General Music Radio Industry News
Duane Doobie’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, including this week David Safar of 89.3 KCMP “The Current” Minneapolis; Bayley Brown, WKLC-FM (Rock 105), St. Albans/Charleston, and 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 (12/17) includes such names as: One Direction, Beatles, James Newton Howard, Jennifer Lawrence, Bea Miller, Tracy Young, Mack & Jet Set Vega, Olly Murs, Demi Lovato, Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist, Wax, Herbal T, Lack of Afro, Hamilton Leithauser, George Ezra, The Cure, James McCartney, Gwyneth Moreland, David Hayes, Van Morrison, Joywave, Big Data, Alt-J, Modest Mouse, Little Big Town, Love Junkies, Abbi Scott, Jillian Kohr, Josh Dorr, Mat D. & the Profane Saints, Petting Zoo, Madison Rising, Dave Matthews Band, Deuxième, Maiday, and AronChupa, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
‘Z100’ New York’s ‘Jingle Ball’ to Air on The CW Tomorrow (12/18). The television broadcast of the “Z100 Jingle Ball 2014” will air on The CW tomorrow night. The iHeartMedia-produced show that happened on Friday, December 12 at Madison Square Garden, featured acts that included: Taylor Swift, Iggy Izalea, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Pharrell, OneRepublic, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, Jesse J., Rita Ora and Nick Jonas with special appearances by Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwen Stefani and more. The evening was hosted by “Z100” morning personality Elvis Duran who is pictured below at right (in the cool tux!) standing next to iHeartMedia president, programming platforms Tom Poleman. Pictured here at the top at Friday night’s show performing are Rita Ora (singing) and Iggy Izalea. For a hint at what viewers may see tomorrow night, here’s Z100’s blurb about the show: “Pharrell opened the show and stunned the crowd with special guest performer Gwen Stefani (who brought special date, son Apollo) to perform their new hit “Spark The Fire” while fellow “The Voice” judge Adam Levine along with Maroon 5 performed hit “One More Night” to get everyone dancing in their seats. Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor lead the star-studded lineup with songs from their new albums, Shake It Off and Lips Are Moving. Sarah Jessica Parker introduced recent Grammy nominee Sam Smith who crooned the crowd with his stellar vocals performing “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not The Only One.” Ariana Grande stole the show featuring a 20 minute set of her hits opening with holiday favorite “Santa Tell Me” and then was joined on stage by Jessie J for their hit “Bang Bang.”
Skip Mahaffey to Host Mornings on ‘99.5 The Wolf’ in Dallas. The new co-host of the “Wake Up with the Wolf” show on Cumulus Media’s country KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf,” is award-winning country personality Skip Mahaffey. He takes over for Ken Buckner who recently exited the station. Mahaffey will partner up with current morning show co-host Lisa Taylor, beginning December 29. Mahaffey comes to KPLX from his most recent gig as talk host on George Flinn, Jr.-owned news/talk simulcast WWJB and WXJB serving Hernando County, Florida. Mahaffey’s resume includes stints at WWKA, Orlando; WFUS and WQYK in Tampa; WCOL, Columbus; KSON, San Diego; and KVOO, Tulsa. He also hosted the nationally syndicated “True Country” for the old Dial-Global and has won three CMA Air Personality of the Year awards.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Programmer and afternoon personality Michael Hayes exits Fort Myers Broadcasting Company-owned adult contemporary WINK, Fort Myers “The New 96.9 More FM” after four years with the station…..At iHeartMedia’s Grand Rapids CHR WSNX, evening personality and APD Brian Holmes exits the company he’s been with for the past 15 years. His show, “Holmes & the FreakShow,” was also piped in to the company’s CHR WVKS, Toledo.
‘Huckabee Report’ to Be Distributed by WYD Media. With the start of the New Year, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee – also host of his own weekend show on Fox News Channel – is continuing his daily feature, “The Huckabee Report,” to be distributed by WYD Media Management. The program will be repped by WYD Media Ad Sales. The show is currently syndicated to more than 500 radio stations via Westwood One but that relationship will end after December 31. Huckabee comments, “We’ve had tremendous success over the last six years with ‘The Huckabee Report’ thanks to the great partnerships with hundreds of radio stations. I’m excited about my new partnership and this is a great way to kick off 2015!” WYD says that the feature will retain its current format with morning, midday and afternoon delivery of three unique, modular reports that allow stations to carry one or three minutes of content per report. WYD Media Ad Sales president John Murphy says, “Mike Huckabee is truly a beloved national icon with a powerful following. His ability to connect with his audience and influence public opinion is incredibly valuable to our advertising partners.” In addition to airing on news/talk affiliates, “The Huckabee Report” is also cleared on country- and classic rock-formatted stations.
Country Stars Shine at Inaugural ‘American Country Countdown Awards.’ The first “American Country Countdown Awards” show took place in Nashville last night (12/15) and was presented on TV by Fox and Cumulus. The awards show takes its name from the Westwood One-syndicated “American Country Countdown” radio program hosted by Kix Brooks. Last night’s festivities were hosted by Florida Georgia Line. Reba McEntire (pictured here at left with Cumulus’ Chuck Wicks, center, and Blair Garner, right) was honored with the NASH Icon Award, and Kenny Chesney received the Groundbreaker Award. The rest of the winners were: Artist of the Year – Jason Aldean; Male Vocalist of the Year – Luke Bryan; Female Vocalist of the Year – Miranda Lambert; Group/Duo of the Year – Florida Georgia Line; Song of the Year (tie) – “Beat of the Music,” Brett Eldredge; and “This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan; Album of the Year – The Outsiders, Eric Church; Digital Song of the Year – “This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan; and Breakthrough Artist of the Year – Kip Moore.
ACCA Artist of the Year. During last night’s inaugural “American Country Countdown Awards” broadcast on Fox TV, Jason Aldean (left) was honored with the Artist of the Year award. He’s pictured here with “America’s Morning Show” personalities Blair Garner (right) and Chuck Wicks (center). In addition to the evening’s program being broadcast on Fox TV, country artists visited the Westwood One-produced Red Carpet Radio backstage and shared thoughts about their music and the country scene with Wicks and Garner. Photos: NASH TV
Haupert Heads to KDKB as GSM. Former iHeartMedia Phoenix director of integrated marketing Leyla Haupert is appointed general sales manager of crosstown Hubbard alternative KDKB “ALT AZ 93-3.” Hubbard Phoenix vice president/director of sales Jeff England remarks, “I am thrilled Leyla is joining our management team. Her diverse experience; success in developing solutions for advertisers; and leadership skills are a perfect fit for this position. As KDKB continues to grow, I know Leyla will be a positive influence within the Hubbard Phoenix cluster.” Haupert – who begins her new duties in about four weeks (1/12) – is “honored” to be part of Hubbard Phoenix and to “lead the Alt AZ 93-3 team. The opportunity to advance Hubbard’s strong portfolio of brands, events, and interactive solutions is truly exciting. I look forward to partnering with our clients and collaborating with such a strong team of marketing professionals.” Haupert previously was interim president and market manager for iHeartMedia’s San Francisco stations and was integrated marketing strategy consultant at that cluster.
Beasley Sends Cadillac Jack to Tampa Market. Fifteen-year Beasley programmer and personality Cadillac Jack will leave his current post as APD/MD and PM host at the Las Vegas cluster’s country KCYE “Coyote Country” to move to Tampa and join the company’s newest properties. Cadillac Jack will serve as afternoon drive personality at country WQYK where he’ll also be APD. For nine years, Cadillac Jack served as host of Westwood One’s “Stars of Country,” which aired on more than 75 radio stations nationwide. Beasley Tampa OM Tee Gentry says, “We are thrilled that Cadillac Jack agreed to join us in Tampa. Having been with Beasley 15 years, our company knows his work ethic and his talent. Personally, I can’t wait to have Caddy behind the mic, hitting the streets and getting to know our listeners and clients in Tampa Bay. He’s one of the very best personalities in country music.” This move means a plum job opens in Vegas. Send PD Kris Daniels your stuff at Kris.email@example.com if you think you have what it takes to fill Cadillac’s shoes.
Beasley Bumps Up D’Amico to VP/Strategic Partnerships. It’s a promotion for Beasley Broadcast Group Las Vegas and Wilmington (Delaware) national sales manager Rafe D’Amico, who is elevated to vice president of strategic partnerships. He will retain those duties, as well as adding national sales manager responsibilities for the company’s Charlotte cluster. D’Amico will report to executive vice president of sales Heather Monahan, who comments, “We are looking forward to expanding our offerings for our advertisers through Rafe’s creative efforts. Rafe has proven his ability to create unique and deep engagement opportunities for advertisers across various platforms, so this extension to a new position is a natural next step.” New York City-based D’Amico voices his gratitude to continue his career “with the Beasley family” and states he is “ecstatic to lead this initiative for the company. I am equally excited to begin working with our newest Beasley teammates in Charlotte and Tampa. With the large cluster of stations we now operate in those two markets and [elsewhere], we recognize the dynamic opportunities we have to grow relationships with our advertising partners and the local communities we serve.” D’Amico joined Beasley Broadcast Group Philadelphia in 2008 as local sales manager/digital sales manager for country WXTU and rhythmic CHR WRDW “Wired 96.” He was promoted the following year to national sales manager for both stations. D’Amico started his media career in 1998 while attending the University of Arizona.
NRG Media Names Sparks to Northwoods Station Group. At its Northwoods cluster, NRG Media names Shane Sparks market manager for the six stations serving the Rhinelander and Minoqua, Wisconsin markets including: country WHDG, adult hits WRHN, classic country simulcast WOBT-AM/FM, classic rock WRLO, news/talk WLKD, and classic hits WMQA.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Re-joining the Mid-West Family Communications organization is Denise Bohn-Stewart who will co-host mornings on the company’s AC WCXT, Benton Harbor, Michigan with Jonny Reinhardt, effective January 5. She’s been working in TV at WSBT-TV, South Bend most recently but worked at Mid-West’s country WYTZ “97.5 Y-Country” during the late 1990s…..Longtime Odessa-Midland radio personalities Mike Lawrence and Dana Carole are retiring from their current morning gig at Brazos Communications-owned country outlet KHKX “Kicks 99-1.” The duo – who’ve spent 25 years in the market and the last 15 at KHKX – will exit after their December 19 program…..Adam Schraf leaves iHeartMedia where he’d been programming the company’s CHR WVRT, Williamsport, Pennsylvania and voice-tracking the evening show at sister country station WRBT, Harrisburg…..Dixie Tipton joins Capitol Music Group as vice president/rhythm promotion. She previously served with Epic Records as VP/pop promotion.
Signoff Alert: Mike Nolan. It is not often that a traffic reporter’s exit warrants significant attention, but such is certainly the case with Mike Nolan. For the last 28 years, Nolan has guided harried Los Angeles motorists through his traffic updates on iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5″ and co-owned talker KFI; however, as he writes on his Facebook page, “I have been privileged to be on the radio for 41 years [but] now it is time to begin the next chapter.” In all but seven of those 41 years, Nolan has done both morning and afternoon drive, “giving people as much information as I could about the traffic on their drive” and he calls KOST and KFI “two of the greatest radio stations in the country.” The list of “incredible people” he has worked with “is long and distinguished,” and Nolan explains, “The career I have had is far greater than anything I could have imagined.” Numerous Los Angeles broadcasters are commenting in social media, including former KOST (and later cross-town KTWV) morning talent Kim Amidon, who writes, “Mike, you have always been a pro – the best at what you do – and for most of those years doing it while flying your plane. It was great to work with you and party with you. I wish you the best in this new journey.” Now at KTWV “The Wave,” Bryan Simmons did afternoon drive on KOST and points out, “For most of your career, you were in the air, the place you should always have been, in the pilot seat. I was privileged to work with you for most of your time at KOST and it was a pleasure – job well done partner.” Similar to Nolan, Rhonda Kramer is also an exceptionally well-known Los Angeles traffic reporter and she notes, “It is hard to believe you are hanging up the traffic wings. You have always been a great traffic reporter, pilot, and I have been lucky to call you my friend for all of your years in Los Angeles. Enjoy your quality time – you deserve it.” Another of Nolan’s colleagues – Jorge Jarrin – reflects on the 25 years he (Jarrin) spent doing airborne traffic reports. “One of the most special aspects of my career was the warm camaraderie we developed. It was often one of the things I missed most once I was grounded for good. You are a true friend both on and off the air. I will miss your voice and accurate information, but I rejoice in your ability to move into the next chapter in your life. You have accomplished much my friend; survived; and are loved by many.” Veteran talk host Tom Leykis knew Nolan in Phoenix (at KOY) and “had the pleasure” of working with him at KFI. “I have often told people that you and Mark Denis were the lynchpins of the station before KFI flipped to talk in 1988 – and you still are that.” Talk radio consultant Valerie Geller laments, “This doesn’t seem possible to me. I cannot imagine driving in Los Angeles without you.” Former KFI talk host Michael Castner – now doing morning drive on Portland’s KEX – recalls that one of his “most exciting moments” at KFI was “the first time I introduced you – an honor to work with a true Los Angeles radio legend.” Noted programmer John Rook describes Nolan as “classy, professional, and dependable. Happy retirement – I will miss hearing you each day.” Longtime local newscaster Mark Austin Thomas writes, “It was an honor and a joy to work with you and a pleasure to listen to someone who was such a pro who loved his work – wishing you happiness and fulfillment in your next chapter.” Sports update talent Karen Kay states, “You are the best of the best. What an honor to know you and to be able to say I am one of your biggest fans.” Nolan’s last on-air date is this Friday (12/19); he will spend the morning reminiscing with KFI wakeup talent Bill Handel.
CBS RADIO and Carson Daly Announce Contract Extension. Los Angeles-based radio personality Carson Daly and CBS RADIO have come to terms on a contract extension that will keep him with the company for an unspecified number of years to come. Daly hosts “Mornings with Carson Daly” on CBS O&O CHR KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” as well as the nationally syndicated “The Daly Download with Carson Daly.” CBS RADIO president Dan Mason comments, “Carson has proven to be a leading authority on music and pop-culture and plays a significant role in 97.1 AMP Radio’s success. He has used his knowledge to build not only a great local show but additional programming that connects to audiences nationwide. For the past year and a half, Carson has highlighted the biggest songs in music on his weekly countdown show and brought millions of music fans to the radio in the process. We’re delighted to extend our agreement with such a talented broadcaster.” The company says that since 2010, Daly “increasing his weekly audience each year since his debut. His show currently is among the top three most-listened-to programs in the time period with listeners 6+.”
Nikki Landry Named KKMG, Colorado Springs PD. At the Cumulus Media CHR outlet KKMG, Colorado Springs “98.8 Magic FM,” Nikki Landry assumes the program director role, taking over for Derreck Rusch who remains morning personality and promotions director for the station. Landry most recently was programming Memphis First Ventures-owned country duo WEBL and WUMY in Memphis. She’s also programmed CHR WWWM, Toledo “Star 105.5.” About her new gig, Landry says, “It is such an honor to take the reins of such a musically and personality driven flame thrower as ‘98.9 Magic FM.’ I am elated to be coming back to Cumulus and to be on Bobby Irwin‘s and Davey Morris‘ team. I am so psyched to get started and to work with our team to continue to build on the #1 station in the Springs!”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. After 10 months on the job, Rat and Puff, a.k.a. Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman (pictured here), exit iHeartMedia’s CHR station WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.” The duo moved north to assume afternoon drive responsibilities last February from the company’s CHR WFLZ, Tampa where they’d been doing nights as Ratboy and Staypuff…..As Radio One builds up its new classic hip hop and R&B outlet KROI, Houston “Boom 92,” it adds Jay Rio to the staff as afternoon personality and production director. He moves to Houston from Radio One’s hip hop WHHH, Indianapolis “Hot 96.3” where he was afternoon drive host and imaging director…..Sixteen-year WQYK, Tampa staffer Steve Austin exits the Beasley Broadcast Group country station where he’d been afternoon personality for the past five years…..Mark “The Shark” moves from iHeartMedia’s rock WTKX, Pensacola to Digity Media’s rock WIIL, Union Grove, Wisconsin (Racine market). At WTKX, Shark served as afternoon host, APD and music director…..Exiting the program director and PM drive personality gig at Cumulus Media’s CHR WABD, Mobile is Scott Adams…..At the Lanser Broadcasting Christian CHR station WJQK, Grand Rapids “JQ99.3,” Ace McKay is promoted to program director. He’ll continue to serve as music director and on-air personality. He replaces Troy West who left the station to program KSBJ, Houston.
Sydney Siege Illustrates Need for Plan for Broadcasters. The hostage situation in Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia shows – very dramatically – why broadcasters need a plan in place before an unexpected crisis situation occurs. ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes, in an exclusive piece for RadioInfo, “In the aftermath of 9/11, many places – New York City chief among them – redrew regulations requiring building operators and their tenants to develop so-called ‘emergency action plans,’ to deal with fire and non-fire emergencies. Among other things, these plans call for the formation and training of ‘emergency action plan directors’ and fire safety teams; some organizations with expansive buildings or campuses have designated site coordinators, and site response teams who may have advanced first aid training and emergency provisions to sustain a lockdown/shelter-in-place order for hours, or even days.” Price asks broadcasters if they – like Channel 7 TV in Sydney – have a plan in place to evacuate their primary business and engineering office if they are required to do so. Read Price’s important piece here.
Country Stars Aplenty on Cumulus’ Red Carpet Radio. Over the weekend, Cumulus-Westwood One presented Red Carpet Radio during which numerous country music stars mingled with radio personalities and chatted on air about tonight’s inaugural “American Country Countdown Awards” show and their careers. Pictured here, country superstar Reba McEntire (center) is interviewed by WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” Dallas (left) and Cadillac Jack (right). McEntire will receive the first-ever ACCA/NASH Icon Award on tonight and she recently became the inaugural signing on Nash Icon Music, a joint venture label between Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus.
Oregon Adult Hits Station Honor Heisman Trophy Winner. In honor of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota – winner of the 2014 Heisman Trophy award – McKenzie River Broadcasting Company adult hits outlet KEUG, Eugene “BOB-FM” temporarily changes its name to “105-5 MARCUS-FM.” In a jocular press release, the station says, “Station owner and program director…BOB…actually decided to get off his couch and make this move, noting the historical context of the event. ‘Any time you have a first anything; kiss, day of pre-school, using the potty, it warrants strong consideration, and this Heisman is first for Eugene and the University of Oregon. Henceforth and for the time being, my station will be called MARCUS-FM.’”
WPLJ, New York Grants 13-Year-Old’s Wish. Hudson Valley resident Olivia – a 13-year-old facing a life-threatening brain tumor – was made “pop star for a day” with collaboration from Make-A-Wish and Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York. “95.5 PLJ” invited Olivia to the station’s studio high atop Madison Square Garden for an interview with Ralphie, host of “Ralphie Tonight,” to talk about her album release and what it’s like to be a pop star. Not only was Olivia interviewed in the studios, but she received the full superstar treatment with a meet and greet and her very own green room with all of Olivia’s favorite foods, drinks, snacks and presents! Charlie Foster, vice president of promotion from Epic Records, was on hand to escort Olivia through her visit at the station. An organized meet-and-greet with paparazzi was packed with some of her fans at PLJ who were all thrilled to make her experience one she’ll remember. Olivia’s album debut and pop star experience was one of 50 Wishes Across America granted by Macy’s and Make-A-Wish on National Believe Day. Pictured here are (from left to right): Foster, Olivia and Ralphie.
Jayde Donovan Joins Todd Pettengill for Mornings on WPLJ, New York. Just a few days after announcing she was leaving Cox Media Group’s CHR WPOI, Tampa “Hot 101.5,” Jayde Donovan is named morning drive co-host on Cumulus Media’s New York hot AC WPLJ. Donovan joins Todd Pettengill for the newly re-named “Todd and Jayde (In the Morning” program, effective January 5. Cumulus New York vice president and market manager Kim Bryant says, “We are thrilled to have a talent like Jayde on ‘PLJ. She is genuine, smart and beautiful. The New York market is going to fall in love with her.” In addition to her radio work, Donovan has worked as a correspondent for WTVT-TV, Tampa “Fox 13,” with the weekly segment “Hot Happenings” on “Good Day Tampa Bay” and the daily segment “Hot Dish” on Dish Nation. She also hosted the television show “The Cue” on WOFL-TV Orlando “Fox 35.” in Orlando. About her new gig, Donovan says, “I still can’t wrap my head around the dream job in front of me! To co-lead a show in the number one market in the world is more than a dream come true. Huge thanks to John Dickey, Mike McVay, Gillette, and my legendary radio friend Todd Pettengill for bringing me on the team. Can’t wait to get to work!”
Richard Deaver Exits KOSP, Springfield After Traffic Citation Controversy. Neither side is talking too much about air personality Richard Deaver’s exit from Mid-West Family Communications’ CHR KOSP “92.9 The Beat,” but it comes almost a month after he complained on the air about treatment he alleges he received from the Springfield police during a traffic stop. The on-air talk about Deaver’s traffic citation caused the Springfield Police Officers Association to issue a boycott of the radio station. Neither Deaver nor Mid-West Family would say too much to the Springfield News-Leader and would not say if the matter played a direct role in Deaver’s exit. You can read the News-Leader piece here. For now, Deaver’s co-host Dawn McClain will host the morning program solo.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. The new afternoon personality at CBS RADIO’s alternative KITS, San Francisco “LIVE 105” is Greg Beharrell. He comes to the Bay Area from his most recent gig at Corus-owned rocker CFOX, Vancouver, BC. Beharrell has also worked at alternative outlets CFNY, Toronto “102.1 The Edge” and CFEX, Calgary “X92.9.”…..Govia returns to the Peoria market where he’ll be the evening personality on Alpha Media’s new CHR WNGY “Energy 102.3” beginning December 15…..Heather Stupeck joins the team at Jerry Duncan Promotions as secondary promotion manager. Stupeck is a former digital media assistant and on-air personality at WKDQ and sister station WDKS in Evansville, Indiana.
CBS RADIO Announces ‘The Night Before’ Concert in Phoenix. The “Night Before” concert will take place on January 31 – the night before the NFL’s Super Bowl being played at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1. CBS RADIO announces the lineup for this show will include country stars Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, and Florida Georgia Line. The news of the show was announced on CBS O&O KMLE, Phoenix by Dierks Bentley today (12/12) as he said, “I’m excited to be part of a huge night in country music the night before the biggest event in sports…in my hometown! We’re about to take tailgating in Phoenix to a whole new level.” CBS SVP of strategic events and partnerships Amy Stevens adds, “There’s no bigger sporting event than the Super Bowl, and what better way to celebrate the greatest championship in the world than with a star-studded concert event The Night Before. We had an amazing inaugural show in 2014 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in New York, and we’re thrilled to present the next installment in this emerging tradition with some of this generation’s greatest country acts.”
Lennon & Maisy Visit ‘America’s Morning Show.’ Stars of ABC-TV’s hit series “Nashville,” Lennon & Maisy, stopped by the NASH Campus in Nashville where they chatted and performed on “America’s Morning Show.” The duo performed their new Christmas single, “Christmas Coming Home,” and their YouTube hit cover of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey.” Pictured here (from left to right) are: Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella, Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks and Blair Garner.
WPHT, Philadelphia Celebrates Sid Mark’s 58th Anniversary. News/talk outlet WPHT, Philadelphia is honoring the 58th anniversary of the broadcasting career of Sid Mark – host of the legendary “Sounds of Sinatra” program. The sold-out, special event is taking place tonight (12/12) from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Parx Casino’s 360 Lounge. The evening will feature a special live broadcast of the “Sounds of Sinatra” program with special guest Frank Sinatra, Jr. Today also marks what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 99th birthday. Marc Rayfield, SVP/market manager for CBS RADIO Philadelphia says, “WPHT is proud to pay tribute to a living legend. Sid Mark has entertained generations of listeners through the years and it’s wonderful to be able to honor the legacy of Frank Sinatra and celebrate Sid’s amazing career at the same time.” Mark launched the “Sounds of Sinatra” show in Philly 57 years ago.
iHeartMedia to Sell Towers to Vertical Bridge for $400 Million. The press release from iHeartMedia says the deal is for select tower assets and it doesn’t go on to list which towers that includes, but suffice it to say, the company is using the deal to bring in a cash infusion of $400 million and prepare for the day when it may no longer need the towers to transmit AM/FM signals. Admittedly, that day may be down the road a ways but it might be a good start to reducing the expense of the real estate and tower maintenance. iHeartMedia will still have to pay lease fees for the transmitters and it reminds investors that will incur an expense. iHeartMedia president and CFO Richard Bressler states, “This is a great example of how we continue to optimize our balance sheet and maximize liquidity — and how we continually review our entire portfolio of assets to ensure we operate them in the most efficient way possible and invest our resources in the highest return opportunities.” The companies expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2015.
Marshall Named Market Manager for Cumulus Youngstown. The new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media is Brad Marshall. He steps up from his role as director for sales for the cluster, replacing the retiring Rick Parrish. Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “We wish Rick well with his retirement and thank him for his years of service to us. Moving forward, we are thrilled to have Brad promoted to this role. As the DOS for five years, Brad was ready for this challenge and we look forward to many years of success under his leadership.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that longtime KZEP jock Craig “Crash” Chambers was let go on Tuesday of this week. iHeartMedia officials confirmed Chambers’ exit from the classic rock station. KZEP’s classic rock format recently moved from its longtime 104.5 frequency to the translator K277BH at 93.3 as 104.5 was remade into the urban contemporary outlet “HOT 104.5.”
HANK FM to Air on KNHK, Newport, Washington. The Envision Networks and Kroeger Media syndicated country format HANK FM is now airing on Alexandra Communications’ KNHK, Newport, Washington (approximately 35 miles north of Spokane). Station general manager Chris Gilbreth comments, “We’re excited to bring HANK FM to Spokane. We’ve seen in other markets how listeners and advertisers seem to just ‘get’ the HANK concept. We’re looking forward to a prosperous year ahead as more people crank the HANK in this area.” Envision and Kroeger Media say the HANK FM format is similar to its adult hits cousin BOB FM (also a creation of Kroeger) in that it “doesn’t play by the rules. HANK breaks the mold with a unique mix of over 1,000 tested titles spanning from the 80s, 90s, 00s and today. This wide and unique music library can be molded into three distinct HANK flavors that can be customized to meet any market.’”
Cumulus’ Red Carpet Radio to Offer Backstage Content from American Country Countdown Awards. The new Red Carpet Radio project from Cumulus Media and Westwood One will again provide exclusive audio coverage – this time from backstage at the “American Country Countdown Awards” tomorrow and Saturday from Nashville’s Music City Center in advance of Monday’s televised show. The inaugural awards show is being hosted by Florida Georgia Line and will air on Fox TV from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. The Red Carpet Radio backstage event will feature two days of live broadcasts with 20 country radio stations from across the nation and include an array of hosts, presenters, and performers mingling backstage. Cumulus/Westwood One national shows “NASH Nights Live,” “America’s Morning Show,” and “American Country Countdown” will broadcast live from backstage.
TalkersTV Presents Tribute to Voices that Radio Will Miss in 2015. What started out as a simple social media video project created by consultant Holland Cooke has been picked up by TalkersTV (a service of RadioInfo’s sister trade publication, TALKERS) as a special year-end presentation honoring some of the unforgettable voices that passed on to that great broadcast studio in the sky in 2014. Cooke tells TALKERS, “Radio is about story telling… and these people were such stories unto themselves. What we do next stands on their broad shoulders.” TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “There is an elegant simplicity in the way these powerful video vignettes were produced. Parts are silent with text and images; some employ potent sound bites that touch the soul. We are so pleased that this sweet production found an appropriate home on our platform this holiday season.” To view, please see the TalkersTV box at the top of the right hand column on every page of the TALKERS website by clicking here.
Doin’ it for the Kids. This photo of Streamsound Records recording artist Kristian Bush with WMZQ, Washington staffers was taken at the iHeartMedia station’s “Concert for the Kids” on December 5 at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Bush performed his current single, “Trailer Hitch.” Pictured here (from left to right) are: Streamsound’s Theresa Ford and Teddi Bonadies, Premiere Networks‘ director/country programming Justin Cole, WMZQ PD Meg Stevens, Kristian Bush and Brandon Bush.
Dee Jay Silver Relaxing in Vegas. In Sin City for his recent seven-day appearance as part of the National Rodeo Finals, “The Country Club” host Dee Jay Silver spent some time hanging out at The Bank nightclub. Silver (third from left), whose program is syndicated nationally by Sun Broadcast Group/KMG took time to pose for a shot with (l-r): Niels Skou, West Coast promotion manager, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine; Julio Aponte, COO, Sun Broadcast Group; Silver; Jenna Straub; Jason Bailey, CEO, Sun Broadcast Group and Ron Rivlin, SVP programming and affiliate relations, Sun Broadcast Group.
The Band Perry Drops in on Blair Garner. After The Band Perry paid a visit to the NASH Campus in Nashville, they posed for a shot with Cumulus Media’s nationally syndicated country program, “America’s Morning Show.” From left to right are: Neil Perry, AMS personality Chuck Wicks, Kimberly Perry, AMS personality Terri Clark, Blair Garner and Reid Perry.