General Music Radio Industry News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

| March 1, 2015

WKIMCumulus Sends The Vibe to Memphis. Score yet another transition to classic hip-hop as Cumulus Media Memphis jettisons talk on WKIM in favor of “98.9 – The Vibe.” Cumulus senior vice president of programming Mike McVay comments “The Vibe” is “designed to capture the spirit and complexity of Memphis. This city has birthed many music types of which this format is one more. ‘The Vibe’ is classic hip hop.” In addition to hosting mid-days on co-owned rocker WXMX “The Max,” Danni Bruns is programming “The Vibe” and she remarks, “Memphis has always been at the forefront of music. Now we have a new ‘Vibe’ – this is our party station.” Late last year, Flinn Broadcasting flipped Memphis alternative outlet WIVG to “throwback hip-hop” as “Bumpin’ 96.” The logo for Memphis’ “Vibe” mirrors that of Indianapolis sibling WRWM, although the latter is using “The Beat” rather than “The Vibe” as its handle. Naughty By Nature‘s “Hip-Hop Hooray” kicked off Friday’s (2/27) noontime launch of Memphis “Vibe.” Among persons 6+ in the latest (January 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report for Memphis, WKIM registers a 1.4, ironically tying it at #19 with WIVG. The 1.4 for WKIM is the station’s best (6+) performance in more than two years – it hit 1.8 in November 2012.

Friday, February 27, 2015

| February 27, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the second of three analyses of station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2015 PPM survey (6+).  After publishing the first report on mainstream CHR (2/26), this piece looks at the rhythmic CHR format.  Kinosian writes, “Those inclined to evaluate a format based on sweep-to-sweep ratings will find rhythmic CHR to be the textbook ‘mixed bag,’ in that, based on our sample, half the stations are down Holiday 2014 – January 2015 and the other half are up or flat.  Conversely, if you put more faith in year-to-year comparisons, the format is in considerably more fragile shape, as 85% of stations declined January 2014 – January 2015.”  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

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weismanstevenWeisman: The Battle Over Net Neutrality.  With yesterday’s passage of the FCC’s proposal to reclassify the Internet as a public utility and regulate it, the battle may have just begun.  RadioInfo legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman, in a timely column examining the matter, writes that this is sure to bring about court challenges by the ISPs. Weisman notes that even though there was support in both the Democrat and Republican parties for preventing ISPs from creating multi-tiered delivery services, there are other issues that Republicans say are problematic.  “Opponents of the FCC’s classifying the Internet as a utility are concerned that, by doing so, the FCC would have increased authority to regulate rates and take other actions that they believe would stifle investment by Internet Service Providers and slow innovation.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said that he is cognizant of the power that classifying the Internet as a utility would provide the FCC, but that he expects to use a ‘light touch’ in regulating the Internet and would ignore powers that the FCC had that did not relate to broadband.  The devil is often in the details and it will be important to see whether a ‘light touch’ is reflected in the specific regulations to implement the vote which will not be published for a few days and will not become effective for a few months.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  In the Twin Cities, Hubbard Radio brings Fish Calloway aboard to join the Ryan & Shannon morning show on KSTP-FM “KS95.”  Calloway most recently was morning host at Mid-West Family-owned hip hop WJQM, Madison “93.1 JAMZ.”…..Radio legend Charlie Tuna will be heard on JVC Media’s classic hits WYGC, Gainesville, Florida “104.9 WOW FM” in middays.  Tuna’s five-hour daily program is heard in syndication from Black Card Radio Syndication based in Las Vegas…..At iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WCOD, Cape Cod, former “The Bachelor” contestant Peyton Lambton becomes part of the morning drive show alongside Dan Mahoney.

harveyNeighborhood15Steve Harvey Begins Ticket Sales for 13th Annual Neighborhood Awards.  This annual mega-event produced by Premiere Networks-syndicated urban star Steve Harvey (pictured here) again takes place in Atlanta where the EMMY-winning talk show host, “Family Feud” host, and star of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show” will present the 13th Annual Neighborhood Awards.  The Neighborhood Awards Weekend is a four-day experience filled with star entertainment, the college expo, film and TV screenings, and more.  It takes place August 6-9 and tickets went on sale today (2/27).  There will also be a radio row featuring 30 radio stations from across the country.

iheartradioFooFightersFoo Fighters to Play at iHeartRadio Theater for Album Release.  The alternative rock band and, its newest release Sonic Highways, will be the subjects of the hour-long special show “Foo Fighters On The Honda Stage at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles,” produced by iHeartMedia.  The program will feature superstar comedian Chelsea Handler interviewing the band.  This intimate theater event will include performances of the singles, “Something For Nothing” and “Congregation.”  The show will broadcast across iHeartMedia alternative, active rock and mainstream rock radio stations nationwide; stream live for fans on iHeartMedia alternative, active rock, mainstream rock, classic rock, CHR, hot AC, sports and new/talk radio station websites as well as iHeartRadio.com/HondaStage.

kryszbrianProgrammer and Consultant Brian Krysz Retires.  In announcing his decision to retire from the radio business, Brian Krysz writes, “When I first started, my goal was not to be a 50-year-old program director.  I have achieved all of my goals from being a program director to VP of programming and station owner.  In my 30-year career, I have programmed, ran and consulted nearly 100 radio stations, including legendary ones like: WSHE, KEGL, WGRQ, WBUZ, KLUV, WHCN, WMRQ, WFYV, WHTQ to name just a few.  I have had nearly 70 assistants and announcers go on to program as well.  I have worked for some of the best and worst owners in the business.  I could not have done it without the fine people I worked for and with — even the unappreciative owners who I’ve made millionaires over the years.  I would like to acknowledge and thank: Dwight Douglas, Bob Reich, Al Vicente, and John Tenaglia as mentors who have helped me achieve the wonderful level of success and happiness that I have had.  Also, thanks to all of the record folks and former employees and friends for everything.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

| February 26, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Mainstream CHR.  RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the first of three analyses of Nielsen Audio PPM data from the January 2015 survey.  The first format up is mainstream CHR.  In this report you’ll find: a market-by-market chart of the performances of CHR-formatted stations; the ratings fluctuations of CHR stations from the holiday 2014 survey to the January 2015 survey as well as a look at fluctuations from January 2014 to January 2015; plus an easy-to-read chart of the market shares of CHR outlets in PPM markets.  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

williamsonrachelWilliamson to New CMG Digital Post.  Sales and management pro Rachel Williamson is the new director of digital revenue development for Cox Media Group.  The company says that in this role, she’ll focus on working with the company’s 59 radio brands “to drive our digital revenue growth and integrated sales.”  She joins CMG from her most recent post with Cumulus Media as director of national sales.  Cox senior director of digital solutions Jesse McCambridge says, “We are very excited to have Rachel join our team.  We have experienced tremendous growth in digital across the company and Rachel’s experience brings industry expertise and focus on integrated marketing solutions.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Sliding down from the evening show into middays at Hubbard Radio’s CHR KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5” is Justin Barnes.  He also adds social media director to his duties.  Taking over the eveningbarnesjustin slot at the station is overnight personality Kel Walker…..iHeartMedia promotes Michael Bryan to SVP of programming for the Nashville cluster.  Bryan has been serving as OM and program director for country WSIX-FM.  In addition to the SVP stripes, Bryan is rising to executive program director for the syndicated Bobby Bones and Tige & Daniels shows, both distributed by the company’s Premiere Networks…..Former “The Voice” contestant Clarissa Serna joins the KAJE, Corpus Christi morning show alongside current morning host Bart Allison.  The Convergent Media classic hits station says Serna will begin on the station on March 2…..At Entercom’s New Orleans operations, Mark Boudreaux is named director of sales for adult contemporary WLMG, “Magic 101.9,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” and CHR WEZB “B97.”  Boudreaux comes to Entercom from his most recent gig at Midwest Communications’ Knoxville cluster…..Hubbard Radio’s Washington all-news WTOP and sister WFED “Federal News Radio,” as part of a restructuring of their sales department, promote longtime national sales manager Jeffrey Wolinsky to director of federal and national sales.

New Generation Radio Debuts ‘Virtual Jock.’  From New Generation Radio, the company that debuted the “Smash Hits” format in 2014, comes a voice-tracking service division called Virtual Jock.  The company says it “offers a five-star roster of major market talent available for voice tracking, covering all formats.   Company president Jason Kidd says, “I am excited to announce the signing of some of the best major market talents in the world with a roster that is still growing by the day.  Radio stations everywhere will now have the opportunity to bring in major market talent via voice tracking, while trimming expenses and upgrading the sound of their station- at the same time sounding live and local!”

rabRAB Cites Borrell’s Positive Forecast for Radio’s Digital Sales Growth.  According to research from Borrell Associates, the radio industry will rise above the half-billion-dollar mark in digital advertising this year based upon revenue that is projected to grow by 18%.  The study, titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” was done on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau.  It indicates that radio stations added or reassigned as many as 750 new employees to focus on digital ventures last year, causing revenue to grow 16% in 2014.  More than one-third of the radio managers surveyed indicated that they had at least one employee exclusively assigned to digital operations, up from 11% last year.  Also, more than 33% of those surveyed said their stations were either setting up a “digital agency,” were planning to set one up soon, or already had one.  Some other findings from the report include: Nearly two-thirds believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital; and 77% gave sales training a number 1 or number 2 priority in terms of what would boost their station digital sales the most.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments on the study, “It’s important to look at all available revenue data in order to provide our industry members with additional market barometers.  We’re making tremendous strides in radio’s digital growth, and this survey continues to provide us with areas to focus on and invest in to truly maximize this revenue stream.”

bfoa logoBFoA to Honor Mel Karmazin.  Legendary broadcasting executive Mel Karmazin will be honored with the 2015 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at its annual breakfast Wednesday, April 15 during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  Karmazin retired from his CEO post at SiriusXM in 2013.  Prior to that, he was president and COO of Viacom.  He served as CEO of CBS Corp following his work as chairman and CEO of CBS Radio, which followed the merger of Westinghouse/CBS and Infinity Broadcasting.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.

nashnightsCamCam Visits Sam.  Country singer/songwriter and Arista Nashville recording artist Cam (left) stopped by the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Taste of Country Nights” studios to visit with host Sam Alex (right) as part of the kickoff of this week’s Country Radio Seminar.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

| February 25, 2015

sunnysweeneyDuane 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 and Matt James from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; 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, 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 (2/25) includes such names as: Tori Kelly, George Ezra, Rick Astley, R5, Ingrid Michaelson, Phoebe Ryan, Katy Tiz, Halestorm, Colin Hay, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Mini Mansions, The Cribs, JD McPherson, Alabama Shakes, Florence + The Machine, Sunny Sweeney, Will Hoge, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Cam, Waterloo Revival, Trisha Yearwood, Austin Webb, MNEK, Breakfast, Streakers, among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

cbsradio logoReport: CBS Under Pressure to Sell Radio Assets to Cumulus.  In a story in The Deal by Chris Nolter, hedge fund Sandell Asset Management Corp is lobbying CBS Corp to divest of its radio station group and merge it with Cumulus Media.  Nolter reportscumulus logo that the two companies have been advised to “pursue a reverse Morris Trust merger of their radio businesses.  By spinning off the radio stations to shareholders, CBS would divest an asset with a low tax basis without incurring a large bill from the IRS.  It could also collect a nearly $900 million dividend.”  The story suggests that if CBS’ radio stations merged with Cumulus, they would pull in about $2.4 billion in sales.  Nolter writes that executive chairman Sumner Redstone controls 79.6% of CBS Corp’s shareholder vote so any move would require him being on board.  Read Nolter’s piece here.  CBS has said repeatedly that it likes radio as a cash flow business.

iheartmedia logo smallExecutive Changes at iHeartMedia as Lakamp to Exit Digital Division; Kaminsky Moves Up and Market Managers Become Presidents.  In a company-wide memo, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman announces president of technology and digital ventures Brian Lakamp has left the company in order to pursue “entrepreneurial endeavors.”  Pittman thankskaminskybrian Lakamp for his time with the company and credits him for iHeartRadio’s registered user growth as well for some of the sales-related technologies and partnerships Pittman says will “increase the importance of our platforms for our advertising partners and make our sales process more lavenmicheleefficient.”  Pittman is reconfiguring the technology and digital ventures team with iHeartRadio COO Brian Kaminsky rising to president of programmatic and data operations.  Simultaneously, Michele Laven – currently iHeartMedia president of partnerships and local activation – is now the president of business development and partnerships.  Finally, the company announces that all market managers are now market presidents.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Moving from iHeartMedia’s Charlotte cluster where she is director of promotions to join CBS RADIO’s Houston operations as integrated brand manager is Tracy Wilkinson.  Inwilkinsontracy addition to the integrated brand manager duties, Wilkinson will also serve as promotion director for country KILT-FM “The Bull @ 100.3.”…..Longtime classic hits KTHI, Boise “K-Hits 107.1” morning team of Tracy Mitchell and Margo Vaughn are retiring from the Journal Broadcast Group station, effective March 13…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Radio One has hired local personality DJ Nabs to host the afternoon drive show on its classic hip hop and R&B station “Boom 102.9” (heard on translator W275BK)…..The Long Island market manager for Connoisseur MediaDave Widmer – exits the company.  Taking over is current SVP/regional strategy Jim Condron…..Dan Watson resigns from his corporate PD gig at Tejas Broadcasting where he was in charge of the programming at outlets including classic rocker KXOR, Thibodaux, Louisiana and KKYC, Clovis, New Mexico, among others.

miw logoMIW Radio Group Announces 2015 Mentees. The four radio professionals selected to participate on the 2015 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group are: Andrea Bogdonas, on air personality and promotions director, Neuhoff Media (Springfield and Decatur, IL); Stephanie Theisen, general sales manager, Leighton Broadcasting (St. Cloud, MN); Michelle Maro, sports sales manager, CBS RADIO (Chicago); and Crystalyn Portwood, local sales manager, CBS RADIO (St. Louis).  The organization says that this 13-year-old program “matches women in the radio industry with female professionals who are leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting.  To date, the Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program has successfully worked with a total of 31 mentees.  Lindsay Cerajewski, spokesperson for the program and GSM at CBS RADIO’s WUSN-FM, Chicago, says, “We had an outstanding and enormous variety of women apply this year, which made the decision to narrow to only four very difficult.  This program would not be possible without the MIWs’ commitment and dedication and should serve as an inspiration to everyone in the radio industry.”

hopeline‘The HopeLine’ with Dawson McAllister Goes into Syndication.  Radio pro Dawson McAllister recently returned to Christian on WAY-FM with “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister,” and is now offering clearance of his new show to the general Christian market, focusing on contemporary Christian radio stations.  For 17 years Dawson McAllister was heard Sunday nights on more than 300 Christian radio stations with “Dawson McAllister Live,” before transitioning exclusively to top 40/mainstream stations in 2007 in a syndication agreement with Premiere Networks.  After years of requests from Christian stations and former listeners for Dawson to return, along with the recent opportunity presented by WAY-FM, he made the decision to launch this new Saturday night show.  He comments, “The unique thing about this show is that I have the opportunity to challenge my audience to make a difference in their world by having an impact on the lives of their friends – I love the idea of partnering with teenagers and young adults to change the world one life at a time.”  The show is described as “a three-hour, interactive call-in show where 13-29 year olds can call and talk to Dawson about all the issues in their lives.  In return, Dawson and his co-host Sarah Lee offer trustworthy Biblically based common-sense advice and encouragement that is truly life-changing.   Christian stations wishing to air “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” or CHR stations wishing to air “Dawson McAllister Live” can contact Ike Wingate at Wingate Media at ike@wingatemediagroup.com.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

| February 24, 2015

Annual TALKERS Conference to Include Speakers and Topics of Interest to Music Radio, Including “Fireside Chat” Between John Dickey and Michael Harrison.  The agenda for the dickeyjohnforthcoming 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important annual convention, Talkers New York 2015, will include takeaways of relevance to music radio broadcasters as well as practitioners of spoken word radio.  One of the highlights of what promises to be a power-packed day of relevant discussions, presentations, and addresses will be a conversation betweenharrisonmichael2015 Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey and TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison.  The presentation will be conducted in the informal, one-on-one “fireside chat” format.  John Dickey is responsible for Cumulus’ sales, programming, marketing, promotion and engineering and will be able to offer comments, opinions and information about a wide variety of issues presently facing not only talk radio but the entire spectrum of radio formats as well.  Conference director Harrison states, “There are few people as ‘plugged into’ both the day-to-day operations as well as the big picture of commercial radio in America today than John Dickey.  He has extensive, first-hand knowledge about what’s happening in the business and plays an enormous role in influencing farberericapolicy – plus he has a true passion for radio and its position in our society.  I look forward to this session with enthusiasm and plan on it providing our attendees with a lot of valuable takeaways.”  Also on thegoldsteinsteve agenda will be a heavyweight panel titled, “The State of Radio Ratings,” including such figures as RAB president/CEO, Erica Farber; Saga Communications EVP, Steve Goldstein; and Journal Broadcast Group VP/GM Milwaukee Radio Operations, Tom Langmyer.  The panel will be moderated by Premiere Radio Networks and Fox News Channel icon Sean langmyertomHannity.  There will be panels and addresses that discuss morning talk (and “talkey”) shows on music stations; the re-emergence of hyper-localism in radio relevant to all formats; the burgeoning growth of podcasting; the nurturing and recruiting of on-air personalities; and the power of community service among other topics.  In addition, Talkers New York 2015 provides attendees from all formats with extraordinary networking opportunities because it draws registrants and speakers from the management ranks of multi-format clusters, groups and networks.  TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “I am happy to see this event capturing the interest of music radio broadcasters as well as those from talk.  So much of what occurs at this well-established event relates to the ‘big picture’ of audio media, its changing technology and traditions – not to mention, economic issues that apply to all formats of radio.”   Save the date and register early.  The event will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015.   It will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.”  The all-day event – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm — is again expected to be a quick sellout.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  Speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

maidakatelyn‘Connected K’ Joins KSCS, Dallas Morning Show.  Beginning March 9, Katelyn Maida – known by her on-air name “Connected K” – joins the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas “New Country 96.3” hosted by Mark “Hawkeye” Louis and “Trapper” John Morris.  Maida comes to the Cumulus station from Cox Media Group’s KKBQ, Houston “93Q” where she serves as a weekend personality.  Cumulus RVP for the Dallas and Houston markets Dan Bennett says, “‘Connected K’ is a great talent that will bring a social media flair, great artist connections, and a terrific personality to our heritage morning show at KSCS.  Dallas-Fort Worth is going to love ‘Connected K!’”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Joining KROQ, Los Angeles’ famous Kevin & Bean morning program is LAmackayallie TV personality Allie Mac Kay.  She’d been serving as a reporter for KTLA-TV until resigning from the station last September.  Mac Kay is well known to KTLA-TV viewers for dressing up in crazy costumes and performing stunts on the local morning news show.  She posts on her Facebook page: “Today was dolewitemy 1st day as part of the dysfunctional family that is ‘The Kevin and Bean Show’ on KROQ.  Growing up here in LA, if you would have told me this was even a possibility, I wouldn’t have believed it.”…..At the Nashville cluster of iHeartMedia, James Raymer – a.k.a. Dolewite – is upped to program director for hip hop WUBT “101.1 The Beat.”  Dolewite has been serving the station as air personality and APD…..Mike Scott exits the Adams Radio Group cluster in Fort Wayne where he was morning host at adult contemporary WWFW and program director for country WBTU.

sangzachIggyAzaelaIggy Azalea Talks Social Media with Zach Sang.  Aussie pop star Iggy Azalea is pictured here (right)  sitting down with Westwood One-syndicated radio personality Zach Sang (left) for an exclusive chat about her recent work and the stir over her much-publicized exit from social media and her take on the “cruel” world of hip hop.  In addition to discussing her new song “Trouble,” featuring Jennifer Hudson, she told Sang and his audience that she will “never return to social media” and that she is done with the hip hop scene, although that doesn’t mean that she is done rapping.  She also says one of the goals for her new album is to create a single that is just her – 100% Iggy with no features.