General Music Radio Industry News
PPM Analysis: Rock. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers the second of three special features recapping July 2014 ratings performances. Following up his alternative recap, Mike’s attention turns to rock – sometimes labeled “mainstream rock,” “active rock,” or long ago, “album oriented rock” (AOR). Typically, a rock station in a PPM market ranks ninth or tenth (#9.63, July 2014, 6+) with roughly a 4-share 6+ (3.99). Exactly half the rockers (50%) in our RadioInfo sample decline June 2014 – July 2014 and nearly the same amount (48%) are off July 2013 - July 2014. For an easy-to-read look at rock facilities over the last six PPM surveys, click here. The third of this three-part series will be an adult alternative ratings overview.
For Music Satisfaction – Broadcast Radio Beats Pandora. That is a key conclusion from the latest (fourth) “Ratings Prospects Study” conducted by Cincinnati-based NuVoodoo Media Service. Nearly 1100 respondents, between the ages of 14 – 54 in all PPM markets were interviewed. More than six of ten Pandora users (62%) listen to Pandora at least 30 minutes per day and nearly as many Pandora users spend that much time daily with broadcast radio. As Pandora experience increases, so does the percentage that listen to it at least 30 minutes; however, the percentage spending at least that much time with broadcast radio did not decrease. According to NuVoodoo president Carolyn Gilbert, “Radio is on a bigger stage than it has been since the advent of television, but it does a great job making great music programming easy for consumers. We have known for years that most people do not want to program their own music. They want to pick something that works for them and enjoy it.” Vice president of research Leigh Jacobs explains, “We wanted to learn whether Pandora’s algorithms do a better job creating an enjoyable playlist for consumers than the researched and carefully curated playlists that broadcast programmers sweat over day in, day out. It is Pandora’s technology against radio’s research and decades of experience. Our data show that broadcast beats Pandora for music satisfaction – big among those who align themselves with rock-leaning formats. While the customization possibilities are endless with Pandora and other digital pure plays, we know that few take advantage of all those possibilities.” Meanwhile, the company’s executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor opines, “This new information represents a huge opportunity for radio.” It is Jacobs’ contention that the latest NuVoodoo results “validate our hypothesis that longer experience with Pandora does not equate” to less listening to broadcast radio. “While those who have spent more time with Pandora tend to increase their daily TSL from the service, he remarks, “they claim not to reduce their TSL with broadcast radio.” More of the study’s noteworthy findings – including which social media platforms are getting user traction and which ones are seeing user declines – will be released in the next few weeks.
A Not-So-Super Financial Arrangement. Some radio station officials still wince when they hear the expression, “Pay for Play.” If the NFL gets its way, the next Super Bowl halftime show will have that sort of element attached to it. Sources have told The Wall Street Journal that the NFL asked the rumored finalists for the plum halftime slot – Coldplay, Katy Perry, and Rihanna – to fork over a portion of their post-game tour revenue, or another “type of financial contribution” for the opportunity to appear. Not surprisingly, “chilly” is the way the artists have reacted to the offer. The NFL typically provides travel and production costs to halftime entertainers, but there is little or no actual compensation to them. Having the stars “pay to play” at the event is a completely new wrinkle. From the league’s perspective, it maintains a Super Bowl performance significantly enhances an artist’s profile, as well as spiking record/tour ticket sales. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers were the beneficiaries of last year’s halftime show. The broadcast drew a record 115.3 million viewers, estimated to be twice the size of the Oscars telecast and more than three times the audience generated by the Grammy awards.
Dan Mason To Cox Media Group Tampa As OM. To clarify, the Dan Mason appointed operations manager for three Cox Media Group Tampa facilities is the former WODS, Boston program director – not the CBS Radio president and chief executive officer with the same name. CMG vice president and market manager Keith Lawless comments, “Dan’s approach to programming is firmly in line with ours and he is a welcome addition to our team. I am confident his contributions will help us continue to compete and win.” Cox Media Group vice president of programming Steve Smith explains, “We took our time searching for the right fit, and Dan is that guy. He will add his expertise in management and talent development to some of our other super-brands in Tampa. We welcome Dan to the CMG family.” Mason – who begins his new assignment in about two weeks (9/8) – states that he is “thrilled” to join the “fantastic team” in Tampa on “three of the most exciting and unique brands not just within Cox Media Group, but the country. I am grateful to Keith Lawless and Steve Smith for the opportunity to lead the team.” Mason’s Tampa OM duties involve alternative WSUN “97-X,” CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5,” and talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone.” He will also be director of branding & programming for “Hot 101.5.” Mason’s previous programming background includes Clear Channel Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100″; Entercom Sacramento outlets CHR KDND-FM “107.9 The End” and hot AC KBZC “Star 106.5″; and Clear Channel Cleveland CHR WAKS, “96.5 Kiss-FM.”
Ebright To DC’s WBIG As APD. After two years at North American Broadcasting Columbus rocker WRKZ “The Blitz,” Brent “Bodhi” Ebright heads to Clear Channel Washington, DC classic rocker WBIG “Big 100.3″ for assistant program director and afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) duties. WBIG program director James Howard states, “Bodhi’s talent and work ethic is going to bring a tremendous amount of value to ‘Big 100.3.’” Ebright remarks that he is “beyond excited” for the “huge opportunity” to join “the staff at the station that rocks the Nation’s Capital; James Howard is a talented and creative programmer and I look forward to working alongside him.” Before his stint at “The Blitz,” Ebright programmed SiriusXM channels “Squizz” and “Boneyard.”
Ryan Hopes You Dress With Distinction. Have you ever wondered how much a Ryan Seacrest-type suit or shirt would cost? According to TheNewYorkMag.com, the “American Idol” host, KIIS, Los Angeles “Kiss-FM” morning personality, countdown host, and all-around mega entrepreneur has yet another venture up his proverbial sleeve. He will extend his already ubiquitous brand through “Ryan Seacrest Distinction,” a clothing line debuting this month in 150 Macy’s stores. Reportedly, “Ryan Seacrest Distinction” will be marketed as “a true lifestyle brand.” In addition to suits and dress shirts, the line will feature sweaters, shoes, and watches. To illustrate how it looks, Seacrest will be sporting the clothes bearing his name in men’s-magazine ads, a Macy’s television commercial, and – naturally – on every “American Idol” broadcast. In addition, he will have another opportunity when he fronts CBS-TV’s fashion-music fundraiser “Fashion Rocks.” By the way, the answer to the question posed at the beginning is “from $550″ for a suit in the “Ryan Seacrest Distinction” line and $69.50 for a shirt.
“At Number Nine on the Countdown, It’s … Me.” Numerous instances exist of singers who have tried their hand at doing a syndicated daily or nightly radio air-shift, or a long-form syndicated weekend feature. It is a rarity though when a musical act is also a traditional countdown show host. One such case happened nine years ago when ABC Radio recruited Kix Brooks (Brooks & Dunn) to succeed Bob Kingsley as host of “American Country Countdown.” Rick Dees had a mid-1970s novelty smash, “Disco Duck,” that advanced all the way to #1, but it pre-dated his current capacity as a countdown personality. Whether it was on WHTZ “Z-100,” New York; KIIS “Kiss-FM,” Los Angeles; or in his present role as afternoon drive talent (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) on Clear Channel New York rhythmic CHR WKTU, Sean Hollywood Hamilton has been one of the most energetic, creative, skilled and most-listened to personalities in the country. For approximately 15 years, the extremely affable, highly conscientious Nevada native (raised in Reno and Las Vegas) has been heard worldwide through his “Weekend Top 30″ and “Remix Top 30″ countdown shows, now distributed via Premiere Radio. That would be enough to keep most others busy, but Hamilton, whose real name is Timothy Bello, has been ghost-producing EDM/dance music for artists the last five years. “Just recently, my brothers and I decided to make some music for ourselves,” he points out to RadioInfo. Prior to getting into the radio industry, Hamilton — who had a quick stop at a Monterey station with appropriate call letters for him at the time – KIDD — was a musician. “Now I am taking it back to my roots, he remarks. Along with siblings Teddy and KC, Hamilton and the Bello Boys have a top 10 record. “Last Call” on Radikal Records features Kat DeLuna and it sits at #9 (with the all-important “bullet”) this week on Billboard‘s club dance chart. “The song is basically about a group of girls getting out on a Friday night cutting loose and getting crazy,” Hamilton explains. “It is one of those Latin-infused catchy, hooky songs that people seem to gravitate to. The remix package is produced by some of the biggest producers in the business.” Radikal Records owner/president Jurgen Korduletsch declares, “We are delighted that Hollywood Hamilton has chosen [our label] as the home for the debut single. We are even more thrilled that it is generating a tremendous buzz in clubs and on the radio. It is fast developing into a big hit for the über-talented Bello Boys.” While some performers can introduce their own songs on the air, Hamilton may soon be in the position of noting his work’s top ten progress week-to-week on his own countdown show(s).
Towers Takes On TV Anchor Duties. Beginning next Monday (8/25), Clear Channel Detroit adult contemporary WNIC “Fresh 100.3″ wakeup talent Jay Towers adds WJBK-TV “Fox 2 Morning News” anchor to his resume as he and Anqunette Jamison will form the 6:00 am – 9:00 am tandem. He will continue doing the weekday “Jay Towers in the Morning” program on “Fresh” from the Fox 2 studios. WJBK-TV vice president and news director Kevin Roseborough comments, “Fox 2 viewers have enjoyed Jay’s contagious energy and winning personality on the weekends. We are looking forward to expanding his presence on our station and have no doubt he will enhance our number one morning news team.” This marks Towers’ 10th anniversary at WJBK-TV and he states, “To begin this milestone year in a new and expanded role is a dream come true. The best part is that I can continue my morning radio show on 100.3, and all from one place.” Towers joined WJBK-TV in February 2004; he has been a weekend anchor/feature reporter for the station’s “Fox 2 News Weekend.” Prior to doing morning drive on “Fresh,” he worked at cross-town Cumulus-owned WDRQ (“Jay & Rachael in the Morning”) and CBS Radio Detroit’s all-sports WXYT-FM (“The Jay & Bill Show”).
Thirty-Five Years and Counting. That is how long Cape Cod Broadcasting adult contemporary WOCN “Ocean 104.7,” Cape Cod, Massachusetts morning man Dave Read (pictured center) has been working in radio on the Cape. At a brunch held in Read’s honor, CCB Media owner Greg Bone (pictured right) commended the morning talent’s positive outlook, enthusiasm and camaraderie. “Dave understands the importance of local radio and the connection with listeners, the community, and our clients,” Bone comments. Station general manager Beverly Tilden (pictured left) remarks, “We are honored to work with Dave every day. His connection with the community and dedication to his work is a roadmap for any new talent hoping to be a success in the radio business.” Read states that he enjoys radio’s “creativity and the challenge to keep it fresh and interesting.” The company also honored “Ocean” midday talent Donna Credit for her 20-year anniversary.
BOB-FM to the Romantic Rescue. “You’ll hear all sorts of stuff” is the way BOB-FM positions itself and a recent audio clip from the station underscores that positioning statement. This particular BOB-FM though is not an adult hits outlet here in the United States, but a radio station broadcasting at 106.7 and 106.9 in Knebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Welwyn Garden City and Watton-at-Stone. Knebworth most likely gave away the location as the United Kingdom. Reminiscent of something syndicated personality “Delilah” or Karen Sharp on her nightly “Love Songs” show on Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103″ might do, BOB-FM morning talents (or “breakfast presenters,” as they are more elegantly called) Graham Mack and Amy Stevenson came to the aid of a young woman (“Sarah”) yearning to reconnect with her dream man (“Sam”). The back-story is that Sarah met Sam at a music festival that featured Justin Timberlake and it was love at first sight. The snafu was that Sarah didn’t get Sam’s number, so she did what was only logical – call BOB-FM to track him down. Her email to Mack and Stevenson recapped that part of the story and stated her desire to meet the 25-year-old, 6′ 5″ Hertfordshire dog trainer. It took Mack and Stevenson all of two days to locate him. Especially if you are a hopeless romantic, click here to listen to the complete interchange.
“Proactive” Patient Will Overcome Ovarian Cancer. That is what Robin Marshall optimistically writes on her Facebook page. Cumulus Media‘s “Sound Solutions” production manager states that, “Short and sweet,” she has stage two or slight stage three Ovarian cancer but “all was removed.” Doctors “did snippets” from her other organs for biopsy purposes and regardless of the results,” Marshall will be treated with “a very strong regiment of chemo.” As she laments, “It is nothing that anyone looks forward to.” Realizing she has a difficult road ahead, Marshall will remain in the hospital until this Saturday (8/23), but she declares, “I have hope.” At the “end of the day,” however, Marshall stresses, she will survive Ovarian cancer because, “I was proactive. There are no options – I want to live.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Charleston Wakeup Team Reunites. Tanya Brown, Brooke Ryan and Mike “The Guy” Edwards (“2 Girls & A Guy”) are again set to do morning drive in just over three weeks (9/15) on Apex Broadcasting Charleston, South Carolina hot AC WMXZ “Mix 96.” A single mother of four, Brown is the show’s “voice of reason.” Ryan left Charleston to co-host Jack Diamond‘s wakeup show on Washington, DC hot AC WRQX. Edwards was part of “2 Girls & A Guy” since 2007 before leaving to do a Portland morning show with Brown.
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 (8/20) includes such names as: Mandy Rain, Anna Graceman, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Ella Henderson, Sinead O’ Conner, George Ezra, Sunny Sweeney, Kenny Chesney, Shovels & Rope, Cary Ann Hearst, Michael Trent, Redlight, Years and Years, and Birdy among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
PPM Analysis: Alternative. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of three special features recapping July 2014 ratings performances in the rock genre. First up is alternative, which sees half the stations in our RadioInfo sample improve June 2014 – July 2014; however, 60% decline July 2013 - July 2014. Typically, an alternative station in a PPM market ranks twelfth (6+) in July 2014 with a 3.2 share (6+). For an easy-to-read look at alternative facilities over the last six PPM surveys, click here. Over the next several days, Mike will present rock, and adult alternative ratings overviews as well.
Views “Rising” on Rock Band’s “Spangled” Song Interpretation. Several months ago, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison — a showman (and former DJ) at heart — pondered the advantages of — and reaction to — opening the talk media trade publication’s annual New York City seminar in June with a rousing, dramatic version of — all things — the National Anthem. The more he deliberated on it, the more he reasoned, why not. It has famously preceded every major sporting event and, truth be told, a multitude of minor ones as well. When done correctly and under optimum circumstances though, a spirited rendition of this country’s anthem can elicit powerfully positive emotions. Such was the case two months ago (6/20) at that very TALKERS confab when patriotic rock band Madison Rising gripped everyone’s attention and brought several to a misty-eye state with their “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The group now boasts sales of over 100,000 of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which celebrates its 200th birthday in about four weeks. Francis Scott Key wrote it on the morning of September 14, 1814, as he watched the American flag rise over Ft. McHenry. Madison Rising has updated and re-energized the anthem just in time for this momentous occasion. Thus far, there have been nearly six million unique YouTube video views of Madison Rising’s “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The band, a creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, hopes to reach 10 million views by the September 14 anniversary. To view it, please click here.
“Logan” Lands in Fort Walton Beach as PD/Morning Host. Eight-year WISX “Mix 106.1″ assistant program director-music director-wakeup talent “Logan” departs the Clear Channel Philadelphia hot AC to become program director/AM drive host on Cumulus Fort Walton Beach (Florida) adult contemporary WNCV “Coast 93.3.” Cumulus regional vice president Pete De Simone explains that, “Logan” fills a “newly-created position for the station and cluster – a dedicated program director for ‘Coast 93.3.’ Adding ‘Logan’ as a dedicated PD creates individual focus for both our AC and CHR brands and it adds a major market morning talent to our programming lineup.” Meanwhile, “Logan” gives “special thanks” to Cumulus for giving him this opportunity, “especially senior vice president Mike McVay and Pete De Simone for believing in my talents. I am excited to work with a great group of people to take WNCV to the next level. I look forward to winning, learning, and growing within Cumulus.” In addition to Philadelphia’s “Mix 106.1,” other major market stops appear on his resume, include three more Clear Channel properties: New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100″; Philadelphia CHR WIOQ “Q-102″; and Dallas hot AC KDMX.
WYZB Names Horn Program Director/PM Driver. Another Clear Channel talent is recruited to program a Cumulus Fort Walton Beach (Florida) property. This time, it is nine-year Clear Channel Tallahassee operations manager Jeff Horn, who becomes program director and afternoon drive personality for Cumulus F.W.B. country outlet WYZB “Nash FM 105.5.” Cumulus regional vice president Pete DeSimone notes that, “Jeff adds talent and programming experience to the ‘Nash FM 105.5′ lineup and the Fort Walton Beach/Destin programming team. We are very pleased to welcome him to Cumulus and look forward to his contributions.” Horn succeeds Skip Davis, who takes a newly-created position as the cluster’s production director; Davis will also do mid-days on “Nash FM 105.5.” Horn comments, “I could not be more excited to join Cumulus Media and the professionals in Fort Walton Beach/Destin. ‘Nash’ is an exciting new brand – I look forward to much success.” In addition to being OM of Clear Channel Tallahassee’s five-station cluster, Horn programmed WTNT, that company’s country station there. He previously spent seven years in Miami radio, where he worked at CHR WHYI “Y-100,” WCKO “K-102″ and WMJX “96-X.” Cumulus Fort Walton Beach simultaneously hires “Logan” from Clear Channel Philadelphia to program adult contemporary WNCV “Coast 93.3″ (see separate story).
Jelli Ad Platform Spreads Coverage with Emmis, Beasley Deals. Radio ad platform Jelli inks agreements to install cloud-based ad server “RadioSpot” on Emmis New York urban AC WBLS “Hot 97.” Jelli now has a similar arrangement with Beasley Broadcast Group properties in Miami (sports WQAM); Las Vegas, (classic hits-oldies KKLZ, rhythmic hot AC KOAS, adult hits KVGS, and country KCYE-FM); and Wilmington, Delaware (adult contemporary WJBR-FM). New York City’s “Hot 97″ director of sales Doug James explains, “The benefit of deploying Jelli’s ‘RadioSpot’ at another one of our New York stations is significant. We installed [it] earlier this year and the team has had a positive experience with the platform’s ability to serve ads programmatically. According to Jelli chief executive officer Mike Dougherty “RadioSpot” enables broadcast radio “to keep pace with needs of marketers in the age of programmatic advertising, maintaining radio’s position as the most vibrant and effective medium for national and local advertisers.” This ad platform is now used at over 400 stations in more than 185 cities. It integrates with advanced buying/planning tools and supports major third-party broadcast traffic systems.
Remembering Michael Erickson. After a several-years battle against cancer, Service Broadcasting Dallas operations manager Michael Erickson passed away this past Monday (8/18). Erickson oversaw operations of urban contemporary KKDA-FM “K-104″ and urban AC KRNB “Smooth R&B.” A staff memo praising Erickson describes him as, “one of our elite leaders” and a “proven winner whose passion for developing people and ideas was simply unmatched. Over the years, Michael transformed our business and made all of our team better broadcasters and better human beings. We will miss his boundless energy, laughter in the hallways, and his endless insights about radio and life. As we endeavor to go forward, we are all so grateful for the moments we shared with Michael. He always gave freely of his time and knowledge to anyone ready to be enlightened. To his credit, he was one of the best communicators and collaborators one could ever hope to work for and with. He remained focused, engaged, and committed to every goal he set for himself until his last breath. Our hearts go out to the loved ones he has left behind, especially his dedicated wife Patti, daughter Katie, and the entire Erickson Family.” KKDA-FM brand manager/program director George Cook remarks, “Michael was a great mentor, fierce competitor, and compassionate friend. He made an impact on me personally and professionally that I cannot totally express in words. I will miss him and his presence dearly.” KRNB program director Kevin Garner comments that Erickson “won his fight to live life to the very end. He was passionate about ['K104' and KRNB], his wife, his daughter, and the [NFL's San Francisco] ’49ers. ‘ME’: We have the plan, and we will continue to make you proud.” Before joining Service Broadcasting five years ago, Erickson was operations manager for Clear Channel San Francisco – San Jose; he also programmed that company’s Bay Area rhythmic hot AC KISQ “Kiss 98.1.” In addition, Erickson was Clear Channel’s regional vice president of programming, which meant overseeing its outlets in San Francisco, Sacramento, Modesto, and Stockton. Funeral arrangements for Erickson are pending.
Sun Broadcast Group Basks in Glow of Inc. Magazine Honor. Specifically, Sun Broadcast Group is proclaimed by Inc. Magazine as being one of America’s fastest growing companies. In rankings released today (8/20), the publication grades America’s quickest- rising private companies, based on percentage of revenue increase over three years. Sun Broadcast Group chief executive officer Jason Bailey proudly enthuses, “I have had the pleasure to announce many great things over these six years, but today I am ecstatic to share this news – what an accomplishment. For the many who never understood our strategy, and for those [who] still do not, receiving this award only affirms to the great people who work at Sun and the amazing agency partners who support us, that we truly are leading the way to a new era of network radio. It is caring about your partners, providing an honest, transparent sales process and always thinking big that will completely change our industry for the better. We are proof that it can be done and we are just getting started.” During the period measured that led to this year’s Inc. Magazine honor, SBG’s revenue jumped more 520%. In that time, the company added 15 fulltime positions between its New York City and Boca Raton (Florida) offices. Bailey and his SBG team will be recognized later this year in Phoenix at the “Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony.” Sun’s programming roster includes, among others, “The Marilu Henner Show,” “The Little League World Series,” “Nashville Music Minute,” “Six-Second Reviews with Mr. Movieman,” Accuweather en Español, horse racing’s triple crown, and The Breeders Cup
WEJK, Boonville, Indiana Sells for $350,000. Indiana-based The Original Company is purchasing Evansville, Indiana-area (Boonville) 1.6kw adult hits WEJK “Jack-FM” from JP Engelbrecht‘s Boonville Broadcasting for $350,000. Boonville Broadcasting has no other broadcast interests, while Mark and Saundra Lange‘s The Original Company owns 12 full-power stations in Indiana and Illinois. Kalil & Company was the exclusive broker for this transaction.
Cross-Border Partnership Involves Stardome and MVS Radio. The result will be an expansion of their respective syndicated branded programming and services in the United States and Mexico. Mexico-based MVS Radio will spearhead ad sales and affiliate relations for Stardome in Mexico; Stardome will do the same for MVS Radio-produced programming/services in the United States. Stardome managing director and chief executive officer Anthony Michael Hernandez states that, “Of all the Mexico-based companies I have worked with throughout the years, none has demonstrated the highest regard for professionalism, strong business ethics, and an undeviating work focus like my friends at MVS Radio. This is truly a partnership and a team effort in the making.” MVS Radio president and chief executive officer Alejandro Vargas remarks, “We are enthusiastic about this alliance with Stardome. We recognize them as ideal strategic partners to expand the coverage of our content in the USA and to represent its brands in Latin America. We are sure this is the beginning of new and prosperous businesses for both companies.” Stardome will service current MVS Radio owned-and-operated stations and affiliates across the southwest border of the United States, while distributing MVS Radio’s branded 24/7 formats, syndicated talk shows and morning shows in the USA Hispanic media marketplace. It adds the entire roster of over 160 MVS Radio affiliates, and owned-and-operated stations in Mexico and Central and South America as part of its duties for Pan Regional Network Radio. MVS Radio will act as Stardome’s in-country Mexico sales office and develop affiliations, network radio, and digital ad sales for Stardome’s soon-to-launch Noti-America radio news network.
Site Vows To Keep Pace with Napa. Mention “Napa” to anyone in California and “wine country” will undoubtedly be the instant word-association response. With a 2010 census population of 76,915, Napa is California’s 100th largest city. Maintaining that their site “will not be anything like your father’s radio station or your grandfather’s newspaper, executives at NAPAbroadcasting.com declare, “You won’t hear Katy Perry or Pink ten times a day and you won’t hear sports programs from out of town.” Instead, local conversations and local voices, “talking, in depth, about local issues” will be emphasized. They will be leaving the “daily police blotter to others” but promise “plenty of controversy” since, “no one here will be afraid to say what is on their minds.” According to a NAPAbroadcasting.com communication, “For years, television was about programs and radio was about formats. Those days are over. Today it’s all about programs and personalities – and it can’t be on someone else’s schedule. Appointment television or radio, is so over. NAPAbroadcasting.com is all about being on demand.” The site is partnering with Napa Valley College. Students, faculty, and staff there will contribute community-focused programming. “On the music side, we will be about music discovery and new kinds of music programs. We will not be another streaming music service, an online jukebox, or a place for mindless patter. Our music programs might be about anything under the musical sun, from jazz to oldies to rock. We will also be interactive, with lots of reviews, samplers and information about the business of contemporary music.” Admitting the site will always be a work in progress, a NAPAbroadcasting.com spokesperson writes, “If you stay with us, you will learn a lot about the wine, food, the hospitality business, and many of the larger-than-life, but often lesser known personalities, who live in this Valley. We think that what is good for the visitors is also good for those of us who live here.”
Remembering Don Pardo. “It’s Saturday Night Live.” One extremely simple sentence, yet only one exceptional voice will forever be associated with it or capable of making it sing. Don Pardo. The elegant gentleman with the huge booming pipes passed away Monday night (8/18) at the age of 96. His nearly-40 year association with NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live” was only one part of a voluminous resume on the network for which he had a lifetime pact. Only Bob Hope had a similar arrangement deal with the network. Revered by virtually anyone who has been behind a microphone, the beloved — and yes legendary — Pardo began his career in radio. The off-camera announcer for a multitude of game shows from “Jeopardy” to “Jackpot,” Don Pardo truly achieved pop culture status. “SNL” hosts and cast members felt they arrived once they heard their names uttered by him. Click here for managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s brief retrospective salute to the Massachusetts native and 2010 inductee in the Television Academy Hall of Fame whose voice and persona were a staple for so many.
King Named VP/Programming – Network Formats at WestwoodOne. Townsquare Media regional operations manager and western region brand leader/country George King is appointed vice president of programming, network formats for Westwood One. He will oversee the company’s 24-hour country formats, which include “Mainstream Country,” “Hot Country,” “Classic Country,” and “Real Country.” Network programming president Kirk Stirland comments that, “George’s experience in markets large and small, along with his position in the country music world, makes him a perfect fit for this role at Westwood One. He is joining an all-star programming management team, and he will be working with a first-rate air staff on our biggest format category.” According to King, “The way Westwood One is able to integrate local content into a national feed will continue to be an essential way our business moves successfully into the future. I am truly excited to work with this remarkable technology, and on the team creating radio with it.” Prior to Townsquare Media, King held programming and operations positions at Washington, DC’s WMZQ; KNIX, Phoenix; San Antonio’s KCYY & KKYX; and WCTO & WLEV, Allentown. The past ACM board member begins his Westwood One duties next month (9/15); he will be based in the company’s 24-hour format production center in Denver.
SCBA Schedules Awards Luncheon for Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising. The special event of the Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) and SCBA’s Sales Management Council will be held in approximately two months (10/16) at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City (Los Angeles). Selected regional advertisers will be honored with “Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising” awards. Former SCBA Lifetime Achievement Award winner – and current chairman and chief operating officer of U.S. International Media – Dennis Holt will be this year’s keynote speaker. SCBA president Thom Callahan explains that, “Based on last year’s sold-out event, we have expanded the nominating categories and our winning advertisers. We are absolutely thrilled by both client and agency response to this prestigious luncheon. This year’s winners represent the robust diversity and energy of Southern California radio advertisers; we are so proud to honor them. [This year's festivities] is on-pace to be another record sell-out. The enthusiasm and commitment to Southern California radio will be showcased by senior client management, their agencies, our member stations, and special guests – all coming together on this one special day to honor this year’s Southern California Radio Award winners.” Being recognized this year are: Children’s Miracle Network; First 5 California; Galpin Ford; Morongo Casino; WaBa Grill; and Westside Rentals. Awards in six categories of creative radio commercials, using both Southern California broadcast radio and its digital platforms, are voted on by the Sales Management Council.
Mandis Lands WWTN’s Programming Chair. Cumulus Nashville talker WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” elevates Dan Mandis to program director. Cumulus executive vice president and co-chief operating officer John Dickey comments, “Dan Mandis is an accomplished spoken-word programmer and the perfect choice to guide WWTN into its next phase as the place where Nashville comes to learn about and celebrate life in one of America’s greatest cities.” Mandis remarks, “WWTN is an amazing station with some great local talent. I am looking forward to my expanded role with Cumulus Nashville, and appreciate the faith Cumulus has shown in my abilities to take WWTN to the next level.” Mandis is the station’s weekday 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm host. In his 25-year radio career, the Los Angeles native has worked for Los Angeles talker KFI, where he did news, traffic and production. Prior to embarking on his own career as a talk show host, Mandis was associated with Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s syndicated program.
Ausham Appointed Program Director of Atlanta’s “Rock 100.5.” Former Clear Channel Northeast Ohio operations manager Greg Ausham is named program director of Cumulus Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Cumulus corporate programmer/rock formats Troy Hanson comments, “We are very pleased to add another high caliber programmer in Greg Ausham to our industry-leading team of program directors at Cumulus. Greg’s vast experience will be tapped into and felt immediately on our classic rock brand in Atlanta at ‘Rock 100.5.’” Ausham jokes that, “After working in Detroit, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Cleveland, it will be nice to live somewhere where snow and ice are more of an anomaly than just expected. It is an honor to get to work for the great people at Cumulus.” Over the course of his 30-year programming career, Ausham – who begins at “Rock 100.5″ immediately – has held the PD title at WRIF, Detroit; WMMS, Cleveland; WLVQ, Columbus; and WLZR, Milwaukee. In addition, he was operations manager in Columbus for the former Jacor.
Kelly Transfers to Clear Channel WPB as Director of Sales. Clear Channel Sarasota director of sales Bryan Kelly remains in the Sunshine State, but as of next Monday (8/25), he will traverse from the state’s west coast to West Palm Beach on the east coast in a similar capacity. West Palm Beach market manager John Hunt observes, “Bryan produced outstanding sales results in Sarasota and I know he will do the same in West Palm Beach.” Kelly comments, “I look forward to joining the exceptional West Palm Beach team assembled by John Hunt and [Clear Channel regional program manager] Dave Denver. It has been a goal of mine to represent Clear Channel in a fast-paced and competitive market.” Kelly will oversee the sales efforts for Clear Channel’s 10-station West Palm Beach cluster consisting of country WAVW; talk WAXE; talk WBZT; talk WJNO; classic rock WKGR; CHR WLDI; adult contemporary WOLL; oldies WQOL; Spanish contemporary WRLX; and talk WZZR. His previous Clear Channel assignments were in Tampa and Allentown.
“Billy Madison Show” and Nineball Radio Enter Syndication Deal. Owing to the just-signed pact with Nineball Radio, the weekday morning “Billy Madison Show” is now available for national distribution. Madison currently airs on Cox Media Group Tampa talker WHPT “The Bone, Real-Raw-Radio” and on CMG San Antonio rocker KISS. Nineball Radio president and chief executive officer Stefan Jones opines, “A show with such chemistry is rare, especially with the support of such a great company like Cox Media Group. Billy is a true professional who preps relentlessly and continually creates a show that is like nothing else being offered in rock syndication. He took KISS from 16th to number one, and he is number one at WHPT. I think the numbers speak for themselves. We are excited to be a part of it.” Madison’s show arrived in San Antonio in late-2011. Jones formed independent creator/clearance house for radio programming and services Nineball Radio as an underground prep service in 2005.
Wiggins Joins “Get Up Crew” on Boston’s “Hot 96.9.” Starting today (Tuesday, 8/19), former NFL player Jermaine “Wiggy” Wiggins is part of the “Get Up Crew” on Boston rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.” In another roster move, the station’s mid-day talent “Melissa” also becomes a “Get Up Crew” member; “Pebbles” continues as the show’s anchor. Greater Media Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack explains, “Morning shows are built to excel when the personalities are live, local, and make a connection with their marketplace. The deep and real footprint that ‘Pebbles,’ ‘Melissa’ and ‘Wiggy’ each already have individually in Boston make the ‘Get Up Crew’ an unbeatable team and the start of another great chapter in Hot 96.9′s success story.” Wiggins comments that he is “super excited” to be working with “Pebbles” and “Melissa,” as well as “everyone else at ‘Hot 96.9.’ I can’t wait to do my part to help the ‘Hot 96.9′ morning show continue to be one of the hottest shows in Boston.” Meanwhile, “Pebbles” points out that she and “Melissa” have worked together “for years” and “I am excited to have her back on the morning team. I have also had the pleasure to get to know ‘Wiggy’ over the past few weeks. I can assure you – we could not be more different – it is going to be entertaining.” Wiggins most recently was at CBS Radio Boston’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” as “the man with an opinion on everything.” In addition, the NFL analyst has worked at Boston sports outlets Comcast SportsNet New England, WBZ-TV, WHDH-TV, New England Sports Network (NESN), and the Kraft Sports Production show “Patriots This Week.” Wiggins played college football at the University of Georgia and was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 1999. The East Boston native earned a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI (2001); the 39-year-old tight end also played for the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and Florida Tuskers.
“DJ Laz Morning Show” To Debut on Miami’s WFLC. Starting next Monday (8/25), DJ Laz returns to South Florida radio as morning host on Cox Media Group Miami CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3.” DJ Laz will be accompanied by co-host “Kimmy,” who segues from the cluster’s co-owned urban contemporary WEDR. Cox Media Group Miami vice president and market manager Rob Babin states, “We are excited that DJ Laz will be joining our ‘Hits 97.3′ team and we look forward to launching a new local morning show custom built for South Florida.” CMG Miami director of branding & programming Jill Strada remarks, “I am excited to welcome DJ Laz back to morning radio in Miami. He is a star with undeniable talent. We have such great talent within our stations – I am happy to be able to promote someone within the CMG Miami family. Laz and ‘Kimmy’ together are a superstar team.” DJ Laz comments that he is “so pumped” to get back to doing “what I love in the city I love. Radio is about to get fun again,” while “Kimmy” thanks Strada and CMG Miami “for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to grow. I can’t wait to get started with my new partner – DJ Laz. Miami mornings will never be the same.” DJ Laz spent 22 years in Miami at cross-town rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.”Most recently, the platinum recording artist (“Move, Shake, Drop” and “Esa Morena”) was on SBS Broadcasting Spanish contemporary siblings WRMA, Miami and KXOL, Los Angeles.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Emmis New York City rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97″ music director Karlie Hustle resigns; however, in an Instagram post, she indicates that she is remaining “through the end of the month to assist in the transition of duties.” Hustle further notes she is not going to a cross-town radio competitor. “I have spent the past three years living my dream in New York City, working at what I believe to be the most important radio station in the world and I have been a part of launching the careers of future stars from behind the scenes. It has given me the confidence and the enhanced platform to start my own [bowtie] business. I’ll never forget the team at ‘Hot 97′ for being so warm and embracing this girl from the west so fully” … Townsquare Media hot AC WSJO “SoJO 104.9,” Atlantic City, New Jersey promotes music director Heather DeLuca to brand manager. Market general manager Michael Ruble notes, “Over the last few years, she has grown in roles and has helped make ‘SoJO’ a true force in our market, on-air and especially online. She has such passion for the station and lives ‘SoJO’ in every way.” DeLuca has been with the station since 2009 … Envision Networks’ “The Core” welcomes Lagniappe Broadcasting‘s KXRR “Rock 106,” Monroe, Louisiana as the newest of over 350 affiliates. “Rock 106″ airs the weekly two-hour Meltdown-hosted/Steve Black-programmed show, which features the music/artists of the 1990s, Sunday morning at 6:00 am.
“Nash Icon” Unveiled in Atlanta and Savannah. “Nash Icon” imagery debuts in Atlanta, as Cumulus Media transitions classic hits-oldies outlet WWWQ-HD2 and translator W255CJ-FM to “Nash Icon 98.9.” Also within the Peach State, co-owned sports WZAT “ESPN 102.1,” Savannah switches to “Nash Icon 102.1.” Created two months ago, “Nash Icon” is designed to have stations emphasize and highlight major country artists of the last 25 years who — while still recording/touring — are not getting commensurate exposure. “Nash Icon” programming originates from Cumulus Media’s Nashville studios. Other “Nash Icon” debuts surfaced last Friday (8/15) in Kansas City on K273BZ (formerly sports “The Fan”); country WSM-FM, Nashville; WZRR, Birmingham (formerly CHR “The Vibe”); country KJJY, Des Moines; WNUQ, Albany, Georgia (formerly CHR “Q-102″); and WJBC-FM, Bloomington, Illinois (formerly simulcasting talk with WJBC-AM). Cumulus Media plans to keep introducing “Nash Icons” on more properties it owns. This past May, Cumulus Media and Big Machine Records announced a strategic partnership that includes a record label to house “Nash Icon” acts. In Atlanta’s July 2014 PPM monthly, WWWQ-HD2 finishes #22 (.8, 6+), while among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio’s Spring 2014 book, WZAT ranks #15 (1.3) in Savannah.
“Mud” Makes “Big” Miami News. Nine-year WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” Nashville program director Michael “Mud” Gross transfers to co-owned Clear Channel Miami classic rocker WBGG “Big 105.9″ in a similar capacity. Clear Channel Miami vice president of programming Alex Tear declares, “It is an exciting time for [WBGG]. Mud’s passion, expertise, and leadership are certain to elevate ‘Big’ to new levels. His track record and well-rounded skill set made him the exceptional choice to lead our team.” Gross notes that his tenure at WNRQ was “amazing” but the opportunity at WBGG is his “dream job. I am coming home and I am psyched to lead WBGG into the future: LeBron [James out of Miami] and ‘Mud’ in.” Before joining WNRQ in 2005, Gross – who kick-started his radio career at the University of Miami – worked in Baltimore; St. Louis; Orlando; Fort Myers; and Atlantic City. He begins at WBGG one week from today (8/25).
Diamond Returns to San Diego at Re-Branded “Max-FM.” Broadcast Company of the Americas’ classic hits-oldies XPRS drops its six-year “Walrus 105.7″ handle in favor of “105.7 Max-FM.” In addition, it brings back to the San Diego area renowned wakeup talent Jack Diamond, who joins co-host Kim Morrison and producer Kayla Yap for the weekday 6:00 am – 10:00 am “Jack Diamond Morning Show with Kim & Kayla.” The station’s revised on-air roster includes Jay Coffey (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) and Christina Martinez (2:00 pm – 7:00 pm). Regarding Diamond, BCA vice president and market manager Norm Feuer comments, “We are thrilled to have such an exciting and talented entertainer join the newly-rebranded ’105.7 Max-FM.’ Jack brings an added dimension to mornings in San Diego, with energy, humor and passion.” Programming and operations manager Mike Shepard declares, “It is an exciting time at BCA Radio as we unveil our new logo, rebranded name, and the final evolution of our musical recipe. The classic hits format has evolved over the years from 1960s – 1970s to 1970s – 1980s. Based on extensive market research in San Diego, we saw a demand for a fun, upbeat station focused on the biggest hits from the late-1970s all the way through the early-1990s.” When Diamond exited his morning drive slot on KSON, San Diego in the early-1990s to embark on what would be an approximately two-decade run in Washington, DC at Cap Cities/ABC hot AC WRQX (now Cumulus CHR), he told his program director – Mike Shepard – that he would return to San Diego someday. According to Diamond, Shepard said, “Great, when you are ready – call me.” Diamond did and he states, “‘California Dreamin’ has once again become a reality. Mike Shepard and Norm Feuer have a great strategic plan. We have two great partners in place in Kim & Kayla – let the games begin.” Over and above KSON and WRQX, Diamond’s vast on-air resume includes WABC, New York City; KNBR, San Francisco; and WQXI, Atlanta. In his first San Diego run, Diamond did weather and entertainment reports for KNSD-TV, as well as morning drive on KSON. His band has shared national touring bills with Elton John, The Moody Blues, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan. Among persons 6+ in San Diego’s July PPM report, XPRS ranks #15 (3.0).
Name Change for San Antonio’s KTKX. The Cox Media Group San Antonio outlet retains its three-year classic rock format and KTKX calls, but trades in the “X-106.7″ handle for “106.7 – The Eagle.” CMG San Antonio vice president and market manager Dan Lawrie explains that, “Some recent changes in the market allowed us to emerge as the only full-signal classic rock station in San Antonio. We felt this was a great time to introduce ‘The Eagle’ brand and let people know great classic rock can be heard anywhere in San Antonio – only on 106.7 FM.” Program director Keith Hastings opines the philosophy for “The Eagle” is that “classic rock is not just a bunch of songs – it is a way of life. This is incredible music that comprises a lifelong soundtrack for a huge segment of the population. We are proud to provide it on one of the best, most powerful radio signals in San Antonio.” The competitive programming “change” to which Lawrie refers occurred just over one week ago (8/8), when Clear Channel flipped classic rock KZEP to rhythmic CHR as “Hot 104.5.” Among persons 6+ in the last eight survey periods, KTKX has registered a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.4; its highest 6+-showing since July 2013 was a 2.4 in April. In July 2014′s PPM report, KZEP finishes #16 (2.4), while KTKX is #17 (2.0); KZEP’s highest 6+-showing since July 2013 was a 3.7 in March (#11).
Johnjay & Rich “Return” to New Orleans. Starting today (8/18), Premiere Radio‘s “Johnjay & Rich Show” begins to occupy the 6:00 am – 10:00 am slot on Clear Channel New Orleans hot AC KVDU “Voodoo 104.” According to “Voodoo 104″ program director Jag, “‘Johnjay & Rich’ is the perfect vehicle to take [this station's] morning numbers into the stratosphere. The show’s track record in other markets speaks for itself. Their professionalism is exceeded only by their contagious enthusiasm.” Rich Berra of Johnjay & Rich comments, “Johnjay and I are so excited to unleash our show on the most unique city in America. Johnjay and I first met each other in New Orleans, and although neither of us remembers that night so well, it is perfectly fitting that we kick off mornings at ‘Voodoo 104′ – a station as special as New Orleans itself.” Johnjay Van Es and Rich Berra began as “Johnjay & Rich” approximately 13 years ago at Clear Channel Tucson CHR KRQQ (which remains an affiliate). Their syndicated morning show now originates from Phoenix at co-owned CHR KZZP “Kiss-FM.”
”Rock 94.9” Surfaces in Birmingham. Clear Channel Birmingham jettisons country on translator W235BS-FM “The Bull” to make way for “Rock 94.9.” The format will also air on WQEN-HD3. Vice president and general manager Ray Quinn states, “Today is a historic day for Birmingham radio as we bring true classic rock music back to the ‘Magic City.’ For over two years, there has been a huge absence of the format since the legendary ‘Rock 99′ went away. ‘Rock 99′ had an iconic following of fans and advertisers, so we have brought it back on a new frequency at 94.9.” Cumulus-owned WZRR “Rock 99″ became CHR “99.5 The Vibe” at 12:00 midnight on New Year’s Day 2012. “Rock 94.9″ program director Jason Mack remarks, “Basically, we put the band back together and we can’t wait to re-introduce ourselves to the loyal rock fans.” Morning drive (5:00 am – 9:00 am) goes to Premiere Networks’ Charlotte-based John Boy & Billy (John Isley & Billy James); Lori Ray will do mid-days; and Mack is handling afternoon drive. Mack and Ray were part of the “Rock 99″ staff. Core artists for “Rock 94.9″ will include AC/DC, Boston, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd.
Three Wichita Outlets “Band Together” with Local Car Dealership. In this case, “Band Together” is a six-week media campaign designed to bring awareness to the dangers of texting and driving. Journal Broadcast Group Wichita’s KFDI-FM “Wichita’s Country Favorites,” rock KICT “T-95,” and Spanish KYQQ “Radio Lobo 106.5″ are teaming up with the city’s Davis-Moore Auto Group. Journal Broadcast Group operations manager Justin Case states, “Distracted driving causes many unnecessary injuries and deaths. These accidents are preventable. Our hope is not only to raise awareness but to change behavior with simple and clear messaging: Phones down, thumbs up.” Sending or reading a text while driving takes a person’s eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that becomes the equivalent of driving the length of a football field, blindfolded. The National Safety Council’s annual injury and fatality report found that the use of cell phones causes 26% of the nation’s car accidents. The report also found that more than 245,000 car crashes nationwide this year have involved drivers using cell phones. Wichita-area drivers are being asked to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and join the “Band Together” initiative by visiting the JBG station websites and pledging to not text and drive. Those who do so will be entered to win an iPad Mini, which will be awarded at the end of the campaign.
Westwood One Taps Townsend as Senior Account Manager. Former Clear Channel New York sales manager Steve Townsend joins Westwood One‘s sales division as senior account manager. New York City-based Townsend reports to senior vice president of network sales Darrin Klayman, who states, “Steve has a proven track record and he comes with an immeasurable wealth of sales expertise. His multimedia experience and passion fit well into our desired DNA as we strive to build a team that will provide integrated multi-platform solutions for our clients.” Townsend meanwhile comments, “Westwood One is at the forefront of delivering solutions and driving revenue for clients. From its customized content, events, talent endorsements, local activations, digital initiatives, and geo-targeted programs, it is clearly the place to be; I am thrilled to be part of the momentum.” Townsend’s Clear Channel New York sales manager responsibilities were for adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” and classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3″, as well as managing sales for the “Automotive” category for the company’s entire New York group. He previously was sales manager in New York City for then-Citadel-owned (now Cumulus) hot AC WPLJ; CBS Radio‘s WXRK (now CHR WBMP); and he was an account executive and national sales manager for classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM.
Wanna Buy a Fantastic Radio Station Mobile Studio? Well. If you do, here is a rare opportunity to pick up a real gem. The legendary WGN, Chicago is letting go of its phenomenal mobile broadcast studio and tow truck. Seems it is too big to be conveniently used in the congested Windy City. But in a market where there’s space to move around, it is a fully-equipped, mind-blower that could put your station in front of everybody, boost sales, and significantly increase the value of your broadcasting asset. To learn more, please click here.
Reach Media SVP/Programming Exits. Senior vice president of programming Gary Bernstein departs Reach Media; he will continue to operate Oceanic Tradewinds. Bernstein joined Reach Media seven years ago as president of programming of the Syndication One Radio Network. Prior to that, he spent 14 years as president of Superadio Networks. The Boston University alum was a Boston radio account executive for more than 10 years.
SBS Reports 12% Q2 Revenue Gain for Radio. Primarily owing to a boost in special events revenue and network sales, revenue for Spanish Broadcasting System‘s radio division increased 12% in the second quarter to $3.8 million. SBS’ consolidated net revenue grew from $36.1 million in 2013 to $40.9 million (+13%). Consolidated OIBDA fell 22% to $9.9 million, compared to $12.7 million; radio OIBDA decreased 10% to $1.5 million. Spanish Broadcasting System reported a net loss of $3.23 million (44 cents per diluted share), versus a loss of $1.23 million (17 cents) in the year-prior period.
Conclave Confirms Smith As Keynoter – Smulyan to Speak as Well. The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference – presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA) – will feature a keynote address by National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith. Conclave chair Mark Bolke comments, “Whether you are in programming, news, sales, or station management, what happens in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission directly impacts our collective future. Gordon Smith’s keynote will instill in all of us the ongoing need to protect our industry’s interests and preserve its status as America’s premier source for music, entertainment, news, and emergency information.” MBA president and chief executive officer Jim du Bois states, “With the broadcasting industry facing unprecedented legal, regulatory, and competitive challenges, Gordon Smith and the NAB are leading the charge in Washington. We are honored that he is taking time from his busy schedule to share his insights on key issues facing radio and television broadcasters. We are also looking forward to hearing his vision for the industry’s future as it adapts to rapidly changing media consumption habits and a shift to mobile distribution platforms.” Smith is scheduled to deliver his keynote on (Saturday) November 15 at 9:00 am onsite at the Conclave, which will be held at Minneapolis’ Crown Plaza Hotel Airport. Smith is a former United States Senator. The Oregon Republican served two terms in the Senate and was appointed NAB president/CEO five years ago (9/2009). The Conclave’s day-and-a-half learning conference begins (Friday) November 14 with a “Radio & TV Career Fair and Air Check Clinic,” followed by a special keynote from Emmis president and chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan on the NextRadio mobile platform.
Kasem to be buried … in Norway? All things considered, “bizarre” is probably a polite way to summarize the final weeks of Casey Kasem‘s life and the ongoing events following his death. It is actually more than two months since the countdown icon passed away in Washington State and his body is still yet to be buried. His daughter, Kerri Kasem, confirms to The Hollywood Reporter though that Casey’s second wife – Jean – intends to bury him in Oslo, Norway. Kerri hired private investigator Logan Clarke to ascertain what is happening with her late father’s body. Clarke reports that a Norwegian government official indicates, “It is arranged – he [Casey] is going to Oslo.” A spokesperson for Kerri – Danny Deraney – is uncertain what Jean has planned, but Deraney comments, “We just know she wants to keep Casey away from [his] family and friends. By the looks of it, [that means] hiding from law enforcement.” Kerri, of course, suspected that her father suffered elder abuse at the hands of Jean. That supposition is strongly supported by Clarke, who does not believe Casey’s body would need to be exhumed. “We have so much evidence – video, photos, witnesses – and the police have collected so much evidence,” he states. “If this is not elder abuse, there is no such thing.” Clarke takes it one step further by declaring, “If the police drop this case, I’ll take it on the 6:00 news.” Last year, Jean Kasem refused to allow 42-year-old Kerri and Casey’s other adult children – Mike (40) and Julie (39) – to see their ailing dad. Finding a positive in this strange incident is challenging but Kerri has been widely applauded for lobbying through the Kasem Cares Foundation for legislation in the California state senate that would give visitation rights to adult children with a parent in declining health. Casey Kasem was 82 years old when he died on June 15; according to several published reports, his preference for a final resting place was Los Angeles.
CBS Radio To Air Coldplay’s LA Performance. The concert takes place next month (9/17) at 8:30 pm (PT) at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The band will perform their well-known titles, as well as cuts from their latest album (“Ghost Stories”); CBS Radio will air a live broadcast of the performance. CBS Radio senior vice president of programming and program director of CBS Radio Los Angeles alternative outlet KROQ Kevin Weatherly states, “Coldplay is one of the biggest bands on the planet and certainly one of the most successful for KROQ. For more than a decade, our stations have proudly presented events with unparalleled access to the band, and we are thrilled to once again create what will be a very special and memorable night for millions of Coldplay fans.” Several CBS Radio outlets will be doing on-air ticket giveaways. In addition, fans wanting to attend the event can enter a national promotion on Radio.com or win “Beats Seats” by downloading Beats Music and visiting the Coldplay artist page.
Defining Music Stations by Specific Years is a Destructive Exercise in Pigeonholing. RadioInfo’s thought-provoking pop media theoretician and fearless music tipster Duane Doobie strikes again. In a new column posted today, the Doob warns against defining a radio station by the specific years or era that marks its music offerings. He states, “It might have worked back in the 80s and 90s, but branding stationality by musical years is a horrible idea in 2014 – almost 15% of the way into the 21st century – that exposes a lazy lack of original thinking when it comes to luring listeners without pigeonholing your station into an inflexible position that is irrelevant – even repellant — to most listeners in this day and age.” To read the entire article and either cheer or jeer, please click here.
Chris Carr & Company to Take Over Mornings at ‘K102’ in Minneapolis. On the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that Chris Carr is leaving Hubbard Radio’s WUBE, Cincinnati comes the news that his new home is Clear Channel’s KEEY, Minneapolis “Today’s Country K102.” The “Chris Carr & Company” show takes over on September 2 for current morning duo Donna & Muss. KEEY reports that Chris Carr and Jeff “Maverick” Bolen won “Personality of the Year” awards for large-market stations in both 2013 and 2011 as well as several awards from the Country Music Association. Carr previously worked in Minneapolis in afternoon drive but left the market in 2008 for WUBE. CC Minneapolis VP of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “I’m so excited that Chris is coming home to K102. I think it’s safe to say he and Maverick are one of a handful of brilliant Country morning shows and we are so fortunate to have them.” Carr comments, “When I told my wife that we had an opportunity to move back home to Minnesota, I witnessed the brightest smile I have seen from her since our second child was born. We’re all excited to reconnect with family, friends, lakes, ice skates and the awesome audience of ‘K102!’ Plus, I get to do it with one of the most talented and genuine people on this planet, Maverick – I’m excited for everyone to meet him!”
Tucson Combo Boosts Mac to OM. Promoted at Arizona Lotus’ KLPX “Tucson’s Real Classic Rock” is program director and midday talent Larry Mac who is upped to operations manager. In addition, he will have the same responsibilities for co-owned KFMA “Rock 102.” Arizona Lotus general manager Ken Kwilosz states that, “Lotus has built successful rock ratings and sales stories in other markets such as Las Vegas and Reno, using a single operations manager to run the rock properties. We felt the time was right to incorporate the same structure in Tucson. With Larry’s successful track record in other markets, and KLPX’s ratings dominance the past few years, we had the perfect candidate for the job in-house.” Before joining KLPX seven years ago, Mac held programming positions at Phoenix outlets KEDJ, KUKQ, KUPD, and KZRX, as well as Las Vegas’ KVGS. Departing Lotus Arizona after 13 years is Chris “The Ego” Firmage.
Faith Daniels Moves to Afternoons at WROU, Dayton. At Alpha Media’s urban AC WROU, Dayton “Dayton’s R&B Leader,” air personality Faith Daniels moves to the afternoon drive show and Skip Porter takes over her 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show. Daniels has served as the station’s PD since 2012. She says of the move, “I love the city of Dayton and being able to be more accessible to my audience is what it’s all about! WROU has done a good job engaging the community, but this move will let us take that interactive element to the next level.” Alpha Media Dayton market manager John King comments, “This move will be an easy transition for Faith—I loved her in middays and can’t wait to see what she does with afternoons.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Music director Robin Roth takes over as interim program director at Local Media San Diego-owned alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X” as Christy Taylor exits the PD and evening jock gig. Taylor has served as PD since March of 2012…..WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102” evening personality Mike Adam exits the Clear Channel CHR outlet after a two-year stint…..Gone from mornings at Kemp Broadcasting’s hip hop KVEG, Las Vegas “Hot 97.5” is morning drive co-host Mia Amor. For now, Miggy Santos will handle wake-up duties solo.
RAB Reports Q2 Sales Down 3%. It’s not surprising that the quarterly report from the Radio Advertising Bureau indicates pretty much what the Q2 data from the industry’s publicly traded companies showed. Again the culprit was spot sales which dipped 5% while network ad sales were flat. The positive was the digital and off-air categories which were up 9% and 15% respectively. (All comparisons are Q2 2014 vs. Q2 2013). Advertiser categories that saw notable increases during the quarter included: home improvement (+ 4%); charitable/religious/non-profit/government agencies (+11%); specialty retail (+14%); auto parts/service (+14%); and amusement/theme parks/museums (+ 9%). RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Based on pacing and industry insights, we anticipated a relatively flat-to-down Q2. While we don’t forecast, a greater percentage of radio’s total annual revenue historically comes through in the second half, and we’re anticipating that we’ll see better results by the end of this year.” See the whole report here.
Brady: Radio’s Precarious Tipping Point. The somber financial state of radio as an advertising medium is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. It’s not unusual to read the opinion that radio has an “image problem,” but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes, “Fifteen years of post-consolidation chickens are finally coming home to roost. Homogenized programming, time-spent listening declines and the decimation of sales departments are now taking their toll.” Brady also argues against the notion that the current state of things is the “new normal.” A lot is written about what’s wrong with radio programming, but in this piece, read what media management pro Brady says is problematic about the business end of the business. Check it out here.
Michael Harrison Comments on Disney Plans to Sell off 23 of its 24 Stations: RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison,when asked his take on the much-discussed Walt Disney Company decision to sell 23 of its 24 Disney Radio outlets, says, “The loss of 200 more industry jobs is, indeed, tragic – an ongoing plague that is nothing short of heart-breaking on the human level of our beloved industry. However, those who are running around like Chicken Little, squawking that this move is indicative of the radio industry’s sky falling, are missing the real implications of this development. Group owners and consolidators such as Disney, who don’t think this medium matches their unbending programming or, worse, believe there is no way to keep old listeners and attract new listeners via creative programing, SHOULD get out and give new, enthusiastic operators the chance to get in at a reasonable investment.” Harrison points out, “That is not to say that all consolidators should exit the business – companies such as Cumulus Media, Emmis, Alpha Media, Saga Communications and others are showing that, although the answers aren’t necessarily coming easily, they intend to find and implement them in the belief that the ‘stick’ still has years of life and the potential for pertinence in it.” Harrison continues, “Disney’s bailing out on the idea that AM radio can no longer attract young listeners indicates it does not have the will nor financial incentive to create programming that will draw listeners of all ages to our medium.” Harrison concludes, “The primary answer to radio’s growing lack of confidence and eroding status is to make massive improvements and reinventions in its on-air attractions.”
‘The Breakfast Club’ Broadcasts from ‘V100’ in Milwaukee. In observance of “The Breakfast Club” – featuring Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy – going into syndication and landing its first affiliate hip hop WKKV, Milwaukee “V100,” the New York-based show is broadcasting from the station today. WKKV program director Bailey Coleman says, “WKKV was the first station in the country to broadcast ‘The Breakfast Club’ as a syndicated morning show, and we’re proud to welcome them on their first visit to Milwaukee. Since their debut on WKKV in August of 2013, the ‘BC’ has changed the landscape of morning radio. With consistent top ratings, they have infused a new excitement into the Milwaukee-Racine market and, of course, with WKKV listeners!”
Hartford Courant Shows Connecticut Radio People Some Love. Although a number of America’s great newspapers/local news bureaus employ media writers who cover the radio business as part of their beats, often, local media give radio stations and talent the cold shoulder due to the competitive nature between the two. For this reason, it’s nice to see the Hartford Courant’s recent pictorial on the radio personalities of Connecticut. Check out the piece here.
CC Stations to Simulcast ‘Taylor Swift’s Worldwide Live Stream on Yahoo. More than 100 of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s CHR and more than 40 of its hot AC stations will simulcast the “Taylor Swift’s Worldwide Live Stream on Yahoo” on Monday at 5:00 pm ET. The event is billed as a live conversation between Swift and her fans.