By Michael Harrison
Odds are your usual haunts in the newspaper, magazine, general entertainment and information arenas have become cluttered with terribly annoying pop up ads, videos that start playing loudly without invitation (sometimes more than one at a time) – and maddeningly confusing hodge-podges of editorial and commercial content laid out in such a manner as to make it almost impossible to follow an article without being sidetracked into a unwanted advertisement. (Hmm, which one of these three arrows should I click?)
How about the emergence of that creepy entity known as the “sponsored” or “promoted” story that innocently sits among the non-paid editorial content on so many of our distinguished bastions of journalism.
Round One of December PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The survey period was November 6 – December 3. You can find all of the numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings below. In the overwhelming number of cases, a substantial November – December fluctuation can be traced to the playing of all-Christmas music. There was no standard start date, of course, but many stations utilizing that strategy tended to begin wall-to-wall holiday tunes (Monday) November 10, or two weeks prior to Thanksgiving (Thursday) November 13.
1) New York – Owing to a robust +2.1 (5.6 – 7.7), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” rises from second to first (6+), dislodging classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (7.1 – 6.9, -.2, first to second), which occupied the top spot the past five months. The 7.7 for “Lite-FM” is one-tenth better than its 6+ stat one year ago (7.6, December 2013). WCBS-FM is coming off a full-share October – November gain (6.1 – 7.1), ending (at the time) eight consecutive monthlies in the six-share range (6.1 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.1). After three straight up-trends (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.9), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1″ drops three-tenths to 3.6, slipping from ninth to tenth. This, however, represents the twelfth successive sweep that “Power 105.1″ has had a 6+-share between 3.0 – 3.9. Meanwhile, co-owned CHR WHTZ “Z-100″ (steady at #3) extends its (6+) progressive streak to three (4.8 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.6), with the 5.6 matching what it recorded in April and May. Locked at 1.9 in October and November (6+), ESPN‘s WEPN falls by one-half share to 1.4 and drops out of the top 20 (#19 to #21).
2) Los Angeles – Heritage iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST was among a group of stations flipping the all-Christmas music switch on (Thursday) November 13, more than one week after the November monthly concluded, yet “Coast 103″ registered a significant +1.1 (4.1 – 5.2, 6+) in that report. December news is even brighter as “Coast” jumps from second to first (5.2 – 7.0, +1.8). Moreover, its 7.0 is seven-tenths higher than the 6.3 it recorded in December 2013. Exiting the top spot is co-owned CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM,” off by four tenths to 4.9. Steady at 5.3 in October and November, “Kiss” slides to second-place after being on top the past three survey periods. Also down is CBS Radio CHR KAMP “Amp Radio” (4.0 – 3.7, -.3), slipping from sixth to seventh. After being up or flat six straight months (2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.6), iHeartMedia talker KFI is off by one tenth to 3.5, but remains in eighth-place. Another streak ending is that of Cumulus-owned KLOS which had been up or flat since April (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5), but it drops three-tenths to 2.2 (#18 to #20). Although remaining in the top 10 (ninth to tenth), Bonneville classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” regresses by one-half share (3.5 – 3.0).
3) Chicago – One year ago at this time, WLIT “My-FM” notched a 6.5 (6+) to catapult from twelfth to second (November 2013 – December 2013). With a whopping +4.0, the iHeartMedia hot AC more than doubles its November 2014 6+ stat to leap from ninth to first (3.7 – 7.7). In the process, “My-FM” displaces urban AC sibling WVAZ “V-103.” Not only is it highly noteworthy that “V-103″ headed the market’s (6+) leader board the past nine successive ratings periods, but it actually posts a substantial November – December gain of +1.4 to 7.3, its strongest (6+) stat since July 2013’s 7.4. While “My-FM” and V-103″ rack up strong month-to-gain improvements, Univision‘s WOJO “La Que Buena” is -1.4 (4.6 – 3.2), spiraling from fourth to tenth. Up by one-tenth in each of the last three monthlies (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.6 – 5.7), CBS Radio‘s all-newser WBBM-AM posts a one-half share gain to 6.2, yet drops from second to third. Country sibling WUSN “US 99.5″ falters by six-tenths (4.1 – 3.5) and slips from sixth to seventh. After an impressive +.8 to 4.0 in November, Tribune talker WGN loses one-half share to 3.2, but is steady at #7.
4) San Francisco – Sizable advances are the customary headlines here, but one month after enjoying the most potent (6+) October – November gain of any station in the 12 Nielsen Audio PPM markets whose data was released that particular day (6.6 – 8.9, +2.3), Cumulus Media‘s KNBR free-falls by a mammoth -5.2 to 3.7. Ranked first the past three sweeps, the Giants’ flagship is replaced at #1 by all-news KCBS-AM (5.7 – 6.3, +.6), which had finished second in August, September, October, and November. Nine other San Francisco stations advanced by more than one-half share month-to-month, but KCBS-AM is the only spoken-word outlet in that group, which is paced by Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM (4.5 – 5.8, +1.3, fourth to second). Fellow AC – Digity Media‘s KBAY (+.7) – climbs from #18 to #13 and has been up or flat the past six surveys for a combined +1.2 (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.6- 1.6 – 1.6 – 2.0 – 2.7). University of Southern California-owned classical KDFC also progresses by seven-tenths (1.9 – 2.6, #18 – #15), while iHeartMedia-‘s KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop & R&B” is +.8 (3.9 – 4.7, fifth to fourth). After dropping by one-half share in November (6+), urban-rhythmic oldies sibling KISQ “The Bay’s Old School – Kiss-FM” gains it back (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.4) to climb from #11 to #9. Also in that cluster, rhythmic CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9″ rebounds from a -.6 with a +.5 (3.7 – 3.1 – 3.6) to move from ninth in November to eighth.
5) Dallas – In mid-November, Cumulus Media‘s KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3″ dropped CHR in favor of classic hip-hop, only to change to urban contemporary less than three weeks later (12/2). Albeit it was in its present format for only the last two days of the December sweep, “Hot” dials up a +.8 over its November (6+) number (1.8 – 2.6) and cracks the top 20 (#23 to #16). Advancing from fifth to second is classic hits-oldies KLUV “The Christmas Station,” which gains one full-share (4.0 – 5.0). It is the most potent 6+-share for the CBS Radio facility since the 7.2 it registered in the “Holiday” 2013 report. Owing to a +.7 (4.2), iHeartMedia classic rocker KZPS “Lone Star 92.5″ halts its three-month slide (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5) to jump from ninth to sixth. Co-owned KEGL follows up its November one-half share gain with a +.6 (2.9 – 3.4 – 4.0), enabling “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” to vault from tenth to seventh. Following four consecutive up trends (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.5 – 2.9), CBS Radio all-sports KRLD-FM “The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths to 2.2, as the Cowboys’ flagship free-falls from #13 to #19. November’s 2.9 represents KRLD-FM’s most potent (6+) share in four years – it hit 3.1 in November 2010. Also dropping seven-tenths is KHKS “Kiss-FM” (7.5 – 6.8), but the iHeartMedia CHR remains #1 for the twelfth straight month. Up or flat for four straight survey periods (3.5 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 5.0), Salem contemporary Christian KLTY “Safe for the Whole Family” declines by six-tenths to 4.4, dropping from second to fifth.
6) Houston – Having overtaken Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1″ at the top spot last month with a +.9 to 7.1, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1″ more than doubles that November gain with a +2.1 (9.2) to repeat as a solid #1; “Sunny” had an 8.5 in December 2013. Owing to a one-half share increase to 3.3, CBS Radio‘s Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101 FM” ends its three-month slide (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+), bounding from #15 to #10. After being down or flat the past six straight monthlies for a combined -3.4 shares (8.4 – 7.3 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9 – 5.0, 6+), Cox Media Group‘s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” picks up one-tenth and moves from seventh to fifth. Meanwhile, format rival – CBS Radio’s KILT-FM “The Bull” – stumbles by eight-tenths to 3.1 as it falls out of the top 10 (#10 to #14). In September, KTRH exploded with a +1.3 to 4.4; it added six-tenths in October; and tacked on another three-tenths in November; however, the iHeartMedia talker regresses by seven-tenths (5.3 – 4.6, 6+) to slide from fifth to seventh. Approximately two months ago, Radio One’s KROI transitioned from news to urban-rhythmic oldies as “Boom 96 – Classic Hip-Hop” and entered the December sweep with six straight flat or up trends (.8 – .8 – .8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 3.2, 6+), but drops three-tenths to 2.9 (#14 to #16).
7) Philadelphia – Just as it did in Houston (see above), Radio One utilizes the “Boom” identity in a format flip. This time it is for WPHI “Hot,” which segues from urban-rhythmic oldies to “Boom 107.9 – Classic Hip-Hop.” The alteration took place the first day of the December sweep (Thursday, 11/6) and quickly pays off, as “Boom” doubles its November numbers (1.9 – 3.8, 6+) to leapfrog from #20 to #12. The +1.9 edges out the +1.7 turned in by Jerry Lee-owned WBEB “More FM,” which is #1 for the 20th time in the last 22 surveys (6+). December’s 8.5 (6+) is 2.4 shares lower than where “More FM” was this time last year (10.9, December 2013). Following five consecutive up or flat (6+) performances (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.7), public WHYY dropped one-tenth in October; faltered by six-tenths to 3.0 in November; but picks up six-tenths in December to 3.6 (#14 to #13). Off by seven-tenths each are CBS Radio-owned WXTU “Philadelphia’s Country Station” (5.5 – 4.8, fourth to eighth) and Radio One’s WRNB “Old School 100.3″ (4.0 – 3.3, #12 to #14).
8) Long Island – Stuck on 3.6 (6+) in October and November, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” surges by +.7 to 4.3 to inch up from ninth to sixth. The market’s CHR contest is unchanged from November as WLTW sibling WHTZ “Z-100″ is steady at 6.0 while Cox Media Group‘s WBLI remains at 4.9; they keep their #3 and #4 rankings, respectively. After three straight modest increases for a combined +.7 (1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+), ESPN’s WEPN falters by seven-tenths to 1.5 (#16 to #21). Albeit down by one-half share (7.4 – 6.9), Connoisseur Media adult contemporary-turned-hot AC WALK-FM “Long Island’s Holiday Music Station” finishes first for the seventh straight month and is actually eight-tenths ahead of the 6.1 it registered in December 2013.
9) San Jose – Digity Media-owned stations finish one-two in the San Jose report and the two properties involved do so in grand style. Adult contemporary KBAY continues to roll by tacking on a +1.9 to the strong +1.2 it notched in November. Matching the 8.5 (6+) registered in the “Holiday” 2013 sweep, “K-BAY” advances from second to first. Hot AC sibling KEZR “Mix 106.5″ improves by nine-tenths (5.6 – 6.5) and inches up to second from fourth; 6.5 represents the best-ever (6+) performance by “Mix” in its PPM history. Progressing by six-tenths each are Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM (3.3 – 3.9, tenth to sixth) and Cumulus Media talker KGO (2.2 – 2.8, #17 to #13). On the flipside though, sports KNBR – on the heels of November’s +1.5 – regresses by a hefty -4.3 to not only relinquish the top spot but to spiral all the way to a thirteenth-place tie with sibling KGO. After declining by six-tenths in November (2.8 – 2.2) and slipping from #16 to #17, Univision rhythmic CHR KVVF “Hot 105.7″ regains one-half share to 2.7) and advances to #15.
10) Middlesex-Somerset-Union – In addition to a +2.1 in its home New York City market and a +.7 in Long Island, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” makes it three for three with a +2.0 (5.1 – 7.1) in this New Jersey metro. “Lite-FM” rockets from fifth in November to first as it ousts Townsquare Media talker WKXW (7.2 – 6.4, -.8, first to third); it is the highest (6+) stat for “Lite-FM” in Middlesex since “Holiday” 2013 (8.5). Classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM improves by one-half share (6.1 – 6.6) to bump up from third to second. Owing to a -.7 (3.8 – 3.1), Cumulus Media country WNSH “Nash FM” falls out of the top 10 (#10 to #12). Eroding by one-half share each are iHeartMedia classic rocker WAXQ (5.7, #2 to #5); Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ (2.7, #12 to #14); and ESPN‘s WEPN (1.6, #18 to #22).
Special Note: Among all stations in the 12 PPM markets whose data was released Monday, those gaining by at least one full-share (6+, November – December) are: WLIT, Chicago (+4.0); WLTW, New York (+2.1); KODA, Houston (+2.1); WLTW, Middlesex (+2.0); WPHI, Philadelphia (+1.9); KBAY, San Jose (+1.9); KOST, Los Angeles (+1.8); WBEB, Philadelphia (+1.7); WVAZ, Chicago (+1.4); KOIT-FM, San Francisco (+1.3); and KLUV, Dallas (+1.0).
Michael Harrison: Spreading the Digital Junkyard. In an opinion piece published at RadioInfo today (12/23), publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) asks pointed questions of media industry practitioners about their perception of the state of digital media. He writes, “Have you noticed lately that some of your favorite websites have become increasingly user-unfriendly? Odds are your usual haunts in the newspaper, magazine, general entertainment and information arenas have become cluttered with terribly annoying pop-up ads, videos that start playing loudly without invitation (sometimes more than one at a time) – and maddeningly confusing hodge-podges of editorial and commercial content laid out in such a manner as to make it almost impossible to follow an article without being sidetracked into a unwanted advertisement…Clearly, an unholy alliance of the techno-geeks and sales-freaks have taken control of the major league media website show. The true internet content programmers and strategists have lost their hold on the situation. They have stopped programming with the sensibilities of the user in mind. Sound familiar?” Harrison is quick to declare he’s not a Luddite; in fact, he’s been a champion of the internet since it became public! BUT, that doesn’t mean digital is without its serious flaws and certainly doesn’t mean there’s no remaining value in AM/FM radio. Read Harrison’s entire piece here.
Adams, Andrews Set As iHM PDs in St. Louis, Milwaukee. Four-year iHeartMedia Milwaukee programmer Dave Adams will transfer to St. Louis to program the company’s St. Louis classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU. Regional market manager/St. Louis president Beth Davis comments, “We are thrilled to have Dave’s leadership to help bring KLOU and its staff to a new level of ratings and revenue success.” Regional program manager/St. Louis director of operations Steve Stewart remarks, “Dave Adams brings a strong set of skills that will elevate not only KLOU but the group as a whole to help continue our cluster’s success in St. Louis. I am excited to work with Dave and I’m confident he will be a great addition to our team.” Adams adds, “I am really excited to be a part of the team in such a great city and a station with heritage call letters.” Brett Andrews will succeed Adams in approximately three weeks (1/12) as program director of Milwaukee’s WRIT “Oldies 95.7″ and CHR WRNW “97.3 Radio Now.” Milwaukee operations manager Kerry Wolfe states, “We are very excited to welcome Brett Andrews home to Milwaukee to take the program director position for WRNW and WRIT. Brett grew up in Milwaukee and began his career here as well. He is super-talented and has the creative mind to take WRNW to the top and continue the great success of WRIT.” Andrews notes, “I could not be more excited to join my hometown team.” Adams’ programming experience includes WBNQ, Bloomington Illinois and WHZZ, Lansing, Michigan. For the past two years, Andrews has programmed iHeartMedia St. Louis CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7″ and rhythmic CHR KBWX “WiLD 104.9.” He previously was a Portland program director at the company’s (CHR) KKRZ “Z-100″ and (rhythmic CHR) KXJM.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Programmer Sue Wilson is promoted at Rubber City Radio. Adding to her PD duties at country WQMX, Akron she’s how vice president/director of operations for the company. As such, she’ll oversee Akron stations news/talk WAKR, rock WONE and Cleveland smooth jazz WNWV “107.3 The Wave.”…..iHeartMedia promotes midday personality Micki Gamez to assistant program director at urban contemporary KZEP, San Antonio “Hot 104.5,” effective January 19…..Calling it a career is Richard Trejo, most recently GM for Salem’s Christian KDAR, Oxnard, California. During his 37-year career, Trejo has worked for Buck Owens Broadcasting and the Park Lane Group in addition to Salem.
Chick Pallotta Christmas Specials to Air on SiriusXM. A 60-minute musical Christmas program hosted by Francis Chick Powers will serve to introduce a one-hour Christmas special featuring His Eminence Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, on Christmas Eve on the Catholic Channel on SiriusXM. Powers, a.k.a. Chick Pallotta, also produced the short-form series “The Inside Story Behind the Christmas Songs” which will be presented on two SiriusXM channels and some 100 radio stations across the country. The feature highlights the actual voices of many iconic songwriters telling how they came to write their great Christmas classics.
Jim Ryan Upped to Corporate SVP of Programming. Programmer Jim Ryan is promoted to senior vice president, programming, CBS RADIO. Ryan continues to serve as program director for the company’s classic hits WCBS-FM and hot AC WWFS-FM “Fresh 102.7” as part of his contract extension. In his new post, however, he’ll “serve as a source of programming expertise and develop key initiatives and strategies for all of CBS RADIO’s music stations across the country” and add oversight of the division’s classic hits stations to his responsibilities. CBS EVP of programming Chris Oliviero comments, “Jim is universally recognized as one of the premiere music programming minds in the industry and he surely has the ratings resume to back it up. This well-deserved, expanded role will allow our stations and programmers to benefit from his world class experience and knowledge. I am thrilled that Jim will be helping us craft the future of our industry leading brands and shaping the sound of our stations for years to come.” Ryan’s resume includes time spent at such respected signals as WLTW, New York and WBEB, Philadelphia in addition to having consulted Premiere Networks’ Delilah and the late Casey Kasem and operating his own Jim Ryan Media consulting firm.
Alpha Media Enters Shreveport and Tyler-Longview with Access 1 Acquisition. The nine radio stations owned by Access 1 Communications in the Shreveport, Louisiana and Tyler-Longview, Texas markets are being purchased by Alpha Media for an undisclosed sum. The stations – which Alpha will begin to operate under an LMA effective January 1, are: hip hop KBTT, gospel KOKA, urban contemporary KDKS, oldies KLKL, and classic rock KTAL in Shreveport; and country KKUS, adult contemporary KOOI, regional Mexican KOYE, and country KYKX in Tyler-Longview. Alpha notes that when all pending deals are complete, it will own and operate 83 stations. Alpha chairman Larry Wilson states, “I’ve known [Access 1 president and CEO] Chesley Maddox-Dorsey for a long time. She’s a great person with superb integrity and it’s a tremendous honor for us to be buying stations from Access 1. I’ve been continually impressed with the quality of people I’ve met and their passion for the industry; it fits right in our sweet spot for live and local radio and we are very much looking forward to the acquisition.”
iHeartMedia Seattle Imports Davis as VP of Programming. Mainstream CHR KDWB and hot AC KTCZ “Cities 97,” Minneapolis program director Rich Davis transfers to Seattle where he will be iHeartMedia‘s vice president of programming. He succeeds Keith Cunningham, who exits the cluster. According to iHeartMedia Seattle market president Kent Hael, “Rich is a gifted programmer. He is a leader with a proven track record of building brands that listeners are both passionate about and loyal to. Seattle is an extremely competitive market, but I am confident Rich will thrive. I am thrilled to have him as a new member of our leadership team.” Senior vice president of programming Andrew Jeffries adds, “It is no secret that Seattle is a very challenging market. One thing though has not changed and that is our team’s absolute focus on winning. Rich is a very intelligent, driven person whose determination and track record of success is on a different level. Rich is a huge asset to the iHeartMedia team. It is evident he is ready for the next step in his career – I am beyond happy that he is with us in Seattle.” In addition to his VP/programming duties, Davis will be PD of mainstream CHR KBKS “Kiss-FM.” His previous programming background includes stops in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Nashville.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, CBS RADIO names Kelly Ransford music director at triple A WXRT, Chicago. Ransford — a veteran of such outlets as KFOG, San Francisco and KMTT and KNDD in Seattle — takes over for John Farneda who is retiring from the station. Farneda also was OM, a post that Mitch Rosen has assumed…..At the iHeartMedia country station WMZQ, Washington, morning show cast member Aly Jacobs moves to middays to host her own program. Jacobs has been with the station on air for the past 18 months.
Classic Hip Hop and R&B Airing in Cincinnati. The hot new format – classic hip hop and R&B – is now airing in the Queen City as iHeartMedia puts “102.3 The Beat, Throwback Hip Hop and R&B,” on FM translator W272BY. Featuring artists including Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z, R. Kelly, Aaliyah and Joedci, it “will bring back the fun times of an original hip hop and R&B generation while continuing to serve the local community, playing the music our listeners want to hear,” according to iHeartMedia Cincinnati market president Chuck Fredrick.
iHeartRadio’s Hearbook Tallies Users’ Faves. The year-end Hearbook feature on iHeartRadio gives users the ability to vote for their favorites and that, hopefully, builds loyalty to the platform. The company describes the 2014 Hearbook as a “yearbook filled with memorable moments, milestones, and end-of-the-year awards. This end-of-the-year recap campaign puts iHeartRadio’s user data to good use in determining the year’s biggest songs, artists, events and trends. The individual sections include: Superlatives — these iHeartRadio standouts were chosen by you as the most popular artists of the year. Including: Most popular: Drake & Rihanna; Runners up: Ariana Grande, Maroon5, Beyonce, Luke Bryan, Iggy Azalea, Trey Songz, Katy Perry, and Lil’ Wayne; Best clique (bands with the most custom station creates): One Direction, Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, One Republic, Paramore; Freshman (artists that barely charted in 2013, but topped the list for station creates in 2014): Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Meghan Trainor, Nico & Vinz, 5 Seconds of Summer; Top 10 Songs of 2014 from iHeartRadio platform: Fancy, Iggy Azalea; Dark Horse, Katy Perry; Happy, Pharrell Williams; All About That Bass, Meghan Trainor; Problem, Ariana Grande; Talk Dirty, Jason Derulo; Turn Down for What, DJ Snake and Lil Jon; Drunk in Love, Beyonce and Jay Z; Wiggle, Jason Derulo; and Rude, Magic!. The interactive Hearbook can be found here.
Remembering Bill Burton. Holiday festivities were dampened over the weekend by the news that the industry lost a genuine cheerleader. Particularly to those in Michigan radio sales circles, the name Bill Burton is legendary, as was his insistence that salespeople always “be fabulous.” Cause of death for the 85-year-old Burton was head injuries resulting from a fall at his home this past Tuesday (12/16); he passed away on Saturday (12/20). As president and chief operating officer of the Detroit Radio Advertising Group, Burton’s primary responsibility was to sell radio at the decision-making level. In fact, he preferred to be called a “radio cheerleader,” “professional product mover,” or “people builder,” rather than the aforementioned impressive title he held the past quarter of a century. “Why Radio” was the underlying theme to the countless presentations the Detroit native would make around the country. Credited with originating the line, “An automobile is a radio with four wheels,” Burton would stress 91% of drivers listen in their cars, making them a “captive audience” for advertisers. Radio is the “frequency medium,” he would insist and “frequency is paramount in selling.” Burton started his radio career as an AE at Eastman Radio, where he would eventually become president and chairman. A 2002 Michigan Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee, Burton entered the Adcraft Hall of Fame in 2005. He held a degree in business and economics from Michigan State University (MSU 10 years ago presented him the Lifetime Achievement Award from its Broad College of Business), and Burton attended law school at the University of Michigan, before joining the Army. Among Burton’s many non-industry accomplishments was successfully completing the Boston Marathon.
Bold Gold GM Showers for Charity. There are a lot of holiday fundraising stunts that take place this time of year – some very creative, indeed. Take for example the Bold Gold Media Group stations in the Pocono Lake Region of Pennsylvania where general manager Michael G. Stanton‘s annual “Shower For Charity” raised over $20,000 this year for the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau. Stanton (pictured here) and his Bold Gold team came up with the unusually unique idea to take a shower outside in the dead of winter on Main Street in downtown Honesdale where he pledged to stay in the shower until he hit the fundraising goal of $20,000! This year, he stayed in the shower for over three hours in 30-degree weather wearing nothing but his bathing suit until he was bailed out by station listeners and local businesses who supported the effort and pushed him over the goal! To date, “The Michael G. Stanton Shower for Charity” has raised over $170,000 for the Wayne County Children’s Christmas Bureau. Additionally, the station group filled more than four pick-up trucks full of toys for needy kids in the region with its “Wayne County Ford & Bold Gold Toys For Tots Challenge.”
Cool Job Opportunity. Greater Media Charlotte is currently looking for a passionate and innovative individual to join our team in the role of Web Developer. This is a big year for Greater Media technology where you can be part of rolling out all-new, state-of-the-art brand experiences for some of the best radio stations in Charlotte: News/Talk 1110 WBT, 107.9 The Link, and The Bob & Sheri Network. You must have a solid grasp of and demonstrated experience with modern web technologies and standards such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery. You must also be a proficient developer in PHP and MySQL. Experience with WordPress and WordPress plugin development along with a minimum of 2 years’ experience is required. The daily activities of this position include: Designing and developing new digital experiences, features and functionality for our programming and promotions departments across our radio stations’ web and mobile app properties; Collaborating with our sales department to create and traffic engaging advertising opportunities for our clients; Talking to people. Seriously, you’ll interact in some form or fashion with just about everyone in the company so you’ll need to have “people skills.” So, if you’ve got a great eye for digital design and terms like responsive design, Node.js, git, Bootstrap and API integration get you excited, please reach out to us! Please send your cover letter and resume to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208. email@example.com 704-338-3079 (fax) No phone calls please. EOE.
Radio One Acquires GlobalGrind Digital Hip Hop Platform. The digital arm of Radio One – Interactive One – is acquiring the GlobalGrind digital hip hop platform founded by rap impresario Russell Simmons. The terms of the deal have not been announced yet but Radio One and GlobalGrind have been in partnership for more than a year-and-a-half for sales, marketing, content and other aspects of its operation. According to a piece in Deadline.com, GlobalGrind reports that since the partnership began, it has seen an increased reach of 60%, with 4.1 million unique visitors so far this month. Interactive One also operates sites such as Stuff Fly People Like, HelloBeautiful, TheUrbanDaily and NewsOne, that boast a total of 33 million uniques. Radio One president and CEO Alfred Liggins says in a press release, “This acquisition, which perfectly aligns with our existing multi-media brands, allows us to exponentially fast track our Millennial channel expansion strategy by leveraging GlobalGrind’s highly regarded content.”
RadioInfo Career Moves. At the CBS RADIO station group in Las Vegas, hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” morning drive personality Mark DiCiero leaves the station. He’d been co-hosting the morning show with Mercedes Martinez for the past 18 years. Joining Martinez as co-host of the program is longtime producer J.C. Fernandez…..“Fitz in the Morning” co-host Ellen Tailor will remain with Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” as she inks a contract renewal. Tailor has been working with Fitz since 2011…..In Minneapolis, 20-year staffer Donna Valentine leaves the talent roster at iHeartMedia-owned country station KEEY “K102.” She recently moved from mornings to the evening show when Chris Carr joined the station for mornings…..CBS RADIO chooses not to renew the contract of morning show cast member Mary Anne Perry at adult contemporary WLIF, Baltimore. Greg Carpenter continues to host the AM drive program…..Artimis exits the morning show at Artistic Media Partners-owned hot AC WNDV, South Bend, Indiana “U93” where he worked alongside Rob Sparks. He’s reportedly headed for a new gig in Michigan.
JVC Media Launches ‘The Wolf’ in Orlando. Four days after closing on the purchase of Spanish-formatted WHKQ, Orlando, JVC Media announces it is unveiling a country format as the station becomes WOTW “103.1 The Wolf.” Long Island-based JVC Media says the station will feature “the hottest country hits and the greatest country throwbacks,” beginning with 10,000 sings in a row. The company has hired market pro Rod Grant, a.k.a. Shadow, as PD. He comments, “I love this market and this format and I am thrilled to be back in the driver seat. This is going to be the listener’s country station and we are going to be very promotionally active and visible in the market. This is going to be a radio station that is live, local and fun, the way radio is supposed to be.”
KHAK, Cedar Rapids Personality Scott Steele Dies After Battle with Cancer. Cedar Rapids radio personality Scott Steele left his morning show gig alongside partner Ryan Brainerd at Townsquare Media’s country KHAK in late September to devote his strength to battling the stage-four, colorectal cancer he’d been diagnosed with five years earlier. Steele lost his battle on December 17. In October of this year, Steele and his wife Misty had a baby son named Briggs. Read Brainerd’s tribute to his former partner here.
Walking the Walk. Media consultant Walter Sabo posted a timely sentiment on his Facebook page for holiday season shoppers. Sabo’s message shows a picture of a portable Sony radio and the caption reads: “To those of you who love radio and talk about radio all the time I hope you are in fact giving something like this to every single person you know.”
Sharon Dastur Rises to SVP of Programming Integration with iHeartMedia; Mark Medina to Program ‘Z100.’ Superstar programmer Sharon Dastur is taking an elevated role with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming integration on the company’s National Programming Platforms team. Dastur’s accomplishments as program director of WHTZ, New York “Z100” are well known throughout the industry. She’s also served as national CHR brand coordinator for the company and was programmer for Nickelodeon’s “Nick Radio” on the iHeartRadio platform. The company says that in this new position, Dastur will “use her years of industry experience to create cutting-edge programs that leverage the company’s assets for brands and partners and will assist with the program execution with artist, managers and labels. In this role, she will develop cross-promotion partnerships between label groups and agencies, and in addition she will work with in-market programmers, lending her knowledge and ability to help refine current programs and initiatives. She will also work together with the artist relations team on booking and talent negotiations for all iHeartRadio national events and industry events.” Dastur comments, “When Tom [Poleman] and Clay [Hunnicutt] first approached me about this incredible new position, and knowing the direction where iHeartMedia is going, it seemed like the perfect next step in my career. After more than 18 years at the world-famous ‘Z100,’ I am extremely proud of all of the accomplishments the team has achieved. From guiding the station to its highest ratings and revenue, to recently coming off of our biggest and most successful ‘Z100 Jingle Ball,’ it will be exciting to take those things we’ve successfully built locally over the years and integrate them into the national platform and throughout our organization across the country.” Taking over for Dastur as program director of WHTZ is Mark Medina, who will move from iHeartMedia’s Washington operations where he’s been programming CHR outlets WIHT, Washington “HOT 99.5″ and WZFT, Baltimore “Z104.3.”
Parker Picks Up Sacramento Duties. In addition to overseeing programming for iHeartMedia‘s six San Francisco stations, vice president of programming Don Parker expands his role to include the company’s six-station Sacramento cluster. iHeartMedia executive vice president of programming Brad Hardin comments, “Don’s programming leadership in San Francisco has resulted in significant increased listenership and engagement for our brands. The additional responsibility for our Sacramento stations is well deserved and I look forward to partnering with Don to grow our reach in Northern California.” According to Parker, “Our Sacramento stations have evolved greatly. With market veteran John Geary at the helm, our leadership team and talent in the Sacramento market is shaping up to be among the best in the business. I am grateful to iHeartMedia for the amazing opportunity.” The six Sacramento stations involved include country KBEB “B-92.5″; news/talk hybrid KFBK-AM/FM; rhythmic hot AC KHYL “The Beat of Sacramento”; adult hits KQJK “Jack-FM”; and talk KSTE “Talk 650.” Parker joined iHeartMedia San Francisco in 2009 as operations manager. He previously was NextMedia‘s vice president of programming and has been a PD in Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Fresno.
Journal Broadcast Group Names Chiasson GSM. Radio sales pro Scott Chiasson is named general sales manager for Journal Broadcast Group’s Wichita operations. He’s served as GSM for WQYK-FM/AM, Tampa and Cox Media/Cable TV in Lafayette, Louisiana. He’s also worked with Metro Networks/CBS in Orlando and Premiere Traffic in Colorado and Florida.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Morning drive personality Bob Richards adds program director to his duties at Cumulus Media’s country KBUL, Reno “NASH FM 98.1” where he’s been on air since 2009…..Also from Cumulus Media, Rebecca Kaplan is named promotions director for country stations KSCS and KPLX. She joins Cumulus from iHeartMedia where she was promotions director at the Tampa station group…..At iHeartMedia, Dick Lewis exits the company’s New Orleans cluster where he’s been market manager for the past 10 years.
Susan G. Komen Recognizes Bobby Bones for Charitable Efforts. Nationally syndicated country morning personality Bobby Bones is being named to the 2015 class of Pink Tie Guys for his charitable work fighting breast cancer. The Pink Tie program honors influential leaders who help mobilize, energize and engage audiences in the breast cancer movement through their role within the community, within their organizations, and through their personal involvement. Bones’ Premiere Networks-syndicated show recently raised $50,000 for the charity as part of an on-air bet with two-time Academy of Country Music “Top Male Vocalist” Jason Aldean, who agreed to play a charity show with Bones’ band The Raging Idiots if the show could raise the money. The 2014 Pink Tie Guys will be honored at the Pink Tie Party on February 24, 2015 at Jonathan’s Green Hills in Nashville.
iHeartRadio App Added to Denon’s HEOS System. HEOS is the wireless, multi-room sound system marketed by electronics manufacturer Denon. Today, iHeartMedia announces it and Denon have reached an agreement for the iHeartRadio digital platform to be made available on the system. The audio product is pretty simple: Consumers purchase one of three available models that connect to their existing home wireless network and they are able to bring content from various platforms into their homes. If the HEOS webpage is accurate, Denon has already signed on other digital platforms to be available on the system, including Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn and Rhapsody. iHeartRadio president Darren Davis comments, “We are excited to partner with Denon Electronics to bring iHeartRadio into even more homes with the HEOS music player. Its sleek and compact design combined with its premier stereo sound makes it perfect for enjoying your favorite iHeartRadio stations anywhere in the house.”
Madison Rising Song to Benefit Operation 300. Rock band Madison Rising – heralded as “America’s most patriotic rock band,” is helping to support the charitable group Operation 300 with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their latest release, “Soldier’s Christmas.” Operations 300 hosts adventure camps for the young children of fallen military men and women. It was founded by the family of a Navy Seal Aaron Vaughn who lost his life fighting in Afghanistan. The camps provide an opportunity for the youngsters to participate in activities that embody the spirit of adventure that characterized the lives of their absent parents. Madison Rising lead vocalist David Bray (pictured here) – a US Navy Veteran, joined by the rest of the band – says, “The entire group wholeheartedly supports this charitable endeavor.”
Legendary Dallas Jock Terry Dorsey Honored. Renowned Dallas country radio personality Terry Dorsey (right) takes in the framed photo compilation being presented to him by Cumulus Media president and CEO Lew Dickey (left) on Wednesday (12/17). As RadioInfo reported last week, Dorsey is retiring from the radio business after a 46-year career – 33 years of which were spent in the Dallas market and the last 26 at KSCS.
Duane 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, including this week David Safar of 89.3 KCMP “The Current” Minneapolis; Bayley Brown, WKLC-FM (Rock 105), St. Albans/Charleston, and internet sensation the Iceman, 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 (12/17) includes such names as: One Direction, Beatles, James Newton Howard, Jennifer Lawrence, Bea Miller, Tracy Young, Mack & Jet Set Vega, Olly Murs, Demi Lovato, Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist, Wax, Herbal T, Lack of Afro, Hamilton Leithauser, George Ezra, The Cure, James McCartney, Gwyneth Moreland, David Hayes, Van Morrison, Joywave, Big Data, Alt-J, Modest Mouse, Little Big Town, Love Junkies, Abbi Scott, Jillian Kohr, Josh Dorr, Mat D. & the Profane Saints, Petting Zoo, Madison Rising, Dave Matthews Band, Deuxième, Maiday, and AronChupa, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click “Read More.”
Duane 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, including this week David Safar of 89.3 KCMP “The Current” Minneapolis; Bayley Brown, WKLC-FM (Rock 105), St. Albans/Charleston, and internet sensation the Iceman, 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 (12/17) includes such names as: One Direction, Beatles, James Newton Howard, Jennifer Lawrence, Bea Miller, Tracy Young, Mack & Jet Set Vega, Olly Murs, Demi Lovato, Peter Shukoff, Lloyd Ahlquist, Wax, Herbal T, Lack of Afro, Hamilton Leithauser, George Ezra, The Cure, James McCartney, Gwyneth Moreland, David Hayes, Van Morrison, Joywave, Big Data, Alt-J, Modest Mouse, Little Big Town, Love Junkies, Abbi Scott, Jillian Kohr, Josh Dorr, Mat D. & the Profane Saints, Petting Zoo, Madison Rising, Dave Matthews Band, Deuxième, Maiday, and AronChupa, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
‘Z100’ New York’s ‘Jingle Ball’ to Air on The CW Tomorrow (12/18). The television broadcast of the “Z100 Jingle Ball 2014” will air on The CW tomorrow night. The iHeartMedia-produced show that happened on Friday, December 12 at Madison Square Garden, featured acts that included: Taylor Swift, Iggy Izalea, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Sam Smith, Pharrell, OneRepublic, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, Jesse J., Rita Ora and Nick Jonas with special appearances by Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwen Stefani and more. The evening was hosted by “Z100” morning personality Elvis Duran who is pictured below at right (in the cool tux!) standing next to iHeartMedia president, programming platforms Tom Poleman. Pictured here at the top at Friday night’s show performing are Rita Ora (singing) and Iggy Izalea. For a hint at what viewers may see tomorrow night, here’s Z100’s blurb about the show: “Pharrell opened the show and stunned the crowd with special guest performer Gwen Stefani (who brought special date, son Apollo) to perform their new hit “Spark The Fire” while fellow “The Voice” judge Adam Levine along with Maroon 5 performed hit “One More Night” to get everyone dancing in their seats. Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor lead the star-studded lineup with songs from their new albums, Shake It Off and Lips Are Moving. Sarah Jessica Parker introduced recent Grammy nominee Sam Smith who crooned the crowd with his stellar vocals performing “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not The Only One.” Ariana Grande stole the show featuring a 20 minute set of her hits opening with holiday favorite “Santa Tell Me” and then was joined on stage by Jessie J for their hit “Bang Bang.”
Skip Mahaffey to Host Mornings on ‘99.5 The Wolf’ in Dallas. The new co-host of the “Wake Up with the Wolf” show on Cumulus Media’s country KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf,” is award-winning country personality Skip Mahaffey. He takes over for Ken Buckner who recently exited the station. Mahaffey will partner up with current morning show co-host Lisa Taylor, beginning December 29. Mahaffey comes to KPLX from his most recent gig as talk host on George Flinn, Jr.-owned news/talk simulcast WWJB and WXJB serving Hernando County, Florida. Mahaffey’s resume includes stints at WWKA, Orlando; WFUS and WQYK in Tampa; WCOL, Columbus; KSON, San Diego; and KVOO, Tulsa. He also hosted the nationally syndicated “True Country” for the old Dial-Global and has won three CMA Air Personality of the Year awards.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Programmer and afternoon personality Michael Hayes exits Fort Myers Broadcasting Company-owned adult contemporary WINK, Fort Myers “The New 96.9 More FM” after four years with the station…..At iHeartMedia’s Grand Rapids CHR WSNX, evening personality and APD Brian Holmes exits the company he’s been with for the past 15 years. His show, “Holmes & the FreakShow,” was also piped in to the company’s CHR WVKS, Toledo.
‘Huckabee Report’ to Be Distributed by WYD Media. With the start of the New Year, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee – also host of his own weekend show on Fox News Channel – is continuing his daily feature, “The Huckabee Report,” to be distributed by WYD Media Management. The program will be repped by WYD Media Ad Sales. The show is currently syndicated to more than 500 radio stations via Westwood One but that relationship will end after December 31. Huckabee comments, “We’ve had tremendous success over the last six years with ‘The Huckabee Report’ thanks to the great partnerships with hundreds of radio stations. I’m excited about my new partnership and this is a great way to kick off 2015!” WYD says that the feature will retain its current format with morning, midday and afternoon delivery of three unique, modular reports that allow stations to carry one or three minutes of content per report. WYD Media Ad Sales president John Murphy says, “Mike Huckabee is truly a beloved national icon with a powerful following. His ability to connect with his audience and influence public opinion is incredibly valuable to our advertising partners.” In addition to airing on news/talk affiliates, “The Huckabee Report” is also cleared on country- and classic rock-formatted stations.
Country Stars Shine at Inaugural ‘American Country Countdown Awards.’ The first “American Country Countdown Awards” show took place in Nashville last night (12/15) and was presented on TV by Fox and Cumulus. The awards show takes its name from the Westwood One-syndicated “American Country Countdown” radio program hosted by Kix Brooks. Last night’s festivities were hosted by Florida Georgia Line. Reba McEntire (pictured here at left with Cumulus’ Chuck Wicks, center, and Blair Garner, right) was honored with the NASH Icon Award, and Kenny Chesney received the Groundbreaker Award. The rest of the winners were: Artist of the Year – Jason Aldean; Male Vocalist of the Year – Luke Bryan; Female Vocalist of the Year – Miranda Lambert; Group/Duo of the Year – Florida Georgia Line; Song of the Year (tie) – “Beat of the Music,” Brett Eldredge; and “This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan; Album of the Year – The Outsiders, Eric Church; Digital Song of the Year – “This Is How We Roll,” Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan; and Breakthrough Artist of the Year – Kip Moore.
ACCA Artist of the Year. During last night’s inaugural “American Country Countdown Awards” broadcast on Fox TV, Jason Aldean (left) was honored with the Artist of the Year award. He’s pictured here with “America’s Morning Show” personalities Blair Garner (right) and Chuck Wicks (center). In addition to the evening’s program being broadcast on Fox TV, country artists visited the Westwood One-produced Red Carpet Radio backstage and shared thoughts about their music and the country scene with Wicks and Garner. Photos: NASH TV
Haupert Heads to KDKB as GSM. Former iHeartMedia Phoenix director of integrated marketing Leyla Haupert is appointed general sales manager of crosstown Hubbard alternative KDKB “ALT AZ 93-3.” Hubbard Phoenix vice president/director of sales Jeff England remarks, “I am thrilled Leyla is joining our management team. Her diverse experience; success in developing solutions for advertisers; and leadership skills are a perfect fit for this position. As KDKB continues to grow, I know Leyla will be a positive influence within the Hubbard Phoenix cluster.” Haupert – who begins her new duties in about four weeks (1/12) – is “honored” to be part of Hubbard Phoenix and to “lead the Alt AZ 93-3 team. The opportunity to advance Hubbard’s strong portfolio of brands, events, and interactive solutions is truly exciting. I look forward to partnering with our clients and collaborating with such a strong team of marketing professionals.” Haupert previously was interim president and market manager for iHeartMedia’s San Francisco stations and was integrated marketing strategy consultant at that cluster.
Beasley Sends Cadillac Jack to Tampa Market. Fifteen-year Beasley programmer and personality Cadillac Jack will leave his current post as APD/MD and PM host at the Las Vegas cluster’s country KCYE “Coyote Country” to move to Tampa and join the company’s newest properties. Cadillac Jack will serve as afternoon drive personality at country WQYK where he’ll also be APD. For nine years, Cadillac Jack served as host of Westwood One’s “Stars of Country,” which aired on more than 75 radio stations nationwide. Beasley Tampa OM Tee Gentry says, “We are thrilled that Cadillac Jack agreed to join us in Tampa. Having been with Beasley 15 years, our company knows his work ethic and his talent. Personally, I can’t wait to have Caddy behind the mic, hitting the streets and getting to know our listeners and clients in Tampa Bay. He’s one of the very best personalities in country music.” This move means a plum job opens in Vegas. Send PD Kris Daniels your stuff at Kris.firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you have what it takes to fill Cadillac’s shoes.
Beasley Bumps Up D’Amico to VP/Strategic Partnerships. It’s a promotion for Beasley Broadcast Group Las Vegas and Wilmington (Delaware) national sales manager Rafe D’Amico, who is elevated to vice president of strategic partnerships. He will retain those duties, as well as adding national sales manager responsibilities for the company’s Charlotte cluster. D’Amico will report to executive vice president of sales Heather Monahan, who comments, “We are looking forward to expanding our offerings for our advertisers through Rafe’s creative efforts. Rafe has proven his ability to create unique and deep engagement opportunities for advertisers across various platforms, so this extension to a new position is a natural next step.” New York City-based D’Amico voices his gratitude to continue his career “with the Beasley family” and states he is “ecstatic to lead this initiative for the company. I am equally excited to begin working with our newest Beasley teammates in Charlotte and Tampa. With the large cluster of stations we now operate in those two markets and [elsewhere], we recognize the dynamic opportunities we have to grow relationships with our advertising partners and the local communities we serve.” D’Amico joined Beasley Broadcast Group Philadelphia in 2008 as local sales manager/digital sales manager for country WXTU and rhythmic CHR WRDW “Wired 96.” He was promoted the following year to national sales manager for both stations. D’Amico started his media career in 1998 while attending the University of Arizona.
NRG Media Names Sparks to Northwoods Station Group. At its Northwoods cluster, NRG Media names Shane Sparks market manager for the six stations serving the Rhinelander and Minoqua, Wisconsin markets including: country WHDG, adult hits WRHN, classic country simulcast WOBT-AM/FM, classic rock WRLO, news/talk WLKD, and classic hits WMQA.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Re-joining the Mid-West Family Communications organization is Denise Bohn-Stewart who will co-host mornings on the company’s AC WCXT, Benton Harbor, Michigan with Jonny Reinhardt, effective January 5. She’s been working in TV at WSBT-TV, South Bend most recently but worked at Mid-West’s country WYTZ “97.5 Y-Country” during the late 1990s…..Longtime Odessa-Midland radio personalities Mike Lawrence and Dana Carole are retiring from their current morning gig at Brazos Communications-owned country outlet KHKX “Kicks 99-1.” The duo – who’ve spent 25 years in the market and the last 15 at KHKX – will exit after their December 19 program…..Adam Schraf leaves iHeartMedia where he’d been programming the company’s CHR WVRT, Williamsport, Pennsylvania and voice-tracking the evening show at sister country station WRBT, Harrisburg…..Dixie Tipton joins Capitol Music Group as vice president/rhythm promotion. She previously served with Epic Records as VP/pop promotion.
Signoff Alert: Mike Nolan. It is not often that a traffic reporter’s exit warrants significant attention, but such is certainly the case with Mike Nolan. For the last 28 years, Nolan has guided harried Los Angeles motorists through his traffic updates on iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5″ and co-owned talker KFI; however, as he writes on his Facebook page, “I have been privileged to be on the radio for 41 years [but] now it is time to begin the next chapter.” In all but seven of those 41 years, Nolan has done both morning and afternoon drive, “giving people as much information as I could about the traffic on their drive” and he calls KOST and KFI “two of the greatest radio stations in the country.” The list of “incredible people” he has worked with “is long and distinguished,” and Nolan explains, “The career I have had is far greater than anything I could have imagined.” Numerous Los Angeles broadcasters are commenting in social media, including former KOST (and later cross-town KTWV) morning talent Kim Amidon, who writes, “Mike, you have always been a pro – the best at what you do – and for most of those years doing it while flying your plane. It was great to work with you and party with you. I wish you the best in this new journey.” Now at KTWV “The Wave,” Bryan Simmons did afternoon drive on KOST and points out, “For most of your career, you were in the air, the place you should always have been, in the pilot seat. I was privileged to work with you for most of your time at KOST and it was a pleasure – job well done partner.” Similar to Nolan, Rhonda Kramer is also an exceptionally well-known Los Angeles traffic reporter and she notes, “It is hard to believe you are hanging up the traffic wings. You have always been a great traffic reporter, pilot, and I have been lucky to call you my friend for all of your years in Los Angeles. Enjoy your quality time – you deserve it.” Another of Nolan’s colleagues – Jorge Jarrin – reflects on the 25 years he (Jarrin) spent doing airborne traffic reports. “One of the most special aspects of my career was the warm camaraderie we developed. It was often one of the things I missed most once I was grounded for good. You are a true friend both on and off the air. I will miss your voice and accurate information, but I rejoice in your ability to move into the next chapter in your life. You have accomplished much my friend; survived; and are loved by many.” Veteran talk host Tom Leykis knew Nolan in Phoenix (at KOY) and “had the pleasure” of working with him at KFI. “I have often told people that you and Mark Denis were the lynchpins of the station before KFI flipped to talk in 1988 – and you still are that.” Talk radio consultant Valerie Geller laments, “This doesn’t seem possible to me. I cannot imagine driving in Los Angeles without you.” Former KFI talk host Michael Castner – now doing morning drive on Portland’s KEX – recalls that one of his “most exciting moments” at KFI was “the first time I introduced you – an honor to work with a true Los Angeles radio legend.” Noted programmer John Rook describes Nolan as “classy, professional, and dependable. Happy retirement – I will miss hearing you each day.” Longtime local newscaster Mark Austin Thomas writes, “It was an honor and a joy to work with you and a pleasure to listen to someone who was such a pro who loved his work – wishing you happiness and fulfillment in your next chapter.” Sports update talent Karen Kay states, “You are the best of the best. What an honor to know you and to be able to say I am one of your biggest fans.” Nolan’s last on-air date is this Friday (12/19); he will spend the morning reminiscing with KFI wakeup talent Bill Handel.
By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity
The area is home to government offices, shopping, financial institutions – and Sydney’s Channel 7, which is located virtually across the street from the scene.
Shortly after police responded, Channel 7 was ordered evacuated – its staff relocated to temporary facilities (see picture below left) — and police set up a monitoring point in its offices.
CBS RADIO and Carson Daly Announce Contract Extension. Los Angeles-based radio personality Carson Daly and CBS RADIO have come to terms on a contract extension that will keep him with the company for an unspecified number of years to come. Daly hosts “Mornings with Carson Daly” on CBS O&O CHR KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” as well as the nationally syndicated “The Daly Download with Carson Daly.” CBS RADIO president Dan Mason comments, “Carson has proven to be a leading authority on music and pop-culture and plays a significant role in 97.1 AMP Radio’s success. He has used his knowledge to build not only a great local show but additional programming that connects to audiences nationwide. For the past year and a half, Carson has highlighted the biggest songs in music on his weekly countdown show and brought millions of music fans to the radio in the process. We’re delighted to extend our agreement with such a talented broadcaster.” The company says that since 2010, Daly “increasing his weekly audience each year since his debut. His show currently is among the top three most-listened-to programs in the time period with listeners 6+.”
Nikki Landry Named KKMG, Colorado Springs PD. At the Cumulus Media CHR outlet KKMG, Colorado Springs “98.8 Magic FM,” Nikki Landry assumes the program director role, taking over for Derreck Rusch who remains morning personality and promotions director for the station. Landry most recently was programming Memphis First Ventures-owned country duo WEBL and WUMY in Memphis. She’s also programmed CHR WWWM, Toledo “Star 105.5.” About her new gig, Landry says, “It is such an honor to take the reins of such a musically and personality driven flame thrower as ‘98.9 Magic FM.’ I am elated to be coming back to Cumulus and to be on Bobby Irwin‘s and Davey Morris‘ team. I am so psyched to get started and to work with our team to continue to build on the #1 station in the Springs!”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. After 10 months on the job, Rat and Puff, a.k.a. Jeff Daly and Josh Foreman (pictured here), exit iHeartMedia’s CHR station WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102.” The duo moved north to assume afternoon drive responsibilities last February from the company’s CHR WFLZ, Tampa where they’d been doing nights as Ratboy and Staypuff…..As Radio One builds up its new classic hip hop and R&B outlet KROI, Houston “Boom 92,” it adds Jay Rio to the staff as afternoon personality and production director. He moves to Houston from Radio One’s hip hop WHHH, Indianapolis “Hot 96.3” where he was afternoon drive host and imaging director…..Sixteen-year WQYK, Tampa staffer Steve Austin exits the Beasley Broadcast Group country station where he’d been afternoon personality for the past five years…..Mark “The Shark” moves from iHeartMedia’s rock WTKX, Pensacola to Digity Media’s rock WIIL, Union Grove, Wisconsin (Racine market). At WTKX, Shark served as afternoon host, APD and music director…..Exiting the program director and PM drive personality gig at Cumulus Media’s CHR WABD, Mobile is Scott Adams…..At the Lanser Broadcasting Christian CHR station WJQK, Grand Rapids “JQ99.3,” Ace McKay is promoted to program director. He’ll continue to serve as music director and on-air personality. He replaces Troy West who left the station to program KSBJ, Houston.
Sydney Siege Illustrates Need for Plan for Broadcasters. The hostage situation in Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia shows – very dramatically – why broadcasters need a plan in place before an unexpected crisis situation occurs. ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes, in an exclusive piece for RadioInfo, “In the aftermath of 9/11, many places – New York City chief among them – redrew regulations requiring building operators and their tenants to develop so-called ‘emergency action plans,’ to deal with fire and non-fire emergencies. Among other things, these plans call for the formation and training of ‘emergency action plan directors’ and fire safety teams; some organizations with expansive buildings or campuses have designated site coordinators, and site response teams who may have advanced first aid training and emergency provisions to sustain a lockdown/shelter-in-place order for hours, or even days.” Price asks broadcasters if they – like Channel 7 TV in Sydney – have a plan in place to evacuate their primary business and engineering office if they are required to do so. Read Price’s important piece here.
Country Stars Aplenty on Cumulus’ Red Carpet Radio. Over the weekend, Cumulus-Westwood One presented Red Carpet Radio during which numerous country music stars mingled with radio personalities and chatted on air about tonight’s inaugural “American Country Countdown Awards” show and their careers. Pictured here, country superstar Reba McEntire (center) is interviewed by WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5” Dallas (left) and Cadillac Jack (right). McEntire will receive the first-ever ACCA/NASH Icon Award on tonight and she recently became the inaugural signing on Nash Icon Music, a joint venture label between Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus.
Oregon Adult Hits Station Honor Heisman Trophy Winner. In honor of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota – winner of the 2014 Heisman Trophy award – McKenzie River Broadcasting Company adult hits outlet KEUG, Eugene “BOB-FM” temporarily changes its name to “105-5 MARCUS-FM.” In a jocular press release, the station says, “Station owner and program director…BOB…actually decided to get off his couch and make this move, noting the historical context of the event. ‘Any time you have a first anything; kiss, day of pre-school, using the potty, it warrants strong consideration, and this Heisman is first for Eugene and the University of Oregon. Henceforth and for the time being, my station will be called MARCUS-FM.’”
WPLJ, New York Grants 13-Year-Old’s Wish. Hudson Valley resident Olivia – a 13-year-old facing a life-threatening brain tumor – was made “pop star for a day” with collaboration from Make-A-Wish and Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York. “95.5 PLJ” invited Olivia to the station’s studio high atop Madison Square Garden for an interview with Ralphie, host of “Ralphie Tonight,” to talk about her album release and what it’s like to be a pop star. Not only was Olivia interviewed in the studios, but she received the full superstar treatment with a meet and greet and her very own green room with all of Olivia’s favorite foods, drinks, snacks and presents! Charlie Foster, vice president of promotion from Epic Records, was on hand to escort Olivia through her visit at the station. An organized meet-and-greet with paparazzi was packed with some of her fans at PLJ who were all thrilled to make her experience one she’ll remember. Olivia’s album debut and pop star experience was one of 50 Wishes Across America granted by Macy’s and Make-A-Wish on National Believe Day. Pictured here are (from left to right): Foster, Olivia and Ralphie.