Category: Industry News
Remembering Don Pardo. “It’s Saturday Night Live.” One extremely simple sentence, yet only one exceptional voice will forever be associated with it or capable of making it sing. Don Pardo. The elegant gentleman with the huge booming pipes passed away Monday night (8/18) at the age of 96. His nearly-40 year association with NBC-TV’s “Saturday Night Live” was only one part of a voluminous resume on the network for which he had a lifetime pact. Only Bob Hope had a similar arrangement deal with the network. Revered by virtually anyone who has been behind a microphone, the beloved — and yes legendary — Pardo began his career in radio. The off-camera announcer for a multitude of game shows from “Jeopardy” to “Jackpot,” Don Pardo truly achieved pop culture status. “SNL” hosts and cast members felt they arrived once they heard their names uttered by him. Click here for managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s brief retrospective salute to the Massachusetts native and 2010 inductee in the Television Academy Hall of Fame whose voice and persona were a staple for so many.
King Named VP/Programming – Network Formats at WestwoodOne. Townsquare Media regional operations manager and western region brand leader/country George King is appointed vice president of programming, network formats for Westwood One. He will oversee the company’s 24-hour country formats, which include “Mainstream Country,” “Hot Country,” “Classic Country,” and “Real Country.” Network programming president Kirk Stirland comments that, “George’s experience in markets large and small, along with his position in the country music world, makes him a perfect fit for this role at Westwood One. He is joining an all-star programming management team, and he will be working with a first-rate air staff on our biggest format category.” According to King, “The way Westwood One is able to integrate local content into a national feed will continue to be an essential way our business moves successfully into the future. I am truly excited to work with this remarkable technology, and on the team creating radio with it.” Prior to Townsquare Media, King held programming and operations positions at Washington, DC’s WMZQ; KNIX, Phoenix; San Antonio’s KCYY & KKYX; and WCTO & WLEV, Allentown. The past ACM board member begins his Westwood One duties next month (9/15); he will be based in the company’s 24-hour format production center in Denver.
SCBA Schedules Awards Luncheon for Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising. The special event of the Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) and SCBA’s Sales Management Council will be held in approximately two months (10/16) at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City (Los Angeles). Selected regional advertisers will be honored with “Outstanding Achievement in Radio Advertising” awards. Former SCBA Lifetime Achievement Award winner – and current chairman and chief operating officer of U.S. International Media – Dennis Holt will be this year’s keynote speaker. SCBA president Thom Callahan explains that, “Based on last year’s sold-out event, we have expanded the nominating categories and our winning advertisers. We are absolutely thrilled by both client and agency response to this prestigious luncheon. This year’s winners represent the robust diversity and energy of Southern California radio advertisers; we are so proud to honor them. [This year's festivities] is on-pace to be another record sell-out. The enthusiasm and commitment to Southern California radio will be showcased by senior client management, their agencies, our member stations, and special guests – all coming together on this one special day to honor this year’s Southern California Radio Award winners.” Being recognized this year are: Children’s Miracle Network; First 5 California; Galpin Ford; Morongo Casino; WaBa Grill; and Westside Rentals. Awards in six categories of creative radio commercials, using both Southern California broadcast radio and its digital platforms, are voted on by the Sales Management Council.
Mandis Lands WWTN’s Programming Chair. Cumulus Nashville talker WWTN “Super Talk 99.7 WTN” elevates Dan Mandis to program director. Cumulus executive vice president and co-chief operating officer John Dickey comments, “Dan Mandis is an accomplished spoken-word programmer and the perfect choice to guide WWTN into its next phase as the place where Nashville comes to learn about and celebrate life in one of America’s greatest cities.” Mandis remarks, “WWTN is an amazing station with some great local talent. I am looking forward to my expanded role with Cumulus Nashville, and appreciate the faith Cumulus has shown in my abilities to take WWTN to the next level.” Mandis is the station’s weekday 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm host. In his 25-year radio career, the Los Angeles native has worked for Los Angeles talker KFI, where he did news, traffic and production. Prior to embarking on his own career as a talk show host, Mandis was associated with Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s syndicated program.
Ausham Appointed Program Director of Atlanta’s “Rock 100.5.” Former Clear Channel Northeast Ohio operations manager Greg Ausham is named program director of Cumulus Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Cumulus corporate programmer/rock formats Troy Hanson comments, “We are very pleased to add another high caliber programmer in Greg Ausham to our industry-leading team of program directors at Cumulus. Greg’s vast experience will be tapped into and felt immediately on our classic rock brand in Atlanta at ‘Rock 100.5.’” Ausham jokes that, “After working in Detroit, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Cleveland, it will be nice to live somewhere where snow and ice are more of an anomaly than just expected. It is an honor to get to work for the great people at Cumulus.” Over the course of his 30-year programming career, Ausham – who begins at “Rock 100.5″ immediately – has held the PD title at WRIF, Detroit; WMMS, Cleveland; WLVQ, Columbus; and WLZR, Milwaukee. In addition, he was operations manager in Columbus for the former Jacor.
Kelly Transfers to Clear Channel WPB as Director of Sales. Clear Channel Sarasota director of sales Bryan Kelly remains in the Sunshine State, but as of next Monday (8/25), he will traverse from the state’s west coast to West Palm Beach on the east coast in a similar capacity. West Palm Beach market manager John Hunt observes, “Bryan produced outstanding sales results in Sarasota and I know he will do the same in West Palm Beach.” Kelly comments, “I look forward to joining the exceptional West Palm Beach team assembled by John Hunt and [Clear Channel regional program manager] Dave Denver. It has been a goal of mine to represent Clear Channel in a fast-paced and competitive market.” Kelly will oversee the sales efforts for Clear Channel’s 10-station West Palm Beach cluster consisting of country WAVW; talk WAXE; talk WBZT; talk WJNO; classic rock WKGR; CHR WLDI; adult contemporary WOLL; oldies WQOL; Spanish contemporary WRLX; and talk WZZR. His previous Clear Channel assignments were in Tampa and Allentown.
“Billy Madison Show” and Nineball Radio Enter Syndication Deal. Owing to the just-signed pact with Nineball Radio, the weekday morning “Billy Madison Show” is now available for national distribution. Madison currently airs on Cox Media Group Tampa talker WHPT “The Bone, Real-Raw-Radio” and on CMG San Antonio rocker KISS. Nineball Radio president and chief executive officer Stefan Jones opines, “A show with such chemistry is rare, especially with the support of such a great company like Cox Media Group. Billy is a true professional who preps relentlessly and continually creates a show that is like nothing else being offered in rock syndication. He took KISS from 16th to number one, and he is number one at WHPT. I think the numbers speak for themselves. We are excited to be a part of it.” Madison’s show arrived in San Antonio in late-2011. Jones formed independent creator/clearance house for radio programming and services Nineball Radio as an underground prep service in 2005.
Wiggins Joins “Get Up Crew” on Boston’s “Hot 96.9.” Starting today (Tuesday, 8/19), former NFL player Jermaine “Wiggy” Wiggins is part of the “Get Up Crew” on Boston rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.” In another roster move, the station’s mid-day talent “Melissa” also becomes a “Get Up Crew” member; “Pebbles” continues as the show’s anchor. Greater Media Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack explains, “Morning shows are built to excel when the personalities are live, local, and make a connection with their marketplace. The deep and real footprint that ‘Pebbles,’ ‘Melissa’ and ‘Wiggy’ each already have individually in Boston make the ‘Get Up Crew’ an unbeatable team and the start of another great chapter in Hot 96.9′s success story.” Wiggins comments that he is “super excited” to be working with “Pebbles” and “Melissa,” as well as “everyone else at ‘Hot 96.9.’ I can’t wait to do my part to help the ‘Hot 96.9′ morning show continue to be one of the hottest shows in Boston.” Meanwhile, “Pebbles” points out that she and “Melissa” have worked together “for years” and “I am excited to have her back on the morning team. I have also had the pleasure to get to know ‘Wiggy’ over the past few weeks. I can assure you – we could not be more different – it is going to be entertaining.” Wiggins most recently was at CBS Radio Boston’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” as “the man with an opinion on everything.” In addition, the NFL analyst has worked at Boston sports outlets Comcast SportsNet New England, WBZ-TV, WHDH-TV, New England Sports Network (NESN), and the Kraft Sports Production show “Patriots This Week.” Wiggins played college football at the University of Georgia and was signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 1999. The East Boston native earned a Super Bowl ring with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI (2001); the 39-year-old tight end also played for the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars and Florida Tuskers.
“DJ Laz Morning Show” To Debut on Miami’s WFLC. Starting next Monday (8/25), DJ Laz returns to South Florida radio as morning host on Cox Media Group Miami CHR WFLC “Hits 97.3.” DJ Laz will be accompanied by co-host “Kimmy,” who segues from the cluster’s co-owned urban contemporary WEDR. Cox Media Group Miami vice president and market manager Rob Babin states, “We are excited that DJ Laz will be joining our ‘Hits 97.3′ team and we look forward to launching a new local morning show custom built for South Florida.” CMG Miami director of branding & programming Jill Strada remarks, “I am excited to welcome DJ Laz back to morning radio in Miami. He is a star with undeniable talent. We have such great talent within our stations – I am happy to be able to promote someone within the CMG Miami family. Laz and ‘Kimmy’ together are a superstar team.” DJ Laz comments that he is “so pumped” to get back to doing “what I love in the city I love. Radio is about to get fun again,” while “Kimmy” thanks Strada and CMG Miami “for believing in me and giving me this opportunity to grow. I can’t wait to get started with my new partner – DJ Laz. Miami mornings will never be the same.” DJ Laz spent 22 years in Miami at cross-town rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96.”Most recently, the platinum recording artist (“Move, Shake, Drop” and “Esa Morena”) was on SBS Broadcasting Spanish contemporary siblings WRMA, Miami and KXOL, Los Angeles.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Emmis New York City rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97″ music director Karlie Hustle resigns; however, in an Instagram post, she indicates that she is remaining “through the end of the month to assist in the transition of duties.” Hustle further notes she is not going to a cross-town radio competitor. “I have spent the past three years living my dream in New York City, working at what I believe to be the most important radio station in the world and I have been a part of launching the careers of future stars from behind the scenes. It has given me the confidence and the enhanced platform to start my own [bowtie] business. I’ll never forget the team at ‘Hot 97′ for being so warm and embracing this girl from the west so fully” … Townsquare Media hot AC WSJO “SoJO 104.9,” Atlantic City, New Jersey promotes music director Heather DeLuca to brand manager. Market general manager Michael Ruble notes, “Over the last few years, she has grown in roles and has helped make ‘SoJO’ a true force in our market, on-air and especially online. She has such passion for the station and lives ‘SoJO’ in every way.” DeLuca has been with the station since 2009 … Envision Networks’ “The Core” welcomes Lagniappe Broadcasting‘s KXRR “Rock 106,” Monroe, Louisiana as the newest of over 350 affiliates. “Rock 106″ airs the weekly two-hour Meltdown-hosted/Steve Black-programmed show, which features the music/artists of the 1990s, Sunday morning at 6:00 am.
Defining Music Stations by Specific Years is a Destructive Exercise in Pigeonholing. RadioInfo’s thought-provoking pop media theoretician and fearless music tipster Duane Doobie strikes again. In a new column posted today, the Doob warns against defining a radio station by the specific years or era that marks its music offerings. He states, “It might have worked back in the 80s and 90s, but branding stationality by musical years is a horrible idea in 2014 – almost 15% of the way into the 21st century – that exposes a lazy lack of original thinking when it comes to luring listeners without pigeonholing your station into an inflexible position that is irrelevant – even repellant — to most listeners in this day and age.” To read the entire article and either cheer or jeer, please click here.
Chris Carr & Company to Take Over Mornings at ‘K102’ in Minneapolis. On the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that Chris Carr is leaving Hubbard Radio’s WUBE, Cincinnati comes the news that his new home is Clear Channel’s KEEY, Minneapolis “Today’s Country K102.” The “Chris Carr & Company” show takes over on September 2 for current morning duo Donna & Muss. KEEY reports that Chris Carr and Jeff “Maverick” Bolen won “Personality of the Year” awards for large-market stations in both 2013 and 2011 as well as several awards from the Country Music Association. Carr previously worked in Minneapolis in afternoon drive but left the market in 2008 for WUBE. CC Minneapolis VP of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “I’m so excited that Chris is coming home to K102. I think it’s safe to say he and Maverick are one of a handful of brilliant Country morning shows and we are so fortunate to have them.” Carr comments, “When I told my wife that we had an opportunity to move back home to Minnesota, I witnessed the brightest smile I have seen from her since our second child was born. We’re all excited to reconnect with family, friends, lakes, ice skates and the awesome audience of ‘K102!’ Plus, I get to do it with one of the most talented and genuine people on this planet, Maverick – I’m excited for everyone to meet him!”
Tucson Combo Boosts Mac to OM. Promoted at Arizona Lotus’ KLPX “Tucson’s Real Classic Rock” is program director and midday talent Larry Mac who is upped to operations manager. In addition, he will have the same responsibilities for co-owned KFMA “Rock 102.” Arizona Lotus general manager Ken Kwilosz states that, “Lotus has built successful rock ratings and sales stories in other markets such as Las Vegas and Reno, using a single operations manager to run the rock properties. We felt the time was right to incorporate the same structure in Tucson. With Larry’s successful track record in other markets, and KLPX’s ratings dominance the past few years, we had the perfect candidate for the job in-house.” Before joining KLPX seven years ago, Mac held programming positions at Phoenix outlets KEDJ, KUKQ, KUPD, and KZRX, as well as Las Vegas’ KVGS. Departing Lotus Arizona after 13 years is Chris “The Ego” Firmage.
Faith Daniels Moves to Afternoons at WROU, Dayton. At Alpha Media’s urban AC WROU, Dayton “Dayton’s R&B Leader,” air personality Faith Daniels moves to the afternoon drive show and Skip Porter takes over her 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show. Daniels has served as the station’s PD since 2012. She says of the move, “I love the city of Dayton and being able to be more accessible to my audience is what it’s all about! WROU has done a good job engaging the community, but this move will let us take that interactive element to the next level.” Alpha Media Dayton market manager John King comments, “This move will be an easy transition for Faith—I loved her in middays and can’t wait to see what she does with afternoons.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Music director Robin Roth takes over as interim program director at Local Media San Diego-owned alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X” as Christy Taylor exits the PD and evening jock gig. Taylor has served as PD since March of 2012…..WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102” evening personality Mike Adam exits the Clear Channel CHR outlet after a two-year stint…..Gone from mornings at Kemp Broadcasting’s hip hop KVEG, Las Vegas “Hot 97.5” is morning drive co-host Mia Amor. For now, Miggy Santos will handle wake-up duties solo.
RAB Reports Q2 Sales Down 3%. It’s not surprising that the quarterly report from the Radio Advertising Bureau indicates pretty much what the Q2 data from the industry’s publicly traded companies showed. Again the culprit was spot sales which dipped 5% while network ad sales were flat. The positive was the digital and off-air categories which were up 9% and 15% respectively. (All comparisons are Q2 2014 vs. Q2 2013). Advertiser categories that saw notable increases during the quarter included: home improvement (+ 4%); charitable/religious/non-profit/government agencies (+11%); specialty retail (+14%); auto parts/service (+14%); and amusement/theme parks/museums (+ 9%). RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Based on pacing and industry insights, we anticipated a relatively flat-to-down Q2. While we don’t forecast, a greater percentage of radio’s total annual revenue historically comes through in the second half, and we’re anticipating that we’ll see better results by the end of this year.” See the whole report here.
Brady: Radio’s Precarious Tipping Point. The somber financial state of radio as an advertising medium is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. It’s not unusual to read the opinion that radio has an “image problem,” but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes, “Fifteen years of post-consolidation chickens are finally coming home to roost. Homogenized programming, time-spent listening declines and the decimation of sales departments are now taking their toll.” Brady also argues against the notion that the current state of things is the “new normal.” A lot is written about what’s wrong with radio programming, but in this piece, read what media management pro Brady says is problematic about the business end of the business. Check it out here.
Michael Harrison Comments on Disney Plans to Sell off 23 of its 24 Stations: RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison,when asked his take on the much-discussed Walt Disney Company decision to sell 23 of its 24 Disney Radio outlets, says, “The loss of 200 more industry jobs is, indeed, tragic – an ongoing plague that is nothing short of heart-breaking on the human level of our beloved industry. However, those who are running around like Chicken Little, squawking that this move is indicative of the radio industry’s sky falling, are missing the real implications of this development. Group owners and consolidators such as Disney, who don’t think this medium matches their unbending programming or, worse, believe there is no way to keep old listeners and attract new listeners via creative programing, SHOULD get out and give new, enthusiastic operators the chance to get in at a reasonable investment.” Harrison points out, “That is not to say that all consolidators should exit the business – companies such as Cumulus Media, Emmis, Alpha Media, Saga Communications and others are showing that, although the answers aren’t necessarily coming easily, they intend to find and implement them in the belief that the ‘stick’ still has years of life and the potential for pertinence in it.” Harrison continues, “Disney’s bailing out on the idea that AM radio can no longer attract young listeners indicates it does not have the will nor financial incentive to create programming that will draw listeners of all ages to our medium.” Harrison concludes, “The primary answer to radio’s growing lack of confidence and eroding status is to make massive improvements and reinventions in its on-air attractions.”
‘The Breakfast Club’ Broadcasts from ‘V100’ in Milwaukee. In observance of “The Breakfast Club” – featuring Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy – going into syndication and landing its first affiliate hip hop WKKV, Milwaukee “V100,” the New York-based show is broadcasting from the station today. WKKV program director Bailey Coleman says, “WKKV was the first station in the country to broadcast ‘The Breakfast Club’ as a syndicated morning show, and we’re proud to welcome them on their first visit to Milwaukee. Since their debut on WKKV in August of 2013, the ‘BC’ has changed the landscape of morning radio. With consistent top ratings, they have infused a new excitement into the Milwaukee-Racine market and, of course, with WKKV listeners!”
Hartford Courant Shows Connecticut Radio People Some Love. Although a number of America’s great newspapers/local news bureaus employ media writers who cover the radio business as part of their beats, often, local media give radio stations and talent the cold shoulder due to the competitive nature between the two. For this reason, it’s nice to see the Hartford Courant’s recent pictorial on the radio personalities of Connecticut. Check out the piece here.
CC Stations to Simulcast ‘Taylor Swift’s Worldwide Live Stream on Yahoo. More than 100 of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s CHR and more than 40 of its hot AC stations will simulcast the “Taylor Swift’s Worldwide Live Stream on Yahoo” on Monday at 5:00 pm ET. The event is billed as a live conversation between Swift and her fans.
Colossal Sales Deal Between Katz and Cumulus. Radio rep firm Katz Radio Group announces it has agreed to a new deal with Cumulus Media that is creating a new rep division at Katz dedicated to Cumulus owned-and-operated stations nationwide. The firm – Westwood One National Sales – will provide advertisers and agencies direct access to all of Cumulus’ radio stations. In a press statement, the companies say, “The new long-term agreement supports the companies’ mutual goal to evangelize the power of sound and drive more dollars into the sector. Westwood One National Sales will exclusively represent Cumulus stations nationwide and focus on providing integrated, multi-platform marketing solutions aimed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of advertisers. Westwood One National Sales will also offer advertisers and agencies access to Cumulus’ newly developed traffic system. The cutting-edge technology is designed to improve speed-to-market, giving Cumulus advertisers and agencies real-time pricing and availability of minute-by-minute, market-by-market opportunities across the country.” Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray says, “Our common goal is to get radio a much bigger share of advertiser spending by solving their marketing problems and showcasing the unmatched results radio delivers. Our new partnership with Cumulus to launch Westwood One National Sales strengthens our ability to deliver the most innovative marketing solutions for advertisers and agencies across the expanding advertising platform of one of our important partners.” As a result of this, Bryan Forbes is promoted to senior vice president, general manager of Westwood One National Sales. His current post with KRG is vice president/director of sales. Westwood One National Sales will have dedicated offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.
Clear Channel’s Political Advertising Tool Now Incorporates Nielsen Data. Earlier this year, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announced the development of its proprietary radio targeting tool for political advertisers – dubbed Audience Delivery Optimizer (AuDiO). Now, the company reports that it is now incorporating Nielsen’s radio audience measurement data to further enhance its ability to identify key voter segments. CC says this marks the first time that Nielsen’s Portable People Meter currency data has been combined with specific public voter information – creating a powerful new tool for political advertisers. Clear Channel calls AuDiO a “first-of-its-kind radio optimization tool that enables political campaigns to precisely identify the 10 voter segments that are most crucial in key election districts.” It goes on to say that with the integration of Nielsen’s industry-standard audience measurement data into AuDiO, political advertisers now have access to even more robust identification capabilities for their radio buys. Using the 10 most common political segments, AuDiO can determine how many voters radio reaches in any political district around the country. It can then identify the media preferences of any segment, giving advertisers key information about which media are best to reach which voters. AuDiO works at all levels of national, statewide and local elections, and will be available for the upcoming 2014 election cycle.
On the Block: 23 Radio Disney Stations. The company will hold onto Los Angeles flagship KDIS, but as of approximately six weeks from now (9/26), it will sell the 23 other Radio Disney outlets. Nearly 200 people in local-level ad sales and operations will most likely lose their jobs. Recent data reportedly indicates that less than 20% of Radio Disney listeners receive its content via radio broadcasts. In a staff memo, Radio Disney general manager Phil Guerini writes, “Radio Disney will be increasing investment in both digital distribution platforms and music-centric programming. These decisions will optimize Radio Disney for long-term growth and better reflect the habits of the consumers we serve – a national audience of kids and families. We approached this decision [to sell 23 stations] with care and rigor. We will provide transition support to those who will be departing the organization. I have always been impressed with the dedication and camaraderie of the people at the Radio Disney network and local stations. Thanks to that teamwork, Radio Disney leads the radio industry in delivering age-appropriate music and entertainment for kids and families. As we wish our colleagues all the best, we remain committed to continuing the momentum.” Operations of KDIS, Guerini notes, “will be picked up by the national team.” As of July 1, the company entered into a syndication deal with Rick Dees’ Dees Entertainment that provides the “Radio Disney Top 30″ to multiple United States terrestrial stations. Underway are multi-platform extensions of Radio Disney’s programming, including Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” and the “Radio Disney Music Awards” (Drams). Sale of the 23 Radio Disney facilities is not expected to affect the company’s international partners in Canada, Latin America, and Russia.
An ‘Oasis’ Arrives in Phoenix. In Phoenix, Riviera Broadcasting jettisons its Spanish contemporary format on KVIB “95.1 Solamente Exitos” in favor of soft adult contemporary. The station’s new handle is “95.1 The Oasis.” Chief operating officer Jose Rodiles comments, “We are excited to bring this new format to Phoenix, and provide a place to escape the over-hyped, high-energy world we live in today. By playing familiar songs from superstar artists, ’95.1 The Oasis’ will quickly become a favorite in the Valley, not only to the listening audience, but to our advertising partners as well.” Part of the station’s debut includes 55 minutes of “Lite & Refreshing” music every hour. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report, KVIB ranks #24 (1.6). Under its new format, the closest competitor for “The Oasis” would appear to be Clear Channel mainstream adult contemporary KESZ, which placed third (5.3) in July. Other than a 2.3 this past May, KVIB has registered 17 successive (6+ PPM) showings in the one-share range.
Partnership with Beatport and Expansion of Pete Tong EDM Show Announced by Premiere. The EDM show hosted by Pete Tong and syndicated by Premiere Networks expands as the company announces a new partnership with SFX Entertainment’s Beatport. The program is renamed “The Evolution Beatport Show with Pete Tong” and is now a two-hour show. Premiere states that the show, heard on 80-plus affiliate stations, “now also features exclusive content, breaking music news and releases, DJ chart updates and the top dance tracks from Beatport. Tong continues to present his essential new tune of the week and feature guest mixes from EDM’s biggest stars, while showcasing the best music from the biggest and most influential DJs, artists and dance music producers in the world.” Premiere EVP of programming Jennifer Leimgruber comments, “The launch of ‘The Evolution Beatport Show with Pete Tong’ is an expression of our continued commitment to provide new and innovative entertainment programming. Beatport and Pete Tong bring such incredible depth of knowledge and expertise in EDM, and we look forward to providing an even greater platform to connect fans with their favorite music and artists, and to providing unique and valuable opportunities for radio stations and brand partners to connect with consumers.”
NBC TV and iHeartRadio to Premiere Fall TV Show. The iHeartRadio platform will be the venue for a digital-only premiere of NBC TV’s new Thursday night comedy, “A to Z,” tonight (8/14). The show premieres on TV on October 2. For NBC, this is a chance to tap into the reach of Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio and its radio stations. The companies say, “The first-of-its-kind campaign will include strong local and national integration airing the ‘A to Z’ pilot digitally on iHeartRadio – everywhere it is available, providing promotional support on air across contemporary hit radio stations and their websites, mobile sites and social networks throughout the country, as well as featuring on-air discussions with Clear Channel’s nationally syndicated top on-air personality Ryan Seacrest to drive awareness for the digital screening availability.” NBC Entertainment president, marketing and digital Len Fogge comments, “NBC is very excited to partner with Clear Channel on this first-ever digital opportunity that will give viewers and audiences a chance to fall in love early with ‘A to Z.’ Viewers today love to customize their viewing experience – deciding not only what to watch, but when and how – and we couldn’t imagine a more fitting project than ‘A to Z’ to debut in this innovative way.”
NRG Media Taps ‘The KEG’ in Omaha. Re-branding its adult hits KOOO, Omaha is NRG Media, which drops the “Big O 101.9” moniker and unveils “The KEG.” The station calls itself a “refined adult hits station” and says, “With a mass appeal playlist, ‘101.9 The KEG’ will offer both men and women ages 25-54 music that will remind them of their ‘KEG’ days with music from artists such as Guns N’ Roses, Journey, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Def Leppard and more.” NRG Omaha general manager Andy Ruback explains, “It’s adult hits without the pop. ‘The KEG’ is all about the party and all about the fun, which to us means yes to Van Halen and no to The Go-Gos.” Operations manager Jeff Lynn says, “We surveyed Omaha adults 25-to-54 years of age and this is what they asked for. If you look at a 40-ish consumer target in Omaha, ‘The KEG’ is a top-to-bottom format designed just for them. ‘The KEG’ is the ‘next generation of classic rock’ as we put it – appealing to adults with its up-tempo and fun music variety.” Popular local personality Crash Davis hosts mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.
RadioInfo Career Moves. Parkersburg, West Virginia active rock WHBR “103.1 The Bear” announces Tom Grimm is the new night personality and imaging director. Grimm joins the Results Radio-owned station after his most recent gig at Clear Channel’s alternative WXDX, Pittsburgh “The X.” WHBR PD “Big Ric” Derubeis says, “I am thrilled to be able to reunite with him after all these years. We remained friends and when this opportunity opened up he jumped at the chance and instantly everyone involved saw the potential in bringing him in. We have a great staff here, but bringing in Grimm will up our game.”
JD Greene to Program CC’s New Pittsburgh Country Station. He moves from Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s Minneapolis cluster where he’s been music director and afternoon personality at country KEEY “K-102.” Now, JD Greene becomes program director at the company’s new Steel City country station WPGB “Big 104.7.” Greene is a Pittsburgh native who previously worked in the market at Clear Channel’s CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM.” Vice president of programming for CC Pittsburgh Dave Edgar says, “We are excited to welcome JD Greene back home to Pittsburgh. JD is plugged into the country music scene, understands how to make a big impact with listeners on air, online and in the community, and truly lives the country lifestyle!” In addition to programming the station, Greene will host the afternoon drive show.
New Mexico Broadcasters Rooney & Moon to Leave Morning Drive at ‘Mix 107.5’ in Clovis. The principals of Rooney Moon Broadcasting – Steve Rooney and Duffy Moon (pictured here) – will end their morning drive run on hot AC KSMX, Clovis, New Mexico “Mix 107.5” and turn the show over to D.B. Nyce and Amber Kaye. They will not leave the airwaves, however, and will take over the afternoon drive slot on sister classic hits station KRMQ “Q101.5” beginning October 9. Of the move, Rooney says, “It’s time for us to create a situation where we can begin to grow our company from our home base in Eastern New Mexico, and our broadcast careers have evolved to being better hosts to the audience on our classic hits station KRMQ.” Rooney Moon Broadcasting also operates country KSEL-AM/FM.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Promoted to producer of the “Jared & Katie in the Morning” program at Dick Broadcasting-owned CHR WKZL, Greensboro, North Carolina is Matt Wells. With the station for a year and working on the show since February, Wells takes over for Whitney Thore who exits the business…..Mel McMahon is the midday personality at Emmis-owned country outlet WTHI, Terre Haute. McMahon has been working in a part-time and fill-in capacity at Emmis’ Indianapolis station group…..At Alpha Media’s hip hop WDHT, Dayton “HOT 102.9,” Kevin “K-Dub” Washington is promoted from part-time status to host of the midday show…..Dave Van Dyke leaves his position as vice president broadcast affiliations with traffic supplier Radiate Media and returns to overseeing the operations of media consumption research company Bridge Ratings.
Duane Doobie’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (8/13) includes such names as: MKTO, Nicki Minaj, Janelle Monae, George Ezra, Franz Ferdinand, KIX, Stevie Nicks, Parquet Courts, The Snake Oil Willie Band, Shovels & Rope, Eileen Carey, Kartell, and Young Kato, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
RAB: Radio Ranked Most Effective Medium Influencing Healthcare Choices. The results of a recent Finding Consumer Trends report from the RAB, indicate that when it comes to which type of advertising influences healthcare choices, radio was ranked as the most effective medium – especially among 25-44 year olds. The RAB goes on to state that when it comes to medical care decisions, it is insurance that outranks all other choices – including medical referrals. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “With changes in medical and insurance coverage top of mind with consumers, this reports confirms radio’s ability as a powerful medium to influence their selection of where and who will provide them with medical services. Marketers in this category who are trying to reach the 25-44 year olds should look to radio to communicate to this target group.” More results from the study include the following: 77% of respondents state that a radio personality’s testimonial for healthcare products makes them trust the product the same or more; reputation and positive experiences are the top two reasons that local hospitals are top of mind; and the majority of respondents are currently seeking services by a dentist or orthodontist. A webinar featuring the national results will be presented by the RAB and Ruth Presslaff of Presslaff Interactive Revenue on August 26, at 11:00 am ET and again at 4:00 pm ET. Register for the webinar here.
NuVoodoo: Pandora Use Doesn’t Decrease Broadcast Radio Use. The results of the fourth and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study indicate that as music fans increase their use of Pandora, they don’t do so at the expense of listening to broadcast radio. NuVoodoo Media Services says that the study – which is the result of interviews with nearly 1,100 respondents, ages 14-54, in all PPM markets – is designed to examine the relationship between broadcast radio and the leading digital music provider, Pandora. The findings indicate that 62% of Pandora users listen to it at least 30 minutes per day and nearly as many Pandora users spend that much time daily with broadcast radio. NuVoodoo VP of research Leigh Jacobs reports the company is aware that Pandora users are also broadcast radio users but “we’re interested in whether those using Pandora begin to pull away from broadcast radio over time. These latest results validate our hypothesis that longer experience with Pandora doesn’t equate to less listening to broadcast radio. While those who’ve spent more time with Pandora tend to increase their daily TSL from the service, they claim not to reduce their TSL with broadcast radio.” NuVoodoo EVP of marketing Mike O’Connor comments, “This new information represents a huge opportunity for radio. Our marketing clients benefit directly from the intelligence we glean from our Ratings Prospect Studies and other proprietary indicators, as we develop well-crafted station promotions and marketing targeting those people who use Pandora, and those most likely to carry meters. This research validates so many parts of our unique product formula, and we’re eager to rack up more successes for our clients this fall based on these and other proprietary results.” NuVoodoo says it will be releasing more of the study’s key findings over the coming weeks, including which social media platforms are getting user traction and which ones are seeing user declines.
Clear Channel Announces Honda Partnership for iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles. A series of live performances from Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles is being sponsored by Honda as the two companies are teaming up to present Honda Stage events that will “create exciting live performance opportunities and unique content.” CC says the new stage will “feature a dozen live, intimate performances from today’s hottest acts, with footage from these special events to be available at www.YouTube.com/HondaStage. Currently, exclusive content from singer Lucy Hale’s July 31 performance on the Honda Stage at iHeartRadio is now available online and features the tracks “Road Between,” “From the Backseat” and more from her debut album Road Between. Singer-songwriter Christina Perri performed on August 8, and pop sensation Ariana Grande will appear this month. CC president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli says, “Clear Channel has created the ultimate event space at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles that houses unique, one-of-a-kind live music events with music’s hottest superstars. Now the Honda Stage at the iHeartRadio Theater will bring this exclusive content to fans throughout the country and further extend the reach of both the iHeartRadio and Honda Stage brands.”
WCSX, Detroit to Unveil 1970 Firebird in Stone Soup Project Fundraiser. Tomorrow morning Greater Media classic rocker WCSX, Detroit unveils this year’s Stone Soup Project, a 1970 Pontiac Firebird. The Stone Soup project was inspired by the old stone soup fable wherein everyone throws something in the pot to make a great meal. The WCSX Stone Soup Project “harnesses the generosity and ingenuity of WCSX listeners from around the Detroit area to rebuild a classic car from the ground up in order to raise money for a local charity.” Holy Cross Children’s Services is this year’s beneficiary. The station says that this year’s Stone Soup Project has a special story behind it. Gilbert Bunch of Livonia loved the Stone Soup Project and bought tickets for the raffle every year. His own pride and joy was a 1970 Firebird that he was working on in his garage. He passed away in December of a heart attack, and his family reached out to WCSX to offer up the car for this year’s project. Morning show co-host Jim O’Brien says, “It will be an honor to turn this car into an incredible show car, while raising money for Holy Cross Children’s Services in Detroit.”
Nielsen July PPM Study Shows Positive Trends for CHR and Country. Both the CHR and country formats are enjoying boosts in summer listening according to Nielsen Audio’s analysis of the formats’ performances in the PPM markets. The study looks at how the formats fared against each other and how the formats have trended in the same months going back to 2011. CHR, country and hot AC all have steadily climbed in July PPM performance since 2001 while adult contemporary has slid from his position atop the leaderboard back in 2011. Meanwhile, classic rock has enjoyed a rise from July 2011 through July 2014 from 4.9% to 5.6%. Nielsen comments, “After establishing new all-time highs for listening share last month, country held steady with audiences aged 6 and over (8.6%) and 25-54 (8.4%) and dropped back by nearly half a share-point among listeners aged 18-34 (10.2%) in July. This ended an impressive run of growth stretching back to January for America’s #1 overall format. Country finds itself tied with pop CHR this month among all listeners aged 6-plus, and it appears these two formats will take the race for ‘format of the summer’ down to the wire in next month’s August results.” See the study here.
Chris Carr to Leave WUBE, Cincinnati for New Gig. He’s not saying where he’s headed just yet but country WUBE, Cincinnati “B-105” morning personality Chris Carr is leaving the market for another opportunity that means “a closer connection with his family.” Assuming the morning slot is the station’s “Big Dave” afternoon show. Big Dave and partner Chelsie (both pictured here) will move to mornings with him and current AM drive personality Statt will join them. Also exiting WUBE with Carr is Jeff “Maverick” Bolen, who will join Carr in his new pursuit. WUBE program director Grover Collins says, “Many thanks and much gratitude to Chris for the many years and success he brought ‘B-105.’ However, the only thing constant is change and with that change comes much excitement in welcoming ‘The Big Dave Show’ to mornings. We’re fortunate to have such a deep and talented staff and I look forward to this next chapter at ‘B-105.’” Carr says, “The family and I made the difficult decision to accept a new challenge outside of Cincinnati…Cincinnati has been awesome! I have to say, the relationship we’ve built with the B-105 audience is what every radio personality would die for!”
KUKQ Appoints Kidd Program Director. Programmer Jerry Kidd is tapped as PD at San Tan Educational Media‘s KUKQ-LPFM, Mesa “KQ-99.1.” Shon White – who owns the Phoenix-area alternative outlet – comments, “We look forward to seeing what Jerry can do with our little independent radio station and bring a much needed and aggressive format to our area.” Kidd remarks, “I am grateful for Shon’s confidence in my ability. We have a long road ahead, but focus and consistency will prove this to be a successful alternative station for the Valley.” Kidd previously held several positions – including PD, music director, production director, and midday talent – at Phoenix hot AC KMVA “Hot 97.5.” Before that, he was executive producer and part of the morning team at Phoenix adult hits KPKX “The Peak.” Launched several months ago, “KQ-99.1″ covers Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and metro Phoenix’s southeastern valley area. The station did not appear in the July 2014 Nielsen Audio PPM report.
Murley Moves to Boston’s “Magic” As Sales Manager. After nearly four years as WBZ-TV, Boston’s sales manager, Tina Murley joins crosstown Greater Media adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7″ in a similar capacity. According to WMJX general manager Mary Menna, “Tina is a true Boston talent. She has expansive media expertise, working in both radio and television. She has a passion for helping clients win and coaching high performance teams. I have wanted to work alongside Tina for years and am thrilled to be able to finally see that dream come to fruition.” Murley comments, “I couldn’t be more honored and excited to join such a legendary company and station. Having the opportunity to work at ‘Magic 106.7′ with the most well respected names in the industry is a dream come true. I look forward to working with the talented Greater Media sales and marketing teams to bring our clients custom advertising solutions.” Before her tenure at WBZ-TV (Channel 4), Murley was a sales manager at CBS Radio Boston hot AC WBMX; general sales manager at WBMX sibling WODS; and an AE at Boston classical outlet WCRB.
Weiss Named DOS at American General Media Albuquerque. Jumping from the sports marketing side of the business as GM for University of New Mexico’s Lobo Sports Properties (Learfield Sports), Joe Weiss is now director of sales for American General Media’s Albuquerque cluster. AMG market manager Suzy Rufail says, “Joe is a highly respected marketing and advertising executive in New Mexico. I’m delighted to add someone of his caliber to fulfill this key role on our senior leadership team. I’m confident that Joe will continue to provide and implement high quality business solutions to our partners.” Weiss comments, “I am extremely excited about this fantastic new career opportunity. I have a great background connecting businesses with fans. This is the same thing, just utilizing a different medium. AGM has done a terrific job building their stations, engaging their listeners and building a culture everyone wants to be a part of. I can’t wait to get started.”
McCormack to Lead ‘NASH FM 92.3’ in Bay Area. After eight years as VP and market manager for Clear Channel’s Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz operations, Rhonda McCormack joins Cumulus Media to serve as general manager for country outlet KSJO, San Jose “NASH FM 92.3.” Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “As we develop our sales strategy for NASH in San Francisco, we needed the right leadership to spearhead this process. Rhonda is perfect for this role. She will effectively head the sales effort inside the fourth largest radio market in America. We’re thrilled to have Rhonda as a part of the Cumulus family in the Bay Area.” McCormack comments, “I feel honored to be a part of this incredible opportunity. It’s such an exciting time to be a part of the Cumulus team as they continue to grow and launch new markets. Working for the Bay Area’s New Country leader, NASH FM, is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am grateful to be a part of the journey.”
E.B. Moss Joins AdLarge Media. Coming to AdLarge Media from her most recent position with Westwood One, advertising and marketing exec E.B. Moss will serve as vice president, marketing solutions. AdLarge says that Moss spearheaded a similar division for Citadel, then Cumulus Media Networks and ultimately Westwood One, where she launched a suite of new opportunities for clients, including devising native advertising, social media, and digital campaigns. AdLarge co-founder and CEO Gary Schonfeld comments, “E.B. is a consummate marketer. She has an innate perspective on clients’ goals, and is exceptional at inventing on-air, online, onsite, and social media promotions that boost a campaign to deliver a return on investment (ROI) for advertisers and their agencies.”
Envision Names Brooks Director of Affiliate Relations. Thirty-one year media pro Valerie Brooks joins Envision Networks as director of affiliate relations. Brooks was most recently serving with WKYC-TV, Cleveland in the sales department. She comments, “I have been privileged to work for both locally owned and operated as well as publicly traded broadcast companies. I love the subliminal power of our medium, and I know that radio plus our digital brand extensions remain vibrant, alive and impactful.” Envision COO Laura Orkin adds, “We are thrilled to welcome Valerie to the Envision family as director of affiliate relations. Valerie brings a wealth of experience to our team and will superserve our 1,500-plus affiliated stations.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Promoted to program director at Clear Channel’s CHR WKXJ, Chattanooga “103.7 Kiss FM” is KZCH, Wichita “Channel 963” APD, music director and afternoon personality Sassy. She makes the move to Tennessee but will continue to host the afternoon show at KZCH…..After six months in the position, Ashley Z exits the midday show at Saga Communications-owned CHR WNRG, Milwaukee “Energy 106.9.” Prior to this gig, she was evening personality at MacDonald Garber Broadcasting’s CHR WKHQ, Charlevoix, Michigan…..At Emmis classic rock WWVR, Terre Haute “105.5 The River,” Nigel Laskowski joins for morning drive hosting “The Rock Show with Nigel.” Previously, Laskowski was afternoon drive personality at classic rocker KLBJ-FM, Austin…..At Saga Communications’ Cayuga Radio Group in Ithaca, lineup changes take place at CHR WFIZ “Z95.5.” Evening personality Bentley moves to afternoon drive, replaced by the WYD Media-syndicated “Zach Sang and The Gang” show. Also, Nicole “Nikki” Mosca joins Gabe for the morning show.
KFOG, San Francisco Becomes ‘K-PAUL’ on Thursday. In honor of the last event to take place at Candlestick Park, Cumulus Media’s triple A KFOG, San Francisco becomes “K-PAUL” for the day as Paul McCartney plays the venerable stadium. Almost 48 years after The Beatles’ final live concert – that happened on August 29, 1966 – Paul McCartney returns to the city to close the book on Candlestick Park. Beginning at 6:00 am on August 14, the station plays McCartney’s music all day with back-to-back tracks, spotlighting his vast Beatles, Wings and solo catalog. KFOG personality Annalisa states, “I don’t think there is any other moment-in-time or performer that makes better sense to take over an entire day of KFOG than Paul McCartney with his legendary status in music and pop culture. And he is certainly one of THE most beloved performers of all time, evoking significant musical memories from every listener’s life.”
Clear Channel Initiates Format Modifications in Miami, Seattle, and San Antonio. Last Friday (8/8), RadioInfo reported about Clear Channel‘s talk-to-country switch on WPGB, now known as “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s New Hit Country.” The company though was apparently just getting warmed up, as at least three other transformations – in varying degrees – occurred in PPM markets since then. Launching “My 93.9″ in Miami might be more of a branding situation, given that WMIA “More Music with a Better Variety” appears to be keeping its hot AC flavor but adding the “My” handle, which the company utilizes on hot ACs in several markets, including Los Angeles (KBIG); Chicago (WLIT); and Salt Lake City (KJMY). Clear Channel Miami market president Lonny Anger states that, “South Florida listeners shared with us what they were looking for in the quintessential radio station. After extensive research, including music library selections, promotions and talent, we are excited to debut ‘My 93.9,’ perfect for our female listeners in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. It is really their station now.” Core artists will include Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Enrique Iglesias, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, P!NK, Pitbull, Rihanna, and Justin Timberlake. The station’s on-air roster features Joey Brooks with Nathalie Rodriguez (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Nataliz Jimenez (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); Ramiro Torres (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Mario Lopez (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and “The Rendezvous with Simon & Kim” (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 report, WMIA, ranks eighteenth (2.3). Beginning with “Holiday” 2013, WMIA has had seven (7) consecutive (6+) downward trends (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3). Similar to what is happening in Miami, a change in Seattle is more cosmetic than a full-blown transformation such as talk for country in Pittsburgh. The Seattle switch took place last Friday (8/8) at approximately 10:08 am after what was the final broadcast of KJR-FM wakeup talent Bob Rivers. With Steve Miller‘s “Jet Airliner” as its first song, the station segued from classic rock back to classic hits as “95.5 The Jet – Seattle’s Variety from the ’70s, ’80s and More.” Clear Channel Seattle vice president of programming Keith Cunningham opines that, “Seattle is a great radio town. Listeners here have a high musical passion and intellect. What we learned talking directly with listeners, and doing extensive research, is that expectations for Seattle radio have changed. Wider playlists with more variety are desired. We saw the opportunity to take the best of KJR-FM, add more variety, and create a more modernized presentation. Re-branding as ‘The Jet’ was a no-brainer and a nod to our love for Seattle’s history in aviation and airline manufacturing.” Representative “Jet” artists are Bon Jovi, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Madonna, and Prince. The on-air lineup – including a successor to Rivers in morning drive – is forthcoming. Starting today (8/11), an “Artist of the Day” promotion will award $1,000 each weekday. After back-to-back 4.0 showings (6+) in May and June, KJR-FM finishes with a 3.7 in Nielsen Audio’s July 2014 report. It ranks eighth (6+) for the third successive monthly (May – June – July). Clear Channel’s home headquarters – San Antonio – is the site of another format transition. The classic rock format KZEP was airing on 104.5 relocates to 93.3. Now occupying 104.5 is “Hot – Today’s Rhythm and All the Best Throwbacks.” Clear Channel San Antonio market president Marlene Trevino comments, “We are excited to introduce ‘Hot 104.5′ to our San Antonio listeners and provide them with another great music option on the radio.” Starting at roughly 12:00 noon last Friday (8/8), the station debuted with a commercial-free block of 10,000 songs from artists such as 2Pac, Aaliyah, Iggy Azalea, Dr. Dre, Drake, Eminem, and Notorious BIG. July 2014 Nielsen Audio (6+) results indicate Univision rhythmic CHR KBBT “The Beat” is tied for first (7.4), while KZEP finishes #16 (2.4); KZEP’s highest 6+-showing since July 2013 was a 3.7 in March (#11).
Dan Edwards Captains Mornings at ‘Fly 92.9’ in Dayton. The Alpha Media adult hits outlet WGTZ, Dayton “Fly 92.9” has a new morning drive personality as market pro Dan Edwards assumes the captain’s seat for “The Morning Flight.” Alpha notes that Edwards is “an Emmy award-winning media veteran with over 30 years of experience as an anchor, DJ, photo-journalist, and educator. Though his travels have taken him all over the globe, he and his wife of 29 years are proud to call Dayton home.” Edwards comments, “I can’t say how happy I am to be back in the very building I began my radio career on the legendary WING-FM. After a satisfying 12-year career in TV as an anchor and reporter at Channel 2, I’m excited to transition back into radio. What’s even more profound is the fact that John King, the current general manger for ‘Fly 92.9,’ is the same man who gave me my first big break in the business back in 1982!” King comments, “When Alpha Media entered the Dayton market with the goal of creating truly ‘live and local’ radio, I was challenged to find a personality that would not only sound great on air, but one that has deep roots in the community; we couldn’t be happier to find exactly that in Dan.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. There are two corporate appointments at Univision Communications to announce: Kevin Cuddihy is named president of local media, overseeing the operations of the company’s radio and TV stations; and Jessica Rodriguez is now executive director of marketing…..Rick Marino joins Cumulus Media’s country KHAY, Oxnard-Ventura, California to host the morning drive program. He most recently was with the company’s country WSM-FM, Nashville as morning host. Marino replaces Dave Bradley who moves to Cumulus’ Blacksburg, Virginia cluster to serve as PD of WPSK “NASH FM 107.1.”…..Townsquare Media’s CHR KBEA, Quad Cities “B100” debuts the new morning drive show “Noah’s Ark” featuring Noah Sherwood and Olivia Cronin…..At Hoosier AM/FM LLC-owned adult contemporary WZWZ, Kokomo, Indiana “Z92.5,” Kim Seals is the new afternoon drive personality and promotions director.
Saga Communications Reports Flat Q2. On 2014 second quarter operating revenue of $33.8 million, Saga Communications announces it was compared to the same period a year ago. Other figures reported include: operating income from continuing operations was $8.2 million; net income for the period was $4.8 million; and free cash flow was $5.9 million. Station operating expense was $23.5 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations). Net operating revenue for the period ended June 30, 2014 increased 0.7% to $63.3 million compared to $62.8 million for the same period last year.
Variety Format Surfaces on Charleston, West Virginia’s WKAZ-FM. Leaving the classic rock format behind for a variety format is West Virginia Radio Corp.-owned WKAZ-FM, Charleston, West Virginia – now dubbed “Tailgate FM.” The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the station will feature music from the country, pop, rock, and what it terms “all-time party classics.” West Virginia Radio market manager Christian Miller tells the paper it’s time for radio to reinvent itself. “The iPod generation has allowed our younger demographics to listen to all genres of music simultaneously, so we decided it was time give them that experience on the radio. ‘Tailgate’ is similar to your iPod on a 50,000-watt transmitter.”
Clear Channel Challenges CBS and Keymarket in Pittsburgh Country Battle. Steel City fans of news/talk staples Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are probably miffed about the end of WPGB-FM as a news/talk outlet but country fans get another choice as Clear Channel Media + Entertainment flips WPGB-FM to country as “Big 104.7 – Pittsburgh’s New Hit Country.” CC will be going up against CBS RADIO’s WDSY “Y108” (#4 in the July PPM – persons 6+ — with a 7.3 share) and Keymarket Licenses-owned trimulcast of “Froggy 98” (Keymarket doesn’t subscribe to Nielsen Audio). Clear Channel’s country WOVK in nearby Wheeling, West Virginia gets into the southwestern part of the Pittsburgh market but doesn’t give full coverage. The station will air Premiere Networks’ Bobby Bones show in morning drive and will add local personalities in time. One thing is for sure, country is hot right now and getting Bobby Bones in market #25 is important to the company. Clear Channel VP/programming Dave Edgar says of the move, “It’s a great day for Pittsburgh country music fans as we launch ‘Big 104.7,’ a fresh new take on country music. This station will give our listeners a front-row seat to country’s biggest artists and concerts. Listeners will also enjoy waking up with the Bobby Bones show and his unique and entertaining insight on country music. No one is closer to the heart of Nashville than Bobby Bones.”
John Gallagher Returns to Chicago with Hubbard. Former WLS-AM, Chicago boss John Gallagher is coming back to the Windy City to serve as vice president and market manager for Hubbard Radio’s three-station group that includes hot AC WTMX, classic hits WDRV, and AC WILV. Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz says, “John is the perfect person to lead our great brands in Chicago. John has a proven track record as an operator and has the benefit of Chicago experience, which gives him insight into the market. I’m thrilled to have someone of John’s caliber and experience segueing into this very critical position for Hubbard Radio Chicago.” Most recently, Gallagher has been with Cumulus Media as market manager for its Appleton/Oshkosh and Green Bay, Wisconsin stations.
Hanson Upped at CMG’s ‘HITS 97.3’ in Miami. Music director Dave Hanson is promoted to assistant director of branding and programming at Cox Media Group-owned CHR WFLC, Miami “HITS 97.3.” Director of branding & programming Jill Strada says, “Dave’s talent, drive and years of experience are invaluable as WFLC competes in the highly competitive and fast-paced Miami market. This promotion is well deserved!” Hanson has been with CMG for the past 12 years in numerous capacities. He says of his new gig, “I am honored and feel truly blessed for the opportunity to continue to work with such a supportive team at CMG Miami. Thanks to Jill Strada for being an innovative leader, mentor and partner in crime, and to VP/market manager Rob Babin for being such a believer in the people of CMG Miami.”
Mike Jones Upped to Middays at ‘DC101.’ Leaving his evening shift behind at Clear Channel’s rock WWDC, Washington “DC101” is Mike Jones who takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after three years on the night shift. Jones worked on the “Elliot in the Morning” show before moving to the evening jock gig. Program director James Howard says, “Mr. Jones’ talent, skills and work ethic have driven his success. He will be instrumental in the continued strength of the DC101 brand.” Jones says of his new gig, “This is going to be a lot of fun, getting to hang out with the ‘DC101’ audience during the day. Many thanks to James Howard and Meg Stevens for this opportunity.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. After 56 years on the air, radio pro Rich “Brother” Robbin is calling it a career. The afternoon personality on Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned classic hits outlet XHPRS, San Diego “105.7 The Walrus” is doing his last show today (8/8). Robbin has worked in numerous markets during his career and is well known for his time at KGB and KCBQ in San Diego…..Derric Tanner joins Entercom’s alternative KNRK, Portland “94/7 FM” for the evening shift, taking over for Squid Vicious. Tanner has worked in San Francisco, Seattle and San Jose…..Summit Media officially launches adult contemporary WHTI, Richmond “Easy 100.9” and returns Bill Bevins and Shelley Perkins to the air in the market as the “Bill and Shelley in the Morning” show kicked off the station’s debut on August 7…..Curtis Booker is the new program director and afternoon drive personality at Clear Channel’s CHR KYYY, Bismarck, “Y93.” He comes to the station from his most recent gig at rhythmic CHR KEZE, Spokane “Hot 96.9” where he was APD…..Sonoma Media Group brings former “Mark & Brian” show staffer Kelli Gates aboard to co-host the morning show with Big Jon Snyder at classic rock KVRV, Santa Rosa, California “97.7 The River.” The “Kelli & Big Jon” show replaces the “Bob & Tom” show.
Final Round of July 2014 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of Nielsen Audio July 2014 PPM ratings data is released for markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. July’s survey period covered June 19 – July 16. See complete market numbers here. In addition, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this latest group.
- Austin – On the strength of a +.6 (4.1 – 4.7), Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix” cruises from ninth to sixth (6+). Its adult contemporary sibling KKMJ “Majic 95.5,” though falters by eight-tenths (3.9 – 3.1) to drop from #12 to #13. Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob-FM” is #1 (6+) for the seventh straight month. Speaking of streaks, this is the 14th consecutive time that Clear Channel’s KASE “Today’s Country” (7.8 – 7.5) has finished in the runner-up slot. The last occurrence when KASE wasn’t #2 was in June 2013. Univision regional Mexican KLJA has a string of its own going. In addition to repeating June’s +.7, “Mas Variedad” makes it five successive up trends (.7 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.7 – 2.4 – 3.1) which takes it from #16 to a three-way tie at #13. By way of perspective, the station ranked #20 in “Holiday 2013,” January 2014, February, March, and April.
- Indianapolis – Over and above the juggling at the top is the magnitude of the fluctuation for several stations involved. For openers, Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5″ breaks out of a fourth-place tie with a rousing +1.6 (6.0 – 7.6), enabling it to trade places with Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “Indy’s R&B Leader” (7.3 – 6.7, -.6), which falls from first to fourth. “Indy’s R&B Leader” had been first in April, May, and June, while “Classic Hits 104.5″ had three straight (6+) down trends (6.9 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.0). Progressing by nine-tenths each are Emmis cluster-mates (adult contemporary) WYXB “Soft Rock B-105.7″ (6.3 – 7.2, steady at #3) and (country) WLHK “Hank FM” (5.6 – 6.5, #8 in June to #5). “Soft Rock B-105.7″ ends six successive monthlies in the 6.3 – 6.9 range and it registers its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2013′s 14.3. Likewise, 6.5 is the highest 6+-share for “Hank” since last October’s 6.6. Entercom CHR WZPL remains in the runner-up slot, but owing to a strong +.8 (6.5 – 7.3), “Indy’s Hit Music Station” is only three-tenths from the top, compared to eight-tenths in June. The third consecutive downward trend for WIBC is -.7 (6.6 – 6.1 – 6.0 – 5.3) and it drops the Emmis talker from fourth to seventh.
- Providence – After advancing by one-half share in June (7.3 – 7.8, 6+) – taking it from fourth to a second-place tie - Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country” solidifies its runner-up position by exploding by +1.1 to 8.9. For the seventh straight month, WPRO-FM finishes first (6+). Moreover, it is the third straight positive trend for the Cumulus Media CHR, which has picked up a full-share in that span (8.8 – 8.9 – 9.6 – 9.8). While Clear Channel classic hits-oldies WWBB “B-101″ gains one-half share (7.8 – 8.3), its rock sibling WHJY “94 HJY” declines by that margin (7.3 – 6.8) and remains fourth. Ironically, despite the +.5 for “B-101,” it actually slips from second to third. Entercom sports WVEI tumbles by seven-tenths (4.0 – 3.3), sliding from eighth to ninth.
- Norfolk – On the heels of June’s +.8 (2.7 – 3.5), Clear Channel rhythmic hot AC WMOV tacks on another nine-tenths to 4.4, thus advancing from ninth to seventh. This marks the best showing for WMOV since its 6.1 in “Holiday” 2012. Owing to a +.6 (3.7 – 4.3), WVHT “Hot 100.5″ ends its string of four down or flat monthlies (4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7); the Max Broadcast Group Holdings’ CHR inches up from ninth to eighth. Entercom urban AC WVKL “95-7 R&B” (12.1 – 12.5, +.4) continues its dominance, as it ranks first for the 24th straight survey period and 49th time in 51 PPM sweeps. This is the eleventh time in the last 12 ratings periods that WVKL has been in double-digits (6+). In addition to those impressive credentials, with July’s 12.5, “95-7 R&B” can claim Norfolk’s highest-ever 6+ total under PPM methodology. For the second straight month, five Sinclair-owned stations that appeared in May are now unlisted. Specifically, those facilities are country WUSH (#6 in May); adult hits WNOB (#9); talk WNIS (#13); alternative WROX (#14); and talk WTAR (#19).
- Nashville – South Central Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9″ is #1 (6+) for the 27th consecutive monthly; however, it is down for the third straight time (11.8 – 10.5 – 9.6 – 9.4). In June, its string of double-digit (6+) showings was snapped at 23; 9.4 is the station’s lowest 6+-stat in exactly two years (8.7 in July 2012). Adult hits sibling WCJK “Jack-FM” though gains six-tenths (5.7 – 6.3) to advance from seventh to fifth; “Jack-FM” logs its best 6+ number since April 2013′s 6.7. Owing to a +.7 to 7.8, Clear Channel urban contemporary WUBT “The Beat” (fourth to third) racks up its most potent 6+ stat since December 2011 (8.2). Cumulus Media urban AC WQQK declines by one full-share (7.0 – 6.0) and drops from fifth to seventh. Among the market’s country stations, Clear Channel’s WSIX-FM “The Big 98″ notched a +.9 to 6.6 in May and a full-share gain to 7.6 in June. “The Big 98″ (third in June to fifth in July) though gives most of that combined +1.9 back by dropping by -1.3 to 6.3. Cumulus Media country siblings are seemingly unaffected by the huge WSIX-FM drop-off, as WKDF “Nash FM 103.3″ is down one-tenth to 5.0 (steady at eighth) and WSM-FM – after a solid +.9 to 4.9 in June – picks up another one-tenth to tie WKDF at eighth. WSM-FM ranked ninth in June.
- Greensboro – For the past three monthlies, Entercom properties were the market’s top four finishers, but Clear Channel‘s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1″ puts an end to that by posting a +.8 (7.5 – 8.3) to advance from fifth to third. It has been an extremely good run for WTQR which has now put up five straight (6+) increases (5.1 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.9 – 7.5 – 8.3) resulting in a cumulative +3.2 since February. WTQR overtakes Entercom-owned format rival, WPAW “The Wolf” (7.9 – 8.2, +.3, #3 to #4), which had outpointed “New Country” in each of the past 11 monthlies (6+). After experiencing a full-share decline in June, Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon” gains 90% of it back (7.7 – 8.6) to inch up from third to second. Our fascination continues for Clear Channel CHR WMKS “100.3 Kiss-FM,” which – even after dialing up a +.7 (4.2 – 4.9) – finishes ninth for the fourteenth successive time. Following a +.6 to 7.5 in June, “Kiss-FM” adult contemporary cluster-mate WMAG regresses by nine-tenths to 6.6 (fifth to sixth). Experiencing Greensboro’s biggest (6+) month-to-month hit though is Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “The Hip-Hop Station,” which plummets by -1.2 from 9.1 – 7.9 (second to fifth). Meanwhile, co-owned WQMG “The Best R&B and Old School” (10.4 – 9.5, -.9) finishes first for the seventh successive ratings period, although the urban AC station’s consecutive string of (6+) double-digit performances concludes at an even 20.
- West Palm Beach – Albeit that it is flat at 7.4, Clear Channel adult contemporary/classic hits-oldies hybrid WOLL “Kool 105.5″ ends the consecutive #1 run of Digity Media hot AC WRMF at four. WRMF (7.7 – 7.1, -.6) – which has been in the 7.0 – 7.7 range each month this calendar year – inherits the runner-up slot vacated by “Kool.” Prior to advancing by a whopping +1.4 in June, “Kool” had three successive downtrends (7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.0). Adding one full-share (4.2 – 5.2, sixth to fourth) is Digity Media country outlet WIRK, which has its best 6+-stat in more than two years (6.0 in May 2012). At this time last month, WAYF inched up from eighth to seventh by notching a +.9 to 4.0. The contemporary Christian outlet though regresses by -1.2 to 2.8 and returns to eighth. American Public Media Group classical-formatted WPBI falters by seven-tenths (#19 – #12) to slide from #12 to #14.
- Jacksonville – Unlike several instances in certain markets where group owners become non-subscribers to Nielsen Audio (see Norfolk above and Sinclair), Renda Broadcasting returns three stations in print. One of them – adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1″ (9.2 – 8.9, -.3) – surfaces as this Florida market’s top finisher (6+). Other Renda Jacksonville stations reappearing after a multi-year absence are WGNE “Gator Country” (5.4 – 5.5, +.1, #6) and country WMUV “Bull 100.7″ (2.5 – 2.1, -.4, #15). Shown as June’s (6+) leader, Cox Media Group CHR WAPE slips to second (7.2 – 7.3, +.1). After faltering by -1.1 in June, Cox Media’s WHJX “Hot” loses another eight-tenths (4.8 – 4.0), falling out of the top ten (eighth to eleventh). Eight-tenths is also bad news for CMG-owned alternative outlet WXXJ “X-102.9″ (5.3 – 4.5), which dips from seventh to ninth.
- Memphis – Clear Channel controls the top three finishers and four of the top six, including urban AC KJMS “V-101″ (8.9 – 9.2, +.3), which repeats at #1. Dialing up the market’s greatest (6+) June – July gain though is Cumulus Media country WGKX “Kix 106,” which adds a +1.4 to June’s 6.0 (7.4) to advance from sixth to fifth. Improving by six-tenths are Clear Channel gospel WHAL “Halleluiah” (7.6 – 8.2, fourth to second) and Mid-South Public classic WKNO (.9 – 1.5, steady at #18). Entercom adult contemporary WRVR “The River” tumbles by eight-tenths (6.1 – 5.3) as it drops from fifth to eighth.
- Hartford – Up by a modest two-tenths (8.7 – 8.9), CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH “Lite 105″ extends its consecutive string of #1 (6+) finishes to 37. Eight-tenths behind in the runner-up position is its hot AC sibling WTIC-FM, which follows June’s robust +.9 to 7.3 with a +.8 to 8.1. Also advancing by eight-tenths (6.3 – 7.1) is Clear Channel CHR WKSS “All The Hits Kiss 95.7,” zooming from seventh to fourth. The yo-yo continues for Connoisseur-owned classic hits-oldies WDRC-FM. After tumbling in May by -1.4 to 5.2 resulting in a fifth to eighth slide, “102.9 DRC” regained nearly all of it with a +1.2 to 6.4 (sixth). In July though, it falters by -1.1 to 5.3 and is back in eighth-place.
Next iHeartRadio Album Release Party? Maroon Five. A little more than two weeks from today, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment will present the next iHeartRadio Album Release Party with Maroon 5 as the band released its new album V on Tuesday, August 26 at the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles. The actual album release date is September 2. The band’s new single “Maps” was released in June. The one-hour special event will air live on the East Coast on from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET on The CW network and will be delayed to the West Coast at the same time PT. As in the past, the program will air on CC-owned CHR, hot AC and AC stations.
CBS RADIO Q2 Revenue Down 3%. There’s rarely much information from CBS Corp. about its radio division during quarterly conference calls or the press releases about earnings, as the company is so heavily focused on television, films and publishing. It appears CBS RADIO had a quarter similar to other radio companies in that its net revenue decline of 3% was probably due to the soft advertising climate affecting the industry.
Salem Communication Reports Q2 Total Revenue Up 14%; Broadcast Net Revenue Up 1.8%. The good news for Salem Communications comes as its internet and e-commerce and publishing divisions showed big revenue increases during the second quarter of 2014. As for the broadcast division, net broadcast revenue was up 1.8% to $47.9 million from $47 million during the same period a year ago. Station operating income decreased 13.8% to $13.9 million from $16.2 million and same station net broadcast revenue increased 1.1% to $47.6 million from $47 million.
Journal Broadcast Group Radio Revenue Up 1.6%. As a whole, Journal Communications revenue was up 4.9% during the second quarter of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013. On the radio side, Journal Broadcast Group realized a net increase of 1.6% on $20.2 million of revenue. The company reports radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million in each of 2014 and 2013. Local advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 2.3%, primarily due to an increase in home products and automotive advertising. Digital revenue, which is reported in local revenue, was $0.8 million, up 14.1%. National advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 6.3%, primarily due to lower automotive and restaurant advertising. Excluding political revenue, total revenue was $20.1 million, up 1.5%. Operating earnings from radio were $4.1 million compared to $3.8 million in 2013, an increase of 6.2%. Radio operating expenses increased 0.5%.