General Music Radio Industry News
KASE Fundraiser Enlists Bones’ Raging Idiots. The central Texas chapter of the Red Cross will further assist victims of that area’s recent flooding through proceeds from next Wednesday’s (6/3) event, staged by iHeartMedia Austin’s KASE “Today’s Country.” The “Raging Idiots Flood Relief Concert” will feature iHeartMedia country morning talent Bobby Bones and his band – “The Raging Idiots.” Bones – whose weekday morning show airs on “Today’s Country” (5:00 am – 10:00 am) – remarks that he has “strong roots” in Austin, so as soon as he heard about the flooding in Texas, “I knew we had to help. Organizing ‘The Raging Idiots Flood Relief Concert’ with the Red Cross is a perfect way to get the Austin community involved and to make sure the money we raise goes straight to the locals who need it most.” KASE program director JT Bosch states, “Bobby’s heart has always been in Austin, where ‘The Bobby Bones Show’ got its start. He wants to do anything – and everything – possible to help his friends and family here rebuild their lives.” Auction items include autographed guitars from George Strait, Luke Bryan, Eli Young Band, and Blake Shelton. In addition, there will be opportunities to bid on meeting country artists Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, and Dierks Bentley. The KASE benefit concert will take place at The Parish.
Spivey, Wolff Named APDs at iHeartMedia Phoenix. Company promotions for Reid Spivey and Josh Wolff find Spivey becoming assistant program director for iHeartMedia Phoenix CHR KZZP “Kiss-FM” and hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9,” while Wolff is appointed to similar duties at adult contemporary and adult hits siblings KESZ and KYOT “The Mountain.” KZZP and KMXP program director Mat Mitchell states, “Reid’s programming experience immediately enhances our successful brands. Reid is a sharp guy and a solid talent – I can’t wait for him to start.” Spivey notes, “I am beyond excited to join the amazing team at iHeartMedia Phoenix. ‘Kiss-FM’ and ‘Mix’ are both trendsetters in their respective formats. I cannot wait to work alongside some of the best people and talent in the business.” Meanwhile, KESZ and KYOT program director Paul Kelley comments, “Josh’s strong understanding of adult formats, specifically adult contemporary, will be a tremendous asset to KESZ and ‘The Mountain.’ I am looking forward to continued growth on both of these stations, and I am excited that Josh will be a part of that success.” Wolff remarks, “The past three years have been a wonderful learning and growth opportunity [for me]. I have been so lucky to work with our outstanding local team and our senior programming management. I am very excited to join the iHeartMedia Phoenix team and work with our incredible brands.” Spivey was iHeartMedia’s Savannah, Georgia program director; he begins in Phoenix in just over two weeks (Monday, 6/15). Wolff will arrive two weeks later (Monday, 6/29) after his stint as vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s stations in Salisbury – Ocean City, Maryland. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s latest Phoenix PPM monthly (April 2015), adult contemporary KESZ finishes first (7.3) with its third straight up-trend; hot AC KMXP and CHR KZZP (fourth successive progressive trend) are tied for fourth (5.0); and adult hits is eleventh (3.2).
Davis to Program Hartford’s WKSS. Inbound from Myrtle Beach, where he was senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia‘s cluster in that South Carolina metro, Zac Davis jumps in market size to program co-owned Hartford CHR WKSS “95.7 Kiss-FM.” According to iHeartMedia Hartford operations manager Dave Symonds, “We heard from some of the best CHR programmers in the country. Zac’s successes in the format; coaching top-tier personalities; and his highly strategic thinking separated him from the pack. We are thrilled and eager for him to start.” Davis – who will also program co-owned New Haven (Connecticut) CHR WKCI “KC-101 New Haven’s Hit Music” – remarks, “I have loved working with the whole Myrtle Beach team keeping our brands on their winning records. Now, I will get to continue my path in CHR, and work for Dave Symonds, someone I have respected for years. I am excited to join such a talented group of people; I look forward to continued success.” Included on Davis’ resume are stops in Denver as operations manager of KDHT and KJHM and in Raleigh as program director of CHR WDCG “G-105.” He has also worked at WRDU, Raleigh; WGBT, Greensboro; WABB, Mobile; and KOSO, Modesto (California). Davis begins his assignment at WKSS and WKCI in about three weeks (Monday, 6/15).
Cumulus Names Sutherland to Providence VP Market Manager Post. Taking over the VP/market manager position in Providence after Barbara Haynes’ exit last week is John Sutherland, who moves up from his VP of sales position with Cumulus Media’s Worcester, Massachusetts cluster. Prior to joining Cumulus in 2013, he was chief visual officer for Sutherland Marketing Group. He was also a vice president with iHeartMedia. Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Placing John at the helm of Cumulus Providence is a perfect fit for that dynamic group of stations and will maximize our position in the market. John has many years of broadcast history in the Northeast and his tremendous track record speaks for itself. This is another example of the opportunities for advancement and growth Cumulus offers to our employees. We congratulate John and are pleased to present him with this well-deserved battlefield promotion.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Radio sales pro Maggie Melville joins JVC Media to serve as corporate event sales director. Melville, who has worked for Cox Media and iHeartMedia during her career, will be based out of the company’s WOTW, Orlando offices.…..KPTT, Denver-based Deuce adds iHeartMedia’s Seattle urban contemporary KUBE to the roster of stations he voice tracks…..At Blue Sky Broadcasting’s country KICR, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho/Spokane announces morning host, APD and promotions director Derik Walker adds music director duties to his responsibilities.
Daughtry to Be Featured at The Conclave in July. Featured in a BMI Storytellers event at The Conclave Learning Conference on Friday, July 17 will be 19/RCA Records recording artist Daughtry. Conclave board chairperson Lori Lewis says, “Much of what we do in radio is storytelling. From the talent sharing experiences on-air each day, to account executives talking about the power of radio to advertisers, we tell stories. So I couldn’t think of a better way to close out Conclave than with an intimate Storytellers session featuring Daughtry, who is one of the best musical storytellers. Thanks to BMI for making this happen.”
‘Y108’ in Pittsburgh Hold Fourth Annual ‘8 Man Jam.’ Last week (5/21), CBS RADIO-owned country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” held its fourth annual “8 Man Jam” at Rivers Casino. This pic shows the artists, label staff and radio station programmers posing during the private, invitation-only acoustic concert. They are: (standing l-r) John Rich of Big & Rich, WDSY APD/MD/afternoon personality Wookie, Big & Rich’s Big Kenny, New Revolution’s Maurisa Pasick, Curb’s Mo Pitney, Dot’s Drake White, Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery, Streamsound’s Kristian Bush, Montgomery Gentry’s Troy Gentry, Warner’s Michael Ray and Diane Monk, Blaster’s Bob Reeves, and WDSY OM/PD Mark Anderson. (Kneeling l-r) Dot’s Kris Lamb, Curb’s Ryan Dokke, Streamsound’s Jennifer Shaffer, and Blaster’s Tyler Waugh.
Back in the Saddle Again. Rock superstar Steven Tyler continues immersing himself into the world of country music as he records his new country record. Here, Tyler (center) poses for a shot with “NASH Nights Live” hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left) during a visit to Cumulus Media’s NASH Campus to talk about his new country single, “Love is Your Name.”
Duane 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: on-air personalities Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Matt James, golden-eared, on air personality at “T-100” WCLT in Newark, OH; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9;” Jered Petrey, GM, and the music committee from the award-winning, student-run high school radio station at Pendleton Heights High School in Pendleton, Indiana; Todd Cavanah, golden-eared PD at CBS RADIO’s WJMK “K-Hits” & WBBM-FM in Chicago; plus internet sensation The Iceman, 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 (5/27) includes such names as: David Duchovny, Ed Sheeran, American Authors, Owl City, Britt Nicole, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Maroon 5, Zedd, Jon Bellion, Manika, Veruca Salt, Zella Day, Sublime With Rome, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Peter Rivera, Hozier, James Reeder, Tyler Farr, Jason Aldean, Pat Green, Buddy Brown, Lee Brice, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Chris Stapleton, Matthew Huff, Sam Hunt, Steven Tyler, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Elohim, Disclosure, The Magician, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Richards Rises to CBS Radio Phoenix VP/Programming. KMLE “Country@107.9″ and CHR KZON “Live 101.5 – The Valley’s Hit Music Leader” program director Tim Richards is elevated to vice president of programming for those two CBS Radio Phoenix outlets, as well as that cluster’s classic hits-oldies property, KOOL “The Valley’s Greatest Hits.” Of Richards, senior vice president and market manager Tim Pohlman comments, “Tim has certainly earned the vice president of programming stripes here at CBS Radio Phoenix. I am excited to see his talents applied to the heritage brand of KOOL.” Richards remarks, “I am thrilled to work with our team in this new capacity. We will continue to grow our brands with great local content as the epicenter of our mission.” After joining KMLE in 2013 as program director, Richards was upped to operations manager of KMLE and KZON the following October. His past credits include regional vice president of programming for the former Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia); PD of WKQX, Chicago; assistant program director/music director of CBS Radio Boston hot AC WBMX “Mix 98.5″; program director of Detroit CHR WKQI; PD of Phoenix CHR KZZP; operations manager of Tucson CHR KRQQ; and director for the syndicated “Johnjay & Rich” program. He will continue programming KMLE and KZON, while Dave Shakes carries on as PD of KOOL. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2015 PPM report, KOOL ranks second (5.5); KMLE ninth (4.1): and KZON (3.7) tenth. Setting the pace in Phoenix for the sixth straight survey period is KESZ (7.3). The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet has been on top since last November when it took over from KOOL.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Evening personality Jolene is exiting her position at Entercom’s rock KISW, Seattle for opportunities outside the radio business. The 11-year staffer also served as music director and host of the Sunday evening local music “Loud & Local” program…..At the Charleston, South Carolina country outlet WCKN, Kickin; 92.5,” Apex Broadcasting unveils the new morning show today (5/26) consisting of personalities Andy Webb and Jessica Chandler. They take over for Dale Desmond who exited the station at the end of last year…..Two new personalities arrive at iHeartMedia’s CHR WNOH, Norfolk, Virginia “NOW 105.” Vice president of programming Matthew Derrick announces that recent Syracuse University grad (and WJPZ-FM general manager) Corey Crockett is the new 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm host while social media celeb Tyler Layne’s “Tyler’s Trending” program will air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.
Alpha Media to Pay $38,250,000 for Morris and JMJ Stations. From a filing with the FCC, we learn the price for the 36 stations that Morris Communications and JMJ operate in Topeka and Salina, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Palm Springs and Victor Valley, California; Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska; Grays Harbor-Hoquiam, Washington and Wenatchee-Columbia River, Washington: $38,250,000. This is not an all-cash deal. Morris will receive $20 million worth of Alpha Holdings private stock (8,196,722 units in the aggregate), $6,585 worth of Alpha Holdings II private stock, and $18,250,000 in cash.
Celebrating #LoveUP with U2. The #LoveUP social media campaign was the result of an auto-correct that Johnjay Van Es (of the syndicated Johnjay and Rich show) found in a text from a friend – “love it” was changed to “love up” – and it was turned into a campaign to pay it forward and spread the love. Donations to the campaign benefit the Johnjay and Rich Care for Kids Foundation. Last week, Johnjay interviewed U2 before the band’s concert in Phoenix – speaking to guitarist The Edge and bassist Adam Clayton. Then Bono joined them to hear more about the show’s #LoveUP campaign. Bono was so impressed he asked the show to bring the band some #LoveUP t-shirts before the concert started. Pictured here are (from l-r): Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., Johnjay, The Edge and Bono.
98 Rock’s ‘Queen’ Sarah Fleischer Gets Farewell Bash. Market rock legend Sarah Fleisher – midday personality at Hearst’s Baltimore rock station WIYY “98 Rock, Baltimore’s Rock Radio” – is being given a royal sendoff on June 4. Fleischer is retiring after 38 years with the radio station and morning show personalities Justin, Scott & Spiegel will emcee the “All Hail the Queen” party at Power Plant Live! The free 21-and-older event is open to the public and will allow listeners the chance to share a hug and a photo with Fleischer at the photo booth, or help support her favorite non-profit, TurnAround, Inc, with the purchase of a commemorative T-shirt or vintage Sarah poster.
KTWN, Minneapolis Afternoon Host Thorn Skroch Battling Serious Health Issues. Afternoon personality Thorn Skroch is in the hospital being treated for intestinal issues and the effects of a stroke he suffered while in the hospital last week. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Skroch’s wife Shelly writes on his CaringBridge page that he continues being treated for the issues and asks for thoughts and prayers for the market pro. The Pohlad family-owned alternative station – branded “Go 96.3 FM” – is the flagship for Minnesota Twins play-by-play. Until Skroch’s return, evening jock Miles Anzaldo will host the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm show and Skroch’s air partner Linnea Mohn will handle the 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.
Dick Broadcasting Signs with Eastlan Ratings for Triad Market Stations. Certainly this is big news for the Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm as Dick Broadcasting is the first broadcaster to sign on with Eastlan in a market served by Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys. According to a press release issued by Eastlan, under the terms of a new multi-year agreement, the company will field its initial audience measurement study in the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem market this summer. Dick Broadcasting VP/GM Dick Harlow comments, “I was surprised to learn that we are the first to make this switch in a PPM market. The meter was supposed to be the savior and all it’s done is increase our annual payments to Nielsen. And now we find out to win in the PPM game you need a magic black box to job the system. At some point, enough is enough. We look forward to working with Eastlan Ratings to see who people in the Triad choose to listen to rather than who they are exposed to. Plus the sample size will be about triple the number of meters now in the market.” Eastlan president and CEO Mike Gould adds, “After more than 16 years of providing radio ratings in markets coast-to-coast, we’re finding broadcasters and media buyers who don’t know the Eastlan story are few and far between. Our methodological hybrid of telephone recall (landline and cellular) and e-surveys isn’t sexy but it’s fair and it’s reliable. We are thankful that Dick and his colleagues trust Eastlan as their preferred ratings vendor. We are going to help save them a lot of money by getting their ratings investment back in line with the realities of today’s radio revenue stream.” Dick operates classic rock WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL in the Triad market.
CBS RADIO Re-Brands KEZK, St. Louis. The station will still be an adult contemporary outlet but the “Fresh 102.5” moniker is gone and the station becomes simply, “102.5 KEZK.” In a press release, the station says it will continue “to play the adult contemporary hits listeners have come to love and expect from ‘Fresh 102.5,’ plus LOTS more ‘80s music.” Core artists will continue to be “artists like Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Maroon 5, plus yesterday’s favorites from bands like Hall and Oates, Michael Jackson, Madonna and more.” CBS RADIO St. Louis SVP and market manager John Sheehan comments, “The KEZK call letters have always been synonymous with adult contemporary radio in St. Louis. Bringing back the familiar name, along with an updated sound, will give St. Louisans a great at-work listening option during the work day.”
Tucson’s Turn to Feel The Vibe. A CHR-to-classic hip-hop transformation took place in Tucson this past Friday (5/22) at 12:00 noon, in which Cumulus Media‘s KSZR became “97.5 The Vibe.” Cumulus Tucson vice president and market manager Ken Kowalcek comments, “We are excited to deliver Tucson’s ‘party station.’ There is a passionate energy for this music, which defined an entire generation. No one else in Tucson is playing these songs, so this is a huge opportunity for us and fills a real need in the market.” Tucson’s “Vibe” will reportedly mix “old school” hip-hop hits with R&B “throwbacks” from the 1980s, 1990s, and early-2000s. Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2015 book, KSZR ranks ninth (2.4) and is actually six-tenths better than its fall 2014 performance (1.8) and four-tenths higher than winter 2014’s 2.0. Of subscribing stations, iHeartMedia CHR KRQQ sets the pace with an 8.3 (12+), while its urban contemporary sibling KOHT “Hot 98.3″ registers a 5.5 (#4, 12+).
Michael Harrison and Richard Neer Reminisce About Their First Two and a Half Years in Radio. There’s a whole lot of ancient radio and pop cultural history discussed in this week’s installment of the hit international podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” as the TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher is joined by his close friend and colleague of 48 years – Richard Neer – in an intimate conversation about how they met in 1967 at their first job at the same radio station, WLIR-FM, Long Island. They were teenage broadcasters struggling to survive in their first toe-hold as pros (while still attending college) at a small beautiful/classical music-formatted FM station in Garden City where they served as staff announcers/news readers and engineers that fumbled their way through the challenging process of learning to run the board and announce records that were targeted to a far older audience while trying to avoid the wrath of a demanding owner. By 1970, they had learned their craft under fire and actually became quite good at it, earning the respect of WLIR’s owner, John Rieger, who appointed Harrison program director and Neer music director of a new progressive rock format for the station that the duo suggested. As it turned out, the station’s new format was an instant smash, WLIR-FM went from obscurity to national prominence, and Harrison and Neer were catapulted, within 10 months of the new format’s debut, to highly coveted, on-air positions at the legendary WNEW-FM, New York. Both went on to colorful 48-year careers in music, talk and sports radio as well as trade publishing. Neer subsequently wrote FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) which still stands as a widely quoted reference work about the golden era of album rock broadcasting. To hear the podcast in its entirety and enjoy descriptive insights into what it was like to be a couple of kids in small-time radio back in the late-1960s, please click here or the player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
New Jake Owen Song to Premiere on iHeartMedia Country Stations. Country artist Jake Owen’s new RCA Nashville single “Real Live” is getting its world premiere on iHeartMedia’s country outlets today (5/26). The song is available via iTunes and will be heard every hour on the hour through midnight on iHeartMedia’s country stations. Additionally, all iHeartMedia country station websites are now featuring the brand new official VEVO lyric video.
“Man Up” is the Buzz in Greensboro. At 6:00 am Friday (5/22), iHeartMedia Greensboro transitioned alternative WVBZ “105.7 The Buzz” to rock as “The Triad’s New Choice for Rock – Man Up.” According to program director Keith Allen, the station “will be made up of the best rock of all time” and it “will provide Triad listeners the choice to listen to music in the morning and not wait till lunchtime.” In addition, the Greensboro audience will not “have to listen to a station that only plays one or two rock songs every blue moon.” The “Man Up” handle is being used by iHeartMedia in several other markets including Salt Lake City (KAAZ), and Oklahoma City (KBRU). Representative artists on the Greensboro version will include AC/DC, Boston, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Linkin Park, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Soundgarden. After 16 successive (6+) performances in the two-share range, WVBZ has followed with five straight between 1.5 – 1.9, including 1.6 (#14) in April 2015. There are no other rock and/or alternative outlets in the market; Dick Broadcasting‘s classic rock WKRR “Rock 92″ posts noteworthy back-to-back gains (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+) and finishes seventh in April (Nielsen Audio, PPM).
PPM Analysis: Adult Album Alternative. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps up his analysis of stations airing rock formats based on data from the April 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. For the past two days (5/21 and 5/21), RadioInfo published his look at the alternative or modern rock and active rock formats. Today, Kinosian turns his attention to adult album alternative or triple A. Compared to the previous two formats, the number of stations playing the triple A format in PPM markets is much smaller – 11 to be exact. Denver’s KBCO tops the market rank and market share (6+) charts based on April PPM data. Find out where the rest of the stations stack up and look at the chart comparing all three rock-based formats here.
Jeremy Sinon Named Corporate Digital Director for Hubbard Broadcasting. This is a promotion to the corporate level for Jeremy Sinon who has been serving as the digital director for Hubbard Radio’s Twin Cities operations. He will continue in that role in addition to his new post as corporate digital director. The company says that in this position Sinon will work closely with Hubbard EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler and president/COO Drew Horowitz to “oversee day-to-day corporate digital initiatives as well as the strategy for Hubbard Radio’s long-term digital goals.” Speaking about his new position, Sinon says, “It’s really an honor to be given this opportunity to help lead the digital efforts for a company that I care so much about. When I started at Hubbard in 2006 I was one of the first digitally focused hires the company ever made. It amazes me every day when I look around and see how much we’ve grown since. I’m excited about the future. We have really big things in store for us.” Prior to the last nine years with Hubbard Radio, Sinon was a digital director for the iHeartMedia radio group in Minneapolis and worked at the digital agency Omnera.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s hot AC WLDB, Milwaukee “Trending Radio 93.3,” market pro Dan Kyle moves up from part-time status to full-time night jock…..Brown University-owned modern rocker WBRU, Providence ups Paul Martin to music director, taking over for Eliza Soros…..Lauren Bernard leaves her position with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas on the “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” show.
iHeartMedia’s WVBZ in Triad Market Moves to Rock Format. Former alternative outlet WVBZ, Clemmons, North Carolina “105.7 The Buzz” – serving the Winston-Salem/Greensboro market – flips to rock and is currently using the slogan, “105.7 Man Up!” The station is airing a cross section of rock music from various decades that includes such artists as: Linkin Park, Pink Floyd, Cage the Elephant, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Stone Temple Pilots, Fuel, Van Halen and more.
The 40th Annual Gracie Awards. Arriving at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday (5/19) was the Alliance for Women in Media Board and AWM Foundation Board. Pictured here (from l-r) are: Josie Thomas, EVP & chief diversity officer at CBS Corporation; Karla Ballard, SVP at Participant Media (and Gracies co-chair); Michelle Duke, vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation; Christine McLaughlin, broadcast lawyer at Sciarrino & Shubert , PLLC; Christine Travaglini, president of Christal Radio/KRG Partnerships; Kristen Welch, SVP, Global Content Operations at Discovery Communications, Inc. (and AWM Chair); Kay Olin, consultant at Olin & Associates (and past AWM Chair); Valerie Blackburn, VKB Media Consulting, (Gracies co-chair and past AWM Chair); Jill Luckett, senior vice president of Program Network Policy, National Cable & Telecommunications Association; Sandy Girard, VP, Brand Management & Development, SiriusXM; and Heather Cohen, EVP at The Weiss Agency.