General Music Radio Industry News
Alpha Media Louisville Lifts Davis to OM. Mainstream CHR WDJX “Today’s Best Music” program director and morning drive talent Ben Davis is boosted to operations manager for Alpha Media‘s five-station Louisville cluster. Senior vice president and Louisville market manager Dale Schaefer comments, “Ben Davis has been an incredible leader for our cluster for many years. With this promotion, he will be able to expand his leadership role to all five of our stations and help each one reach their full potential. Our entire staff is thrilled about Ben’s promotion and look forward to working with him to make each station a greater success than what it has already achieved.” Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “Ben is one of those rare triple threats: He is great on the air; a fantastic manager; and he is wonderful with clients. Ben is a respected passionate leader who is beyond ready to help guide our Louisville cluster to the very top. It is very rewarding to be able to promote from within Alpha.” Davis – who will continue hosting the “Ben and Kelly Morning Show” – is “excited at the opportunity” Alpha Media has given him “to grow our five amazing and diverse brands in Louisville. I cannot wait to get working with our dynamic team. I look forward to growing our reach in 2015 and beyond.” The company will hire a program director to replace Davis at WDJX. Davis joined WDJX 12 years ago (2003) as the station’s nighttime talent – he became PD/morning host five years later (2008). In addition to WDJX, Alpha Louisville consists of WGHL “Old School 105.1″; urban contemporary WGZB “B-96.5″; urban AC WMJM “Magic 101.3″; and hot AC WXMA “102.3 – The Max.”
Fruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Fruge remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vice president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has successfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5″; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7″; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).
More RadioInfo Career Moves. A changing of the programming guard at Entercom’s alternative KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” as PD Garett Michaels exits the station. While the company seeks his successor, cluster VP of programming Dave Richards will oversee the station’s programming…..At the Alpha Media cluster in Richmond, Tiffany Brown is named promotions director. She comes to the four-station group from a similar position with Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s WWCW-TV, Lynchburg and WFXR-TV, Roanoke…..Sean “Reed” Kozlowski moves from Peoria to Bloomington, Illinois to program Connoisseur Media’s CHR WWHX “HITS 100.7.” In Peoria, he was APD and afternoon personality at Alpha Media’s country WXCL “The Wolf.”
Saga Re-Brands Classic Rock WKLH, Milwaukee. Brand manager Bob Bellini says they’ve tweaked the playlist at the same time as 29-year classic rock outlet WKLH, Milwaukee takes on the brand “Hometown Rock 96-5.” Calling it the “evolution of classic rock,” Saga says the new “Hometown Rock 96-5” is “packed with personality, texture and tempo. The music has an 80s lean, a 70s twist and a sprinkling of the unpredictable. Though it’ll sometimes ride outside the lines, ‘Hometown Rock’ is true to its roots and purely authentic.” Bellini adds, “Our great, vast body of rock music is simply evolving with our listeners’ preferences. The center of gravity of WKLH’s brand of rock has been shifting from the mid to late 70s into the 80s, and this is a continuation of that shift. While ‘Hometown’ does reflect the classic rock especially popular among Milwaukeeans, it’s much more than that. Milwaukee has a gritty, determined personality, home to so many iconic brands, and a lot of pride in that history. ‘Hometown Rock’ simply reflects the enthusiasm for our city that we have experienced with our listeners throughout the years.”
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Concluding his review of the PPM performances of gold-based music formats, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at how the adult hits format fared in Nielsen Audio’s March 2015 PPM survey. Kinosian’s previous two analyses covered classic hits/oldies and classic rock. See how other adult hits stations compare to market share leader WSMW, Greensboro “98.7 Simon” (grabbing a 10.5 share 6+ in March), plus check out ratings fluctuations from February to March, March 2014 to March 2015, market rank and more. Click here.
WKOS Tri Cities, Tennessee Transitions to NASH Icon Format. In the Tri-Cities, Tennessee market, Cumulus Media announces its country WKOS, Kingsport has changed formats from the company’s NASH FM to its NASH Icon format. Program Director J.B. Stone remains in his post. The new on-air lineup is: Kim Stewart, 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am; Marty McFly, 5:00 am to 9:00 am; Lisa Manning, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm; Scott Gains, 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Darlas Rai, 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Cumulus corporate programmer Greg Frey says, “NASH Icon continues to grow as an extension of our NASH country music brand. We’re excited to bring this unique country listening experience to the Tri-Cities on 104.9 NASH Icon.”
Pandora Reports 2015 Q1 Revenue Up 19%. Internet pure-play Pandora is reporting its Q1 2015 financial numbers and, compared to the same period a year ago, total revenue hit $230.8 million – an increase of 19%. Pandora chairman, president and CEO Brian McAndrews states, “We’ve been actively investing in every part of our business – from the music we play, to the ad technology and music maker products we offer. This quarter’s results are a reflection of those investments paying off. In a time when listeners and brand partners have more choices than ever, listener hours grew, local advertisers increased their spending with us and we continued to advance our lead in digital audio by generating more demand and strong sell through.” Other financial figures of note include: Q1 2015 advertising revenue was $178.7 million, growing 27% year-over-year; total mobile revenue was $181.1 million, growing 23% year-over-year; and local advertising revenue was $43.3 million, growing 67% year-over-year.
Kenn Brown Retires from Horizon Broadcasting; Nancy Wirth Named Successor. Radio sales pro Kenn Brown announces his retirement from his GSM position with Bend, Oregon-based Horizon Broadcasting, effective June 30, 2015. Assuming the general sales manager position will be current director of event sponsorships and senior account executive Nancy Wirth. Horizon president and CEO Keith Shipman says, “It’s been a great pleasure to work with an extraordinary leader like Kenn the past three years. Kenn has done a tremendous job building a strong sales organization as our general sales manager and leaves a solid foundation for future success. The radio industry will miss him greatly.” Brown comments, “I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy a wonderful career in radio. But, the time has come for me to relax, spend more time with my family and do some travelling. It’s been a great run and I’m thankful to close out my tenure in this business with Horizon Broadcasting Group and its talented staff.” Nancy Wirth says of her new opportunity, “I am excited for the opportunity to lead an extraordinary sales team and continue to build the success and strength of Horizon Broadcasting Group. Kenn Brown has been a great mentor and leader, and though I can’t say I intend to fill his shoes, I am very proud to utilize my passion and experience to grow the success of not only HBG but the companies we work for.”
Mike Shinoda Sits in for Nikki Sixx This Weekend. On this week’s edition of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated active rock and alternative show “The Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx,” Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda will take over Sixx’s role. Shinoda (left) will guest host alongside co-host Jenn Marino (right) as they play the latest songs on the active rock and alternative charts and showcase new music. Shinoda will also discuss what’s on the horizon for Linkin Park, including the band’s upcoming performance at Rock in Rio in Las Vegas on May 9, and the band’s recent collaboration with Steve Aoki on the song “Darker Than Blood.” He says, “I’m happy to fill in for Nikki, and always look forward to chatting with Jenn and their crew!”
iHeartMedia Previews New Podcast Initiative at First-Ever ‘Soundfront’ in NYC. Yesterday, iHeartMedia presented the “Soundfront” event in New York to preview its new original audio programs. The company says this new content “will allow marketers to collaborate with a host of celebrities and talent through customized and creative storytelling.” Speaking about the company’s need to explore the audio-on-demand marketplace is iHeartMedia CMO/EVP Gayle Troberman, who says, “In the age of visual distraction and shorter attention spans, audio has the ability to break through and get heard better than any other advertising. We are seeing increased engagement in audio programming both on air and via podcast, and original audio forces us to get back to the basics of telling stories simply and honestly, which consumers love. We believe most marketers are massively under-invested in the power of sound and the iHeartMedia Soundfront is our opportunity to challenge the industry to explore the creative potential of sound to tell and sell better.” Saying that it is teaming with “a broad spectrum of A-list producers, musicians, actors, music industry veterans and curators,” the company announces some of the people it is working with, including: “Skybound Rundown” (podcast): From the producers of “The Walking Dead” TV show and gaming franchise focusing on the world of indie gaming; “Heart of the Beat” (podcast): Artist and musician Jared Leto will bring sound and storytelling together in this original audio show that allows artists to reveal the method behind their madness; “Who is Marty Hirsch?” (podcast) is the first-ever audio mockumentary, building off successes like “This Is Spinal Tap” and “Almost Famous” to tell a story of a mythical music icon. iHeartMedia has partnered with Trium Entertainment (the creator and executive producer of “The Biggest Loser”) to produce a number of podcasts including: “The Vent” hosted by Jaime Pressly; “Get Mic’d” – a talent search show for the next great iHeartMedia DJ; and “Science of Success” with Jonah Berger. The iHeartMedia-Trium relationship will also produce videocasts and the hiring away of Big Boy from Emmis in Los Angeles is relevant here as he’ll host “Urban Legends with Big Boy,” a hip hop show. “Z100” New York-based personality Elvis Duran will also host a videocast titled, “The Elvis Sessions” in which he “digs throughout the day-to-day gossip and connects with the true passion that drives artists and celebrities.” Other videocasts will include “On the Fly with Paul Costabile” and “My Journey.” iHeartMedia also used the event to announce an expanded relationship with Snapchat, details of which are expected to come in the future. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was in attendance discussing iHeartMedia’s unique positioning to “use the power of sound to drive social results.” Pictured here are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes, iHeartMedia president and CFO Richard Bressler, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman.
Facing “Weak Markets,” Emmis Seeks Covenant Relief from Lenders. In a filing with the SEC, Emmis Communications presents historical performance data and forward-looking statements as it seeks covenant relief for the quarters ended May 31, 2015 through February 28, 2017. Emmis says it is outperforming its markets but the problem is that the markets are weak – for example, citing New York figures showing Emmis down 6% while the market as a whole was down 7.3% over the nine-month period ended November 30, 2014. It says the battle between its urban KPWR, Los Angeles and iHeartMedia’s new KRRL (which is benefitting from its luring morning talent Big Boy away from KPWR) is causing it to face “new headwinds.” In New York, the company says the market was weak throughout calendar 2014 – down mid- to high-single digits after being up 5% in calendar 2013. It reports national was off by 30% during the 2014 summer months and down 18% for the nine months ended November 30, 2014. Emmis states that it finished fiscal 2015 under its 6.00x covenant at 5.40x but “wants to constructively manage compliance with sufficient cushion.” It goes on to show its efforts to control costs by noting it has “reduced cash operating costs by $7 million as part of its fiscal 2016 budget.” You can see the entire lender presentation here.
PPM Analysis: Classic Rock. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of three analyses of gold-based formats with today’s look into the performances of classic rock-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio data from the March 2015 survey. Compared to stations airing the classic hits/oldies format which rank sixth in their markets on average, Kinosian reports their classic rock counterparts rank eighth (6+) on average. “Moreover, based on our March ratings analysis, classic hits/oldies outlets tend to outpoint classic rockers by one full share point (5.50 – 4.53, 6+).” Read more about how classic rockers compare to their performances in the February 2015 survey, how they compare versus the March 2014 survey, where they rank in their markets, how they stack up behind market share leader KSEG, Sacramento (9.1 share, 6+), plus a look at how classic hits/oldies stations and classic rockers fared against each other. Click here.
RadioInfo Career Moves. Nineteen-year morning host Bruce Kayser retires from Schurz Communications-owned adult contemporary WNSN, South Bend, Indiana “Sunny 101.5 FM.” Kayser hosted the show with Jack Reichert and Abby Weppler…..Northeast Ohio radio pro Chuck Matthews signs on with Cleveland-based online rock stream oWOW Radio as production and imaging director. Matthews was most recently with Rubber City Radio in Akron. He’s also served with iHeartMedia at rock/talk WMMS and classic hits WMJI “Majic 105.7.”
Chris Janson Signs with Warner Bros. After Bobby Bones Push. Singer/songwriter Chris Janson got a nice push a few weeks ago from iHeartMedia’s Bobby Bones when the latter played Janson’s song “Buy Me a Boat” on his nationally syndicated program. After that, the song hit the #1 spot on the iTunes Country Chart. Now, Janson is the newest artist to sign with Warner Bros. Records and he’ll be featured on iHeartMedia’s “On The Verge Artist” program. As the most recent “On The Verge Artist,” Janson’s “Buy Me A Boat” will be heard across 140 country radio stations for six consecutive weeks, beginning May 4, 2015. The program includes on-air exposure as well as significant digital and social support across iHeartMedia’s network to introduce new music to listeners.
New Bill Would Prevent Mandated FM Chips in Smartphones. U.S. Reps Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced a bill called “Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act.” The bill would prevent smartphone manufacturers from having to include and activate an FM chip in smartphones. On board supporting the legislation is the Consumer Electronics Association whose president and CEO Gary Shapiro says, “By prohibiting the Federal Communications Commission from imposing the inclusion of radio tuners in mobile devices, this new bill recognizes that consumers and technology innovators – not the government or analog radio broadcasters – are best positioned to determine the functions and features of cutting-edge mobile devices. Importantly, this bill also starts a worthwhile and much needed conversation about digital age music payment systems. We look forward to working with Representatives Blackburn and Eshoo as this bill moves forward through Congress.”
Duane Doobie Jr.’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: on-air personalities Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Matt James, golden-eared, on air personality at “T-100” WCLT in Newark, OH; and Jered Petrey, GM, and the music committee from the award-winning, student-run high school radio station at Pendleton Heights High School in Pendleton, Indiana; plus internet sensation The Iceman, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (4/22) includes such names as: Kendrick Lamar, Heymous Molly, Pitbull, Omi, Felix Jaehn, The Very Best, Redfoo, Mumford & Sons, Walk Off The Earth, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Michael Des Barres, ACDC, Peter Rivera, The Pocket Gods, Balsam Range, Dwight Yoakam, Leaf Rapids, Dennis Kruissen, Wales, Years & Years, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
PPM Analysis: Classic Hits/Oldies. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the classic hits/oldies format based on data from the recently released March PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian reports that ratings movement from February to March was a mixed bag for the format with about half of the qualifying stations going up in the ratings – led by WWSW, Pittsburgh “3WS” with a 1.2-share jump – and the other half taking a dip. In this report, see how stations fluctuated from February to March, how they moved from March 2014 to March 2015, how they rank in their markets, which stations have the highest market shares, and more. Read the whole story here.
Frank E. Lee Retiring from WXRT, Chicago. As tipped by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, mid-afternoon personality Frank E. Lee is retiring from his position with CBS RADIO triple A WXRT, Chicago as of May 8. Feder says WXRT program director and CBS RADIO VP of adult rock programming Norm Winer made the announcement at a staff meeting on Wednesday (4/22). Chicago native Lee (real name Frank Intrieri) joined WXRT in 1980. Current WXRT air personality Marty Lennertz will assume the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm shift.
Alpha Media to Air ‘MOViN Seattle’ Morning show ‘Brooke and Jubal’ on KBFF, Portland. Beginning Monday, April 27, the Brooke and Jubal morning show based at Hubbard Broadcasting’s CHR KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5” will begin airing in AM drive on Alpha Media’s KBFF, Portland “Live 95.5.” The show his hosted by Jubal Flagg (center), Brooke Fox (left) and Jose Bolanos (right). Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “Brooke and Jubal’s success in Seattle has been something that I have admired for some time. I’m excited to watch the competitive landscape change in our market as Brooke and Jubal join Portland’s fastest-growing radio station.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Music director and midday talent Don “Dj Wrekk-1” Williams, who has been part of the Indianapolis radio scene the past 15 years, exits Radio One-owned rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3.” He previously spent six years in St. Louis at KATZ, KSLZ, KMJM, and WFUN…..At the Impact Radio Group cluster in Boise, KWYD “Wild 101.1” assistant program director and morning show host JD Garfield is promoted to program director of the hip hop station…..Afternoon drive personality Heather Stevens is exiting Cumulus Media’s country WQXK, Youngstown, Ohio “K105” after a 12-year career with the station…..Mike Haze (Miguel DeJesus) joins Binnie Media’s Concord, New Hampshire operations where he’ll serve as production director and air personality on the company’s classic hits simulcast WNNH, Henniker and WFNQ, Nashua “Frank FM.”
NASH Icon Artist Reba McEntire Nabs #1 Country Album Spot. The 27th studio album from country legend Reba McEntire – and her first for the NASH Icon label – is officially the #1 country album. The NASH Icon label is a joint venture between Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus reports that McEntire’s Love Somebody has actual sales of 58,351 and consumption sales of 62,469.
Nielsen Announces Q1 Financials; Revenue Up 4.4%. In announcing the numbers for the first quarter of 2015, Nielsen N.V. reports revenue was down 2.1% due to the impact of foreign exchange, but up 4.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2014. CEO Mitch Barns states, “Nielsen’s first quarter results again illustrate the consistency of our business model and strong execution, with 4.4% total company and 10.0% emerging markets revenue growth on a constant currency basis. These results reflect the 35th consecutive quarter of constant currency revenue growth. In addition, we were pleased to raise our quarterly dividend 12%, as we continue to deliver on our commitment to drive ongoing shareholder value.”
No Performance Bonuses for Cumulus Media Executives This Year. The Compensation Committee of Cumulus Media, Inc. awarded no annual incentive compensation nor long-term incentive awards to Cumulus executives in 2014, according to a Definitive Proxy Statement filed with the SEC. The filing notes that the Compensation Committee would have the discretion to grant the applicable target award if “Cumulus achieved budgeted EBITDA goals, and satisfied other objectives related to managing costs, developing content, achieving gains in market share, as well as successes in strategic planning and implementation and optimizing financial liquidity. In reviewing the performance and compensation levels of the executive officers for 2014 at the completion of that fiscal year, the Compensation Committee determined that the quantitative financial performance objectives were not met at the threshold level. As a result, no annual incentive compensation was paid for 2014.” The filing also reports that no equity incentive awards (stock) were granted either. “In light of the size and timing of equity award grants to the named executive officers in 2013, which awards were made in October of that year, as well as data provided by Meridian Compensation Partners LLC with respect to the compensation of the executive officers, general industry conditions and actual Company performance in 2014, the Compensation Committee did not grant any long-term incentive awards to the executive officers in 2014.” So, what did Cumulus officers make in 2014? Here are a few of the numbers: president and CEO Lew Dickey earned $1,456,000 in total compensation; SVP, treasurer and CFO Joseph Hanna earned $554,125; EVP of content and programming John Dickey earned $881,192; SVP secretary and general counsel Richard Denning earned $509,942; and recently retired EVP and co-COO Jon Pinch earned $757,851.
Cornbread to Exit Country WIL, St. Louis After Friday’s Show. WIL, St. Louis morning drive personality Cornbread announces he’s leaving the Hubbard Broadcasting-owned country outlet after Friday’s show. However, on Friday, he’s throwing “Cornbread’s World’s Largest Farewell Pajama Party” from 6:00 until 10:00 am at Ballpark Village, on the Fox Sports Midwest LIVE Stage, in downtown St. Louis. Included in the festivities will be photos and video memories of Cornbread’s last 11 years in St. Louis radio flashed up on the big screen. Listeners can sign the giant going away card, and a whole host of “surprise” guests will be making an appearance to wish Cornbread well during this goodbye extravaganza. WIL program director Greg Monzingo says, “Cornbread has decided to retire from 92.3 WIL so that he can pursue other interests. This move will also free him up so that he can spend more time with his wife and his family.” During his time with WIL, Cornbread has won “Personality of the Year” awards from the CMA, ACM and the NAB’s Marconi Award. He’s been involved in a lot of charity work over the years as well. Hubbard St. Louis VP/market manager John Kijowski says, “While we respect Cornbread’s decision to put his family first, we really hate to see him go. The entire team at Hubbard Radio St. Louis wishes him well in his future endeavors.”
Little Rises to President of Phoenix Market for iHeartMedia. Assuming the position left briefly vacant by Scott Hopeck after he was promoted to the same post at the New York City cluster is Linda Little. She moves up from her SVP of sales position with the station group. Prior to that, she was GSM for adult contemporary KESZ and country KNIX. She also served as integrated media business development manager. She comments, “I have had the privilege of building my media career in Phoenix and am very fortunate to have worked for a company that has given me many opportunities to grow while constantly evolving with the industry.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At the iHeartMedia cluster in Greensboro, North Carolina, air personality Mimi Wheeler is promoted to music director for country WTQR “Q104.1.” She handles weekend shifts on WTQR and serves as midday talent on sister station WNCB, Raleigh “B93.9” – duties she will continue. At the same time, Andie Cooper is the new midday host on WTQR, replacing David Dean (now at WNOE, New Orleans)…..Letty B. announces via Facebook that she’s leaving her midday gig at CBS RADIO’s KMVQ “99.7 NOW” to re-locate to Los Angeles for a yet-to-be-announced position…..Jackie Brown will exit Morgan Murphy Media-owned hot AC KZZU, Spokane at the end of May to take an on-camera TV post at WEVV, Evansville, Indiana.
Michael Harrison Interviews Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca on Weekly Podcast, ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ In a candid and informative interview on the popular weekly podcast “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca discusses his views on a wide variety of media-related topics that include, among others: the state of the newspaper industry in a changing media landscape; the impact of the digital era on journalism; and his experience in being involved with his newspaper’s pioneering effort in online news/talk/sports radio broadcasting – Boston Herald Radio. During the extensive conversation, Sciacca – a 37-year veteran of the newspaper business as a reporter, columnist and editor — tells RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison that the biggest challenge facing journalists in the newspaper business today is “keeping their print product relevant.” He tells Harrison, “I believe this is the greatest time to be leading a news organization in America even though resources are challenging and newspapers are experiencing difficult times in terms of revenue. There really is a great window of opportunity to be creative – to reinvent our business. So when I became editor five years ago after being at the Herald for 32 years, I embraced the challenge because even though I knew the road was going to be difficult to navigate, we have done some incredible things over the last five years and we’ve really transformed what was purely a print organization into a multimedia news organization.” This transformation, of course, includes the launch of Boston Herald Radio – the newspaper’s online talk station that produces 11 hours of original, live content every weekday from a studio located right next to the newspaper’s newsroom. It has proven to be a major source of breaking stories, not only for Boston-area news consumers, but for the media across the country and around the world. Harrison and Sciacca delve into media theory and discuss differences in the psychology between reading stories online as opposed to the printed page. They also analyze the impact of video cameras inside a radio studio and the differences between what Harrison describes as “great radio or bad television.” Sciacca discusses the Boston Herald’s commitment to getting the stories right, rather than just being first – a pressure amplified by the competition generated by the 24 hour non-stop, digital news cycle and he recalls how coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing was particularly challenging because of all the false information that was out there in the general news media’s frenzy to stay on top of the breaking story during its early hours and days. Harrison describes his theories about the emergence of what he calls “stickless” radio broadcasting (meaning radio without the traditional license, transmitter and tower) and the development of the online “media station” in the 21st century. To hear the entirety of this fascinating conversation between two seasoned, front-line media visionaries, please click here, or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box in the right-hand column on every page of RadioInfo.com.
Four More Smartphone Models Can Have FM Chip Activated Via Clip Interactive. According to Clip Interactive, more consumers can exercise the FM chip listening option as it has expanded the phones that can use its technology to include the HTC One M9, HTC Desire 610, Sharp Aquos Crystal and LG G3. Clip Interactive says its application technology connects to this chip, allowing the listener to tune into local stations without having to stream, which depletes data allowances and consumes more battery life. FM chip activation through Clip Interactive mobile apps allows stations to optimize listening options for users. Clip Interactive chief technology officer Peter Shoebridge says, “Activating the FM chip on more devices benefits the listener as they can reduce data usage and enjoy the real-time broadcast. The industry can expect more announcements about additional devices in the coming weeks as we continue our mission to provide interactive radio to the masses.”
Industry Mourns Don Quayle. The first president of National Public Radio (NPR) has died: Don Quayle was 84 years old. NPR’s Susan Stamberg recalls that Quayle gave her her first radio job. “It was the early-1960s and he was head of the Educational Radio Network – the precursor of NPR – a little network of 12 east coast stations that developed a daily drive-time news show. He hired me to help produce it. When this national network arose, he was an obvious choice to run it. Don was principled, decent, and astute. In the euphoric tumult of our first years, he navigated the choppy seas of building a public radio system. He knew NPR had to serve our listeners, above the competing needs of stations, boards, and funders.” The program to which Stamberg alludes, of course, is “All Things Considered,” which Quayle debuted on NPR in 1971. He headed the network – which now has more than 900 member stations – from 1970 to 1973. Prior to that (1960 – 1962), Quayle managed Boston public outlet WGBH. Five years ago, the Logan, Utah native received an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his “significant contributions” to public broadcasting from his alma mater, Utah State University.
Cool Job Opportunity. Radio Woodstock is looking for an outgoing, aggressive, organized, salesperson with local radio sales or other local media sales experience. Ideal candidates will be able to communicate new ideas in marketing and advertising effectively with local business owners, agencies or their representatives. They will work well with others in a small organization, be detail oriented, computer savvy, able to think outside the box and be creative. They will be selling traditional, digital advertising and event sponsorships. They will be well organized with the ability to work independently as well as with the station’s sales, promotion and programming staff. We are looking for a team player who loves what Radio Woodstock is all about. Radio and event promotional experience a plus. No phone calls please. Mail your resume to: Mr. Richard Fusco, WDST-FM, PO Box 367, Woodstock, New York, 12498, or e-mail to: email@example.com. CHET-5 Broadcasting, L.P, the licensee of WDST-FM, is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage members of minority groups to apply for these positions.
Streamsound Records Hosts ACM Brunch. On the morning before the 50th Academy of Country Music awards at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Streamsound Records hosted a brunch at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The label treated guests to performances from Kristian Bush, Austin Webb and Dakota Bradley. Pictured here are (from l-r): Streamsound CEO/president Steve Richardson; WUBE, Cincinnati morning show cast member Jason “Stattman” Statt; Kaila Statt; Streamsound recording artist Kristian Bush, Streamsound’s Teddi Bonadies, Streamsound recording artist Dakota Bradley, Streamsound recording artist Austin Webb, WUBE’s Charri Chanderl, WUBE morning host Big Dave and WUBE contest winners Chelsie and Brad Shinkle.