Tag: "TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead"
TALKERS Magazine’s 2018 Heavy Hundred to Be Published Next Monday. On May 21, TALKERS magazine will post the 2018 edition of “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – known informally as the Heavy Hundred. This 24thedition of the Heavy Hundred is from the editors of TALKERS magazine who base their ranking of the hosts on a number of hard and soft factors, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “As in previous years, talk hosts must be working a regularly scheduled show on at least one terrestrial station or on satellite radio at the time the list is published in order to be considered. Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task. This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously. We look forward to revealing the 2018 Heavy Hundred next Monday.”
‘Our American Stories’ Joins KABC, Los Angeles Lineup. The nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program is being added to the program schedule at Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles, “Talk Radio 790” in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot. Program host Lee Habeeb says the program is “a show about the events and people that made America great, and will keep her great.” Topics range from sports to history to art and “stories about the remarkable things Americans do every day to make the country hum.” Habeeb adds, “Every day, all we hear in the media is what’s wrong with America and what divides us. So, we thought it would be a good idea to remind people about what unites us, what makes us all proud to call America home. This is an amazing country and we keep things focused on the positive stories that are all around us.” Program affiliate rep Bryan Dawson adds, “Our affiliates have sung the praises of the show, and the production quality. Once the GMs and PDs hear the quality of the show, it practically sells itself, and we’ve gotten to 120-plus affiliates fast because the listeners have been longing for a show like this, with these kinds of production values and writing – and a show that makes them feel good about the country they live in.”
Michael Coover Appointed Executive Producer for ‘Orange & Blue 760’ in Denver. The Denver Broncos-focused sports talk station KDSP, Denver “Orange & Blue 760” announces that Michael Coover is named executive producer for the station. Coover’s duties include producing multiple dayparts, handling the station’s digital footprint and elevating ‘Orange & Blue 760’ as the station enters its second year. He reports to KDSP and KHOW program director Tim Spence, who comments, “Michael’s knowledge of Denver and its competitive ratings battles, his experience on a national level and his overall relationship with players and coaches makes him an ideal candidate for ‘Orange & Blue 760.’” Coover served FOX Sports Radio for 15 years. He was executive producer at KKFN, Denver and, most recently, was executive talent booker for Envision Networks.
Bishop & Laurinaitis Show Debuts on ‘The Fan’ in Columbus. Sports talk outlet WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” replaces the Tim Hall and Beanie Wells late morning program with a new show co-hosted by sports talk pro Beau Bishop and former Ohio State and NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis. The RadiOhio-owned station is plugging the duo into the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, effective today (5/14). Bishop had been serving with Entercom’s Cleveland sports talk outlet WKRK-FM “92.3 The Fan.” Laurinaitis has been working as an analyst on the Big Ten Network.
Salem Radio Star and Media Icon Joe Piscopo to Be Special Luncheon Speaker at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! – The organizers of TALKERS magazine’s 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! – set for Friday, June 8 in New York City – are pleased to announce that WNYM, New York “970 AM The Answer” morning host and longtime media icon Joe Piscopo will be delivering a special luncheon address at the gathering. Piscopo gained national recognition for his comedic work as an early regular on Saturday Night Live, as well as starring in a number of motion pictures during his illustrious career. The lunch, sponsored for the second consecutive year by the Salem Media Group, is just one of a non-stop series of keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, networking socials and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to on-air and online broadcasting professionals that make up the agenda of the sold-out gathering. The power-packed program will feature more than 65 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology, as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. See the list of speakers and up-to-the-minute agenda as well as last-minute sponsorship and hotel information by clicking here. The conference takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the colorful Chelsea District of Manhattan.
National Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2018 Nominees. Today begins the voting process for the 2018 class of inductees into the National Radio Hall of Fame. The 24 nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s nominating committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. The other two categories will be voted on by the public. Public voting commences June 4 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality. This year’s nominees in the publicly voted Spoken Word On-Air Personality category are: Westwood One’s Mark Levin, SiriusXM’s Joe Madison, Premiere Networks’ George Noory, and CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome. National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “I personally appreciate the challenging task that our Nominating Committee accepts each year to officially nominate talent from an infinite list of deserving individuals. Congratulations to this year’s nominees, an excellent selection of our industry’s finest.” Inductees will be announced June 25. See all the nominees here.
TALKERS News Notes. A Memorial Day weekend radio special that looks at the tumultuous year of 1968 is being offered to Westwood One News affiliate stations. “1968: The Year That Shook America” is hosted by Westwood One News correspondent Michael Toscano. Westwood One says that Toscano takes listeners back the year when “conflict and confusion reigned across America. The Vietnam War raged at full throttle. The assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy stunned the nation. Inner city riots erupted. Young people were making their voices heard in protest on college campuses. New leaders emerged and the culture changed forever.” The program replaces “The Week in Review” during Memorial Day weekend, May 26-27. Pictured here is Toscano (right) interviewing Pat Buchanan (left) about his work on Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign with the president-elect…..A deal between NPR and Spotify is allowing Spotify users to have access to NPR’s podcast catalogue. Spotify global head of podcast partnerships Dossie McGraw says, “For both Spotify and NPR, joining forces just makes sense and we’re delighted to bring NPR podcasts to Spotify users. Podcasts are gifts you give yourself in moments of the day when you want to catch up on the news or hear thoughtful commentary on issues affecting us all or just have some fun with a game show like ‘Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!’”…..SiriusXM Satellite Radio begins its first-ever free preview to non-subscribers in an effort to promote its newly re-designed app for iOS and Android. Today through May 29, anyone with an inactive satellite radio, or who has an internet connected mobile device and/or web access can sample SiriusXM’s content without any registration requirements. The deal includes access to all music and talk channels, including Howard Stern’s channels.
U.S. Exits Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump’s ZTE Statement, Indonesia Church Bombings, Haspel Nomination, John McCain Health, U.S.’s Israel Embassy Move, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The response to President Trump’s withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal; reaction to President Trump’s desire to “save” Chinese tech firm ZTE; the weekend bombings of three Christian churches in Indonesia; the confirmation hearings of CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel; the health status of Senator John McCain and the flap over a reported comment by a Trump staffer that McCain’s opinions don’t matter because “he’ll be dead soon”; the deadly protests over the re-location of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Last Thursday evening, Charlie Puth (left) took over the stage at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York to perform songs from his new album, Voicenotes, at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party. In addition to Puth performing tunes from his new record, the event included a Q&A with iHeartRadio on-air personality Maxwell (right). (Photo: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartMedia)…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit, along with the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Ann Arbor School Board, are teaming up to have a street named in honor of Detroit rock legend Bob Seger in front of his Alma Mater in Ann Arbor. WCSX morning personality Jim O’ Brien worked with the City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor School Board to find a stretch of boulevard on the grounds of Pioneer High School (formerly known as Ann Arbor High back then and Seger’s Alma Mater) on the corner of Main Street. Big Jim is quoted saying, “Bob Seger is part of my life. The first song at my wedding reception was ‘Real Love’ by Seger and my favorite road trip song ever is ‘Roll Me Away.’ Bob Seger is everything good about Detroit… hard working, passionate and genuine. When we found this stretch of road in Ann Arbor at his high school, it just made sense to make Bob Seger Boulevard a reality. And it’s connected to Main Street!”
PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his monthly look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ ratings from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on all-news stations. Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington remains the highest-rated all-newser with a 10.4 AQH share (6+). Big gainers include iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston; Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia; and New York news duo WCBS-AM and WINS-AM. The biggest improvement from the March 2017 survey to this March was iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento – up by 1.4 shares to an 8.1 AQH share. Both KFBK and WTOP ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March. See Kinosian’s entire report here.
Francesa: ‘Time to Return to WFAN.’ After yesterday’s report in the New York Post that former WFAN-AM/FM, New York afternoon drive host Mike Francesa is “desperate” to get back on the air in New York comes Neil Best’s story in Newsday quoting Francesa himself saying, “It is time to return to WFAN.” Best reports that WFAN confirmed “ongoing discussions” with Francesa. A source says Francesa would likely be back in a portion of his old 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm slot. A statement from WFAN adds, “We are very proud of our current lineup at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures.” Entercom hired Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott for the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show that launched in January. The Newsday piece notes that Carlin, Gray, and Scott talked about Francesa’s return on their Tuesday program and admitted that it looks like Francesa will return to some portion of afternoon drive but said they are planning to be with the station “for a long time.” Read the Newsday piece here.
Missouri State Senator Seeks Action on KQQZ, St. Louis Personality Bob Romanik. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has petitioned the FCC to take action against KQQZ-AM, St. Louis and radio host Bob Romanik for language used on his program. Although the story does not report Romanik’s exact words, Jack Suntrup writes that Romanik’s program “has used the n-word and various misogynistic and homophobic slurs over the years.” Nasheed’s letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states, in part, “Our nation has witnessed a horrific increase in white nationalist activity, due in part to the normalization and toleration of hate-speech. Too often, racist views are turned into violent action through the encouragement of racist personalities like Mr. Romanik and radio stations like 1190 KQQZ-AM.” She is asking the FCC to fine Romanik and revoke KQQZ’s license. The story quotes station assistant GM Bill Thomas saying, “As soon as they take the n-word off all the black radio stations throughout this country — on all the rap stations, on all the comedic routines that the blacks use the n-word — then we’ll quit using it.” Read the story here.
SiriusXM Reports Q1 2018 Net Income Up 6%. Net income in the first quarter of 2018 for satellite radio operator SiriusXM was $289 million, up from $207 million a year ago (an increase of 6%). It added 330,000 total net subscribers and says that it hit the 33 million-mark for total subscribers for the first time. Operating cash flow climbed 34% to $415 million. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has come out of the gate strong in 2018. Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1st, and we are pleased with our 6% growth in adjusted EBITDA given the sharp increase in our music royalties also beginning January 1st. We are on-track to meet all of our full-year guidance, and I’m thrilled to announce we topped 33 million paying subscribers.”
WBZ-AM, Boston Reporter Lana Jones Dies Suddenly at 62. The circumstances surrounding her death have not been made public but longtime radio news pro Lana Jones – a reporter for WBZ-AM, Boston – collapsed at her home late Tuesday and died early this morning (4/25). On its website, WBZ-AM wrote: WBZ News Radio 1030 is deeply saddened by the passing of one of their veteran news reporters, Lana Jones. Lana died suddenly this morning at UMass Medical Center in Worcester. She was an outstanding journalist who will be severely missed by her colleagues and friends in the Boston media. “Lana was the consummate professional who could take a hundred-page Supreme Court Decision and boil it down into a concise report for our listeners,” said Bill Flaherty, WBZ Program Director. “She knew everyone and everything. She will be greatly missed.” Alan Chartrand, President of the iHeartMedia Boston Region, said “I’ve always admired Lana’s work on WBZ Radio. She took the tough stories and made them easy to understand. Our deepest sympathies go out to Lana’s family and the newsroom.” Lana Jones was a general assignment reporter for WBZ Newsradio 1030. Jones began her broadcast career in Toledo, Ohio while studying Special Education at Bowling Green State University. A native of Warren, Ohio, Jones moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1981 to join the staff of WAAF. There she anchored the news and hosted a weekly talk show on local youth issues. From 1983 to 1988, Jones was a news anchor and reporter for WMJX, Boston. She worked as a reporter for the former WHDH radio from 1989 to 1991. Jones is survived by her husband Steve who resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.
TALKERS News Notes. The acquisition of Tribune’s television and radio assets by Sinclair Broadcast Group is getting a little closer to a done deal after Sinclair agreed to divest of 23 television stations in 18 markets in order to assuage the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. As a result, WGN-AM (along with WGN-TV) will be part of the new Sinclair. Previously, the company had planned to sell the Chicago radio and TV stations but operate them via joint sales and shared services agreements…..Entercom Communications will announce its first quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, May 8. This will be the first full quarter Entercom has been operating the former CBS RADIO stations since that acquisition closed in November of 2017…..Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP, Dallas “News/Talk 820 AM” is hosting the third annual WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum this Saturday, April 28. The event is a free, family-friendly event that features informative and entertaining weather seminars throughout the day, including a session hosted by WBAP chief meteorologist Brad Barton with WFAA-TV chief meteorologist Pete Delkus…..Nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate stations WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM, Lebanon in New Hampshire…..The “Financial Focus Radio” show moves from affiliate KUIK to crosstown KBNP in Portland. The weekly show is hosted by Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management partners Troy Reinhart and Tyler Simones…..The long-running “Freakonomics Radio” podcast is moving from the WNYC platform to Midroll Media’s Stitcher platform. Stitcher has inked journalist and best-selling author Stephen J. Dubner to co-produce the podcast and to expand the “Freakonomics Radio” brand through existing and new content.
Trump-Macron Visit, Trump’s Kim Jong Un Comment, Judge’s DACA Decision, Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Ronny Jackson Nomination, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, NRA-Yeti Flap, and MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The official state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; criticism of President Trump’s statement calling North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “very honorable”; U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules against President Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related book by fired FBI Director James Comey; White House physician Ronny Jackson’s imperiled secretary of veteran affairs nomination due to allegations of professional misconduct; the case of accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian; the destruction of Yeti products by NRA members upset over a change in the company’s discount programs; and Major League Baseball action and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three programming pros get new roles with iHeartMedia’s Arizona region, all effective May 3. Reid Spivey is named assistant program director and PM drive host for country KNIX, Phoenix. He was most recently APD for sister CHR KZZP and hot AC KMXP. Spivey will work with music director Lois “Double L” Lewis and program director Steve Geofferies. Rameen Madani joins iHeartMedia Phoenix as assistant program director for KZZP and KMXP. David Adams has added duties as program director for KDWR-LP “My 92.9,” where he will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations and work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming. He will continue to serve as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson…..Josh Martinez is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS, Cincinnati “Kiss 107.1.” Previously, Martinez served as program director for stations in Dayton and Cedar Rapids and as a music director in Des Moines. Cincinnati market president DJ Hodge says, “We knew this was the right time to promote Josh Martinez to program director. Since the time he arrived, he has made significant inroads to improve both the trajectory of the station and our ability to successfully engage with our growing audience. The future is very bright for both Josh and ‘Kiss 107.1.’”…..Max Kachinske takes on the newly-created position of corporate programming assistant at Midwest Communications. The position is based in Green Bay and Kachinske will leave his evening show gig at Neuhoff Media’s WFMB-FM, Springfield, Illinois. Kachinske says, I’m beyond excited to begin working with such a respected programmer in Jeff McCarthy and the amazing group at Midwest Communications. This is something I couldn’t begin to dream up that became a reality. I can’t wait to get started.”…..Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” announces the lineup for the station’s 7thannual “Y108 8 Man Jam” concert. The show will feature: Joe Nichols, David Lee Murphy, Eric Paslay, Jordan Davis, Michael Tyler, Cale Dodds, Ryan Hurd, and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday, May 24 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
BIA Kelsey: WTOP-FM, Washington Top Billing U.S. Radio Station. This is a repeat for the Hubbard Radio all-news station. BIA Kelsey, in its “Investing in Radio” Market Report, reports the top 10 billing radio stations in the U.S. and WTOP-FM repeats at #1 having billed $67.8 million in 2017. Entercom sports talk WFAN, New York came in #6 – down two slots from last year – with $41 million billed. The rest of the top 10 consists of spoken-word stations: Entercom’s all-news WINS-AM and WCBS-AM in New York come in #7 and #8, respectively, with $41 million in billing, followed by Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago at #9 ($40 million) and iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles at #10 ($35 million). See more here.
Report from NAB 2018. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting from the 2018 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine. Sunday’s activity featured the Digital Futures session and Cooke says if anyone needs proof of the potential for podcasts as revenue builders, look no further than the newspaper business that is jumping feet-first into the medium. Gatehouse Media’s Peter Newton says his company is building mini-studios in all 50 of its markets by year’s end. Despite the attacks on traditional media outlets as news sources, Pew Research finds that local news organizations are ranked most trustworthy while social media ranks #4 in trustworthiness. See more of Cooke’s report from Las Vegas here.
Paralyzed Vocal Cord Sidelining WSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil. WSCR, Chicago personality Dan McNeil is off the air for a while (he’s been off since March 28) and lets listeners know that he’s suffering from a paralyzed vocal cord. He writes the following Facebook post: “After six hours with my new otolaryngology team, here’s the news: Gratefully, I’m cancer free, emphysema free. The flip side is I have a paralyzed right vocal cord. The larynx was injected with a collagen gel, designed to separate the two cords. Recovery time varies. I will do all in my power to expedite the process. The timing couldn’t be worse. And I haven’t been this excited to open a mic since the morning after “17 Seconds” in Boston in ’13. We will reboot ‘McNeil & Parkins’ on ‘670 The Score’ as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I will be writing columns for the site and trying to be a good teammate, promoting all of our shows via social media. So sorry. Thank you, Danny Parkins, Nick Shepkowski, Chris Tannehill, Mark Grote, George Ofman and my management team for your humanity.”
Kilmeade and Hurley Raise $30k for Charity. Friday (4/6) was the 10thAnnual Dinner and Silent Auction to benefit WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” charity. FOX News Channel’s Brian Kilmeade helped Hurley raise some $30,000 for the charity. He also held a private book signing for 260 invited guests at the Resorts Casino -Hotel in Atlantic City. Hurley says, “Brian is one of the most decent, generous and hard-working gentlemen in our business. He hosted ‘Fox & Friends’ and his radio program and left immediately for our event. Brian is a superstar who is humble and incredibly engaging.”
The 11thAnnual Hersky Awards. It is awards season and H-and-H Communications president Al Herskovitz today presents the winners of the 11thannual Hersky Awards – honors given to those who show outstanding achievement in the arena of talk radio sales and advertising. See who this year’s winners are in the categories of: best live read, best presentation of a local product/service by a national host, top produced national commercial, and best singing commercial/jingle here.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Visits Flinn Broadcasting. Pictured above with the staff of Flinn Broadcasting in Memphis is FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (third from left). The chairman stopped by the company’s offices on April 5. Pai spoke with owner Dr. George Flinn about issues including: continuing simplification of radio rules and the continuing availability of FM translators. Chairman Pai spent 30 to 40 minutes on site, met with the company’s staff and management. He also was interviewed by the Memphis Business Journal.
TALKERS News Notes. There’s still no Kevin Klein on Entercom’s sports talk/hot talk hybrid KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine.” The station is still airing promos that tout it as the flagship of San Diego Padres baseball, but as of this morning (4/9), the station is still airing rock music in the morning drive daypart – although Klein’s name is still listed on the website as the morning drive personality…..Delmarva Education Association-operated WZNZ-AM/W262AG, Jacksonville, Florida changes from business talk to news/talk as “Talk 100.3.” The station airs conservative talk shows including Salem’s Hugh Hewitt, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, Dave Ramsey, and Compass Media’s Gordon Deal, alongside religious programming and business shows…..Radio research pro Laura Ivey joins Edison Research, directing various aspects of Edison’s growing practice in audio and social media. She will also take a role in Edison’s election research. Edison president Larry Rosin says, “Laura will be an outstanding addition to our team. She has a comprehensive understanding of the audio space and Edison’s clients will really enjoy working with her.” Ivey has served in various roles with Arbitron and Nielsen Audio since 1996…..Gow Media announces that it is adding ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith show to the program schedule on “SportsMap 94.1FM.” The program follows the local Charlie Pallilo program…..Boston sports personality Danny Picard launches a new YouTube series called “363: OFF THE AIR” available on his YouTube channel. He says, “I’m always trying to provide new, original content, but I’m extremely excited to show off my latest YouTube creations. There’s a real opportunity here to continue to build my brand in a unique way, without any restrictions.”
Deadly Syria Gas Attack, Mexican Wall/Immigration Policy, Jimmy Kimmel-FOX News Feud, Financial Markets Activity, Zuckerberg to Testify Before Congress, North Korea Nukes, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly gas attack on civilians in Syria and Russia’s blaming of Israel; the status of President Trump’s proposed Mexican wall and U.S. immigration policy; the feud between Jimmy Kimmel and FOX News Channel personalities over Kimmel’s targeting Melania Trump in a sketch; the activity of the world’s financial markets in response to tariff threats; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Tuesday; North Korea signals willingness to talk about denuclearization; and Major League Baseball and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Mike Gallagher in London. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher in London with a constable from the London Metropolitan Police. SRN says that Gallagher is in London investigating reports that the crime rate there has exceeded that of his home base in New York City.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The rumored hiring of Ed Lover to host the morning drive show at Entercom’s classic hip hop and R&B WBMX-FM, Chicago “104.3 Jams” is a reality as the company announces he’ll begin hosting “The Ed Lover Morning Show” with lifelong Chicagoan Jennifer Farina, known as “Jen BT,” starting Thursday (4/12). Entercom Chicago market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “Ed Lover is as smooth as his name and we’re looking forward to having him take the helm of mornings on Chicago’s #1 station for throwbacks. His deep connection and knowledge of classic hip-hop and R&B along with his energy and drive will help Chicagoans start their mornings on the right note.”…..Entercom re-brands alternative KKDO, Sacramento from “Radio 94.7” to “ALT 94.7, Sacramento’s Alternative.”…..Westwood One reveals its latest 24/7 music format called Classic Rock X. WWO says the format debuted on Forever Media’s WRQY, Wheeling, West Virginia “Rocky 96.5.” The company says the format was developed in conjunction with Forever and will soon be featured in more of their markets, as well as offered to the marketplace at large. It’s a harder-edged classic rock format with core artists AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Guns N’ Roses replacing such acts as Doobie Brothers, Eagles, and Bruce Springsteen. It also includes songs from Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and other mainstay 90s bands.”…..Alpha Media’s Wenatchee, Washington cluster brings the “JACK FM” format to the market on translator K232ED, Wenatchee as “94.3 JACK FM.”…..The 53rd ACM Awards take place this Sunday (4/15) live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will broadcast LIVE at 8:00 pm ET on the CBS Television Network. Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards and Westwood One will welcome more than 25 of the top country stations in America to its Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Through its partnership with the Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions, WWO will also create exclusive ACM branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards. The one-hour “ACM Red Carpet” is being hosted by Elaina Smith and both the three-hour “ACM Broadcast Companion’ and the “ACM Winner Wrap Up Show” are being hosted by Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith…..Mikadety Radio files to transfer KDSN-AM/FM (currently airing a variety format and an adult contemporary format, respectively) Denison, Iowa to University of Northwestern-St. Paul. University of Northwestern-St. Paul is a Minnesota-based non-profit corporation headed by Alan Cureton. It owns 42 licenses, of which 18 are full-power stations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Connecticut, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff. In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training. As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent). It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station. Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident. The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung. This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.” Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments. The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment. WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.” This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.
U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure. More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives. Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty). What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.” Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018. We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle. The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”
WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games. After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves. As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them. Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23. In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst. WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family. Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”
WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts. New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1. Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR. When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts. It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!” Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years. He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson. He also produced for ESPN Radio. Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.
Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.” Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI. Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately. We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.” Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.
TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns. Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program. He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public Media. Michael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play. Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM. Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.
Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign. Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland. Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM. The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.
audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge. This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider. audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million. The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex Fournier. Current audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit. He also remains an executive director. Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace. We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities. Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.” audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press. The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.
Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13). The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony. Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management. Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month. This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.
WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61. The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years. Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend. I will miss him tremendously.” The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason. She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.” Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster. CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors. He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day! Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.” Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA. I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media. Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.
Emmis Reaches Agreements in Principle to Sell Its Four St. Louis Stations. These agreements in principle are exactly that and subsequent definitive agreements mean more, but Emmis Communications announced today (1/30) that it will sell classic rock KSHE and alternative rock KPNT “The Point” to Hubbard Radio and news/talk KFTK-FM and CHR KNOU to Entercom. Terms – including price – are not available at this time. If the sales are finalized and pass regulatory approval, Entercom would own both heritage news/talk KMOX and news/talk KFTK. It seems unlikely that Entercom would operate two conservative news/talk stations in the same market and KFTK’s Class C1 FM signal would be a prime candidate for a flip to a music format.
Imus in the Morning/WABC Update. From the mouth of WABC, New York morning legend Don Imus comes the news that when his show ends on March 29, certain staff members are leaving along with him. The I-man said that show engineer Lou Rufino, along with cast members Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell will not continue with Cumulus Media’s 77WABC. TALKERS magazine sources also say that, effective today (1/30), Lisa Ritchie moves from evening news anchor position to weekday afternoon news anchor. Also, weekday street reporter Jerry Barmash assumes the evening news anchor role.
Ralph Bristol Exits WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Show. There’s a change in mornings at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN-FM, Nashville “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” as morning personality Ralph Bristol exits the station. There’s no official word from Cumulus on this change, but former WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning host Brian Wilson has been sitting in on the morning show, so far. The rest of the weekday lineup on WTN is Michael Del Giorno in late mornings, Dan Mandis in early afternoons, and Phil Valentine in afternoon drive.
PodcastOne Founder and Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz to Present a “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters” Clinic at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The founder and executive chairman of one of the talk media industry’s leading podcasting platforms, PodcastOne, will address the attendees at the forthcoming TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! on the subject of “Podcasting for Radio Broadcasters.” As podcasting grows into a major communications business and modern-day cultural phenomenon, it is becoming clear that the practice is an extension of the radio industry’s platform projection into the digital space. According to Norm Pattiz, “There are unlimited potential and yet untapped opportunities for radio broadcasters to expand their programming, brands and potential for revenue generation in this exciting field. We will discuss some of them at the TALKERS conference.”
TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Jeremy Leahy’s “Standing Ground” program picks up another affiliate as WLBB, Carrollton, Georgia adds the show to its program schedule. TalkAmericaRadio.US operations manager Ron Phillips comments, “We are extremely proud to be carrying Jeremy’s program. In his unfiltered style, he guides the listener through all aspects of our political landscape. He is well on his way to being a headliner on our national network.”…..USA Radio Network is reporting that “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” has added new affiliate stations, including KBDT, Dallas (USA Radio’s new flagship station) and KSPK, Minneapolis. Additionally, the 8:00 pm ET hour of the program is carried by Newsmax TV, reaching some 50 million households…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that sources tell him the rights to Chicago Bulls play-by-play could transfer from Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM to Entercom’s sports talker WSCR “The Score,” as a deal is close to being struck. As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and company-wide cost-cutting measures, Cumulus is asking out of its deals with the Bulls and MLB’s White Sox. It’s hard to say where the White Sox rights may end up. WSCR also carries the Cubs. Tribune’s WGN let go of the Cubs several years ago, presumably for financial reasons. And, it’s not certain if sport talker WMVP parent ESPN is interested in the White Sox. Stay tuned…..Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is entering the news media game. He was introduced on ABC’s “Good Morning America” program today (1/30) by George Stephanopoulos as the newest ABC News contributor. He was referred to as a friend and adviser to President Trump. Christie – a former U.S. prosecutor gave his takes on the exit of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the Robert Mueller special investigation…..Cumulus Media news/talk KABC, Los Angeles was honored by Southern California’s RTNA with five top honors at the 68th Annual RTNA Golden Mike Awards on Saturday (1/27). The station took home the following: Best Newscast Under 15 Minutes: Leeann Tweeden, anchor; Sharon Reardon, editor; Best Sports Segment: Randy Wang; Best Government and Political Reporting: James Rojas; Best Traffic Reporter: Bill Thomas; and Best News Reporting by Radio Network or Content Syndicator: Westwood One‘s Jim Roope.
Merlin Media Still Negotiating with Cumulus. WKQX-FM and WLUP-FM, Chicago owner Merlin Media filed yesterday (1/29) with the bankruptcy court handling Cumulus Media’s Chapter 11 case, informing it that it is still working with Cumulus to seek a mutually beneficial solution to the ownership of the two stations. Those following the Cumulus bankruptcy case recall that the company is asking the court to let it out of a number of contracts that are losing money. One of those is the LMA of WKQX and WLUP. Under the terms of the deal, Cumulus is also under obligation to buy the two signals for around $50 million. Merlin acknowledges that, in the event negotiations fail and pending a court ruling, it is preparing to either operate the alternative and classic rock stations itself and/or seek another buyer. Also, Merlin is objecting to Cumulus classifying the Merlin contract as a subordinating claim – which would make it payable only after senior claims are settled.
Andrew McCabe Resignation, Trump-Russia Investigation/Kremlin List, FISA Abuses Memo, State of the Union Address, Criticism of Politicized Grammys, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Strava Security Concerns, Flu Epidemic, and Super Bowl LII Among News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe resigns from his position under pressure from President Trump; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Vladimir Putin’s response to the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Kremlin list” of Russian politicians and oligarchs who’ve thrived under Putin; the House Intelligence Committee’s vote to release a memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department; President Trump’s State of the Union Address; criticism of the political speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; concerns of the security of U.S. service personnel after use of the Strava workout app appears to reveal their locations; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; and Sunday’s Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Morning radio personality John Forsythe is retiring from iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WMGF, Orlando “Magic 107.7” where he’s been co-hosting AM drive with Leslye Gale since 2010. During his 50-year career, Forsythe has worked at such stations as WQAM-AM, Miami; KLIF-AM, Dallas; KKOB-FM, Albuquerque; and KCBQ, San Diego. About retirement, Forsythe says, “It’s been a difficult decision to step away from such a successful show but it’s time. Radio has given me so many amazing life experiences. From the early days in Miami with the Bee Gees living on the same canal as ‘QAM in the ‘70s, to being part of the Chargers broadcast team in the ‘80s, to raising millions for children’s hospitals in the ‘90s and 2000s, radio has enriched my life in so many ways! I’m grateful for the opportunity to try and make someone’s day better through warmth and laughter.”…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Entercom urban contemporary WVEE, Atlanta “V-103” will replace departing morning personality Ryan Cameron with familiar voices – Frank Ski and Miss Sophia, along with Wanda Smith. Ski returns to the station after exiting in 2012 and Miss Sophia returns after an almost eight-year absence…..When the new Justin Timberlake album Man of the Woods drops this Friday (2/2), it will be available on demand via iHeartRadio starting at 12:00 midnight ET. iHeartRadio and Timberlake have teamed up to gift fans with the access to stream the album all weekend long during iHeartRadio’s “All Access Free Preview Weekend.” At 8:00 pm ET on Friday, iHeartMedia’s digital platform will host an iHeartRadio Album Preview with Justin Timberlake across broadcast stations nationwide and digitally on iHeartRadio’s Hit Nation featuring an exclusive interview about the making of the album…..iHeartMedia rock station KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the lineup for this year’s “BFD 2018” concert at Starplex Pavilion on May 26. The day-long concert will feature performances from A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, I Prevail, Nothing More, Candlebox, 10 Years, and The Blue Stones…..SiriusXM is devoting a channel to the music of Billy Joel all during February. The Billy Joel Channel will feature the works of Joel plus a new series, “BJ the DJ” in which Joel plays some of the artists he admires most. Each show will be focused on a different genre of music including pop, rock and R&B. Billy will host this series while sitting at his piano illustrating musically and verbally each song he selects.
Afternoon Personality Carl DeMaio Renews with KOGO, San Diego. Former San Diego City councilman Carl DeMaio signs a new deal with iHeartMedia to continue hosting his “The DeMaio Report” afternoon drive show on news/talk KOGO, San Diego. DeMaio had been co-hosting a midday program with Bob “Sully” Sullivan from April of 2015 through August of that year, shortly after losing a Congressional race. Sullivan scaled back his work with the station and DeMaio continued to host the show solo. In November of 2015, he was moved to the afternoon drive slot. DeMaio says, “When we started ‘The DeMaio Report,’ we wanted a forum for San Diegans to share dialogue about important issues and also a vehicle for taking action on problems. I’m thrilled we are accomplishing both goals. I’m excited by the impact we’ve already had on important issues like the California gas tax and look forward to tackling many more issues in the years to come.”
Former KLZ, Denver Talk Host Convicted of Voter Fraud. A man who was the one-time chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and a talk show host on news/talk KLZ, Denver was sentenced to four years’ probation and 300 hours of community service on January 26 after being convicted of voter fraud and forgery. Steve Curtis was charged with using his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote in the fall of 2016. He also signed the ballot by forging her signature. Curtis’ defense was that he was suffering from being in a “confused state” due to diabetic issues and doesn’t remember signing the ballot and mailing it. According to CBS Denver, he also testified that it was normal in his house for him to fill out his wife’s ballot and mail it.
Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status, The Grammy Awards, Trump State of the Union Address, Russian Protests-Navalny Detained, Deadly Kabul Terror Attack, 5G Nationalization Plan, Steve Wynn Allegations, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump Administration’s policy regarding the DACA Act; Sunday night’s Grammy Awards and the controversy over political messages during the telecast; the build-up to Tuesday’s State of the Union Address; protests over Russia’s March 18 elections take place and Vladimir Putin critic Alexei Navalny is detained by Russian police; a deadly terror bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan kills more than 100 and injures hundreds more; the Trump Administration considers nationalizing America’s 5G wireless network in an effort to provide security from Chinese hackers; politicians distance themselves from casino mogul Steve Wynn after allegations of sexual misconduct are revealed; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. WEEI, Boston personality Alex Reimer has been suspended indefinitely by Entercom for calling Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s daughter Vivian “an annoying little pissant” – referring to her appearance in the documentary film Tom vs Time. Brady made known how he feels about the comment by cutting short his regularly scheduled interview on WEEI with morning hosts Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane this morning (1/29). Whether Reimer returns may be dependent on Brady. He said he would be re-assessing his commitment to appearing on WEEI because of this. The station recently signed a new deal with the Patriots for exclusive access to Brady and coach Bill Belichick for its “Patriots Monday” and “Patriots Friday” program segments…..During this week’s build-up to Super Bowl LII, Beasley Media Group’s Boston and Philadelphia sports talk stations are side-by-side on the radio row in Minneapolis. WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” and WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” will be originating more of their show from radio row and will also be doing live breaks and cross talk between the stations. WBZ-FM’s Scott Zolak and Marc Bertrand will go live with WPEN-FM’s Harry Mayes and Jason Myrtetus. WBZ-FM’s morning drive “Toucher & Rich” show will go live from WPEN-FM’s Anthony Gargano and Bob Cooney…..Entercom presented a special weekend edition broadcast of “The Taz Show” that aired across CBS Sports Radio. The program followed wrestling’s big event in Philadelphia and featured Pete “Taz” Senerchia hosting a live show and talking with listeners from 11:00 pm Sunday to 2:00 am Monday…..Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington is being honored with the NAB Crystal Heritage Award by the National Association of Broadcasters. The award will be presented during the new “We Are Broadcasters Celebration,” on Tuesday, April 10 during the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Heritage Award recognizes radio stations that have won a total of five Crystal Radio Awards for exceptional year-round community service efforts. Only six other stations have received this honor in the 31-year history of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards.
Senior Moment. One of the innovators of the hyper-local, online radio movement in America, Brad Shepard – GM and morning show host of Western Massachusetts-based Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com) – is pictured celebrating the third anniversary of the station (1/26) by belting out the standards at the Pleasant View Senior Center in the town of East Longmeadow. Accompanied on the keyboards by Western Mass music legend Richie Mitnick, Shepard treated the audience to a selection of great American songbook tunes, such as “Mack The Knife,” “Try To Remember,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “My Foolish Heart,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” and many others. Live performance and music has long been the “other side” of this veteran broadcaster’s repertoire. This one-hour show is the first of a tour of many that Shepard will be bringing to other senior centers and retirement homes in the Pioneer Valley. He tells TALKERS, “They are wonderful audiences and it is a pleasure to perform for them! More importantly, we are not restricted by the tyranny of ratings and agencies that make it difficult for talk radio to provide service to upper demos – people who are affluent, active and grew up knowing how to use and appreciate radio. At Pioneer Valley Radio we have an unlimited menu of programs for people of all ages and walks of life as well as enthusiastic local sponsors to support them.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Cindy Spicer moves across Florida to join iHeartMedia’s Tampa Bay country outlet WFUS “US103.5” as program director, effective February 19. She’s been with the company’s WQIK, Jacksonville as on-air host and program director. iHM Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I could not be more excited for Cindy to join our team at ‘US103.5.’ Cindy has a track record of incredible success and I am excited to watch her dominate Tampa Bay!”…..In Austin, Texas, iHeartMedia ends the LGBT-focused format “97.5 Pride” on KASE-HD1 and translator W248CU and installs its alternative rock format with the brand “ALT 97.5.” The lineup consists of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Woody Show” in mornings, followed by Wendy Rollins in middays, Klinger in afternoon drive, and Mike Jones in evenings. iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Brian Gann comments, “We’re thrilled to bring ALT 97.5 to the Austin airwaves. We know this format will resonate with our listeners, and we are beyond happy to show Austin the ‘New Alternative, ALT 97.5.’”…..Atlanta radio personality Ryan Cameron is saying good-bye to Entercom’s urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” after reportedly receiving offers to stay, but rejecting them. Cameron told listeners he’s not leaving for another radio station but is pursuing other endeavors…..Radio personality David Mueller – known during his time as morning drive co-host on KYGO, Denver as Jackson – is back on the radio with Delta Radio Network’s WMYQ, Greenwood, Mississippi “Kix 92.7.” Mueller is, of course, notorious for having been fired by KYGO for allegedly groping Taylor Swift at a backstage meet-and-greet and then suing her for causing him to be fired and losing that suit. Mueller maintains his innocence in the Swift case and WMYQ owner Larry Fuss believes him. Fuss offered Mueller a job on his new country station several months ago and many in the industry assumed it was a stunt. But, the two had numerous conversations over time and Fuss says he thinks Mueller – who is going by Stonewall Jackson on “Kix 92.7” – will be a good fit for the station…..Beasley Media Group names Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson assistant program director for hip hop WPEG, Charlotte “Power 98-FM.” Robinson has been with the station since 1997, serving as the music director and co-host for the “No Limit Larry Morning Madd House” morning show.
Round Four of Holiday PPMs Released. The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2017 PPM ratings information from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen’s Holiday 2017 survey period covered December 7 (2017) – January 3 (2018). View all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.
1) Austin – More than doubling December’s +2.1, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” improves by +4.8 (7.6 – 12.4, 6+) in “Holiday 2017” to march from second to first. This is the highest 6+-share for Austin’s “Majic” since its 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016; KKMJ was -.8 in November. It succeeds Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob,” which had been at #1 the past ten sweeps, but with a -1.7 – segues to #2 (8.4 – 6.7, 6+). Prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” was within 8.3 – 8.8 range (6+) for six straight months. A November gain of one-half share took “Bob” to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). This is the first time that KBPA is below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Without a loss for the fourth straight sweep for a +1.4 (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 advances from #13 to #11. Ending its 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.9 October – November – December (6+) topline trend with a +1.2 to 3.1 – its highest 6+-showing since July’s 3.7 – Crista Media contemporary Christian KFMK “Spirit 105.9” leaps from #18 to #12. Immediately following December’s one-half share increase (3.1 – 3.6, 6+), Univision Radio’s Spanish adult hits KLJA “107.7 Mas Variedad” plummets by -1.3 to 2.3 (#11 to #16, 6+); December’s 3.6 was its most powerful 6+-showing in more than three years (October 2014, 3.6, as well). A combined +1.6 in November and December (4.6 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” erodes by -1.0 to 5.2 (6+), sliding from fourth to fifth. May through September, “Kiss” trended 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.1 (6+), but logged a -.5 in October to 4.6, its weakest 6+-showing since December 2016’s 4.5. Conversely, December 2017’s 6.2 was the station’s best 6+-stat since posting a 6.5 in April 2016. Its country-formatted siblings are each off by six-tenths: KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” (6.2 – 5.6, fifth to fourth, 6+) and KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (seventh to ninth, 6+). Within 6.1 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the eight sweeps March through October, KVET-FM was +.9 in November, but -1.3 in December. Prior to November, it last reached the seven-share level (6+) in January 2015 (7.0). In its third straight decrease, KASE is an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). Down by six-tenths this sweep as well is Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” (5.1 – 4.5, sixth to seventh, 6+), while news/talk sibling KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” posts its fourth decline in a row for a collective -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, #12 to #13, 6+). Co-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” falters by one-half share (3.9 – 3.4, 6+) but remains in tenth-place. While flat at #3, University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT is -1.4 in three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. More than doubling its 6+-share in four consecutive uptrends through December (1.1 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), triple A sibling KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” drops two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 to 2.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).
2) Raleigh – The “Holiday” 2017 sweep has a rare tie at #1 and it’s here in “The Triangle” between Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul,” which is on top for the eighth straight month, and Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (third to first). Ironically, each station is riding three straight upticks in succession. Not only is WFXC an overall +1.7 in its winning streak (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4, 6+), “Foxy” registers its best-ever (6+) PPM stat, joining Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR” (15 times); WRAL (eight times); and iHeartMedia CHR WDCG “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” (twice) as the only Raleigh stations to ever reach double-digits (6+). A loss of one-half share in October by WFXC halted six straight spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Meanwhile, “Mix” is +4.8 since October (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 10.4, 6+), with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016. November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February, “Mix” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June; it was under a six-share (5.6, 6+, October) for the first time since February 2013’s 5.9. In an up/down pattern that began in August, Radio One urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (fifth to fourth) is trending 6.3 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 7.2 (6+) for an overall gain of nine-tenths. In addition to “K-97.5,” Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” is up six-tenths from December, as well (1.5 – 2.1, #18 to #16, 6+), reaching the two-share level (6+) for the first time since June’s 2.2. Through December, aforementioned iHeartMedia CHR WDCG was an overall -1.9 in six monthlies in succession without an increase (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Improving by three-tenths to 5.3 (6+), however, “G-105” inches up from seventh to sixth; 5.0 (in November and December) matched its lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013 (5.0, as well). Also referenced earlier, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR,” which was off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+), adds one-tenth to 6.8 (6+) but backslides from fourth to fifth. Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. Spiraling by -1.1 (5.7 – 4.6, 6+), adult hits cluster-mate WBBB “96.1 BBB Your Life, Your Music” (sixth to eighth) falls below a five-share (6+) for the first time since May’s 4.9. Classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (3.7, #10 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” (ninth to tenth) each tumble by nine-tenths. Entering the “Holiday” 2017 sweep, “Kix” was trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+); WTKK is -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). Following four months in a row in the runner-up slot, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” sputters by six-tenths and falls to third-place (8.0 – 7.4, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia-owned WRDU “100.7 Raleigh’s Classic Rock” (5.0 – 4.5, seventh to ninth, 6+); Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9” (4.1 – 3.6, steady at #12, 6+); and Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY (2.4 – 1.9, #15 to #18, 6+).
3) Indianapolis – Tacking on +5.6 to December’s +2.3 (7.8 – 13.4, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” continues at #1 and enjoys a more than two-to-one advantage over its runner-up. In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). This (13.4) represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). Roughly one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media jettisoned the urban-rhythmic oldies format on WRWM “93.9 The Beat” in favor of CHR, renaming it WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9.” In six successive sweeps without a loss, that 93.9 Indianapolis frequency is +2.5 virtually doubling its 6+-stat since June (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+), with “Energy” already cracking the top ten (#12 to #10). Meanwhile, more than tripling its 6+ AQH share in three straight gains (.4 – 5. – .7 – 1.3, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WNOW-HD2 checks in at #18. Slumping by -1.8 (7.7 – 5.9, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK – which had been on top in September, October, and November – drops from second to fourth. When WJJK dropped three-tenths in November, it halted three straight progressive moves for an overall +1.8 (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to August, WJJK was without an increase in five successive survey periods for a collective -1.6 (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). October’s 7.9 represents the highest 6+-share for WJJK in the PPM-era, while 5.9 in “Holiday” 2017 is its lowest in nearly two years (5.8, January 2016). Both Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 – Indy’s R&B Leader” (6.4 – 5.3, fifth to seventh, 6+) and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (6.1 – 4.8, seventh to ninth, 6+) erode by -1.3. This is the lowest 6+-showing for WKLU since it reappeared in print in December 2016; December 2017’s 6.4 by WTLC-FM, which was a combined +2.1 in November and December, was its best 6+-share since January’s 7.1. The market’s (6+) country share eroded by -1.6 in December and it’s nearly a carbon copy in “Holiday” 2017, as the format is down by -1.5. Specifically, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” is -.9 (fifth to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” is 6.6 – 6.0, -.6 (fourth to third, 6+). An overall +.8 in May and June, WFMS was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; -.9 in December; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Meanwhile, October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. It is without an increase for the third straight sweep for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). Co-owned WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” regresses by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #15, 6+), thus pulling the plug on five straight up or flat trends that netted a +1.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+); November and December’s 3.1 (6+) matches the 3.1 it logged in March 2016. Off by six-tenths as well is Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” (4.8 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). A collective -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC “93.1 Indy’s News Center” dips from #11 to #13, while Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI falters by one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is unchanged at #16. In four straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7 – .7, 6+), University of Indianapolis-owned WICR has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9), moving from #21 to #22.
4) Milwaukee – Continuing a down/up pattern that commenced in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” improves by +3.2 in “Holiday” 2017 and is on top for the 34th consecutive ratings period. “Big FM” has been in double-digits (6+) in six of the last 12 ratings periods and this (11.6) is its strongest 6+-stat in exactly two years (14.4, “Holiday” 2015). Rebounding from three consecutive downward moves in September-October-November for a collective -1.4 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB is now +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 5.6 – 7.4, 6+). Moreover, “B-93.3” jumps from seventh to second with its best 6+-stat (7.4) since “Holiday” 2016’s 8.3. It is tied in the runner-up slot with iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which drops one-half share (to 7.4, 6+), thus curtailing five straight gains that netted +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+); WISN finished second in November and December, as well. Co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” regains 60% of December’s full-share loss (4.5 – 5.1, +.6, 6+) and carries on in eighth-place. November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). Prior to December, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). Following four consecutive August through December increases for an overall +3.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.6, 6+), Saga Communications’ WKLH surrenders nine-tenths to 6.7 (third to fourth, 6+). December’s 7.6 marked the first time that “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print three years ago (December 2014). Declining by -.9 as well is co-owned WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks,” which is down for the third sweep in a row for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, fourth to sixth, 6+). This Wisconsin market’s two country outlets continue to struggle. Without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6, 6+), Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” departs the top ten (#8 to #12). Immediately prior to its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). In five successive downward moves as well, format rival – iHeartMedia’s WMIL – is a combined -3.2 (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+) as “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” and WKTI are tied at #12. Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, CHR sibling WRNW “97.3 Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). In December and “Holiday” 2017, however, “Now” is a combined -1.0 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, flat at #14, 6+). Although it is down or flat for the fourth straight ratings period for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). This is the fifth straight sweep without an increase for Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel,” which has lost roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6) since August (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6 – .6, flat at #21, 6+). Positive streaks conclude in “Holiday” 2017 for Milwaukee School of Engineering triple A WMSE and iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920 – Milwaukee’s Sports Station.” Off by two-tenths to .4 (#23, 6+), WMSE halts eight consecutive up or flat trends that produced a +.5 (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+), while “The Big 920” drops three-tenths to .3 (#24, 6+), ending five sweeps without a loss for a half-share gain as well (.1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .5 – .6, 6+).
5) Nashville – Winning ways continue for Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which is an overall +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Surpassing the 13.1 (6+) it registered in “Holiday” 2016, “Mix” is #1 for the third time in a row. Prior to this particular run, “Mix” last occupied the pacesetter position in April. In addition to posting a decrease for the fourth consecutive time for a collective -2.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) and slipping from fifth to seventh, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW, “107.5 The River” has its lowest 6+-share in exactly seven years, matching the 5. 3 in “Holiday” 2010. Remaining at #15, Midwest Communications’ similarly-formatted WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” picks up four-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus applying the brakes to three straight negative trends that accounted for an overall loss of nine-tenths (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). Slumping by six-tenths each are Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (sixth to a fifth-place tie) and Nashville Public Radio’s WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” (flat at #10). A December 2017 +1.4 to 6.2 took “The Zone” to its strongest 6+-showing since 6.8 in December 2016, but when the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Before May’s one-half share increase, “The Zone” spiraled by -4.3 in six successive decreases (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Now a cumulative -2.4 in three straight losses (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), WPLN-FM was up by +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. While unchanged at #13, Cumulus Media’s WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” has its third loss in succession for an overall -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). There is mostly bad news for the market’s three FM country players, as WWTN cluster-mate WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” is -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, seventh to eighth, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is an overall -1.4 owing to three straight dips (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, flat at #9). “Nash Icon” has its lowest 6+ showing since July’s 4.1; likewise “The Big 98” has its weakest 6+-share since July 2016’s 4.0. On the positive side for the format, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” notches its third straight gain for an overall +.7 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9, 6+) and progresses from #12 to #11 with its best 6+-showing since May’s 4.3. Meanwhile, Ryman Hospitality Properties classic country WSM-AM “650 AM – The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World,” which had a 1.8 (#16, 6+) in June is unlisted for the seventh consecutive sweep. Down or flat for the fourth ratings period in a row for a cumulative -1.9 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” slips from third to fourth. After spending two months at #1, “The Beat” shifted to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+).
6) Providence – In a rare case of a PPM-market adult contemporary outlet showing a December decrease, Cumulus Media’s WWLI dusts itself off from that particular half-share dip with a “Holiday” 2017 +1.4 (10.9 – 12.3, 6+). Moreover, “Lite Rock 105” is on top for the 28th consecutive ratings period; in double-digits (6+) for the seventh month in a row; and has its strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Continuing its slow and steady climb at #7, co-owned news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is a collective +.8 in its fourth straight upward move of two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). Following a 7.8 (6+) in September, co-owned CHR WPRO-FM posted an 8.2 (6+) for the next three months in a row and now adds one-tenth to 8.3 as “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” carries on at #3. After a lengthy hiatus, Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB appears in print for what is now its eighth report in a row, and aided by a gain of seven-tenths (1.4 – 2.1, 6+), “Latina 100.3” returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). In this specific (albeit brief) ratings history (June 2017 – “Holiday” 2017), the station has a high of 2.4 (June, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+). Since surfacing in print in June, co-owned WSKP “Good Times … Great Oldies KOOL Radio” notches its strongest 6+-stat (.8 – .9, +.1, #14, 6+). Forfeiting one-half share each are Hall Communications’ WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” (7.2, flat at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” (4.9, unchanged at #6, 6+). WCTK was off by one-half share in December as well (8.2 – 7.7, 6+), but in November, “Cat Country” erased October’s -.4 with a gain of one-half share; “Coast” was a combined +.6 in November and December (4.8 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). After three straight ratings periods without a loss (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), public news/talk WGBH-FM slips by two-tenths to 1.7 (#10 to #12, 6+).
7) Norfolk – Stacking a “Holiday” 2017 +4.4 onto December’s +2.8 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” advances from third to second, registering its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2016 (13.4). From June through November, “2WD” logged a topline 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Precisely quintupling its 6+-share (a cumulative +4.0) in three straight gains since October (1.0 – 1.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” advances from sixth to fifth. This (5.0) represents its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. By adding three-tenths in November, “Movin 107.7” pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Notwithstanding that it has eroded by a combined two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.6 – 13.5 – 12.6, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL remains at #1 for the 13th time in a row and registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 21st time in the last 22 sweeps. When it improved by eight-tenths in November to 14.6, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL in September. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Progressing from #12 to #11, WHOV “Smooth 88.1 – The Essence of Hampton University” adds one tenth to (1.3, 6+), pulling the plug on six negative or flat moves in a row for a collective loss of four-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Despite being down or flat for the fourth time in succession for an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” move from ninth to eighth. Returning in full the eight-tenths it gained in December, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz – Norfolk’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” drops from second to third (8.2 – 9.0 – 8.2, 6+); December’s 9.0 was the best 6+-showing for WOWI since September 2015’s 10.4. After trending 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (August – September – October – November, 6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR “FM 99 Rocks” is an overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. This is its softest 6+-share in exactly one year (6.0, as well in “Holiday” 2016). Dropping from fifth to sixth, co-owned WAFX “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” is a collective -1.8 in five successive sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Also in that Saga Communications cluster, adult standards WJOI is up one-tenth to .3 (flat at #13, 6+), ending four consecutive sweeps without an increase in which “1230 AM – Great Songs, Great Memories” lost 80% (eight-tenths) of its 6+-share (1.0 – .7 – .5 – .3 – .2, #13, 6+). After more than doubling its 6+-stat (+1.5) in three successive increases (1.4 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNOH “Alt 105.3 – Hampton Roads Alternative Rock” returns two-two-tenths to 2.7 (flat at #8, 6+).
8) Greensboro – A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8. Now, the iHeartMedia adult contemporary tacks on +4.3 to 16.1 (6+) as “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” advances from second to first, surpassing its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. December’s nearly six-share increase stopped three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+). In a down/up pattern since September (12.7 – 11.9 – 12.4 – 12.0 – 11.5, 6+), WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is -1.2 and slips to second, following seven straight months on top. The Entercom urban AC was #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May and records double-digits (6+) for the 14th sweep in a row. Recapturing the one-half share it lost in December, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+) carries on at #9. A one-half share gain (to .9, 6+) by Baker Family Stations gospel WXRI “Joy FM – Real Music, Real Life” ends three successive down or flat trends (.6 – .5 – .5 – .4, 6+). After being in double digits each sweep since August, Entercom adult hits WSMW “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” is a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017, falling to 9.0 (6+, flat at #3). December’s -.8 curtailed five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+) and produced the strongest 6+-share (11.3) for “Simon” in its PPM-history. This though is its lowest 6+-mark since June’s 8.8. Down for the fourth month in succession for a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia owned WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” remains at #6 but has its weakest 6+-stat in one year (4.7, “Holiday” 2016). Format rival – Entercom-owned WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” – regresses by seven-tenths as well (6.0 – 5.3, 6+) and remains four-tenths ahead of “Q-104.1” at #5. When “The Wolf” added two-tenths in December, it pulled the plug on three straight decreases that produced a -1.9 (7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately after December’s +1.5 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since 9.6 in July – rhythmic CHR sibling WJMH “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” surrenders all but three tenths of that gain (7.8, -1.2, flat at #4, 6+). Unchanged at #11, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” returns in full the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+).
9) West Palm Beach – In addition to logging a +3.9 (matching “Holiday” 2016’s 9.1, 6+), Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” progresses from fourth to first. By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” closed out four straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Dislodged from #1 – after 12 consecutive months there and dropping to the runner-up slot – is co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now,” which is without an increase in three straight sweeps for a -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). A one-tenth loss in September by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). This (8.2) is its lowest 6+-showing since 7.7 in “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WLDI “WiLD 95.5 The Palm Beaches’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.3 – 4.9, seven to fourth, 6+) and co-owned Spanish contemporary WRLX “Mia 92.1 – #1 en Hits Latinos” (1.6 – 2.2, #13 to #12, 6+). In three straight (slight) decreases, (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Alpha Media urban AC WMBX lost a total of six-tenths, but “X-102.3” picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+), climbing from eighth to sixth. Immediately after gaining seven-tenths in December, Moody Bible Institute’s WRMB surrenders all of it and two-tenths more (2.1 – 1.2, -.9, #12 to #13, 6+). Prior to December 2017, “Moody Radio” last reached the two-share level (6+) in September 2014 (2.2). It is tied with JVC Media classic hits-oldies WSVU “True Oldies 95.9 The Palm,” which nearly doubled its 6+-share in five sweeps in a row without a loss (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), before dropping one-tenth in “Holiday” 2017 to 1.2 (6+). Fading from fifth to eighth, Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” returns in full December’s +.7 (3.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+). Following a +.8 in December, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” sputters by six-tenths (5.5 – 4.9, third to fourth). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. December’s 5.5 was the station’s highest 6+-share since January (5.9). Flat at #10, co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches” forfeits four-tenths to 2.3 (6+), halting three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+) that netted one-half share. With a loss of four-tenths to 2.9 (steady at #9, 6+), co-owned news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” curtails three (modest) upticks in a row (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+).
10) Jacksonville – This Florida market’s adult contemporary share balloons by +5.1 as Renda Broadcasting-owned WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” improves by +2.9 as it marches from second to first, while Cox Media Group’s WEZI improves by +2.2, with “Easy 102.9” cracking the top five (#11 to #5). Owing to four straight sweeps without a loss, WEJZ practically doubles its 6+ AQH share for an overall +5.8 (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, 6+) and registers its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. It is a somewhat similar scenario for “Easy,” which is +3.2 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 5.7, 6+). After being on top in each of the last 12 ratings periods, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK segues to #2. In three straight decreases, “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” has eroded by three full-shares (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6, 6+), including back-to-back losses of -1.3. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. It has been a rollercoaster ride for WQIK’s format foe, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country,” which was an overall -1.3 in three straight losses through October (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+); bounced back in November with a +1.1; was -.5 in December; and is now +1.2 in “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 5.1, ninth to sixth, 6+). This (5.1) is its best 6+-showing January’s 5.4. Spiraling by -1.7 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” slips from third to fourth. Off by a total of two full shares in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.8 – 1.9, #13 to #15, 6+), co-owned WXXJ “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” has its lowest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. News/talk cluster-mate WOKV is a combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), recording its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016. Even so, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” inches up from fourth to third. In September, WOKV was +1.3 to 9.7; prior to that, it last reached the nine-share level in April (9.3, 6+). Also in that Cox Media Group cluster, CHR WAPE is an overall -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.8 – 5.5 – 4.8, fifth to seventh, 6+); in November, “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). A cumulative -1.9 via four straight declines (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” departs the top ten (#7 to #11), logging its lowest 6+-share since July 2014 (3.6, as well). A cumulative +.8 in November and December (4.2 – 4.6 – 5.0, 6+), adult hits sibling WWJK “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” is off by one-half share to 4.5 (sixth to ninth, 6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), urban contemporary cluster-mate WJBT “93.3 The Beat” remains at #8. Public WJCT is without an increase for the fifth sweep in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #13, 6+).
11) Memphis – Not only is WRVR “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” +5.7 in three straight improvements (7.2 – 7.4 – 9.4 – 12.9, 6+), the Entercom adult contemporary property progresses from second to first, eclipsing its 12.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Exiting the top spot after four consecutive months there is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, which shifts to #2 (10.3 – 10.0, -.3, 6+), but is in double-digits (6+) for the fifth time in a row. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” returned one full-share in December. Unchanged at #3, urban contemporary cluster-mate WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” boasts its fifth straight up or flat trend that has produced a +1.4 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8 – 9.0, 6+). By being up eight-tenths (6.2, steady at #5, 6+), co-owned gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” ends an alternating down/up pattern that started in June (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.3 – 4.6 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+). Known as “98.9 The Vibe” until it became “Christmas 98.9” on Halloween, Cumulus Media-owned WKIM transitioned to adult contemporary the day after Christmas (12/26). Adopting “98.9 The Bridge” as its handle, WKIM, a direct challenger to WRVR “The River” (see above), gains six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (3.5 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+). A +.9 in November halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Finishing with identical profiles (3.4 – 2.6, -.8, flat at #11, 6+) are iHeartMedia news/talk WREC and co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock.” Prior to this “Holiday” 2017 -.8, WREC was an overall seven-tenths in five consecutive up or flat moves (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). In December, “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” had its best 6+-share (3.4) since February’s 3.6. A collective -3.0 in five losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” drops from ninth to tenth. After four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN 92.9” is now a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+) but stays at #13. In four consecutive down or flat trends (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC sibling WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a combined -.6 and is flat at #6.
12) Hartford – Coming within a whisker of the 18.4 it logged in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5” flaunts its sixth consecutive up or flat trend for an overall +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+) and is on top for the 17th successive ratings period. This is the 14th time in the last 16 sweeps – and sixth in a row – that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). Repeating in the runner-up slot, co-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is a combined +2.4 as a result of four increases in a row (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+); this (8.0) is its strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). For the seventh month in succession, iHeartMedia CHR WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” (+.6, sixth to third) is no higher than a 6.8 and now lower than a 6.2 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+) and is up four-tenths in that timeframe. Down or flat for the seventh ratings period in succession for an overall -3.9 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 4.9, 6+), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” slides from sixth to seventh. This marks the first time in its PPM-history that WWYZ is below a five-share (6+). Eroding by -1.3 from December as well is Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” (6.3 – 5.0, fifth to sixth, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-share since August’s (4.7). Both Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 Hartford’s Best Variety” (7.5 – 6.6, second to fourth, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” (6.9 – 6.0, fourth to fifth, 6+) slump by nine-tenths. Following five straight gains for a collective +1.6 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” surrenders just under half that gain to 3.2 (-.7, 6+) and remains at #10. This is the third sweep in a row without an increase for Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” for a combined -1.5 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5, ninth to eighth, 6+), while Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is a collective -1.4 in three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, eighth to ninth, 6+).