If this HTML email does not render correctly, click here for the online version.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Volume 6   |   Issue 95
Tom Taylor Now
The classic takeover
KZPSClassic rock, classic hits – the classics do well in some early PPM markets for April.

It’s not just yesterday’s Day 1 markets, but a steady tide of classic stations taking over middays in particular – once the “workday listening” domain of adult contemporary. To cherry-pick a few examples, iHeart’s Dallas classic rocker “Lonestar” KZPS just achieved its best Nielsen PPM age 6+ AQH share number ever. Classic hits is #1 in New York (WCBS-FM) and Philly (WOGL). CBS sister “K-Earth” KRTH in Los Angeles isn’t #1, but it did score its best topline since December 2015. In Houston, Cox classic rock “Eagle” KGLK/KHPT improves from fourth to third and is second middays. Nielsen’s been talking about the advancing fortunes of classic hits for some time now. See what’s developing in the Day 1 April markets, coming up in today’s NOW Newsletter.

A “bank error” in the Monopoly board-game can be in your favor –

But in the FCC Auction Game, it can cost you dearly, like the construction permit for a new FM you thought you’d won. Also more than $100,000 as a default penalty. Rick Rambaldo’s ERIE Radio Company made its $25,000 initial “upfront payment” in the FCC’s Auction #98 of new FM licenses and was the eventual high bidder for a new CP at Westfield, New York – the Erie market (August 14, 2015 NOW). Using a new entrant bidding credit, ERIE Radio bid $535,500 and was then required to make a $107,100 “down payment” – and that’s when disaster struck. It made the down payment literally one day late, citing a problem at the bank. It asked the FCC for a waiver, but the policy is super-strict – no breaks for late payment. (Rival Erie-market owner Connoisseur Media, an underbidder for the future Class A at 100.9, objected to the request for waiver.) ERIE Radio says it did submit its “final payment” six days early, but to no avail. The Commission declares a default on the bid, dismisses the application and – ouch – assesses an “interim default payment” of 20% of the bid. That’s $107,100, the same amount as the day-late down payment. So the FCC keeps that money. Read the tough Order here.

CumulusCumulus station revenues down 1.6% for the quarter, but they look better…

Well, you know the pet phrase by now – they look better “ex-political.” Excluding revenues from the political category, management says Cumulus revenue from the stations would’ve been “almost flat.” It views that as a pretty solid result in the squishy ad climate. CFO John Abbot says the year-ago political haul was $2.9 million, compared to $500,000 in this year’s first quarter. That accounts for pretty much all the year-to-year decline. On what’s called an “as-reported basis” – everything including the kitchen sink – radio station group revenues were off from $176.5 million to $173.6 million. The stations generate about two-thirds of total Cumulus revenue. Westwood One was down a tad more, percentage-wise, off 1.9% to $89.9 million. But CEO Mary Berner’s particularly pleased with Suzanne Grimes-led Westwood, saying this was its best quarter in years. Q1 was Westwood’s sixth straight quarter of growth, and Berner says the core “controllable” ad sales were up, year over year. Renegotiated contracts helped tamp down expenses. Westwood’s EBITDA (one measure of cash flow) improved about 15%. All-told, the Cumulus net loss was nearly 50% smaller, down from $14.4 million to $7.4 million.

“Sulu” and the Cumulus “Be A Leader” sales-lead idea have produced about $1.5 million in sales.

“Nearly 2,000 qualified leads” have been supplied by non-sellers at Cumulus stations, and CEO Mary Berner says they’re responsible for “almost $1.5 million of incremental revenue since the launch in late January.” She sounds happy with the unusual program, which offers monthly prizes plus a large yearly one. More from Monday afternoon’s Q1 call – magazine industry veteran Berner views employee turnover as a key metric to gauge how employees feel about the company and its culture. She says total turnover’s at a new low for recent times. Cumulus is now offering a “referral bonus” for employees who suggest new salespeople. It’s revised its compensation scheme for market managers. And – this seems logical – it’s subdivided the radio station division into two groups. One’s for PPM markets (basically the top 50) and one’s for diary markets. New internal systems are priority, replacing the previous Dickey-era system. There’s an overhaul of traffic systems underway, for instance.) And Cumulus has now centralized selling “remnant inventory,” trying to squeeze more revenue out of unsold avails.

Cumulus balance sheet “continues to be over-levered.”

Management doesn’t sugarcoat that hanging problem, and CEO Mary Berner ends her part of yesterday’s Q1 call saying they’re continuing to explore all available options. Continued NASDAQ listing is endangered on not one but two fronts, says CFO John Abbot. Cumulus is out of compliance with the rule for minimum shareholders’ equity. The company submitted a plan to the exchange on May 5, seeking an extension of time to September 17. And time’s what Cumulus management really needs – the famous “runway” question. NASDAQ’s second problem with Cumulus is its “bid price requirement” of at least $1 a share. Cumulus did its 8-for-1 reverse stock split last October but watched the new cushion melt away. “CMLS” stock closed yesterday at 31 cents a share. The company has until October to regain compliance for the bid-price rule. Finally, Berner’s trying to address years of under-investment with judicious spending on “cap-ex” – capital expenditures. That line was up from $4,161,000 a year ago to $5,736,00 in this year’s first quarter. And for the full year, cap-ex will be higher than last year, because management says it needs to be.

National Radio Hall Of FameWe’ve got the 2017 nominees for the National Radio Hall of Fame, and again the public votes for the two “personality” categories.

Those are “Music Format On-Air Personality” – nominees Bobby Bones, Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Guy Phillips and Ryan Seacrest. And “Spoken Word Personality” – Mike (Greenberg) & Mike (Golic), Bill Handel, Joe Madison and “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.” Voting by the public for those categories, supported by the online “Votem” service, opens up June 5. Winners in four other categories will be selected by “a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals,” says the Chicago-based Hall. Let’s see who’s loading up in the chutes for those horse races –

National Radio Hall of Fame nominees worked everywhere from big markets to Boise.

Let’s do the categories, with four nominees in each. There’s “Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more)” – D.C.’s Johnny Holiday, Chicago’s John Records Landecker, Boise’s Paul Schneider and D.C.’s Donnie Simpson. In “Active Local/Regional (10 years or more)” – Tom Barnard of Minneapolis, Jack Harris & Tedd Webb of Tampa, Charles Laquidara of Boston and Preston Elliot & Steve Morrison of Philadelphia. On the national front, there’s the category for “Longstanding Network Syndication (20 years or more)” – Denny Matthews (K.C. Royals play-by-play), Robin Quivers of the Howard Stern show, CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome and American Public Media’s “Marketplace.” Finally, there’s “Active Network/Syndication” – “Fabulous Sports Babe” Nancy Donnellan, Premiere’s Sean Hannity, just-retired D.C.-based Diane Rehm and Atlanta-based Bert Weiss of The Bert Show. The Hall notes that Votem also handles voting for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The actual vote-counting will be done by Miller Kaplan Arase, the L.A.-based outfit that also compiles market-based revenue reports for radio. National Radio Hall of Fame Chair Kraig Kitchin says “as an industry, we should all be proud of our incredibly diverse community of talent.” Inductees will be announced June 26 (so the public voting window is not terribly long.) The induction ceremony at the downtown Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications is Thursday, November 2. Presenting sponsor for the ceremony is The Mix Group. More from the Hall here.

Connecticut Radio NetworkConnecticut Radio Network will exit the daily news business.

CRN International President Barry Berman lays it out – “Many local radio stations in larger Connecticut cities have been sold to national corporations with diminished appetites for news and local programs. The closing of our daily operation reflects that market shift.” They’ll still supply the Nutmeg State-focused weekly “Dialogue” interview show with Steve Kotchko. But after June 9, they’re suspending the daily news service. CRN International says that began in 1973, the year after the state legislature resumed meeting every year, and it was named the Connecticut Public Information Network. CRN International has other irons in the fire, beyond the Connecticut state borders, working with major advertisers on marketing campaigns that include audio. Read its statement about Connecticut Radio Network here.

More about radio and new-car advertising –

Last week this NOW Newsletter told you that literally not a single carmaker was advertising new cars or trucks, anywhere in the top 100 of the previous week’s ranker of radio’s national advertisers compiled by Media Monitors. So here’s the update – we have three such clients, but they’re down at #65 (Jeep, with 5,726 ads), #75 (Chrysler Pacifica, 5,012 ads) and #85 (Toyota, 4,568 ads). If the Tier 1 manufacturers, Tier 2 dealer groups and Tier 3 local dealers want to compensate for the 2017 sales slump, you’d think they would be candidates for pitches from radio. Here’s the Media Monitors top ten - #1 Home Depot (a whopping buy of 66,255 spots). Then iHeart’s non-revenue iHeartRadio, followed by GEICO insurance Lowe’s, J.C. Penney, McDonald’s, Mattress Firm, The Discover card, Auto Zone and – leading into Mother’s Day – Pro Flowers. Another likely Mother’s Day big spender is at #11 – Jared, the Galleria of Jewelry.

Doing Business

Howard Stern merely had “a fever and the flu,” which caused him to miss last Wednesday’s SiriusXM show. That’s the New York Post’s Page 6 prosaic explanation for an event that cause severe hyperventilation among Stern fans – because he hasn’t taken a “sick day” in decades. Speculation about the cause ran from a pay dispute with his employer to a death in the family, and the Stern folks didn’t do much explaining last week. Yesterday Stern said “I took a sick day and I’m still sick…you can still hear it in my voice.” He was perturbed that some fans were calling his mother’s house – “They’re calling my mother to see why I’m missing school.”

Heidi RaphaelHeidi Raphael eventually follows the stations she long worked for – when they were owned by Greater Media – and joins their new owner Beasley Media Group as its VP of Corporate Communications. The station sale closed last year, and now 20-year Greater Media staffer Heidi is working for Beasley. At GMI, she started as marketing director at Detroit rocker WRIF/101.1, became Group Marketing Director for Detroit, a New Business Development Director and – by 2006 – at the corporate level with Peter Smyth doing communications. She rose from director to VP to Senior VP. Heidi’s active with the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (board member) and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group. New email - Beasley’s previous VP Corporate Communications was Soni Dimond, who succeeded longtime Beasley communications point-person Denyse Mesnik in 2015. Beasley says Soni decided to leave to pursue new opportunities. She’d moved from the northeast to Florida for the Beasley gig.

“Westwood One Spot Sales” joins the Katz-owned “Expressway from Katz” programmatic buying platform, putting inventory from the Cumulus stations into the online buying system of iHeart-owned Katz. Eleven big Cumulus markets are already live in the Jelli-powered “Expressway,” including New York, L.A., Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta. They say “all Cumulus markets are expected to be online by July.” Cumulus/Westwood One Senior VP/Sales Rafe D’Amico says “America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution toward programmatic.” Katz EVP Joe Brewer says advertisers will be serviced with “automation” of spot sales, “real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities.”

Apple’s iTunes and Microsoft will make music together – because they think they can make money together. Fortune says that sometime before year-end, “Apple’s popular iTunes music app will be made available to people through the Windows Store.” That’s key because Fortune says Microsoft’s new “Windows 10 S operating system will only let people download Microsoft-approved apps from the Windows Store.” Neither Microsoft nor Apple has been eager in the past to help out the other – and this deal could boost signups for the nearly two-year-old Apple Music streaming service.

Pandora “considers selling Ticketfly, to focus on streaming,” says Bloomberg. Previous management thought the ticket service fit well with the company’s strong emphasis on artists and their managers, and the market-specific data it can supply them based on listening. (Should an act book a 400-person hall in Austin, or one that holds 2,000?) Pandora paid $335 million for Ticketfly in 2015 – but in this compressed 30-day period where Pandora’s looking for a buyer for the whole company, offloading Ticketfly is now being discussed. Pandora lost another dime yesterday, about 1%, closing at $9.72 a share.

Nielsen PPMs

The Day 1 Nielsen PPM ratings for April –
This time we’re comparing the last three months, of February, March and the brand-new April survey that ran March 30-April 26. All shares will be age 6+ AQH shares for the total broadcast week – and we see only the stations that subscribe.

New York lays out a pattern you’ll also see in Philadelphia – the CBS Radio classic hits station is #1 total-week, #1 middays and #2 in PM drive. In the Big Apple, that’s WCBS-FM (6.1-5.9-6.1, fourth in mornings, tied for second on weekends). Chris Huff says “This is the first #1 for ’CBS-FM since last July.” The 6.1 just noses out iHeart’s AC “Lite” WLTW (7.1-6.2-6.0). Its winning dayparts are PM drive and weekends, and it finishes second middays and nights. For most dayparts, Lite is up in cume but down in share. Third overall is Emmis’ urban AC WBLS (5.3-5.4-5.6, and third from 6am to 3pm). Fourth place is a tie between CBS Radio’s news “1010 WINS” (5.4-5.8-5.3) and iHeart CHR “Z100” WHTZ (5.5-5.9-5.3). WINS is tops in morning drive and tied for second on weekends. Z100’s Elvis Duran is second in mornings. Sixth is iHeart’s classic rocker “Q104.3” WAXQ (5.0-5.2-4.9, and fourth middays). Looks like the MLB Mets are kicking in for CBS Radio’s sports WFAN-AM/FM (2.7-2.9-3.8). The Fan is in first place at night. The urban rivals are “Power 105.1” WWPR-FM (iHeart, 3.6-3.6-3.7) and “Hot 97” WQHT (Emmis, 3.3-3.6-3.5). “Largest share in the PPM era for SBS’ Spanish contemporary WPAT-FM,” according to Chris Huff. It’s twelfth (2.3-2.5-3.1). The MLB Yankees are swinging at the plate for iHeart’s talk WOR (1.8-1.7-2.2). It’s up to a tenth-place tie at night. We give you the leader in average weekly cume for each of the PPM markets, and for NYC, that’s AC “Lite” at about 5.12 million.

Los Angeles may be doing the Wave one of these days, but not quite yet. iHeart’s hot AC KBIG (5.2-5.7-5.6) has a slim tenth of a share lead over CBS Radio’s smooth R&B “Wave” KTWV (4.8-5.5-5.5). Here’s how they slice up the dayparts – KBIG’s #1 mornings, afternoons and weekends, while the Wave is #1 middays, and second mornings and nights. Overall, CBS classic hits sister “K-Earth” KRTH is third with its best topline since December 2015 (4.9-4.9-5.0, and second middays). iHeart has the fourth and fifth stations, top 40 “Kiss” KIIS (4.8-4.9-4.8) and AC KOST (4.6-4.4-4.6). Kiss-FM’s Ryan Seacrest is tied for third in mornings, while KOST if fourth middays. In this 43% Hispanic market, Univision’s Spanish contemporary “K-Love” KLVE is the leading Spanish station 6+ (3.9-3.9-3.7). iHeart’s seventh-place talker KFI is the leading talk-based station (3.5-3.4-3.5), just a fraction ahead of CBS news KNX (3.8-3.6-3.4). KNX is the other station in the third-place morning tie. Will “Power 106” buyer Alex Meruelo really keep KPWR in the hip-hop format? For now, it’s behind the iHeart challenger. iHeart’s “Real 92.3” KRRL holds 2.9-2.7-2.8, versus Power’s 2.7-2.6-2.6. Power slightly out-cumes Real. Interestingly, the same L.A. stations are top five in both AQH share and cume, though in different order. Big CHR Kiss leads L.A. in cume at 3,868,800.

WVAZChicago votes iHeart’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ #1 for the third straight month (6.0-5.6-5.6). The only daypart where it’s not #1 is mornings, where it’s fourth. Second overall is CBS Radio’s news WBBM/WCFS (5.4-5.4-4.9, tied for first in mornings). Third – as it frequently is – you’ve got Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (4.9-4.8-4.8, and tied with ’BBM for the morning lead). There’s a fourth-place tie between Tribune’s talk WGN (4.2-4.2-3.9) and iHeart top 40 “Kiss” WKSC (3.9-4.2-3.9). WGN’s third in mornings and Kiss is third at night. Sixth place is also a tie, between CBS-owned rhythmic “B96” WBBM-FM (3.5-3.2-3.7) and sports “Score” WSCR (2.1-2.2-3.7). You can tell who’s got the World Champion Cubs, right? The Score is second at night, while Disney-owned/ESPN managed sports WMVP doesn’t move much (1.8-2.1-1.7). There’s a three-way tie further down – between CBS classic hits WJMK (3.1-2.7-2.7), Cumulus classic hits WLS-FM (2.8-2.9-2.7) and easy oldies WRME (2.8-2.7-2.7). WRME’s the audio of a channel 6 low power TV LMA’d by Weigel. The country race is between CBS-owned “US 99” WUSN (2.7-2.6-2.6) and iHeart’s “Big” WEBG (2.2-2.2-2.3). Both full-power regional Mexican stations see growth – Univision’s WOJO (2.8-2.9-3.3) and SBS’ “La Ley” WLEY-FM (1.9-1.9-2.3). While the WLIT-HD2/translator combo that iHeart does regional Mexican on edges up (0.2-0.4-0.5). Chicago’s leading cume station is CHR Kiss (2,248,800).


San Francisco craves information, and keeps not-for-profit news/talk KQED and news KCBS/KFRC #1 and #2. Northern California Public Broadcasting KQED is #1 again (7.7-7.3-7.0). Its worst daypart is middays (third), while it’s tied for first place in mornings, and wins everywhere else. Second total-week is CBS Radio’s KCBS/KFRC (6.8-6.2-6.3). It’s tied with KQED for the morning lead and is second everywhere else. Third and fourth also repeat from last month – Entercom AC KOIT 4.9-5.2-5.5, and #1 middays), and iHeart’s easy oldies “Breeze” KISQ (4.5-4.4-4.3). New fifth-place station reflects the potency of Giants baseball. That’s Cumulus sports KNBR (3.2-3.0-4.2, and now fourth place from 3pm to midnight). A low number for CBS CHR KMVQ (3.8-3.8-3.2). Check Cumulus talk KGO – fifteenth for the week (2.4-2.5-2.4), but fifth in mornings with Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty. AC KOIT holds the cume lead at 1,664,200.

Dallas breaks up last month’s tie at the top, handling country “Wolf” KPLX the outright win (Cumulus, 6.2-6.0-6.2). Chris Huff says “this is the first time KPLX has ever won or tied for the lead, four months in a row.” The Wolf wins PM drive and weekends. Former tied-for-#1 CHR “Kiss” KHKS is second (iHeart, 5.6-6.0-5.9). Its Kidd Kraddick Show is first (no longer tied for first), and Kiss wins from 7pm-midnight, too. Third overall with a notable jump is CBS classic hits KLUV (4.8-4.7-5.5). KLUV’s #1 middays and second in afternoons. Fourth with its biggest PPM ever is iHeart classic rock KZPS (4.7-5.0-5.2, and second from 6am to 3pm). Fifth is regional Mexican KLNO (Univision, 4.2-3.9-4.4, and tied for third in the sunrise daypart. The other Cumulus country station, KSCS, is sixth (4.3-4.3-3.8). Looks like a comeback for Salem’s recently-troubled contemporary Christian KLTY (2.6-2.9-3.5). It’s tied for eighth with CBS variety hits “Jack” KJKK (3.7-3.9-3.5). Just above them is iHeart’s hot AC KDMX (4.1-3.8-3.6) – so things are pretty snug in that area. Bad trend for Cumulus talk WBAP (3.3-2.9-2.6). ’BAP just observed its 95th birthday. DFW’s leading cume station is CHR Kiss at just about 1.82 million.

Houston demonstrates the strength of Radio One’s urban AC “Majic” KMJQ, which sheds a full share from last month’s nearly eight-year high – but still wins the market plus every daypart except mornings (second) and middays (fifth). Majic moves 7.2-7.9-6.9. A strong second is Univision’s regional Mexican KLTN (6.1-5.6-6.3, and #1 mornings). Up from fourth to third is the Cox classic rock “Eagle” simulcast of KGLK/KHPT (5.3-5.7-5.9, and second middays). Fourth this time is KSBJ Educational Foundation’s contemporary Christian KSBJ (5.4-4.9-5.6), just edging out iHeart’s AC KODA (6.2-5.8-5.5). Despite the total-week drop, KODA is #1 middays and third in afternoons. Sixth is Cox country “93Q” KKBQ (4.2-5.8-4.9). CBS rival KILT-FM is tied for fifteenth (3.6-3.5-3.3). Co-owned classic hits “Spot” KKHH, the former CHR “Hot 95.7,” may’ve found its niche. It’s tied for seventh (4.6-4.8-4.4) with iHeart’s alternative KTBZ (4.5-4.0-4.4). Watch the recent spurt for CBS hot AC KHMX (2.7-3.1-3.6) – now tied for thirteenth place. iHeart’s talk KTRH is back where it was just after the election (4.4-3.9-3.6). Astros baseball apparently lifts iHeart sports KBME (0.5-0.5-1.1). But no lift for Radio One’s KROI, which adopted the CHR mantle dropped by the former “Hot 95.7.” KROI’s off this time, 1.2-1.2-0.9. Houston’s cume leader remains AC KODA, at about 2.29 million.


Atlanta continues its love affair with Cox news/talk WSB/WSBB for a sixteenth straight win (9.9-9.5-9.5). It scores double digits from 6am to 7pm, winning those dayparts. WSB’s second at night, though tied for seventh on weekends. Cox has the two tied-for-second stations (urban AC “Kiss” WALR, 6.3-5.9-6.2 and classic rock “River” WSRV, 5.1-5.9-6.2). But right behind is CBS urban “V103” WVEE (6.3-6.3-6.1). Swimming in fifth place is Salem’s contemporary Christian “Fish” WSFH (4.9-5.4-5.0). Checking daypart bragging rights, urban AC Kiss is #1 weekends, classic rock River is second middays and afternoons, urban V103 is #1 at night and second on weekends. Sixth for the week is Cox AC “B98.5” WSB-FM (5.3-4.6-4.6, and fourth middays, as it works on a eleventh-place morning show). The country scene is tied-for-twelfth “Kicks” WKHX (Cumulus, 4.0-4.1-3.6) and “Bull” WUBL (iHeart, 2.9-3.4-3.6). FM carrier for the hometown MLB Braves is Cumulus news/talk WYAY (1.4-1.6-1.9). The Braves flagship is Dickey-owned sports “680 the Fan” WCNN and its translator (1.7-1.5-1.4). The fact that AC “B98.5” cumes the most at 1.4 million Atlantans hints at what it could do.

WOGLPhiladelphia favors classic hits WOGL for a second straight win (CBS, 7.3-7.3-6.9). It’s again #1 middays, then second in afternoons and third on weekends. Second-place overall is iHeart’s urban AC WDAS-FM (6.5-6.9-6.7, and it’s #1 nights and weekends). Third is Jerry Lee Radio’s AC “More FM” WBEB (7.9-7.0-6.6). WBEB is #1 in afternoons, tied for second middays and third in morning drive. Beasley has fourth-ranked classic rock WMGK (5.9-6.2-6.4) and fifth-ranked rock WMMR (5.9-5.9-6.0). ’MMR’s Preston & Steve again dominate in mornings, while WMGK’s third middays and second on weekends. Next is CBS news KYW (5.3-5.6-4.8) and CBS sports WIP (3.9-4.1-4.8). KYW’s second in mornings while WIP’s third at night with the MLB Phillies. You’re probably wondering about the arc of the new CBS challenger in the AC world – “Today’s 96.5” WTDY. It stays flattish (2.7-3.0-3.9). The cume-check is revealing, since “More FM” is the clear cume leader at 1.75 million while WTDY is fifth at just over 1 million. Back to AQH share for a second, iHeart’s top 40/Elvis Duran “Q102” WIOQ is ninth (4.3-4.2-4.4) – but third in total-week cume.

Nassau-Suffolk shows Connoisseur’s Long Island-based hot AC WALK-FM recovering from last month’s seventh-place finish (5.2-4.2-5.1). But check the PPM-style compression – seven stations are clumped between that 5.1 and a 4.5. Tied for second at 5.0-shares are Cox top 40 WBLI (4.5-5.8-5.0) and iHeart’s top 40 “Z100” WHTZ (5.9-6.1-5.0). Fourth is CBS sports “Fan” WFAN-AM/FM (4.7-4.8-4.8), and then tied for fifth are Connoisseur’s classic hits “Max” WBZO (4.3-4.4-4.7) and CBS classic hits WCBS-FM (5.3-4.9-4.7). Seventh and very much in the pack is Cox classic rocker WBAB (4.0-4.4-4.5). Reviewing dayparts, WALK-FM is #1 in PM drive and classic hits “Max” is #1 middays, and tied for second in afternoons. CHR Z100 easily holds the cume lead at 667,700.

Riverside-San Bernardino supports “Jose” in the #1 place again. That’s Entravision’s Spanish variety hits KLYY (9.2-8.6-8.3). The only daypart it doesn’t win is nights (seventh). This book breaks last month’s second-place tie among listed stations between Inland Empire’s classic hits KOLA (5.6-5.2-5.6) and Univision’s L.A.-market regional Mexican KSCA (4.6-5.2-4.9). Fourth place is a tie between country “K-Frog” KFRG (CBS, 4.5-4.5-4.6) and Univision’s L.A.-market Spanish contemporary “K-Love” KLVE (3.9-4.0-4.6). Falling this time is iHeart’s rhythmic KGGI (5.4-4.6-4.4). Classic hits KOLA is #1 at night, while KSCA is #2 mornings and nights. KOLA has the market’s cume lead at just over 600,000, while KGGI’s close at 577,400.

Talk Shows

San Jose gives KQED and KCBS/KFRC a combined 13.3 share – a bunch of news and news/talk listening. #1 again is Northern California Public Broadcasting’s not-for-profit KQED (7.6-7.5-7.2) and #2 again is KCBS/KFRC (6.7-6.3-6.1). KQED’s only daypart loss (to KCBS/KFRC) is morning drive. Third is Univision’s Spanish variety hits “Mas Variedad” KBRG (5.1-4.5-5.4), followed by Alpha’s hot AC KEZR (4.3-4.5-5.0) and iHeart’s strengthening soft oldies “Breeze” KISQ (3.2-4.1-4.6). KEZR’s #1 at night in the South Bay and the Breeze is third. KEZR’s classic hits sister KBAY moves 4.1-4.4-4.2. Empire’s KRTY – the Bay Area’s only country FM (now with the NBA Golden State Warriors) – is just below that (4.1-4.3-4.0). KEZR pulls the largest cume at 457,800.

WKXWMiddlesex-Somerset-Union keeps talk-weekdays/classic hits-weekends “NJ 101.5” WKXW #1 – though the Townsquare station’s softer (7.9-7.4-6.5). It wins both drivetimes and weekends. Second for the week is Emmis urban AC WBLS (5.7-5.9-6.0), followed by more NY-market signals – iHeart’s classic rock WAXQ (a third straight 5.1, and second on weekends). And the tied-for fourth AC “Lite” WLTW (iHeart, 5.9-5.7-4.9) and Spanish tropical “Mega” WSKQ (SBS, 4.3-4.6-4.9). Seventh is Beasley’s in-market AC “Magic 98.3” WMGQ (3.1-3.2-4.1, and fourth-place middays). Tied for eleventh is Newark-licensed country “Nash” WNSH (Cumulus, 3.6-3.6-3.7 and third at night). Further down, Pillar of Fire’s not-for-profit contemporary Christian “Star” WAWZ holds 3.0-3.3-3.0. CHR Z100 (382,100) and AC Lite (380,400) lead the cume parade.

Watch for the Day 2 Nielsen PPM markets today at 5pm Eastern time in your email. That’s if you signed up for ’em (and you can do that at the bottom of today’s issue under “Email Options/Update Subscription”). The Futuri Media-sponsored Same-Day Ratings Email will tell you about Washington DC, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and six more markets.

Formats & Branding

Why did iHeart swap signals on two AMs in Riverside-San Bernardino? Radio Insight says it’s a matter of where the signals are – “While 1440 AM is only 1,000 watts and 1290 AM is 5,000 watts, the 1440 signal is more centrally located in the market.” Moving the talk format from 1440 Riverside to 1290 San Bernardino targets San Bernardino more directly (since directional 1290 has “a null away from the Riverside part of the market”). The new KKDD/1290 will use Armstrong & Getty in mornings, plus Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. 1440 is the new home of Spanish AC “La Preciosa” KFNY, moving from 1290.

Peoria’s got a “Sports Nut,” perhaps a unique brand-name for the sports format. Alpha Media puts it on the HD2 signal of its “G102.3” WNGY Morton, rebroadcast on co-owned Peoria translator W251BQ at 95.9. Radio Insight reports the “Sports Nut” roster includes Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd and Doug Gottlieb. Most sports stations at least try to do at least a local afternoon show, and here it will be Scott Robbins. The Nut will compete with Advanced Media Partners-owned “ESPN Peoria 96.5” WZPN Farmington.

RTK Media, Inc.
On The Block

Red ZebraRed Zebra continues to unwind a sky-high $33 million purchase it made in 2006. Dan Snyder’s next D.C.-area sale is to “K-Love” parent EMF, and the price for southwest-suburban WWXX Buckland, VA/94.3 is $250,000. It’s stunning to realize how much the deal-world has changed. Eleven years ago, Redskins principal owner Dan Snyder bought this station (then-WBPS-FM Warrenton), plus WKDL Alexandria/730 (today’s Metro-owned WTNT) and WBZS, Prince Frederick, MD/92.7 (today’s WWXT). For those two suburban FMs plus the AM, Red Zebra paid $33 million. The Prince Frederick FM and Red Zebra’s WXGI Richmond/950 recently sold to Radio One for $2 million (April 21 NOW). And here’s the Buckland FM, WWXX, going to not-for-profit Educational Media Foundation for $250,000. (Bruce Houston’s Metro bought the Alexandria AM in 2010 for $1.5 million.) 94.3 will become part of the contemporary Christian K-Love network. (Not its sister Air1.) Red Zebra seemingly has one station left to sell, WSPZ Bethesda/570. This NOW Newsletter continues to hear that Red Zebra’s keeping Redskins flagship WTEM Washington/980. Broker on the Buckland FM – Greg Guy of Patrick Communications.

$2.6 million cash is the price for three New Hampshire Lakes Region FMs being sold by Jeff Shapiro’s Great Eastern Radio to Dirk Nadon. Yesterday’s NOW had the story about these three Class A FMs – rock “Hawk 104.9” WLKZ Wolfeboro, news/talk “Pulse 107.7” WTPL Hillsboro and the one with special meaning for the buyer, “Sports Radio 101.5” WZEI Meredith. Scott Fybush at NE Radio Watch says Dirk’s “the veteran New Hampshire broadcaster who put 101.5 on the air as WMRQ with his late stepfather Bill Forbes and partner Gary Howard back in 1988.” Dirk later worked for sportscaster Curt Gowdy’s WCCM and WCGY, then was director of engineering for Nassau in northern New England and its successor Binnie Media. Nadon’s filing this purchase as Lakes Media LLC. Seller Jeff Shapiro was advised by Richard A. Foreman Associates

A $600,000 deal closes in Phoenix, where Bonneville sells KMVP/860 but keeps the calls. New owner Farmworker Educational Network, connected to the family of Cesar Chavez, gets the full-time signal with 940 watts daytime/1,000 watts at night. It’s also got a station that can run commercials (if it chooses), unlike the foundation’s not-for-profit regional Mexican KNAI/88.3. Broker – Kalil & Co.

You Can't Make This Up

Blondie - RaptureThe record company went nuts when the song was pulled for dirty lyrics – Joel Dearing, now CEO of Virtual News Center, says “Rap was in its early, early days and Blondie was on the charts with ‘Rapture.’ Being on the air, I had taken some calls about the dirty lyrics in the song. What was being ‘heard’ by some was ‘finger- f’ng, 24 hour shopping in Rapture.’ Finally a call came into the front office, made it to the GM and we were told to pull the song. Since we were a reporter station, the record company went nuts. I explained to the record rep why we dropped their hit, they said no way, I said show me differently. They finally sent me a musical score that showed the lyrics ‘finger popping, 24 hour shopping in Rapture.’ I then had to sell management on the fact that the word ‘popping’ makes more sense in a lyric with ‘shopping’ than what they thought they were hearing. Funny, if you listen to the song with the ‘dirty lyric’ in mind, that is what you will hear.” Share your own cherished radio story with the industry – email “You Can’t Make This Up” –


Like what you’re seeing here every morning? Tell a friend, and forward the NOW Newsletter on to them. It’s how we keep growing the readership (and we do). If you do business with one of our advertisers – tell them you appreciate their support of us.

Want to reach this NOW audience? Talk with our Kristy Scott - or phone 818-591-6815. See you back first thing tomorrow - Tom

  You are receiving this email at <<Email Address>> because you subscribed to the Tom Taylor Now newsletter
  Stop Receiving this Email | Start Receiving this Email | Update Subscriptions | Forward
  To view or print current and past issues of Tom Taylor Now, please click here.
  Send news, announcements, format updates, personnel changes to Tom Taylor
at or by phone at 609-883-3321.
  To talk about advertising or other creative ideas, contact Kristy Scott at or by phone at 818-591-6815
  RTK Media, Inc.| 3925 Sussex Dr. Nashville, TN 37207 © 2017 RTK Media, Inc., All rights reserved.