General Music Radio Industry News

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

| August 4, 2015

PPM MonitorRound One of July 2015 PPM Data Released.  Ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s July 2015 PPM survey has been released for the first group of 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The July survey period covered June 18 – July 15.  See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Below, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways.”

TEN TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – After three straight down or flat sweeps (3.0 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.4, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WWFS “Fresh Music – Better WWFSVariety” explodes with a +1.1 to 3.5, vaulting from a tie at #14 to #10. The 3.5 represents the highest 6+-share for “Fresh” since April 2014 (also 3.5). Steady at #2 for the ninth consecutive time, co-owned classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM registers a one-tenth uptick to extend its progressive trend to three (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.6 – 6.7, 6+). Faltering by three-tenths each are all-newsWBLS siblings WINS (3.7 – 3.4, #10 to #11, 6+) and WCBS-AM (3.1 – 2.8, #13 to #14). Registering its most potent 6+-stat since December 2013 – when it reached 6.8 – WBLS finishes third for the third straight time; the Emmis urban AC had been locked on 6.0 in May and June. Although down for the third successive month (7.9 – 7.6 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” is nonetheless #1 for the ninth straight ratings period. This is the lowest that “Lite-FM” has been though since last November’s 5.6 (6+).

2) Los Angeles – You might not think of adult contemporary as a leading summertime format, yet it holds the top spot in the KOSTnation’s two largest markets in July (see WLTW above) as iHeartMedia‘s KOST “Coast 103.5″ (5.1 – 5.5, +.4) ascends from a second-place tie to dislodge CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101″ (5.2 – 5.0, -.2, #3) from #1. “K-Earth” had sole possession of first-place in June and shared the penthouse with “Coast 103.5″ hot AC sibling KBIG “My-FM”KSWD in May. An impressive +.6 by “Coast” in June halted five straight down sweeps that had resulted in a combined -7.7 and a more than 60% loss (12.2 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.5, 6+). The last time “Coast” reached #1 (6+) was in February when it tied CHR cluster-mate KIIS “Kiss-FM.” Slipping from fifth to sixth, “K-Earth 101″ smooth AC sibling KTWV “The Wave” regresses by one-half share (4.2 – 3.7, 6+). It is the second straight downward move for “The Wave” after a string of four straight progressive trends (2.3 – 2.6 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+) that almost doubled its 6+-stats. Three straight 3.9 showings (March – April – May, 6+) by KSWD “The Sound” led to a 3.7 in June; now, “The Sound” (Bonneville to Entercom) adds one-tenth to 3.8 to re-enter the top five (sixth to fifth). As CBS Radio alternative KROQ dips by one-tenth (2.7 – 2.6, 6+), its format rival – iHeartMedia’s KYSR – adds one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4); KROQ moves from a four-way tie at #15 to #16, while KYSR inches up from a tie at #20 to a tie at #19. This is the sixth straight sweep that iHeartMedia talker KFI (steady at #8) has registered a 3.5 or 3.4 (3.4 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+).

3) Chicago – A symbol of consistency the past five sweeps (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+), WXRT “93 XRT” dials up a +.6 to 3.6, WXRTrocketing the CBS Radio triple A from #13 to #8; 3.6 is the station’s strongest 6+-stat in nearly two years (3.7 in November 2013). After faltering by one-half share in June, iHeartMedia‘s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s Hit Country” regains all of it (2.4 – 1.9 – 2.4, 6+) and reappears in the top 20 (#22 to #17). It’s a somewhat similar story for its format foe, CBS Radio’s WUSN “US-99.5,” which gains back two-tenths of the three-WRMEtenths it lost in June (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.9, 6+); “US-99.5″ remains at #15. Improving by one full-share in June (3.3 – 4.3, 6+), Tribune talker WGN relinquishes six-tenths to 3.7 (6+) as it sputters from fourth to seventh. Remaining steady in third-place, CBS Radio’s news/Chicago Cubs flagship WBBM-AM is up one-tenth to 4.7, thus applying the brakes to four straight downward trends (7.4 – 6.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.6, 6+), which had resulted in a cumulative -3.1. Prior to June’s 4.6, WBBM-AM had not fallen below a 5.0-share (6+) in nearly two years (4.9, August 2013). Down or flat the past five ratings periods (3.4 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), co-owned WSCR “The Score” picks up two-tenths to 2.1 and the Chicago White Sox flagship moves from a three-way tie at #22 to a tie at #21. Low power (at 87.7) adult contemporary WRME “Me TV Me Music” enjoys its fifth successive up-trend (.1 – .6 – .7 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and climbs from #25 to #24. Following three consecutive modest up-trends (6.2 – 6.3 – 6.5 – 6.9, February – March – April, 6+), WVAZ “V-103″ is now down for the third straight sweep (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+) for a combined -1.1; nevertheless, the iHeartMedia urban AC remains #1 for the fifth consecutive month.

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4) San Francisco – Not only does KNBR “The Sports Leader” suffer the sharpest (6+) June – July erosion of any station in the KOIT-FM12 PPM markets whose data was released on Monday (6.2 – 4.4, -1.8), the Cumulus Media outlet/San Francisco Giants flagship tumbles from first to fourth. “The Sports Leader” was +1.1 in June. Albeit down or flat for the third straight month (6.3 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+), all-news KCBS-AM rises from second to displace KNBR at the top spot. Before KNBR took over the penthouse in June, KCBS-AM had been #1 the previous six ratings periods.KRBQ Steady at 4.8 (6+) in April and May, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” faltered by one-half share in June, but explodes by +1.2 to 5.5 (6+), sailing from sixth to second, four-tenths behind KCBS-AM. Contrasted to the -1.8 by KNBR, the +1.2 by KOIT-FM is the loftiest gain of any station in the 12-PPM markets whose data was released on Monday. KOIT-FM’s rhythmic hot AC sibling KRBQ continues to roll as “Q-102.1 – The Throwback Station” is up or flat for the eighth straight monthly (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). In that period, “Q102.1″ (#11 to #10) has nearly tripled its 6+-share. Increasing by one-half share each are iHeartMedia hot AC and classic hits-oldies siblings KIOI “Star 101.3″ (4.4 – 4.9, steady at #3, 6+) and KOSF “Big 103.7″ (2.1 – 2.6, #15 to #14). After three straight progressive monthlies (1.7 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+), “Big 103.7″ stumbled by seven-tenths in April to 2.2; regained one-half share to 3.4 in May; and regressed by six-tenths in June. Down or flat the past five ratings periods (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+), Cumulus Media talker KGO adds one-tenth to 1.3 and inches up from #26 to #25. Registering a 2.7 in three of the last four sweeps (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) University of Southern California-owned classical KDFC sputters by one-half share to 2.2, slipping from #13 to #15.

5) Dallas – On the heels of June’s one-half share gain, Univision regional Mexican outlet KLNO “La Que Buena” tacks on another six-tenths (3.7 – KLNO4.3) to inch up from seventh to sixth. It has been nearly two years since KLNO last reached a four-share (4.1 in August 2013). Mixed results for Cumulus Media‘s country combo, with KPLX “The Wolf” progressing by one-half share (4.6 – 5.1, 6+) and KSCS “New Country 96.3″ regressing by four-tenths (3.6 – 3.2, 6+); “The Wolf” moves up from a third-place tie to second, but “New Country” falls from ninth to tenth. Co-owned talker WBAPKPLX (steady at #16) is either up or flat for the seventh consecutive sweep (1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+). Owing to a +.1, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB “Smooth R&B 105.7″ (3.2, #11 to a three-way tie at #10) curtails four straight negative trends (4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.1, 6+). Also ending four consecutive (flat or) downward trends are iHeartMedia‘s KEGL “The Eagle Rocks” (2.8, +.2, steady at #14) and Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies KSOC “Boom 94.5″ (2.2, +.1, steady at #19). Prior to their July increases, “The Eagle” was (3.4 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+) and “Boom” was (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1, 6+). While CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (#17 to #13) enjoys its fifth straight progressive or flat trend in a stretch where it has more than doubled its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.4 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.9, 6+), co-owned news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM declines by six-tenths (2.3 – 1.7), spiraling from #18 to #24. Their hot AC cluster-mate KVIL is up or flat for the fifth consecutive time (2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), but slips from a seventh-place tie to an eighth-place tie. After four downward trends in a row (5.6 – 5.1 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+), Salem contemporary Christian KLTY “Safe for the Whole Family” managed a +.2 in June, but it falters by six-tenths in July to 3.8, tumbling from fifth to seventh. This is the lowest 6+-showing for KLTY in exactly one year (3.5 in July 2014). Similarly-formatted KCBI “Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” gains four-tenths to 2.4 as the First Dallas Media outlet climbs from #20 to #17. Even though it follows up June’s six-tenths decline with a -.3 (7.8 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “Kiss-FM” is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period.

6) Philadelphia – Notwithstanding that it slips by two-tenths (6.9 – 6.7, 6+), CBS Radio‘s WOGL “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” WOGLovertakes Jerry Lee Radio-owned adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” at #1 for the second time in three months. In June, “More FM” came roaring back from May’s second-place showing with a robust +1.4 (5.8 – 7.2) to regain the top spot; however, WBEB sputters by nine-tenths in July (7.2 – 6.3, 6+) to fall back to #2. Prior to being displaced at #1 in May by WOGL, “More FM” was #1 the previous eight sweeps. Its +1.4 in June halted five successive negative monthly reports that produced a combined -9.3 (15.1 – 7.3 – 6.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 5.8, 6+). Meanwhile, the -.2 byWIP “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” brings to an end four straight positive trends (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). Speaking of streaks, the three consecutive progressive trends for WOGL’s CHR sibling WZMP is over as “Amp Radio” drops one-tenth to 3.5 and slides from #11 to #12; “Amp” had trended (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+). Owing to a +.3 though, co-owned sports outlet WIP-FM ends three straight negative monthlies (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.5, 6+) which produced a cumulative -1.5; WIP advances from #12 to #10. Still in that CBS Radio cluster, all-news KYW improves by one-half share (4.9 – 5.4, 6+) to inch up from seventh to sixth. The slide continues for Radio One urban-rhythmic oldies WPHI “Boom 107.9″ (#18 to #19). After doubling its share (1.9 – 3.8, November – December), it is trending 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+).

7) Atlanta – For the last 19 ratings periods, Cumulus Media-owned country WKHX has remained in the 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+), WKHXbut “Kicks 101.5″ busts out with a +.9 to 4.7 as it cracks the top ten (#11 to #8). Moreover, it is the fifth straight up-trend for “Kicks” (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.7, 6+) and the first time it has crossed the four-share barrier (6+) since “Holiday” 2013 (4.5). After declining by one-half share in June, Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM recoups all of it (7.3 – 6.8 – 7.3) to progress from third to second. Remaining steady atWSTR #5, adult contemporary sibling WSB-FM “B-98.5″ sputters for the fourth consecutive sweep (6.5 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+) for a combined -1.3. Following four successive up or flat performances (5.4 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 7.1, 6+), co-owned urban AC WALR “Kiss 104″ drops three-tenths to 6.8 and moves from second to third. A loss of six-tenths in June concluded the string of three positive trends for WFSH “The Fish” (4.6 – 5.6 – 6.2 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+). The Salem contemporary Christian facility suffers an even greater decline in July though dropping one full-share to 4.9 as it stumbles from fourth to seventh. This is the 25th straight survey period that (Lincoln Financial Media to Entercom) hot AC WSTR “Star 94″ (#11 to #12) has been in the 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+). “Star” is up or flat for the fourth successive time (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia CHR WWPW “Power 96.1″ (5.2 – 4.6, seventh to ninth) and Radio One gospel WPZE “Praise 102.5″ (4.3 – 3.7, #9 to #13). Despite the fact that its string of successive gains ends at three (7.8 – 8.5 – 9.0 – 9.2, 6+), CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103″ (8.9, -.3) is the market pacesetter for the sixth consecutive sweep. Off the past five ratings periods (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 1.8 – 1.3, 6+) for a combined -1.7, co-owned WZGC “The Game” picks up three-tenths to 1.6 to advance from #20 to a tie at #18.

8) Long Island – One-half share separates the top four stations and that includes a first-place tie between two CHRs – WHTZiHeartMedia‘s WHTZ “Z-100″ (6.1 – 5.6, -.5, #1 in June as well) and Cox Media Group‘s WBLI (4.8 – 5.6, +.8, #4 in June to #1). It is the third straight month at #1 for “Z-100,” which had its string of up or flat monthlies snapped at five in June (5.5 – 5.6 – 5.9 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1, 6+). Albeit flat, co-owned talker WOR extends its streak of up or flat sweeps to seven (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.5, 6+); the New York Mets flagship though slips from #16 to a tie at #17. Off by eight-tenths (4.4 – 3.6, 6+) and falling from sixth toWBLI ninth is classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3.” Before declining by four-tenths in June, “Q-104.3″ had not notched a negative trend in five straight Long Island monthlies (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.8, 6+) for a combined +1.8. Rarely does a “stream” achieve at least a one-share in a PPM market, but Fordham University triple A WFUV does so with a 1.1 to debut at a three-way tie at #26. Up or flat the past six ratings periods for a cumulative +1.2 (2.6 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), Cox Media Group classic rocker WBAB drops by one tenth to 3.7 yet advances from tenth to eighth. On the heels of June’s -.5, CBS Radio‘s WFAN “The Fan” sputters by another nine-tenths (5.5 – 5.0 – 4.1, 6+) to spiral from second to sixth. After registering four straight up or flat monthlies and doubling its 6+-share in that period (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 2.2, 6+), Cumulus Media‘s WNSH “Nash-FM” drops three-tenths to 1.9 (#20 to #23).

9) San Jose – The fourth consecutive up or flat trend for Univision Spanish adult hits KBRG is a full-share gain (5.2 – 5.3 KBRG– 5.3 – 5.4 – 6.4, 6+) as “Mas Variedad 100.3″ inches up from third to second. After being down in back-to-back sweeps (7.2 – 6.6 – 6.5, 6+), Digity Media adult contemporary KBAY bounces back with a +.8 to 7.2 and is #1 for the ninth straight month. In addition to the +.8 by KBAY, adult contemporary adds another half-share in the market as Entercom‘s KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” improves 3.2 – 3.7 (6+) to progress from #11 to #8. HavingKBAY registered an impressive +1.4 in June, Cumulus Media‘s KNBR “The Sports Leader” coughs all of it up and one-tenth more (5.0 – 6.4 – 4.9, -1.5, 6+) to slide from second to third. Prior to July’s -1.5, San Francisco Giants’ flagship KNBR notched four successive positive trends in the San Jose report (2.7 – 3.5 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 6.4, 6+). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXZM regresses by six tenths (2.4 – 1.8, 6+), while Digity Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.5″ declines by one-half share but is steady at #5. It is the fourth straight time, however, that “Mix” has been down or flat (6.0 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.5) for a combined -1.5 (6+). With a +.2 to 1.8, co-owned classic rocker KSAN “The Bone” (#24 to a three-way tie at #22) applies the brakes to four successive negative sweeps (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+).

10) Middlesex – In addition to registering its third successive progressive trend (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.4 – 6.5, 6+), New York City classic WCBS-FMhits-oldies WCBS-FM repeats at #1. While it doesn’t equal the June – July +1.1 that it posted in the New York City report, CBS Radio hot AC sibling WWFS “Fresh Music – Better Variety” notches a +.6 (2.7 – 3.3, 6+) to progress from #17 to #12 in this New Jersey market. Before July’s +.6 in Middlesex-Somerset-Union, “Fresh” had four straight downward trends (3.7 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+). Remaining steady at #18, iHeartMedia talker/New York Mets flagship WOR improves by one-halfWMGQ share (1.9 – 2.4, 6+). The adult contemporary race tightens as WOR’s New York City sibling WLTW “Lite-FM” drops by -1.1 (third to sixth, 6+), while Greater Media‘s WMGQ “Magic 98.3″ picks ups three-tenths (4.4 – 4.7, eighth to seventh). This is the fourth consecutive downward trend in this market for “Lite-FM” (7.0    6.7       6.3       5.9 – 4.8, 6+) for a combined -2.2. Following three straight 5.5 showings (6+) in April, May, and June, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100″ declines by six-tenths to 4.9 yet actually climbs from #4 to a three-way tie at #3. Over the past six sweeps, WNSH “Nash-FM” has gained two full-shares by recording up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 3.6 – 4.0 – 4.2, 6+), but the streak concludes for the Cumulus Media country outlet, which drops one-half share to 3.7; nonetheless “Nash-FM” remains at #9.

sagaSaga Communications Reports Q2 Revenue Up 1.6%.  Net revenue for the second quarter of 2015 for Saga Communications was $34.4 million – an increase of 1.6%.  The company reports that free cash flow decreased $281 thousand to $5.7 million.  Station operating expense increased $812 thousand to $24.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income was $7.5 million.  Net income for the period was $4.5 million ($0.77 per fully diluted share).  Taking a look at the radio division, net operating revenue was $29.1 million, an increase of 0.6% over the same period a year ago.

simpsondonnieRadio One Recruits Donnie Simpson for Afternoons on ‘Majic 102.3’ in DC.  After more than five years of retirement, Donnie Simpson will return to the Washington, DC airwaves to host afternoon drive on Radio One urban contemporary outlet WMMJ “Majic 102.3.”  Simpson retired from CBS RADIO’s crosstown WPGC where he hosted the morning drive show.  Simpson is also a well-known television personality having hosted the “Video Soul” show on BET from 1983 through 1996.  The deal with Radio One includes a television component that will have him back in front of the cameras on TV One by the end of this year.  Speaking about Simpson, Radio One RVP Jeff Wilson states, “Donnie is iconic.  The DC market woke up to his voice for 30 years and we are thrilled to bring him out of retirement and behind a microphone again.”

carsoncaneWWFSNew Drive Time Shows in Place at WWFS, New York.  The CBS RADIO-owned hot AC WWFS New York, “Fresh 102.7” announces its new drive time shows.  Taking over mornings from the recently departed Kim Berk is the team of Carson & Cane – Karen Carson and Cane Peterson.  In afternoon drive, Trey and Ghia take over.  Both duos started their new gigs on Monday, August 3.

wrns logoTom Lawler Named Afternoon Drive at WRNS, Kinston, North Carolina.  The afternoon drive role at Digity Media’s Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina country outlet WRNS is being taken over by Tom Lawler, effective August 10.  Lawler takes the air shift formerly held by Tommy Garrett, who recently exited.  Garrett also was program director and music director.  Interim PD Carletta Blake comments, “Tom is already familiar with our staff and our very unique market.  I’m really looking forward to working with him more closely and introducing him to the loyal country fan base in ENC.”  Lawler previously worked on air at the cluster’s WXQR “Rock 105.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Sales pro Tasha Blasi Pannuzzo is back with Westwood One, as SVP of marketing and sales for NASH.  This is a newly created role in which she’ll be in charge of client relations, brand partnerships and multi-platform integrations for NASH programming.  Blasi worked in sales from 2005 through 2011…..Country WSSL, Greenville, South Carolina midday jock Aaron Michael begins voice-tracking the night shift at iHeartMedia’s country KASE, Austin.

shafferbillboard‘Star 105’ Toledo Draws Ire of LGBT Community for Denny Schaffer Billboard.  The billboard you see here featuring WWWM, Toledo “Star 105” morning personality Denny Schaffer dressed as Caitlyn Jenner in the now-iconic Vanity Fair cover has drawn the ire of local LGBT groups.  They are calling for people to contact Cumulus Media to register their complaints.  For its part, the station has Tweeted its followers with the message: “The question is simple, should the billboard come down? Give us a call 419-240-1055.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches.  It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended.  Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history.  Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t.  After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right.  Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration.  A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode.  Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011).  He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT.  In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina.  To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of RadioInfo.com.

Nielsen’s ‘Audio Today’ Report: Blacks and Hispanics Account for Almost One Third of National AQH Audience.  The quarterly radio audience report from Nielsen finds that “the broad national radio audience (those 12 or older) has hit an all-time high for the second year in a row: 245 million.”  This 2015 Q2 report focuses on minority listening and Nielsen’s data shows that a “record 71.7 million Blacks and Hispanics combine to account for almost a third (29.3%) of the national AQH audience.  These Black and Hispanic consumers spend more time with radio each week than any other group, and possess enormous buying power for advertisers looking to reach a qualified audience when they are away from home and in the marketplace ready to purchase.”  See Nielsen’s report here.

fordkelly dogsCumulus New York’s 5th Annual Bark in the Park.  The Cumulus Media New York station group held its 5th annual “Bark in the Park” event on Saturday, August 1 at Overpeck Park in Ridgefield, New Jersey.  The North Shore Animal League America, Bergen County Animal Shelter/Adoption Center, and several other rescue groups were on site with many dogs up for adoption.  The mission of the day was to find a loving home for as many dogs as possible – and it was a great success.  More than 30 dogs were adopted on site!  Pictured here is WNSH, New York “NASH 94.7” personality Kelly Ford with her dogs Bentley and Buttercup.

Monday, August 3, 2015

| August 3, 2015

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diamondjackDiamond Departs WLS-FM. After an approximately 10-month run, Jack Diamond exits as WLS-FM, Chicago’s morning talent. Diamond becomes the second major on-air personality in less than one week to cut ties with the Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet: John Records Landecker, who had been working without a contract since he began at the station nearly four years ago, did his final show this past Friday (7/31). On his Facebook page, DiamondWLS-FM acknowledges Cumulus Media executives John Dickey and Mike McVay, “for the opportunity to live/work in Chicago and to host mornings on WLS-FM. I had an absolute blast. What a great city; what an amazing radio station; and an incredible staff. Brian Thomas is a terrific guy and wonderful programmer. I’m only sorry we didn’t have the opportunity to work together;” RadioInfo reported last Tuesday (7/28) that WLS-FM hired Thomas as program director. Diamond is said to be returning to Washington, DC, where he did morning drive for 24 years on hot AC (now CHR) WRQX. Prior to joining WLS-FM, he worked briefly in San Diego at classic hits-oldies XHPRS-FM “Max-FM.”

daveMahoneyDKCBS RADIO Moves ‘Dave, Mahoney & DK’ to Houston’s ‘Mix 96.5.’ The morning show will move from alternative KXTE, Las Vegas to hot AC KHMX, Houston “Mix 96.5” effective September 14 just as the station is celebrating its 25th anniversary as a hot AC outlet.  CBS RADIO says the show featuring Dave Farra, Jason Mahoney, and Daena Kramer has been “a proven ratings winner” during its six-year run in Vegas.  CBS RADIO Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Mix is a huge brand with a 25-year heritage in Houston.  As we celebrate our silver anniversary, we are excited to introduce the listeners to Dave, Mahoney and DK.  With them anchoring our lineup, we are in a strong position to expand our brand over the next 25 years.”  As part of Mix 96.5’s anniversary celebration, the station will host a concert featuring Rachel Platten, Matt Nathanson and Houston’s own Hilary Duff on Sunday, September 20 at the House of Blues.

davisorlandoOrlando Davis Re-Ups with Hip Hop WLLD, Tampa.  Morning personality and program director Orlando Davis inks a five-year contract extension to remain in his position with Beasley Media Group’s hip hop WLLD, Tampa “WiLD 94.1”  Market manager Kent Dunn comments, “Orlando’s longtime, loyal listeners will be excited to know the Bay’s ‘Party Station’ has extended his contract.  ‘WiLD 94.1’ is the most diverse, contemporary radio outlet serving the Tampa Bay audience.  Our # 1 ranking is a result of all of our talented personalities, who connect with our listeners, and offer a blend of the biggest titles, across top 40, hip hop, R&B and dance formats.”

vetranomaryjoCumulus Names Vetrano GSM for Urban Contemporary WNBM, New York.  Current hot AC WPLJ, New York general sales manager Mary Jo “MJ” Vetrano adds the same duties for urban contemporary WNBM, New York “Radio 103.9” to her responsibilities.   Vetrano is a 20-year veteran of New York City radio sales who’s been GSM for WPLJ since 2012.  She’s previously held senior positions at CBS RADIO’s all-news WINS and Cumulus’ news/talk WABC. Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “Mary Jo’s experience and leadership in the New York market is an asset to Cumulus New York.  We are thrilled to have her lead sales on both WPLJ and WNBM.”

mccauslandjeffMcCausland, Saunders Named iHM Market Presidents. Effective immediately, Jeff McCausland (left) is named market president of iHeartMedia Wichita, while Matt Saunders (right) is appointed market president of the company’s Springfield, Missouri stations. Regional market president Beth Davis comments, “Jeff McCausland is a well-respected media leader in the Wichita community. His knowledge of the media landscape and relationships with clients and businesses in Wichita will add to the market’ssaundersmatt current track record of success. Matt Saunders’ many years of building successful sales teams and client relationships make him the ideal leader for our Springfield cluster.” McCausland most recently was general manager of Wichita television stations KSAS and KMTW. He began his career in 1990 as part of the sales staff at (formerly Clear Channel now) iHeartMedia Wichita’s KRBB, before joining KSAS-TV as local sales manager. He will oversee adult contemporary KRBB “B-98″; KTHR “Wichita’s Alternative”; CHR KZCH “Wichita’s Hit Music Station”; and KZSN “Wichita’s New Country – The Bull.” Meanwhile, Saunders has been with iHeartMedia for more than three years, most recently in St. Louis as vice president of sales. Prior to that, he held management positions at CBS Radio, Emmis, and Sinclair. The iHeartMedia Springfield, Missouri cluster consists of adult contemporary KGBX “Lite Rock Favorites”; KGMY Fox Sports 1400″; country KSWF “The Wolf”; hot AC KTOZ “Alice@95.5″; and classic rock KXUS “US-97.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves. In the Tulsa market, Bobby Butler exits his morning show co-hosting gig at Stephens Media-owned alternative KMYZ “Z 104.5 The Edge.”  Chuck Stikl remains hosting the show solo while the station looks for a new co-host…..Scott Curtis exits the Hunt Broadcasting-owned classic rock simulcast KCKK-AM and translator K229BS at 93.7 FM in Denver where he held down the midday shift…..The Springfield, Massachusetts Spanish CHR outlet WACM-AM flips to English-language oldies and brings aboard market pro Fred King to host the AM drive show.

KMAX, Fort Collins to Flip to Alternative on Wednesday.  The news of the flip of Townsquare Media’s active rock KMAX, Fort Collins Colorado “94.3 Loudwire” to alternative as “94.3 The X” was announced at an August 1 performance by Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins who did an acoustic set at the Downtown Artery in Fort Collins.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

| August 1, 2015

Lynn ANdersonRemembering Lynn Anderson. Country singer Lynn Anderson, best known for her 1970 hit “Rose Garden,” passed away at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center; she was 67. Hospitalized for pneumonia after returning from a trip to Italy, Anderson succumbed to a heart attack. Although born in North Dakota, Anderson was raised in California. She released her debut single, “For Better or for Worse,” in 1966. Later that year, “If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away?)” reached the top five. After moving to Nashville, Anderson released Joe South-written megahit “Rose Garden” in 1970. Not only was “Rose Garden” a smash at country radio, it peaked at #3 on the pop chart in February 1971 and the song earned Anderson the “Best Female Country Vocal Performance” Grammy award. Her next top ten success came in 1983 via “You’re Welcome to Tonight” with Gary Morris. Anderson notched another Grammy nomination for her 2004 album “Bluegrass Sessions.” Formerly married to producer/songwriter Glenn Sutton (1968 – 1977), Anderson is survived by her father, three children, four grandchildren and her partner, Mentor Williams.

Friday, July 31, 2015

| July 31, 2015

cumulus logoCumulus Media’s 2015 Q2 Report: Net Revenue Dips 8.8%.  That negative number is not so surprising because Cumulus had issued forward-looking statements that predicted results pretty much in line with what the final numbers turned out to be.  Net revenue for the quarter was just shy of $300 million, accounting for the 8.8% decrease compared to the same period a year ago.  Broadcast advertising was down 8.4% and the digital advertising category was off 19.5%.  Further breaking down the broadcast advertising category, network and national sales took the biggest hits – down 16% and 10.8%, respectively – and local ad sales slipped 3.9%.

Ross BrittainBrittain Bids Farewell to WOGL. One cannot help but notice the irony that on the same day WCBS-FM morning driver Scott Shannon signs a contract extension to remain with the CBS Radio New York classic hits-oldies outlet, Ross Brittain announces he is leaving co-owned/similarly-formatted WOGL, Philadelphia, where he has been fronting the 5:30 am – 9:00 am “Breakfast Club” since 2004. Shannon and Brittain, of course, teamed to launch the “Morning Zoo” on legendary New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100″ 32 years ago (August 1983). Brittain’s last day with WOGL “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” is today (Friday, 7/31). Others who have recently left WOGL or will be leaving after today include general manager (and former Shamrock Communications chief operating officer) Jim Loftus and nighttime personality Bob Charger. Similar to Brittain, Loftus joined “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” in 2004. Remaining with the CBS Radio Philadelphia cluster as anWOGL anchor/reporter on all-news KYW and talker WPHT is Brittain’s wife, Rasa Kaye. Brittain writes on his Facebook page, “I am retiring from WOGL after our show [Friday] morning. This was a rather sudden thing. I appreciate all the nice comments and wonderful thoughts from everybody. I will miss [‘Breakfast Club’ partners] Bill [Zimpfer], Frank [Lewis], and Val [Knight], but I am sure they will continue to do a wonderful job without me. Hopefully, this will begin a new chapter in my life.” Brittain’s impressive resume includes on-air stints at WABC-AM, New York; WZGC, Atlanta; WKSS, Hartford; and in Philadelphia at WEGX, WTRK, and WZGO – the current frequency of iHeartMedia hot AC WISX. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2015 PPM sweep, WOGL finished first (6.8), beating Jerry Lee Radio-owned adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” (5.8) by one full share. In June though, “More FM” (7.2) returned to its familiar #1 residence, with “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” slipping to second (6.9), just three-tenths off the top.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Entercom’s classic rock WKBU, New Orleans “Bayou 95.7,” Jason Ginty returns to the airwaves in the market after an 18-month absence to handle the midday shift…..Amber Stone resurfaces after exiting 6 Johnson Road Licenses-owned CHR WZRT, Rutland, Vermont “Z 97.1” at Adams Radio’s CHR WJFX, Fort Wayne, Indiana “Hot 107.9.”

RadioInfo Tidbits.  All this weekend, SiriusXM will broadcast from Lollapalooza in Chicago presenting backstage interviews plus live performances by such acts as: Metallica, Alabama Shakes, Walk the Moon, Cold War Kids, alt-J, Hot Chip, Twenty One Pilots, The Wombats, Glass Animals and more…..KBFF, Portland “Live 95.5” morning personalities Brooke & Jubal (pictured below, left to right, Brooke, Jubal and cast member Jose) provided 500 tickets to last night’s Flo Ridabrookeandjubalheadlined concert event “The Flo @ The Fair” to the Portland area Boys & Girls Club for the organization to distribute to kids in the community.  Program director Phil Becker says, “One of our core values at ‘Live 95.5’ is that there are times where making a difference is more important than making a buck.  I’m proud of Brooke & Jubal’s donation to an organization for which our station has a great deal of admiration.”…..Greater Media’s alternative WBOS, Boston “Radio 92.9” is wbos logopresenting a series of free after work concerts called the Copley Concert Series at Copley Square Park in August.  The free shows go from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will feature Brooklyn indie dance duo Matt and Kim on August 6, American indie pop artist Andrew McMahon on August 13 and upstate New York alternative rock band X Ambassadors on August 20.  WBOS PD Ken West states, “We are very excited to bring these ‘Radio 92.9’ acts to Boston for free concerts right in the heart of the city.  The series has been a great way for our audience to come together and enjoy a summer night.”…..iHeartMedia’s Orlando CHR WXXL “XL 106.7” is staking claim to the first U.S. morning showjohnnyshousecast broadcast from Cuba.  The “Johnny’s House” show – with host Johnny Magic (second from right), Laura Diaz (second from left) and Brian Grimes (far right) – traveled to Havana to “explore Cuban culture first-hand” and shared their experiences with listeners this morning (7/31).  Johnny Magic says, “Now that the doors to Cuba are opening for the first time in over 50 years, it’s radio’s obligation to be a part of history and the education process.  By using all our assets — our broadcast, digital and social platforms — we are able to share our experiences with all our listeners so they can learn as much about Cuban culture as possible.”

thackreyscottKUZZ-AM/FM, Bakersfield News Reporter Arrested on Sex Charge.  Longtime country KUZZ-AM/FM, Bakersfield news reporter Scott Thackrey was arrested on 7/29 on charges of attempting to engage in lewd conduct.  The Bakersfield police report that Thackrey was arrested after a sting operation in which Thackrey arranged to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl.  The operation was put into place after authorities were contacted by the parents of a girl whom they suspected of having sexual communications with Thackrey.  According to WBAK-TV, Bakersfield, Thackrey appears to be admitting guilt after posting the following message on his Facebook page: “I am deeply sorry for hurting and disappointing my friends.  But I am even more sad that I let down my boys.  I hope in time they can forgive me.  And I hope to show that by not running or hiding, they will know that no matter how bad something is it can always be owned and learned from.  I ask that you respect our privacy at this time.”  Suzanne Grant, news director at the Buck Owens Production Company-owned stations stated via the station’s Facebook page: “BPD Sgt. Joe Grubbs was unable to share any additional details with me regarding the incident.  However, we are shocked and saddened to hear of Scott’s arrest, and find the allegations to be completely out of character for the man we’ve known and worked with for years.  At this point we have to allow the case to play out and hope for the best and appropriate resolution for all involved.”

shannoncontractpic15Celebrating the Deal.  Executives from CBS RADIO, WCBS-FM, New York and Scott Shannon pose for a picture after the radio icon inked a new deal with the company to continue to serve as host of the morning drive show.  Shannon has been with the classic hits station for the past 16 months after exiting crosstown hot AC WPLJ.  Pictured from left to right are: CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez, Shannon, CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman, CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, and corporate SVP of programming and WCBS-FM and WWFS program director Jim Ryan.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

| July 30, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Reports Q2 Revenue Up 4%.  The privately-owned iHeartMedia announces its Q2 financial numbers and reports revenue was $841 million – up 4% compared to the same quarter in 2014 – and stating that it saw “strength across the business (core local and national broadcast advertising revenue, traffic and weather business, syndication business and events).”  The companybresslerrichard says its expenses rose 5% year-over-year attributable to “event production costs, timing of barter and trade expenses, sales compensation expense and costs related to music licenses and performance royalties.”  Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Rich Bressler says in a press release, “We’re pleased with the revenue and OIBDAN growth we achieved this quarter.  We continue to invest in our capabilities across both iHeartMedia and outdoor to realize the full value of our multi-platform assets.  With no significant debt maturities until 2018, we can continue focusing on growing the top and bottom lines across our business segments.”  Total debt for the media giant is reported as just shy of $20.4 billion.

iheartRadioFest15iHeartRadio Music Festival Lineup Announced.  The lineup for this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on September 18 and 19 has been announced.  The slate contains numerous current pop and hip hop acts plus classic rock stalwarts The Who and 1980s icons Duran Duran.  At the top of the bill are: Kanye West, Sam Smith, Coldplay, Demi Lovato, David Guetta, Kenny Chesney, The Weeknd, Tove Lo, Lil Wayne, Fall Out Boy, Disclosure, Hozier, Jason Derulo, Prince Royce, Diplo, Trey Songz, The Killers, Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, and Janet Jackson.  In addition to these acts, the Daytime Village on Saturday will feature the following: Walk The Moon, Big Sean, Lee Brice, George Ezra, Tori Kelly, Echosmith, James Bay, The Struts, Zella Day and Shawn Mendes.  The festival will broadcast live on iHeartMedia stations, will live stream on Yahoo Screen, and air on television’s The CW as a two-night special on September 29 and 30.

shannonscottScott Shannon and WCBS-FM, New York Agree to Contract Extension. Morning radio icon Scott Shannon joined CBS RADIO and its classic hits WCBS-FM, New York in March of 2014 after exiting Cumulus Media’s crosstown hot AC WPLJ.  Now, he and the company have agreed to a new,WCBS-FM Logo multi-year contract extension.  CBS RADIO says that since Shannon’s arrival there, “The station’s weekly cume has grown nearly 20% to approximately four million listeners.”  CBS RADIO SVP of programming and WCBS-FM PD Jim Ryan adds, “Since Scott Shannon joined the station, he has created a new awareness of WCBS-FM in the market, and we couldn’t be more thrilled he will be with us for years to come.  There is nothing better than knowing WCBS-FM fans will continue to jump-start their day with the famed Scott Shannon for a long time.”  The program also features Patty Steele, traffic reporter Joe Nolan, and weather from CBS 2 New York’s John Elliott.

hotchkisskeithiHeartMedia Charlotte Hikes Hotchkiss to Market President. Senior vice president of sales Keith Hotchkiss is elevated to market president of iHeartMedia‘s six-station Charlotte operation. Hotchkiss remarks that, “iHeartMedia Charlotte boasts some of the most talented on-air hosts, programmers, and sales professionals in the country. It is my goal to lead and expand, providing innovative solutions for our client partners across all our platforms, while also creating the best radio for our listeners. This is an exciting time to be in the radio industry. I could not be more proud to represent one of the world’s most enterprising media companies in one of the nation’s greatest cities.” Prior to being transferred to Charlotte, Hotchkiss spent more than 15 years at the company’s Cleveland cluster, where he ultimately became general sales manager. With (6+) Nielsen Audio June 2015 PPM market share and market rank in parentheses, iHeartMedia’s Charlotte cluster consists of country WKKT “The Kat” (7.3, #3); classic rock WRFX “The Fox” (6.5, #4); adult hits WLKO “The Lake” (6.3, #5); CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1″ (5.3, #7); and WEND “New Rock 106.5 – The End” (3.1, #12 ). WRFX-HD2 “Fox Sports FM 98.7″ does not appear in Charlotte’s June sweep.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Radio One-owned urban contemporary outlet WAMJ, Atlanta “Majic,” both midday personality Carol Blackmon and night jock Rene Miller have exited, according to Atlanta Journal Constitution media writer Rodney Ho.   The company has not stated what its plans are for staffing the dayparts…..The Baltimore Sun reports that Stephen Yasko is out as general manager for Towson University-owned, non-com triple A WTMD, Baltimore.  The paper reports that program director Scott Mullins is serving as acting GM…..WXRT, Chicago general sales manager Patty Reilly-Murphy announces she will retire from the CBS RADIO triple A station on August 28 after a 35-year career in radio sales…..Christopher “Jack” Johansing is promoted to marketing director at Benztown.  He’s been with the company for the past five years serving as coordinator, web, marketing & affiliate relations.

Julie Gilbert-CahillRemembering Julie Gilbert-Cahill. A memorial service is being held today (Thursday, 7/30) for radio promotion director-turned-music manager Julie Gilbert-Cahill, who passed away a week ago Monday (7/20) in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley (Woodland Hills). Approximately 35 years ago, Detroit native Gilbert-Cahill was the promotion director of Detroit rocker WRIF. Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs was the station’s program director at that time and he comments that Gilbert-Cahill was, “a fearless, energetic, promotion person who played a huge role in our success.” Gilbert-Cahill moved to Los Angeles in 1983 to work for Howard Kaufman’s HK Music Management, where she coordinated tour activities for such artists as Jimmy Buffett, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, Go-Go’s, and Heart. She later joined Peter Asher Management, where she worked with Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Warren Zevon. Gilbert-Cahill retired from the music industry in 1996. Her husband (Jim) and two sons (James and Jake) are among those surviving Gilbert-Cahill, who was 58 years old. The family is asking that donations be made “in memory of Julie Gilbert-Cahill” to the site of today’s memorial service – Tarzana, California’s Temple Judea.