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NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the 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, “Recalibration!” looks back at this past week of July 26-30. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Harry Hurley; talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City; Mark Simone, talk show host, WOR, New York; Dr. Renee Kohanski, forensic psychiatrist/medical profession podcaster; Ralph Nader, political activist/talk show host, “The Ralph Nader Radio Hour”; Walter Sterling, talk show host, “Sterling on Sunday”; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The 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-AM, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; 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; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; KQEN, Roseburg, OR; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; CRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast Network; Pioneer 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.
Schultz, Husmann Join Quu. Selected to become Quu’s head of marketing and product manager, respectively, are Suzy Schultz and Ben Husmann. Schultz and Husmann will report directly to chief executive officer Steve Newberry, who comments, “Suzy and Ben are respected executives and creative problem solvers known for leading innovation in audio. With deep industry knowledge, they’re uniquely qualified to fortify the significant expansion of Quu’s software and services [which will roll out] later this year.” Creative Prism founder/chief executive officer Schultz notes, “Developing a consistent, clarified, and fresh approach to Quu’s brand and messaging is a dream come true. We’re focused on empowering Quu’s customers and offering the industry access to ratings and revenue growth opportunities that build on radio’s core product.” Meanwhile, Husmann states, “My role is to make it quick, easy, and painless for stations to enhance their programming and advertising metadata and visuals for the car dashboard and beyond. I’m excited to collaborate with the elite team at Quu to build a new and improved user experience on top of Quu’s extensive capabilities.” Schultz’s marketing/content production company Creative Prism will oversee branding, communications, marketing strategy, productization, and sales enablement for Quu customers. Prior to founding Creative Prism, Schultz was Cumulus Media/Westwood One’s senior vice president of corporate marketing, and managing editor of iHeartRadio. Formerly AccuRadio’s chief operating officer, Husmann was senior vice president/product and technology for TagStation and NextRadio. Quu enables radio stations to publish sales and programming messages on car dashboards; it delivered over six billion “visual Quus” in 2020. Earlier this month, Quu and Bonneville announced a multi-market partnership.
Tunein, iHeart Partner On Strategic Technology and Content. The agreement will allow TuneIn to dispense on more than 850 iHeartMedia digital stations. In addition, TuneIn will have access to local advertising demand from iHeartMedia’s monetization assets, including its sales force of nearly 2,000 sellers in every major market, and Triton Digital‘s advertising technology. iHeartMedia chief data officer/president of revenue strategies Brian Kaminsky comments that the partnership is “a great marriage of content and technology. [It is] enabled by Triton’s cutting edge and comprehensive suite of audio advertising technology to support streaming audio and podcast businesses with both direct and programmatic sales. With Triton’s Supply Side Platform, local advertisers will have the ability to reach additional iHeart and TuneIn listeners through both direct and programmatic sales.” TuneIn chief revenue officer Rob Deichert notes, “The relationship with iHeart demonstrates the power of TuneIn’s open platform to flexibly align with the content, distribution and monetization assets of our partners to jointly create new and previously unrecognized value. We’re incredibly pleased to partner with iHeartMedia and Triton as we continue our mission to delight listeners and reinvent radio for a connected world.”
WNYC Appoints Clary Deputy Editor. The newly-created role at WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned public radio news/talk WNYC, New York will be filled August 30 by current Vice VP Stephanie Clary. As deputy editor, Clary will oversee the station’s news coverage, working with editors in charge of multiplatform desks to align journalistic priorities. Per a WNYC press release, “In Stephanie, we have found a truly impressive journalist with deep experience covering local, national, international and breaking news on both digital and broadcast platforms. She has developed strategies to enhance newsroom innovation and dynamism. She will bring those skills to WNYC as we continue to grow our audience, expand our reach, and produce impactful journalism that improves the lives of people in New York City and our region. Her track record as a leader in a wide range of newsrooms makes her the perfect fit for this role. She has managed large teams of journalists, bringing to each job her unique mix of editorial judgement, product expertise, digital skills, and news judgment. Our team is the next place she wants to bring her talents and skills.” Clary comments, “I’m thrilled to join a newsroom that’s so essential to our city and region at a time when local news is diminishing in even the largest metropolis. This role is an incredible opportunity to work on both audio and digital at an institution with such a deep and respected legacy, and such committed journalists. I’m excited to be a part of helping to serve more communities with impactful, mission-driven journalism and storytelling.” Prior to her present role at Vice, Clary was CNN’s director of social publishing; managing editor at Mic; managing editor of NBC start-up “Breaking News”; and part of the Seattle Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the 2009 Lakewood police shooting in Washington.
Nielsen’s Q2 Revenue, Income Increase. Second quarter 2021 revenue for Nielsen Holdings rose 6.2% year-to-year to $861 million. Net income from continuing operations attributable to shareholders was up 207.1% to $86 million. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA rose 11.8% to $370 million. The audience measurement division saw revenue gain 4.3% to $629 million, while outcomes & content revenue was up 11.5% to $232 million. The company revised full-year 2021 guidance: It increased total revenue growth projections from 2% – 3% to 2.5% – 3% on a constant currency basis; adjusted EBITDA from $1.47 billion – $1.49 billion to $1.475 billion -$1.49 billion; and adjusted earnings per share from $1.47 – $1.58 to $1.54 – $1.61. According to chief executive officer David Kenny, “[The results] demonstrate our continued strategic and operational transformation, as the global media ecosystem evolves. We have increased confidence in our full-year outlook, which is reflected in our updated 2021 guidance. We continue to see healthy renewals from existing clients, growing interest from new clients, and steady progress in our global product development. We are executing well against our strategy and roadmap to create long-term value and are pleased with steady progress again this quarter.”
House-Passed Bill Contains Public Media Funding. The Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill earmarks money for public media. Corporation For Public Broadcasting president/chief executive officer Patricia Harrison remarks, “We appreciate the House of Representatives’ strong support of public media, providing $565 million for CPB’s [fiscal year] 2024 advance appropriation, ensuring that public media remains free and available to every American. As the country continues to address the impact of a global pandemic on every aspect of American life, public media is responding with content and services that support the increased educational, informational, and public safety needs of America’s diverse communities. We are grateful for the House’s ongoing support of $20 million for the public broadcasting interconnection system, which allows for the distribution of content from producers to local stations and is part of our nation’s emergency alert system.” Regarding the $31.8 million provided for the Department of Education‘s “Ready To Learn,” Harrison states, “The program enables the creation of accessible, educational public media content, on air, online and in the community, for children ages 2 to 8. As the appropriations process continues, we look forward to working with Congress on funding decisions to support a healthy and vibrant public media system.”
Have You Heard This Podcast? That’s a question those at ABC News are most likely again posing regarding the network’s “Have You Seen This Man?,” which begins its second season (Wednesday) August 11. Listeners are invited to join a real-time global search by U.S. Marshals for fugitive John Ruffo, who stole over $300 million. Instead of reporting for a 17-year prison sentence, the scammer – currently on the “15 Most Wanted” list – vanished. Involved in one of the largest frauds of its time, Ruffo swindled banks out of more than $300 million, using the cash to transform himself into a Wall Street luminary. The six-part Sunny Hostin-hosted podcast features reporting by ABC News senior investigative reporter Matthew Mosk, who embeds with the U.S. Marshals on Ruffo’s trail. Mosk reports the story of how 23 years ago, Brooklyn computer salesperson Ruffo pleaded guilty to fraud. After turning in his ankle monitor on his way to a 17-year prison sentence, Ruffo left his car at New York’s JFK Airport and disappeared. Tips have kept marshals on their toes for two decades and listeners could be the key in uncovering the final clue in finding Ruffo, who was rumored to be behind home plate at a Los Angeles Dodgers – Boston Red Sox baseball game. The podcast reports on Ruffo’s disappearance through the eyes of those who were there, including the attorney who persuaded a judge to let Ruffo drive himself to prison; the bailiff who took off Ruffo’s handcuffs; the FBI agent who got the call when Ruffo skipped town; Ruffo’s former wife, who remarried after abandoning hope that he would make contact with her; and family members who found themselves temporarily homeless after Ruffo skipped bail. A four-part Hulu original limited series on the global search for Ruffo is currently in production from ABC News Longform. The first season of “Have You Seen This Man?” followed the search for murderer Lester Eubanks, who was on the run for over 45 years. That podcast yielded more than 300 tips; the case remains active.
SiriusXM’s SXM-8 Satellite Ready for Service. The SXM-8 satellite completed in-orbit testing and has been handed over to SiriusXM. Last month (6/6), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the satellite into space from Cape Canaveral. SXM-8 is the ninth digital, audio radio satellite built by Maxar for the satcaster. SiriusXM senior vice president/satellite and repeater systems engineering & operations Bridget Neville notes, “We are committed to enhancing our satellite fleet and ability to deliver the best audio entertainment, traffic, weather, data and information services for years to come. We congratulate our engineering team, Maxar, and SpaceX on a successful launch and commissioning.” Maxar senior vice president/space programs delivery Chris Johnson adds, “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with SiriusXM and excited to see SXM-8 ready for service to bring entertainment to millions of SiriusXM subscribers. The entire Maxar team is committed to excellence – playing a role in the success of our customers’ missions is what drives us every day.” SXM-8 is more than 27-feet tall and weighed nearly 7,000 kg at launch. SXM-8 has an almost 30-feet in diameter mesh reflector that will allow SiriusXM programming to reach radios, including those in moving vehicles.
TALKERS News Notes. Whereas Nielsen July 2021 stats indicate double-digit declines by Newsmax’s cable news competition, Newsmax is touting a year-over-year total audience increase of 500%, maintaining it is the country’s fourth-rated cable news network. Chief executive officer Christopher Ruddy states, “Newsmax is growing across almost every metric.” The cable news network draws over 30 million regular viewers … Airing weekly on CRN Digital Talk Radio and in numerous radio markets across the country, “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” notes its 750th episode with an on-air celebration. Among those taking part include Brewer Clifton founder/winemaker Greg Brewer; Arthur Vineyards proprietor David Long; Pisoni Vineyards founder Gary Pisoni; Boisett Collection proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset; and CIRQ & CHEV Wines founder Michael Browne. The Michael Horn and Nicole Nielson-hosted show began broadcasting from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in 2002; Michael Jordan spun off “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” and created “The Word on Wine,” which originates from Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa (California). According to Jordan, “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” has become “one of the most respected radio shows and podcasts in the world of wine. Bringing the joy of wine to the public is my passion; it’s only fitting to celebrate the legacy of the show with some of the most important people in the industry.” In addition to being an original host of “The Word on Wine” and “What’s Cookin’ on Wine,” certified sommelier Horn hosts the daily syndicated “What’s Cookin’ Today.” He founded CRN in 1983 and is its chief executive officer … Public radio news/talk WMFE, Orlando’s former president/chief executive officer Stephen McKenney Steck, 77, died this past Saturday (7/24) in Orlando. He was hit by a car while biking. Responsible for signing on WMFE in 1980, Steck founded the Carroll McKenney Foundation For Public Media, a nonprofit producer of Central Florida programming and podcasts.
Emmis Fiscal Q2 Revenue Down 7%. Financial data from the second fiscal quarter of Emmis Communications’ year (ending August 31) is released and the company reports pro forma revenue was down 7% in markets that were down 4%. The recent sales of KPWR, Los Angeles in August of 2017 and the St. Louis cluster on April 30 of this year make year-over-year figures not comparable. Net revenue for the 2018 second fiscal quarter was $30.7 million, down from $41.8 million in the same quarter of 2017. The company says underperformance is principally due to weather-related issues for New York’s Summer Jam in June, which led to its June revenues declining 16% for the month. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “Emmis’ radio revenues were up 2% in both July and August, and Emmis’ third quarter is off to a strong start with September revenues up 1% and October pacing up double digits, which would be our strongest month in four years. Ratings remain strong in New York and continue to improve in Indianapolis. Austin has rebranded KGSR as “Austin City Limits Radio,” the result of a multi-year licensing agreement with Austin City Limits Enterprises, LLC, creating an eclectic format sure to connect with Austin listeners. Also, our dynamic pricing business, Digonex, has seen a surge of new clients in the last couple of months and we are more excited than ever about the prospects for that business moving forward.”
Smulyan Says Future of NextRadio and TagStation in Limbo. In his comments about Emmis Communications’ fiscal Q2 numbers, CEO Jeff Smulyan gives an update on the status of the NextRadio and TagStation projects. He says, “For the past several months, Emmis and other companies in the radio industry have been working diligently to form a consortium that would own and operate the NextRadio and TagStation businesses. The participating companies envisioned using their collective scale and resources to build an attribution platform for the radio industry that would have provided the common language and measurement that radio advertisers are demanding. Unfortunately, the consortium has not been formed and these efforts appear to have been unsuccessful. Because Emmis is unwilling and unable to continue to fund the NextRadio and TagStation businesses as they are currently structured, we plan to dramatically reduce the operations of these businesses and explore other means of eliminating the operating losses from these businesses in the coming months.”
PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s September PPM survey, today focusing on all-news. While Entercom’s WWJ, Detroit shows a marked improvement of almost a full share over its 6+ weekly AQH in September of last year, most of the country’s all-news stations declined year-over-year. Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was again the only all-news station to rank #1 in its market, but Entercom’s KCBS-AM ranked #2 in both the San Francisco and San Jose markets, while WWJ, Detroit ranked #3 in September. See the entire report here.
Dow Drops 800+, Hurricane Michael Hits Panhandle, UN Climate Change Report, Clintons Speaking Tour, Astronauts Emergency Landing, Missing Saudi Journalist, First Man Film, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10). The Dow dips more than 800 points on fears of interest rate hikes; Hurricane Michael slams into the Florida panhandle causing devastating flooding; reactions to the UN climate change report that heightens urgency for controlling carbon emissions; Bill and Hillary Clinton’s plan to launch a speaking tour after the November election; U.S. and Russian astronauts survive emergency landing in failed launch to International Space Station; concerns about Saudi deception in case of missing journalist; this weekend’s opening of the film First Man; the weeks’ NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Fans of Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony will certainly get a kick out of the latest “Opie Radio” podcasts. Gregg “Opie” Hughes recently hosted former Stern cast members “Stuttering John” Melendez, and Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling (along with “Opie Radio” regular Carl Ruiz) for what is being produced as a two-part podcast. Westwood One says the podcasts reveal “personal stories about backstabbing and redemption in a post-Howard Stern satellite radio world. This double-episode also covers the complicated history between the Howard Stern show, the Opie & Anthony show, ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,’ and the revealing books available now from John and Jackie.”…..In a related story, Anthony Cumia is publishing a book that promises to tell all about his break-up with Gregg “Opie” Hughes, his suspensions and firings from radio gigs (including SiriusXM), and much more. It’s called, Permanently Suspended: The Rise and Fall… and Rise Again of Radio’s Most Notorious Shock Jock (2018, Post Hill Press) and is to be published on November 20. Cumia is currently producing and hosting his eponymous online program…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WTMX morning star Kathy Hart is going to make some appearances on Tribune’s news/talk WGN this month. Hart exited her role alongside Eric Ferguson on the Hubbard Radio hot AC back in April of 2017 – a move that has never been fully explained. Since that time, she’s made a few appearances on WFLD-TV’s “Good Day Chicago” and now she’ll sit in with WGN’s Frank Fontana on his weekend show on the 14th and the 28th. The two will also sub for midday host John Williams next Wednesday (10/17)…..HRN Media Network, a Gen Media Partners company, hires broadcast and digital media expert Matt Feinberg as its chief strategy officer. HRN Media Network president Clark Logan says, “Matt is a longtime media industry veteran who has been involved with growth-oriented companies and is credited for leading their expansion across emerging technologies and platforms. As HRN looks to meet the many opportunities that go beyond broadcast radio, Matt’s experience and knowledge will be pivotal in helping us achieve results for our content partners and advertisers.”…..E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is hosting another “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” viewing party for the Milwaukee Brewers’ NLCS game three against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, October 15. The free event features a massive movie-screen broadcast at Turner Hall Ballroom synced to Hall of Famer Bob Uecker’s play-by-play broadcast as heard on WTMJ RADIO and the Associated Bank Brewers Radio Network…..Monday night’s Westwood One broadcast of the Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers game will feature the first-ever national NFL broadcast with a father-daughter broadcast team. MNF play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan (right) will be joined by his daughter Olivia Harlan Dekker (left), who will serve as the sideline reporter. Harlan says, “It’s probably every parent’s dream to someday get a chance to work side-by-side with their child. The fact that this will be at Lambeau Field where Olivia’s grandfather ran the Green Bay Packers for more than two decades and where she used to play as a little girl and attended many games growing up, makes it even more special. To be a part of an NFL broadcast is always an honor, but to have our daughter as part of our crew is extraordinary and wonderful. I know I speak for Olivia, my wife Ann, and our three other children in saying that this will be an incredibly proud moment for our family, and we offer our sincere thanks to Westwood One and the NFL.”
Chris Stigall Hosts Ann Coulter for WPHT Speaker Series. Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall (left) with author and conservative media figure Ann Coulter (right) at the Broadway Theater in Pitman, New Jersey appearing before a sell-out crowd of 1,000. Coulter is on tour promoting her new book, Resistance is Futile! How The Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind. Stigall tells TALKERS magazine that the event also brought about 100 people out to protest Coulter’s appearance.
Entercom Launches LGBTQ+ Station ‘Out Now.’ The station is airing on a number of Entercom stations’ HD2 signals as well as on Radio.com. It’s launching today (10/11) to coincide with National Coming Out Day and is based at the company’s KAMP-HD2 in Los Angeles. Entercom LA SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “We are thrilled to launch ‘Out Now,’ a passion project for our entire team, to give a voice to the LGBTQ community and its allies. Our goal is to provide a high-quality listening experience and content for our community as well as a diverse platform with differing points of view.”
Broadcasters Foundation of America Prepared for Emergency Grants for Those Affected by Hurricane Michael. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is preparing for another influx of emergency grant applications from victims of Hurricane Michael, even as requests for emergency aid from those affected by Hurricane Florence are still coming in. Broadcasters whose personal lives or property are acutely affected by Hurricanes Michael or Florence are encouraged to find out if they quality for an emergency grant by visiting https://broadcastersfoundation.org/hurricanerelief/. State broadcast associations in affected areas are working with the BFoA to alert members that they can apply for aid. The Broadcasters Foundation Emergency Grant Relief Program provides an expedited application process that is streamlined to deliver emergency funds as quickly as possible to qualifying individuals who work (or have worked) in broadcasting. Emergency grants are based on financial need. Earlier this year, the Broadcasters Foundation board of directors elected to double the maximum amount of an individual emergency grant from $1,000 to $2,000. Last year, more than $300,000 was awarded to individual victims of a rash of disasters that included Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and floods. To learn more about emergency or monthly grants or to donate, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Ryan Cameron is soon to be back on the Atlanta airwaves at Urban One’s urban contemporary simulcast of WAMJ/WUMJ “Majic 107.5/97.5,” beginning November 5. Cameron will also be working with the company to “create content and strategy.” He’ll host afternoons, bumping current PM drive personalities Silas “SiMan” Alexander and Chubb Rock to the evening show…..Entercom is launching its new morning show on Twin Cities country outlet WMNB “BUZ’N @ 102.9” that will star Mandy James, Paul “PT” Thomas, and current AM host Mike Dubs, a.k.a. Michael Wilczynski. James was most recently host of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s CHR WZOK, Rockford. Thomas comes to WMNB from Milestone Radio’s country KLCI, Elk River, Minnesota…..The Chicago-based rock band Friday Pilots Club is the winner of Cumulus Media’s 2nd annual neXt2rock competition. Close to 1,700 artists entered the second installment of the neXt2rock franchise. The final competition event featured live performances from the top five national finalists and a special performance by Roc Nation recording artist Dorothy. The winner of neXt2rock was selected by a panel of rock music luminaries and industry professionals, including Big Machine Label Group president & CEO Scott Borchetta; fashion designer and record label head John Varvatos; musician, songwriter, and producer Desmond Child; Korn frontman Jonathan Davis; and Fozzy frontman, actor, and wrestler Chris Jericho.
Bennett Helps WCBS-AM Note Its All-News Golden Anniversary. A special interview and performance this past Tuesday (8/8) by iconic singer Tony Bennett at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square highlighted a celebration of 50 years of news as CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM observed its 50th birthday as an all-news outlet. Wayne Cabot (29 years at WCBS-AM, the station’s longest-tenured anchor) and fellow news anchor Alex Silverman (who joined WCBS-AM in April 2011) hosted the event, which included a plethora of stories from WCBS-AM personalities and guests. Senior vice president and market manager for CBS Radio New York Marc Rayfield states that WCBS-AM “is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news. We will continue to tell the stories of the people, places, and happenings from all around this great city. This special night gathered listeners, station personalities, and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean into the future.” In addition to Cabot and Silverman, other WCBS-AM personalities there Tuesday night included Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott, and Michael Wallace. Among those sharing their New York stories were Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes,” “Late Show with David Letterman” bandleader (“The World’s Most Dangerous Band” and “CBS Orchestra”) Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine. CBS News’ Anthony Mason conducted the Tony Bennett interview. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales (which ranged from $55 to $150 per person) was donated to Exploring the Arts Foundation, Bennett’s charity organization dedicated to transforming lives of young people through arts education. Following back-to-back 2.4 showings (6+) in Nielsen Audio’s April and May PPM reports, WCBS-AM has registered a 2.7 (6+) in June and July, moving up from #13 in June to #12. Entercom will continue to use the CBS Radio News brand for at least one year after it closes on all of CBS Radio’s AM and FM properties.
KIRO-FM Teams with Seattle Police to Provide “Beds for Kids.” The goal of a joint effort between Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM and the Seattle Police Department is to provide 600 needy local children with mattresses, bedframes, sheet sets, comforters, pillows and a Teddy bear. KIRO-FM afternoon drive (3:00 – 7:00 pm) hosts “Ron (Upshaw) & Don (O’Neill)” have been dedicated advocates for the “Beds for Kids” project since its inception, with O’Neill emphasizing, “Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that every child that needs a bed – gets a bed. When a child gets a good night sleep and something to eat, it is proven they stay in school and they do better in school. Help us help police help kids – it’s another way to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.” The “Beds for Kids” cofounder Jeremy Wade notes, “Over the last three years, we have been amazed to see how many kids in our community sleep on the floor. Through the ‘Beds for Kids’ program, we have provided over 500 local kids with a brand-new bed. This year’s goal of 600 beds is our most ambitious yet, but with the support of our partners and the public, we know it can be done.” The project was created in 2014 by Wade and fellow officer Ryan Gallagher, who responded to a 9-1-1 call and discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor. Wade and Gallagher returned to that home with new beds purchased with their own money. Since then, hundreds of people have stepped up to assist the two officers in providing beds for children in need. Elsewhere inside that Bonneville cluster, Seattle Seahawks coverage on sports talk KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” will include John Clayton (formerly with ESPN-TV), who will serve as a sideline reporter. In addition, Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who called Seahawks pre-season games and was part of Westwood One’s NFL coverage the last two seasons, returns as radio analyst, a role he held for 13 seasons prior to 2015. Back as well for his 36th year on play-by-play is Steve Raible; Jen Mueller is in her ninth season doing sideline reporting.
Stigall Featured on “The Fox News Specialists.” Pictured above at the far right as he made his point yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 8/9) on “The Fox News Specialists” is CBS Radio-owned WPHT “Talk Radio 1210,” Philadelphia 5:30 am – 9:00 am talent Chris Stigall. Intently looking on (left to right) are another guest specialist Mike Baker, co-host Eboni Williams, guest-host Mark Steyn, and co-host Katherine Timpf.
PPM Data – Part Three. July 2017 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
Gottlieb Kicks Off Training Camp Tour. Gearing up for the start of football season, Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb hits the road for on-location coverage from several NFL training sites. The journey began this past Monday (8/7) with a broadcast from the Los Angeles Rams facility at UC Irvine. Still in Southern California (Oxnard-Ventura), Gottlieb is with the Dallas Cowboys today (Thursday, 8/10), and he will visit the Los Angeles Chargers’ camp at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa next Wednesday (8/16). Pictured left to right are Fox Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb with Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay.
LG To Activate FM Chips in its Smartphones. The announcement that LG phones in North America and Latin America will have FM chips activated moving forward comes from NextRadio parent TagStation, whose president Paul Brenner states, “We are proud and excited to partner with one of the world’s leading Smartphone providers to continue our mission of connecting and exposing users to a fully immersive radio experience. This alliance will give millions of consumers the opportunity to receive real over-the-air FM radio through their phone.” NextRadio will be pre-loaded on some models.
WQBA Named Dolphins’ Spanish-Language Radio Flagship. As part of the multi-year agreement, Univision Radio Miami Spanish news/talk WQBA will air all Miami Dolphins pre-season, regular season, and playoff games. Raul Striker Jr. will handle play-by-play duties, while Eduardo Martell will provide color analysis. WQBA will produce pregame and postgame shows, as well as a weekly show covering Dolphins-related news/events. Sports programming falls under the recently-launched Univision Deportes Radio sports network. WQBA senior vice president and general manager Claudia Puig comments, “We are excited to once again partner with the Miami Dolphins, offering them a terrific opportunity to reach their Spanish-speaking fans through Univision Deportes Radio. Our listeners will now be able to cheer their favorite football team ‘en español.’ The Dolphins broadcasts will be a perfect complement to Univision Deportes Radio’s outstanding sports programming lineup.” Miami Dolphins senior vice president and chief commercial officer Todd Kline adds, “We are proud to partner with Univision Deportes Radio WQBA 1140 AM and are confident they will deliver the most complete and up-to-date coverage of the Miami Dolphins to fans. The Dolphins have a 36-year commitment to broadcast games in Spanish in the South Florida market – this partnership delivers on our strong tradition.” Spanish-language broadcasts of Dolphins games were previously heard on crosstown Deportes Media Spanish Sports WNMA “ESPN Deportes Miami.” The team’s English-language flagships are CBS Radio Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” and co-owned WKIS “Kiss 99.9 New Country.”
TALKERS News Notes. Citing other media sources, The Tennessean reports that former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck will leave his “Wake-Up Zone” morning show co-hosting duties on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” in the next few weeks. Earlier, Wycheck announced he is stepping away from his role as analyst for Titans’ radio broadcasts for a year, owing to cognitive issues related to concussions from his playing days. It is reported, however, that Wycheck will remain with “The Zone” for swing duty ….. In other football-related news, iHeartMedia Tucson’s KTZR “Fox Sports 1450” joins the Arizona Cardinals radio network. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson David Adams comments, “As the new home for Fox Sports in Tucson; the future home of Dan Patrick; and the official broadcast partner of the Tucson Roadrunners, we couldn’t be more excited to solidify our position as ‘Tucson’s Sports Station’ by adding the Cardinals.” The team’s previous Tucson affiliate was Cumulus Media’s KCUB “Sports Radio 1290.”
Checkpoint Radio Adds Houston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis Affiliates. The latest to join Checkpoint Radio – the first nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to the world of e-sports and gaming – are GOW Media’s KFNC “ESPN 97.5 FM,” Houston; Beasley Media Group’s WPEN “97.5 FM The Fanatic, Philadelphia”; and Hubbard’s WXOS “101 ESPN, St Louis.” Westwood One president/Cumulus Media executive vice president of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes comments, “Checkpoint Radio is the only national show that connects radio stations and listeners to the explosive energy around e-sports. According to Newzoo, e-sports will grow to $696 million in revenue this year, a year-over-year increase of 41%. Brand investment is predicted to grow to $1.5 billion by 2020. This is a space you want to be in. Westwood One is the undeniable leader in sports programming – we know e-sports is an important sector for affiliates and advertisers.” Checkpoint Radio managing partner Rick Scott notes, “We are excited at the rapid growth of Checkpoint Radio in so many quality and big markets. It is a testament to the quality and appeal of the show and the passionate crew working to put it together.” Hosted by Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan, two-hour weekly Checkpoint Radio features insights, news, interviews, and updates designed specifically for the video game and e-sports fan. In addition to the weekly show, Checkpoint also produces a podcast featuring content not heard on the radio program.
WKLB Elevates Santolucito to Director/Music and Marketing. Over and above continuing her oversight of the marketing/promotions department of WKLB “Country 102.5,” Dawn Santolucito is promoted to music and marketing director at the Beasley Media Group Boston property. Program director David Corey states, “Dawn’s passion, dedication, and organizational skills – plus a great ear for music – made her the ideal candidate for the position. We are proud to have Dawn in our ‘Country 102.5’ family.” Santolucito comments, “It truly has been a privilege being a part of the ‘Country 102.5’ family for the past seven years in my role within the marketing/promotions department. I am thrilled to begin this new chapter.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2017 PPM report, WKLB is flat at 4.5, but climbs from seventh in June 2017 to sixth, while cross-town format competitor – iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country” is up (modestly) for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) and inches up from #17 to #16. With a 7.7 (6+), WKLB classic hits-oldies sibling WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” remains at #1 for the seventh successive sweep.
iHR, Understood.org Align to Help Kids Facing Learning/Attention Issues. One of every five children have a learning and attention challenge such as ADHD or dyslexia. A partnership between iHeartMedia and Understood.org explores and raises awareness of learning and attention issues, and breaks stereotypes about these often-misunderstood children. The partnership includes public service announcements voiced by iHeartMedia personalities Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Mario Lopez, and Bobby Bones, as well as a long-form public affairs show. Commenting about Understood.org, its executive leader/corporate partnerships & alliances Nancy Smith states, “This whole team is deeply committed to helping the millions of children with learning and attention issues get the support they need – support that can help them reverse any downward spiral in school.” From prior experience, Smith felt that iHeartRadio “has a strong belief in win-win partnerships and in helping the world be a better place. I knew collaboration with the iHeart team could take us to new levels of support for kids with learning and attention issues.” Aided by 15 nonprofit organizations, Understood.org launched nearly three years ago. “Today, it supports and empowers millions of parents through personalized resources, daily access to experts, a community of other parents and experts, and interactive tools,” Smith explains. “Many accomplished musicians including Justin Timberlake [ADHD], Lindsey Stirling [dyslexia], and Jewel [dyslexia] have learning and attention issues. Understood is happy to call iHeartRadio a partner in our mission to raise awareness of learning and attention issues. Having the support of a community of musical artists and fans who embrace differences can help build widespread acceptance for kids who are so often misunderstood. Together with iHeartRadio, we want to help even more children with learning and attention issues.”
Sun Broadcast Group Enters the “Country Fried Mix.” A sales and affiliation partnership with Sun Broadcast Group will bring “Country Fried Mix” with national touring artist and producer DJ Sinister to the network in three weeks (9/1). Sun chief executive officer Jason Bailey remarks, “One of the things we have always tried to do at Sun is find exciting and unique programs for our listeners and clients. When I heard ‘Country Fried Mix’ for the first time, I knew we had to have it in our lineup. There is simply nothing [else] like it on the radio – that’s why it is perfect for us. We are honored to represent this incredible product to the industry and the clients who support it.” According to DJ Sinister, “This new opportunity really takes us to the next level with partners that are willing to take risks,” while the program’s producer Charlie Pennachio adds, “Focus created this expansion; this opportunity gives us the ability to become a laser beam with a team.” The weekend show of mashed up/remixed country hits has aired since 2014 and has affiliates in (among other markets) Philadelphia, Miami, Detroit, Phoenix, and Nashville.
Opening “The Vault” Again in Montgomery. Jettisoning its top 40 format in order to return to rock as “107.1 The Vault” is Bluewater Broadcasting Montgomery, Alabama’s WQKS-HD3 W296AI. It abandoned “The Vault” four years ago in favor of classic jams “Yo! 107.1,” but as program director Rick Peters writes on his Facebook page, “The market has spoken and – contrary to popular belief – we do listen. ‘The Vault’ will try to recreate album and progressive rock stations from the 1970s, such as [Los Angeles’] KMET and KLOS; [Chicago’s] WLUP [‘The Loop’]; [Philadelphia’s] WMMR; [Miami’s] WSHE; and [St. Louis’] KSHE. The format is freeform – the [on-air talent] can program what they like. Every day will be different – it’s a throwback. At the same time, it’s evolutionary for the day [but] it’s not designed to be mass-appeal. For those that ‘lived’ the music the first time, we will try to be worthy. For the rest of you, listen up [because] you might find something you love.” Among persons 12+ in Montgomery’s most recent Nielsen Audio book (spring 2017), WQKS-HD3 checks in at #16 with a .8, while iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZHT “Hot 105.7” is on top with an 11.2 (12+).
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Earlier this week, midday host Danny Dwyer of Alpha Media Portland country outlet KUPL “98.7 The Bull” raised $10,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in his inaugural golf invitational at Salem Oregon’s Creekside Country Club ….. A variety of tomato-themed activities will be included next Saturday (8/19) when Beasley Media Group Philadelphia classic rock WMGK morning personality John DeBella holds his three-hour (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Tomato Fest” in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Among the highlights are a biggest-tomato contest; a dunk tank manned by the show’s “Super Steve”; and bobbing for tomatoes. In addition, WMGK’s house band Kategory Five will perform, and there will be a classic car display. Donations of canned goods and fresh produce will be collected to benefit the South Jersey Food Bank. DeBella is said to have thought up the “Tomato Fest” concept while seeing a vast number of farm stands and pondering why the tomato wasn’t being celebrated ….. Three (four-hour) Westwood One Labor Day weekend music specials are in the pipeline. Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds will host rock’s “Summer Wrap Up”; Louis Tomlinson does the same for the pop format’s “Last Big Summer Weekend”; and ACM-award winner Kelsea Ballerini has the honors for “Workin’ Hard Country.”
Ell Talks Up Her Latest “Project.” During her visit to Westwood One’s syndicated “Ty, Kelly, & Chuck” morning show, Lindsay Ell discussed touring with Brad Paisley and creating her new album “The Project” with producer Kristian Bush. Shown left to right are Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Lindsay Ell, and Chuck Wicks.
Breitbart News Network Adds Three Journalists to DC Bureau. The news organization announces the addition of three Washington, DC journalists to its staff. Sam Chi, formerly with RealClear Politics; Kristina Wong, formerly with The Hill; and DC policy analyst Sean Moran are now staffers with Breitbart News Network in Washington. Sam Chi is named editor. During his time as a senior editor at RealClear Politics, he oversaw the launch of sites, including World, Science, Religion and History, as well as revamping Sports and Books. Kristina Wong is named Pentagon and Department of Defense reporter. In addition to her time at The Hill, she also served with the Washington Times as a national security correspondent. New policy reporter Sean Moran previously was a policy analyst for Americans for Prosperity and the Chamber of Digital Commerce. Breitbart News Network president and CEO Larry Solov says, “2016 proved to be an exciting and unprecedented year of growth for Breitbart News. 2017 promises to be another where we are front and center, bringing our hard-hitting brand of journalism to our 45 million – and growing – monthly visitors.” Breitbart also presents the daily radio show “Breitbart News Daily,” broadcast on SiriusXM’s Patriot Channel Monday through Friday 6:00 am to 9:00 am, Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, and Sundays from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.
WGN, Chicago Unveils New Traffic App. It’s called Traffix Chicago, and it comes from Madison, Wisconsin-based TrafficCast Inc. WGN says that the app is designed for Chicago commuters and “is personalized and easy to use as it calculates the fastest three routes for any inputted destination. Users get accurate, real-time data and tips coupled with audio traffic reports pertaining to the roads within a given journey.” In the press release, there’s no mention of how WGN will monetize the app, but it’s assumed that ads will be incorporated into the mix. WGN Radio VP of programming Todd Manley says, “On-demand is everything and Traffix Chicago gives Chicagoans the data they want at the exact moment they need it.”
TagStation to Launch The Dial Report. The Dial Report is being called a “digital measurement report of analogue radio usage.” The service comes from TagStation, the power behind NextRadio. The firm says it is “the most advanced radio campaign measurement tool to date.” The Dial Report provides “robust analytics and insights about radio ROI, by measuring campaign results and listener behavior for advertisers that enhance their on-air radio campaign with the NextRadio app.” Saying that since brands and agencies expect radio performance measurement data on par with that of digital, the new Dial Report provides location-based data, demographics and radio listening data within 48 hours of airing spots. Dial Report users can drill down into MSAs and/or device activity to uncover campaign listens, views, interactions, listener proximity and in-store traffic. NextRadio president Paul Brenner adds, “NextRadio is a game-changer for the radio industry because it provides meaningful radio data that agencies and brands can use to prove the value radio spots bring to their marketing efforts. Being able to see the proximity of a listener is unprecedented in the radio industry. Brands are taking notice and asking how they can get these insights.”
PodcastOne Launches Larry McReynolds Show. This new NASCAR podcast is titled, “Larry Mac: America’s Crew Chief,” and stars Hall of Fame crew chief and NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz announces the new show, with fresh episodes each Wednesday, will take NASCAR fans inside the pits to experience, first-hand, how the most successful NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs, team owners and sponsors compete for the NASCAR Cup Championship. Each week, fans will look back at Larry’s career, hear interviews with the top players in racing, receive up-to-date breaking news from all the current NASCAR stars, and have the opportunity to ask Larry their own questions via social media.
Trump to Order Mexico Wall Built, ‘Alternative Facts’ Flap, Trump Restarts Keystone Pipeline Process, GOP’s ObamaCare Plans, California Secession Poll, Oscar Nominees, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/24). President Donald Trump announces order to begin process of building wall between U.S. and Mexico; the ongoing flap over disagreements between the Trump press office and the media concerning “facts” versus “alternative facts”; Trump okays the Keystone Pipeline project that the Obama Administration shut down; the Republicans’ plans to overhaul the Affordable Care Act; a poll reports that one-third of Californians favor seceding from the United States; the list of nominees for Academy Awards is revealed; and the matchup between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
iHM Partners with ART19 for Podcast Distribution and Data Expansion. This new relationship between iHeartMedia’s digital platform iHeartRadio and podcast tech firm ART19 puts ART19 podcasts on the iHeartRadio platform while providing podcast publishers with detailed analytics. iHeartRadio SVP of podcasting Chris Peterson says, “A big issue facing the podcast industry today is limited measurement. With iHeartRadio’s extensive pool of listener data and ART19’s distribution technology, we will be the first platform to provide podcasters with detailed analytics. Together, we’re excited to implement a new, robust ad-tech solution that is sure to drive the growth of the podcast industry.” Using ART19’s application program interface, podcasters will receive more detailed listener information about when users start, stop, and skip during an episode, as well as listener demographics.
iHeartMedia Taps John Peake to Program KOST and KBIG in Los Angeles. Most recently serving iHeartMedia as regional SVP of programming for the San Diego and Riverside markets, John Peake is named program director for the company’s adult contemporary KOST and hot AC KBIG “104.3 MYfm in Los Angeles. iHeartMedia EVP of programming, West Division Andrew Jeffries comments, “John is an amazing talent coach, incredible music head and strong leader who has helped develop some enduring radio brands. We’re thrilled to now have his talent and experience in Los Angeles and we know that KOST and ‘104.3 MYfm’ will continue their immense success under his leadership.” The company says Peake takes over for Michael La Crosse, who will transition into an advisory role that will include working on key projects in the company’s West Division. The company will release more details on his new role at a later date. Also, iHeartMedia San Diego/Riverside will announce its new regional senior vice president of programming soon.
New Additions to Air Staff at ‘101WKQX’ Chicago. There are three additions to the air staff at Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago. First, the station brings Christine “Nicci” Nunez aboard to serve as executive producer for the “Brian & Lou in the Morning” show. She was most recently serving as producer of “Drew Garabo Live” at Cox Media’s WHPT, Tampa. Second, the station names Mishell Livio a member of the air staff for part-time, weekend duties. Finally, the station is working with comic, writer and weekend personality Greg Beharrell on a “unique Saturday night specialty show to be launched on WKQX in the coming weeks.” Beharrell also hosts weekend shows on the company’s Los Angeles classic rocker KLOS. WKQX program director (and company VP of programming, rock) Troy Hanson comments, “All three of these appointments signify our ongoing commitment at Cumulus to put talented people in positions to grow both personally and professionally. Both our audience and advertisers will benefit from bringing Nicci, Greg and Mishell into the creative fold of WKQX.”
Round One of Holiday PPM Data Released. Information from Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2016 PPM ratings period has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s Holiday 2016 survey period covered December 1, 2016 – January 4, 2017. View all the (6+) numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.
1) New York – On top for the sixth straight time, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” adds five full-shares to December’s +1.9 (6.4 – 8.3 – 13.3, 6+), propelling it to one-half share ahead of where it was this time last year (12.8, “Holiday” 2015, 6+). Off three-tenths to 6.4 (6+) in November, WLTW ended three successive up-trends (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+). Gaining nine-ninths and rocketing from sixth to second is Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” (4.6 – 5.5, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing since July’s 5.6. Slipping from fourth to fifth, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” is down for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+). In addition to “Z-100,” Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ (3.0 – 2.3, #11 to #17, 6+) is also off by seven-tenths in the “Holiday” report. After three straight up or flat monthlies that netted a +.7 (4.3 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker WAXQ “Q-104.3” drops six-tenths to 4.4 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while co-owned rhythmic CHR WKTU falters by one-half share (4.0 – 3.5, eighth to ninth 6+).
2) Los Angeles – Sporting an impressive +4.3 (6.4 – 10.7, 6+), iHeartMedia mainstream AC KOST is the City of Angels’ trendsetter for the fifteenth successive ratings period, although “Coast 103.5” is -1.6 from a year ago (12.3, “Holiday” 2015, 6+). Down by two-tenths each in back-to-back sweeps (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), “Coast 103.5” gained one-tenth in November and was +.9 in December. An increase of seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.8, 6+) not only elevates Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO from #18 to #13, “Go Country 105 FM” has its finest 6+-performance since July 2015’s 2.9. Advancing by one-half share (.5 – 1.0, 6+) is Entravision Spanish contemporary KSSE “La Suavecita 107.1,” which checks in at #30. Despite forfeiting December’s +.9 in its entirety (4.7 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG “My-FM” remains in the runner-up slot. Prior to the December 2016 sweep, the 6+ trend for “My-FM” was 4.7 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7. Declining by seven-tenths each are co-owned talker KFI (3.1, seventh to tenth, 6+) and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” (4.8 – 4.1, fourth to fifth, 6+). In the previous six ratings periods, “K-Earth 101” trended 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.8 (6+). Prior to the “Holiday” sweep, KFI had three straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+); 3.8 in December 2016 was its best 6+-performance since May 2013 (also 3.8). Up four-tenths between September and November (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), co-owned alternative KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7” dropped one-tenth in December and now falters by six-tenths (3.4 – 2.8, 6+) as it departs the top ten (#9 to #13). Without an increase for the ninth successive sweep (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) producing a combined -1.3, CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted KROQ moves from #23 to #22. Locked on 3.7 (6+) in November and December, adult hits sibling KCBS-FM “Jack FM – Playing What We Want” slips by one-half share to 3.2, yet actually improves from #8 to a three-way tie at #7. In a somewhat similar vein, smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV “The Wave” drops two-tenths (to 4.7, 6+), snapping its string of up-trends at four (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+), yet inches up from third to a second-place tie with “My-FM.” Climbing from #10 to that three-way logjam at #7, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has been extremely consistent the last seven sweeps (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+).
3) Chicago – Entering the December sweep down or flat the previous 11 ratings periods for a collective loss of 11 full-shares (13.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), WLIT “93.9 My-FM” dialed up a +3.4 to 6.3 (6+), zooming from tenth to second. Now, the iHeartMedia hot AC more than doubles December’s 6.3 (13.7, +7.4, 6+) and progresses to #1, displacing CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.4 – 6.1, -.3, 6+), which had been in first-place the past three months. Chicago Bears flagship WBBM-AM was tied for the lead in September and had been on top from January through May. WLIT notched a 13.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2015. The station most impacted by the +7.4 of “My-FM” is Hubbard Radio’s similarly-formatted WTMX “101.9 The Mix,” which regresses by one full-share (5.4 – 4.4, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. “Mix” had been up in consecutive monthlies (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, October-November-December, 6+); prior to November 2016, “Mix” had been at #3 the previous seven sweeps. Trending 2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.4 (6+) since August, adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV” is not only down by eight-tenths to 1.6 (6+), it falls off the top 20 (#15 to #24). The market’s country share shrinks by six-tenths as iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” (2.1 – 1.9, -.2, 6+) catches CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” (2.3 – 1.9, -.4, 6+) at #19. Owing to a one-half share gain (.7 – 1.2, 6+), Moody Bible Institute’s religious teaching WMBI “From the Word to Life” finishes at #27. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 33rd straight monthly (2.7 – 2.4, -.3, 6+) Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE inches into the top ten (#11 to a three-way tie at #10). In the talk arena, Tribune Media Company’s WGN (4.2 – 3.7, unchanged at #5, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM (#24, 6+) are each off by one-half share. It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WLS-AM (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 1.6, 6+). Just one-share is the “Holiday” 2016 difference between ranker #9 and ranker #22 (6+).
4) San Francisco – The combination of a +4.4 by KOIT-FM (4.8 – 9.2, 6+) and a loss of seven-tenths by Northern California Public Broadcasting outlet KQED (7.1 – 6.4, 6+) results in KOIT-FM shifting from third to first and KQED moving from first to second. Back-to-back declines by KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” in October and November produced a combined -.5 (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+), but the Entercom adult contemporary answered with a strong +1.4 in December. This is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2015 (10.4). Meanwhile, the -.7 for KQED halts seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. After gaining one-half share in December, Alpha Media-owned San Jose adult contemporary KBAY tacks on eight-tenths (1.5 – 2.0 – 2.8, 6+) and elevates from a three-way tie at #18 to a tie at #11. Conversely, faltering by eight-tenths is KCBS-AM (5.9, 6+), which segues from second to third and has its string of successive gains ended at four (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+); the CBS Radio all-news operation was +1.4 since August.
5) Dallas – Abandoning its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format), iHeartMedia’s KDGE “Star 102.1” more than doubles December’s 3.3 to 7.7 (+4.4, 6+). Over and above that, “Star” hurtles from tenth all the way to first. It is quite the meteoric rise for KDGE, which was at #21 in November. “Star” has a nine-tenths advantage over CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV (steady at #2), which posts a +1.4 (5.4 – 6.8, 6+). Departing the #1 slot and falling to third in light of a -.9 is KDGE’s CHR cluster-mate KHKS “Kiss-FM” (5.7 – 4.8, 6+). “Kiss” succeeded Cumulus Media’s country formatted KPLX “The Wolf” at #1 in December; “The Wolf” is off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.7, third to fourth, 6+). Mirroring “Kiss,” KPLX talk sibling WBAP is also off by nine-tenths (3.3, 6+) and falls from #6 out of the top ten (#11). WBAP had been up the past three sweeps for a net gain of one full-share (3.2 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). Eroding by seven-tenths each are CBS Radio adult hits and regional Mexican cluster-mates KJKK “Jack-FM” (3.5, sixth to eighth, 6+) and KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (#16 to #22, 6+). “Jack” had been up the past three ratings periods for a combined +.9 (3.3 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+), while the most recent (6+) trends for “La Grande” are 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.7. Stuck on 2.7 (6+) in November and December, North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA drops six-tenths to 2.1 (6+), slipping from #16 to #20. Regressing by one-half share each are Cumulus Media sports outlet KTCK “The Ticket” (3.2 – 2.7, #11 to #12, 6+) and its format rival, CBS Radio-owned KRLD-FM “The Fan” (#14 to #18, 6+), as well as iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9” (4.0 – 3.5, steady at #8, 6+). In December, “The Ticket” had its string of three straight gains come to an end (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+) – it was a combined +.9 in that stretch. This represents the third straight dip for “The Fan” for a cumulative -1.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+). By dropping four-tenths this time last month, “Now” curtailed seven straight up or flat ratings periods that netted a +.7 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+). While unchanged at #4, cluster-mate KZPS “Classic Rock Lone Star 92.5” has a loss of two-tenths to 4.7 (6+), ending three successive increases for a combined +1.1 (3.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+).
6) Houston – Not only does KODA “Sunny 99.1” register its fourth straight up-trend for a cumulative +3.8 (6.5 – 6.6 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 10.3, 6+), the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility repeats at #1. “Sunny 99.1,” which reached 11.9 (6+) in “Holiday” 2015, ranked first in 23 consecutive ratings periods before dipping to second in August. Applying the brakes to four consecutive ratings periods without an increase for a combined decrease of one-half share (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” posts a +.6 to 4.9 (6+) and rises from seventh to fifth. Dropping six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+), CBS Radio Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101 FM” slides from sixth to seventh. Off by a collective -1.7 since July (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” regained seven-tenths in November; lost six-tenths in December; and now forfeits another one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+) as it segues from seventh to ninth. Before slipping to #7 in October, “The New Q” had been in fifth-place the previous four sweeps. In a three-way tie at #10 (down from #9 in December) is its format challenger – CBS Radio’s KILT-FM “100.3 The Bull” (3.7, -.3, 6+), which snaps a string of three straight gains for a combined +.9 (3.1 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). Returning the one-half share it gained in December, iHeartMedia talker KTRH exits the top ten (3.5, #9 to #14) and has its streak of successive up or flat trends (which netted a +.7) end at three (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0, 6+); co-owned KODA-HD3 is down by one-half share as well (.6 – .1, #34, 6+).
7) Philadelphia – Flaunting the loftiest 6+-share of any PPM-market station whose data was released Tuesday, Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101.1 FM” explodes by +6.8 to 17.9 (6+), bettering its (16.3, 6+) mark of a year ago (“Holiday” 2015) by +1.6. Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), “Today’s 101.1 FM” dropped one-tenth in November, only to come roaring back in December with a +3.6. It is #1 for the fifth consecutive monthly. A number of Philly stations are impacted by that +6.8, most notably iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” (#11 to #13), which in fourth straight losses (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+) has lost nearly half its 6+-share. Absorbing losses of six-tenths each are CBS Radio all-news KYW (4.7, steady at #5, 6+); Beasley Media Group’s WMMR “93.3 Rocks” (unchanged at #6, 6+); and WHYY (2.3, #16 to #18, 6+). KYW had been up or flat the past four times (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+) for a net +.9. Formerly owned by Greater Media, WMMR was -.8 in December and is off for the third successive sweep (6.1 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+) for a collective -1.7. In three straight increases, public WHYY accumulated a combined eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+). Sputtering by one-half share each are Beasley Media Group’s WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” (5.4 – 4.9, steady at #4, 6+); iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.6 – 3.1, #10 to #11, 6+); CBS Radio talker WPHT (3.4 – 2.9, unchanged at #12, 6+); and co-owned WZMP (2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). In December, “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” was -.6, thus curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CHR WZMP “Amp” – which was trending 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+) – transitioned to adult contemporary as WTDY “Today’s 96.5.” Without a gain for the sixth successive time (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” nonetheless improves from eighth to seventh.
8) Atlanta – Down or flat the past six sweeps for a collective loss of -1.5 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 The Fish” roars back with a +2.5 to 7.1, leaping from seventh to second. This is the strongest 6+-performance for “The Fish” in exactly two years (7.6, “Holiday” 2014). It trails Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM (10.2 – 7.9, -2.3, 6+) – #1 for the twelfth straight month – by eight-tenths. While WSB-AM’s -2.3 is the largest (6+) decline by any PPM-market station whose data was released Tuesday, its 10.2 in December was the station’s best-ever (6+) performance. Its previous record was achieved in October 2016 with a +1.2 to 10.1. Enjoying its sixth straight monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.4 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” climbs from tenth to ninth. A gain of six-tenths (3.0 – 3.6, 6+) lifts CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” from #16 to #13. On the other hand, iHeartMedia country WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (3.2 – 2.6, 6+, #14 to #16, 6+) and regional Mexican cluster-mate WBZY “El Patron 105.3” (1.6 – 1.0, #20 to #24, 6+) are off by six-tenths. After posting a +.7 in November, Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” replicates December’s -.5 (5.2 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+), dropping from fourth to fifth. Unchanged at #27, iHeartMedia’s WGST “640 Talk Radio” is locked on .4 for the fifth consecutive ratings period.
9) Long Island – Two outlets appearing in this market notch December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016 increases of at least three full-shares: Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” (5.8 – 9.0, +3.2, second to first, 6+) and iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM (4.2 – 7.8, +3.6, sixth to second, 6+); WALK-FM gained seven-tenths in December. Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), “Lite FM” rebounded with a +.9 in December; 7.8 is its best 6+- showing in Long Island since 7.9 in the “Holiday” 2015 report. Having registered eleven successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, New York City CHR sibling WHTZ “Z-100” spirals by -1.5 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+) and slides to third. Following three straight declines that totaled a combined -.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+), “Z-100” posted a +.6 in November to 6.6. A -.3 in August erased four straight monthlies where “Z-100” was up or flat (5.8 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+). Without a decrease in the past seven sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio all-news WINS falters by one full-share to 3.5 (6+) and departs the top ten (#5 to #11). This is the 25th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#20 to #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.1 – 2.3, +.2, 6+). Declining by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media talker WABC (2.5, #13 to #16, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU (2.6 – 2.0, #16 to #19, 6+). WABC had posted three successive increases for a collective +.8 (2.3 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+). Following 17 straight monthlies in two-share range (6+), Cumulus Media’s WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” drops one-half share to 1.7 and falls out of the top 20 (#19 to #22, 6+). The stream of Fordham University’s WFUV disappears from print after logging a 1.0 (6+) in November and a .7 in December (6+).
10) Riverside – Without an increase the past five sweeps for a collective -1.2 (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” breaks out a +.7 to 5.7 and jumps from fourth to second. Progressing by six-tenths to 1.9 (6+), Good News Radio contemporary Christian KSGN “Family Friendly 89.7” halts three consecutive mini-slides (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Not only is KLYY “Jose” up or flat for the fourth straight time for a collective +1.5 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+), the Entravision Spanish adult hits outlet is #1 for the fourteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. After seven straight positive or flat trends for a cumulative gain of nearly three full-shares (3.1 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-LOVE 107.5” (third to fourth) surrenders a -1.2 to 4.8 (6+). Dating back to May, “K-LOVE” nearly doubled its 6+-share. Trending 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 (6+) since July, Spanish adult hits sibling KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” rang up a +.7 in December but relinquishes all of it (1.4 – 2.1 – 1.4, 6+) as it leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). This represents the third successive one-half share loss by Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+), which drops from second to third. It had been in the runner-up slot the past six ratings periods. Prior to November, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). For the eleventh consecutive time, CBS Radio country outlet KXFG (#23 to #22) has a .1; four other stations have a .1 as well.
11) San Jose – Adult contemporary boasts a #1/#2 finish and piles up 6.5 (6+) shares between Entercom’s KOIT-FM (4.4 – 8.4, +4.0, #5 to #1, 6+) and Alpha Media-owned KBAY (+2.5, steady at #2, 6+). With a 9.2 (6+), KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” is #1 in San Francisco as well. In seven straight sweeps without a loss, KBAY is a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+) – yet – on Christmas Day (12/25) at 5:00 pm, it ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies (“94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits”). Ousted at #1 after three straight months there and dropping to third is KCBS-AM, which spirals by -1.5 after December’s +1.0 (6.9 – 7.9 – 6.4, 6+). The CBS Radio all-news operation had been up the past five sweeps netting a +3.5 (4.4 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.9, 6+). Frozen on 1.7 (6+) in September, October, and November, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” sputtered by seven-tenths in December but regains one-half share in “Holiday” 2016 (1.7 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+), climbing from #24 to #21. Off by one full-share (3.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned KUFX “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” skids from seventh to tenth. Sputtering by seven-tenths (4.1 – 3.4, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” dips from sixth to seventh. Cumulus Media talk siblings KGO (3.0 – 2.4, #11 to #14, 6+) and KSFO (2.4 – 1.8, #16 to #20, 6+) each erode by six-tenths. For the seventeenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.6 – 3.0, -.6, eighth to ninth, 6+) is within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+).
12) Middlesex – Having logged a combined +3.5 in New York City; Long Island; and Middlesex (November 2016 – December 2016, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” more than triples that accomplishment with a collective +12.1 (December 2016 – “Holiday” 2016). “Lite FM” ranks first in both New York City and Middlesex and is second in Long Island. Advancing from third in December, “Lite FM” enjoys its fourth straight Middlesex up or flat trend, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). Following twelve consecutive ratings period at #1, Townsquare Media talker WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (7.5 – 6.8, – -.7, 6+) assumes the runner-up slot. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths the following month. In September, “New Jersey 101.5” wiped out an August -.6 with an increase of seven-tenths. Owing to a four-tenths gain in July, it halted four straight negative trends that had resulted in a combined -1.4 (9.1 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 8.1 – 7.7, 6+). On the heels of December’s +.6, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM “93.1 Amor” adds a +1.1 (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.8, 6+) and zooms from tenth to fifth. Checking in at #25 is Emmis’ WLIB “Your Home for Gospel, Inspiration, and Information,” which in November 2016, December 2016, and “Holiday” 2016 is trending .1 – .4 – .9 (6+). After three consecutive gains totaling a combined seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish tropical WXNY “X-96.3” relinquishes nine-tenths to 2.6 (#11 to #15, 6+). Having improved in December by one-half share, iHeartMedia talker WOR (3.0 – 2.2, #14 to #18, 6+) and Cumulus Media country WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” (3.5 – 2.9, a three-way tie at #11 to #13, 6+) regress by eight-tenths and six-tenths, respectively. The +.5 by “Nash FM” in December ended three successive negative trends for a combined -.9 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+). A loss of seven-tenths by WOR in November curtailed three straight gains in Middlesex-Somerset-Union (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 3.2, 6+) that nearly doubled its 6+-share. Faltering by one-half share each in “Holiday” 2016 are Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 – Your #1 Source For R&B” (5.9 – 5.4, second to third, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.6 – 2.1, #18 to #20, 6+).
Dan Mason Announces Retirement from CBS RADIO; Andre Fernandez to Assume President Role. In a letter to company staffers president and CEO Dan Mason announces he’s stepping down from his post this month. Here’s the text of his letter: “After an unforgettable eight years leading CBS RADIO, I am announcing today my retirement at the end of April. Witnessing all that we’ve accomplished and knowing the bright future ahead for our company has not made this an easy decision. It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president and CEO and I want to express my gratitude to all of you. My passion and love for this industry is well known and I’ve enthusiastically watched as we’ve transformed our broadcast business and simultaneously evolved our digital product. I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments – everything from creating new music formats, and launching sports on FM, to the evolution of Radio.com and now Play.it, our on-demand podcast network. We’ve made it easier than ever before for listeners to experience our content through new online, mobile and event platforms. However, as much fun as I’ve had, it’s now time to “pivot” in my personal life. With four kids either grown, out of the house or on their way to college, I would like to do some “retirement” type things like leisure travel and spending more time doing my favorite hobbies. Broadcasting will always be part of my life. I am happy to continue with CBS RADIO on a consulting basis, and I will also be doing more work for the Broadcaster’s Foundation, a cause that I believe so much in. Finally, this fall I will be doing play-by-play for select college basketball games, a passion I followed early in my career. I guess you never get rid of the disc jockey blood you’re born with. Most people are lucky enough to have one great run at the helm of an organization – I’ve had two. My thanks to Leslie Moonves who has been so supportive of every new road we traveled down since this extraordinary second time around began for me in 2007. His desire for great content has been an inspiration for all of us and will no doubt continue to be the foundation of the company. Thank you as well for facing every opportunity with optimism and dedicating yourselves to teamwork, excellence and creativity. You have been great colleagues. I look forward to seeing you all grow in the years ahead, adding to a long list of successes.” CBS Corp. has announced that former Journal Communications president and COO Andre J. Fernandez will be the radio division’s new president effective next week. The company says that Fernandez will oversee the direction and management of the division, which includes 117 stations in 26 major markets as well as a growing collection of digital assets.
Analysis: RAIN Summit West. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering not one but three conventions for TALKERS magazine this week. His piece covers the RAIN Summit West, which historically precedes the annual NAB Show. Cooke writes that it’s impossible to go out in public and not see people interacting with their iPhones so it only stands to reason that this is the new frontier on which consumers need to be reached. He reports that on one panel dealing with podcasts, PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz extolled the virtues of the podcast format. “Podcast listeners are P1 listeners because they have to perform a positive task” by connecting. Pattiz reckons these “lean-forward listeners” are “much-more engaged” than “lean-back” AM/FM/TV users. Cooke says social media was also front-and-center at RAIN and on one panel discussion, “Jumpwire Media’s Gavin McGarry sounded almost stern: ‘Social media is NOT for marketing. It’s about building community. And he urged that stations take it seriously: ‘Outsourcing social media to your interns is not an option.’ Your brand is at stake.” Read Cooke’s entire report here.
Rush Limbaugh to Seek New Home in Indy. In a statement from both Premiere Networks and Emmis-owned news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, the former’s Rush Limbaugh program will cease to be heard on WIBC-FM after July 3. The statement doesn’t say which party chose not to renew the contract nor where the show will be heard after the current deal expires. Emmis Indianapolis SVP/market manager Charlie Morgan comments, “Premiere has been a great partner, and Rush has been an iconic part of WIBC’s heritage and success. WIBC has a strong lineup of live-and-local personalities delivering great radio, and we will continue to be Indianapolis’ home for listeners with a passion for conservative values and principles.” Premiere president Julie Talbott adds, “We’ve had a wonderful partnership with Emmis for many years, including a long history of ratings success for the Rush Limbaugh Show in Indianapolis.”
Cumulus Names VP/Sales … Right Now. The vice president of sales position is landed by Justus Lowenberg and it is actually for Cumulus Media‘s Right Now Traffic Network in San Francisco. Cumulus vice president of sales for news-talk Jaysson Reno remarks, “Justus will be a strong addition to our sales leadership team in San Francisco. His track record and experience will take our Right Now Traffic Network to new levels and provide maximum value for our community of listeners and advertisers.” Lowenberg comments, “With a top notch staff and elite brand of call letters, I am excited to be joining the Cumulus San Francisco team. The Right Now Traffic Network offers advertisers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Bay Area listeners as they seek out route information in one of the most traffic congested markets in the country.” Lowenberg previously was in network sponsorship sales for iHeartMedia‘s Total Traffic Network and was national sales manager for Entravision Communications. He began his radio sales career at Infinity Broadcasting – CBS Radio in 1999 as an account executive.
WGN, Chicago to Debut Justin Kaufmann Show on April 16. Recently recruited from Chicago public radio outlet WBEZ, Justin Kaufmann will begin his regular program on Tribune’s WGN this Thursday. “The Download” will air from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm as reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder today (4/13). WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley tells Feder “The Download” is a “daily mirror on Chicago revealed in multiple chapters. You’ll hear a variation of WGN talk soup that replays pieces of interviews from earlier in the day not in ‘best of’ style, but to challenge ourselves to be more reflective and less reactive. Justin has a passion for revealing the hidden stories in breaking news, and we’ll pack one hour each night with A-list guests, too. We also look forward to town hall conversations on location and some deep dives into music and comedy. You’ll be treated to a kind of sonic architecture you won’t hear anywhere else.” Kaufmann was most recently executive producer at WBEZ, in charge of the local shows “The Morning Shift” and “The Afternoon Shift,” among others.
Indiana Senate Passes Resolution To Activate FM Radio In Smartphones. More specifically, Senate Resolution 28 addresses the importance of Indiana residents having a link to emergency information from broadcasts of local radio stations via their Smartphones. A chip enabling Smartphone owners to monitor FM radio stations already exists in Smartphones available in the United States. Founded in 2013 – and with partial funding from NAB Labs – wholly owned Emmis Communications subsidiary TagStation – developed the NextRadio hybrid radio Smartphone app that combines the devices’ built-in FM tuner and the Internet. Ever since September 2013, Sprint customers have been able to listen to FM stations through that carrier’s android devices. Comparable legislation is scheduled for review in other states.
Odds & Sods. This week, WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon personality Brian Joyce will be filling in for talk host Michael Graham on WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” on Tuesday (4/14) after having subbed for him earlier in the month. Both talk stations are owned by Cumulus Media…..Tribune’s WGN Radio is partnering with the McCormick Foundation, WGN TV, Chicago Tribune and Hoy to launch the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort 2015 to help communities struggling with the devastation caused by the April 9 tornadoes. The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort will support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hardest hit by the tornadoes. The McCormick Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar. Additionally, during an interview on April 10 with Roe Conn on WGN, Chicago, Governor Bruce Rauner made a personal donation of $100,000 to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort…..A change in formats in Spokane as iHeartRadio flips sports talk simulcast KZFS/K257FX at 99.3 to contemporary Christian branded as “UP 99.3.”…..West Virginia morning personality Kay Murray retires from West Virginia Radio Corp.-owned news/talk WAJR, Morgantown after 35 years on the air…..The NBA’s LA Clippers and sports talk KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” are announcing a new exclusive multi-year broadcast rights agreement. The station will continue to be the official radio home of the Clippers for all preseason, regular season and playoff games as well as present comprehensive year-round coverage. Play-by-play duties will be handled by Brian Sieman in his eighth season calling Clippers action on the radio, while the “Voice of the Clippers,” Ralph Lawler, and former Clipper Michael Smith team up with Sieman to call all nationally televised games not shown on Fox Sports PRIME TICKET. Long-time Clippers broadcaster Isaac Lowenkron will continue to host Clippers pre-game, halftime and post-game shows. “The Beast 980” personalities George Wrighster and Brett Winterble also host “Clippers Hardcore” before every game.
Richard Davies Retires from ABC News Radio; Begins New Weekly Podcast Venture. After an almost 30-year career with ABC News Radio, Richard Davies is leaving the network to pursue his own project called “How Do We Fix It?” Davies’ venture is a weekly podcast that allows him to perform as a talk radio host, speaker and broadcaster. This new weekly project will entail Davies and fellow journalist, Jim Meigs, former editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics, calling on experts and seeking solutions to vital maters that concern the public — from getting out personal debt to finding better teachers for kids to the probing the future of space exploration, “How Do We Fix It?” proposes to present “positive views on challenging matters.”
RAB and NBA Partner for Las Vegas Radio Sales Event. In partnership with the Radio Advertising Bureau, the Nevada Broadcasters Association presented a gathering of Vegas-area radio stations along with local advertising agency, marketing and client executives for “Radio. It’s On In Las Vegas!” The April 9 event was described as a “thought leadership, content-infused networking seminar.” Featured speakers included primetime television and radio host, best-selling author, Jeffrey Hayzlett; Bill Rose, senior vice president, Nielsen Audio; and Erica Farber, president & CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau. For the event’s finale, top Las Vegas radio talent engaged in a roundtable during which they discussed the personal connections and relationships they form with listeners across the local community every day. Talent included: KWNR’s JoJo Turnbaugh, KSNE’s Marco in the Morning, KOMP’s Brittney & Sparks, KLUC’s Chet Buchanan, KMXB’s Mercedes, KKLZ’s Mike O’Brian, KDWN’s John Shaffer, and KWWN’s Mitch Moss.
Chris Krok at Texas Motor Speedway. WBAP, Dallas personality Chris Krok (pictured here at the mic) speaks to a group of listeners and some of the “Duck Dynasty” clan at the Texas Motor Speedway during his “Chris Krok and His Flock” live event promotion. This took place just prior to the Duck Commander 500 race. Krok MC’d “Racing with Faith,” an event that included him interviewing NASCAR drivers about their faith as well as “Duck Dynasty” stars Phil Robertson and his son Alan. Krok tells TALKERS magazine, “We’ve been doing this great event at Texas Motor Speedway for two years now, but this was by far the most incredible one yet! What a privilege for me to do this.”
The Frozen Four Airs on Westwood One Sports. The radio sports network broadcast the college hockey finals over the weekend – dubbed The Frozen Four – live from Boston’s TD Garden as the Providence Friars came back to beat Boston University in the final game, 4-3. Pictured here is Westwood One’s Adam Wodon (left) interviewing the Friars’ Brandon Tanev (right), who scored the winning goal.
First Amendment Friday Benefits Youth Athletics. Portland-based talk show host Lars Larson is pictured here holding a Barrett .50 caliber rifle that was raffled off to benefit the St. Helen’s Girls Softball League. The raffle was part of a series of remotes the KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks personality does from his favorite local gun store, NW Armory. Larson says the team asked for his help in raising funds last year and he’s been happy to help. The league netted $34,000 from last year’s raffle and hopes to achieve similar results this year. Larson says the league bought a small tractor for field maintenance, some automatic electronic defibrillators, and a number of other things.