How Do Non-Clear Channel Stations Feel About the Mega-Company’s Cozy Deals with the Music Industry? As just about everyone in popular music radio knows, superstar singer Taylor Swift had Clear Channel Media & Entertainment seeing “red” this past month and for the media platform giant, that’s a positive. CCM&E rolled out its multi-platform partnership deal with Swift to launch her much-anticipated CD, “Red.” The platform “layers” included a Clear Channel and Ryan Seacrest-hosted national special album release party carried by a large number of Clear Channel radio stations and its iHeartRadio internet platform complete with exclusive interviews and music clips, with an “Artist Integration Program” allowing listeners to download a copy of “Red.” Add to that their exclusive “24-Hour Dream Life” contest where a lucky fan and three friends won a private jet trip to a behind the scenes tour of Taylor’s new show, front row seats at two shows, a backstage meet and greet with Taylor and a signed guitar. In addition, Swift hosted the 2012 CMA Awards Preview Special, carried by Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks, a four-hour radio show aired in advance of “The 46th Annual CMA Awards.” Clear Channel radio stations from Maine to Hawaii also had a number of different Taylor Swift-related packages on their websites, offering everything from info about Swift on the news pages to exclusive video interviews with Swift describing what the song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is about (#5 on this week’s RadioInfo Pop Songs Chart), just another facet of Clear Channel’s multi-platform promotion approach. It was a huge win for Clear Channel and their platforms of distribution, but what of the rest of radio? RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay speaks with a variety of Clear Channel competitors to gauge their reaction. Read what they have to say here.
FCC to Schedule Field Hearings on Communications Networks in Wake of Hurricane Sandy. Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski is announcing his agency will schedule a series of field hearings over the next few months to “examine new challenges to the nation’s communications networks in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, and help inform recommendations and action to improve network resiliency. The field hearings will focus on the unique challenges faced by communications service providers, state and local officials, emergency personnel, and consumers before, during and after Superstorm Sandy as well as other natural disasters.” While radio and television are mentioned in the FCC’s release, the tone of the release seems to indicate legislators’ concerns may be more about how to improve the resiliency of the nation’s cellular networks in such situations. Genachowski says in a statement, “This unprecedented storm has revealed new challenges that will require a national dialogue around ideas and actions to ensure the resilience of communications networks. As our thoughts and sympathies remain with those who have suffered loss and damage as a result of Superstorm Sandy, I urge all stakeholders to engage constructively in the period ahead.”
Spanish KXOS, Los Angeles “Exitos 93.9” Changes to English CHR Format. Grupo Radio Centro’s KXOS, Los Angeles dropped the Spanish music over the holiday weekend and began playing an English-language CHR format while retaining the Spanish-language air talent. In fact, the company is importing Mexico City personality Antonio Esquinca from its XHFAJ to host the morning drive show.
Monday Morning Hot Music Snapshot
According to RadioInfo, the top five pop songs for airplay on mainstream CHR and hot AC stations are: 1) “Die Young” by Ke$ha, 2) “Diamonds” by Rihanna, 3) “One More Night” by Maroon 5, 4) “Let Me Love You” by Ne-Yo, and 5) “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars. Hot jumpers include “Home” by Phillip Phillips, “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber featuring Nicki Minaj, “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran, “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys, “Rest of My Life” by Ludacris featuring Usher and David Guetta, “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz, and “Daylight” by Maroon 5. Highest pop songs red zone (#’s 41-50) debut: “Little Things” by One Direction. To see entire RadioInfo Pop Songs Chart click here.
The top five rock songs for airplay on mainstream rock, alternative, active and triple A stations are: 1) “Madness” by Muse, 2) “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons, 3) “Take a Walk” by Passion Pit, 4) “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers, and 5) “Little Black Submarines” by The Black Keys. Hot jumpers include: “Trojans” by Atlas Genius, “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, “Let’s Ride” by Kid Rock, “Doom and Gloom” by The Rolling Stones, “Change” by Churchill, “Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night)” by Neon Trees featuring Kaskade and “Tightrope” by Walk the Moon. Highest rock songs red zone (#’s 41-50) debut: “Dead Man’s Shoes” by The Virginmarys. To see entire RadioInfo Rock Songs Chart click here.
The top five Christian songs for airplay on contemporary Christian music stations are: 1) “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave, 2) “I Need a Miracle” by Third Day, 3) “One Thing Remains” by Passion featuring Kristian Stanfill, 4) “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman, and 5) “You Are I Am” by MercyMe. Hot jumpers include: “Only a Mountain” by Jason Castro, “Even If” by Kutless, “His Kind of Love” by Group 1 Crew, “Great Am I” by Phillips, Craig & Dean, “Promises” by Sanctus Real, “Kings and Queens” by Audio Adrenaline, “Slip on By” by Finding Favor, “Already There” by Casting Crowns, and “Your Presence is Heaven (Live)” by Israel & The New Breed (highest chart debut). Highest Christian songs red zone (#’s 41-50) debut: “Steal My Show” by tobyMac. To see entire RadioInfo Christian Songs Chart click here.
NextMedia Sells Outdoor Assets; Focuses on Radio. NextMedia announces it has sold its billboard business to Baton Rouge-based Lamar Advertising and that positions the company to focus on its radio assets. The $145 million sale also allows NextMedia to eliminate its debt and have some reserve cash in the bank, according to a report in the Denver Post. NextMedia owns some 33 radio stations in eight markets in California, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Connoisseur Media Agrees to Take Over Nassau Stations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If the deal is approved by the bankruptcy court, Connoisseur Media will buy the Nassau Broadcasting stations for $38.7 million plus administrative costs of approximately $1.6 million. The Pennsylvania stations in the Allentown and Stroudsburg markets include: classic hits WODE, Easton, PA; rock WWYY, Belvidere, NJ; Christian WBYN, Lehighton, PA; sports talk simulcast WEEX, Easton and WTKZ, Allentown; hot AC WSBG, Stroudsburg; WVPO, Stroudsburg and currently dark WPLY, Mount Pocono, PA. The New Jersey stations include: hot AC WPST, Trenton and Christian WCHR.
U.S. Dept. of Labor Sues Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting. The Casper, Wyoming-based Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting corporation is being sued by the federal agency for allegedly violating wage laws. The Wyoming Star-Tribune reports the suit claims workers at Mt. Rushmore received less than federal minimum wage and weren’t paid overtime when they worked more than 40 hours a week. The allegations date as far back as August 2008. Mt. Rushmore president Jan Charles Gray disputed the allegations and, in an email to the paper, states, “The filing is bogus and unfortunate. The accusations themselves are not accurate, [coming] from disgruntled former employees, some of whom are convicted felons.” There are six former employees involved in the suit with varying tenure at Mt. Rushmore. One worked for the company for as brief a period as two weeks. Gray tells the paper that even if the allegations were accurate, exemptions in the Fair Labor Standards Act prevent the rules from applying to his company. “This is an unconstitutional action by the Department of Labor to target small business.”
RadioInfo Career Moves. Alternative CIMX, Windsor/Detroit morning team Dave Hunter and Charles Urquhart of the “Dave & Chuck the Freak” show resigned from the Bell Media-owned station to take a new gig at a yet-to-be-announced station. The Detroit Free Press reports local management at CIMX, Windsor confirms the two have exited and tells the paper confidentiality agreements prevent him from knowing where the duo are heading. Interim program director Cal Cagno sits in the morning show chair this week…..Kelly Mac is named assistant program director at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s hip hop WGCI, Chicago and midday host at sister urban contemporary WVAZ, Chicago “V103.” Mac comes to Chicago from Clear Channel’s Philadelphia cluster where she was APD and music director at hip hop WUSL “Power 99” and urban contemporary WDAS…..Tik Tak is one of the casualties of the layoffs at Alpha Broadcasting’s Portland, Oregon operations. He’s out as night jock on country KUPL…..Doug Goff becomes part of the morning show at Townsquare Media’s country WWJO, St. Cloud, Minnesota “98 Country.” He joins Cindy Wear and producer Katie for the AM drive program beginning December 3.
Former Tulsa Morning Personality Phil Stone Dies at 57. Phil Stone – real name Phillip Wayne Riddle – was part of the Phil & Brent show on Clear Channel’s rock KMOD, Tulsa, a show that lasted 27 years in the market. Stone and Brent Douglas were unable to come to terms with Clear Channel to renew their contract and the program ended on October 12. Stone died on Wednesday, November 21. The Tulsa World is not reporting a cause of death but a family spokesperson says the loss has left his family and friends with a heavy heart. They are considering a memorial service to “celebrate his life with his fans, family and friends. KMOD program director Don Cristi tells the paper, “It is literally like losing a member of your family,” and that Stone “had to be the greatest radio personality in this market.”
Curtis Media Buys Two FM Translators in North Carolina. The broker is Media Services Group and Bob Heymann of the company’s Chicago office serves as the exclusive broker. Media Services handles the sale of W236BO Burlington, North Carolina and W279BW Roxboro, North Carolina from Liberty University, Inc. (a Virginia nonprofit corporation) to Eastern Airwaves, LLC, an affiliate of Curtis Media, Inc. for $200,000. The deal is pending FCC approval.
Rock 102 Thanksgiving Tradition. WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts morning drive team Bax & O’Brien helped gather food and money for those in need in the area with the broadcast of their annual Mayflower Marathon food drive over the Thanksgiving week. Hosts Mike Baxendale (center) and John O’Brien (far right) are pictured here announcing the donation of $10,000 to the Open Pantry – a local organization that provides food to those in need. The annual charity event is a signature of Saga Communications’ “Rock 102” and the Bax & O’Brien morning show during which the duo broadcast continuously for two days while encouraging listeners to fill a Mayflower moving van with food staples for the hungry.