General Music Radio Industry News
Round One of Nielsen Audio’s March PPM Data Released. The March PPM data from Nielsen Audio is being released and round one for markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union is available here. In addition, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group.
- New York – The March survey period covered February 27 – March 26. On (Monday) March 3, classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM unveiled its new wakeup program headlined by a promising newcomer – Scott Shannon. Kidding aside, given his lengthy tenure at cross-town CHR WHTZ “Z-100″ (the station he signed-on) and most recently at Cumulus hot AC WPLJ, Shannon is a genuine New York City morning drive icon. His new address – WCBS-FM – gains one-half share (5.6 – 6.1, 6+) in March and goes from a second-place tie in February with Emmis urban AC WBLS (5.6 – 5.4, dropping to fourth) to sole possession of the runner-up slot. Meanwhile, his former station – WPLJ – is down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+) and slips from #15 to #16. This marks the eighth consecutive survey in which Clear Channel adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” is #1 (6.9 – 7.0, +.1). Several spoken-word outlets experience a rough go, particularly all-news siblings WCBS-AM (5.3 – 4.2, #4 to #7) and WINS (4.5 – 3.7, #7 to #9), which drop a combined -1.9. After gaining nine-tenths (3.2 – 4.1, “Holiday” – January, 6+) only to lose eight-tenths in February, their sports cluster-mate WFAN is down another six-tenths (3.3 – 2.7) to finish #14.
- Los Angeles – For the fifth successive sweep, Clear Channel registers a #1 – #2 – #3 finish (6+) involving the same three properties, although none within the trio registers a (6+) month-month increase. CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” drops four-tenths (5.5 – 5.1) but remains first for the second straight time, while adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103″ is off two-tenths (5.2 – 5.0) yet nonetheless breaks its second-place tie with hot AC KBIG “My FM,” which is down three-tenths (5.2 – 4.9) and falls to third. After declining one-half share (3.6 – 3.1, #9), Univision Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5″ rebounds with a +.6 to 3.7 (6+), returning to its January ranking – #7. CBS Radio‘s KTWV “The Wave” regresses for the second straight time, this time by one-half share (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+) as it slips from #15 to #18.
- San Francisco – Over the past two sweeps, KCBS-AM notched a combined +1.2 (4.8 – 5.3 – 6.0). The all-news operation tacks on another three-tenths to 6.3 and finishes first (6+) for the third successive monthly report and ninth time in the last ten survey periods. Things were getting a bit dicey for usually strong sports outlet KNBR, which endured a massive -1.6 (4.7 – 3.1, January – February, 6+), dropping it from third all the way to eleventh. It was KNBR’s lowest 6+ share since March 2013 (also 3.1), but the Cumulus Media-owned facility picks up steam with a +.7 (3.1 – 3.8) and returns to the top ten (#7). Off by one-half share is CBS Radio CHR KMVQ (4.6 – 4.1), which dips from #3 in February to #4.
- Dallas – After an eight-tenths drop (4.1 – 3.3, #5 – #10), Clear Channel hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9″ bounces back with a +.6 (3.9) to progress to #7. Also with a +.6, Cumulus Media country KPLX “The Wolf” is up or flat (6+) for the fourth successive time (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.6 – 5.8 – 6.4) as it remains a solid #2. Contemporary Christian tussles are not exactly run-of-the-mill ratings scenarios and Dallas-Fort Worth is home to one of the genre’s most successful stations – Salem‘s KLTY. Notwithstanding that, KLTY “Safe for the Whole Family” has its third straight down trend which has yielded a cumulative -.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.3). It slides from #4 to #5, while First Dallas Media‘s KCBI “Encouraging Music…Words of Hope” picks up four-tenths to 1.8; even so, it is outside the top 20 (#23).
- Houston – Following four successive monthlies in which it finished first, Clear Channel adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1″ registers a -.7 (7.2 – 6.5) and slips to second behind Cox Media Group country KKBQ (6.8 – 7.0). It is a big milestone for “The New 93-Q” – the first time in its PPM history it has placed first. The market’s other major country outlet has good news as well: CBS Radio‘s KILT-FM “The Bull 100.3″ notches its third straight positive trend (3.0 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9). This one is a +.5, enabling “The Bull” to crack the top ten (#14 – #10). Not only does CMG-owned KGLK boast the market’s highest 6+ month-to-month gain (5.1 – 5.7, +.6), advancing “The Eagle” from sixth to third, 5.7 is the classic hits-oldies outlet’s strongest 6+-stat since PPM became ratings currency in Houston.
- Philadelphia – Beasley Broadcast Group-owned country WXTU posts a +.8 (4.9 – 5.7) to inch up from #6 to #4; it is the best (6+) performance for “Philadelphia’s Country Station” since last May (also 5.7). On the heels of gaining an impressive two full shares (“Holiday” – January, 6+), CBS Radio all-news outlet KYW added a +.8 to 8.4 in February to overtake Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” at the top spot. Now though, KYW has the dubious distinction of recording the largest month-to-month decline in the 12 markets released thus far (8.4 – 6.0, -2.4) and it drops to third. Meanwhile, “More FM” – which had occupied sole possession of first place the last 10 survey periods and tied KYW for #1 in April 2013, when both stations registered a 7.0 share (6+) – returns to the top spot (8.3 – 8.6, +.3).
- Atlanta – The 1.9-share (6+) lead Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100″ held in January over Clear Channel format foe WWPW “Power 96.1″ vanishes as “Power” (4.0 – 4.3, +.3) overtakes “Q-100″ (4.5 – 4.2, -.3). “Power” improves from #11 to #9, while “Q-100″ slides from ninth to tenth. Public WABE has a positive trend (6+) for the third straight time (3.0 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9), advancing from #15 to #13. After a one-half share January – February bump (3.4 – 3.9), Lincoln Financial Media hot AC WSTR “Star 94″ drops six-tenths to 3.3 (#12 to #14).
- Riverside – Outdoing what it did in the Los Angeles report, Univision Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5″ ends back-to-back Riverside monthlies at 3.1 (January and February) with a whopping +1.2 to 4.3, as it improves from sixth to fourth. Moreover, it is the station’s best ever (6+ PPM) stat in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario market. Conversely though, its regional Mexican sibling KSCA loses nine-tenths (3.6 – 2.7) and tumbles from fourth to seventh.
- San Jose – For the first time since last July – when it tied KBAY with a 5.9 – public KQED (6.3 – 7.1, +.8) is the market’s 6+ leader. Displaced at the top where it had been in January and February is Empire country outlet KRTY (6.5 – 6.0, -.5, #2). All-news KCBS-AM rings up a +1.0 (4.7 – 5.7) to zoom from sixth to third. This is the station’s highest 6+ share in San Jose since May 2010 when it posted a 5.8. Returning to KBAY, the Digity Media adult contemporary declines by one full-share (5.5 – 4.5) sinking from fourth to eighth.
- Middlesex – This is the only market of the 12 released yesterday where more than one station improves month-by-month by at least one full-share (6+). Turning the trick are classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM, which halts consecutive 3.8 performances (January and February) with a +1.1 to 4.9 (#11 to #6). It is the most potent 6+ share for the new home of wakeup talent Scott Shannon since last July (5.1). Classical WQXR doubles its 1.0 to 2.0 (+1.0) and narrowly misses entering the top 20 (#21). Owing to a -.9 (6.5 – 5.6), Emmis urban AC WBLS slides from second to third. Although it is off by eight-tenths (7.2 – 6.4) Townsquare Media talker WKXW is #1 for the third straight monthly.
Don Bouloukos to Retire from CBS RADIO New York. After 16 years with CBS RADIO and a career that spans 41 years, CBS RADIO New York senior vice president and market manager Don Bouloukos announces he’s retiring from the company effective June of this year. Bouloukos first joined CBS RADIO in 1998 following the acquisition of American Radio Systems Inc. where he was co-chief operating officer. Bouloukos comments, “It is never an easy decision to leave an industry you love, and a company and cluster of stations that have been such an important part of your life. But after 41 years, it is time.” Current CBS RADIO executive vice president, operations, Scott Herman will take over for Bouloukos and add supervision of the New York cluster to his duties. The CBS RADIO New York group consists of all-news WCBS-AM, classic hits WCBS-FM, sports talker WFAN-AM/FM, all-news WINS-AM, CHR WNOW-FM and hot AC WWFS-FM. Bouloukos continues, “I’ve been very fortunate to work for a company that allows you to operate stations as if they were your own and I take great pride in what we have been able to accomplish over the years. Working with Dan Mason and Scott Herman has been an absolute pleasure. My only regret is that I am not 21 years old and starting all over again.”
The Conclave’s Bob Shannon Steps Down After Health Scare. The executive director of The Conclave resigned from the Minneapolis non-profit on Monday, April 14, citing health issues. Bob Shannon says in a statement, “Upon my return from the NAB late Thursday evening, I experienced a medical episode that brought paramedics to my home in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the problem wasn’t as life threatening as was originally thought, but it has prompted some soul searching on my part. Therefore, after consulting with my physician and my family, I have decided to curtail all business activities for the foreseeable future and will be resigning all of my obligations over the next few weeks. Sadly, that includes the Conclave.” Conclave chairman Mark Bolke comments, “Obviously, Bob’s health and well-being is my primary concern, and I respect his decision. As executive director of the Conclave, Bob brought with him the passion of a real radio broadcaster. Not only in regards to what made it so compelling in the past, but a vision of what it still can be. He is a champion of the medium, and never afraid to tell it like it is. It’s been a pleasure serving with Bob, a true gentleman, and we wish him the very best.” Shannon can be reached at 206-755-5162, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bringing Creativity and Heightened Localism to the Radio Sales Department — with a Biographer. Ft. Worth, Texas-based multimedia storyteller, biographer and marketing strategist Rix Quinn delivers a unique mix of creative writing and a down-home vocal presentation to any station’s local marketing arsenal, regardless of market size. Learn more about this fascinating wordsmith and his ideas for adding new dimensions to local radio sales that straddle both the medium’s on-air and online space. In a new article by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, Quinn says, “The service I provide is to help small businesses tell their story in features that run 250-300 words, which is fairly short, focusing on the unique experiences of the owner-manager of the business or the unique product or service that the business provides.” He adds, “That can also include short-form generic features that ‘celebrate’ the tradition and community service of general local business categories such as stand-alone ice cream parlors, mom & pop hardware stores, garden supply centers, independent book stores, jewelry stores…the list is endless. At the conclusion of each feature, the station tags it with individual examples of the category that are non-competitively located in different parts of the coverage area and makes them available to the advertisers at a very reasonable cost.” To read McKay’s piece about Rix Quinn in its entirety, please click here.
Denver’s New Alternative ‘107X’ Names Jocks. The new Max Media-owned alternative rocker KDHX, Denver “107X” wraps its 5,000 song commercial-free period and unveils the air staff. Pictured here (from left to right) are: morning drive personality Nasty, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm jock Wingnut and afternoon drive host Geronimo. Nasty is a market pro who worked at Clear Channel’s crosstown active rock KBPI. Geronimo also serves with Max Media as program director at sister rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101.5.”
Alan Chartrand Named Market President for CC Boston. The new market president for Clear Channel in Boston is Alan Chartrand, who is promoted from his VP of sales position. Chartrand will oversee the operations and programming of CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108,” hip hop WJMN “JAMN 94.5,” EDM WEDX “Evolution 101.7,” Spanish WKOX “MIA 1430.” The company says, “Alan’s incredible ability to drive revenue and results, while maintaining a strong culture of collaboration and creativity, make him the perfect candidate to lead the competitive marketplace in Boston.”
Neal Moves to State College. At hot AC WZWW, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania “3WZ” in the State College market, Jeff Neal is the new program director and afternoon drive personality. Neal joins the First Media Radio station after eight years in upstate New York with Pembroke Pines-owned hot AC WVIN and sports talk WABH in Bath.
CBS RADIO Philadelphia Prepares for 5th Annual Earthfest Celebration. The Philadelphia cluster of CBS RADIO stations is partnering with the Clean Air Council to help sponsor its 5K Run for Clean Air at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Saturday (4/19). CBS Philly SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield comments, “The CBS RADIO stations are proud to partner with the Clean Air Council in their mission to improve our region’s environmental and public health. As a huge voice in the region, we have a responsibility to use our power and reach to support such important issues.” CBS RADIO Philadelphia participation will include the KYW Newsradio Kidcast Mobile Studio, that gives kids a chance to be a KYW news anchor. WPHT “Big Money” host Steve Cordasco will present his weekly radio program live from 7:00 am to 10:00 am and will discuss the growing popularity of green or socially conscious investing.
Justin Moore to Headline ‘98.7 The Bull’ CountryFest. Country outlet KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” announces Justin Moore is the headlining act for its “98.7 The Bull 2014 CountryFest,” taking place at the Portland Rose Festival this summer. The station is partnering with the Rose Festival to bring “CountryFest” to the RoZone entertainment venue. Other acts on the bill for the June 1 concert include: Clay Walker, Eric Paslay, Brothers Osbourne and Frankie Ballard.
DOOBIE: Are You Listening to What You’re Playing? When your friend, the Doob, was a rock PD in the golden era, he encouraged his disc jockeys to listen to the music as much as possible while it was playing on their shows instead of talking to friends, family or significant others on the phone or yakking with co-workers that would stop by the studio to pass the time during their three or four hour “shifts.” The philosophy behind this was that listeners could tell – perhaps even subconsciously — if the DJ was truly engaged in the total process of the playing of a song on the air for them to enjoy hearing. To this day, “Doobs” truly believes it really does make a huge difference when the disc jockey (or liner-reader) seems to actually be listening to the song played on the air along with the listener. In his new column posted today (4/14) Duane Doobie writes, “This is one of many techniques that can help radio re-create a deeper bond with the audience and retake ‘ownership’ of the music culture. It gives the impression that the air personality is not only personally ‘presenting’ the song to the listener, but consuming and enjoying it as well. It can have the same effect as a play-by-play sports announcer showing excitement when the home team wins the championship with a sudden death score.” What a concept! Joining the listener in the act of listening! Doobie shares several techniques to make it sound as if the jock is listening to the music (aside from actually doing it) without making the station too “talky.” To read the piece in its entirety, please click here.
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, 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 (4/14) includes such names as: Kodaline, Herbal T, Tessa Violet, Owl City, Lindsey Stirling, Ghost Beach, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Alabama Shakes, Ben Tanner, Archie Bronson Outfit, Leon Russell, Kongos, NSYNC, Uberjakd, Koyote, Nirvana, Kings, Sander Van Doorn, Firebeatz, Bart B More, Ben Rush, Stacy Burke, Josh Leo, Brian Grilli, and Ruby Friedman Orchestra among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Jerry Schnacke Out at Hubbard Chicago. Market manager Jerry Schnacke was removed from his position at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago cluster that includes hot AC WTMX, classic hits WDRV and AC WILV, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder. Feder reports that Hubbard EVP and COO Drew Horowitz will serve as interim market manager while a replacement is sought and that Horowitz says even though the stations were successful in 2013, the company is seeking “new thinking” to maintain its success. Read Feder’s piece here.
Denver’s “Wolf” Names Hansen PD. Two-year Clear Channel Northern Colorado operations manager Brad Hansen is named program director/midday personality for Wilkes Denver country outlet KWOF “92.5 The Wolf.” Hansen succeeds Jonathan Wilde, who exited in late-February after four years with the station. With Hansen locking down The Wolf’s midday shift, Brooke Diaz transitions from there to morning drive, teaming with Bo Reynolds. Prior to being OM for Clear Channel’s six-station Northern Colorado cluster, Hansen programmed Cumulus Reno, Nevada country-formatted KBUL “K-Bull 98.1.” His past credits include five years as operations director for Journal Broadcast Group‘s Springfield, Missouri cluster and program director of country KVET-FM “The Genuine Austin Original.”
Country Stars Host WSOC-FM, Charlotte Morning Show During Tanner’s Medical Leave. The host of the “Tanner in the Morning” show at CBS RADIO’s country WSOC-FM, Charlotte will be off the air for a couple of weeks while he recovers from cancer surgery. But listeners will hear some familiar voices on the air beginning today (4/14). Tanner (pictured here at left) asked a few of his good artist friends to help co-host his show with Guenn (right) while he takes a little time to heal from surgery. The station reports that North Carolina native and former “American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery kicks off the week as Guenn’s first co-host. John Rich from TV’s “The Apprentice” and half of country duo Big and Rich takes over the reins Tuesday the 15th followed by 2013’s ACM Top New Female Artist and former actress from “One Tree Hill” Jana Kramer on Wednesday April 16th. Program director DJ Stout comments, “Tanner is undergoing what will hopefully be his last surgery in his victorious fight against cancer. When I found out he would be out for a couple of weeks I thought that it would be really cool to reach out to some of our good friends and see if they would join the rest of our morning crew and fill in for Tanner. I couldn’t believe how quickly they responded and how they jumped at the opportunity to help out.” Husband and wife country duo Thompson Square are live in the studio on the 22nd, followed by “One Wing in the Fire” artist Trent Tomlinson on April 23rd. Rounding out this guest DJ campaign will be local favorites Parmalee, best known for their number one song “Carolina” on the 28th and another hometown favorite, Love and Theft, nominated for the ACM Vocal Duo of the Year, finish out the week on April 30th. Stout continues, “I think this is going to be a great three weeks for our listeners and we can’t thank the artists enough. Tanner’s battle against cancer has been hard on all of us and we are thrilled that he is expected back in a few weeks.”
Fears Named GSM of WRQX, Washington. Contemporary hit radio outlet WRQX, Washington announces Ernie Fears is named general sales manager for the Cumulus Media station. The company notes that Fears is a radio veteran with 25 years’ experience in the Washington, D.C. market. He was previously director of agency sales as well as a GSM for CBS RADIO in Washington. He also served with news/talk WMAL. Cumulus SVP Gary Lewis says, “It’s exciting when the perfect combination of experience, reputation and ability comes together in a single candidate, as it does with Ernie Fears. We are thrilled to welcome Ernie to the team.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. The new afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country WNNF, Cincinnati “NASH FM 94.1” is Tim Timmerman. He comes to WNNF from his most recent post with the company’s CHR KMCK, Fayetteville, Arkansas where he was morning host…..Philly Phil (a.k.a. Phil Daniel) is the new host of “The Quiet Storm” on Radio One-owned urban contemporary WKJS, Richmond “KISS.” Daniel takes over hosting the show that airs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight after the untimely death of previous host Mitch Malone last November…..Ken Anderson exits Journal Broadcast Group’s country WCYQ, Knoxville “Q100.3” after six months with the station. The station is seeking a new morning personality and will move PM drive host Opie Joe into mornings and part-timer Brad Allen will hold down afternoons in the interim.
Clear Channel Study Reinforces Power of Personality Endorsements. The study was the result of collaboration between Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and the University of Southern California surveying 2,700 respondents. It was designed to look into the connection between consumers and radio personalities and gauge the effectiveness of the latter’s influence in directing consumer behavior. In press release from Clear Channel detailing some of the findings, the company concludes that “radio is a far more powerful social force than ever before, particularly because of the conversations fueled by on-air personalities and the connection listeners feel to on-air local and national talent like Ryan Seacrest, Sean Hannity, Delilah and Bobby Bones. CC reports some of the key findings were: 1) When comparing radio personalities to other media personalities, 6 out of 10 listeners said that radio hosts are “like a friend,” whose opinions they trust; 2) With even more ways for consumers and on-air personalities to interact, 4 out of 10 listeners feel personalities make more of an effort to foster a personal connection, making the radio experience inherently more social, particularly when compared to TV or streaming playlist services; 3) Listeners equate an on-air personality endorsement to a friend’s recommendation, more so than they do sponsored Facebook posts, sponsored tweets or television commercials; and 4) More than half of the study participants agreed that they trust brands, products and services their favorite on air personality recommend, a finding that is encouraging smart marketers to undertake unique radio-based campaigns. The press release did not mention breakdowns of results for various demographics.
Radio and KC Shootings Suspect’s Political ‘Campaign.’ The tragic triple slaying in Kansas City over the weekend in which three people lost their lives at the hands of alleged killer Frazier Glenn Cross sparked memories of his write-in political effort almost four years ago that caused grief for numerous Missouri radio stations. In a piece published today (4/14), TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the radio advertising case that was spurred by Cross’ “campaign.” Read his piece here.
KVOO, Tulsa’s “98.5 Man Jam” Packs Local Casino. Program director Crash Poteet shares a photo from last Wednesday’s first-ever “98.5 Man Jam” held at the River Spirit Casino that featured country artists Joe Nichols, Easton Corbin, Jack Ingram, Chase Rice and Chuck Wicks. The Journal Broadcast Group country station reports the concert was a sellout.
Cumulus New York Debuts “The Best of the Tri-State.” The first edition of Cumulus Media’s “The Best of The Tri-State” takes place next Tuesday (4/22) at the Affinia Manhattan from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Cumulus New York stations WPLJ, WABC and WNSH are sponsoring the promotion that will be hosted live by WPLJ morning host Todd Pettengill. The company says it will showcase the best of the Tri-State area as nominated and voted upon by the stations’ listeners, including: Best Hotel, Best Pizza, Best Bagels, Best Broadway Show, Best Health Club and more. Cumulus says listeners attending the event will get to meet station personalities and enjoy the chance to win luxury vacations, weekend stays in New York City, Yankees tickets, Broadway show tickets and more.
Southern California Broadcasters Association Launches College Outreach Program. In an effort to connect with college students and “engage students on the value of radio and its many digital platforms,” Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan is embarking on a series of speaking engagements to take place at broadcast and communications classes at colleges and universities in Southern California and in London, England. The SCBA states that what began as a radio career night at a UCLA radio broadcast class in Los Angeles in March has now expanded to four more speaking engagements over the next 30 days. Callahan will speak with students “about the entire media landscape using research trends, comparative analysis, and a rich narrative of radio’s growth and future in today’s rapidly changing media environment.” Callahan states, “We are honored to have an honest dialog with what will be the next generation of broadcasters, producers, talent, sales executives, and future management. Our goal is to open both minds and hearts to the tremendous future of radio and its many audio and digital platforms.” The SCBA series will be held in April at California State University at both its Los Angeles and Fullerton campuses as well as at Pasadena Community College in Pasadena. The fourth lecture will be broadcast via Skype to the David Puttnam Media Centre at the University of Sunderland in London, England on May 13.
Cox Media Group Mourns Death of “Captain” Herb Emory. Atlanta market traffic reporting legend “Captain” Herb Emory died on Saturday from what appears have been a heart attack. Emory reported traffic for CMG’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM and WSB-TV. WBS reports that according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Emory stopped to help at a car accident when he suddenly fell ill. He was transported to WellStar Douglas Hospital where he later died. Emory’s funeral will be private, but there will be a Celebration of Life and Memorial Service for Captain Herb which will be open to all the public. Details on that event are forthcoming. Emory had been with WSB Radio and “Channel 2 Action News” since 1991and served as an Alanta traffic reporter since 1971. Emory watched over the interstates during the week and hosted special traffic and NASCAR broadcast programs with his wife, Karen Emory. Captain Herb hosted and produced the “WSB Speed Shop” auto racing from 1993 until 2011. Emory previously was a news/traffic reporter from 1978 through 1991 with WQXI-AM, WSTR-FM and the Georgia Network News.
KJSR, Tulsa Tweaks Format to Classic Rock. The music at Cox Media Group’s rock KJSR, Tulsa takes a turn to the classic side as the station re-positions itself as “103.3 FM The Eagle.” The station has been a rock outlet since its inception in 2012. The company says “the station is changing its target music product to better reflect the core adult 25-54 demographics that advertisers want to reach. The ‘New Eagle 103.3’ also reflects a better match of Tulsa’s population and will give listeners what they say they want – more classic rock.” CMG Tulsa VP and market manager Gene Vidler adds, “Our team has created an amazing sounding station that our listeners and advertisers have been telling us was missing from the Tulsa dial. This station will quickly become a core part of the Tulsa community. The excitement surrounding the launch of ‘The Eagle 103.3’ has been fantastic, and I am extremely happy that we now get to share this great product with all of Tulsa and Green Country.”
New “Fringe”-Branded Format to Debut in Austin. There’s not much specific being said about the new radio station reported to be coming to the Austin market courtesy of entrepreneurs Bob Cole and Jason Nassour, who operate country KOKE, “Austin’s Country Alternative” as Genuine Austin Radio LP. The Austin Chronicle reports that the station is being branded “Fringe,” but station insiders, including program director Ray Seggern, are saying little more. They’re not even announcing the frequency yet. Given the company already is doing alternative country, it’s a good bet “Fringe” will be a triple A-eqse rock station…but only time will tell. Seggern would not comment to the Chronicle whether the rumor that former KAMX morning team JB & Sandy will, indeed, be the new morning show. All he’s saying is, “I know for a fact that Austinites love this morning show we’re about to unveil.”
Rick Dees Entertainment to Syndicate Radio Disney Countdown. Through a new partnership, Disney’s “Radio Disney Top 30” weekly countdown show will be nationally syndicated via Rick Dees’ company. The children and tweens-targeted countdown show is being geared toward hot AC and CHR outlets and is hosted by Ernie D. Martinez (pictured here at left with Dees). In a statement, Rick Dees says, “Disney is synonymous with world-class family programming, and Ernie Martinez brings likeability and broad appeal as well as relevant music for kids and families, a reason why this show has such terrific potential for stations who are looking for family-friendly music programming.”
More PPM Analysis: Spanish Adult Hits and Urban Oldies. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian continues his analysis of format performance over the course of the last several Nielsen Audio PPM rating periods. Today, the focus is on Spanish adult hits and urban oldies. Of note concerning these formats is the fact that all of the qualifying Spanish adult hits stations in PPM markets are located in the West while the urban rhythmic-oldies outlets spread across the South and into the Northeast. Check out the entire analysis here.
Minor “Pitchy” Problems or Has Idol’s Luck Tapped Out? Those believing that the number 13 is unlucky (triskaidekaphobia) will probably insist they saw it coming, but “American Idol” is enduring very real ratings problems in this – its 13th season. Once upon a time, the music-talent search program was the water cooler show of record. A conversation among friends, family, and/or co-workers did not begin with, “Did you watch ‘Idol’ last night?” It was generally assumed you were talking with someone who would not dare miss it, so a show-specific comment or question was highly more likely. These days though, queries have tended to devolve into a, “Did you remember to watch – or record it?” line of questioning. Unheard of several years ago, it is stunning that “no” has become a typical response. ”Idol” result shows – which Fox milked into 60-minute extravaganzas – have been trimmed in half. In the middle of last month (3/12), CBS‘ “Survivor” topped “Idol” for the first time ever in their common hour. The trend continued the following two weeks as well. Among 18 – 49s this past Wednesday night (4/9), “Survivor” outscored “Idol” 2.4 – 1.9, the worst “Idol” has ever done against “Survivor” in that demo. There was another “first” one week ago (4/3) when CBS’ “Criminal Minds” claimed its initial 18 – 49 win over “Idol” (2.5 – 2.1). Debates and spirited discussions will include such things as the quality of this year’s “Idol” finalists versus those in the past; judges – specifically the absence of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson (now a talent coach on the show); competition from such entities as NBC‘s “The Voice”; or if “Idol” has simply run its course. Some of this can be strictly subjective, particularly in the case of the judges. Especially as it regards guidance of a singer’s career and industry knowledge, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr. seem to be a strong mix. Some though will argue this particular triumvirate lacks a polarizing figure such as Cowell; an unpredictable factor (Abdul, or even Stephen Tyler, to an extent); or a generally humorous catchphrase machine (Jackson – “pitchy,” “dawg,” “I didn’t feel it tonight baby,” etc.). Instead, they seem to be generally interested in offering constructive criticism, so the audience is not apt to hear one of the three say, “If I’m being honest, that was bloody awful – just dreadful” — vintage Simon Cowell. It makes a convenient story to state that Ryan Seacrest-hosted “Idol” only became a ratings train wreck in its unlucky 13th season, but such an assertion is simply inaccurate. The myth about “Idol” being a huge hit in the first year and immediately leveling out is just that – a myth. In its inaugural season when Kelly Clarkson emerged victorious and Justin Guarini was runner-up, the average rating for “America Idol” was 6.2. It jumped to 10.1 in season two (Ruben Studdard/Clay Aiken) and improved to 10.8 in season three (Fantasia Barrino/Diana DeGarmo). Season four was exceptionally interesting, in that, Carrie Underwood – arguably one of the most successful “Idol” winners along with Clarkson – only bumped the show up from 10.8 to 11.2 (Bo Bice was the second-place finisher that season). There was a big uptick though in season five to 12.6 (Taylor Hicks/Katharine McPhee). Then, believe it or not, a slip to 12.2 in season six (Jordin Sparks/Blake Lewis). If you were of the opinion that the Hicks/McPhee season was not powerful or memorable, chew on this: Not only was it the show’s best ratings performance, the following season is when the show began its descent. Facts/figures resume from season seven (11.1) when the two Davids – Cook and Archuleta – finished first-second. In season eight (9.6), it was Kris Allen/Adam Lambert; season nine (8.9, Lee DeWyze/Crystal Bowesox); season 10 (8.5, Scotty McCreery/Lauren Alaina); season 11 (6.0, Phillip Phillips/Jessica Sanchez); season 12 (4.5, Candice Glover/Kree Harrison); and season 13 (3.7 to date – competition is continuing). Thus, it took until season 11 (6.0) for the show to slip below its 6.2 debut. After four successive upticks that launched “Idol” (6.2 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 11.2 – 12.6), this will be the show’s eighth straight down trend, 12.6 – 12.2 – 11.1 – 9.6 – 8.9 – 8.5 – 6.0 – 4.5 – 3.7* (* to date). Dramatic falloff is seen after season 10 and continued the following year when viewers weren’t even curious enough to see if judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj would engage in fisticuffs. At times this year there seemed to be manufactured heat between Connick Jr.-Urban, but it’s more good-natured fun – absolutely nothing approaching the genuine Carey-Minaj feud. As far as Seacrest is concerned, the KIIS “Kiss-FM,” Los Angeles morning talent/countdown host was rumored to be among a bountiful list of candidates to replace David Letterman as “Late Show” host, but that ship has sailed with yesterday’s announcement that Stephen Colbert has been tapped for the job.
NAB Show: Day Three. Today’s report from the NAB Show in Las Vegas courtesy of media consultant Holland Cooke delves into the world of Millennials and how they consume media – and therefore advertising – as well as their need to make everything “social.” But it’s not all about Millennials. Whether the attitudes of Boomers and Gen Xers are changing regarding how they prefer to be talked to (addressing talk radio programmers especially here) or not, HC notes Huffington Post founding editor Roy Sekoff believes “engagement” is paramount in reaching people effectively. Read Holland Cooke’s report from the NAB Show here.
BIA/Kelsey: Mobile Local Ad Revenue to Reach $4.5 Billion This Year. That figure would represent a $1.6 billion increase from last year’s $2.9 billion. The firm says that – largely driven by local marketing initiatives of national advertisers – locally targeted mobile ads will represent more than half of overall U.S. mobile ad spending by 2018. BIA/Kelsey senior analyst/vice president of content Michael Boland comments, “Advertiser demand will be driven by natural market forces to follow undervalued inventory. Mobile advertising’s appeal includes higher performance, clearer ROI, tangible conversions and a shorter purchase funnel. These qualities of mobile content and advertising present a rare alignment between typical mobile user intent and advertisers’ stated objectives.” In its annual U.S. “Local Media Forecast” (2013 – 2018), BIA/Kelsey predicts mobile local ad revenue will more than triple over the next five years, reaching $15.7 billion in 2018. It says total U.S. mobile ad spending will grow from $11.4 billion this year to $30.3 billion in 2018, and locally targeted mobile ads will represent 52% of overall mobile ad spending in this country. National-to-local mobile marketing will be the focus of the company’s “Leading in Local: The National Impact” conference next month (5/7 – 9) in Atlanta.
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. RadioInfo continues its review of recent Nielsen Audio PPM data with today’s focus on the adult hits format. Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s analysis of adult hits outlets over the past five PPM rating periods shows that – not unlike its rock cousins – it performs fairly consistently, even keeping its numbers up during the “Holiday” rating period that can reflect seasonal listening habits. Kinosian’s Side-By-Sides chart indicates how the format as a whole stacks up against other rock-based formats. View the whole piece here.
Cumulus Names Robby Bridges to ‘NASH FM 93.1’ Detroit PD Role. The new country outlet WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1” has a program director and PM drive host as Cumulus Media announces the company’s Robby Bridges will move from the Connecticut cluster to the Motor City effective April 15. Bridges has been serving as PD at AC WEBE, Bridgeport. Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey says, “This is an exciting and important time in the development and growth of our NASH brand, and Robby Bridges has risen through the ranks at Cumulus through dedication, talent and drive.” Bridges comments, “I’d like to thank our EVP/co-COO John Dickey, SVP/programming Mike McVay, SVP/programming Jan Jeffries and our Detroit market manager Scott Meier for this incredible opportunity to program the Motor City’s new country music leader ‘NASH FM 93.1.’ My six years with Cumulus, working with heritage powerhouse brands WEBE, WPLJ, WFAS and with Cumulus Media Networks have been both thrilling and rewarding. I cannot wait to join our team and do big things together in Detroit!”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At CBS RADIO’s hot AC WIAD, Washington “94.7 Fresh FM,” Taylor Shay, who serves as assistant program director, is promoted from the evening shift to middays where she’s now on air from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm…..Up North Radio promotes Ryan Rose to vice president of operations. Rose has been serving as operations director at the company’s hot AC WCDY, Cadillac, Michigan.
KAOI-FM, Maui Flips to Classic Rock. The KAOI Radio Group station drops the hybrid classic rock-triple A format it had been airing to revert to a straight-ahead classic rock format that dispenses with current adds.
Knoxville Radio Icon Bobby Denton Dies. After a battle with cancer, Bobby Denton passed away earlier this week. Denton was a longtime general manager of country WIVK, Knoxville and vice president of Dick Broadcasting. He was also the much-beloved Neyland Stadium announcer who called University of Tennessee football games. A statement from Cumulus Media Knoxville vice president and market manager Ken Salyer noted, “Bobby Denton was truly a giant in the radio industry and a treasure for the state of Tennessee. Ironically, on May 3, WIVK will be inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. We will accept this award on behalf of Bobby Denton, Jim Dick, and the many legendary figures that preceded us and made WIVK truly a legendary station. We extend our condolences to Bobby’s family and ask everyone to respect their loss.”
Hosting Martina McBride in NYC. That’s WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” afternoon drive personality Jesse Addy (left) with country legend Martina McBride (right) backstage at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square on Tuesday, April 8. Addy hosted the performance as McBride celebrated the release of her new album by singing songs from Everlasting to a crowd of lucky fans who learned about the show via the station and waited in line to catch the show.
NAB Show: Day Two. Media consultant Holland Cooke reports back to TALKERS/RadioInfo from Las Vegas with notes from the second day of the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas. Among the topics Cooke writes about are NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s conversation with FCC chairman Tom Wheeler (it appears radio is not on Wheeler’s radar), an instructive group of thoughts for radio operators from former NYTimes columnist and current Yahoo Tech columnist David Pogue, plus some comments about the future of the AM band. Read Holland Cooke’s complete column here.
NAB Announces Crystal Radio Award Winners. Chosen among 50 finalists, 10 stations emerged as victors of the National Association of Broadcasters’ 27th annual Crystal Radio Awards. Recipients were honored at yesterday’s (Tuesday, 4/8) radio luncheon at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Honorees are Clear Channel Los Angeles urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3″; CBS Radio Detroit all-news WWJ; Bonneville Phoenix KTAR-FM “News/Talk 92.3″; Hubbard Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95″; and Clear Channel Omaha KXKT “Today’s Country.” Other winners are Cromwell Group‘s WZUS “Talk 101 FM,” Decatur, Illinois; Lenawee Broadcasting adult contemporary WLEN “Lenawee’s Best Radio Station,” Adrian, Michigan; Fife Communication adult contemporary KCVM “93.5 – The Mix,” Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa; East Kentucky Broadcasting‘s WDHR “Today’s Best Country,” Pikeville, Kentucky; and Riverfront Broadcasting‘s KYNT “Yankton’s Home Team,” Yankton, South Dakota. Crystal Radio Awards recognize stations for outstanding year-round commitment to community service. Judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations, and public relations firms chose the finalists.
Sales Pro Mike Messenger Joins Advantage Systems Inc. Sales training and consulting firm Advantage Systems Inc. announces radio sales pro Mike Messenger – who most recently was director of sales for Cox Media – is joining the company to serve as revenue development manager. Messenger says that the concept of growing revenue through a focus on local direct business is what attracted him to Advantage Systems. During his time with Cox Media, Messenger led a team that sold across 12 states, growing revenue via local direct. Messenger states, “It’s a unique concept that has proven fruitful – in fact growing revenue 15% year-over-year. I am very excited to help advertising sales professionals grow their revenue. What Advantage Systems offers to local, small and mid-size businesses is unparalleled in the industry. This is a unique opportunity for me at the right time in my career to do what I love to do: help businesses grow their client base and make more money, while helping sales professionals improve their income.” In this position, Messenger will be working with sales teams and managers to help strengthen their local direct strategy and maximize digital sales to ultimately generate sustainable growth in their individual markets. Advantage Systems VP of sales Frank Kulbertis comments, “Media organizations and local advertisers are going to love working with Mike Messenger. His experience and enthusiasm make him the ideal person to help us expand our business in the broadcast and cable TV industries, while continuing our extensive work in the radio industry. I am thrilled that we were able to add someone of Mike’s caliber to our organization.” Advantage president Mike LoConte adds, “A key advantage to our Advantage Systems program is the strengthening of the sales team so that we can help our media partners grow their revenue not only thru focused sales programs but all year round. We feel Mike has what it takes to help all of our media partners exceed their sales goals.”
Shila Nathan Named PM Drive Personality at ‘US 99.5’ in Chicago. From Scranton to Chicago, radio personality Shila Nathan is named the new PM drive jock at CBS RADIO Chicago’s country WUSN “US99.5.” She comes to the station from Entercom’s Scranton cluster where she was doing swing jock work on country WGGY “Froggy 101” and CHR WKRZ. Prior to that, she co-hosted morning drive at CBS RADIO’s hip hop WRDW and rock WYSP in Philadelphia. WUSN PD and company VP of country programming Jeff Kapugi says, “I have had my eye on Shila for a few years and I’m very excited to have her join the air staff at ‘US99.5. She’s a very dynamic personality that brings a fresh approach to afternoon drive in Chicago, Shila joins a talented team featuring Lisa and Ray in mornings, recently promoted midday host Drew Walker and ‘Jax’ at night.”
Perks Promoted at ‘The Pike.’ Programmer Chuck Perks is raised from his part-time status to permanent midday host and program director at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WWFX, Worcester “The Pike.” Perks has been with Cumulus Worcester both on and off air, at hot AC WXLO, oldies WORC-FM and “The Pike.” Perks has worked in the Boston market as “Hub Headlines” personality for the night show on CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and as headlines reporter on the Boston Bruins Radio Network. Cumulus VP of programming Val Garris says, “We’re fortunate to have someone of Chuck’s caliber join Cumulus at WWFX 100.1 FM. His experience and knowledge of the market make him the perfect fit to lead ‘The Pike’ as both a personality and programmer.”
PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies. RadioInfo continues its look at format performance in the PPM markets with a review of the classic hits and oldies formats. Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian delivered comparisons and side-by-side analyses of the various rock formats over the past week (alternative or modern, active or mainstream, adult album alternative and classic rock) and now turns his attention to rock’s gold-based cousins classic hits and oldies. The formats enjoyed pretty good ratings during the month of February. Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.
KTWN, Minneapolis PM Drive Personality Rider Adds TV to His Resume. The new HGTV show “New House New Life” will feature the voice-over skills of Northern Lights hot AC “KTWIN” personality Mark Rider. The first episodes of the program air on HGTV this Sunday, April 13 at 5:00 pm ET. The show is produced by Orion Entertainment and the concept is to follow couples of all ages and backgrounds as they dare to quit their old jobs and follow their dreams. Rider says of the show, “Who hasn’t wanted to up and quit their job to start a bed and breakfast or a cattle ranch or live on your own charter boat? We all have but haven’t been willing to take the leap of faith. These people have and it’s very inspiring.” Rider’s other current voice gigs include a national ad campaign for Ski-Doo Snowmobiles and national radio ads for the two new flavors of Mountain Dew Kickstart.
Shuffle at Classic Rock ‘Fox 92.5’ in Cincinnati. There’s been an air talent shuffle at Cumulus Media’s classic rock WOFX, Cincinnati “Fox 92.5” as former longtime rock WEBN personality Jay Gilbert is brought aboard to host the afternoon drive show. To make room, program director Christopher Geisen takes over the midday show and Carl Cruse slides back to the evening show.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Former WXRV, Boston “92.5 The River” PD Dana Marshall returns to the triple A outlet to host the Sunday morning “Brunch by the River” program from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon…..Mark Feather lands at Erie Radio Group’s CHR WEHP, Erie “Happi 92.7” as program director and afternoon personality after exiting Impact Radio Group’s Boise, Idaho cluster…..In Panama City, Florida, radio personality Tyler moves from his evening show at Powell Broadcasting’s hip hop WPFM “Hot 107.9” to Magic Broadcasting II’s crosstown CHR WILN “Island 106” for afternoons…..Sheila Brothers is morning host at Sunrise Broadcasting’s AC WILT, Wilmington, North Carolina “Sunny 104.5” and she’s been informing listeners about what’s happening in the Wilmington film industry – “Wilmywood” as she calls it – on her show and via her blog. Now she adds another title to her CV as she begins serving as a contributor to Entertainment Weekly‘s “The Community” on EW.com…..KNOX, Inc.-owned country KSTN-AM, Stockton, California “105.9 The Bull” adds Johnny Milford — doing on-air work as Johnny Stockton — to the staff for afternoon drive. The company recently flipped from classic country to mainstream country and is simulcasting on FM translator K290AG at 105.9 FM.
Cumulus Media Unveils NASH Campus. It’s been well promoted that Cumulus Media has serious multi-platform plans for its NASH country brand but now the company announces the physical home base of the brand exists as the NASH Campus in Nashville. Cumulus calls it “the nation’s first multimedia facility devoted solely to producing and distributing content based on the country music lifestyle, including radio programming, TV/videos, magazines and events.” A statement from the company goes on to note the NASH campus includes three studios designed for a combination of TV and radio programming, indoor and outdoor event space, a print newsroom and extensive office space. All NASH Campus programming originates from studios equipped with state-of-the-art ORAD voice-activated HD cameras that enable online streaming, HD taping and live television broadcasting. Cumulus also reports country stars including Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum and Sheryl Crow are among the early visitors who’ve already spent time at the NASH campus. The NASH campus is currently home to “America’s Morning Show,” “NASH Nights Live with Shawn Parr,” “American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks,” “Kickin’ It with Kix” and Country Weekly (soon to be renamed NASH) magazine. CEO Lew Dickey says, “We designed the NASH campus to inspire and support the creation of a full-spectrum of country content. This new state-of-the-art facility will enable us to power NASH’s multimedia platforms and secure its position as the nation’s preeminent lifestyle and entertainment brand for country music fans.”