Tag: "Brian Phelps"

Friday, September 14, 2012

| September 14, 2012

More August PPM Reports – Markets 41-52.  In New Jersey (Middlesex-Somerset-Union), the trailblazing WKXW (New Jersey 101.5), Trenton inches up to 5.7 after three consecutive months at 5.6.  It is the fourth consecutive month that the Townsquare Media property has been at #1….In Providence, Cumulus CHR WPRO (92-PRO FM) jumps to 11.4.  The station has been #1 or tied for #1 for eight straight months….In Raleigh, country WQDR claims the top position.  Top gainer: Curtis Media Group‘s adult hits WBBB (Radio 96.1) moves from #9 to #5 in the market…..In Norfolk, Entercom holds #1 and #2 with WVKL and rhythmic CHR WNVZ (Z104).  Top gainer: Max Media‘s country WGH-FM (Eagle)….In Nashville, seven of top nine stations experience July-august fluctuations of at least 1/2 share…. In Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, Entercom (#1,#2, #3 #6) and Clear Channel control the top six.  Urban AC WQMG makes it six straight months at #1….In West Palm Beach, none of the 15 facilities listed has a month gain or loss greeters than six-tenths…..In Jacksonville, Cox Media talker WOKV is #1 for the third straight month sharing the lead with CC urban contemporary WJBT (The Beat)…..In Memphis, CC’s urban AC KJMS (V101.1) has been #1 in every one of the market’s 23 PPM-based monthly reports….CBS Radio‘s AC WRCH (Lite 100.5) remains #1 for the 12th consecutive month.  For complete listings and Mike Kinosian’s analysis click here.

Banner Day on Wall Street; Mixed Results for Radio Stocks.  While the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 206 points to 13,539 – a high not seen since December, 2007, not everybody had the stellar day Wall Street had on Thursday following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of QE3.  Both Emmis Communications and Radio One stock fell over 2% and Arbitron shares were fractionally lower while shares of Cumulus, Entravision and Spanish Broadcasting Systems were flat.  Among the radio winners on Wall Street were Sirius XM, Beasley Broadcast Group and CBS, the parent of CBS Radio, which were all up over 2%.  The big radio stock winner was Entercom which surged 7% on just average daily volume.  Entercom also announced they promoted regional VP Michael Doyle to regional president, now in charge of radio stations in Buffalo and Rochester.  Doyle also oversees Entercom stations in Gainesville, Florida, Indianapolis, Memphis, Wichita, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  Shares of Entercom still have a long way to go to reach their all-time closing high of $66.56, reached in January, 2000.  However, if you bought Entercom on October 27, 2008 when the price plummeted to just 67 cents, your investment increased more than 10-fold.  You can see a list of radio company stocks here.

Former KLOS, Los Angeles Hosts Mark and Brian Enter Podcasting Realm.  Brian Phelps and co-host Jill Whelan (pictured here) are first out of the gate as they debuted their podcast this week.  The Orange County Register’s Gary Lycan reports the podcasts are about 50 minutes in length and are available at the brianandjillshow.com domain as well as via Stitcher and iTunes.  Meanwhile Mark Thompson tells Lycan his and his wife Lynda’s podcast should debut October 22 at markandlynda.us.  In an e-mail to Lycan, Thompson writes, “But I also have been doing a video podcast with Sam Farmer who covers the NFL for the L.A. Times.  We chat for about 30 minutes each Friday about the upcoming weekend of football and then again on Monday to recap the weekend of action.  This has been huge on the website.  My guys love their football and Sam lives the NFL and is a great guy so our video chats are just two guys who love football talking about stuff that excites us.”

The New Jersey Broadcasters Association Goes to DC.  NJBA president Paul Rotella reports to RadioInfo that he met with the FCC commissioners in DC this week while stumping on Capitol Hill to reinforce their message about the foolishness of Congressman Nadler’s Performance Tax Bill. Rotella states, “For the first time in a long time, we now have a full complement of FCC Commissioners seated and it is important for them to remember the special circumstances in which Garden State broadcasters operate.  The NJBA is very fortunate to have a great working relationship with the FCC, especially the Media Bureau, which is very important to our membership.  We also work very closely with the FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and law enforcement in maintaining a strong Emergency Alert System (EAS).”  Rotella states the NJBA played a key role in facilitating last year’s first-ever national EAS test. During this year’s State Leadership Conference, a delegation from the NJBA including Rotella, NJBA Chairman Bob Dunphy (Clear Channel, New Jersey) and Vice Chairman Scott Taylor (Star 99.1), met with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and key staff on the eighth floor.  RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison, upon attending and speaking at the recent annual NJBA convention in Atlantic City states, “Not only am I impressed by the tremendous job the NJBA and its president Paul Rotella are doing, but spending time up close with these good folks gave me a whole new insight and understanding about the diversity, professionalism and sheer quality of the radio industry in New Jersey.”

Premiere Networks Inks Sales Rep. Deal with Listener Driven Radio.   The software-based service that allows listeners to vote on the music they hear on their favorite radio station will be repped by Premiere Networks beginning in January.  Listener Drive RadioLDR – is a patent-pending software that allows audiences to collaborate in minute-by-minute programming and is designed to tie directly into a radio station’s automation system and music scheduler.  It lets listeners vote and affect live and automated playlists in real time, all within the rules set by the radio station’s program director.  Listeners vote and participate from their web browser, mobile, or tablet device.  Listeners can also sign up for “instant alerts” by SMS, Twitter, or e-mail when their favorite songs are going to play.  LDR president Daniel Anstandig states, “The team at Premiere Networks is an undisputed leader in the industry.  Premiere’s portfolio is an A-List of talent and services, and it’s a sincere honor to work with Julie Talbott and her team in developing and affiliating services that add a valuable interactive dimension to broadcast programming and sales.”

Trip Savery Upped to VP/General Manager at Greater Media Charlotte.  Director of sales Trip Savery is promoted to the vice president and general manager position at Greater Media’s Charlotte cluster that includes news/talk WBT-AM/FM and personality AC WLNK.  Savery joined Greater Media in March of 2010.  He’ll continue to perform director of sales duties and will now serve as acting market manager under senior vice president and general manager Rick Feinblatt who says of Savery, “Trip’s outstanding performance as DOS of Greater Media Charlotte has earned him this well-deserved promotion.”

Clear Channel Moves Stan Priest to Philly for WIOQ PD Post.  Programmer Stan Priest has been with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment at its Connecticut group programming CHR WKSS, Hartford (“Kiss 95 Hottest Hits”) and WKCI-FM, New Haven (“Hit Musik 101”).  Now he becomes the PD at WIOQ, Philadelphia (“Q102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music”) and he’ll also be digital program director for the cluster’s six stations.  He takes over for Tim Herbster who was promoted to VP/special program projects for Clear Channel’s National Programming Platforms.

Clear Channel Flips WROO, Greenville, South Carolina to Classic Rock.  The former contemporary Christian “Shine 96.7” becomes a classic rock outlet named “96.7 The Road.”  The station debuted using talent from other Clear Channel stations including the company’s Jim Kerr at WAXQ, New York whose show was piped in from the Big Apple on Thursday morning.  WROO was a rock outlet before flipping to the contemporary Christian format almost five years ago.

Morning Show Ousted at Cox Media’s Hip Hop WBHJ, Birmingham.  The morning drive trio of Roy Wood, Jr., Nu York and B-Money tells WBRC-TV, Birmingham they found out they’d been let go from the hip hop outlet via Facebook and Twitter.  WBHJ (“95.7 Jamz”) is on the block and Wood, Jr. tells the TV station, “I suspect with the station being up for sale maybe they’re doing this to cut salary and make it more lucrative to a potential buyer…Local radio has been a part of the Birmingham urban radio scene for almost 20 years.  Now if they’re going to cancel our show and bring in syndicated…not to knock a syndicated show but it’s TV dinner vs. homecooked.  They cannot take local radio from the city.”

Arbitron and comScore to Follow the Audience for All Media.  Listening to the radio while using your iPad and watching TV while Tweeting and checking sports scores on your smartphone makes it a challenge to track your use of media and advertising.  ESPN, Arbitron and comScore plan to sort that all out when they announce a joint venture next week to measure consumption across five platforms: radio, television, mobile phones, tablets and your desktop PC.  Using the audience resource information from comScore’s census and panel-based PC, mobile and TV set-top box capabilities and Arbitron’s PPM technology, ESPN’s audience(s) will be tracked on a continuing basis developing a service that would be available one day industry-wide.  comScore’s desktop panel includes a million people, along with set-top boxes in several million homes according to company spokesman Andrew Lipsman. Arbitron’s Portable People Meter technology covers 70,000 opt-in people across the country.  Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN Global Customer Market and Sales, says making the measurement of the audience more complete makes the advertising more effective which is a win for all parties involved.  Arbitron EVP/new product innovation Manish Bhatia states, “ESPN initiated this effort and helped bring Arbitron and comScore together with the goal of advancing the cross-platform research from a special project to a standing industry-wide practice.  This solution blends the depth of insights that comes from a single-source panel – it’s an ideal marriage of the available data sources.”  The three companies are revealing details on the project during a series of events at the Advertising Week in New York event which starts October 1.

Killer Endorsement Spots: Advertisers’ (and your) Best Buds.  Consultant Holland Cooke says the best way radio can fight the competition for ad dollars (Google, Pandora, et al) is for personalities – talk hosts and jocks – to use the credibility and relationships they’ve built up to their advantage.  Cooke says, “Radio is an intimate medium, with decades of cred’ to the two generations which control most retail spending.  So the local DJs and talkers who will survive the ongoing bloodbath do so by being more than just voices.  Properly applied, the trust you have earned with listeners can sell-sell-sell, in a way that makes Arbitron numbers irrelevant.”  How to do that?  Holland has some suggestions.  Read his piece here.

Wheeler in the Morning Goes to Crosstown Rock CITI, Winnipeg.  In a follow up to yesterday’s RadioInfo story about morning jock Dave Wheeler and co-hosts Rena and Philly leaving Corus Entertainment’s CJKR, Winnipeg (“Power 97”) after being unable to come to contract terms, the trio has a new gig at Rogers Radio’s crosstown rocker CITI.  Wheeler in the Morning is bumping Tom McGouran and Joe Aiello from the morning show on CITI but the Winnipeg Daily News reports Aiello will land on Rogers’ Winnipeg sister “102.3 Clear FM.”

August Sports Scoreboard.  Sports talk radio is one of radio’s hottest formats right now.  It has the kind of listener engagement that advertisers crave, it brings adult men with disposable income to the table and its content focuses on one of the hottest aspects of American pop culture in the early 21st century – professional sports.  Sports as a radio moneymaker is evidenced by the recent launching of not one but two new players in national sports talk content – CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports RadioRadioInfo managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian has taken a look at the ratings of 40 of America’s sports talk outlets and compiled them in this “scoreboard-style” feature.  Check out the rankings in Kinosian’s piece here.

FCC Broadcast Actions.  Voluntary assignment of license of WFGW-AM, Black Mountain, North Carolina, from Blue Ridge Broadcasting Corp. to Humberto Martinez and Margarita Del Rosario Toth; WWWI, Baxter, Minnesota, and WWWI-FM, Pillager, Minnesota, from Tower Broadcasting Corp. to Red Rock Radio Corp.; and WFZX (“The Fox”), Anniston, Alabama, and WTDR-FM, Talladega, Alabama, from Jacobs Broadcast Group, Inc., to The Jeff Beck Broadcasting Group, LLC., which owns two more AMs in Alabama.

Affiliate Roundup.  Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated country show “The Big D and Bubba Show” and “Big D and Bubba’s Weekend Wake-Up” get added to affiliates KVBL, Portland; WWKT, Charleston, South Carolina; and WEFX, Watertown, New York…..Premiere’s Bob & Tom join the programming lineup at KTHU, Chico, California.

Monday, August 20, 2012

| August 20, 2012 | Comments (0)

Heidi and Frank Return to the Terrestrial Airwaves in Los Angeles.  Cumulus Media names Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer the new morning show on KLOS, Los Angeles, taking over for Mark & Brian beginning September 4.  Brian Phelps surprised the industry last week announcing he would also be leaving the Cumulus classic rocker at the same time Mark Thompson would, although Thompson made his decision to retire public earlier this summer.  Cumulus COO John Dickey told RadioInfo over the weekend that Brian Phelps was “part of a large consideration pool” of candidates for the new morning program.  In announcing “The Heidi and Frank Show,” Dickey states, “After a long and thoughtful search which overwhelmed us with great, established talent and new talent waiting to be discovered both in and out of radio, I couldn’t be more pleased with the selection of ‘The Heidi and Frank Show’ to continue on the tradition that Mark and Brian set in place with 25 years of Hall of Fame radio.”  Hamilton and Kramer have been producing an internet radio show since CBS Radio shut down talk KLSX, Los Angeles in a format flip.  The Frosty, Heidi and Frank program (will Frosty Stillwell) aired there successfully for years.  Prior to that Hamilton and Kramer hosted the morning show at crosstown Hot AC KYSR.   On the new gig, Heidi Hamilton states, “KLOS is rock.  KLOS is the definitive iconic rock radio station in the world.  It’s one of those stations that evokes a feel good emotion while you’re driving in your car.  I’m beyond honored that Frank Kramer and I have been invited to become a part of something so legendary!  The ‘Heidi and Frank Show’ fans are second to NONE and I know they will be with us on this long fun ride together.”  Frank Kramer comments, “If it would have been any other station than KLOS, I would have said no.  We have a huge following across the world and only a station as large and iconic as KLOS could lure us back to radio.  To be given this opportunity is an honor and a privilege.  With the continued support from my partner, Heidi Hamilton, and the fans that never left us, and the fans waiting for us to return, the next 25 years are going to be one hell of a ride.”

 Rock Radio at Crucial Juncture Between in its Rich History and Still Viable Future.  Programming a rock radio station in 2012 is a challenging task. The rewards can still be great but the pitfalls are many.  With an array of musical possibilities that spans multiple decades (even a couple of centuries) and a listener demographic time-line that literally includes hip grandparents and their digital-era children of all ages, one needs first-hand knowledge of the terrain and an accurate compass to embark on the programming journey to substantial and sustainable success.  RadioInfo launches an extensive multi-part series today titled “The State of Rock Radio” that will run in information-packed daily installments throughout this week and into next presenting a probing analysis of this gigantic region of the radio industry.  Experts and front-line practitioners from all sectors of rock radio including Fred Jacobs, Steve Goldstein, Lee Abrams, Tom Yates, Darryl Wayne, Maria Milito, Dave Beasing , Bob Buchman, Allen Shaw and more contribute material to this must-read piece researched and written by RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Check out today’s opening chapter here.

 The Other Morning Shoe Drops at KLOS as Brian Phelps Says Adios.  The surprise (to many) and sudden exit Friday by Brian Phelps of the KLOS, Los Angeles  “Mark & Brian” morning show has some industry observers speculating that there might be more than meets the eye to Mark Thompson’s  earlier telegraphed and more-heralded departure.   Was the whole thing very possibly all about money?  Perhaps Cumulus Media’s new contract offer to Mark Thompson in today’s belt-tightening climate played a bigger role in his decision than the good-natured veteran let on when he told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s just time…guys my age are dropping dead. There are other things I want to do.”  The Friday (8/16) program that was billed as the farewell show for Mark Thompson turned out to be the last shift for his on-air partner Brian Phelps as well.  Thompson is now off to his new life in North Carolina while Phelps is reportedly teaming up with actress/entertainer Jill Whelan to do a series of podcasts at brianandjillshow.com.  Whelan was recently a talk show host at WPHT, Philadelphia.  Thompson will also be heading to the internet and podcasting with his wife and three adult children at markandlynda.us. Finishing a quarter-century run, the “Mark & Brian” show exits as the current longest running morning show in Los Angeles.  RadioInfo caught up with Cumulus COO John Dickey over the weekend who stood behind Thompson’s account of his reason for leaving the show adding, “ I thank Mark for giving us the certainty to begin this search and process in earnest months and months ago – speaks volumes to Mark’s decision to paint on another canvas.”  Regarding Phelps, Dickey did not deny the host’s position was changed with Thompson out of the equation stating, “With respect to Brian he was part of a large consideration pool for the next chapter in rock’s most iconic brand.  The decision, which will be announced very soon, was made after a long and thoughtful process.”  Oh, something else Dickey says has the RadioInfo editors wondering if the multi-talented Thompson (who has dabbled in a bit of movie acting in his time) is only going to be focusing on his podcasts in the near future:  “My only comment on Mark is that he is as committed to his movie career as I’m sure he once was to his radio show.”

More Radio Talent are Becoming Entrepreneurs…and some are doing it kicking and screaming, while others embrace the feeling of independence and potential opportunity that comes with it.  An informal in-house TALKERS magazine survey of radio stations and syndication companies conducted over the past two years indicates that the combination of new technology and difficult economic conditions are fueling this trend.  The traditional employer/employee relationship between talent and platform provider is increasingly being replaced by independent contractor deals with many air personalities – even at major market heritage stations – operating as the principals of their own production companies.  Within this new paradigm, on-air performers are responsible for their own health care, make lower salaries, and have shorter-term commitments from their “employers.”  In return, they are granted the flexibility of working from home, broadcasting different shifts to other out of town stations and receiving revenue sharing deals on their shows and related intellectual property.

Leno Takes a Pay Cut.  Since we are on the topic of broadcast talents facing pay cuts, the story broken yesterday (8/19) by CNN that NBC television star talker Jay Leno of the Tonight Show has agreed to accept a significant pay decrease to help the company deal with growing expenses and shrinking revenue has eyebrows raising throughout the broadcasting industry.  In addition, NBC is still axing about 20 Tonight Show support staffers.  Leno reported took the cut to protect even more of the show’s “little people” from receiving pink slips.  You can be sure this provocative and unfortunate bit of news will reverberate around the conference rooms of radio stations as new talent contracts come up for renewal.


(Speaking of Entrepreneurism) Premiere Networks Founder Steve Lehman is Developing a Radio Talk Show for Syndication Aimed at Entrepreneurs…and it is already getting traction in Los Angeles on KFWB weekdays 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The show is called “Business Rock Stars” and it is hosted by well-known entrepreneur Ken Rutkowski. The voice over announcer for the show is Joe Cipriano (voice of Fox and CBS).  Program partner Steve Lehman tells RadioInfo that the show, which launched two months ago, is doing very well on KFWB where they are polishing every aspect of it to make it truly special and ready for a national roll out in the near future.  The program focuses on starting and building a business and presents some of the world’s most successful CEOs as well as accomplished small business owners as guests.  The program is being designed for multi-platform content distribution.  A glass enclosed studio is being designed and built in a highly trafficked Southern California location to house the show and its related seminars.  It is being outfitted with three video cameras for streaming content.  In addition, Lehman tells RadioInfo,  “We have a great strategic tie in with Entrepreneur Magazine and will be broadcasting the Entrepreneur of the year awards live from Dallas. Additionally, we are working with Entrepreneur on their Franchise 500 issue. We are going to give away a franchise on the air!”

Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Sets October 20 Induction in Macon.  For the first time in its six year history, the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame is moving its induction ceremony (set for October 20) out of Atlanta.  This year’s event will be taking place in Macon.  The organization’s president, John Long, who many of you will remember from KRUX, Phoenix and WAPE, Jacksonville, tells RadioInfo, “We have struggled from the beginning to make this the GEORGIA Radio Hall of Fame.  While 48% of our membership is from the seven county metro Atlanta area, that leaves a lot of radio stations and even more radio people in the state who deserve recognition.  The members in Macon and Macon board member Ben Sandifer lobbied for the event to come there and veteran Georgia radio people have responded.  It is going to be a great evening and ticket sales indicate it will come close to being another sellout.”  RadioInfo asked Long to describe the philosophy and mission behind the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.  His compelling response:  “‘Radio people’ used to be considered big deals by their friends, families, and listeners. The changes in radio programming and technology have taken the focus away from people leaving many veterans with nothing more than scrapbooks and reel to reel tapes of radio from days gone by. When Sam Hale and I started the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, we were two guys who were fortunate enough to have worked in, what many call, the glory days of radio. The late Larry Shannon founded the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2002 for many of the same reasons; to honor the men and women who made radio magic. Larry and Kent Burkhart were invaluable in helping us form our organization. All the work done by our group is volunteer. When someone asks me what I get out of it, the answer is: watching the families of our Legacy inductees brimming with pride when we recognize their dad, mom, brother, or sister; seeing our Career Achievement inductees smiling ear to ear when we put the medallion around their neck. We want to make sure that their contributions are not forgotten.”   Long continues, “Another important part of our mission is preserving the rich heritage of Georgia radio since March 15, 1922, when the state’s first station, WSB, signed on the air. One of our founding board members, Mike Kavanagh, began wsbhistory.com. When Mike passed away he left the site to the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame with one request: preserve it. This year we partnered with Georgia State University to achieve that goal.  In 2013, we will work on a project with them to guarantee preservation, access, and continuity of the history of radio in Georgia, including inductees into The Georgia Radio Hall of  Fame.”  To learn more visit www.grhof.com.

WOWO, Fort Wayne Names Woody Zimmerman OM.  Federated Media announces Woody Zimmerman takes over the operations manager post at the company’s heritage news/talk outlet WOWO, Fort Wayne.  Zimmerman has held various programming roles over the span of his career with Federated Media and, previous to working for Federated, Zimmerman was a TV news assignment editor.  Federated Media Fort Wayne market manager Jim Allgeier says, “Woody’s sense of urgency, organizational skills, attention to detail and work ethic make him uniquely qualified to take on the complex job of programming a news talk station.  The talents and skills Woody has demonstrated as a programmer will transfer quickly as he takes on the assignment of programming a news/talk station for the first time.”  Allgeier thanks outgoing OM Gregg Henson for his work with the station and especially his contribution to the launch of their Fan Sports Brand in Northern Indiana.

Denver Radio Legend Charley Martin Dies.  Denver radio fans are remembering longtime KHOW morning drive co-host Charley Martin, who passed away on August 17 at age 67 after a long illness.  Martin had been in hospice care in Phoenix for some time.  Martin co-hosted the “Hal and Charley” show on KHOW beginning in 1976 – a program that would air on the station until 1995 when the station took a more serious news/talk turn.  Denver Post television critic Joanne Ostrow quotes Denver media watchers in her obit who note that the duo of Martin and Hal Moore ruled Denver radio during an era when “humorous DJs” were the order of the day.  The duo garnered enormous ratings and had the honor of their program’s audio being heard on the radio during a scene in the 1980 movie “The Shining.”