General Music Radio Industry News
Dayton Adult Hits Outlet Flies to Soft Rock. With a promise to play “more music and less talk,” Alpha Media Dayton evolves adult hits WGTZ from “Fly 92.9″ to “Soft Rock 92.9.” Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick states, “We are thrilled to be able to fill this music void in Dayton and bring a live and local connection to the community at the same time with our stellar on-air line up.” Market manager John King remarks that “Soft Rock 92.9″ will be “the station everyone listens to at work. Our formula is simple: [Personalities] who actually live in and know about Dayton; a great music mix; and less talk getting in the way of everything.” Program director Brad Waldo comments, “We have wanted to rebrand our station for a while to reflect the direction our music has been moving in. ‘Soft Rock 92.9′ is about variety and fun – whether you are listening at work, at home, or in your car. We want to create the perfect music mix for our listeners.” Kelly Clarkson, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Madonna, Maroon 5, and John Mellencamp are among representative “Soft Rock 92.9″ artists. The station’s modified on-air lineup includes Dan Edwards (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Paul Ellis (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); and “Danielle” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm). Among persons 12+ in the latest (Fall 2014) Nielsen Audio ratings report for Dayton, WGTZ notches a 3.1 (#9). Cox Media Group‘s WHKO “Today’s New Country K-99.1″ is the market leader with a 12.8.
Cumulus Sends The Vibe to Memphis. Score yet another transition to classic hip-hop as Cumulus Media Memphis jettisons talk on WKIM in favor of “98.9 – The Vibe.” Cumulus senior vice president of programming Mike McVay comments “The Vibe” is “designed to capture the spirit and complexity of Memphis. This city has birthed many music types of which this format is one more. ‘The Vibe’ is classic hip hop.” In addition to hosting mid-days on co-owned rocker WXMX “The Max,” Danni Bruns is programming “The Vibe” and she remarks, “Memphis has always been at the forefront of music. Now we have a new ‘Vibe’ – this is our party station.” Late last year, Flinn Broadcasting flipped Memphis alternative outlet WIVG to “throwback hip-hop” as “Bumpin’ 96.” The logo for Memphis’ “Vibe” mirrors that of Indianapolis sibling WRWM, although the latter is using “The Beat” rather than “The Vibe” as its handle. Naughty By Nature‘s “Hip-Hop Hooray” kicked off Friday’s (2/27) noontime launch of Memphis’ “Vibe.” Among persons 6+ in the latest (January 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report for Memphis, WKIM registers a 1.4, ironically tying it at #19 with WIVG. The 1.4 for WKIM is the station’s best (6+) performance in more than two years – it hit 1.8 in November 2012.
PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the second of three analyses of station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2015 PPM survey (6+). After publishing the first report on mainstream CHR (2/26), this piece looks at the rhythmic CHR format. Kinosian writes, “Those inclined to evaluate a format based on sweep-to-sweep ratings will find rhythmic CHR to be the textbook ‘mixed bag,’ in that, based on our sample, half the stations are down Holiday 2014 – January 2015 and the other half are up or flat. Conversely, if you put more faith in year-to-year comparisons, the format is in considerably more fragile shape, as 85% of stations declined January 2014 – January 2015.” See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Weisman: The Battle Over Net Neutrality. With yesterday’s passage of the FCC’s proposal to reclassify the Internet as a public utility and regulate it, the battle may have just begun. RadioInfo legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman, in a timely column examining the matter, writes that this is sure to bring about court challenges by the ISPs. Weisman notes that even though there was support in both the Democrat and Republican parties for preventing ISPs from creating multi-tiered delivery services, there are other issues that Republicans say are problematic. “Opponents of the FCC’s classifying the Internet as a utility are concerned that, by doing so, the FCC would have increased authority to regulate rates and take other actions that they believe would stifle investment by Internet Service Providers and slow innovation. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said that he is cognizant of the power that classifying the Internet as a utility would provide the FCC, but that he expects to use a ‘light touch’ in regulating the Internet and would ignore powers that the FCC had that did not relate to broadband. The devil is often in the details and it will be important to see whether a ‘light touch’ is reflected in the specific regulations to implement the vote which will not be published for a few days and will not become effective for a few months.” Read Weisman’s entire column here.
RadioInfo Career Moves. In the Twin Cities, Hubbard Radio brings Fish Calloway aboard to join the Ryan & Shannon morning show on KSTP-FM “KS95.” Calloway most recently was morning host at Mid-West Family-owned hip hop WJQM, Madison “93.1 JAMZ.”…..Radio legend Charlie Tuna will be heard on JVC Media’s classic hits WYGC, Gainesville, Florida “104.9 WOW FM” in middays. Tuna’s five-hour daily program is heard in syndication from Black Card Radio Syndication based in Las Vegas…..At iHeartMedia-owned hot AC WCOD, Cape Cod, former “The Bachelor” contestant Peyton Lambton becomes part of the morning drive show alongside Dan Mahoney.
Steve Harvey Begins Ticket Sales for 13th Annual Neighborhood Awards. This annual mega-event produced by Premiere Networks-syndicated urban star Steve Harvey (pictured here) again takes place in Atlanta where the EMMY-winning talk show host, “Family Feud” host, and star of the “Steve Harvey Morning Show” will present the 13th Annual Neighborhood Awards. The Neighborhood Awards Weekend is a four-day experience filled with star entertainment, the college expo, film and TV screenings, and more. It takes place August 6-9 and tickets went on sale today (2/27). There will also be a radio row featuring 30 radio stations from across the country.
Foo Fighters to Play at iHeartRadio Theater for Album Release. The alternative rock band and, its newest release Sonic Highways, will be the subjects of the hour-long special show “Foo Fighters On The Honda Stage at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles,” produced by iHeartMedia. The program will feature superstar comedian Chelsea Handler interviewing the band. This intimate theater event will include performances of the singles, “Something For Nothing” and “Congregation.” The show will broadcast across iHeartMedia alternative, active rock and mainstream rock radio stations nationwide; stream live for fans on iHeartMedia alternative, active rock, mainstream rock, classic rock, CHR, hot AC, sports and new/talk radio station websites as well as iHeartRadio.com/HondaStage.
Programmer and Consultant Brian Krysz Retires. In announcing his decision to retire from the radio business, Brian Krysz writes, “When I first started, my goal was not to be a 50-year-old program director. I have achieved all of my goals from being a program director to VP of programming and station owner. In my 30-year career, I have programmed, ran and consulted nearly 100 radio stations, including legendary ones like: WSHE, KEGL, WGRQ, WBUZ, KLUV, WHCN, WMRQ, WFYV, WHTQ to name just a few. I have had nearly 70 assistants and announcers go on to program as well. I have worked for some of the best and worst owners in the business. I could not have done it without the fine people I worked for and with — even the unappreciative owners who I’ve made millionaires over the years. I would like to acknowledge and thank: Dwight Douglas, Bob Reich, Al Vicente, and John Tenaglia as mentors who have helped me achieve the wonderful level of success and happiness that I have had. Also, thanks to all of the record folks and former employees and friends for everything.
PPM Analysis: Mainstream CHR. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the first of three analyses of Nielsen Audio PPM data from the January 2015 survey. The first format up is mainstream CHR. In this report you’ll find: a market-by-market chart of the performances of CHR-formatted stations; the ratings fluctuations of CHR stations from the holiday 2014 survey to the January 2015 survey as well as a look at fluctuations from January 2014 to January 2015; plus an easy-to-read chart of the market shares of CHR outlets in PPM markets. Read Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Williamson to New CMG Digital Post. Sales and management pro Rachel Williamson is the new director of digital revenue development for Cox Media Group. The company says that in this role, she’ll focus on working with the company’s 59 radio brands “to drive our digital revenue growth and integrated sales.” She joins CMG from her most recent post with Cumulus Media as director of national sales. Cox senior director of digital solutions Jesse McCambridge says, “We are very excited to have Rachel join our team. We have experienced tremendous growth in digital across the company and Rachel’s experience brings industry expertise and focus on integrated marketing solutions.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Sliding down from the evening show into middays at Hubbard Radio’s CHR KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5” is Justin Barnes. He also adds social media director to his duties. Taking over the evening slot at the station is overnight personality Kel Walker…..iHeartMedia promotes Michael Bryan to SVP of programming for the Nashville cluster. Bryan has been serving as OM and program director for country WSIX-FM. In addition to the SVP stripes, Bryan is rising to executive program director for the syndicated Bobby Bones and Tige & Daniels shows, both distributed by the company’s Premiere Networks…..Former “The Voice” contestant Clarissa Serna joins the KAJE, Corpus Christi morning show alongside current morning host Bart Allison. The Convergent Media classic hits station says Serna will begin on the station on March 2…..At Entercom’s New Orleans operations, Mark Boudreaux is named director of sales for adult contemporary WLMG, “Magic 101.9,” classic rock WKBU “Bayou 95.7,” and CHR WEZB “B97.” Boudreaux comes to Entercom from his most recent gig at Midwest Communications’ Knoxville cluster…..Hubbard Radio’s Washington all-news WTOP and sister WFED “Federal News Radio,” as part of a restructuring of their sales department, promote longtime national sales manager Jeffrey Wolinsky to director of federal and national sales.
New Generation Radio Debuts ‘Virtual Jock.’ From New Generation Radio, the company that debuted the “Smash Hits” format in 2014, comes a voice-tracking service division called Virtual Jock. The company says it “offers a five-star roster of major market talent available for voice tracking, covering all formats. Company president Jason Kidd says, “I am excited to announce the signing of some of the best major market talents in the world with a roster that is still growing by the day. Radio stations everywhere will now have the opportunity to bring in major market talent via voice tracking, while trimming expenses and upgrading the sound of their station- at the same time sounding live and local!”
RAB Cites Borrell’s Positive Forecast for Radio’s Digital Sales Growth. According to research from Borrell Associates, the radio industry will rise above the half-billion-dollar mark in digital advertising this year based upon revenue that is projected to grow by 18%. The study, titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” was done on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau. It indicates that radio stations added or reassigned as many as 750 new employees to focus on digital ventures last year, causing revenue to grow 16% in 2014. More than one-third of the radio managers surveyed indicated that they had at least one employee exclusively assigned to digital operations, up from 11% last year. Also, more than 33% of those surveyed said their stations were either setting up a “digital agency,” were planning to set one up soon, or already had one. Some other findings from the report include: Nearly two-thirds believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital; and 77% gave sales training a number 1 or number 2 priority in terms of what would boost their station digital sales the most. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments on the study, “It’s important to look at all available revenue data in order to provide our industry members with additional market barometers. We’re making tremendous strides in radio’s digital growth, and this survey continues to provide us with areas to focus on and invest in to truly maximize this revenue stream.”
BFoA to Honor Mel Karmazin. Legendary broadcasting executive Mel Karmazin will be honored with the 2015 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at its annual breakfast Wednesday, April 15 during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas. Karmazin retired from his CEO post at SiriusXM in 2013. Prior to that, he was president and COO of Viacom. He served as CEO of CBS Corp following his work as chairman and CEO of CBS Radio, which followed the merger of Westinghouse/CBS and Infinity Broadcasting. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.
Cam Visits Sam. Country singer/songwriter and Arista Nashville recording artist Cam (left) stopped by the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Taste of Country Nights” studios to visit with host Sam Alex (right) as part of the kickoff of this week’s Country Radio Seminar.
Duane Doobie Jr.’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, including this week: on-air personalities Bayley Brown and Matt James from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; 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, 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 (2/25) includes such names as: Tori Kelly, George Ezra, Rick Astley, R5, Ingrid Michaelson, Phoebe Ryan, Katy Tiz, Halestorm, Colin Hay, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Mini Mansions, The Cribs, JD McPherson, Alabama Shakes, Florence + The Machine, Sunny Sweeney, Will Hoge, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Cam, Waterloo Revival, Trisha Yearwood, Austin Webb, MNEK, Breakfast, Streakers, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Report: CBS Under Pressure to Sell Radio Assets to Cumulus. In a story in The Deal by Chris Nolter, hedge fund Sandell Asset Management Corp is lobbying CBS Corp to divest of its radio station group and merge it with Cumulus Media. Nolter reports that the two companies have been advised to “pursue a reverse Morris Trust merger of their radio businesses. By spinning off the radio stations to shareholders, CBS would divest an asset with a low tax basis without incurring a large bill from the IRS. It could also collect a nearly $900 million dividend.” The story suggests that if CBS’ radio stations merged with Cumulus, they would pull in about $2.4 billion in sales. Nolter writes that executive chairman Sumner Redstone controls 79.6% of CBS Corp’s shareholder vote so any move would require him being on board. Read Nolter’s piece here. CBS has said repeatedly that it likes radio as a cash flow business.
Executive Changes at iHeartMedia as Lakamp to Exit Digital Division; Kaminsky Moves Up and Market Managers Become Presidents. In a company-wide memo, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman announces president of technology and digital ventures Brian Lakamp has left the company in order to pursue “entrepreneurial endeavors.” Pittman thanks Lakamp for his time with the company and credits him for iHeartRadio’s registered user growth as well for some of the sales-related technologies and partnerships Pittman says will “increase the importance of our platforms for our advertising partners and make our sales process more efficient.” Pittman is reconfiguring the technology and digital ventures team with iHeartRadio COO Brian Kaminsky rising to president of programmatic and data operations. Simultaneously, Michele Laven – currently iHeartMedia president of partnerships and local activation – is now the president of business development and partnerships. Finally, the company announces that all market managers are now market presidents.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Moving from iHeartMedia’s Charlotte cluster where she is director of promotions to join CBS RADIO’s Houston operations as integrated brand manager is Tracy Wilkinson. In addition to the integrated brand manager duties, Wilkinson will also serve as promotion director for country KILT-FM “The Bull @ 100.3.”…..Longtime classic hits KTHI, Boise “K-Hits 107.1” morning team of Tracy Mitchell and Margo Vaughn are retiring from the Journal Broadcast Group station, effective March 13…..The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that Radio One has hired local personality DJ Nabs to host the afternoon drive show on its classic hip hop and R&B station “Boom 102.9” (heard on translator W275BK)…..The Long Island market manager for Connoisseur Media – Dave Widmer – exits the company. Taking over is current SVP/regional strategy Jim Condron…..Dan Watson resigns from his corporate PD gig at Tejas Broadcasting where he was in charge of the programming at outlets including classic rocker KXOR, Thibodaux, Louisiana and KKYC, Clovis, New Mexico, among others.
MIW Radio Group Announces 2015 Mentees. The four radio professionals selected to participate on the 2015 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group are: Andrea Bogdonas, on air personality and promotions director, Neuhoff Media (Springfield and Decatur, IL); Stephanie Theisen, general sales manager, Leighton Broadcasting (St. Cloud, MN); Michelle Maro, sports sales manager, CBS RADIO (Chicago); and Crystalyn Portwood, local sales manager, CBS RADIO (St. Louis). The organization says that this 13-year-old program “matches women in the radio industry with female professionals who are leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting. To date, the Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program has successfully worked with a total of 31 mentees. Lindsay Cerajewski, spokesperson for the program and GSM at CBS RADIO’s WUSN-FM, Chicago, says, “We had an outstanding and enormous variety of women apply this year, which made the decision to narrow to only four very difficult. This program would not be possible without the MIWs’ commitment and dedication and should serve as an inspiration to everyone in the radio industry.”
‘The HopeLine’ with Dawson McAllister Goes into Syndication. Radio pro Dawson McAllister recently returned to Christian on WAY-FM with “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister,” and is now offering clearance of his new show to the general Christian market, focusing on contemporary Christian radio stations. For 17 years Dawson McAllister was heard Sunday nights on more than 300 Christian radio stations with “Dawson McAllister Live,” before transitioning exclusively to top 40/mainstream stations in 2007 in a syndication agreement with Premiere Networks. After years of requests from Christian stations and former listeners for Dawson to return, along with the recent opportunity presented by WAY-FM, he made the decision to launch this new Saturday night show. He comments, “The unique thing about this show is that I have the opportunity to challenge my audience to make a difference in their world by having an impact on the lives of their friends – I love the idea of partnering with teenagers and young adults to change the world one life at a time.” The show is described as “a three-hour, interactive call-in show where 13-29 year olds can call and talk to Dawson about all the issues in their lives. In return, Dawson and his co-host Sarah Lee offer trustworthy Biblically based common-sense advice and encouragement that is truly life-changing. Christian stations wishing to air “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” or CHR stations wishing to air “Dawson McAllister Live” can contact Ike Wingate at Wingate Media at email@example.com.