Monday Memo: Copy Worth Copying. “Make commercial copy you craft for local advertisers THIS crisp,” and, consultant Holland Cooke says, “you will make money.” In this week’s column, he rips-off…er, “compiles” examples. Read it here.
Pending Business: Checking In. Sales and marketing pro Steve Lapa says that you’re more likely get a renewal from that advertiser if you check in regularly instead of adopting the “no-news-is-good-news” approach to gauging a campaign’s effectiveness. “Great sellers are like commercial airline pilots, or cruise ship captains. Everyone is prepared with specific goals, timelines, and once the journey (schedule) begins, ready to control the mission.” Read his column here.
The ‘Todd Starnes Podcast’ Joins Salem Podcast Network. Beginning April 5, the “Todd Starnes Podcast” joins the Salem Podcast Network. Salem Media Group SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “SPN is delighted to join in this partnership with Todd Starnes, one of the leading voices in conservative America. His courage in saying what needs to be said is unmatched. His knowledge and ability to explain what is really going on is his forte.” With this deal, the Salem Podcast Network assumes distribution, marketing, and sales representation duties for the “Todd Starnes Podcast.” Starnes also hosts a daily, syndicated radio program and he previously spent more than a decade at the FOX News Channel, hosting a daily radio program on the FOX Radio Network. He comments, “Salem is known for its cutting-edge platforms and excellence-driven programming. I’m honored to join such a well-respected industry leader like the Salem Podcast Network.”
WJR-AM, Detroit Takes Station of the Year Honor. Detroit news/talk WJR-AM is named “Commercial Radio Station of the Year” by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters for the 17th time since 2000. The Cumulus Media station also received 17 other awards, including eight “Merit Awards,” as well as nine “Best Awards.” Some of the “Best Awards” include: Regularly Scheduled Broadcast Personality/Team – “The Guy Gordon Show”; Sports – “Lions Pregame: Around the League”; Special Show Broadcast Personality/Team – “War of the Worlds” live stream event; and Continuing News Coverage – COVID-19 Replay.
iHeartMedia Names Barbara Latham Area President for Central Florida. Sales and management pro Barbara Latham is promoted to area president for iHeartMedia Central Florida in which she’ll oversee the Orlando and Melbourne markets that include talk WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1,” news/talk WFLF “WFLA,” sports talk WYGM “FM 96.9 The Game,” plus 10 music brands. She’s most recently been serving the Orlando cluster as SVP of sales. Latham reports to division president Linda Byrd, who says, “I am thrilled to be able to promote Barb to this position. We’ve worked together for 36 years and in many different capacities. She is one of the brightest and most competitive employees I know. Barb has always been a winner, and to her, there is no other option. No one deserves this opportunity more, and it makes me happy to put this team, that I’ve managed for the last 21 years in her capable hands.”
WABC, New York Recognizes Greek Independence Day. Pictured above (from l-r) are Chad Lopez, president of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC; Margo and John Catsimatidis, owners of Red Apple Media and 77 WABC, and Renee Cassis, owner of RC Communications Marketing on March 25 as the radio station hosted a celebration for the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence Day. The event was held in WABC’s event space, Studio 77. During his opening remarks, John Catsimatidis noted the diversity of America and stated that the celebration was for every ethnicity and race.
Josh Innes Returns to iHeartMedia as Morning Host at WNRQ-FM, Nashville. Sports radio talk host Josh Innes is joining iHeartMedia’s Nashville classic rock WNRQ-FM “105.9 The Rock” as morning drive host, effective April 5. The station says “The Josh Innes Show” will be a Nashville-focused blend of classic rock, news, sports and commentary and will broadcast weekday mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. WNRQ program director Jonathan Shuford says, “Josh is wildly talented as a personality, idea generator, and storyteller. He’s unconventional, creative, and exceptionally compelling. We’re beyond excited to welcome him to Nashville and foster in the next great classic rock morning show!” Innes was most recently afternoon host on Gow Media’s sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston. He’s also served with iHeartMedia’s sports talk KBME-AM, Houston, and Entercom’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia. He hosts “The Josh Innes Show” podcast live on Twitch and heard on iHeartRadio.
iHeartMedia Issues Statement on FCC Ruling. The company’s statement issued on Friday (3/26) is in regard to the approval of its pending applications to acquire certain radio stations, and the temporary shareholder restrictions required by the FCC to be imposed upon Global Media & Entertainment Investments Ltd. The company says, “iHeartMedia values its shareholder relationships and we welcome all new shareholders to iHeartMedia. However, because GMEI is a foreign shareholder, its recent investment was inconsistent with the FCC’s foreign ownership rules and created an operating issue for us under the FCC’s regulatory framework. As background, GMEI’s purchase of an 8.7% position in our Class A Common stock, as reported in its Schedule 13D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 5, 2021, caused a violation of the FCC’s foreign ownership regulations and the FCC’s November 5, 2020 declaratory ruling related to the company’s foreign ownership, both of which limit a foreign investor in GMEI’s position to 5% without prior FCC approval. To address this issue, over which iHeartMedia had no prior knowledge or control, we filed a remedial petition for declaratory ruling requesting FCC approval for GMEI to have the ability to increase its ownership to up to 9.99%. Notwithstanding the GMEI investment, the FCC has approved iHeartMedia’s acquisitions of certain stations, including stations for BIN: Black Information Network. However, the FCC has required that the company impose temporary shareholder restrictions on GMEI as a condition of approving those radio station acquisitions. To comply with the FCC order, iHeartMedia’s Board of Directors resolved to take action consistent with the FCC’s conditional requirements. These actions include imposing temporary voting and other shareholder restrictions on GMEI which will apply during the pendency of the Petition. iHeartMedia respects the FCC process and will, as a matter of consistent policy, ensure the company’s compliance with the FCC’s foreign ownership and other regulations.”
COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, CNN’s COVID War Special/WHO Origin Report, Suez Ship Jam, Border Crisis-Immigration Policy, Hedge Fund Failure-Financial Markets, Chauvin Trial, U.S. Afghanistan Operations, and Nashville Floods Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., rising cases in some states, and the rollout of vaccines; CNN’s Sunday special featuring the six doctors leading the U.S. COVID program and the WHO’s report concluding the coronavirus likely came from an animal at a Chinese wildlife market; the status of the container ship blocking the Suez canal and its effect on the global economy; the crisis of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Biden administration’s immigration policy; the failure of a major hedge fund causes problems for Credit Suisse and Nomura that could reverberate through the global economy; today’s beginning of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin; the United States’ Afghanistan operations and the Doha agreement that calls for U.S. troop removal by May 1; and the historic floods in Nashville and Middle Tennessee were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour experimental weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC. The new episode titled, “A Variety of Unpleasant Conundrums!” looks back at this past week of August 12-16, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Renee Kohanski, M.D.; Kevin Miller, talk show host, KIDO, Boise; Joe Thomas, talk show host WCHV, Charlottesville; and Elaina Newport, co-founder and head songwriter, The Capitol Steps. The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA and the iHeart Podcast Network. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis. For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
First-Half Ad Drivers. It isn’t your imagination – automotive dealers and insurance providers are the top advertising categories in radio, TV, and cable. That’s the analysis of Media Monitors’ latest rankings that cover the period from January 1 through July 31. Local auto dealers finish far ahead of any other category during the same period last year. As far as the number of vehicle insurance commercials are concerned, Media Monitors opines, “New auto buyers are likely to shop around. To get their brand in front of interested consumers, insurance providers are right behind auto dealers in the number of spots they’ve aired this year.” Local car and truck dealers focus their advertising on radio, where they broadcast the highest number of spots (7,659,729), and on TV, where they ranked #10 (2,537,737). As far as specific advertisers are concerned, Home Depot, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, and McDonald’s aired the most spots thus far through July 31 of this year. The top 10 radio advertisers for the first seven months of 2019 are: Home Depot, GEICO, Lowe’s, Indeed, McDonald’s, Progressive, Seriously, Sprint, Macy’s and JC Penney. By way of perspective, #1 Home Depot had more than three times the number of “radio instances” (1,777,560) than #10 JC Penney (579,288).
TALKERS News Notes. The new Phoenix affiliate for CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One Radio Network primetime NFL coverage is CRC Broadcasting Company sports talk KQFN “The Fanatic.” CRC president and chief executive officer Ron Cohen remarks, “There are no more popular yearly sporting events in this country than NFL football. We’re proud to be the exclusive Phoenix radio affiliate and excited for the incredible opportunity to air these high-profile NFL games, including the Super Bowl in February.” ….. After 24 seasons covering University of Central Florida football – most recently as sideline reporter and pre-game host – Jerry O’Neill is retiring from the radio team. He made the announcement on Marc Daniels’ show on UCF football flagship, iHeartMedia Orlando sports talk WYGM “The Game.” Taking O’Neill’s place as pre-game host and sideline reporter is Scott Adams; former UCF defensive lineman and NFL player Leger Douzable joins as analyst. Meanwhile, producer Chris Vasquez is boosted to executive producer, and assistant producer Tom Morgan will produce all men’s basketball and baseball radio broadcasts ….. The corporate director of programming of Forever Media stations in Wilmington (Delaware) and Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland), Brad Austin, exits. In addition to his corporate duties, Austin programmed and did afternoons on WXCY “New Country 103.7.” He had been with WXCY the past six years and added corporate responsibilities three years ago. The Wilmington and Salisbury-Ocean City stations for which Austin was responsible included news/talk WDEL-AM & WDEL-FM; WXDE “News Talk 105.9”; sports talk WYUS “ESPN Delaware”; WSTW “Today’s Best Variety”; WAFL “Eagle 97.7”; classic hits-oldies WAVD “97.1 The Wave”; classic rock WNCL “Cool 101.3 Delaware’s Greatest Hits”; and gospel WFAI “Faith 1510.” ….. More than 300 members of Congress (or their spouses or family members) participated in this year’s NAB Congressional PSA Campaign. The program invites members of Congress and their families to be featured in free spots that address issues of importance to their constituents. The PSAs have been sent to radio and TV stations across the country. NAB executive vice president Dennis Wharton notes, “The NAB Congressional PSA Campaign provides legislators and their families an opportunity to share pro-social messages that can have a positive impact on communities across America. Local radio and TV broadcasters will be generously donating airtime for this initiative as part of our commitment to serving local communities.” NAB has hosted the biannual campaign in off-election years since 1985.
Top Choice For News Among Teens? YouTube. A June 14 – June 25 poll of more than 1,000 U.S. teenagers (13 – 17) conducted by nonprofit Common Sense, in tandem with SurveyMonkey, found that 54% of respondents get news at least a few times per week from social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while one-half do so from YouTube. As David Cohen writes in AdWeek, “Six of ten citing YouTube indicated they were more likely to get their news from celebrities, influencers, and personalities than from news organizations.” The preference for YouTube may best be explained that more than six of ten respondents stated, “seeing pictures and video showing what happened” helped them understand major news events, while roughly one of three would rather “read or hear the facts.” In a release detailing its findings, Common Sense notes that the news habits of teens, “reflect the diversity of the modern media landscape. While most news organizations maintain accounts on social media and other platforms, they are competing for attention with corporate brands, celebrities, influencers, and personal connections.” Two of three teens who do turn to news organizations say it helps them better understand what is going on; 53% of those who get news from social media expressed the same sentiment. Meanwhile, one of five believe getting news via social networks makes them more confused about current events. Common Sense chief executive officer James Steyer observes, “These findings raise concerns about what kind of news the next generation is using to shape their decisions. There are few standards for what constitutes news and how accurately it’s portrayed on the platforms teens use.” SurveyMonkey chief research officer Jon Cohen adds, “While it’s notable that teens rely heavily on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to stay informed, their reliance on news from celebrities and influencers rather than journalists may have pernicious implications. It’s a bit of a paradox: Overwhelmingly, teens say that they are interested in keeping up with the news, but they’re not seeking out either traditional or new media to do so.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Yesterday at 5:00pm (Thursday, 8/15), iHeartMedia Indianapolis transitioned WOLT-HD2 (W248AW-FM) to CHR “97.5 “Kiss-FM.” Debuting commercial-free and featuring an air staff (KD, Rucker, Jake B, and Catalina) heard on a number of other iHeartMedia stations, “Kiss” will rely on a playlist from artists such as Drake, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Bruno Mars, and Shawn Mendes. Market president Brett Beshore states, “We are thrilled to bring the ‘Kiss FM’ brand to Indy. The music, events, and personalities featured on ‘97.5 Kiss FM’ is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers.” Senior vice president of programming for iHM Indianapolis Dave Hill comments, “Our listeners can now listen to their favorite songs and hit music they love without commercial interruption. ‘Kiss FM’ is going to energize our listeners and shakeup the [CHR] landscape.” WOLT-HD2 did not appear in Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 report for Indianapolis. Existing CHRs in the market include WZPL “99.5 ZPL” (6.0, #5, July 2019, 6+) and WNOW “Radio Now 100.9” (2.9, #14, July 2019, 6+). A third CHR, WYRG “Energy 93.9,” flipped to rock WNDX “93-X” two months ago (May 2019) …. Heard weekday mornings (5:00 am – 10:00 am) on Hearst Television Baltimore’s WIYY “98 Rock,” Justin, Scott & Spiegel are expanding to television this weekend. The first episode of their half-hour “Justin, Scott and Spiegel Shouldn’t Be On TV” will air immediately following “Saturday Night Live” on Hearst Baltimore’s WBAL-TV (channel 11). WIYY president and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Pairing Baltimore’s most colorful and imaginative radio show in this great time slot after ‘SNL’ is a terrific opportunity to reach our listeners on one of the country’s strongest NBC affiliates. Justin, Scott and Spiegel are ready to take full advantage of this great lead-in.” WBAL-TV president and general manager Dan Joerres remarks, “Creating this television program for broadcast on WBAL-TV 11 is a natural extension of our partnership with sister station ‘98 Rock.’ Like our shared partnerships with the Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Lottery, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to serve our Baltimore viewers and listeners. Given the popularity of the live stream of Justin, Scott and Spiegel’s morning show, we saw an opportunity to develop this program for local fans.” Justin, Scott and Spiegel have been a morning show team since 2013 ….. Also in that Maryland market, WWMX “Mix 106.5,” Baltimore nighttime talent Neci Williams takes on music director duties there. Entercom Baltimore director of programming, music stations/WWMX PD Tom Cook remarks, “I’m happy to recognize Neci’s ability and talent with this promotion. She has a great ear for new music and really hears the art and flow when editing a log; being a music director has been a goal of hers for years.” Formerly with Washington, DC’s WHFS, Williams has worked for Baltimore’s “Mix” the past three years ….. Initiating this weekend is Premiere Networks’ two-hour “Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee,” the founder and chief executive officer of “Hollywood Unlocked.” He and co-hosts Melyssa Ford and DJ Damage will “keep listeners on the pulse of hip-hop and pop culture.” Miami rapper Trina guests on the first show and discusses “stripper rappers.” Among the 50 stations clearing “Hollywood Unlocked” are iHeartMedia urban contemporary outlets KRRL “Real 92.3,” Los Angeles; WGCI-FM, Chicago; KQBT “93.7 The Beat,” Houston; WRDG “96.7 The Beat,” Atlanta; WUSL “Power 99,” Philadelphia; WMIB “103.5 The Beat,” Miami; and WJLB, Detroit ….. Nine stations are added to the roster for Entercom’s “Channel Q” on the LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network. The network brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music. Entercom Southern California regional president and market manager Jeff Federman comments, “Channel Q’s already expansive reach nationwide is another step in the right direction as we aim to promote and support inclusion throughout our country. We remain as persistent about providing the LGBTQ+ community and its allies with a voice as we did when we first launched. We are proud to continue to expand our efforts into new markets.” Listeners can find Channel Q on the following stations via an HD Radio capable device: WSTR-HD3 “Star 94.1,” Atlanta (next month); WTDY-HD3 “96.5 TDY,” Philadelphia; WDZH-HD3 “98.7 The Breeze,” Detroit”; WDSY-HD3 “Y-108,” Pittsburgh”; WQMP-HD2 “FM 101.9, Orlando”; WXSS-HD3 “103.7 Kiss FM,” Milwaukee; WNVZ-HD2 “Z-104,” Norfolk”; WEZB-HD2 “B-97, New Orleans”; and WMQX-HD2 “Max 102,” Wilkes Barre-Scranton ….. In the summer of 1969, 400,000 people converged on a local farm in upstate New York to hear 32 top musical acts. The 600-acre farm was overwhelmed with intense heat, rain and mud. “Woodstock” became a legendary scene and spawned an Academy Award winning film, soundtrack album, and major hit song. On the 50th anniversary weekend, CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One will have correspondent Steve Kastenbaum reporting from Bethel Woods, New York; 50-year old sound will be replayed from the Westwood One News archives. The golden anniversary will be celebrated with a half-hour Mike Moss-hosted special, “Woodstock: A Festival for the Ages.” The news retrospective will run Labor Day weekend and explore Woodstock’s legacy with archived audio clips, news reports, and interviews. In other Westwood One news, multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will host the network’s annual four-hour “Workin’ Hard Country” music special over Labor Day weekend. Bentley will showcase work songs, summertime anthems, and current hits from his own catalog, as well as songs from (among others) Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris, and Keith Urban. Many of the artists will share stories about their pre-fame jobs ….. Starting one week from Monday (8/26), iHeartMedia San Diego hot AC KMYI “Star 94.1” premieres Jesse Lozano and Tati Santiago (“Jesse and Tati in the Morning”) as its 6:00 am – 10:00 am wakeup team. KMYI program director Joe Haze states the show will be “entertaining and San Diego-centric, focusing on relatability. It will give listeners a great variety of music to get their day started.” San Diego native Lozano began his radio career inside the iHM San Diego cluster as “Boy Toy Jesse” on CHR KHTS “Channel 93.3 FM” and moved to Los Angeles CHR sibling KIIS “102.7 Kiss FM” in 2007 for afternoon drive duties. He has been hosting “Jesse Lozano in the Morning” on “Star” and remarks, “I’ve been a fan of Tati’s for a very long time – I feel so lucky to be teaming up with her. Adding her brand to ‘Star’ mornings is an incredible opportunity; our listeners are in for a good time.” Honolulu’s KIKI-FM was the site of Santiago’s first radio job. Her on-air credits since KIKI include morning co-hosting responsibilities at WPGC-FM, Washington and iHeartMedia San Diego urban contemporary KSSX “Jam’N 95.7.” She comments, “Being able to work mornings with Jesse Lozano on ‘Star’ is something I could never have dreamed. I’m excited to interact, laugh, and dig the ‘sleepies’ out of my eyes with the San Diego community every morning.” Santiago will succeed Delana Bennett, who – as noted here yesterday (8/15) – is boosted to KMYI’s assistant program director/afternoon drive host (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) ….. Assistant program director/music director DJ Q is elevated to content director at Alpha Media Louisville urban contemporary and urban AC siblings WGZB “B-96.5” and WMJM “Magic 101.3.” DJ Q is a 15-year veteran at that Kentucky operation.
July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Cincinnati, Austin, and Cleveland. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.
Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of one-tenth to 9.2 (6+) by iHeartMedia news/talk WLW “The Big One” halts three straight sweeps without an increase that resulted in the loss of one-half share (9.9 – 9.5 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+). The Reds flagship – which had a January-only stay on top – continues in the runner-up slot. Co-owned WKRC is off nine-tenths via three straight down or flat trends (3.6 – 3.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) and repeats at #13. Prior to June 2019 (2.7), the last time “55 KRC The Talk Station in Cincinnati” fell below a three-share was June 2018 (2.8).
As a result of six straight sweeps without an increase, sports talk cluster-mate WCKY “Cincinnati’s ESPN 1530” has lost more than 50% (-.7) of its 6+ AQH-share (1.2 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .5, flat at #22, 6+). The April 2019 through July 2019 topline for co-owned WSAI “Fox Sports 1360” is .4 – .3 – .3 – .4 (steady at #23, 6+).
In addition to ending at three a consecutive string of decreases that resulted in a -1.2 (3.7 – 3.1 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio news/talk WVXU (2.8, +.3, 6+) progresses from #14 to #12.
Cincinnati Music Formats – On the heels of June’s mammoth -2.1 (11.7 – 9.6, 6+), Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies WGRR “103.5 Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” answers with a +1.0 to 10.6 (6+) and is #1 the sixth sweep in succession. Furthermore, WGRR has registered double-digits (6+) five times in the last six ratings periods. Entering the June report, WGRR was +3.6 in five successive increases (8.1 – 9.6 – 10.2 – 11.1 – 11.3 – 11.7, 6+). After a December-only stay at #1, “Cincinnati’s Greatest Hits” spiraled by -1.8 in “Holiday” 2018 (9.9 – 8.1, 6+) and shifted to third. The three latest moves for Radio One urban AC WOSL are +.7 (3.2 – 3.9, 6+, May); -.8 (3.9 – 3.1, 6+, June); and +.9 (3.1 – 4.0, July, 6+). Not only does “100.3 Cincy’s R&B Station” return to the top ten (#11 to #9), it has its highest 6+-share (4.0) in more than five years (4.3, March 2014). Owing to five straight positive or neutral moves, Cincinnati Public Radio’s WGUC “Classical 90.9” triples (+1.2) its 6+-stat (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.8, #18 to #17, 6+). Hubbard Broadcasting-owned WUBE has been on a wild ride lately. After logging three straight negative trends that accounted for a -2.1 (9.4 – 8.7 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), “B-105.1 Cincinnati’s Country” responded with a combined +1.5 in May/June (7.3 – 7.5 – 8.8, 6+), but erodes in July by -1.6 (7.2, flat at #3, 6+). June’s 8.8 was its best 6+-stat since January’s 9.4. It’s a somewhat similar scenario for Radio One urban contemporary WIZF. Four consecutive positive or neutral reports yielded a +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “101.1 The Wiz” was down -.4 in May; bounced back with a June +.7; but regresses by -.7 in July (3.7 – 3.0, 6+) and exits the top ten (#9 to #11). Seven successive negative or neutral trends by Cumulus Media’s WFTK “96 Rock” have resulted in a cumulative -1.4 (4.0 -3.7 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, #12 to #14, 6+).
By dropping three-tenths to 2.2 (#14 to #15, 6+), country sibling WNNF “94.1 Nash FM” has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.1 stall at six (1.4 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+) iHeartMedia CHR WKFS “Kiss 107.1” has lost six-tenths and falls from ninth to tenth.
Spoken-Word Formats – A June/July +1.4 by news/talk KLBJ-AM vaporizes three straight drops that accounted for a -1.0 (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 2.8, 6+) as “News Radio 590 AM” reenters the top ten (#11 to #9).
Advancing from #20 to #18, Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX “The Horn” has a February 2019 through July 2019 topline of 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.6 (6+). After notching a .4 (6+) in May, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” is stuck on .5 (#24, 6+) in June and July.
A gain of nine-tenths (5.8 – 6.7, 6+) enables University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talk KUT to advance from fourth to second. Six of KUT’s seven shifts this calendar year include: +1.6 (January); -.6 (February); +.7 (March); -2.0 (April); -1.6 (May) and +.9 (July). June’s 5.8 was its lowest 6+-showing since April 2017 (5.8, as well).
Austin Music Formats – Up six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” progresses from tenth to eighth with its highest 6+-share (4.4) in more than two years (4.7, June 2017). Four successive reports without a loss by alternative KROX net a +1.2 (2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+) as “101-X” climbs from #12 to #11. This (3.8) is its best 6+showing since September 2018’s 4.0. Off one-half share in May and then roaring back with a robust +1.1 in June, adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob-FM” loses one-tenth in July (9.3 – 9.2, 6+) but is the market pacesetter the fourth month in a row. June’s 9.3 was its highest 6+ share since “Holiday” 2018 (also 9.3). Prior to April 2019, the last time “Bob” occupied the top spot was December 2018 (8.3, 6+). There’s as intriguing situation in the market’s three-way country tussle. For openers, Genuine Austin Radio’s KOKE-FM strings together its fourth straight sweep without a loss for a net gain of six-tenths (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+). “Austin’s Country Alternative” jumps from #14 to #16 with its best 6+-stat (2.6) since February’s 2.7. At the same time, slipping by six-tenths and seven-tenths, respectively, are iHeartMedia country siblings KASE “Austin’s #1 For New Country,” (4.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) and KVET-FM “98.1 The Austin Texas Original” (4.5, flat at #7, 6+). KASE is a combined -1.0 in June/July (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+), directly after +1.5 in three straight bumps (4.3 – 4.5 – 5.7 – 5.8, 6+). It plummeted by -1.9 in “Holiday” 2018; improved by +1.2 in January; and was -.6 in February. Likewise, KVET-FM is -1.3 in June/July (5.8 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+), following May’s +.9; “The Austin Texas Original” was +1.2 in January (5.0 – 6.2, 6+). After posting six successive positive or neutral monthlies that yielded an impressive +2.1 (3.6 – 4.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss-FM” surrenders roughly half that increase (-1.1) to 4.6 (fifth to sixth, 6+). KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” loses six-tenths to 3.6, its lowest 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2018’s 3.2, and exits the top ten (#9 to #12). Following May/June’s combined +1.1(5.3 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” forfeits roughly half that increase (5.9, -.5, third to fourth, 6+). Having scored a March +1.2, regional Mexican KLZT “107.1 La Z” is now a collective -2.7 in four subsequent decreases (6.7 – 5.9 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+) and falls from eighth to tenth. With an April – May – June (6+) topline of 1.2 – 1.1 – .9 (6+), Genuine Austin Radio classic hits-oldies KTXX-HD4 vanishes from print.
Spoken-Word Formats – The five most recent fluctuations for iHeartMedia news/talk – and Indians flagship – WTAM “1100 Cleveland’s News Radio” are: -.6 (March); +.9 (April); -.7 (May); and +.5 (June); and another +.5 in July (5.6 – 6.1, eighth to sixth, 6+).
Upon resurfacing in print this past April, Salem Media Group news/talk WHK logged a .5 (6+) in April, May, and June, finishing at #19. “AM 1420 The Answer – News-Opinion-Insight,” however, is unlisted in July.
In an alternating down/up pattern that began in January (which includes June’s -1.0), Entercom’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” is a collective -2.3 (5.4 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, #14 to #13, 6+).
Notwithstanding that it repeats June’s 3.6 (6+), Ideastream-owned news/talk outlet WCPN departs the top ten (#10 to #12).
Cleveland Music Formats – Similar to its sports talk cluster-mate WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (see above), Entercom hot AC WQAL “Q-104” is in an alternating down/up pattern. WQAL’s sequence started in January and includes July’s +.8 (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 4.2, #11 to #10, 6+). A boost of seven-tenths by iHeartMedia adult hits WHLK (5.4 – 6.1, 6+) propels “106.5 The Lake” from ninth to sixth with its strongest 6+-stat since January (6.1, as well). Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom adult contemporary WDOK “Cleveland’s Star 102” (6.0 – 6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+) and iHeartMedia CHR WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM” (#12 to #11). WDOK bounces back from June’s -1.5 which sent “Star” to 6.0, its weakest 6+-stat since January (6.0, as well). Meanwhile, “Kiss” is within 3.1 – 3.9 range for the sixth successive time (3.6 – 3.9 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.9, 6+). Its classic hits-oldies sibling WMJI “Majic 105.7 – Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” finishes on top the eighth straight sweep (9.8 – 9.2, 6+). Six of its recent shifts are: +2.8 (“Holiday” 2018); -1.7 (January 2019); +.8 (February); +1.0 (March); -1.0 (April); and -.6 (July). On the heels of June’s gain of six-tenths, Radio One urban contemporary WENZ suffers a setback more than four times that magnitude (7.0 – 4.5, -2.5, 6+) as “Z-107.9” tumbles from fifth to ninth. June’s 7.0 was its best 6+-showing since November 2017’s 7.2. When urban AC sibling WZAK gained three-tenths in June, it suspended five successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a -1.2 (8.7 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.2 – 7.5, 6+). The July report indicates that WZAK is off by -1.1 (7.8 – 6.7) and continues in fourth-place. Three positive spikes in a row by iHeartMedia-owned WMMS netted a full-share (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 5.7, 6+) but “100.7 Cleveland’s Rock Station” coughs up two-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and dips from seventh to eighth. In May, WMMS reached the five-share level for the first time since October 2017’s 5.0.
Brad Lane to Program WTMJ and WKTI/WAUK in Milwaukee. Programming pro Brad Lane is named program director for Good Karma Brands’ news/talk WTMJ and sports talk duo WKTI-FM/WAUK-AM “ESPN 94.5” and “540 ESPN,” effective February 6. He was most recently program director as Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis. Lane says, “This is a dream role to work with a legacy station like WTMJ and the powerful brand of ‘ESPN Milwaukee.’ I’m excited to work with the incredible team and resources available to make our content more engaging, relevant, and obtainable on all platforms, along with helping to cultivate and foster development of personalities on all our stations. I’m enormously grateful to Craig Karmazin, [VP/GM] Steve Wexler, and all of Good Karma Brands for the chance to lead these content teams and join one of the most innovative companies in the country.” Steve Wexler adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Brad to the Good Karma Brands family. His leadership, vision and creativity will help us continue to grow our news, sports and event marketing brands in Wisconsin.”
FNR’s New Podcast: ‘The Candidates with Bret Baier.’ A new podcast series is debuting from FOX News Radio called “The Candidates with Bret Baier,” beginning February 12. The weekly podcast will focus on the 2020 field of presidential candidates. Each week, Baier will be joined by a rotating panel of experts who will discuss “the latest on each candidate, their motivation towards entering the race, their possible campaign strategy and potential path to victory.”
iHeartMedia Debuts New Afternoon Show at ‘The Game’ in Orlando. Sports talk outlet WYGM-AM/W245CL “FM 96.9 The Game” announced the launch of the new “In the Zone with Brandon Kravitz and The Shot Doctor” program to air in afternoon drive beginning on February 11. The program will star Brandon Kravitz along with “The Shot Doctor” Austin Pistulka who serves as the executive producer. iHeartMedia RVP of programming for iHeartMedia North Florida Rick Everett says, “We’re extremely excited about the new era of ‘FM 96.9 The Game.’ When you’re looking for the best live sports talk, this is the place to tune in.” Kravitz says, “For the last several years, I’ve been honing my craft and working towards this goal. I plan to bring a fresh approach to afternoon drive, while engaging with our interactive audience. I cannot wait to link back up with The Shot Doctor – we have chemistry from two years of doing afternoon drive together in the past and I look forward to picking up where we left off and taking it to the next level.”
TALKERS News Notes. Houston sports talker KFNC-FM “ESPN 97.5” gets some love from the Houston Press as the Best Radio Station in its Best of Houston 2019 feature. The paper says of the Gow Media sports talk outlet: “After some rough patches, Gow has built a mini media empire in Houston that includes ‘ESPN 97.5,’ a station that not only has content from the biggest sports network on the planet, but has some of the most talented personalities in the city, including guys like Lance Zierlein and John Granato, still the best pairing of morning sports talk hosts in the city’s history, and Raheel Ramzanali and Del Olaleye, who managed to stick out the myriad number of changes at the various Gow stations over the years.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime WGN-AM news anchor Judy Pielach – who recently left the station after taking a Tribune Broadcasting-offered buyout – was on the air with new WLS-AM morning personality Erich Mancow Muller yesterday (1/29) auditioning for a contributor role with the program. Feder quotes Muller saying of Pielach’s performance, “I thought she was fantastic! A pro. Talent trumps all.”…..The Post and Courier is reporting that the South Carolina college sports-focused “SportsTalk” show with host Phil Kornblut is ending its run on the S.C. Radio Network because Learfield/IMG is shutting the network down, saying it has been “underperforming.” Kornblut has hosted a sports talk show on the network since it launched 35 years ago. The story indicated he is working to continue the show and for now it appears it’ll still air on Glory Communications’ WQXL-AM/W264DF “The Point” from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm nightly…..Back in the Windy City, William J. Kelly, host of the “Citizen Kelly Show,” announces his show will soon have an FM presence in the Chicagoland market. His show is heard on WCGO, Evanston and he says it will “soon be heard on Pollack Broadcasting’s soon-to-be launched FM talk station, 95.9 FM.”…..Nationally syndicated talk radio host, author, and clinical psychologist Dr. Ellen Kenner – who calls herself a “romance guide” – is celebrating her 22nd anniversary as a talk radio host this weekend. Dr. Kenner is also available for Valentine’s Day interviews…..Public media company KQED in San Francisco promotes Maria Miller to the position of chief administrative officer in which she’ll be responsible for “ensuring the efficient and effective performance of KQED by strategizing, developing, planning, and implementing effective operational and administrative functions.” Since June 2016 she has been vice president, human resources & chief labor/employment council.
PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the all-news format. The annual Holiday ratings period usually sees boosts for the music stations playing Christmas music and dips for spoken-word stations and that was the case for all-news as nine of the nation’s news stations declined (weekly 6+ AQH share). Comparing the Holiday 2017 data to Holiday 2018, it was a wash with half the stations improving and half declining. Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and WWJ, Detroit, along with Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington all held onto their #2 ranking in their respective markets during the Holiday survey. See the whole report here.
FOX News Channel Marks 17 Years as Top Cable Newser; ‘Hannity’ Most-Watched, Non-College Football Cable Program in January. According to data from Nielsen Media Research, FOX News Channel was the most-watched cable news network for the 17th year straight, besting its competition – CNN and MSNBC – in total viewers and the 25-54 demo. January viewing figures indicated the prime time “Hannity” show with host Sean Hannity, was the most-watched, non-college football cable telecast during the month. Hannity was the top cable news prime time show with total viewers of 3 million-plus and 538,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo. For all of prime time, FNC averaged 2.2 million total viewers (beating MSNBC’s 1.97 million and CNN’s 1.2 million) and in the 25-54 demo averaged 382,000 (topping CNN’s 363,000 and MSNBC’s 349,000). It’s worth noting, however, that FNC’s January 2019 total day rating of total viewers – 1.32 million – was down from January 2018 by 11%. Primetime total viewers – 2.2 million – was also down 10%, year over year. For both total day and primetime in January 2019, FNC’s 25-54 viewers were down 20% from last year.
iHeartMedia Announces Ohio Management Promotions. Two sales pros rise at iHeartMedia as Jeff Rovinsky is promoted from his vice president of sales position at iHeartMedia North Ohio to market president for the Akron and Canton markets. At the same time, Matt Razzante is upped from his account executive position with the company’s Cleveland station group to general sales manager for the Akron, Canton, and Cleveland markets. iHeartMedia North Ohio SVP of sales George Allen comments, “I could not be more excited for Jeff and Matt. Jeff has a proven track record of success with iHeartMedia and he will excel as market president for Akron and Canton. Matt has demonstrated tremendous leadership abilities and this elevated role is well earned. Congratulations to both of them.”
Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea-Iran Report, U.S.-China Trade War-Huawei Allegations, Brokaw ‘Hispanic Assimilation’ Controversy, Record Cold Hits Midwest, 2020 Presidential Candidates, the AOC Movement, Venezuela Unrest, and Super Bowl LIII Build-Up Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29). The political battle over President Trump’s plan for a U.S.-Mexico border wall; the indictment of Trump adviser Roger Stone and the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation; the U.S. military intelligence report indicating North Korea still has active nuclear weapons projects and that Iran is not trying to build a bomb; the U.S.-China trade war and the charges against Huawei and CEO Meng Wanzhou; the controversy over newsman Tom Brokaw’s statement that Hispanics in the U.S. should try harder to assimilate; the record cold hitting the U.S. Midwest today; the 2020 presidential candidates; the attention being paid to freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist policies; the political unrest in Venezuela; and the build-up to Super Bowl LIII 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. A third personality joins the Westwood One-syndicated Ty Bentli country morning show based at Cumulus Media’s NASH campus. Tricia Jenkins will join Bentli and co-host Chuck Wicks in mid-February. She was most recently the midday personality and music director at Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis. Late last year, Kelly Ford exited the formerly named “Ty, Kelly and Chuck” show and it was renamed the Ty Bentli show. Ford is back in NYC as morning host on Cumulus’ WNSH “NASH FM 94.7.” Speaking about Tricia Jenkins, Bentli says, “TJ is one of the most amazing women I know. Her value goes beyond the magic she will bring on-air with the Ty Bentli show – she’s hilariously honest, strategically focused, and innately curious about others. Tricia Jenkins, welcome to the Music City!”…..Quad Cities morning duo “Dwyer & Michaels” – Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels – re-sign with Townsquare Media’s classic rock WXLP “97X” to continue hosting their program through 2023…..The Envision Networks-syndicated program “The Country Oldies Show” is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The program was launched by host Steve Warren in 1994 from studios in New York City. Warren says, “I guess when we first started the show, the country music world had tilted toward all the ‘hot, young, new’ artists. It was crazy. Since I started in country radio very young, my career was parallel to many of the superstars of an earlier era. Now, every week, as I sit in our studio to produce the show, I feel like I’m in the company of old friends.”