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Thursday, June 14, 2018

| June 14, 2018

Michigan Sports Talker Drops Suit Against Rival. According to a report in the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing “92.1 The Team” sports talk host Ryan Schuiling has dropped the defamation suit he filed in May against colleague Bill Simonson, host of a statewide program based at Cumulus Media’s WBBL, Grand Rapids.  Schuiling’s lawyer tells the paper that the matter has been “resolved amicably.”  The original complaint centered around a blog post on Detroit Sports Rag that alleged Schuiling was trying to “infiltrate Bill Simonson’s 17-year-old daughter’s inner circle” for the purpose of orchestrating “some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Simonson is not affiliated with Detroit Sports Rag.

iHeartMedia Promotes Halemane to iHeartRadio Digital Post. Moving up from his position as VP of Premiere Digital Media is Kavi Halemane, who is now EVP and general manager of digital programming for iHeartRadio.  In this new position, Halemane will oversee iHeartRadio’s strategy/operations for original digital music station programming, on-demand subscription playlist and free playlist radio curation, and podcast programming. He’ll oversee a team of expert music and podcast programmers and work closely with iHeartRadio’s marketing, editorial/social and sales teams.

Mark Levin Receives ‘Speaker of Truth’ Award. Pictured above is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin speaking at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington at the Endowment for Middle East Truth’s “Rays of Light in the Darkness” dinner.  More than 400 people were in attendance – including senators, congressmen, administration officials, and other leaders in Washington – during which Levin received the “Speaker of Truth” award. The “Rays of Light” dinner honors leaders who speak out for freedom, democracy, and the threats facing Israel.

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago radio legend (and current WLS-AM PM drive personality) Steve Dahl is cleaning house (actually his storage unit) via the “Steve Dahl Garage Sale” at Rivers Casino on July 14.  As Dahl says on the station’s website, “It’s time to cut the storage unit bill and get rid of my collection of crap!  Well, not all crap, there’s actually an array of collectible items, memorabilia, artwork, furniture, and odds and ends that I’ve collected over my 40 years in radio.  Every time I got fired I just sent everything in my office over to these storage containers that will be put up for sale…ALL proceeds will be donated to Beds Plus, a charity very close to Janet and me, which helps the homeless with housing and supportive services in west suburban Cook County.”…..Talk show host Dana Barrett is now heard in middays – from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm on iHeartMedia’s WGST, Atlanta “Talk Radio 640.”  Barrett says her program is an “independent/left-leaning look at politics and current events, along with business, health, entertainment, etc.”…..The Chris Hill-hosted “Motley Fool Money” show adds new affiliate stations KDMT, Denver “Money Talk 1690” and WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina “Biz 1350.”

Envision Networks’ Danno Wolkoff Moderates Panel at NASRN Convention. At last week’s National Association of State Radio Networks conference in Vail, Colorado, Envision Networks’ CEO Danno Wolkoff moderated a panel about the effect that severe weather has on broadcast radio.  Pictured above is Wolkoff (left) with his panelists (from l-r): Courtney Kibblewhite of Northern Broadcasting System, John Wetherbee from EnvisionVirtualServices Weather ReportsBeth Ballard from News MS, and Jim Engster from Louisiana Radio Network.

Trump-Kim Jong Un Summit, Tuesday Primaries/Sanford Loss, Clinton Email Probe Report, Trump-Russia Investigation, Cal-3 Plan, Fed Raises Interest Rates, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13). The aftermath of President Trump’s summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; Tuesday’s primary races, especially the loss of Republican Trump critic Congressman Mark Sanford of South Carolina; the imminent release of the inspector general’s report on the FBI and CIA investigations into the Hillary Clinton email server matter; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ballot measure Cal-3 that proposes splitting California into three states; the Fed’s raising of interest rates; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The “Mercedes in the Morning” program at Entercom’s hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” in Las Vegas has a new producer as Jennifer Dempsey takes on the role.  She’s most recently been an on-air personality at the company’s KXTE “X107.5.”  Dempsey will work with show hosts Mercedes Martinez and JC Fernandez.  Dempsey says, “I am overjoyed at being selected to produce a morning show of this caliber.  It doesn’t get any better than Mercedes and JC.  They are remarkable radio talents that have been waking up Las Vegas since 1997.  I am honored to work with them in this city we love.”…..Entercom announces that programmer Kevin Weatherly is taking on the program director role at CHR KAMP-FM, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio.”  This is in addition to his continuing role as PD of alternative KROQ and adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK-FM.”  At the same time, Chris Ebbott is named operations manager for Radio.com in Los Angeles.  This is in addition to his role as program director for classic hits KRTH-FM, Los Angeles “K-EARTH 101.”  Entercom Los Angeles SVP and market manager Jeff Federman states, “We are proud to cultivate our existing talent at Entercom Los Angeles.  Kevin was the original architect of ‘AMP’ almost 10 years ago.  He was successful at creating a format lane that was duplicated across the country.  With Chris Ebbott focused on Radio.com in Los Angeles, we are guaranteed compelling, creative and innovative ideas that will lead to growth in our consumer base and expand our relationships with our clients.”…..Neuhoff Media names Josh Roberts operations manager for the Springfield, Illinois cluster that includes adult hits WCVS-FM, hot AC WXAJ-FM, sports talk WFMB-AM, and country WFMB-FM.  Roberts was most recently with Great Plains Media in Bloomington…..Programming pro Rusty James is named vice president of operations and programming for Max Media’s five-station Norfolk, Virginia cluster that includes CHR WVHT “Hot 100,” country WGH-FM, “97.3 The Eagle,” classic hits WVBW “92.9 The Wave,” and sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1”…..Community Broadcasters LLC announces that Kevin Malone is joining the company as market manager for the Fort Walton Beach cluster that includes: CHR WECQ “Q92,” adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave,” rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze,” and country WHWY “Highway 98.1.”  Malone was most recently with Cumulus Media where he was regional vice president for the Atlanta market.  He says, “I could not be more excited to be handed the reigns of these four superb properties.  What’s not to love?  Fabulous stations, talented and hard-working staff, committed owners, and a great place to live.  I can’t thank Bruce [Mittman] and Jim [Leven] enough for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to great days ahead for Community Broadcasters, Destin-Fort Walton Beach.”…..Sun Broadcast Group and air personality Fitz announce they have signed a multi-year extension of their syndication agreement that will “continue all Fitz radio products into the next decade.”  The renewed vows cover both the daily “Fitz Show” as well as the weekend “Hit List with Fitz” countdown show.

Round Three of May 2018 PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s May 2018 PPM survey period covered April 26 – May 23. 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.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Portland

Spoken Word Formats – Following three straight months in sole possession of first-place, Oregon Public Broadcasting news/talk KOPB shared the top spot in April with iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety.” Despite dropping one-half share in May (8.5 – 8.0, 6+), KOPB now has the penthouse all to itself. Representative recent trends for KOPB include +.9 (March 2017); -.8 (May); +.6 (June); -.9 (July); +.6 (August); +1.4 (September); -1.1 (October); +1.1 (January 2018); -1.1 (February); +1.0 in March; -1.0 (April); and now -.5 (May). Entering the September 2017 sweep, KOPB occupied the runner-up position 21 successive times; however, it finally reached #1 in that report. It was a short stay there though as KOPB returned to its familiar runner-up spot in October – only to have another one-month run at #1 in November. KOPB ranked second in December and “Holiday” 2017. Having logged a 2.0 (6+) four times in the last five sweeps, Entercom sports talk KFXX “1080 The Fan” drops one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#19 to #21). Alpha Media news/talk KXL “101 FM News – Stay Connected” (+.6 in April) is off one-tenth to 5.3 (flat at #4, 6+). Sports talk sibling KXTG “750 The Game” gains two-tenths (1.1 – 1.3, #23 to #22, 6+) and co-owned news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970” posts a 1.0 for the third time in a row (#24 to #23, 6+). When KXL faltered by four-tenths in March, it ended three consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.7 Prior to January, the last time KXL reached the five-share level (6+) was in October 2013 (5.3). In the iHeartMedia cluster, KEX “News Radio 1190 – Depend on Us” is flat at 1.6 but advances from #20 to #19 (6+) and KPOJ “Sports Radio 620” loses one-tenth in back-to-back sweeps (1.1 – 1.0 – .9, #24 to #25, 6+). A -.2 in April by KEX stopped three straight up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (1.2 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). Prior to April, KPOJ gained one-half share in four successive reports without a loss (.6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – 1.1, 6+).

Portland Music Formats – Major fluctuations continue for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KLTH, which was -.6 in March; then +.6 in April; and now “106.7 The Eagle” doubles April’s increase with a robust +1.2 (6.1 – 5.5 – 6.1 – 7.3, 6+). Even with all activity, “The Eagle” remains at #3. As the result of five consecutive upticks (2.8 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.4, 6), Entercom alternative KNRK “94.7 – It’s Different Here” is an overall +1.6 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). It marks the first time KNRK has reached the four-share level (6+) since February 2014 (4.2). Down or flat the past three sweeps for a -1.6 (4.9 – 4.7 – 3.3 – 3.3, 6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 for New Country” erases nearly half that deficit with a +.7 to 4.0 (#15 to #11, 6+). In January, “The Bull” registered a +2.0 (2.9 – 4.9, 6+), but lost 80% of that increase (-1.6) in February and March. Its format rival – Entercom’s KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf, Great Country for the Great Northwest” – is off one-tenth (3.9 – 3.8, 6+), shifting from #11 to #12. Aided by a +.6 to 4.6, its strongest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 5.1, Entercom-owned KGON “92.3 Portland’s Classic Rock” (eighth to fifth) overtakes iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KFBW “105.9 The Brew” (4.8 – 4.5, -.3, sixth to seventh, 6+). The latter is tied with Alpha Media triple A KINK “Uniquely Portland,” which adds one-half share (4.0 – 4.5, eighth to seventh, 6+). In April, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103 Portland’s Best Variety” notched a one-half share increase (8.0 – 8.5, 6+), while public news/talk KOPB posted a -1.0 (9.5 – 8.5, 6+), creating a first-place tie between the two. Now, in a genuine statistical oddity, “K-103” erodes by one full-share (8.5 – 7.5, first to second, 6+) as KOPB dips by one-half share (8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but remains on top. Before shifting to #2 in September, “K-103” had ranked #1 in 39 of the previous 41 ratings periods. With its 13.7 in December and 16.9 in “Holiday” 2017, KKCW is the first Portland station to reach double-digits (6+) since it did so with a 15.3 in “Holiday” 2016. Three negative moves in succession by Entercom adult hits KYCH “97.1 Charlie – We Play Everything” eventuate in a -1.4 (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.9 – 4.4, fifth to ninth, 6+). In addition to dropping four-tenths to 3.6 (6+), snapping at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 (2.9 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KKRZ “Z-100 Portland’s #1 Hit Music Station” exits the top ten (a three-way tie at #8 to #14).

Charlotte

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after three increases in succession for a collective +1.2 (3.1 – 3.2 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom news/talk WBT is now a combined -1.7 via three straight losses (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 2.6, three-way tie at #14 to #17, 6+). After being locked on 1.7 (6+) in March and April, co-owned sports talk WFNZ “The Fan – Charlotte’s Sports Leader” forfeits six-tenths to 1.1 (6+) and is flat at #18; “The Fan” bounced back from February’s -.7 with a one-half share gain in March. Unchanged at #13, University Radio Foundation news talk WFAE “Charlotte’s NPR News Source” has a very consistent January 2018 – May 2018 topline trending (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6, 6+). WFAE was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.2 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+).

Charlotte Music Formats – Over and above registering a blistering +1.4 (6.5 – 7.9, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” marches from second to first. “V-101.9” last occupied the top spot in February with a 7.4 (6+). It supplants iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat – Charlotte’s #1 for New Country” (7.0 – 6.4, -.6, first to third, 6+), which concludes a one-month stay at the top. “The Kat” was +1.9 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 in March; and now -.6 (May). It shifted to fourth in February after reaching #1 in January, the first time WKKT held the lead position since August 2017 (6.1, 6+). Without an increase the past three sweeps for -.4 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1” posts a May increase twice that deficit (5.0, +.8, ninth to sixth, 6+). This (5.0) is the best 6+-stat for “Kiss” since July 2017’s 5.1. Wiping out nearly half of April’s -1.4 with a +.6 (5.9 – 6.5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WRFX “99.7 The Fox – Charlotte’s Classic Rock” jumps from fifth to second. Prior to April’s big loss, which forced it out of the top spot, “The Fox” was +.8 in three consecutive ratings periods without a decrease (6.5 – 6.5 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+). Its 7.3 in March was the best 6+-stat for WRFX since 7.6 in April 2017. “The Fox” was stuck on 6.9 (6+) in November and December and then locked on 6.5 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018. Also logging a May +.6 is Davidson College classical WDAV (1.7, #19 to #18, 6+), which recoups the six-tenths it lost in three straight negative moves (1.7 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). Two stations notching huge April gains surrender quite a bit in May. Specifically, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” is -1.1 after April’s +1.9 (5.1 – 4.0, 6+) and departs the top ten (#6 to #11), while Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7 More Music – Better Variety” is -1.0 following April’s +1.2 (6.4 – 5.4, third to fifth, 6+). In February, WKQC rebounded from January’s -5.0 with a gain of three-tenths; “K-104.7” was -1.1 in March. Owing to four straight dips, Radio One gospel WPZS “Praise 100.9 Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” is -1.6 (4.8 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.2, #14 to #15, 6+).

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding two-tenths to 4.4 (eighth to sixth, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather” recaptures the loss that resulted in three sweeps in a row without an increase (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). A January +1.6 took WOAI to its best 6+-showing since last May (4.4, as well). Prior to that, “News Radio 1200” was -.9 as the result of four straight sweeps without an increase (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). Even though it is without a loss for the fifth time in succession for a collective +.6 (1.3 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+), Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” backslides from #20 to #21. Adding four-tenths to April’s +.1 (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX climbs from #16 to #14. Immediately before April’s +1, KSTX was a combined -1.9 through three consecutive negative trends (4.7 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.8, 6+). With a +1.0 to 4.7 in Holiday2017, KSTX crossed the four-share level (6+) for the first time in its PPM-history. Although off one-tenth (.7 – .6, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” advances from #28 to a three-way tie at #27.

San Antonio Music Formats – The overall +2.7 that iHeartMedia-owned KAJA racked up in January and February (4.1 – 5.2 – 6.8, 6+) was cut virtually in half in March and April (6.8 – 6.2 – 5.5, -1.3, 6+); however, “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” answers with a +.6 in May (6.1, third to second, 6+). Prior to January, “KJ-97” was -.9 in four successive down or flat sweeps (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). KAJA lengthens the lead over its format rival, Cox Media Group’s KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader,” which slips one-tenth to 5.3 (steady at #4, 6+), thus curtailing four straight up or flat trends for an overall +1.3 (4.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+). Not only has Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZAR more than doubled (+1.3) its 6+ AQH share through four upticks in a row (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), San Antonio’s version of “Air 1 Positive Hits” enters the top twenty at #19. Even though this is the third downward move in succession by Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM for an overall -.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.6, 6+), “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the fifth sweep in a row. After ten straight months at #1, KONO-FM shifted to #2 in December 2017 and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Recent (6+) fluctuations for KONO-FM include +1.1 (January 2017); +.8 (April); -.6 (May); -.5 (August); +.7 (October); -.9 (December); -.9 “Holiday” 2017; +1.8 (January 2018); and +.5 (February). January’s increase lifted KONO-FM to #1 and ended three downward moves in a row that produced a -2.0 (7.0 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+). In a similar vein, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH “Norteno” has had major shifts each month this calendar year, including +.8 (January); -1.0 (February); +.7 (March); +.6 (April) and now -.8 in May (3.7 – 2.9, #13 to #16, 6+). Trending 4.9 – 5.1 – 4.9 (February – March – April, 6+), Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3 – Today’s Best Music” drops six-tenths to 4.3 (sixth to eighth, 6+). Four positive spikes in succession by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM netted a +1.8 (3.2 – 3.3 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+), but the streak ends as “96.1 Now – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” dips by one-tenth to 4.9 (steady at #5, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – After an imposing +2.0 in April (5.8 – 7.8), Entercom sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” returns 20% of that gain (7.4, -.4, 6+) but stays in third-place. April’s 7.8 is the strongest 6+-showing for the Pittsburgh Pirates flagship since October 2015 when it scored a 10.1. “The Fan” was a combined +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and -.9 in February. This is the fourth sweep in a row that co-owned news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is without an increase for a -1.1 (5.3 – 5.3 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). A +1.3 in January halted four down or flat trends in succession that produced a loss of eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.8 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). Improving by one-tenth (2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Essential Public Media news/talk WESA remains at #13. Before sputtering by one-half share in April, “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” was an overall +.8 via three consecutive up or flat moves (2.1 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). January’s gain of six-tenths halted three successive downward trends that resulted in a -1.1 (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – The most noticeable change in this month’s “Steel City” sweep involves the number of stations appearing in print: 18 were listed in April versus 23 in May. The five newcomers are all Forever Media-owned properties, including classic hits-oldies WKPL “Pickle,” which displays a one-half share increase (1.7 – 2.2, 6+), officially checking in at #14. After three straight negative trends that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (7.6 – 7.4 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” notches a one-half share gain as well (to 7.3, fifth to fourth, 6+). A combined +.9 in March and April (10.3 – 11.1 – 11.2, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WWSW coughs up a -1.3 in May to 9.9 (6+), but stays at #1 for the 15th consecutive ratings period; “94.5 – 3WS” lost seven full-shares in January (16.4 – 9.4, 6+). In back-to-back sweeps (March and April), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH amassed a collective +.8, but “Wish 99.7” forfeits all of that and an extra one-tenth (6.6 – 5.7, -.9, flat at #6, 6+). Anchored in the runner-up slot for the 11th time in the last 12 sweeps, iHeartMedia rocker WDVE posts a gain of three-tenths (7.9 – 8.2, 6+). It was +1.6 (October 2017); -1.0 (November); -.8 (“Holiday 2017”); +.8 (January 2018); -.9 (February); and -.5 in March. October’s 10.2 marked the first time WDVE reached double-digits (6+) since March 2017 (10.4). Following three straight up or flat trends that yielded seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), Steel City Media-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” regresses by three-tenths to 2.8 (6+) but carries on at #11.

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – In four straight sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia-owned KFBK is an overall -1.9 (8.6 – 8.1 – 8.1 – 7.8 – 6.7, 6+). “Sacramento’s News, Weather, and Traffic Station” was #3 in December 2017; #2 in “Holiday” 2017; up to #1 in January 2018; back to #2 in February; up again to #1 (tied with KSEG) in March; and back to #2 in April and May. KFBK was down or flat in October – November – December for an overall loss of seven-tenths (7.8 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+); logged a +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017; and followed in January 2018 with a +.2. January 2018’s 8.6 was its best 6+-stat since January 2017’s 8.7. Three straight improvements netted a combined +1.3 (6.5 – 6.7 – 7.1 – 7.8, 6+), but KFBK regressed by three-tenths in October. Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” is trending 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 (#14 to #13, 6+). KSTE was +.6 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2017; and +.6 in January to 2.7, its highest 6+-share since June 2017’s 2.8. A gain of four-tenths (4.3 – 4.7, 6+) enables KXJZ to jump from eighth to fifth. The Capital Public Radio news/talker posted a one-half share gain in January and was a combined -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.3 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320” is trending 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 and cracks the top twenty (#22 – to #19, 6+), while co-owned KHTK “Sports 1140” is down or flat for the sixth time in a row for a -1.7 (2.6 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.3 – .9, #23 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – In the first four ratings reports this calendar year, KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” has been a model of consistency with a (6+) topline of 8.2 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 8.0. The Entercom-owned property erupts in May though with a +1.0 to 9.0 – its strongest 6+-showing since August 2017’s 9.7 – and is #1 for the fourth time in a row. A January gain of +2.0 by “The Eagle” essentially erased a combined -2.2 in December and “Holiday” 2017; KSEG was an overall -1.6 in September and October (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.1, 6+). It isn’t, however, the only station in California’s capital city logging an April 2018 – May 2018 +1.0 as CHR cluster-mate KUDL also accomplishes the feat (5.6, +1.0, flat at #4). As a result, “106.5 The End” pulls the plug on three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in a loss of eight-tenths (5.4 -5.2 – 5.2 – 4.6, 6+). Improving by one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s KHYL “V-101 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” (3.7 – 4.2, tenth to eighth, 6+); Entravision-owned KXSE “La Suavecita 107.1” (#18 to #13, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (1.6 – 21, #19 to #17, 6+). In five straight up or flat trends, “La Suavecita” has bettered its 6+ AQH share by two and a half times (1.0 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). Relinquishing the six-tenths it accumulated in April (4.0 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” drifts from fourth to tenth. Nonetheless, this is the 13th ratings period in succession that it has recorded a 6+-share between 4.0 – 4.9. Dropping six-tenths as well is Capitol Public Radio classical KXPR (2.2 – 1.6, #17 to #19, 6+). Within 3.2 – 3.8 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods, Entercom rhythmic CHR KSFM (#11 to #12) falters by one-half share to 3.0, its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (3.0, as well). The market’s 6+ country share is off a collective six-tenths: Entercom’s KNCI “New Country 105.1” dips one-tenth (4. 2 – 4.1, flat at #9, 6+); Entravision-owned KNTY “101.9 The Wolf” is down one-tenth as well (2.5 – 2.4, #14 to #15, 6+); and iHeartMedia’s WBEB “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country” is -.4 to 2.1 (#14 to #17, 6+). “New Country” was an overall +.9 in three consecutive positive or flat trends (3.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+), before surrendering two-tenths in April. As a result of three successive increases, “The Wolf” gained seven-tenths (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), but was -.5 in April. Immediately prior to May’s -.4, “The Bull” was up or flat the past four reports for an overall gain of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+).

Salt Lake City

Spoken-Word Formats – Via four consecutive increases (5.1 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.9 – 8.1, 6+), Bonneville’s KSL was an impressive +3.0. In May, however, all but one-tenth of that mega-bounty evaporates (5.2, -2.9, 6+) as “News Radio 102.7 FM & 1160 AM” transitions from first to sixth. Immediately prior to its positive streak, KSL was a combined -3.2 in three straight negative moves (8.3 – 6.5 – 5.7 – 5.1, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). Up three-tenths to 4.1 (tenth to ninth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9 – Listen And You’ll Know” halts three successive down or flat moves that accounted for a -.2 (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). KNRS was +.8 in November; a combined -1.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017; and +.7 in January. Similarly, University of Utah news/talk KUER, an overall -1.3 as the result of being without an increase the past three sweeps (4.1 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 2.9 (6+) yet backslides from #13 to #15. Carrying on at #22, Broadway Media-owned KALL “ESPN 700 – Utah’s #1 Sports Talk” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 (6+).

Salt Lake City Music Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KODJ, which virtually doubles (+3.4) its 6+ AQH share through five successive up or flat trends (3.5 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 6.9, 6+); “94.1 Salt Lake’s Greatest Hits” inches up from fourth to second. It is the first time KODJ has reached the six-share level (6+) in nearly two years (6.6, June 2016). Co-owned KAAZ adds eight-tenths to April’s +.3 (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.4, #16 to #11, 6+) with “Rock 106.7” recording its best 6+-showing (3.4) since December 2017’s 3.7. Recapturing in its entirety April’s -.6 (5.7 – 5.1 – 5.7, 6+), Capitol hot AC KBZN jumps from sixth to fourth; “Now 97.9 Today’s Best Music” lost one-half share in March. Improving by six-tenths in May as well is Cumulus Media adult contemporary KBEE “B-98.7 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” (2.7 – 3.3, #15 to #12, 6+), which notes its best 6+-stat since September 2017’s 3.5. Still separated by four-tenths and continuing at seventh and eighth, respectively, are KBEE country cluster-mate KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.8 – 5.0, +.2, 6+) and its independent format rival, KSOP “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.4 – 4.6, +.2, 6+). When “K-Bull” dropped eight-tenths in April, it ended at three a successive string of increases that netted +2.3 (3.3 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). The combination of Cumulus Media CHR KENZ “Power 94.9 Utah’s New Hit Music” adding three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, #17 to #16, 6+) and Broadway Media’s similarly-formatted KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” losing three-tenths (2.9, 2.6, #11 to #17, 6+) results in “Power” overtaking “Mix.” Remaining flat at 7.3 (6+) proves to be sufficient for Bonneville-owned adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” to progress from second to first. “FM 100.3” – which was +.9 in March only to be -.9 in April – had been on top for six straight ratings periods (November 2017 through March 2018). While steady at #5, co-owned KRSP “103.5 The Arrow – Utah’s Classic Rock” falters by four-tenths to 5.3 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four positive spikes in succession that netted +2.2 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 5.7, 6+); April’s 5.7 is its strongest 6+-performance since last July’s 6.2.

Las Vegas

Spoken-Word Formats – Three consecutive improvements by Nevada Public Radio’s KNPR accounted for a +1.0 (1.9 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), but the news/talker follows with a -.9 in April and May (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0, 6+), spiraling from #15 to #20. It is tied with Entercom’s KXNT “News Talk Radio 840” (2.1 – 2.0, -.1, three-way tie at #19 to #20, 6+). Before dropping one-tenth in March, KXNT was up or flat for three successive sweeps for a +.2 (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9, 6+). Beasley Media Group news/talk KDWN “AM 720 Where Las Vegas Comes to Talk” is up two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, #26 to #24, 6+). A one-half share decrease in March concluded five straight positive or flat trends (.7 – .7 – .7 – .7 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+) that doubled KDWN’s 6+-share. A collective -.5 in seven consecutive sweeps without an increase (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), Lotus Communications sports talk KWWN “ESPN Radio 1100” picks up one-tenth to .8 (6+) and continues at #27.

Las Vegas Music Formats – For the 17th consecutive ratings period, Lotus Communications Spanish adult hits KWID is within three-share range (3.3 – 3.8, +.5, 6+) as “La Buena 101.9” cracks the top ten (#11 to #9) with its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (3.8, as well, in May 2017). An increase of two-tenths (6.8 – 7.0, 6+) is enough to boost iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” from second to first. It succeeds Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies KKLZ “96.3 – 70s, 80s and More,” which erodes by eight-tenths (7.0 – 6.2, 6+) and trades places with KSNE at #2. It has become a familiar pattern between the two stations as “Sunny” was off six-tenths in April and replaced by KKLZ at #1. The two swapped places at the top in March as well. In December, KKLZ was ousted from the penthouse … by “Sunny” … after five straight months there. Its recent fluctuations include +1.0 (October); -.9 (November) -.7 (December); +1.1 (January); -.5 (February) and now -.8 (May). In addition to holding the lead in December 2017 and March 2018, “Sunny” was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 (12.5, 6+). Owing to four straight gains, Entercom-owned KLUC was +1.6 (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4, 6+), but “98.5 Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” slips by one-tenth to 5.3 (flat at #4, 6+). Three positive spikes in a row by Lotus Communications’ KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” produced a +.6 (2.9- 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) but it is now -1.3 in three straight decreases (3.5 – 2.9 – 2.3 – 2.2, flat at #18, 6+).

Cincinnati

Spoken-Word Formats – It has been a seesaw lately for iHeartMedia news/talker and Cincinnati Reds flagship WLW, which was a combined +2.0 in January and February; -1.0 in March; +1.6 in April; and now -1.2 in May (8.9 – 7.7, second to fourth, 6+). April’s 8.9 is its highest 6+-share since last October’s 9.2. Prior to January, WLW was a collective -3.3 as the result of five straight negative trends (9.6 – 9.4 – 9.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 6.3, 6+). Notwithstanding that co-owned and similarly-formatted WKRC is down a combined eight-tenths in three straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.0, 6+), “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” advances from #12 to #11. WKRC’s +.3 in January ended three downward moves in a row that accounted for a -.9 (4.2 – 4.2 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). One-tenth behind WKRC is Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU, which is up one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, 6+) but stays at #13; WVXU was a collective +.7 in January and February. Up three-tenths (1.1 – 1.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” climbs from #19 to #17.

Cincinnati Music Formats – Not only does Hubbard’s WUBE advance from third to second, “B-105.1 – Get Your Country On” is +2.8 in five consecutive upticks (5.8 – 6.3 – 7.8 – 8.1 – 8.3 – 8.5 – 8.6, 6+); WUBE was -1.4 in December. As the result of a +.7 (4.9 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rock WOFX “92.5 The Fox” posts its best 6+-stat (5.6) in exactly one year (6.0, May 2017). On the heels of an April +1.1, Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” tacks on another six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, tenth to eighth, 6+) Its +1.1 this time last month curtailed four negative moves in a row that accounted for a -1.6 (4.3 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+). This (4.4) is its best 6+stat since last October’s 4.8. The rollercoaster ride continues for Hubbard rhythmic hot AC WREW “Mix 94.9,” which was -1.4 via five straight down or flat trends (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+); +1.3 (January); -.5 (February); +.6 (March); -.8 (April); and now +.6 in May (4.3 – 4.9, eighth to seventh, 6+). Over the past four months, hot AC sibling WKRQ has been posting a consistent 7.4 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 7.5 (6+) but logs a one-half share increase to 8.0 (fourth to third), the best 6+-stat for “Q-102 Cincinnati’s Hit Music” in more than two years (8.1, April 2016). While it is #1 for the fifth straight time, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” is -.8 in April and May (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.6, 6+). Its -.6 in April applied the brakes to three consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a cumulative +2.9 (7.5 – 9.6 – 9.6 – 10.4, 6+). WGRR rebounded from a -1.6 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (9.1 – 8.5 – 7.5, 6+) with a January +2.1. An overall +.9 in three successive positive spikes (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+), Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” surrenders seven-tenths to 1.6 (#15 to #16, 6+). April’s 2.3 is the best 6+-showing for WDBZ since November (2.3, as well). Off by one-half share each are iHeartMedia’s WEBN “Cincinnati’s Rock Station” (4.9 – 4.4, sixth to eighth, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” (3.5 – 3.0, unchanged at #11, 6+). An April gain of eight-tenths by WEBN completely erased its -.8 in February and March. This is the tenth straight time that iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers a 6+-share between 4.1 – 4.9 (flat at 4.2, ninth to tenth, 6+).

Orlando

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite losing two-tenths (5.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTKS “Real Radio 104.1 – We Say What We Want” (+.6 in April) advances from eighth to seventh. Before dropping three-tenths in March, “Real Radio” was up a combined +3.0 in January and February (2.2 – 3.9 – 5.2, 6+). January’s +1.7 ended three straight down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+). In four straight sweeps without an increase (4.7 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WDBO-FM is down eight-tenths as “News 96.5” exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Entering the January sweep (in which it notched a +1.3), WDBO-FM was a collective -2.7 via four straight decreases (6.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+); “News 96.5” was +2.0 in September 2017. Community Communications’ news/talk WMFE “90.7 Public Radio for Central Florida” drops two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+) yet progresses from #14 to #13. WMFE was off one full-share in February and March (3.9 – 3.7 – 2.9, 6+). Recapturing the four-tenths it surrendered in April (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WFLF climbs from #17 to #16. Immediately before gaining seven-tenths in January, WFLF was without an increase in five straight ratings periods for a -.7 (1.9 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Finishing at #20 and #21, respectively, are iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game – Orlando’s Sports Leader” (.9 – 1.0, +.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN 580 Orlando” (flat at .9, 6+).

Orlando Music Formats – There’s further irony involving Cox Media Group’s WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits.” In April, the station’s internet “stream” was up nine-tenths (.0 – .9, #21, 6+), while the station’s actual FM signal spiraled by eight-tenths (6.8 – 6.0, 6+). Now, the internet “stream” disappears (.9 – .0, 6+) and WMMO-FM gains one-half share to 6.5 (fifth to third, 6+). Prior to April’s -.8, WMMO-FM was +1.6 in three straight increases (5.2 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 6.8, 6+), with 6.8 in March its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 8.1. Steady at #9, co-owned country WWKA “K-92.3” is +1.1 through three successive positive spikes (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+); WWKA was 5.1 (6+) in January, as well. Also in that Cox Media Group cluster, rhythmic CHR WPYO was locked on 3.6 (6+) in March and April, but “Power 95.3” breaks out a +.5 in May to 4.1 and enters the top ten (#13 to #10, 6+). On top for the fifth consecutive sweep, iHeartMedia’s WRUM “Rumba 100” – which was +1.8 in four upticks in succession (8.9 – 9.3 – 9.5 – 9.9 – 10.7, 6+) – drops two-tenths to 10.5 (6+). Following 11 consecutive months at #1, WRUM dropped to the runner-up slot in December and remained there in “Holiday” 2017. Its +.4 in January 2018 ended four negative sweeps in a row that generated a collective -2.7 (11.6 – 11.5 – 11.4 – 11.3 – 8.9, 6+). April 2017s 12.8 is the best-ever 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Slipping from #12 to #14, co-owned WJRR “101.1 Orlando’s Rock Station” forfeits all of April’s +.5 and an extra one-tenth (3.8 – 3.2, -.6, 6+). WJRR was a cumulative -2.0 in February and March (5.3 – 4.8 – 3.3, 6+). It posted a +1.3 in January, eliminating the combined -1.1 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). After adding seven-tenths to 5.7 – its strongest 6+-showing since last October’s 5.9 – Entercom classic hits-oldies WOCL “105.9 Sunny FM” falters by one-half share to 5.2 (seventh to eighth, 6+). In addition to falling from fourth to fifth, hot AC sibling WOMX “Mix 105.1” slips two-tenths to 6.1 (6+), thus applying the brakes to four consecutive improvements for an overall +2.5 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.3, 6+). Following a November +.6, “Mix” was -1.7 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.5 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+) and then +1.0 in January. Prior to March 2018, the last time “Mix” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was in March 2017 (6.1).

Cleveland

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite being +1.3 in three consecutive increases (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” shifts from fifth to seventh. This (6.6) is the best 6+-stat for the Cleveland Indians flagship since last October’s 8.3. A one-half share gain in January halted three straight declines for a -3.5 (8.5 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+). Five successive sweeps without a loss by Entercom’s WKRK netted a +1.2 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 5.2, 6+) but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is now a combined -1.0 in April and May (5.2 – 4.4 – 4.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Down three-tenths from April (2.9 – 2.6, 6+), WCPN is flat at #13. The Ideastream-owned news/talker was a combined -2.5 in February and March (5.3 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+) after a cumulative +3.2 in six straight improvements (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 5.3, 6+).

Cleveland Music Formats – By hauling out a +1.1 to 7.1 (seventh to fourth, 6+), Entercom’s WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” more than obliterates its cumulative loss of three-tenths as the result of three straight sweeps without an increase (6.3 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This (7.1) is its strongest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 7.5. A similar streak comes to an end as iHeartMedia’s WGAR “99.5 – Cleveland’s #1 for New Country” logs a +.8 to 7.0 (sixth to fifth, 6+), pulling the plug on three straight negative moves that resulted in a -1.0 (7.2 – 6.8 – 6.3 – 6.2, 6+). It’s not quite the same as what is noted regarding WNCX and WGAR, but with a +.7 to 5.6 (ninth to eighth, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9” ends a March and April mini-slide (6.3 – 5.7 – 4.9, 6+) that accounted for a -1.4. A gain of six-tenths in February halted three straight losses that resulted in a -1.5 (7.2 – 6.7 – 6.1 – 5.7, 6+). Even though Entercom adult contemporary WDOK is an overall +1.8 through three increases in a row (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.5 – 6.7, 6+), “Cleveland’s Star 102” backslides from fourth to sixth. A combined +5.5 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 7.2 – 10.4, 6+), WDOK lost more than 50% (-5.6) of its 6+-share in January and February (10.4 – 5.6 – 4.9, 6+). Rarely do we see both the market’s #1 and #2 finishers erode by -1.5 in the same sweep, but such is the case in May 2018 with Radio One urban AC WZAK (9.6 – 8.1, -1.5, #1 since March, 6+) and iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” (9.3 – 7.8, -1.5, #2 since March, 6+). After three increases in a row for an overall +1.5 (8.6 – 9.1 – 9.5 – 10.1, 6+), WZAK faltered by one-half share in April. Having reached the top spot in December with a +.9, WZAK fell to third in “Holiday” 2017. A loss of four-tenths in October ended three consecutive positive moves for an overall +.9 (7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1 – 8.4, 6+). This now makes eight dramatic up/down shifts in succession for WMJI: +.8 (November); -.9 (December); +2.5 (Holiday” 2017); -1.9 (January); +1.9 (February); -2.0 (March); +1.0 (April); and now -1.5 (May). When “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” reached double-digits (6+) in “Holiday” 2017, it was the first time WMJI accomplished that feat since September 2016’s 10.8. November’s +.8 stopped three straight declines that resulted in a -1.3 (9.2 – 8.9 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). In 2017, WMJI occupied the top spot from January through April; July through September; and in November. A one-half share loss to 4.0 (#11 to #12, 6+) by CHR cluster-mate WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends a repetitive sequence of 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.5 (6+).

Kansas City

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s two sports talkers continue to go in opposite directions as Entercom’s KCSP “610 Sports Radio” is a combined +1.9 in April and May (1.8 – 3.1 3.7, #15 to #12, 6+), while Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” plummets by an overall -2.0 (4.0 – 2.9 – 2.0, #16 to #20, 6+). Kansas City Royals flagship KCSP erased February’s -.4 with a +.4. WHB was a combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018; -.9 in February; and +.9 in March. When WHB dipped by four-tenths in December, it halted at five a successive string of positive trends that doubled (+1.5) its 6+-stat (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). A +.9 through six straight up or flat trends (1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), University of Missouri news/talk KCUR dips by one-tenth to 2.7 (6+) but stays at #17. After registering six successive upticks for a +1.9 (3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 5.6, 6+), Entercom news/talk KMBZ-FM “98.1 News-Traffic-Weather” follows with three straight decreases for a -.8 (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Cluster-mate KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” is flat at 2.2 (6+) and remains at #19. This is the third decrease in a row by Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM “Talk Radio 710” for a -.5 (1.1 – 1.0 – .7 -.6, #22 to #23, 6+).

Kansas City Music Formats – After three straight downward trends that resulted in a -.9 (6.1 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.2, 6+), Carter Broadcast Corporation urban contemporary WPRS “Hot 103” answers with a +.7 to 5.9, jumping from eighth to fourth. Up or flat each sweep since December for an overall +1.9 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 New Hit Country” nonetheless slides from a three-way tie at #4 to #5. Improving by one-half share each are KBEQ sibling KFKF “Country 94.1” (6.0, fourth to third, 6+) and Cumulus Media alternative KCJK “X-105.1” (2.2 – 2.7, #19 to #17, 6+). KFKF erases the -.5 it recorded through three decrease in a row (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+). In five successive sweeps without a loss, Entercom-owned KQRC “98.9 The Rock” is a combined +1.3 (4.5 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 5.8, third to fifth, 6+). After being down eight-tenths in four straight down or flat moves (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KZPT “99.7 The Point” is +.4 to 4.4 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Notwithstanding that it is a combined -.9 in April and May (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “94.9 Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the third month in a row. It faltered by six-tenths in February (8.4 – 7.8, 6+) but regained half that loss (+.3) in March. Owing to a -2.0 in January, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” curtailed four straight upticks that netted +2.7 (7.7 – 8.0 – 8.8 – 9.0 – 10.4, 6+). With a 6+-share that has plummeted by more than 55% (-4.6) through five successive decreases (8.1 – 5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.5, 6+), Steel City adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 Today’s Best Variety” departs the top ten (#10 to #13). Locked on 3.2 (6+) in February and March and then notching a +.7 in April, Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” falters by nine-tenths in May (3.9 – 3.0, #12 to #15, 6+).

Columbus

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective +.7 in three consecutive sweeps without a loss (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), Ohio State University news/talk WOSU dropped six-tenths in April but rebounds in May with a +.5 (3.7 – 4.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). WOSU’s 4.3 in March was the station’s best 6+-showing since 4.7 in August 2017. Forfeiting the two-tenths it picked up in April (5.4 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WTVN “News Radio 610” segues from fifth to sixth. “News Radio 610” was -.7 in March; -1.0 in February; +1.5 in January; and -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to January 2018, the last time WTVN reached the seven-share level (6+) was February 2016 (7.3). A December decrease of three-tenths halted three straight uptrends that netted eight-tenths (5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.5, 6+). Following four reports in a row without an increase for a -.2 (.9 – .9 – .8 – .8 – .7, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WXZX “105.7 The Zone” is +.3 in April and May (.7 – .9 – 1.0, flat at #15, 6+). In January, WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” ranked seventh with a 4.4 (6+), but the RadiOhio sports talk outlet is missing from print for the fourth straight month.

Columbus Music Formats – Up a collective eight-tenths in February and March (5.2 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult hits WODC “93.3 The Bus – We Play Anything” relinquished nine-tenths in April but rebounds in May with a +.5 (5.1 – 5.6, sixth to fifth, 6+). In double-digits (6+) each sweep since June 2017, cluster-mate WCOL “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” rings up its third increase in a row (12.3 – 13.4 – 14.4 – 14.5, 6+) for an overall +2.2 and finishes first for the fifth consecutive sweep. After spending six months on top, WCOL shifted to second in “Holiday” 2017 but regained the lead in January 2018. Accustomed to major fluctuations, “92.3 Columbus’ #1 For New Country” was +2.2 (January 2017); -1.2 (February); +.8 (March); -1.3 (May); +1.4 (June); +2.1 (July); -.9 (August); -.6 (September); +.7 (October); -.5 (December); +3.1 (January 2018); -1.7 (February); +1.1 in March; and +1.0 in April. Flat at 9.4 (6+), its mainstream CHR sibling – WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music Station” – is #2 for the fifth time in a row. WNCI was a combined +1.5 in January and February (8.0 – 9.2 – 9.5, 6+). Slightly up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.3 (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ “FM 96 Iconic Rock” remains in third-place. Likewise, Radio One rhythmic CHR WCKX “Power 107.5” is +.5 in a similar scenario (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7, ninth to eighth, 6+). Blue Chip urban contemporary WBMO logged a 1.2 (6+) in December 2017, but has not been in print the last six sweeps.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

| May 29, 2018

Swenson Out at Entercom Washington; Phil Zachary to Assume Market Manager Role. According to several consumer media reports (including the Philadelphia Business Journal) Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary is leaving the cluster to assume the same role at the company’s Washington, DC operations.  The company has not commented publicly about the change, but the report indicates Zachary will take over the position from Steve Swenson.  Zachary moved to the Hartford cluster from the market manager position at Entercom’s Boston operations just after the CBS RADIO deal closed last November.  His duties also included oversight of the Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts markets.

Radio Station Imaging Master and Syndicated Show Host, Nick Michaels Dies.  Holland Cooke Pens Tribute.  One of the radio industry’s most influential voice over artists and musical curators, Nick Michaels, reportedly died of a sudden heart attack in his Pinecrest (Miami), Florida home on Friday (5/25).  Michaels was the host, writer and producer of the long-running, American Voice Corporation syndicated classic rock show, “The Deep End,” heard on music stations across the nation and the imaging voice of numerous major/medium market news/talk and all-news stations.  He was known for his rich tone and thoughtful – almost poetic – approach to copy that made him one of the most distinguished performers in the radio business.  Michaels’ media career began in advertising in his native Canada where success brought him to New York City in the late 1970s.  He appeared as the voice in many major national radio and television spots for a variety of major products and television programs.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Nick Michaels joined forces five years ago as Michael & Michaels co-producing a Memorial Day one-time special, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off” – a two-hour countdown of the most popular summer songs from the AOR era.  Harrison says, “The industry has lost a legend and I have lost a friend.  Nick was a one-of-a-kind talent and a passionate proponent of everything good about the kind of radio we grew up with and love.”  Media consultant, RT America TV host and special TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke, a very close friend of Michaels, penned a tribute to the late broadcaster.  To read it, please click here.  In July of 2015, Nick Michaels appeared as a guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  To listen to a  clip from that conversation, please click here.

WQTX, Lansing Sports Talk Host Suing Fellow Michigan Personality.  What sounds like a feud between two sports talk hosts that goes back a few years is now a lawsuit in the state of Michigan.  According to the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing sports talk host Ryan Schuiling is suing WBBL, Grand Rapids-based sports talker Bill Simonson and his employer, Cumulus Media, for defamation. Schuiling alleges that Simonson made “false allegations” in a column he wrote on the blog Detroit Sports Rag, including accusing Schuiling of attempting to “orchestrate some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Schuiling says Simonson sent the link to the story to the IBEW – one of Schuiling’s sponsors – and that the actions have caused him emotional distress and have affected his professional standing in the community.  Simonson says the allegations in the suit are untrue and lack merit.  See the story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Five news/talk stations saw (6+) increases of more than one full share from March to April, and four of those benefitted from the start of the baseball season.  They are: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis (+2.3); Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (+1.9); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+1.6); KOA, Denver (+1.4); and Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+1.2).  Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” is up 2.6 shares since April of 2017, and Emmis’ WIBC, Indianapolis is up two full shares.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in April: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; KOA, Denver; KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Read the whole report here.

Price: Protect Your People, Protect Your Brand.  By now, most broadcasters are aware of the tragic deaths of the two young television journalists from WYFF-TV, Greenville, South Carolina who perished while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto over the weekend.  While the accident appears to have been a matter of bad timing – a tree fell on their SUV while they were driving – business continuity expert Howard Price writes that it is occurrences like these that should make all broadcasters review their safety protocols to make sure they offer the best safety practices to staffers.  Read his piece here.

Radio Journalist Bob Fuss Dies at 64.  Former longtime CBS Radio News reporter Bob Fuss died in Falls Church, Virginia on Sunday (5/27) after a battle with a rare form of leukemia.  During his long radio news career, Fuss served as Capitol Hill correspondent for 16 years.  During that time, he covered the impeachment of President Clinton, the Florida presidential election re-count, and the 9/11 terror attacks.  He covered the House and Senate for CBS Radio and reported national political stories until his retirement in 2014.  CBS News general manager Craig Swagler writes about Fuss saying, “After his retirement, he wrote a book about his life, Kidnapped by Nuns: And Other Stories of a Life on the Radio, drawing from his work and personal experiences in 50 states and 70 countries. The book briefly addresses what listeners couldn’t see: he was disabled. He writes he was born with defects his parents were told could end his life before adulthood.  He beat the odds and described himself as ‘a busy and active kid’ who ‘never let anything slow me down.’ That attitude held true throughout his adult life; unable to walk without crutches, he never allowed the handicap to deter him from attaining his career goals or pursuing activities like snorkeling and skiing.” Swagler adds, “Bob was an extraordinary reporter with a true skill for making complicated stories relatable for everyday people.  Not only was Bob an outstanding journalist he was an all-around optimistic and funny person. A true joy to work with.”

TALKERS News Notes. In the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana market, Cumulus Media names Aaron Criswell vice president and market manager for the five-station cluster that includes sports talk KRMD-AM “The Ticket Sports Radio” and four music-formatted stations…..Chris Forgy is promoted within Saga Communications to the newly created corporate position SVP of operations.  In making the announcement, Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Chris is a world-class broadcaster whose contributions to Saga will be very important and strategic as he joins us in the corporate office.”  Most recently, Forgy was president and general manager of the company’s Columbus station group…..The Arizona Broadcasters Association announces that Art Brooks is exiting the president and CEO position after a near 30-year stint.  Brooks says, “I leave the ABA proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish together in my nearly three decades of leadership and will remain ever grateful for the many friends I have made in the Arizona broadcasting community.  I’m eager to explore my next adventure both personally and professionally.”

U.S.-North Korea Summit, Subtropical Storm Alberto, Ireland Abortion Vote, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, Memorial Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The off-again, on-again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; subtropical storm Alberto hits the Southeast U.S.; the aftermath of Ireland’s vote to repeal the ban on abortion; Starbucks’ plan to close all stores today (5/29) for companywide bias training; the newest Star Wars film Solo; the Memorial Day holiday; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Conference Finals 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. On-air pro Rebecca Wilde is becoming a personality on the “Wicker in the Morning” program with Jeff Wicker on Entercom’s hot AC WTVR-FM, Richmond.  Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We’re thrilled to bring Rebecca back into the Richmond mix and look forward to having her reconnect with our community.  Rebecca’s drive and enthusiasm will ensure we continue to deliver the engaging local content our listeners look forward to daily on ‘Mix 98.1.’”  She previously worked on-air in the market at hot AC WURV and hip hop WBTJ…..Longtime Myrtle Beach personality David “Prez” Spindler retires from Dick Broadcasting classic rock WYAV “Wave 104.1”  Station operations manager Charlie Steele says, “We wish Prez the best with where life takes him next.  He’s spent a long time in the radio trenches and will be missed.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

| January 13, 2015

wabcwnbm duoCumulus New York to Address Race Relations in ‘Radio Summit’ Simulcast.  News/talk WABC and urban contemporary WNBM “Radio 103.9” – both Cumulus Media properties – will present a historic radio summit “and simulcast covering some of the most pressing issues of our time.”  In the aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury decision, the Eric Garner case and the tensions between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York Police Department, both stations will produce a 60-minute, commercial-free discussion focused on the New York City community.  The company says, “This broadcast will include substantial, heartfelt conversation discussing the issues facing the city, recounting events and proposing proactive solutions on how the city and its people can move forward.” Taking part in the discussion will be 77 WABC’s Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby, ‘Radio 103.9’ host DL Hughley and Minister Kirsten John Foy, Northeastcumulus logo Regional Director of the National Action Network.  It will air tomorrow (1/14) at 12:00 noon ET and will also stream on each station’s website.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Ultimately, our stations are here to serve the community and this historic simulcast demonstrates our commitment to our audiences in an honest, compelling way.”  WNBM programmer Ken Johnson adds, “We are happy to be a part of this extremely timely dialogue.  If we can set an example for a civil discussion and spark discourse nationally, then we have accomplished our mission.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was quick to react when learning of this development, stating, “What a powerful, productive idea and use of the enormous potential of radio as a medium of healing and education within the community it serves.  What is especially appealing about this initiative is the coming together of a heritage news/talk AM facility with a hip FM culture/music station for the purpose of aggressively and positively addressing highest-common denominator concerns.  This type of programming harnesses the inherent positive energy of consolidation.  When I hear about this kind of project it stokes my optimism about the future of radio.  Yes!”

mcconnellspudEntercom Replaces ‘Spud’ McConnell with Syndicated Show at New Orleans Sports Talker.  A longtime talk host on Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans, John “Spud” McConnell moved across the hall in 2013 to host the afternoon drive show on sports talker WWWL “3WL.”  Now, management says it’s being forced to make cuts and McConnell’s show drew the short straw.  Entercom New Orleans vice president and general manager Chris Claus tells the Times-Picayune’s David Lee Simmons that “I love Spud.  He’s a great entertainer, he’s a great host, he’s a great actor, he’s great in theater, he’s great in TV, and he’s great in the movies.  But, unfortunately, we had a position to eliminate and his was the one.”  The station will carry NBC Sports Radio Network’s “Under Center” with Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone.  Claus also told the paper he’d consider bringing McConnell back to news/talk WWL but there’s no opening for a host there right now.

felgermassarottiCBS RADIO Extends ‘Felger & Mazz Show’ at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Afternoon drive sports talkers Mike Felger and Tony Massarotti have re-signed with CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” on a multi-year deal.   As part of the new deal, Massarotti will write two columns per week for www.cbsboston.com and will host “The Baseball Reporters Show,” weeknights during the baseball season from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  CBS states in a press release that the duo “have consistently been the number-one show in afternoon drive with Men 25-54 for almost four years and running.”

bryantkimBryant Rejoins Westwood One as Executive VP of West Coast Sales.  Relocating to Los Angeles, Kim Bryant departs as Cumulus Media New York City market manager to become executive vice president of west coast sales for Cumulus-owned Westwood One. According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Kim is a superb seller and a born leader. She will enhance the quality of our leadership team as we build the industry’s foremost sales organization.” Bryant remarks, “The opportunity to work with Steve Shaw and Westwood One is a dream. The New York Cumulus experience – including the people I have worked with over the last few years – has been terrific. It was a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am thrilled to continue to work for Cumulus in this different capacity and I look forward to having/building success in the west.” Several years ago (2009 – 2011), Bryant was Westwood One’s regional vice president of western ad sales. Her previous background includes being president and market manager for San Francisco stations owned by Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia), and executive vice president of marketing and sales for international cable channel CineMoi. An announcement is reportedly forthcoming regarding Bryant’s replacement in New York City.

midwestcomm logoMidwest Communications to Flip WQTX, Lansing to Sports Talk.  The station will leave its country format behind and become “The Ticket 92.1 FM,” effective Monday, January 19.  Midwest Communications is working with program producer Spotlight Media Marketing Production and WQTX will continue to air non-sports morning show “Michigan’s Big Show” with host Michael Patrick Shiels, as  well as adding “Michigan’s Business Rap,” the “Griff & Grinz Show” with hosts Mike Griffith and Steve Grinczel, “The Drive” with Jack Ebling (who’s moving across town from Townsquare Media’s sports talk WVFN “The Game”), plus programming from Fox Sports Radio Network.

Odds & Sods.  From a report in the Alaska Dispatch News, Australian national Catie Quinn is being ordered to leave the country – and her gig as news director at Radio Kenai-owned news/talk KSRM, Kenai, Alaska.  Quinn’s E-3 work visa is expiring and her field is not specialized enough to allow her to stay under the E-3 conditions…..According to ESPN, consumption of its digital audio content was up in 2014.  The company says the download of its podcasts – ESPN On Demand – totaled more than 302 million last year and streaming of ESPN Audio content generated more than 7.8 billion total listening minutes, an increase of 8% over 2013…..Steve Holman is named the 2015 Georgia Sportscaster of thewtop logo NEW 1-15 Year.  Holman calls Atlanta Hawks games on CBS RADIO O&O WZGC, Atlanta “FM 92.9 The Game.”  He’s called almost 2,500 games without an absence during his almost three decades on the job…..Hubbard Washington, DC news outlet WTOP announces the release of a new mobile-optimized website as well as an interactive mobile app.  WTOP says the new site uses a “responsive” technology that formats the website appearance to match whatever device the user is on.  Other new features include expanded Living, Sports, Technology and Entertainment sections, an enhanced weather section, more photos and a “cleaner and more modern look.”

120px-WJZ-FMWJZ-FM Back as Birds’ Flagship. After Hearst Corporation talker WBAL had carried its games the past several years, the Baltimore Orioles are switching flagships to CBS Radio sports outlet WJZ-FM “The Fan.” The multi-year deal takes effect this season, with WJZ-FM being the key station across the seven-state, 34-station Orioles radio network. Baltimore’s “Fan” held rights to the team’s game from 2007 – 2010. CBS Radio Baltimore senior vice president Bob Philips declares, “This partnership with the Orioles is a great addition to our market leading #1 sports brand and platform in Baltimore.” Orioles’ vice president of communications and marketing Greg Bader comments that “The Fan” is “the ideal flagship home for the Orioles radio network. Partnering with the region’s premiere radio destination for sports fans allows us to effectively reach our diverse fan base on a daily basis and to develop valuable multiplatform marketing opportunities for our sponsors.” Joe Angel and Fred Manfra return for their twelfth season calling the team’s games.

knxonyourcornerKNX to Corner Beautiful Downtown Burbank. The 10-hour (9:00 am – 7:00 pm) visit later this month (Friday, 1/30) is part of CBS Radio-owned all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “On Your Corner” series on local communities. Team coverage will focus on issues, events, and interesting places in Burbank – frequently referred to as the media capital of the world. “KNX Business Hour” host Frank Mottek will do his 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm broadcast from well-known Burbank eatery The Castaway, and he will be followed by Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson anchoring the afternoon news (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). In 2013, “KNX On Your Corner” received the “Best Feature – News” Golden Mike Award from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.

milianolouFormer CBS Radio Newsman Miliano Passes. A 40-year national and local reporter, Lou Miliano, 67, died yesterday (Monday, 1/12) in a Pinellas Park, Florida hospice. Miliano was diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago. CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler comments, “Lou was one of the unique, wonderful individuals in our business – and he was an extraordinary broadcaster. His use of sound and ability to transport the listener to the scene of the story set the standard in our industry, one that has been emulated by other broadcasters nationwide. He was expert in incorporating natural sound, vivid descriptions and visual references laced with the voices of those making or affected by news events. More than that, Lou was a joy to be around.” After beginning his career in 1967 at South Lake Tahoe, California’s KOWL, Miliano spent 12 years as a reporter, anchor, and news director at several stations around the country. Based in London as the European bureau chief for the RKO Radio Networks (1983-1989), Miliano did two tours with the Pentagon pool in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War and he covered the U.S. – Soviet summits in Geneva, Reykjavik, and Moscow. Miliano covered an array of stories for WCBS-AM, New York where he won Associated Press awards for “Best Continuing Coverage” for his work on the crash of TWA flight 800 and “Best Investigative Reporting.” He joined the CBS Radio Network in 1998 and retired in 2007. The Jersey City, New Jersey native attended colleges in Florida, California, and Colorado. He is survived by four daughters and three sons – there are no plans for a public funeral or memorial.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Unity Rally, ISIS Hacks Pentagon Social Media, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sinking Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and the Golden Globe Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/12).  The state of terror threats after last week’s massacre at Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the criticism against the Obama administration for not sending a high-level official to Paris unity rally; the hacking of the Pentagon’s social media network by ISIS; Mitt Romney’s possible run for president in 2016 and Paul Ryan’s statement he will not run; the continued sinking of oil prices and their effect on the world’s financial markets; and Sunday’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 22, 2013

| February 22, 2013

pagliarulojoeHow Do You Know It’s a Good Topic and That It Will Work Where You’re Broadcasting?  That’s a great question with an increasing number of radio talk show hosts working “locally” by remote on more than one station or simply being syndicated across a region or the entire nation. So, TALKERS magazine went to a broadcaster who is eminently qualified to answer the question – Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, a member of the TALKERS Heavy hundred — who hosts mornings on KPRC, Houston; late afternoons on WOAI, San Antonio; weekends locally on KOA, Denver and weekends nationally on “The Weekend” show.  He is also a major “go to” fill-in host for such hosts as Glenn Beck, Todd Schnitt and many others. Pags writes, “Many years ago, I thought it was easy to gauge.  Whatever gets the phone ringing, right?  Not so much.  I take a lot of phone calls.  I’d say more than you might hear on other shows.  But, I insist they be of substance and advance the conversation or be really funny and entertaining.  Making the phones ring, it turns out, is easy.  ‘Abortion, for or against?  Here’s the number.’  That’s sure to melt the lines down and guaranteed to be a horrible show.  Those blinking lights are addictive and the interaction intoxicating, but I once heard a stat that showed 2% of all listeners will ever call into a radio show.  How do you make sure you’re engaging the other 98% as well?”  Read Pags’ entire article here.

grumdahldaraWCCO, Minneapolis Adds Weekend Food Show.  The CBS Radio news/talk station announces Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl brings her food writing talents to the WCCO lineup, hosting a one-hour show called “Off The Menu” beginning March 2.  Grumdahl, is a senior editor at Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, she’s been the top voice in Twin Cities food since her work as City Pages restaurant critic (1997 to 2008,) launched her to national prominence with a string of James Beard Awards, the highest award of the food world.  WCCO program director Bob Shomper says, “WCCO has a long and rich history of food and nutrition, from the recipe shows and farm reports of the past to the latest dining trends and nutritional information of today.  Dara is the Twin Cities’ premier expert on food.  She will bring WCCO’s tradition of nutritional information to new heights, on all platforms, on-air, online and on mobile devices.  We are thrilled to have her on the WCCO team.”

baileyralphTalk Host Ralph Bailey Exits KNZR, Bakersfield.  Afternoon drive talk host Ralph Bailey resigns suddenly from his position with the Buckley Broadcasting station and although he gives no hint of where he may surface, The Bakersfield Californian speculates he may be headed for American General Media’s crosstown KERN.  Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, in part, “It was with a heavy heart that I tendered my resignation to Buckley Radio today.  However, future opportunities and challenges make it virtually impossible not to seek out new adventures.  I would like to thank Steve Darnell, Kathy Baker and, posthumously, Rick Buckley.  To my colleagues, I hope I was a team player who made the station and the client top priority and someone who grasped the concept of pulling on one side of the rope.  To my sponsors, I hope I played a small role in your success and thank you for your support!”

picarddannyBoston Sports Talk Host Gets Terrestrial Outlet.  Boston native Danny Picard – whose “I’m Just Sayin’” sports talk show appeared on recent editions of TALKERS magazine’s Frontier Fifty feature spotlighting internet-only talk radio hosts – gets his daily program added to the schedule at Blackstrap Broadcasting’s WUFC, Boston “NBC Sports Radio.”  The show is a simulcast of his 9:00 am to 10:00 am internet program but Picard tells TALKERS it is “essentially the same show I do now, only I’ll no longer be broadcasting from my South Boston living room apartment. I’ll be broadcasting from the 1510 NBC Sports Radio Boston studios on Marina Bay.”  Picard says he’s excited about the development.  “I’ve been hosting this show for a while now, and it’s a thrill to finally be heard on an AM signal in Boston every weekday.  I’m extremely passionate about what I do, and I look forward to expressing my passion to an expanding audience.”  Picard began doing his program from his University of Massachusetts-Amherst apartment in 2006.  He’s been covering all the major pro sports teams at Comcast SportsNet New England for the CSNNE.com site since it launched in 2009.  Picard continues his role with Comcast SportsNet.  Photo by Jennifer Bodnar.

whitmanshapiroThe Tom Joyner Syndrome – without the Expensive Planes!  Pictured here are two coast-to-coast broadcasting adventures.  First, at left are KRLA, Los Angeles “Morning Answer” co-hosts Brian Whitman (left) and Ben Shapiro (right) from their studios at Salem Los Angeles (Heidi Harris also co-hosts the morning show on KRLA).  On Thursday, February 21 the two pulled double duty by filling in on Salem’s New York news/talker WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for Curtis Sliwa’s mcculloughhomestudioand Jeffrey Lichtman’s PM drive show as both were on vacation.  At the same time, New York City-based Kevin McCullough (at right), whose nationally syndicated broadcast airs mornings on his longtime flagship AM 570 WMCA in New York, has been pulling double duty in Los Angeles on Salem’s Christian talk station 99.5 KKLA-FM in afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 7:00 pm PT).  Kevin McCullough began doing the afternoon show in Los Angeles after the tragic Thanksgiving week motorcycle accident that eventually claimed the life of Salem personality Frank Pastore.  McCullough is pictured here Thursday evening doing the KKLA-FM show from the studios of New York-based XtreMEDIA.

larsonlarsTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Compass Media NetworksLars Larson is added to the lineup at KQV, Pittsburgh…..Michael Patrick Shiels adds country outlet WQTX, Lansing, Michigan to his affiliate list for his statewide AM drive show.  The add marks Shiels’ return to Lansing after exiting Cumulus Media’s WJIM a year ago and sitting out a non-compete…..Fox Sports Radio Network announces KGGS, Garden City, Kansas adds the network’s entire daily lineup as the station re-brands as “Big Dog Sports 1340”…..Dial Global and NBC’s NBC Sports Radio sign an agreement for Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG-AM, Portland to carry their content…..Gow Broadcasting-operated Yahoo! Sports Radio adds affiliate KMZQ, Las Vegas for its sports talk programming…..“Right Turn Radio” – a program about addiction and mental health hosted by Woody Geissman and Abby Dean – now airs on WRKO, Boston Sundays at 7:00 pm.  The show is a production of Right Turn, a local non-profit that provides innovative outpatient treatment and supporting housing for addicts…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters adds new affiliate KRDO-AM/FM, Colorado Springs.

Sequestration and Deficit Reduction Top Talk Radio Topics for Week of February 18-22.  The battle in Washington over the looming sequestration and the related calls for deficit reduction were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was immigration reform.  At #3 was soaring gasoline prices followed by the costs of ObamaCare at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio each week based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.