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Thursday, May 18, 2017

| May 18, 2017

Fox News Channel Architect Roger Ailes Dead at 77.  The family of former Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes announces that he died early today at the age of 77.  The cause is unknown at this time.  His widow Elizabeth says in a statement, “I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning.  Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many.  He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise – and to give back.”  Ailes began building Fox News Channel in 1996 and its rise changed the landscape of cable news/talk.  Ailes recently exited Fox in the wake of a growing number of complaints by current and former FNC female staffers – most notably, former anchor Gretchen Carlson – of sexual harassment.  Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity tweets, “Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes. For Decades RA’s has impacted American politics and media.”

Report: SiriusXM in Talks to Acquire Pandora. The report is published in the New York Post and indicates that Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM has restarted talks with digital pure play Pandora’s creditors to acquire the company.  The story notes that Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei has previously indicated that he thinks Pandora is worth about $10 per share.  Yesterday (5/17), Pandora closed at $8.93 per share.  Pandora founder and CEO Tim Westergren has publicly maintained that he wants to keep Pandora operating as a stand-alone company, but the Post story says activist investors Matrix Capital Management and Corvex Management are pushing for a sale.  Although Pandora has roughly 76 million active users, the company has yet to turn a profit.  Read the Post story here.

Alex Jones Apologizes to Chobani.  Talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones and Twin Falls, Idaho-based yogurt maker Chobani have come to a settlement in the company’s suit against Jones.  If you recall, Chobani filed a defamation suit against Jones after he posted a story on Infowars headlined, “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists.”  The story noted Chobani’s policy of hiring refugees but then reported on a Twin Falls case involving refugee boys who admitted to assaulting a five-year-old girl, attempting to draw a connection.  Local authorities say there was none.  The lawsuit said, “The defendants defamatory statements were designed to cause — and did in fact cause — customers to call for a boycott of Chobani’s products.”  As part of the settlement, Jones agreed to retract the story, which he did with the following statement: “During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars, Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong.  The tweets and video have now been retracted, and will not be re-posted.  On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

WYAY, Atlanta Loses Three from News Department.  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho, Cumulus Media has cut two staffers from news/talk WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7.”  Reportedly let go are news director Jackie Howard and morning producer and reporter Michael Jones.  Morning drive co-host Cheryl White reportedly resigned her position with the station.  Ho notes that still on staff in the news department at WYAY are Chuck Roberts, Drew Nelson, Cheryl Castro and Rob Stadler.  Read the AJC story here.

Robert Mueller Appointed Special Counsel, Trump Resignation/Impeachment Speculation, the Dow’s Sharp Decline, Turkish Embassy Brawl, North Korea Missile Threats, New Cyberattack Threats, Giselle Reveals Brady Concussions, Rocker Chris Cornell Dead, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/17). Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is appointed special counsel to lead the investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election and improper connections between Donald Trump campaign officials and Russia; speculation about a Trump resignation or impeachment; the biggest loss on Wall Street since September of 2016; the violent assault on protesters by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bodyguards; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and threats against the U.S.; concerns about a new cyberattack that experts fear could be worse than the WannaCry malware; Giselle Bundchen’s surprise statement that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has suffered numerous concussions; rock artist Chris Cornell dies unexpectedly while on tour in Detroit; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Mark “Munch” Bishop is now hosting the afternoon drive show at iHeartMedia’s WARF, Akron “Fox Sports 1350” after his recent exit from Good Karma’s WKNR, Cleveland…..In Boise, Townsquare Media’s news/talk KIDO announces the addition of an FM translator signal at 107.5 to its broadcast.  KIDO’s main signal is 580 AM.  The station tells listeners, “KIDO Talk Radio is honored to have three platforms for the Treasure Valley…The addition of 107.5 FM allows the voices of the Treasure Valley to be exposed to an additional audience that may not be aware of alternatives to music radio.  KIDO will continue to proudly broadcast on its traditional home of 580 AM.  KIDOTalkRadio.com will be the home of your favorite photos, blogs, podcasts, and videos from throughout the Treasure Valley.

WOR, New York’s Mark Simone Featured on ‘Nightline.’  The topic of last night’s “Nightline” from ABC News was “Trump Under Fire,” exploring the challenges the president has faced over the past few weeks.  WOR, New York late morning host Mark Simone was one of the media pros featured on the show.  Simone, a Donald Trump supporter, said, “In the end he always succeeds…this [investigation] will go nowhere.”

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Urban programmer Maurice DeVoe joins the iHeartMedia St. Louis cluster to serve as program director for hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat.”  DeVoe joins KMJM from Cumulus Media, where he was corporate program director for urban and rhythmic formats and program director for urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City.  iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. says, “I’ve always admired Maurice’s strong leadership skills, format track record and ability to thrive at community involvement.  I am honored to welcome him into our super-passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia St. Louis.”…..In the Atlantic City, New Jersey market, Coastal Broadcasting flips alternative WJSE to classic hits, branded as “106.3 The Shore.”  The talent lineup includes Mark Hunter in mornings, “Rudy on the Radio” for middays, and “Ashley & Brad” in afternoon drive…..The syndicated country morning radio show “Tony & Kris” will wrap at the end of this month.  Kris Rochester posted the announcement on the show’s website regarding the future of his and partner Tony Randall’s 25-year-old radio program.  The show has been syndicated by United Stations Radio Networks…..Entercom alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” announces the lineup for the annual “Summer Camp” concert.  The two-day alt-rock festival takes place at Marymoor Park on August 12 and 13 and will feature headliners Vance Joy and Metric, with additional acts including Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Bishop Briggs, New Politics, K.Flay, and more.  KNDD program director Leslie Scott states, “Summer Camp has become a benchmark for new music discovery.  We’re excited for another year of great music and good vibes at Marymoor Park.”

 

 

Round Three of April PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s April 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, Orlando, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus. Nielsen’s April survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

 

 TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – The country format gets a mixed bag this sweep. On the positive side, Alpha Media’s KUPL pulls the plug on three straight months of notching a 4.2 (6+) by exploding with a +1.3 to 5.5 (its strongest 6+-showing since last July’s 5.5) as “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” charges from ninth to fourth. A January +.9 ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+). Meanwhile, after registering four straight gains for an overall +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom-owned KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest” is now a combined -1.6 in March and April (6.4 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+) to slip from fifth to eighth. With a loss of eight-tenths (6.0 – 5.2, 6+), hot AC cluster-mate KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” drops from fourth to fifth. Trending 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.5 (6+) since the “Holiday 2016” report, iHeartMedia’s KFBW breaks out a full-share increase to 4.5 (6+), enabling “105.9 The Brew – Portland’s Rock Station” to crack the top ten (#13 to #9). Off by one-tenth to 2.5 (6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KXJM “JAM’N 107.5” (#15 to #16) snaps at three its string of up or flat trends that netted nine-tenths (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). At the same time, Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KWEE “WE – 96.3” regains the four-tenths it lost in March (2.3 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and is flat at #19. This is the third straight time iHeartMedia classic rock KGON (flat at #6) is without a loss (3.2 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+) for a collective +1.9. When KGON registered a +.8 in February, it brought to an end eight straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 dating back to last June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). Prior to March (and April), KGON last crossed the five-share threshold (6+) in March 2015 (5.5). Things are getting even tighter at the top as KGON adult contemporary cluster-mate KKCW “K-103” drops three-tenths (8.6 – 8.3, 6+), while Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB is +.4 (7.8 – 8.2, steady at #2, 6+) thus it trails “K-103” (#1 for the 35th time in the last 37 ratings periods) by a slim one-tenth. Both stations chalked up impressive increases of nine-tenths in March. “K-103” was off by nine-tenths in February; KOPB declined by one full-share, completely surrendering January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016. The last time KOPB crossed the eight-share level (6+) was in March 2016 (8.0, 6+). In one sweep, Mount Hood Community College jazz outlet KMHD has its 6+-share erode by just over 50% (1.8 – .8, -1.0, #23, 6+). Similarly, Alpha Media’s KXTG “The Game – Portland’s Sports Radio” (#27) is off six-tenths, slicing its 6+-share exactly in half (1.2 – .6, 6+). While it remains in third-place, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” drops one-half share (6.2 – 5.7, 6+).

2) Charlotte – As is the case in Portland (see above), a consistently spirited country skirmish exists in North Carolina’s “Queen City.” On the strength of an eight-tenths’ gain (5.2 – 6.0, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” prevails on this occasion, storming from fifth to second. Before April’s +.8, “Country’s Hottest Hits” was a cumulative -1.8 in three successive downward moves dating back to the “Holiday” 2016 report (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8 – 5.2, 6+). Moreover, 5.2 in March was the lowest 6+-share in its PPM-history. Recent fluctuations for its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” – have been -1.2 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.7 (January); +.2 (February); -.2 (March) and now a +.2 in April (5.2 – 4.0 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.7 – 5.9, 6+). “The Kat” surrenders its runner-up slot to WSOC and slides to third. In “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+) whereas the advantage now is just one-tenth. The same two groups owners are engaged in a competitive CHR battle here as well. Up or flat for the fourth consecutive sweep netting a full-share (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group-owned WNKS “Kiss 95.1 – Charlotte’s #1 Hit Music Station” is steady at #8. One-tenth behind at #9 (down from #8 in March) is iHeartMedia’s WHQC “Channel 96.1” (4.7, -.2, 6+), which has its string of consecutive increases that produced a cumulative +1.4 snapped at three (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.9, 6+). After posting three consecutive positive trends that accounted for a +1.3 (6.4 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WRFX “99.7 The Fox” gives up one-tenth to 7.6 (6+), but is #1 for the fourth month in a row. Its +8 in January curtailed a series of three consecutive downward moves that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Notwithstanding that it hasn’t had a decrease in the past four sweeps for a combined gain of six-tenths (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+), Beasley Media Group urban contemporary WPEG “Power 98” shifts from third to fourth. Ending its 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.1 (6+) sequence, Entercom news/talk WBT loses one-tenth to 3.0 (6+), but stays at #15.

3) San Antonio – Following a February loss of one full-share, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT more than makes up for it in March and April with a collective +1.5 (5.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.6, 6+), leaping from sixth to second. With an 11.8 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2016 report, “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” was #1. Occupying that top spot in February, March, and now in April is Cox Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies KONO-FM (7.0 – 6.8, -.2, 6+). Recent (6+) fluctuations for “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; January’s +1.1; and April’s +.8 (6.8 – 7.6, 6+). KONO-FM departed the lead position in October after nine straight sweeps there. The market’s two mainstream CHRs were tied at #14 in March, but by gaining four-tenths to 3.7 (6+) in April, iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” ends at six its string of consecutive down or flat trends that produced a -1.1 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) and climbs to #12. Meanwhile, Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” regains the two-tenths it dropped in March (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) and remains at #14. Prior to its -.2 this time last month, “Energy” strung together four consecutive gains for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). In six straight ratings periods covering October 2016 to March 2017, Cox Media Group classic country KKYX was a true model of consistency: 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 (6+). When “Country Legends” gained six-tenths to 1.9 (6+) in March, it entered the top twenty (#20); however, KKYX surrenders that +.6 in its entirety and is back to 1.3 (#24, 6+). Dropping six-tenths as well (to 5.6, 6+) and moving from second to third is co-owned KISS “Rocks San Antonio,” which had been up or flat the past three sweeps for a +.7 (5.4 – 5.4 – 6.0 – 6.1, 6+). Locked on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+). It is, however, now down for the third straight time (7.4 – 6.4 – 5.4 – 5.0, 6+) more than wiping out that increase and dropping from third to fifth. As Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” gains three-tenths (5.2 – 5.5, fifth to third, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drops two-tenths (4.6 – 4.4, seventh to eighth, 6+).

4) Pittsburgh – It’s good news/bad news for CBS Radio outlets with the KDKA call letters. Applying the brakes to a mini-slump that accounted for a -1.4 (5.7 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+), KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan – Pittsburgh Sports Radio” trots out a robust +1.8 to 6.1, its strongest 6+-stat since last October’s 6.5, to progress from ninth to sixth. On the other hand, KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020,” which was +1.4 via three straight increases (4.9 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3, 6+), forfeits nearly half that gain (5.7, -.6, 6+), slipping from sixth to seventh. At #11 for the past ten ratings periods, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” cracks the top ten (#9) with a gain of eight-tenths (3.3 – 4.1, 6+). Co-owned WDVE regresses by eight-tenths (to 9.6, 6+), thus curtailing at three its string of consecutive increases which generated a collective two full-shares (8.4 – 10.0 – 10.3 – 10.4, 6+). The rock station – which had been #1 the past three months – drops to #2; in March, it matched December’s 10.4 (6+). On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to the top spot in January. Taking its place at #1 (from the runner-up slot) and rebounding from a -.8 in March is classic hits-oldies sibling WWSW “94.5 – 3WS” (9.9 – 10.3, +.4, 6+). Just before picking up eight-tenths in March, “3WS” was -4.6 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.7 – 9.3 – 9.1, 6+). Following three straight downward moves in which it lost six full-shares and nearly half its 6+-stat (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” gains one-tenth to 6.5 (6+) and remains in fifth-place. Even though it adds two-tenths (3.8, 6+) to curtail three straight declines accounting for a -1.2 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0 – 3.6, 6+), sibling WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” backslides from #10 to #11. In addition to KDKA-AM, other market outlets regressing by six-tenths in April are cluster-mate WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” (3.9, eighth to tenth, 6+); Steel City Media adult hits WRRK “Bob” (third to fourth, 6+); and Renda Broadcasting’s WHJB “Classic Hits 107.1” (flat at #14, 6+). Without a decrease in each of the three previous sweeps, “Y-108” was +.8 in that stretch (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). “Bob” is off by one full-share in three straight dips (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.1 – 7.5, 6+), while “Classic Hits 107.1” halts three consecutive up or flat trends (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). While unchanged at #12, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” is off by three-tenths (2.8, 6+), concluding at seven its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+).

5) Sacramento – Just several days into the April ratings period (4/3), iHeartMedia transitioned adult hits KQJK “Jack FM” to classic rock KYRV and in its first report card, “The River” betters KQJK’s March numbers by +1.5. This actually marks the fourth consecutive improvement on that frequency for a whopping +2.9 (2.1 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 5.0, 6+). The switch was made when “Jack” ranked ninth and “The River” sails to fifth. Not only does Entravision’s KNTY extend its streak of successive increases to five and +1.5 in the period (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.4, 6+), country-formatted “101.9 – The Wolf” rockets from #15 into the top ten (#9). The last time Sacramento’s “Wolf” reached the three-share level (6+) was November 2014 (3.0, 6+). There is good news in April as well for CBS Radio’s KNCI “New Country 105.1,” which adds six-tenths to March’s +.1 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.9, 6+) to carry on at #4. With a one-tenth gain to 2.9 (6+), iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Bull- #1 For New Country” inches up from #15 to #14. This marks the seventh straight time that “The Bull” is within 2.1 – 2.9 range (6+). Thus, all three of the market’s FM country facilities improve March 2017 – April 2017, combining for a +1.4; they accomplished the same feat February 2017 – March 2017 but with a collective +.8 (6+). Even though CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX is a combined -.6 in back-to-back monthlies (9.2 – 9.0 – 8.6, 6+), “Mix 96” is #1 for the third successive time. It shook off January’s -4.8 with a full-share February increase (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. After being a combined +2.4 in November and December, KYMX was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Drifting from seventh to ninth, Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” is without an increase for the sixth successive ratings period for a collective -2.4 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). Returning two-thirds of the nine-tenths it has garnered the last two sweeps (3.6 – 4.3 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5” (4.5 – 3.9, -.6, 6+) drops from fifth to seventh. Off by four-tenths to 2.1 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB (flat at #17) ends at five its successive streak of up or flat trends (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); “K-Love” more than doubled its 6+-share since November.

6) Salt Lake City – On the heels of a one-half share increase in March, Broadway Media CHR KUDD “Mix 105.1 – All the Hits” doubles it with a full-share gain in April (3.5 – 4.0 – 5.0, 6+), jumping from tenth to fifth. Prior to March, “Mix” was trending 3.5 – 3.9 – 3.5 (6+) and has its best 6+-stat since last July’s 5.3. Up or flat the past three sweeps for a +1.3 (4.4 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KZHT “97.1 – Salt Lake City’s #1 Hit Music Station” sputters by eight-tenths to 4.9 (6+), dropping from fourth to sixth. Two adult contemporary facilities in the market fluctuate by six tenths: Bonneville’s KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (6.3 – 6.9, +.6, steady at #2, 6+) and Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted KBEE “B-98.7” (3.5 – 2.9, -.6, #13 to #15, 6+). “FM 100.3” is bouncing back from a massive -1.7 in March. Following three straight sweeps at #1, it shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until that huge January spiral, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3. The six-tenths loss by “B-98.7” ends three consecutive uptrends for a cumulative +1.6 (1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.5, 6+). In addition to KSFI, news/talk sibling KSL improves by six-tenths (6.5 – 7.1, 6+) and repeats at #1. Recent KSL shifts include +2.0 (October), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January); -2.1 (February) and now +.6 in April. Conversely, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KNRS erodes by -1.5 to 4.1 (6+), pulling the plug on three consecutive gains that netted a +1.8 (3.8 – 4.8 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+); KNRS shifts from fifth to ninth. Powered by four straight upward moves, Cumulus Media country KUBL “K-Bull 93” has improved by +2.6 (3.3 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 5.4 – 5.9, 6+) and jumps from sixth in March to third. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull” faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Decreasing by one-half share each are Broadway Media rhythmic CHR KUUU “U-92” (2.8 – 2.3, #15 to #17, 6+) and KLO’s KSQN “103.1 The Wave – The Next Wave of New Wave” (1.6 – 1.1, #21 to #23, 6+). “U-92” is within 2.0 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 11th straight time.

7) Las Vegas – At this time last month, Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet KKLZ (then in fifth-place) trailed the market pacesetter – iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” – by 3.4 shares (6+). The lead is now just over one full-share, as KKLZ hangs out a +1.2 (5.2 – 6.4, 6+) and leaps to #2. Sputtering by approximately the same margin following a gigantic +1.8 in March (8.6 – 7.5, -1.1, 6+), “Sunny” is nonetheless #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for “Sunny” (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+) before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), KSNE was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. This is the best 6+showing for KKLZ since December’s 6.6. Making leaps of eight-tenths each are Lotus Communications’ KXPT “97.1 The Point – #1 For Classic Rock” (5.1, seventh to fifth, 6+) and cluster-mate KOMP “92.3 The Rock Station” (eighth to seventh, 6+). “The Point” logged a 4.3 (6+) in three of the past five sweeps (4.3 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.7 – 4.3, 6+), while KOMP is without a decrease for the fourth time in a row for a +1.6 (3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 4.7, 6+). Having been up in each of the last three ratings periods for an overall +1.8 (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), CBS Radio-owned KLUC forfeits more than half that gain (4.5, -1.0, 6+) and spirals from second to eighth. Prior to February, the last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). The wild ride continues for Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF: Down or flat in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), it rolled out a +1.2 in January, but followed with a -1.6 in February; -.6 in March; and now a -.5 in April (5.0 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), plummeting from #14 to #19.

8) Cincinnati – Boasting the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase of any station in the 36 PPM-markets whose data has thus far been released, iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” dusts itself off from a combined -1.2 in February and March (8.4 – 8.1 – 7.2, 6+) with a +2.1 to 9.3 (6+). Unchanged in the runner-up slot, the Cincinnati Reds flagship registers its finest 6+-showing since last June’s 10.8. Once practically a formality to write-in WLW at #1 – and usually with double-digits (6+) – it hasn’t been on top since August. March’s 7.2 was the lowest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. It is now two-tenths behind Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR, which has its own bounce back, posting a full-share gain after a -.7 in March (9.2 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). It has been #1 every month this calendar year and prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. A +.8 in January ended four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) as WGRR marched from second to first. Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+), WUBE “B-105” answered in January with a +1.5; added another eight-tenths in February; but surrendered six-tenths in March (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.0, 6+). In yet another rebound situation, the Hubbard country outlet jumps by eight-tenths to 7.8 – its best 6+-stat since last November’s 7.9 – and remains in third-place. Off by a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.4 – 3.9 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” responds with a one-half share increase to 4.0, advancing from #13 to #11.

9) Orlando – Going back to December, the 6+-line for iHeartMedia’s WJRR has been 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 3.7. With a one-half share increase in April though, “Orlando’s Rock Station” matches November’s 4.2 and enters the top ten (3.7 – 4.2, #11 to #9, 6+). For the past 17 ratings periods, co-owned WFLF has been exclusively within one-share territory, but owing to April’s +.7, the news/talk outlet reaches 2.3 (#16 to #15, 6+). Still in that iHM cluster, not only is Spanish tropical WRUM “Rumba 100.3” on top for the fourth consecutive month, it adds two-tenths to the +.9 in March (11.7 – 12.6 – 12.8, 6+) as it registers the best-ever 6+-share in its PPM-history. The 12.8 eclipses by two-tenths the previous record (12.6, 6+), which – of course – was set this time last month. Prior to January, “Rumba” was on top in October, November, and December. A very patient, steady climb continues for similarly-programmed, Entravision-owned WNUE (flat at #15) as it progresses for the fifth straight time – with each gain (ironically) being by one-tenth (1.8 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+). Trailing “Rumba” by nearly three full-shares is its CHR sibling WXXL “XL-106.7,” which is up for the fourth consecutive ratings period (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0 – 9.7 – 9.9, 6+). In that stretch, “XL-106.7” is a collective +2.7, easily erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. This is its strongest 6+-share since September’s 10.4. Within 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 31st straight time (2.2 – 2.5, +.3, 6+), Community Communications news/talk WMFE remains at #14. Inching up from #19 to #18, University of Central Florida’s WUCF “89.9 – Jazz & More” extends to five its streak of up or flat trends (.7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). After being without a decrease in each of the past four sweeps for an overall +1.1 (5.0 – 5.3 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WOMX “Mix 105.1” drops one-half share to 5.5, but carries on in sixth-place.

10) Cleveland – Trending 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.1 (6+), iHeartMedia-owned WMMS “Cleveland’s Rock Station” hauls out a +1.1 to 6.2 (its best 6+-share since November’s 6.5) to march from tenth to seventh. Much is made, of course, about the Chicago Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought in 2016, but many forget the Indians actually took them to seven games and nearly captured the Series. After being locked on 6.1 (6+) in February and March, the team’s flagship – iHeartMedia news/talk WTAM – improves by nine-tenths to 7.0, climbing from seventh to sixth. Tacking on eight-tenths to the one-half share it picked up in March (6.8 – 7.3 – 8.1, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WNCX “98.5 Cleveland’s Classic Rock” not only advances from fourth to third, it is just three-tenths from the top spot. A gain of two-tenths (8.2 – 8.4, 6+) enables iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” to snap at three a consecutive string of downward moves that accounted for a collective -1.6 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 8.2, 6+). It has been #1 each month this calendar year. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. For 30 straight ratings periods, Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF had a 6+-share below a one-share, but in February, it ballooned from .9 to 2.3 (6+) before dropping to 1.9 (6+) in March. Off in April by seven-tenths to 1.2 (6+), “Moody Radio” moves from #14 to #15. After notching a +.4 in March, CBS Radio-owned WKRK surrenders six-tenths (4.0 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), but “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” remains anchored at #12 for the 16th successive sweep. Behind it at #13 for the 13th time in a row is Ideastream’s WCPN (3.1 – 3.4, +.3, 6+). Prior to a -.2 in February, WCPN was without a decrease for eight consecutive ratings periods netting a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

11) Kansas City – Another MLB flagship enjoying a strong April is Entercom-owned KCSP “610 Sports Radio.” The Royals’ key station ends a mini-slide (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2, 6+) by hanging out a hefty +1.5 to 2.7 (6+) and returns to the top 20 (#16). Most notably victimized by its increase is Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810,” which follows March’s +.7 with a -1.1 (2.9 – 3.6 – 2.5, 6+) to drop from #15 to #18. WHB gained seven-tenths in January, before forfeiting one-half share in February. At this time last month, Cumulus Media siblings (classic rock) KCFX “The Fox” and classic hits-oldies KCMO-FM “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” were locked in a first-place tie – each with a 7.5 (6+). That ends in April though as “The Fox” bounces back from a -.8 in March by busting out a full-share gain to 8.5 and is #1 for the fourth straight time. Meanwhile, “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” is flat at 7.5 (6+) and segues to #2. Before its +1.0 in April, “The Fox” registered three consecutive declines accounting for a -1.5 (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.5, 6+). On top from May through September and then in December, KCFX had five straight uptrends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). Ending its 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.1 (6+) sequence with a gain of six-tenths to 4.7, Steel City Media’s KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” progresses from tenth to seventh (6+). Via three consecutive increases (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), co-owned KFKF “Country 94.1” was a collective +2.1, but is off by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), shifting from third to fifth. “Country 94.1” entered the December 2016 sweep with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), but was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+). Trending 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.6 (6+), Entercom-owned, similarly-formatted WDAF-FM “106.5 The Wolf” improves by four-tenths to 4.0 (6+) and enters the top 10 (#15 to a three-way tie at #10, 6+). Posting its fourth straight improvement for a nearly two-share cumulative gain (3.8 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), Steel City Media CHR KMXV “Mix 93.3 – Kansas City’s #1 Hit Music Station” inches up from fifth to fourth. When KMBZ-FM dropped three-tenths in March, it halted at five its consecutive string of up or flat trends for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). In April, the Entercom news/talk outlet sputters by six-tenths (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.2, 6+) to slip from sixth to ninth. Down by six-tenths as well is University of Missouri-owned news/talk KCUR (#13 to #15), which is without an increase for the third successive time (3.9 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.1, 6+) for a -.8. As the result of six straight down or flat trends (7.2 – 7.0 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.5 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom alternative KRBZ “96.5 The Buzz” has eroded by more than three full-shares and slides from eighth to tenth.

12) Columbus – Notching gains of one-half share each are iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” (8.9 – 9.4, steady at #2, 6+) and Saga Communications adult contemporary WSNY “Sunny 95” (6.1 – 6.6, fifth to fourth, 6+). Ironically, both faltered by nine-tenths in March. With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” advanced from second to first in February. Prior to January, however, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. The +.5 in April by “Sunny” pulls the plug on three successive negative moves which accounted for a -2.6 (8.7 – 7.2 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+). After regaining the top spot from co-owned CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” in March, WCOL not only repeats but adds four-tenths (10.1 – 10.5, 6+). The country property was +2.2 in January; -1.2 in February; and +.8 in March (10.5 – 9.3 – 10.1, 6+). Regressing by one-half share each are Ohio State University’s WOSU, down for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.8, unchanged at #11, 6+) and Radio One urban AC WXMG “Magic 95.5 – Columbus’ Best R&B,” also off for the third successive sweep (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.7, flat at #12, 6+). Unlisted for the fourth straight month is Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

Thursday, February 2, 2017

| February 2, 2017

CBS RADIO to Merge with Entercom; Move Creates 244-Station Company, Second Largest Based on Revenue.  The rumors of a CBS RadioEntercom merger turn out to be true as the two firms announce a stunning deal to make Entercom the second largest radio company – based on revenue – in the nation with 244 Stations, including 23 of the top 25 markets.  CBS Corp’s plans for spinning off the radio division via an IPO never really took off, probably due to the fact that radio is not viewed by investors as a growth industry.  This merger will be tax free for CBS as it’s being accomplished through a Reverse Morris Trust.  Here’s how it will work: CBS shareholders will have the opportunity to exchange all, some, or none of their CBS shares for CBS Radio shares.  Immediately following the completion of this exchange offer, CBS Radio will merge with an Entercom subsidiary, with the new CBS Radio shareholders receiving Entercom shares in exchange for their CBS Radio shares in the transaction.  After completion of the merger, CBS Radio shareholders will receive approximately 105 million Entercom shares, or 72% of all outstanding shares of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  Existing Entercom shareholders will own 28% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.  The big question for CBS Radio staffers at the corporate level is how this merger – expected to close sometime during the second half of this year – affects their positions.  Obviously, there will be redundancy at the corporate level, but how Entercom will ultimately choose to organize its corporate staff remains to be seen.  Media consultant Holland Cooke monitored this morning’s investors conference call during which Entercom president and CEO David Field stated that the company expects to realize “$25 million in synergies [cost cuts] within 12-18 months,” mostly in corporate administration.  Field noted that there will be 15 divestitures in markets where CBS and Entercom together own more stations than permitted under the FCC ownership cap.  As for the news/talk and all-news stations soon to be owned by Entercom, Field called them “trusted pillars of their local communities” and “seven of the most-trusted all-news stations in the U.S.”  He referred to the local, on-air talk talent as “major influencers with strong connections to their audiences.”  From today’s press release we know that Andre Fernandez will remain president of CBS Radio through the closing.  The presser also stated that the combined company will be known as Entercom and will be headquartered in Philadelphia, “with a significant ongoing presence in New York.”  Upon closing, the company’s Board of Directors will consist of nine members: five current Entercom directors, including David Field as Chairman of the Board, and four directors nominated by CBS Radio.  Entercom president and CEO Field states, “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth.  We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry.  Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium, and offers advertisers outstanding ROI and local activation.  This transformational transaction creates scale-driven efficiencies and opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to better serve our listeners and our advertisers.  The combination of a compelling strategic fit, an excellent balance sheet, and robust free cash flow generation, position us to create significant shareholder value for our investors.”

Cumulus Names Brian Joyce PM Drive Host at ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ in Atlanta.  Beginning Monday, February 13, talk radio personality Brian Joyce will begin hosting the afternoon talk show on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7.”  Joyce is currently the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm host at the company’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3.”  He will continue in that role as well.  It’s unclear if Joyce will move to Atlanta or remain in Chattanooga and do the WYAY show from there.  The current afternoon show is “Atlanta News” featuring news pro Cheryl Castro and station program director Greg Tantum.  It’s unclear if Castro will remain with the new show.  Cumulus Media Atlanta vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We live in a world where dialogue on matters of substance has become increasingly difficult, with politically slanted news/talk outlets and social media platforms that feed consumers with stories that confirm their existing political belief systems.  ‘NewsRadio 106.7’ breaks that confounding and polarizing mold.  We are committed to delivering a forum ruled not by any agenda or by an algorithm, but by the unique value we can create for our listeners.  We present multiple sides of the story when we’re delivering the news, ensuring we both inform existing opinions and provoke opposing opinions on every side of the story.  In the process, we create a rare media experience facilitating respectful and spirited discourse where there is as much value in listening as there is in talking.”  Speaking about this new position, Joyce says, “I’m looking forward to joining [hosts] Shannon [Burke], Kimmer and the rest of the team at ‘NewsRadio 106.7!’  These guys have built a unique and entertaining lineup for the listeners of Atlanta, and it’s my hope that my show will continue to build on the great programming and strong ratings they’re known for.”

CNN Dips into a Slice of Conservative Talk Radio to Get a Read on Caller Opinion About Trump Moves.  Last night’s installment of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” presented a string of listener calls on WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Dom Giordano’s show presenting an array of opinions about Donald Trump’s moves as president focusing on the role of key strategist Stephen K. Bannon.  To view the segment, please click here.

Stephanie Miller Show Joins WMLB, Atlanta.  WMLB, Atlanta is owned by JW Broadcasting, airs a variety format and is branded “AM 1690 The Voice of the Arts.”  Beginning February 20, the WYM Media Management-syndicated Stephanie Miller show begins airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Miller’s program aired on the station in the past when it was an Air America affiliate.  WMLB general manager Jeff Davis comments, “Given recent events, the timing is perfect for a progressive voice on Atlanta radio.  We’re thrilled to have a recognized professional who’s built a reputation for standing up for liberal causes.”  On a related note, Stephanie Miller is preparing to embark on her second consecutive year touring as the headline of the Stephanie Miller Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.  The 2017 tour is titled, “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.”

Cody Welling to Lead Cumulus Media’s Shreveport Cluster.  This move takes sales and management pro Cody Welling from Cumulus Media’s Toledo cluster where he’s been serving as director of sales to the company’s Shreveport, Louisiana station group consisting of sports talk KRMD-AM/K264AS “The Ticket,” hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN “i97.3,” urban contemporary KVMA “Magic 102.9,” and country KRMD-FM.  Cumulus regional vice president Mark Sullivan says, “This is a terrific move for the company and for Cody.  Cody’s strong track record of success and dynamic management style are already paying dividends in Shreveport and I look forward to his success and professional growth as our VP/market manager.”

TALKERS News Notes.  This year’s 5th annual “Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes,” presented by the KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning drive personality, takes place on Thursday, March 2, at the Lexus Club at PPG Paints Arena.  Each year, the event honors five individuals who are giving back to the local community in extraordinary ways.  The keynote address will be presented by CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett.  This is Garrett’s second appearance at “Larry’s Heroes.”  In 2015, Garrett was scheduled to appear but a late winter storm kept him in Washington, D.C.  Instead, he addressed attendees via video from the snow-covered White House lawn.  Richert states, “It’s our fifth year to shine the spotlight on ordinary individuals in the community doing extraordinary things.  This year’s edition may be one of our strongest collections of heroes assembled.  Their contributions to our community are awe inspiring.”…..This is the fourth consecutive year that Westwood One is presenting the Westwood One Sports Sound Awards in which it challenges its advertisers to push their creative boundaries to create the best commercials to air during its Super Bowl LI broadcast.  WW1 is driving fans and a panel of advertising professionals to TheSoundAwards.com to vote for their favorite ads, all leading up to the big reveal of the top five the day after Super Sunday.  Voting runs through Monday, February 6…..WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 25 gets underway tomorrow (2/3) at 6:00 am at the Wells Fargo Center and will feature an appearance by special guests professional wrestler Ric Flair and Grammy Award-winning artist Coolio.  Wing Bowl 25’s “Legends Division” (with legendary Wing Bowl eaters returning from the past) will feature a head-to-head competition between five-time champ El Wingador and two-time champ Molly Schuyler for a prize of $5000.  National recording artist and retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson will perform the National Anthem.  WIP morning show host Al Morganti, who co-founded Wing Bowl 25 years ago with radio partner Angelo Cataldi says, “Trust me.  Just be here.  That’s all I can say.  Be here.”

Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination, DeVos Nomination Status, Tillerson New Secretary of State, Iran Missile Test, Beyonce Pregnancy Pic, and Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/1). President Donald Trump’s nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court and speculation about how Democrats will handle it; two senators announce they will not support Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, possibly endangering her chances of assuming the post; Rex Tillerson is confirmed and sworn in as the new Secretary of State; the U.S. puts Iran “on notice” for its latest missile test; Beyonce posts a nude photo of herself to announce she’s pregnant with twins; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI 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 MovesTucson.com reports that Tucson market radio pro Bobby Rich was let got from his afternoon drive gig with Scripps Broadcasting’s hot AC KMXZ “94.9 MIXfm.”  Rich posted a Facebook message explaining that he “made a big mistake and said something I should not have said.  Even though I regret it and apologized, I own it, and now it becomes necessary for my association with ‘MIXfm’ and Scripps Tucson to conclude.”  Rich would not elaborate on what he said – or in what context…..Curtis Media Group brings Jud Heussler aboard to program CHR simulcast “Pulse FM” – WWPL, Goldsboro/WPLW, Hillsboro, North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham market).  Heussler has been with Entercom’s Bufflo CHR WKSE “KISS 98.5” serving as APD, music director and afternoon personality…..In the Corpus Christi, Texas market Convergent Broadcasting II, LLC announces its intent to sell CHR KKPN, classic rock KPUS, and classic hits KAJE to ICA Radio Ltd. for a sum yet to be announced…..iHeartMedia’s urban contemporary WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is presenting the 6th Annual Family Affair Expo on Saturday, March 11at The Wisconsin Center.  The event will feature local exhibitors in the areas of health & wellness, finance, education, small business, and recruitment to help make a positive impact on Milwaukee families.  Station PD Bailey Coleman says, “I love our Family Affair Expo because it’s fun and free, plus it brings our listeners together with the resources their families need to succeed.”

NOW PLAYING: A Video Tribute to Herb Oscar Anderson.  “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo produced a wonderful tribute to the recently departed New York City radio legend Herb Oscar Anderson, who died on Saturday (1/28) in Bennington, Vermont.  Anderson was a radio performer who cut his teeth in the big band era but transitioned to rock ‘n’ roll radio in the 1950s.  He worked at WABC during the late 1950s and 1960s – leaving in 1968.  He most recently hosted a standards show on WOSC, Vero Beach, Florida.  View Vuolo’s video tribute in the Talkers TV box in the upper right-hand of this main page.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

| July 5, 2016

Shannon Burke Wins ‘Casting Call’ for WYAY, Atlanta Talk Show.  Program director Greg Tantum says audience response to Shannon Burke’s appearance on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7”burkeshannon wyay logo newduring the on-air auditions – or Casting Call – was an “overwhelming audience favorite.”  As a result, Burke is inked to a deal to host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY.   Burke was most recently with Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  He’s also worked on the Bubba the Love Sponge show, iHeartMedia’s WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” and WFLF, Orlando “540 WFLA.”  Tantum says, “[Burke’s] show creatively combines intelligent talk with humor, entertainment and a connection with the Atlanta lifestyle.”

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr on Medical Leave After Suffering Stroke.  The longtime Baltimore news, talk, and sports radio figure suffered a stroke on Sunday (7/3) that the family says happened as a result of marrtomcomplications from recent back surgery.  WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr will be on medical hiatus while he recovers.  Marr has been with WCBM since 1988 when the Mangione family acquired the station.   Prior to coming to WCBM, Marr spent 21 years at the former WFBR (now WJZ-AM) in Baltimore as a newsman and Orioles play-by-play announcer.

Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh Terror Bombings, The Presidential Race, FBI’s Clinton Email Investigation/Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch Meeting, The Fourth of July Holiday, and Kevin Durant Joins Golden State Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The deadly terror attacks in Baghdad, three sites in Saudi Arabia and in Bangladesh; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the status of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, tied with Bill Clinton’s controversial meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch; the Fourth of July holiday; and NBA star Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Randi Rhodes Returns to Talk Show Hosting; Teams with Nicole Sandler for One-Two Progressive Punch.  Florida-based progressive talk host Nicole Sandler (right) tells TALKERS magazine that she and Randi rhodesSandler16Rhodes (left) are debuting four hours of live progressive talk on the Internet as Rhodes gets back behind the mic for the first time since her Premiere Networks show ended in May of 2014.  Sandler says, “Randi Rhodes and I have teamed up to produce and broadcast four daily hours of fierce, independent, entertaining and informative progressive talk radio streaming live weekdays.”  The Nicole Sandler Show runs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and The Randi Rhodes Show follows immediately, airing live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Sandler’s show moves from its previous “Radio or Not” home to NicoleSandler.com.  Rhodes is broadcasting from her studios in Delray Beach, which were funded by Rhode’s listeners via a Kickstarter campaign.  Sandler says that in addition to their own streaming channels and their respective websites, the Randi Rhodes show and the Nicole Sandler show are also heard on The Progressive Voices channel and app, and a few other select streaming stations around the world.

Hyper-Local Online Talk Media Station.  For the fifth consecutive year, legendary Western Massachusetts radio personality Brad Shepard served as the voice and emcee of the regionally iconic East Longmeadow Fourth ofshepard4th16 July Parade yesterday (7/4).  Shepard is the GM and star personality on the hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) launched a year-and-a-half ago after Shepard left his long-running morning show at local iHeartMedia news/talk outlet WHYN, Springfield.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “Pioneer Valley Radio features a format that can best be described as ‘full-time public affairs with personality.’  We are achieving tremendous traction with this concept and it is gratifying to works within an exciting medium that operates so closely with the heart and soul of its local community.  This platform has quickly become the favorite of this region’s most civically active citizens.  It is a qualitative bonanza for advertisers that functions within that mindset.”

haskewgaryWGOW-AM/FM, Chattanooga ‘SportTalk’ Host Gary Haskew Dead at 74.  Longtime Chattanooga sports reporter and talk host Gary Haskew, a.k.a. “Dr. Basketball” died on July 4 after suffering a massive heart attack.  Haskew hosted the afternoon program “SportTalk” on the Cumulus Media station.  WGOW interim PD Bill Lockhart comments, “Gary was an incredible talent, an excellent storyteller, a true original, and the largest of larger-than-life characters.  In a world of wanna-bes, posers, and imitators, Gary was the genuine article – a man’s man, an entertainer extraordinaire, with a love for people.  We are all lucky to have had Gary in our lives.”

talkers16MillennialsTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘Millennials and the Media’ Panel Now Posted for Viewing.  TALKERS continues to add Livestream video recordings of the various presentations, addresses and discussions at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The 19th annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention took place Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  The latest event from the convention being posted today (7/5) is the panel discussion “Millennials and the Media” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Speakers on the panel include (in alphabetical order):  Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Mike Calta, host, WHPT-FM, Tampa “Rock 102”; Meghan McCain, host Premiere Networks; and John T. Mullen, director of operations, Radio Hofstra University.  To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based “Joe Pags Show” – hosted by talk radio personality Joe “Pags”pagliarulojoe Pagliarulo – renews its relationship with Compass Media Networks to be exclusively distributed by the firm into the next decade.  Joe Pags says, “The team at Compass Media Networks is extraordinary.  As I focus on putting on a great show and serving my stations, listeners and sponsors, this team is hitting it out of the park consistently bringing in new affiliates and revenue.”…..CBS Radio News is offering coverage of the 2016 political conventions to affiliate stations that will fit their needs.  CBS News will provide a variety of coverage from the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions from Cleveland and Philadelphia – long- or short-form coverage, updates several times an hour, one-on-one interviews, and social media opportunities…..Podcasting pioneer Blubrry is partnering with StreamGuys to enable podcasters to expand their audience and reach through internet radio streaming.  StreamGuys’ new Podcast2Radio option lets Blubrry customers effortlessly convert podcasts into linear internet radio streams delivered to new audiences through StreamGuys’ robust, cloud-based content delivery network.  This increased distribution is complemented by rich analytics and statistics from StreamGuys that enhance the ability for Blubrry users to measure and track their wwweMoH16agrowing listener base…..At Beasley Media Group’s Atlanta sports talk WWWE, “Sports Joc Show” host Wayne Gandy (right) is announcing that Waverly T. Lucas II (left), a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Atlanta Ballet is the first recipient of the “Man of Honor” award.  This award is presented by ex-NFLer Gandy once a month from June through September.  This award pays tribute to men who display integrity, honor, hard work, sacrifice and kindness to others.  Lucas is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic Dance Company, the choreographer of more than 30 ballets and is the creator of Danseur Development Project, a program with a unique approach to the athletic development and mentoring of young males in dance.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

| June 15, 2016

fccnewRepublican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Condemns ‘Net Neutrality’ Ruling.  Among those in Washington who disagree with the Appeals Court’s 2-1 ruling defining broadband as a common carrier utility service is Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai who states, “I am deeplypaiajit disappointed by the DC Circuit’s 2-1 decision upholding the FCC’s Internet regulations.  For many of the reasons set forth in Judge Williams’ compelling dissent, I continue to believe that these regulations are unlawful, and I hope that the parties challenging them will continue the legal fight.  The FCC’s regulations are unnecessary and counterproductive.  Indeed, as Judge Williams put it: ‘The ultimate irony of the Commission’s unreasoned patchwork is that, refusing to inquire into competitive conditions, it shunts broadband service onto the legal track suited to natural monopolies.  Because that track provides little economic space for new firms seeking market entry or relatively small firms seeking expansion through innovations in business models or in technology, the Commission’s decision has a decent chance of bringing about the conditions under which some (but by no means all) of its actions could be grounded—the prevalence of incurable monopoly.’”

wyay logo newSinger Bo Bice Guest Hosts on WYAY, Atlanta.  Atlanta news/talker WYAY “NewsRadio 106.7” welcomed singer Bo Bice to its airwaves as part of its weekly Casting Call Atlanta program.  Casting Call Atlanta is the Cumulus Media station’s search for the next Atlanta talk star.  As part of the initiative, three listeners with little or no professional radio experience havebicebo participated weekly in the Wednesday Radio Fantasy Camp.  Each given one hour between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon for live, on-air auditions.   Bice was runner-up to Carrie Underwood on the fourth season of “American Idol.”  According to a press release announcing Bice’s appearance on the station, Bice is a self-described talk radio fan and regular listener to “NewsRadio 106.7” when at his home in Lake Jackson, Georgia.  WYAY PD Greg Tantum says, “Bo’s appearance captures the spirit of the Casting Call program in that it encourages all voices in the Atlanta community to participate.  Not just experienced or seasoned personalities.  Casting Call affords the opportunity to discuss relevant issues from all the unique perspectives that make up the fabric of the metro area lifestyle.”

Orlando Host Jim Turner Suspended from WBZW for Anti-Gay Facebook Post.  According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, afternoon talk host Jim Turner has been suspended from his gig at Salem Media Group’s business talk WBZW after posting comments on Facebook minimizing the deaths of gay victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Turner’s comments criticizing the media’s coverage of “sexual deviancy” have been deleted and his Facebook account closed.  It’s not clear how long he’ll be off the air.  His presence remains on the WBZW website.

wpro logoCumulus Media Ousts Market Manager John Sutherland in Providence Market.  This report comes from GoLocalProv.com and indicates that Providence market manager John Sutherland has been let go from his position with Cumulus Media after just a year on the job.  Sutherland replaced Barbara Haynes, who managed the five-station cluster for the previous 10 years.  The GoLocalProv.com piece references last year’s death of WPRO-AM afternoon host Buddy Cianci and states ratings and revenue are down at the station.  However, the news/talk station has seen its (6+) PPM numbers increase over the last three months, rising from 4.8 share to a 5.4 share.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Paris Cop Murder, Gun Control, the Presidential Race, London Sexy Ad Ban, Appeals Court Broadband Ruling, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/14).  The investigation into the possible motives of Omar Mateen and the aftermath of his massacre of 49 at the Pulse in Orlando; the live-streamed murder of a Paris police officer and his wife by an Islamic militant; renewed calls for gun control legislation; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; London’s Muslim mayor bans “sexy ads” in city’s tube stations; Appeals Court affirms ‘net neutrality’; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen: Sports Talk Format Seeing Seasonal Surge.  This monthly report from Nielsen Audio based on data from its PPM survey shows sports talk seeing a seasonal, format-wide ratings uptick.  Moreover, the May 2016 PPM numbers show audience share up slightly compared to previous May reports.  Comparing April to May, among persons 6+ the sports talk format jumped from a 4.5% share in April to a 4.9% share in May.  The share among 18-34 audience climbed from 3.2% in April to 3.6% in May, and the sports core demo of adults 25-54 rose a half point to a 5.5% share in May.

wbur logoPubcaster WBUR, Boston Transforms Website for Mobile Users.  The Boston University-owned public radio outlet WBUR – an NPR news station – announces the official unveiling of its “new audio-centric website.”  Station officials say WBUR.org was “built to reinvent online listening with a faster, more streamlined, mobile-friendly approach.”  WBUR executive director for digital Tiffany Campbell adds, “With a majority of our traffic coming from mobile users, and much of it through social, we recognized that listening to live streaming and segmented audio stories on demand was a huge opportunity for our digital strategy.  Our new responsive design transforms WBUR.org into a site that looks great on any device and reimagines how listeners connect with, engage with and share audio.”  Important to the user’s experience is the site’s “persistent play” experience that allows them to listen, read and browse the content simultaneously.  The site was designed by Boston-based firm Upstatement, using React, the open-source JavaScript coding language created by Facebook. The new wbur.org is one of the first news sites fully written in React, which was selected for its advantage with improved loading speeds on mobile devices.

Odds & Sods.  A couple of Salem Radio Network notes to report: First, SRN talk host Larry Elder was amedvedBacons16 featured speaker at the 17th annual Orange County “Flag Day Celebration.”  In addition to his own speech, Elder introduced U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) who discussed the GOP’s 2016 battle to retake to White House.  Second, SRN personality Michael Medved welcomed actor/musician Kevin Bacon and musician Michael Bacon to his Seattle studios on June 14.  The Bacons are on tour as The Bacon Brothers Band.  They discussed the band’s tour, Kevin’s acting career and “America’s deep political divide over this week’s Orlando massacre vs. the unity we had following the 9/11 attacks.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Kevin Bacon, Medved, and Michael Bacon…..Ahead of the 2016 NFL season, Westwood One inks a multi-year partnership with Loyal Ears Digital to provide “Fantasy Free” to affiliate stations.  The content provider says that the Fantasy Free package allows stations to tap into the heavily engaged fantasy sports audience with free games that are legal and that “bring all the excitement that comes with fantasy gaming.”  The games are integrated into a station’s website, with station and client branding opportunities…..Neuhoff Media CEO Beth Neuhoff is named recipient of the 2016 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year honor from the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  The award was presented on June 14 on day one of the IBA’s annual two-day convention.  IBA immediate past chairman Sarah Hautala says, “Since taking the reins of Neuhoff Communications, Beth has shown strong leadership and has expanded her operations here in Illinois.  She continues to support local broadcasting and the interests of broadcasters.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

| May 16, 2016

cookehollandCooke: Think Radio Is Challenged? Try TV.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the challenges facing not just radio but TV, as well.  For those who thought that digital technology and consolidation is only affecting radio and newspapers, new statistics show TV is now reeling.  Cord-cutting is the bane of the TV biz.  Cooke reports that 60% of American homes have Internet-connected TVs and more than half of US households subscribe to an on-demand video service.  And radio’s ability to be local remains its saving grace.  At this Friday’s TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Long Island, Cooke will present, “Talk Media: The Next Generation,” during which Cooke will present advice for news/talk operators.  Read more here.

grahammichaelMichael Graham Named MediaDC Creative Director.  Joining MediaDC – parent company of Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, and Red Alert Politics – is WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” late morning personality Michael Graham.  He is named to the newly created position ofmediaDC creative director.  The company calls it “part of an expansion of multi-media and social media projects.”  MediaDC says Graham also helped create the award-winning Boston Herald Radio online platform, has guest-hosted for Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham, and also hosts the popular Weekly Standard podcasts.  MediaDC president and COO Stephen Sparks says, “We’re creating terrific content that should be made more available, and Michael will help us make that happen.”

wrcn-amJVC Media’s ‘LI News Radio’ to Address Political Corruption.  In an effort to give voice to Long Island residents in the wake of recent convictions of New York politicians on various corruption charges, JVC Media’s news/talk WRCN, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” is presenting the “Citizens State of Suffolk County” this Thursday (5/19).  From 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm, “LI News Radio” will turn over its airwaves to the residents of Suffolk County.  They will have the opportunity to “sound off on issues, politics and the recent and constant corruption from our elected officials.”  JVC Broadcasting VP of news operations Matt Goldapper says, “103.9 LI News Radio’s phones and email have been inundated by residents who are disgusted and need to vent, they are tired of not having their voice heard and politicians not listening to their concerns.  This is why we created LI News Radio.”  Station morning host Jay Oliver adds, “Suffolk County residents are done with all the corruption and abuse of power by their elected officials and they want them to know it.”  The six-hour open phones program will allow “local leaders, community residents and concerned citizens” to be heard.

Talkers2016 logoLivestream Set to Video Stream TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Live on Talkers.com.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is an early sellout but don’t despair – the entire event will be video streamed live on Talkers.com.  The streaming will be provided by Livestream, the leader in providing video streaming services to the broadcasting industry.  Livestream, a sponsor of the event, will also be exhibiting their services in the technology display area of the conference.  Livestream helps broadcasters monetize their content and reach their audience wherever they are. Whether they are syndicating their primary content, looking to broadcast live on their website/apps, or producing ancillary content for their online viewers, Livestream has the tools to make it as easy as possible. Viewers can watch on any device, including desktops, tablets, mobile devices, and Roku-connected TVs.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This is the first time we have chosen to actually broadcast video of this event live on the internet.  We are delighted to be associated with the pros at Livestream on this project.  Now thousands of people around the world will be able to watch the TALKERS convention while it’s happening.  For more information about Livestream, please click on www.Livestream.com.  For the full convention agenda, please click here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Debt Holders Still Negotiating.  Today (5/16) is the day the temporary restraining order against certain of the company’s debt holders’ notices of default expires, but given the recent SEC filings by iHeartMedia and said creditors, both sides are still working to find a compromise.  Should they not come to terms, the two sides will be back in court arguing over whether iHeartMedia’s transfer of Clear Channel Outdoor stock to its own Broader Media Inc. violated the existing debt covenants.  If the court were to find iHeartMedia violated those terms, as much as $6 billion in debt could come due within 60 days, likely triggering bankruptcy.  Clearly, both sides want to avoid that scenario.  This story is very fluid as more action on the part of the company and its creditors is expected today.

wowo15WOWO, Fort Wayne Releases 90th Anniversary Station History in Podcast Format.  The venerable Fort Wayne news/talk station celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015, a milestone for which it created a two-and-a-half hour audio history of its operation.  Now, the station is making the documentary available for download.  Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “We look back at the past 90 years of WOWO Radio history, along with some never-before-heard pieces of audio and memorable moments that made the station legendary.”

Odds & Sods.  At ABC News Radio, Scott Goldberg is named midday anchor on the Information Network.goldbergscott  Goldberg assumes the position formerly held by Cheri Preston, who left the midday daypart to become morning drive anchor on the Information Network…..In San Antonio, Geoff Sheen exits iHeartMedia’s KTKR-AM “Ticket 760” where he was afternoon drive personality.  In another case of iHeartMedia’s Austin and San Antonio stations sharing staff and programming, KTKR will air sister sports talker KVET-AM, Austin’s afternoon show, “The Sports Buffet” with hosts Craig Way and Rod Babers.

The Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, April Global Temp Record-Global Warming, Woody Allen Allegations, Venezuela Unrest, Facebook Anti-Conservative Allegations, NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public allegations on Sunday that Iran intends to attack Israel; global temperature data indicating April was the warmest April on record; renewed Woody Allen child molestation allegations as his new film debuts at the Cannes Film Festival; political and economic unrest in Venezuela; Facebook responds to charges it has tweaked its trending stories to avoid pro-conservative issues; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonVideostill16Michael Harrison Issues Plea to Help the ‘Working People’ of the Radio Industry When Personal Tragedy Strikes.  TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison sent out a massive email blast to all of his trade publications’ thousands of subscribers this past Friday afternoon (5/13) containing a personal video message calling for the “working people” of the radio industry to support the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA).  The BFOA is a non-profit 501(c) (3) in operation now for more than six decades. The mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America is to improve the quality of life and maintain the personal dignity of men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need.  The Foundation reaches out across the country to identify and provide an anonymous safety net in cases of critical illness, advanced age, death of a spouse, accident and other serious misfortune. According to Harrison, “Radio is a tough business – especially for its ‘working people’ – the people in the trenches doing the shows, selling the spots, managing the stations, engineering the equipment and making the day-to-day wheels go around.” He continues, “Since the crash of ’08 and consolidation stretching the limits of economic integrity – life has been downright brutal for the working people of the radio industry. However, we persevere – because radio people are driven and resilient.  We always find a way to make a living…even if we have to turn to the dreaded last resort of seeking employment in another business to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.  After all, we are talented, creative, resourceful and in tune with people, the street and the times.  All handy assets if you have to go into PR, real estate sales or teaching – unless personal tragedy strikes.  And unfortunately, sometimes it does.  When radio professionals are stricken by horrible accidents or catastrophic illnesses that make it impossible to work, hold a job or make a living in ANY business, the results can be disastrous.  Especially, if they don’t have a nest egg to fall back on… which unfortunately is the case for so many folks in this business struggling to make ends meet when the rent is due or from mortgage to mortgage payment.  Radio is one of the only forms of mass media and entertainment in which charity and community involvements are part of its fundamental fabric.  How many other forms of media are so quick to raise money for victims of disaster as radio?  A significant percentage of the stories we cover in the trade press are about radio broadcasters rising to the occasion to help people in need – sick children, homeless veterans, single moms, victims of natural disasters, and catastrophic illnesses.  Helping people is a key part of all our formats.  It’s what we do. But who’s out there to help individual broadcasters when WE are stricken by tragedy and have the rug pulled out from under us?  That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of America steps up to the plate.”  To see and hear Michael Harrison’s dramatic presentation in its entirety, please click here.