Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Here’s How Much WPLJ’s Audience Surged During Final Day On Air.


After 48 years on the air, listeners tuned into hot AC WPLJ New York in droves to hear its final day of broadcasting. The audience surge that day, May 31, was so great that WPLJ, which only ranked 13th in Nielsen’s May survey (6+), throttled to third overall in the market in terms of raw quarter hours. The new Audio Overnights tool provides next day numbers, allowing Inside Radio to report exclusive listening data on the final days of WPLJ, and sister stations WRQX Washington, DC and WYAY Atlanta.

Based on Audio Overnights, a new tool from Media Monitors and Nielsen that provides next-day data to clients, WPLJ had a 6+ raw quarter-hour count of 1,138 on May 31 between the hours of 6am-7pm. The Friday raw quarter hour count increased 82% from Thursday, which was dubbed WPLJ Reunion Day, with a 6+ raw quarter-hour count of 731.

Overall, WPLJ was third in the market in terms of raw meter quarter hours on the day of its final broadcast.

WPLJ – along with WRQX Washington, DC; WYAY Atlanta; and three medium-market stations – was sold by Cumulus Media to Educational Media Foundation for $135 million in cash in a deal announced in February, as Inside Radio has reported, step by step.

In Washington, DC, fellow heritage hot AC WRQX dedicated “The Jack Diamond Morning Show” to the history of the station with Diamond and the crew returning for the final hour of “Mix 107.3” from 6-7pm on that same day, May 31. The 6+ raw quarter-hour count for WRQX increased 27% from 261 on Thursday, May 30 to 331 on the station’s final broadcast day, Friday.

“Talk 106.7” WYAY Atlanta, the lesser rated of the three major market stations that Cumulus dealt to EMF, saw the largest increase in 6+ raw quarter-hours, more than doubling from a count of 61 on Thursday to 145 on Friday.

Using the Audio Overnights tool, “We can show the number of meters and the number of quarter hours for a given period of time, daypart and demo,” Philippe Generali, President and CEO of Media Monitors tells Inside Radio. “We were not able to break down by demo before. Now we are able to break down the meters by demo, gender, ethnicity and a variety of criteria that will help you find out the composition of media panelists.”

Inside Radio is only permitted by Nielsen to report 6+ quarter-hour numbers and the overnight data provided is raw unweighted counts. “But we know by experience, having offered Audience Reaction of the service for many years, that this data is very close to the final data once the meter is weighted,” Generali notes.

Audience Reaction

Looking at Audience Reaction for WPLJ, you can see the ebb and flow of listeners tuning into the station throughout “Reunion Day” May 30 and the final day of the station May 31. On Thursday, listeners tuned in to hear WPLJ jocks past and present reminiscing about their time on the station. The peak of Audience Reaction came just before 8am when Race Taylor and Joey Kramer, anchoring the day, were joined by Heather O’Rourke, Lady Diana and Jamie Lee, with call-ins from Tony Banks and Naomi DiClemente.

Listenership remained steady through 8:30am, as many panelists began their work day. Interest then peaked again at lunch time as Fast Jimmy Roberts and AJ Hammer took over for the 1pm hour, which had the second highest listener count, according to Audience Reaction data. Listeners began tuning out after 6pm, with the drop from 6-7pm.

Reunion Day was followed by the final day for the legacy New York station. It consisted of the full-time staff at WPLJ, Todd Pettengill and Jayde Donovan (6-10am), Melony Torres (10-3pm) and Taylor (3-7pm) sharing memories and playing some of the music that was heard on the station over the years.

Mornings started off with a bang as Todd & Jayde hit a high in Audience Reaction just before 8am. Listeners remained throughout the midday, although not at the height seen in AM drive, with the lowest point of listening coming just before 12:30pm. Another peak occurred early on during Taylor’s shift at 3:30pm, dropping off in the 4pm hour and increasing through the 5pm hour with the ultimate peak coming just before 7pm as the station officially signed off.

The new Audio Overnights tool allows stations to look at events from the day prior, giving programmers an opportunity to quickly make adjustments. Says Generali, “You can try different things and see how the audience fills up, what sticks, what doesn’t stick, without having to wait as long as you would have if you didn’t have Audience Overnights.” – Jay Gleason



Juniper Report: Digital Advertising To Hit $520 Billion By 2023.

Global spending on digital advertising will reach $520 billion by 2023, a significant lift from 2019’s $294 billion in 2019, according to a new forecast from Juniper Research. The growth curve, which averages 15% annually over the next five years, will be driven by artificial intelligence-based programmatic buying capable of delivering highly targeted ads, the report suggests.

And because of its “unparalleled” consumer retail data, Amazon’s ad revenue is projected to rise to $40 billion by 2023, representing 470% growth from 2018, MediaPost reports. The ecommerce behemoth’s share of digital advertising is forecast to rise to 8%, from 3% in 2018.

Google’s digital ad revenue, meanwhile, is expected to exceed $230 billion by 2023, although Juniper notes that because of growing competition from the likes of Amazon and Baidu, Google’s share is forecast to decline by 1% during the period.

According to the report, because of advertising platforms’ focus on increasing access to contextual advertising traffic data to maximize the efficiency of machine learning for targeting, 75% of global online and mobile ads are expected to be delivered via AI-based programmatic advertising by 2023.

“Giving algorithms access to the vast amounts of data generated by advertising traffic, including purchasing habits, user buckets and geographical location, is critical to enabling advertisers to secure a return on their ad spend,” said the study’s author Sam Barker.

Juniper defines digital advertising as online, mobile browsing, in-app, digital out-of-home (DOOH) and over-the-top (OTT) TV services.


Personal Care Products Inundate Top 100 Radio Advertisers.


Here’s to your health. With bathing suit weather finally here, there are five Nutritional Supplements vendors among the top 100 radio advertisers, more than we’ve seen since January 2017.

Leading the way at No. 19 for the week of June 17-23, 2019, is over-the-counter vitamin manufacturer Sundown Naturals from NBTY Inc., according to Media Monitors, which tracks national radio advertising in 85 markets. Just behind is Hims, No. 26, a recently launched online company that specializes in “telemedicine,” including a line of men’s products addressing sexual care, skin care, hair care and oral care.

Proctor & Gamble’s Mutamucil is next within the column, at No. 72 this week, along with P&G’s Sressballs at No. 79 and retailer GNC General Nutrition Centers at No. 98. Hims joined the airwaves the week ending May 12, 2019, at No. 44, and has been present in the top 40 since.

The last time the Nutritional Supplements category was as pervasive was Jan. 17, 2017, with digestive aids SomBiotix and NuBiotix at No. 12 and No. 13, respectively, Force Factor at 29, and Prosvent at 44. Obviously, none of those products are peddling their wares at radio now.

Related products under the broad umbrella of personal care this week also include P&G’s Vicks (Medicated Remedies, No. 13), P&G’s Charmin (Toiletries, No. 19), P&G’s Crest (Dental Hygiene, No. 49), P&G’s Pepto-Bismol (Medicated Remedies, No. 64), LasikPlus (Eye Care, No. 91) and Trojan (Toiletries, No. 94). And among Pharmacies, Walgreen’s is 16 and CVS is 65.

It’s worth noting that Procter & Gamble commands a total of eight among the week’s top 100 advertisers (with Bounty, No. 41)—which is a weekly record, according to the Inside Radio archives. For year-end 2018, four of the consumer packaged goods giant’s products made the top 100.

For June 17-23, 2019, the top 10 on the Media Monitors’ tally are: The Home Depot at 1, GEICO at 2, iHeartRadio at 3, McDonald’s at 4, Indeed at 5, Lowe’s at 6, Progressive at 7, iHeartRadio Music Festival at 8, Sprint at 9 and AutoZone at 10.—Chuck Taylor


Hubbard President & COO Drew Horowitz To Retire.


After 43 years in the radio business, Hubbard Radio President and Chief Operating Officer Drew Horowitz has announced he will retire at the end of the year. Credited with transforming “101.9 The Mix” from a ratings bottom-feeder into a Chicago powerhouse, Horowitz joined Hubbard in 2011 as Executive VP & COO when it bought Bonneville’s four biggest market clusters in a landmark $505 million deal.

“I absolutely know that each of us has learned a great deal from Drew and not just about radio, business and leadership,” Hubbard Chairman and CEO Ginny Morris said in an email to employees. “I know that Drew has touched and helped many of us personally as well as professionally. Drew is a wise and generous leader and it has been an honor to be able to work alongside him for the last eight years.”

Horowitz, 67, was promoted to his current position as No. 2 at Hubbard Radio in July 2014, after serving as Executive VP & COO since April 2011. That’s when he joined the company as part of its acquisition of Bonneville’s four biggest market clusters, where he held the same role for four years. Horowitz joined Bonneville in 1992 and went on to become Executive VP of the company, overseeing all of its markets.

In the email to employees, Morris reflected on his contributions to Hubbard. “Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach,” Morris wrote.

Frequently quoted in Inside Radio, Horowitz has been involved with WTMX since 1992, when then-Bonneville president Bruce Reese hired him to manage the then-struggling station, which used the calls WCLR. WTMX, of course, became a Chicago radio powerhouse and a model for the hot AC format. It has been perched at the top of the 6+ ranker in the Windy City in Nielsen’s two most recent monthly ratings reports.

Earlier in his career, Horowitz was VP/GM of a pair of other Chicago stations – country WUSN (99.5) and the former WFYR Chicago – and ran Chicago-based Lakeshore Communications before he joined “The Mix.” He advanced to President and General Manager of the station in 1993.

“This is as good as I could have ever hoped for,” Horowitz told Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, who first reported the news. “I had a career that I never could have dreamed of when I started selling in 1976. I’ve loved every minute of it. I worked with great companies and great people who respected the industry and respected the people that worked for them. I just was so lucky.”

Looking ahead, Horowitz plans to take some time off and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching and taking classes. “Another goal is to get someplace warm,” he told Feder. “I’m tired of Chicago winters.”

Morris told employees the company “will be celebrating Drew in the coming months,” but will remain in “business as usual mode until further notice.”


After 45 Years At WXRT, Terri Hemmert Bows Out Of Middays.


Terri Hemmert, synonymous with Chicago rock bastion WXRT for nearly half a century, is stepping down from her Monday-Friday midday shift and switching to “a schedule with much more flexibility.” Hemmert, a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, has been with the influential adult alternative outlet for 45 years.

“After 45 years at WXRT, I’m going to figure out how to turn the record over and see what plays on the other side,” she wrote in an email to station staff, acquired by Chicago media reporter Robert Feder. “In a few weeks, I will move from being on air five days a week year-round to a schedule with much more flexibility while still remaining part of the station and work I love so much.”

Hemmert will continue hosting “Breakfast with the Beatles” on Sunday mornings and will serve as a fill-in host when other air talent take vacation.

Greg Solk, OM/PD at the Entercom station, said he now faces “the awesome challenge of finding a successor to Terri for the midday shift in the coming weeks.”

Hemmert made history in 1981 when she became the first female morning host in Chicago, Feder writes. She has been in middays since 1992.

As she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2010, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan introduced the radio veteran saying, “Terri is simply one of the best in the world at what she does because she remains a believer in art and the ability of rock ’n’ roll to change the world.”

In addition to hosting “Breakfast with the Beatles” and filling in at the station, Hemmert will continue to be involved in the station’s public affairs department, “that I started 45 years ago with a pair of scissors, a typewriter and reels of audio tape,” she wrote in the email. “I will continue to be proud of being part of the XRT family. And the past few years the family has extended to every station in this group… I love music. I love radio. I love our listeners. And I love my radio family. Some things change, but that never will.”


KNBR Shakeup Has Greg Papa Returning, Gary Radnich Exiting.


Changes are afoot at Cumulus Media sports KNBR San Francisco (680) with the return of Greg Papa and the exit of longtime host Gary Radnich.

Papa, previously with KNBR from 2001-2003, rejoins the station from Entercom crosstown sports talker “95.7 The Game” KGMZ, where he hosted 12-3pm. Papa will be paired with John Lund, who he worked with for five years at KGMZ. “Papa & Lund” debuts July 16 and will air from 10am-2pm. Lund was most recently heard 3-7pm at KNBR, Radnich aired 10am-1pm.

That daypart also gets a makeover with “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks” (2-6pm) also debuting July 16. The new PM Drive show is made up of current afternoon co-host Tom Tolbert, Radnich’s former partner Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks, who co-hosted 1-3pm with Bob Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald exits with the changes. “The Mark Willard Show” is extended an hour and will be heard from 6-10pm.

“Greg brings unrivaled knowledge and top-notch entertainment value to every broadcast he leads,” PD Jeremiah Crowe said in a release. “His connection with the Bay Area sports fan runs deep on many levels through his history in the local market, and we are proud to reunite him with John Lund in middays on The Sports Leader.”

Papa is the play-by-play voice of the San Francisco 49ers, whose games are heard on KNBR and classic rock sister KSAN. Papa had been the long-time voice of the Oakland Raiders, before being replaced by Brent Musburger when Raiders broadcasts moved from KGMZ to news sister KCBS (740) last season.

“I am thrilled to be returning to the powerful airwaves of the sports leader,” Papa added. “Being reunited with John Lund on the flagship station of the 49ers is the perfect combination.”

The changes were played out in the local press prior to the official announcement from Cumulus, with Radnich announcing his exit via Twitter. “Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you, audience for 36 years of TV-Radio.” Radnich left KRON-TV in September 2018, after 34 years with the station, Mercury News reports. Considered one of the Bay Area’s preeminent sportscasters, Radnich joined KNBR in 1992.

“From the time Gary Radnich started at KNBR he was a pioneer in the sports-talk format,” VP/Market manager Doug Harvill said in a release. “He built a close relationship with listeners through his entertaining and intriguing perspective on sports and life. I cannot express how appreciative all of us at KNBR are for the opportunity to have partnered with him on his KNBR journey.”

The Athletic’s Steve Berman speculates that Radnich may wind up at “95.7 The Game.” “It wouldn’t be entirely shocking to hear about The Game having interest, as the station’s current lineup in the post-Greg Papa era is probably going to see some changes in the coming weeks and months,” he writes.

Upon leaving the station Fitzgerald said, “For three decades it has been my great privilege to entertain the incredible sports fans of the Bay Area. KNBR will always have a special place in my heart and I wish everyone at the station all the best moving forward.” Fitzgerald will continue to serve as the Warriors’ play-by-play voice on NBC Sports Bay Area and as voice of U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


The $1 Million Podcast Investigation That Won A Supreme Court Case.


For all the handwringing by smaller, independent podcasters about the entry of big media companies into the industry, here’s an example of what deeper pockets can achieve. American Public Media says it spent $100,000 per episode to develop and report In the Dark, the podcast series that in its second season uncovered new evidence that just helped a man on death row in Mississippi get his conviction overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. With 14 episodes in the series—including a just-released update— that puts production costs for In the Dark at more than $1 million.

“Making In the Dark costs roughly $100,000 per episode,” APM told listeners in a fundraising pitch. “Living and reporting in Mississippi, scanning hundreds of thousands of court documents ... it all helps lead to a result like this one.”

Host Madeleine Baran, who reported the story along with producer Samara Freemark, echoed that sentiment in her own message on Twitter to fans of the show. “Facts aren’t cheap,” she wrote. “We couldn’t do this kind of in-depth reporting without support from listeners. Your donations make our work possible.” Baran says she and Freemark lived in Mississippi for nearly a year as they tried to ferret out how Curtis Flowers could have been tried six times for the same crime. “It’s a story about race, junk science, jailhouse informants, and power of prosecutors in this country,” she told followers.

As we reported last week, The Supreme Court last Friday handed down a 7-2 decision overturning a 2010 conviction that said Flowers murdered four people in a Winona, MS furniture store in 1996. The Court said his constitutional rights had been violated since the district attorney in the case intentionally kept African Americans off Flowers’ jury. The case presented to the court included reporting from APM Reports, which uncovered a pattern of racist jury selection by District Attorney Doug Evans, as laid out in the second season of In the Dark.

Reporters for APM were back in Mississippi on Friday when the decision was released in Washington. They tracked Evans down to a Mexican restaurant in Kosciusko, MS, a small town near Winona. Evans disputed the Court’s conclusions that he attempted to keep African Americans off the jury. “That is not true,” he said. Evans also said he has not yet decided whether he will move forward with a seventh trial against Flowers.

Over the weekend In the Dark released a follow-up episode entitled “The Decision” that examines what could come next.


Tight Is Right? Ft. Wayne Station Launches With 20-Song Playlist.


Some programmers are known for a tight playlist but a new station in Ft. Wayne, IN is taking that to a new extreme. Sarkes Tarzian debuts “99.5 The Twenty FM,” playing only the Top 20 hits, commercial free. The station broadcasts on the Ft. Wayne, IN-licensed translator W258BY at 99.5 with programming originating on WAJI-HD2.

Sarkes Tarzian moved the modern rock format that was on the translator signal to WGBJ in January, shortly after purchasing the station from Three Amigos Broadcasting for $515,000.

“It’s a commercial-free summer,” VP/GM Lee Tobin said, according to WANE-TV. “We launched on the first day of summer and we’ll be commercial-free right through Labor Day.”

OM Chris Didier said the station’s playlist “is only 20 songs. Hence the name: The Twenty FM. Every time you turn on the station, you’ll hear one of today’s biggest hits.”

A recent quarter hour sample included: 5 Seconds of Summer, “Youngblood”; Shawn Mendes, “If I Can’t Have You”; Ed Sheeran, “Cross Me”; Jonas Brothers “Sucker”; Halsey, “Without You”; Post Malone, “Wow”; and Katy Perry “Never Really Over.”

It’s not known what Sarkes Tarzian plans for the station’s second act, after the introductory summer launch.

Adams Radio Group owns the dominant CHR in the Ft. Wayne market, WJFX, which is ranked second, posting a 6.6 in the Fall 2018 book.


‘True Oldies Y100.1’ Debuts In Ocala-Gainesville.


JVC Media debuts “True Oldies Y100.1,” originating on the HD2 channel of country WXUS Ocala-Gainesville and broadcasting on the Ocala, FL-licensed translator W261BA at 100.1.

“True Oldies Y100.1 is the perfect radio station for the Ocala and The Villages area,” Senior VP/Programming Charlie Lombardo said in a release. “We custom designed the radio station to play the artists that we grew up loving like Elvis, The Beatles, Elton John, The Rolling Stones.”

The True Oldies format features Scott Shannon in mornings and “Y100.1” will have local talent throughout the day. “We’ll be live and local on the radio with theme weekends, great giveaways and fun,” Lombardo continued.

GM Sam Gerace added, “We are bringing fun radio to North Central Florida. Our listeners love singing along to great music, interacting with live DJ’s, and, being community oriented, we are super-serving this market and know the community will embrace Y100.1.”

In addition to the new oldies outlet and “US 102.3” WXUS, JVC Media also owns CHR “Q92” WMFQ in the Ocala market.


BFoA Elects Three To Its Board Of Directors.


The Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFoA) elects three to its Board of Directors: John David, Senior Advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Jinny Laderer, Co-Founder and CEO of vCreative, and Deborah Roberts, award winning ABC News Correspondent. The new directors were voted in Wednesday (June 19), during the Foundation’s Board of Directors meeting in New York City.

“John, Jinny and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need,” Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation said in a release. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our Board of Directors.”

David is a long-time executive of the NAB, including Executive Vice President as NAB’s radio liaison for membership and services. Prior to the NAB, he had a distinguished career in radio management. Laderer’s lifelong radio career began with her family-owned radio station. Roberts is a correspondent for ABC’s “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir.”



BFoA Elects Three To Its Board Of Directors.


The Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFoA) elects three to its Board of Directors: John David, Senior Advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Jinny Laderer, Co-Founder and CEO of vCreative, and Deborah Roberts, award winning ABC News Correspondent. The new directors were voted in Wednesday (June 19), during the Foundation’s Board of Directors meeting in New York City.

“John, Jinny and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need,” Dan Mason, Chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation said in a release. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our Board of Directors.”

David is a long-time executive of the NAB, including Executive Vice President as NAB’s radio liaison for membership and services. Prior to the NAB, he had a distinguished career in radio management. Laderer’s lifelong radio career began with her family-owned radio station. Roberts is a correspondent for ABC’s “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir.”

People Moves

Patrick Osburn

Public and member-supported 88.5 FM, Southern California’s leading Triple-A format radio station, has tapped Patrick Osburn as its general manager. Osburn joined the station in 2017, and has been serving as its director of business development. He has spent more than 30 years in the radio industry, with 20 years at Triple-A stations. Read more

Jeff Weber

Jeff Weber is named Market Manager for Pamal Broadcasting’s six-station Albany, NY cluster. Weber joins the group from LM Communications Charleston, SC where he was General Sales Manager. Read more

Steve Nikazy

Steve Nikazy, longtime anchor and reporter at Entercom news KYW Philadelphia (1060), will retire June 28. Nikazy, who serves as midday anchor and hosts KYW’s “Reporters Roundup,” has been with the all-news outlet for 29 years. He also co-hosts and produces the film podcast “Cinema Obscura.” Read more




Scripps has a rare opening for a VP/GM for our 5-station Tulsa radio cluster.  Read more

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