General Music Radio Industry News
CRN International Study Draws Eye-Opening Conclusions About Radio Ads. The results of CRN International’s research poll of 525 consumers and the resultant white paper shines a spotlight on the traditional methods of advertising on radio, how consumers perceive those efforts and what might be done to make radio a more effective advertising vehicle. When it comes to influencing a purchase decision, the study — conducted and released by the Connecticut-based, national ad agency that specializes in radio — indicates that 41% of survey respondents said that custom content – defined as useful or entertaining information provided by a sponsor – would be the messaging form most likely to increase their purchase decision. Testimonials from everyday consumers like themselves came in second as a purchasing influencer at 20%, with traditional commercials finishing third at 18%. A red flag for radio is that more than 80% of the respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spot commercials. Those ads, they said, have little chance of influencing a buying decision, according to the study. Perhaps more alarming for radio operators is the results seemed to fly in the face of previous studies that most radio listeners stay tuned in through entire lengthy commercial stop sets. In the CRN research, 67% of the consumers said they don’t make it past the second advertisement during a commercial break. However, positive signs from the study include some of the following conclusions: Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28% said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42% said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; 23% of the respondents said meeting radio personalities at a live, local radio station appearance would be of interest to them; 52% said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio; Almost 60% said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor. To see the CRN International white paper, click here.
Fruge Adds VP Stripes. Promoted to VP of programming for CBS Radio’s six-station Las Vegas cluster is hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1″ and alternative KXTE “X-107.5″ program director Charese Fruge. She will continue programming “Mix” and “X-107.5.” Senior vice president and market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Charese is a consummate programming professional. Under her direction, ‘Mix 94.1′ has dominated the market for years while the ratings trajectory for ‘X-107.5′ has seen impressive growth. Moreover, her longstanding relationships in the music business allow our stations to deliver unparalleled music experiences that rival any other music event held in Las Vegas. She is a bright, shining star.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge has worked at CBS Radio Las Vegas for ten years. Her past programming credits include (then-hot AC) KYSR “Star 98.7,” Los Angeles; hot AC KLLC “Alice,” San Francisco; KKBQ “93-Q,” Houston; hot AC KSCF “Sophie@103.7,”San Diego; hot AC KALC “Alice,” Denver; and WEZB “B-97,” New Orleans. Cat Thomas continues to program KLUC, the cluster’s CHR; sports KXST; and news/talk/sports KXNT AM & KXNT-FM.
Collins Joins iHeartMedia’s Programming Platforms Roster. Rhythmic CHRbrand manager Cat Collins assumes additional responsibilities on iHeartMedia‘s national programming platforms and strategic services teams. National programming platforms president Tom Poleman comments, “Cat’s impressive ratings track record makes him the ideal choice for this role. His programming expertise and industry experience have strengthened our rhythmic CHR stations and helped us create winning brands across America. We are thrilled to have him extend his incredibly valuable skill set to our stations throughout the country.” Collins remarks that he is “really” looking forward “to being able to focus all my time and attention on helping all of our existing rhythmic CHR brands grow, and developing exciting new platforms for iHeartMedia.” Collins formerly programmed iHeartMedia San Francisco rhythmic CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9″ and co-owned hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3″; he continues as program director for Premium Choice.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At the Richmond station group, Alpha Media announces the appointment of James Levy as director of sales for the four-station cluster…..Gretchen Helterhoff is the new promotions coordinator at Entercom’s Denver stations hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” and classic hits KQMT “99.5 The Mountain.” She most recently was morning personality at Journal Broadcast Group’s adult hits WLWK, Milwaukee “Lake FM.”…..Stylz exits Powell Broadcasting CHR WPFM, Panama City, Florida “Hot 107.9” where he was morning host and social media director.
Rocker KDKB Transitions to Alternative. Phoenix rocker KDKB flips to alternative as “ALT AZ 93-3.” Hubbard Phoenix vice president and market manager Trip Reeb remarks that he is “excited” to “offer a new, powerful home for alternative music. It is time this music had a strong outlet in Phoenix, and this is the perfect complement for our other rock mainstays, KUPD and KSLX.” Reeb, of course, is known for his nearly 20 years at iconic Los Angeles alternative outlet KROQ. “ALT AZ 93-3″ representative artists will include Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Lorde, and Mumford & Sons. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s August 2014 Phoenix PPM report, KDKB ranks #15 (2.9); KUPD finishes sixth (4.4); and classic rock KSLX is fifth (4.5). KDKB actually has two straight (6+) up trends (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.9, June – July – August); however, the last time the station ranked in the top ten was January 2012 (#10, 3.3).
ABC News Radio and Hearst Strike Deal for News and Info Service for Baltimore Stations. When Hearst Radio’s news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY in Baltimore begin using ABC News Radio products later this year, it’ll mark a return to the outlets for ABC after more than 10 years absence. In addition to the two stations using ABC’s “premium national, international and entertainment news programming,” ABC Radio will provide music news for WIYY’s website and ABC Air Power, the most immediate, most topical and most complete radio show prep service in the industry today. WBAL and WIYY president and GM Cary Pahigian comments, “From reliable top hour newscasts and breaking news for WBAL and prep and digital support for ‘98 Rock,’ we are delighted to welcome the powerful resources of ABC to Hearst Radio Baltimore.”
Bustos Gets Back in the Radio Business. The announced deal for Amador Bustos to buy the stations he previously owned under the Bustos Media banner from current owner Adelante Media in Washington state includes the following signals: Spanish contemporary KMIA-AM, Seattle “Latino 1210,” country KZUS, Ephrata “US 92.3,” news/talk KULE, Ephrata “Hot Talk 730,” Spanish adult hits KDYK, Yakima “Juan AM 1020,” regional Mexican KZTA, Naches “La Gran D,” regional Mexican KDDS, Elma “La Gran D,” regional Mexican KZML, Quincy “La Gran D,” Spanish AC KMMG, Tri-Cities “Latino 96.7” and regional Mexican KZTB, Tri-Cities “La Gran D.” Four years ago, Bustos Media merged with NAP Broadcast Holdings to create Adelante Media. Bustos will begin operating the stations under an LMA.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Celebrity Golf Tournament Raises $250,000. Monday’s 2014 Celebrity Golf Tournament at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, New York helped raise $250,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America. More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, including famed sportscasters, athletes, and actors. Celebrity golfers included: Michael J. Fox; Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV; Craig Carton, WFAN; John Franco, Mets Hall of Famer; Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer; Tina Cervasio, Fox Sports and MSG Network; Howard Cross, New York Giants great; Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV; Rachel Grant, actress and philanthropist; Jay Harris, ESPN; Mary Calvi, WCBS-TV; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, CBS and ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Dana Tyler, WCBS-TV; Chris Wragge, WCBS-TV; and more.
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 (9/17) includes such names as: John Newman, Cobra Starship, Icona Pop, Tove Lo, The Janoskians, U2, Walk The Moon, George Ezra, Bush, Fall Out Boy, Live, Blane Howard, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Chainsmokers, Siren, Brolin, Billion,and Maxine Ashley among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Dreyer Named Director of Integrated Media for NRG. Appointed to the newly created position of director of integrated media for NRG Media is Erica Dreyer. In making the announcement, NRG president and CEO Mary Quass noted that Dreyer recently served in the same post for both Maverick Media of Rockford, Illinois and Mid-West Family Broadcasting of Rockford for the past seven-plus years. Quass states, “Digital media offers the greatest potential revenue growth for radio today. Erica Dreyer has earned seven awards for excellence in the digital arena. Dreyer’s the maverick we need to lead this new department.” In this position, Dreyer will be responsible for infusing new inventory and pricing techniques into NRG’s interactive portfolio. Dreyer will also train and educate sales departments in the station group to produce more sophisticated, high-value integrated solutions for clients and help educate advertisers about integrated solutions for their business needs. Dreyer starts with NRG on September 30.
WNSL, Hattiesburg Adds Johnjay & Rich for Mornings. The Premiere Networks-syndicated morning show Johnjay & Rich is added for morning drive at iHeartMedia’s CHR WNSL, Hattiesburg, Mississippi “SL100.” The program’s Rich Berra comments, “Johnjay and I are so excited for our show to be heard in ‘The Hub City.’ Having grown up in St. Louis and spending time in New Orleans with all my family, this part of the world really echoes what our show is about – real people, letting it all hang out at a breakneck speed. We are ready to show everyone listing to SL100 who we are!”
Brinson to WJFX, Fort Wayne as Midday Host. The new midday personality on Adams Radio’s CHR WJFX, Fort Wayne “Hot 107.9” is Raven Brinson. She comes to the Fort Wayne market from her most recent position at D.A. Peterson-owned WDJQ, Canton, Ohio where she hosted afternoon drive and served as APD. She comments, “I am thrilled to join the team at Adams Radio Fort Wayne, an innovative and opportunity-driven company focused on its stations and the local communities they serve. Likewise, I am eager to further the vision of [PD] Robbie Mack and Adams Radio Group for ‘Hot 107.9.’”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Moving over from Entercom’s rock WBZA to its country sister WBEE is Justine Paige who is the new midday host…..Billy Sexauer is named program director and morning drive host at Coast Radio’s CHR WZNF, Biloxi/Gulfport.
LFM Puts EDM/Dance Show on San Diego HD Channel. At the San Diego operations of Lincoln Financial Media, the company announces a new EDM/dance station dubbed “GLOW” on KBZT-HD3 at 94.9. The station is also available online at GLOWSanDiego.com. LFM San Diego OM Kevin Callahan states, “Through our extensive research to provide quality programming, we have uncovered this specific niche. We are happy and excited to provide ‘GLOW’ to listeners eager to hear their favorite dance/EDM artists in the San Diego market.”
PPM Analysis: Contemporary Christian. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the contemporary Christian format based on the latest August 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio. In today’s piece, Kinosian tracks the performances of contemporary Christian stations over the past six PPM surveys, the piece also takes a look at fluctuations from the July PPM, changes compared to the August 2013 PPM survey, station market rank, plus a multi-format comparison including the performances of mainstream CHR, rhythmic CHR, rhythmic hot AC, and Spanish contemporary stations. See Mike Kinosian’s complete story here.
iHeartRadio Music Festival to Feature Celebrity Presenters and Guests. When the iHeartRadio Music Festival gets underway in Las Vegas this weekend, a number of celebrity presenters and guests will be in attendance, including: Fergie, Hilary Duff, Nick Jonas, actor Jamie Foxx, actor Chris Pratt, actor Craig Robinson, Johnny Galecki of “Big Bang Theory,” actress Sophia Bush, “Orange is the New Black,” stars Taryn Manning, Laverne Cox, Pablo Schreiber and Dascha Polanco, Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live,” actor Adam Devine, actress Janel Parrish, actor Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff and Val Chmerkovskiy of “Dancing with the Stars.” Guest presenters from The CW series include Gina Rodriguez of “Jane The Virgin,” Colton Haynes of “Arrow,” Phoebe Tonkin of “The Originals” and Adelaide Kane of “Reign.” iHeartMedia talent on hand in Vegas include host Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Ellen K, Nikki Sixx, Bobby Bones, Amy Brown, The Breakfast Club, Kane, Romeo, Nessa, Cody Alan, Johnjay and Rich, Mario Lopez, Jenn Marino and more.
Hangin’ with Hunter Hayes. New York country personality Jesse Addy (right) poses for a pic with country star Hunter Hayes (left) during the latter’s visit to the WNSH “NASH 94.7” studios. Hayes appeared at the station’s studios in NYC on Tuesday, September 16 for a private “Up Close & Country” performance and meet & greet with ‘NASH’ listeners.
Clear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia. This is a major name change for a heritage radio company, but, as the press release indicates, it reflects the company’s belief that it’s become a “one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company” that has moved beyond just radio. Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices. We have massive consumer reach and influence across our platforms because we know how to program the live content people want to hear, see and share right now, we are the largest mobile media company in existence — more than 60 percent of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30 percent for other mobile devices — and we deliver more live programming than any other media company today, built on the national and local on-air personalities who are the heart of our powerful broadcast radio franchises. Combined with Clear Channel Outdoor’s reach of over half a billion people worldwide across 30 countries and five continents, it’s clear that no other company can match our reach or broad spectrum of media platforms.” Clear Channel Outdoor will retain its name. Pittman adds, “In a world where 2x ROI is judged as successful, Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI on average. It’s because we combine the power and predictably of mass reach with the immediacy and relevance of live programming and the unique and powerful engagement that consumers have with their favorite radio stations and personalities. The opportunity for the new iHeartMedia is to use all of these industry-leading assets together in new ways — extending our massive reach and cultural influence across radio, outdoor, digital, social and live events to make it easier for advertisers to deliver the most relevant, real-time messages across all our platforms at scale, amplified by social media and mobile, to get a superior ROI to other media.”
Michael Harrison: “The Systematic Abandonment of ‘Radio’ by ‘Radio’ is a Disturbing Trend.” TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison warns of what he terms “a disturbing half-baked trend, that although understandable in the big picture of communications, poses an unnecessarily sped-up threat to the livelihoods of everyone in the radio business – not to mention the fundamental role of audio-media in both the spoken-word and musical arts.” Harrison acknowledges, “The move away from the word ‘radio’ in the lexicon of our industry is certainly understandable from a sales and marketing standpoint and it makes total sense to create unified multi-media platforms for today’s mega-consolidated, corporate behemoths to compete effectively in the ‘noisy’ world of the emerging digital era. However, those who work in the media arts that are fundamentally built upon aural foundations – spoken-word shows and music creation – will face increasingly limited opportunities to present their wares to an interested consumer base as venues and business opportunities evaporate at an exponential rate.” Harrison observes, “As we move more and more into a world of screens and not speakers, the only talent that will have a chance to survive in a bottom-line driven, corporate environment will be those whose assets are visually gifted. That does not bode well for the brilliant wordsmiths and musical geniuses who most likely do not have faces for television. It also does not hold much of a future for the deeper aspect of communication that is aurally based – a means of expression that runs deep within our very humanity, holding a unique and special place within our brains.” Harrison concludes, “Those of us who are still proud of and value the role of ‘radio,’ audio-oriented music, and the theater of the mind, must give considerable consideration as to what the role, if any, audio-only media will have in this new age. It can and must be respected and preserved within this inevitable, emerging grid or we face the likely prospect of devolving overnight from making great radio and music to extremely cheesy television.”
Gosselin Moves to San Antonio to Program iHeartMedia Country Duo. Coming to the San Antonio cluster from iHeartMedia’s New Orleans station group where he was operations manager is Don Gosselin, who will handle the programming duties at country KAJA “KJ 97” and classic country KRPT “92.5 K-BUC.” Gosselin comments, “There are very rare times in our careers when the perfect opportunity becomes available at the perfect time. ‘KJ 97’ is a legendary station, currently nominated for two CMA awards, in one of the strongest country markets in the US. Between that and K-BUC’s legacy, I look forward to leading these two brands to even greater success.” At the same time, Bree Wagner, currently music director, adds APD stripes for the two stations.
‘SupaDave’ to Program Entercom Greenville CHR and AC Outlets. Moving from SummitMedia’s crosstown cluster, Dave Jackson, a.k.a. “SupaDave,” is named program director for Entercom’s CHR WFBC, Greenville, South Carolina “B93.7” and sister AC WSPA-FM “MAGIC 98.9.” Entercom Greenville VP/market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “Dave has years of in-market programming experience that will help make our great stations even better. He knows most of the team at ‘B93.7,’ our market-leading top 40, including the talent on our dominant Hawk & Tom morning show. I am also excited about the energy and ideas he will be bringing to ‘MAGIC 98.9,’ the only true market AC.”
American General Media’s Albuquerque-Santa Fe Operations Management Restructured. In the Albuquerque-Santa Fe markets, American General Media makes some management changes to its operations with Bill Kruger now serving as regional director in charge of the Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Four Corners properties. Kruger will oversee all stations and related business activities for the Albuquerque and Santa Fe groups as well as his continued oversight of the stations in the Four Corners communities. Also, Matt Rader is named director of operations and marketing for the Albuquerque and Santa Fe stations. He’ll oversee all areas of programming, promotions, marketing and event marketing.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At the Erie Radio Company’s CHR WEHP, Erie “Happi 92.7,” Mark Feather resigns as program director and afternoon drive personality for the station…..Jonathan West is the new afternoon personality at Townsquare Media-owned country WWJO, St. Cloud, Minnesota “98 Country.” West comes from Leighton Broadcasting’s crosstown country outlet KZPK “Wild Country 99.”
KLKK, Mason City Adds ‘Notorious 90s’ to Weekend Lineup. At Fife Communnications-owned classic rock KLKK-FM, Mason City, Iowa, the two-hour weekend 90s rock show “Notorious 90s” joins the program schedule. The Envision Networks program, hosted by LA Lloyd and produced by Joe Kelly of AV Deli and Sun City Café, features such artists as Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Godsmack, Pearl Jam, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Green Day and more. Station PD James Sherman says, “I was looking for a show, not just a syndicated version of voice tracking. I wanted a show that was entertaining, fun, and featured the music I grew up with. ‘Notorious 90s’ fit the bill perfectly!”
PPM Analysis: Spanish Contemporary. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the Spanish contemporary format based on the latest August 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio. Spanish contemporary stations are concentrated in roughly one-fourth of the PPM markets and limited to the states of California, New York-New Jersey, Texas, Florida, and Nevada. In this piece, Kinosian tracks the performances of these stations over the past six PPM surveys, the piece also takes a look at fluctuations from the July PPM, changes compared to the August 2013 PPM survey, station market rank, plus a multi-format comparison including the performances of mainstream CHR, rhythmic CHR and rhythmic hot AC stations. See Mike Kinosian’s complete story here.
SCBA and Nielsen Audio Team for Presentation. The presentation for Southern California clients and ad agencies will take place on October 30. The Southern California Broadcasters Association is partnering with Nielsen Audio to “showcase the value of Southern California radio and spotlight new research findings from Nielsen on the link between audio advertising and its impact on ROI as well as its effectiveness.” SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “We wanted to create a compelling event that would significantly enhance broadcast radio’s value to our clients and agencies by showcasing Nielsen’s recent ROI findings. The economic effectiveness of radio can now be fully proven with Nielsen mining its deep arsenal to demonstrate the power of radio and to help our clients understand how audio advertising drives business results.” The SCBA says the event is a “call to action” to the ad industry to change the question from “should we use Radio” to “how we should use Radio.” It will take place at iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio Theater in Burbank.
The Conclave Announces Student Scholarships. Continuing the scholarship program that’s been part of The Conclave’s mission since 1979, the 2014 Conclave Scholarships are announced. The five scholarships available from educational institutions include: The Bill Gavin Memorial Scholarship which includes application fees, books & supplies and tuition valued at $16,200, awarded by the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Media Arts, Southfield, MI. Competition for this scholarship will begin shortly with details forthcoming; The Dennis Becker Memorial scholarship which is a half tuition scholarship valued at $17,000, awarded by the Sanford Brown College, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis; The Conclave Music Industry Scholarship which is a 25-50% tuition discount valued up to $20,000 awarded by the McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul, Minnesota; and details regarding The Marc Birger Memorial Scholarship to Kean University and The Doug Lee Memorial Scholarship will be announced soon. For information about the 39th Conclave visit www.http://theconclave.com.
PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR and Rhythmic Hot AC. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the rhythmic CHR and rhythmic hot AC formats based on the latest August 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio. In addition to tracking the performances of these stations over the past six PPM surveys, the piece also takes a look at fluctuations from the July PPM, changes compared to the August 2013 PPM survey, station market rank, plus a comparative chart tracking the performances of mainstream CHR, rhythmic CHR and rhythmic hot AC. See Mike Kinosian’s complete story here.
Wittmayer Named Cumulus San Francisco Market Manager. The new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group is Justin Wittmayer who joins from Clear Channel’s Miami cluster where he was VP of sales. Wittmayer also worked for Clear Channel in the Bay Area as GSM and market manager for that company’s San Jose stations. Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Our business in San Francisco is very complex. The assortment of formats, which now include Nash FM, coupled with three major sports teams requires a leader who understands how to maximize revenue and cash flow from each. Justin not only understands what it takes to drive revenue, he knows how to run a business. His years of experience in the Bay Area will serve us well with the relationships he’s established in the ad community and with recruiting top talent. We are thrilled to welcome Justin to the Cumulus family – now at the helm of our San Francisco operations.”
BIA/Kelsey Study Indicates Social Media an Important Means of Promotion for Small and Medium Businesses. The study from BIA/Kelsey is called Local Commerce Monitor and the full findings of the study will be presented to clients attending the firm’s LEADING IN LOCAL: SMB Digital Marketing conference taking place September 22-24, in New Orleans. What’s relevant to radio is the growing importance of marketing via social media to small- and medium-size businesses. The study surveyed 546 local businesses and determined that almost 75% report using social media to market their businesses with those businesses using 21.4% of their marketing budgets on social media. As suspected, Facebook is the dominant form of social media, with 55.1% of SMBs reporting they have a Facebook page for their business. LinkedIn came in second at 31%. But other social media that are being used for marketing by SMBs include Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.
Cumulus Begins Rebuilding ‘The Loop’ in Chicago. On Friday, Cumulus Media said goodbye to nine-year afternoon personality Patrick Capone, morning man Maxwell and other staffers and brought in former WLUP-FM, Chicago jock Tim Virgin for the afternoon drive show. Also joining the station for middays is Lyndsey Marie, who comes from her most recent gig at the company’s rock WNNX, Atlanta, and Pyke, who is the new evening personality. The station is beginning the search for a new morning show. EVP, programming and content John Dickey says, “This is a part of the continuing evolution of WLUP. Chicago is a city known for great personalities and this new lineup continues that tradition.” Station PD Wade Linder adds, “Chicago has a high expectation for the personalities on ‘The Loop,’ so we’re thrilled to have Tim, Lyndsey and Pyke join us. Now, we start our search for Loop’s next amazing morning team.”
KLOS, Los Angeles Ups Maxx to Middays. Giving program director Derek Madden more time to focus on PD duties is part of the reason evening personality Melissa Maxx moves up to the midday show at Cumulus Media’s LA rock outlet KLOS. Maxx has been with KLOS since 2010 and was previously executive producer and VJ for the first made-for-mobile music video channel, Altitude. She has also appeared in numerous TV shows and commercials as both a host and an actress. Before moving to Los Angeles in 2005 she was the co-host of the nightly “Deek and Melissa Show” on WBCN in Boston. Madden says of Maxx, “Melissa has done a tremendous job in nights for the past year, doing a heavily interactive show that has garnered a really unique fan base. I’m excited to share this show with an even larger audience during daylight hours.”
Carson Moves to CC’s Pittsburgh Country Station. Filling in the air talent at Clear Channel’s new Pittsburgh country station WPGB-FM “Big 104.7,” the company moves Carson Blackley from its Raleigh CHR outlet WDCG “G105” to become the midday jock. The station, which flipped from talk this summer, will air Premiere’s Bobby Bones in morning drive.
Giessinger Named GSM for CC Minneapolis. Taking the role of GSM for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Minneapolis station group is Grant Giessinger. He joins the company from CBS RADIO’s Minneapolis cluster. He’s worked for Clear Channel in the past, having served as sales manager and VP/GM for the company’s North Dakota stations.
Every 40 Years. That’s the amazingly apt name of the soon-to-be released third album of the legendary band GUNHILL ROAD whose first two LPs (Mercury and Kama Sutra) were “turntable” favorites back on FM rock radio in the early 1970s. Pop music observers will remember the one AM radio hit single these collections yielded titled, “Back When My Hair Was Short,” which still gets airplay on classic hits stations around the country including SiriusXM’s “70s on 7.” After a colorful few years of concerts, airplay and television appearances, the trio faded from the scene in the mid-70s going their separate ways into different fields of endeavor. However, they remained friends and in contact during the decades that followed. To make a long (but fascinating) story short, GUNHILL ROAD recently got back together and went into the studio where the band recorded an album of 19 brand new original songs. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison, who along with then-station mates Richard Neer, Dennis Elsas and the late Pete Fornatale, championed the group back in his days as morning show host on WNEW-FM, New York (1972-73), describes this new music as “a pop cultural archeological treasure yielding 19 category-busting songs that would have been considered major league even back in the day when the music really mattered on so many levels.” Harrison further describes GUNHILL ROAD as “one of the greatest bands from the golden era of album rock that, for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with their talent, didn’t make it to the really, really big time that their art so richly warranted.” Harrison says, “It is a miraculous turn of events that we will all have another chance to experience GUNHILL ROAD when Every 40 Years is released next month – absolutely miraculous!” Meantime, the group played a very special pre-release reunion concert this past Saturday night (9/13) to a packed, wildly enthusiastic house of Boomers and Millennials at New York City’s legendary club The Bitter End where it all began for them more than four decades ago. The show was introduced by Harrison and filmed by movie director Eric Goldrich’s A2A Productions for inclusion in a feature-length retrospective set for release in 2015 chronicling GUNHILL ROAD’s journey from the early days of the Greenwich Village music scene to their unlikely 21st century rebirth. Interesting note: Back in 1972, to show appreciation for playing their album and first single “42nd Street,” GUNHILL ROAD presented then-22 year old DJ Mike Harrison with a homemade gold record with the inscription, “Hearing you play 42nd Street on WNEW-FM is worth a million to us.” According to Harrison, “That was the first ‘award’ I had received in the music business and it absolutely blew me away. Even though I went on to receive dozens and dozens of RIAA certified gold and platinum records in my career that followed, nothing touched my heart as much as that homemade gold paint-sprayed, drugstore-framed plaque – and it hung on my wall for decades and decades to follow right next to Bruce Springsteen, Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac.” Pictured above and left at Saturday’s concert is the band presenting Harrison with a new homemade plaque with a gold paint-sprayed CD of the forthcoming “Every 40 Years” album. Pictured (l-r): GUNHILL ROAD main songwriter/lead singer/lead guitarist Glenn Leopold; keyboardist/singer Steve Goldrich; Harrison; and bass guitarist/singer Paul Reisch. Stay tuned to RadioInfo for a major feature story about the odyssey of GUNHILL ROAD by Mike Kinosian and the release of Every 40 Years coming in October. For more information about this most unusual band, please click here. Pictured at bottom right (from left to right) are Glenn Leopold, Steve Goldrich and Paul Reisch during the first incarnation of GUNHILL ROAD.
WGEE, Green Bay Goes Country with DUKE FM. With the flip of Midwestern Communications WGEE-FM, Green Bay from rock to country, the station is now airing the Envision Networks and Kroeger Media Inc. country format DUKE FM. Midwest Communications VP of programming Jeff McCarthy says, “Country music continues to progress with boundless new artists and songs, but we can’t ignore the amazing artists and songs that have come before. With country leader ‘Y100’ supplying today’s hits, ‘DUKE FM’ generates a home for the legends of country music throughout Northeast Wisconsin. ‘DUKE FM’ and ‘Y100’ are a wonderful complement to each other and we’re honored to have them on the same team.”
Cox Dayton Classic Hits Outlet ’95.3 The Eagle’ Goes Commercial Free on Weekends. Taking a page from CBS RADIO’s “92.3 AMP Radio” in New York which went commercial free on weekends during the summer, Cox Media Group classic hits station WZLR, Dayton “95.3 The Eagle” is clearing its air of commercials on Saturdays and Sundays in hopes people will listen on weekends to the commercial-free station, decide they like the music and listen more during the week. The company’s VP of marketing and branding, Nick Roberts, tells the Dayton Daily News that he doesn’t know of any other station in the country that is currently doing this.
PPM Analysis: Mainstream CHR. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the mainstream CHR format based on the latest August 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio. Read this piece to see how the CHR stations in America’s PPM markets fared in August and over the previous five ratings surveys; how the numbers fluctuated from the July 2014 survey; how they performed compared to August of 2013; how the stations ranked in their respective markets; and more. See the complete analysis here.
2014 Marconi Award Winners Announced. The winners of this year’s Marconi Awards were revealed at the 25th Anniversary NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis last night. This year’s honorees are: Legendary Station — WFAN-FM, New York; Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year — Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Major Market Personality of the Year — Kevin and Bean, KROQ-FM, Los Angeles; Large Market Personality of the Year — Ryan and Shannon, KSTP-FM, St. Paul; Medium Market Personality of the Year — Kevin Miller, KIDO-AM, Boise; Small Market Personality of the Year — Dottie Ray, KXIC-AM, Iowa City; Major Market Station of the Year — KKBQ-FM, Houston; Large Market Station of the Year — WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee; Medium Market Station of the Year — WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne; Small Market Station of the Year — KFGO-AM, Fargo; AC Station of the Year — WBEB-FM, Philadelphia; CHR Station of the Year — KQKS-FM, Denver; Country Station of the Year — KCYY-FM, San Antonio; News/Talk Station of the Year — WLW-AM, Cincinnati; Oldies Station of the Year — WOGL-FM, Philadelphia; Religious Station of the Year — KLTY-FM, Dallas; Rock Station of the Year — KROQ-FM, Los Angeles; Spanish Station of the Year — KLZT-FM, Austin; Sports Station of the Year — WBZ-FM, Boston; Urban Station of the Year — WHQT-FM, Coral Gables, Florida; Non-Commercial Station of the Year — WRHU-FM, Long Island.
Hofstra University’s WRHU Wins Marconi for Best Non-Commercial Station. Celebrating the 2014 Marconi Award for Best Non-Commercial station for Hofstra University’s WRHU, Hempstead, New York are (from left to right): Brianna Borresen, news director WRHU; John Mullen, director of operations WRHU Radio Hofstra University; John Shea, VP and market manager of COX Long Island and member of Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; and Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency and member of the Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication advisory board and president of the Hofstra University Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Alumni Association.
Notes & Quotes from Indy. Reporting from the 2014 Radio Show in Indianapolis for RadioInfo is media consultant Holland Cooke who delivers today’s analysis. He reports on former Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s speech on management tactics; the NAB Leadership Breakfast featuring Cumulus’ Lew Dickey, Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman, and CBS RADIO’s Dan Mason; Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker’s brutally frank assessment of the state of the radio business; and more. Read Holland Cooke’s full report here.
Florida Georgia Line to Host ‘American Country Countdown Awards.’ The new country awards show that’s a cooperative effort of Cumulus Media, dick clark productions and FOX TV is set to air on national television on December 15 and it’s just been announced that Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line will host the telecast. The show, which takes its name from the Westwood One-syndicated “American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks” program, will emanate from Music City Center in Nashville and will feature the first-ever “NASH Icons” award winner. dick clark productions EVP, programing and development Mark Bracco says, “Brian and Tyler are incredible artists and friends with undeniable chemistry that will make them the perfect hosts for the first-ever “American Country Countdown Awards.”
Moonves Has Radio Industry Buzzing Over Possible Sale of Stations – Again. Appearing on CNBC on Wednesday, CBS Corp. president and CEO Les Moonves was asked about the possibility of the company selling some of its radio assets and, as he’s said in the past, he replied that “you might see us try to trim down radio in that some of our radio stations aren’t in major markets.” What most industry watchers remember is that CBS is willing to sell some of the non-major market stations, but his company has a history of wanting top dollar for these outlets and right now it’s a buyer’s market. Where CBS differs from some of its fellow station owners is that the CBS stations are paid for and generating income. As Moonves says, radio is a “slow growth” business, but there is no debt on the radio group so any future sale would not be the result of desperation.
Alpha Adds Signal to Columbia Hip Hop Outlet WHXT. The flip of country WSCZ, Columbia at 93.9 to a simulcast of sister hip hop WHXT “Hot 103.9” is designed to give the station better coverage of the market, according to Alpha Media Columbia VP and market manager Mike Hartel, who says, “I’ve been amazed at what this station has been able to accomplish through the support of a very loyal and very passionate fan base, and I am thrilled to be able to serve the entire market and most of Central South Carolina with Hot 103.9 and 93.9.” WHXT is licensed to Orangeburg, south of Columbia. WSCZ is licensed to Winnsboro, north of Columbia.