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Thursday, August 5, 2021

| August 5, 2021

Beasley Broadcast Group Second Quarter Net Revenue Up 96%. Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2021, Beasley Broadcast Group (parent company of Beasley Media Group) indicates net revenue was $59.6 million, an increase of 96.1% over the same period in 2020. The company posts operating income of $5.8 million compared to the $17.6 million operating loss it reported in Q2 of 2020. Station operating income also rebounded to $11.1 million compared to the $11 million SOI loss it posted in the same period a year ago. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Beasley’s strong 2021 second quarter financial results reflect growing momentum across our media platform, as the continuing broad-based economic recovery accelerated demand from consumers and advertisers for our premium content and marketing and advertising services. With the significant rebound in the commercial advertising market, second quarter net revenue of $59.6 million increased 24% over first quarter 2021 levels and 96% over the comparable prior year period. Top line growth combined with the meaningful actions we have taken over the past year to permanently reduce costs and improve operating efficiencies, resulted in a significant rebound in net income to $0.2 million and SOI to $11.1 million, as well as positive free cash flow of approximately $1.0 million. Throughout the second quarter, the resumption of advertising in key categories combined with the success of our content monetization strategies resulted in year-over-year revenue growth across all fifteen of our markets, with healthy double-digit revenue increases in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia and Wilmington. Notably, our continued emphasis on strong local content and consumer engagement drove best-in-industry ratings performance for our station clusters, according to Nielsen. Our cumulative on-air audience share approached pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter, having grown consistently since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. While second quarter non-traditional revenue (NTR) and events revenue was minimal, we made the strategic decision to fully re-open our events business in the third quarter, given the continued strengthening of commerce and consumer activities in our markets, and expect incremental revenue from this source in the second half of 2021. As we work to return all of our revenue sources to pre-pandemic levels of operation, we are closely tracking potential impacts from the Delta variant and the uncertainty it may bring to businesses we serve and our future operating results. Our ongoing focus on digital innovation and the strategic investments we are making in our digital and esports infrastructure and content production capabilities are delivering positive results and continue to highlight the value of our long-term revenue and cash flow diversification strategies. Growing consumer and advertiser demand for Beasley’s digital audio content drove a 96% year-over-year increase in digital revenue, with digital accounting for approximately 13.4% of total second quarter revenue, compared to 13.4% in the prior year period and 12% in the 2021 first quarter. With growing audience share and engagement, Beasley’s digital network delivered record digital audience impressions in the second quarter, with total digital impressions growing 29% over the prior year period.”

Salem Media Group Q2 2021 Total Revenue Rises 20.6%. The total revenue for Salem Media Group’s second quarter of 2021 was $63.8 million, an increase of 20.6% over the same period in 2020. Salem posted operating income of $5.6 million for the quarter, compared to the operating loss of $900,000 it reported during the second quarter of 2020. The company’s net income for Q2 of this year was $2.3 million compared to the net loss of $2.5 million it reported for the second quarter of 2020. Salem Media Group reports data for its three business segments and the Broadcast segment’s net revenue for this quarter was $46.8 million, up 18.5% from the same period a year ago. Station operating income rose 66.6% to $10.6 million. The Digital Media segment saw revenue rise 9.5% to $10.3 million and the Publishing segment revenue was $6.7, an increase of 68.3%. As of June 30, 2021, the Salem Media Group had $216.3 million outstanding on the 6.75% senior secured notes due 2024, no balance outstanding on the Asset Based Revolving Credit Facility, and $11.2 million outstanding on Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans from the Small Business Administration.

Saga Communications Q2 Net Revenue Up 49.7%. Second quarter financial data from Saga Communications, Inc. reveals that the company’s net revenue was $28 million, an increase of 49.7% over the same period in 2020. The company posted operating income of $4.6 million compared to the operating loss of $8.6 million it reported in the second quarter of 2020.  Station operating expense increased $2.4 million to $21.0 million for the quarter compared to the same period last year. Station operating income was $8.4 million for the quarter compared to a loss of $181,000 for the second quarter of 2020. Free cash flow was $4.2 million for the quarter compared to a negative $1.8 million for the same period last year. Saga’s balance sheet reflects $59.4 million in cash on hand as of June 30, 2021 and $59.6 million as of August 2, 2021.  The company’s total bank debt remained at $10 million as of the end of the second quarter 2021.

Urban One Second Quarter Net Revenue Climbs 41.6%. Today’s second quarter 2021 financial report from Urban One, Inc., parent company of Radio One, indicates the company’s net revenue was approximately $107.6 million, an increase of 41.6% from the same period in 2020. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $49.6 million, an increase of 64.3% from the same period in 2020. Urban One reports operating income of approximately $37.9 million for Q2 of 2021, compared to approximately $20.4 million for the same period in 2020. Net income was approximately $17.9 million compared to approximately $1.4 million for the second quarter of 2020. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “Overall we had an extremely strong second quarter; not only was Adjusted EBITDA up 82.4% year-over-year, but we also surpassed our Q2 2019 pre-pandemic Adjusted EBITDA. We are experiencing unprecedented advertiser interest in our audience across the entire Urban One platform. The radio advertising business saw a robust rebound from the worst impacts of the pandemic in Q2 2020, with segment revenues up by 73% and radio syndication revenues up 50.2%. We also benefitted from strong TV scatter markets, with TV advertising revenues up 21.3% in the quarter; furthermore, registered interest in our 2021-22 TV upfront sales presentations has also been extremely encouraging, which will help our fourth quarter revenue performance. Demand for our digital products remains high, with digital revenues up by 147.9% for the quarter and Adjusted EBITDA up by over $6 million; a significant help to our top and bottom-line growth. For Q3, our core radio business excluding political is currently pacing up by over 40%, and we are comfortable increasing our FY21 Adjusted EBITDA guidance to mid-$130 million, excluding casino chase costs. During the quarter we completed the second tranche of our Class A ATM share sale program, which yielded $21.2 million net of fees. This cash influx further strengthened our balance sheet, and we ended the quarter with $129.8 million of cash on hand, which is a healthy place to be ahead of the exciting new investment opportunity in the One Casino & Resort in Richmond, Virginia.”

Ralph Nader is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Legendary consumer advocate, political activist, prolific author, Pacifica radio talk show host and five-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Nader engage in a fascinating discussion about “left/right political thinking” in America as well as social and business changes influenced by advancements in technology, plus more. Nader says working class Democrats and Republicans alike have far more in common than they have differences and that unbridled corporatism is the true enemy of the poor and working class regardless of race or political ideology. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

NAB Announces 2021 Marconi Finalists. The finalists for the 2021 Marconi Awards have been announced. The news/talk Station of the Year finalists are: WSB-AM, Atlanta; WTOP-FM, Washington; KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri; WLW-AM, Cincinnati; and KNX-AM, Los Angeles. (NAB lumps all-news and news/talk stations into the same category.) WSB-AM, Atlanta is also up for Legendary Station of the Year. Talk radio hosts making the finals include, for Major Market Personality of the Year, George Dunham, Craig Miller, and Gordon Keith from sports talk KTCK-AM, Dallas “The Ticket.” In the Large Market Personality of the Year category, finalists include: WFLA-AM, Tampa’s Jack Harris; WBAL-AM, Baltimore’s C4 and Bryan Nehman; WHPT-FM, Tampa’s Mike Calta; and WWTN-FM, Nashville’s Dan Mandis. Medium Market Personality of the Year category finalists include: KRMG-FM, Tulsa’s Dan Potter; KIDO-AM, Boise’s Kevin Miller; KYKX-FM, Tyler, Texas’ Harlen the Sports Guy and Pigskin Bob; and WHO-AM, Des Moines’ Simon Conway. See all the finalists here.

TALKERS News Notes. Next Tuesday (8/10), McVay Media’s Mike McVay is joining Loyd Ford from Rainmaker Pathway Consulting Works, LLC for “The Radio State Of The Union Live Event” on The Encouragers on Clubhouse. It’s being billed as “a frank discussion about employment, job search, career management, corporate & local radio and the future” and takes place at 7:00 pm ET. Ford says, “We have been discussing the people we love in this business, the talent. This is a unique time in our history. If you are on the talent side of the business, it takes some skill to navigate your way through what is happening. I reached out to Mike because he really does have such deep experience and knows radio as a talent, a consultant and someone who ran programming for one of the largest broadcasters in the country. Plus, he’s willing (like I am) to be candid. This will be a conversation with red meat and a lot of helpful hacks to get ahead, stay balanced and help others.”…..Legendary WGN-AM and WGN-TV sports producer Jack “Rosey” Rosenberg will be recognized by the City of Chicago with an honorary street sign. The southeast corner of E. Illinois Street and Cityfront Plaza Drive will double as “Jack Rosenberg Way.” Rosenberg’s career at WGN began in 1954 where he was a producer, news writer, and sports editor and worked with celebrated sports voices including Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray, Vince Lloyd, Lou Boudreau, and others. WGN says, “Rosey was a pioneer in modern sports production and broadcasting and is credited with its development. While Rosey himself was rarely heard on-air, the sound of his typewriter clacking in the background was unmistakable.” Rosenberg died December 26, 2020 at the age of 94…..Futuri announces the launch of AdMatic, “a revolutionary system that helps podcast platforms and creators make their content more discoverable and monetizable using advanced metadata sorting and deployment.” Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig adds, “Two million podcasts all have the same problem: poor metadata sorting that leads to mismatched recommendations for listeners and ineffective advertising for businesses. AdMatic solves this by using Futuri’s AI-driven technology to individually categorize podcast episodes and align with the businesses and products that best match on a case-by-case basis, rather than the hopelessly broad one-size-fits-all approach we currently see in the market.”

COVID-19 Delta Variant/Outbreaks & Mask Policies, Eviction Moratorium, Cuomo Allegations-Impeachment Possibility, Infrastructure Bill, January 6 Investigation, the Tokyo Olympic Games, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 Delta variant cases in numerous U.S. states, governors under fire and mask policies; President Joe Biden’s moratorium on evictions; the allegations of sexual impropriety against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the possibility of his being impeached; the bi-partisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack; the Tokyo Olympics; and the California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

| March 31, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

| March 24, 2021

Wendy Bell Promoted to Full Time Talk Host at WJAS-AM, Pittsburgh; Rose Tennent Added to Afternoons. According to a story in the Beaver County Times, St. Barnabas Health System-owned news/talk WJAS-AM, Pittsburgh bumps talk personality Wendy Bell to full time in which her 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show will air Monday through Friday. The station has also added Pittsburgh media personality Rose Tennent to the program schedule in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. Bell was a host on Entercom’s KDKA-AM until she and the company agreed to part company early last fall. Bell had been criticized for suggesting on her show that park rangers shoot anyone seen defacing a monument in a public park. Tennent co-hosted “The War Room” morning show on former talk outlet WPGB-FM, Pittsburgh with Jim Quinn. St. Barnabas Health System SVP J.D. Turco says, “Both women have very distinctive styles. WJAS is the only station featuring six hours of back-to-back conservative female programming. We are proud to have strong, intelligent, and informed talk radio with Wendy from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and Rose from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.”

Round Two of February PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s February 2021 survey period covered February 4 – March 3. All-news and news/talk stations benefitted from the January 6 Capitol attack and its aftermath as well as from the transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration during the post-holidays period that is traditionally down from a ratings standpoint. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington rose by one-tenth to a 6.0 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) and the #4 rank while Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM was unchanged with a 9.9 share good for the #2 rank. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s WRKO was steady at a 5.2 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM dipped seven-tenths but remained ranked #1. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM lost just one-tenth, finishing the survey with a 7.3 share good for a repeat at the #1 rank. Sinclair Broadcast Group’s crosstown all-news KOMO-AM/FM dropped half a share to a 5.2 and slipped to the #5 rank. See all of Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways for this round of markets here.

Former WFLA-AM, Tampa Morning Host Tedd Webb Enters Hospice. Longtime Tampa Bay radio personality Tedd Webb has entered hospice, according to a statement from his son Lee Ruiz. He says his father’s dialysis and dementia have been “particularly taxing.” Webb co-hosted “AM Tampa Bay with Jack Harris from 1994 through 2017 when he retired. Webb has been dealing with health issues for some time. Ruiz says, “This wasn’t an easy decision for him to make and obviously no one wants to lose him, but there’s only so much one person can endure. He feels the time is right and, ‘that’s how he sees it’ as he would say… I know a lot of people would like to spend one more time with him, and as much as we would like to accommodate all of those wishes, it’s just not possible. Given his current state, and that this came about rather abruptly, we have a very tight window of time left which makes it difficult to pull off.”

Jeanna Berge Rises to Market President for iHeartMedia Eau Claire/Rochester. Radio sales pro Jeanna Berge is promoted to market president for iHeartMedia’s Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Rochester, Minnesota markets, effective April 1. She takes over the role from Rick Hencley who is retiring after 27 years with iHeartMedia. Berge will retain her role as SVP of sales for the Eau Claire market. She says, “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and I am beyond ecstatic to lead and learn from these incredible, dedicated, multi-talented teams in the Eau Claire and Rochester markets. Rick has been an inspiring leader throughout my career at iHeartMedia and I’m honored to have had him as my mentor. His passion to have his employees always strive to be the best is evident with the success of his career, and I am determined to share that same motivation, positivity and creativity to help these ambitious teams excel. My mission is to continue to build on our already strong connection while having a positive impact on our employees, listeners, advertisers and our communities.”

Gaby Dunn Partners with Westwood One for Podcast. Comedian and New York Times best-selling author Gaby Dunn is partnering with Cumulus Media’s Westwood One to bring her podcast “Bad With Money” to the Westwood One Podcast Network. The podcast will “unapologetically examine the intersection of finances and social justice. Every week, Gaby will bring a queer, feminist, and unabashedly radical point of view to conversations with top journalists, student loan experts, tax specialists, and mutual aid organizers.” Dunn says, “At a time when so many people are scared and out of work, I’m thrilled to be able to provide helpful and actionable advice for long-term financial security. Furthermore, ‘Bad With Money’ will now sit alongside other like-minded shows on Westwood One, where it can reach those who need to hear it most.”

Cumulus Media’s WSBN-AM, Washington to Air Baltimore Orioles Games. When the 2021 Major League Baseball season begins, Baltimore Orioles games will be heard in Washington, DC on Cumulus Media’s sports talk WSBN-AM “ESPN 630 AM The Sports Capitol.” Cumulus says the multi-year deal keeps the Orioles Radio Network on the Washington, DC airwaves and adds to ESPN 630 AM’s stable of sports broadcasts – which also includes the Washington Football Team and the University of Virginia. Cumulus Washington SVP and market manager Ken Roberts says, “We are thrilled to be associated with the Baltimore Orioles. From their classic venue, Oriole Park at Camden Yards to their Hall of Fame heritage, the Orioles have a rich history with the League and with the City of Baltimore.”

Traveling with 46. Pictured above (back to the camera, wearing headphones) is Salem Radio Network White House correspondent Greg Clugston covering President Joe Biden’s tour of the new, state-of-the-art Radiation Oncology Department at the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University yesterday (3/23). Clugston traveled frequently on Air Force One during the Trump administration. Tuesday was his first flight accompanying the 46th president.

Deadly Colorado Grocery Shooting/Gun Control, COVID-19-Spring Break, Border Crisis-Immigration, Capitol Attack-Sedition Controversy, and Deshaun Watson Sexual Assault Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23). The shooting at a Boulder, Colorado grocery store that left 10 dead and the related issue of gun control; the rising number of COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states, concern about variants, the rollout of vaccines, and the chaos in Florida related to spring break revelers; the large number of child migrants appearing at the U.S.-Mexico border and the pressure on the Biden administration to deal with immigration policy; the investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the controversy over a justice department lawyer’s suggestion sedition charges may be leveled against some; and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson faces 14 sexual misconduct lawsuits were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, February 26, 2018

| February 26, 2018

Kemp Goes News/Talk on KMZQ, Las Vegas.  KMZQ-AM has been airing a sports talk format using programming from SB Nation Radio.  Beginning March 1, the station will flip to conservative talk, branded as “The Right Talk for Las Vegas.”  The station will air a slate of programming from Salem Radio Network – including Mike Gallagher in AM drive, followed by Dennis Prager and Michael Medved, and Larry ElderWestwood One’s Jim Bohannon airs in early evenings and SRN content – Hugh Hewitt, Joe Walsh and Eric Metaxas – air in the late nights and overnights.  Weekend programming includes “Our American Stories” with Lee Habeeb, “Meet the Press” and others.  At the same time, Kemp Broadcasting announces it is revealing its new corporate name after its merger with KCI billboards.  The new company is called Kemp Broadcasting & Digital Outdoor, and EVP/GM Marty Basch says, “With the integration of our radio and billboard divisions, advertisers will now have the opportunity to work with one company in the Las Vegas market that runs both radio and billboards cohesively with one staff to help simplify your advertising needs.”

WFLA-AM, Tampa Adds Local Early Evening Show. The station calls new early evening host Ryan Gorman a “politically independent millennial.”  Beginning March 5, Gorman starts his duties as host of the “PM Tampa Bay Show” on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa.  The show will air from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and “will cover the day’s biggest news stories and hot topics impacting the Tampa Bay area…[Gorman] will bring a unique and fresh perspective to the airwaves, appealing to fans of all ages and all across the entire political spectrum.”  Gorman will continue to host “The Best of the Bay,” a program that airs each weekend across all iHeartMedia Tampa Bay radio stations.  Gorman says, “I’m looking forward to providing a platform that will help inform, educate and entertain listeners in a balanced way during their drive home.  It is an honor to be able to launch a new show in my hometown of Tampa, Florida!”

TALKERS News Notes. At Scripps in Milwaukee, Angie Kasal is promoted to the new position manager of sports network operations for news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  The station serves as the flagship for Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play.  In a memo to staffers, Scripps Milwaukee GM Tom Langmyer says Kasal will be “responsible for management of affiliate relations, our broadcasts (in concert with Eric Brooks), day-to-day communication with our team partners, revenue tracking, expense management, assets and more.”…..iHeartMedia announces that legendary journalist Tom Brokaw – whose work appears on news/talk WOR, New York – is relaunching his “Now Hear This” podcast on iHeartRadio.  The company says the “new and improved podcast will post Friday mornings and feature Brokaw’s personal insight and perspectives on current events alongside the impact these events hold on the lives of Americans today.”…..Talking Stick Communicatons sells sports talk WFGA-FM, Hicksville, Ohio “ESPN Fort Wayne” to Swick Broadcasting for $300,000 cash.  Jason James of Patrick Communications was the exclusive broker for the deal…..Cumulus Media and Boise State University athletics multi-media rights-holder, Learfield’s Bronco Sports Properties, announce a renewed agreement for flagship radio rights  through the 2024-25 season.  The inclusive coverage features live pre- and post-game coverage for all football and basketball games on the following affiliates. Football will air on KBOI-AM, KTIK-FM, and KTIK-AM; Men’s basketball on KBOI-AM; and Women’s basketball on KTIK-AM.

Lyle Kilgore Dies at 89.  Southern California radio news pro Lyle Kilgore has died at age 89.  During his career, he served as news director at such legendary Los Angeles stations as KHJ, KDAY, KLAC, and KFWB.  His wife Eva posted news of his passing on Facebook.  “My heart is broken.  Lyle passed away peacefully yesterday morning at 10:00 am.  He gently left this world…Lyle had a stellar career and was a quiet man with an incredible personality.”

Reorganization Eliminates Howard Price’s Position with ABC/Disney.  After more than 36 years with Disney/ABC, Howard B. Price is leaving the company and his role as senior manager of business continuity as the position is being eliminated.  Price says his last day with be March 9 and that he has no regrets, his time with the company has been “an extraordinary ride.”  Price can be reached at: HBPrice@aol.com or 917-414-1751.

BFoA Announces Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  The 2018 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards will be presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at the charity’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 11 in the Brahms Room of the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, during the NAB Show.  This year’s recipients are: Marcellus Alexander, president, NAB Education Foundation; Joe Bilotta, president & CEO, JMB Solutions, LLC; Richard Bodorff, partner, Wiley Rein LLP; Steve Jones, vice president & general manager, ABC Radio; Patrick Maines, former president & CEO, The Media Institute; and Bill McElveen, executive vice president, Alpha Media.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at-large and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

Gun Control Debate, NRA Loses Business Partnerships, Feinstein Loses Cal Dems Endorsement, CPAC Speeches, U.S.-North Korea Relations, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Xi Jinping to Stay in Power, Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The debate over gun control issues in the wake of the deadly Parkland, Florida shooting; numerous businesses end their relationships with the NRA; Democrat Dianne Feinstein loses the endorsement of the California Democratic Party; the weekend’s speeches at CPAC, including Mona Charen’s getting booed for criticizing GOP’s support of Donald Trump and Roy Moore; North Korea announces it is open to talks with the U.S.; the status of the “Dreamers” act and U.S. immigration policy; Xi Jinping maneuvers to be Chinese president for life; the Winter Games in PyeongChang wrap; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Don LeBrecht Passes at 80.  Lifelong broadcasting pro Don LeBrecht died at the age of 80.  During his career he served with such stations as KFRE, Fresno; WSPA, Spartanburg, South Carolina; and WBT, Charlotte.  He also led the Broadcast Industry Council as executive director for 17 years.  He leaves behind his wife Thelma.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  KIIS-FM, Los Angeles personality JoJo is named host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated program “iHeartRadio Countdown.”  The two-hour CHR weekend program is heard on some 100 affiliate stations.  He’ll host the new program in addition to his KIIS duties and his work hosting the syndicated “JoJo on the Radio” program…..Morning drive co-host Greg LeMega, a.k.a. Toast, exits Entercom’s alternative WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark” where he was co-hosting “The Big Mistake with Ashley & Toast.”  Ashley continues to host the program solo for now…..Tracy Villaume moves from news/talk WGY-AM/FM, Albany, where she’d been an anchor and a reporter, to iHeartMedia’s sister hot AC WRVE “99.5 The River” as co-host of the morning show with current morning personality Kevin Rush.   She takes over for Shanna, who most recently left the station to become an air personality at the company’s country WMIL, Milwaukee…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch reports that morning drive co-host Dude Walker and afternoon personality Aricka McCauley exit Jam Communications’ country WQHK, Fort Wayne “K-105.”  Also, GSM Suzee Leavell steps into an account executive role for “K-105” as general manager Jim Allgeier assumes sales manager duties on an interim basis…..Tampa Bay morning personality Mason Dixon celebrates 40 years on the radio tomorrow (2/27).  Dixon is morning host at Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WRBQ “Q105.”  Tomorrow morning, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn will present him with an official proclamation proclaiming February 27 “Mason Dixon Day” in Tampa Bay!  Dixon says, “Forty years of doing what love, I feel like I’ve never worked a day in my life.  My job, plus raising a family in the most beautiful area anywhere, makes me feel truly a lucky man and I’m still loving every minute of it.”

Round Four of January PPM Data Released. The fourth of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 survey period covered January 4 – 31. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – Following four downward trends in succession that generated a -1.3 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM erases the deficit completely with a +1.3 to 4.1 (6+). “News Radio 590 AM” leaps from #13 to #8, where it is tied with co-owned KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin,” which improves by seven-tenths (3.4 – 4.1, tenth to eighth, 6+), after faltering by one-half share in “Holiday” 2017. Up seven-tenths as well (7.2, third to second, 6+) is University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT, which was -1.4 in three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its loss of three-tenths in November ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+), with October’s 7.9 the highest 6+-share for KUT since 9.0 in November 2016. Not only does Emmis adult hits KBPA transform its -1.7 from “Holiday” 2017 into a +1.7 in January 2018 (8.4 – 6.7 – 8.4, 6+), “Bob” moves from second to first. Immediately prior to the “Holiday” 2017 report, “Bob” occupied the lead spot the previous ten sweeps. A November gain of one-half share took KBPA to 8.8, its strongest 6+-stat since 9.1 in March and halted three down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). The 6.7 in “Holiday” 2017 marked the first time that Austin’s “Bob” was below a seven-share (6+) in three years (6.9, “Holiday” 2014). Dropping from first to fourth is Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5 – Better Music For a Better Workday” (12.4 – 5.6, -6.8, 6+), which erodes by roughly 55%. Its 12.4 in “Holiday” 2017 was the station’s highest 6+-share” since 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016. KKMJ was a combined +6.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017, and -.8 in November. A gain of eight-tenths by Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (#15 to #12, 6+) halts four straight declines that generated a -1.0 (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+). In three consecutive decreases, iHeartMedia-owned KASE was an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+), but “Austin’s #1 For New Country” responds with a +.7 to 4.6 (ninth to seventh, 6+). For the second time in a row, Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is down by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.5 – 3.9, seventh to tenth, 6+). Conversely, co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 is without a loss for the fifth straight sweep nearly doubling its 6+-share (+1.4) in that stretch (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, #11 to #12, 6+).

2) Raleigh – Roaring back from a -.6 in “Holiday” 2017 with a +1.7 (7.4 – 9.1, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” records its strongest 6+-share in exactly four years (9.4, January 2014) and repeats at #3. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four months in a row in the runner-up slot. As the result of three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK was -1.4, but “106.1 Stay Connected” posts a +.9 to 4.7 (tenth to ninth, 6+). Meanwhile, Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF “News Radio 680” regains the three-tenths it lost in “Holiday” 2017 (1.1 – .8 – 1.1, 6+) and remains at #19. Co-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country 94.7 QDR,” which was off one full-share in November and December (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7, 6+) and +.1 in “Holiday” 2017, racks up a whopping +2.6 (6.8 – 9.4, fifth to second, 6+). Prior to the November sweep, WQDR registered a 7.7 (6+) in three of the six previous ratings periods. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 for New Country – picks up nine-tenths (3.1 – 4.0, #13 to #11, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since last September’s 4.3. Trending 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.6 (6+) September through December, classic hits-oldies sibling WKIX lost eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, but “Kix 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” rebounds in January 2018 with a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.8, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#11 to #7). When iHeartMedia CHR WDCG recorded a +.3 in “Holiday” 2017, it ended six monthlies in succession without an increase for an overall -1.9 (6.9 – 6.2 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0, 6+); now, “G-105” adds seven-tenths (5.3 – 6.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Its 5.0 in November and December matched WDCG’s lowest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2013. A combined +4.8 since October (5.6 – 6.6 – 7.7 – 10.4, 6+), with 10.4 its strongest 6+-performance since 13.2 in “Holiday” 2016, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL surrenders all but one-half share of that increase as “Mix 101.5” drops from a first-place tie to fourth (6.1, – 4.3, 6+). November’s gain of one full-share ended eight successive sweeps without an increase for a -3.2 (8.8 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). Starting in February 2017, “Mix” finished at #1 in four straight sweeps before slipping to third in June. Now in sole possession of first-place is Radio One urban AC WFXC, which is on top for the ninth straight month. Moreover, “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” is an overall +2.0 in four gains in a row (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+), registering its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Its loss of one-half share in October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Off by -1.3, urban contemporary cluster-mate WQOK “K-97.5” (5.9, fourth to sixth, 6+) ends an up/down pattern that began in August (6.3 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 7.2, 6+). Falling out of the top ten (#7 to #12), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” erodes by -1.3 as well (4.7 – 3.4, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – In four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Emmis news/talk WIBC was a collective -1.8, but “93.1 Indy’s News Center” answers with a +1.1 to 4.5 and returns to the top ten (#13 to #10). Posting a +1.1 as well is Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI (2.2 – 3.3, #16 to #14, 6+), which sputtered by one-half share in “Holiday” 2017. WFYI had been in 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) in each of the last 24 ratings periods. As a result of gaining one-half share to 2.0 (unchanged at #17, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” leaves the one-share level (6+) for the first time since September 2016. Flat or (slightly) down the past three sweeps for a -.4 (6.3 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL” bounces back with a +1.4 to 7.3, its best 6+-stat since July’s 7.7, to advance from a fourth-place tie to second. With an increase more than twice as much as its six-tenths decrease in “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 5.5, +1.3, 6+), hot AC sibling WNTR “107.9 The Mix” moves from tenth to eighth. Erasing all but two-tenths of its -1.3 from “Holiday” 2017, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” jumps from ninth to sixth (4.8 – 5.9, +1.1, 6+); 4.8 in “Holiday” 2017 was the lowest 6+-showing for WKLU since it reappeared in print in December 2016. With a topline trend of 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.2 (6+) since August, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” breaks out a +1.1 to 4.3 (#14 to #12, 6+). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+), Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” regains nearly half the loss with a +.7 (6.2, sixth to fifth, 6+). October’s +.8 took “Hank” to 7.1, its strongest 6+-showing since September 2015’s 7.6. Two-tenths ahead of “Hank” is Cumulus Media-owned and similarly-formatted WFMS (6.0 – 6.4, +.4, third to fourth, 6+), An overall +.8 in May and June, “95.5 The Country Station” was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; +.5 in September; -.7 in October; +1.1 in November; -.9 in December; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Even though Emmis adult contemporary WYXB forfeits -5.5 of its collective +7.9 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (13.4, 6+), “Soft Rock B-105.7” is #1 for the third time in a row. The 13.4 in “Holiday” 2017 represents its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2016’s 17.7, while November’s 5.5 was its weakest in more than five years (5.3, November 2012). In December, “B-105.7” halted three straight downturns that accounted for an overall -1.4 (6.9 – 6.5 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without an increase (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – .7 – .7, 6+), WICR lost more than 50% of its 6+-share (overall -.9), but the University of Indianapolis-owned jazz-classical property picks up four-tenths to 1.1 (6+), moving from #22 to #21. In six successive up or flat trends, Cumulus Media Indianapolis’ frequency at 93.9 was +2.5, virtually doubling its 6+-stat since June (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 3.4 – 5.1, 6+). That streak comes to in an end though in January 2018 as WYRG “Indianapolis’ Energy 93.9” is -2.2 (2.9, #10 to 15, 6+). Approximately one week into the December sweep (11/17), Cumulus Media transitioned urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” to CHR WYRG.

4) Milwaukee – When iHeartMedia’s WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that netted +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). “News/Talk 1130” bounces back though with a +1.0 in January 2018 to 8.4 (6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth sweep in a row. The last time WISN reached the eight-share level (6+) was nearly five years ago (8.1, April 2013). Flat at #5, cross-town rival, Scripps news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” is without an increase for the fourth straight time for a -1.8 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since last February’s 5.0. Down in the each of the last three sweeps for a -1.3 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 5.8, 6+) Saga Communications’ WHQC “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” regains all of that loss and another one-tenth (7.2, +1.4, 6+), jumping from sixth to third. After four consecutive August through December increases for an overall +3.0 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 –  6.0 – 7.6, 6+), co-owned WKLH was -.9 in “Holiday” 2017, but “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” recaptures approximately half that deficit (6.7 – 7.2, +.5, 6+) and ties “The Hog” at #3. December’s 7.6 marked the first time that WKLH reached the seven-share level (6+) since the station reappeared in print more than three years ago (December 2014). In five successive downward moves, iHeartMedia’s WMIL was a combined -3.2 (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), however, “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” registers a +.9 to 4.5 (6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #9). Prior to August, “FM 106.1” was up or flat in four straight sweeps for a net +1.4 (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.5, 6+). Without an increase for the sixth successive survey period for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” slips from #12 to #13. In advance of its current trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a collective +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+). Continuing a down/up pattern that began in May (10.3 – 9.9 – 10.7 – 9.6 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 8.4 – 11.6 – 9.1, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” falters by -2.5 but is on top for the 35th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015). It has been a rollercoaster ride lately for Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary WLDB “B-93.3,” which bounced back from three consecutive downward moves in September-October-November for a collective -1.4 (4.3 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+) with a +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.9 – 5.6 – 7.4, 6+), but spirals by -2.6 in January 2018 (7.4 – 4.8, second to seventh, 6+). Having regained 60% of December’s full-share loss with a +.6 in “Holiday” 2017 (4.5 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Milwaukee’s Only Hip-Hop and R&B” drops one-half share to 4.6 (6+) and is anchored at #8. November’s +.3 ended four consecutive months without an increase for an overall -2.0 (7.4 – 7.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). In advance of the December report, the last time “V-100.7” fell below a five-share (6+) was in May 2016 (4.7). CHR sibling WRNW “97.3 Now” posts its third decrease in succession for a combined -1.1 (4.0 – 3.6 – 3.0 – 2.9, flat at #14, 6+). Frozen on 3.2 (6+) in August, September, and October, “97.3 Now” reached the four-share level in November (4.0, 6+) for the first time in more than five years (4.1, September 2012). Similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” is down or flat for the fifth straight ratings period (including its third straight time at 3.9) for a collective loss of nine-tenths (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) and exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Following five straight sweeps without an increase in which it lost roughly 70% of its 6+-share (-1.6) since August (2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – .6 – .6, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned WZTI “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel” picks up two-tenths to .8 (#21 to #20).

5) Nashville – Applying the brakes to three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” erases one-quarter of the loss with a +.5 to 3.5 and is unchanged at #13 (6+). Similarly, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” notches a +1.0 to 5.0 (steady at #10), as it curtails three decreases in succession that generated a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in September and October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. The station’s “stream,” which had a .1 (6+) in December but disappeared from print in “Holiday” 2017, returns with a .7 (#21). Transforming the six-tenths it dropped in “Holiday” 2017 to a +.9 in January 2018, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” climbs from fifth to fourth (5.6 – 6.5, 6+) with its strongest 6+-showing since 6.8 in December 2016. When the flagship of the Tennessee Titans was -.2 in November to 4.8 (6+), it ended a string of three straight increases that produced a +2.3 (2.7 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+). Similarly-programmed/Cromwell Group-owned WPRT “102.5 The Game” improves by one-half share (1.4 – 1.9, #17 to #15, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing since May’s 2.4. The country format boasts a three-for-three January 2018 showing and its representatives finish at #8, #9, and #10. For openers, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” rebounds from -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+) with a +1.4 and is flat at #8 (5.6, 6+). Co-owned WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” notches its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+), progressing from #11 to #10, while – similar to “Nash FM” – iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” is +1.1 from “Holiday” 2017 and ends three straight drops that generated a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, steady at #9, 6+). Powered by four gains in succession netting +2.1 (5.7 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WNRQ “105.9 Nashville’s Classic Rock” progresses from third to first, registering its best 6+-stat since June (7.8, as well). Evicted from the penthouse after a three-sweep stay there is Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music,” which was an overall +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Prior to this particular run, “Mix” (14.4 – 7.7, -6.7, first to second, 6+) last occupied the pacesetter position in April. In addition to progressing from seventh to fifth, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” posts a +.8 to 6.1 (6+), suspending four consecutive dips for a collective -2.2 (7.5 – 7.2 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+); 5.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was its lowest 6+-share since 5.3 in “Holiday” 2010. Stuck on 3.7 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017, Cromwell Group alternative WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz” is up one-half share to 4.2 and remains at #12 (6+). After experiencing a modest three-tenths December – “Holiday” 2017 dip (3.0 – 2.7, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” virtually disappears from print with a -2.6 to .1 (#14 to #28, 6+). Without an increase for the fifth ratings period in a row for a cumulative -2.5 (8.5 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat Nashville’s Home for Hip-Hop and R&B” shifts from fourth to sixth. After spending two months at #1, “The Beat” segued to #2 in November; 8.5 (September) was its highest 6+-share since July 2015’s 8.4. When “The Beat” gained four-tenths in August, it ended three successive downward moves that accounted for a loss of nine-tenths (7.5 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.6, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well and departing the top twenty (#19 to #23) is Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” (1.1 – .5, 6+).

6) Providence – As the result of three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI is an overall +1.8 (eighth to seventh, 6+). Following four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” is off by one-tenth to 3.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). Co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business,” which was -.5 in three straight sweeps without an increase (.8 – .5 – .5 – .3, 6+) picks up one-tenth to .4 and is unchanged at #16, while iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” loses three-tenths (1.7 – 1.4, #12 to #13, 6+). As it enters the top ten (#11 to #10), The Wheeler School’s public news/talk WELH improves by four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight ratings periods without a loss (1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+), (Boston) public news/talk WGBH slipped by three-tenths to 1.7 in “Holiday” 2017, but is +.2 in January (1.9, #12 to #11, 6+). Over and above regaining the three-tenths it squandered in “Holiday” 2017 (9.5 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” marches from second to first with its best 6+stat (9.5) since September 2013’s 9.6. Further noteworthy is that it succeeds Cumulus Media’s WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (12.3 – 8.9, -3.4, first to second, 6+), which had been on top the past 28 ratings periods. The 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017 was the strongest 6+-share since 18.0 in “Holiday” 2016 for “Lite Rock,” which had been in double-digits (6+) seven sweeps in succession. Prior to October, “Lite Rock 105” was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). A cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 basically doubles the 6+-share of Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB (1.4 – 2.1 – 2.7, tenth to ninth, 6+), which is back in print after a lengthy absence. In its June 2017 – January 2018 ratings history (nine reports since returning), “Latina 100.3” has a high of 2.7 (January 2018, 6+) and a low of 1.7 (November, 6+). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101” (5.8 – 5.3, flat at #5, 6+) and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106.3” (2.4 – 19, #9 to #11, 6+).

7) Norfolk – Following an August – September – October – November topline trending of 8.6 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.6 (6+), Saga Communications’ WNOR was an overall -2.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.6 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+). “FM 99 Rocks” roars back in January 2018 with a +1.9 to 7.9, climbing from fourth to third. Its 6.0 in “Holiday” 2017 was the softest 6+-share for the station since 6.0 in “Holiday” 2016. In five successive sweeps without an increase, cluster-mate WAFX was a collective -1.8 (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 5.8 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), but “106.9 The Fox – Hampton Roads’ Classic Rock” wipes out two-thirds of that deficit with a +1.2 to 5.9 (sixth to fourth, 6+). In yet another negative streak coming to an end in January 2018, Entercom hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point,” down or flat the past sweeps for an overall -1.7 (4.4 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), chalks up a +.8 to 3.5 (eighth to seventh, 6+). On the flipside, the +7.2 that co-owned adult contemporary WWDE amassed in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.3 – 7.1 – 11.5, 6+) evaporates in its entirety (4.3, -7.2, 6+), with “101.3 2WD” drifting from second to fifth. In “Holiday” 2017, WWDE registered its strongest 6+-performance (11.5) since “Holiday” 2016’s 13.4. From June through November, “2WD” logged a 6+-share of either 4.3 or 4.6 (4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3). Up four-tenths to 13.0 (6+), after eroding by a combined -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (14.6 – 13.5 – 12.6, 6+), urban AC sibling WVKL remains at #1 for the 14th time in a row. In addition, it registers a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 22nd time in the last 23 sweeps. When it improved by eight-tenths in November to 14.6, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. The old mark of 14.3 (6+) was recorded by WVKL in September. Before slipping by one-half share in October, WVKL – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Quintupling its 6+-share (a cumulative +4.0) in three straight gains (1.0 – 1.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, October through “Holiday” 2017, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV “Movin’ 107.7 – The Rhythm of Hampton Roads” surrenders -3.4 to 1.6, skidding from fifth to tenth; 5.0 in “Holiday” 2017 represented its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. By adding three-tenths in November, “Movin 107.7” pulled the plug on five straight decreases which resulted in a cumulative -1.8 or approximately 64% of its 12+-share (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+).

8) Greensboro – An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” handed over more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+) and remained at 4.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017. The iHeartMedia property though explodes in January with a +1.6 to 5.9, climbing from seventh to fifth. Prior to the November 2017 sweep, the last time WPTI reached the five-share level (6+) was in November 2016 with a 5.0. According to the “Holiday” 2017 report, Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+) but “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” picks up two-tenths in January (1.9, 6+) and is anchored at #11. Flat at .9 (6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC moves from a tie at #12 to #13. Not only does Entercom adult hits WSMW transform a combined -2.3 in December and “Holiday” 2017 to a +2.6 in January 2018 to advance from third to second, “98.7 Simon (says) We Play Everything” now boasts the strongest 6+-share (11.6) in its PPM-history. “Simon” had been in double-digits (6+) from August through December, before falling to 9.0 in “Holiday” 2017. December’s -.8 curtailed five straight increases that netted +2.5 (8.8 – 9.3 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.9 – 11.3, 6+). In four straight declines, iHeartMedia owned WTQR was a collective -2.9 (7.8 – 7.3 – 7.1 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+), but “New Country Q-104.1” rebounds in January 2018 with a +.7 (5.6, 6+), yet backslides from sixth to seventh. Recording double-digits (6+) for the 15th sweep in a row (11.5 – 12.1, +.6, 6+), WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” moves from second to first. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, the Entercom urban AC spent seven straight months on top and had been #1 each month in calendar year 2017 except April and May. Exiting the top spot after just a one-sweep visit there, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Mix” surrenders all but two-tenths of its collective +10.2 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (16.1 – 6.1, -10.0, first to fourth, 6+). A December 2017 +5.9 doubled WMAG’s 6+ AQH share to 11.8 and ended three losses in a row that accounted for a combined -1.3, (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+); 16.1 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 surpassed its 15.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Following December’s +1.5 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-share since last July’s 9.6 – Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH is -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (9.0 – 7.8 – 7.3, 6+), yet “102 Jamz The Hip-Hop Station” manages to inch up from fourth to third.

9) West Palm Beach – Improving by nine-tenths each are Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN (tenth to ninth, 6+), which continues an up/down pattern that began in September (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 3.2, 6+) and WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (4.4 – 5.3, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three upticks in a row that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” is now off by a combined seven-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6, ninth to tenth, 6+). Similarly, co-owned WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which was +.5 via three straight increases (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), sputters by a collective six-tenths in the last two reports (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- #10 to #12). Meanwhile, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains three-tenths (1.0 – 1.3, #15 to #14, 6+). Down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods, co-owned WRMF was a collective -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). In addition to recapturing more than half that loss with a +1.6 (8.2 – 9.8, 6+), the hot AC moves from second to first. After 12 consecutive months on top, “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” dropped to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September loss by WRMF pulled the plug on four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Adult contemporary sibling WEAT “Sunny 107.9,” which advanced from fourth to first in “Holiday” 2017, now shifts to fifth (9.1 – 4.9, – 4.2, 6+). By gaining one-half share in November, “Sunny” closed out four straight monthlies without an increase for a -2.4 (6.5 – 5.4 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). Its format rival – iHeartMedia-owned WOLL “Today’s KOOL 105.5” – was +.8 in December; -.6 in “Holiday” 2017; and now +.5 in January 2018 (4.9 – 5.4, fourth to third, 6+). Off one full-share in September to 4.2, its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011, “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October. December’s 5.5 was the station’s highest 6+-share since January 2017 (5.9). JVC Media’s WSWN “Sugar 900 – The Hottest Gospel on Your Radio,” a no-show in December and “Holiday” 2017 appears with a .5 (#17, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – Without an increase the past five sweeps for a collective loss of seven-tenths (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+), public news/talk WJCT gains four-tenths to 3.0 (6+) and remains at #12. A combined -2.8 in four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV bounces back with a +1.2 to 8.1 (third to second, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; WOKV was +1.3 in September. Despite being -5.4 in four straight decreases (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” manages to move from second to first and leads WOKV by two-tenths. On top for 12 ratings periods in succession, WQIK segued to #2 in “Holiday” 2017. A combined -1.8 in July and August (12.2 – 11.6 – 10.4, 6+), WQIK followed with an overall +3.2 in September-October-November (10.4 – 11.7 – 13.6, 6+), with October’s 13.6 its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. The market’s (6+) CHR share expands by +1.7 as Cox Media Group-owned WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” erases completely its -.7 from “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.8, – 5.5, +.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while with a +1.0 to 4.7 (tenth to seventh, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WKSL “97.9 Kiss-FM” ends three straight loss that produced a -1.2 (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). In November, WAPE fully recaptured October’s -1.0 (5.8 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, WKSL’s gospel HD3 channel drops six-tenths (2.8 – 2.2, #12 to #15, 6+). A +.7 by Cox Media Group-owned WXXJ (1.9 – 2.6, 6+) takes “X-106.5 Jacksonville’s Alternative” from #15 to #13; WXXJ was -2.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.9 – 2.8 – 1.9, 6+), with 1.9 in “Holiday” 2017 its lowest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. After freefalling -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” regains one-half share to 7.1 and remains at #4 (6+). There are more big ups/downs for WQIK’s format foe, Renda Broadcasting’s WGNE “99.9 Gator Country,” which was an overall -1.3 in three straight losses through October (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+); bounced back in November with a +1.1; was -.5 in December; and is now +1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 (3.9 – 5.1 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+). This (5.6) is its best 6+-showing since July 2016’s 6.1. Two negative streaks conclude for iHeartMedia cluster-mates WSOL and WJBT. Specifically, a cumulative -1.9 via four straight declines (5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 3.6, 6+), urban-rhythmic oldies WSOL “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” is +.4 to 4.0 (flat at #11, 6+), while urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat,” down or flat the past four sweeps for an overall -.7 (5.3 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), is +.1 to 4.7 (eighth to seventh, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, Renda Broadcasting-owned adult contemporary WEJZ “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” and Cox Media Group’s similarly-programmed WEZI “Easy 102.9” combined for a +5.1; however, WEJZ sputters by -4.3 (11.9 – 7.6, first to third, 6+), while “Easy” regresses by -1.3 (4.4, fifth to ninth, 6+) for a format combined -5.6. Entering the “Holiday” 2017 sweep, WEJZ was an overall +5.8 in four straight up trends practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, 6+) and noted its highest 6+-share since 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016. In a somewhat similar scenario, “Easy” was +3.2 in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 5.7, 6+).

11) Memphis – Notwithstanding that it transforms “Holiday” 2017’s -.8 into a +.9 in January 2018 (2.6 – 3.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC remains at #11. That loss of eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 by “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for an overall +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+). This (3.5) is its best 6+-share since last February’s 3.6. Adding six-tenths each are Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” (3.1, #13 to #12, 6+) and Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “NPR for the Mid-South” (1.2 – 1.8, #16 to #15, 6+). After four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), WMFS was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, aforementioned WREC finished with an identical (6+) profile (3.4 – 2.6, -.8, flat at #11, 6+) as co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock.” Bouncing back with +1.4 to 4.0, “Rock 201.7 enters the top ten at #10. A collective -3.0 in five losses in succession (6.3 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.9 – 3.7 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” answers with a +1.1 to 4.4 (tenth to ninth, 6+). Unchanged at #6, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” is up two-tenths to 5.4 (6+), curtailing four consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 5.2, 6+). Albeit that is down six-tenths (10.0 – 9.4, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS, which departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there, returns to #1 (from #2). Its consecutive string of achieving double-digits (6+) ends at five. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. It succeeds Entercom adult contemporary WRVR, which was +5.7 in three straight improvements (7.2 – 7.4 – 9.4 – 12.9, 6+), but “104.5 The River – Continuous Soft Rock” falters by -5.3 and falls to fourth (7.6, 6+). The day after Christmas (12/26), “The River” officially encountered a direct challenger – Cumulus Media-owned WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (formerly “98.9 The Vibe”). After gaining six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017 (3.5 – 4.1, 6+), “The Bridge” surrenders a -2.0 to 2.1 and fades from the top ten (#8 to #14, 6+). November’s +.9 on that frequency halted four successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -1.1 (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.6, 6+). Having posted five straight up or flat trends that produced a +1.4 (7.6 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.8 – 9.0, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97 Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” returns all but two-tenths of that increase (7.8, -1.2, 6+) but carries on at #3.

12) Hartford – In three negative moves in succession (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4, but “News Talk 1080” recaptures half that loss with a +.7 to 5.1 (ninth to seventh, 6+). Up two-tenths to 1.0 (6+), Connoisseur Media news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” ends three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of four-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .8, 6+). While steady at #6, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” posts a +.9 following December’s -1.3 (6.3 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+); 5.0 was its lowest 6+-share since August’s (4.7). Within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the last 21 sweeps, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” improves by six tenths to 2.3 (6+) as the station that plays a combination of NPR news, classical, and jazz continues at #11. Wiping out a “Holiday” 2017 loss of nine-tenths with a +1.5 (6.9 – 6.0 – 7.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” jumps from fifth to second with its strongest 6+-stat (7.5) in exactly one year (7.6, January’ 2017). After logging a 6+-share no higher than 6.8 and no lower than 6.2 in each of the past seven sweeps for a +.4 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), CHR sibling WKSS “All The Hits – Kiss 95.7” hangs out a +.5 to 7.3 and remains at #3 (6+). By gaining two-tenths to 5.1 (flat at #7), co-owned WWYZ “92-5 Connecticut’s Country Music” pulls the plug on seven ratings period in succession without an increase for an overall -3.9 (8.8 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.2 – 4.9, 6+). Its 4.9 in “Holiday” 2017 was the first time in its PPM-history that WWYZ fell below a five-share (6+). Steady at #4, Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 Hartford’s Best Variety” rebounds from -.9 in “Holiday” 2017 and matches the +.7 of co-owned (aforementioned) news/talk WTIC-AM, (7.5 – 6.6 – 7.3, 6+). Still on top for the 18th successive ratings period, adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” erodes by -4.9 to 13.4 (6+), thus snapping at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). This marks the 15th time in the last 17 sweeps – and seventh in succession- that “Lite” is in double-digits (6+). While its FM signal is off by nearly five full-shares, the station’s “stream,” a “no-show” in December and “Holiday” 2017, returns with a .6 (#14, 6+). Co-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7 – Hartford’s #1 for Hip-Hop and R&B,” which was a combined +2.4 in four straight gains (5.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 7.5 – 8.0, 6+), flounders by eight-tenths to 7.2, slipping from second to fifth. Its “Holiday” 2017 8.0 was the rhythmic CHR’s strongest 6+-showing since June 2015 (8.0, as well). For the fourth sweep in a row, Connoisseur Media-owned WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” is without an increase for a combined -1.9 (6.0 – 5.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.1, eighth to ninth, 6+).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

| September 20, 2017

Heidi Harris Exits KXNT, Las Vegas After Post Critical of Gay Adoption. The report from KVVU-TV, Las Vegas “FOX 5” notes that talk show host Heidi Harris’ exit from CBS RADIO news/talker KXNT came just days after she posted to Facebook a critique of a local ad promoting adoption that featured a gay couple.  Harris told KVVU-TV that the company is not renewing her contract but “couldn’t say whether it was because of her Facebook post.”  Harris’ Facebook post took aim at an ad for the Clark County Department of Family Services promoting adoption that showed two gay men holding a child.  She wrote, in part, “Another not-so-subtle attempt to normalize something that is NOT normal.  Even if it is normal for YOU it is not the best thing for the baby…Babies who are eligible for adoption should go to MARRIED people of the opposite sex.  That is the IDEAL situation for a baby, and political correctness, changing laws or attitudes cannot alter that REALITY.”  Neither CBS RADIO nor Harris would comment about whether the post had anything to do with the station’s decision to not renew her contract.  But Harris posted a Bible verse clearly aimed at addressing the matter.  Her post: “Though they intended evil against you and devised a plot, they will not succeed. (Even though they think they have) Psalm 21:12.”  Since Harris’ departure, afternoon personality Alan Stock is hosting the morning show.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following comment in response to Harris’ exit from the station, “Certainly CBS has the right to employ or terminate talent based on whatever political or positioning sensibilities are in vogue at the moment.  However, it continues to be an unfortunately perilous situation for talk talent to be hired and encouraged on one hand to take controversial positions that fit either the left or right paradigm that constitutes radio ‘stationality’ and then cut loose for doing that exact thing if they just happen to step over the constantly moving and ever-subjective line of political correctness.  Heidi Harris is a longtime, major and important player in this business and the issue of gay adoption is one that has been openly and legitimately discussed in this medium for years.  Considering the fact that her contract was coming up for renewal, perhaps there is a financial component to this story.  There is also the possibility that they buckled in the tyrannical face of advertiser pressure. Regardless, I strongly advise those corporations that are serious about playing in the talk radio arena to be prepared in advance to take the heat of controversy that is a normal part of doing business and stand behind their talent in these instances.”

Guy Phillips to Exit KYKY, St. Louis AM Show to Host Afternoons on Crosstown KTRS.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, morning personality Guy Phillips is leaving CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYKY, St. Louis and will take over the afternoon show at CH Holdings’ crosstown news/talk KTRS.  The paper reports that Phillips will leave KYKY in November and will likely start at KTRS in January.  KTRS afternoon personality Frank O. Pinion recently exited KTRS and will join crosstown sports talk KFNS on October 2 (though O. Pinion will host a general issues program).  Currently hosting the afternoon show at KTRS are KMOV-TV meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt and local radio pro Paul Harris.  The Post-Dispatch says that the rest of the current KYKY morning show – Courtney Landrum, Jen Myers, Kevin Berghoff and Lance Hildebrand – will remain on as hosts of the wake-up program.

Francesa to Leave WFAN in December as Scheduled.  New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa will do his last show for CBS RADIO’s WFAN on December 15 as scheduled, according to the New York Daily News.  Francesa had said, in the immediate wake of the Craig Carton matter, that if the station needed him to stay on for a period to avoid revenue losses in both drive time dayparts, that he would consider it.  But that’s apparently not necessary as Francesa told his listeners he’ll leave in December and that “the station is comfortable with that (decision) and I am, too.”  Read the Daily News piece here.

Tedd Webb to Retire from WFLA, Tampa.  The Tampa Bay Times reports that market radio pro Tedd Webb will retire from radio and his current gig as co-host of the morning show on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WFLA-AM, Tampa at the end of January.  The 68-year-old Webb has been plagued by health issues – congestive heart failure and diabetes – and those issues have intensified recently.  Webb tells the paper, “I had a heart attack.  I’m on dialysis three times a week.  I’m drained.  My heart wants to go on, but my body won’t let it.”  Webb works with radio partner Jack Harris and personality Aaron Jacobson.  Harris says, “It’s going to be tough without Teddy.  It’s like Sonny without Cher, Cheech without Chong.”  Read the Times piece here.

Buchanan Exits Connecticut Talker. Afternoon drive talk show host Jim Buchanan announces via Facebook that he’s exited Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut news/talk station WICC, where he anchored the “Talk of the Town” program.    Buchanan had hosted the afternoon drive daypart at WICC since 1982.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show is now airing in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.

TALKERS News Notes. A new, improved version of CBS RADIO’s Radio.com mobile app has been made available to consumers.  CBS says it has “a fresh new look and logo to complement an easy-to-navigate experience now with higher streaming quality.”  CBS EVP of digital J.D. Crowley states, “Audiences want choice and that’s exactly what we’ve given them with this relaunch of the Radio.com app.  By combining their favorite local radio stations and on-demand content, we are catering to the distinctive tastes of mobile-first audiences, giving them control over when and where they engage with our content through a free, best-in-class experience.”…..The nationally syndicated “America Outdoors Radio” program announces that it has surpassed the 50-affiliate mark after just 15 months on the air.  The John Kruse-hosted show is a weekly, one-hour look at fishing, hunting and the shooting sports…..As reported in SportsBusinessDaily, college sports marketing and media rights firms Learfield and IMG College are agreeing to a merger.  Learfield president and CEO Greg Brown will lead the combined companies, estimated by some to be worth $2 billion.  After completion, the new company will control the media rights to some 200 schools.

Trump UN Speech, North Korea Threats, Cassidy-Graham Health Care Bill, Hurricane Maria, Climate Change Debate, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Sanctuary’ Issue, MLB Payoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  Tuesday’s speech by President Trump before the UN General Assembly; North Korea’s threats against the U.S.; the move to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with the Cassidy-Graham health care plan; Hurricane Maria threatens a direct hit on Puerto Rico; the recent spate of hurricanes and the renewed debate over climate change after experts suggest it intensified the storms; Hillary Clinton’s What Happened book tour; the investigation into Paul Manafort by the special counsel as part of the Trump-Russia probe; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ battle against the various “sanctuary” policies; the Major League Baseball playoff push; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Cleveland Radio Personality John Webster Dead at 74.  Legendary Cleveland radio personality John Webster passed away recently at the age of 74.  Webster was one half of the morning show duo “Lanigan and Webster” with John Lanigan on WMJI from 1984 to 1997.  He was also a talk radio pioneer who served on morning shows on WERE and WHK.  Cleveland programming icon (and oWOW Internet radio chief) John Gorman commented on Facebook: “When I arrived in Cleveland I was blown away by John Webster’s creation: The ‘People Power’ tabloid-style news/talk format on WERE with Gary Dee (and Webster) in mornings and other characters including George Forbes – when he was the controversial Cleveland City Council president.  At the height of the ‘people power’ format, Webster pulled the plug.  He later told me that he felt he went as far as he could go with the format…”  Cleveland.com reports that Webster’s stepson Jason Fox said “Webster died during the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida.  He said Webster was recovering from hip surgery when the hurricane hit, knocking out power to his home for over a week.  ‘I think that was the final straw for John.’”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Chicago, classic hits WLS-FM morning show producer Daniel Wolfe is promoted by Cumulus Media to assistant program director.  He’ll continue to serve as producer for “The WLS Wake Up Call.” WLS PD and Cumulus VP/classic hits programming Brian Thomas says, “This puts Dan one step closer to his goals of becoming a PD at Cumulus after doing a great job as morning show producer.  I am looking forward to working with Dan in this new role.”…..At Cumulus Media’s West Michigan CHR WHTS, Coopersville (Grand Rapids market), air personality Ken Evans is partnered with current morning host Rachael Gray on the “105.3 Hot FM Morning Show.”  Evans previously hosted mornings in the market at iHeartMedia’s crosstown CHR WSNX.   Cumulus Grand Rapids market manager Jeff Cartwright comments, “We are excited at the direction ‘105-3 Hot FM’ will take with Ken now in our Cumulus Grand Rapids family.”…..Las Vegas radio pro Connie Breeze joins the MannGroup-syndicated weekend hip hop program “The Mack Attack” (with host Greg Mack) as chief entertainment correspondent.  Breeze also serves with Beasley Media Group at rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” as APD, music director, and afternoon personality.