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Friday, August 28, 2020

| August 28, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Another Week in the Year of Fear!” looks back at this past week of August 24-28, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSDale Jackson, talk show host / program director, WVNN, Huntsville, AL; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioDr. Daliah Wachs, talk show host, Genesis Communications Network/physician; Walter Sterling, nationally syndicated talk show host / WABC, New York; and Michael Medved, talk show host, KTTH, Seattle/CRN Digital Talk Radio Network This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Buck Sexton Show Expands on WOR, New York. The Premiere Networks-syndicated Buck Sexton show is growing from two to three hours on iHeartMedia’s “710 WOR, The Voice of New York.” The program begins airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Monday (8/31). Sexton says, “I’m thrilled to be extending my presence on the far-reaching airwaves of WOR. I look forward to expanding my nightly conversation with fellow New Yorkers and Tri-Staters about the issues that matter most to us.” WOR program director Tom Cuddy adds. “Since COVID-19 hit us, Buck has been broadcasting from his apartment in mid-town Manhattan and has never missed a day. He has done an outstanding job giving New Yorkers everything they need to know to survive this pandemic, along with his thoughts on the political stories of the day.”

Beasley Promotes Tee Gentry to Regional OM for Augusta and Fayetteville. Longtime company programmer Tee Gentry is promoted to regional operations manager for Beasley Media Group’s radio stations in Augusta, Georgia – including news/talk WGAC-AM/FM and five music brands – and Fayetteville, North Carolina’s six music brands. Gentry has been serving as operations manager for the Augusta cluster. Gentry has spent the majority of his 25-year radio career with Beasley Media Group, serving more than 20 years as operations manager and PD at country WKXC-FM, Augusta and three years in Tampa as operations manager and PD at country WQYK-FM. Beasley VP and general manager Kent Dunn says, “Tee has done a tremendous job over the past 20 years at Beasley Media Group. He has done a great job leading our Augusta team and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Fayetteville team.”

The RNC, Presidential Race, the USPS and Defunding Police Controversies Tie for Top Spot on Talkers TenTM. This week’s Republican National Convention, the presidential race and the controversies over the U.S. Postal Service and the move to defund police departments tied as the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was race relations, urban violence, the suburban housing controversy, and the NBA demonstration. Coming in at #3 was COVID-19 statistics and projections, followed by health care, meds, masks, and the CDC testing flap tied at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Dallas sports talk host Norm Hitzges revealed to listeners on Thursday that he is undergoing treatment for bladder cancer. The 76-year-old Hitzges – who co-hosts the “Norm and D Invasion” program on Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM “The Ticket” with Donovan Lewis – says he’ll continue to work while going through the treatment, according to a story in the Dallas News…..In Asheville, North Carolina, WISE-AM sports talk host Pat Ryan is battling a recurrence of colon cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. WLOS-TV reports that Ryan was first diagnosed and treated in 2018. He learned last month that more chemotherapy is needed. But Ryan tells WLOS that doing his daily, afternoon drive show on the Saga Communications station rejuvenates him and helps with the cancer treatment…..Salem Radio Network says it will have a front row seat to President Trump’s first campaign stop after last night’s acceptance speech as SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston travels aboard Air Force One to Manchester, New Hampshire today (8/28). Clugston is also credentialed for all four debates (three presidential, one vice presidential) sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates this fall…..iHeartMedia, Inc chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and COO and CFO Rich Bressler are participating in a question-and-answer session during the BofA Securities 2020 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference taking place on September 10 at 11:40 am ET. iHeartMedia says a live webcast of the session will be available to the general public through a link on the Investors homepage of its website (https://investors.iheartmedia.com/). A replay of the video webcast will be available in the Events & Presentation section of iHeartMedia’s Investors homepage.

45th Annual Gracie Awards to Stream Virtually on September 10. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces that the 45th annual Gracie Awards program will air live on AWMF’s Facebook page on September 10 at 7:00 pm ET. The virtual event will recognize esteemed honoree Katy Perry, who will receive the Gracies Impact Award, presented to an artist who has made a positive impact on society through their music. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will deliver a special tribute to frontline journalists who covered breaking news regarding the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, and women in television, radio, and digital media being honored for their contributions this year include: Naomi Watts, Michelle Williams, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, Tamron Hall, and Angela Yee. AWMF adds that Danai Gurira, Norah O’Donnell, Fiona Shaw, Andrea Mitchell and Gayle King will appear in the virtual show along with country artist Mickey Guyton who will perform twice throughout the night, and Grey’s Anatomy’s “Silent All These Years” episode will receive the Grand Award for the incredibly powerful episode which brought attention to sexual assault survivors. AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “There’s no doubt that this year has been indescribable – but one thing that has stayed consistent is the level of content that continues to be generated by and for women. We understand that people are going through unprecedented times and it’s our commitment to bring the world in for the first time and see the magic of the Gracie Awards as we celebrate some of the brave and poignant, storytellers of our time.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Flipping from Gospel to adult contemporary is Beasley Media Group’s WGUS-FM, Augusta, Georgia “Sunny 102.7.” Core artists include: Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, Whitney Houston, Journey, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, and more…..Entercom is kicking off “DTS Sound Space Sundays” with a special broadcast of Foster the People’s performance at “KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas 2017.” The broadcast will air at 9:00 pm ET August 30 via RADIO.COM. An exclusive new interview with band frontman Mark Foster will follow the performance. Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “We’re looking forward to opening our archives and sharing this classic Foster the People performance with a national audience via RADIO.COM. HD Radio has served as a great partner over the years and we’re excited to spotlight their sister brand, DTS, through our Sound Space and Sound Space Sundays content.”

Friday, August 21, 2020

| August 21, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled “The Straw that Almost broke the Snail’s Back!” looks back at this past week of August 17-21, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERSMandy Connell, talk show host, KOA, Denver; Ken Lanphear, talk show host, WKZO, Kalamazoo; Michael Medved, talk show host, KTTH, Seattle / CRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkKenneth S. Stern, director, Bard Center for the Study of Hate; and Harry Hurley, talk show host, WPG, Atlantic City. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click 

      here
. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Newsmax TV Names Carl Higbie Host of ‘Saturday Report.’ Retired Navy SEAL Carl Higbie is the new host of Newsmax TV’s “Saturday Report,” airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on the cable TV network. Newsmax says, “Higbie will tackle current events and the biggest headlines of the week, with smart, provocative analysis and commentary from newsmakers and the nation’s top political thinkers.” Higbie adds, “I am extremely excited to join the Newsmax family. With the team we have in place, I believe we can soon become America’s go-to weekend news program.” Higbie was a member of the Navy SEALS for nine years, with two combat tours in Iraq in which he saw dozens of combat missions and was decorated with valor in leadership positions. During one mission, he and his team were responsible for the capture of Jordanian jihadist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most wanted terrorist in Iraq. Higbie was an early surrogate spokesperson for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. He was appointed chief of external affairs for the National Corporation for Community, overseeing grants with AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Red Cross, and Habitat for Humanity. He also served as director of advocacy for America First Policies, a nonprofit social-welfare organization supporting President Trump’s policy platforms. Higbie has published three books, most recently Crisis of Culture: The Political Battlefield of the New Civil War (2018, Tactical 16).

PodcastOne Inks Deal with Chris Myers. Sports media pro Chris Myers and PodcastOne, a subsidiary of LiveXLive Media, Inc. sign an exclusive podcast deal for the platform to publish the FOX Sports personality’s “CMI: The Chris Myers Interview.” The first episode will drop on August 26 and offer revealing conversations between Myers and some of the greatest names in sports, including college football’s Urban Meyer, MLB legend “Mr. October” Reggie Jackson, Super Bowl MVP and fellow broadcaster Troy Aikman and more. PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “I’m sitting on the beach in Santa Barbara and next to me is Chris Myers and a very famous athlete. I said to Chris, ‘Do you think this guy would guest on your podcast?’ Chris replied, ‘I don’t have a podcast.’ Well he does now and it’s right here on PodcastOne. We couldn’t be happier.” Myers comments, “Anytime you have a chance to share a conversation with the most accomplished and interesting personalities in and around sports it’s a good thing and I am excited to do that with ‘CMI: The Chris Myers Interview’ on PodcastOne where you can eavesdrop on people you know or would like to.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s a nice piece in the Times-Free Press in Chattanooga that spotlights the changes in programming at Brewer Broadcasting’s talk station “NoogaRadio” WPLZ-HD4/W224AZ. It focuses on Jeff Styles’ 7:00 am to 10:00 am “Fred the Show” program, Bryan Stone’s daily, one-hour “StoneOnAir Podcast” and Styles’ weekly, one-hour music program called, “Rockaeology.” Styles’ “Rockaeology” airs on University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s non-commercial WUTC-FM. It is also now airing on “NoogaRadio” Fridays at 6:00 pm…..Radio ratings firm Eastlan Ratings announces that its move to continuous measurement has yielded two more new markets: Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol in Tennessee and Virginia and Billings Montana. Bristol Broadcasting has been using Eastlan for its Charleston, West Virginia stations for four years and for its Paducah, Kentucky cluster for about 20 years. Eastlan president and CEO Mike Gould says, “We are certain the increased consistency and stability of our new continuous measurement will provide radio advertisers a new level of accountability and at the same time, instill more confidence in our subscribers. We are excited to be able to offer this enhancement to small and medium market broadcasters without increasing our annual rates.”…..iHeartMedia Birmingham is partnering with United Way of Central Alabama to launch the “Chromebooks For Kids” fundraising campaign to purchase Chromebooks for local students to use at home and in the classroom. Through September 3, iHeartMedia Birmingham’s 10 stations are encouraging listeners to make a donation and support students in the community. iHM Birmingham program director Dino Conrad says, “The COVID-19 pandemic created a need for laptops as Alabama schools and students shifted to at-home learning. As some children return to class this fall or continue at-home education, we hope our community can help students access the tools and resources necessary for learning.”

Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers Without Buying Clicks.  Noted media consultant, TV talk show host, and TALKERS contributing columnist, Holland Cooke has written an informative new E-book titled, Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers without Buying Clicks (Talkers Books, 2020) that is now available to TALKERS readers. Cooke states, “With Spotify paying Joe Rogan a reported $100 million to distribute his podcast, The New York Times pronounced the former ‘Fear Factor’ host and MMA commentator ‘the new Mainstream Media.’ This is a whack-on-the-side-of-the-head to broadcasters, who marginalize podcasters as a shadow medium, or ‘the future.’ At these prices, the future is now.” Cooke advises radio broadcasters to step up their efforts in making podcasting an effectively monetized part of their expanding communications platform stating, “There are an estimated 260 million smartphones in the USA. With that many of us walking around with a device that can broadcast live video, instantly, worldwide – and with nearly a quarter billion of us on Facebook and nearly 50 million active Twitter users in the USA – We The People are now, measurably, ‘the Mainstream Media.’”  Cooke says one of the keys to broadcasters succeeding, where such a large percentage of the 850,000 active podcasters out there fail, is in their ability to promote TSL (time spent listening). In this new E-book, Cooke details the strategy to prompt listeners to share podcasts with friends by employing the fundamentals that are second nature to broadcasters, but often lacking in podcasts. To purchase Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers without Buying Clicks (Talkers Books, 2020) for $9.00 or get more information, please click here.

The Presidential Race and the Democratic National Convention Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The November presidential election and this week’s Democratic National Convention tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio from August 17-21 and landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the funding issues at the United States Postal Service and President Trump’s allegation that mail-in voting breeds fraud. Coming in at #3 was the COVID-19 statistics and projections, followed by health care, medications, and vaccines at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Wilmington, Delaware hot AC WJBR-FM “Mix 95.5” is awarding $50,000 in advertising grants to assist small businesses in need in Wilmington. Beasley Media Group says that “to assist in the reopening efforts, the station will offer a total of five $10,000 advertising grants (all to air on “Mix 99.5”) over a six-week period from 9/7/20- 10/18/20. General sales manager Marta DeLisi says, “We are thrilled to be able to help local businesses during the reopening process during these unprecedented times.”…..Cumulus Media’s KBUL, Carson City, Nevada recently partnered with Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada after the charity had to cancel its primary annual fundraiser due to the pandemic. The gala event would have brought in an estimated $150,000 and supported their efforts as a safety net for the community in times of crisis. “K-Bull 98.1” presented the public with “Boxers For Bucks” in which afternoon personality J.J. Christy (at right) donned nothing but a pair of boxer shorts (and Garfield house slippers) and literally “weathered” the morning show on top of the local Toyota dealership. During that time, he was greeted with temperatures nearing 100 degrees, a brief monsoon that nearly blew his pop-up tent away, no food, and a swarm of bats! In the end, $152,000 was raised (and still counting) for Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada.

Monday, January 7, 2019

| January 7, 2019

Jeff Poor Show Launches on WVNN, Huntsville.  Conservative media figure Jeff Poor begins hosting a daily talk radio program on Cumulus Media’s WVNN, Huntsville “NewsTalk 770AM/92.5FM” today (1/7).  Poor serves as the editor of Breitbart News’ media vertical, is a regular contributor to Yellowhammer News, and a political columnist for Lagniappe, Mobile, Alabama’s alternative weekly newspaper.  Poor previously reported in Washington, D.C. for The Daily Caller and the Media Research Center.  WVNN program director Dale Jackson states, “Jeff Poor is an experienced media personality with a real ability to decipher local and national issues.  His experience in media in Washington, D.C. and his Alabama upbringing make him the perfect fit for WVNN.  I am thrilled to add Jeff to our already amazing lineup of local and national talkers.” The Jeff Poor show airs from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Sports Talk Moves in Grand Rapids as Cumulus Media’s WBBL-FM Drops Sports. According to MLive.comCumulus Media is flipping sports talk WBBL-FM, Grand Rapids to country in a simulcast with sister WTNR-FM. That means a number of staffers have been let go and the statewide Bill Simonson-hosted program “The Huge Show” is no longer on the 107.3 FM frequency.  Fired from WBBL are morning personalities Eric Zane and Ben Glaze as well as program director Marcus Bradman.  The MLive piece indicates that “The Huge Show” – currently heard on 12 stations across Michigan – will continue as part of an agreement between Cumulus and Michigan Media Network and will be heard in Grand Rapids on Cumulus’ news/talk WJRW at 3:00 pm, effective today (1/7).

iHeartMedia Study: Radio Is Most-Trusted Medium. According to a study commissioned by iHeartMedia, radio is America’s most-trusted medium and iHeartMedia personalities are more trustworthy and relatable than top TV personalities.  iHM states, “The survey found iHeartMedia’s focus on live and local programming and the deep, connection on-air personalities have with listeners has led to iHeartRadio being considered the most trusted name in radio and its on-air personalities being more trusted than leading talk personalities in other media.”  The study further found that “84% of respondents (people) said radio understands what is important to them, a number that is over 20% greater than network and cable television and social media. In addition, 8 out of 10 people feel that radio aligns with their core values, which is number one across all media.” iHeartMedia chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman says, “In a time when trust matters most to consumers, trust has become a critical criterium for media investment decisions and these findings are extremely compelling because they spotlight our unique and personal role in people’s lives each and every day.  Furthermore, it spotlights why iHeartMedia is a leader in audio and reaches over a quarter billion listeners each month. Our personalities are more than just a voice on the radio, they are a trusted friend who shares common values 24/7 across 850 stations nationwide…and only iHeartMedia can deliver that scale, with the intimacy and authenticity consumers want.”

Monday Memo: Podcast Ads Work. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in today’s Monday Memo that, according to a Nielsen study, ads on podcasts delivered better and longer audience recall. Additionally, listeners who heard ads delivered by show hosts were 118% more likely to buy the product than those who didn’t hear the ad.  Stitcher commissioner the study and the company’s chief revenue officer Korri Kolesa notes the power of podcasts “to speak to a generation of consumers who tend to be hard to reach through other digital media platforms.”  See the entire Memo here.

Beasley Appoints Lori Burgess Chief Digital Content Officer. Consultant Lori Burgess has been working with Beasley Media Group on integrated marketing strategy since May of 2017.  Now the company names her to the newly created position of chief digital content officer.  In this new role, she will be responsible for designing and overseeing the digital content strategy for the company.  She says, “We are embarking upon an exciting business transformation, one focused on content excellence and proficiency across all media platforms.  This expansion will allow our on-air talent to enhance their local market presence, fostering deeper and more engaged relationships with audiences and advertisers alike.”  During her career, she has worked with such brands as: The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

TALKERS News Notes. The CRN Digital Talk Radio-produced “Sports Lounge with Fred Dryer” program is now airing on Dan Patrick Radio heard on SiriusXM Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET.  Dryer – a 13-year NFL pro with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams and film & television actor – partners with CRN chief Mike Horn to talk about sports news and the politics of the game…..Los Angeles-based personality Sheena Metal – who has hosted the “Sheena Metal Experience” show on LA Talk Radio for the past 10 years, is hosting a live, audience-interactive radio broadcast from the Hollywood Improv on January 27.  Metal says the show will celebrate her 10th LA Talk Radio anniversary as well as her five years as live event host at the legendary comedy club and will feature “lots of great celebrity guests on stage, a fun red carpet/meet-and-greet after the show and a chance to meet so many of the fantastic people who have made my daily show the media success that it is!”…..A new iHeartRadio original podcast premieres called, “Pratt Cast,” hosted by “The Hills” star Stephanie Pratt.  She is one of the infamous “The Hills” stars coming back for the sequel.  The podcast gives listeners an all access pass to everything happening on and off of the camera this season…..SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio reach a Voluntary Recognition Agreement that adds more than 25 new employees – including reporters for the news site Gothamist – to the union’s longstanding collective bargaining unit.  It covers some 175 workers at NYPR.

Border Wall-Government Shutdown, Trump-Russia Investigation, Rashida Tlaib Flap, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, U.S.-Syria Policy, Golden Globe Awards, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the federal government shutdown; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the flap over freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s comment referring to President Trump as a “motherf*cker”; freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “60 Minutes” interview; the  Trump administration’s Syria policy; Sunday evening’s Golden Globe awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Charlotte CHR WHQC re-brands, leaving behind the “Channel 96.1” brand and taking up the new “HITS 96.1” name.  The air staff at the iHeartMedia outlet remains the same.  Station program director A.J. comments, “Charlotte is a very competitive market and these updates align the brand in a way that capitalizes on its current strengths.  We’re excited to provide a fresh new experience for our listeners.  This is an excellent opportunity for ‘The New HITS 96.1’ to be the home of the biggest hits and stars while allowing our audience to gain access to the greatest music and entertainment events in Charlotte.”…..Westwood One launches a new urban AC morning show into national syndication that stars Rick Party (left)and Sasha the Diva (right). The “Rick and Sasha” show is debuting on 15 stations, including: KMJK-FM,Kansas City; KMEZ-FM, New Orleans; WDLT-FM, Mobile; and more. Rick Party previously served with WHQT, Miami “HOT 105” and Sasha was a personality on WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1.”…..Entercom’s classic rock WCMF, Rochester is celebrating 50 years as a rock station by kicking off its year-long “Rockin’ for 50 Years” celebration.  The station will observe this milestone with special programming and promotions throughout the year, including “50th Anniversary Album Side Saturdays” that will highlight the 50-year music history of WCMF.  Listeners will also be able to tune-in to “Riffer Madness” to hear iconic guitar riffs in classic rock as their cue to call for the chance to win prizes, including a WCMF 50th Anniversary electric guitar signed by current WCMF air staff.  The year-long commemoration will also include anniversary themed merchandise and a new station logo highlighting the history and music of the past 50 years…..Radio One Buffalo, LLC owner and operator Buddy Shula announces that Glenn Topolski is named director of on air for oldies WECK-AM/W275BB in Buffalo.  In addition to programming duties, Topolski also hosts the afternoon drive show.  Topolski has served in the market at signals including: WTSS-FM, WBEN-AM, WGR-AM, and WWKB-AM.  Shula says, “Glenn has helped WECK’s rank into the Nielson top 10 since joining 17 months ago.  He has been with us from day one and is a person who lives and breathes radio.  Glenn is a leader for the next generation on our industry.”…..Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Bobby Bones is profiled in the January issue of Texas Monthly. The piece delves into his radio journey from Austin to Nashville and his rise to becoming “…the most influential voice in country music today, with the power to turn new artists into breakout stars.”

December 2018 PPM Data – Part Four. December 2018 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 survey period covered November 8 – December 5. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM-markets.

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – A December decrease of eight-tenths by Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” is twice the size of its November gain of four-tenths (4.5 – 3.7, eighth to ninth, 6+). KLBJ-AM was a combined -.3 in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

In a repetitive September 2018 – December 2018 pattern of 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.4 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX climbs from #16 to #15. “The Horn” posted a +.5 in June; was -.9 in July; and +1.0 in September. In seven straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone – Austin’s Sports Talk” has more than doubled (+.4) its 6+-share (.3 – .3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7, 6+) and is stable at #24.

Following three straight months at #1, KUT segues to #2 (8.5 – 8.2, -.3, 6+); the University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk outlet was a collective +1.5 in September and October (7.1 – 7.9 – 8.6, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ has been -1.2 (September); +1.2 (October); -.5 November); and now +1.2 in December (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) as “Majic 95.5” carries on at #3. Its current 7.4 represents the strongest 6+-stat for KKMJ since “Holiday” 2017 (12.4). Urban AC KKMJ-HD3, which hadn’t had a decrease since February and was up a collective three-tenths in that stretch (1.2- 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), is off one-tenth and exits the top twenty (1.4, #20 to #21, 6+). A December gain of seven-tenths to 5.5 (sixth to fifth, 6+) by Emmis regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” erases its collective -.7 in October and November (5.5 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+). Just as it did in November, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX posts a gain of six-tenths (2.1 – 2.7 – 3.3, #15 to #11, 6+). Prior to dropping three-tenths in October, “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” was up an overall six-tenths via six straight sweeps without a loss (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+). Three consecutive down or flat trends by Emmis’ KLBJ-FM accounted for a collective -1.3 (4.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+) but “93.7 The Rock of Austin” gains three-tenths in December to 3.7 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #9). In addition to being a cumulative +1.0 in four straight up or flat moves (7.3 – 7.8 – 7.8 – 8.3 – 8.3, 6+), adult hits sibling KPBA “103.5 Bob-FM” progresses from the runner-up slot it held the past three months to #1. It is the first time since August that “Bob” has held the top spot. Faltering by eight-tenths (each) are its alternative cluster-mate KROX “101-X” (3.5 – 2.7, #10 to #14, 6+) and Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3” (3.1 – 2.3, #13 to #19, 6+). This is the first time “101-X” has been below a three-share (2.7, 6+) since January 2018 (2.9), and KLQB’s lowest 6+-share (2.3) since June’s 2.2. Despite dropping six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM – Austin’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains in eighth-place. Logging decreases of one-half share each are KHFI’s rhythmic CHR sibling KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” (3.4 – 2.9, #11 to #13, 6+) and Emmis triple A KGSR “Austin City Limits Radio” (2.3 – 1.8, flat at #18, 6+). In three straight decreases, iHeartMedia country outlet KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin, Texas Original” has lost a collective eight-tenths but remains at #7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Before posting a +.6 in September, KVET-FM was an overall -1.7 in four straight downward trends (6.4 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.6 – 4.7, 6+).

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – While it remains in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” has lost a combined seven-tenths in November and December (6.3 – 5.9 – 5.6, 6+). It was a collective +1.2 (5.1 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+) in September and October. Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF regains half of November’s -.2 (1.6 – 1.7, +.1, 6+) and remains at #18. Prior to faltering by two-tenths in November, “News Radio 680” had nearly doubled (+.8) its 6+-share in eight straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+).

A cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+), Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan” surrenders half that gain in November and December (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1, -.3, #16 to #17, 6+). Its increase of four-tenths in September stopped three losses in a row that accounted for more than a 50% reduction (-2.1) of its 6+-share (3.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+).

This is the fourth decline in a row for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” for a collective -1.6 (8.8 – 8.4 – 8.3 – 7.4 – 7.2, flat at #3, 6+). Recently, WUNC has gone from third to first (June, +9); first to third (July, -1.1); third to first (August, +1.2, 6+); first to second (September, -.4+); and second to third (November, -.9, 6+).

Raleigh Music Formats – Registering increases of one full-share each are Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “KIX 102.9 Carolina’s Greatest Hits” (4.1 – 5.1, #11 to #10, 6+) and – from Greensboro – iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “99.5 The Best Variety of the ‘80s, ’90s, & Today” (.4 – 1.4, #20, 6+). WKIX reaches the five-share level for the first time since March 2018’s 5.0. An improvement of seven-tenths to 5.6 (ninth to seventh, 6+) by Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB “96.1 Your Life – Your Music” halts a mini-slide that accounted for a -1.2 (6.1 – 5.2 – 4.9, 6+). An overall -1.0 in three downturns in a row (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WNCB “B-93.9 #1 For New Country” picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+) and remains at #14. A four-tenths decrease in September suspended at four its consecutive string of increases that netted six-tenths (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+). Continuing at #5 is its format rival, Curtis Media Group’s WQDR “94.7 QDR Today’s Best Country,” which is a collective -1.9 in November and December (8.0 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+). This (6.1) is its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016 (6.0). With a +1.0 in September, WQDR curtailed three straight downward moves that led to a -1.2 (8.1 – 7.7 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+). On the heels of November’s increase of nine-tenths (9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Radio One urban AC WFXC erodes by -1.5 but “Foxy Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” stays on top for the fourth straight month. November’s 10.3 is its strongest 6+-stat since January 2018’s 10.7. It has a 1.2-share (6+) advantage over urban contemporary cluster-mate WQOK, which regresses by eight-tenths to 7.6 (6+), but repeats in the runner-up position; “K-97.5” was up an overall six-tenths in October and November (7.8 – 8.0 – 8.4, 6+).

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – Over the last four ratings periods, Emmis news/talk WIBC has posted a -.7 (September); +1.0 (October); +.7 (November); and now a -.9 in December (7.2 – 6.3, third to  fourth, 6+).

Its sports talk sibling, WFNI “The Fan – Indy’s Sports Center,” records its fifth straight up or flat trend for an overall +1.2 (1.6 – 1.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.8, #16 to #14, 6+) and enjoys its best 6+-stat (2.8) in exactly one year (3.1, December 2017). On the other hand, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” regresses by four-tenths to 1.9 (#16 to #17, 6+), curtailing five straight sweeps without a loss that netted eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

Adding three-tenths to November’s one-half share increase (4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI inches up from ninth to eighth. WFYI was off a combined three-tenths in September and October (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.1, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – Following a collective seven-tenths decline in October and November (7.5 – 7.1 – 6.8, 6+), Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” bounces back with an increase more than three times the size of that loss (9.0, +2.2, fourth to second, 6+). Prior to October, “B-105.7” was an overall +1.4 in four consecutive up or flat moves (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 7.5, 6+). In December 2017, WYXB posted a 7.8 (6+). An improvement of nine-tenths to 7.7 (fourth to third, 6+) by iHeartMedia’s WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock” halts three (modest) downward moves in succession that resulted in a loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.1 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+). Continuing a down/up pattern that started in June – in which time it is even – (4.3 – 3.2 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR carries on at #12; “107.9 The Mix” was up eight-tenths in December.  Notwithstanding that it is off by seven-tenths (9.9 – 9.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” sets the pace for the sixth month in a row. Its November decrease of one-tenth suspended five successive uptrends which yielded a +3.2 (6.8 – 7.3 – 7.9 – 8.6 – 9.7 – 10.0, 6+). In October, WJJK reached 10.0, the highest 6+-share in the station’s PPM-history. Having finished at #2 in October and November, co-owned WFMS “95.5 The Country Station” plummets -1.8 in December (8.0 – 6.2, 6+), segueing to #5 with its lowest 6+-stat since March (6.2, as well). On top in April 2018, May, and June, WFMS has been -.5 (February); +1.0 (April); +.5 (May); -.5 (July); -.7 (August); +.9 (October); and now -1.8 (December). Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM” has been -1.5 (September); +.6 (October); -.7 (November); and now -.4 in December (5.0 – 4.6, eighth to tenth, 6+). Down an overall four-tenths in an alternating June 2018 through December 2018 up/down sequence (1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.3, 6+), University of Indianapolis jazz/classical WICR “88.7 The Diamond” (down six-tenths in December) falls from #19 to #18. A collective -1.4 via six straight downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+) send Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” from #15 to #16.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – There have been some wild fluctuations this calendar year for Good Karma Brands news/talk WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station,” including -.8 (January); +.9 (February); +1.9 (April); -.6 (May); +.5 (June); -.5 (August); +.6 (September); +2.5 (October); -1.0 (November); and now -2.6 in December (9.4 – 6.8, first to fifth, 6+). This (6.8) is the lowest 6+-showing for the flagship of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Milwaukee Brewers since March (6.0). A combined +1.3 in October and November, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” forfeits approximately half that gain in December (6.9 – 6.3, -.6, fifth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before October, WISN was -2.1 in four straight decreases (7.7 – 6.9 – 6.7 – 6.2 – 5.6, 6+).

Despite dropping one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4, 6+), Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” advances from #17 to #16. Its loss of four-tenths in November curtailed four consecutive increases that accounted for a collective +.7 (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+). Roughly three-quarters of the way through the November sweep, Good Karma Brands shifted WKTI from country to sports talk. In its first full monthly report in its new format, “94.5 ESPN” erodes by -1.5 to .8 (#15 to #18, 6+). WKTI is now an overall -3.6 in seven straight sweeps without an increase (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.3 – .8, 6+). Co-owned/Jackson-licensed WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee,” which debuted in November with a .5 (#20, 6+), disappears from print in December. Meanwhile, after quintupling (+.4) its 6+-share in seven successive sweeps without a loss (.1 – .1 – .1 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .4 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WOKY “The Big 920” surrenders three-tenths to .2 (#24, 6+).

Owing to three straight upticks (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.2, 6+), University of Wisconsin news/talk WUWM is a collective +1.5 and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Prior to October, WUWM ranked #14 for three straight months and had been within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 17 consecutive sweeps. The June 2018 – December 2018 topline for Wisconsin Public Radio news/talk WHAD is .9 – .9 – .7 – .9 – .7 – .8 – .8 (#19 to #18, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Not only does WLDB post a whopping +2.6 (5.1 – 7.7, seventh to second, 6+), “B-93.3 The ‘80s to Today” is just one-tenth from the lead; the Milwaukee Radio Alliance adult contemporary outlet posted a 5.6 in December 2017. A December increase of +1.1 (4.8 – 5.9 eighth to seventh, 6+) by Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” completely obliterates its -1.1 in October and November (5.9 – 5.1 – 4.8, 6+). Having been an overall -1.3 in four negative moves in a row (4.1 – 3.8 – 3.6 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance alternative WLUM “FM 102.1 Sounds Different” erases just over half that deficit with a +.7 to 3.5 (6+) and remains at #13. Progressing from #16 to #15, Saga Communications’ rhythmic CHR WNRG “Energy 106.9” posts its fourth straight gain for an overall +1.3 (.8 – 1.2 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1, 6+). Over and above adding six-tenths to November’s +.2 (7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), co-owned WKLH “Hometown Rock 96.5” jumps from fourth to first. A station familiar with the top spot is WRIT “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies facility spent 43 consecutive ratings periods at #1 but spirals by -1.0 in December (8.7 – 7.7) and is tied for second; WRIT was dislodged from the top spot in October. Off -1.1 in four successive decreases (5.8 – 5.5 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7, 6+), Saga Communications’ WHQG “102.9 The Hog – Everything That Rocks” slips from sixth to eighth. After trending 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.2 (6+), its urban AC cluster-mate, WJMR “Jammin’ 98.3,” surrenders one-half share to 3.7 (#11 to #12, 6+). As a result of dropping two-tenths to 7.3 (third to fourth, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country” interrupts three gains in succession that netted +2.2 (5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Ironically, the decrease comes immediately after WMIL lost its country competitor, WKTI, which is now sports talk (see above).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – In 12 of the last 13 sweeps, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN “Super Talk 99.7” (3.8 – 3.5, -.3, #11 to #14, 6+) has been within 3.0 – 3.9 range 6+; the exception was October 2018 when it logged a 4.0.

Flat at #19, iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” nearly doubles (+.6) its 6+-stat via three straight gains (7 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s loss of nine-tenths with a December gain of two-tenths (5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” advances from seventh to sixth. The Tennessee Titans’ flagship was a collective +3.3 in four consecutive up or flat moves (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.6 – 5.0 – 6.3, 6+), with October’s 6.3 its highest 6+-share since January 2018’s 6.5. By dropping one-tenth to 1.6 (#17 to #18, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” suspends three consecutive improvements that yielded a collective +1.0 (.7 – .8 – 1.3 – 1.7, 6+). That streak immediately followed four straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (2.6 – 2.5 – .9 – .8 – .7, 6+).

After three down moves in a row in which it was a collective -1.5 (4.9 – 4.6 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+), Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is up four-tenths to 3.8 (#14 to #11, 6+). Its internet “stream” is +.7 since surfacing in September 2018 (.2 – .6 – .7 – .9, 6+) and reaches #20 in December.

Nashville Music Formats – Adding a +1.9 to November’s +.9 (8.1 – 9.0 – 10.9, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” is on top for the 11th successive ratings period. Among its fluctuations in calendar year 2018 are: -6.7 (January); +1.0 (February); -.5 (May); +1.0 (June); +.9 (August); -.9 (September); -.7 (October); +.9 (November); and now +1.9 (December). In addition to zooming from fifth to second, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” is a combined +2.4 through five straight gains (4.4 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 6.8, 6+) and has its best 6+-stat (6.8) in over a year (7.2, October 2017). Wiping away November’s loss of one-half share with a December improvement twice that margin (2.6 – 3.6, +1.0, 6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLVU jumps from #16 to #13. Prior to November, “Positive & Inspiring K-Love” was an overall +.8 through five consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+). The +.9 that iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “The Beat” gained in October and November (6.0 – 6.5 – 6.9, 6+) all but disappears in December with a loss of eight-tenths to 6.1 (second to fourth, 6+). Owing to four straight decreases, iHeartMedia-owned WNRQ is a combined -1.4 (7.8 – 7.6 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), yet “105.9 The Rock – Nashville’s Classic Rock” climbs from fourth to third. August’s 7.8 was the best 6+-stat for WNRQ, which was an overall +1.5 via four consecutive increases (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+) since January (7.8, as well). The market’s three country FMs finish at eighth, ninth, and tenth as they log a collective loss of -2.1 from November. More specifically, on the heels of November’s improvement of eight-tenths and a -1.0 in September, Cumulus Media’s WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” plummets by -1.5 (6.6 – 5.1, third to eighth, 6+). Stable at #9, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country,” which was +1.2 (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.5, August-September-October), is now an overall -.9 in November and December (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). After posting three increases in a row for a +.7 (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3, 6+), “Nash Icon” sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” drops two-tenths to 4.1 (6+), but stays at #10.

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – An overall +1.1 in four straight sweeps without a loss (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” advances from seventh to sixth. Its August increase halted three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.0 (4.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7, 6+). Conversely, a four-tenths’ loss by iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” (1.7 – 1.3, #12 to #14, 6+) curtails four consecutive up or flat moves that yielded six-tenths (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). This directly follows an overall loss of nine-tenths through five straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). It is tied with Boston hybrid news-talk sibling WBZ-AM “News Radio 1030,” which is up nine-tenths in six straight Providence sweeps without a loss (.8 – .8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 -1.1 – 1.3, #17 to #14, 6+). Continuing at #21, Cumulus Media-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” has its 6+-share sliced in half since October (.6 – .5 – .3, 6+).

Following four successive up or flat trends that accounted for a net gain of +2.0 (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WVEI returns 80% of that increase (3.8, -1.6, sixth to eighth, 6+).

By regaining the three-tenths it lost in November (2.3 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH progresses from tenth to ninth; WGBH was up one-half share in October. Leveling off at 2.0 (6+) after November’s loss of six-tenths, The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH repeats at #10. WELH gained four-tenths in September and in October (1.8 – 2.2 – 2.6, 6+). In advance of adding four-tenths in September, WELH was off one-half share in six straight sweeps without an increase (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+). Immediately prior to the May sweep, these two public radio news/talk outlets (WELH and WGBH) finished back-to-back four straight times and were tied in May at #10.

Providence Music Formats – In addition to being #1 for the fifth month in a row, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” dials up a +2.7 to 12.1, its highest 6+-stat since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Over the last three ratings periods, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB has fluctuated by one-half share: “B-101” was +.5 (October); -.5 (November); and now +.5 in December (6.4 – 6.9, fifth to third, 6+). Representative WWBB moves earlier in calendar year 2018 include -.5 (January); +.9 (March); +.6 (April); +.9 (July); -.8 (August); and -.9 (September). After returning October’s one-half share increase in November, Hall Communications’ WCTK further erodes by -1.3 in December (8.7 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+) and is tied for third with “B-101.” This (6.9) is the lowest 6+performance for “Cat Country 98.1” in approximately two years (6.6, “Holiday” 2016). A loss of eight-tenths (7.4 – 6.6, fourth to fifth, 6+) takes Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “92 PRO FM Today’s Hit Music” below a seven-share (6.6, 6+) for the first time in more than three years (6.9, August 2015).

 Norfolk – Good news continues for iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV, which has ballooned its 6+ stat more than nine-fold (a whopping +5.7) in five positive spikes in a row (.7 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 6.4, 6+), zooming from eighth to fourth. At this time last year (December 2017), “Movin’ 107.7” logged a 4.4 (6+). Immediately prior to this particular run, however, “Movin’ 107.7” lost 86% of its 6+-share (-4.3) through seven successive sweeps without an increase, (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .7, 6+). Off a combined six-tenths via four consecutive modest decreases (6.3 – 6.2 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “101.3 2WD” roars back with a +1.5 to 7.2 (fifth to second, 6+). This (7.2) is its strongest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.5. Down or flat for the fourth straight time for a -2.6 (15.5 – 13.7 – 13.7 – 13.1 – 12.9, 6+), its urban AC cluster-mate – WVKL “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – is nonetheless #1 for the 25th straight survey period and posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 33rd time in the last 34 sweeps. December 2018’s 12.9, however, is its lowest 6+-reading since April’s 12.3. On the other hand, its 15.5 in August 2018 sets the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era. A decline of -1.0 (6.5 – 5.5, second to sixth, 6+) sends Saga Communications’ WAFX “Classic Rock 106.9 The Fox” to its weakest 6+-stat (5.5) since 4.7 in “Holiday” 2017. In four consecutive down or flat reports, Entercom’s WNVZ “Z-104 Norfolk Rhythmic Music” is an overall -1.2 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+).

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – In the last six survey periods, Cox Media Group news/talk WOKV “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic” is -.7 (July); +.5 (August); -.6 (September); +2.0 (October); +.6 (November) and now -.8 in December (11.2 – 10.4, first to second). November’s 11.2 is its best-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. Prior to October, the last time WOKV finished first was in May when it scored a 9.3 (6+).

After being up or flat the past four ratings periods for a collective gain of one-half share (.3 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .8, 6+), iHeartMedia sports talk WFXJ “930 The Game – Jacksonville’s Sports Leader” is off one-tenth to .7 (#18 to #20, 6+).

Carrying on at #13, public news/talk WJCT picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+), thus ending three consecutive downward moves that led to -1.2 (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – By posting a December +2.8 to 10.7 (6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ completely vaporizes its collective -2.7 via three straight setbacks (10.6 – 9.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+). Moreover, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” marches from third to first with its strongest 6+-mark (10.7) since “Holiday” 2017’s 11.9. Finishing on top in June, July, August, and September, WEJZ was 9.0 in December 2017. As a result of four straight improvements (3.4 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI was an overall +1.9; however, in December, “Easy 102.9” regresses by four-tenths to 4.9 (seventh to eighth, 6+). That particular positive streak immediately followed three straight down or flat trends that produced a collective -1.2 (4.6 – 4.6 – 4.2 – 3.4, 6+). Urban AC sibling WOKV-HD2 improves by one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, #15 to #14, 6+). Having registered a 3.6 (6+) in three of the last five survey periods (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK sputters by eight-tenths to 2.8 (6+) as “107.3 The River – We Play Anything” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Following five straight positive spikes that netted a +1.6 (5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 7.0, 6+), Cox Media Group CHR WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” forfeits one-half share to 6.5 (fourth to fifth, 6+); November’s 7.0 is its strongest 6+-share since “Holiday” 2016’s 7.4. Recording a gain of four-tenths in back-to-back reports (3.7 – 4.1 – 4.5, 6+), Renda Broadcasting-owned WGNE “Gator Country 99.9” carries on at #9. November’s +.4 pulled the plug on six successive downward moves that resulted in an overall -2.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.7, 6+). A cumulative -1.1 in three successive dips (9.3 – 9.2 – 8.5 – 8.2, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle,” which had been in the runner-up slot the past three months, segues to third.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – By adding three-tenths to November’s increase of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.6 – 2.9, 6+), Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). A loss of four-tenths in October halted at four its consecutive string of upticks that netted seven-tenths (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). Meanwhile, after gaining one-half share in October, iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” has lost a collective three-tenths in November and December (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1, flat at #12, 6+). WJNO was a combined -1.0 in August and September (2.9 – 2.3 – 1.9, 6+). Co-owned news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which recorded a 1.8 (6+) the past three reports, slips three-tenths to 1.5 (#14 to #15); WZZR gained one-half share in August. Miami news/talk sibling WIOD picks up one-tenth (.9 – 1.0, 6+) and returns to West Palm Beach’s top twenty (#22 to #18, 6+).

Bouncing back from November’s six-tenths’ loss with a December increase of one-half share (3.3 – 3.8, 6+), WLRN jumps from eighth to sixth. Immediately prior to the November sweep, the Dade County School Board news/talk station logged three straight improvements resulting in a collective +1.0 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+).

West Palm Beach Music Formats – On the heels of November’s four-tenths’ improvement, Alpha Media’s WEAT dials up a +1.9 (4.6 – 5.0 – 6.9, 6+) as “Sunny 107.9” zooms from fourth to second. Off six-tenths in October, “Sunny” has its best 6+-showing (6.9) since 9.1 in “Holiday” 2017. After plummeting by -1.8 in November, hot AC cluster-mate WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” makes up more than half that loss with a +1.0 (8.9 – 9.9, 6+) and is #1 for the 12th sweep in succession. WRMF was an overall +1.7 in five consecutive up or flat reports (9.0 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 9.4 – 10.0 – 10.7, 6+), with October’s 10.7 its highest 6+-share since November 2017 (11.2). Following back-to-back gains that netted one-half share (.8 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia Miami adult contemporary WMIA “93.9 Variety From the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” surrenders six-tenths to .7 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#17 to #22, 6+). Down one-half share each are its classic rock sibling WKGR “Gater 98.7,” which is a collective -1.2 in three consecutive negative trends (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.8, flat at #6, 6+) and Alpha Media’s WIRK “103.1 South Florida Country” (3.6 – 3.1, seventh to eighth, 6+). Via five straight upticks, iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary WRLX was a combined +1.3 (1.5 – 1.6 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), but “Mia 92.1” is off two-tenths and departs the top ten (2.6, #10 to #11, 6+).

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – Although it repeats at #9, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” forfeits one-half share of October and November’s collective +.7 (3.5 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+); WPTI was down eight-tenths in September.

A gain of two-tenths (.3 – .5, steady at #16, 6+) takes Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” to its best 6+-showing since May (.5, as well).

This is the seventh consecutive time that Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” finishes at #13 (1.9 – 2.1, +.2, 6+). After four straight up or flat trends that netted four-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+), WFDD was down one-half share in November. Stable at #15, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC has a May 2018 through December 2018 (6+) topline of: 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – .8 – .6.

Greensboro Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG up or flat for the fourth straight month for a whopping (collective) +7.1 more than doubling its 6+-share since August (6.8 – 7.9 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 13.9, 6+), “99.5 – The Triad’s Best Variety” leaps from third to first. This (13.9) is its highest 6+-showing since 16.1 in “Holiday” 2017 and easily beats its (6+) December 2017 reading of 11.8. Dislodged from the top spot after 11 straight sweeps there is WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (11.4 – 10.8, -.6, first to second, 6+), which nonetheless is in double-digits (6+) for the 25th straight time. The Entercom urban AC was +1.0 in November. Its gain of two-tenths in October applied the brakes to five successive decreases that resulted in a net loss of -2.0 (12.2 – 12.0 – 11.2 – 10.9 – 10.5 – 10.2, 6+). A combined -.8 in October and September, iHeartMedia-owned WTQR gained three-tenths in November, but “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” craters by -1.6 in December (6.7 – 5.1, fifth to eighth, 6+). Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” was up one-half share in October; faltered by four-tenths in November; and is down three-tenths in December (5.5 – 5.2, flat at #7, 6+) – but – overtakes WTQR. Spiraling by -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” has its lowest 6+-stat since February 2018 (2.9, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). While it remains at #4, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 JAMZ” is an overall -2.1 in six straight sweeps without an increase, (8.2 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.1, 6+). In the runner-up slot the past 11 sweeps, adult hits cluster-mate WSMW  “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” sputters by seven-tenths (9.3 – 8.6, 6+) and segues to third. When it picked up two-tenths in November, “Simon” suspended three straight declines that accounted for a combined loss of nine-tenths (10.0 – 9.7 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). Over the course of the last four sweeps, iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is +.5 (September, 2.9 – 3.4, 6+); -.6 (October, 3.4 – 2.8, 6+); +.9 (November, 2.8 – 3.7, 6+); and now -.5 (December, 3.7 – 3.2, flat at #11, 6+). Prior to November, “Kiss” occupied the #12 position for five consecutive sweeps.

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – In a September-October-November-December down/up pattern in which time it has lost six-tenths (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 2.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” drifts from the top ten (#10 to #13).

In addition to logging five straight gains for an overall +1.4 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WMFS enters the top ten (#11 to #10). Immediately prior to this streak, “ESPN Sports Radio” was off six-tenths in July.

Memphis Music Formats – Not only is iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS up one full-share (10.5 – 11.5, 6+), “V-101” progresses from third to first and is in double-digits (6+) for the eighth successive sweep. This (11.5) is the best 6+-stat for “V-101” since June 2016’s 11.6. In a rare case of an adult contemporary outlet exiting the #1 slot in December 2018, Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” freefalls by -1.6 (10.9 – 9.3, first to second, 6+). “The River” was off one-tenth in November, following October’s +2.4 to 11.0, its best 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9. At the same time, its format rival – Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” – is an overall +2.1 in six consecutive reports without a loss (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 3.5, #14 to #11, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for WKIM sibling WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +1.8 in three straight increases; -.2 in September; -.5 in October; -.5 (again) in November; and is now +.7 in December (4.0 – 4.7, ninth to eighth, 6+). Up six-tenths each are iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” (unchanged at #5, 6+) and co-owned CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM” (1.1 – 1.7, steady at #15, 6+). WHAL is an overall +1.6 in four straight positive spikes (4.6 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 6.2, 6+). December 2018’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-reading for WHAL since April’s 7.1. This streak directly follows six successive down monthlies in a row for a collective -2.7 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately after Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” posted a November +1.9, it surrenders all of it and another one-tenth more in December (10.7 – 8.7, -2.0, second to third, 6+). Nevertheless, November’s 10.7 is the highest 6+-share for WRBO in its PPM-history. Prior to adding two-tenths in October, WRBO was a combined -1.4 in four successive sweeps without an increase (10.0 – 9.3 – 8.8 – 8.8 – 8.6, 6+).

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – A loss of nine-tenths (6.8 – 5.9, 6+) sends Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM  from fifth to sixth; “News Talk 1080” was up eight-tenths in October. Going into the October sweep, WTIC-AM notched a 6.2 (6+) in each of the previous three sweeps. Thus far this calendar year, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” (#14 to #15) has an ultra-consistent (6+) topline: 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0.

Ever since reappearing in print in July 2018, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” is trending 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 2.0 – 1.6 – 1.4 (#12 to #13, 6+).

Although it is a combined +1.4 in four upticks in succession (3.5 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” backslides from eighth to ninth. Directly in advance of this streak, WNPR was -2.4 after seven straight down or flat trends (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio,” which had a collective loss of one-half share through three negative moves in succession (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+), picks up two-tenths to 1.3 (steady at #14, 6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five successive down or flat trends that led to a -1.2 (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3, 6+).

Hartford Music Formats – Down eight-tenths in November (11.4 – 10.6, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRCH roars back with a +1.8 to 12.4 (6+) and is on top for the 29th consecutive ratings period. In addition, “Lite 100.5” is in double-digits (6+) for the 26th time in the last 28 sweeps with its best 6+-performance since June (12.4, as well). In December 2017, WRCH posted a 13.0 (6+). When co-owned WZMX “Hot 93.7” gained four-tenths in November, it ended five straight decreases that accounted for a -1.9 (8.3 – 8.2 – 7.8 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). The rhythmic CHR adds another seven-tenths in December (6.8 – 7.5, sixth to third, 6+). As a result of four straight sweeps without a loss, iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” nets a +1.4 (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.8 – 7.8, repeating at #2, 6+); 7.8 in November and December is its highest 6+-stat since May (7.8, as well). An overall -1.3 owing to three straight declines (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” answers with a +.8 to 5.2 (ninth to eighth, 6+). While unchanged at #7, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN “105.9 The River” falters by seven-tenths (6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Following a November increase of seven-tenths (2.4 – 3.1 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting’s Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 surrenders one-half share (2.6, flat at #11, 6+).

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

| March 27, 2018

Sid Rosenberg Tells TALKERS, ‘The [NYC] Market is Ripe for the Taking.’   Big Apple AM drive shows beware, Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg (“Bernie & Sid”) are fired up and ready for their WABC morning show debut this Monday (4/2) that replaces the retiring Don Imus.  Both broadcasters have strong roots and ties to Imus, playing various side-kick and producer roles with the legend over the years.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “I think it’s fair to say that in our almost-20-year relationship, Imus and I are closer now than we’ve ever been.  I think that’s the case on and off the air.  It’s been special walking with Imus down memory lane these past few months.”  What about the program’s targeting and positioning?  In an exclusive TALKERS interview, Rosenberg says, “I think our new morning show will appeal to a wide range of audience.  It’s fair to assume the 40-year-old male and female will enjoy our brand.  WFAN’s morning show targets the enthusiastic sports fan.  WOR?  Well, I’m not sure whom they target.   Politics – local and national – news, sports, pop culture, and entertainment will all take center stage daily on our new show.  We’ve already received commitments from big name guests from all the arenas I just mentioned.  Plus, the competition can’t come close to contending when you include the daily laughs Bernie and I will provide.”  Rosenberg confidently concludes, “With Imus saying goodbye, Howard Stern on satellite radio and Craig Carton off mornings on WFAN, the market is ripe for the taking.  Bernie and I have talked about and waited for this opportunity for the better part of 18 years.  We have a decidedly better product than the competition and we expect to win!”

WRKO, Boston and Howie Carr Sign Long-Term Extension.  There was probably no one happier than Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr when it was announced iHeartMedia was acquiring Boston talk station WRKO.  He’d always expressed admiration for the company’s dedication to the news/talk format and he’d certainly butted heads with previous owner Entercom over the years.  As Carr and iHeartMedia announce the signing of a new long-term agreement, Carr is quoted in the presser saying, “iHeart is the gold standard of talk radio in America.  I am so happy to be associated with the best company in the industry.”  iHeartMedia Boston Region president Alan Chartrand says, “We are so glad to have Howie with our iHeart family here in Boston.  Howie is a staple in this market and we are excited to have his brand be a part of the iHeartMedia Boston team.”

Cumulus Names New Market Managers – John Lewis to Lead Huntsville; Steve Chessare to Manage Bridgeport.  In the Huntsville, Alabama and Bridgeport, Connecticut markets, Cumulus Media names new market managers.  Most recently with USA Today/Gannett, John Lewis assumes the vice president and market manager role at the company’s Huntsville cluster that includes news/talk WVNN and sports talk WUMP.  This is a return to the company for Lewis who had served with Cumulus in Albany, Georgia; Pensacola; Lexington, Kentucky; and Memphis.  He takes over for Ray Nelson, who is retiring.   Stephen Chessare joins Cumulus Bridgeport, Connecticut as vice president and market manager from his most recent role as market manager for Greater Media Detroit. In Bridgeport, Cumulus operates news/talk WICC and adult contemporary WEBE.

‘Ben & Woods’ New Morning Hosts on San Diego Sports Talk ‘The Mighty 1090.’ Since previous morning personality Dan Sileo exited the morning daypart on Broadcast Corporation of the Americas’ XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to join Entercom’s new crosstown sports/guy talk KEGY “97.3 The Machine,” the station has been searching for his replacement.  Now, management reveals Ben Higgins and Steve Woods are hosting the new “Ben & Woods” morning show, starting today (3/27).  Higgins is the sports director and evening sports anchor at KGTV-TV, San Diego.  Woods has served at a number of San Diego stations.  Most recently he was with iHeartMedia as a weekend, fill-in host on rock KIOZ.  He co-hosted the “Cantore + Woods” morning show on alternative KBZT “FM 94.9” with Chris Cantore.  XEPRS vice president of programming Mike Shepard says, “These guys really are the ‘Odd Couple’ of San Diego radio.  It’s super-nice, straight-arrow Ben along with loud, opinionated and funny Steve Woods.  They really have chemistry and genuinely like each other.  It’s going to be fun.”

Nielsen Providing Monthly Insights Reports for Diary Markets. This new set of reports is available to diary market subscribers of PD Advantage and Arbitrends.  Nielsen says the Diary Monthly Insights Reports will “provide audio clients with more granularity and specificity about diary listening behavior and trends and will be delivered to subscribers on a monthly basis.”  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly says, “In today’s hyper-competitive environment, it’s vital for radio stations to be able to detect changes in their listening audience as early as possible.  Radio stations require faster, more granular insights to understand their listeners.  The Diary Monthly Insights Reports are an advanced new tool offering users the programming edge that comes with a quicker, more discrete read on the radio listening marketplace.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk hosts Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher are hosting “Overtime with Hewitt & Gallagher” on Sunday, April 29 in Minneapolis.  The live event is presented by Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” and features Salem Radio Network personalities Hewitt and Gallagher discussing the current political climate and the upcoming mid-term elections in Minnesota with moderator Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com…..WGN, Chicago is inducting a new class into its Walk of Fame on Friday, May 18 at the Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.  This is the fifth class to be inducted and will include: Pierre Andre, David Kaplan, Chuck Swirsky, Roger Triemstra, and Mary Van De Velde.  WGN Radio station manager Todd Manley says, “In this year’s class, we give tribute to two prominent Chicago sports personalities, an affable weatherman, an announcer from the ‘golden days of radio,’ and a trusted voice in morning drive for over two decades.”…..Bristol Broadcasting promotes Jason Reed, a.k.a. Chris Arnold, to the operations manager position at the Bristol-Johnson City-Kingsport cluster that includes news/talk WFHG…..Westwood One continues its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament with the Final Four live from the Alamodome in San Antonio this weekend, followed by the National Championship game on Monday night.

Stormy Daniels ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Expels Russian Diplomats, Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump Approval Rating Up, Ryan Resignation Rumor, FTC Facebook Investigation/British Cambridge Analytica Probe, Kim Jong Un in China, March Madness, NFL Free Agency, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Sunday night’s “60 Minutes” interview with Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump expels 60 Russian diplomats in the aftermath of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K.; former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is named Trump’s National Security Adviser-Designate; a CNN poll shows President Trump’s approval rating is at 11-month high; the rumor that House Speaker Paul Ryan will resign within “three to six months”; the Federal Trade Commission reveals it is investigating Facebook and Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s testimony before a British Parliamentary committee; reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un may be visiting China; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; the NFL’s free agency period; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Miami country outlet WKIS “Kiss Country 99.9” names John O’Connell program director.  Entercom SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are looking forward to having John join the ‘Kiss Country 99.9’ team.  His expertise and passion for country radio, along with knowledge of Miami listeners, will be an asset to the team.  John is a remarkable leader and we are confident he will take on this heritage brand with vigor.”  O’Connell adds WKIS programming duties to his current responsibilities as program director for alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark.”…..WDRV, Chicago “97.1 The Drive” midday personality Bob Stroud re-ups with Hubbard Radio to continue his duties with the classic rock station.  WDRV program director Rob Cressman comments, “Bob is not only an exemplary brand ambassador for ‘The Drive,’ he is an iconic brand in Chicago.  His experience with classic rock’s artists and his deep understanding of what makes the genre timeless have ensconced him as one of Chicago’s premiere sources for music curation.  His contributions to the classic rock format have been widely celebrated throughout his career.  We are thrilled to know that the daily companionship Bob provides the Chicago community will endure for many years to come.”…..Beasley Media Group appoints programming pro John Candelaria program director for rhythmic oldies WMGC, Detroit “105.1FM The Bounce.”  Candelaria is the company’s urban format captain and has most recently been the operations manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS and hot AC KVGS in Las Vegas.  Beasley Detroit VP and market manager Mac Edwards says, “John’s proven track record as a strategic programmer and tactician makes him the perfect choice to lead our very talented air team.  He ‘gets’ this format and is bringing the ideas and energy to fuel the next phase of growth for ‘105.1 The Bounce.’  This should be fun!”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

| July 11, 2017

Linietsky Named to Digital Business Post at Cumulus Media. This is a newly created position at Cumulus Media and digital media pro Larry Linietsky joins the company as vice president, digital operations and business development from his most recent position as SVP, business & partner development at iHeartMedia.  Cumulus says Linietsky “will lead and shape digital operations and business development with a focus on developing, sourcing, and monetizing digital products and services for the radio station group and Westwood One.  He’ll report to Suzanne Grimes, EVP, corporate marketing, Cumulus Media, and president, Westwood One.  Cumulus CEO Mary Berner states, “We are focusing on our digital strategy and I am thrilled to welcome Larry at this transformational time when we are poised for game-changing digital expansion.  Larry is uniquely qualified to leverage the company’s assets and identify and build digital growth opportunities.”

Senator Ted Cruz Joins Trey Ware and KTSA, San Antonio for Live Town Hall Broadcast. Pictured above are Texas Senator Ted Cruz (left) and KTSA, San Antonio morning drive personality Trey Ware (right) appearing before a live audience at Alpha Media’s KTSA Alamo Lounge.  Cruz joined KTSA during the Senate’s Fourth of July break as part of a series of town hall meetings.  Ware says topics discussed during the one-hour event included health care, terrorism, the economy, fake news, and the future of America, and he adds, “It was a pleasure to host Senator Cruz in the Alamo Lounge.  He is on the front line of so much going on in our country and world today that I know our listeners enjoyed hearing straight from him.”

WVNN, Hunstville’s Dale Jackson Launches TV Show. Alabama radio personality Dale Jackson is launching a television show via his Yellowhammer Multimedia on WZTZ-TV, Athens, Alabama “ZTV 11.”  It debuted today (7/11), airing from 5:00 am to 5:30 am.  It’s also being posted to Yellowhammernews.com/yhtv/ at 1:00 pm.  Jackson’s radio show airs on Cumulus Media’s WVNN-AM/FM, Huntsville from 7:00 am to 11:00 am.  The television program features Jackson and a rotation of guest panelists in a roundtable format.  The show’s guest panelists will range from astronauts to college professors, providing viewers with a diverse take on the most relevant topics of the day.  Jackson says, “I’m excited to host this Yellowhammer program because it will cover the topics our viewers care about and in a way that’s interesting and entertaining.  One thing I can assure you is, just like my radio program, this show will not be dull.”

Newsmax TV Now on DirecTV and U-verse Platforms. Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Newsmax TV launched on both the DirecTV and U-verse television platforms.  The three-year-old video platform was created and launched by Newsmax Media to serve as an “independent news and information source for millions of Americans who want the latest in breaking news, politics, health, and finance.”  Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy comments, “With our launch on DirecTV and U-verse, Newsmax TV has the opportunity to serve more viewers.  Newsmax TV has a unique audience of Americans seeking news they can’t get from other major networks.”  The channel offers 14 hours of live, daily shows featuring hosts, anchors and contributors, including former congressman J.D. Hayworth, Miranda Khan, John Bachman, Michael Reagan, and Alan Dershowitz.  Newsmax TV also signed deals to simulcast talk radio personalities such as Todd Schnitt, Wayne Allyn Root, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, Joe Walsh and Howie Carr.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/11) with Dr. Asa Andrew, David Bernstein and Karen Hunter.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first and second in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter) as well as the second in that series featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum.  Today (7/11), the third in the series is posted featuring a conversation between nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).  Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

NAB Announces 2017 Marconi Finalists.  The finalists in the 20 categories for the 2017 Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters have been announced.  The five finalists for News/Talk Station of the Year are: Hubbard Broadcasting’s KTMY-FM, Minneapolis-St. Paul; Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; CBS RADIO’s KNX-AM, Los Angeles; Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM, Atlanta; and Cox’s WDBO-FM, Orlando.  The finalists for Sports Talk Station of the Year are: Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia; Cumulus Media’s KTCK-FM, Dallas; Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston; Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS-FM, St. Louis; and CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston.  Among talk hosts as finalists in other categories, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity and WestStar’s Kim Komando are vying for Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year; Bert Baron of WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey is a finalist for Large Market Personality of the Year; Steve McIntosh and Ted Woodward of KNSS-AM, Wichita are finalists for Medium Market Personality of the Year; and Joel Heitkamp of KFGO-AM, Fargo is a contender for Small Market Personality of the Year.  See all the finalists here.

TALKERS News Notes. Talk radio personality Shannon Burke and Cumulus Media come to terms on a new, multi-year contract renewal to keep him hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY-FM, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7.”  Burke joined the station last summer after winning the station’s Casting Call competition to “win” a talk show.  Burke has also worked at WHPT, Tampa and WTKS-FM, Orlando during his career…..Tomorrow (7/12) at 2:00 pm ET, Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein and Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs are teaming up for a webinar to discuss how new in-home technologies are affecting radio listeners.  They’ll share insights from Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey13 and other critical data about new listening patterns and new devices, including: smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home; cord cutting as people shed cable TV for streaming services; music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music; and how the mobile phone is displacing the clock radio.  Register here…..Longtime Philadelphia radio personality Paul Barsky joins Alpha Media’s news/talk WFTL, Fort Lauderdale to host the afternoon drive program.  Barsky was with the station three years ago but exited to take a medical leave.  In Philly he hosted at WCAU-FM, WYSP, WMMR, and others.  His arrival bumps the Westwood One-syndicated Michael Savage to the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot…..Townsquare Media and the University of Alabama renew their deal to keep radio play-by-play of the school’s athletics on the company’s Tuscaloosa stations for another seven years…..Cumulus Media and Learfield’s Redbird Sports Properties agree to a five-year deal to air Illinois State contests on the company’s news/talk WJBC-AM 1230 and country WJBC-FM “93.7 NASH Icon” in the Bloomington-Normal, Illinois market…..Radio America is now syndicating the weekend “Tech It Out” program hosted by technology pro Marc Saltzman.

Chris Christie WFAN, New York Fill-In Draws Attack from Regular Caller.  As outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie took to the mic at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York on Monday – sitting in along with Evan Roberts for Mike Francesa – regular WFAN caller Mike from Montclair was waiting on hold to unleash his attack on Christie.  The caller criticized Christie’s holiday weekend stunt of using the New Jersey shore beach at the beach house available to the governor.  That and other beaches were closed to the public by Christie to spite the legislature for not passing his state budget.  But Christie was ready and willing to play the caller’s game.  He called him a communist and appeared happy to verbally spar with the caller.

Donald Trump Jr-Russia Connection, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump G20 Aftermath, Chelsea Clinton’s Ivanka Trump Criticism, Western Wildfires/Heatwave, Jane Sanders Land Deal Investigation, and MLB All-Star Break Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/10). Speculation about the significance of Donald Trump, Jr’s meeting with a Russian attorney during the 2016 campaign; the GOP health care plan and attempts to pass the legislation before Congress’ August break; the aftermath of President Trump’s attendance at the G20 summit in Hamburg, including his meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the flap over Chelsea Clinton’s criticism of Ivanka Trump sitting in for her father at the G20 summit; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s summer heatwave; the investigation into Jane Sanders’ land deal while serving as president of the now-defunct Burlington College; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game activities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The multi-platform video and music network Music Choice is teaming up with Billboard as the official music partner for the 2017 Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival taking place August 19-20 at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island, New York.  Artists performing will include Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled, Camila Cabello, Major Lazer, Big Sean, Zedd, Bebe Rexha, Marshmello, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Echosmith, Capital Cities, Tinashe, T-Pain, Lil Yachty, Ty Dolla $ign, Young Thug, Waka Flocka and more…..Cumulus Media’s classic hits WJJK, Indianapolis has been partnering with the City of Fishers, Indiana to bring a free, Friday night summer concert series to area music fans for the past four years.  On July 7, the station and the city welcomed 80s hitmakers Loverboy to the Nickle Plate District Amphitheater to perform before a record crowd of more than 8,000 people.  Pictured at right are (from l-r) WJJK personalities Greg Browning, Nikki Miller, and Joni Michels…..Earlier today the Steve Harvey Morning Show’s entire cast appeared on Harvey’s daytime TV program.  This was a first-ever appearance on Harvey’s TV show by the crew, which includes Shirley Strawberry, Nephew Tommy, Junior, Carla Ferrell, Mississippi Monica, and the newest edition to the show, J. Anthony Brown.  Also joining the crew was Kidada Brown of Jackson, Mississippi – a self-proclaimed “Super Fan” of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”  Brown was invited to be a part of the studio audience.  He surprised her by giving her a free trip for two to his “Sand & Soul Festival” in the Bahamas (October 6-9), including a VIP room package at the Atlantis, with two tickets to all of the events, including performances by En Vogue, Keith Sweat, Salt-N-Pepa and Doug E. Fresh.

Monday, February 6, 2017

| February 6, 2017

Skype Sessions Rub Some WH Journos the Wrong Way; Others Not Worried.  Regular readers of TALKERS magazine are aware that the Trump White House has opened some of the press briefings to offsite news organizations and talk show hosts via Skype.  Some in the White House press corps are reportedly irked by the intrusion of more media outlets vying for time with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer – some even more so allegedly because of the inclusion of radio talk show hosts.  The first Skype Session (2/1) featured talk show hosts Lars Larson of KXL, Portland; Dale Jackson of WVNN, Huntsville, Alabama; Jeff Jobe of Kentucky-based Jobe Publishing; plus TV news staffers Kimberly Kalunian of WPRI-TV, Providence; and Natalie Herbick of WJW-TV, Cleveland.  Tom Blumer writes in the conservative media outlet Newsbusters that some in major news organizations – especially at CNN – are upset with what feels like an intrusion.  See his piece here.  But CBS News reporter Major Garrett says in a story by CBS about the matter, “I cannot complain about more reporters asking questions.  If the Skype questions are softballs everyone will see it.  And if a White House gains a reputation for taking softball questions and avoiding tough questions, that will become obvious to the country.”  Needless to say, talk hosts and local media outlets such as WPRI-TV and WJW-TV are thrilled to be able to connect with the White House press corps.  As for the questions posed by the talk hosts, Lars Larson asked if the Trump Administration has considered its stance on what some in the U.S. West believe is the too-large amount of land that is federally owned.  Dale Jackson asked if the administration has taken steps to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) immigration programs in light of the president’s tack on immigration policy.

Chris Rongey Joins WXOS, St. Louis.  A third voice is added to the afternoon drive program “The Fast Lane” on Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN.”  Joining Randy Karraker and Brad Thompson is Chris Rongey.  He’d been with WSCR, Chicago for the past 14 years handling pre-game and post-game duties for White Sox games.  He also served as an update anchor at the station and wrote for the suburban Daily Herald.   WXOS program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert states, “We are excited to welcome Chris Rongey home.  He is a tremendous talent and will be a great addition to the ‘101 ESPN’ team.”

Entercom Surrenders KDND, Sacramento License.  The Federal Communications Commission had been taking the rare action of designating the 2013 renewal application of Entercom’s KDND, Sacramento for hearing, due to the death of station contest participant Jennifer Strange in the now infamous “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” promotion.  Now, Entercom announces it is voluntarily giving up the station’s license.   The company states, “After careful consideration, Entercom determined it is in the company’s best interests to voluntarily turn in the KDND license to facilitate the timely FCC approvals for the planned combination with CBS Radio.”  At least partly responsible for the FCC’s actions was the Sue Wilson-led Media Action Center which had filed the petition to deny for the station’s license renewal.  MAC had also attempted to get the Commission broaden its hearing to include the entire Entercom Sacramento cluster.  As of today, Entercom is moving the CHR format heard on KDND to its current hot AC KUDL at 106.5 FM.

iHeartMedia Names Mike Saffer Tucson Market President.  Moving from his most recent position as VP of sales for Clear Channel Outdoor in Tucson is Mike Saffer, who takes on the market president position at iHeartMedia Tucson.  Its stations in that market include news/talk outlets KNST and KTZR, as well as CHr KRQQ, hot AC KMIY “My 92.9,” hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” country KYWD “97.1 The Bull,” and Tejano KXEW-AM “Tejano 1600.”  About his new gig, Saffer comments, “I am elated to make the transition into the iHeartMedia family here in Tucson.  Being raised in Tucson, the talent at these stations has always played a major role in my life.  I am excited to work with those same stations to build upon their legacy and strengthen our relationship with both advertisers and the community.”

Pollnow to Lead Cumulus Green Bay.  The Green Bay cluster of Cumulus Media has a new vice president and market manager as Don Pollnow returns to Wisconsin to lead the company’s six-station group.  Though Pollnow has most recently been serving with LM Communications in Lexington, Kentucky as national sales manager, he served as general manager for NRG Media’s Wausau-Steven Point station group in the past.  Cumulus’ Green Bay stations include: sports talk simulcast WDUZ “The Fan,” country WPCK “NASH FM 104.9,” hot AC WQLH “ Star 98,” triple A WKRU, and classic hits WOGB.

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicates “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the program schedule at WRRD, Milwaukee in the evening slot nightly, and at WCCM, Salem, New Hampshire for weekends…..ICYMI, yesterday during Westwood One’s Super Bowl LI pre-game and halftime programming, host Jim Gray did a recorded, one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump.  He told Gray he was rooting for the Patriots, spoke about his friendship with Tom Brady, and discussed topics including sports gambling, concussions in the NFL, use of medical marijuana by NFL players, and how his immigration policy might affect Los Angeles’ 2024 Olympics bid…..Boston University-owned pubcaster WBUR, Boston appoints Brian Hardzinski associate producer for the local talk show “On Point with Tom Ashbrook.”  Hardzinski served to the past 11 years at the University of Oklahoma’s KGOU, Norman.

Travel Order Court Battle, U.S.-Russia Relations, Yiannopoulos Berkeley Speech Protests, Iran Missile Test, Marine Le Pen’s Campaign for President, Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination and Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ongoing controversy over President Donald Trump’s travel order targeting seven predominantly Muslim nations and federal judge James Robart’s temporary restraining order staying the order; the relations between the U.S. and Russia and Trump’s comments to Bill O’Reilly about Vladimir Putin; last Thursday’s canceled speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos at UC-Berkeley after violent protests; U.S. response to Iran over its test of a missile last week; the nationalist campaign of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen; the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court justice; and Sunday night’s Super Bowl LI between the Patriots and Falcons were some of the most-talked-about news/talk stories this past weekend.

 

 

Chase Murphy to Program ‘Mix 96.5’ in Houston.  Programming pro Chase Murphy joins CBS Radio as program director for hot AC KHMX, Houston “Mix 96.5.”  SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Chase is a leader, a team builder, a talent coach and a builder of brands.  He is the perfect fit for KHMX, a big brand with great heritage in the Houston market.”  Murphy previously served with iHeartMedia as an operations manager and regional program director.  He also worked with Entercom in the Greenville market.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Boston, “The Morning Wake UP” with co-hosts KJ Carson and Kesha Monk debuts today on the new urban AC WKAF “97.7 FM, Boston’s #1 For R&B.”  Entercom split the simulcast of rock WAAF and WKAF back in early January and today is launching the new morning show.  Chris Malone is programming the station…..Mapleton Communications promotes Tommy Del Rio from his regional program director post to vice president of top 40 programming.  Del Rio is in charge of the programming for all seven of Mapleton’s CHR-formatted stations…..In the Yakima market, Brian Henderson and Todd E. Lyons Esq. are being paired up for mornings on Townsquare Media’s active rock KATS.  Henderson previously served as PD for Radio Yakima’s crosstown classic rocker KRSE “105.7 The Hawk.”  In addition to morning show duties, Henderson is handling the brand manager position at KATS…..Brazos Valley Communications appoints Shalayna Valencia regional director of events & digital for its stations in both the Odessa-Midland and Bryan-College Station markets.  Valencia was previously market president for Townsquare Media’s Odessa-Midland operations…..Radio pro Sari Zalesin joins the marketing division at mobile app developer jacapps.  At the same time, the company promotes Alex Burnstein to the new position, director of marketing.

PPM Analysis: AC and the 2016 Holiday Survey.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a detailed breakdown of the (6+) performances of adult contemporary outlets based on data from the 2016 Holiday PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  See which stations benefitted the most from the infusion of Christmas music, as well as how AC-formatted stations performed compared to the 2015 Holiday survey, plus more.  See it all here.