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Friday, June 25, 2021

| June 25, 2021

NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Bridges, Roads and Condos,” looks back at this past week of June 21-25, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Mandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver; Harry Hurley, morning show host, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupDr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkSid Rosenberg, talk show host, WABC, New York and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

WABC, New York Host and Former Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Suspended from Practicing Law in New York. The New York State Appellate Division, First Department suspended the law license of former NYC mayor, former Donald Trump attorney, and current WABC, New York talk host Rudy Giuliani. The court ruled that Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.” It added that Giuliani’s conduct “immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law.” The fate of Giuliani’s New York law license hangs in the balance as the court added, “We find that there is evidence of continuing misconduct, the underlying offense is incredibly serious, and the uncontroverted misconduct in itself will likely result in substantial permanent sanctions at the conclusion of these disciplinary proceedings.”

Audacy Unveils Sports Podcast Studio Building 2400Sports. The new podcast studio for production of Audacy sports podcasts is being launched. 2400Sports houses Audacy Sports’ digital audio content, including both new and existing original podcasts. It is the latest addition to Audacy’s podcast portfolio, which contains premium podcast companies Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, as well as the recently acquired Podcorn. Audacy chairman, president and CEO David Field says, “We’re excited to launch a third major studio with a goal of building 2400Sports into the home of the country’s best sports podcasts. We look forward to developing elite partnerships, including our just-announced deal with MLB, to create truly special, riveting sports content.” In the new partnership with MLB, Audacy and the league will collaborate on the production and distribution of official podcast programming for the league and its clubs. The studio will launch with a new flagship podcast series in development that revisits baseball’s most dramatic and thrilling postseason campaigns. The first installment, coming this fall, will take a deep dive into the Chicago Cubs’ historic march to the 2016 World Series championship. Audacy will work with all 30 clubs to develop new podcast content. Also concurrent with the studio launch, Audacy announces a development deal with award-winning podcast producer Jody Avirgan’s Roulette Productions. Over the coming months, Avirgan will contribute to 2400Sports’ slate of programming by developing and creating new original shows across a range of sports and genres. From 2016-2020, Jody Avirgan was the executive producer and host of ESPN’s 30 for 30 podcasts.

KBLA, Los Angeles Adds Black Information Network News. The new talk station launched by Tavis Smiley – KBLA, Los Angeles “Talk 1580” – is adding BIN: Black Information Network’s national news service to its programming, according to Premiere Networks. KBLA will feature Black Information Network News’ :60 newscasts at the top and bottom of the hour, as well as breaking news, from experienced and award-winning Black journalists. Premiere says the news service is available on more than 40 stations nationwide and is “the first and only 24/7 comprehensive national audio Black News service dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.” KBLA president and COO Elston Butler says, “We’re excited to partner with Black Information Network News. We knew it would deliver the trusted news and information that is valuable to our listeners. Other news sources offered KBLA a nice piece of the news pie, but with BIN, we felt we would receive the whole recipe that our listeners deserve.”

Cumulus Media Completes $175 Million Debt Paydown. The company completes a multi-step procedure it began in May of this year to pay down $175 million of debt using cash on hand. Here’s how it happened: On May 17, Cumulus Media completed a $60 million repayment of its ABL Revolver due 2025, which represented the entirety of the amount outstanding under the facility. Following the paydown, the ABL Revolver due 2025 is undrawn and available as liquidity for general corporate purposes. On May 25, it paid down approximately $89 million of its Term Loan Credit Facility due 2026 related to a mandatory prepayment obligation arising from the company’s previously announced sale of land in Bethesda, MD, in June 2020 and sale of towers and related assets in September 2020. Pursuant to the terms of its 6.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2026, on May 26, 2021, the company launched a tender offer to repurchase approximately $26 million of the Notes at par, which represents the pro rata amount required to be offered from the proceeds of the Tower Sale. As of the expiration of the Tender Offer, approximately $3 million of Notes were validly tendered, accepted for payment and subsequently cancelled. Giving effect to the impact of the Tender Offer, approximately $450 million principal amount of Notes remains outstanding. Finally, on June 24, Cumulus submitted an irrevocable paydown notice to the administrative agent of the Term Loan to effectuate a required paydown of $23 million, which represents the remainder of the initial amount of the Tender Offer that was not validly tendered prior to the expiration date. Cumulus EVP and CFO Francisco J. Lopez-Balboa says, “As the improvement in economic and public health conditions continues to drive momentum in business trends, we felt it appropriate to accelerate several debt repayments in order to expedite our balance sheet de-levering, reduce interest expense, and increase our free cash flow generation. We believe this better leverage and free cash flow profile, more than $200 million of available liquidity and solid rebound trajectory are significantly enhancing our financial flexibility. Given our strong competitive position, proven execution track record, and numerous revenue growth drivers, we are confident in our multiple pathways to grow shareholder value.”

The Score’s Danny Parkins Leads Fundraising of More Than $650,000 for Food Bank. The Athletes for Justice’s Austin Harvest food mart project was the beneficiary of WSCR, Chicago’s “What About Chicago Radiothon.” The Audacy sports talker helped raise more than $650,000 for the charity launched by former Chicago Bear Sam Acho and its mission to erase a food desert and build a permanent facility that can fully service the community and those in need. 670 The Score brand manager Mitch Rosen says, “What a tremendous 24 hours. ‘The Score’ asked and the audience delivered for Austin Harvest to build a permanent food mart. I can’t thank our dedicated listeners, our score team, Danny Parkins who led all of us, and Sam Acho enough. We’re so proud to help support a great cause. Thank you, Chicago.” Parkins adds, “That’s the Chicago that I know and love. We saw a problem and helped to solve. So, when people ask, ‘What about Chicago?’ I want people to tell them the story of Austin Harvest, Sam Acho and ‘670 The Score.’ Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us erase a food desert and fund the construction of a permanent facility for Austin Harvest.” Austin Harvest is in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and was originally a pop–up food mart that was a converted liquor store. The mart addressed a food desert in the city and was staffed as an after-school program three days a week by local kids.

‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Raises $27,000-plus for Boston Children’s Hospital. The Beasley Media Group sports talk station raised more than $27,000 to benefit the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (P.A.C.T.) Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital via the 10th Annual Who’s Your Caddy? Classic charity golf tournament. WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” afternoon drive personality Tony Massarotti created the original event in memory of his nephew who was cared for by the P.A.C.T. Unit. Pictured above (from l-r) are: Massarotti, Chris L. and Erika O. from Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast and “The Sports Hub Golf Club” host Hardy.

Pompeo Speaks at National Religious Broadcasters Conference. Pictured above is former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) with Salem Radio Network VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup (right) at the annual National Religious Broadcasters conference in Dallas. Pompeo warned the 3,500 attendees of the dangers posed by teaching Critical Race Theory in schools and applauded Christian broadcasters for “helping protect religious freedom and traditional American values in our nation.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass is hinting at a return to the talk radio business after taking a buyout from the paper that’s been acquired by hedge fund Alden Global Capital and launching his own media platform johnkassnews.com. He currently is hosting a podcast called “The Chicago Way with John Kass” on WGN-AM’s digital platform. In the past, he hosted a talk show on WLS-AM, first with co-host Jake Hartford, then with Lauren Cohn.  Kass tells Chicago media writer Robert Feder, “I’m in meetings now with various broadcast entities to continue talking to people in Chicago. I think they might want to hear what I have to say.”…..Audacy announces that Mike Hoss is the new play-by-play announcer for New Orleans Saints game day broadcasts on news/talk WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans. Hoss will work with color analyst and Saints all-time leading rusher Deuce McAllister in the booth. Audacy New Orleans SVP and market manager Kevin Cassidy says, “When we started our search for the new ‘Voice of the Saints,’ the goal was not only professional play-by-play, but also someone with a deep connection to the team, the Saints amazing fan base and our community. Mike checks all the boxes. His extensive experience covering the team both on and off the field has allowed him to paint a front-row picture for fans over the course of his career, and we trust his knowledge will enhance our coverage on game days.”…..The GCN nationally syndicated “America Tonight with Kate Delaney” adds new station KTLR, Oklahoma City to its roster of affiliates…..Colorado Springs-based Way Media announces the addition of Steven Thompson as vice president of technology. Thompson was most recently VP of technology for Hope Media Group and KSBJ, Houston. WayFM VP of broadcast operations Jim Marshall comments, “The addition of Steven to the WayFM roster puts us in a position to further solidify our operations. He played a key role in KSBJ’s expansion in South Texas and I’m thrilled that Steven has joined our leadership team. He has a heart for God and a desire to excel in the technical arena. I love that combination.”

Former ‘Talk 106.7’ Atlanta Host Mike Brooks Dies at 66. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, former WYAY-FM, Atlanta “Talk 106.7” talk host Mike Brooks died unexpectedly Wednesday (6/23). Brooks was a former police officer who also had served as a correspondent for CNN, among numerous other career ventures that included hosting a talk radio show on Cumulus Media’s former news/talk station “Talk 106.7.”

COVID-19 Vaccines, Goals and Delta Variant Top News/Talk Story This Week. The controversy over the vaccinations against COVID-19, the Biden administration’s goals, and the Delta variant combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a tie between the blocking of the For the People voting bill and race relations, followed by the economy and the compromise infrastructure bill at #3. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

NEED A GREAT EXPERT GUEST? Newsom Recall Attracts National Talk Media Interest. The official word that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) will definitely face a recall election has sparked interest in the subject of California politics at talk media outlets across the nation. Attorney/author Wayne Avrashow is a reliable non-partisan expert on the subject of California politics and is available for interviews on the Newson development as well as all things Golden State. He is a frequent contributor to RealClearPolitics and a California political insider. He has an extensive background in California politics, served on two government commissions, was chair of a Los Angeles County ballot proposition, and co-authored ballot arguments. He began as a campaign manager for two victorious Los Angeles City Councilmembers and later served as chief of staff. As a lawyer and lobbyist, he represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at Southwestern University School of Law and was an adjunct professor at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers and in legal, business, and real estate publications. He authored Success at Mediation: 10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys, a book used by law students at the University of Southern California School of Law. And he is the author of a current Amazon best-selling novel Center Stage: A Political Thriller (2021, RealClearPublishing) about a rock star who runs for the U.S. Senate. His experiences in politics, government and business, and as a practicing attorney provide unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns. His website is www.wayneavrashow.com. He can be contacted directly at 818-995-1100 or walaw@sbcglobal.net

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

| May 18, 2021

Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM, Washington Names Larry O’Connor Morning Drive Host: Vince Coglianese Moves to PM Drive. Washington, DC news/talk WMAL-FM is revamping its lineup in the wake of the departure of morning drive personality Mary Walter and the February death of Rush Limbaugh. Effective Monday (5/24), WMAL-FM personality Larry O’Connor moves from afternoons to mornings to host the new “O’Connor & Company” program. Current morning drive host Vince Coglianese will move to afternoon drive and, as previously announced, Westwood One syndicated talk host Dan Bongino assumes the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and WMAL program director Bill Hess says, “Having Larry and Vince in these new roles, along with the launch of ‘The Dan Bongino Show’ and the continued strength of Chris Plante, sets WMAL up perfectly for the next stage in the station’s success.” O’Connor comments, “I’m thrilled to return to mornings on WMAL in Washington, where my career began nine years ago. Four years after creating the first live and local afternoon drive program on the station since 2001, it truly feels like coming home and I can’t wait to be a part of the morning commute for families across the Mid-Atlantic and in the Nation’s Capital. I appreciate the confidence that Bill Hess and [Cumulus EVP of operations] Dave Milner have in me and I am thrilled to work together to continue Cumulus’ great success at this historic station.”

Round One of April PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2021 sweep covered April 1 – 28. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. iHeartMedia’s New York news/talk WOR-AM drops three-tenths to finish the survey with 2.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and the #19 rank while Audacy’s crosstown sports talk WFAN adds seven-tenths for a 3.1 share finish and the #12 rank. In Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI is steady with a 5.7 share and remains ranked #2. Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM, Chicago is basically flat, falling one-tenth to a 3.4 share and stays in the #9 rank. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Salem Media Group Partners Grant Stinchfield with Jenn Horn on SoCal Signals.  Media personality Grant Stinchfield is joining Salem Media Group’s Southern California news/talk stations as co-host of the “The Morning Answer” alongside Jennifer Horn. The company says that after an “extensive and exhilarating months-long search,” Stinchfield – who also hosts a daily program on Newsmax TV – will work with Horn on KRLA-AM, Los Angeles and KTIE, Riverside-San Bernardino beginning today (5/18). KRLA and KTIE director of programming Chuck Tyler says, “Good things come to those that wait. We put Jennifer Horn through the ringer, as we tried out numerous co-hosts for this plumb assignment, having a number of world-class talk radio candidates. It took us five months. The good news is Jennifer survived, and we found an amazing new partner for her!” Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce adds, “Grant is a true gem. He is smart, funny, and knows his stuff. His chemistry with Jennifer makes the morning show sizzle. We are delighted to add him to the team.” Stinchfield says about his new gig, “It is an honor to be chosen to be an important voice for millions of Californians who cherish liberty and freedom in a state that is quickly being controlled by big bureaucracy and government. I can’t think of a more important area of the country that needs common sense straight talk than Southern California. My goal is to simply strengthen the tireless fight AM 870 and AM 590 are already waging against the enemies of freedom, capitalism, and democracy.”

NYPost: Boomer & Gio Ink New Deals with WFAN. According to a report in the New York Post, morning show hosts Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti have both signed new contracts with Audacy’s sports talk WFAN, New York. The story indicates that the deals run through 2023. The story also says – citing Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey data – that Boomer & Gio “maintained their No. 1 overall spot in the market while ESPN [WEPN-FM] was tied for 9th (3.5).”

Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation Sets November 19 for Annual Dinner Event. The 6th Annual Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation Event & Dinner is taking place on November 19, 2021 at Mohegan Sun Pocono Grand Ballroom. Bold Gold Media founder and CEO Vince Benedetto tells his staff, “I’m thrilled to report that this year we will be having our 6th Annual Event on the evening of Friday, November 19 at our usual location in the Mohegan Sun Pocono Grand Ballroom! I am also extremely excited to report that I was able to secure an incredible speaker! Andrew Roberts, international best-selling author and Winston Churchill Scholar will be our keynote speaker. Andrew is author of the 2018 best seller, Winston Churchill:  Walking With Destiny.”

New Mask Guidance Controversy, COVID Vaccines, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, AZ Vote Audit, SCOTUS to Hear Abortion Case, and Matt Gaetz Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/17). The confusion over the CDC’s about-face on mask guidance for fully vaccinated Americans; the falling COVID cases in the U.S. and concerns about vaccine hesitancy; the battle between Israeli and Hamas forces in Gaza; the election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona and the Republicans continuing to promote the “stolen election” theory; the Supreme Court agrees to hear arguments over the Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks; and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz’s former friend Joel Greenberg pleads guilty to six felonies and agrees to cooperate with prosecutors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, April 2, 2021

| April 2, 2021

The Michael Harrison Wrap Reaches 100 Installment Milestone.  This weekend’s installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” marks the program’s 100th episode.  It is heard weekends on stations and regional networks coast to coast in the US and across the UK and is available on a market exclusive basis to stations in syndication by Talk Media Network (TMN).  For affiliate information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Trillions and Trillions,” looks back at this past week of March 29 – April 2. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications NetworkDerek Hunter, talk show host, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioVince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupRichard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeartPodcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Supreme Court Unanimously Overturns 3rd Circuit Court’s Vacating of FCC’s Ownership Regulations. As most media watchers are aware, in 2017 – after what many radio operators say was a long time coming – the FCC concluded that three of its ownership rules no longer served the public interest and it repealed the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule and the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule and it modified the Local Television Ownership Rule. Shortly thereafter, a collection of public interest and advocacy groups known as the Prometheus Radio Project appealed the FCC’s ruling to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals which vacated the FCC’s reconsideration order holding that the record did not support the agency’s conclusion that the rule changes would have minimal effect on minority and female ownership. The FCC petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case and yesterday (4/1), it ruled that the FCC’s rule change was not “arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).” The unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court said, in part, “In challenging the FCC’s order, Prometheus argues that the Commission’s assessment of the likely impact of the rule changes on minority and female ownership rested on flawed data. But the FCC acknowledged the gaps in the data sets it relied on, and noted that, despite its repeated requests for additional data, it had received no countervailing evidence suggesting that changing the three ownership rules was likely to harm minority and female ownership. Prometheus also asserts that the FCC ignored two studies submitted by a commenter that purported to show that past relaxations of the ownership rules had led to decreases in minority and female ownership levels. But the record demonstrates that the FCC considered those studies and simply interpreted them differently. In assessing the effects of the rule changes on minority and female ownership, the FCC did not have perfect empirical or statistical data. But that is not unusual in day-to-day agency decision making within the Executive Branch. The APA imposes no general obligation on agencies to conduct or commission their own empirical or statistical studies. And nothing in the Telecommunications Act requires the FCC to conduct such studies before exercising its discretion under Section 202(h). In light of the sparse record on minority and female ownership and the FCC’s findings with respect to competition, localism, and viewpoint diversity, the Court cannot say that the agency’s decision to repeal or modify the ownership rules fell outside the zone of reasonableness for purposes of the APA.”

The NAB Comments on the Supreme Court’s Ruling. The National Association of Broadcasters issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s overturning the 3rd Circuit Court’s vacating the FCC’s ownership rule changes. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “NAB commends today’s unanimous decision by the Supreme Court that the FCC’s recent and long-overdue modernization of its broadcast ownership regulations was lawful and appropriate. It is critical that the Commission continue to examine its media ownership rules to ensure that America’s broadcasters are able to compete and meet the needs of local communities across the nation in today’s media landscape. We look forward to working with the Commission on this effort given the essential role radio and television broadcasters play for all Americans.”

Meadowlark Media Secures $12.6 Million in Funding. According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, Meadowlark Media – the company formed by former ESPN president John Skipper and former ESPN radio and cable personality Dan Le Batard – has raised $12.6 million in a “Series A funding round.” Investors include DAZN, DraftKings, Snap Inc. chairman Michael Lynton, EMJ Ventures, Verance Capital, Wasserman, and Carmen Busquets. The THR story says the money will be used for “key hires” and for the “first slate of projects.” Skipper says, “With the intense competition to retain audiences at established media and to attract customers to new streaming services, we and our investors see an exciting opportunity for Meadowlark to work with the industry’s best storytellers to add the highest quality sports-focused original programming to their existing entertainment offerings.”

Buffalo Association of Black Journalists Meets with Cumulus Buffalo in Aftermath of Rob Lederman Firing. According to a report by WKBW-TV, Buffalo, the Buffalo Association of Black Journalists has met with local management of Cumulus Media’s WGRF-FM “97 Rock” in the aftermath of the firing of morning host Rob Lederman and the suspension of morning show cast members Rich Gaenzler and Chris Klein. Cumulus took the punitive actions after the three engaged in a bit about color of famous black women’s skin. BABJ issued a statement noting that Cumulus has implemented steps to “accelerate diversity training in Buffalo” and has scheduled meetings with members of Buffalo’s Black community. The statement also says BABJ is pleased with the “progress being made at ‘97 Rock’ and Cumulus Media” and is advocating for increased diversity at the cluster.

Westwood One Presents Coverage of Men’s and Women’s NCAA Final Four and Championships. This weekend’s NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four games as well as both championship games are being presented by NCAA exclusive national audio partner Westwood One. The broadcast of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Final Four begins on Saturday with The Final Four Show at 3:30 pm ET leading up to the first game between the Houston Cougars and Baylor Bears, followed by coverage of the semifinal between the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs and the UCLA Bruins. The NCAA Men’s Championship Game will tip off on Monday with the pre-game at 7:00 pm ET and the game following at 8:00 pm. Westwood One will also present coverage in Spanish, called by Rafael Hernández Brito, former Puerto Rican national team coach Carlos Morales, and Clemson Smith Muñiz. Westwood One’s presentation of the NCAA Women’s Final Four this afternoon at 5:45 pm ET, as South Carolina takes on Stanford, followed by Arizona versus Connecticut. Coverage of the Women’s National Championship Game will be on Sunday at 5:30 pm ET. The Westwood One broadcast crew for the Women’s Final Four will include Ryan Radtke on play-by-play and Debbie Antonelli as lead color analyst, her 18th time in that role and 25th year overall. Krista Blunk will serve as pregame, halftime, and postgame host.

TALKERS News Notes. The Genesis Communications Network nationally syndicated program “America Tonight” with host Kate Delaney is added to the program schedule at KROS Broadcasting’s KROS-AM, Clinton, Iowa…..The podcast network Ramble announces the launch of “Crazy Stupid Fangirls,” a new weekly podcast hosted by YouTube star Elle Mills and creator Michelle Platti. Ramble – a studio division of Audacy’s Cadence13 – says the podcast features the longtime friends and fellow fangirls diving into pop culture spanning decades from all angles, debating and dissecting their favorite movies, music, streaming shows, television, artists, creators, iconic moments and more. In addition to sharing their own fangirl picks and stories on the show, Elle and Michelle will be joined by a wide range of guests who will share their favorites.

COVID-19, Vaccines, Variants and Origins Tie for Top News/Talk Story This Week. The combination of COVID-19 stats, vaccines, concerns about variants, and questions about the origin of the coronavirus made up the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of March 29 – April 2. At #2 this week was the Derek Chauvin trial tied with race relations, and police reform. Following at #3 was the Joe Biden infrastructure stimulus initiative and the related U.S. economy. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

| July 2, 2020

COMING THIS WEEKEND:  Independence Day Weekend Edition of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, will be posted tomorrow (Friday) afternoon at 3:00 pm ET.  This new episode titled “Self-Evident!” will look back at this past week of June 29-July 3, 2020 in addition to paying tribute to the founding of America.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSVince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media GroupJennifer Horn, talk show host, Salem Media Group / VP, CRN Digital Talk RadioMatthew B. Harrison, law professor, Western New England University / VP Goodphone CommunicationsLincoln Ware, talk show host WDBZ, Cincinnati; Dan Yorke, talk show host, WPRO, Providence; Doug Stephan, talk show host, “DJV Show” / talk show host, “American Family Farmer.” This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE,  Mankato, MN; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode (posted Friday 7/3 at 3:00 pm ET),  please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

LiveXLive Closes on PodcastOne Acquisition. The live stream and on-demand platform LiveXLive Media, Inc announces it has closed on its acquisition of PodcastOne. LiveXLive says in a press release, “PodcastOne, which recorded revenue of $27.5 million in calendar 2019, will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of LiveXLive. The acquisition is expected to be accretive and will strengthen LiveXLive’s balance sheet as well as diversifying its business model with a significant advertising component.” PodcastOne’s library includes more than 300 podcasts, including: “The Adam Carolla Show”, “The Big Podcast with Shaquille O’Neal,” A&E’s “Cold Case Files,” “Hotboxin with Mike Tyson,” and more. PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz joins LiveXLive as a significant shareholder and remains executive chairman. Under the terms of the acquisition, LiveXLive acquired 100% of the equity interests of Courtside Group, Inc., the owner and operator of PodcastOne, and issued to stockholders of PodcastOne approximately 5.36 million restricted shares of LiveXLive’s common stock, which are subject to a 12-month lock-up period and certain trading restrictions thereafter.

TALKERS News Notes. Baton Rouge alt-weekly The Advocate reports that Guaranty Broadcasting’s sports talk KNXX-FM “104.5 ESPN” shuffles its programming lineup. Writer Kyle Whitfield says the station breaks up the “Sports Today” duo of Charles Hanagriff and Jimmy Ott with Hanagriff being partnered with former LSU running back Jacob Hester for the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm “Hangin’ with Hester and Hanny” show and Ott starting his own “Gametime” program airing from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..FOX News announces that after an independent investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, it has fired “America’s Newsroom” co-anchor Ed Henry. The company sent a memo to staffers written by FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and president and executive editor Jay Wallace explaining Henry’s departure. Henry’s attorney, Catherine Foti, issued a public statement that Henry denies the allegations and “is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that radio producer Carl Amari’s golden age of radio programming is moving from Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM to Salem Media Group’s crosstown WIND-AM. WGN recently announced it is dropping the weekend overnight “WGN Radio Theatre” program. Now, the syndicated “Hollywood 360” – co-hosted by Amari and Lisa Wolf – will air from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on WIND-AM. Salem Chicago RVP and general manager Jeff Reisman says, “We are excited to have ‘Hollywood 360’ and Carl Amari back on AM 560. Carl expertly weaves together a unique mix of content that has continued to attract and entertain listeners for years, and we look forward to welcoming them back.”…..This might fall into the “at least they spelled our name right” category. Daily Herald columnist Jim O’Donnell writes about the state and future of ESPN’s WMPV, Chicago “ESPN 1000” – being operated by Good Karma Brands under the leadership of general manager Mike Thomas. O’Donnell is clearly not impressed with sports talk in Chicago but gives Thomas – who arrived in his home state back in January after leading the programming at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” – the opportunity to talk up the changes taking place at WMVP.

‘Mightier 1090’ in San Diego to Use SportsGrid Tech Platform. When the new iteration of talk programming takes to the airwaves of San Diego on XEPRS as “The Mightier 1090” sometime this summer, SportsGrid’s cloud-based automation and live production tools will be used by the station. SportsGrid says its production services will stream the “Mightier 1090” audio feed through a low-latency IP connection from the cloud to the station’s transmitter. Marketing executive Bill Hagen is leading operations of the soon-to-debut station. He says, “I’ve listened to the people and the dream of bringing ‘The Mighty 1090 AM’ back to Southern California has now become a reality. The legendary tradition is back in a Mightier fashion, allowing for carefully thought out, desired programming to once again serve the Southern California region.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections/Mask Controversy, Seattle CHOP Ends, Policing in America, Confederate & Colonial-Era Monuments Issue, Russia-Taliban Bounty Report, Facebook Advertiser Boycott, Court Strikes Trump Asylum Order and Vacate Mary Trump Book Restraint, and Status of Sports Leagues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1). The rise in COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future outbreaks tied with the controversy over the wearing of masks to diminish transmission; the Seattle police clear the CHOP in the aftermath of two killings in the area; the criticism of policing in the U.S.; the movement to remove Confederate and Colonial-era monuments; the report that Russia has been offering bounties to Taliban fighters for killing U.S. servicemen; Facebook deals with an advertiser boycott over its handling of “hate speech” and “misinformation”; a court strikes down the Trump administration’s order denying asylum requests from people from Latin American nations and a court vacates the restraint on Mary Trump’s book; and the status of American sports leagues 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. New York hip hop outlet WWPR “Power 105.1” is presenting “A Celebration of Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon Album Release” starting at midnight tonight (7/3). iHeartMedia’s “Power 105.1” will celebrate the life and works of Pop Smoke by playing songs from Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon at the top of every hour, plus exclusive Pop Smoke interviews with Power 105.1’s Angie Martinez, behind-the-scene photos and performances from Power 105.1’s POWERHOUSE available at Power1051’s website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as well as check-ins from 50 Cent, Steven Victor, Lil Tjay, Fivio Foreign, The Breakfast Club and more…..The weekend country radio show “B-Dub Radio Saturday Night” debuts Saturday (7/4) in partnership with its syndication development partner, Skyview Networks. Host Bryan “B-Dub” Washington is throwing a Fourth of July party featuring country radio’s superstar duo LoCash as a special guest to celebrate the show’s re-launch with listeners across the country. The show has added new affiliate stations, including iHeartMedia’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5,” whose PD Lance Houston says, “B-Dub has added such a great energy to ‘BIG 95.5’ on Saturday nights! If you want your station to sound fun again on Saturday night, while staying true to the format and the sound of country music, then this is the show for you.”…..Programming pro Mike McCoy is named operations manager at Stephens Media Group’s Rochester, New York that includes adult contemporary WRMM-FM “Warm 101.3,” alternative WZNE-FM “94.1 The Zone,” and adult hits WFKL-FM “Fickle 93.3.” He will also program “Warm 101.3” and “Fickle 93.3” SVP of programming Bob Thornton says, “Mike is exactly the kind of person we need in the Rochester market. His relentless pursuit of excellence, leadership qualities and vast experience will take this cluster to new heights.”

Friday, May 31, 2019

| May 31, 2019

SRN Places Full Lineup on KJJC, Salt Lake City. On Monday (6/3), KJJC Media Group is debuting the market’s new talk outlet, “The Place 1230 AM, KJJC, Common Sense Talk Radio.”  The lineup will include Salem Radio Network programs including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, and others.  The station’s brand – The Place – is a reference to Mormon leader Brigham Young’s comment he made upon settling in the region.  KJJC Media CEO Roger Lonnquist says, “There’s probably never been a time in our country’s history when the need for relevant talk radio programming has been so significant.  KJJC Media Group recognized the opportunity for serving listeners with high-quality programming that is not only entertaining, but also reflects the values of our communities in the greater Salt Lake region.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word formats Phil Boyce says, “Salt Lake City is home to the smartest and most engaged listeners to be found anywhere.  Our hosts look forward to engaging with the Salt Lake radio listeners on the issues that have an impact on all of us.”  Lonnquist says he plans to add an FM simulcast to the station’s signal by the end of summer.

FOX News Radio Names ‘Guy Benson Show’ Afternoon Program. The new “Guy Benson Show” replaces the “Tom Shillue Show” in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET daypart on the FOX News Radio network, effective Monday (6/3).  Shillue remains host of “Quiz Show” (7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET on the subscription-based streaming service FOX Nation).  Benson previously hosted the “Benson & Harf” show with former FOX News contributor Marie Harf.  She left the company to take a position with the presidential campaign of Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA).  The “Guy Benson Show” is based out of FOX’s Washington, D.C. operations.  Benson, who joined FOX in 2013 as a contributor, also serves as the political editor of Townhall.com.  Throughout his career, he has served as a Media Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks Double Down on ‘Markley, van Camp & Robbins’ Show.  With the original co-host back on the show and a new, multi-year extension of the partnership for programming and syndication signed, Alpha Media and Compass Media Networks are moving full-steam ahead with the newly rebranded “Markley, van Camp & Robbins Show.”  Based at Midwest Communications’ WMBD, Peoria and heard on more than 50 affiliate stations, the show features Jamie Markley, David van Camp, and Scott Robbins.  Robbins was Markley’s original partner but a massive heart attack in 2015 forced him off the air.  He recently returned to the show as a contributor and is now a full-time member of the show.  Alpha and Compass say the addition of Scott Robbins accentuates the show’s focus on addressing topics from the perspective of a Baby Boomer, Gen Xer, and a Millennial by having a host from each generation.  Alpha EVP of content Phil Becker says, “Markley, van Camp and Robbins have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor.  This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”  The show airs live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

Davis Media Expands ‘All-News 102’ on WBKQ-FM. In Eastern Virginia, Davis Media is dropping the classical music format on WBKQ-FM, West Point (southeast of Richmond) and will add it to the group of signals airing the “All-News 102” format.  That brand is based at WXTG-AM/FM (1490 AM and 102.1 FM), Portsmouth and is also heard on W270DA at 101.9 in Hampton.  Davis Media says, “The new format will be the historic district’s only all-news radio station powered by 10 journalists in the Southside, Hampton-Newport News region and Williamsburg.”  The multi-media company publishes local print brands Southside Daily, Hampton Newport News Daily, and Williamsburg Yorktown Daily.  It also has a content-sharing partnership with WVEC-TV, Hampton “13NewsNow.” Dee Patel, a former 10-year KYW, Philadelphia news director, serves as general manager and news director for “All-News 102.”

Four More to Enter WGN ‘Walk of Fame.’ The sixth class of inductees into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame has been announced and “includes four native Chicagoans, two of whom are present-day voices, one who hosted a show for 60 consecutive years, and a behind-the-scenes staff member with 52 years of service to the station.”  The honorees are: Andrea Darlas, longtime WGN news director and now senior director of constituent engagement at the University of Illinois; 22-year WGN air personality and current midday host John Williams; “Tenpin Tattler” Sam Weinstein who hosted a bowling feature on the station for almost 30 years; and Marlene Wells, a member of the station’s marketing and sales team for more than 50 years.  See more about the inductees here.

Alexander Hamilton Descendant to Speak at Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation Event. At this year’s annual event presented by the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation, Douglas Hamilton, the fifth-generation great grandson of Alexander Hamilton, will speak to attendees.  The Bold Gold Foundation’s 5th Annual Event – being held on June 12 in Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Keystone Grand Ballroom – will celebrate the life of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the founding of America, which, in addition to remarks by Douglas Hamilton, will include a special keynote address by Dr. Stephen Knott.  Dr. Knott is a national security affairs professor at the Naval War College and is one of the nation’s leading scholars on Alexander Hamilton.  He’s also author of the best-selling book, Washington & Hamilton:  The Alliance That Forged America.  Attendees of this very unique event will receive a signed copy of Dr. Knott’s book and have an opportunity to take photos with Dr. Knott and Douglas Hamilton.  The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation assists students in preparing for careers in broadcasting and media and proceeds from this event directly support those efforts.  The organization was founded by Bold Gold Media president/CEO Vince Benedetto, who will be one of 67 industry speakers participating in a power-packed agenda at the sold out 22nd annual TALKERS convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story– next Friday, June 7 in New York City.   He will also be this year’s recipient of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  For details about the convention, please click here.

New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap” Now Posted.  The recently launched one-hour weekend radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation,” analyzing the hot talk media topics of this past week (May 27-31) is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  Hosted by TALKERS magazine’s iconic publisher, this week’s installment (titled “Mueller Speaks!”) features a lineup of guests that includes syndicated talk show hosts Howie Carr and Thom Hartmann along with Los Angeles Times columnist/podcaster and KPCC, Los Angeles host Patt Morrison; WFAN, New York host Richard NeerDC Radio Company executive director Victoria JonesTALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey and TalkersRadio general manager/Caldwell University, NJ professor David Bernstein.  The non-partisan program explores multiple opinions along the spectrum of contemporary American political and social thought.  It has just been picked up by KSCO, Santa Cruz where it airs on Fridays at 6:00 pm. According to TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, it is now available on a market exclusive basis to news/talk stations around the nation.  Bernstein says, “We began this program as an on-air extension of TALKERS magazine research to be played on TalkersRadio and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The show is nothing short of fantastic and provides a great image-setter for any news/talk outlet.  iHeart picked it up for its new WONK-FM in DC where it fits that station’s mission perfectly and number of stations have inquired about its availability.  For more information about the program, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to it in its entirety here.

WABC’s Joan Hamburg Hosts Pre-Tony Luncheon.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Joan Hamburg (center) during her annual Pre-Tony luncheon at Arno Ristorante in New York with actor Santino Fontana (left) and Lilli Cooper (right), both nominated for Tony Awards for their roles in “Tootsie.”  The sold-out audience witnessed appearances by Broadway stars including: Jeff Daniels, Tony Award-winning actor and Tony nominee this year for his role as Atticus Finch in the smash Broadway play, “To Kill A Mockingbird”; “King Lear” actress Glenda Jackson, who won the Tony last year for Best Actress in a Play for her work in “Three Tall Women”; Damon Daunno, Tony nominee for his work in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma”; and Susie Essman of television’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”  Highlights of the show will air on 77 WABC in two parts – on Saturday (6/1) and Saturday (6/8) at 1:00 pm.    Part 1 will air this Saturday, June 1st, at 1:00 pm, while Part 2 will air the following Saturday, June 8th at 1:00 pm. The 2019 Tony Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, June 9th, at 8:00 pm ET, from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Joan Hamburg’s Pre-Tony luncheon is a must-attend for Tony nominees.  The event is yet another example of the respect Joan has throughout New York’s theater community.  We are fortunate to bring the best of Broadway to 77 WABC and our listeners.”

‘SVP & Russillo’ Returns in Podcast Format. For six years, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo co-hosted the “SVP & Russillo” show on the ESPN Radio Network.  That show ended in 2015, but now ESPN is putting the two back together for a one-hour podcast on its digital platform.  The first program debuts on June 3.  After three monthly editions, in September the show will become bi-weekly. Van Pelt says, “We just figured, if we are going to talk on the phone for 45 minutes, we might as well record it and make it a podcast.  We enjoyed our time together on radio and it’s amazing the loyalty and appetite our listeners still have for us.  I couldn’t be more fired up.”  Russillo adds, “It’s been a few years since we stopped doing the show and I’ve always been amazed how many times people come up to me and say how much they still miss it.  It was a daily part of people’s lives.  Even people at ESPN who have different roles and positions today say how much they loved the show.  We both knew we would do something again.  I’m just happy it’s still with ESPN.”

Robert Mueller’s Justice Department Statements Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 27-31.  Special counsel Robert Mueller’s news conference at the Justice Department in which he declined to say the president had not attempted to obstruct justice was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the intensification of impeachment talks among Democrats.  Coming in at #3 was the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China over trade issues, followed by the new anti-abortion laws being passed in several states at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Edison Research Analyzes Social Media Use; What’s Up (or Down) with Facebook? Using data from its national telephone survey from the 2019 Infinite Dial study, its own national online survey, and its own in-person, in-depth interview survey, Edison Research presents “The Social Habit 2019” study.  Edison concludes that in the big picture, “there are now approximately 223 million social media users age 12+ in the U.S., and their original social media platform of choice, Facebook, is losing ground among users of all ages, for various reasons.”  Facebook reportedly has 15 million less users in the U.S. in 2019 than it did in 2017.  Edison SVP Tom Webster says, “Not only have millions of Americans stopped using Facebook entirely, nearly a third of Facebook users tell us they are using the service less.  While Facebook remains the leading social media brand in America, it is being wounded on multiple fronts, as every demographic has their own reasons for spending less time there.”  Some of the other findings are: 1) The “core users” of the different social media brands, (those who use that one ‘most often’) have different demographic profiles; 2) Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter have the highest composition of U.S. users age 12-34.  Facebook and Pinterest have the highest composition of U.S. users age 55+; 3) In qualitative interviews, Edison Research spoke with social media users age 18-29 who report using Facebook less recently or have stopped altogether.  Those users describe some of the reasons they are using Facebook less, including avoiding family members on Facebook, experiencing discomfort with some of the “attention-seeking” they see on social media, and gravitating to other, more photo-heavy platforms. Paradoxically, though, the same users articulate FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, as they scan social media platforms, and feel compelled to participate in social media.  See more here.

Legendary Music Radio Programmer John Sebastian Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He was one of the most prolific music radio PDs of the 70s, 80s and 90s – programming small-, medium- and large-market stations in the genres of top 40, AOR (album-oriented rock), classic rock, smooth jazz, and even country to notable success between Boston and Los Angeles.  Then as the 21st century unfolded, he did some consulting and eventually went on to a viable career as a voice actor.  But the itch to get back into music radio has prompted John Sebastian to go back to the drawing board and scratch out a brand-new music radio format targeting a familiar old segment of the population – the underserved 55-72 baby boomer demographic.  He calls it “The Wow Factor” and he’s out there talking it up to everyone and anyone who owns an FM stick.  Of course, today’s conventional wisdom in commercial radio is to follow the advertising agency money which is clearly aimed at the younger demos.  But Sebastian says it is foolish to leave all the revenue on the table that can be generated by serving the baby boomer demo which remains active, affluent, and grew up listening to radio.  Sebastian is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This podcast is a must-listen for anyone who loves radio history and would be fascinated by a deep-dive analysis of the modern-day industry’s frustrating logic of underserved demographics.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pictured in the photo at right is Big Al Mack from the YEA Networks nationally syndicated morning radio program, “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” (center) with country star Blake Shelton (left) and Gwen Stefani (right).  Big Al was asked if he’d introduce Blake at the Memorial Day weekend Grand Opening of Shelton’s new live music venue, The Doghouse at Ole Red, in his hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma.  Shelton told Big Al the reason he asked him was because, “Every time I look on Twitter, you’re always saying something nice about me!”  Proceeds of more than $145,000 from the ticket sales went to benefit the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Foundation…..In the photo below, Westwood One syndicated personality Blair Garner, host of “The Blair Garner Show,” poses at the private Center Point Road listening party for Thomas Rhett fans who won their way in to the special event at Cumulus Nashville’s country WKDF “NASH FM 103.3” last week.  Listeners got to hear Rhett’s new album before its release and hear him speak about his life and career.  From left to right are: Valory Music’s Ashley Sidoti, Chris Palmer, Rhett, Garner, WKDF PD John Shomby, Tyler Reese, and Kelley Brock.

Monday, May 20, 2019

| May 19, 2019

Vince Benedetto Selected to Receive TALKERS 2019 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award.  One of the rising stars in the field of independent radio station ownership, Vince Benedetto, founder and CEO of Bold Gold Media Group has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2019 recipient of “The Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster” – also known as the “Humanitarian of the Year” award.  Locally owned, operated and programmed, Bold Gold was founded by Benedetto in 2005 with the aim of becoming the preeminent radio broadcast group in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York. Bold Gold serves three primary regions: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, The Pocono Lake Region (Northern Pocono Mountains), and the Catskill Mountains of New York.​  It consists of a combination of 14 music- and talk-formatted stations.  Before entering broadcasting as an entrepreneur, Benedetto was a U.S. Air Force captain who also served as a special agent in the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (known as OSI).  Special agents for OSI are responsible for conducting felony level investigations and engaging in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism activities world-wide in support of our Air Force and Department of Defense operations.  Benedetto came under consideration for the TALKERS award for the work he has done in establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) organization with a mission of supporting the education and training of tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  Bold Gold, through its fundraising and charitable efforts, provides education and training support, as well as funding to educational institutions and organizations who are preparing America’s future communicators.  The organization also works to raise awareness of the importance of young thought-leaders seeking a career in the field of broadcasting, media, and journalism. One of the Foundation’s first major projects was to build WRFH-FM (101.7 FM)/WRFH-LP “Radio Free Hillsdale” at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan.  The new campus-based radio station that signed on the air in 2015 offers students an opportunity to receive both academic and first-hand experience in the art of communicating over the airwaves to large audiences.  The foundation’s second project was to build a recording studio at the Allan P. Kirby Center of ​Constitutional Studies and Citizenship located in the heart of Washington, DC.  The studio, also dedicated in 2015, is used by the Kirby Center to further its mission of teaching the U.S. Constitution, the debate that brought it to life, and the principles that give it meaning.  In addition to Kirby Center staff, the studio is also used by Hillsdale College faculty and students, visiting broadcasters and journalists, and national leaders.  The “Humanitarian of the Year” award will be presented to Vince Benedetto at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City.  The convention is four days away from being completely sold out.  To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or click here for more information.

ONLY FOUR DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

Monday Memo: Them. Long-ago English teacher Holland Cooke turns in a book report sure to challenge those of us in talk radio.  In Them: Why We Hate Each Other, How to Heal, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, details how media feed and exploit our angry national conversation; and where we go from here.  See HC’s entire column here.

‘Andy and Randy’ New Midday Show at ‘92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta. Sports talk WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” announces its new midday show is “The Midday Show with Andy and Randy,” – hosted by Andy Bunker and Randy McMichael.  Bunker moves to middays from his evening show with the station and McMichael – who enjoyed an 11-year NFL career – has been hosting the Saturday morning “College Game Time” show at the station.  They take over for John Michaels and Rick Kamla, who exited the station in March. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Andy has been a listener favorite since he joined ‘92.9 The Game’ and has built great chemistry with Randy.  Andy and Randy’s collaboration, along with their bold and honest take on Atlanta sports, will be a great addition to our programming.”

TALKERS News Notes. The latest book from nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin bump’s Howard Stern’s newest memoir from its perch as the top-selling book on Amazon.  Levin’s book is titled, Unfreedom of the Press (Threshold Editions, 2019), and has achieved the top ranking based on pre-order sales…..Former KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive personalities Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill are launching a weekly podcast and a real estate company 18 weeks after being let go by the Bonneville news/talk outlet.  The Seattle Times reports that the popular duo, whose contracts were not renewed, have both earned their real estate brokers licenses and have formed Ron and Don Brokers with Windermere Real Estate.  Read the story here…..Alexandria, Minnesota news/talk outlet KXRA-AM is adding another FM signal to its broadcasts.  The Paradis Broadcasting-owned station broadcasts on its 1490 AM frequency as well as on translator K262AT at 100.3 FM.  Now, the company is adding a second translator at 105.7 that will allow it to cover Pope County…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of WVON, Chicago overnight personality Alpheus “Ywain” Fields, who died at his home on Saturday (5/18) at the age of 57.  Fields first joined WVON in 1983 as an intern.  He was soon hired as a board operator and production assistant.  During his 36-year career with the station he served in numerous capacities in the programming department.

Nashville Talk Host Phil Valentine Renews with WWTN-FM. Talk radio pro Phil Valentine inks a new, long-term deal with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his daily, afternoon drive show on WWTN-FM, Nashville “99.7 SuperTalk.”  Cumulus says that in addition to hosting his program, the new deal includes Valentine working with the company “on a variety of projects, including the development and creation of original content podcasts, and other multimedia projects and events.”  The first in a series of podcasts to launch is PodGOATS, hosted by newcomer Campbell Valentine and co-hosted by his father, Phil Valentine.  The show is “a dynamic conversation between a Baby Boomer and a Millennial with thought-provoking and hilarious discussions on everything from what they would possibly do if the grid went down, to spies, to the top historical events that changed the world to religion.”  Phil Valentine says, “I was the morning guy when we launched ‘SuperTalk 99.7WTN’ back in 1995.  That’s where I started in talk radio.  I plan to finish my career at WTN sometime way down the road.  This is home, and I’m glad to be here for the long haul.”

Nolan to Lead Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal Operations. Sales and management pro Libby Nolan is joining Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal, Missouri operations to serve as market president and chief revenue officer.  Nolan was most recently with Entercom and Emmis in St. Louis as general sales manager.  Townsquare’s Quincy-Hannibal cluster includes news/talk KHMO-AM, country KICK-FM, classic country KICK-AM, and adult contemporary KRRY.  Townsquare regional VP Kelly Quinn says, “Libby is a perfect match for what we look for in a leader at Townsquare.  She brings with her exceptional experience in building sales teams and utilizing local talent to its fullest potential, which will enhance our ‘Local First’ approach in Quincy-Hannibal.”

Justin Amash Impeachment Tweet, U.S.-China Trade War, U.S.-Iran War Talk, New Anti-Abortion Laws, Trump Immigration Plan, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash issues a tweet saying President Trump has committed impeachable offenses; the tariffs the U.S. and China are planning to place on each other’s exports; President Trump’s warning to Iran to “never threaten the U.S. again”; the highly restrictive abortion law passed in Alabama and a similar bill expected to become law in Missouri; the Trump administration’s immigration plan; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Michelle Stevens joins Entercom’s New York operations to serve as assistant program director for hot AC WNEW-FM and classic hits WCBS-FM.  Stevens comes to Entercom from her most recent position as director of brand management for Connoisseur Media.  Entercom New York market manager Susan Larkin states, “Michelle possesses valuable expertise in programming and talent development, and she will be a much-welcomed asset to our stations.  She has a stellar track record for developing top-rated brands and we are looking forward to her contributions at two of New York’s most loved stations.”…..Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle “New Country 98.9 The Bull” names Wingnut the station’s midday personality, hosting the 9:00 am to 2:00 pm program. Additionally, he’ll serve as APD and music director.  Station PD Scott Mahalick says, “You can have the best strategy in the best building in the world, but if you don’t have Wingnut in your hallways you’re only half steppin’.  I’m proud to say we have us a Wingnut in OUR hallways!”  Wingnut was previously afternoon drive host and APD/MD at Entercom’s crosstown country KKWF “100.7 The Wolf.”…..At Milwaukee non-commerical triple A WYMS “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” music journalist Evan Rytlewski is named web editor for the station’s site.  Rytlewski served as music editor for the local alt-weekly Shepherd Express for 13 years and has been a regular contributor to Pitchfork, among other national music publications…..Envision Networks’ nationally syndicated rock show “The Chop Shop” celebrates its 15th anniversary.  The program is hosted by WRIF-Detroit’s Steve Black, who says, “My love of rock ‘n’ roll directed me into radio nearly 30 years ago.  It was that same passion that opened these shows to syndication 15 years ago.  And I see the impact music makes on our lives every day.  Some of my happiest moments are helping listeners find new music or remember a special moment attached to one of their favorite songs.”

April 2019 PPM Data – Part Four. April 2019 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 survey period covered March 28 – April 24. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – Down a combined seven-tenths in March/April (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” departs the top ten (#10 to #12).

In back-to-back reports, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” gains one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 -1.8, 6+) yet drops from a tie at #17 to #19. This marks the third time in the last five ratings periods that iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” logs a .6 (.6 – .5 – .4 – .6 – .6, flat at #24, 6+).

January 2019 through April 2019 fluctuations by KUT are +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); and a mammoth -2.0 in April (9.5 – 7.5, 6+). On top the past three months, the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet segues to second-place with its lowest 6+-showing (7.5) since August 2018’s 7.1.

Austin Music Formats – The (6+) adult contemporary share in Texas’ capital city balloons by +2.4. Leading the way is Entercom’s KKMJ “Majic 95.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” whose nine latest report-to-report shifts are: -1.2 (September 2018); +1.2 (October); -.5 (November); +1.2 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); -4.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.5 (March); and +1.5 in April (5.0 – 6.5, seventh to third, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 9.5 represents its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). In early-March, Emmis flipped KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” to adult contemporary “Star 93.3.” While off nine-tenths in its first sweep in the new format, “Star” erases that deficit completely with a magnitude-matching April increase (1.1 – 2.0, +.9, #20 to #16, 6+). Meanwhile, co-owned triple A KGSR-HD2 debuts with a .8 (#23, 6+). A robust +1.2 by iHeartMedia’s KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country” (5.7, eighth to fifth, 6+) puts an end to its November 2018 through March 2019 alternating up/down pattern (5.4 – 5.6 – 3.7 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+). Particularly noteworthy in that timeframe, KASE plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and lost six-tenths in February. Directly after posting a January +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2, 6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” is -1.3 in three straight decreases (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.9, sixth to eighth, 6+). The market’s other country player – Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE-FM “Austin’s Country Alternative” – is unchanged from March in 6+-share (2.0) and market rank (#16). A January drop of one-tenth interrupted three straight increases that nearly doubled (+1.1) its 6+-stat (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.4, 6+). Improving by three-tenths in March/April (8.4 – 8.6 – 8.7, 6+), Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot to #1. This is the first time that “Bob” occupies the top spot since December 2018 when KBPA scored an 8.3 (6+). Conversely, regional Mexican sibling KLZT “107.1 La Z,” which was +1.2 in March (5.5 – 6.7, 6+), surrenders two-thirds of that increase (5.9, -.8, third to fourth, 6+). Prior to March, KLZT last reached the six-share level in October 2016 (6.1). After finishing with a 1.0 in March (#21, 6+), Principle Broadcasting Foundation triple A KDRP-LP “Sun Radio – The Best Music Under The Sun” vanishes from print.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – By dropping four-tenths to 6.1 (fifth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” suspends three straight sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +1.9 (4.6 – 6.1 – 6.5 – 6.5, 6+). Progressing from #18 to #17, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” improves by four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

In an alternating up/down pattern that commenced in “Holiday” 2018, Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” has a topline of: 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 2.4 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). Contrast that to co-owned/similarly-formatted model of consistency WDNC “620 The Ticket” (#25) whose August 2018 through April 2019 topline is: .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Regaining half (+.1) of March’s two-tenths decrease (7.5 – 7.3 – 7.4, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” continues in third-place. WUNC was -.9 (November 2018); +1.0 (January 2019); and -.6 (February).

Raleigh Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia’s WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” are +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.9 in April (5.4 – 6.3, seventh to fifth, 6+). Moreover, this (6.3) is its best 6+-showing since September 2015’s 6.5. Co-owned WNCB posts an impressive April gain of nine-tenths as well (2.9, #15 to #13, 6+), wiping away February/March’s loss of six-tenths (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). “New Country B-93.9” logs its highest 6+-stat since September 2018 (also 2.9). Meanwhile, its format foe – Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 Today’s Best Country” – tacks on seven-tenths to a March gain of three-tenths (6.2 – 6.5 – 7.2, 6+), and climbs from fifth to fourth. Since debuting in print in “Holiday” 2018, classic country cluster-mate WQDR-AM “Just Right Country – AM 570” has a 6+ topline of: .1 – .1 – .4 – .8 – .8 (#21). Even though it is a collective -1.5 in three straight down or flat trends (11.0 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is #1 for the ninth straight time. Entering the March sweep, its five previous fluctuations were +.9 (November 2018); -1.5 (December); +1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019) to 11.0, WFXC’s highest 6+-stat in the PPM-era; and -1.1 in February. A combined -1.6 in March/April (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.2, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WQOK “K-97.5” drops from third to sixth. This follows three straight sweeps without a loss that yielded two-tenths (7.6 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). On the heels of a March decrease of six-tenths, Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WRTP “His Radio” falters by another seven-tenths (2.5 – 1.9 – 1.2, #16 to #20, 6+). As a result of regressing by one-half share to 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), Curtis Media Group CHR WPLW “Pulse FM All The Hits” concludes at three its consecutive string of up or flat moves that led to a gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+). March’s 3.7 is its highest 6+-stat since June 2018’s 3.8. Similarly-formatted WDCG, which was +1.5 in January/February (4.5 – 5.6 – 6.0, 6+), is a combined -.9 in March/April (6.0 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+) as iHeartMedia-owned “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” slips from seventh to ninth. Curtis Media Group-owned regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” is a collective -1.4 in four straight reports without an increase (3.2 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), but advances from #17 to #16.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – To say the least, the nine most recent ratings periods have been a wild rollercoaster ride for Emmis news/talk WIBC. In that stretch, “Indy’s Mobile News 93.1” has been: -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); -.9 (December); -.9 (“Holiday” 2018); +.9 (January 2019); +.9 (February); -.8 (March); and -1.2 in April (6.4 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). The high points (7.2, 6+) came in November and February, while April’s 5.2 is the lowest 6+-stat in that timeframe.

While remaining steady at #16, sports talk sibling WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center” improves by three-tenths (2.0 – 2.3, 6+) and opens up a full-share advantage over iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station,” which loses one-half share in three straight sweeps without an increase (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3, #17 to #18, 6+). After five straight times of logging a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WXNT doubles it to .2 (#22, 6+); this is the 15th consecutive sweep that “CBS Sports AM 1430” has notched either a .1 or .2 (6+).

All but one-tenth of Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI’s collective +1.5 in three gains in succession (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) is obliterated by an April -1.4 to 4.3 (6+); WFYI departs the top ten (#7 to #11).

Indianapolis Music Formats – While perhaps not quite as volatile as the recent ratings history of Emmis news/talk WIBC (noted above), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” has experienced some significant shifts lately. It was a whopping +2.9 in January (virtually eliminating December/“Holiday” 2018’s -3.0); -.7 (February); -.6 (March); and +1.7 in April (8.5 – 10.2, 6+). Not only is WJJK #1 for the fourth month in a row, it registers the highest 6+-share (10.2) in the station’s PPM-history, eclipsing October 2018’s 10.0. After spending six straight sweeps on top, “Classic Hits 104.5” slipped to third in “Holiday” 2018 but returned to #1 in January. A non-Christmas music month +1.7 would usually grab top honors for largest increase in a market, but WJJK’s feat is outdone by Emmis adult contemporary WYXB, which is +1.9 to 8.8 (6+), as “B-105.7” progresses from third to second. The huge uptick applies the brakes to three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 58% (-9.5) loss of its 6+ AQH share (16.4 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+). It leaps over Cumulus Media’s WFMS (second to third) even though “95.5 The Country Station” follows March’s +1.1 with a gain of seven-tenths (6.2 – 7.3 – 8.0, 6+). Having finished on top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS was +1.0 (April 2018); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); -1.8 (December); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); +1.1 (March); and is +.7 (April). Three successive bumps by Emmis-owned/similarly formatted WLHK netted a +2.2 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9 – 6.6, 6+), but “Country 97.1 Hank FM” returns one-tenth in April to 6.5 (6+) and continues in fifth-place. Prior to adding eight-tenths in January, “Hank” was an overall -1.3 in three straight decreases (5.7 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+). Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” gains eight-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (4.6 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+) and advances from ninth to seventh. The last time Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS appeared in print was more than seven years ago (February 2012, 2.8, #16). “World Class Rock 92.3 – Experience The Music” resurfaces in April with a 3.1 (#4, 6+). As both Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix” and Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3” drop one-half share, they display identical March to April profiles: 5.1 – 4.6 (6+), tenth to ninth. WNTR’s March 5.1 is its highest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 5.5; “Hot” is a cumulative -1.5 in four successive negative moves (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.6, 6+). Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is off seven-tenths in three straight declines (4.1- 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4, flat at #12); while co-owned/similarly-formatted WQRA Air 1 – Worship Now” is without an increase for the sixth sweep in succession for a net loss of one-half share (.7 – .5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .2, #22, 6+). In four consecutive down or flat reports, Cumulus Media CHR WYRG “Energy 93.9” is off six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – No station in Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM-markets makes a greater (6+) March 2019 – April 2019 escalation than Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ (5.9 – 8.8, +2.9) as the Brewers flagship leaps from fourth to second. Its March 5.9 marked the first time “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” slipped below a six-share (6+) since January 2018 (5.3). Some of its representative shifts include +1.9 (April 2018); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); -2.6 (December); and +2.9 (April 2019). Climbing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia’s WISN “News/Talk 1130,” which sputtered by -1.7 in February/March (6.8 – 6.1 – 5.1, 6+), regains four-tenths to 5.5 (6+). “News/Talk 1130” boasted a January +2.2.

Off one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+) Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” slips from #15 to #16. Surrendering half the six-tenths it gained in February/March (1.3 – 1.0, -.3, 6+), Good Karma Brands’ WKTI “94.5 ESPN” tumbles from #15 to #18. Prior to February’s increase, WKTI was an overall -3.7 in nine straight down or flat sweeps (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8 – .7 – .7, 6+). In late-November (2018), iHeartMedia transitioned CHR WRNW “97.7 Now” to “97.3 The Game.” The station’s December 2018 through April 2019 topline is: 2.8 – .3 – .6 – .4 – .6 – .3 (#21 to #22, 6+). Co-owned WOKY “The Big 920” returns the one-tenth it picked up in March (.2 – .3 – .2, #23 to #24, 6+). After popping up with a .5 (6+) in November 2018, Good Karma Brands’ WAUK has disappeared from print.

Three straight sweeps without a loss by WUWM led to a +1.2 (3.6 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), but the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet surrenders four-tenths to 4.4 (ninth to tenth, 6+). While flat at 1.1 (6+), Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD advances from #18 to #17.

Milwaukee Music FormatsMilwaukee Radio Alliance-owned alternative WLUM “102.1 Sounds Different” is an overall +1.8 in three straight bumps (2.5 – 3.0 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+) and moves from #12 to #11. Whereas January’s 2.5 is its lowest-ever 6+ PPM stat, this (4.3) is its best since August 2017’s 4.3. Rebounding from a March loss of eight-tenths with an April improvement of nearly the same magnitude (9.4 – 10.1, +.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fifth sweep in succession. Before shifting to #2 in October 2018, “Big FM” spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1; “Holiday” 2018’s 11.5 is the strongest 6+-stat for any Milwaukee station since WRIT’s 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Its six most recent moves are -1.0 (December); +3.8 (“Holiday” 2018); – 1.9 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.8 (March); and +.7 (April). After scoring back-to-back gains of nine-tenths (4.5 – 5.4 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” forfeits approximately 78% (-1.4) of that February/March bounty with a -1.4 to 4.9 (6+), drifting from third to eighth. With a 6.3 in March, “Kiss” reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since December 2012 (6.1). Hot AC sibling WMYX “99.1 The Mix” has lost seven-tenths in four down or flat reports (6.1 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.4, sixth to seventh, 6+). Unchanged at #11, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WKKV is a collective -2.2 in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.5 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+). Immediately prior to the February sweep, “V-100.7 Jams” was an overall +2.0 via three successive gains (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 and January 2019, and then on 3.6 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” sputters by four-tenths and is back at 3.2 (#13 to #14, 6+). In three straight improvements, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC netted seven-tenths (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+), but “Talk Radio 1510” forfeits three-tenths to 1.4 (#17 to #19, 6+).

Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (5.5 – 4.8, sixth to ninth) continues an October 2018 through April 2019 alternating up/down sequence: +1.3 (October); -.9 (November); +.2 (December); -.8 (“Holiday 2018”); +.3 (January 2019); -.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and -.7 (April). Ironically, Cromwell Group-owned/similarly-formatted WPRT “102.5 The Game” (+.2, #17 to #16) is also in an up/down pattern: 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.9, (6+).

Following a combined +2.1 in January/February (3.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is -1.3 in March/April (5.7 – 4.8 – 4.4, flat at #10, 6+). With an April loss of seven-tenths, its internet stream all but disappears, as evidence by this January 2019 through April 2019 topline: 1.1 – 1.1 – .8 – .1 (#28, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Six-tenths proves to be particularly noteworthy this sweep for two stations in the Midwest Communications cluster. In the case of adult hits WCJK, a gain of six-tenths to 8.4 (6+) pushes “96.3 Jack FM Playing What We Want” from the runner-up slot to #1. From January 2019 through April 2019, “Jack” nets a +2.4 (6.0 – 6.7 – 7.8 – 8.4, 6+) and reaches the eight-share level (8.4, 6+) for the first time since July 2018’s 8.1. Its five most recent shifts are +1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); +.7 (February); +1.1 (March); and +.6 (April). On the flipside, adult contemporary sibling WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which had been #1 the past 15 ratings periods, forfeits six-tenths to 8.2 (6+) and assumes WCJK’s vacated position at #2. “Mix” is an overall -5.9 in four straight setbacks (14.1 – 10.6 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+). Eleven recent fluctuations for “Mix” are: +1.0 (June 2018); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); +1.9 (December); +3.2 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.5 (January 2019); -1.3 (February); -.5 (March); and -.6 (April). January’s -3.5 interrupted three consecutive positive spikes that led to a +6.0 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9 – 14.1, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 14.1 is the highest 6+-share for any Nashville outlet since WJXA’s 14.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Continuing to enjoy its progressive roll, Cumulus Media country outlet WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” is a collective +2.2, owing to five straight upticks (4.1 – 4.2 – 5.4 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+) and advances from fifth to fourth. Prior to March, “103.3 Nash FM” last hit the six-share threshold in June 2013. There is a similar story for iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which racks up a +1.7 in four consecutive up or flat trends (3.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2, 6+), inching up from eighth to seventh. Unchanged at #8 is the other country FM in “Music City USA,” Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon,” which has lost two-tenths in four successive mostly flat/modestly-down sweeps (5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+). Posting increases of seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Educational Media Foundation WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (3.0 – 3.7, #14 to #13, 6+) and WAY Media’s WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (1.5, #21 to #18). Both of these contemporary Christian outlets were down six-tenths in March; WAYM was actually a combined -.8 in February/March (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.0, 6+). Up six-tenths in April, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” (seventh to sixth) has an alternating down/up “Holiday” 2018 through April 2019 pattern of: 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.9 (6+). Flat at #4, co-owned WNRQ “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” is a combined -1.2 in March/April (7.5 – 6.6 – 6.3, fourth, 6+), directly after logging a +1.1 in January/February (6.4 – 6.7 – 7.5, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite adding one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” backslides from seventh to eighth. Down two-tenths in March, WPRO-AM’s February gain of one-tenth halted three successive down or flat moves that accounted for an overall -1.0 (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). For the third report in a row, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (#11 to #12) has a month-to-month shift of two-tenths (1.9 – 2.1 – 1.9 – 1.7, 6+). After having lost a collective four-tenths through three straight down or flat Providence reports (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), co-owned Boston hybrid news-talk WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” adds three-tenths to 1.3 (6+) and advances from #18 to #15. By returning the two-tenths it acquired in March (.6, flat at #20), Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” suspends four straight (modest) increases that nearly tripled (+.5) its 6+-stat (.3 – .4 – .5 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Up seven-tenths in January onto to return a combined six-tenths in February/March, Entercom sports talk WVEI dials up a four-tenths gain in April (3.6 – 4.0, eighth to seventh, 6+).

After being tied at #12 in February and March, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH (1.6 – 2.0, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) and WGBH Educational Foundation Boston news/talk WGBH (flat at 1.6, #12 to #13, 6+) get a bit untangled. By gaining one-tenth in January, WELH ended three straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of eight-tenths (2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). In January, WGBH was stable at 1.6 (6+) following “Holiday” 2018’s decrease of seven-tenths.

Providence Music Formats – Shaking off a March loss of one-half share, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (fifth to fourth) roars back with a +1.6 to 7.6, its highest 6+-share since July 2018’s 8.1. In four straight positive spikes (5.6 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.8, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.2 (fourth to third); this follows a collective -3.1 as a result of three declines in succession (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9 – 5.6, 6+). Debuting in February with a .3 (6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WNBH “Big 101.3” follows with a .4 (March, 6+) and .5 in April (#21, 6+). Immediately after “Holiday” 2018’s lofty 16.2 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI posted a consistent January – February – March topline of 9.1 – 9.3 – 9.2 (6+). Not only does “Lite Rock 105” have a one-half share bump to 9.7 (6+), it advances from second, where it had been the past three sweeps, to first. Prior to shifting to the runner-up slot in January 2019, “Lite Rock 105” was #1 for six consecutive sweeps; “Holiday” 2018’s 16.2 is the highest 6+-stat for any Providence station since WWLI’s 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Displaced from the top spot after three straight months there and segueing to second-place is iHeartMedia’s WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock & Roll,” which falters by nine-tenths to 9.6 (6+). The loss interrupts four consecutive ratings periods without a loss that netted a +2.0 (8.5 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 10.5, 6+). Before taking over at #1 in January, WHJY was in the runner-up slot from September 2018 through “Holiday” 2018. This Rhode Island market’s 6+ CHR share softens by -1.3, virtually equally divided between Townsquare Media’s WFHN “Fun 107 – The South Coast’s #1 Hit Music Station” (-.7, #9 to #11, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music – 92 PRO FM” (7.2, third to fifth, 6+). “Fun 107” has now lost more than 50% (-2.3) of its 6+-share in three straight slips (4.2 – 3.7 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). Immediately in advance of this negative stretch, WFHN more than tripled (+3.0) as a result of six successive up or flat moves (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 4.2, 6+). WPRO-FM’s April -.6 pulls the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.4 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+); 7.8 in March is its best 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.4.

Norfolk – Not only has iHeartMedia alternative WNOH gained six-tenths in four straight upticks (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4, 6+), “Alt 105.3” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Following five negative or (mostly) flat sweeps for a net loss of three-tenths (1.6  -1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), rhythmic oldies cluster-mate WHBT “92.1 The Beat” gains four-tenths in March/April (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+) and is steady at #9. The January 2019 through April 2019 toplines of Saga classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “103 Jamz” are virtually identical. “The Fox” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 (third to second, 6+), while “103 Jamz” is 7.5 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 7.8 (unchanged at #2, 6+). A combined -2.4 in March/April (12.9 – 11.6 – 10.5, 6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” is nonetheless #1 for the fourth month in a row. Until April’s 10.5, it had posted a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher 37 of 38 times. WVKL had been on top 25 successive survey periods before segueing to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2018. Its August 2018 15.5 holds the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. Adult contemporary sibling WWDE “101.3 2WD,” which was up three-tenths in March, surrenders eight-tenths (6.6 – 5.8, 6+), slipping from fourth to fifth. Its December/“Holiday” 2018 +7.9 (5.7 – 7.2 – 13.6, 6+) culminated with a 13.6 – the strongest 6+-showing in WWDE’s PPM-history. After being a combined +1.0 in February/March (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.0 (6+) but remains in eighth-place. As a result of seven successive down or flat sweeps, WMOV was –4.3 (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+); +5.7 via five straight upticks (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+); and was -4.8 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (6.4 – 4.9 – 1.6, 6+). While it carries on in seventh-place, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point” drops three-tenths to 2.8 (6+), thus curtailing three straight gains that yielded a +1.1 (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, WPTE was a collective -1.5 in four straight declines (3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.0, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being an overall -1.8 in three straight setbacks (10.4 – 9.7 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” manages to progress from second to first. This is WOKV’s lowest 6+-share since September 2018 (8.6, as well), while November 2018’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era.

Even though iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is down or flat the sixth consecutive time for a net loss of one-half share (.8 – .7 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+) it returns to the top twenty (#21 to a three-way tie at #19).

A cumulative +1.5 in five increases in a row (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), public news/talk WJCT “Your Community – Your World” is off two-tenths to 3.5 (6+) but advances from #12 to #11.

Jacksonville Music Formats – After posting a +1.2 in January, iHeartMedia-owned urban AC WSOL was a combined -1.4 in February/March (6.1 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+). Now in April, “V-101.5” logs a gain of seven-tenths to 5.4, climbing seventh to fifth. Gospel cluster-mate WKSL-HD3 is without a loss for the third straight time for a net increase of one-half share 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). Conversely, co-owned rock WKSL-HD2, which was trending 1.0 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6 (6+), disappears from print. It is a March-only stay at #1 for Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which is off six-tenths to 8.3 (6+) and segues to a second-place tie. In addition, the decrease pulls the plug on three bumps in succession that resulted in a +1.6 (7.3 – 8.1 – 8.6 – 8.9, 6+). Immediately prior to that streak, “The Eagle” was an overall -2.0 in four consecutive slips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.3, 6+). In a similar scenario, iHeartMedia-owned WWJK “107.3 Planet Radio – Jacksonville’s Rock Station” forfeits nine-tenths to 3.1 (#9 to #12, 6+), curtailing three gains in succession that accounted for a +1.8 (2.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 4.0, 6+). In December/“Holiday” 2018, WWJK was a combined -1.4 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+). Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which was an overall +2.1 in three successive up or flat moves (5.2 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+), forfeits one-tenth to 7.2 (6+) but remains in fourth-place. Entering the top twenty at #19 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2, which gains two-tenths in eight straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3, 6+). As a result of seven consecutive negative moves (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, 6+), co-owned WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country 99.1” is a -2.5 and slips from fifth to eighth. Its format rival – Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” – erases February’s half-share loss with a March/April increase of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+) and continues in ninth-place. At the same time that WGNE’s adult contemporary sibling WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” slips by four-tenths (8.7 – 8.3, third to a second-place tie, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 102.9” adds four-tenths (4.5 – 4.9, eighth to seventh, 6+). Prior to a +.3 in March, WEJZ lost more than 50% (-7.9) of its 6+ AQH share in January/February (16.3 – 8.5 – 8.4, 6+). It was +8.4 December/“Holiday” 2018 (7.9 – 10.7 – 16.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 16.3 the highest 6+-mark for any Jacksonville station since “Holiday” 2015 when WEJZ notched a 19.5. Meanwhile, by relinquishing six-tenths in March, WEZI surrendered roughly half of January/February’s +1.1.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By piling on four-tenths to March’s +.3 (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” progresses from tenth to ninth and has its best 6+-showing (2.7) since July 2018’s 2.9. A combined -.7 in February/March (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+), co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk For The Palm Beaches” is up three-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #11, 6+). After having lost roughly 55% (-1.6) of its 6+ AQH share in four successive negative moves (2.9 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFTL “News Talk 850” wipes away half that deficit with a +.8 to 2.1 (#17 to #12, 6+). Doubling (+.5) its 6+-stat in three straight sweeps without a loss (.5 – .7 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami news/talk WIOD enters the West Palm Beach top twenty (#22 to #20).

In August 2018, co-owned sports talk WBZT “1230 The Zone” posted a .1 (6+) but has been a “no-show” in the subsequent nine sweeps.

Slipping from seventh to eighth, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN has lost eight-tenths in three successive decreases (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – When iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL lost one-tenth in March, it snapped at three its consecutive string of positive spikes that netted a +1.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). “Today’s Kool 105.5” answers in April with a +.7 to 7.1, its best 6+-stat since July 2016’s 7.5, and advances from third to second. Conversely, following a March increase of seven-tenths, Hubbard Broadcasting-owned/similarly-programmed WEAT-FM “Sunny 107.9” spirals by -1.2 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+) and trades places with WOLL (second to third). “Sunny” was a combined -3.2 in January/February (10.7 – 7.8 – 7.5, 6+). Up six-tenths (5.3 – 5.9, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WMBX “X-102.3” is steady in fourth-place and has its highest 6+-share (5.9) since May 2018’s 6.2. Immediately on the heels of erupting with a +2.0 in March, co-owned hot AC WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” craters by an even more humongous -2.2 (9.2 – 11.2 – 9.0, 6+) but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its March 11.2 is its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2, as well). Having faltered by -1.0 in January, WRMF was frozen on 9.2 (6+) in January and February. A cumulative -1.9 via five consecutive down or flat reports (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.5, 6+), WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” halts the slide by picking up two-tenths to 2.7 (6+) and remains in ninth-place. Off one-half share (1.5 – 1.0, 6+), Moody Bible Institute gospel WRMB “89.3 Moody Radio” fades from #15 to #20.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being -1.2 in March/April (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI departs the top ten (#10 to #11); “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” was +1.4 in January/February (3.0 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+).

After more than doubling (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in three consecutive increases (.4 – .5 – .6 – .9, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” returns one-tenth to .8 (#15 to #14, 6+).

While it remains anchored at #13 for the 12th consecutive time, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” erodes by seven-tenths (2.3 – 1.6, 6+). Off three-tenths to .5 (#16 to #17, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC halts at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted two-tenths (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia CHR WMKS have generated a collective +1.8 (2.8 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 4.6, 6+) as “100.3 Kiss-FM” climbs from tenth to ninth and reaches the four-share level (4.6, 6+) for the first time in exactly one year (4.1, April 2018). Improving by seven-tenths (each) are Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” (6.5 – 7.2, steady at #4, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up” (2.5 – 3.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Prior to faltering by one-half share in March, WJMH was an overall +.9 through three consecutive positive moves (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+). Five straight declines by WQMG resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+), but “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” applies the brakes with a +.6 to 9.7 (6+). Moreover, the Entercom urban AC marches to #1 after a March-only stay in the runner-up slot. Up one-full share in November, WQMG spent 11 straight sweeps at #1 in 2018 before segueing to #2 in December. While setting the pace in January and February (2019), its consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) ended in January (2019) at 26. In March, WQMG was replaced at #1 by adult hits cluster-mate WSWM “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything,” but the roles are reversed in April, as WQMG pushes “Simon” from first to third. The four most recent fluctuations by WSMW are +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); and -1.6 in April (9.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to March, the last time WSMW reached #1 was August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Whereas March’s 9.8 its best 6+performance since July 2018’s 10.0, April’s 8.2 is its weakest in more than three years (8.1, March 2016). In the market’s country tussle, Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it squandered in March (5.7 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), while iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” loses a cumulative seven-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” substituted January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). April results keep WPAW and WTQR at #6 and #8, respectively.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the one-tenth it lost in March (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was a combined +1.8 in January/February (2.6 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), progresses from tenth to eighth.

Dipping from #11 to #12, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” is off four-tenths via three straight reports without an increase (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; and resurfaces in March and April (.1 – .1, #18, 6+). It is tied (at #18) with co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790,” which is without an increase for the tenth straight time (including eight consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1, 6+).

Memphis Music Formats – Notwithstanding that it has back-to-back upticks of six-tenths (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” carries on in fifth-place with its best 6+-showing (7.0) in exactly one year (7.1, April 2018). Stuck on 3.3 (6+) in February and March, Entercom’s country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf” displays an April improvement of six-tenths and enters the top ten (3.9, #13 to #9, 6+). On top the sixth time in a row and in double-digits the 13th successive sweep, iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” is nonetheless -1.2 in March/April (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share in more than six years (13.5, December 2012) for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). In addition to KJMS, co-owned WDIA “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” erodes by -1.0 as well and is actually an overall -1.5 in three successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8, sixth to tenth, 6+). Following a “Holiday” 2018 -.7 and a January +1.5, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is a cumulative -1.8 in February, March, and April (5.6 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 3.8, eighth to tenth, 6+). Forfeiting the one-half share gain it attained in March (1.1 – 1.6 – 1.1, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” drops from #14 to #15. In “Holiday” 2018, WKIM reached the five-share level (6+), but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). Its AC rival is steady in third place, but Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” is -1.2 in March/April (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to April’s loss of one-tenth, WRVR’s seven most recent moves were: +2.4 (October); -.1 (November); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); and -1.1 (March). “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked in third-place, Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” is an overall +2.4 via four straight positive spikes (5.2 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Off a collective four-tenths in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM slips to #15; “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” had finished at #14 the past three reports. This marks the 11th report in a row that iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17).

The November 2018 through April 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 (unchanged at #12, 6+).

As part of an alternating up/down pattern that began in December 2018, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” is +.3 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.9 (January 2019); -.9 (February); +.1 (March); and -.6 in April (5.3 – 4.7, flat at #9, 6+). After losing four-tenths in March, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” erases half that decline with an April gain of two-tenths (1.5 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #14, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – By racking up a robust increase of nine-tenths after its March +.4 (7.2 – 7.6 – 8.5, unchanged in second-place, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” brings to a halt the down/up pattern it began in August 2018: 7.2 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 7.4 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 (6+). This (8.5) is WTIC-FM’s highest 6+-share since July 2018 (8.6). Red Wolf Broadcasting-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale Connecticut’s Classic Rock”  improves by seven-tenths in March/April (5.3 – 5.4 – 6.0, 6+). In addition to climbing from eighth to seventh, “The Whale” has its best 6+-stat since October 2017 (6.0, as well). Entercom adult contemporary WRCH has certainly experienced considerable shifting in each of the past seven reports. “Lite 100.5” was -.8 (November); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); and is -1.3 in April. Although #1 for the 34th consecutive ratings period, WRCH drops to 9.8 (6+); it had been in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the last 32 sweeps. A combined +1.1 in February/March (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” surrenders eight-tenths to 5.3 (seventh to eighth, 6+); March’s 6.1 is its best 6+-stat since August 2018’s 6.5. Flat at #5, Entercom-owned rhythmic CHR WZMX “Hot 93.7” is -1.4 in March/April (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+), following a January/February +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+).