General Music Radio Industry News

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

| May 26, 2015


skrochthornKTWN, Minneapolis Afternoon Host Thorn Skroch Battling Serious Health Issues.  Afternoon personality Thorn Skroch is in the hospital being treated for intestinal issues and the effects of a stroke he suffered while in the hospital last week.  According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Skroch’s wife Shelly writes on his CaringBridge page that he continues being treated for the issues and asks for thoughts and prayers for the market pro.  The Pohlad family-owned alternative station – branded “Go 96.3 FM” – is the flagship for Minnesota Twins play-by-play.  Until Skroch’s return, evening jock Miles Anzaldo will host the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm show and Skroch’s air partner Linnea Mohn will handle the 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.

eastlanratings logoDick Broadcasting Signs with Eastlan Ratings for Triad Market Stations.  Certainly this is big news for the Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm as Dick Broadcasting is the first broadcaster to sign on with Eastlan in a market served by Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  According to a press release issued by Eastlan, under the terms of a new multi-year agreement, the company will field its initial audience measurement study in the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem market this summer.  Dick Broadcasting VP/GM Dick Harlow comments, “I was surprised to learn that we are the first to make this switch in a PPM market.  The meter was supposed to be the savior and all it’s done is increase our annual payments to Nielsen.  And now we find out to win in the PPM game you need a magic black box to job the system.  At some point, enough is enough.  We look forward to working with Eastlan Ratings to see who people in the Triad choose to listen to rather than who they are exposed to.  Plus the sample size will be about triple the number of meters now in the market.”  Eastlan president and CEO Mike Gould adds, “After more than 16 years of providing radio ratings in markets coast-to-coast, we’re finding broadcasters and media buyers who don’t know the Eastlan story are few and far between.  Our methodological hybrid of telephone recall (landline and cellular) and e-surveys isn’t sexy but it’s fair and it’s reliable.  We are thankful that Dick and his colleagues trust Eastlan as their preferred ratings vendor.  We are going to help save them a lot of money by getting their ratings investment back in line with the realities of today’s radio revenue stream.”  Dick operates classic rock WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL in the Triad market.

kezk logoCBS RADIO Re-Brands KEZK, St. Louis.  The station will still be an adult contemporary outlet but the “Fresh 102.5” moniker is gone and the station becomes simply, “102.5 KEZK.”  In a press release, the station says it will continue “to play the adult contemporary hits listeners have come to love and expect from ‘Fresh 102.5,’ plus LOTS more ‘80s music.”  Core artists will continue to be “artists like Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Maroon 5, plus yesterday’s favorites from bands like Hall and Oates, Michael Jackson, Madonna and more.”  CBS RADIO St. Louis SVP and market manager John Sheehan comments, “The KEZK call letters have always been synonymous with adult contemporary radio in St. Louis.  Bringing back the familiar name, along with an updated sound, will give St. Louisans a great at-work listening option during the work day.”

KSZRTucson’s Turn to Feel The Vibe. A CHR-to-classic hip-hop transformation took place in Tucson this past Friday (5/22) at 12:00 noon, in which Cumulus Media‘s KSZR became “97.5 The Vibe.” Cumulus Tucson vice president and market manager Ken Kowalcek comments, “We are excited to deliver Tucson’s ‘party station.’  There is a passionate energy for this music, which defined an entire generation.  No one else in Tucson is playing these songs, so this is a huge opportunity for us and fills a real need in the market.”  Tucson’s “Vibe” will reportedly mix “old school” hip-hop hits with R&B “throwbacks” from the 1980s, 1990s, and early-2000s. Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2015 book, KSZR ranks ninth (2.4) and is actually six-tenths better than its fall 2014 performance (1.8) and four-tenths higher than winter 2014’s 2.0. Of subscribing stations, iHeartMedia CHR KRQQ sets the pace with an 8.3 (12+), while its urban contemporary sibling KOHT “Hot 98.3″ registers a 5.5 (#4, 12+).

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Richard Neer Reminisce About Their First Two and a Half Years in Radio.  There’s a whole lot of ancient radio and pop cultural history discussed in this week’s installment of the hit international podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” as the TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher is joined by his close friend and colleague of 48 years – Richard Neer – in an intimate conversation about how they met in 1967 at their first job at the same radio station, WLIR-FM, Long Island.  They were teenage broadcasters struggling to survive in their first toe-hold as pros (while still attending college) at a small beautiful/classical music-formatted FM station in Garden City where they served as staff announcers/news readers and engineers thatneerrichard fumbled their way through the challenging process of learning to run the board and announce records that were targeted to a far older audience while trying to avoid the wrath of a demanding owner.  By 1970, they had learned their craft under fire and actually became quite good at it, earning the respect of WLIR’s owner, John Rieger, who appointed Harrison program director and Neer music director of a new progressive rock format for the station that the duo suggested.  As it turned out, the station’s new format was an instant smash, WLIR-FM went from obscurity to national prominence, and Harrison and Neer were catapulted, within 10 months of the new format’s debut, to highly coveted, on-air positions at the legendary WNEW-FM, New York.  Both went on to colorful 48-year careers in music, talk and sports radio as well as trade publishing.  Neer subsequently wrote FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) which still stands as a widely quoted reference work about the golden era of album rock broadcasting.  To hear the podcast in its entirety and enjoy descriptive insights into what it was like to be a couple of kids in small-time radio back in the late-1960s, please click here or the player box located in the right-hand column of every page on and


owenjake reallifeNew Jake Owen Song to Premiere on iHeartMedia Country Stations.  Country artist Jake Owen’s new RCA Nashville single “Real Live” is getting its world premiere on iHeartMedia’s country outlets today (5/26).  The song is available via iTunes and will be heard every hour on the hour through midnight on iHeartMedia’s country stations.  Additionally, all iHeartMedia country station websites are now featuring the brand new official VEVO lyric video.

WVBZ“Man Up” is the Buzz in Greensboro. At 6:00 am Friday (5/22), iHeartMedia Greensboro transitioned alternative WVBZ “105.7 The Buzz” to rock as “The Triad’s New Choice for Rock – Man Up.” According to program director Keith Allen, the station “will be made up of the best rock of all time” and it “will provide Triad listeners the choice to listen to music in the morning and not wait till lunchtime.”  In addition, the Greensboro audience will not “have to listen to a station that only plays one or two rock songs every blue moon.” The “Man Up” handle is being used by iHeartMedia in several other markets including Salt Lake City (KAAZ), and Oklahoma City (KBRU). Representative artists on the Greensboro version will include AC/DC, Boston, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Linkin Park, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Soundgarden. After 16 successive (6+) performances in the two-share range, WVBZ has followed with five straight between 1.5 – 1.9, including 1.6 (#14) in April 2015. There are no other rock and/or alternative outlets in the market; Dick Broadcasting‘s classic rock WKRR “Rock 92″ posts noteworthy back-to-back gains (5.0 – 5.5 – 6.4, 6+) and finishes seventh in April (Nielsen Audio, PPM).

Friday, May 22, 2015

| May 22, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Adult Album Alternative.  RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian wraps up his analysis of stations airing rock formats based on data from the April 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  For the past two days (5/21 and 5/21), RadioInfo published his look at the alternative or modern rock and active rock formats.  Today, Kinosian turns his attention to adult album alternative or triple A.  Compared to the previous two formats, the number of stations playing the triple A format in PPM markets is much smaller – 11 to be exact.  Denver’s KBCO tops the market rank and market share (6+) charts based on April PPM data.  Find out where the rest of the stations stack up and look at the chart comparing all three rock-based formats here.

hubbardradio logoJeremy Sinon Named Corporate Digital Director for Hubbard Broadcasting.  This is a promotion to the corporate level for Jeremy Sinon who has been serving as the digital director for Hubbard Radio’s Twin Cities operations.  He will continue in that role in addition to his new post as corporate digital director.  The company says that in this position Sinon willsinonjeremy work closely with Hubbard EVP/chief financial officer Dave Bestler and president/COO Drew Horowitz to “oversee day-to-day corporate digital initiatives as well as the strategy for Hubbard Radio’s long-term digital goals.”  Speaking about his new position, Sinon says, “It’s really an honor to be given this opportunity to help lead the digital efforts for a company that I care so much about.  When I started at Hubbard in 2006 I was one of the first digitally focused hires the company ever made.  It amazes me every day when I look around and see how much we’ve grown since.  I’m excited about the future.  We have really big things in store for us.”  Prior to the last nine years with Hubbard Radio, Sinon was a digital director for the iHeartMedia radio group in Minneapolis and worked at the digital agency Omnera.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s hot AC WLDB, Milwaukee “Trendingbernardlauren Radio 93.3,” market pro Dan Kyle moves up from part-time status to full-time night jock…..Brown University-owned modern rocker WBRU, Providence ups Paul Martin to music director, taking over for Eliza Soros…..Lauren Bernard leaves her position with CHR KLUC, Las Vegas on the “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” show.

wvbz logoiHeartMedia’s WVBZ in Triad Market Moves to Rock Format.  Former alternative outlet WVBZ, Clemmons, North Carolina “105.7 The Buzz” – serving the Winston-Salem/Greensboro market – flips to rock and is currently using the slogan, “105.7 Man Up!”  The station is airing a cross section of rock music from various decades that includes such artists as: Linkin Park, Pink Floyd, Cage the Elephant, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Stone Temple Pilots, Fuel, Van Halen and more.


gracies15The 40th Annual Gracie Awards.  Arriving at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday (5/19) was the Alliance for Women in Media Board and AWM Foundation Board.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Josie Thomas, EVP & chief diversity officer at CBS Corporation; Karla Ballard, SVP at Participant Media (and Gracies co-chair); Michelle Duke, vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation; Christine McLaughlin, broadcast lawyer at Sciarrino & Shubert , PLLC; Christine Travaglini, president of Christal Radio/KRG Partnerships; Kristen Welch, SVP, Global Content Operations at Discovery Communications, Inc. (and AWM Chair); Kay Olin, consultant at Olin & Associates (and past AWM Chair); Valerie Blackburn, VKB Media Consulting, (Gracies co-chair and past AWM Chair); Jill Luckett, senior vice president of Program Network Policy, National Cable & Telecommunications Association; Sandy Girard, VP, Brand Management & Development, SiriusXM; and Heather Cohen, EVP at The Weiss Agency.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

| May 21, 2015

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Active Rock.  RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian continues his analyses of stations airing rock formats based on data from the April 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Yesterday (5/20), we published his look at the alternative or modern rock format.  Today, Kinosian turns his attention to active rock.  The final analysis will be triple A or adult album alternative.  In today’s report, see which active rock stations ranked high in their markets and which – of all stations in U.S. PPM markets – had the best AQH.  Plus, study the share fluctuations of stations over the past six surveys and from a year ago.  Also included is a comparative chart showing both alternative and active rock data.  See the whole story here.

wgci logoAir Personality Changes at Chicago’s Urban Outlets.  It appears iHeartMedia is behind the jock changes taking place at its hip hop WGCI and crosstown competitor WPWX “Power 92” – owned by Crawford Broadcasting.  iHeartMedia has parted company withwpwx logo WGCI afternoon host UB Rodriguez and midday host Loni Swain.  At the same time, Frankie Robinson and Tone, a.k.a. Anthony Mays, exit “Power 92” and are reported to be headed to WGCI.  Also, iHeartMedia announces former WVEE, Atlanta “V103” music director and morning show producer Johnnie D joins the programming team as assistant program director for the company’s Chicago urban outlets, serving under director of urban programming Derrick Brown.  iHeartMedia has been involved in a couple other high-profile urban talent acquisitions recently – notably the hiring of New York’s Angie Martinez (from Emmis’ WQHT “Hot 97” to its WWPR “Power 105”) and Los Angeles star Big Boy, a.k.a. Kurt Alexander, (again, from Emmis’ KPWR “Power 106” to iHM’s KRRL “Real 92.3).

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Radio legend Charlie Tuna is full time on KKPR-FM, Kearney, Nebraska –tunacharlie his hometown – after his Black Card Radio-syndicated program is added to the morning drive daypart.  He’d been heard on Sundays on the station…..At iHeartMedia’s Dayton hot AC WMMX “Mix 107.7,” Kristi Leigh is back for the midday shift.  She’d been morning drive personality at the station, exiting in the spring of 2013…..Cox Media’s country KWEN, Tulsa “K95” has its new afternoon host and hastyherndonAPD as Bill Sexauer joins from Coast Radio’s CHR WZNF, Biloxi “95.3 The Gorilla” where he was program director and AM drive host.  Sexauer assumes the role vacated by Kristina Carlyle who moved to crosstown country KTGX “106.1 The Twister.”….. Moving across town from his most recent gigmajounmichaela as VP/co-market manager for Entercom’s Kansas City station group to Cumulus Media’s operations for the VP of sales post is Herndon Hasty…..At non-com triple A WXPN, Philadelphia morning host Michaela Majoun is stepping away from her radio work after more than a quarter century to devote more time to her writing career.

hdradio logoHD Radio Artist Spotlight Focuses on Robert Earl Keen.  Currently working to support his #1 bluegrass album Happy Prisoner, Robert Earl Keen will be the next artist to be featured in the “HD Radio Artist Spotlight” program.  iBiquity’s partnership with Robert Earl Keen will build awareness of HD Radio broadcasting and promote Robert’s new album.  The program will include radiokeenrobertearl promotions and contests, as well as a trip for two to Nashville to join Keen at his July 23, 2015 performance at the historic Ryman Auditorium.  BMI executive director, strategic partnerships/business development Mason Hunter says, “We are excited to continue to build the HD Radio Artist spotlight program.  Robert Earl Keen is a stalwart for BMI and is an artist who has been consistently releasing outstanding music for over three decades.  His latest release, Happy Prisoner, is no exception.  We are thrilled to have a partner in iBiquity Digital who recognizes his talent and ongoing contribution to songwriting. The HD Radio Experience delivers digital quality sound, unique content, and exposure to artists like Robert in order to enhance the experience of their listeners.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

| May 20, 2015

nicklebackDuane Doobie Jr.’s Picks of the Week.  RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: on-air personalities Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Matt James, golden-eared, on air personality at “T-100” WCLT in Newark, OH; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9;” and Jered Petrey, GM, and the music committee from the award-winning, student-run high school radio station at Pendleton Heights High School in Pendleton, Indiana, plus internet sensation The Iceman, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats.  You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM.  This week’s selection posted today (5/20) includes such names as: Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Zedd, Jon Bellion, Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, Manika, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Pharell Williams, Mark Ronson, Mystikal, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Hozier, Joywave, Nickelback, Peter Rivera, Coleman Hell, Neon Trees, The Struts, Bret Michaels, Jo Caine, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Steven Tyler, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, G. Love, Chappo, Big Data, Icky Blossoms, Roisin Murphy, Hot Chip, Silento, among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Alternative.  RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of stations airing rock formats based on data from the April 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  The first format to be addressed is alternative or modern rock.  In the coming days, Kinosian will look at active rock and adult album alternative, as well.  In addition to studying the ratings fluctuations of alternative stations in PPM markets, the data reveals the top performers (6+).  The stations with the highest market share based on April 2015 data are: WOLT, Indianapolis; KTCL, Denver; and KRBZ, Kansas City.  Check out the rest of the scorecard as well as which stations rank high in their markets and how they’ve performed compared to April 2014.  Find the whole story here.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  There’s expected to be a new general manager in the Providence offices of Cumulus Media as Barbara Haynes exits that position there…..At the executive level at Cox Enterprises, Dallas Clement is pegged to assume the EVP and CFO position on July 1 after Doug Franklin retires from the company following a 38-year careermullinszach with Cox…..At the Atlanta operations of Cox Media Group, Zach Mullins is named digital sales manager.  The company says that in this new role he’ll “work alongside the current leadership team to deliver integrated marketing solutions to valued clients located in and outside of Atlanta while chantaldeveloping new profitable revenue opportunities for the Atlanta cluster’s five radio stations – award-winning WSB ‘News 95.5 FM/750 AM,’ WSB-FM ‘B98.5,” WALR ‘KISS 104.1,’ WSRV, and WTSH ‘X107.1FM.’”…..Chantal announces she’s leaving the “Jamie & Chantal in the Morning” show at Sison Broadcasting-owned CHR WXXX, Burlington, Vermont “95 Triple X” to pursue non-radio interests.

leeamberEnvision Networks Places Two More Shows on New Affiliate Stations.  The classic hard rock show “Hangar 19” from Envision Networks announces the three-hour program will begin airing on Townsquare Media-owned KATS-FM, Yakima, Washington.  The company says, “Each weekend, ‘Hangar 19’ relives the glory days of classic hard rock with music from the artists and groups who built the genre including Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Metallica, Anthrax, Judas Priest, Korn, Slayer and Marilyn Manson.  Host Amber Lee brings the music to the masses with a highly interactive show that stops down from the nostalgia just long enough to highlight new music in the weekly ‘Then and Now’ segment. The ‘Power Set’ highlights four killer tracks from a chosen band and we also step into the ‘Hangar Theater’ for a look at the Hard ‘Rock Soundtrack of the Week.’”  And on the country side, Envision says “The Country Oldies Show” joins the program schedule at R&J Broadcasting’s KKCQ-FM, Fargo, North Dakota.  The Steve Warren-hosted program celebrates country music from the 1950s through the 1990s.

herskovitzalCreative Promotions Lead to New Sales.  Radio marketing pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column published today that a radio sales pro worth his or her salt should never overlook the value of a creative radio promotion to solidify current clients and attract new ones. He says commonplace ticket giveaways and the like are fine but do little to make a client’s goods or services memorable, and such prizes usually go to station P1s anyway.  How about having your morning host attempt to give a lion a bath?  Sound too dangerous?  Read Herskovitz’s entire column here for the details and his thoughts about using the promotion as a sales tool.

podcastone logoDee Snider Podcast to Launch on PodcastOne.  Musician and media personality Dee Snider is debuting a new, weekly podcast called, “Snider Comments,” on the PodcastOne Network.  THe program promises to “pull back the curtain on the world of rock and expose the raw and untold stories of current and past rock ‘n’ roll superstars.”  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “This is the latest music insider podcast on the PodcastOne Network.  There are plenty of places for consumers to listen to their favorite music, but very few to get a more personal, behind-the-scenes view from the artists that live in that world every day.  Dee is not only a rock star and an icon, he’s a great personality and a terrific communicator.  I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on our network.”

danielskrisKristianBush15Kristian Bush Performs at KCYE, Las Vegas Listener Appreciation Concert.  KCYE, Las Vegas “102.7 The Coyote” program director Kris Daniels (right) poses for a pic with Streamsound Records artist Kristian Bush (left) who performed at the Beasley Media Group country station’s Listener Appreciation Concert on Monday, May 18 inside Gilley’s Las Vegas at the Treasure Island Resort.

brookskixStrikingMatchesStriking Matches with Kix Brooks.  The country duo Striking Matches dropped by the NASH campus in Nashville to visit with country star and host of “Kickin’ it with Kix” and “American Country Countdown” Kix Brooks.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Justin Davis, Sarah Zimmermann and Brooks.  Photo: Carissa Riccardi for NASH Magazine.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

| May 19, 2015

fccnewBobby Bones EAS SNAFU to Cost iHeartMedia $1 Million.  The Federal Communications Commission has laid down a $1 million fine for WSIX-Nashville and Premiere Networks parent company iHeartMedia for the misuse of the EAS tones.  The company admits to misuse of the tones and will pay the penalty.  The agency writes in its ruling that the “FCC has long prohibited the transmission of actual or simulated EAS tones in circumstances other than a real alert or an authorized test.”  WSIX-FM, Nashville – Bobby Bones’ flagship station – aired a false emergency alert during the broadcast of the nationally syndicated show and, as the FCC writes, “broadcast or transmission of bonesbobbyemergency tones outside an emergency or authorized test violates FCC regulations designed to protect the integrity of the EAS system.  False broadcast of an emergency signal can cause unnecessary public concern and undermine the urgency of real alerts.  While commenting on an EAS test that aired during the 2014 World Series, Bobby Bones, the show’s host, broadcast an EAS tone from a recording of an earlier nationwide EAS test.  This false emergency alert was sent to more than 70 affiliated stations airing [the show] and resulted in some of these stations retransmitting the tones, setting off a multi-state cascade of false EAS alerts on radios and televisions in multiple states.”  In the last six months, the Commission has taken five enforcement actions totaling nearly $2.5 million for misuse of EAS tones by broadcasters and cable networks.

keithtobyNASHtvNASH TV Gets Exclusive Debut of New Toby Keith Video.  The new video for the single “35 MPH Town” from Toby Keith was exclusively debuted on Cumulus Media’s NASH TV.    Cumulus is also announcing that Keith will be the first featured artist on its “Real Live Performance” series.  The video is being carried on all NASH TV platforms including Cumulus Media, Inc. and NASH exclusive partner Music Choice On Demand, which brings NASH TV to 57 million homes through cable TV.  Cumulus says the “Real Live Performance” series will feature “the best in live country music shows, from intimate concerts to sold-out performances. Each week, Keith’s live rendition of one of his songs will be played across the NASH TV platform.  The performances were filmed at legendary JBTV Studios in Chicago.”  Cumulus EVP of content and programming John Dickey says, “We are delighted that Toby has chosen to launch his music video on NASH TV and to participate in the NASH ‘Real Live Performance’ Series, which will connect Toby with his enthusiastic fan base in a unique and innovative way.”

RadioInfo Career Moves.  Adding 18 more stations to his programming responsibilities is Townsquare Media’s Tom Cook, who rises to regional operations manager for Michigan.  Cook is based at the company’s Grand Rapids stations where he’s operations manager and brand manager for hot AC WLHT “Channel 95.7” and AC WTRV-FM “The River.”  Townsquare operates stations in Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Flint…..Alan Ecklund is the new regional director for national sales for Radio One’s Dallas and Houston operations.  Ecklund spent the last decade with iHeartMedia and was most recently VP of sales for the Southwest region.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallHoward B. Price:  For AM/FM Radio, Doing Good is Good for Business.  RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison speaks with the ABC Television Networks director of business continuity, Howard B. Price on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast, “Up Close and Far Out,” about the responsibility licensed AM, FM and television stations have to serve the public with timely and accurate information during both natural and man-made disasters.  According to Price, “This is why we hold the license.”  Aside from all the entertainment elements that radio provides and that Price says he “enjoys as much as anyone else,” he points out, “That is not, however, why radio stations are licensed – they are licensed to serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.”  Price continues, “And while that definition can certainly include quality entertainment andprice howard programming that stimulates and enlightens – at the end of the day, what it is all about is being there in times of crisis… making sure that our communities stay informed, that decision-makers have the information that they need in real time, and to be able to apply the necessary time and resources to be able to deal with emergent events.  This is the role that radio was born to play.”  Price explains what he describes as the essential element of this truth.  “If you want to keep people focused on the idea that terrestrial radio is still relevant, that electrons flying out of tall sticks on a single channel is still a very important thing for us to preserve and enhance, then you not only have to talk the talk – you have to walk the walk.  And ‘walking the walk’ means that when your community is in crisis, you’ve got to be there to inform them.  You’ve got to be able to put people on the street, you’ve got to be able to go to the scene of wherever news is breaking, and make sure that people have the information that they need both to calm them and comfort them as well as provide them with the essential information that allows them to make the right decisions for themselves and their families and businesses.”  Price adds, “The old line for radio still exists… you go to any old-time sales manager and he’ll tell you radio is a street business, it’s a retail business and nothing is truer about that than when it comes to reporting the news in local communities.”  According to Price, nothing can be more important to the survival of terrestrial radio than remaining visible and relevant to their local communities.  He also explains how this philosophy applies to music radio as well as talk and all-news formats, citing examples including how, in the wake of 9/11, Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill flipped their WPLJ, New York morning music show around “on a dime” from being an entertainment show into serious news mode without the benefit of having a news department.  They became “comforters in chief” and did an extraordinary job of rising to the occasion.  Price points out that music stations that cede listeners to talk and all-news stations during a serious crisis are foolish to give their listeners reasons to punch out because they might not come back.  Harrison and Price also discuss ways in which any radio station – regardless of budgetary and resource limitations – can be fully prepared to serve its listeners in this fashion during a severe emergency explaining that in this day and age of convenient digital communications and citizen journalism, there is no excuse not to be ready to go into action.  Michael Harrison states, “Although many people still believe that the idea of radio rising to the occasion and super-serving its audience in times of crisis might seem idealistic, quaint, naïve, and unrealistic  – even ‘boy scout’ – that it ironically might be THE answer to AMs and FMs maintaining their importance and relevance going forward.”  Harrison concludes this fascinating podcast by suggesting that terrestrial radio should always treat its audience with compassion, empathy, and a deep-seated desire to be helpful and give anyone who might be listening the support they need just getting through the pain, rigors and hardship of day-to-day life as a human being in a highly pressured, dangerous world.  To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right hand column of every page of “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is a presentation of Podcast One.  Howard B. Price will be receiving the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

amfaminsuranceNielsen: Radio Gives ‘Brand Lift’ to American Family Insurance.  From a study with the help of Katz Radio Group looking to prove the effectiveness of radio advertising, Nielsen Audio engaged in a study to measure the brand impact of a radio campaign on insurance decision makers (ages 25-64).  The analysis included insurance decision-makers who tuned in to one or more stations airing American Family Insurance commercials and compared their engagement with the company to that of decision-makers who did not listen to those stations.  Nielsen says, “The results of the study showed that radio increased brand health metrics, particularly among decision-makers seeking new insurance, in the areas of favorability, recommendation and intent to request a quote from American Family Insurance.  The study found that insurance decision-makers who heard the campaign were 25% more likely to request a quote from American Family Insurance than those who didn’t hear it. And brand-switchers who were exposed to the campaign were nearly twice as likely to request a quote, highlighting radio’s ability to influence the insurance company’s best prospects.”  Read more here.

harveyNeighborhood15Steve Harvey Announces Performers for August ‘Neighborhood Awards’ Weekend.  The bill of stars to perform during Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards Weekend in Atlanta August 6-9 is being unveiled.  So far, the 13th Annual Ford Neighborhood Awards and Neighborhood Awards Weekend will feature: Erykah Badu, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Jodeci, Doug E. Fresh, Salt-N-Pepa, Yolanda Adams – plus performances on the Steve Harvey Morning Show live broadcast from Jazmine Sullivan, K. Michelle and Avery Sunshine, with Ne-Yo hosting the State Farm Freedom Friday Party, with additional performers to be announced in the future.

kupl flags 15KUPL, Portland Morning Show Replaces Vandalized Flags.  The Chunky, McKinzie and Jake morning show at Alpha Media’s country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull”  personally delivered American flags to some of those in nearby Vancouver, Washington whose own flags were burned during a vandalism spree.  Commenting on the situation, Chunky says, “Hanging an American flag from your front door is a right that many people have fought for us to have in our country.  When I heard that some people’s flags on their homes were set on fire on Friday evening/Saturday morning in Vancouver, Washington, I was both outraged and hurt at the same time.  I thought the LEAST we could do is deliver a brand new American flag to the victims of the vandalizing.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): McKinzie, a Vancouver homeowner, Chunky, and Jake presenting a new flag.