General Music Radio Industry News
Radio and Music Should Try the “Smart” Option in Reaching Young Adults. Doobie: “We Must Escape as Quickly as Possible from the Age of ‘Stupidism.’” RadioInfo resident media perceptionist Duane Doobie strikes again with a thoughtful and provocative column. He says that both pop music radio and the music industry are missing the boat by underestimating the intelligence, concentration and real life desires of the Millennial generation. In a new column posted today, the Doob writes, “There is a misguided, undercooked piece of conventional wisdom floating out there today that would have you believe that Millennials suffer from attention deficit disorder, short term attention spans, and an obsession with frivolity. This fallacy is used to justify shortening songs on the radio and keeping the message of popular music simplistic and vapid. Perhaps, we are looking at it the wrong way? Maybe we should make better and more compelling music so Millennials will not spit them out after a handful of bites. If Millennials are so riddled with ADD and limited by shallow concentration – why have they triggered the phenomenon of binge watching on the television side of media things? And if they are so dumb — as implied by every attempt at music and radio geared by corporate media in the past couple of decades to attract their attention – that it would be considered suicidal to serve them up helpings of meaningful stuff, how do you explain the fact that successful television shows that have earned their loyalty are, in fact, complex as hell? Shows with multiple story lines and long arches that unfold over multiple seasons! When TV is smarter and hipper than radio, something is very wrong with the world.” That’s just part of the story. You should see what the Doob has to say about Taylor Swift! To read the entire piece, please click here.
Louie Diaz Named ‘i93.3’ Dallas PD. New York native Louie Diaz is headed to Dallas to take the reign of Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM “i93.3.” Diaz most recently was PD at Alpha Media’s CHR KBFF “Live 95.5” and country KUPL “98.7 The Bull” in Portland. Cumulus SVP of corporate programming Mike McVay says, “Louie continues the drive for Cumulus to add great programming minds to the company. We are thrilled to have him rejoin our ranks.”
Social Media Dominator? Facebook. According to NuVoodoo‘s latest “Ratings Prospects Study,” Facebook remains the prevailing social media outlet of choice among those who are 14 – 54 years old. Moreover, as NuVoodoo vice president of research Leigh Jacobs states, “Despite all the hype surrounding them, both Snapchat and Vine are comparatively small players overall. While other players get more coverage, Instagram has the deepest penetration among teens [14 - 17] after YouTube and Facebook; it is getting traction among [those] 18 – 34. We found continuing positive momentum for Facebook, even among 14-17-year-olds. Other platforms have stronger momentum, but given its tremendous reach, Facebook remains a powerful tool for connecting with listeners.” NuVoodoo executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor comments that, “Radio marketing is about influencing the most likely ratings respondents at the lowest cost possible. It is clear from our findings that heavy users of both broadcast and Pandora can be reached in numbers on Facebook and YouTube that rival the home phone of a decade ago. Imagine knowing the exact music taste of everyone and then only calling the most likely listeners. It is that precise targeting and cost-efficiency that makes social media the great equalizer.” NuVoodoo interviewed nearly 1100 respondents, ages 14-54, in all PPM markets for this study.
RadioInfo Career Moves. At Entercom’s Milwaukee hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix,” afternoon personality Mark Summers exits the station after a six-month stint. Summers thanked his listeners via Facebook. The station announced no firm plans for Summers’ replacement…..In the Monterey-Salinas market, radio pro Bill Lynch is the new VP/market manager at Clear Channel’s station group that includes country KTOM, CHR KDON, rhythmic oldies KOCN “K-Ocean,” Spanish KPRC-FM, and news/talk KION. Lynch most recently served as GM with Momentum’s Visalia, California operations.
Beasley Broadcast Group Announces Corporate Award Winners. At its annual management meeting held at the corporate offices in Naples, Florida this week, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. gathered corporate management and station leadership from the eleven markets in which it operates to celebrate achievements and contributions from individual employees and radio stations over the preceding twelve months. The 2014 honorees include: WXKB-FM, Fort Myers-Naples – Radio Station of the Year; Brad Beasley – General Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Donna Williams – Business Manager of the Year/Augusta, Georgia; AJ Lurie – Sales Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Tee Gentry – Program Director of the Year/Augusta; Lamar Smith – Engineer of the Year/Las Vegas; Natalie Conner – CEO Award of Excellence/Executive Vice President. Founder, chairman and CEO George Beasley states, “It is a sincere privilege each year to honor our company’s highest achievers. The level of professionalism within Beasley Broadcast is tremendous. The ladies and gentlemen we recognize for 2014 worked very hard to earn this recognition, and for that they have also earned my respect. I am very proud of each of them.” Pictured here at the corporate meetings are (from left to right): VP of programming Justin Chase; EVP of operations Brian Beasley; VP market manager Kent Dunn (Augusta); chairman and CEO George G. Beasley; president and COO Bruce Beasley; EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley; VP of engineering and CTO Mike Cooney; VP market manager Brad Beasley (SW Florida); retiring VP market manager Natalie Conner (Philadelphia); VP of sales Heather Monahan; director of sales AJ Lurie (SW Florida).
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Wars. After being challenged by WYD Media’s “Zach Sang and the Gang” to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Westwood One president Steve Shaw and a number of the company’s executives (pictured here, at left) did it out in front of Bar Catalonia in New York City (ice and water, compliments of Bar Catalonia). At right, you can see Zach Sang and his crew taking the challenge as well. After executing the challenge, Shaw then nominated Peter Kosann from Compass Media and Bryan Forbes from the Katz Radio Group to follow suit. Westwood One will be making a donation to the ALS Association.
Talent Shuffle at KINK-FM, Portland. The big move in the multi-person talent realignment at Alpha Media’s triple A KINK-FM, Portland is Jared Aman’s jump from nights to the afternoon drive slot. Aman has been with “101.9 KINK” for the past three years and has been evening host for the past year. With Aman’s move to PM drive, current PM driver Steve Pringle shifts to middays, and current midday personality Brad Dolbeer assumes the night show. Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “We are uber excited to have Jared full time on KINK as he shares his alternative knowledge and attitude with the KINK community.”
Klonk Chosen as Connoisseur Connecticut Promotions Chief. Former classic rock WCCC, Hartford promotion director and on-air talent Klonk is appointed promotion director for Connoisseur Media Connecticut. Regional operations manager Keith Dakin observes that, “Klonk not only has strong name recognition in the market, but has the experience and knowledge of this area that these stations truly need. She will be an immediate asset as we continue to redefine our stations.” Klonk states, “I am very excited to start the next chapter of my radio career at such a great station and company. I’m very grateful for this great opportunity that Connoisseur Connecticut has given me; it is an honor to be a part of this fantastic team.” Klonk – who begins her new assignment next Tuesday (9/2) – spent over 10 years at WCCC. When Educational Media Foundation acquired WCCC from Marlin Broadcasting the first of this month (8/1), it transitioned the station to its contemporary Christian K-LOVE format. Connoisseur Media Connecticut consists of WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut,” Hartford; classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WMMW, Meriden; talk WSNG, Torrington; and talk WWCO, Waterbury.
Christian FM Appoints Carroll Afternoon Driver. Starting on Labor Day (Monday, 9/1), California-based Amanda Carroll will join the Christian FM Network for 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm duty. Christian FM president Jon Hamilton comments, “Amanda is one of the brightest talents in Christian radio. We are delighted to add her to the amazing team assembled at Christian FM. She is a true encourager and knows how to build a radio audience.” Prior to her just-concluded three-year stint doing mid-days on Educational Media Foundation‘s K-LOVE network, Carroll was morning co-host on Washington Adventist University Broadcasting contemporary Christian WGTS, Washington (DC).
Chris King Assumes PD/Morning Host Role at ‘My 98.3’ in Toledo. Moving across town from Toledo Radio LLC-owned country outlet WPFX “107.7 The Wolf” to Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WMIM “My 98.3” to serve as program director and morning show host is Chris King. In addition to his work at WPFX, King has also served as assistant program director and promotions director for Clear Channel’s country WCKY-FM, Findlay, Ohio and at Blanchard Valley Broadcasting’s country WKXA, Findlay classic rock WBUK “106.3 The Fox.” Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart comments, “After a lengthy search in which we wanted to make sure that we were engaging just the right person, we are very excited to have Chris King as the new PD/morning show host for ‘My 98.3.’ Monroe is a great place and Chris is dedicated to bringing great programming, promotion and public service to Southeast Michigan.”
Smith Joins Cumulus Detroit as VP of Sales. Motor City radio sales pro Greg Smith jumps from Greater Media to Cumulus to serve as the vice president, sales for CHR WDVD and country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1.” Prior to his time with Greater Media, Smith served with CBS RADIO for 17 years. Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati states, “Greg has the market equity we needed to lead the sales for WDVD and Nash in Detroit. He has the relationships and respect from the ad community in the Motor City to make an immediate impact. We’re thrilled to have Greg as a part of the Cumulus family in Detroit.”
“This Was Christmas” Redefines Christmas Programming and Marketing. It seems the closer we get to Halloween, the closer we get to music stations trading in their established formats to try to beat others in their markets in a flip to playing Christmas songs. Stations from Boston to Los Angeles and Dallas to Minneapolis will all make the move, all playing basically the very same songs from Bing Crosby’s “I’ll be Home For Christmas” to the many remakes of “White Christmas” to Lou Monte’s “Dominick the Donkey.” The overall “holiday” sound of each station will be virtually the same, whether they’re broadcasting in New York City or the smallest of markets – that is, except for an oldies station in Brainerd, Minnesota whose programmers have taken holiday music and weaved it with everything from world events to old-time commercials, blockbuster films and hit TV shows to create a seasonal, successful and very profitable “This Was Christmas.” The major addition of “This Was Christmas” on KUAL-FM was the brainchild of BL Broadcasting’s managing partner Mike Boen and KBLB-FM morning host Dan Goshey. What they have created is hours of feature programming they spice into their Christmas music format. The reward for listeners is a journey back in time to favorite moments in their youth, and a new way for young and old radio listeners to connect to the station. As for KUAL-FM, the reward along with listener satisfaction comes in the form of insanely increased ad revenue, to the tune of over 110%. Now, as KUAL plans an additional 20 one-hour shows, taking the series from 1945 to 1999 with 55 hours of compelling radio, they believe it’s time to share that unique holiday programming with other radio stations around the nation, as well as the chance to ramp up holiday revenue. First of all, it is important to note that “This Was Christmas” is receiving rave reviews for both its music and information content from industry observers including Michael Harrison who states, “’This Was Christmas’ is a ton of fabulous Christmas music within the setting of a great old fashioned radio ‘special’ – the kind of exquisitely written, masterfully performed and extensively produced, entertaining documentary that jumps out at the listener – as well as the advertisers – and says don’t miss this truly unique radio event!” Now, here’s the best part: As part of the rollout of what is planned to be a long-term marketing strategy for this property, Boen and BL Broadcasting are making this package available to stations around the country for the 2014 holiday season on a market-exclusive basis, absolutely free with no long-term commitment. Want to learn more? Check out RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s article posted today (8/28) with the back story and all the details by clicking here.
“AT 40″ About to End August in Grande Style. Pop star Ariana Grande guest hosts this weekend’s (8/30 – 31) edition of “American Top 40.” In addition to counting down the country’s 40 most popular songs, the singer-songwriter-actress will discuss the making of her “My Everything” album, which Republic Records released this past Monday (8/25). Grande will also share which song on the album is her favorite; what the album name means; the person with whom she had the most fun collaborating; and her plans for an upcoming tour. In addition, we can only speculate if she will invoke the name of her favorite houseguest on this year’s “Big Brother.” That, of course, would be her sibling Frankie. “Bang Bang” (Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj) repeats at #1 on the latest (August 24 – 30) RadioInfo “Pop Songs” chart, while “Break Free” (Ariana Grande featuring Zedd) inches up from #12 to #10. Ryan Seacrest-hosted “American Top 40″ is syndicated by Premiere Networks.
Tom Joyner Sky Show to Honor Michael Jackson. This weekend’s Tom Joyner Sky Show event – taking place at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida – will feature a special program honoring Michael Jackson. The annual evening celebrating family will feature an interview on Michael Jackson’s birthday with The Jacksons. The brothers will honor the “King of Pop” during the event along with performances by KEM and Eddie Levert. The live broadcast is open to the public and takes place tomorrow (8/29) from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET. The Allstate Tom Joyner Family Reunion will take place throughout the weekend and will feature concerts from The Jacksons, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Tank, Syleena Johnson, and more, including a Gospel Explosion all day Sunday with Yolanda Adams and James Fortune. There will be seminars, activities, and appearances throughout the weekend with celebrities including Michael Baisden, Kandi Burruss, Don Lemon, Syleena Johnson and Porsha Willliams.
The Conclave Announces Dates, Tuition for November Conference. The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference will be held November 14-15, 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel Airport in Minneapolis, and is presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA). The Conclave announces that the deadline to save $50 on early bird registration for the event is August 31. After that, registration jumps from $249 to $299. To register, visit theconclave.com.
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 (8/20) includes such names as: Taylor Swift, Big Data, Joywave, Tove Lo, Rubblebucket, Bob Seger, Bleachers, Sheppard, Lee Brice, LeAnn Rimes, Angaleena Presley, Brother Virginia, Jack & Jack, Caroline Smith & Lizzo, De Hofnar, Becky G, and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
CC Philadelphia Promotes Thomas to Director of Media Integration. Rising from media integration specialist to director of media integration at Clear Channel‘s six Philadelphia stations is Stacey Thomas. CC Philadelphia market manager Richard Lewis comments, “I am so pleased to have Stacey in her new role. She has a strong understanding of our brands and knows this market from all angles. Stacey will continue to do amazing things for our cluster and is a great addition to our senior leadership team.” Thomas remarks that she is “thrilled with the opportunity” and looks “forward to growing and enhancing our powerful radio brands in the Philly market and beyond.” Clear Channel’s Philadelphia cluster consists of smooth jazz WDAS-AM; urban AC WDAS-FM; rhythmic CHR WIOQ “Q-102,” hot AC WISX “Mix 106″; alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5″; and urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99.” Thomas began her radio career in 2000 as an intern at “Q-102″; joined the street team one year later; and later became promotions coordinator for “Power 99 FM.” Additionally, Clear Channel Washington, DC promotions coordinator Angelica Garcia transfers to Philadelphia as promotions director. Garcia previously was an account executive at Clear Channel Baltimore and an Epic Records marketing coordinator.
Nathan Graham New ‘Kiss FM’ Milwaukee Evening Personality. Moving from Journal’s Springfield, Missouri CHR KSPW “Power 96.5” to Entercom’s WXSS “KISS-FM” is Nathan Graham. He becomes the station’s evening jock as of September 15. Graham says of his new gig, “I am so excited to join the ‘KISS-FM’ team! This is an amazing opportunity to learn from one of the absolute best program directors in radio, Brian Kelly, as well as join a great team of personalities. It’s truly an honor and I cannot wait to meet the wonderful people of Milwaukee!”
Alternative WLUM, Milwaukee Names McCain Afternoon Drive Host. After sitting in the afternoon drive chair since the departure of Jacent Jackson in June, Milwaukee Radio Alliance officially names former evening jock Ian McCain the afternoon personality. At the same time, the station promotes weekender Kelly Katona to full-time evening host. McCain also serves as the station’s digital program director – a position he will continue to hold. Of Katona, program director Michelle Rutkowski says, “Katona’s enthusiasm and positive attitude are contagious. She speaks ‘Wisco’ and she has an uncanny ability to make people laugh until they drop a kidney. Katona also has a deeply nerdy passion for The Sims, which is obviously going to be our secret weapon. She already fits in well here, and I can’t wait for our listeners to get to know her better.”
CRS 2015 Announces Core Panel Moderators. Those overseeing and directing the bulk of the educational panels throughout Country Radio Seminar 2015 will be Journal vice president of programming Beverlee Brannigan; Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)president and chief executive officer Erica Farber; Falls Media Group’s Dan Halyburton; Country Aircheck editor and publisher Lon Helton; and Gregg Lindahl. CRS executive director Bill Mayne states, “Our development of the core panel of moderators has led to exceptional panel discussions over the past four years. These individuals have been gracious and giving in sharing their talents of facilitation in delivering meaningful panel ‘take away’ results for all attendees.” Next year’s seminar will be held February 25 – 27 in the downtown Nashville Convention Center.
USA Welcomes Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards. The tenth anniversary of the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards is roughly ten weeks away, and for the first time ever, the event will be held outside the United Kingdom. Sammy Hagar is tapped to host the (Tuesday, 11/4) ceremony that will originate from noted Hollywood night club/music venue Avalon, near the famous Hollywood and Vine intersection. VH1 Radio and Krantz Media Group‘s KMG Networks will produce programming such as live red carpet and backstage coverage; AdLarge Media is responsible for national radio advertising sales. Krantz Media Group president and chief executive officer Gary Krantz remarks, “We are very excited to bring the excitement of this highly respected awards show to classic rock radio stations [in the United States]. This is an ‘A-List,’ rock star-studded event. KMG will be offering ‘must-have’ multi-platform and social media content never before available in the United States.” AdLarge Media co-founder and chief executive officer Gary Schonfeld explains that, “AdLarge’s national advertisers have access to exclusive live radio coverage and programming that is built around what is shaping up to be one of the biggest annual classic rock events [in this country]. We have created unique sponsorship opportunities that place AdLarge’s advertisers at the center of the excitement across multiple platforms, on-site, on-air, online, and on social media.” Host Hagar comments that this is “one of music’s coolest and most prestigious events. I am really excited to be hosting it for the first time in the United States. My goal is to keep it fun and filled with so many off-the-hook music moments that we put it on the map alongside the Grammys, VMAs, and other awards ceremonies.” VH1′s “On Tap with Nik Carter” will feature two weeks of lead-in programming with “The Road to Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards,” followed by several artist-dedicated shows which will spotlight nominees and performers. A two-hour post-event special will be available to all classic rock stations. Listeners voting for their favorite classic rock station will automatically be entered into a contest to win a “Classic Rock Flyaway” to a future concert of their choice. The awards show event includes the annual “Classic Rock Living Legend” honor; previous winners are Jeff Beck, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, Motörhead‘s Lemmy Kilmister, Ozzy Osbourne, Jimmy Page, Iggy Pop, and Rush.
Deal for Statesboro, Georgia Stations Closes. According to the Statesboro Herald, the $600,000 deal that has six stations in the market changing hands has closed. Neal Ardman is operating Radio Statesboro, Inc. and will acquire the stations from Georgia Eagle Media. That company will retain ownership of the towers which will be leased to Radio Statesboro. The stations include: adult contemporary WPMX-FM “Eagle 102.9,” country WHKN, news/talk WMCD-FM, classic rock WZBX, news/talk WWNS and sports talk WPTB. According to the story, the formats on WWNS and WPTB will flip in the near future and Radio Statesboro plans to drop classic rock on WZBX and go CHR.
WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois Adds ‘Hangar 19.’ The ‘80s and ‘90s metal show “Hangar 19” is added to the program schedule at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WQLZ-FM, Springfield, Illinois. The Envision Networks-syndicated show “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. Host Cutter stops down from the nostalgia just long enough to highlight new metal in a weekly “Then and New” segment and interview the metal greats that helped mold the speaker-shredding musical movement such as Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Dave Ellefson of Megadeth, and George Lynch of Dokken.”
Zach Sang Hosts Demi Lovato. Nationally syndicated pop radio personality Zach Sang (right) poses for a pic with pop star Demi Lovato (left) during her visit to the “Zach Sang and the Gang” program. During the interview, Lovato talked about longtime friend Nick Jonas’ solo career, her 22nd “Kiddie Birthday Party” celebration, and the competitive nature of Hollywood and how she approaches her career in a healthy and relaxed way.
Attention-Grabbing Bit at UK’s ‘BOB fm.’ After hearing about a 14-year-old American runaway who lived in a 24-hour Walmart for two-and-a-half days, “BOB fm” morning personalities Graham Mack and Amy Stevenson – The Mack Pack – decided to send listener Dan (no last name!) to see if he can live in a 24-hour supermarket for five days without getting caught. The station serves the Home Counties region of the UK at 106.7 and 106.9 FM. Not only will Graham and Amy be providing updates during their show, but listeners can follow Dan as he Tweets from inside the store.
Tippling One for LA Lloyd. Pictured here in Austin, Texas are KLBJ-FM program director and host of the nationally syndicated “Notorious 90s” program LA Lloyd (left) and Envision Networks‘ president and CEO Danno Wolkoff (right). Wolkoff and Lloyd are enjoying a cold one to celebrate Lloyd’s birthday.
Diapers Are Expensive and What’s in a Name, Anyway? Detroit’s WDRQ “NASH FM 93-1” is offering to buy the first 93 diapers for the “NASH FM 93-1” listener who a) has a baby over the Labor Day weekend (Fri-Mon.) and b) who is willing to name the child “Nash” (either first or middle name). Cumulus Media’s Motor City country station is presenting the “I’m Already IN Labor-Day Weekend” contest this weekend. Potential winners must show proof of birth with a birth certificate by Tuesday.
“Nash Icon Is to Country What Hot AC Is to CHR.” That was among the nuggets gleaned from an approximately 45-minute conference call conducted yesterday (Monday, 8/25) by Cumulus Media executive vice president and co-chief operating officer John Dickey, who gave an overview of the company’s new country offering and an overall status report of the format. Opining that today’s mainstream country is really “top 40 country,” he declares most mainstream country stations play very little gold product. “It is extremely current-driven – there is no ‘hot AC’ in country.” An oldies faction exists in the format, but as Dickey explains, that’s classic country. “Every week in country radio, we wake up to a potentially new #1 hit record. As that music works its way up and down country radio stations, there is no repository for that music to exist in markets.” It is his contention that most country facilities have libraries with no more than 150 songs in active rotation, which is “very reminiscent” of CHR. “Most top 40 stations are under 100 [gold titles], and those are very tight libraries,” Dickey remarks. In the next year or two, he anticipates that more non-country stations will question why they should be the third or fourth station in a format when they, “can be a broad-based coalition format very much like ‘Jack-FM’ did when it came on the scene.” While likening Nash Icon to adult hits “Jack-FM,” Dickey “firmly” believes Nash Icon possesses “a lot more staying power, better fundamentals, and much less gimmickry. A Nash Icon station can carve out huge audiences all to itself.” Dickey concedes this will take time to prove; Cumulus has already converted 15 of its stations into the Nash Icon format. “Many people will take notice and see this as a viable format,” he predicts. Starting “almost immediately,” Cumulus’ Westwood One will offer Nash Icon to affiliates, with Dickey pointing out the format will be up-and-running in the fourth quarter. “It is time for country to have a hot AC version of the country format.”
Country Artists React Favorably to Nash Icon. In fact, Cumulus Media executive vice president and co-chief operating officer John Dickey maintains country artists have “phenomenally welcomed” the company’s Nash Icon approach to the country format and the Nashville community has done “back-flips over it.” Nash Icon is already “resonating big-time,” he states, and it “will only snowball.” Artists are “grateful” that there is “interest again in what they do,” Dickey comments. “They are not only appreciative but anxious to see this platform play out. They are interacting with large, loyal audiences they have built up over the years. They know this demand is out there.” Many country artists have been “frustrated” with where the country format is today and Dickey contends, “It is difficult for them to participate,” but Nash Icon allows them “to have a place alongside the newer, younger guns” so they may “showcase what they have done in a contemporary way.” Stressing that Nash Icon is not about nostalgia, retrospective, or what he calls “ESPN‘s version of ‘Where Are They Now,?’ Dickey explains, “These artists are alive, well, and they look great.” Some or most are approaching age 50. “They are in peak shape and at the peak of their careers creatively; they still have a lot left in the tank,” he emphasizes. Achieving radio airplay has been a “dead-end street” for them so he imagines that they are “sitting on” a lot of music, since there is no motivation for them. “Not too long ago, even Garth [Brooks] went through that about radio airplay.” The difference of where Nash Icon is today and where Cumulus could be six months to a year from now with it is, in Dickey’s opinion, several solid ratings stories. Representative artists of the Cumulus format, which has launched on 15 of the company’s properties, include the Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Judds, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Lorrie Morgan. “If you were to add up all the artists in a 25-year span [mid-1980s to the early-2000s] who have sold more than one million tickets and have had six to ten #1 hits, you would be amazed at how deep the list goes,” Dickey comments. As a result, he does not expect Nash Icon will be at a loss for music, artists, or depth. “This is a very contemporary format in its own right,” notes Dickey, who envisions it as being competitive among 25 – 34s and that it will “find a sweet spot” among 30 – 50s. “It will be a very efficient format for advertisers and I expect it will have a similar male/female balance as country has today – perhaps a little more female.” He looks for it to attract comparable cume to that of mainstream country. “Just as hot AC is, we are a current-driven format. Right now, we are about 25% current-driven and depending where the music comes in, over time, we might be as much as 40% current-driven.” When “exciting” country music comes out, Dickey states that Nash Icon will play it. He made the comments yesterday (Monday, 8/25) in an industry conference call.
Dickey Delivers Country History Lesson. The country format has experienced an amazing journey the last 25 – 30 years. Cumulus Media executive vice president and co-chief operating officer John Dickey emphasizes that this is “an historic time” for the format. Until the mid- 1980s, he recounts that – in most markets – country was not well-received by the advertising community. “Very little was understood about the power of the audience,” notes Dickey who conducted an industry conference call yesterday (Monday, 8/25) to discuss his company’s Nash Icon format. “Stereotypes of the format were alive and well. Most people tried to position the format as ‘America’s favorite music.’ As the music started to transform, the business of country started to come full circle.” Calling country one of the “most explosive formats in our business,” Dickey says it reaches approximately 100 million people in the United States. “I am not making up or throwing out numbers,” he insists. “If you take unduplicated cume of all country stations in the United States across 200+ [rated] markets, you get close to 85 – 90 million country listeners on that merit alone. Country is probably the largest format in terms of appeal and market share.” One of the strongest messages Dickey gave yesterday was that country is the last format of its size that has not fragmented. “Rock has fragmented in so many different directions that it has created a state of emergency in that format – rock is in a tough spot,” he cautions. For some reason, country has “resisted the urge to fragment.” Extremely current-intensive, country is among the “last great multi-generational formats that is programmed as top 40.” As far as broadcast radio is concerned, Dickey states that, “Artists who helped propel foundationally the business of where it is today have – by and large – lost their place in the format’s relevancy.” Cumulus, he says, is taking “a very active role” in the business of country. It was not a question with Dickey of if country would fragment, it was a matter of when it would do so and he proclaims, “That time has come.” The entire idea around Nash Icon, he emphasizes, is “to create a parallel universe” in the country format. “It is not a [flanker], but another platform for those artists [who] were extremely prolific in the mid-1980s to the early-2000s. That music is testing exceptionally well.” Those particular country singers are Facebook fans and Twitter followers yet Dickey explains, “They are not represented in the format today.” Dickey recalls that years ago with “hot country” or “thunder country” stations were “trying to make differences based on being more aggressive attitudinally than mainstream country.” Nash Icon, he says, is based on the “appeal and attraction of artists and the low-burn of their music.” When those factors “conspire and come together, you have the makings of a format that has legs. It can be built on a solid foundation and can stand side-by-side with mainstream country.” Dickey does not believe Nash Icon will cannibalize country’s total share, but instead will grow it. “Two well-programmed country stations going head-to-head grow the country share in a market – they do not take it away,” he maintains. “We have seen it in Detroit with our station and CBS Radio; it is the same thing in Minneapolis with CBS Radio and Clear Channel.” Specifically, Cumulus’ WDRQ “Nash FM – Detroit’s New Country Music Leader,” ranks #17 July 2014 (2.5), while CBS Radio’s WYCD “Detroit’s #1 for New Country” finishes #4 (6.0). CBS Radio Minneapolis’ KMNB “Buz’n Country” finishes #6 July 2014 (6.6), while Clear Channel Minneapolis-owned KEEY “K-102 – Today’s Country” is #5 (6.7). “Nash Icon, the hot AC version of country, will only help accelerate the process,” Dickey forecasts. The radio industry is often chastised for not taking chances and he admits that, to some extent, there is no incentive to do that. “It is a tough environment out there; everyone is trying to be as rational as possible. They want to minimize risk. We are confident that over time, there will be a successful fragmenting and growing of the wonderful [country] format. It is going to be very exciting for the business of country to have these superstar artists back in the game.”
Houston to Boston from Baltimore. Early next month, 18-month WPOC, Baltimore program director Lance Houston will transfer from the country outlet to Boston in a similar capacity at Clear Channel‘s co-owned WBWL “The Bull – Boston’s New Hit Country.” Clear Channel Boston vice president of programming for media and entertainment Dylan Sprague enthuses that WBWL “has found its visionary – Lance is that perfect combination of a great programming strategist, incredible musicologist, and successful on-air talent. His vision, creativity, positive attitude, and energy make him the perfect choice to lead our new station.” Houston – who will also do 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on-air duty at “The Bull” – comments, “I am excited and ready to lead the team in Boston into a battle. America’s greatest city deserves a young, hip country station.” For six years, Houston was assistant program director and afternoon drive personality at Atlanta’s WUBL “The Bull.” His past programming assignments have been for WYGC, Gainesville and WBAM, Montgomery Alabama; he began his country career in 1995 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at WTXT. Dance-formatted WEDX “Evolution” transitioned to country WBWL “The Bull” a little more than two months ago (6/13).
Adams Returns to Seattle to Program “Click.” Boise, Idaho KAWO “Wow Country,” hot AC KCIX “Mix 106,” and adult contemporary KXLT “Lite-FM” operations manager and program director Lisa Adams relocates to Seattle to program Hubbard hot AC KLCK “Click 98.9.” Hubbard Radio Seattle market manager Marc Kaye comments, “We are thrilled to have Lisa back in our hallways. The time she spent here [2005 - 2006] was highly successful. Her spirit and work ethic permeated the building. We know with her programming skills and thorough knowledge of the market, she is the right person to take ‘Click 98.9′ to the next level.” Adams remarks, “I am so incredibly excited and blessed to be able to return to a city I love and work with such a talented team. Here’s to an amazing and successful journey with a wonderful company.” Prior to her OM/PD duties at Townsquare Media Boise, Adams worked for CBS Radio Portland, and in Seattle for Entercom, Infinity, and Sandusky Radio (which was acquired by Hubbard).
Cumulus Names Mallory Community Affairs Director at ‘Radio 103.9’ in New York. Nationally renowned civil rights activist Tamika D. Mallory has been appointed community affairs director for Cumulus Media’s WNRB, New York “Radio 103.9.” The company reports that by working with the station’s local management and on-air hosts, as well as nationally syndicated programs including “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and the D.L. Hughley show, “Mallory will help deepen Radio 103.9′s relationship with local listeners and continue to connect the station with the community the station serves through a series of citywide community-service-oriented programs and events.” In addition to this post, Mallory will continue operating her strategic planning firm Mallory Consulting. Cumulus New York VP and market manager Kim Bryant comments, “I am proud to be working with somebody like Tamika Mallory who is so respected and involved with the community. I look forward to her positive influence on our station, community and Cumulus as a whole.”
Juliano Named DOS at Greater Media Detroit. Jumping from Entercom’s Boston cluster to the Detroit operations of Greater Media, Mike Juliano is named director of sales for the company’s Motor City properties that include rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX and sports talk WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.” Greater Media Detroit market manager Steve Chessare states, “We are absolutely thrilled to have Mike join the Greater Media Detroit family. His vast experience, combined with his leadership skills and passion for our industry, made him the perfect choice to take our sales team to the next level.” Juliano comments, “In our business there are very few companies like Greater Media and very few leaders like chairman & CEO Peter Smyth and market manager Steve Chessare. From the top on down, the leadership in this company is as solid as it gets. I am looking forward to working with the Greater Media Detroit team to put the assets that we possess to work providing results-oriented solutions for our clients.”
Clear Channel Re-Ups with Mario Lopez. The new deal includes the continuation of the “On with Mario Lopez” program syndicated by Premiere Networks (on which Lopez’s wife Courtney serves as co-host). But the new deal – terms not disclosed, of course – also will mean an expansion of the iHeartRadio Countdown weekend program designed for hot AC stations. The company says that beginning next month, Lopez and Courtney will welcome a different A-list artist or celebrity each week to count down the top 20 hot AC songs on iHeartRadio’s Ultimate chart, which incorporates iHeartRadio airplay, top weekly song/artists from user-generated iHeartRadio Custom stations, weekly listener “thumbs-up,” social and sales data. Lopez will also continue to work with Clear Channel on a variety of multimedia projects and events, including the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival.
New Alternative Format Appears on Nashville Translator and HD Channel. The newest alternative-formatted station to hit the air from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment is in Nashville and can be heard on the HD2 channel of classic rock WNRQ and on translator W252CM at 98.3. Dubbed “ALT 983,” the station will feature artists including: The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Jack White, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Imagine Dragons and The Lumineers. The signal will also be the FM home for Vanderbilt University football. CCM+E Nashville OM Michael Bryan says, “The Music City has been missing this very important genre of music, much of which is made right here. We’re excited to offer Nashville a new home for everything alternative.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Clear Channel’s Memphis cluster, Eric Jewell is named the new director of sales. Jewell comes to Memphis from his most recent gig at Entercom’s Gainesville, Florida cluster…..Dan Dunlap exits the afternoon drive slot at Renda’s adult contemporary WSHH, Pittsburgh “Wish 99.7 FM” after a 30-year career with the station. As a result, morning personality and PD Ron Antill moves to afternoons while director of marketing and promotions and AM news anchor Chris Shovlin partners with Cris Winter for the “Cris & Chris in the Morning” program…..Tony Tecate exits FM Idaho-owned hip hop KWYD, Boise “WiLD 101.1” where he was music director/APD and morning drive host.
Ryan Tedder Visits ‘Nights Live.’ The OneRepublic frontman stopped in to the Westwood One studios to join host Adam Bomb (right) on his nationally syndicated show “Nights Live with Adam Bomb.” WW1 reports Ryan Tedder (left), played music, shared great stories, and entertained the audience all night long.
‘Fook and Mishell’ Land at KHTB, Salt Lake City. After exiting Lotus Communications-owned alternative rock KFMA, Tucson “Rock 102” where they’d been hosting mornings, Cumulus Media announces that the duo (pictured here) will take over the midday slot at KHTB, Salt Lake City “ALT 949” beginning today (8/25). The station says “FML with Fook and Mishell” will air from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and “feature the talents of co-hosts Fook and Mishell as they hold court with an edge and play new alternative cuts for Salt Lake City alternative music fans.” KHTB program director Sue Kelley comments, “This team is ‘Fooking’ great! After an extensive national search we are excited to welcome ‘FML with Fook and Mishell’ to ‘ALT 949’ in Salt Lake. It is evidence once again of what an amazing Cumulus rock leadership team we have in Mike McVay, Troy Hansen and Derek Madden, who continue to support and set up ALT 94.9 for success in SLC.” Fook says, “Personally, I’m thrilled to be on a station playing true, new, alternative music. We’re excited to bring a morning show to middays and can’t wait to get all up in Salt Lake’s biz. I hope everyone is ready to get extra-weird.” Mishell adds, “We’re so excited to join the ‘ALT 949’ team! I can’t wait to bring my voice and kooky characters to the airwaves of this fine city. Prepare yourselves, Salt Lake – your middays will never be the same!”
Edge to Raleigh CHR. At Clear Channel’s Raleigh cluster, operations manager Chris Edge is now also programming the group’s heritage CHR in that North Carolina market – WDCG “G-105″; it is actually a job Edge – who has had a nine-year stint at that cluster – held once before. He succeeds Zac Davis, who reportedly is taking another Clear Channel assignment. Edge previously programmed Indianapolis CHR WNOU and Emmis Austin adult alternative KGSR. Within that Austin cluster, he additionally was program director and digital media account manager for translator K274AX “Comedy 102.7″ and programmed rocker KLBJ-FM.
Rossi Departs Nashville’s “Lightning 100.” Two-year WRLT “Lightning 100,” Nashville program director Dave Rossi exits the Tuned-In Broadcasting adult alternative operation. Rossi previously programmed similarly-formatted WWMM “Live 100.5,” Birmingham; alternative WAVF “96 Wave,” Charleston, South Carolina; WIOT, Toledo; and WRAX, Birmingham.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. New to the KKIQ, Livermore and KKDV Walnut Creek, California talent roster is Jaimee Lee who joins Wayne Coy on the morning show effective September 2. Coast Radio simulcasts programming on the two AC outlets…..At Adams Radio in Fort Wayne, Eric Austin is the new afternoon drive personality at adult contemporary WWFW “Soft Rock 103.9.” Austin most recently served with Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX, Chicago…..Rick Andrews exits his operations manager role at Townsquare Media’s Amarillo, Texas station group where he’s been serving for the past seven years. He’s also been program director of adult hits KPRF “98.7 Jack FM” and AC KMXJ “Mix 94.1.”
NRG Media, Woodward in Four-Station Transaction. The price for the latest NRG Media purchase – the quartet of Woodward Communications facilities in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa – is $3.55 million. NRG Media chief executive officer Mary Quass is “delighted to have the opportunity” to add the stations to her company’s platform. “We continue to look for great radio properties that are located in the Midwest and are an integral part of the communities they serve,” she comments. “Regarding NRG, Woodward Communications president and chief executive officer Tom Woodward states, “It is a well-known, community-oriented radio broadcast company with a great Midwestern culture and presence. Our strategic plans and related growth goals positioned the sale of the Waterloo properties. We salute the loyal, talented and dedicated staff we were fortunate to work with. We will continue to operate, grow and enhance our award-winning, seven-station radio group in the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin markets which we’ve owned since the late-1970s.” The deal is for KFMW “Rock 108″; KOKZ “Iowa’s Classic Hits”; KWLO “1330 ESPN“; and KXEL “Iowa’s News & Talk Station.” Woodward Communications has operated these outlets the past two years. Prior to that, Bahakel Broadcasting owned KXEL for 54 years (1958 – 2012); it owned the other three from 1996 – 2012.
Beasley Declares Quarterly Dividend. The board of directors of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. announces it is declaring a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock. The dividend is payable on October 10, 2014, to shareholders of record on September 30, 2014. It reports, “While the Company intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends for the foreseeable future, all subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board of directors at its discretion.”
Remembering Don Cannon. Philadelphia Magazine and 6abc.com were among the first to report last Friday’s (8/22) passing of 74-year-old Don Cannon (Dominic Canzano). Often referred to as, “The Dean of Philadelphia Radio,” the New York native adopted Philadelphia as his home. “Cannon in the Morning” was heard in the “City of Brotherly Love” from 1969 – 2004 (when he retired). The program initiated at WIBG, but later made the rounds to WIP, WFIL, WIFI, WSNI, and finally WOGL (March 1990 – June 2004). An enthusiastic fan of the NFL‘s Eagles, Cannon hosted “Inside Golf,” a Saturday night program on Comcast Sports Network. Trivia buffs are well aware that – in the original Rocky movie – when the morning alarm clock goes off for the boxer’s run, Cannon’s voice on the radio is featured. On Facebook, CBS Radio New York all-news WINS production assistant Tom Lawler points out that roughly one year ago, Main Street Broadcasting classic hits-oldies WLNG celebrated 50 years of serving the Hamptons and eastern Long Island. “One of the people on hand was Don Cannon, who sounded just as amazing as when I grew up listening to him on WOGL,” Lawler writes. “It was great to meet him and tell him how much he influenced me growing up.” Wife, Terri; two sons; and two granddaughters survive Cannon, who had been receiving treatment at the intensive care unit at Lankenau Hospital for the past month. Funeral services for him were held yesterday (Sunday, 8/24) in Trevose, Pennsylvania. A tribute page to Cannon is set-up on WOGL’s website.