Tag: "Michael Savage"

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

| March 19, 2013

DG-logoHorizontalMore Big Changes at Dial Global as Spencer Brown and Ken Williams Resign; Time, Inc. CRO Paul Caine to Take Over as CEO.  Dial Global announces that Paul Caine has resigned his post as chief revenue officer at Time, Inc. to become the chief executive officer of Dial Global and become a member of the cainepaulboard of directors.  Spencer Brown resigns his post as CEO and Ken Williams does the same as president.  The two will stay on until April 4 when the change takes place.  The company says, “Caine joins to create a new opportunity for Dial Global to expand the marketing and monetization of audio, starting with the Company’s lineup of premier sports, entertainment and news content that includes the NFL primetime games (including the Playoffs and Super Bowl), the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS Radio News, NBC News Radio, the brownspencerNBC Sports Radio Network, and the Grammys. As mobile platforms continue to multiply the occasions for listening, the demand for premium digital audio content is growing fast. This represents a substantial, undeveloped opportunity for content providers, distribution partners and marketers alike.”  Paul Caine says of joining the company, “Dial Global will propel the growth of audio as the essential medium for the mobile experience.  We have premium content, top-tier distribution, and prestigious live event assets.  Our opportunity is to expand these experiences for consumers, broaden our repertoire of content partners, and integrate our on-air, digital and live event offerings to create compelling engagement for advertisers.”  In a statement from the company, Spencer Brown comments on his exit, “Along with our former partner David Landau, Ken and I have taken Dial Global a long way.  Now the company needs a chief executive with a different skill set to steer it through its next phase of growth.  We believe Paul is uniquely well-qualified to do just that.”

Cumulus Reports 2012 Q4 Net Revenue Up 1% on Strong Political.  Cumulus Media announces 2012 Q4 numbers and financial figures for the whole of 2012.  For the fourth quarter of 2012, Net revenue was up $2.9 million – 1% — on revenue of $284.2 million, compared to $281.3 for the same period a year ago.

cumulusLew Dickey Says with Promised Synergies in Place, ‘Cumulus Optimizes’ and ‘Invigorates’ Radio Networks Division.  During Monday’s conference call with analysts, Cumulus Media chairman and CEO Lew Dickey explained some of the company’s strategies and recognized the programming effortsdickeylew that included “launching shows with Governor Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera, Sanjay Gupta and Michael Savage as well as some other initiatives that we have focused on.  We also announced the launch of, huckabeemikeimportantly, the CBS Sports Radio Network in collaboration with CBS, and the launch of Right Now Traffic in partnership with Radiate Media. These give us strong ownership positions going forward into two key verticals, sports and traffic.”  Lew Dickey reiterated the company’s happiness with the purchase of the former WFME, Newark, calling it “a tremendous value at just $40 million.”  As expected he promoted Cumulus’ country music strategy, saying the new WNSH, New York “enabled us to bring the country format back to New York for the first time since the mid-90s…with a very strong brand, ‘NASH FM.’  The NASH brand was extremely well received by listeners, advertisers, general media and particularly the Nashvillenashbashsheltonsmall entertainment community, and we further capitalized on this with a three-day concert for our advertisers and listeners last savagemichaelmonth, which was the ‘NASH BASH’ at the Roseland ballroom.  NASH FM will become the flagship for our larger national country initiative that we are in the process of rolling out throughout the rest of this year. It will ultimately be a multimedia platform brand for Cumulus, targeting that key audience segment, which is about 85 million Americans.  It will be through our O&O group as well as syndicated through our network…as well as through a mult-imedia platform.”   Dickey told analysts he expects the NASH FM, traffic, CBS Sports and digital platforms to break even in 2013 and be poised for profit in 2014 saying they are, “in essence, startup businesses, new entrants into respective arenas such as sports, and traffic in particular.”  Dickey was asked about the network business, the talk business in particular and he referenced, without naming names, the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke incident.  “Clearly, it’s been well documented that the talk side has been challenged – most of that due to some of the issues that happened a year ago.  So there has been residual hangover on the talk side in terms of advertisers sitting out and not placing there…that’s had an impact not only on our network business but it’s had an impact on some of the news/talk stations in the top markets in our O&O group.”  Dickey reported that business that is typically placed in the first quarter was, in many cases not placed until the late part of the first quarter of this year and a lot of that business “is now starting to come back into the marketplace.”  The Cumulus Media conference call details come courtesy of Seeking Alpha.  See more at SeekingAlpha.com.

arbitronRound One of Arbitron’s February PPMs Released. Data from the first 12 PPM markets — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose and Middlesex-Somerset-Union — has been released by Arbitron.  Complete market charts for the ratings company are found here.  But first, here are the ‘Top Ten Takeaways’ as noted by RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian:

  • Up one full share to 1.6, Cumulus Media country WNSH (“Nash-FM”) cracks New York’s top 20 (#20)
  • Los Angeles’ CHR battle tightens as KAMP is +.7 to 4.1 (#5), while co-frontrunner KIIS (“Kiss-FM”) is -.3 (5.4)
  • Chicago hot AC WTMX (“Mix,” +.5) catches news WBBM-AM (+.4) at #2
  • In Houston, country KKBQ (“93Q”) climbs to 5.3 (#5), following its second consecutive +.8
  • After gaining one full share, Philadelphia’s all-news KYW adds another eight-tenths to 8.6 (#1)
  • Registering six-tenths gains in Atlanta are AC WSB-FM (7.5, #3) and hot AC WSTR (5.2, #7)
  • Seven is lucky for Long Island CHR WBLI: +.7 Holiday – January and +.7 January – February (5.1, #4)
  • Rhythmic oldies KDAY (“93.5″) gains seven-tenths in Riverside (2.7, #10)
  • For the first time in its 43-book PPM history, country KRTY is #1 in San Jose (+.4, 5.8)
  • Since the “Holiday” report, Middlesex AC WMGQ (“Magic”) has trended 5.2 – 5.8 – 6.5 (#3)

kaplanmikeClear Channel Names Mike Kaplan PD at KYSR, Los Angeles.  Most recently at Entercom’s Seattle cluster where he programmed alternative KNDD “The End” and classic hits KMTT, “The Mountain,” Mike Kaplan takes over programming duties at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s alternative KYSR “98.7” beginning May 6.  Clear Channel VP of programming Andrew Jeffries says, “People are what make this industry special.  Mike is a great addition to Clear Channel Los Angeles’ programming team.  He has a unique skill to focus and connect stations with listeners.  He is a leader and brand-builder who boasts an impressive success record in his alternative programming career. I’m thrilled to have him join our talented Los Angeles programming team.”

austintommyTommy Austin Moves to Clear Channel Chicago as VP of Programming.  Tommy Austin makes the moves from CC’s regional vice president of programming post overseeing St. Louis and Kansas to Chicago where he takes over the vice president of programming position in charge of the seven-station cluster and will serve as PD for AC WLIT.  Austin, who replaces the recently promoted Tony Coles, says, “I am beyond thrilled to join Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Chicago and learn from the seasoned program directors and staff.  I would like to thank the entire Clear Channel team — I’m very enthusiastic to start this next chapter in my life.”

nyrenmarvClear Channel Moves Marv Nyren to Jacksonville VP/MM Position.  Since February of last year, radio executive Marv Nyren has been serving as the vice president of affiliate development-Midwest for Total Traffic Network based out of the CC Chicago offices.  Now, he moves south to the Jacksonville cluster where he’ll be in charge of the six stations there that include: sports WFXJ; hip hop WJBT; WJGH; CHR WNWW; country WQIK; and rhythmic AC WSOL.  Nyren previously was market manager for Emmis’ Chicago stations and also managed that company’s Phoenix operations.  CC regional manager John Hunt says, “Marv brings his enthusiastic leadership and a long list of professional wins to Jacksonville.  He is a great leader, competitor and manager — we are very fortunate to have him join our already exceptional team in Jacksonville.”

szabozakMore RadioInfo Career Moves.  Afternoon drive personality Zak Szabo is promoted to program director at Steel City Media‘s hot AC WLTJ, Pittsburgh “Q92.9.”  Szabo will continue to host the afternoon show.  The company notes that Szabo has more than 30 years of broadcast experience, having served as assistant program director at WGHT in Baltimore, WXLK in Virginia and WNVZ in Virginia Beach.…..Jesse Duran jumps to Inland Empire Broadcasting’s classic hits KOLA, San Bernardino to host the morning drive show.  He most recently worked in the market at Clear Channel’s CHR KGGI, Riverside as program director and afternoon personality…..Doug Palmieri is named imaging director for Clear Channel’s Providence cluster.  He’ll also handle the evening show at rock WHJY…..At Bethesda Christian Broadcasting, Don Burns is promoted to general manager for the contemporary Christian duo WPFF and WNLI, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

greatermediaGreater Media Philly Honored with Top Workplaces Accolades for Second Straight Year.  In a survey of employees conducted by Workplace Dynamics for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com, Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster of stations was named among the Top Workplaces again this year.  VP and market manager John Fullam says, “Great companies start with great employees.  We believe the workplace environment is an essential part of creating a successful organization.  We are fortunate to have such an outstanding team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”  Greater Media operates rock WMMR, classic rock WMGK, adult hits WBEN and sports talk WPEN-FM.

Arbitron Releases the RADAR March 2013 Radio Network Ratings.  Arbitron reports that the RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) March 2013 “is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 46 individual radio networks.”  The networks are operated by American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Cumulus Media Networks, Dial Global Inc., Premiere Networks, and United Stations Radio Networks.  The survey concludes “that nearly 180 million Persons 12 and older, or approximately 68% of this demographic, heard one or more network radio commercials in an average week of the survey period.”  Further, the survey states commercials that aired on the 46 radio networks measured reached: 68.2 % of Persons aged 12+ (179,923,000 Persons); 68.6% of Persons aged 18+ (163,738,000 Persons); 68.1% of Persons aged 35+ (113,417,000 Persons); 70.9% of Persons aged 18-49 (95,091,000 Persons); and 71.7% of Persons aged 25-54 (89,654,000Persons).

premiere networks 2Premiere Networks Touts ‘Strong Rankings’ in RADAR 116.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment-owned Premiere Networks sells 17 of the 46 networks included in Arbitron’s RADAR 116.  In this survey, Premiere lays claim to having “earned the number one spot in rankings for AQH and Cume among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 for Persons 12+.  Premiere FOX News Advantage ranked number one on an AQH basis for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sun 5AM-12M, AQH) and Premiere Spectrum debuted in RADAR 116 as the highest-reaching network for Persons 12+ (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, Cume).  Premiere also points to the performance of its networks based on lifestyle groupings, stating, “Young Influencers and Premiere Super Moms ranked number one and two, respectively, in reaching Moms 25-54 (Women 25-54 with children under 12).  Premiere Super Moms took the lead position followed by Premiere Young Influencers in reach for Working Women 25-54 (work status: full time/part time) among all 46 measured RADAR networks in RADAR 116 (All Broadcasts, Monday-Sunday 12Midnight-12Midnight broad daypart, cume audience).  The RADAR 116 sample consists of 395,844 diary keepers/PPM panelists/respondents.  PPM panelists comprise approximately 53% of the total respondent listening sample.

Monday, March 18, 2013

| March 18, 2013

wnsh logoNews/Talk Format Back to Place as Leading Format in February PPMs; Country Still Soaring.  With Arbitron’s February PPM data for the first 12 markets set to be released after 5:00 pm today (3/18), some of the conclusions we can draw are that the news/talk format is coming back from its usual holiday lull and – across all 48 PPM markets, not any market in particular – the format is back to its spot as the leading format.  Country continues to enjoy a resurgence format-wide and is expected to hit a two-year high across all 48 PPM markets.  Of course, all eyes will be on WNSH, New York – Cumulus Media’s “Nash94.7” – the first full-market country station in the Big Apple in 16 years.  The seasonal factors will show themselves to be in play as AC will continue to come back down to earth after the annual meteoric rise it gets from Christmas music during December and the Holiday period.  As a result, CHR and hot AC are rising back to pre-holiday levels.

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toraTora Fisher Song “Finally Free” Debuts at #39 on RadioInfo Rock Songs Chart.  Rock singer/songwriter Tora Fisher‘s much anticipated EP – “TORA MAX” (to be released this spring by LML music), includes the RadioInfo Rock Songs Chart debut “Finally Free.” She describes the track as an honest reflection of her thoughts and feelings as she approaches a 10th anniversary of epic proportions; her surviving a plane crash as a child in which five others, including her father, perished. The song is receiving rave reviews from triple-A programmers and DJs as being highly personal and intensely moving, displaying soulful passion and emotion.  Tora is also a favorite among talk radio programmers as a member of the family behind one of the genre’s favorite and most-supported charities, Fisher House Foundation, which provides a “home away from home” for military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.  In addition to having a promising career as a major musical performer, Tora is a spokesperson for the foundation.

lovatodemiHot Pop Artist Says She’s “Tired of All the Dubstep That’s on the Radio Right Now.”  “Heart Attack” the RadioInfo Pop Songs Chart’s highest jumper this week is the lead single from Demi Lovato’s upcoming fourth album.  Lovato comments that she is “tired of all the dubstep that’s on the radio right now” and wanted her latest album to grow with her.  Lovato, no stranger to growth and recently having left living at a rehabilitation facility, revealed that she was bullied so severely as a child, she requested a home-schooled education and has subsequently become a spokesperson for anti-bullying organization PACER and appeared on “America’s Next Top Model” to speak out against bullying.  Lovato had suffered from eating disorders and self-mutilation of her wrists to cope with her emotions and depression.

sabowalterSabo Says Stations Should Program Songs in “Real Time” — Meaning Play Them When They Are Truly Hits, Not When the Labels Decide to “Work” Them Six Months After the Fact.  In a provocative article posted today in RadioInfo (3/18), noted radio consultant Walter Sabo points out that music radio programmers should be careful not to let radio’s media competitors (YouTube, internet, television) burn songs out for as long as six months before the labels decide to promote them as their “latest” releases which is becoming a common practice.  (NOTE:  This awareness of “potency research” is a significant factor marking the methodology behind RadioInfo‘s innovative Song Charts covering pop, CHR, hot AC, alternative rock, active rock, triple-A, country and contemporary Christian formats.)  To read Sabo’s column – which also includes insights into radio stations increasingly assuming the characteristics of TV stations and the value of research – click here.

richardstimTim Richards Exits Clear Channel’s KZZP, Phoenix.  Tim Richards had served as the program director of Clear Channel’s CHR KZZP, Phoenix “104.7 Kiss FM” since October of 2011.  He was also show director of the station’s “Johnjay and Rich” morning program that is heard on about nine other Clear Channel stations. Now, he leaves the station and the “Johnjay and Rich” show.  No word from CC about his replacement.

flynndonielleMore RadioInfo Career Moves.  Donielle Flynn becomes part of the “Jay Towers in the Morning” program on Clear Channel’s hot AC WNIC, Detroit “Fresh 100.3” beginning next Monday, March 25.  Flynn most recently worked as an air personality at Empire Broadcasting’s triple A WRNR, Annapolis “Progressive 100.3”…..Flick returns to CBS Radio Pittsburgh as afternoon jock at the company’s hot AC WBZZ “100.7 Star.”  He comes from Clear Channel’s crosstown CHR WKST “96.1 Kiss FM” where he was PM drive personality, APD and music director.  He worked for CBS Pittsburgh in the past as a jock on “B94” prior to its flip to sports talk…..Michael Morales is named morning show host at Cumulus Media’s hot AC KEHK, Eugene, Oregon “Star 102.3” beginning today (3/18)…..At Magic Broadcasting’s hot AC WVVE, Panama City, Florida, Josh Emanuel joins the station as producer of the Bob & Sheri program.  Emanuel moves over from the same post at sister CHR WILN working on the Davin & Ana morning program.  WILN brings Ryan Ledford aboard for that on-air producer role.

seltzerbrentBrent Seltzer, Still at Large” Syndicated Short-Form Series Picked Up by XM.  The quick witted, two-minute commentary series hosted by legendary Southern California-based news personality Brent Seltzer is now heard daily on XM Satellite Radio talk channels 165, 166 and 168 in all dayparts.  Premiere Networks brokered the deal and describes the series as ‘funny, informative, creative and well-produced’.  The series, designed to air on both talk and music formats, is heard on KSRO, Santa Rosa, CA and is one of the most popular features on PodJockey.com.

KFMH logoRiver City Radio Owner Steve Soboroff to Re-Ignite Eastern Iowa Progressive Rock KFMH on the Internet.  Steve Soboroff, known as Captain Steve on his KCJJ, Iowa City station, tells RadioInfo he’s bringing back one of the Midwest’s original progressive rock stations – via the internet – with some of the original jocks.  “Nineteen years to the day that I signed off ’99-Plus’ KFMH serving Eastern Iowa out of Muscatine and Davenport due to the sale of the station, I signed it back on as an internet radio station with the same deejays that were there at the end.  We had a fundraiser broadcast on KCJJ to resurrect the ‘Pirate FM’ and raised $25,000. I couldn’t believe it. KFMH was one of the first progressive rock stations in the Midwest, having signed on in 1973.  It held that format until its demise in 1994.”  Soboroff says they are working out the bugs on Ustream.tv, but will be signing the station on via aggregator TuneIn in May.  The temporary website is: www.99pluskfmh.com .  He says returning jocks include Tom Maicke, Roberto Nache, Jim Albracht, Mary of the Heartland, and Sean Tracy – all of whom are volunteering their time but he hopes to be able pay them in the future.  He and KCJJ morning show partner Tommy Lang will also do a show on the new station.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

| October 18, 2012

Elvis Duran Morning Show Reaches 50 Affiliate Milestone.  The Premiere Networks syndicated program “Elvis Duran and The Morning Show” has reached the broadcasting milestone of 50 affiliates.  Recent affiliate adds for the most-listened-to CHR morning show in the U.S., include: WWPW (Power 96.1), Atlanta, WRNW (97-3 Radio Now), Milwaukee, WVMA (The New 105.3), Norfolk and WZEE (Z104), Madison.   Each morning, Duran and his on-air crew entertain listeners with up-to-the-minute pop culture and entertainment news, celebrity guests, hit songs, and regular features such as the gossipy “Daily Sleaze” and the ever-popular prank, “Phone Tap.”  The program, which launched into national syndication in 2009, consistently ranks #1 across multiple demographics and top markets, and attracts an audience of 4.5 million weekly listeners.  “For millions of listeners, Elvis and his on-air team are an essential start to their day,” states Peter Tripi, Premiere Networks senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows.  “The show’s enthusiastic and creative approach to morning radio is also winner across every category – audience, affiliates, advertising and ratings.  We couldn’t be happier with the continued growth and success of ‘Elvis Duran and The Morning Show’ and look forward to reaching many more milestones together.”  Duran’s radio career has spanned 30 years.  He began hosting his daily radio show on New York’s Z100 (the show’s current flagship) in April 1996.  The show also airs on XM Satellite Radio, iHeartRadio.com, the iHeartRadio mobile app, and The Elvis Duran Channel on www.ElvisDuran.com.  Earlier this year, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment signed Duran to a new long-term deal.

Merlin’s WIQI-FM (101.1), Chicago morning host Pete McMurray is out.  Upon completing his live morning show on Merlin Media’s adult hits WIQI-FM (101.1), Chicago yesterday, air personality Pete McMurray was informed that he is the latest casualty of the continuing cut backs and changes at the station and its besieged parent company.  Unless McMurray is replaced by a live personality in AM drive, which at this point seems unlikely, this move leaves the station completely voice-tracked.  McMurray became morning host on WIQI-FM in August following the change from all-news, coming over from sister-station WLUP-FM where he did mornings for over five years.  He was dropped from “The Loop” when Merlin hired Maxwell for mornings when Jim Richards took over the music formats.   McMurray has a long Windy City radio history, including a prior stint at WLUP, and worked at Chicago’s WCKG-FM, from 1998-2001 and 2003-2005.  With Merlin he also voiced afternoon sports on FM News in both New York and Chicago.  In addition, he hosts a TV show called “24/7 Chicago” airing weekends on WMAQ-TV.

Shotgun Tom Kelly Signs Three-Year Extension with K-Earth.  Iconic Los Angeles jock Shotgun Tom Kelly just signed a three-year contract extension to remain in the PM drive slot on CBS Radio’s classic hits KRTH “K-Earth.”  Kelly (left) is pictured here with CBS Radio Los Angeles market manager Steve Carver (right) who dons the classic Shotgun-style ranger hat for the photo.  In an interview with SDRadio.net’s Joe Nelson, Kelly gives praise to Carver and KRTH PD Jhani Kaye, “I would really like to say how proud I am that these good people have the faith in me and have asked me to continue doing what I love to do, I could not be more happy!”  Kelly, who was seen mingling with the radio people attending the recent TALKERS New Media Seminar Los Angeles on October 11, will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sometime in 2013.  Kelly will be one of the rare radio performers to have been honored with the star.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Ellen K signs a three-year contract extension to remain co-host of the KIIS, Los Angeles-based Premiere Networks syndicated program “On Air with Ryan Seacrest.”  Ellen K first appeared on KIIS with Rick Dees back in 1990…..Program director Casey Krukowski stays with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  After exiting rock WEBN, Cincinnati recently, Krukowski moves north to Detroit to program the CC Motor City cluster’s classic rock WDTW-FM.  CC Detroit OM Tony Travatto says, “The rock knowledge, creativity and full understanding of the business that Casey brings to Detroit makes him the perfect candidate to lead ‘106.7 The D’’s programming.  I know Casey will help ‘106.7 The D’ continue to be the classic rock leader in ratings and revenue.”…..A talent shuffle takes place at Ohana Media Group’s hot AC KMBQ, Wasilla, Alaska “Q 99.7” as program director and PM drive host Chuck Geiger takes over AM drive hosting duties with midday host Wendy Corbin joining him as co-host.  Current morning host John Welch moves to PM drive…..At the corporate level, Dan Yukelson leaves his position as executive VP and chief financial officer at Premiere Networks where he was in charge of the financial operations that included contract negotiations, billing, traffic and continuity operations.  Yukelson has been in that position since being promoted from SVP and chief financial officer in 2005.

Michael Savage Signs with Cumulus Media Networks; Push for Affiliates and Programming Changes at O&O Stations to Begin.  Not too long after vowing he’d be back on terrestrial radio, talk radio host Michael Savage joins Cumulus Media Networks for a syndication deal that will have his program distributed nationally live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  The terms of the contract are not available but in a press release announcing the pact, Cumulus COO John Dickey states, “As we aggressively create radio’s most compelling mix of show hosts the addition of Michael Savage is a milestone in our determined efforts to provide our listeners nationwide with the best programing in the business.”  Savage won freedom from his contract with Talk Radio Network in court several weeks ago, freeing him to sign anywhere for national distribution.  Savage states in the release, “Cumulus and Savage will make radio history.  The turbulent times we live in give talk radio a new power.  This is the biggest move of my radio career and I look forward to reaching many millions of new listeners on their flamethrower signals.”  Savage has broadcast from his home studio in the San Francisco Bay Area for years and most likely will continue to do so.  Cumulus will want to put him on as many O&Os as possible so here’s a rundown of what programming airs during the live broadcast time of Savage’s soon-to-be program.  In San Francisco, O&Os KGO and KSFO air a local evening news show and its own syndicated John Batchelor program respectively; WABC, New York airs Batchelor; KABC, Los Angeles airs its own syndicated Mark Levin; WLS-AM, Chicago airs the last hour of Premiere’s Sean Hannity followed by Levin;  WMAL, Washington airs Batchelor; WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas airs local host Chris Krok; and WJR, Detroit airs Mark Levin.  With Savage’s program to debut next Tuesday, October 23, look for some programming changes on Cumulus Media O&O talk outlets.

Talent Shuffle at Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle.  A day after Bonneville announced that morning news anchor Linda Thomas would exit the AM on-air post to take an enterprising new role with the station and its affiliated digital presence, it promotes evening talk host John Curley to host of “Seattle’s Morning News” beginning Monday, October 22.  Curley, a popular media personality in the market who joined KIRO-FM in February of 2011 to host the night show, is partnered up with current AM drive co-host Tom Tangney and news anchor Ursula Reutin.  Program director Larry Gifford states, “John is unbelievably talented.  He brings a lifetime of lessons to add a personal perspective and a storyteller’s sensibility to ‘Seattle’s Morning News.’  He also has an irresistible charm and enough energy to fuel the entire Pacific Northwest.”  Curley spent 14 years hosting “Evening Magazine” on KING-TV and currently serves as a member of the Sammamish City Council.  Exiting the morning program is host Bill Radke.

Mancow TV Show Producer Resigns.  With less than a week to go before the debut of Erich Mancow Muller’s Chicago TV show on Fox Television’s WPWR-TV, director and producer Don DuPree leaves the project.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports DuPree had issues with Fox Television that centered on compensation and job duties unrelated to the Mancow program.  Mancow’s morning radio show is set to begin a two-hour radio/TV simulcast (during the 6:00 am to 8:00 am CT hours) on Monday, October 22.  DuPree has been involved with the soon-to-debut show for several weeks.  He tells Feder, “I really want to see the show succeed, and I want Mancow to succeed.  Working with Mancow was why I was attracted to the project to begin with, and I’m still a big fan.  I hope I get to work with him again one day.”  DuPree was director of the “Siskel & Ebert” program for 16 years and also served as executive producer for “Ebert & Roeper.”

Cee Lo Green in the House.  That’s musician and television personality Cee Lo Green (right) performing live during the 6:00 am ET hour of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show.  The star, despite the early hour, sang his hit “Fool for You” as well as “This Christmas” from his new Christmas album.  Green also took time to speak with Joyner (left) about his childhood growing up the SWATS neighborhood of Atlanta, his wardrobe, “The Voice,” his mom, his thoughts on President Obama’s debates, and he explained that “little incident” that took place when he performed the explicit version of his song “Forget You” at a fundraiser for Barack Obama held by Tyler Perry.

Arbitron Makes PPM Data Available in Marketing Mix Models.  Working with GfK MRI, Arbitron is supplying model-ready PPM radio ratings data to be available immediately in the company’s Granularity portal currently used by modelers.   The company is also agreeing to work with Media Monitors to link PPM radio ratings with Media Monitors commercial air-play data to enable advertisers to receive Arbitron’s radio audience estimates for the specific times their spots run.  The goal is to boost radio’s presence in marketing mix models and help advertisers gain better insights into radio’s return on investment.  Arbitron states the model-ready Arbitron PPM Radio Ratings in GfK MRI’s Granularity portal are designed to improve the statistical reliability of marketing mix models and provide advertisers with a better understanding of radio’s ability to drive marketing ROI.  The data is based on PPM radio ratings which is linked to commercial occurrence data from Media Monitors for the specific date, quarter-hour, and station on which each commercial ran.  Arbitron EVP, chief sales and marketing officer Carol Hanley says, “Arbitron’s partnership with GfK MRI and Media Monitors will provide modelers and advertisers with a better understanding of radio’s crucial role in the overall advertising mix and increased confidence in the medium.  By placing Arbitron’s more granular PPM data in GfK MRI’s Granularity customer modeling portal, we hope to demonstrate that radio’s significant contribution to the overall return on investment of a marketing campaign is much higher than previously thought, thus generating more mindshare for the medium among advertisers.”

Abacast Debuts New Multi-Station Mobile App.  Explaining that broadcasters can now stream multiple stations through one app, or can stream a choice of multiple sub-formats based on, and in addition to, the main music format of the station’s broadcast signal, Abacast announces its new multi-station mobile app.  Abacast SVP of products Jim Kott says, “If it’s a classic rock station, broadcasters can offer multiple sub-formats of classic rock, like the 60s or 70s classic rock or programmed playlists.  Our new app enables broadcasters to take advantage of the internet, where they are not constrained by a broadcast tower.”  The company goes on to state that in addition to the core features that come with Abacast’s mobile app, such as social networking and an integrated alarm clock, it is also tightly integrated with Abacast’s cloud-based Clarity Ad Management System – which generates digital revenue through pre-roll video ads, in-stream audio ads, companion banners, rotating display ads, and takes advantage of Abacast’s ad network partners.  Advertisements can be scheduled across multiple stations making it easy for broadcasters to traffic ads and generate revenue through their mobile streams.

CBS Tells FCC WRXP Purchase Doesn’t Raise Ownership Rule Questions.  With CBS Radio adding Merlin Media’s WRXP to its FM roster in New York City, it stays within the rules allowing eight radio stations, not more than five in one service (AM or FM).  In its FCC filing for transfer of ownership, the question of Radio-TV cross-ownership comes into play because of the CBS ownership of WCBS-TV in New York City and WLNY-TV at Riverhead, Long Island, New York.  The CBS filing argues that the WLNY-TV signal doesn’t cover all of New York City and all the CBS radio stations don’t all encompass Riverhead.  Therefore, CBS argues, the Long Island television station doesn’t count for the cross-ownership rules and only WCBS-TV counts as the one allowable television station.  If the commission buys this interpretation of the rules, CBS will own seven radio and two television stations in the New York metro.

Nutmeg State Broadcasters Gather in Convention.  Connecticut broadcasters are meeting today for their 57th Annual Convention of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association.  It’s a full day of seminars covering sales, federal regulations and the future of broadcasting.  Keynote speaker for the day is U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman.  Another convention highlight at the Hilton Hartford Hotel is a live U.S. Senate debate between Republican candidate Linda McMahon and Democrat Congressman Chris Murphy who will be questioned by Connecticut radio and TV news anchors.

Wall Street Is Positive at the Close.  A mixed day on the market, but the major indexes ended in positive territory. The Dow was up 5.22 (+0.04%) to 13, 557.00, the Nasdaq up 2.95 (+0.10%) at 3,104.12 and the S&P was up 5.99 (+0.41%) at 1,460.91.  Spanish Broadcasting System, owner of 21 Spanish-language content radio stations, was the outstanding performer yesterday up 0.41 (+12%) closing at 3.80.  A good day also for Pandora Media up 0.06 (7%) at 9.35,  Salem Communications Corp. up 0.24 (+4%), and Entercom Communications Corp. up (+1%) at 7.09.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

| October 10, 2012

Six More PPM Monthlies.  Recaps from Nashville to Hartford highlight the final installment of RadioInfo’s overview of the September monthlies.  Unless otherwise noted, 6+ Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) stats are for September 2012; (6+) comparisons are August 2012 to September 2012.  Ratings analysis of the other 42 PPM markets is archived on RadioInfo.   See the bottom of today’s news.

The Future of PDs: Brand Managers.  Perhaps the headline of this story should read the “present” of program directors as an increasing number of companies are adopting the title “brand manager” to describe the role of the radio station/group position historically known as “program director.”  With the likes of so highly respected and forward thinking a company as Saga Communications joining the ranks of those using this more expansive title RadioInfo recognizes the movement is shifting from trend status to a significant paradigm shift.  The concept is articulated by Saga Communications executive vice president Steve Goldstein in the following memo received by the company’s program directors in all formats, talk and music:

I have some very important and exciting news…

We truly live in a multi-platform world.  As a Program Director, you are now spending an increased amount of your time thinking about and working with our various digital platforms.  Whether it be the station website(s), social media such as Facebook, Twitter or crafting emails and texts, it’s all now a part of the PD’s day.  This is in addition to managing the external marketing feel and visual aspects of the brand.

And of course, all of this is on top of creating vital and compelling on-air radio with all of the moving parts of morning shows, music, talk programming, news, sports, etc.

So, we’ve been thinking a lot about how vastly different the job of the Program Director is in 2012 and where it is likely to go in the coming years.

We’ve been thinking about how successful programmers are morphing their skills to become proficient at not just managing the on-air product, but the overall brand.  And conversely, it has exposed the vulnerability of Program Directors who are not learning and growing as we become more digital.

When you drill it all down, what it really means is that the PD is no longer just a PROGRAM DIRECTOR, but a multi-platform BRAND MANAGER.

And so with the notion that things will continue to evolve, we are making a formal title change for all of our PDs from Program Director to Brand Manager.    This change is intended to not only reflect how people in our business think about the position of PD but how PD’s think about themselves.

Managing the assets of a brand is what you do today, and we think this new title better reflects the change in responsibility and overall outlook.

We discussed this during our recent General Manager meeting in Florida and it met with tremendous approval.

Congratulations BRAND MANAGER.

Saga Communications owns and operates more than 100 broadcast stations in 29 markets.

President Obama Calls in to Tom Joyner Show this Morning. This morning (10/10) on the Tom Joyner Morning Show President Barack Obama called in and spoke to Tom Joyner and Sybil Wilkes about the debate, the importance of voting, his focus on the African American Community, and his thoughts on winning this tight election.  In the opinion of the RadioInfo editors, the President made several powerful news making comments.  To read a key excerpt from this exclusive interview, click here.

 

New Adult Hits Station Launched in New Hampshire.  WSKX, Portsmouth, NH, owned and operated by Clear Channel Manchester/Portsmouth, launched “95.3 The Coast” yesterday with an adult hits format featuring acts from the 1970s to the present.  The station will broadcast uninterrupted music programming, with a playlist that features such artists as Bon Jovi, Maroon 5, Madonna, Prince, No Doubt and KC and The Sunshine Band. To punctuate its debut, the station will be commercial-free through the end of the month. Clear Channel Manchester/Portsmouth owns and operates WGIR-FM; WERZ-FM; WHEB-FM; WMYF-AM; WPKX-AM; WGIR-AM; WQSO-FM; WSKX-FM and is part of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

Cox Media’s KJSR, Tulsa Rebrands as Rock 103.  The classic rock outlet lets go of the “Star 103.3” moniker and adopts the new “Rock 103” name as it welcomes the syndicated Billy Madison show to the morning drive slot.  Madison – based out of Cox’s KISS, San Antonio – is also heard on Cox’s WHTP, Tampa “The Bone” and WFYV, Jacksonville “Rock 104.5.”

Clear Channel Hires Jerrell Jimerson to Head iHeartRadio Team.  The former president and CEO of Songbird, Jerrell Jimerson, is named the senior vice president of product for digital at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  Jimerson will be responsible for the “product team, defining requirements for upcoming releases and taking its functionality, consistency and quality to the next level.  Jimerson will work closely with the digital team to expand Clear Channel’s platform to deliver an increasingly sophisticated toolset and deploy new offerings that are exciting additions to iHeartRadio.”  Jimerson says in a statement, “Since the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011 to launch the new iHeartRadio, all eyes have been on Clear Channel as it has developed into a fully realized media and entertainment company with the #1 digital music platform.  I’m excited to leverage my past experience in digital product development to lead iHeartRadio’s path forward and contribute to its continuous growth and success.”  Jimerson joined Songbird – the open-source code alternative to iTunes in the fall of 2009.

RadioInfo Career Moves.  Cox Media’s country WQNU, Louisville “New Country Q103.1” welcomes new morning show duo Daniels & DiazChris Diaz becomes part of the station alongside Kris Daniels who’s been hosting mornings for the past several years and serves as the station’s music director…..Alpha Broadcasting’s hot AC KBFF, Portland “Live 95.5” names Nikki West and Cabana Boy co-hosts of the “More Music Morning Show.”

Mancow Show in Pre-Recorded Mode During Move to New Studios.  The Chicago-based and TRN-FM nationally syndicated Mancow program is airing taped shows this week as the program prepares to launch in its TV-radio simulcast format on October 22, according to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder.  Mancow’s show will emanate from the studios of Fox TV-owned WPWR-TV, Chicago with the 6:00 am to 8:00 am hours being simulcast on TV.  Also, Feder reports that former “Ebert & Roeper” program executive producer Don Dupree has been hired as director and produce of the Mancow show.  Mancow’s program had been produced at Cumulus Media’s Chicago studios.

Michael Savage Tells San Francisco Chronicle His Return to Radio is Imminent.  The San Francisco Chronicle reports former Talk Radio Network nationally syndicated talk star Michael Savage (who won his freedom from TRN in arbitration recently) plans to be back on the radio within two weeks.  Savage tells the paper, “I’ve got to get back before these (presidential) debates are over.  And when I do, it will be bigger than ever.”  Savage’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, says Savage is in negotiations with three “major players” but wouldn’t say which ones or what station might serve as a flagship.

Cool Production Director Job Opportunity:  Longport Media in Southern New Jersey is accepting packages for a neat production director position. The group owns five radio stations and they need a “creative, organized, detail-oriented” producer to keep all of their spots and promos sounding great and running correctly. Candidates must possess people skills, creative writing talent, voiceover talent and radio production experience.  Also it wouldn’t hurt to have a working knowledge of Adobe Audition CS5.5 and Scott Studios / TLC. Resume and audio should be sent to jobs@longportmedia.com

FCC Approves Sale of WOR, New York to Clear Channel.  The FCC okays the transfer of heritage talker WOR-AM, New York from Buckley Broadcasting/WOR,LLC, to AMFM Radio Licenses, LLC a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, giving the company its first AM in the market to go along with its five FM’s.  The sale price: $30 million. (Contrast that to the $78 million Disney paid for WEVD in 2001 for its ESPN Radio.)  WOR is New York’s oldest radio station, signing on in February 1922 with 500 watts.  Current and past hosts on the station include three generations of the Gambling family (John A., John B. and John R.), Joan Hamburg, Mike Gallagher, David Paterson, Mike Huckabee, Ronald Hoffman, MD, Dr. Joy Browne, Lou Adler, Gene Burns and Barry Farber.

Other FCC Actions.   The commission approves the transfer of talk WYCL-AM, Niles, Ohio and nostalgia WHTX-AM, Warren, Ohio, from Whiplash Radio, LLC to Sagittarius Communications, LLC…..Approval granted assigning the Construction Permit for KCKO -FM, Rio Rico, Arizona from Cochise Media Licenses LLC to JJS Media LLC…..Approved is the license transfer for country WHAW-AM, Lost Creek, West Virginia, from Stephen R. Peters to Della Jane Woofter.

SAM Broadcaster Developer Creates Broadcaster App for the Blind.  Radio automation software developer Spacial of Sherman Oaks, California, has announced an internet radio broadcasting application for users who are blind or visually impaired that could find its way into commercial broadcasting. It’s called SAM Vibe and allows users to upload and manage music libraries, scheduling and automated program production.  “Lots of people want to be DJs but most radio broadcasting software is too complex for the average user and not designed to be accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired,” says Pascal Laflamme, managing director of Spacial.  “SAM Vibe has an easy and fully accessible interface to allow broadcasters with or without vision to create their own commercial-quality radio stations right from their PCs.”  SAM Vibe is in use now at the broadcast studio at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh where kids are learning to create their own broadcasts.

Stocks Fall Tuesday.  Stocks opened flat and then fell to a six-week low yesterday, with the Dow Jones off 110.12 (-0.81%) at 13473.53 at the close.  This is only a few percentage points below the all-time high of 14164.53 on October 9, 2007.  Standard & Poor’s off 14.40 points, the Nasdaq Composite down 47.33.  The broadcast sector was down Tuesday with few exceptions.  Off on the day was Entercom Communications Corp. (-5.92%), Emmis Communications Corp. (-3.69%) and Pandora Media, Inc. (-3.53%).

Recaps from Nashville to Hartford Highlight RadioInfo’s Ongoing Look at September 2012 Monthlies.  Unless otherwise noted, 6+ Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) stats are for September 2012; (6+) comparisons are August 2012 to September 2012.  More ratings analysis of other markets is archived on RadioInfo.

Market #45: Nashville 

  • Adult contemporary WJXA rules Music City USA for the third successive month and it shows upward movement for the fifth straight time.  In that stretch, South Central-owned “Mix 92.9″ has gained nearly four shares and it hits double-digits (6+) for the first time since the Holiday report.
  • Cumulus’ WGFX (#5) registers a +1.6 from August and the Tennessee Titans flagship station has its best (6+) share since March’s 6.2.
  • After reaching a 7.1 in August, Clear Channel’s WUBT (tied with WGFX at #5) is -1.1.
  • Country produces 15.1 (6+) shares from Cumulus’ WKDF (#7, -.4), Clear Channel’s WSIX (#9, flat), and Cumulus’ WSM-FM (#11, +.2).

Market #46: Greensboro 

  • It is seven consecutive weeks at #1 and seven straight double-digit (6+) showings for WQMG; the Entercom urban AC however is down eight-tenths from August. 
  • With a strong +1.2, WQMG’s country-formatted sibling WPAW improves from third to second.  Country ranks #2 – #3, as Clear Channel’s WTQR (#3) adds three-tenths but trails WPAW for the seventh consecutive month. 
  • WKZL (#8) is flat while its CHR rival WMKS (#10) is down two-tenths. 
  • Of the 15 Nashville facilities listed in the September monthly, Entercom and Clear Channel own five each. 

Market #48: West Palm Beach

  • After being delisted for six months as a nonsubscriber, WRMB (#12) makes the most significant (6+) August-September increase (+1.3).
  • Five of the top six are up from August, including hot AC WRMF, which is #1 for the fifth straight time, and runner-up WOLL (+1.1 to 6.8, its best since May 2011’s 7.2).  This is the fifth successive monthly in which WRMF (+.7 from August) has been either up or flat.
  • After five consecutive increases from March through August (2.4 – 4.1 in that span), contemporary Christian WAYF (#10) drops nine-tenths.

Market #49: Jacksonville

  • Tied for first in August, WJBT makes a hefty +1.5 improvement to take sole possession of #1.
  • After a seven-tenths July-August dip, CHR WAPE (#3) improves by seven-tenths.
  • Clear Channel siblings WSOL (#6) and WNWW (#8) are -1.1 and -1.0, respectively.
  • Jacksonville is essentially a two-owner market with Clear Channel owning half of the 12 stations listed in the September report and Cox Radio having five.  The other station on the lists is NPR affiliate WJCT, which is owned by WJCT, Inc.

Market #51: Memphis

  • Down a modest three-tenths, KJMS is a perfect 24 for 24: It has been #1 in all 24 of Memphis’ PPM monthlies.  “V101.1″ registered a 9.4 in November 2011, which was the last time the Clear Channel urban AC was not in double-digits (6+).
  • Clear Channel stations are responsible for the largest (6+) August-September gain (#4 WHRK, +1.2), as well as the most significant month-to-month decline (#13 WDIA, -1.2).
  • Talk displays growth with WREC (+.7, #12) up for the third straight month (2.3 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.7); its rival – Cumulus’ WKIM (#18) – gains four-tenths.

Market #52: Hartford

  • Even though down six-tenths from August, CBS Radio adult contemporary WRCH is #1 for the 13th straight time.
  • Hot AC WTIC-FM gains seven-tenths and advances from #5 to #3.
  • With a +.9, WHCN (#7) notches its best (6+) share since January’s 5.6.
  • After five successive up trends, WWYZ falls four-tenths but remains #2 for the fourth consecutive month.

Please note that market #47 (New Orleans) and market #50 (Oklahoma City) are excluded from this overview, owing to the fact that Arbitron measures them quarterly by diary methodology.

For complete Arbitron subscriber 6+ PPM rankings in the above markets click here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

| October 1, 2012

WLS-FM, Chicago Tweaks Format; “Oldies Out,” “Classic Hits” In.  Cumulus Media’s WLS-FM, Chicago is debuting its new format today that brings some of Chicago’s iconic radio personalities together on the station that’s dropping the word “oldies” for the moniker “classic hits” and adding more music to the rotation.  SVP of programming Jan Jeffries tells Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder, “There will not be any radio station like this one…We still will play a lot of the music that we’ve always played, but it’s no longer oldies.  We will not use that word…We will be fresh to the market and will have instant relevance that is unduplicated.  And that will be compounded by the fact that we have the most legendary lineup in Chicago — no question about it.  Probably in the whole country.”  Jeffries says the playlist will include:  Bryan Adams, Journey, John Mellencamp, Chicago, Doobie Brothers, Eagles, Supertramp, Styx, Blue Oyster Cult, Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen.  The jocks (pictured here with Jeffries seated at the bottom ) include legendary Windy City personalities (from l-r): Greg Brown in middays, Brant Miller for morning drive, Dick Biondi in overnights, Fred Winston in PM drive, and John Records Landecker hosting evenings.  This past Friday (9/28) RadioInfo’s Mike Kinosian posted an extensive analysis of the recent PPM rankings of the approximately 50 of the nation’s leading “classic hits” and “oldies” stations along with an explanation of the migration of most operations from the “oldies” handle to becoming “classic hits.”  See it here.

Lady La Inks Deal to Remain in AM Drive on CBS Radio’s KZON, Phoenix “101.5 Jamz.”  Lady La took over the morning show on CBS Radio’s hip hop “101.5 Jamz” two years ago and now signs a deal that will keep her in that role.  Program director Dave Shakes says, “I’m very glad that Lady La continues with 101.5.  We’re excited about our game plan that keys on her unique strengths and the opportunity for even bigger wins in Phoenix.”  Lady La began her radio career in Phoenix on Riviera Broadcasting’s crosstown hip hop outlet KKFR “Power 98.3” before moving to KZON.  She says, “I am excited to continue my relationship with 101.5.  Being the morning show host of such a great radio station was an easy choice for me.  I have grown so much both personally and professionally over the last two years and am thrilled to be able to keep my connection with our many listeners.”

Longtime Air Personality and PD Victoria Frederick Out at KKZK, Spokane.  Details are still not clear, but it appears that well-known industry album rock veteran broadcaster Victoria Frederick has exited her position with Clear Channel classic rocker KKZK (98.9), Spokane.  Frederick has been on the air at the station since 1991 and has served as PD since 2005.  She can be reached via e-mail at vicatnite13@comcast.net.

 

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Justin Schlegel is the new permanent PM drive host at Hearst’s WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock.”  He moves into the position after the company parted ways with longtime PM drive host “Stash” aka Stephen G. Smith who was charged with DUI in Maryland after a car crash in July…..Afternoon personality Steve Rixx exits CBS Radio’s country KILT-FM, Houston and that leaves a prime country radio gig open in that market…..John Magic leaves his PM drive slot at Clear Channel’s hip hop KBOS, Fresno “B95” after 10 years at the station.  According to the Fresno Bee, there’s no immediate word on his replacement…..Also from Fresno, KJWL “K-Jewel 99.3” morning personality Feleena Sutton exits the station after six years there.  Station owner John Ostlund tells the Fresno Bee, “We loved Feleena, but as you know, the entertainment business is about…entertainment. So, stay tuned.”

WIL, St. Louis “Cornbread Morning Show” Cast Member Judi Diamond Stars in TV Reality Show.  Radio personality Judi Diamond – part of the cast of the “Cornbread Morning Show” at Hubbard Radio’s country WIL, St. Louis – is starring in her own reality TV show on Viacom’s Nick Jr.  Called “MFF: Mom Friends Forever,” the program follows Diamond (pictured here at left) and friend Kate Frisina-White as they go through the trials and tribulations of juggling careers and raising families.  The program is airing in prime time and is targeted to the mother demographic.  It premieres tonight at 10:30 pm ET.

Second Annual “College Radio Day” is Tomorrow.  On Tuesday, October 2, over 550 college and high school radio stations spanning 28 countries will take part in a “24-Hour Global Marathon – College Radio Day.”  Coldplay’s Chris Martin will officially launch the day with a specially recorded message of support for the unique mission of college radio.  28 countries are participating this year and hundreds of thousands of listeners are expected to tune in and hear creative and independent radio programming.  Some of the stations are calling it, “The Day College Radio Comes Together” to celebrate the medium worldwide.  The event was conceived by professor Rob Quicke — general manager of WPSC-FM at William Paterson University in New Jersey.  He says, “Considering CRD has no budget and is administered by volunteers, having 550 college and high school radio stations in 28 countries take part is truly remarkable. It’s a day we all come together and make a collective statement that says college/high school radio is an important and vital medium.  It is a massive undertaking but last year’s inaugural CRD 2011 was so successful, how could we not push forward with CRD 2012.”

A Good New Home for Hot Babes.  If you realized your part of town had neither a good Italian restaurant nor a good Chinese restaurant, would you think the solution was to open a really great Italian-Chinese restaurant? Of course not!  When it comes to our websites, digital consultant Chris Miller of Chris Miller Digital tells RadioInfo readers, “Radio is locked in that kind of thinking, unfortunately.  We’ve created a lot of Italian-Chinese restaurants.  The prime example is all the rock stations that have massive ‘Hot Babe’ galleries.  Radio stations that target guys have found they get tons of hits from people coming to their website to view those photos.  If you suggest they take them down, they’ll think you’re nuts.”  Miller continues, “Yet, I’m going to suggest just that.  Keeping those galleries fresh is a distraction for you, and they don’t help build your overall brand.  Sure, those hot babes get lots of traffic.  However, I’ll bet if you tracked it, you would find (as I have) that people who come to see your hot babe pics often don’t visit other parts of your website.  Furthermore, for the people who are coming to your website to learn more about what makes you famous, they’re clicking on your site with specific intentions that have nothing to do with scantily-clad women.”  For the entire Chris Miller piece click here.

Art Laboe Still Going Strong at 87.  One of the seven honorees to be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame next month (11/10) in Chicago received a Hollywood Walk of Fame “Star” in July 1981 and has a mile-long inventory of other impressive awards and significant resume credits.  A trailblazing entrepreneur, highly-accomplished Los Angeles program director, and multi-decade air talent, he sold several of his Fresno and Tucson radio holdings to Clear Channel in 2001 for $17 million.  Listeners enjoy his five-hour, one-of-a-kind on-air presentation six nights a week on a 16-station network, as well as on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio. From the time he was eight years old, this individual wanted to be a radio personality.  In and of itself, that is hardly noteworthy, as it mirrors the tale of so many of broadcasters in the business.  What does make Art Laboe‘s narrative so extraordinary is that when he was eight, the year was 1933 so as the Utah native points out, “Radio itself was only about 10 years old.  In those days, there was movies and radio.  If you wanted to be in show business – that was it.”  To read Mike Kinosian’s complete profile of the legendary Art Laboe, click here.

Dave Ramsey Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Radio with Big Nashville Bash including Affiliate Meetings and Gala Live Broadcast.  This past Friday, September 28, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dave Ramsey marked his 20th year in radio with a special episode of “The Dave Ramsey Show.” The program took place before a live audience of more than 2000 listeners in a huge tent in the parking lot of Ramsey headquarters in suburban Nashville.  It included calls from long-time listeners and well-wishes from friends and celebrities such as Brad Paisley, George Stephanopoulos, Mark Cuban, Billy Gibbons, Piers Morgan, Zac Brown, Neil Cavuto, Darrell Waltrip, and Glenn Beck. Video of the show was streamed live online.  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam declared September 28, 2012 Dave Ramsey Day in the state of Tennessee. He presented the proclamation to Ramsey during the first hour of the radio show (see photo). The show was the culmination of Ramsey’s fifth annual Affiliate Executive Council (AEC) meeting held last week between Wednesday and Friday (9/26-28) in which he and his staff provided some 60 executives from his affiliates across the country with seminars, workshops breakout sessions and entertainment activities experienced in true Nashville fashion.  A highlight of the AEC event was an industry trade panel featuring professionals who have never been on one stage together. The panel focused on current industry issues and events and was moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber. Al Peterson from NTS Media Online, Gene McKay from Inside Radio, and Michael Harrison from TALKERS and RadioInfo participated on the panel (see photo).  According to Harrison, “Attending the Ramsey event was an eye opener into how this amazing broadcaster and his superb staff have created a viable, productive partnership with their affiliate radio stations as well as a personal bond with them on a level unmatched by any other syndication company or network in the business.  Ramsey has created a business model and success story worthy of emulation, indeed!”

New England Country Station Adds Former Rocker as Simulcast Partner. Great Eastern Radio LLC, local owner and operator of radio stations throughout New Hampshire and Vermont ended the rock format at its outlet WKKN (101-9 K-Rock), Keene, NH yesterday (9/30) and started a simulcast of its country-formatted  WXXK (Kixx 100.5), Lebanon, NH at 8:00 am ET today. The format flip brings WXXK’s programming back to the 101.9 frequency, where it was until the mid-90s when the station frequency was located at 101.7 FM. It also gives Kixx 100.5 full coverage of the main Interstate 91 corridor, from the Massachusetts border of Vermont to St. Johnsbury, VT. This new coverage area, along with their coverage from Central NH to Western Vermont, will be the largest coverage area for any country station in Vermont and Western New Hampshire.  “The moves we are making today will solidify Kixx 100.5 as the market leader for country music in New Hampshire and Vermont”, Great Eastern Radio Director of Programming Justin Tyler tells RadioInfo. “We are looking forward to extending Nashville to all of the Country Music fans in Keene, NH, Brattleboro, VT, and the surrounding areas.”

Syndicators Hit the Deck Running Today to Promote Shows to Stations Left Unprepared for Savage Exit.  After a weekend during which approximately 300 radio station managers who were affiliated with TRN’s Michael Savage Show (“The Savage Nation”) were trying to figure out what to put in the gaping vacancy left in their schedule by the sudden exit of Michael Savage from the airwaves this past Friday, the syndication and network community are readying a mad dash to get to them and have them consider taking any of a number of their available programs as its replacement. Savage left the airwaves without warning after scoring a victory in a fierce legal battle with TRN to get out of his existing contract.  Meantime, Savage did his first show as a “free agent” over the weekend as an online-only entity produced by UStream.  TRN has teased that it will name Savage’s replacement (as “radio’s October surprise”)– at least within its stable of available hosts – sometime today.

Lionel Joins Morning Show at Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia.  Talk media personality Lionel – known for his years of expanding talk radio’s dimensions with successful stints in national syndication and in local markets gigs including New York City – joins the morning drive show at Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia beginning today.  Lionel, who anchors Tribune’s WPIX-TV, New York’s “Morning News” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am and produces commentaries for the station that air on its 10:00 pm news, will join the program with Al Gardner from 6:00 am to 8:30 am.  In addition to these “traditional media” gigs, Lionel has been operating the digital media station LionelMedia.com for the past several years.

Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington Brings Del Walters Aboard Full Time.  Washington, DC’s all-news WTOP announces broadcast journalist Del Walters is promoted to a full-time position with the station.  WTOP states, “For more than two decades, Walters has been broadcasting in the Washington/Baltimore area, working as an anchor and investigative reporter for various stations including WJLA in Washington and WMAR in Baltimore.  Walters joined WTOP in 2010 as a part-time anchor and reporter but will now step into a full-time role.”

Clear Channel Flips WGST, Atlanta to Spanish Sports Talk.  Last week we reported that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment would be dropping the news/talk at heritage WGST, Atlanta and flipping to either a Spanish-language format or all-comedy.  CC chose to go with Spanish sports talk and debuted 640 ESPN Deportes on Friday afternoon.

Radio Vet Ron Cutler Shares Secrets of his Financial Success in New Radio Biz Book.  Radio veteran Ron Cutler turned a $15,000 investment in this industry into a $10 million payoff and now he’s written a book explaining how he did it.  The colorful radio and business book is titled How I Turned $15,000 into $10,000,000 (HIT) and You Can Too, and it serves up a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the radio business.  The advice is based on Cutler’s colorful experience as a top-rated Philadelphia DJ “Ron Diamond”; as the original owner and creator of the legendary KOME, the San Jose FM radio station that he sold to Michael Wiener and Gerald Carrus who formed Infinity Broadcasting making KOME Infinity’s first station; as the creator of 15 hit radio shows and services, Cutler was instrumental in launching the national shows of Rick Dees, Tom Joyner and Cousin Brucie;  as the owner of Cutler Comedy Networks, a leading comedy programming company that serviced more than 4,000 radio stations and was acquired in 1996 by Premiere Radio Networks; and as an entrepreneur in numerous entertainment ventures.  He tells TALKERS, “My path wasn’t an easy one.  At this stage in my life, I’d like to help others get a leg up, particularly during this challenging economy.  Perhaps the lessons that taught me resilience, determination and self-reliance will resonate with others.”   For more information visit www.roncutlerbooks.com. To interview Ron Cutler contact Amir Forester at 310-857-6207 or e-mail  amir@foresterpublicrelations.com.

WCCC, Hartford Getting Heat for Car Promotion Gone Awry.  A sales promotion staged by Marlin Broadcasting’s active rock outlet WCCC, Hartford, has not only embittered the contest winner – a chronically ill, physically disabled woman — but has prompted blowback in the form of a local NBC affiliate TV station consumer investigation. That, in turn has prompted the local Department for Consumer Protections to begin looking into the matter.  The promotion offered the winner $10,000 in auto improvements through three different clients. One of the clients actually did work on the car; but the second auto repair shop didn’t have enough time to finish the job and the third said it never received the car at all. The station did not respond to the NBC-TV station’s investigative reporter’s questions about the contest.

Pirate Station Gets a Closer Look.  The FCC Kansas City office receives word from concerned citizens about a pirate station operating on the FM band in Manhattan, Kansas. Sources say it was broadcasting “anti-government” programs.  News/talk KMAN, Manhattan reports the station was rebroadcasting from an online outfit, the Republic Broadcasting Network. Now “federal officials” have stepped in to learn more.

Licenses and License Transfers Approved.  The FCC renews the licenses of dozens of AM and FM stations in Ohio and Michigan for their regular license period.  It also grants transfer of WRCK-AM, Remsen, New York, and WUSP-AM and its FM translator, Utica, New York, from Roser Communications to Good Guys Broadcasting…..Assignment of permit for WUPJ-FM, Escanaba, Michigan from Clean Air Broadcasting to West Central Michigan Media Ministries…..Construction permits for a new Auction 91 station in Panhandle, Texas and a new Auction 93 station at Carrizozo, New Mexico, to Hispanic Target Media, Inc…..New Auction 93 FM in Fairbanks, Alaska, to Last Frontier Mediactive, LLC…..Permit for a new Auction 93 FM at Williston, North Dakota, to Glendive Broadcasting Corporation.

Fines for No Issues/Programs List and for Unlit Tower.  The San Diego office of the FCC Enforcement Bureau notifies Gulf California Broadcasting Co., operating KESQ-AM in Indio, California, that it is liable for a fine of $15,000.  The bureau finds 25 consecutive quarters of the issues program lists missing from the public file.  The base fine is $10,000, but the commission upped the forfeiture because of “the long duration of Gulf-CA’s failure to create and make available the issues/programs lists…which has continued for the entire length of the current license term.”  Cox Communications’ failure to maintain daytime lighting and a functioning automatic alarm system on its antenna in Portsmouth, Virginia gets notice of a $20,000 fine.  The FCC agents found the problem in October 2011.  The base amount for these infractions is $10,000, but the commission doubled the fine “because of Cox’s ability to pay, and to serve as an effective deterrent (not simply a cost of doing business), a forfeiture above the base forfeiture amount is necessary and appropriate.”  Cox has 30 days to pay or request a reduction or cancellation of the fine.  Worth noting is the FCC’s ASR (Antenna Structure Registration) database shows the ownership of this structure changing hands from Cox to Insite Towers LLC of Alexandria, VA as of June 13, 2012.

Third Quarter Ends with Mixed Day on Wall Street.  Stocks closed higher Friday while ending the third quarter on a weak note due in part to mixed signals on the U.S. economy. Looking at a sampling of players in the broadcast sector, Emmis Communications closed up (1.01%) at 2.00, Saga Communications was up (1.35%) at 40.52, Salem Communications was down (1.32%) at 5.24, Sirius XM Radio was up slightly (0.19%) at 2.59, Entercom Communications was off (1.72%) at 6.86 and Cumulus Media closes off (0.36%) at 2.74.

Friday, September 28, 2012

| September 28, 2012

Big Label Deal #2 for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  It was just over three months ago that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announced it had struck a pact with Big Machine Label Group to pay sound recording performance royalties to the label’s artists whether the songs aired over the air or via digital media.  Now, CCME announces it has come to a similar accord with Glassnote Entertainment Group.  According to a statement from the company, the deal “will help establish a business model that supports the development of a vibrant and sustainable digital music industry to the benefit of all constituencies – artists, music companies, radio and consumers.  Glassnote will directly participate in both Clear Channel’s terrestrial broadcast radio and digital revenues to the benefit of its artists.  Artists on Glassnote who will benefit from this agreement include Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Two Door Cinema Club, GIVERS, Childish Gambino, Oberhofer, The Temper Trap, Daughter, Robert DeLong, Little Green Cars and Flight Facilities.”  This deal, like the Big Machine one before it, creates a different paradigm whereby the label is paid based on a percentage rate that is based on the ad revenue that CCME makes of the broadcasts (both terrestrial and digital).  These deals also allow the digital aspect of the business to get around middleman SoundExchange which collects and distributes digital revenues for most other performance copyright holders.  Speaking to the deal with Glassnote CEO Daniel Glass, CCME CEO Bob Pittman states, “Daniel Glass is a savvy music business veteran who’s been leading his spirited independent record label to success after success.  So it’s no surprise to us that Glassnote quickly saw this was a great opportunity to help move the digital radio industry towards a more sustainable future.  Not only will this agreement expand his label and artists’ participation in all of Clear Channel’s radio revenues; it also creates a vibrant new digital radio business model that we believe will provide more money for the artists and the labels and more digital choices for the consumer.”  This is a controversial trend.  Not all radio executives are thrilled with these deals with some questioning whether this will be good for the radio business in the long run.  Even Pittman has stated that the deal comes with some risk.

Michael Savage Wins Suit Against Talk Radio Network; Leaves the Air Immediately.  Talk radio icon Michael Savage, who has been distributed by Talk Radio Network since he went into national syndication from his home base in San Francisco in the late 1990s, has won his legal battle with the company to be freed from his contract and has the right to seek other means of distributing his program.  Sources indicate there is no non-compete in effect and Savage is now free to work wherever he chooses.  Ranked by TALKERS magazine as the third most-listened-to talk show host in the nation, Savage states on his website, “After a grueling legal battle that cost him and his family dearly, Michael Savage can announce he won!  He is free at last.  Free to work with whomever he wishes in the radio industry from today forward.  Michael will not be heard on the radio for some time, but you can keep up with him by logging onto Michaelsavage.com every day for updates and by subscribing to his free newsletter.”  TRN CEO Mark Masters issued a statement in response, “We are all looking forward to announcing a bright future; radio’s October Surprise will begin on Monday, October 1st.”  Savage’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, tells the AP that Savage has been fighting the network for two years to get out of a contract that was 10 years old and prevented him from switching employers.  Horowitz says the pact lacked protections afforded to artists and entertainers under California law and tied Savage to Talk Radio Network indefinitely.  As for the cost to Savage to which he refers to in his missive on the website, Horowitz says Savage spent more than $900,000 fighting his case but was awarded more than $1 million in arbitration.  Savage will also have access to his audio archives.  Still unclear is the exact amount of time Savage must remain off the air.

Clear Channel Names Adam “Lukas” Cox Co-Host at Wichita AC KRBB “B-98.”  “Lukas” will be partnered with Tracy Cassidy and producer Kathy Deane on the AC morning show.  He replaces Brett Harris, who exited the station in July.  Cox was one of three air personalities let go from Entercom’s KDND, Sacramento after the death of listener and radio contest participant Jennifer Strange in the “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” promotion.  Cox, his co-hosts and seven other staffers were let go in 2007 in connection with the incident.  According to the Wichita Eagle, neither Clear Channel nor Cox are commenting on the case in which the family of Strange won a $16.5 million judgment from Entercom.  At the time Cox maintained that the air staff was just doing what it was asked to do by management.  After the case was adjudicated, he said in a TV interview finding work was difficult as prospective employers were afraid of getting bad publicity and all he wanted to do was “get back on the air and go to work.”

Dave Fogel Out at WLS-FM, Chicago.  Morning drive host Dave Fogel was let go from Cumulus Media’s oldies WLS-FM, Chicago after his shift yesterday morning.  There’s no official word from the station what the plans are for replacing Fogel but Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that part-time jock Tom O’Toole will sit in with co-host Marti Jones for now.   Fogel joined the station in March of 2010.

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Trey Barber is out as part of the morning show at Hubbard Radio’s Hot AC KSTP-FM, Minneapolis.  The station posts on its Facebook page, “We regret to inform our KS95 listeners that Trey Barber will no longer be part of the KS95 Morning Show. We all here at KS95 wish him the best.”…..Phil Stone and Brent Douglas will exit Clear Channel’s rock KMOD, Tulsa after their contract runs out October 12.  The morning show duo was not able to come to terms on a new pact with the station…..Sandusky’s KQMV, Seattle “Movin’  92.5” and music director Daniel Weatherhogg part company after six years.

Former CBS St. Louis VP/DOS Sues Company for Discrimination.  According to a brief in The Courthouse News, Kathryn Pavelonis is suing CBS Radio claiming she was discriminated against based on her gender.  Pavelonis worked at the St. Louis cluster that operates AC KEZK “Fresh 102.5,” news/talk KMOX and Hot AC KYKY “Y98.”  The complaint, filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court, states, “Such discrimination included, but is not limited to: excluding plaintiff and other female employees from some important corporate-related social events; and assigning plaintiff and other female managers heavier workloads than similarly-situated male managers.”  Pavelonis was let go in August of 2011 and, according to the story, CBS states she was fired for “serious misconduct.”  Pavelonis denies the charge and says that a male counterpart who engaged in the same misconduct was not disciplined.  She is seeking punitive damages in addition to lost wages and benefits.

Two Kansas City Stations Back in the Cumulus Fold.  The stations, CHR KCHZ “95.7 The Vibe” and AC KMJK “Magic 107.3,” were once part of Cumulus Media Partners-owned AR Broadcast Holdings and were put into a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection plan in 2011.  Now, Cumulus Media buys the stations back for $16.75 million.

Affiliate Roundup.  Premiere Networks’ syndicated CHR morning drive host Kidd Kraddick is added to mornings at Waco Entertainment Group-owned KWPW, Waco, Texas “Power 108.”

RadioInfo Presents Exclusive August PPM Overview of Classic Hits Station Rankings – WMJI, Cleveland Sets the Pace.  Executives at many stations that – several years ago – would have been designated as “oldies” insist “classic hits” is a more apt depiction. Consequently, the “oldies” category has been left nearly desolate.  Demarcation between those two format labels is murky at best, largely dependent on specific airplay percentages to (primarily) the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.  RadioInfo combines the two in an exclusive scoreboard posted today, where ratings results of nearly 50 such outlets appear.  For the eighth successive month, WMJI, Cleveland (“Cleveland’s Greatest Hits – Majic 105.7″) claims pacesetter honors. Keith Abrams is the station’s operations manager.  The last time the Clear Channel-owned facility did not occupy the top spot in this grouping was the “Holiday” monthly when Pittsburgh’s WWSW (“3WS”) registered a 12.2 by playing all-Christmas music.  Iconic Cleveland personality John Lanigan (40 years in the market) and standup comedian Jimmy Malone (“Lanigan & Malone“) do morning drive (5:30am -10:00 am) on “Majic.”  Following them on the weekday roster are Mark Nolan (10:00 am-2:00 pm); Don “Action” Jackson (2:00 pm – 8:00 pm); and syndicated personality Tom Kent (8:00 pm -12:00 midnight). See the complete Mike Kinosian overview here.

Jim Rome’s Jump to CBS Sports Radio Official.  As expected, syndicated sports talk icon Jim Rome is leaving Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Premiere Networks at the end of his contract (which expires at the end of the year) and will become part of the national slate at CBS Sports Radio.  The newly created national sports talk network will hit the airwaves on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 and Rome’s program will air in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot.  Included in the new deal are Rome’s contributing to the “CBS Sports Minute,” 60-second hourly feature on the network as well as his providing commentary for CBS Sports and CBSSports.com.  Rome is also set to host a talk series on Showtime, due to debut later this fall.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason states, “Jim would be at the top of any list highlighting sports radio’s most authoritative and opinionated hosts which is exactly why we’re thrilled to welcome him to CBS Sports Radio.  We are building a network that showcases the incredible assets of CBS Radio and CBS Sports, and creating a strategic opportunity for growth in this untapped marketplace.  Jim’s presence in this marquee time period adds strength to our lineup and exceptional value to our advertisers.”

Armstrong & Getty Return to Air.  The KSTE, Sacramento-based morning show duo of Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty were back on the air at the Clear Channel station (and on their San Francisco simulcast outlet KKSF) re-iterating their two days off the radio had nothing to do with the bit they did on Monday’s program calling for people to post videos, cartoons and more critical of Islam and Mohammad.  There had been speculation in the industry that management took the two off the air in the wake of statements by people, including President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, condemning editorial comments bashing Islam and its tenets.  The two assured listeners they are allowed complete editorial control over their show and that they were off the air for other reasons they agreed not to talk about on the radio.

FCC Levies Public File Fine and Warning About Staffing.  Talk KPIR-AM, Granbury, Texas, gets an $8,000 fine for an incomplete Public Inspection File.  The issues/program list is missing and the only person at the station during the inspection, the owner, says he couldn’t find the list as he was also on the air at the time.  The forfeiture order says that the licensee didn’t have a “meaningful management and staff presence” at its main studio when the inspector was there. The Commission defines “meaningful presence” as full-time managerial and full-time staff (during normal business hours).  No fine levied for that failure, but the Enforcement Bureau warns operator that future failures on the “staff presence” requirement may result in monetary fines in the future.

Station Transfer Approved.  The FCC approves transfer of the license for WSVM-AM, Valdese, North Carolina, from GHB of Waxhaw, Inc. to Bert Lindsey.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

| September 19, 2012

NAB/RAB Radio Show Opens in Dallas Today.  Thousands of broadcasters from around the nation are gathering at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas for the annual “Radio Show” jointly presented by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  The theme of this year’s event is ‘Hear What’s Next.”  The entire conference, which runs from this morning until the closing Radio Show Luncheon on Friday afternoon, is devoted toward the medium of radio and its commercial industry having an eye on the future from the music royalties issue to the general challenge of integrating into the digital era.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason served as chair of this year’s Radio Show Steering Committee.  RadioInfo has correspondents on the scene and will provide coverage of the key events as they unfold.

Michael Harrison to Deliver Address This Morning:  “Can Terrestrial Radio Thrive in the Digital Era?”   RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will be presenting an “info-session” at the Radio Show this morning sponsored by TALKERS magazine in which he addresses the question, can terrestrial radio thrive in the digital era?  Harrison says, “Survival is not enough.  Survival is a just a form of slow death.”  In an accompanying article he writes, “Survival is already happening and it isn’t as much fun as it’s cracked up to be as a spectator sport on the Discovery Channel.  In the reality show called terrestrial radio, sooner than later, survival will run out of gas.  For terrestrial radio, ‘survival’ is simply a slower form of imminent death.  It should be the goal of terrestrial radio to thrive in the digital era. Thrive? Is that even possible? Of course it is — but only if the medium’s players, from the very top on down, muster up the will to conquer the daunting obstacles standing before them.  It will take vision and courage fueled by bold ideas and action to slay the five-headed dragon threatening terrestrial radio with premature obsolescence.”  To read the entire article, click here.  If you are in Dallas, you can attend Harrison’s presentation in the Emerald Room at 10:15 am CT.

Journal Broadcast Group Names Justin Case OM for Wichita Cluster.  Country programmer Justin Case joins Journal Broadcast Group’s Wichita, Kansas cluster as operations manager, filling the role held by Beverlee Brannigan who was promoted to vice president of programming for Journal.  The group consists of: country KFDI (“Today’s KFDI FM 101.3”); oldies KLIO (“True Oldies 1070 AM”); rock KICT, (“T95”); classic rock KFXJ (“104.5 The Fox”); KFTI (“Classic Country 92.3 FM”); and Spanish KYQQ (“Radio Lobo.”)  Vice president and general manager Eric McCart says, “I’m ecstatic to welcome Justin to our local leadership team.  Justin brings extensive country programming talent and expertise to our cluster along with experience in a variety of other radio formats.  His proven ability to think strategically and provide solid strategic direction for our stations will be a real asset for our listeners and advertisers.”  Case previously spent seven years with Cox Media as OM of the Birmingham cluster.  He also programmed WUSN, Chicago; WWYZ, Hartford; and WDSY, Pittsburgh.  He says, “I am thrilled to join Journal Broadcast Group and look forward to working with Eric and his team.  The Wichita operations have wonderful stations that are dedicated to serving the community and delivering outstanding results for advertisers.  I look forward to continuing that commitment and using my experience to help grow the cluster in any way I can.”

More RadioInfo People Moves…

Terry O’Donnell joins Clear Channel’s Poughkeepsie cluster.  After being ousted from Townsquare Media’s adult hits WQSH, Albany several weeks ago, program director Terry O’Donnell stays in the region with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Poughkeepsie group to program CHR WPKF “Kiss FM,” AC WRNQ “92.1 Lite FM.” and news/talk WKIP…..John Cruz takes over morning drive at WCDA, Lexington, Kentucky as L.M. Communications’ Hot AC WCDA “106.3 Today’s Best Music” names him morning host, replacing Justin Tyme.  Cruz previously worked at country WSMO, Meridian, Mississippi…..Programmer Doug Daniels takes the helm at Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary KNEV, Reno “Magic 95.5 FM.”

Information Week Names Top 500 Technology Innovators.  A generous group of broadcast and media companies make the Information Week top 500 tech innovators list this year. Entercom, Viacom, Lamar Advertising, Cox Enterprises, Dish Network, music rights management company BMI  and the A&E Television Networks also are on the list. Entercom’s VP for IT, John Graefe, says the honor recognizes his company’s use of technology to make Entercom more efficient, expand listening reach and improve results for advertisers.

Morning Host Hank Bonecutter Let Go from WJZM, Clarksville, Tennessee.  The twist here is that Hank Bonecutter, host of “The Bone Show” on news/talk/sports WJZM, Clarksville, Tennessee, is the former owner of the station and he just completed the sale of it to new owners Dave Loos Jr., Greg Walker and Mike Parchman in August.  He’d been affiliated with the station since 1973 and bought it in 1994.  He tells The Leaf Chronicle, “I have no ill will.  They have to do what they have to do.  I wasn’t sure I’d stay on to the end of the year anyway…My reporting and all we were doing was not in their whole scope of what the station would be about.  I don’t think there’s any question I’ve rubbed a lot of people the wrong way for several years.  I’m sure they were taking a lot of heat from some folks in town, but I can’t speak to whether that was part of their decision or not.”

WSAU-AM/FM, Wausau, Wisconsin Give Political Candidate Free Air Time in Equal Time Deal.  Pat Snyder is the morning drive host on Midwest Communications news/talk combo WSAU-AM/FM, Wausau, Wisconsin.  He’s also a Republican candidate for State Assembly but his popularity with listeners meant the station didn’t want to take him off the air until it had to.  The Wausau Daily Herald reports that since Snyder worked until August 30 – almost two weeks after Democrat Mandy Wright became his opponent on August 14 – Wright became eligible for equal time compensation.  So the station will give Wright five-and-a-half hours of time in the form of commercials to air between now and election day.  She tells the paper she’s happy with the deal and that the station was “amicable” in dealing with her.

WJJG, Chicago Flips Calls to Historic WCKG.  Talk outlet WJJG (licensed to Elmhurst, Illinois) is taking the calls of the former CBS Radio hot talk outlet WCKG-FM – once home to Howard Stern, Steve Dahl and others during its heyday.  The station says in a statement, “WCKG has boasted Chicago and national radio stars the likes of Bob Sirott, Steve Dahl, Howard Stern, Kevin Matthews, Jonathon Brandmeier, Adam Carolla and Dr. Drew Pinski, Garry Meier, and Stephanie Miller.  Now, WCKG fans can add Mancow Muller, Alex Jones, and Michael Savage to the list of radio superstars linked to WCKG, on AM 1530.  General manager Matt Dubiel has been operating the station for the past year and has re-tooled the station’s programming lineup, marketing, studios and engineering.  He says he has plans to add live and local talk shows and a suburban showcase studio next.  “My mission is to bring WCKG to a worthy DuPage County suburb.  It’s high time for DuPage to have a marquee radio station with top-level talent serving our communities and Main Street businesses.”

Entercom Announces Deal with ESPN to Split WEEI, Boston’s AM and FM Signals.  Beginning October 5, ESPN Radio’s national sports talk lineup will be heard on WEEI-AM at 850 in Boston and the local talk of Entercom’s Boston sports brand will broadcast solely on WEEI-FM at 93.7.  This is a great deal for ESPN, which gets a Boston clear for its sports talk programming and play-by-play, including the entire MLB schedule (including this year’s playoffs), the NBA and college hoops and football.  The AM side is being re-branded “ESPN on WEEI.”  On the FM side, the Boston sports talker will still be the exclusive home of Red Sox baseball, Celtics basketball and NFL play-by-play.  For WEEI’s web presence, ESPNBoston.com will power WEEI.com’s video player with ESPN video content.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are excited to be expanding our partnership with ESPN in such a meaningful way.  Combining Boston’s leading sports station, WEEI-FM, and the new ESPN on WEEI 850 AM, together with our ability to cross promote content through our existing mobile and digital platforms, gives passionate Boston sports fans the very best in local and national sports content.”

Mapleton and Opus Sign with Jelli.  Mapleton Communications and Opus Media Partners sign on with Jelli throughout their radio groups, a total of more than 50 stations. Jelli promotes its platform as “100% User-Controlled Radio”. The interactive Jelli Platform “Advertising Only” option uses unsold on-air inventory serving radio ads and paying stations for the air time. The “Programming” offerings allow listeners to control playlists through smartphone apps. Mapleton operates more than 40 stations located in California, Oregon and Washington state. Opus operates stations in Louisiana and Florida.

Jim Ingstad’s Radio Fargo-Moorhead to Sell Cluster to Midwest Communications.  The six-station cluster of Jim Ingstad’s Radio Fargo-Moorhead will be sold to Wausau, Wisconsin-based Midwest Communications, pending FCC approval.  The stations are: news/talk KFGO-AM, sports KVOX-AM, classic hits KBVB-FM, Top 40 WDAY-FM, talk KRWK-FM and CHR KMJO-FM.  Six years ago Ingstad bought the stations from Clear Channel – the company that had purchased the stations from him several years prior.  No purchase price has been announced.

Urban AC: August Summary:  Ratings results of approximately three-dozen urban adult contemporary outlets appear in this extensive and comprehensive RadioInfo overview posted today.  In order for a station to qualify, it needed to rank within the top 20 (6+) in any of Arbitron’s 48 PPM-measured markets in the most recent (August 2012) monthly report. Included is Memphis’ KFMS (“V101″) which boasts the highest 6+ share of any PPM market station, regardless of format. Each station’s 6+ performance over the last three (3) PPM monthlies is listed in each breakout.  While beyond our control, Arbitron’s non-subscribing stations are excluded from this summary.  To see this full report, click here.  To read Mike Kinosian’s station profile of national urban AC ratings champ KFMS (“V101”), Memphis, see story below.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

| August 30, 2012

MASSIVE SHOUT OUT:  Allen Shaw Remembers ABC-FM “Rock ‘n Stereo” Staffers.  The former ABC Radio FM stations division president, who was one of the esteemed interviewees in the piece, e-mailed a note to RadioInfo’s Mike Kinosian stating:  “Your article got me thinking about some of the people who worked at ABC-FM during the 11 years [1968-1979] I was there.” The legendary broadcaster, currently president and CEO of Centennial Broadcasting, proceeded to roll off a list of 56 names who worked at seven stations plus corporate headquarters.  The stations are: WPLJ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; WDAI, Chicago; KSFX, San Francisco; KAUM, Houston; WRIF, Detroit; and WDVE, Pittsburgh.  To see the 56 names, click here.

Dial Global Responds to Mark Masters’ TRN Lawsuit — Calls it “Frivolous,” “Spurious.”  In a statement issued to the radio industry trade press, Spencer Brown, co-chief executive officer of Dial Global, states: “Despite the comments in Mr. Masters’ e-mail to the press distributed yesterday in which he announced his company Talk Radio Networks (TRN) is suing Dial Global, at this time, Dial Global has not been served a complaint. We have provided outstanding service to TRN for over 10 years and continue to represent several of TRN’s programs today. Based on the information contained in the complaint distributed by Mr. Masters to the press, which complaint was filed by a law firm run by Ron Severaid, TRN’s own internal legal counsel, we believe the complaint is entirely frivolous. We are confident we will defeat these spurious claims, assuming they are ever heard in a court of law.”

Clear Channel Flips WKLS, Atlanta from Active Rock to CHR as “Power 96.1.” The former active rocker “Project 96.1” is now history as Clear Channel Media and Entertainment flipped the station to CHR at 8:00 pm ET last night.  The station will carry Premiere Networks’ properties Elvis Duran in morning drive as well as Ryan Seacrest.  The station’s website features a custom video by artists including Katy Perry promoting the new station as the place for hit music in Atlanta.

GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED:  Fisher Communications Re-Aligns News and Talk Programming in Seattle; KOMO to Air More News, KVI to Return to Conservative Talk.  After 20 months away from conservative talk programming, Fisher Communications’ KVI, Seattle – reputed to be the first station to intentionally program all-conservative talk in America – returns to that format with local talk host John Carlson moving over from KOMO to host morning drive at KVI.  When the lineup is finally in place, Carlson will be followed by TRN’s Laura Ingraham; Compass Media NetworksTodd Schnitt; Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin; Compass’ Lars Larson; TRN’s Michael Savage; and Cumulus Media’s “Red Eye Radio” and Don Imus will round out the overnight period.  PD Paul Duckworth tells RadioInfo, “KVI stands for the best in conservative talk in Seattle.  This is going to be one of the most hotly contested elections in history and people need a place to hear about it and talk about it.  Get set for an exciting ride!”  Meanwhile at KOMO-AM/FM, Bill Rice anchors the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon day part and Brian Calvert anchors the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Ken Schram – who had been hosting a talk show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm—remains with Fisher in his role as commentator on KOMO 4 television.  Both Carlson and Schram will continue to provide daily commentaries on KOMO Newsradio.

Another Hot-Mic Casualty.  Yahoo! News‘ Washington bureau chief David Chalian was fired yesterday after a hot-mic blunder during an online broadcast from the RNC in Tampa.  Referring to the simultaneous occurence of the GOP convention and the hurricane floods in New Orleans, Chilian made an off-the-cuff remark, picked up by an open mic, saying that Mitt Romney and his wife Ann were “not concerned at all” and “happy to have a party with black people drowning.”  Audio of the incident quickly made its way online, posted by media watchdog NewsBusters.  Yahoo! released the statement: “David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!.  He has been terminated effective immediately.  We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended.”   Chalian issued the following apology: “I am profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke.  I was commenting on the challenge of staging a convention during a hurricane and about campaign optics.  I have apologized to the Romney campaign, and I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Gov. and Mrs. Romney.  I also regret causing any distraction from the exceptional coverage of the Republican convention by Yahoo! News and ABC News.”

Crawford Broadcasting to Purchase Non-Comm WNED, Buffalo.  Western New York Public Broadcasting Association announces it is selling WNED-AM, Buffalo at 970 to Denver-based Crawford Broadcasting for $875,000.  The pubcaster purchased WBFO-FM, Buffalo from the University of Buffalo in March for $4 million and president and CEO Donald K. Boswell says the corporation no longer needs the AM frequency for its programming.  He also states the cash from the sale will go to pay down debt on the WBFO-FM purchase.  WNED also owns WNED-FM that airs a classical music format and WBFO-FM carries the corporation’s news and information programming.  Crawford programs both Christian and secular programming and has not signaled its intent for WNED-AM after the sale is approved.

Townsquare Media May Be Moving Hip Hop to Full-Market Signal in Albany.  If the recent domain registration of Hot1057Albany.com and Crush991Albany.com are reliable indicators (and not decoys), Townsquare Media may be preparing to move hip hop off rock WQSH’s HD2 channel and onto the 105.7 main frequency and the 99.1 translator frequency.  The company just let WQSH PD Terry O’Donnell and sister classic rock programmer Rob Dawes go in moves that happened last week.

Is Jim Rome Leaving Premiere Networks for CBS Radio Sports?  That’s what Deadline.com is reporting.  Jim Rome has been syndicated by Premiere Networks since he debuted nationally back in 1996.  Recently he left ESPN – the cable giant that produced his television program – and signed on with the upstart cable venture CBS Sports Network.  Now, Deadline is reporting Rome will leave Premiere when his contract is up and join the CBS Radio Sports network when it debuts in January and that the deal will also allow him to cover NFL, NCAA basketball and U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and other events.

GOP Platform Slams FCC as Being Behind the Times.  According to a report by Brendan Sasso in The Hill, the Republican Party’s 2012 platform includes a section devoted to ripping the Federal Communications Commission as out of date.  “The most vibrant sector of the American economy, indeed, one-sixth of it, is regulated by the Federal Government on precedents from the nineteenth century,” the party writes.  Although created in 1934, the Commission took over some of the responsibilities that had belonged to the Interstate Commerce Commission, which was created in 1887 to regulate railroads. “This is not a good fit,” the GOP writes. “Indeed, the development of telecommunications advances so rapidly that even the Telecom Act of 1996 is woefully out of date. An industry that invested $66 billion in 2011 alone needs, and deserves, a more modern relationship with the Federal Government for the benefit of consumers here and worldwide.”  The GOP accuses the Obama administration of being “frozen in the past” regarding government regulated communications. “It has conducted no auction of spectrum, has offered no incentives for investment, and, through the FCC’s net neutrality rule, is trying to micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad network,” the Republicans write.  The FCC’s net-neutrality rules, adopted in late 2010, bar internet service providers from blocking or slowing down access to legitimate websites.  Supporters argue the rules are critical to ensuring the openness and freedom of the internet. But critics claim the rules unnecessarily restrict internet providers.  Both sides make good points. It is a complex and sensitive issue with enormous implications for the future of the internet.

After MidNite Announces Third Shift Award Winners. After MidNite, the mega-successful all-night country radio show hosted by Blaire Garner and syndicated by Premiere Networks, announces its “Third Shift Award” winners and the big winner is Keith Urban taking top spot in three categories.  .  After three rounds of voting on AfterMidNite.com, late-night country music fans made their final selections in 10 unique categories.  Urban, took these three categories: Pedal to the Medal Award (song most likely to get you a speeding ticket) with “Long Hot Summer”; Male Pin-Up Artist; and Fantasy Duet, where fans selected Urban and Prince for a duet. “The reaction from our listeners was beyond what any of us expected,” Garner tells RadioInfo.  “They really appreciated the fact that someone wanted to hear what they thought — those hard-working Americans awake during the overnight hours.  This was their moment, their chance to let the artists know who they most support.  They voted in droves, and we’re over-the-moon happy with what we created.  We hope this is the first of many years to come for After MidNite‘s Third Shift Awards.”  The festivities were capped with an on-air appearance by Urban himself who joined Garner on After MidNite this morning.  “I’m hugely honored, and I want to thank everyone for voting,” states Urban.  “I appreciate it, but I’m just asking everyone to please don’t send your speeding tickets to me.”  Urban went on to share a story about a recent missed opportunity to jam with Prince: “I’ve never met him, and it’s one of those weird things. We were doing The Voice [in Australia], and Prince played this big show, and he did an after-party show that we all got invited to go to, and I thought, ‘He’s not going to go on until like two or three in the morning, and I’m not going to last that long.’  So I went home.  I saw Seal the next morning on the set, and he’s like, ‘Man, you should have come down.  Prince got us up on stage!  He would have got you up there and jammed!’  So I was really kicking myself the next day that I missed it.”  Here is a list of the 2012 Third Shift Award winners: Fantasy Duet: Keith Urban and Prince; Pop-A-Top Award: Blake Shelton; Underdog Artist: Kellie Pickler; Top Twit Award: Chris YoungPedal To The Metal Award: Keith Urban’s “Long Hot Summer”; Female Pin-up Artist: Shania Twain; Male Pin-up Artist: Keith Urban; Song of the Year: Luke Bryan‘s “I Don’t Want This Night to End”; Artist of the Year: Carrie Underwood; Most Fanatical Fans: Scotty McCreery.  The show’s producers tell RadioInfo the first-annual Third Shift Awards were created to give late-night country music fans the opportunity to recognize their favorite artists.  The initiative began as a way to honor “third shifters” who make up the listenership of After MidNite, but the concept quickly engaged not only core listeners, but also artist fan clubs, record labels and even the artists themselves.  Winners were chosen via a bracket-style voting contest on www.AfterMidNite.com from July 17 through August 22.

Sports Talk Radio Becoming Dynamic Segment of the Industry.  Not only is sports talk radio growing in terms of numbers of stations flipping to the format, it is also becoming a hotbed of daily industry buzz.  According to RadioInfo/TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is remarkable how much action takes place daily in the sports talk segment of the general radio industry – between the personnel comings-and-goings, wild promotions, and non-stop growth, this portion of talk radio is providing an informational field day, no pun intended, for we industry observers.”  (See www.talkers.com.)

More News.  KEZK (Fresh 102.5)/St. Louis music director and midday host Dana Daniels has resigned the CBS Radio AC station effective September 5 to take a position in Los Angeles with the American Cancer Society and be closer to her teen-aged son and family who reside in Southern California…. Former Nielsen/NetRatings executive Manish Bhatia has joined Arbitron in the newly created position of executive vice president, new product Innovation.  A new media veteran, Bhatia will oversee cross-platform services and lead the development of new offerings/services outside of the core radio business.  He will report to Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer….The notable box office success of author Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film “2016 Obama’s America” which earned a remarkable $6.5 million at the box office last weekend in only about 1091 theaters can be attributed largely in part to the tremendous ability of news/talk radio to influence its audience to action.  The unlikely low budget “blockbuster” was a favorite of the nation’s conservative hosts right out of the gate and there is little doubt that their positive chatter about the film which takes a very critical look at the President is a major cause of the interest being shown in it.  Radio account execs should take note of this.