Category: Industry News

Thursday, May 7, 2015

| May 7, 2015

Robert SanchezSanchez Adds WLZL OM Duties. WNEW-FM, Washington, D.C. program director Robert Sanchez takes on further responsibilities as operations manager of CBS Radio Spanish tropical sibling WLZL “El Zol 107.9 FM.” He succeeds Pete Manriquez, who was the program director of “El Zol.” Senior vice president and market manager Steve Swenson comments, “We have a lot of talented people at ‘El Zol’ who will work with Rob in taking the station to new heights. The experiences of everyone will be of great help to Rob as the team works together. Rob is a straight shooter, he knows CBS Radio, and he is a winner. I would like to thank Pete for his work as one of the executives on my team.” Sanchez remarks, “Pete did a great job in creating a radio station that sounds wonderful. He has been incredibly supportive of his programming staff and it has shown in what comes out of the speakers.” Ever since all-news WNEW-FM debuted in November 2011, Sanchez has been the station’s only PD. Among persons 6+ in Washington, D.C.’s latest Nielsen Audio PPM report (March 2015), WLZL (1.9) and WNEW-FM (1.7) finish at #19 and #20, respectively; meanwhile, Hubbard all-news WTOP (9.1) is the market’s (6+) pacesetter for the third successive survey.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

| May 6, 2015

modestmouseDuane Doobie Jr.’s Picks of the Week.  RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: on-air personalities Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Matt James, golden-eared, on air personality at “T-100” WCLT in Newark, OH; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9;” Jered Petrey, GM, and the music committee from the award-winning, student-run high school radio station at Pendleton Heights High School in Pendleton, Indiana; plus internet sensation The Iceman, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats.  You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM.  This week’s selection posted today (5/6) includes such names as: Hozier, Manika, Snoh Aalegra, Kalin & Myles, Carly Rae Jepsen, Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear, Peter Rivera, Allen Stone, Seth Glier, Coleman Hell, Modest Mouse, Kopecky, Logan Mize, Canaan Smith, Corey Smith, Zac Brown Band, Aaron Watson, Rolling Stones, Bobby Nourmand, Everything Everything, Catey Shaw, French Horn Revolution, Britney Spears & Iggy Azalea, Neon Trees, Lee Brice, among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

Jill StradaStrada Adds CMG Miami Programming Duties. We reported yesterday that Cox Media Group Miami mainstream CHR WFLC “Hits 97-3″ director of programming & branding Jill Strada would take on “temporary” programming oversight of urban contemporary sibling WEDR “99 Jamz” (RadioInfo, Tuesday 5/5). That situation, however, quickly expands as Strada is now given that title on a fulltime basis for both CMG outlets; it was announced late last week that WEDR program director Derrick Baker had exited the station. According to Cox Media Group Miami vice president and general manager Rob Babin, “Jill has done an amazing job of developing the ‘Hits 97.3′ brand, making it a top-rated station in Miami. Combined with her urban programming background, Jill’s ability to develop strategy and coach talent is a key factor in her new leadership position with ’99 Jamz.'” Strada thanked several Cox Media Group executives, including Babin, “for the opportunity to lead the incredibly talented ’99 Jamz’ staff,” and “to take the legacy of this heritageCox Media Group Miami station, as well as [WFLC], to new heights.” It was exactly one year ago that Strada became director of programming & branding for WFLC. She joined the station after a 16-month stint in Boston as assistant program director & digital media brand manager of Greater Media rhythmic hot AC WBQT “Hot 96.9.” Her past credits include programming cross-town Miami rhythmic CHR WPOW “Power 96″; working at Emmis New York as PD of WRKS “98.7 – Kiss-FM” and assistant program director/music director of rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97″; and – for nearly nine years – programming Cox Media Group Orlando rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3.” Among persons 6+ in Miami’s latest Nielsen Audio PPM report (March 2015), WFLC is in a three-way tie at #7 (4.0), while WEDR ranks #11 (3.7). Meanwhile, their urban AC sibling – WHQT “Hot 105″ – remains the market’s #1 station for the 47th straight month (7.8).

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Taking over as the new program director of Cumulus Media’s WOGT,thrushreid Chattanooga “107.9 NASH Icon” is Reid Thrush.  He joins Cumulus from New South Communications in Jackson, Mississippi, replacing John Kelly…..Evening personality Tyler Reese reesetylerexits WSIX, Nashville after two years with the iHeartMedia country station.  Reese also served as APD and music director…..Charlie Quinn resigns from his program director post at CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYXY, San Diego for family reasons.  Sister CHR KEGY “Energy 107.3” PD Chris Patyk will add programming duties for KYXY…..Jonathan Shuford takes over the program director position at iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRVW, Nashville “107.5 The River.”  He replaces John Mayer who recently assumed the PD post at the company’s CHR WFLZ, Tampa.  Shuford moves to Nashville from iHeartMedia’s Louisville cluster where he programmed CHR WNRW “98.9 Radio Now” and hot AC WLGX “100.5 My FM.”…..Twelve-year morning show “Buck & Dex” is out at iHeartMedia’s alternative KTEG,patrickjamie Albuquerque “104.1 The Edge.”  The station has not named a new morning show yet…..At Mapleton Communications’ country KDRK, Spokane, Jamie Patrick adds assistant program director duties to his morning show host and music director responsibilities…..Tampa-based Genesis Communications names Alex Tallitsch digital director.  Tallitsch most recently served as social media coordinator for the Times Square Ball Drop and as digital director for the Green Bay Packers-dedicated site cheeseheadtv.com…..At bossinsteveAdvanced Media Partners-owned CHR WPIA, Peoria, Illinois, Liam McCluskey moves from evenings to afternoon drive to make way for new night host John Govia.  Also, Amber Miller is promoted from part to full time as promotions director…..WOW Media LLC announces Steve Bossin joins the company as director of business development for the company that operates oWOW – the Northeast Ohio online “Timeless” rock music station.

concord music groupConcord Bicycle Music Group Acquires Indie Labels.  Independent rock music labels Wind-up Records and Fearless Records have been acquired by Concord Bicycle Music.  Label chief corporate development officer Steve Salm says the deal underscores the company’s commitment to develop and grow its rock and alternative music portfolio.  Thefearlessrecords acquisition of Wind-up and Fearless closely follows Concord Bicycle Music’s recent purchase of storied independent labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill Records.  New York-based Wind-up wind-up recordsRecords was founded in 1997 and is responsible for establishing and breaking rock and alternative artists including: Civil Twilight, The Griswolds, The Virginmarys, Crobot, Young Guns, Strange Talk Revivalists, SPEAK, Aranda and Filter.  The roster also includes singer-songwriters Five for Fighting, Jillette Johnson and Genevieve.  Formed in 1994, Fearless Records became known for launching the careers of respected punk rock acts such as Plain White T’s, At The Drive-In, Bigwig, The Aquabats, and Sugarcult. In recent years, the Culver City, California-based label has become an internationally renowned hotbed for up-and-coming rock bands, including: Pierce The Veil, Breathe Carolina, The Maine, Mayday Parade, The Word Alive, Motionless In White, Alesana, and Every Avenue. Fearless Records is also home to the “Punk Goes” series, which is one of the top themed compilation series available.

nycwomenNYC Radio Women Celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Pictured here are some of the talented women working in New York City radio enjoying a Cinco de Mayo meal and beverages.  From left to right are: from WPLJ’s “Todd and Jayde” show, Alyssa Heimrich and Annie; WLTW morning show producer Jamie Megargee; WABC’s Curtis & Kuby producer Flipper; WPLJ morning co-host Jayde Donovan; and WPLJ digital producer Sheila Watko.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

| May 5, 2015


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entercomEntercom Promotes Kramer to COO, Names Levy to Board of Directors.  Station group president Louise Kramer is promoted to chief operating officer for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a press statement, the company says, “Kramer is a media veteran who has been withkramerweezie Entercom since 2000, most recently serving as station group president.  In this role, she spearheaded the company’s reinvention efforts, focusing on enhancing the company’s future growth and directly overseeing several of the company’s markets.  Ms. Kramer is a member of Entercom’s operating committee and, since 2013, has served as chairperson.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Weezie is an enormously talented and effective leader who has made a huge impact on our organization since she joined Entercom in 2000.  Like so many great leaders, she is totally and selflessly committed to her team’s success, bringing levydavidher vast energy, intelligence, creativity, and high standards to our entire organization.  I am thrilled to see her continue to rise to the highest levels of our company.”  Also, the company reports that David Levy is named to the board of directors.  Levy has served as president of Turner Broadcasting System since 2013.   In this role he oversees all creative and business activities of the Turner signature entertainment networks —TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim — and their digital brand extensions, as well as Turner Sports.

lewisloriCumulus Brings Digital and Social Media Pro Lori Lewis Aboard.  This new relationship brings industry-respected digital and social media maven Lori Lewis together with Cumulus Media as she becomes the company’s new vice president of social media.  A press release says in her new position, she’ll work with Cumulus’ programming and sales teams to develop integrated social media strategies for the company’s radio stations and the Westwood One network.  She will also provide social media solutions to Westwood One’s affiliate partners as part of the company’s Enterprise Solutions Group.  Lewis will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Lewis was most recently with consulting firm Jacobs Media.  Lew Dickey comments, “Lori is our industry’s foremost authority on social media.  She has architected successful social strategies for many of the biggest brands in radio.  We are excited for Lori to bring her unique experience and expertise to our station group as well as to our affiliate partners at Westwood One.”  On joining Cumulus, Lewis says, “I am honored to take this newly created role within Cumulus, and to create real value and impact socially for our audiences, advertisers and affiliate partners.  Many mistake social for volume, when in fact it’s about differentiating.  This move, on behalf of Lew Dickey and [Cumulus SVP] Gary Pizzati, speaks volumes of their leadership and foresight in moving Cumulus forward, and I thank them for that.”

gordonmaryGordon Named Sales Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa. The appointment of Mary Gordon as sales manager for iHeartMedia‘s Tampa cluster takes effect in four weeks (6/1). Senior vice president of sales Fernando Bauermeister comments that, “Mary’s experience of leading successful teams made her a natural choice for the position. We are excited to have Mary join our staff and we look forward to her helping our clients grow their business.” Gordon states, “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to join the team of talented professionals at iHeartMedia Tampa. I look forward to utilizing the amazing assets that iHeartMedia has in its arsenal to find solutions to the key marketing objectives in the west Florida region.” Gordon’s background includes a stint in sports marketing for IMG (International Management Group), as well as being general sales manager – and later director of sales – for Cumulus Media Atlanta’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5″ and WYAY. The eight-station iHM Tampa cluster includes: urban contemporary WBTP “The Beat”; WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio”; talk WFLA; CHR WFLZ “The Hit Music Channel”; country WFUS “US-103.5″; talk WHNZ “Impact Radio”; hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7″; and WXTB “98 Rock.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At Cox Media Group’s hip hop WEDR, Miami “99 Jamz,” Derrick Baker exits the program director role.  On a temporary basis, sister CHR WFLC “HITS 97.3” PD Jill Strada will handle programing on WEDR…..Joining Northern Lights Broadcasting’s alternative KTWN, Minneapolis “Go 96.3” for the evening show is former KITS, San Francisco jock Miles “The DJ” Anzaldo…..Kristie is the new eveningkristie personality on iHeartMedia-owned CHR WKFS, Cincinnati, “Kiss 107.”  The new gig brings her across Ohio from her pervious stop at D.A. Peterson-owned CHR WDJQ, Canton…..Crash exits Radio One-owned WNOW, Indianapolis “Radio Now 100.9” where he was midday personality…..As part of a number of changes at Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland that have seen morning host Dan Merchant and PD and evening host Brad Dolbeer exit, midday jock Jarad Aman is upped to music director for the station.

sagaSaga Communications Q1 Revenue Down 1.2%; Radio Division Dips 2.6%.  For the first quarter of 2015, Saga Communications is reporting net revenue decreased 1.2% on income of $29.1 million.  Revenue for the radio segment was $24, 276,000 – a decline of 2.6% compared to the same period a year ago (the TV segment was up).  Other data reported included free cash flow up 5.2% to $3.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $3.4 million for the same period last year.  Station operating expense decreased 0.8% to $22.8 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) compared to $23.0 million for the same period last year.  Operating income was $3.8 million.  Net income for the period was $2.1 million ($0.36 per fully diluted share).

wmal logoCumulus Has a Buyer for WMAL, Washington Transmitter Site.  According to Bethesda Magazine, Cumulus Media has a deal with two prominent area home builders who will turn the Bethesda, Maryland site of WMAL-AM, Washington’s transmitter into a 76-acre housing development.  Winchester Homes and Toll Brothers are reported as the buyer but no sale price has been announced yet.  According to real estate firm CBRE, the land could hold up to 300 homes on quarter-acre lots in accordance with current zoning regulations.  Cumulus will relocate the WMAL-AM transmitter.

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Sean Hannity Says Times Have Reached a Seriously Important ‘Tipping Point’  – Candidly Discusses Wide Variety of Media/Industry Issues on Michael Harrison’s ‘Up Close and Far Out’ Podcast. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmalltalk superstar Sean Hannity on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an exclusive 30-minute conversation, Harrison and Hannity cover a variety of fascinating topics including the changing nature of how politics is (and should be) handled in talk media as well as challenges presented by the digital age in achieving accurate audience measurement (a subject he will be spearheading at Talkers New York 2015) and his condemnation of the practice of organized political groups trying to “catch” talk show hosts withhannity whom they disagree saying something politically incorrect for the sake of shutting them down.  He explains that the days of predictable arguments about politics within the traditional “right versus left” paradigm are over… or at least they are for him.  He states, “Here’s an interesting evolution of my show… I am far more critical of Republicans than I am of Democrats these days… my argument being that they should know better… they are not articulating an inspiring vision that lets people who don’t have hope today know that their lives could be better.”  Hannity goes on to say that these times and today’s issues are so serious that talk show hosts need to re-evaluate what they consider to be “entertainment” in their medium.  He examines the unique set of functions being a talk show host encompasses and the many different roles they play in doing their jobs: “Some days I might be a newsmaker, some days I might be at the White House interviewing a president.  I might be interviewing a secretary of defense or a secretary of state.  Sometimes I might be interviewing a top newsmaker based on what the issues of the day are.  Another day I might be fostering a debate on the social issues that happen to be in the news.  Sometimes I am interacting with callers.  At other times, I’m giving a monologue with strong opinions.  That is by definition what a talk show host is… it is a unique role in the media.  It is unlike any other position that exists out there.  Reporters are supposed to report on the news and never give their opinion.  Anchors and reporters are supposed to be fair, balanced and objective.  That’s not my role.  My role is not to be fair and balanced… but at times, will I do a straight interview about news and facts or maybe the content of a book or an experience that somebody had while fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan or maybe their role in the CIA or the FBI or maybe their life as a Navy Seal?  Of course!  And that falls under the umbrella of what is our unique role as a talk show host which enables us to do a lot of different things… and then, maybe on a Friday when I’m kind of sick and tired of the news, I’ll put on Jim Norton or Larry the Cable Guy or any comedian and we’ll just have a fun half hour or hour or we’ll just goof around with calls and I’ll just be having fun with the listeners.”  In describing Sean Hannity, Michael Harrison states, “I know Sean has his share of political critics – but that comes with the territory of being a compelling radio/TV talk show host in the modern era.  Sean’s success as a professional performer is borne out by the numbers and track record he has accrued and maintained for such a long period of time.  What many people who only see and hear him as a media performer do not realize is that he is an outstandingly admirable human being… as a family man, colleague and positive spirit.”  To listen to Sean Hannity on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click  here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page on RadioInfo.com.

americasmorningshow logo15‘America’s Morning Show’ Now Airs in Albany, GA and Florence, SC.  The nationally syndicated country morning show from Cumulus Media enters the Albany, Georgia market on WKAK “NASH 104.5” and in Florence, South Carolina on WHLZ “NASH FM 100.5.”  The Blair Garner-hosted show replaces the syndicated “Tony & Chris” show on both stations.  Garner comments, “I’m so grateful that mornings in Florence and Albany have been entrusted to us at ‘America’s Morning Show.’  It just so happens that these cities are among the most beautiful in our country, and I’m hoping there will be the need for repeated market visits.  A special ‘thank you’ to our affiliate relations team for working so hard on our behalf.  It feels really good adding WHLZ and WKAK to our family. We’re really, really proud.”

williamsdanWAQY, Springfield Personality Dan Williams Recovering from Bicycle Accident.  “Rock 102” Springfield, Massachusetts midday personality Dan Williams is recovering from injuries suffered after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Ellington, Connecticut.  Williams suffered a broken fibula and tibia as well as cuts and a severe road rash, according to his wife Kim Zachary.  She tells Masslive.com that Williams, an avid cyclist, has ridden across the country twice without incident and that his helmet saved his life.  Williams was getting in shape for the upcoming 15th annual Katelynn’s Ride – a fundraiser for The Jimmy Fund and Baystate Medical Center’s Sadowsky Center for Children.  Williams and Zachary – a former longtime morning duo on AC WHYN-FM in Springfield – have supported the charity for a long time.

Monday, May 4, 2015

| May 4, 2015

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entercomEntercom 2015 Q1 Revenue Flat.  Net revenue for the first quarter of 2015 was $78.4 million – up just a tick from the $87.2 million reported during the same period a year ago.  Entercom says station expenses increased 2% to $59.2 million while station operating income decreased 6% tofielddavid $19.2 million.  President and CEO David Field states, “Entercom’s first quarter revenues were up slightly over the prior year as significant market share gains were offset by sluggish advertising conditions.  We are very much looking forward to completing our acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and adding its terrific new markets and brands to our lineup.  In the meantime, we are complying with the Department of Justice’s review of this transaction which would provide us with a second-place position with a 32% pro-forma share of the Denver radio market.”

chunkyChunky Named Morning Host at KUPL, Portland.  Country outlet KUPL “98.7 The Bull” announces air personality Chunky is the new host of the “Morning Bull Ride” on the Alpha Media Portland station, effective May 11.  He most recently was with CBS RADIO’s former rhythmic CHR WRDW, Philadelphia “Wired 96.5” (now CHR WZMP “AMP 96.5”).  Alpha EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Chunky is a funny, entertaining, witty talent with a passion for country music who loves everything the Northwest has to offer.  His energy and charismatic personality is a formula for success and we can’t wait to see him take the bull by the horns.”

halemanekaviHalemane Joins Premiere Networks. Vice president of digital media is the title Kavi Halemane is being given. In defining that role, Premiere Networks’ chief product officer Chris Williams comments, “Kavi will be responsible for managing Premiere’s digital media product, editorial, and social strategy. His mission is to grow loyalty and engagement between our talent and audience by delivering a compelling digital platform to extend their brands. Kavi’s previous experience creating world-class digital communities for marquee artists has him perfectlyPremiere Networks positioned to excel in this role.” According to Halemane, “I’m very excited to be returning to the New York City area to join [Premiere parent] iHeartMedia under Chris Williams. Premiere Networks has a pedigree for great content. I look forward to expanding their brands in digital through this leadership role by infusing new strategic solutions, partnerships, and innovation.” Most recently Beverly Hills-based, Halemane was executive vice president of digital for The Collective. His past credits include marketing-digital strategist for Interscope, Geffen, and A&M Records; head of new media and digital production for PE-KO International Records; and co-founder of howellbands.com.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At the Seattle cluster of iHeartMedia, Robert Russell is named senior vice president of sales for the cluster that includes: classic hits KJR-FM, 95.7 The Jet,” CHR KBKS “Kiss,” hip hoprussellrobert KUBE, sports talk KJR-AM, rock KKBW “The Brew,” hot AC KYNW “NOW,” and sports KHHO in Tacoma…..In San Diego, Brooks O’Brian is promoted to program director of Lincoln Financial Media’s AC KIFM “Easy 98.1 FM.”  She’ll continue to service as APD and music director of sister country outlet KSON but will give up her midday jock role there…..Brad Dolbeer exits the PD/air talent role at Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland, though there’s no word yet from the company about his callihanstephaniereplacement…..Former WWIN, Baltimore personality Tim Watts is part of the new Larry Young show that’s being simulcast on Radio One’s urban talk station WOLB, Baltimore and the new Christian-formatted “Praise 106.1” (translator W285EJ)…..Entercom Communications taps Stephanie Callihan as the new VP/general manager its Austin stations.  She comes to Austin from her most recent gig with iHeartMedia in Wichita.

nab logoNAB Announces Radio Board Appointees.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces Radio Board chairman Don Benson named five appointees to the NAB Radio Board.  The five appointees will serve two-year terms.  They are: (in alphabetical order): Caroline Beasley, executive vice president and CFO, Beasley Broadcast Group; John Dickey executive VP of content & programming, Cumulus Media Inc.; Steve Fisher, CFO and EVP of operations Entercom Communications; Scott Herman, executive VP of operations, CBS Radio; and Jeff Warshaw, CEO, Connoisseur Media LLC.

riverapeterIconic Rock Singer Releases New Album – Is Available for Interviews.  Attention morning hosts that do talky shows on classic rock stations.  Have we got a cool guest for you…  Peter Rivera — the legendary original lead singer and drummer for the eternally classic songs “I Just Want to Celebrate” and “Get Ready” by the legendary band Rare Earth.  Still in heavy rotation on classic rock radio and strategically placed in many TV commercials, any baby boomer rock aficionado will remember that booming voice and those powerful drums on the group’s long series of hits.  During their reign of stardom, Rare Earth sold more than 25 million records with five top 10 singles.  (Seven gold, one double-platinum, and two platinum albums.) Peter’s story is one of those all-American classics; a kind of “rags to riches” tale in which an obscure white boy, growing up in a red-brick row house in Detroit, Michigan, finds his way out of the grimy, blue-collar neighborhood that spawned a whole generation of factory workers, dock hands, and “tough-guy” bar brawlers to the big time glitz and glam of the pop music industry.  Rare Earth was the first all-white band signed to Motown Records that broke through with hit records.  Now at 70, Rivera still puts out a powerful sound and is a striking figure in concerts perched behind his drums and belting out tunes from a brand new album, It Is What it Is.  To download the album, learn more about Rivera and, perhaps, set up an interview, please click here.

dickeyjohnJohn Dickey and Michael Harrison to Conduct “Fireside Chat” at Talkers New York 2015.  The agenda for Talkers New York 2015, the annual conference presented by RadioInfo’s sister trade publication, TALKERS, is shaping up to be one of the most powerful in its colorful history.  One of the highlights of what promises to be a stimulating day of relevant discussions, presentations, and addresses will be a conversation between Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey and TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison.  The presentation will be conducted in the informal, one-on-one “fireside chat” format.  John Dickey is responsible for Cumulus’ sales, programming, marketing, promotion and engineering and will offer comments, opinions and information about a wide variety of issues presently facing not only talk radio, but the entire spectrum of radio formats, as well.  Michael Harrison states, “There are few people as ‘plugged in’ to the day-to-day operations as well as the big picture of commercial radio in America today than John Dickey.  He has extensive, first-hand knowledge about what’s happening in the business and plays an enormous role in influencing policy – plus he has a true passion for radio and its position in our society.  I look forward to this session with enthusiasm and plan on it providing our attendees with a lot of valuable takeaways.”   The 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015.   It will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  The all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm — is on the verge of selling out within a matter of days.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is days away, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

kzewreunion15KZEW, Dallas Rocks Reunion.  Former staffers and special friends of the station gathered at Sundown at Granada in Dallas for a reunion of the folks who helped make the old KZEW the famous rock station that it was.  More than 100 included former jocks, news anchors, management, sales, staff, and record company reps associated with the station from 1973 to 1990 when it ruled as the market’s top rock station attended, including station creator and founding program director Ira Lipson.  Pictured here (from l-r) are former KZEW jocks: Mike Rhyner, John Rody, Charley Jones, and Jon DillonPhoto: Mark Bickham.

iheartradiocountrygrouppic15Backstage at the iHeartRadio Country Festival.  This past weekend, the iHeartRadio Country Festival took place in Austin, Texas with acts including Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Brantley Gilbert, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley and more performing.  The event streamed across Yahoo Live and was broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned country stations.  On Wednesday, May 27, NBC TV will broadcast an edited version of the show from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Sykes, president of iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises; Tom Poleman, president of National Programming Platforms for iHeartMedia; country artist Tim McGraw; Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group; country artist Justin Moore; Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc.; Rich Bressler, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.; Clay Hunnicutt, executive vice president and general manager of National Programming Platforms for iHeartMedia.

Friday, May 1, 2015

| May 1, 2015

cumulus logoA Down First Quarter for Cumulus Media.  The numbers here are compared to the same period in 2014.  Cumulus Media reports 2015 Q1 net revenue dipped 7.2% on income of $271,079,000.  Revenue was down across the board at the company in the first quarter and here’s the breakdown: broadcast revenue was $251 million (down 7%) and digital revenue was $8.06 million (down 16.4%).  Political ad revenue was down 67.7% and a portion of the net revenue drop was due to an increase in the license fees and other category which rose 9.1%.  Breaking down the broadcast revenue a bit further, local and national spot sales were down a bit – 3.6% and 2.4% respectively – but network revenue sank 13% on income of $86.7 million.

radioonelogoRadio One Dips 4.8% in Q1.  Urban media operator Radio One reports a down first quarter of 2015 on income $105.8 million – a drop of 4.8%.  The company saw positive results in its cable TV advertising sector – up 9.9% — and that helped ease some of the decline in other sectors.  The radio broadcasting segment was down 9.4%.  Radio advertising was down 5.5% and digital advertising dipped 6.1%.  Meanwhile, in the category “event revenue & other” Radio One dropped a dramatic 82.6%, due in part to a timing issue relative to annual events.

lindyscottLindy Heads to Indy.  For its Indianapolis country signal WFMS, Cumulus Media brings programming pro Scott Lindy aboard as PD.  Most recently, Lindy was director of operations/program director for Lincoln Financial Media in Atlanta where he was PD of hot AC WSTR “Star 94” and oversaw programming at WQXI “ESPN 790 The Zone” and The Atlanta Falcons Radio Network.  Cumulus SVP of content and programming Mike McVay says, “Scott and I have worked together and competed against one another.  I am happy that this time we’ll be working together.  It’s much easier than competing with him.  We’re excited to have him join us in Indianapolis at the legendary WFMS.”

maguiremychalMaguire Set to Transfer to Tampa’s ‘Beat’ as PD. Making the leap from senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Montgomery, Alabama to program director of Tampa urban contemporary sibling WBTP “The Beat” is Mychal Maguire. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tampa Doug Hamand states, “Mychal is an extraordinary programmer and great find for ‘The Beat.’ His attention to detail and attitude to make his products and content the best is extremely refreshing. I cannot wait to hear what he will do to an already successful radio station.” Maguire – who begins his new assignment in shortly more than two weeks (5/18) – states, “I am extremely excited to join the talented iHeartMedia Tampa Bay team. I have alwaysWBTP considered this as a dream position. I am thrilled to lead such a talented team and am thankful to those entrusting me with such a great opportunity to grow my career.” Prior to his Montgomery tenure, Maguire was director of urban programming for the company’s stations in Macon, Georgia. He has previously programmed in Hartford; Charleston, South Carolina; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Killeen, Texas. After 10 successive Nielsen Audio PPM performances in the 4.0 – 4.9 range (6+), Tampa’s “Beat” notched a 5.6 in February (#4, 6+), before dropping three-tenths to 5.3 in March (#5).

kramerdoug‘Kramer and Tiffany’ to Mornings on KLAZ, Hot Springs.  Newly installed operations manager Doug Kramer crafts the new morning show for Noalmark Broadcasting’s CHR KLAZ, Hot Springs, Arkansas by partnering himself up with actress and singer Tiffany Thornton for the new “Kramer andthorntontiffany Tiffany” show.  It replaces the syndicated Kidd Kraddick show.  Kramer continues his syndicated afternoon show in addition to the new morning duties.  Thornton is best known for her co-starring role as Tawni Hart on the Disney Channel series, “Sonny with a Chance” and “So Random!”  Kramer says, “I met Tiffany officially when I deejayed her wedding and our families became friends.  Flash forward a few years, I started producing her podcast and realized instantly we had chemistry on the air together.  I’m excited we get a chance to hang out every morning and do some fun and entertaining radio!”

harrisonmichael5-15Michael Harrison to Do 60-Second Daily Feature on Media for Boston Herald Radio. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison has entered into an agreement with the Boston Herald to write and perform a weekly 60-second feature titled “Michael Harrison on the Media” beginning Monday (5/4) that will be dropped into the pioneering online station’s programming flow several times a day as well as its growing network of terrestrial partners.  In it, Harrison explores the direct connection between media and the human condition – past, present and future – commenting on the impact of changing communicationsbostonheraldradio logo technology on society and culture.  According to Harrison, “I love the idea of being connected with such a forward-thinking organization as the Boston Herald and its ground-breaking media station, Boston Herald Radio.  Creating one of these tight little pieces each week helps sharpen my insights and ability to express them and just like my weekly, longform podcast ‘Up Close and Far Out’ on Podcast One, it gives me the opportunity, at this seasoned stage in my life, to dabble in speculation about the broader scope of media outside the radio industry itself for a worldwide consumer audience of ‘media freaks.’  What fun!”  Boston Herald Radio Network executive producer Tom Shattuck tells RadioInfo, “I am thrilled to have these exclusive commentaries by Michael Harrison running on our platform!”  To hear an installment of “Michael Harrison on Media” please click below.

1. MH-On-the-Media-1.mp3     

bobtomButler15Bob & Tom Pack ‘em in at Butler University.  Last weekend Westwood One-syndicated morning show Bob & Tom hosted a comedy event at Butler University in the show’s home market of Indianapolis.  More than 2,100 fans packed Clowes Memorial Hall at the school to enjoy the show that featured the Bob & Tom show performers, comedians Al Jackson, Donnie Baker, Todd Yohn, Greg Hahn, and special guest Pat McAfee, kicker for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.  The photo here shows Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold with the comics and some fans during the meet-and-greet.

iheartradiocountryfest15Jennifer Nettles and Darius Rucker Hosting Tomorrow’s iHeartRadio Country Festival.  When the 2015 iHeartRadio Country Festival kicks off tomorrow (5/2) at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Jennifer Nettles and Darius Rucker will handle hosting duties.  Premiere Network’s nationally syndicated country morning star Bobby Bones is being billed as making a special appearance instead of hosting as announced back in March.  In addition to the live video stream of the concert via Yahoo Live, a two-hour TV broadcast of the event will air on NBC TV on May 27 from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.

alphamedia logoDone Deal: Alpha Closes on Coast Radio and Free Lance-Star Stations.  There are seven more radio stations officially in the Portland-based Alpha Media fold after the closing took place on the deals with Coast Radio Company and Free Lance-Star Radio.  As previously reported when the sales were announced, Alpha gets three California signals from Coast: adult contemporary-formatted trio KUIC, Vacaville, KKIQ, Livermore, and KKDV, Walnut Creek.  And from Free Lance-Star it acquires: country WFLS and talk WNTX in Fredericksburg, Virginia; CHR WVBX, Spotsylvania, Virginia; and classic rock WWUZ, Bowling Green, Virginia.   Alpha chief Larry Wilson says, “We are very fortunate to be able to work with such great employees at all of the stations.  Each cluster is exceptional and brings its own unique attributes to the company, allowing us to build a diverse and dynamic culture.”

Thursday, April 30, 2015

| April 30, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Reports Q1 Revenue Up 4%.  For the first quarter of 2015, iHeartMedia reported its consolidated revenue increased 4% to $1.4 billion in 2015 compared to 2014 after adjusting for a $54 million unfavorable impact from movements in foreign exchange rates.  On a reported basis, consolidated revenues were slightly up.  The company says revenue increased $28 million, or 4%, driven primarily by the traffic, weather and syndication businesses, as well as events. Revenue growth was partially offset by lower core local broadcast radio advertising revenue.

coxmediagroupPunjabi, Rosario to Share South Florida GSM Duties. Designated to handle general sales manager responsibilities at Cox Media Group‘s Miami cluster are AJ Punjabi and Angelina Rosario. Punjabi is transferring from the company’s Atlanta stations where he was digital sales manager, while Rosario is elevated to GSM after two years as CMG Miami’s local sales manager. Cox Media Group Miami vice president and general manager Rob Babin comments, “I am extremely excited to see two talented individuals promoted from within Cox Media Group. Their work ethic,punjabiaj hunger, and determination have earned them these promotions.” According to CMG Miami’s director of sales Ralph Renzi, “We are very excited to have a proven innovative performer like AJ join our team. We are equally thrilled to promote our hard-working, talented LSM Angelina to GSM. These two talented professionals will lead our results-oriented media consultants to be better prepared to compete in today’s media environment.” Punjabi states, “It is an honor and a privilege to be given this great responsibility. Rob and Ralph have put together an all-star team across all departments who are dedicated to South Florida’s rosarioangelinaaudience and customers. I am also very excited to have Angelina as my co-pilot to help CMG Miami soar even further.” Rosario remarks, “I am extremely thankful and grateful to be given the opportunity to become GSM for CMG Miami. I have an incredible, supportive management and sales team. I am truly grateful to Ralph and Rob for recognizing my leadership strength. I look forward to my new chapter and working with AJ to help CMG Miami maximize our talent and growth.” Punjabi began his media career as an account executive at co-owned WSB-TV, Atlanta; he later managed digital strategy at Cox Enterprises’ Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After graduating from Barry University, Miami native Rosario was a CMG Miami consultant for seven years before being boosted to LSM. Cox Media Group Miami consists of urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz,” adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” CHR WFLC “Hits 97-3,” and urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which has been the market’s #1 station (6+) the past 47 ratings periods.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At the iHeartMedia Seattle cluster, programmer Chris Sargent is namedsargentchris PD at classic hits KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet.”  He comes to the station from his most recent gig with Mapleton Communications where he was operations manager for the Medford, Oregon cluster and regional rock PD…..NRG Media’s Omaha station group has a new operations manager as Dave Tepper replaces Neil Nelkin.  Tepper was most recently the PD at Cumulus Media’s sports talk KFNC, Houston “ESPN 97.5 The Ticket.”

jaxmikeWAMO, Pittsburgh Jock Jax Suspended for Freddie Gray Instagram Post.  Hip hop midday host DJ Mike Jax, a.k.a. Mike Jackson, has been suspended from Radio Power Inc-owned WAMO, Pittsburgh for an Instagram post detailing the arrest record of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man whose death while in police custody touched off the recent riots.  According to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jax posted a photo of Gray with a litany of his arrests but he posted the following to Instagram after being suspended: “I’d like to apologize for my previous post.  My intention was not to justify Freddie Gray’s death.  It was to highlight that his arrest record DOES NOT justify his death.  I’m sorry I was not more clear.”  Still, the station explained its view on its Facebook page via GM Jamal Woodson: “WAMO100 does not share the views or condone the comments expressed on a WAMO100 employee’s personal social media page.  As a representative of WAMO100 we expect a code of conduct that should transcend the air waves.”  The length of Jax’s suspension is unclear.

harveysteveSteve Harvey Hosts President Obama to Talk About Baltimore.  President Barack Obama has appeared on the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” in the past but this time the Commander-in-Chief spoke with Harvey on Wednesday’s show to discuss the civil unrest in Baltimore.  Harvey and Obama broadened the conversation a bit to address the national issue of police-related deaths, as well as plans to create a dialogue between police and local community leaders.  Obama spoke about the need for our society as a whole to tackle these issues and find long-term solutions, including rebuilding communities and increasing trust, training, accountability and transparency.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

| April 29, 2015

olddominionDuane Doobie Jr.’s Picks of the Week.  RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: on-air personalities Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Matt James, golden-eared, on air personality at “T-100” WCLT in Newark, OH; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9;” plus internet sensation The Iceman, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats.  You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM.  This week’s selection posted today (4/29) includes such names as: Kristina Karo, Giorgio Moroder, Sia, Britney Spears, Natalie Imbruglia, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, Nicki Minaj, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Panic! At The Disco, Bleachers, Skrillex & Diplo with Justin Bieber, Kaleo, Great Lake Swimmers, Peter Rivera, Garbage, Brian Aubert, We Are Harlot, Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, Soul Circus Cowboys, Old Dominion, Chris Stapleton, Wiz Khalifa, Ale Mora, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Wales, among others.  To check out this valuable information, please click here.

dickeylewLew Dickey, Cumulus, Agree to Continuation. The co-founder of Cumulus Media will be remaining in-place for at least another three years: Lew Dickey extends his employment agreement as the company’s president and chief executive officer. In addition, he will carry on as a board member through 2018. According to board member Jeff Marcus, “We are grateful that Lew Dickey, who has built Cumulus into a leading national media business, has renewed his commitment to lead the company into the future. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Lew to build value for our shareholders.” In other news at the Atlanta-based company, Ridgemont Equity PartnersRobert “Trey” Sheridan, III, will retire from Cumulus’ board when his termCumulus ends at this year’s annual stockholders meeting; Association of Magazine Media (MPA) president and chief executive officer Mary Berner will be nominated to fill Sheridan’s vacated seat. Dickey comments, “We are fortunate to be adding Mary Berner to our board. Her insights and experience will be valuable as we continue to position the company for long-term success in the changing media landscape.” Elsewhere, Cumulus lead director, Jeffrey Marcus, is appointed non-executive board chair. Marcus has been a Cumulus board member since 2011. He is a partner with Crestview Partners, Cumulus’ largest stockholder.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  KMVQ, San Francisco “99.7 [NOW!] promotes Shan to midday personality on the CHR outlet.  CBS RADIO says Shan will continue her role as assistant producer for the “Fernando &shan Greg in the Morning” program.  She says of her new gig, “Since I was a little girl growing up in San Francisco, I listened to ‘99.7NOW’ jocks St. John and Strawberry.  After a lot of hard work, it’s a dream come true to join them in the ranks of jocks entertaining audiences across the Bay Area.  I look forward to the opportunity to put a smile on our listeners’ faces every day both on Fernando & Greg and budasteveon my midday show.”…..South Bend, Indiana’s WNSN “Sunny 101.5” announces that Steve Buda has joined the morning show alongside current co-hosts Jack Reichert and Abby Weppler, and replacing the recently retired Bruce Kayser.  Buda comments, “I’m excited to join the amazing morning team at ‘Sunny 101.5.’  I had the pleasure of getting to know both Jack and Abby, and I couldn’t be happier to be part of the show and the community in South Bend.”  Buda starts on May 11…..Moving over from sports talk KBME, Houston to sister alternative KTBZ “The Buzz” is Alex Middleton who joins the morning show hosted by Rod Ryan.  Middleton served as a producer for the Doug Pike show and Houston Rockets and Astros games…..There’s a new market manager in place in Las Cruces, New Mexico as Adams Radio appoints Tom Nankival to the position left open when Charles “Andy” Whatley recently exited that post…..Alaska Integrated Media welcomes Danny Ryan back to the company full time as Ryan takes on the vice president of programming position at the Anchorage cluster that includes urban contemporary KMVN “MOViN 105.7,” rock KZND, news/talk KOAN, and jazz/blues KNIK “The Breeze.”  Ryan will also host afternoons on KMVN.

pricehowardPursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest.  Media outlets have experienced a number of situations recently that qualify as true “danger zones” in which to send their reporters and tech crews if they choose to cover the event first hand.  ABC TV director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the hazards radio news staffers are facing in situations similar to what’s been happening in Baltimore and – not too long ago – Ferguson, Missouri.  He presents a plan for broadcasters to follow in preparing for coverage of such news events in the future.  Read his entire piece here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Acquire Adelante Media’s Radio Assets.  This deal will mean three more radio stations entering the Portland-based Alpha Media fold.  Adelante owns three radio stations, all Spanish-language formatted: KTUB-AM, regional Mexican KDUT-FM, and KBMG-FM (licensed to Evanston, Wyoming) in the Salt Lake City market.  Alpha will assume operations under an LMAadelantemedia logo effective May 1.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson comments, “We are so pleased to join forces with Mary Lee Robinson and her fine staff who deliver beautiful entertainment to the Latino community of Salt Lake City.”  Adelante’s Jay Meyers says, “Mary Lee Robinson and her team have built a brilliant operation in Salt Lake City poised for spectacular growth in the coming years, truly the crown jewel of Adelante’s holdings.  As we go through our liquidation phase, I’m so very pleased to be doing a deal for our Salt Lake stations with Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt and the Alpha crew.  Not only are they fantastic broadcasters, but also great friends.”  When all pending deals are approved, Alpha Media will own 99 radio stations.

chaffeejohnChaffee to Consult oWOW Radio.  The Cleveland online rock station being led by chief content director John Gorman announces it is being joined in a consultant/advisor role by John Chaffee.  oWOW notes that Chaffee was president of Malrite Communications Group, where he wasowowcleveland responsible for the management and creative vision of the company’s seventeen  television and radio stations, including rock WMMS-FM and WOIO-TV in Cleveland as well as WHTZ “Z-100” in New York.  Gorman says in a statement, “John Chaffee was my boss for well over a decade.  John’s insights, suggestions, critiquing, and his encouragement to be imaginative, take essential chances, and contemplate all sides of any issue unquestionably contributed in molding me into a full-service programmer and operations manager.  I owe my career to John’s supervision.  We had a victorious fun ride then and we will have a victorious fun ride now with oWOW.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

| April 28, 2015

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krrl logoiHeartRadio’s ‘Real 92.3’ in LA Announces ‘Mix Mob.’  Company SVP of urban programming and KRRL, Los Angeles “Real 92.3” program director Doc Wynter announces the new hip hop outlet’s “Real Mix Mob,” saying he and midday personality and APD DJ A-Oh “searched all over LA for the best mixers to staff the ‘Real Mix Mob!’  Collectively and individually, they bring a unique energy to the station which I believe Los Angeles is Real-ly going to vibe with.”  Joining DJ A-Oh in the “Mix Mob” are: DJ Amen, DJ Mo Beatz, DJ Young 1, DJ Hed, DJ VickOne and Dre Sinatra.   DJ A–Oh will present his own mixes weekdays at 12:00 noon.  Here’s the rest of the schedule: DJ Amen will mix weekdays at 5:00 pm, Fridays at 10:00 pm and Saturdays at 1:00 am; DJ Amen will be joined on Fridays at 5:00 pm by DJ Young 1; DJ Damage – evening personality on KRRL and Revolt live, will mix weekdays at 8:00 pm; DJ Hed will mix Fridays at 11:00 pm and Saturdays at 12:00 midnight; Dre Sinatra – “one of the most influential players in the LA music scene as a tastemaker DJ” – will be featured Fridays at 12:00 midnight and Saturdays at 10:00 pm; DJ Mo Beatz, will mix Fridays at 1:00 am and Saturdays at 11:00 pm.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Afternoon personality Todd Michaels is promoted to assistant program director at Beasley Media Group’s country KCYE, Las Vegas “The Coyote.”  Michaels joined the station in December of 2014 as evening personality and moved up to afternoons in February…..At the Albuquerque cluster of Cumulus Media, adult contemporary KMGAsimonscott morning personality Scott Simon exits.  He came to the cluster in 2013 as a personality on sister KRST.  He moved to KMGA after KRST re-branded as NASH FM…..Rob Quinn is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Colorado Springs station group.  Quinn previously worked in Denver with Entravision, Bustos Media and Liberman Communications.  More recently he was GSM for BCA’s alternative XETRA “91X” and XEPRS “XTRA Sports” in San Diego.

wildermindiHeartRadio to Host Mumford & Sons Album Release Party.  The third album from Mumford & SonsWilder Mind – will be released on Monday, May 4 and the following Friday, the band will perform live at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York as part of an exclusive album release party at 8:00 pm ET.  As with other iHeartRadio Album Release Parties, video of the event will video stream live on Yahoo Live and on the websites of iHeartMedia’s alternative, triple A, CHR, hot AC, sports, and news/talk stations.  A 60-minute, on-air special broadcast will happen on the company’s alternative and triple A stations, as well.

siriusxmSiriusXM 2015 Q1 Revenue Up 8%.  Satellite radio operator SiriusXM delivered its 2015 first quarter financial numbers today (4/28) and, compared to the same period a year ago, revenue was $1.08 billion – up 8%.  Net income was $106 million, up 12% from $94 million in the first quarter of 2014.  Net income per diluted common share was $0.02 in the first quarter of 2015 and 2014.  Adjusted EBITDA was $399 million in the first quarter of 2015, up 19% from $335 million in the first quarter of 2014.  The satcaster says that it added 431,000 net new subscribers in the first quarter, a 61% increase from the 267,000 net new subscribers added in the first quarter of 2014.  Sirius CEO Jim Meyer says, “The year is off to a fantastic start at SiriusXM. We are increasing our subscriber guidance to approximately 1.4 million net additions and revenue guidance to approximately $4.47 billion after reporting our best first quarter for self-pay subscriber additions since 2008.  Our results demonstrate that SiriusXM’s bundle of live news and sports, exclusive talk and comedy, and curated, commercial-free music is resonating with more and more consumers every day,”

pandoralogoReport: FCC Chairman Wheeler Seeks Waiver for Pandora FM Purchase.  According to a story in Bloomberg Business, sources say FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is asking agency staffers to waive the foreign ownership rule Pandora is seeking to get approval for the purchase of KXMZ, Rapid City, South Dakota.  The question of how much of Pandora’s stock – and therefore ownership – is in the hands of foreign investors has been a sticking point for the pure play as it attempts to use ownership of the FM outlet to pay lower music royalty rates.  Critics call the move a loophole Pandora is trying to take advantage of.  The lower rates were intended for broadcasters and applied to their internet services.  Bloomberg reports the FCC declined to comment on the story.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallWFAN Sports Giant Mike Francesa Is Extremely Bullish on Radio – Says the Medium Is Here to Stay on Michael Harrison’s “Up Close and Far Out” Podcast.  RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison interviews WFAN sports talk superstar Mike Francesa on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an exclusive 30-minute conversation, Harrison and Francesa cover a variety of fascinating topics including authenticity in broadcasting, internet critics, digital era audiences, radio versus television, changes in pop culture, the phenomenal growth of sports and the future of radio in a world of screens.francesamike  Francesa credits the authenticity, for which Harrison praises him, in part, to being on the air an unusually long five-and-a-half hours per day, pointing out that you can’t be live on radio that long every day without being your real self.  According to Francesa, one of the big changes faced by hosts in both sports and general talk programming today is the audience has as much, if not more, access to information as you do – which means merely presenting news is not enough.  A host’s success is dependent on having an interesting “take” on the events of the day.  He says the internet has made it much easier to break into broadcasting but much more difficult to get noticed.  Of his critics, he states the worst thing that can happen is to be ignored.  “If you are ignored, you are dead.”  Francesa tells Harrison that he very seldom responds to his critics – refusing to give them the exposure of his larger platform that they seek.  In addition to having a growing national following due to television and radio syndication, Mike Francesa has long been one of the highest profile media figures in New York and has been ranked by TALKERS magazine for the past two years in a row in the #1 spot on its “Heavy Hundred” of sports talk radio (“The 100 Most Important Radio Sports Talk Hosts in America”).  After several years of being carried by the YES Network, Francesa’s daily local radio show is presently simulcast nationally on Fox Sports 1.   In comparing radio to television, Francesa says, “Television is a director’s medium.  Radio is a performer’s medium.”  He explains, “Radio is unvarnished.  It is visceral.  It is emotional.  Television is more packaged and homogenized.”  Regarding the survival and future of radio, Francesa states, “Radio will be here long, long past us.  People have been trying to kill radio since the first days of television.  They’ve tried to kill radio 40 different times in multiple generations.  They will never kill it because its appeal of being live, local, personal and mobile will never be equaled.”  Francesa sees the rise of mobile digital media as actually being a good thing for radio, acknowledging that “radio will change.”  He confidently says, “It will be enhanced because of the smart phone.  It is the new transistor radio. Who carried a transistor radio for the past 30 years?  Now everyone does.  THAT is an opportunity!”  In describing Mike Francesa, Michael Harrison states, “I know Francesa has his share of critics – but that comes with the territory of being ‘out there’ the way he is and being a compelling radio talk show host in the modern era, sports or otherwise.  What makes him so successful is he has that special ‘something’ that only a handful of performers have ever had in this business – he rises above technique!  All he needs to do is bring his authentic, unique personhood to the airwaves each time he’s on and that – at least to this point – is enough.  He is one of my handful of all-time favorites and I am delighted that he is still going strong.”  To listen to Mike Francesa on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

bonesbobbyBobby Bones to Pen Memoir for HarperCollins.  It might seem like asking too much from a relatively young radio personality to write his memoirs, but Premiere Networks syndicated country morning show host Bobby Bones (real name Bobby Estell) has led an interesting life.  Most industry insiders know that Bones grew up poor, the son of a single, addicted young mother and an absent father. But the press release says that “fueling his stardom is a powerful work ethic, a willingness to take risks and make mistakes, and a desire to tell the real story of living dreams to the fullest.”  Bones says, “I’ve always been a pretty private guy.  But I think I found my outlet, which is oddly one of the least private places I can be.”  Bones will work with editor Carrie Thornton at Dey Street Books/HarperCollins.

Billy CorganSmashing Pumpkins to Smashing Heads. Whether with hard rock, country, or hip-hop, professional wrestling has enjoyed tremendous success intersecting with contemporary music and its artists. The latest example is on a fairly significant level as Nashville-based TNA Wrestling names Smashing Pumpkins‘ lead singer and guitarist Billy Corgan senior producer/creative & talent development. TNA president Dixie Carter (not to be confused with the late actress of the same name) states, “I have known Billy for years and have always been blown away by his musical artistry, as well as his knowledge and understanding of professional wrestling. He has always impressed me with his creativity and passion for our business. Billy is truly gifted. He understands the emotion tied to the psychology of connecting with an audience. The more we talked, the more I realized his perspective has the potential to make a huge impact on our brand.” According to TNA executive vice president of television and talent John Gaburick, “Billy stands as a true powerhouse iconic songwriter and performance artist. I also find him to be an ardent historian of professional wrestling and a true visionary. We knew Billy would bring a great viewpoint when we [asked him] to attend a recent creative summit. During those meetings, his pioneering perspectives and collaborative approach made it quickly evident we needed to bring him on as a permanent member of our team.” Corgan comments, “I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to be part of TNA – it is a dream come true. It is great that the entire TNA organization stands in full support of my music life with the Smashing Pumpkins. In return, I am fully committed to using my 30-year entertainment experience, along with my deep-rooted passion for pro wrestling, to take on the thrilling challenge of finding and developing new talent, and working eye-to-eye with the best-of-the-best. AsTNA cultures currently evolve at great speed, so must pro wrestling meet and supersede such expectations to thrive.” Not what you might think the letters stand for – TNA (Total Nonstop Action) – airs its centerpiece show “Impact Wrestling” Friday nights on Destination America; prior to this past January, Spike TV carried TNA programming. Among the promotion’s biggest name performers are Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, and – in the women’s division – Gail Kim. Corgan will be senior producer at TV tapings. Vince McMahon‘s World Wrestling Federation (WWE) though is still the kingpin in “sports entertainment.”

Monday, April 27, 2015

| April 27, 2015

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davisbenAlpha Media Louisville Lifts Davis to OM. Mainstream CHR WDJX “Today’s Best Music” program director and morning drive talent Ben Davis is boosted to operations manager for Alpha Media‘s five-station Louisville cluster. Senior vice president and Louisville market manager Dale Schaefer comments, “Ben Davis has been an incredible leader for our cluster for many years. With this promotion, he will be able to expand his leadership role to all five of our stations and help each one reach their full potential. Our entire staff is thrilled about Ben’s promotion and look forward to working with him to make each station a greater success than what it has already achieved.” Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “Ben is one of those rare triple threats: He is great on the air; a fantastic manager; and he is wonderful with clients. Ben is a respected passionate leader who is beyond ready to help guide our Louisville cluster to the very top. It is very rewarding to be able to promote from within Alpha.” Davis – who will continue hosting the “Ben and Kelly Morning Show” – is “excited at the opportunity” Alpha Media has given him “to grow our five amazing and diverse brands in Louisville. I cannot wait to get working with our dynamic team. I look forward to growing our reach in 2015 and beyond.” The company will hire a program director to replace Davis at WDJX. Davis joined WDJX 12 years ago (2003) as the station’s nighttime talent – he became PD/morning host five years later (2008). In addition to WDJX, Alpha Louisville consists of WGHL “Old School 105.1″; urban contemporary WGZB “B-96.5″; urban AC WMJM “Magic 101.3″; and hot AC WXMA “102.3 – The Max.”

clarkjayClark Joins CÜR Media as CCO. Former executive vice president of programming for Sirius Satellite RadioJay Clark – is named CÜR Media‘s chief content officer. Founder and chief executive officer Tom Brophy comments, “We are excited to have Jay on the team in this important role, essentially as our chief curator. His vast experience in building content for disruptive technologies has helped shape the initial design work for CÜR Music. Now, as our chief content officer, we believe he will help us change the course of music streaming in the same way Sirius changed the course of radio. Jay has led several notable programming radio turnarounds in tier one markets, and has decades of major market programming successes with leading broadcast companies. His experience will be invaluable.” Clark remarks, “I am extremely excited to take on this important role at CÜR Media as they move toward the launch of this dynamic mobile and web musicCUR Media experience. Much like Sirius was for radio, CÜR Music is a truly disruptive streaming product that, when complemented with a line of unique programming, will offer a comprehensive music experience at a very compelling price point. I look forward to driving that development as we work toward our product launch later this year.” Clark has been consulting the company for roughly the past year (May 2014). Prior to Sirius, his past credits include being program director of Los Angeles talker KLSX (now CBS Radio CHR KAMP “Amp Radio”); WABC, New York; program director of Orlando FM talker WTKS; Comedy World‘s vice president and general manager of radio; and Winstar Communications’ vice president of radio.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  At the Baltimore Radio One station group, the company makes changes atlilmodjquicksilva hip hop WERQ, Baltimore “92Q Jams” as Konan moves from the afternoon drive slot to middays and DJ QuickSilva and L’il Mo take over the PM drive show…..In San Antonio, Carey Edwards exits Cox Media Group’s country KCYY where he was afternoon host, APD and music director.  He’d been with the station since August of 2013.

gunhillrdVideostillGunhill Road Releases Cinematic Music Video for Single, “Selling Apples.”  The early 70s band Gunhill Road – famous for their quirky hit single, “Back When My Hair Was Short,” and a couple of critically acclaimed albums that were FM radio faves back in the day – has produced a music video for their current single “Selling Apples” that is fresh and intriguing… just like their 19-track album, “Every 40 Years,” from which the tasty song was harvested.  The venerable trio of lead guitarist Glenn Leopold, pianist Steve Goldrich, and bassist Paul Reisch surprised the music world last fall with the release of their aforementioned third album after a 40-year hiatus.  “Selling Apples,” written by Leopold, is a reggae-flavored, pop gem that packs a lyrical wallop benignly delivered in an ear-candy wrapper.  The song is about a downtrodden (but optimistic) fellow who, upon losing his job in today’s troubled economy, resorts to a tactic used by the unemployed during the Great Depression of the 1930s – selling apples on the street to get by.  The track features Leopold’s engaging vocals, the groups’ trademark three-part harmony, and timelessly meticulous instrumentation punctuated with an amazing guest appearance by Paul Shaffer on – of all things – the iconic Hammond B-3 organ!  This record could have been a top 10 hit in any of the last five decades.  Now, with the release of its official video, “Selling Apples” evolves to yet a higher dimension.  Most music videos, in today’s high-tech, attention-deficit, shake-your-booty culture, attempt to dazzle their way into the distracted consciousness of the consumer.  Gunhill Road, however, takes an elegant, cinematic approach that tells a story through the song itself and the visual performances of two accomplished actors that bring the poignant tale to life in a single, three-minute and 26-second, no-cut take.  There’s even a provocatively humorous twist near the end that cleverly illustrates a socio-technological difference between the 1930s and today.  This nugget is the brilliant handiwork of legendary television writer/director/producer Dennis Klein who was thankfully coaxed out of semi-retirement to write and direct the “Selling Apples” video by the rising Hollywood filmmaking team of co-producers Eric Goldrich and George Tunis.  Klein, recognized by many as a creative genius with a knack for identifying the authentic, quirky side of the human condition, has an extraordinary array of credits in ground-breaking television that include being co-creator (with Garry Shandling) of “The Larry Sanders Show,” head writer of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” producer/writer of “Buffalo Bill” and developer/creator of “Cosby” among many other historic programs.  Klein brilliantly cast actors Samm Levine (of “Freaks and Geeks” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” fame) to play the forlorn apple peddler and Jennifer Hasty (“Horrible Bosses,” “Beginner” and “Selfie”) to portray his surly-street-competitor-turned-warm-and-fuzzy-love-interest.  RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison says of the “Selling Apples” video, “This is an instant classic reminiscent of the old film shorts that we used to see before or after the main feature at movie houses and now have a growing, appreciative audience at independent film festivals around the world.  It is no secret that I think the Gunhill Road album is wonderful.  The return of Dennis Klein is unto itself a momentous show business occasion.  This new video of ‘Selling Apples’ continues to display how cool it is having these guys back.”  To view Gunhill Road’s “Selling Apples,” please click here.

freebeerhotwingsEvent15Free Beer and Hot Wings Draw 2,000 to ‘Live at Night’ Event.  The nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” morning show hosted its fifth “Live at Night” event on Saturday, April 25 at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids before a paying crowd of almost 2,000.  This program – not broadcast and completely uncensored – took elements from the daily radio show, mixed in interactive video elements, crowd participation and special guests for what syndicator Compass Media Networks calls “a truly unique experience.”  The crowd was treated to a variety of segments including “Instant Feedback” – where comedians have their 10-minute set instantly roasted after completion.  A big hit was when host Eric Zane’s son and daughter joined him on stage to take part in a round of “Family Feud,” leading to some incredibly awkward moments.  In this wide-angle photo, you can see the personalities on stage behind banners for flagship affiliate rock WGRD-FM, Grand Rapids.  The next “Live at Night” show will take place on May 22 in Portland, Maine.

Friday, April 24, 2015

| April 24, 2015

CBS RadiFruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Fruge remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vicefrugecharese president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has successfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5″; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7″; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las thomascatVegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  A changing of the programming guard at Entercom’s alternative KNDD,michaelsgarett Seattle “107.7 The End” as PD Garett Michaels exits the station.  While the company seeks his successor, cluster VP of programming Dave Richards will oversee the station’s programming…..At the Alpha Media cluster in Richmond, Tiffany Brown is named promotions director.  She comes to the four-station group from a similar position with Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s WWCW-TV, Lynchburg and WFXR-TV, Roanoke…..Sean “Reed” Kozlowski moves from Peoria to Bloomington, Illinois to program Connoisseur Media’s CHR WWHX “HITS 100.7.”  In Peoria, he was APD and afternoon personality at Alpha Media’s country WXCL “The Wolf.”

wklh logoSaga Re-Brands Classic Rock WKLH, Milwaukee.  Brand manager Bob Bellini says they’ve tweaked the playlist at the same time as 29-year classic rock outlet WKLH, Milwaukee takes on the brand “Hometown Rock 96-5.”  Calling it the “evolution of classic rock,” Saga says the new “Hometown Rock 96-5” is “packed with personality, texture and tempo.  The music has an 80s lean, a 70s twist and a sprinkling of the unpredictable.  Though it’ll sometimes ride outside the lines, ‘Hometown Rock’ is true to its roots and purely authentic.”  Bellini adds, “Our great, vast body of rock music is simply evolving with our listeners’ preferences.  The center of gravity of WKLH’s brand of rock has been shifting from the mid to late 70s into the 80s, and this is a continuation of that shift.  While ‘Hometown’ does reflect the classic rock especially popular among Milwaukeeans, it’s much more than that.  Milwaukee has a gritty, determined personality, home to so many iconic brands, and a lot of pride in that history. ‘Hometown Rock’ simply reflects the enthusiasm for our city that we have experienced with our listeners throughout the years.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Adult Hits.  Concluding his review of the PPM performances of gold-based music formats, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at how the adult hits format fared in Nielsen Audio’s March 2015 PPM survey.  Kinosian’s previous two analyses covered classic hits/oldies and classic rock.  See how other adult hits stations compare to market share leader WSMW, Greensboro “98.7 Simon” (grabbing a 10.5 share 6+ in March), plus check out ratings fluctuations from February to March, March 2014 to March 2015, market rank and more.  Click here.

WKOS Nash logoWKOS Tri Cities, Tennessee Transitions to NASH Icon Format.  In the Tri-Cities, Tennessee market, Cumulus Media announces its country WKOS, Kingsport has changed formats from the company’s NASH FM to its NASH Icon format.  Program Director J.B. Stone remains in his post.  The new on-air lineup is: Kim Stewart, 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am; Marty McFly, 5:00 am to 9:00 am; Lisa Manning, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm; Scott Gains, 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Darlas Rai, 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Cumulus corporate programmer Greg Frey says, “NASH Icon continues to grow as an extension of our NASH country music brand.  We’re excited to bring this unique country listening experience to the Tri-Cities on 104.9 NASH Icon.”

pandoralogoPandora Reports 2015 Q1 Revenue Up 19%.  Internet pure-play Pandora is reporting its Q1 2015 financial numbers and, compared to the same period a year ago, total revenue hit $230.8 million – an increase of 19%.  Pandora chairman, president and CEO Brian McAndrews states, “We’ve been actively investing in every part of our business – from the music we play, to the ad technology and music maker products we offer.  This quarter’s results are a reflection of those investments paying off.  In a time when listeners and brand partners have more choices than ever, listener hours grew, local advertisers increased their spending with us and we continued to advance our lead in digital audio by generating more demand and strong sell through.”  Other financial figures of note include: Q1 2015 advertising revenue was $178.7 million, growing 27% year-over-year; total mobile revenue was $181.1 million, growing 23% year-over-year;  and local advertising revenue was $43.3 million, growing 67% year-over-year.

brownkennKenn Brown Retires from Horizon Broadcasting; Nancy Wirth Named Successor. Radio sales pro Kenn Brown announces his retirement from his GSM position with Bend, Oregon-based Horizon Broadcasting, effective June 30, 2015.  Assuming the general sales manager position will be current director of event sponsorships and senior account executive Nancy Wirth.  Horizon president and CEO Keith Shipman says, “It’s been a great pleasure to work with an extraordinary leader like Kenn the past three years.  Kenn has done a tremendous job building a strong sales organization as our general sales manager and leaves a solid foundation for future success.  The radio industry will miss him greatly.”  Brown comments, “I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy a wonderful career in radio.  But, the time has come for me to relax, spend more time with my family and do some travelling.  It’s been a great run and I’m thankful to close out my tenure in this business with Horizon Broadcasting Group and its talented staff.”  Nancy Wirth says of her new opportunity, “I am excited for the opportunity to lead an extraordinary sales team and continue to build the success and strength of Horizon Broadcasting Group.  Kenn Brown has been a great mentor and leader, and though I can’t say I intend to fill his shoes, I am very proud to utilize my passion and experience to grow the success of not only HBG but the companies we work for.”

sixxsenseshinodaMike Shinoda Sits in for Nikki Sixx This Weekend.  On this week’s edition of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated active rock and alternative show “The Side Show Countdown with Nikki Sixx,” Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda will take over Sixx’s role.  Shinoda (left) will guest host alongside co-host Jenn Marino (right) as they play the latest songs on the active rock and alternative charts and showcase new music.  Shinoda will also discuss what’s on the horizon for Linkin Park, including the band’s upcoming performance at Rock in Rio in Las Vegas on May 9, and the band’s recent collaboration with Steve Aoki on the song “Darker Than Blood.”  He says, “I’m happy to fill in for Nikki, and always look forward to chatting with Jenn and their crew!”

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