Contemporary Christian Stations Playing “Own Brand” of Christmas Songs. As we approach Christmas 2012, RadioInfo music department research monitors indicate that whereas secular AC stations taking to the all-Christmas music format are playing the traditional mix of “standards” (by artists such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Darlene Love, Burl Ives, Beach Boys and The Carpenters) offset by a smaller percentage of newer material by active artists — the nation’s contemporary Christian music outlets have immersed themselves in their own unique genre of music performed by the format’s indigenous current artists. Major stations such as KLTY, Dallas; KFSH, Los Angeles; and WFFH, Nashville are playing predominantly active artists the likes of Jeremy Camp (”Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World”), Jason Gray (”Joy to the World”), Francesca Battistelli (”The Christmas Song”), and Jason Castro (”Gloria [Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/Angels We Have Heard On High]”). These stations are also playing secular classics such as “ It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como, “Here Comes Santa Clause” by Gene Autry, and “Caroling, Caroling” by Nat King Cole however in a lesser rotation. The RadioInfo Christian Song Charts will be suspended for the remainder of 2012 due to this development. According to RadioInfo resident radio historian and music editor Duane Doobie, “It is fascinating to listen to what is happening in contemporary Christian radio regarding music of the holiday. These songs are so beautifully done by a crop of wonderful artists specific to the genre. I strongly advise secular programmers to pay more attention to this scene. I suspect we will see a variety of new crossover standards emerge from its talented ranks in the coming years.”
Launchpad Digital Media and Dial Global Partner for Podcast Programming. This deal gives Dial Global an avenue for podcasting from its talent pool — Dennis Miller, “Loveline,” Billy Bush, Charles Osgood, country programming, DG Sports and NBC Sports Radio – via the Courtside Entertainment digital division Launchpad Digital Media. Dial Global co-CEO Spencer Brown states, “Defining great media means delivering the highest quality content to the largest audience. This new partnership with Launchpad Digital Media significantly augments Dial Global’s capability to do both by opening new creative avenues for top talent and new doors for advertisers to access the widening on-demand podcast audience.” Courtside Entertainment founder and Launchpad chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since we announced our move into podcasting the response has been off the charts. The partnership between Kit Gray and Courtside establishes Launchpad with a proven track record of revenue generating success. We have now added new programming which is currently delivering over 90 million downloads per month, including our deal with Dial Global. We are excited to partner with Dial Global to bring some of the most well-known and trusted brands in sports, news and entertainment to the growing roster of Launchpad podcast offerings.”
Curtis Media Plans New AC Station in Raleigh-Durham in 2013. North Carolina-based Curtis Media is seeking a program director and morning show producer/imaging staffer for the format that – according to recent domain registrations by Curtis Media – appears to be set to replace the Spanish music format on WYMY, Goldsboro, North Carolina. Currently, the Spanish music “La Ley 96.9” is simulcast on former news/talk WZTK, Burlington, North Carolina. When the new AC station hits the air, it’s uncertain if it will also air on WZTK’s 101.1 signal or just the 96.9 frequency. The company is also seeking personalities for the “La Ley” via its corporate website so perhaps a split of the two signals is in the cards.
Clear Channel Announces Management Changes in DC/Baltimore and Philly. On the heels of Thea Mitchem’s move from the VP/market manager position in Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Washington/Baltimore operations to VP of programming in New York, the company announces Dennis Lamme moves from the Philadelphia cluster to Washington/Baltimore where he’ll serve as market president. Lamme has served as president and market manager of the Philadelphia operations since February of 2012. Stepping up to fill Lamme’s shoes in Philly is vice president of sales and sales category captain for the retail category division Richard Lewis who becomes market president for the six-station cluster effective immediately.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. “Trapper Jack” Elliot and Jim “Infoman” McIntyre exit CBS Radio’s AC WDOK, Cleveland “New 102” after their contracts were not renewed. Jen Toohey remains hosting the AM drive show for now…..Clear Channel’s country WEZL, Charleston, South Carolina promotes morning co-host Ric Rush to assistant program director for the station. Rush also hosts the PM drive show on sister AC WXLY…..CBS Radio’s country WUSN, Chicago “US 99.5” reverses its earlier move to part ways with midday jock Trish Biondo and will now keep her in that position for another year. The station had planned to move Drew Walker to middays but now he’ll stay in PM drive…..Scrap Jackson is out as program director at Clear Channel’s hip hop WBTT, Naples/Ft. Myers “105.5 The Beat” and CHR WZJZ “Y100.” CORRECTION…Yesterday RadioInfo wrote that WYNZ, Portland morning host Chuck Igo would retire from his position. Not true! It’s cluster newsman Mike Audet who is retiring. We regret the error.
Non-Subscriber Station Exec Speaks His Mind on Arbitron/Nielsen Merger. Fred Lundgren, CEO of talker KCAA, Yorma Linda, California, hopes that Nielsen will change what he describes as the “exclusionary methodology” of Arbitron. In an opinion piece posted today (12/20) in RadioInfo, Lundgren writes, “Moreover, let’s hope Nielson’s acquisition will lead to comprehensive listener surveys across all platforms, which will add value to our industry, rather than further draining resources from traditional media already stagnated by the economy and over consolidation.” In a biting commentary, Lungren asks, “According to Arbitron, nobody listens to KCAA. Are we to believe that KCAA has no listeners to any of 50+ locally produced weekly programs on subjects ranging from a vegan lifestyle to marijuana legalization? According to Arbitron, no one listens to any broadcaster on KCAA, not even Roseanne Barr, Joyce Riley, Don Imus, Dave Ramsey, Alex Jones or Ed Schultz. Read Fred Lungren’s article here.
NAB’s Crystal Radio Awards Calls for Entries. The 26th Annual Crystal Radio Awards – bestowed by the National Association of Broadcasters for excellence in public service – will be handed out on April 9 during the NAB Radio Luncheon at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The NAB is calling for entries beginning January 1. Established in 1987, the Crystal Radio Awards recognize radio stations for their year-round commitment to service to their communities. To enter, a station must submit its online entry describing its community service efforts for the 2012 calendar year. NAB EVP of Radio John David says, “NAB is pleased to honor Radio’s support of local communities and encourages stations to enter for a Crystal Radio Award. Entry submissions must be received by January 31. The Crystal Radio Awards finalists will be revealed on February 25.
The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Honors ‘Women in Numbers.’ At the Monday, December 17 2012 Women in Numbers Breakfast in New York City, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation recognized “women who have made remarkable contributions to both the financial operations of media organizations as well as exceptional journalism related to financial issues.” AWMF president Erin Fuller says, “The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation was proud to host some of the leading women who shape our view of finance – both operationally and topically – in the global financial capital, New York City. As we continue to weather a volatile economic climate, it is fitting that AWMF honor women who have made a significant impact on the financial industry.” Those honored on Monday include: Caroline Beasley, executive vice president and CFO, Beasley Broadcast Group; Jean Chatzky, financial editor, “Today Show,” NBC; Jean Clifton, chief financial officer, Dial Global; Debbie Cowan, chief financial officer and vice president of finance, NPR; Christine Driessen, executive vice president and chief financial officer, ESPN; Melissa Francis, anchor, Fox Business Network; Lori A. Hickok, executive vice president of finance, Scripps Network Interactive; Rebecca Jarvis, business and economics correspondent, CBS News; Barbara Landes, chief financial officer, treasurer and senior vice president, corporate services, PBS; Suze Orman, “The Suze Orman Show” host, CNBC; Christine Romans, “Your Bottom Line” host, CNN; and Joy Whitlow, chief financial officer, National Association of Broadcasters.