General Music Radio Industry News
Saga’s Ed Christian “Hoping for a Little Better” in Q4. The 2013 fourth quarter and full year fiscal reports for Saga Communications saw the company’s net operating revenue dip 5% in Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. But gross revenue increased 3.8% during the quarter excluding political. For the full year, the company’s gross revenue was up 3.3% (ex-political). In a conference call with investment analysts, Saga CEO Ed Christian stated, “I was hoping for a little better in Q4, we can always do a little more, we can always do a little better but I’m not disappointed. We’re just pleased with the results.” Christian said it’s hard not to put some blame on the winter weather for the economic sluggishness. “Saga operates in a lot of mid-America markets and a lot in New England and I really don’t have to tell you what the last four months have been like. In those markets it’s just outright miserable…I was talking with one of our managers the other day and he said people are irritable and it’s gloomy and people are lethargic.”
Journal Communications Shows Off New Brand. The parent company of radio and TV station firm Journal Broadcast Group unveils a new company brand with three cohesive new logos representing Journal Communications and its two major business segments, the Broadcast Group and Journal Publishing. As part of the new brand, the company also launched a fully redesigned corporate website at www.journalcommunications.com. Journal Communications chairman and CEO Steven J. Smith comments, “When we look at our company, we see quality, focus and effective teams in our local markets – all part of a business that is moving forward. However, many people outside of Journal often have no idea that, in addition to their favorite local station or publication, we have a total of 13 television stations, 35 radio stations and a major daily newspaper with a variety of supporting local publications, all with complementary digital products. As such, we believe our new brand better represents our company to investors, employees and the public and positions us as a national media company with diverse brands united under a common identity.” The redesigned company website includes links to all of Journal’s digital products and Journal Broadcast Group live streaming sites, as well as a “What’s Trending Now” feature that highlights Journal’s most recent content across its Broadcast and Publishing websites.
Hot AC PPM Market Comparisons. Over the past several days, RadioInfo has been featuring comparative views of the January PPM data for various formats, and we continue today by adding hot AC to the mix. How you view the shift in programming and the audience response that takes place every December when AC stations go into holiday mode is a matter of philosophy – some consider it a natural part of the format while others view it as a “departure.” To some, the January PPM can feel like a “reset” while to others it’s just another part of the programming “continuum.” Regardless of your perspective, these ratings changes from month to month can be informative. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian compares how hot AC stations fared as some of the audience changed its listening habits in January. Read his analysis here.
Envision Networks’ ‘Chop Shop Classic’ Features AC/DC Special. The 40th anniversary of AC/DC is being observed by Envision Networks‘ “Chop Shop Classic” program with a special show hosted by Steve Black. Envision says “The free two-hour special looks back 40 years to where it all began, revisiting how the band came together, Angus’ stage costumes and antics, the life and death of Bon Scott and replacing Bon the same year he died in 1980, and of course, the music history of AC/DC’s greatest hits.” The show will feature special guest appearances by Kid Rock, Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down, Dave Murray of Iron Maiden, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest and Steve Vai, plus clips from Keith Richards and Angus Young. It’s available for download on March 19.
JVC Media’s ‘102.3 My Country’ in Ocala-Gainesville Welcomes ‘Girls with Guitars.’ Country outlet WTRS, Ocala-Gainesville “102.3 My Country” is bringing a free, acoustic concert to town called “Girls with Guitars” and featuring country artists Jamie Lynn Spears, Katie Armiger and Jordan Anderson. The station says, “This is a rare event, bringing three up and coming stars of this magnitude on stage at the historic Marion Theater in downtown Ocala, to perform solo and together.” Program director Dave Tyler says, “This is only the beginning of our 2014 live country music lineup. More great shows will be announced shortly. ‘102.3 My Country FM’ is committed to bring major national country music talent to North Central Florida because North Central Florida loves its country. Thanks to our partners like Agricon of Ocala and Lecanto, we are continuing the tradition of superstar talent right in our own back yard!”
Nielsen’s March 2014 RADAR Report Says Radio Listening Up. According to the soon-to-be-released March 2014 RADAR 120 National Radio Listening Report from Nielsen, total radio listening has increased in the past 12 months by 1.2 million weekly listeners. Stating that radio now reaches 244.4 million Americans, Nielsen also breaks it down a bit adding that “the national audience aged 18 to 34 grew by more than half a million compared to the previous year, reaching 91.9% of all 18 to 34 year-olds.” As far as time spent listening is concerned, the report indicates the average total time spent listening to AM/FM radio is 2 hours and 41 minutes (persons 12+), a figure that remains steady from the time documented last March.
Vaughn Moves on From Beasley’s WRDW, Philadelphia. There’s no detailed explanation from Beasley Broadcasting’s Philadelphia cluster where programmer Rick Vaughn is exiting his PD post at hip hop WRDW “Wired 96.5” after a month on the job – just that the two sides have mutually agreed to part amicably. Vaughn came to WRDW from his most recent gig at Clear Channel’s Atlanta group where he had programmed CHR WWPW “Power 96.1” and alternative WRDA “Radio 107.5.”
CRB/CRS Mayne Man Earns An Extension. More specifically, that would be five more years for Bill Mayne as executive director of the Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Radio Seminar. CRB/CRS president Charlie Morgan comments that under Mayne’s leadership, “The Country Radio Seminar has experienced a true renaissance, with annual growth in attendance, sponsorship and engagement from all involved. His tireless dedication, boundless energy, and contagious enthusiasm for CRB/CRS have driven the success we are enjoying. We are thrilled to know Bill will continue to be our leader for the next half-decade.” Mayne remarks, “To be able to work with and learn from the most united group of strong and incredibly talented core staff is humbling. Our board’s leadership is extremely focused in vision and benefits for our constituents. These two factors not only support – but empower – all of our efforts to provide the absolute best and affordable experience possible for all who engage at CRS.” Before overseeing the non-profit organization’s operations since 2011, Mayne was on its board of directors.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. There’s a new co-host on the “Bender Nation” morning show at Clear Channel’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM” as former “The Bachelor” cast member Molly Mesnick becomes part of the crew on March 17…..Also in Seattle at Hubbard Radio’s alternative KLCK “Click 98.9,” Jackie Cunningham joins the morning program. Cunningham had worked at crosstown KBKS as Bender’s co-host in morning drive…..Radio One moves Eddie Harrell from his VP/GM role at the Columbus cluster to the same post at its Cleveland operations. He takes over for Jeffrey Wilson who was recently promoted to regional vice president for the company’s Midwest stations…..Jon Daniels is promoted to program director/brand manager at Connoisseur Media’s adult contemporary WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K98.3.” He continues his afternoon drive duties and assumes the PD gig from “K98.3” morning host Steve Harper who continues in that role…..At Main Line Broadcasting’s country WLFV, Richmond “93.1 The Wolf,” Braden Smith is named program director and afternoon personality. Smith most recently was PM drive jock and APD at Telemedia Broadcasting’s country WGRX, Fredericksburg, Virginia “Thunder 104.5.”…..Clear Channel expands the reach of the WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show to its rock WTFX, Louisville “93.1 The Fox.”
Picking Songs in Jacksonville. At the Cox Media Group cluster in Jacksonville, Anthony “Kobe” Fargo (air name “Kane”) works with program director Todd Shannon selecting music that will air on CHR WAPE. He tells RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian that “every station in Cox is handled in a unique and independent situation, although we do share information. Songs that get played in Long Island on CHR WBLI won’t always be the same as those in Tampa on WPOI and the ones in Tampa might be different from those in Jacksonville. Tampa is not like Jacksonville and Long Island is not like Jacksonville.” Fargo says he takes pride in having good ears for picking hits and says he has a pretty good batting average to back it up. This comes in an era when a lot of the industry is programmed from the corporate top down. To read more about Fargo’s take on selecting music, click here.
Sacramento’s “Hot 103.5″ Transitions to Rhythmic CHR. At Entravision’s Sacramento cluster, the company evolved mainstream CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5″ to rhythmic CHR. Representative artists on the station will include Beyonce, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Pharrell, and Pitbull. Senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions Angelica Balderas comments that, “Sacramento is one of the most diverse cities in America. KHHM’s music and on-air personalities reflect the vibrant and diverse community that we serve. KHHM is a beloved radio station in the Sacramento market, and we look forward to building upon our existing success with our new programming and talent line-up.” That roster includes Sugabear, Amanda, and Karli (morning drive); Andrea Gomez (middays); JayMarZZ (afternoon drive); and Soosh*e (nights). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s January 2014 monthly, KHHM registers a 3.0. Its December-”Holiday”-January (6+) trend is a very consistent 3.0 (#14) – 3.1 (#15) – 3.0 (#14). Entercom mainstream CHR KDND “The End” is #1 in January with a 7.8, while CBS Radio rhythmic CHR KSFM “KS-FM” ranks sixth (4.9).
Buckley Sells Lone Fresno FM to Lotus. It is Buckley Broadcasting’s only Fresno signal and president and CEO Joe Bilotta says the pending sale of hip hop KSEQ “Q97” came about after some reflection. “Our ability to compete in the highly consolidated Fresno market with a free-standing FM was a significant reason to entertain and eventually sell KSEQ to Lotus Communications. For over 20 years, we have owned this wonderful facility and want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the many people who have and do contribute to our success.” The terms of the deal have not been announced yet. With this acquisition, Lotus Communications owns five stations in the market including: regional Mexican KLBN-FM, classic rock KKBZ-FM, Spanish KHIT-FM, and Spanish KGST-AM.
Greater Media’s Rock WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey Adds Translator. Jersey Shore rocker WRAT “95.9 The Rat,” licensed to Point Pleasant is now simulcasting its programming on translator W300AO licensed to Manahawkin, New Jersey (about 40 miles south of Point Pleasant). The company is also making WRAT available on the HD2 channel of AC WJRZ in Manahawkin. SVP and regional general manager Dan Finn states, “WRAT already broadcasts from the optimum geographic location near the Monmouth-Ocean border on 95.9 FM. Now, by simulcasting on 107.9 FM in Manahawkin, it allows us to increase The Rat’s footprint on Long Beach Island and the surrounding area. We’re absolutely thrilled and are confident the listeners will be too.”
Classic Rock, Rock and News PPM Market Comparisons. How you view the shift in programming and the audience response that takes place every December when AC stations go into holiday mode is a matter of philosophy – some consider it a natural part of the format while others view it as a “departure.” To some, the January PPM can feel like a “reset” while to others it’s just another part of the programming “continuum.” Regardless of your perspective, ratings changes from month to month can be informative so today RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian is comparing how classic rock, rock and news stations fared as some of the audience changed its listening habits in January. Read his analysis here.
John Darin Succumbs to Cancer at 74. Los Angeles radio veteran John Darin died at age 74 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. During his career, Darin had worked at stations including: KRLA, KDAY, KROQ, KNAC, KGOE, KNX, KGIL, KJOI, and KBLA. Darin worked on the air and as a program director before expanding to the television news business and working as an anchor and field reporter.
DOOBIE: Five Music Radio Survival Tips. Followers of Duane Doobie (this publication’s music editor/director and composite voice) know that he unabashedly represents the unified RadioInfo editorial position that music radio of all formats must take drastic measures as quickly as possible to offset the alarming erosion of its influence within contemporary music culture. Without maintaining influence in this arena, terrestrial music radio will not be able to compete effectively against the exotic competition it faces in the early 21st century from digital platforms and will be impotent in satisfying the needs of new generations weaned on the techno-culture of the digital age. Worse, it will lose the support of the older generation that was weaned on music radio and wants to continue using it – if only it still made sense to them. In a new column posted today (3/10) Doobie recommends:
1) Bring back the disc jockey. Without great presenters who give meaning, life, excitement and credibility to radio’s delivery of music, everything else will fall flat. The philosophy of “shut up and play the music” is of another day and age. It is surely death in this new environment. The key is to say the right things about the music and in the right way. But certainly NOT to shut up.
2) Stop worrying about avoiding tune-outs and start thinking about creating tune-ins. Program lots of “specials” and promote and program songs that might only get played a handful of times. Don’t be afraid of cross-overs. They are the catalysts for positive evolution and growth (study music history). Create more situations in which you tell the audience, “Hey – ya gotta hear THIS!”
3) Spread out and create new formats. There are all kinds of possibilities out there for new formats that can appeal to a) smart kids as well as dumb kids; b) boomers (whose money and influence are still worth something in spite of what the ad agencies will tell you); and c) everyday people who do not identify themselves by what music they like – they just like music.
4) Bring back “block programming.” At least for a few hours per week. Break your own musical format in hidden corners of your broadcast week for forms of music that are not getting played on the radio – but can attract a critical mass of listeners at least for a few hours of appointment listening per week. You will be able to sell it to a sponsor, perk up your cume, and perhaps even give birth to a major new format of the future.
5) Be skeptical of charts, research, and promotions that are born and raised in today’s corporate culture. Never forget, one person’s gut is another person’s research. Find the tastemakers – the people in this business with the golden-ears. That’s where ALL research begins. Try championing at least one LOCAL musical act per month – no matter how “hit” oriented you are. The concept of the “hit” is far more subjective than way too many of today’s crop of music radio programmers realize.
Doobie goes on to say the unspeakable! “Be aware and understand that, for the most part, what is being programmed today as standard terrestrial radio fare is NOT GOOD ENOUGH to stand out and make a go of it on the internet. If we do not face that cold, hard fact – all will be lost.” To read the column in its entirety, please click here.
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 (3/10) includes such names as: Nadia Ali, Prince ADM, Jasmine Thompson, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Beth Spangler, Ray LaMontagne, Dan Auerbach, Black Keys, Run River North, Danger Mouse, Phil Ek, Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Sky Daniels, Paul McCartney, Missing Persons, Dale Bozzio, the Mary Onettes, Dog in the Snow, SKATERS, We The Wild, William Bolton, Times New Roman, Rubin Haze, Dirty South, the Gorillaz, Neely, Cowboy Dave, Joshua Scott Jones, Steel Magnolia, Cherlene, Jessy Lynn Martens, Kenny Loggins, and Drivin N Cryin among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Emmis to Reward Employees with Stock. The company states that as part of its 2012 Employee Retention Plan, roughly 75% of its full-time employees are being notified they are eligible to receive what it is saying is “a sizeable stock award.” The company further states, “Emmis prides itself on being a destination employer in the media and digital industries, and as such, places a high value on cultivating a culture that allows us to attract and retain the best talent in our industries. The third of Emmis’ Eleven Commandments states: Be good to your people – get them into the game and give them a piece of the pie.” Eligible employees will receive a pro-rata share of approximately 976,000 shares of Emmis Communications common stock. Using Friday’s closing price, the 976,000 shares in the Retention Plan will deliver $3,240,000 in value to the 598 employees who qualify for the plan. To ensure a broad-based distribution, the Plan excluded executive officers and capped the level of salary credit at $50,000. As an example of the award size, a full-time employee of Emmis who has been with the company since April 2, 2012, with a salary of $40,000 per year will get approximately 1,480 shares. That equates to a market value of $4913.60, using the closing price last Friday, March 7 of $3.32. The awards will vest on April 2, 2014 and will be distributed to employees shortly thereafter. It will be their choice whether to hold or sell the stock.
Johnjay and Rich Show Joins Adult Hits KFMB-FM, San Diego. The syndicated “Johnjay and Rich” show is returning to the San Diego airwaves starting Monday, March 17 as the duo will be heard in afternoon drive on Midwest Television-owned KFMB-FM “100.7 JACK-FM.” The Johnjay and Rich show will be customized daily, tailored for San Diego with fresh content to complement the best of their daily syndicated show. The Phoenix-based program is heard in morning drive on its other affiliates. Johnjay Van Es states, “Rich and I spent so much time in San Diego and we love it. We LOVE ‘JACK-FM’…We are ready to get back on in America’s Finest City doing afternoons.” Program director Mike O’Reilly says, “It’s about making ‘100.7 JACK-FM’ in San Diego a unique, daily addiction multiple times a day.”
Kidd Kraddick Show Names Mike Morse Executive Producer. The YEA Networks-syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” announces the appointing of Mike Morse as executive producer/show director. Morse takes over for Robert Ehrman who left the show in January to take a position with Clear Channel in Los Angeles. Morse will start at the end of March. YEA Networks CEO George Laughlin states, “Mike is a very talented executive producer with a tremendous track record, and we are excited to have him as part of the ‘Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’ team.” Morse adds, “The first time I heard Kidd Kraddick on the air, I had my ‘so THAT’S how radio should be done!’ moment. While most people remember him as a tremendous radio personality and innovator, I think his greatest achievement was choosing the right people for his show and his network. The cast of the ‘Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’ and the staff at YEA Networks are the best in the business, and I’m honored to continue my idol’s legacy as a part of his team.”
Long Island’s “Shark” Secures Don Harrison as PD. Former Maverick Media Santa Rosa (California) operations manager Don Harrison is appointed program director of WWSK “The Shark,” Long Island. He succeeds Lenny Diana, who left the Connoisseur Media rock station for Springfield, Massachusetts where he is brand manager for Saga rock/classic rock combo WLZX “Lazer 99.3″ and WAQY. According to Connoisseur chief executive officer Jeff Warshaw, “‘The Shark’ has given Long Island a radio station that fills a void that was previously unavailable on the radio dial. We are particularly excited to bring Don Harrison into the company so he can build and nurture a quality brand that serves both the listener and the advertiser alike.” Market manager Dave Widmer comments, “Don’s extensive experience in the industry will be an exciting addition to our cluster. He has the skills and the proven track record to lead ‘The Shark’ to even greater success.” Harrison remarks, “‘The Shark’ is a terrific brand with tremendous momentum. I look forward to building on the station’s many strengths and taking it to the next level.” Harrison previously programmed in New Orleans for Entercom-owned WKBU “Bayou 105.3.” In addition, he has worked at WBCN, Boston; WHCN-FM, Hartford; and created rock formats at Slacker.com. Harrison officially joins “The Shark” next Monday (3/17).
Connoisseur and Compass Team for Talky AC Evening Show. The program is called “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” and the two companies — Connoisseur Media and Compass Media Networks – say the “daily, topical, relationship program” is designed for AC and hot AC stations from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. “The program will be advertiser-friendly, caller-driven, and will enable local affiliates to insert music.” Dr. Laura Berman is a relationship expert with “a broad media pedigree.” Connoisseur Media will serve as a content consultant to the program and distribution partner. Compass Media Networks will produce, affiliate, and market the program. Dr. Berman says, “Our vision is to provide listeners a candid, informative, and fun forum to talk about love and relationships and how to maximize their lives.” Connoisseur CEO Jeff Warshaw adds, “Radio needs a fresh voice talking about real life issues that women care about.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Radio personality Ashley Figueroa will exit Cox Media Group’s country WWKA, Orlando “K92” at the end of the month to follow her dream to live in Nashville. She’s part of the “AJ & Ashley” morning show on the station…..W&B Broadcasting-owned country outlet WLVK, Fort Knox, Kentucky “Big Cat 105.5” names Gator Glass APD, music director and afternoon personality as he takes over for Sunny Stevens on March 13.
Clear Channel Re-Brands KWNW, Memphis ‘101.9 Kiss FM.’ In the Memphis market Clear Channel Media + Entertainment re-brands CHR KWNW from 101.9 Radio Now to the familiar “Kiss” brand as “101.9 Kiss FM.”
Shotgun Tom Kelly Undergoes Bypass Surgery. Legendary radio personality Shotgun Tom Kelly underwent quadruple bypass surgery on Saturday morning (3/8) and is recovering. The KRTH, Los Angeles “K-Earth” jock visited his cardiologist last week and x-rays revealed blockage in his arteries. The doctor said he needed triple bypass surgery and scheduled it for the next day. It turns out he needed quadruple bypass but his wife Linda tells LA Radio’s Don Barrett that the surgery was successful and that doctors say his heart is strong. He’ll remain in the hospital for several more days and could be back on the radio in a few weeks.
Twin Cities Star Tom Barnard Talks Podcasting in Profile Piece. Morning radio personality Tom Barnard – a 43-year Minneapolis-St. Paul market icon – is profiled by the Minneapolis Post. The star of Cumulus’ rock KQRS speaks about numerous topics – the death of the voice-over business, his rise to fame, and his decision to get more political after 9/11 – in the story and explains his separate business producing and selling ad time for his daily two-hour podcast. Barnard tells the Post that although he billed roughly $250,000 in 2013, the show is not in the black due to expenses including salaries and the cost of bandwidth. Barnard and partner Don Shelby (former WCCO personality) are not collecting a salary at this point. Barnard’s decision to sell ad time and not charge for subscriptions as well as to go after local ad dollars, flies in the face of the way many of the high-profile podcasters are doing it (think Tom Leykis and Adam Carolla). Read the entire Post story here.
WVBR Returns To Collegetown (Ithaca) in New, High Tech Studio Station to Hold March 15th Dedication Ceremony – Keith Olbermann Makes Major Donation. Proving that grassroots terrestrial radio is alive and well, WVBR-FM is returning home to Collegetown (a proud name sported by downtown Ithaca, New York – home of Cornell University and Ithaca College – per its reputation as being one of the best college towns in America) after a 14-year absence, with a newly-built, state-of-the-art studio. The new studio is located at 604 East Buffalo Street in Ithaca, next to the Carriage House Café and across from The Connection, Loco Cantina, and the Chapter House. WVBR has operated out of 957 Mitchell Street near East Hill Plaza after leaving its longtime home at 227 Linden Avenue in Collegetown in 2000. It will be officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place this coming Saturday (3/15). WVBR-FM is a commercial, non-profit radio station that is owned and fully operated by the Cornell Radio Guild, a group of Cornell University students. Since 1935, this group’s stated mission has been running a radio station with the goal of training students in broadcasting. Since 1968, WVBR has been serving Ithaca and Tompkins Counties playing an eclectic mix of classic and modern rock under the banner, “Real Rock Radio.” WVBR broadcasts over 93.5 FM and 105.5 FM to Tompkins County and the surrounding area. The newly named Olbermann-Corneliess Studios was purchased with donations from station alumni, most notably ESPN host Keith Olbermann. Olbermann gave what has been described by station management as “a generous donation” with a request that WVBR’s new home studio be named in honor of his late father Theodore Olbermann, as well as the late Glenn Corneliess, his colleague during his years at WVBR who passed away in 1996. Olbermann, the Corneliess family, and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will be among those on hand for the dedication, as well as many station alumni, current staff, and management. A brand new set of professional equipment, a large vinyl library, a live performance space, three soundproof production booths, and two advanced on-air studios are some of the many highlights of the new space. “There is no doubt in my mind that 604 East Buffalo Street will feature the best college radio setup in the country,” says Drew Endick, president of the Cornell Radio Guild, Inc. and general manager of WVBR, telling RadioInfo, “We have been trying to expand our content production operations and provide better services for the local community, and we now have the facilities to meet these challenges.” The new studio will be home to two radio stations – WVBR, which broadcasts with a rock format over FM, as well as CornellRadio.com, which is being launched as a more student-centric, freeform online station. CornellRadio.com will feature pop, hip-hop, dance, and alternative music, as well as talk shows, comedy programming, and sports content provided by a partnership with the Big Red Sports Network. Each station will have its own cutting-edge studio within the building. “This move is extremely important to the goals of our station,” says Michael Mallon, senior vice president of communications. “The latest technology will not only allow us to create better content for our listeners, but it will also allow the students of Cornell University to learn and train on the same equipment as is used in the big stations in major cities.” The move is also significant as the station will now be a close walk for most students. “It’s a perfect location for us, both physically and symbolically,” Mallon continues, “The station is right between the students who operate the station, and the Ithacans who make up most of our listenership.” ASI Renovations managed the huge project. The space was already in great condition, but the design presented some big technical challenges. Sherpa Technologies wired the building for radio operations. Students and weekend staff led the move, bringing over the entire vinyl and CD collections, as well as other important articles from the old station.
FCC Will Seek Public Comment on Ownership Rules; Reversal of Cross-Ownership Bans Appear Unlikely. Reports are circulating in the media trades that senior FCC officials say FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will propose relaxing cross-ownership bans, but in a blog post dated March 6, that tone is not expressed. Wheeler writes about the Commission’s duty to undertake and complete the 2014 Quadrennial Review. He discusses some of the proposals regarding maintaining current ownership rules that will be open for public comment but many industry watchers say this should not be cause to think a Wheeler-chaired Commission will ultimately relax current cross-ownership bans. Much of Wheeler’s concern in the blog is with television joint sales agreements and he’s clearly out to change those. You can read Wheeler’s entire post here.
New CC PDs: Fallon to WIOQ, Philly and Deelo to ‘KISS 107’ in Cincy. There are two program director gigs within Clear Channel to announce. At CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102,” Jared Fallon is the new PD. He moves to Philly from the company’s Cincinnati CHR WKFS “KISS 107.” Taking over for him there is Deelo who programmed the company’s “97.3 KISS FM” in Savannah (WAEV). Fallon says, “The extraordinary opportunity to program a legendary station like ‘Q102’ is incredibly exciting. The team at Clear Channel Philadelphia is stacked with experienced, innovative and talented individuals that are absolutely unrivaled in the market. I’m eager to get to Philly and begin this amazing experience.” Deelo says, “I will miss Savannah, but I am excited for the chance to work alongside some of the best and brightest minds in radio.”
Big D & Bubba Show Adds Affiliates. The nationally syndicated “Big D & Bubba” show announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations since taking ownership of their show and partnering with Compass Media Networks in January. The program split from previous syndicator Premiere Networks at the end of 2013. Big D comments, “We are so excited that radio stations believe in what we’re doing and utilizing our ability to send custom audio and video content from our new Nashville studios.” Compass Media VP of affiliate relations Adam Wilbur adds, “We had over 30 stations tour the new studios during the Country Radio Seminar and you could see the lights go on when they see the green screen, video cameras, lights and production studio capabilities.”
Nixon to Program ‘New Country B93.9’ in Raleigh. At Clear Channel’s WKSL, Raleigh “B93.9 Carolina’s New Country,” Todd Nixon is named program director and afternoon drive personality beginning next month. Nixon’s previous experience includes PD and jock at WCKT, Fort Myers “Cat Country” and PD at WCTQ, Sarasota. CC Raleigh VP of programming Chris Edge states, “Todd brings with him a wealth of country music experience and we look forward to having his programming expertise in the building. ‘B93.9’ is a fantastic station primed and ready to do great things. With someone of his caliber at the helm, we’ll be fully equipped to win.”
LaNeve Named to Entercom Board of Directors. From the sales and marketing world comes the newest member of the Entercom board of directors as Mark LaNeve joins immediately. He has served as COO of WPP’s Global Team Ford – an agency that serves as the marketing and advertising partner to Ford and Lincoln businesses globally. During his time as chief marketing officer at Allstate Insurance, he led the marketing for the company and developed the long-running “Mayhem” campaign. Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Mark LaNeve is a tremendous addition to Entercom’s board of directors. He has led some of America’s most iconic brands and ad campaigns. He will bring a new and fresh perspective to the Entercom board.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. There’s change at Clear Channel’s alternative KTBZ, Houston “94.1 The Buzz” as program director and afternoon personality Don Jantzen exits after a decade with the station…..At CBS RADIO’s Orlando operations, Dustin Kross is the new morning show host and APD at rhythmic CHR WJHM “101.9 AMP Radio.” He moves in from his most recent gig at Clear Channel’s CHR WNWW, Jacksonville “RadioNow 97.9.”…..Noreen Ippolito is promoted to vice president of sales at Clear Channel’s San Diego cluster. Ippolito has been with CC for 18 years and most recently was vice president of sales development, local digital sales.
Adult Hits PPM Market Comparison. How you view the shift in programming and the audience response that takes place every December when AC stations go into holiday mode is a matter of philosophy – some consider it a natural part of the format while others view it as a “departure.” To some, the January PPM can feel like a “reset” while to others it’s just another part of the programming “continuum.” Regardless of your perspective, ratings changes from month to month can be informative so today RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian is comparing how adult hits-formatted stations fared as some of the audience changed its listening habits in January. Read his analysis here.
Beasley Fort Myers CHR Brings Bands to Local School. Talk about a cool treat for the kids at Gulf Coast High School! Beasley Fort Myers CHR WXKB “B103.9” morning team “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch” arranged for Emblem3 and MKTO to stop at the school in Naples on their way between shows in Ft. Lauderdale and Clearwater. During lunch period, hundreds of students filled the auditorium to interact with the artists. Drama students set the mics and handled sound, and the drum line and cheerleaders worked the crowd before the young artists walked on stage to a high-pitched roar from the girls. Morning show host Big Mama moved around the audience fielding questions for the bands from the students: When did they know music was their passion? Where do they see themselves in five years? Do they write their own songs? Did they play sports in high school? Do they have girlfriends? Have they ever have a bad break-up? When hearing about this promotion and seeing the photos, RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie exclaimed, “Now THAT’S an example of how radio can retake ‘ownership’ of the music culture! Kudos to B103.9 and Big Mama and the Wild Bunch!” Pictured here is Big Mama (center with mic) in front of the assembly.
‘Saving the 70s’ Celebrates 300th Show This Weekend. For host Mike Walker, this weekend is special as his commercial-free, nationally syndicated show, “Saving the 70s,” airs its 300th edition. Walker tells RadioInfo the show began as “a Saturday night show on WINQ, Winchendon, Massachusetts about a decade ago. I did production and voicework for them, and did ‘Saving the 70s’ for free. But the production gig ended and so did the show until I started it back up in syndication and now I’ve been doing the show continuously since the summer of 2008.” His arrangement with stations is a bit unorthodox. “Many stations carry multiple hours. WTOB in Winston-Salem carries my show from 8:00 to 10:00 weeknights. A small FM in Springfield, Illinois runs it in morning drive every Thursday. As long as stations run my latest hour at least once during the week, I allow them to take the archived shows and use them as they wish.” Affiliates of the program include: the six stations of Big River Public Broadcasting in Alaska (with flagship KIYU, Galena); Internet oldies giant Atlantic Oldies 2NG; WSQL, Brevard, North Carolina; WKDK, Newberry, South Carolina; Wild Horse FM in Yarraman, Queensland, Australia; Radio Bavaria International in Germany; Real Radio International in Spain; Heartbeat FM in the UK; Radio Vera Ireland and more.
‘K102’ Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Personality Big Dan Murphy Dies. Longtime country KICR, Coeur d’Alene personality Big Dan Murphy (a.k.a. Dan McMahon) died suddenly from a heart attack at age 57. Blue Sky Broadcasting says McMahon was “a longtime radio announcer in the Pacific Northwest area, from his early days in Walla Walla where he was known as Wee Willie Winkle and in the Tri-Cities where he was Dancin’ Dan Murphy to his days as Big Dan the Frogman at ‘The Frog,’ which became ‘KIX 96’ in Spokane. His public memorial service will be held Saturday, March 8 at 2:00 pm at the Salvation Army Chapel in Spokane. Donations to his memorial fund can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank location.
Envision Networks to Syndicate Detroit-Based ‘Mojo in the Morning’ Show. The CHR morning show hosted by Mojo, Spike and Shannon on Clear Channel’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955,” is now being distributed nationally by Envision Networks. Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “’Mojo in the Morning’ consists of real people who are really funny. Their compelling life stories every morning keep you coming back for more as Mojo, Spike and Shannon wake you up and make you laugh. Your new morning show starts now!” Envision is handling affiliate relations and ad sales for the program that promises “A-list celebrity interviews with such artists as Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Eminem, George Clooney and President Obama.” Mojo adds, “For years I’ve been told by programmers that our show would sound great in their market. Well, now it can be!”
Radio One Boosts Wilson to Regional VP/Midwest. Four-year Radio One Cleveland general manager Jeffrey Wilson is elevated to regional vice president of its Midwest-based stations. Radio Division president Chris Wegmann comments that, “Jeff is a strong broadcasting professional with a solid track record of performance. He brings a diverse background in sales and operations that will be an asset to our entire radio division.” Wilson opines, “This is perhaps the most exciting time in the history of our industry. I am honored to be partnering with Chris Wegmann to redefine radio, serve our communities, and make history.” The six markets Wilson will oversee include Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Indianapolis. He joined Radio One just over 10 years ago as general manager of the company’s Columbus cluster.
Rosenthal Promoted at Katz Media Group. With this promotion, Mark Rosenthal – currently CEO of Katz Radio Group – adds the title CEO of Katz Media Group in which he will also oversee Katz Television Group, KMG’s television representation company. The company says that as CEO of Katz Radio Group, Rosenthal will remain focused on building the radio sector, working closely with Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray to drive additional media dollars into radio. Effective immediately though, he will now also work closely with KTG presidents Leo MacCourtney and Craig Broitman to grow and further develop KTG’s assets, advocacy and revenue-generating efforts.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. With the move of Greg Gory to Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles as part of “The Woody Show,” Cumulus Media fills the morning drive slot on triple A KFOG, San Francisco with midday host and music director Renee Richardson. That makes way for former KFOG personality Annalisa to return to the station for the midday slot. Annalisa has most recently been on air at Entercom’s classic rock “KFOX” duo…..Radio consulting firm Shane Media brings digital strategist Giovanni Gallucci aboard to pen a weekly social media column for client stations. CEO Ed Shane says, “His weekly updates will cover strategy for social media, brand development, and online public relations for forward-thinking operators.”…..Changes at Clear Channel’s rock KIOZ, San Diego as Missi exits the PM drive show and A.Z. slides up from middays to take her place and serve as music director. DZL moves from evenings to middays and Marty joins the station for evenings. Also, Thor becomes part of “The Show” AM drive program replacing Rob Stevens who left to join Entercom’s WAAF, Boston as producer of the “Hill-Man Morning Show”…..Travis Moon is leaving Clear Channel’s country KAJA, San Antonio “KJ97” and the business to join St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Nashville in the radio development department.
The Infinite Dial 2014. Media consultant and RadioInfo contributor Holland Cooke sat in on yesterday’s annual webinar presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital that detailed the results of the 2014 version of the Infinite Dial study. Many results are not surprising: smartphone use is growing rapidly with 61% of Americans owning cell phones – a 500% increase in five years. Although the “digital dashboard” – newer model cars with in-dash infotainment systems – gets a lot of press coverage as new deals are struck between app-makers, service providers and car manufacturers, as of today the smartphone is more important. The study reports 43% of persons 12-24 listen with a smartphone while in the car and 27% of persons 25-54 do the same. Still, AM/FM owns the auto for now and is still the primary source for discovering new music. Read more results from the study and Holland Cooke’s analysis here.
Formats Start Picking Up the Pieces. In the aftermath of the dramatic changes in programming and listening that take place during the holidays each year, January is a time of re-settling as the adult contemporary stations come down to earth. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian sets about examining which formats benefitted the most when wall-to-wall Christmas music stations reverted to their customary (generally adult contemporary) format. “Leading off the comparison is mainstream contemporary hit radio (CHR). Frankly, several other formats have stronger survey-to-survey percentages, but omnipresent CHR provides maximum head-to-head matchups.” Check out Kinosian’s analysis of CHR performance here.
Cumulus Baton Rouge Urban Stations Present Inaugural ‘Achievement Awards.’ As the culmination of its Black History Salute, Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge urban-targeted stations urban contemporary KQXL “Q106.5,” hip hop WEMX-FM “Max94.1,” and gospel WXOK-AM “Heaven 1460” are presenting the first ever “Urban Achievement Awards” on March 16 at which Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden will be awarded with the most-coveted Trailblazer Award while Joe Delpit will be awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The event will be held at The Belle of Baton Rouge Casino and Hotel Atrium and will honor 15 local individuals who have made significant contributions to the wellbeing and development of the City of Baton Rouge. Cumulus Baton Rouge OM and urban program director J’Michael Francois says, “As a radio company, we are extremely excited to pay homage to individuals who consistently work tirelessly to improve the quality of our city. As we close Black History Month it’s our duty to celebrate the personal and professional accomplishments of those individuals whom we hope will inspire Baton Rouge’s next generation of leaders.”
Geoff Edwards Passes. No sooner had we reflected on the life and career of Los Angeles and Bay Area radio personality/television game show host Jim Lange (who succumbed to a heart attack last week) than we must now sadly note the passing of Geoff Edwards. Much like the 81-year-old Lange, Edwards, 83, amassed considerable fame from his Los Angeles radio days and nationally through several game show-hosting stints. Edwards died yesterday (3/5) of complications of pneumonia at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Wink Martindale, Lange, and Edwards toiled together in Los Angeles at the once iconic KMPC. “Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I have worked with,” Martindale states of Westfield, New Jersey native Edwards, who was heard on KMPC from 1968 – 1979. He was also on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ (1964 -1965) and two go-rounds at KFI (1966 – 1968 and 1987 – 1989). According to Edwards’ agent of many years, Fred Westbrook, Edwards succeeded in television by making several bold fashion statements. He favored jeans over suits and his hair was longer than that of most other talents at the time. ”He was part of the new breed,” Westbrook comments. Tributes on Facebook regarding Edwards’ death included this observation from renowned voiceover talent/studio audience warm-up announcer/”Price is Right” announcer Randy West. ”Geoff was a wonderfully kind and joyous guy, very bright, with a great natural talent for creating joy, both over the air and in person. For me, it was more laughs per hour with Geoff than anyone else since high school. What a pro, what a sweet man, what a character, what a ball. He was loved and respected by everybody. We laughed and giggled every time we were together.” Sonoma Music Group president Michael O’Shea checked in by remarking, “What a shock. Geoff was our 9:00 am – 12:00 noon personality at KMPC. Personable, authentic, real and natural. We played tennis a time or two. This is very sad.” Longtime KOST, Los Angeles on-air personality Ted Ziegenbusch notes that Edwards was, “One of my favorite lunchroom pals. Thanks for the laughter, the stories and the fun. I know you have always enjoyed travel. This journey is the best one ever.” Veteran Los Angeles traffic reporter Mike Nolan comments that he was, “a fan for years, then honored to work with him at KFI, so happy to have called him a friend.” Fellow television game show host Jim MacKrell remarks, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Geoff’s passing. I know of no one in our business with a better reputation and a multitude of friends. I am glad I was one of them.” Edwards’ national television resume includes hosting “Jackpot!”, “Chain Reaction,” “Play the Percentages,” “Treasure Hunt” and “The New Treasure Hunt.” In Los Angeles, he and Meredith MacRae won Emmy Awards for co-hosting the daily “Mid-Morning L.A.” For nine years (1986 – 1995), he co-hosted the California Lottery‘s “Big Spin.” An eyewitness to one of America’s most memorable moments, then-news reporter Edwards was in the basement of the Dallas Police Department on November 24, 1963 when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Funeral plans are pending for Edwards, who is survived by his wife, two stepsons, his ex-wife and their three children, as well as nine grandchildren.