Audacy Chicago Assigns VP Stripes To Solk. Four-year Audacy Chicago triple A WXRT “93 XRT” operations manager/program director Greg Solk is elevated to vice president of programming & operations for the company’s Windy City cluster. The promotion takes effect this Sunday (8/1) and will give Solk programming/operations strategy oversight for all-news WBBM-AM & WCFS “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” and sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” as well as CHR WBBM-FM “B-96”; country WUSN “US-99”; urban-rhythmic oldies WBMX “104.3 Jams”; and WXRT. Audacy Chicago regional president/market manager Rachel Williamson remarks, “Greg has been an invaluable partner who is respected and appreciated by his team at WXRT; across Audacy; and throughout the industry. He has been influential in the success of many of the biggest brands in Chicago. I could not be more excited to promote him into this enhanced role overseeing our Chicago programming strategy.” Solk states, “These past years at WXRT have been among the most rewarding of my career – especially the opportunity to work alongside legendary talents. Along with so many others behind the scenes, this team returned WXRT to the top echelon of our great city’s broadcast properties. I now look forward to continuing to work with Rachel and our group’s superb brand/programming leaders. Together we will do our best to continue enlightening, entertaining and delighting the millions we serve on our airwaves and through our growing digital channels.” A then-21-year-old Solk began his programming career in 1983 at Chicago’s WLUP-FM “The Loop” and programmed comedy/talk WLUP-AM three years later. His resume also includes a tenure as Bonneville’s senior vice president of programming and the same title at Hubbard Broadcasting. Solk previously programmed Chicago sports talk WMVP and San Francisco triple A KFOG. Audacy Chicago is conducting an immediate search for Solk’s replacement at WXRT.
iHeartMedia Teams With NBA For Podcast Slate. The multi-year partnership between iHeartMedia and the National Basketball Association will feature more than 20 co-produced podcasts. The first one is set to debut this fall and will be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network. According to iHeartMedia Sports president Kevin LeGrett, “The NBA is one of the toughest leagues in the world. These are relentless athletes with a grueling schedule at the absolute height of their game. Their stories are the stuff of legend and deserve mass-reach audiences and top-tier brand partners – iHeart alone can deliver that.” NBA senior vice president/national & local network partnerships David Denenberg comments, “We are excited to expand the league’s audio offerings to fans by teaming up with iHeartMedia to deliver NBA content and storytelling to the iHeartPodcast Network. We look forward to reaching more fans with content about our teams, players and history through this partnership.” Along with a mix of the latest league news; player commentary; and insider analysis, the podcasts will be produced using a wide variety of content from the NBA archives to tell backstories of some of the greatest moments in sports history.
Audacy’s NFL Training Camp Programming Kicks Off Tomorrow. “Training Camp Live” will be an in-depth look at National Football League training camp and preseason storylines. It debuts tomorrow (Friday, 7/30) and continues each Monday and Friday through September 3. Audacy vice president of sports Matt Volk remarks, “Training camp is the perfect time to capture pro football fans who are excited about the start of the season. By identifying insiders throughout our markets, this exclusive digital content will give fans a front row seat to all of the training camp and preseason storylines surrounding their favorite team.” Available on Audacy’s digital platform, “Training Camp Live” will be produced by these nine Audacy-owned sports talk properties: WFAN “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM,” New York; WSCR “670 The Score,” Chicago; KGMZ “95.7 The Game,” San Francisco; KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” Dallas; WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan,” Washington, DC; WIP “Sports Radio 94,” Philadelphia; WEEI-FM “93.7 Boston’s Sports Station,” Boston; KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” Pittsburgh; and KCSP “610 Sports Radio,” Kansas City.” Local Audacy NFL experts will provide twice weekly insights into all of the market’s team’s training camp news. Shows will be hosted by various on-air personalities from each station; episodes will be repurposed into time-shifted podcasts.
New York Festivals Announces Its 2021 Finalists. The 2021 Radio Awards Grand Jury of creative media professionals and content creators from around the world selected finalists based on production values, writing, creativity, direction, achievement of purpose, and audience suitability. Entries achieving “finalist” status will advance to the next round to determine gold, silver, and bronze trophies. New York Festivals Radio Awards vice president/executive director Rose Anderson notes, “Once again, this year’s finalists – in addition to appealing to their own listeners – also impressed the Grand Jury with their mastery of the audio medium. Across all genres, they proved that radio, the original social medium, is robust and thriving. From podcasts and audiobooks to sound art and breaking news, these talented storytellers bring the world together and engage in real time.” Global broadcasters led the way including Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the 2020 NYF “Broadcaster of the Year,” and RTÉ Ireland, 2019’s “Broadcaster of the Year.” Additional prominent broadcasters moving onto the medal round include: BBC, Bloomberg, CBS News Radio, ESPN, National Radio of Argentina, Radio New Zealand, SiriusXM, and Westwood One. New categories were unveiled across all genres to shine the spotlight on “Social Justice.” The Radio Awards receives entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from over 30 countries. The mission of the competition is to honor the achievements of the men and women who make up the global audio storytelling community. The 2021 NYF Radio Award winners will be announced October 12th at the annual Storytellers gala taking place at NAB in Las Vegas. This is the 11th year of NYF’s strategic partnership with the NAB Show. View the complete list of the New York Festivals Radio Awards finalists by clicking here.
WOR, New York Personality Mark Simone is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime Big Apple radio star Mark Simone, who hosts the daily 10:00 am – 12:00 noon show on WOR, New York, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Simone, described by Harrison as the “ultimate embodiment of the expression ‘man-about-town’” for his numerous speaking engagements as a toastmaster and emcee has been a radio mainstay for decades in the nation’s number one market having performed on the rosters of such legendary outlets as WABC, WNEW, WMCA and WPIX, prior to joining WOR. For two years, he was the co-host of a three-hour daily comedy show with the legendary Steve Allen on the NBC Radio Network. He co-hosted a two-hour nightly talk show with Tom Snyder on the CBS Radio Network. In addition to discussing local and national politics, Simone is a music and entertainment historian who has hosted over 250 PBS entertainment specials and he has lectured at Hofstra University on the career and cultural legacy of Frank Sinatra. A regular guest on national cable TV, Simone and newspaper columnist Linda Stasi have co-hosted their “What a Week” segments for over 18 years on New York 1 TV, the highly-watched, all-news channel in NYC. Harrison and Simone discuss radio, politics, music, and technology in a fast-paced conversation that will engage both professional practitioners and dedicated fans of today’s cross-platform media environment. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Cumulus Media Nashville Extends Multi-Year Titans’ Agreement. Continuing as flagship of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans through the 2025 NFL season is Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone.” Cumulus Media Nashville vice president/market manager Allison Warren comments, “As the predominant sports voice in Middle Tennessee, we’re proud to extend our partnership with the Tennessee Titans. We are committed to bringing ‘104.5 The Zone’ listeners and Titans fans the compelling sports content they seek.” WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and Titans Radio Network operations manager/program director Paul Mason contends, “The Tennessee Titans and WGFX are among the best marriages in the NFL. We are excited to continue as the flagship station for Titans Radio. I am thrilled that our listeners will hear [the Titans] on ‘The Zone’ and Titans Radio for years to come.” Tennessee Titans senior vice president/chief marketing & revenue officer Gil Beverly adds, “The Tennessee Titans and ‘104.5 The Zone’ have had a long-standing partnership. We are excited to continue with a brand that shares our vision for the Titans. ‘The Zone’ has established itself as the preeminent Middle Tennessee sports leader and the Titans Radio Network will continue to create an incredible offering for passionate fans across the state.” WGFX will again have broadcasting rights for gameday play-by-play with Mike Keith and color analyst Dave “Coach Mac” McGinnis, as well as pre- and post-game programming. Also included are weekly shows such as “The Mike Vrabel Show,” “Titans Tonight,” and “Mac Talk.” Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer Keith and former NFL head coach McGinnis are entering their fifth season together on Titans Radio.
COVID-19, January 6 Committee, Voting Legislation, Infrastructure Bill, and Crime Were the Top News/Talk Stories on Wednesday. The rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Delta variant being the dominant strain, and vaccine hesitancy in many parts of the U.S. combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio yesterday (7/28). That was followed closely by the dramatic January 6 Committee Hearings featuring the testimony of the police officers involved, the Economy and Crime and Violence in the nation’s urban centers. 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 updated and published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
TALKERS News Notes. Through his partnership with the iHeart Podcast Network, “Lore” creator Aaron Mahnke has fashioned supernatural podcast “Bridgewater.” The Lauren Shippen-written mystery is about folklore professor Jeremy Bradshaw, who is pulled into the mysterious 1980 disappearance of his police officer father, Thomas. “Along the way, he’s helped by some unlikely partners who challenge everything he believes in and ultimately tries to answer the question: Can the past actually be rewritten? Jeremy must chase the clues that will tell him whether his father really did fall victim to a satanic cult in the Bridgewater Triangle – or something much more dark and unexplainable.” The first two episodes of a ten-episode first season will be posted next Friday (8/6). A second season of 12 episodes has been approved for fall 2022. Among those in the “Bridgewater” cast are Nathan Fillion, Will Wheaton, Lori Alan, Hilarie Burton Morgan, Melissa Ponzio, and Misha Collins.
Timely Guest Alert! Attorney/author/commentator Wayne Avrashow has penned an insightful article about the California Recall, Larry Elder’s Bid, and celebrity candidacies. The article deals with the potential impact of talk show host Larry Elder’s bid to replace California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom in the Golden State’s forthcoming recall election. In addition, Avrashow sheds light on the growing trend toward celebrity political candidacies across the nation. The article appears in today’s installment (Thursday, 7/29) of RealClearPolitics – Following in The Donald’s Celebrity Footsteps | RealClearPolitics. Attorney, college law professor and author, Avrashow is a respected non-partisan expert on the subject of California politics and is available for interviews. He has an extensive background in West Coast 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 a chief of staff. He can be contacted at 818-995-1100 or email@example.com.
Audacy Greenville-Spartanburg news/talk WYRD “106.3 WORD” has an opening for a full-time, aggressive, curious reporter/anchor to add to our award-winning news staff. Candidates must demonstrate creative instincts in finding local stories. He or she must have efficient and effective writing skills and the ability to react to breaking news. The successful candidate should be familiar with news gathering tools and be comfortable with social network postings and usage, including video for digital assets. Experience writing, producing, and reporting news is required. If you are passionate about reporting news and creating compelling, story-telling news features for on-air and digital platforms, show us you have what it takes. Please submit your resume, cover letter, and work sample. https://careers-audacy.icims.com/jobs/2164/news-reporter/job.
The Sons of Liberty and Bradlee Dean are looking for an affiliate relations person to take over the current line-up. With 153 affiliates nationwide – as well as broadcasting in over 53 countries – The Sons of Liberty and Bradlee Dean rank as the #1 and # 2 show on the Genesis Communications Network (out of 65 show hosts); they seek to build even more. If interested please call 1-866-233-0747; www.sonsoflibertymedia.com.
Monday Memo: Start in the Middle? If you’re a radio newscaster, consultant Holland Cooke warns that “this week’s column is like a solar eclipse. Look away!” But for DJs, hosts, and commercial copy writers, he has a curious suggestion. Read it here.
More Than $500,000 Raised in WMAL Fisher House Radiothon. Commenting on Cumulus Media Washington DC’s just-concluded two-day radiothon for the Fisher House, WMAL PD/Cumulus Media vice president of news/talk, Bill Hess, remarks, “Wow, listeners once again have come through with their support for the wonderful work of the Fisher House Foundation, donating $523,866 to this year’s radiothon. I say ‘thank-you’ from the bottom of our hearts. The Fisher House is recognized as one of the premiere nonprofits working to support quality-of-life for our military and their families. Ever since its inception (30 years ago next month), it has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $451 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation; more than 32,000 families were served in 2018. Over the past 17 years, WMAL listeners have donated more than $7 million to the Fisher House Foundation. Pictured left to right are Hess, WMAL on-air talents Larry O’Connor, Chris Plante, and Vince Coglianese, and Fisher House president Dave Coker.
Cumulus Media Transfers Howell To Little Rock. Inbound from Oklahoma City where he was an on-air talent at Cumulus Media sports talk WWLS “98.1 The Sports Animal” and executive producer of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s radio broadcasts, Toby Howell arrives as program director at co-owned Little Rock news/talk KARN-FM “News Radio 102.9,” sports talk KARN-AM “920 The Sports Animal,” and the Arkansas News Network. He will also program religious KAAY. Cumulus Media Little Rock market manager Keith Liesman remarks, “We are very happy to get a guy like Toby with his radio background and look forward to watching him grow [our brands] across the Little Rock community.” Howell notes, “I’m very lucky to be able to work with the Cumulus Media group in Little Rock. To be in the news format at a time like this with 2020 on the horizon is very exciting.” He replaces Peter Thiele who exited roughly nine months ago.
Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Coming To Northern Arizona University. Along with support from the Arizona Broadcasters Association, the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is set to launch next summer (July 13 – 22) at Northern Arizona University. Hubbard Radio chief executive officer Ginny Morris comments, “All of us at Hubbard are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and the Arizona Association of Broadcasters on bringing this proven program to Northern Arizona University. The program is a great asset for the industry and a wonderful and expansive experience for the students that participate.” Vallie founded the National Radio Talent System in 2013 so radio stations can recruit young talent from their own region or nationally. Arizona Broadcasters Association President/CEO Chris Kline states, “There’s nothing more important to the future of broadcasting than helping to build the next generation of media leaders. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is exactly what we need in Arizona to ensure that new ideas continue to flood into the radio industry from young broadcasters. We couldn’t be more excited to support this program, to meet the participants, and to build new relationships.” NAU Media Innovation Center director Brian Rackham remarks, “We are delighted to be part of this prestigious opportunity for our students. There are jobs out there waiting for our graduates and the Hubbard Talent Institute is a great pipeline to the industry. We look forward to partnering with a great radio group like Hubbard, and the experts at the National Radio Talent System.” Sessions during the ten-day talent institute include on-air, production, news, sports, social media, podcasting, promotions, videography, sales, engineering, and includes the RAB’s radio marketing professional course. Applications are being accepted from college students/young talent from all universities in the region. Final application deadline is March 6, 2020; only 25 students will be accepted.
TALKERS News Notes. After an 11-year run on WTOP-FM “Washington’s Top News,” Chris Core will retire from the Hubbard Broadcasting DC all-news operation one week from Friday (12/20) following his “Core Values” commentary. He previously spent approximately 25 years at cross-town news/talk WMAL as a newscaster and sports anchor ….. This week, former Arizona congressman and Newsmax anchor JD Hayworth is doing his first live and local Phoenix news/talk show in approximately ten years. Guest-hosting today (Monday, 12/9) through Wednesday (12/11) for Seth Leibsohn in afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Salem Media Group-owned KKNT “AM 960 The Patriot,” Hayworth was Mike Huckabee’s “designated guest-host” and has filled in for Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Mike Gallagher, and Laura Ingraham ….. Tomorrow’s (Tuesday, 12/10, 6:00 am – 7:00 pm) 12th annual Toy Field presented by Cumulus Media Nashville and Planet Fitness will benefit The Salvation Army’s “Forgotten Angels” program. Toys collected at Nissan Stadium will help fulfill the dreams of many “forgotten children” this holiday season. The Salvation Army will reach nearly 8,500 “angels” – less fortunate children and elderly. According to Salvation Army Nashville area commander Ethan Frizzell, “Thousands of toys have been donated throughout the years and we hope to see the same enthusiasm this year. We would not be able to provide for all these children, without the support of Cumulus Media and our community.” In addition to news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” and sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” Cumulus Media Nashville consists of country outlets WSM-FM “Nash Icon 95.5,” and WKDF “103.3 Nash FM,” and urban AC WQQK “92-Q.” ….. According to The Des Moines Register, former Des Moines sports talk host Marty Tirrell (KBGG, KXLQ, KXNO) has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud in federal court. Indicted this past February, Tirrell accepted a plea deal Friday (12/6) and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced at a hearing April 7; nine other counts were dismissed. He was charged of scamming victims out of $1.5 million in a sports ticket reselling scheme …. The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters is accepting entries for its annual “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” competition, which recognizes outstanding performance among radio and television stations. All entries must be submitted electronically – the deadline is January 6 (2020). Winners will be showcased during the “Excellence in Broadcasting Awards” luncheon March 30 at The Hotel Hershey. Meanwhile, the Colorado Broadcasters Association is inviting radio and television stations in that state to compete in over 50 categories; entry deadline is (Friday) January 10 (2020). The “Awards of Excellence” celebration will take place (Friday) April 17th in downtown Denver at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
iHM Charleston Fundraiser Brings in Over $176,000. The 12th annual iHeartMedia Charleston “Cares for Kids” radiothon raised over $176,000 to benefit Medical University of South Carolina Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. According to iHeartMedia Charleston area president Alene Grevey, “We’ve anticipated broadcasting from the brand new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital for 12 years. Seeing this labor of love come to fruition thanks to the generosity of iHeartMedia Charleston’s listeners and advertisers is so inspiring.” This year’s two-day, fundraising “Cares for Kids” broadcast was held last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm. The event featured iHeartMedia Charleston on-air talents Ric Rush, Brian Cleary, Kelly Golden, and Gary Goldman, as well as WCSC-TV personalities Justin Biegel, and Kaitlin Stansell. The radiothon featured more than 40 stories from MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital patients and their families. In addition to WSCC “94.3 The Lowcountry’s News Station,” iHeartMedia Charleston is comprised of adult contemporary WXLY-FM “Y-102.5 Better Music For A Better Workday,” and WEZL “103.5 Charleston’s #1 Station for New Country.”
PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. The music-intensive format in the spotlight this month is urban contemporary. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey period, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian notes that approximately half the stations on his urban contemporary panel improve (49%) October 2019 – November 2019 (6+). Meanwhile, a virtually identical 51% of urban contemporary panelists show November 2018 – November 2019 growth. Five urban contemporary stations ranked second (6+) in November 2019; the typical format finish was #11.41 (6+). See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Beasley Media Group Holiday Soiree Features Lady Antebellum. As part of the company’s third annual “Holiday Soiree” client party last Thursday (12/5) in New York City, Beasley Media Group welcomed performances by Lady Antebellum; Joe King and Issac Slade from The Fray; and actor/musician David Duchovny. Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley, president Bruce Beasley, and chief operating officer/executive vice president Brian Beasley thanked guests for their ongoing support. Shown from left to right are Big Machine Label Group senior vice president of promotion Mathew Largis; Dave Haywood (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group national country brand manager/country WKLB, Boston program director David Corey; Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum); Beasley Media Group executive vice president of programming Justin Chase; and Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum).
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Twenty-six year WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9” midday personality Debbi Calton officially retired from the Beasley Media Group Philadelphia outlet last Friday (12/6). Prior to joining WMGK in 1993, Calton spent 10 years at cross-town rocker WYSP ….. Per The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning host Courtney Landrum and evening talent Jill Devine have departed Entercom St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98.” A member of the station’s morning show the past 20 years, Landrum was promoted to top billing (“Courtney & Company”) two years ago when Guy Phillips left the station after a 38-year run. Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff, Lance Hildebrand, and Tim Convy remain at the retitled “Y-98 Morning Show.” Devine joined “Y-98” eight years ago. She previously worked in the market for CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7”; country KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull”; and hot AC WVRV “101.1 The River” ….. In celebration of their 20th year in radio syndication, “Big D & Bubba” were treated to a surprise party last Friday (12/6) at Silverfish Media’s Nashville studios where company president Patrick Thomas recalls that, “On December 6, 1999, The Big D & Bubba Morning Show first aired in Amarillo [Texas]. That marked the beginning of syndication for the show, which was based at WYNK, Baton Rouge. Syndicated mornings in the country format was widely known to be an impossible task.” According to Patrick, it is the country’s longest-running syndicated morning show and has more than 75 affiliates. Helping to note the occasion in person were Compass Media Network chief executive officer Peter Kosann, and fellow syndicated country talents Lorraine Crook & Charlie Chase (“Crook & Chase), Evan Paul, and Amber Atnip ….. Wrapping up last week’s (12/2 through 12/6) “Stuff-A-Bus” toy drive to benefit the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM” collected 70 school buses worth of new unwrapped toys. Senior vice president of programming David Edgar notes, “[This] is one of our biggest events throughout the year. The overwhelming response from ‘Kiss’ listeners and the Pittsburgh community will help many children have a great holiday this year.” ….. Through the Smiley morning show’s 23rd annual, 36-hour “Make-A-Wish Request-A-Thon,” Cumulus Media Indianapolis CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s Number One Hit Music Station” raised $839,638 for central Indiana children with life-threatening illnesses. Listeners called in last Thursday (12/5) and Friday (12/6) to request their favorite songs in exchange for a Make-A-Wish Foundation donation. Throughout the broadcast, WZPL shared inspiring wish stories from local Make-A-Wish kids and their families. Cumulus Media Indianapolis vice president/market manager Chuck Fredrick comments, “What a great way to head into the holiday season helping so many kids’ wishes come true in our community.” Operations manager JR Ammons adds that, “Thanks to the generosity of listeners and sponsors, we were able to surpass last year’s record total of $736,298. As a result, Make-A-Wish will be able to grant 83 wishes for kids here in central Indiana with life-threatening illnesses.” Over the course of the last 23 years, WZPL has helped raise more than $7.5 million for Make-A-Wish ….. Rosemont, Illinois’ Allstate Arena was the site of this past Saturday’s (12/7) 20th annual “B-96 Pepsi Jingle Bash” presented by Entercom Chicago CHR WBBM-FM. Katy Perry headlined the event. Entercom Chicago senior vice president and market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “The ‘B-96 Jingle Bash’ has been a must-see holiday event in Chicago for two decades and has become a highly anticipated night of pop music and a beloved holiday tradition.” ….. Concluding today (Monday, 12/9) is iHeartMedia Atlanta CHR WWPW’s fourth annual “House of Toys,” a six-day “Power 96.1” fundraising event to help collect toys for the “Toys For Tots” program. Morning drive personality PK notes, “We want to be sure every child has the best holiday they can. We are thrilled to team up with our listeners once again and help underprivileged children receive the joy of a new gift this holiday season.” WWPW’s fundraiser is presented by Delta Community Credit Union ….. Filling the midday spot at Adams Radio Group Fort Wayne, Indiana’s country WBTU “US-93.3” is Erica Gray, who most recently had the same responsibilities in Gainesville (Florida) at Gillen Broadcasting CHR WYKS “Kiss 105.3.” ….. The inaugural “Not So Silent Night” benefit concert featuring local artists will be held this Friday (12/13) at Panama City, Florida’s Salty Hobo. Proceeds from the event – sponsored by iHeartMedia Panama City’s WDIZ “96 Rock” – will benefit the Toys for Tots Program. Program director Paco notes, “We look forward to an evening filled with music and holiday giving.”
Nielsen Begins Continuous Diary Measurement (CDM). Data delivery in five of the 46 markets converting to monthly reports is effective with the just-concluded (July 2019) survey period. Effective with the launch of CDM, 94 Nielsen Audio metros will have monthly reporting (48 PPM markets and 46 CDM markets). The company maintains that CDM “positions radio on a level playing field with other media such as digital and TV” and will allow clients “to maintain a competitive edge with the ability to react more quickly to marketplace changes.” Moreover, Continuous Diary Measurement is expected to “help reduce ‘bounce’ in ratings with rolling samples designed to provide a more consistent and stable view of the market.” Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly declares, “This is a transformative day for the audio advertising industry. For the first time, clients in these 46 markets will be able to transact on data monthly. There is no doubt Continuous Diary Measurement is a big step forward for the audio industry. With CDM, very large advertisers that rely on marketing mix models will be able to use the most current data available to get a better read on how radio drives sales results – the ultimate measure of ‘attribution’.” Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeffery Warshaw, chair of Nielsen Audio’s advisory council remarks, “This upgrade in measurement is a terrific demonstration of the progress we can make when the industry comes together and works with Nielsen to improve the service for our clients.” These markets will have CDM: Akron, Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Albuquerque, Allentown, Bakersfield, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Buffalo, Charleston (S.C.), Chattanooga, Colorado Springs, Columbia (S.C.), Dayton, Des Moines, El Paso, Fresno, Ft. Myers, Grand Rapids, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Greenville-Spartanburg, Harrisburg, Honolulu, Huntsville, Jackson (MS), Knoxville, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Mobile, Monterey, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Puerto Rico, Richmond, Rochester (NY), Shreveport, Spokane, Springfield (MA), Syracuse, Toledo, Tucson, Tulsa, Wichita, Wilkes Barre, and York. The survey period for the first monthly release of data covers April 25 – July 17; reports will be delivered between today (8/13) and one week from this Friday (8/23).
Coleman Cleared For Syndication Via Ramsey Network. Thirty stations in 25 markets (including Chicago, Denver, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, and Indianapolis) are first to clear Ramsey Network’s caller-driven “Ken Coleman Show,” which has been heard the past two years on SiriusXM and as a podcast. Author and career expert Coleman “helps listeners discover what they were born to do” and provides “practical steps” as to how to get there. Ramsey Media executive vice president Brian Mayfield notes, “We are proud to bring listeners this kind of quality content. Ken brings a unique approach to a topic that people of all ages can relate to, so we’re thrilled the show is growing so rapidly.” News of Coleman’s entry into radio syndication coincides with the launch of his book, “The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to the Career You Love,” which reached #1 on The Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list.
“America Works” Among ABC Radio Labor Day Specials. Three, three-hour specials will be provided to ABC Radio affiliates for use over Labor Day weekend: “America Works,” “Labor Day Rock Rewind,” and “Raised on ‘90s Country Salute.” In “America Works,” ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky highlights important volunteerism people around the country who are participating in what transforms neighborhoods into vibrant communities. The program focuses on – among others – volunteer police officers, hospital visitors, and dog rescuers. Hosted by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, “Labor Day Rock Rewind” celebrates 50 years of ZZ Top and features rock albums of 1969, 1979, and 1989 by artists such as Aerosmith, Beatles, Pat Benatar, Phil Collins, Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. Paying tribute to country music of the 1990s, Chris Young-hosted “Raised on ‘90s Country Salute” features songs inspired by the decade and insights on 90s hits. Country stars Maren Morris, Old Dominion, and Thomas Rhett share their favorite ‘90s country songs.
Our Sources Say NY Post To Debut A “Page Six” Podcast.Editors of The New York Post’s fabled “Page Six” gossip column, Maggie Coughlan and Ian Mohr, will host Sources Say: A Page Six Podcast; AdLarge Media digital audio business cabana is its exclusive ad sales partner. This will be the newspaper’s first attempt at podcasting, although more titles are said to be forthcoming. New York Post publisher and chief executive officer Sean Giancola states that with the introduction of “Sources Say,” the paper, “enters the podcast space with one of the most popular brands in our portfolio. ‘Page Six’ fans can now hear insider gossip and news on our podcast straight from our editors. Cabana’s demonstrated ability to generate revenue and help its content partners launch and grow podcasts made them the best choice for our ad sales partner. We look forward to working with the cabana team.” AdLarge Media and cabana co-founder/co-chief executive officer Cathy Csukas notes, “The New York Post and ‘Page Six’ are iconic media brands. We at cabana are excited to be a part of their entrée into podcasting. This is the kind of in-demand content that our podcast advertisers are asking for. As our relationship with the NY Post expands, we will have more highly-engaging podcasts to offer our advertisers.” The ‘Page Six’ section generates a large percentage of the 75 million unique monthly visitors to The New York Post’s digital network. Founded in 1801, The Post is the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the United States. PageSix.com and “Page Six Style” editorial director Maggie Coughlan joined “Page Six” in 2014. “Page Six” deputy editor Ian Mohr previously was New York bureau chief of The Hollywood Reporter and box office editor/film reporter for Variety.
Baumgard Boosted to iHM Huntington Market President. The promotion of iHeartMedia Huntington, West Virginia general sales manager Tracey Baumgard to market president takes effect immediately. Region president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and West Virginia Tim McAleer states, “I am extremely excited for Tracey to lead our Huntington market. Her extensive track record, combined with her strong leadership and knowledge on all aspects of the business, make her a tremendous asset to our team.” Baumgard, who has been with the cluster for 23 years, adds, “I’m thrilled to be leading the iHeartMedia Huntington team. I look forward to motivating and collaborating with the programming, business, and sales teams while helping to elevate the Huntington market to unmatched heights.” Her other roles there have been in traffic, accounting, promotions, and marketing. The eight-station iHeartMedia Huntington cluster consists of news/talk WVHU “News Radio 800”; news/talk WZZW; sports talk WIRO & WZWB “Fox Sports 1230 & 1420”; WAMX “Classic Rock 106.3 The Brew”; classic hits-oldies WBVB “B-97”; CHR WKEE “KEE 100”; and WTCR “103.3 TCR Country.”
Group Nine Media, iHeartMedia Announce Co-Produced Podcasts. The new slate will include at least one podcast from each of Group Nine’s four brands: NowThis, The Dodo, Seeker, and Thrillist, as well as one from JASH, part of the media company’s Los Angeles-based Studios team. Group Nine Network president Mickey Meyer states, “Storytelling is at the core of any forward-looking media brand in today’s industry. As a distributed media company and the leader on mobile, we’ve always met audiences where they are. Podcasting is certainly the place to be and iHeartRadio knows this better than anyone. We’re excited to partner with them to extend Group Nine’s brands and creative prowess into the audio space.” President of the iHeartPodcast Network, Conal Byrne, notes, “Group Nine’s brands create content that resonates extremely well with their dedicated and loyal fans. They are pioneers in social-first publishing and have built meaningful online communities that connect with audiences. We are excited to work together with them to co-produce an amazing slate of shows and extend their brands into the burgeoning podcast space.” All podcasts will be overseen by Meyer, and Group Nine vice president of new initiatives Brett Kushner. They will be executive produced by iHeartPodcast Network head of development Mangesh Hattikudur.
Burcham Succeeds Bramblett As Auburn P-B-P Voice. Per an announcement made yesterday (Monday, 8/12), Andy Burcham has been tapped to replace the late Rod Bramblett as the voice of Auburn University Tigers baseball, football, and men’s basketball. Bramblett and his wife, Paula, were killed three months ago in a car accident; a 16-year-old was charged with two counts of manslaughter in that tragedy. Auburn Sports Properties vice president/general manager Chris Davis remarks, “During the very difficult process of replacing Rod, it was clear that Andy Burcham was the right man to be the new voice of the Auburn Tigers. He is well-respected in his profession; by his coworkers; Auburn athletics coaches and administration; and in the community. He understands the importance of this role. Andy is a consummate professional who puts great preparation, execution, and passion into his work. Most importantly, he is a man of great character who loves and cares deeply for Auburn and what it represents. We can’t wait for the Auburn family to embrace him in his new role.” Athletics director Allen Greene states, “Simply put, Andy is unquestionably the right man for the job. His experience as a broadcaster is extensive and his affinity for Auburn is unrivaled. Having been part of the Auburn family for over three decades, Andy understands what sets Auburn apart and understands the passion of our loyal fan base. He deeply respects those who have come before him and will assume this role with a great deal of humility.” Burcham adds, “While it is a bittersweet time and I wish the circumstances creating this opportunity were different, I am honored to be following in the footsteps of such legends as Rod Bramblett and Jim Fyffe. With this job, you’re the voice of Auburn and represent [it] every day – I will never forget that. I’ve been in this community and broadcasting Auburn games for 31 years. I understand and love Auburn and its tradition.” Burcham and Bramblett worked together for 25 years. In addition to his play-by-play duties, Burcham will co-host “Tiger Talk” with baseball broadcast partner Brad Law, while Brit Bowen becomes play-by-play voice for Auburn women’s basketball and softball. Law will host football pregame and postgame locker room shows. Nashville, Illinois native Burcham graduated from Indiana State University (1983) with a degree in radio, television, and film. He did sports play-by-play for Indiana State, Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University before going to Auburn in 1988.
TALKERS News Notes. The newest addition to Comrex’s Access IP audio codec line, Access NX Rack, is now shipping. The Comrex Access rackmount was released in 2005 and is being updated to incorporate technical advances from the last decade. Access NX Rack includes AES3 or analog audio I/O, along with AES67 compatibility. AES67 tested to be compatible with all major AoIP systems and features an entirely new hardware platform. Access NX Rack can connect to Wi-fi and 4G modems, and supports a wide range of connection protocols and audio encoders. It’s driven via an HTML5-based web user interface. Access NX Rack is compatible with all Comrex IP audio codecs as well as the Comrex FieldTap smartphone app and is built around Comrex CrossLock technology. Included is HotSwap, allowing users to designate a wireless network as a backup that will only engage when the primary network has failed ….. After more than a year’s hiatus from radio, Spence Checketts will resurface next week as the 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm talent on Broadway Media Salt Lake City sports talk KALL “ESPN 700.” In addition to “The Drive with Spence Checketts,” he will continue his longform interview podcast, “Reality Check.” Checketts formerly worked cross-town at similarly-formatted KZNS “The Zone.” ….. Yesterday (Monday, 8/12) marked the two-year anniversary of the “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though more than 800 state and local law enforcement officers spent months preparing for the event, it not only turned violent, a counter-protestor (Heather Heyer) was killed. In noting the second anniversary of what has simply been referred to as “Charlottesville,” CBS-TV’s “CBS This Morning” hosted a round table discussion. Among those participating were Monticello Media Charlottesville news/talk WCHV “C-Ville 107.5 & 1260 News-Talk-Sports” program director/morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am) host Joe Thomas; “How To Be Antiracist” author professor Ibram Kendi; faith leaders; community activists; and the city’s police chief.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” and co-owned KDAY “93.5 Hip-Hop Back in the Day” six-month interim program director Emmanuel “E-Man” Coquia is elevated to Meruelo Media’s director of programming/content. He will oversee programming and music content for those two stations, as well as initial stages of Latin rhythmic cluster-mate KLLI “Cali 93.9.” Meruelo Media president/chief operating officer Otto Padron declares, “After an exhaustive nationwide search that attracted some of the most talented program directors in America, the choice was clear that ‘E-Man’ is our-man. ‘E-Man’ had a sensible plan and a vision that aligned perfectly with our goals to disrupt the industry with new hyper-local Los Angeles content. Above all, he had boundless confidence strengthened by a time-built arsenal of industry respect from the labels, artists, management, colleagues, and fellow Meruelo Media team members.” Coquia notes, “I am truly excited to continue to lead the incredible winning teams at our two iconic hip-hop radio stations in Los Angeles. I am also enjoying every minute assembling and developing the new ‘Cali 93.9’ team. To be a part of three major radio stations in Los Angeles that play hip-hop – current, classic, & Latin hip-hop/Reggaeton – is a very dope feeling, especially as a fan of these music genres.” Meruelo Media’s other Los Angeles property is newly-acquired (from Cumulus Media) rocker KLOS ….. Co-creator, co-executive producer, writer, lead on Amazon Prime and Apple TV’s “The Jamz,” Chris Petlak, is appointed director of digital content/night personality at Hubbard Radio Chicago hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix.” Hubbard Chicago vice president/market manager Jeff England comments, “It is sort of a homecoming for Chris. Back in 2011, he served as our first social media manager as well as a contributor to ‘Eric in the Morning.’ Chris will complement our already incredibly strong on-air lineup, and bring with him a wealth of digital and entertainment experience to help drive both the quantity and quality of our episodic digital content creation.” Petlak adds, “Returning home to join ‘The Mix’ and work for Hubbard Radio Chicago is an honor. I couldn’t be more excited to work with the entire team at a station with such a strong Chicago legacy.” Musician and standup comedian Petlak co-hosts the “Not From Here” podcast ….. Rebranding KRBQ “The Bay’s Old School” as “The New Q-102.1 – The Bay’s Old School,” the Entercom San Francisco outlet is “providing the Bay Area with expertly curated gold-based rhythmic classic hits.” KRBQ will include airing mass-appeal titles from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Entercom San Francisco senior vice president/market manager Gregory Nemitz remarks “Q-102” has “already built a great audience. They have been telling us to play more of the familiar, rhythmic hits. With the relaunch of ‘The New Q-102.1,” a Bay Area station is finally playing more of the classics we all know and love.” Programming updates are forthcoming. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 report for San Francisco, rhythmic hot AC KRBQ is tied for #19 (2.1). In San Jose, it is up or flat the third straight time for a two-tenths increase (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+) and ranks #19, as well ….. XTRA-FM “91-X” morning host John Moug (“The Moug Show”) exits the Local Media of San Diego-programmed alternative outlet. The program debuted approximately 18 months ago; co-host “Danielle” continues on “91-X” in the 5:00 am – 10:00 am slot ….. Former director of sports sales for Entercom Chicago, Peter Bowen, becomes director of sales at Townsquare Media Cedar Rapids. Market president and chief revenue officer Terry Peters comments, “Peter is a rare find, having an impressive pedigree and track record of sales leadership with some of the best multimedia companies in the United States. He has led some of the biggest brands in our industry with an extraordinary ability to build winning teams that deliver consistently strong results for our clients.” Bowen declares that he is “extremely excited to be joining the Townsquare team in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. It’s amazing to see the success of Townsquare’s radio and digital operation in Eastern Iowa, with no end in sight of how high we can go. I’m looking forward to being part of one of the most innovative media companies in the nation.” Bowen previously was senior vice president of sales for CBS Los Angeles; vice president and general manager of Chicago CHR WBBM-FM; and general sales manager for Chicago all-news operation WBBM-AM. Townsquare Media’s four-station Cedar Rapids cluster consists of adult contemporary KDAT “104.5 – Today’s Best Mix,” KHAK “#1 For New Country,” KRNA “Classic Rock 94.1,” and CHR KRQN “i-107.1 All The Hits.” ….. One-year KYSR “Alt 98.7” mid-day (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) talent Tamo Sein exits the iHeartMedia Los Angeles alternative outlet. She previously worked at similarly-formatted stations in Charlotte (WEND “106.5 The End”); Austin (KROX “101-X”): Norfolk (WROX “96-X”); and Richmond (WRXL “XL-102”). Taking Samo’s place until further notice is Hudson Hott, who does “Alt 98.7” Saturday and Sunday PM drive ….. Canadian-born Lucky Pierre, whose Los Angeles radio career spanned more than 35 (non-consecutive) years, has died. Included in his Los Angeles on-air tenure were stops at legendary KHJ in the early-1960s; roughly six years at KGFJ (whose personalities over the years included Hunter Hancock, Larry McCormick, Johnny Magnus, and Frankie Crocker); and a ten-year stint at a station he programmed and transitioned to dance, KUTE. It’s believed Lucky Pierre did his last greater Los Angeles on-air work in the late-1990s at suburban KACD (Santa Monica) & KBCD (Newport Beach), known then as “Groove Radio 103.1.”
Upstate Radiothon Raises $200,945. In the 12th annual radiothon for Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System (GHS), seven Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg stations (“Greenville Upstate”) raised $200,945. The radiothon aired last Thursday (8/8) and Friday (8/9) from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm . Donations help sustain programs/services that support children and families during a hospital stay. Entercom Upstate director of sales Devon van der Merwe comments, “This radiothon is a signature event for giving back by the Upstate community. It is such a labor of love for the entire Entercom family. For two days, the airwaves were filled with stories of hope and support. Entercom Upstate always looks forward to going the extra mile when it comes to supporting and aiding Prisma Health–Upstate. We have a passion for our loyal listeners and community and none are more special than the families at Children’s Hospital. Being able to give back is what makes our radio brands, our sponsors, and personalities so powerful.” GHS Children’s Hospital serves all of upstate South Carolina, western North Carolina, and eastern Georgia. Money raised during the radiothon impacts more than 400,000 patients and families each year. Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Upstate medical director Robin LaCroix, MD notes that, “Hospital stays can be intimidating emotional experiences for children and parents. Funds we receive from this radiothon are critical to ensuring that we can provide families with support and resources they need while they are in our care. Prisma Health and Entercom come together each year to make a difference in the lives of so many families in our region. We are so thankful to the community and especially to Entercom Upstate listeners for their continued support.” In addition to news/talk WYRD “106.3 WORD – The Upstate’s Talk Station,” and sports talk WORD-AM “ESPN Upstate,” the Entercom Greenville cluster consists of adult contemporary WSPA-FM “Magic 98.9,” CHR WFBC-FM “B-93.7 – #1 For Hit Music,” WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1,” WTPT “93.3 Planet Rocks,” and WFBC-HD2 “96.3 The Block.”
July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Charlotte, St. Louis, and Riverside. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.
Spoken-Word Formats – On the heels of June’s +1.2 (3.2 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT surrenders 75% of that bounty (3.5, -.9, 6+) but repeats at #12. June’s huge increase precisely wiped away the overall -1.2 WBT lost in three straight declines (4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+).
While flat at 1.3 (6+), co-owned WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” bumps up from #19 to #18.
Thus far this calendar year, University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE has remained in two-share range (6+) in all seven sweeps: 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.4 (#15 to #14, 6+). For the fourth time in the last five survey periods, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC notches a .3 (.3 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .3, #22 to #21, 6+).
Charlotte Music Formats – Six of Charlotte’s top seven July 2019 finishers post a month-to-month fluctuation of at least one-half share. Topping that list is Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF, which not only flaunts a +1.4 (5.4 – 6.8, 6+), “105.3 RnB” vaults from sixth to first. A one-tenth June loss halted three straight gains that yielded eight-tenths (4.7 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+). The last time “105.3 RnB” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was in “Holiday” 2016 (6.2). Dislodged from the top spot and slipping to a second-place tie is iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO (7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Recent shifts for “102.9 The Lake” include -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); -1.4 (February); +.5 (March); -.5 (April); +.8 (May); and -.5 (July). In advance of “Holiday” 2018’s -1.2, WLKO enjoyed eight straight months without a loss for a +3.7 (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+). By chalking up a full-share improvement to 6.4 (sixth to fourth, 6+), co-owned WRFX “99.7 The Fox Charlotte’s Classic Rock” suspends four successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a decrease of seven-tenths (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “The Fox” since September 2018 (6.4, as well). Steady in fifth-place, Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” adds one-half share, matching the 6.2 (6+) it logged in March. A combined -1.5 in June/July (7.5 – 6.9 – 6.0, 6+), cluster-mate WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits” slumps from second to sixth. Prior to segueing to #2 in June, WSOC was on top the previous four months. A May improvement of eight-tenths delivered WSOC its strongest 6+-stat since November 2018 (7.5, as well). Its format rival, iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country,” is +1.3 in five successive positive or neutral moves (5.3 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.6, 6+) and advances from #3 to a tie at #2. Prior to logging a +1.2 in January, WKKT was -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2018 (6.7 – 5.8 – 4.4, 6+). Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is up four-tenths to 2.4 (#16 to #14, 6+), thus curtailing four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.4 (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.0, 6+). Back-to-back losses by iHeartMedia CHR WHQC account for a full-share decrease (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.0, 6+) as “Hits 96.1” exits the top ten (#9 to #11) with its lowest 6+-showing (4.0) since November 2018’s 3.4. Beasley Media Group adult contemporary operation with similar call letters – WKQC “K-10.7 More Music/Better Variety” – follows June’s increase of nine-tenths with a July loss of one-half share (4.8 – 5.7 – 5.2, fourth to seventh, 6+). June’s 5.7 was its best 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2018’s 12.9 (#1). Off a collective full-share in three setbacks in succession (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WEND “106.5 The End” remains at #13. A combined -1.2 in April/May (3.3 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM recorded a one-half share increase in June (2.6, #14, 6+) but “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” vanishes from print in July. Elsewhere in the contemporary Christian arena, Radio Training Network’s WLFJ “HIS Radio” nearly quadruples (+.8) its 6+ AQH share in four straight positive or neutral reports .3 – .7 – .8 – 1.1 (#20 to #19), while iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WRFX-HD 2 nets one-half share via six straight sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .6, 6+) and enters the top twenty at #20.
Spoken-Word Formats – In three setbacks in a row (7.3 – 6.6 – 6.2 – 5.2, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMOX is a cumulative -2.1, meaning April’s whopping +2.2 by the flagship of the Cardinals has virtually disappeared. Moreover, “The Voice of St. Louis” drifts from second to seventh. Anchored at #18, co-owned KFTK “FM News Talk 97.1” is playing a game of April 2019 through July 2019 ping pong (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+).
In three straight spikes (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.7, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting sports talk WXOS netted six-tenths but “101 Sports” has that all erased with a July loss of that magnitude (3.7 – 3.1, -.6, #15 to #17, 6+). Effective later this year, WXOS takes over from KMOX as flagship of the NHL’s Blues.
Progressing from #16 to #15, University of Missouri news/talk KWMU has a March 2019 through July 2019 topline of 3.7 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.7 (6+).
St. Louis Music Formats – The three most recent shifts by Hubbard Broadcasting’s KPNT are +.6 (May); -.6 (June); and +.7 in July (6.0 – 6.6 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), as “105.7 The Point – Everything Alternative” inches up from third to second. Improving by seven-tenths in July as well and marching from ninth to fifth is its adult hits sibling WARH “106.5 The Arch,” which is up a full-share in June/July (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). Still in that Hubbard Broadcasting cluster, this marks the third month in a row at #1 for KSHE, which has its best 6+-stat (8.7) since March’s 8.9. The nine most recent shifts for “95 Real Rock Radio” are: +.5 (December); -.7 (Holiday” 2018); +2.0 (January 2019); -.5 (February); +1.3 (March); -1.6 (April); +.1 (May); +.9 (June); and +.4 (July). KSHE was tied with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLOU for February’s top spot. In March, KSHE took sole possession of first-place but had to share the lead again the following month; on that occasion, it was with Entercom news/talk KMOX. “Real Rock Radio” has had sole possession of the top spot in May, June, and July. Unchanged at #19, iHeartMedia-owned KLLT “Alt 104.9” nets two-tenths in seven straight sweeps without a loss, (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+). The alternating (6+) December 2018 through July 2019 down/up pattern for Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL ironically has “New Country 92.3” right where it was eight reports ago: 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.4 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.8 – 6.1(6+); WIL progresses from sixth in June to third. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” regressed by seven-tenths in May; improved by one-half share in June; and now drops two-tenths (4.7 – 4.5, 6+) and carries on at #10. There’s virtually no June 2019 – July 2019 movement regarding the market’s two CHRs as KSD sibling, KSLZ “Z-107.7,” repeats June’s 4.0 (#12 to #13, 6+), while Entercom’s KNOU “Now 96.3” drops one-tenth (3.9 – 3.8, flat at #14, 6+). An overall -2.2 as a result of three successive setbacks (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 5.0, 6+), Gateway Creative Broadcasting contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy FM” fades from third to ninth. Not only does a loss of six-tenths to 4.1 (6+) send Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” out of the top ten (#10 to #12), it interrupts three successive bumps that accounted for a +1.0 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 4.7, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – Following seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (.4 – .2 – .2 -.2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, #23, 6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” is unlisted for the third ratings period in a row.
The November 2018 through July 2019 topline for co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” is: .2 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 (#21 to #20, 6+). For the 19th straight sweep, similarly-formatted/Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC) KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted.
This is the fourth report in a row that San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is below a one-share (.8 – .4 – .6 – .5, #17 to #14, 6+). In a repetitive April 2019 through July 2019 pattern (.1 – .3 – .1 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” is back in the top twenty (#21 to #16).
Riverside Music Formats – Powered by a robust +1.2 (3.2 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” leaps from sixth to fourth with its strongest 6+-stat (4.4) in exactly one year (4.9, July 2018). An overall -4.3 in seven straight declines (10.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY pulls the plug by notching a one-half share increase to 6.7 (6+); “Jose” is #2 for the fourth straight time. In advance of the April ratings period, “Jose” occupied the #1 spot 11 sweeps in succession. December 2018’s 10.5 marked the first time any Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario station reached double-figures (6+) since April 2015, when KLYY recorded a 10.4. “Jose” is now nine-tenths behind Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which is #1 the fourth month in a row, but forfeits a full-share to 7.6 (6+). July’s decrease halts three straight upticks that yielded a combined +1.8 (6.8 – 7.2 – 8.0 – 8.6, 6+). Prior to May, the last time KOLA reached the eight-share level (6+) was February 2018 (8.4). KOLA finished second in 11 successive survey periods and went to #1 in April. In the Univision Radio cluster, Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” is a collective -1.1 in three down or flat trends in a row (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.5, fourth to fifth, 6+), while regional Mexican sibling KSCA “LA 101.9” has lost six-tenths in June/July (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+) but carries on in eighth-place. Immediately following three successive improvements that yielded a collective +1.6 (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” is a combined -1.4 via four downturns in a row (3.7 – 3.4 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.3, flat at #9, 6+). Two Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian outlets disappear from print in July: KLRD “Air 1 – Worship Now” (1.6, #11, June 2019, 6+) and KKLQ “Positive, Encouraging 100.3” (.7, #15, June 2019, 6+).
Report: Savage Program Changes the Result of ‘Corporate Censorship.’ In an analysis/opinion piece in The Washington Times, writer Cheryl K. Chumley quotes both Michael Savage and Daniel Horowitz (identified as Savage’s lawyer) in a piece that asserts the coming changes in Savage’s program from three live hours to one live hour and a one-hour podcast and the resulting, anticipated loss of affiliate stations WABC, New York; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; and KABC, Los Angeles are not business decisions but political ones. Horowitz is quoted saying, “Michael’s voice, unlike [his conservative competitors] has always been very independent. Savage is completely a wild card, right? And that’s what they’re trying to kill. It’s all about corporate control. Taking him off the air is not a business decision.” Horowitz adds, “Networks are actually losing millions of dollars in order to keep Michael’s voice off these stations.” Savage himself seems piqued the aforementioned stations won’t delay-broadcast his shows at night. “The only reason I can see is because of politics. It makes no sense. I have a loyal, large audience. Why not at least do reruns at night?” Read the Times piece here.
Dave Glover Re-Ups with KFTK-FM, St. Louis. St. Louis radio talk show host Dave Glover signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk KFTK-FM to continue hosting his afternoon drive program on the station. Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “‘The Dave Glover Show’ has been a cornerstone of the afternoon drive at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ from the very beginning and I am thrilled that Dave will be a part of the team for the foreseeable future. I have been honored to work with Dave for the last decade and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come. Dave leads the way on so many levels and strives for excellence in everything he does on a daily basis.” Glover has been with KFTK-FM since 2000. The station says Glover’s program finished #1 in 2017 with persons aged 25-54, according to Nielsen PPM ratings.
iHeartMedia Settles Lawsuits Removing Two Roadblocks. Two lawsuits that were partly responsible for postponing iHeartMedia’s Confirmation Hearing in its Chapter 11 reorganization have been settled. Creditors GAMCO and Norfolk County Retirement System objected to iHeartMedia’s use of cash sweeps from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and filed suit. An early December agreement between GAMCO and iHM called for iHeart to provide a revolving line of credit of $170 million to CCOH. This latest settlement calls for the revolving line of credit to be hiked to $200 million after iHeartMedia and CCOH become separate companies – part of the Fifth Amended Plan. iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.
TALKERS News Notes. Beginning January 2, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris hosts a three-hour morning show on Kemp Communications’ news/talk KMZQ-AM, airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Currently, Harris is hosting the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot on the station. The station also swaps out Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager and Michael Medved in middays for SRN’s Mike Gallagher and Sebastian Gorka. Harris tells TALKERS magazine she continues to produce her podcast in addition to hosting her radio show. Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT-AM and Beasley’s KDWN in the Las Vegas market…..Sales pro Ed Krampf joins Sun & Fun Media as senior account executive for its affiliate sales unit. Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “Adding Ed to our team continues our mission of having the best and brightest minds in the industry serving our affiliates.”…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition of listeners being treated to live, holiday-themed programming, including special guest appearances, open lines, music and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Program host George Noory says, “When I began this journey 17 years ago, I made a promise to our faithful listeners that there will be live programs on the holidays – a time of joy, but also a time of loneliness for some. I look forward to sharing this special time of year with my ‘Coast to Coast AM’ family.”…..Tomorrow, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg, along with WNYW-TV FOX 5 “Good Day New York” host Ines Rosales, will visit Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn. The two will deliver presents and holiday surprises from the hospital’s wish list for every child in the unit to make their holidays a little brighter. Rosenberg says, “As the proud and loving dad of two, I can’t think of a better way to spend my holiday season than with the children at Maimonides Medical Center. Bringing laughs to my listening audience is fun but putting a smile on these kids’ faces will be the absolute best.”
Trump-Russia Investigation/Russian Election Meddling, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Dow Dips 500+/Recession Worries, Obamacare Status, Moonves Gets Nothing from CBS, Criminal Justice Reform Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related intelligence regarding Russian election interference; the battle in Washington over funding for the Mexican border wall that could shut down the federal government; the continuing stock selloff and concerns about a recession; the status of Obamacare in the aftermath of a federal judge’s ruling it unconstitutional; CBS reveals ousted chief Les Moonves will get no severance; the criminal justice reform bill that would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Remembering Dave Robbins. Social media was abuzz Monday night as news spread about the sudden passing of highly respected programmer and general manager Dave Robbins. To see glowing tributes for someone who has died isn’t unusual, but the well-earned praise for Robbins was particularly voluminous and the word “mentor” was frequently mentioned. Held in high esteem for his days programming Columbus CHR WNCI, Robbins was among the most successful PDs who transitioned to the GM’s chair. What follows is a very brief sample from the many weighing in on him. Noted consultant/programmer John Sebastian: “He was my GM in Chicago at WJMK. He was a great boss and a very good man.” Executive vice president/programming operations at iHeartMedia Jon Zellner: “I have two mentors in this business and Dave Robbins is one of them. He literally taught me everything I know through the many years I had the opportunity to work with him at Nationwide and CBS Radio – I am forever grateful. No one was more creative, inspiring or motivating – a true strategist in every sense of the word. Dave possessed every trait of a natural leader, but he also was one of the most nurturing human beings I ever met. It truly brought him joy to see people on his team succeed.” Breakthrough Management partner John Parikhal: “This is terrible news. I was a huge fan of Dave’s and we had some serious fun working together. I’m so sorry to hear this.” WTUZ, New Philadelphia (Ohio) director/operations & programming Steve Kelly: “This is the most difficult post I have ever had to write, but I know our radio family and Dave’s friends will want to know that my dear friend, Dave Robbins, passed away today. Godspeed my friend.” Longtime Chicago programmer/consultant Buddy Scott: “I’m stunned – today we lost one of the greatest guys in radio and in life, Dave Robbins. We worked together twice and were corporate mates once. I loved Dave – he was my friend. [This is] so sudden and so sad.” Zapoleon Media Strategies president Guy Zapoleon: “We lost someone very special today, a broadcast industry legend; mentor to so many in our industry; and a great human being who always had time for anyone who would reach out in need. [This is a] heartbreaking loss for all who were blessed to know Dave Robbins. I was blessed to have worked with and partnered with Dave at Nationwide Communications. I always called him ‘the general’ because he had an amazing strategic mind that he applied to radio and was the greatest strategic mind I’ve met in our business, truly a leader of men. Most importantly, Dave was a wonderful nurturing man who mentored so many people in our business and taught them the secrets of success in radio and in life. Dave was simply a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime human being.” Executive vice president/programming at iHeartMedia Tony Coles: “This afternoon brought the stunning loss of my friend and mentor, Dave Robbins. Dave was the person responsible for getting me into programming. All of these years later, I have never made a major career decision without consulting Dave – I am so thankful to have known him.” Cumulus Media Holdings vice president/programming operations John Dimick: “I am devastated at the news. [Dave] gave me my first shot and truly taught everyone how to be their best self. Programming WNCI with [him] as the GM is a bright spot in my life. The universe is just a little out of balance tonight.” Also “heartbroken” to hear the news of Robbins’ passing was Saga Communications Asheville (North Carolina) operations manager Neal Sharpe: “He was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a mentor, a friend, and the greatest radio leader I’ve ever known.” WLNK, Charlotte on-air talent Ramona Holloway remarks that Robbins had, “one of the most unforgettable voices in the business.” Executive vice president of global music marketing & strategy for iHeartMedia Alissa Pollack: “Wow – I’m devastated – I just spoke with him. He was one of my all-time favorites. I’m so sorry to hear this about Dave ‘Rock & Roll’ Robbins.” Three comments from record company executives included this from Alchemy Entertainment owner Bill Pfordresher: “Dave was an amazing bright light in my life. Yes, he was a great radio executive, but also an amazing friend. You always felt special in his presence and he was able to do that with everyone he met. He had true soul and I am deeply saddened at his passing. He is in a good place and will be remembered and loved always.” What’s In-Store Music partner Bob Catania: “I will never forget my first meeting with Dave. He handed me a hand grip, stuck a quarter in it, and told me if I could hold it for five minutes without dropping the quarter, he’d give me an add. Of course, I couldn’t – he had tested it with many a promo person prior. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship [with a] true gentleman and a brilliant programmer. This news breaks my heart.” Hitpredictor owner Rick Bisceglia: “Dave was tough – almost impossible – but highly intelligent and fair at the end. He was compassionate and made me better.” From January 2006 to the time of his death, Robbins was owner and chief executive officer of Windermere, Florida-based Getaway Vacation Homes, where he owned/managed 50 vacation homes and condos along Florida’s beaches and at Walt Disney World. Prior to that, his lengthy radio resume included a five-year stint (2010 – 2015) as senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio Orlando’s WOMX, WJHM, WOCL and eight years as vice president and general manager for four of that company’s Chicago stations – WUSN, WCFS, WBBM-FM, and WJMK. Prior to that (1998 – 2003), Robbins was VP/GM for Columbus facilities WHOK, WLVQ, and WAZU; as well as vice president and general manager of Nationwide Columbus’ WNCI, WCOL, and WFYI. He spent seven years as Nationwide’s vice president of programming (1988 – 1995) and, from 1982 – 1988, programmed KHTR, St. Louis. Just 59 years old, Robbins was reported to have suffered a massive heart attack. He’s pictured here (center) with his wife Patti (left) and Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo (right).
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Syracuse morning duo Ted Long and Amy Robbins have signed a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue hosting the “Ted & Amy in the Morning” show on CHR WNTQ “93Q,” something they’ve been doing for 30 years. Long says, “To be able to do what I love for so long, with the same people whom I admire so much, and at a company that not only cares for the audience they serve, as well as their employees, really makes it a no-brainer when it came to re-signing our contract. Amy and I both feel very privileged to hold the positions we have had for so long here in Central New York. I am excited to continue to inform and entertain our great audience of listeners on 93Q.” Robbins adds, “I truthfully find it hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life on the airwaves of ‘93Q.’ We are beyond grateful to our amazing listeners who continue to keep us as a part of their daily lives and to Cumulus Media who continues to recognize how important local talent is to each and every market they serve.”…..Alpha Media names Frank Wright content director for adult contemporary WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois. Wright – midday host on the station – takes over for Haynes Johns, who exited the position in October of this year.
Most Talk Radio Programmers are Avoiding Use of the Term “Shithole” in Wake of Presidential Sh*tstorm. Once again, President Donald J. Trump – for better or worse – has shaken up the standards of traditional broadcasting and journalism. This time, with his controversial remark about immigration using the term “shithole” to describe countries from which he considers immigration particularly undesirable. The controversial racist aspect of this story notwithstanding, FCC-regulated broadcasters have had to make the quick decision to directly utter the term on the airwaves or buffer it with less offensive and non-potentially rule-breaking words. This decision has been made more difficult by the fact that many traditional, so-called mainstream cable outlets and online/print news media have chosen to use the word as the President said it. In conversations around the industry this morning TALKERS has learned that the prevailing tact on terrestrial talk radio has been NOT to use the word directly. Cumulus Media/Westwood One EVP Mike McVay tells TALKERS, “Despite cable television taking great joy in saying the ‘S’ word on TV, we are not saying the actual word on over the air radio. We recognize it as one of the seven words we cannot say. That has not stopped us from using it on our digital platforms.” Salem Radio Network senior VP, Phil Boyce says, “The word ‘shit’ is one of the FCC-banned words and our hosts should never use it, no matter if the president did or didn’t. My morning guy in Los Angeles, Brian Whitman, will be using the word “BLANK hole.” We want our shows to be safe for the whole family. No need to have listeners turn off the radio because kids are in the car.” Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto – owner of a number of stations in Pennsylvania and upstate New York – adds, “We haven’t changed our policy – we still do not say anything on air that violates George Carlin’s ‘Seven words you can’t say on television.'” ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones tells TALKERS, “ABC News Radio anchors and reporters are not speaking that word on air as it could be considered an FCC violation and it also might offend local community standards. Instead, we are referring to the phrase as an ‘expletive’ or ‘profanity.’ We have 1,650 affiliates and the majority use our ABC ‘Newscall’ service – which provides on-demand audio of reporters and actualities. We are more permissive in what we provide on that service because it is the decision of the station whether to run the audio – whereas as we control the newscast content and therefore have unilateral decision-making. If audio existed of any president using a profanity, we would put it on ‘Newscall’ and let stations decide its usage. If we determined language was so newsworthy we felt obligated to include it in a newscast, we would probably warn stations in advance. But, that’s hard to effectively control and I don’t recall it being done in many years.” Although the consensus is to avoid using the word directly on the airwaves, not everyone in talk radio fully agrees that the way to go. Nationally-famous, station owner/operator (and industry maverick) Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOME, Santa Cruz tells TALKERS that he will use the word on his own show (“The Saturday Special”) but respects the rights of his air personalities to make their own decisions, “My position is to use the word on the air since it is a bona fide news story – but I just checked with the ‘Good Morning Monterey Bay’ staff [the station’s morning show] and was told they opted to say ‘s-hole’ and to play the Haitian national anthem.” Zwerling continues, “Trump apparently has denied using that word (which is one of my favorites) but even if he was falsely accused of using it by the news media almost universally out to get him – it has nonetheless become a legitimate news story and therefore would fall into my category of okay to use on the air. Besides, it moves our industry in the direction of parity with the ‘paid’ services that have been and are allowed to use profanity with impunity!” Media consultant/TALKERS columnist/and RT America host Holland Cooke says, “It is a big topic with heavy phones at my client stations this morning. My advice: Ask listeners, ‘If he said that word, should we, here on the radio?'” TALKERS legal editor and Bentley University law professor Steven JJ Weisman says, “It is my opinion that the use of the word ‘shithole’ in the context of discussing the president’s comments would be allowed.” For Weisman’s full comments, please read the story below.
Steve Weisman’s Legal Take on Terrestrial Radio’s Use of Term “Shithole.” TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman offers his educated view on the terrestrial radio “shithole” issue prompted by President Donald J. Trump’s use of the term. To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.
Save the Date! Talkers 2018 Set for Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City. The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. Titled TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City. This marks the second year in a row that the convention will be held at this very popular venue. The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will focus on the future. There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities. Good things happen at this convention. We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!” Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
Gwiazdon Goes to Beasley Media Group Las Vegas as VP/MM. Most recently vice president and market manager of Midwest Communications’ Nashville adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9”; adult hits WCJK “96.3 Jack FM”; and CHR WNFN “i106.7,” Dennis Gwiazdon began similar duties yesterday (1/11) for Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. According to Beasley Media Group executive vice president and chief operating officer Brian Beasley, “It is a privilege to welcome Dennis to the Beasley Media Group family. His proven track record and leadership skills are the perfect fit for our Las Vegas cluster as we continue to grow and expand our business in the market.” Gwiazdon, who was president of the Nashville Area Radio Association, states, “I am absolutely thrilled about joining the Beasley team. There is tremendous potential for us in Las Vegas and I’m grateful [to be given] the opportunity to make a difference.” Prior to his Nashville duties, Gwiazdon was president of San Diego-based Sales Insights. He previously held the vice president/general manager title at Seattle’s KRWM; San Diego’s KGB-FM and KPOP-AM; San Diego’s KMCG and KXGL; and Salt Lake City’s KKAT. With their Nielsen Audio December 2017 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Media Group’s Las Vegas cluster includes classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 70s, 80s, and More” (6.3, #2); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.0, #6); country KCYE “102.7 The Coyote” (3.7, #9); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.8, #15); news/talk KDWN “AM 720” (.7, #26); and KCYE-HD2, which did not appear in the December 2017 sweep. The Las Vegas market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” (10.6, 6+), while Midwest Nashville’s WJXA “Mix” is on top (6+) with a 9.9.
WBUR, Reddit Debut “Endless Thread.” That’s the name of the weekly Ben Brock Johnson-hosted podcast done in partnership with Boston University-owned news/talk WBUR and Reddit, “the front page of the internet.” Starting today (1/12), weekly installments will be available every Friday to stream or download. According to Johnson, “Reddit is one of the most formidable communities online. Its lifeblood is people from all over the world sharing and organizing around every imaginable topic, making it an incredibly valuable resource for anyone trying to understand our world. As a journalist, I’ve been fascinated by Reddit for years, but I’ve also become an avid ‘redditor.’ I’m always surprised at what a mystery Reddit is to people who don’t use it. I’m looking forward to solving that mystery for the uninitiated, and helping ‘redditors’ share their incredible, real life stories with the world.” Reddit creative development manager Michael Pope remarks, “Reddit is home to the most authentic conversations on the internet and we know there is a massive opportunity to host thoughtful conversations about these stories in audio form. As one of the leading NPR affiliates in the country, we can’t wait to see what happens when we pair the production polish and talent at WBUR with the most compelling stories online.” The first episode, “No No No No Yes,” explores harrowing tales through first-hand interviews with ‘redditors’ who lived to tell their stories.
TALKERS News Notes. After a brief hiatus from a national platform, Dave Ross returns next Monday (1/15) with a daily, 90-second, CBS News Radio commentary, originally scheduled for a February 5 start date. Heard weekdays (“Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross”) on Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM, Ross is a five-time Edward R. Murrow award winner for best writing … This time next month (2/12), previous morning host of St. Louis hot AC KYKY “Y-98” Guy Phillips begins doing afternoons at news/talk KTRS “Big 550 The Talk of STL”; Julie Buck will be his co-host … Five Entercom Chicago stations – sports talk WSCR “670 The Score,” all-news WBBM-AM, CHR WBBM-FM “B-96,” triple A WXRT “93 XRT,” and country WUSN “US-99” – will be broadcasting from this year’s “Cubs Convention” today (1/12), tomorrow (Saturday, 1/13), and Sunday (1/14). Entercom Chicago senior vice president/market manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We look forward to this event where our brands can interact with fellow Chicago Cubs fans. We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Chicago Cubs organization as the exclusive radio home of the Chicago Cubs.” This weekend’s event is taking place at Chicago’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. WSCR continues as the team’s radio flagship ….. Former Tribune Broadcasting White House correspondent and Long Island television news anchor/reporter Drew Scott joins JVC Media news/talk WRCN “Long Island News Radio 103.9” as a reporter. JVC Media president/CEO John Caracciolo comments, “Having someone like Drew is a complete win for us. His job will be to use the contact list he has developed over the years to help us open doors; get the story; and get the info Long Islanders need and want. This is live, local and hometown radio the way it is supposed to be.” WRCN operations director Frank Brinka notes, “Drew is a great addition to our staff. His wealth of news reporting and knowledge of the Long Island landscape will be an asset to the station. He will deliver a wealth of information to our listening audience.” Scott adds, “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live and local radio news organization. I am looking forward to helping ‘LI News Radio’ and JVC continue to grow and prosper.” ….. The flagship of MLB’s Minnesota Twins from 1961 – 2006, Entercom Minneapolis’ WCCO “News Radio 830,” returns in that capacity this year. The first of its 15-game spring training broadcast schedule will be (Thursday) February 22 when the Twins play the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Cory Provus, Dan Gladden, and Kris Atteberry comprise WCCO’s on-air team ….. Launching on SiriusXM next Wednesday (1/17) is “Barstool Radio,” the 24/7 channel for Barstool’s unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, and popular culture. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy remarks, “We are excited to launch our Barstool channel. It has been a wild ride to get to this point and this is another big step in our plan for total world domination.” SiriusXM senior vice president of sports programming Steve Cohen comments, “In today’s crowded media landscape, Barstool stands out as a unique and compelling voice. Live radio thrives on the kind of spontaneous and entertaining content that Barstool delivers every day. We don’t know what they are going to say next, but Barstool Radio on SiriusXM will be the place to hear it live and talk about it.” Weekday call-in shows will include: “The Barstool Radio Show” with Portnoy and Kevin “KFC” Clancy (4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET); “The Heartland Radio Show” with former NFL punter Pat McAfee (10:00 am -1:00 pm, ET); and “The Evening Yak” with Dan “Big Cat” Katz (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, ET). Barstool Radio will be on SiriusXM’s “Power 85” and on the SiriusXM app ….. For over three weeks, Alpha Media Bakersfield (California) news/talk KNZR AM & FM “News-Talk-Dodgers,” mainstream CHR KLLY “Energy 95.3,” and urban-rhythmic oldies KKBB “Groove 99.3” collected food and water for fire victims in Ventura and Santa Barbara. KLLY program director Danny Hill comments, “I am very proud of my community and I love the support they always show. Bakersfield constantly gives to others and is at the forefront of a lot of charity events.” A local veterans chapter helped to deliver the supplies.
British Talk Show Host and TalkersRadio Personality Graham Mack Forced to Apologize for On Air Statement that PM Theresa May “Has No Balls.” It is always fascinating to compare and contrast American radio with broadcasting in other English-speaking countries when it comes to tolerance, freedom of speech and political controversy. Well-known English talk show host Graham Mack, host of the popular BOB-FM, Herfordshire (greater London) breakfast show got himself into a sticky situation on Wednesday (1/10) by boldly stating that British Prime Minister Theresa May “has no balls.” According to a report in the Hertfordshire Mercury, The comment came on yesterday’s (January 10) breakfast show during a lengthy rant about May’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, in which he also claimed that she was the “weakest Prime Minister” the country had ever seen. Mack went on to berate the reshuffle, saying that not enough women and ethnic minority MPs had been promoted to justify promises made by the Prime Minister in the preceding days. However, the maverick radio host appeared to backtrack on his claims this morning (January 11), telling listeners that he had to “correct” his comments. Mr. Mack said that although his remark about Mrs. May’s lack of balls was “anatomically correct,” he should not have made it. He also clarified that he could not be sure that May was the weakest Prime Minister the country had ever seen, as Clement Attlee or William the Younger could conceivably be weaker. In a statement, Mr. Mack said: “We received a serious complaint yesterday about what I’d said on the air. “Someone in a very senior position told me to make an apology. “I cannot reveal who made the complaint. The seriousness of the complaint did take me by surprise because a regular listener would realise that I take a swipe at all politicians regardless of which political party they represent.” Mr. Mack concluded his on-air correction by issuing an apology directly to the Prime Minister, saying that as the leader of the nation she must be respected. To listen to the segment of the program that got Graham Mack in trouble, please click here. Graham Mack also hosts “London Calling” a weekly program on TalkersRadio. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Mack as “one of the best radio talk show aahosts in the English-speaking world.”
iHeartMedia, MoviePass Announce Media Partnership. The agreement includes a marketing campaign across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network to help build further brand awareness of MoviePass and target new subscribers in select United States metros. In addition, iHeartMedia will be an authorized reseller of ad inventory across the MoviePass website and mobile app. According to iHeartMedia Ventures president Joe Robinson, “We have the capability to build significant brand awareness for MoviePass through our unparalleled scale and reach of more than 270 million monthly listeners across the country and our multiplatform assets. We see a unique opportunity with MoviePass, and its ability to understand and analyze audience trends and behavior which is a great asset for our advertisers, especially those looking to further engage with millions of movie-goers.” MoviePass chief executive officer Mitch Lowe comments, “We expect that our partnership with iHeartMedia will fuel our continued growth by targeting more profitable subscribers in low-cost markets, while also opening up a new revenue stream with digital advertising. We also expect that this relationship will be beneficial to movie exhibitors because we hope to drive more traffic into theaters and to advertisers through our strong working intelligence on the preferences and behaviors of a substantial amount of movie-goers. Our subscribers are going to twice as many movies a month as other consumers and are buying one in every 50 movie tickets in the U.S.” MoviePass launched its current $9.95 per month subscription plan this past August.
Wynter Boosted to iHM EVP Urban/Hip-Hop. Los Angeles urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter adds corporate iHeartMedia duties as executive vice president urban/hip-hop. President/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler states, “No one understands urban and hip-hop programming like Doc. We are thrilled that he is expanding his role leading iHeartMedia’s programming strategy for those key formats. He has been instrumental in launching several of our urban and hip-hop stations nationwide and we’re excited for him to be even more hands-on with all of our urban brands in our over 150 markets.” Wynter adds, “Urban radio has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Having worked with iHeartMedia for almost three decades, I know we have some of the best programmers and on-air personalities in radio. I can’t wait to help our region and market presidents provide their local urban and hip-hop music fans with one-of-a-kind listening experiences that only a company like iHeartMedia can create.” In this newly-created position, Wynter – most recently the company’s senior vice president of urban programming/urban brand manager – will report to chief programming officer Tom Poleman. Wynter began overseeing the company’s urban radio stations in late-1999 and launched several iHeartMedia brands such as “Power 105.1 FM” in New York City (on WWPR); “Real 92.3” in Los Angeles (on KRRL); “V101.5” in Jacksonville (on WSOL); and “The Beat” in various cities.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. After doing four years of night duty on iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM,” Freddy Rivera transfers to co-owned Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” for afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). KDMX program director Jay Shannon comments, “Freddy is an outstanding on-air talent and we are very fortunate to add him to our lineup. Freddy is very much looking forward to calling DFW his home.” Rivera, who starts at KDMX in a little over three weeks (2/5), notes, “I am very excited to write the next chapter in my radio career with ‘102.9 Now.’ I have heard so much about the food, nightlife, and community – I can’t wait to jump right in.” Los Angeles-born/Inland Empire-raised Rivera began his radio career as an intern for former “Kiss-FM” wakeup talent Rick Dees and worked on-air at Riverside-Bernardino-Ontario rhythmic CHR KGGI ….. Changes at Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX, Chicago find morning driver Brian Phillips handling mornings by himself as his former co-host – Lou Lombardo – segues to evenings. In addition, Lombardo adds “digital content captain” duties. Former WKQX evening talent “Marconi” left the station about two weeks ago ….. Two-year KMLE, Phoenix morning show host Chris Matthews departs the Entercom country outlet, but Nina D and producer “Badger Gabe” remain in place ….. Steve Guittari departs Cumulus Media Indianapolis; Guittari was operations manager of the cluster and program director of the company’s WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” ….. Also in the “Circle City,” according to the Indianapolis Business Journal, iHeartMedia Indianapolis sports talk WNDE pulls the plug on the Dave “Gunner” Gunn and Don Stuck-hosted morning show “Flagrant Foul.” Gunn (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and Stuck (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm) continue though on classic rock sibling WFBQ “Q-95.” Clay Travis’ syndicated “Outkick the Coverage” returns to WNDE’s morning drive slot ….. Added to the weekend lineup of iHeartMedia-owned New York City rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 KTU” is Astra – who formerly did afternoon drive on cross-town mainstream CHR WBMP “Amp 92.3.”
Odom Out at WRXQ. The evening talent on Coal City, Illinois-licensed WRXQ “100.7 Q-Rock,” Ray “Crazy Ray” Odom, is pink-slipped by the Alpha Media station for remarks he made on CNBC’s “The Profit.” On a promo for that cable television show, Odom said, “I’m a sexist, egotistical, racist pig on the radio.” Alpha Media market manager Brian Foster notes, “We do not condone the views he expressed in the program. The feelings portrayed are that of his own and not of Alpha Media or ‘Q-Rock.’ After an internal review, we have decided to cut ties.” Odom is co-owner of Rayjus Outdoors, but he was placed on leave from that Morris, Illinois business, the subject of Marcus Lamonis-hosted “The Profit,” which offers financial help to struggling businesses. Lamonis acknowledges that Odom had, “a side job. I thought it may be a distraction, but I didn’t realize that the focus of it was to demonize minorities and degrade women.” Odom confirmed the firing, saying he worked hard to keep his radio persona separate from his business. “What I said got taken out of context completely – now I don’t have a radio job over it.” A Rayjus statement on Facebook reads, “Unfortunately, we cannot allow these statements to go unchecked. While an integral part of our organization, Ray will be taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family and reflect on what is in the best interest of his family and company.” Regarding what he has said on radio, Odom tells the (Joliet, Illinois) Herald-News, “Everybody has a different sense of what is funny and not funny.”
Entravision Expands La Suavecita. The Grupero/Cumbia La Suavecita format will be heard in 11 more markets, in addition to its Los Angeles area simulcast of KSSE, KSSC, & KSSD. Entravision president and chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Since its launch a year ago, La Suavecita has built an incredible following of loyal listeners and received strong advertising support in Los Angeles. We are excited to share this unique and exciting format with listeners in 11 new markets and to bring a powerhouse line-up of some of the most recognized on-air personalities in radio to La Suavecita. Los Angeles is the largest Hispanic radio market in the U.S. We believe our format, programming, and talent changes will allow us to better connect with our audiences, and in turn, our advertisers with their customers. La Suavecita is backed by a strong slate of on-air personalities that will drive engagement across our radio and digital platforms.” Coinciding with the national rollout of the La Suavecita format, El Genio will be heard 4:00 am – 10:00 am; “Piolin” (Eddie Sotelo) 10:00 am – 2:00 pm; Armida y La Flaka 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm; and Mayra 7:00 pm -12:00 midnight. Targeting women 25 – 49 and adults 25 – 54, La Suavecita surfaces in Houston (KGOL); Phoenix (KVVA and KDVA); Denver (KJMN and KMXA); Sacramento (KXSE); Las Vegas (KRRN); McAllen (KNVO); El Paso (KINT-FM); Stockton (KTSE); Modesto (KCVR); Palm Springs, California (KLOB); and El Centro, California (KSEH).
Cutbacks at Dick Broadcasting’s Three New Clusters. Back in September, Dick Broadcasting announced it would acquire Alpha Media’s 18 stations and two translators in Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville (North Carolina); Myrtle Beach (South Carolina); and Savannah (Georgia) for $19.5 million. Staffing cuts have been made in all three markets. Exiting WXQR “Rock 105,” Kinston-New Bern-Jacksonville are program director/afternoon talent Tina Smash and night host Ryan Daniels. Departures at the Myrtle Beach cluster include production director/WXYY “G-100.1” afternoon driver Mark ‘Shark’ Eddis and WFXH “Rock 106.1,” Hilton Head Island assistant program director/night talent Ryan Koch. The business manager position has been eliminated in the three aforementioned markets.