General Music Radio Industry News
Diamond Departs WLS-FM. After an approximately 10-month run, Jack Diamond exits as WLS-FM, Chicago’s morning talent. Diamond becomes the second major on-air personality in less than one week to cut ties with the Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet: John Records Landecker, who had been working without a contract since he began at the station nearly four years ago, did his final show this past Friday (7/31). On his Facebook page, Diamond acknowledges Cumulus Media executives John Dickey and Mike McVay, “for the opportunity to live/work in Chicago and to host mornings on WLS-FM. I had an absolute blast. What a great city; what an amazing radio station; and an incredible staff. Brian Thomas is a terrific guy and wonderful programmer. I’m only sorry we didn’t have the opportunity to work together;” RadioInfo reported last Tuesday (7/28) that WLS-FM hired Thomas as program director. Diamond is said to be returning to Washington, DC, where he did morning drive for 24 years on hot AC (now CHR) WRQX. Prior to joining WLS-FM, he worked briefly in San Diego at classic hits-oldies XHPRS-FM “Max-FM.”
McCausland, Saunders Named iHM Market Presidents. Effective immediately, Jeff McCausland (left) is named market president of iHeartMedia Wichita, while Matt Saunders (right) is appointed market president of the company’s Springfield, Missouri stations. Regional market president Beth Davis comments, “Jeff McCausland is a well-respected media leader in the Wichita community. His knowledge of the media landscape and relationships with clients and businesses in Wichita will add to the market’s current track record of success. Matt Saunders’ many years of building successful sales teams and client relationships make him the ideal leader for our Springfield cluster.” McCausland most recently was general manager of Wichita television stations KSAS and KMTW. He began his career in 1990 as part of the sales staff at (formerly Clear Channel now) iHeartMedia Wichita’s KRBB, before joining KSAS-TV as local sales manager. He will oversee adult contemporary KRBB “B-98″; KTHR “Wichita’s Alternative”; CHR KZCH “Wichita’s Hit Music Station”; and KZSN “Wichita’s New Country – The Bull.” Meanwhile, Saunders has been with iHeartMedia for more than three years, most recently in St. Louis as vice president of sales. Prior to that, he held management positions at CBS Radio, Emmis, and Sinclair. The iHeartMedia Springfield, Missouri cluster consists of adult contemporary KGBX “Lite Rock Favorites”; KGMY Fox Sports 1400″; country KSWF “The Wolf”; hot AC KTOZ “Alice@95.5″; and classic rock KXUS “US-97.”
Remembering Lynn Anderson. Country singer Lynn Anderson, best known for her 1970 hit “Rose Garden,” passed away at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center; she was 67. Hospitalized for pneumonia after returning from a trip to Italy, Anderson succumbed to a heart attack. Although born in North Dakota, Anderson was raised in California. She released her debut single, “For Better or for Worse,” in 1966. Later that year, “If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away?)” reached the top five. After moving to Nashville, Anderson released Joe South-written megahit “Rose Garden” in 1970. Not only was “Rose Garden” a smash at country radio, it peaked at #3 on the pop chart in February 1971 and the song earned Anderson the “Best Female Country Vocal Performance” Grammy award. Her next top ten success came in 1983 via “You’re Welcome to Tonight” with Gary Morris. Anderson notched another Grammy nomination for her 2004 album “Bluegrass Sessions.” Formerly married to producer/songwriter Glenn Sutton (1968 – 1977), Anderson is survived by her father, three children, four grandchildren and her partner, Mentor Williams.
Cumulus Media’s 2015 Q2 Report: Net Revenue Dips 8.8%. That negative number is not so surprising because Cumulus had issued forward-looking statements that predicted results pretty much in line with what the final numbers turned out to be. Net revenue for the quarter was just shy of $300 million, accounting for the 8.8% decrease compared to the same period a year ago. Broadcast advertising was down 8.4% and the digital advertising category was off 19.5%. Further breaking down the broadcast advertising category, network and national sales took the biggest hits – down 16% and 10.8%, respectively – and local ad sales slipped 3.9%.
Brittain Bids Farewell to WOGL. One cannot help but notice the irony that on the same day WCBS-FM morning driver Scott Shannon signs a contract extension to remain with the CBS Radio New York classic hits-oldies outlet, Ross Brittain announces he is leaving co-owned/similarly-formatted WOGL, Philadelphia, where he has been fronting the 5:30 am – 9:00 am “Breakfast Club” since 2004. Shannon and Brittain, of course, teamed to launch the “Morning Zoo” on legendary New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100″ 32 years ago (August 1983). Brittain’s last day with WOGL “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” is today (Friday, 7/31). Others who have recently left WOGL or will be leaving after today include general manager (and former Shamrock Communications chief operating officer) Jim Loftus and nighttime personality Bob Charger. Similar to Brittain, Loftus joined “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” in 2004. Remaining with the CBS Radio Philadelphia cluster as an anchor/reporter on all-news KYW and talker WPHT is Brittain’s wife, Rasa Kaye. Brittain writes on his Facebook page, “I am retiring from WOGL after our show [Friday] morning. This was a rather sudden thing. I appreciate all the nice comments and wonderful thoughts from everybody. I will miss [‘Breakfast Club’ partners] Bill [Zimpfer], Frank [Lewis], and Val [Knight], but I am sure they will continue to do a wonderful job without me. Hopefully, this will begin a new chapter in my life.” Brittain’s impressive resume includes on-air stints at WABC-AM, New York; WZGC, Atlanta; WKSS, Hartford; and in Philadelphia at WEGX, WTRK, and WZGO – the current frequency of iHeartMedia hot AC WISX. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s May 2015 PPM sweep, WOGL finished first (6.8), beating Jerry Lee Radio-owned adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” (5.8) by one full share. In June though, “More FM” (7.2) returned to its familiar #1 residence, with “Philadelphia’s Greatest Hits” slipping to second (6.9), just three-tenths off the top.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Entercom’s classic rock WKBU, New Orleans “Bayou 95.7,” Jason Ginty returns to the airwaves in the market after an 18-month absence to handle the midday shift…..Amber Stone resurfaces after exiting 6 Johnson Road Licenses-owned CHR WZRT, Rutland, Vermont “Z 97.1” at Adams Radio’s CHR WJFX, Fort Wayne, Indiana “Hot 107.9.”
RadioInfo Tidbits. All this weekend, SiriusXM will broadcast from Lollapalooza in Chicago presenting backstage interviews plus live performances by such acts as: Metallica, Alabama Shakes, Walk the Moon, Cold War Kids, alt-J, Hot Chip, Twenty One Pilots, The Wombats, Glass Animals and more…..KBFF, Portland “Live 95.5” morning personalities Brooke & Jubal (pictured below, left to right, Brooke, Jubal and cast member Jose) provided 500 tickets to last night’s Flo Rida–headlined concert event “The Flo @ The Fair” to the Portland area Boys & Girls Club for the organization to distribute to kids in the community. Program director Phil Becker says, “One of our core values at ‘Live 95.5’ is that there are times where making a difference is more important than making a buck. I’m proud of Brooke & Jubal’s donation to an organization for which our station has a great deal of admiration.”…..Greater Media’s alternative WBOS, Boston “Radio 92.9” is presenting a series of free after work concerts called the Copley Concert Series at Copley Square Park in August. The free shows go from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will feature Brooklyn indie dance duo Matt and Kim on August 6, American indie pop artist Andrew McMahon on August 13 and upstate New York alternative rock band X Ambassadors on August 20. WBOS PD Ken West states, “We are very excited to bring these ‘Radio 92.9’ acts to Boston for free concerts right in the heart of the city. The series has been a great way for our audience to come together and enjoy a summer night.”…..iHeartMedia’s Orlando CHR WXXL “XL 106.7” is staking claim to the first U.S. morning show broadcast from Cuba. The “Johnny’s House” show – with host Johnny Magic (second from right), Laura Diaz (second from left) and Brian Grimes (far right) – traveled to Havana to “explore Cuban culture first-hand” and shared their experiences with listeners this morning (7/31). Johnny Magic says, “Now that the doors to Cuba are opening for the first time in over 50 years, it’s radio’s obligation to be a part of history and the education process. By using all our assets — our broadcast, digital and social platforms — we are able to share our experiences with all our listeners so they can learn as much about Cuban culture as possible.”
KUZZ-AM/FM, Bakersfield News Reporter Arrested on Sex Charge. Longtime country KUZZ-AM/FM, Bakersfield news reporter Scott Thackrey was arrested on 7/29 on charges of attempting to engage in lewd conduct. The Bakersfield police report that Thackrey was arrested after a sting operation in which Thackrey arranged to meet what he thought was a 13-year-old girl. The operation was put into place after authorities were contacted by the parents of a girl whom they suspected of having sexual communications with Thackrey. According to WBAK-TV, Bakersfield, Thackrey appears to be admitting guilt after posting the following message on his Facebook page: “I am deeply sorry for hurting and disappointing my friends. But I am even more sad that I let down my boys. I hope in time they can forgive me. And I hope to show that by not running or hiding, they will know that no matter how bad something is it can always be owned and learned from. I ask that you respect our privacy at this time.” Suzanne Grant, news director at the Buck Owens Production Company-owned stations stated via the station’s Facebook page: “BPD Sgt. Joe Grubbs was unable to share any additional details with me regarding the incident. However, we are shocked and saddened to hear of Scott’s arrest, and find the allegations to be completely out of character for the man we’ve known and worked with for years. At this point we have to allow the case to play out and hope for the best and appropriate resolution for all involved.”
Celebrating the Deal. Executives from CBS RADIO, WCBS-FM, New York and Scott Shannon pose for a picture after the radio icon inked a new deal with the company to continue to serve as host of the morning drive show. Shannon has been with the classic hits station for the past 16 months after exiting crosstown hot AC WPLJ. Pictured from left to right are: CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez, Shannon, CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman, CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, and corporate SVP of programming and WCBS-FM and WWFS program director Jim Ryan.
iHeartMedia Reports Q2 Revenue Up 4%. The privately-owned iHeartMedia announces its Q2 financial numbers and reports revenue was $841 million – up 4% compared to the same quarter in 2014 – and stating that it saw “strength across the business (core local and national broadcast advertising revenue, traffic and weather business, syndication business and events).” The company says its expenses rose 5% year-over-year attributable to “event production costs, timing of barter and trade expenses, sales compensation expense and costs related to music licenses and performance royalties.” Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Rich Bressler says in a press release, “We’re pleased with the revenue and OIBDAN growth we achieved this quarter. We continue to invest in our capabilities across both iHeartMedia and outdoor to realize the full value of our multi-platform assets. With no significant debt maturities until 2018, we can continue focusing on growing the top and bottom lines across our business segments.” Total debt for the media giant is reported as just shy of $20.4 billion.
iHeartRadio Music Festival Lineup Announced. The lineup for this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on September 18 and 19 has been announced. The slate contains numerous current pop and hip hop acts plus classic rock stalwarts The Who and 1980s icons Duran Duran. At the top of the bill are: Kanye West, Sam Smith, Coldplay, Demi Lovato, David Guetta, Kenny Chesney, The Weeknd, Tove Lo, Lil Wayne, Fall Out Boy, Disclosure, Hozier, Jason Derulo, Prince Royce, Diplo, Trey Songz, The Killers, Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, and Janet Jackson. In addition to these acts, the Daytime Village on Saturday will feature the following: Walk The Moon, Big Sean, Lee Brice, George Ezra, Tori Kelly, Echosmith, James Bay, The Struts, Zella Day and Shawn Mendes. The festival will broadcast live on iHeartMedia stations, will live stream on Yahoo Screen, and air on television’s The CW as a two-night special on September 29 and 30.
Scott Shannon and WCBS-FM, New York Agree to Contract Extension. Morning radio icon Scott Shannon joined CBS RADIO and its classic hits WCBS-FM, New York in March of 2014 after exiting Cumulus Media’s crosstown hot AC WPLJ. Now, he and the company have agreed to a new, multi-year contract extension. CBS RADIO says that since Shannon’s arrival there, “The station’s weekly cume has grown nearly 20% to approximately four million listeners.” CBS RADIO SVP of programming and WCBS-FM PD Jim Ryan adds, “Since Scott Shannon joined the station, he has created a new awareness of WCBS-FM in the market, and we couldn’t be more thrilled he will be with us for years to come. There is nothing better than knowing WCBS-FM fans will continue to jump-start their day with the famed Scott Shannon for a long time.” The program also features Patty Steele, traffic reporter Joe Nolan, and weather from CBS 2 New York’s John Elliott.
iHeartMedia Charlotte Hikes Hotchkiss to Market President. Senior vice president of sales Keith Hotchkiss is elevated to market president of iHeartMedia‘s six-station Charlotte operation. Hotchkiss remarks that, “iHeartMedia Charlotte boasts some of the most talented on-air hosts, programmers, and sales professionals in the country. It is my goal to lead and expand, providing innovative solutions for our client partners across all our platforms, while also creating the best radio for our listeners. This is an exciting time to be in the radio industry. I could not be more proud to represent one of the world’s most enterprising media companies in one of the nation’s greatest cities.” Prior to being transferred to Charlotte, Hotchkiss spent more than 15 years at the company’s Cleveland cluster, where he ultimately became general sales manager. With (6+) Nielsen Audio June 2015 PPM market share and market rank in parentheses, iHeartMedia’s Charlotte cluster consists of country WKKT “The Kat” (7.3, #3); classic rock WRFX “The Fox” (6.5, #4); adult hits WLKO “The Lake” (6.3, #5); CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1″ (5.3, #7); and WEND “New Rock 106.5 – The End” (3.1, #12 ). WRFX-HD2 “Fox Sports FM 98.7″ does not appear in Charlotte’s June sweep.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Radio One-owned urban contemporary outlet WAMJ, Atlanta “Majic,” both midday personality Carol Blackmon and night jock Rene Miller have exited, according to Atlanta Journal Constitution media writer Rodney Ho. The company has not stated what its plans are for staffing the dayparts…..The Baltimore Sun reports that Stephen Yasko is out as general manager for Towson University-owned, non-com triple A WTMD, Baltimore. The paper reports that program director Scott Mullins is serving as acting GM…..WXRT, Chicago general sales manager Patty Reilly-Murphy announces she will retire from the CBS RADIO triple A station on August 28 after a 35-year career in radio sales…..Christopher “Jack” Johansing is promoted to marketing director at Benztown. He’s been with the company for the past five years serving as coordinator, web, marketing & affiliate relations.
Remembering Julie Gilbert-Cahill. A memorial service is being held today (Thursday, 7/30) for radio promotion director-turned-music manager Julie Gilbert-Cahill, who passed away a week ago Monday (7/20) in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley (Woodland Hills). Approximately 35 years ago, Detroit native Gilbert-Cahill was the promotion director of Detroit rocker WRIF. Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs was the station’s program director at that time and he comments that Gilbert-Cahill was, “a fearless, energetic, promotion person who played a huge role in our success.” Gilbert-Cahill moved to Los Angeles in 1983 to work for Howard Kaufman’s HK Music Management, where she coordinated tour activities for such artists as Jimmy Buffett, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, Go-Go’s, and Heart. She later joined Peter Asher Management, where she worked with Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Warren Zevon. Gilbert-Cahill retired from the music industry in 1996. Her husband (Jim) and two sons (James and Jake) are among those surviving Gilbert-Cahill, who was 58 years old. The family is asking that donations be made “in memory of Julie Gilbert-Cahill” to the site of today’s memorial service – Tarzana, California’s Temple Judea.