General Music Radio Industry News
WMTI Unveils “Underground Alternative.” As our sister publication TALKERS hinted yesterday (Thursday, 8/27), a format change was imminent for Cumulus Media New Orleans sports outlet WMTI. Speculation became reality at 3:00 pm Thursday as “The Ticket” transitions to “106.1 The Underground Alternative.” Cumulus Media corporate program director of rock formats Troy Hanson comments, “We are incredibly excited to debut New Orleans’ 106.1 ‘The Underground Alternative.’ We plan to give the French Quarter, the Delta, and beyond a unique alternative experience 24/7. Look for a ton of music to be delivered, as we push out 106 minutes of new rock for New Orleans all day, every day.” Senior vice president Jeff Brown remarks, “‘Underground 106.1′ fills a significant format gap in New Orleans. If there is any city that deserves a great [alternative] brand, it is New Orleans. Fans of alternative rock are fiercely loyal, incredibly engaged, and in the age of acquisition. Like our audience, ‘106.1 The Underground’ will be on the move, and all about New Orleans.” Representative artists for “The Underground Alternative” include Black Keys, Fall Out Boy, Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Muse, and Walk The Moon. After not appearing in Nielsen Audio‘s spring book for New Orleans, WMTI registers a .7 in the first phase of the summer book (#10, 12+); iHeartMedia urban contemporary WQUE “Q-93.3″ is #1 in market #47 with a 10.1 (12+).
WXRT Programmer Norm Winer ‘Overwhelmed’ by Chicago City Honor. In a piece by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, triple A WXRT, Chicago program director Norm Winer expresses his thoughts about being honored with the Fifth Star Award from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Winer has been programming the iconic CBS RADIO-owned rock station for 36 years and, as Feder states, “WXRT remains a potent force in the music world and a vital contributor to Chicago’s cultural life, thanks in large part to Winer’s vision and leadership over nearly four decades.” Winer will be honored on September 16 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park in Chicago. Read Feder’s piece here.
Triple A WYMS, Milwaukee Names New APD and MD. Non-commercial triple A station WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” announces afternoon drive personality Ken Sumka is being promoted to assistant program director and air personality Justin Barney takes on the music director duties. The station says Sumka takes over for Jordan Lee who was recently named program director. Sumka will oversee the on-air “Studio Milwaukee” sessions with national bands, the weekly “414 Music” segment with Milwaukee musicians and the station’s annual Milwaukee Music Awards. Barney will continue writing and producing the weekly “5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To” feature and hosting on-air shows Saturday and Sunday evenings. Two other station notes include midday personality Marcus Doucette becoming imaging manager and morning drive host Dori Zori has been named to the new position of community outreach manager. The station is seeking part-time staffers to serve as assistant audio producer – community stories and video plus photography producer – digital but you must apply by Monday (8/31) at the following address. http://www.radiomilwaukee.org/work-88nine.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. KRTH “K-Earth 101″ weekender Charlie Tuna exits the CBS Radio Los Angeles classic hits-oldies outlet. The National Radio Hall of Fame inductee will be devoting more time to CharlieTunaSyndication.com. His company says that “in the wake of the continuing massive changes to small, medium market, and even major market stations around the country, Charlie and veteran program director Steve Wall, who heads up Charlie’s operations and affiliate relations, will be focusing on 24/7 formats for stations that have lost the content, top talent, music scheduling and customer service…..Alpha Media hip hop outlet WGZB, Louisville “B96.5″ announces the nationally syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” will fill the AM drive daypart on the station…..With the change in frequency of Midwest Family Broadcasting’s WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois from 92.7 to 97.7, the afternoon show co-hosted by Wes Styles and Kaytie Lee moves to morning drive as “The 3rd String Morning Show.”
iHeartRadio and Chegg Partner for Music101 Series Contest; One School to Win Cash and Appearance by Guest Instructors Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The partnership between iHeartRadio and Chegg, the Student Hub is a social media contest to choose an American college or high school campus to host Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for an exclusive classroom takeover event. Students can begin voting today for the chance to have Macklemore and Ryan take over the classroom with a live crash-course and Q&A session on their experiences in the music and entertainment industries. To emphasize key teaching points, they will discuss the background and creation process of a selection of their songs, including their new single. Additionally, Chegg will award the winning school a $10,000 grant for their music department from Chegg’s David B. Goldberg Music Scholarship fund.
Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight. Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program. Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like Us. Photo: Monarch Publicity.
Cort Johnson Named to AM Show, APD Posts at Triple A KINK-FM, Portland. He’ll join Sheila Hamilton for the morning drive show at Alpha Media’s Portland triple A KINK-FM and will also serve as assistant program director. Utah native Cort Johnson has worked at KENZ, Salt Lake City when it was a triple A-formatted outlet, as well as at rock KBER and hot AC KBEE in the market. He worked in TV for Salt Lake City’s FOX TV and CBS TV affiliate stations. In the Portland market he’s served with Alpha’s CHR KBFF and sister news/talk KXL. Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Cort will be a great addition to the KINK family. He has an incomparable passion for the industry and his abilities on and off air will positively support and impact the direction in which the station is headed.”
‘Warm 106.9’ in Seattle Names Allan Fee and Ashley Ryan Morning Hosts. Effective September 14, Allan Fee and Ashley Ryan will be the new morning show at Hubbard Radio’s KRWM, Seattle “WARM 106.9 FM.” Ryan has worked in the market at sports KJR as a promotions assistant and on air as a traffic reporter and contributor to the Ian Furness and Dave “Softy” Mahler shows. Fee had been hosting mornings at CBS RADIO’s hot AC WQAL, Cleveland for the past 10 years before exiting in April. Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye states, “It is very exciting for ‘WARM 106.9’ to announce the addition of Allan and Ashley in mornings to this great station. We have spent a lot of time looking for the perfect fit and we have it.” Fee and Ryan replace current morning show John Fisher and Sue Romero.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Former country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” jock Matt “Sparx” Ethridge joins Townsquare Media’s Fort Collins, Colorado cluster where he’ll serve as afternoon personality on country KUAD “K99” and midday host on sister hot AC KKPL “99.9 The Point.”…..Satellite radio programmer Gregg Steele will relocate to Los Angeles to serve as SiriusXM’s VP/GM of West Coast Programming Operations. He’s been based in New York serving as VP/music programming.
Howard B. Price: Now, It’s Personal. Writing in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price says that, although it’s impossible to know if anything could have prevented their deaths, media employers must take this tragedy as a lesson to do more to prepare staffers to combat threatening situations. How so? Price says, “Ask any crisis trainer, and they will tell you that situational awareness is critical – no matter one’s field or the instant circumstances of their work. Who would have imagined that a live shot on local tourism in a bucolic park would end in so much trauma – on an early morning newscast in Moneta, Virginia?” He suggests that even in the most seemingly benign situations, crews should observe a safety protocol. “When you arrive at the scene of a story, look for areas of safe refuge and secondary escape routes. Try to keep a corner of your eye cocked peripherally to catch at least a glimpse of anything that doesn’t look quite right. Keep a cellphone or two-way radio close. Think about how you might call for help. And don’t hesitate to raise red flags about any coverage plan you find risky.” Read Price’s entire story here.
Cool Job Opportunity. “103.7 KISS-FM” in Milwaukee has an immediate opening for the next nighttime radio star! This position has been the launching pad for many major market talents and programmers over the years. If you love people, pop culture, and parties then we want you to host ours on the air every night! You’ll connect with our weekly audience of over half a million people on air, online, and around town! You’ll be part of an awesome team of people that share your passion for great radio. You in? Send your audio samples and resume right now to NIGHTSONKISS@GMAIL.COM.
Talking with Pop Stars. Standing outside the ABC7 studios in Los Angeles are ABC Radio Entertainment correspondent Jason Nathanson (right) and pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen (left). Nathanson interviewed Jepsen about her new album E-MO-TION.
Premiere Networks Offers Commercial Free Labor Day Weekend Shows. The syndicator announces it will offer Hollywood Hamilton’s “Remix Top 30 Countdown” and Casey Kasem’s classic “American Top 40 – The ‘70s” and “American Top 40 – The ‘80s” in a commercial-free format for stations to air this Labor Day weekend. Also, Premiere alerts affiliates that “Remix Top 30” will feature singer/songwriter Tove Lo as a special guest, along with giveaways for TomorrowWorld, the popular electronic music festival that returns to Atlanta September 25-27.
Duane Doobie Jr.’s Music 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: Chris Russell, golden-eared program director at WMXO-FM, Buffalo; on-air personality Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Golden-eared music director Karoline Kramer Gould (also known to her followers as Momma K) at WJCU, Cleveland; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9”; Todd Cavanah, golden-eared PD at CBS-owned WJMK “K-Hits” and WBBM-FM “B96” in Chicago; Jayn, golden-eared afternoon talent/music director/asst. program director at KLLC, San Francisco “Alice 93.7,” plus internet sensation The Iceman; provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (8/26) includes such names as: Audien, Lady Antebellum, Five Knives, SG Lewis, Nick Jonas, Hailee Steinfeld, Major Lazer, Ellie Goulding, Tarrus Riley, Broncho, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Wolf Alice, Silversun Pickups, Lauren Winans, Ice Cold Jay, Rainey Qualley, Kristian Bush, Soul Circus Cowboys, Don Henley, Martina McBride, Emma Lane, Brielle, Swings & Waterslides, Mutemath, Kygo, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
NAB Issues Statement on Virginia TV Slayings. In response to the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV Roanoke’s Alison Parker and Adam Ward this morning, the following statement was issued by NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith: “Today’s news of the tragic murders of broadcast journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward is heartbreaking and horrifying. These were two young journalists who were simply trying to serve and inform their communities. Our broken hearts go out to the families of Alison and Adam, to the staff at WDBJ, and to the employees of Schurz Communications.” Obviously, today’s attack and the subsequent search for the alleged killer and his relationship with the victims and the television station has been the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio today, according to RadioInfo‘s sister publication, TALKERS magazine.
Kane, Khan, to ‘KTI Country.’ The first fulltime personalities to join Milwaukee’s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” are Dayton Kane and Jillene Khan; Kane will be the E.W. Scripps-owned station’s program manager/afternoon drive talent, while Khan will handle evenings. Vice president & general manager Tom Langmyer explains, “Our search has centered greatly on people with local connections, hit music experience, and a love of country music. Hiring Milwaukee native Dayton Kane is a huge win for ‘KTI Country.’ He has been on-air and programming stations in Green Bay-Appleton for more than 15 years and he truly knows what it means to be ‘Wisconsin Proud.’ Jillene is also from the upper-midwest. She is an exciting, up-and-coming broadcaster with an infectious personality that will do a great job hosting our live-and-local evening show.” Kane remarks, “I cannot wait to start working with the WKTI team. Coming back home to Milwaukee to create live-and-local radio on the frequency I grew up with – and the return of those great call letters – makes this an amazing opportunity.” Khan states that, “It is very exciting to be part of the new ‘KTI Country.’ We have big things in store for Wisconsin. The people of Milwaukee have always been so friendly and welcoming. I am looking forward to getting to know our listeners on a personal level. We are ready to start exploring and making friends – and to take our friends along for the ride on the evening show.” Kane most recently was program director/morning drive personality at rhythmic CHR WKSZ “95.9 Kiss-FM.” Within that Woodward Communications Green Bay-Appleton-Oshkosh cluster, he programmed co-owned adult hits WKZG & WKZY “KZ Radio.” His other Wisconsin radio experience includes stops in Madison and Wausau. Khan arrives at WKTI from the Quad Cities, where she did afternoons on iHeartMedia‘s country WLLR; she began her radio career in the Twin Cities area. Kane and Khan officially begin their new duties in two weeks (Tuesday, 9/8). Adult hits WLWK “The Lake” transitioned to country WKTI three months ago (5/29) and is challenging iHeartMedia’s cross-town WMIL. According to Nielsen Audio May-June-July PPM stats, WKTI is trending 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.3, (6+), while WMIL is trending 9.5 – 8.4 – 6.8 (6+) over the corresponding period. In July, WKTI and WMIL finish at #12 and #3, respectively; iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT sets the pace with a 10.2 (6+).
The Party’s Over for WZTI – Now ”Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel.” As one Milwaukee station evolves following its May format change (see separate RadioInfo story above), another market outlet makes its own adjustment, as Milwaukee Radio Alliance jettisons urban-rhythmic oldies WZTI-AM and translator W262CJ-FM “The Party” to “Milwaukee’s True Oldies Channel 100.3 FM and 1290 AM.” According to Milwaukee Radio Alliance vice president and general manager Bill Hurwitz, “It is great to be the new home in Milwaukee for true iconic artists like the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Their music is timeless and we are thrilled to provide an outlet for Milwaukee to hear these artists on the radio.” Operations manager Stan Atkinson states, “There has been a true void in the market for a station playing true oldies. Music from the 1960s has practically disappeared from the Milwaukee airwaves. We plan on playing the best from that decade as well as [from] the 1970s.” The station’s target audience is said to be adults 35-64. In addition to the Beatles and Elvis, other core artists will include the Beach Boys, Chicago, Neil Diamond, and Motown. Bob Seger‘s “Old Time Rock & Roll” debuted the new format at noon yesterday (Tuesday, 8/25). WZTI’s “Party” was short-lived: The station officially ditched adult standards this past Christmas Day, after playing all-Christmas music for roughly six weeks as “The Elf.” WZTI reached 1.4 and 1.3 (6+) in Nielsen Audio‘s December 2014 and “Holiday” 2014 PPM sweeps, respectively. After that, however, “The Party” fell in the .2 – .7 range and it ranks #20 (.6, 6+) in July. Other Milwaukee ratings information is noted in today’s WKTI story.
Chuck Sullivan Named GM at Entercom’s Madison Stations. This is an added responsibility for Chuck Sullivan who already is general manager for Entercom’s Milwaukee cluster. The Madison group consists of classic hits WOLX, hot AC WMHX “105.1 The Mix,” and triple A WMMM “105.5 Triple M.” Speaking about assuming oversight of the market, Sullivan comments, “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work with the two markets – two very independent markets, but the prospect of combining forces, personalities, administrative and creative team members will enhance Entercom’s growth in Wisconsin.” Sullivan joined Entercom’s Milwaukee station group in April of 2014.
Kitroser to Gen Media Partners As VP/Integrated Sales. Regional director of corporate partnerships for The American Red Cross – Sharon Kitroser – joins Gen Media Partners as vice president of integrated sales. Gen Media Partners chief executive officer Kevin Garrity states, “I know the developmental work that Sharon does will deliver higher ROI for advertisers and new business for our media partner clients. She is known across radio and advertising circles for her innovative marketing programs. Programmatic buying is imminent; traditional avails are dwindling; and radio is too often being packaged as a commodity. Gen Media Partners is the only national representation company that monetizes localism across radio, high school sports, community events, shopping malls, and more. I am delighted that [Sharon] is bringing her talent to Gen Media Partners and Gen Media Connect.” According to Kitroser, “Today’s advertisers need to reach and connect with consumers at multiple touch-points throughout their day. With the wide swath of options in the Gen Media Partners’ suite of platforms, we have an opportunity to produce integrated campaigns that meet those needs and deliver results for advertisers and client partners.” Prior to working at American Red Cross, Kitroser was director of sales for ABC Radio/Disney (Interep), CBS, and Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia), as well as director of strategic alliances for Daniels & Roberts; Kitroser and Garrity worked together at ABC Radio/Disney.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Urban AC personality Frank Ski will exit his afternoon drive position with Howard University-owned WHUR, Washington after a two-year stint with the station, according to Atlanta Journal Constitution media writer Rodney Ho. Ski was a longtime morning personality at WVEE, Atlanta prior to his WHUR gig…..At the Entercom Atlanta stations just acquired from Lincoln Financial Media, Dave Demer is named general sales manager for simulcast hot AC WSTR-FM/WQXI-AM “Star 94.”
New Alt Rocker Debuts in Yakima. The Yakima, Washington market has an alternative rock outlet as Radio Yakima launches “106.9 X-FM” on the HD3 channel of hip hop KHHK and on translator K295BT. Program director Brian Henderson – who is responsible for programming sister classic rock KRSE “105.7 The Hawk” – will handle PD duties for “106.9 X-FM.”
Entravision’s CMNH Radio-thon Sets Record. Raising just shy of $2.9 million, Entravision Communications boasts the most successful Spanish-language radio-thon to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 2015; the actual total ($2,856,182) surpasses last year’s $2.1 million tally. Entravision chief operating officer Jeffery Liberman remarks, “Now in our eighth year of collaborating with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, we are thrilled to have broadcast this phenomenal 72-hour radio-thon. We are very happy to know that its success will benefit more hospitals and children than ever before. The overwhelming accomplishments achieved in this year’s radio-thon reflect the vast reach of Entravision’s national radio platform, our growing digital presence, and our on-air talent and staff who rallied the great force of our Spanish-language listeners.” Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals vice president of Hispanic programs Joe Trevino declares, “We are once again extremely proud of the great partnership we enjoy with the entire Entravision team. This year’s radio-thon success is a testament to the personal dedication, creativity, and commitment by everyone involved to engage Entravision listeners to participate with the radio-thon. It was a comprehensive team effort by Entravision.” Entravision’s “Jose,” “Super Estrella,” and “La Tricolor” network formats kicked off the event, broadcasting from Children’s Hospital Orange County and the following day from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The event concluded from Children’s Hospital Phoenix. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals.
Seattle’s ‘End’ Elevates Scott to PD. Two-year KNDD “The End” digital program director Leslie Scott adds responsibilities as traditional PD of the Entercom Seattle alternative facility. Vice president of programming and operations Dave Richards observes, “This is a new day for ‘The End.’ I am excited to hand the leadership of this great radio station to Leslie and watch her take us into our 25th anniversary in Seattle as one the city’s premiere radio brands, and one of America’s premiere alternative radio stations. I look forward to more great things for ‘The End.'” Scott explains that she “obsessed over the alternative stations” of her youth: “It is the format that brought me to radio. It has been a privilege to work with ‘The End’ as digital program director. Leading ‘The End’ into the future as the program director is an incredible honor. We have a great team in-place; I am excited to do awesome things together.” Prior to arriving in Seattle four years ago to be assistant program director of Entercom’s KMTT “The Mountain” (now rhythmic hot AC KHTP), Scott programmed Columbia, Missouri stations KBXR and KBBM. Her resume also includes being assistant program director/music director in Madison, Wisconsin (WMAD) and Savannah, Georgia (WFXH). For Seattle’s last ten Nielsen Audio PPM survey periods, “The End” has been either up or flat (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+); its 3.8 in July 2015 places it at #9.
Gilliam Promoted to LPM’s Director of Radio. WUOL program director and afternoon host Daniel Gilliam is boosted to director of radio at the Louisville Public Media classical outlet. According to LPM president and general manager Donovan Reynolds, “As we continue to improve the quality of our digital presence, it is essential that we not lose sight of our core business, which is broadcasting. Daniel will make sure that every second of our broadcast is of the highest quality.” Gilliam comments, “I am excited to start this new role. I look forward to working with everyone on our core business of radio/audio, and most importantly, serving our listeners and community.” In addition to his PD and daily on-air duties, Gilliam produces/hosts “African-American Voices” and is pre-concert host for the Louisville Orchestra. Gilliam previously was program director of Minnesota Public Radio. WUOL “Classical 90.5″ does not appear in Nielsen Audio‘s spring 2015 Louisville book.
Wes Teska Joins Alpha Media as Director of Interactive Design. Joining the interactive department at Alpha Media is Wes Teska, who’s been named director, interactive design. In this role, Teska will manage design and the brand presence for all Alpha Media web, mobile, social destinations and live event venues. He’ll report to Alpha vice president of interactive Stefan Brock. Teska began his career in radio at age 13 with Oasis Radio Group in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The company was recognized by the Indiana Broadcasting Association for “Best Use of New Media” in 2008 and 2009. During his career he’s also worked for the digital agency Anyone Collective in Los Angeles and New Point Digital in Charleston, South Carolina. Brock says, “Wes is a talented visionary who brings an incredible eye to the team. I am thrilled that he will be joining our team in managing the designers as we expand and move to elevate all brands within the company.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 95.5” and morning drive personality Mojo re-ups with iHeartMedia to continue hosting his “Mojo in the Morning” show. Mojo’s co-hosts and producer Spike, Shannon and Rachel, also are renewed…..Service Broadcasting promotes Keith Solis to music director for its Dallas urban AC KRNB “Smooth R&B 105.7.”…..Changes at Binnie Media’s country WTHT, Portland, Maine “99.9 The Wolf” as a new morning show is unveiled to replace Dave Winsor, who recently exited. Evening host Andy Austin moves to mornings alongside current AM personality Michelle Taylor and local comic – and new addition – Paul Hunt. Taking over for Austin in the night jock position is weekend personality Jeremy Daniels…..Florida radio personality Kayla heads to Las Vegas to become part of the “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” program on CBS RADIO’s CHR KLUC. She was previously with Cox Media Group in Tampa doing weekends on CHR WPOI and as a cast member of Drew Garabo’s show on WHPT “The Bone.”
Howie Carr Interviewed on This Week’s Installment of ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ Legendary New England crime-busting, corruption-exposing, muckraker Howie Carr is the outspoken guest on this week’s installment (posted 8/25) of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out” hosted by RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison. Carr, whose hot, regional Howie Carr Radio Network is now clearing 24 stations across all six New England states since its launch just over a year ago, discusses his extremely colorful career as an investigative reporter/columnist for the Boston Herald, best-selling author, and mega-successful talk show host with WRKO, Boston. The two talk about Carr’s direct involvement in reporting on and helping bring down infamous mobster Whitey Bulger and doggedly reporting on the political shenanigans of Whitey’s brother Billy Bulger, “chasing” Boston Mayor Kevin White from office, and numerous other “real life adventures” that have put the multi-media personality’s life in danger on more than one occasion. They also discuss the present-day impact that digital media, with its growing obsession for “click bait,” is having on the state of American journalism as well as the political rise of Donald Trump and potential fall of Hillary Clinton. To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of RadioInfo.com.
Beasley Honors its Own. The annual management meeting held last week in Beasley Media Group’s Naples, Florida corporate headquarters included the distribution of the company’s annual Operating Awards. The 2015 honorees include: WIKS-FM – Radio Station of the Year/ Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, NC; Brad Beasley – General Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; John Candelaria – Program Director of the Year/Las Vegas; Richard Banks – Engineer of the Year/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, NC; Lisa Lewis – Business Manager of the Year/Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, NC; AJ Lurie – Sales Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Carolyn Cope – Digital Sales Professional of the Year/Boston; Diana Beasley – Digital Content Professional of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; and Denyse Mesnik – CEO Award of Excellence. Pictured here are (l-r, back row): AJ Lurie, Brad Beasley, EVP operations Brian Beasley, VP/market manager Bruce Simel (Eastern NC), president and COO Bruce Beasley, VP finance Marie Tedesco, VP/market manager Tom Humm (Las Vegas), VP digital product development Kimberly Sonneborn, VP engineering and CTO Mike Cooney, and VP programming Justin Chase.
Country Radio and Publicity Giant Jeff Walker Dead at 65. Nashville music, radio and publicity pro Jeff Walker died unexpectedly at age 65 in Nashville yesterday. The Tennessean reports on Walker’s death and his career in the music business that began in 1980 with the formation of AristoMedia Group – a publicity firm that worked in the music, radio and video business. Walker was involved with the CMA Music Fest in which he led the CMA global artists showcase. Read The Tennessean piece here.
Promoting ‘Smoke Break.’ Country star Carrie Underwood (center) stops by the NASH Campus in Nashville on August 24 to promote her new single, “Smoke Break,” off her new Arista Nashville album, Storyteller. She spoke with “NASH Nights Live” hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left) about the new record and what it was really like getting into the corset she’s wearing for the “Smoke Break” cover art.
‘Shotgun’ Tom Kelly Retires from Afternoons at KRTH, Los Angeles. Legendary Los Angeles DJ “Shotgun” Tom Kelly is wrapping a 22-year career at classic hits KRTH, Los Angeles “K-Earth” and will serve the station as “ambassador” in which he’ll “be showcased in on-air features, personal appearances, client partnerships, charitable events and special projects.” The CBS RADIO station has not yet named a replacement for the afternoon slot. During his career, Kelly has won numerous radio awards and TV Emmys and, earlier this year, was inducted into the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In 2013 he was awarded a star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame. CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero comments, “Southern Californians for decades, especially the millions behind the wheel from San Diego to LA, have been entertained and amazed by the unique voice talents of Shotgun Tom. His influence though extends well beyond the region as he is universally recognized as one of our industry’s true iconic stars. All of us at CBS RADIO are ecstatic he will continue to be part of the fabric of K-Earth for years to come.” Kelly says, “I’m so fortunate to not only be able to interact more with K-Earth’s listeners in person, but to explore opportunities being offered to me in television and new media.”
NextRadio’s Future Analyzed in Indy Business Journal. The business publication based in Emmis’ chairman Jeff Smulyan’s hometown has published a story that looks at the next 12 months – a period it reports experts say “will determine whether Smulyan’s years-long quest ultimately succeeds or fails.” Of course, the Indianapolis Business Journal is referring to NextRadio – the initiative that seeks to have cell carriers activate the FM chips in smartphones. As radio industry watchers are probably aware, NextRadio has deals with Sprint, AT&T and one in the hopper with T-mobile to turn on the FM chips in smartphones sold by those carriers. The next target is Verizon. Obviously, carriers make their money off data usage and the NextRadio app allows users to listen to FM radio stations using a fraction of the data they would use accessing services like Spotify or Pandora. So, gaining the cooperation of carriers is a challenge. The piece also notes that there is a hurdle to leap in getting the advertising industry on board as media buyers tell the paper the radio industry needs to get triple the current total of 4 million users in order to have the attention of the ad industry. But NextRadio president Paul Brenner tells IBJ, “We’ve been talking to national ad agencies in the biggest markets and we haven’t found one yet that hasn’t fallen in love with this in five minutes.” IBJ’s Anthony Schoettle writes, “NextRadio’s interactivity allows stations for the first time to offer coupons and on-the-spot purchase opportunities to listeners. Revenue sharing from these new ads likely will be key in attracting and maintaining deals with cell phone providers.” Read his entire piece here.
RadioInfo Career Moves. The nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show is named the new morning drive program at Alpha Media’s classic rock WWUZ Fredericksburg, Virginia “96.9 The Rock,” effective today (8/24).…..Gabby Parsons is stepping down from her evening show and music director duties at Entercom’s triple A WMMM, Madison “Triple M,” effective August 28. However, she’ll continue to host the Sunday evening “Live and Local Hour.” The station is handing the music director duties to morning host Jonathan Suttin and is beginning the search for a new full-time evening host. Also, the station welcomes new midday host Jesse Garon…..At CBS RADIO’s Houston hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5,” PM drive personality Chad Pitt is promoted to assistant program director under ops manager and PD Charese Fruge…..Chicago market radio management pro Kathleen Cahill is promoted to vice president and general manager for Matrix Broadcasting’s suburban rocker WFXF, Dundee and hot AC WZSR, Woodstock, Illinois. Cahill had been serving with the stations as general sales manager…..The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces Jerry Massey, CPBE, 8-VSB, AMD, DRB, CBNT, has been elected the society’s president. Massey is the corporate regional engineer, southeast at Entercom in Greenville, North Carolina.
iHeartMedia Launches Alt Rock Station in Quad Cities. The new alternative rock station emanates from sister country WLLR’s HD2 channel and is also heard on the 104.5 frequency of translator K283BV licensed to Davenport. It’s the only alternative-formatted signal serving the Quad Cities market.
‘B96’ Chicago Hosts Special Austin Mahone Listener Party. A select group of WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” listeners recently had the opportunity to attend a private listening party for singer Austin Mahone in order to get a sneak peek at his new music. Listeners had to win tickets to attend the event that included an interview with “B96” PM hosts “Stylz & Roman.” Pictured here during the appearance are (from l-r): Justin Roman, Mahone, and Dougie Stylz. Photo: CBS RADIO.