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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

| April 21, 2021

Round Two of March PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s March 2021 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s March 2021 survey period covered March 4 – 31. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets and he reports that in the Washington, DC market Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM loses 2.1 shares from the February to March surveys and finishes with a 3.9 share (weekly, 6+ AQH share) dropping from the #4 rank to #9, while Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #2, although it shed nine-tenths for a 9.0 share finish. In Boston, iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO stays in the #8 rank while posting a 4.4 share, a decline of eight-tenths while sister all-news WBZ-AM slips 1.1 shares to a 6.4 share and slides from the #1 rank to #4. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle remains ranked #1 even though it lost nine-tenths and wrapped the survey with a 6.4 share. And Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle lost just two-tenths and stayed in the #5 spot with a 5.0 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways report for this group of markets (and yesterday’s group of 12) here.

Tweet by KFAB, Omaha Talk Host Chris Baker Draws Criticism; Station ‘Reviewing it Internally.’ According to a story published by the Omaha World-Herald, KFAB-AM afternoon drive talk host Chris Baker is being criticized for posting an image of a small group of Black natives in loincloths and brandishing spears with the caption, “Guilty!” immediately following the verdict against Derek Chauvin. Although the tweet was removed, it was screen captured and iHeartMedia management was made aware of it. iHeartMedia area president C. Taylor Walet III, told the paper the situation is under review by the company. He stated, “We are aware of the completely inappropriate tweet that was posted late Tuesday afternoon. Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values. We take this situation very seriously and are reviewing it internally in order to take appropriate action.”

Markley, Van Camp & Robbins Approach 100 Affiliate Stations Threshold. The Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley, Van Camp & Robbins” talk radio program is rapidly approaching the 100-affiliate station mark after adding some two dozen new affiliates including 17 live clears. The program – co-hosted by Jamie Markley, David Van Camp, and Scott Robbins – was recently added to stations in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot at stations such as: WLAD-AM, Danbury, Connecticut; KPNW-AM, Eugene, Oregon; KJNO-AM, Juneau, Alaska; KMED-AM, Medford, Oregon; WMBD-AM, Peoria, Illinois; WSGW-AM/FM, Saginaw, Michigan; and more. WSGW-AM/FM operations manager Dave Maurer comments, “The live ‘Markley, Van Camp and Robbins’ show is making a positive contribution to the programming of 100.5 & 790 Newsradio WSGW! The guys get on the hot topics of the day, but they also know when to take the off ramp and add some entertaining elements to the show. I’m confident they are bringing us a broader audience including younger listeners and more women.” Alpha Media EVP of content Phil Becker adds, “‘Markley, van Camp and Robbins’ have achieved the perfect blend of chemistry and humor. This is the show news/talk stations have been looking for.”

WFAS-AM to Broadcast with All-Digital Signal. White Plains, New York talk station WFAS-AM receives permission from the FCC to broadcasting its signal in a digital format and eliminate the analog broadcast format. The Cumulus Media station posted the following on its website: “In October 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a new rule allowing AM radio stations to operate using all-digital broadcast signals. 1230 WFAS-AM, licensed to White Plains, New York, has notified the FCC of its intention to switch from its current analog operation to all digital beginning on May 24th, 2021. Once WFAS has switched to an all-digital operation, only radios equipped with HD radio technology will be able to receive and play the station programming. WFAS will no longer be available on analog-only AM radios. Broadcasting in digital will eliminate annoying static and interference, improve the sound quality to equal FM radio and streaming and extend the range for clear reception.”

Political Voices Network and Counterpoint Partner to Provide Multi-Platform Home for Political Humor. A new partnership between Political Voices Network – an audio-and-video destination for political talk from popular hosts such as Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmannand Counterpoint – a source for the latest political humor from top opinion cartoonists such as Pulitzer recipients Nick Anderson, Darrin Bell, Michael Ramirez as well as the Washington Post’s Michael de Adder – are joining forces to provide news junkies a twice-weekly side order of cartoon humor alongside their political-talk diets. Cartoons will be presented every Tuesday and Thursday with text-based commentary from the artists. New York- and Los Angeles-based Crossover Media Group Sales handles advertising and sponsorship sales for Political Voices Network. Political Voices Network co-founder Ron Hartenbaum says, “One of the most enduring and popular aspects of political opinion and commentary has been that great and especially American tradition of the political cartoon. The combined objective for Counterpoint and Political Voices Network is to expand both the audience for this top-flight creative content and fan sponsorship and support of this format. Thanks to this alliance we’ll be able to entertain fans with a service that blends seamlessly with our existing multiplatform offerings in a convenient destination for multi-format viewpoints on the day’s news.”

Three Award-Winning Content Creators Join New York Festivals Radio Awards Advisory Board. The New York Festivals Radio Awards announces the appointment of award-winning global storytellers Jennie Caltaldo, Helen Shaw, and Carole Zimmer to the Radio Awards Advisory Board. The 13-member Advisory Council provides NYF’s Radio Awards competition with ongoing knowledge of emerging trends and critical industry insights. Jennie Cataldo is an award-winning radio and podcast producer who serves as vice president of programming at BMP Audio in San Francisco. Helen Shaw is an award-winning producer/director who runs digital and broadcast storytelling agency Athena Media in Ireland. Carole Zimmer, reporter-at-large, is the host of the podcast “Now What?” about big life decisions, transitions and how you navigate all those curves in the road. The three also serve on the 2021 Radio Awards Grand Jury. This year is the eleventh year of NYF’s strategic partnership with NAB Show and all convention attendees will have access to the multi-day NAB event which is the world’s largest media entertainment marketplace and takes place in October 2021. The deadline to enter the 2021 Radio Awards competition is May 20. Find information about entering the competition here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Independent Broadcasters Association, Feeding America, and 375 radio stations partnered to hold the 2nd annual “Radio Cares – Feeding America Radiothon” on April 14 that raised $40,000 to provide 400,000 meals for individuals and families facing hunger in America. IBA president and Adams Radio Group CEO Ron Stone comments, “Hunger in America escalated because of the pandemic and there are families still struggling to put food on the table. I’m very proud of the stations that participated again. The work that Benztown, McVay Media, and Vipology put into this effort is unmatched – they truly define the word volunteerism!”…..The impactful mentoring message of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America will be highlighted on more than 850 live broadcast radio stations as the result of  a new partnership between the organization and iHeartMedia. iHM selected BBBSA for its Communities Spotlight Media Grant Program, the goal of which is to provide a platform for organizations to inspire, educate, and empower listeners to take a stand against systemic racism and promote social justice. Yesterday (4/20), a series of PSAs featuring voices of current youth (called “Littles”) began airing on iHeartRadio stations and the iHeartRadio app focusing on the need for Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors, and most especially Black men. The campaign runs through the end of the year…..The USA Radio Network-syndicated “Dan Sileo Radio Show” sports talk program is added to the lineup at KXEG-AM, Phoenix.

Delmarva Radio Personality Wayne Cannon Dies at 72. Longtime Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland music radio personality and talk show host Wayne Cannon died on Monday (4/19) at the age of 72 after a battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. After a stint in the Army, Cannon got his start in the early 70s at WETT-Ocean City, Maryland. He moved to WWTR, Bethany Beach, Delaware, then WSEA-AM, Georgetown, Delaware before returning to WETT. He joined WGMD, Rehoboth Beach in 1993 and served there for 20 years but continued to make contributions for another seven years.

Chauvin Guilty Verdict, COVID-19, Border Crisis/Immigration Policy, and EU Climate Deal/U.S. Climate Summit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20). The guilty verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd; the exploding rate of COVID cases in several countries and the rollout of vaccines in the U.S.; Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s deploying of National Guard troops to the Mexican border to respond to the migrant crisis and the Joe Biden administration’s immigration policy; and the EU agrees to a climate deal ahead of Biden’s Thursday climate summit that will include China’s Xi Jinping were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Pens Lyrics to Animal Welfare Anthem – Appears on New Gunhill Road Album and Video. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison has been an outspoken supporter of the animal welfare movement for most of his adult life. Now he has the opportunity to express his views on the subject through his lyrics and performance of a song titled, “I Know You’re Real,” on the latest album by the historic group, Gunhill Road, that has roots going back to the golden age of album rock. The album is titled, What Year Is This! and it was produced by the band with remote technology during the pandemic year of 2020. In the process, Harrison has become an official member as a vocalist and songwriter of the long-lived band that has been in existence since 1969. Harrison tells TALKERS, “I go all the way back to 1971 with this great NYC-based ensemble when I played them every day on my morning show on WNEW-FM. They had two albums in that era that received critical praise and lots of airplay on FM album rock stations. They also had a hit single on top 40 radio – ‘Back When My Hair Was Short’ – in the early 70s. They had the reputation in those days as being the ‘best opening act’ in the NYC album rock club scene and appeared on the bill with some of the biggest names in music at such historic venues as the Bitter End.” Since then, the members of the group kept its spirit (and fan base) alive by continuing to record, release new material and play occasional concerts. Their longevity was the subject of a documentary feature film about the group that made a splash on the film festival circuit and was carried on Amazon Prime. Although the founding members eventually went in different directions (and successful careers) in their private lives, they kept the spirit of Gunhill Road alive through the decades by remaining very close friends and appearing sporadically at special events and charity concerts. The lyrics of the song “I Know You’re Real,” written by Harrison and performed by him in a spoken-word presentation on the new album and video, take an emotionally uplifting view of the connection between humans, animals, and the entire universe. There are two versions of the song on the album and video. The other features band member Brian Koonin singing the lyrics. Both versions have been posted to YouTube. The version spoken by Harrison can be viewed below

Harrison says, “The song is a spiritually uplifting tribute to animal welfare… which has long been one of my main interests and guiding themes of my life. If you have love and respect for all of Earth’s sentient creatures, please take a look and listen to the song and share the link with friends who might enjoy and appreciate them as well.” Harrison is available to appear as a guest on talk media shows to discuss the subject of animal welfare (not to be confused with animal rights) as well as what it was like to record with a band via Zoom during the pandemic. To book Michael Harrison on a talk show please call Barbara Kurland at TALKERS, 413-565-5413. To read a feature story about Gunhill Road and this experience written by Harrison, please click here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

| March 24, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 25, 2021

| February 25, 2021

Nielsen Publishes ‘Podcasting Today: Insights for Podcast Advertisers.’ This new report from Nielsen presents demographic data about podcast listeners and indicates what kinds of podcasts are being consumed by listeners based on ethnicity, age, and other factors. Nielsen says, “After a decade of audience growth, podcasts have become an extremely appealing advertising platform. And with broadening appeal and strong listener engagement, brands should be looking to them as a more personalized way to connect with audiences who are maxed out on visual inputs. Importantly, podcast advertising – particularly when delivered by the podcast host – drives stronger brand recall punch than more traditional forms of advertisements. For example, Nielsen’s podcast effectiveness studies have found that host-read ads drive a brand recall rate of 71%, which subsequently creates high levels of consumer interest, purchase intent and recommendation intent.”  Nielsen says that regardless of demographic breakdown, podcast listeners – both light and heavy users – are “among the most desirable audiences across the entire media landscape. That’s because of two key factors: Podcast audiences are very engaged with the content they listen to and podcast listeners have much higher household incomes than the general population. The growing base of 22 million light podcast listeners have a median annual household income of just over $80,000, while the 14 million heavy podcast listeners have a median income of $88,600.” But figuring out which podcasts will be most effective for marketers is the challenge. Nielsen says, “Unlike it does with traditional forms of media, traditional audience measurement does not provide brand advertisers with enough guidance for reliable podcast targeting. Advertising with a well-known title can certainly provide reach, but it doesn’t guarantee resonance or that listeners will take action. The world is moving away from cookies, bots, and anonymous impressions, and that elevates the importance of actual people. And when it comes to podcast advertising, there is no substitute for knowing what actual people are listening to, what they respond to and how to best engage them as a brand.”

Round Two of January PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. The January 2021 survey period covered January 7 – February 3. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this round of markets. In Washington, Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM adds 1.3 shares to finish the survey with a 5.9 share and jumps to the #5 rank while Hubbard Radio’s crosstown all-news WTOP-FM rises to the #2 rank on the strength of a 1.8 share jump to a 9.9 share finish. iHeartMedia’s all-news WBZ-AM, Boston claims the #1 rank after tacking on 1.7 shares to finish the survey with an 8.2 share. Sister news/talk WRKO also improves – by nine-tenths to a 5.2 share – but remains ranked #8. Sinclair Broadcast Group’s all-news KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle rises to the #4 rank after adding 1.1 shares for a 5.7 share finish, but Bonneville’s crosstown news/talk KIRO-FM remains ranked #1 after adding two-tenths and posting a 7.4 share. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Premiere Networks’ Buck Sexton and Ben Ferguson to Broadcast from CPAC. The Conservative Political Action Conference takes place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando today through Sunday and Premiere Networks-syndicated personalities Buck Sexton and Ben Ferguson will broadcast from the event. The nightly “Buck Sexton Show” and “The Ben Ferguson Podcast” will remote broadcast today and tomorrow and will feature interviews with speakers and special guests. Additionally, Ferguson will emcee a speaker series titled, “The Left’s Assault on a Free People: How Government, Big Tech and Media are Colluding to Deprive Us of Our Humanity,” on Friday at 1:40 pm, which will be followed by an appearance by Sexton on a panel titled, “Big Tech is for Sale, and Russia and China are Buying” at 2:55 pm ET.

Dan Proft to Give Up SRN Syndicated Evening Show. According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Dan Proft will end his role as host of the Salem Radio Network evening show after the March 5 edition and will focus on his daily morning radio show on the company’s WIND “AM 560 The Answer.” He may transition the night show into a podcast to be offered via the Salem Podcast Network. Proft took over the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight syndicated program after former host Joe Walsh left to run for the White House as a Republican.

Rare Rush Limbaugh Interview from 1990 Posted on Harrison Podcast. A clean audio copy of an interview Michael Harrison conducted over the phone with Rush Limbaugh during the Summer of 1990 emerged in 2016 after spending more than a quarter century stuffed in a forgotten dust-covered box marked “misc.” in the storage bins of the TALKERS archives. It is the historic centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Harrison had just launched TALKERS magazine – the talk media trade publication – in July of that year. Rush was the hottest up-and-coming talent in the business on the air with his national program that launched less than two years earlier. He was cleared at that time on about 240 stations which was a huge deal based on the standards of that era. According to Harrison, “Rush was still the new kid in town – provocative, exotic and controversial – not only politically but industrially as well. And the jury was still out – in terms of radio industry opinion – about whether or not a syndicated show could make it in prime daytime slots on the biggest stations in America. At that point, syndication was reserved largely for off-hour filler shows – mostly overnights and weekends.” Harrison adds, “I was talking with Rush for a print interview that ran in the third issue of TALKERS dated August 20, 1990 – almost 31 years ago! The recording was slapped together on Radio Shack equipment with one microphone, a cassette deck and one of those speaker boxes that were popular in that era. It was never intended for airplay – only as a transcription for reference to be used in print. And I didn’t conduct the conversation for the purposes of it actually being a show unto itself. It was just a utilitarian recording designed to be transcribed for print. I guess that’s why I eventually tossed it in a box of miscellaneous items… because, from my perspective in those days, it had served its purpose in helping produce the print product. But now, more than three decades later, it is radio history gold! Knowing what we know now, it is pretty amazing! It contains the seeds of the concepts, opinions, and seminal intelligence that set the stage for the modern era of talk radio.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Broadcsters Foundation of America Assisting Broadcasters Hit by Extreme Weather. The Broadcasters Foundation of America is providing emergency aid to broadcasters who’ve been hit hard by the recent extreme weather conditions in Texas and the surrounding states. BFoA says more than 20 requests have come in over the past five days from employees of TEGNA, Nexstar, Radio One, Entercom, FOX, and more, with the first of those checks going out to qualifying individuals today.  BFoA vice president Peter Doyle says, “Broken pipes, power outages, displacement, and more have brought devastation to many of our colleagues. The Foundation’s Emergency Grant Program is set up with a streamlined vetting process that allows us to move quickly and get checks to those in desperate need. We’re asking every broadcaster in affected areas to help us get the word out to those who may need our assistance.” Broadcasters interested in applying for aid may visit the Apply for Aid section of the Broadcasters Foundation website here and select Emergency Grants on the right, which will take them to the Emergency Grant & Disaster Information Request Form. The Broadcasters Foundation has disbursed over $1 million to qualifying broadcasters through its Emergency Grant Program. One-time emergency grants are awarded for up to $2,000 each to qualifying broadcasters recovering from a natural disaster, such as hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods, or other serious misfortune.

TALKERS News Notes. Marketing pro Brian Swarth joins Entercom in the newly created position of head of marketing, podcasts. In this role, Swarth will lead and oversee all marketing and PR for Entercom’s premium podcast division including Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios. He’ll report directly to Cadence13 chief content officer Chris Corcoran. Swarth was most recently with SHOWTIME Networks as SVP of digital media and marketing…..iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network is working with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to help kick off their “It’s Up To You” COVID-19 vaccine education initiative. This effort is designed to combat the high rates of vaccine hesitancy among communities of color. BIN president Tony Coles says, “Based on research, the Black community is the least likely group to be receptive to taking a COVID-19 vaccine. Our goal is to present the most accurate news and information to help curb the future impact of COVID-19 on the communities we serve, by both answering questions around vaccination and providing resources for the public to get informed.”…..Media software solutions firm vCreative announces that it has entered into a long-term agreement with Alpha Media to provide its vPPO service as well as adding the vTrade service to all Alpha Media stations nationwide…..SiriusXM is launching the new “Jess Cagle Podcast with Julia Cunningham” today (2/25). The new weekly podcast will feature interviews with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Jodie Foster, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Regina King, Jared Leto and Aaron Sorkin. New episodes drop every Thursday on the SiriusXM app, Pandora and Stitcher…..ABC News kicks off Women’s History Month with its new podcast, “In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson,” co-produced with Best Case Studios and hosted by author Julia Sweig. The podcast is drawn from more than 123 hours of the former first lady’s mostly unheard daily audio diaries and presents a surprising and original portrait of Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, told in her own words. The first two episodes of the eight-part series debut on Monday, March 1.

Cool Operations Manager Opportunity. Locally owned southern-based radio group seeking a full-time Operations Manager with strong technical and digital skills. The ideal candidate MUST have experience operating OP-X and managing satellite operations for syndicated programs. Applicant must have at least 5 years of experience. Proven experience in managing social media branding, digital marketing, and video production. Proficient in digital automation systems, digital audio editing and production is a must. EEO. Send resumes to dalton@starnesmediagroup.com

Former Arkansas Talk Host Pat Lynch Dies at 70. According to a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, former KARN, Little Rock talk radio personality Pat Lynch has died at age 70. Lynch was a talk host at KARN-AM from 1983 to 2000. He later worked at KABZ-FM and KDXE-FM in the Little Rock market. He was also a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette from 2000 through August of 2011. After leaving the broadcasting business, Lynch became a member of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church and went on to earn a diploma in theological studies from the Anglican School of Ministry in Little Rock.

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, New Stimulus Package, Trump to Speak at CPAC-State of the GOP, Biden Cabinet Confirmation Hearings, Capitol Insurrection Testimony, Andrew Cuomo Sexual Harassment Allegations, and Tiger Woods Car Crash Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24). The falling number of COVID cases in the U.S., concern about variants, and the rollout of vaccines; the negotiations over Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus package; the Conservative Political Action Conference and Donald Trump’s Sunday speech; the confirmation hearings for Biden nominees Merrick Garland, Neera Tanden, and Deb Haaland; the Senate testimony about the January 6 Capitol riot; the sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; and the Tiger Woods car crash were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

| December 3, 2020

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. Comparing the October 2020 survey to the November 2020 survey (10/8-11/4), 50% of all-news stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up while 28% were down and 22% were unchanged. Gainers were led by Entercom’s WWJ-AM, Detroit (+0.6) and KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Jose (+0.5). Comparing year-over-year data, 63% of all-news stations were up with gainers led by iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+2.2) and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+2.0). During the November ratings period, two all-news stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington with a 9.3 share and WBZ-AM, Boston with a 7.0 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete analysis here.

John Kincade Named New Morning Host at WPEN-FM, Philadephia. As a number of Philadelphia radio watchers had predicted, Beasley Media Group brings sports talker John Kincade back to Philadelphia to take over hosting duties at WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic,” effective January 4. Kincade was a longtime host of the “Buck and Kincade” show (with Buck Belue) on Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN-AM, Atlanta “680 The Fan.” He exited that role back in September as part of a budget-related talent shakeup at the station. He has also served as co-host of “The BIG Podcast with SHAQ” on PodcastOne. WPEN-FM program director Chuck Damico says, “We have a very clear vision for what we want to accomplish at the station and adding John Kincade is a giant leap towards accomplishing those goals. Our team is thrilled that he chose ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ for his homecoming to Philadelphia. We’re excited about the future!” Kincade says, “From the beginning of my search for a new radio home, my conversations with [market manager] Joe Bell and Chuck Damico were the most enthusiastic and interesting. It became clear to me that joining the team at ‘The Fanatic’ was the best place for me to start this next chapter. With guys I have long respected like Mike Missanelli and Anthony Gargano already there, I knew it would be an honor to join their team.”

Former NFLer Geoff Schwartz Joins FOX Sports Radio. Former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz becomes part of the weekend lineup at FOX Sports Radio where he joins FSR personality Steve Hartman as co-host of the Saturday afternoon program (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET). The program debuts on Saturday (12/5) on 400 stations and includes highlights and instant analysis on the weekend in games plus conversations with insiders and experts. Schwartz has served as one of the primary fill-in hosts for FSR’s “Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis” for the past three years and is a weekly guest on the show. Premiere Networks SVP of sports programming Don Martin says, “Building on what’s already the strongest weekend lineup in the game, Geoff’s entertaining and thoughtful approach takes it up yet another notch. FSR’s talented weekend cast is here to deliver exactly what sports fans want before, during and after games.”

WEEI-FM, Boston Raises $1.5 Million for Jimmy Fund. The COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on the annual Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon that takes place every August, so this year Entercom sports talk outlet WEEI-FM, Boston used the national “Giving Tuesday” (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving) to help raise more than $1.5 million for The Jimmy Fund that directly supports innovative cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and helps transform cancer treatment, so patients and their families can spend more time together. Since 2002, WEEI has helped raise nearly $60 million for The Jimmy Fund. Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “This was the first time in 19 years we were unable to hold our annual ‘Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon,’ but this broadcast allowed us to continue supporting the fund’s lifesaving mission to provide compassionate patient care and groundbreaking cancer research for children and adults. I’m very grateful for the widespread support from our listeners and some of New England’s biggest stars to help make this radiothon a success.”

COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Biden Transition/Trump Tactics, Georgia Runoff Elections, UN Climate Report, the Economy/New Stimulus Negotiations, and NFL’s COVID Cases Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the climbing death toll, and the rollout of vaccines in the U.K. and Russia; the Joe Biden administration transition process and Donald Trump’s ongoing statements calling the election results into question; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the dire tone of the new UN Climate Report; the state of the U.S. economy and current negotiations for a new COVID relief deal; and the NFL’s handling of positive COVID cases as the season moves toward the playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Progressive Political Talker and Multi-platform Groundbreaker Stephanie Miller Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the longest-running leaders among the relatively rare species of commercial news/talk radio progressives, Stephanie Miller is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Miller’s daily morning ensemble program, now in the middle of its second decade, has developed a large, active, and extremely loyal national audience through a cross-platform array of venues that includes terrestrial radio, SiriusXM Satellite RadioFree Speech TV, podcasts, and online streaming. During the past several years, this three-decade-plus veteran of talk radio has enjoyed groundbreaking success in bringing her “Sexy Liberal Tour” – a theatrical version of her ensemble radio show – to sold out houses at some of the most prestigious theaters in America. Since that got sidelined in early 2020 by COVID-19, she and her business partner Ron Hartenbaum have successfully morphed it into the “Sexy Liberal Virtual Tour” that has been drawing in gigantic monthly audiences anxious to see and follow what has become a rising force in online political sketch comedy. Ironically, Miller comes to the Left from the Right. She is the daughter of William MillerBarry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican presidential running mate. In a fast-paced, candid, and informal conversation between longtime friends, Harrison and Miller discuss the “survival mode” state of progressive news/talk radio, non-traditional methods of generating broadcasting revenue, the evolution of her successful theatrical (and now online) “Sexy Liberal” offshoot, and her no-holds-barred take on today’s explosive presidential politics. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At  Entercom’a hip hop WVEE, Atlanta “V-103,” air personalities Tylerchronicles and Christina “Ms. Basketball” Granville join “The Morning Culture with Big Tigger” that airs from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Entercom Atlanta SVP and market manager Rick Caffey says, “Adding Tylerchronicles and Christina ‘Ms. Basketball’ Granville will not only round out our widely popular morning program, but further establish ‘V-103’ as the people’s station throughout Atlanta. Both possess a unique talent for captivating and entertaining their audiences, and I look forward to introducing them to our listeners as part of their morning routines.”…..Eagle Communications closes on the acquisition of country KZTL-FM, Paxton and rock KRNP, Sutherland – both in Nebraska – from Legacy Communications. KALIL & CO., INC. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

| November 3, 2020

Beasley Media Group Third Quarter Report: Net Revenue Down 25%. The first radio company to report 2020 third quarter financial results is Beasley Media Group which reveals net revenue for the period was $49.6 million, down almost 25% from the $66.1 million reported in the third quarter of 2019. Obviously, the dramatic decrease is the result of a loss of advertising revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company reports operating income of $0.8 million, down from $9.4 million in Q3 of 2019. Beasley reports a net loss of $2.7 million for the quarter compared to the net income of $3 million realized in the third quarter of 2019. Station operating income was $8.1 million, a little less than half of the $16.7 million in SOI reported in the third quarter of 2019. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “The strong recovery of our business continued in the third quarter of 2020. It is clear that the immediate actions we took to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses, headcount reductions, furloughs, and negotiated discounts with landlords, service providers and partners have contributed to Beasley’s ability to rebound quickly. This focus, combined with the resumption of advertising in key categories, the experience of our teams who have managed through previous economic challenges, the quality of our content, and the role we play in the communities we serve, have all contributed to our ability to turn the corner as evidenced by the positive SOI recorded in the 2020 third quarter. Throughout the third quarter our sales teams drove monthly sequential revenue improvements with July up 8% over June, August up 24% over July and September rising 22% over August. Total net revenue for October increased in the low- to mid-single digits, and November revenue is currently pacing down in the low teens. In addition to the resumption of advertising in key categories and the benefit of the political cycle, Beasley generated continued positive results from its digital and esports investments, which have been less impacted by the pandemic. Third quarter digital revenue rose 1.8% year-over-year to $5 million and our new esports operations generated approximately $500,000 of revenue during the period. Digital revenue accounted for approximately 10.1% of total third quarter revenue, compared to 7.4% of total revenue in the prior year period. Reflecting our initiatives to address the pandemic, including reducing operating expenses and corporate overhead and realigning our company-wide cost structure, Beasley’s third quarter total operating expenses declined by 15.9% and the company expects to reduce its operating expenses through year-end by more than $32 million compared to our 2020 operating budget. We anticipate that a meaningful portion of the operating expense reductions realized since the onset of the pandemic will be recurring, as we continue to make fundamental changes to improve processes and efficiencies across the organization. While the last several months have presented unprecedented challenges for ad-reliant businesses, I am extremely proud of the way our corporate and station level leaders and valued team members rose to the occasion and worked tirelessly to enable Beasley to return to positive cash flow in the third quarter. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter and 2021, we intend to continue our focus on growing our cash flow and maintaining a strong balance sheet with liquidity at current or higher levels. Growing ratings, diversifying revenue and delivering exceptional content and services to our listeners, advertisers, online users and esports fans will remain our focus. And we believe the tremendous resilience of our team and steps we’ve taken to strengthen our financial position and achieve ongoing operational efficiencies have helped ensure that Beasley Broadcast Group remains well-positioned for near- and long-term success.”

iHeartMedia Purging Employees; WTVN’s Riley and Schmid Exit. The latest round of “headcount reduction” is taking place at iHeartMedia, with air personalities, producers and more being let go as the company deals with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the ratio of music-formatted stations to talk stations, the majority of those being laid off are from music outlets. Some of those working in talk formats who’ve been let go include WTVN, Columbus morning host Joel Riley and morning program producer Tom Schmid. Riley told Columbus Business First, “I worked there for over 26 years. It was my dream job, that morning show. I’m devastated. I will miss the listeners. They made that job special every day.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. About half of the all-news stations in PPM markets were up (6+ weekly AQH share) and half were down or flat. Gainers were led by iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston (+1.1) and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+0.8). Year-over-year numbers tell a different story as 63% of all-news outlets improve. Top gainers from October 2019 to October 2020 include WTOP (+2.9), Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (+2.0), WBZ-AM (+2.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+1.9). See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

New Firm Major Triad Media Acquires TM Studios from Westwood One. Jingle and production house TM Studios is being acquired from Westwood One by Major Triad Media, a partnership of three TM Studios figures – creative director Dave Bethell, Chris “UK” Stevens, and jingle icon and current general manager Greg Clancy. A press release says the new company will maintain studios in Dallas, Los Angeles, and the UK. Bethell says, “From listening to TM jingles on my local radio station in England when I was a kid to becoming a fan, I’ve always wanted to work for TM. Eventually it was the place where I had my big jingle break back in 2005. I’ve written and produced for TM Studios continuously ever since. As co-owner I’m excited to tell the next chapter of TM’s incredible story with our perfect new partnership.” Stevens comments, “I’m so excited to be part of the team to take TM’s legendary name into a new chapter, and from my home country, no less. It’s been 15 years since I originally relocated from London to Dallas to work with TM. It is a dream come true to become part of the new ownership team.” Clancy adds, “I vividly remember watching my dad sing in TM vocal sessions as a kid and had my first vocal session at TM as a 12-year old boy. I began singing for Tom Merriman and Jim Kirk at 23, straight out of college. Just imagine what this moment means to me. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and can’t wait to grow and extend the TM legacy.” TM Studios will continue to work with Westwood One, with a multi-year agreement to serve as exclusive barter representative to seamlessly serve existing clients.

‘The Fisher House Story’ Available Now in Time for Veterans Day. Veterans Day is next Wednesday (11/11) and the Fisher House Foundation announces that The Jeff Wyatt Group has a fresh edition of “The Fisher House Story” for 2020 ready for download. “The Fisher House Story – A Family’s Love” is a radio special provided in varying lengths for news/talk radio stations in the U.S. and around the world. The three-hour, one-hour, 25-minute, and 30-minute radio specials are available for free. The specials are once again hosted by Mary Walter of WMAL-FM, Washington and feature stories of our nation’s heroes, the families who serve by their side, and how Fisher House plays a role in their journey. Your listeners will hear from Ben Breckheimer, an Army combat scout whose vehicle hit an improvised explosive device while driving with his team in Afghanistan; Lt. Col. Patrick Miller, an Army officer who was shot in the 2014 Ft. Hood shooting; and Jeff Sampson, a Navy veteran who needed a double lung transplant. These are just a few of the many stories that will be told “in their own words.” A clock and demo is now available at radio.fisherhouse.org. For more information on this radio special, available cash and barter free, contact Jeff Wyatt at The Jeff Wyatt Group at 301-518-3640 or jw@thejeffwyattgroup.com.

TALKERS News Notes. Tonight, the Westwood One nationally syndicated Jim Bohannon show is presenting election coverage from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET with the help of correspondents Clayton Neville and Linda Kenyon, plus commentary from Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, political science professor Dr. Frank Sorrentino, former Indiana congressman Dave Evans, and commentator Sean Walsh…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces a partnership with Rolling Stone to market and distribute their podcasts “Useful Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper” and “Rolling Stone Music Now.” The agreement includes the back catalogue in addition to future episodes…..Audio and spoken word agency Oxford Road announces the addition of three executive to the company. Kraig Kitchin – former Premiere Networks chief and current Sound Mind LLC principal – joins as strategic adviser. Steven Abraham is introduced as the company’s new president and Jennifer Laine is named head of marketing.

Today’s Presidential Election/Senate and House Races, Law Enforcement Prepares for Unrest, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Terror Attacks, Hurricane Eta Approaches Central America Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2). Today’s presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as well as the numerous Senate and House races; law enforcement’s concerns about and preparation for keeping voting places accessible and handling public safety in the event protests and violence break out; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in Europe and projections the second wave could be worse than the first; the recent spate of terror attacks in France, Vienna, and Kabul; and Hurricane Eta threatens Central America with record floodwaters were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Twin Cities, Bring Me the News reports that air personalities Steve LaTart, a.k.a. Steve-O of CHR KDWB’s morning show and hot AC KTCZ “Cities 97.1” morning host Hunter Quinn both exit as part of the current downsizing taking place at iHeartMedia across the country…..Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville names Toni-Marie afternoon drive host. Toni-Marie joins Cumulus Nashville from Entercom’s country KWJJ, Portland “99.5 The Wolf” where she was midday host and APD. She says, “I have never been happier inside of a Walmart than the day that [program director] Paul Williams called to offer me this position! I’ve had the opportunity to do country radio in some amazing markets, but getting to work with Paul and the team at 103-3 in Nashville is a dream come true!”…..Alpha Media Portland announces that Gustav will join the KINK-FM lineup as the afternoon drive host. Alpha Media Portland operations manager Gene Sandbloom says, “Gustav has been an icon in Portland radio for 25 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join the KINK team in afternoons. His breadth of musical knowledge and the relationships he has forged with artists throughout his career are most welcome. For more than 50 years the KINK brand has been about serving the needs of Portland and the surrounding communities. Hats off to the Alpha Media management team for making yet another true investment in being live and local.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

| October 28, 2020

Round Two of Nielsen’s October PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7. You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. Also today, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from this group of markets. In Washington, DC, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM gives up one-tenth to finish at a 7.9 share but rises from  the #3 to the #2 rank. Across town at Hubbard Radio, all-news WTOP-FM remains ranked #1 in the market after adding eight-tenths to finish with a 10.3 share. It was a good survey for iHeartMedia in Boston as news/talk WRKO adds 1.1 shares to finish with a 6.0 share good for the #6 rank and all-news WBZ-AM also adds 1.1 shares to jump from the #5 to the #1 rank on the strength of a 7.2 share. In Seattle, Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM posts a six-tenths increase after four surveys without a positive move to wrap the October survey with a 7.0 share that lifts it to #1. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaways here.

Joe Benigno Expected to Announce Retirement from WFAN, New York Today. As reported by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Entercom’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” says there will be an important announcement during the 5:00 pm hour of today’s “Joe & Evan” show. It’s widely believed that co-host Joe Benigno will announce his retirement from the station that will open the door to bringing Craig Carton back to the station, most likely to co-host the afternoon drive show with current co-host Evan Roberts. Even before all of the Carton-to-return-to-WFAN chatter began, 67-year-old Benigno had dropped hints about his desire to hang up the cans and retire to Florida. As for Carton, the station has not announced his return but incessant reports in the New York media indicate the former morning drive co-host – out of prison after being convicted of fraud in a Ponzi scheme created to pay off gambling debts – is a lock to be back on WFAN’s airwaves.

Dori Monson Returns to KIRO-FM, Seattle Air After Suspension. Seattle talk radio host Dori Monson returned to host his afternoon drive program on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM on Tuesday (10/27), some two-and-a-half weeks after being suspended for a tweet that he said “didn’t hit the mark.” The Seattle Times reports that Monson issued his apology on air that followed the written one posted on the KIRO-FM website. Monson said his tweet was commentary during the gubernatorial debate between Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Republican challenger Loren Culp. In addressing the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Inslee said the state follows science (implying science as opposed to politics). His tweet read: “Inslee: we follow science in WA. The state where I could go to Olympia tomorrow and change my birth cert to say I was a girl on 10/2/61. HAHAHAHAHA.” Monson faced immediate backlash accusing him of being transphobic and was suspended indefinitely from his daily show and his role on Seattle Seahawks pre- and post-game shows.

TALKERS News Notes. The parent company of Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings LLC – is reportedly in talks with Advent International to sell its consumer goods data business, according to the Financial Times. The piece indicates the deal would value that division at around $2.9 billion. Nielsen had previously announced its plans to spin off the Global Connect business and recently revealed it will be renamed NielsenIQ…..Hubbard Radio’s KIXI-AM, Seattle adds weekend programming from Smart Talk Radio Network to its lineup. Three shows – “Around The House With Eric G,” “Our Auto Expert,” and “Barbeque Nation” – made available via Sun Broadcast Group, will air on Saturdays and Sundays…..Entercom’s Steve Holman, Mike Conti, Miller Pope, and James Fairey of sports talker WZGC-FM, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” were honored by the Georgia Association of Broadcasters with Merit Award for “Best Sports Play-by-Play” as part of this year’s Gabby Awards…..WHO, Des Moines-based radio iron man Simon Conway is doing double duty this week as he hosts his afternoon drive talk program on iHeartMedia’s WHO, WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids, and WOC-AM, Davenport, as well as handling mornings on the company’s “Good Morning Orlando” show that airs on news/talk WFLF-AM.

WCCO-AM, Minneapolis Afternoon Personality Jordana Green Reveals Cancer Diagnosis. WCCO-AM, Minneapolis afternoon drive personality Jordana Green told listeners that she has been diagnosed with leukemia and is receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Yesterday (10/27), Green – who co-hosts the program with Paul Douglas told listeners doctors found the cancer last week, and immediately decided she should get treatment that includes multiple rounds of chemo and a possible bone marrow transplant in the spring. In a report posted to the station’s website, Green says, “I’ve been feeling crappy for a few months, very fatigued. About two weeks ago I noticed some large bruising on my legs but didn’t remember bumping myself. Last Tuesday, I went for some bloodwork. Tuesday night my doctor called and said I need to go to the ER as my platelets were low. Normal platelets are 150,000+. Mine were 19,000. They admitted me, did a bone marrow biopsy and 12 hours later told me I had leukemia.” She says she’ll try to check-in on the show from her hospital room when she’s “feeling up to it,” for the next several weeks she’ll be off the air while she is receiving chemo treatments.

The Presidential Election, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Deadly Philly Police Shooting/Protests, Hunter Biden Emails, Big Tech Before Congress, Financial Markets Activity, New California Wildfires, and Tropical Storm Zeta Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/27). The November 3 presidential election and the final week of campaigning by Donald Trump and Joe Biden; the rising number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and abroad and projections for the fall/winter; a second night of protests and looting in Philadelphia after a Black man is killed by police; the allegations that Hunter Biden used his father’s vice presidency to gain lucrative business deals in Ukraine by promising access to Joe Biden; today’s appearance before a Senate Commerce Subcommittee by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai; the world’s financial markets respond to the rise in COVID-19 cases; the new wildfires affecting Southern California; and the expected path of Tropical Storm Zeta 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. According to a report at Syracuse.com, adult contemporary WLZW, Syracuse “Lite 98.7” morning show co-host and classic rock WOUR midday personality Dave Coombs is leaving Townsquare Media and will join Saga Communications to host the morning drive show on active rock WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts “LAZER 99.3” in November. Coombs has been co-hosting the “Lite 98.7” morning show with his wife Beth, who  will remain in her position with new co-host Dave Wheeler…..The entertainment podcast “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee [UNCENSORED],” enters into a deal with FOX Soul to air the program on the digital television network. Lee is also host of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” a two-hour weekend show that airs on 60 hip hop stations nationwide, in addition to iHeartRadio…..Entercom proudly congratulates hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94” air personality Mike Kannon for being honored with a GABBY Award for “Best On-Air Personality” from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters…..Cumulus Media announces that WIXV, Savannah “I-95” air personality and program director Don Scott (below, left) is being honored by the State of Georgia with the Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award for exemplary community service. The Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award is Georgia’s highest service award and was personally presented to Scott by State Representative Carl Gilliard (below, right). Scott says, “‘I-95’ and our parent company Cumulus Media respects our audience and understands our responsibility to serve the public interest. My personal passion for radio, as well as the passion of our staff, drives us to maintain a high level of quality in everything we do. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this award. I would like to thank Carl Gilliard and the State of Georgia for this recognition.”

October 2020 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Round Two

| October 28, 2020

October 2020 PPM Data. Information for the October 2020 ratings period has been released for Washington (DC), Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.

Nielsen Audio’s October 2020 survey period covered September 10 – October 7.

Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” for spoken-word formats from these 12 PPM-markets.

Noteworthy: The NFL season started September 10 – the first day of the October 2020 sweep.

WASHINGTON, DC

News/Talk

  • This time last month, Cumulus Media’s WMAL picked up one-tenth (7.9 – 8.0, 6+) yet slipped from second to third. Now, even though WMAL returns September’s +.1 (8.0 – 7.9, 6+), it nonetheless advances from third to a second-place tie. WMAL was on top four consecutive sweeps (April through July), before faltering by one-half share in August. April’s 0 marked the first time in WMAL’s PPM-history that it reached double-digits (6+).
  • For the 28th sweep in succession, Radio One’s WOL “News Talk – Where Information Is Power” is unlisted.

Sports Talk

  • After being a combined +1.1 in July/August (1.3 – 1.6 – 2.4, 6+), Entercom-owned WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” (Nationals) drops eight-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.1 – 1.6, #16 to #17, 6+). Its 4.8 (November 2019) is the highest 6+-stat by any D.C. sports talk outlet in the PPM-era.
  • For the fourth time in the last six reports, WJFK-FM’s internet stream logs a .3 (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4 – .3 – .3, May 2020 through October 2020, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths via three up or flat moves in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+) but then down four-tenths through four successive sweeps without an increase (1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .8 – .7, Radio One’s WTEM “980 The Team” (Washington Football Team) ends the slide with a half-share increase to 1.2 and enters the top twenty (#22 to #20, 6+).
  • Following five straight reports of posting a .1 (6+), Cumulus Media’s WSBN “630 AM The Sports Capitol” (Washington Football Team) gains one-tenth to .2 (#31 to #30, 6+).

 News

  • In addition to recording its third straight uptick for an impressive +2.6 (7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5 – 10.3, 6+) and setting the pace the third month in a row, Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM & WTLP-FM boasts its best 6+ stat (10.3) since January 2019 (10.4). Prior to taking the lead in August, “Washington’s Top News” spent three consecutive months occupying the runner-up slot.
  • Regaining the three-tenths it dropped this time last month (.7 – .4 – .7, 6+), Entercom business news WDCH “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” advances from #26 to #22.
  • Unlisted in August and September, WDCH’s internet stream reappears with a .1 (#31, 6+).
  • For the second month in a row, Black Information Network affiliates WUST and WMZQ-HD2 do not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Answering September’s loss of nine-tenths with an October gain of one-half share (6.4 – 6.9, 6+), American University-owned WAMU repeats in fourth-place. “The Mind Is Our Medium” was +.6 in August. Entering the August sweep, WAMU was an overall -2.1 via four straight down or flat trends (8.7 – 8.4 – 7.4 – 6.8 – 6.6, 6+). It was in a first-place tie with Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP-FM in February and took sole possession of the lead in March.

BOSTON

 News/Talk

  • Bettering September’s +1.0 with an October +1.1, iHeartMedia-owned WRKO zooms from eighth to fifth and reaches the six-share threshold (3.9 – 4.9 – 6.0, 6+). Four setbacks in a row by “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” immediately prior led to a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+).
  • After losing a total of seven-tenths in four straight declines (1.1 – .8 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” halts the skid with a one-tenth gain to .5 (flat at #26, 6+). WXKS-AM nearly doubled (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in April/May (.6 – 1.1 – 1.1, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • In addition to logging its fourth straight uptick for an overall +2.9 (3.9 – 4.1 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 6.8, sixth to fourth 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” (Celtics, Bruins, Patriots) has its highest 6+-stat (6.8) since May 2019 (7.0).
  • Up a modest three-tenths via four consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom’s WEEI-FM (Red Sox) nonetheless backslides from #12 to a tie at #13. Before gaining one-tenth in July, WEEI-FM was an overall -1.7 in four consecutive downturns (4.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Conversely, WEEI-FM’s internet stream is down or flat the fourth time in a row for a net loss of one-tenth (.2 – .2 – .2 – .1 – .1, #32 to #31, 6+).
  • Providence sibling WVEI notches a .1 (6+) the fifth consecutive report and is tied with WEEI-FM’s internet stream at #31.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WEEI-AM is unlisted.

News

  • Within 6.1 – 6.7 range in six of the last seven reports (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 6.6 – 6.7 – 6.6 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM erupts with a +1.1 to cross the seven-share level (7.2, 6+). Moreover, “News Radio 1030” marches from fifth to a first-place tie. WBZ-AM was off one-half share in April/May (6.4 – 6.3 – 5.9, 6+).
  • Having posted a .1 (6+) four straight months, Beasley Media Group business news WRCA “Bloomberg Boston” added one-tenth this time last month to .2 (6+), but regresses to .1 (flat at #31, 6+).
  • This is the second month in a row that Black Information Network affiliate WJMN-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • While it is up three-tenths through three straight up or flat moves (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Boston University’s WBUR remains at #9.
  • By posting a +1.0 to 3.3 (6+), WGBH Educational Foundation-owned WGBH pulls the plug on four decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.3 (4.6 – 3.2 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.3, 6+) and vaults from #16 to #11. The just-concluded negative streak followed three straight improvements that netted a +1.7 (2.9 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.6, 6+), 6+).
  • Co-owned WCAI is unlisted the fifth time in a row.

MIAMI

News/Talk

  • Without a loss the fourth consecutive month for a net gain of nine-tenths (7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WIOD “News Radio 610 Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” leaps from #20 to #16.

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WQAM “560 The Joe” (Panthers, Dolphins) nets four-tenths in three straight up or flat reports (.6 – .7 – .7 – 1.0, #26 to #25, 6+). WQAM last reached a one-share in May (1.0, as well).
  • While flat at #30, iHeartMedia’s WINZ “940 AM Miami’s Sports Station” (Marlins) is up two-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (.1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+).
  • Disappearing from print is Entercom’s WAXY “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” (Heat), which doubled August’s .2 (6+) to .4 (#29 to #27, 6+) this time last month. The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the NBA title (10/11) by besting the Heat in a series that went six games.
  • This is the fifth month in a row that co-owned WKIS-HD2 does not appear in print.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • A combined +.6 in August/September (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.7, 6+), Dade County School Board’s WLRN forfeits eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and exits the top ten (#8 to #11). WLRN previously lost an overall six-tenths in four consecutive slips (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.1, 6+).

SEATTLE

News/Talk

  • Without an increase the past four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+), Bonneville-owned KIRO-FM (Seahawks) erases 75% of that shortfall with a +.6 to 7.0 (6+) and advances from second to first. “Seattle’s News/Seattle’s Talk” was on top six successive sweeps before segueing to the runner-up slot this time last month. .
  • Not only does cluster-mate KTTH continue an alternating down/up sequence that includes October’s robust +1.1 enabling it to cross the three-share level (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.6, June 2020 through October 2020, 6+), “Conservative Talk Radio” catapults into the top ten (#16 to #10). Entering the September sweep, KTTH was anchored at #19 the previous four
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” ceased subscribing to Nielsen’s PPM after the March 2020 survey in which it posted a 1.1 (#22, 6+).

 Sports Talk

  • Rebounding from a loss of three-tenths this time last month with an October improvement of seven-tenths (2.2 – 2.9, 6+), Bonneville’s KIRO-AM (Mariners, Seahawks) advances from #20 to #17. “ESPN 710” was a combined +1.0 in July/August (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.5, 6+).
  • Adding one-half share to September’s increase of two-tenths (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” repeats at #24.
  • This the 11th time in a row that co-owned KFNQ “1090 AM” hasn’t logged an increase for a net loss of three-tenths (.5 – .4 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2, #29, 6+).

News

  • Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO repeats September’s average quarter hour share and market rank (5.0, #5, 6+). It dropped one-half share in April and again in May (5.4 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+); gained one-half share in June/July (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+); forfeited one-half share in August (4.9 – 4.4, 6+); and posted a September +.6.
  • After logging a .1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KHHO is unlisted the fourth month in a row.
  • Hubbard Broadcasting business news KKNW does not appear in print the fifth consecutive report.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Duplicating September’s increase of one-half share (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.3, 6+), Northwest Public Radio’s KUOW bumps up from fourth to third. The last time it reached the six-share level was December 2019 (6.1). KUOW was off nine-tenths in April/May (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.6, 6+) and gained eight-tenths in June/July (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.4, 6+).
  • Following four straight months of logging a .1 (6+), Washington State University-owned KSWS is unlisted the second time in a row.

DETROIT

 News/Talk

  • Three consecutive positive spikes by Cumulus Media’s WJR (Lions) account for a +1.3 (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+) as “News Talk 760” cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This (4.7) is its best 6+-showing since April’s 4.8. WJR was +3.2 through four successive improvements (1.6 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 4.8, 6+), but then a collective -1.4 via three straight sweeps without an increase (4.8 – 4.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Entercom-owned WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” (Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings) was +1.7 in July/August (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+); -.6 (5.3 – 4.7, September, 6+); and now +.5 in October (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to fourth, 6+). Its half-share July gain curtailed three straight drops that accounted for a -1.2 (4.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+).
  • Up four-tenths (.1 – .5, 6+), WXYT-FM’s internet stream climbs from #26 to #23.
  • Cluster-mate WXYT-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 (May 2020 through October 2020, #23 to #24, 6+).

 News

  • With an October increase of three-tenths to 4.8 (6+), co-owned WWJ “News Radio 950” erases 30% of August/September’s -1.0 (5.5 – 5.3 – 4.5, 6+) to progress from tenth to eighth. WWJ previously was a collective +2.5 through four successive bumps (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.8 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+).
  • From May through August, WDFN recorded a .2 (6+), but the iHeartMedia outlet/Black Information Network affiliate is unlisted in September and October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Despite dropping one-tenth (3.0 – 2.9, 6+), Wayne State University-owned WDET advances from #18 to #16. Its September +1.0 expunged a collective -1.0 from four straight down or flat reports (3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+).
  • Without a loss the past four months for a modest net increase of one-tenth (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+), Michigan Public Media’s WUOM drops two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) but continues at #21. WUOM was off seven-tenths in April/May (2.3 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+).

PHOENIX

News/Talk

  • Stacking a robust +1.4 onto September’s gain of one-tenth, iHeartMedia’s KFYI “News Talk 550” jumps from sixth to third and nearly reaches a six-share (4.3 – 4.4 – 5.8, 6+). Immediately prior to June’s -.7, KFYI practically doubled (+2.3) its 6+ AQH share in seven up or flat reports in succession (2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).
  • Bonneville’s KTAR-FM (Arizona Cardinals) falters by one-half share in back-to-back reports (4.8 – 4.3 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entering the September sweep, KTAR-FM netted two-tenths via three straight up or flat moves (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Off six-tenths in June/July (2.2 – 1.8 – 1.6, 6+), Bonneville-owned KMVP-FM “98.7 Arizona Sports” (Arizona Diamondbacks) roars back with three straight spikes for a collective +1.3 (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.9, #20 to #15, 6+).
  • Co-owned KTAR-AM is trending: .1 – .2 – .1 – .3 (#32 to #31, 6+).
  • For the sixth consecutive time, iHeartMedia’s KGME “Fox Sports 910” (Coyotes) records a .2 (#31 to #32, 6+),
  • Likewise, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KDUS “Sports AM 1060” logs a .1 the sixth month in a row (#32 to #33, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Bouncing back from a September loss of nine-tenths with a one-tenth gain (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Maricopa County Community College-owned KJZZ moves from #15 to #13. In eight of nine previous survey periods, KJZZ notched a 6+ AQH share between 3.4 – 3.8 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+).

MINNEAPOLIS

News/Talk

  • A combined +1.2 in August/September (4.3 – 4.6 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom-owned WCCO (Twins, Timberwolves) relinquishes 25% of that increase (5.2, -.3, sixth to eighth, 6+). “News Radio 830” was -1.3 in June/July (5.6 – 5.5 – 4.3, 6+) and an overall +2.0 as a result of three straight up or flat trends (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.6 – 5.6, 6+).
  • Four consecutive sweeps without a loss by iHeartMedia’s KTLK result in a net gain of nine-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.4, #14 to #13, 6+). Entering the August report, “Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130” recorded a fluctuation of one-tenth four times in a row (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.6, 6+) and then notched a +.4 to 3.0 (6+).
  • While remaining flat at #16, Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY “My Talk 107.1” is down six-tenths in September/October (2.3 – 2.1 – 1.7, 6+), directly after gaining a collective four-tenths in July/August (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • To say iHeartMedia’s KFXN (Wild, Vikings) has stormed back from September’s modest loss of three-tenths would be quite the understatement. “Sports Radio 100.3 K-Fan” registers the largest (6+) September 2020 – October 2020 increase of any station from these 12 PPM markets (5.3 – 8.2, +2.9, 6+) and leaps from #7 all the way to #1. This is the first time “K-Fan” has been on top since January. Following a May increase of four-tenths (5.5 – 5.9, 6+), KFXN forfeited nine-tenths in June/July (5.9 – 5.6 – 5.0, 6+).
  • Having doubled (+.2) its 6+ AQH share through three straight up or flat trends (.2 – .3 – .3 – .4, 6+), Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-AM is off one-tenth to .3 (#24 to #29, 6+).

News

  • Unlisted in August, iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KQQL-HD2 resurfaced in September with a .1 (#27, 6+) but does not appear in the October report.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW regains the one-tenth it lost this time last month and repeats in the runner-up slot. KNOW has a June 2020 through October 2020 topline of: 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 7.2 (6+).

SAN DIEGO

News/Talk

  • By gaining four-tenths to 4.8 (fifth to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOGO “News Radio 600” applies the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that accounted for a net loss of -2.2 (6.6 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+). Entering the May sweep, KOGO was a collective +2.8 via three straight bumps (3.8 – 4.5 – 5.5 – 6.6, 6+).
  • Co-owned KGB-AM (formerly Tegna’s KFMB-AM) repeats September’s 6+ AQH share and market rank (2.2, #18, 6+). This is the third time in the last five sweeps “AM 760” has notched a 2.2 (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).
  • Los Angeles sibling KFI “AM 640,” which was off four-tenths this time last month, recaptures one-tenth (2.0 – 2.1, 6+) and one ranker (#20 to #19).

Sports Talk

  • An overall +1.8 through five consecutive reports without a loss (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Entercom’s KWFN “97.3 The Fan” (Padres) falters by two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), but repeats at #14.
  • This marks the fourth consecutive time that iHeartMedia-owned KLSD (Chargers) has a fluctuation of one-tenth (.7 – .8 – .9 – .8 – .9, flat at #24, 6+). “Fox Sports 1360 San Diego’s Sports Station” had lost eight-tenths in five straight sweeps without an increase (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .7, 6+).

News

  • Co-owned Black Information Network affiliate KSSX-HD2 is unlisted the third successive sweep.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Recent fluctuations by KPBS include: -1.4 (8.5 – 7.1, May, 6+); -1.6 (7.1 – 5.5, June, 6+); +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, July, 6+); and now +1.3 in October (6.1 – 7.4, 6+), enabling the San Diego State University-owned facility to leap from third to first. KPBS was tied for the top spot in July and held sole possession of the lead in August.      

TAMPA

News/Talk

  • Winning ways continue for Cox Media Group-owned WHPT as five consecutive ratings periods without a loss yield “102.5 The Bone – Real, Raw, Radio” a +2.4 (2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 4.6 – 5.1, steady at #5, 6+).
  • Unlisted the second month in a row is WHPT’s internet stream, which was a combined +1.6 in July/August (.8 – 1.5 – 2.4, #19, 6+).
  • Despite being down two-tenths (3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WFLA (Tampa Bay Lightning) inches up from #14 to #13. Prior to gaining six-tenths this time last month, “970 Tampa Bay’s News Radio” was down or flat the previous four sweeps for an overall -1.7 (4.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+). During this particular ratings period, The Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars four games to two to win the Stanley Cup (9/28).
  • After adding one-tenth this time last month (.1 – .2, 6+), co-owned WHNZ “1250 Tampa Bay’s Impact Radio” repeats September’s .2 (#30 to #29, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Steady at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE (Rays) is up four-tenths (1.8 – 2.2, 6+). This year’s World Series concluded last night (10/27), when the Dodgers beat the Rays in game six, 3 – 1. Prior to gaining six-tenths in August, “620 Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” sputtered by seven-tenths through four drops in a row (1.9 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2, 6+).

News

  • As a result of five straight up or flat reports, Beasley Media Group business news WHFS has gained two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .3 – .3 – .3, #27 to #28, 6+).
  • This is the third time in succession that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WBTP-HD2 is unlisted.

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Following a September gain of eight-tenths (2.9 – 3.7, 6+), University of South Florida-owned WUSF forfeits one-half share to 3.2 (#12 to #15, 6+). In advance of the September report, WUSF was down or flat the previous five months for a -1.2 (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Leading up to that, it was an overall +2.4 in eight consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 4.1, 6+).
  • WUSF’s internet stream has lost half (-.2) its 6+ AQH share in three straight down or flat moves (4 – .3 – .3 – .2, #27 to #29, 6+).

DENVER

News/Talk

  • Dropping from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia’s KDFD is off one-half share in September/October (4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+). “Freedom 93.7 – Real News, Real Talk” improved by one-half share in July/August (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+).
  • Cluster-mate KOA “Colorado’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” (Broncos, Colorado Rockies) reclaims the two-tenths it squandered this time last month (2.1 – 1.9 – 2.1, 6+) and repeats at #19.
  • Not only is co-owned KHOW up seven-tenths in five successive sweeps without a loss (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+), “Talk Radio 630” enters the top twenty (#21 to #20).

Sports Talk

  • Practically doubling (+1.7) its 6+ AQH share via three straight upticks (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville-owned KKFN (Nuggets) elevates from #17 to #11. “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” was -1.3 in June/July (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.8, 6+).
  • Up one-half share in August/September (.3 – .5 – .8, 6+), KSE Radio Ventures-owned KKSE-FM “Attitude Sports Radio 92.5” (Colorado Avalanche) surrenders two-tenths to .6 (flat at #29, 6+).
  • Despite logging its fourth straight up or flat move for a modest gain of two-tenths (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .3, 6+), Bonneville’s KEPN-AM “ESPN Denver 1600 AM” backslides from #31 to #32.
  • This is the fifth consecutive time that KSE Radio Ventures’ KKSE-AM records a .1 (#33 to #34, 6+).

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Adding two-tenths to September’s +1.2 (5.5 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+), Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR repeats at #1. KCFR was +2.6 in March/April (5.2 – 6.3 – 7.8, 6+); -2.1 in May (7.8 – 5.7, 6+); and down three-tenths in July/August (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.5, 6+).
  • Three straight reports without a loss by Community Radio for Northern Colorado’s KUNC yielded four-tenths (.6 – .6 – .8 – 1.0, 6+), but KUNC is off one-tenth in October to .9 (flat at #26, 6+).

BALTIMORE

News/Talk

  • Not only is independent WCBM an overall +2.6 via four consecutive positive spikes (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+), “680 Stimulating Talk – Breaking News” jumps from sixth to third. WCBM was +1.8 via four straight increases (2.3 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), but then -.8 in May/June (4.1 – 4.0 – 3.3, 6+).
  • Repeating September’s 4.3 (6+), Hearst Television-owned WBAL “News Radio – Expect More” nonetheless climbs from ninth to eighth. Its August increase of three-tenths interrupted three drops in a row that led to an overall -1.9 (6.0 – 4.9 – 4.4 – 4.1, 6+). That streak directly followed ten successive upticks that produced a +4.2 (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 5.1 – 6.0, 6+).
  • Cumulus Media Washington, DC’s WMAL more than doubles (+.5) its 6+ AQH share in four successive up or flat moves (.4 – .4 – .6 – .7 – .9, #23 to #21, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Despite regressing by four-tenths to 3.5 (6+), Entercom sports talk WJZ-FM (Orioles) reenters the top ten (#11 to #10). Baltimore’s version of “The Fan” spiraled by -1.0 in June, but was then +1.4 in three straight sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 2.8 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+).
  • Unlisted in August and September, co-owned WJZ-AM resurfaces with a .1 (#32, 6+).

 News

  • Business news sibling WDCH lost exactly half (-.9) its 6+ AQH share through four straight decreases (1.8 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.0 – .9, 6+); however, “Bloomberg1 & 105.7” suspends the skid with a gain of two-tenths to 1.1 (#20 to #18). The just-ended negative streak followed five consecutive increases that accounted for a +1.3 (.5 – .6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).
  • M-10 Broadcasting-owned/Black Information Network affiliate WQLL “BIN 1370” doubled July’s .5 to 1.0 (August 2020, 6+); forfeited three-tenths in September (1.0 – .7, #18 to #23, 6+); and is now unlisted in October.

 Public Radio News/Talk

  • Including October’s loss of one-tenth, Your Public Radio’s WYPR “88.1 Your NPR News Station” continues an alternating down/up pattern (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.3, flat at #8, 6+).
  • Albeit off four-tenths in three straight down or flat moves (1.0 – .9 – .6 – .6, 6+), American University-owned WAMU improves from #27 to #25.

ST. LOUIS

 News/Talk

  •  Down three-tenths this time last month (5.2 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom’s KFTK rebounds with an October increase twice that magnitude (5.5, +.6, eighth to fifth, 6+). “FM News Talk 97.1” was a combined +1.1 in July/August (4.1 – 4.5 – 5.2, 6+).
  • Three consecutive upticks by co-owned KMOX (Cardinals) accounted for a +2.0 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 6.7, 6+), but “The Voice of St. Louis” relinquishes 75% of that windfall with a -1.5 to 5.2 (third to seventh, 6+). September’s 6.7 marked the first time KMOX reached a six-share (6+) since April (6.9). Directly after a +1.8 in March/April (5.1 – 5.4 – 6.9, 6+), KMOX was -2.2 in May/June (6.9 – 5.9 – 4.7, 6+).

Sports Talk

  • Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 Sports” sputters by three-tenths in September/October (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, #17 to #19, 6+). By picking up two-tenths in June, WXOS stymied four straight losses that accounted for a roughly 52% (-2.4) vaporization of its 6+ AQH share (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.4 – 2.5 – 2.2, 6+).

 News

  • This is the third month in a row that iHeartMedia-owned/Black Information Network affiliate KATZ-HD2 is u

Public Radio News/Talk

  • Up one-half share in September/October (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.6, 6+), University of Missouri-owned KWMU progresses from #16 to #15.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

| October 13, 2020

iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network Names Three Broadcasters to Key Positions. Three broadcast pros are joining iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network. Emmy Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon will serve as an anchor and correspondent, Chris Thompson is joining as director of network operations and longtime iHeartMedia Chicago communications executive Angela Ingram is taking on the director of local advocacy and engagement role. iHeartMedia says that Gordon will also produce special programming leading up to the 2020 presidential election and will provide exclusive reports covering politics, Black culture and more. BIN director of news operations Tanita Myers says, “There’s no question that this is the most important election in decades, especially for Black America, and we’re thrilled to have Ed Gordon leading our coverage of this upcoming Presidential race. Whether it’s talking with presidents or just talking about today’s biggest stories, Ed’s well-known, hard-hitting direct and no-nonsense style will be right at home at BIN: Black Information Network and further establishes our role as a trusted source for Black Americans nationwide.” Chris Thompson is the former vice president of radio operations for Reach Media. He also served with the WOR Radio Network as executive director of network operations.  Angela Ingram will continue in her role as SVP of communications for the Chicago region of iHeartMedia in addition to this new position. BIN president Tony Coles says, “One of our goals is to attract the best leadership and talent to the Black Information Network. As we continue to expand, this team is vital to providing our affiliates and partners with best-in-class service and support. I am thrilled to have Chris leading these efforts as our director of network operations and Angela spearheading integral advocacy initiatives as director of local advocacy and engagement.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey (August 13-September 9), today focusing on the all-news format. This PPM survey was not particularly good to all-news stations as 65% of those saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share decline from the August 2020 survey. However, those stations that gained included Entercom’s KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM in both the San Jose market (+1.2) and in the San Francisco market (+0.5), Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+1.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+0.6). Year-over-year was a different story with 69% of all-news stations showing ratings increases, led by Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia (+2.5 shares), KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+2.1 shares), and WTOP-FM, Washington (+2.0 shares). You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report – including cume data – here.

RTDNA Bestows National Edward R. Murrow Awards. The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award winners during a virtual event on Saturday evening (10/10). The program featured the announcement and celebration of more than 100 National Murrow Awards, selected from more than 5,000 entries. During his opening speech, RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley said, “We know that this year has been extraordinarily tough. 2020 has brought about challenges that have tested us at every level of our professionalism and humanity and I couldn’t be more proud that you are always there, covering it all. That you – despite the previously unthinkable professional and personal challenges you’ve faced – are continuing to serve your communities with distinction and dignity and professionalism.” You can see all the winners here.

Biden Outspending Trump on Radio Ads. According to a story in Newsmax that cites McClatchy, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden outspent Republican President Donald Trump on radio ads by a margin of 50-1. The piece by John Gizzi says, “Federal Election Commission spending reports shows Biden spent over $15 million in radio ads across 50 states, while the Trump campaign spent a meager $270,000 across just seven states.” The story adds Biden is “spending heavily on radio targeting evangelical Christians, senior citizens, and core supporters like urban Blacks and Hispanics. Biden’s radio targeting could be pivotal to him winning such key states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — all of which went narrowly for Trump in 2016.” McClatchy notes Biden’s ad spend is going to urban, gospel, and Hispanic radio “to help create a big turnout.”

The Presidential Race, Microsoft vs Russian Hackers, Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Johnson & Johnson Pauses COVID Vaccine Trial, Columbus Day-Indigenous Persons Day, NFL Battles Positive COVID Cases, and Lakers Win NBA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/12). The November presidential election; Microsoft and U.S. intelligence shut down Russian hacker effort; the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world and projections for a potential fall and winter second wave; drug maker Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trial after test subject’s adverse reactions; the holiday celebrated in some states as Columbus Day and in others as Indigenous Persons Day; the NFL’s ongoing strategy to deal with positive COVID-19 cases among its players; and the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Championship 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. Condolences to the family and friends of KFDI, Wichita morning personality JJ Hayes whose wife Michelle Horne died on Friday after a battle with COVID-19. The KFDI website features a tribute to Horne. Hayes says, “Tonight, I lost my superpower. I’m broken.” He says that Horne, who was 50, had been home from the hospital for nine days and appeared to be getting better before she stopped breathing on Friday evening…..The Times of San Diego reports that former KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” morning duo “AJ and Sara” – A.J. Machado and Sara Perry– have launched their own streaming radio station. The two were let go from the Entercom adult contemporary station back in January and debuted their “AJ and Sara Radio” on October 2. They host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and the rest of the day features AC music “with an expanded 80s and 90s playlist.” Machado tells the paper, “It wasn’t easy to build a radio station, everything was a struggle and a challenge. I learned a lot about music licensing, apps and technology, forming an LLC and the business side of everything. I thought it would take a few weeks, and it’s been nearly six months since the decision was made to go our own direction.”

Thursday, October 1, 2020

| October 1, 2020

Round Two of September PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s September 2020 survey period covered August 13 – September 9. You can see all the weekly, 6+ AQH share numbers from subscribing stations here. Also, today TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Rating Takeaways from this second round of markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s WMAL-FM adds one-tenth to finish with an 8.0 share but slides back to the #3 rank as Howard University’s urban contemporary WHUR-FM powers into the #2 rank. Across town, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM remains in the #1 spot on the strength of a one-share gain and a 9.5 share finish. iHeartMedia’s WRKO, Boston jumps a full share to finish the September survey with a 4.9 share and the #8 rank while sister all-news WBZ-AM falls five-tenths to a 6.1 share good for the #5 rank. After six consecutive months at #1, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle falls into the #2 spot after losing eight-tenths and finishing with a 6.4 share. You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

Newsmax TV Reaches 9.6 Million Cable Viewers. According to Newsmax TV, the cable channel’s “total household reach jumped to 9.6 million, up from 2.9 million in August 2019, according to Comscore data.” Newsmax Media Inc CEO Christopher Ruddy says that viewership has increased steadily all year and he credits viewer interest in Newsmax’s election coverage coupled with its new shows like “Greg Kelly Reports,” “Sean Spicer’s Spicer & Co.”, and “The Chris Salcedo Show.” Ruddy says, “Viewers are clearly voting for Newsmax TV with their remotes. The growth is even more remarkable when one considers we just launched our first prime-time show in July.” The company says Newsmax TV has live or original news shows airing from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm ET and has launched significant daytime coverage on weekends. The network is also planning a daily morning show to debut in the next 60 days, with more prime-time show launches expected soon.

iHeartMedia Expands Board of Directors; Appoints Cheryl Mills to Board. The board of directors of iHeartMedia, Inc. is expanded to eight and Cheryl Mills is named to the new seat. Mills is the founder and CEO of BlackIvy Group LLC, a firm that builds and grows commercial enterprises in Sub- Saharan Africa to meet the needs of an expanding consumer population and growing business sector. Mills previously served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and counselor to the U.S. Department of State. She also was SVP for corporate policy and public programming at Oxygen Media and was deputy counsel to the President at the White House and served as an associate at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan and Hartson. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “We are extremely pleased that Cheryl Mills is joining the iHeart board. Her depth and breadth of experience, her leadership in policy, business and entrepreneurship, education and media, and her deep commitment to public service, will provide strong and unique value to our board and our company, and we are looking forward to her contributions.”

Cumulus Media Completes Initial Closing on $208 Million Tower Deal. This news from Cumulus Media Inc is relative to the $213 million deal that transfers its tower assets to Vertical Bridge. This initial closing is for the $208 million tower portfolio monetization transaction. Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “We are thrilled to have expeditiously completed the first closing of this significant transaction. Pro forma for its completion and based on our Q2 ending cash balance, we will have reduced net debt by nearly $325 million during 2020 and by nearly $580 million since emerging from bankruptcy in 2018. Our further improved liquidity position and covenant-lite, long-dated debt will continue to support our growth initiatives and allow us to take advantage of accretive opportunities as we navigate through near-term uncertainties to drive long-term shareholder value.” After transaction fees and expenses and related costs, Cumulus received approximately $202 million in net proceeds at the initial closing. The use of net proceeds from the transaction are governed by the company’s Term Loan Credit Facility due 2026 and its 6.75% Senior Secured First Lien Notes due 2026. As defined in the debt agreements, net proceeds of approximately $64 million from assets being sold and not being leased back and net proceeds of approximately $96 million from assets being sold and leased back are required to pay down the Term Loan and be applied to a tender offer with respect to the 6.75% Notes on a pro rata basis. The paydown from the Sale-Leaseback Proceeds is required to be made at closing for the Term Loan portion and within thirty (30) days of closing for the 6.75% Notes. As such, at closing, the Company paid down approximately $49 million of its Term Loan at par, and it intends in the near future to launch a tender offer for up to approximately $47 million of the 6.75% Notes at par. Cumulus Media entered into a master lease agreement for the continued use of substantially all of the towers that were sold. That deal includes the 10-year initial term of the lease, followed by five option periods of five years each. The annual lease payment obligation for the assets leased back in the initial closing is approximately $13.2 million, subject to customary escalators, and will be accounted for as a reduction of the financial liability and interest expense. Cumulus anticipates that one or more subsequent closings will be held for the assets comprising the remainder of the previously announced $213 million purchase price, subject to adjustment based upon due diligence and the curing of outstanding site defects.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured at right is Starnes Media Group principal, nationally syndicated talk show host, and KWAM, Memphis “The Mighty 990” owner Todd Starnes (right) at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” conference in Atlanta where he served as a keynote speaker. He’s pictured here with conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (left)…..The “Margaritaville Podcast” joins the portfolio of cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm Crossover Media Group Sales. The recently launched podcast, hosted by Jimmy Buffett’s production coordinator Heikki Larsen features interviews with friends, colleagues, and fans of the Margaritaville global lifestyle brand inspired by the singer, songwriter and best-selling author. Recent guests have included Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt, Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane and Jimmy Buffett video producer Stan Kellam. Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Fans of the Margaritaville lifestyle constitute an extremely devoted, enduring, cohesive, socially conscientious and upscale fan base. Heikki and his show are a valuable addition to the CMGS portfolio, as it enables us to offer an even more diverse and versatile slate of inventory for marketing partners.”…..AdLarge Media announce its newest sports partnership with National Sports Network for exclusive ad sales representation of NCAA basketball play-by-play coverage on radio. AdLarge Media co-founder and co-CEO Gary Schonfeld says, “We’re very excited to offer our advertisers these NCAA basketball games on radio. With the addition of these top-tier college basketball games from National Sports Network, the AdLarge sports portfolio delivers continuous access to engaged sports fans.”…..PodcastOne acquires the exclusive distribution and sales rights for the health and wellness podcast “The Dr. Gundry Podcast.” The program is hosted by New York Times best-selling author of The Plant Paradox (Harper Wave 2017), Dr. Steven Gundry. He says, “I’m proud for ‘The Dr. Gundry Podcast’ to now be part of PodcastOne. Its robust podcasting network is a great platform to continue to empower listeners and share the knowledge and tools to help people live their best life.”

Wayne Allyn Root Organizes Las Vegas Parade. On Wednesday (9/30), a pro-police, pro-Trump parade of cars organized by KBET, Las Vegas-based talk show host Wayne Allyn Root drove down the Las Vegas strip. Root, pictured here with supporters, tells TALKERS magazine he estimates there were more than 1,000 cars taking part in the parade. Root says he waited at the parade’s finish line – the Nevada Governor’s office building – and “shook hands, and high-fived, and took photos, and thanked every single car of my fans.” You can read the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s coverage here.

The Presidential Race/Debate Aftermath, Mail-In Voting, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, New Stimulus Deal, Amy Coney Barrett Nomination, Down Financial Markets, BLM Movement/Protests, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30). The November presidential election and the aftermath of Tuesday night’s debate; the debate over the reliability of mail-in voting; the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Midwest and talk about a fall/winter second wave; negotiations between congress and the Trump administration over a new stimulus package; the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. financial markets suffer their worst month since last March; the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests in various cities; and the deadly California wildfires were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

DYNAMIC DUO EXCLUSIVE!  “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and John Catsimatidis Are This Week’s Guests on Harrison Podcast. Radio enthusiasts won’t want to miss this brand-new audio gem! Legendary music radio personality “Cousin” Bruce Morrow and WABC, New York owner John Catsimatidis are this week’s guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Morrow (also known as “Cousin Brucie”) is one of the last of his generation still standing. He is the quintessential heritage disc jockey who has been a major on-the-air radio figure in New York City through several golden eras since 1959, performing on such storied stations as WINS, WABC, WNBC and WCBS-FM and, until recently, across the nation on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Just a few weeks ago, to the delight of his multi-generational legion of fans, he was hired to host a Saturday evening music show on WABC, the station where he played to millions back in the 1960s and early 1970s during the heyday of his magnificent career. The other member of this dynamic duo, Catsimatidis is a well-connected radio lover and big business heavyweight whose Red Apple Media purchased WABC – now a news/talk outlet – from Cumulus Media late last year. He’s a prominent New York City-based, self-made mogul and syndicated radio talk show host involved in an array of industries that, in addition to communications, includes supermarkets, energy, and real estate development. He’s also a former and potential future New York City mayoral candidate. The result is a free-wheeling conversation that covers radio, music, politics, several surprises and the New York state of mind – an instant classic.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-Air pro Julie Guy signs a multiyear contract extension with Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF-FM, Miami “101.5 LITE FM” to continue co-hosting the “Julie Guy & Tamara G” morning show. Entercom Miami SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “As a veteran of the station, Julie encapsulates the spirit of ‘101.5 LITE FM’ and sets the tone for our programming slate each morning. Her distinct energy and solid rapport with Tamara translate to a quality morning show and I’m happy to keep her in the fold for years to come.” Guy has served as a morning show host for “101.5 LITE FM” since 2013…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR-FM, Atlanta “KISS 104.1” adds the nationally syndicated program “The Sweat Hotel,” with host Keith Sweat to air in the 9:00 pm to 2:00 am slot. Station director of branding and programming Terri Avery comments, “Keith Sweat is an R&B legend and ‘KISS 104.1’ is excited about him joining our lineup. Keith brings just the right blend of slow jams and sensual sounds that will keep our listeners entertained throughout the night.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

| September 2, 2020

Round Two of August PPM Ratings Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s August 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s August 2020 survey period covered July 16 – August 12. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways from these 12 markets. In the Washington, DC market, Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM dips a half share to finish with a 7.9 share and falls to #2 behind Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM which added eight-tenths for an 8.6 share and the #1 rank. Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” climbs eight-tenths to a 4.9 share good for the #7 rank in the market while iHeartMedia’s crosstown all-new WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030” loses one-tenth, finishing the August survey with a 6.6 share but rises to the #3 rank. In Seattle, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM remains unchanged at a 7.1 share and continues its now six-survey run at #1. See Mike Kinosian’s complete Ratings Takeaway from this report (and the first round!) here.

Cumulus Stations Sign Up with ABC Audio for News Service. With the shuttering of the Westwood One News service that took effect on August 30, Cumulus Media news/talk, sports talk and some music outlets were in need of a news affiliation. The company announces that 29 of its news/talk stations – including heritage signals such as WLS-AM, Chicago and KGO-AM, San Francisco — are now using ABC Audio’s news. At the same time, 12 of Cumulus’ sports and music stations are signing on to air ABC’s hourly newscasts. ABC Audio executive director of business strategies, programming and distribution Heidi Oringer says, “We’re excited to welcome these big stations back to the ABC Audio family after six years away. Through this partnership, our unmatched reporting including crisis coverage, breaking news, and special programming, will reach new listeners and help ABC Audio continue to be the best in the business.” ABC Audio VP and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku adds, “We’re in one of the biggest news cycles in history, with no end in sight. Our teams have worked nonstop to not only keep up with but also exceed listeners’ demand for trusted information. We’re thrilled that more stations are noticing our robust offerings and signing on to be part of our affiliate family.”

Pat McAfee Show to Air on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports. After exiting the CBS Sports Radio platform last month, former Indianapolis Colts punter and sports media personality Pat McAfee will be heard on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET, beginning September 9. McAfee says, “I’m very thankful and honored for the chance to be on Mad Dog Sports Radio. SiriusXM is such an incredibly massive platform and the freedom it allows is perfect for our style of show. To say we’re grateful to Scott Greenstein, Steve Cohen, Andrew Moss and all of the other awesome folks at SiriusXM for this opportunity would be an understatement. Let’s do the damn thing. We hope you’ll join us daily.”

Trump Visits Kenosha/Protests/BLM Movement, Presidential Race, Pelosi Salon Flap, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, School Opening Debate/College Outbreaks, Melania Trump Book, and New Stimulus Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/1). President Trump’s visit to Kenosha in the aftermath of the shooting of Jacob Blake, the protests in Kenosha, Portland, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, and the Black Lives Matter movement; the November presidential election; the controversy over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pictured maskless in a closed San Francisco salon; the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools and the flareups on some college campuses; former Melania Trump aid Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s book about the First Lady; and a new stimulus deal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Report: Radio Listening Returning to March Levels. This week’s Westwood One blog includes data from Nielsen Audio from the August PPM survey and the May-June-July diary markets survey that indicates radio listening is returning to its March 2020 levels. The Nielsen data cited notes that “benchmarking against the March PPM survey, August average quarter-hour audiences increased again, now generating 90% of the prior audiences. In terms of weekly reach, AM/FM radio in the PPM markets has recaptured 96% of March cume listening. In diary markets, AM/FM radio has retained 97% of prior weekly cume.” Further, Nielsen says, “In medium and smaller diary markets, AM/FM radio is ‘pandemic proof’: AQH listening in the just-released May-June-July survey is virtually identical to the January-February-March period as AM/FM radio retains 100% of prior listening.” In a sign that more people are back in their cars in the morning, Nielsen notes “in the just-released August PPM data, most of the AQH growth occurred Monday-Friday 6AM-10AM and on weekends.”

iHeartMedia Reveals Results of ‘Trustworthiness’ Study. Based on information from data & analytics firm Engagement Labs, iHeartMedia says that one of the key findings is that “listeners’ trust in radio and its on-air personalities continues to grow as social media has become far less trustworthy over the past year.” The survey of radio listeners found radio to be 79% more or just as trustworthy versus a year ago while social media is 50% less trustworthy during the same time period. In particular, sentiment for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has plummeted in recent months, with Facebook down 56%, Instagram down 38%, and Twitter down 140%. The survey of radio listeners age 18-69 ranked media trustworthiness as follows: 75% trust radio, 66% trust television, 57% trust websites, 38% trust Twitter, and 37% trust Facebook. iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman comments, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever for Americans to get information they trust and to find ways to connect with people – and these findings show that radio continues to deliver a much needed and sought out trusted companionship during this historic and uncertain time.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and iHeartMedia are partnering on a 20-episode podcast series in which the former South Bend, Indiana mayor will discuss “the issues and choices that will define America’s next chapter.” “The Deciding Decade with Pete Buttigieg” debuts on September 9. iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Pete created a groundswell of excitement during his presidential campaign run, and he is one of the most admirable and energetic young leaders of our time. We’re excited to bring Pete’s sharp intellect and remarkable eloquence to The iHeartPodcast Network.”…..A new podcast partnership between iHeartMedia and The Recount results in three new weekly shows: “Hell and High Water with John Heilemann,” “Just Something About Her with Jennifer Palmieri,” and “Battleground with David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt.” The Recount executive editor John Heilemann says, “The 2020 election is, without question, the most important election of our lifetime and this exciting trio of podcasts from hosts who’ve operated at the highest level of politics will help listeners cut through the bullshit and understand the big picture of what’s happening ahead of Election Day and beyond. Our content is resonating on our platform and across social media and we are excited to bring it to podcasting with iHeartMedia.”…..Pictured below is GCN nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs giving blood during National Blood Donation Week. Dr. Wachs tells TALKERS magazine, “We’re off to a great start to National Blood Donation Week. Multiple governors declared Blood Donation Months, all falling on September 4 (National Blood Donation Day). Not only does this week help raise much needed blood for our blood banks and medical centers that has been drastically lowered during the COVID pandemic, but it unites both Democratic and Republican governors in a common cause. Blood isn’t a political issue, it’s a human life issue and National Blood Donation week proves Americans can come together for a common cause.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Angelique Alston is promoted to brand manager for Entercom’s hip hop WPGC-FM, Washington. Since 2013, Alston has served WPGC as assistant program director, morning show producer and events producer. Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Ivy Savoy-Smith says, “Angelique has done a tremendous job elevating our team and I am excited to see her expand her career as brand manager. Her unique way of providing entertainment for our listeners, educating the community with viable content and her engagement with the sales management team tells me she will thrive in this new role. Her ability to multi-task, implore creative thinking, work hard and commit to excellence has led to great success and we are delighted to have her lead WPGC 95.5 FM.”…..Rochester country WBEE announces that air personality Chris Konya is joining “The All New Bee Morning Coffee Club” program alongside Terry Clifford and TJ Sharp. This is a return to Entercom Rochester for Konya. Entercom Rochester SVP and market manager Sue Munn says, “Chris was a fan favorite during his time producing ‘The Breakfast Buzz’ and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to our airwaves alongside Terry and TJ. His humor and wit make him a perfect fit as a co-host for our new weekday morning program and together the trio will create a dynamic show for our community.”…..Premiere Networks’ syndicated Delilah adds three new affiliate stations. Picking up Delilah for evenings are: iHeartMedia’s KBFP-FM, Bakersfield “Sunny 105.3,” Cumulus Media’s WBZE-FM, Tallahassee “Star 98.9,” and McKenzie River Broadcasting’s KMGE-FM, Eugene, Oregon “Mix 94.5.”…..An application has been filed with the FCC for transfer of country KZTL-FM, Paxton and rock KRNP-FM, Sutherland in Nebraska from Legacy Communications to Eagle Communications. Kalil & Co is serving as the exclusive broker.