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PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2017 PPM survey. Looking at stations’ 6+ numbers, Kinosian reports that “virtually one of every two news/talk stations on this sample is down between October 2017 – November 2017 (49%), while more than one of every three improves (36%); the remaining 15% are flat.” When comparing 6+ ratings from November of 2016 to this year, “nearly as many stations on our news/talk sample are up November 2016 – November 2017 (48%) as are down (51%), with 1% remaining unchanged from a year ago.” Three news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in November – Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” Three others ranked #2 in their respective markets – Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle and KSL, Salt Lake City; and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee. See the entire report here.
Nielsen: ‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio. A PPM market-wide review of sports talk stations’ performances by Nielsen Audio indicates that this time of year is good for sports talk stations. Nielsen looks at the month-by-month uptick in sports talk listening (across PPM markets) since June in three demos – persons 6+, persons 18-34, and persons 25-54. In each, we see a gradual rise over that period. For persons 25-54, the average quarter-hour share was 4.3% in June and over six months rose to November’s 5.7 share. Looking at persons 18-34, June’s AQH share was 3.1%. In November, that AQH share was 4.3%. Nielsen says baseball was a big factor in November’s numbers. “Both the National and American League Championship baseball series took place during the November survey (which ran from Oct. 12 to Nov. 8), as did the World Series, which went to a deciding game seven for the second year in a row. These contests had a notable impact on sports radio listening, especially since the teams hailed from major markets.” See the Nielsen report here.
Football Great Warren Moon Takes Leave from Seahawks Radio Broadcasts After Sexual Abuse Allegations. Legendary footballer Warren Moon is revered by most in Seattle for his football heroics leading the University of Washington Huskies to the 1978 Rose Bowl and for his NFL career that included time playing for the Seattle Seahawks. But now, after allegations of sexual abuse from a former employee at his Sports 1 Marketing firm, Moon is taking a leave of absence from Seahawks Radio Network radio broadcasts in which he has been serving as a color analyst. Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle serves as the flagship station for game play-by-play. In Moon’s absence, KIRO’s Brock Huard and Dave Wyman will share color analyst duties. Read Matt Calkins’ piece in the Seattle Times here.
Mike Francesa Reveals Some Post-WFAN Plans. Speaking to SI.com.’s Richard Deitsch, WFAN afternoon personality Mike Francesa says that one likely place for him to pop up in the immediate aftermath of his WFAN career is on Bill Simmons’ podcast. “A lot of people want to know where I will go to finish my football picks, which are very popular. A couple of people have asked me to sell them. I said no. Bill has offered me a home to pick them on his podcast, which I am thinking about. The NFL Network has offered me the opportunity to do it. So, I will do it somewhere. I don’t know where. But I would say the likeliest place is Simmons’ podcast because of my relationship with him.” Francesa’s last radio show on WFAN is next Friday (12/15). Read the SI.com piece here.
New Programming Changes at KXTG, Portland. Just five months after naming Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey the late morning show on sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH, Portland, Alpha Media makes changes and the duo exit the station. The 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show is now CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome. Myers and Pouncey were brought in shortly after Dino Costa arrived at KXTG to host afternoons. Costa exited the station in August. The station is airing CBS Sports Radio’s Bill Reiter in that daypart. “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano” is the only local daily show currently on the program schedule.
Keillor Tells Star-Tribune MPR Never Asked for His Side of the Story. In a piece by Neal Justin in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, public radio legend Garrison Keillor says, “I wish Jon McTaggart [American Public Media CEO] had asked to hear my side of the story. Every story has two sides, sometimes more. He could have looked at the e-mails and the phone texts. It would’ve taken about an hour of his time and it could’ve saved us all this drama.” Last week, Keillor’s business relationship with American Public Media-owned Minnesota Public Radio was severed after an allegation of sexual impropriety leveled against him by a former staffer, although the story indicates MPR has evidence of a series of improprieties. Meanwhile, Keillor says lawyers from both sides are talking and he has hopes for a “happy resolution.”
The Franken and Conyers Resignations Top Talkers TenTM for Week of December 4-8. The resignation of U.S. Rep. John Conyers and Senator Al Franken, along with allegations against various entertainment figures of sexual impropriety, tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week. At #2 this week was President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Coming in at #3 was the GOP tax reform plan, followed by the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled, former judge Roy Moore 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.
TALKERS News Notes. Among the numerous, recent dismissals in the media world, there’s been a reversal at MSNBC, where the cable news/talk channel has brought Sam Seder back aboard after releasing him because of a “provocative joke” in a 2009 tweet. You can read CNN’s account here. MSNBC chief Phil Griffin said in a press release that the company had “erred” in its decision to fire Seder from his contributor position…..Tonight (12/8) at 7:00 pm ET, SiriusXM is airing a special show in its Town Hall series featuring Heisman Trophy winners Steve Spurrier and George Rogers. SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour will host as the two sit down in front of an audience at the SiriusXM Studios in New York City the day before the 2017 Heisman Trophy is presented to the nation’s top collegiate football player. They will also take questions from audience members in the studio. The program will air on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio channel. …..The most recent episode in ESPN Audio’s 30 for 30 Podcasts series is out. Its titled, “Madden’s Game,” and explores football legend John Madden’s connecting with upstart video game company Electronic Arts (EA) in the late 1980s and how that helped grow EA into a video game empire…..WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby checks in to share this photo of her taken with President Donald Trump at the White House Media Christmas Party. She says it was only hours after news broke that former national security advisor Michael Flynn had entered into a plea deal with the Feds and the president planned to take no personal photos or speak one-on-one to any journalists attending the bash. However, following his very brief remarks to the packed room, President Trump spotted Cosby – whom he’s known for decades – and immediately stepped off the podium to greet her and share a few private words. It’s believed to be the only shot he took with the media during this annual White House event.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Evening AC superstar Delilah is back on iHeartMedia’s Chicago adult contemporary WLIT “The New 93.9 LITE FM” in the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm daypart. The Premiere Networks star comments, “I’m so excited to be back on the radio every evening in the Chicago area. ‘The New 93.9 Lite FM’ is the perfect place to reconnect with so many listeners and pick up where we left off. It’s an early Christmas present!”…..Jerry Lee‘s hot AC WBEB, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” announces the winners of its 9th annual “Christmas Choir Competition” in which two school choirs – one at the K-8 level and one at the high school level – won $5,000 cash prizes for their schools’ music departments. They also got the chance to sing with the Philly Pops at “A Philly Pops Christmas” performance this month. Neshaminy High School Select Choir won the high school division and Bridle Path Elementary School Choir won the grade school division. To enter the contest, school choirs submitted videos of their performances of Christmas songs. The winners were chosen by public vote on the WBEB website…..iHeartMedia alternative rock KRAB, Bakersfield “106.1 KRAB Radio” adds “The Woody Show” for morning drive, effective Monday (12/11). The Premiere Networks syndicated show features Woody, along with co-hosts Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas…..Pictured below are country duo Big & Rich with the cast of Cumulus Media’s “Ty, Kelli, & Chuck” show after stopping by to visit to chat about their plans for the holidays, among other things. From left to right are: Ty Bentli, John Rich, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks, and Big Kenny.