General Music Radio Industry News
WGHL Transitions to Classic Hip-Hop. WGHL, Louisville jettisons classic hits-oldies as the Alpha Media-owned facility adopts the “Old School 105.1 – Throwback Hip-Hop” handle. Senior vice president and market manager Dale Schaefer observes that, “In the past year, classic hip-hop has emerged throughout the country as the hottest new radio format. It targets a well-educated, high-income audience of 25-54-year-olds, who grew up listening to this genre of music. We are thrilled to be able to fill this music void in the Louisville market so that advertisers can effectively reach this desirable group of listeners in our community.” Operations manager George Lindsey comments, “Louisville has a strong hip-hop history and we are honored to develop a station that will be home to nothing but throwback hip-hop.” Director of urban programming Phillip David March remarks, “I am very excited for the opportunity to provide Louisville a music choice that has been missing. An entire generation has grown up with hip-hop and it now has a place on the dial where they can hear their favorites.” Representative “Old School 105.1″ artists include Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Notorious B.I.G., Run DMC, and Tupac. This Louisville frequency has had several format changes in the last few years. Just over two years ago (November 2012), WLRS dropped talk in favor of becoming adult contemporary WESI “Easy Rock 105.1.” A little over three months ago (mid-October 2014), AC WESI evolved to classic hits-oldies as “The New 105.1 GHL-FM, Louisville’s Greatest Hits.” Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s fall 2014 book, WGHL finishes #16 (1.8). Meanwhile, urban contemporary cluster-mate WGZB “B-96.5″ ranks third (6.2); co-owned CHR WDJX “Today’s Hit Music” is fourth (5.0); urban AC sibling WMJM “Magic 101.3″ places seventh (4.6); and hot AC cluster-mate WXMA “The Max” ranks eighth (3.9).
Phillips Promoted to WRAL GM. Six-year WRAL “Mix 101.5,” Raleigh local sales manager Katie Phillips is boosted to general manager of the Capitol Broadcasting Company adult contemporary outlet. She succeeds the retiring Ardie Gregory who comments, “I am happy for Katie and the entire ‘Mix’ staff. She has proven herself to be smart, fair, and dedicated to the success of the radio station and all of its employees. The decision to hire Katie as general manager has 100% of my support – I look forward to following her success.” Capitol Broadcasting Company new media vice president and general manager James Goodmon, Jr. remarks that, “In working alongside Katie over the past couple of years, I have been impressed with her intelligence and people skills. Her quiet intensity and enthusiasm have proven contagious.” According to Phillips, “Capitol Broadcasting’s culture of integrity, innovation, and service has inspired me since my first day with the company. As general manager of [‘Mix’], my aim will be to build on our strengths with a focus on growing our clients’ business; enriching the lives of our listeners; and serving our community.” Phillips joined Capitol Broadcasting nearly 16 years ago as a sales assistant for the North Carolina News Network/Capitol AgriBusiness; she became a “Mix” account executive in 2002.
Emmis Drops Classic Hits in St. Louis; Debuts First New CHR in Market in 17 Years. There’s a new CHR station in St. Louis as Emmis flips classic hits KIHT and re-brands it “NOW96.3 FM.” Emmis says the new air staff includes: former St. Louis radio personality Curt Copeland who returns for AM drive duties; St. Louis native and Emmy award-winning TV and radio host Todd Newton, a.k.a. Rick Idol, handles the midday show; Chicago radio pro Christine Pawlak is on board for afternoon drive and Nina Blanco is the evening personality. Emmis SVP John Beck comments, “Our classic hits station at 96.3 was underperforming, causing us to look for new opportunities. We conducted extensive research, spoke to St. Louis radio listeners and found a need for a music station that plays all the current hits with fewer commercials and includes local personalities that St. Louisans can meet and relate to. We have done all of that with the new ‘NOW96.3.’” Program director Tommy Mattern adds, “‘Now96.3’ will have a totally local focus and feel. The music will be chosen locally, the station will be programmed locally, the contests will be played locally so St. Louisians won’t have to compete with people from other cities. In addition, the new ‘Now96.3’ will go 60 minutes commercial free every time the music starts.”
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the second of a three-part study of station performances based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2014 PPM survey. This report focuses on the hot AC format and tracks stations performances over the past six PPM surveys, compares Holiday 2014 to Holiday 2013 data, shows market ranks for hot AC stations, presents a chart with both AC and hot AC stations ratings info from the Holiday 2014 survey, and more. See Mike Kinosian’s complete analysis here.
RadioInfo Career Moves. In San Diego, Local Media-owned alternative XETRA “91X” names Matt Stone morning drive personality. Last November, Stone joined the station as evening personality and assistant program director after serving in the market as program director and afternoon host at Compass Radio of San Diego’s crosstown triple A KPRI. Program director Halloran comments, “Matt knows what our listeners want and has already worked tirelessly to deliver dynamic radio to the audience. I am excited to see what this new chapter brings to ‘91X.’”…..At JVC Media’s country WOTW, Orlando “103.1 The Wolf,” CJ is named evening show host. The station recently flipped to country and had been airing commercial-free music in the daypart…..Armando Rivera exits the operations manager and program director post at Radio One’s Detroit cluster.
Cool Job Opportunity. KWNZ, Reno “106.3 POP FM” is seeking a part-time air talent. Shamrock Communications announces the opening and seeks air talent with experience in multiple formats, primarily CHR. Can you connect with a female audience and be relevant on artists and trending topics? Are you versatile and can you switch gears from one format to another? This is a daytime shift and a position with lots of room to grow. You: Minimum 1 to 2 years on-air experience; working knowledge of automation systems (NexGen preferred); strong digital and social media skills; communication skills; experience with music scheduling software a plus (Music Master preferred); take direction (as in the next part). Rush your materials including cover letter, resume with references, demo (ONE mp3 no longer than 3 minutes) to: email@example.com. Put PT Air Talent in the subject. NO CALLS! EOE.
Love & Theft Visit ‘America’s Morning Show.’ Visiting the NASH Campus today (1/30) was RCA Records Nashville recording duo Love & Theft. Steven Barker Liles (left) and Eric Gunderson (second from left) appeared on “America’s Morning Show” and played the “Fake-A-Song-Friday” game in which the duo picked four random words out of a hat and had to write a song using the words in just 20 minutes. Here’s a link to the song. Pictured here with the duo are AMS hosts (from l-r): Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks, and Blair Garner.
PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the adult contemporary with its performance in the recent Nielsen Audio 2014 Holiday PPM survey. Kinosian writes, “No other ratings sweep sees the wild (positive) fluctuations as the Holiday period; however, January typically reflects massive declines for stations enjoying huge Holiday increases. Some hot AC, classic hits-oldies, contemporary Christian, country, and urban AC outlets engage in the programming strategy, but for the most part, adult contemporary was the originator and it is still the largest all-Christmas music proponent. For that reason, it is the first format highlighted in our exclusive Holiday 2014 overview.” See Kinosian’s entire analysis here.
Jim Lawson Takes on Regional Manager and OM Duties in Colorado. The iHeartMedia vice president of programming of Hispanic media and brand manager for national programming platforms will expand his duties to include regional manager for iHeartMedia Colorado and operations manager for Colorado Springs and Pueblo, effective February 2. In these additional roles, Jim Lawson will oversee all programming operations for the Colorado stations. His duties as operations manager will include managing the strategy and execution of Colorado Springs and Pueblo’s eight combined stations. He will continue his duties as vice president of programming for Hispanic media and brand manager for national programming platforms.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Adding music director to her title is CHR WPXY, Rochester afternoon drive personality Emily Wild. Wild has been with the Entercom cluster for the past three years…..At non-comm alternative KCMP, Minneapolis “89.3 The Current,” midday personality Barb Abney exits the Minnesota Public Radio station. Taking over the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show is station staffer Jade Tittle…..Moving across town from Townsquare Media’s adult contemporary WHOM, Portland where he co-hosted mornings to an AM show cast member gig at Binnie Media’s classic hits WFNK “107.5 Frank FM” is Teddy McKay. McKay partners up with current WFNK morning personalities Stan Bennett and Heidi Knight…..At the CBS RADIO Pittsburgh cluster, Katie Zak (pictured here at far right with country WDSY’s Jimmy and Monty) is promoted from the KDKA-FM events team to producer for the “Jimmy and Monty in the Morning” program…..Josh Egoff leaves the radio biz and his gig as promotions manager for iHeartMedia’s rock WJRR and sports WYGM in Orlando…..David Israel is leaving Total Traffic & Weather Network’s Miami offices where he serves as operations manager for a position outside of radio. Israel came to the organization in June of last year after serving as VP/GM of Cox Media’s Jacksonville station group.
Senate Commerce Committee Chair Thune Seeks Communications Act Overhaul. Speaking before an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-SD) said he will kick-start the process of reviewing and updating the country’s communications laws, last done in 1996. From a story at The Hill, Thune admits his efforts will require support from Democrats but says it’s very early in the process. He told the crowd the very legal framework that could allow broadband internet to be classified a utility is obsolete. He criticized the FCC’s rulemaking process with regard to “net neutrality” and said its agenda is being nudged by “an increasingly imperious president.” He said, “With the FCC poised to reclassify broadband due to a lack of clear statutory authority, we can readily see the consequences of that obsolescence and the need for action.” Getting support from Democrats prior to the 2016 election may be all but impossible but Thune says trying to update the Act that was last modernized when the Internet was in its infancy is necessary.”
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 Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at “Real Country” 96.9 WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia and Bayley Brown, WKLC-FM (Rock 105), St. Albans/Charleston, 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 (1/28) includes such names as: Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West, Andy Grammer, Olly Murs, Travie McCoy, Gym Class Heroes, Childish Gambino, Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Nick Jonas, Miguel, Jonas Brothers, San Fermin, Houndmouth, AWOLNATION, Stone Senate, Savage Garden, JD McPherson, The Mowgli’s, Zac Brown Band, Mickey Guyton, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dani-Elle, Ryan Bingham, Josh Nolan, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Kenny Chesney, Grace Potter, Blackberry Smoke, Gorgon City, Jennifer Hudson, Kiesza, Korveil, Portugal, The Man, Cowp, and George Ezra, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Coleman Insights Study Reaction: Why Wait? In the second part of a series about how listeners engage with music across traditional and emerging platforms, Coleman Insights’ Matt Bailey writes about why music listening and music buying by consumers are different and that radio stations should be careful not to confuse the two. Bailey writes that based on a comparison of two different sets of Billboard data it becomes apparent that, “music buying and music listening patterns are fundamentally different. When you understand why they’re different, you’ll also understand how making new music decisions based on sales data can lead your station astray.” How programmers operating new music stations choose their adds is probably a combination of factors, with sales serving a part of that. But by waiting too long for sales data, a radio station can miss the boat and pass up the opportunity to add a song that becomes a mega hit and cement itself as a reliable place to discover new music. Radio’s slipping status as a place to discover new music among young people has been well documented. An anecdotal example of this is Lorde’s “Royals.” RadioInfo editors recall hearing the song in regular rotation on SiriusXM some three months before most FM radio stations began adding it and before it took off on the sales charts. This certainly helps SiriusXM’s “cool factor” for those who heard it there first. According to RadioInfo co-music editor (and veteran music radio programmer), Duane Doobie, Sr., “The Coleman Insights conclusion is right on the money. There is no way a radio station or music radio personality can claim any kind of ‘ownership’ of the music culture without relying on their very own personal gut, instincts, taste, and first-hand ‘street’ knowledge of the music scene – and then take a leap of faith with nothing more than those assets to rely upon. And if they are smart enough to ‘know what they don’t know’ — then they must be able to identify and trust the leadership of those in the field (or those they have hired) who have proven to have these skills and quickly follow their lead. That’s why RadioInfo encourages the place and role of the ‘golden-eared’ programmer as a vital player in keeping music radio alive. We cannot be a passive medium of followers any longer and expect people who care about music to continue turning to the radio to get their fix of new, hot, happening music and the passion that accompanies appreciating it.”
Cipha Sounds Exits ‘Hot 97’ in New York. After a 17-year career with New York hip hop outlet WQHT “Hot 97,” air personality Cipha Sounds exits. From a story in the New York Daily News, Sounds was apparently surprised when the station chose to hire Nessa Nitty as the afternoon drive jock – taking the slot long held by Angie Martinez who jumped across the street to Clear Channel’s WWPR “Power 105” – and believed he was not considered for the gig even though he’d been filling the slot since Martinez’s departure. The paper is wondering if his decision to go on a podcast and question Emmis management’s decision was the deciding factor in his ouster. It certainly could have been since Emmis, upon announcing Nitty’s hiring, noted that Sounds would remain with the station in another capacity. Now, a week later, that is not the case.
It’s Official: ‘i94’ in Indy Becomes ‘93.9 The Beat.’ Indianapolis hot AC WRWM officially becomes classic hip hop as “93.9 The Beat” – a format it’s been airing since after the holidays. Cumulus Media announces the station officially kicked off the new format this week with “wall-to-wall music, giving hip hop fans 100% classic hip hop with a unique blend of music. Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay comments, “We’re excited to have this format in our stable. First in wins and we’re already seeing the spoils of victory.” Programmer Jay Michaels adds, “The response from Indy to our new radio station has been more than positive, both from listeners and advertisers. This format is the rhythmic answer to hot AC – and has already proven to be Indy’s new favorite radio station. I couldn’t be prouder to lead the new ‘93.9 The Beat’ to victory!”
O’Malley Upped to Westwood One Senior VP, Strategic Sales Partnerships. Trading in the title of Cumulus vice president of brand solutions, Paul O’Malley becomes Westwood One’s senior vice president of strategic sales partnerships. According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Bringing Paul over to run our new strategic sales division was a no-brainer. His wealth of experience in new business development, world-class reputation among agencies, and vast knowledge of our assets make him the prefect partner to lead this new team. We are building an impressive and outstanding sales force and Paul is a top-tier player on the team.” O’Malley comments that he is “excited by the opportunity” to “deliver experiential solutions which will encompass national scale and local engagement. The best brands in the U.S. are asking for new, innovative, and measured programs. Westwood One and Cumulus have assets and capabilities that are unparalleled in the industry and that deliver results for advertisers. I look forward to growing our client base and driving revenue across our platforms.” Atlanta-based O’Malley previously (2004 – 2011) was Citadel’s regional president of sales.
Tate to Produce WRAL, Raleigh’s ‘Gene & Julie’ Show. At the Capitol Broadcasting Company’s hot AC WRAL-FM, Raleigh “MIX 101.5,” Casey Tate joins the station to produce the morning drive “Gene & Julie” show, hosted by real-life married couple Gene and Julie Gates. The couple says, “Casey is a dedicated professional with great energy and amazing creativity. We can’t wait to have him join the team!” Most recently, Tate produced the morning show at Lincoln Financial Media-owned WSTR, Atlanta “STAR 94.”
Westwood One to Vacate Montfort Drive Offices in Dallas. With the looming expiration of Westwood One’s lease at the Dallas offices – located at 13725 Montfort Drive – later this year, the company announces it will move those operations to other facilities. Westwood One will build out some new broadcast facilities at the TM Studios operations on Academy Lane in Dallas, and will move programming, production and affiliate sales there. The company reports that back-office functions (traffic and affiliate service/affidavit management) will be relocated to an existing Cumulus facility in nearby Arlington. “Other than some duplicated facility support positions, there will be no other changes to staffing related to the relocations.”