General Music Radio Industry News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

| January 31, 2015

Katie PhillipsPhillips Promoted to WRAL GM. Six-year WRAL “Mix 101.5,” Raleigh local sales manager Katie Phillips is boosted to general manager of the Capitol Broadcasting Company adult contemporary outlet. She succeeds the retiring Ardie Gregory who comments, “I am happy for Katie and the entire ‘Mix’ staff. She has proven herself to be smart, fair, and dedicated to the success of the radio station and all of its employees. The decision to hire Katie as general manager has 100% of my support – I look forward to following her success.” Capitol Broadcasting Company new media vice president and general manager James Goodmon, Jr. remarks that, “In working alongside Katie over the past couple of years, I have been impressed with her intelligence and people skills. Her quiet intensity and enthusiasm have proven contagious.” According to Phillips, “Capitol Broadcasting’s culture of integrity, innovation, and service has inspired me since my first day with the company. As general manager of [‘Mix’], my aim will be to build on our strengths with a focus on growing our clients’ business; enriching the lives of our listeners; and serving our community.” Phillips joined Capitol Broadcasting nearly 16 years ago as a sales assistant for the North Carolina News Network/Capitol AgriBusiness; she became a “Mix” account executive in 2002.

Friday, January 30, 2015

| January 30, 2015

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

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

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

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

AMSlovetheftLove & Theft Visit ‘America’s Morning Show.’  Visiting the NASH Campus today (1/30) was RCA Records Nashville recording duo Love & TheftSteven Barker Liles (left) and Eric Gunderson (second from left) appeared on “America’s Morning Show” and played the “Fake-A-Song-Friday” game in which the duo picked four random words out of a hat and had to write a song using the words in just 20 minutes.  Here’s a link to the song.  Pictured here with the duo are AMS hosts (from l-r): Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks, and Blair Garner.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

| January 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

| January 28, 2015

guytonmickeyDuane Doobie, Jr.’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working, co-music editor, Duane Doobie, Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, including this week Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at “Real Country” 96.9 WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia and Bayley Brown, WKLC-FM (Rock 105), St. Albans/Charleston, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats.  You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (1/28) includes such names as: Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Andy Grammer, Olly Murs, Travie McCoy, Gym Class Heroes, Childish Gambino, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Nick Jonas, Miguel, Jonas Brothers, San Fermin, Houndmouth, AWOLNATION, Stone Senate, Savage Garden, JD McPherson, The Mowgli’s, Zac Brown Band, Mickey Guyton, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dani-Elle, Ryan Bingham, Josh Nolan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Kenny Chesney, Grace Potter, Blackberry Smoke, Gorgon City, Jennifer Hudson, Kiesza, Korveil, Portugal, The Man, Cowp, and George Ezra, among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

| January 27, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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