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Sunday, September 26, 2021

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New York's 'KTU And 'NEW Sandwich L.A.'s KBIG For Hot AC's Top Three.

Hot Adult Contemporary has been, for 2021 to date, the format growth story of the year. CHR's slightly softer sister has shown steady share gains from January through August among persons 6+ and adults 25-54 – up 0.7 from January in the latter demo – based on Nielsen PPM cross-market average quarter-hour data.

Which Hot AC stations are the Stars, Mix-ing it up Now? Nielsen's top 25, based on weekly cume persons 12+ using its most recent National Regional Database (spring 2021), reflecting both in- and out-of-market on-air and streaming listening, are the focus of this week's edition of Inside Radio's “By The Numbers.”

New York claims two of the top three, with iHeartMedia's beat-powered WKTU at the top. Since the calls returned to the market in 1996, 'KTU has pumped out feel-good dance-based hits for the adult audience to great success: with a 2.5 million cume, 'KTU currently reaches one in six New Yorkers weekly. Programmed by Chris Conley, the station features “Elvis Duran & the Morning Show” alums Carolina Bermudez and Greg T in mornings, with National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and New York radio veteran Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton – who was part of the original “Z100” WHTZ lineup in 1983 at age 20 – in afternoons.

In second place with a 2.4 million weekly cume is iHeart's L.A. Hot AC “104.3 MYFM” KBIG, reaching an impressive one in five people in the market. Programmed by John Peake since 2017, “MYFM” has had Sean Valentine handling mornings since a week after the format began in 2007, while Dave Styles drives Angelenos home afternoons.

The Big Apple's other Hot AC, Audacy's WNEW, holds down the number three spot with a 2.2 million weekly cume. In the Hot AC game since 2007 – originally as “Fresh 102.7” WWFS, and NEW-FM since 2018 – 'NEW features Karen Carson, a New York radio mainstay since 1994, in mornings, and Mike Adam afternoons.

“WNEW was on the road to being a top station in New York just as COVID hit New York,” Program Director Jim Ryan says. “The dedication of the staff through the pandemic to continue to deliver great radio was unmatched. Karen and her entire morning team continued to broadcast from home with COVID, and that show and its benchmarks are one of the cornerstones of the station.”

WNEW is one of seven Hot ACs for Audacy in Nielsen's ranking, with three others – Houston's “Mix 96.5” KHMX, San Francisco's “Alice at 97.3” KLLC and Atlanta's “Star 94” WSTR – inside the top 10. Beyond owning Hot AC's top two, iHeart places four more stations in the top 25, including fourth-ranked “102.9 Now” KDMX in Dallas. Three other station groups place two: Hubbard Radio lands both of theirs – “101.9 FM The Mix” WTMX Chicago, and “KS95” KSTP-FM Minneapolis – in the top 10, while Cumulus Media has ninth-ranked WDVD Detroit, and Connoisseur Media's best showing is with Long Island's WALK-FM.

Along with New York, two other markets have two Hot ACs listed: Minneapolis with “KS95” and iHeart's “Cities 97.1” KTCZ, and Phoenix with iHeart's “Mix 96.9” KMXP and Desert Valley Media's “Hot 97.5/103.9” KMVA. And six – iHeart's WKTU, KBIG and KDMX, along with Hubbard's KSTP-FM, KLO Broadcasting's “Now 97.9!” KBZN Salt Lake City and Bonneville's “Now 100.5” KZZO Sacramento – finish among their market's top three, based on Nielsen's August PPM rank of persons 6+ weekly cume.

In addition to iHeart's KBIG, other stations reaching at least one-fifth of their market's population weekly include Hubbard's KSTP-FM Minneapolis (22%), Audacy's “Mix 105.1” WOMX Orlando (25%) and “Y98.1” KYKY St. Louis (20%), Cox Media Group's “Magic 105.3” KSMG San Antonio (21%) and KLO's KBZN Salt Lake City (21%).

One of the secrets to Hot AC's ever-growing success? “We’ve struck the perfect balance of music, hanging onto our biggest currents longer, and mixing in great library titles going back to the 90s,” Ryan says. “When our target 25-54 female audience tunes into 102.7, they undoubtedly will hear a song they know and love, which has made us a solid top five station with our core.”

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Exclusive: Univision To Launch Spanish Sports ‘TUDN 93.3’ In Houston.

Updated

On Monday, Sept. 27 Houston will wake up to the market’s only Spanish-language sports station. “TUDN 93.3 – Your Station of Champions” KQBU will feature Spanish-language play-by-play broadcasts of the Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Dynamo (MLS) and Texas A&M Aggie football.

KQBU has been simulcasting Spanish CHR KAMA (104.9).

“I was surprised in the marketplace that the lack of Spanish language sports in Houston,” Univision Houston President/GM John Hannon tells Inside Radio.

Hannon joined Univision Houston in 2019, following eight years at the sales training firm Jim Doyle & Associates, where he most recently served as President. Hannon and his team worked for two years securing broadcast rights to major league sports franchises and forming partnerships with collegiate athletic programs, “and suddenly we are now quite honestly the exclusive Spanish language sports station in the marketplace… if there’s any kind of sports content that anyone in the marketplace wants to listen to in Spanish language, the only place they're going to get it is 93.3 FM.”

While the station does not have broadcast rights to the Houston Texans, “TUDN 93.3” will offer plenty of NFL game broadcasts and coverage. The station will carry Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and weekend games, along with the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl.

Outside of play-by-play, “TUDN 93.3” will feature “Encanchados,” a two-hour locally-produced sports radio show hosted by market veteran Cesar Procel that will air Monday through Friday from 10am-12pm.

“Over the past few years, I have noticed a growing trend where our audience was no longer just the Spanish-speaking audience that only consumed Mexican soccer. It’s a growing trend of a Hispanic community that consumes NFL, NBA and baseball,” Procel explains. “They don't really care about the language. It’s not a barrier for them anymore… I’ve always felt like there's a need to give the Hispanic audience a general market feel.”

His show will focus on Houston area sports as well as international soccer. The idea, Procel says, is to “give everyone a little bit of information that they need.”

The new Spanish-language sports outlet will also feature programs from Univision’s TUDN network, including “Buenos Dias America,” “Mision CentroAmerica,” “Contacto Deportivo,” “La Porra te Saluda,” “Locura,” “Futbol Club,” “Tu Tribuna,” “Sabado Futbolero” and “Republica Deportiva.”

The programs compeiment the array of play-by-play broadcasts that fill-out the station’s programming lineup.

“I dare say again if there’s a game that you want to listen to in Spanish, we’re the only spot in town where you're going to hear it,” Hannon adds.

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Cox Adjusts WFLC Miami To Rhythmic CHR, Retains ‘Hits 97.3’ Handle.

Updated

On the heels of company-wide cuts, Cox Media Group adjusts WFLC Miami from CHR to rhythmic CHR. The flip was preceded by six hours of a five-song playlist, each with the word “rhythm” in its title: “Rhythm Is Going To Get You,” “Rhythm of the Night,” “Rhythm Nation,” “Rhythm Is A Dancer” and “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life).”

The station retains the “Hits 97.3” moniker while adding a new positioning statement, “The Rhythm of Miami.” The relaunch set in motion 5,000 songs in a row, commercial free. The first songs played on the revamped “Hits 97.3” were DJ Sammy & Yanou “Heaven,” Marshmello/Jonas Brothers “Leave Before You Love Me,” Mary J. Blige “Real Love,” Harry Styles “Golden,” and Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervias “Summertime Sadness (Remix).”

Jill Strada, who served as Director of Operations for CMG Miami, was among those let go during the companywide cuts that began on Thursday, Sept. 23. She joined Cox as PD of WFLC in 2014. Also let go were Trina and Trick Daddy, who hosted mornings at hip-hop/R&B sister “99 Jamz” WEDR, and Tracy Cloyd, morning news personality at adult R&B cluster mate “Hot 105” WHQT.

Additionally, Jeremy Rice, who has served as PD at CHR WBLI Nassau-Suffolk, NY (106.1) for 22 years was part of the reduction in force. Rice also served as CHR Format Leader for the company. WBLI morning co-host Dana “MJ” Parisi also exits as does WBLI/WBAB News/Traffic Director Ted Linder.

Randy Bonillas, APD/MD at rock KISS San Antonio (99.5) and Ken “Gus” August, morning host at classic rock “103.3 The Eagle” KJSR Tulsa were also part of the cuts.

As earlier reported by Inside Radio, the RIF included the dismissal of three veteran newscasters at news/talk WDBO Orlando (580), along with two music programmers at the cluster. IN addition, Dan Gallo and Chuck Akers, morning co-hosts at classic country “Country Legends 97.1” KTHT Houston, were part of the downsizing.

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FCC Extends Annual Regulatory Fee Filing Deadline To Monday.

Updated

The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it is pushing back its deadline for annual regulatory filing fees to Monday, Sept. 27 at 11:59pm ET. The FCC did not say why it was extending the deadline but in a brief public notice, the Office of the Managing Director said it would apply to all annual regulatory fee payors including radio.

Under the FCC’s fee system, any commercial AM or FM station and holders of construction permits for new AMs and FMs granted on or before Oct. 1, 2020, are required to pay an annual fee. That includes the expanded band AM stations –those between 1605 AM and 1705 AM. The Commission lifted the exemption for those stations in 2014. Consequently, AM expanded band stations are assessed a regulatory fee on the same basis as standard band stations.

How the FCC determines how much each radio station pays is based on the class of the station and the population it serves. This year that means the smallest Class D AMs will pay $975 while the biggest Class C FMs will pay $20,850.

Failure to pay on time will bring a mandatory 25% late payment penalty and the risk of having some applications submitted to the FCC put on hold. But recognizing the impact of the pandemic is not over for broadcasters and others, the FCC has extended a relief measure it first adopted a year ago. It is allowing some payment deferrals and installment plans at a discounted interest rate, and in some extreme cases, fee waivers. The order says the FCC will also be more flexible on the types of documents to prove a case than what it has traditionally accepted.

The FCC in 2017 doubled the threshold for the so-called “de minimis rule” to $1,000—that’s the amount under which a company need not pay a regulatory fee if what they owe falls below the figure. The theory is that the cost of processing small payments results in a net loss to the U.S. Treasury. The 2021 fees would put all but the smallest AMs under that $1,000 threshold per the revised fee structure.

The Commission made a reversal last month when it announced the 2021 fee decision. It scrapped a plan to hike fees on radio and TV stations to help cover the costs tied to broadband mapping. Broadcasters’ share would have been $33 million. But without that added expense, radio fees that would have gone up by an average of eight percent will instead be on par with last year – and in some cases even be slightly lower.

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It’s Official: iHeartMedia’s ’97.1 The Eagle’ Is The New Home Of The Dallas Mavericks.

Updated

Rumors become reality as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirms that the team will make iHeartMedia rock “97.1 The Eagle” KEGL Dallas its new flagship radio station. Cuban called into “The Ben and Skin Show” Thursday afternoon (Sept. 23) to make the announcement. Jeff “Skin” Wade serves as TV color analyst for the team.

“The Eagle and iHeartMedia are a great fit for the Mavs,” Cuban said on the program. “It’s new exposure for the Mavs, the signal is great and we have an opportunity to reach more listeners and non-traditional fans, people who maybe haven’t been Mavs fans or listened to games. And it’s still the great Chuck Cooperstein! The attitude and approach by the Eagle was what sold it for me: this is entertainment and that’s what it’s all about. Go Mavs!”

Cooperstein enters his 17th season as play-by-play announcer. Brad Davis remains as color analyst and Mike Peasley will serve as studio host.

Each game will include a pre- and post-game shows with “97.1 The Eagle” also airing a variety of Mavs-centric shows and features, including interviews with players, coaches and Cuban. Ancillary coverage will extend to the other iHeartMedia stations in the cluster. Mavs games will also be available via the iHeartRadio app and streaming platform.

“Sports fans across the country are looking forward to a full season of basketball once again,” Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartMedia Sports remarked. “We are excited to be partnering with one of basketball’s most exciting teams, the Dallas Mavericks, and look forward to bringing all the coverage the Mavs fans want throughout this legendary season.”

The Mavs have called Disney sports “ESPN Dallas” KESN (103.3) home for the past 20 years. Sports Illustrated (SI) said in an earlier report that the team wanted to be on a station that was not the flagship radio home to any other sports franchises. “ESPN Dallas” is also home to the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers. The station also recently dropped local programming in favor of the national ESPN Radio lineup.

“The entire team at iHeartMedia is excited to be the new home for the Dallas Mavericks, especially at such an exciting time for the team,” Region President Kelly Kibler added. “We look forward to having the Dallas Mavericks as our exclusive franchise partner and to grow our brands even further in Dallas/Fort Worth.”

The Mavericks open up the 2021-2022 NBA season on Oct. 21 against the Utah Jazz.

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Kate Scott Will Be First Women To Call Games Full-Time For A Philly Sports Team.

Updated

It’s another first for Kate Scott, who has been at the forefront of breaking ground for female sports broadcasters. Scott is named TV play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia 76ers. She will be the first women to ever call games full-time for a professional sports team in Philadelphia.

Scott, who helped launch “The Morning Roast” on Audacy sports “95.7 The Game” KGMZ San Francisco, was also recently named co-host of “College Football Saturday Night,” which is projected to be on more than 100 broadcast radio stations across the country, SiriusXM and on Learfield’s just-launched The Varsity Network app.

“Being the voice of the 76ers is a dream come true,” Scott said in a statement. “As a kid playing hoops alone in my driveway, I actually used to imagine I was Allen Iverson; the clock would wind down in my head, people would scream, ‘You’re too small! You don’t belong!’ But I’d fade away, hit the shot, and the crowd in my mind would go wild. To now get the opportunity to be the voice of that team is incredible, and I look forward to earning the respect and trust of the phenomenal city of Philadelphia, and 76ers fans everywhere, one call and one game at a time.”

Scott succeeds Marc Zumoff, who retired after last season.

Scott is used to breaking ground. Last year, she teamed with 29 other women as part of NBC Sports’ first all-women NHL broadcast. Scott handled the play-by-play call for the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks game as part of the historic broadcast, that featured only female announcers, producers, directors and broadcast staff.

Scott was also the first woman to broadcast an NFL game on the radio, when she called a 49ers game in 2016. She was the first woman to handle play-by-play call for Pac-12 football on the conference’s network. She also called basketball games for NBC Sports during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

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WBGG And Duquesne University Partner Again For Dukes Football And Men’s Basketball.

Updated

iHeartMedia Pittsburgh enters into a new broadcast agreement with Duquesne University and will carry all football and men’s basketball games on “970 ESPN” WBGG, with streaming options on the iHeartRadio app and at ESPNPGH.com. Duquesne Dukes games will also be broadcast on WPGB-HD2.

Under the new agreement Duquesne fans now have the ability to hear the play-by-play action of football and basketball steaming both within the Pittsburgh region and nationwide.

“We are thrilled and excited to begin this new partnership with Duquesne University,” Market President Tim McAleer said in a release. “Duquesne is one of Pittsburgh’s most respected and prestigious schools and we are proud to provide these games for Dukes fans everywhere.”

The partnership commences Saturday, Sept. 25 as Duquesne takes on VA Lynchburg, with kickoff scheduled for 1pm.

“Duquesne Athletics is very excited to again partner with iHeartMedia Pittsburgh on a new and evolved coverage agreement,” Duquesne VP of Athletics Dave Harper added. “The new formats allow our fans to follow coverage of games in a modified fashion to improve their access to programming. This, combined with our video streaming packages, allows for full access to games from almost every format available. We are grateful to iHeartMedia for their efforts and our partnership.”

WBGG and Duquesne have partnered in the past for game-day broadcasts. Most recently Duquesne Athletics were carried on WJAS (1320).

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KIIK 104.9 Takes A Familiar Country Road In The Quad Cities.

Updated

For the third time since 2000, the 104.9 frequency in the Quad Cities region goes country, as Townsquare Media KIIK DeWitt/Quad Cities, IA, flipped from classic hits to “US104.9” on Friday. The station, which will compete with market leader iHeartMedia WLLR (103.7), kicked off a 5,000-song marathon with Garth Brooks’ “The River,” “God Bless America” and Luke Combs’ “When It Rains It Pours.”

The station played country and classic country under a variety of names between 2000 and 2007, then returned to the format as “104.9 The Hawk” from 2014-2016.

KIIK ranked 10th in the market in Nielsen Audio’s Spring ’21 book, with a 3.1 12+ AQH share, well behind WLLR’s 16.0.

“The Quad Cities loves country music. And listeners want something new on the radio so we’re going to have some fun!” Townsquare Media Quad Cities Market President Becky Riojas said in a release. “We’ll play much more music and we have lots of ways for fans to connect to their favorite artists on the air at 104.9FM, online at US1049QuadCities.com, and with the US 104.9 app.”

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News Bites: ‘99.5 QYK Guitar Pull,’ Audacy Beach Festival, WBZ, ‘Black News Hour,’ ‘Markley, Van Camp & Robbins.’

Updated

News Bites for September 24...

...Chris Young, Jordan Davis, Maddie & Tae, Matt Stell and Parker McCollum will play this year’s “99.5 QYK Guitar Pull” for Beasley Media Group country WQYK Tampa. The sixth annual Guitar Pull will take place Sunday, Nov. 14, at The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, FL. “We are so excited to bring back 99.5 QYK’s Guitar Pull for the sixth year to the Tampa Bay area,” PD Travis Daily said in a release. “We are anxious to return to The Mahaffey Theater with our QYK family and to see some of our favorite artists on stage together performing live and in-person in a storyteller setting.”

...The Audacy Beach Festival 2021 is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Previously billed as the “Riptide Music Festival” and hosted by modern rock “104.3 The Shark” WSFS Miami, the festival will feature performances from Twenty One Pilots, The Lumineers, Glass Animals, Modest Mouse, Bleachers, Willow and Beabadoobe on Saturday. Sunday’s lineup includes Swedish House Mafia, Weezer, AJR, Bastille, All Time Low, Yungblud, Walk The Moon, Cold War Kids, Tai Verdes, Mod Sun, Girl in Red and Nessa Barrett.

...iHeartMedia news/talk WBZ Boston (1030) enters a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Needham Bank to be the exclusive sponsor of the “WBZ NewsRadio Traffic Copter.” “We at iHeartMedia Boston are excited to start a new partnership with Needham Bank as the exclusive sponsor of the WBZ NewsRadio Traffic Copter,” Market President Alan Chartrand said in a release. “Listeners consistently utilize this heritage brand as evidenced by WBZ’s continued success. People throughout New England lean into objective news sources to remain informed, and none has been more dependable over the past 100 years than WBZ NewsRadio. We greatly appreciate the support of our partners like Needham Bank.”

...The Boston Globe launches the “Black News Hour,” a new one-hour radio show created in partnership with Boston Black News (BBN). Monthly episodes will air on Fridays at 8-9am (ET) on Global Ministries Christian Church WBPG-LP Boston (102.9). “At the Globe, we understand the importance and crucial role that Black press has played in reporting the hardships and achievements of Boston’s Black community,” Peggy Byrd, Chief Marketing Officer at Boston Globe Media said in a release. “Collaborating with BBN is a vital part of ensuring that we are supporting independent Black media outlets and highlighting the multitude of stories existing in the Black community.”

...Saga Communications adds the Compass Media-syndicated “Markley, Van Camp & Robbins” across five of the company’s news/talk stations: WHCU Ithaca, NY (870); WINA Charlottesville, VA (1070); WNZE Clarksville, TN (1400); WSVA Harrisonburg, VA (550); and WTAX-AM/FM Springfield, IL (1240/93.9). “We’re excited about welcoming Markley, Van Camp & Robbins to the Saga family,” Group PD Scott Chase said in a release. “They have a fresh approach and do a great job covering the important topics while being upbeat, professional and entertaining.”

...Red Apple Radio talk WABC New York (770) adds “Your Cousin Vinnie” (Vinnie Medugno), playing hits from the 60s and 70s each Saturday from 5-6pm. “Vinnie has been a terrific fill-in talent for WABC, and our music radio listeners love him,” station owner John Catsimatidis said in a release. “Bringing Vinnie on board for a weekly Saturday show was the natural next step. Vinnie playing the hits from the 60s and 70s is a perfect lead-in to Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party and Saturday Nights with Tony Orlando.”

Story

New York's 'KTU And 'NEW Sandwich L.A.'s KBIG For Hot AC's Top Three.

Hot Adult Contemporary has been, for 2021 to date, the format growth story of the year. CHR's slightly softer sister has shown steady share gains from January through August among persons 6+ and adults 25-54 – up 0.7 from January in the latter demo – based on Nielsen PPM cross-market average quarter-hour data.

Which Hot AC stations are the Stars, Mix-ing it up Now? Nielsen's top 25, based on weekly cume persons 12+ using its most recent National Regional Database (spring 2021), reflecting both in- and out-of-market on-air and streaming listening, are the focus of this week's edition of Inside Radio's “By The Numbers.”

New York claims two of the top three, with iHeartMedia's beat-powered WKTU at the top. Since the calls returned to the market in 1996, 'KTU has pumped out feel-good dance-based hits for the adult audience to great success: with a 2.5 million cume, 'KTU currently reaches one in six New Yorkers weekly. Programmed by Chris Conley, the station features “Elvis Duran & the Morning Show” alums Carolina Bermudez and Greg T in mornings, with National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and New York radio veteran Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton – who was part of the original “Z100” WHTZ lineup in 1983 at age 20 – in afternoons.

In second place with a 2.4 million weekly cume is iHeart's L.A. Hot AC “104.3 MYFM” KBIG, reaching an impressive one in five people in the market. Programmed by John Peake since 2017, “MYFM” has had Sean Valentine handling mornings since a week after the format began in 2007, while Dave Styles drives Angelenos home afternoons.

The Big Apple's other Hot AC, Audacy's WNEW, holds down the number three spot with a 2.2 million weekly cume. In the Hot AC game since 2007 – originally as “Fresh 102.7” WWFS, and NEW-FM since 2018 – 'NEW features Karen Carson, a New York radio mainstay since 1994, in mornings, and Mike Adam afternoons.

“WNEW was on the road to being a top station in New York just as COVID hit New York,” Program Director Jim Ryan says. “The dedication of the staff through the pandemic to continue to deliver great radio was unmatched. Karen and her entire morning team continued to broadcast from home with COVID, and that show and its benchmarks are one of the cornerstones of the station.”

WNEW is one of seven Hot ACs for Audacy in Nielsen's ranking, with three others – Houston's “Mix 96.5” KHMX, San Francisco's “Alice at 97.3” KLLC and Atlanta's “Star 94” WSTR – inside the top 10. Beyond owning Hot AC's top two, iHeart places four more stations in the top 25, including fourth-ranked “102.9 Now” KDMX in Dallas. Three other station groups place two: Hubbard Radio lands both of theirs – “101.9 FM The Mix” WTMX Chicago, and “KS95” KSTP-FM Minneapolis – in the top 10, while Cumulus Media has ninth-ranked WDVD Detroit, and Connoisseur Media's best showing is with Long Island's WALK-FM.

Along with New York, two other markets have two Hot ACs listed: Minneapolis with “KS95” and iHeart's “Cities 97.1” KTCZ, and Phoenix with iHeart's “Mix 96.9” KMXP and Desert Valley Media's “Hot 97.5/103.9” KMVA. And six – iHeart's WKTU, KBIG and KDMX, along with Hubbard's KSTP-FM, KLO Broadcasting's “Now 97.9!” KBZN Salt Lake City and Bonneville's “Now 100.5” KZZO Sacramento – finish among their market's top three, based on Nielsen's August PPM rank of persons 6+ weekly cume.

In addition to iHeart's KBIG, other stations reaching at least one-fifth of their market's population weekly include Hubbard's KSTP-FM Minneapolis (22%), Audacy's “Mix 105.1” WOMX Orlando (25%) and “Y98.1” KYKY St. Louis (20%), Cox Media Group's “Magic 105.3” KSMG San Antonio (21%) and KLO's KBZN Salt Lake City (21%).

One of the secrets to Hot AC's ever-growing success? “We’ve struck the perfect balance of music, hanging onto our biggest currents longer, and mixing in great library titles going back to the 90s,” Ryan says. “When our target 25-54 female audience tunes into 102.7, they undoubtedly will hear a song they know and love, which has made us a solid top five station with our core.”

Story

New York's 'KTU And 'NEW Sandwich L.A.'s KBIG For Hot AC's Top Three.

Hot Adult Contemporary has been, for 2021 to date, the format growth story of the year. CHR's slightly softer sister has shown steady share gains from January through August among persons 6+ and adults 25-54 – up 0.7 from January in the latter demo – based on Nielsen PPM cross-market average quarter-hour data.

Which Hot AC stations are the Stars, Mix-ing it up Now? Nielsen's top 25, based on weekly cume persons 12+ using its most recent National Regional Database (spring 2021), reflecting both in- and out-of-market on-air and streaming listening, are the focus of this week's edition of Inside Radio's “By The Numbers.”

New York claims two of the top three, with iHeartMedia's beat-powered WKTU at the top. Since the calls returned to the market in 1996, 'KTU has pumped out feel-good dance-based hits for the adult audience to great success: with a 2.5 million cume, 'KTU currently reaches one in six New Yorkers weekly. Programmed by Chris Conley, the station features “Elvis Duran & the Morning Show” alums Carolina Bermudez and Greg T in mornings, with National Radio Hall of Fame inductee and New York radio veteran Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton – who was part of the original “Z100” WHTZ lineup in 1983 at age 20 – in afternoons.

In second place with a 2.4 million weekly cume is iHeart's L.A. Hot AC “104.3 MYFM” KBIG, reaching an impressive one in five people in the market. Programmed by John Peake since 2017, “MYFM” has had Sean Valentine handling mornings since a week after the format began in 2007, while Dave Styles drives Angelenos home afternoons.

The Big Apple's other Hot AC, Audacy's WNEW, holds down the number three spot with a 2.2 million weekly cume. In the Hot AC game since 2007 – originally as “Fresh 102.7” WWFS, and NEW-FM since 2018 – 'NEW features Karen Carson, a New York radio mainstay since 1994, in mornings, and Mike Adam afternoons.

“WNEW was on the road to being a top station in New York just as COVID hit New York,” Program Director Jim Ryan says. “The dedication of the staff through the pandemic to continue to deliver great radio was unmatched. Karen and her entire morning team continued to broadcast from home with COVID, and that show and its benchmarks are one of the cornerstones of the station.”

WNEW is one of seven Hot ACs for Audacy in Nielsen's ranking, with three others – Houston's “Mix 96.5” KHMX, San Francisco's “Alice at 97.3” KLLC and Atlanta's “Star 94” WSTR – inside the top 10. Beyond owning Hot AC's top two, iHeart places four more stations in the top 25, including fourth-ranked “102.9 Now” KDMX in Dallas. Three other station groups place two: Hubbard Radio lands both of theirs – “101.9 FM The Mix” WTMX Chicago, and “KS95” KSTP-FM Minneapolis – in the top 10, while Cumulus Media has ninth-ranked WDVD Detroit, and Connoisseur Media's best showing is with Long Island's WALK-FM.

Along with New York, two other markets have two Hot ACs listed: Minneapolis with “KS95” and iHeart's “Cities 97.1” KTCZ, and Phoenix with iHeart's “Mix 96.9” KMXP and Desert Valley Media's “Hot 97.5/103.9” KMVA. And six – iHeart's WKTU, KBIG and KDMX, along with Hubbard's KSTP-FM, KLO Broadcasting's “Now 97.9!” KBZN Salt Lake City and Bonneville's “Now 100.5” KZZO Sacramento – finish among their market's top three, based on Nielsen's August PPM rank of persons 6+ weekly cume.

In addition to iHeart's KBIG, other stations reaching at least one-fifth of their market's population weekly include Hubbard's KSTP-FM Minneapolis (22%), Audacy's “Mix 105.1” WOMX Orlando (25%) and “Y98.1” KYKY St. Louis (20%), Cox Media Group's “Magic 105.3” KSMG San Antonio (21%) and KLO's KBZN Salt Lake City (21%).

One of the secrets to Hot AC's ever-growing success? “We’ve struck the perfect balance of music, hanging onto our biggest currents longer, and mixing in great library titles going back to the 90s,” Ryan says. “When our target 25-54 female audience tunes into 102.7, they undoubtedly will hear a song they know and love, which has made us a solid top five station with our core.”

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Cat Thomas

Five months after leaving to pursue an opportunity outside the radio industry, programmer Cat Thomas is back in the saddle at Beasley Media Group Las Vegas. Thomas started Monday as the Operations Manager for the cluster, as well as PD at “Jammin105.7” KOAS and Digital Program Director for the stations. Tom Calococci, who replaced Thomas in March, has exited. Read more

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Steve Miller

Reporter Steve Miller is stepping away from full-time duties at Audacy news WBBM Chicago (780) at the end of September, after serving 38 years in the role. Miller will occasionally work as a fill-in reporter and on special projects for the station, according to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder. Read more

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Darian Dudrick

Darian Dudrick, morning host at Legend Communications talk KODI Cody, WY (1400), passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Known as “The Voice of Cody,” Dudrick joined the station in 2014 as host of “Daybreak with Darian Dudrick.” He was 52. Read more

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Deal Digest

Deal Digest – September 23, 2021

Updated

STATION SALES

Iowa – Greg Wennes has filed to sell his stake in four stations in Decorah, IA for a combined $2.5 million. The buyers include Lester Askelson, Casey Varpness, Peter Wennes, Patrick O’Shea, and Ryan Tyler. The stations include CHR KVIC (104.7), rock “Hawk Rock 100.5” KDHK, “103.5 Bluff Country” KNEI. and AC “The River” KDEC (1240). The cluster also includes the Decorah, IA-licensed translator K235CT at 94.9 FM. And the Waukon, IA-licensed translator K256CS at 99.1 FM. Both simulcast KDEC.

Iowa – Bernadette and Gary Merrill’s A2Z Broadcasting has filed a $1,680,512 deal to buy hot AC “Hometown Radio 92.7” KLGA-FM and country KLGZ (1600) in Algona, IA from Carolyn Becker’s Riverfront Broadcasting. The deal also includes the Algona, IA-licensed translator K253BJ at 98.5 FM that simulcast KLGZ. The sale also includes a $1,344,409 promissory note.

San Antonio -- Shan and Baron Wiley’s Bofars Media Group has filed a $236,700 deal to buy classic hits KBRN (1500) from Bonnie Chambers. The deal also includes the Boerne, TX-licensed translator K280GR at 103.9 FM. Bofars Media Group has operated the station under a local marketing agreement since last October.

TRANSLATOR SALES

Wyoming – Educational Media Foundation has filed to sell to FM translators to Wyoming Public Radio for one dollar. The signals include the Rock Springs, WY-licensed K215FF at 90.9 FM. And the Green River, WY-licensed K232CU at 94.3 FM. Once the sale closes, EMF will still own contemporary Christian “K-Love” affiliate KLWR (101.9) and “Air1” KAWR (98.7) in the area.

CLOSINGS

Indiana – Educational Media Foundation has closed a $250,00 deal to buy religious WCJL, Morgantown, IN (90.9) from Calvary Radio Network. The signal covers an area south of Indianapolis which is partially reached by contemporary Christian “K-Love” outlet WKLU (101.9). Broker: Griffin Media Brokers

Kalamazoo, MI – Western Michigan University has closed a $191,000 deal to buy classical WKDS (89.9) from the Kalamazoo Board of Education. The University also owns news-talk WMUK (102.1) and adult alternative “Radio Evolution” WIDR (89.1) in the market. Under the terms of the deal, $10,000 of the purchase price will be paid through underwriting announcements to be broadcast on WMUK airing during the first year after the sale closes. The University also agrees to offer a media production course to Kalamazoo Public School students.

Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, WA – Iglesia Pentecostal Víspera Del Fin has closed a $175,000 deal to buy regional Mexican “La Zeta” KZXR, Prosser, WA (1310) from Bustos Media. The deal also includes the Prosser, WA-licensed translator K237GY at 95.3 FM. Bustos Media still owns four other stations in the Richland-Kennewick-Pasco market including regional Mexican “La Gran D” KZTB (97.9), regional Mexican “La Maquina” KRCW (96.3), and the regional Mexican “La Zeta” simulcast KMMG/KZXR-FM (96.7/101.7).

Oregon – KAJC FM, a religious and educational nonprofit, has closed a one dollar deal to buy “Living Water Radio 90.1” KAJC, Salem, OR from Calvary Chapel Monmouth-Independence. The filing says the buyers will also make a $2,000 per month contribution to the station during the application period to cover operational and capital expenses.

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