General Music Radio Industry News
Swift Sweeps MTV VMAs. Boasting ten nominations, Taylor Swift was the big winner in last night’s (Sunday, 8/30) MTV “Video Music Award” ceremonies, broadcast from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, even though the 2016 presidential race is in its nascent stage, Michael Jackson “Video Vanguard Award” winner Kanye West is getting a massive head start to the 2020 campaign by announcing he will toss his proverbial hat in the ring – in four years. As far as the awards are concerned, Fall Out Boy scores “Best Rock Video” for “Uma Thurman,” while Swift’s “Blank Space” wins “Best Pop Video.” Competing against 11 other entries, 5 Seconds of Summer (“She’s Kinda Hot”) emerges victorious in the “Song of the Summer” category. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars‘ highly-contagious “Uptown Funk” is voted “Best Male Video,” and – with “Blank Space” – Swift takes home the “Best Female Video” award. She also captures “Video of the Year” for “Bad Blood,” which features Kendrick Lamar; moreover, the Swift-Lamar pairing additionally is named “Best Collaboration” (also for “Bad Blood”). Other winners Sunday night are Nicki Minaj‘s “Anaconda” for “Best Hip-Hop Video”; Big Sean featuring Kanye West and John Legend‘s “One Man Can Change the World” for “Best Video with a Social Message”; and “Artist to Watch” Fetty Wap (“Trap Queen”). In addition to West’s declaration of a 2020 bid for the White House, other VMA highlights included Justin Bieber flying on a harness at the end of his performance, and Swift and Minaj (left) teaming on “Bad Blood.”
Eastlan Expands by Eight. Washington State-based media-research firm Eastlan is picking up eight new markets: Baton Rouge; Fort Morgan-Sterling, Colorado; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Marshall, Missouri; Santa Rosa, California; Sedalia, Missouri; Winchester, Virginia; and West Plains, Missouri. Eastlan president and chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “As radio continues to evolve in the increasingly competitive audio entertainment environment, the old expense models don’t make much sense anymore. Broadcasters need a responsibly-priced ratings tool to prove the unmatched reach of radio.” Centennial Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Allen Shaw explains, “After considerable deliberation among our corporate staff, market managers, and sales teams in Fredericksburg and Winchester, we concluded Eastlan’s radio audience measurement services will provide us with credible data at a very efficient cost.” Guaranty Corporation president and chief executive officer Flynn Foster remarks, “Guaranty Media is excited to work with Eastlan in Baton Rouge. We have felt for some time that Eastlan’s process of gathering ratings is superior. The sample size will be at least double what we have seen in the past, and a much better measure of who is listening to our five radio stations. We look forward to many years together.” Measurement for those eight markets will begin this fall.
Hardin, Zellner, Maynard Receive iHeartMedia Promotions. The “National Programming Platforms” group of iHeartMedia appoints Brad Hardin executive vice president/general manager; Jon Zellner executive vice president of programming operations; and Maynard executive vice president of programming strategy. All three will be New York City-based and report to National Programming Platforms president Tom Poleman, who states, “iHeartMedia’s strength is built on our great programmers working together to develop great content and experiences for our listeners utilizing our unmatched scale. Brad, Jon, and Maynard each have a remarkable amount of hands-on experience programming some of the best local radio stations in the world, making them uniquely qualified to lead our company-wide programming initiatives.” Hardin comments, “I am looking forward to working more closely with the amazing people on our National Programming Platforms team as well as programmers throughout our markets. They are the very best in content creation and live event marketing. I am excited to have the opportunity to further contribute to our future growth, and continuing to demonstrate the power of iHeartMedia’s local and national brands.” Zellner remarks, “iHeartMedia continues to set the industry standard for innovation and one-of-a-kind content. I am honored and very excited to have the opportunity to work with Tom and the programming team on implementing new ideas and strategies for our incredible brands.” Maynard notes that he has “had an incredible experience since joining iHeartMedia. It is extremely motivating to work with a company that is committed to exceeding expectations both internally and with our millions of listeners. The people in this company are what make it great, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity and even more excited for what lies ahead.” Most recently the executive vice president of programming and company-wide active rock/alternative brand manager, Hardin has been with iHeartMedia (and the former Clear Channel) for over 15 years. He was senior vice president of programming for west major markets and has programmed in Tampa, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville. Zellner joined iHeartMedia in 2009 as senior vice president of programming and he is being promoted from executive vice president of programming. His resume includes senior management positions at SiriusXM and CBS Radio. Maynard will work with iHeartMedia’s programmers and oversee the company’s on-air creative directors; he joined iHeartMedia in late-July 2014.
WMTI Unveils “Underground Alternative.” As our sister publication TALKERS hinted yesterday (Thursday, 8/27), a format change was imminent for Cumulus Media New Orleans sports outlet WMTI. Speculation became reality at 3:00 pm Thursday as “The Ticket” transitions to “106.1 The Underground Alternative.” Cumulus Media corporate program director of rock formats Troy Hanson comments, “We are incredibly excited to debut New Orleans’ 106.1 ‘The Underground Alternative.’ We plan to give the French Quarter, the Delta, and beyond a unique alternative experience 24/7. Look for a ton of music to be delivered, as we push out 106 minutes of new rock for New Orleans all day, every day.” Senior vice president Jeff Brown remarks, “‘Underground 106.1′ fills a significant format gap in New Orleans. If there is any city that deserves a great [alternative] brand, it is New Orleans. Fans of alternative rock are fiercely loyal, incredibly engaged, and in the age of acquisition. Like our audience, ‘106.1 The Underground’ will be on the move, and all about New Orleans.” Representative artists for “The Underground Alternative” include Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Muse, and Walk The Moon. After not appearing in Nielsen Audio‘s spring book for New Orleans, WMTI registers a .7 in the first phase of the summer book (#10, 12+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WQUE “Q-93.3″ is #1 in market #47 with a 10.1 (12+).
WXRT Programmer Norm Winer ‘Overwhelmed’ by Chicago City Honor. In a piece by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, triple A WXRT, Chicago program director Norm Winer expresses his thoughts about being honored with the Fifth Star Award from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Winer has been programming the iconic CBS RADIO-owned rock station for 36 years and, as Feder states, “WXRT remains a potent force in the music world and a vital contributor to Chicago’s cultural life, thanks in large part to Winer’s vision and leadership over nearly four decades.” Winer will be honored on September 16 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park in Chicago. Read Feder’s piece here.
Triple A WYMS, Milwaukee Names New APD and MD. Non-commercial triple A station WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” announces afternoon drive personality Ken Sumka is being promoted to assistant program director and air personality Justin Barney takes on the music director duties. The station says Sumka takes over for Jordan Lee who was recently named program director. Sumka will oversee the on-air “Studio Milwaukee” sessions with national bands, the weekly “414 Music” segment with Milwaukee musicians and the station’s annual Milwaukee Music Awards. Barney will continue writing and producing the weekly “5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To” feature and hosting on-air shows Saturday and Sunday evenings. Two other station notes include midday personality Marcus Doucette becoming imaging manager and morning drive host Dori Zori has been named to the new position of community outreach manager. The station is seeking part-time staffers to serve as assistant audio producer – community stories and video plus photography producer – digital but you must apply by Monday (8/31) at the following address. http://www.radiomilwaukee.org/work-88nine.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. KRTH “K-Earth 101″ weekender Charlie Tuna exits the CBS Radio Los Angeles classic hits-oldies outlet. The National Radio Hall of Fame inductee will be devoting more time to CharlieTunaSyndication.com. His company says that “in the wake of the continuing massive changes to small, medium market, and even major market stations around the country, Charlie and veteran program director Steve Wall, who heads up Charlie’s operations and affiliate relations, will be focusing on 24/7 formats for stations that have lost the content, top talent, music scheduling and customer service…..Alpha Media hip hop outlet WGZB, Louisville “B96.5″ announces the nationally syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” will fill the AM drive daypart on the station…..With the change in frequency of Midwest Family Broadcasting’s WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois from 92.7 to 97.7, the afternoon show co-hosted by Wes Styles and Kaytie Lee moves to morning drive as “The 3rd String Morning Show.”
iHeartRadio and Chegg Partner for Music101 Series Contest; One School to Win Cash and Appearance by Guest Instructors Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The partnership between iHeartRadio and Chegg, the Student Hub is a social media contest to choose an American college or high school campus to host Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for an exclusive classroom takeover event. Students can begin voting today for the chance to have Macklemore and Ryan take over the classroom with a live crash-course and Q&A session on their experiences in the music and entertainment industries. To emphasize key teaching points, they will discuss the background and creation process of a selection of their songs, including their new single. Additionally, Chegg will award the winning school a $10,000 grant for their music department from Chegg’s David B. Goldberg Music Scholarship fund.
Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight. Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program. Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like Us. Photo: Monarch Publicity.
Cort Johnson Named to AM Show, APD Posts at Triple A KINK-FM, Portland. He’ll join Sheila Hamilton for the morning drive show at Alpha Media’s Portland triple A KINK-FM and will also serve as assistant program director. Utah native Cort Johnson has worked at KENZ, Salt Lake City when it was a triple A-formatted outlet, as well as at rock KBER and hot AC KBEE in the market. He worked in TV for Salt Lake City’s FOX TV and CBS TV affiliate stations. In the Portland market he’s served with Alpha’s CHR KBFF and sister news/talk KXL. Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Cort will be a great addition to the KINK family. He has an incomparable passion for the industry and his abilities on and off air will positively support and impact the direction in which the station is headed.”
‘Warm 106.9’ in Seattle Names Allan Fee and Ashley Ryan Morning Hosts. Effective September 14, Allan Fee and Ashley Ryan will be the new morning show at Hubbard Radio’s KRWM, Seattle “WARM 106.9 FM.” Ryan has worked in the market at sports KJR as a promotions assistant and on air as a traffic reporter and contributor to the Ian Furness and Dave “Softy” Mahler shows. Fee had been hosting mornings at CBS RADIO’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland for the past 10 years before exiting in April. Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye states, “It is very exciting for ‘WARM 106.9’ to announce the addition of Allan and Ashley in mornings to this great station. We have spent a lot of time looking for the perfect fit and we have it.” Fee and Ryan replace current morning show John Fisher and Sue Romero.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Former country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” jock Matt “Sparx” Ethridge joins Townsquare Media’s Fort Collins, Colorado cluster where he’ll serve as afternoon personality on country KUAD “K99” and midday host on sister hot AC KKPL “99.9 The Point.”…..Satellite radio programmer Gregg Steele will relocate to Los Angeles to serve as SiriusXM’s VP/GM of West Coast Programming Operations. He’s been based in New York serving as VP/music programming.
Howard B. Price: Now, It’s Personal. Writing in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price says that, although it’s impossible to know if anything could have prevented their deaths, media employers must take this tragedy as a lesson to do more to prepare staffers to combat threatening situations. How so? Price says, “Ask any crisis trainer, and they will tell you that situational awareness is critical – no matter one’s field or the instant circumstances of their work. Who would have imagined that a live shot on local tourism in a bucolic park would end in so much trauma – on an early morning newscast in Moneta, Virginia?” He suggests that even in the most seemingly benign situations, crews should observe a safety protocol. “When you arrive at the scene of a story, look for areas of safe refuge and secondary escape routes. Try to keep a corner of your eye cocked peripherally to catch at least a glimpse of anything that doesn’t look quite right. Keep a cellphone or two-way radio close. Think about how you might call for help. And don’t hesitate to raise red flags about any coverage plan you find risky.” Read Price’s entire story here.
Cool Job Opportunity. “103.7 KISS-FM” in Milwaukee has an immediate opening for the next nighttime radio star! This position has been the launching pad for many major market talents and programmers over the years. If you love people, pop culture, and parties then we want you to host ours on the air every night! You’ll connect with our weekly audience of over half a million people on air, online, and around town! You’ll be part of an awesome team of people that share your passion for great radio. You in? Send your audio samples and resume right now to NIGHTSONKISS@GMAIL.COM.
Talking with Pop Stars. Standing outside the ABC7 studios in Los Angeles are ABC Radio Entertainment correspondent Jason Nathanson (right) and pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen (left). Nathanson interviewed Jepsen about her new album E-MO-TION.
Premiere Networks Offers Commercial Free Labor Day Weekend Shows. The syndicator announces it will offer Hollywood Hamilton’s “Remix Top 30 Countdown” and Casey Kasem’s classic “American Top 40 – The ‘70s” and “American Top 40 – The ‘80s” in a commercial-free format for stations to air this Labor Day weekend. Also, Premiere alerts affiliates that “Remix Top 30” will feature singer/songwriter Tove Lo as a special guest, along with giveaways for TomorrowWorld, the popular electronic music festival that returns to Atlanta September 25-27.