NOW POSTED: New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” 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 on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled, “Can I Get a Witness?” looks back at this past week of January 27-31, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Chris Stigall, talk show host, WNTP, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer”; Howard Monroe, talk show host/owner WKKX/WVLY, Wheeling, WV; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Joshua Philipp, senior investigative reporter, The Epoch Times; Pamela Garber, counselor and therapist, New York City; and Bali Samra, human resources consultant/commentator, Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KFNX, Phoenix; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
iHeartMedia Re-Brands Sports WTSO, Madison; Cancels Two Local Shows. In Madison, Wisconsin, iHeartMedia makes changes to sports talker WTSO-AM, re-branding the station from its current “The Big 1070” to “1070 The Game,” and altering the daily lineup. Effective Monday (2/3), “The Crossover with Ted Davis & Dan Needles” and “Drew & K.B.” are gone from the lineup. Longtime Wisconsin sports media personality Mike Heller moves from mornings to afternoon drive (without current morning co-host Dolphin), and Steve Czaban takes over the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart. Czaban also hosts the afternoon drive show on Radio One’s WTEM, Washington, DC “The Team.” In middays, “The Dan Patrick Show” airs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, followed by FOX Sports Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm. iHeartMedia Madison market president Drew Lautner says, “Wisconsin has a strong and diverse sports fan base. We believe we have assembled the best of the best to deliver news, commentary, differing opinions, on-field insight and an occasional laugh to our loyal listeners.”
Townsquare Media Begins Operating Duluth Sports Talk Station. Ahead of its intended purchase of WWAX-FM, Duluth, Townsquare Media enters into a time brokerage agreement with owner Twin Ports Radio and will move the sports format to its own WEBC-AM. It will also move its classic rock format from translator W293CT to WWAX-FM as “Sasquatch 92-1.” the changes are expected to take place the week of February 17. WWAX “92.1 The Fan” airs content from iHeartMedia’s The Fan Radio Network” emanating from KFXN, Minneapolis. Townsquare has acquired the Duluth-Superior radio broadcast rights for the Minnesota Vikings for the next four seasons. Townsquare Media Duluth market president and chief revenue officer Mary Niemeyer says, “All of these programming moves greatly improve the experience for our local listeners and the marketing solutions we can provide for our local advertising partners, enhancing our position as a premiere local media company in the Northland. We are thrilled to bring ‘The Fan’ back home to WEBC along with the Minnesota Vikings, while providing our rabid ‘Sasquatch’ audience extended reach on 92.1 FM.”
Report: Changes on Tap for Sports Talk KFNS-AM, St. Louis. According to Dan Caesar’s story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KFNS-AM, St. Louis co-owner Randy Markel has reached an agreement to sell a 50% interest in the station to local attorney Mark Goldenberg and Archford Capital Strategies CEO Jim Maher. The story indicates that lineup changes are a possibility as the newly constituted ownership group considers the station’s future. Markel tells the paper that afternoon host – longtime St. Louis talk radio figure – Frank O. Pinion currently hosts the afternoon drive show but his general interest show is not as sports intensive as the new ownership may desire. Other St. Louis sports talk personalities mentioned as possible additions to the station include Kevin Slaten, Brian McKenna, and Jeff Gordon.
PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. Not surprisingly, 87% of all-news stations saw their weekly 6+ AQH share decline from the December survey to the Holiday survey. Sixty percent of all-news stations lost weekly 6+ AQH share from Holiday 2018 to Holiday 2019. Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco was the highest ranked all-news station during the Holiday PPM survey, ranking #2 in the market. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Impeachment Trial Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 27-31. The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the status of the Wuhan coronavirus, tied with U.S.-China Relations and the economy. Coming in at #3 was the Democrats battling to challenge President Trump in November, followed by the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.
Kal Rudman Shutters FMQB. After almost 52 years in business, founder and publisher Kal Rudman is shutting down the radio industry tip sheet Friday Morning Quarterback, better known as FMQB. Rudman has sold the assets of the publication to Deane Media Solutions. In a statement, Rudman says, “I am retiring from the music industry, but not the radio business. For a long time, I have focused much of my philanthropic efforts in the medical world, and now I am merging that with radio. For over 50 years, I have been the specialist in predicting countless hits for numerous artists, and I’ve received unique recognition by the music industry as not only a tastemaker but a star maker. However, times have changed drastically, along with the industry, and it was time for me to move on to my original passion, medicine.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Waterloo Media’s classic rock KLBJ-FM, Austin shifts the “Dudley & Bob with Matt” show from morning drive to afternoon drive, effective Monday (2/3). Station program director and PM drive host LA Lloyd moves to mornings. Waterloo SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore states, “Austinites listen to the radio in their cars. Afternoon traffic is worse and afternoon commutes are longer. Now, the drive home just got way more fun with ‘Dudley & Bob with Matt’ – and the boys get to sleep in for the first time in decades, too. Everybody’s talking in the mornings. But now there’s a true Austin pro playing great classic rock and getting you to work in a great mood. LA Lloyd on 93.7 KLBJ-FM.”…..iHeartMedia launches a classic hits station on translator W265CV, Madison, Wisconsin as “U-100.9, Madison’s Super ‘60s and ‘70s Station, effective tomorrow (2/1). iHeartMedia Madison market president Drew Lautner says, “I’m extremely excited to be part of this new station launch. Madison missed having a station that is dedicated to airing top ‘60s and ‘70s music – so we’re excited to step up and give listeners what they want with the new ‘U-100.9.’”…..NRG Media flips KPTY-AM/K297BS from CHR to country as “107.3 HANK FM – Playing the Legends of Country.” NRG Media operations manager Jeff Winfield says, “Country music is about great stories. In addition to playing classic county on ‘HANK’ we will go behind the music and share those stories with our listeners. We’ll have features like ‘HANK’s Music Vault,’ ‘Stories Made the Music,’ ‘HANK Artist Spotlight’ and ‘Rewind County.’”