Bill McMahon: Perhaps We Should Focus on What We are Good at and That Which the Public Still Wants and Needs. In a new opinion piece posted in RadioInfo today (9/25) by veteran radio consultant and talent coach Bill McMahon, the following questions are presented to radio broadcasters: What business are you in? Does your business have a future? He says, “These seem like fundamental questions radio broadcasters should be asking themselves right now.” In it McMahon adds his voice to the chorus of industry opinions supporting the preservation of audio-only media as one of — if not the — major products of “radio” in the emerging unified multi-media platform marketplace. McMahon sarcastically says, “This vision for the future seems perfect for radio broadcasters who create precious little content of any kind. It makes total sense to go compete with everyone in the entertainment business. Sure, why not? Go take on Disney and Live Nation. You have all kinds of talent and experience creating video entertainment. You’ll be great at creating and promoting massive concert events. This is the kind of stuff your current customers have come to expect from you. You have lots of resources ready to commit to these enterprises. They’ll no doubt drive lots of additional listening to your AM and FM radio stations. Like Nike says, you should ‘just do it!’” He concludes on a serious note, “Yikes! Let’s get real! What’s wrong with the business you’re in right now? What’s wrong with the audio entertainment business? Doesn’t it have a future? Audio entertainment is unique and powerful. It involves the consumer in creating the experience it provides. Sound generates pictures and emotions in minds and hearts. The effect is deeper and more memorable than anything on a screen. When you hear someone laughing or crying you don’t need to see them to fully experience their joy or sorrow. Music can change your mood instantly. The sound and the lyrics create a vibe. Music is mind altering, heart penetrating, and memory making. Audio entertainment can be consumed while you’re doing other things like walking, running, driving, or making love. Audio entertainment will never go out of style. Americans spend more than four hours per day with audio entertainment according to the “Share of the Ear” study from Edison Research. Audio entertainment has an enduring future as long as great audio entertainment is created. Radio broadcasters are in the audio entertainment business. Why not stay there? Why not focus your limited resources on creating extraordinary audio entertainment? Why not be really good – even exceptional – at something, rather than average or mediocre at everything. Your current consumers are predisposed to using and appreciating audio entertainment. Why not concentrate on creating new audio entertainment content that surprises, amazes, and delights them. Hire gifted artists who love creating content for the theater of the mind. Create content in all shapes and sizes and distribute it on the platform that fits it best. That’s a future that makes sense for radio broadcasters. To read Bill McMahon’s entire piece, please click here.
Radio to Be on Hand at Advertising Week Conference in NYC Next Week. When Advertising Week kicks off in New York City next week, radio will be a segment of the media industry presenting during the four-day conference. One of the panel highlights will be titled, “Voices of the Original Social Media,” hosted by the RAB and moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber, on Tuesday, September 30 at 11:30 am ET. This session will feature both nationally syndicated air talent and local stars relating their experiences with listeners and brand partners and how that’s being leveraged over the airwaves and on digital platforms. The panel will include: NBC Sports Radio Network’s Amani Toomer, Premiere Networks’ Bobby Bones, WQHT, New York “Hot 97” morning personality Ebro Darden, and WMIB, Miami “103.5 The Beat” midday personality Angie Martinez. iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will take part in a panel titled, “Loss of Serendipity” on Wednesday, October 1 alongside MediaLink chairman and CEO, Michael Kassan and Google SVP global marketing Lorraine Twohill during which they will “explore the flip side of data-tailored content creation and distribution by considering the importance of serendipity.” Entercom president and CEO David Field will moderate a panel titled “Evolution or Revolution Part II” on Thursday, October 2. His panelists will include: Enterprise Group president Jim Doyle, The New York Times EVP of advertising Meredith Kopit Levien, TBWA president and CEO Troy Ruhanen, Centaur Media CEO Andria Vidler, and Shelly Palmer of Shelly Palmer Digital Living. They will talk about “disruption, real-time reinvention, retaining and growing share, and balancing today with tomorrow.”
Hearst Baltimore’s Cecil to Exit. Director of sales Bob Cecil has shared his decision to leave Hearst Baltimore’s two-station combo. President and general manager Cary Pahigian comments that Cecil has “contributed immeasurably” to the Baltimore tandem “for several decades,” but “after careful consideration” he will “step away and enjoy time with his family. We thank Bob for his extraordinary efforts and wish him only the best.” In a staff memo, Cecil writes, “It has been a great privilege teaming with the Ravens, Orioles, Naval Academy, and so many other terrific business partners throughout my career. I am appreciative of the support of Cary Pahigian and look forward to his – and your – great success in the years ahead.” Hearst Baltimore consists of WIYY “98 Rock” and talker WBAL. Cecil joined the stations 14 years ago; his last day there will be one week from Friday (10/3).
Salierno Named Interim GM of Star Radio Group. Longtime radio sales executive Ralph Salierno is promoted to interim general manager of the Star Radio Group based in Fredericksburg, Virginia. For the past two years, Salierno has served as director of sales for the station group. He’s also worked in the industry in Orlando, Virginia Beach, Oklahoma City and Memphis. Star Radio Group is part of The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company which was purchased at a bankruptcy auction in May of this year by Sandton Capital Partners for $30.2 million. The radio stations are: country WFLS, hip hop WVBX, classic rock WWUZ, and news/talk WNTX-AM and translator W243BS at 96.5 FM. Free Lance-Star and Star Radio Group publisher and CEO Gene Carr states, “Ralph has been a key member of the Star Radio group and has earned this internal promotion. In his new duties as interim GM, he will continue to serve as the director of sales as well. Ralph has done a great job in driving revenue growth.” At the same time, the station announces Jeff Beck is promoted to program director for WFLS and WWUZ. He’ll also have a supervisory role over WVBX and WNTX. Carr adds, “Jeff brings years of service and industry knowledge to the team. This new management team will help to position the company for further growth.”
WCKX, Columbus ‘Power 105.7’ Adds ‘Clairissa Jenkins’ Phone Checks.’ The Radio One-owned hip hop outlet is the newest affiliate for Envision Networks-distributed Clairissa Jenkins’ Phone Checks, the daily prank phone call for radio stations’ use on-air, online and on demand. WCKX program director Big Bink comments, “These Phone Checks will definitely keep my audience engaged and laughing on the way to work! We are excited to be the only station in Columbus with Clairissa!” Envision says the morning show bit produced by Clairissa Jenkins takes phone scams to the next level with her loud, politically incorrect, in-your-face style. “No one is safe from Clairissa’s wrath and some of her recent targets have experienced unexpected telephonic calamity including rabid dog attacks, fireplace cremations, and giving birth over the phone.” Envision also says listeners can set up their friends, family, and co-workers to be phone checked by Clairissa via the web, cultivating listener engagement and driving web traffic to affiliated station websites.
Diana Krall Postpones Tour, Album Release Due to Illness. Jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall is suffering from a severe case of pneumonia and the affliction is keeping her off the road this fall and postponing the release of her new record Wallflower (Verve Records). Wallflower was due for North American release on October 21 and the U.S. leg of her “Wallflower World Tour” was to kick off in Phoenix on November 7. Her condition has worsened after first being diagnosed and she’s under orders not to travel or undertake promotional activities for at least two months. She says in a statement, “I’m deeply saddened that I will have to postpone the release of my new album. Performing is both a privilege and joy for me. When I go out on stage I want to be able to give it everything. Taking this time to rest and recuperate will allow me to do that.”
Perhaps we should focus what we are good at and that the public still wants and needs
By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
Time spent listening to your AM and FM radio stations is declining precipitously each year. This is particularly true among young people. They’ve grown up in a world of visual stimuli and conditioning addicted to “screens.” They love music, but have minimal attraction to or experience with AM and FM radio. Advertising revenue for AM and FM radio is flat to declining.
There are shiny new high-tech competitors everywhere. Mobile phones and the internet are sucking up massive amounts of consumer time and attention. Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and other services and apps offer continuous music customized to listeners moods and tastes as well as individual songs on demand. This competition is becoming widely available and easily accessible in cars where the majority of AM and FM radio is consumed.
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, 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 (9/24) includes such names as: You + Me, Pink, Dallas Green, City and Colour, Nick Celino, John Legend, Sam Smith, Miley Cyrus, Sterling Fox, Cydel Gabutero, Lil Dicky, Lack of Afro, Herbal T, Wax, Jack Tyson-Charles, Annie Lennox, Live, Chad Taylor, Jenny Lewis, Beck, Johnny Winter, Ben Harper, Billy Idol, Steve Stevens, Jamestown Revival, Alt-J, Pat Green, Lyle Lovett, Ben Rush, Railers, Young Rising Sons, Bleachers, Whilk & Misky, Anastacia, Tove Lo,and Alesso 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, 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 (9/24) includes such names as: You + Me, Pink, Dallas Green, City and Colour, Nick Celino, John Legend, Sam Smith, Miley Cyrus, Sterling Fox, Cydel Gabutero, Lil Dicky, Lack of Afro, Herbal T, Wax, Jack Tyson-Charles, Annie Lennox, Live, Chad Taylor, Jenny Lewis, Beck, Johnny Winter, Ben Harper, Billy Idol, Steve Stevens, Jamestown Revival, Alt-J, Pat Green, Lyle Lovett, Ben Rush, Railers, Young Rising Sons, Bleachers, Whilk & Misky, Anastacia, Tove Lo,and Alesso among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
SCBA White Paper Contrasts AM/FM Radio Satisfaction with That of Pandora. In an effort to combat the perception that pureplays like Pandora are running away with consumer satisfaction – and more important, being an effective advertising medium – the Southern California Broadcasters Association is issuing its latest white paper titled, “Consumer Response and Listening Satisfaction of Broadcast Radio vs. Pandora Internet Music Service.” Using data from Bridge Ratings LLC and Scarborough, the study included a survey of 4,339 Pandora Prime users and 4,400 heavy users of broadcast radio. The SCBA states while marketers are always looking for something new and different, “questions of how the audience is measured and/or its effectiveness over time may not have been looked at in the rush of the ‘new media blitz’ on advertisers. Moreover, how is the consumer using broadcast radio vs. the Pandora internet music service over time and what are the trend lines advertisers should concern themselves with to protect their media investment and ensure the media plans are performing as they should?” Some of the conclusions reached by the SCBA include: customer dissatisfaction with Pandora over time as evidenced by a 40% drop in reported satisfaction over the course of three years; the collapse of session use on Pandora; and diminished awareness – or recall – of ads heard on Pandora versus broadcast radio. See the white paper here.
JVC Closes on West Palm Beach Signals; Flips WBGF and WSWN to Rock as ‘The Bar.’ As had been rumored in Florida media circles, the closing by JVC Media on a trio of signals in the West Palm Beach region brings about changes as the company drops the regional Mexican format and goes rock on WBGF-FM and WSWN-AM in Belle Glade, Florida (about 30 miles due west of West Palm Beach) as ’93.5 The Bar.’ The stations flipped at 12:00 noon on Tuesday (9/23) and began a 24-hour marathon of the Bubba the Love Sponge show before beginning a 10,000 song, commercial-free period. Bubba will hold down mornings on the simulcast. JVC market manager Shane Reeve comments, “This is the only place on the dial to hang out where there’s great music, good conversation, and tons of fun. We’re doing radio the old-fashioned way: personality driven. And the happy hours are going to be unbelievable!” The station says it will play “the best shots of 90s, 2K and current rock.”
Red Rock Radio Makes WWWI, Brainerd Part of KQ Network. The classic rock format based at Red Rock Radio-owned KQDS, Duluth expands to Red Rock’s WWWI, Brainerd, Minnesota. The company calls it the KQ Network and with the change the station will become “KQ96” as of October 6. The KQ Morning Show (pictured here) hosted by Jason Manning, Scott Savage and sportscaster Bruce Ciskie will air on the station from 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Red Rock Radio president Shawn Skramstad comments, “We are very much looking forward to providing listeners in the Brainerd/Baxter Lakes area with our newest KQ station. The KQ brand is well known throughout Minnesota, and ‘KQ96’ will nicely complement our other stations in the area.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Kemp Broadcasting-owned rhythmic CHR KVEG, Las Vegas “Hot 97.5,” Natalia Hernandez joins the morning show alongside host Miggy Santos. She most recently served with Beasley Broadcasting’s WPOW, Miami “Power 96.”
Consultant Fred Jacobs Encourages Radio Talent to Learn and Exploit Expanded Array of Available Media Tools. Reaction and commentary continues to buzz throughout the industry on the topic of the role of the aural media arts (non-visual radio and music) in the increasingly multi-media/visual environment of the digital era – instigated largely last week by comments made by TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison in the aftermath of the Clear Channel name/branding change to iHEARTMEDIA. According to Harrison, “I am delighted by the enormous number of responses – mostly overwhelmingly positive – that my comments sparked. Of course, there were those who immediately jumped to the conclusion that I am against the word ‘media’ or that I do not believe radio should be involved in internet, satellite or visual media at all. This is, of course, preposterous! The name of our company that owns TALKERS is Talk Media, Inc.; the name of our convention was the New Media Seminar way back in 1998; TALKERS magazine’s slogan is The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media; I have championed a concept known as “The Media Station” for more than a decade and the list goes on. All I am saying is we should remain sensitive and respectful to the idea that there is a very important place in this emerging mix for pure audio-only radio and music in terms of the fundamentals of these processes – and that by doing so, we will be serving the best interests of our industry, the people who work in it and the consumers who love radio and music on their basic terms.” Harrison continues, “My friend, noted radio consultant/researcher Fred Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Media, — also an industry voice who is outspoken on this most compelling issue — has written and posted a blog today (9/22) that I believe adds an important dimension to the subject that warrants attention. Jacobs makes a case, somewhat counterpoint (but not contradictory) to mine, that I find inspirational.” In the blog, Jacobs writes, “I started thinking about this notion that the proliferation of screens will narrow the field for talkers, DJs, and hosts who are great with words, but not so wonderful visually. As he [Michael Harrison] notes, screens of all sizes are becoming dominant parts of how people consume media. Thankfully, radio has been able to participate on most of those screens, whether on smartphones or tablets. Over time as autonomous driving becomes more common, those who ride in these cars will gravitate to entertainment that is visual in origin – at least at a higher percentage than they are able to consume now while dangerously texting and driving. So is this the beginning of the end for radio, or is it simply the beginning of the beginning? Because as we have explored in this blog during the past few years, disruption forces old stars to adapt while bringing new ones to the center stage. Notably, two of the “Best Motion Picture” Oscars in just the past few years have focused on this topic. The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth was a story about changing technology, as the King of England was forced to learn how to communicate on the radio. Of course, he struggled, but in the end he was able to adapt. And in The Artist, the film’s silent film star refused to adapt to ‘talkies’ and is eventually displaced by a new brand of movie icons. Change is uncomfortable and it can be bitter, as depicted in this amazing film. The ending eventually become a happy one, but the road was arduous and difficult because of the tech disruption caused by the advent of movie sound. Change is hard, especially for those who have enjoyed the status quo. It tests everyone in all strata of the organization and the industry. Accepting, adapting, and adjusting is hard work. It can be quite uncomfortable in workplaces that were once always fun and even kind of easy. But these are the necessary skills that radio people need to exude in order to make the transition. We see signs of this every day in broadcast radio. Those who have the ability to connect with audiences – in person and in social spaces – have a unique edge. The old paradigm of the DJ hermit, locked down the hall in the air studio, is breaking apart. Today’s air talent need to be able to mix it up with listeners, clients, and community leaders. Not every film star is handsome. The public appreciates an interesting face, whether it’s Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones or Linda Hunt on NCIS. They may be exceptions, but they stand out because they’re different, captivating, and worthy of our attention. They’re also immensely talented actors. And the same will be the case on the radios of the future. While good-looking DJs like Ryan Seacrest or Bobby Bones may have inherent advantages, Howard Stern proves that must-hear content trumps a pretty face. And he’s not alone. Words matter, and they will continue to in a media ecosphere that is now dominated by visuals. Screens or not, it’s the thought that counts. These are changes that radio need to roll with. Let’s open up new visual doors, new avenues, and new paths for our content. And let’s embrace them because it’s truly a media world.” To read Fred Jacobs’ entire blog, please click here.
“The Beat” Goes on in Columbus. The transition of iHeartMedia’s WCGX, Columbus from alternative to urban comes as vice president of programming Michael McCoy announces the creation of urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat.” Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club,” with DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne tha god, begins on “The Beat” in two weeks (10/6). “Premium Choice” (i.e. voice tracking) will air on the station middays, while local talent will handle afternoon drive and evenings. Alternative continues on co-owned WBWR-HD2. Among persons 6+ in the latest (August 2014) Nielsen Audio PPM report, WCGX ranks #11; it had its second straight two-tenths’ downward trend (2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2) and registered 12 straight trends in the 2.1 – 2.9 range. Meanwhile, cross-town alternative competitor WWCD “CD 102.5″ ranks tenth (2.3).
Radio Management Pro Warren Named VP/MM for Cumulus Nashville. Jumping from the Austin cluster of Entercom where she was director of sales and taking on the vice president and market manager role at Cumulus Media Nashville is Allison Warren. Cumulus SVP Jeff Brown comments, “Allison was a key part of my team in Denver some years back. She did great work there and has since built a portfolio of successes in vibrant radio markets including Austin, Madison and Milwaukee. Her results-driven, collaborative leadership style will infuse our Nashville operations with the energy and focus needed at this pivotal point in the cluster’s growth. Allison will be an incredible asset to Cumulus’ leadership team.” Warren also served with Entercom at its Madison and Milwaukee clusters as well as with CBS RADIO in Denver. Cumulus operates six stations in the market as well as the Tennessee Titans Radio Network.
Applebee Transfers to WNOK As PD. Four-year hot AC KJMY “My 99.5,” Salt Lake City assistant program director Greg Applebee will relocate to Columbia, South Carolina next Wednesday (10/1) to become program director of iHeartMedia CHR sibling WNOK “104.7 – All the Hits.” He succeeds Jonathan Reed, who exited to program two of the company’s Austin properties – mainstream CHR KHFI “Kiss-FM,” and rhythmic CHR KPEZ “The Beat.” Prior to his KJMY duties, Applebee was imaging and promotions director of Bahakel Communications-owned alternative KRXP, Colorado Springs.
Denny Schaffer Returns to Toledo Airwaves. Well-known Toledo radio personality Denny Schaffer is back on the air in the market this morning after joining Cumulus Media’s hot AC WWWM “Star 105.” Schaffer was most recently with iHeartMedia hosting the morning drive program on WRNO, New Orleans. In Toledo he’s worked at CHR WVKS “Kiss FM” and news/talk WSPD. Joining him on air at “Star 105” are Tricia Courtney Tischler and Suzie Moser – both members of his “Breakfast Show” cast on WVKS. Cumulus Toledo VP and market manager Andy Stuart comments, “Denny is a magnificent talent. His ability to engage an audience is rare and we are all looking forward to working with him on the new ‘Star 105.’ Our desire to bring him back to Toledo is further evidence of the commitment Cumulus Media has to attracting great talent to our company.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. In Indianapolis, Cumulus Media moves midday personality McKinzie Roth to the afternoon drive daypart at hot AC WRWM “i94” effective today (9/22)…..San Diego market pro Steve West pops up at Lincoln Financial Media-owned alternative outlet KBZT “FM 94/9” to host the Sunday morning show “Legends of Alternative.” West spent almost 30 years with crosstown alt-rocker XETRA “91X” before exiting in July of this summer…..Changes in the Tri-Cities, Washington market as Chuck Hall and Patti Banner move across the hall at the James Ingstad-owned properties from country KIOK “94.9 The Wolf” to classic hits KKSR to host “The Morning Blend.” Back at KIOK, Kendra & Adam are the new morning duo…..Grahame Winters is the new midday jock at Codcomm-owned CHR WHYA, Cape Cod “Y101.” She comes to the station from her most recent on-air gig at classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford and takes over for Jessica Cally who left for the PM drive gig at iHeartMedia’s country WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull.”…..Skeeter Nash is the new morning drive personality at JMJ Broadcasting’s classic country KTPK, Topeka, effective next Monday (9/29). To make room, Marc Bradley moves to a programming and promotions role with the station.
Local On-Air Talent CAN Become Indispensable. Media consultant Holland Cooke revisits (and expands upon!) the point he made the “pages” of our sister publication TALKERS magazine four years ago that “if you’re in RADIO, you’re in SALES” in a column published today at RadioInfo (9/22). It’s easy to pick apart the effectiveness of another medium’s advertising components but radio must look in the mirror for, as Cooke writes, criticism of a lot of radio’s not-so-great spots is justified because “at many stations, including some in major markets, there’s no creative department. Reps write their own copy, a task that’s not sellers’ core competency.” Effectiveness is directly related to quality, so how to up the quality? Cooke offers some suggestions and you can check them out here.
CBS RADIO Announces ‘We Can Survive’ Concert. The concert set for the Hollywood Bowl on Friday, October 24 will benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Young Survival Coalition, two organizations dedicated to supporting and educating women and families who have experienced breast cancer. CBS RADIO announces the acts for the show from which $2 from every ticket sold will go to the aforementioned charities. Playing the annual concert fundraiser this year are: Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Lady Antebellum, Iggy Azalea, Paramore and Sia, with a special appearance by Gwen Stefani. The show will be hosted by CBS RADIO’s Carson Daly.
BIA/Kelsey Forecast for 2015 Local Media Revenue: Up 1.6%. But, of course, the increase comes as beneficial for those in the online/digital media realm (+13.1%) and, not surprisingly, traditional media is expected to see another dip (-1.7%). BIA/Kelsey is presenting these results and more at its Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference in New Orleans this week. The company predicts that in 2015, online/digital will account for more than one-quarter (25.2%) of total local media revenues in 2015. Revenues for online/digital are expected to grow from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015, representing a 13.1% growth rate. Other forecasts include: Mobile local ad revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015; Local social media revenues will grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2015; Local search revenues will grow from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion in 2015; Local display revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2015; and Local online video revenues will grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $3.0 billion in 2015.
Lineup for ‘Y98 Mistletoe Show’ Announced. The acts set to perform at the “Y98 Mistletoe Show” presented by CBS RADIO hot AC outlet KYKY, St. Louis “Y98-FM” on December 6 includes: Daughtry, Sarah McLachlan, Andy Grammer, Echosmith, and Jonathan Jackson. The station is selling tickets to the public during a special concert pre-sale starting on September 25.
Backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The two-day music festival produced by iHeartMedia and dubbed the iHeartRadio Music Festival took place on Friday and Saturday (9/19-20) in Las Vegas and, for the third straight year, major music acts invaded the city. Pictured here with WHTZ, New York and Premiere Networks syndicated star Elvis Duran (left) is Jason Derulo (right) after the two did an interview for Duran’s program backstage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Before all the firings radio has suffered since, it might’ve seemed overstated when – four years ago — I wrote here: “tough decisions are being made, in meetings you’re not invited to. Possibly in meetings your boss is not invited to.”
My column then declared that, “if you’re in radio, you’re in sales;” and offered tips for improving the endorsement spots that only local personalities can deliver, and other ways to become a more conspicuous contributor to your station’s revenue. ICYMI: http://www.radio-info.com/2012/11/02/now-that-youre-in-sales/
Cutbacks since then – and, likely, still to come – only underline the need for on-air talent to be as sales-supportive as possible, if not actually carrying a list. To that end, this guidance about writing effective commercial copy, a task talent is often better-at than station reps, whose time is better spent pounding the pavement.
“Hot 97″ Appoints Torrez Music Director. WCDX “iPower 92.1 – Interactive Hip-Hop & R&B” music director and afternoon drive talent TT Torrez will depart the Radio One Richmond urban contemporary outlet to become music director of Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97.” WQHT program director Jay Dixon points out that, “TT has a long and consistent track record of making things happen. After seeing the amazing things she has done in her career, and learning she was a fan of ‘Hot 97,’ I could not pass up the opportunity to work with her. TT knows hip-hop. We are thrilled to have her on-board, and cannot wait to see what she can bring to our legendary brand.” Torrez thanks a number of Emmis executives “for believing in my talents and allowing me the opportunity to further grow my career with the Emmis family. As a young girl growing up in New York, I always dreamed about the day I would be able to work for the station that I grew up on – my desire to get into radio was because of the influence ‘Hot 97′ had on me as kid. This opportunity is an amazing blessing – dreams really do come true.” In addition to Richmond, Torrez has worked in New York, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Hartford as a correspondent, writer, and producer; she was a music programmer for Music Choice television. She begins her new assignment at “Hot 97″ in about two weeks (10/1).
Reach Media Adds Patti Johnson to NY Sales Staff. This is a return to REACH Media Inc. for Patti Johnson who most recently served as local sales manager for iHeartMedia in Chicago. Prior to that, Johnson served for almost three years as an account executive in the Chicago offices of REACH Media. Her new gig begins Monday (9/22) as she works from the New York office of REACH as account manager, Eastern sales. She also previously worked for Interep Radio Sales in Chicago and St Louis in various sales positions.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At the Townsquare Media Tyler-Longview, Texas cluster, “Big Stew” Sawyers is named operations manager and program director for country KNUE. Sawyers takes over for the departed Scott Gaines…..Alpha Media names James Levy director of sales for its four-station Richmond, Virginia group…..Eric “Smelly” Smeltzer is the new producer for the KSAN, San Francisco “107.7 The Bone” morning drive show Lamont & Tonelli…..Lincoln Financial Media’s AC KIFM, San Diego adds Premiere Networks’ Delilah as evening host. PD Mike Vasquez says, “‘Easy 98.1’ has become a top station for at-work listening and now we want to allow our fans to connect with Delilah when they’re unwinding at night.”
CRN International Study Draws Eye-Opening Conclusions About Radio Ads. The results of CRN International’s research poll of 525 consumers and the resultant white paper shines a spotlight on the traditional methods of advertising on radio, how consumers perceive those efforts and what might be done to make radio a more effective advertising vehicle. When it comes to influencing a purchase decision, the study — conducted and released by the Connecticut-based, national ad agency that specializes in radio — indicates that 41% of survey respondents said that custom content – defined as useful or entertaining information provided by a sponsor – would be the messaging form most likely to increase their purchase decision. Testimonials from everyday consumers like themselves came in second as a purchasing influencer at 20%, with traditional commercials finishing third at 18%. A red flag for radio is that more than 80% of the respondents confirmed that they pay little attention to radio spot commercials. Those ads, they said, have little chance of influencing a buying decision, according to the study. Perhaps more alarming for radio operators is the results seemed to fly in the face of previous studies that most radio listeners stay tuned in through entire lengthy commercial stop sets. In the CRN research, 67% of the consumers said they don’t make it past the second advertisement during a commercial break. However, positive signs from the study include some of the following conclusions: Regarding endorsements from their favorite radio DJ personalities, 28% said that tactic would have a positive impact on their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; Regarding endorsements from everyday people like themselves, 42% said that tactic would increase their chances of considering or buying the sponsor’s product; 23% of the respondents said meeting radio personalities at a live, local radio station appearance would be of interest to them; 52% said they would be interested in participating in a contest or sweepstakes heard on the radio; Almost 60% said they would be very or somewhat receptive to considering or buying the product of a contest or sweepstakes sponsor. To see the CRN International white paper, click here.
Tom Joyner Visits Dayton Affiliate WROU. As part of his ongoing tour of affiliate stations across the country, Reach Media-syndicated urban morning host Tom Joyner is visiting Alpha Media’s Dayton rhythmic oldies “92.1 WROU” on Wednesday, September 24. The station has sold Central State University the sponsorship of the appearance. Also part of Joyner’s Dayton visit is a Tuesday invite-only reception at Taste Creative Cuisine for WROU listeners to meet Joyner, Sybil Wilkes and Jay Anthony Brown. Tickets to the sponsored event will be free to listeners at specially designated Tom Joyner “ticket stops.”
Fruge Adds VP Stripes. Promoted to VP of programming for CBS Radio’s six-station Las Vegas cluster is hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1″ and alternative KXTE “X-107.5″ program director Charese Fruge. She will continue programming “Mix” and “X-107.5.” Senior vice president and market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Charese is a consummate programming professional. Under her direction, ‘Mix 94.1′ has dominated the market for years while the ratings trajectory for ‘X-107.5′ has seen impressive growth. Moreover, her longstanding relationships in the music business allow our stations to deliver unparalleled music experiences that rival any other music event held in Las Vegas. She is a bright, shining star.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge has worked at CBS Radio Las Vegas for ten years. Her past programming credits include (then-hot AC) KYSR “Star 98.7,” Los Angeles; hot AC KLLC “Alice,” San Francisco; KKBQ “93-Q,” Houston; hot AC KSCF “Sophie@103.7,”San Diego; hot AC KALC “Alice,” Denver; and WEZB “B-97,” New Orleans. Cat Thomas continues to program KLUC, the cluster’s CHR; sports KXST; and news/talk/sports KXNT AM & KXNT-FM.
Collins Joins iHeartMedia’s Programming Platforms Roster. Rhythmic CHRbrand manager Cat Collins assumes additional responsibilities on iHeartMedia‘s national programming platforms and strategic services teams. National programming platforms president Tom Poleman comments, “Cat’s impressive ratings track record makes him the ideal choice for this role. His programming expertise and industry experience have strengthened our rhythmic CHR stations and helped us create winning brands across America. We are thrilled to have him extend his incredibly valuable skill set to our stations throughout the country.” Collins remarks that he is “really” looking forward “to being able to focus all my time and attention on helping all of our existing rhythmic CHR brands grow, and developing exciting new platforms for iHeartMedia.” Collins formerly programmed iHeartMedia San Francisco rhythmic CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9″ and co-owned hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3″; he continues as program director for Premium Choice.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At the Richmond station group, Alpha Media announces the appointment of James Levy as director of sales for the four-station cluster…..Gretchen Helterhoff is the new promotions coordinator at Entercom’s Denver stations hot AC KALC “Alice 105.9” and classic hits KQMT “99.5 The Mountain.” She most recently was morning personality at Journal Broadcast Group’s adult hits WLWK, Milwaukee “Lake FM.”…..Stylz exits Powell Broadcasting CHR WPFM, Panama City, Florida “Hot 107.9” where he was morning host and social media director.
Rocker KDKB Transitions to Alternative. Phoenix rocker KDKB flips to alternative as “ALT AZ 93-3.” Hubbard Phoenix vice president and market manager Trip Reeb remarks that he is “excited” to “offer a new, powerful home for alternative music. It is time this music had a strong outlet in Phoenix, and this is the perfect complement for our other rock mainstays, KUPD and KSLX.” Reeb, of course, is known for his nearly 20 years at iconic Los Angeles alternative outlet KROQ. “ALT AZ 93-3″ representative artists will include Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Lorde, and Mumford & Sons. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s August 2014 Phoenix PPM report, KDKB ranks #15 (2.9); KUPD finishes sixth (4.4); and classic rock KSLX is fifth (4.5). KDKB actually has two straight (6+) up trends (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.9, June – July – August); however, the last time the station ranked in the top ten was January 2012 (#10, 3.3).
ABC News Radio and Hearst Strike Deal for News and Info Service for Baltimore Stations. When Hearst Radio’s news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY in Baltimore begin using ABC News Radio products later this year, it’ll mark a return to the outlets for ABC after more than 10 years absence. In addition to the two stations using ABC’s “premium national, international and entertainment news programming,” ABC Radio will provide music news for WIYY’s website and ABC Air Power, the most immediate, most topical and most complete radio show prep service in the industry today. WBAL and WIYY president and GM Cary Pahigian comments, “From reliable top hour newscasts and breaking news for WBAL and prep and digital support for ‘98 Rock,’ we are delighted to welcome the powerful resources of ABC to Hearst Radio Baltimore.”
Bustos Gets Back in the Radio Business. The announced deal for Amador Bustos to buy the stations he previously owned under the Bustos Media banner from current owner Adelante Media in Washington state includes the following signals: Spanish contemporary KMIA-AM, Seattle “Latino 1210,” country KZUS, Ephrata “US 92.3,” news/talk KULE, Ephrata “Hot Talk 730,” Spanish adult hits KDYK, Yakima “Juan AM 1020,” regional Mexican KZTA, Naches “La Gran D,” regional Mexican KDDS, Elma “La Gran D,” regional Mexican KZML, Quincy “La Gran D,” Spanish AC KMMG, Tri-Cities “Latino 96.7” and regional Mexican KZTB, Tri-Cities “La Gran D.” Four years ago, Bustos Media merged with NAP Broadcast Holdings to create Adelante Media. Bustos will begin operating the stations under an LMA.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Celebrity Golf Tournament Raises $250,000. Monday’s 2014 Celebrity Golf Tournament at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, New York helped raise $250,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America. More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, including famed sportscasters, athletes, and actors. Celebrity golfers included: Michael J. Fox; Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV; Craig Carton, WFAN; John Franco, Mets Hall of Famer; Sterling Sharpe, Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer; Tina Cervasio, Fox Sports and MSG Network; Howard Cross, New York Giants great; Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV; Rachel Grant, actress and philanthropist; Jay Harris, ESPN; Mary Calvi, WCBS-TV; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, CBS and ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Dana Tyler, WCBS-TV; Chris Wragge, WCBS-TV; and more.