Category: Industry News
Magnum Broadcasting Alters Brand of Milwaukee Adult Hits Outlet. The resolution of the battle over “The Lake” brand of adult hits radio in Milwaukee between E.W. Scripps and Magnum Broadcasting appears to be over with Magnum changing the calls and brand of WMKQ, Racine “92.1 The Lake” to WVTY “92.1 The Shore.” In a memo to staffers, Magnum Broadcasting CEO Dave Magnum does not address the legal scuffle between his company and Scripps, but says, “We’ve been weaving in ‘shore’ references on the air for the past 10 days. It’s a natural fit because our new transmitting and antenna systems are delivering signal from Racine up and down the Lake Michigan shoreline from Milwaukee to the Chicago suburbs. We’re also pleased with our coverage to the west. Our upgrades exceeded our expectations.” Scripps had jettisoned the adult hits format – and its brand “94.5 The Lake” – to go country and changed the calls to WKTI. Immediately after the change, then-WMKQ flipped to an adult hits format and began using the “The Lake” brand, including a logo very similar to the one used by Scripps. But Scripps claims it still owns the service mark for the “Lake” and the adult hits format and is still airing it on WKTI’s HD3 channel.
Townsquare and Compass Partner on Nightly Classic Rock Show. The “Ultimate Classic Rock” brand is Townsquare Media’s from its UltimateClassicRock.com site and the host of the new, nightly show is longtime rock personality Zach Martin. Compass Media Networks is serving as the exclusive syndicator of the program. The 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET program gets its start on 28 Townsquare Media-owned classic rock outlets, beginning tonight. Martin has worked at CBS RADIO’s former WXRK “K-Rock,” WCBS-FM and iHeartMedia’s WAXQ in New York; as well as WMMR, Philadelphia and WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock.” Townsquare Media SVP of programming Kurt Johnson comments, “We are more than excited to name Zach Martin as host of our Ultimate Classic Rock show. With a foundation of years in rock radio and many relationships in the genre, Zach will create unique, compelling entertainment across our content platforms, starting of course with an incredible radio show.”
Reports: More Apple Music DJs Named; Beats 1 to Contain In-Programming Sponsorships. Two separate reports – one from Ad Age and one from The New York Times – deliver news about the soon-to-debut Apple Music service. The Times says that DJs who will appear on Apple’s Beats 1 channel in addition to already-announced Zane Lowe and Dr. Dre, include WQHT, New York morning personality Ebro Darden; London radio personality Julie Adenuga plus celebrities Pharrell Williams and Elton John. Ad Age reports that the Beats 1 channel will, instead of traditional radio spots, contain sponsorships delivered by the DJs that are being described by Apple execs as “audio mentions” – brief announcements between records. What’s not clear from the story is of the mentions will be live or pre-recorded. The Beats 1 channel is part of the service set to debut tomorrow on a free, three-month trial basis. In contrast to previous reports, Ad Age is stating that Apple will offer a free, ad-supported service as well as the ad-free subscription service.
‘98.3’ The Bull’ in Northeast Ohio Joins ‘Powered by Jelli’ Network. The Media One Group-owned country station WYBL, Ashtabula, Ohio “98.3 The Bull” becomes part of the Focus “Powered by Jelli” Network – a cloud-based network revenue source platform that traffics, serves and reports all ad campaigns using Jelli’s RadioSpot technology. Envision Networks and Focus 360 say Jelli’s RadioSpot platform “enables rapid, cloud-based trafficking of radio spots nationwide; integrated, automated ad serving at local affiliates and real-time reporting of the broadcast ads as they run, via an easy-to-use, powerful web-based dashboard. The RadioSpot platform delivers significantly increased accountability, measurability and transparency to advertisers and radio networks, leading to fewer errors, lower costs, better insights and higher revenue and cash flow.”
ABC Radio to Present Kelly Clarkson Music Special. The one-our music special from ABC Radio is available for air between July 10 and August 2. Titled, “Kelly Clarkson: Piece by Piece, the show features her thoughts on her chart-topping album Piece by Piece and her latest hits, as well as what fans can expect from her new tour, launching in July. She’ll also share her thoughts on motherhood and how her life has changed since she welcomed daughter River last year.
SiriusXM Settles in Pre-1972 Recordings Matter. Five of the largest record companies and Sirius XM Holdings Inc. have agreed to a settlement for the latter’s use of pre-1972 recordings on its satellite radio service. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, SiriusXM will pay $210 million to plaintiffs ABKCO Music & Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, UMG Recordings, and Warner Music Group. The settlement provides a nationwide resolution for SiriusXM’s previous use of the plaintiffs’ pre-1972 recordings and through the end of 2017. After that, SiriusXM must negotiate with individual record companies. RIAA chairman and CEO Cary Sherman comments, “This is a great step forward for all music creators. Music has tremendous value, whether it was made in 1970 or 2015. We hope others take note of this important agreement and follow SiriusXM’s example.” This resolution does not include the class action suit led by Flo & Eddie Inc. That case is currently under appeal in California’s 2nd Circuit Court.
Cumulus Taps Troy Hanson for WKQX, Chicago PD Gig. He’s been serving as program director for the company’s rock WNNX, Atlanta and as corporate program director for rock formats. Now, Troy Hanson will take over the PD post at Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago. Current programmer PJ is seeking opportunities outside the radio biz. Cumulus SVP content and programming Mike McVay says, “Troy continues to do an excellent job as corporate PD/rock for Cumulus. His experience, combined with the need for WKQX to continue to excel, makes him the perfect candidate for this position.”
Bryan LaRoche New PM Drive Personality at WKIS-FM, Miami. Air personality Bryan LaRoche has most recently been with Alpha Media at its Portland cluster heard on both country KUPL and CHR KBFF. Now he transitions to CBS RADIO’s South Florida country outlet WKIS-FM, Miami “99.9 Kiss Country” for the afternoon drive shift. He says, “This can’t be real life. Country radio? In South Florida? For ‘99.9 Kiss Country’? It doesn’t get any better than that! I’m honored and thankful to have the opportunity to work with CBS RADIO and the team at WKIS. I truly feel like this is exactly where I belong and can’t wait to call one of my favorite cities home.” CBS RADIO Miami VP of programming Rob Morris adds, “Bryan’s talent both on air and combined with his digital programming skills makes him a great addition to the WKIS-FM team.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Executive changes at Univision Communications as the company announces that Los Angeles-based Jose Valle leaves his role overseeing the radio division and will become president of political & advocacy sales. Responsibility for the radio division will shift to Jaime Jiminez, who serves as executive vice president of Univision local media…..Moving from the on-air end of the business to the label side of the music industry is former WRDW, Philadelphia personality and programmer Brandon “Buster” Satterfield. He joins Atlantic Records in New York in a regional promotions capacity. Satterfield programmed CBS RADIO’s Philly rhythmic CHR outlet before it transitioned to the company’s mainstream CHR AMP format as WZMP.
Envision Networks Offers Free Radio Sales School. Through a deal with influence FM, Envision Networks announces it is able to share Radio Sales School with stations. Via a partnership with radio sales trainer Chris Rolando, influence FM is able to offer the 15-day course to radio stations absolutely free. Envision says it’s a great tool for training new sales hires and providing a refresher for more experienced radio sales reps. Rolando brings more than 40 years of broadcasting industry experience to the course. He comments, “No matter where I teach, I find that managers and radio station owners spend a significant amount of their time trying to find and train sales reps instead of managing the actual sales.” The online course features educational videos, quizzes and interactive discussions. In addition to this course, influence FM is offering access to free scripts, pre-produced spots and more to help stations recruit the best candidates possible. influence FM produces radio management software available on a cash or barter basis. This product suite gives users complete control over every step of the sales process including asset management, spot creation and commercial production.
Bob & Tom at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club in Las Vegas. Members of the Westwood One-syndicated Bob & Tom show pose for a shot with actor and comic Brad Garrett at his Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The show transported 20 lucky winners and their guests to Vegas for the weekend where they got to do a meet & greet with Garrett. Pictured (clockwise from top) are: Garrett, Tom Griswold, Chick McGee, Kristi Lee, and Bob Kevoian.
Bob & Sheri to Host ‘Ugliest Dog’ Contest. WLNK, Charlotte-based and nationally syndicated morning show hosts Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch are returning to Sonoma Media Group-owned affiliate KMHX, Santa Rosa, California “Mix 104.9” today to host the “World’s Ugliest Dog Contest” at the Sonoma Marin Fair. The internationally observed event celebrates homely hounds and the humans who love them. The World’s Ugliest Dog winner will receive a grand prize of $1,500 and the Spirit Award Recipient will receive a special award. Organizers say the contest has been a testament that all dogs do not have to meet AKC pedigree standards to be man’s (or woman’s) best friend. Sheri Lynch comments, “We are so excited to be asked back to the festival to host the contest again! We love this event!”
‘NASH FM 94.7’ Brings The Cadillac Three to NYC. New York country outlet WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” presented another of its “Up Close and Country” performances in the Big Apple last night (6/25) at Hill Country Barbecue Market in the heart of the city. The country/rock group The Cadillac Three performed for a lucky group of listeners, singing their hit singles “The South” and “White Lightning,” as well as covers of a number of top country songs. Prior to the show, the boys stopped by the “NASH FM 94.7” studios to chat with station personality Jesse Addy (left).
SF’s Big ‘Bleu’ News. Bay Area Hall of Famer (class of 2007) Don Bleu will do his final KOSF “Big 103.7,” San Francisco morning drive show tomorrow (Friday, 6/26). He has been the wakeup talent on the iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet the past four years, but as market president Katie Wilcox comments, “Don Bleu has been a fixture in the Bay Area radio community for decades. Beyond the years of making audiences laugh and fall in love with his authenticity, he is also credited as the inspiration for many other local and national talents. He is no different in the halls than he is on the air – our staff will miss his quick wit and warm presence.” According to Bleu, “I am so fortunate – this has been an incredible run. When I meet listeners, I am amazed at the memories and moments they bring up. They have listened for years and their children have listened for years. As I have ended each broadcast for many years in the Bay Area, ‘Thanks for bein’ on the show.'” Bleu’s San Francisco history dates back 34 years when he did morning drive at KYUU (1981- 1989). He then had a 22-year tenure in the same day-part at cross-town KIOI. Bleu previously worked at KDWB, Minneapolis, and in North Dakota at KILO, Grand Forks and KQWB, Fargo. The East Grand Forks, Minnesota native – known earlier in his career as “The True Don Bleu” – won an Emmy for his work on “Evening Magazine,” and he hosted “The Gong Show” for one season.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. After 11 years away from the business to stay home with her family, Courtney Foxx returns to Alpha Media’s hot AC WIKZ, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania “Mix 95.1” as midday personality. Foxx served as midday jock at the station from 1997 through 2004…..Gus Swanson is named digital content manager for CBS RADIO’s Seattle station group. He was a longtime iHeartMedia staffer in the Seattle market.
Class of 2015 Inducted into Country Radio Hall of Fame. This year’s class of inductees into the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Country Radio Hall of Fame was honored last night at a special ceremony held at the Omni Hotel in Nashville. The Country Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to “the recognition of those individuals who have made significant contributions to the radio industry over a 20-year period, 15 of which must be in the country format.” Pictured here (from l-r) are: Randy Carroll, Mike Kennedy, Karen Dalessandro, Joel Raab, and Sammy George. Photo: Kristen England.
RadioInfo Tidbits. Adult contemporary WLTW, New York “106.7 LITE FM” announces the return of its annual lunchtime theatre summer series, ‘106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park.’ The 2015 program will present the best of Broadway, free to the public, on six consecutive Thursdays beginning July 9 at 12:30 pm ET and will be hosted by LITE FM’s on-air personalities…..Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” is awarding the prize in the next phase of its year-long FREE MONEY promotion – FREE MONEY FITS FOR TWO – tomorrow afternoon at the West County Center. The station will be awarding a local listener with not one, but two Honda Fits – plus $5,000 in each glove box!…..1980s pop hits are now being heard on the Asheville, North Carolina simulcast dubbed “Rewind 100.3.” The former triple A format on Saga Communications’ WTMT-HD2 and translator W262CO, Asheville at 100.3 FM disappears to make way for the new format.
Duane Doobie Jr.’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working co-music editor, Duane Doobie Jr., backed by a growing team of information-contributing researchers and golden-eared, trench broadcasters, including this week: on-air personalities Bayley Brown from WKLC-FM, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; Matt James, golden-eared, on air personality at “T-100” WCLT in Newark, OH; Bill Phipps the golden-eared afternoon personality at WSIG, Mt. Jackson, Virginia “Real Country 96.9;” Todd Cavanah, golden-eared PD at CBS owned WJMK “K-Hits” & WBBM-FM in Chicago; Jayn, golden-eared afternoon talent/music director/asst. program director at Alice 93.7, San Francisco; plus internet sensation The Iceman, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (6/24) includes such names as: Selena Gomez, A$AP Rocky, Afrojack, Mike Taylor, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, Olivia Kay, Alx Kawakami, The Weeknd, Kaya Stewart, Icona Pop, Madison Rising, Five Finger Death Punch, Beck, Secret Lie, Destroyer, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Nate Ruess, Beck, Billy Currington, A Thousand Horses, Jake Owen, Keith Urban, Bily Lord, Carly Jo Jackson, Baio, Gemini Club, Silento, Armin Van Buuren, Mr. Probz, Kygo, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Talkers New York 2015 ‘Fireside Chat’ Video featuring Dialogue Between Michael Harrison and John Dickey Posted Today. Billed as a “Fireside Chat” in one of the keynote sessions of the just-concluded Talkers New York 2015 convention, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison conducts a one-on-one conversation with Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey. In a series of what Dickey describes as “really tough questions,” Harrison asks him about a wide variety of subjects including how he handles the stress of being significantly responsible for the operation of one of the largest and most complex radio broadcasting companies in the history of the medium; whether or not the platform of radio can ever be accurately measured in terms of ratings; what position talk radio occupies within the overall Cumulus plan going forward; whether or not there is room for qualitative selling and non-traditional revenue generation at large, corporately owned stations; and if there is a future for the personality oriented disc jockey in music radio, among other topics. Dickey responds with thoughtful and candid answers before a fully engaged, packed house of professionals from all segments of the industry in a room so quiet, one could hear a proverbial pin drop. On the subject of stress, Dickey says it is a matter of “balance…balance in life” putting work and family into their proper perspectives. He ties that into programming — repeatedly stating that successful radio formats must maintain an effective balance of elements as they evolve forward with their “natural life cycles.” Dickey discusses the importance of “branding” in today’s commerce, underscoring his company’s commitment to and “heavy investment” in the talk format stating, “We are the ‘custodians’ of some of radio’s greatest brands,” making it clear that Cumulus takes that responsibility very seriously in the talk arena. He makes the point, “We must, however, arrive at an understanding of what constitutes the talk format today” pointing out that talk radio needs to “broaden the conversation” because “people talk about a lot of things.” On the subject of ratings (immediately following a powerful panel discussion about the state of audience measurement moderated by Sean Hannity during which Nielsen’s feet were held to the fire), Dickey is measured and fair in his criticism of Nielsen stating, “The ratings are accurate… but only to a point.” He says, “Nielsen needs to be [more forthcoming] about the ‘margin of error’ [in their metrics] – they owe us more than they are giving us.” Looking back at the conversation, Michael Harrison says, “John Dickey is one of the brightest young men I have ever met in this business and I have no doubt in my mind about his love for and commitment to radio. Neither he nor his brother Lew have easy jobs…and, like all human beings, they are far from perfect, not to mention the entire radio industry is challenged by the circumstances of the times… so operating the second largest ownership group in the history of the medium in the second decade of the 21st century is an extremely daunting task. Unlike so many of today’s powerful executives in both business and government, they admit their mistakes and are always trying to learn and improve.” To view the “Fireside Chat” in its entirety including an introduction by rising talk star Ethan Bearman, please click here.
Nielsen Unveils its Total Audience Report; Radio Leads Weekly Reach of Adults. Senior vice president of the audience insights division at Nielsen, Glenn Enoch, says that in preparing the first-ever Total Audience Report, the company is “using the best available data and have done all we can to make this an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison, but it is important to remember that these platforms are measured by different methods using different samples and different crediting rules.” Enoch is referring to the challenge of finding one way to express the consumption of three different media platforms – TV, radio and digital. That said, radio practitioners are happy with the results indicating that on a weekly basis, radio reaches 93% of the adult population compared to television’s 87% reach. Digital is broken up into three segments – PC, smartphone, and tablet – and those reach 54%, 70% and 35% of American adults, respectively. However, when one looks at the weekly hours and minutes spent with each medium, television comes out on top across all adult demographics and radio comes in second. The data shows that, for persons 35-49, the average hours/minutes during the week spent with television was 33:05, for radio 13:39, for PCs 6:58, for smartphones 8:52, and for tablets 4:50. In tallying the number of days per week of usage for each medium for persons 18-49, smartphones come out on top with 5.9. Radio is close behind with 5. Television is third with 4.7, followed by tablets at 4.6 and PCs with 3.6. In a memo to his sales stall, Cumulus Media chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard writes, “While radio is known as a frequency medium, we have always had significant reach. Radio’s reach has remained consistent while television has eroded. Radio now finds itself as America’s number one mass reach medium.”
Dillon to Program ‘96.7 Kiss FM’ in Austin. The change means Zach Dillon moves from iHeartMedia’s CHR KTBT, Tulsa “The Beat” to the company’s Austin cluster where he’ll program CHR KHFI “96.7 Kiss FM,” effective July 12. Dillon says, “I cannot begin to express the happiness I have in knowing I’m returning to the great state of Texas! This position, with these call letters attached to it, doesn’t come around often. With this move to Austin, I’m excited to re-sign with iHeartMedia, a company that’s treated me so well over the years.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Weekend and fill-in personality Lisa Kosty is named the permanent midday jock at Hubbard Broadcasting’s adult contemporary WSHE, Chicago. Kosty assumes the role previously held by Megan Reed, who resigned her position to focus on her battle with cancer…..Non-com triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee” announces radio pro Ken Sumka is the new afternoon drive personality. The longtime WXRT, Chicago jock has been living in Milwaukee and serving as a weekend and fill-in host. He has also worked as an airborne reporter at WMAQ and WBBM-AM in Chicago from 1998-2009.
Gunhill Road Meets Big Jay Sorensen. The legendary pop/rock band Gunhill Road had a heck of a great time mingling with radio broadcasters from both music and talk formats at the recent Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference. The trio, that had two FM rock radio album favorites and the hit single “Back When My Hair Was Short” in the early 1970s, recently released an unexpected album with 19 new tracks titled Every 40 Years (Gunhill Road Records) that has garnered some airplay on AC and triple-A formats as well as a ton of interviews on talk radio. The group attended the conference to appear with various radio folk in a forthcoming documentary (“Back When My Hair Was Long”) about their fascinating two-part journey from the 1970s to the modern digital era set for theatrical release in 2016 and to promote their latest single, “I’ve Got To Learn To Cry (featuring American Idol’s Julia DeMato). The group is pictured here with pop radio legend and rock ‘n’ roll historian “Big” Jay Sorensen of WCBS-FM, New York. Shown (l-r): Steve Goldrich, “Big” Jay Sorensen, Glenn Leopold and Paul Reisch.
James Taylor Featured at iHeartRadio Theater in NYC. Singing and songwriting legend James Taylor was the featured artist in latest iHeartRadio ICONS series. This live event at the iHeartRadio Theater featured a performance by Taylor and a Q&A with iHeartMedia and WAXQ, New York personality Jim Kerr. The two discussed and listened to tracks from his new album, Before This World, which was released earlier this week. The audio was broadcast across all iHeartMedia classic rock stations at 8:00 pm local time on June 23. Photo: Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio.
Dierks Bentley Co-Hosts ‘NASH Nights Live.’ With “NASH Nights Live” personality Shawn Parr away from the studio at a charity event this week, special guests are joining co-host Elaina Smith (left) on the program. Pictured here is Dierks Bentley (right) in the studio. Other special guest this week include: Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae, Canaan Smith, Tim McGraw, and Hunter Hayes.
Taylor Tumbls, Apple Blinks. After megastar Taylor Swift posted on Tumblr that she planned to withhold her album 1989 from Apple Music when it begins the free, three-month trial for users on June 30 because Apple didn’t plan to pay artists during that period, Apple quickly reversed course. Swift posted the following on Tumblr, “Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company. It’s not too late to change this policy and change the minds of those in the music industry who will be deeply and gravely affected by this. We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.” Swift also explained that it’s not about her (she makes oodles of cash just from her sold out concert tours) but about newer artists who could be hurt by missing three months’ worth of revenue from Apple. Apple SVP of internet software and services Eddy Cue responded via Twitter yesterday (6/21), saying, “#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period. We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.” Swift acknowledged the reversal expressing her relief and gratitude.
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the second of three format analyses based on data from the May 2015 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Today, Kinosian focuses on hot AC. Compared to the adult contemporary format (you can see that report here) with 13 stations that rank #1 in their markets, hot AC has just two stations ranking #1 (persons 6+) in their markets – KBIG, Los Angeles and WRMF, West Palm Beach. However, the next 13 stations – of the 62 hot AC-formatted outlets in PPM markets – rank in the #2, #3,or #4 position their respective markets. Also, in this report, view a comparison of AC and hot AC stations in the PPM markets. View it here.
CBS RADIO Adds LGBTQ Focus to SF HD2 Channel. The company tweaks its dance format PULSE radio on the HD-2 channel of CHR KMVQ-FM, San Francisco “99.7 [NOW!]” to make it “a station featuring a mix of dance, electronic, and pop hit music that reflects the LGBTQ community.” The programming is also available online via pulseradio.com the Radio.com app. The station features “99.7 [Now!]” morning show personalities Fernando and Greg, and KMVQ’s weekday host, St. John. CBS RADIO SVP programming and music initiatives Michael Martin comments, “‘PULSE’ is all about celebrating pride and community through a love of music. We’re thrilled to make ‘PULSE’ a destination for new and classic dance music, surrounded by the unique lifestyle and culture that only the LBGTQ community can offer.” St. John enthuses, “Only need one word to describe this station…FIERCE!!! Totally excited to bring great dance music and community to the Bay Area (and the world with radio.com)!”
Legal Update: Bieber-Usher ‘Somebody to Love’ Case. RadioInfo legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman provides an update on the status of the case against Justin Bieber and Usher filed by songwriters Devin Copeland and Mareio Overton. As Weisman notes, a recent Appeals Court ruling overturned a previous decision favorable to Bieber and Usher and sends the copyright infringement suit back to court. Copeland and Overton allege that their song, “Somebody to Love,” was pitched to Usher and Bieber and that Bieber’s 2010 hit of the same name contains “essential elements” of their song. Read the whole piece here.
Classic Hits WROR, Boston Names Devereaux to Middays, Jones to PM Drive. At Greater Media’s classic hits station WROR, Boston, Julie Devereaux is named midday personality for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot formerly occupied by the “WROR Employee of the Day” via a pre-recorded listener. She will host the show live and welcome listeners to pick and introduce their favorite songs during the noon hour. Jaybeau Jones moves from part-time to full-time afternoons from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. WROR program director Ken West says, “We’re proud to be increasing the number of hours we showcase live and local talent. Led by Loren & Wally in the morning, we look forward to Julie and Jaybeau making WROR’s ‘At Work’ presence more personal while providing more companionship and fun along with ‘Boston’s Greatest Hits.’”
Westwood One Names Ron Russo EVP Northeast Sales. Radio sales pro Ron Russo is named EVP, Northeast Region for Westwood One’s network sales division. In this position, Russo will “manage and oversee the New York sales office and be responsible for revenue growth and multi-platform brand integrations across all Westwood One assets, including network sales, spot sales, platform, digital, and events.” Russo will report to Westwood One president Steve Shaw. In a statement from WW1, the company notes that Russo comes to them from iHeartMedia where he was general sales manager for the NYC station group. “In addition to building and overseeing the sales teams, he was instrumental in managing the transition when iHeart purchased WOR-AM from Buckley Broadcasting. He also played an important role in securing the station’s radio rights to the NY Mets.” He worked for CBS RADIO at hot AC WWFS, “Fresh 102.7” before joining iHeartMedia. Russo says, “I am really looking forward to working with this great team of sellers and collaborating throughout the organization as we look for innovative ways to drive and accelerate results for our clients.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At E.W. Scripps-owned CHR KSPW, Springfield, Missouri “Power 96.5,” Lindsay Blake announces she’s leaving the “Fotsch and Lindsay” morning drive show to deal with family-related health matters that require more of her attention…..Rollin Isbell is upped to general sales manager at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKSL, adult hits WWJK, and rock WKSL-HD2 in Jacksonville. At the same cluster, Monika Acree is named the local sales manager.
New Hampshire Morning Personality Andy Blacksmith Dead at 49. WGIR, Manchester-based “The Morning Buzz” co-host Andy Blacksmith died on Saturday (6/29) while awaiting a heart transplant. Co-host Greg Kretschmar penned a statement that read, in part, “It is with heartbreaking sadness that we announce that we have lost our friend, brother, and co-worker Andy Blacksmith. Andy passed away this weekend at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston after a 5-year battle, waiting for a heart transplant. Although he fought valiantly in the face of long odds, this weekend, his heart grew too weak to fight anymore. We are all heartbroken and we’d like to ask for your love and prayers of strength for his family – his mom Barbara, sister Debbie, and brother Rick.” The show is asking friends and listeners to register to be an organ donor at DonateLifeNewEngland.org.
PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary. RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the first of three format analyses based on May 2015 PPM ratings from Nielsen Audio. The first format is adult contemporary. The historically stable format features 13 stations that rank #1 in their markets. In this report you can see the 6+ PPM performances of AC stations over the last six surveys; fluctuations from April 2015 to May 2015; fluctuations from May 2014 to May 2015; market share over the past six surveys and more. See Mike Kinosian’s full report here. The next format analysis will be hot AC.
Jim Lawson Named SVP of Programming at iHeartMedia Denver. The new senior vice president of programming at iHeartMedia’s Denver cluster is Jim Lawson who moves up from his recent post as SVP of programming for the company’s Colorado regional markets including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and Fort Collins. Speaking about his new gig, Lawson says, “I could not be more excited and honored to lead an already successful Denver team. I look forward to exceeding our clients’ and listeners’ expectations while growing our brands with great content across all of our platforms. Thank you to Hartley Atkins, Brad Hardin and Pat Connor for giving me this incredible opportunity in a dream company surrounded by the best of the best.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Promoted to APD and music director at iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s hip hop WUSL “Power 99 FM” and urban adult contemporary WDAS is Bill Ransom, a.k.a. Doc B. Ransom has been with the company for 12 years and will continue his mixer role for both outlets. iHM Philly director of urban programming Derrick Corbett says, “Doc B has demonstrated an exceptional level of professionalism and a true passion for the music and the formats. For those reasons, amongst many others, he’s earned this new position.”…..Air personality Kory is named afternoon host at CBS RADIO’s hot AC KYMX, Sacramento “MIX 96.1.” Kory was most recently with the company hosting the evening show at KVIL, Dallas.
McKay: Report from the NJBA Conference & Gala. RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay writes about the recently concluded New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference & Gala in Atlantic City. In addition to the ceremony inducting five New Jersey greats into the NJBA Hall of Fame, the conference included panel discussions and presentations. McKay spoke with WMGQ, New Brunswick “Magic 98.3”program director Jeff Rafter who notes that New Jersey’s unique position being sandwiched between New York and Philadelphia means using localism to stand out. “It has to do with staying local with the elements (news and traffic) — what Philly and New York doesn’t cover enough here. We’re sandwiched between these two giant markets, but we’re a giant market ourselves. We have great local talent who know the people they play music for each day. Musically, we always have to find a way to differentiate ourselves. We always have to stay just ahead of the trend where adult contemporary music is going. We have to be tuned in locally to what our listeners want. The audience changes, so we must keep reinventing ourselves to stay relevant and keep the brand fresh.” Read McKay’s entire report here.
RadioInfo Tidbits. This weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas will be broadcast on SiriusXM. The satcaster says performances and backstage interviews from the electronic music event will air today through Sunday on its Electric Area channel. Artists to be heard on the broadcast will include: Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Andrew Rayel, Armin van Buuren, Benny Benassi, 3Lau, Calvin Harris, Dannic, Danny Avila, Dash Berlin, Dyro, Dzeko & Torres, Eric Prydz, Fatboy Slim, Firebeatz, Hardwell, Laidback Luke, Martin Garrix, Martin Solveig, MOTi, Nicky Romero, Tiësto, Yellow Claw and many more…..The New York State Broadcasters Association will present awards at its annual “Excellence in Broadcasting” dinner on Monday (6/22) at the Conrad Hotel in New York City and WHTZ “Z100” and Premiere Networks star Elvis Duran will receive the 2015 Broadcaster of the Year award. Wendy Williams – former radio star and current host of her own daily TV talk show – will be honored with the 2015 New Yorker of the Year award. Speaking about Elvis Duran’s award, New York State Broadcasters president David Donovan says, “We are deeply honored to recognize Elvis Duran as our 2015 ‘Broadcaster of the Year.’ Elvis not only wakes up New York City, he wakes up America. Beyond his tremendous success in broadcasting, Elvis gives back by working with community groups such as Rosie’s Theater Kids, the Robin Hood Foundation, GLADD, the Trevor Project and St. Jude’s Hospital. Elvis joins other legendary broadcasters who have received this award such as Seth Meyers, Norah O’Donnell, Regis Philbin, Bill Weir, Charlie Gibson, Barbara Walters and many others. He represents the best in our profession.”
Cumulus Media’s NASH Enters Partnership with Qello Concerts. The NASH TV platform will be available globally via Qello Concerts after Cumulus Media agreed to a strategic partnership in the “worldwide leader in streaming long-form concert films on demand.” Qello Concerts will feature NASH TV’s original content across its worldwide OTT streaming platform, which includes web access, as well as access via smart TVs from Samsung and Sony; connected devices, including streaming players and consoles: Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, PlayStation, XBOX and Google Chromecast; and mobile devices including iOS, Android and Windows. Cumulus EVP of content and programming John Dickey states, “Qello Concerts is a powerful platform to catapult our distribution into hundreds of millions of households across the globe through the connected TV market, bringing our popular lifestyle and entertainment programming to country music fans to enjoy anytime, anywhere.”
Boethin Named Manager of Cox Local Solutions in Tulsa. The company says this new effort – under the brand Cox Local Solutions – is a “collaborative digital solutions alliance” between the Cox Communications sales division in Tulsa and Cox Media Inc.’s Tulsa TV and radio properties that’s designed to use the combined digital capabilities of all three Cox properties to “offer advanced digital solutions to local advertisers” under the new brand. Digital sales manager Heather Boethin is named manager of Cox Local Solutions and will “oversee Tulsa’s digital sales and fulfilment efforts with the support of a team of digital marketing experts at Cox’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta.” Cox Media Oklahoma VP Annette Heaton comments, “This is an exciting time for the Tulsa market. The collaboration efforts between the three Cox properties have been impressive so far. Ultimately Tulsa advertisers will be the beneficiaries of the digital solutions we have to offer.”
Dusty Rhodes to Leave WAY FM. After 22 years, senior vice president Dusty Rhodes is exiting WAY Media. Bob Augsburg, founder of the Christian media company, says, “Dusty and I have worked together for well over two decades. I brought him on to launch our West Palm Beach, Florida WAY-FM in 1993 and manage it, which today is our largest station. He moved with me to Colorado Springs in 2001 to become our first chief operating officer. Now as senior vice president, Dusty has led well and has done much to advance WAY Media’s mission and vision. He has been gracious in offering to remain with the ministry until August to help with the transition. I believe God has great things in store for Dusty. It will be exciting to watch His plans unfold.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Joining iHeartMedia’s country WAMZ, Louisville for mornings is Amy Nic, who partners up with current AM personality Chris Randolph. He replaced Ron and Mel Fisher in April…..The “Randy & Alana” morning show exits Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise “Wow 104.3.” Randy Scott also served as assistant program director and Alana Lynn was the station’s music director.
‘Magic 107.3’ Kansas City and Tom Joyner Show to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City “Magic 107.3” will be joined by syndicated morning show star Tom Joyner and cast members J. Anthony Brown and Sybil Wilkes in hosting the 25th anniversary celebration of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at the Kansas City museum tonight (6/18) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. KMJK program director Jerold Jackson says, “This event allows the ‘Magic 107.3’ listeners and everyone with an appreciation of baseball and the Negro Leagues an opportunity to come out and celebrate the last 25 years. We are thrilled to have Tom Joyner host the celebration along with J. Anthony Brown and Sybil Wilkes, giving our listeners the chance to meet the national morning show team and celebrate this wonderful piece of Kansas City.”
Carrie Underwood Co-Hosts ‘Country Countdown USA.’ New mom Carrie Underwood is pictured here (right) with “Country Countdown USA” host Lon Helton (left) as the two work on this weekend’s edition of the Westwood One-syndicated program. WW1 says there will be a lot of talk about her new baby boy, Isaiah, as well as a look ahead at her next album.
Duane 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;” Golden-eared music director Karoline Kramer Gould (also known to her followers as Momma K) at WJCU 88.7 FM; Todd Cavanah, golden-eared PD at CBS owned WJMK “K-Hits” & WBBM-FM in Chicago; Jayn, golden-eared afternoon talent/music director/asst. program director at “Alice 93.7” in San Francisco; 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 (6/17) includes such names as: Kaya Stewart, Nathan Sykes, The Weeknd, Emii, Alx Kawakami, Tori Kelly, Little Mix, Icona Pop, OMI, MKTO, Gunhill Road, FIDLAR, FFS, Frank Turner, Secret Lie, Marilyn Manson, Langhorne Slim & The Law, Nate Ruess, Beck, Destroyer, Alabama Shakes, Third Eye Blind, Madonna, James Reeder, Keith Urban, HoneyHoney, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Josh Goodlett, Sam Hunt, Chris Janson, Billy Lord, Kygo, Lifelike, Kris Menace, Calvin Love, Galantis, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Jim Krenn Named Morning Host at ‘Q92.9’ in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh radio pro Jim Krenn returns to the FM airwaves in the Steel City as morning drive host at WPNT Inc.-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q92.9.” The longtime crosstown rock WDVE jock – most recently producing his own podcast “No Restrictions,” and doing stand-up in Pittsburh and Los Angeles – will bring a cast that includes local comedians Mike Wysocki, Terry Jones, and Mike Sasson, plus Q92.9’s, Debbie Wilde to the “Q Morning Show,” effective July 6. WLTJ programmer Zak Szabo comments, “Jimmy’s an iconic local radio personality. Jimmy and the morning show understand the goal we are aiming for: a local show with local content hosted by local talent, combined with a lot of laughter. It’s going to be the most fun you can have in the morning, with the most music all day.” The station says listeners can expect to hear from classic characters like the beloved Ralph the Cat along with newly developed skits and impressions. Krenn says, “I’ve always considered being able to perform on morning radio a blessing. Getting to know the listeners and becoming a part of their lives, I truly missed talking and having laughs with everyone as they start their day. I can’t wait to say hello again!”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At the Cumulus Media Los Angeles operations, Marko Radlovic exits the president and market manager position. There is no word from Cumulus about a replacement at this time. The company operates classic rock KLOS and news/talk KABC…..At the Portland station group of Alpha Media, Jerome LaChance is named director of sales. LaChance has served with both Entercom and iHeartMedia in the Portland market and worked for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers as corporate sales manager for five years…..Stepping into the program director role at iHeartMedia’s Louisville duo CHR WNRW “Radio NOW 98.9” and hot AC WLGX “100.5 MYfm” is Kobi Kearney. He moves there from his gig as PD at the company’s CHR KWNW, Memphis “101.9 Kiss FM” and takes over for Jonathan Shuford who recently was promoted to WRVW, Nashville “107.5 The River.”…..Big Mo is officially promoted to midday personality and music director at Entercom’s hip hop WJMH, Greensboro, North Carolina “102 JAMZ.”
New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Gala Takes Place on Monday. The June 22 presentation of the winners of the 2015 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards will take place at New York’s Manhattan Penthouse (80 Fifth Avenue at 14 St & Union Square). The juried awards competition “honors the most diverse, creative, and innovative programming in radio broadcasting from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.” Each year the New York Festivals, in collaboration with the United Nations, appoint a panel to select work that exemplifies the aims and ideals of the United Nations. Their selections are awarded the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) Award. The ceremony will present awards including: the Grand Trophy, Broadcaster of the Year, Production Company of the Year, UNDPI, Gold, Silver and Bronze trophy-winning programs.
KSAN, San Francisco ‘Re-Images’ in Honor of the Warriors. Taking advantage of the Golden State Warriors claiming the NBA title, Cumulus Media rock outlet KSAN “107.7 The Bone,” is re-imaging in honor of the hometown team and its leader Stephen Curry. As you can see in the logo here, the new station handle is “1-0-Stephen-Stephen The Bone,” and it promised to play “three-point shots of rock” (three in a row from the same artist) today through Friday. KSAN program director Jim Richards adds, “It’s been an exciting time to be in the Bay Area. We’re proud to add our unique twist to these celebrations. It was either renaming the station after Curry or playing Scandal’s ‘The Warrior’ non-stop. I’m glad we chose the former.”
iHeartMedia Helps Debut New Adam Lambert Record. The photo here is from Tuesday evening’s performance by Adam Lambert (right) for the iHeartRadio Live series in which he performed songs from his new record The Original High, including his current single “Ghost Town.” Photo: Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio
Andrew Hart to Co-Host Mornings on KOIT, San Francisco. The Entercom adult contemporary station is where former WTMX, Chicago evening personality Andrew Hart, a.k.a. Finnigan, is landing. Hart will work with current KOIT morning host Charly Kayle effective July 13. KOIT program director Brian Figula states, “Andrew has an exceptional ability to naturally connect to his listeners. His passion for entertaining and giving back to the community is a perfect fit with Charly Kayle in mornings.”
Nielsen’s RADAR June 2015 Released; 167 Million Americans Reached. The June 2015 RADAR from Nielsen is out and the ratings giant reports that this survey indicates more than 167 million Americans age 12 or older listened to a network radio commercial during an average week. As industry pros are aware, Nielsen RADAR reports estimated audiences to network commercials broadcast by affiliates of the subscribing networks. RADAR audience estimates do not account for listening to all network radio programming. RADAR delivers data for the entire country but it also breaks out numbers for reach into the top 25 DMAs. That data shows network radio reaches 64.6% of persons aged 12+; 68.5% of persons aged 18-49; and 69.3% of persons aged 25-54. Nielsen’s RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) June 2015 Report is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 43 individual radio networks. These networks are operated by AdLarge Media, American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Premiere Networks, United Stations Radio Networks and Westwood One.
John Dickey and Michael Harrison Discuss the Big Issues at Talkers New York 2015. World Debut Replay Now Available on “Up Close and Far Out” Audio Podcast in Advance of Video. Billed as a “Fireside Chat” in one of the keynote sessions of the just-concluded Talkers New York 2015 convention, RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison (left) conducts a one-on-one conversation with Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming John Dickey (right). In a series of what Dickey describes as “really tough questions,” Harrison asks him about a wide variety of subjects including how he handles the stress of being significantly responsible for the operation of one of the largest and most complex radio broadcasting companies in the history of the medium; whether or not the platform of radio can ever be accurately measured in terms of ratings; what position talk radio occupies within the overall Cumulus plan going forward; whether or not there is room for qualitative selling and non-traditional revenue generation at large, corporately owned stations; and if there is a future for the personality-oriented disc jockey in music radio, among other topics. Dickey responds with thoughtful and candid answers before a fully engaged, packed house of professionals from all segments of the industry in a room so quiet, one could hear a proverbial pin drop. On the subject of stress, Dickey says it is a matter of “balance…balance in life” putting work and family into their proper perspectives. He ties that into programming — repeatedly stating that successful radio formats must maintain an effective balance of elements as they evolve forward with their “natural life cycles.” Dickey discusses the importance of “branding” in today’s commerce, underscoring his company’s commitment to and “heavy investment” in the talk format stating, “We are the ‘custodians’ of some of radio’s greatest brands,” making it clear that Cumulus takes that responsibility very seriously in the talk arena. He makes the point, “We must, however, arrive at an understanding of what constitutes the talk format today” pointing out that talk radio needs to “broaden the conversation” because “people talk about a lot of things.” On the subject of ratings (immediately following a powerful panel discussion about the state of audience measurement moderated by Sean Hannity during which Nielsen’s feet were held to the fire), Dickey is measured and fair in his criticism of Nielsen stating, “The ratings are accurate… but only to a point.” He says, “Nielsen needs to be [more forthcoming] about the ‘margin of error’ [in their metrics] – they owe us more than they are giving us.” Looking back at the conversation, Michael Harrison says, “John Dickey is one of the brightest young men I have ever met in this business and I have no doubt in my mind about his love for and commitment to radio. Neither he nor his brother Lew have easy jobs…and, like all human beings, they are far from perfect, not to mention the entire radio industry is challenged by the circumstances of the times… so operating the second largest ownership group in the history of the medium in the second decade of the 21st century is an extremely daunting task. Unlike so many of today’s powerful executives in both business and government, they admit their mistakes and are always trying to learn and improve.” To immediately hear the conversation between John Dickey and Michael Harrison on “Up Close and Far Out” in advance of the video being posted within the next two weeks, please click here or click on the player located in the right hand column of every page on RadioInfo.com.
Comic J. Anthony Brown Launches Urban AC Countdown and Comedy Show. The veteran comic and radio personality – heard on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show – is debuting a new weekend radio show that marries his comedy skills with a countdown of urban AC hits. The “J. Anthony Brown Radio Show” is described as “two hours of comedy, counting down Billboard’s weekly top urban AC hits with lots of comedy, pop culture, sketches and interviews, plus his famous ‘murdered hits’ song parodies.” The show is already heard on more than 10 outlets in markets including Houston, Tampa and Toledo. The team producing and syndicating this show includes longtime Radio One and Reach Media affiliate relations senior director Sandra Smith and radio personality Niele Anderson, who serves as co-executive producer and show co-host. The program is also available via the iHeartRadio app and the Accelerated Radio Network.
Radio Disney to Debut ‘Radio Disney Country’ This Fall. The Radio Disney brand – the recent dismantling of its nationwide AM/FM radio platform notwithstanding – has certainly been an influencer with the tween and teen demographics in the pop music world and now the company hopes to do the same with country music. Radio Disney Country will launch this fall as what the company terms “a modern, multi-platform country music-focused network for families…The 24/7 network will feature chart-bound young artists and today’s biggest country hits including Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Maddie & Tae, The Band Perry, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett and RaeLynn. Pictured here at the official announcement on Friday (6/12) are (from l-r): Radio Disney VP of programming and GM Phil Guerini, Maddie (Madison Marlow), Tae (Taylor Dye), Kelsea Ballerini, and Hunter Hayes. Guerini says, “Country music continues to grow in popularity among tweens and teens. As a trusted name in family entertainment, Radio Disney is delighted to introduce a new music outlet dedicated to country music and expand upon the engaging content we successfully deliver through Radio Disney’s multi-platform network.”
WKQX, Chicago Celebrates Blackhawks Stanley Cup with New Logo. The image you see here is the “new” logo for Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago “101WCoachQX.” After the Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six years, Cumulus re-imaged the entire radio station with the new logo prominently featuring Coach Joel Quenneville’s iconic mustache and shared the audience’s “Cup faces” after the win throughout social media. WKQX program director PJ comments, “We’re proud to salute the Blackhawks for their amazing three-time Stanley Cup win. 101WCoachQX is honoring the team by continuing to play the altern– correction: HAWKternative music that our audience loves.”