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Friday, February 24, 2017

| February 24, 2017

E.W. Scripps Reports Q4 Financials; Radio Division Dips 1%.  Television is a much bigger business for E.W. Scripps – as is evidenced by the $233 million in Q4 revenue from TV versus the $18.8 million from radio during the same period.  The company’s radio revenue was down just a bit – 1% compared to the same period in 2015.  But profit in the radio division was up 7.4% due to the fact that expenses dipped from $15.2 million in Q4 of 2015 to $14.6 million in 2016.

Talk Media Icon, Alan Colmes, Dead at 66. In what comes as shocking news to the world’s talk media community, longtime radio broadcaster, talk show host, and political pundit Alan Colmes passed away in New York City Thursday morning (2/23) after bravely battling an illness for the past several months. Colmes, who began his stellar radio career as a teenager on such Long Island stations as WGBB, Freeport and WGSM, Huntington went on to star on the legendary outlets WABC, WNBC, WHN, WMCA, WEVD in New York. His career also included stints at WNHC, New Haven as well as WZLX and WEZE in Boston. Colmes was a pioneer in the modern talk radio syndication industry launching the seminal Daynet with Barry Farber in the early 1990s. He also played a role in the developing NYC comedy scene as a successful stand-up comic during the 1980s. Colmes joined Fox News Channel in 1996 where he co-hosted the legendary program “Hannity & Colmes” with Sean Hannity until the end of 2008. He had continued on the channel since then as an in-house contributing commentator and hosted a nightly syndicated radio program on Fox News Radio. For the past two years he had also been in development with TalkersRadio of an experimental program titled “Healed Planet” that explored one of his personal passions, the subject of the human consciousness movement. Colmes was a graduate of Hofstra University and a charter inductee into its radio station, WRHU’s Hall of Fame. More information and details to come. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who has known Colmes since their days together at Hofstra and Long Island stations, states, “Alan Colmes was one of the greatest radio performers and talk media personalities of our time. Yet, there is so much about his talent and personality that people don’t know. He was a man of impeccable character and generosity with talents that extended way beyond the frame of reference in which he was primarily cast in the public’s view. This is a devastating loss.” Colmes’ longtime FNC partner Sean Hannity issues the following statement: “The Fox family, Dr. Jocelyn Colmes, Monica Crowley and I personally have lost one of life’s most decent, kind and wonderful people you’d ever want to meet. When Alan and I started ‘Hannity and Colmes,’ there wasn’t a day that went by where we didn’t’ say we were two most fortunate men in all television. Despite major political differences, we forged a deep friendship. Alan, in the midst of great sickness and illness, showed the single greatest amount of courage I’ve ever seen. And through it all, he showed his incredible wit and humor that was Alan’s signature throughout his entire life. I’m truly heartbroken at the loss of a dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jocelyn, Monica and his entire family. He will be dearly missed.” Fox News is providing a video package of Colmes’ work for the organization. See it here. Cumulus Media‘s New York City heritage news/talker 77WABC posted an audio tribute to Colmes that you can hear here.

Kinosian: An Interview with Alan Colmes.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian dug into his files to retrieve a piece he wrote years ago on talk radio and talk TV star Alan Colmes.  With Colmes’ passing on Thursday (2/23), TALKERS hopes this illuminating piece delving into his media mind will not only help pay tribute to the multi-talented broadcaster, but give those who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him personally a better idea of what he was all about.  Read it here.

KXTG, Portland Names ‘The Irregular Guys’ Afternoon Show.  At Alpha Media’s Portland sports talker KXTG “750/102.9 The Game,” the duo of Justin Myers and Noah “Chop” Homsley assume the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.  Chop previously was partnered with Fletcher Johnson in the afternoon daypart.  Myers is an Oregon native who worked in the market until heading north to Seattle to host middays at KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” and Mariners pre- and post-game programming.  Chop has worked in the Portland market since 1997.

Norden Named SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Tampa.  At the Tampa station group, iHeartMedia announces Pete Norden moves from his market president role at the company’s Sarasota operations to Tampa where he’s now SVP of sales.  iHeartMedia operates news/talk WFLA, talk WHNZ, sports talk WDAE,  CHR WFLZ, country WFUS, hip hop WBTP, hot AC WMTX, rock WXTB, and Spanish WRUB.  iHeartMedia area president for Tampa Bay Sam Nein comments, “We are very excited about adding Pete to our team.  Pete has an established track record of performance success, is a great leader and will be a very strong addition to our team!”

Trump Immigration Policy/Sweden Comments Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 20-24.  The Trump Administration’s re-issued travel order, its deportation policy and President Donald Trump’s comments about immigrant crime in Sweden tied for the most-talked-about story of the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Trump’s reversal of the Obama Administration’s transgender bathroom order.  At #3 was the recent boisterous GOP town hall meetings, and following at #4 was the retaking of Mosul from ISIS.  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’s published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Radio syndication and sales rep unit Westwood One announces the addition of four new podcasts with which it is partnering.  The company is providing exclusive ad sales representation for NBC Sports Radio’s “The Leisuremen,” featuring personalities Paul Pabst and Andrew Perloff; political website The Daily Wire’s two podcasts from Ben Shapiro and Andrew Klavan; and “Entrepreneurs En Vogue,” featuring Miss New York US, Iman Oubou.  WW1 says advertisers will have access to endorsements, live reads, pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll advertisements as well as multi-platform opportunities across Westwood One’s robust content offering – broadcast, digital and social…..At Pittsburgh pubcaster Community Broadcasting, Maria Gabriel Scapellato is named the new local host of WESA’s airing of NPR’s “Morning Edition.”  Scapellato has been serving with CBS RADIO at crosstown news/talk KDKA-AM as a part-time reporter and anchor…..At next month’s SXSW, Public Radio Exchange (PRX), and iHeartRadio are partnering for a day of live podcast performances on March 14.  SXSW attendees will be able to watch programs being produced at The Capital Factory – a “cool co-working space” that’s an easy walk from the Austin Convention Center.  Programs taking part include: “Mortified,” from Radiotopia; “Intercepted,” from First Look Media; “CRYBABIES,” from Earwolf; “Another Round,” from BuzzFeed; “Dinner Party Download,” from APM; “Wrongful Conviction,” from reVolver Podcasts; and “Found,” from Wondery.

Great Talk Radio Producer Gig Available.  Legendary heritage talker, WRKO in Boston, is seeking an on-air producer to lead its Boston Dot Com morning show. They are looking for a leader — someone who can come in each day and put together a compelling, four-hour show that addresses what’s happening in the world from the conservative viewpoint.  The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 5 years medium-to-major market experience in an on-air host and/or producer role. You should be fully engaged in social media, and ideally a political/entertainment junkie. You should have an understanding as to how to relate to a conservative audience, but at the same time appealing to the masses. Experience coaching and developing talent is a plus. Familiarity with Wide Orbit (or other digital automation systems), Audition and/or Pro Tools, Photoshop, and video editing software are required.  Please send your package, including resume, on-air/imaging/production demo, and your philosophy on morning radio, to program director Michael Czarnecki at mczarnecki@wrko.com. You must also apply on-line at entercom.com.

KGO, San Francisco Rising Star Ethan Bearman Guests This Week on Harrison Podcast. One of talk radio’s brightest rising stars, Ethan Bearman, who hosts the daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm midday show on Cumulus Media’s heritage KGO, San Francisco, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bearman, an extremely articulate Gen Xer, discusses the differences and similarities between the Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials as well as the societal impact of this era’s rapidly accelerating technological change. Harrison and Bearman cast a wide net, peering as far as 100 years into the future and covering such topics as self-driving cars, nano chip implantation in the human brain and Donald Trump’s obsession with the media. Not to be missed. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Columbus, North American Broadcasting Company’s rock WRKZ “99.7 The Blitz” re-ups with morning show “Loper and Randi in the Morning” to keep the show with the station through 2021.  The married duo has been hosting mornings on the station for the past five years…..The iHeartRadio Music Awards will honor Bruno Mars with its 2017 iHeartRadio Innovator Award at the awards show on March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  iHeartMedia president of Entertainment Enterprises John Sykes states, “We are proud to have Bruno join Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, and U2 in the elite group of iHeartRadio Innovators.  From the start of his career Bruno has been fearless in his approach to all things creative.  This award was made for him.”…..The National Association of Broadcasters announces the 50 finalists for this year’s 30th Annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards.  The NAB Crystal Radio Awards recognize radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service. The 10 winners will be announced at the NAB Radio Luncheon on Tuesday, April 25 during the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  See the 50 nominees here…..Envision Networks congratulates Jackie Kajzer, host of the nationally syndicated heavy metal show “Full Metal Jackie,” on her being named Metal Programmer of the Year at the 2017 RadioContraband Awards.  Kajzer says, “I am honored to win such a great award in an area that is not only my job but an area I’m super passionate about.  I love playing hard rock and metal on the radio and supporting this genre I live for.  Thanks to the many great stations that carry my show.”

 

 

Round Three of January PPMs Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 survey period covered January 5 – February 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Despite a robust “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 -6.7 (15.3 – 8.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” is #1 for the 32nd time in the last 34 ratings periods. December 2016’s +2.1 to 9.8 (6+) concluded the station’s September-October-November mini-slide (8.6 – 7.8 – 7.7, 6+). With nearly seven shares from “K-103” up for grabs, country emerges in good shape with Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull #1 For New Country” increasing by nine-tenths (4.2 #12 to #10, 6+) and Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf” showing a +.7 to jump from fifth to third (6+). This ends three straight decreases for “The Bull” (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+) that resulted in a combined -1.8, while “The Wolf” has its third consecutive gain for a net +1.1 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8, 6+). Among spoken-word outlets, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB adds one full-share after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 (7.6 – 6.9 – 7.9, #2, 6+) and is just seven-tenths behind “K-103.” Alpha Media talker KXL, -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, bounces back with a +.8 (4.7 – 4.1 – 4.9, eighth to sixth, 6+). Declining by -1.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “Portland’s Classic Hits Station 106.7 The Eagle” recaptures all but three-tenths of that loss (5.6 – 4.3 – 5.3, +1.0, 6+), remaining at #4. Down seven-tenths since September (5.8 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), “The Eagle” was +.5 in December. Following six straight negative trends for a collective -1.9 (3.6 – 3.5 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KXJM “JAM’N 107.5” is +.6 to 2.3, moving from a three-way tie at #19 to #16 (6+). Similarly-formatted KWEE “WE 96.3 Portland’s Real Hip-Hop Station” adds six-tenths as well (1.5 – 2.1, 6+) and the Alpha Media property cracks the top 20 (#22 to #18). Also gaining six-tenths, in addition to KXJM and KWEE, are iHeartMedia CHR KKRZ “Z-100” (3.8 – 4.4, #11 to #8, 6+) and Alpha Media triple A KINK “101.9 Uniquely Portland” (3.3 – 3.9, flat at #12, 6+). Tied with “Z-100” at #8 is Alpha Media’s KBFF “Live 95.5 The Station That Sounds Like Portland,” which is +.4 to 4.4 (6+), thus halting four straight down or flat trends (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Following six consecutive months without a decrease for a combined +1.4 since April 2016 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.3, 6+), KYCH “97.1 Charlie We Play Everything” dropped two-tenths in November; lost one full-share in December; and was +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016. The Entercom adult hits facility, however, erodes by -1.5 in January 2017 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.1 – 5.5 – 4.0, 6+), freefalling from #3 to #11. Unchanged at #14, classic rock cluster-mate KGON is without an increase for the eighth straight sweep for a combined -1.7 since June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+).

2) Charlotte – Owing to a -7.4 to 4.9 (6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC sees its successive string of upward trends – which netted a +8.8 – end at three (3.5 – 4.3 – 5.9 – 12.3, 6+), as “K-104.7” drifts from first to seventh. Jumping from third to first is iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox,” which posts a +.8 to 7.2 (6+), halting a string of three straight downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). After freefalling by -1.2, country sibling WKKT “96.9 The Kat” more than makes up for it with a +1.7 (5.2 – 4.0 – 5.7, 6+), rocketing from eighth to third. In “Holiday” 2016, “The Kat” trailed its format rival, Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits,” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). That margin has been sliced to seven-tenths as second-ranked “Country’s Hottest Hits” sputters by seven-tenths (7.0 – 6.3, 6+). Off by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, University Radio Foundation’s WFAE is up by twice that margin in January 2017 (3.4 – 2.8 – 4.0, +1.2, 6+) and enters the top ten (#13 to #10). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WFAE was 3.4 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps. By improving by +1.1 (2.5 – 3.6, 6+), Davidson College-owned classical WDAV leaps from #16 to a three-way tie at #11. Advancing by eight-tenths each are Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link Charlotte’s Best Mix” (4.8, steady at #8, 6+) and Beasley Media Group CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” (3.8 – 4.6, tenth to ninth, 6+). Prior to January 2017 results, the most recent (6+) trending for “The Link” was 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0. The third straight gain for WRCM “K-LOVE” is by six-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+) as the Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian inches up from #18 to #17. Rebounding from December’s loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” adds one-half share to the +.6 in “Holiday” 2016 (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3, 6+), yet backslides from #13 to #15. Dropping by seven-tenths each are Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF “Old School 105.3” (6.2 – 5.5, fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake We Play Anything” (#7 to #11, 6+). After posting a +1.9 in December to move from sixth to the top spot, “Old School 105.3” dropped eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 and fell to fourth. Meanwhile, “The Lake” has its fourth straight negative trend for a combined -1.5 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+).

3) Pittsburgh – On top in October 2016, November, and December, iHeartMedia rocker WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third (10.4 – 8.4, 6+). Powered by a +1.6 to an even 10.0 (6+) in January 2017, however, WDVE returns to the top spot, where it dislodges classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “3WS” (13.7 – 9.3, -4.4, 6+), which segues to #2. In “Holiday” 2016, WWSW was up by +4.4 to 13.7, its strongest 6+-showing since 14.2 in “Holiday” 2015, and back in double-digits (6+) for the first time since September. In addition to WDVE, Steel City Radio adult hits WRRK “Bob” notches a +1.6 as well (6.9 – 8.5, fourth to third, 6+). Within 7.0 – 7.9 range (6+) April through December, “Bob” was off by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016. A gain of four-tenths to 4.5 (6+, “Holiday” 2016) by CBS Radio‘s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a cumulative -3.5 (7.6 – 6.5 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). In January 2017, “The Fan” adds a +1.2 (4.5 – 5.7, 6+) to progress from eighth to sixth. Improving by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are iHeartMedia CHR WKST (6.7 – 7.3, fifth to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays The Hits” (4.1, tenth to ninth, 6+). The latter ends three straight dips (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). A combined +5.7 in December 2016 and “Holiday” by Renda Broadcasting’s WSHH to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016, ended three straight down or flat trends between August and November that resulted in a one-half share loss (6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.3, 6+). Adult contemporary “Wish 99.7” surrenders a -5.1 (12.4 – 7.3, 6+) as it slides from second to fourth. For the eighth straight ratings period, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” (3.5 – 3.7, +.2, 6+) is at #11, while Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (2.8 – 2.9, +.1, 6+) is in 2.1 – 2.9 range for the eighteenth consecutive time and continues at #12. Absent from print for roughly two and a half years, classical WQED returns at #15 (1.5, -.7, 6+).

4) Sacramento – Swapping places at the top are iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK (7.9 – 8.7, +.8, second to first, 6+) and CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” (13.0 – 8.2, -4.8, first to second, 6+). Going into the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, “Mix” ranked third the previous five sweeps. A combined +2.4 in November 2016 and December 2016, “Mix” was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Meanwhile, KFBK is at #1 after six straight times in the runner-up slot. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KFBK include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September 2016); +1.2 (October 2016); -.7 (November 2016) +.7 (December 2016); and +.8 (January 2017). Other spoken-word outlets making noteworthy gains in the “Big Tomato” include KFBK cluster-mate KSTE which recaptures the -1.4 from “Holiday” 2016 (2.5 – 3.9, +1.4, #12 to #8, 6+); Capital Public Radio-owned KXJZ (3.2 – 4.0, +.8, ninth to seventh, 6+); and CBS Radios KHTK “Sports 1140” (1.5 – 2.0, +.5, flat at #20, 6+). Locked on 3.9 (6+) in November and December KSTE faltered by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. Improving by one-half share are Entercom classic rock KSEG “The Eagle” (7.7, #3, 6+); co-owned KKDO “Radio 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” (3.0, #12 to #11, 6+); and CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1 FM,” regaining the -.5 from “Holiday” 2016 (5.5 – 5.0 – 5.5, unchanged at #4, 6+). Having spent 11 consecutive months at #1 before slipping to #3 in “Holiday” 2016, “The Eagle” concludes five negative trends in the last six ratings periods – including the previous three for a combined -2.4 (9.6 – 8.8 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+). “Radio 94.7 Sacramento’s Alternative” followed October’s 2.9 (6+) with three straight 2.5 (6+) showings. Up four-tenths to 2.5 (6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM” (#16 to #13, 6+) pulls the plug on six consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL “V-101” (3.9 – 3.3, #10, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KSFM (#10 to #16, 6+), which is without an increase for the fourth straight time (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+).

5) San Antonio – Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” improves by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) to progress from the runner-up slot to #1. There it supplants iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 San Antonio’s Best Variety” (11.8 – 5.2, 6+), which spirals from first to sixth. Following a December gain of +1.5 to 4.8 (6+), KQXT added +5.5 to 10.3 (6+). Conversely, co-owned KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” regains all of the -1.4 from “Holiday” 2016 and two-tenths more (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6, +1.6, 6+) to vault from ninth to fourth. It trails Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” (5.7, +.3, fourth to third, 6+) by one-tenth. In three straight downward trends (7.5 – 7.1 – 5.8 – 54, 6+), “Y-100” was a combined -2.1. The five latest (6+) fluctuations for classic hits-oldies sibling KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and now January 2017’s +1.1 (5.8 – 6.9, third to second, 6+). “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. In eight straight monthlies without an increase, co-owned KTKX “106.7 The Eagle” was down by a combined -1.4 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+) before its +.8 to 4.1 in January 2017 (#12 to #10, 6+). A loss of nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 by WOAI curtailed three consecutive gains (4.2 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 4.9, 6+) which netted seven-tenths, but the iHeartMedia talker hangs out a +.7 (4.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+) to climb from ninth to eighth. Posting increases of six-tenths are Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM” (3.6 – 4.2, #11 to #9, 6+); regional Mexican sibling KSAH (2.6 – 3.2, #15 to #14, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR (.9 – 1.5, #21, 6+). “Jack” was -.7 in “Holiday” 2016; KSAH was -.5. After advancing by eight-tenths, iHeartMedia’s KZEP “Hot 104.5” forfeits all but one-tenth (1.7 – 2.5 – 1.8, -.7, #17 to #20, 6+). Off by seven-tenths as well is Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” (3.8, #7 to #12, 6+), whose 6+ September through “Holiday” 2016 trends are 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5. Owing to a -.4 to (4.8, 6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” (sixth to seventh, 6+) snaps at three its string of consecutive gains which netted a combined +1.2 (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+).

6) Cincinnati – Not only does WGRR with a +.8 end four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+), the Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet marches from second to first, where it had been for four straight months prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep. The station that displaced WGRR from #1 this time last month – co-owned adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98” – erodes by roughly 54% (11.7 – 5.4, -6.3, 6+) and freefalls to sixth. In five straight improvements since August, “Warm 98” gained nearly seven full-shares (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.0 – 6.3 – 11.7, 6+). Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) Hubbard Radio country outlet WUBE “B-105” recoups nearly half that deficit with a +1.5 to 6.8 (fifth to third, 6+). Trending .9 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.1 (6+), co-owned and similarly formatted WYGY “97.3 The Wolf” busts out a +.8 to 1.9 (6+), inching up from #18 to #16. Advancing by eight-tenths as well are hot AC sibling WKRQ “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” (5.5 – 6.3, flat at #4, 6+) and Cumulus Media classic rocker WOFX “The Fox” (3.8 – 4.6, tenth to seventh, 6+); “Q-102” was -1.3 in “Holiday” 2016 and off by one-half share in December. Spoken-word stations improving significantly in January 2017 include iHeartMedia siblings WLW (7.8 – 8.4, +.6, third to second, 6+) and WKRC (4.8 – 5.6, +.8, sixth to fifth, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, WLW was -.9 and WKRC was -1.2. One of the longest consecutive streaks without a decrease carries on as Radio One’s urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (#19 to #17) is a combined +1.5 since April 2016 (0.2 – 0.3 – 0.4 – 0.5 – 0.5 – 0.5 – 0.7 – 0.8 – 0.9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+). Unchanged at #15, Cumulus Media’s WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” picks up one-tenth to 2.0 (6+), ending six straight downward trends that yielded a -1.5 (3.4 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+). Up by one-half share are co-owned WFTK “96 Rock” (2.9, #14 to #13, 6+), which had been down the past four sweeps for a -.9 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+), and Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” (3.9 – 4.4, ninth to eighth, 6+). WFTK’s format foe, iHeartMedia’s WEBN, is down two full-shares as a result of five straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+) and skids from seventh to tenth.

7) Cleveland – After not having an increase in four straight ratings periods for a -.6 (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WZAK is a cumulative +1.9 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (6.3 – 7.6 – 8.2, 6+), leaping from eighth to fourth to second. Spiking by +1.3 each are iHeartMedia siblings WGAR “99.5 Cleveland’s Country” (6.0 – 7.3, seventh to third, 6+) and WMMS “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” (4.5 – 5.8, #11 to #9, 6+). From October through December, WGAR trended 7.9 – 7.7 – 7.9 (6+) but spiraled by -1.9 to 6.0 in “Holiday” 2016. Entering the December sweep, WMMS was without a decrease in the previous five ratings periods for a collective +2.3 (4.2 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.8 – 6.5, 6+). It coughed up 1.3 shares of that gain in December and regressed by another seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. Rising by one-half share is talk cluster-mate WTAM (5.4 – 5.9, seventh, 6+). In November, the Cleveland Indians flagship recorded a massive +2.7 to 9.1, its most potent 6+-share since May 2012 when it reached 9.8; it sunk by three full-shares in December and seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. Eight consecutive up or flat trends for Ideastream’s WCPN (steady at #13) – including January 2017’s +1.1 – produce a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+). Following four consecutive fluctuations of one-half share – three in the negative direction (7.8 – 7.3 – 6.8 – 7.3 – 6.8, 6+) – CBS Radio adult contemporary WDOK “Star 102” notched a +3.6 to 10.4 (6+) and took over at #1. After just one sweep though, “Star” (10.4 – 6.2, -4.2, 6+) flounders to #6. It gives way to iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI, even though “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” is down by -1.3 (9.8 – 8.5, second to first, 6+). Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It departed the penthouse after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. The yoyo effect continues for adult hits sibling WHLK “The Lake.” Three straight downward trends in September, October, and November accounted for a -2.4 (8.9 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+). “The Lake” rebounded in December with a +1.8, but is a collective -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (8.3 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+) as it slips from third to fifth. November 2016’s 6.5 was the weakest 6+-performance for “The Lake” since June 2012 (6.1). Surrendering one-half share in each of the last two ratings periods (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ slumps from eighth to tenth; “Z-107.9” was +.9 in December 2016. Ever-consistent CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (3.8 – 4.2, +.4, 6+) remains anchored at #12 – where it’s been since February 2016.

8) Salt Lake City – It is the quintessential ratings case of “what goes up must come down” as Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” says goodbye to 12.3 shares (20.6 – 8.3, 6+) and – after three straight sweeps at #1 – shifts to #2. It was truly a monumental accomplishment for KSFI to have shattered the 20-share barrier in “Holiday” 2016. Over and above that, until January’s -12.3, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3 shares. Swapping places with KSFI is talk cluster-mate KSL (6.8 – 8.9, second to first, 6+), whose five most recent (6+) fluctuations are +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); and +2.1 (January 2017). Another talk outlet – iHeartMedia’s KNRS – erases its -.8 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.0 (4.6 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+) to climb from seventh to sixth. Making similar jumps of one full-share are co-owned CHR KZHT “97.1 Salt Lake’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.4 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+); Cumulus Media country-formatted KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.3, ninth to eighth, 6+); and Brigham Young University classical KBYU (3.1, #17 to #12, 6+). KZHT was -1.9 in “Holiday” 2016, while “K-Bull 93” had faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). As for KBYU, it was frozen on 2.5 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016. Having declined by a combined -1.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ “Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” bounces back with a +1.3 (4.3 – 3.3 – 4.6, 6+) and advances ninth to seventh. When KODJ notched a +.3 in November, it curtailed four consecutive declines (6.6 – 5.5 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+) for a cumulative loss of -2.1. A +.7 to 3.3 (6+) by Broadway Media’s KXRK “X-96 Utah’s Original Alternative” (#13 to #11) applies the brakes to five consecutive sweeps without an increase that accounted for a -1.1 (3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY “My 99.5” rebounds with a +.6 (2.3 – 2.9, 6+), climbing from #16 to #14. After tumbling by nine-tenths, Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7” recaptures one-half share (1.9 – 2.4, 6+) to shift from #19 to #15. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, “B-98.7” had not had a decrease in the previous five ratings periods (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Stuck on 1.4 (6+) in November 2016 and December, Broadway Media-owned KEGA “101.5 The Eagle Utah’s Best Country” gained one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 – only to surrender all of it plus one-tenth in January 2017 (1.4 – 2.4 – 13, 6+), dropping from #15 to #20.

9) Las Vegas – Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+). Even though all but one share of that increase is wiped out (14.0 – 6.7, -7.3, 6+), “Sunny 106.5” remains at #1. Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), “Sunny” was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies before July. A +1.4 (4.3 – 5.7, 6+) elevates Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” from fifth to third. Improving by +1.2 are CBS Radio hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” (5.1, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF (5.0, seventh to sixth, 6+). Ironically, both “Mix” (5.1 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+) and KISF (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+) were without increases in the past four sweeps. Carrying on at #2, Beasley Media Group’s KKLZ rebounds from a -1.8 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.0 (6.6 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Prior to advancing to #1 in July 2016 – and remaining there in August and September – KKLZ was in the runner-up slot for six straight months; 7.4 in August was its best 6+-showing in over four years (7.5, July 2012). For the fifth consecutive time – and generating a cumulative +1.7 – iHeartMedia adult hits KYMT “93.1 The Mountain We Play Everything” (#18 to #13, 6+) shows an increase (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1, 6+). Dialing up a +.7 are country sibling KWNR “95.5 The Bull” (4.4 – 5.1, steady at #4, 6+); Lotus Broadcasting classic rock KXPT “97.1 The Point” (3.6 – 4.3, ninth to seventh, 6+); Kemp Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” (2.4 – 3.1, #17 to #13, 6+); and Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR (2.7, #21 to #16, 6+). Prior to January 2017, “The Point” was a combined -2.7 in four straight negative trends (6.3 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+). From August through “Holiday” 2016, KNPR was trending 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 (6+). Gaining six-tenths each are CBS Radio-owned KLUC “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (3.7 – 4.3, eighth to seventh, 6+) and Lotus’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (3.1 – 3.7, #12 to #10, 6+). After three straight ratings periods without an increase for a combined -1.3 (4.5 – 4.5 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+), CBS Radio rhythmic hot AC KXQQ “Q-100.5” (unchanged at #10, 6+) gains one-half share to 3.7 (6+). Alternative sibling KXTE “X-107.5,” however, falters by eight-tenths (3.0 – 2.2, 6+), dropping from #15 to #19. Sputtering by six-tenths are talk cluster-mate KXNT and Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “Radio For Life” both spiraling from #12 to #17 and Lotus Spanish adult hits KWID (4.5 – 3.9, third to ninth, 6+). As a result of five successive gains (1.4 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), KXNT had more than doubled its 6+-share, while “Radio For Life” erodes by approximately 54% in five successive down or flat sweeps (5.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+).

10) Kansas City – Notwithstanding that it drops one-half share (9.0 – 8.5, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” replaces classic hits-oldies sibling KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” (10.8 – 7.8, -3.0, 6+) at #1. On top from May 2016 through September and then in December 2016, “The Fox” had five straight up-trends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in August, it closed four successive up or flat monthlies yielding a +1.5 (5.9 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+). Before a loss of three-tenths in November 2016, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. Improving by eight-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are Entercom talk siblings KMBZ-FM (seventh to fourth, 6+) and KMBZ-AM (2.4 – 3.1, unchanged at #17, 6+). It is the fourth straight increase for KMBZ-FM for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+). Off a combined eight-tenths since November (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), University of Missouri-owned KCUR retrieves all but one-tenth to advance from #14 to #11 (3.9, +.7, 6+). Continuing in the spoken-word genre and progressing by seven-tenths as well is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (2.7 – 3.4, 6+), which climbs from #16 to #15. When KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep, it did so with four straight up or flat trends netting a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+); however, “Country 94.1” was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). The Steel City Media outlet regains one-half share (4.3 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+) and jumps from #11 to #9, where it is tied with co-owned/similarly-programmed KBEQ “Q-104 #1 For New Country” (3.8 – 4.1, +.3, unchanged at #9). Leaping from #11 to #3 in “Holiday” 2016 with a 7.0 – the best 6+-share since the 7.6 it notched in “Holiday 2015 – adult contemporary cluster-mate KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” regresses by -2.6 (7.0 – 4.4, 6+) and shifts to #7.

11) Orlando – In tandem with a +.9 by iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” (11.6 – 12.5, second to first, 6+) and a -7.6 by co-owned adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” (16.1 – 8.5, first to second, 6+), the two wind up trading places. This represents the highest 6+-share in the PPM-history of “Rumba 100.3,” which had been on top in October 2016, November and December before being dislodged by “Magic.” WRUM was a combined +2.5 in November and December as it reached 12.1 (6+). Major fluctuations in the past 18 ratings periods by “Magic” include +.5 (October 2015); -1.0 (November 2015); +1.6 (December 2015); +5.2 (“Holiday” 2015); -4.7 (January 2016); -1.2 (February); +1.3 (March); +.7 (April); +.6 (May); -.8 (June); -1.1 (July); -.4 (August); +.7 (September); -.5 (October) +.9 (November); +2.1 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2016); and -7.6 (January 2017). After six straight sweeps finishing in third-place, “Magic” progressed to the runner-up slot in December. Even though it is unchanged at #4, Cox Media Group-owned WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” rolls out a +1.4 following a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.7 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+). Owing to a +.9 to 6.2 (6+), urban AC sibling WCFB “Star 94.5” pulls the plug on four successive downward trends wiping out the -.9 it produced in that timeframe (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3, 6+). Its HD2 channel though is off six-tenths (1.6 – 1.0, #18, 6+). Also in that cluster and back-to-back with each other, country WWKA “K-92.3” (5.2, flat at #8, 6+) and talk WDBO-FM (4.4 – 5.1, ninth, 6+) each improve by seven-tenths. “K-92.3” had been -.6 in three consecutive (slight) negative trends (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). Without a decrease from September through December (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), WDBO-FM lost nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. Continuing in third-place, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” picks up eight-tenths of the -1.7 from “Holiday” 2016 (8.9 – 7.2 – 8.0, 6+). Displaying increases of six-tenths each are CBS Radio hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” (5.3 – 5.9, fifth to sixth, 6+) and public WMFE (2.3 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+), which is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 28th straight time. A +. 3 by “Mix” in “Holiday” 2016 snapped at four its string of successive down and flat trends that resulted in a net loss of -1.2 (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.0, 6+). Co-owned classic hits-oldies WOCL (flat at #7) was a combined -1.5 via four consecutive declines (6.7 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.2, 6+), but “Sunny” recoups one-third of that loss with a +.5 to 5.7 (6+).

12) Columbus –Only Cox Media Group Atlanta talker WSB-AM (+2.8) boasts a larger (6+) “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has thus far been released than WCOL. The iHeartMedia country outlet jumps by +2.2 from 8.3 – 10.5 (6+) and progresses from third to first. Losing roughly 51% of its 6+-share (-5.7), co-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” (11.1 – 5.4, 6+) drifts from first to fifth. Before January’s -.5.7, “The Bus” went four straight ratings period without a loss for a +7.1 (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 6.7 – 11.1, 6+). Down or flat in each of the last six ratings periods for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+), CHR sibling WNCI trots out a +1.3 to 9.1 as it advances from fourth to second. In calendar year 2016, WNCI was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. A gain of one full-share to 3.9 (6+) enables Ohio State University’s WOSU to enter the top ten (#11 to #7) and curtail four straight downward trends that yielded a -.9 (3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+). More than tripling its 6+-share via seven straight April through November increases (1.2 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 4.0, 6+), Radio One urban AC WXMG was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday 2016” (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.8, 6+). “Magic 95.5 Columbus’ Best R&B,” however, gains eight-tenths in January 2017 (to 3.6, 6+) and jumps from #12 to #9. While Saga Communications hot AC WVMX “Mix 107.9” improves by one-half share (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) to advance from #13 to #12, co-owned adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (+1.8 in “Holiday” 2016) falters by -1.5 (8.7 – 7.2, 6+) to slip from second to third. When “Sunny 95” dropped two-tenths in December, it concluded four consecutive positive trends which netted a +.6 (6.5 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Although it is a combined -3.1 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6, 6+), Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM remains at #6. This comes immediately after “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). Prior to November 2016, the last time “The Fan” crossed the seven-share threshold (6+) was February 2015 when it reached 7.2.

Monday, July 25, 2016

| July 25, 2016

Jack Tomczak Exits KTLK, Minneapolis.  Morning drive personality Jack Tomczak exits iHeartMedia‘s Twin Cities news/talk KTLK where he co-hosted the morning show with PD Andrew Lee.  In a post on the station’s tomczakjackwebsite, Lee writes about Tomczak’s departure, although he declines making public the reason, statingktlklogo that’s between Tomczak and the company.  For now, it appears Lee will host the “Up and At ‘Em” show solo.  Tomczak had been with the station for the past five years.  Lee wrote, in part, “I’m sad to announce that Jack is no longer a part of the KTLK morning show. Many have suspected as such, but I have not been able to address this publicly until now…This has been one of the most challenging weeks in my entire radio career. I hate knowing that the listeners are out there wondering what’s going on and I really hate not being able to be forthcoming on the air. I hope you understand.”

iHeartMedia Leases KKSF, San Francisco to Deportes Media for Spanish Sports Outlet.  It was just three months ago during the re-alignment of Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO that Armstrong & Getty left kksfiHeartMedia’s crosstown talker KKSF for mornings at KGO.  That prompted the move-in of syndicated progressive talker Stephanie Miller to AM drive on KKSF.  Now, the progressive programming is gone and iHM is leasing the signal to Deportes Media and it is airing ESPN Deportes programming on the station.  Along with Miller exiting the station’s lineup are: Gil Gross, Cory (Callewaert) and Joel (Riddell), “The Doghouse with JV & Elvis” (a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay), Los Angeles-based Mo’ Kelly, and Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes.

KLWB, Lafayette Sports Talk Host Jordy Hultberg Arrested on Domestic Battery Charge.  Louisiana sports media personality Jordy Hultberg has been arrested on counts of domestic abuse battery and simplehultbergjordy battery in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana after an alleged incident involving his estranged wife, according to the Lafayette Advocate.  Hultberg hosts the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Delta Media Corp.’s KLWB “103.7 The Game.”  The paper reports that 59-year-old Hultberg is accused of pushing his wife into a dresser.  According to the account, Hultberg’s estranged wife went to the house to check on him after his daughter expressed concern for his well-being.  Hultberg was allegedly discovered in the bedroom with another woman.

morrisVideo16WOMAN OF THE YEAR VIDEO POSTED – Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations.  Another video recording of a key event at the recent Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations, that was held at Hofstra University on Long Island May 20, has been posted today (7/25) on Talkers.com.  It is the finale of the four-part Awards Ceremony during which the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions Made to the Radio Industry by a Woman award (“Woman of the Year”) was presented to Ginny Morris, chair/CEO of Hubbard Radio.  The award is presented to Morris by Danielle Lin, C.N., host of the nationally syndicated Danielle Lin Show.  To view this video in its entirety, plus the convention videos already posted, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa Adds Beckles for Sunday Show.  Tampa talk pro Ian Beckles is being brought aboard Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” to host a Sunday sports and pop culturebecklesian show, beginning August 7.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “At ‘The Bone,’ we have the luxury to cover every possible topic throughout the week, from politics and news, to pop culture, entertainment, and sports.  Ian Beckles is one of the best sports talkers out there and he brings with him credible sports analysis, with the talent to cover all the other topics.  He is a perfect fit, and I’m very excited to work with him.”  Off the air since 2015, Beckles previously worked at iHeartMedia’s crosstown sports talker WDAE.

cookehollandCooke: Making Your Station’s Image Great Again.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes in a column posted today at Talkers.com about how important it is that your station’s P1s associate what you do with what they want – just as Donald Trump’s supporters recognize him as the one who wants to “Make America Great Again.”  Noting that perceptual studies are expensive, Cooke recommends using SurveyMonkey and illustrates how station operators can gauge how they’re doing with P1s by asking for their opinions.  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  Charlotte sports outlet WFNZ has an FM frequency in the market as Beasley Media Group is now simulcasting the WFNZ-AM programming on translator W272DP at 102.5 FM…..Sports talker Matt Jones exits the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show on Signal Media of Arkansas’ KABZ-FM, Little Rock “The Buzz.”  Program director Justin Acri is hosting the show until a full-time replacement can be named…..AdLarge Media adds another podcast to its roster with an exclusive national ad sales agreement to represent the “Completely Unnecessary Podcast” (#CUPodcast), hosted by writer and gamer, Pat Contri and fellow gaming expert, Ian Ferguson…..NBC Sports Radio broadcast live from the 27th American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe South in Lake Tahoe, Nevada over the weekend.  Athletes and celebrities competed all weekend forschwartzmannMannixToomer big money prizes.  Some of the players this year included Justin Timberlake, Stephen Curry, Alfonso Ribeiro, Marcus Allen, Jerome Bettis, AJ Hawk, Ray Romano, Terrell Davis, Marshall Faulk, Bode Miller, Jerry Rice, Willie Robertson, Abby Wambach, Emmitt Smith, and more.  Pictured here are (l-r): NBC Sports Radio hosts Dan Schwartzman, Chis Mannix, and Amani Toomer.

The Presidential Race/RNC Aftermath/This Week’s DNC, Germany Concert Explosion, Police Violence Against Blacks/Cop Killings/Black Lives Matter Movement, Rio Olympics Troubles/ Russian Doping Scandal, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential race including chatter about last week’s Republican National Convention and this week’s Democratic National Convention; the suicide bombing outside a concert event in Germany; various violent/deadly encounters between police and black men, the slayings of police officers, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the troubles facing the Rio De Janeiro Olympic games and the related Russian doping scandal; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

| January 12, 2016

podcastone bPodcastOne Reports 1.5 Billion Downloads in 2015.  Actually, the advertiser-supported podcast network says that its download total for 2015 surpassed the 1.5 billion mark for its approximately 200-program lineup thatpattiznorm includes shows featuring: Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Radiolab, Bret Easton Ellis, Freakonomics, Heather Dubrow, Brandi Glanville and more.  PodcastOne states it worked with more than 100 major brand partners in 2015.  Chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “When we started this journey three years ago, we wanted to be able to provide national advertisers and our programming partners a single destination for consumers to experience the best that podcasting has to offer.  So far, so good.  We’re grateful to our hosts, producer-publishers and, of course, our partner Hubbard Broadcasting.  We look forward to doing our part in making 2016 the year of the podcast.”

The Presidential Race/Trump-Cruz Birther Flap, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Intensifies, Sean Penn-El Chapo Controversy, Obama State of the Union, Battle Against Islamic State, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, NFL Wild Card Weekend, Record Powerball Jackpot, and David Bowie Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11).  The activities of the candidates for president and the related “birther” issue between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz; the intensifying FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server use; the controversial interview between actor Sean Penn and Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman; President Obama’s Tuesday State of the Union Address; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; plummeting oil prices and the effect on the world’s financial markets; the NFL’s Wild Card weekend games; the record $1.4 billion Powerball jackpot; and the death of rock legend David Bowie were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ronjp WDAEJP Peterson Joins WDAE, Tampa to Co-Host Midday Show with Ron Diaz.  The iHeartMedia Tampa sports talker adds broadcast sports pro JP Peterson to the midday show, partnering up with current show host Ron Diaz for “The Ron and JP Show.”  The station notes that Peterson has covered sports in the Tampa Bay market since 1997, most recently hosting “Extra Inning” and “Inside Pitch,” the Tampa Bay Rays pre- and post-game shows on WDAE.  He previously served as the lead sports anchor for WFLA-TV, Tampa where he also did sideline reporting and studio work for the Buccaneers Preseason Broadcasts, covered the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup Finals, four Final Fours and four NCAA National Football Championship Games.  WDAE APD John Mamola states, “WDAE is thrilled to add JP Peterson to an already established and successful show and as part of iHeartMedia Tampa.  We look forward to Ron and JP’s successful future entertaining Tampa Bay listeners with a lighter side of the sports we all care so deeply about.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallAustralian Rock Radio Legend Trevor Smith Shares “Down Under” Perspective of Radio, Music, Politics and Pop Culture.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined on this week’s installment (1/12) of PodcastOne’s hit program for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out,” by Australian rock radio legend Trevor Smith.  Smith, a former programsmithtrevor director of the legendary Sidney FM album rocker, Triple-M, is now head of the Australia-based production house Aloha Media  (www.alohamedia.com.au/radio/), producers of major syndicated radio programs and specials heard on hundreds of radio stations across the nation/continent.  The long-time friends engage in an extensive discussion of all things media from a Land Down Under perspective – radio, music, politics, and pop culture.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Turns 65 Today.  Happy birthday wishes go out to Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh, who celebrates his 65th birthday today (1/12).  The news/talk giant will have been in national syndication for 28 years this August and has long and often been credited will breathing fresh life into the news/talk format and, many would also argue, extending the lifespan of the AM band in America.

chillngtalesPodcastOne to Launch Dramatic Series Called ‘Chilling Tales.’  This new partnership between PodcastOne and Chilling Tales for Dark Nights – a premiere multi-media brand specializing in the production of audio entertainment, short films and published works – will bring both published and unpublished literary projects to life with the new scripted series “Chilling Tales: The Podcast.”  The program is being narrated by Master Broadcaster and host of the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival, Steve Taylor.  Chilling Tales founder and director Craig Groshek comments, “Our content has been made possible over the last few years by dozens of voice actors, actresses, authors, editors, composers and sound designers.  We’re thrilled to join the PodcastOne family and share our passion for storytelling with an entirely new audience.  We can’t thank Norm Pattiz and rest of the PodcastOne team enough, and we look forward to what the future brings with this new platform partnership.”  Pattiz says, “I have long wanted to do a series rooted in literature.  These are great works.  Not only are we giving voices to stories that went unpublished but deserve to be heard, but, from the content to production value, there’s nothing like this in the podcast arena.”

salazarmartaSalazar Joins Entravision as Political Outreach Director.  Former Fox Television Washington, DC account executive Marta Salazar is named political outreach director of Entravision Communications. Salazar will oversee political advertising sales for the company’s radio and television stations. The company’s chief revenue officer Mario Carrera remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Marta to Entravision and have her skills and experience to lead our political sales efforts. Her strongEntravision foundations in local market broadcast, in addition to her unique experience in political media, make her the ideal candidate to be our political outreach director. Marta joins us during a presidential election cycle as the United States Latino vote continues to increase in influence in our key battleground markets. We are well positioned and look forward to Marta’s leadership in this important and growing part of our business.” Salazar states, “I am thrilled to be joining the Entravision organization. I am both honored and excited to be at Entravision and look forward to working with the team to help further expand the U.S. Latino voice in this exciting and dynamic political climate. I feel fortunate to be joining such a respected company, committed to both the United States Latino community and to top quality media platforms.” During the 2012 political election season, Salazar – a Florida International University graduate – was responsible for Scripps’ national political advocacy media sales. Entravision owns 23 radio outlets in California; 12 in Texas; four each in Arizona and Colorado; three in Nevada; and two each in Florida and New Mexico.

Odds & Sods.  Digital platform Glimmerglass Radio launches its own green-focused radio program ingreenamericanliving conjunction with its second anniversary.  Glimmerglass radio founder John Kosmer calls his platform “a self-contained online streaming talk radio station broadcasting about 50 shows 24/7.”  The new program, “Green American Living,” is the only program Glimmerglass Radio produces itself.  Kosmer adds, “Our new ‘Green American Living’ hennermoneyeddie16show offers radio stations and their listeners extensive in-depth green news reporting on issues that are becoming increasingly important to people around the world.  The independent shows aired on Glimmerglass Radio comprise one of the most comprehensive radio green news gathering services in America.  ‘Green American Living’ now brings the breadth and scope of that green news reporting to a regularly scheduled, one-hour broadcast intended for distribution.”…..Talk radio personality Hugh Hewitt’s associate producer – Marlon Bateman – has exited the Salem Radio Network in order to join the press operation of GOP presidential hopeful U.S. Senator Marco Rubio…..Sun Broadcast Group’s Marilu Henner (right) is pictured here with rocker Eddie Money (left) who appeared as a guest on her nationally syndicated radio program recently…..Powerball-mania haspowerball America talking and SiriusXM is airing a special program tonight at 6:00 PM ET on its Insight channel 121 called, “Dumb Luck Radio: An Idiot’s Guide to Instant Billions.”  SiriusXM says the show will be a “live, one-hour, call-in special broadcast, to answer listeners’ questions including, ‘What happens if you actually win the Powerball jackpot?’”  SiriusXM’s Kenny Curtis will host and guests will include: psychiatrist Dr. Michael Aronoff discussing the mental health aspects of acquiring unimaginable wealth; plus Eric Bradlow on statistics and a player’s real probabilities of picking the right numbers; and Kent Smetters will explain the best option – lump sum or annuity, finding the right financial investor and investing wisely to protect one’s winnings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

| May 5, 2015

berrymichaelMichael Berry Renews with iHeartMedia.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry inks a new long-term deal with iHeartMedia that runs through 2020.  Berry’s program is based at news/talk KTRH, Houston and is heard on iHeartMedia stations in 13 additional markets.  The former Houston city councilor started his talk radio career with the company in 2005.  Berry states, “While I’m loyal to the company I’ve worked with for so long, this agreement is about the future, not the past. From Bob Pittman, our chairman and CEO, and Rich Bressler, our president, COO and CFO, to Kelly Kibler, my EVPO; Eddie Martiny, my market manager; and Marc Sherman and Bryan Erickson, our programming directors in Houston — every single one of them is committed to our show, our team, and the way we do things.  They’ve provided a platform for me to serve my sponsors, entertain our listeners, and raise money for Veterans, and I’m incredibly excited about our future.”  Bob Pittman comments, “Michael is a great talent, and his audience loves and relies on him – both for the news and important information he provides every day, and for his strong commitment to his community of listeners and the causes important to them.  We are very pleased that Michael will continue his strong work for us, and delighted that he’ll continue to be such a key part of our team.”

lewisloriCumulus Brings Digital and Social Media Pro Lori Lewis Aboard.  This new relationship brings industry-respected digital and social media maven Lori Lewis together with Cumulus Media as she becomes the company’s new vice president of social media.  A press release says in her new position, she’ll work with Cumulus’ programming and sales teams to develop integrated social media strategies for the company’s radio stations and the Westwood One network.  She will also provide social media solutions to Westwood One’s affiliate partners as part of the company’s Enterprise Solutions Group.  Lewis will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Lewis was most recently with consulting firm Jacobs Media.  Lew Dickeycumulus logo comments, “Lori is our industry’s foremost authority on social media.  She has architected successful social strategies for many of the biggest brands in radio.  We are excited for Lori to bring her unique experience and expertise to our station group as well as to our affiliate partners at Westwood One.”  On joining Cumulus, Lewis says, “I am honored to take this newly created role within Cumulus, and to create real value and impact socially for our audiences, advertisers and affiliate partners.  Many mistake social for volume, when in fact it’s about differentiating.  This move, on behalf of Lew Dickey and [Cumulus SVP] Gary Pizzati, speaks volumes of their leadership and foresight in moving Cumulus forward, and I thank them for that.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Kramer to COO, Names Levy to Board of Directors.  Station group president Louise Kramer is promoted to chief operating officer for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a press statement, the company says, “Kramer is a media veteran who has been withkramerweezie Entercom since 2000, most recently serving as station group president.  In this role, she spearheaded the company’s reinvention efforts, focusing on enhancing the company’s future growth and directly overseeing several of the company’s markets.  Ms. Kramer is a member of Entercom’s operating committee and, since 2013, has served as chairperson.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Weezie is an enormously talented and effective leader who has made a huge impact on our organization since she joined Entercom in 2000.  Like so many great leaders, she is totally and selflessly committed to her team’s success, bringing levydavidher vast energy, intelligence, creativity, and high standards to our entire organization.  I am thrilled to see her continue to rise to the highest levels of our company.”  Also, the company reports that David Levy is named to the board of directors.  Levy has served as president of Turner Broadcasting System since 2013.   In this role he oversees all creative and business activities of the Turner signature entertainment networks —TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim — and their digital brand extensions, as well as Turner Sports.

wmal logoCumulus Has a Buyer for WMAL, Washington Transmitter Site.  According to Bethesda Magazine, Cumulus Media has a deal with two prominent area home builders who will turn the Bethesda, Maryland site of WMAL-AM, Washington’s transmitter into a 76-acre housing development.  Winchester Homes and Toll Brothers are reported as the buyer but no sale price has been announced yet.  According to real estate firm CBRE, the land could hold up to 300 homes on quarter-acre lots in accordance with current zoning regulations.  Cumulus will relocate the WMAL-AM transmitter.

younglarry and cohostsRadio One Revamps WOLB, Baltimore’s Larry Young Show.  The urban morning drive talk show lead by radio personality Larry Young is now being simulcast on Radio One’s translator W291BA at 106.1 FM.  That signal airs Christian music and is branded “PRAISE 106.1.”  Joining Young (center) and co-host Coach (left) is former WWIN, Baltimore “Magic 95.9” midday personality Tim Watts (right).  The station says, “We’re combining the best of the Praise format with the information, entertainment and ‘ground level’ interaction that our listeners already expect from Larry’s show.  For additional color, we’ve welcomed Tim Watts back to be part of this daily roundtable of all things Baltimore and our community.”

gordonmaryGordon Named Sales Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa. The appointment of Mary Gordon as sales manager for iHeartMedia‘s Tampa cluster takes effect in four weeks (6/1). Senior vice president of sales Fernando Bauermeister comments that, “Mary’s experience of leading successful teams made her a natural choice for the position. We are excited to have Mary join our staff and we look forward to her helping our clients grow their business.” Gordon states, “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to join the team of talented professionals at iHeartMedia Tampa. I look forward to utilizing the amazing assets that iHeartMedia has in its arsenal to find solutions to the key marketing objectives in the west Florida region.” Gordon’s background includes a stint in sports marketing for IMG (International Management Group), as well as being general sales manager – and later director of sales – for Cumulus Media Atlanta’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” and WYAY. The eight-station iHM Tampa cluster includes: urban contemporary WBTP “The Beat”; WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio”; talk WFLA; CHR WFLZ “The Hit Music Channel”; country WFUS “US-103.5”; talk WHNZ “Impact Radio”; hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7”; and WXTB “98 Rock.”

hoyttomHoyt Heads to Louisville as Salem Media Group GM. Founder-president of Missouri-based AdAbilities Tom Hoyt – is named general manager of Salem Media Group Louisville talk outlet WGTK “The Answer” and WFIA “The Spirit – Christian Talk & Praise.” Salem vice president of operations Mike Moran notes, “We were looking for a general manager with a combination of strong leadership skills, management experience, and a proven sales orientation. I believe with Tom we found a man who delivers on all those fronts and brings the additional benefit of knowing and loving the city of Louisville.” Hoyt comments, “I cannot imagine a more ideal opportunity than this position with Salem Media Group in Louisville. The stations are heritage properties with a veteran staff. I am thankful that Mike has selected me and I am looking forward to building on the success the team has established.” Hoyt – who succeeds Tim Hartlage at the Louisville talk combo – previously worked in the market for Cox Media Group; was vice president and chief sales officer for CommunityLink Publications; general sales manager of Emmis St. Louis; and director of sales for Barnstable Broadcasting‘s stations in Greenville, South Carolina. Hartlage continues working for Salem, focusing on local ministry.

sagaSaga Communications Q1 Revenue Down 1.2%; Radio Division Dips 2.6%.  For the first quarter of 2015, Saga Communications is reporting net revenue decreased 1.2% on income of $29.1 million.  Revenue for the radio segment was $24, 276,000 – a decline of 2.6% compared to the same period a year ago (the TV segment was up).  Other data reported included free cash flow up 5.2% to $3.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $3.4 million for the same period last year.  Station operating expense decreased 0.8% to $22.8 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) compared to $23.0 million for the same period last year.  Operating income was $3.8 million.  Net income for the period was $2.1 million ($0.36 per fully diluted share).

Odds & Sods.  Philadelphia news/talker WPHT will play a role in the local appearance of Kentucky Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul.  After his press conference at the People’s Plaza on Independence Mall onwpht logo Monday, May 18, the senator will make a special appearance at the Independence Seaport Concert Hall for a discussion focused on his book, Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.  WPHT host Dom Giordano will moderate…..Longtime WGN, rosenbergmiltChicago radio host and current WCGO, Chicago personality Milt Rosenberg was recently honored by the City of Chicago for among other things, “bringing the world of ideas to millions of listeners, combining a scholar’s understanding of the humanities broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Prophet Drawing Contest’ Shooting, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Baltimore Aftermath, and California Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4).  The influx of new candidates for president in 2016 including independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee; the aftermath of the weekend’s shooting of two purported ISIS followers at a “prophet drawing contest” in Garland, Texas; Bill Clinton’s dismissal of criticism of the Clinton Family Foundation finances; the civil and political situation in Baltimore and questions about how Freddie Gray died; and the worsening drought in California and the battle over water policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, February 3, 2014

| February 3, 2014

sileodanSports Talker Dan Sileo New AM Host at ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo – who’s been working at stations in Florida for the past several years – joins Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” where he’s the new morning drive host beginning today (2/3).  Sileo most recently was hosting a show at James Crystal Radio’s WMEN, West Palm Beach but was fired from that station in early November of 2013 after shooting off a controversial tweet.  Sileo has also worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami and Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa.  He takes over the morning show at “The Mighty 1090” from market pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton who will remain with the station in another capacity.  Program director Mike Shepard says, “I am thrilled to welcome Dan to ‘San Diego’s Sports Leader, The Mighty 1090.’  Dan is a passionate, outspoken, engaging and incredibly knowledgeable sports radio personality.  His track record of major market success is remarkable and Dan is a perfect addition to the Mighty 1090’s top-rated, all-star lineup.”

wilc logoNew Talk Station to Air in DC Market.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed WILC flips from Spanish music to a hybrid of talk and oldies.  The ZGS-owned signal is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA and the new format debuts today (2/3).  In a statement, the company says the program schedule is not complete but the station will be “libertarian and conservative talk radio.”  Chief operating officer and general manager Bryan Berner says, “All of us at WILC and Wallis Communications look forward to serving the people of the region and bringing a common sense, fresh perspective to talk radio in the Washington, DC market.”  Programming will include Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Wallis Communications’ “The Dr. K Show,” “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine” and WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller.  Overnights will showcase vintage radio as the digitally remastered Wolfman Jack will air.

gallaghermikeMike Gallagher Causes Stir with Hoffman Death Observations.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher’s observations in the aftermath of the untimely death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman caused such reaction that his post to his MikeOnline.com site logged more than 50,000 views and drew threats to him, his family and even his dog.  Speaking about the suspected heroin overdose that took Hoffman’s life, Gallagher stated, “Another senseless death. This time, one of the greatest actors of our time.  I wonder if he started with marijuana…If you want to get pot lovers mad, dare to even ask the question if an Oscar-winning movie star who is found dead in his bathroom with a needle stuck in his arm started with marijuana.”  Gallagher has stood firm in his stance against the legalization of marijuana as some states move to legalize and decriminalize the drug.

millerchrisTo Get Listeners to Your Website, Don’t Threaten to Bore Them!  Digital media consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller wonders why we tend to turn the marketing part of our brains off when we go “online.”  We can write good, tempting ad copy for radio but all we’ve learned goes out the window when it comes to our websites.  Miller says that one of the worst ways to get someone to your website is to offer them “all of the details” when they get there.  Not very tempting is it?  More details.  Instead, put your marketing skills to work in the same way you would with a spot.  “A good commercial will do a better job getting business through a client’s front door than a bad commercial will.  It’s the exact same thing getting people to go from your broadcast to one of your digital platforms…or move from one digital platform to another.  Opportunity is knocking.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

hannityseanClear Channel Tweaks Lineup at WVOC, Columbia.  The South Carolina news/talk station drops the early evening “Sports Talk” show syndicated by Learfield Sports that aired in afternoon drive and adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity for the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  The “Sports Talk” program is hosted by Phil Kornblut, Kevin McCrarey and Tom Hayes.  According to The State, Learfield’s “Sports Talk First Edition” – which aired on CC’s sister sports talk station WXBT “560 The Team” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – is also being replaced.  A local sports talk show featuring former South Carolina footballer Rick Sanford will air in the time slot instead.  Learfield tells the paper it is working to place the shows on new affiliates in the market.

francesamikeMike Francesa Fans (and a Few Critics) Gather for FrancesaCon in NYC.  Sports talk pioneer Mike Francesa – afternoon drive host on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York – said after learning of the weekend event that the participants would probably be half fans, half critics.  How the numbers came down is unclear but the fact that an estimated 400 gathered at an Upper East Side bar on Saturday (2/1) to celebrate, imitate and even mock Francesa, shows how big he is in New York.  A piece by Jim Baumbach in Newsday tells the story but the short version is as follows: 23-year-old friends Michael Leboff and Ron Haraka came up with the idea of FrancesaCon as a gathering of Mike Francesa fans.  Little did they know that not only would people show up in droves, but they came dressed as Francesa, carried the appropriate props (Diet Coke cans), and did some very good imitations of the man himself.  Some even came dressed as Francesa’s longtime former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and classic Francesa-Russo back-and-forths took place in the bar.  Check out Baumbach’s story in Newsday here.

fccnewFCC Grants Tribune Cross-Ownership Waivers.  The license renewals for several Tribune-owned television stations were being challenged by the United Church of Christ, the Media Alliance and the Teamsters.  The commission handed down rulings on Friday that granted renewals for the licenses though it also granted the petition for reconsideration to the UCC and Media Alliance.  The FCC also reaffirmed the permanent waiver for Tribune in the Chicago market where it owns the Chicago Tribune newspaper, WGN-TV, and WGN-AM.  In making the decision, the commission ruled that “Given the ‘uniquely long-term symbiotic relationship between [Tribune’s] broadcast stations’ and the Chicago Tribune that provides a special benefit of continued cross-ownership, coupled with the slight cost to diversity in Chicago’s massive media market of continued cross-ownership, Tribune has in fact shown sufficiently ‘unique or special circumstances’ to justify the granting of a permanent waiver of the NBCO (newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership) Rule to its Chicago licensees.”

L&L logoL&L Closes on Border Media Trust Stations.  Seven Texas radio stations that were in the Border Media Trust are now owned by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting.  The stations include San Antonio-licensed outlets news/talk KTSA, sports talk KZDC, adult hits KJXK “Jack 102.7 FM,” regional Mexican KLEY-FM, Jourdanton, regional Mexican KJAH-AM/FM, Pearsall, and CHR KTSM, Floresville.  The station group cost L&L $31 million and puts the company into market #28.