Nielsen’s March 2014 RADAR Report Says Radio Listening Up. According to the soon-to-be-released March 2014 RADAR 120 National Radio Listening Report from Nielsen, total radio listening has increased in the past 12 months by 1.2 million weekly listeners. Stating that radio now reaches 244.4 million Americans, Nielsen also breaks it down a bit adding that “the national audience aged 18 to 34 grew by more than half a million compared to the previous year, reaching 91.9% of all 18 to 34 year-olds.” As far as time spent listening is concerned, the report indicates the average total time spent listening to AM/FM radio is 2 hours and 41 minutes (persons 12+), a figure that remains steady from the time documented last March.
Vaughn Moves on From Beasley’s WRDW, Philadelphia. There’s no detailed explanation from Beasley Broadcasting’s Philadelphia cluster where programmer Rick Vaughn is exiting his PD post at hip hop WRDW “Wired 96.5” after a month on the job – just that the two sides have mutually agreed to part amicably. Vaughn came to WRDW from his most recent gig at Clear Channel’s Atlanta group where he had programmed CHR WWPW “Power 96.1” and alternative WRDA “Radio 107.5.”
CRB/CRS Mayne Man Earns An Extension. More specifically, that would be five more years for Bill Mayne as executive director of the Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Radio Seminar. CRB/CRS president Charlie Morgan comments that under Mayne’s leadership, “The Country Radio Seminar has experienced a true renaissance, with annual growth in attendance, sponsorship and engagement from all involved. His tireless dedication, boundless energy, and contagious enthusiasm for CRB/CRS have driven the success we are enjoying. We are thrilled to know Bill will continue to be our leader for the next half-decade.” Mayne remarks, “To be able to work with and learn from the most united group of strong and incredibly talented core staff is humbling. Our board’s leadership is extremely focused in vision and benefits for our constituents. These two factors not only support – but empower – all of our efforts to provide the absolute best and affordable experience possible for all who engage at CRS.” Before overseeing the non-profit organization’s operations since 2011, Mayne was on its board of directors.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. There’s a new co-host on the “Bender Nation” morning show at Clear Channel’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM” as former “The Bachelor” cast member Molly Mesnick becomes part of the crew on March 17…..Also in Seattle at Hubbard Radio’s alternative KLCK “Click 98.9,” Jackie Cunningham joins the morning program. Cunningham had worked at crosstown KBKS as Bender’s co-host in morning drive…..Radio One moves Eddie Harrell from his VP/GM role at the Columbus cluster to the same post at its Cleveland operations. He takes over for Jeffrey Wilson who was recently promoted to regional vice president for the company’s Midwest stations…..Jon Daniels is promoted to program director/brand manager at Connoisseur Media’s adult contemporary WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K98.3.” He continues his afternoon drive duties and assumes the PD gig from “K98.3” morning host Steve Harper who continues in that role…..At Main Line Broadcasting’s country WLFV, Richmond “93.1 The Wolf,” Braden Smith is named program director and afternoon personality. Smith most recently was PM drive jock and APD at Telemedia Broadcasting’s country WGRX, Fredericksburg, Virginia “Thunder 104.5.”…..Clear Channel expands the reach of the WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show to its rock WTFX, Louisville “93.1 The Fox.”
Picking Songs in Jacksonville. At the Cox Media Group cluster in Jacksonville, Anthony “Kobe” Fargo (air name “Kane”) works with program director Todd Shannon selecting music that will air on CHR WAPE. He tells RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian that “every station in Cox is handled in a unique and independent situation, although we do share information. Songs that get played in Long Island on CHR WBLI won’t always be the same as those in Tampa on WPOI and the ones in Tampa might be different from those in Jacksonville. Tampa is not like Jacksonville and Long Island is not like Jacksonville.” Fargo says he takes pride in having good ears for picking hits and says he has a pretty good batting average to back it up. This comes in an era when a lot of the industry is programmed from the corporate top down. To read more about Fargo’s take on selecting music, click here.
Sacramento’s “Hot 103.5” Transitions to Rhythmic CHR. At Entravision’s Sacramento cluster, the company evolved mainstream CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” to rhythmic CHR. Representative artists on the station will include Beyonce, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Pharrell, and Pitbull. Senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions Angelica Balderas comments that, “Sacramento is one of the most diverse cities in America. KHHM’s music and on-air personalities reflect the vibrant and diverse community that we serve. KHHM is a beloved radio station in the Sacramento market, and we look forward to building upon our existing success with our new programming and talent line-up.” That roster includes Sugabear, Amanda, and Karli (morning drive); Andrea Gomez (middays); JayMarZZ (afternoon drive); and Soosh*e (nights). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s January 2014 monthly, KHHM registers a 3.0. Its December-“Holiday”-January (6+) trend is a very consistent 3.0 (#14) – 3.1 (#15) – 3.0 (#14). Entercom mainstream CHR KDND “The End” is #1 in January with a 7.8, while CBS Radio rhythmic CHR KSFM “KS-FM” ranks sixth (4.9).
Buckley Sells Lone Fresno FM to Lotus. It is Buckley Broadcasting’s only Fresno signal and president and CEO Joe Bilotta says the pending sale of hip hop KSEQ “Q97” came about after some reflection. “Our ability to compete in the highly consolidated Fresno market with a free-standing FM was a significant reason to entertain and eventually sell KSEQ to Lotus Communications. For over 20 years, we have owned this wonderful facility and want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the many people who have and do contribute to our success.” The terms of the deal have not been announced yet. With this acquisition, Lotus Communications owns five stations in the market including: regional Mexican KLBN-FM, classic rock KKBZ-FM, Spanish KHIT-FM, and Spanish KGST-AM.
Greater Media’s Rock WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey Adds Translator. Jersey Shore rocker WRAT “95.9 The Rat,” licensed to Point Pleasant is now simulcasting its programming on translator W300AO licensed to Manahawkin, New Jersey (about 40 miles south of Point Pleasant). The company is also making WRAT available on the HD2 channel of AC WJRZ in Manahawkin. SVP and regional general manager Dan Finn states, “WRAT already broadcasts from the optimum geographic location near the Monmouth-Ocean border on 95.9 FM. Now, by simulcasting on 107.9 FM in Manahawkin, it allows us to increase The Rat’s footprint on Long Beach Island and the surrounding area. We’re absolutely thrilled and are confident the listeners will be too.”
Classic Rock, Rock and News PPM Market Comparisons. 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 classic rock, rock and news stations fared as some of the audience changed its listening habits in January. Read his analysis here.
John Darin Succumbs to Cancer at 74. Los Angeles radio veteran John Darin died at age 74 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. During his career, Darin had worked at stations including: KRLA, KDAY, KROQ, KNAC, KGOE, KNX, KGIL, KJOI, and KBLA. Darin worked on the air and as a program director before expanding to the television news business and working as an anchor and field reporter.
Seven AEs Sue Clear Channel Claiming Civil Rights Violations. In a suit filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana by seven current and former AEs working at Clear Channel’s New Orleans stations, the group charges that after the economic downturn of 2008, accounts were redistributed at a meeting in Gonzales, Louisiana in February of 2009 in such a way that helped ease the financial hit Caucasian AEs were taking through the redistribution. The complaint alleges many of the redistributed accounts had been built up by African American AEs. The complaint – filed jointly by Wil Watson, Gary Watson, Prixie Montgomery, Ave Gaines, Darnetta Mahaffy-Nelson, Dinah Campbell, and Brandin Campbell – details salaries before and after the redistribution and concludes, “As a result of the redistribution of accounts, whether intentional or negligent, African-American account executives were disparately, and negatively, impacted, to their severe economic detriment as compared to their Caucasian counterparts…Overall, African-American account executives lost on average more than 40% of their 2008 income in 2008-9. On information and belief Caucasian account executives lost no more that about 15% of their 2008 income, on average, during the same period of time.” Three of the seven were fired, they allege, after complaining about the practices. The seven seek relief, punitive damages, general damages, attorneys’ fees and statutory remedies.
Clear Channel Names Jay Michaels KDGE, Dallas PD. Programmer Jay Michaels, already in charge of the company’s sister hot AC KDMX, Dallas “Mix 102.9,” adds PD duties for alternative KDGE “102.1 The Edge.” In making the announcement, CC Dallas vice president of operations Patrick Davis states, “Jay has earned this opportunity and has been a major contributor to the station’s programming since the beginning. He and ‘The Edge’ staff have done an outstanding job this year and are seeing the benefits of their hard work.” Prior to joining CC Dallas, Michaels served as operations manager at Sinclair’s Norfolk operations and was program director for alternative WROX “96 X” and rhythmic AC WNRJ “Energy 106.1.”
Greg Hoffman to Mornings at Hip Hop KSEQ, Fresno. After more than 17 years at Clear Channel’s Fresno rhythmic CHR outlet KBOS “B95,” Hoffman recently exited the station. Now, he finds a home at Buckley Broadcasting’s crosstown KSEQ “Q97.1” where he’ll host the morning drive program. Buckley EVP Kathy Baker states, “The continuation of bringing top-ranked people in all capacities to KSEQ will enable us to better serve the audience we entertain and inform and the advertisers we solicit. Greg Hoffman will be a very welcome addition to our team.” KSEQ general manager John Sterling adds, “Greg is a veteran radio personality and programmer. I’ve always admired his incredible passion for our community. We are thrilled to have someone of his talent and experiences join ‘Q97.1’ as morning show host.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Jackie Selby is the new evening personality at the Entercom classic rock simulcast “K-Fox” on KUFX, San Jose and KUZX, San Francisco. She takes over for Laurie Roberts who remains with the company for weekend duties…..Sun Broadcasting names Anthony “Roach” Proffitt assistant program director and music director at its alternative WXNX, Sanibel, Florida in the Fort Myers-Naples market…..Sharon Wingfield is promoted to full time at Summit Media’s triple A WURV, Richmond “103.7 The River” to host the midday show.
WRBZ, Montgomery Adds Envision’s “Classic Rock Live” to Saturday Schedule. KMS, Inc.-owned classic hits outlet WRBZ, Montgomery “Kool Classic Hits” adds Envision Radio Networks’ two-hour weekly “Classic Rock Live” program to its weekend program schedule airing Saturdays at 8:00 pm. The show features live performances by classic rock artists and is hosted by WMMR, Philadelphia rock radio legend Pierre Robert. Envision states, “Robert has attended more than a thousand shows all over the globe. No one is better suited to bring an audience great classic rock moments and personal experiences from the most renowned tours.”
Alex “El Genio” Lucas Morning Show Adds Two Stations. Syndicated Spanish-language morning host Alex “El Genio” Lucas is added to KUNX, Oxnard-Ventura and KKZZ, Santa Paula – both branded “Radio Formula.” The program is syndicated to about 45 stations via AL & CM Broadcasting. Company CEO Carlos Moncada states, “I am thrilled and delighted that Alex Lucas can now be heard on ‘Radio Formula KUNX’ and ‘Radio Formula KKZZ’ – two premier Spanish stations that are highly respected in the California’s predominantly Hispanic community. We are happy to bring programming of this caliber to a greater number of people. Alex Lucas listeners are very loyal and his show typically drives up time spent listening – a metric that advertisers seek in today’s economy because it produces greatly increased retail activity. Alex Lucas is a proven ratings winner, and he is a natural fit for ‘Radio Formula KUNX’ and ‘Radio Formula KKZZ!’”
Journal’s KFDI, Wichita Honored by Kansas Association of Broadcasters. The news team at the Journal Broadcast Group country outlet was honored by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters with the following awards in the annual competition: Best Large Market Complete Severe Weather Coverage: George Lawson, John Wright, Marc LaVoie, Matthew Harding, Jacob Weston and Kyle McCaskey; Best Large Market Spot News Coverage: Marc LaVoie, “McConnell AFB KC-46A Announcement”; and Honorable Mention Large Market Complete Newscast: Dan Dillon and John Wright, “Wichita Gas Leak.” The awards will be presented at the KAB convention on October 21. Journal Wichita operations manager Justin Case states, “We are honored to have our news professionals recognized for their success and commitment to our community. This accomplishment is a real testament to the dedication and excellence our team brings to their work every day. We are proud of these accomplishments and remain committed to keeping our listeners informed and safe.”
Country Act The Lost Trailers Cuts Custom Theme Music for Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Football.” The theme music to Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Footbal” this season is a tweaked version of The Lost Trailers’ single “It’s Goin’ Down Tonight” that features football highlights, sound bites and customized lyrics. The company announces, “The new theme music, performed by The Lost Trailers and powered by Early Shares Music, will debut during the first regular season NFL broadcast on Thursday, September 5 which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET. The highly anticipated season opener between the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos will feature Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason behind the microphones.” The band’s founding member Stokes Nielson states, “We are truly excited to be a part of the NFL broadcasts on Dial Global. We are huge sports fans and we can’t wait to help the announcers kick off every Sunday night game, because it’s goin’ down tonight, every Sunday night, all over America!” The band previously collaborated with Dial Global Sports, customizing their top 10 single “Holler Back” for the network’s opening montage in Super Bowl XLIII.