General Music Radio Industry News

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

| April 28, 2015

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krrl logoiHeartRadio’s ‘Real 92.3’ in LA Announces ‘Mix Mob.’  Company SVP of urban programming and KRRL, Los Angeles “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter announces the new hip hop outlet’s “Real Mix Mob,” saying he and midday personality and APD DJ A-Oh “searched all over LA for the best mixers to staff the ‘Real Mix Mob!’  Collectively and individually, they bring a unique energy to the station which I believe Los Angeles is Real-ly going to vibe with.”  Joining DJ A-Oh in the “Mix Mob” are: DJ Amen, DJ Mo Beatz, DJ Young 1, DJ Hed, DJ VickOne and Dre Sinatra.   DJ A–Oh will present his own mixes weekdays at 12:00 noon.  Here’s the rest of the schedule: DJ Amen will mix weekdays at 5:00 pm, Fridays at 10:00 pm and Saturdays at 1:00 am; DJ Amen will be joined on Fridays at 5:00 pm by DJ Young 1; DJ Damage – evening personality on KRRL and Revolt live, will mix weekdays at 8:00 pm; DJ Hed will mix Fridays at 11:00 pm and Saturdays at 12:00 midnight; Dre Sinatra – “one of the most influential players in the LA music scene as a tastemaker DJ” – will be featured Fridays at 12:00 midnight and Saturdays at 10:00 pm; DJ Mo Beatz, will mix Fridays at 1:00 am and Saturdays at 11:00 pm.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Afternoon personality Todd Michaels is promoted to assistant program director at Beasley Media Group’s country KCYE, Las Vegas “The Coyote.”  Michaels joined the station in December of 2014 as evening personality and moved up to afternoons in February…..At the Albuquerque cluster of Cumulus Media, adult contemporary KMGAsimonscott morning personality Scott Simon exits.  He came to the cluster in 2013 as a personality on sister KRST.  He moved to KMGA after KRST re-branded as NASH FM…..Rob Quinn is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Colorado Springs station group.  Quinn previously worked in Denver with Entravision, Bustos Media and Liberman Communications.  More recently he was GSM for BCA’s alternative XETRA “91X” and XEPRS “XTRA Sports” in San Diego.

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pandoralogoReport: FCC Chairman Wheeler Seeks Waiver for Pandora FM Purchase.  According to a story in Bloomberg Business, sources say FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is asking agency staffers to waive the foreign ownership rule Pandora is seeking to get approval for the purchase of KXMZ, Rapid City, South Dakota.  The question of how much of Pandora’s stock – and therefore ownership – is in the hands of foreign investors has been a sticking point for the pure play as it attempts to use ownership of the FM outlet to pay lower music royalty rates.  Critics call the move a loophole Pandora is trying to take advantage of.  The lower rates were intended for broadcasters and applied to their internet services.  Bloomberg reports the FCC declined to comment on the story.

Billy CorganSmashing Pumpkins to Smashing Heads. Whether with hard rock, country, or hip-hop, professional wrestling has enjoyed tremendous success intersecting with contemporary music and its artists. The latest example is on a fairly significant level as Nashville-based TNA Wrestling names Smashing Pumpkins‘ lead singer and guitarist Billy Corgan senior producer/creative & talent development. TNA president Dixie Carter (not to be confused with the late actress of the same name) states, “I have known Billy for years and have always been blown away by his musical artistry, as well as his knowledge and understanding of professional wrestling. He has always impressed me with his creativity and passion for our business. Billy is truly gifted. He understands the emotion tied to the psychology of connecting with an audience. The more we talked, the more I realized his perspective has the potential to make a huge impact on our brand.” According to TNA executive vice president of television and talent John Gaburick, “Billy stands as a true powerhouse iconic songwriter and performance artist. I also find him to be an ardent historian of professional wrestling and a true visionary. We knew Billy would bring a great viewpoint when we [asked him] to attend a recent creative summit. During those meetings, his pioneering perspectives and collaborative approach made it quickly evident we needed to bring him on as a permanent member of our team.” Corgan comments, “I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to be part of TNA – it is a dream come true. It is great that the entire TNA organization stands in full support of my music life with the Smashing Pumpkins. In return, I am fully committed to using my 30-year entertainment experience, along with my deep-rooted passion for pro wrestling, to take on the thrilling challenge of finding and developing new talent, and working eye-to-eye with the best-of-the-best. AsTNA cultures currently evolve at great speed, so must pro wrestling meet and supersede such expectations to thrive.” Not what you might think the letters stand for – TNA (Total Nonstop Action) – airs its centerpiece show “Impact Wrestling” Friday nights on Destination America; prior to this past January, Spike TV carried TNA programming. Among the promotion’s biggest name performers are Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, and – in the women’s division – Gail Kim. Corgan will be senior producer at TV tapings. Vince McMahon‘s World Wrestling Federation (WWE) though is still the kingpin in “sports entertainment.”

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Monday, April 27, 2015

| April 27, 2015

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davisbenAlpha Media Louisville Lifts Davis to OM. Mainstream CHR WDJX “Today’s Best Music” program director and morning drive talent Ben Davis is boosted to operations manager for Alpha Media‘s five-station Louisville cluster. Senior vice president and Louisville market manager Dale Schaefer comments, “Ben Davis has been an incredible leader for our cluster for many years. With this promotion, he will be able to expand his leadership role to all five of our stations and help each one reach their full potential. Our entire staff is thrilled about Ben’s promotion and look forward to working with him to make each station a greater success than what it has already achieved.” Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “Ben is one of those rare triple threats: He is great on the air; a fantastic manager; and he is wonderful with clients. Ben is a respected passionate leader who is beyond ready to help guide our Louisville cluster to the very top. It is very rewarding to be able to promote from within Alpha.” Davis – who will continue hosting the “Ben and Kelly Morning Show” – is “excited at the opportunity” Alpha Media has given him “to grow our five amazing and diverse brands in Louisville. I cannot wait to get working with our dynamic team. I look forward to growing our reach in 2015 and beyond.” The company will hire a program director to replace Davis at WDJX. Davis joined WDJX 12 years ago (2003) as the station’s nighttime talent – he became PD/morning host five years later (2008). In addition to WDJX, Alpha Louisville consists of WGHL “Old School 105.1″; urban contemporary WGZB “B-96.5″; urban AC WMJM “Magic 101.3″; and hot AC WXMA “102.3 – The Max.”

clarkjayClark Joins CÜR Media as CCO. Former executive vice president of programming for Sirius Satellite RadioJay Clark – is named CÜR Media‘s chief content officer. Founder and chief executive officer Tom Brophy comments, “We are excited to have Jay on the team in this important role, essentially as our chief curator. His vast experience in building content for disruptive technologies has helped shape the initial design work for CÜR Music. Now, as our chief content officer, we believe he will help us change the course of music streaming in the same way Sirius changed the course of radio. Jay has led several notable programming radio turnarounds in tier one markets, and has decades of major market programming successes with leading broadcast companies. His experience will be invaluable.” Clark remarks, “I am extremely excited to take on this important role at CÜR Media as they move toward the launch of this dynamic mobile and web musicCUR Media experience. Much like Sirius was for radio, CÜR Music is a truly disruptive streaming product that, when complemented with a line of unique programming, will offer a comprehensive music experience at a very compelling price point. I look forward to driving that development as we work toward our product launch later this year.” Clark has been consulting the company for roughly the past year (May 2014). Prior to Sirius, his past credits include being program director of Los Angeles talker KLSX (now CBS Radio CHR KAMP “Amp Radio”); WABC, New York; program director of Orlando FM talker WTKS; Comedy World‘s vice president and general manager of radio; and Winstar Communications’ vice president of radio.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At the Baltimore Radio One station group, the company makes changes atlilmodjquicksilva hip hop WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams” as Konan moves from the afternoon drive slot to middays and DJ QuickSilva and L’il Mo take over the PM drive show…..In San Antonio, Carey Edwards exits Cox Media Group’s country KCYY where he was afternoon host, APD and music director.  He’d been with the station since August of 2013.

gunhillrdVideostillGunhill Road Releases Cinematic Music Video for Single, “Selling Apples.”  The early 70s band Gunhill Road – famous for their quirky hit single, “Back When My Hair Was Short,” and a couple of critically acclaimed albums that were FM radio faves back in the day – has produced a music video for their current single “Selling Apples” that is fresh and intriguing… just like their 19-track album, “Every 40 Years,” from which the tasty song was harvested.  The venerable trio of lead guitarist Glenn Leopold, pianist Steve Goldrich, and bassist Paul Reisch surprised the music world last fall with the release of their aforementioned third album after a 40-year hiatus.  “Selling Apples,” written by Leopold, is a reggae-flavored, pop gem that packs a lyrical wallop benignly delivered in an ear-candy wrapper.  The song is about a downtrodden (but optimistic) fellow who, upon losing his job in today’s troubled economy, resorts to a tactic used by the unemployed during the Great Depression of the 1930s – selling apples on the street to get by.  The track features Leopold’s engaging vocals, the groups’ trademark three-part harmony, and timelessly meticulous instrumentation punctuated with an amazing guest appearance by Paul Shaffer on – of all things – the iconic Hammond B-3 organ!  This record could have been a top 10 hit in any of the last five decades.  Now, with the release of its official video, “Selling Apples” evolves to yet a higher dimension.  Most music videos, in today’s high-tech, attention-deficit, shake-your-booty culture, attempt to dazzle their way into the distracted consciousness of the consumer.  Gunhill Road, however, takes an elegant, cinematic approach that tells a story through the song itself and the visual performances of two accomplished actors that bring the poignant tale to life in a single, three-minute and 26-second, no-cut take.  There’s even a provocatively humorous twist near the end that cleverly illustrates a socio-technological difference between the 1930s and today.  This nugget is the brilliant handiwork of legendary television writer/director/producer Dennis Klein who was thankfully coaxed out of semi-retirement to write and direct the “Selling Apples” video by the rising Hollywood filmmaking team of co-producers Eric Goldrich and George Tunis.  Klein, recognized by many as a creative genius with a knack for identifying the authentic, quirky side of the human condition, has an extraordinary array of credits in ground-breaking television that include being co-creator (with Garry Shandling) of “The Larry Sanders Show,” head writer of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” producer/writer of “Buffalo Bill” and developer/creator of “Cosby” among many other historic programs.  Klein brilliantly cast actors Samm Levine (of “Freaks and Geeks” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” fame) to play the forlorn apple peddler and Jennifer Hasty (“Horrible Bosses,” “Beginner” and “Selfie”) to portray his surly-street-competitor-turned-warm-and-fuzzy-love-interest.  RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison says of the “Selling Apples” video, “This is an instant classic reminiscent of the old film shorts that we used to see before or after the main feature at movie houses and now have a growing, appreciative audience at independent film festivals around the world.  It is no secret that I think the Gunhill Road album is wonderful.  The return of Dennis Klein is unto itself a momentous show business occasion.  This new video of ‘Selling Apples’ continues to display how cool it is having these guys back.”  To view Gunhill Road’s “Selling Apples,” please click here.

freebeerhotwingsEvent15Free Beer and Hot Wings Draw 2,000 to ‘Live at Night’ Event.  The nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” morning show hosted its fifth “Live at Night” event on Saturday, April 25 at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids before a paying crowd of almost 2,000.  This program – not broadcast and completely uncensored – took elements from the daily radio show, mixed in interactive video elements, crowd participation and special guests for what syndicator Compass Media Networks calls “a truly unique experience.”  The crowd was treated to a variety of segments including “Instant Feedback” – where comedians have their 10-minute set instantly roasted after completion.  A big hit was when host Eric Zane’s son and daughter joined him on stage to take part in a round of “Family Feud,” leading to some incredibly awkward moments.  In this wide-angle photo, you can see the personalities on stage behind banners for flagship affiliate rock WGRD-FM, Grand Rapids.  The next “Live at Night” show will take place on May 22 in Portland, Maine.

Friday, April 24, 2015

| April 24, 2015

CBS RadiFruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Fruge remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vicefrugecharese president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has successfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5″; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7″; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las thomascatVegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  A changing of the programming guard at Entercom’s alternative KNDD,michaelsgarett Seattle “107.7 The End” as PD Garett Michaels exits the station.  While the company seeks his successor, cluster VP of programming Dave Richards will oversee the station’s programming…..At the Alpha Media cluster in Richmond, Tiffany Brown is named promotions director.  She comes to the four-station group from a similar position with Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s WWCW-TV, Lynchburg and WFXR-TV, Roanoke…..Sean “Reed” Kozlowski moves from Peoria to Bloomington, Illinois to program Connoisseur Media’s CHR WWHX “HITS 100.7.”  In Peoria, he was APD and afternoon personality at Alpha Media’s country WXCL “The Wolf.”

wklh logoSaga Re-Brands Classic Rock WKLH, Milwaukee.  Brand manager Bob Bellini says they’ve tweaked the playlist at the same time as 29-year classic rock outlet WKLH, Milwaukee takes on the brand “Hometown Rock 96-5.”  Calling it the “evolution of classic rock,” Saga says the new “Hometown Rock 96-5” is “packed with personality, texture and tempo.  The music has an 80s lean, a 70s twist and a sprinkling of the unpredictable.  Though it’ll sometimes ride outside the lines, ‘Hometown Rock’ is true to its roots and purely authentic.”  Bellini adds, “Our great, vast body of rock music is simply evolving with our listeners’ preferences.  The center of gravity of WKLH’s brand of rock has been shifting from the mid to late 70s into the 80s, and this is a continuation of that shift.  While ‘Hometown’ does reflect the classic rock especially popular among Milwaukeeans, it’s much more than that.  Milwaukee has a gritty, determined personality, home to so many iconic brands, and a lot of pride in that history. ‘Hometown Rock’ simply reflects the enthusiasm for our city that we have experienced with our listeners throughout the years.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Adult Hits.  Concluding his review of the PPM performances of gold-based music formats, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at how the adult hits format fared in Nielsen Audio’s March 2015 PPM survey.  Kinosian’s previous two analyses covered classic hits/oldies and classic rock.  See how other adult hits stations compare to market share leader WSMW, Greensboro “98.7 Simon” (grabbing a 10.5 share 6+ in March), plus check out ratings fluctuations from February to March, March 2014 to March 2015, market rank and more.  Click here.

WKOS Nash logoWKOS Tri Cities, Tennessee Transitions to NASH Icon Format.  In the Tri-Cities, Tennessee market, Cumulus Media announces its country WKOS, Kingsport has changed formats from the company’s NASH FM to its NASH Icon format.  Program Director J.B. Stone remains in his post.  The new on-air lineup is: Kim Stewart, 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am; Marty McFly, 5:00 am to 9:00 am; Lisa Manning, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm; Scott Gains, 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Darlas Rai, 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Cumulus corporate programmer Greg Frey says, “NASH Icon continues to grow as an extension of our NASH country music brand.  We’re excited to bring this unique country listening experience to the Tri-Cities on 104.9 NASH Icon.”

pandoralogoPandora Reports 2015 Q1 Revenue Up 19%.  Internet pure-play Pandora is reporting its Q1 2015 financial numbers and, compared to the same period a year ago, total revenue hit $230.8 million – an increase of 19%.  Pandora chairman, president and CEO Brian McAndrews states, “We’ve been actively investing in every part of our business – from the music we play, to the ad technology and music maker products we offer.  This quarter’s results are a reflection of those investments paying off.  In a time when listeners and brand partners have more choices than ever, listener hours grew, local advertisers increased their spending with us and we continued to advance our lead in digital audio by generating more demand and strong sell through.”  Other financial figures of note include: Q1 2015 advertising revenue was $178.7 million, growing 27% year-over-year; total mobile revenue was $181.1 million, growing 23% year-over-year;  and local advertising revenue was $43.3 million, growing 67% year-over-year.

brownkennKenn Brown Retires from Horizon Broadcasting; Nancy Wirth Named Successor. Radio sales pro Kenn Brown announces his retirement from his GSM position with Bend, Oregon-based Horizon Broadcasting, effective June 30, 2015.  Assuming the general sales manager position will be current director of event sponsorships and senior account executive Nancy Wirth.  Horizon president and CEO Keith Shipman says, “It’s been a great pleasure to work with an extraordinary leader like Kenn the past three years.  Kenn has done a tremendous job building a strong sales organization as our general sales manager and leaves a solid foundation for future success.  The radio industry will miss him greatly.”  Brown comments, “I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy a wonderful career in radio.  But, the time has come for me to relax, spend more time with my family and do some travelling.  It’s been a great run and I’m thankful to close out my tenure in this business with Horizon Broadcasting Group and its talented staff.”  Nancy Wirth says of her new opportunity, “I am excited for the opportunity to lead an extraordinary sales team and continue to build the success and strength of Horizon Broadcasting Group.  Kenn Brown has been a great mentor and leader, and though I can’t say I intend to fill his shoes, I am very proud to utilize my passion and experience to grow the success of not only HBG but the companies we work for.”

sixxsenseshinodaMike Shinoda Sits in for Nikki Sixx This Weekend.  On this week’s edition of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated active rock and alternative show “The Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx,” Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda will take over Sixx’s role.  Shinoda (left) will guest host alongside co-host Jenn Marino (right) as they play the latest songs on the active rock and alternative charts and showcase new music.  Shinoda will also discuss what’s on the horizon for Linkin Park, including the band’s upcoming performance at Rock in Rio in Las Vegas on May 9, and the band’s recent collaboration with Steve Aoki on the song “Darker Than Blood.”  He says, “I’m happy to fill in for Nikki, and always look forward to chatting with Jenn and their crew!”

Thursday, April 23, 2015

| April 23, 2015

iheartmediasoundfront15spiegelexecsiHeartMedia Previews New Podcast Initiative at First-Ever ‘Soundfront’ in NYC.  Yesterday, iHeartMedia presented the “Soundfront” event in New York to preview its new original audio programs.  The company says this new content “will allow marketers to collaborate with a host of celebrities and talent through customized and creative storytelling.”  Speaking about the company’s need to explore the audio-on-demand marketplace is iHeartMedia CMO/EVP Gayle Troberman, who says, “In the age of visual distraction and shorter attention spans, audio has the ability to break through and get heard better than any other advertising.  We are seeing increased engagement in audio programming both on air and via podcast, and original audio forces us to get back to the basics of telling stories simply and honestly, which consumers love.  We believe most marketers are massively under-invested in the power of sound and the iHeartMedia Soundfront is our opportunity to challenge the industry to explore the creative potential of sound to tell and sell better.”  Saying that it is teaming with “a broad spectrum of A-list producers, musicians, actors, music industry veterans and curators,” the company announces some of the people it is working with, including: “Skybound Rundown” (podcast): From the producers of “Theiheartmedia logo small Walking Dead” TV show and gaming franchise focusing on the world of indie gaming; “Heart of the Beat” (podcast):  Artist and musician Jared Leto will bring sound and storytelling together in this original audio show that allows artists to reveal the method behind their madness; “Who is Marty Hirsch?” (podcast) is the first-ever audio mockumentary, building off successes like “This Is Spinal Tap” and “Almost Famous” to tell a story of a mythical music icon.  iHeartMedia has partnered with Trium Entertainment (the creator and executive producer of “The Biggest Loser”) to produce a number of podcasts including: “The Vent” hosted by Jaime Pressly; “Get Mic’d” – a talent search show for the next great iHeartMedia DJ; and “Science of Success” with Jonah Berger.  The iHeartMedia-Trium relationship will also produce videocasts and the hiring away of Big Boy from Emmis in Los Angeles is relevant here as he’ll host “Urban Legends with Big Boy,” a hip hop show.  “Z100” New York-based personality Elvis Duran will also host a videocast titled, “The Elvis Sessions” in which he “digs throughout the day-to-day gossip and connects with the true passion that drives artists and celebrities.”  Other videocasts will include “On the Fly with Paul Costabile” and “My Journey.”  iHeartMedia also used the event to announce an expanded relationship with Snapchat, details of which are expected to come in the future.  Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was in attendance discussing iHeartMedia’s unique positioning to “use the power of sound to drive social results.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes, iHeartMedia president and CFO Richard Bressler, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman.

emmis logoFacing “Weak Markets,” Emmis Seeks Covenant Relief from Lenders.  In a filing with the SEC, Emmis Communications presents historical performance data and forward-looking statements as it seeks covenant relief for the quarters ended May 31, 2015 through February 28, 2017.  Emmis says it is outperforming its markets but the problem is that the markets are weak – for example, citing New York figures showing Emmis down 6% while the market as a whole was down 7.3% over the nine-month period ended November 30, 2014.  It says the battle between its urban KPWR, Los Angeles and iHeartMedia’s new KRRL (which is benefitting from its luring morning talent Big Boy away from KPWR) is causing it to face “new headwinds.”  In New York, the company says the market was weak throughout calendar 2014 – down mid- to high-single digits after being up 5% in calendar 2013.  It reports national was off by 30% during the 2014 summer months and down 18% for the nine months ended November 30, 2014.  Emmis states that it finished fiscal 2015 under its 6.00x covenant at 5.40x but “wants to constructively manage compliance with sufficient cushion.”  It goes on to show its efforts to control costs by noting it has “reduced cash operating costs by $7 million as part of its fiscal 2016 budget.”  You can see the entire lender presentation here.

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PPM Analysis: Classic Rock. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of three analyses of gold-based formats with today’s look into the performances of classic rock-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio data from the March 2015 survey.  Compared to stations airing the classic hits/oldies format which rank sixth in their markets on average, Kinosian reports their classic rock counterparts rank eighth (6+) on average.  “Moreover, based on our March ratings analysis, classic hits/oldies outlets tend to outpoint classic rockers by one full share point (5.50 – 4.53, 6+).”  Read more about how classic rockers compare to their performances in the February 2015 survey, how they compare versus the March 2014 survey, where they rank in their markets, how they stack up behind market share leader KSEG, Sacramento (9.1 share, 6+), plus a look at how classic hits/oldies stations and classic rockers fared against each other.  Click here.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  Nineteen-year morning host Bruce Kayser retires from Schurz kayserbruceCommunications-owned adult contemporary WNSN, South Bend, Indiana “Sunny 101.5 FM.”  Kayser hosted the show with Jack Reichert and Abby Weppler…..Northeast Ohio radio pro Chuck Matthews signs on with Cleveland-based online rock stream oWOW Radio as production and imaging director.  Matthews was most recently with Rubber City Radio in Akron.  He’s also served with iHeartMedia at rock/talk WMMS and classic hits WMJI “Majic 105.7.”

buymeaboatChris Janson Signs with Warner Bros. After Bobby Bones Push.  Singer/songwriter Chris Janson got a nice push a few weeks ago from iHeartMedia’s Bobby Bones when the latter played Janson’s song “Buy Me a Boat” on his nationally syndicated program.  After that, the song hit the #1 spot on the iTunes Country Chart.  Now, Janson is the newest artist to sign with Warner Bros. Records and he’ll be featured on iHeartMedia’s “On The Verge Artist” program.  As the most recent “On The Verge Artist,” Janson’s “Buy Me A Boat” will be heard across 140 country radio stations for six consecutive weeks, beginning May 4, 2015. The program includes on-air exposure as well as significant digital and social support across iHeartMedia’s network to introduce new music to listeners.

smartphonesNew Bill Would Prevent Mandated FM Chips in Smartphones.  U.S. Reps Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced a bill called “Protecting the Rights of Musicians Act.”  The bill would prevent smartphone manufacturers from having to include and activate an FM chip in smartphones.  On board supporting the legislation is the Consumer Electronics Association whose president and CEO Gary Shapiro says, “By prohibiting the Federal Communications Commission from imposing the inclusion of radio tuners in mobile devices, this new bill recognizes that consumers and technology innovators – not the government or analog radio broadcasters – are best positioned to determine the functions and features of cutting-edge mobile devices.  Importantly, this bill also starts a worthwhile and much needed conversation about digital age music payment systems.  We look forward to working with Representatives Blackburn and Eshoo as this bill moves forward through Congress.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

| April 22, 2015

wildermindDuane Doobie Jr.’s Picks of the Week.  RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: on-air personalities Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Matt James, golden-eared, on air personality at “T-100” WCLT in Newark, OH; and Jered Petrey, GM, and the music committee from the award-winning, student-run high school radio station at Pendleton Heights High School in Pendleton, Indiana; plus internet sensation The Iceman, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats.  You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM.  This week’s selection posted today (4/22) includes such names as: Kendrick Lamar, Heymous Molly, Pitbull, Omi, Felix Jaehn, The Very Best, Redfoo, Mumford & Sons, Walk Off The Earth, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Michael Des Barres, ACDC, Peter Rivera, The Pocket Gods, Balsam Range, Dwight Yoakam, Leaf Rapids, Dennis Kruissen, Wales, Years & Years, among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Classic Hits/Oldies.  RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the classic hits/oldies format based on data from the recently released March PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Kinosian reports that ratings movement from February to March was a mixed bag for the format with about half of the qualifying stations going up in the ratings – led by WWSW, Pittsburgh “3WS” with a 1.2-share jump – and the other half taking a dip.  In this report, see how stations fluctuated from February to March, how they moved from March 2014 to March 2015, how they rank in their markets, which stations have the highest market shares, and more.  Read the whole story here.

leefrankeFrank E. Lee Retiring from WXRT, Chicago.  As tipped by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, mid-afternoon personality Frank E. Lee is retiring from his position with CBS RADIO triple A WXRT, Chicago as of May 8.  Feder says WXRT program director and CBS RADIO VP of adult rock programming Norm Winer made the announcement at a staff meeting on Wednesday (4/22).  Chicago native Lee (real name Frank Intrieri) joined WXRT in 1980.  Current WXRT air personality Marty Lennertz will assume the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm shift.

brookeandjubalAlpha Media to Air ‘MOViN Seattle’ Morning show ‘Brooke and Jubal’ on KBFF, Portland.  Beginning Monday, April 27, the Brooke and Jubal morning show based at Hubbard Broadcasting’s CHR KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5” will begin airing in AM drive on Alpha Media’s KBFF, Portland “Live 95.5.”  The show his hosted by Jubal Flagg (center), Brooke Fox (left) and Jose Bolanos (right).  Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “Brooke and Jubal’s success in Seattle has been something that I have admired for some time.  I’m excited to watch the competitive landscape change in our market as Brooke and Jubal join Portland’s fastest-growing radio station.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Music director and midday talent Don “Dj Wrekk-1” Williams, who has beendjwrekk-1 part of the Indianapolis radio scene the past 15 years, exits Radio One-owned rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3.”  He previously spent six years in St. Louis at KATZ, KSLZ, KMJM, and WFUN…..At the Impact Radio Group cluster in Boise, KWYD “Wild 101.1” assistant program director and morning show host JD Garfield is promoted to program director of the hip hop station…..Afternoon drive personality Heather Stevens is exiting Cumulus Media’s country WQXK, Youngstown, Ohio “K105” after a 12-year career with the station…..Mike Haze (Miguel DeJesus) joins Binnie Media’s Concord, New Hampshire operations where he’ll serve as production director and air personality on the company’s classic hits simulcast WNNH, Henniker and WFNQ, Nashua “Frank FM.”

lovesomebodyNASH Icon Artist Reba McEntire Nabs #1 Country Album Spot.  The 27th studio album from country legend Reba McEntire – and her first for the NASH Icon label – is officially the #1 country album.  The NASH Icon label is a joint venture between Cumulus Media and Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus reports that McEntire’s Love Somebody has actual sales of 58,351 and consumption sales of 62,469.

nielsen logoNielsen Announces Q1 Financials; Revenue Up 4.4%.  In announcing the numbers for the first quarter of 2015, Nielsen N.V. reports revenue was down 2.1% due to the impact of foreign exchange, but up 4.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2014.  CEO Mitch Barns states, “Nielsen’s first quarter results again illustrate the consistency of our business model and strong execution, with 4.4% total company and 10.0% emerging markets revenue growth on a constant currency basis.  These results reflect the 35th consecutive quarter of constant currency revenue growth.  In addition, we were pleased to raise our quarterly dividend 12%, as we continue to deliver on our commitment to drive ongoing shareholder value.”

cumulus logoNo Performance Bonuses for Cumulus Media Executives This Year.  The Compensation Committee of Cumulus Media, Inc. awarded no annual incentive compensation nor long-term incentive awards to Cumulus executives in 2014, according to a Definitive Proxy Statement filed with the SEC.  The filing notes that the Compensation Committee would have the discretion to grant the applicable target award if “Cumulus achieved budgeted EBITDA goals, and satisfied other objectives related to managing costs, developing content, achieving gains in market share, as well as successes in strategic planning and implementation and optimizing financial liquidity.  In reviewing the performance and compensation levels of the executive officers for 2014 at the completion of that fiscal year, the Compensation Committee determined that the quantitative financial performance objectives were not met at the threshold level.  As a result, no annual incentive compensation was paid for 2014.”  The filing also reports that no equity incentive awards (stock) were granted either.  “In light of the size and timing of equity award grants to the named executive officers in 2013, which awards were made in October of that year, as well as data provided by Meridian Compensation Partners LLC with respect to the compensation of the executive officers, general industry conditions and actual Company performance in 2014, the Compensation Committee did not grant any long-term incentive awards to the executive officers in 2014.”  So, what did Cumulus officers make in 2014?  Here are a few of the numbers:  president and CEO Lew Dickey earned $1,456,000 in total compensation; SVP, treasurer and CFO Joseph Hanna earned $554,125; EVP of content and programming John Dickey earned $881,192; SVP secretary and general counsel Richard Denning earned $509,942; and recently retired EVP and co-COO Jon Pinch earned $757,851.