Donald Trump’s historically questionable statements about Andrew Jackson and the cause of the Civil War; the status of a new GOP-authored health care bill; analysis of the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal; the deadly stabbings at the University of Texas; President Trump’s statements about desiring meetings with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the reinvigorated debate over climate change and the flak The New York Times is taking for an op-ed by Bret Stephens on the matter; violent May Day protests across the world; and MLB, NBA and NHL action 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. There appears to have been reductions in forces across numerous iHeartMedia clusters yesterday (5/1), including the company’s parting of ways with Cincinnati programmer Bo Matthews, who was responsible for rock WEBN and CHR WFKS “Kiss 107.”…..Multi-media urban superstar Steve Harvey and iHeartMedia agree to an “exclusive, long-term” contract extension to keep him at the helm of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”  Additionally, Harvey will work with iHeartMedia on a variety of projects, including development and creation of new programming and promotions, community and charitable initiatives, as well as multimedia projects and events.  He will also continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Steve is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with audiences across multiple platforms, which make him a great asset for iHeartMedia.  We are excited to extend our partnership with Steve, continuing to deliver the most engaging content and top personalities to our listeners nationwide.”…..Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock” announces that Marianne Sierk is joining Kirk McEwen for the afternoon drive show.  “Kirk and Marianne” are now heard weekdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm pm. Sierk has headlined comedy clubs across the country and has done numerous television shows, including VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” Tru TV’s “World’s Dumbest,” and “The World Stands Up” for the BBC.  WIYY PD Rick Strauss says, “Kirk was already flying high in afternoons, but when Marianne was a guest on his show a few months ago, it was so much fun that we had to make it permanent.”…..Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland announces the station’s new show lineup that’s designed to “reflect and enhance KINK’s more progressive music stance.”  Corey and Mitch are in AM drive, Jared Aman hold down middays, program director Sean Demery hosts afternoons, Jeff Allen is night jock and Shauna Steele is the overnight personality…..SiriusXM launches a new channel dedicate to the work of The Beatles.  On May 18, the satcaster will debut the channel “created by SiriusXM to present unique and exclusive programming in collaboration with and fully authorized by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. The Beatles Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of adult contemporary-formatted stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  iHeartMedia’s “Sunny 106.5” in Las Vegas led the pack in improvement (6+ Mon-Sun) in which “roughly half the stations (51%) on our adult contemporary sample falter between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+); 44% improve; and the remaining 5% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Comparing last March to March of this year, with Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WLDB “B93.3” leading the gainers, “50% of this adult contemporary panel regresses year-to-year and 46% improve; 4% of the panel is unchanged from March 2016.”  Meanwhile, eight adult contemporary stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in March.  See all the data here.