Category: Industry News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

| December 18, 2014

dastursharonSharon 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 industryiheartmedia logo small 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 medinamarkabout 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 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.”

parkerdonParker 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.

chiassonscottJournal 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 hiskaplanrebecca 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.

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bonesbobbySusan 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.

heos logoiHeartRadio 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.”

madisonrisingMadison 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.”

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dorseyterryDickeypicLegendary 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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

| December 17, 2014

littlebigtown albumDuane 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.

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oraazaelaJB14‘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,duranpolemanJB14 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.”

mahaffeyskipSkip 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.

huckabeemike‘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.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

| December 16, 2014

accaMcEntireCountry 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 LineReba 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.

ACCAAldeanACCA 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

kdkb logoHaupert 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.

cadillacjackBeasley 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.daniels@bbgilv.com if you think you have what it takes to fill Cadillac’s shoes.

damicorafeBeasley 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 beasley logoadvertisers 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.

nolanmikeSignoff 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 haskost logo 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.

Monday, December 15, 2014

| December 15, 2014

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dalycarsonCBS 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 withcbsradio 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+.”

landrynikkiNikki 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 asratpuffsmall 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.

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price howardSydney 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.

rebaRCR14Country 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.’”

wpljRalphieWPLJ, 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.

Friday, December 12, 2014

| December 12, 2014

donovanjaydeJayde Donovan Joins Todd Pettengill for Mornings on WPLJ, New York.  Just a few days after announcing she was leaving Cox Media Group’s CHR WPOI, Tampa “Hot 101.5,” Jayde Donovan is named morning drive co-host on Cumulus Media’s New York hot AC WPLJ.  Donovan joins Todd Pettengill for the newly re-named “Todd and Jayde (In the Morning” program, effective January 5.  Cumulus New York vice president and market manager Kim Bryant says, “We are thrilled to have a talent like Jayde on ‘PLJ.  She is genuine, smart and beautiful.  The New York market is going to fall in love with her.”  Inwplj addition to her radio work, Donovan has worked as a correspondent for WTVT-TV, Tampa “Fox 13,” with the weekly segment “Hot Happenings” on “Good Day Tampa Bay” and the daily segment “Hot Dish” on Dish Nation.  She also hosted the television show “The Cue” on WOFL-TV Orlando “Fox 35.” in Orlando.  About her new gig, Donovan says, “I still can’t wrap my head around the dream job in front of me!  To co-lead a show in the number one market in the world is more than a dream come true.  Huge thanks to John Dickey, Mike McVay, Gillette, and my legendary radio friend Todd Pettengill for bringing me on the team.  Can’t wait to get to work!”

richmcclain logoRichard Deaver Exits KOSP, Springfield After Traffic Citation Controversy.  Neither side is talking too much about air personality Richard Deaver’s exit from Mid-West Family Communications’ CHR KOSP “92.9 The Beat,” but it comes almost a month after he complained on the air about treatment he alleges he received from the Springfield police during a traffic stop.  The on-air talk about Deaver’s traffic citation caused the Springfield Police Officers Association to issue a boycott of the radio station.  Neither Deaver nor Mid-West Family would say too much to the Springfield News-Leader and would not say if the matter played a direct role in Deaver’s exit.  You can read the News-Leader piece here.  For now, Deaver’s co-host Dawn McClain will host the morning program solo.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  The new afternoon personality at CBS RADIO’s alternative KITS, San Francisco “LIVE 105” is Greg Beharrell.  He comes to the Bay Area from his most recent gig at Corus-owned rocker CFOX, Vancouver, BC.  Beharrell has also worked at alternative outlets CFNY, Toronto “102.1 The Edge” and CFEX, Calgary “X92.9.”…..Govia returns to the Peoria market where he’ll be the evening personality on Alpha Media’s new CHR WNGY “Energy 102.3” beginning December 15…..Heather Stupeck joins the team at Jerry Duncan Promotions as secondary promotion manager.  Stupeck is a former digital media assistant and on-air personality at WKDQ and sister station WDKS in Evansville, Indiana.

nightbeforeCBS RADIO Announces ‘The Night Before’ Concert in Phoenix.  The “Night Before” concert will take place on January 31 – the night before the NFL’s Super Bowl being played at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1.  CBS RADIO announces the lineup for this show will include country stars Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, and Florida Georgia Line.  The news of the show was announced on CBS O&O KMLE, Phoenix by Dierks Bentley today (12/12) as he said, “I’m excited to be part of a huge night in country music the night before the biggest event in sports…in my hometown!  We’re about to take tailgating in Phoenix to a whole new level.”  CBS SVP of strategic events and partnerships Amy Stevens adds, “There’s no bigger sporting event than the Super Bowl, and what better way to celebrate the greatest championship in the world than with a star-studded concert event The Night Before.  We had an amazing inaugural show in 2014 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in New York, and we’re thrilled to present the next installment in this emerging tradition with some of this generation’s greatest country acts.”

AMSLennonMaisyLennon & Maisy Visit ‘America’s Morning Show.’  Stars of ABC-TV’s hit series “Nashville,” Lennon & Maisy, stopped by the NASH Campus in Nashville where they chatted and performed on “America’s Morning Show.”  The duo performed their new Christmas single, “Christmas Coming Home,” and their YouTube hit cover of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey.”  Pictured here (from left to right) are:  Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella, Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks and Blair Garner.

marksidWPHT, Philadelphia Celebrates Sid Mark’s 58th Anniversary.  News/talk outlet WPHT, Philadelphia is honoring the 58th anniversary of the broadcasting career of Sid Mark – host of the legendary “Sounds of Sinatra” program.  The sold-out, special event is taking place tonight (12/12) from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Parx Casino’s 360 Lounge.  The evening will feature a special live broadcast of the “Sounds of Sinatra” program with special guest Frank Sinatra, Jr.  Today also marks what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 99th birthday.  Marc Rayfield, SVP/market manager for CBS RADIO Philadelphia says, “WPHT  is proud to pay tribute to a living legend.  Sid Mark has entertained generations of listeners through the years and it’s wonderful to be able to honor the legacy of Frank Sinatra and celebrate Sid’s amazing career at the same time.”  Mark launched the “Sounds of Sinatra” show in Philly 57 years ago.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

| December 11, 2014

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia to Sell Towers to Vertical Bridge for $400 Million.  The press release from iHeartMedia says the deal is for select tower assets and it doesn’t go on to list which towers that includes, but suffice it to say, the company is using the deal to bring in a cash infusion of $400 million and prepare for the day when it may no longer need the towers to transmit AM/FM signals.  Admittedly, that day may be down the road a ways but it might be a good start to reducing the expense of the real estate and tower maintenance.  iHeartMedia will still have to pay lease fees for the transmitters and it reminds investors that will incur an expense.  iHeartMedia president and CFO Richard Bressler states, “This is a great example of how we continue to optimize our balance sheet and maximize liquidity — and how we continually review our entire portfolio of assets to ensure we operate them in the most efficient way possible and invest our resources in the highest return opportunities.”  The companies expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2015.

marshallbradMarshall Named Market Manager for Cumulus Youngstown.  The new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media is Brad Marshall.  He steps up from his role as director for sales for the cluster, replacing the retiring Rick Parrish.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “We wish Rick well with his retirement and thank him for his years of service to us.  Moving forward, we are thrilled to have Brad promoted to this role.  As the DOS for five years, Brad was ready for this challenge and we look forward to many years of success under his leadership.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  The San Antonio Express-News is reporting that longtime KZEP jock Craig “Crash” Chambers was let go on Tuesday of this week.  iHeartMedia officials confirmed Chambers’ exit from the classic rock station.  KZEP’s classic rock format recently moved from its longtime 104.5 frequency to the translator K277BH at 93.3 as 104.5 was remade into the urban contemporary outlet “HOT 104.5.”

hankfm logoHANK FM to Air on KNHK, Newport, Washington.  The Envision Networks and Kroeger Media syndicated country format HANK FM is now airing on Alexandra Communications’ KNHK, Newport, Washington (approximately 35 miles north of Spokane).  Station general manager Chris Gilbreth comments, “We’re excited to bring HANK FM to Spokane.  We’ve seen in other markets how listeners and advertisers seem to just ‘get’ the HANK concept.  We’re looking forward to a prosperous year ahead as more people crank the HANK in this area.”  Envision and Kroeger Media say the HANK FM format is similar to its adult hits cousin BOB FM (also a creation of Kroeger) in that it “doesn’t play by the rules.  HANK breaks the mold with a unique mix of over 1,000 tested titles spanning from the 80s, 90s, 00s and today.  This wide and unique music library can be molded into three distinct HANK flavors that can be customized to meet any market.’”

RedCarpetRadio logoCumulus’ Red Carpet Radio to Offer Backstage Content from American Country Countdown Awards.  The new Red Carpet Radio project from Cumulus Media and Westwood One will again provide exclusive audio coverage – this time from backstage at the “American Country Countdown Awards” tomorrow and Saturday from Nashville’s Music City Center in advance of Monday’s televised show.  The inaugural awards show is being hosted by Florida Georgia Line and will air on Fox TV from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  The Red Carpet Radio backstage event will feature two days of live broadcasts with 20 country radio stations from across the nation and include an array of hosts, presenters, and performers mingling backstage.  Cumulus/Westwood One national shows “NASH Nights Live,” “America’s Morning Show,” and “American Country Countdown” will broadcast live from backstage.

cookehollandTalkersTV Presents Tribute to Voices that Radio Will Miss in 2015. What started out as a simple social media video project created by consultant Holland Cooke has been picked up by TalkersTV (a service of RadioInfo’s sister trade publication, TALKERS) as a special year-end presentation honoring some of the unforgettable voices that passed on to that great broadcast studio in the sky in 2014.  Cooke tells TALKERS, “Radio is about story telling… and these people were such stories unto themselves.  What we do next stands on their broad shoulders.”  TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “There is an elegant simplicity in the way these powerful video vignettes were produced.  Parts are silent with text and images; some employ potent sound bites that touch the soul. We are so pleased that this sweet production found an appropriate home on our platform this holiday season.”  To view, please see the TalkersTV box at the top of the right hand column on every page of the TALKERS website by clicking here.

wmzqbushgroupDoin’ it for the Kids.  This photo of Streamsound Records recording artist Kristian Bush with WMZQ, Washington staffers was taken at the iHeartMedia station’s “Concert for the Kids” on December 5 at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Bush performed his current single, “Trailer Hitch.”  Pictured here (from left to right) are: Streamsound’s Theresa Ford and Teddi Bonadies, Premiere Networks‘ director/country programming Justin Cole, WMZQ PD Meg Stevens, Kristian Bush and Brandon Bush.

deejaysilvergroupDee Jay Silver Relaxing in Vegas.  In Sin City for his recent seven-day appearance as part of the National Rodeo Finals, “The Country Club” host Dee Jay Silver spent some time hanging out at The Bank nightclub.  Silver (third from left), whose program is syndicated nationally by Sun Broadcast Group/KMG took time to pose for a shot with (l-r): Niels Skou, West Coast promotion manager, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine; Julio Aponte, COO, Sun Broadcast Group; Silver; Jenna Straub; Jason Bailey, CEO, Sun Broadcast Group and Ron Rivlin, SVP programming and affiliate relations, Sun Broadcast Group.

bandperryAMSThe Band Perry Drops in on Blair Garner.  After The Band Perry paid a visit to the NASH Campus in Nashville, they posed for a shot with Cumulus Media’s nationally syndicated country program, “America’s Morning Show.”  From left to right are: Neil Perry, AMS personality Chuck Wicks, Kimberly Perry, AMS personality Terri Clark, Blair Garner and Reid Perry.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

| December 10, 2014

hillcountryjaneDuane 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 Bayley Brown, WKLC-FM, St. Albans-Charleston “Rock 105,” 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 (12/10) includes such names as: 5 Seconds of Summer, The Romantics, Ed Sheeran, Mark Ronson, Mystikal, Milky Chance, Vance Joy, The Griswolds, Paul McCartney, Motel Beds, Madison Rising, Rock Sugar, Bob Dylan, Mitchell Tenpenny, Hill Country Jane, Mark Allan Atwood, Old Dominion, AronChupa, Listenbee, and Marian Hill among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

piolineddieEddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo Returns to AM/FM Radio Via Entravision.  “Piolín por la Mañana” aired on a number of Entravision Communications-owned stations prior to Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo’s controversial departure from his Univision-syndicated show amidst allegations by co-workers of sexual harassment and a countersuit by Sotelo that was thrown out of court.  That was in the spring of 2013 and then Sotelo spent a year with SiriusXM but left the satcaster in September of this year.  Now, Entravision is launching a new “El Show de Piolín” morning program on 16 of its stations beginning on January 5.entravision  Entravision COO Jeffery Liberman states, “Piolín’s return to network radio is nothing short of monumental and we’re eager to bring his incredibly popular program to our twelve Tricolor stations, La Nueva in the Rio Grande Valley and Super Estrella in Los Angeles.  Building on the success of our wildly popular afternoon program, ‘El Show de Erazno y La Chokolata,’ Piolín is a perfect complement to our current programming lineup.  Further, the addition of Piolín will significantly strengthen Entravision Solutions as the premier advertising sales organization for syndicated Spanish-language content nationally.  When combined with our fast-growing digital assets and big data resources, we are ideally positioned to maximize the incredible star power that Piolín brings to our multimedia organization.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Los Angeles country outlet KKGO “Go Country 105,” Mount Wilson Broadcasters moves afternoon host Paul Freeman to evenings and bumps night personalities Larry Morgan and Ginny Harmon down to the afternoon show beginning in January…..In the Motor City, personality Gillian Reilly and producer Joe Blum both exit CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio,” leaving Sean “Coop” Tabler to hostdonovanjayde “The Coop Show” solo, at least in the interim…..Exiting Cox Media Group’s CHR WPOI, Tampa “Hot 101.5” for a new, yet-to-be-announced gig is morning personality Jayde Donovan…..Dale Desmond exits Apex Broadcasting’s country WCKN, Charleston, South Carolina where he was morning drive personality for the past year…..Bowling Green, Kentucky morning personality Tony Rose is moving from Charles M. Anderson-owned adult hits WKLX “100.7 SAM FM” to Daily News Broadcasting’s classic rock WDNS “Classic Rock D93” effective January 5, according to WBKO-TV.

woglbrittanetcWOGL, Philadelphia to Give Away 98 Christmas Trees.  The morning show team at CBS RADIO’s classic hits WOGL, Philadelphia will be broadcasting live this Saturday from Kindy’s Factory Outlet Store in South Philly to give away 98 free Christmas trees.  Morning personality Ross Brittain and “Breakfast Club” cast members Valerie Knight, Frank Lewis and Bill Zimpfer (pictured at left) will appear live at the event.

kkdaUsherHangin’ with Usher in Dallas.  At Usher’s Dallas stop on “The Usher Experience Tour” at the American Airlines Center last week, the singer took a few minutes to hang out backstage with Service Broadcasting director of operations and hip hop KKDA “K104” PD George “Geo” Cook and “K104” morning personality DeDe Maguire.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Dallas luxury real estate agent Megan Theriot, Cook, Usher and Maguire.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

| December 9, 2014

thompsonmarkThompson Set to Make His Mark on “The Sound.” It will not happen until this coming February, but longtime wakeup talent Mark Thompson is poised to be the latest ex-KLOS, Los Angeles on-air personality to join crosstown Bonneville-owned KSWD “The Sound.”  Thompson – formerly one-half of KLOS’ Mark & Brian (Phelps) – will host KSWD’s “Mark in the Morning.”  According to “The Sound” vice president and general manager Peter Burton, “Mark’s return is probably the biggest thing to happen to Los Angeles radio since his departure.  There has been a huge void in local morning radio.”  Program director Dave Beasing comments that, ‘”The Sound’ will continue to be all about the music.  Mark will create a daily shared experience that classic rock fans won’t want to miss.”  Thompson remarks, “For me to return to mornings on Los Angeles’ white-hot radiokswd logo station, ‘The Sound,’ is beyond exciting.  To all my old and new listeners in Los Angeles: Brace yourself, my people, because there is an entertainment storm coming and an umbrella will not help you.”  At “The Sound,” Thompson will join former KLOS on-air talents Uncle Joe Benson, Rita Wilde, and Cynthia Fox. Associated with Thompson’s impending arrival, current morning driver Benson will take over middays and current midday talent Andy Chanley will join the “Mark in the Morning” cast. After a 25-year run, “Mark & Brian” exited KLOS in August of 2012.  They formerly did morning drive at Birmingham’s WAPI-FM, and their weekly 30-minute “Adventures of Mark and Brian” aired on NBC-TV from September 1991 – May 1992.  Thompson’s radio career spans 45 years.  His numerous accolades include a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an Emmy for co-hosting “The Andy Griffith Christmas Special” for Fox.

dorseyterryKSCS, Dallas Morning Host Terry Dorsey to Retire.  Legendary Dallas country personality Terry Dorsey is retiring from Cumulus Media’s KSCS after a 26-year stint there capping a 40-year radio career.  The station announces his last day will be December 17, after which he and wife Claudia will retire to Illinois to be close to family.  Dorsey started his radio career in the late 1960s at WFKY, Frankfort, Kentucky.  He worked in Richmond, Indiana; Colorado Springs; and Dayton, Ohio before arriving in Dallas in 1980 to do mornings on KPLX.  Dorsey moved across town to KSCS in July, 1988.   and has been a fixture on KSCS and Dallas radio ever since.  Station OM J.R. Schumann says, “What an honor it’s been to work with a broadcast giant like Terry Dorsey.  This has been a milestone in my career and I’m fortunate for having been able to attach my name to part of his legendary career.  I think I can speak for most people when I say Dallas radio won’t be the same without Terry’s voice in the morning!  I wish him nothing but the absolute best in his retirement!”

kevinbean“Kevin & Bean” Receive Hall Call. The duo of Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter, better known simply as “Kevin & Bean,” will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  Regarding the morning duo of CBS Radio Los Angeles alternative outlet KROQ, NAB executive vice president of radio John David notes the “talented team” is a “true radio success story.  Their morning show has made a huge impact on Los Angeles with its mix of music, entertainment, and humor that has resonated with Southern California listeners for decades.” CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason comments, “‘Kevin & Bean’ have been dedicated entertainers and broadcasters in Los Angeles for more than two decades with their own sense of humor that will never be duplicated.  This award is truly a well-deserved recognition of a job well done.  I could not be happier for them and the entire team.”  Their induction ceremony will happen in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 14 during the 2015 NAB Show radio luncheon.  “Kevin & Bean” debuted on “The World Famous KROQ” on January 2, 1990. Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla are among the show’s notable alumni.

wivg boomin96Flinn Launches Classic Hip Hop and R&B Station in Memphis.  The debut of the new “Boomin 96” – WIVG, Memphis – comes at the expense of the alternative format as the station leaves behind “96X” and forges ahead with the “throwback hip hop” format.  Flinn Broadcasting also operates hip hop KXHT “HOT 107.1” and general manager Duane Hargrove says, “The Mid-South now has a hip hop station for the 18-34s with ‘HOT 107.1’ and now 25-54s with ‘Boomin 96.’”

envisionnetworks newKKBZ, Fresno Adds Envision Networks’ Guest Services.  The newest affiliate for Envision Networks’ Guest Services is Lotus Communications-owned rock KKBZ, Fresno “105.1 The Blaze.”   As a result, “The Morning Blaze with Gus & Izzy” will now feature a lineup of exclusive celebrity and topical interviews.  Guest Services is a turn-key solution to guest booking with its unique lineup of pop culture guests and celebrities each day for high-profile morning shows.  Recently, Guest Services has offered interviews with Joe Perry, Debbie Harry, Larry King, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Imperioli, Haley Joel Osment, Leah Remini, Lisa Kudrow, Key and Peele, Pat Sajak, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Amy Schumer, Mike Tyson and more.

napabroadcasting2Napa Valley Radio Promises New Local Content, Music in 2015.  The new digital audio platform Napa Valley Radio – a service of Napa Broadcasting – is promoting new local content plus curated music streaming coming to the site in 2015.  Napa Valley Radio is being led by longtime broadcasting executive Jeff Schechtman.  The station marked its three-month anniversary with a message to listeners touting its local content – local election coverage including long-form interviews with candidates, local arts & music happenings, and promotion of the area’s wine industry – plus promises of the content to come.  In what RadioInfo editors consider a creative move, the station has partnered with Napa Community College to bring an infusion of youth to the project.  Napa Valley Radio says the New Year will see more content originate by students at NCC and will also bring music shows of various genres to the station.  It will be interesting to watch this local media venture as music rights fees are added to the station’s expenses but, regardless, this local approach to the digital audio service is one to watch and Napa Broadcasting appears to be dedicated to serving a broad spectrum of the community with a relevant mix of news, talk and music.

wbzzTheVoiceWBZZ, Pittsburgh Plays Role on Homecoming Week on ‘The Voice.’  Pittsburgh hot AC WBZZ’s Bubba Show has been the official Pittsburgh media partner and Team Chris cheerleaders of Chris Jamison during his top five finish on NBC’s “The Voice.”  So, the station and the Bubba Show produced a homecoming for Jamison at local concert venue Stage AE during the program’s “Homecoming Week.”  The event attracted a full house of 2,000 fans on 48 hours’ notice.  It featured proclamations of “Chris Jamison Day” by both the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, performances by the University of Pittsburgh Marching Band, Cheer, and Dance Teams, and Chris along with his Chris Jamison Band.  It was featured prominently during Monday night’s broadcast of “The Voice” on NBC.  Pictured here at the event are (from left to right): WBZZ PM drive personality Kelly, Bubba Show cast member Melanie Taylor, Chris Jamison, Bubba Show cast member Shelley Duffy, Bubba, WBZZ APD/MD/midday personality Scott Alexander, and PM drive personality Flick.

Monday, December 8, 2014

| December 8, 2014

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entercomLincoln Financial to Exit Radio Biz; Entercom to Acquire LFM Assets in Four Markets.  The deal announced this morning will see Entercom Communications Corp. acquire Lincoln Financial Media from Lincoln Financial Group for $105 million plus working capital.  Entercom expects to take over operation of the LFM stations in late January and should close on the purchase in the second quarter of 2015.  The agreement includes 15 radio stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets, and it will expand Entercom’s station portfolio to more than 130 stations in 26 markets.  The deal allows Lincoln Financial to get out of the media business and focus on its “core lines of business.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and welcome thelfm logo addition of their outstanding brands and talented broadcasters to Entercom.  LFM is a great organization that has done an excellent job serving its listeners, customers and communities over many years and we look forward to building on that tradition.  LFM is a perfect fit for us as it bolsters our position in Denver and expands our footprint into Atlanta, Miami and San Diego with terrific brands that have significant growth potential.  Furthermore, it fulfills our disciplined acquisition criteria as it enhances our company’s competitive position and growth and should be accretive to shareholders in 2015 while having a minimal impact on leverage.”  The stations to be acquired include: Atlanta outlets hot AC WSTR and sports talk WQXI; Denver stations country KYGO, rhythmic CHR KQKS, oldies KRWZ, sports talk KEPN and KKFN, and comedy-formatted translator K276FK; San Diego signals alternative KZBT, country KSON and KSOQ, and adult contemporary KIFM; and Miami outlets AC WLYF, classic hits WMXJ, and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM.  The transaction is structured as an acquisition of the stock of LFM with a tax election that allows Entercom to receive a step-up in the tax basis of the station tangible and intangible assets providing additional future tax shields and enhancing future free cash flow.  The $105 million purchase price will be paid in the form of $77.5 million in cash and $27.5 million in new perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock that will be issued to Lincoln.  Entercom expects to finance the cash portion of the purchase price through a combination of its existing $50 million revolver, cash on hand, and through other financing sources, if necessary.

kinosianmikeNovember PPM Analysis: Adult Hits.  This month, RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of three gold-intensive formats:  classic hits-oldies, classic rock, and adult hits.  Today’s focus is on adult hits and is based on Nielsen Audio’s November PPM data.  The fluctuations in share of adult hits stations from October to November shows nearly half of this adult hits panel (48%) is down October – November (6+); 39% of the stations are up; and the remaining 13% are flat.  Kinosian also notes that “approximately one in four adult hits stations listed here is found in the top five in their respective markets (6+) in November (26%), while slightly less than half (48%) are able to crack the top 10.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s entire analysis for shares for the past six PPM surveys, October to November fluctuations, performance comparisons to PPM ratings from November of 2013, market rank for adult hits stations, and share comparisons with classic hits-oldies and classic rock competitors.  Click here.

mojomorninggroup‘Mojo in the Morning’ Airs on WYDL, Corinth, Mississippi.  The Envision Networks-syndicated “Mojo in the Morning” program is now being heard on Flinn Broadcasting-owned classic rock WYDL, Corinth, Mississippi “ROCK 100.”  The program emanates from iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”  WYDL program director Mike Brandt says, “Having grown up in Detroit, I was familiar with Mojo and the show.  I was ecstatic when I saw the email announcing that his show was now in syndication.  It was an instinctive decision to add the show to my station – I knew the quality and consistency.  We’ve imaged the entire station around ‘Mojo in the Morning.’  It’s not just for CHR – we’re a rock station and it sounds great on ‘ROCK 100.’”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated Johnjay & Rich show is now the morning program at iHeartMedia’s KTOZ, Springfield, Missouri “ALICE 95.5.”…..At CBS RADIO’s CHR KZON, Phoenix “LIVE 101.5,” Christopher Hernandez is promoted to APD and music director for the station.  Operations manager and PD Tim Richards makes the announcement elevating Hernandez from his most recent post as assistant music director and mixer.  Hernandez has been with the station since 2007…..Tony Lynn is moving across the country from his longtime home in Albuquerque to Upstate New York where he’s joining Community Broadcasters to serve as OM for country WLFK, Gouverneur “95.3 The Wolf,” news/talk WQTK, Ogdensburg and sports talk WSLB, Ogdensburg.  Lynn will also serve as morning host at “95.3 The Wolf.”

stevensrob studentA Somber Anniversary.  Today, December 8, 2014, marks the 34th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, who was shot to death at the hands of a cold-blooded assassin on the sidewalk in front of his New York City apartment building in 1980.  Noted record producer Rob Stevens, who has been directly involved in the production, mixing and A&R’ing of much of Lennon’s posthumously released material, has written a brief-but-poignant RadioInfo thought piece, posted today, commemorating this historic event that shocked the world and changed the course of music history.  To read it, please click here.

flickSalvationArmyWBZZ, Pittsburgh’s Flick Honored by Salvation Army.  Afternoon drive personality Flick (right) is pictured here with Pittsburgh Salvation Army Major William Bode (left) at the recent 2014 Allegheny County Doing the Most Good Dinner.  Flick – host at CBS RADIO’s hot AC WBZZ “Star 100.7” – was honored with the Doing The Most Good Award.  The annual ceremony draws some 500 people each year to pay tribute to those in the Pittsburgh region who go above and beyond in their support of The Salvation Army.

Friday, December 5, 2014

| December 5, 2014

kinosianmikeNovember PPM Analysis: Classic Rock.  This month, RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of three gold-intensive formats:  classic hits-oldies, classic rock, and adult hits.  Today’s focus is on classic rock and is based on Nielsen Audio’s November PPM data.  Kinosian notes that (referencing yesterday’s format focus on classic hits-oldies), “Whereas the typical classic hits-oldies station on our panel ranks sixth (6+) in November, a classic rock counterpart places ninth.  Moreover, based on November data, classic hits-oldies outlets tend to outpoint classic rockers by one full share point (5.28 – 4.23, 6+).”  Also in this story you will find shares for the past six PPM surveys, October to November fluctuations, performance comparisons to PPM ratings from November of 2013, market rank for classic rock stations, and share comparisons with classic hits-oldies competitors.  Click here.

irockradiokarolyiDick Robinson Entertainment Launches iRockRadio.com.  A new digital music platform launches as Dick Robinson Entertainment, LLC’s iRockRadio.com hits the “air” on Monday, December 8, at 12:00 noon.  The company says, “Simply put, rock fans globally now have a destination for ‘all things rock’…At the start, iRockRadio.com will focus our efforts locally to grow our fan base.  The station picks up where Hartford heritage rocker, WCCC, left off and will embrace local listeners with familiar on-air personalities and additional reminders of the station they loved.”  Dick Robinson, as founder and operator of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, has long called Connecticut his base and his familiarity with WCCC and its personalities is the foundation for the new venture.  The station will emanate from the Farmington, Connecticut campus of CSB and former WCCC programmer Mike Karolyi (pictured here with therobinsondick station logo) is joining the company to serve as program director and brand manager.  The company adds that the station will “concentrate the playlist on 1990s rock followed by 70s and 80s with a strong sample of new rock each hour as well.  The internet rock station is committed to serving the rock fan with engaging personalities, music news, exclusive concert events, music, music and more music!”  iRockRadio.com is equipped with a full on-air studio, production studio and acoustic performance studio that will host live band acoustic performances and artist interviews….with additional studios available at all 12 CSB campuses throughout the East Coast.  Dick Robinson comments, “We live in a connected world today.  It’s rare to go anywhere without finding people staring into their smartphones.  And now, automakers are launching a new era of connected automobiles.  All of this points to tremendous growth potential as car manufacturers continue to roll out models with wifi – iRockRadio.com’s audience will be the ones most likely to welcome and embrace these changes.”  Karolyi adds, “We will bring together the engaging personalities from terrestrial radio and little interruption like music streaming services.  It’s obvious to us that the rock listener is underserved and in some places not being served at all.”

underwoodcarrieiHeartMedia Brings Hyundai Aboard as Partner for Carrie Underwood Album Release Party.   The latest iHeartRadio Album Release Party is for the December 10 release of Carrie Underwood’s new Greatest Hits: Decade #1.  It will take place live at the iHeartRadio Theater presented by P.C. Richard & Son in New York City on December 9 and is being presented by sponsor HyundaiPremiere Networks syndicated personality Bobby Bones is hosting the program that will include an on-stage interview and live performance, including the new single, “Something in the Water.”  The event will broadcast across more than 115 iHeartMedia country radio stations nationwide; on the iHeartRadio digital service and via a special video feed to one of Clear Channel Outdoor‘s billboard in Times Square located at the corner of 47th and Broadway.  The event will also air the following day across the American Forces Network.

iheartmedia logo smallRestructuring at iHeartMedia Means New Posts for Chase and Maynard.  This week the industry learned of Greg Strassell’s exit from iHeartMedia as senior vice president of programming after just a year with the company.  Now comes word there’s been some restructuring at the executive level.  Moves include Marc Chase – who’s been serving with the company as VP/strategic services/marketing – now being in charge of the brand management team and SVP/programming Maynard taking charge of the programming strategic review team.

baileyjasonjockCumulus Names Jason Bailey Morning Host at ‘Rock 100.5’ in Atlanta.  Taking over for former rock WNNX “Rock 100.5” morning personality Larry Wachs is Jason Bailey, who joins the Cumulus Media station effective December 15.  Bailey moves to the rock outlet from the company’s sister station sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game.”  During his radio career he’s also worked at hot talk WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” and rock WXTB, Tampa.  Additionally, he’s served with the WWE, NFL Network, TNA Wrestling, Brighthouse Network, Planet Hollywood and MTV.  Cumulus corporate rock PD Scott Jameson comments, “Jason brings a fresh, contemporary approach.  His music, sports and pop culture background will connect nicely with Atlanta’s morning commuters.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Magnum Communications’ new country outlet WEZY, Racine, Wisconsin “Q 92.1” (soon to use calls WMKQ), the company’s Cartman and Jay Roberts are named afternoon team.  The pair has been voice tracking a show for the company’s country WDDC, Portage, Wisconsin “Thunder Country 100.1” and will continue in that role.

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