iHeartMedia Q2 Revenue: Up 2.4% To $913.3 Million. The second-quarter revenue increase of 2.4% (to over $913 million) for iHeartMedia is credited to a roughly one-third leap to $91 million in digital revenue. Other figures reported today (8/15) indicated there was a 6.4% gain to $156 million regarding network revenue for iHM’s Premiere Networks and Total Traffic & Weather Network entities. Chief executive officer/chair Bob Pittman states that iHM is the “number one audio company in America and the only true multi-platform audio company able to reach consumers at scale. Radio provides companionship and connection when people want to join the world; they use the music collection segment when they want to tune out and escape the world. As the leader in the radio, or companionship, segment of the audio sector, iHeartMedia uses its unparalleled reach and consumer connection to deliver a compelling experience for our audiences and revenue opportunities across our multiple platforms. As we look ahead, iHeartMedia intends to increase our share of radio advertising spend; participate in TV and digital advertising revenue pools; extend our leadership in podcasting; and drive sponsorship revenue.” According to president/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler, “On May 1, we successfully emerged from Chapter 11 and are pleased the restructuring process resulted in a capital structure that matches our successful operating business. As demonstrated in our results, iHeartMedia’s increased revenue and overall positive financial performance reflects the resilience and growth of our businesses and the value of our recent investments, particularly in podcasting and data and analytics.”
CMG Orlando Elevates Campese to Director/Sales. Seven-year Cox Media Group Orlando general sales manager JC Campese is boosted to director of sales for the six-station Florida cluster. Cox Media Group Orlando general manager Jason Meder remarks, “JC’s unique background in events, sales, and digital – combined with his creativity and passion for building and maintaining relationships – make him the perfect fit for our director of sales role. He is well-respected in the industry and is committed to delivering top results for our customers.” Campese adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to continue working with the best team in broadcasting at CMG Orlando. It’s truly an honor to be leading the sales organization; I look forward to continued success with this great team.” Campese joined CMG in 2000 as a director of Cox Events Group and was promoted to director of digital sales in 2009. He previously worked for cross-town CBS Radio (now Entercom) Orlando. In addition to news/talk WDBO-FM “News 96.5” and sports talk WDBO-AM “580 AM ESPN Orlando,” Cox Media Group Orlando’s cluster includes urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5”; WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits”; CHR WPYO “Power 95.3”; and WWKA “Orlando’s Country K-92.3.”
NYPR Names Sheikholeslami CEO. The search that began in January for a chief executive officer of New York Public Radio concludes with the hiring of Goli Sheikholeslami, who will arrive in October from Chicago Public Media where she has a similar title, overseeing news/talk WBEZ. Sheikholeslami succeeds Laura Walker, NYPR’s CEO since 1996; chief operating officer Depelsha McGruder has been interim CEO. New York Public Radio board of trustees chair Mayo Stuntz states, “Goli has dedicated her career to helping some of the country’s most venerable media companies create new content, reach broader audiences, and identify new revenue streams – all while staying true to their core missions. She possesses deep experience integrating traditional and digital media, and she is one of the foremost leaders in the public radio system. All this makes her perfectly positioned to lead New York Public Radio’s next chapter, and continue its commitment to excellent audio, digital, and live programming. We are thrilled to have her begin that journey.” Sheikholeslami comments, “From its incredible coverage of everything about New York City and the region, to its commitment to classical music, to fostering groundbreaking conversations heard around the world, New York Public Radio has shown that public media can not only survive in a challenging media environment, but thrive, grow, and fill an essential void. At a time when local news is in retreat, WNYC’s award-winning local news coverage remains vital and impactful. NYPR is investing in new content and new ways to reach audiences around the world. I am thrilled to be joining the outstanding team at NYPR to build on this rich legacy.” Earlier this year, Sheikholeslami was named one of the most powerful women in Chicago journalism. New York Public Radio includes news/talk WNYC-AM, news/talk WNYC-FM, classical music WQXR, WNYC Studios, Gothamist, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.
Rose To Enter New York State Baseball Hall of Fame. A “Rose” is entering a baseball Hall of Fame but it’s not “Pete.” On November 3, Howie Rose will be honored at an induction ceremony into the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame. For the past 13 years, Rose has been the lead radio play-by-play announcer for the New York Mets, whose games were carried on CBS Radio-owned (now Entercom) WFAN from 1987 through 2013 and then on iHeartMedia New York’s WOR (2014 – 2018). When the 2018 season ended, the Mets agreed to a seven-year deal in which Entercom New York all-news WCBS-AM became the team’s radio flagship. Entercom New York regional president/market manager Susan Larkin observes, “Howie is an iconic voice for the New York Mets franchise and has served as a stalwart for the team’s coverage. This distinguished honor further cements Howie’s stature in the sports broadcasting industry and we’re proud that he is part of our team.” New York State Baseball HOF executive director Rene LeRoux opines that, “Howie is certainly one of the very best announcers in sports history. His record of broadcast excellence in multiple sports is well-documented.” Rose adds, “I’d like to thank the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame for including me in an impressive group of inductees this year. I’m honored to be part of a collection of some of the biggest names in baseball history.” The Hall honors players, executives, broadcasters, team staff, and other influential members in New York state baseball. In a previous WFAN stint (1987 – 1995), Rose hosted pregame and postgame Mets broadcasts and did play-by-play of New York Rangers hockey games. The two-time Emmy winner was the Mets television play-by-play announcer for Fox Sports New York/MSG (1996 – 2003) and called New York Islanders hockey games for Fox Sports New York (1995 to 2016). Rose is a 2012 inductee of the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame & Museum.
WBT Jells With Peanut Butter Collection. Setting a new record in total donations, Entercom Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM & WBT-FM “News Talk 1110 & 99.3” collected over 33,000 jars of peanut butter to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. The ninth annual “WBT Peanut Butter ‘N July Food Drive” took place at Charlotte-area Harris Teeter locations. Throughout the drive, shoppers had the option to “virtually” add a jar of peanut butter to their shopping cart at checkout. Entercom Charlotte senior vice president/market manager Matthew Hanlon comments, “This program is important to the entire WBT listening family. I’m proud of our community’s efforts in supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s selfless mission.” WBT morning drive host Bo Thompson and afternoon drive talent John Hancock promoted the drive by broadcasting from participating Harris Teeter stores. In existence since 1981, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHFBM) strives to eliminate hunger by the solicitation and distribution of food. Meanwhile, in other WBT news, Hancock announced yesterday that he is retiring from the station in two months (10/17). Of Hancock, Hanlon states, “No one will know how much of his time and energy John has given to serving this community. He is, by every measure, a success and a true Charlotte treasure.” Hancock has been with WBT the past 29 years and remarks, “I am humbled to be at an historic, three call-letter, 50,000-watt blowtorch in a dynamic city of growth. WBT and Entercom have been great [but] it’s just time to do something else. I’ve been in and around radio for almost 50 years. I’ll keep a tether to the station and my clients, and to the magnificent people of Charlotte. When I set out on a radio career in 1970, I could never have imagined the great people and places that would cross my path.” Prior to joining WBT, Hancock had radio stops in Denver, Jacksonville, and Wilkes Barre-Scranton.
TALKERS News Notes. As a result of lineup changes at Entercom Dallas sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” the station’s revised roster finds: Shan Shariff & R.J. Choppy (5:30 am – 10:00 am); Ben Rogers & Jeff “Skin” Wade (10:00 am – 2:00 pm); Gavin Dawson, Jeff Cavanaugh, Lucious Alexander, & Mike Bacsik (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm); and Cory Mageors & Kevin Hageland (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) ….. The digital brand manager position that Paul Heling held the past seven years at Midwest Communications’ Green Bay cluster was eliminated yesterday (8/14). Heling previously worked as a promotion director at country stations in Denver (KYGO) and Milwaukee (WMIL). Midwest Communications-owned stations in Green Bay include: WTAQ “News Talk 1360 & 97.5”; WNFL “Sports Radio 1440 & 101.9”; classic country WGEE “Duke FM”; CHR WIXX “Your #1 Hit Music Station”; and adult hits WYDR “94.3 Jack FM.” ….. Latest Hollywood tips, tricks, and trends are discussed by Playboy Radio host Jessica Hall and television producer Mel Lamprey on PodcastOne’s weekly “The Hollywood Filter.” The duo “pull back the curtain, revealing the truth behind the unfiltered Hollywood you rarely see.” New episodes are available every Wednesday. In the series premiere (yesterday, 8/14), Hall and Lamprey cover the allure of tattooing eyebrows through different techniques; week one guest is Kendra Wilkinson, star of E!’s “The Girls Next Door.” ….. Tomorrow (Friday, 8/16) marks the golden anniversary in radio for Salem Media Group Little Rock KDXE “101.1 The Answer” afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) talent Dave Elswick. A conference room celebration with cake and ice cream would certainly be a nice touch and it’s probably in the works. Elswick has a long line of high-profile well-wishers to mark the occasion. Among those stopping by offering congratulations and perhaps grabbing some of the cake are Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and both of the state’s U.S. Senators – John Boozman and Tom Cotton.
BBC World Service Increases Shortwave Broadcasts During Kashmir Media Shutdown. Extended output by BBC World Service on shortwave radio in Indian-administered Kashmir is intended to provide reliable news and information. The stoppage has left people with very few options for accessing news; however, news services from the BBC continue to be available through shortwave radio transmissions in English, Urdu, Hindi, Dari and Pashto. South Asian language services have brought added depth to the BBC’s coverage of the Kashmir story. BBC World Service director Jamie Angus explains that, “The provision of independent and trusted news in places of conflict and tension is one of the core purposes of the World Service. Given the shutdown of digital services and phone lines in the region, it’s right for us to try and increase the provision of news on our shortwave radio services. Audiences in both India and Pakistan trust the BBC to speak with an independent voice. We know our reporting through several moments of crisis this year has been popular and valued by audiences who turn to us when tensions are highest.” Starting tomorrow (Friday, 8/15), BBC News Hindi radio output will be extended by 30 minutes. Next Monday (8/19), BBC News Urdu begins a 15-minute daily program that will focus on news coming from Kashmir.
Holland Cooke is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Prompted by an article he recently wrote in TALKERS (8/5) titled Monday Memo: “Hollywood,” Co-starring AM Radio, media consultant Holland Cooke is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison and Cooke engage in a spirited chat about the way film writer/director Quentin Tarantino used original air checks from the legendary top 40 station, 93 KHJ within the soundtrack of the hit movie to recreate the atmosphere of Los Angeles circa 1969. They discuss the elements that made major radio stations of that era the “soundtrack of our lives” and lay out an array of comparisons and contrasts between radio-then and radio-now. This podcast contains lots of fun and insightful discussion about jingles, music and personalities sure to please devotees of the medium and its history. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
US-China Trade War and Stock Market/Economic Jitters Top News/Talk Conversation. According to ongoing TALKERS research, the US-China Trade War, Hong Kong Protests and related Stock Market/Economic Jitters have been the most talked about topic(s) on American news/talk radio yesterday (8/14) and so far today (8/15). Other big topics during this time frame include continuing discussion about the Jeffrey Epstein Prison Death, the El Paso/Dayton Shootings, and the Call for Increased Gun Control Measures, plus Race Relations, the 2020 Presidential Derby and the Chris Cuomo “Fredo” Incident have also gotten tremendous on-air attention.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. More than 20 classic rock stations are onboard for “Steve Gorman Rocks!,” a live, five-hour (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) weeknight show that CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One will debut in just over three weeks (Monday, 9/9). CUMULUS MEDIA executive vice president of marketing/Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes notes, “Steve Gorman is a great addition to the line-up of star power here at Westwood One. He will both anchor and amplify weeknights on classic rock radio.” Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland remarks, “Steve brings current, relatable experiences from the rock world to the radio – the guy is really compelling. With a foundation firmly planted in the rock music scene and real time use of social media and live interaction, ‘Steve Gorman Rocks!’ will be a talked-about show on classic rock stations.” Drummer/founding member of The Black Crowes, Gorman, explains, “I’ve toured the world for over 25 years, leaving a small piece of my sanity at every stop. ‘Steve Gorman Rocks!’ is a natural extension of the life I’ve lived. I’ve got a unique perspective on the rock music we all love and plenty of stories to share.” Executive producers Troy Hanson and Scott Jameson will lead the production team and program the music, respectively. Social media personality April Rose will be a contributor to the show. Rose has been an on-camera host/content creator for Maxim.com and Playboy.com, as well as a regular on MTV’s “Guy Code” and “Girl Code.” Gorman began his radio career in 2011 with Fox Sports Radio-syndicated “Steve Gorman Sports!” His current band, Trigger Hippy, is planning an October album release ….. KMYI “Star 94.1” morning drive team member Delana Bennett is boosted to assistant program director/afternoon drive host (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) at the iHeartMedia San Diego hot AC. KMYI program director Joe Haze states, “With Delana’s brand and market equity, she will elevate the listening experience every afternoon for San Diego commuters. Delana’s ability to connect with listeners and relate to [our] busy adult audience makes her an ideal host for afternoon drive.” Bennett, who begins her new duties next month (9/3), comments, “I can’t wait to entertain San Diego on the way home and connect with our listeners. A special thank-you to [morning host] Jesse Lozano and our morning crew for an incredible seven years together.” Prior to her tenure at “Star,” University of Florida grad Bennett co-hosted the “Greg & Delana Show” on XHRM, Tijuana-San Diego ….. After spending 13 years – the last 5.5 as program director – at Window to the World Communications’ Chicago classical outlet WFMT, David Polk has resigned. Polk hosted/produced over 250 episodes of the country’s only weekly live local classical performance series. In addition, he reported on local and global arts/music events and produced a month-long reporting series on Chicago arts education ….. Having most recently done mid-days at Entercom San Diego classic hits-oldies KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” Dave Mason is recruited for weekend/swing duty at cross-town Tegna adult hits KFMB-FM. Director of FM programming Mike V. Vasquez notes, “Our team is made up of radio fanatics, which makes Dave an ideal fit. His level of experience and passion will be a tremendous addition to our team; we’re eager to get him on-the-air.” Mason comments, “Joining [KFMB-FM] is a thrill for me. It’s great to be part of a station that super-serves the musical tastes of San Diego. I’m proud to be joining this legendary staff.”
July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and Orlando. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.
Salt Lake City
Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KSL “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” is down a collective -1.6 and slips from eighth to ninth. Prior to May, KSL had never fallen below a four-share (6+) in the PPM-era, thus 3.6 is now its lowest-ever 6+-stat under PPM-methodology. A June increase of three-tenths to 3.7 (6+) by iHeartMedia’s KNRS suspended three straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+), but “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” sputters by seven-tenths and exits the top ten (3.0, #10 to #12, 6+). KNRS was a combined +1.8 in January/February (3.3 – 4.7 – 5.1, 6+). Anchored at #21, Cumulus Media-owned KKAT “860 AM – Utah’s Big Talker” has a remarkably consistent January 2019 through July 2019 topline: .3 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 (6+).
Four straight down or flat trends by KUER produced an overall -1.0 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+); the University of Utah news/talk station, however, gains three-tenths in July to 2.4 (#16 to #15, 6+).
Salt Lake City Music Formats – Not only does a solid July improvement of eight-tenths by Bonneville-owned classic hits-oldies KRSP curtail May/June’s -1.4 (8.2 – 7.6 – 6.8, 6+), “103.5 The Arrow” leaps from third to first. KRSP – which was an overall +2.5 in five consecutive increases (5.7 – 6.1 – 6.3 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+) – returns to the top spot where it had an April-only stay. Its format rival, iHeartMedia-owned KODJ, was stuck on 7.4 (6+) in May and June and drops four-tenths to 7.0 (6+) as “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” continues at #2. KODJ netted +2.9 via three straight upticks (4.4 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.3, 6+); surrendered a -1.1 in April; and was +1.2 in May. KRSP “The Arrow” was displaced in May by co-owned KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music/Better Work Day.” The adult contemporary powerhouse stayed at #1 in May and June but it’s KRSP’s turn to dislodge “FM 100.3,” which erodes by -1.3 (8.0 – 6.7, 6+) and segues to third. Before taking over the runner-up slot in April, KSFI was on top the previous five ratings periods. “FM 100.3” registered a +1.5 in March, following January/February’s -14.4 (21.8 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+). Three straight increases netted a massive +16.2 (5.6 – 5.7 – 12.7 – 21.8, 6+) for KSFI, the only PPM-market station in “Holiday” 2018 to reach the 20-share level (6+). In five consecutive negative moves, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE was an overall -1.5 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+). “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” erases roughly half that deficit though with a seven-tenths rise to 3.4 (6+) and reenters the top ten (#12 to #10). In addition to “The Arrow,” Cumulus Media-owned KBER logs a June 2019 – July 2019 uptick of eight-tenths (2.6 – 3.4, 6+) and progresses from #13 to #10. “Utah’s Rock Station” reaches the three-share level (3.4, 6+) for the first time since August 2018’s 3.2. The market’s two major hot ACs were separated by just two-tenths in June but the gap widens to a full-share in July. Specifically, at the same time Capital Broadcasting’s KBZN “Now 97.9 – Today’s Best Music” (steady at #4) dials up a +.7 to 6.2 and reaches the six-share level (6+) for the first time since January’s 6.0, iHeartMedia’s KJMY “My 99.5” drops three-tenths (5.3 – 5.0, fifth to seventh, 6+). Prior to the May sweep, “Now 97.9” had been down or flat three straight times for a net loss of six-tenths (6.0- 5.6 – 5.4- 5.4, 6+). Meanwhile, “My 99.5” is in an alternating down/up pattern that started in “Holiday” 2018 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.0 (6+). Ironically, independent KSOP-FM “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” continues a similar down/up pattern that surfaced in December 2018: 4.2 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.7 (seventh to fifth, 6+). This (5.7) is its best 6+-showing in exactly two years (6.0, July 2017). Following Cumulus Media alternative KHTB’s half-share June improvement to 2.4, its best 6+-showing since January’s 2.7, “Alt 101.9” sputters by six-tenths to 1.8 (#15 to #16, 6+). Via three straight improvements, iHeartMedia-owned KAAZ was +1.0 (2.3 – 2.4 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), but “106.7 Utah’s Best Rock” drops three-tenths to 3.0 (#11 to #12, 6+).
Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back (June and July) sweeps, Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” gains two-tenths (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2, #19 to #18, 6+). This marks the fourth consecutive sweep without a loss for Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk,” which nets two-tenths in that stretch (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, #23 to #22, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat since October 2018 (1.3, as well).
Following five upticks in a row that nearly doubled (+2.8) its 6+ AQH share since “Holiday” 2018 (3.0 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.6 – 5.8, 6+), Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR is a combined -1.3 in June/July (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place.
Las Vegas Music Formats – Catapulting from #15 to #6, iHeartMedia’s KYMT has more than doubled (+2.1) its 6+ AQH-share in June/July (2.0 – 2.4 – 4.1, 6+). Furthermore, KYMT “93.1 The Mountain” crosses the four-share level threshold (4.1, 6+) for the first time in the roughly three years under those calls/identity/adult hits format; up until October 2016, it was CHR KPLV “My 93.1 – All The Hits.”. As dramatic as KYMT’s July 2019 +1.7 is, two other Las Vegas stations improve month-to-month by at least a full-share as well – and they are duking it out for the top spot. As a result of five successive negative or neutral trends, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE was -8.0 (12.8 – 7.5 – 6.7 – 6.7 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), but “Sunny 106.5 – Better Music For A Better Workday” answers with a robust June/July 2.8 (4.8 – 6.0 – 7.6, 6+) to march from second to first. Before May, KSNE last fell below a five-share (6+) in October 2017 (4.8, as well). “Sunny” was #1 from September 2018 through January 2019. KSNE’s “Holiday” 2018 12.8 is the highest 6+-share for any Las Vegas station since the 14.0 it logged in “Holiday” 2016. Despite registering an impressive +1.1 to 7.2 (6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – Hits of the Eighties & More” backslides from first (where it had been February through June) to second. The increase follows its combined -1.5 in May/June (7.6 – 7.1 – 6.1, 6+). February’s 8.3 marked the first time KKLZ reached the eight-share level (6+) in its PPM-history. Essentially doubling (+.8) its 6+-share in consecutive sweeps (.7 – .8 – 1.5, 6+), Nevada Public Radio classical KCNV checks in at #21, reaching at least a one-share (1.5, 6+) for the first time since March (1.0). Two relatively lengthy negative streaks are suspended in July. First, by gaining two-tenths to 3.3 (steady at #11, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Jammin’ 105.7” halts four straight declines that resulted in a -1.0 since February (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Meanwhile, Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “SOS Radio,” which was -1.6 as a result of five successive declines (4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), adds one-tenth to 2.8 (#13 to #14, 6+). There is only a two-tenths gap (compared to June’s 1.1, 6+) between Beasley Media Group’s KCYE “102/.7 The Coyote” (4.1 – 3.8, -.3, flat at #8, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KWNR “95.5 The Bull,” (3.6, +.6, 6+), which cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). The boost of six-tenths by “The Bull” applies the brakes to five setbacks in succession that resulted in a -1.9 (4.9 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+). A June gain of six-tenths propelled Lotus Communications-owned Spanish adult hits KWID “La Buena 101.9” to reach the five-share level (4.5 – 5.1, 6+), while an improvement of one-half share by KLUC “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” (4.1 – 4.6, 6+) gave the Entercom CHR its best 6+-showing (4.6) since September 2018’s 4.8. In July, however, “La Buena” craters by -1.6 (3.5, fifth to tenth, 6+) and KLUC falters by six-tenths (4.0, flat at #7, 6+). Rhythmic hot AC cluster-mate KXQQ was a cumulative +1.1 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.0, 6+), but “Q-100.5” spirals by -2.0 in June/July (5.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, #10 to #13, 6+). In May, KXQQ reached the five-share level (6+) for the first time since May 2018 (5.0, as well).
Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being a combined -1.4 in June/July (5.2 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM departs the top ten (#10 to #11); “News 96.5” was up seven-tenths in May. WDBO-FM is now tied at #11 with iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want,” which retrieves all but one-tenth of June’s -.4 (3.5 – 3.8, +.3, #12 to #11, 6+) and is within 3.1 – 3.9 range (6+) for the tenth time in a row. Anchored at #14, news/talk cluster-mate WFLF has a March 2019 through July 2019 topline of 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 (6+).
Locked together at #19 are Cox Media Group’s sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando,” up one-half share (more than tripling) in four straight sweeps without a loss (.2 – .3 – .3 – .7 – .7, steady at #19, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader,” which regains June’s one-tenth loss (.6 – .7, #21 to #19, 6+).
An overall -1.3 as a result of four consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” falls from #13 to #15.
Orlando Music Formats – In addition to logging three straight upticks that net a +2.9 (7.9 – 9.0 – 9.4 – 10.8, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105-9 Sunny FM – We Own The ‘80s” is on top the third month in a row. Furthermore, July’s 10.8 marks the first time any Orlando station has hit double-digits (6+) since “Holiday” 2018 when iHeartMedia AC WMGF “Magic 107.7” reached 14.3 (6+). An April loss of three-tenths interrupted three consecutive WOCL increases that netted a +3.3 (4.9 – 6.9 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+). Hot AC sibling WOMX tacks on six-tenths to June’s +.5 (6.0 – 6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and “Mix 105.1” is steady in fourth-place. Prior to dropping three-tenths in May, “Mix” was a combined +.9 in March/April (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+). Up eight-tenths through five straight sweeps without a loss (2.1 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WQMP “101.9 Orlando’s New Alternative” climbs from #14 to #13 and has its best 6+-stat since September 2018 (2.9, as well). This is the third month in a row iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM occupies the runner-up slot and third time in the last four sweeps “Rumba 100.3” has notched an 8.5 (8.5 – 8.5 – 8.7 – 8.5, 6+). Regarding WRUM’s aforementioned adult contemporary sibling, WMGF “Magic 107.7” has lost one full-share in three setbacks in succession (5.9 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 4.9, flat at #7, 6+). JVC Media’s WOTW “New Country + All Time Favorites – 103.1 The Wolf” drops one-half share (1.6 – 1.1, 6+) and is unchanged at #17. Meanwhile, the five most recent shifts of its format rival, Cox Media Group-owned WWKA “K-92.3 Orlando’s #1 For New Country,” are -.4 (March); +.4 (April); -.5 (May); +.6 (June); and now -.2 in July (4.8 – 4.6, flat at #8, 6+). Still in that Cox Media Group cluster, urban AC WCFB “Star 94.5” is a collective -2.7 in four consecutive decreases (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.3 – 5.2 – 5.1, flat at #6, 6+) and rhythmic CHR sibling WPYO “Power 95.3” is an overall -1.8 owing to three successive dips (5.7 – 5.4 – 4.3 – 3.9, 6+) yet advances from #11 to #10. In June, “Star” fell below a six-share (5.2, 6+) for the first time since June 2018’s 5.5.
TRN Companies and Cumulus Media Announce Amicable Westwood One Settlement. TRN Companies and Cumulus Media announced late Friday afternoon (3/7) that they have agreed to settle outstanding claims arising during previous ownership of WestwoodOne, acquired by Cumulus Media in December, 2013. Lew Dickey, president and CEO of Cumulus Media, said, “While Cumulus Media had no role in the lawsuits filed by TRN Companies, we are pleased to resolve these claims and move forward together. We remain supportive of each other and are optimistic for the future.” Mark Masters, CEO of TRN Companies, said: “We are pleased to ‘turn the page’ with the new owners of WestwoodOne and have put past issues behind us. As we build bridges together, we look forward to a mutually beneficial future working with our affiliated stations, customers, Lew and John Dickey and Cumulus Media.”
Emmis to Reward Employees with Stock. The company states that as part of its 2012 Employee Retention Plan, roughly 75% of its full-time employees are being notified they are eligible to receive what it is saying is “a sizeable stock award.” The company further states, “Emmis prides itself on being a destination employer in the media and digital industries, and as such, places a high value on cultivating a culture that allows us to attract and retain the best talent in our industries. The third of Emmis’ Eleven Commandments states: Be good to your people – get them into the game and give them a piece of the pie.” Eligible employees will receive a pro-rata share of approximately 976,000 shares of Emmis Communications common stock. Using Friday’s closing price, the 976,000 shares in the Retention Plan will deliver $3,240,000 in value to the 598 employees who qualify for the plan. To ensure a broad-based distribution, the Plan excluded executive officers and capped the level of salary credit at $50,000. As an example of the award size, a full-time employee of Emmis who has been with the company since April 2, 2012, with a salary of $40,000 per year will get approximately 1,480 shares. That equates to a market value of $4913.60, using the closing price last Friday, March 7 of $3.32. The awards will vest on April 2, 2014 and will be distributed to employees shortly thereafter. It will be their choice whether to hold or sell the stock.
KSFO, San Francisco Names Hughes Late Morning Host. Cumulus Media’s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco has been trying out talk show hosts in the late morning slot (billed on the station’s website as “KSFO Talk Show”) for the past several months. Now, the station names Spencer Hughes permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. Hughes’ resume includes stops at talk stations across America including WRKO, Boston; KGO, San Francisco; KTKZ, Sacramento; and KSRO, Santa Rosa.
WGN VP/GM Jimmy de Castro Talks Radio and More. The vice president and general manager of Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago and the new sports talk WGWG “The Game 87.7” spoke candidly with the Chicago Sun-Times for its online video feature “The Sit Down.” In the interview, de Castro throws out a number quips that’ll interest industry watchers. For example, he’s not trying to bring young listeners to WGN, “I don’t want a younger audience for ’GN. I want 35- to 65- or 70-year-old people.” He says he hasn’t committed a lot of money to his staff. “I don’t have one contract with one person on our station. Not one. They’re all here because of how they feel. Any time they want, they can walk out the door.” The one-time WLUP-FM leader also talks about his career and how he views life after all of his success. See it here.
Jack Roberts Dies at 62. Radio executive/on-air personality Jack Roberts died this past weekend in Los Angeles. Over the course of his career, the 62-year-old Roberts was a general manager, program director, on-air talk host, and producer. Most recently, the Boston College graduate and Massachusetts native was executive producer for CRN Digital Talk Radio programming, including “What’s Cookin’ Today.” CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn comments, “Jack truly understood and loved radio. He became an instant, caring friend to everyone he encountered.” Roberts thought he could get any guest or celebrity, and Horn remarks, “He almost always booked them. Guests and talent, but most especially the listeners, enjoyed what they heard. Jack’s legacy will live on through them and all of us. That would make him very proud.” Roberts was a senior producer on syndicated radio programs hosted by Dick Cavett, and Colonel Oliver North. He was in charge of production for “The Jerry Williams Show” and “The Doug Stephan Show.” His on-air experience includes stops at Boston’s WRKO, WMEX and WXKS; WPRO, Providence; and WDRC, Hartford – where he became general manager and program director. Roberts held those titles at WWRC, Washington, DC as well. Programmer Ron Jacobs writes, “Jack Roberts is great at shining the spotlight on others and not blowing his own horn.” Funeral services are pending for Roberts, who wrote a radio-themed blog – “HollywoodHillsGroup.com” – that highlighted industry achievements and gave publicity to on-air talent.
Twin Cities Star Tom Barnard Talks Podcasting in Profile Piece. Morning radio personality Tom Barnard – a 43-year Minneapolis-St. Paul market icon – is profiled by the Minneapolis Post. The star of Cumulus’ rock KQRS speaks about numerous topics – the death of the voice-over business, his rise to fame, and his decision to get more political after 9/11 – in the story and explains his separate business producing and selling ad time for his daily two-hour podcast. Barnard tells the Post that although he billed roughly $250,000 in 2013, the show is not in the black due to expenses including salaries and the cost of bandwidth. Barnard and partner Don Shelby (former WCCO personality) are not collecting a salary at this point. Barnard’s decision to sell ad time and not charge for subscriptions as well as to go after local ad dollars, flies in the face of the way many of the high-profile podcasters are doing it (think Tom Leykis and Adam Carolla). Read the entire Post story here.
Odds & Sods. In the Duluth market, Midwest Communications flips standards WGEE, Superior, Wisconsin to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio programming…..Sports radio pro Seth Everett becomes part of the New York Mets broadcasts on Clear Channel’s WOR, New York this season where he’ll be hosting the pre- and post-game programs…..Charlotte Knights minor league baseball will air on Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte this summer as the station will carry 10 Saturday night home games and two Friday evening home games.
Chris Stigall Broadcasts from CPAC. The annual Washington, DC gathering of conservative politicians dubbed the Conservative Political Action Conference involves an active radio row and WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (right) was in the middle of all the action last week as he broadcast his show from the event. He’s pictured here interviewing former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (left).
WVBR Returns To Collegetown (Ithaca) in New, High Tech Studio Station to Hold March 15th Dedication Ceremony — Keith Olbermann Makes Major Donation. Proving that grassroots terrestrial radio is alive and well, WVBR-FM is returning home to Collegetown (a proud name sported by downtown Ithaca, New York – home of Cornell University and Ithaca College — per its reputation as being one of the best college towns in America) after a 14-year absence, with a newly-built, state-of-the-art studio. The new studio is located at 604 East Buffalo Street in Ithaca, next to the Carriage House Café and across from The Connection, Loco Cantina, and the Chapter House. WVBR has operated out of 957 Mitchell Street near East Hill Plaza after leaving its longtime home at 227 Linden Avenue in Collegetown in 2000. It will be officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place this coming Saturday (3/15). WVBR-FM is a commercial, non-profit radio station that is owned and fully operated by the Cornell Radio Guild, a group of Cornell University students. Since 1935, this group’s stated mission has been running a radio station with the goal of training students in broadcasting. Since 1968, WVBR has been serving Ithaca and Tompkins Counties playing an eclectic mix of classic and modern rock under the banner, “Real Rock Radio.” WVBR broadcasts over 93.5 FM and 105.5 FM to Tompkins County and the surrounding area. The newly named Olbermann-Corneliess Studios was purchased with donations from station alumni, most notably ESPN host Keith Olbermann. Olbermann gave what has been described by station management as “a generous donation” with a request that WVBR’s new home studio be named in honor of his late father Theodore Olbermann, as well as the late Glenn Corneliess, his colleague during his years at WVBR who passed away in 1996. Olbermann, the Corneliess family, and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will be among those on hand for the dedication, as well as many station alumni, current staff, and management. A brand new set of professional equipment, a large vinyl library, a live performance space, three soundproof production booths, and two advanced on-air studios are some of the many highlights of the new space. “There is no doubt in my mind that 604 East Buffalo Street will feature the best college radio setup in the country,” says Drew Endick, president of the Cornell Radio Guild, Inc. and general manager of WVBR, telling RadioInfo, “We have been trying to expand our content production operations and provide better services for the local community, and we now have the facilities to meet these challenges.” The new studio will be home to two radio stations – WVBR, which broadcasts with a rock format over FM, as well as CornellRadio.com, which is being launched as a more student-centric, freeform online station. CornellRadio.com will feature pop, hip-hop, dance, and alternative music, as well as talk shows, comedy programming, and sports content provided by a partnership with the Big Red Sports Network. Each station will have its own cutting-edge studio within the building. “This move is extremely important to the goals of our station,” says Michael Mallon, senior vice president of communications. “The latest technology will not only allow us to create better content for our listeners, but it will also allow the students of Cornell University to learn and train on the same equipment as is used in the big stations in major cities.” The move is also significant as the station will now be a close walk for most students. “It’s a perfect location for us, both physically and symbolically,” Mallon continues, “The station is right between the students who operate the station, and the Ithacans who make up most of our listenership.” ASI Renovations managed the huge project. The space was already in great condition, but the design presented some big technical challenges. Sherpa Technologies wired the building for radio operations. Students and weekend staff led the move, bringing over the entire vinyl and CD collections, as well as other important articles from the old station.
Chattin’ with a Legend. WFTL, Fort Lauderdale late morning talk host Rich Stevens (right) entertains legendary disc jockey Cousin Brucie (left) in the station’s studios. Stevens tells TALKERS the pair chatted about numerous topics and took calls from listeners. While speaking with callers, a 92-year-old local listener phoned in to tell Cousin Brucie he remembers winning a contest 40 years ago that Cousin Brucie executed that sent him on a vacation. Brucie asked him if he was still there and needed money to get back!
Sittin’ in on WMAL, Washington. Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (left) is pictured here in the WMAL, Washington studios as she served as guest co-host on the “Morning On The Mall” program today (3/10). O’Donnell worked with co-host Larry O’Connor (right) while subbing for Brian Wilson.