Friday, September 21, 2012

| September 21, 2012

2012 Marconi Awards Presented at Radio Show.  Recipients of the 2012 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards were announced last night (9/20) at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at the Radio Show in Dallas.  Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. This year’s recipients are:  “Legendary Station” – KSTP-FM, St. Paul;  “Network/Syndicated Personality” – Dan Patrick, Direct TV/Premiere Networks;  “Major Market Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  “Large Market Station” – KSON-FM, San Diego;  “Medium Market Station” -, WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “Small Market Station” – WVAQ-FM, Morgantown, WV;  “Major Market Personality” – Mike Francesa, WFAN, New York;  “Large Market Personality” – Moon and Staci, KSTP-FM, St. Paul;  Medium Market Personality – Jan Mickelson, WHO-AM, Des Moines;  “AC Station” – WBEB-FM, Philadelphia;  “CHR Station” – KIIS-FM, Los Angeles;  “Country Station” – WYCD-FM, Detroit;  “News/Talk Station” – WTOP-FM, Washington, DC;  “Oldies Station” – WOGL-FM, Philadelphia;  “Religious Station” – KLTY-FM, Dallas;  “Rock Station” – KINK-FM, Portland;  “Spanish Station” – KMVK-FM, Dallas;  “Sports Station” – WEEI-FM, Boston;  “Urban Station” – WBLS-FM, New York.  Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The votes were tabulated by an independent firm.  The NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show was hosted by Edgar ‘Shoboy’ Sotelo of CBS Radio‘s KMVK-FM in Dallas. The show also featured a performance by Island Records‘ Grammy Award-winning artist Melissa Etheridge.

NAB/RAB Radio Show Wraps Up Today.  More than 2,000 radio broadcasters from around the nation are wrapping up their gathering and saying their goodbyes at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas this afternoon as the annual “Radio Show” jointly presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) comes to its conclusion.  Most observers agree it has been a productive and successful three-day industry event.  The main topics covered include radio’s pressing need for the smartphone radio chip to be “turned on” as well as debate and concern over music royalty fees; the pros and cons of streaming; the challenges facing commercial spot sales/programming; living in a PPM world; cross platform audience measurement;  and the challenge of generating digital revenue.  On a basic level, the underlying concern of the conference was the very survival of terrestrial radio in the unfolding digital era and mapping out a course to achieve the industry’s vitality and relevance in it.

Reports from the Floor. Noted radio programmer, station owner and consultant, Clark Smidt covering the Radio Show on the RadioInfo team reports, “Multiple ‘super sessions’ and special events took center stage on Thursday (9/20) with a tremendous roster of top talent.  Over and over again, the mantra was creativity, fresh sound, and the benefits of local operations and community service.  There was an evident call for smaller groups, hands-on broadcasting ownership and the immediate need for smart new sales strategies to deal with changes in the marketplace.”  According to Smidt, individual highlights include the renewed cooperation and coordination of radio and records championed by CBS Radio President Dan Mason; the call to “Turn the Chip On!” by Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan telling the Leadership Breakfast that all smart phones already have a radio chip installed but not turned on; and excellent moderating by RAB CEO Erica Farber who reinforced radio’s resilience. When it comes to promoting current music on radio, Farber, with her extensive experience at Radio & Records confidently points to stations like Marconi winner KIIS (Kiss FM) in Los Angeles delivering huge exposure and play. Smidt observes, “Suggestions for stronger radio and record industry connections and fresh, appealing, commercially viable formats bring back memories of NAFMB conventions in this same Anatole Hotel with record companies, program and music directors present.”  Smidt reports, “I got an excellent HD radio demo in a new Chevy from ibiquity‘s senior director of broadcast business development, Jeff Detweiler.  Jeff stated there still aren’t enough appealing HD stations to hear in most markets – although Seattle and NYC are exceptions. Cohan Radio president Peter Coughlin asked ‘Why should I spend the money on going HD if there aren’t enough receivers?’  Ibiquity’s response: There are eight million receivers already in cars and more than 10 million by the end of 2012.”

Heard around the convention:

“There’s nothing FM stations can’t fix to succeed.”

Connecticut Broadcasters Association president Mike Rice

“What recession?  Just keep trying.  And, then be persistent”

Midwest Communications CEO/president Duke Wright

“Success comes from strategic selling.”

Entercom Norfolk market manager Bennett Zier 

 “Making radio great comes from promotion, presence and excitement going right to the audience.”

Fuller-Jeffrey Hall of Fame CEO, Bob “Doc” Fuller

 “Personality is the big factor.”

Bonneville CEO Jeff Simpson

“We are redirecting our station to ‘Talk with Attitude.’”

Bill Cooksey, APD WRKO, Boston

“Our success in Kentucky came from buying heritage stations with strong community presence.”

Henson Media President Ed Henson

“I tell my people: We play music and throw parties for a living.”

Univision CEO Jose Valle

“Radio is still the # 1 source for music discovery”

Scott Borchetta, CEO Big Machine Label Group

Question of the Conference:  “What’s OUR iPhone?” asked Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey at the Radio Show Leadership Breakfast, urging that radio embrace its own evolution.  “Five years ago, Apple was a computer company.  Now they’ll do $80 billion this year as a phone company.”



Wells Fargo’s Marci Ryvicker Gives Radio a “B” in the Revenue Growth Department.  Marci Ryvicker has been analyzing radio for Wells Fargo for years and her annual reports at the NAB/RAB Radio Show are greatly anticipated.  This year, Ryvicker announced to the rapt crowd that radio “is doing okay, growing,” and that it deserves a “B” grade for its revenue growth efforts – not bad considering the tepid economy in which it is operating.  Ryvicker also says that when all is said and done, radio will have captured 9% of the total advertising spending in America this year – down only 1% from six years ago.  Not surprisingly, radio is benefitting from increased automotive advertising – its largest category by dollars spent.

Advice for the Industry in Tough Times.  Nationally syndicated talk radio sensation Dave Ramsey is pictured here speaking to a packed Wedgwood Ballroom inside the Hilton Anatole at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas yesterday (9/20).  In this Super Session titled “Succeeding in This Economic Environment,” Ramsey delivered inspirational ideas and strategies for thriving in the radio industry.  The Ramsey organization says the proven business concepts discussed were developed over Ramsey’s 20 years in the radio business.

Radio Show Presents a Talk Radio Panel (or Was It Really an All News Radio Panel?).  The NAB/RAB Radio Show presented a panel for the talk radio format semi-prejudicially titled “ Is News the New Talk for Radio?” featuring Phil Boyce, VP spoken word format, Salem CommunicationsMark Masters, president/CEO, Talk Radio Network; and Ed Shane, CEO, Shane Communications.  It was moderated by Jim Farley, VP news and programming, WTOP-FM, Washington, DC.  Farley set the topic up by mentioning the Rush Limbaugh ad boycott and asked the question “[With big time advertisers shying away from talk radio and controversial products] is it time to consider all-news as the new talk for the future?”  He referenced the success of WTOP which is undeniable.  The station has been the #1 biller in the nation for two straight years.  Ed Shane gave a case study for what they have done at “92 News” in Houston, a Radio One station.  He said there were three things you have to have if you want to create an all-news station: guts, money, and patience.  He talked about the expense of running that station, saying they took on $2 million in talent costs and had to re-build the radio station’s facility.  Shane played some of the imaging for the station which uses the slogan “All News, No Spin.”  TRN exec Jim Watkins subbed for Masters who was unable to attend at the last minute.  Watkins said smaller stations can do the all-news format using his company’s America’s Radio News Network.  He claimed 500 affiliates when you add them up. (Some are taking the top-of-the-hour product,  just under 200 take the morning drive show and the other stations taking some  of the other long-form shows,  AARN has all-news product from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.)  BOYCE STEPS UP TO THE PLATE:  After all the conversation about how talk is dead and all-news is the savior,  Phil Boyce started by saying “I feel like the last man standing at the U.S. embassy in the Middle East, with the protesters outside calling for my head and chanting ‘Death to Talk’.”  Boyce repeated the line “Listeners have a Vote” and did his best to convince the crowd that while there was some short-term damage from the Rush boycott, it did not hurt traditional talk radio.  He mentioned that both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin told him this week their sales are up 20%-25% over last year, despite the boycott.  “There is a website out there listing all the advertisers Rush still has on encouraging the protestors to go after.”  Boyce mentioned some of them and said there were 68 of them on this list.  “Not bad for a show that has 18 minutes a day of network commercial time.”  He then pointed out, “The Premiere sellers have figured out that there are a lot of advertisers who are bullet-proof when it comes to ad boycotts.  They just don’t care because they know talk radio moves product, and they know the 1,000 angry e-mails or Facebook posts do not come from their client base.  If the angry tweet says, “We’ll never shop with you again,” they can check their database and discover they never shopped there in the first place.  These direct advertisers are who we need to do business with.  The transactional big-name advertisers may never come back, but there are plenty out there who can replace them.”  Boyce went on to mention the new movie “2016 Obama’s America” had record box office business and used talk radio as its primary advertising medium.  He said, “This ad boycott thing is nothing new.  They tried to kill Glenn Beck two years ago, and at one point had a list of 100 advertisers who would not advertise with him and they claimed victory in driving him off the Fox News Channel, dancing on his grave.  The problem was, he was not in that grave and one year ago this month he went out and formed his own TV news channel with 300,000 subscribers.”  Boyce did the math for the panel…$32.4 million a year, from subscriptions.  “That does not count his book sales, appearance fees, and the $100 million dollar five-year deal they just did with Premiere.  What they meant to kill him only made him stronger.”

Mel Making Out Swell.  According to an SEC report on insider trading Siruis XM CEO Mel Karmazin has exercised options and sold over 76.7 million shares of Sirius XM stock since April 18 – including 20.36 million shares on Wednesday (919).  That brings his overall take to $172 million since April 18.  Either he’s raising a lot of money for something, or he’s exercising options before he either leaves on his own or is asked to leave by Liberty Broadcasting head John Malone who has been adding to his stake in Sirius as Mel has been cashing in shares.  Definitely fuels speculation that Mel’s days with Sirius might be numbered.

Chris Marino Named Director of Operations for CC Hudson Valley.  Programmer Chris Marino is upped from his PD role at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s rhythmic CHR WPKF and Hot AC WBWX, Poughkeepsie, New York to director of operations for the company’s 10-station Hudson Valley cluster.  CC market manager Chuck Benfer says in a statement, “Chris has done a great job over the past three years with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and has earned these stripes since taking the reins as the interim OM in July.  Chris is a bright programmer and a great communicator.  I am really happy that we were able to put this together with him.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Stu “Big Shoe Stu” Evans exits CBS Radio’s country KMLE, Phoenix where he’s hosted the afternoon show for the past two years.  The station has undergone other changes as Brad Booker was brought in recently for AM drive…..Paul Donovan takes over the night shift on Clear Channel’s country WMZQ, Washington beginning Monday, September 24.

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Las Vegas Music Festival Begins Today; Contest for Tix Draws 50 Million Texts.  The mega-concert in Vegas that spans today and tomorrow produced by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and tied in to the company’s digital radio service will feature Taylor Swift, Aerosmith, Rihanna, Usher, Bon Jovi, Lil Wayne, Green Day, Swedish House Mafia, No Doubt, Brad Paisley, Pitbull, deadmau5, Miranda Lambert, Enrique Iglesias, Linkin Park, Jason Aldean, P!nk, Mary J. Blige and Calvin Harris, among others.  CC ran a national contest on more than 700 stations for a free trip to Vegas for the event and drew 50 million text messages in the contest that ran from July 9 through September 16.  President of Clear Channel national programming and executive producer of the festival, Tom Poleman, says, “We are thrilled by the enthusiastic response from millions of music lovers to this contest.  We’re maximizing all our platforms — broadcast, digital and mobile — to fully engage music fans in all the excitement surrounding this year’s festival, and it’s clearly working; radio listeners across the country sent almost 50 million text messages to enter to win tickets to the iHeartRadio Music Festival, recognizing the one of a kind lineup of superstars from all genres of music.  The Festival has become the Super Bowl of music – the one event of the year everyone wants to go to.”

The Nights The Lights Went Out: $15,000 Fine to Colorado Station.  The lights on KAGM-FM, Strasburg, (Denver) Colorado’s antenna structure were out one night in February when an agent from the FCC’s Denver office inspected the site.  He took note that none of the required lighting was on and notified the station immediately, and again by letter in April.  KAGM officials said they didn’t know the lights were out because an administrative error had caused power to the lighting system to be cut off for non-payment of a utility bill the previous November.  Station owner, Joint Venture (KJV), argued they were unaware of the outage.  The FCC found that KJV had apparently willfully and repeatedly violated the Commission’s rules. The basic fine is $10,000, but the Commission upped that by $5,000 because of the length of time the lights were out and the potential hazards of an unlit tower.  For the record, the FCC rule: owners of antenna structures “(1) shall make an observation of the antenna structure’s lights at least once each 24 hours either visually . . . to insure that all such lights are functioning properly as required or alternatively (2) shall provide and properly maintain an automatic alarm system designed to detect any failure of such lights and to provide indication of such failure to the owner . . . .”

At the FCC.  The Commission granted assignment of WOAM-FM, Peoria, Illinois from Nelson Broadcasting, a group owner of Illinois stations, to American Education Foundation. Also granted is assignment of the license of WLYJ-FM Tullahoma, Tennessee, from American Family Association to Joy Christian Communications, Inc.

Cool Job Opportunity for Producer in Boston.  This is a good one! Clear Channel Boston is looking for a superstar creative services / copywriter / producer / brand steward to executive produce the company’s brand new acquisition 101.7 The Harbor.  They are looking to expand their team with another major player who understands how to make a radio brand come to life through creative and engaging imaging.  This role would include responsibilities overseeing other stations in the cluster including Matty’s Comedy 1200 and Mia 1430, as well as helping out at Kiss 108 and Jam’n 94-5.  Qualifications: Creativity is a must — but so are killer organization skills, incredible attention to detail and excellent follow-through. CC is looking for  candidates with a strong knowledge of programming.  In fact, past programming experience (APD, programming assistant, sitting in on music meetings, following the PD around until they gave you something to do, etc.) is a major plus!  You must be proficient in ProTools, Cool Edit, and NexGen.  Rush your resume with materials (sample writing, production and anything else that would sell you) to Clear Channel, Attn: HR, 10 Cabot Road, Suite 302, Medford, MA 02155 or via email at  Use I WANT TO BE THE HARBOR MASTER as your email subject.

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