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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

| June 27, 2018

Marske Named PD at WOC, Quad Cities.  Moline native Kirk Marske is named program director for iHeartMedia’s Quad Cities news/talk WOC.  Marske has served with the cluster for 17 years, producing programs on WOC, classic rock WCQQ “Q106.5” and CHR KUUL “101.3 Kiss FM.” In this position, Marske will program WOC and be part of the “AM Quad Cities” morning show hosted by Dave Levora with contributions from Dan Deibert.  Marske takes over for Dan Kennedy, who retired from the station in May after 20 years there.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jim O’Hara says, “Kirk is just the guy to program WOC.  Born and raised in Moline – and with more local connections than anyone – he has a real passion for news/talk radio.”

Beasley Media Group Files with SEC Announcing Sale of Up to $250 million in Stock. In an S-3 filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Beasley Media Group announces its intent to offer securities for sale on the Nasdaq Global Market using a “shelf” registration process that allows the company to “sell securities from time to time and in one or more offerings up to a total dollar amount of $250,000,000 …”  This is Class A common stock has one vote per share.  Class B common stock is owned only by the Beasley family and enjoys 10 votes per share.  What would Beasley use the influx of cash for?  Acquisition of more radio stations is the popular bet.  Although iHeartMedia – currently in Chapter 11 reorganization – has said it’s not in sale mode, the company has been willing to deal in recent years.  And then there’s the Scripps stations currently on the block.  Stay tuned.

Doug Hall Named Digitial PD for iHM San Francisco. There are just two spoken-word stations in iHeartMedia’s San Francisco cluster – progressive talker KKSF “Real Talk 910AM” and KNEW-AM “Bloomberg Radio” – but the company says that its San Francisco cluster has “been an innovator in podcast content creation, generating 30 podcasts locally with nearly 100 episodes each week published.” It will be part of new digital program director Doug Hall’s charge as he moves from iHeartMedia Miami to the Bay Area for his gig. iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “After an extensive search inside and outside of the industry, Doug stood out as the clear choice to lead our digital and social efforts in the Bay Area.  With Doug’s knowledge of our goals and priorities along with his sense of urgency and enthusiasm, I’m confident he will grow iHeartMedia San Francisco.”  Hall takes over for Matty Staudt, who was recently elevated to vice president of podcast programming at iHeartMedia.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Fireside Chat Between Michael Harrison and Brian Kilmeade.  Today (6/27) TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s third installment features the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity.  Yesterday’s post presents opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan.  In addition, KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivers the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduces Bearman.   Already posted this week: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Going for the Gold.  The fourth annual fundraising dinner for the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation took place last night (6/27) at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The sold-out event featured FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel personality and best-selling author Brian Kilmeade as keynote speaker, with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison warming up the crowd with special remarks.  Kilmeade delivered an inspirational speech discussing the ups and downs of his career as well as a number of others making the point that facing the challenges that life throws at you head on while remaining humble and grateful is one of the keys to achieving and maintaining success.  Harrison discussed the importance of education in preparing future generations of broadcasters to live up to the responsibility of preserving the First Amendment and the vibrant free marketplace of ideas in the rapidly evolving digital era.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation is a dynamic non-profit working to raise funds to support the education of young broadcasters.  It has been instrumental in helping develop the outstanding program offered at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, including the building of the school’s award-winning radio station WRFH.  Pictured at the event (l-r):  Harrison, Kilmeade and Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation president Vince Benedetto.  Benedetto is also the CEO of the Bold Gold Media Group, with a growing roster of news/talk, sports talk and music radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

Report: Colin Cowherd Renews Deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports. According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, sports media personality Colin Cowherd has inked a renewal deal with iHeartMedia and FOX Sports that will pay him in the neighborhood of $6 million per year. Marchand’s piece reports that Cowherd’s three-hour radio show will continue (and remain simulcast on TVs’ FOX Sports 1), but he will exit the “Speak for Yourself” television program co-hosted by Jason Whitlock. Cowherd is expected to continue hosting the “FOX NFL Kickoff” TV show that returns in September.

iHeartMedia and Anna Faris Strike Deal for Expansion of ‘Unqualified’ Programming. Actress and podcaster Anna Faris – who produces her “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast via her Unqualified Media production company – is partnering with iHeartMedia to bring her show to CHR broadcast radio and the iHeartRadio Podcast Network.  “Unqualified” features interviews with celebrities and cultural figures who tackle a variety of topics such as dating and relationships, in addition to taking phone calls from listeners seeking relationship advice.  Faris created the podcast with her longtime friend and co-host Sim Sarna, who produces the show and runs the production company.  The deal will have Unqualified Media produce a long-form “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” radio program that will air weekends across CHR broadcast radio stations nationwide.  In addition, iHeartMedia will create short-form content that will air weekdays promoting “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” nationwide.

TALKERS News Notes. On Monday, news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga released a statement regarding the status of morning drive personality Jeff Styles, who was arrested on June 15 after a road rage incident left Styles with a gunshot wound to the arm and the other party with damage to his car left by Styles’ weapon – a military-grade tomahawk.   Cumulus Media has placed Styles on paid leave while the incident is investigated. Meanwhile the station says, “Gary Mac has filled in for Styles in the past and did so last week and he will continue to do so.  He has other obligations, however, for the next two weeks and afternoon host Brian Joyce will be hosting ‘The Morning Press’ along with Jim Reynolds.”…..Talk show host Tom Donahue is returning to the radio airwaves on July 1 as he launches a weekly, Sunday evening program available via Talk Stream Live and distributed to radio stations by Salem Radio Network.  The program will air live at 11:00 pm ET. Donahue says, “I am thrilled to have this broadcast opportunity that has eluded me for some time.  I will independently syndicate my show distributed by SRN and TSL, thus allowing me to reach a broader audience with satellite access and delivery to so many radio stations and markets. To be an impactful player in talk radio, your game plan must include broadcast stations. In recent years, my program has been confined mostly to online streaming, digital, and podcasting platforms, with the exception of a few independent stations.  I plan to make the most of my airtime each week!  I will be open to show expansion based on demand.”…..Boston morning show duo Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb, a.k.a. “Toucher & Rich,” were honored by readers of Boston Magazine with the “Radio Personalities of the Year” award in the 2018 Best of Boston poll.  Toucher & Rich anchor mornings on Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “We are so proud to have Toucher & Rich on our team in Boston.  They are so amazing at all of the things that we truly value at Beasley – community and top quality local content.  I’m thrilled that Boston Magazine recognized them!”…..Two sale closings to report that involve Salem Media Group.  First, the International Church of the Grace of God closes on the $1.73 million acquisition of WBIX, Boston from Salem. Since Salem bought the signal in 2015 it had been airing its syndicated conservative talk programming on the station with not a lot of success.  Second, Salem closes on its purchase of KDXE-FM, Cammack Village, Arkansas from Flinn Broadcasting for $1.1 million.  The station serves the Little Rock market and Salem airs much of its Salem Radio Network conservative talk programming on the station branded “101.1 FM The Answer.”…..Cumulus Media appoints radio management pro Chuck Poet vice president and market manager for its Erie, Pennsylvania cluster that includes four music outlets and sports talk WRIE-AM/W242CU.

Illegal Immigration Policy, SCOTUS Travel Ban Ruling, Harassment of Administration Officials, Tuesday Primaries, Germany’s Migrant Issues, Tariffs-Trade War Concerns, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/26).  The U.S.’s policies in enforcing immigration laws; the Supreme Court upholds President Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries; the aftermath of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters’ call to harass administration officials when they appear in public; Tuesday’s primary races and the ouster of New York Democrat Joe Crowley at the hands of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Germany’s Angela Merkel deals with political pressure to reverse policy welcoming migrants; the Trump tariffs and concerns about a trade war; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

JAM Media Buys Outer Banks, NC and Iowa Radio Clusters.  Originally founded as a media planning and buying agency, JAM Media Solutions, LLC is entering the radio station ownership business with the acquisition of two clusters of stations – one in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and one in Muscatine, Iowa.  JAM has entered into an agreement to acquire Max Radio’s four music-formatted radio stations in the Outer Banks region, as well as the company’s interest in North Carolina E Paper, LLC, publisher of The Outer Banks Voice.  The radio stations are: country WCMS-FM, hot AC WCXL-FM, triple A WVOD-FM, and classic rock WZPR-FM.  The price tag for those properties is $1.85 million.  In Muscatine, Iowa, JAM enters into an agreement to buy Prairie Communications’ classic rock KMCS-FM and farm news KWPC-AM/K236CF, plus newspaper The Voice of Muscatine for $965,000.  JAM Media Solutions president and CEO Jonathan. A. Mason Sr. says “Having worked in radio since 1995, let me state for the record that I believe in the power of local radio.  Our goal is to unite local on-air personalities, local salespeople, and local advertisers together in an effort to deliver a first-rate experience for our local listeners.  JAM Media Solutions will also be very committed to the local communities in which we exist.  A portion of our income will be donated to non-profits dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the people our stations touch.  We are thankful for this opportunity and look forward to making the concerns of the listeners our top priority.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air staff tweaks at Entercom Las Vegas include the addition of Audrey Lee to CHR KLUC as midday personality, effective July 2.  Also, music director and on-air host Yung Jon Que will host KLUC’s afternoon drive from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective immediately.  This role is in addition to his current position as assistant program director and music director for KLUC-HD2.  Finally, Hector ‘DJ CO1’ Minjarez has been elevated to the role of APD at sister urban contemporary KXQQ “Q100.5” in addition to his role as evening personality.  Lee was most recently with iHeartMedia’s Lexington, Kentucky cluster…..The North American syndicated rock radio show and website “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” celebrates its 30th year of national radio syndication.  “IN THE STUDIO” first launched the broadcast week of June 27, 1988 with rock legends Crosby, Stills & Nash as inaugural guests and program host Redbeard.  He says, “When original ‘IN THE STUDIO’ executive producer Stephen R. Smith conceived 30 years ago of bringing the superstars of rock to radio every single week through one-on-one interviews about the stars’ most popular music, he was keenly aware that the rock audience had matured.  Now, the audience wanted an intimate, direct relationship with the musicians who actually created the soundtrack to their lives, lifting the curtain on the ‘wizards of rock.’  Over that time, the innate desire of the fans to get closer to the flame of inspiration has only intensified.”  The hourlong, weekly show is heard on 35 affiliate stations nationwide.

Monday, June 18, 2018

| June 18, 2018

NAB Pushing for Relaxed Ownership Regs. The National Association of Broadcasters is asking the Federal Communications Commission to modernize what it calls the “outdated radio ownership rules” as part of the quadrennial media ownership review expected to take place later this year.  The NAB states that the last change in ownership rules was part of the 1996 de-regulation of the industry and that since that time, competitors such as SiriusXM and the various digital audio services were born and have changed the audio media landscape.  Specifically, the NAB is suggesting the FCC consider the following: For station owners in the top 75 Nielsen Audio markets, raise the cap to up to eight FM signals and put no limit on the number of AM stations it can operate.  In the markets smaller than the top 75, it suggests there be no restrictions on the number of FM or AM stations a single entity can operate.  In explaining its request, the NAB writes, “The Commission’s goal of fostering audio programming ‘tailored to the needs and interests of specific local markets’ must account for today’s reality: tailoring now occurs on the basis of specific listeners, not just on the basis of local radio markets.  The FCC’s approach to regulating free OTA radio must reflect today’s competitive audio market in which consumers have access to a virtually infinite number of ‘stations’ tailored to their specific interests.  Continuing to insist that the existing radio ownership limits are necessary because local stations only compete among themselves defies reality and is contrary to law.  Indeed, the FCC’s current regulatory framework simply ignores a large portion of the listening and advertising equation.  The notion of what constitutes a competitor to radio stations must include audio outlets that consumers in local markets are listening to and the outlets that advertisers use.”

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Morning Host Jeff Styles Wounded, Charged in Road Rage Incident. Chattanooga morning drive talk host Jeff Styles has been charged with aggravated assault and vandalism after a Friday afternoon road rage incident that left him with a gun-shot wound to his arm. WRCB-TV, Chattanooga reports that Styles – morning drive co-host on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – and fellow motorist Nickolas Bullington were involved in a road rage incident late Friday afternoon (6/15) that ended after Styles allegedly attacked Bullington’s car with a “military grade tomahawk” and Bullington responded by shooting Styles in the arm with a handgun.  Styles was treated at a local hospital and arrested the following day. The WRCB-TV report includes a statement from Styles’ lawyer alleging Bullington was the aggressor and Styles the victim.  Styles hosts “The Morning Press” with co-host Jim Reynolds and program and news director Kevin West.

Robert Feder Provides Glimpse Behind the Ratings Woes at WGN, Chicago.  Windy City media maven Robert Feder publishes an exclusive report on what some of the station’s talent are saying about the state of Tribune’s venerable WGN-AM as it moves from the Tribune Tower to brand new studios at 303 Wacker Drive.  It’s no secret that WGN has suffered a long trend of dwindling ratings as measured by Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys, and Feder’s story offers a look at what at least a few of the station’s personalities are feeling about the situation.  Read it here.

ESPN Audio Now Available on iHeartRadio. This move adds ESPN Audio’s networks and on-demand content to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  The multi-year deal with iHeartMedia allows users to livestream the ESPN Radio Network shows – “Golic and Wingo,” Dan Le Batard, Stephen A. Smith, etc. – the O&O’s in New York, Chicago and L.A., ESPN-affiliated stations, live play-by-play events, and ESPN’s roster of podcasts.  ESPN VP, Audio and Talent Traug Keller says, “We are consistently looking for new ways to give fans access to ESPN Audio’s tremendous content.  iHeartRadio, with its expansive network and reach, will help us bring new listeners into the fold and give current fans yet another way to enjoy their sports content, anytime, anywhere.”

National Radio Institute Begins Today at University of Tennessee. Today begins the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  At this session, students from four different universities will learn from broadcast pros from Patrick Communications, Midwest Communications, Stonecom Radio, Entercom, Cumulus MediaScripps Radio, 5 Star Radio/Saga Communications, Cromwell Communications, Thunderbolt Broadcasting, and others.  The course is led by industry professionals and facilitated by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters and the University of Tennessee’s College of Communications and Information and was spearheaded by radio consultant Dan Vallie.  The TAB Radio Talent Institute is the fourth of eight Radio Talent Institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, next are Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University, and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.

TALKERS News Notes. The case of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge was supposed to begin in trial court today, but the start of the eagerly awaited legal face-off will not happen until July 23 – that is, unless the two parties come to a settlement.  Nielsen’s complaint that Bubba the Love Sponge damaged its reputation by tampering with the PPM survey in the Tampa market goes back more than two-and-a-half years. Although a settlement is always a possibility, it seems unlikely Bubba would concede anything after spending as much on legal fees as he has up to this point.  Nielsen is seeking $1 million in damages.  Federal Judge James Whittemore offered no reason for the change in trial start dates but says it’s expected to last five to seven days…..cabana, the digital audio division of AdLarge Media, is announcing an exclusive ad sales representation deal for the newly launched true crime podcast network Murder.ly. AdLarge co-founder and co-CEO Cathy Csukas says, “True crime dramas are sought-after and in high demand among listeners and advertisers.  We’re proud to represent the titles in Murder.ly and bring this exclusive opportunity to cabana advertisers.”

Three Join Broadcasters Foundation Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America elects Wendy McMahon, president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, and Charlie Weiss, publisher of New Bay Media’s TV Sector Brands, to its board of directors, and names Dennis Lyle, president and chief executive officer of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, an officer and vice president.  The new directors and Lyle were voted in during the board meeting that took place in New York City last week.  In a related story, at the TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! conference held in New York City on June 8, WPG, Atlantic City morning host and Heavy Hundred member Harry Hurley (pictured below at left) donated $2,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America on behalf of his successful Harry Hurley Charitable Foundation.  Foundation president Jim Thompson (right) accepted the check.  This marked the third year in a row that Hurley has made a large donation to the Broadcasters Foundation.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Roger Stone Allegation, Illegal Immigration Enforcement, Inspector General’s FBI-Clinton Probe Report, Trump Trade Wars, Trump-Kim Jong Un Meeting, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the allegation Roger Stone met with a Russian promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton; the controversy over the treatment of illegals with young children; the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s investigation of the Hillary Clinton email server case; the tariffs being levied by the U.S. and retaliation by China and concerns about a global trade war; President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Mat Bates has reportedly exited Cumulus Media’s legendary triple A KFOG, San Francisco where he was serving as program director.…..In the Reno market, Lotus Communications names Tina Smash morning drive host at classic rock KOZZ.  Smash is taking over the morning host role from operations manager and program director Jave Patterson who will assume the afternoon drive show hosting duties on Lotus’ sister active rock KDOT “Rock 104.5.”…..On-air pro Diana DeVille joins Strategic International Ministries’ country KWSV, Simi Valley, California “99.1 The Ranch” to host the midday program that was hosted by departed personality Mese Smith.  Station programmer Michael Raffety says, “It’s always hard replacing a strong personality that listeners have grown to love, like Mese Smith.  But if anyone can carry on the success, it’s Diana Deville. She’s loaded with great ideas and has a genuine love for the country music format and listener.  I know the audience will grow to love Diana as much as they do Mese.”…..Some of the winners at the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters awards luncheon held last Thursday (6/14) include Capitol Broadcasting’s hot AC WRAL-FM, Raleigh-Durham “MIX 101.5,” winner of the Radio Station of the Year honor in the large market category. Station PD Michele Williams says, “We at ‘MIX 101.5’ are honored to accept the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters’ radio station of the year award for 2017.  We thank this amazing community for allowing us to give back through events like our Radiothon for Duke Children’s Hospital, Interfaith Food Shuttle’s Back Pack Buddies Mediathon and our annual Christmas Choir Competition that supports local schools’ music programs.  It’s a privilege to serve you, our listeners, and we look forward to what’s to come in 2018 and beyond.”  Other winners were Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WZFX-FM, Fayetteville, which took home the Station of the Year honor for medium market stations, as well as WPEG, Charlotte “Power 98” evening personality Ya Girl Nikki who was honored with Large Market Personality of the Year.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

| April 17, 2018

Sean Hannity Revealed in Court as Michael Cohen Client; Hannity Explains Relationship with Embattled Attorney.  The first thing FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks syndicated radio personality Sean Hannity addressed on his programs on Monday was the New York court revelation that Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen – under investigation by the FBI for possible bank fraud and campaign finance violations – describes Hannity as one of his three clients.  Hannity said on his radio show, “Michael never represented me in any matter.  I never retained him in the traditional sense…I never received an invoice from Michael.  I never paid legal fees to Michael but, I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.  And I assume that those questions were attorney-client confidential…not one of any issue I ever dealt with Michael Cohen on ever, ever involved a matter between me and any third party.”  Cohen’s attorney asked U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to keep the name of Cohen’s third client under seal because he might be “embarrassed” by the connection.  Judge Wood agreed with a lawyer representing several media outlets who said “embarrassment” was not enough to keep that information sealed.  At the end of the session Judge Wood ruled the prosecutor’s office will – without reading the documents seized from Cohen – put them all on a searchable database and share them with lawyers for Cohen and Trump.

WTVN, Columbus Names Woody Johnson Afternoon Host. In Columbus, iHeartMedia names Woody Johnson afternoon drive host at news/talk WTVN.  Johnson is the host of the “Woody and Company” in morning drive at the cluster’s country WCOL.  Now, he’ll add the afternoon show on WTVN, taking over for the late John Corby, who died unexpectedly at age 61 back in January.

WYAY, Atlanta ‘Talk 106.7’ Re-Vamps Daily Lineup. Atlanta news/talk WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” makes lineup changes, most notably announcing new morning host Shelley Wynter and moving midday Atlanta talk pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson into the afternoon drive daypart. Wynter is a former, longtime WAOK, Atlanta personality.  Shannon Burke remains in the late morning daypart. Mike Brooks is the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm host, followed by The Kimmer. The Cumulus Media station is also airing Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro “podcast” in the 5:00 am to 6:00 am slot.  Brian Joyce had been hosting both afternoons at WYAY-FM and middays at the company’s WGOW-FM, Chattanooga. He continues his WGOW show.

WOR, New York Morning Show Celebrates 2018 Mets Season. Pictured above in the radio booth at Citi Field is WOR, New York’s “Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning” program celebrating the beginning of the 2018 New York Mets season.  WOR is the flagship station for Mets radio play-by-play.  From left to right are: Mets studio engineer Mark Weiner, Berman and Riedel show executive producer Natalie Vacca, Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo, Michael Riedel and Len Berman.

Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Parents.  Radio talk host and digital publisher Alex Jones is being sued by three parents of children who died in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.  The New York Times reports that Houston attorney Mark Bankston is handling the case for the three parents.  Jones is being sued for defamation for pushing the theory that the parents are actors in a scheme to enact stricter gun laws in the U.S.  The suits have been filed by Leonard Pozner, his former wife Veronique De La Rosa, and Neil Heslin.  The parents claim that since Jones began presenting his narrative, they’ve been attacked and threatened by Jones’ supporters.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new Internet talk program from Think Realty is launching on Wall Street Radio featuring Think Realty coach and regular Forbes contributor Abhi Golhar.  The program airs from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm daily and features interviews with two industry influencers and professionals, covering topics including investment and business strategies, current market analysis, identifying potential real estate investment deals, property acquisition, and lending.….Global Radio, LLC is selling ethnic WNWR-AM, Philadelphia to Aztec Capital Partners, Inc. for an undisclosed sum.  Aztec Capital Partners, Inc., is a Philadelphia-based corporation owned by Ken Trujillo and managed by Art Camiolo. Aztec also owns WHAT-AM and FM translator W260CZ in Philadelphia.

Rich Shertenlieb’s Wife Mary Runs Boston Marathon Five Years After Leukemia Diagnosis.  Five years after being diagnosed with leukemia, Mary Shertenlieb  (pictured here with husband Rich), the wife of WBZ-FM, Boston morning personality Rich Shertenlieb, ran the Boston Marathon in an effort to raise more than $33,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  But it wasn’t easy.  After 15.5 miles, Mary began to shiver uncontrollably due to her compromised immune system and she followed her doctors’ orders to stop.  But, she didn’t quit – she paused.  With husband Rich by her side, Mary continued and finished the 26.2 mile run just after midnight.  See the pics and complete story here.

2018 Radio Gracie Award Winners Announced.  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation says that in “an already incredible and historic year for women, the AWMF continues to celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for, and about women in radio, television, and interactive media by announcing winners of the 43rd annual Gracie Awards.”  The Gracie Awards Gala will take place on Tuesday, May 22 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where national radio will be recognized, and the Gracie Awards Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, June 27 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York, New York with local and student winners being acknowledged.  Some of the winners being recognized this year include: Shirley Strawberry of “The Steve Harvey Show” syndicated by Premiere Networks; Jayde Donovan of “Todd and Jayde in the Morning” on WPLJ, New York; Nina Hajian of “Shoboy In The Morning” on WBMP, New York, Cooper Lawrence of “The Cooper Lawrence Show” on WBLI, New York; Whitney Allen of “The Big Time with Whitney Allen” on Westwood One/Oh I Gotta; April Ryan of “On the Record” on American Urban Radio Networks; and Hoda Kotb of “The Hoda Show” on SiriusXM.  Outstanding programming from groups including Beasley Media Group, Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia, Hubbard RadioEntercom, Westwood One, NPR and students including Fordham University and Hofstra University will also be honored.  AWMF chair (and Katz Radio Group president) Christine Travaglini says, “In an historic and momentous year for women, on and off the camera and in front of and behind the microphone, the Gracie Awards arrive at an important time to celebrate the storytellers who are changing the narrative and pushing boundaries in the quest toward diversity and equality.  And as we enter our 43rd year, we at AWM, through the Gracies, are incredibly proud to help usher in a new era by honoring and celebrating outstanding talent and content for, by and about women.”  Local and student award winners will be recognized at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York City.  The work of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is significant in supporting educational programs, charitable activities and scholarships that benefit women in media and the public.

Beasley Fort Myers Assists Habitat for Humanity.  In the photo above, 30 staffers from Beasley Media Group’s Fort Myers offices pose for a photo as the site of a Habitat for Humanity home site in Collier County.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says, “I am so very proud of our outstanding Fort Myers and corporate employees for doing their Beasley Best to help Habitat for Humanity.  This is what radio is all about…serving as a lifeline to help our local community.”

Trump-Cohen Legal Battles, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russia Sanctions Issue, Comey Book, Philly Starbucks Arrests Case, U.S. Syria Policy, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16). The legal battle between Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the courts, including the revelation that FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity is a client; the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; President Trump walks back threats of new Russia sanctions promised by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley; former FBI director James Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, and his interview with ABC-TV; the blowback from the arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks; U.S. military policy in Syria; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Tony Lorino and Entercom go their separate ways after two-and-a-half years of Lorino as program director of hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1.” Lorino came to Atlanta from Entercom’s KZPT, Kansas City…..WUBB, Savannah-Hilton Head morning show “Tim Leary and The Morning Showgram” are heading to Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle to assume morning duties there.  WUBB is hosting a good-bye party on April 27 for Tim Leary, Claire Beverly and Karen “Red” Daiss and will introduce the new “Hunter and Leslie in the Morning” program…..Non-commercial alternative outlet KEXP, Seattle is celebrating a windfall from an anonymous donor to the tune of almost $10 million. The Friends of KEXP-owned station knows only that the donor’s first name was Suzanne.  She was an anonymous donor during her lifetime and now that she’s passed, the bequest is also being kept anonymous. The station says that the money is going into an endowment that will be directed by the station’s board.

Round One of March 2018 PPM Data Released. Information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s March 2018 survey period covered March 1 – 28. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Locked on 2.8 (6+) the last three sweeps, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM busts out a half-share increase to 3.3 (6+) to advance from #13 to #11. Moreover, this is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). Despite being up two-tenths to 6.2 (6+), co-owned/similarly formatted WINS drops from a second-place tie to third and ends an up/down pattern that began in October (5.9 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+). Owing to a +.1 to 1.9 (#19 to #18, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” pulls the plug on five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Without an increase four straight ratings periods for a -.4 as well (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC regained half that loss in February with a +.2. In March, it’s flat at 1.2 (6+) and remains at #23, where it’s tied with Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” whose last 11 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 (6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is flat at 3.2 (#11 to #12, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM is unchanged at .7 (#26 to #27, 6+). Following five sweeps in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” picks up four-tenths to 3.1 (#14 to #13, 6+). Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). Steady at 1.3 (6+), Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” remains at #22. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – After being a collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+), but “106.7 Lite FM” rebounds in March with a +.4 to 8.4 (6+). It remains on top for the eighth time in a row. Continuing in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is a collective +1.4 in three successive increases (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for WCBS-FM since July 2017’s 6.6. Off three-tenths to 4.8 (flat at #5 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” ends three consecutive up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (4.2 – 4.2 – 5.0 – 5.1, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Regaining half the six-tenths it lost in February (3.9 – 4.2, +.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” progresses from seventh to sixth. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) the past six sweeps, slips one-tenth to .9 (#28 to #32, 6+). Meanwhile, Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” is up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, #31 to #29, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is flat at .5 (6+) as it remains at #37. Steady at #10, Entercom all-news outlet KNX “1070 News Radio” returns the one-tenth it grabbed this time last month (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” drops three-tenths to 2.7 (6+), segueing from #11 to #14. With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline 6+-trending of 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0, KSPN “710 ESPN” falls from #28 to #30, while iHeartMedia’s KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” adds one-tenth to .5, advancing from #40 to #37.

Los Angeles Music Formats – After having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST not only bounces back with a gain of six-tenths to 5.9 (6+), “Coast 103.5” marches from second to first. It succeeds hot AC sibling KBIG “104.3 My-FM,” off four-tenths to 5.7 (6+), which is where it was in “Holiday” 2017. Before gaining six-tenths in January, “My-FM” was an overall -.7 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.4 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 5.7, 6+). While it remains in third-place, Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” (5.0, -.2, 6+) has it successive string of up or flat trends – which yielded a +.8 – snapped at four (4.4 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.2, 6+). In February, “K-Earth” crossed the five-share level (6+) for the first time since June 2017’s 5.1. Without a loss for the fifth consecutive time for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” climbs from #13 to #12. This marks the 29th time in succession that Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), but it sputters by one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). In addition, “Go Country 105” drops out of the top twenty (#15 to #22).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined +.8 in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom all-news WBBM-AM drops two-tenths to 5.1 (6+) but remains at #2; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+) – its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well) – Tribune Media news/talk WGN is a collective -1.1 in February and March and departs the top twenty (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2, #13 to #21, 6+). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. It is now just two-tenths ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM, which registers its seventh straight up or flat ratings period and is +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, #23 to #22, 6+). Even though it’s down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” manages to move from #21 to #20. “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Format rival – ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” – is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 (#25 to #23, 6+). In addition to ending six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ (2.5, +.3, 6+) returns to the top twenty (#22 to #18).

Chicago Music Formats – In its third straight up or flat trend (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 eighth to fifth, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” is a combined +1.7 and has its best 6+-stat since July 2017 (4.2, as well). Right behind “The Drive” at #7 – rocketing from #15 in February – and improving by nine-tenths as well is Entercom-owned WUSN “US-99, Chicago’s Hottest Country” (3.0 – 3.9, 6+). Steady at #4, sibling WBMX “104.3 Jams” gains one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, 6+), as does Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1,” which is +.9 in three increases in a row (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 steady at #5, 6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), “104.3 Jams” was -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Although on top for the third month in succession, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” regresses by one-half share (6.6 – 6.1, 6+); WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September. Ultra-familiar “Windy City” call letters and branding that endured for approximately 40 years were scrubbed about one-third into the March ratings period as classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love.” Until the sale is finalized, Educational Media Foundation is operating the Merlin Media-owned station which nosedives by -1.9 (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Not only is KQED a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+), the Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk station is #1 for the third time in succession. It had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM has relinquished all of that in February and March (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6, 6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). Flat at #20, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO regains the one-tenth it dropped in February (2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0, 6+). In five straight decreases, news/talk sibling KSFO is a combined -1.3 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+). This streak follows four straight gains that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+). KGO and KSFO cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” is trending 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 (6+) and falls from the top ten (#10 to #11), while Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is without a loss for the seventh time in a row, more than doubling (+1.1) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, #18 to #17, 6+); this is its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (2.1, as well).

San Francisco Music Formats – In four straight upticks, Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” has picked up seven-tenths (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8, sixth to fifth, 6+). Recapturing 75% of February’s -.8 with a +.6 (2.8 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+), University of Southern California classical outlet KDFC jumps from #19 to #14; February’s 2.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since August 2017 (2.0, as well). On the heels of February’s loss of four-tenths, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” falters by another half-share, slipping from fourth to eighth (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+).

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Notwithstanding that it loses two-tenths to 2.6 (6+), thus snapping at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM inches up from #16 #15. Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. After posting three straight up or flat trends for an overall +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” sputters by four-tenths to 2.0 (6+), exiting the top twenty (#20 to #21). Also in the news/talk format, North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA, which was up by one-tenth in January and February, (2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+) is flat at 2.4 (6+), yet climbs from #20 to #17; Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” loses three-tenths (1.2 – .9, #30 to #33, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” is off two-tenths  (.7 – .5, flat at #35, 6+). Sputtering by three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), sports talk sibling KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” slips from #12 to #14. “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. Down as well in March is Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” which is -1.2 in five straight negative trends (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, unchanged at #22, 6+). A collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is up one-tenth to 1.0 (#33 to #31, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – Following four straight up or flat reports for a cumulative +1.3 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned CHR KHKS faltered by three-tenths in February; however, “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” posts a March gain twice the size of February’s -.3 (5.4 – 6.0, +.6, 6+) and is #1 for the third straight month. Moreover, 6.0 is its best 6+-performance in exactly one year (6.0, March 2017). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the CHR held the lead position since March 2017. It was tied for the lead in February with co-owned classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5,” which forfeits the two-tenths it gained in February and shifts to #2 (5.2 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+); February’s 5.4 was the best 6+-stat for “Lone Star 92.5” since July 2017 (5.4, as well). Down an overall seven-tenths in January and February (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” records a one-half share increase in March (3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). In the Cumulus Media cluster, KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (4.0 – 4.4, +.4, sixth to fourth, 6+) overtakes similarly-programmed sibling KSCS “New Country 96.3” (flat at 4.3, fourth to fifth, 6+). At the same time, Entercom siblings KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” (2.9 – 2.4, #15 to #17, 6+) and regional Mexican KMVK “La Grande 107.5” (2.8 – 2.3, #16 to #19, 6+) are each off by one-half share.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from February’s -.2 with a +.4 (3.6 – 4.0, 6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF jumps from #15 to a four-way tie at #10. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” is off one-tenth (3.5 – 3.4, #16 to #17, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+). It is a complete mixed bag for the market’s three sports talk signals, as Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” regains the one-tenth it lost in February (.9 – .8 – .9, #24 to #23, 6+); iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” is flat, recording a .7 for the fourth time in a row (#25 to #26, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” drops one-tenth (.6 – .5, #27 to #28, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Boasting a March +1.1 (4.9 – 6.0, 6+), following a full-share gain in January, Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “93-Q Country” progresses from sixth to third. It’s a rollercoaster ride for Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.0 in January; -.9 in February; and is now +.8 in March (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, ninth to fifth, 6+). January’s 5.1 was the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). Tied with “The Spot” at #5 (up from #8 in February) is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9,” which gains six-tenths to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.8. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” is +1.7. Even though it’s down two-tenths (7.0 – 6.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” progresses from second to first. It displaces iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1,” which had been #1 the past four sweeps but shifts to second (7.3 – 6.2, -.9, 6+). “Sunny” – which finished second in October and November – was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” erodes by seven-tenths (5.0 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – While it is on top for the 28th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM has now surrendered all of January’s +1.6 plus two tenths more (-1.8) in February and March (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4, 6+). WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance, but this (8.4) is its lowest 6+-share since 7.9 in “Holiday” 2016. This is the third time in a row that Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY records a 1.8 (6+) as “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” drops from a four-way logjam at #18 to #19. Repeating at .1 (#32, 6+) are Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” and iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640,” while Entercom’s WAOK “News & Talk 1380 – The Voice of the Community” loses the one-tenth it registered in February (.1 – .0, 6+). With a December 2017 – March 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE dips from seventh to eighth, while Georgia State University news/talk WRAS, which had been +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), is off by three-tenths to .7 (#25 to #26, 6+). A combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” spiraled by -1.1 in February to 2.6 and it repeats that 6+-share and #17 market rank. As the result of five successive sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7, #22, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” has picked up one-half share and trails “The Game” by nine-tenths.

Atlanta Music Formats – Simultaneous with Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM notching an improvement of seven-tenths to 5.3 (fifth to fourth, 6+) – the first time “B-98.5” reaches the five-share level since February 2017’s 5.3 – its internet “stream,” which logged a .5 (6+) in February, disappears from print. In three straight gains, Radio One urban AC WAMJ is an overall +1.2 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.4, steady at #5, 6+); “Majic” had been within 4.1 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the last 17 sweeps. Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in January and February following a 6.5 in “Holiday” 2017, Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” dials up a one-half gain to 6.3 (6+), shifting from second to third. A collective +.7 in January and February, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders that gain in its entirety (4.3 – 3.6, 6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). A combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+), Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” is -3.2 in January, February, and March (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), falling from fourth to sixth. A November decrease of one-tenth stopped at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – After improving by one full-share in January and then dropping one-tenth in February, Entercom all-news KYW answers with a +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, seventh to fourth, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015). Having bounced back from an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+) with a +2.6 in January 2018, sports talk cluster-mate WIP suffers a -2.9, the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 decrease of any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. The massive drop (8.7 – 5.8, 6+) sends WIP – which was -.8 in February (9.5 – 8.7, 6+) – from first to fifth. Following a +.9 in January (2.2 – 3.1, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is off six-tenths in February and March (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.5, #14 to #17, 6+). Steady at #9, public news/talk WHYY reclaims the three-tenths it squandered in February (4.2 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+). WHYY improved by one full-share in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. The four most recent (6+) trends for Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” (#18 to #19) are 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9. Since appearing in print in October 2017, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, #19 to #21, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – Flat at 8.4 (6+) is good enough for WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM,” to progress from second to first. The Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary property was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Basically flat the past three sweeps (1.6 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKVP “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” posts a gain of seven-tenths to 2.2 (#20 to #18), its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in August 2017. On the heels of February’s full-share increase (5.3 – 6.3, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” tacks on another six-tenths to 6.9 (6+), advancing from fourth to second; this is its best 6+-stat since September’s 7.4. Ups/downs continue for Beasley Media Group-owned WMGK “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK,” which was -1.0 in “Holiday” 2017; a combined +2.1 in January and February (5.2 – 6.4 – 7.3, 6+); and is now -.6 in March (6.7, flat at #3, 6+). February marked the first time since September 2017’s 7.0 that “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” reached the seven-share level (6+); 5.2 in “Holiday” 2017 put WMGK below a six-share (6+) for the first time since February’s 5.9.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – After being up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” registers a one-half share gain to 1.8 (6+) and remains at #24. Even though it’s flat at 2.9 (6+), Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” – which was 1.1 in February – slumps from #11 to #14. Without an increase in Long Island the past six survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), all-news cluster-mate WINS is +.4 to 3.3 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned all-news WCBS-AM recaptures the four-tenths it dropped in February (3.0 – 2.6 – 3.0, 6+) as it advances from #16 to #12. In January, WCBS-AM gained two-tenths, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). An overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” returns three-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #16, 6+). Despite being without a loss for the third straight Long Island report for a +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC backslides from #25 to #26. Up three-tenths (1.6 – 1.9, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM inches up from #23 to #22.

Long Island Music Formats – There is a tie for the largest (6+) February 2018 – March 2018 increase by any station in these 12 PPM-markets and both stations are in Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island). Specifically, Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “Long Island’s Only Classic Rock” (3.8 – 5.0, seventh to second, 6+) and Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “Long Island’s K-98.3” (tenth to fifth) each log gains of +1.2. The 5.0 is the highest 6+-share for WBAB since November 2017’s 5.5, while “K-98.3” is +2.0 via three consecutive increases (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 4.3, 6+). Disappearing from print is WBAB’s internet “stream,” which notched a 1.0 (6+) in February. An overall -5.6 in three straight sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0, 6+), WKJY’s hot AC sibling – WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” – is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive time. “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. Immediately after the market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share increased by +1.9 in February, it shrinks by -2.2 in March. Surrendering February’s entire +1.4 (and three-tenths more), Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 for all the Hits” (5.4 – 3.7, -1.7, 6+) tumbles from second to eighth, while iHeartMedia’s WHTZ “Z-100” returns in full February’s half-share increase (4.7 – 5.2 – 4.7, unchanged at #3, 6+). January’s +.6 by WBLI ended five downward sweeps in succession that accounted for a collective -2.8 (6.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to February’s +.5, “Z-100” was down the previous four ratings periods for a collective -1.1 (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+). Forfeiting February’s +.7 (2.1 – 2.8 – 2.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” drifts from #14 to #19. Its January +.6 halted at four a consecutive string of negative trends that produced a loss of one-half share (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.5, 6+). Regressing by six-tenths each are co-owned hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.5 – 1.9, #19 to #22, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” (4.6 – 4.0, fifth to sixth, 6+). A combined -1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” recaptured nine-tenths in February (4.0 – 4.9, 6+) but relinquishes one-half share in March to 4.4 (6+). Even so, it manages to climb from fourth to third. In five straight sweeps without a loss, Connoisseur Media-owned WWSK was +1.2, nearly doubling its 6+-share since October (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+), but “94.3 The Shark – Everything That Rocks” slips by three-tenths to 2.3 (#16 to #17, 6+). Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 41st consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is flat at 2.6 (6+), bumping up from #16 to #15.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After three minor upticks in a row that netted four-tenths (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR is now off by a cumulative six-tenths in February and March (1.3 – .9 – .7, flat at #15, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – March 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” carries on at #17.

Riverside Music Formats – As a result of an uptick of nine-tenths (2.1 – 3.0, ninth to seventh, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” has its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. Similarly-formatted/Lazer Broadcasting-owned KXSB “Radio Lazer,” which had been trending .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 – .6 (#15, 6+) before disappearing from print in February resurfaces with a .6 (#16, 6+). A one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) enables Entercom’s KFRG “New Country K-Frog” to leap from fourth to second. After racking up a cumulative +2.9 in January and February (5.5 – 7.3 – 8.4, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA coughs up a -1.3 in March to 7.1 (6+) but is #1 for the third month in succession. January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot with a 6.9 (January 2016, 6+). Faltering by eight-tenths each are Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” (second to third); iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” (4.3 – 3.5, fifth to sixth, 6+); and Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KAEH “Radio Lazer” (1.1 – .3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is KLYY’s fourth sweep in succession without an increase for an overall -2.6 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0, 6+). KGGI was up seven-tenths in February following a -.5 in January; February’s 4.3 was its best 6+-stat since July 2017’s 4.5. Unlisted from July 2017 through November 2017, KAEH was .3 – .3 – .6 – 1.1 from December 2017 to February 2018. Dipping by one-half share (5.2 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” segues from third to fourth.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Gaining three-tenths to 8.8 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED – which notched a +1.0 in January – is #1 for the third straight month. When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April. It has a three-share advantage over its runner-up, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM, which is flat at 5.8 (6+), after floundering by -.8 in February (6.6 – 5.8, 6+). A combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO returns two-tenths (2.9, #12 to #14, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 the past two sweeps (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), is flat at 1.9 and slips from a five-way logjam at #20 to #23. Trending 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+), sports talk sibling KNBR “The Sports Leader” climbs from #13 to #12. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT, which tripled its .3 to .9 in January, loses four-tenths in February and March (.9 – .6 – .5, flat at #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gained two-tenths in February but drops one-tenth in March (1.2 – 1.1, unchanged at #29, 6+).

San Jose Music Formats – A combined +2.6 in six successive increases (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom’s KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” proceeds from fourth to second. By gaining six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6, #19 to #17, 6+), Entercom hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” elevates to its strongest 6+-share in San Jose since May 2017 (2.6, as well). Off six-tenths (5.4 – 4.8, 6+), Alpha Media classic hits-oldies KBAY “94.5 Bay-FM, The Bay’s Greatest Hits” slides from third to fourth. Declining by one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “95.3 San Jose Hot Country” (4.5 – 4.0, sixth to seventh, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #18, 6+). “Hot Country” was up seven-tenths in February.

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM answers with a +.7 to 2.9 (6+) and jumps from #18 to #14. All-news sibling WINS, which had logged three straight gains for a +.4 (.9 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+), is off by two-tenths to 1.1 (#25 to #26, 6+). Up one-tenth (8.0 – 8.1, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the third month in a row. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. Without a loss for the third straight time for a net gain of four-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR progresses from #22 to #20. The three latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#23 to #24); WABC was +.4 in January. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM was a cumulative +1.2 but the public news/talker gives back two-thirds of that bounty (2.6, -.8, 6+) to freefall from #10 to #17. Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility picks up one-tenth in March to 3.4 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was an overall +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Its format competitor – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 (#21 to #23, 6+).

Middlesex Music Formats – Entering the February survey period, WNSH “94.7 Nash FM” was within three-share range (6+) in 14 consecutive sweeps but “94.7 Nash FM” spiraled by nine-tenths to 2.2. In March, the Cumulus Media country outlet recoups two-thirds of that loss (2.6, +.6, 6+) and shifts from #18 to #16. As a result of recapturing the one-half share it lost in February (4.4 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock” progresses from eighth to sixth. When “Q-104.4” notched a +.4 in January, it curtailed four straight sweeps without a gain for a combined -2.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). Extending its successive string of up or flat moves in Middlesex-Somerset-Union to five for an overall +1.5 (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” continues in fifth-place. After logging a one-half share increase in February (5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 for R&B” falters by seven-tenths to 5.6 but is steady at #3. WBLS lost one-half share in January. In four straight up or flat trends, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ was a collective +1.4 (3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), but “Z-100” surrenders half that increase (4.2, -.7, sixth to seventh, 6+). In addition to WBLS and WHTZ, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” drops seven-tenths as well (#15 to #20, 6+) and is an overall -1.2 in five straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). While unchanged at #9, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” falters by two-tenths to 3.4 (6+), thus curtailing three positive or flat trends in succession that netted seven-tenths (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+).

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet.  If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked.  Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station.  Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM.  The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.

Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air.  Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question.  As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air.  The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY.  The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known.  There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet.  Stay tuned.

Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team.  He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.”  Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO.  Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom.  Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.

FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program.  This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf.  The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.”  Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming.  Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming.  Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.

Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel.  The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news.  He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards.  It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”  Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news.  In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials.  He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN.  Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT.  I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports.  Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television.  The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio.  I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease.  In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11).  Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel.  Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.”  He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game.  Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.”  Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.

‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia.   Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism.  In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT;  American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.   Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.”  Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality.  Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville.  In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida.   Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK.  I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry.  The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate.  It really shows in the quality of the product.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.”  Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan.  Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors.  WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice.  The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”  Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.”  The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.

Friday, August 4, 2017

| August 4, 2017

Entercom Acquires 45% Stake in DGital Media. What we don’t know from the press release from Entercom about this deal is how much the 45% stake in DGital Media cost the company.  Nonetheless, this is a big deal for several reasons.  The specifics of the investment aside, the deal will give DGital Media “in addition to the investment, significant annual marketing and promotional support” across Entercom’s AM/FM radio stations.  It also includes a “multi-year services agreement under which DGital Media will dedicate significant resources to create world-class, original on-demand audio content leveraging Entercom’s deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.”  Additionally, DGital Media will serve as Entercom’s exclusive, third-party ad sales representative for all of its podcasts and other on-demand audio.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are delighted to enter into this important relationship with DGital Media that enables us to partner with the premier on-demand audio content company in the U.S. and will scale our capabilities in this rapidly growing space.  Upon close of our CBS RADIO merger, Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us, whether through live over-the-air broadcasts, streaming audio, on-demand audio or in-person events and experiences.  DGital Media has an impressive track record of developing and producing podcasts and growing audiences for their content partners. This partnership will strategically enhance our ability to deliver compelling audio to the public, wherever and whenever they please.”

iHeartMedia Second Quarter Revenue Up 1.9%. The second quarter 2017 financial report from iHeartMedia notes that consolidated revenue was up “1.7% after adjusting for a $15.5 million impact from movements in foreign exchange rates and the $36.1 million impact of the outdoor businesses sold.”  Looking at the iHeartMedia segment (separate from the outdoor business), revenue there increased $16.5 million, or 1.9%.  Revenue increased $17.8 million, or 2.1%, excluding political revenue.  Included in the report were a number non-financial announcements including the launch of Smart A/V Audiences, an expansion of the SmartAudio suite of advertising products “that combines data from both iHeartMedia and Fox Networks Group enabling advertising partners to leverage audio and visual as one integrated platform to create custom audiences.”  iHM says this brings “the precision and immediacy of digital advertising to the scale of broadcast radio and television.”  The company also reports that “podcast listening on iHeartRadio increased by 20% year-over-year in the quarter, with more than 7,500 podcast publishers now distributing their content over the platform.”  This is illustrated by podcasts like “Label Defiers with Zico Coconut Water” – produced through a marketing partnership between iHeartMedia and Coca-Cola – featuring well-known iHeartMedia personality Elvis Duran of WHTZ, New York “Z100” and his syndicated stations doing one-on-one interviews with artists.  iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler states, “To date, the iHeartMedia segment has delivered 17 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. We remain committed to balancing financial discipline with investments to grow our businesses while continuing to work on our capital structure.”

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Morning Host Jim Reynolds Charged in Domestic Incident. According to a report by ABC9 in Chattanooga, WGOW-FM morning personality Jim “J.R.” Reynolds was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated child abuse on Wednesday (8/2) after an incident involving Reynolds’ wife and two daughters.  The police report indicates Reynolds was arguing with his eldest daughter about her cell phone usage and a fight the girl had been having with her younger sister when Reynolds – according to a statement from his wife – pushed the girl onto a couch.  Reynolds disputes the details but admitted to police he physically touched his daughter and police told him that’s all that is required to constitute domestic violence.  Reynolds co-hosts “The Morning Press” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM alongside Jeff Styles and Bill Lockhart.  Read the ABC9 account here.

Trump Phone Transcripts Leak Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The leak of transcripts of President Trump’s conversations with world leaders was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 31 – August 4, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the sanctions against Russia and the relations between the U.S. and Russia.  Coming in at #3 was the fate of ObamaCare and the GOP’s efforts to craft a new health care plan, followed by the recent West Wing staff changes at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Comrex to Display at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam. When the IBC 2017 media, entertainment and technology show gets underway in Amsterdam on September 15, Comrex will be there displaying some of its featured products, including the latest audio IP codec in its ACCESS line – ACCESS NX (pictured here).  Other products being displayed at the show will include Opal, a new IP audio gateway, and LiveShot, a video-over-IP and bonded cellular solution.  Comrex says that ACCESS NX is “the result of a decade of IP audio transmission advancements and is refined for the ultimate remote experience.  Perfect for a wide range of applications – including ENG, sports announcing, talk show hosting, community outreach, and more…ACCESS NX runs on CrossLock, Comrex’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.”  See more about the ACCESS NX here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Last night’s Westwood One radio broadcast of the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals was the opener of the 31st consecutive season that the syndicator has been the exclusive, national network radio partner with the NFL.  WW1 EVP corporate marketing for Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes comments, “Everyone’s listening to the NFL on Westwood One because we unequivocally offer some of the best play-by-play and commentary in all of sports programming.  No one touches Westwood One Sports’ commitment to quality programming and organic advertiser integrations.  We are thrilled to extend our longstanding partnership with the NFL and can’t wait to kick off another season of unparalleled sports action.”  Pictured at right are Pro Football Hall of Famers James Lofton (left) and Jason Taylor (right) in the broadcast booth for last night’s game.  Taylor is replacing Lofton as Westwood One’s “Sunday Night Football” analyst, as Lofton slides over to duties at CBS-TV.  Taylor with be enshrined in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow night (8/5), alongside fellow WW1 analyst Kurt Warner…..The FCC has five commissioners once again.  The U.S. Senate confirmed Republican Brendan Carr and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to their posts yesterday (8/3).  They join Republican chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Michael O’Reily, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn.  Rosenworcel returns after previously serving on the Commission and exiting at the end of 2016 as her term expired.  Clyburn’s term expired in June but she’s allowed, by rule, to stay on through 2018 if she chooses.  However, it’s reported that she may be considering a run for the U.S. House seat in South Carolina currently held by her retiring father, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.

Mary Quass Named MIW’s ‘Trailblazer.’ The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group names NRG Media chairman and chief executive officer Mary Quass recipient of the 9th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award.  Quass will receive the honor on September 6 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin.  The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the media industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio.

 

 

Washington-Based Executive Producer and Radio Engineer Sought by Courtside Entertainment.  Two positions are currently open at Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment.  The first is an executive producer position based in Washington, DC.  This position is with “one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk radio programs” and requires a “driven, intelligent, and organized person to oversee the day-to-day production of the show.”   For application information and to see more about this position, click here.  The second opening is for a radio engineer.  That person “shall install, configure, and maintain radio broadcasting equipment as needed.”  The candidate must have “relevant technical knowledge with good people skills and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.”  For application information and to see more about this position, click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Paul Cannell comes home to New Orleans to join Cumulus Media as program director for alternative rock WZRH “Alt 92.3” and country WRKN “NASH FM 106.1,” effective August 14.  Cumulus Media New Orleans VP/market manager Pat Galloway says, “Paul will be a great addition to an incredible team and will lead us on to incredible success for both ‘Alt 92.3’ and ‘NASH 106.1.’  I am fortunate to have already worked with Paul in the past and love his collaborative management style.  Paul knows New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the Gulf South and loves the area!  ‘Alt 92.3’ is simply on fire in the ratings and I’m confident Paul will only enhance its performance.”…..San Francisco radio personality Shan Berries re-ups with CBS RADIO CHR KMVQ “997 NOW” in a new, multi-year deal, according to CBS RADIO SVP Michael Martin…..In Phoenix, air personality Charlie Huero inks a deal with CBS RADIO to continue hosting the afternoon show on classic hits KOOL-FM.  Huero has been with KOOL since 2011 when he joined the station as assistant program director and midday jock.  CBS RADIO Phoenix SVP of programming Tim Richards says, “Charlie is an incredible talent with unmatched passion and experience.  We are excited to renew his agreement.”…..Air personality Lady La joins iHeartMedia Phoenix to host shows on hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” and CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM.”  She’ll be the evening personality on KMXP and will handle weekends/fill-ins on KZZP.  iHeartMedia EVP programming, West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “Lady La will flourish in iHeartMedia’s creative and collaborative environment.  Not only is she highly regarded on the air, but her social media following is among the best.  The goal of adding the country’s top talent to our team continues.”  Lady La was previously heard in the market on CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KALV and on Riviera Broadcasting’s hip hop KKFR.….Cumulus Media appoints Jim Day executive producer for the “Bob and Marianne in the Morning” show at adult contemporary WRRM-FM, Cincinnati “Warm 98.5.”  Morning radio pro Day’s career has taken him to such stations as WIL-FM, St. Louis; KWEN, Tulsa “K955”; WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 The Wolf”; and WHKO, Dayton “K99.1.”  WRRM PD Brian Demay says, “[outgoing producer] Zach Stone set a high bar producing for Bob and Marianne, so finding someone with Jim Day’s experience is like an answer to prayer.”…..As a result of the departure of programmer Johnny Maze from the Adams Radio Group operations in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland, new PD roles are assigned.  Adams Radio president Ron Stone announces that Stacy Gantt, a.k.a. Carolina, is named PD for rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach,” Rob Johnson takes on the PD role at rhythmic CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” and Laura Lee is named PD for classic rock WGBG “BIG 98.5.”  Finally, country WHKI PD Larry “Big Red” Stephens is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster.  Stone says, “I could not be more excited about these changes.  These folks bring heart and soul to the game and have proved it for us, in some cases now in more than one market for Adams.  I love their energy and desire to win…and most importantly, their team spirit.”…..The iHeartRadio app is being made standard on dashboard infotainment systems in select 2018 Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC vehicles, including the just released Chevy Traverse.  iHeartMedia says that this provides driver-friendly access to its digital music and streaming radio service…..SiriusXM is broadcasting this weekend’s Lollapalooza festival from Chicago, beginning today (8/4) at 2:00 pm ET and running through Sunday.  Coverage will include live performances and backstage interviews with artists including: Arcade Fire, blink-182MuseThe Killers, Lorde, Cage The Elephant, and more.