Tuesday, October 23, 2012

| October 23, 2012

Country Radio Programmers React to New ABC-TV Series “Nashville.”  At least on paper, ABC-TV’s decision to slot an hour-long, weekly series about the inner-workings of country music (“Nashville”) seemed nothing short of brilliant and right in country radio’s wheelhouse.  After all, the music speaks to and resonates with the loyal, large fan base.  So RadioInfo’s Mike Kinosian contacted a number of country radio programmers to get their reaction to yet another case of television art imitating life – a life they know first-hand – and the response ranged from lukewarm to “getting hooked.”  Read all about it here.

Jacksonville Valpak to Cox Radio from Cox Media Group.  Cox Media Group is the parent company of Valpak.  Keeping things in the family, Cox Radio purchases the Valpak Jacksonville franchise from Cox Media to support the five Cox stations in Jacksonville.  Valpak, producer of local print and digital coupons, mails to 170,000 households in the market.  “The acquisition of Valpak of Jacksonville provides Cox Radio the perfect opportunity to cross-promote its business and extend the reach of its advertisers,” says Bill Hendrich, vice president and market manager for Cox Media Group in Jacksonville.”  Ken Harrivel, who has been the general manager of Valpak of Jacksonville since 2004, will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the franchise.

Syracuse Rock Jocks to Test New York’s Right to Work Law.  The Broadcast Employees Freedom to Work Act has not been tested in the Empire State since it was enacted in 2008.  Now, the move of morning hosts Hunter and Josh (Hunter Scott and Josh Grosvent, pictured at left) from Cumulus Media’s rock WAQX, Syracuse “98X” to Galaxy Communications’ WKRL, Syracuse “KRock” may be the case that tests the new law.  The duo had been working without a contract at WAQX since the previous contract expired in August.  They left Cumulus on Tuesday, October 16 and began with Galaxy on Thursday, October 18.  Galaxy has received a cease-and-desist order from Cumulus but, so far, the two remain on the air.  Through Galaxy Communications’ attorneys, the duo is saying that Cumulus did not respond to offers to resume contract negotiations while they worked there.  Galaxy CEO Ed Levine tells the Syracuse Post-Standard that if Cumulus had offered the pair a contract they would still be working there today.  Cumulus is expected to argue that the two have company trade secrets regarding programming, promotions and sales strategies and if the case ends up in court, that will likely be the basis for contesting Scott’s and Grosvent’s employment with a crosstown competitor.

Tim Conlon Named Music Director at WKIS (99.9 Kiss Country), Miami.  Effective immediately, Beasley Broadcasting Miami announces that Tim Conlon assumes additional duties as music director for 99.9 Kiss Country WKIS.  Conlon, known to his listeners as TC, serves as the radio station’s overnight and weekend on-air host and also works in a programming and production assistant capacity. He joined WKIS in 2010.  WKIS operations manager Ken Boesen explains the promotion, “Tim has been my right-hand man for several years. He is committed, eager to excel, and brings an extensive knowledge of country music and a true passion for the genre and our artists to this expanded role.  Add to that Tim’s strong relationships in Nashville, and his solid understanding of our WKIS music brand, and you have a fantastic music director.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Mary Kennedy is the new midday jock at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRWM, Indianapolis “i94.”  She comes to Indy from Cumulus’ CHR KRBE, Houston where she handled overnights…..Merlin happenings:  The entire sales staff from rocker WRXP-FM, New York’s last day was this past Friday (10/19).  Also, all non-AFTRA workers at the station were pink-slipped. The station is expected to go LMA with CBS Radio New York on November 1.

A Couple of Cool Syndicated Rock Shows Pick Up Affiliates.   “The Deep End” with Nick Michaels announces three new affiliates, KSAL-FM, Salina, KS; WAUH-FM, Wautoma, WI; and KLCM-FM in Lewistown, MT.  “The Deep End” is described as “a trip to a time when music mattered.” It features music and the stories behind the songs, artists, venues and people who helped make the most of today’s classic rock /classic hits and its host Nick Michaels is one of rock radio’s all time great voices.  Look for an extensive interview/feature on Michaels coming soon to RadioInfo…..Envision Radio Networks welcomes KEYJ (Rock 108), Abilene, TX as the newest affiliate of “The Core,” a two-hour show hosted by well-known personality Meltdown of WRIF, Detroit, which features music and artists that thrived in the 90s. With Rock 108 now airing “The Core” on Sundays at 3:00 pm, it joins over 200 affiliates on the Envision Rock Network.  “I lost a bet to Meltdown, now I have to carry his show. Lucky for him it kicks serious ass. The Core represents an era in rock that is incomparable,” explains Frank Pain, operations manager at KEYJ. “I barely survived the 80s so anytime I hear the best from the 90s I’m reminded that I’m immortal.”

Iowa Pirate Station Will Cost Thomas Costa $10,000.  Roaming around Iowa City last month with a direction-finding device led the FCC to the home of Thomas Costa where there was an FM antenna mounted on the chimney.  The signal was loud and clear on 87.9.  The Kansas City FCC Enforcement Bureau’s agents stopped by on September 18 to find the station still operating.  Costa told agents he rents a locked basement room to some unnamed individuals who own the automated equipment providing audio to a non-certified FM transmitter and he did install the transmitter for them.  He says he doesn’t have the names of those asking him to do this because they want to have protection from the Commission and that those individuals told him he should expect the FCC to show up some day and order him to shut down the station.  The Kansas City agents didn’t buy Costa’s story and neither did the FCC in determining a fine of $10,000 for operating an unlicensed station.  “We find it implausible that Mr. Costa (or anyone for that matter) would install radio equipment, rent space, allow for unlawful operations in the rented space, and incur potential financial and other liability on behalf of complete strangers.”  Costa has 30 days to pay or file a statement requesting cancellation or reduction of the fine.

Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Inducts Eight.  Eight Georgia radio professionals were inducted into the Career Achievement category at the Georgia Radio Hall Fame Sixth Annual Induction Awards Ceremony held last night (10/22) at the Wilson Convention Center in Macon, Georgia.  The inductees include (in alphabetical order): Bill Elder, Matt Cook, Nate Hirsch, John Moore, Lauren Nobles, Ron O’Quinn, Bruce Stevens, and Bob Todd.  The 2012 Founders and Directors Award was presented by Deanna Brown Thomas (daughter of James Brown) to WIBB’s legendary Three Horsemen: Ray “Satellite Papa” Brown, Charles “Big Saul” Greene, and Hamp “King Bee” Swain. The three were instrumental in launching Brown’s career.  Also honored posthumously, the 2012 Legacy inductees: Milt George, WGPC, Albany;  Bob Hunnicutt, WWGA, Waynesboro;  John Lane, WGIG; Brunswick; Don McDougald, WWNS, Statesboro; Jim Popwell, WCEH, Hawkinsville; Bob Saggese, WBML, Macon; Don Sports, Sr., WCLA, Claxton;  Jim Steele, WKBX, Kingsland; and Eugene “Uncle Ned” Stripling, WMAZ, Macon.  This year’s event was the first to be held outside metro Atlanta since the organization was founded in 2007 by John Long and Sam Hale. The seventh annual event will be held at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Conference Center on Saturday, October 19, 2013. Pictured at right (from l-r) are: Bob Houghton, president, Georgia Association of Broadcasters and John Long, president and co-founder of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Transfers and New FM Approved.  The Commission approves the transfer of country WKBX-FM, Kingsland, Georgia, from Wendy SteeleRadio Kings Bay to Neal Ardman, et al…..It also approves assignment of country WCAT-FM, Carlisle, Pennsylvania from Potential Broadcasting, LLC, as Trustee, to Radio Carlisle, Inc. joining Harold Swidler’s country WIOO-AM, Carlisle and Eric Swidler’s country WEEO-AM in Shippensburg…..The FCC approves transfer from AR Licensing, LLC of sports/talk KFNC, Mont Belvieu, Texas, to Gow Communications, LLC…The FCC grants a new Auction 93 FM Construction Permit on 104.5 mHz at Murdo, South Dakota to Riverfront Broadcasting LLC.  Headquartered in Yankton, South Dakota, Carolyn Becker is the Managing Member of Riverfront, a family owned company with 9 stations in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Rebound at Close for Wall Street.  Stocks came back at the end of the session from some heavy losses during the day as mixed corporate earnings for the third quarter were released.  The Dow is up 2.38 (+0.02%) at 13345.89. The S&P 500 adds 0.62 (+0.04%), to 1433.81, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 11.34 points (+0.38%) to 3016.96.  The broadcast sector was essentially flat.  Those posting gains on the day are Cumulus Media (+1.50%), Beasley Broadcast Group (+1.46%), and Spanish Broadcasting System (+0.69%). Beasley releases its third quarter financials this Friday, October 26.

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