General Music Radio Industry News
PPM Data – Tampa. When Nielsen Audio recently released September 2015 ratings data, it delayed sharing information for Tampa. The company has completed its evaluation process and that market’s stats are now official. The September 2015 survey period covered August 13 – September 9.
Tampa – On the heels of a one-half share gain in August, Beasley Broadcast Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Q-105” nearly doubles it with a +.9 (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.2, 6+) to rocket from sixth to second. This is the most potent 6+-share for “Q-105” since March 2013 (also 6.2). As “Q-105” grows by a combined +1.4 in back-to-back surveys, Cox Media Group‘s similarly-formatted WXGL “The Eagle” (second to third) declines by a combined -1.1 in the same timeframe (6.5 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+). In addition to “Q-105,” iHeartMedia talker WFLA posts a gain of nine-tenths to catapult from #12 to a three-way logjam at #6; WFLA is up in consecutive sweeps (4.1 – 4.3 – 5.2, 6+). It has been nearly three years since WFLA last crossed the five-share level (5.1, November 2012, 6+). Adult contemporary endures an August-September -1.7, as Cox Media Group’s WDUV falters by seven tenths and co-owned WWRM “My Magic 94.9” sputters by one full-share (to 4.6). Notwithstanding that WDUV is #1 for the 35th successive sweep, it is down or flat for the seventh straight time (11.6 – 11.1 – 11.1 – 9.9 – 9.0 – 8.8 – 8.6 – 7.9, 6+) for a cumulative -3.7. By way of perspective, the 6.2-share advantage WDUV enjoyed over “Q-105” in February (11.6 to 5.4, 6+) is whittled down to 1.7. The one-share dip for “My Magic” curtails three consecutive up or flat trends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+), with the AC skidding from fourth in August to tenth. Meanwhile, CHR loses a combined eight-tenths, as Cox Media Group’s WPOI “Hot 101.5 All The Hits” slips by six-tenths (5.0 – 4.4, #8 to #11, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s WFLZ “The Hit Music Channel” drops two-tenths (5.6 – 5.4, 6+). “The Hit Music Channel, however, actually advances from a fourth-place tie to a third-place tie. As iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US 103.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Leader” drops four-tenths to 5.3 (third to fifth), Beasley-owned WQYK “Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits” increases by four-tenths to 5.2 (sixth to tenth). This is the fourth straight (modest) uptick for Beasley rhythmic CHR (4.6 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+); “Wild 94.1 The Bay’s Party Station” inches up from #7 to that three-way tie at #6. For the third successive sweep (each), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “The Beat” is locked on 4.9 (#9), while rock cluster-mate WXTB “98 Rock” is frozen on 3.9 (#14).
Emmis Reports Q2 Radio Revenue Flat. Reporting that its net radio revenue was flat at $47.6 million, Emmis Communications releases figures from its second fiscal quarter, which ended August 31. In a press statement, the company notes that “second quarter radio revenues were down 0.5% compared to local radio market revenues [which were] down 1.9%. Our New York cluster performed much better in the second quarter (up 4.3% in a market down 3.4%).” Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Despite our outperformance, the markets where we operate remain challenged. While we are outperforming in a difficult marketplace, the radio industry is clearly in need of a catalyst and we think we have it with NextRadio. The addition of AT&T and T-Mobile during the quarter continues the momentum for NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets. I’m most pleased by the broad industry support we have garnered for the effort, which we believe will revolutionize radio.”
Rick O’Dell to Program WRME-LP, Chicago. Chicago radio pro Rick O’Dell is named the new program director of the Weigel Broadcasting-operated, low-power Windy City station WRME “87.7 MeTV FM.” The station, which plays “an exclusive format of classic pop music,” says O’Dell will focus on format development, brand management and will work with the station team for creation of cross-platform content, ideas and initiatives.” He begins on October 12. During his career, O’Dell has worked at lite rock WCLR (now hot AC WTMX), was OM of smooth jazz for Chicago-based AccuRadio.com, and founded SmoothJazzChicago.net. O’Dell says, “The timeless hits and memorable music of ‘MeTV FM’ are the music I grew up with. I love these songs. And most of them were on the playlist of WCLR when I was with them back in the day. I can’t wait to get started working with Neal [Sabin] and his incredible team.” Core artists for the station’s format include: Carly Simon, James Taylor, The Eagles, Elton John, The Carpenters, Motown superstars, America, Neil Diamond and hundreds more.
Spencer Graves Joins WARH, St. Louis Morning Show. RadioInfo reported news of Spencer Graves’ exit from Delmarva-owned hot AC WSTW, Wilmington, Delaware yesterday (10/7). Now Hubbard Radio announces that Graves is joining current morning personalities Ricki & Brando on WARH, St. Louis 106.5 The Arch’s morning show. He officially starts on November 9. Last month, Graves was recognized by the Delaware Business Times as one of the “40 Under 40” within the Wilmington community.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Entercom’s urban AC WQMG, Greensboro, North Carolina, Bryan J. DeBerry is named promotions & marketing director. He comes to Entercom from his most recent gig at Cumulus Media’s Fayetteville, North Carolina station group where he held a similar post…..Jake Navarro is named program director for iHeartMedia’s WEBZ, Panama City, Florida “99.3 FM The Beat.” Navarro will also handle production director duties for the station.
Cumulus Flips KNEV, Reno to Classic Hip Hop. Leaving its adult contemporary format (and brand “Magic 95.5”) is Cumulus Media-owned outlet KNEV, Reno. The signal joins other recent Cumulus properties that have taken on the “Vibe” brand with a flip to classic hip hop and R&B. The company says that “95.5 The Vibe” is playing wall-to-wall music featuring “big, old school hip hop hits, mixed with some R&B ‘throwbacks’ from the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s.” As with KWQW, Des Moines (reported in RadioInfo on Tuesday), the station is using Westwood One’s 24-hour classic hip hop format.
RadioInfo Tidbits. A local fundraiser in Orlando is being held in honor of late WOMX, Orlando “MIX 105.1” personality Scott McKenzie, who died on August 11 of this year after a battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Follicular Lymphoma. The three largest radio companies in the market – Cox Media Group, CBS RADIO and iHeartMedia – are coming together to honor McKenzie at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walk” this evening in downtown Orlando. CBS RADIO says, “Throughout his seven-year cancer fight, he became a beacon of strength, courage and grace. He inspired many by discussing his cancer journey with honesty and humor on the radio, and also in his written blogs.”…..Alliance Radio Networks releases the results of the weekly Piolin Presidential Poll from syndicated Hispanic radio personality Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, which tracks Hispanic Americans’ voting preferences for the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. This week’s survey of Republican voters indicates 57.4% of respondents said that they planned to vote for Governor Jeb Bush for president…..Futuri Media receives a patent from the Republic of South Africa for its Listener Driven Radio (LDR) and Takeover technologies, including Instant Alerts, live interactive radio programming, and social playlist sharing. The patent, which names Futuri president/CEO Daniel Anstandig and CTO Brian Seeders as inventors, also pertains to LDR’s unique interface with radio automation systems. Primedia-owned stations KFM, Cape Town and 947/Johannesburg use Futuri’s LDR1 services on their websites and mobile apps around the clock to connect live playlist data, drive contesting features and engage audiences through social media.
Duane Doobie Jr.’s Music Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: Chris Russell, golden-eared program director at WMXO-FM, Buffalo; on-air personality Bayley Brown from KHUM, Humboldt, California; Steve Blatter, SVP/GM music programming, SiriusXM; John Erias, board chairman and presenter at the Albury-Wodonga community station, 2REM 107.3 in New South Wales, Australia; Corey Barnes, golden-eared music director at “The Island,” CFRM, Little Current, Ontario, Canada; Golden-eared music director Karoline Kramer Gould (also known to her followers as Momma K) at WJCU, Cleveland; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9”; plus internet sensation The Iceman; provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (10/7) includes such names as: Madison Beer, Jack & Jack, Willow, Wax, Lil Dicky, Fetty Wap, Rich Homie Quan, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Naughty Boy, Beyoncé, Arrow Benjamin, Vance Joy, Best Coast, Civil Twilight, David Gilmour, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Chris Cornell, G. Love & Special Sauce, Citizen Cope, Houston Bernard Band, Donica Knight, Steven Ybarra, Rascal Flatts, Craig Morgan, Eric Paslay, George Strait, Brad Paisley, Alabama, A R I Z O N A, The Watermelons, Brielle, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Ellen K Leaves Ryan Seacrest for KOST, Los Angeles Morning Show. After more than 10 years as part of Los Angeles’ “102.7 Kiss FM” morning program with Ryan Seacrest, Ellen K is moving to iHeartMedia’s sister adult contemporary KOST to host her own morning program, effective October 16. Longtime KOST morning personality Mark Wallengren moves to afternoons on KOST. iHeardMedia Los Angeles SVP of programming Andrew Jeffries comments, “Ellen K is a major, marquee radio talent, and we saw a real opportunity to bring her to KOST, building a great roster that also includes one of L.A.’s most beloved personalities – Mark Wallengren, now leading our afternoons. Ellen’s personality and life experience make her extremely relatable to the adult KOST audience, and she will bring a real sense of personal connection for the listeners to the morning show at KOST. At the same time, Mark Wallengren is part of the foundation of this legendary radio brand, so having him at the helm in afternoons makes this a one-two punch for the station.” Ellen K says she’s been privileged to work with Seacrest on KIIS, “It’s been an amazing ride, and I’m extremely grateful.”
Cahill Promoted to SVP of Programming for iHeartRadio. Moving from his Premiere Networks VP of programming post to SVP of programming for iHeartRadio is Bill Cahill. Thought he’ll still work on Premiere projects and serve as classic hits/oldies brand manager for iHeartRadio, his focus will be on iHeartRadio, according to a memo from iHeartRadio and iHeartMedia Networks president Darren Davis. Davis writes to staffers, “Bill will be responsible for helping us create new, exciting digital channels on iHeartRadio – and also for continually improving the channels we already have. We’ve been experiencing unprecedented cume and TLH growth on iHeartRadio and our goals for 2016 are even more lofty! Kudos to Bill on all his great work. He has decades of successful broadcast programming under his belt, and he’s one of the original programmers of the Premium Choice Network. I rely heavily on Bill for a bunch of important projects, and we look forward to many more awesome years ahead!”
Meyers Upped to Director of Digital Operations for Greater Media. This is a promotion from Steven Meyers’ previous gig as director of digital strategies in which he’s been responsible for growing audiences and revenue via new digital platforms. Greater Media chairman and CEO Peter Smyth comments, “We look forward to Steve continuing to share his valuable knowledge and lead our digital teams as we continue to grow and drive Greater Media’s interactive efforts into the future.” Meyers has been with the company for the past three years.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Radio pro Karen DeFriez joins Cumulus Media as affiliate sales manager for Westwood One’s NASH entertainment brand programming, including “America’s Morning Show,” “NASH Nights Live,” “Kickin’ it with Kix,” and “American Country Countdown.” DeFriez spent the past 17 years with Premiere Networks…..Morning personality Spencer Graves is exiting Delmarva-owned hot AC WSTW, Wilmington, Delaware for a new, yet-to-be announced gig. The station is seeking a new morning drive co-host…..At the Brunswick, Georgia operations of Golden Isles Broadcasting, Bryan Thompson resigns his position as afternoon personality at country WRJY “104.1 The Wave.” He was also promotions director and APD for WRJY and sister hot AC WXMK “Magic 105.9.”
RadioInfo Tidbits. Tomorrow (10/8), for clients only, Nielsen Audio is hosting a webinar on its enhanced critical band encoding technology (CBET). This is the promised improvement to the technology that allows the PPM watermarking to be picked up by meters in the field that came as a result of the Voltair controversy this year. At the time of the enhanced CBET announcement this summer, Nielsen said it would begin to roll out the new technology to clients in November…..The advance agenda for Country Radio Seminar 2016 – taking place in Nashville February 8 through 10 at the Omni Hotel – is being released. The CRS 2016 early bird registration rate is in effect through October 16. You can see the agenda here…..Country duo Maddie & Tae are pictured here at right with WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” afternoon personality Jesse Addy (center) in the station’s studios prior to kicking off their first headlining tour in the Big Apple at the Highline Ballroom. Their new album is called Start Here and the two spoke with Addy about their summer on tour with Kip Moore, Dierks Bentley, and Canaan Smith on the “Sounds of Summer” tour.
San Diego Broadcasters Local Media San Diego and Midwest TV Form Radio Station Partnership. The two stations operated by Midwest TV – news/talk KFMB-AM and hot AC KFMB-FM – plus the three Tijuana, Mexico signals operated by Local Media San Diego – urban AC XHRM, CHR XHITZ and alternative XETRA – are now operating together under a joint operating agreement as SDLocal. Local Media San Diego VP/GM Gregg Wolfson says in a press release, “We’re excited to finalize this agreement with the KFMB Stations’ radio group. With both organizations focused exclusively on the San Diego market, this partnership gives us the resources to deliver even more localized programming, events, contests and promotions to our advertising partners and the San Diego community.” Midwest TV president Elisabeth Kimmel adds, “Local, independent broadcast companies are facing increased pressure from national competitors, but they can’t rival our years of experience serving San Diego. I’m eager to put our combined experience and assets to work for our customers across the region.”
Cumulus Drops FM Talk for Classic Hip Hop and R&B in Des Moines. Using its “The Vibe” brand, Cumulus Media flips KWQW-FM, Des Moines – formerly branded “98.3 The Torch” to classic hip hop and R&B as “98.3 The Vibe.” The station is using Westwood One’s 24-hour radio format service to provide its programming. Cumulus corporate program director Davey Morris comments, “This is going be a fun and thrilling time for radio listeners in Des Moines. As a company, we get uber-excited when we launch such an energetic, upbeat and familiar station. I know Des Moines will love coming to our party in the speakers. 98.3 The Vibe is born!”
RadioInfo Career Moves. According to Billboard, WQHT, New York “HOT 97” personality Miss Info, a.k.a. Minya Oh, is leaving the Emmis-owned hip hop station to focus on her digital venture, MissInfo.tv and to write a book. She’s been with the station for 10 years and recently had a baby…..A new chief information officer for iHeartMedia is welcomed as Steve Mills joins the company after serving in the same capacity for Motorola Mobility. A press statement from iHeartMedia notes Mills “will oversee all aspects of the information technology structure for both iHeartMedia and Clear Channel Outdoor, working closely with all its businesses and divisions to ensure the alignment and optimization of the company’s overall technology systems with the business priorities of its multiplatform assets.”…..With Johnathan “JR” Reed’s move to the iHeartMedia Savannah cluster, the company promotes Ryan Kramer to program director for hip hop KPEZ “102.3 The Beat” and sports talk KVET “AM 1300 The Zone” in Austin. Kramer’s been APD and morning host at KPEZ since joining the cluster two years ago…..Sam Rogers returns to CBS RADIO as vice president, National Sales and Corporate Partnerships. He worked for the company from 1988 through 2011. He most recently was with Radio One as VP National and Corporate Sales.
Michael Harrison Gets “Up Close and Far Out” with 1970s Media Icon Jo Ann Pflug. She was one of the most beautiful and versatile media stars of the 1970s – a motion picture and TV actress, prolific game show panelist, and former LA television talk show pioneer at KHJ-TV (in the late 1960s). During the height of her popularity, she had roles in some of the most iconic films of the day (she burned up the screen as Lt. “Dish” in the original motion picture version of “MASH” as seen at right) and worked with a seemingly endless parade of cinema legends such as Yul Brynner, Peter Sellers and many more. Today Jo Ann Pflug is still going strong. Based in Palm Beach County, Florida, the 70-something, still-gorgeous, dynamo occasionally appears on local radio interviewing the many stars (past and present) that live in or pass through the Palm Beaches, teaches commercial acting, provides politicians and public speakers with media training, lectures about her immensely colorful career, and is putting the final touches on a soon-to-be published book of personality profiles and anecdotes. Michael Harrison states, “The fabulous Ms. Pflug was one of the most fun interviews I’ve conducted thus far for this podcast series [Podcast One’s international hit “Up Close and Far Out”]. I tied it into my take on the wonders of YouTube where, of course, endless archives of historic videos of classic film, TV, commercials, and news events continue to grow and where the work of such iconic media figures as this amazingly cool woman will live forever.” To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Cumulus Classic Rocker KFOG, San Francisco Releases #BoobProject Song. In connection with its multi-pronged, yearlong breast cancer charity initiative dubbed #BoobProject, Cumulus Media classic rock KFOG is releasing an all-star breast cancer benefit song and video that includes such artists as Hozier, Florence + The Machine, Vance Joy, Michael Franti, Spandau Ballet, Matt Nathanson, Elle King, Grace Potter, ZZ Ward, Graham Nash and members of the Grateful Dead. The song was written by the son of KFOG morning personality Mike “No Name” Nelson in tribute to his mother Christi’s breast cancer diagnosis. Archer Nelson told his dad he couldn’t get the song out of his head, and when Mike Nelson related the song to his morning show castmates, they decided to ask all the musicians who visited the station in 2015 to help make the song a reality. KFOG says, “The result is a sweet and endearing tune, and the accompanying video uses footage of the artists performing the song intertwined with women in various stages of treatment for breast cancer. The song and video are heartfelt and sobering, but ultimately uplifting.” Check it out here.
Alpha Media Airs Public Service Campaign for South Carolina. Radio’s Alpha Media has engaged a public service campaign to assist the American Red Cross in its work helping those affected by the flooding in South Carolina. The company is airing PSAs, promos and social media posts in all 35 Alpha markets. Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “All of us here at Alpha Media are in shock and devastated by the loss our fellow Alpha family members are experiencing. Words cannot begin to describe what they are going through, it’s unbelievable. We are appreciative of the Red Cross and what they are doing and want to continue to ask everyone to help out any way they can; by texting REDCROSS to 90999 or by helping run PSAs to support the efforts of the Red Cross.”
BMI Foundation Announces Scholarship Competition. A new scholarship competition is now open to radio broadcasting students nationwide as the BMI Foundation announces the establishment of the BMI Founders Award. Broadcast Music, Inc. is funding the scholarship “for the purpose of cultivating future innovators of broadcast radio.” A $5,000 scholarship will be awarded for the best original essay response entry. Aspiring radio newscasters, announcers, sales executives, program directors, etc. are encouraged to apply. BMI Foundation president Deirdre Chadwick says, “Broadcast Music, Inc. was founded by a group of radio industry leaders in 1939 as the only American performing rights organization to welcome and represent creators of all genres of music. The BMI Founders Award honors the architects of this groundbreaking mission, while identifying and supporting future trailblazers of radio broadcasting.” Competition entrants must be current students at accredited U.S. colleges or universities, between the ages of 17 and 24, and degree candidates in Broadcast Communications or related majors. Applicants will be evaluated based on their essay response, letter of recommendation, and academic record. Online applications open October 1, 2015 and must be completed no later than February 15, 2016. For more information, please visit www.bmifoundation.org/broadcast.
Wheatstone Brings VoxPro into Family with Audion Labs Acquisition. Digital audio editor VoxPro is now part of the Wheatstone family of radio products as the company acquires VoxPro producer Audion Labs. Audion will remain a separate brand under the Wheatstone banner. Wheatstone CEO Gary Snow states, “This is a terrific little company that, with one product, has made a big difference in the day-to-day operations of most radio stations.”
September PPM Data and RadioInfo‘s ‘Twelve Takeaways.’ Rather than distributing ratings information for 12-PPM markets apiece over a four-day period as it generally does, Nielsen Audio doubled up its September 2015 schedule. It released data from 23 markets this past Tuesday (Tampa is being delayed) and 24 markets the following day (Wednesday, 9/30). See all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here. Simultaneous with that, RadioInfo enthusiastically unveils an augmented modification of our already powerful ratings coverage as managing editor Mike Kinosian expands his “Top Ten Takeaways” to encompass all markets every month. In this fourth and final “Twelve Takeaways” overview of September 2015 results, we focus on noteworthy happenings in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. The September 2015 survey period covered August 13 – September 9.
1) Milwaukee – You don’t often see a market dominant station suddenly change its logo and on-air moniker but that is just what iHeartMedia‘s WRIT has done, dropping “Oldies 95.7” in favor of “95.7 Big FM Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits.” Not only does “Big FM” rank first for the fourth straight sweep, it racks up its seventh successive positive trend (6.2 – 7.0 – 7.8 – 9.5 – 10.1 – 10.2 – 10.5 – 11.2, 6+). All this as the classic hits-oldies station continues getting closer to its recent best, a 12.2 in the “Holiday” 2014 report, when WRIT played all-Christmas music. Since February, “Big” has improved by exactly five full-shares. Following four straight downward trends for a cumulative -3.7 or roughly a loss of 37% (10.1 – 8.4 – 8.0 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+), Scripps talker/Milwaukee Brewers flagship WTMJ picks up three-tenths (to 6.7), jumping from fifth to a tie at #2. Up or flat the past six sweeps (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WKKV “V-100.7 Jams” decreases by seven-tenths to 5.4, but remains at #7. The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 – The Mix,” which was -.9 in July; +.8 in August; and now -.7 in September (6.7 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.9, 6+); “Mix” slips from fourth to sixth. Both FM country outlets keep their August rankers in a basically flat month: Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” adds one-tenth to 3.4 (#12), while iHeartMedia’s WMIL “Milwaukee’s Best Country” (#2) is down or flat for the seventh consecutive sweep for a net loss of four full-shares (10.7 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 9.5 – 8.4 – 6.8 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+).
2) Indianapolis – After seven straight decreases for a cumulative loss of 3.7 shares and approximately -48% (7.7 – 7.2 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRWM “93.9 The Beat” dials up a +.6 to 4.6 and re-enters the top ten (#12 to #9). In advance of a -.2 in July, WZPL “Indy’s Hit Music Station” gained a combined +2.3 by being up or steady in eight of the previous nine ratings periods (5.3 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 7.6, 6+). The Entercom CHR follows up August’s strong +1.1 with a +.2 (to 8.7) and repeats at #1. Displaced by WZPL at the top spot in August, Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7” falters by six-tenths in September (8.3 – 7.9 – 7.3, 6+), sliding from second to third. Up six-tenths in August and seven-tenths in July, iHeartMedia‘s WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” forfeits that combined total (plus two-tenths) to move from fourth to fifth (5.8 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 5.6, 6+). Prior to July’s +.7, WFBQ had been down or flat in the preceding three sweeps (6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+).
3) Middlesex – Notwithstanding that it registers a gain of six-tenths (6.1 – 6.7, 6+), CBS Radio New York City classic hits-oldies outlet WCBS-FM is evicted from the penthouse after three straight months. “New York’s Greatest Hits” swaps places with Townsquare Media talker WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which explodes by +1.5 (6.0 – 7.5, 6+). This is the strongest 6+-share since March (7.7) for “New Jersey 101.5,” which had been down or flat the past three sweeps (6.8 – 6.3 – 6.3 – 6.0, 6+). By gaining nine-tenths, Greater Media adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” erases the majority of August’s -1.1 (4.7 – 3.6 – 4.5, 6+), thus returning to seventh from tenth. Owing to its September -1.1 (4.0 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media New York City country outlet WNSH “Nash FM” has its lowest 6+-performance since March (2.8) and plummets from #8 to #13. Frozen on 2.2 (6+) in July and August, co-owned talker WABC skids by nine-tenths to 1.3, dropping from #19 to #23. Down or flat the fourth successive sweep for a combined -1.2 (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 2.5, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” spirals from #11 to #18.
4) Providence – Albeit off by (a scant) one-tenth (9.0 – 8.9, 6+), Hall Communications country property WCTK “98.1 Cat Country” ranks first for the fifth consecutive ratings period. Owing to a robust gain of eight-tenths (to 7.7), Cumulus Media CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” applies the brakes to seven straight down or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -3.5 (10.4 – 9.8 – 9.3 – 8.5 – 8.3 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). “Today’s Hit Music” jumps from sixth to a tie for second-place with iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101,” which drops three-tenths – thus curtailing six successive progressive or flat monthlies for a combined +3.3 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.9 – 6.5 – 7.2 – 8.0 – 8.0, 6+). Following an August improvement of seven-tenths, “B-101” hot AC cluster-mate WSNE “Coast 93.3” returns six-tenths (6.3 – 7.0 – 6.4, 6+) of it to slide from fifth to sixth. Even though it still operates under a one-share, talk sibling WHJJ has not had a negative trend in the past six sweeps (.5 – .5 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .8, 6+). For the fifth consecutive time, Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI (third to fifth) is in negative territory (10.4 – 9.2 – 8.4 – 7.3 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+) and “Lite Rock 105” is -3.5 in that stretch.
5) Raleigh – Fueled by a full-share gain in August enabling it to proceed from second to first, Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” regresses by seven-tenths (7.8 – 8.8 – 8.1, 6+) and returns to the runner-up slot. It swaps places with Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country” (8.5, 9.2, +.7+), which had been #1 the previous six sweeps. Prior to August, the last time “Mix” was in the driver’s seat was “Holiday” 2014 (14.0); this is the fifth time in the last six ratings periods that “Mix” has finished second. In addition to “Today’s Best Country,” Radio One gospel WNNL “The Light 103.9” advances by seven-tenths to 4.8 (6+), but remains at #9; “The Light” had been stuck on 4.1 in July and August. Gaining by six-tenths each are co-owned urban contemporary WQOK “K-97.5” (5.8, eighth to sixth, 6+); and iHeartMedia cluster-mates WRDU “Classic Rock 100.7” (seventh to fifth); and talker WTKK (3.9, #12 to #10). Over and above its +.6, “Classic Rock 100.7” registers its eighth straight up or flat trend (3.6 – 4.6 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.5, 6+), ballooning by nearly three full-shares in that span. After faltering by one-half share in August, public WUNC declines by another nine-tenths (7.0 – 6.5 – 5.6, 6+), slumping from fourth to seventh. Three straight upticks by WBBB “Radio 96.1” in May, June, and July accounted for a combined +1.9 (5.2 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+), but the Curtis Media Group adult hits outlet follows a -1.0 in August with a -.6 (6.1 – 5.5, 6+) to stumble from sixth to eighth.
6) Norfolk – Energized by a lofty +1.5, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE “2WD” (fifth to fourth) logs its strongest 6+-share (6.6) since “Holiday” 2014 (9.2), when it played all-Christmas music. Even though it is down in back-to-back sweeps (11.8 – 11.2 – 11.0, 6+), urban AC cluster-mate WVKL is #1 for an amazing 39th straight time and is in double-digits for the 21st consecutive survey. For the ninth consecutive sweep, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI “Jamz” (10.0 – 10.4, +.4, 6+) ranks second. The 2.5-share advantage Max Broadcast Group CHR WVHT “Hot 100.5” enjoyed over iHeartMedia‘s similarly-formatted WNOH “Now 105” is cut to eight-tenths as “Hot” (seventh to ninth) drops -1.2 (4.8 – 3.6, 6+), while “Now” (#13 to #11) gains one-half share (2.3 – 2.8, 6+). Having put together three successive positive trends (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), “Hot 100.5” gospel sibling WGH-AM “Star 1310” regresses by six-tenths to 1.7 (#13 to #15).
7) Nashville – Casting aside four successive downtrends (5.6 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), WGFX “The Zone” scores a +1.2 (to 5.4) as the Cumulus Media sports outlet climbs from ninth to sixth. When Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA registered a +.6 in August bringing it to an even 10.0 (6+), “Mix 92.9” ended four straight negative territory monthlies totaling a combined -2.5 (11.9 – 11.6 – 11.0 – 9.6 – 9.4, 6+). Now, “Mix” adds another six-tenths and is #1 for the 42nd successive monthly and in double-digits (6+) for the eighth time in the past ten sweeps. Back in July, an impressive +1.1 enabled iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT to cruise from fourth to second. In back-to-back sweeps though, it is off by six-tenths (8.4 – 7.8 – 7.2, 6+), with “The Beat” shifting from third (in August) to fifth. Underscoring just how bunched together all three Nashville FM country outlets are is the fact that they hold the market’s #8, #9, and #10 positions; each, however, is down from August. It is the third straight dip for iHeartMedia’s WSIX-FM “The Big 98” (5.6 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.0), which slides from seventh to eighth. Off by one-half share (4.7 – 4.2, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WKDF “Nash FM” drops one ranker as well (#8 to #9). Co-owned WSM-FM has its third successive negative or flat trend (4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+) – but “Nash Icon” holds steady at #10. After the dust clears, the combined (6+) share for these three country facilities decreases from 14.1 (in July and August) to 13.1.
8) Greensboro – Big news here is the mammoth +1.6 registered by Dick Broadcasting‘s WKZL taking “The #1 Hit Music Station” from eighth to fifth and giving it the highest 6+-share (7.0) in its PPM-history. Having dropped nine-tenths in July, WKZL regained one-half share in August. More yoyo numbers for iHeartMedia CHR WMKS “Kiss-FM,” which had a robust +1.0 in June; declined by -1.1 in July; racked up +1.4 in August; and now declines by seven-tenths (5.6 – 6.6 – 5.5 – 6.9 – 6.2, 6+). “Kiss” occupied the #9 slot for 22 successive sweeps, before progressing to #8 in February; #7 in March; back in its familiar #9 spot in April; tied at #8 in May; sixth in June; eighth in July; fifth in August; and now seventh in September. After eroding by -1.3 to 8.4, its lowest 6+-share in more than four years, Entercom urban AC WQMG is up by one-tenth (to 8.5) and “The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the sixth consecutive sweep. In July, the one-tenth WQMG gained (to 9.7), curtailed four successive downward trends (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.8 – 9.7 – 9.6, 6+). Steady at #3, adult hits sibling WSMW “Simon” regains the three-tenths it lost in August, thus halting five successive downturns that produced a cumulative -3.3 (10.5- 9.3 – 9.0 – 8.1 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+). Prior to July, “Simon” had not fallen below an eight-share (6+) since June 2014 (7.7). Following back-to-back modest increases (5.9 – 6.2 – 6.4, 6+), co-owned country WPAW “The Wolf” regresses by -1.2, backtracking from fifth to eighth; 5.2 is the lowest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since March (5.1). The one-tenth advantage public WFDD had over iHeartMedia talker WPTI vanishes, as WPTI gains seven-tenths to 3.3 (#12 to #11), while WFDD drops six-tenths to 2.1 (#11 to #12). Wake Forest University-owned WFDD had been up or flat the previous six sweeps (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+).
9) West Palm Beach – Putting an end to three successive ratings periods in which it was down or flat (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia talker WZZR “Real Radio 94.3” gains six-tenths (to 2.9) and holds down the #9 spot for the 11th straight sweep. Conversely, adult contemporary sibling WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” – up or flat the past three monthlies (6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 7.4, 6+) – falters by seven-tenths to 6.7; “Kool” is #2 for the third consecutive time. Stalled at a one-share (6+) in June, July, and August, Moody Bible Institute‘s WRMB (steady at #13) gains two tenths, posting its fifth consecutive monthly without a decline (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+). On top of the West Palm Beach ratings battle for the 13th successive sweep, Digity Media hot AC WRMF (+1.2 in August) maintains its 11.3, the highest 6+-share by any West Palm Beach station in the PPM-era. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, iHeartMedia’s WBZT “1230 The Talk Station” (repeating at #14) notches a .1 – just as it has in eight of the last nine ratings periods, including the past seven. Steady at #11, co-owned talker WJNO is down or flat for the fourth straight time (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.3, 6+).
10) Jacksonville – On the heels of a +.8 in August, Cox Media Group talker WOKV (#4 for the third straight time) adds one-half share to 8.0, its highest 6+-share since November 2013, when it reached 9.9. By gaining three-tenths (to 4.2), co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WHJX “V-101.5 Throwback Hip-Hop and R&B” curtails three straight negative sweeps that resulted in a combined -.1.1 (5.0 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+); “V-101.5” moves from #12 to a three-way logjam at #11. Powered by a gain of eight-tenths (3.4 – 4.2, 6+), public WJCT reaches the four-share level for the first time since February 2011 (4.0) to advance from #13 to that very same three-way tie at #11. After flaunting a +1.3 in August, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ sputters by seven-tenths, but “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety” remains #1 for the 16th consecutive ratings period and is in double-digits for the tenth straight time (10.6 – 11.9 – 11.2, 6+). Co-owned WGNE improved by four-tenths in August – following three successive negative trends (7.0 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 5.0, 6+) – but now drops six-tenths (5.0 – 5.4 – 4.8, 6+); “Gator Country” returns to eighth from sixth. Faltering by seven-tenths each are iHeartMedia urban contemporary and CHR cluster-mates WJBT “93.3 The Beat” (5.0 – 4.3, eighth to ninth, 6+) and WKSL “Kiss FM” (4.9 – 4.2, tenth to eleventh, 6+).
11) Memphis – A lofty gain of nine-tenths (6.0 – 6.9, 6+) propels Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “Continuous Soft Rock The River” from sixth to fourth. Following four successive upticks (1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+), co-owned country WLFP “The Wolf” dropped one-tenth in August, but “The Wolf” roars back with a +.6 to 3.1 (6+), progressing from #15 to a tie at #11. Likewise making a +.6 improvement (to 8.5) is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK, which pulls the plug on four successive down or flat trends (9.0 – 8.6 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 7.9, 6+). This is the seventh straight time that “K-97.1” finishes at #2. Meanwhile, urban AC sibling KJMS “V-101” dusts itself off from August’s -1.5 by adding three-tenths (10.4 – 8.9 – 9.2, 6+) and is #1 for the ninth straight sweep. Having had (modest) back-to-back dips (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), Flinn Broadcasting rhythmic CHR KXHT “Hot 107.1” (ninth to seventh) registers a +.7 to 5.0, its best (6+) showing since last December (5.3). Locked on 6.9 (6+) in July and August, Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO posts a one-half share gain to 7.4, as “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” climbs from fifth to third. A loss of 1.2 to 6.6 by iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WDIA “1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” (third to fifth) follows three consecutive hefty increases (5.2 – 6.1 – 6.8 – 7.8, 6+). Gospel sibling WHAL “Halleluiah” gained seven-tenths in June; forfeited all of that increase in July; rebounded with a +1.1 in August; but now relinquishes nine-tenths (6.4 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 7.5 – 6.6, 6+) to move from fourth to a fifth-place tie with WDIA. After back-to-back increases producing a combined +1.2 (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.7, 6+), talk sibling WREC (#10 to #11) regresses by six-tenths to 3.1. In late-February, Cumulus Media transitioned talk WKIM to “The Vibe Classic Hip-Hop” and saw no dramatic (6+) movement in March (1.6), April (1.7), May (1.6), June (2.0), or July (1.8). “The Vibe” erupted with a +1.2 (to 3.0) in August, but sputters by seven-tenths to 2.3 in September, drifting from #11 to #15.
12) Hartford – Registering an extremely rare August – September (2015) gain in excess of two full-shares is CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH (8.7 – 10.8, +2.1, 6+). “Lite 100.5” is Hartford’s market leader for the eleventh time in the last twelve sweeps – including the past three. While it is the first time “Lite” has achieved double-digits (6+) since March (10.2), 10.8 is its best 6+-showing since “Holiday” 2014 (15.2). Despite improving by a lofty +1.3 (4.8 – 6.1, 6+) co-owned talker WTIC-AM remains at #8. Rhythmic CHR sibling WZMX “Hot 93.7” tacks on six-tenths to the half-share it gained in August (6.1 – 6.6 – 7.2, 6+) to inch up from fifth to third. In back-to-back sweeps, Connoisseur Media classic rocker WDRC has produced a combined +1.4 (5.3 – 6.2 – 6.7, 6+) as “The Whale” advances from seventh to fifth. Within the iHeartMedia cluster, classic hits-oldies WHCN “The River 105.9” recedes by eight-tenths (7.8 – 7.0, second to fourth, 6+), while CHR WKSS “Kiss 95.7” drops six-tenths (6.9 – 6.3, 6+) falling from fourth to seventh.
Beasley Addresses Bubba the Love Sponge’s Guilt in Ratings Tampering Matter. A press release from Beasley Media Group reports that Nielsen Audio determined that Bubba the Love Sponge (a.k.a. Todd Clem) – who provides his show to the company’s WBRN, Tampa as a program supplier – was contacted by a Tampa market PPM panelist and that he “attempted to influence the listening habits of the PPM holder.” A statement from Beasley Media Group president Bruce Beasley indicates the Beasley and Bubba will continue to do business, but is vague about action to be taken against Bubba. “Beasley strongly condemns the actions of Mr. Clem, who has provided syndicated programming to radio broadcasters for many years and is not a company employee. We are taking appropriate steps to ensure that such conduct does not occur in the future. These steps include, but are not limited to, compliance training for Mr. Clem and his employees and the distribution of guidelines reiterating the importance of avoiding conduct that could cause ratings distortion, to all Beasley employees.” WBRN will have to do without the September PPM figures because, while Nielsen confirms Bubba’s conduct “has no impact on the Tampa Bay radio market ratings because the improper activity was discovered in a timely manner and it [Nielsen] moved quickly to remove the PPM holder’s results from the survey,” the station will not be included in the September 2015 Tampa ratings report.
Entercom Debuts New AM Show on Urban Contemporary KBLX, San Francisco. The Entercom-owned station will drop the Steve Harvey syndicated morning show and launch a new morning drive program on Monday, October 12 featuring Bay Area comedian and entertainer Mark Curry with KBLX personalities Victor “Big Daddy” Zaragoza and Kimmie Taylor. Program director Stacy Cunningham states, “The KBLX audience has been asking for a live and local morning show and we’re giving them exactly that. I’m so excited to have such great talent on the KBLX airwaves, and it’s an honor and privilege to put together a local morning show that will not only be engaging and entertaining, but will also be an integral part of our listeners’ daily lives.” Curry is a nationally known comic whose television work has included a starring role on the ABC sitcom “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” and serving as a host of the syndicated series, “It’s Showtime at the Apollo.”
iHeartMedia Re-Ups with Power 105’s Charlamagne Tha God. Morning drive personality Charlamagne Tha God (left) signs an extension with iHeartMedia to continue hosting WWPR, New York’s “The Breakfast Club” with co-hosts Angela Yee (center) and DJ Envy (right). The hip hop morning show will celebrate its 5th anniversary this December and iHeartMedia SVP of programming Thea Mitchem states, “Charlamagne is a unique and authentic talent whose honest and straightforward style on ‘The Breakfast Club’ helps drive and shape not just hip hop culture but pop culture. ‘The Breakfast Club’ team’s incredible connection with both artists and listeners, plus the unrivaled artist and celebrity interviews, entertainment news and fresh music mixes make it the most informative and entertaining urban morning show in the country.” The program is simulcast on REVOLT TV.
RadioInfo Career Moves. At the Entercom Milwaukee cluster, a morning drive talent shuffle moves personality Wes McKane from CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM” to hot AC WMYX “The Mix” alongside Elizabeth Kay for the “Wes & Elizabeth” morning show. The WXSS morning show gives The Judge a permanent role on the program now called, “Riggs, Alley and The Judge.”…..Programmer Johnathan “JR” Reed moves from iHeartMedia’s Austin, Texas cluster where he programmed CHR KHFI and hip hop KPEZ to the company’s Savannah, Georgia station group to take the programming seat at WAEV “97.3 Kiss FM.”
‘Z89’ Reunion in Atlanta. A number of broadcasters who attended Syracuse University and worked at the school’s FM station – WJPZ, Syracuse – got together for a photo while attending the NAB Radio Show last week. Pictured here (from l-r) are: Danno Wolkoff, Envision Networks; Steven Krainin, president and general manager, WJPZ-FM, Syracuse; Tony Renda, general manager, Renda Broadcasting and president, MaxiRate; and Rocco Macri, CEO, PromoSuite.