General Music Radio Industry News

Friday, January 30, 2015

| January 30, 2015

knou logoEmmis Drops Classic Hits in St. Louis; Debuts First New CHR in Market in 17 Years.  There’s a new CHR station in St. Louis as Emmis flips classic hits KIHT and re-brands it “NOW96.3 FM.”  Emmis says the new air staff includes: former St. Louis radio personality Curt Copeland who returns for AM drive duties; St. Louis native and Emmy award-winning TV and radio host Todd Newton, a.k.a. Rick Idol, handles the midday show; Chicago radio pro Christine Pawlak is on board for afternoon drive and Nina Blanco is the evening personality.  Emmis SVP John Beck comments, “Our classic hits station at 96.3 was underperforming, causing us to look for new opportunities.  We conducted extensive research, spoke to St. Louis radio listeners and found a need for a music station that plays all the current hits with fewer commercials and includes local personalities that St. Louisans can meet and relate to.  We have done all of that with the new ‘NOW96.3.’”  Program director Tommy Mattern adds, “‘Now96.3’ will have a totally local focus and feel.  The music will be chosen locally, the station will be programmed locally, the contests will be played locally so St. Louisians won’t have to compete with people from other cities.  In addition, the new ‘Now96.3’ will go 60 minutes commercial free every time the music starts.”

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kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Hot AC.  RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the second of a three-part study of station performances based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2014 PPM survey.  This report focuses on the hot AC format and tracks stations performances over the past six PPM surveys, compares Holiday 2014 to Holiday 2013 data, shows market ranks for hot AC stations, presents a chart with both AC and hot AC stations ratings info from the Holiday 2014 survey, and more.  See Mike Kinosian’s complete analysis here.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  In San Diego, Local Media-owned alternative XETRA “91X” names Matt Stone morning drive personality.  Last November, Stone joined the station as evening personality and assistant program director after serving in the market as program director and afternoon host at Compass Radio of San Diego’s stonemattcrosstown triple A KPRI.  Program director Halloran comments, “Matt knows what our listeners want and has already worked tirelessly to deliver dynamic radio to the audience.  I am excited to see what this new chapter brings to ‘91X.’”…..At JVC Media’s country WOTW, Orlando “103.1 The Wolf,” CJ is named evening show host.  The station recently flipped to country and had been airing commercial-free music in the daypart…..Armando Rivera exits the operations manager and program director post at Radio One’s Detroit cluster.

kwnz logoCool Job Opportunity.  KWNZ, Reno “106.3 POP FM” is seeking a part-time air talent.  Shamrock Communications announces the opening and seeks air talent with experience in multiple formats, primarily CHR.  Can you connect with a female audience and be relevant on artists and trending topics?  Are you versatile and can you switch gears from one format to another?  This is a daytime shift and a position with lots of room to grow.  You: Minimum 1 to 2 years on-air experience; working knowledge of automation systems (NexGen preferred); strong digital and social media skills; communication skills; experience with music scheduling software a plus (Music Master preferred); take direction (as in the next part).  Rush your materials including cover letter, resume with references, demo (ONE mp3 no longer than 3 minutes) to: shamrocknevada@gmail.com.  Put PT Air Talent in the subject. NO CALLS!  EOE.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

| January 29, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the adult contemporary with its performance in the recent Nielsen Audio 2014 Holiday PPM survey.  Kinosian writes, “No other ratings sweep sees the wild (positive) fluctuations as the Holiday period; however, January typically reflects massive declines for stations enjoying huge Holiday increases.  Some hot AC, classic hits-oldies, contemporary Christian, country, and urban AC outlets engage in the programming strategy, but for the most part, adult contemporary was the originator and it is still the largest all-Christmas music proponent.  For that reason, it is the first format highlighted in our exclusive Holiday 2014 overview.”  See Kinosian’s entire analysis here.

lawsonjimJim Lawson Takes on Regional Manager and OM Duties in Colorado.  The iHeartMedia vice president of programming of Hispanic media and brand manager for national programming platforms will expand his duties to include regional manager for iHeartMedia Colorado and operations manager for Colorado Springs and Pueblo, effective February 2.  In these additional roles, Jim Lawson will oversee all programming operations for the Colorado stations.  His duties as operations manager will include managing the strategy and execution of Colorado Springs and Pueblo’s eight combined stations.  He will continue his duties as vice president of programming for Hispanic media and brand manager for national programming platforms.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Adding music director to her title is CHR WPXY, Rochester afternoon drive personality Emily Wild.  Wild has been with the Entercom cluster for the past three years…..At non-comm alternative KCMP, Minneapolis “89.3 The Current,” midday personality Barb Abney exits the Minnesota Public Radio station.  Taking over the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show is station staffer Jade Tittle…..Moving across town from Townsquare Media’s wdsyjimmymontykatieadult contemporary WHOM, Portland where he co-hosted mornings to an AM show cast member gig at Binnie Media’s classic hits WFNK “107.5 Frank FM” is Teddy McKay.  McKay partners up with current WFNK morning personalities Stan Bennett and Heidi Knight…..At the CBS RADIO Pittsburgh cluster, Katie Zak (pictured here at far right with country WDSY’s Jimmy and Monty) is promoted from the KDKA-FM events team to producer for the “Jimmy and Monty in the Morning” program…..Josh Egoff leaves the radio biz and his gig as promotions manager for iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR and sports WYGM in Orlando…..David Israel is leaving Total Traffic & Weather Network’s Miami offices where he serves as operations manager for a position outside of radio.  Israel came to the organization in June of last year after serving as VP/GM of Cox Media’s Jacksonville station group.

thunejohnSenate Commerce Committee Chair Thune Seeks Communications Act Overhaul.  Speaking before an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-SD) said he will kick-start the process of reviewing and updating the country’s communications laws, last done in 1996.  From a story at The Hill, Thune admits his efforts will require support fromfccnew Democrats but says it’s very early in the process.  He told the crowd the very legal framework that could allow broadband internet to be classified a utility is obsolete.  He criticized the FCC’s rulemaking process with regard to “net neutrality” and said its agenda is being nudged by “an increasingly imperious president.”  He said, “With the FCC poised to reclassify broadband due to a lack of clear statutory authority, we can readily see the consequences of that obsolescence and the need for action.”  Getting support from Democrats prior to the 2016 election may be all but impossible but Thune says trying to update the Act that was last modernized when the Internet was in its infancy is necessary.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

| January 28, 2015

guytonmickeyDuane Doobie, Jr.’s 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 Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at “Real Country” 96.9 WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia and Bayley Brown, WKLC-FM (Rock 105), St. Albans/Charleston, 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 (1/28) includes such names as: Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Andy Grammer, Olly Murs, Travie McCoy, Gym Class Heroes, Childish Gambino, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Nick Jonas, Miguel, Jonas Brothers, San Fermin, Houndmouth, AWOLNATION, Stone Senate, Savage Garden, JD McPherson, The Mowgli’s, Zac Brown Band, Mickey Guyton, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dani-Elle, Ryan Bingham, Josh Nolan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Kenny Chesney, Grace Potter, Blackberry Smoke, Gorgon City, Jennifer Hudson, Kiesza, Korveil, Portugal, The Man, Cowp, and George Ezra, among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

colemaninsightsColeman Insights Study Reaction: Why Wait?  In the second part of a series about how listeners engage with music across traditional and emerging platforms, Coleman InsightsMatt Bailey writes about why music listening and music buying by consumers are different and that radio stations should be careful not to confuse the two.  Bailey writes that based on a comparison of two different sets of Billboard data it becomes apparent that, “music buying and music listening patterns are fundamentally different.  When you understand why they’re different, you’ll also understand how making new music decisions based on sales data can lead your station astray.”  How programmers operating new music stations choose their adds is probably a combination of factors, with sales serving a part of that.  But by waiting too long for sales data, a radio station can miss the boat and pass up the opportunity to add a song that becomes a mega hit and cement itself as a reliable place to discover new music.  Radio’s slipping status as a place to discover new music among young people has been well documented.  An anecdotal example of this is Lorde’s “Royals.”  RadioInfo editors recall hearing the song in regular rotation on SiriusXM some three months before most FM radio stations began adding it and before it took off on the sales charts.  This certainly helps SiriusXM’s “cool factor” for those who heard it there first.  According to RadioInfo co-music editor (and veteran music radio programmer), Duane Doobie, Sr., “The Coleman Insights conclusion is right on the money.  There is no way a radio station or music radio personality can claim any kind of ‘ownership’ of the music culture without relying on their very own personal gut, instincts, taste, and first-hand ‘street’ knowledge of the music scene – and then take a leap of faith with nothing more than those assets to rely upon.  And if they are smart enough to ‘know what they don’t know’ — then they must be able to identify and trust the leadership of those in the field (or those they have hired) who have proven to have these skills and quickly follow their lead.  That’s why RadioInfo encourages the place and role of the ‘golden-eared’ programmer as a vital player in keeping music radio alive.  We cannot be a passive medium of followers any longer and expect people who care about music to continue turning to the radio to get their fix of new, hot, happening music and the passion that accompanies appreciating it.”

soundsciphaCipha Sounds Exits ‘Hot 97’ in New York.  After a 17-year career with New York hip hop outlet WQHT “Hot 97,” air personality Cipha Sounds exits.  From a story in the New York Daily News, Sounds was apparently surprised when the station chose to hire Nessa Nitty as the afternoon drive jock – taking the slot long held by Angie Martinez who jumped across the street to Clear Channel’s WWPR “Power 105” – and believed he was not considered for the gig even though he’d been filling the slot since Martinez’s departure.  The paper is wondering if his decision to go on a podcast and question Emmis management’s decision was the deciding factor in his ouster.  It certainly could have been since Emmis, upon announcing Nitty’s hiring, noted that Sounds would remain with the station in another capacity.  Now, a week later, that is not the case.

wrwm logo newIt’s Official: ‘i94’ in Indy Becomes ‘93.9 The Beat.’  Indianapolis hot AC WRWM officially becomes classic hip hop as “93.9 The Beat” – a format it’s been airing since after the holidays.  Cumulus Media announces the station officially kicked off the new format this week with “wall-to-wall music, giving hip hop fans 100% classic hip hop with a unique blend of music.   Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay comments, “We’re excited to have this format in our stable. First in wins and we’re already seeing the spoils of victory.”  Programmer Jay Michaels adds, “The response from Indy to our new radio station has been more than positive, both from listeners and advertisers.  This format is the rhythmic answer to hot AC – and has already proven to be Indy’s new favorite radio station.  I couldn’t be prouder to lead the new ‘93.9 The Beat’ to victory!”

omalleypaulO’Malley Upped to Westwood One Senior VP, Strategic Sales Partnerships. Trading in the title of Cumulus vice president of brand solutions, Paul O’Malley becomes Westwood One’s senior vice president of strategic sales partnerships. According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Bringing Paul over to run our new strategic sales division was a no-brainer. His wealth of experience in new business development, world-class reputation among agencies, and vast knowledge of our assets make him the prefect partner to lead this new team. We are building an impressive and outstanding sales force and Paul is a top-tier player on the team.” O’Malley comments that he is “excited by the opportunity” to “deliver experiential solutions which will encompass national scale and local engagement. The best brands in the U.S. are asking for new, innovative, and measured programs. Westwood One and Cumulus have assets and capabilities that are unparalleled in the industry and that deliver results for advertisers.  I look forward to growing our client base and driving revenue across our platforms.” Atlanta-based O’Malley previously (2004 – 2011) was Citadel’s regional president of sales.

tatecaseyTate to Produce WRAL, Raleigh’s ‘Gene & Julie’ Show.  At the Capitol Broadcasting Company’s hot AC WRAL-FM, Raleigh “MIX 101.5,” Casey Tate joins the station to produce the morning drive “Gene & Julie” show, hosted by real-life married couple Gene and Julie Gates.  The couple says, “Casey is a dedicated professional with great energy and amazing creativity.  We can’t wait to have him join the team!”  Most recently, Tate produced the morning show at Lincoln Financial Media-owned WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.”

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Vacate Montfort Drive Offices in Dallas.  With the looming expiration of Westwood One’s lease at the Dallas offices – located at 13725 Montfort Drive – later this year, the company announces it will move those operations to other facilities.  Westwood One will build out some new broadcast facilities at the TM Studios operations on Academy Lane in Dallas, and will move programming, production and affiliate sales there.  The company reports that back-office functions (traffic and affiliate service/affidavit management) will be relocated to an existing Cumulus facility in nearby Arlington.  “Other than some duplicated facility support positions, there will be no other changes to staffing related to the relocations.”

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

| January 27, 2015

price howardGetting It Partly Wrong and Absolutely Right.  Disaster preparedness expert Howard B. Price – director, business continuity for ABC Television – writes in a piece in RadioInfo today (1/27) that even though parts of the Northeast escaped the dire predictions of Winter Storm Juno, it’s better that people were overprepared.  For those upset with officials for shutting down roads and, in some cases, entire cities, Price says, “No one should EVER blame the messengers for decisions governments and businesses take based on scientific facts that were trumped – as they sometimes are – by the forces of nature.  Better to plan for what turns out to be unnecessary, then to be caught flat-footed when circumstances are worse than you anticipated.”  Keep in mind that as we publish this piece on Tuesday, parts of New England are indeed getting a lot of snow, combined with high winds.  Read more from Price here.

foxcarolynCarolyn Fox: A Salute to Family, Sex and Radio.  Radio pro Carolyn Fox writes about the key tenets to help personalities succeed in the radio business – even in this era.  In this piece she presents five points radio personalities should understand in order to have success in a business that’s contingent upon connecting with listeners.  “Great radio is nothing more than real humans connecting with other real humans aurally,” Fox says, “Don’t overcomplicate the message because my kid is banking on you to resuscitate radio so he too can pay back his college loans.”  Read Carolyn Fox’s piece here.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder is reporting that Kyle Santillian is being named morning drive personality at iHeartMedia‘s urban contemporary WGCI, Chicago alongside Kendra G and current WGCI staffer Leon Rogers effective Thursday (1/29)…..Regional director of programming Brian Rickman exits URBan Radio Broadcasting after his position with the company was eliminated.  Rickman worked for 10-plus years with the company overseeing martyfarmermultiple formats in six markets including CHR, hot AC, urban, urban AC, rock, triple A, oldies, sports and news/talk.  Reach out to him at brian.c.rickman@gmail.com…..Market pros John Marty and Johnna Farmer come together again at CHR WABD, Mobile to co-host the morning drive program, effective February 2.  Cumulus SVP of programming Jan Jeffries comments, “We are thrilled to have John and Johnna come home to wake up and entertain Mobile and gulf coast listeners.  John and Johnna captured the morning audience for years and now return to continue their fun, interactive and topical show.”

Johnjay and RichJohnjay and Rich Suggest Non-Traditional Super Bowl Accommodations. Capitalizing on the fact that this Sunday’s Super Bowl is being played in their flagship market, Phoenix-based syndicated morning talents Johnjay and Rich maintain they are prepared to rent out their studio. Emphasizing they are offering the “full Super Bowl experience,” the duo cites computers, buffet breakfasts/lunches, convenient parking, and color television as tongue-in-cheek selling points to would-be renters. According to a video they shot, the 3.5-day rate to rent their studio is approximately $160.

adamsshayKMOD, Tulsa’s Shay ‘Biggie’ Adams Dies at 40.  Tulsa morning radio personality Shay “Biggie” Adams passed away on January 23 after a two-month battle with an undisclosed illness, according to Fox23 Tulsa.  Adams co-hosted the “Big Mad Morning Show” with Corbin on iHeartMedia’s rock KMOD.  He took a leave of absence in November to deal with his health issues but passed away despite weeks of treatment.  Corbin says in a statement, “I have lost my brother.  I have lost my best friend.  We have all lost a treasure.”

parrgilbertbdayCupcake for Brantley Gilbert.  Country star Brantley Gilbert (center) cracks up while holding his birthday cupcake during a visit to Cumulus Media’s nationally syndicated “NASH Nights Live” show.  Pictured here helping Gilbert celebrate his 30th birthday are “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (left) and Shawn Parr (right).

Hubbard’s WARH, St. Louis Returns ‘Free Money’ Promotion.  The “Free Money” promotion was a big success for Hubbard Radio adult hits WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” for the past two years so the station is bringing it back this year.  The station says it is upping the ante in 2015 with $15,000 up for grabs this month.  Each weekday in January (and once per week in the Arch Allies Club), the radio station has been qualifying three lucky (and local) St. Louis listeners with $106 in cash.  Then on Friday, January 30, “106.5 The Arch” will draw one lucky qualifier’s name and surprise them (either at home or work) with a $15,000 FREE MONEY check.

Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

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chucktommyiHeartMedia Duo Names Chuck PD. Eight-year program director/digital director of iHeartMedia Tampa CHR WFLZ and hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7″ Tommy Chuck will transfer to similar duties at the company’s Washington, DC CHR outlet WIHT “Hot 99.5″ and WPOC “Baltimore’s Country Station.” According to iHeartMedia Washington, DC vice president of programming Meg Stevens, “Tommy’s track record of success at WFLZ and WMTX – as well as his exceptional leadership skills – make him uniquely qualified to program ‘Hot 99.5′ and WPOC. We are excited to have him as part of the team.” Chuck comments, “Joining the iHeartMedia team in Washington and Baltimore is an exciting next step for me and my family. I am thrilled to be the next leader at “Hot,” build on my long relationship with ‘The Kane Show,’ and work with the talented team already in place. Country music has always been a personal favorite of mine. I am honored to lead one of America’s most legendary and award-winning country stations – WPOC.” Chuck – who begins his new assignment in two weeks (2/9) – has previously programmed iHeartMedia (Clear Channel) CHRs in Orlando (WXXL), Birmingham (WQEN), and Chattanooga (WKXJ).

rothmckinzieMcKinzie Roth Joins KUPL, Portland for Mornings.  Moving from Cumulus Media to Alpha Media’s Portland country station KUPL “98.7 The Bull” is McKinzie Roth.  She begins co-hosting the morning drive program today (1/26).  The company reports that she was with Cumulus for two years while also hosting a weekly television program titled, “Crowd Surfing,” for Comcast.  She’s worked for CBS, FOX and has served as an official NBA emcee for the Indiana Pacers.  She comments, “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to co-lead mornings in Portland.  [EVP of programming] Scott Mahalick and his team are total class acts and I am honored to get to work with the best of the best.”

clairjoeJoe Clair to Join WPGC, Washington AM Show.  At CBS RADIO’s Washington, DC hip hop outlet WPGC, Joe Clair becomes part of the morning drive show currently hosted by Tati, Guy Lambert and Poet, effective February 9.  The station says Clair began his career there as part of the “Sunday Night Hip-Hop Show” with veteran DJ Big Tigger.  He went on to become co-host of the “Russ Parr Morning Show” and later a personality on WQHT, New York “Hot 97.”  Clair is also a nationally known comedian with multiple appearances on HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam,” Comedy Central’s “Comic Groove,” and NBC’s “Showtime at the Apollo,” to name a few.  He comes to WPGC from his most recent gig at crosstown urban contemporary WHUR on the Frank Ski afternoon show.  Clair replaces Blaine “Pablo” Sato, who exited the show on January 23.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  In the Milwaukee market, iHeartMedia-owned CHR WRNW “97.3 RadioNOW” names Brett Andrews to the afternoon drive slot and Aaron Rogers as late night host…..At iHeartMedia’s Louisville hot AC WLGX “100.5 MYfm,” Vicki Rogers joins the personality lineup to host the 9:00 am to 2:00 pm show.  Rogers has worked at other signals in the market including adult contemporary WVEZ and classic hits WSFR…..Brazos Communications announces Gillian Reilly – most recently executive on-air producer at CBS RADIO’s WDZH, Detroit “AMP Radio” – is part of the new morning show at its country KHKX, Odessa-Midland, Texas “Kicks 99.1.”  She takes over for the retiring morning duo of Mike Lawrence and Dana Carole…..Telling the Roanoke Times that his position has been eliminated, Larry Dowdy exits iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WSNV “Sunny 93.5” as morning personality.

RI Ten Takeaways“Holiday” 2014 PPM Data – Part Four. The fourth and final batch of “Holiday” 2014 ratings data have been released by Nielsen Audio. The information is for Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  See all the numbers from subscribing stations here.  RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this latest group. The “Holiday” survey period covered December 4 – 31.

1) Austin – The consecutive string of #1 monthly ratings reports for Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob-FM” concludes at an even dozen, as Entercom adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95-5″ KKMJ(4.9 – 8.9, +4.0, 6+) vaults from fourth to first. The last time “Majic” occupied the top spot was “Holiday” 2013 – when a +4.4 to 10.1 displaced … “Bob.” With a -.9 (7.8 – 6.9), “Bob” slides to second. After dropping one-half share in December, iHeartMedia mainstream CHR KHFI “Kiss-FM” bounces back with a +.7 (4.9 – 5.6) to inch up from fourth to a third-place tie. Things are quite a bit different though for “Kiss” cluster-mates KVET-FM “All-Time Country Favorites” and KASE “Today’s Country.” Although steady at third, KVET-FM drops seven-tenths (6.3 – 5.6), while KASE erodes by -1.7 (6.7 – 5.0) to tumble from second to fifth. KVET-FM was locked at 6.9 in September and October, and “All-Time Country Favorites” was then stuck on 6.3 in November and December (6+).KHFI Meanwhile, there are losses of -1.1 and -1.0, respectively, for Emmis siblings (talk) KLBJ-AM (4.3 – 3.2, ninth in December) and classic rock KLBJ-FM (4.2 – 3.2, tenth in December); they are tied at #11.

2) Milwaukee – Following six straight down or flat trends (7.7 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 6.1, 6+), iHeartMedia‘s WRIT “Oldies 95.7″ precisely doubles its 6+ stat to 12.2 (+6.1) and climbs from WRITthird to first. The station it displaces from the penthouse though is cluster-mate WMIL, which was #1 for seven straight monthly reports. Off by -1.4 (10.2 – 8.8), “Milwaukee Country – FM 106.1″ has another string ended: It had been in double-digits a corresponding number of times (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.9 – 11.6 – 10.6 – 10.7 – 10.2, 6+). Owing to a one-half share improvement (4.7 – 5.2), co-owned urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7″ progressesWKKV from sixth to fourth. Heritage Journal talker WTMJ drops one-tenth (9.9 – 9.8) to retain its runner-up status for an eighth straight sweep; however, iHM’s similarly-programmed WISN falters by six-tenths (4.9 – 4.3). WISN was -.8 in December and slips from fifth to seventh.

3) Indianapolis – In addition to being the third straight up-trend for WYXB (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.2 – 13.7, 6+), this is the third WYXBsuccessive sweep at #1 for the Emmis-owned adult contemporary property which racks up an impressive +5.5 to 13.7, yielding the strongest (6+) showing for “Soft Rock B-105.7″ since this time last year (14.3 – “Holiday” 2013). In a relatively rare “Holiday” 2014 instance of a second station in a market gaining by more than one full-share, Cumulus Media‘s WRWM “I-94″ (#15 to #13) improves byWRWM +1.1 to 2.8 – its best (6+) performance since December 2013 (2.9). After three successive downward trends (4.7 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom hot AC WNTR “Indy’s Best Music Mix” is flat at 3.6 and remains at #12. Subsequent to its one-half share gain in December, Emmis talker WIBC regresses by -1.1 (6.7 – 5.6) and slides from third to seventh. Tied with WIBC at 6.7 in December, Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits” takes an even greater fall, a -1.3 to 5.4, sinking from third to eighth. Country declines by eight-tenths from December (6+), with Cumulus Media’s WFMS “The Country Station” off by one-half share (6.8 – 6.3, repeating at #2) and Emmis’ WLHK “Hank FM” dropping three-tenths (6.5 – 6.2), yet actually improving from sixth to fourth.

4) Providence – Mirroring what happens in Milwaukee with WRIT, Cumulus Media-owned WWLI “Lite Rock 105″ doubles its 6+ share from December (7.6 – 15.2) and marches from fourth to first. The 15.2 easily shatters what “Lite Rock” dialed up one year ago (11.5, “Holiday” 2013). “Lite Rock” CHR sibling WWLIWPRO-FM (10.1 – 9.4, -.7), which had been on top the past four monthlies, segues from first to second. Faltering twice as much as WPRO-FM’s -.7 is Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country” (8.0 – 6.6, -1.4), which slips from second to fourth. It is the weakest performance (6+) for “Cat Country” since April (6.4). After five successive up or flat trends (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), Entercom all-sports WVEI is off by nine-tenths to 3.1, but remains at #8.

5) Raleigh – The third successive up trend for WRAL “Mix 101.5″ is a whopping +6.7 (6.8 – 6.9 – 7.3 – 14.0, 6+) and it is more than sufficient to propel the Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary outlet from second to first. “Mix” curtails 11 WRALstraight months at #1 (6+) for Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best & Most Continuous Country,” which erodes by -1.2 after dropping two full-shares in December (11.4 – 9.4 – 8.2). Prior to December, WQDR had been in double-digits (6+) in eight of the previous nine survey periods. Owing to a +1.3 to 7.1 in December, WNNL “The Light” recorded its most potent 6+ performance in almost four years, but the Radio One gospel outlet returns that entire gain (and two-tenths more) as it sputters from a third-place tie to seventh (5.8 – 7.1 – 5.6, 6+). Albeit due to a two-tenths improvement to 3.3, iHeartMedia‘s WNCB “B-93.9 – New Country” (#12 to #11) halts a three-month slide that had resulted in a cumulative -1.7 (4.8 – 4.3 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+). Leading up to that streak, “B-93.9″ had posted eight consecutive progressive trends (1.5 – 2.1 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.4 – 4.8, 6+). Sinking by nine-tenths (3.4 – 2.5, 6+) is “Mix 101.5″ sports sibling WCMC “99.9 The Fan,” which slides from #11 to #12.

6) Nashville – Pacesetter for an amazing 33rd consecutive monthly, Midwest Communications’ adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9″ returns to double-digits with a 14.1 (+4.2 from WJXADecember). Only four times in the last 31 ratings sweeps – including November and December – has “Mix” failed to hit double-digits (6+) and its 14.1 nearly matches the combined total of the market’s three FM country outlets. Down 1.6 shares from December’s 14.9, country accounts for a combined 13.3 shares (6+) from Cumulus Media siblings WSM-FM “Nash Icon” (4.8 – .5, steady at #8) and WKDF “Nash FM” (4.6, -.7, eighth to ninth), and iHeartMedia‘s WSIX-FM “The Big 98″ (3.9, -.4, steady at #10). In addition, Ryman Hospitality Properties’ classic country WSM-AM brings another 1.2 to theWRVW total (-.3, #17 to #18). On the heels of a one-half share decline, iHeartMedia’s WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” sinks by more than twice that (6.5 – 6.0 – 4.9) to slip from sixth to seventh. Four straight up-trends placed WGFX “The Zone” at 8.4 (6+) in October, but the Cumulus Media sports outlet is down for the third straight time for a combined -2.3 (8.4 – 8.0 – 7.0 – 6.1) as it drops from second to fifth. With a +.3 (6.5 – 6.8), iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “The River” ends three successive downward trends for a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 7.2 – 6.5, 6+) and inches back up from fourth to third.

7) Greensboro – The fourth straight up-trend for WMAG powers the iHeartMedia adult contemporary facility from second to first. Since September, “Continuous Soft Rock” has virtually tripled its 6+ share (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 9.6 – 16.1). Knocked out from the top spot is WQMG “The Best R&B and Old School” (10.4 – 9.9, -.5), which had finished first for 12 successive ratings periods, including four straight double-digit showings (6+). The Entercom urban AC, however, is down for the third consecutive WMAGtime (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.4 – 9.9) for a combined -1.6. CHR is off by -1.6 since December, as Dick Broadcasting‘s WKZL “The #1 Hit Music Station” falters by one full-share (5.6 – 4.6, seventh to eighth) and iHeartMedia’s WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM” loses six-tenths to 3.7; “Kiss” is down for the third straight month but ranks ninth for the 21st successive ratings period. Meanwhile, country declines by -1.3 with Entercom-owned WPAW “The Wolf” (which gained seven-tenths in December) off six-tenths to 6.6 (fourth to fifth) and iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1″ sinking by seven-tenths to 5.5 but remaining at #6. It is WTQR’s third straight downward trend for a cumulative -2.2 (7.7 – 6.8 – 6.2 – 5.5, 6+).

8) Jacksonville – A non-subscriber to Nielsen Audio this time last year, Renda adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1″ was therefore not listed in the “Holiday” 2013 report. Returning in print this past May, “Lite” keeps its perfect record in order by registering its ninth straight #1 performance – this one a WEJZstunning +8.8 to 17.9 (6+). Cox Media Group‘s WHJX “Hot 106.5″ follows up December’s gain of six-tenths with a +.7 (3.3 – 3.9 – 4.6) to crack the top ten (#11 to #9). After being up or flat for five successive survey periods with a combined +1.8 in that period (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 6.1 – 6.4 – 6.7, 6+), “Hot 106.5″ talk sibling WOKV suffers a -1.3 to 5.4, thereby falling from third to fifth. In November, iHeartMedia-owned WQIK was tied for the lead with “Lite 96.1,” but “Jacksonville’s Country” occupies the runner-up slot for the second straight sweep and falters by -1.2 from December (7.7 – 6.5).

9) Memphis – Following four successive downticks resulting in a cumulative loss of two full-shares (6.3 – 6.1 – 5.3 – 4.9 – 4.3, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “The River – Continuous Soft Rock” counters by posting its fourth straight progressive WRVRtrend resulting in a combined + 7.2 (4.3 – 4.7 – 6.3 – 7.7 – 11.5). It propels “The River” from fourth to first: The 11.5-share represents the finest 6+-performance for the “Continuous Soft Rock” outlet since the “Holiday” 2013 report when it reached 15.2. In December, iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “Halleluiah” advanced from second to first, but it falters by one full-share (9.7 – 8.7) to slide to fourth. Urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1″ (third in December) adds one-half share to the +.3 in December (8.1 – 8.4WHRK – 8.9, 6+) to catch co-owned urban AC KJMS “V-101″ (8.8 – 8.9, +.1) at #2; “V-101″ had been off the past three sweeps (9.4 – 9.2 – 9.1 – 8.8, 6+). Also in the iHM cluster, WDIA “The Heart & Soul of Memphis” declines by eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.4) but stays at #6, while talker WREC is -.7 (2.4 – 1.7, #13 to #15). As a result of five straight downward trends (8.0 – 7.7 – 7.4 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.8, 6+), Cumulus Media‘s WGKX “Kix 106 – Today’s Best Country” (steady at #9) has lost more than 50% of its 6+-share. Former alternative outlet WIVG – now “Throwback Hip-Hop” – improves by seven-tenths and the Flinn Broadcasting facility breaks the one-share barrier (1.1, #19).

10) Hartford – Adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 100.5″ (8.7 – 15.2, +6.5) finishes first for the third consecutive sweep. The CBS Radio-owned property solidifies its hold on the top spot by outpointing the combined 6+ totals of iHeartMedia siblings (CHR) WKSS “Kiss” (6.5 – 6.8, +.3, fifth to second) and WWYZ WRCH“Country 92-5″ (8.2 – 6.6, -1.6, second to third). Meanwhile, “Lite 100.5″ hot AC cluster-mate WTIC-FM (#1 in October) has its third straight downward trend which has thus far yielded a -2.9 (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.2 – 6.0, 6+); WTIC-FM drops from third to fifth. Up or flat the past three ratings periods (5.1 – 6.0 – 6.0 – 6.4, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WHCN-FM “The River 105.9″ sputters by -1.1 to 5.3, moving from sixth to seventh.

Special Note: Among all stations from this 12-market group, the top gainers (December – “Holiday,” 6+) are: WEJZ, Jacksonville (+8.8); WWLI, Providence (+7.6); WRAL, Raleigh (+6.7); WMAG, Greensboro (+6.5); WRCH, Hartford (+6.5); WRIT, Milwaukee (+6.1); WYXB, Indianapolis (+5.5); WJXA, Nashville (+4.2); KKMJ, Austin (+4.0); and WRVR, Memphis (+3.8).

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”