Hubbard Radio Officially Names McNeil and McMurray WDRV, Chicago Morning Hosts. The rumor of this pairing of Chicago radio personalities was reported by Windy City media writer Robert Feder last week but now Hubbard Radio makes it official, saying the Dan McNeil and Pete McMurray show will debut on classic rock WDRV “The Drive” in early March, replacing the retiring Steve Downes. Dan McNeil is, of course, a well-known sports talk personality in the market who comes to “The Drive” after a long stint with CBS RADIO’s WSCR which ended last June. Pete McMurray is currently evening host on Tribune’s news/talk WGN. In a press statement, Hubbard Chicago’s VP and market manager John Gallagher comments, “We are all very excited to bring two well-known Chicago personalities together with one iconic rock brand. ‘The Drive’ has maintained a dominant classic rock position in the market for many years. The departure of Steve Downes offered us the opportunity to reevaluate our mission and once again bring something unique to mornings.”
PPM Stats Are Forthcoming. January ratings information for Nielsen Audio’s 48 PPM markets will be released later today (Tuesday, 2/17) and we anticipate that the great majority of the more than three-dozen facilities that registered double-figures (6+) in the “Holiday” 2014 survey will return to single-digits. Most are adult contemporary outlets that transitioned to all-Christmas music between (roughly) Thanksgiving to Christmas Day. Led by iHeartMedia‘s adult contemporary outlet in Portland, the top ten (6+) share leaders from “Holiday” 2014 are: KKCW, Portland 18.1; KSFI, Salt Lake City 17.9; WEJZ, Jacksonville 17.9; WMJX, Boston 16.5; WMAG, Greensboro 16.1; KQQL, Minneapolis 15.3; WWLI, Providence 15.2; WRCH, Hartford 15.2; WBEB, Philadelphia 15.1; and WLIF, Baltimore 14.6. Finishing 11-20 are: KESZ, Phoenix 14.3; WLIT, Chicago 14.2; WJXA, Nashville 14.1; WWSW, Pittsburgh 14.0; WRAL, Raleigh 14.0; WNIC, Detroit 13.7; WYXB, Indianapolis 13.7; WASH, Washington, DC 13.6; WLTW, New York 13.5; and KSNE, Las Vegas 13.2. The next ten (21-30) are: WDUV, Tampa 13.0; WMGF, Orlando 12.8; KODA, Houston 12.5; WVKL, Norfolk 12.5; KOSI, Denver 12.4; WLTW, Middlesex 12.4; KOST, Los Angeles 12.2; WRIT, Milwaukee 12.2; WRVR, Memphis 11.5; and WRRM, Cincinnati 11.2. Remaining stations that hit double-digits (6+) in the “Holiday” 2014 report are: WDOK, Cleveland 11.1; KRWM, Seattle 10.7; KOIT-FM, San Francisco 10.6; WALK-FM, Long Island 10.6; WKQC, Charlotte 10.5; WLW, Cincinnati 10.3; and KQXT, San Antonio 10.0. All of the above are FM music outlets, with the exception of Cincinnati AM talker WLW. The first of four installments of RadioInfo‘s exclusive “Top Ten Takeaways” from the January 2015 results will be posted tomorrow (Wednesday, 2/18).
WWMX, Baltimore Personality Maria Dennis Successfully Battles Leukemia. The story of CBS RADIO jock Maria Dennis beating leukemia was featured recently on WJZ-TV, Baltimore. Dennis is the midday personality on adult contemporary WWMX, Baltimore “Mix 106.5.” It was less than a year ago that Dennis was diagnosed with leukemia. After chemotherapy treatment and a bone marrow transplant, she’s been given a cancer-free diagnosis. See the WJZ-TV story here.
RadioInfo Career Moves. Hit radio pro Lisa Paige is hosting a new syndicated CHR radio show being offered by Townsquare Media and its PopCrush.com brand. In addition to airing live in the evenings (7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET) on 38 Townsquare Media stations and via the company’s mobile app, it will be made available to other stations by Compass Media Networks. It’s being described as featuring “the hottest new pop music, as well as…trending entertainment and music information.”…..Denny More is hanging up his headphones after a long radio career, the last seven years of which have been spent co-hosting the morning show at Telemedia’s country WGRX, Fredericksburg, Virginia. His last day will be May 29.
Corporate Promotions at Cherry Creek Radio. At the corporate level, Cherry Creek Radio announces eight promotions that affect its 55 O&O stations in 15 Western U.S. markets. Moving up from regional director of sales to EVP and regional manager are: Kelley Cheatwood, John Craft, and Ron Korb. Group PD Bob Guerra rises to EVP/director of programming. Rita Calvin adds EVP stripes to her controller position. Travis Cronen is now VP/director of operations & IT; Ken Eklund is upped to VP of engineering, and Mary Sims becomes VP/director of accounting. Cherry Creek Radio president and CEO Joe Schwartz comments, “With our new financial structure in place and with the many plans we have to grow the company, I feel it was important to recognize these eight individuals for the outstanding work they have done for the company over their tenure at Cherry Creek Radio. Each of these promotions are for employees who have been with the company for at least eight years or more.”
Futuri Media Awarded Patents for Instant Alert and Listener Driven Radio. Calling it a “milestone for the company,” Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig announces the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to him and the company’s chief technical officer Brian Seeders for its “Instant Alert” and Listener Driven Radio (LDR) technology. In a press release, Futuri Media says the patent describes a broad range of methods related to Listener Driven™ programming, including Instant Alerts, where listeners can receive e-mail, SMS text, and tweets moments before their favorite songs play on the air. This is also one of several U.S. and foreign patents and pending patent applications held by the company that describes and protects its unique interactive mobile and social apps. Anstandig comments, “Futuri has invested a significant amount in R&D related to interactive broadcasting as well as social and mobile technology for local broadcasters. The issuance of this patent is a milestone for our company and our many innovative broadcast partners, who have used this and our other technologies to drive ratings and revenue since the company’s launch in 2009.” Futuri CIO Brian Parsons adds, “Protection of our team’s innovations is critical. Our goal is to shape the future of media with social and mobile technology that makes it possible for consumers to embrace and personalize their favorite media brands. Whether it’s an interactive playlist, alerts for your favorite songs, a feature-rich mobile app, or social monitoring, we’re striving to create easy-to-use platforms that deliver innovative and proprietary high value for our partners.”
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 and Matt James from WKLC, St. Albans, West Virginia “Rock 105”; internet sensation the Iceman; and rock jock “Zip” (aka Ryan Zipperian) of WAMX, Huntington, West Virginia “X106.3,” 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 (2/11) includes such names as: Madonna, Taylor Swift, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Olly Murs, Travie McCoy, Gym Class Heroes, Andy Grammer, AronChupa, George Ezra, Rick Astley, Tori Kelly, Hunter Hayes, Who Is Fancy, Laura Doggett, One Direction, Death Cab for Cutie, AWOLNATION, POP ETC, Rhiannon Giddens, Iron & Wine, Willamena, Matchbox 20, Dexter Freebish, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Incubus, Marilyn Manson, Qiet, Robert Earl Keen, Kari Kimmel, Mo Pitney, Jillian Kohr, Michael Ray, J. Tex and the Volunteers, Black Mountain Shine, Hardwell, Harrison, Tough Love, and Lion Babe, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Emmis Wins Round One Against ‘Big Boy’; Court Grants TRO. In the intensely watched legal battle going on between air personality Kurt Alexander, a.k.a. Big Boy, and employer Emmis, the radio company has won the first round by securing a temporary restraining order preventing Big Boy from going to work for iHeartMedia’s KHHT, Los Angeles while the case makes its way through the courts. Obviously, Emmis is seeking a permanent injunction (plus damages) preventing Big Boy from going to iHM’s crosstown outlet. Emmis alleges Big Boy is violating the clause in his contract that gives Emmis the right to match competing offers. After receiving an offer from iHM to work in Los Angeles, Emmis matched the offer to keep him at KPWR, Los Angeles, but Big Boy informed Emmis he wishes to leave anyway. The next step is a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for March 3.
Kruz Adds WZFT PD Duties. One-name WZFT “Z-104.3,” Baltimore assistant program director and afternoon drive talent Kruz is promoted to program director of the iHeartMedia CHR. He will continue doing his daily 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm “Z-104.3″ air-shift. Vice president of programming Meg Stevens (who programs iHM Washington, DC country WMZQ) comments that, “Kruz is an exceptional on-air talent and leader. He is the perfect choice to lead ‘Z-104.3.'” According to Kruz, “I could not be more excited to expand my role at ‘Z-104.3′ and take the next step in my career. The iHeartMedia team in Baltimore is first-class and I look forward to leading [WZFT] to the next level of success.” Prior to joining WZFT, Kruz did nights for iHeartMedia Washington, DC CHR WIHT “Hot 99.5.” In addition, he has worked at CBS Radio Cleveland hot AC WQAL “Q-104″ as well as Cumulus Media Detroit outlets WDRQ and WDVD.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder is reporting that Hubbard Radio will replace the retiring Steve Downes with the duo of Dan McNeil and Pete McMurray in the morning drive slot on classic rock WDRV, Chicago “The Drive.” Feder reports that McNeil (formerly of sports talk WSCR) and McMurray (current WGN evening personality) will team up for the “McMorning Show.”
SU’s WJPZ, Syracuse to Hold 30th Annual Birthday Banquet. Alumni of Syracuse University’s student-operated CHR outlet WJPZ will gather on February 28 for the station’s 30th Annual Birthday Banquet. The WJPZ Alumni Association says that nearly 100 alumni and students will attend the evening celebration, which marks the 30th year of WJPZ on the FM band. iHeartMedia SVP of programming Jon Zellner will deliver the keynote address. Stephen Donovan (Class of ’95), morning host at WWLI-FM, Providence will emcee the event. During the weekend the Alumni Association will induct the 7th class into the WJPZ Hall of Fame. The inductees are: Eric Fitch (’85), now chief engineer at Entercom Boston. He was instrumental in getting the station onto the FM dial; Scott MacFarlane (’98), now investigative reporter for WRC-TV and NBC in Washington, DC. He served as producer for the Alumni Association’s documentary “Greatest Media Classroom” on the history of the station and also served on the Association’s board of directors. WJPZ Alumni Association president Josh Wolff states, “WJPZ is billed as The Greatest Media Classroom and with good reason: The scores of talented individuals who have graced its halls are simply unparalleled. Once again, this weekend unites students, alumni, and leaders in the industry to celebrate the past, present, and future of WJPZ.”
Duane Doobie’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters including this week, Tom Yates, KOZT, Fort Bragg, CA; Bayley Brown, WKLC, Charleston, WV; The Iceman; and Bill Phipps, WSIG, Mt. Jackson, VA; 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 (11/12) includes such names as: Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, Kevin Kadish, Hoodie Allen, Ed Sheeran, Hozier, Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, Slipknot, Weezer, Decemberists, Tove Lo, Lenny Kravitz, Papa Roach, Gunhill Road, Rodney Atkins, Maddie & Tae, Ronnie Fauss, Rhett Miller, North Country Flyers, Lorde, Kanye West, Mike Posner, Eau Claire, and Charlie Darker, among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
WXRT, Chicago’s John Farneda Calls it a Career. Announcing his retirement from CBS RADIO’s triple A WXRT, Chicago is operations manager and music director John Farneda. He’s been with the station since beginning as an intern in the early 1980s and has served in numerous roles with the station – including producing the ONXRT: Live from the Archives CD series culled from exclusive WXRT live performances that benefits local charities. Farneda wrote in a memo to fellow staffers: “I realized that I have achieved all my goals at the radio station and it is now time to set new ones. In 2015, I look forward to exploring new adventures in the music industry. I hope to share my decades of programming experience with friends wanting to innovate and entertain. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy some well-deserved time off by traveling and spending more time with friends and loved ones.” His last day is November 26.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Adding new duties in Rochester for iHeartMedia is A.J., who is now program director for the company’s hot AC WDVI “100.5 The Drive.” He’s been PD and afternoon personality at CHR WKGS, Rochester “Kiss 106.7” and the company’s Syracuse CHR WWHT “Hot 107.9.” He will continue in the programming role for WKGS and WWHT…..Matt Stone is the new APD and evening personality at Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned alternative XETRA, San Diego “91X.” Stone recently worked in the market at Compass Radio Group’s crosstown triple A KPRI as PD and afternoon host…..Erik Deatherage is leaving his morning show gig at Towson University-owned triple A WTMD, Baltimore to move to Fargo to start a family. The station is beginning a search for his replacement.
WMMS, Cleveland’s Rover Sets Up Fundraiser for Former Producer’s Family. Former producer of the “Rover’s Morning Glory” program on rock/talk hybrid WMMS, Cleveland – Rob Garguilo – exited that show recently to take a similar position with WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta program. Tragedy entered his life as his girlfriend Sarah and the couple’s children, 5-year-old Ben and five-week-old Serena were hit by a car while crossing a Largo, Florida street. The three are in critical condition in a Tampa hospital and Garguilo Tweets that Serena is on life support with no signs of brain activity. Now, Shane “Rover” French has set up a GoFundMe.com donation page to assist the family of his former producer. As of Wednesday morning, almost $18,000 has been raised for the family.
What Listeners Will Find Under the Tree. Each year, radio consultant Holland Cooke spends a week in early January in Las Vegas attending and reporting back to RadioInfo readers about the technology being displayed at the massive Consumer Electronics Show. 2015 will be no different and recently Cooke was in New York for the annual preview show called CES/Unveiled. He writes that the top five wish-list items for this holiday season are (in order): tablets, notebook computers, TVs, smartphones, and video game consoles. Find out more of what’s being touted as big consumer electronics spending decisions during the next year here.
Tough Q3 for Radio One as Radio Division Posts Net Revenue Decline of 8.1%. The company as a whole saw net revenue dip 5.3% but the radio division alone was hit worse as net revenue sank 8.1% compared to the same period a year ago on $112.2 million in net revenue. Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins comments, “Our radio business experienced a very soft quarter. We had a perfect storm of weak market revenues and soft ratings in our four largest markets, and political revenues were less than anticipated. We had some ratings challenges in Washington DC, Baltimore and Atlanta in addition to the new competitor in Houston. Management has taken steps to remedy these issues, including a format change in Houston from news to classic hip hop. The initial ratings for our new station, ‘Boom 92,’ are extremely encouraging, and should mean we reverse the annual $1.5 million of losses that we were incurring on the news format. Outside our top four markets, radio revenues for the third quarter were +1.5% against a flat market. Overall Q4 radio revenue is currently pacing 1.9% and I believe we will have positive momentum going into the New Year. Reach Media experienced a similarly weak third quarter, but is performing better in 4th quarter, consistent with the radio division.”
Dawg Gone. For the second time, “American Idol” judge-turned-mentor Randy Jackson says he is leaving the Fox singing competition, although this time he really intends to do so. In May 2013, Jackson – whose catch phrases include calling everyone “dawg” – indicated he would be departing. Several months later though, it was revealed he was staying on to coach the contestants; he succeeded Jimmy Iovine in that role. In a statement, Jackson notes, “After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave. I am proud to have been a part of a series that discovered some incredible artists and will go down in history as one of the most successful television shows ever. A true original, ‘Idol’ started it all. Onto what is next.” The show’s producers Fox, FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment write that, “Randy has been such an integral part of ‘American Idol’ since day one, both as a judge and as a mentor. He has provided great advice and support, shaping the success of so many ‘Idols’ we have discovered over the years. We wish him all the best in his next chapter. Randy will always be part of our family and we hope he will visit from time to time.” It is widely believed that “Idol” host (and KIIS, Los Angeles “Kiss-FM” morning talent) Ryan Seacrest is returning, as are judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr.
Vance Joy Does Special Show for WDVD, Detroit and Select Fans. It was a special pre-concert show for Vance Joy fans who won tickets to his Detroit appearance from Cumulus Media’s CHR WDVD as morning hosts Blaine and Allyson invited them to an in-studio event. Those lucky listeners got to meet Vance Joy, hear an exclusive acoustic set and take pictures with the Aussie star. He’s pictured here (center) with Blaine (left) and Allyson (right).
“Music Industry Reunion New York” a Smash! After two successful Music Industry Reunions in Los Angeles over the past couple of years, organizer (and music industry promotional icon) Jon Scott responded to numerous requests and “took the party to New York.” The result was an extraordinary, emotion-packed event that drew more than 200 prominent music industry and radio friends to Manhattan’s Hill Country Barbecue this past Wednesday evening (10/15). Some of the folks that attended are retired giants of the business, some seasoned legends still vigorously playing an active role in the industry, and a number of young up-and-comers that showed up to share the good cheer as well as the priceless knowledge and wisdom packed into the room. In the words of Scott, “It was a non-stop hug-fest!” (Pictured here at right are music business legends Johnny Barbis, and Ron Alexenburg, right.) Throughout the weepy, huggy, kissy, happy, and yappy evening, a number of participants took to the stage to say a few words of tribute to and about each other and express the powerful sentiments that permeated the festivities. One of the speeches that resonated with the crowd big-time was delivered by Paul “Rap” Rappaport — former Columbia Records exec and current co-owner (with Judy Libow) of classic rock promotion and marketing firm, Classics Du Jour. (See story below for more details and full text of the speech.) Jon Scott sums it up as follows, telling RadioInfo, “We all gathered together to share the friendships and stories that developed during the incredible period of music that helped shape contemporary cultural history as we know it. The Music Industry Reunion committee that organized this with me is to be commended: Judy Libow, Roxy Myzal, Harvey Leeds, Steve Leeds, Jimmy Del Balzo, Jessie Scott, Wayne McManners, Peter Gidion, Greg Lee, and Ted Utz.” Scott says because of the success and numerous requests, another party is already on the drawing boards for 2015. Jon Scott can be emailed at email@example.com. (Pictured above, from left to right, are: Jon Scott, music business impresario George Cappelini, USRN exec Roxy Myzal and former WBCN, Boston GM Tony Berardini.)
Paul Rappaport Delivers Knock Out Speech at “Music Industry Reunion New York.” As indicated in the story above, a number of people made compelling speeches at last Wednesday evening’s (10/15) reunion of music and radio industry professionals in New York City (see story above) – one of the highlights being the impassioned words delivered by the ever-popular Paul Rappaport, former Columbia Records VP and current co-owner of promotion/marketing firm Classics du Jour. “Rap” tells RadioInfo, “I just wanted us all to remember a time when art and creativity mattered first, and the money mattered second. And not to forget a time when something like a magical segue could just stop everyone in their tracks in pure appreciation of the art of radio, and how it filled us with so much joy and shared understanding, all feeling as one.” To read the entire text of Rappaport’s address, please click here. Rappaport is pictured here at left with Jimmy Del Balzo (center) and Jerry Lembo (right).
iHeartMedia Ups Mark Adams to PD at KIOI, KYLD in San Francisco. This move brings Mark Adams south from his VP of programming post at iHeartMedia’s Portland station group to San Francisco to serve as program director for hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” and CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9.” Adams is taking over for Cat Collins who’s been elevated to the corporate National Programming Platforms and Strategic Services division. iHeartMedia San Francisco VP of programming Don Parker says, “I’m thrilled to have Mark return to the Bay area and lead these two legendary stations. His track record speaks for itself and his prior experience programming in San Francisco make him the ideal candidate to take the reins of ‘Star’ and ‘WiLD.’”
Entercom Names Lamadrid to VP Post. This is a newly created position at Entercom Communications and Carlos Lamadrid comes to the vice president of national sales and strategic partnerships post from his most recent position with TC Media where he was senior vice president. Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer says, “We are thrilled to have someone of Carlos’ experience join our team. His sales, business, and marketing acumen are market tested and will help us elevate the conversation with our customers.” Entercom says Lamadrid’s focus will be on “increasing revenue in the company’s national sales channel as well as developing integrated partnerships with leading national advertisers.”
Claudine Cazian Promoted to VP of Programming and Branded Entertainment for Premiere Networks. This moves up the person in charge of production for Premiere Networks programming including “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “American Top 40” and “Direct from Hollywood” to vice president of programming and branded entertainment for all Premiere products. Premiere EVP of programming Jennifer Leimgruber says Cazian will “work closely to develop and oversee entertainment programming and content, while identifying and developing opportunities to strengthen our brands, and support our partners.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Radio One’s Cleveland hip hop signal WENZ “Z107.9,” Peter Parker is the new afternoon drive personality. Parker comes to Radio One from his most recent gig at CBS RADIO’s hip hop WPGC, Washington…..“Rolls” Royce Stevenson is promoted to APD at Entercom’s hip hop KDGS, Wichita “Power 93.5.” Stevenson is also afternoon drive personality and music director…..It’s a return to radio after a six –year absence for Julie Haskell Gade who is named general manager for Digity Media’s Lincoln, Nebraska cluster. The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Gade takes over for Joy Patten who stays with the company to serve as sales manager. Gade worked for the stations when they were owned by Three Eagles Communications.
SF Stations Implement Royal Playlist Adjustments. On the eve of MLB‘s 2014 “Fall Classic,” which will feature the San Francisco Giants against the Kansas City Royals, 17-year-old New Zealand-born singer Lorde finds herself in the middle of a bit of a baseball-related brouhaha. Lorde, of course, has the hit single “Royals,” a title one might imagine would not go over very well this week in the Bay Area. In fact, at least two San Francisco outlets – Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday” and Cumulus Media adult alternative KFOG – have decided to delete the song from their playlists for at least the duration of the series. KFOG’s tweeted statement indicates the station will be a “‘Royals’- free zone,” while KOIT-FM indicates the song “will be removed” until the series concludes. In an interview with NBC Bay Area, KFOG program director Jim Richards rhetorically asks, “Why send any positive vibes to Kansas City – why not give the song a rest? No one is going to get hurt over it.” Earlier this year, Lorde received an autographed jersey from Royals Hall of Famer George Brett and she maintains it is “one of the coolest things” she owns. The series gets underway tomorrow (Tuesday, 10/21) in Kansas City and we can’t help but wonder if Kansas City stations might retaliate by temporarily tinkering in a similar fashion with the music of a well-known Giants fan – Steve Perry.
Radio Express to Distribute Akon Show Globally. The weekly radio program “Stadium Live Radio,” produced by hip hop artist and producer Akon, is going to be distributed outside the U.S. by Burbank, California-based Radio Express. The company says, “‘Stadium Live’ connects radio audiences to the world of hit music through the personality and the voice of Akon. The show features the biggest charting and downloaded songs from the four corners of the world and exclusive remixes straight from the studio to the listener.”
Westwood One Producer Jaan McCoy Dies. Lifelong radio pro Jaan McCoy died at his studio in Dallas over the weekend. McCoy was a producer for Westwood One’s 24-hour Classic Hits format. McCoy started in radio at age 16 on WFBL, Syracuse. His radio adventure has taken him to gigs in the Hamilton/Toronto and Ottawa markets in Canada, then to Dallas for FM classic rock, rock hits on the ABC Radio Network, and 20 y ears as morning host of “The Breakfast Club,” with 10 of those years at WLGZ’s sister station KAAM. Most recently he was one of the principals in the ownership of country and classic hits stations in Greenville, Texas. He is survived by his wife and six children. David Felker, Westwood One’s classic hits program director, says, “Jaan loved radio and anything to do with music and programming. We’d talk for hours about it. He was dedicated, hard-working, always willing to be there to help out, and he always did it with a smile. Jaan was a true professional, an inspiration and a friend to us all. He’ll be missed.”
Clear Channel Releases Q1 Financials: CCM+E Up 2%. This morning Clear Channel released financial data for the first quarter of 2014 and the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment group – radio stations, Premiere Networks, Total Traffic + Weather, iHeartRadio and related live events – saw income rise 2% compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company says “Media + Entertainment revenue rose $14 million, or 2% compared to the same period of 2013, driven primarily by higher revenues at our traffic and weather business reflecting new product offerings and the impact of strategic sales initiatives, as well as higher national sales fueled by growth in the telecommunications, healthcare and automotive categories, and higher digital advertising revenue benefitting from an increase in total listening hours on our iHeartRadio platform. Partially offsetting these revenue gains was a decline in our local revenues. Operating expenses were up $26 million during the first quarter of 2014 versus the same period in 2013, due primarily to higher compensation expenses driven by investments in our national and digital sales forces, and increased production costs for events such as the iHeartRadio Country Music Festival, as well as greater digital streaming and performance rights expenses driven by increased total listening hours and revenues. OIBDAN decreased $13 million, or 6%, to $200 million in the first quarter of 2014.”
Contract “Kiss” for “Matty in the Morning” Through 2018. That would be Clear Channel-owned Boston CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108″ and 30-year-plus Beantown radio staple Matt Siegel lengthening their deal for roughly four and a half more years. According to Clear Channel executive vice president of operations Tom McConnell, “Matty is a true Boston radio legend and we are excited to extend our relationship with him.” Market president Alan Chartrand comments, “I know what a great personality and asset Matty is to ‘Kiss.’ He is an unbelievable talent and I am very happy that he will continue to entertain ‘Kiss’ listeners in Boston for many years to come.” Vice president of programming Dylan Sprague remarks that, “Matty’s ability to entertain and connect with Boston radio listeners is unmatched. Mornings in Boston simply would not be the same without Matty on ‘Kiss.’ I am thrilled he is extending his run.” Siegel meanwhile notes, “My wonderful love story with the city of Boston continues.” In 2001 and again in 2009, Siegel received the National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi award for “Major Market Radio Personality of the Year.”
Mikee Mike Upped to PD at ‘Live 101.5’ in Phoenix. At CBS RADIO’s Phoenix CHR KZON “LIVE 101.5,” Michael Coquia, a.k.a. Mikee Mike, is promoted to program director. He was APD in addition to music director and mixer at the station. CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman comments, “Mikee has earned this tremendous opportunity and I am thrilled to have him and his team 100% focused on taking ‘LIVE 101.5’ to the next level.” Dave Shakes had been programming both “LIVE 101.5” and sister “94.5 KOOL-FM.” He’ll now focus on KOOL. Coquia says, “I am very excited to be given this opportunity to lead an extremely talented group. My passion for LIVE 101.5’s success is at a very high point. I would like to thank Tim Pohlman and the CBS RADIO programming team for the support.” Coquia joined KZON in 2007 as music director. He was promoted to APD in 2009. He’s also served at KPWR, Los Angeles and KKFR, Phoenix.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. A lineup shuffle at CBS RADIO’s country KILT-FM, Houston “The Bull” as Greg Thunder now goes solo in morning drive, Zakk United moves from evenings to PM drive and Cowboy Dave moves from afternoons to evenings…..At the Clear Channel Media + Entertainment station cluster in the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market, Susan Groves exits her position as operations manager after nine months with the company. Country WWFG “Froggy 99.9” and hot AC WQHQ “Q105” program director Josh Wolff is named acting OM…..Bayley Brown is the new midday personality at LM Communications’ rock WKLC, Charleston, West Virginia “Rock 105.” She’s also serving as interactive director for the station…..Former Emmis New York executive Alex Cameron takes a chief executive position at Toronto-based mobile video social network Keek. She exited Emmis in February after it took over operation of the YMF Media properties and Deon Levingston became market manager.
Jersey Station to Celebrate Zach Sang’s 21st Birthday. Jersey Shore CHR WWAC, Atlantic City “AC 102.7” is presenting a 21st birthday bash for WestwoodOne-syndicated evening star Zach Sang at Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on May 2. The Longport Media station says the event will include a live remote from mur.mur nightclub, local market giveaways exclusively on “AC 102.7” and a major “Zach Sang & the Gang” national sweepstakes. Beginning next week, the station will select 20 local listeners to win complimentary admission for two to the exclusive event (must be 21 or older). Additionally, a national sweepstakes will launch across all Zach Sang affiliates for the “ultimate birthday bash at Borgata” prize package where one lucky winner will receive round-trip airfare provided by “AC 102.7”; a two-night weekend stay so they can celebrate with Zach all weekend; their own private table service area at the event, where they will party VIP-style alongside the Gang; dinners at Borgata’s celebrity chef restaurants; and more. Longport Media VP of broadcast operations Paul Kelly says, “Zach is one of the most hard-working and accessible syndicated talents out there and we’ve enjoyed a great relationship with him here at 102.7. The exciting part for us is that Zach, being a New Jersey native and broadcasting his show so close to South Jersey, he’s essentially a local talent for us who just happens to be heard all over the country. We are excited to partner with Zach on more A-list events like this in our market.” Sang adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to kick off this promotion next week for my listeners and to celebrate my 21st birthday at one of the East Coast’s top entertainment destinations — Borgata — where many of the top artists that we play on our show have played.”
Nielsen Reports Positive First Quarter; Revenue Up 12.9%. That figure is compared to the same period a year ago on revenue of $1.49 billion. Nielsen Holdings N.V. chief executive officer Mitch Barns says, “Nielsen delivered a solid first quarter. Our underlying business performance, which was marked by broad-based revenue growth and strong profitability, was enhanced by the ongoing successful integration of Arbitron. Our clear focus on the key business priorities of our diverse global client base continues to produce steady and consistent results while delivering long-term value for our shareholders.” The company reports that free cash flow for the first quarter of 2014 increased to $13 million from -$15 million in the first quarter of 2013 and cash flow from operations increased to $90 million in the first quarter of 2014 from $54 million in the first quarter of 2013. The increases were driven by stronger operating performance and favorable interest payments.
Rover’s Legal Team to Call Howard Stern as Witness in Cleveland Case. When WMMS, Cleveland morning show host Shane “Rover” French appears in court on May 20 to defend himself against 13 charges – including attempted felonious assault, inducing panic and resisting arrest – his lawyer is calling Howard Stern as a witness, according to Fox 8 Cleveland. It’s not clear why Stern would be a relevant witness or if he’ll even appear. Co-host Michael Toomey, a.k.a. Chocolate Charlie, was arrested along with French during the incident that took place over the 2013 Fourth of July holiday weekend in which an off-duty police officer claims French and Toomey shot off illegal fireworks, refused requests to stop, assaulted him and more.
Media World A-Twitter Over FFC ‘Net Neutrality’ Plans. The chatter got so intense over reports about what today’s announcement by the FCC regarding its new open Internet rules will be that FCC chairman Tom Wheeler issued the following statement to counter speculation. “There are reports that the FCC is gutting the Open Internet rule. They are flat out wrong. Tomorrow we will circulate to the Commission a new Open Internet proposal that will restore the concepts of net neutrality consistent with the court’s ruling in January. There is no ‘turnaround in policy.’ The same rules will apply to all Internet content. As with the original Open Internet rules, and consistent with the court’s decision, behavior that harms consumers or competition will not be permitted.” What got people so uptight? Numerous sources – including the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Fox News and others – say today’s announcement will propose that content companies be allowed to pay for faster delivery over the so-called “last mile” connection to people’s homes. The Associated Press writes, “The new rules are meant to replace the FCC’s open Internet order from 2010, which was struck down by a federal appeals court in January. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that the FCC had the authority to create open-access rules but said it failed to establish that its 2010 regulations didn’t overreach. While the older rules technically allowed for paid priority treatment, it was discouraged. The new rules spell out standards that such deals would have to meet to be considered ‘commercially reasonable’ and are designed to survive a court challenge in the future. Under the proposed rules, if such a deal for priority access were challenged, the commission would look at its impact on competition, on consumers, on free speech and civic engagement, and whether a broadband provider was acting in good faith.”
The Next Generation(s). At the Cox Media Group Houston office, the sound of the pitter-patter of little feet could be heard as staffers brought their progeny to work for the annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” Altogether, 18 young people (pictured here with some of the parents), ranging from 2 ½ to 13 years of age came to work on Thursday (4/24) to follow their parents on a typical day. Well, a mostly typical day, as activities were planned for every age group. The kids will learn to record a commercial, use their voices for station on-air promotions, participate in social media postings, and see inside the studio as the DJs broadcast live. The daylong activities will be mixed in with some fun as well, including a pizza party for lunch, a dance-off with the digital department, and if activities are too much, “Frozen” will be shown in the afternoon so everyone can take a break from it all. Cox Houston VP and market manager Mark Krieschen says, “This is our first year to implement the program in Houston. I can already feel the excitement in the air as the kids are making themselves right at home.”
DOOBIE: It Is Time for the Radio Industry to Innovate New Formats and New Thinking. RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie warns, “The window is closing.” In a new column posted today (3/24), the motivational trade publication strategist suggests that now is the time for radio broadcasters to start inventing new ways to present music and entertainment on the radio airwaves “if we will ever have a chance to kick-start radio back to its former position of ‘ownership’ within the pop music culture, let alone even remain in the game on any level of competitiveness over the next half-decade.” Doobie boldly states, “We see and hear way too many negative cultural references to radio these days in the larger media and public consciousness. TV commercials tout the sale of CD song collections ‘no longer played on the radio.’ Heck radio is portrayed as being so lame that even the old farts don’t think it’s hip anymore, let alone the coming of age crowd of Gen-Y. Discussion shows on the music channels and beyond regularly give voice to journalists, musicians, critics and fans further-diminishing the waning influence of radio within the pop world. They refer to the death of radio’s influence on music culture (not to mention all ends of society, with the exception of sports) with a level of certainty that treats the notion as if it were conventional wisdom. This is entirely unacceptable!” To read Duane Doobie’s entire column along with his suggested remedies to the problems cited, please click here.
Duane Doobie’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (3/24) includes such names as: Mat D. & the Profane Saints, GWAR, Jessy Lynn Martens, Nico & Vinz, James Arthur, Tove Lo, Chainsmokers, Little Mix, Prince, Zooey Deschanel, Amanda Lear, William Shatner, Crosses, Deftones, Mike Score, Towns, Buffalo Killers, Black Keys, Dan Auerbach, Black Crows, Chris Robinson, Chris Lake, Jareth, Big Boi, Kid Cudi, Stevie Wonder, Gorillaz, Chris Bullen, Killers, Calvin Harris, Indiana, Amy Rose, Albert Lee & Hogans Heroes, Kata Hay, and Jimmer among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Cumulus Nabs Agase for VP Sales Post in Chicago. Chicago market sales pro Paul Agase is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM “Chicago’s Talk Leader” and classic rock WLUP “97.9 FM The Loop.” Most recently, Agase was general sales manager at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM. He’s also worked in the market at sports talk WSCR “The Score,” triple A WXRT, WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM,” and WBBM-FM “B96.” Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Pinch comments, “Paul has made a significant impact driving sales for Chicago radio. His talents are an ideal match for Cumulus Chicago’s iconic stations and we are excited to welcome him to the company.”
Comrex Welcomes Torelli as Market Development Manager. Multi-disciplined media pro Joe Torelli joins Comrex Corporation as market development manager. The company says that in this role, Torelli will spearhead awareness and drive acceptance of the Comrex LiveShot products in the broadcast, education, worship and government markets. Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Joe comes to Comrex with extensive experience on both sides of the broadcast industry starting as a photojournalist at WFLA-TV, Tampa where he first used Comrex products. Capitalizing on his field experience there and over a decade at NBC News covering world events, he transitioned to design and delivery of market focused products at Avid, Quantel and, most recently, Apple products that became standards in the industry. That background will help Comrex grow the acceptance of the LiveShot products.” Torelli says, “I see LiveShot as truly amazing technology and I’m no stranger to highlighting new technology and differentiating features to the market. I’m excited about the opportunity to help extend LiveShot’s appeal and acceptance.” Comrex LiveShot delivers live video and audio over a range of IP networks. LiveShot is used by TV stations and networks to deliver high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio from anywhere internet access is available.
Mark Nolan to Replace WMJI, Cleveland’s John Lanigan. Earlier this year, WMJI, Cleveland morning personality John Lanigan announced he’s calling it a career and will retire from full-time work at the oldies station on March 31. He’ll be honored at the station’s annual “Moondog Coronation Ball.” The 71-year-old co-host of the “Lanigan and Malone” show worked at WMJI for nearly 30 years. He arrived in Cleveland in 1970 when he replaced Don Imus at WGAR. He went to Florida in 1983 and returned to Cleveland in 1985 to work for WMJI. Lanigan was inducted in the National Radio Hall of Fame this past November. Beginning April 1, current midday personality Mark Nolan will take Lanigan’s place alongside Jimmy Malone.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Midwest Communications’ classic hits WYVN, Grand Rapids “92.7 The Van,” Brent Alan is promoted to brand manager. Alan has been with the company’s Grand Rapids operations for the past 16 years. He also serves as morning host on the station…..Scott Laudani is named program director at Binnie Media’s classic hits WFNQ, Nashua, New Hampshire “106.3 Frank FM” and WNNH, Concord, “99.1 Frank FM.” Laudani was most recently OM/PD at Shamrock Communications’ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton operations…..GatesAir names Ted Nahil business development manager, Intraplex products, Americas. The move is Nahil’s return to the GatesAir family, preceded by a successful six-year run in Intraplex sales at Harris Broadcast.
CBS RADIO’s Kucharz Promotes Multi-Platform Radio Model in Hypebot Op-Ed. There is no end in sight to the debate over which models of audio entertainment are “here to stay,” the “wave of the future,” or the “one’s Millennials are adopting.” And for good reason; it is the most important question broadcasting companies can be asking right now. In a piece published on Hypebot, CBS RADIO local digital media president Ezra Kucharz, makes his case for the multi-platform model most broadcast companies are employing in some form or another: using broadcast radio tactics, personalities, programming and promotion power to augment AM/FM listening on digital platforms. His main point is that broadcast radio’s ability to promote effectively is what is driving the success of digital destinations. Read the Hypebot piece here.
L&L Columbia Merges Rockers. In the Columbia, South Carolina cluster L&L Broadcasting takes classic rocker WMFX at 102.3 and rock WARQ at 93.5 and creates a tweaked format featuring rock music that leans closer to current than classic rock but still features classic bands and tracks. The station is branded “Fox 102.3 Columbia’s Rock Station.” On the station’s website it says, “Welcome to Columbia’s Rock Station, Fox 102.3! You may be wondering what this is all about. We’re taking the best of Fox 102.3 and Rock 93.5 and merging them together into one awesome rock station: Columbia’s Rock Station, Fox 102.3! Stay tuned for more updates.” Right now, the format is being simulcast on both signals but given the brand includes the 102.3 frequency, it’s reasonable to assume the 93.5 signal will feature a new format in the near future.
Greater Media Philly Named a Top Workplace. This is the third successive year the company has earned such recognition from an annual survey conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. Hundreds of companies take part in the survey and as Greater Media Philadelphia vice president/market manager John Fullam states, “Great companies start with great employees. We are fortunate to have an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners, and advertising partners every day.” Judges are employees and evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program is based upon feedback from a fall 2013 employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics. The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a special publication insert yesterday (3/23) to announce the honor. Greater Media’s four-station Philadelphia cluster consists of adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben-FM,” WMGK “Philadelphia’s Classic Rock,” WMMR “Everything That Rocks,” and sports WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”
Media Usage Research (and What You Can Do With It). Media consultant Holland Cooke pens a brief synopsis of some of the recent media usage research that’s been published recently and takes it a step further and offers some advice that station operators can use to put their best foot forward. Smart owners and programmers are not getting depressed about the changing media landscape; they are doing their best to adapt to how people are using media. Cooke offers some thoughts about working with that mindset. Read it here.
WBOS, Boston to Present Obstacle Run for Charity. The “Rock and Run Boston” obstacle race is being presented by Greater Media alternative rock WBOS, Boston “Radio 92.9” and the inaugural race will take place at the newly developed Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts on June 21. The course for “Rock and Run Boston” will be approximately 3.1 miles long and will feature a mix of fully staffed obstacles such as monkey bars, climbs, hurdles, and walls! The “Rock and Run Boston” will also feature live musical acts at every mile marker along the course! After crossing the finish line, runners will be invited to relax at a post- race party featuring a beer garden (21+only) and interactive demos and sampling from event sponsors and partners. The party will be capped off by an exclusive performance by a national recording artist. Vice president and market manager Rob Williams states, “The ‘Radio 92.9’ team is excited to bring to Boston what promises to be a physically challenging and hugely entertaining event. We’re especially happy to raise needed funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.” The event is open to participants 16 and over.
Eastlan Adding Three Markets. Tallahassee, Florida; Columbus, Georgia; and Hammond, Louisiana are the metros that the ratings company will begin surveying this spring. Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “As Eastlan rolls into our fifteenth year, we are grateful to the small and medium market radio leaders who have recognized the value in carefully scrutinizing their radio ratings/vendor relationship. We never imagined we would be fortunate enough to become the senior radio ratings provider in the United States.” Nielsen Audio is already measuring Tallahassee and Columbus; Hammond was an unrated metro. Roughly five months ago, Eastlan added 11 other markets in Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.
Cool Job Opportunity. Mornings in Quad Cities on Legendary “B100.” If you’re ready to wake up and touch nearly half a million listeners in the Midwest, then this might be the gig for you! Long-running CHR powerhouse “B100” is looking for the next great morning show that knows and lives the lifestyle of pop music fans. Do you know what it means to be a part of the local community? Are you ready to wake up and entertain your listeners every day? Can you utilize massive digital assets to extend your reach? If you think you’ve got what it takes, get your materials to Chuck Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org) immediately. Townsquare Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
HD Radio Cited in Growth of Broadcaster Traffic Consortium Revenue. The Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC), is a nationwide broadcasting network that distributes location-based data — including: local traffic, weather, and fuel prices via radio technology to navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems. The consortium reports that revenue for 2013 continued to grow and it anticipates more growth in 2014. The consortium was established in 2007 and since that time its total revenue compound annual growth rate is 50.8%. The addition of HD Radio technology for traffic data in 2011 comprises 20% of the BTC’s total revenue. Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth says, “Greater Media is now seeing a return on our investment in BTC. The transmission of traffic data via our HD signals allows us to be an integral part of the digital dashboard. We are pleased to see that revenue growth is exceeding our expectations.” Getting traffic data via HD Radio allows users to avoid eating up their allotted data on bandwidth-intense activities like traffic. The BTC says, “The smooth launch with auto manufacturers Honda and Mitsubishi last year has opened the door for additional automakers to realize the value of HD Radio Data real-time traffic.” The founding members of the BTC include: Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio, Inc.; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications Corp.; Greater Media; NPR and Radio One.
So…Was It Worth It? In the final part of our look at the “all-Christmas” phenomenon, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian analyzes the January PPM state of radio stations that went “all-Christmas” during the Nielsen Audio “Holiday” PPM ratings period. This four-part analysis began with a review of such stations’ November PPM performance, then the December PPM ratings followed by the “Holiday” PPM period and wraps with today’s piece scrutinizing the January 2014 PPM “aftermath” of the once-a-year programming shift that takes place around the holidays. See this entire story here.
‘Songwriters Equity Act’ Adds More Fuel to Rate Squabble. Georgia Republican Doug Collins is introducing a bill dubbed the Songwriters Equity Act that would allow federal rate courts to consider the fair market value for a composition when establishing digital performance rates. ASCAP and BMI are happily on board but the NAB is not. EVP of communications Dennis Wharton says in an official statement, “NAB respectfully opposes this legislation, which could impose new costs on broadcasters that jeopardize the future of our free locally-focused service. While this legislation raises important issues about the changes confronting the songwriter community, NAB objects to changes in the law that would deal with the financial imbalance between songwriters and artists by subjecting free broadcast radio stations to new fees.” As part of his press statement, Collins says, “Fostering the development of intellectual property has been an important part of the Constitution for more than 200 years. Now we have to make sure we’re doing it on 21st century terms. Songwriters, in one way or another, touch the lives of every American.” As the Tennessean reports, a key part of the legislation stems from the fact that “songwriters and publishers have found success negotiating licensing deals for television and film that have resulted in more favorable rates than those paid out when a digital copy of their song is sold. Currently, the rate court doesn’t factor in these licensing fees when it sets digital performance rates, but Collins’ legislation would allow them to do so.” This bill comes as the issues of rate and copyright reform are front-and-center in both Congress and the industry.
Congressman Greg Walden Intends to Kill FCC’s Critical Information Needs Study. It wouldn’t be out of line to suggest Oregon Congressman Greg Walden doesn’t trust the FCC not to step over the line regarding its Critical Information Needs study. The controversial study would send researchers into the field to determine how stations and news personnel are choosing and presenting news and information and whether the conclusions reached somehow create a barrier to entry into station ownership for minorities. Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler backed off the study as initially created and he has said the Commission has no intention of regulating the content of journalists or broadcasters. Walden is promising to craft legislation to end the CIN study permanently. He says “The very existence of this CIN study is an affront to the First Amendment and should have never been proposed in the first place. As someone with a journalism degree, I was alarmed from the moment I saw it, which is why we wrote to Chairman Wheeler in December to urge him to stop the study. To date, Chairman Wheeler has insisted upon only making small tweaks, and what he has proposed to do isn’t enough. The study should be eradicated completely. The potential for violation of the First Amendment is exceptionally egregious, but it is also concerning that the commission believes it can prescribe what ‘critical information needs’ are in communities across the country.”
NBC to Televise the Inaugural iHeartRadio Music Awards. When the first-ever iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on May 1, NBC TV will televise the event live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The newly created awards are a “people’s choice”-style honor for the digital age. Clear Channel says the awards for the most popular artists and songs of the year “will be based on results from the all-new iHeartRadio Chart. Those charts are supplied and compiled by Mediabase…” and include “listener feedback and performance data, according to airplay; digital streaming data from the iHeartRadio platform, including ‘thumbs up’ and custom station creations; and sales, social, video data and tags from BigChampagne and Shazam. In addition, for the first time ever in any music awards show, every voting category will include social #hashtags as the primary voting mechanism.” The May 1 program will feature “live performances, never-before-done duets and collaborations, celebrity guest appearances and live award presentations. The show, which will feature performances from other Los Angeles venues, will also broadcast and stream live the audio across all participating Clear Channel radio stations and their websites, and on iHeartRadio.” NBC president, alternative and late night programming Paul Telegdy says, “Collaborating with a company that has the global reach of Clear Channel allows us to interact with music fans all over the world. We feel fortunate being on the ground floor of the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which will deliver an array of great performances from today’s biggest stars.” Clear Channel is also announcing the debut of a new radio show, the “iHeartRadio Countdown,” a new, two-hour weekly program highlighting the top 20 CHR songs on its iHeartRadio Chart. The new show will be co-hosted each week by a major artist and iHeartRadio’s own Romeo on the Radio, airing on all Clear Channel CHR stations on weekends.
BJ Shea Morning Show Extends with Entercom’s KISW, Seattle. The BJ Shea Morning Experience took over mornings on Entercom’s rock KISW, Seattle when Howard Stern exited for satellite radio in 2006. The station says, “Thanks to its passion for all things Seattle and a strong connection with the rock community, the ‘BJ Shea Morning Experience’ continues to be the mainstay in Seattle’s morning drive timeslot.” The show is rewarded with a contract extension (details not available). Entercom Seattle VP/programming Dave Richards says, “We couldn’t be any more excited to continue with the ‘BJ Shea Morning Experience’ on KISW. What the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks are to the NFL, the ‘BJ Shea Morning Experience’ is to Seattle mornings.” Shea comments, “When I was a kid I dreamed of doing a morning show on a big rock station. Here I am, as an adult, living my dream at the best rock station in the world, KISW. Seattle has been my home for over 15 years, the relationships I have made with our audience is something I am proud to have. KISW has the best listeners, I am honored that we will continue to entertain and interact with our audience.”
Daniel Adds ‘Lake’ Programming Duties. As a result of signing a multi-year contract, WEND “The End” program director Jack Daniel is staying in place at the Clear Channel Charlotte facility and will also program co-owned adult hits WLKO “The Lake.” According to regional programming manager Jeff Wyatt, “Jack has had the bead on the alternative audience in Charlotte for 19 years. His vision for ‘The Lake’ has earned him the keys to that brand as well. We feel very lucky to have a guy with such valuable street knowledge and experience in our studios every day.” Daniel points out that he played most of the music on “The Lake” when it was current so, “I feel right at home here. I have been very blessed to spend my entire media career in my hometown.” The announcement concerning Daniel comes the same week that his son and daughter-in-law are having twin boys. “This is an overwhelming week for me personally and professionally,” Daniel notes. In addition to his two programming jobs, Daniel will continue doing middays on “The End” and serving as the morning host on iHeartradio‘s “Big Classic Hits” channel.
Cape Cod Broadcasting Names Reckford News Director. General manager Beverly Tilden announces that Cape Cod Broadcasting is naming Laura Reckford news director for the company. Tilden says, “Cape Cod Broadcasting has been a trusted resource for local Cape Cod news and information. Laura’s experience and leadership will assure that we continue that tradition as we grow and expand our news offerings.” Reckford most recently worked in the communications & development department at Housing Assistance Corporation. She is also the founder of the new online magazine CapeCodWave.com where she currently is editor and publisher. Cape Cod Broadcasting says it will partner with CapeCodWave.com as part of its development of its website CapeCod.com. She has worked at Cape Cod Life as managing editor and served with The Falmouth Enterprise in the same capacity. She began her media career in New York City at Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, Viacom and 20th Century Fox. Reckman comments, “After working in film, television, magazines, and newspapers, I am excited to be working in radio, a medium I have long admired. In addition, I am looking forward to bringing local journalism to CapeCod.com and also enhancing that website with the magazine-style journalism of Cape Cod Wave.”
Marty Martinez Says ‘Good-Bye’ to WRAT Listeners After 13 Years. Saying it’s time to “enjoy what life has to offer next,” 37-year radio pro and WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey morning drive co-host Marty Martinez will retire from the station after Friday’s program. Martinez has served as the official morning co-host of The RAT’s ‘Carl and Marty in the Morning Show’ for the past 13 years. Martinez says, “I felt like part of the Greater Media and the WRAT family from day one ‘til right now. I’d like to thank [SVP and regional GM] Dan Finn for his faith in me and Carl Craft for sharing the insanity. The staff here is the best in rock radio.” WRAT PD and morning drive co-host Carl Craft adds, “Working with Marty for the past decade has been a total blast. We had some great times together on the air. It was like we were plugged into the same electrical current. I could list a million stories, but at the end of the day it always came down to having fun and doing the right thing for the audience.” Martinez began his career in 1977 as an overnight radio host at WNEW-FM, where he eventually went on to serve on the station’s morning show from 1980 to 1999 before working as the program director of EYada, a pioneer in internet talk radio, from 1999 to 2001.
Radio One’s Bill Black Transfers to Cleveland as OM. Current Radio One urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9,” Atlanta assistant program director/music director Bill Black will relocate to Cleveland to become operations manager of the company’s four-outlet cluster there. Radio One Cleveland vice president and general manager Eddie Harrell states, “We have no doubt that Bill’s vast experience and understanding of our market will help secure and expand our reach as the #1 multimedia company in the greater Cleveland area.” Black comments that he is, “excited to raise my family in my hometown, as well as expand my radio family as operations manager of Radio One Cleveland.” Black’s background includes stops at Montgomery, Alabama’s WZHT and WXVI, as well as in Columbia, South Carolina at WHXT. Radio One’s Cleveland facilities include urban contemporary WENZ “Z-107.9,” talk WERE “The People’s Station,” gospel WJMO “Cleveland’s Inspiration Station,” and urban AC WZAK “Cleveland’s R&B Leader.” He begins his new assignment on March 10.
McWhorter Joins Journal Knoxville as LSM. Nine-month Journal Broadcast Group sales consultant Ben McWhorter is named local sales manager for the company’s Knoxville cluster. Senior vice president and general manager Chris Protzman remarks, “We are excited to have Ben join our team of talented sales professionals. His sales management experience, coupled with his local market expertise will further position our cluster of stations as the ‘local advertiser’s first choice’ when results matter.” A former general sales manager of cross-town Cumulus Media market dominant WIVK “Today’s Best Country,” McWhorter worked at Arbitron as marketing manager and he has management experience at New City Communications and Dick Broadcasting. In 2011, he was elected to Knoxville’s chapter of the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame. Journal Broadcast Group’s Knoxville cluster includes WCYQ “Today’s Continuous Country,” rhythmic CHR WKHT “Hot 104.5,” WNOX “Classic Hits 93.1,” and CHR WWST “Star 102.1.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. The evening show at CBS RADIO’s country KMLE, Phoenix is now hosted by Kimmie Caruba who joins from her most recent gig at Sison Broadcasting’s CHR WXXX, Burlington, Vermont “95 Triple X.”…..At Cumulus Media’s classic rock WXKR, Toledo, Brent Alberts is leaving the station and his program director position. Alberts – who previously programmed Greater Media’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit – writes on his Facebook page that “after 46 wonderful years in the business I’ve loved since I was a kid, it’s time to do something else.”
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Borrell Associates New Study and Forecast Predicts Radio Revenue Flat but Listening Minutes Continue to Decline Over Next Five Years. Research firm Borrell Associates has published a new study titled, “The Future of Legacy Media: With 5 Years of Digital Disruption Ahead, What Happens Next?” As the title implies, it looks at the effect the digital revolution has had over the past five years on time spent with each medium and ad dollars spent and then goes on to predict what is likely to happen over the next five years. The conclusion for AM/FM radio is probably not going to be shocking to most. Borrell predicts that minutes spent with AM/FM radio (which have already dropped from 124.1 in 2008 to 93.5 in 2013, according to the study) will continue to erode even though the number of individuals listening at least once per week (that figure we hear reported by Nielsen Audio so frequently) may remain fairly constant. By 2018 Borrell predicts minutes spent with radio will further drop to 81.9 (for a total decrease from 2008 to 2018 of 34%). On the revenue front, Borrell notes that radio ad spending has dropped by almost a third over the past 13 years and predicts the level the industry is at right now – about $14.3 billion – is roughly where it will be in another five years. Here’s what the study has to say about AM/FM radio’s future: “If trends hold true, traditional radio ad spending will continue to tread water, remaining largely unchanged while growth moves online – especially among national advertisers. Detroit is already equipping some new cars with Pandora service, so even that industry sinecure may have been breached. Losses – where they occur – will be most felt in the larger metros, while suburban and rural areas will still depend on the local flavor of stations that have been good friends to their fathers and grandfathers.” Which media will experience growth in minutes spent with through 2018? Borrell predicts cable TV, out-of-home, video games and pure-play mobile, which it says will have realized a 1,145% increase in minutes spent with during the 10-year period examined in the study. Read more here.
Clear Channel Announces the Austin, Texas iHeartRadio Country Festival. On the success of its Las Vegas-located iHeartRadio Festival that has taken place the last two years in September, the company is announcing a country music festival to take place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin on March 29 featuring such prominent country acts as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida-Georgia Line, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen and Dan + Shay. The festival will be emceed by Premiere Networks syndicated morning host Bobby Bones. Naturally, Clear Channel stations across the country will begin offering listeners opportunities to win tickets during the six weeks leading up to the event. CC president of national programming platforms Tom Poleman states, “Country music is experiencing an unprecedented explosion of popularity with music fans across America, and there’s no better way to celebrate that than by building on the incredible success of our annual two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival and creating the biggest dedicated multiplatform event ever featuring the biggest stars in country music. The core of our business is the bond our local stations have with our listeners and an important part of that is to give them extraordinary events no one else can provide. With the largest reach of any country music radio group, we’re thrilled to add this once-in-a-lifetime ‘all things country’ mega festival to iHeartRadio’s exceptional lineup of can’t miss events.”
Clear Channel Moves Matthews to Cincy as VP/Programming. Eleven-year WMMS “The Buzzard” and WAKS “Kiss-FM,” Cleveland program director Bo Matthews transfers from the Clear Channel rock and CHR combo to oversee programming operations of the company’s seven Cincinnati stations. Over and above his vice president of programming title, Matthews will be the day-to-day PD of Cincinnati rocker WEBN. Clear Channel Cincinnati market president Chuck Fredrick states, “Bo’s track record of success and skill set make him the perfect leader for Cincinnati’s iconic brands. His knowledge and experience will be a great asset to the market.” Matthews comments, “I can’t be more appreciative of the people that have given me the opportunity to work with WMMS and WAKS. I have learned so much, and I am eternally grateful. I am excited to get started with the Cincinnati cluster as we take it to new heights.” In addition to WEBN, Clear Channel’s Cincinnati operation consists of alternative WEBN-HD2, CHR WKFS “Kiss 107,” talk WKRC, news/talk WLW, classic rock WOFX “Fox,” and sports WSAI “AM 1360.”
Albuquerque PD Is a Genuine Picazzo. Five-year Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR KVYB “The Vibe,” Oxnard-Ventura, California program director/afternoon drive talent Picazzo Stevens is appointed PD of American General Media Albuquerque CHR KAGM “Power 106.7″ and alternative KARS “Area 102.9.” In addition, he will do afternoon drive on “Area 102.9.” Regional director of programming Bob Lewis comments, “Throughout his career, Picazzo has shown his talent as a creative cornerstone of the brands he represents. All of us at AGM are thrilled that Picazzo is leading the charge with ‘Power 106.7′ and the new ‘Area 102.9.’ His expertise and passion are simply unmatched in the industry.” Among those Stevens thanks is American General Media president Rogers Brandon “for his continued support in the growth of my career.” Stevens adds, “It is an exciting opportunity to work alongside market manager Suzy Rufail and Bob Lewis who share the same passion for radio and creativity as I do.” Before “The Vibe,” Stevens spent two years in Austin as assistant PD/afternoon host at KDHT (now KGSR); programmed Bakersfield rhythmic CHR KISV “Hot 94.1″; and he has worked in San Diego, Riverside, Fresno, and Monterey.
Compass Media Brings Research Pro Len Klatt Aboard. Research pro Len Klatt spent the last 16 years with Premiere Networks (ultimately as SVP of research) and 11 years with Westwood One before that. Now, Compass Media Marketing announces it has hired Klatt as a research consultant and advisor, effective immediately. Klatt comments, “It is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the changing audio entertainment landscape. Compass is well positioned for continued growth and my goal is to work closely with the Compass team to best serve our advertisers, affiliates and programming partners.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Blake Hayes returns home to New England where he’ll co-host the morning show with Eva Matteson on Saga Communications’ Portland, Maine hot AC WMGX “Coast 93.1.” Hayes most recently was AM drive host at CBS Radio’s hot AC KHMX, Houston “Mix 96.5.”…..In Las Vegas, Melanie & Zach exit as morning drive personalities at Clear Channel’s adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5.”…..Eric Holmes has left his music director position at Bonneville’s classic rock KSWD, Los Angeles “100.3 The Sound” as the position is being eliminated and absorbed by other staffers…..Kristie McIntyre leaves her midday jock position at CBS Radio AC WIAD, Washington “Fresh 94.7” where she’s been for the past three years…..At Townsquare Media’s Missoula, Montana operations, Billy Jenkins arrives as operations manager and program director for country KYSS. Jenkins assumes the position held by Rich Summers who just moved to the company’s Boise operations…..In New Bedford, Massachusetts, Michael Rock is upped to brand manager for Townsquare Media’s CHR WFHN “Fun 107,” taking over for Jim “JR” Reitz who left the station last month. Rock also serves as morning drive host and music director.
SiriusXM Reports Total Subscribers Top 25 Million. Satellite radio service SiriusXM announces it ended the year 2013 with 25.56 million subscribers – an addition of 1.66 million net subscribers during the course of the year. The company reports that self-pay net additions in 2013 were 1.5 million for the full year, bringing self-pay subscriptions to over 21 million. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM had an outstanding 2013, and we expect to meet or exceed all other guidance we have provided for the year. Automotive distribution is hitting on all cylinders and an increasing number of households, at all income levels, are subscribing to SiriusXM. In a world where consumers have many choices, millions of subscribers continue to love our unmatched and easily affordable lineup of exclusive talk, live news, major sports events, and commercial-free and curated music channels.” At the same time, the company offers guidance for 2014 that includes: Net subscriber additions of 1.25 million; free cash flow approaching $1.1 billion; revenue of over $4.0 billion; and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.
2014 International CES: Day Two. Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas where he’s covering the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show for RadioInfo magazine. Some tidbits for radio people include how Yahoo! is revamping its content to fit what consumers want with regard to size and frequency and how new global anchor Katie Couric is integrating “citizen reporting” into her work. Also, read what radio execs attending a session on internet radio are saying about building a connection with consumers in Holland Cooke’s piece here.
The Curious Case of Contemporary Christian. While secular stations often thrive around the Christmas season playing Christmas music, many of the country’s contemporary Christian stations don’t enjoy the same ratings lift that – it would seem – would be a natural. In a piece examining the performance of these stations during that time period, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian writes that there are a number of reasons for this and that “the answer comes when looking at the basics. Found in nearly each of the 48 Nielsen Audio PPM markets is a competitive adult contemporary station backed by a deep-pockets owner and boasting a strong metro signal. Contemporary Christian outlets, on the other hand, are less likely to populate each locale. Moreover, their promotion budgets and sticks typically do not compare favorably against their AC counterparts.” For more on Mike Kinosian’s glimpse into this aspect of the local radio business, check out his piece here.
Rick & Bubba Celebrate 20th Anniversary. The nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show – featuring Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey – celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The Syndicated Solutions Inc.-distributed program has special plans to commemorate the show’s birth. Burgess and Bussey, along with cast members Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess, Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Chris “Eddie Van” Adler, along with past/present show interns and related show contributors, will be performing live before sellout crowds during at least five special one-night only events in concert halls/theaters in select cities beginning in May. SSI reports that “each ‘20th Anniversary Tour’ event will include hilarious, unforgettable Rick & Bubba moments, show favorites such as Good ‘ol Boys Theater, Willie & Wanda, The Giant Game of Rick & Bubba Knowledge, The Wacky World, Fact or Crap, and more. There will be prizes, video tributes reliving the past 20 years, musical performances, special Q&A sessions and more…All behind-the-scenes and on-stage activities will be video recorded so excerpts can be shared during the Rick & Bubba show television/radio broadcast, and a full 20th Anniversary documentary will be available later in 2014.” SSI president Bob Carey states, “Congratulations Rick and Bubba…I am so proud of what you’ve accomplished all these years and the special relationship that we share. Although we’ve been business partners for just nine of your 20 years on air together, the Rick & Bubba show continues to evolve and gets better day after day, which is a testament to you both never taking your successes for granted or never stopping to work hard and improve upon yesterday.” Pictured here are (from l-r): Bill “Bubba” Bussey (sitting), Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Rick Burgess (center/sitting), Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess and Chris “Eddie Van” Adler.