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Friday, October 23, 2015

| October 23, 2015

tritondigitalTriton’s Webcast Metrics Local to Provide Data for iHeartMedia.  This new deal between Triton Digital and iHeartMedia will give the latter a picture of the reach of its digital product at the local level.  iHeartMedia has been subscribing to Triton’s Monthly Top 20 ranker – which reports national presence – but the Webcast Metrics Local is a “market-specific version of Triton’s national Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform.”  iHeartMediaiheartmedia logo small president of research and insights Radha Subramanyam comments, “Webcast Metrics is the trusted standard for streaming audio advertising transactions.  This new reporting will showcase iHeartMedia’s digital scale at both the national and local market levels, and we believe it will have a positive impact on our ability to more fully monetize our streams.”  In describing its service, Triton says, “Webcast Metrics uses a proprietary platform to track audience behavior and convert it to metrics that can be easily understood by stations, publishers and advertisers.  It is census-based and does not rely on samples, surveys or panels, measuring actual listening without estimates. Webcast Metrics Local provides market-specific information that enables agencies and advertisers to evaluate audiences within specific markets.”

pandoralogoPandora Reports Q3 Total Revenue Up 30%; Listener Hours Dip Quarter-to-Quarter.  Digital music giant Pandora delivers 2015 third quarter financial data and reports that total revenue for the period was $311.6 million – an increase of 30% over the same period a year ago.  Advertising revenue was $254.7 million – a rise of 31% year-over-year and local ad sales reportedly rose 52% compared to the same period in 2014.  Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews says, “Pandora more than held its own for users and hours growth.  We aggressively invested to deliver long-term growth and cement Pandora’s leadership in music.  Our acquisition of Ticketfly will be truly transformative, extending our long-standing strength in music discovery to the large and fast-growing world of live events.  Additionally, with our pre-1972 settlement, we are continuing to strengthen our relationships across the music landscape by resolving an historic source of tension. This progress points to a greater opportunity to work collaboratively toward a bright future for music in a digital era, those who make it, and the fans who love it.”  Pandora reports that Listener Hours were up year-over-year – reaching 5.14 billion (an increase 3%) – but Listener Hours dipped slightly from the second quarter of 2015 to the third quarter by 3%.

Pandora Settles Pre-1972 Suit for $90 Million.  The settlement that Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews notes in his quarterly report was for the Pre-1972 recordings suit filed in April of 2014 by UMG Recordings, Inc., Sony Music Entertainment, Capitol Records, LLC, Warner Music Group Corp. and ABKCO Music and Records, Inc. in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.  Pandora says in a statement, “In October 2015, as part of our strategy to strengthen our partnership with the music industry, the parties reached an agreement whereby we agreed to pay the plaintiffs a total of $90 million in exchange for the dismissal of the lawsuit, a release of all claims and a covenant not to sue for our use of pre-1972 sound recordings extending to December 31, 2016.  The first payment of $60 million is due in October 2015, with four installments of $7.5 million due throughout 2016.”

wxrk-lpNew Alternative/Active Rock Hybrid Launches on Charlottesville, Virginia Low Power FM.  The new Charlottesville, Virginia station is a low power FM being operated by Blue Ridge Free Media with the calls WXRK-LP and the brand “Rock Hits 92.3.”  The station has been operating since October 1 without jocks but says it plans to go “live” next month with its hybrid of alternative and active rock serving the market that’s home to the University of Virginia.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  After a 28-year career with Hubbard Broadcasting’s Cincinnati hot AC WKRQ “Q102,” afternoon personality and music director Brian Douglas is leaving the radio business to pursue his second career as a movie stills photographer.  His last day on the air as a full timer is today but he’ll remain with the station doing fill-in work while his new career gets underway…..iHeartMedia adds another exec to its political ad sales division as Adam Weiss has joins the company as its vice president, political strategy, reporting to SVP Kenny Day.  The company says Weiss will manage its “high-level relationships with progressive candidates, parties, Independent Expenditures, Super PACs and other political organizations.”

ivankovichdangtr15CNN ‘Hero of the Year Candidate’ Makes Killer Radio Interview.  Not only is Dr. Daniel Ivankovich one of the top 10 finalists for CNN’s “Hero of the Year” award, but he’s also an orthopedic surgeon and an accomplished blues musician.  The Yugoslavian-born Ivankovich also goes by the nicknames of “Dr. Dan” or “Chicago Slim” and besides operating three clinics that serve some of the poorest residents of Chicago, he also does his best to aid blues musicians and help them get proper coverage from the health system to suit their needs.  He co-founded the Chicago Blues All-Stars (in which he sings and plays guitar) and it was through this that he discovered blues veterans who are in need of better health care.  He often helps provide free care for them through his non-profit One Patient Global Health Initiative.  On top of that, he’s one heckuva blues musician and an authority on the blues.  He’s articulate and passionate and makes a great radio guest.  Voting for the CNN “Hero of the Year” ends on November 15 with all 10 finalists being honored on Sunday, December 6.  To book Dr. Daniel Ivankovich for your show, contact Chip Ruggieri at: or 561-543-8807.

wrqx logoCool Job Opportunity.  Washington, DC CHR WRQX is seeking a talented programmer who is passionate about music, can manage creative talent, interfaces well with promotions and understands the need for today’s hot AC to be exciting.  If you know how to make a radio station jump out of the speakers or fill-up the headset…then send your resume and rating history to — subject line: Washington DC.

underwoodNASH15Carrie Underwood Promotes Storyteller on ‘America’s Morning Show.’  Country superstar Carrie Underwood stopped by the NASH campus in Nashville this morning (10/23) and appeared on “America’s Morning Show” to chat about her new album Storyteller and more.  Pictured here are (from l-r): America’s Morning Show’s Ashley Till, Chuck Wicks, Underwood and Blair Garner.


| October 22, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant


cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — A client (station group owner) asks: “What does it take to be a great PD for 2015 to 2020?”

1972: I was a DJ and Budd Clain was my PD at WSPR, Springfield, MA, a stand-alone AM.  His wife told me that, one Saturday afternoon, he dozed-off on the living room sofa.  She tip-toed-in and turned off the radio…and he woke up.

Fast-forward to present day: Post-consolidation scale dictates that general managers become market managers.  And GSM to DOS was logical, especially with NTR and digital.  But the biggest casualty of the way consolidation re-packed middle management was when program directors disappeared.  Stations are now “managed” rather than “programmed,” because:

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

| October 22, 2015

W242BX-FMHarvey Becomes New Kid on Greenville’s Block. Using syndicated morning talent Steve Harvey as its centerpiece, Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina transitions CHR W242BX-FM to hip-hop as “The New 96.3 The Block.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “We have high expectations for ‘The Block.’ Until now, there have been limited choices for radio serving African-Americans in the Upstate. The ratings decline of stations serving this market makes it a great time to launch ‘96.3 The Block.’ With superstar Steve Harvey in the morning, fewer commercials, and better music, we expect ‘The Block’ to be a big hit. Adding ‘The Block’ to our portfolio gives us the ability to reach virtually any audience in the Upstate.” According to Premiere Networks’ Harvey, whose first show will be in just over one week (Monday, 11/2), “I couldn’t be more excited to launch in Greenville. I truly feel blessed to be a part of ‘The Block’ and the Entercom Greenville family.” The station debuts by playing roughly 10,000 songs, commercial-free. With summer 2015 12+ shares and market rank in parentheses, Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg’s rated stations are WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1” (6.0, #4); CHR WFBC-FM “B-93.7 All the Hits” (5.9, #5); WYRD “106.3 WORD The Upstate’s Talk Station” (3.8, #9); WTPT “93.3 Planet Rocks” (3.7, #10); adult contemporary WSPA-FM “Magic 98.9” (3.4, #11); and sports WORD-AM & WYRD-AM (.7, #15); translator W242BX-FM is unlisted. The 12+-summer 2015 market leader for Greenville-Spartanburg (Nielsen Audio market #59) is iHeartMedia‘s WSSL “Today’s Best Country” (9.6).

blakecarlettaBlake Named PD at Digity’s Country WRNS, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina.  Moving up from the interim program director position to the official PD post at Digity’s country WRNS, Kinston (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina market) is Carlettawrns logo Blake.  She assumed the PD role after the exit of Tommy Garrett earlier this year.  Blake served with Dallas country outlet “Twister 96.7” when it was owned by Citadel (it’s now Cumulus’ sports KTCK-FM).  Station GM Larry Weiss states, “Over the past three months Carletta has demonstrated her ability to lead WRNS in the months and years to come and we are confident her leadership will maximize our ability to both meet the challenges ahead and capitalize on the many opportunities we have for growth in this market. We are excited about the potential for WRNS under Carletta’s watch as we move into 2016 and beyond.”

martinezjojoEntercom Parts Ways with JoJo Martinez in Milwaukee.  Longtime Entercom Milwaukee programmer JoJo Martinez was dismissed from her position as program director for the company’s hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Before accepting that station’s PD post, Martinez had been assistant PD and music director at sister CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss.”  She posted on Facebook: “After 18 proud years at Entercom 99.1 The Mix and 103.7 Kiss Fm, I’m sad to say I was let go today.  I’ve learned some amazing lessons over the years but today’s was the hardest. Thank you to all my listeners and all my friends for all your love and support.  A new beginning starts today!!!!!”

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q3 Earnings; Net Revenue Up 11%.  Satcaster SiriusXM reports its third quarter 2015 financial numbers announcing that revenue was up 11% year-over-year and net revenue was $167 million, compared to $136 million during the same period a year ago.  In a statement, Jim Meyer says, “With subscribers at an all-time high of nearly 29 million and record adjusted EBITDA and adjustedsternhoward EBITDA margin, our third quarter was one of the strongest performances in our company’s history.  We are confident of our continued success in the fourth quarter, and we are increasing our guidance for self-pay and total net subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA.”  The burning question before SiriusXM is will Howard Stern renew or leave the platform he’s been on for the past 10 years?  Meyer would only say in an investors’ conference, “I hope so.”  He went on to say, “You should assume we speak quite often and stay tuned for updates.  And of course, the best way to hear any news regarding its renewal is to tune into Howard’s show every morning, heck, that’s what I do.”

cookehollandFAQ: Is There a PD?  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the changing/disappearing role of program director.  As he notes in his column published today (10/22) that radio stations are not programmed anymore, they are managed.  There are two primary reasons: “Debt service compromises Quality Control. VERY few managers are responsible for a single station.  At many talk stations, this manager also does an air shift, before or after Rush.  Stations think they can get-away-with-it because… most programming is now non-local.  Who’s left to direct?   Most talk programming comes off the bird.  Music stations are voicetracked or downlinked from the mother ship.  Directing is a lost art.”  For those managers seeking a real, live PD, read Holland Cooke’s take on what qualities he/she must possess here.

RadioInfo Tidbits.  In the Knoxville market, John W. Pirkle-owned WNFZ-FM drops the news/talk formatwnfz 94Z and flips to alternative rock as “94Z.”  The “Rude Awakening” morning show with Mike Howard and Terry West remains on the program schedule for the new format – the station is using “Rock & Rude!” as a branding slogan – but it’s unclear what the fates of afternoon personality Russell Smith and Richard Daughtry are…..Futuri releases version 3 of its TopicPulse program.  The company says that futuri logoTopicPulse v3 scans Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, message boards, blogs, and news sources to provide real-time guidance on what’s trending in local social media and the new version allows broadcast newsrooms and content producers to customize the TopicPulse dashboard to their own interests.  Further, Futuri says the new predictive Viral Detector reveals which social media topics are likely to have high viral social potential, based on real-time trending; TopicPulse features precise demographic details on who is discussing a topic on social media; and clients will be able to know which competitive media have already covered a story (or not), helping them devise their own strategies…..Now that Nielsen Audio’s Enhanced CBET (Critical Band Encoding Technology) is being rolled out – it started in the Baltimore and Washington markets last week and will hit all 48 PPM markets by November 30 – subscribing stations may see heightened AHQ Persons numbers.  This is based on Nielsen test data that indicates the Enhanced CBET showed a 15% AHQ Persons gain.  Research Directors, Inc. partners Marc Greenspan and Charlie Sislen authored a blog post stating what they believe this means to radio station operators and what they say broadcasters need to understand.  Read that here.

Doobie's Picks of the Week  •  10/21/15

Doobie’s Picks of the Week • 10/21/15

| October 21, 2015

RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: Chris Russell, golden-eared program director at WMXO-FM, Buffalo; on-air personality Bayley Brown from KHUM, Humboldt County; John Elias, Board Chairman and presenter at the Albury-Wodonga community station, 2REM 107.3 in New South Wales, Australia; Corey Barnes, golden eared music director at “The Island” CFRM 100.7, Little Current, Ontario, Canada; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9;” provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats.  You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM.  This week’s selection posted today (10/21) includes such names as: Lipstick Gypsy, 5 Seconds of Summer, Magic!, Christine Storm, Miley Cyrus, Mandy Rain, Zara Larsson, Madison Beer, Jack & Jack, Lil Dicky, Fetty Wap, Rich Homie Quan, Macklemore & Lewis, Stealing Sheep, Kurt Cobain, New Politics, Bronze Radio Return, The 1975, Collective Soul, Jesse Malin, G. Love & Special Sauce, Citizen Cope, Vance Joy, Best Coast, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Maddie & Tae, Houston Bernard Band, Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans, Chris Janson, George Strait, Brad Paisley, Attlas, Feliz Snow, Brielle, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click “Read More.”

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

| October 21, 2015

girlcrushDuane Doobie Jr.’s Music Picks of the Week.  RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: Chris Russell, golden-eared program director at WMXO-FM, Buffalo; on-air personality Bayley Brown from KHUM, Humboldt County; John Elias, board chairman and presenter at the Albury-Wodonga community station, 2REM 107.3 in New South Wales, Australia; Corey Barnes, golden eared music director at “The Island” CFRM, Little Current, Ontario, Canada; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9” provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats.  You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM.  This week’s selection posted today (10/21) includes such names as: Lipstick Gypsy, 5 Seconds of Summer, Magic!, Christine Storm, Miley Cyrus, Mandy Rain, Zara Larsson, Madison Beer, Jack & Jack, Lil Dicky, Fetty Wap, Rich Homie Quan, Macklemore & Lewis, Stealing Sheep, Kurt Cobain, New Politics, Bronze Radio Return, The 1975, Collective Soul, Jesse Malin, G. Love & Special Sauce, Citizen Cope, Vance Joy, Best Coast, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Maddie & Tae, Houston Bernard Band, Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans, Chris Janson, George Strait, Brad Paisley, Attlas, Feliz Snow, Brielle, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here..

cumulus logoCumulus Creates New Vice President, Programming Partnerships Position; Names Aaron Roberts to Post.  One week into Mary Berner’s Cumulus Media CEO tenure, a new multi-media programming position is created and the company’s Aaron Roberts is elevated to the new post.  The official title is vice president, programming partnerships forrobertsaaron Cumulus Media, Westwood One and NASH.  Roberts has been Atlanta-based national director, special projects for the company for the past three years.  He will continue to work in Atlanta.  SVP of content and programming Mike McVay states, “Aaron has performed beautifully in the difficult position of serving two masters.  What he does impacts both art and commerce.  He will work closely with both SVP, brand partnerships Tommy Page and me.”  Roberts adds, “It’s an exciting time at Cumulus Media as we continue to develop first-in-class original on-air, digital and event content.  I look forward to working closely with our tremendous partners and the entire partnerships team in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.”

nielsen logoNielsen Reports Q3 Revenue Up 5% on Constant Currency Basis.  The third quarter of 2015 saw revenue of just over $1.5 billion for the global ratings giant.  Nielsen reports revenue was down 2.6% due to the impact of foreign exchange, but up 5% on a constant currency basis, compared to the third quarter of 2014.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says in a press release, “Nielsen’s third quarter results exemplify our strong value-generating business model with revenue growth of 5%, consistentbarnsmitch margin expansion across both our Watch and Buy businesses on a constant currency basis, and record quarterly free cash flow generation, up 19% over last year.  Our growth was driven by many important competitive wins all over the world.  Our Buy business, which grew 4.1%, had its fifth consecutive quarter of margin expansion, both on a constant currency basis.  Our Watch segment grew 6.1% on a constant currency basis due to strength in Audience Measurement, as our clients embed our digital measurement and analytics into their day-to-day decision-making.”  Barns also reports that it is closing in on completion of its goal of rating total audiences.  “The initial release of Digital Content Ratings has gone smoothly and we’re pleased with the feedback we’ve received as it is the final piece of our Total Audience Measurement framework.  We know how important the execution of our product roadmap and the subsequent industry adoption of our solutions are to our ability to drive value for our clients and we feel very confident about our progress here.  As our products continue to gain traction, we’re having meaningful conversations with clients and major industry voices in order to move toward a new definition of the currency ratings.”

meyersdavidEntercom Names Spam to PM Drive/MD Post at ‘104.3 The Shark’ in Miami.  Longtime Baltimore rock radio pro David Meyers, a.k.a. Spam, joins Entercom’s new alternative rock outlet in Miami, taking on the afternoon drive jock role and music director position at WSFS “104.3 Thewaxy-fm Shark.”  Entercom dropped the simulcast of sports talk on the former WAXY-AM/FM (changing the FM’s calls to WSFS) and flipped the FM to alternative rock back in August.  Now, it adds Spam to the live jock roster alongside Deena Lang, who hosts middays.     WSFS program director John O’Connell comments, “We are thrilled to bring the talent of Spam to ‘104.3 The Shark.’  His passion for music and experience in the alternative format is unrivaled and Spam will be a great addition to our dynamic weekday line up.”  Spam was most recently serving with Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore assisting with programming and production after a decades-long career with CBS RADIO’s legendary Baltimore rocker WHFS-FM.

johnjayrichfashion15Inaugural #LoveUP Fashion Show Raises $50,000 for Johnjay and Rich Care for Kids Foundation.  Last Saturday, KZZP, Phoenix-based syndicated morning duo Johnjay and Rich launched the inaugural #LoveUP fashion event at Scottsdale Fashion Square to benefit their Johnjay & Rich Care for Kids Foundation.  The show brought in almost 400 attendees for a special evening of live musical performances, silent auctions and a fashion show showcasing looks from Ted Baker, Johnny Was, Macy’s and Dillard’s.  Celebrity models including actress Gena Lee Nolin and former NFL Quarterback Donovan McNabb also hit the runway to model #LoveUP creations.  The Premiere Networks syndicated duo are pictured in the left photo above – Rich Berra (left) and Johnjay Van Es (right).  Program cast member Kyle also modeled. She’s seen here in the top center photo.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallA Walk Down Progressive Rock Radio Memory Lane.  In the third part of their loosely recurring series of conversations about their early careers working together in New York progressive rock radio posted today (10/20), RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison andharrisonneer72 WFAN, New York personality/best-selling author Richard Neer, continue their stream-of-consciousness reminiscences about the very early days of their careers working with the legends of progressive rock radio at the iconic WNEW-FM in the Big Apple.  In the newest installment of the PodcastOne international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” the lifelong friends talk about their first two years at the historic Metromedia station, circa 1971-1972, where they worked with Scott Muni, Alison Steele, Jonathan Schwartz, John Zacherle and Pete Fornatale among others after being catapulted to the “big time” after the successful launch of progressive rocker WLIR-FM on Long Island.  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 of every page at and  Harrison (left) and Neer (right) are pictured at right in the WNEW-FM studios in 1971.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

| October 20, 2015

jeffriesjanProgrammer Jan Jeffries Exits Cumulus Media.  Corporate programmer Jan Jeffries leaves Cumulus Media a little more than two weeks after CEO Lew Dickey and EVP John Dickey were forced out of their corporate management roles.  Jeffries recently moved from his office at classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago (which he also programmed) to Washington, DC to take the programing reigns at CHR WRQX.  Although it has not released a public statement about Jeffries’ departure, the company confirms he has left.  It’s unclear at this point who will absorb his duties or whether a search has begun for an outside replacement.

stemlartomTom Stemlar Named Cumulus Indy VP/Market Manager.  Television pro Tom Stemlar is named to the VP/market manager post at Cumulus Media’s Indianapolis station group that consists of country WFMS, classic hits WJJK, and hip hop WRWM “93.9 The Beat.”  Stemlar has been working in Indy for New York-based Bonten Media Group as SVP of sales.  He’s also worked for Emmis’ television division and Katz Continental Television.  Cumulus RVP Dave Crowl states, “We look forward to Tom’s leadership having a positive impact on our Indianapolis team and brands.  He brings a wealth of experience in providing advertisers with solutions-based broadcast campaigns that deliver results and return on investment.”

carreratommyAlpha Media’s KDES-FM Names Carrera PD. Nine-year KFRG-FM “K-Frog,” Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario morning co-host Tommy Carrera (“Tommy C”) departs the CBS Radio country outlet to become program director of Alpha Media‘s similarly formatted KDES-FM “The Bull,” Palm Springs (California). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick quips that, “Having Tommy – with his history, experience, and knowledge – join Alpha is ‘incred-i-bull.’ It puts our team on a fast track to winning.” CarreraAlpha comments, “I am excited and honored to become part of the Alpha Media team. This is an amazing group of people on all levels. They understand the world of broadcast media today; I am looking forward to being part of their success story.” Prior to his “K-Frog” stint, Carrera worked at several other country outlets including KZLA, Los Angeles; KMLE, Phoenix; KNIX, Phoenix; KKAT, Salt Lake City; and KBQI, Albuquerque. KDES-FM transitioned from classic hits-oldies to country “The Bull” early last month (9/9). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio’s spring 2015 Palm Springs book, (classic hits-oldies) KDES-FM ranks tenth (3.4), while RM Broadcasting‘s KPLM “The Big 106 – Today’s Best Country” is fifth (4.6, 12+). The market leader is regional Mexican KUNA (10.9, 12+).

kantordavidDavid Kantor to Head Radio One’s Radio Group.  Radio executive David Kantor moves from his position as president and CEO of Radio One’s syndication arm Reach Media to CEO of Radio One’s radio division, putting him in charge of the company’s 54 stations in 16 markets.  In making the announcement, Radio One president and CEO Alfred Liggins comments, “I’ve been partners with David (and Tom Joyner) in Reach Media for 11 years.  I highly respect his work ethic and intelligence.  David’s skill set, his business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit are second to none.  I’m excited about his leadership of our network and local radio business and I have every confidence that he will do an outstanding job.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Jumping from Radio One to iHeartMedia is Dan Shelley who assumes the SVP of digital content strategy role.  Shelley had been with Radio One for the past six years and most recently held the title, SVP of Interactive One Local & Interactive Studios…..At Radio One, the company ups Eddie Harrell Jr. from his VP/GM role in the Cleveland market to regional vice president for Ohio in which he’ll be in charge of the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus markets.

bonesIdiots15checkBobby Bones’ ‘Raging Idiots’ Raise $82,000 for Charleston Food Relief.  Nationally syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones brought his comedy band The Raging Idiots to Charleston, South Carolina for a benefit show for local flood relief efforts in the area.  The group played on Saturday (10/17) at the Charleston Performing Arts Center and helped raise more than $82,000 for The American Red Cross.  The night also featured special performances by country artists Lindsay Ell and Kelleigh Bannen.  Local affiliate WEZL’s TJ & Ric emceed the event.  Pictured here is Bones (center) with radio station and concert staff and his fellow performers.

Monday, October 19, 2015

| October 19, 2015


weismanstevenNielsen vs Bubba: Round One.  RadioInfo legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman analyzes the civil suit being brought against morning radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen Audio after the former was accused of and admitted to attempting to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM survey in the Tampa market.  In a piece published today, Weisman synopsizes the case and presents his view of Nielsen’s claim that its ratings business has been “damaged irreparably” and it is owned at least $1 million.  Read the whole piece here.

burkavagejohnBurkavage Retires from Times-Shamrock’s Reno Cluster.  After a radio career spanning 35 years, John Burkavage is retiring from his general manager position with Times-Shamrock Communications in Reno.  For the past four years, Burkavage has led the creation of four new FM outlets for the company: alternative rock KRZQ, rock KZTI “Z105.3,”CHR KWNZ “106.3 POP-FM,” news/talk KNEZ “107.3 KNEWS.”  In addition to his service with Times-Shamrock, Burkavage worked for Entercom in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and in Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Additionally, he ran Woody Tanger’s classical WTMI, Miami and was national sales manager at Jerry Lee‘s WBEB, Philadelphia.  Burkavage comments, “I’ve been blessed to have worked with an absolutely awesome group of people over the tenure of my career and leading the team here in Reno for the Lynett and Haggerty families has been an outstanding experience. As much as I truly love the radio business and the wonderful career I’ve had in it, I’m equally excited to start a new chapter in the book of my life.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  The new program director at iHeartMedia’s CHR WLDI, West Palm Beachmaverickjonathan “WiLD 95.5” is Jonathan Maverick, who replaces the recently departed Brody Smith.  Maverick was with the company programming CHR WGMY, Tallahassee “107.1 Kiss FM” prior to the move…..Radio pro Jeff Andrews is named general manager for Tejas Broadcasting’s Clovis, New andrewsjeffMexico cluster that includes country KKNM “96.5 The Ranch,” classic rock KKYC “102.3 The Wolf,” hot AC KICA-FM “FUN 98.3,” sports KICA-AM “ESPN 980,” and regional Mexican KGRW “94.7 La Caliente.”…..Saga Communications names Jeff Sweatman brand manager for triple A WCNR, Charlottesville, Virginia “The Corner.”  Sweatman moves up from his music director post and replaces Brad Savage who recently jumped to Akron Public Schoolsmccoydarleneowned triple A WAPS, Akron “The Summit FM.”…..Tonight, Reach Media – a subsidiary of Radio One – begins syndicating “The Nightly Spirit with Darlene McCoy,” an inspirational program featuring “the very best in inspirational music.”  McCoy was previously midday host at Radio One’s gospel WPZE, Atlanta “Praise 102.5” where she gained a loyal following.  The new show airs from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

RadioInfo Tidbits.  Reno rock station KRZQ held a Bubba’s Bike for Badges ride on October 10 in conjunction with syndicated morning host Bubba the Love Sponge.  The event raised money for the family of fallen police deputy Carl Howell.  More than 175 motorcycles and 200-plus people participated, raising $8,000 for the cause…..Today, CBS RADIO Houston partners with the Points of Light Foundation and the Barbara Bush Literacy Initiative to help break the Guinness World Record for the most children reading with an adult in 24 hours.  The cluster has been enlisting listeners to donate their time and each of the five CBS RADIO Houston stations will visit a local elementary school to read to students…..Cumulus Media alternative rocker WKQX, Chicago is presenting a four-day, multi-artist alternative rock Christmas event called the “The Nights We Stole Christmas” at the Aragon Ballroom, December 3-6, 2015.  Featured acts will include: Twenty One Pilots, Bastille, AWOLNATION, and Silversun Pickups…..The Country Radio Broadcasters are now accepting applications for the Rusty Walker Scholarship program, that provides for an all-expense paid trip and attendance to CRS 2016, to be held February 8-10, 2016.  You can apply through Friday, October 30 at

cma awards logoCMA Broadcast Award Winners Announced.  The “49th Annual CMA Awards” will take place on Wednesday, November 4 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.  The CMA announced the broadcast winners on Friday (10/16).  National Personalities of the Year are Compass Media NetworksBig D & Bubba; Major Market – Ben and Matt in the Morning, KNIX, Phoenix; Large Market – Karen, Scott & Radar, WMIL, Milwaukee; Medium Market – Andy & Alison, WIVK, Knoxville; Small Market – The Dex & Mo Show, WUSY, Chattanooga.  Station of the Year winners are: Major Market – WPOC, Baltimore; Large Market – WMIL, Milwaukee; Medium Market – WIVK, Knoxville; and Small Market – KCLR, Columbia, Missouri.

Nielsen vs Bubba: Round One

| October 19, 2015

By Steven J.J. Weisman
Legal Editor


weismanwriterBOSTON — The late, great Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard wrote a book titled, Elvis Is Dead and I’m Not Feeling Too Good Myself.  I thought about this recently as I considered the problems that are just in their early stages for syndicated Tampa-based talk radio host, Todd Clem, who uses the stage name Bubba The Love Sponge.  Bubba may not be dead, but he is certainly not feeling so good himself these days.  But don’t worry, Bubba, things aren’t as bad as you think – they are worse.

Clem is being sued in the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Florida by Nielsen Audio for more than $1 million on civil charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, interfering with business and contractual relations and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act.  The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act is Florida’s version of the FTC Act which outlaws the broadly defined “unfair and deceptive acts and practices.”  Although the law is most often utilized by consumers, it also can apply to relationships between businesses as well.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

| October 16, 2015

rayneSacramento Forecast Calls For Rayne. Three-year WDZH “Amp Radio,” Detroit program director/ brand manager Tim “Rayne” Rainey is leaving the CBS Radio CHR to program Entercom Sacramento mainstream CHR KDND “The End” and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.” Entercom Sacramento operations manager Jim Fox states, “‘Rayne’ loves radio. He is an encyclopedia of historical concepts, many of which remain as sound today as when they were conceived. He is also a millennialEntercom Sacramento who embraces social, digital, and sound new programming strategies.  I’m excited to have him joining our cluster.” Rainey remarks, “Words cannot express my excitement to join the already respected and highly successful team at Entercom Sacramento. When I was a teenager, I loved driving through the Sacramento Valley and listening to KDND, one of California’s premiere top 40 stations. I am excited about the potential that awaits ‘Star 106.5,’ another legendary frequency in central California.” He begins his new duties one week from Monday (10/26) and succeeds Nikki Nite, who transferred to Entercom Austin three months ago to become vice program of programming & operations. Prior to joining Detroit’s “Amp Radio,” Rainey programmed Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOU (which has since changed call letters to WNOW) for approximately four years. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s PPM report for Sacramento, “The End” ranks #5 (4.8) and “Star” is #14 (2.9); co-owned classic rocker KSEG “The Eagle” is #1 (10.0, 6+).

bessiresusanBessire Named NSM for Alpha Media Texas.  This is a move from the rep side of the business to the station side for Susan Bessire, who joins Alpha Media as national sales manager of the Texas markets.  She’s working from Dallas and is responsible for working directly with buyers and Alpha managers across the Texas markets on national avails and business development.  Bessire previously served with the McGavren Guild.  She says, “After more than 20 years as a national seller and manager working on the rep side, I am thrilled to join Alpha.  Alpha’s rapid expansion and live-and-local approach makes them unique in today’s marketplace – and an incredibly exciting opportunity for me.  I look forward to being part of their great team and taking the Texas Region to the next level.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  New appointments are announced at some of iHeartMedia’s New England market stations.  Rob Anthony serves as SVP of programming for Providence, Springfield and Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as Portsmouth and Manchester, New Hampshire.  He announces John “JT” Thomas is SVP of programming for the Springfield cluster; Kevin Johnson is now program director for hot AC WHYN-FM “Mix 93.1” and news/talk WHYN-AM “NewsRadio 560” in Springfield; and Tony Bristol is named programwildernicole director for AC WSRS and WTAG “NewsRadio 580” in Worcester…..Alpha Media names Nicole Wilder the new corporate PR/social media coordinator.  Peoria, Illinois-based Wilder reports to Alpha corporate VP of marketing Randi P’Pool, who says, “We are always thrilled to promote the phenomenal talent within our company into new positions with greater responsibility.  Nikki has demonstrated outstanding creativity, guidance and focus on our live and local vision.”

nielsen logoNielsen Sues Bubba the Love Sponge in Ratings Fraud Case.  The ratings company has filed suit against Bubba the Love Sponge in United States District Court in Floridabubba after the morning drive radio personality admitted to tampering with the PPM ratings in the Tampa market.  Alleging fraud and violation of the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Nielsen is asking for damages of not less than $1 million.  Nielsen says in the suit that Bubba paid people to distort the ratings.  Nielsen delayed the September Tampa PPM survey by a week.  If the case goes to trial the company would have to prove it suffered damages.

mccoysteve‘Newsradio 106.7’ Atlanta Dismisses Steve McCoy Over ‘Trump Interview.’ WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7” morning co-host Steve McCoy has exited the Cumulus Media news/talkers after he pieced together an old interview with Donald Trump and presented it on the station’s morning drive show as an interview with the GOP presidential candidate done while he was in Atlanta last weekend. McCoy is a longtime Atlanta music radio personality who spent years at CHR WSTR “Star 94.” He joined WYAY earlier this year. The story first broke on Buzzfeed after the Trump campaign publicly stated that McCoy did notwyay logo new interview Trump and actually aired what was a years-old interview, edited and presented as recent. McCoy admitted the facts to Buzzfeed. Cumulus Atlanta general manager Sean Shannon issued a statement saying McCoy no longer works for the station and that the morning show will continue with the rest of the current staff – co-host Cheryl White with Drew Nelson and Randy Wyles.  At the same time, it’s being reported that McCoy was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and had planned to share the news with his listeners earlier this week. That comes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution which spoke with McCoy’s former “Star 94” co-host Vikki Lock.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

| October 15, 2015

RadioInfo Career Moves.  The new arrival at Alpha Media’s Portland, Oregon cluster is Joe Brady, mostbradyjoe recently with the company’s CHR WXYK, Biloxi-Gulfport “The Monkey” hosting the evening show.  Although Alpha announces his joining CHR KBFF “Live 95.5,” the company does not report what position Brady will be occupying…..San Diego market pro Chris Cantore climbs aboard Entercom’s alternative KBZT “FM 94/9” alongside Steve Woods as co-host of the station’s morning show.  Cantore was most recently morning personality at Compass Media’s crosstown triple A KPRI, which changed formats when it was sold to religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation recently.  The new show launches on Monday, October 19.

garnerblairBlair Garner to Host National Radio Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  The November 5 National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony taking place at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago will be hosted by Blair Garner, lead personality on Cumulus Media’s nationally syndicated country morning program, “America’s Morning Show powered by NASH.”  Garner says, “I’m honored to have been invited to host such a prestigious affair.  This year’s nominees will truly make it a memorable evening and I hope to add to the fun.”  The 2015 inductees include Big Boy, a.k.a. Kurt Alexander, Elvis Duran, Clark Howard, Bob Kevoian & Tom Griswold, Dan Mason, Scott Muni, Ronn Owens and Dave Ramsey.

MIreunion15Lounging with the Legends.  Last night (10/14), some 250-plus veterans (and current players) from the music and radio industries gathered at El Original Tex Mex restaurant/bar in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen for the second annual Music Industry Reunion New York.  Organized by longtime music industry impresario Jon Scott and funded by a grant fromscottjonspeaking15 RadioInfo, the free event was an informal hug-fest bringing together old colleagues, many of whom hadn’t seen each other since the early 1970s.  This is the sister reunion of the Music Industry Reunion Los Angeles, also organized by Scott, which recently celebrated its third annual installment in Calabasas, California.  Pictured in the photo above at last night’s party, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher, Michael Harrison (c) is reunited with old buddies John Platt (l), communications director and air personality at triple A WFUV, New York and the legendary George Meier, founder and former publisher of the iconic progressive rock radio trade publication, Walrus.  Pictured at right is Jon Scott addressing the crowd.

y100braconcert15‘Y100’ in Green Bay Hosts ‘Bra Country’ Concert for Cancer Foundation.  Green Bay-market country outlet WNCY “Y100” hosted its first “Y100 Bra Country Concert” in support of the Breast Cancer Family Foundation.   The sold-out show starred Cam, Lucy Angel, and Clare Dunn.  Pictured here are (from l-r): “Y100” morning personality and music director Charli McKenzie, Cam, Lucy Angel’s Lindsay and Kate Anderton, Clare Dunn, Y100’s Laura Bradshaw, and Lucy Angel’s Emily Anderton.

nashnightsLady15Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley Guests on ‘NASH Nights Live.’  This shot was taken Tuesday evening while Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley was guest co-hosting Cumulus Media’s “NASH Nights Live.”  Kelley filled for Shawn Parr and took the opportunity to discuss his new solo project.  From l-r: “NASH Nights Live” executive producer Brian Egan, producer Ryan Kershner; co-host Elaina Smith, and Kelley.

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