Cumulus Media Holdings to Refinance $2.23 Billion in Debt. According to a Reuters report, Cumulus Media Holdings has set terms on a new $2.23 billion loan that would serve to reduce its interest payments over the course of the loan. The company is marketing a $200 million, five-year revolver and a $2.025 billion, seven-year, first-lien term loan. The proceeds would refinance Cumulus’ current first- and second-lien loans. Moody’s Investor Services VP and senior credit officer Carl Salas is quoted saying, “It’s a meaningful improvement in their annual debt service. They will save upwards of $30 million to $35 million in interest costs which adds nicely to their free cash flow generation.”
Donovan Joins ‘Lite Rock 105’ in Providence. At Cumulus Media’s AC WWLI, Providence “Lite Rock 105,” Stephen Donovan is added to the morning show alongside Heather Gersten and the show is being re-named “Heather & Steve.” Program director Brian Demay states, “Stephen will bring a completely fresh and new sensibility to ‘Lite Rock’ mornings and I am excited about this new direction of the show.” Donovan adds, “Providence is a world-class city with a radio legacy to match. So when someone asks if you want to work in the same town as radio legends Salty Brine and Giovanni, you immediately pack your bags. I’m thrilled at the opportunity to join the ‘Lite Rock’ family.” Donovan joins the station beginning December 16.
KYSR, Los Angeles Morning Personality Kennedy to Host Fox Business Net Show. Former MTV VJ and current morning drive host at Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, will begin a new nightly current events talk show on Fox Business Network titled “The Independents” that will premiere on Monday, December 9. The Hollywood Reporter states that Kennedy will co-host with Reason magazine’s Matt Welch, America’s Future Foundation’s Kmele Foster and a rotating panel of money experts. Kennedy herself writes on her KYSR blog that the show will be “aimed at all the mealy-mouthed, partisan faithful out there. Has the 2 party system totally failed you? Yeah, me too! Tune in 4 nights a week on FBN, and just remember, music and politics go hand in hand. I will always hold hands with you.” Kennedy has been a contributor to FBN making regular appearances on “Stossel.”
Vali Named Interim GM of Ohana Broadcast, Hawaii. The name Austin Vali is widely-known in Hawaii radio and, as Ohana Broadcast Company‘s interim general manager, he will oversee four Oahu stations and five Kauai facilities. Owner/president Jason Wolff comments, “Austin brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and relationships in the Honolulu market. He will be a tremendous asset as we strive to produce the best possible radio for our listeners and clients.” recently, Vali was vice president/general manager of Cox Media Group‘s three-station Long Island cluster. During his 40-year radio career, he has worked in Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Louisville; however, Vali is perhaps best known for his experience in Hawaii. Since arriving there in 1978, he worked at Honolulu’s KIKI and KQMQ and he co-owned KRTR-FM and KXME in that market.
“Dish Nation” Renewed For Third Season. Fox Television Stations will continue with the 30-minute entertainment program, which features drive-time radio talent from across the country. Twentieth Television executive vice president/general manager of broadcast sales Paul Franklin notes that, “The personalities featured on ‘Dish Nation’ are clearly resonating with viewers across the country. The program’s comedic take on pop culture and celebrity news have freshened up the stagnant entertainment magazine genre. The Fox Television Stations are a strong partner who first nurtured ‘Dish Nation’ as a summer test – we are thrilled to return for a third season on their local stations.” The program debuted on July 25, 2011, and according to Variety, it is the youngest skewing first-run syndicated program. It beats out “Queen Latifah,” “Arsenio Hall,” and “Katie [Couric]” in adults 18-34 and 18-49. ”Dish Nation” currently draws 1.3 million daily viewers, an 8% increase from a year ago. Among others, “Dish Nation” regulars have included Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill of Cumulus hot AC WPLJ, New York; Heidi and Frank from Cumulus rocker KLOS, Los Angeles; the late Kidd Kraddick of Clear Channel, Dallas CHR KHKS “Kiss”; Rickey Smiley from Radio One, Atlanta urban contemporary flagship WHTA “Hot”; Blaine Fowler and Allyson Martinek of Cumulus, Detroit hot AC WDVD; and Hubbard, Seattle CHR KQMV “Movin’” morning talents Brooke & Jubal.
By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
NEW YORK — Around Labor Day, I wrote an article that asked, “Where have all the broadcast engineers gone?” I was inundated with responses, which is why it has taken me so long to write a follow up article. Obviously, I hit a nerve with everyone. I have heard from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Ireland. Obviously, this is a universal topic and I have been overwhelmed. That, and I’ve been working on a large project with not much time to put electrons to the screen.
Additionally, I was both surprised and not surprised at the bitterness in many of the responses. Broadcast engineers are a unique group. It’s difficult, though not impossible, to find a more dedicated group of people in any business. We take it personally. The station becomes part of us and is what we do. And once that is disrupted, even if the person is in a much better place, it is taken personally. I can relate.
November PPM Data – Part Four. Owing to the Thanksgiving holiday, Nielsen Audio pushed back data release for the remaining 12 PPM markets to yesterday (Monday, 12/2). See complete market numbers here for Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. In addition, RadioInfo’s Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this latest group.
- Austin – Not only is this the sixth straight positive trend for Crista Media-owned KFMK “Spirit 105.9,” the contemporary Christian outlet boasts the distinction of largest (6+) October-November gain (+2.0) of any station in all 48 PPM markets. As part of its upward spiral, “Spirit 105.9″ has progressed 3.0 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 7.1. It cracked the top ten in September (#9); advanced to #6 in October; and is now tied at #2. Two other Austin stations made upward moves of at least one share. After eight consecutive monthly showings in the 5.0 – 5.9 range, including back-to-back months at 5.5 (September and October), Clear Channel country KVET-FM (#4) gains 1.5 to hit an even seven-share, while Emmis adult alternative KGSR “Radio Austin” is +1.2 to 3.7 (#14 – #12).
- Milwaukee – Off by one full share (September-October, 6+), Journal adult hits WLWK “The Lake” rebounds with a six-tenths gain (3.7 – 4.3) as it inches up from #9 to #7. With a one-half share increase to 5.9 (#6), Entercom CHR WXSS “Kiss” has its best 6+-showing since December’s 6.1. Clear Channel talk WISN is off by one full share (7.5 – 6.5, #4). After nearly tripling its .4 in September (6+) to 1.1 in October, adult alternative WYMS takes an eight-tenths dip to .3 (#16).
- Indianapolis – Emmis talk outlet WIBC bounces back from a September-October -.6 in dramatic style by notching a +1.0 (5.3 – 6.3, 6+), thus leaping from ninth to a three-way tie for fifth. Conversely, Radio One rhythmic CHR WHHH “Hot 96.3″ has its third successive down trend – this one represents a nine-tenths loss – dropping the station from #6 in October to #9. Since August, “Hot” has fallen from 7.1 – 6.3 – 5.9 – 5.0 (6+).
- Providence – Up nine-tenths to 7.1 (6+), Clear Channel classic hits WWBB “B101″ progresses from fifth to third. For the fifth consecutive month, Entercom‘s WVEI (#7 – #6) is either up or flat (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 5.9 – 6.3). Its 6.3 represents the sports outlet’s strongest (6+) share since January 2011 – when it also posted a 6.3. Two Clear Channel siblings are off by one-half share apiece – rocker WHJY (7.8 – 7.3, #2) and hot AC WSNE (6.2 – 5.7, #7).
- Raleigh – With a powerful +1.6, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “Today’s Best Country” (#1 for the fifth straight month) hits an even 10.0 share, just as it did in August. Public WUNC takes a nine-tenths spike (8.0 – 8.9) to advance from third to second. Off by six-tenths is Clear Channel CHR WDCG (6.3 – 5.7, #5 – #6).
- Nashville – In addition to being up nine-tenths from October to 6.4, urban contemporary WUBT “The Beat” (#3) is part of a Clear Channel block at #2, #3, #4, and #5. Cumulus Media‘s WSM gains one-half share to 4.7 (#8), while Clear Channel country rival WSIX is -.1 (6.2, #4); WSM country sibling WKDF is -.3 (3.8, #11). Following a scorching +.9 to 6.1 (September-October, 6+), Cumulus Media sports-formatted WGFX “The Zone” tumbles by eight-tenths to 5.3 (#5 – #7).
- Greensboro – CHR has a good month, as Dick Broadcasting‘s WKZL “The #1 Hit Music Station” gains seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, #8 – #7), while Clear Channel-owned WMKS “Now 105.7″ adds one-half share (3.2 – 3.7, steady at #9). On the other hand, Entercom country outlet WPAW “The Wolf” is down four-tenths (8.8 – 8.4, #2) and Clear Channel format rival WTQR “New Country” is off by a full-share (8.5 – 7.5, #6). Entercom’s WQMG (12.1, #1) is in double-digits (6+) for the twelfth straight time. Meanwhile, after registering a +1.1 to 9.0 in October, the urban AC’s adult hits sibling – WSMW “Simon” – plummets by nine-tenths (9.0 – 8.1, #2 – #5).
- West Palm Beach – Clear Channel classic hits WOLL “Kool 105.5″ advances by eight-tenths to 6.3 (#2), while its CHR cluster-mate WLDI “Wild 95.5″ picks up six-tenths to 5.4 (#4). After an eight-tenths August-September decline (6+) followed by a massive -1.2 (September-October), classical-formatted WPBI drops another nine-tenths to 1.4 (#14 – #15); the public outlet ranked sixth in August. Despite a four-tenths dip to 8.1, hot AC WRMF leads the (6+) field for the twelfth consecutive time.
- Memphis – Entercom‘s WMC-FM “FM 100″ enjoys a strong October-November +1.3 as it advances from fifth to third. The 7.7 represents the most potent 6+-share in the hot AC’s PPM history. While Clear Channel gospel WHAL “Halleluiah” trends up by one-half share (10.5 – 11.0) remaining #1 for the third straight month, co-owned urban AC KJMS “V101″ is down eight-tenths to 9.4 (it had been in double-digits, 6+, in August, September, and October) and remains at #2 for the third consecutive month.
- Hartford – Just as it has been for every PPM monthly report since October 2011, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite” (9.8 – 10.7, +.9) is #1. Marlin Broadcasting‘s WCCC “Rock 106.9″ drops one-half share (3.4 – 2.9) but remains at #10.
Kristin the Island Girl Named Midday Jock at ‘HOT 103.7’ in Seattle. Entercom’s rhythmic CHR KHTP, Seattle “HOT 103.7” brings Kristin “The Island Girl” Geong aboard to host he midday show at the station. Geong is a 14-year veteran of the market, most recently at Clear Channel’s crosstown CHR KBKS. KHTP program director Mike Preston says, “Bringing Kristin back to the airwaves on ‘The New HOT 103.7’ gives this growing station even more momentum. After a successful launch, with over 600,000 listeners in just our second month, Kristin was the perfect choice for middays. Her passion for this music format makes her the perfect host for Seattle listeners to spend their work day with.” Geong adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to join the hottest radio station in Seattle. LOVE the fact that I get to not only be back on the radio in the city I love, but I also get to play all of my favorite music, including all of the old school throwback songs that I know word-for-word! Big thanks to Dave Richards and Mike Preston for bringing me on board to be a part of the ‘HOT 103.7’ team!”
Morelli Moves to CBS Radio as VP/Integrated Marketing. Two-year CBS Radio Chicago director of integrated marketing & events Jennifer Morelli is named vice president of integrated marketing for CBS Radio. Morelli led non-traditional sales efforts for the company’s six-station Windy City cluster. According to CBS Radio president of sales Michael Weiss, “Jennifer has taken on roles of increasing responsibility during her tenure at CBS Radio and is well prepared to take on this leadership position for the division. She has demonstrated the ability to create opportunities for clients that go beyond conventional advertising and branding methods.” Morelli joined CBS Radio Houston four years ago as integrated marketing manager. She previously held several positions – including general sales manager – with Emmis in Austin and she has worked in the sales department of WQRF-TV, Chicago. Morelli’s radio career began in 1997 at Sconnix Broadcasting‘s Quad Cities stations where she was an account executive. More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Sun Broadcasting’s Fort Myers operations, program director Lance Ballance exits rock WXNX “93X.” Ballance has been with the station since April of 2011 when it was adult contemporary WTLT “Lite 93.7.”…..Jim “JR” Reitz leaves Cumulus Media’s CHR WFHN, New Bedford, Massachusetts “Fun 107” where he’s been for the past 20 years for a change of career and scenery in Phoenix. Reitz has been serving as program director and morning drive host.
Hometown Media Brings ‘The Dude’ to Wilmington, North Carolina. Last February, Hometown Media branded its Columbia, South Carolina country station WWNQ “94.3 The Dude.” Now the company’s Wilmington, North Carolina cluster takes two of its FM signals – WNTB at 93.7 and WLTT at 106.3 – and flips them from news/talk to country as “The Dude.” Hometown Wilmington general manager Beau Gunn states, “In keeping with the tradition of being your hometown connection, we wanted a country radio station that played the songs listeners wanted to hear. We want your input. We want to play the country music Wilmington wants to hear; not music that was selected in Atlanta or New York. We knew Wilmington wanted a country station and we know people want to be involved in selecting the songs you want to hear. We’ve created a listener advisory board so that ‘The Dude’ plays songs the Port City wants to hear.” Gunn promises the station will play the current country hits and will also dig deeper into albums for cuts listeners want to hear. As for the company’s news/talk programming, “Port City Radio” will continue to be heard on former classical duo WSFM-AM and translator W240AS.
No Political Ads for Pubcasters After All. The notion that public radio and television stations would soon get to take political advertising – made real by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year – has been struck down after a larger, 11-judge panel from the same court ruled 8-3 to uphold the ban on paid commercial, political or issues ads on public radio or television stations. Writing for the majority, Judge Margaret McKeown said, “Congress recognized that advertising would change the character of public broadcast programming and undermine the intended distinction between commercial and noncommercial broadcasting.” The ruling no doubt is music to the ears of commercial broadcasters since they won’t have to share any of that revenue with public outlets. Interestingly, two of the dissenting judges argued that preventing pubcasters from taking advertising – even from for-profit corporations — violates the First Amendment. The case first came to the courts after a public television station was found to have violated the strict rules about promotional messages in announcements for companies called “underwriters.” At least for now, it appears the free speech argument waged by public broadcasters is being overridden by their charter which maintains they be commercial-free.
Nielsen’s ‘Cross-Platform Report’ Concludes More Than 90% of Americans Use Radio Each Week. The just released “A Look Across Media: The Cross-Platform Report” from Nielsen uses RADAR data for its conclusions about radio use and habits. Stating that radio is used by more than 90% of Americans each week, the report notes that African Americans (92%) and Hispanics (94%) are the biggest users of radio on a weekly basis. According to Nielsen, the average American “consumes almost 60 hours of content each week across TV, online, radio and mobile,” and it breaks down this way: TV – 35.1 hours; radio –14 hours; video online – 1.5 hours; video on mobile – 1.3 hours. Though the report states that monthly listening to AM/FM radio is 60 hours and 42 minutes on average, missing from the options is listening to audio via mobile – obviously an important competitor for AM/FM radio. The report measures traditional TV, using Blu-Ray/DVD, using game console, using internet from computer, watching video on the internet, and watching video on mobile in addition to listening to radio via AM/FM. See more about the report here.
Britney Spears to Guest Host AT40 This Weekend. Premiere Networks announces pop star Britney Spears will guest host its “American Top 40” countdown program this weekend, December 7-8. In addition to counting down the top 40 songs, Spears will answer questions directly from fans and talk about the making of her latest studio album “Britney Jean,” including what it was like to record a duet with her sister, Jamie Lynn, and their future plans to collaborate. Spears will also discuss her personal life – from love and break-ups to her favorite Christmas memories, and what fans can expect from her two-year “Britney Spears: Piece of Me” residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, which kicks off December 27.
Cruz Gets Face Time with Jason Derulo. KHKS, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM” evening personality Cruz (left) chats with pop star Jason Derulo backstage at the “106.1 KISS FM Jingle Ball 2013” at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night. Last night was the first stop on the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2013 Tour in Dallas and fans saw performances by Robin Thicke, Ariana Grande, Austin Mahone, Flo Rida, Selena Gomez, Enrique Iglesias, Fifth Harmony, One Republic, SoMo, Pitbull and Derulo. Other cities on the tour this month include: Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Tampa and Miami. Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio.
Springfield Radio Personality Battling Cancer. Longtime WHYN-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts morning personality Dan Williams is being treated for bladder cancer, according to a report on Masslive.com. Williams, who currently is doing weekends and swing shifts at Saga Communications’ crosstown rock WAQY “Rock 102,” was morning co-host at Clear Channel’s AC WHYN-FM “Mix 93.1” for 15 years along with his wife Kim Zachary (currently on the morning show at WDRC-FM, Hartford). Williams says doctors found a blockage in his ureter two years ago and wanted to keep an eye on it. Now that the tumor has grown, doctors will address a new treatment plan.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Begins ‘Holiday Giving Campaign.’ The 2013 Holiday Giving Campaign is underway at the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The campaign asks broadcasters to spread the word about the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to those who may need its assistance, and encourages donations and memberships at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250. Often a last refuge, the Broadcasters Foundation has helped broadcasters and their families remain in their homes and made it possible for retirees to afford life-sustaining medications. The Broadcasters Foundation also has provided one-time emergency grants, including in the aftermath of natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Sandy. Chairman Phil Lombardo states, “The goal of the Foundation’s board of directors is that no broadcaster’s cry for help should ever go unanswered. Requests for aid have more than doubled over the past few years and more come in every day. Next year, we will disburse over $900,000 in financial assistance, a 100% increase from five years ago.” BFoA president Jim Thompson adds, “The pace of incoming donations is lagging behind the requests for aid. Our grant recipients are our colleagues — individuals who we have worked with and whose lives have been devastated by unthinkable circumstances. Aid from the Broadcasters Foundation can be life-saving, in many cases. I ask every broadcaster to consider making a donation or becoming a member.”
KFDI, Wichita Shows Off Holiday Charitable Efforts. Pictured here are staffers from Journal Broadcast Group’s country KFDI, Wichita (including morning hosts Brian Pierce – third from right – and Kellie Michaels – far right) after boxing up 801 holiday packages to be sent to U.S. troops from Kansas stationed overseas. In a separate initiative, the station’s 39th Annual Christmas Crusade for Children has received 1,025 commitments from donors to provide gifts for needy children. The opportunity to donate is being kept open through December 13.
American General Media Stations Organize Drive for Homeless. American General Media Albuquerque stations KABG “Big 98.5,” KAGM “Power 106.7,” KARS “Area 102.9,” KDLW “Z106.3” and KLVO “Radio Lobo” are donating air time and station talent to ask listeners to help support Joy Junction. The stations will hold an all-day live broadcast and donation drive on Friday, December 6 to benefit Joy Junction which assists homeless men, women, children and families in the Albuquerque area.
By Duane Doobie
SPRINGFIELD, MA – As many RadioInfo readers know, this publication’s sister trade is TALKERS magazine – the journal that covers the talk radio and spoken word side of the media. Even though my role at this operation is on the music end of things, I can’t help but notice (across the hall) the sheer vibrancy of broadcast talent in the news/talk and sports talk radio arena… especially when compared to the voice tracked/liner card-reading facelessness and plasticity of so many of the voices barely holding together the elements on the air in the world of today’s music radio.
(NOTE: If you are a talent in music radio and are offended by my remarks, relax – I don’t mean you. Not everyone on the air in music radio fits this description – just most – and far too many of those that do fit the description are way too disconnected to be reading a column like this in the trades… so I’m not worried about offending them. And the smart ones stuck in the depressing rut we are discussing know that I am trying to save their futures in this business.)
It is not news that yours truly is a passionate advocate of bringing the disc jockey back as a major component of music radio so that he/she can bring the dynamism back to the airwaves so desperately needed for it to effectively compete against exotic forms of competition for the attention, respect and love of the music consuming public here in the emerging digital era.
By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
I had one recently, reading one of those free local weekly papers that covers alternative news, arts and entertainment. You know the type, right? They thanked the regional Chevy dealers “for helping pull off what no other broadcast media outlet has ever thought to do: bring some quality local musical talent into our living rooms.”
When the local hipster-friendly publication thanks car dealers for the great tunes, it’s a sign that competition can now come from anywhere!
Radio Competes with ”New Media” for Space in the Brain of the Consumer. Do you ever get those moments when it slaps you upside the head that we’re in a new world of media? In a new column posted today (12/2), noted digital radio consultant and RadioInfo columnist Chris Miller writes, “I had one recently, reading one of those free local weekly papers that covers alternative news, arts and entertainment. You know the type, right? They thanked the regional Chevy dealers “for helping pull off what no other broadcast media outlet has ever thought to do: bring some quality local musical talent into our living rooms. When the local hipster-friendly publication thanks car dealers for the great tunes, it’s a sign that competition can now come from anywhere! So, it’s come to this for us radio folks. Our competition is not over a choice on the radio dial. It’s not even for space on a device. It’s competition for space in the brain.” Miller goes on to suggest that it might be in radio’s best interest not to immediately deal with these exotic outside forces as competition — but to consider them as potential collaborators! To read his complete article, please click here.
Taking a Page from the Book of Talk Radio. RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie is a passionate advocate of bringing back the deejay so that music radio can reclaim ownership of the music culture the way news/talk radio has ownership of the political culture and sports talk radio can say the same about its role in the nation’s sports culture. But what would the new disc jockey of the digital era sound like? We obviously cannot go back to some of the on-air stereotypes of the golden era. In a new column posted today (12/2) the Doob suggests we take a closer look at talk radio for the answer. To read the entire piece, please click here.
November PPM Data – Part Three. Just prior to the Thanksgiving Day break, Nielsen Audio released November 2013 PPM ratings data for Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. See complete market numbers here; in addition RadioInfo’s Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this latest group.
- Portland – For the third straight month, KFIS “The Fish” posts a positive trend – this one a strong +.9 – taking the Salem contemporary Christian facility to 4.1 and #9, up from #14 in October. It is the station’s strongest 6+-stat since May 2011 (4.2). On the flipside, Clear Channel‘s KLTH “Oldies 106.7″ slumps by nine-tenths to 4.6, dropping from fourth to seventh. While Alpha Broadcasting‘s KUPL “The Bull” is steady at 6.7 (#3), its Entercom country rival KWJJ “The Wolf” is down seven-tenths to 4.0 (#11, from #6 in October).
- Charlotte – The back-and-forth in this market’s country battle continues as both players have significant (6+) fluctuations. CBS Radio’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” enjoys a seven-tenths boost (6.2 – 6.9, #3), while Clear Channel‘s WKKT “The Kat” slips by nine-tenths (6.9 – 6.0, #4). In October, WSOC ranked fifth and WKKT was second. Over the last 12 monthlies, WSOC has prevailed eight times (January, March, May, June, July, August, September, and November), while WKKT has been victorious in “Holiday” 2012, February, March, and October. WKKT adult hits cluster-mate WLKO “The Lake” takes a full-share dip (5.0 – 4.0, 6+), dropping from #8 – #12. Up for the third successive month, Greater Media AM & FM talk combo WBT (#10) posts a +.9 from October’s 3.9; its 4.8 (6+) in November matches what it did in April and May.
- Pittsburgh – A sterling example of how a sports flagship must unfortunately take the bad as well as the good exists with CBS Radio-owned KDKA-FM “93-7 The Fan.” Following five straight up trends (4.1 – 4.3 – 5.2 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 8.4, 6+), which included the best-ever (6+) PPM share for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ flagship and a #1 ranking, “The Fan” plummets to eleventh. The 60% month-to-month drop-off (8.4 – 3.3, -5.1) is a bit reminiscent of (6+) “Holiday” to January falloff numbers for all-Christmas music stations; KDKA-FM’s 3.3 in November is its lowest since “Holiday” 2012 (3.1). Among those seemingly benefitting are three Clear Channel music outlets – rocker WDVE (+1.4, 8.9, #3 to #1); CHR WKST “Kiss” (+1.0, 6.6, #7 to #4); and alternative WXDX “The X” (+1.2, 4.2, #11 to #9).
- Sacramento – On the strength of a +.9 (6+), Clear Channel adult hits KQJK “Jack-FM” zooms from #11 – #7; 4.6 is the station’s best showing since January’s 4.9. Capital Public Radio-owned KXJX posts its fourth straight positive trend (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.6) and mirrors the 3.6 (6+) it had in April. After gaining six-tenths in October, CBS Radio sports outlet KHTK adds another half-share (1.3 – 1.9 – 2.4), but remains at #19.
- San Antonio – Rocker KISS (#9 – #6) improves by eight-tenths to 4.9, the Cox Media Group‘s best (6+) stat in over four years (5.0 – October 2009). Clear Channel adult contemporary KQXT “Q101.9″ regains the (6+) half-share it lost in October (4.4 – 3.9 – 4.4) and inches up from tenth to ninth.
- Cincinnati – This marks the second straight month that three “Queen City” stations experience month-to-month fluctuations of at least one share. On the positive side, Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” notches a +1.2 (3.3 – 4.5) to advance to #8 (from #12). Country is strong with Hubbard‘s WUBE “B105.1″ (#3) rebounding from a September-October -1.1 to a +1.0 (7.5 – 6.4 – 7.4), while Cumulus rival WNNF (#15 – #13) gains seven-tenths, which – of course – does not qualify as a full-share gainer but 3.5 represents WNNF’s best (6+) share since the station transitioned from hot AC in January 2012. Meanwhile, Clear Channel-owned WLW continues a downward spiral, but remains #1. The Cincinnati Reds flagship was -1.4 (September-October) and its October-November line is 12.3 – 9.8 (-2.5), submerging WLW to single-digits (6+) for the first time since March (9.4).
- Salt Lake City – After successive (6+) gains of at least one full-share (5.0 – 6.1 – 7.5), Bonneville AM & FM talk combo KSL is down six-tenths and is tied at #2 with Clear Channel AM & FM format rival KNRS (6.6 – 6.9). The talk and CHR battles intertwine, since also at #2 is KNRS CHR cluster-mate KZHT (6.5 – 6.9, +.4); Simmons CHR KUDD “Mix” (5.3 – 5.6, +.3, #5) is right behind. Among the market’s hot AC stations, Cumulus‘ KBEE “B98.7″ gains one-half share to 1.9 (#11), but Clear Channel’s KJMY “My 99.5″ drops nine-tenths to 3.5 (#18).
- Kansas City – Maintaining its positive ways with a six-tenths gain (6+), Cumulus classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” (#2) is up for the third straight month (6.2 – 7.0 – 7.6 – 8.2); November’s 8.2 is a (6+) PPM record-setter for “The Fox.” Entercom‘s KQRC “The Rock” (#5) regains the half-share it lost in October (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.9); however, its sports sibling KCSP, which declined by nine-tenths in October (4.5 – 3.6), tumbles by -1.4 to 2.2 (#13 – #16). For the seventh straight monthly, Wilks country outlet KFKF is #1 (8.3 – 8.6, +.3, 6+).
- Orlando – It is a good month for the market’s divergent adult contemporary flavors. Following a nine-tenths September-October improvement (5.1 – 6.0, #5) Clear Channel‘s WMGF “Magic 107.7″ (#3) gains eight-tenths to 6.8, its best 6+-share since “Holiday” 2012 (when it was exactly twice as much – 13.6). Cox Media Group rock AC WMMO adds one-half share to 4.8 (#11 – #9). Other market outlets making one-half share month-month gains are Clear Channel CHR WXXL (4.7 – 5.2, #8 – #7) and Cox Media Group rhythmic CHR WPYO (3.8 – 4.3, #13 – #12).
- Columbus – For the eighth consecutive monthly, Clear Channel CHR WNCI (#1) is in double-digits (6+) as it boasts a +1.4 to 11.7. Country cluster-mate WCOL (10.2 – 10.4, #2) claims double-digits (6+) for the seventh time in the last nine PPM reports. Conversely, dropping by one-half share are their classic rock sibling WBWR (3.5 – 3.0, #11) and co-owned alternative WCGX (2.8 – 2.3, #12).
CBS Radio Creates New Sales Role; Names Alan Blum VP. CBS Radio announces the unveiling of a new title within the company – vice president of branded content solutions – and announces Alan Blum is stepping into the role immediately. CBS states that Blum will report to Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, Altitude Group, a team of local engagement experts tasked with helping Fortune 500 brands connect with consumers using CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations along with their digital properties, as well as CBS’s outdoor assets. It further states that in this new role, Blum will work directly with the nation’s leading marketers to develop cross-platform programs that build brand awareness and favorability for advertisers. He will identify unique and engaging ways to introduce clients into a range of broadcast and digital programming, as well as out of home media.” Lobel comments, “Local marketing is rapidly becoming the ‘new black,’ and given Alan’s considerable agency and branded content experience, he is the ideal partner to have as we enhance our commitment to delivering world class solutions to clients who want to own the local market landscape. He has a fresh perspective in looking at marketing solutions from a consumer point of view, and can see opportunities that have a chance to become sensational.” Blum comes to CBS Radio from Re:Vision, a New York-based advertising agency he founded in 1993.
Shotgun Tom Kelly’s Appearance at Recent TALKERS Conference Posted on RadioInfoTV. For the first time in the 24-year history of RadioInfo‘s sister publication TALKERS magazine’s annual talk radio conferences, a music radio disc jockey was invited to participate as a speaker. It happened this past October 10 at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 and the deejay was KRTH, Los Angeles “K-EARTH 101″ star “Shotgun” Tom Kelly. In this clip from the panel titled “The Big Picture,” moderator Michael Harrison asked Kelly what it is like being a music radio deejay in 2013. Kelly talks about his appreciation of and experience in talk radio as well as the importance in music radio of “how” he says what he says within the constraints of just a handful of seconds. To see the video clip, check out the RadioIfoTV box at the top of the right hand column on this page.
Callaghan Named OM of a Clear Channel Regional Cluster. Former Entercom adult contemporary KOSI, Denver program director/afternoon personality Mark Callaghan is selected to become operations manager of Clear Channel, Northern Colorado, a seven-station cluster with Colorado properties in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley, as well as in Cheyenne, Wyoming. ”We are thrilled to have Mark join the Clear Channel team in Northern Colorado,” remarks market manager Stu Haskell. ”His knowledge of the market, sales experience and expertise, combined with his solid record of winning big in programming, make this a perfect fit.” Callaghan comments, “I have amazing memories from when I lived and worked in Northern Colorado. I am going to be reunited with many of the very best people in the business. I have wanted to work with Stu Haskell for as long as I can remember – this truly is coming home just in time for the holidays.” Callaghan exited KOSI in February when his post was eliminated. He previously had a 16-year Townsquare Media tenure, which included being a programmer/air personality at the company’s Northern Colorado cluster.
‘Nash FM 94.7’ New York Hosts ‘Nash Holiday Bash’ with Dierks Bentley and Parmalee. Cumulus Media’s country flagship WNSH, New York “Nash FM 94.7” is announcing a “Nash Holiday Bash” concert featuring Dierks Bentley and country rock band Parmalee on Thursday, December 12 at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. Cumulus states that the end-of-year “NASH Holiday BASH” is the latest offering from “America’s Country Station” following the successful “Up Close and Country” concert series which featured performances by country stars including Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, The Band Perry and more. The “NASH Holiday BASH” celebrates NASH FM 94.7’s listeners and is part of the continuing rollout of the national NASH brand on more than 80 country-formatted Cumulus radio stations nationwide.
Bloomberg: Clear Channel Burning Cash to Delay Reckoning. In a piece published by Bloomberg, Krista Giovacco writes that Clear Channel’s recently announced desire to push the due date on $1.8 billion in borrowings from 2016 to another three to five years into the future and almost double the interest rate buys the company time, but also eats into its cash flow. Giovacco reports, “While the proposal gives Clear Channel more time to turn around a business that’s posted losses every year after Bain Capital Partners LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP took control in 2008, it also raises the company’s risk of missing interest payments on $20.7 billion of debt, according to Moody’s Investors Service. After capital expenses, Clear Channel ran a deficit from operations in the year ended June, meaning the company had to eat into cash that’s declined more than 60% since the end of 2010 to $704.2 million. ‘Refinancing at a higher rate is never a positive,’ Scott Van den Bosch, a New York-based senior analyst at Moody’s, said in a telephone interview. ‘It’s not a cure-all, but it buys them time to improve the balance sheet.’” Giovacco further states, “Clear Channel is seeking to extend $1 billion of loans to 2019 from 2016 and is proposing to pay interest of as much as 7.5 percentage points more than the London interbank offered rate, compared with 3.65 percentage points more than Libor on the existing debt, according to CreditSights Inc., Clear Channel had a free cash-flow deficit of $69.4 million in the year ended June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On the trailing 12-month basis, the company burned cash for the first time since 2009, the data show.” Read the entire piece here.
Lew Dickey, Sr. Passes at 86. Broadcaster Lew Dickey, Sr. passed away over the Thanksgiving weekend at age 86. In a statement, Lew Dickey, Jr. – CEO of Cumulus Media – states, “My dad was an enormously talented broadcaster and, more importantly, a deeply devoted husband, father, and mentor. He touched the lives of many people and will be dearly missed.” Dickey, Sr. got his start in radio at Storer Broadcasting’s WWVA, Wheeling, West Virginia and quickly rose through the ranks at the company. He was promoted within Storer to leadership positions at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh followed by WAGA-TV, Atlanta. In 1958, Dickey left a successful corporate career to start Midwestern Broadcasting by acquiring WKWK in Wheeling. In 24 months, he turned around the failing station, and began to expand. In 1965, he bought WOHO-AM, Toledo and added WWWM-FM in 1973. Shortly afterwards, he bought WLIO-TV in Lima, Ohio in partnership with the Toledo Blade. In 1992, he purchased WALR-FM and WCNN-AM in Atlanta.
Urban Radio Legend Jerry Boulding Dies. Urban broadcaster Jerry Boulding passed away on Thanksgiving after a brief illness at age 75. Boulding was serving as urban and urban adult contemporary editor at AllAccess.com at the time of his passing. His radio resume includes time spent at some of the most storied call letters in black radio history: WWRL, New York; WVON, Chicago; KDIA, San Francisco; WCHB, Detroit; WEBB, Baltimore; KJCK, Junction City Kansas and WHB, Kansas City.
Wink Martindale Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award. Envision Radio Networks announces that Wink Martindale (pictured here at left), host of “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time,” received the Hollywood F.A.M.E Award for “Lifetime Achievement Producer/Host.” As one of the most successful game show hosts in television history, Martindale also reflects on a notable radio career that includes WHBQ, Memphis as well as KHJ, KRLA, KFWB and KMPC in Los Angeles. The Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards celebrate and honor Film, Art, Music and Entertainment by recognizing outstanding contributors from those fields. Martindale was presented with the award at the 7th Annual Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards on November 14. Martindale comments, “To receive an award for anything is special. But to receive an award designating both Lifetime Achievement and Producing is akin to remarkable. I am both humbled and honored for this Hollywood Fame Award.” Martindale is currently hosting Envision Radio Networks’ “The 100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time” – a special holiday radio program that counts down everyone’s favorite Yuletide hits from 100 to number one.
Icy Proposal Gets Warm Reception. That young man on his knee on the ice at a recent Fort Wayne Komets game is news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne morning show producer Loren Gardner and the lovely young lady he’s just asked to marry him is country WQHK, Fort Wayne “K105” afternoon personality Heather Cruise. Cruise appeared at the hockey game to sing the national anthem and she had no idea that after she finished, Loren would be there to pop the question. Needless to say, she was a bit surprised but she did indeed say, “Yes.”