PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2019 PPM survey with a focus on all-news stations. As the calendar inches closer to the holidays each year, listening to spoken-word radio usually dips to some extent and the end of 2019 was no different. Fifty-three percent of all-news stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share decline from the November survey to December, with 33% going up and 13% staying flat. More concerning for all-news operators was the year-over-year decrease. Seventy-three percent of all-news stations were down from December 2018 to December 2019 with just 27% improving. The lone big gainer there was Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco in which it put together a 2.1 share increase. KCBS-AM was also the only all-news station to rank #1 in its market in December. WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago ranked #3, as did Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
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, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (1/3). The new episode titled, “Roaring Not Boring Twenties!” looks back at this past week of December 30, 2019 – January 3, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Curtis Sliwa, talk show host, WABC, New York; Gary Sutton, talk show host, WSBA, York, PA; J.D. Hayworth, radio-TV talk host / former US Representative (R-AZ); Christopher Ruddy, CEO, Newsmax / Newsmax TV; Graham Mack, talk show host / program director, FIX Radio, London, UK; and Don Imus (1940 -2019), legendary talk show host. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00-7:00 pm. 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.
Entercom Announces New CBS Sports Radio Lineup; ‘The DA Show’ to Mornings. The CBS Sports Radio network has a new lineup for 2020, Entercom announces. Entercom SVP of programming Jeff Sottolano says, “Our new CBS Sports Radio lineup will provide enhanced programming for fans and further cement our place as a leader in national sports coverage. Damon Amendolara – “DA” – has continued to demonstrate that he is a rising star in the format and will excel with his move to mornings. We are thrilled to add the Westwood One-produced Pat McAfee program to the network lineup and happy to introduce our audience to Zach Gelb at night.” Westwood One remains the exclusive sales and distribution partner for the network. The daily lineup is as follows: “The DA Show” in AM drive; “The Pat McAfee Show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; “The Jim Rome Show” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “Tiki and Tierney” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Zach Gelb from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm: “Ferrall on the Bench” from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am; and Amy Lawrence from 2:00 am to 6:00 am.
Mary Dixon Appointed WBEZ-FM, Chicago Morning Anchor. Former triple A WXRT-FM, Chicago morning drive co-host Mary Dixon – recently let go by the Entercom station as part of a number of air talent moves – is signing on with public outlet WBEZ-FM as morning news anchor and local “Morning Edition” host. The Chicago Tribune says Dixon begins training next week and takes to the air in February. She takes over for Lisa Labuz who is moving to the midday anchor position. Dixon had co-hosted the morning show on WXRT with Lin Brehmer for the past 20-plus years. Brehmer moves to the midday show on WXRT.
TALKERS News Notes. New York sports talk personality Bart Scott will not begin his radio show with Alan Hahn on ESPN’s WEPN “ESPN New York” until January 20. According to Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, Entercom threatened legal action to keep Scott from starting on time – he was expected to start yesterday (1/2). But an ESPN spokesperson says WEPN GM Tim McCarthy wanted to give Scott some time off since he finished his stint with WFAN by working right up until Christmas…..iHeartMedia Erie launches a new station airing podcasts available on the iHeartRadio platform. The station WLTM-FM (just across the state line in Mina, New York) is branded “iHeartPodcast 95.9 FM” and showcases “today’s most popular podcasts,” allowing listeners to discover them through the radio. iHeartMedia Erie SVP of programming Joe Lang says, “We’re thrilled to welcome the iHeartPodcast Channel to the Erie community. Now our local listeners have even more access to a variety of their favorite iHeart podcasts, while helping them discover new podcast content all through the power of radio. From true crime to history, comedy to food, this station will offer a wide variety of topics every week.”…..iHeartMedia North Dakota launches the new “Dakota Farm and Ranch Report” – a three to four-minute report that airs five times on weekday mornings on news/talk KFYR and country KBMR in Bismarck, North Dakota; country KLTC-AM, Dickinson, North Dakota; and country KCJB-AM in Minot, North Dakota. North Dakota rancher and broadcaster Scott Bachmeier joins iHeartMedia Bismarck as farm and ranch director and host of the “Dakota Farm and Ranch Report.” iHeartMedia North Dakota market president Charlie Thomas says, “We realize farming and ranching in the Dakotas is unique and we wanted to offer a custom informational show that would focus on international, national, and state agricultural issues, but also dedicate a fair amount of time to the issues that affect farms and ranches a little closer to home.”…..Newsday’s Neil Best reports that John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will return to call New York Yankees games on Entercom-owned radio flagship WFAN, New York for the 2020 season. This will be the duo’s 16th season behind the mics together…..Condolences to the family and friends of former Montgomery, Alabama talk host Mark Montiel, who passed away recently. Montiel, also a practicing attorney in the area, worked at Cumulus Media from 2011 through 2017, hosting his own program on news/talk WLWI-AM. Cumulus Montgomery operations manager Rick Hendrick tells the Alabama News Network, “Working with Mark Montiel was awesome. He was very outspoken. He’s like me, just very outspoken and very opinionated which makes good radio for us here at Cumulus. It was awesome to work with him.”
U.S. Embassy in Iraq Protests and Middle East Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The violent protests at the U.S. embassy in Iraq and the subsequent killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. air strike was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 on this week’s chart is the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Close behind at #3 is the 2020 presidential race, followed by the New York City Hanukkah attack and the related rise of anti-Semitism and race relations at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Pennsylvania’s Lancaster-York-Harrisburg market, programming and on-air pro Ronnie Ramone is upped to program director for Hall Communications’ hot AC WROZ “Fun 101.3.” He’ll continue hosting the evening show on the station. Cluster VP/general manager Billy Baldwin says, “Ronnie has been instrumental in building the ‘Fun 101.3’ brand in Central Pennsylvania. He has been our go-to guy on so many things for so long and we are excited to give him this opportunity.”…..At iHeartMedia’s Wichita cluster, senior vice president of programming Jim Dorman takes over the program director role for adult contemporary KRBB “B98.” He also is PD for country KZSN. Additionally, alternative KTHR, Wichita program director Manny Cowzinski adds PD duties for sister CHR KZCH “Channel 96-3.” Dorman says, “Manny has shown he has the passion and skills to not only program alternative ‘ALT 107-3,’ but also program ‘Channel 96-3.’
Mike Francesa ‘Leaving Afternoon Drive’ on WFAN, New York. Newsday’s Neil Best broke the story after New York sports talk radio icon Mike Francesa told him he’ll be leaving his afternoon drive show on WFAN in December with “details to come.” Entercom New York regional president Susan Larkin later issued the following statement, “Mike Francesa will continue to be part of WFAN, and will soon also have an expanded role on RADIO.COM. While we are still finalizing details, this is an exciting move to bring more of Mike’s iconic sports talk content to fans across broadcast and digital in new, engaging ways wherever and however loyal sports fans want it. Stay tuned as we will be sharing more details in the weeks to come.” Francesa left his longtime afternoon drive slot on WFAN in December of 2017, only to return in April of 2018, bumping his replacement – the team of Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and Bart Scott – to middays. Carlin exited WFAN in September with Gray and Scott continuing to host the midday show. The New York media – especially the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand – has been reporting on the ratings battle between Francesa on WFAN and Michael Kay on ESPN’s WEPN-FM, New York. Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey saw Kay beat Francesa in the men 25-54 demographic with a 7.4 share to Francesa’s 6.0 share.
JVC Media Expands ‘Florida Man Radio’; Adds Ed Tyll Show in Middays. The “Florida Man Radio” format based at JVC Media’s WDYZ-AM, Altamonte Springs/W288CJ, Oviedo in the Orlando market will be heard on the company’s WYGC, High Springs in the Gainesville market, effective November 11. At the same time, the company announces that talk radio pro Ed Tyll is joining the lineup in middays. The station’s programming consists of: Bubba the Love Sponge in AM drive, Scott Ledger (10:00 am to 12:00 noon), Ed Tyll (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm), Shannon Burke (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm), attorney Justin Clark (6:00 pm to 7:00 pm), plus Key Networks’ “Bill O’Reilly Update” and Westwood One’s syndicated Ben Shapiro and Michael Savage shows at night. JVC CEO John Caracciolo comments, “This is exactly what radio needs right now – fresh, new, funny, and local – this is ‘Florida Man Radio.’ The vision of a locally based talk station that isn’t afraid to confront the big topics while not taking it too seriously, screams the mantra of JVC. We aren’t afraid to buck the norms – keeping live and local radio working for our clients and listeners, providing great results for clients, and continuing to invest in great programming. I’m thrilled for the future of our stations across the country and thrilled to be growing ‘Florida Man Radio’ all over the state.
KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City Names Lee Lonsberry New Midday Host. Longtime KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City early afternoon personality Doug Wright retired from his daily talk show earlier this year. Now, Bonneville announces that his former producer, Lee Lonsberry, will begin hosting the 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm program in December. Also, the station is expanding the “Inside Sources” program hosted by Deseret News opinion editor Boyd Matheson to a full hour, airing from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon. Lonsberry has also been serving as communications director for U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop for the last few years. Lonsberry says, “Hosting this show will be a thrill and a privilege. I’ve been preparing for this show my entire professional life, and arguably, well before that.” Bonneville SVP and market manager Tanya Vea says of the changes, “These additions to the lineup are an exciting step forward for KSL NewsRadio. Our commitment to local reporting, fairness, and coverage of the biggest breaking news is greater than ever.”
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey, today focusing on stations that serve as Major League Baseball flagships. Since the October survey covered September 12 to October 9, the push to the playoffs and the first few games of the 2019 playoffs happened during that time. Eventual World Series Champions the Washington Nationals’ Entercom-owned flagship WJFK-FM appeared to get a lift from its team, rising from a 3.5 share (6+) during the September survey to a 4.3 share in October. Interestingly, the flagship for the American League Champion Houston Astros – iHeartMedia’s KBME “SportsTalk 790” – languished well below a 2.0 share (hitting its 1.4 share peak in August) for the entire season. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
TALKERS News Notes. WHAM, Rochester talk show host Bob Lonsberry created a controversy after tweeting, “‘Boomer’ is the n-word of ageism. Being hip and flip does not make bigotry ok, nor is a derisive epithet acceptable because it is new.” The since-deleted tweet that addressed the “ok Boomer” meme went viral and raised a lot of criticism of Lonsberry’s reasoning, including from celebrities. Check out Starr Rhett Rocque’s analysis at Fast Company here…..FOX News Channel is moving the Sunday evening “Life, Liberty and Levin” program, starring Mark Levin from its 10:00 pm start to 8:00 pm. Levin, who also hosts a daily, three-hour radio talk show syndicated by Westwood One, has been a “top-performing program” for FNC, according to The Hill’s report. The publication says Levin’s show “delivered more than 1.43 million viewers last weekend and was the most-watched program in cable news on Sunday night, topping rivals CNN and MSNBC.”…..ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” podcasts are returning for a sixth season with four all-new audio documentaries. The first episode debuts on November 12, with the others premiering every Tuesday through December 3. The season kicks off with a story about two of the most famous women in sports, Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, who talk openly about their stranger-than-fiction experience with Shabtai Kalmanovich, former owner of their Russian basketball team and possible double agent…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Lisa Labuz is moving from her current role as morning news anchor and local host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ, Chicago to news anchor for the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm daypart…..Pictured below are WAXY “790 The Ticket” and WQAM “560 The Joe” personalities Marc Hochman and Channing Crowder as they took their afternoon drive show to the University of Miami campus Tuesday afternoon (11/5) for the kickoff of the college basketball season. From left to right are: Miami athletic director Blake James, Crowder, Hochman, and 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta.
Impeachment Process, Ukraine Affair, 2020 Presidential Race, Tuesday Election Results, Roger Stone Trial, Zervos’ Trump Allegations, Mormon Family Murdered in Mexico, and ABC News and the Epstein Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5). The impeachment process against President Trump; EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland updates his testimony about Trump’s alleged quid pro quo offer to Ukraine; the results of Tuesday’s elections that saw Democrats take control of Virginia’s legislature and the too-close-to-call Kentucky governor’s race; day one of Roger Stone’s trial on obstructing congress in the Russian election meddling case; the revelation of phone records in Summer Zervos’ allegations of sexual assault against President Trump; the murder of 9 members of a Mormon family by a drug cartel in northern Mexico; and ABC News’ defense of “quashing” Amy Robach’s interview with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre 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. In the West Palm Beach market, Hubbard Radio names Garrett Phillips producer of the “Tim & Chelsea” morning show on WIRK “New Country 103.1.” Operations manager and WIRK brand/content director Bruce Logan says, “Since 2015, Garrett has shown a high competence in many different roles for this cluster. Rising quickly from intern to show producer to the lead producer for Paul Barsky’s show on WFTL. No matter the role, Garrett has excelled. I am sure his addition as producer for Tim & Chelsea on ‘New Country 103.1’ will produce excellent results as we add another important puzzle piece to what we are building on WIRK.”…..Beasley Media Group announces the official unveiling of “The History Of WRIF” podcast. The station debuted in 1971 and is generally considered one of the longest running active rock stations in the country. Beasley says, “With a rich history and an incredible roster of on air personalities known both in Detroit and nationwide, the podcast, hosted by former WRIF DJ Mike Staff and produced by current WRIF host Steve Black, will feature discussions with past and present personalities reflecting on the incredible moments and memories from their past and current time on the air.” The first episode features Motor City radio legend Arthur Penhallow. “Arthur P” was present for the launch of 101 WRIF and spent several decades on the air at WRIF. During that time, he received many honors, including recognition from The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and a role in the movie, The Upside of Anger, that used WRIF as a setting for the movie and starred award-winning actor Kevin Costner.
FOX News Radio Utilizing Series of Hosts in 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET Slot Beginning with Harry Hurley as Immediate Replacements for Starnes. As reported in TALKERS (10/3), FOX News Radio has kicked off a midday show titled, “Fox Across America,” to replace Todd Starnes (who departed the network last week) in its midday 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET slot. Reports indicate that Fox will be filling the vacancy with a series of hosts with no word yet on the company’s timetable or whether it is even looking for a permanent talent to take over the show. The first host being utilized in the position is WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley who, in addition to his daily morning show, has been serving as one of the top fill-in personalities on the network for more than a year. Hurley, a member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” and the 2019 New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year,” has been hosting “Fox Across America” since last Thursday (10/3). He has hosted mornings in Atlantic City for more than a quarter century where he enjoys legendary status.
TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk radio pro Chris Carlin announces via Twitter that he’ll be doing some fill-in work on ESPN’s WEPN, New York with afternoon drive host Michael Kay when Peter Rosenberg takes time off for the Jewish holidays. Carlin was let go from Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WFAN last month as the station pared some expense from its early afternoon show that featured Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott…..PRX announces that it is ending production of “Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen” after 20 years. PRX chief content officer John Barth comments, “‘Studio 360’ has presented a who’s who of diverse cultural leaders, performers, and creators with verve and style. Anchored by Kurt Andersen’s sharp, inquisitive, free-range mind and personality, a generation of creative producers has explored an impressive scope of arts and culture. We’re proud of all that ‘Studio 360’ has brought into the lives of listeners over a remarkable 20 years.”…..MLive.com reports on the sale of Michigan radio group Jackson Radio Works from owners Susan and Bruce Goldsen to Jamie and Katina McKibbin. Jamie McKibbin has worked for the company – as a radio host, station manager, and since 2015 as general manager – for the past 23 years. The cluster includes news/talk WKHM-AM/W268CA, sports talk WKHM-HD2/W270CJ, CHR WKHM-FM, and country WIBM-AM/W240DG “The Power Cow.” Jamie McKibbin says, “I love Jackson, I love the community, I love being a part of the community. I’ve had a passion for radio since I’ve been a kid.”…..Salem Media Group closes on the swap of KKOL-AM, Seattle to Intelli LLC for that company’s KPAM-AM, Portland. Salem has been airing its conservative news/talk with its Salem Radio Network programming on the station as “AM 860 The Answer” under an LMA. Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage was the exclusive broker for this deal.
Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens’ Ukraine Business, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Syria Policy, and NBA-China Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/8). The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump and his administration’s announced refusal to cooperate with requests for documents and testimony; the Republicans’ interest in the Ukraine dealings of Hunter and Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the U.S. military policy in Syria as Turkey prepares to invade Northern Syria; and the NBA’s controversial relationship with China after the Houston Rockets’ general manager made a public statement supporting Hong Kong protestors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Stephens Media Group Closes on Mapleton Acquisition. The $21 million deal that transfers 37 radio stations from Jim Shea-led Mapleton Communications to David Stephens’ Stephens Media Group closes. The deal includes seven stations in the Medford, Oregon market; six stations in Merced, California, five in the Monterey, California market; six stations in the Redding, California market; six signals in Spokane, Washington; three stations in Alexandria, Louisiana; and four stations in Monroe, Louisiana. The acquisition doubles the size of Stephens Media and completes Mapleton’s exit from the radio business. KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.
WWO Blog: Marketers on Audio. In this week’s blog from Westwood One, data from presentations at the recent 2019 ANA Masters of Marketing conference is presented for the radio industry. WWO says three hot topics were audio, brand building, and the power of emotion. Some of the positive news regarding audio included the observation from Accenture Interactive that, “Forward-looking CMOs recognize the growing potential of audio and interactive voice as a dominant medium, elevating the importance of determining smart marketing strategies that can deliver brand messaging without a screen.” Also noted was Proctor & Gamble’s use of AM/FM radio: “Major brands like P&G are using AM/FM radio to supplement digital and make their TV better. Marketers and agencies were amazed to learn that P&G is now America’s fifth-biggest advertiser on American AM/FM radio after being absent from AM/FM radio for decades.”
Beasley Feted at ‘Free Speech Gala.’ Pictured above is Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley (right) with Frederick J. Ryan, publisher and CEO of The Washington Post (left) and Media Institute president Richard Kaplar (center) at Monday’s 40th Annual “Free Speech Gala” at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. Beasley received the American Horizon Award for her visionary industry leadership in helping grow a family-owned radio business from a single AM station into a 65-station multi-media corporation. Ryan received the Freedom of Speech Award for upholding principles of free speech and free press throughout a journalism career that has spanned print, broadcast, cable, and digital media. FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks delivered the keynote remarks. Photo: Gerald Barnes
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In celebration of the release of his autobiography, Me: Elton John (2019, Henry Holt & Co), Elton John and iHeartMedia are teaming up for an exclusive event on Wednesday, October 16 at 10:00 pm ET (7:00 pm PT) at iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles in which the company will host “iHeartRadio ICONS with Elton John.” The event will feature an exclusive interview hosted by Jim Kerr and will be broadcast across more than 297 iHeartMedia stations digitally on “Big Classic Hits” and “Soft Rock.” The CW Network will also livestream the event on The CW App and CWTV.com…..iHeartMedia Atlanta announces that Enrique Santos will anchor mornings on its Spanish hits WBZY “La Z 105.3.” The “Tu Mañana con Enrique Santos” morning show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Station PD Orlando Rosa says, “With the increased importance and size of the our U.S. Hispanic audience in Atlanta, both Spanish and English speaking, we’re excited to welcome a top-rated, on-air talent like Enrique Santos in morning drive on ‘105.3 La Z’ with Karla, our local talent who will integrate the local happenings in Atlanta with Enrique.”…..WAY-FM chief operating officer Lloyd Parker announces that current Charleston station manager Brian Driver is named general manager for the WAY-FM properties in South Carolina. Driver comments, “Thirty-one years ago as a 15-year-old in Dallas getting started in radio, I could have never imagined I would have the opportunity that I now have today. I have been honored to work for WAY-FM in every facet that I have since day one and could not have gotten as much accomplished in Charleston without the help and leadership of Jim Marshall. To now be the general manager of WAY-FM Charleston, in such an incredible ministry, is an absolute honor and a blessing that I could not have imagined.”