FCC Will Seek Public Comment on Ownership Rules; Reversal of Cross-Ownership Bans Appear Unlikely. Reports are circulating in the media trades that senior FCC officials say FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will propose relaxing cross-ownership bans, but in a blog post dated March 6, that tone is not expressed. Wheeler writes about the Commission’s duty to undertake and complete the 2014 Quadrennial Review. He discusses some of the proposals regarding maintaining current ownership rules that will be open for public comment but many industry watchers say this should not be cause to think a Wheeler-chaired Commission will ultimately relax current cross-ownership bans. Much of Wheeler’s concern in the blog is with television joint sales agreements and he’s clearly out to change those. You can read Wheeler’s entire post here.
New CC PDs: Fallon to WIOQ, Philly and Deelo to ‘KISS 107’ in Cincy. There are two program director gigs within Clear Channel to announce. At CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102,” Jared Fallon is the new PD. He moves to Philly from the company’s Cincinnati CHR WKFS “KISS 107.” Taking over for him there is Deelo who programmed the company’s “97.3 KISS FM” in Savannah (WAEV). Fallon says, “The extraordinary opportunity to program a legendary station like ‘Q102’ is incredibly exciting. The team at Clear Channel Philadelphia is stacked with experienced, innovative and talented individuals that are absolutely unrivaled in the market. I’m eager to get to Philly and begin this amazing experience.” Deelo says, “I will miss Savannah, but I am excited for the chance to work alongside some of the best and brightest minds in radio.”
Big D & Bubba Show Adds Affiliates. The nationally syndicated “Big D & Bubba” show announces the addition of eight new affiliate stations since taking ownership of their show and partnering with Compass Media Networks in January. The program split from previous syndicator Premiere Networks at the end of 2013. Big D comments, “We are so excited that radio stations believe in what we’re doing and utilizing our ability to send custom audio and video content from our new Nashville studios.” Compass Media VP of affiliate relations Adam Wilbur adds, “We had over 30 stations tour the new studios during the Country Radio Seminar and you could see the lights go on when they see the green screen, video cameras, lights and production studio capabilities.”
Nixon to Program ‘New Country B93.9’ in Raleigh. At Clear Channel’s WKSL, Raleigh “B93.9 Carolina’s New Country,” Todd Nixon is named program director and afternoon drive personality beginning next month. Nixon’s previous experience includes PD and jock at WCKT, Fort Myers “Cat Country” and PD at WCTQ, Sarasota. CC Raleigh VP of programming Chris Edge states, “Todd brings with him a wealth of country music experience and we look forward to having his programming expertise in the building. ‘B93.9’ is a fantastic station primed and ready to do great things. With someone of his caliber at the helm, we’ll be fully equipped to win.”
LaNeve Named to Entercom Board of Directors. From the sales and marketing world comes the newest member of the Entercom board of directors as Mark LaNeve joins immediately. He has served as COO of WPP’s Global Team Ford – an agency that serves as the marketing and advertising partner to Ford and Lincoln businesses globally. During his time as chief marketing officer at Allstate Insurance, he led the marketing for the company and developed the long-running “Mayhem” campaign. Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Mark LaNeve is a tremendous addition to Entercom’s board of directors. He has led some of America’s most iconic brands and ad campaigns. He will bring a new and fresh perspective to the Entercom board.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. There’s change at Clear Channel’s alternative KTBZ, Houston “94.1 The Buzz” as program director and afternoon personality Don Jantzen exits after a decade with the station…..At CBS RADIO’s Orlando operations, Dustin Kross is the new morning show host and APD at rhythmic CHR WJHM “101.9 AMP Radio.” He moves in from his most recent gig at Clear Channel’s CHR WNWW, Jacksonville “RadioNow 97.9.”…..Noreen Ippolito is promoted to vice president of sales at Clear Channel’s San Diego cluster. Ippolito has been with CC for 18 years and most recently was vice president of sales development, local digital sales.
Adult Hits PPM Market Comparison. How you view the shift in programming and the audience response that takes place every December when AC stations go into holiday mode is a matter of philosophy – some consider it a natural part of the format while others view it as a “departure.” To some, the January PPM can feel like a “reset” while to others it’s just another part of the programming “continuum.” Regardless of your perspective, ratings changes from month to month can be informative so today RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian is comparing how adult hits-formatted stations fared as some of the audience changed its listening habits in January. Read his analysis here.
Beasley Fort Myers CHR Brings Bands to Local School. Talk about a cool treat for the kids at Gulf Coast High School! Beasley Fort Myers CHR WXKB “B103.9” morning team “Big Mama and the Wild Bunch” arranged for Emblem3 and MKTO to stop at the school in Naples on their way between shows in Ft. Lauderdale and Clearwater. During lunch period, hundreds of students filled the auditorium to interact with the artists. Drama students set the mics and handled sound, and the drum line and cheerleaders worked the crowd before the young artists walked on stage to a high-pitched roar from the girls. Morning show host Big Mama moved around the audience fielding questions for the bands from the students: When did they know music was their passion? Where do they see themselves in five years? Do they write their own songs? Did they play sports in high school? Do they have girlfriends? Have they ever have a bad break-up? When hearing about this promotion and seeing the photos, RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie exclaimed, “Now THAT’S an example of how radio can retake ‘ownership’ of the music culture! Kudos to B103.9 and Big Mama and the Wild Bunch!” Pictured here is Big Mama (center with mic) in front of the assembly.
‘Saving the 70s’ Celebrates 300th Show This Weekend. For host Mike Walker, this weekend is special as his commercial-free, nationally syndicated show, “Saving the 70s,” airs its 300th edition. Walker tells RadioInfo the show began as “a Saturday night show on WINQ, Winchendon, Massachusetts about a decade ago. I did production and voicework for them, and did ‘Saving the 70s’ for free. But the production gig ended and so did the show until I started it back up in syndication and now I’ve been doing the show continuously since the summer of 2008.” His arrangement with stations is a bit unorthodox. “Many stations carry multiple hours. WTOB in Winston-Salem carries my show from 8:00 to 10:00 weeknights. A small FM in Springfield, Illinois runs it in morning drive every Thursday. As long as stations run my latest hour at least once during the week, I allow them to take the archived shows and use them as they wish.” Affiliates of the program include: the six stations of Big River Public Broadcasting in Alaska (with flagship KIYU, Galena); Internet oldies giant Atlantic Oldies 2NG; WSQL, Brevard, North Carolina; WKDK, Newberry, South Carolina; Wild Horse FM in Yarraman, Queensland, Australia; Radio Bavaria International in Germany; Real Radio International in Spain; Heartbeat FM in the UK; Radio Vera Ireland and more.
‘K102’ Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Personality Big Dan Murphy Dies. Longtime country KICR, Coeur d’Alene personality Big Dan Murphy (a.k.a. Dan McMahon) died suddenly from a heart attack at age 57. Blue Sky Broadcasting says McMahon was “a longtime radio announcer in the Pacific Northwest area, from his early days in Walla Walla where he was known as Wee Willie Winkle and in the Tri-Cities where he was Dancin’ Dan Murphy to his days as Big Dan the Frogman at ‘The Frog,’ which became ‘KIX 96’ in Spokane. His public memorial service will be held Saturday, March 8 at 2:00 pm at the Salvation Army Chapel in Spokane. Donations to his memorial fund can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank location.
Envision Networks to Syndicate Detroit-Based ‘Mojo in the Morning’ Show. The CHR morning show hosted by Mojo, Spike and Shannon on Clear Channel’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955,” is now being distributed nationally by Envision Networks. Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “’Mojo in the Morning’ consists of real people who are really funny. Their compelling life stories every morning keep you coming back for more as Mojo, Spike and Shannon wake you up and make you laugh. Your new morning show starts now!” Envision is handling affiliate relations and ad sales for the program that promises “A-list celebrity interviews with such artists as Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Eminem, George Clooney and President Obama.” Mojo adds, “For years I’ve been told by programmers that our show would sound great in their market. Well, now it can be!”
Radio One Boosts Wilson to Regional VP/Midwest. Four-year Radio One Cleveland general manager Jeffrey Wilson is elevated to regional vice president of its Midwest-based stations. Radio Division president Chris Wegmann comments that, “Jeff is a strong broadcasting professional with a solid track record of performance. He brings a diverse background in sales and operations that will be an asset to our entire radio division.” Wilson opines, “This is perhaps the most exciting time in the history of our industry. I am honored to be partnering with Chris Wegmann to redefine radio, serve our communities, and make history.” The six markets Wilson will oversee include Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Indianapolis. He joined Radio One just over 10 years ago as general manager of the company’s Columbus cluster.
Rosenthal Promoted at Katz Media Group. With this promotion, Mark Rosenthal – currently CEO of Katz Radio Group – adds the title CEO of Katz Media Group in which he will also oversee Katz Television Group, KMG’s television representation company. The company says that as CEO of Katz Radio Group, Rosenthal will remain focused on building the radio sector, working closely with Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray to drive additional media dollars into radio. Effective immediately though, he will now also work closely with KTG presidents Leo MacCourtney and Craig Broitman to grow and further develop KTG’s assets, advocacy and revenue-generating efforts.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. With the move of Greg Gory to Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles as part of “The Woody Show,” Cumulus Media fills the morning drive slot on triple A KFOG, San Francisco with midday host and music director Renee Richardson. That makes way for former KFOG personality Annalisa to return to the station for the midday slot. Annalisa has most recently been on air at Entercom’s classic rock “KFOX” duo…..Radio consulting firm Shane Media brings digital strategist Giovanni Gallucci aboard to pen a weekly social media column for client stations. CEO Ed Shane says, “His weekly updates will cover strategy for social media, brand development, and online public relations for forward-thinking operators.”…..Changes at Clear Channel’s rock KIOZ, San Diego as Missi exits the PM drive show and A.Z. slides up from middays to take her place and serve as music director. DZL moves from evenings to middays and Marty joins the station for evenings. Also, Thor becomes part of “The Show” AM drive program replacing Rob Stevens who left to join Entercom’s WAAF, Boston as producer of the “Hill-Man Morning Show”…..Travis Moon is leaving Clear Channel’s country KAJA, San Antonio “KJ97” and the business to join St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Nashville in the radio development department.
The Infinite Dial 2014. Media consultant and RadioInfo contributor Holland Cooke sat in on yesterday’s annual webinar presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital that detailed the results of the 2014 version of the Infinite Dial study. Many results are not surprising: smartphone use is growing rapidly with 61% of Americans owning cell phones – a 500% increase in five years. Although the “digital dashboard” – newer model cars with in-dash infotainment systems – gets a lot of press coverage as new deals are struck between app-makers, service providers and car manufacturers, as of today the smartphone is more important. The study reports 43% of persons 12-24 listen with a smartphone while in the car and 27% of persons 25-54 do the same. Still, AM/FM owns the auto for now and is still the primary source for discovering new music. Read more results from the study and Holland Cooke’s analysis here.
Formats Start Picking Up the Pieces. In the aftermath of the dramatic changes in programming and listening that take place during the holidays each year, January is a time of re-settling as the adult contemporary stations come down to earth. RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian sets about examining which formats benefitted the most when wall-to-wall Christmas music stations reverted to their customary (generally adult contemporary) format. “Leading off the comparison is mainstream contemporary hit radio (CHR). Frankly, several other formats have stronger survey-to-survey percentages, but omnipresent CHR provides maximum head-to-head matchups.” Check out Kinosian’s analysis of CHR performance here.
Cumulus Baton Rouge Urban Stations Present Inaugural ‘Achievement Awards.’ As the culmination of its Black History Salute, Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge urban-targeted stations urban contemporary KQXL “Q106.5,” hip hop WEMX-FM “Max94.1,” and gospel WXOK-AM “Heaven 1460” are presenting the first ever “Urban Achievement Awards” on March 16 at which Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden will be awarded with the most-coveted Trailblazer Award while Joe Delpit will be awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The event will be held at The Belle of Baton Rouge Casino and Hotel Atrium and will honor 15 local individuals who have made significant contributions to the wellbeing and development of the City of Baton Rouge. Cumulus Baton Rouge OM and urban program director J’Michael Francois says, “As a radio company, we are extremely excited to pay homage to individuals who consistently work tirelessly to improve the quality of our city. As we close Black History Month it’s our duty to celebrate the personal and professional accomplishments of those individuals whom we hope will inspire Baton Rouge’s next generation of leaders.”
Geoff Edwards Passes. No sooner had we reflected on the life and career of Los Angeles and Bay Area radio personality/television game show host Jim Lange (who succumbed to a heart attack last week) than we must now sadly note the passing of Geoff Edwards. Much like the 81-year-old Lange, Edwards, 83, amassed considerable fame from his Los Angeles radio days and nationally through several game show-hosting stints. Edwards died yesterday (3/5) of complications of pneumonia at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Wink Martindale, Lange, and Edwards toiled together in Los Angeles at the once iconic KMPC. “Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I have worked with,” Martindale states of Westfield, New Jersey native Edwards, who was heard on KMPC from 1968 – 1979. He was also on-air in Los Angeles at KHJ (1964 -1965) and two go-rounds at KFI (1966 – 1968 and 1987 – 1989). According to Edwards’ agent of many years, Fred Westbrook, Edwards succeeded in television by making several bold fashion statements. He favored jeans over suits and his hair was longer than that of most other talents at the time. ”He was part of the new breed,” Westbrook comments. Tributes on Facebook regarding Edwards’ death included this observation from renowned voiceover talent/studio audience warm-up announcer/”Price is Right” announcer Randy West. ”Geoff was a wonderfully kind and joyous guy, very bright, with a great natural talent for creating joy, both over the air and in person. For me, it was more laughs per hour with Geoff than anyone else since high school. What a pro, what a sweet man, what a character, what a ball. He was loved and respected by everybody. We laughed and giggled every time we were together.” Sonoma Music Group president Michael O’Shea checked in by remarking, “What a shock. Geoff was our 9:00 am – 12:00 noon personality at KMPC. Personable, authentic, real and natural. We played tennis a time or two. This is very sad.” Longtime KOST, Los Angeles on-air personality Ted Ziegenbusch notes that Edwards was, “One of my favorite lunchroom pals. Thanks for the laughter, the stories and the fun. I know you have always enjoyed travel. This journey is the best one ever.” Veteran Los Angeles traffic reporter Mike Nolan comments that he was, “a fan for years, then honored to work with him at KFI, so happy to have called him a friend.” Fellow television game show host Jim MacKrell remarks, “I am deeply saddened by the news of Geoff’s passing. I know of no one in our business with a better reputation and a multitude of friends. I am glad I was one of them.” Edwards’ national television resume includes hosting “Jackpot!”, “Chain Reaction,” “Play the Percentages,” “Treasure Hunt” and “The New Treasure Hunt.” In Los Angeles, he and Meredith MacRae won Emmy Awards for co-hosting the daily “Mid-Morning L.A.” For nine years (1986 – 1995), he co-hosted the California Lottery‘s “Big Spin.” An eyewitness to one of America’s most memorable moments, then-news reporter Edwards was in the basement of the Dallas Police Department on November 24, 1963 when Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Funeral plans are pending for Edwards, who is survived by his wife, two stepsons, his ex-wife and their three children, as well as nine grandchildren.
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.”
Cool Job Opportunity. Produce the hottest new country show, LIVE in Nashville. “Taste of Country Nights” is live on the air and online nightly from world-famous Music Row. Wanna join us? If you are detailed, energetic, fun and personable; if you know on air, online and social; if you love country music like we do…then Townsquare Media is the place for you and producer of Taste of Country Nights is your job. Send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Townsquare is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Emmis Solidifies NYC Cluster – Acquires WBLS and WLIB. Now, in addition to rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” Jeff Smulyan‘s Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications boasts two more New York City outlets, as it acquires urban AC WBLS “Your #1 Source for R&B” and gospel WLIB “Your Praise & Inspiration Station” from YMF Media for $131 million. Emmis president/chief executive officer/chairman Smulyan states that the transaction is “indicative of our belief in the U.S. radio industry and our desire to increase our footprint in the nation’s largest market. Emmis has deep ties to the New York African-American community – it is with great pride we take the helm of these iconic stations.” YMF Media chief executive officer/WBLS and WLIB general manager Deon Levingston will become Emmis New York general manager when it begins operating the stations under an LMA in approximately three weeks. Contingent on FCC approval of the deal – expected to be granted this summer – Emmis will pay $55 million of the purchase price, with the remaining $76 million to be doled out in one year (February 2015). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s “Holiday” 2013 PPM report, WBLS ranks #2 (6.8, down seven-tenths from December); WQHT finishes #15 (2.6, -.3 from December); and WLIB is #32 (.4 for the third successive ratings period).
Fernandez Boosted to Journal COO; Graham Upped to SVP/CFO. It’s a promotion for Journal Communications president Andre Fernandez as he is appointed chief operating officer in which he’s assuming operational oversight of the company’s broadcast and publishing segments. His other expanded responsibilities will include corporate human resources; executive vice president of radio Steve Wexler continues reporting to Fernandez. Elsewhere, the company names vice president/controller Jason Graham senior vice president of finance/controller/chief financial officer. Graham will report to chairman/chief executive officer Steven Smith, who states, “Jason has done an excellent job leading our accounting, billing, accounts payable, payroll, and tax teams. He has also contributed to our strategic planning and growth initiatives, which will continue to be an integral part of his expanded role as CFO.” Prior to joining Journal in June 2012, Graham was Brookdale Senior Living‘s vice president/corporate controller.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Management pro Terry Gillingham is named regional vice president and general manager for Ohana Broadcast Company’s Hawaii operations. Gillingham comes to Ohana after spending the last 12 years with South Central Communications’ six-station group in Knoxville…..At CBS RADIO’s hot AC KLLC, San Francisco “Alice 97.3,” Jayn is named afternoon drive personality beginning February 18. She’s been midday host, music director and APD since joining the station in 2006……Shamrock Communications gives APD stripes to classic rock WZBA, Baltimore “100.7 The Bay” afternoon personality Jay Philpott. He arrived at the station last fall after having served at adult hits WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch.”…..Another personality joins Townsquare Media’s CHR WFHN, New Bedford, Massachusetts as Loren Petisce becomes part of the “Fun 107” morning show. She previously was an air personality at Hall Communications’ country WCTK, Providence “Cat Country 98.1.”…..Former WSM-FM, Nashville air personality Taylor Morgan — who has been doing mornings on WTFM, Johnson City, Tennessee for the past 11 years has resigned and her last day on the air is February 19. She is looking for her next radio gig and can be contacted at 423-367-2055 or 423-406-1151 or by email at email@example.com.
Is Nielsen “Lying” About Millennial Audiences? Noted industry observer Jerry Del Colliano thinks so. Del Colliano published a scathing indictment of the ratings research giant in his daily industry blog Inside Music Media (www.insidemusicmedia.com) this morning (2/12) referring to the Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) report released earlier this week stating that “Millennials” (also known as “Generation Y”) are big fans of AM/FM radio and listen to it on average of 11.5 hours per week. This, of course, flies in the face of what has to this point been conventional industry wisdom strongly suggesting that over-the-air radio is rapidly losing ground as a medium of choice for the millions of 20-something children born to Baby Boomers in the 1980s-90s and now coming of age in the millions – a widespread perception that broadcast business leaders openly fear threatens the future of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio.” Del Colliano writes, “The company that now does PPM ratings which records listening that occurs by accident when meters randomly pick up an encoded radio signal is now weighing in on Millennials…an audience that clearly has no use for what consolidators put on the radio these days.” He accuses the major corporate consolidators in radio of “paying hundreds of millions of dollars to report audience estimates that the company [Nielsen] itself admits in a legal statement are not reliable.” Del Colliano is a veteran program director and radio personality who rose to prominence as the founder and publisher of the trade publication Inside Radio which he built to formidability as an independent journal prior to it being acquired by Clear Channel, which still publishes it. Del Colliano has subsequently served a number of years as a member of the music department faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) teaching and writing courses on “Generational Media” specifically documenting and understanding the traits and habits of the rapidly maturing Millennial generation – a subject that he regularly shares with radio industry leaders via his blog and annual conference.
Speaking of Jerry Del Colliano… TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison recently interviewed Jerry Del Colliano on the TALKERS magazine “experimental” talk radio station, TalkersRadio, (www.talkers.com/talkersradio) as a complete installment of the one-hour, media-discussion program he hosts. The program, recorded two-weeks ago (prior to today’s provocative Del Colliano blog), presents the two industry observers in an in-depth discussion about the very subject of the delicate relationship AM/FM radio and Gen-Y. In it, Del Colliano discusses such issues as Gen-Y’s obsession with authenticity as well as its consumer interest in non-over-the-air digital media. To listen directly to the entire 58:00 installment of this first-time public conversation between Michael Harrison and Jerry Del Colliano, please click
RadioInfo Posts Part-Three Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks. What broadcasting executive and entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years in founding and establishing Cleveland-based national syndication firm Envision Radio Networks is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry. He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows. His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets. Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that in today’s installment) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication. In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses how, as a result of new technology and social practices, radio has grown to point that it is “more than” simply radio and that operators must work diligently to preserve its history and uniqueness without sacrificing its potential and rightful place within the digital-era. In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward. I’ve seen this movie many times before. Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.” To read part three of RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here. And if you missed parts one and two published Monday and yesterday, please read them here and here, respectively.
More Details from Entercom’s Q4 Conference Call: Props to S.F. and K.C. While Entercom president and CEO David Field acknowledged that 2013 revenue was not where the company would like to have seen it (down 3%), he stated numerous times during Tuesday’s conference call that he believes the company has turned the corner and is “positioned for a strong 2014.” Saying that the company’s strongest-performing markets were San Francisco, Kansas City and Memphis, Field glowed about the ratings of some of the stations in those markets. “We have a large number of rating success stories across the country, as our programming strategies continue to bear fruit. I am most excited about some of the more interesting developmental situations, where we have recently bolstered our competitive position. For example, ‘The Wolf’ in Kansas City, has surged to become the number one country station in that market and ranks third among all stations with adults 25-54, and first among adults 18-34. Also in Kansas City, ‘The Point,’ a relatively new brand, has steadily grown, and now ranks second with women 25-54.” Field also highlighted the San Francisco cluster. “KOIT is a dominant brand right now, leading ratings gainer. KBLX, a recent acquisition, has really emerged and become a ratings getter as well; and even ‘The Game,’ our sports station in the market, continues to steadily improve its ratings, and it’s really — dramatically in the last couple of months — becoming a force to be reckoned with among men in the market. May be most importantly for this call, our revenues have dramatically accelerated there, and we are feeling very, very good about 2014.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. Members can read the whole chat here.
New Classic Rock Signal in Columbus, Georgia. The new classic rocker is being called “1055 The Ride” and it’s airing on the 105.5 FM signal of translator W288CV, owned by PMB Broadcasting. Until recently the signal aired a simulcast of the company’s country WKCN “Kissin’ 993.” WKCN program director Chris Chaos will program the station in addition to his PD and afternoon drive duties on WKCN.
Cool Job Opportunity. Rhythmic CHR WOCQ-FM in Salisbury/Ocean City, Maryland is looking for its next morning STAR to co-host on the highly successful “Hip Hop Coffee Shop” morning show! Candidates MUST also be willing to either voice track other shifts or go LIVE if needed. MUST be dependable, have SOME radio experience (TV experience a plus as well), be GREAT at keeping up to date with current local, national, and entertainment news…good on the computer/social media a plus. Also MUST be organized and quick on your toes. And of course knowledge of the rhythmic CHR format. Email resume & mp3 to firstname.lastname@example.org EOE. Females strongly encouraged to apply.
Entercom Revenue Down 2% in Q4; Dips 3% for 2013. The 2013 fourth quarter numbers for Entercom are in and the company reports net revenue was down 2% on $99.6 million though adjusted net income per share was basically flat. Also free cash flow increased by 2%. For the full year of 2013, net revenue dipped 3%. Though station expenses decreased slightly during the year, station operating income decreased by 8% to $125.8 million. Entercom is holding a conference call with investors and analysts at 12:00 noon ET today (2/11). President and CEO David Field says in a statement, “Entercom’s fourth quarter revenues declined 2% while revenues excluding political advertising posted a 2% increase. 2014 began on a solid note with January revenues up moderately over the prior year. We are optimistic about 2014 performance based on improving sales capabilities and execution, strong ratings and meaningful local growth opportunities.”
Beasley Broadcast Group to Work with Propel Marketing for Online Marketing. In an effort to expand its online marketing, Beasley Broadcast Group announces it is engaging Propel Marketing to “assist Beasley’s local clients in building and expanding their online marketing opportunities and solutions.” In a statement, Beasley says that Propel’s products and services include website and mobile site design, search engine optimization, lists and local directories, social media services and online reputation management. It further states that the “agreement affords Beasley’s local account executives access to a robust portfolio of online marketing services. Beasley’s relationship with Propel Marketing enhances the on-air and online advertising opportunities already available to existing and future clients, especially small businesses that typically do not have in-house resources to create and implement successful online marketing campaigns. Propel Marketing will not only create and deliver online marketing solutions, but also provide a dedicated team of specialists to ensure that Beasley’s clients are fully leveraging Propel Marketing products.” Beasley EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley states, “We are extremely excited by this relationship. It gives us the ability to respond to any request a local advertiser may have that involves exploring a digital component. The ability to combine radio’s powerful reach with Propel Marketing’s wide assortment of online products and services will greatly enhance a local advertising campaign.” Newly appointed vice president of digital Stacey Sedbrook adds, “By integrating online marketing with their current radio marketing efforts our clients are able to both extend their audience reach and more efficiently target their messaging. Beasley sales professionals remain the primary contact for our advertising customers. Our goal remains helping local businesses build their brands and grow their revenue. We can now offer integrated marketing solutions under the Beasley Broadcast brand allowing advertisers to streamline their marketing efforts with a trusted local partner.”
RadioInfo Posts Part-Two Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks. Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production. Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations. Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year. It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide. When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiere Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations. However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel. Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio. His vision was Envision Radio Networks — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that creates over four-dozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates. It is a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line. What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry. He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows. His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets. Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication. In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses exactly what it takes to build a formidable syndication firm from scratch and shares his view of the changing nature of the syndication business as well as radio in general. In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward. I’ve seen this movie many times before. Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.” To read part two of RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here. And if you missed part one published yesterday, read that here.
CBS Brands Orlando CHR ‘AMP RADIO.’ Contemporary hit radio WJHM, Orlando re-brands with CBS RADIO’s ‘AMP RADIO’ moniker. The station says it is continuing “its evolution as a contemporary music station by introducing its new name ‘101.9 AMP RADIO.’ The station will continue to feature ‘All the Hits’ from today’s popular artists including Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Rihanna, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry, among others. The pop station had previously been known as ‘102 JAMZ.’” Program director Bobby Smith states, “This is the next step to better strengthen our brand as a pop music station. Exciting energy and the pulse of today’s pop music is what drives 101.9, and with our new ‘AMP RADIO’ branding we’ve positioned ourselves to more closely reflect those traits. We are thrilled about the station’s transformation and know listeners will be, too.”
JVC Media Drops Country Simulcast in Gainesville; Goes Classic Hits on WYGC. The Gainesville-market signal WYGC has been half of the simulcast of the country format “My Country” (the other half being WTRS, Dunnellon (Ocala market). But now JVC Media drops the country and debuts the classic hits format branding the station “104.9 WOW FM.” The station says it will target the 35-64 demo playing hits from the 60s through the 80s with core artists including Tom Petty, The Eagles, Madonna, and Michael Jackson. JVC Media/Florida vice president Shane Reeve comments, “As a fan of this type of music genre, it was unbelievable to me no one in the Gainesville-Ocala market was providing an outlet for the greatest hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. ‘104.9 WOW FM’ will be community and promotionally active with charity events, concerts, and amazing giveaways.”
Max Krasny Joins CBS RADIO as VP/Sales and Strategic Alliances. The former WestwoodOne EVP takes on the vice president, sales and strategic partnerships position with CBS RADIO’s Altitude Group division which focuses on helping brands connect with consumers using CBS RADIO stations, along with CBS Television stations and their digital properties, as well as CBS’s outdoor assets. Max Krasny reports to the executive leadership of the Altitude Group: Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, and Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales. Lobel states, “Max is a seasoned pro who brings a marketing acumen to a client’s business, and knows how to deliver creative excellence that makes brands stand out and get noticed. No one has a better portfolio of local assets under one roof than CBS including: radio, television, out-of-home, live events, websites, mobile and social apps.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Grand Ole Opry-owned classic country WSM-AM, Nashville, Randy Bush is the new general manager taking over for Tom English who exited the station in September of 2013 to join Warner Chappell Production Music…..Matt Silverwood is the new afternoon host and assistant PD at hot AC WURV, Richmond “103.7 Play.” His arrival bumps personality Jessie to the midday slot…..JJ Holiday is the new program director at Leighton Enterprises’ country KZPK, St. Cloud, Minnesota “Wild Country 99”…..Paula Young becomes part of the afternoon drive show alongside co-host Dave Conrad at country WFRE, Frederick, Maryland “Free Country 99.9.” Young replaces Holly McCall at the Aloha Station Trust outlet…..TownSquare Media’s CHR WFHN, New Bedford, Massachusetts “Fun 107” names Nancy Hall afternoon personality and music director. She most recently served with Cumulus Media at CHR WQGN, New London, Connecticut “Q105.”…..Gregg Linder is announced as the new SVP/research methods and statistics at the Media Rating Council. Linder comes to the MRC from Nielsen where he was chief research officer and was heavily involved in obtaining MRC accreditation.
‘Slow Jams Live’ Tradition Continues in Albuquerque. Now in its 14th year of doing United States concert tours, Benztown Radio Networks’ syndicated “Sunday Night Slow Jams” kicks things off this Friday (Valentine’s Day, 2/14) in Albuquerque. It will continue one week later (2/21) in Tucson. Host/producer R Dub explains that the origin for the series began, “in a little country and western bar with hay on the ground, and cow heads on the wall. We had two “C”-track acts and wondered if the idea would work. Today, we’re selling out arenas.” Slated to appear at various venues are such artists as Bobby Brown, John Legend, 112, Next, Mario, SoMo, Shai, and Force MDs. Expected to be announced soon are more dates and cities for “The Sunday Night Slow Jams Live.” R Dub was recently featured on an episode of ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.”
Michele Laven Promoted to Newly Created Corporate Post at Clear Channel. Rising from her EVP of strategic partnerships position to the new president of partnerships and local activation post is Michele Laven. She’ll report to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships at Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. Her role is described as creating “strategic alliances and marketing programs with key distribution and content partners, while expanding the capacity of Clear Channel’s local market sales organizations to develop multi-market revenue opportunities.” CEO Bob Pittman states, “Clear Channel is built on our strong relationships with listeners, advertisers and partners — both on the local and national level. We have the unparalleled ability to connect artists with their fans and brands with their consumers, and in her new role Michele is going to use her expertise to help national partners build an even closer relationship with their consumers at the local level.” Prior to joining CC eight years ago, Laven served as president and chief operating officer of New Times Media.
Entercom Elevates DiNardo to SF VP/Market Manager. Vice president of sales Steve DiNardo is boosted to vice president and market manager of Entercom‘s San Francisco-San Jose cluster. Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer comments that, “After a nationwide search, the best choice was right in front of us. I am proud to promote from within as Steve and the entire San Francisco team achieved market-leading results in Q4. They have set a blistering pace for 2014. Under Steve’s leadership, I know Entercom will continue to be one of the media leaders in the market.” The company’s Bay Area group consists of adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Lite Rock – Less Talk,” classic rock duo KUFX and KUZX “K-Fox,” sports KGMZ “The Game,” and urban AC KBLX “Yesterday and Today’s R&B.” DiNardo remarks, “Our heritage brands and innovative staff make this opportunity a dream come true. Entercom’s entrepreneurial spirit and corporate resources give us everything we need to grow our audience engagement as well as the revenues that follow.” In advance of joining the Entercom stations in 2012, DiNardo spent 15 years as a CBS Radio vice president/general manager.
Casey Named Operations Manager of Townsquare Hudson Valley. Former Clear Channel, Indianapolis director of operations Buzz Casey is tapped to become operations manager for Townsquare Media Group‘s 10 stations in the Hudson Valley and Poughkeepsie, New York. Townsquare Media senior vice president of programming Kurt Johnson remarks, “Buzz has a track record of success and he brings a strong set of skills to lead Townsquare Hudson Valley to a new level on-air, online and on site.” In addition to his OM duties, Casey will be day-to-day program director of Poughkeepsie rock outlet WPDH. ”The culture and creativity of Townsquare Media Group are top-notch,” Casey comments. “The Hudson Valley brands are poised for success.” Hudson Valley is Nielsen Audio‘s 39th-highest market. Casey’s past programming and operations management resume includes Atlanta’s WKLS “96 Rock” and alternative WBZY; Phoenix rocker KDKB; classic rock WFBQ “Q-95,” Indianapolis; and WNRQ, Nashville.
Pacey Williams to Host Afternoons on ‘V101’ in Sacramento. Northern California native Pacey Williams is the new PM drive personality at Clear Channel’s urban contemporary KHYL, Sacramento “V101, The Beat of Sacramento.” Williams began his radio career in San Diego working with the “Jeff & Jer Morning Show.” After making stops in Bakersfield, Atlanta and San Francisco as an on-air host, Williams served as producer of the morning show at KMEL in San Francisco. CC San Francisco OM Steve Weed says, “Pacey’s energy and passion for music is a great addition to the talent line-up on ‘V101’ and a true reflection of ‘The Beat of Sacramento.’” Williams adds, “I’ve always loved Sacramento and I’m excited to join the ‘V101’ team. I wouldn’t be here without the experience I had at KMEL and will take that with me to ‘V101’ to entertain listeners in the afternoon.”
Cape Cod Broadcasting Tweaks Formats; Welcomes New Morning Show Talent. Recently arrived programmer Jerry McKenna and Cape Cod Broadcasting general manager Bev Tilden announce new morning personalities and some programming changes at three of the company’s properties. Tilden calls the news “a fun new concept for Cape morning radio.” First, hot AC WQRC re-brands as “99-9 The Q” with new morning show host Karen Blake. At sister country WKPE “Cape Country 104,” Ralphie Marino is the new wake-up personality. Blake and Marino (as seen in this image at left) formerly worked together as morning show co-hosts on the old “STAR Boston” (now WEEI-FM). The former partners from “STAR Boston” playfully appeared on each other’s morning shows on Monday (2/3). McKenna comments, “Ralphie and Karen are true professionals. They each know how to create great morning radio. Cape Cod is in for a treat!” Blake and Marino will be joined by Sean Doherty – former staffer at “KISS 108” and “JAMN 94.5” in Boston – who will appear on both shows delivering entertainment reports and Cape Cod lifestyle observations. Additionally, the company announces the debut of the new format slant for WOCN “Ocean 104.7.” Dubbed “Custom Crafted for the Cape,” WOCN will feature core artists such as James Taylor, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot, The Eagles, later Beatles and Bob Dylan with modern singer/songwriters like John Mayer, Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat added in. Ed McMann is serving as the new station voice.
Ashley Z Assumes Middays at Saga’s Brewtown CHR ‘Energy 106.9.’ Moving across Lake Michigan from her most recent role as evening personality at MacDonald Garber Broadcasting’s CHR WKHQ, Charlevoix, Michigan, Ashley Z is the new midday jock at WNRG, Milwaukee “Energy 106.9.” Commenting on her new gig, Ashley says, “I couldn’t be more excited to join the team at ‘Energy’ and to take this next step in my career. I’m ecstatic for this opportunity in Milwaukee.”
Clear Channel Announces More Corporate Moves. Changes at the corporate level at Clear Channel Media + Entertainment include a title adjustment and new duties for former EVP/integrated music marketing Alissa Pollack who becomes EVP/music & partner integrations for Premiere Networks. She reports to Darren Davis (recently named president of Clear Channel network groups) and will work in “developing and integrating artist, partner, and advertiser opportunities into” Premiere programs, according to a corporate memo from Davis. Also, the company announces that EVP/entertainment programming Jennifer Leimgruber signs a contract renewal to keep her in that position through 2017.
Medical Marijuana Info Ad on Boston Stations Raises Questions About ‘Pot Ads.’ The issue in Massachusetts as reported by the Boston Herald yesterday is different than the issues stations in Colorado and Washington are facing. The Massachusetts case is about medical marijuana, not legal pot for recreational use as is now allowed in Colorado and Washington. Stations in those states have so far avoided ads for legal pot because of the conflict between federal and state laws on the matter – no one is willing to become the (expensive) legal test case. But the Massachusetts ads that aired on Greater Media’s alternative WBOS and rhythmic AC WBQT in Boston were bought not by a dispensary but by the New England Grass Roots Institute which doesn’t sell marijuana; it provides information about medical marijuana. Institute founder Mike Fitzgerald tells the Herald the rules don’t apply to him. “We’re the first cannabis institute. We’re really focused on people who have never seen cannabis before. Since the American Medical Association isn’t teaching anything, we thought we need to step in.” But the Herald story also quotes a dispensary consultant who says the laws state dispensaries are not supposed to “generate demand.” Since Fitzgerald’s institute is not a dispensary, that could muddy the waters. Regardless, it’s going to be just a matter of time before advertising this new industry becomes relevant to radio. There’s just too much money to be made. Read the Herald story here.
TCCP Radio Unveils Digital Initiative. Programming consulting company TCCP Radio announces it is launching a “digital platform designed specifically to grow website views and the digital revenue of local radio stations.” The company reports the platform is being piloted on 10 local radio station websites this month and will be available nationwide in fall 2014. TCCP president Kent Phillips comments, “Radio broadcasters have challenged us to develop digital solutions with solid metrics that complement their radio stations, not take listeners and dollars away from their stations. I think we have a viable solution.”
Constantine Joins Live365 as Director of Programming. Internet radio network Live365 names Dennis Constantine director of programming. “More and more radio listening is moving online and I am thrilled to be part of the radio revolution,” Constantine comments. ”Live365 is fully involved in creating new products and improving the experience of radio listening. It is exciting to be part of the brain trust.” Within the past several months, Live365 has appointed Hong Lau chief executive officer; Bill Bungeroth vice president of sales; and Juliette Bouquerel director of broadcast services. Perhaps best known for his 13-year programming stint at Portland’s KINK – which ended in October 2010 – Constantine has programmed KFOG, San Francisco, and he has worked at various stations in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Denver.
Slacker Radio Names Duncan Orrell-Jones CEO. Coming over from game maker Nintendo where he was senior vice president of network business is Duncan Orrell-Jones who joins Slacker Radio as chief executive officer. He succeeds Jim Cady, who will remain as a member of the company’s board of directors. ”I am excited to welcome Duncan to Slacker Radio and I look forward to working with him to lead the company into its next stage of growth,” states Cady. ”Slacker has built a powerful service that blends the art of human radio with the science of streaming. We attracted more than 21 million new listeners in 2013, and it’s an ideal time to bring in someone of Duncan’s caliber to take Slacker’s business to the next level.” Orrell-Jones comments, “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Slacker Radio in what promises to be its most exciting period of growth. There is a tremendous opportunity to build on Slacker’s momentum with consumers, its strong technology platform, and its suite of billing and distribution partners across wireless carriers, automotive manufacturers, and consumer electronics devices.” In addition to Nintendo, Orrell-Jones’ background includes senior vice president and managing director of Disney Interactive Media Group, Asia Pacific. In addition, he has held executive positions at Disney’s feature animation, Disney Toon Studio, and Broadway theatrical productions groups. He begins at Slacker Radio next Monday (2/10).
‘PineCone Bluegrass Show’ Thriving in Raleigh. Going against the grain of what some country programmers might consider contemporary, the “PineCone Bluegrass Radio Show” is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Curtis Media’s WQDR, Raleigh. The program has been airing weekly there since January 29, 1989. The show’s co-hosts, Larry Nixon and Tim Woodall started spinning bluegrass on WQDR at the station’s request and a quarter-century later, Nixon and Woodall are still co-hosting the popular Sunday evening program. Curtis Media VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “’The PineCone Bluegrass Show’ on QDR – it’s a fun celebration – 25 years of playing the music that makes our country great. It’s one of my favorite Sunday night traditions! I do love the texture three hours of bluegrass brings to QDR.”
Bobby Bones Considering Exit from Radio. Nationally syndicated morning drive personality Bobby Bones tweets that he’s been offered a job outside of radio (TV perhaps?) that he’s considering and that he will announce his intentions on home base country WSIX, Nashville at 12:00 noon local time on Monday, February 3. Bones says he’s tweeting it now to let listeners know the truth and that he’ll be signing off of Twitter over this weekend while he considers his future and has discussions with Clear Channel’s Jay Shannon, Michael Bryan and Rod Phillips. Bones says, in part, “I never wanted money to come into play in these decisions. But sometimes it does have actual influence, and I have the chance to do something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.” Obviously, Clear Channel and Premiere Networks have invested a fair amount of time and money in developing Bones and his crew into a national country morning show and the degree to which the company tries to convince him to stay will be commensurate with the success he’s having and what his upside is.
LFM Extends Deal with ‘KS 1075’ Denver Morning Show. The morning drive team of “Larry, Kendall & Kathie” (Larry Ulibarri, Kendall B. and Kathie J.) will remain at Lincoln Financial Media’s rhythmic CHR KQKS, Denver for “multiple years” to come after signing an extension. “KS1075” program director John E. Kage says, “Larry, Kendall & Kathie are amazingly talented. Each day they are irreverent, topical and laugh-out-loud funny. They’ve taken their digital and social media presence to another level and their work in the community is second to none. I couldn’t be more excited for them to continue to call ‘KS1075’ home.” Producer Wign’z also re-ups to remain with the show. Ulibarri comments, “I’m excited to continue to entertain the masses in the best city in the world. Denver has made us number one for 11 years running and in return, we keep them laughing! It’s a pretty fair trade. Here’s to the next three years with a great crew and an outstanding station staff.”
Entercom Names Bentley Morning Personality at ‘Alternative Buffalo 107.7.’ The new alternative rock outlet Entercom recently debuted in Buffalo has a morning drive personality as the company announces Tiffany Bentley joins the station beginning Monday, February 3. Bentley, who goes by her surname on the air, most recently worked as a music journalist at Metal Insider, The Express Times and 33 Universal. She has also worked at NPR in Pennsylvania and ‘K-Rock’ in Syracuse. WLKK program director Nik Rivers states, “We were looking for a special talent to fill the morning drive spot on a special station and we found that person in Bentley. Our search was extensive, nationwide and included many talented candidates. As we went through the process Bentley distinguished herself with her on-air personality, her professionalism and her journalistic background. She has an extreme passion for the music we play, and she will be a perfect fit for ‘Alternative Buffalo’ and its listeners.” Bentley adds, “After living in New York City and being part of such a rich music scene, I am so excited to return to Upstate New York. I am looking forward to becoming part of such a forward-thinking music family at ‘Alternative Buffalo.’”
Dillon Leaving Las Vegas To Program KTBT. Clear Channel-owned CHR KPLV “All The Hits,” Las Vegas program director and afternoon talent Zach Dillon will transfer to Tulsa in approximately two weeks (mid-February) to program the company’s similarly-formatted KTBT “92.1 The Beat.” Commenting on the move, Dillon says that he wants “to personally thank” the company’s senior vice president of programming Tony Coles, regional operations manager Dave Ashcraft, Tulsa market manager Jon Phillips and Tulsa operations manager Don Cristi for “collectively agreeing” that he is “the right man for the job. I am so excited to stay within the Clear Channel family, and I look forward to getting to Tulsa to make things happen at ‘The Beat.’” Dillon’s previous programming credits include KWTX, Waco and three years in Danbury, Connecticut as program director/music director/afternoon drive personality at hot AC WDAQ “98Q.”
Look Who Is Leveraging Music Radio’s Native Asset. Over the past few months both Shazam and Soundhound have announced partnerships with pure-play music services such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and Rdio to connect terrestrial radio listeners to those services through music identification apps. A terrestrial radio listener who likes a new song can identify the track with one of these apps and tap a button to create a custom pure-play station based on that artist. In essence they are leveraging one of radio’s core native assets, music discovery. In a powerful opinion piece posted in RadioInfo today (1/31) Bill Freund, EVP/CRO of Clip Interactive, alleges that Shazam and Soundhound are effectively “hijacking the music discovery experience with the listener” by taking them away from terrestrial radio to pure play streams. Freund emphatically writes, “Radio needs to recognize this is a big deal, and understand why audio content identification and listener interactivity with the broadcast is so critical to radio’s future. Music discovery has always been a core part of terrestrial radio’s appeal by supplying human curators to source and find new music. When a station broke a new song and the phones went crazy, they played it more and talked about it on air. This drove more listening, ratings and loyalty to the station.” To read the entire piece, please click here.
WACO-FM, Waco Morning Show to Broadcast from Afghanistan. The morning duo of Zack Owen and Jim Cody at Clear Channel’s country WACO-FM, Waco, Texas – “WACO 100” – is headed off on its fourth trip to Afghanistan where it will broadcast live all next week and “feature exclusive interviews and shout outs from soldiers as well as its popular country music programming.” The station says that “WACO 100” has a long history of supporting its local troops through its deep relationship with Fort Hood. In the past, Zack and Owen have broadcast live from Iraq twice and once before in Afghanistan in 2011. They will sit down with soldiers who are currently serving in Afghanistan to talk about life on duty as well as send personal sentiments to family and friends back home in Texas. Owen comments, “When people ask why I so actively look for ways to show support for our soldiers or why I’ve gone four times to a war zone, I think about my grandfather who served in World War I and my father in World War II — and this is how I can do my part. I’ve been given a tool and opportunity to give back since I’m not in the service. I get to bring a little piece of home to our soldiers and then send a little piece of them over the air to their families back at home.”
Good Karma Sells Janesville, Wisconsin Stations to Local Operator. Two stations in the Janesville, Wisconsin market – rock WWHG “105.9 The Hog” and sports talk WTJK “ESPN Radio 1380” – are being sold by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting to Scott Thompson who operates stations in nearby Monroe, Wisconsin and Freeport, Illinois. The Janesville Gazette reports that Thompson plans to keep the staff already in place at both stations and possibly add an employee. He tells the paper WTJK may air less ESPN content and more local news. Thompson takes over under an LMA while the transaction works its way through the FCC approval process.
CBS Radio’s Radio.com Has Exclusive on Parmalee Video. The digital destination Radio.com – a CBS Radio O&O – is presenting the exclusive premiere of the latest video by Parmalee titled, “Close Your Eyes.” The lyric video is available exclusively on Radio.com through Sunday, February 2 and CBS says the song will begin impacting radio on Monday. The Stoney Creek Records group is currently a semi-finalist for New Artist of the Year honors from the Academy of Country Music.
Holiday PPM Data – Part Three. Just released is the third round of Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2013 PPM ratings data for markets including Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. You can see complete market numbers here and in addition, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this latest group below.
- Portland – KKCW “K-103″ enjoys its third straight up trend (6.8 – 7.0 – 8.6 – 15.1), this one a potent +6.5, bringing the Clear Channel adult contemporary outlet to double-digits (6+) for the first time since March and its best numbers since “Holiday” 2012 (15.8). Two cluster-mates, however, are among those adversely affected by the massive “K-103″ gain: Classic hits-oldies KLTH is -1.1 (4.7 – 3.6, #6 in December to #10) and talk KEX loses one full-share (3.0 – 2.0, #17 to #18). While Entercom‘s KWJJ “The Wolf” remains at #14, the country station drops four-tenths to 3.2, marking its fifth consecutive (6+) decline (6.5 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.0 – 3.6 – 3.2, August-”Holiday”); it ranked third in August.
- Charlotte – CBS Radio owns four of this market’s top five (6+), including adult contemporary WKQC “K-104.7,” which vaults from fifth to first, dislodging urban AC cluster-mate WBAV (7.6 – 7.4, #2). Not only is this the fourth successive positive sweep for “K-104.7″ (5.1 – 5.3 – 5.4 – 5.6 – 10.9), the +5.3 nearly doubles its December (6+) share. Although taking a significant hit (-1.4 to 5.9), urban contemporary sibling WPEG only dips from second to third. Greater Media talk outlet WBT is off by nine-tenths (4.4 – 3.5), as it falls from #11 in December to a three-way tie at #12.
- Pittsburgh – Thankfully for Pirates fans, ending in 2013 was the National League team’s string of 20 straight losing seasons. Now, on a positive note, WWSW “3WS” is putting together its own impressive “Steel City” streak. The Clear Channel classic hits-oldies outlet has been flat or up in every PPM report since May. That includes December’s +1.7 and a huge +4.8 in “Holiday” (6.3 – 6.4 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 8.8 – 13.6). The 13.6 surpasses the station’s “Holiday” 2012 (6+) stat by one-half share. In December, cluster-mate WPGB posted its lowest 6+ total since PPM became ratings currency in Pittsburgh. The talker drops another nine-tenths (3.0 – 2.1), however, it remains at #11. CBS Radio country outlet WDSY (#3 to #5) is down for the fourth straight time – this time by 1.6 shares (8.8 – 8.0 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 6.2). Also feeling the effects of all-Christmas music on “3WS” is Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ (4.6 – 3.3, -1.3), which slides from a seventh-place tie to ninth.
- Sacramento – In addition to boasting its highest 6+-share since PPM went into effect in California’s capital city and crossing the nine-share threshold for the first time, CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix” more than doubles its December share (4.5 – 9.2, +4.7) to vault from #8 to #1. As did “Mix,” Clear Channel-owned KHLX “Classic 93.1″ (2.5 – 4.0, +1.5) participated in the all-Christmas music spirit during the sweep and it advances from #18 in December to #8. The day after Christmas, KHLX dumped its “Classic Hits of the ’70s and ’80s” brand to simulcast talk KFBK-AM under new call letters – KFBK-FM; however, that would be a short-lived transition. Approximately two weeks ago (1/10), the station changed again – this time to “Today’s Country,” adopting KBEB as it new calls.
- San Antonio – After November – December’s +2.8 (4.4 – 7.2), KQXT “Q-101.9″ tacks on four and one half shares to 11.7, enabling the Clear Channel adult contemporary to climb from third to first. In the process, it pushes out country sibling KAJA “KJ 97″ (7.6 – 6.6, -1.0), which shared the lead with Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO. This is the first time “KJ 97″ has not been either in sole possession – or tied – at #1 since “Holiday” 2012. Then, as now, “Q-101.9″ was #1. Regarding KONO, it had been up or steady (6+) since September (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6), but regresses by 1.5 shares (7.6 – 6.1), falling to fifth.
- Cincinnati – Posting a +1.3 (4.9 – 6.2, November – December) which allowed it to inch up from #6 to #5, Hubbard adult contemporary WRRM “Warm 98″ pours it on with a +4.2, taking it to #1 (10.4) and its strongest 6+-stat in one year (“Holiday” 2012 – 10.5). For the fifth consecutive monthly, Pillar of Fire-owned contemporary Christian WAKW “Star” has an upward trend (1.6 – 1.9 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 5.2 – 6.0). After jumping from #16 to #6 (November – December), it remains at #6. WLW (#2) ends its (6+) September – December mini-slide (13.7 – 12.3 – 9.8 – 9.0) with a +.6. Even so, it was not enough to stay at #1: The Clear Channel talk powerhouse is out of the top spot for the first time since this past March. Dropping by eight-tenths are Hubbard siblings (country) WUBE (7.3 – 6.5, #3) and WREW “Cincinnati’s Best Mix” (5.1 – 4.3, #9).
- Salt Lake City – Virtually any superlative regarding the “Holiday” 2013 performance of Bonneville adult contemporary KSFI “FM 100″ would most likely be insufficient. For openers, it remains #1 for the fifth straight month, but the manner in which it did so approaches historic PPM proportions. It is imperative to remember this is not an under-radio market where shares can become bloated. In fact, 32 stations appear in print in the “Holiday” survey, yet “FM 100″ boasts a stunning 19.3 (6+), which more than triples that of its talk sibling, #2 KSL (6.4). Further putting the 19.3 in perspective, “FM 100″ had a solid 9.9 in December (6+), but it managed to swell that by another 9.4 shares. Meanwhile, several other market stations experienced survey-to-survey drop-offs of at least one-share. They included Clear Channel talk KNRS (6.3 – 4.7, #5, -1.6), its classic hits-oldies sibling KODJ (5.0 – 3.7, #8, -1.3), KLO hot AC KBZN (5.2 – 4.1, #6, -1.1), and Clear Channel hot AC KJMY (4.3 – 3.3, #11, -1.0).
- Las Vegas – In December, Clear Channel adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5″ posted a +2.7 to 7.6, which trotted the station from fifth to first. All-Christmas music has another mega-winner with “Sunny,” which more than doubles its December gain (+6.6) to 14.2. Mirroring what we’ve seen in several other markets (such as Salt Lake City), the 14.2 is not only a station best for “Sunny” but the highest (6+) share recorded in Las Vegas’ PPM history. CBS Radio hot AC KMXB is off by -1.1 (6.8 – 5.7) and drops from second to third. Declining by nine-tenths are Beasley classic hits-oldies KKLZ (5.4 – 4.5, #5,) and co-owned adult hits KVGS (3.1 – 2.2, #17); KKLZ was -1.6 November – December.
- Orlando – Four of the market’s top eight stations (6+) are Clear Channel properties, including adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7,” which more than doubles its December share (5.4 – 11.0) to rocket from seventh to first. Further noteworthy for “Magic” is that it came into the “Holiday” period with a -1.4, November – December; 11.0 is the station’s strongest 6+-number in one year (“Holiday” 2012 – 13.6). Notching a +1.4 is Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB (5.6 – 7.0, #5 in December to #3). Significant survey-to-survey declines include CBS Radio hot AC WOMX (5.6 – 4.0, -1.6, #5 to #11) and classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WOCL (6.9 – 5.9, -1.0, #2 to #4).
- Columbus – On the heels of a November – December +2.1 to 7.4, Clear Channel‘s WODC “Oldies 93.3″ nearly doubles that gain with a +4.0 to climb from #3 to #1 (11.4). It curtails cluster-mate WNCI’s eight-month stay at the top, although the CHR manages to stay in double-digits (6+) for the tenth straight time (11.2 – 10.8). Independent contemporary Christian WCVO “The River” (#5) turns in a +1.3 to 5.0, its strongest showing since June, when it reached 5.6. There is a rare hefty December – “Holiday” gain by a rocker as North American‘s WRKZ “The Blitz” improves 3.7 – 4.8 (+1.1); it inches up from eighth to seventh. With a -1.7, Clear Channel country WCOL-FM (#2 to #3) ends three successive monthlies in double-digits (10.2 – 10.4 – 10.2 – 8.5).
Clear Channel Names ‘The Woody Show’ to Replace Kennedy at Alternative KYSR, Los Angeles. The change is set to take place on April 21 when “The Woody Show” featuring Woody, Ravey, Menace and Greg Gory takes over the 6:00 am to 10:00 am slot currently held down by Lisa Kennedy Montgomery’s “Music in the Morning with Kennedy” show. The station says in a statement, “The foursome are real life friends, who are having fun, raw, honest conversations about things happening in the world – they will reunite on “ALT 98.7” for the first time since 2009, when they were a top-rated morning show in San Francisco. Since then, Woody and Ravey have hosted the #1 morning show in St. Louis, while Menace and Gory each anchor separate successful shows in San Francisco. CCM+E vice president of programming Los Angeles Andrew Jeffries says, “’The Woody Show’ is here to wake the market up with their unique friendship, driven by a cast of characters coming from a diverse range of backgrounds all finding a common sense of humor, love of communicating with listeners and desire to entertain.”
Karter Returns to Chicago to Program WGCI-FM. Four-year Clear Channel San Francisco urban contemporary KMEL assistant program director/midday talent Kenard Karter (a.k.a. K2) will transfer to his Chicago hometown on March 3 to program co-owned urban AC WGCI-FM. Director of urban programming Derrick Brown comments, “I am thrilled Kenard is coming aboard to lead the WGCI-FM team. His record of success at KMEL is impressive and his competitive spirit is infectious. I could not be happier that Kenard is coming back home to Chicago to take WGCI-FM to its next level of success.” Karter remarks, “I am proud to have a proven track record of major market ratings success. I am a team player with a knack for innovation and collaboration, which I am excited to bring to Chicago. I am ready to accept the challenge of leading one of Clear Channel’s heritage urban brands as program director in my hometown.” Kenard’s previous Chicago background includes air personality/music director positions at both WGCI-FM and mainstream CHR sibling WKSC “Kiss FM.”
Wilks Awards Kennedy VP Stripes. At Wilks-owned KBEQ “Q-104,” Kansas City, program director Mike Kennedy is boosted to corporate vice president/country programming. Executive vice president of programming Jeff Sanders points out that Kennedy “has been programming KBEQ since 1992, and he has been part of the morning team since 2001. He comes with a wealth of programming knowledge and a very strong relationship with Nashville.” Kennedy comments, “I cannot tell you how excited I am to now have the challenge of working with, learning from, and growing our group of Wilks country stations. We have some bright, talented, and experienced teammates on our country stations. I cannot wait to do all I can to help us grow and move forward.” In addition to “Q-104″ and Kansas City country sibling KFKF-FM “Country 94.1,” Kennedy will oversee KWOF “The Wolf,” Denver; WHOK “K-107.1,” Columbus; KWFP “The Wolf,” Reno, Nevada; and KLLL “Lubbock’s Country Leader,” Lubbock, Texas.
CBS RADIO Celebrates Detroit on WOMC-HD3 Channel. The channel is branded “Detroit’s Boulevard” and it’s found on the HD3 channel of CBS RADIO’s oldies WOMC. The station is a blend of older and current hits from Detroit artists including heritage acts such as Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye to Bob Seger and Madonna as well as current artists including Mayor Hawthorn, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., The Ready Set, Blue October, Mike Posner, Kid Rock, Eminem, and Jack White.
Norfolk Rhythmic CHR Just Says ‘No.’ There is at least one station that has had enough of Justin Bieber‘s questionable behavior and is doing something about it. The singer is facing charges of drunk driving, resisting arrest, driving without a valid license, and street racing. That has led Entercom Norfolk rhythmic CHR WNVZ “Z-104″ to suspend all of Bieber’s music on the station effective immediately. Program director Mike Klein comments, “‘Z-104 is very disappointed with Justin Bieber’s recent choices. With his arrest, we felt the need to make a moral stand.” The action remains in effect until further notice. The station has initiated a poll on its website allowing listeners to express their opinion.
Fredericksburg Operator Free Lance-Star Publishing Company Files Chapter 11. The heritage publishing company and radio station operator located in Fredericksburg, Virginia has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it prepares for an ownership change – possibly putting the company in the hands of creditor Sandton Capital Partners. The company operates four radio stations – country WFLS, rhythmic CHR WVBX, classic rock WWUZ, and sports talk WNTX – in addition to a number of publications. It’s been owned by the Rowe family for the past 130 years and current publisher, Nick Cadwallender, says he expects the stations and the publications to continue to function in a way that will not negatively affect the station’s staffers, at least in the near term. The company has already reduced staff and made changes to try to comply with its loan covenant but efforts to secure new funding or a refinance have been unsuccessful, leaving the Chapter 11 filing the next move.
Nielsen’s ‘Connected Life Report’ Indicates Connected Car Becoming More Important. The results of a new study by Nielsen dubbed the “Connected Life Report” shows consumers buying new vehicles are increasingly aware of the connected car and for many it is an important feature in buying a new car. Nielsen says its study reveals “63% of connected car drivers said they looked for built-in features during the car-buying process. Among those who purchased connected cars, the features drivers said were important included internet-enabled navigation (79%), safety alerts (76%), vehicle diagnostics (74%), and entertainment connectivity such as voice controls for communications and streaming audio (80%).” When it comes to which connected car features were important to consumers, 42% stated that entertainment connectivity was “very important.” (Fifty-one percent said emergency connectivity was “very important” and 49% stated internet-enabled navigation was “very important.”)
WestwoodOne Presents ‘Backstage at the GRAMMYs.’ Continuing a tradition started decades ago, WestwoodOne announces it has struck a three-year deal with The Recording Academy that expands their partnership and means the exclusive backstage audio coverage from the 56th GRAMMY Awards will be heard on radio stations across the country. WestwoodOne states that new GRAMMY content has been created this year that brings together GRAMMY nominated artist and GRAMMY awarded artist, called “GRAMMY to GRAMMY.” Listeners can also expect exciting GRAMMY countdown shows, the Nomination Concert special, and other iconic GRAMMY moments in music. This year, WestwoodOne reports it is livening up the audio content and listener experience by hosting a Fresh Performance stage, sponsored by Wendy’s. Confirmed performers include Aloe Blacc and Austin Mahone. Local radio listeners can win a chance to attend this private performance at the WestwoodOne Backstage at the GRAMMYs event. In addition to offering listeners access to audio coverage of the live event, WestwoodOne will provide behind-the-scene interviews with current and previous GRAMMY nominees and winners that will be distributed through audio, digital and social platforms. These events will air on 140 radio stations across the country and 9 stations internationally. WestwoodOne COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “WestwoodOne is proud to extend our partnership with The GRAMMY Awards this year. The GRAMMYS are the pinnacle celebration of the power of sound through the artists and music that transcends all audiences and mediums. It’s an iconic brand and opportunity for marketers to extend their reach to an audience with tremendous influence and buying power.” The “Backstage at the GRAMMYs” syndicated radio show was co-created, co-produced and originally co-hosted by now-RadioInfo and TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (seen in this picture at right) and Los Angeles-based broadcaster Bill Moran (here at left). The show was first syndicated by Josh Feigenbaum‘s MJI Broadcasting and was later picked up by Norm Pattiz-led Westwood One. Harrison and Moran are pictured here interviewing a very young Melissa Etheridge (center).
Public Radio Chiefs Support FM Chip Push. The chief executive officers of both NPR and American Public Media co-authored an opinion piece in the public media trade mag Current.org in which they express support for the move to activate FM chips in smartphones. NPR acting president and CEO Paul Haaga and American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart write that because of the public’s need to have access to information during emergencies, the need is critical. “Because of public radio’s role as a trusted media and information resource and an essential public-safety asset, we hope all stations will join us in calling upon the mobile phone industry to install and activate FM chips in all cellphones and smartphones.” The two ask public stations to do two things: sign their stations up for NextRadio so listeners already using the app can identify and listen to said stations; and encourage listeners to contact their cell carriers and request they install and activate FM chips in smartphones. Read the entire piece here.