By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent
ATLANTIC CITY — New Jersey broadcasters face the daunting issue of having to compete with New York City, the largest market in the nation to the north, and Philadelphia, the 9th Nielsen-rated market to the south, all while fighting formidable radio stations in their own backyard markets like PPM-rated Middlesex-Somerset-Union, along with #53-rated Monmouth-Ocean on the Jersey Shore, and rated markets in Atlantic City, Morristown, and Trenton. With a population of over eight million, many of whom commute daily to the neighboring big cities, the task of gaining listener loyalty might be more challenging in the Garden State than anywhere else.
Each year, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association holds its annual convention in Atlantic City, and as is the tradition, it’s not just a chance for broadcasters to mingle. The 69th annual two-day event that took place yesterday and Wednesday (6/22-23) at Caesars Atlantic City featured a number of productive work sessions dedicated to new technologies, mentoring talent, improving stations’ ad revenue, and honoring the best performers on New Jersey radio.
Seacrest, Usher Engage in “Intimate Conversation.” Notwithstanding “American Idol” has concluded its final season, the talent competition’s host – Ryan Seacrest – still has a plethora of other responsibilities that keep him busy. Earlier this week, for example, the morning personality of iHeartMedia Los Angeles mainstream CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” was in Paris during the Cannes Lions Festival, where he discussed “hustle” and entrepreneurship with eight-time Grammy winner Usher. Introduced by iHeartMedia chair/chief executive officer Bob Pittman, the “Intimate Conversation with Usher” focused on the path to success and what it takes to build a lasting career. “Even though I created a benchmark to start,” Usher states, “I found new motivation in creating diversity as an artist. If I call myself an entertainer, then that means I should be able to do it all, I should be able to reach out, to have an understanding of different genres and to have an idea about how music is made.” He stresses that the point is to evolve. “We all individually are brands – the more we diversify and reach into other areas the more we grow.” Invoking the term “hustle,” the host of Premiere Networks’ “AT40” asks Usher to define it and the singer candidly states, “You’ve got to have chutzpah and defy the ideas that were set before you. If I continue to push on my vision, eventually somebody other than [me] will believe it too. It only takes one star to light the universe.” As far as the entrepreneurial spirit is concerned, Usher emphasizes, “Be willing to be the first there and the last to leave. Stand strong and be benevolent in your pursuit of what you believe in.” In what is bound to be music to the ears of radio programmers throughout the United States, Usher graciously maintains that the medium is “the only tool” in his opinion that “still matters with making a genuine connection with the consumer. Radio program directors and personalities have the ability and the responsibility to curate the story of the artists in the right way.” Touring is “definitely on the horizon” for Usher, while Seacrest explains that he (Seacrest) is “someone who thinks that where there is a void, I need to fill it. I am trying to have patience and a little bit of discipline. I am waiting to host the ‘Olympics’ this summer, do a bunch of things with NBC, and after that – see if there is something else to do.”
New Jersey Broadcasters Association Annual Conference a Success in Atlantic City. The 69th annual NJBA convention just wrapped up two-days at Caesars Atlantic City (6/22-23) and by all measures was a successful event. Several hundred broadcasters from the Garden State and beyond gathered to discuss the state of the radio industry both regionally and nationally. The theme of the conference was “The Power of Broadcast” and it included sessions on programming, sales and technology as well as an awards ceremony, Hall of Fame induction and radio row. TALKERS/RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay was in attendance and provides coverage of the sessions and speakers. To read it in its entirety, please click here.
Page Ends Mid-day Search. After having worked weekend and swing shifts at Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5,” Alyssa Page will join KNDD “107.7 The End” for mid-day duty the middle of next month. Page succeeds former music director-mid-day talent “Pepper,” who left the Entercom Seattle alternative station four months ago. KNDD program director Leslie Scott comments, “Alyssa’s sense of humor, grit, and passion make her the perfect addition to our already strong team. I cannot wait for Seattle to get to know her.” Page remarks, “It’s not everyday you get to go work for your dream station. ‘The End’ is unique and extremely authentic in everything they do and I have so much respect for the brand. I am thrilled and honored to be joining such a tremendous team.” Down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.1 – 3.1, 6+), “The End” finishes at #15 in Seattle’s May 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM report; Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV is #1 with a 6.2 (6+).
Townsquare Media Atlantic City & The Shore Officially Names Ruble Market President. It is “official,” in that, Michael Ruble had been market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media‘s Atlantic City & The Shore’s (New Jersey) properties on an interim basis. He now handles both of those responsibilities without the “interim” prefix. Senior vice president of operations Rob Williams notes that, “Mike has been an exceptional leader in Atlantic City for years, building a terrific team that has consistently performed at a high level. In Toms River, we have a team with significant strengths and talents; wonderful brands; and the foundation to grow to new heights with Mike’s leadership.” Three of the company’s Monmouth and Ocean County stations include talkers WOBM-AM, WADB, and WPGG. The rest of its outlets in that area are adult contemporary WOBM-FM “Soft Rock 92.7”; hot AC WJLK “The Point”; AC WFPG “Lite Rock 96.9”; sports WENJ “97.3 ESPN“; hot AC WSJO “SOJO 104.9”; classic rock WCHR “The Hawk”; and WPUR “Cat Country 107.3.” Ruble joined Townsquare Media five years ago as market manager-general sales manager. He previously was a market manager-general sales manager with Millennium Radio Group; national sales manager for Citadel Broadcasting; and an account executive with Spring Broadcasting.
Led Zep’s Stairway to Vindication. A jury in Los Angeles yesterday (Thursday, 6/23) ruled that Led Zeppelin did not pilfer any portion of its most famous track – “Stairway to Heaven” – from the 1968 Spirit instrumental “Taurus.” According to a statement issued on behalf of Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, “We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years. We appreciate our fans’ support and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us.” A Warner Music Group spokesperson notes, “Supporting our artists and protecting their creative freedom is paramount. We are pleased that the jury found in favor of Led Zeppelin, re-affirming the true origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands in history. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are peerless songwriters who created many of rock’s most influential and enduring songs.” Owing to a legal matter, the jury was not allowed to listen to original “Stairway to Heaven” and “Taurus” recordings to determine their verdict. Instead, an expert performed both songs based on the original sheet music. Page and Plant testified they did not remember ever hearing Spirit’s “Taurus.” The original complaint against Led Zeppelin was filed just over two years ago (May 2014) on behalf of the trust of the late Randy Craig Wolfe, a Spirit guitarist.
“Brexit” Fallout Felt in U.S. Following yesterday’s “Brexit” vote by Brits to separate from the European Union (Thursday, 6/23), several major United States-based media companies such as Fox, Viacom, Netflix, and Apple opened their stateside trading days down billions of dollars in stock valuation. Netflix and Apple though were among those surging back within the first 10 minutes of the U.S. trading day. The Pound dropped to its lowest valuation in decades, and stock prices overseas sunk. British Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped down, vowing there will be a new PM in place by October. In a statement of support from the White House, President Barack Obama comments, “The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” Given economic implications domestically and abroad, this is bound to be a big topic today – even on FM music-intensive outlets.
Nash Harmonizer. The winner from the fifteenth – and final – season of “American Idol,” Trent Harmon visited WNSH “Nash FM,” New York yesterday (Thursday, 6/23) to chat with 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm personality Jesse Addy . Currently working on his first album, Harmon performed some of his songs, including “What Are You Listening To,” “Falling,” and “There’s a Girl” for station listeners.
RadioInfo Tidbits. Six-year WNOW “100.9 Radio Now,” Indianapolis morning show talents Kyle & Rachel have done their final broadcast on the Radio One CHR. On his Facebook page, Kyle Smelser writes, “Simply put, we were not renewed for another year and they want to go [in] a different direction.” Meanwhile, Radio One notes that the market “has been a breeding ground for the nation’s top talent” and the company acknowledges it has “the perfect opportunity for an air personality to gain notoriety locally and industry respect for leading our morning show.” With a goal of transforming “the landscape of morning radio in Indianapolis,” it seeks “to hire the brightest talent, with a winning spirit we can find who demonstrates passion for our shared mission.”
WMMR Struts Its Stuff. This past Monday (6/20), Greater Media Philadelphia rocker WMMR kicked off its series of lunchtime performances at Ardmore Music Hall. There was a limited number of tickets for the invitation-only show to see the young British band The Struts, who performed “Could Have Been Me” and “Kiss” from their current album (“Everybody Wants”); a spontaneous meet-and-greet followed. Pictured with The Struts are WMMR personalities Blake Dannen (far left), Jacky Bam Bam (far right), and “Rabbi” (front).
Hardee Named Afternoon Host at ‘99.5 The Mountain’ in Denver. The Entercom classic rocker announced Dan Hardee is taking over the afternoon drive slot at KQMT, Denver “99.5 The Mountain,” effective July 18. Hardee, who was most recently with Bonneville’s Denver stations country KYGO and adult contemporary KOSI, replaces the retiring Dan Mitchell. KQMT program director Sam Hill says, “I’m beyond thrilled to have Dan join ‘The Mountain’ family. With his refreshing abundance of energy and clear passion for radio and classic rock music, he’s a wonderful fit.”
Cooke: Notes from the Connected Mobility Conference. AM/FM radio’s relationship with the automobile is its lifeline, so any time business professionals are getting together to talk about the state or future of the auto, it’s important to radio. Consultant Holland Cooke is on the scene in New York at CE Week and yesterday took in the Connected Mobility Conference. Cooke reports on some of the data and thoughts from industry leaders on the effects of Car-Sharing and Ride-Sharing, as well as a look to the future of autonomous cars. Read it here.
Country Radio Hall of Fame Honors CBS RADIO Broadcasters. At last night’s annual Country Radio Hall of Fame Awards and Dinner in Nashville, three distinguished CBS RADIO broadcasters were honored with inclusion into the Country Radio Hall of Fame. Among the newly inducted hall of famers were WUSN, Chicago “US99.5” personality Lisa Dent, CBS RADIO Detroit operations manager Tim Roberts, and recently retired and former CBS RADIO Minneapolis SVP and market manager Mick Anselmo. The Country Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period. Pictured here at the June 22 event are (from l-r): CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman, Roberts, Dent, Anselmo, CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez, and CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.
RadioInfo Tidbits. In St. Louis, iHeartMedia launches “Pride Radio St. Louis” on the HD2 channel of KSLZ-FM. The station is using the slogan “The Pulse of LGBT St. Louis.” The station is the fourth iHM outlet in the U.S. with programming devoted to local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender listeners. It’s an extension of the iHeartRadio digital Pride Radio station…..Greater Media rocker WMMR, Philadelphia helped collect 1,297 units of blood in conjunction with the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. The blood drive took place last Saturday (6/18) at Valley Forge Casino Resort. WMMR morning show personalities Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison were the first to donate at 6:00 am and they hung out after giving blood to greet every person until the final donor left at 4:30 pm. Each donor left with the newest Preston & Steve t-shirt and a ‘Gadzooks!’ pint glass.
Connected Mobility Conference notes by consultant Holland Cooke
NEW YORK — Cabbies hate Uber but auto makers love Car-Sharing and Ride-Sharing, and eventually their dealers will too. As I’m digesting research presented at CE Week here, the little voice in my head keeps thinking “What does this mean for car radio?”
Face it, AM/FM’s king-of-the-car status was under fire even before dashboards looked like iPad.
- A dozen years ago, iPod plugged-into Aux jacks. More recently, research tells us, in-car podcast consumption is big (21% of on-demand TSL, and growing).
- And all along, radio has sold against newspaper, outdoor, TV, and Yellow Pages as “closer-to-the-cash-register,” because – even with e-commerce – most shopping still involves driving to the point of purchase. So dashboard disruption threatens radio dollars.
There are entire conferences dedicated to radio’s struggle to maintain in-car use; although those discussions seem to focus on remaining conspicuous on new hardware, even as radio continues to downgrade its unique software, the local programming that in-car apps don’t offer.
Cumulus Makes Change at CFO Role; Abbot Succeeds Hannan. There has been chatter in the industry lately about looming personnel changes in the corporate tier at Cumulus Media and now the company reveals a new face in the chief financial officer post. John F. Abbot is appointed executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer effective July 1. He replaces Joseph P. “J.P.” Hannan, who the company says resigned his position after six years in order to pursue other interests. Hannan will assist the company for several months to ensure a smooth transition. Abbot comes to Cumulus from his most recent position as EVP and CFO of Telx Holdings Inc., a provider of connectivity, co-location and cloud services in the data center industry. Abbot’s experience also includes spent as EVP/CFO for cable’s Insight Communications Company, Inc. and as managing director for the Global Media and Communications Group of the investment banking division at Morgan Stanley. Abbot says, “I am excited to join Mary [Berner] and the senior leadership team at this important juncture in the company’s evolution. I join Cumulus with an appreciation for the headway that has already been made around the company’s four key strategies as well as a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to using my skills and experience to help maximize value as we work to deliver on the turnaround.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Tucson rhythmic oldies KTGV “The Groove” is adding Krystal Pino to the air staff to host the morning drive show beginning in July. Pino joins the Scripps-owned station from her most recent gig working for Westwood One’s 24/7 music format division as a personality and programmer…..Cumulus Media promotes Jiggy to program director for its rhythmic CHR simulcast KWIN, Lodi/KWNN, Turlock in the Modesto-Stockton market. Jiggy was APD under former PD MoJoe Roberts who’s now with Alpha Media at country KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull.”…..Premiere Networks manager of affiliate marketing Brittany Brodbeck is leaving the company after seven years to deal with health issues.
WABC’s Joan Hamburg Honored with Lifetime Achievement Gracie. The 41st Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon took place at Cipriani on 42nd in New York yesterday (6/21). The ceremony was presented by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation. Host Robin Meade led the program alongside presenters Beverly Bond, Emme, Erica Hill and Ginger Zee. The Gracie Awards were presented to honorees which were previously announced on March 21 in recognition of their successes in the media industry. Lifetime Achievement Honoree Joan Hamburg was presented her award by close friend Alan Alda (pictured at right). Ginger Zee was not only a presenter but an acceptor for Good Morning America’s win for Outstanding Talk Show- News. In presenting Hamburg with her honor, Alda said, “In a media industry where talk radio is overwhelmingly dominated by men, Joan is a woman’s voice that is graceful and lively but authoritative.” As part of the program, Canadian singer/songwriter Ruth B performed her viral hit “Lost Boy” and her unreleased single “In My Dreams.”
Legendary WMCA ‘Good Guy’ Dandy Dan Daniel Dies. Legendary DJ and one-time WMCA “Good Guy” Dandy Dan Daniel died suddenly on Tuesday (6/21). Dandy Dan got his start on the radio back in 1955 on KXYZ, Houston. He landed on WMCA, New York in 1961 and stayed there for nine years. After leaving WMCA he worked in New York on WHN (now WEPN), WYNY-FM, and WCBS-FM. See Art Vuolo’s video tribute to Dandy Dan here.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin Performs at iHeartMedia-MediaLink’s VIP Dinner. This is the fifth year that iHeartMedia and MediaLink have hosted the intimate VIP Dinner at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Rock during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Last night (6/21), Chris Martin of Coldplay performed song including “Viva,” “Clocks,” “Fix You,” and “Up & Up.” He also did renditions of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret,” David Bowie’s “Life and on Mars,” and – as you see in the photo here – he pulled Will Smith (left) on stage to beatbox to the song “Men in Black” while he played piano (right).
Entercom Promotes Chase Daniels to Madison OM. Programmer Chase Daniels is moving from Entercom’s Indianapolis operations where he’s been programming AC WNTR “107-9 The Mix” to the company’s Madison, Wisconsin cluster to serve as operations manager for hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1,” triple A WMMM “105-5 Triple M,” and classic hits WOLX, effective August 15. Daniels comments, “I’d like to thank Jennifer Skjodt and JR Ammons, who not only helped me in my career here, but were also supporters of this decision. I’d like to also thank Chuck Sullivan and Brian Kelly for making this a smooth transition and for the opportunity.”
Riley Named Director of Sales for AGM Albuquerque-Santa Fe. Sales pro Josh Riley is hired by American General Media to serve as the director of sales for the company’s Albuquerque-Santa Fe cluster. Riley comes to AGM from his most recent position with El Dorado Broadcasters’ Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo markets serving as general sales manager. Prior to his time with El Dorado Broadcasters, Riley spent four years in sales and management with Wilks Broadcast Group’s Fresno stations.
WIHT, Washington-Based Morning Host Kane Arrested for Alleged Assault on Estranged Wife. This story comes from the Washington Post which reports that WITH, Washington “HOT 99.5” morning personality Peter Deibler, a.k.a. Kane, was arrested by police in Maryland on June 17 after his estranged wife Natasha alleged he threw her into a wall causing her to suffer injuries. The paper reports that the couple is in the midst of a “nasty divorce” that Kane references from time to time on his show and about which Natasha Deibler blogs. The court issued a protective order requiring Kane to stay away from her. The couple has two young daughters. Read the Post piece here.
‘The Sound 100.3FM’ to Air LA Rams Games. The newly relocated Los Angeles Rams are announcing their radio partners for the next several seasons and ESPN O&O KSPN will serve as the flagship station for the NFL club’s play-by-play broadcasts. However, Entercom’s classic rock KSWD “The Sound 100.3FM” will serve as the team’s official FM home. KSWD will also “create exclusive Rams programming, including regular segments on the popular ‘Mark in the Morning’ show.” KSWD VP/GM Peter Burton says, “We are excited to be welcoming the Los Angeles Rams to their official new FM home at ‘100.3 The Sound.’ Along with our terrific partners at ESPN, we look forward to delivering excellent game-day coverage to Rams fans throughout Southern California.”
Community Broadcasters Adds Four Destin-Ft. Walton Beach Stations. Growing radio company Community Broadcasters LLC agrees to buy four stations in the Destin/Ft. Walton Beach market from Apex Broadcasting Inc. The stations are CHR WECQ “Q92,” country WHWY “Highway 98.1,” adult hits WWAV “102.1 The Wave,” and rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze.” Apex Broadcasting was represented in the transaction by MVP Capital, LLC and Kalil & Co. Community Broadcasters LLC, in partnership with Northwood Ventures, currently owns and operates 16 signals in upstate New York as well as 16 radio stations, 7 translators and 3 TV construction permits in South Carolina. The purchase from Apex brings Community Broadcasters’ total holdings to 46 signals. Community Broadcasters is operated by Jim Leven and Bruce Mittman. Leven says, “We established Community Broadcasters in 2006 with the vision to become the voice for the community. Our stations are considered great places to work and we look forward to supporting the staff, listeners and Ft. Walton Beach communities in every way.”
Michael Harrison and Dr. Joy Browne Discuss Emotional Consequences of the Internet and These High-Pressure Times. In the new installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” legendary radio psychologist Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network makes a return appearance with host Michael Harrison to talk about the digital era’s possible contribution to society’s seemingly heightened level of stress and emotional discomfort. Does the combination of lowered inhibitions, instantaneous information and rampant negativity brought on by digital era technology contribute to anger, fear and despair? Is the Internet generating a gigantic negative feedback loop? To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
PodcastOne’s ‘Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison’ Wins Trophy at New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards. The popular weekly podcast that is designed for “media freaks around the world” is honored with the Bronze Trophy in the “Culture & The Arts” audio podcasts category of the 2016 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for The World’s Best Radio Programs. “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is a co-production of PodcastOne and Goodphone Communications and features as host, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo.com publisher and editor Michael Harrison in conversation with some of today’s top contemporary thinkers from the arts, sciences, business and pop culture. Harrison and his guests deliver provocative insights into the digital era’s rapidly evolving technology and the effects of these changes on the human condition. About the honor, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “I’m not the least bit surprised. This is exactly why I wanted Michael on PodcastOne. He’s smart, creative, motivated, and what a voice. A pro’s pro. That’s why we’ve been friends and colleagues for all of our adult lives.” The specific episode of “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” cited for the award is “The Podcast Theater of the Mind” – described as “a media freak’s tour de force covering the evolution of humanity’s relationship with communications from prehistoric cave paintings to virtual reality and beyond.” Podcast executive producer Matthew B. Harrison (pictured at right) accepted the award on behalf of PodcastOne and Goodphone Communications at the ceremony at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City last night (6/20).
Winners Announced in 2016 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for The World’s Best Radio Programs. Entries in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for The World’s Best Radio Programs come from all over the world and represent both private and public AM/FM radio, satellite radio and podcasts. This year, some of the U.S.-based trophy winners include: with Carole Zimmer with a Silver Trophy in the “General” category for audio podcasts; CBS RADIO Boston with a Silver Trophy in the Sports & Recreation category; ESPN Audio (in several categories); SiriusXM’s Joe Madison with a Silver Trophy in the “Best Talk Program” category; Entercom’s WLYF, Miami with a Bronze Trophy for “Best Drama Special”; and Westwood One with a Bronze Trophy for “America in the Morning” for “Best News Magazine.” See the Grand Award winners and the complete list of winners in all categories here.
iHeartMedia Partners with AdsWizz for Programmatic Marketplace for Premium iHeartRadio Inventory. This programmatic private marketplace provides programmatic buyers access to iHeartMedia’s premium radio inventory across its digital properties on iHeartRadio. iHM says that “agencies and brands will be able to programmatically target iHeartRadio’s extensive audience using a combination of first- and third-party data segments.” Last spring, iHeartMedia unveiled a programmatic and automated ad buying private network for its broadcast radio stations, powered by Jelli. This programmatic marketplace for its digital properties uses the AdsWizz platform. iHM president of programmatic and data operations Brian Kaminsky says, “Audio has a significant and growing role in the lives of today’s consumers and iHeartMedia is committed to evolving the ways marketers can reach and influence their target audience through our audio channels. Offering a programmatic approach to buying iHeartRadio’s digital listening audiences is a natural extension of our direct sales and broadcast programmatic initiatives and further enables us to capture even more of the $20 billion in ad spending that is projected for 2016.”
RadioInfo Career Moves. Country radio personality Kelley Cash exits E.W. Scripps-owned KVOO, Tulsa where she was midday personality…..Programmer and morning air personality Jim Halk exits LCKM Radio Licenses’ country KKAJ, Ardmore, Oklahoma after just four months in the position. Back in February, Halk had taken over for Chuck Geiger who moved to Cherry Creek’s country KYSN, Wenatchee, Washington…..Morning show personality Tim Allan Walker, a.k.a. T.A. Walker, exits iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL, West Palm Beach’s “Mo and Sally” show to return to Austin, Texas for personal reasons.
Public Voting for NRHoF Begins Today. Today through June 30 is the public voting for radio personalities to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November. Listeners nationwide can vote in two categories. The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are: Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Tom Kent, The Kevin & Bean Show (Kevin Ryder and Gene Baxter), and Bob Kingsley. For Spoken Word On-Air Personality, the nominees are Sean Hannity, Mike and the Mad Dog (Mike Francesa and Chris Russo), Diane Rehm and Michael Savage. Chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “The listener response we received last year since reinstituting the public voting process after a five-year hiatus was overwhelmingly positive. Fans want to engage and be a part of the process, which is a tribute to the dynamic personalities of each show.” Winners of the two categories will be announced July 11. Fans needing more information can visit each host’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, website, or the National Radio Hall of Fame website: www.radiohof.org.
New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference (NJBA) Set to Open this Week. The 69th Annual NJBA Conference and Gala is set for Wednesday (6/23) and Thursday (6/24) at Caesars Atlantic City. The theme of the event is “The Power of Broadcast” and it will feature a wide array of speakers from Garden State radio as well as industry leaders from across the nation. Once again, NJBA’s dynamic president Paul Rotella and his team have organized an exciting agenda with solid speakers. Topics covered will include programming and marketing in the digital era, the changing nature of automobile listenership, the role of women in broadcasting, the importance of mentoring new talent, the sensitive relationship between music radio and pure plays, and the state of the FM chip, plus more. There will be the traditional awards ceremony, live broadcasts and displays of the latest technology. The agenda includes a “Radio Reporters Roundtable,” discussing the state of Atlantic City’s economy and future. Five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield will deliver the conference keynote address. For complete agenda and registration information please click here.
RadioInfo Tidbits. Today the National Association of Broadcasters breaks ground on its new headquarters in Washington, DC at 1 M Street, S.E…..WXYY, Savannah-Hilton Head air personality Mia Amini was honored with “Best On Air Personality in Division A Radio” from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. Other Alpha Media Savannah staffers honored by the GAB at the June 10 awards were Tim Leary and Jess Jennings from WUBB “BOB 106.9” who were recognized with merit awards, and Craig Edelson who was awarded a “Gabby” for his production work on Best Station Produced Commercial…..Greater Media Charlotte’s hot AC WLNK-FM was awarded the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters 2016 Large Market Radio Station of the Year Award at the organization’s annual convention at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro on June 14. Criteria for the judging process included highlights and achievements during 2015, innovative programming, and revenue generation, audience involvement and promotion, commitment to the community, and hurdles encountered and how they were overcome…..Alpha Media Peoria announces morning drive personality John Riley of “The Morning Drive with John & Nancy” on classic hits WPBG “93.3 The Drive” is honored with the Bill Houlihan Professional Award from Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Each year the award is presented to advocates throughout Central Illinois who are making a difference in the lives of children. Riley has hosted and coordinated the “Drive for Miracles” radiothon for the past 15 years, raising well over $3 million for Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
Cool Job Opportunity. Greater Media Charlotte, a family-owned company, has a rare opening for a director of sales for WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM. The right candidate must possess a strong desire to win, lead by example, and have a track record of revenue success. The director of sales must have a strong background in running successful stations. Candidate must be an exceptional sales trainer, be a creative thinker, and be able to recruit and hire the best in the business. Primary responsibilities: Oversee all aspects of the sales operation; implementation and compliance with CRM tools; set rates through yield management tools; meet or exceed all revenue goals; work as a coach, leader and problem solver; understand the digital space and present a specific plan for its growth. Minimum requirements: candidate must be creative and possess an ability for generating local direct business; four-year college degree preferred; three to five years’ experience in radio sales management, preferably in a cluster or multi-station group; can demonstrate a proven track record out-performing the market as reflected in the Miller Kaplan Report on a consistent basis. Please submit your cover letter and resume to email@example.com, or mail/fax to: Human Resources WBT/WLNK, Greater Media Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208. 704-338-3079 (fax). EOE.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — An analysis of mainstream urban contemporary concludes three in-depth overviews of May 2016 PPM results; previous recaps have been posted for urban-rhythmic oldies (Wednesday, 6/15) and urban AC (Thursday, 6/16).
These scoreboards are based on facilities that rank in the top 20 in any of Nielsen Audio’s 48-PPM markets (6+, May 2016).
Another important parameter in addition to that particular ratings caveat is that Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.
Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this RadioInfo mainstream urban contemporary analysis (and the two others that were posted earlier this week) are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.
Among these three formats, urban contemporary is practically square in the middle of urban AC and urban-rhythmic oldies in terms of May 2016 share (4.55, 6+) and May 2016 market rank (#8.53, 6+).
CoCo Dominguez Named Afternoon Jock at ‘Hot 95.7’ in Houston; DJ Riddler Named MD/APD. Houston air personality CoCo Dominguez has been hosting the afternoon show at CBS RADIO-owned CHR KKHH “HOT 95.7” since moving up from her evening show back in April. Now, Houston VP of programming Charese Fruge makes it permanent. Also, Rich Pangilinan, a.k.a. DJ Riddler, joins the station as music director/assistant program director. DJ Riddler has been a mix show DJ with the station since it launched almost a decade ago. Fruge comments, “CoCo is a star. She’s already made a name for herself in the market. She has an amazing work ethic and great energy. We’ve already seen ratings growth in PM drive since she’s been filling in. I am so proud of her and thrilled to have her on the team as well. Rich has already proven to be a ‘secret weapon.’ I cannot say enough about him and how excited I am to have him on the team. His knowledge and history of the market and the industry are a HUGE plus!”
McGinty to Program Rock WLVQ, Columbus. Programmer Thom McGinty is set to become the next program director of Columbus Radio Group’s rock WLVQ, Columbus “Qfm96.” McGinty was most recently program director at Steel City Media’s adult contemporary KCKC, Kansa City “KC102.1,” exiting in January. McGinty says, “[Saga VP of programming] Bob Lawrence and I have worked on a bunch of projects together and I’m grateful for the opportunity to join him again. Saga Communications is a great company with fantastic people. It was an honor to visit their Columbus power plant, meet the pros, and to experience their culture. Chris Forgy and Michelle Matthews bring great energy to their team.” WLVQ tied for fourth in Nielsen’s May PPM survey (6+) with news/talk WTVN.
Allwood Appointed Promotions Director at CMG Atlanta. Promotions pro Amanda Allwood is heading to Atlanta to serve as promotions director for Cox Media Group’s cluster there. Allwood will oversee promotions and event marketing for adult contemporary WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM” and news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM. Allwood was most recently with SiriusXM in New York as senior manager of promotions and event marketing. She’s also worked in promotions for CBS RADIO in Tampa and CMG in Tampa and Orlando. CMG programmer Chris Eagan says, “Amanda has the critical eye that we need to take our events and promotions efforts to the next level. She understands how crucial it is to integrate sales, programming and digital into one superpower to make these radio brands sparkle!”
Alpha Media Ups Mia Amini to APD in Savannah. Midday personality Mia Amini is promoted to assistant program director at Alpha Media’s CHR WXYY, Savannah-Hilton Head “Y100.” Amini has held various programming and on-air roles over the past 10 years at stations including KKCT, Bismarck; KYYY, Bismarck; WJFX, Fort Wayne; and KLTA, Fargo. Since June 2014, she has served as the music director for “Y100.” Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head market manager Gigi South says, “Mia makes a positive impact on everyone she meets. Her enthusiasm and commitment to the local community is contagious! Go Mia!!”
Alpha Ups McDaniel to Director of Marketing Post. KBFF, Portland promotions director Kelsey McDaniel is promoted by Alpha Media Portland to director of marketing for the entire cluster. The company says McDaniel is “known by most for her enthusiasm for the music industry, amazing event execution and overall hard work but, she’s also known for her competitive Sunday night BINGO addiction and searching endlessly for the love of her life, a golden retriever puppy.” Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell says, “This is a well-deserved promotion for Kelsey as she is about to celebrate her seventh year with us. She has demonstrated outstanding leadership of our promotions team and has elevated our interaction with listeners and clients on all levels.” If addition to CHR KBFF, Alpha Portland also operates triple A KINK, country KUPL, news/talk KXL-FM, sports talk KXTG-AM/FM, and talk KUFO-AM.
‘Afternoon Rush’ Replaces Doug Banks Show on the AURN. Beginning Monday (6/20), “The Afternoon Rush with Rudy Rush, Ebony Steele and Loni Swain” debuts on Monday, June 20 on America Urban Radio Network’s affiliate urban AC stations. The show officially replaces the “Doug Banks Radio Show” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET on the network. Banks died unexpectedly at age 57 on April 11. Show programmer Mike Love says, “We’ve assembled a solid team and we’re putting a new brand of fun and laughter into afternoons on urban adult stations.” Rudy Rush (center) was part of the Doug Banks cast. He’s a standup comic who also served as host of “Showtime at the Apollo.” Cast members include former Rickey Smiley show co-host Ebony Steele (right) and former WGCI, Chicago midday personality Loni Swain (left). Swain is also serving as the show’s producer.
PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of three analyses of urban radio formats based on data from the May 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Previously, we published reports on urban rhythmic oldies and urban ac. Today, the focus is on urban contemporary. Although half of the urban contemporary outlets referenced in this report were down in AQH share (6+) from May 2015 to May 2016, three stations are of special note for their increases during that period. Two of iHeartMedia’s Florida urban contemporary stations saw marked improvement: WBTP Tampa “95.7 The Beat” rose from 4.5 share to a 6.1 and jumped in market rank from #11 to #2; in Miami WMIB “103.5 The Beat” went up from a 2.6 share to a 3.4 share and ascended in rank from #18 to #11. Also, Radio One’s WHAT, Atlanta “Hot 107.9” rose a full share – from 3.9 to 4.9 – and climbed in market rank from #12 to #5. See the whole report here.
Testimony Continues in Cumulus vs Johnny Burke & Blondie. According to a report from MLive.com, the testimony continued in a federal courtroom in Michigan this week in Cumulus Media’s suit against former WHNN, Saginaw-Bay City morning team Johnny Burke and Bonnie Belger-Holzhei, a.k.a. Blondie. Cumulus attorneys are trying to show that Burke and Belger-Holzhei violated the terms of their contracts by soliciting the radio station’s clients for the Internet radio show they launched after being fired by the station. This week, station operations manager Scott Stine testified that the pair are also using bits and prep service products they used when they worked at WHNN. Stine said they had access to a “shared drive” with station client information but the pair’s attorney argued Cumulus has no proof they ever used the information. Read the MLive.com account here.
Dan Mason Named Senior Advisor for Broadcast Relations at iHeartMedia. Longtime CBS RADIO president Dan Mason – a year after retiring from that position – is joining iHeartMedia in the newly created position senior advisor for broadcast relations. Mason will report to iHeartMedia CEO and chairman Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler. In a press release, iHeartMedia describes Mason’s role this way: “Mason will advise Pittman and Bressler on current and developing issues important to iHeartMedia and the broadcast radio industry; additionally, he will focus most of his attention and time on important issues affecting the broadcast industry, working with other broadcasters, vendors, government relations and important industry associations, including the National Association of Broadcasters.” Pittman is quoted saying, “I’ve known and deeply respected Dan for decades. Given his long and deep relationships with the broadcast industry, we feel he is ideally suited to establishing deeper and more constant communications with everyone associated with the radio industry on an ongoing and timely basis. We look forward to Dan’s wise counsel on important broadcast issues.” Mason very recently spoke in-depth with RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison on Harrison’s PodcastOne show, “Up Close and Far Out.” Listen to that here.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Names Dan Mason Chairperson. It’s a big news day for Dan Mason as this election to chairperson of the Broadcasters Foundation of America position comes at the same time as his joining iHeartMedia. Mason has served as co-vice-chairperson of the BFoA since June of last year, following his retirement as president and chief executive officer of CBS RADIO. He assumes this chairmanship role from Phil Lombardo, chief executive officer of Citadel Communications, who is retiring from the position after 13 years and who is being recognized for his service with the title of chair emeritus. Also retiring from the board are George Beasley and David Barrett. Named to the board at yesterday’s elections in New York City are: Caroline Beasley, interim chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group; Perry Sook, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group; and Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television. In addition, Bill Hoffman, president of Cox Media Group, will now serve as co-vice chair with Richard A. Foreman, president and chief executive officer of Richard A. Foreman Associates, and Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group, will take over as treasurer of the Broadcasters Foundation.
PPM Analysis: Urban AC. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of three format analyses of urban radio formats based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2016 PPM survey. Yesterday, we published a report on urban rhythmic oldies. Today, the focus is on urban adult contemporary. Four urban AC outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets in May – WFXC, Raleigh; WVKL, Norfolk; WQMG, Greensboro; and KJMS, Memphis – and 13 others ranked in the top five in their markets. In this report, see charts showing AQH share fluctuation from May of 2015 to May of 2016, plus a comparison of the performances of urban rhythmic oldies and urban AC. See it all here.
Bloomberg Feature Piece on Delilah Addresses State of AC and PPM Ratings. Nationally syndicated radio personality Delilah is the focus of a feature piece by Ira Boudway in Bloomberg Business that zeroes on the current state of the Premiere Networks franchise. Delilah speaks frankly about her belief that the PPM method of rating radio employed by Nielsen Audio in 48 of the largest U.S. markets has negatively affected her format – adult contemporary – and consequently her show. Still heard on 171 affiliate stations, Delilah’s shoulder-to-lean-on style of female-targeted evening radio was once heard on 225 stations. The piece notes the radio trend away from soft adult contemporary, the diary-vs-PPM argument, and, of course, issues many have raised over the years about sample size – especially for evening programs when the number of meters “listening” to radio diminishes dramatically. Read the whole piece here.
Marquart and Steele to Program WW1’s New Lite AC Service. Saying that affiliate stations have been asking for an “alternative to our adult contemporary format, which, in keeping with the evolution of AC, is a little more upbeat now,” Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland announces the new Lite AC 24-hour format. Stirland says the formats “will fit a nice slot between our adult standards, on the gold side, and our current-based AC and hot AC formats.” The new format will be programmed by Cheri Marquart, VP/programming, contemporary formats, and Jonathan Steele, director of operations. Lite AC will feature core artists like Billy Joel, Celine Dion, Chicago, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Hall & Oates, and will also include artists like Adele, Michael Bublé and Whitney Houston.