General Music Radio Industry News
Envision Networks to Syndicate Detroit-Based ‘Mojo in the Morning’ Show. The CHR morning show hosted by Mojo, Spike and Shannon on Clear Channel’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955,” is now being distributed nationally by Envision Networks. Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “’Mojo in the Morning’ consists of real people who are really funny. Their compelling life stories every morning keep you coming back for more as Mojo, Spike and Shannon wake you up and make you laugh. Your new morning show starts now!” Envision is handling affiliate relations and ad sales for the program that promises “A-list celebrity interviews with such artists as Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Eminem, George Clooney and President Obama.” Mojo adds, “For years I’ve been told by programmers that our show would sound great in their market. Well, now it can be!”
Radio One Boosts Wilson to Regional VP/Midwest. Four-year Radio One Cleveland general manager Jeffrey Wilson is elevated to regional vice president of its Midwest-based stations. Radio Division president Chris Wegmann comments that, “Jeff is a strong broadcasting professional with a solid track record of performance. He brings a diverse background in sales and operations that will be an asset to our entire radio division.” Wilson opines, “This is perhaps the most exciting time in the history of our industry. I am honored to be partnering with Chris Wegmann to redefine radio, serve our communities, and make history.” The six markets Wilson will oversee include Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Indianapolis. He joined Radio One just over 10 years ago as general manager of the company’s Columbus cluster.
Rosenthal Promoted at Katz Media Group. With this promotion, Mark Rosenthal – currently CEO of Katz Radio Group – adds the title CEO of Katz Media Group in which he will also oversee Katz Television Group, KMG’s television representation company. The company says that as CEO of Katz Radio Group, Rosenthal will remain focused on building the radio sector, working closely with Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray to drive additional media dollars into radio. Effective immediately though, he will now also work closely with KTG presidents Leo MacCourtney and Craig Broitman to grow and further develop KTG’s assets, advocacy and revenue-generating efforts.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. With the move of Greg Gory to Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles as part of “The Woody Show,” Cumulus Media fills the morning drive slot on triple A KFOG, San Francisco with midday host and music director Renee Richardson. That makes way for former KFOG personality Annalisa to return to the station for the midday slot. Annalisa has most recently been on air at Entercom’s classic rock “KFOX” duo…..Radio consulting firm Shane Media brings digital strategist Giovanni Gallucci aboard to pen a weekly social media column for client stations. CEO Ed Shane says, “His weekly updates will cover strategy for social media, brand development, and online public relations for forward-thinking operators.”…..Changes at Clear Channel’s rock KIOZ, San Diego as Missi exits the PM drive show and A.Z. slides up from middays to take her place and serve as music director. DZL moves from evenings to middays and Marty joins the station for evenings. Also, Thor becomes part of “The Show” AM drive program replacing Rob Stevens who left to join Entercom’s WAAF, Boston as producer of the “Hill-Man Morning Show”…..Travis Moon is leaving Clear Channel’s country KAJA, San Antonio “KJ97” and the business to join St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Nashville in the radio development department.
The Infinite Dial 2014. Media consultant and RadioInfo contributor Holland Cooke sat in on yesterday’s annual webinar presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital that detailed the results of the 2014 version of the Infinite Dial study. Many results are not surprising: smartphone use is growing rapidly with 61% of Americans owning cell phones – a 500% increase in five years. Although the “digital dashboard” – newer model cars with in-dash infotainment systems – gets a lot of press coverage as new deals are struck between app-makers, service providers and car manufacturers, as of today the smartphone is more important. The study reports 43% of persons 12-24 listen with a smartphone while in the car and 27% of persons 25-54 do the same. Still, AM/FM owns the auto for now and is still the primary source for discovering new music. Read more results from the study and Holland Cooke’s analysis here.
Formats Start Picking Up the Pieces. In the aftermath of the dramatic changes in programming and listening that take place during the holidays each year, January is a time of re-settling as the adult contemporary stations come down to earth. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian sets about examining which formats benefitted the most when wall-to-wall Christmas music stations reverted to their customary (generally adult contemporary) format. “Leading off the comparison is mainstream contemporary hit radio (CHR). Frankly, several other formats have stronger survey-to-survey percentages, but omnipresent CHR provides maximum head-to-head matchups.” Check out Kinosian’s analysis of CHR performance here.
Cumulus Baton Rouge Urban Stations Present Inaugural ‘Achievement Awards.’ As the culmination of its Black History Salute, Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge urban-targeted stations urban contemporary KQXL “Q106.5,” hip hop WEMX-FM “Max94.1,” and gospel WXOK-AM “Heaven 1460” are presenting the first ever “Urban Achievement Awards” on March 16 at which Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden will be awarded with the most-coveted Trailblazer Award while Joe Delpit will be awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The event will be held at The Belle of Baton Rouge Casino and Hotel Atrium and will honor 15 local individuals who have made significant contributions to the wellbeing and development of the City of Baton Rouge. Cumulus Baton Rouge OM and urban program director J’Michael Francois says, “As a radio company, we are extremely excited to pay homage to individuals who consistently work tirelessly to improve the quality of our city. As we close Black History Month it’s our duty to celebrate the personal and professional accomplishments of those individuals whom we hope will inspire Baton Rouge’s next generation of leaders.”
Geoff Edwards Passes. No sooner had we reflected on the life and career of Los Angeles and Bay Area radio personality/television game show host Jim Lange (who succumbed to a heart attack last week) than we must now sadly note the passing of Geoff Edwards. Much like the 81-year-old Lange, Edwards, 83, amassed considerable fame from his Los Angeles radio days and nationally through several game show-hosting stints. Edwards died yesterday (3/5) of complications of pneumonia at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Wink Martindale, Lange, and Edwards toiled together in Los Angeles at the once iconic KMPC. “Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I have worked with,” Martindale states of Westfield, New Jersey native Edwards, who was heard on KMPC from 1968 – 1979. He was also on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ (1964 -1965) and two go-rounds at KFI (1966 – 1968 and 1987 – 1989). According to Edwards’ agent of many years, Fred Westbrook, Edwards succeeded in television by making several bold fashion statements. He favored jeans over suits and his hair was longer than that of most other talents at the time. ”He was part of the new breed,” Westbrook comments. Tributes on Facebook regarding Edwards’ death included this observation from renowned voiceover talent/studio audience warm-up announcer/”Price is Right” announcer Randy West. ”Geoff was a wonderfully kind and joyous guy, very bright, with a great natural talent for creating joy, both over the air and in person. For me, it was more laughs per hour with Geoff than anyone else since high school. What a pro, what a sweet man, what a character, what a ball. He was loved and respected by everybody. We laughed and giggled every time we were together.” Sonoma Music Group president Michael O’Shea checked in by remarking, “What a shock. Geoff was our 9:00 am – 12:00 noon personality at KMPC. Personable, authentic, real and natural. We played tennis a time or two. This is very sad.” Longtime KOST, Los Angeles on-air personality Ted Ziegenbusch notes that Edwards was, “One of my favorite lunchroom pals. Thanks for the laughter, the stories and the fun. I know you have always enjoyed travel. This journey is the best one ever.” Veteran Los Angeles traffic reporter Mike Nolan comments that he was, “a fan for years, then honored to work with him at KFI, so happy to have called him a friend.” Fellow television game show host Jim MacKrell remarks, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Geoff’s passing. I know of no one in our business with a better reputation and a multitude of friends. I am glad I was one of them.” Edwards’ national television resume includes hosting “Jackpot!”, “Chain Reaction,” “Play the Percentages,” “Treasure Hunt” and “The New Treasure Hunt.” In Los Angeles, he and Meredith MacRae won Emmy Awards for co-hosting the daily “Mid-Morning L.A.” For nine years (1986 – 1995), he co-hosted the California Lottery‘s “Big Spin.” An eyewitness to one of America’s most memorable moments, then-news reporter Edwards was in the basement of the Dallas Police Department on November 24, 1963 when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Funeral plans are pending for Edwards, who is survived by his wife, two stepsons, his ex-wife and their three children, as well as nine grandchildren.
Buckley to Sell Connecticut Stations to Connoisseur. Led by Hartford classic hits outlet WDRC-FM, the Connecticut stations Buckley Broadcasting is selling to Connoisseur Media also includes talk WDRC-AM and its simulcast AMs WMMW, Meriden; WSNG, Torrington; and WWCO, Waterbury. The price on this deal is not being made public yet. Buckley is being represented by Richard A. Foreman Associates. In a memo to staff, Buckley president and CEO Joe Bilotta says, “After much reflection, the Board of Trustees has decided that the reality of the evolving competitive landscape, and our sincere desire to see this historic brand continue, are cause for a change in the ownership of our Connecticut properties. Our decision to negotiate with, and eventually sell WDRC-AM/FM to Connoisseur, gives our audience, advertisers, and employees access to the considerable resources of this multi-dimensional media and entertainment company. For over half of a century Buckley Broadcasting has been the steward of these great call letters and there is not a better company than Connoisseur to ensure the continued and accelerated future success of the WDRC brand.”
Triton Digital Achieves MRC Accreditation for Webcast Metrics Local. And this is good news for radio nemesis Pandora as it’s been the service’s first customer. Triton says in a press release, “Webcast Metrics Local (WCML) is a market-specific version similar to Triton’s MRC-accredited national measurement product. For the first time, this rigorous audit contains a publisher component where each WCML publisher must undergo a separate audit of their user-declared geographic and demographic listener data. As the first customer using the solution, Pandora has completed the publisher audit and has been successfully integrated into WCML. Additional publishers are currently in the pipeline.” This is important because now WCML allows “agencies and advertisers to evaluate relative audience scale within specific markets.” And now Pandora can go to advertisers with traditional audio metrics: Average Quarter Hour (AQH), AQH Rating, Cume and Cume Rating. They are presented so that ad buyers can evaluate the entire audio marketplace with the same set of metrics. Publishers leverage the solution to monetize content on a local level. Triton Digital COO Mike Agovino says, “We have been feeding Webcast Metrics Local data into the agency stewardship systems for several months now. This greatly simplifies the process of quantifying audiences for agencies, allowing them to compare audio ad delivery across platforms. Webcast Metrics Local is becoming the currency for digital audio advertising at the local level. We anticipate the combination of MRC accreditation with Pandora and new publisher additions will further accelerate the growth of the digital audio ad marketplace.”
Nielsen’s Cross-Platform Report: Smartphone Use Rising, AM/FM Use Decreasing. The numbers are nothing astronomical with regard to the decline in use of AM/FM radio, but they show a trend. According to the March 2014 Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, the hours of use per day for adults 18+ for AM/FM radio have dropped from 2:53 minutes to 2:46 minutes from the fourth quarter of 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2013. At the same time, use of smartphones has risen from :48 minutes per day to 1:07 minutes per day over the same three-year period. Again, this is not a dramatic change but it certainly shows that the use of smartphones continues to rise for adults and the use of the AM/FM radio is declining. You can check out the report here.
And Speaking of Smartphones…The increase in usage of smartphones by Americans has risen to 61% (persons 12+), according to Edison Research and Triton Digital – the two companies presenting their “Infinite Dial 2014” webinar today at 2:00 pm ET. Edison releases this little teaser in advance of today’s event indicating that in 2009 just 10% of Americans owned smartphones. That number climbed to 44% in 2012 and has soared to 61% in 2014 and Edison estimates that means about 160 million people in raw numbers.
Talent Shuffle at Clear Channel DC as Bobby Bones Takes Over Mornings on WMZQ. The Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones country AM drive show is put in place at Clear Channel’s WMZQ beginning March 10. Current morning host Boxer will move to the midday slot and co-host Aly Jacobs remains in AM drive to deliver local content including traffic and weather. Moving from WMZQ middays to the company’s AC WASH is Jenni Chase who will serve as midday host there. WMZQ program director Meg Stevens says, “No one is closer to the heartbeat of Nashville than Bobby Bones. WMZQ listeners will enjoy waking up with the award-winning Bobby Bones show and his unique and entertaining insight on country music, and so much more!”
Dave Adams Remains Program Director at CHR ‘RadioNow 97.3’ in Milwaukee. That may sound like a strange headline but Adams tells RadioInfo that he originally was going to give up his programming role at WRNW in order to focus on programming oldies WRIT and “other national projects within” the company. But now, Adams says the company wants him to stay PD at WRNW. He comments, “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to continue growing the ‘Radio Now’ brand in Milwaukee and I’m truly excited about our potential moving forward! I’d also like to thank Tony Coles, Kerry Wolfe and Jeff Tyler for their ongoing support and guidance.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Clear Channel’s CHR KJYO, Oklahoma City “KJ103,” Frito moves from evenings to afternoon drive and Brad B is upped to evening personality…..Steve Kostan joins CBS RADIO’s classic hits WOMC, Detroit for Saturday evenings. Kostan was the night jock at Greater Media’s crosstown classic rocker WCSX for 18 years before being let go last September.
L&L Moves Savannah Hot AC ‘Y100’ to 100.1 FM. This is a move of L&L Broadcasting’s hot AC WXYY, Savannah-Hilton Head from its dial position at 107.9 (and name “Y107”) to the newly acquired WSSJ located at 100.1 FM. The station changes its brand to “Y100.” Tony Bristol is serving as program director/PM drive host and the station will still feature “The Bert Show” in mornings and Patty Steele in middays. L&L VP and market manager Gigi South comments, “We are so excited to acquire WSSJ which enables us to serve even more of the Savannah community. The switch is on.” Bristol adds, “We’re very excited to continue to piece together our winning team that Savannah can be proud of and call their hometown radio station.”
‘Radio Guy’ Jim Lange Remembered. When Jim Lange passed away last week at age 81, he was remembered by most for his role as host of television’s “The Dating Game.” But as RadioInfo managing editor and bureau chief Mike Kinosian writes, “Jim Lange was one of the finest ambassadors radio could ever hope to have.” A few years back, Kinosian did a profile of Lange and learned more about his radio career – including why he always kept a radio job even during the heyday of “The Dating Game” and his other TV game shows. He said that if the TV job failed, he always had radio. Lange told him, “I noticed that all the game show hosts were radio guys. They were hired because they could adlib. There is no script on a game show. You have rules, but that is it.” Read Mike Kinosian’s story about Jim Lange here.
SCBA Reports 2014 Starting Off Positive. Calling it “solid, steady revenue growth that sets the stage for a strong first quarter for Southern California radio,” Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan reports the results of the Miller Kaplan Arase Market Summary report for January 2014 indicating total market revenue for Los Angeles radio grew by 1.7% in January. Callahan adds, “The 1.7% growth rate for January is, of course, good news for our industry here in Southern California, however, a closer look at what made up that growth reveals a market and region that is healthy and growing.” The Miller Kaplan Arase X-Ray report for Los Angeles radio further describes both strong category growth and exceptional new business development in the first month of the New Year. That growth includes: insurance companies – up 152.1%, education – up 61.5%, concerts/theatre/movies – up 54.6%, communications/cellular/public utilities – up 22.7%, and both the auto category – up at 6.3% and health care – up at 6.4%. Callahan says, “New business development was a significant revenue driver for Southern California radio in January and showcases how new advertisers are rediscovering radio and its effectiveness in building brands and market share for their business. With 297 new advertisers spending $7,408,878 in new business in January alone, it’s clear our SCBA member stations are fully engaged in new business development.”
Radio One Transfers Williams to Philadelphia. WQNC “Praise 100.9″ and WPZS “Praise 92.7″ program director Darrick “Brown” Williams will be leaving the Radio One Charlotte gospel simulcast for similar duties in Philadelphia at co-owned urban-rhythmic oldies WRNB “Old School 100.3″ and gospel WPPZ “Praise 103.9.” Radio One vice president/general manager Shawneen Thompson comments, “We are enthusiastic that ‘Brown’ accepted our offer to come to Philadelphia to lead our ‘Old School’ and ‘Praise’ stations. Under his guidance, we are very confident that he will lead our stations into the number one positions in Philadelphia.” Brown adds, “I am so excited for the opportunity to work with Shawneen Thompson and the staff in Philadelphia. My passion lies in music, and in developing talent. I am so grateful to have the vote of confidence from management to lead Radio One Philadelphia to the top.” Brown begins his new duties in about three weeks (3/24) and he will be responsible for the “Praise 103.9″ Inspiration and Music Conference later this month (3/28 and 3/29).
Jenny Perry Joins WKXC, Augusta Morning Show. At Beasley Broadcasting’s country WKXC, Augusta, Georgia “New Country Kicks 99,” Jenny Perry becomes part of the morning drive show that’s now called the “KICKS Wake-Up Krew with Mike, Steve & Jenny.” Perry joins “New Country Kicks 99” Georgia’s Golden Isles where she was most recently on-air as a midday host on WRJY-FM in Brunswick, Georgia. Prior to that, she was an afternoon host on WIXE-AM in Monroe, North Carolina.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At CBS RADIO’s CHR KKHH, Houston “Hot 95.7,” Kaden exits the afternoon drive slot and his role as program director for the EDM station airing on KKHH’s HD-3 channel….. Bill Baker is promoted from assistant PD to program director at Great Scott Broadcasting’s hip hop WOCQ, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland “OC 104.” Baker also serves as morning drive personality and he takes over for Dee-Lite, who exits the station. At the same time, PM drive host Chubb Love becomes APD…..Mark Feather is out as program director at the Impact Radio Group’s cluster in Boise where he programmed hip hop KWYD “Wild 101.1,” adult hits KSRV “96.1 Bob FM,” and hot AC KZMG. Promoted to program director for KSRV is production director James Garner. Joining the station to program KWYD and KZMG is Kevin Cruise.
Michael Harrison on the Road – Next Big Stop: Jerry Del Colliano’s “Media Solutions Conference” in Philly March 26. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will be one of three special guest speakers at noted industry observer and analyst Jerry Del Colliano’s fifth annual Media Solutions Conference set for Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 26. Along with WBEB, Philadelphia (“More FM”) owner Jerry Lee and nationally syndicated Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity, Harrison will participate in the intensive day-long workshop that will focus on a wide variety of digital-era issues currently facing and challenging radio. These include coming to a better understanding of the Millennial generation, learning to disrupt radio itself before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, effectively using video to generate significant amounts of revenue and much more. Harrison states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this conference and tackling these crucial issues with a bunch of smart people from all ends of the business. Jerry Lee has so much to share about running an independent station in an aggressive, winning way – we could sure use more Jerry Lees in this industry – and Sean Hannity is the very definition of brains and class. One of the things Sean brings to the table is the ability to attract younger listeners to traditional news/talk – he has done quite alright in an area of the field to which most people are actively seeking answers.” The event takes place at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel. For more information click here.
Journal Communications Reports Q4 2013 Numbers; Radio Down 7.2%. That radio figure does include the loss of political advertising and a quirk of the bookkeeping calendar that took a week away in 2013. Accounting for those issues, Journal reports that on a same-station basis, radio revenue was up 0.7% in the fourth quarter and for the whole of 2013 same-station revenue was up 3.7%. The news for national revenue continues to be negative as Journal’s radio stations saw national drop 22.8% in Q4 and dive 8.9% for the entire year. In a statement, chairman and CEO Steven Smith says, “Journal Communications delivered a solid fourth quarter in a non-political year, driven by gains in core revenue in our broadcast group and improving advertising revenue trends in publishing…Consolidated revenue of $107.4 million was up 11% compared to 2012, excluding the extra week and political revenue in 2012.”
VH1 Shifts Radio Shows Syndication and Sales to KMG Networks and AdLarge Media. The radio arm of VH1 is announcing it is moving the distribution and national ad sales for its rock programming to KMG Networks and AdLarge, respectively. The company notes that this is an expansion of an already existing relationship. KMG Networks – the syndication division of Krantz Media Group – already serves as the radio distributor of VH1′s “On Tap” with Nik Carter and AdLarge handles ad sales. VH1 vice president of radio Roger Coletti comments, “Moving all of our radio programming services to KMG Networks, with advertising sales representation by AdLarge, is part of VH1’s commitment to delivering next-generation content and show prep to today’s growing rock and classic rock radio stations. Partnering with KMG and AdLarge ensures great customer service for affiliate stations and national advertisers.” Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz adds, “With their vast resources, VH1 and VH1 Classic have curated some of the most amazing classic rock and current rock content for affiliated radio stations.”
WJXN, Jackson Drops Classic Hits for Classic Country. The Flinn Broadcasting-owned station (being operated by The Radio People under an LMA) leaves the Jack FM classic hits format behind and flips to classic country as “100.9 The Legend.” Sister station country WUSJ program director Russ Williams will program WJXN as well.
Active Rocker KKRK, Helena Launches. A new active rock outlet is on the air as Montana Radio Company debuts KKRK, Helena “Rock 106.5.” The station is being programmed by Kit Mann who handles mornings and programs the company’s sister AC KMTX. The station is airing the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Free Beer & Hot Wings” morning show and will add local jocks eventually.
DOOBIE: Time for Music Radio to Reinvent Itself. Radioinfo music editor/director Duane Doobie delivers a timely message in a new thought-piece posted today (3/3). He boldly challenges music radio to cut its ties to obsolete notions of its past role in pop culture and reinvent itself upon the universal basics by which it has survived well over a half-century of changes in its methods to deliver tunes to the hungry ears of the American public. Doobie says “be convenient and unique.” To find out what else he says, read the entire piece by clicking here.
Duane Doobie’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (3/3)) includes such names as: Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, Alexis Keegan, Hedley, New Hollow, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Mike Posner, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Ke$ha, Jason Derulo, Pitbull, Train, Ninja Sex Party, Phonat, Jamiroquai, Fareoh, Cash Cash, Knocks, Lush & Simon, SHato & Paul Rockseek, DJ Kool, Party Favor, Lily Allen, Digital Farm Animals, VanLadyLove, Findlay, Temples, Oasis, Beatles, Team Me, Elizabeth Cook, Danni Nicholls, Mama Bluegrass Band, Ben Rush, Mandy Barnett, Alison Krauss and Don Gibson among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Clear Channel Extends Doc Wynter’s Deal; Expands Role. The urban programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will continue to be supervised by senior vice president of urban programming Doc Wynter as he extends his contract with the company and adds new duties. Wynter will continue to serve as urban and urban adult contemporary brand manager. The company states that as part of his expanded role, Wynter will join Dennis Clark’s talent development team, now coaching talent across a variety of formats. He will continue working with key urban program directors and syndicated talent like Steve Harvey, Keith Sweat and “The Breakfast Club” and will expand his responsibilities to key talent and stations across all formats. “He’ll also continue working with record label partners to identify opportunities to leverage Clear Channel’s platform to introduce new hip hop and R&B artists and music to listeners through digital and on-air assets as well as live events and create the format’s quarterly ultimate contest.” Wynter has been with Clear Channel since 1988 and is responsible for successfully launching a number of urban stations including “Power 105.1” in New York and, most recently, WMIB in Miami and “93.7 The Beat” in Houston.
Todd & Erin Back on the Air on ‘Rewind 100.7’ in Salt Lake City. The husband and wife morning show team of Todd and Erin Collard has been off the air in the Salt Lake City market for the past eight months while they sat out a non-compete from their previous gig at Cumulus-owned KBEE “B98.7” in July of last year. Today, they start wake-ups at Simmons’ classic hits KYMV “Rewind 100.7.” (The station is being sold by Simmons to Broadway Media which is operating it under an LMA until the deal closes.) According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the duo is replacing program director Justin Taylor who is taking his on-air work to the evening slot.
Jonathan Wilde to Leave ‘92.5 The Wolf’ in Denver. The program director and morning host at Wilks Licenses-owned KWOF, Denver “92.5 The Wolf” announces he’s leaving the station after four years. Jonathan Wilde – a three-time CMA major market personality of the year – writes in a memo to his staff, “I want to thank Jeff Wilks and Jeff Sanders for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to take ‘The Wolf’ and completely turn it around and make it a viable second country outlet in this market. We’ve done a lot in four years, including the hurdle of neutralizing the market from a concert standpoint and gain reporting status with the labels.” Bo Reynolds jumps over from sister classic hits KXKL for mornings and current music director and midday host Brooke Diaz will work on programming duties alongside corporate programmer Mike Kennedy.
Changes in Morning Talent at South Jersey Rockers. A story in the Press of Atlantic City outlines the changes at Equity Communications’ classic rock WZXL, Wildwood, New Jersey and crosstown competition Longport Media’s rock WMGM. The current WZXL morning team of Joe Ciappana and Scott Friedman will exit after this week and be replaced by former WMGM morning hosts Joseph “JoJo” Borsello and Scotty Reilly. While WZXL has its new jocks in place beginning March 10, WMGM tells the paper it is still seeking a new morning show to replace the departed JoJo & Scotty. Longport Media president Dave Coskey says, “Paul Kelly, our vice president of programming, will search for the best morning team he can find and put them on the air. But we don’t have any plans to announce it yet.”
Lawrence Named Director of Sales at Revenue Development Resources. After 14 years of service to the Radio Advertising Bureau, Bob Lawrence becomes director of sales for Revenue Development Resources. He states, “It’s exciting to be representing the valuable services that RDR offers to broadcasters, and to once again team with RDR president/CEO Mark Levy. I look forward to more of the kind of successes that Mark and I achieved during our years working together at the RAB.” Says Levy, “Bob joining us is like old-home week. With former RAB team members Tim Foley and now Bob Lawrence on the team, it’s like working with family again!”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Cumulus Media’s Pensacola cluster, JJ Waters is named the new vice president of sales. Waters served for 19 years with Clear Channel as director of sales in the Pensacola and Mobile markets before leaving the radio biz in 2003…..Programmer Lance Ballance is named operations manager for Cumulus Media’s Worcester, Massachusetts stations and PD for hot AC WXLO. He most recently served as program director at Sun Broadcasting’s rock WXNX, Fort Myers.
Cumulus Flips Oldies WOMG, Columbia to ‘NASH 98.5.’ This addition to Cumulus Media’s “NASH FM” family of country stations isn’t a rebranding of a current country outlet but a flip from oldies. WOMG, Columbia, South Carolina flipped to “NASH FM 98.5” on Friday, February 28 at 5:00 pm. The company reports that the station will “feature exclusive NASH programming content including ‘America’s Morning Show’ with Blair Garner, Terri Clark and Chuck Wicks, ‘NASH Nights Live’ with Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith and ‘Kickin’ It with Kix’ with Kix Brooks and Suzanne Alexander. The station will also feature program director T.J. McKay in the afternoon. EVP and COO John Dickey adds, “We are excited to introduce ‘NASH FM 98.5’ as we continue to grow the ‘NASH’ brand across the country. ‘NASH FM 98.5’ listeners and advertisers will benefit greatly from the variety of country lifestyle content opportunities associated with the ‘NASH’ brand.”
WMYR, Fort Myers Re-Brands as ‘Twang 106.7.’ The new classic country-formatted station is a simulcast on WMYR-AM, Fort Myers and translator W249AN at 106.7 and now features local talent “Super Dave” Logan as program director and afternoon drive host and Allyn Black serving as morning drive personality. The Gulf Breeze Radio-owned station’s website says, “We’re playing classics from the country stars that you know on a first name basis…Patsy, Willie, Waylon, Merle, Johnny, Reba and George. But we’re ‘Classic Country and More’…so you’ll hear some great tunes from artists that made country rock, like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Marshall Tucker and The Charlie Daniels Band!”
FCC Kills CIN Study…at Least for Now. The Federal Communications Commission issued a brief statement late Friday afternoon ending the current form of the Critical Information Needs study that has enraged broadcasters since it was announced last May. Recently, as the beginning of the study approached this spring, broadcasters – and many from the public arena – had re-stoked their disapproval. The FCC’s statement on February 28 was: “The FCC will not move forward with the Critical Information Needs study. The Commission will reassess the best way to fulfill its obligation to Congress to identify barriers to entry into the communications marketplace faced by entrepreneurs and other small businesses.” Commissioner Ajit Pai, who had publicly criticized the scope of the study, said, “I am pleased that the FCC has canceled its Critical Information Needs study. In our country, the government does not tell the people what information they need. Instead, news outlets and the American public decide that for themselves. I look forward to working with my colleagues to identify and remove actual barriers to entry into the communications industry. This newsroom study was a distraction from that important goal.”
Legendary Pittsburgh DJ ‘Porky’ Chedwick Dead at 96. A man to whom many give credit for bridging the gap between black and white pop music in the late 1940s and the 1950s passed away on Sunday morning (3/2) after complaining of pain and being rushed to the hospital. Craig “Porky” Chedwick (pictured here in a promo shot) – who used on-air monikers such as “Daddio of the Raddio” and “Platter Pushin’ Papa” – began his career on WAMO, Homestead, Pennsylvania in 1948. At the time, there were no radio stations serving the black population in the market and “race records,” as they were called, were not getting airplay until Chedwick started playing them. Numerous black artists credit Chedwick for helping get their records on the radio. He worked on the air in Pittsburgh for more than 60 years.
John Legend Visits KBLX, San Francisco. R&B star John Legend (left) chats with KBLX, San Francisco personality Nikki Thomas (right) in the KBLX studios recently during his visit for an in-depth interview and live performance. Legend performed four songs, including his current hit “All of Me.” Thomas says Legend opened up about his marriage to Victoria’s Secret model Chrissy Tiegen. She adds, “John Legend is nothing less but the definition of a true performer, gentlemen and philanthropist. He’s a pleasure to interview every time and he’s always welcomed inside KBLX Lounge.”
Cumulus Flips WCOA-FM, Pensacola to Classic Hits ‘The Jet 100.7.’ The station had been an FM simulcast of news/talk WCOA-AM, which remains a news/talker. This morning the FM side flipped to classic hits “The Jet 100.7.” The company says Jerry King moves from Cumulus Media Networks to the station as operations manager for its Pensacola cluster and as program director for WCOA-FM. The station will carry the WestwoodOne-syndicated Bob & Tom show in morning drive.
Nielsen Study Ties Station Choice to Buying Behavior. In a release from Nielsen about its recent major market pilot test, the company says that “for the first time, a connection can be drawn between what consumers listen to on the radio and how they spend. This solidifies radio’s place as a valuable marketing platform for advertisers and media planners. The major market pilot test combined proprietary Nielsen data with anonymized panelist credit and debit card purchasing behavior covering more than 24 billion transactions and $2 trillion in annual sales primarily from the retail, travel, digital, restaurant, entertainment, financial services and telecom categories.” Results from the Dallas market, for example, show that listeners to pop radio spend more per buyer annually on casual dining than those listeners who prefer other formats. In the same market, rock and alternative listeners spend more per buyer annually in retail locations than listeners who prefer other formats. News/talk listeners, the study showed, go to the movies more each year that do listeners of other formats. Nielsen SVP of local media product leadership Farshad Family says, “The ability to determine how radio listeners among different formats like pop, news or rock are spending their dollars creates a unique opportunity for radio broadcasters to make a case for the value of their audience. We are just beginning to tell the story about the value of radio’s audience. As we make progress on conducting more links between listening data and purchase data, we will continue to share more insights with the marketplace.”
Salem Communications Posts Q4 2013 Revenue Increase of 3.4%; Broadcast Up 1%. Digital was the key to Salem Communications’ 2013 fourth quarter revenue increase of 3.4% for the company as a whole. The broadcast sector was up 1% on revenue of $47.4 million and broadcast makes up about 60% of the company’s revenue. The company’s publishing sector was flat while internet and e-commerce was up 16.6%. Salem’s outlook for the first quarter of 2014 projects “total revenue to increase 9% to 11% over the first quarter 2013 total revenue of $55.6 million. The company is also projecting operating expenses before gains or losses on the sale or disposal of assets, impairments and stock-based compensation expense to increase 13% to 16% as compared to the first quarter of 2013 operating expenses of $48.2 million. This guidance includes the impact of the hiring of two new senior executives and the financial performance for the recent acquisition of Eagle Publishing. The guidance for the first quarter contemplates a loss of $0.4 million due to the assumption of some unfavorable contracts that will rapidly unwind and the fact that the first quarter is always a soft quarter in the book publishing business with the big titles being released in the spring and in the fall.”
WAAF, Boston Names Stevens ‘Hill-Man Morning Show’ Producer. The morning drive “Hill-Man Morning with Show” on Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston has a new producer. Rob Stevens replaces longtime show producer Anthony “Spaz” Parziale who is exiting to start his own company. Stevens, a Boston native, most recently was co-host of the morning show on Clear Channel’s rock KIOZ, San Diego. The “Hill-Man” show is hosted by Greg “The Hill-Man” Hill, Lyndon “LB” Byers and Danielle Murr. WAAF program director Ron Valeri says, “Rob is uniquely qualified to round out our cast of colorful characters during the morning commute. He’s a triple threat who brings a combination of organizational and technical talents required behind the scenes, along with the showmanship skills needed to entertain in front of the microphone.”
Grosenick Joins Seattle’s KRWM as GSM. Former Seattle Times director of digital sales Michele Grosenick is named general sales manager of Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm 106.9.” Director of sales Susan Hoffman comments, “I am so pleased to have Michele joining the Hubbard Radio Seattle family. Michele has built a solid reputation and a strong foundation in the Seattle media landscape. I know she will motivate, lead, and inspire the ‘Warm’ team to further greatness.” Grosenick states that she is “absolutely thrilled to be returning to radio.” Regarding “Warm 106.9,” she comments, “It is an amazing radio station with years of brand longevity. I look forward to leading the seasoned ‘Warm’ sales team to the next level of success.” Grosenick – who begins her new duties one week from Monday (3/10) – previously was vice president and general manager of Clear Channel Seattle’s six-station group; vice president and general manager for EVPO Television/Radio; and director of sales for New Century Media.
Logan Exits Shane Media. Stating on his Facebook page that he thought he’d “spend the rest of my working days in this chair at Shane Media,” Lee Logan says the fiscal realities of the industry have him exiting the consulting company and looking for his next great opportunity. Logan had been with Shane for the past seven years and was instrumental in assisting Radio One put its all-news format on KROI, Houston “News 92 FM.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Longtime KNRK, Portland “94/7fm” night personality and imaging staffer Squid Vicious exits the Entercom alt rocker…..At Royce International Broadcasting, James Palomares (a.k.a. DJ Supa James) is named program director for the company’s CHR stations including KREV, San Francisco “92.7 The Revolution,” KFRH, Las Vegas “104.3 Now FM,” and KRCK, Palm Springs, California “Hot Hits 97.7.” Palomares will be hosting the evening shift at all three stations. At the same time, Eric Sean Casucci takes on the music director/APD role for the three stations and will host middays…..As the result of Clear Channel’s flip of WRAW, Reading, Pennsylvania from oldies to Spanish AC, Jose “Super” Martinez becomes AM drive personality, Issa Lopez takes on middays, El Gato is heard in afternoons and Jenny Castillo is named evening personality.
Square One and BAS Announce New Affiliates for ‘Hooked on Country.’ The country music radio show hosted by Jimmy Fish, syndicated by Square One with affiliate sales handled by Broadcast Affiliate Sales is now heard on more than 15 affiliate stations. Square One president and CEO Jason Thompson states, “I know ‘Hooked on Country’ is a great show and BAS is proving me right. With BAS’ marketing ability and Jimmy’s great programming skills, we continue to gain affiliates.”
More Than “A.I.” for Lopez and Seacrest. ”American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez will play single mother Harlee McCord, a detective recruited to work undercover for the FBI‘s anti-corruption task force in “Shades of Blue,” which has received a 13-episode, straight-to-series order from NBC-TV. In addition to headlining the drama series, J-Lo will be executive producer. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke states that, “Whether it is producing, acting, singing or any of her many other entrepreneurial activities, Jennifer is an extraordinary talent and life force. We are delighted to be in business with her on this sophisticated show.” Other “Shades of Blue” executives include Ryan Seacrest Productions, with the “American Idol” host an executive producer. ”Ryan is part of the NBCU family, and doing his first scripted drama series with us makes perfect sense,” comments Salke. According to Seacrest, “The script is so powerful and ambitious. We cannot wait to see Jennifer take on this remarkable role. We look forward to working with everyone at NBC.” Production is planned to begin next year; the series will air in the 2015 – 2016 season.
Milwaukee Radio Alliance Purchases Translator CP for ‘Martini Radio.’ The plan is to give the standards-formatted WZTI-AM an FM signal and Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s purchase of the construction permit for a translator at 100.3 would give the station a good signal in the Milwaukee metro. The Milwaukee Business Journal writes that the station – owned by Green Bay Packers great Willie Davis and William Lynett – is paying $140,000 for the CP. Station manager Bill Hurwitz tells the paper, “It makes sense to put a radio station on FM. It’s certainly going to sound better.” WZTI-AM used to serve the market as urban talk and music hybrid WMCS but flipped to standards in 2013 after ownership admitted the format was losing money for the station.
Media Social Visionary. At the inaugural unite4: humanity event that took place at the Sony Lot in Los Angeles last night (2/27), Clear Channel president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes was honored with the Media Social Visionary award. The event is a collaboration between unite4:good and Variety. Comedian and actor Andy Samberg served as master of ceremonies. Other awards included Forest Whitaker, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. presenting to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, William H. Macy presenting to Selena Gomez, Jada Pinkett Smith presenting to Alicia Keys, Eva Longoria presenting to Demi Lovato, Steve Coogan presenting to Philomena Lee and Wilmer Valderrama will present to the Inspiration Award recipients. Pictured here are (from l-r): Robert F. Kennedy Jr., John Sykes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Andy Samberg and Cheryl Hines. (Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision for Bright Future International/AP Images)