Category: Industry News
Kim Guthrie Named to Replace Retiring Bill Hoffman as President of Cox Media Group. After 38 years with Cox, Bill Hoffman is retiring from his Cox Media Group president post at the end of the year. Taking over in January will be current executive vice president of national ad platforms and president of Cox Reps, Kim Guthrie. Cox Enterprises president and CEO John Dyer says, “Kim has been with Cox for nearly 20 years and is an inspirational leader who has helped our media properties transform. She played a key role in the successful creation of Cox Media Group in 2008 and has been recognized as one of the media industry’s most influential leaders. She is a natural fit to ensure Cox Media Group continues to deliver innovative products and compelling news content.”
Lew Dickey Pens Book on Changing Media Landscape. The book is published by Tourbillion International – a subsidiary of the Dickey family-owned Modern Luxury Media – and is titled, The New Modern Media – Remaking Media for a Mobile Culture. We now know what Lew Dickey has been doing since he was ousted from the Cumulus CEO role last year. The book is described as “an indispensable guide to the profound and disruptive changes rocking the media industry. It examines the implications of a new, mobile culture and challenges the widely held belief that most media companies’ true source of profits is their content. It makes the case for the importance of distribution as a key driver of firm value in the legacy media business model, be it a newspaper, magazine, record label, television network, local broadcast television or radio station.” In the book Dickey makes the case for why traditional “radio broadcasters will be unlikely to benefit from subscription revenue for their core service, leaving them highly exposed to the ad markets.” iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is quoted reviewing the book, “I’ve spent my entire professional life in the media business, and today technology is enabling media to evolve at an ever-faster pace to meet consumers’ changing needs. Lew’s book is a timely resource for anyone working or investing in the media industry – shedding an important light on some of the critical challenges and opportunities inherent in today’s vibrant and complex media landscape.” Pittman’s iHeartRadio just announced a two-tier subscription service last week – clearly another step in the grand plan to transform iHeartMedia from a legacy radio company to a competitor in the digital entertainment industry. But getting back to Lew’s book, it’s a safe bet this will be the talk of the radio business this week.
Report: CBS RADIO to Take on $1.5 Billion in Debt. This report from Reuters, says that sources are telling it that CBS RADIO is preparing to take on as much as $1.5 billion in debt ahead of its initial public offering that’s expected to take place but still has no firm time frame. According the report, the bulk of the proceeds would be paid back to parent CBS Corp. with the rest to be used by CBS RADIO for “general corporate purposes.” In its report, Reuters notes that “a radio company IPO may be a tough sale as new digital competitors have emerged and depressed advertising sales for the medium for years.” Read the Reuters story here.
KRBQ, San Francisco Names Box Kev Night Jock. After promoting “Hoodrat” Miguel to the afternoon drive daypart on its Bay Area rhythmic oldies station, Entercom names area radio personality Box Kev the host of the evening show at KRBQ “The Throwback Station.” Box Kev got his start in radio at iHeartRadio’s crosstown hip hop KMEL as an intern and rose to host his own “The Hot Box” program. KRBQ OM Elroy Smith says, “It’s an honor to name Box Kev as Q102’s nighttime personality. He is extremely talented, creative, and entertaining, and is going to bring a fresh vibe to nights on Q.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Media figure Dwight Douglas announces he’s retiring from his vice president of marketing position at RCS and Media Monitors after 16-year career with the company. Douglas is well known in the radio biz for his 20-year career with legendary radio consulting firm Burkhart-Abrams & Associates. Prior to that he programmed WDVE and WYDD in Pittsburgh and WWDC, Washington…..Caleb James is named program director and afternoon personality at NRG Media’s rhythmic CHR KOPW, Omaha “POWER 106.9.” James moves in from the company’s Lincoln, Nebraska operations…..Connoisseur Media ups Moss Jacobson from digital sales manager and GSM to director of digital sales at CHR WPST, Trenton. Also, Suzanne Montoya is promoted to the general sales manager post.
RadioInfo Tidbits. St. Louis country outlet “92.3 WIL” is presenting JingleFest on Friday, December 16 at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri. This 14th annual holiday concert presented by the Hubbard Radio station will this year feature: Chase Rice, Granger Smith, Maren Morris, and Kane Brown…..Jodesha Broadcasting has launched a new signal – KNBQ, Central Park, Washington – that is currently airing non-stop Christmas and holiday favorites throughout Thurston, Pierce, Grays Harbor, and South King Counties. The All-Christmas format is programmed by Ken Moultrie’s The New Broadcast Partners.….GatesAir announces three important wins in Vietnam that signify the over-the-air TV and radio transformation taking shape across the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam Television recently placed two orders for transmitter network expansions. On the radio side, Vietnam is investing in existing FM infrastructure with improvement and expansion projects. Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, recently ordered five Flexiva air-cooled solid-state transmitters — two 5kW and three 10kW models — for VOV4, which serves as the broadcaster’s Ethnic Languages Channel.
Backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival is in the books. It took place over the weekend in Las Vegas with the evening performances taking place – hosted by Ryan Seacrest – at the T-Mobile Arena featuring artists including: U2, Sting, Drake, Britney Spears, Sam Hunt, twenty one pilots, Billy Idol, Florida Georgia Line, OneRepublic, Sia, Cage the Elephant, Zedd, Tears for Fears, Ariana Grande, Pitbull, Usher and more, plus this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Los 5. The CW Network also exclusively live streamed both nights of the festival via CWTV.com and The CW App, and will broadcast a two-night television special on Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET. Pictured above are (from l-r) “Sixx Sense” co-host Jenn Marino and recording artists Brad Shultz and Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant. Photo: Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.
Britt Waters New Evening Personality on ’94.7 Fresh FM’ in DC. The newest voice on CBS RADIO’s hot AC WIAD, Washington “94.7 Fresh FM” is Britt Waters, who takes over the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart on Wednesday, October 5. Waters started her career on the nationally syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show” where she served as on-air talent and producer for three years. Waters also hosts the weekly DC Network show, “The Sound,” in which she hosts and speaks with local musical artists from the Washington scene. CBS RADIO Washington VP of programming Steve Davis comments, “I am very excited to have Britt join the ‘Fresh’ family. Britt is an incredible, smart young talent with amazing potential. There is no doubt in my mind, she is a future star!”
Big Red Returns to Adams Radio at ‘K107’ in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland. Programming pro Larry Wnorowski, a.k.a. Big Red, had most recently programmed Adams Radio Group’s country KGRT, Las Cruces, New Mexico before leaving the company. Now, he’s back with the company to serve as PD and afternoon host at country WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “K107.” Adams Radio CEO Ron Stone comments, “There are times when an amazing employee leaves for all the right reasons. And sometimes they come home. We could not be happier than to have Big Red back home. Red did an incredible job for us in Las Cruces, sets the standard for ‘team player’ and I have no doubt we will see a repeat of his success in Maryland.”
Ellison Promoted at Entercom Madison. Radio pro Myra Ellison is named director of marketing, promotions & web for Entercom’s Madison station group. She had most recently been with the company as promotions director for hot AC WNTR, Indianapolis “107.9 The Mix.” Cluster OM Chase Daniels says, “After a nationwide search, we have finally found the person who will be able to handle marketing, promotions, and web for Entercom Madison. I have been lucky enough to have worked with Myra in both Atlanta and Indianapolis. Myra is total radio. She has worked in several departments, making her perfect for this role.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Entercom’s San Francisco adult contemporary KOIT, Charly Kayle exits the morning show, leaving Andrew Hart in the AM drive daypart solo for now…..Nicole Ortega, a.k.a. Nicki G, exits her midday jock position at Wine Country Radio’s CHR KSXY, Santa Rosa, California “Y100.9” to join Entercom’s San Francisco station group as a sales assistant…..After two years with Radio One’s urban AC WMMJ, Washington hosting the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show, Michel Wright exits. No replacement has been announced, yet.
NAB/RAB Radio Show: ‘A Snapshot of Where the Radio Industry Is At.’ Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Nashville covering the NAB/RAB Radio Show for RadioInfo and he presents a compact report of some of day one’s key takeaways. Among them are sound bites from radio’s captains of industry and key players from the “Broadcast Finance Forecast 2016 Leadership Breakfast.” Also included are Cooke’s notes from Edison Research’s “Share the Road: The Changing In-Car Audio Space” report presented at Tuesday’s RAIN Summit and David Oxenford’s invaluable “Legal Snapshot: Issues for Audio Services” presentation from that event. See it all here.
Scott Shannon’s ‘True Oldies Channel’ Returns to Radio Syndication. This deal with United Stations Radio Networks brings Scott Shannon’s “True Oldies Channel” back into radio syndication after a two-year hiatus. Shannon and USRN note that “The True Oldies Channel” was originally launched by the ABC Radio Network which then evolved into Citadel Media, and during its original run the channel was heard on approximately 100 radio stations. The new distribution technology – cloud-based distribution developed by Synchronicity, Inc – has been beta tested in four different markets, and is now ready for a national rollout. The “True Oldies Channel” was developed by Shannon in 2004 after he noticed the classic hits stations modernizing their playlists and leaving “true oldies” behind.
Job Opportunities at WBT and WLNK in Charlotte. There are three positions available at Greater Media’s Charlotte operations. First, News Talk 1110 WBT is looking for a fun, outgoing, hands-on and dedicated individual with entry level event planning experience for a full-time position in our Marketing and Promotions Department. This position works to ensure the timely and successful execution of promotions, contests and events through teamwork and coordination with other departments and staff. See more about that position here. Second, WBT/WLNK seek part-time Event Relations Team Members. They are committed to providing extraordinary customer service to WBT/WLNK radio station listeners and event guests at WBT or WLNK sanctioned events. Find more here. And last, News Talk 1110 WBT and 107.9 The Link is looking for an outgoing, sharp, dedicated individual for a full-time, seasonal position as our Ice Rink Project Leader. The project leader will help in the planning, building, operation, and execution of the Holiday Outdoor Ice Rink, to ensure the successful execution of the promotion through guidance, teamwork, and coordination with other staff. Find out more about that here.
iHeartMedia Names Personality Lineup for Rhythmic CHR KUBT, Honolulu. The morning show on iHeartMedia Honolulu’s new rhythmic CHR KUBT “93.9 The BEAT” comes from Ohana Broadcasting’s crosstown CHR KDDB “102.7 The Bomb” as Sam The Man and Hawaiian Ryan return to the signal at which they both began their careers back in the 1990s. The jock lineup is rounded out by former crosstown CHR KPHW “Power 104.3” personality Romeo Valentine in middays (he’s also the new digital PD for the company’s Honolulu market), Ray Styles in afternoon drive (from iHM’s KYLD, San Francisco), and Julian Lee, a.k.a. The Night Ninja for evenings. iHeartMedia Honolulu SVP of programming Jamie Hyatt says, “Talk about a dream team lineup perfect for Honolulu. I’ve been a fan of Sam & Ryan from afar for years so I’m super-excited to finally get the chance to work with these extremely talented guys. The rest of our team on ‘The Beat’ is solid, too. At the same time, KUBT’s HD2 signal/ K256AS simulcast flips from the EDM format “Evolution” to classic hip hop branded as “99.1 Jamz.”
Programming Changes at Cumulus Media’s WZNS, Fort Walton Beach and WABD, Mobile Start with ‘Zazza Mornings with Cheree.’ The WAOA, Melbourne, Florida-based “Zazza Mornings with Cheree” – hosted by Tony Zazza and Cheree Carter – is being added to the morning drive daypart at Cumulus Media’s CHR outlets WZNS, Fort Walton Beach, Florida “Z96,” and WABD, Mobile, Alabama, effective Monday (9/26). Other changes at the two stations include WZNS’ Gilligan moving from mornings to middays and Hayden starting the PM drive show at 2:00 pm. At WABD, John Marty move from mornings to PM drive and Sid Kelly slides down to middays. Cumulus regional vice president Pete DeSimone states, “This is true collaboration for our Florida and Alabama markets. It’s an example of a talented morning show given the opportunity to grow within the new Cumulus. I worked with Tony and Cheree in Melbourne and I’m very confident they will bring the same successful listener experience to the Gulf Coast markets.”
RAIN Summit Nashville 2016. Media consultant Holland Cooke is reporting from Nashville for RadioInfo and as the NAB/RAB Radio Show opens today, he files a report from Tuesday’s RAIN Summit. A slate of presenters reported research results, and programming and advertising philosophies relevant to connecting with audio consumers, including Summit organizer Kurt Hanson, who reminded attendees that “1 in every 5 audio minutes” is consumed via smartphone. Read thoughts about the changing world of audio consumption from: Triton Digital’s John Rosso, audioBoom’s Brendan Regan, Audible’s Eric Nuzum, BMLG’s Scott Borchetta, Cox Media’s Tim Clarke, and more, here.
RFC Media Debuts Two New 24/7 Music Formats. Radio pros Patrick Fant and Cruze are the co-founders of RFC Media which is launching “next generation” 24/7 full-service radio formats for broadcasters. “THE PLANET” is described as a hip, hit-driven hot AC and “THE REVOLUTION” is dubbed “a perfectly balanced alternative rock. RFC Media’s SuiteRadio says both formats are hosted by veteran, major-market air personalities and are totally customizable. National ad sales is being handled by United Stations Radio Networks and syndication is offered via Colbert Media Group.
RadioInfo Tidbits. America’s longest-running syndicated blues music program, “Blues Deluxe,” is airing its 1,500th show next week (9/26 – 10/2). Original producer and host Dave Johnson presents the weekly, one-hour program that focuses on rock-oriented blues music tracks and interviews. For more information, contact email@example.com…..SiriusXM is presenting a special edition of “The YouTube EDM 15” hosted by artist/producer duo The Chainsmokers at the YouTube Space in New York City on September 22. This special edition of the show will be recorded live in front of an audience of SiriusXM subscribers and coincides with the second anniversary of the weekly show and the duo’s chart-topping success of its latest single “Closer.”…..The ninth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radiothon” raised more than $605,000 for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, making it the third year in a row the event surpassed $600,000 in donations. The radiothon broadcast live from the Eat’n Park Atrium at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Thursday, September 15 through Saturday, September 17 with WDVE, Pittsburgh personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, Mike Prisuta, Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell taking part. With this year’s fundraising, the event has exceeded more than $4 million in total giving for Children’s Hospital over the past nine years.
Bold Gold Buys Three Signals in the Catskills. This expansion of Vince Benedetto-run Bold Gold Media Group will add three more New York signals to the one it already owns there – country WDNB, Jeffersonville “Thunder 102.” The Watermark Communications signals being bought are classic hits combo WVOS-AM/FM (licensed to Liberty, New York), and hot AC WSUL (licensed to Monticello, New York). Benedetto calls the pact “a coming together of two great, locally focused, community-oriented broadcast operations.” He adds, “I could not have more respect and admiration for these stations and their staff and their long legacy of serving the residents of Sullivan and Orange Counties. We look forward to working together and continuing important traditions, such as Watermark’s annual WSUL/WVOS Heart-A-Thon which, for almost four decades, has benefited the Catskill Regional Medical Center in excess of $3 million. We believe in the long-term potential of Sullivan County and the Catskills and are excited to expand our investment in the region.” Benedetto expects the deal to close this year and says he does not anticipate “any major changes or surprises” for the stations. When the deal is consummated, Bold Gold will own 12 stations in New York and Pennsylvania.
Kitchin to Consult The Mix Group. Radio exec Kraig Kitchin is entering into a consultant relationship with radio imaging and production firm The Mix Group. Kitchin is co-president of SoundMind LLC, which manages the businesses of high-profile broadcast personalities and companies. He’s also the chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame. On joining The Mix Group, Kitchin says, “Once stations discover The Mix Group, there’s no turning back. Jason [Garte] and his team of talented producers create an exceptional sound that differentiates a station from all others in the market. The individual attention to detail for each station client is really remarkable.”
Gabe Buch Named Producer for KMLE, Phoenix’s ‘Chris & Nina’ Morning Show. Radio pro Gabe Buch is trading in his parka for a pair of flip flops as he leaves Wisconsin to head to Phoenix to be producer for the Chris & Nina morning show CBS RADIO’s country KMLE. CBS RADIO Phoenix VP of programming Tim Richards says, “We searched near and far for the perfect candidate to fit the Chris & Nina brand and Gabe stood out from the crowd. His well-rounded experience as a program director, morning talent and radio Renaissance man made Gabe an easy choice for KMLE. We are excited to work with him.” Buch has most recently been serving as PD, morning show host and music director WQPC/WPRE in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
Cool Morning Show Gig. In the Hudson Valley market, Townsquare Media is looking for a replacement for morning co-host Deuce at its alternative WRRV (Deuce is heading off to law school!). Townsquare says, “Applicants must be social media savvy, regularly contribute content to the station’s website and YouTube channel, and the successful candidate must be able to connect and engage with the station’s target audience by keeping up with relevant trends and pop culture.” If that’s you, see more info about the gig here.
NJBA President Paul Rotella Reiterates Call to Activate FM Chip in Smartphones. Citing the importance of receiving crucial information during emergencies, New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella is asking senators and congressman to again urge Verizon to activate the FM chips in smartphones that it sells. Referencing the bombings in New York and the bombs found in New Jersey over the weekend, he writes, in part, “One year ago to the day, I wrote to you to urge the adoption of a mandate to light up the FM chip in all smartphones. The tragic events this past week in our state and in New York now make this request a matter the highest urgency, as well as a matter of national security. For almost a century, New Jersey’s radio broadcasters have been the primary source of critical information to the public in the event of disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, snowstorms, earthquakes, tsunamis, solar storms, terrorist violence, mass transportation accidents, and industrial or technological catastrophes. This important role can be both before an impending event, to warn the public as we did before Hurricane Sandy, or help law enforcement through life saving AMBER Alerts, but most importantly, after a catastrophic event. In an emergency, the role of broadcasters is even more important because they serve local communities with essential, fact-checked, reliable information, and they distribute it to all within the broadcast signal. Today, the most common battery operated device readily available to our citizens may be a smart phone, but it is useless without cell service. However, with an activated radio chip, a smart phone will function similar to the time-proven reliable transistor radios found in emergency kits around the globe, providing our citizens with information essential for survival. This includes where food, water and shelter are available; where FEMA and other humanitarian assistance are located.” Rotella is asking that bill be filed to make chip activation a reality.
Michael Harrison Chats with the ‘First Lady of New York Radio’ – Joan Hamburg. She is one of the most-honored, longest-running, and dazzlingly colorful talk radio personalities in the Big Apple – the quintessential live-and-local host. Joan Hamburg’s career in NYC goes back to the legendary WMCA in the early 1970s where she replaced Bob Grant. From there, she moved over to WOR as a featured personality on the historic “Rambling with Gambling” show. She quickly had her own daily midday show where she stayed for more than three decades covering a wide spectrum of topics that included consumer advocacy, shopping, dining, arts & entertainment and “soft” politics. Joan Hamburg was a pioneer in modern remote broadcasting and regularly performed her show from, among many locations, the storied Broadway celebrity hangout, Sardi’s. For the past few years, Hamburg, now in her eighties, has been holding court live on-air every Saturday afternoon on WABC in addition to producing special features and stories for the station… and she still does remotes from Sardi’s. The conversation between Harrison and Hamburg is a radiophile’s delight – covering remarkable history including such names as Sally Jessy Raphael, the three John Gamblings, Arlene Francis, Dorothy Kilgallen, Rick Buckley, Barry Gray, Dr. Joy Browne and many, many more. Harrison states, “It was an honor and privilege having this true ‘grand dame’ of radio on the podcast. We cover so much wonderful history including the golden era of Broadway. She harkens back to the day when talk radio offered a wide variety of lifestyle topics beyond politics and sports. I am really proud of this interview – it will always be a treasured addition to the amazing audio library of media history that I am gathering in this podcast series.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
KVRQ, Seattle Names Jeetz PM Drive Host. Programming and on-air pro Joe ‘Jeetz’ Reder is the new afternoon drive personality at Hubbard Radio’s rock KVRQ “Rock 98.9.” He’s no stranger to Seattle having spent eight and a half years at rock KISW, Seattle. During his career he’s programmed alternative KZND, Anchorage, been morning host/producer at KHTP, Seattle and most recently was co-host of the “Marco and Jeetz” show on CBS RADIO’s alternative KXTE, Las Vegas. Jeetz says, “Obviously to anyone who knows me, the chance to return to Seattle was an extremely attractive opportunity for me. Not only because it’s where I was born and raised, but the chance to do radio for the Seattle rock listeners, who I consider some of the most passionate in the country, seemed like a great fit. To top it off, my meetings with Dave Numme and Marc Kaye at Hubbard blew me away! Both were first class from the moment I met them. The station flat out ROCKS and I couldn’t be any more excited to join ‘Rock 98-9!’”
RadioInfo Career Moves. The new program director at Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver is John E. Kage, who leaves his most recent gig at Cox Media Group’s CHR WPOI Tampa “HOT 101.5” to head back to the Mile High city where he previously programmed Entercom’s CHR KQKS…..Caitlin “CJ” Johnson is promoted to afternoon jock and music director at Cox Media Group’s CHR WAPE, Jacksonville. She’s been evening host at the station and also worked in sales…..Denver rock radio personality Dan Mitchell joins Westwood One to host the afternoon daypart on the syndicator’s classic rock 24-hour format, currently airing on 129 stations. Mitchell spent the last eight years on Entercom’s KQMT “99.5 the Mountain.”
Alpha Media Flips WNGY, Peoria to Classic Hip Hop and R&B. Another Alpha Media-owned signal is going classic hip hop and R&B with the “G” brand, this time it’s not a translator but former CHR WNGY, Peoria that becomes “G102.3.” Alpha Media Peoria SVP and market manager Mike Wild states, “‘G102.3’ will be an extremely fun and exciting station that brings back hits from 10 and 20 years ago when top 40 was highly rhythm-driven. It’s music from the period when urban became suburban.”
Hubbard Seeks Major League Adult Hits Programmer. In St. Louis, Hubbard Radio is seeking a programmer for WARH “106.5 The Arch” to turn its “market-leading cume into #1 AQH share A25-54.” Vice president and market manager John Kijowski says, “We want a passionate leader who coaches, inspires and builds winning teams – a great communicator, highly competitive, and who is committed to excellence.” The company says the research, marketing, and resources the program director needs – along with the support of a product-oriented company that invests in talent to entertain audiences – awaits the right candidate at Hubbard Radio. “The next ‘106.5 The Arch’ programmer must execute the adult hits format with precision and be the biggest advocate possible for the audience to grow the brand. This position requires a minimum five years of successful programming experience. For more information regarding the search for the future ‘106.5 The Arch’ program director, please contact John Kijowski via the Hubbard St. Louis main phone number at 314-982-6000.
RadioInfo Tidbits. Last week’s fundraiser for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago by WTMX, Chicago’s morning show personalities Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart collected $986,673. This was the 17th annual fundraiser by Eric & Kathy’s Kids for Lurie Children’s effort…..Cumulus Media’s NASH NEXT 2016 Country Challenge Showcase sponsored by WNSH, New York “NASH 94.7” wrapped on September 14 with local country duo SPINN winning the competition. SPINN was one of eight area country artists that performed an original song in the live challenge event that is the next step for participants in Cumulus’ national country music talent competition. The WNSH judging team was comprised of WNSH personalities Shila Nathan and Jesse Addy, assistant program director Mike Allan, senior meteorologist for WABC-TV Bill Evans, and a station listener selected the area semi-finalist at the culmination of the live music competition…..On Friday (9/16), iHeartMedia hosted R&B artist Usher for another iHeartRadio Album Release Party on AT&T Live. Fans were able to exclusively hear his new music live on the day his new album Hard II Love was released. Also, the program was broadcast rhythm, urban and CHR radio stations, was streamed on iHeartRadio and televised on the AUDIENCE Network on DirecTV.
America’s Morning Show at Ford Field. The crew of Cumulus Media’s Nashville-based country morning program “America’s Morning Show” visited Detroit on Sunday (9/18) as the Lions hosted the Tennessee Titans at Ford Field. The nationally syndicated show is also heard on Cumulus’ WDRQ, Detroit. Pictured here are (from l-r): co-hosts Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, NASH Detroit program director Robby Bridges, show personality Chuck Wicks, and WDRQ jock Renee Vitale.
RadioInfo Career Moves. Radio programmer Haley Jones joins Nielsen’s music commercial team as director of radio where her focus will be on the BDSradio business. The company says she’ll help radio clients leverage Nielsen’s music data and insights as well as contribute to the overall Nielsen Music research strategy. Jones has served as PD for Emmis’ Austin triple A KGSR. She’s also worked at KFOG, San Francisco; KSWD, Los Angeles; and KPRI, San Diego…..At urban adult contemporary KBLX, San Francisco, Entercom fills the role on its “The Morning Dream Team” show left open by the departure of Mark Curry with actor and comic Tony Roberts. He joins Kimmie Taylor and Tony Sco on the wake-up show…..Programmer Tias Schuster leaves his PD gig at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKGS and hot AC WDVI in Rochester to take on the SVP of programming position at the company’s Norfolk, Virginia station group. There, he’s programming CHR WNOH and rhythmic AC WMOV and will supervise the programmers for hip hop WOWI, and urban AC WHBT…..At Cox Media Group’s adult contemporary KRAV, Tulsa “MIX 96,” personality Chuck Stevens exits the afternoon drive daypart as the station is eliminating that position…..Delmarva gives music director duties to evening host Aaron Price at hot AC WSTW, Wilmington…..At iHeartMedia Denver, Ryan Clune is named SVP of sales and Michael Souza is installed as SVP of strategic partnerships…..Beasley Broadcast Group’s adult contemporary WJPT, Naples, Florida “Sunny 106.3” adds Premiere Networks’ Delilah to the station’s weeknight lineup.
Galaxy to Enter Events Consulting Biz. The New York State-based broadcasting firm Galaxy Communications announces it is starting up a division focusing on creating event partnerships with fellow radio and television broadcasters. The division is called Galaxy Events Consulting and reports it has commitments to enter 10 new markets in 2017. They include: Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Watertown and Long Island in New York, plus Philadelphia, Charlotte, Raleigh and Sarasota, Florida. Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine states, “This idea has been percolating for some time. As acknowledged industry leaders in this space, we’ve had many conversations with other radio and TV broadcasters. We think we’ve come up with a model that can generate guaranteed revenue for the partner broadcaster with no risk. Experiential/event marketing is a key element for both radio and television’s future revenue growth. We’ve been in this space for a decade and are now prepared to help other broadcasters navigate these waters.” Galaxy owns 14 radio stations in the Syracuse and Utica-Rome markets. Its Galaxy Events division is responsible for many of the biggest community events in Central New York, highlighted by ‘Taste of Syracuse,’ which draws 200,000 people annually.
RadioInfo Tidbits. This Sunday, radio personality Dominic “Zakk” Zaccagnini is debuting “The Red & Gold Bone-Crushing Postgame Show” on Cumulus Media’s classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone,” the flagship station for San Francisco 49ers football…..The Alliance for Women in Media announces its honorees for the “Women Who Lead” luncheon taking place on November 15 at 10 on the Park at Time Warner Center in New York City. The celebration recognizes women who have blazed trails and who are making significant impact in the media industry. This year’s honorees are: Abby Greensfelder, co-CEO and executive producer at Half Yard Productions; Kim Guthrie, EVP of Cox Media Group and president of Cox Reps; Catherine L. Hughes, chairperson and founder of Radio One, Inc; Paula A. Kerger, president and CEO of PBS; Karen Leever, EVP & GM, Digital Media of Discovery Communications; and Ellen Levine, editorial director of Hearst Magazines.
Beasley Launches ‘Playa 98.1’ on WRXK-HD2. The Naples-Fort Myers market station is debuting on Beasley Media Group’s WRXK-HD2, branded “Playa 98.1” and will feature salsa, merengue, bachata and more. The company says, “‘Playa 98.1’ is the new Latin station that celebrates rhythms of ‘Salsa y Mas!’” Operations manager Adam Star adds, “Now, Southwest Florida is dancing with the new ‘Playa 98.1!’ This station is filled with superstar Latin artists and we are ready to bring this special format to Southwest Florida.”
Alpha Media Goes Classic Hip Hop on WV Translator. In the Bluefield, West Virginia market Alpha Media launches classic hip hop and R&B on “G98.7 The Throwback Station” (translator W254CV). Core artists for the new station include: Tupac, Snoop Dogg, P. Diddy, Michael Jackson, and Mary J. Blige. Market manager Danny Clemons comments, “We are very excited to introduce ‘G98’ to the Bluefield market. The classic hip hop format definitely fills a void in Bluefield and is one of the most exciting station launches ever in our market. It’s very refreshing to see our entire staff pumped up about the new format.”
Cool Los Angeles Opportunities. Rare opportunities are open at iHeartMedia’s KYSR, Los Angeles “ALT 98.7” on morning drive’s “The Woody Show.” The company is seeking an associate producer and a production director. Station PD Mike Kaplan says, “Similar to ‘ALT 98.7’ dethroning the legendary KROQ last year, The Woody Show’s ascension in the ratings have now also reached a new milestone – they are the #1 most-listened-to morning show in Los Angeles among 18-34 adults. It’s a monumental shift in the tastes of LA radio listening as fans have voted for a morning show that’s authentic, unapologetically themselves, and obsessively entertaining.” Here are the links to get more info and to apply: The Woody Show Associate Producer,The Woody Show Production Director.
Rahny Taylor Back in AM Drive on Milwakee’s ‘97-3 NOW.’ In announcing its new morning drive show, CHR WRNW, Milwaukee “97-3 NOW” notes that Rahny Taylor spent more than 10 years waking up Milwaukeeans on crosstown CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM.” Now, he returns to Brew City after his most recent stint with K-Love and Air1. WRNW program director Brett Andrews comments, “We’re so excited to welcome Rahny Taylor back home. Rahny had huge success driving people to work for over a decade and we could not be more thrilled to have him waking up Milwaukee on ‘97-3 NOW’ each weekday! I’m so stoked to team back up with Rahny to make great radio for our city.”
Pettiette Upped to VP/Director of Sales for CBS RADIO Houston. Sales pro Michael Pettiette moves up from his regional director of digital sales for the CBS RADIO Houston station group to vice president and director of sales. He’s been with CBS for the past five years. He started his radio career with iHeartMedia as an account executive. Pettiette will now oversee multi-platform sales and revenue for the cluster that includes hot AC KHMX, sports talk KIKK, country KILT-FM, sports talk KILT-AM, CHR KKHH, and Spanish KLOL-FM.
Zellmer Named PD for Huntsville Country and CHR Outlets. Arriving from her most recent gig at Renda’s WGNE, Jacksonville “99.9 Gator Country,” Abby Zellmer is the new program director for iHeartMedia’s country WDRM and CHR W293AH “106.5 Kiss FM.” iHeartMedia Huntsville SVP of programming Erich West says, “We’re so excited to bring Abby to Huntsville. With her extensive experience working for both country and CHR stations, she’s the perfect person to keep WDRM at the top of the ratings and develop our newest station – ‘106.5 Kiss FM.’”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Seven months after joining Cumulus Media’s New Orleans cluster, John Boyle has exited. He was serving as operations manager and PD for country WKRN “NASH FM 92.3” and alternative WZRH “106.1 The Underground” He also hosted afternoons at WZRH…..Chris Carter exits Cumulus Media’s country WMDH, Muncie, Indiana “NASH FM 102.5” after a four-year gig programming the station and pulling an air shift…..Jerry Hannahs is named general sales manager for Community Broadcasters’ Fort Walton Beach, Florida station group. He’d most recently been with Forever Media in Wheeling, West Virginia.
Alpha Flips WMYB, Myrtle Beach to CHR. Gone is the adult contemporary format and the “Star 92.1” brand from Alpha Media’s WMYB and in is CHR under the “Energy 92.1” brand. After a three-day stunt of Christmas music, the station made the switch Alpha Media market manager Josh Gertzog says, “We are excited about ‘Energy 92.1!’ It gives Alpha Media Myrtle Beach a chance to operate one of the true heritage formats in the United States – Top 40. Grand Strand listeners didn’t really have a choice with this format and some stations haven’t made changes in decades. It was time to freshen up the market….and to bring new ‘energy’ to the radio dial!”
Al Payne Tapped to Program ‘105.1 The Bounce’ in Detroit. Urban programming pro Al Payne has only been with Alpha Media’s Louisville stations as PD of classic hip hop WGHL “Old School 105.1,” hip hop WGZB “B 96.5,” and urban AC WMJM “Magic 101.3” since April of this year (prior to that he was with Radio One in Baltimore), but he’s leaving Kentucky to head north to Detroit to program Greater Media’s classic hip hop and R&B WMGC “105.1 The BOUNCE.” Greater Media’s VP/market manager Steve Chessare says, “We are thrilled to welcome Al as the new program director at ‘105.1 THE BOUNCE’ in the Motor City. His experience and vision is exactly what we need to take the station to the next level and beyond.” Payne states, “I am so blessed and happy to be returning to the D for another run. This city has so much pride, heritage and passion! I’m humbled to be chosen to program their dynamic new brand, ‘105.1 THE BOUNCE,’ which is and will remain all about everything Detroit. You can feel the energy when you walk into their beautiful facility.”
Cumulus Media Providence Promotes Paras to VP/MM. Ten-year Cumulus Media Providence director of sales Holly Paras is elevated to vice president and market manager for the company’s five-station cluster in that Rhode Island metro. Cumulus Media senior vice president Jeff Brown comments, “Holly’s fingerprints are on many of the successes that our cluster in Providence has enjoyed over the years. She is the first to tell you that those wins are due to our very talented, market-leading team. She is the leader and the team is fired up to follow her.” Paras states, “I am excited and humbled to be asked to lead such a talented team of people and the tremendous radio brands at Cumulus Providence.” Before her director of sales tenure, Paras was national sales manager for three Cumulus Media Providence outlets, and was a Katz Radio Group New York City account executive. Fourteen (14) stations are listed in Nielsen Audio‘s August 2016 PPM report for Providence. With their August 2016 6+- market rank and 6+-share in parentheses, Cumulus Media Providence’s five station cluster consists of adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (#1, 9.7); CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” (#2, 8.5); talk WPRO-AM (#7, 4.6); rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” (#8, third successive 2.6); and talk WPRV (#13, .5).
Zac Davis Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Richmond. This move keeps programming pro Zac Davis in the iHeartMedia family. He’s been serving as program director for the company’s CHR outlets WKSS, Hartford “Kiss 95-7” and WKCI, New Haven “KC101.” Now, he moves south to Richmond, Virginia to take on the SVP of programming position for the eight-station cluster that includes: CHR WRVQ “Q94,” CHR W241AP “96.1 The Planet,” adult contemporary WTVR “Mix 98.1,” AC W253BI “BIG 98.5,” alternative WRXL “XL 102,” hip hop WBTJ “106.5 The Beat,” sport talk WRNL “FOX Sports 910” and news/talk WRVA “News Radio 1140.” Market president Rick Green comments, “I’m thrilled that Zac is joining our great programming team. Zac is a proven leader with great success in a diversity of formats which makes him a great fit for our eight-station cluster in Richmond.”
Tribune’s WGN, Chicago to Provide News for ‘Me-TV FM’ as Part of Partnership. Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story on this interesting partnership between Tribune news/talker WGN and the Weigel Broadcasting-operated soft AC-oldies format airing on low-power analog VHF TV signal at 87.7 FM (WRME-LP). Under the terms of the deal, WGN news staffers will provide two one-minute news/weather/sports updates per hour during morning drive for “Me-TV FM.” Additionally, the two companies will enter into a joint sales agreement with WGN selling time on “Me-TV FM.” The unique music format – programmed by Rick O’Dell – is surprising some industry watchers as it recently pulled a 2.0 share in the August Nielsen PPM survey with a cume of 684,000. Read Feder’s piece here.
‘MeTV’ Partners with AccuRadio for Streaming Service. As noted by Weigel Broadcasting vice chairman Neal Sabin, the genesis of this new streaming service is the success of the soft rock/oldies hybrid airing on the analog VHF channel WRME-LP in Chicago that’s branded Me-TV FM.” The partnership with Chicago-based AccuRadio is bringing the format to the Internet as MeTV Music. Weigel says, “MeTV Music is the free popular music companion to MeTV and will feature a wide and appealing variety of artists playing music spanning many decades and genres. Just as MeTV features many of the greatest TV shows ever made, MeTV Music will showcase the best in timeless and memorable popular music…With a library that is thousands of tracks deep, listeners will be treated to top hits, hummable favorites and many songs that traditional music outlets have long forgotten about. As a dedicated streaming music player designed for all day listening at work and home, MeTV Music will allow listeners to log on from the MeTV.com homepage and enjoy music on their personal computer or laptop. Listeners can skip or pause songs, rate tracks and get detailed information on each song as it plays. And unlike traditional radio, MeTV Music will stream songs with limited commercial interruptions.” Sabin adds, “MeTV Music brings back so many of the artists and songs that terrestrial radio has stopped playing because they ‘skew older’ or are unfamiliar to today’s program directors. Our Chicago MeTV FM station has proved there is an audience for this music with ‘hipsters, hippies, boomers and beyond.’ Now we are making a similar product available nationally via MeTV.com. The wow factor will hit you hard when you spend time with MeTV Music.”
RadioInfo Tidbits. New England regionally syndicated morning show “Greg and The Morning Buzz” got a first-hand account of incident on the set of “Dancing with The Stars” involving two strangers trying to rush the stage to protest swimmer Ryan Lochte’s appearance and they got it from none other than show host Tom Bergeron. Greg Kretschmar and Bergeron are friends going back to when Bergeron worked at The Buzz’s flagship station, WHEB, Portsmouth. In the early 1990s, Bergeron hosted the morning program on CBS RADIO’s all-news WBZ, Boston. Bergeron (center) is pictured here with the WGIR staff…..SiriusXM announces that it and Live Nation are presenting “Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement Tour” featuring The Shelters, The Hunna and Night Riots. The 21-city North American tour, curated by SiriusXM’s Alt Nation channel, kicks off Saturday, November 5. The tour is the second Advanced Placement Tour that SiriusXM and Live Nation have presented. Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement is a weekly show, hosted by Jeff Regan featuring new artists as well as new songs from Alt Nation artists…..This Friday (9/16), WTMX, Chicago’s morning hosts Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart will celebrate their seventeenth year of raising money for the children and families at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago when they cap off the weeklong fundraising event with a live broadcast of “Eric & Kathy’s Kids for Lurie Children’s Hospital” from the hospital. Since 2000, they have helped raise more than $27 million for the facility…..CBS RADIO announces the return of two of its signature live events – WE CAN SURVIVE, headlined by Bruno Mars at the Hollywood Bowl on October 22 in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and STARS AND STRINGS, headlined by Jason Aldean at The Chicago Theatre on November 9 in honor of America’s veterans. CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says, “We are thrilled to bring back two of our signature concerts for their fourth and second consecutive years, respectively. These flagship concerts, anchored by an impressive lineup of today’s most popular performers, are a hit both with our listeners and client partners nationwide. We are also proud that these events are hosted to benefit such worthy causes which affect so many lives on a daily basis.”
Kelsea Ballerini Celebrates #1 with ‘NASH Nights Live’ Crew. Country’s star Kelsea Ballerini visited the “NASH Nights Live” studios yesterday (9/13) to celebrate her third #1 song. “Peter Pan” reached the peak this week. Pictured above are (from l-r): Bill Mackey, Black River Entertainment, Elaina Smith, co-host, “NASH Nights Live,” Ballerini, Shawn Parr, co-host, “NASH Nights Live,” and Megan Boardman, Black River Entertainment.