General Music Radio Industry News
Sarah, Ty & Mel Show in for Mornings at WRQX, Washington. The makeover at Cumulus Media’s CHR WRQX, Washington “All the Hits 107.3” continues with today’s announcement that, beginning July 30, Sarah Fraser, Ty Bentli and Melanie Glazener will start hosting “The Sarah, Ty, and Mel Show.” The station says show “features the young and lively voices of Fraser, Bentli, and Glazener, who promise an interactive, informative, and inspirational show that will connect with the DMV’s listeners through real stories and phone calls. The show will have a robust presence across social media, and will offer special podcasts to its listeners.” Fraser was co-host of “The Kane Show” at crosstown CHR WIHT for six years. Bentli also worked in Washington at country WMZQ and in Baltimore at country WPOC. Glazener also previously worked on “The Kane Show.” Cumulus EVP of programming Mike McVay comments, “We consider ourselves fortunate to be able to assemble a team like Sarah, Ty and Mel for mornings. There is a high level of competition in DC. I believe in Gillette. He believes in the team. That makes me a big believer in this show.” Meanwhile, program director Gillette adds, “Sarah, Ty and Mel are all in the demo — and are fully plugged into the lifestyle of fellow Millennials. These are down-to-earth people who will talk about their lives with listeners and share their experiences in a completely authentic way. The show will be fun and edgy, but totally relatable. No fake prank calls or canned humor here. We’re getting real with our listeners and believe the show will be a breath of fresh air and unlike anything that’s on the air.”
Beasley Q2 Revenue Down 3.6%. This morning’s release of Beasley Broadcasting Group’s 2014 Q2 financials conforms to many experts’ conclusions about the second quarter of the year: Ad spending in radio was down across the country. BBGI reports the net revenue figure of $25.9 million for the 2nd quarter of 2014 (compared to $26.9 million during the same period in 2013) “primarily reflects lower advertising revenue at the company’s Philadelphia, Wilmington and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville market clusters. The decline in net revenue was partially offset by $0.7 million in other revenue, resulting from an agreement with an electronics company and its affiliate concerning the use of our and their respective logos.” Chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “Second quarter revenue levels reflect slower advertising spending across most markets where we operate which led to declines in seven of our eleven markets and lower station operating income. Overall, we outperformed in our five market clusters that report to Miller Kaplan. In these markets, which accounted for approximately 78% of total second quarter revenue, Beasley station cluster revenue declined 5.2%, compared with the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets which were down 6.0% for the quarter. Our year-over-year revenue decline is partially attributable to difficult comparisons with 2013 second quarter results when we generated double-digit revenue gains in markets including Philadelphia and Las Vegas. However, our initiatives to expand our digital offerings are delivering results as we recorded an approximate 24% rise in digital revenue during the quarter. Notwithstanding the challenges faced in the second quarter, our market positions remain healthy based on our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism. This focus is vital to the company’s ratings strength and long-term success.”
Townsquare Media IPO Raises $91 Million. It’s hard to judge the IPO of a radio and digital media company that’s so young in corporate terms, but the sale of 8.3 million shares of class A stock made the company a little more than $91 million – short of the $125 million the company was hoping to raise. Some analysts are noting that the IPO price was not in the low teens dollar figure the company had hoped for and even the $11 share price was a bit too high as the sale didn’t take off until the price dropped to $10.74. Still, the offering results in a cash infusion for Townsquare Media. Only time will tell if Townsquare’s plan to build revenue with small and medium market radio stations augmented by its stable of digital publications will pay off for investors and the company.
Emmis Names Jay Dixon WQHT, New York PD. After serving as interim program director at Emmis Communications’ hip hop WQHT, New York “Hot 97” since Ebro Darden relinquished the post to focus on his morning show duties, the company officially names Jay Dixon program director. Dixon was with Emmis previously, serving as program director for urban AC WRKS “98.7 Kiss FM” prior to the company leasing that signal to ESPN as WEPN-FM. He also worked for Cox Media Group as that company’s national urban format coordinator. WQHT GM Deon Levingston states, “Jay’s extensive knowledge of radio broadcasting and ratings, as well as his familiarity with the Emmis brand, makes him the perfect fit for WQHT. Over the past few months, Dixon has initiated innovative and creative ideas to the ‘HOT 97’ platform, further demonstrating his capabilities of leading and continuing to expand the global presence ‘HOT 97’ has in hip hop and music. We are thrilled to welcome him back to the Emmis family.” Dixon comments, “I am excited to be back with Emmis and to continue my work with WQHT. I’d like to thank Rick Cummings, Jimmy Steele, Deon Levingston, Ebro Darden and the entire Emmis community for this opportunity. Look out of big things ahead for WQHT, hip hop, and New York.”
Russell to Program WMXO, Olean, New York. Joining Pembrook Pines-owned CHR WMXO “Mix 101.5” as program director is Chris Russell. The company announces the 15-year radio industry pro most recently served with Colonial Media & Entertainment in Olean and, before that, was a programmer for Cromwell Radio Group in Effingham, Illinois. Russell says of his new gig, “I can’t tell you how excited I am at the opportunities our hot AC format provides us here in the market, and what a fantastic group of radio folks I get to hang out with every day! And we have some BIG surprises in store for our great listeners and clients!”
‘K105’ Fort Wayne Names Aricka J Midday Personality. Moving from South Bend where she’s been with Artistic Media Partners-owned CHR WNDV “U93” to Federated Media’s country WQHK “K105” in Fort Wayne is Aricka McCauley a.k.a. Aricka J. She takes over the slot vacated by Heather Cruise when she moved to Los Angeles. Program director Dave Michaels says, “The long nationwide search is over, and an exceptional, talented individual will soon be entertaining the ‘K105’ listeners. Aricka will be a great addition to the ‘K105’ lineup!” McCauley says, “I am very sorry to be leaving South Bend and U93 so soon, they treated me very well. However I am very excited to start a new journey with Federated Media and a longtime heritage station like ‘K105’ and I’m looking forward to the smiling faces of Fort Wayne.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. The new evening personality at CBS RADIO’s hot AC WIAD, Washington “94.7 Fresh FM” is Dana McKay. She was most recently with the company at hot AC WHFS, Tampa “Play 98.7.”…..Zach Ledbetter exits the evening show at Cookeville Communications-owned country outlet WGSQ, Cookeville, Tennessee “Country Giant 94.7.”…..Joanna Huff is promoted to permanent morning show producer and co-host at Reising Radio Partners’ country WYGB, Franklin, Indiana “Korn Country 100.3”
RadioInfo Publisher Michael Harrison Sounds Off on Boston Herald Radio Interview. The Boston Herald newspaper launched an online talk radio station – “Herald Radio” – on August 1, 2013. In commemoration of the forthcoming one-year anniversary, the station interviewed RadioInfo/TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here on Herald Radio) about his take on the state of radio in general. Although the 25-minute conversation focused primarily on Harrison’s opinions about talk radio, he also made a number of comments about his take on the challenges facing terrestrial music radio in the advancing digital era. In addition to whimsically sharing recollections of his personal early-career as a rock radio DJ and PD at such legendary signals as WLIR, Long Island; WNEW-FM, New York; KPRI, San Diego; and KMET, Los Angeles, Harrison states that he is concerned about music radio’s ability to stand up against 21st century competition because it has “abandoned its franchise of personality.” Harrison continues, “And you really can’t compete in today’s multimedia music audio market if you don’t have personality, because then you’re just a Pandora.” To read media reporter Jessica Heslam’s coverage of the visit and to hear the entire interview, please click here.
KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon Adds ‘Hangar 19’ Metal Show. The classic metal show “Hangar 19,” distributed by Envision Networks and hosted by Cutter, is added to the weekend program lineup at Pacific Empire Radio Corporation’s KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon. The program is described by Envision as a show that “relives the glory days of classic metal and features music from the artists and groups who built this explosive genre including Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Metallica, Anthrax, Judas Priest, Korn, Slayer and Marilyn Manson.” KUBQ program director Cliff Turner says, “’98.7 The Rock of Eastern Oregon’ is ready to rock hard with Hangar 19. Cutter has managed to weld together a solid blend of metal from the legends and promising bands of today!”
Clear Channel Holdings Reports 2014 Q2 Numbers – Revenue Up 1%. That figure is for CC Holdings as a whole and must be tempered with the follow-up figure of expenses being up 2% — both figures are year-over-year. During yesterday’s conference call with investors, CFO Richard Bressler detailed some of the achievements of the CCM+E division (although it’s not part of the publicly traded side of the business – only Clear Channel Outdoor is). He noted that iHeartRadio recently surpassed 50 million users; said the success of the televised iHeartRadio Music Awards show in May is evidenced by NBC agreeing to air next year’s awards show as well. While saying that Clear Channel outperformed the markets (as per Miller Kaplan), Bressler admitted that April and May were down months for the radio and networks business but reported that June had improved.
Townsquare Media Inc. IPO Begins Today; Opening Price $10.74. Greenwich, Connecticut-based Townsquare Media’s IPO takes place today with the opening price of its stock at $10.74 per share. Townsquare had hoped to raise $125 million from this IPO but the 8.3 million shares sold raised $92 million. The company plans to use the proceeds to repay its outstanding 10% Senior PIK Notes due in 2019 and to repay approximately $128.6 million of the outstanding term loans under its Senior Secured Credit Facility. The 10% Senior PIK Notes were issued on November 14, 2013 to finance the Cumulus II Transaction.
RadioInfo Career Moves. Joining Townsquare Media as a regional VP based in Dallas is Todd Lawley. He comes to Townsquare from Peak Broadcasting where he was president and CEO before the company sold its radio assets earlier this year. Prior to Peak Lawley served with the old Citadel Broadcasting.…..After a little more than a year with Clear Channel Media + Entertainment in New Orleans, Brian Wallace exits his director of urban programming role at the cluster where he programmed hip hop WQUE “Q93” and urban adult contemporary WYLD. Prior to joining CC in March of 2013, Wallace served with Radio One as OM at the Indianapolis station group…..Joining Cumulus Media’s new urban outlet WNBM, New York, “Radio 103.9,” is Terrence Battle a.k.a. T-Storm who will serve as the local producer for the afternoon drive D.L. Hughley show and host the Saturday evening “Mix Show.” Battle has New York radio experience having worked at CBS RADIO’s WNOW “92.3 Now,” Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97,” and WRKS…..James Steele is now a part of CBS RADIO’s Orlando cluster where he’s the evening personality on CHR WJHM “101.9 AMP Radio” and production manager, effective Monday, July 28. His most recent gig was in Norfolk where he was APD, imaging director and afternoon personality at CHR WNOH “NOW 105.”…..Across the Pond, Graham Mack tells RadioInfo that Amy Stevenson is the newest member of the “BOB’s Breakfast” show on “BOB fm Home Counties.” Stevenson joins Mack and Chris Hubbard as part of the Mack Pack on the adult hits station heard on 106.7 and 106.9 in Hertfordshire, England.
Clear Channel Debuts ‘The Brew’ on WKSF-HD2 and Asheville Translator. The station will play a wide variety of music – from current pop hits to classic rock to 80s rock, according to Clear Channel Asheville operations manager Jeff Davis. He tells the Asheville Citizen-Times the station could be considered “nontraditional.” Music will span the 1970s through to today’s hits. Davis says, “We’ll play about every kind of music from top 40 to hot AC, classic rock, mainstream rock and a little bit of country. It’s basically a nice replacement for an iPod. It will never live in any world too long.” The station can be heard on country WKSF’s HD-2 channel as well as on W249AR at 97.7.
Advertising the Focus as Bob Hoffman Named Keynote Speaker at 2014 Radio Show. This year’s keynote address at the NAB and RAB jointly produced 2014 Radio Show will be delivered by “advertising luminary” Bob Hoffman, whose September 10 speech is titled, “The Golden Age of BS,” that will “address the gulf between what we are being told by ‘experts’ and the reality of advertising and media today, with specific focus on broadcast radio.” Hoffman is a partner in Type A Group, LLC, a consulting firm that works with advertisers, marketers, and media. He is the author of Amazon‘s number-one selling advertising book, 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising, and “The Ad Contrarian” blog.
SiriusXM to Feature Tom Petty with Dedicated Channel; Town Hall Event. Satellite broadcaster SiriusXM returns Tom Petty radio to its channel lineup tomorrow (7/25). In addition to the Tom Petty Radio channel that will feature music spanning Tom Petty’s entire career, from his first album with The Heartbreakers up to the group’s new album Hypnotic Eye, including personal stories from Petty and his bandmates in The Heartbreakers about each track on the new album. The channel will also feature songs Petty recorded as a solo artist and as a member of the Traveling Wilburys as well as live tracks from Petty’s most recent tour. Additionally, the channel will air an exclusive “Town Hall” with Tom Petty, during which Petty will sit down for an intimate Q&A session with a select group of SiriusXM listeners in Los Angeles, moderated by SiriusXM’s Jim Ladd.
Cool Job Opportunity. Saga Communications is on the prowl for a morning host/brand manager at its Springfield, Illinois country outlet WLFZ “101.9 The Wolf.” Let’s have some fun! This station is young – only 10 months old and tearing up the town. We want someone with fresh ideas, attitude and energy. Experience is a must. Music skills, social media, programming vision, on air mastery and people skills top the list. EOE M/F. Send materials to: SPRjobs@sagacom.com.
Clear Channel Announces Lineup for iHeartRadio Music Festival 2014. The lineup of acts for the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place in Las Vegas September 19-20 has been announced by Clear Channel. Major acts include: Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Usher, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Mötley Crüe, Zac Brown Band, One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Paramore, Iggy Azalea, Train, Eric Church, Lorde, Calvin Harris, Bastille, and Steve Aoki. As part of the weekend, the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village will return to The Lot across from Luxor Hotel & Casino on Saturday afternoon with live performances by Iggy Azalea, Neon Trees, Kacey Musgraves, Childish Gambino, Magic!, The Pretty Reckless, Nico & Vinz, Lil Jon and more to be announced. In addition to the Las Vegas concert event, the festival will be broadcast live on Clear Channel radio stations, exclusively streamed live on Yahoo Screen, and will see television exposure as a two-night special on The CW network on September 29 and 30. Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Each year we bring the music of the iHeartRadio app to life at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, redefining the live music experience for fans across America with once-in-a-lifetime performances and incredible collaborations that nobody else can provide. It’s the ultimate celebration of artists and music, and for the fourth year in a row the festival will make history with an extraordinary lineup of the biggest names in music across all genres.”
CBS Local to Acquire Event Discovery Site ‘Eventful.’ In a move that will provide a platform to tie into other CBS-owned platforms, CBS Local Media is entering into an agreement to acquire Eventful, Inc. a leading digital media company in the events discovery, communication and personalization business. Describing the service, CBS states, “Eventful connects consumers with information on millions of concerts, movies listings and local events by using its proprietary algorithms to aggregate, and deliver an ever-growing volume of content from across the United States and around the world. Serving its users via multiple platforms, including online, mobile and email, Eventful creates fan interest profiles and delivers highly personalized recommendations on behalf of artists, publishers and marketers to each of their more than 21 million registered users.” CBS Local Media COO Anton Guitano comments, “By offering audiences comprehensive local information all in one place, Eventful has amassed an engaged community that is passionate about finding experiences that match their lifestyle and personal tastes. This strategy reflects that of CBS Local Media, making this union a terrific complement to our growing digital business. Broadcast and online audiences will now have more insight into more events. Simultaneously, we are thrilled to offer our clients more options to reach their target customer.”
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 (7/23) includes such names as: Pierce Wagner, Evolution Beat, Fifth Harmony, Delta Spirit, Griswolds, Jenny Lewis, Perfume Genius, Young Rising Sons, Death from Above 1979, Maddie & Tae, Maggie Rose, Dwight Yokam, Troy Bullock, Slaptop, District 78, and Steffalooamong others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. There aren’t as many adult hits-formatted stations in Nielsen Audio‘s 48 PPM markets as there are classic hits-oldies and classic rock but RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian notes in this third-of-three analysis that, unlike the other two formats scrutinized in this series, slightly less than half of the adult hits stations in the survey were flat or up with the rest dipping. Just one adult hits station – Emmis’ KBPA, Austin “Bob 103.5 Austin” – ranked #1 in its market in June (persons 6+), while 16 out of the adult hits stations in the survey ranked in the top 10 in their markets in June. Check out the performance comparisons over the past six PPM surveys as well as the chart comparing performances of all three formats – classic hits-oldies, classic rock and adult hits – in Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.
Entercom Chief David Field Asks Employees to Embrace Change, Lists Accomplishments in Mid-Year Memo. In his twice-annual memo to staffers, Entercom president and CEO David Field writes that everyone in the radio business must embrace change and innovate and challenges employees to do so within the guidelines of what Entercom believes in. He goes on to list those beliefs which start with its dedication to “building the best local radio stations with the best local personalities.” Also, Field speaks about the company’s accomplishments and points to the launch of new radio stations, the debut of its SmartReach Digital local marketing arm, and the “two-minute” promise at Seattle’s alternative “The End” which limits spots to six minutes per hour on the station with never more than 2 minutes of commercials at one time. Read his entire memo here.
Pandora Hires Record Industry’s Lars Murray as VP/Industry Relations. In an effort to work more efficiently with the recording industry, digital pure play Pandora announces the appointment of Lars Murray to the new position VP/industry relations. The company reports that, in this new position, Murray will “oversee the company’s strategic collaboration with a broad coalition of music industry stakeholders.” Murray will report to chief strategy officer Sara Clemens. He comes to Pandora from his most recent post as VP/digital media with Columbia Records. Pandora chairman, president & CEO Brian McAndrews comments, “Pandora is committed to building a vibrant, sustainable future for the music industry. With this hire, we’ve added a widely respected thought leader to help take us there. Lars’ extensive knowledge, broad industry relationships, and deep passion for music will further shape our approach to realizing a truly productive collaboration with all industry stakeholders.”
Jake McCann Joins Cumulus Washington as VP of Sales. Radio sales pro Jake McCann is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC stations CHR WRQX and news/talk WMAL-AM/FM. McCann comes to Washington from Philadelphia where he was director of sales for Greater Media’s operations there. Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati comments, “We are thrilled to have Jake at the helm of our cluster in Washington. He is a natural leader and a relentless recruiter. Jake spent the majority of his career in sales management on the East Coast both in radio and cable. He’s developed strong regional advertiser relationships during that time which will be beneficial to us. We look forward to his contribution.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Last week RadioInfo reported that Anthony “Kobe” Fargo had exited his APD gig at Cox Media Group’s WAPE, Jacksonville. Now we learn that he’s returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh to serve as a social media consultant with The Media Beast. Additionally, he’ll be doing part-time on air work at CBS RADIO’s hot AC WBZZ “100.7 StarPittsburgh.”…..Christian broadcaster WAY Media announces it has named Rob Wagman program director for its Christian CHR WAY-FM Network. Wagman most recently was afternoon personality at Salem Communications-owned KFSH, Los Angeles “95.9 The Fish.”…..Steve Cannon takes on more duties with Midwest Communications as he becomes brand manager for country WDWQ, Terre Haute “Q102.7.” Cannon already serves as brand manager for the Terre Haute cluster’s adult contemporary WBOW and classic country WDKE “95.9 Duke FM.”
SHOUTcast Launches Streaming Service with Audience Monetization. The recent addition of SHOUTcast to the Radionomy family is producing a new service that includes effective audience monetization with the integration of the TargetSpot ad network. The company adds that “additional tools and capabilities to support the needs of today’s online radio stations are also part of this new service. These enhancements are built on the tradition and reliability of SHOUTcast and are available today to selected SHOUTcast broadcasters, and CDN partners.” The new features include: audience monetization regardless of how they listen – using SHOUTcast’s new server-side targeted ad injection and the TargetSpot ad network; streaming – high-quality stream hosting at no cost; unlimited listeners – no more maxing out slots, SHOUTcast now supports unlimited listeners; built-in listener analytics (stats tools); and more. Radionomy VP/business development – US Country manager Thierry Ascarez says, “Our team has been working very hard to reinvigorate the SHOUTcast platform with the most advanced and professional tools currently available in the market.”
Jason Aldean Agrees to Charity Show with The Raging Idiots. During an appearance on the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show, two-time Academy of Country Music “Top Male Vocalist” Jason Aldean performed his new song “Burnin’ It Down,” (the first single from his new album due out later this year). During the interview, Aldean agreed to play a show with Bones’ band The Raging Idiots to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, if the show could raise $50,000 for Susan G. Komen. Pictured here (from left to right) are: show cast member Lunchbox, Bones, show cast member Amy and Aldean.
Clear Channel to Begin Selling Ads on iHeartRadio; AdsWizz to Provide Ad Insertion Technology. Since its inception, users hearing Clear Channel radio stations via iHeartRadio heard the spots the streaming was airing – local or otherwise. Now, Clear Channel announces it has contracted with AdsWizz for the ad technology provider to develop “a powerful new delivery insertion method for targeted ads in live broadcast radio streams with unique new capabilities.” In a statement, Clear Channel reports that AdsWizz ad serving technology will enable Clear Channel to deliver a tailored advertising experience based on individual listeners’ specific characteristics including user profiles and preferences, location and devices used for more than 840 Clear Channel radio stations across the country that stream live on iHeartRadio. The new system will make it possible for Clear Channel to “more accurately serve up ads to target consumers based on their demographics, psychographics, geo-location and custom, data-defined segments.” CC president of technology and digital ventures Brian Lakamp says. “After a thorough selection process, we’ve been truly impressed by AdsWizz’s unique set of technical capabilities and believe that AdsWizz’s delivery network offers the best state-of-the-art technology to expand our offerings for advertisers, partners and consumers and align with our long-term vision to deliver unmatched services for our advertising partners. Having the ability to serve targeted ads simultaneously to specific digital users during a live radio stream across our 840 Clear Channel stations nationwide on iHeartRadio presents a powerful platform for our advertisers and partners.”
Cherry Creek Radio to Recapitalize. A deal between Cherry Creek Radio, LLC and Sankaty Advisors, LLC – an independently managed credit affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC – will allow Cherry Creek to restructure the company and its balance sheet. A statement from Cherry Creek says that “as part of the restructuring, Sankaty has purchased all of the company’s existing senior indebtedness and agreed with the company and its current owners to recapitalize the company with a new term loan and preferred equity investment. Existing management, led by president and CEO Joe Schwartz, will hold a majority common equity ownership stake in the recapitalized company, and two executives from Sankaty will join its board of directors. The recapitalization will allow the company to improve its liquidity, significantly reduce debt, increase flexibility and further enhance its long-term competitive position. The restructuring is subject to FCC approval.” Schwartz comments, “We are very excited to partner with Sankaty, given their knowledge of the industry and significant financial capabilities. The new capital structure affords us the flexibility to achieve our strategic objectives and represents a significant step forward for Cherry Creek.”
PPM Analysis: Classic Rock. The second of a three-part analysis of the ratings for radio stations in PPM markets based on Nielsen Audio’s latest June 2014 numbers, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the classic rock format. (Yesterday, he presented his study of classic hits-oldies and the next analysis to be published will be of adult hits-formatted stations.) Like its classic hits-oldies cousin, classic rock showed a very similar performance from May to June relative to its market share fluctuations – approximately two-thirds of classic rock stations in PPM markets were up or flat with just a third showing a decline. In this report, Kinosian presents a look at the last six PPM ratings periods, compares June ’13 to June ’14, shows market ranks (Entercom’s KSEG, Sacramento and Cumulus Media’s KCFX, Kansas City were #1, persons 6+, in their markets in June!), and offers a ratings comparison including classic hits-oldies stations. Read Mike Kinosian’s full analysis here.
Talent Shakeup in South Florida as Jennifer Ross Heads to ‘Sunny 107.9’ and KVJ Show Rumored to Be Coming to WRMF. In the South Florida market there are morning show changes taking place. First, Jennifer Ross is named morning host at Digity LLC-owned AC WEAT “Sunny 107.9” but she’ll also be heard on sister hot AC WRMF, Palm Beach for for the next few weeks. There will be a new show on WRMF eventually, but for now Ross and co-hosts Deena Lang and Bill Adams will be heard on both stations – at least through Tuesday, July 29 when a new show airs on WRMF. The big rumor is that former CHR WLDI, Palm Beach “WILD 95.5” morning team “KVJ Show” (pictured at right) – Kevin Rolston, Virginia Sinicki, and Jason Pennington – will be WRMF’s new morning show. The trio was to host a press conference yesterday but that was canceled and the word is that Cox Media Group, for whom the trio worked at WFLC, Miami “Hits 97.3” before the show was dropped after just eight months, put the kibosh on the presser due to contractual issues. KVJ posted on their Facebook page the following statement, “The KVJ Show is currently under contract with Cox Radio. We cannot comment on the news of the day or any rumors regarding the show. We want to thank our listeners and fans for all their support.” Meanwhile, Joe Raineri exits WRMF as morning drive host. Speaking about her return to “Sunny 107.9,” Ross states, “I’ve come full circle returning to ‘Sunny,’ a place I’ve always thought of as home. The ‘Sunny’ audience and I have grown up together, I guess we all have a few life stories to share, be it our kids, grandkids, husbands or in my case, ex-husbands or next husbands! ‘I look forward to waking up with the ‘Sunny’ audience and to this next chapter in my radio life.”
Wes Styles Joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting at Springfield, Illinois Rockers. Former WQBK, Albany program director and air personality Wes Styles joins Mid-West Family Broadcasting as PD at rock WQLZ and triple A WLCE “Alice@97.7” in Springfield, Illinois. In a statement, Mid-West Springfield GM Mark Birtch comments, “Wes has a tremendous track record in every aspect of music radio – from social media and web presence, to creating outstanding events for listeners and clients, and maintaining a compelling and modern sound for his audience. We are thrilled to bring his expertise of the formats and his love of the music to the Springfield airwaves.”
Cumulus Personalities Reach Out to Fans for Five-Year-Old Cancer Patient. A number of Cumulus Media programs and personalities have been asking their fans to help fulfill the birthday wish of a soon-to-be six year old Foxboro, Massachusetts boy battling a rare form of inoperable brain cancer. Danny Nickerson’s 6th birthday is Friday, July 25 and shows and personalities including “The Bert Show,” “Nights Live with Adam Bomb,” “NASH Nights Live,” and “America’s Morning Show” have been rallying around the boy by posting on their social media the story of his birthday wish – birthday cards with his name on them. Nickerson was diagnosed last October and, due to his radiation and chemotherapy, stopped going to kindergarten. Since then, he’s been a little lonely and told ABC News his wish is for cards with his name on them. Listeners are being asked to mail birthday cards to the boy at: Danny Nickerson, P.O. Box 212, Foxboro, MA, 02035.
Status of Casey Kasem’s Remains Still in Question. The bizarre and sad tale of the end of radio legend Casey Kasem’s life has not ended. The current drama involves questions of the whereabouts of Kasem’s body more than a month after his death on June 15. The Ottawa Citizen reports that Kasem’s body was shipped to Montreal by Kasem’s widow Jean, and Tacoma funeral director Corey Gaffney confirmed to the paper he personally saw the delivery of Kasem to the airline and that the body arrived in Montreal. However, the funeral home in Montreal where Kasem was supposed to arrive tells The Canadian Press it has no records of the body arriving there. A Washington state judge ordered Jean Kasem to keep Kasem’s remains preserved at the Tacoma facility until a hearing for an autopsy petition could take place on July 25. Read the Ottawa Citizen story here.
PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the first of three special music format analyses as those formats performed in the June 2014 PPM survey and in a number of comparative ways. The first format up is classic hits-oldies, which enjoyed a pretty good June in the 48 PPM markets with two-thirds of the stations either remaining flat or going up. Twelve such formatted stations ranked either #1 or #2 in their markets in June (persons 6+). For an easy-to-read look at the performances of classic hits-oldies stations in the PPM markets over the last six surveys, plus more, click here. Mike Kinosian will also look at classic rock and adult hits over the next several days.
Jeff Davis Promoted at CC Greenville/Asheville Stations. “99.9 Kiss Country” Asheville program director Jeff Davis is promoted to operations manager for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Asheville, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina station groups. He’ll continue to serve as PD at WKSF “99.9 Kiss Country” in Asheville. CC SVP of programming Rod Phillips states, “Jeff’s leadership in Asheville has helped our cluster of stations be truly dominant here, making this an easy choice to expand his duties into Greenville. We are excited to have him work day to day with two more terrific country brands – WSSL and WESC.”
Cape Cod Broadcasting Ups Two in the Sales Department. Moving up from her AE post at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media (CCB Media) is Judy Crocker, who becomes director of sales, taking over for the departed Erin Madden. At the same time, Melinda Baker is promoted from sales operations manager to local sales manager. The two are charged with leading the effort to help “CCB customers to get the most from the suite of marketing products offered by CCB to the business community. This includes four radio stations: ’99.9 The Q,’ WQRC; ‘Ocean 104.7,’ ‘Cape Country 104′ and ‘Classical 107.5 Cape Cod.’ It also will include CapeCod.com and the direct marketing program Cape Club Rewards.” CCB GM Beverly Tilden states, “It was very exciting to learn that when Erin decided to go to HubSpot and we began our search for her replacement, that the best candidates to lead our team were already in our company. Judy Crocker’s experience, deep knowledge of clients’ marketing needs and understanding of the Cape Cod market make her the perfect choice to lead our team going forward.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Taking over for the late K.J. Holiday as director of urban programming at Clear Channel’s Detroit cluster is Cheron Mans. She’s been serving as APD and music director at hip hop WJLB and urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3.” Holiday passed away unexpectedly over the Memorial Day weekend…..“Fook and Mishell” (pictured here, left to right) exit Lotus Communications-owned alternative rock KFMA, Tucson “Rock 102” where they’d been hosting mornings for a new opportunity soon to be announced. As a result, the station opts to go with a music-intensive morning show for the foreseeable future…..At the Mel Wheeler-owned station group in Roanoke, Virginia, country WSLC “94.9 Star Country” morning drive personality and program director Brett Sharp is upped to operations manager. He’s now overseeing operations for WSLC as well as CHR WXLK “K92,” adult contemporary WSLQ “Q99,” news/talk WFIR/W297BC, urban AC WVBB “Vibe,” and talk outlet WLNI-FM in nearby Lynchburg, Virginia. Also, the company announces Rachel Rodes-Metcalf is promoted from director of promotion to music director…..Alpha Media ups CHR KTFM, San Antonio afternoon drive personality Tony Cortez to assistant program director…..Blue Chip Broadcasting-owned hip hop outlet WENZ, Cleveland “Z107.9” adds TV and radio personality Kimberly “Paigion” Walker to the station’s talent lineup as evening host effective July 28…..From her most recent gig at Connoisseur Media’s hot AC WEZN, New Haven “Star 99.9,” Jolana Smith returns to Cumulus Media, this time for the afternoon drive gig at AC KKPK, Colorado Springs “92-9 Peak FM.” She previously worked with Cumulus at WFAS-FM, Westchester (now urban WNMB, New York “Radio 103.9”).