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Friday, April 30, 2021

| April 30, 2021

The “Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation” Marks its Second Anniversary with This Weekend’s Show.  The latest installment of the one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Smokin’ a Joint Session,” looks back at this past week of April 26-30. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Jim Bohannon, talk show host, Westwood OneThom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD MediaMartha Zoller, talk show host, WDUN, Gainesville, GA; Dom Giordano, talk show host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. The show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, DE; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WSAR-AM/FM, Fall River, MA; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; WMVA, Martinsville, VA; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; the iHeart Podcast NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here

KFNS-AM, St. Louis Expands Charlie Marlow’s Role in Middays. Following the exit of former 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm host Steve Savard, who recently left the station for an out-of-market television gig, sports talk KFNS-AM, St. Louis is turning over hosting of the 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm hour to Charlie Marlow, who co-hosts the lead-in show with Cam Janssen. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that the station is airing a sports gambling show from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, currently hosted by station general manager John Hadley. Speaking about the changes, Hadley says, “The intent is to give Cam and Charlie an opportunity to grow and also give Charlie a chance to cut it on his own merits. It’s two guys, one concept, two shows. I’m a big Janssen fan, I’m a big Marlow fan. Charlie never has been the big dog. We have the time to give him to grow into the role. He’s naturally talented with a good sense of humor and wit. He can be a big factor in this (radio) market.” Marlow also serves as a sportscaster at KTVI-TV, St. Louis.

Vicki Thomas Exits Full-Time Role at WWJ-AM, Detroit After 30 Years. There’s a nice piece in the Detroit Free Press by Julie Hinds about WWJ-AM, Detroit city beat reporter Vicki Thomas, who left her full-time position with the station yesterday (4/29) after a 30-year run with the Audacy all-news outlet. Thomas will continue to host the weekly “Black Business Minute” segment for the station. During her career Thomas has been honored by such organizations as the Detroit Press Foundation, the Michigan Associated Press and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. She was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame two years ago. Thomas is also a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Detroit chapter and credits the organization for helping her get the gig at WWJ back in 1991.

Today Is Dave Lee Day in Minnesota. Governor Tim Walz issued a proclamation making today (4/30), Dave Lee Day in Minnesota, in honor of the WCCO-AM, Minneapolis morning host who is retiring from the station after today’s program. Lee served with WCCO for more than 30 years. Lee first joined WCCO-AM as a weekend and fill-in host and gradually became part of the Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson morning show. He took over sole hosting duties of the morning show in 1997. During his career he’s also done play-by-play for the Minnesota Gophers and he filled in as a Minnesota Twins announcer from 1991 to 1996. He continues to do play-by-play for the television broadcasts of the Minnesota State High School Boys and Girls basketball tournaments, while serving as the radio voice of the University of St. Thomas football on WCCO. He’s been named Minnesota’s Sportscaster of the Year six times and has won three Emmys for his television work.

Live365 Inks Deal to Place Content on iHeartRadio. A deal between Live365 and iHeartMedia will allow for select Live365 stations to be available on the iHeartRadio platform. Calling the agreement one of the first steps in Live365’s efforts to expand its listening network, Live365 general manager Jason Stoddard says, “As we focus on growing the Live365 listening network, we are excited to announce we now have an agreement in place to list select Live365 stations on iHeartRadio’s distribution network. Being able to showcase some of our standout stations on iHeart is a testament to the hard work our broadcasters put in to programming quality stations that are not traditionally represented on the radio dial. We will continue to work with world-class distribution companies to help listeners discover the top-notch content available on Live365.”

Beasley Names Patti Taylor Director of Sales in Detroit. Radio sales pro Patti Taylor is promoted from general sales manager for Beasley Media Group’s WCSX-FM and WRIF-FM in Detroit to director of sales for the entire Detroit station group. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Tina Murley says, “We could not be more excited to have Patti leading our sales effort in Detroit. Patti is collaborative, strategic, and extremely well respected. She is exactly what we need to drive revenue for Beasley and for our valued clients.” Taylor adds, “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to lead the sales efforts for Beasley Media Detroit. We have an unmatched team of account executives, market-leading brands, and an impressive suite of products and tools to offer advertisers today. I am truly enthusiastic for what we’ll achieve in 2021 and beyond.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new weekend program is being added to the lineup on SiriusXM’s Volume channel. “Lunch on the Deck” is hosted by Bill Evans and Jessica Ambrose and will air live at 12:00 noon each Sunday, beginning May 1. The show was first launched on Sag Harbor, New York outlet WLNG-FM in 2019. SiriusXM says the program includes “unique and exclusive interviews with celebrity guests as [Evans and Ambrose] share their stories and play music that they love. This two-hour program takes listeners on a journey of candid conversations paired with hand-picked, favorite music selected by the show’s weekly guests.”…..The GCN nationally syndicated “Dr. Daliah Wachs” show picks up new affiliate WLDS-AM, Jacksonville, Illinois.

COVID-19 Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 26-30. The COVID-19 vaccines, variants, politics and the crush of cases in India combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Joe Biden’s 100-day address before Congress tied with Washington party politics. Following at #3 was the economy, the Biden $1.8 trillion infrastructure package, and stimulus initiatives. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

| March 31, 2021

Watergate Co-Conspirator and Talk Show Host G. Gordon Liddy Dead at 90. Former talk radio host, author, and Watergate break-in architect G. Gordon Liddy died yesterday (3/30) in Mount Vernon, Virginia at the age of 90. Liddy’s son Tom told The New York Times that his father had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and had been in declining health recently. G. Gordon Liddy famously made the transition into the talk radio business in the early 1990s after then-Infinity chief Mel Karmazin heard him subbing on a talk radio show and offered him the midday show at the company’s hot talk WJFK-FM, Washington, DC – a station that at the time aired Howard Stern in mornings and Don & Mike in afternoons. Liddy’s program would later move into national syndication via Westwood One. He moved his syndication to Radio America in 2003. He retired from his regular radio program in July of 2012.

Remembering G. Gordon Liddy. On the occasion of the death of G. Gordon Liddy, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an overview of Liddy’s colorful career based on a profile piece he wrote while serving as special features editor for the radio trade publication Inside Radio in 2004. In the piece, speaking about his radio career, Liddy told Kinosian, “I hope I’ve changed for the better and have [improved] at what I do. It’s like playing golf: The more you do something, the better you get at it. If I spend as many hours playing golf each day as I do with the radio show, I might have a fair game.” Read Kinosian’s story here.

Pictured above is TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) presenting the Freedom of Speech Award to G. Gordon Liddy (right).

FLASHBACK 1995 – G. Gordon Liddy was at the Center of a Talk Radio First Amendment Award Controversy. In 1995, the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts (NARTSH) – a pivotal industry trade association that played an active role in the “modern era” rise of talk radio between the late 1980s through the 1990s – presented then-syndicated radio personality G. Gordon Liddy with its annual Freedom of Speech Award (the same award still presented annually by TALKERS magazine). The award was (and still is) non-partisan and has been presented over the decades to a variety of personalities ranging from Rush Limbaugh to Al FrankenMark Levin to Thom HartmannHoward Stern to Karen Hunter and Sean Hannity to Joe Madison. It has been awarded to broadcasters from both sides of the American political divide who have demonstrated through their words, deeds and courage the First Amendment in action, its purpose and how it operates.  Liddy received the award that year for facing a lot of heat in the aftermath of remarks he made on the air pertaining to the then-explosive controversy over how Americans can use their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves from armed federal agents breaking into their homes with the intent of shooting them first and asking questions later. This grew out of the activities occurring at the time prompted by the tensions building during the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas and other related tragic events involving the BATF. Needless to say, it was wildly controversial and a major test for talk radio in establishing a standard for its position on the First Amendment. The award was presented that year at the NARTSH Convention in Houston. To view Liddy’s acceptance speech at the Kennedy Space Center (including attorney and then KABC, Los Angeles talk show host Gloria Allred’s one-woman protest demonstration) please click here. To view a clip from a luncheon that took place at that same contentious convention in which convention chairman Michael Harrison stood up to U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-MO) over his call for NARTSH members to boycott the Liddy award presentation, please click here.

Update on Jail Status of ‘Free Talk Live’ Host Ian Freeman. In an interview with “Free Talk Live” co-owner, co-host, and head of sales Mark Edge, TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison gets the latest on the legal status of co-host Ian Freeman and the federal government’s charges against him. Yesterday (3/30), TALKERS published a summary of the story from the Manchester Union-Leader that included news of the government’s charges against Freeman that include fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy. In addition to an update from Edge on the charges against Freeman, this interview contains some fascinating information, background, and insights into Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Listen to it here.

Brad Lane Returns to Twin Cities as WCCO-AM Brand Manager. Programming pro Brad Lane is named brand manager for Audacy’s news/talk WCCO-AM, effective April 19. Lane was most recently serving Good Karma Brands as director of content for news/talk WTMJ-AM and sports talk WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN Milwaukee.” Prior to that, he spent 20 years at Hubbard Radio’s KSTP-AM in numerous capacities, including as program director. Audacy Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “WCCO Radio serves as an extremely important news brand for the people of the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota who rely on us to be informative, timely, relevant and entertaining. Brad brings a wealth of experience leading content teams and his leadership and vision will be instrumental to the success of our station. We’re looking forward to adding him to the team.”

KROF, Lafayette Adds ‘Todd Starnes Show’ for Early Afternoons. The nationally syndicated “Todd Starnes Show” is added to the program lineup at Townsquare Media’s KROF-AM, Lafayette, Louisiana “TalkRadio 960” in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. The program will also be broadcast on the company’s sister sports talk station KPEL-AM. Both stations will also air the short-form daily program “Todd Starnes News & Commentary.”

Ramsey Show Passes One Billion Downloads Mark. Over the course of the last 15 years, “The Ramsey Show” podcast with Dave Ramsey and his team of co-hosts has surpassed one billion downloads, what the Ramsey Network says is a rare milestone reached by only a handful of podcasts in the world. In addition, callers have paid off $500 million dollars in debt since the podcast began 15 years ago. Each weekday, “The Ramsey Show” podcast produces three episodes heard across every platform. Ramsey Network EVP Brian Mayfield says, “We’re teachers at the core. And podcasts are an extremely useful medium, giving us another megaphone to reach people. We’ve never seen anything grow the way the podcast world has grown, so we see tremendous opportunity there to continue to increase our audience.”

Alpha Media’s WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw Takes Station of the Year Honors. Saginaw, Michigan news/talk outlet WSGW-AM/FM “100.5 & 790 Newsradio” is named Medium Market Station of the Year by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. This is the seventh time the Alpha Media station has earned Station of the Year honors from the MAB. Operations manager, Dave Maurer states, “This past year was challenging in our part of Michigan with a devastating flood that hit in May and captured the headlines for much of the year. This was on top of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections which were huge stories that demanded much of our staff’s focus. We are pleased that our team’s performance has won recognition for the quality of content gathered in difficult circumstances.” In addition to Station of the Year, WSGW won 12 other awards including six Best of Show and six Merit Awards in the MAB Broadcast Excellence Awards competition.

Jaleigh Long Officially to Lead Cox Media Group Atlanta and Athens. Sales and management pro Jaleigh Long has been interim market manager for Cox Media Group’s Atlanta and Athens, Georgia markets since earlier this year and now the company officially appoints her VP and market manager. The clusters include news/talk giant WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens; sports talk WREF-AM, Athens “960 The Ref”; and seven music brands. Long comments, “I am abundantly proud and honored to lead this group of industry-defining stations. The great work we do in all areas of the business every day is making an impact on our audiences, advertisers, and communities we serve. The power of radio is exhilarating and fortunately we get to experience that firsthand each day through the powerful programming, compelling promotions, and important community initiatives that define and underscore CMG’s purpose.”

Keith Lawless to Lead Cox Media Group’s Tampa and Houston Markets. Broadcast executive Keith Lawless is promoted to regional vice president of Cox Media Group Tampa + Houston. He’s been serving as VP and market manager for the company’s Tampa cluster since 2009. Cox Media Group Radio SVP Rob Babin comments, “I am thrilled to announce Keith Lawless as regional vice president over two of CMG Radio’s key markets, CMG Tampa and now CMG Houston. Keith has demonstrated an unwavering commitment for many years and has made an incredible impact on CMG Tampa and successfully led many CMG Radio strategic initiatives. His passion for his team, CMG Radio, and our industry make him the ideal leader to take on the role of RVP.”

Tampa Radio Figure Tedd Webb Dies at 72. Longtime Tampa radio personality Tedd Webb died on Tuesday (3/30), a week after entering hospice following a long illness. WFLA-AM reports Webb’s passing, noting that he was a host at the station for more than 30 years. He co-hosted the “AM Tampa Bay” program with Jack Harris beginning in 1994 and ending in 2017 when Webb retired. Webb was born Henry Ruiz – son of Cuban immigrants – in Tampa and began his radio career at the age of 14. He was a music DJ for the first 15 years of his career before transitioning to talk. He hosted a sports talk show, worked with Nanci Donnellan “The Fabulous Sports Babe,” and as part of WFLA’s “Gardner and Company” morning show before partnering with Harris for “AM Tampa Bay.”

COVID-19 Stats/Variants/Vaccines, WHO COVID Report, Biden Stimulus-Infrastructure Plan, Violence Against Asians, Border Crisis-Immigration Policy, Derek Chauvin Trial, Voting Legislation, Trump Website, and Matt Gaetz Allegation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/30). The number of COVID-10 cases in the U.S., concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; scrutiny of the WHO COVID origin report and criticism of China’s cooperation; President Biden’s $2 trillion economic stimulus and infrastructure plan; the brutal beating of a 64-year-old woman in New York and more reports of assaults on Asian Americans; the crush of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; Georgia’s new voting rules and the Democrats’ push for expanded voting rights laws; Donald and Melania Trump launch a new website; and the allegations against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of sexual relations with a minor were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

| February 24, 2021

Entercom Q4 Revenue Down 25.7%; Full Year 2020 Declines 33.6%. The third major radio company to present 2020 fourth quarter and full year financial data is Entercom (Beasley and Cumulus have already posted their financial results and iHeartMedia is scheduled to do the same tomorrow). The company reveals 2020 Q4 net revenue was $319.5 million, down 25.7% from the same period in 2019, and 2020 full-year net revenue was $1.06 billion, a decline of 33.6% from 2019. Entercom notes that since the depths of the pandemic revenue dip in the second quarter of 2020, business is trending up. Its 2020 Q4 revenue was up 19% from Q3. Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom continued to drive strong sequential operating improvement with revenues up 19% and EBITDA more than doubling vs. the third quarter. Digital, podcasting, sports betting and network radio all posted strong double-digit growth over prior year and we are continuing to drive innovation across these businesses to enhance future growth potential. While the pandemic continues to hobble a large number of our advertisers, particularly locally, we are optimistic about a strong recovery in our local ad sales later this year driven by vaccinations, fiscal stimulus and pent-up consumer demand in heavily impacted categories.” Entercom breaks down its revenue by segments and some of the noteworthy data in this report includes that spot (local and national) revenue was down 27.7% from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020; year-over-year spot revenue was down 42.9%. On the positive side, digital revenue (including podcasting) rose 20.5% from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020 and was up 26% year-over-year. Looking at radio revenue by format, while Entercom’s music formats took the biggest hit in 2020 – revenue was down 44% — sports talk revenue declined by 39.3% and news/talk was off by 21.7% during the year.

Round One of Nielsen Audio’s January 2021 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2021 survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s January 2021 survey covered January 7 – February 3. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round. In New York, Entercom’s all-news stations both saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares increase – WINS added four-tenths to finish with a 4.0 share and the #8 rank and WCBS-AM added two-tenths for a 2.9 share and the #12 rank. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles tacked on three-tenths for a 5.0 share and remains ranked #3. In Chicago, Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM added half a share to re-claim the #1 rank with a 7.3 share. Across town, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN-AM added four-tenths for a 4.1 share and the #7 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here

Talk Programmer Bob Shomper to Retire in April. Longtime news/talk programmer Bob Shomper announces he’ll retire from the radio business on April 2. Shomper is currently program director at NRG Media’s KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska. During his career he’s served at some of America’s great news/talk stations, including: WCCO-AM, Minneapolis; KTAR-FM, Phoenix; WLS-AM, Chicago; WGN-AM, Chicago; WBAP-AM, Fort Worth/Dallas; and more. Shomper tells TALKERS magazine that his decision to retire is entirely his own and he’s grateful to be doing so on his own terms.

Robbie Stevens Posts Powerful Commentary to TalkersRadio About Honoring Truth in Media Discussions About Politics.  Noted record producer Robbie Stevens, one of TalkersRadio’s roster of “out-of-the-box” talk talents has posted a powerful new commentary yesterday (2/23) titled, “My Mistake(s),” that takes a candid look at a problem radio talk show hosts wrestle with all the time – staying true to core principles, maintaining a healthy sense of skepticism, and being honest about mistakes when making them. Stevens, who was the first talent signed for TalkersRadio – a service of TALKERS magazine – when it launched in the fall of 2013, has agreed to perform as a commentator on the platform for a “limited engagement” that will run through June of 2021. The Bronx-based New York City native is well-known in the music industry for his years of innovative studio work with a wide variety of high-profile artists, most recently on behalf of the estate and fans of the late John Lennon, for which he has achieved critical acclaim for his “raw” remix of the legendary artist’s Imagine album. He also most recently executive produced 13 Billboard #1 Dance Chart singles in a row, for Yoko Ono’s innovative ensemble Ono. He also recently produced (with Yoko Ono) the “John Lennon Anthology,” a four-CD set of unreleased material that was Rolling Stone magazine’s boxed set of the year. During his colorful career, he’s played on, mixed, or produced records by Herbie Hancock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and other high-profile musicians going back decades. During this time, Stevens has developed an alternative career as a talk radio host and commentator heard occasionally via on-air and online outlets provided by heritage NYC stations WOR and WNYM (in addition to TalkersRadio). Commenting on Stevens’ latest posting, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations (and former WOR PD) David Bernstein says, “Robbie is raw, fresh, and as real as the urban streets that gave rise to his gritty philosophy and we always get strong response to his work on our exciting platform. This new installment of his show is a grand slam home run because it strikes at the very core of our deepest personal conflicts in arriving at and sticking with our truths as talk radio hosts operating in a swirling ocean of changing information.” To listen to Robbie Stevens’ new series of commentaries on TalkersRadio, please click here. TalkersRadio is an “experimental” talk radio platform launched in 2013 to provide the industry with a “workout space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts.” Since its launch it has been a temporary home to a number of spoken-word talents – both high-profile and obscure – who’ve used it to work and showcase concepts that have gone on to achieve terrestrial radio exposure and even national syndication. In addition to Stevens, current TalkersRadio hosts include Claire CarterMeg McDonald, and UK sensation, Graham Mack. At the time of his passing, Alan Colmes was working on a series concept called “Healed Planet” heard on TalkersRadio which offered a glimpse into the late FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel star’s metaphysical interests. Files of that fledgling show remain archived on TalkersRadio as a tribute to Colmes. For more information about TalkersRadio, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Cool Operations Manager Opportunity. Locally owned southern-based radio group seeking a full-time Operations Manager with strong technical and digital skills. The ideal candidate MUST have experience operating OP-X and managing satellite operations for syndicated programs. Applicant must have at least 5 years of experience. Proven experience in managing social media branding, digital marketing, and video production. Proficient in digital automation systems, digital audio editing and production is a must. EEO. Send resumes to dalton@starnesmediagroup.com

TALKERS News Notes. A new channel from Newsmax TV officially launches on VIZIO SmartCast, the award-winning Smart TV platform available to millions of viewers. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “Launching on VIZIO SmartCast allows our viewers to simply plug in their new televisions and play Newsmax TV. Newsmax is experiencing exponential growth and provides a much-needed perspective on the issues that many VIZIO viewers care about.”…..A new partnership between iHeartMedia and independent UK podcast company Novel will result in the debut of 11 original podcast series over the next three years. The relationship begins with the release of two podcast series, “The Assault on America” and “Deliver Us From Ervil.” “The Assault on America” tells the inside story of the insurrection at the Capitol by working with open-source investigative journalists Bellingcat. “Deliver Us From Ervil” is an investigative true-crime series in which a groundbreaking team of journalists enters a lawless town on the border of Mexico run by a secretive religious sect living in exile and outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government since 1924…..Content creation company Mean Ole Lion Media adds three new lifestyle-based podcasts to its portfolio. The podcasts are: “Conversations with Dr. Ian Smith,” all about people and discovering their back-story; “Business First with Sonia Alleyne,” that shines a light on brilliant and successful business people in a variety of industries; and “The History of Being Black” with host Eunice Elliott.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Capitol Riot Public Testimony, Biden Cabinet Nominees, Biden Migrant Policy, Trump Tax Returns, Rochester Protests, Russian Sanctions, China’s Hong Kong Loyalty Oath, and Tiger Woods Car Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23). The falling number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the concerns about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; the testimony before the U.S. Senate about the January 6 Capitol insurrection; the confirmation hearings for Joe Biden’s Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland, embattled White House budget office nominee Neera Tanden, and Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland; the Biden administration’s continued use of Trump policy turning away migrants at the Mexican border; the SCOTUS’ ruling Donald Trump must turn his tax data over to New York AG Cyrus Vance Jr.; the protests in Rochester, New York over the decision not to prosecute police in the death of Daniel Prude; the Biden Administration’s sanctions on Russia for the SolarWinds hack and the Navalny poisoning; China’s instituting loyalty oaths for Hong Kong politicians; and Tiger Woods is hurt in one-car accident in California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

| February 2, 2021

iHeartMedia Launched ‘Business 99.1 FM’ in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City market now has a full-time business talk station as iHeartMedia begins simulcasting “Business 99.1 FM” on KJMY-HD2/K256AE using content from Bloomberg Radio. iHeartMedia Salt Lake City says, “‘Business 99.1 FM’ will feature ‘Bloomberg Daybreak’ and ‘Bloomberg Businessweek’ to keep listeners informed on national and global economic climates as well as notable Bloomberg hosts including Lisa Abramowicz, Jonathan Ferro, and Carol Massar. The station will also provide in-depth interviews with some of the world’s most successful business executives and analysts.” iHM Salt Lake City market president Stu Stanek adds, “Because market news from across the world can impact our Utah economy, we are proud to offer content and analysis to help keep investors and business owners informed. Partnering with Bloomberg Radio, a leader in business and financial news, makes for the perfect formula in building a great audience for our advertisers.”

Round Two of Holiday 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from the second round of Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2020 PPM survey that covered the period of December 3 – January 6. Traditionally, the Holiday PPM survey reveals a significant drop off in listening for news/talk and all-news stations due to altered listening habits during the holiday season. This year, due to the post-election chaos, many news/talk stations either didn’t see a dramatic drop in weekly, AQH share or even saw an increase. In Detroit, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJR-AM dipped just four-tenths to a 4.2 share and the #9 rank. Entercom’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis added five-tenths to finish with a 5.2 share good for the #5 rank. In San Diego, iHeartMedia’s news/talk KOGO was up two-tenths to wrap the survey with a 5.1 share and climbs from #6 to #4. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this round of markets here

The Trevor Carey Show Returns to KFIV, Modesto for Afternoon Drive. Joining iHeartMedia’s KFIV, Modesto “PowerTalk 1360” is Trevor Carey, who is hosting the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot in afternoon drive. Carey served as a host on the station in 2015-16 and the station says Carey will interview “a variety of well-known national guests including the movers and shakers from Sacramento, Fresno, and the entire San Joaquin Valley.” On his return to the station, Carey says, “It’s great to be back on KFIV to reconnect with all my listeners in the Modesto area. They are some of the most politically active people in the state, and if I may say, GREAT CALLERS! I’m energized to bring my message back to these fine folks.”

SiriusXM Reports 2020 Q4 and 2020 Full Year Financial Statements. While SiriusXM reports revenue of $2.19 billion for the fourth quarter of 2020, it also is reporting a loss of $677 million for the quarter, compared to the income of $243 million it reported in the fourth quarter of 2019. For the whole of 2020, revenue was $8.04 billion, an increase of 3% over 2019. SiriusXM reports income of $131 million for 2020 compared to income of $914 million reported for all of 2019. The company says the decrease in net income was a result of a $976 million non-cash impairment charge associated with Pandora. SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz says, “SiriusXM turned in strong operating and financial results in 2020: we grew SiriusXM self-pay subscribers, revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow despite the pandemic. Our new car penetration reached approximately 80% in the fourth quarter and is set to rise above 80% this year, and the incorporation of 360L, our next generation in-car entertainment platform, is accelerating. SiriusXM, Pandora, and Stitcher, together with our investment in SoundCloud, now reach an audience of more than 150 million people. We are bolstering our position as North America’s leading audio entertainment company with new innovative talk shows and podcasts, streaming music channels targeting younger audiences, and extended deals with major media brands, such as NBCUniversal News Group.  We signed an exclusive audio agreement with The Masters and secured additional digital sports rights with the NFL and NBA to benefit our streaming products. We are also thrilled Howard Stern extended his agreement to continue live broadcasts of his amazing show.”

Connecting Communities Through Radio. This Saturday evening (2/6), Boston public radio station WGBH and The Huntington Theatre Company are presenting a radio broadcast of the play Tiger Style! by Mike Lew. WGBH general manager for news Pam Johnston says, “The pandemic has challenged us to find new ways to build community and connections. Although this often means gathering in digital spaces, radio has emerged as a vital player in the local community, with the power to connect audiences around a shared experience.” The station is partnering with the Massachusetts Restaurant Association for a “tune in and take out” campaign encouraging listeners to order take out from their favorite restaurant to eat while they enjoy the production. Read more here.

TALKERS News Notes. There are a number of staff additions at Skyview Networks as Kristin Krahl is named director of network sales, Nicholas Maniscalo and Hailey Hole become managers of traffic audio, Chuck Rowe and Julie Whitlow join as managers of production services, Lani Martinez becomes manager of business analytics and executive services, and Thor Black is appointed associate of research. Additionally, the company retains the services of Ron Rivlin and Chris Martinez for affiliate sales and Raul “Rico” Colindres as vice president of content development and syndication…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP News and PodcastOne announce the return of the award-winning podcast, “American Nightmare Series.” The new season titled, “American Nightmare Series: Murder in a Safe Place,” debuts on February 22 and focuses on a cold case that has haunted the D.C. region for over 23 years – the brutal rape and murder of 50-year-old nurse Sherry Crandell inside the hospital where she worked. Veteran D.C. crime reporter Paul Wagner hosts the podcast in which he speaks with Crandell’s children, former colleagues, and the detective who has been in charge of this case since the beginning. Wagner also brings to light evidence that has never been made public before this podcast…..iHeartMedia partners with Propagate Content and Brian Baumgartner, the actor behind The Office’s Kevin Malone, to co-produce the new podcast, “The Office DeepDive with Brian Baumgartner.” Each week, Baumgartner will be joined by his former coworkers and pals, including: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, and writer, director & creator Greg Daniels…..SiriusXM is celebrating Black History Month via programming on its talk and comedy channels. SiriusXM Urban View will feature specials including Joe Madison hosting a virtual event with the Ford Men of Courage National Leadership Forum in partnership with Morehouse College. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, professor, publisher, and SiriusXM host Karen Hunter will feature an original content series, “Black History Changemakers,” weekdays this month showcasing Black heroes and hidden figures in history, science, law, banking, politics, sports, TV, film, music, and more. This special daily segment can be heard on “The Karen Hunter Show.”…..Public radio news/talk WNYC, New York announces that Michael Hill is named the new voice of “Morning Edition.” He was most recently with New Jersey PBS station NJTV/NJ Spotlight News where he has worked as anchor, correspondent, and multimedia journalist since 2014. WNYC also announces that Sean Carlson moves from interim to permanent host of “All Things Considered” on the station. He takes over for Jami Floyd, who left the role to lead the company’s new Race & Justice unit…..Radio America announces that the Chad Benson Show adds new affiliate WSKY-FM, Gainesville, Florida which is airing the program from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

COVID-19/Vaccine Rollout, Biden and GOP COVID Stimulus Deals, Trump Impeachment, GOP Election Deniers/‘Country First’ Drive, GameStop Trading/Financial Markets Activity, and Myanmar Coup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1). The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll and the rollout of the vaccines; the negotiating in Washington between the Biden and GOP COVID stimulus deals; the February 9 impeachment of Donald Trump; the Republican election deniers and the “Country First” move being launched by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger; the Reddit crowd trading of GameStop, AMC and silver, and the world’s financial markets activity; and the Biden administration’s response to the Myanmar military coup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, January 25, 2021

| January 25, 2021

INDUSTRY AND NATION MOURN: Talk Media Pioneer Larry King Dead at 87. According to a report on Facebook posted by the producers of his current syndicated television show, Ora Media, legendary star of talk radio and television, Larry King died this weekend at the age of 87. The statement says: “With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.” The statement continues, “For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.” The cause of death was not indicated, however King had been reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19 earlier this month. King was a major player in the talk media world who ushered in the modern era of syndication in radio on the Mutual Broadcasting System and the cable news/talk show format on television at CNN. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement: “Larry King was not the greatest talk show host on radio or television in terms of skills, outrageous personality or direct and profound influence on public policy. He was, however, the most important pioneer who paved the way for today’s robust talk media presence on both radio and television. If there ever was a case of the right person at the right time, Larry King fit the bill and that’s all it took for him to be a mighty force. He was the modern era of talk radio’s first national celebrity born solely as a result of his work in the medium. And his contribution to today’s institutional cable news/talk TV format is undeniably fundamental to the medium’s current presence as America’s political and sociological meeting place. We have lost one of the greatest broadcasting presences of the first century of radio and television history as well as one of the quirkiest and most colorful individuals to ever sit behind a microphone.” Read TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian’s “Remembering Larry King” feature here.

Tributes to Larry King Pouring in from All Over the Industry.  TALKERS has received dozens of tributes, anecdotes, and comments from readers in all sectors of the broadcasting industry in reaction to the passing of Larry King on Saturday (1/23).  The following statements from people who knew him and worked with him reflect the basic sentiments expressed across the board. Westwood One legend Jim Bohannon rose to national prominence as Larry King’s fill-in host back in the early days of King’s career as the late-night “king of talk radio” on the Mutual Broadcasting System. Bohannon tells TALKERS, “Larry King was the first certified big shot for whom I’d ever worked, and I was all set for some screaming prima donna jerk. What I found was a funny, savvy, decent human being who was always very supportive of me. His best advice: Be yourself. My 11 years backing him up on the radio were always based on being a first-rate Jim rather than a second rate Larry.” This Friday (1/29) marks Bohannon’s 28th anniversary of hosting that very same show fulltime. Norm Pattiz, chairman of PodcastOne and founder of Westwood One, was instrumental in Larry King’s fabulous radio career. He tells TALKERS, “Larry King was a superstar on radio well before he became a talk show icon on television and his contribution in those media will never be duplicated. I first met Larry in 1985 when Westwood One Radio bought the Mutual Radio Network. Some said at the time that I bought the network just to get the ‘Larry King Show’ and I never corrected them. When CNN came calling, I was thrilled to share Larry with them and when his show became one of the most influential nightly talk shows in history it only confirmed what I had known all along. No one will ever match the style, compassion, and genuine love for a great interview that Larry had and the worlds of television, radio, and podcasting are worse today for his loss.” Tom Tradup, VP/news and talk programming, Salem Radio Network, tells TALKERS, “My favorite memory of Larry was when I was president/GM of WLS in Chicago and was meeting with Larry for lunch in the now-closed Cape Cod Room restaurant of Chicago’s Drake Hotel. Always upbeat and gregarious, Larry seemed just a little down. He revealed he was speaking to a business group that night and his hotel had lost his trademark suspenders. After lunch I ran over the Marshall Field’s on State Street and bought him a pair. Big smile from a broadcast legend whose talent endured for decades.” And media consultant, TALKERS columnist, and host of “The Big Picture” on RT America (which also carried Larry King’s syndicated TV show at the time of his death), Holland Cooke adds, “One year ago this week, Larry was my guest on the very first show produced at RT’s new Los Angeles studio. Larry’s gift was his curiosity; and his legacy to fellow talkers is the art of the short question. I remember him asking Bob Hope, ‘Who do YOU think is funny?’ And he asked David Duke, ‘Don’t you ever get tired of hating?’ Often, guests on book tours or who are otherwise timely are prepped with ‘safe’ answers, regardless of the questions asked. And they get away with it, because hosts ask verbose questions and don’t listen closely to responses. Larry’s short question would catch the guest off-guard – enough to yield an answer you wouldn’t hear elsewhere along the tour.

King and I: An Excerpt from Bernadette Duncan’s Landmark Book Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  I landed a part-time job with the Larry King Radio Show in 1986 because I was in the right place at the right time. My late shift at NBC Radio Networks where I produced the Neil Myers Show ended at 1:00 am and no other talk producer was on the premises. All that was required? Meet Mr. King in the lobby, escort him to the elevator, guide him down the hall to the nearest empty studio, check mics and audio, and then be prepared to do the same with the on-coming, big-name parade of guests scheduled for the night. Basically, I was a “handler” for an extra 75 bucks a shift. At the time, this pre-suspenders-wearing Larry King was one of the most successful radio talk show hosts in the industry who at the height of his show’s prominence had nearly 500 affiliate stations around the country. Just the year before, in 1985, he began hosting a nightly TV program on the new cable network called CNN (for Cable News Network) and “Larry King Live” was getting some buzz. In addition to television at 9:00 pm… then radio after midnight… he was in contract to write a book. Larry King’s career was hot. And it was this book deal with a New York-based publisher that brought him to the Big Apple four or five days a month to meet with his editor face-to-face. I became his New York producer/handler, working in coordination with his crew in Washington, DC. Little did I realize when I signed up with “the King of Talk,” I would dive into a world as quirky as what you’d find down Alice’s rabbit hole. To read the entire excerpt please click here.

Alpha Media Announces Pre-Arranged Chapter 11 Reorganization. The company says in a statement on its website that it has entered into a “restructuring agreement with certain of its lenders to reduce its debt, as well as raise incremental capital” to allow it “to successfully navigate current market conditions and pursue growth opportunities. The company expects no disruption to its broadcast operations, customers or employees. Management will remain in place and continue to maintain the company’s day-to-day operations.” Alpha Media says it has filed “a pre-arranged plan of re-organization, disclosure statement and voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. Certain of the company’s existing lenders have agreed to provide new capital in the form of committed debtor-in-possession and exit financing. These lenders, together with management, are expected to collectively own 100% of the equity of the re-organized company, subject to regulatory approvals from the Federal Communications Commission. The restructuring of the company’s balance sheet will require receipt of bankruptcy court approval and certain regulatory, including FCC, approvals and satisfaction of other customary conditions. The company expects to conclude the restructuring process in the first half of 2021.” Alpha chairman and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We have made significant progress in aggressively deleveraging our business in recent years. As we proceed with our financial restructuring to improve our capital structure and manage through the ongoing downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the agreement we reached today will leave Alpha Media well positioned for a market recovery as a stronger and even more competitive company. Broadcast radio is the leading reach medium in the United States, with attractive ROIs for advertisers, and radio continues to be an indispensable communications platform nationwide. We believe the balance sheet restructuring will provide greater financial resources and flexibility to Alpha Media, enabling the Company to strengthen its position as a leading mid-market broadcaster in the United States, and invest in new digital capabilities to better serve our advertisers and communities. Our core business continues to perform well despite current market challenges. We will continue to invest in our talented teams to foster the unique culture that has been key to Alpha Media’s success in delivering dynamic, diverse and exciting content to our communities.”

Monday Memo: Time Management 2021. “Short version? Time will not be managed.” But in this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke explains how “tasks can,” and that’s gotten trickier in pandemic shutdown mode. He outlines solutions for recurring distractions. Read it here.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccine Rollout Troubles, Trump Impeachment, Capitol Attack Investigation, Trump Third Party Launch, Tacoma Protest/Deadly Indianapolis Shooting, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of COVID cases and deaths in the U.S. and the strategic troubles affecting the rollout of the vaccines; the Article of Impeachment against Donald Trump; the arrests being made during the investigation into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol; the rumors that Donald Trump intends to launch a third political party; the Tacoma protest in which a police officer drove into a crowd and the shooting in Indianapolis in which five adults and an unborn child were killed; and Sunday’s NFL Conference Championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Value. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa says, “Presenting the value proposition is a never-ending challenge, especially for the broadcast seller. I’ve seen too many sellers get hung up on product features that are station-centric – important to management, talent, and the seller. The truth is the advertiser doesn’t see it the same way.” The past year has taught us that the value perception of your station’s product has changed. For more on this, read Lapa’s column here.

WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Program Director John Hanson Exits. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Entercom’s news/talk WCCO-AM, Minneapolis has let program director John Hanson go. Hanson had been serving as the station’s PD since the fall of 2018. Hanson is a native of the Twin Cities who worked on air as co-host of KSTP-TV’s “Twin Cities Live” afternoon talk show that launched in 2008. He joined Entercom in 2013 to program sports talk KCSP-AM, Kansas City. The reason for Hanson’s departure is not clear but the staff was alerted in a memo from market SVP Shannon Knoepke, who wrote on January 21, “Reaching out this afternoon to notify the staff that John Hanson is no longer with the company, effective today. More to come as we move forward and work to fill this position.”

WJBC, Bloomington-Normal Adds Michael Koolidge Show. The independently syndicated Michael Koolidge show is added to the program schedule at Cumulus Media’s WJBC-AM, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot. Koolidge says, “We couldn’t be more excited to join WJBC. I’ve been trying to break into the Bloomington-Normal market for years and I’m thrilled that Cumulus’ WJBC decided to pick up the show!” WJBC operations manager Dan Westhoff says, “We are very excited to be adding ‘The Michael Koolidge Show’ to our lineup. Michael’s been very successful throughout Illinois and the Midwest and we can’t wait to have him on WJBC.”

Marc Bernier Show Celebrates 30th Anniversary. Pictured above is WNDB, Daytona Beach talk host Marc Benier broadcasting live from DB Pickles restaurant in Ormond Beach, Florida celebrating his 30th year on air as a talk host. The celebration was also a benefit for Halifax Urban Ministries. January 21 was declared “Marc Bernier Show Day” with a flag flown over the state capitol and declarations declared honoring Bernier in the cities and county of Volusia. A number of local and state officials attended the broadcast.

WRHU Radio Hofstra University will Receive World Radio Day Award 2021.  In conjunction with World Radio Day coming up on February 13, the Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences of America has selected WRHU Radio of Hofstra University to receive the 2021 World Radio Day Award. The honor commemorates World Radio Day, established by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) and is celebrated annually on February 13. World Radio Day is intended to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio. WRHU is the first student-run station to receive this honor.  WRHU Radio 88.7 FM is the campus radio station of Hofstra University, a private university located on Long Island in Hempstead, NY. The station has been the recipient of numerous regional, state, and national awards, including three prestigious Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters (2014, 2017, and 2019).  With studios housed in Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, the station has been committed to training the next generation of radio professionals for more than 60 years in a wide variety of radio genres including news, sports, public affairs, community programming, and music. For the past decade, WRHU has exclusively produced and distributed radio broadcasts of New York Islanders hockey games, the first and only college radio station to have such an agreement with a professional major-league sports team.  “We are immensely honored to receive this award of recognition,” said Mark Lukasiewicz, dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. “WRHU and its managers and staff deserve enormous credit for carrying on their work throughout the pandemic and providing vital information to the community.”  The annual World Radio Day Award honors a U.S. radio station that exemplifies the best attributes of the radio industry. Recipients may be large or small stations, commercial or noncommercial, located in any market, and broadcasting in any language. The award jury looks for stations that demonstrate ideals of localism, audience reach, community service, effective use of new digital platforms, diversity in program content and staffing, and financial and ratings success.  For this year’s award, the jury has highlighted the work done during the coronavirus pandemic, in light of UNESCO’s theme for the World Radio Day 2021 celebration, which is “New World, New Radio” in the sense that radio is a medium for resilience of our society. The jury of Academy is composed by eight highly qualified professionals of the broadcast industry (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Michael Harrison, founder/publisher, TALKERSPaul McLane, editor in chief, Radio WorldMike McVay, president, McVay Media ConsultingFrancisco Montero, partner, Fletcher, Heald & HildrethChris Oliviero, SVP/MM, Entercom New York; Deborah Parenti, publisher, Radio Ink; and Paul Rotella, president of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association. WRHU was recognized for its efforts during the crisis, expanding its content as student and community staffers worked and broadcast from their homes during a New York state lockdown. Hofstra University has been cited on the Best College lists of U.S. News & World ReportThe Princeton ReviewFiskeWashington Monthly, Forbes, LinkedIn and Payscale.com. It is the only university chosen to host U.S. presidential debates in three consecutive election cycles (2008, 2012 and 2016). The World Radio Day Award was initially created by the Spanish Radio Academy to spread awareness of World Radio Day. The annual February 13 commemoration was endorsed by a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly and accompanied by the creation of the International Radio Committee, which collaborates with UNESCO to promote World Radio Day each year. Last year, the award went to all-news station, WTOP, Washington DC.  The 2021 World Radio Day Award will be presented to WRHU at Hofstra University in early February. For more information, click here.

Townsquare Media to Repurchase 10 Million Shares. In a press release, Townsquare Media, Inc announces it has entered into an agreement to repurchase a minimum of 10 million of the 12.5 million shares of Class A common stock, shares of Class B common stock and warrants held by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management L.P., for $6.40 per security, which reflects a 19% discount from the closing price of the Class A common stock on Friday, January 22, 2021. The repurchase was approved by the board of directors following the recommendation of a committee of independent and disinterested directors. The aggregate purchase price is expected to be at least $64 million, subject to the company’s ability to elect to purchase additional securities at closing of the repurchase. At closing, the repurchased securities will be retired and, subject to the company’s election to repurchase additional securities, the company’s outstanding securities will be reduced from approximately 28 million to approximately 18 million. Townsquare CEO Bill Wilson says, “We appreciate the opportunity to facilitate this significant transaction with Oaktree and are excited about this repurchase, which secures the exit of a very long-term private equity majority shareholder that current and potential shareholders have described to me consistently as being an obstacle to investing more, or establishing a position, in Townsquare given the significant overhang Oaktree’s holding represented. This repurchase is immediately accretive to shareholders and we thank our board of directors for their vote of confidence in our medium and long-term business plan to grow revenue and profits.”

TALKERS News Notes. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN-AM, Chicago afternoon news anchor Kim Gordon has resigned from the Nexstar Media Group station after 15 years. It’s rumored that Gordon will be joining Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WLS-AM to serve as the afternoon news anchor on the Big John Howell program. Back at WGN, Feder reports that Lauren Lapka will be the news anchor on the Steve Bertrand afternoon program…..iHeartMedia flips sports talk WFXJ-AM, Jacksonville “The Game” to Gospel as “Hallelujah AM930/93.3 HD2.”…..News and sports radio pro Mike Smith is leaving his gig with iHeartMedia’s WBEX-AM, Chillicothe, Ohio to pursue other career opportunities, The 43-year radio pro says, “Thanks to all the great listeners, which many, many of them became life-long friends, and I can say the same about my colleagues being life-long friends and that means more to me than any nice thing that anybody ever said about the job that I did.”

Friday, January 8, 2021

| January 8, 2021

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Responsibility, Integrity, and Credibility,” looks back at this past week of January 4-8, 2021. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Dr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/medical doctor; Erick Erickson, talk show host, WSB, Atlanta / talk show host, regional syndication; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioAnne Eller, talk show host / station owner, WCRS, Greenwood, SC; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.  This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; WIZM-AM/FM, La Crosse, WI; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

KMJ, Fresno’s Ray Appleton Under Scrutiny for “Hanging” Comment. Fresno talk radio host Ray Appleton – heard daily from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM – is being taken to task, at least by the Fresno Bee, for saying on his program that “certain news editors should be hanged… maybe.” Appleton’s comment came during a monologue in which he complained about the media’s coverage of the attack on the U.S. Capitol compared to coverage of protests and riots in Portland and other cities, implying that reporting on those events was more sympathetic. He posted a clarification to his Facebook page that was later removed. In it, he says the comment was “clearly tongue in cheek.” On his program Thursday, he said, “So if you were upset by that, I didn’t mean it. I humbly apologize. I’m not talking about taking every news editor and hanging them. I mean, come on. Get with it.” The Bee reports that a call to KMJ for comment on Appleton’s comment was not returned.

Del Colliano: Cumulus Corporate Flips on Election Talk Mandate. According to InsideMusicMedia publisher Jerry Del Colliano, who cites an internal memo from Cumulus Media EVP of content Brian Philips, the company did an about-face on Wednesday as the assault on the Capitol building was taking place in Washington, DC. Del Colliano says that contrary to what many of the company’s talk hosts were saying up to that point about the legitimacy of the election results, Philips’ memo ordered all Cumulus and Westwood One personalities not to continue presenting any illegitimacy claim. He wrote, “We need to help induce national calm NOW. Cumulus and Westwood One will not tolerate any suggestion that the election has not ended. The election has been resolved and there are no alternate acceptable ‘paths.’” He adds, “If you transgress this policy, you can expect to separate from the company immediately.” Del Colliano writes, “Some employees felt the sudden change in direction was so onerous that it in effect dictated what air talent could not broach on the air even after many years of tolerating if not encouraging controversial political talk for the purpose of increasing ratings.”

WFAN, New York Debuts Craig Carton-Hosted Gambling Addiction Program. The program is titled, “Hello, My Name is Craig,” and will air on WFAN-AM/FM, New York on Saturday mornings at 9:30. The 30-minute program is being hosted by Craig Carton and is being presented by 1-800-GAMBLER. In the program, Carton will “drive candid conversations with listeners about different aspects of gambling and provide resources and outlets to those seeking help or looking for ways to help their loved ones.” Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie will be a regular contributor and the program will feature various guests to share stories of indulgence, falls from grace, and the fight to overcome gambling addiction. Guests will include medical and therapy experts, members of the 1-800-GAMBLER team, founders of rehabilitation treatment centers, and more. Entercom New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Legalized gambling is a growing part of the modern sports experience and the everyday fans’ conversations. Our obligation and commitment are to serve not only the audience that can responsibly enjoy these gaming elements, but also in a meaningful way help those, like Craig, who have an addiction. With Craig’s voice and unique perspective, along with outstanding partners and the influence of the WFAN platform, we will do just that.” Carton adds, “Each week, we will tackle different aspects of what for some is a fun recreation but for others is an addiction that forever alters and sometimes ends lives. The show will be a raw and revealing look into the fastest-growing vice in the country and I look forward to providing my first-hand perspective for both those dealing with the grip of their gambling compulsions as well as the loved ones in their lives.” Carton, who hosted mornings on WFAN with Boomer Esiason from 2007 to 2017, was convicted of fraud he perpetrated in order to pay off gambling debts. He served a year of a three-year sentence in prison. He returned to WFAN this fall to host the WFAN afternoon show with Evan Roberts.

WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Talk Host Dave Lee Announces Retirement. WCCO-AM, Minneapolis morning drive personality Dave Lee announces he’ll retire from the Entercom news/talk station at the end of April. Lee joined the station in September of 1989 from KFGO, Fargo where he was program director and afternoon drive personality. He first joined the station as a weekend and fill-in host and gradually became part of the Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson morning show. Lee took over sole hosting duties of the morning show in 1997. During his career he’s also done play-by-play for the Minnesota Gophers and he filled in as a Minnesota Twins announcer from 1991 to 1996. He continues to do play-by-play for the television broadcasts of the Minnesota State High School Boys and Girls basketball tournaments, while serving as the radio voice of the University of St. Thomas football on WCCO. He’s been named Minnesota’s Sportscaster of the Year six times and has won three Emmys for his television work.

“Free Talk Live” to Migrate from GCN to Talk Media Network. “Free Talk Live” co-founder Ian Freeman announces that his New Hampshire-based, nationally syndicated program will move from current syndicator Genesis Communications Network to Talk Media Network, effective January 18. Freeman says that while GCN has been “a great radio syndication partner” since 2004, for a few reasons (some of them technical) he’s made the hard decision to sign up with TMN. He says, “Talk Media Network is, like GCN, an affiliate-focused network. They don’t have makegoods or cramdowns or other undesirable, unfriendly corporate syndication crap. TMN’s CEO Josh Leng came up through the industry and has himself been a successful talk radio programmer.  He knows what it’s like in the trenches and has built his company with the desires of radio stations and programmers in mind. Over the years, we’ve gotten to know Josh and I appreciate his passion for radio.” Freeman continues, “TMN’s also an interesting new take on a syndicate – they don’t have a network studio. Their shows feed directly to Westwood One’s uplink facility. That means that TMN’s overhead is reduced and the potential for failures is lower. It also means we had to start producing our show 100% from the FTL studio, which was no problem, since I’ve had that capability here for years but never used it until now. Since we’re now fully in charge of our program content, phones sound better and our feed on XDS should be a little higher quality as the audio won’t be re-encoded and re-processed at the network studio, since there isn’t one… We will stay on GCN for some time in order to give our stations plenty of time to make the jump. I’m grateful to the crew at GCN for their professionalism and support over the years and especially now. I don’t ever want to burn a bridge and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for Ted, George, Adam, and the rest of the crew there and wish them only the best.”

SportsGrid Content to Air on SiriusXM. There’s a new sports betting-oriented channel on SiriusXM as the satellite broadcaster inks a deal with SportsGrid. The new SportsGrid Radio channel will feature personalities including Scott Ferrall, Gabe Morency, Ariel Epstein, and Jared Smith plus expert contributors and guest analysts. The channel streams live from its production facilities adjacent to New York’s Madison Square Garden and at the Meadowlands inside the FanDuel Sportsbook. SportsGrid says its real-time reporting includes the daily odds, lines, matchups, injury reports, news and more across pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey, college sports, golf, tennis, and soccer.

iHeartMedia Completes Warrant Exchange for Stocks. The company announces that it has completed an exchange of iHeartMedia Warrants (financial instruments that give the holder the right to buy underlying shares at a specific price on or before a specified date) into shares of iHeartMedia Class A Common Stock, the Company’s publicly traded equity, or Class B Common Stock. The company reports that as of December 31, 2020, there were approximately 65 million shares of Class A Common Stock, 7 million shares of Class B Common Stock, and  75 million Warrants outstanding. Following the exchange, there will be approximately 110 million shares of Class A Common Stock, 29 million shares of Class B Common Stock, and 7 million Warrants outstanding. The exchange was authorized by a previously issued Declaratory Ruling from the Federal Communications Commission approving an increase in iHeartMedia’s authorized aggregate foreign ownership from 25% to 100%. Certain shares of Class B Common Stock and Warrants were not converted into Class A Common Stock due to current regulatory restrictions applicable to certain shareholders. iHeartMedia expects additional conversions of Class B Common Stock and Warrants into Class A Common Stock.

Attack on Capitol Building Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 4-8, 2021. Wednesday’s assault on the Capitol Building in Washington by hundreds of Donald Trump supporters was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s continuing denial of the election results combined with his phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State seeking to overturn his loss there. Coming in at #3 was Tuesday’s Georgia runoff election that saw both Democrats beat their Republican opponents. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

| October 28, 2020

Round Two of Nielsen’s October PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, DC, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM gives up one-tenth to finish at a 7.9 share but rises from  the #3 to the #2 rank. Across town at Hubbard Radio, all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #1 in the market after adding eight-tenths to finish with a 10.3 share. It was a good survey for iHeartMedia in Boston as news/talk WRKO adds 1.1 shares to finish with a 6.0 share good for the #6 rank and all-news WBZ-AM also adds 1.1 shares to jump from the #5 to the #1 rank on the strength of a 7.2 share. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM posts a six-tenths increase after four surveys without a positive move to wrap the October survey with a 7.0 share that lifts it to #1. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Joe Benigno Expected to Announce Retirement from WFAN, New York Today. As reported by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” says there will be an important announcement during the 5:00 pm hour of today’s “Joe & Evan” show. It’s widely believed that co-host Joe Benigno will announce his retirement from the station that will open the door to bringing Craig Carton back to the station, most likely to co-host the afternoon drive show with current co-host Evan Roberts. Even before all of the Carton-to-return-to-WFAN chatter began, 67-year-old Benigno had dropped hints about his desire to hang up the cans and retire to Florida. As for Carton, the station has not announced his return but incessant reports in the New York media indicate the former morning drive co-host – out of prison after being convicted of fraud in a Ponzi scheme created to pay off gambling debts – is a lock to be back on WFAN’s airwaves.

Dori Monson Returns to KIRO-FM, Seattle Air After Suspension. Seattle talk radio host Dori Monson returned to host his afternoon drive program on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM on Tuesday (10/27), some two-and-a-half weeks after being suspended for a tweet that he said “didn’t hit the mark.” The Seattle Times reports that Monson issued his apology on air that followed the written one posted on the KIRO-FM website. Monson said his tweet was commentary during the gubernatorial debate between Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp. In addressing the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Inslee said the state follows science (implying science as opposed to politics). His tweet read: “Inslee: we follow science in WA. The state where I could go to Olympia tomorrow and change my birth cert to say I was a girl on 10/2/61. HAHAHAHAHA.” Monson faced immediate backlash accusing him of being transphobic and was suspended indefinitely from his daily show and his role on Seattle Seahawks pre- and post-game shows.

TALKERS News Notes. The parent company of Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings LLC – is reportedly in talks with Advent International to sell its consumer goods data business, according to the Financial Times. The piece indicates the deal would value that division at around $2.9 billion. Nielsen had previously announced its plans to spin off the Global Connect business and recently revealed it will be renamed NielsenIQ…..Hubbard Radio’s KIXI-AM, Seattle adds weekend programming from Smart Talk Radio Network to its lineup. Three shows – “Around The House With Eric G,” “Our Auto Expert,” and “Barbeque Nation” – made available via Sun Broadcast Group, will air on Saturdays and Sundays…..Entercom’s Steve Holman, Mike Conti, Miller Pope, and James Fairey of sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” were honored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters with Merit Award for “Best Sports Play-by-Play” as part of this year’s Gabby Awards…..WHO, Des Moines-based radio iron man Simon Conway is doing double duty this week as he hosts his afternoon drive talk program on iHeartMedia’s WHO, WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids, and WOC-AM, Davenport, as well as handling mornings on the company’s “Good Morning Orlando” show that airs on news/talk WFLF-AM.

WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Afternoon Personality Jordana Green Reveals Cancer Diagnosis. WCCO-AM, Minneapolis afternoon drive personality Jordana Green told listeners that she has been diagnosed with leukemia and is receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Yesterday (10/27), Green – who co-hosts the program with Paul Douglas told listeners doctors found the cancer last week, and immediately decided she should get treatment that includes multiple rounds of chemo and a possible bone marrow transplant in the spring. In a report posted to the station’s website, Green says, “I’ve been feeling crappy for a few months, very fatigued. About two weeks ago I noticed some large bruising on my legs but didn’t remember bumping myself. Last Tuesday, I went for some bloodwork. Tuesday night my doctor called and said I need to go to the ER as my platelets were low. Normal platelets are 150,000+. Mine were 19,000. They admitted me, did a bone marrow biopsy and 12 hours later told me I had leukemia.” She says she’ll try to check-in on the show from her hospital room when she’s “feeling up to it,” for the next several weeks she’ll be off the air while she is receiving chemo treatments.

The Presidential Election, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Deadly Philly Police Shooting/Protests, Hunter Biden Emails, Big Tech Before Congress, Financial Markets Activity, New California Wildfires, and Tropical Storm Zeta Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/27). The November 3 presidential election and the final week of campaigning by Donald Trump and Joe Biden; the rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad and projections for the fall/winter; a second night of protests and looting in Philadelphia after a Black man is killed by police; the allegations that Hunter Biden used his father’s vice presidency to gain lucrative business deals in Ukraine by promising access to Joe Biden; today’s appearance before a Senate Commerce Subcommittee by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai; the world’s financial markets respond to the rise in COVID-19 cases; the new wildfires affecting Southern California; and the expected path of Tropical Storm Zeta were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. According to a report at Syracuse.com, adult contemporary WLZW, Syracuse “Lite 98.7” morning show co-host and classic rock WOUR midday personality Dave Coombs is leaving Townsquare Media and will join Saga Communications to host the morning drive show on active rock WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts “LAZER 99.3” in November. Coombs has been co-hosting the “Lite 98.7” morning show with his wife Beth, who  will remain in her position with new co-host Dave Wheeler…..The entertainment podcast “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee [UNCENSORED],” enters into a deal with FOX Soul to air the program on the digital television network. Lee is also host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” a two-hour weekend show that airs on 60 hip hop stations nationwide, in addition to iHeartRadio…..Entercom proudly congratulates hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94” air personality Mike Kannon for being honored with a GABBY Award for “Best On-Air Personality” from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters…..Cumulus Media announces that WIXV, Savannah “I-95” air personality and program director Don Scott (below, left) is being honored by the State of Georgia with the Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award for exemplary community service. The Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award is Georgia’s highest service award and was personally presented to Scott by State Representative Carl Gilliard (below, right). Scott says, “‘I-95’ and our parent company Cumulus Media respects our audience and understands our responsibility to serve the public interest. My personal passion for radio, as well as the passion of our staff, drives us to maintain a high level of quality in everything we do. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this award. I would like to thank Carl Gilliard and the State of Georgia for this recognition.”

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

| September 30, 2020

Round One of September PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this batch of markets. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR is the only spoken-word commercial station to notch a sizable increase over its August weekly AHQ share number, rising a half share to finish with a 2.3 share and the #17 rank in the market. iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles tacks on one-tenth to wrap the September survey with a 4.0 share and the #5 rank. In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s news/talk WGN falls a half share to post a 3.1 share and dipping to the #11 rank while Entercom’s crosstown all-news WBBM-AM/WFCS-FM sheds nine-tenths for a 6.4 share and slides to the #2 rank after holding on to #1 for the past seven PPM surveys. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report here.

FOX News Channel’s ‘Hannity’ Top Cable News/Talk Show. According to a report by The Hill, FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” finished the recent July-August-September quarter as the most-watched cable news/talk program averaging approximately 4.45 million viewers, based on data from Nielsen Media Research. FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” came in second with 4.35 million viewers, followed by FOX’s “The Five” with 3.48 million, and “The Ingraham Angle” with 3.43 million viewers. The piece notes that the ratings period was marked by a heavy news cycle that included the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the national political conventions, the civil unrest, and the presidential race. As a result, FOX News Channel beat out legacy broadcast networks ABC, CBS, and NBC in total viewers for the first time and became the most-watched network on television during the quarter.

NYPost: Carton and WFAN Very Close to a Deal. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand is reporting that Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” and former “Fan” morning personality (and convicted fraudster) Craig Carton have been in regular talks about his return and that a formal offer is expected to be made by the station “by the end of the week.” Marchand says the offer is to host the afternoon drive program but that it’s not a done deal yet. The Post has also reported that Carton has a legitimate offer on the table from Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, “97.5 The Fanatic” to host morning drive there. Currently, WFAN afternoons are being hosted by former midday team Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno. At WPEN-FM, Marc Farzetta hosts the morning drive show.

Former Entercom/CBS Radio Exec Andy Bloom Gaining Traction as Political Writer/Commentator – Available for Interviews About Mail-in Voting Issue. After a long career as an accomplished radio programming, research and management executive, Andy Bloom has been finding traction lately as a political writer and talk media guest discussing the hot issues. Following a colorful career that most recently included serving as OM for Entercom’s three-station cluster in Minneapolis-St. Paul – WCCO-AM, KMNB-FM, and KZJK-FM – and prior to that, nine years as OM for CBS Radio in Philadelphia overseeing news/talk WPHT and sports/talk WIP, as well as EVP at Coleman Research and VP for radio programming at Greater Media, Bloom currently runs his own media research and consulting firm, Andy Bloom Communications, based out of Minneapolis. Since 2015, he has also developed a growing following as a writer of political and public policy articles for Newsmax Media. His latest research and analytical piece delves into the issues and complexities surrounding the mail-in ballot controversy. Read it here. The piece contains information of value about the issue to talk show hosts and Bloom has begun doing bookings on the subject and is available to do more. He can be contacted via email at andy@andybloom.com or by phone at 612-644-4737.

Gen Media Partners Forms IBA Radio Sales. The Independent Broadcasters Association and Gen Media Partners announce the formation of the new national sales and marketing team exclusively for IBA members called IBA Radio Sales. Gen Media Partners CEO Kevin Garrity says, “This is an incredible opportunity for Gen Media Partners and for IBA member stations. Gen Media Partners was built on the strength of independent broadcasters and creating IBA Radio Sales is a natural extension of that. Uniting as members of the Independent Broadcasters Association, owners and operators retain their independence while gaining the advantages of scale, allowing them to compete more effectively with large corporations. I encourage every independent broadcaster to contact [IBA president] Ron [Stone] about joining IBA to take advantage of the significant benefits that membership provides, including the IBA Radio Sales national platform. We look forward to growing as the IBA grows in membership and scope.” Stone comments, “IBA membership has been growing exponentially. To date, we have 900 members and more stations are joining every day. The number one request from prospective IBA members from our survey, conducted a few weeks ago while we were gauging interest for an IBA, was ‘we want our own rep firm.’ This opportunity with Gen Media Partners, known for successfully representing independent broadcasters in all size markets, is the ideal national sales partner to represent IBA member stations with this creation of a rep firm dedicated solely to IBA members. Our goal is for every independent operator to join IBA and reap the benefits of being represented by IBA Radio Sales. The board and I are very excited about working with Gen Media Partners to build our national sales platform and the opportunities IBA Radio Sales will bring to our members.”

TALKERS News Notes. The broadcast studio for Entercom’s sports talk WXYT-FM, Detroit is being named “The Samuelsen Studio” in honor of the station’s late air personality Jamie Samuelsen, who died on August 1 after a year-and-a-half battle with colon cancer. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Jamie meant so much to our station and was a key part of our listeners lives. We want to honor him in a special way, not only as a great broadcaster, but an extraordinary person. We hope the renaming of the studio will serve as a way to keep his memory alive and add to his incredible legacy here in Detroit.”…..Radio America’s nationally syndicated  “Chad Benson Show” is added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot. KXL joins recently added affiliate stations KTAR-FM, Phoenix; KSTE-AM, Sacramento; WOKV-FM, Jacksonville; WIBC-FM, Indianapolis; and more…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One drops the first episode of its seven-part podcast series titled, “5-4,” that addresses the Supreme Court’s role in the November presidential election. The show is hosted by by legal commentators Peter (better known as Twitter’s @The_Law_Boy), Rhiannon (@AywaRhiannon), and Michael(@_FleerUltra). The first episode focuses on nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Other topics will include: the electoral college, gerrymandering, and campaign finance…..iHeartMedia unveils a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast called “The Ten News” targeted to kids ages 8 – 12 and hosted by comedian and storyteller Bethany Van Delft. The podcast is produced by Small But Mighty Media and Next Chapter Podcasts. Van Delft says, “I’m excited to be part of a show that’s not only cool and fun to listen to but speaks to kids as smart and curious people. ‘The Ten News’ helps amplify kids’ voices and empowers them to take action.”…..SiriusXM will air a new weekly show, “Forward Progress,” across several of its channels. The program focuses on race, society and sports and is co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Jason Jackson and Kirk Morrison. SiriusXM adds that the show will address “the continuing push for racial equality and justice – from the pioneering civil rights efforts of athletes like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Bill Russell to the historic recent player protests and the groundswell of support for today’s Black Lives Matter movement across sports leagues. They will be joined by guests from around the sports world each week, including current and former players who are using their influence as public figures to create change, to discuss what more needs to be done.”…..Pictured below is KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller hosting his presidential debate watch party. More than 500 people attended the event at the Terrace Drive-In in Caldwell, Idaho.

Entercom and Clark Atlanta University Announce Partnership. This relationship between Clark Atlanta University and Entercom Atlanta will “provide students a unique and unprecedented opportunity to gain access to one of the nation’s leading media and entertainment companies. The partnership will expose students to top representatives in programming, sales, administration, and on-air talent, among others. Additionally, it will create a pipeline for future job opportunities.” The initiative launches tonight (9/30) with a private, virtual event for students. Entercom chairman, president and CEO David Field will also attend. CAU president Dr. George T. French says, “This is an exciting opportunity for our scholars. Partnerships with media conglomerates such as Entercom are a continuation of Clark Atlanta University’s Mass Media Arts Department’s legacy and dedication to ensuring our students are prepared and globally competitive in the communications industry.” Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey comments, “This partnership with Clark Atlanta University builds on our focus to create a more inclusive and diverse team and workplace. We’re excited to share our resources and insights in the form of real-world learning, beginning with this first virtual event on the future of audio.”

The Presidential Race/Tuesday’s Debate, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, BLM Movement/Breonna Taylor Case, Stimulus Deal, Jobless Numbers-The Economy, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/29). The November presidential election and Tuesday night’s first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden; the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths and cases, the rising number in the Midwest, and projections for fall-winter outbreaks; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in various U.S. cities, as well as the grand jury process in the Breonna Taylor case; negotiations between Nancy Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin for a new stimulus deal; the U.S. jobless statistics and economic indicators; and the status of the deadly California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WPOC-FM, Baltimore morning show personality Laurie DeYoung celebrated her 35th anniversary hosting the program on the iHeartMedia country station. The station says DeYoung “has been a staple of the Baltimore radio scene throughout her career since she began broadcasting on WPOC in 1985. Laurie has interviewed many country music icons over the years, including Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and more. For more than three decades, she has also maintained an unmatchable relationship with her local listeners, country music industry tastemakers and artists.” DeYoung was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2010 and named CMA Large Market Personality of 1994 and CMA Major Market Personality in 2014…..Beasley Media Group announces that the new “MJ Morning Show” on 80s hits-formatted WRBQ, Tampa Bay will include MJ’s former co-hosts Froggy and Fester, plus new addition Roxanne Wilder. MJ, a.k.a. Todd Schnitt, says, “I’m ecstatic to bring the ‘MJ Morning Show’ back to Tampa Bay on the world famous ‘Q105.’ I love morning radio, and with Fester, Froggy, and Roxanne, we’ll provide must-listen content every day.”…..Entercom Riverside is inviting listeners to remember those who lost their lives in the mass shooting at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival. To honor the 58 lives lost and the survivors who still live with the trauma, country KFRG-FM “K-FROG” is hosting a virtual candlelight vigil via Facebook Live. The event will also include a reading of the victims’ names tomorrow night (10/1) at 8:00 pm PT…..Cumulus Media names Chad Heritage program director for country WGKX-FM, Memphis “KIX 106” and for adult contemporary WKIM-FM, Memphis “98.9 The Bridge.” Heritage joins Cumulus Memphis from iHeartMedia where he was national brand coordinator since 2009 and SVP of programming for iHeartMedia, Little Rock since 2006. Cumulus Memphis VP/market manager Morgan Bohannon says, “We knew Chad was a good match the first time we talked to him. He’s from the region, has had a very successful programming career and is the perfect fit to lead one of America’s best country brands with ‘KIX-106.’ He’s just the perfect fit for us and we’re excited about his joining the Cumulus team in Memphis.”…..Key Networks enters into an exclusive partnership agreement with Clear Media Network to manage all network advertising sales and network advertiser inventory operations for the new 24/7 music radio network. Dallas-based Clear Media Network was launched on September 1, 2020, and offers AC, country and adult R&B formats that are “uniquely positioned, formatted and dynamically programmed for the unique needs of the independent radio operator.”

Thursday, April 9, 2020

| April 9, 2020

JVC Media Giving Away Free Airtime. The company that operates stations in New York and Florida is announcing it is opening the airwaves of all of its stations to help promote local essential businesses and services that are still open and still serving the community.  JVC Media’s Florida stations include talk outlet WDYZ-AM/W288CJ “Florida Man Radio.”  Its Long Island group includes news/talk WRCN “LI News Radio 103.9.”  The company says the message is simple: “In Florida call the Quarantine Speed Advertising line at 407-647-5332, in NY call 631-542-5441, and leave a 30 second voicemail showcasing your business.  The JVC team will produce your message and play it on the appropriate radio station free of charge.”  JVC president and CEO John Caracciolo says, “This is the time for radio to shine.  We are not closed, we are not automated, we are live, local, and serving our local communities.  I don’t see the streaming or satellite services offering something like that.”

Neuhoff Media Using Radio to Connect Teachers and Students. In an effort to ameliorate the disconnect between teachers and students in Central Illinois, Neuhoff Media announces the Louise Neuhoff Educational Access Project initiative.  The project is named in honor of the Neuhoff Media co-founder.  The company will make available specific periods of time each day for public school teachers to present lessons, read books, and review specific material on air.  These programs will ensure educators are readily accessible to all students and their parents while under stay-at-home orders.  Neuhoff Media president and CEO Beth Neuhoff comments, “We have the ability for teachers to talk directly to students each day regardless of technology.  We wanted to find some small way to help bridge the gap between teachers and primary students.  We are simply providing local educational leadership the opportunity to use our most popular radio stations to connect with students and their parents.”

Bonneville Outlines Coronavirus Initiatives. Company president Darrell Brown issued a press release outlining Bonneville International’s plans to ramp up its coronavirus crisis efforts.  Brown says, “Bonneville has always prioritized our purpose above our profits.  Our mission and the reason our company was created was to be a trusted voice that builds up, informs, connects and celebrates the families and communities we serve, and there is a great need right now for all of those things.”  Some of the company’s initiatives include: News/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix is providing statewide newscasts for other radio groups and supporting local businesses through an “Open for Business” campaign; in Salt Lake City, the cluster is operating the “Stronger Together Utah” campaign to promote local businesses while “Newsradio” KSL-AM/FM is hosting a daily coronavirus call-in show and a related podcast; and Seattle’s news/talk KIRO-FM is producing the podcast “COVID-19: Seattle” as the station’s “Gee and Ursula Show” started a “Letters of Hope” project to send messages of encouragement to the elderly.

TALKERS News Notes. Pittsburgh talk show host Wendy Bell is trending on Twitter for stating on the air that she’s “on the fence” about the conundrum of saving lives versus protecting people’s livelihoods.  According to a piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the KDKA-AM personality said, “We’re told that we need to shut down the economy.  There’s a cost.  Everything shuts down, but to what end?  Yes, every life lost is one too many.  Yes, that’s the talking point.  That’s what we’re going to say.  But ultimately dollars and cents boil down to, ‘Are you going to bankrupt America and the future for less than 1% of our population?’ Many of whom are already ill or aged.  I’m on a fence.”…..The nationally syndicated “Small Business Advocate” program hosted by Jim Blasingame adds new affiliate stations KFAQ, Tulsa and KSHP, North Las Vegas, Nevada.  The program is syndicated by Skip Joeckel’s Talk Shows USA.  Joeckel says, “Small businesses need all the help they can get and Jim’s program has been dedicated to helping them since 1997!”…..This year’s National Headliner Awards – bestowed since 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City – have been announced and in the radio division, Cumulus Media’s Westwood One News wins first place for “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” for coverage of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio last year.  Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco took home the first-place honor for “Radio Stations Newscast (all markets)” category for its morning news coverage of the Kincade Fire on October 24, 2019.  Hearst’s WBAL-AM, Baltimore won first place for “Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event” for “FBI Raids Mayor Pugh’s Home” by reporter Scott Wykoff and the station’s news staff.  Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington won first place in the “Radio Stations Feature and Human Interest Story” category for “Rock Creek Rescue” in which reporter Megan Cloherty recounted the “riveting and fascinating story about a WTOP staffer who becomes a hero after saving a woman who had fallen into an icy, life-threatening Rock Creek.”  See all awards here…..Entercom reports that according to data from Podtrac, Triton, and Apple Podcast Top Charts, it is experiencing “blockbuster audience growth across its Podcast Network, which includes Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, outperforming recent softness in listening reported among other leading podcasters.”  Entercom says it hit new record listenership of 28 million listeners worldwide during the month of March.

WCCO, Minneapolis Meteorologist Mike Lynch Retires. After a 40-year career with Entercom’s WCCO-AM, Minneapolis, meteorologist Mike Lynch is retiring from the station.  In a Facebook post, Lynch says, “It’s been an incredible run that I have been so blessed to have the privilege of doing.  I grew up in Richfield, Minnesota and WCCO Radio has been part of my life from the get-go.  I can picture in my mind my parent’s kitchen radio on corner shelf at 6617 Lakeshore Dr.  I remember hearing greats like big Bob De Haven, Howard Viken, Joyce Lamont, Randy Merriman, and others.  When I was delivering morning newspapers, I loved to listen with a transistor radio and laugh out loud at 5:00 am with Roger Erickson and Maynard Speece.  When I came home every day from Holy Angels High School the ‘Cannon Mess’ was on in our kitchen… It was Steve Cannon though who took me under his wing and launched my career.  I couldn’t have done it without his kind heart.  I’ve had so many wonderful experiences at WCCO Radio.”

Glenn Beck Publishes New Book, Arguing with Socialists. Nationally syndicated talk host Glenn Beck releases his latest book, Arguing with Socialists (2020, Threshold Editions).  According to the publisher, the Premiere Networks personality’s new book “arms readers to the teeth with information necessary to debunk the socialist arguments that have once again become popular and proves that the free market is the only way to go.”

U.S. Coronavirus Infections/Deaths/Projection, Sanders Drops Out, Vote-By-Mail Debate, Trump WHO Criticism, Financial Markets Activity, and Linda Tripp Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8). The tally of confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases, the death toll, and the death projection; Bernie Sanders drops out of the Democratic race for the nomination; the debate over the potential for the November election to be handled by mail; President Trump’s criticism of the World Health Organization, claiming it acquiesced to China in downplaying Covid-19 early on; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic; and Clinton whistleblower Linda Tripp dies among top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Red Apple Media President Chad Lopez Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The president of Red Apple Media, the New York City-based firm that recently acquired heritage radio outlet 77WABC from Cumulus MediaChad Lopez, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Red Apple Media is a division of the Red Apple Group – a multi-billion-dollar company in the energy and supermarket businesses owned by its CEO and founder, John Catsimatidis.  Catsimatidis, in addition to being a self-made business mogul and a former top-tier NYC Republican mayoral candidate, is a talk show host in his own right with a syndicated weekly show, “The Cats’ Roundtable,” that emanates from friendly cross-town talk rival WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”.  He is also a lover of radio and has an extremely warm spot in his heart for WABC and its legacy.  Chad Lopez comes to the position of president of this new endeavor with an extraordinary background in New York City radio management and sales.  He was a kid from Queens who grew up listening to NYC radio and, after attending college in the area and serving four years in the Navy as a petty officer on the aircraft carrier USS Independence, worked his way up through the ranks of Big Apple radio that included 16 years in sales managing at CBS Radio – including such giant outlets as WFAN, WINS, WCBS AM/FM and the New York Yankees Radio Network.  He stepped up the corporate ladder after his time with CBS and became VP/market manager for the New York cluster of Cumulus Media which involved overseeing hot AC WPLJ, urban WNBM, country WNSH “NASH-FM” and news/talker 77WABC.  When Red Apple Media acquired 77WABC, Lopez was promoted to president of the company.  Commenting on the purchase of WABC by Catsimatidis, Michael Harrison recently stated, “This is quite possibly the most important radio ownership transaction of the past several years. A local businessperson with significant assets who has demonstrated a lifetime love for radio acquires a major market heritage station with the promise of strengthening its service. This could be just the model that sets the stage for radio’s next renaissance! The industry’s eyes and ears will be on this one.”  Harrison and Lopez discuss Red Apple’s plans for 77WABC along with the state of radio in this extraordinarily transitional year for New York City, the nation, the world and the American broadcasting industry.  This is a deep-dive conversation about the business that professional radio broadcasters should not miss!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Non-commercial triple A WYMS-FM, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” names Kevin Sucher executive director.  Milwaukee native Sucher worked as a professional musician for several years, teaching himself recording and sound engineering skills that eventually led to a career as a music producer.  Through his producing work, he built relationships with artists and influential professionals in the entertainment industry and that led to a national career in artist management in which he worked with artists, including: Eric Benét, David Foster, Train, The Tenors, and Michelle Branch.  Radio Milwaukee board president Juli Kaufmann comments, “While rooted in Milwaukee, Kevin brings connections and innovative ideas drawn from his national music industry experience.  He is an inclusive leader who brings fresh perspective to enhance our already exceptional team.  We are thrilled to advance our mission under Kevin’s leadership.”

Thursday, March 21, 2019

| March 21, 2019

Sam Shane Named KFBK, Sacramento Morning Co-Anchor. Sacramento news/talk KFBK names market news pro Sam Shane co-anchor for its “The KFBK Morning News” program, beginning April 1.  Shane – who has served with KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV in Sacramento, KGO-TV, San Francisco; KCPQ-TV, Seattle; and MSNBC – will work alongside co-anchor Cristina Mendonsa.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Sam’s deep roots in our community and his connections in the Capital City mean that he has a wealth of experience, perspective and views to draw upon that will give clarity and perspective to the day’s events.  It’s that wealth of experience, intellect, and analysis that will help make ‘The KFBK Morning News’ so much more than just a utility and download of daily data.”   Shane assumes the role left open when Dan Mitchinson exited.

Laurence Holmes Gets New Midday Show at ‘The Score.’ Chicago media writer Robert Feder breaks the news that WSCR “The Score” evening personality Laurence Holmes is moving to a new, daylight hours show at the station.  Effective March 28, Holmes will be on the air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  In order to carve out a couple of hours for Holmes’ show, program director Mitch Rosen is trimming the end of the late morning Dan Bernstein and Connor McKnight show and the beginning of the Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins afternoon drive program.  Rosen tells Feder, “This really expands our ‘Score’ brand and highlights Laurence’s tremendous strength of interviewing different personalities.  I really feel what the expansion does is make ‘The Score’ brand bigger and better, while giving our consumers more options over the air and through all digital platforms.”  The evening daypart is often affected by play-by-play.  The station says weekday morning update anchor Joe Ostrowski will handle the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show when there are no games.

Hoffman to Lead Sales Effort at Entercom Minneapolis. Radio exec Ben Hoffman continues his career with Entercom, taking on the vice president of sales role for the company’s Minneapolis stations that include legendary news/talker WCCO-AM, country KMNB “102.9 The Wolf,” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.”  Hoffman was most recently serving as SVP and market manager for the company’s Indianapolis stations being acquired by Cumulus Media.  Entercom Minneapolis SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Ben has a great track record within our company and we are looking forward to a continued trajectory of success for our sales team.”

Will Cox Sell Its Remaining Radio Assets? The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s David Allison is reporting that Cox Enterprises Inc. is considering selling off its radio properties. After the consummation of the recently announced deal for Cox to sell a majority stake in its Dayton media properties – including news/talk WHIO-AM/FM, country WHKO, and classic hits WZLR – to Apollo Global Management, Cox will own 58 radio stations in markets such as Atlanta; Athens, Georgia; Miami; Orlando; Jacksonville; Tampa; Long Island; Houston; San Antonio; and Tulsa.  Allison reports sources say the company is “exploring options” for the radio group.

Newsmax TV Inks Carriage Deal with WOW! Broadband Provider. News/talk cable channel Newsmax TV signs a deal with internet, cable, and phone provider WOW! to be carried across the network’s 19 markets.  WOW! serves an area that encompasses more than 3 million residential, business, and wholesale consumers. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “We are honored that WOW!, one of the most respected broadband carriers in the nation, decided to add Newsmax TV to its news lineup.”  Newsmax TV says it is currently available in 65 million U.S. homes and it expects to be in 80 million homes by year’s end.  Newsmax TV personalities include radio talk hosts Chris SalcedoBrett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Joe Pags, as well as Newsmax hosts Nancy Brinker and John Bachman.

KVOI-AM, Tucson Adds ‘Creative City Show’ to Weekdays. The Bustos Media-owned news talk station is promoting Zach Yentzer’s ​“Creative City Show” to full-time status, airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, beginning April 1.  KVOI operations manager Ray Alan says, “Zach has established himself as a strong emerging voice with his Saturday show.  Zach is very involved in the Tucson community and will do a great job bringing together many diverse voices.”  The move means “A Morning Affair” with host Mark Bishop is canceled.  Bustos Media chief Amador Bustos says, “We are very thankful to Mark Bishop, he was an integral part in launching the newest version of ‘1030 ​The Voice.’  We wish him the best.”

Westwood One to Present NCAA Action on Google Assistant. This year’s presentation of the NCAA March Madness play-by-play action by radio syndicator Westwood One will also happen on the Google Assistant, thanks to a collaboration between WWO and Google LLC.  Westwood One is the Official Network Radio partner of the NCAA.  Google is the Official Public Cloud provider of the NCAA. A press release from the companies says, “Bringing the live NCAA live stream to listeners together breaks new ground for both companies, coming just as Triton Digital released new data that 19% of total listening hours to AM/FM radio streams occurred on smart speakers in January 2019.”  Cumulus Media and Google will promote the integration across multiple owned-and-operated properties for the duration of NCAA March Madness through the Final Four games.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk show host Mitch Henck is launching a new talk show on Woof Boom Radio’s WHBU, Anderson, Indiana.  Henck, who served for years as a host on iHeartMedia’s Madison, Wisconsin progressive talker WXXM-FM, will be on WHBU from 7:00 am to 9:00 am…..Radio news pro Matt Pieper is named overnight anchor for CBS News Radio.  Pieper’s on-the-hour newscasts will be heard daily starting at 12:00 midnight ET on CBS News Radio affiliates around the country.  Pieper has served as a reporter for CBS News Radio since 2015.  He’s covered such major news events as the sexual assault cases of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein; the 2016 presidential race; 9/11 anniversaries; and terror related-incidents in New York…..Pictured below is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston covering President Trump’s appearance at the Lima, Ohio operations of General Dymamics.  Clugston served as the “pool” reporter for all networks on Air Force One. He also filed exclusive reports for Salem’s 24/7 news services SRN News and TOWNHALL News.

Mueller’s Trump Investigation, NZ Gun Ban, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, Release of Migrants in Texas, Boeing Criminal Investigation, Conway-Trump Spat, Midwest Floods, NBA Action, and NCAA Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19). The status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia agents; New Zealand bans military-style semi-automatic guns and large capacity magazines in the aftermath of the deadly mosques attacks; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; ICE releases migrants into Texas due to overcrowding at detention facilities; Boeing under criminal investigation for certification process; the spat between George Conway and President Trump; the devastating floods affecting the Midwest; NBA action; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Florida on-air and programming pro Jeff Zito is named afternoon drive host and APD at Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WPBB, Tampa “98.7 The Shark.”  Zito was most recently program director and midday host at the company’s WRXK, Ft. Myers “96K-ROCK.”  He also programmed the old WBRN-FM, Tampa for Beasley back in 2016.  Zito says, “I’m excited to join my mentor, [program director] Ted Kamikaze, back in Tampa at ‘98.7 The Shark.’  I want to thank Justin Chase, Travis DailySteve Triplett, and the Beasley family for allowing me this incredible opportunity to grow within the company I’ve had the privilege to work for over the past 20 years.  I can’t wait to get started, but, will miss my radio family in Ft. Myers.”….Cumulus Media and PD Duane Shannon sign a multiyear deal for Shannon to continue his role programming country WGKX “KIX 106” and adult contemporary WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” in Memphis.   He is also co-host of WGKX’s “Duane and Abby in the Morning” program.  Cumulus Memphis VP and market manager Morgan Bohannon says, “Duane has become part of the fiber of both ‘KIX 106’ and Memphis.  He has exhibited a great knowledge, appreciation, and passion for what is a historic, heritage, and leading brand in Memphis.”…..In Philadelphia, Angel Donato moves from overnights at adult contemporary WBEB “B101” to the evening show at sister classic hits WOGL…..Air personality Shay Lewis, a.k.a. Shay Shay, exits Beasley Media’s rhythmic AC WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce” in order to take a gig outside of the radio business.  She was co-host of the original morning team “The Morning Bounce with Bigg & Shay Shay” when the station flipped to urban from sports talk back in 2017.

February 2019 PPM Data – Part Three. February 2019 ratings information has been released for Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s February 2019 survey period covered January 31 – February 27.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12-PPM markets.

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Three straight negative moves by Alpha Media news/talk KXL accounted for a -1.5 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+) but “FM News 101 – Stay Connected” erases 60% of that deficit in January/February with a +.9 (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7, eighth to sixth, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend On Us” gains four-tenths in January/February (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+) and continues at #19. Off one-tenth (1.0 – .9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” slips from #23 to #25.

Four consecutive decreases by Entercom sports talk KFXX led to an overall -1.4 (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9, 6+), but “1080 The Fan” bounces back with a January/February +.4 (.9 – 1.1 – 1.3, flat at #22, 6+). Three-tenths behind is Alpha Media-owned KXTG “The Game,” which was down four consecutive times as well, losing a cumulative six-tenths in that stretch (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Game” is unchanged from January in 6+ share (1.0) and 6+ market rank (#23). After logging a .7 (6+) in three of the last four sweeps (.7 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia owned Portland Trailblazers flagship KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” drops two-tenths to .5 (#27 to #28, 6+).

The +1.2 that KOPB posted in January vanishes as the Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk outlet erodes by -1.6 (9.3 – 7.7, 6+). Moreover, KOPB segues to second after a one-month (January) stay at #1. It previously was on top from January 2018 to August 2018 (including a tie in April), before dropping to second in September. Recent KOPB fluctuations include: +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); -.5 (May); +.7 (October); -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and -1.6 (February).

Portland Music Formats – Dislodging KOPB at #1 (see above) is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” which follows January’s +1.7 with a February +1.0 (7.1 – 8.1, second to first, 6+). Furthermore, KLTH, which was -1.6 in “Holiday” 2018, reaches the eight-share level (6+) for the first time in nearly eight years (May 2011, 8.1, as well). In addition to “The Eagle,” Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFIS “104.1 The Fish” posts a February improvement of +1.0 (2.6 – 3.6, #18 to #13, 6+). On the heels of January’s -9.2, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW answers with a gain of seven-tenths (16.2 – 7.0 – 7.7, 6+) and advances from third to a second-place tie. In “Holiday” 2018, “K-103” had its strongest 6+-showing (16.2) since “Holiday” 2017 (16.9); KKCW was on top in April 2018, September, December, and “Holiday” 2018. Recapturing in its entirety the collective seven-tenths it lost in three straight down or flat trends (4.4 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.7, 6+), co-owned KFBW “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” cracks the top ten (4.4, +.7, #12 to #8, 6+). Adding one-half share to January’s +.3 (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.1, #13 to #11, 6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” has its highest 6+-stat (4.1) in exactly one year (4.7, February 2018). A cumulative +1.2 in three straight gains (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom-owned KGON surrenders all but two-tenths of that increase (4.8, -1.0, fourth to fifth, 6+). Entering the December sweep, “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” was a collective -1.0 through four decreases in a row  (5.6 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). While it is without a loss the fourth time in a row for a collective +1.8 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+) and reaches the four-share level (4.4, 6+) for the first time since February 2017’s 4.2, All Classical Public Media’s KQAC “All Classical Portland” backslides from seventh to eighth. Major ups/downs continue for Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland,” which has been a collective -1.7 (October 2018/November); +7 (December); -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.2 (January 2019); and now -.8 (5.5 – 4.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Up seven-tenths in January, Entercom-owned KNRK “94/7 – Portland Alternative” surrenders one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #12).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only does Entercom news/talk WBT replicate January’s +.4 (3.6 – 4.0 – 4.4, 6+), the Carolina Panthers flagship enters the top ten (#11 to #9).

Conversely, by dropping four-tenths to 1.3 (flat at #18, 6+), co-owned sports talk/Charlotte Hornets key station WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” suspends seven straight positive or flat moves that nearly tripled (+1.1) its 6+ share (.6 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

Adding two-tenths to January’s +.9 (1.8 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+), University Radio Foundation news/talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” repeats at #16. Flat at #21, South Carolina Educational Television Commission news/talk WNSC is without an increase for the fifth straight time and is down one-half share in that October 2018 through February 2019 timeframe (.7 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .2, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Faltering by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018, Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG responds with a January/February +2.1 (3.9 – 4.8 – 6.0, seventh to fifth, 6+); “Power 98” has its best 6+-stat (6.0) since August 2015’s 6.5. Over and above posting its third uptick in a row for a collective gain of nine-tenths (5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), co-owned urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” jumps from third to a first-place tie. It is deadlocked with cluster-mate WSOC “103.7 Country’s Hottest Hits,” which – despite sputtering by one-half share following a January improvement of nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+) – advances from second to a share of the lead. Prior to January 2019’s +.9, WSOC had been without an increase the past four reports for an overall -1.3 (7.7 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.6 – 6.4, 6+). On top in September, October, and November, WSOC segued to third in December. Ousted from #1 (after a January-only stay on top), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO shifts to #3. The three most recent fluctuations for “102.9 The Lake” are -1.2 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and now -1.4 in February (7.7 – 6.3, 6+). Immediately in advance of that -1.2, WLKO posted 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+). Four consecutive negative or flat trends by Beasley Media Group mainstream CHR WNKS resulted in a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.2, 6+) but “Kiss 95.1” snaps that streak with a +.4 to 3.6 (#14 to #12, 6+). After adding six-tenths in January, Radio One’s WOSF “105.3 RnB” surrenders all of it (4.7 – 5.3 – 4.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). WOSF had been in a May 2018 through “Holiday” 2018 down/up pattern (4.1 – 3.7 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+). The six most recent shifts for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” are -.5 (October); -.5 (November); +.6 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and now -.5 in February (3.5 – 3.0, #12 to #15, 6+). At the conclusion of the November sweep, WRCM was a collective -1.9 in five straight decreases (4.3 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” is a collective +1.0 in three straight sweeps without a loss (3.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), the San Antonio Spurs’ flagship backslides from sixth to seventh. The July 2018 – February 2019 topline for Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” is: 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (flat at #24, 6+).

Up one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (.3 – .4 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” moves from #29 to #28.

A combined -.9 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.6 – 3.2 – 2.7, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX bounces back with a January/February +1.0 (2.7 – 3.5 – 3.7, #12 to #11, 6+).    

San Antonio Music Formats – Seven recent shifts for Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” include: +.9 (August 2018); -.8 (September); +.9 (November); -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); and now +.6 in February 6.9 – 7.5, steady at #3, 6+). September’s loss ended three straight gains that accounted for a +1.5 (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.8, 6+). Six-tenths ahead of “Y-100” and repeating at #1 is iHeartMedia-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” (8.0 – 8.1, +.1, 6+). Similar to KCYY, significant fluctuations are common for “KJ-97” as evidenced by +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); and a monstrous +3.0 in January 2019 (5.0 – 8.0, 6+). Country rivals “KJ-97” and “Y-100” were tied in June 2018 and separated by just one-tenth in April, September, and “Holiday” 2018. Occupying the runner-up slot for the fifth straight time, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” adds one-tenth to January’s +1.9 (6.0 – 7.9 – 8.0, 6+). Before slipping to #2 in November, KONO-FM had been on top the previous ten sweeps. Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno,” which was -1.1 in three successive down or flat trends (3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.2, 6+) gains two-tenths to 2.4 (#19 to #17, 6+). Posting an August 2018 through January 2019 topline high of 1.4 and low of 1.0 (1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), Texas Public Radio classical KPAC breaks out a +.6 to 1.7 (#22, 6+). A one-half share increase to 4.5 (eighth to sixth, 6+) by Cox Media Group-owned KTKX “106.7 The Eagle San Antonio’s Only Classic Rock” pulls the plug on three straight downturns that resulted in a -1.4 (5.4 – 5.3 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). A combined +1.1 in January/February (2.2 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR “Air 1 – Worship Now” forfeits nine-tenths to 2.4 (#15 to #17, 6+). Erasing nearly half of January’s +1.2 with a February loss of one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” tumbles from fifth to ninth. “Magic” was down six-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Owing to five consecutive down or flat survey periods, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM is a collective -2.2 (5.4 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+) as “Que Buena 92.9” drops from #12 to #13.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – A cumulative -.9 in three straight October – “Holiday” 2018 declines (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK has since been +1.5 (January) and -.6 in February (7.6 – 7.0, 6+); “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” slips from a first-place tie to second. Returning the two-tenths it scored in January (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), co-owned KSTE remains at #14. “Talk 650” was an overall +.7 via three consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.0- 3.0, 6+) and then a combined -.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+).

Even though it is unchanged at 1.2 (6+), Bonneville’s KHTK enters the top twenty (#22 to #20); “Sports 1140” gained three-tenths in January. In four successive down or flat reports, Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” erodes by more than 50% (-.9) but stays at #25, (1.6 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+).

Skidding from sixth to ninth, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ spirals by -2.5 in three consecutive decreases (6.9 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4, 6+). December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through February 2019 topline of: .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 (#26 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – Powered by a +1.0 to 8.6 (6+), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” breaks January’s first-place tie with KFBK (see above) and has sole possession of the top spot. In the lead ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December, “The Eagle” faltered by eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (May 2018); +.9 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (September); -.5 (October); -1.1 (November); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); and +1.0 (February 2019). Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KBEB a combined +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), “92.5 The Breeze” enters the top ten (#12 to #8). Up until early-November (2018), KBEB was “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country.” It was up two-tenths in consecutive sweeps (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.5, September – October – November, 6+) but then off one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) in December. One of the country stations it competed against is Bonneville’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” whose recent history includes a combined -.9 in August/September; an overall +1.5 in three straight September–October–November-December gains; -1.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and now +.8 in February (4.7 – 5.5, seventh to fifth, 6+). Having lost nearly half (-1.1) its 6+ AQH share in three straight setbacks (2.4 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+), Entravision Communications’ KXSE “La Suavecita 92.7” rebounds with a +.6 to 1.9 (#20 to #17, 6+). Off one-half share in “Holiday” 2018, Entercom-owned KRXQ “98 Rock” is a combined +1.6 in January/February (4.3 – 5.4 – 5.9, steady at #4, 6+). Trending 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.7 (November 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KGRB “94.3 Radio Lazer” falters by six-tenths to 1.1 6+) and fades from the top twenty (#17 to #23). After logging three upticks in succession for a +1.1 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” drops one-tenth to 5.2 (fifth to sixth, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – The three most recent moves by Entercom news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020”  are -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.1 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (5.1 – 4.6, seventh to ninth, 6+).

A combined +1.6 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019, co-owned sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” regresses by six-tenths (7.1 – 6.5, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. Flat at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” has a September 2018 through February 2019 topline of .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 (6+).

Anchored at #11, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” is +1.2 in January/February (3.1 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – There is major news at the top of this Pennsylvania market’s leader board as iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW – Pittsburgh’s pacesetter the past 24 ratings periods – is a combined -5.9 in January/February (13.6 – 8.1 – 7.7, 6+) and segues to the runner-up position. Prior to January’s -5.5 to 8.1 (6+), “94.5 – 3WS” was up or flat three successive reports for a cumulative +4.1 (9.5 – 9.5 – 9.7 – 13.6, 6+). “Holiday” 2018’s 13.6 is the best 6+-showing for any Pittsburgh station since “3WS” posted a 16.4 in “Holiday” 2017. Taking over at #1 is co-owned rocker WDVE (7.6 – 8.4, +.8, third to first, 6+). Its December loss of one-half share suspended three straight increases that netted a +1.0 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.3 – 8.7, 6+). In “Holiday” 2018, WDVE plummeted by -1.0 (8.2 – 7.2, 6+). WDVE spent 11 successive sweeps in the runner-up slot before dropping to third in December. As a result of three straight improvements (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7” jumps from tenth to seventh with its best 6+-number since July 2018 (4.9, as well). Dropping from second to third, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “96.9 Bob FM” is down by -1.8 via three straight sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Separated by one-tenth are Bonneville’s KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” (unchanged at 5.2 and #6, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” (4.7 – 5.1, +.4, steady at #7, 6+). KSL was -.6 in “Holiday” 2018 and +.6 in January, while KNRS obliterated “Holiday” 2018’s -1.4 with a January +1.4.

After posting an August 2018 – December 2018 topline of 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8, Broadway Media-owned KALL lost seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2018 to 1.1 (#20 to #22, 6+); “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is unlisted for the second straight month.

Steady at #12, University of Utah news/talk KUER adds two-tenths to January’s +.6 (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+) and has its largest 6+-stat (3.1) since August 2018’s 3.5.

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Owing to three positive spikes in a row (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0, 6+), Bonneville-owned KRSP is an overall +1.3 as “103.5 The Arrow” advances from third to second. Logging three successive gains as well is  Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93,” which is +1.7 in that timeframe (3.1 – 3.4 – 4.3 – 4.8, unchanged at #8, 6+). Immediately prior to this streak, KUBL was an overall -2.8 via five consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.7 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). Co-owned CHR KENZ was trending 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.4 (November 2018 through January 2019), but “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” improves by one-half share to 2.9 (#15 to #13, 6+). Still in that Cumulus Media cluster, KHTB “101.9 Alternative Utah,” which more than doubled (+1.4) its 6+-stat through five straight sweeps without a decrease (1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), forfeits seven-tenths to 2.0 (#13 to #16, 6+). Despite eroding by -14.4 in just two (January and February) sweeps (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+), Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day” is the market leader for the fourth consecutive ratings period. Three straight increases netted a +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). On the heels of gaining eight-tenths in January (1.9 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” relinquishes one-half share to 2.2 (#13 to #15, 6+). Entering the January sweep, KBER was -1.0 in three straight sweeps without an increase (2.9 – 2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+).

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to building onto January’s +.6 with a February +.2 (1.6 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” progresses from #17 to #15 with its best 6+-performance (2.4) in exactly two years (2.8, February 2017). It doubles the 6+-stat of Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk,” which is a combined +.3 in January/February .9 – 1.1 – 1.2, flat at #23, 6+).

Unchanged at #25, Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” is in a repetitive sequence of .8 – .7 – .8 – .7 (6+).

Even though it adds one-tenth to January’s +.7 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR backslides from #10 to #11. KNPR was a combined -.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (3.3 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), directly following a +1.3 via six consecutive increases (2.0 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

Las Vegas Music Formats – The +1.2 by Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” (7.1 – 8.3, 6+) coupled with an eight-tenths shortfall by iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music for a Better Workday” (7.5 – 6.7, 6+) results in KKLZ moving from second to first and “Sunny” dropping from first (where it had been the past six sweeps) to second. This (8.3) marks the first time in its PPM-history that KKLZ, which was +1.0 in January, has reached the eight-share level (6+). The last time KKLZ hit #1 was in August 2018. A combined +4.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.3 – 9.1 – 12.8, 6+), “Sunny” is now -6.1 in January/February. Prior to being #1 from September through January 2019, “Sunny” set the pace in March, May, June, and July. Its “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 KSNE logged in “Holiday” 2016. After regressing by eight-tenths in January (4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7 – #1 For Throwbacks” regains 75% of that deficit with a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #8). With a (6+) December 2018 – January 2019 topline of 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.9, iHeartMedia’s country KWNR “95.5 The Bull” spirals by nine-tenths to 4.0 (fifth to ninth, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 3.2. In January, Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” and the University of Nevada’s KUNV “91.5 – Jazz and More” each gained six-tenths; however, in February, “Hot” is down eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.5, #13 to #14, 6+) and KUNV forfeits one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #20 to #21, 6+). “Hot” was a combined +1.1 in November/December and -.8 in “Holiday” 2018. In addition to KUNV, Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (5.0, steady at #4, 6+) and co-owned KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (2.6 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+) regress by one-half share. In eight straight up or flat survey periods, “The Point” was an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+) with 5.5 its best 6+-performance in more than two years (5.9, October 2016). Owing to February’s -.5, KOMP continues its recent “one-half share” theme: It gained one-half share in January which curtailed a mini-slide that resulted in a one-half share decrease (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). Via three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 4.3, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS was an overall +1.1 but the streak concludes as “SOS Radio” is down one-tenth to 4.2 (6+) but stays in sixth-place.

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Advancing from eighth to seventh, Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” is a combined +1.9 in January/February (3.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), following a December/“Holiday” 2018 -1.6  (5.2 – 4.5 – 3.6, 6+). Following five straight declines that resulted in a -1.6 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” is up seven tenths in January/February (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.8, flat at #11, 6+).

A January/February +1.0 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.8, 6+) lifts news/talk cluster-mate WFLF from #15 to #14. Its January gain of four-tenths applied the brakes to three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.8, 6+).

After a January increase of two-tenths (.6 – .8, 6+), Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” has its 6+-stat sliced in half (.8 – .4, #20 to #22, 6+). It is tied with iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which has lost roughly 70% (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share in six consecutive down or flat trends (1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, flat at #22, 6+).

A January/February +.8 (2.7 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+) by Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE erases all of its “Holiday” 2018 -.8; “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” climbs from #13 to #12.

Orlando Music Formats – Off eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3 – Orlando’s New #1 For All The Hits” makes that disappear with a February +1.2 to 5.4 (tenth to eighth, 6+). On the heels of January’s robust +2.0 (4.9 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” tacks on an additional +1.0 to 7.9 (fourth to third, 6+), officially clearing out its cumulative -2.2 via four down or flat moves in a row (7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9, 6+). Three upticks in succession by iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7 Orlando’s #1 Hit Music Station” result in a +1.1 (7.3 – 7.4 – 8.1 – 8.4, steady at #2, 6+). A combined -1.1 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WRUM roars back with a January/February +1.7 (7.8 – 9.3 – 9.5, 6+) as “Rumba 100” repeats at #1. The Spanish tropical outlet spent 11 consecutive ratings periods on top, before falling to #2 in December and “Holiday” 2018. April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Adult contemporary sibling WMGF “Magic 107.7,” which replaced WRUM at #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018, is -8.4 in January/February (14.3 – 6.9 – 5.9, fourth to fifth, 6+). That follows its combined +8.5 in December/ “Holiday” 2018 (5.8 – 9.8 – 14.3, 6+), with “Holiday” 2018’s 14.3 its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 15.9. After racking up a January/February +1.3 (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” surrenders all but three-tenths of that increase (5.4, -1.0, sixth to eighth, 6+). A December decline of three-tenths halted three consecutive up or flat moves that yielded two-tenths (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – It is just a one-month (January) stay at #1 for iHeartMedia news/talk WLW as the flagship of the Reds and Bengals drops two-tenths (9.9 – 9.7, 6+) and shifts to the runner-up slot. The two previous sweeps were quite volatile for WLW: -2.1 in “Holiday” 2018, followed by a +2.4 in January. In a slight statistical oddity, co-owned WKRC was up one-half share in January yet slipped from #10 to #11, while in February, “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” drops one-tenth yet improves from #11 to #10.

Likewise, sports talk sibling WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” returns the two-tenths it picked up in January (1.0 – 1.2 – 10, 6+) but climbs from #18 to #17; it was up two-tenths in January but fell from #17 to #18.

In five successive sweeps without an increase, WVXU lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+); however, the Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk facility is now +.6 in January/February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2, #13 to #12, 6+).

Cincinnati Music Formats – By gaining eight-tenths to 4.9 (eighth to seventh, 6+), Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9” wipes away in its entirety the -.8 it squandered through three straight losses (4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+). Adding six-tenths to January’s +1.5 (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” marches from second to first. Following a December-only stay at #1, WGRR eroded by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. Immediately prior to its -1.8, WGRR was an overall +1.3 via four straight gains (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.2 – 9.6 – 9.9, 6+). This (10.2) is the highest 6+ stat and first time in double-digits (6+) for “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” since March 2018’s 10.4. In addition to entering the top ten (#12 to #9), Radio One urban AC WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” is +1.0 as a result of three straight upticks (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+) and records its best 6+-number in roughly two years (3.6, as well in March 2017). Improving by one-half share as well in February is Grant County Broadcasters’ WNKN “Classic Country 105.9 & 106.7,” which is an overall +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, flat at #15, 6+). Following January’s +1.0, Hubbard-owned WUBE “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” returns 70% (9.4 – 8.7, -.7, 6+) but remains in third-place. A loss of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, 6+) dispatches Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” out of the top ten (#9 to #13). While steady at #6, co-owned classic rock WOFX  surrenders roughly one-third of January’s +1.4 (5.7 – 5.2, -.5, sixth to sixth, 6+). Prior to January, “92.5 The Fox” had a collective loss of nine-tenths in three successive sweeps without an increase, (5.2 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.3, 6+). WDBZ “Soul 101.5” registered a .9 (6+) in August 2018 to finish at #20, but the Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies outlet is unlisted for the seventh time in a row.

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight declines (6.8 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM was an overall -2.6, but “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” responds with a January/February +1.3 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.5, ninth to eighth, 6+). An October increase of eight-tenths halted four successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a collective downturn of six-tenths (6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4 – 6.0 – 6.0, 6+).

Spiraling by -1.2 (5.4 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom sports talk WKRK slips from eighth to tenth. Just prior to December, “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” netted a +2.0 in five successive improvements (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).

After swapping “Holiday” 2018’s -1.1 with January 2019’s +1.1, Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN is in 6+ share (3.2) and 6+ market rank (#13).

Cleveland Music Formats – The three latest shifts by iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI are +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); and +.8 (9.0 – 9.8, February, 6+). “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is on top for the third sweep in succession. Logging a February +.8 as well is Entercom adult contemporary WDOK (6.0 – 6.8, sixth to third, 6+). “Cleveland’s Star 102” was a combined +4.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.6 – 8.2 – 10.3, 6+) but plummeted by -4.3 in January. In four successive losses, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ was a collective -1.0 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.4 – 5.8, 6+), but “Z-107.9” recaptures 60% of that decline with a +.6 to 6.4 (seventh to fifth, 6+). A cumulative -3.7 through five consecutive setbacks (8.1 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s #1 For New Country” answers with a January/February +2.2 (4.4 – 6.1 – 6.6, 6+) and repeats at #4. While it remains at #11, Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays The Hits” is an overall -1.6 owing to three successive negative moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). Co-owned WNCX “98.5 – Cleveland’s Classic Rock” was -.4 in “Holiday” 2018; +.8 (January 2019); and -.5 in February (6.9 – 6.4, third to fifth, 6+). Resurfacing in print in October 2018, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFHM trended 5.4 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.4 (#7, 6+), but “95.5 The Fish” is unlisted for the second consecutive month.

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.7 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (5.1 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” answers in January/February with a +2.2 (3.4 – 4.6 – 5.6, seventh to fourth, 6+). KMBZ-FM was +.7 in October/November (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Steady at #18, co-owned KMBZ-AM “Talk 980,” which lost half (-1.3) its 6+ AQH share in December/“Holiday” 2018 (2.6 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) is up nine-tenths in January/February (1.3 – 1.9 – 2.2, 6+). After trending .7 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 (6+), Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710 AM” doubles January’s .7 (1.4, +.7, 6+) and carries on at #22. The last time “Talk Radio 710 AM” reached the one-share level (6+) was in March 2018 (1.0).

The market’s (6+) sports talk share shrinks by -1.8 as Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” erodes by -1.2 (5.0 – 3.8, #6 to #11, 6+), while Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is off by half as much (2.9 – 2.3, -.6, #16 to #17, 6+). A combined -.5 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), WHB erupted in January with a +1.3. In three consecutive decreases, KCSP lost nine-tenths (3.5 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+) but was +.3 in January.

The -.7 that University of Missouri news/talk outlet KCUR logged in “Holiday” 2018 is wiped away with a January/February +.7 (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.7, #14 to #12 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – The wild ride continues for Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM, which was +1.6 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.3 (January 2019); and +1.2 in February (5.4 – 6.6, fourth to third, 6+). By picking up one-tenth in December, “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits,” curtailed eight successive March through November declines that accounted for a combined -3.1 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.8 – 6.4 – 6.3 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+); KCMO-FM was #1 in March 2018, April, and May. Registering positive spikes of seven-tenths (each) are Carter Broadcast Group urban contemporary KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz” (steady in the runner-up slot) and Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” (3.2 – 3.9, 6+), which is back in the top ten (#15 to #10, 6+). Enjoying its fourth uptick in a row for a collective +1.5 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), “Hot 103” notches its highest 6+share (6.9) since July 2018’s 7.1. A combined +2.8 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (4.2 – 5.1 – 7.0, 6+), KCKC cratered by -3.8 in January. “Holiday” 2018’s 7.0 is its best 6+ showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 8.1. While it is on top for the tenth straight time, Cumulus Media’s KCFX “101 The Fox – Kansas City’s Classic Rock Station” plummets by -1.9 (10.1 – 8.2, 6+), the largest (6+) January 2019 – February 2019 decline by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here. January’s 10.1 is its strongest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 10.3. The December loss of seven-tenths by the Kansas City Chiefs’ flagship halted six straight sweeps without a loss for an overall +2.7 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 8.8 – 9.6 – 9.7, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” (4.9, third to sixth, 6+) and Cumulus Media urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3 – Kansas City’s Best Mix of R&B” (4.2 – 3.4, #10 to #14, 6+). An overall -1.6 in three straight dips (5.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+),“Q-104” was a combined +2.0 in “Holiday” 2018/January 2019 (3.7 – 5.0 – 5.7, 6+). “Magic 107.3,” which was +2.0 in four consecutive gains (2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 4.4 – 4.7, 6+), lost one-half share in January. CHR sibling KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe – All The Hits” sputters by seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.5 – 3.8 – 3.1, #12 to #15, 6+). Immediately prior to January, “The Vibe” was +1.4 through five consecutive positive or flat moves (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dialing up a +1.3 (5.7 – 7.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN relinquishes all but two-tenths of that increase (5.9, -1.1, flat at #5, 6+). “News Radio 610” was off a combined six-tenths in December/“Holiday” 2018 (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+).

Repeating at #17, iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is trending (.9 – .6 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+). For the second month in a row, RadiOhio sports talk outlet WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” is unlisted. Among fluctuations for the Columbus Blue Jackets flagship since reappearing in print in August 2018 are: +1.1 (October); -.4 (November); +1.0 (December); and -2.0 in “Holiday” 2018 (7.3 – 5.3, seventh, 6+).

Ohio State University news/talk WOSU follows January’s +1.1 with a gain of two-tenths (4.5 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+).

Columbus Music Formats – Trending 7.2 – 6.8 – 7.2 (December – “Holiday” 2018 – January 2019, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” erupts with a +.9 to 8.1 (6+) and advances from fourth to second. Adding seven-tenths to January’s eight-tenths’ increase (10.6 – 11.4 – 12.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” is #1 for the 15th sweep in a row and has been in double-digits (6+) each ratings period since June 2017. Its January +.8 halted six straight setbacks that resulted in a collective -5.7 (16.3 – 15.1 – 15.0 – 14.5 – 13.0 – 12.7 – 10.6, 6+). Recent WCOL fluctuations include +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 (March); +1.0 (April); +1.2 (June); +.6 (July); 1.2 (August); -.5 (October); -1.5 (November); -2.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +.8 (January 2019); and +.7 (February). Recording a February +.7 as well is One Connection Media Group contemporary Christian WCVO “104.9 The River” (3.3 – 4.0, steady at #8, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat (4.0) since October 2018’s 4.1. Following a combined December/“Holiday” 2018 +3.7 (5.0 – 5.8 – 8.7, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” is -4.6 in January/February (8.7 – 4.6 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Its December positive spike halted three consecutive declines that generated an overall -1.7 (6.7 – 6.4 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+).