Tag: "music radio"

Music radio should break down the barriers to expand audience and increase potential

| October 6, 2014

Pop, rock, AC and urban can take a creative lead from country

 

By Rob Stevens
One Stone Productions, Ltd.
President

 

studentrobbieNEW YORK — I’m in the music making side of the record biz.  Exec producer, producer, mixer, musician, etc.  Eleven Billboard #1s.  Red Hot Chili Peppers, Herbie Hancock, John Lennon (posthumous anthology), ONO’s recent string of dance hits, and scores of current top shelf EDM performers and remixers.

I’m also a big fan.  I’ve got high school and teenage kids who turn me on to the rare artist I haven’t yet turned them on to.

So I’m a hybrid.  Not some putt-putt Prius; more like one of those new Lexus power ‘brids, or my beloved “05 Accord hybrid with the 270 hp internal combustion engine AND a battery to make acceleration from 30-60 feel like you’re in a banal looking Porche.

So much for my street and corner office cred.

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A Little Bit Here – A Little Bit There

| March 12, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
RadioInfo

LOS ANGELES That seems to sum up where the losses of all-Christmas music stations went. There was a little something for every format.

Taking its turn to go under the January 2014 ratings microscope is hot AC, which joins previous subjects adult hits, CHR, classic rock, news, and rock.

Mirroring previous guidelines, hot AC stations featured in this 6+, full-week scoreboard had to have finished in the top 20 in their respective markets in the January 2014 report; only Nielsen Audio subscribers appear in their printed data and consequently here as well.

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Reinventing Music Radio

| March 3, 2014

By Duane Doobie
RadioInfo
Music Editor/Director

SPRINGFIELD, MA – As Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again.” For those who lovingly remember the golden age of music radio, this statement plucked from the archives of 1940s pop lit rings of stark truth.

It is understood (or at least should be) that the specific culture that provided the iconic ground for music radio of all pop formats during the second half of the 20th century cannot be restored – nor should it be.

However, knowing that you can’t go home again doesn’t mean that you cannot learn from the universal truths of a simple place in space and time whereby a heart-touching life-chapter was experienced and create a new home as well as a comfortable place for future nostalgia to be born.

As music radio struggles to overcome its early-21st century challenges (stifling corporate debt, the pandemic expansion of nationally-homogenized radio format “brands” by mega-corporations in the business, dauntingly superior competition from exotic new media platforms, and the really big one: a massive, growing generational divide), smart programmers who are actually thinking about maintaining a vital role for the grand ole medium realize that some reinvention is in order.

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Doobie’s Picks of the Week

| March 3, 2014

Doobie Banner - Picks

williamspharrell hatNot every pop song, especially with the influx of EDM into the world of CHR airplay, is a happy song. Though, I probably can’t convincingly tell that to Pharrell Williams this week – since his track “Happy” now sits upon the throne that is the top spot of the RadioInfo Pop Music Chart. Pharrell is all over the place – with and without his hat, Robin Thicke, Daft Punk and the minions. This track specifically is really positive, catchy, and has both the cache of being the first track off his new album GIRL and being the runaway cut from the soundtrack “Despicable Me 2.”

POP

The less than happy song… It takes a special something for a singer/songwriter to turn heartbreak into inspiration that touches people deeply, perhaps healing their own broken hearts. I think this next pick shows a first rate effort at such a feat.

“Don’t Need You Now” by Alexis Keegan Clean Slate (Olea)

“Don’t Need You Now” by Alexis Keegan Clean Slate (Olea)Inspired by heart on their sleeve singer-songwriters like Gavin DeGraw and James Morrison – and fresh from a stunning, unexpected breakup — Alexis Keegan tapped into a deeper artistry and vision. Putting her previous light hearted pop/rock release behind her, with the co-writing, production, and encouragement of Andrew Williams (nephew of Andy Williams), with whom she struck an immediate creative kinship, Keegan releases her debut album.

“The music I was doing before was straight up pop/dance music,” Alexis says, “mostly talking about clubbing and drinking, going out with friends, and that sort of thing. The songs I’m writing now are about feelings and issues I really care about at this point in my life – love, heartbreak, losing people you love – emotions and situations that are meaningful and that I’ve experienced as I have matured as a person and artist. When I was doing the dance music, I really missed writing about things I really related to. I fell hard in love, and then had my heart shattered, so that was the material that was spilling out of me when I was writing. The sound is different too. Now it’s more focused on the vocals with more of an R&B/soul/rock vibe. I feel like I have finally found my niche in this style.”

Perhaps this style is something that should be on your radar.

“Crazy for You” by Hedley Wild Life (Universal) / Anything EP (Capitol)

“Crazy for You” by Hedley Wild LifeShould you find this track of interest, you will need to get creative with regard to acquiring a copy. For some reason, Universal has decided not to yet release this album domestically (pre order in March, release in May) but has released it in the group’s home country of Canada (the group is named after an unincorporated community in British Columbia that was available for sale for $346,000) – where the group and this album are becoming somewhat of a big deal.

This is not the first time I have mentioned Hedley. Back in November, one of my tracks worthy of note was “Anything” (the title track to their only domestic release Anything EP and a home to this track). If you do a quick web search on them – you may come across a few of the opinion that “their brand of rock is a bit bubble gum”… and I think the reason for that is that they aren’t a rock band. They are a really dynamic and exciting pop act that has some rock sensibilities. I am going to blame this incorrect review as just getting lost in translation from Canada. Maybe that’s why the album hasn’t been released here yet. They probably have some language bugs to work out…

Seriously though – lead vocalist, Jacob Hoggard, and co-producer Brian Howes, have really created something special with this album. They arranged solid vocals singing contemporary lyrics so infectiously – all while backed by a solid group of talented musicians, sharp-edged production, with a pickle, and a side of fries. This album… if you can get it… is really crammed full of fun pop tracks that I expect to be all over radio in a few months… and are all over radio RIGHT NOW in Canada.

You can either wait until the album is released, or — if you, too, think it’s going to be a hit — be the first kid on your block with it.  If you choose to take this chance, be smart and make sure that your presentation is accompanied by the right commentary – otherwise, why bother? It will have zero context and ultimately be ineffective. Either way, this track is a great piece of pop radio ear candy and now it’s on your radar.

“She Ain’t You” by New Hollow (Epic)

“She Ain’t You” by New Hollow (Epic)New Hollow consists of three high school friends who got together in 2010 – Mookie Clouse, Evan West and Chad Blashford. Together, they formed a band in their home of New Albany, Ohio. With a population under 8,000, I can imagine they were living the small town life. However, they caught themselves a break when they signed a deal with Justice, a popular girls’ clothing store, and began to release a string of physical singles to the retailer – while performing on their sponsored “mall tour.”

Fast forward…

In December 2013, “She Ain’t You” was voted the “Breakthrough Song Of 2013″ by The Pulse (Sirius XM), beating out “Let Her Go” by Passenger, “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors and “Say Something” by A Great Big World. By the end of January, they get signed to a major label.

To me, the song reminds me of Bush’s “Machine Head.” It’s not nearly as hard or rock sounding – but there’s something about New Hollow’s chorus that reminds me of the Bush song about 3 minutes and 12 seconds in.  It’s not exact… but I think it’s similar enough to be worth mentioning – and probably grab a few extra ears as they flip around.

Of course, none of this says anything about the song itself. It’s catchy. It’s got a lot of hooks. Plus the message is sweet. The protagonist may have moved on with someone who has a lot of the same qualities as their ex… but they make it very clear, this new person is not their ex (you). Though, I am left asking one question… Is there such as thing as “90s sweatshirt style” and if so – is that really attractive? I should talk… I wear a swank track suit most days.

mayerjohnNo offense to John Mayer, but does calling someone’s body a wonderland really make their heart melt? Maybe that first time HE said it… but definitely not when anyone else said it after that song came out. I went on YouTube and typed in “Bad Pickup Lines from Pop Songs” and a few compilation videos popped up that proceeded to rot my brain; Taylor Swift, Mike Posner, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Ke$ha, Jason Derulo, and Pitbull… all had some real doozies…  but it was this lyric by Train that actually melted my heart and took the cake…“I am so obsessed; my heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest…” – because nothing says “I love you” like obsession and awkwardly talking about grooming habits publicly.

What does this have to do with this next track? Well, I found a whole song full of pickup lines that are worse than any I saw in the compilations or can readily remember… and that is worth mentioning.

“Dragon Slayer” by Ninja Sex Party Attitude City (Micro)

“Dragon Slayer” by Ninja Sex PartyNinja Sex Party is a musical comedy duo based in New York City, consisting of Danny Sexbang (Leigh Daniel Avidan) and Ninja Brian (Brian Wecht). If you watch funny videos on the internet, then you have probably seen them. Their stuff has been featured on Funny or Die, College Humor, and many others.

So the basic underlying theme of the song is that the protagonist sees an attractive lady, also sees there are other gentlemen suitors, and so he asks that he be afforded an opportunity to make his case.

One of the things he says to impress her – between winning the Super Bowl and moving tectonic plates is the title of this song –that he is a dragon slayer. Some of the lyrics include, “I rode up to the mountaintop / It was ninety million hundred fifty thousand hundred feet in the air / Til I found the Dragon’s cave / and I fought through his army of awesome karate bears”

I don’t think this song will be a hit. I don’t necessarily think you should be adding it to your playlist. I think you should be aware of it as this song is sort of the flowers and stale chocolates that you can get at the gas station. You probably may never need those… but it’s nice to know you got something up your sleeve, just in case.

As the snow storm that threatened New England seems to be on a corrected path to miss us, I can only dream of summer… and ultimately the songs of summer.

“Never” by Phonat Never EP (OWSLA)

“Never” by Phonat.jpg~originalWhat we have here is the first “song of the summer.”

Imagine Jamiroquai having a fun time at the beach – and that is this song. Except this guy is from the lovely city of Florence, Italy, and he himself stands like a statue of a man at seven feet tall.  The song is a summery-funk-based track that has real energy about it. It’s got an underground feel but the synth sound brings it to the mainstream.

“’Never’ is a song that I’ve been working on for very long time because it is very precious to me,” says Phonat about the upcoming release. “It’s about those meaningful and defining moments you’ve experienced that you’re trying hard to recreate. The irrational and impossible desire of human beings to rewind as opposed to looking forward, which only produces nostalgia.”

This song will have broad appeal in both the CHR and EDM formats.

EDM

“Pandora” by Fareoh Original Mix (Big Beat)

“Pandora” by Fareoh Original MixFareoh is a big name in progressive house music. He’s a New York producer who has remixed acts like Lady Gaga, Cash Cash, and The Knocks.  With this track, Fareoh brings us a big room/trap hybrid (that will probably be all over festivals this summer) that builds for about a minute and then goes absolutely crazy right after. I don’t know if he’s exploring some indie sounds or what – but this is not only an exciting and danceable track – it’s one he’s giving away for free.

I remember reading about this guy when he played Santos Party House back in late 2012… not because his big room/bootleg heavy set was so amazing… though it seemed like it was… it’s that he was playing to a packed club of people that were dressed mostly in Santa Claus costumes… since the New York Santacon was earlier that day in the city. I remember thinking that they missed some sort of great title for the article… like Fareoh lead an exodus from the North Pole to Funky Town… but looking back, perhaps it is better that I never said anything.

“City of Wonderwalls” by Lush & Simon vs. Oasis (Shato & Paul Rockseek Mashup) (Vandit)

“City of Wonderwalls” by Lush & Simon vs. OasisThis mashup features two songs – the musicality of “City of Lights” by Lush & Simon – and the vocals from “Wonderwall” by Oasis – blended together to create a new work that stands on its own merits.

I first heard this progressive house mashup when listening to a recent podcast from Progressive House duo from Austin, Tritonal. Digging a little deeper – I see they had already gotten support from Deniz Koyu, Matisse & Sadko, Tritonal, Patric la Funk, Bjorn Akesson, DJ Feel.

This mashup is going to draw your listener in if they are flipping by and catch this song playing in progress. Both pieces are catchy and familiar. Put them together and it’s unfamiliar – therefore interesting – yet comfortable because of the pieces we recognize. Oh… not to mention… it really is quite danceable (as opposed to either of the originals)… it’s a track that is definitely worthy of being aware of.

“Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool (Party Favor Remix) (CLR)

“Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool (Party Animals Remix).As much as I love covers and great remixes… I feel like there are some songs that if you try and do a cover or make a remix… it’s almost an impossible task because the original sounds so amazing or is such a staple – that changing it often doesn’t add to it – but instead causes it to lose whatever it was that made it special in the first place.

Admittedly, I never thought I would call “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool a heritage or classic song… but when I found out that Party Favor had remixed it – I immediately thought… oh no… this guy just ruined his career… the original song is horrible if judged by today’s standards… so to use it as an element in a modern sounding remix – is already an uphill battle. It’s not 1996 anymore… and the original track is dated.

One of the things that stood out to me as memorable in the original track was at the end – when DJ Kool starts throwing out thank you shout outs… “Special dedication going out to Mellow T, Walt Reeder da’ joiner, Don Mack, Charlie Mack, DJ Ran, Cosmic Kev, special dedication going out to Frank Steed, Al Orrizo Ice T….” and wondering where some of those names originated…

Anyway… this remix features the classic vocals and vibes with a new perspective trap drop that screams “Who is ready to party?!”

The genre of this particular track is being dubbed “Twerk Music” … and for those who think that Twerking died a miserable death with Miley Cyrus… think again. Twerk music keeps gaining steam in the EDM scene… perhaps Twerk/Trap/House music is now a real thing.

“Air Balloon” by Lily Allen (Digital Farm Animals Remix) (Digital Farm Animals)

“Air Balloon” by Lily AllenThe original version of this song is currently #25 on the RadioInfo Pop Music Chart; up from #27 – this being its seventh week on the chart.

If one is making a remix, it makes a lot of sense to do it with a currently rising pop song. The risk, of course, is that if the pop song doesn’t really go anywhere, odds are the remix won’t either. Digital Farm Animals are a London based electronic-pop group that had the breakout EP of original compositions Bugged Out in 2013… but have now decided to enter into the world of remixes. Digital Farm Animals are known for their dreamlike/wavy synth sound and they bring that to the remix while keeping Allen’s poppy percussion and strong vocals – taking the song into its next evolution. The mix is pretty awesome, and would fit as an alternative version of the original in an EDM / dance centric slot.

ROCK

“Neverland” by VanLadyLove Love Matter EP (VanLadyLove)

“Neverland” by VanLadyLove Love Matter EP (VanLadyLove)A few weeks ago, I told you about a new EDM track that I didn’t hear initially because I don’t watch Dance Moms

sister wivesI have – as a service to my readers – upped my dosage of quality television and now can bring you new music from such television wonders as Sister Wives.

That being said, I first heard this track floating on a sea of new music. It made the shortlist for Red Zone consideration – but wasn’t an obvious standout until later that night when I heard it in the context of the television show, and recognized the song from earlier in the day.

The band was playing on the show (though, I think they dubbed in the pre-recorded track for use in the brief bit of the soundtrack) and so immediately – that bumped this up even further. The song is good and stands on its own merits… but the fact that they are out there – themselves… actually working hard  trying to get whatever exposure they can… is working for them. I saw them on the show. I dug deeper. I doubt many others did – but if they heard the song on your station – they would instantly recognize it (it was at a big moment in the finale of the show) and you would have a listener that you may not normally have, exposed to your station because of the pop cultural tie-in.

What’s up with the name, VanLadyLove? Well, if you ask front man Travis Van Hoff what he needs as a touring musician, he’ll tell you, “a van, a good lady, and doing what I love.”

VanLadyLove Hails from Provo, Utah, home of bands such as Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, The Used, and others.

The members of VanLadyLove pride themselves on sincere song-writing, lyrics and the ability to bring a lot of energy to live performance. They write that they are inspired by classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd as well as current acts such as Mumford and Sons and Sigur Ros. I think they have an interesting sound, and I am sure that their full length album – when it drops sometime this year – will create a big impression. Be aware of them now – having only released their EP – and know there’s more good stuff coming down the pipeline shortly.

“Off & On” by Findlay Off & On EP (Joyeux Anniversaire)

“Off & On” by FindlayIn 2012, Natalie Findlay released a single and toured supporting Jake Bugg. I am not really sure how that worked as Bugg is more of lighter indie rock singer/songwriter – and Findlay is harder with a tinge of punk and lighter fluid. The internet does not lie – and neither do the mountain of positive reviews that she was the one who stole the show on that tour.

In later 2013, she released two EPs… Off & On and Greasy Love. I was thoroughly impressed with both – specifically this track. It’s a punk/blues milkshake with a thick Manchester accent. It’s a little rough around the edges – but it still doesn’t disappoint. Instead, the roughness is more like authenticity that adds to the feeling that the listener is hearing something special… something underground… all before she explodes into the mainstream. With the right presentation – this is an excellent addition to a harder rock oriented playlist. However, just being aware of Findlay and these two EPs – will allow her eventual album release to already be familiar… if not just to you – but to your listeners as well.

“Shelter Song” by Temples Sun Structures (Heavenly)

“Shelter Song” by Temples Sun Structures (Heavenly)Reason number 257 to like the British psychedelic rock experience that is Temples: Noel Gallagher (Oasis) thinks that they were the best new band in the Britain last year.  This track sounds like two dozen different Beatles’ songs mashed together without any one song in particular dominating the general Beatle-esque sound — thereby sounding original. I realize that there may be a hipster or two that will use both reasons to not even read the rest of this review… that’s their loss.

July 2012: The band recorded “Shelter Song”, put it on the internet, and set into motion an unstoppable chain of events that eventually saw them signed to Heavenly Records. That same track, a bouncy, psychedelic romp, was issued as their debut single — on vinyl — and now that 7″ fetches upwards of £100 on eBay. Yes… £’s… because this album was never released in that form in this country.

meekjoeThe track was recorded in a back room within singer James Bagshaw’s house. They were often apologizing to the neighbors, who apparently never minded the sound because they were good. “It’s similar to Joe Meek – he used to record vocals in his bathroom in his flat on Holloway Road,” says Tom Warmsley, the group’s bassist and founder.

Which brings up an ongoing discussion around the halls of RadioInfo

Some of the best artists with the longest and most successful careers were the ones who were discovered by major labels’ active A&R departments and then developed into the recording artists that they had the potential to become.

With inexpensive professional sounding production equipment – artists can get their music to listeners without a label. Which means listeners can hear a product with no outside artist development (assuming labels even do that anymore); no access to high level (read: expensive) production studios and equipment; and no access to any distribution method above and beyond the ones available to everyone else. Those obstacles make achieving success difficult – though not impossible. In some circumstances,  a few heritage rockers are still producing great music and rocking their own thing in professional home studios without the support of any major label… and there are a few acts – like Temples – where their low level / raw / production still allows for their quality musicianship to shine.

Imagine what they can do with a professional studio and production team? Imagine if they had some financial backing? I am confident that their next release will be significantly larger in terms of production… but it won’t change that they are excellent musicians producing great music on the other side of the pond of whom that you as a professional radio music programmer should be aware!

I am very interested in festivals. Whether it’s the national ones: Bonnaroo, Burning Man, Lollapalooza, the Beale Street Music Festival, Firefly, etc… or even some of the smaller local/regional ones that are scattered throughout some of the coolest little venues across the country (such as the Green River Festival in Greenfield, Massachusetts).

“F is for Faker” by Team Me (Propeller Records)

“F is for Faker” by Team MeThis track is an excellent demo for the type of song that a festival would want – because there are a lot of elements that engage the audience. This engagement is something you want to tap into… when presenting new music to your listeners.

This Norwegian band has a lot going for it.  This track has hooks, handclaps, and a chorus that is easily turned into an anthem – considering it sings along with itself charming you to join in.

So as we gear up for the big festivals, keep an eye out for Team Me popping up. I expect big things from them, and if you agree – here’s a great track to add to your rock playlist.

Their second album will be released sometime this year, though a formal date has yet to be announced.

COUNTRY

“Sometimes It Takes Balls to be a Woman” by Elizabeth Cook This Ain’t your Country (From the Series “Long Way Home”) (Tube Media International, Inc.)

“Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be Woman” by Elizabeth CookThis song is not new. But it IS new to those who have never heard it!  It was originally released in 2007. And though it was really good… and got some airplay… it just never connected in the way Elizabeth Cook had intended. Even though she continued recording and her future songs and albums were all met with a modicum of success… it obviously wasn’t enough.

The song has since been resurrected and re-released as part of the juicy soundtrack to a new Swedish web series.

What?

Elizabeth Cook is the main star in an English language Swedish produced 17 part web mocumentary series about the makings of a musician that has it’s own soundtrack (released in advance) that features this song.

I am not even going to try and explain what the series is about – why ruin the surprise… but this is a great opportunity to play a song that already has a proven track record… as new… and present it with the story of the interesting web series – that you also happen to have linked on your station’s website – in between a variety of banner ads.

“Hey There, Sunshine” by Danni Nicholls A Little Redemption (Transmission/Liaison)

“Hey There, Sunshine” by Danni Nichols A Little RedemptionHere’s a new offering from a London-based country artist who flew into Nashville to record the album with producer Chris Donahue and a lineup of studio musicians whom you would expect to be the centerpiece… but instead of taking away the spotlight, they provide the necessary backing that allows Nicholls’ velvety vocals to really soar.

This track in particular is a great balance of an infectious melody with an honest and heartfelt mood. It’s real yet it’s tight and produced and it’s definitely something worth knowing about.

There is definitely something interesting with the next track…

“Soul of A Man” by The Mama Bluegrass Band Living in a B Movie (Rocketman Records)

“Soul of A Man” by The Mama Bluegrass BandThe Mama Bluegrass Band started out as a bar band playing what they describe as folk and bluegrass classics eventually evolving into a group with a widespread enough following to start writing their own material, folk/bluegrass inspired, getting signed with Rocketman Records, and now releasing their fourth (third studio) album.

The interesting thing is that Rocketman Records is an Italian-based record company, and their bar band experience was in ye ole watering holes of the Italian country side.  Their first recording Beer, Boots & Cigarettes in 2007, was met with success in Italy and in venues across Europe but never was distributed here.

This release is worth having on your radar should you be looking for something a little different for your playlist. They describe their sound as a mix of folk and bluegrass. It’s not really that at all. They may use traditional instruments… but they may as well be a southern country rock band.  There are elements of Skynyrd¸ Molly Hatchet, and even the rock-stylings of Guns’N’Roses.

All stemming from a successful run as a bar band in the small towns of Italy.

What is up with country this week? We have an English language Swedish produced web series featuring great country music… and we have Italian bar bands producing some great English language country rock music.

I think (at least as far as this column is concerned) we need to get back to good ole ‘murican country music…

“No F in Beer” by Ben Rush Come Getcha Some (AMC Records Nashville)

“No F in Beer” by Ben Rush Come Getcha Some (Amc Records Nashville)This song is the often-told story of a man waking up to his woman packing her final box in the car before leaving… literally, since I believe it was recorded a few years ago by another country artist.

Ben Rush has a real sweet country voice with an outlaw edge. He’s traditional country with a 10-track fresh offering of great songs – with this being my pick.

I guess it’s the word play.

“I’ve learned my ABC’s, 123’s, Algebra, Chemistry, I before E that’s clear… but I can’t spell out the reason she’s leaving because there’s no F in beer.”

Amongst a few other “there’s no F in whatever” double-entendres.

“Blue Blue Day” Mandy Barnett featuring Alison Krauss I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson (Rounder)

“Blue Blue Day” Mandy Barnett featuring Alison KraussIt started with a friendship… and then a promise…

Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee Don Gibson, his wife Bobbi, and Mandy Barnett became good friends in the few years before he passed. Barnett said. “He asked me to consider recording an album of his songs, and of course I said yes. He wrote some of the most-loved songs in country music — who wouldn’t want to record a Don Gibson song?”

I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson features 12 songs written by Don Gibson including this track that also features one of my favorites, Alison Krauss.

Gibson’s 1958 hit version of the song had a brisk tempo and a toe tapping arrangement. It was a gentle almost brooding ballad. Barnett adds a distinctly personal spin on this classic tune – pretty much making it the centerpiece of this new album.

This version is stripped down… which allows for Barnett’s excellence as a vocalist to really shine. Of course, add in Alison Krauss and there’s a whole new layer of rich vocal depth to an already established hit lyric.

The whole record is special… but if you were only going to listen to one track in your music meetings – this would be the one to audition.

1-ribug

Duane Doobie is music editor/director of RadioInfo and reflects the composite musical opinions of the RadioInfo editorial staff. He can be emailed at duane@radioinfo.com.

 

 

Wisdom from the Next Generation of Music Radio Programmers

| October 21, 2013

BY Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO
sabowalterwriterNEW YORK – This past Friday (10/18) over 3000 people attended the College Music  Journal Festival at New York University sponsored by CMJ.  www.cmj.com/marathon

In my opinion, it is the best organized music/music radio conference, with a robust agenda covering radio, music and tech. Stunning performances by hundreds of  bands including the powerful group Dismemberment.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

| July 30, 2013

cumulusCumulus Revenue Up 3.1% in Q2.  As Cumulus Media prepares to hold an investors’ conference call this morning at 11:00 am ET, the company releases Q2 revenue figures that highlight a 3.1% increase in net revenue on $289.7 million compared to the same quarter one year ago.  The company notes, “This increase was attributable to a $4.3 million increase in local advertising revenue, a $3.9 million increase in revenue related to digital initiatives and a $2.8 million increase in revenue due to the addition of stations in the Bloomington and Peoria markets we acquired from Townsquare Media in July 2012.  These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $2.3 million in cyclical political revenue.”  Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey issued the following statement, “This was a solid quarter earmarked by revenue growth and strong expense management.  Our targeted growth initiatives are ramping on schedule and our merger integration and problem market turnarounds are largely complete.”

bresslerrichardCCM&E Parent Clear Channel Media Holdings Names Richard Bressler President and CFO.  Richard Bressler has served as chief financial officer of Time Warner and Viacom and managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners.  His installment as president and CFO of Clear Channel Media Holdings means he replaces Tom Casey, who served in that position for the past three years.  The company says, “As president of CC Media Holdings, Inc. and Clear Channel Communications, Inc., Bressler will work closely with Bob Pittman on the further development of strategies and initiatives to ensure that Clear Channel capitalizes on its unique assets.”  In a statement, Pittman comments, “I know Rich very well, and we have even worked together – twice – at Time Warner.  He has been an invaluable strategic partner for us in his position at Thomas H. Lee Partners, and now he will play an even bigger role in helping Clear Channel fully maximize our unparalleled assets, working closely with me, John Hogan and William Eccleshare and the rest of our leadership team to continue to build the leading multi-platform media and entertainment company in the U.S. with global reach.  I recruited Rich for this role because there are few people who have as deep an understanding as he does of our company and the opportunities we have to lead the industry in helping marketers meet the demands of increasingly connected consumers.  I’m confident that he’ll add another layer of expertise and experience as we take the company to its next level of growth, and will be a tremendous leader for our financial team.  His keen strategic, financial and analytical skills will be a huge asset to all of Clear Channel.”  In reporting this story The Wall Street Journal notes that “CC Media reported that its [2013] first-quarter loss sharply widened as revenue dropped, while sister company Clear Channel Outdoor logged a wider loss amid higher expenses tied to interest, depreciation and amortization.”

kraddickkiddKidd Kraddick Had Enlarged Heart and Blocked Arteries.  The preliminary autopsy report from a Louisiana coroner’s office indicates that nationally syndicated morning personality Kidd Kraddick had an enlarged heart and arterial blockage and that he probably developed an irregular heartbeat, according to a report published on MSN.  Jefferson Parish deputy coroner Dr. Granville Morse is quoted saying that the autopsy is not final because toxicology tests are not back.  He notes that Kraddick’s heart was enlarged by cardiac disease and three coronary arteries were 40% to 80% blocked and that those conditions can lead to an irregular heartbeat and collapse.  Initial reports had speculated Kraddick may have suffered a brain aneurysm.  Kraddick collapsed while being driven to the emergency room after becoming ill during a golf tournament in a New Orleans suburb.  Doctors tried to revive him at the hospital.

therouxgaryMusic Radio without DJs Is Like Listening to Someone Else’s Very Limited Capacity iPod That’s Been Infected with Commercials.  That is what legendary, multi-award-winning radio producer/writer Gary Theroux says in a new exclusive RadioInfo opinion piece posted today (7/30) inspired by yesterday’s Duane Doobie column, “Bring Back the Disc Jockey.”  Theroux brings up some powerful points that the architects of today’s hot music formats should heed in strategizing exactly what music radio must do to retake ownership of music culture here in the 21st Century.  To read the entirety of Theroux’s compelling piece, please click here.

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group Names Natalie Randall to KSPW, Springfield, MO PD Gig; Ron Harris Named OM at Boise Cluster.  Journal Broadcast Group announces two big hires.  First, at CHR KSPW, Springfield, Missouri “Power 96.5,” Natalie Randall is named program director.  Randall comes to Journal from Midwest Communications’ CHR WMGI, Terre Haute where she was brand manager and served asrandallnatalie both midday and afternoon personality during her time there.  Prior to that, she was music director for Entercom’s CHR WFBC, Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina “B93.7” where she was voted “Favorite Radio Personality” twice.  Journal Springfield OM Valorie Knight states, “It wasn’t easy to find an individual that can lead a successful heritage station as well as manage and coach a #1 morning team.  Natalie is a talented programmer, has a great personality and loves to do great radio!  I look forward to working with her and having great success with her leadership.”  At Journal’s Boise cluster, the company announces Ron Harris is the new operations manager where he’ll be in charge of classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits,” triple A KRVB “94.9 The River,” rock KQXR “100.3 The X,” and classic rock KJOT “Variety Rock 105.1.”  Harris most recently served as OM with Cherry Creek Radio in the Tri-Cities market. He’s also worked for Clear Channel in the Yakima, Washington market and was an air personality at Seattle’s famous KNDD “107.7 The End.”  Harris comments on his new gig, “I am beyond thrilled to be moving to Boise and to have the opportunity to work for one of the finest companies in our industry, Journal Broadcast Group.  It would be a massive understatement to say that I am stoked!”

westtrippTripp West Named Night Personality at ‘B98.5’ Atlanta.  Cox Media Group announces Tripp West is the new evening personality at adult contemporary WSB-FM, Atlanta “B98.5” effective today (7/30).  Part of West’s duties include his serving as sister news/talk WSB-AM’s overnight operator.  WSB-FM program director Chris Eagan says, “Tripp brings extensive studio and operations knowledge to WSB and a terrific on-air delivery to ‘B98.5.’  I have no doubt he will be an outstanding addition to both teams as we strive to inform, inspire, entertain and improve the Atlanta community.”  West has worked in the Atlanta market for the past 16 years and served most recently at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WYAY.  He says, “What a great opportunity with a terrific company.  ‘B98.5’ is such a strong Atlanta radio brand, and I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the team.”

bellmattMatt Bell to Run Clear Channel’s Lima-Marion, Ohio Stations.  Clear Channel announces Matt Bell will serve as the market manager for its eight radio stations in the Lima and Marion, Ohio markets.  Bell, who most recently served with Cumulus as general sales manager of rock WCGX and CHR WNCI, returns to the company he began his career with as an account executive eight years ago.  Bell says in a statement, “I’m so excited to take what I’ve learned in Columbus back home to Lima and Marion.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue to grow my career in the market where it started.  I’m confident I will lead our cluster to continued revenue growth and ratings success for years to come.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Tom “Jake” Jacobsen is the new general manager at Pamal Broadcasting’s five-station cluster in Glens Falls, New York.  He makes the move after six-plus years at Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany as brand manager and PM drive host…..Centennial Licensing names Scott Brady music director, APD and midday personality at hot AC WINC, Winchester, Virginia…..PD and morning drive host Mike Logan (Michael Czarnecki) leaves Bi-Coastal Media’s CHR KIFS, Medford , Oregon “107.5 Kiss FM” after a little more than four months in the position.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Roger Rafson of CMS Station Brokerage.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Roger Rafson of CMS Station Brokerage in Pittsburgh.  Rafson has been in radio since he was 11 years old and has a passion for the medium.  He is also optimistic about the deal business and agrees with this publication’s philosophy that now is a good time for out-of-work top executives and first-time entrants to get into ownership and roll up their sleeves at some really fine local opportunities.  His company specializes in small- and medium-market station sales.  He says, “I’ve never felt comfortable pontificating about the state of the media brokerage/station sales category as a whole.  What I can tell you about is what comes across my desk.  Yes, we are busy.  We sold 14 stations in 2012 and already in 2013 we’ve sold nine.  I do get the sense that the worst of the recession is behind us.  Better days lie ahead.”  He offers up several of these opportunities as well.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

knightgeorgeBoston Radio Pro George Knight to Join Emerson College’s WERS, Boston.  Boston radio personality George Knight – who’s worked at Boston stations including WBOS, WKLB and WMJX – joins Emerson College to host the morning show on its radio station WERS where he will mentor students at the station and co-host its morning program weekdays from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  The school says that “while professional staff have overseen management and operations at WERS since 1949, Knight will be the station’s first professional on-air staff member.”  Station general manager Jack Casey comments, “Collaboration is a long tradition at WERS, and we believe it’s the best way to serve our students and our listeners.  We’re delighted to welcome George Knight to the WERS team.  He is passionate about music, is a fan of the station’s music format, and brings a wealth of experience that will greatly benefit those students who want to become part of the radio industry.”  Most recently, Knight has been the evening show host and station voice at pubcaster WUMB, Boston, an NPR affiliate based at UMass Boston.

rubbersoul coverGreg Kihn to Publish New Novel Rubber Soul.  Rock artist and longtime radio personality Greg Kihn is preparing to publish his latest novel that takes place in a rock ‘n’ roll setting – actually, a pretty famous rock ‘n’ roll setting: the lives of The Beatles.  The book is titled Rubber Soul (Premier Digital Publishing 2013) and, according to the publisher, “asks the question ‘Were The Beatles almost assassinated in Manila in 1966?’  Rubber Soul is part murder mystery, part coming-of-age story, and a 100% action-packed ride through Beatlemania.  With historical details that are 100% accurate, Rubber Soul offers a thrilling ‘it could have happened’ scenario of an alleged plot by Ferdinand Marcos loyalists to assassinate The Beatles in Manila, Philippines, after they snubbed the Marcos family, blowing off a reception at the palace and narrowly avoiding an international incident.  It could have happened.”  The book will be published in paper and digital formats on September 3.  Kihn will appear at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Chicago August 9-11 to promote the novel.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

| July 18, 2013

underwoodsherylComedian Sheryl Underwood to Host Afternoons at Hip Hop ‘The Juice FM 107.3’ in Toledo.  Welch Communications announces comedian, “The Talk” cast member and Steve Harvey show contributor Sheryl Underwood will begin hosting the drive time radio show “Sheryl Underwood in the Afternoon” on its hip hop outlet WJUC, Toledo “The Juice FM 107.3” August 2 in what sounds like the beginning of a syndication wjuc logoeffort.  The station says in a statement, “Sheryl and the crew, broadcasting from ‘The Juice’ studios, will be live the entire month of August, putting their particular spin on the topics people are talking about…According to Sheryl the show fits right in to the taping schedule for ‘The Talk,’ which she co-hosts on CBS Television, and her philanthropic endeavors.”  Underwood comments, “I am excited and proud to be working in Toledo, especially at this station.  I feel like I’ve got new friends and a new family.  I’m looking forward to being on the radio again.  I’ve wanted to do this for a while.  I believe that there is room on the radio for diverse voices.  The radio experiences that I had with the ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show,’ and hosting ‘The Sheryl Underwood Show’ on Jamie Foxx’s ‘The Foxxhole’ (on SiriusXM) as well as my current role as a contributor on ‘The Steve Harvey Morning Show,’ have brought me to this place.”  The press release goes on to say, “Underwood, along with her ‘Super Producer,’ will lead an on-air cast that includes the talented comedian Kyle Erby and The Juice’s own Tisha Lee and Charlie Mack.”

pendlchrisGet Credit for Your Hard Work, Audit Your PPM Encoding.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes in this RadioInfo column that it’s a very wise move to take the time to audit your PPMppmunit encoding ASAP.  Pendl says, “With radio audiences fragmented on different distribution platforms, it’s important to confirm all of our published content has the proper encoding to receive listening credit.  Regardless if you’re simulcasting commercials on your digital platforms, if you’re not using PPM-encoded audio to distribute content you’re missing out.”  In this must-read piece targeted to programmers, Pendl details why this is so important and provides a step-by-step plan for working with the good folks at Arbitron to make sure your PPM encoding is up to snuff.  Read his entire column here.

harrisonpodiumThe Conclave Is Off and Running in Minneapolis.  The nation’s longest-running national radio conference is in full swing in Minneapolis.  Conclave 38 featured a multi-dimensional, all-afternoon presentation yesterday (7/17) by Fred Jacobs Jacobs Media titled “Jacobs Media Summer School.”  This morning (7/18), RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison delivered the keynote (pictured here).  In it he addressed the future role of talent as radio continues to evolve and adapt itself to the new digital era.  He drew applause when he stated that music radio must bring back the active disc jockey and reclaim ownership of the music culture – just as news/talk radio has claimed ownership of the political culture and sports talk radio has claimed ownership of the sports culture – in order to survive.  Look for extensive coverage of the three-day event including a video of Harrison’s speech shortly in RadioInfo.

johnsoncurtissManagement Re-Alignment at Entercom Sacramento Eliminates Curtiss Johnson’s Station Manager Position.  The management at Entercom’s Sacramento cluster announced to staffers that 18-year programmer Curtiss Johnson’s position is being eliminated and he’ll exit the stations Friday.  Vice president and market manager Sean Shannon stated in a memo, “I regret to announce that as part of re-engineering our programming department, Curtiss Johnson’s station manager position will be eliminated.  Curtiss will be assisting with the transition through this Friday, July 19.”  As part of the transition, classic rock KSEG “Eagle 96.9” assistant PD Brian Lopez is taking over the PD role there and will also be responsible for sports talk KCTC (the simulcast of KNBR, San Francisco).  Johnson says in a statement, “It was an incredibly successful 18 years in Sacramento as brand manager for KRXQ, KWOD and KSEG professionally.  But the part I will cherish and miss the most is the people I worked with.  So many will be friends for life. Entercom Sacramento is a special place with a chemistry in the building that few places in the radio industry can match.”

kaiserandrewEntercom Boston Snags Andrew Kaiser for Imaging Director at Rock WAAF.  Andrew Kaiser is leaving his role at Red Wolf Broadcasting’s alternative WMRQ, Waterbury/Hartford  “Radio 104” to join Entercom’s rock WAAF, Boston effective August 5.  WAAF program director Ron Valeri states, “Andrew’s high energy, passion for his craft and creative ideas will make an immediate, material difference for the WAAF on-air and online brands.”  WAAF says Kaiser brings a wealth of industry experience from his time at ‘Radio 104’ where he served as both creative services director as well as morning drive and evening host of the alternative format station.  Kaiser’s duties with the station will include the audio production of the creative elements, adding his spin to the overall sound of WAAF.  Kaiser says, “WAAF is one of the great rock stations in the country and to say I’m excited about this opportunity would be a massive understatement.  I’m looking forward to working with and achieving much success with my team at WAAF and my new colleagues at Entercom Boston.”

More RadioInfo Career Moves.  Marcus D. Najera exits CBS Radio’s hot AC KLLC, San Francisco “Alice@97.3” where he’d been APD and afternoon host since 2008…..Clear Channel brings Josie Lane aboard to co-host the morning drive show with Dan McClain at country WDRM, Huntsville “Country 102.”…..Program director Picazzo Stevens leaves Cumulus Media’s hip hop KVYB, Santa Barbara, California “103.3 The Vibe.”

midwestcomm logoMidwest Communications Latest Company to Face Copyright Infringement Complaint.  The bottom line for radio station website operators here is that if you didn’t take the picture, pay the copyright holder for the photo or receive it as a promotional photo from the copyright holder or owner, then you don’t have permission to use it and you may end up negotiating a settlement that will cost you money.  That’s more than likely what Midwest Communications will end up doing after BWP Media filed a complaint in United States District Court Western District of Wisconsin alleging country WBFM, Sheboygan, Wisconsin “B93” posted a copyrighted photo on its website without permission.  As is usual in these cases, BWP is seeking $150,000 per infringement but it will probably be settled out of court for much less and that will remain confidential.  The photo in question was of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend in a bathing suit with the caption “Hugh Hefner’s Girlfriend Looks Like a Pregnant Barbie Doll.”  Many station websites feature – or have in the past featured – these copyrighted photos and continued the practice because no complaint was filed.  Now more than ever though, companies such as BWP Media are actively patrolling the web to catch violators in order to protect their property.  Radio station digital brand managers must be vigilant in staying within the law.

pinchjonFinding Radio Advertising Solutions.  Radio is fighting for its piece of the American ad budget pie and numerous industry experts have been calling for better creative and better production in order to compete with marshallrobinthe trend that is moving tremendous amounts of ad dollars to the digital frontier.  In a piece published today (7/17), RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a brief shout-out to a couple of the industry’s legendary creative talents and then spotlights Cumulus Media’s marketing initiative Sound Solutions.  In this story he speaks with EVP/COO Jon Pinch and production manager Robin Marshall about how the company is using this division to woo advertisers to a medium that has a strong history of creating memorable spots that deliver results.  Read his story here.

kloslogoKLOS, Los Angeles Mega-Blood Drive Takes Place Next Week.  The 32nd Annual KLOS Blood Drive, what’s being termed “the largest media blood drive event in the country,” has a renewed lifesaving purpose for 2013 – to beat back the crippling effects of the current summer blood shortage.  The Cumulus Media station states that “once again, the American Red Cross and ‘95.5 KLOS’ are gearing up to rock Southern California’s airwaves and donor locations with a massive, five-day blood collection effort aimed at stabilizing the region’s seriously low blood supply for more than 160 hospitals.  The five-day, twenty-site tour begins Tuesday, July 23, and wraps on Saturday, July 27.  Rock lovers across the Southland are invited to donate at any of the blood drive locations throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Orange, and Los Angeles counties.”  New PD Derek Madden will broadcast his show live from the Pomona site on Tuesday, July 23 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Gary Moore will be live in Upland on Thursday, July 25 from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

greatermediaGreater Media Detroit Stations Present ‘Paws at The Hill.’  This multi-purpose pet-centered event takes place on Saturday, July 27 at Freedom Hill County Park where Greater Media’s Detroit stations classic rock WCSX, rock WRIF, and AC WMGC cooperate to present the daylong promotion that features entertainment, pet adoptions, education, shopping, food and beverages.  Among the entertainment will be the Disc Dogs of Michigan High Flying Dog Show featuring World Champion Frisbee Dogs!   Michigan Search and Rescue is primarily a missing person’s response team. Their dogs are trained to trail the scent of a specific person from their last known location.  Dogs are also trained to look for any human scent.  Michigan Search and Rescue teams will demonstrate how their hounds put their senses to work.  Several location charities will be on site with over 200 cats and dogs available for adoption.

brineydougCountry’s Doug Briney to Perform at Relay for Life Benefit.  2013 Independent Country Music Association award winner Doug Briney will be performing at the Chester County, Tennessee ‘Relay For Life Benefit” on Wednesday, July 24 where he’ll perform from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Michael Stover of MTS Management Group says, “Doug is one of the most charitable artists that I know.  He has performed for Wounded Warriors events, Support Our Troops, St. Jude’s, plus his work with his church.  He definitely believes in the ideals of paying it forward and giving back to the community.  I hope everyone in the area will come out to support this tremendous event.”  At ‘Relay For Life’ events, communities across the globe come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that has already taken too much.  Doug Briney’s debut album, “It’s All Country” spent eight months on the Roots Music Report charts, receiving worldwide airplay.  His follow up, his first with Tate Music Group, will be released later this year.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

| April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy Sparks Immense Coverage and Conversation on Talk Radio and Music Radio Morning Shows.  One never knows when the next big news story will break and yesterday’s horrific tragedy in Boston is yet another example of the world being one way, one moment — and another way, the next.  The Boston Marathon bombing has consumed radio conversation across the board on all-news, talk, sports and music radio morning shows and will likely play a major role as a content generator for days and weeks to come.

cookehollandBoston Bombing: How Radio Can Help…Or Hurt.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke analyzes the media impact of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon as well as what radio can do well and what it should avoid trying to do during tragic breaking news events like these.  Cooke writes, “One way radio can help is to ask ‘Could YOU be Boston’s Zapruder?’  Radio everywhere should ask, because people come from everywhere, from all around the world, to this event.  And because the internet and that-thing-in-our-pocket-we-used-to-call-a-phone makes everywhere ‘here.’  You don’t even need to be a friend of a friend in the social media age.  Radio should ask everyone to ask everyone: ‘Were you in Boston?  Look carefully, at all your pictures and videos.  Someone saw something.’”  For radio station programmers, Cooke advises what he believes radio can do very well that Twitter can’t.  Read his entire piece here.

kinosianmikeArbitron’s March 2013 PPM Data Released.  The first 12 markets of PPM data were released by Arbitron last night for markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Middlesex, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), New York, Philadelphia, Riverside, San Francisco, and San Jose.  See those numbers hereRadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian highlights the Ten Takeaways from the first batch:

  • Up one-half share from February, New York CHR WHTZ “Z100″ has its strongest 6+ stat (5.6, #3) since last August (6.1)
  • After three successive 1.7 showings (December – Holiday – January), KSWD “The Sound” advanced to 2.2 in February and now adds three-tenths to 2.5, which is the Los Angeles classic rocker’s most potent (6+) performance in the last 39 monthlies (February 2010, 2.8)
  • Chicago’s WGCI-FM “#1 For Hip-Hop & R&B” registers its third successive up trend (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.2) and ranks fifth
  • Public outlet KQED-FM (+.3 to 5.8) progresses from second to first in San Francisco
  • Making one-half share gains in Dallas are regional Mexican KLNO (4.0 – 4.5, #2) and adult hits KJKK (2.9 – 3.4, #12)
  • With a three-tenths improvement to 8.0, rhythmic CHR KBXX “The Box” widens its lead as Houston’s #1 (6+) outlet
  • Philadelphia rocker WMMR (+.7, #4) continues its upward trend (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.6)
  • Adult contemporary powerhouse WALK-FM, Long Island (#1) gains nine-tenths to 7.2
  • For the first time since February 2012, Riverside-San Bernardino “Family Friendly” contemporary Christian KSGN (+1.3, #5) is in the four-share range (4.2)
  • Spanish adult hits KBRG (+.5) and country KRTY (+.1) trade places at #1 and #2, respectively 

arbitronArbitron Settles Copyright Infringement Suit Against Gannett.  Ratings company Arbitron announces it has settled a copyright infringement suit against Gannett-owned television station WKYC in Cleveland.  The suit was filed on January 25 of this year and alleged that WKYC-TV copied and distributed Arbitron’s copyrighted audience estimates without Arbitron’s permission, and that WKYC-TV improperly used Arbitron’s federally registered trademarks to create the false impression that non-Arbitron audience estimates for internet radio service Pandora were genuine Arbitron products.  This stems from WKYC teaming up with Pandora for a co-operative sales venture that went awry.  Sales kits were distributed that used Arbitron’s AQH data for a number of radio stations in the Cleveland market.  The idea was to show Pandora’s reach by comparison.  In the initial suit, Arbitron was seeking $150,000 per copyright infringement.  The terms of the settlement are not being disclosed so we’ll never know how much Gannett paid to make this mistake go away.

mysxm imageSiriusXM Unveils MySXM.  The customization app for SiriusXM’s internet radio platform gives the service a more “Pandora-like” feel.  In a press release, SiriusXM says the new MySXM “empowers listeners with the fusion of personalization and SiriusXM’s curated commercial-free music and comedy channels to create radio’s best listening experience.  Enhanced music discovery, increased library size, and many more channel-specific user controls allow listeners to easily create over 100 variations of each of more than 50 SiriusXM channels for unlimited hours of listening.”  Putting more control into the hands of listeners, the company says the app “allows users to create the multiple variations on the channels by adjusting characteristics like library depth, familiarity, music style, tempo, region, and multiple other channel-specific attributes.”  The company also says it plans to add more channels to the MySXM channel lineup over time.  This service applies only to the internet version of SiriusXM and not the satellite radio platform.

mullettjohnGreater Media Names John Mullett Marketing Director at Alternative WBOS, Boston.  John Mullett comes to Greater Media’s alternative “Radio 92.9” from Northeast Broadcasting’s triple A WXRV “92.5 The River” licensed to nearby Andover, Massachusetts where he “worked in the traffic department and served as the ‘go to’ person for the sales, programming, and engineering departments at ‘The River’ and ‘The Point’ in Burlington, Vermont.”  WBOS program director Ken West states, “John will fit in well with Greater Media and the ‘Radio 92.9’ staff.  He impressed us with his passion for music, his understanding of connecting people to the ‘Radio 92.9’ brand, and his positive attitude.  We look forward to having John take on all facets of moving the ‘Radio 92.9’ brand forward and creating experiences and stories for our fans and clients.”

wrifrockgirlWRIF, Detroit Begins Narrowing Down Contestants in Rock Girl Search.  Greater Media’s rock WRIF, Detroit has the “Sexy Sixteen” posted on its website as the 16 contestants will be winnowed down to the finalist who will be the WRIF Rock Girl, receive a $40,000 salary and represent the station at concerts, VIP events and on the air.  Of course, making remote appearances out of the contest is what it’s all about so the 16 are visiting local establishments to “meet the voters” before they are reduced to the “Erotic Eight” in voting that ends on Sunday, April 21.  Then the “Erotic Eight” will hit the town before being reduced to the “Final Four.”  They’ll be whisked away to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a photo shoot and one lucky WRIF listener will get to go along on the trip.  Finally, on May 16 at the Hard Rock Café in Detroit the Final Four party will take place and the 2013 Rock Girl will be crowned.  At the party, Buckcherry will perform an acoustic set.

foxxjoynerTom Joyner’s 14th Fantastic Voyage Carries Almost 3,000 Passengers.  The recently completed Fantastic Voyage cruise upon the Carnival Glory – presented by Ford – sold out in less than 21 days and carried almost 3,000 passengers.  The promotion benefits the Tom Joyner Foundation which primarily supports students attending historically black colleges and universities.  Pictured here at the top left is actor Jamie Foxx (l) with Tom Joyner (r) at the Bon Voyage party held on the pool deck of the ship.  Hip-hop legends, R&B stars, and comedians including Lil Kim, Trey Songz, Biz Markie, Too Short, Tank, MC Lyte, Rodney Perry, Guy Torry andsnoopdogg more joined Foxx on stage to give guests a thrilling send off.  In addition to all the fun, the Tom Joyner Foundation not only raised money with the cruise, but also hosted art auctions to generate funds for scholarships and other initiatives to contribute to keeping students in HBCUs.  Empowering seminars presented by sponsors of the cruise drew huge crowds.  Ford, AARP, Crest, Gain, Southwest Airlines, and Walmart presented seminars encouraging healthy lifestyles, promoting self-awareness, caring for yourself and loved ones as they age, and much more.  During the cruise, Snoop Doog (pictured at right) performed on the pool deck backed by Bootsy Collins and the Funk Unity Band.

herskovitzeileenIndustry Mourns Eileen M. Herskovitz.  The radio industry mourns the passing of longtime broadcasting figure Eileen M. Herskovitz who died early morning yesterday at her home in Bradenton, Florida.  She was the wife of veteran radio executive Al Herskovitz, president of Florida-based marketing firm, H&H Broadcasting, and marketing director of RadioInfo.  Eileen Herskovitz served as executive VP of H&H. After attending Ithaca University, Eileen entered the media field as a commercial copywriter for Goldman & Walter advertising agency of Albany, NY where she advanced to become its VP and media director. She also worked at several radio stations during her early career.  The Herskovitz’s had recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.  RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison states, “Eileen Herskovitz was an immensely bright radio professional and a truly marvelous human being.  All of us at RadioInfo consider ourselves blessed to have known her and we will sorely miss her.”

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy.

| December 15, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI – Even as Americans were still processing the Oregon mall shootings came unthinkable new violence in Connecticut.

As the story unfolded, it was uncanny to witness how-far-ahead Twitter was, compared to all the news apps on my iPhone.  Not hearsay, but fact-checked posts, first from Connecticut-based media who were first on-site; then from stations and newspapers from neighboring states.  By 6:30 pm ET, letter-networks’ anchors were in-place for evening newscasts this gripping story dominated.

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