Tag: "New York"
Scott Shannon Lands at Classic Hits WCBS-FM, New York in AM Drive. What seems the most logical New York station for legendary air personality Scott Shannon turns out to be his next gig as he’ll begin wake-up duties at CBS RADIO’s classic hits WCBS-FM on Monday, March 3. In a press statement on the CBS New York website, the new lineup includes current morning man Dan Taylor in middays and Broadway Bill Lee in PM drive. It appears current midday host Ron Parker is the odd man out, though his status with the company is not mentioned in the press statement. CBS New York SVP and market manager Don Bouloukos says, “Not often does a legendary morning drive personality become available with the experience of waking up New Yorkers for more than 25 years. CBS-FM is a heritage station, and the perfect place for Hall Of Famer Scott Shannon. We are thrilled to welcome Scott and his award-winning personality to CBS-FM and the CBS RADIO family.” Program director Jim Ryan adds, “We’ve assembled an enormously talented team to help listeners start their day off right, with all the authenticity and character of a great local New York radio show. That theme continues throughout the day with an ensemble of proven personalities who are beloved by the audience. This is one of the strongest lineups in all of radio.” Joining Shannon on the morning show will be Mr. G providing weather reports and Joe Nolan with all the latest traffic information for morning commuters. Shannon left longtime crosstown home WPLJ several weeks ago where he co-hosted the morning show with Todd Pettengill who now is solo in AM drive on the Cumulus Media hot AC. Rumors in the market had Shannon also talking with Clear Channel about the open AM drive gig at news/talk WOR but Shannon is a DJ and a morning drive talk show just didn’t seem a realistic use of his talents.
Steven Meyers Heads Digital Strategy at Greater Media. This is a promotion for Steven Meyers who joined Greater Media Philadelphia in 2012 as digital manager. Now, in this new director of digital strategy role for all of Greater Media, he will be responsible for helping to grow Greater Media’s audiences and revenue by developing new digital platforms that deepen listener engagement while providing new opportunities to the company’s commercial partners. He comments, “Greater Media understands that ‘digital’ isn’t just a separate line of business, but a foundational component of our brand experiences and client value. I’m very excited to become a larger part of shaping that vision.” Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth adds, “We look forward to having Steve share his valuable knowledge and insight with our teams as we continue to grow and drive our company’s interactive efforts into the future.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. In the Savannah market, Tim Michaels is the new program director for L&L Broadcasting’s country WUBB-FM “BOB 106.9” and classic country WGCO-FM “98.3 Hank FM.” Michaels most recently was on air at Clear Channel’s WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull.”…..At Staradio’s country WXNU, Kankakee, Illinois “X Country 106.5,” Maggi Mayfield is named program director at the station. Mayfield most recently was on air and a production staffer at Saga Communications’ hot AC WLRW, Champaign, Illinois “Mix 94.5.”…..Kemp Broadcasting’s hip hop KVEG, Mesquite, Nevada (Las Vegas market) names Miggy Santos morning drive host. Santos will team with current midday jock Mia Amor and Lady G (Gabriela Loredon) moves from mornings to middays.
Michael Harrison Speaks at NRB 2014 in Nashville. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison (c) participated as a keynote speaker yesterday afternoon (2/24) at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) conference in Nashville in a general session focused on “Values in American Popular Media.” The presentation included an opening address by Harrison followed by a spirited panel discussion in which he was joined by DeVon Franklin, SVP of production, Columbia Tristar Pictures (l) and Russell Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (r). Harrison used the platform as an opportunity to espouse his personal and professional philosophy that the combination of vigilant community service and high ethical standards equate to good and successful business strategy in the media industries – especially radio. Harrison told the conference, “Radio of all formats – not just Christian specifically – should never miss an opportunity to be a hero and serve the true needs of humanity within its local, national and even global market reach. Why wait for a hurricane or natural disaster to suddenly go into emergency mode? Why limit our potential to just being the ‘Sterno’ of media? Day-to-day life provides a nonstop series of emergencies, pain, fear, sorrow and loss on a very human scale that we have the power to calm and alleviate in addition to providing our regular menus of music and talk entertainment, information and discussion. If we do this with sincerity and authenticity on a consistent level, the communities we serve will amply reward us with both ratings and financial support and the self-fulfilling prophecy about radio being a dying medium will be forestalled for decades to come.” Harrison warned the crowd that “Christian and religious broadcasting has a head start on fulfilling this role because it is woven into the basic fabric of its service – however, in its passion and zeal to compete in the same marketplace of ideas and commerce co-occupied by secular media, it should be careful not to fall into the trap of stifling the First Amendment rights of dissenting voices and lifestyles nor succumb to the present-day widespread practice to seeking victory at the expense of truth for commercial and political advantage.”
Clear Channel Enters into Collaborative Relationship with BandPage. In an effort to better serve music fans at the station level and via iHeartRadio, Clear Channel is working with BandPage “to bring digital artist-curated content and tour information to radio fans across the U.S.” BandPage is described in a statement as “the platform more than 500,000 musicians use as a central online profile to reach, engage and monetize millions of fans.” CCM+E says that the relationship will kick in in the second quarter of 2014 with BandPage powering artist profile content, including bios, photos, tour dates with quick links to buy tickets and more, throughout iHeartRadio and CC’s O&O stations. BandPage CEO J Sider says, “Radio has been a cornerstone of the modern music business for nearly a century and, understandably, musicians have been looking for a way to connect directly to radio fans in the digital era. Partnering with Clear Channel to provide artist-curated content and offers to iHeartRadio and Clear Channel’s radio station websites represents an incredibly powerful way to help artists grow their fan bases, drive additional revenues and, ultimately, build their careers.”
Edison Research to Present ‘Infinite Dial 2014’ Next Week. In a teaser for the free webinar from Edison Research and new partner Triton Digital, the companies report that data from this year’s study shows “31% of Americans 12+ report using the internet radio service Pandora on a monthly basis, up from 27% one year ago. iHeartRadio is used by 9% monthly, while iTunes Radio, which debuted in 2013, comes in third with 8% monthly usage, followed by 6% using Spotify.” The webinar takes place Wednesday, March 5 at 2:00 pm ET. Edison says this is the 22nd study in “The Infinite Dial” series, one of the longest-running research series covering consumer use of media, technology and digital platforms. The webinar will be co-presented by Edison Research VP of strategy Tom Webster, and Triton Digital COO Mike Agovino. Topics covered will include: An update on Internet Audio usage, including new data on iTunes Radio, Beats Music, and other services; recent growth in podcasting; the growth in smartphone ownership, and how it has changed consumer behavior; updates on social media usage for services including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and more; and the connected car, and in-car usage of digital media.
Greater Media Personalities Spreading Out Through App Platform. The Google Newsstand and Currents platforms are where seven of Greater Media’s radio personalities are making their content available. The company says WROR, Boston morning hosts Loren & Wally, WRIF, Detroit morning show Dave & Chuck The Freak, WBQT, Boston “Hot 96.9” midday personality Melissa and WLNK, Charlotte morning show Bob & Sheri are joining the likes of Forbes, The Huffington Post, Popular Science and TMZ as publishers featured on the Google Newsstand and Currents platforms. Fans of theses popular radio shows can now access a variety of audio, video and written word content on their iPad, iPhone via the Currents app or Android devices via the Google Newsstand app. Greater Media VP of program development Buzz Knight says, “It’s exciting to see Greater Media offer listeners a new way to access content from our talented shows on phone and tablets. We love being available to our audience wherever they want to find us.”
NAB Crystal Award Finalists Announced. The 50 finalists for the 2014 Crystal Awards have been announced and that list can be found here. The National Association of Broadcasters states that since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service. Winners will be announced and the finalists will be honored at the NAB Radio Luncheon. The Luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 8 during the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas. During the luncheon, Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue will present a keynote address and popular national radio personality, television host and best-selling author Steve Harvey will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Cumulus ‘Classic Hits 103.3’ in Baton Rouge Presents ‘Mardi Gras on North Street.’ This Saturday, March 1, Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge classic hits outlet WRQQ is presenting “Mardi Gras on North Street,” a free music experience to entertain Spanish Town Parade patrons featuring live entertainment by The Bucket List Trio prior to the parade and a mix of the best in classic hits during the parade hosted by WRQQ’s own Jeff Johnson. Cumulus regional vice president and market manager Greg Benefield says, “Mardi Gras on North Street is an event for the city, it’s an opportunity to for us to thank our listeners for their continued support and a chance to meet new friends while enjoying one of the most anticipated parades of the season.”
Journal Tucson Music Stations Partner for ‘Women’s Spa and Wellness Showcase.’ Two of Journal Broadcast Group’s Tucson radio stations – AC KMXZ “94.9 MIXfm’ and rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” – are partnering with the company’s local television properties KGUN-TV and “The CW Tucson” to present the “Women’s Spa and Wellness Showcase” on Saturday, March 1 at The Courtyard of La Encantada in Tucson. The semi-annual event focuses on bringing attention to women’s total well-being and will be a day to enjoy beauty and health displays, demonstrations and information about massage therapy, nutrition, fitness, skincare and more.
ACM Announces Radio Winners. The Academy of Country Music announces the radio winners for the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. This year’s radio personality winners in the National category are (tie): Bobby Bones, Amy, Lunchbox – The Bobby Bones Show; and Lon Helton – Country Countdown USA. Major Market: Paul Schadt, Meg and Geof – WKKT-FM, Charlotte. Large Market: Lisa McKay – WQDR-FM, Raleigh. Medium Market: Andy Ritchie, Alison West, Jimmy Holt – WIVK-FM, Knoxville. Small Market: Bill Barrett, Tim Fox and Tracy Berry – KKNU-FM, Eugene. Radio Station of the Year Winners are: Major Market (tie) KUPL-FM, Portland and WXTU-FM, Philadelphia; Large Market – WCTK-FM, Providence; Medium Market – WBBS-FM, Syracuse; Small Market – WUSY-FM, Chattanooga.
January PPM Data – Part One. Notwithstanding the Presidents Day holiday, Nielsen Audio released January 2014 PPM ratings data yesterday for the first group of 12 markets that includes: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. All the numbers can be found here, but RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group.
- New York – For the sixth successive survey, WLTW “Lite FM” is #1, but the Clear Channel adult contemporary outlet takes a -5.4 tumble to 6.5, which is its lowest 6+-share since August (6.1). Emmis president/chairman Jeff Smulyan is no doubt smiling as his company’s soon-to-be-acquired urban AC WBLS (#2) advances two-tenths to 6.3, thus trailing “Lite-FM” by just two-tenths. Meanwhile, CBS Radio welcomes the end of WLTW’s all-Christmas music strategy with all-news outlets WCBS-AM (4.9, #4) and WINS (4.4, #6) each gaining by an impressive 1.1 shares. Their siblings – sports WFAN (4.1, #8) and classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.4, #3) – improve by nine-tenths and six-tenths respectively. Yet another CBS Radio property, hot AC WWFS “Fresh,” adds one-half share (3.3, #9).
- Los Angeles – After two straight report periods at #1, Clear Channel adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103″ is off by 55% (10.4 – 5.7, 6+) and it slides to #3. Leapfrogging “Coast” are co-owned hot AC KBIG “My FM” (5.0 – 5.4, #1) and CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (4.9 – 5.2, #2). Perhaps settling into its smooth AC-to-urban AC (“Smooth R&B”) transition, CBS Radio‘s KTWV “The Wave” rebounds from a -.8 by posting a +.7 (2.3 – 3.0) to advance from #18 to #11. Adding one-half share, Bonneville classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” (#22 in “Holiday” to #19) reaches 2.4, its best 6+-stat since June (2.5). Meanwhile on the spoken-word front, many will be watching Clear Channel talker KEIB “The Patriot.” The former progressive-leaning KTLK-AM now features Glenn Beck (6:00 am – 9:00 am), Rush Limbaugh (9:00 am – noon), Sean Hannity (noon – 3:00 pm), former KTLA-TV (channel 5) and KTTV-TV (channel 11) anchor Carlos Amezcua (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm), and Clark Howard (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm). In its debut showing, “The Patriot” trends .1 – .4 (+.3 from “Holiday”) and ranks #38.
- Chicago – While Clear Channel, Los Angeles hot AC KBIG advances to #1, the station’s Chicago sibling with the same format and “My FM” handle (WLIT) drops out of the top slot. Considering the massive share decline (-7.5 to 4.1), things could have been worse for WLIT “My FM,” which dips to sixth (6+). Direct hot AC competitor – Hubbard‘s WTMX “The Mix” – takes advantage with a +.9 (4.0 – 4.9) and inches up from fifth to third. Classic hits benefits as well with eight-tenths gains each by Hubbard’s WDRV “Drive” (3.3 – 4.1, #6) and Cumulus Media‘s WLS-FM (2.4 – 3.2, #11). Interesting situation with Cumulus alternative WKQX finds the FM signal with that identity doubling from 1.4 to 2.8 (#13, 6+), but the company’s low-power facility with the same calls declines by -1.1 to .6 (#20 in “Holiday” to #30).
- San Francisco – Combined (6+) loss here for all-Christmas music stations is -5.8, with Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM taking the brunt of the hit (8.9 – 4.0, -4.9); it regresses from first to sixth. NextMedia‘s similarly formatted KBAY meanwhile is off by nine-tenths (2.6 – 1.7, #12 in “Holiday” to #23). Hot AC walks away with a combined +2.1, divided among Clear Channel‘s KIOI “Star 101.3″ (+.9, 4.1, #5); CBS Radio‘s KLLC “Alice” (+.7, 3.3, #11); and Digity Media‘s KEZR “Mix 106.5″ (+.5, 2.0, #21). With a one-half share increase to 5.3, CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM reclaims the #1 position.
- Houston – Even though Clear Channel adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1″ loses more than five shares from the “Holiday” report (12.2 – 7.0, 6+), it still manages to remain in first place. That position, however, is in jeopardy with Cox Media Group country KKBQ “93-Q” improving by +1.2 (to 6.6); progressing from fourth to second, “93-Q” trails “Sunny” by just four-tenths. A format change shakes things up as Clear Channel classic hits-turned urban contemporary KQBT “The Beat” (formerly KKRW) posts a whopping +1.7 to 3.9 (#10), while Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “The Box” (5.4) is off by nearly as much (-1.3, #3). Boasting the most significant survey-to-survey improvement is Cox Media’s KGLK “The Eagle” (+1.9, 3.3 – 5.2), which climbs from #10 to #5.
- Philadelphia – In the “Holiday” report, Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB “More FM” soared to a 17.2, the tenth time in PPM methodology that a Philadelphia outlet hit double-digits (6+) – nine of them accomplished by WBEB. The inevitible “Holiday” to January decline hit “More FM” dramatically: Its -8.4 is the largest for any station from the 12 markets Nielsen Audio has released so far. That represents the “bad” news for WBEB. On the plus side, even as CBS Radio all-news outlet KYW gains a substantial two full shares, which coincidentally represents the most sizeable survey-to-survey improvement from Monday’s 12 markets, “More FM” remains #1 by 1.2 shares (6+). Other Philly outlets picking up at least one full share (survey-to-survey) are Greater Media rocker WMMR (4.5 – 5.8, +1.3, #7 to #3) and Clear Channel alternative WRFF (3.2 – 4.2, +1.0, #11 to #9).
- Atlanta – CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103″ – which tumbled from first to fifth (December – “Holiday”) – bounces back with a +1.3 (6.1 – 7.4) to recoup the #1 spot. Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B 98.5″ drops a full-share (7.3 – 6.3) to fall from second to fourth (6+); however, co-owned talk WSB-AM gains nine-tenths (6.2 – 7.1) and trades places with “B 98.5″ (#4 to #2). After progressing 3.8 – 6.4, +2.6, Salem contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” suffers a whopping -2.4 (4.0) and slides from third to tenth.
- Long Island – All-Christmas music adult contemporary outlets are in heavy negative territory. Clear Channel siblings WALK-FM (6.3, #1 for the third straight monthly) and WLTW (3.0, #2 to #12) are -2.9 and -4.1, respectively, while Connoisseur Media‘s WKJY “K-98.3″ (3.5, #4 to #7) is -1.2. New York City all-news WCBS-AM picks up 1.4 shares (to 5.9, 6+) to advance from sixth to second; similarly formatted WINS improves by eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.3, #12 to #10). CHR does well with Clear Channel’s WHTZ “Z-100″ up seven-tenths (5.5, #3) and Cox Media’s WBLI right behind at #4 (+.8 to 5.4).
- Riverside – Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose 97.5″ tacks on another full-share (8.2 – 9.2, 6+) and keeps rolling at #1; “Jose 97.5″ was at 9.2 in November as well. In the meantime, Univision regional Mexican KSCA betters its “Holiday” 2.8 by +1.2 (to 4.0) and zooms from eighth to fourth. The station’s 4.0 (6+) is its most proficient PPM stat to date in the Riverside book.+
- San Jose – Following back-to-back down trends (5.8 – 5.3 – 5.0, November – December – “Holiday”), Empire Broadcasting-owned KRTY “Hot Country” notches a +1.2 (5.0 – 6.2) to catapult from sixth to first (6+). Similar to what we witnessed in San Francisco, hot AC regains strength after all-Christmas music concludes, with Digity Media‘s KEZR “Mix 106.5″ (+.9, 6.0, #5 to #2) in its home market, and CBS Radio’s KLLC “Alice” (+.5, 2.3, #21 to #17). Conversely, Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM loses slightly more than half its “Holiday” 6+ share (6.0 – 2.9), plummeting from #2 to #14, while NextMedia adult contemporary KBAY – in its home metro – is 8.5 – 5.9 (-2.6), slipping from first to third.
Race Taylor Re-Ups with WPLJ, New York. Midday personality Race Taylor signs a new “long-term” deal with Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York to continue with the station he’s been part of for the past 14 years. In announcing the pact, talent management firm ACM Broadcast says Taylor “regularly welcomes high-profile musical guests on his midday daily show including Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele, Dave Matthews, Lady Antebellum, Maroon 5, etc. Under the new deal, Taylor continues to host exclusive concert events for the station and the company’s national hot AC format during PM drive.” Taylor adds, “It has been an amazing 14 years here in New York on WPLJ. Thanks to John Dickey and my PD John Foxx, I’m looking forward to doing this show for many more years to come.” John McConnell, managing partner of ACM Broadcast, a talent management company, negotiated the deal on behalf of Taylor.
Where Is Scott Shannon Headed? The next move for former WPLJ, New York morning co-host Scott Shannon is the subject of much chatter in the industry. Shannon exited the Cumulus hot AC WPLJ recently after 22 years but industry watchers are betting on him being back in the New York market soon. With today’s notice from Clear Channel that “DC101”-based Elliot Segal is not going to continue to be simulcast on the company’s WOR, New York, some are hearing Shannon has been talking with the company about that gig. That seems an unlikely pairing. Other scuttlebutt is that Shannon has been in discussions with CBS RADIO about landing on one of its FMs – either classic hits WCBS-FM or CHR WNOW. Regardless, this will probably happen sooner rather than later as Shannon himself told the New York Daily News‘ David Hinckley he’ll know in “a couple of weeks.”
Cumulus Media’s Chicago Alternative Rocker Names Jocks. As the Cumulus Media-operated alternative brand relinquishes its place on the 87.7 frequency and Tribune puts its new sports talk format there, Cumulus focuses on the (sorta) new “101WKQX.” According to Chicagoland Radio and Media, the permanent air talent lineup is: Brian Phillips and Lou Lombardo in morning drive, Lauren O’Neil in middays, Walter Flakus in afternoon drive and early evenings and PJ Kling from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. As Cumulus had stated in the past, the station will not use the “Q101” handle for the station.
Monk & Kelly Put Show into Syndication. Morning show personalities Jonathan Monk and Dianna Kelly – known as Monk & Kelly at their home base of WGSQ, Cookeville, Tennessee “Country Giant 94.7” (smack dab between Nashville and Knoxville) – are putting their “New Country Fresh Off Music Row” program into national syndication via Broadcast Syndicates. The duo picked up a Marconi in 2013 and is nominated for Country Music Association honors this year. They describe their show as “fast, fun, and jam packaged with all of your favorite new country music, artist interviews, lifestyle info and concert news.”
NRG Media Names Nau Market Manager. At the NRG Media LLC cluster in the Tri-Cities, Nebraska metro area of Kearney, Grand Island, and Hastings, broadcasting pro Dallas Nau is named market manager of the group that includes CHR KQKY-FM, Kearney “Hits 106,” country KRNY-FM, Kearney “Y102 Hot Country,” rock KROR-FM, Hastings “Rock 101.5,” adult hits KSYZ-FM, Grand Island “107.7 The Island,” and full service KGFW-AM, Kearney. NRG COO Chuck DuCoty says, “Dallas has proven talents in leading a television sales organization, but has the radio acumen in programming that our team requires. His vast leadership skills will help to propel our entire organization to new heights in ratings, service to the community, and advertiser engagement. Dallas is a local talent that has dedicated his entire career to the needs of the Tri-Cities communities and that is very meaningful to a company like NRG that is so deeply committed to providing great local radio to our audience.” Nau spent the past decade at NTV in Nebraska serving in multiple capacities, most recently as the company’s general sales manager for KHGI-TV (ABC) and KFXL-TV (FOX) for the past five years.
Clear Channel Goes from CHR to Rock on NOLA Translator. Saying that it believes it can succeed where Cumulus Media did not, Clear Channel drops the CHR “Kiss FM” programming that had been airing on translator K242CE licensed to Meraux, Louisiana and begins airing a rock format branded “Rock 96.3.” Clear Channel New Orleans operations manager Don Gosselin comments, “New Orleans is a fantastic rock town and now we have a great rock station! ‘The Rock of New Orleans’ has been an iconic brand here and feedback from listeners and advertisers has been immediate and amazing.”
Bob Kingsley Honored at Grand Ole Opry. It was a surprise celebration of 40 years hosting WestwoodOne’s “American Country Countdown” for Bob Kingsley and the 50-year radio pro said, “I could not have been more surprised and I could not feel more honored. I have made a career of country music radio because I love it, and to have my friends in the business, from artists and songwriters to industry executives, tell me my work has made a difference – well, it means the world to me. And to have the people I work with day in and day out here to celebrate with me makes it all the more special.” Kingsley is also host and owner of “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40.” Monday’s surprise event, benefiting the Opry Trust Fund, included performances, appearances and taped messages by a mix of industry legends, today’s hit-makers and Nashville’s most influential singer-songwriters. Kingsley walked into the Grand Ole Opry House believing he was there to pay tribute to the Grand Ole Opry’s 89th birthday, when in reality, the evening was all conceived to honor him. Grand Ole Opry vice president and general manager Pete Fisher states, “What a pleasure to host so many friends on the Opry House stage tonight as we all came together to celebrate one of country radio’s most beloved voices, leaders, and gentlemen. All of us at the Opry are particularly honored that, just as Bob has made a point to do throughout his career, tonight’s event also gave back to a worthy cause, the Opry Trust Fund. For nearly 50 years the Trust Fund has assisted members of the country music community in need, and I can’t think of a better way to honor Bob’s contributions to the country community than to continue that legacy of helping others in his name.” Pictured here are (from l-r): Wade Jessen, Teddy Gentry, Blair Garner, Kingsley, Randy Owen, Steve Wariner, Lon Helton, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, and Fisher. Photo: Chris Hollo for the Grand Ole Opry
DOOBIE: It Takes More than Knowing the Number of “Spins” to Determine If a Song Is a Hit, Not to Mention How to Program It. This is especially true if the number of spins is based to a measurable degree upon a promotional buy within the context of a radio/record company deal as opposed to a research or quality judgment based on competitive programming. RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie tells it like it is in a new column posted today (2/17) in which he writes, “When it comes to selecting music for airplay on a competitive station, the term ‘hit’ is extremely subjective. There are no magical criteria or empirical truths that a programmer can completely count on when it comes to measuring the value of any given song at any given time to be an element that will attract and keep listeners. There are so many other elements (and terms) that come into play beyond determining whether a recorded piece of music is a ‘hit’ or has the potential to become one…including, of course, the human element. Anyone who is in a position of programming music on competitive radio should make it their business to understand the meaning of terms and concepts (some of which haven’t been used in years) such as ‘stiff,’ ‘burn out,’ ‘hype,’ ‘turntable hit,’ ‘golden ears,’ ‘charts,’ ‘research,’ ‘rotation,’ ‘payola,’ ‘plugola, ‘cross-over,’ ‘recurrent,’ ‘gold,’ ‘platinum,’ ‘oldie, and (a really important one) ‘radio wars.’” Doobie explains, “There are more…but let it suffice, at least for the point of this article, that the 16 terms listed above (17 if you count the re-occurring term, ‘competitive’) carry great meaning in understanding the process of programming music on a radio station that realizes the world owes it neither an audience nor a living. Here’s a fact of life that today’s mega-corporate radio does not seem to understand: When it comes to ‘competitive’ music radio – how you play it and say it makes all the difference in the world in determining whether you win or lose!” To read Doobie’s entire piece, please click here.
Duane Doobie’s Picks of the Week. RadioInfo’s hard-working music editor/director, Duane Doobie, backed by a growing team of information contributing researchers and golden-eared trench broadcasters, provides programmers with musical suggestions worthy of the attention of pro-active radio formats. You’ll be turned on to some of the exciting artists and music buzzing out there just over the horizon from the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM. This week’s selection posted today (2/17) includes such names as: N-A-I-V-E-S, Icona Pop, Cherub, Justin Bieber, Jesse Scott, Nick Nittoli, Art Alexakis, Anna Calvi, PJ Harvey, Paramore, Jimi LaLumia, The Psychotic Frogs, ? & The Mysterians, The Glitch Mob, Imagine Dragons, Sander van Doorn, Max Elto, Giorgio Moroder, Michael McDonald, Daft Punk, Five Finger Death Punch, Pharrell, The Animals, Big Data, Joywave, Sun Kil Moon, Ben Gibbard, Bipolar Sunshine, Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons, The Civil Wars, Zac Brown Band, Clare Bowen, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and HoneySuckle Ridge among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
Cumulus Announces Partnership with Country Weekly. Today’s New York Post is reporting that Cumulus Media is buying a 50% stake in American Media Inc. – publisher of the Country Weekly magazine – but in today’s press release from Cumulus, there is no mention of a purchase. The term used is a “partnership,” with no mention of finances. But beginning with the February 24 issue of Country Weekly (circulation 505,000, according to the New York Post), the magazine will contain a 16-page color section called “NASH.” American Media Inc. chairman, president and CEO David Pecker says, “This agreement is a transforming event for Country Weekly. Partnering with Cumulus Media and combining their reach and voice with our expertise in print media will deliver an extraordinary consumer experience that is unmatched in the industry.” The press statement says the supplement is “designed to provide an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at some of today’s hottest country stars, industry news, and the personalities behind its popular radio broadcasts. The partnership leverages two of country music’s leading brands to create the ultimate destination for news, insights, and access in a way that no other media property can.” Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey adds, “We are excited to be partnering with AMI as we bring the NASH brand to life in print. The talented and dedicated staff at Country Weekly has consistently informed the passionate base of country music across America. We look forward to leveraging both brands to create an unparalleled experience for country music fans and another important point of engagement for our clients.” Cumulus Media reports it will also introduce a website that “will provide an in-depth and unique look at both the business and lifestyle aspects of the country music industry. The website will be built in collaboration with the launch of the partnership.”
Trickery Will Almost Always Come Back to Haunt You. It seems to the editors here at RadioInfo that’s the real lesson to be learned from the “K98.3” Long Island “gay parents” episode. By now you probably are aware that Connoisseur Media has suspended WKJY, Hempstead, New York morning show duo Steve Harper and Leeana Karlson (pictured here) after the two admitted to, without management’s approval, creating a hoax in order to shed light on anti-gay bigotry. The pair concocted a phony scenario in which a child’s birthday party invitation from a girl whose parents are two gay men is returned with a message from another child’s mother stating she doesn’t approve of their lifestyle and therefore her son won’t be attending the party. They even made a fake invitation – with the scrawled message from “the mom” – and posted photos on their Facebook page. Apparently, internal talk about the issue led management to learn the story was fake and Harper and Karlson came clean with the public on Saturday. In the duo’s apology to their listeners, they state their goal was to foster a discussion about anti-gay bigotry and that they meant no harm. Fast-forward to today: the two are suspended by Connoisseur and their future status with the station is unknown. Management says regardless of their intent, their actions violated the culture of the company. Obviously, the story is getting a lot of play in the consumer press. As RadioInfo sees it, the takeaway here is a long-held radio maxim: Don’t be phony. As is almost always the case in these situations, the truth gets out and you will get burned. Most programmers would agree that there’s enough controversy in the world to talk about without having to make it up.
Miami’s Mara Melendez Moves to Houston to Program “The Beat.” Self-described “radio guru” Mara Melendez transfers to program Clear Channel Houston urban contemporary KQBT “The Beat” from Miami, where she was program director of co-owned, similarly formatted, and identically branded WMIB. She becomes the first PD of Houston’s “Beat” since it changed formats from classic hits KKRW “Arrow” this past New Year’s Eve. The station’s on-air lineup includes “The Breakfast Club” with DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God (5:00 am – 9:00 am); UB Rodriquez (9:00 am – 2:00 pm); Rudy Rush (2:00 – 6:00 pm); and Devi Dev (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm). Vice president of programming Marc Sherman comments, “We are excited to have Mara lead ‘The Beat’ in Houston. Her incredible track-record combined with her ability to connect with local artists will be keys to our success.” Prior to her stint at Miami’s “Beat,” Melendez worked in New York City at another Clear Channel urban contemporary outlet, WWPR “Power 105.1″ (from whence “The Breakfast Club” originates) and she was music coordinator at Emmis New York City rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97.”
Jelli Names Schoppmann VP/Ad Sales. New York-based Teresa Schoppmann is appointed vice president of advertising sales for Jelli. The company’s co-founder and chief executive officer Mike Dougherty comments, “Terry’s deep experience and relationships with the largest radio ad buyers will help us continue to rapidly grow the adoption of our programmatic advertising platform for radio.” According to Schoppmann, “Jelli’s explosive growth over the last 12 months supports my belief that we will help clients enter a new era of rapid execution, increased compliance, real-time data and higher ROI. Jelli has created a totally hassle-free way for marketers to move into programmatic buying with our RadioSpot platform, which is a game-changer for network radio.” Schoppmann’s previous background includes positions at TheBlaze Network, Dial Global, WestwoodOne, Chancellor Media, and Emmis.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. After announcing last week that he would be leaving Stephens Media’s alternative WZNE, Rochester “94.1 The Zone,” we learn that Axe is the new evening personality on Entercom’s alternative WLKK, Buffalo “Alternative Buffalo 107.7.” He will also host the Sunday evening new music program, “The Underground Collective.”…..Elise Rossi is promoted to music director at JVC Media’s CHR WMFQ, Ocala-Gainesville “Q92.”…..Clear Channel names Brent Henslee operations manager for its six-station cluster in Macon, Georgia.
Michael Harrison to Speak in Keynote Session at National Religious Broadcasters Convention. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will serve as a keynote speaker next week at the NRB International Christian Media Convention 2014 in Nashville. The event, which runs February 22-25 and is preceded by a one-day Digital Media Summit on February 21, is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training. Harrison, whose two-hour session will take place on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm, states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this event and spending time getting to better know people from the faith-based sector of the radio and media industries. It will certainly give me the opportunity to embellish one of the key points of my own personal view of what radio needs to do to be a viable and productive entity in the digital era – and that is to never miss any opportunity to be a hero…to literally serve the community… to spread hope and inspiration…to talk about the many crisis and challenges facing people in everyday life and help them cope. I recommend this course of action to all broadcasters – but this is a community where it is already proven to be a winning strategy. I am honored to be a part of this event.” The conference will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. For more information please click here.
One Erie Station Could Have Unhappy Fall Book Ending. Upon its discovery that five in-tab Erie metro diaries were returned from a media-affiliated household, Nielsen Audio is re-issuing the fall 2013 diary-based book for that Pennsylvania market. It is believed audience estimates for Erie Radio Company-owned CHR WEHP “Happi 92.7″ may be substantially affected. Owing to sample balancing procedures, estimates for other Erie stations could be slightly adjusted. While the revised book is scheduled to be released this Wednesday (2/19), a spot check from the original release and what is now posted on Nielsen Audio’s website already indicates several differences. Based on a comparison of the two reports, rankings for the top nine – including Cumulus adult contemporary WXKC “Classy 100″ at #1 and Connoisseur CHR WRTS “Star 104″ at #2 – though remain the same; WEHP is not listed on either list.
WBLI’s Jayson Takes Mariah Carey’s Valentine’s Day Advice. As you can see here, WBLI, Patchogue, New York (Long Island) morning drive co-host Jayson (right) sported a candy bra and took a selfie for his boyfriend since the two would be apart on Valentine’s Day. He did so based on advice from pop star Mariah Carey (left) who appeared on the WBLI’s “Dana & Jayson in the Morning” show to talk about what she would be doing for Valentine’s Day and said she and hubby Nick Cannon would be apart for the holiday but she would still wear something sexy and let Nick see it. Carey told Jayson, “All of us who have our significant others somewhere else…even if you just take a selfie and post it…I mean just look GOOD.”
CBS Reports Radio Segment Down 4% in Q4 2013; Company Up 6%. While CBS Corporation CEO, president and director Les Moonves spoke glowingly about the performance of CBS Corporation as a whole during yesterday’s Q4 conference call, the radio segment was not part of the celebration and loss of political advertising was given the lion’s share of the blame. The company’s report indicates that after taking political out of the picture, CBS RADIO was flat compared to the same quarter in 2012. Moonves was upbeat about the radio division saying, “In radio, we continue to put an emphasis on great, local programming, which is leading to bigger audiences. During the most recent ratings period, we had double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and non-traditional revenue from special events was up double digits over one year ago. Our strategy to combine the company’s local TV and radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off. In 2013, revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in ’14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January. I’m also very pleased with the success of our CBS Interactive business. Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. Members can read the whole conference call here.
Nielsen Q4 Revenue Up 11.8%; Rises 5.5% for 2013. Media ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. issues its fourth quarter 2013 and full-year financial reports and states that Q4 revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 11.8% over the same period in 2012. For the full year of 2013, the company says its revenue was $5.7 billion, a jump of 5.5% over the full year of 2012. The company reports its free cash flow for 2013 increased 34.5% to $573 million from $426 million in 2012 while cash flow from operations increased 14.9% to $901 million in 2013 from $784 million in 2012. The result is the adjusted net income per share on a diluted basis for 2013 was $2.02, up 19.5% compared to $1.69 in the full year 2012. Nielsen acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron during 2013 and the move paid off. The Arbitron business helped add 9.3% to Nielsen’s Q4 revenue and 2.5% to its 2013 revenue.
Clear Channel Renews Promotional Deal with Relativity. In a statement, Clear Channel says that the renewed cross-media marketing collaboration between it and media company Relativity will include one-of-a-kind campaigns promoting upcoming movies on the part of Clear Channel while Relativity will provide exclusive content created by its filmmakers and talent that will be shared with listeners and viewers through various Clear Channel platforms. “The programs will also include organic promotional support from popular radio personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Dan Patrick and Steve Harvey; naturally integrated film imaging across local stations and iHeartRadio’s national digital and mobile ad units; homepage website takeovers; and national and local on-air commercial inventory.” Clear Channel says previous successful collaborations between the companies included campaigns for the films “Limitless,” “Immortals,” “Act of Valor,” “Safe Haven” and “Free Birds.”
Savannah’s WXYY Names Bristol PD. Former Cumulus Providence operations manager Tony Bristol is appointed program director of L&L Broadcasting, Savannah hot AC WXYY “Y-107.9.” L&L Broadcasting Savannah-Hilton Head vice president and market manager Gigi South remarks, “Tony is a legendary programmer of female formats and we are honored to have him join our growing team of programming pros in Savannah. He is the perfect fit for Savannah’s ‘Y-107.9.” Director of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Tony is a phenomenal talent and program director. His knowledge and dynamic energy will rock the Savannah market.” In thanking L&L Broadcasting chief executive officer Bob Proffitt, South, Mahalick, and operations manager Gabe Reynolds, Bristol notes that he is happy, “for the opportunity to get back in the game in beautiful Savannah. Live and local radio truly exists. I am honored and excited to be a part of their vision and grateful for their confidence in my contribution to grow their brands.” In addition to his Providence OM duties, Bristol programmed Cumulus CHR WPRO-FM and adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105.” He previously was music director at Hartford hot AC WTIC-FM; Citadel‘s CHR format captain; and he programmed CHR WKCI, New Haven and hot AC WDAQ, Danbury, Connecticut.
Stella Prado Kuipers Lands at Salem Los Angeles. The successful, former KOST, Los Angeles program director joins Salem Communications to serve in the sales department working on multi-media marketing for Christian talk KKLA, Los Angeles. Stella Prado Kuipers made her announcement on her Facebook page where she wrote: “A new chapter in my life has begun and I’m proud to announce as of March 3rd I am an employee of Salem Communications Radio Broadcasting company! My position is multi-media marketing and I am thrilled to be a part of this company! I’m sooooo excited!” Kuipers had been with Clear Channel’s AC KOST for 20 years – eight as program director – before she was let go in December of 2012.
Seigler to Manage Brazos Valley Communications’ Bryan-College Station, Texas Cluster. After serving as sales manager for the cluster since 2012 (he joined the company in 2004) John Seigler is promoted to general manager for the group that includes country KORA, oldies KAPN, hip hop KBXT “101.9 The Beat,” rock KJXJ, and regional Mexican KTAM-AM. Brazos Valley Communications general partner Tommy Vascocu states, “We’re extremely pleased to have John Seigler heading our Bryan-College Station radio group. John’s done outstanding work in building strong relationships with community leaders and business owners in the Brazos Valley. He’s a very talented individual with extensive experience in developing, leading and executing creative, problem-solving solutions for our customers and community partners on behalf of these radio stations. John’s been a valuable contributing member of the Bryan-College Station community for many years. We’re excited for him to lead our talented group of radio professionals.”
Scott Shannon Tells NY Daily News He’ll Be Back on Radio. According to a report by David Hinckley of the New York Daily News, Scott Shannon told him – from a golf course in Florida – that he’s planning to be back on the radio in some form “in a couple of weeks.” The former, longtime WPLJ, New York morning star who left the station last week, tells the paper, “It’s not an option that I will leave radio. I retired from WPLJ, not from radio. I love radio. I love doing a morning show. I love getting to know the listeners.” He says, “I’d be open to satellite radio. I like the idea of talking to people all across the country.” He also tells Hinckley he’s “optimistic” Cumulus will continue to syndicate his True Oldies Channel.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. With the announcement by Emmis that Deon Levingston would manage its soon-to-be three urban stations in New York as it acquires urban AC WBLS and gospel WLIB from YFM Media, current hip hop WQHT “Hot 97” general manager Alex Cameron will exit the Emmis New York offices…..Legendary air personality Pat St. John – currently heard on classic hits WCBS-FM, New York on weekends and on SiriusXM during the week – announces that he’s the new weekday afternoon host on SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel. He can be heard from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET…..Marty McFly – until recently both PD and morning host at Cumulus Media’s country WKDF, Nashville – slides across the hall to serve as morning host at co-owned country WSM-FM where he takes over for exiting Rick Marino. Cumulus added Blair Garner’s “America’s Morning Show” to the lineup at WKDF as part of the national rollout of the show…..At Digity-owned hot AC WHBC, Canton, Ohio, morning show cast member and interactive specialist Matt Fantone exits the company with the elimination of his position…..John Gordnier, local AE for Colonial Media & Entertainment’s classic hits WXMT, Smethport, Pennsylvania “The Mountain,” has successfully met the requirements to earn the designation of Radio Marketing Professional (RMP) as certified by the Radio Advertising Bureau. The RMP designation is the first step in a comprehensive, multi-level training and certification program developed and administered by the Radio Advertising Bureau.
NAB to Feature RAB Sales and Marketing Sessions. The Radio Advertising Bureau will present five revenue- and growth-oriented presentations at this year’s NAB Show. RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber explains that, “The RAB is in the business of helping sellers on the street close deals and help drive revenue for the radio industry. These sessions will drive home key lessons and tools of the trade. NAB Show attendees will find these sessions invaluable to their future success in the broadcast business.” Specifically, the Radio Advertising Bureau’s focus will be “Lunch and Learn – A Discussion on Radio’s Four Significant Issues;” “Concentrating on Core Radio Revenues;” “Creative Radio Commercial Production and Imaging;” and “Rapid-Fire Revenue Generators for Small and Medium Market Radio.” The NAB Show will be held April 5 – 10 in Las Vegas.
WDVI-FM and WHAM in Rochester Hold Radiothon to Benefit Children’s Hospital. Today and tomorrow Clear Channel Rochester stations hot AC WDVI “100.5 The Drive” and news/talk WHAM are broadcasting the annual “Drive For Miracles Radiothon” to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital live from the lobby of Strong Hospital. Throughout the event, on-air personalities from each station will talk with current and former patients, their families, and the hard-working hospital staff that “creates miracles” every day. Personalities including WHAM’s Chet Walker, Bob Lonsberry, Shari Smith, Joe Lomonaco, and Bob Matthews and WDVI’s Bill Moran, Julie, JP, and “The Mayor” Pete Kennedy will broadcast from the hospital.
Emmis Solidifies NYC Cluster – Acquires WBLS and WLIB. Now, in addition to rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” Jeff Smulyan‘s Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications boasts two more New York City outlets, as it acquires urban AC WBLS “Your #1 Source for R&B” and gospel WLIB “Your Praise & Inspiration Station” from YMF Media for $131 million. Emmis president/chief executive officer/chairman Smulyan states that the transaction is “indicative of our belief in the U.S. radio industry and our desire to increase our footprint in the nation’s largest market. Emmis has deep ties to the New York African-American community – it is with great pride we take the helm of these iconic stations.” YMF Media chief executive officer/WBLS and WLIB general manager Deon Levingston will become Emmis New York general manager when it begins operating the stations under an LMA in approximately three weeks. Contingent on FCC approval of the deal – expected to be granted this summer – Emmis will pay $55 million of the purchase price, with the remaining $76 million to be doled out in one year (February 2015). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s “Holiday” 2013 PPM report, WBLS ranks #2 (6.8, down seven-tenths from December); WQHT finishes #15 (2.6, -.3 from December); and WLIB is #32 (.4 for the third successive ratings period).
Fernandez Boosted to Journal COO; Graham Upped to SVP/CFO. It’s a promotion for Journal Communications president Andre Fernandez as he is appointed chief operating officer in which he’s assuming operational oversight of the company’s broadcast and publishing segments. His other expanded responsibilities will include corporate human resources; executive vice president of radio Steve Wexler continues reporting to Fernandez. Elsewhere, the company names vice president/controller Jason Graham senior vice president of finance/controller/chief financial officer. Graham will report to chairman/chief executive officer Steven Smith, who states, “Jason has done an excellent job leading our accounting, billing, accounts payable, payroll, and tax teams. He has also contributed to our strategic planning and growth initiatives, which will continue to be an integral part of his expanded role as CFO.” Prior to joining Journal in June 2012, Graham was Brookdale Senior Living‘s vice president/corporate controller.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Management pro Terry Gillingham is named regional vice president and general manager for Ohana Broadcast Company’s Hawaii operations. Gillingham comes to Ohana after spending the last 12 years with South Central Communications’ six-station group in Knoxville…..At CBS RADIO’s hot AC KLLC, San Francisco “Alice 97.3,” Jayn is named afternoon drive personality beginning February 18. She’s been midday host, music director and APD since joining the station in 2006……Shamrock Communications gives APD stripes to classic rock WZBA, Baltimore “100.7 The Bay” afternoon personality Jay Philpott. He arrived at the station last fall after having served at adult hits WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch.”…..Another personality joins Townsquare Media’s CHR WFHN, New Bedford, Massachusetts as Loren Petisce becomes part of the “Fun 107” morning show. She previously was an air personality at Hall Communications’ country WCTK, Providence “Cat Country 98.1.”…..Former WSM-FM, Nashville air personality Taylor Morgan — who has been doing mornings on WTFM, Johnson City, Tennessee for the past 11 years has resigned and her last day on the air is February 19. She is looking for her next radio gig and can be contacted at 423-367-2055 or 423-406-1151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Nielsen “Lying” About Millennial Audiences? Noted industry observer Jerry Del Colliano thinks so. Del Colliano published a scathing indictment of the ratings research giant in his daily industry blog Inside Music Media (www.insidemusicmedia.com) this morning (2/12) referring to the Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) report released earlier this week stating that “Millennials” (also known as “Generation Y”) are big fans of AM/FM radio and listen to it on average of 11.5 hours per week. This, of course, flies in the face of what has to this point been conventional industry wisdom strongly suggesting that over-the-air radio is rapidly losing ground as a medium of choice for the millions of 20-something children born to Baby Boomers in the 1980s-90s and now coming of age in the millions – a widespread perception that broadcast business leaders openly fear threatens the future of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio.” Del Colliano writes, “The company that now does PPM ratings which records listening that occurs by accident when meters randomly pick up an encoded radio signal is now weighing in on Millennials…an audience that clearly has no use for what consolidators put on the radio these days.” He accuses the major corporate consolidators in radio of “paying hundreds of millions of dollars to report audience estimates that the company [Nielsen] itself admits in a legal statement are not reliable.” Del Colliano is a veteran program director and radio personality who rose to prominence as the founder and publisher of the trade publication Inside Radio which he built to formidability as an independent journal prior to it being acquired by Clear Channel, which still publishes it. Del Colliano has subsequently served a number of years as a member of the music department faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) teaching and writing courses on “Generational Media” specifically documenting and understanding the traits and habits of the rapidly maturing Millennial generation – a subject that he regularly shares with radio industry leaders via his blog and annual conference.
Speaking of Jerry Del Colliano… TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison recently interviewed Jerry Del Colliano on the TALKERS magazine “experimental” talk radio station, TalkersRadio, (www.talkers.com/talkersradio) as a complete installment of the one-hour, media-discussion program he hosts. The program, recorded two-weeks ago (prior to today’s provocative Del Colliano blog), presents the two industry observers in an in-depth discussion about the very subject of the delicate relationship AM/FM radio and Gen-Y. In it, Del Colliano discusses such issues as Gen-Y’s obsession with authenticity as well as its consumer interest in non-over-the-air digital media. To listen directly to the entire 58:00 installment of this first-time public conversation between Michael Harrison and Jerry Del Colliano, please click
RadioInfo Posts Part-Three Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks. What broadcasting executive and entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years in founding and establishing Cleveland-based national syndication firm Envision Radio Networks is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry. He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows. His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets. Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that in today’s installment) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication. In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses how, as a result of new technology and social practices, radio has grown to point that it is “more than” simply radio and that operators must work diligently to preserve its history and uniqueness without sacrificing its potential and rightful place within the digital-era. In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward. I’ve seen this movie many times before. Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.” To read part three of RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here. And if you missed parts one and two published Monday and yesterday, please read them here and here, respectively.
More Details from Entercom’s Q4 Conference Call: Props to S.F. and K.C. While Entercom president and CEO David Field acknowledged that 2013 revenue was not where the company would like to have seen it (down 3%), he stated numerous times during Tuesday’s conference call that he believes the company has turned the corner and is “positioned for a strong 2014.” Saying that the company’s strongest-performing markets were San Francisco, Kansas City and Memphis, Field glowed about the ratings of some of the stations in those markets. “We have a large number of rating success stories across the country, as our programming strategies continue to bear fruit. I am most excited about some of the more interesting developmental situations, where we have recently bolstered our competitive position. For example, ‘The Wolf’ in Kansas City, has surged to become the number one country station in that market and ranks third among all stations with adults 25-54, and first among adults 18-34. Also in Kansas City, ‘The Point,’ a relatively new brand, has steadily grown, and now ranks second with women 25-54.” Field also highlighted the San Francisco cluster. “KOIT is a dominant brand right now, leading ratings gainer. KBLX, a recent acquisition, has really emerged and become a ratings getter as well; and even ‘The Game,’ our sports station in the market, continues to steadily improve its ratings, and it’s really — dramatically in the last couple of months — becoming a force to be reckoned with among men in the market. May be most importantly for this call, our revenues have dramatically accelerated there, and we are feeling very, very good about 2014.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. Members can read the whole chat here.
New Classic Rock Signal in Columbus, Georgia. The new classic rocker is being called “1055 The Ride” and it’s airing on the 105.5 FM signal of translator W288CV, owned by PMB Broadcasting. Until recently the signal aired a simulcast of the company’s country WKCN “Kissin’ 993.” WKCN program director Chris Chaos will program the station in addition to his PD and afternoon drive duties on WKCN.
Cool Job Opportunity. Rhythmic CHR WOCQ-FM in Salisbury/Ocean City, Maryland is looking for its next morning STAR to co-host on the highly successful “Hip Hop Coffee Shop” morning show! Candidates MUST also be willing to either voice track other shifts or go LIVE if needed. MUST be dependable, have SOME radio experience (TV experience a plus as well), be GREAT at keeping up to date with current local, national, and entertainment news…good on the computer/social media a plus. Also MUST be organized and quick on your toes. And of course knowledge of the rhythmic CHR format. Email resume & mp3 to email@example.com EOE. Females strongly encouraged to apply.
Scott Shannon to Retire from WPLJ, New York. After 22 years co-hosting mornings at Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York, radio legend Scott Shannon announces his retirement from “Scott & Todd in the Morning,” effective immediately. Todd Pettengill will remain in mornings hosting “The Todd Show.” Longtime executive producer Joseph “Monk” Pardavila and news anchor Cooper Lawrence will continue on “The Todd Show” in their current roles. Shannon made the announcement on the program this morning. In a statement he says, “Of course I’ll miss being a part of the morning show here on ‘PLJ and I might even pop back in from time to time and try to get Todd to play a Rascals song or two.” Pettengill adds, “Scott and I had an amazing run and I’ll miss our mornings together and cherish the memories we made. I’m also very excited about the opportunity ahead with a very talented group of people that I know our listeners are going to love.” Cumulus EVP and COO John Dickey comments, “Scott’s contributions to the industry and the station are incalculable and we thank him for his many years of amazing service and dedication to his many morning listeners.”
Envision Networks Announces New Brand. The new name and branding for Envision Radio Networks is Envision Networks. The 11-year-old media network, which provides content and services to more than 1,500 radio stations across the country, says it has grown beyond the scope of a radio-only syndication company and that the new name Envision Networks encompasses its heritage radio business as well as its growing digital networks, streaming networks and on-demand listening. President and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Envision Networks is a more accurate representation of our current evolution and growth in radio, digital, streaming and product placement. The Envision Networks name and branding now reflects everything we supply to radio stations and other media while creating a desirable audience for our advertisers and partners.”
Pssst, Buddy, Wanna Hear an Idea for a Cool New Music Radio Format? Noted music radio program director Bill Conway – who successfully guided AC KOIT, San Francisco to ratings formidability between 1997-2011 — was so motivated by RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie’s “Golden Ears” column posted Monday (2/3) that he decided to openly share a very creative idea that he has been noodling around in his head in recent years with the readers of this trade publication. The format’s working title is “The All New Music Crowd Sourced Radio Format” and it doesn’t depend on only one consultant or one god-like national PD but would use the music junkies and cutting edge technology to directly involve the audience to reignite the role of radio in music discovery. Interested in hearing the idea without having to sit around the bar after hours at a radio convention? Easy. To read Bill Conway’s entire piece posted today (2/7), just click here.
Cumulus Media’s WNNF, Cincinnati Goes ‘NASH.’ Another Cumulus Media country station becomes “NASH” branded as WNNF, Cincinnati morphs from “94.1 Great Country” into “NASH FM 94.1.” Regional vice president and market manager Dave Crowl states, “We are thrilled to introduce ‘NASH’ programming content to Cincinnati’s large and very active country music listening audience. ‘NASH FM 94.1’ will bring the superstars of country to listeners in authentic, entertaining and informative ways never done before.”
Abby Krizner Moves to Mornings on Alternative WXDX, Pittsburgh; Tim Benz Promoted. The promotion of Tim Benz to sports director for Clear Channel Pittsburgh left an open morning show gig on the company’s alternative WXDX “105.9 The X” but the slot is being filled by Abby Krizner, who moves from the evening show at the station. According to Pittsburgh’s Timesonline.com, Benz’s move means he’ll host a show on sister sports talker WBGG but will also continue to contribute to WXDX’s sports content (the station is the Penguins flagship). In a related move, Benz’s co-host Bob McLaughlin stays with the station as producer of the PM drive Mark Madden program on WXDX. About his promotion and the expansion of sports programming which will see his commentary used on cluster stations including rock WDVE, CHR WKST “96.1 KISS,” news/talk WPGB “FM News Talk 104.7,” and classic hits WWSW “94.5 3WS,” Benz tells Timesonline.com, “This opportunity to extend sports programming is something we have been discussing for some time and will enhance our platforms.” He’ll host the daily 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WBGG.
KKGO, Los Angeles Names Larry Morgan Morning Host. The search to replace Shawn Parr on Mt. Wilson Broadcasters’ country KKGO, Los Angeles is over as Larry Morgan begins wake-up duties on February 17. Morgan has hosted morning shows at Bonneville’s crosstown classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound” and CBS RADIO’s hot AC KHMX, Houston in addition to serving as senior vice president of Premiere Networks’ network programs and services. In a statement, Morgan says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the “Go Country 105” team. Everyone at “Go Country 105” has created such a great environment. It feels like family there. And the chance to once again wake up Southern California is going to be fun. The opportunity to play a ton of great country music is a gig I could not pass up.” Parr left the station at the end of 2013 to host Cumulus Media Networks‘ “NASH Nights Live” program.
CBS RADIO’s KOOL, Phoenix Adds Smasher to Morning Show. The classic hits station brings radio personality Smasher up to full-time status as he’s officially co-hosting the morning show with Maria Knight, dubbed “The KOOL Morning Show with Smasher & Maria.” Smasher joined the weekend staff at CBS RADIO Phoenix in 2013, and has been working with Maria since earlier this year. KOOL-FM PD Dave Shakes states, “In the short time that Smasher and Maria have been hosting mornings at KOOL-FM, it’s become clear they are a perfect match to bring listeners an exciting and fun show each weekday morning. We see an opportunity for our morning show to continue to grow, adding listeners from the station’s core 25 to 54 demographic.”
Tony and Tammie Assume AM Drive at ‘Majic 100.3’ in St. Louis. At Clear Channel’s urban contemporary KMJM, St. Louis “Majic 100.3” Tony Scott and Tammie Holland (pictured here) take over mornings beginning Monday, February 10. Regional program manager Steve Stewart states, “We are excited to bring together Tony and Tammie to entertain listeners during the morning drive. They are both heritage talents that already have great connections in St. Louis.”
Executive Changes at NextMedia in Chicago as Sale to Digity Expected to Close on Monday. The sale of NextMedia’s nine suburban Chicago radio stations to Dean Goodman-led Digity, LLC is expected to close on Monday, February 10 and Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that two executives are being told they will not be retained when the deal is consummated. General managers Patrick Pendergast and Scott Kosak will reportedly exit the company and NextMedia360 vice president Brian Foster will serve as manager for the entire group. The Chicago stations are part of a larger deal that encompasses 33 stations becoming assets in Digity, LLC. The Chicago-area stations include: classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora; country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; news/talk WJOL-AM, Joliet; AC WSSR-FM, Joliet; rock WRXQ-FM, Coal City; sports WKRS-AM, Waukegan; hot AC WXLC-FM, Waukegan; rock WIIL-FM, Union Grove, Wisconsin and news/talk WLIP-AM, Kenosha, Wisconsin.
James Crystal Radio Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. After reports surfaced in the radio trades (including RadioInfo) that James Crystal Radio had missed payroll in January, questions began to arise about the state of the company’s affairs and, sure enough, it’s now public information that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Florida. In the filing, James Crystal Radio lists assets of between $1 million and $10 million with between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities. Some of the 20 creditors with the largest claims include: more than $220,000 owned to BMI, more than $1.5 million to various attorneys for fees, plus some $861,000 owed to the IRS in payroll taxes and more than $200,000 in property and local taxes. This is a particularly unfortunate situation since the company has operated in a very locally focused manner giving opportunities to Florida personalities at news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN, both serving the West Palm Beach and South Florida markets. The company also owns foreign-language WFLL, Fort Lauderdale and gospel KBXD, Dallas.
CBS RADIO Phoenix to Work with Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee announces its official media partnership with CBS RADIO Phoenix stations KMLE “Country@107.9,” “94.5 KOOL FM,” and “LIVE 101.5” for Super Bowl XLIX. The partnership means the three Valley stations will be the exclusive radio marketing and promotion partners for a variety of exciting events happening throughout the coming year in the build-up to Arizona hosting the Super Bowl on February 1, 2015. CBS RADIO Phoenix SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman states, “KMLE, KOOL and ‘LIVE 101.5’ take great pride in connecting with the local communities of Phoenix and the great state of Arizona. There will be tremendous interest in our city over the next year, and through our exciting partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee we look forward to showcasing all the unique and memorable events planned to commemorate Super Bowl XLIX.” Picture here are morning show talent with Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee president and CEO Jay Parry. From right to left are: Steve Kramer and Nina D. from KMLE, Maria Knight from KOOL, Parry, Smasher from KOOL, and Lady La and JD from KZON.
RadioInfo Humanitarian Alert! As many of our readers are aware, one of the longtime friends of the radio and music industries (and all around good guys), Bruce Moser – co-founder of Could Be Wild, a promotion and marketing firm out of Buffalo – and his family desperately need help. Over the past four decades, Bruce has worked with and was part of breaking acts like U2, Bryan Adams and many more. He had to retire a few years ago due to a major heart attack and series of serious cardiac surgical procedures that nearly killed him and now his wife Mary Moser (pictured here) is in a coma after a tragic fall on July 17 caused by a embolism which resulted in a massive brain bleed and injury requiring immediate brain surgery. She is still currently in a natural (not medically induced) coma in the ECMC LTC facility in Terrace View. She has since had a portion of her skull replaced, a permanent shunt, and a tracheotomy and peg tube. From what the CT scans and EEGs show, it looks like her speech and motor functions could be affected. She has no speech and hardly any movement. There is no telling when she will wake, or what state she will be in when she does, but one thing is for sure: This is going to be a long road to recovery and the financial burden is proving devastating to the Moser family! Anyone in the industry interested in helping this family in distress – good people who are part of the extended “industry family” to which we all hopefully still belong – can find out how by visiting a fundraising campaign currently underway at YouCaring.com. Please click here.
Holiday PPM Data – Part Two. The second round of Nielsen Audio‘s Holiday 2013 PPM ratings data is out for markets including Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. You can see all the data available for these markets here. As the industry looks back at the period that features the annual addition of Christmas music to playlists, check out RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian‘s “Ten Takeaways” below.
- Washington, DC – Fresh from December’s +1.7, WASH tacks on another +4.3 to 10.6 (6+), powering the Clear Channel adult contemporary outlet from third to first. For the third successive monthly, American University-owned WAMU is down, this time though by a robust -1.5, (8.6 – 8.3 – 7.7 – 6.2, October – Holiday, 6+) and it exchanges places with WASH (#1 – #3). Contemporary Christian WGTS adds one full share (3.1 – 4.1) as it progresses from #13 in December to #7; 4.1 is the station’s best since May 2012 (4.3). Clear Channel country WMZQ has its fourth successive (6+) negative trend (5.0 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 2.7) and has dipped from #7 in September (5.0) to #14 in this “Holiday” report. After three consecutive – albeit modest – gains (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9), Radio One gospel WPRS regresses by -1.3 to 2.6 (#15).
- Boston – It was this time last month when Greater Media adult contemporary WMJX “Magic,” the market’s all-Christmas music station, gained nine-tenths (5.8 – 6.7). It now puts a whopping +5.1 on the board (11.8, 6+) to overtake Clear Channel CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss” at #1. Magic’s 11.8 matches its 6+-stat from one year ago (“Holiday” 21012). This is the third straight monthly that “Kiss” (#1 to #2) has registered a 6.8. Most affected by Magic’s sizeable December – “Holiday” gain is CBS Radio classic rocker WZLX (6.2 – 4.8, – 1.4), which drops from third to sixth. Ironically two of Magic’s cluster-mates – country WKLB (6.0 – 4.9, #5) and classic hits WROR (5.5 – 4.4, #8) are down by -1.1.
- Detroit – While Clear Channel adult contemporary WNIC “Detroit’s Best Variety” does not match or better its astonishing November-December +5.1, it nonetheless posts a highly significant +3.6 to 13.4, which just so happens to be the gaudiest 6+ share by any Detroit station in the PPM era. “Detroit’s Best Variety” boasts an exactly two-to-one advantage over its nearest challenger, co-owned urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3,” which improves by +1.1 (5.6 – 6.7). Off by just over one-share (2.5 – 1.4) is Cumulus Media adult hits-turned-country WDRQ, which tumbles from #18 to #21. The “Holiday” survey period covered December 5 – January 1; WDRQ “Nash FM” (formerly “Doug”) flipped formats on December 13.
- Seattle – Not only do two all-Christmas music outlets combine for a +8.0 (December – “Holiday,” 6+), they occupy the market’s top two spots. Posting a massive +6.3 to 13.8 – its best since “Holiday” 2012 (14.2) – Hubbard adult contemporary KRWM “Warm” remains at #1. Chiming in with a +1.7 (4.0 – 5.7) is Crista Ministries contemporary Christian KCMS “Spirit 105.3,” which catapults from a ninth-place tie in December to second. This is Spirit’s best 6+ showing in one year (“Holiday” 2012 – 6.3). Since becoming rhythmic hot AC, KHTP “Hot 103.7″ progressed from 2.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 (September – October – November, 6+); however, the Entercom-owned facility has since slipped to 4.3 (#8, December) and 3.5 (#9, “Holiday”).
- Phoenix – Clear Channel adult contemporary KESZ solidifies its all-Christmas music position with a substantial +6.1 (8.9 – 15.0) and remains #1. It is the highest (6+) share in the “Valley of the Sun” since KESZ posted a 15.9 one year ago (“Holiday” 2012). For the second straight time, KOOL slips by -1.2 (6.1 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+, November-December-”Holiday”). The combined -2.4 has taken the CBS Radio classic hits-oldies facility from #1 (November), to #3 (December), and to #7 (“Holiday”). Bonneville‘s KPKX (3.5 – 2.7, -.8, #13) went through the ratings period as adult hits “The Peak,” but became KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports” five days after the “Holiday” survey concluded.
- Minneapolis – Selecting the single most impressive “Holiday” 2013 success story from those in the 24 PPM markets we have viewed thus far would be extremely challenging, although KQQL “Kool 108″ would be a noteworthy contender. Over and above having the greatest December – “Holiday” (6+) share gain (+7.2) of any station in the 24 PPM markets released to date, the Clear Channel classic hits-oldies station more than doubles its December stat (6.6 – 13.8) as it cruises from fifth to first. Four successive up trends put Kool 108′s (6+) October-November-December-”Holiday” line at a staggering 4.9 – 5.2 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 13.8 (a combined +8.9). Cluster-mates (country) KEEY (5.3, -1.7, #7) and (sports) KFXN (5.3, -1.7, #7) feel Kool 108′s impact, as does Hubbard hot AC KSTP-FM (6.1, -1.3, #5).
- Tampa – Included among Cox Media Group‘s #1-#2-#3-#4 finish are adult contemporary facilities WDUV “Lite Favorites” (+5.3 to 14.1, #1) and WWRM “Magic” (-.6 to 6.5, #2). This represents the sixth time in the last seven PPM reports that “Lite Favorites” and “Magic” (6.0 – 7.1, +1.1) are the market’s 6+ leaders. Progressing by eight-tenths to 5.4 (#3) are co-owned CHR WPOI “Hot,” as well as Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE (2.8, #15). WDUV and WCIE aired all-Christmas tunes during the sweep and they seemed to negatively influence Clear Channel country outlet WFUS “US 103.5″ (4.9, -1.5, #7, down from #3 in December) and CBS Radio country rival WQYK (3.7, -.8, #12, down from #8).
- Denver – Unlike many other stations that featured all-Christmas music during the sweep, Entercom adult contemporary KOSI did not enter the “Holiday” period with a hefty November – December gain. Instead, it had a slim +.2 (6.2 – 6.4) but that was sufficient to keep it at #1. Things though have changed dramatically as KOSI erupts by +4.9 to 11.3, the third-highest share ever recorded by a “Mile High City” facility in PPM methodology; KOSI has the top two as well, 12.8 and 11.6 – both in previous “Holiday” sweeps. Adult standards sibling KEZW also went the all-Christmas route and it enjoys a one-half share increase to 2.2. A 2.2 share (6+) and a #20 finish are quite a PPM accomplishment for an AM station that plays music. Dropping by seven-tenths are Clear Channel talker KOA (5.2 – 4.5, #6) and EMF contemporary Christian KLDV (3.3 – 2.6, #17).
- Baltimore – Make it three consecutive noteworthy progressions for WLIF “Today’s 101.9″ – formerly “Lite-FM.” Going back to October, the CBS Radio adult contemporary station has nearly tripled its 6+ share, trending 4.2 – 5.3 – 6.3 – 11.9 for a cumulative +7.7. In that span, WLIF has advanced from #8 in October to #4 in both November and December, and to #1 in “Holiday” 2013. After six straight months at #1, Clear Channel country WPOC falls to fourth. By comparison, its (6+) October – “Holiday” line score is 9.5 – 9.2 – 7.7 – 5.6 (combined -3.9). Following back-to-back months at 5.0 (October and November), Shamrock classic rocker WZBA dipped to 4.8 (December) and now tumbles by eight-tenths to 4.0 (#8).
- St. Louis – All-Christmas music again proves to be a winner for CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK “Fresh 102.5,” which – in December – vaulted from #8 in November to #1. With a +4.7 to 11.5, it maintains its top-ranked position. Registering its fourth straight up trend, Clear Channel classic hits-oldies KLOU (#2) also enjoys all-Christmas music benefits by spiking with a +2.0 (5.4 – 7.4). This is KLOU’s strongest (6+) share since “Holiday” 2011 (8.0). After advancing by eight-tenths (November – December), Hubbard adult hits WARH “Arch” regresses by -1.3 (6.4 – 5.1, #7, down from #2 in December), while Emmis classic hits WIHT is off by -1.2 (5.0 – 3.8, #9 to #14).
Cox Media Group Announces Openings in Tampa Cluster. With the promotion of Tim Clarke to director of digital audience and the departure of program director Michael Sharkey, Cox Media Group Tampa has three new programming positions as a result of organizational changes following these events. Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless states, “CMG has invested the last four years in creating some of the biggest and most successful brands in Tampa Bay. This is a very unique opportunity that CMG Tampa has not seen in decades. The entire CMG family is eager to welcome the next programming leaders to help take these big brands to the next level.” Positions include:
- CMG Tampa Operations Manager (OM): This new position will oversee all programming and content for CMG Tampa’s six top rated FM brands. Those stations include WWRM “Magic 94.9,” WSUN “97X,” WPOI “HOT 101.5,” WHPT “102.5 The Bone,” WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and WXGL “107.3 The Eagle.” This individual will oversee all program directors and will report to the Tampa VP/market manager. The OM will also have PD responsibilities for one or more stations.
- WPOI/WSUN Program Director: This individual will be responsible for the branding and growth of Tampa Bay’s most innovative 18-49 brands, “HOT 101.5” and “97X.” In its third year in format, “HOT 101.5” is a top ranked CHR while “97X” delivers one of the deepest relationships with its listeners as America’s premiere Listener Driven Radio station. This individual must have a track record of successfully developing brands as well as a deep understanding of emerging digital and social platforms. This position will report to the OM.
- WHPT 102.5 The Bone Program Director: This person will be responsible for the overall operation of America’s hottest talk radio station. “The Bone” has one of radio’s largest personalities with the highest ratings, all on Florida’s hottest signal. The successful candidate will have a track record of successfully operating talk-based formats, working with high-profile talent, and creatively marketing and growing brands like “The Bone.”
Interested candidates should send their resumes and cover letter to Keith Lawless: 1015.Lawless@coxinc.com.
CBS RADIO Launches EDM Station in Las Vegas. A new electronic dance music radio station surfaces in Las Vegas as CBS RADIO creates “Sin 107.5” on the HD 2 channel of alternative KXTE-FM. The company says, “‘Sin 1075 HD2’ will play all of your favorite EDM artists including, Tiesto, Calvin Harris and Avicii.” It moves “Rewind 1075” to the HD2 channel of KMXB at 94.1. Program director Charese Fruge says, “Since Las Vegas is home to one of the largest Electric Daisy Carnival events in the country and a plethora of world famous night clubs that specialize in electronic dance music, it makes perfect sense. There is certainly an appetite for it here in the market and we are excited to be the first to offer this type of programming to the people of Las Vegas.”
Lew Dickey Touts Success of WNSH, New York in Bloomberg Piece; ‘Profitable in 2014.’ In a piece in Bloomberg Business Week, Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey says that its country music flagship WNSH, New York “94.7 NASH FM” (which ranked #19 with all persons in the Nielsen Audio December 2013 PPM) is progressing better than expected. “It’s beating our revenue projections,” Dickey tells Bloomberg. “We ran it on a break-even basis in 2013. It will be profitable in 2014.” The station’s cume in the December PPM ratings was just a hair under 1 million and Dickey says he expects that to grow. “We thought there was an under-served need. I think a million [listeners] is proving that. We think it will grow to a million-and-a-half over the next 12 to 18 months.” Dickey also reiterated the plans to morph the publication Country Weekly into NASH magazine this year and to follow with the development of digital video and audio content.
Journal Broadcast Group Re-Aligns; Separates Radio and TV. The move means that Journal Broadcast Group EVP and GM for the Milwaukee TV and radio stations Steve Wexler takes on the new role of EVP of radio for the company. Debbie Turner is named EVP of television. Journal Communications president and CFO Andre Fernandez explains, “As we have invested in our broadcast businesses and expanded our geographic footprint over the last decade, we believe that repositioning our broadcast segment around television and radio recognizes the unique expertise we’ve always had in Journal Broadcast Group around each medium. These changes also ensure the appropriate strategic focus and resourcing for each business, and should help us further improve our operational performance.”
Michael Harrison to Keynote Canadian Music Week Radio Conference. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison has been named keynote speaker of the radio conference segment of the forthcoming CMW (Canadian Music Week) – one of the world’s largest and most important music industry/media gatherings. He will immediately follow his address titled “Staying Iconic in the New Pop Culture” by serving as interviewer for a personal “Fireside Chat” with Cumulus Media, Inc. chairman and CEO Lew Dickey. Harrison states, “It is going to be a real privilege having the opportunity to express leading-edge concepts that are crucial at this sensitive period of time for radio to embrace in order for it to rise back up as the media leader and major source of forward progress in music culture on so significant an international platform. After that, having the opportunity to share the stage and facilitate a meaningful dialogue with so influential a player as Lew Dickey is the icing on what will hopefully be an informative and inspirational cake, indeed!” The CMW is set for May 6-10, 2014 with the radio segment “Radio Interactive: International Radio Summit” set for May 7-8 during the schedule. The Harrison/Dickey double feature is set for 9:30 am – 10:30 am on Wednesday, May 7. Now in its 32nd year, Canadian Music Week is recognized as one of the premier entertainment events in North America focusing on the business of music. It brings together sound recording, new media and broadcast for one spectacular week of events combining informative, intensive conferences, a cutting-edge trade exhibition, award shows, film festival, comedy festival and Canada’s biggest new music festival. The Canadian Music Week festival spans five nights of performances, with 1,000 showcasing bands at more than 60 live music venues in downtown Toronto. All convention functions take place at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre. For more information call 905-858-4747 or visit www.cmw.net.
Riviera Broadcasting Debuts New Spanish AC in Phoenix Market. The station is KVIB licensed to Sun City West and its being branded “95.1 Solamente Exitos.” The station was launched on Wednesday, January 22 and Riviera Broadcasting COO Jose Rodiles comments, “We’re delighted at the opportunity which has presented itself. The power of our live-and-local programming philosophy, combined with an exclusive format targeting an underserved audience, will benefit not only the Hispanic radio audience, but our advertising partners as well.”
RAB Connects Radio and Home Improvement Spending. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau’s Finding Consumer Trends (F.C.T.) Report, “when consumers are determining their next home improvement project, radio ads influence that decision. Also, listener trust is positively influenced when a favorite radio station personality promotes a particular home improvement project or service – especially among 18-34 year olds.” Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber adds, “The findings from the survey demonstrate radio’s ability to persuade and influence behavior. With 75% of the survey respondents being homeowners, it’s clear that radio is a key medium for home improvement companies and services to reach their target audience.” The study was conducted from October 29 to November 19, 2013 and queried over 12,300 respondents aged 18+ about their home improvement plans, timelines and estimated budgets. The RAB worked with Presslaff Interactive Revenue on the study and determined some of the top goals of homeowners regarding home improvement projects. Presslaff president Ruth Presslaff states, “The information from this report provides RAB members with the information they need to drive sales for their stations. The identification of consumers’ home improvement goals and preferences is certain to open doors for radio sellers and create a dialogue with local home improvement businesses and services.” The RAB and Presslaff are presenting a webinar on this study on January 30 for members. To become an RAB member, please call Member Response at 800-232-3131.
Twitter Tip: Think Twice. Broadcasters using Twitter to connect with their audience are offered some tips from media consultant Holland Cooke who writes the following. Observation: You won’t lose followers by not Tweeting. Twitter is a powerful tool. I myself was a late-adopter, and I’m real impressed. AND IT’S FREE…and that’s a double-edged sword. Tip: Pretend that each Tweet costs you a dollar. Why? Watch your followers numbers. They tend to go down right after you’ve Tweeted something, which, apparently, one or more followers didn’t find relevant. Don’t take it personally! Whoever just left (and I wish there was a way to know who) might’ve followed you in the first place because an earlier Tweet was as enticing as the one that turned ‘em off wasn’t. You yourself will un-follow after perhaps even a Tweet doesn’t grab you. Spam is spam, whatever the platform. I was recently exposed to some research that demonstrated something you might find unsurprising: Tweets about one’s self get re-Tweeted less than Tweets which link to third party internet content. In Contagious: Why Things Catch On (Simon & Schuster), Wharton prof Jonah Berger writes, “People like to pass along practical useful information. News others can use.” Social media is sharing. Facebook seems to be degenerating into pictures of what the waiter just delivered.
Benztown Continues Charitable Relationship with ‘Dawson McAllister Live.’ Imaging, production, and programming company Benztown is renewing its partnership with Dawson McAllister Productions and TheHopeLine to provide, on a monthly basis, dozens of fully produced imaging pieces, and access to its CHR and country imaging libraries for the weekly “Dawson McAllister Live!” program that provides help for troubled young people. In a statement, Benztown says that with its support and the help of other charitable partners, the “Dawson McAllister Live!” show and off-air call center TheHopeLine, was able to intervene on behalf of 3,033 suicidal teens and young adults and helped rescue them from despair. Dave “Chachi” Denes, president of Benztown, says, “We are proud to continue our relationship with Dawson McAllister, Jessica McVay, Weston Crafton, and the talented team at Dawson McAllister Productions. The mission of this non-profit organization is an important one, and the imaging of the station is a critical link to teens and young adults. Together, ‘DM Live!’ and TheHopeLine have helped prevent thousands of teen and young adult suicides each year. It is important to our team at Benztown to contribute outstanding audio imaging and production to connect with those teens and young adults in an authentic and powerful way.”
KBFB, Dallas Music Director Preston Lowe Dead at 45. The cause of death has not been released but co-workers and colleagues are mourning the death of urban programmer Preston Lowe who died at his home early today (1/23). Lowe had been with Radio One’s KBFB “97.9 The Beat” since February of 2012. Prior to that he had programmed urban stations in West Palm Beach, Riverside and Austin.
Blaine Fowler Re-Ups with CHR WDVD, Detroit. The morning drive show “Blaine & Allyson in the Morning” will continue with Blaine Fowler and Allyson Martinek as the former signs a contract renewal to keep him with the station through 2017. WDVD reports that since joining mornings on the station in 2003, Fowler has helped grow the station’s audience year after year making it Detroit’s #1 station among Women 25-54. Fowler states, “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow the ‘Blaine & Allyson’ audience. I am especially grateful to John Dickey and all at Cumulus Media for making this happen!” Dickey comments, “Blaine Fowler is an essential part of Cumulus Detroit’s present and future success. He and Allyson have a special chemistry that listeners and advertisers love.”
Jane Monzures New Midday Personality at ‘Chicago’s 100.3.’ Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WILV “Chicago’s 100.3” has filled the afternoon drive slot recently vacated by Brian Middleton with market media pro Jane Monzures. She had most recently been voice tracking shows for WIQI prior to Cumulus Media’s takeover of the station from Merlin Media. WILV program director Marty Bender states, “We are excited to hear Jane’s wit, energy and positivity every day from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. While Jane did a few ‘warm up’ shows over the long holiday weekend, today will be Jane’s first official day as afternoon host.” She’s also done television work in the market and currently hosts the Sunday morning “Living Healthy Chicago” program on WGN-TV. In a statement, Monzures comments, “I am thrilled to be a part of the Hubbard team and excited to spend my afternoons on 100.3. Like a good pair of shoes, this is a perfect fit for me.”
Little Rock’s KDIS Appoints Vaile GM. Gary Vaile has been tapped to be general manager of the Little Rock frequency at 99.5. As the call letters suggest, the station had been a Radio Disney affiliate and was owned by The Walt Disney Company. The station though has been silent for nearly six months; a sale to Salem Communications Corporation is pending. Salem Radio Division president David Santrella comments, “Gary brings the whole package to us for this market. He is a local guy with many years in ownership and radio management. He has vast experience in formats similar to our core formats. We look at Gary as a perfect fit for this new acquisition.” Vaile’s entire radio career has been spent in Little Rock, including general manager stints at three stations in the Arkansas market. Yesterday (1/20) was his first day at KDIS.
Renard Communications Fires Up Classic Hits Simulcast in Syracuse Market. The station is being branded “95.3 and 103.9 The Dinosaur” and is heard on WNDR at 103.9 licensed to Mexico, New York and on translator W237AY at 95.3 licensed to Dewitt, New York. The air staff for the station includes: morning host and program director Nick Caplan; morning news anchor Melissa Midgley; Tony Fallico in middays; Bob Brown in PM drive and Peter Naughton in evenings.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. At Vermont Broadcast Associates’ country WKXH, St. Johnsbury, Vermont “Kix 105.5 FM,” Val Davis is named morning host and program director. He previously was morning host at the company’s adult contemporary WGMT “Magic 97.7.”…..Curtis Booker is the new assistant program director and evening personality at Queen B-owned rhythmic CHR KEZE, Spokane “Hot 96.9.”
LDR Interactive Announces GRUVR App Seeing Wide Distribution. Highlighted by the format flip of WFLC, Miami to CHR as “HITS 97.3” and that station’s use of GRUVR to allow listeners to vote for songs they’d like to hear next, LDR Interacative reports in just five months more than 120 apps have been released, attracting over 5 million user sessions. The company says that the iPhone, iPad and Android apps, created by LDR Interactive and white-labelled for each station’s brand, provide listeners with a real-time interactive experience featuring live audio streams from their favorite music stations, voting for the songs, an ‘open mic’ feature allowing them to create instant dedications in their own voice, and extensive integration with Facebook and Twitter. It also says its app for ‘Hot FM 91.3’ (Singapore) was recognized last week with a Mob-Ex award for “Best App/Content by a Media Owner” for its best-in-class mobile application and content to engage their audience. Launched originally through a partnership with Cox Media Group’s 33 music radio stations, the app also features a novel ‘alarm clock’ function awakening listeners with a custom greeting including their local weather forecast, names of Facebook friends having birthdays and station contest reminders – before automatically starting the station’s audio stream. Pioneering radio engagement technology in 2009, LDR Interactive’s patent-pending technology and interactive programming is on the air at over 300 radio stations, networks, and broadcast groups in the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia. Since 2012, the company’s clients have generated over $4 million dollars in new digital revenues and sponsorships as a result of the LDR Interactive systems.
Short Ideas for a Short Week. As the industry returns from a holiday weekend, digital media consultant Chris Miller offers some quick thoughts regarding your digital efforts. If you’re still wondering about the changes Facebook made that affect the way content lines up on your news feed, Miller has three items to consider. Also check out his thoughts on the type of content you put on your station website and whether that content lines up with your brand’s “message.” Plus, Chris has a final word about attitude. Check it all out here.
Journal’s Rock KICT, Wichita Turns 35. In commemoration of the 35th anniversary of Journal Broadcast Group’s rock KICT, Wichita “T95,” the City of Wichita has declared this week “T95 Week.” KICT flipped to rock on January 24, 1979 from country and program director Johnny Maze says, “With so many changes in today’s radio environment, it’s amazing to see any radio station enjoy the longevity of format that T95 has. Serving Wichita rock fans and helping the community for 35 years is an awesome testament to the strength of the ‘T95’ brand and the loyalty of our listeners.”
WRIF, Detroit’s Dave & Chuck the Freak Release New Game App. WRIF, Detroit morning show host Dave & Chuck the Freak have launched a new, updated version of “Dave & Chuck The Freak’s Kick Ass Game.” The game is an app available for iPhone and Android users which can be downloaded for 99 cents through both iTunes and Google’s Play Store. The game features Dave and Chuck the Freak working their way through levels of the game to save Lisa Way from the game’s villains, such as “Vanilla Rice” and other characters based from the duo’s morning drive show. It was developed in Detroit by Red Piston Inc. The station says that as big fans of the show, the developers at Red Piston Inc. designed the game in conjunction with Dave and Chuck to give fans something from the guys while they were off the air.
iHeartRadio and CC Country Station Websites Avenues for New Kip Moore Video. The new video for Kip Moore’s “Young Love” will be premiered on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio service and the website of the company’s country stations in addition to CMT and Artist.CMT today as part of the relationship between CC and CMT. The track is the lead single from Moore’s upcoming sophomore album and is his fastest rising single to date, following three consecutive #1 hits from his debut album.
Manley Moves to Seattle’s “End.” Three-year KXTE, Las Vegas assistant program director and afternoon drive talent Jon Manley departs the CBS Radio alternative outlet for similar duties at Entercom Seattle’s KNDD “The End.” KNDD program director Garett Michaels comments, “Jon’s breadth of experience, passion for music, and strong desire to win made him the standout choice amongst an impressive pool of candidates for this position. In addition, the enthusiasm he expressed for coming to Seattle and joining ‘The End’ make us confident that he is the perfect fit for this team.” Manley adds, “When I started in radio I wrote down my goals. One of them was that someday I would work for KNDD. I am truly honored and am beyond excited to accept the job. I can’t wait to get to work.” He begins in two weeks (2/3) and succeeds Corey O’Brien who left alternative-formatted “The End” last month.
John Lund Moves to CC Panama City. After serving as operations manager for Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s Macon, Georgia cluster and regional programming manager, John Lund heads farther south to take on the OM role at the company’s Panama City, Florida cluster that includes country WPAP, adult contemporary WFSY “Sunny 98.5,” hip hop WEBZ “99.3 The Beat,” news/talk WFLF and sports talk WDIZ “ESPN 590.” Lund says, “I’ve really enjoyed my career in radio throughout the years and I can’t think of a better place to bring my family than Florida’s Emerald Coast. I’m really excited to join the Clear Channel Panama City team and reach new levels of success.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Brian Gann is leaving Journal Broadcast Group Tulsa to program Clear Channel San Antonio news/talk WOAI and sports KTKR “The Ticket.” While in Tulsa, Gann was operations manager of adult hits KBEZ “Bob FM,” KFAQ “Tulsa’s Talk Radio,” CHR KHTT “K-Hits,” KVOO “Today’s Country Variety,” and classic country KXBL “Big Country.”…..Morning drive host Marty Whitney exits Shamrock Communications’ alternative KRZQ, Reno “The Real Alternative.”…..Bootleg Kev joins CBS Radio’s hip hop WLLD, Tampa “WiLD 94.1 to host the afternoon drive show. He most recently served with Riviera Broadcasting’s KKFR, Mayer, Arizona “Power 98.3.”…..Shaun Ridder is the new evening host at Clear Channel CHR WRNW, Milwaukee “97.3 Radio NOW.” He fills the slot left by Riggs, who exited for Entercom’s crosstown WXSS “Kiss FM” last year…..At NextMedia’s classic rock WRXQ, Coal City, Illinois “Q-Rock,” morning host Elwood adds assistant program director duties.
Cumulus-Affiliated Rdio Digital Music Service Debuts Ad-Supported Model. The cross-platform digital music service Rdio is announcing a new ad-supported music service available in the United States, putting it in competition with other music providers in a growing field. The reason Rdio is so interesting to RadioInfo readers is the recently announced promotion and ad sales agreement between Rdio and Cumulus Media that will have the Cumulus ad sales force working to support this new initiative. In a piece published on January 19, TheNextWeb.com provides some context for the challenge Rdio – and others – face in creating a sustainable business model. With the knowledge that young music consumers especially are fans of digital delivery systems as the backdrop, the news that Rdio is unveiling this service and that others either already are or are preparing to offer no- or low-pay music services raises questions for all audio entertainment providers about how much advertising is necessary to make it work or how much consumers will pay to enjoy commercial-free music and what need be done to get them to pay for a particular service. As TheNextWeb.com notes, Spotify recently removed some limits making it easier to enjoy the service and Beats Music (the headphone company) is preparing to offer a subscription music service. The fact that Apple, Google and Microsoft have deep pockets, giving them the ability to go years without a profit in the music service sector, makes them tough competitors. How the digital music business will ultimately shake out is anyone’s guess but these new entries serve to further illustrate that the choices for the consumer keep growing. Read TheNextWeb.com piece here.
Plans Underway for Ron Ruth Memorial Benefit. The event celebrating the life of Ron Ruth will take place next month (Tuesday, 2/25) at the New York Friars Club and is being organized by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) in conjunction with the Broadcasters Foundation. Actively arranging the festivities for their late broadcast colleague are The Friends of Ron Ruth Memorial Benefit Committee consisting of Erica Farber, Norm Feuer, George Hyde, Bill Moyes, Herb McCord, Jeff Smulyan, Jim Thompson, and Erle Younker. A portion of the proceeds from the $250 ticket price will be donated to the Ron Ruth Memorial Fund at the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Ruth was executive vice president of stations for the RAB for 19 years. He held sales manager positions for Unistar Radio Networks, as well as at the local level in markets such as New York (WOR-FM), Chicago (WNUS), Washington, DC (WGMS), and Buffalo (WYSL). Ruth left Unistar to join the Radio Advertising Bureau in 1992. Most recently, he was consulting the RAB. He died of a heart attack this past November 16 in Florida.
New York Festivals International Radio Competition Announces Call for Entries. Now through March 19, the New York Festivals is accepting entries for the 32nd annual “World’s Best Radio Programs” competition. This competition is unique in that entries are received from between 30 and 50 nations across the globe each year. Competition executive director Rose Anderson tells RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian that global scope is important, “One thing that is most important to us is that we make New York Festivals Radio Program Awards a destination for people all over the world who are creating radio that is interesting, innovative, and of very high quality.” Anderson adds that the grand jury members (judges) enjoy the high quality of radio they review. “They have consistently written comments that the quality of the entries is fantastic. People are entering material in drama, news, documentaries, talk, and music that continues to make new ways of telling stories. We have had entries from Radio Free Asia; from folks on the scene who described the riots in Cairo; and people from Romania who submitted amazing audio of drama.” With 130 headings, the scope of the competition is wide. To find out more about the New York Festivals Radio Program Awards, click here.
Opinion: Hang On A Minute, Bill. Weighing in on the Bill O’Reilly’s recent “promotion” for Pandora, RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian observes: “On the positive side, Bill O’Reilly last week let known his partisanship for one particular iconic American vocal group on his Fox News Channel television program. Conversely, terrestrial music radio programmers just might remember certain comments he made should O’Reilly ever look to them to plug his next book or project on that platform. In an approximately 45-second “Tip of the Day” segment, the “O’Reilly Factor” host gave a thumbs-up to Pandora over terrestrial radio. “Do you like music,” he queried. “I do [and] there are plenty of free ways to get it. The easiest way is to turn on the radio.” So far, so good. Then O’Reilly said, “The problem with the radio is that for every good song there are three bad songs. So, you can hear [good songs] like The Beach Boys‘ ’Help Me Rhonda,’ [and] ‘Fun, Fun, Fun.’ [Those are] good songs, but then you’ll hear ’Hang on Sloopy’ – painful.” Off-camera laughter was audible as O’Reilly winced at the thought of The McCoys‘ song. His advice was to have his audience “check out” Pandora.com’s free website. In amazement, he remarked about the logistics of typing “the song you like and you get the song played to you. Then, you get other songs similar to it [so] you are basically creating your own radio station. Let me know what you think.” After having mentioned Pandora by name three times in under one minute, O’Reilly insisted he “had no interest in that website at all.” His motive was to tell his audience because, “I like you.” Not to nitpick the host, but his mention of “Help Me Rhonda” and “Fun, Fun, Fun” sounded like one run-on title, especially since he said, “That is a good song.” Moreover, he was only able to cite one “painful” tune, compared to two good ones. Whether or not by coincidence, the three specific titles O’Reilly mentioned were from the mid-1960s. We wonder if he has heard of YouTube yet.
Cumulus ‘Big Game’ Party. The scene here is the Roseland Ballroom in New York City yesterday as Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ; country WNSH “Nash FM 94.7,” and news/talk WABC come together to put on a ‘Big Game Party’ in honor of the NFL’s championship being decided in the nearby Met Life stadium in two weeks. Sunday’s event was hosted by Todd Pettengill of WPLJ. The venue was filled to capacity with over 3,000 guests enjoying a sports expo, playoff viewing party, station games, and food. Former New York Giants wide receiver and NBC Sports Radio Network personality Amani Toomer was on hand meeting the many loyal listeners! Pettengill states, “The first annual Cumulus Big Game Party was an absolute example of synergy. Three radio stations with different audiences, air staff’s, came together to make the perfect circle of success. I can’t wait for next January!” The evening concluded with a performance by Daughtry.
Thoughts for a New Year. Although the group U2 aptly sang that nothing changes on New Year’s Day – which is partially true in a sense – RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie outlines and reconfirms this publication’s primary goals and commitments for 2014. They include the addition EDM (electronic dance music) and alternative rock/country components to our industry service, and a tell-it-like-it is ongoing assessment of what he describes as the “dumb two-headed monster” that threatens the very existence of radio as we have come to know and love it. To read Doobie’s new column, please click here.
Clear Channel and SFX Team Up for EDM Promotions. Clear Channel Media + Entertainment and Robert F.X. Sillerman’s SFX Entertainment are co-operating on a three-pronged EDM-based promotional deal. The first is the creation of a national DJ talent contest airing live on select Clear Channel stations nationwide, as well as on Evolution, iHeartRadio’s dance music hub, with parts of the competition taking place at iHeartRadio Theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The winner will appear at Mysteryland, SFX’s newest U.S. festival taking place on Memorial Day 2014 in Woodstock, New York, and also receive a recording contract with Beatport and a major record label. Part two is the creation of a weekly Top 20 Countdown from Beatport, to air on Clear Channel stations nationwide, including on CC’s major market hit music stations. Finally, the original live event series provides a framework for event creation in the electronic music space, specifically a national electronic music culture event program focused around Halloween 2014. Sillerman comments, “Partnering with the clear leader in broadcast and digital radio is a key strategic relationship for SFX. The framework we have established with Clear Channel, whose stations include ‘KIIS-FM’ and ‘Z100,’ brings the electronic music category to a broader audience and delivers on what we believe the young music consumer wants today. It also allows us to amplify the promotion of DJ/producers who are the life-blood of our industry.”
New Year Changes at Facebook That Affect You. Digital media consultant Chris Miller informs us that Facebook recently made some important changes that affect how users get to show the content they do. Miller writes, “The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official. The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits. That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is ‘sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.’” Miller says that all social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see. Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving. Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base. Read Miller’s column here.
Cumulus Adds New Orleans’ WRKN to ‘NASH’ Format Roster. Cumulus Media drops the rock on WRKN, New Orleans and flips the station to country under the “NASH” format. When all of the planned O&O flips are complete, the company will have more than 60 stations carrying the “NASH” brand. The station will air the nationally syndicated programs “Kickin’ It with Kix” hosted by Kix Brooks, “NASH Nights Live” with Shawn Parr and “American Country Countdown.” It is currently looking for a program director of the station and applicants are urged to apply to Mike McVay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York City’s WWRL Officially Transitions to Regional Mexican. The format change involving Access.1,New York City progressive-leaning talk outlet WWRL is not a surprise – TALKERS reported last month (12/16) that it would happen. We now have more details though including that the station’s new identity is “La Invasora 1600 AM.” Vice president/general manager Adriane Gaines comments, “New York City is the 15th-largest economy in the world – almost one in four residents is Hispanic. ’La Invasora 1600 AM’ has an excellent signal which reaches from its home base in New York City to across the entire metro. Access.1 has a rich history of serving ethnic audiences. The creation and launch of ‘La Invasora 1600 AM’ is a natural extension of our company’s legacy in providing genuine value to our audiences and advertisers.” Executive vice president of SupeRadio Latino Network Jesse Rios remarks, “‘La Invasora 1600 AM’ will serve as the flagship station of the SupeRadio Latino Network. It will provide national programs including ‘Hablando Immigracion con attorney J.A. Garcia’ and the ‘Intimidades Show con Betty,’ an interactive music show. This is a great radio station that is going to change the radio landscape in New York City. Mexican Hispanics have long awaited a radio station designed especially for them.” Other SupeRadio Network shows include “La Invasion Mananera con El Gordo y Mamizukii,” Alex “El Genio” Lucas, “Tardes con Iliana Sanchez ‘La Nena,’” “Erazno y la Chokolata,” and SuperGol Sports. December 2013 ratings for WWRL (Nielsen Audio PPM) did not appear in print.
Cox Media Adds Atlanta Media Star to WALR Weekend Lineup. Cox Media Group rhythmic oldies WALR “KISS 104.1 FM” announces the launch of the Monica Pearson show on Sunday January 12 from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm. Pearson – an Atlanta broadcast legend and award-winning journalist – will host the show that promises “engaging talk, smooth R&B music from the 70s to today, and fascinating information from one of Atlanta’s most-trusted media talents.” Pearson comments, “I am extremely excited about working for ‘KISS 104.1,’ Atlanta’s best R&B. It allows me to return to my first love, radio, working with great music, great people and to remain in the Cox Media Group family. This is an opportunity for people to see me in a different light. After all, I consider myself the Madonna of broadcasting ̶ always changing.” Pearson is the first woman and first minority to anchor the daily evening news in Atlanta, where she worked for 37 years at WSB-TV. During her career she won more than 33 Southern Regional and local Emmy Awards for reporting, anchoring and her “Closeups” celebrity interview show. She retired from WSB-TV in 2012 and writes her “Monica Matters” column for the quarterly magazine, Southern Seasons. She also is attending the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to earn a Master’s Degree.
Hotchkiss Transfers to Charlotte as Director of Sales. As of today (1/6), Keith Hotchkiss is Clear Channel Charlotte’s director of sales. He joins that operation from Cleveland where he was general sales manager of Clear Channel-owned CHR WAKS “Kiss-FM,” news/talk WTAM, rock WMMS, and WMMS-HD2 “99X.” Regional Market Manager Charlie Wilkinson remarks that, “Keith’s proven sales leadership will have an immediate impact in Charlotte. I’m confident he will be an integral part of our success now and well into the future.” Clear Channel’s five-station Charlotte cluster consists of alternative WEND “The End,” CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1,” country WKKT “The Kat,” adult hits WLKO “The Lake,” and classic rock WRFX “The Fox.”
Bonneville Phoenix Shuts Down Adult Hits KPKX ’98.7 The Peak’; 11 Staffers Dismissed as Station Flips to Sports Talk Simulcast. It had been a 10-year run for adult hits KPKX, Phoenix “98.7 The Peak” but the most recent 6+ PPM ratings saw KPKX scoring a 3.4 share putting it in 10th place in the market. Vice president and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “We want to sincerely thank everyone at ‘98.7 The Peak’ for accomplishing great things over the past 10 years.” Eleven of the station’s staffers were let go as a result of the station’s flip to a simulcast of sister sports talker KTAR-AM.
Cumulus Program Director Changes. Three departures to report in the programming departments of the company’s New Orleans and Wilkes Barre-Scranton clusters. In New Orleans, five-year program director Jason Ginty leaves sports WMTI “106.1 The Ticket” and alternative WRKN “Rock 92.3″ as the latter station flips to country. He previously was production director for New Orleans outlets that Citadel (now Cumulus) owned; was creative services director in the market for KKND “The End”; and worked in Lafayette, Louisiana for KRDJ. Also, APD and music director Stacey Brady departs WRKN as a format change is expected to take place today (1/6). Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, owing to family matters, roughly two-year CHR WBHT and rock WBSX “97-9 X” program director Kenny Wall resigns. His last day at the Wilkes Barre-Scranton stations before he returns to Arkansas will be one week from Wednesday (1/15). Wall previously spent five years in Tulsa programming alternative KMYZ “Z 104.5 The Edge” and was PD/afternoon drive talent at Birmingham alternative outlet WRAX “The X @100.5.”
Compass Names Ingold Sales Exec. Compass Media Networks brings Doug Ingold aboard as senior director of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming beginning January 20. The company says Ingold “will be based in Los Angeles and assume a vital role in the expansion of Compass’ long-form entertainment and music shows including Big D & Bubba, “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Off The Record,” “Out of Order,” Rick Dees and “Skratch N Sniff.” Compass VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur comments, “Our entertainment portfolio is growing rapidly and the time is right for us to add someone of Doug’s caliber to spearhead day-to-day affiliate marketing.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Stephanie Sabota is promoted to local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Tampa cluster. She has served with the company in Tampa for the past four years as account manager. Cluster vice president and market manager Keith Lawless says, “Stephanie is a natural when it comes to developing business and people. She has been a valuable part of our sales team, and I’m confident she will be a valuable member our sales management team.”…..At Flinn Broadcasting’s hip hop KHXT, Memphis “Hot 107.1,” the syndicated Rickey Smiley show takes over the morning drive slot. As a result, KHXT midday personality Superman steps into the local producer role for Smiley’s program and current morning host TK moves to the midday daypart.
Questions About ‘Q101’and WKQX Calls in Chicago. In a story about the deal between Merlin Media and Cumulus Media that has the latter operating classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago and adult hits WIQI, Chicago under an LMA with an option to buy, Crain’s Chicago Business reports DuPage Radio LLC owner Matt Dubiel says he has a contractual rights to the “Q101” brand under a deal with Merlin Media for an online station he’s operating. He also says he was promised the WKQX call letters would not be re-assigned to the 101.1 signal in Chicago. The report also notes that Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says he’s not concerned about the matter since his company has no plans to use the “Q101” brand.
Four New Integrations for iHeartRadio. Clear Channel announces its iHeartRadio digital entertainment platform is headed to dashboards in three auto makes, including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Kia. In addition to these OEMs, iHeartRadio will also be available via platform solution provider Bosch. The company states that in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover vehicles equipped with Bosch SoftTec’s innovative InControl Apps platform, Volvo vehicles equipped with the Sensus Connect infotainment solution and Kia vehicles with UVO will have access to iHeartRadio.
Analysis: 2014 NMX Podcasters Conference. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the New Media Expo and the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. First up, Cooke reports from the weekend’s happenings at 2014 NMX. Cooke says the standing-room-only crowd was replete with people focused on talking targeted, passionate interests with its audience. “And they’re not just talking to your geographical area. And they are not merely, as clichéd station imaging assures, ‘talking-about what-you’re-talking-about,’” says Cooke. “Instead of belaboring Benghazi, they’re bonding with ‘overwhelmed adoptive moms, by telling the truth about the post-adoption journey, so they feel validated and encouraged for the road ahead.’ If more station websites offered narrowcast content that’s specifically appealing, and used transmitters to invite those moms to engage, new digital revenue would follow.” Read Cooke’s entire report from 2014 NMX in Las Vegas here.