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Friday, October 2, 2020

| October 2, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled “Shut Up and Keep Talking!” looks back at this past week of September 28th – October 2nd, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Kevin Miller, talk show host, KIDO, Boise; Hugh Hewitt, talk show host, Salem Radio NetworkAndy Bloom, CEO, Andy Bloom Communications / contributor, Newsmax.com; John Catsimatidis, CEO, Red Apple Media / syndicated talk show host; “Cousin” Bruce Morrow, program host, WABC, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here  or call 616-884-8616.

Michael Savage Announces He’ll Exit Radio in January to Focus on Podcasting. The talk radio star told his listeners on Wednesday (9/30) that he’ll be leaving his radio program effective in January. Michael Savage posted a Breitbart story about his announcement to his website and that piece says Savage will be heard exclusively on his “Savage Nation Podcast” on the Westwood One Podcast Network. However, other sources are reporting he’s splitting from Cumulus Media and Westwood One. Savage said on his radio show, “I cannot give you the reasons. I am constrained for legal reasons. You will no longer hear Michael Savage on radio anywhere in America.” Starting in 2019, Savage’s radio show was reduced from three hours to one – airing live from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET. He also began his podcast that some radio stations aired as a radio show.

WXYT-FM, Detroit Adds Jon Jansen to Morning Show. The new morning drive show at Entercom’s sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit is “Stoney and Jansen,” starring Mike Stone and Jon Jansen and featuring Heather Parks. Jamie Samuelsen co-hosted the morning show with Stone from August 2016 until his death on August 1. Jansen is a former University of Michigan and Detroit Lions football player and has been a frequent guest host on WXYT-FM as well as a personality on the station’s “Gameday Uncensored” weekly football show. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “As Detroit’s number one sports talk station, we are excited to add Jon’s vast NFL knowledge to our incredible team. A native Detroiter who played for the University of Michigan and the Lions, Jon has distinct passion for the city’s football scene. Detroiters are really going to enjoy the chemistry that Jon has with Stoney as they tackle the biggest storylines in the Motor City and beyond.”

Round Three of September PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AHQ share data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets. In Portland, Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM “FM News 101” adds one-tenth to finish the survey with a 6.0 share good for the #3 rank in the market. Entercom’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte also tacks on one-tenth to finish with a 6.0 share and rises to the #4 rank. iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento was up one-tenth to an 8.1 share and that was good enough to push it into the #1 spot. After four straight down surveys, Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City finished the September survey up one full share to post a 6.1 share and jumps into the #5 spot. Across town, iHeartMedia’s KNRS-FM adds 1.2 shares to finish with a 7.3 share and climbs into the #2 spot. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway report here.

PodcastOne Beefs Up Sports Content. The PodcastOne SportsNet announces new and upcoming programming that includes a weekly podcast hosted by NFL great Michael Irvin and a new daily show called, “All Balls, All Sports” starring Adam Carolla and Jeff Cesario. Sports media personality Chris Myers recently debuted his “CMI: The Chris Myers Interview.” PodcastOne CEO Peter Morris says, “Sports-related programming has done remarkably well on our network and this slate of premium sports shows from some of the greatest sports and comedic talent will serve both our audience and our advertisers.” The company says listenership to its sports-related programming has increased 14% in Q3 since the end of Q2 in calendar year 2020.

The Presidential Race, Tuesday’s Debate, and Mail-In Voting Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The November presidential election, Tuesday’s debate between President Trump and Joe Biden, and the debate over mail-in voting tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the week of September 28 – October 2, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and the issue of court-packing. Coming in at #3 was President Trump and Melania Trump testing positive for COVID-19 along with statistics about current infections and projections for future cases. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Next Wednesday (10/7) is the lone 2020 Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and Salem Radio Network is presenting live coverage. The debate will be moderated by USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page. SRN’s coverage begins at 8:06 pm ET with a special “SRN Debate Preview” hosted by nationally syndicated SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt who will be joined by special guests and feature an update from SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston. After the debate, SRN will present a 30-minute wrap-up program…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and Foxtopus Ink partner for Westwood One to distribute, market, and monetize Foxtopus’ existing and future podcasts. As part of the deal, popular science podcast “Wild Thing” moves to the Westwood One Podcast Network. “Wild Thing” – hosted by Laura Kratz – turns its gaze skyward in this second season. In “Wild Thing: Space Invaders,” Krantz examines the science, culture, and philosophy of a universe where we’re not alone and why the idea of alien life has abducted our imaginations…..Podcast network Ramble (a division of Cadence13 and part of Entercom’s Podcast Network) launches “Charli and Dixie: TWO CHIX,” a new weekly podcast hosted by sisters TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio. The sisters have a combined social following of nearly 200 million and tens of billions of views on leading social media platforms…..Skyview Networks wrapped its third annual upfront this week – a celebration built on a virtual stage for an audience of top media agencies and network buyers. The theme of this year’s event was “Unrivaled Momentum” in which Skyview underscored its strong focus on growth and new initiatives saying, “Despite the economic and industry effects of the pandemic, Skyview continued to increase the strength of its sales portfolio, building its affiliate relationships from 5,700 to over 9,000 and reaching more than half of American listeners weekly. Loaded with some of the biggest names in entertainment, music and news, Skyview has set the tone for a powerful year ahead.”…..HealthyLife.net Radio Network is extending the reach of its programs by launching HRNradio.com – a platform “designed to be the place where positive people and podcasts unite with more than 2,400 timeless, entertaining talk programs curated from HealthyLife.net Radio’s cadre of seasoned hosts like Dr. Bernie Siegel, Golden Globe winner Sally Kirkland and more.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.

Programming pro Tricia “TJ” Jenkins is named assistant brand and content director for Hubbard Radio’s hot AC KSTP-FM “KS95.” Station brand and content director Mat Mitchell says as part of her duties TJ will host the midday show and handle the traditional music director and APD roles. TJ was most recently co-host of Westwood One’s “Ty Bentli Show.” Previously she worked in the Twin Cities at Entercom’s KMNB-FM. Mitchell says, “There is a massive interest in this role at ‘KS95,’ and we talked to many talented people to champion the legacy of this brand. TJ immediately stood out to me as a personality who understands how to build companionship with the ‘KS95’ audience on-air, online, and in the Twin Cities community. TJ has the unique skills to collaborate with our record label partners, key clients, and I’m excited for her to join the Hubbard radio family!”…..Today, iHeartMedia’s KRRL, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” will present Big Boy and J Cruz hosting “A REAL Town Hall Meeting” for “serious conversations about issues that are important to the future of the Black and Brown communities in Los Angeles.” KRRL says, “The special town hall meeting will be a no-holds-barred, unfiltered discussion on a variety of significant topics including the importance of voting in the upcoming election and the relationship between the police and the Black and Brown communities in Los Angeles.” Also appearing on the show will be Van Jones, rapper Saweetie, attorney Benjamin Crump, sheriff Alex Villanueva, and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia…..iHeartMedia Chicago’s WGRB “Inspiration 1390 Music of Power and Praise” is presenting “Praise In Place,” a virtual concert and celebration featuring gospel artists Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Jekalyn Carr, Melvin Crispell III, LeNasia Tyson and Selah Youth Choir of Saint Sabina via livestream on the station’s Facebook page tonight at 7:00 pm. The event is being hosted by WGRB personalities Sonya Blakey, Marcella Jones, Willie Moore Jr. and DeAndre Patterson. The station will also honor local nonprofits and community and faith leaders who have provided much-needed services to the Chicagoland community during the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest.

September 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Three

| October 2, 2020

September 2020 PPM Data – Information for the September 2020 ratings period has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9.

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

Please Note: Given that the NFL season started September 10 – one day after the September 2020 sweep ended – there are no NFL flagship designations.

PORTLAND

News/Talk

  • After dropping six-tenths this time last month (6.5 – 5.9, 6+), Alpha Media-owned KXL notches a one-tenth gain (6.0, fourth to third, 6+). August’s 5.9 was the lowest 6+-stat for KXL since February (4.9). “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” was up one-half share in June/July (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+).
  • Leaping from #17 to #13, iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” erases roughly 36% of August’s -1.1 (3.8 – 2.7, 6+) with a September improvement of four-tenths to 3.1 (6+). Its June drop of three-tenths followed nine straight up or flat moves that yielded a +1.6 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+).
  • In three straight sweeps without an increase, Alpha Media’s KUFO “Freedom 970” has lost four-tenths (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0, #21 to #22, 6+).
  • Unchanged at #25, Salem Media Group’s KPAM nets two-tenths via four successive up or flat reports (.4 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .6, 6+). When “AM 860 The Answer” logged a .6 (6+) this time last month, it snapped at eleven a consecutive string of recording either a .4 (6+) or .5 (6+).

Sports Talk

  • Three down or flat moves in a row by Alpha Media’s KXTG accounted for a -1.1 (1.9 – 1.6 – .8 – .8, 6+), but “The Game” halts the slide with a +.3 to 1.1 (#23 to #21, 6+). KXTG had scored a collective four-tenths in three consecutive gains (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+).
  • In four of the last five survey periods, Entercom-owned KFXX notched a 1.1 (1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+). In September though, “1080 The Fan” is off one-tenth to 1.0 (flat at #22, 6+).
  • Tripling (+.4) its 6+ AQH share in five straight reports without a loss (.2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” (Trailblazers) advances from #28 to #25.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Albeit #1 the sixth time in a row, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB is an overall -1.7 via five consecutive down or flat trends (10.1 – 9.3 – 9.1 – 8.8 – 8.4 – 8.4, 6+). KOPB was a combined +1.9 in March/April (8.2 – 9.9 – 10.1, 6+).
  • The May 2020 through September 2020 topline for its internet stream is: .9 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .6 (#23 to #25, 6+).

  CHARLOTTE

 News/Talk

  • A cumulative -1.2 through four down or flat sweeps in succession (7.1 – 6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WBT applies the brakes with a gain of one-tenth to 6.0 (fifth to fourth, 6+). Immediately prior, “Charlotte’s News Talk” had more than doubled (+3.6) its 6+ AQH share through four increases in a row (3.5 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 7.1, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Without an increase four straight months for a net loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” (Hornets) is up seven-tenths in August/September (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.8, unchanged at #17, 6+).
  • A no-show in July, following a .1 (6+) in May and June, Beasley Media Group’s WBCN reappeared in August with a .1 (#21, 6+). “Fox Sports Charlotte” repeats those 6+ AQH share and market rank stats.

 News

  • The January 2020 through July 2020 topline for iHeartMedia’s WRFX-HD2 was: .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .2 – .1 (6+). As was the case this time last month, the Black Information Network affiliate is unlisted in September.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Despite bouncing back from August’s half-share loss with a September spike of three-tenths (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), University Radio Foundation’s WFAE backslides from #13 to #14. Three straight sweeps without a loss yielded WFAE seven-tenths (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+).
  • In July, WFAE HD-3 logged a .1 (6+), but it is unlisted in August and September.
  • The April 2020 through September 2020 topline for South Carolina Educational TV’s WNSC is: .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 (steady at #20, 6+).
  • This is the fourth time in the last five sweeps that co-owned WRJA “South Carolina Public Radio” is unlisted (.0 – .0 – .1 – .0 – .0, 6+).

SAN ANTONIO

News/Talk

  • Up one-tenth (6.0 – 6.1, steady at #2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned/Spurs flagship WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is now just two-tenths from the lead. Its recent fluctuations include: +1.0 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.3, January/February, 6+); -.5 (6.3 – 5.8, March, 6+); +2.1 (5.8 – 7.9, April, 6+); -.8 (7.9 – 7.1, May, 6+); -.6 (7.1 – 6.5, June, 6+); -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, July, 6+); and +.5 (5.5 – 6.0, August, 6+).
  • By dropping two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), Alpha Media’s KTSA suspends four successive up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Moreover, “Stay Connected” exits the top twenty (#20 to #21).

Sports Talk

  • For the fourth time in the last six survey periods, iHeartMedia-owned KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” logs a .4 (.4 – .5 – .4 – .6 – .4 – .4, flat at #29, 6+).
  • Off three-tenths this time last month (.5 – .2, 6+), Alpha Media’s KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” gains one-tenth to .3 (#32 to #30, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • After being within 2.5 – 2.9 range (6+) in five successive reports (9 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio’s KSTX dials up a +.6 to 3.3 (#17 to #15, 6+).

 SACRAMENTO

 News Talk

  • Back-to-back pickups of one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0 – 8.1, 6+) are sufficient to push iHeartMedia-owned KFBK from second to first. August’s increase halted three successive declines that totaled a -3.7 (11.6 – 9.4 – 8.9 – 7.9, 6+). Immediately prior to slipping to third-place in July, “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” spent six straight sweeps at #1. April 2020’s 6 is its highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era, besting the previous high (10.3) set in March 2020.
  • Off nine-tenths in August/September (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1, 6+), cluster-mate KSTE slips from #14 to #15. “Talk 650” hauled out a +1.2 in July. Prior to July’s 3.0 (6+), KSTE last reached the three-share level in September 2019 (3.0, as well).

Sports Talk

  • Bonneville-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” (Kings), which was off three-tenths in June/July (.8 – .6 – .5, 6+), repeats August’s .6 (#21 to #20, 6+).
  • Dropping from #21 to #23, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” has lost roughly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share via five straight down or flat trends (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .5, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • While flat at 4.4 (6+), following an August decrease of six-tenths, Capital Public Radio’s KXJZ progresses from seventh to sixth. Three earlier modest improvements accounted for a half-share increase (4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+).
  • Up three-tenths in August/September (.2 – .4 – .5 (6+), KQED, Inc.’s KQEI moves from #25 to #23.
  • Co-owned KQED pops on with a .1 (#28, 6+). Ironically, KQED is tied for first in both San Francisco (8.0, 6+) and San Jose (7.7, 6+).
  • Unlisted in May, June, and July, California State University-Sacramento’s KUOP repeats August’s .1 (flat at #28, 6+).

 PITTSBURGH

 News/Talk

  • Continuing an alternating down/up sequence that includes September’s increase of one-tenth (6.5 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” remains in fifth-place. KDKA-AM was a combined -2.2 in May/June (7.3 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+), immediately after being +4.2 via four straight improvements (3.1 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 5.6 – 7.3, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Directly following a whopping +1.3 this time last month to 5.7 (6+), co-owned KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” surrenders four-tenths to 5.3 (6+) but carries on at #4. The flagship of the Pirates was -1.9 in June/July (6.3 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). Its May increase of four-tenths interrupted three straight decreases that resulted in a -2.0 (7.9 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 5.9, 6+).
  • The “Holiday” 2020 through September 2020 topline for iHeartMedia-owned WBGG “ESPN Pittsburgh” is: .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 (#20 to #19, 6+).

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Similar to KDKA-AM, Essential Public Media’s WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is in a rotating down/up pattern which includes a September increase of four-tenths (5.4 – 5.1 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, sixth to fifth, 6+).

SALT LAKE CITY

News/Talk

  • Not only is iHeartMedia-owned KNRS a collective +2.0 through three successive upticks (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+), “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” vaults from fifth to second – just two-tenths from the lead. Immediately after logging four consecutive sweeps without a loss for a +2.2 (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 6.3, 6+), KNRS was -1.0 in May/June (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+).
  • Down four straight months for an overall -3.7 (8.8 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” answers with a September spike of +1.0 to 6.1 (seventh to fifth, 6+). A combined +3.9 in March/April (4.9 – 6.0 – 8.8, 6+), KSL had an April-only stay at #1.
  • Another negative streak concludes as Cumulus Media-owned KKAT is up two-tenths to .7 (6+), suspending four down or flat trends in a row in which its 6+ AQH share was compacted by exactly 50% (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .5 – .5, #23, 6+). Nonetheless, “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” backslides from #23 to #27.

Sports Talk

  • Ever since resurfacing in print this past June – after an approximately three-year hiatus – Larry H. Miller Communications Corporation’s KZNS-FM “The Zone Sports Network 97.5” has a topline of .4 – .3 – .6 – .9 (unchanged at #22, 6+).
  • In the matching four-sweep period (and under the same scenario), co-owned KZNS-AM “The Zone Sports Network 1280 AM” (Utah Jazz) is trending .6 – .6 – .8 – .8 (#18 to #25, 6+).
  • The internet stream of KZNS-FM repeats August’s .2 (#32, 6+).
  • With a .5 (6+), Broadway Media’s KALL “ESPN 700” finishes at #29.
  • Co-owned/Provo-licensed KOVO “ESPN 960 Sports” debuts with a .1 (#33, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • By nearly doubling (+2.1) its 6+ AQH share (2.3 – 4.4, 6+), University of Utah’s KUER rockets into the top ten (#15 to #9). KUER was down nine-tenths in April/May (2.9 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+).
  • Despite being up three-tenths as a result of three consecutive up or flat moves (.5 – .5 – .7 – .8, 6+), Brigham Young University’s KUMT exits the top twenty (#19 to #25).
  • Co-owned KBYU-HD2 and its internet stream post a .1 (#33, 6+).
  • Meanwhile, Wasatch Public Media’s KCPW notches its fourth straight .1 (#33, 6+).

LAS VEGAS

News Talk

  • A combined +1.0 in August/September (2.4 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+) lifts Entercom-owned KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” from #13 to #11.
  • This marks the third time in succession that Beasley Media Group’s KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” notches an increase of one-tenth (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5, #18 to #16, 6+ ).
  • The June 2020 through September 2020 trending for Kemp Broadcasting’s KMZQ “AM 670 The Right Talk for Vegas” is: .5 – .5 – .7 – .6 (#25 to #27, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Following August’s increase of three-tenths to .7 (6+), Lotus Communications’ KWWN drops two-tenths (.5, #25 to #29, 6+). “ESPN Radio 1100” had its AQH share split in half (.8 – .4 – .4, May – June – July, 6+).
  • After three straight reports with a .1 (6+), co-owned KKGK “Fox Sports 98.9 FM & 1340 AM” logs a .2 (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 (#32, 6+).
  • Elsewhere in the Lotus cluster, KRLV “Raider Nation 920” gained one-tenth this time last month (.1 – .2, #31, 6+) but is unlisted in September.
  • Meanwhile, Entercom’s KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140 AM,” which lost one-tenth in August (.2 – .1, #33, 6+) also disappears from print.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Despite being -1.4 in four consecutive down or flat trends (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR progresses from #17 to #16. This negative streak immediately follows three straight improvements that accounted for a +1.3 (2.6 – 3.1 – 3 – 3.9, 6+).

ORLANDO

News Talk

  • Up four-tenths this time last month (4.1 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WTKS has half that increase scrubbed with a -.2 to 4.3 (unchanged at #8, 6+). “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” had been a collective -2.6 in three successive downturns (6.7 – 6.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+).
  • Completely expunging August’s -1.0 (2.4 – 1.4, 6+) with a robust +1.2 to 2.6 (6+), Cox Media Group’s WDBO-AM returns to the top twenty (#22 to #15). Back on June 29, WDBO-FM “News 96.5” became Spanish contemporary WOEX “Exitos 5.” Its news/talk programming shifted to WDBO-AM, where “Orlando’s News Talk” replaces sports talk “ESPN 580 Orlando.” Its AM signal is simulcast on FM translator W297BB (107.3 FM).
  • Off one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLF slips from #15 to #17. This time last month, “News Radio Orlando” broke out a +.6.

Sports Talk

  • Following gains of three-tenths in back-to-back reports (.9 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), WFLF sibling WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (Magic) regresses by two-tenths to 1.3 (flat at #20, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Three bumps in a row by Community Communications’ WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” produce a net gain of nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.2, steady at #13, 6+).  

CINCINNATI

News/Talk

  • On the heels of flaunting a +2.3 (9.2 – 11.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WLW relinquishes over half that windfall (10.2, -1.3, 6+) and segues from first to second. Entering the August report, the flagship of the Reds had been down three times in a row for a collective -3.7 (12.9 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.2, 6+).
  • Co-owned WKRC “55 KRC The Talk Station” nets nine-tenths in three upticks in a row (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+) and progresses from ninth to sixth. WKRC was +.8 (May) and -.7 (June).

 Sports Talk

  • Cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530,” which more than doubled (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in July/August (.4 – .7 – .9, 6+), forfeits three-tenths to .6 (flat at #20, 6+).
  • After posting a .1 (6+) the past three sweeps, co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” adds one-tenth to .2 (6+) and remains at #24.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • In addition to more than doubling (+1.9) its 6+ AQH share through four successive upticks (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s WVXU “Connecting You To A World of Ideas” enters the top ten (#11 to #10).

CLEVELAND

 News/Talk

  • On the heels of an impressive +2.0 this time last month (6.6 – 8.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” (Indians and Cavaliers) adds one-tenth to 8.7 (6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. August’s increase curtailed three setbacks in succession that accounted for a -2.2 (8.8 – 7.7 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+).      

 Sports Talk

  • This is the third time in the last four sweeps that Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” records a 2.2 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2, #13 to #14, 6+). In May, WKRK gained three-tenths to interrupt three consecutive decreases that accounted for an approximately 52% loss (-2.5) of its 6+ AQH share (4.9 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.4, 6+).

News

  • In its then-alternative format, iHeartMedia’s WMMS-HD2 had a January 2020 through July 2020 topline of: .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – 1.1 – .9 – .5 (6+). The now Black Information Network affiliate is unlisted the second month in a row.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Including a September bump of one-tenth pushing it into the top ten (#11 to #10), Ideastream-owned WCPN is in alternating up/down pattern: 3.3 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.6 (6+). WCPN logged three successive gains that netted a +2.1 (3.1 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 5.2, 6+), but then recorded three decreases in a row resulting in a -1.9 (5.2 – 4.8 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+).

KANSAS CITY

News/Talk

  • The five most recent fluctuations for Entercom’s KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” are: +1.4 (5.4 – 6.8, May, 6+); -1.3 (6.8 – 5.5, June); -1.2 (5.5 – 4.3, July); +.7 (4.3 – 5.0, August); and -.5 (5.0 – 4.5, September, sixth to ninth, 6+).
  • Its internet stream regains the one-tenth it dropped this time last month (.3 – .2 – 3, #27 to #26, 6+).
  • Co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” has a May 2020 through September 2020 topline of: 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.7 (#16 to #15, 6+).
  • Despite dropping one-tenth to 1.1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” advances from #22 to #21. Its one-tenth increase this time last month curtailed five straight down or flat reports that resulted in a net loss of three-tenths (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  •  Locked on 2.9 (6+) in July and August, Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” surrenders one-half share to 2.4 (#14 to #16, 6+).
  • WHB’s internet stream is trending .3 – .5 – .4 (#24, 6+).
  • A combined +1.5 in July/August (1.0 – 1.1 – 2.5, 6+), Entercom-owned KCSP is off four-tenths to 2.1 (6+) as the Royals’ key station dips from #16 to #18. Prior to July, “610 Sports Radio” lost two-thirds (-2.0) of its 6+ AQH share in five successive slips (3.0 – 2.6 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0, 6+).
  • With a .1 (6+), KCSP’s internet stream debuts at #28.
  • Union Broadcasting’s KCTE “ESPN Kansas City,” which surfaced with a .1 (6+) this time last month, is unlisted in September.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Extremely consistent the last three sweeps (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.4, July – August – September, 6+), University of Missouri-owned KCUR carries on at #10. KCUR was +1.4 in June/July (3.1 – 3.6 – 4.5, 6+).

 COLUMBUS

News/Talk

  • In addition to be anchored in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia’s WTVN logs its third straight bump for a collective +1.2 (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.7 – 8.8, 6+). “News Radio 610” was a collective +4.6 as a result of five successive increases (6.0 – 6.1 – 8.0 – 8.6 – 9.4 – 10.6, 6+), but then plummeted by -3.0 in May/June (10.6 – 9.0 – 7.6, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Notwithstanding that it drops two-tenths (4.6 – 4.4, 6+), Tegna’s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” (Blue Jackets) inches up from sixth to fifth. Its recent shifts include: -.7 (3.6 – 2.9, June, 6+); +.7 (2.9 – 3.6, July, 6+); and +1.0 (3.6 – 4.6, August, 6+).
  • Co-owned WBNS-AM repeats August’s 6+ AQH share and market rank (.2, #16). WBNS-AM was unlisted in May; returned with a .2 (6+) in June and July; and dropped one-tenth in August.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Three positive spikes in succession by Ohio State University’s WOSU account for a collective +1.3 (9 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.2, fifth to fourth, 6+).

Thursday, October 1, 2020

| October 1, 2020

Round Two of September PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. Also, today TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this second round of markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM adds one-tenth to finish with an 8.0 share but slides back to the #3 rank as Howard University’s urban contemporary WHUR-FM powers into the #2 rank. Across town, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM remains in the #1 spot on the strength of a one-share gain and a 9.5 share finish. iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston jumps a full share to finish the September survey with a 4.9 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM falls five-tenths to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank. After six consecutive months at #1, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle falls into the #2 spot after losing eight-tenths and finishing with a 6.4 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Newsmax TV Reaches 9.6 Million Cable Viewers. According to Newsmax TV, the cable channel’s “total household reach jumped to 9.6 million, up from 2.9 million in August 2019, according to Comscore data.” Newsmax Media Inc CEO Christopher Ruddy says that viewership has increased steadily all year and he credits viewer interest in Newsmax’s election coverage coupled with its new shows like “Greg Kelly Reports,” “Sean Spicer’s Spicer & Co.”, and “The Chris Salcedo Show.” Ruddy says, “Viewers are clearly voting for Newsmax TV with their remotes. The growth is even more remarkable when one considers we just launched our first prime-time show in July.” The company says Newsmax TV has live or original news shows airing from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm ET and has launched significant daytime coverage on weekends. The network is also planning a daily morning show to debut in the next 60 days, with more prime-time show launches expected soon.

iHeartMedia Expands Board of Directors; Appoints Cheryl Mills to Board. The board of directors of iHeartMedia, Inc. is expanded to eight and Cheryl Mills is named to the new seat. Mills is the founder and CEO of BlackIvy Group LLC, a firm that builds and grows commercial enterprises in Sub- Saharan Africa to meet the needs of an expanding consumer population and growing business sector. Mills previously served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counselor to the U.S. Department of State. She also was SVP for corporate policy and public programming at Oxygen Media and was deputy counsel to the President at the White House and served as an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan and Hartson. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are extremely pleased that Cheryl Mills is joining the iHeart board. Her depth and breadth of experience, her leadership in policy, business and entrepreneurship, education and media, and her deep commitment to public service, will provide strong and unique value to our board and our company, and we are looking forward to her contributions.”

Cumulus Media Completes Initial Closing on $208 Million Tower Deal. This news from Cumulus Media Inc is relative to the $213 million deal that transfers its tower assets to Vertical Bridge. This initial closing is for the $208 million tower portfolio monetization transaction. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We are thrilled to have expeditiously completed the first closing of this significant transaction. Pro forma for its completion and based on our Q2 ending cash balance, we will have reduced net debt by nearly $325 million during 2020 and by nearly $580 million since emerging from bankruptcy in 2018. Our further improved liquidity position and covenant-lite, long-dated debt will continue to support our growth initiatives and allow us to take advantage of accretive opportunities as we navigate through near-term uncertainties to drive long-term shareholder value.” After transaction fees and expenses and related costs, Cumulus received approximately $202 million in net proceeds at the initial closing. The use of net proceeds from the transaction are governed by the company’s Term Loan Credit Facility due 2026 and its 6.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2026. As defined in the debt agreements, net proceeds of approximately $64 million from assets being sold and not being leased back and net proceeds of approximately $96 million from assets being sold and leased back are required to pay down the Term Loan and be applied to a tender offer with respect to the 6.75% Notes on a pro rata basis. The paydown from the Sale-Leaseback Proceeds is required to be made at closing for the Term Loan portion and within thirty (30) days of closing for the 6.75% Notes. As such, at closing, the Company paid down approximately $49 million of its Term Loan at par, and it intends in the near future to launch a tender offer for up to approximately $47 million of the 6.75% Notes at par. Cumulus Media entered into a master lease agreement for the continued use of substantially all of the towers that were sold. That deal includes the 10-year initial term of the lease, followed by five option periods of five years each. The annual lease payment obligation for the assets leased back in the initial closing is approximately $13.2 million, subject to customary escalators, and will be accounted for as a reduction of the financial liability and interest expense. Cumulus anticipates that one or more subsequent closings will be held for the assets comprising the remainder of the previously announced $213 million purchase price, subject to adjustment based upon due diligence and the curing of outstanding site defects.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is Starnes Media Group principal, nationally syndicated talk show host, and KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” owner Todd Starnes (right) at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” conference in Atlanta where he served as a keynote speaker. He’s pictured here with conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (left)…..The “Margaritaville Podcast” joins the portfolio of cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm Crossover Media Group Sales. The recently launched podcast, hosted by Jimmy Buffett’s production coordinator Heikki Larsen features interviews with friends, colleagues, and fans of the Margaritaville global lifestyle brand inspired by the singer, songwriter and best-selling author. Recent guests have included Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Jimmy Buffett video producer Stan Kellam. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Fans of the Margaritaville lifestyle constitute an extremely devoted, enduring, cohesive, socially conscientious and upscale fan base. Heikki and his show are a valuable addition to the CMGS portfolio, as it enables us to offer an even more diverse and versatile slate of inventory for marketing partners.”…..AdLarge Media announce its newest sports partnership with National Sports Network for exclusive ad sales representation of NCAA basketball play-by-play coverage on radio. AdLarge Media co-founder and co-CEO Gary Schonfeld says, “We’re very excited to offer our advertisers these NCAA basketball games on radio. With the addition of these top-tier college basketball games from National Sports Network, the AdLarge sports portfolio delivers continuous access to engaged sports fans.”…..PodcastOne acquires the exclusive distribution and sales rights for the health and wellness podcast “The Dr. Gundry Podcast.” The program is hosted by New York Times best-selling author of The Plant Paradox (Harper Wave 2017), Dr. Steven Gundry. He says, “I’m proud for ‘The Dr. Gundry Podcast’ to now be part of PodcastOne. Its robust podcasting network is a great platform to continue to empower listeners and share the knowledge and tools to help people live their best life.”

Wayne Allyn Root Organizes Las Vegas Parade. On Wednesday (9/30), a pro-police, pro-Trump parade of cars organized by KBET, Las Vegas-based talk show host Wayne Allyn Root drove down the Las Vegas strip. Root, pictured here with supporters, tells TALKERS magazine he estimates there were more than 1,000 cars taking part in the parade. Root says he waited at the parade’s finish line – the Nevada Governor’s office building – and “shook hands, and high-fived, and took photos, and thanked every single car of my fans.” You can read the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s coverage here.

The Presidential Race/Debate Aftermath, Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, New Stimulus Deal, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, Down Financial Markets, BLM Movement/Protests, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30). The November presidential election and the aftermath of Tuesday night’s debate; the debate over the reliability of mail-in voting; the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Midwest and talk about a fall/winter second wave; negotiations between congress and the Trump administration over a new stimulus package; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. financial markets suffer their worst month since last March; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in various cities; and the deadly California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

DYNAMIC DUO EXCLUSIVE!  “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and John Catsimatidis Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. Radio enthusiasts won’t want to miss this brand-new audio gem! Legendary music radio personality “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and WABC, New York owner John Catsimatidis are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow (also known as “Cousin Brucie”) is one of the last of his generation still standing. He is the quintessential heritage disc jockey who has been a major on-the-air radio figure in New York City through several golden eras since 1959, performing on such storied stations as WINS, WABC, WNBC and WCBS-FM and, until recently, across the nation on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Just a few weeks ago, to the delight of his multi-generational legion of fans, he was hired to host a Saturday evening music show on WABC, the station where he played to millions back in the 1960s and early 1970s during the heyday of his magnificent career. The other member of this dynamic duo, Catsimatidis is a well-connected radio lover and big business heavyweight whose Red Apple Media purchased WABC – now a news/talk outlet – from Cumulus Media late last year. He’s a prominent New York City-based, self-made mogul and syndicated radio talk show host involved in an array of industries that, in addition to communications, includes supermarkets, energy, and real estate development. He’s also a former and potential future New York City mayoral candidate. The result is a free-wheeling conversation that covers radio, music, politics, several surprises and the New York state of mind – an instant classic.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-Air pro Julie Guy signs a multiyear contract extension with Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF-FM, Miami “101.5 LITE FM” to continue co-hosting the “Julie Guy & Tamara G” morning show. Entercom Miami SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “As a veteran of the station, Julie encapsulates the spirit of ‘101.5 LITE FM’ and sets the tone for our programming slate each morning. Her distinct energy and solid rapport with Tamara translate to a quality morning show and I’m happy to keep her in the fold for years to come.” Guy has served as a morning show host for “101.5 LITE FM” since 2013…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1” adds the nationally syndicated program “The Sweat Hotel,” with host Keith Sweat to air in the 9:00 pm to 2:00 am slot. Station director of branding and programming Terri Avery comments, “Keith Sweat is an R&B legend and ‘KISS 104.1’ is excited about him joining our lineup. Keith brings just the right blend of slow jams and sensual sounds that will keep our listeners entertained throughout the night.”

Friday, September 4, 2020

| September 4, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Bullets and Spit!” looks back at this past week of August 31 – September 4, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSSid Rosenberg, talk show host, WABC, New York; Larry Young, talk show host, WOLB, Baltimore; Dr. Lisa Mozer, talk show host, WSIC, Statesville, NC; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood One; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Round Four of August PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis adds a half share to finish the August survey with an 8.0 share good for the #3 rank in the market. In Milwaukee, iHeartMedia’s WISN climbs 1.8 shares for an 8.6 share and leaps from #4 to #1 while Good Karma Brands’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ tacks on 1.2 shares for a 6.7 share and the #5 rank. Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7” rises nine-tenths to a 5.7 share and the #5 rank. Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford erases some of July’s 1.7 share dip by adding eight-tenths for a 6.9 share and finishes the August survey tied for #3 in the market. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (and the other three groups!) here.

Cromwell Media Launches New Conservative Talk Radio Outlet in Owensboro, Kentucky. According to a story in the Owensboro Times, Cromwell Media has flipped a couple of its Owensboro, Kentucky signals from rock to news/talk as “K-News 101.3.” It’s not clear which station is feeding translator W267BM at 101.3 FM for the new format. Previously, the translator had been carrying the rock format from feeder station WXCM-FM. The station is using FOX News Radio for hourly newscasts and well as the Brian Kilmeade show. Also airing on the station is Key NetworksBill O’Reilly, Talk Media Network’s Tom Sullivan, and Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro. Local personality Brian Jackson hosts the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot. Cromwell general manager Taunya Iverson tells the paper, “We felt that our community was in need of a platform for our local community that brings businesses, people and organizations together and helps to build up our community with local information that is greatly needed.”

Charlotte Hornets Fire Radio Voice John Focke. The Charlotte Observer reports that the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets have parted ways with radio play-by-play personality John Focke. He’d been suspended from his duties while the team investigated a recent tweet in which he said he’d accidently typed the “N-word” instead of “Nuggets.” The team’s official statement is as follows: “The Charlotte Hornets announced today that John Focke will not return as the team’s radio broadcaster due to a violation of the organization’s social media policy. Since this is a personnel matter, the organization will not comment any further. The Hornets thank John for all his efforts during the 2019-20 NBA season.” Entercom’s sports talk WFNZ, Charlotte serves as flagship for the team’s radio broadcasts.

Nate Lucas Suspended ‘Indefinitely’ from Zimmer’s ‘Jock 98.7 FM.’ The Springfield News-Leader reports that KBFL-AM/FM, Springfield, Missouri sports talk host Nate Lucas is suspended “indefinitely” after uttering what’s being termed a “sexist slur” about vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on his midday program. Zimmer Communications corporate operations director Jeff Allen tells the paper about Lucas’ status and says he won’t comment further as it is a personnel matter. Now hosting the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show at KBFL is Ned Reynolds, who was let go from the station by its previous owner.

Geraldo Celebrates 50 Years as a Broadcaster. American journalism icon Geraldo Rivera is celebrating his 50th broadcast anniversary on September 8. Rivera hosts a daily, one-hour program on iHeartMedia’s WTAM, Cleveland in addition to his current role as a correspondent-at-large for FOX News. iHeartMedia announces that as part of the week-long celebration of Rivera’s anniversary, many historical broadcast career moments and several high-profile guests will be heard on his “Geraldo in Cleveland” program. Rivera says, “It’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years and I’m humbled by all of the opportunities during my storied career. Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM, where I look forward to sharing some incredible highlights with you during my daily radio show. Most importantly, I look forward to continuing my daily broadcast journey with YOU by my side.” Rivera began his 50-year career as a television reporter at WABC-TV, New York and was a member of the original cast of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He had an eight-year association with ABC’s “20/20” as an investigative reporter and produced and hosted “The Geraldo Rivera Show” for 11 years.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from ESPN is debuting called, “Bettor Days with Mike Greenberg,” and the program is described as “a character-driven reenactment show bringing to life the true stories of unforgettable gambling adventures” and “uses in-depth interviews and comedic reenactments to relive the wildest, funniest betting tales – and their unexpected outcomes.” The show’s debut episode “Fauxto Finish” tells the story of ophthalmologist Steven Friedlander who won a long-shot bet in one of the most dramatic Kentucky Derby races ever, only to find out the incredible payout wasn’t at all what he anticipated…..The Talk Shows USA-syndicated weekend program “The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” adds three new affiliate stations. Joining the program’s roster are:  KWWV-HD2/K253BR, San Luis Obispo, California “K-News 98.5”; WVMT-AM/FM, Burlington, Vermont; and WWDC-HD2/W284CQ, Washington, DC “WONK FM 104.7.”…..Entercom’s Cadence13 and Headspace Studios unveil “The Yes Theory Podcast” hosted by Thomas Brag, Matt Dajer, and Ammar Kandil. In the summer of 2015, the three crossed paths in Montreal. Then total strangers, they bonded over the idea that they felt most alive outside of their comfort zones. With $500 to their names, the new friends started making videos about confronting their biggest fears. Fast forward to today — Brag, Dajer and Kandil run Yes Theory, where they have harnessed social media to share their adventurous approach to life with millions around the world, including Will Smith, who took them up on their challenge to bungee jump from a helicopter in celebration of his 50th birthday.

The Presidential Race, the Polls and the Vote-By-Mail Debate Tied for Top News/Talk Stories for Week of August 31- September 4. The November presidential election, the current polling numbers and the debate over the safety of voting by mail tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between race relations, urban violence, police reform, and suburban housing. Coming in at #3 was COVID-19 statistics and projections, followed by health care, vaccine developments, and the masks debate at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Cool Talk Host Opportunity in Huntsville. News/talk WVNN, Huntsville program director Dale Jackson announces that the Cumulus Media station is seeking a dynamic air personality to host the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm program. “WVNN is seeking someone who creates and produces a local talk radio show focusing on local, national, and political issues with a strong ability to interview newsmakers. Ability to become part of the community and the listener’s life is a must. Knowledge of entertainment, politics, news, weather, sports and other topics of interest are important to your success. Endorsement and sale opportunities will supplement your income and instant income growth is possible.” See more about the position and apply here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, iHeartMedia drops the country music on WEBG-FM and launches a rock format branded “ROCK 95 FIVE, Chicago’s Rock Station” featuring core artists: Metallica, Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Linkin Park, AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Def Leppard, Foo Fighters, Mötley Crüe, and more. iHeartMedia Chicago regional SVP of programming James Howard says, “Our goal with ‘ROCK 95 FIVE’ is to provide the music Chicagoland has been missing, a key soundtrack for a large lifestyle group. Our purpose is to be a driving force and a companion in the lives of millions of rock music fans for years to come.” The station says its programming lineup will be announced at a later date…..On-air pro Tay Hamilton is joining iHeartMedia’s WSIX-FM, Nashville “The BIG 98” to work with Wayne D as on-air personality and for the afternoon drive show. Hamilton says, “I’m so excited about my journey to Nashville to join the power team at WSIX and to grow within iHeart Country! It’s been a life-long dream of mine to do radio in the heart of country music and I finally get to do so thanks to Gator Harrison and Rod Phillips.”…..Cumulus Media announces the addition of two new live-and-local, personality-driven shows to urban contemporary WLXC-FM Columbia, South Carolina “Kiss 103.1.” Dee Dee Renee joins “Kiss 103.1” as host of the midday program. She moves to Columbia from Cumulus’ WWDM, Columbia, South Carolina. Meanwhile, program director Chris Connors moves from middays to afternoon drive…..Cumulus Media re-brands country WVLK,  Lexington, Kentucky from NASH FM to “K92.9, Lexington’s New Country Leader.”…..The “B-Dub Radio Saturday Night” program is expanding to weeknights beginning September 21, 2020 in a syndication partnership with Skyview Networks. The country program is hosted by Bryan “B-Dub” Washington and is offered in two versions, including a fully produced night show and a content-only version, which provides program directors the flexibility to choose the music for their station, as well as daypart flexibility.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

| September 2, 2020

Round Two of August PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these 12 markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM dips a half share to finish with a 7.9 share and falls to #2 behind Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM which added eight-tenths for an 8.6 share and the #1 rank. Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” climbs eight-tenths to a 4.9 share good for the #7 rank in the market while iHeartMedia’s crosstown all-new WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” loses one-tenth, finishing the August survey with a 6.6 share but rises to the #3 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM remains unchanged at a 7.1 share and continues its now six-survey run at #1. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway from this report (and the first round!) here.

Cumulus Stations Sign Up with ABC Audio for News Service. With the shuttering of the Westwood One News service that took effect on August 30, Cumulus Media news/talk, sports talk and some music outlets were in need of a news affiliation. The company announces that 29 of its news/talk stations – including heritage signals such as WLS-AM, Chicago and KGO-AM, San Francisco — are now using ABC Audio’s news. At the same time, 12 of Cumulus’ sports and music stations are signing on to air ABC’s hourly newscasts. ABC Audio executive director of business strategies, programming and distribution Heidi Oringer says, “We’re excited to welcome these big stations back to the ABC Audio family after six years away. Through this partnership, our unmatched reporting including crisis coverage, breaking news, and special programming, will reach new listeners and help ABC Audio continue to be the best in the business.” ABC Audio VP and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku adds, “We’re in one of the biggest news cycles in history, with no end in sight. Our teams have worked nonstop to not only keep up with but also exceed listeners’ demand for trusted information. We’re thrilled that more stations are noticing our robust offerings and signing on to be part of our affiliate family.”

Pat McAfee Show to Air on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports. After exiting the CBS Sports Radio platform last month, former Indianapolis Colts punter and sports media personality Pat McAfee will be heard on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET, beginning September 9. McAfee says, “I’m very thankful and honored for the chance to be on Mad Dog Sports Radio. SiriusXM is such an incredibly massive platform and the freedom it allows is perfect for our style of show. To say we’re grateful to Scott Greenstein, Steve Cohen, Andrew Moss and all of the other awesome folks at SiriusXM for this opportunity would be an understatement. Let’s do the damn thing. We hope you’ll join us daily.”

Trump Visits Kenosha/Protests/BLM Movement, Presidential Race, Pelosi Salon Flap, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, Melania Trump Book, and New Stimulus Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/1). President Trump’s visit to Kenosha in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake, the protests in Kenosha, Portland, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the November presidential election; the controversy over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured maskless in a closed San Francisco salon; the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools and the flareups on some college campuses; former Melania Trump aid Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book about the First Lady; and a new stimulus deal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Report: Radio Listening Returning to March Levels. This week’s Westwood One blog includes data from Nielsen Audio from the August PPM survey and the May-June-July diary markets survey that indicates radio listening is returning to its March 2020 levels. The Nielsen data cited notes that “benchmarking against the March PPM survey, August average quarter-hour audiences increased again, now generating 90% of the prior audiences. In terms of weekly reach, AM/FM radio in the PPM markets has recaptured 96% of March cume listening. In diary markets, AM/FM radio has retained 97% of prior weekly cume.” Further, Nielsen says, “In medium and smaller diary markets, AM/FM radio is ‘pandemic proof’: AQH listening in the just-released May-June-July survey is virtually identical to the January-February-March period as AM/FM radio retains 100% of prior listening.” In a sign that more people are back in their cars in the morning, Nielsen notes “in the just-released August PPM data, most of the AQH growth occurred Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM and on weekends.”

iHeartMedia Reveals Results of ‘Trustworthiness’ Study. Based on information from data & analytics firm Engagement Labs, iHeartMedia says that one of the key findings is that “listeners’ trust in radio and its on-air personalities continues to grow as social media has become far less trustworthy over the past year.” The survey of radio listeners found radio to be 79% more or just as trustworthy versus a year ago while social media is 50% less trustworthy during the same time period. In particular, sentiment for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has plummeted in recent months, with Facebook down 56%, Instagram down 38%, and Twitter down 140%. The survey of radio listeners age 18-69 ranked media trustworthiness as follows: 75% trust radio, 66% trust television, 57% trust websites, 38% trust Twitter, and 37% trust Facebook. iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman comments, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever for Americans to get information they trust and to find ways to connect with people – and these findings show that radio continues to deliver a much needed and sought out trusted companionship during this historic and uncertain time.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and iHeartMedia are partnering on a 20-episode podcast series in which the former South Bend, Indiana mayor will discuss “the issues and choices that will define America’s next chapter.” “The Deciding Decade with Pete Buttigieg” debuts on September 9. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Pete created a groundswell of excitement during his presidential campaign run, and he is one of the most admirable and energetic young leaders of our time. We’re excited to bring Pete’s sharp intellect and remarkable eloquence to The iHeartPodcast Network.”…..A new podcast partnership between iHeartMedia and The Recount results in three new weekly shows: “Hell and High Water with John Heilemann,” “Just Something About Her with Jennifer Palmieri,” and “Battleground with David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt.” The Recount executive editor John Heilemann says, “The 2020 election is, without question, the most important election of our lifetime and this exciting trio of podcasts from hosts who’ve operated at the highest level of politics will help listeners cut through the bullshit and understand the big picture of what’s happening ahead of Election Day and beyond. Our content is resonating on our platform and across social media and we are excited to bring it to podcasting with iHeartMedia.”…..Pictured below is GCN nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs giving blood during National Blood Donation Week. Dr. Wachs tells TALKERS magazine, “We’re off to a great start to National Blood Donation Week. Multiple governors declared Blood Donation Months, all falling on September 4 (National Blood Donation Day). Not only does this week help raise much needed blood for our blood banks and medical centers that has been drastically lowered during the COVID pandemic, but it unites both Democratic and Republican governors in a common cause. Blood isn’t a political issue, it’s a human life issue and National Blood Donation week proves Americans can come together for a common cause.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Angelique Alston is promoted to brand manager for Entercom’s hip hop WPGC-FM, Washington. Since 2013, Alston has served WPGC as assistant program director, morning show producer and events producer. Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith says, “Angelique has done a tremendous job elevating our team and I am excited to see her expand her career as brand manager. Her unique way of providing entertainment for our listeners, educating the community with viable content and her engagement with the sales management team tells me she will thrive in this new role. Her ability to multi-task, implore creative thinking, work hard and commit to excellence has led to great success and we are delighted to have her lead WPGC 95.5 FM.”…..Rochester country WBEE announces that air personality Chris Konya is joining “The All New Bee Morning Coffee Club” program alongside Terry Clifford and TJ Sharp. This is a return to Entercom Rochester for Konya. Entercom Rochester SVP and market manager Sue Munn says, “Chris was a fan favorite during his time producing ‘The Breakfast Buzz’ and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to our airwaves alongside Terry and TJ. His humor and wit make him a perfect fit as a co-host for our new weekday morning program and together the trio will create a dynamic show for our community.”…..Premiere Networks’ syndicated Delilah adds three new affiliate stations. Picking up Delilah for evenings are: iHeartMedia’s KBFP-FM, Bakersfield “Sunny 105.3,” Cumulus Media’s WBZE-FM, Tallahassee “Star 98.9,” and McKenzie River Broadcasting’s KMGE-FM, Eugene, Oregon “Mix 94.5.”…..An application has been filed with the FCC for transfer of country KZTL-FM, Paxton and rock KRNP-FM, Sutherland in Nebraska from Legacy Communications to Eagle Communications. Kalil & Co is serving as the exclusive broker.