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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

| July 2, 2014

alphamedia logoAlpha Broadcasting, L&L Broadcasting Become Alpha Media; Main Line Deal Closes. Portland-based L&L Broadcasting operates 43 stations in seven markets; the merged company’s corporate headquarters will continue to be in Portland, where Alpha Broadcasting owns six radio facilities.  In addition to this merger, L&L’s $57 million deal to purchase 19 Main Line Broadcasting stations has been finalized.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger of Portland’s Alpha operation into our newly created Alpha Media results in one company operating all markets.  Our ‘Live and Local’ vision continues to be our focus.  By adding the former Main Line markets, we can continue to develop ourmain line broadcasting footprint with attractive markets operated by great radio people.  We are excited to add them to our growing company.” L&L Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt remarks, “From the day we visited each Main Line market, we knew they were full wilsonlarryof talented radio broadcasters who understand our vision and how we operate.  We feel our live and local approach will enhance each market’s rating and revenue potential.  Having Portland in the fold allows us to liberally use some of the best brains in the radio business to help listeners, clients, and employees at our other markets throughout the country.”  According to Main Line Broadcasting chief executive officer Marc Guralnick, “It has been a great nine years at Main Line Broadcasting.  I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best people in the industry.  I am excited to have our talented broadcasters now under the leadership of Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, and the Alpha-L&L team.  I wish L&L and this tremendous staff much continued success.”  The four markets for Philadelphia-based Main Line are Louisville, Dayton, Richmond, and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  The company was represented in the transaction by Media Venture Partners.

duanedoobie graphicIndependence!  As a long and meaningful weekend looms, Duane Doobie shares a brief thought about the concept of this holiday – “as it applies to our industry, our art form, and our culture…”  In a new column posted today (7/2) he quills, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for music radio practitioners to dissolve the destructive repression of malignant corporate-think that has connected them to the growing cultural stagnation and increased social marginality that plagues our once-glorious business, a decent respect to the life, liberty and happiness of those on both sides of the speakers who give a damn about this medium requires that any self-respecting trade publication state the following self-evident truth.”  To read this “truth” and the entire piece, please click here.

evolutionbeatDuane Doobie’s Picks of the Week.  RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, 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 (7/2) includes such names as: Jonathan Mann, Evolution Beat, Belinda, Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Alexa Goddard, Sia, George Ezra, My Goodness, Griswolds, Ryan Adams, ASTR, Mausi, The Magician, Years and Years, Slaptop, Elizabeth Lyons, Bruce Robinson and Kelly Willis,and Brian Grilli,among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

daveshellychainsawFour More Years for “Jack,” San Diego Morning Trio.  As a result of a contract extension with Dave-Shelly-Chainsaw (“DSC”), Midwest Television-owned adult hits KFMB-FM “Jack,” San Diego will have its morning team in place for another four years.  Vice president and general manager Gina Landau states, “We are truly excited to extend our partnership with ‘the DSC’ in their 25th year of San Diego radio dominance.  Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw are brilliant talents.  We are honored that their legion of fans will be able to find them on ‘Jack FM’ for many years to come.”  Program director Mike O’Reilly comments, “In the last four years ‘the DSC’ has done so much for all of us at ‘Jack FM’ and for fans all over ‘America’s Finest City’ – going another four was truly a no-brainer.”  Dave Rickards remarks, “I am one of the lucky ones who loves his job and loves the people I’ve worked with for 25 years.”  If the feeling is not mutual, he jokes, “It is their tough toenails.”  According to Shelly Dunn, “I am thrilled to be working with the ‘Jack FM’ family for another four years – I am just horrified at how old I’ll be once these four years are up.”  Cookie Randolph (“Chainsaw”) adds, “My financial guy said I was set for the rest of my life, provided I die next Tuesday.  Therefore, I am thrilled to be back with the best crew I can imagine.”  Among persons 6+ in this May’s Nielsen Audio PPM, KFMB-FM “Jack” ranks #16 (2.7).

leelauraPD Lee Departs WBWR and WCGX.  Six-and-one-half-year WBWR “The Brew 105.7″ and “WCGX “X106.7,” Columbus program director Laura Lee leaves the Clear Channel classic rock and alternative combo.  Operations manager Michael McCoy jokes that he will not issue the standard, “We wish her well in her future endeavors” line but instead he comments, “It has been a pleasure to work with Laura.  Her passion, creativity, and infectious personality will be missed in the halls of Clear Channel Columbus.”  Lee’s previous operations manager/programming credits include three Main Line Broadcasting stations in Richmond (WWLB “98.9 Liberty,” WLLB, and WLFV); in addition, she programmed in Madison, Wisconsin for WBZU “105.1 The Buzz.”

anthonysteveSteve Anthony Moves to Mornings on ‘Magic 102.1’ in Athens.  This move keeps Steve Anthony in the company as Cox Media Group brings him from the Jacksonville cluster where he served on air at classic hits WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” and CHR WAPE.  He’ll join Beth Larson as co-host of the AM drive show on adult contemporary WGMG “Magic 102.1.”  Anthony replaces the recently retired Allen Tibbetts.  WGMG program director Jerry Arnold states, “We are all sad to see Allen leave and we greatly appreciate everything that  he has done for Athens, CMG and ‘Magic 102.1’ over the years, but I am absolutely thrilled to have a talent like Steve join the Magic Morning show.  He is an excellent storyteller, a fantastic radio personality, and he brings an infectious positive attitude with him wherever he goes.”  Anthony comments, “I’m extremely excited to be joining the CMG team in Athens.  From my first conversation with Jerry to my first time walking through the facility, I knew this was a group that was passionate about bringing something special to the listeners, with a focus on fun, local radio.  I can’t wait to get there, explore the amazing culture of Athens and take in a few Dawgs games!”

wtmt logoShawn Quinn Named Brand Manager at ‘105.9 The Mountain’ in Asheville.  The new brand manager at Saga Communications-owned rock outlet WTMT, Asheville, North Carolina “105.9 The Mountain” is Shawn Quinn, whoquinnshawn comes to the market from Alpha Media’s rock WQCM, Hagerstown-Chambersburg where he was APD and morning personality.  General manager Chris Wheat states, “Shawn is a very intelligent, unique, creative person who is a natural to lead a team of very talented people in a very unique city – Asheville!  We expect great things from him.”  Quinn comments, “I couldn’t be more excited and honored to join such well-respected broadcasters as the group at ‘The Mountain.’  Asheville is a vibrant, smart, fun city and should expect nothing less from their radio stations.  I am thrilled to start this new chapter in my career with Saga Communications and ready to rock Asheville!”

klbj-fm logoMan Arrested After Facebook Threats Against KLBJ-FM, Austin.  From a report in the Austin Statesman comes news 38-year-old Jeremy Schuster has been charged with making a terroristic threat against station staffers, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  The report says Schuster became known to station talent after he was a guest on the station to discuss comments he made online about the winner of the station’s “Rock Girl” contest.  Although the bit was contentious, it reportedly ended cordially.  However, later, evening personality Casey Morgan found the following threat allegedly made by Schuster on the station Facebook page: “i (expletive) hate you guys so much. it’s gonna be a bloodbath. maybe even more. i smell gunpowder. i smell assassination. thank dale. i don’t even capitalize his name.”  (Schuster references morning show co-host Dale Dudley.)  The station is providing extra security for staffers in the wake of the incident.

jamesdoreenJames Promoted to DOS at Townsquare Media’s Quincy-Hannibal Operations.  Moving up from her account executive post is Doreen James who takes on the director of sales role for the Quincy, Illinois-Hannibal, Missouri station group owned by Townsquare Media.  General manager Dave Greene states, “Doreen is an outstanding leader.  As terrific as she has been as an account executive, I believe she will be an even better leader for our sales team.  She has a great understanding of our products and our markets and is very well respected within the community.”  James says getting the chance to work with even more local businesses is one of the things she looks forward to most in her new role.  “I look forward to the challenge of taking a leadership role.  We have a great team in place and our mission will continue to be to help our local businesses grow using our live and local radio, cutting edge digital and live event products.”  The company operates country KICK, CHR KRRY “Y101,” news/talk KHMO and adult contemporary WLIQ.

soulcity imageJournal Broadcast Group Adds ‘Soul City’ to Digital ‘Radio League’ Platform.  On the heels of the recent oldies channel addition to its “Radio League” digital music service platform, Journal Broadcast Group Milwaukee announces an R&B, soul and Motown channel called “Soul City.”  The channel features music from the 60s and 70s from artists such as The Spinners, James Brown, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye and more.  The company added the “Fun Lovin’ Oldies” channel several weeks ago.  Journal teases more formats on the horizon, including rhythmic top 40, classical, Oktoberfest and Christmas music.

nextradiowebinarSprint Push Results in 50,000-plus Downloads for NextRadio.  A “push notification” last week from partner Sprint is being credited for spurring 25,000 downloads of the NextRadio app in one day and more than 50,000 in the week that followed.  The app that allows smartphone users to receive FM radio stations via their phones, is part of a project in conjunction with TagStation – both of which are subsidiaries of Emmis Operating Company.  A post at the TagStation site says, “Another effort from Sprint that will help push consumer awareness was the delivery of a round of promotional NextRadio-enabled phones to 30 disc jockeys throughout the country.  The ‘seed phones’ provide a seeing-is-believing experience to DJs who then promote NextRadio to their listeners both on-air and through social media – encouraging their millions of listeners with Sprint Android phones and all HTC One M8 users to download and take advantage of NextRadio.  And like we discussed before, what better way is there to learn about NextRadio than from your favorite on-air personalities?”  NextRadio is hosting a webinar on July 16 featuring Paul Jacobs and Paul Brenner dubbed “NextRadio and the Connected Car: Growing Listeners with Interactive Content.”  The event is open to all broadcasters interested in learning more about the future of radio in the car’s dashboard.  Visit here for more info.

mathenysamMatheny Named EVP/Chief Technology Officer for NAB.  Joining NAB from Capitol Broadcasting to serve as the new EVP and chief technology officer is Sam Matheny.  His work as part of the corporate staff involvement in several Capitol Broadcasting media ventures: general manager at News Over Wireless, which provided the first local television news applications for wireless carriers; manager of Digital Cinema at Microspace Communications, deploying digital cinema as a viable market for satellite delivery; and vice president & general manager at DTV Plus, which developed and launched the nation’s first DTV datacasting service.  Matheny is currently a member of the FCC Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council and is a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB is thrilled to have Sam Matheny joining the team as our new CTO.  Sam’s roots are in broadcast localism and service to the community, but he is also a technology strategist determined to push broadcasters to embrace digital and Internet opportunities that generate revenue.  Today, tens of millions of our listeners and viewers are legally accessing broadcast programming on platforms and devices that are IP-based, portable and mobile. We believe Sam is the right choice to press these digital strategies forward and lead our industry’s technology future.”

trueoldiesShannon Transitions “True Oldies” to the Net.  Concurrent with Westwood One‘s decision this past Monday (6/30) to discontinue distributing the “True Oldies Channel,” programmer/principal talent Scott Shannon has taken the service online.  Posting on his website, the WCBS-FM, New York morning talent writes, “We didn’t have much time to get something together after we found out that we were getting tossed off the radio.  However, we did manage to get everything needed to set up our own internet station on short notice [so] we are able to continue the True Oldies Channel.”  Shannon launched the “True Oldies Channel” more than 10 years ago (April 2004) on ABC Radio Networks.  Much of the “True Oldies” music is from 1964 – 1979; however, there are titles from 1955 – 1963, as well as some hits from the 1980s. Shannon’s commercial-free stream is at

marconiawardMeet This Year’s NAB Marconi Radio Award Finalists. They are listed below and the list encompasses 21 categories.  The Marconi Radio Awards are given by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to honor excellence in broadcasting. “Legendary Station”:news KCBS-AM, San Francisco; talk KXLY-AM, Spokane; sports WFAN, New York; country WIL-FM, St. Louis; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year”:Bob & Tom, Westwood One; Elvis Duran, Premiere Radio Networks; Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Radio Networks; and Rickey Smiley, Radio One/REACH Media. “Major Market Personality of the Year”:Carter Alan of WZLX, Boston; Big Boy of KPWR, Los Angeles; Kevin & Bean of KROQ, Los Angeles; Preston & Steve of WMMR, Philadelphia; and (Fred) Toucher & Rich (Shertenlieb) of WBZ-FM, Boston. “Large Market Personality of the Year”:Bo Matthews of WIL-FM, St. Louis; Dr. Don (with Rachael and Grunwald) of WYCD, Detroit; Jim “JJ” Johnson of WOMC, Detroit; Larry Richert of KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; and Ryan & Shannon of KSTP-FM, Minneapolis. “Medium Market Personality of the Year”:Brent Johnson of WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina; Cole Johnson of WNVZ, Norfolk; Kevin Miller of KIDO-AM, Boise, Idaho; Chris Kelly & Chris Demm of WKRR, Greensboro; and Jeff Walker of WKRZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton. “Small Market Personality of the Year”:Bill Barrett, Tim Fox & Tracy Berry of KKNU-FM, Eugene, Oregon; David Gustafson of KJSK-AM, Columbus, Nebraska; Dottie Ray of KXIC-AM, Iowa City, Iowa; Brian Egan, Rusty Bumper & Amanda Walton of WKWS-FM, Charleston, West Virginia; and Brian Lee & Chris Wolfe of KZOQ-FM, Missoula, Montana. “Major Market Station of the Year”: country KKBQ, Houston; urban AC WBLS, New York; rock WMMR, Philadelphia; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; and country WUSN, Chicago. “Large Market Station of the Year”:adult contemporary KRWM, Seattle; CHR WBLI, Long Island; talk WCCO, Minneapolis; talk WTMJ, Milwaukee; and sports WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Medium Market Station of the Year”:rock KAZR-FM, Des Moines; hot AC KSTZ, Des Moines; country WIVK-FM, Knoxville; talk WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and country WUSY-FM, Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Small Market Station of the Year”:talkKFGO-AM, Fargo, South Dakota; CHR KNDE-FM, Bryan-College Station, Texas; full-service adult contemporary KYNT-AM, Yankton, South Dakota; country WFRE-FM, Frederick, Maryland; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Adult Contemporary Station of the Year”:KIFM, San Diego; WBEB, Philadelphia; WILV, Chicago; WMEE-FM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and WVAF, Charleston, West Virginia. “CHR Station of the Year”:KQKS, Denver; WBBM-FM, Chicago; WNVZ, Norfolk; WPOI, Tampa; and WVAQ, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Country Station of the Year”:KCYY, San Antonio; WIL-FM, St. Louis; WKLB, Boston; WLHK, Indianapolis; and WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “News-Talk Station of the Year”:KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTMY, Minneapolis; WGCV-AM, Columbia, South Carolina; and WLW, Cincinnati. “(Classic Hits-) Oldies Station of the Year:”WJMK, Chicago; WMJI, Cleveland; WSRZ, Sarasota; WXGL, Tampa; and WOGL Philadelphia. “(Contemporary Christian) Religious Station of the Year”:KKJM, St. Cloud, Minnesota; KKLA, Los Angeles; KLTY, Dallas; KNOM, Nome, Alaska; and WMHK, Columbia, South Carolina. “Rock Station of the Year”:KROQ, Los Angeles; KSWD, Los Angeles; WBAB, Long Island; WDRV, Chicago; and WSUN, Tampa. “Spanish Station of the Year”:KLZT, Austin; WNUA, Chicago; WYUS-AM Milford, Delaware; WYUU, Tampa; and WXSH, Georgetown, Delaware. “Sports Station of the Year”:KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; KFXN-FM, Minneapolis; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP-FM, Philadelphia; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Urban Contemporary Station of the Year”: KPRS, Kansas City; WGCI-FM, Chicago; WHQT, Miami; WQHT, New York; and WVKL, Norfolk. “Noncommercial Station of the Year”: KPCW, Park City, Utah; KUNV, Las Vegas; WEAA, Baltimore; WRHU Long Island; and WSDP,  Canton, Michigan. Winners will be announced in two months (9/11) at the awards dinner in Indianapolis during this year’s NAB Radio Show.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

| July 1, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen ‘Audio Demand Landscape’ Study Puts Listeners into Six Categories.  The Audio Demand Landscape study was unveiled at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 Conference on June 24.  Nielsen concludes from the online survey of a panel of 4,950 Americans between the ages of 18-74 (conducted in English in March) during March 2014 about their audio listening attitudes, motivations, behaviors, habits and preferences, that there are basically six types of audio consumers.  (Note that in parentheses is what Nielsen deems each group to be as a percentage of the U.S. population.)  They are: “Music Loving Personalizers” (23%) who are passionate music listeners mainly seeking an emotional benefit by listening.  They prefer free services and often play music in the background; “Discriminating Audiophiles” (18%) are highly engaged consumers who listen to and prefer a wide variety of audio, and are willing to pay for specific content; “Convenience Seeking Traditionalists” (17%) prefer broadcast radio, listening to their favorite stations and hosts, and they routinely listen in the car; “Information Seeking Loyalists” (15%) are heavy broadcast listeners who usually listen to their favorite talk programs for news, education and to stay informed of current events; “Background Driving Defaulters” (14%) are less engaged and typically have the radio on in the car for background entertainment or occasionally news and information; and “Techie Audio Enthusiasts” (13%) are avid consumers of many types of audio.  These listeners are early adopters of new platforms to satisfy their audio needs.  Nielsen says that when considering these groups based on the percent of all audio hours of listening they represent, the “Information Seeking Loyalists” and the “Music Loving Personalizers” account for nearly half (47%) of all audio consumption.  See more here.

robarniedawnRob, Arnie & Dawn Will Stay with Entercom.  Yesterday, Entercom filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal with the United States District Court Eastern District of California to drop its suit against Williams Broadcasting (the Rob Williams-run company that owns the Rob, Arnie & Dawn show).  This comes after the two sides sat down and agreed to terms on a new five-year deal that will keep the morning show with Entercom’s rock KRXQ, Sacramento “Rock 98.”  Clear Channel had been wooing the trio and a legal skirmish over whether Williams Broadcasting and Entercom had followed proper contractual procedure regarding the right to match competing offers issue as well as the legal status of the contract between the two.

jacksontyreneTyrene ‘TJ’ Jackson Takes Brand Manager Role at ‘Jammin’ 98.3’ in Milwaukee.  Taking over the programmer role at Saga Communications-owned urban contemporary WJMR, Milwaukee “Jammin’ 98.3” is Tyrene “TJ” Jackson.  She replaces Lauri Jones and begins her new gig on July 7.  Milwaukee Radio Group GM Annmarie Topel says, “We had a lot of interest in this position, including some big names in urban radio.  Tyrene stood out for many reasons.  With roots in Milwaukee, a clear respect from the community, and the kind of work ethic and values that we look for, she was the obvious and best choice.”  Jackson comments, “I am excited to be a part of the ‘Jammin’ 98.3’ family and dedicated to enhancing an already great radio station.  I look forward to bringing my community experience and knowledge of the format to Jammin’ to produce the best product on air, on line and in the community.”  Jackson worked across town at urban talk/music hybrid WMCS for 18 years before exiting when the station flipped formats.

riveraedSBG Names Rivera-Searles SVP Digital Initiatives; Teases ‘Brand New Day for Radio.’  With the announcement that Edwin Rivera-Searles is named the company’s new SVP of digital initiatives, Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. also promises news later this summer that CEO Jason Bailey is “the first stage in what will be a brand new day for radio.  It was crucial that we brought in the very best to help implement this amazing plan and Ed Rivera is exactly that.  He truly ‘gets it’.  You won’t find a more well-respected, passionate person in this business and I couldn’t be more excited to finally welcome him to our family!”  Rivera comes to SBG from his most recent post as SVP of ad sales for Westwood One.  Rivera comments, “Joining the executive team of Sun Broadcast Group is a tremendous opportunity and I’m thrilled to be part of this new phase of growth and development for the company.  I’m impressed by what Jason and his team have accomplished in their short history in the network radio space.  I look forward to introducing our customized digital solutions to our agency and client partners later this summer.”

lopezjorgeJorge Lopez Named Evening Host at CBS RADIO’s KMVK, Dallas.  The Regional Mexican outlet KMVK, Dallas “La GRANDE 107.5 FM” announces Jorge ‘El Bolillo’ López is the new host of the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.  López comes to KMVK from his most recent gig at Univision’s KLQB, Austin where he hosted afternoon drive.  KMVK program director Jimmy Gonzalez comments, “Jorge has a great track record of influence in each of the markets he has worked in across Texas.  It will be great to work with him again here in Dallas at ‘La GRANDE.’”

kitchinkraigBruce DuMont Steps Aside; Kraig Kitchin Named Chairman of National Radio Hall of Fame.  Following through on plans he announced last fall to ease back from some of his responsibilities to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 70-year-old Bruce DuMont announces he’s resigned from the chairman position of the National Radio Hall of Fame and named new board of directors member KraigRHoF logo Kitchin to the chairman position.  Kitchin, who served as president of Premiere Networks for years, operates his own consulting firm Sound Mind LLC.  In his letter to the NRHOF committee, DuMont writes: “I appointed new MBC Board member Kraig T. Kitchin to replace me as Chairman — naming MBC Board members Dennis Green and Karole White as vice chairs of the committee.  As you know Kraig, Dennis and Karole have all been longtime members of the NRHOFSC.  This important move comes in the wake of our recent announcement concerning the November 9th NRHOF induction ceremony taking place in Los Angeles.  It underscores the truly national scope of the NRHOF and will extend our reputation more broadly and hopefully our base of support as well.”

cantorechrisMore RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Compass Broadcasting-owned triple A KPRI, San Diego, Chris Cantore is the new morning drive personality.  This marks his return to the station he left two years ago to become director/lifestyle and entertainment at the San Diego Union Tribune.  Previously he was music director and afternoon host…..Nine-year SiriusXM programmer Tim Sabean exits the satcaster where he was most recently SVP of entertainment and comedy.  Sabean programmed former CBS RADIO rock WYSP, Philadelphia before joining Sirius as SVP of the Howard Stern channels…..Programmer Matt Walker jumps from his PD role at Clear Channel’s classic rock WBFX, Grand Rapids “101.3 The Brew” to the company’s sister country WBCT “B93” to co-host the morning drive show with Neal Dionne.  His previous country experience includes midday personality at WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat” and morning host at WKIS, Miami “Kiss Country.”  As a result of the move, WBCT PD Dave Taft adds WBFX programming responsibilities…..At the Adams Radio Group Fort Wayne cluster, Hannah Rupert is named marketing and promotions director.  She had been marketing consultant for the operations recently acquired by ARG.

callahanthomSCBA’s Thom Callahan Addresses Digital ‘Fraud’ in Column.  The mandate from marketing departments and ad buyers that more and more money be spent on “digital” platforms is a serious problem for traditional media ad sellers.  Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan addresses the issue in a blog post titled, “A Responsibility to the Truth.”  In the post, Callahan cites a report by web security firm Incapsula that states in its latest annual reports on web traffic that: 1) 61.5% of all web traffic is NON-HUMAN or Bot traffic as it’s called; 2) 38.5% of all web traffic is Human; and 3) 48.1% of all video ads are not heard or seen by humans.  Callahan goes on to say that the big problem is there is no transparency in digital advertising.  “The sheer size and scope of this fraudulent behavior is costing advertisers over $6 billion a year in wasted advertising to these non-human sites, according to the ad fraud detection firm, White Ops.”  Read more of Callahan’s blog post here.

seacrestryanForbes Releases 2014 Celebrity 100 List; Ryan Seacrest Ranks.  The highest ranking radio personality on this year’s Forbes 2014 Celebrity 100 list – based on fortune and fame – is Premiere Networks-syndicated star Ryan Seacrest (estimated income $65 million), who tied with Sean “Diddy” Combs at #31.  Premiere Networks host and TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck comes in close behind at #39 with an estimated income of $90 million.  Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh lands at #59 this year with estimated income of $66 million and SiriusXM icon Howard Stern follows at #62 with $95 million in estimated income.  Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity rounds out the radio people this year at #86 with $30 million in estimated income.

Frazer Smith Returns to KLOS

| June 30, 2014

Renowned “Too Hip” Phrase is Back!

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor/West Coast bureau Chief

kinosianFrazer SmithLOS ANGELES —Especially in flavor-of-the-month Los Angeles, several decades is the equivalent of numerous lifetimes, as “eaten up and spit out” is the cruel — yet highly realistic — summation for a countless number of those in this city’s vast entertainment complex.

Movie/film stars are supposedly only as good as their current box-office; singer/songwriters only for their last (approximately) three and a half minutes; and television and radio talents for their most recent ratings book.

Take an extended hiatus and expect the comeback to be greeted with a collective yawn.

Thankfully, there are exceptions to the rule; a devoted legion of committed fans is extremely hopeful and already demonstrating that “Too Hip” Frazer Smith is in that exclusionary category.

Read More

Monday, June 30, 2014

| June 30, 2014


martinmichaelMichael Martin Named SVP, Programming and Music Initiatives for CBS RADIO.  San Francisco-based programmer Michael Martin is being promoted to the newly created position of senior vice president, programming and music initiatives for CBS RADIO.  While taking on these new duties, Martin will continue to serve as program director for hot AC KLLC “Alice@97.3” and CHR KMVQ “99.7 NOW.”  The company says that in this role, Martin will be CBS RADIO’s lead executive liaison with the music industry, labels, managers and artists across all formats, working hand-in-hand with the division’s format vicecbsradio logo presidents and program directors.  He’ll also be responsible for the development and integration of music content across CBS RADIO’s live events and the digital platform.  Chad Fitzsimmons, director, music initiatives will report to Martin.  CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Michael has a deep understanding of radio and its audience, coupled with solid relationships in the business, and an unmatched enthusiasm for all things music.  As we continue to evolve our long-standing and mutually beneficial partnership with the music industry, having Michael as our driving force and ambassador will produce immediate results for everyone involved.  Plus he also likes to stay out late so this makes him even more qualified for the position.”

clarkleonClark Takes Helm of Journal’s Tucson Radio Stations.  Assuming the VP/GM position at Journal Broadcast Group’s Tucson operations is Leon Clark, who comes to the company from his most recent post as sales manager for the digital audio aggregator TuneIn.  Journal operates four stations in the market: adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 Mix FM,” news/ talk KQTH-FM, rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove,” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson.”  Journal EVP – Radio Steve Wexler comments, “Leon’s broadcast and digital experience, as well as his strong leadership track record, makes him a great fit with Journal and our Tucson team.  He embodies our core values of integrity, excellence, determination and innovation and I’m thrilled to welcome him to our company.”  Clark comments, “I am honored to lead the Tucson team forward and to become part of a broadcast group that shares the same core values that I do.  We have some incredible opportunities ahead of us and I look forward to much success for our Tucson team.”

eddieandjoboClassic Hits WLS-FM, Chicago Will Not Be Home to Eddie & Jobo.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the team of Ed Volkman and Joe Colborn will not be taking over the morning drive slot at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago – in fact, the team will likely not work together again as Volkman wanted take the two-and-a-half-year offer but Colborn did not.  The story indicated the deal offered by Cumulus was for $200,000 each through January and half a million each for the next two years, but Colborn’s heart wasn’t in returning to morning radio and the company wanted the pair – not just Volkman.  In this radio climate it’s hard to imagine anyone turning down that kind of money but Eddie & Jobo’s loss could be someone else’s gain.  Read Feder’s column here.

smithfrazerFrazer Smith Returns to KLOS – Renowned “Too Hip” Phrase is Back!  One of the most recognizable names in LA rock radio during the golden era – Frazer Smith – has returned to one of his original homes, KLOS, where he is now heard on the Cumulus rocker Sunday early-evenings 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Smith, a multi-media comedic performer and veteran of KLOS, KMET and KROQ during some of their most colorful years, has not been on Southern California radio for approximately a decade, but RadioInfo correspondents on the ground in LA report after only six weekends back in action, “The Fraze” is better than ever and still commands a following of loyal listeners with the potential to gather a new generation of radio fans.  In the words of RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison (who hired Smith while PD at KMET), “When KLOS let Fraze go in 1984, I grabbed him and never had a reason to regret that decision for one second.  This extremely talented guy was one of the hardest-working and most-prepared air personalities I ever worked with and stands out as a great example of DJ-as-entertainer.”  To read RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian’s profile on Frazer Smith, please click here.

entercomGeary Exiting Entercom Communications Post.  Citing his desire to return to the political communications end of the business, Entercom director of strategic communications Kevin Geary announces he’s leaving his position with the company to focus full time on his political communications firm, Independence Strategy.  Geary’s been with Entercom for the past three years and, during that time, he’s kept his own company in business.  But he says he misses the political communications biz and wants to return.  “The closer we got to the 2014 elections it was clear just how much I missed it.  With 3 ½ years in corporate and media communications, I know I can offer clients a unique combination of political, business perspectives.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  More apparent budget-related cuts at Clear Channel as program director Joe Bonadonna leaves the Miami station group where he programmed classic rock WBGG “Big 105.9.”  He’d been in the post for the past four years.  At Clear Channel he was also a classic rock brand coordinator…..Mike Klein exits the PD position at Entercom’s CHR WNVZ, Norfolk, “Z104.”  Klein had worked at the station for seven years prior to rejoining it in February of 2012.  He also served as afternoon personality.

robarniedawnEntercom Sues to Keep Rob, Arnie & Dawn from Jumping to CC; Court Dismisses Suit and TRO.  This is not the end of the matter, though.  The suit and temporary restraining order to prevent the Rob Williams-owned Rob, Arnie & Dawn Show, until recently heard on classic rock KRXQ, Sacramento “98 Rock,” from jumping to competitor Clear Channel has been dismissed without prejudice and the TRO denied, but on jurisdictional grounds and Entercom is being given 10 days to amend its complaint.  So, expect that to happen quickly.  At issue is whether or not Entercom and Williams both followed the letter of their contract with regard to the latter’s presenting Clear Channel’s offer to Entercom as required and whether the former adequately matched the offer made by Clear Channel.  In its complaint, Entercom alleges Williams is in breach of the contract by rejecting the company’s right to match CC’s offer and by wrongly declaring the contract expired.

borrell logoBorrell Associates Releases Political Advertising Outlook; Radio’s Share to Shrink.  But that’s not entirely unexpected by those who’ve been involved in political ad buys over the past few years.  Even though Borrell estimates the total ad spend this year alone to be $8.3 billion, the media that will see an increase are cable and online.  TV will lose market share at the expense of cable – due, Borrell concludes, to the more highly targetable nature of cable’s niche programming.  While online is expected to see a big increase, it’s still a small part (3.3%) of the total political ad spend for 2014.  Radio’s share is shrinking – from 6.5% of the total ad spend in 2010 to an estimated 5.8% this year.  But that money — $485 million – is money the industry is banking on.  Another item of note from Borrell is that 54% of the total ad spend comes in September and October.  The ability to narrowly define a medium’s audience helps a political ad buy and if radio executives can show campaigns that they have a desired audience, the likelihood of getting the buy increases.  For more information, see the Borrell Associates site here.

freebeerhotwingsabramsonCompass Media’s Nancy Abramson Enjoys Free Beer & Hot Wings.  When Compass Media Networks-syndicated morning show “Free Beer & Hot Wings” visited WCHR, Manahawkin, New Jersey “105.7 The Hawk” for a remote broadcast last week, Compass VP of affiliate sales and strategic partnerships Nancy Abramson came down from her New York base for the show.  Pictured here at the Townsquare Media-owned classic rocker’s remote are (from left to right): Producer Joe, co-host Eric Zane, Abramson, Chris “Hot Wings” Michels, Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels, and Producer Steve.

elvisradio logoBill Rock Celebrates 10th Anniversary of SiriusXM’s Elvis Radio.  It’s been 10 years since Elvis Radio debuted on SiriusXM and radio personality and show producer Bill Rock is preparing to celebrate the occasion with a special show that looks back at that first broadcast and reviews 10 years of the channel’s Saturday night show, dubbed “A Decade of Great Rockin’ Saturday Nights – Elvis Radio’s 10th Anniversary.”  Rock says guests will include TCB band guitarist James Burton, Red West – an actor and childhood friend of Elvis, Rob Lyons – who plays Carl Perkins in the jukebox review “Million Dollar Quartet,” Jack Soden – CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, and Elvis Presley’s close friend Jerry Shilling.  The special show airs on July 5 and 7:00 pm ET.

wras imageGeorgia State University Seeks Translator for ‘Album 88.’  A new partnership between Georgia State University-owned WRAS, Atlanta “Album 88 Georgia State” and Georgia Public Broadcasting begins today that will have public radio news/talk programming from NPR and PRI air on the station during the daytime hours where music has been heard for so many years.  Students and fans of the college radio station had vowed to stop the change, but to no avail. As a result, the college is promising to search for options that will allow the music programming to air on a local FM translator during the day.  As it stands now, the music programming will be heard on WRAS from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am but music fans will have to hear the shows via the internet.  It’s interesting to note that in an era when young people are thought by so many to care so little about over-the-air radio that the reaction to the programming changes was so strong and that the school is willing to pursue an FM signal for the daytime music programming.

neontreespoolpartyiHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party Rocks the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.  The third annual iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party presented by VISIT FLORIDA – the two-day musical weekend – was held in Miami Beach on Friday and Saturday (6/27-28).  More than 150 iHeartRadio contest winners joined the rest of the crown for the festival hosted by Nick Cannon.  Pictured here are the Neon Trees performing.  In addition to iHeartRadio’s house DJs, major acts playing over the weekend included: Tiësto, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Lil Jon, Jennifer Lopez, and Magic! Photo: Larry Marano/Getty Images for Clear Channel.

hudsonBETBackstage at the BET Awards Radio Broadcast.  The BET Awards Show took place at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles last night and over the weekend, Westwood One produced the BET Awards Show radio broadcast.  Stars such as Jennifer Hudson (pictured here) was among the performers to speak to radio listeners across the country via the WW1 programming.  Also taking part were such artists as B.O.B., Liv Warfield, Ne-Yo, TI, T Pain, and Trey Songz.

Friday, June 27, 2014

| June 27, 2014

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Urban-Rhythmic Oldies.  RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian delivers the third of his three-part PPM ratings analysis of urban formats with today’s report on the urban-rhythmic oldies format based on Nielsen Audio data.  Although the urban-rhythmic oldies format exists on only about one-third as many signals as its urban contemporary and urban AC cousins, Kinosian reports the format shows the most April-to-May ratings progress of the three urban formats.  Comparative charts in this piece allow the reader to track 6+ PPM progress over the last five surveys, April-May fluctuation, ratings fluctuation from one year ago, market rank and market share, plus a comparison of all three urban formats’ performances in PPM markets.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s report here.

martindaveProgramming Great Dave Martin Adds His First-Hand Perspective to Discussion About the Late Paul Drew’s So-Called “Mandate” on Record Length.  For those of the you who have been following the recollections of seasoned programmers pertaining to the alleged “mandate” issued by RKO programming czar Paul Drew “back in the day” — prompted by a somewhat blurry reference made by Duane Doobie in his column this week (6/25) about the optimal length of songs for airplay — veteran PD and consultant Dave Martin adds HIS two cents.  Martin tells RadioInfo, “As one of the RKO PDs that worked for Drew, here are the facts: We had no such mandate or rule about length of songs.  Paul did have a stated preference for songs at or under 3:30.  The reasoning, as suggested in the response you earlier received [from former programmer Paul Ciliano], was to maximize songs played per hour.  It was known in the label community that your chances of getting an RKO add were somewhat enhanced if your tune was 3:30 or shorter, however, in the final analysis it mattered most what was in the grooves.  FYI -  Paul loved and suggested many tunes to us which were well over 3:30.”  Doobie’s response, “I think Martin nailed it…sounds right to me.  What’s so cool about this is with so many of the great programmers, past and present, reading RadioInfo, the accurate details of any blurry reference will quickly be clarified by those in the know.”  Fortunately, the point of Doobie’s article does not rest on the accuracy of the Drew reference (Doobie even admits he is not sure of the specifics) so the editorial board of RadioInfo has decided to leave it up as written.  To check it out, please click here.

kasemtesimonyLegislation Inspired by Casey Kasem Ordeal Passes Legislative Hurdle.  A bill making its way through the California legislative process that would give adult children reasonable access to an ailing parent cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee hurdle on a 6-0 vote.  The bill was inspired by the Casey Kasem family’s well-documented situation.  The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and it would protect children from being denied access to a parent by a parent’s future spouse or child.  Since introducing the legislation in January, Assemblyman Gatto has been contacted by hundreds of people who have been denied access to their ailing parents, and has been working closely with several of them, including radio and television personality Kerri Kasem (pictured here).  Recently, Kasem spoke publicly for the first time since her father’s passing last week during testimony.  She shared her struggle to obtain even basic visitation rights during Casey’s final hours.  She also emphasized that her story is not unique to celebrities, a point underscored when she presented a stack of letters representing a small sample of the thousands of letters she has received from folks across the country with similar stories of heartache.  View that video here.  Kasem said, “I saw my father every single week, talked to him every day, until he lost his voice, every day on the phone, and we were cut off for no reason last July.  If this bill had been in place, my dad would still be alive today.”  Former radio industry pro, attorney, and district chief of staff for Assemblyman Gatto, Jason Insalaco, played an important role in crafting this bill.  Insalaco has worked at numerous Southern California radio outlets – including former hot talk KLSX and news/talk KFI – during his career.

schmittmarykMary K. Selected to Program Charlotte Combo.  Former Summit Media Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina rhythmic CHR WHZT “Hot 98.1″ and urban contemporary WJMZ “107.3 Jamz,” program director Mary K. Schmitt joins Radio One Charlotte in a similar capacity.  In her new assignment, she will be responsible for programming urban-rhythmic oldies WOSF “Old School 105.3″ and gospel WPZS “Praise 92.7.”  Radio One regional vice president Gary Weiss comments, “Mary K. has worked with some of radio’s legendary urban programmers and she has learned a lot along the way.  She has boundless energy and enthusiasm.” Mary K. previously was PD (after being assistant program director) of Birmingham rhythmic CHR WBHJ “95.7 Jamz,” and music director of Greensboro’s WJMH “102 Jamz.”

gratnerchuckFifty and Done For Salem’s Gratner.  After spending 50 years in radio – the last 23 as general manager of Salem Communications Pittsburgh – Chuck Gratner will retire next Tuesday (7/1). Twelve-year Salem Pittsburgh general sales manager Tom Lemmon will succeed Gratner. According to Salem radio division president David Santrella, “Salem is blessed to have so many outstanding general managers taking care of business in our markets around the country – Chuck has been one of our strongest for all these years.  Chuck has earned his reward for a job well done.  We wish him many more years of success, only this time with a fishing rod instead of a radio tower.”  Regional operations vice president Linnae Young – who oversees Pittsburgh – comments, “We have been so fortunate to have had Chuck’s wisdom and expertise all these years managing our stations in Pittsburgh.  While Chuck will be sorely missed, we are pleased to have Tom ready to take on this new responsibility.”  Gratner began his radio career as an on-air talent in greater Los Angeles at KNJO, Thousand Oaks.  He was part owner of KCNO, Grass Valley, California; worked in Dallas at KRLD, KCBI, and KLTY; and spent time in Sacramento at KCRA and KROY.

griswoldsherriFlorida Association of Broadcasters Names Griswold Chair.  In that capacity, Clear Channel Fort Myers regional market manager Sherri Griswold will lead the Florida Association of Broadcasters (FAB) executive committee, which represents the board of directors.  According to FAB president and chief executive officer Pat Roberts, “Sherri has been a longtime board member and an active executive committee member.  She is an outstanding leader and will represent the broadcasters well as our new chairman.”  Past chair – and Hall Communications chief executive officer Art Rowbotham – comments that, “The FAB has already benefited from Sherri Griswold’s service on the board.  She will be an outstanding and forward-thinking chairman.”  Griswold states that she has “much respect” for those she is following, “including most recently, Art Rowbotham and Claudia Puig.  Pat Roberts is a fearless leader.  I look forward to working with him this next year and finding ways to continue to grow our efforts for broadcasting in Florida.”  Griswold is the fourth woman in the last 80 years to be chair of the Florida Association of Broadcasters, which lobbies/focuses on state-specific broadcasting issues, as well as supporting NAB efforts.

AT40 logoEd Sheeran to Guest Host AT40 This Weekend.  Sitting in as guest host on the Premiere Networks-syndicated “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest” program this weekend is singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.  Premiere says that “in addition to counting down the top 40 songs, Sheeran will answer questions directly from fans and talk about his sophomore album X.  Plus, he’ll play clips from his new album, talk about the meanings behind the songs, and discuss collaborating with Hillary Duff on her new single, who he wished he could have worked with on ‘Multiply,’ his recent live duet of ‘Give Me Love’ with Demi Lovato at the Hollywood Bowl, how he almost got the chance to work with Timbaland, and much more.”

salanginadianaRising Star Diana Salangina Signs with Boutique Label Drew Right Music.  Russian-born singer, dancer, model and actress Diana Salangina (pictured here) has signed with boutique label Drew Right Music and Blast Music to work on her debut album titled, AWOL.  The label announces the first song – to be released soon – is called “Nothing Like” and was written by producer Sam Salter.  Diana – who goes by her first-name mononym – recently worked with Nickelodeon star Daniel Curtis Lee on a new CHR song called “Meteor Shower.”  The song was produced by Drew Right Music CEO Andrew Lane.  That tune is being released to radio stations next month.  Lane reports that Diana has co-written most of the songs on the new record and he’s bullish on her potential.  “I’ve worked with some of the best in the music industry.  Diana has that natural talent comparable to Jennifer Lopez.”  Lane has produced some of the biggest names in the music industry including Mary J. Blige, Keith Sweat, Backstreet Boys, and is currently working with the youngest Grammy winner Miguelito.

kwgoKWGO, Minot, North Dakota Flips to Country.  The Programmers Broadcasting-owned station drops the hot AC format for country on KWGO, Burlington-Minot.  The station says on its Facebook page, “‘New Country 102-9 WGO’ is on the air!  Minot’s Local FM Country station – dedicated to serving our community with local content and local announcers and the best NEW country music on the planet!”  The air talent remains in place with co-owner Jay Davis serving as acting program director.

jelli logoJelli Re-Aligns Focus on Ad Server, Shuts Down Social Radio Platform.  With its Jelli RadioSpot Ad Server business performing well, Jelli announces it’s shutting down the social radio service that allows users to pick the songs they like to hear on the radio and “bomb” the one they don’t.  The company’s blog post reads, in part, “When we first launched Jelli’s social radio service, our vision was to transform how you listened to music on the radio and engaged with your favorite local radio stations.  Five years later, after hundreds of thousands of Jelli users took control of broadcasts and picked millions of songs together on stations across the country, we proved that we could change radio and reinvent the experience.  However, in spite of our success, our social radio service didn’t take off nationwide as we had hoped.  This has led the team to make the difficult decision to retire social radio and focus completely on a new innovation for the broadcast industry.”  The company will focus on the Jelli RadioSpot Ad Server and its RadioDash campaign dashboard.

PPM Analysis: Urban-Rhythmic Oldies

| June 27, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor


LOS ANGELES Our three-part series of in-depthoverviews of May PPM results concludes with urban-rhythmic oldies; the past two installments dealt with urban AC and urban contemporary.

Stations finishing in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, May 2014) comprise the following scoreboards.

Urban AC and urban contemporary have nearly an identical sample size in our analysis, while that of urban-rhythmic oldies is approximately one-third as much.

That fact notwithstanding, among the three formats, urban-rhythmic oldies displays the finest April – May progress.

In order to be listed in print by Nielsen Audio, a station has to be a subscriber to that ratings service. Owing to that, non-Nielsen Audio subscribers do not appear here.

Read More

Thursday, June 26, 2014

| June 26, 2014

house of reps sealRadio Takes a Beating, But Potential Legislation Is a Long Way Off.  After the June 10 hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, numerous radio and music industry observers said it’s not a matter of if radio loses its exemption from paying royalties to performance copyright holders, but when.  After yesterday’s second hearing before the same subcommittee, those same observers may agree with the statement that “when” could be a long time from now.  It would be surprising if Congress moved quickly on any aspect of the multitude of intellectual property rights and licensing issues that surround the radio and music industries.  But since the numerous parties with a stake in the business – AM/FM radio, satellite radio, digital pure-plays, musicians and composers, record labels, performance rights organizations and others – are very unlikely to come up with a solution they can mutually agree upon, Congress will probably ultimately craft legislation that all the parties will dislike.  When that might happen is anyone’s guess.

warfieldcharlesCharles Warfield and Ed Christian Not Surprised by Reception at Hearing.  Yesterday, RadioInfo published portions of the testimony NAB’s Charles Warfield and Radio Music Licensing Committee chairman Ed Christian presented at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet hearing.  Both went into the day fully aware that the brief time they would be allotted to make their cases – both that radio provides enormous PR for record sales and that there’s much more wrong with the system for compensating artists and copyright holders that needs to be addressed – would change fewchristianed minds, but testify they did and they received the expected flak about the royalty exemption that is considered by critics to be antiquated in the digital era of soft record sales.  The reality is probably that neither the radio nor the record industries really want legislators to dig too deep into their practices for fear they might discover just how closely the two sides work together to get music on the radio to build sales.  The record industry’s history of writing contracts that benefit the labels far more than the artists is fairly well known (consolidation in that industry has not helped the artists, either).  Deals for digital plays are notoriously complex, as are the accounting practices that purport to pay the artists and copyright holders.  For now, though, there doesn’t appear to be a move afoot in Washington to fully examine the radio, internet and recording industries and bring the parties together for meaningful resolution.

wfas-fm new logoCumulus Celebrates WFAS-FM Move to Urban Format in NYC Market.  As RadioInfo reported recently, Cumulus Media is flipping Westchester County hot AC WFAS-FM to an urban contemporary format and will target the New York City market.  The station celebrated the coming change with a party at Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem onhughleyjoyner Wednesday evening (6/25) that featured new station personalities Tom Joyner (right) and D.L. Hughley (left).  Cumulus says the new “Radio 103.9” will feature “New York’s best mix of R&B with an urban adult format that extends the station’s signal to reach listeners across the New York metropolitan area, including 80% of the region’s African American population.”  The official launch of the station will be July 7. Cumulus New York VP/market manager Kim Bryant states, “Women ages 35-44 who enjoy urban format music and stars from the last few decades through today are underserved in the Big Apple and we’re changing that now with an urban radio renaissance.”  Bryant told Crain’s Business New York the loss of urban WRKS “Kiss FM” (which became sports talk WEPN-FM) created an opening, “That audience scattered.  We believe a void is out there in the market, and that is the void we would like to fill.”   WFAS-FM program director Ken Johnson comments, “New York is the greatest city in the world and the radio programmers and personalities that came before me are a part my philosophy on radio today.  The only thing greater than my love for New York radio is my respect for its listeners.”  Reach Media syndicated Joyner will be heard in mornings oshaughnessywilliamand Hughley in afternoons.  The station’s local shows include “LaLoca” with host Sharon “La Loca” Montero, who joins “Radio 103.9” from “Power 95.3” in Orlando, and “Hanging Downtown” with Marc Clarke, a host widely known for his three years hosting the popular “Hang Suite” on WHUR, Washington, DC.  Meanwhile, First Amendment rights advocate and community-minded operator William O’Shaughnessy writes a piece this morning that crystallizes the philosophy of serving the local community which he says his stations – WVIP-FM and WVOX-AM in New Rochelle – do so well.  O’Shaughnessy uses the occasion of saying goodbye to WFAS-FM as it concentrates on the New York City market to reach out to advertisers and the listening community.  Read it here.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Buffalo adult contemporary WJYE “JoyFM,” Townsquare Media names Dave Universal program director.  Universal programmed Entercom’s CHR WKSE, Niagara Falls “Kiss 98.5” before jumping across the border to program the former CKEY, Toronto…..Clear Channel promotes Reid Spivey and moves WHQC, Charlotte “Channel 96.1” APD and air talent to its Savannah station group where Spivey will serve as program director and evening personality at WAEV “97.3 Kiss FM.”…..Operations manager Greg Tillotson takes over the programming duties at Mapleton Communications’ country KDRK, Spokane as Sharon Bonds gives up her PD role to become director of promotions for the company’s seven-station cluster there.

siriusxmSiriusXM Teams with YouTube for New Music Show.  Taking advantage of the relationship between young discoverers of new music and the place young people are finding new music – YouTube – satellite broadcaster SiriusXM announces the creation of a new show titled, “The YouTube 15,”starring Jenna Marbles.  SiriusXM says the “new weekly show featuring the top emerging and breakout songs is based onmarblesjenna YouTube data of the previous week and selected by SiriusXM for the Hits 1 audience.  The YouTube 15 represents SiriusXM and YouTube’s shared goal of supporting great new music from today’s biggest names and emerging stars.”  “The YouTube 15” will air each week starting July 11 on Fridays at 6:00 pm on SiriusXM Hits 1 and replay throughout the weekend.  Marbles was chosen to host the show because of her success on the YouTube platform where she has more than 13 million subscribers.  SiriusXM notes that her YouTube channel and her videos have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times.  Marbles comments, “I’m incredibly excited to be working in a new medium with SiriusXM.  I think we are going to make a really cool show, and I’m honored that they picked me to do it.”

drewpaulVeteran Programmer Takes Issue with Doobie on Recollection of Historic Details.  Longtime pop music radio programmer Paul Ciliano — who has programmed stations in Los Angeles, Tampa and Honolulu — takes issue with some of the historic details presented in the current RadioInfo column by Duane Doobie (“The Optimal Length of Songs”) posted yesterday (6/25) in which the Doob references a move by a major top 40 PD (saying it might have been Rick Sklar, Bill Drake or Paul Drew) in the golden era (60s/70s) to limit the length of 45 rpm records acceptable for airplay to under three minutes.  Doobie used it to illustrate a point within the context ofduanedoobie graphic programmers’ concern for listener attention span down through the decades.  Ciliano says otherwise.  He states, “My recollection of the short song mandate was that it was RKO so that would mean Drew.  It was three minutes, not two and change and I believe it could be violated for the right reasons.  And it had nothing to do with attention spans.  It was about fitting in more songs.”  Doobie’s response, “Paul might be right – but ultimately squeezing in more records per hour and concern for attention span eventually come under the umbrella of ‘let’s keep it moving or people will tune out’ so it doesn’t interfere with the greater point of the column.”  To read Duane Doobie’s provocative but possibly flawed piece, please click here.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary.  RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian continues his three-part analysis of the PPM market performances of urban-formatted stations with today’s look at the urban contemporary format.  (Yesterday, we published his urban AC analysis and the final report for urban-rhythmic oldies will be the third installment.)  Among the data Kinosian presents are charts detailing performance over the last five PPM surveys, ratings fluctuation from the month prior and from one year ago, how the stations ranked in their markets and performance comparison alongside urban AC stations.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s full analysis here.

bfoa logoFour Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors.  Four distinguished broadcast industry leaders are named to the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors.  They are: Peter Dunn, president, CBS Television Stations; David T. Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Elizabeth (Beth) Neuhoff, president & chief executive officer, Neuhoff Communications; Michael (Mike) O’Neill, president & chief executive officer, BMI.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “The addition of these four prominent broadcasters to our board will further enhance awareness of the work that we do and increase our ability to help more broadcasters in need.  Their dedication to helping those in our industry who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will motivate everyone in our profession to make a donation and become involved with our cause.”

tangeralexMarlin Broadcasting Chairman Alex Tanger Dies at 94.  The broadcasting career of Alexander Tanger started after his return from World War II service when he became vice president of WHDH-TV and WHDH-AM in Boston.  He bought WLKW, Providence and operated it for many years.  Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he convinced General Cinema Corporation to buy FM radio stations – among them WIFI-FM, Philadelphia; KRBE-FM, Houston; WGZC-FM, Atlanta; WHUE-FM Boston; WGCI-FM, Cleveland; and WEFM-FM, Chicago, where he won a landmark case in the U.S. Court of Appeals that freed broadcasters from government oversight of programming.  In the 1980s and 1990s, Tanger built the WBACH Classical Music network of FM stations in Maine and served as the chairman of the board of Marlin Broadcasting, Inc. and Marlin Broadcasting, LLC from 1979 until his passing.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary

| June 26, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor


LOS ANGELES We began our comprehensive overviews of May PPM results with urban AC and will follow up by focusing on urban contemporary.

Stations finishing in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, May 2014) comprise the following scoreboards, which indicate that – as far as month-to-month activity is concerned – it was a mixed bag for urban contemporary.

In order to be listed in print by Nielsen Audio, a station has to be a subscriber to that ratings service. Owing to that reason, non-Nielsen Audio subscribers do not appear here.

Read More

The Times They Are a-Changing…

| June 26, 2014

William O’Shaughnessy
Whitney Media


oshaughnessywriterNEW ROCHELLE, NY – As you have no doubt read in the public press, our colleagues at WFAS-FM are pulling up stakes and moving to the big City with a different name and changing to an “urban” format.

WFAS-FM has served Westchester and environs as a locally based suburban station with various music formats for years and we wish them well as they now turn their focus to the highly competitive New York City market.


During our own 54 years of serving the County, we’ve always had cordial relations with the 17 (count ‘em!) absentee owners of WFAS-FM … and, indeed, with many among the dizzying parade of 43 hard-working general managers who tried mightily to give the station some meaning and purpose and at least a semblance of local involvement despite the many corporate changes and turmoil in their front office.  

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Doobie’s Picks of the Week

| June 25, 2014

Doobie Banner - Picks (3)


“Crazy” by Kat Dahlia Vested in Culture (Epic/Sony)

Last year, we told you about how Kat Dahlia is not impressed by men who “flash paper.” On her last promo single, “Gangsta” she reminded us that youth doesn’t always have to mean naiveté. She can support herself and sees right through the machismo of self-proclaimed Gs, despite referring to herself as one.

RZ -  Crazy by Kat DahliaThere were big things lining up for Dahlia… and her album, My Garden, which was due out on Epic Records in February of this year. However, since then, she’s run into some vocal problems. She was diagnosed with a pseudocyst on her vocal cord, which isn’t as big a deal as the hemorrhage that prompted Adele’s 2011 surgery, or granuloma, a severe tissue inflammation that required not one but two vocal procedures for John Mayer in 2012, but still requires attention and vocal therapy.

“It’s like learning to walk a different way,” Dahlia says the next day, hours after her first therapy session, to Billboard. “I was starting to feel like I was training to be a monk – you have to be so f-ing quiet for so long.”

In the meantime, My Garden, seems to be indefinitely delayed. However, with a track like this to keep our appetites whetted, we can be patient. Check out the track. Check out the video. See if it is a match for your playlist.

“Bus Passes and Happy Meals” by Lizzo Lizzobangers (Totally Gross National Product)

It seems that now more than ever, hip hop artists are pushing the boundaries and experimenting with words and their meaning to fit the flow of their verse, just as country music was doing in the mid-to-late 90s. Add to the word play, the expansion of the “hip hop personality” – an important part of an artist’s overall message, probably as necessary as the music itself. A quick look at artists like Young Thug, 2 Chainz, and Lil’B show the expansion within the past few months alone. Perhaps it is within this experimental and expanding environment that an artist like Lizzo can effectively capture my interest with a song that is both quirky and creative – “Bus Passes and Happy Meals.”

“Bus Passes and Happy Meals” by LizzoPerhaps it is also this expansion of experimentation that a label outside of the traditional rap realm – Totally Gross National Product (whose roster is curated by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon) – could sign an act like Lizzo.  The Detroit-via-Houston-via-Minneapolis musician Lizzo is no stranger to experimentation though. She’s been in an all-female R&B trio, a few progressive rock and electro-pop groups, and that’s in recent memory.

Lizzo relies on inventive wordplay and an ability to seamlessly flow between rapping and singing to set her above the rest. The album is the result of a creative collaboration between Lizzo and producers Lazerbeak (Doomtree) and Ryan Olson (Gayngs/Polica). Described as being “audacious, raucously inventive and fun,” by the Boston Globe, the album displaces the stereotypes and expectations of what a rapper should sound like.

I know what you are thinking: “Doobie… where are the ‘bad boy’ equivalents of these ‘bad girls of music’ you keep talking about?” Besides featuring Herbal T and Wax fairly regularly, I have a soft spot for a few other bad boys.

bad boys


“Woah Woah Woah” by Watsky All You Can Do (Steel Wool/Welk)

If you don’t know Watsky, then it would be worth your while to edjumacate yourself with this video below. It explains him better than I ever could.

“Woah Woah Woah” by WatskyThe West Coast wordsmith unveiled his latest album’s lead single “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,” sporting a catchy chorus and a slew of pop culture references to the likes of Miley Cyrus. Billboard says, “The single showcases Watsky’s fast-paced flow and tongue-in-cheek thematic approach.” The lyric-driven track, which was co-produced by Anderson Paak, Mister Carmack, Mikos da Gawd and Lo Def, is currently hot and available digitally. Watsky is scheduled to tour North America with Vans Warped Tour and perform at his hometown Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival.

“#WKL” by Major Van Winkle (Forthright Entertainment)

Major Van Winkle keeps it going with his latest track and video. This young Philadelphian’s got some extreme talent – making his own beats to ride with fresh lyrics and soulful vibes. He’s got some real potential. His work with Maximilian Shelton seems to be getting better and better.

“#WKL” by Major Van WinkleLast year, MVW dropped “C’est La Vie” the self-made song accompanied by a great original video and it really caught quite the buzz online. His creatively spectacular lyrics along with his self-produced beats bring a true character to the single that just makes you want to rock out.

Major followed up that online hit with another great song and video in “Vibes.” The slowed down beat allows him to truly showcase his soulful style. Another great display of lyrics accompanied by a perfect feature from Guy Harrison pull the song together with every verse. would agree as they are early adopters of this song to their playlist.

“Parties at the Disco” by Asher Roth featuring ZZ Ward RetroHash (pale fire)

I will probably always associate Asher Roth with the modern incarnation of college. While I am not going to deny that some of my college days could have been the inspiration for the movie Animal House, college when I went, and college today – are two very different things.

“That party last night / was awfully crazy, I wish we taped it / I danced my a** off / and had this one girl completely naked,” croons Roth on his 2009 hit, “I Love College.” In my head, the people that really enjoy college like Roth don’t usually want to leave.  So, to me – only hearing a slew of mixtapes, without a formal follow-up made sense, yah know – because he’s busy “going to class.”

Well, I guess he graduated because Roth returns with his sophomore album RetroHash. Free from the confines of his former label Def Jam, Asher drops this project on pale fireand Federal Prism Records as he revisits his independent roots with a little help from the likes of Curren$y, Chuck Inglish, Vic Mensa and the Blended Babies, who provide the moody, jazz-and-rock-fused backdrop for the entire LP.

“Parties at the Disco” leads off the album in an extremely mellow fashion. The high from the stoner vibe hits almost immediately after hitting play, which isn’t surprising for Roth, as a thick cloud of smoke is his calling card. Though, this track goes beyond the stoner antics – there’s something really sweet and unique here. My guess is that it’s the appearance of ZZ Ward. She’s a great artist in her own right, but I find that her work on this track – makes it for Roth… and makes it worthy of playlist consideration.

“La La La” by Naughty Boy Hotel CabanaIn December 2013, RadioInfo published an article, something I hope will become an annual tradition, featuring 60 songs that radio forgot. The number 1 pop song was “La La La” by Naughty Boy Hotel Cabana (Virgin). It had been featured in August 2013, when it was tearing up the charts in the UK.

“La La La” is a single by British born Pakistani producer Naughty Boy (Shahid Khan) featuring vocals from fellow British singer/songwriter Sam Smith. It’s the second single from “Hotel Cabana” (Virgin EMI), and until recently seemed to be ignored by radio here.

The song itself is an obvious hit. It’s got Naughty Boy’s trademark 90s drum’n’bass sound combined with Sam Smith’shaunting lyrics that seem to release the ear worms right into your head. But Naughty Boy’s story is a bit unreal making it an interesting song to feature on the air. First, he applied for a grant from The Prince’s Trust, eventually being awarded £5,000. Next he applied to be on “Deal or No Deal,” where he eventually won £44,000. He used this money to buy studio equipment and eventually set up his own production enterprise, Naughty Boy Recordings. From there he produced singles for the likes of Wiley and Chipmunk, both of which featured Emeli Sandé, whose quite successful debut album he then went on to produce.

“I want it to be an album for our time; it has a concept to it, so it’s more like a film in some respects. I view it like I’m not just a producer – I’m a director, too,” said Naughty Boy to the Guardian in early 2013. Have you seen the video? It’s a cross between a Bolivian folk tale and Wizard of Oz. Definitely something you could put on your website and tell your listeners to check it out.

“Home” by Naughty Boy featuring Sam RomansBut let’s talk about the latest single, “Home” featuring SAM ROMANS, Hotel Cabana (Virgin). This new single debuted on Zane Lowe’s show on BBC Radio 1 features soulful newcomer SAM ROMANS. Romans, who is set to release his own material via JAY Z’s Roc Nation, really has quite the impressive vocal showing in this track… similar to that of Sam Smith. Look for big things from him in the future, and in the meantime – consider this track for playlist addition.


Have you seen the AMAZING video for “The Writing’s on the Wall” by OK Go Upside Out (EP) (OK Go/BMG). I don’t use that description lightly… In the first seven days, it’s been seen 7 million times, and for good reason: It’s a brilliant mix of music, choreography and trickery.

OK GO 2NPR wrote, “This video is all about perspective; the illusions are real, so to speak, and that’s what makes this jaw-dropping. Perspective images, such as something called the Necker Cube, a flat line drawing that looks three-dimensional but isn’t, make my eyes pop. And like all things in the music video, it makes me question perception and think about how your perspective can dictate understanding. Which of course is what the song is about.”

The song “The Writing’s on the Wall” is the first single from the band’s fourth and forthcoming album, Hungry Ghosts, coming out on Oct. 14. It’s a track worthy of airplay consideration, and the video is perfect for website placement. The group is currently running a crowdfunding campaign for the album on pledgemusic, and some of the packages even include vintage t-shirts… there goes the market for such collectables on eBay!

“Alexandra” by Hamilton Leithauser Black Hours (Ribbon)

“Alexandra” by Hamilton LeithauserThis is the first single off new solo effort Black Hours. Leithauser is known for his role in The Walkmen. This passionate blast of energy was produced by Rostam Batmanglij and seems to have been strategically released to contrast his slower, more introspective work with the Walkmen.

In addition to Batmanglij, Black Hours features contributions from Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, Richard Swift (the Shins, solo artist), the Walkmen’s Paul Maroon, Fleet Foxes/Cave Singers’ Morgan Henderson (who is also formerly of the Blood Brothers), and Hugh McIntosh of Leithauser’s former band the Recoys.

Immediately it reminded me of “Cassie O” by George Ezra.

“Cassy O’” by George Ezra Cassy O’ EP (Columbia)

When I first heard this song, I thought he was singing about a day planner / organizer from the early 90s… or an inexpensive keyboard…Casio! Okay… maybe not, but I do think Ezra has a long career ahead of him – probably longer than my seemingly invincible plastic watch.

“Cassy O’” is a clap-happy boot stomper that highlights the Bristol singer/songwriter’s upcoming EP. I had pretty much the same reaction when I saw Ezra for the first time in the music video after hearing the song – as I did when I first saw Rick Astley in his music video. The voice doesn’t quite match the guy… but oh wow. Ezra is actually oh wow plus, since he looks relatively young – but his voice has the depth and soul of an aging crooner.

Okay, the songs aren’t exact. Let’s call this the beginning of a new niche.

What has Slash been up to since his last appearance on RadioInfo in March, 2013: “Anastasia” by Former Guns N’ Roses Lead Guitarist Slash Rockets to Number One on RadioInfo Rock Songs Chart.  The song which hit the number one position after just three weeks on the chart (number five last week) comes from the album “Apocalyptic Love” (Capitol) [which] was recorded with analog equipment only a growing trend among musicians and producers concerned about musical quality and authenticity.

“World on Fire” by Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (Radio Edit) (Dik Hayd)

I like Slash. I liked the whole last album. It’s in regular rotation on my turntable. I won’t know if this next album is going to be as good or even better – but I do know that this single rocks and I expect that it will be a fast moving chart buster as well.

To give you another perspective, Ultimate Classic Rock said, “Four minutes and change of proof that new record will leave room for good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll — as well as a healthy helping of the guitar pyrotechnics he’s known for.  Slash and his band Myles Kennedy & the Conspirators aren’t reinventing the wheel here, but if the title track is any indication, they’re playing squarely to their strengths: Aggressive, uptempo rock, topped off with wailing vocals and guitar solos. If you’ve been along for the ride with Slash until now, this song should satisfy.”

“Extraordinary Day” by Ben Fields Extraordinary Light (Sire Records)

While his name may not be the most exciting, his sound evokes many other names including introspective songwriters Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, and Van Morrison, and a stylist homogeny reminiscent of Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, Curtis Mayfield, and Lowell George.

Extraordinary Day by Ben FieldsAn article by ABC explained how Fields took a maybe and turned it into a contract. From the article: “After a chance meeting with Sire Records’ legendary Seymour Stein (Madonna, Ramones, Pretenders, Depeche Mode) at a music conference in Australia – where American born Ben Fields had been living and working in a café – the aspiring singer/songwriter took a leap of faith. Stein had offered Fields his business card and told him to look him up if he was ever in New York City. Well, that was enough for Fields. He packed up his girlfriend, their dog, furniture and moved to Brooklyn, where he now lives. Fields showed up at Stein’s office with music and the rest is history – he was signed to Sire in November 2012.”

I’d say that is the type of story that would have happened in the early days of rock and not so much now, but apparently magic still happens. Perhaps we need a music conference like that here…

Over the next two years, when time and resources allowed, Fields would cut a track or two at The Maid’s Room – a unique studio located on the top floor of an old tenement building on the Lower East Side. The all analog recording techniques of the facility allowed for a creative process that Fields told ABC not only shaped the sound of the record, but also strongly influenced choices made in the arrangements and production.

Here we have another artist that is enamored with the analog recording process. Unlike Slash though, Fields’ interest in analog is borderline obsessive. The initial sessions were mixed to 1/2” tape and Fields hand carried them to Los Angeles (I am assuming that he flew from NYC to LA carrying the tape, otherwise it’s a long walk) where they were mastered and cut to lacquer by the legendary, Bernie Grundman.

Bernie Grundman, the engineer and the facility, has been synonymous with quality mastering forever. Grundman cut his mastering teeth during the 15 years he ran the mastering department at A&M Records, Los Angeles. He has become an icon in the industry since opening his own facility in 1983, and with current mastering associates Chris Bellman and Brian Gardner, he has built up a client list that includes everything from Michael Jackson to Ani DiFranco to Dr. Dre to Alanis Morrisette to Joni Mitchell.

For his debut, Fields works with some of the finest including producer JC Hopkins (Norah Jones, Madeline Peyroux, Martha Wainwright), guest vocalists Jolie Holland and Warren Smith (Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, Miles Davis).

And maybe your name as one of the programmers who become early adopters of this track in their playlist.

Karoline Kramer Gould“Slow Motion” by PhoxGolden-eared music director Karoline Kramer Gould is the brain behind the programming of “The Heights” – a 12-hour block featuring a unique blend of triple A formatted songs, drawing from an ever expanding bottomless pit of a deep playlist on WJCU 88.7 FM, a noncommercial broadcast station owned and operated by John Carroll University. Gould recommends “Slow Motion” by PHOX PHOX (PTKF/Partisan). “Have you heard the term ‘butterscotch voice’? That perfectly describes Monica Martin’s voice. She adds depth and beauty to an album that is already musically gorgeous. I knew I would add the single ‘Slow Motion’ the minute I heard it. I’m glad to say I wasn’t the only one – the list of other non-comm triple A stations on this one is impressive!” Is your station one of them?


“Vaudeville Smash” by Zinedine Zidane featuring Les Murray (Vaudville Smash)

For those that are programming EDM and are aware of the whole World Cup phenomenon, a Melbourne pop band has released a rather catchy tribute anthem to French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane.

“Vaudville Smash” Zinedine Zidane featuring Les Murray 2The video that features four mask-wearing football fans – has racked up close to half a million hits on YouTube. The Zidane wannabes sneak into a small convenience store and proceed to perform a variety of tricks – none of them quite Zidane-esque – before one of them unleashes a trademark headbutt.

While the verses essentially consist of a narrator naming famous footballers, the chorus is perfect sing-along material ahead of the 2014 World Cup. The lyrics might not be the most original, but then again, neither was the official song by Pitbull.

“Better Than” by cln (cln)

This is the latest single from 18 year old producer Callan Alexander, aka cln. With its executing vocal samples, set against soft electronic beats, and a chilled, down-tempo production, “Better Than” is the perfect introductory single to his forthcoming EP, Sideways.

This track, though seemingly electric (as opposed to organic) is full of personality and the layers are pieced together nicely.

And while I know that Facebook is losing its coolness steam by the second… it’s always a great little spot to see what artists write about themselves. The CHR/rock bands have straight forward bio sections. But the EDM artists almost always have something unique. His bio, “I make beats.”

“Casey Jones” by The Grateful Dead (The Golden Pony Golden Classics Remix) (Hype Machine)

The Golden Pony broke onto the scene in early 2013 with a string of bootleg remixes of popular electronic artists. They gathered over 1,000,000 plays on Soundcloud, had three #1 hits on Hype Machine, and have garnered hundreds of positive reviews in the blogosphere. Late 2013 saw the duo gain critical acclaim for releasing their first original and beginning a series of vintage pop track remixes called “Golden Classic’s.” This is the 3rd installment.

“Casey Jones” by The Grateful Dead (The Golden Pony Golden Classics Remix)From their website, “We are getting booked for a lot of afternoon and late night/sunrise gigs. We wanted to make have a smooth track with a sing-along part we could play for when the sun is setting, or coming back up! I think the visual of people at Grateful Dead concerts in the 60s swaying back and forth for hours on end is very similar to today’s deep house crowd, so the track seemed fitting!

We had a lot of fun recording a number of live instruments on this mix including rhythm guitar, saxophone, tambourine and cowbell. We debuted the track late afternoon at the Mysteryland festival in Bethel, New York, where the Grateful Dead played the track in 1969! There was a large group singing along, so I think we did our job!”

Imagine being in a general admission rock club venue to see the headliner dazzle the audience with her soul singing and blues harmonica (ZZ Ward). The stage is set with the opening band’s gear… perhaps another variant of southern rock such as the Wild Feathers, but before they were announced, a 22 year old with a slight British Accent gets up on the tiny section of stage towards the front that was not filled with gear, armed only with a guitar, his vocals, and his lyrics.  This wasn’t the venue or the audience for a coffee shop singer/songwriter and I started to think it was time to visit the bathroom and refill my drink. But then he started playing and I couldn’t stop watching. I wasn’t the only one either. The entire audience stopped the chatter to take notice. The 30-minute set covered songs from his recent EP release The Dark of the Morning, an EP he was giving away free at the show.

In an interview with, Bay was asked whether or not his parents were musicians, to which he responded that they weren’t.  However, they were just as influential to him because they “had a great record collection. They also had those necessary records from the decades before. They weren’t musicians, but they had some great records! These were vinyls.” He goes on to state, “I grew up with CDs, but it wasn’t long before I started flicking through the vinyl. I remember being fascinated by the long spines, the sleeve, I had been holding classic CDs, but it wasn’t long before I turned to vinyl. There is a whole ritual when putting on a vinyl record.  You pull out this big sleeve and you really have hold of this big piece of music. You gotta be careful, take a minute. You got to take it out, put it down, bring the arm over, bring the needle down. The crackle comes through and suddenly the magic starts.”

“Hear Your Heart” by James Bay (Tontario Edit) (Tontario)

Tontario is a 21 year old musicmaker from Finland. I can’t really find much about him other than describing himself as “just a guy making music in his underwear.”

After checking out his Soundcloud page, I discovered a whole bunch of interesting remixes from artists you wouldn’t expect within the deep house genre. Make sure you have some time before checking out his soundcloud page here, as his body of work will most definitely suck you in.


“Last Room at the Honkey Tonk Hotel” by Arty Hill Heart on My Dirty Sleeve (Highlandtown/Arty Hill)

I heard this song recently on “The Back 40” with DJ Jen on WNMC 90.7. WNMC is community radio from North Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan. The show is described as “Concentrating on folks who are giving country music the same kind of kick in the pants the punk movement gave to rock ‘n’ roll. Only they’re wearing boots.”

It’s not a new song… because it sounded familiar. Except, as it turns out – this is the first official release. I just heard sung live in the studio on KNON’s “Texas Renegade Radio” program, hosted by Mark Mundy, back in 2010. KNON is Community Radio 89.3 FM in Dallas, Texas.

And now you can hear it – and decide if this heart on his dirty sleeve ballad is for your playlist.

“The Bacon Adoration” by Bumper Jacksons Sweet Mama, Sweet Daddy, Come In (Bumper Jacksons)

The Bumper Jacksons are, in their own words, “a big, fat party.” They are both hot and sweet as their early jazz and country repertoire paints America’s story from New Orleans’ brothels to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78s, the Bumper Jacksons boldly and elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, DIY style.

“The Bacon Adoration” by The Bumper JacksonsDeeply rooted in their love for early swing, blues, and old time country, Bumper Jacksons are playfully creative with their originals, re-imagining American roots music with both power and tenderness. They reach back to a time when jazz was the rowdy street music of American — a music of pleasure and celebration, of freedom, and a good old-fashioned dance party — before it really even had a name.  They perform these traditional sounds of America, heart-wrenching and youthful, and always in the spirit of raw adventure.

“There was a golden time before categories like ‘blues,’ ‘country,’ and ‘jazz’ meant anything to anyone listening to American music.  Back then, music was just ’fun.’  The Bumper Jacksons, amazingly, have figured out how to get us there again.”  Aaron Henkin is a golden-eared co-creator and producer of “The Signal” on WYPR, Baltimore.  Aaron is also the creator, producer and host of the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings radio series, “Tapestry of the Times.”

I hope I don’t need to go into why a song about bacon is obviously the greatest idea ever and a must add to any food related playlist.

You can hear the track on their website.

rushbenicemanThe Iceman (aka Bobby Golomboski), host of multiple internet shows including top 40 New Country Artist Countdown on Radio on the Row, has a set of golden ears when it comes to finding some really great up-and-coming talent. The Iceman is an early supporter of multiple RadioInfo Country Music Chart pick of the week artist, Ben Rush (someone we are keeping an ear on, as he keeps making great music). This week, the Iceman is touting Carson Hill. At only 16, her song “Gone” debuted on the Iceman’s Top 40 New Country Artist program.

Carson HillIceman says that “It’s the never say die stories of artists like Garth and Dolly that have inspired Carson on her career path.” Carson told Iceman, “I fell in love with the fact that somebody could dream like they did, and could be from a little town in Oklahoma or Tennessee, and it didn’t really matter. If they worked hard enough to do it, they could. I admired the fact that they got up on that stage, entertained people, and they had fun doing it, but also changed a lot of lives while doing it. I think that sparked something in me where I wanted to do that too.”

Iceman continues, “Performance-wise, she has been featured on some very prominent stages. From the legendary Bluebird Cafe in Nashville to opening for singer-songwriter Edwin McCain to performing at the Feld Motor Sports Monster Jam in arenas in her native North Carolina, many have become aware of Carson’s talent. One such person was Blind Melon’s Brad Smith, who produced the first two cuts on her EP. THE ICEMAN sees a bright future for this talented singer/songwriter and won’t be surprised to see Carson signed to a label in the very near future. Making music and memories that touch lives. That’s Carson Hill!”



Duane Doobie is music editor/director of RadioInfo and reflects the composite musical opinions of the RadioInfo editorial staff.  He can be emailed at


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