Tag: "Power 96.1"
Beasley CEO George Beasley on Medical Leave. Filling in for company chief executive officer George Beasley is EVP/CFO Caroline Beasley. According to a statement from Beasley Broadcast Group, she’ll be interim CEO during his absence. The notice of medical leave for George Beasley does not go into specifics but says the changes take effect immediately. Caroline Beasley – George Beasley’s 53-year-old daughter – has served as the company’s executive vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary since 1994 and as a director since 1983. Caroline Beasley comments, “George’s passion for radio and his entrepreneurial spirit have made a positive and lasting impact on the industry and in the development and long-term success of Beasley Broadcast Group. On behalf of Company employees, family, friends and business associates, our heartfelt thoughts are with George during his medical leave. Out of respect, we will be honoring his request for privacy and will not be commenting further on his condition at this time.”
Jennifer Wilde Takes Over Charlie Tuna Show. Radio personality Jennifer Wilde is being named the host of late radio legend Charlie Tuna’s nationally syndicated program. Wilde had been tapped by Tuna to host his program while he was ill, in fact she announced his death on the program. Now, syndicator Talent Farm says Wilde will remain with the show and is available to sign on new stations. Wilde comments, “It was a dream to work with a radio legend like Charlie Tuna. I never imagined he’d ask me to keep his studio seat warm when he needed time off. And I surely never saw myself as the one who’d be on the radio telling the world that he’d passed away. And yet, here I am…missing him with the rest of his fans. And I’m now honored to announce that I will stay on with Charlie Tuna’s radio stations in syndication through Talent Farm.” Wilde’s career includes time serving with Westwood One; KALC, Denver; KQKS, Denver; and KDON, Salinas-Monterey, California. In other news from Talent Farm, Dave “Sky Walker” Skyler steps in and continues hosting the daily “Hollywood Minute.” Also, Charlie Tuna’s “Best of The ‘70s” program continues to be available to stations The company says, “Charlie’s inimitable personality, voice, humor, and passion for the music, artists, and pop culture of the ‘70s comes through, surrounded by classic hits of the era.”
CMG Miami Names Giselle Andres Morning Host on WFEZ. Handling wake-up duties for Cox Media Group’s Miami adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1 FM,” effective March 28, is market radio pro Giselle Andres. CMG notes that Andres is a “multi-talented bilingual radio and television personality” who’s worked for the past 25 years in South Florida. She most recently served with Actualidad Media Group’s “Exitos 107.” Andres comments, “Living in South Florida since the age of eight, my entire career has been based in two languages in a multi-cultural community. To work for the top leader in the radio industry, Cox Media Group, means I am surrounded by excellence. This drives me to wake up early and wish a good morning to listeners who I already consider friends. Just like the ‘Easy 93.1’ audience, I, too, grew up singing along to Madonna’s music and eating pastelitos in Miami. I can’t wait to hear other people’s stories!”
Cumulus Adds Two Air Talent to WEBE, Bridgeport Staff. Connecticut radio personality Beth Foster joins Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport adult contemporary WEBE, Bridgeport to co-host the morning drive program with current AM personality Jay Michaels. At the same time, current swing shift personality Andy Madison is promoted to full-time status with the station, joining Mike McGowan on the afternoon drive show as co-host and traffic reporter. Speaking about Beth Foster’s appointment, WEBE operations manager Danny Lyons states, “I am most impressed with Beth’s commitment and connection to our listeners on the air as well as through all our digital assets. She’ll shine in the morning on WEBE108!”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. In San Diego, Local Media San Diego’s urban contemporary XHRM-FM “Magic 92.5” names Sheryl Love producer for the “Jagger & Kristi in the Morning” program. Love has most recently been serving with the company’s sister CHR XHTZ “Z90.3” as a part-time and fill-in air talent. She began her radio career as a promotion assistant with the two stations in 2006…..iHeartMedia’s CHR WWPW, Altanta “Power 96.1” has a new morning show consisting of current AM drive staffer Riley Couture and new talent PK and (his wife) Denise Kalentzis. The new show is called “PK and Riley.” PK and Kalentzis come from their most recent gig with CBS RADIO’s CHR KKHH, Houston “Hot 95.7.” Couture remained on air after Scotty K’s recent departure from the station…..Christine Martindale has exited the midday show at Mt. Wilson Broadcasters-owned country station KKGO, Los Angeles “Go Country.”…..Rachel Jones is the new midday personality at Cumulus Media’s CHR WWWQ, Atlanta “Q100.” She comes from Alpha Media’s San Antonio CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1” where she co-hosted the morning show as “Blondie.” She takes over for Kevin Quinn who remains with the station for weekends…..Cumulus Media announces Jeff Pezzano is named VP of sales for its Youngstown, Ohio operations, Pezzano will lead sales development and strategy for the eight-station cluster that includes: CHR WHOT “HOT 101,” country WQXK “K105 FM,” classic rock WYFM “Y103,” rock WWIZ “Rock 104,” sports talk WBBW “1240 AM ESPN,” sports talk WLLF-FM, “Sports Radio 96.7,” news/talk WPIC, and talk WSOM.
Nielsen’s March 2014 RADAR Report Says Radio Listening Up. According to the soon-to-be-released March 2014 RADAR 120 National Radio Listening Report from Nielsen, total radio listening has increased in the past 12 months by 1.2 million weekly listeners. Stating that radio now reaches 244.4 million Americans, Nielsen also breaks it down a bit adding that “the national audience aged 18 to 34 grew by more than half a million compared to the previous year, reaching 91.9% of all 18 to 34 year-olds.” As far as time spent listening is concerned, the report indicates the average total time spent listening to AM/FM radio is 2 hours and 41 minutes (persons 12+), a figure that remains steady from the time documented last March.
Vaughn Moves on From Beasley’s WRDW, Philadelphia. There’s no detailed explanation from Beasley Broadcasting’s Philadelphia cluster where programmer Rick Vaughn is exiting his PD post at hip hop WRDW “Wired 96.5” after a month on the job – just that the two sides have mutually agreed to part amicably. Vaughn came to WRDW from his most recent gig at Clear Channel’s Atlanta group where he had programmed CHR WWPW “Power 96.1” and alternative WRDA “Radio 107.5.”
CRB/CRS Mayne Man Earns An Extension. More specifically, that would be five more years for Bill Mayne as executive director of the Country Radio Broadcasters and Country Radio Seminar. CRB/CRS president Charlie Morgan comments that under Mayne’s leadership, “The Country Radio Seminar has experienced a true renaissance, with annual growth in attendance, sponsorship and engagement from all involved. His tireless dedication, boundless energy, and contagious enthusiasm for CRB/CRS have driven the success we are enjoying. We are thrilled to know Bill will continue to be our leader for the next half-decade.” Mayne remarks, “To be able to work with and learn from the most united group of strong and incredibly talented core staff is humbling. Our board’s leadership is extremely focused in vision and benefits for our constituents. These two factors not only support – but empower – all of our efforts to provide the absolute best and affordable experience possible for all who engage at CRS.” Before overseeing the non-profit organization’s operations since 2011, Mayne was on its board of directors.
More RadioInfo Career Moves. There’s a new co-host on the “Bender Nation” morning show at Clear Channel’s CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 Kiss FM” as former “The Bachelor” cast member Molly Mesnick becomes part of the crew on March 17…..Also in Seattle at Hubbard Radio’s alternative KLCK “Click 98.9,” Jackie Cunningham joins the morning program. Cunningham had worked at crosstown KBKS as Bender’s co-host in morning drive…..Radio One moves Eddie Harrell from his VP/GM role at the Columbus cluster to the same post at its Cleveland operations. He takes over for Jeffrey Wilson who was recently promoted to regional vice president for the company’s Midwest stations…..Jon Daniels is promoted to program director/brand manager at Connoisseur Media’s adult contemporary WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K98.3.” He continues his afternoon drive duties and assumes the PD gig from “K98.3” morning host Steve Harper who continues in that role…..At Main Line Broadcasting’s country WLFV, Richmond “93.1 The Wolf,” Braden Smith is named program director and afternoon personality. Smith most recently was PM drive jock and APD at Telemedia Broadcasting’s country WGRX, Fredericksburg, Virginia “Thunder 104.5.”…..Clear Channel expands the reach of the WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show to its rock WTFX, Louisville “93.1 The Fox.”
Picking Songs in Jacksonville. At the Cox Media Group cluster in Jacksonville, Anthony “Kobe” Fargo (air name “Kane”) works with program director Todd Shannon selecting music that will air on CHR WAPE. He tells RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian that “every station in Cox is handled in a unique and independent situation, although we do share information. Songs that get played in Long Island on CHR WBLI won’t always be the same as those in Tampa on WPOI and the ones in Tampa might be different from those in Jacksonville. Tampa is not like Jacksonville and Long Island is not like Jacksonville.” Fargo says he takes pride in having good ears for picking hits and says he has a pretty good batting average to back it up. This comes in an era when a lot of the industry is programmed from the corporate top down. To read more about Fargo’s take on selecting music, click here.
Sacramento’s “Hot 103.5” Transitions to Rhythmic CHR. At Entravision’s Sacramento cluster, the company evolved mainstream CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” to rhythmic CHR. Representative artists on the station will include Beyonce, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Pharrell, and Pitbull. Senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions Angelica Balderas comments that, “Sacramento is one of the most diverse cities in America. KHHM’s music and on-air personalities reflect the vibrant and diverse community that we serve. KHHM is a beloved radio station in the Sacramento market, and we look forward to building upon our existing success with our new programming and talent line-up.” That roster includes Sugabear, Amanda, and Karli (morning drive); Andrea Gomez (middays); JayMarZZ (afternoon drive); and Soosh*e (nights). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s January 2014 monthly, KHHM registers a 3.0. Its December-“Holiday”-January (6+) trend is a very consistent 3.0 (#14) – 3.1 (#15) – 3.0 (#14). Entercom mainstream CHR KDND “The End” is #1 in January with a 7.8, while CBS Radio rhythmic CHR KSFM “KS-FM” ranks sixth (4.9).
Buckley Sells Lone Fresno FM to Lotus. It is Buckley Broadcasting’s only Fresno signal and president and CEO Joe Bilotta says the pending sale of hip hop KSEQ “Q97” came about after some reflection. “Our ability to compete in the highly consolidated Fresno market with a free-standing FM was a significant reason to entertain and eventually sell KSEQ to Lotus Communications. For over 20 years, we have owned this wonderful facility and want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the many people who have and do contribute to our success.” The terms of the deal have not been announced yet. With this acquisition, Lotus Communications owns five stations in the market including: regional Mexican KLBN-FM, classic rock KKBZ-FM, Spanish KHIT-FM, and Spanish KGST-AM.
Greater Media’s Rock WRAT, Point Pleasant, New Jersey Adds Translator. Jersey Shore rocker WRAT “95.9 The Rat,” licensed to Point Pleasant is now simulcasting its programming on translator W300AO licensed to Manahawkin, New Jersey (about 40 miles south of Point Pleasant). The company is also making WRAT available on the HD2 channel of AC WJRZ in Manahawkin. SVP and regional general manager Dan Finn states, “WRAT already broadcasts from the optimum geographic location near the Monmouth-Ocean border on 95.9 FM. Now, by simulcasting on 107.9 FM in Manahawkin, it allows us to increase The Rat’s footprint on Long Beach Island and the surrounding area. We’re absolutely thrilled and are confident the listeners will be too.”
Classic Rock, Rock and News PPM Market Comparisons. How you view the shift in programming and the audience response that takes place every December when AC stations go into holiday mode is a matter of philosophy – some consider it a natural part of the format while others view it as a “departure.” To some, the January PPM can feel like a “reset” while to others it’s just another part of the programming “continuum.” Regardless of your perspective, ratings changes from month to month can be informative so today RadioInfo managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian is comparing how classic rock, rock and news stations fared as some of the audience changed its listening habits in January. Read his analysis here.
John Darin Succumbs to Cancer at 74. Los Angeles radio veteran John Darin died at age 74 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. During his career, Darin had worked at stations including: KRLA, KDAY, KROQ, KNAC, KGOE, KNX, KGIL, KJOI, and KBLA. Darin worked on the air and as a program director before expanding to the television news business and working as an anchor and field reporter.
DOOBIE: Daunting Task in Digital Era — Radio Must Always Be Hipper Than Television. As we celebrate the much-vaunted 50th anniversary of the British Invasion and the Historic Appearance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie makes the case that Ed Sullivan no more introduced the Beatles to America than Christopher Columbus discovered it. In a new column posted today (2/10), Doobie argues, “RADIO introduced the Beatles to America! Radio set the stage for television. How do you think all those screaming girls knew about the Beatles in the first place? It wasn’t from television.” The Doob goes on to say, “Radio has always set the stage for television when it came to the big and important stuff. At least it DID when it was growing, vital and owned the music culture and the lion’s share of popular culture. If the Beatles or something equivalent were to wash up out of the ether onto the shores of our collective psyches today, I hate to say it but it is true – radio would be learning about it from television…just like American Idol and even its knock-offs have set music radio’s stage now for what seems like an eternity.” To read Duane Doobie’s provocative piece in its entirety, 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 (2/10) includes such names as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Khurt, Astronaut, Chainsmokers, Wild Moccasins, Young Rival, Brandi Carlile, Dillon Francis, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Quintino & Moti, Taylr Renee, Yellow Claw, DJ Fresh, Jay Fay, Ms. Dynamite, Style of Eye, Soso, Twirl, Of Mice and Men, Jon King, AJ Croce, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Ben Tanner, Alabama Shakes, Neon Trees, Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang, Ben Davis Jr. and the Dirt Poor Troubadours, Buckle Rash, Kathryn Caine and the Small Band among others. To check out this valuable information, please click here.
RadioInfo Launches Three-Part Special Today, Tomorrow and Wednesday (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks. Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production. Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations. Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year. It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide. When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiere Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations. However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel. Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio. His vision was “Envision Radio Networks,” (now simply “Envision Networks”) — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that creates over four dozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates. It was a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line. What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry. He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows. His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets. Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication. In 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 one 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.
Blair Garner-Hosted ‘America’s Morning Show’ Wakes Up New ‘NASH’ Station Listeners. Last week RadioInfo detailed Cumulus Media’s release about the 19 O&O country outlets that would become “NASH FM”-branded stations – part of a company-wide move that will eventually see more than 60 stations take on the “NASH FM” brand. This morning, those same stations woke up to the sounds of the company’s “America’s Morning Show” featuring host Blair Garner. Though the show debuted on WNSH only last year, it’s based in the heart of the country music world in Nashville, airing before a live studio audience. Cumulus EVP and COO John Dickey states, “The expansion of ‘America’s Morning Show’ is just the latest preview of what’s ahead for ‘NASH.’ We’re moving full-speed ahead with growing the multi-media content offering that will drive the ‘NASH’ brand.” Garner adds, “I’m so incredibly grateful to get to lead this charge. New York country music fans have been so gracious in allowing ‘America’s Morning Show’ to become part of their daily routine. We’re excited to welcome new listeners into the ‘NASH’ family, and to honor the music that brought us all together in the first place.” Cumulus says that in the spring “America’s Morning Show” will be available to WestwoodOne affiliates nationwide.
CBS Reports Record Digital Traffic Month. It’s a new record for a single month as CBS Local Digital Media reports its websites and mobile applications attracted 56.8 million unique users during January topping the previous all-time high of 50.6 million in April 2013. The January 2014 number was up 37% compared to a year ago. CBS Local is happy with its performance in this arena last year reporting year-to-year growth of 21% in average unique users per month. CBS Local Media COO Anton Guitano says, “Our continued integration of digital into all parts of our local business is yielding dividends. The great mobile presence our stations have via mobile websites, Radio.com and CBS Local apps creates a presence that gives the consumer a great user experience.”
Rick Vaughn to Program ‘Wired 96.5’ in Philly. Programmer Rick Vaughn is named new program director for Beasley Broadcasting’s hip hop WRDW, Philadelphia “Wired 96.5.” Vaughn most recently was PD at Clear Channel’s Atlanta cluster where he programmed CHR WWPW “Power 96.1” and alternative WRDA “Radio 107.5.” Ironically, Vaughn takes over for Dan Hunt, the PD who just took the helm of his old CC stations in Atlanta. Vaughn has worked in Philly before programming Clear Channel’s CHR WIOQ “Q102” from 2006 to 2008. VP of programming Justin Chase says, “We are thrilled to welcome Rick to the Beasley family! By adding Rick’s track record of excellence to the top notch talent we have in Philadelphia, ‘Wired 96.5’ is poised to have a banner year.”
Greater Media Kills Detroit Blues Show. The “Motor City Blue Project” show that aired on Greater Media’s classic rock WCSX on Sunday evenings for the past 25-plus years is no more and the company cuts ties with host Mark Pasman. The Detroit News reports the station issued a brief statement saying it is going in a different direction with its Sunday evening programming, with personality Pam Rossi – host of the Sunday morning “Over Easy” program – taking over the Sunday night shift. Pasman tells the paper though he’s disappointed with the decision he has mixed emotions because he has to give thanks to Greater Media for a “great, great run. They let me play whatever I thought was appropriate and interview some of the greatest musicians of all time.” Pasman has served as a producer and program director at Greater Media Detroit’s WCSX and WRIF during his time with the stations.
Greg Smith to Serve as GSM at Greater Media’s WRIF, Detroit. In the Motor City, Greater Media announces Greg Smith is the new general sales manager at rock WRIF effective today (2/10). Smith, who most recently held the same post at Cumulus Media’s crosstown all-news WWJ, will oversee the WRIF local sales team led by Mike Broadwell and work with national sales director Michael Mayer on the station’s sales effort. Greater Media Detroit director of national sales Jake McCann comments, “Greg brings a tremendous wealth of experience and leadership to our sales team. We look forward to having him take the station’s sales division to the next level.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. After just 11 months at the station, Tom Calococci exits Cox Media Group’s CHR WFLC, Miami “Hits 97.3.” When Calococci came aboard last March the station was hot AC “97.3 The Coast.” Cox corporate programmers Steve Smith and Jeremy Rice are in charge of the station while the search is on for a new PD…..Tim Meagher is named general sales manager at Entercom‘s Norfolk cluster…..Todd Bradley is promoted from his APD role at Wilks Broadcasting’s rock WLVQ, Columbus “QFM96” to PD of the station and operations manager for the group that also includes sports talk WZOH and country WHOK “K107.1” Bradley takes over for Sue Leighton who will serve as midday personality and head up a new promotions effort…..Randy Miller is the new wake-up personality at D&H Media’s country KWKJ, Windsor, Missouri “98.5 The Bar.” At the same time, the Kansas City market pro (AC KZPL and country KBEQ) is launching the Randy Miller Radio Network…..At Barna Broadcasting’s country KSWG, Wickenburg, Arizona “96.3 Real Country” (50 miles northwest of Phoenix), Bruce Kelly begins hosting the morning program today (2/10). Kelly is a Phoenix market pro who’s done mornings at Clear Channel’s CHR KZZP “104.7 Kiss FM” and Riviera Broadcasting’s hip hop KKFR “Power 98.3.” He most recently worked weekends at classic hits KOOL-FM.
Entercom Promotes Pat Paxton to President of Programming. Fifteen-year programming staffer Pat Paxton is promoted to president of programming for Entercom Communications Corp. Paxton has served as senior vice president of programming since 2001. He began his work with the company in 1999 as OM at the old AC WQSX “Star 93.7.” Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Pat has played a vital role in Entercom’s growth and development over his 15 years with the company. He is an energizing leader, a terrific strategist and a deeply knowledgeable programmer. We are truly fortunate to have him on our team.” Paxton says of the promotion, “The past 15 years with Entercom have been tremendously rewarding, both personally and professionally. Our entire Entercom team has worked tirelessly to create one of today’s most admired media companies, which has not happened accidentally. I am proud to have been part of this team and I look forward to continuing to help create the very best audio brands in the industry. Huge thanks to David Field for his vision and leadership that has allowed all of us at Entercom to thrive.”
“Holiday” PPM Data – Part One. The first round of “Holiday” 2013 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for markets including 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 initial group.
- New York – Ever since electronic measurement became currency in New York City, there have been five instances where a station has registered double-digits (6+). The same station – WLTW – has been responsible for accomplishing that feat, and each time it has happened in the “Holiday” survey. This year the Clear Channel adult contemporary outlet notches an 11.9, which represents its second-best (6+) stat (which, of course, also means the market’s second-best ever) and a +4.3 versus December. In the previous four “Holiday” survey periods, “Lite FM” – which plays all-Christmas music during those sweeps – has registered an 11.3 (2012), 11.5 (2011), 12.3 (2010), and 11.6 (2009).
- Los Angeles – Occurrences of stations in the country’s second-largest market achieving a 10.0-share or better (6+) in the PPM era have been even scarcer than in New York City. It has only happened twice in the City of Angels, and mirroring the Big Apple story, a Clear Channel adult contemporary station that plays all-Christmas music in that ratings period is the facility able to make that claim. Specifically, it is KOST “Coast 103,” which in “Holiday” 2013 boasts its finest-ever 6+ number (10.4, +4.1 compared to December). Its previous best was one year ago, “Holiday” 2012 (10.2). Most affected by Coast 103’s “Holiday” gain is CBS Radio‘s KTWV “The Wave” (3.1 – 2.3, -.8), which last year, ironically, was part of the all-Christmas music battle. “The Wave,” however, has evolved from smooth AC to urban AC (“Smooth R&B”) and drops from #10 in December to #18.
- Chicago – A technicality prevents Chicago from being a triple play or hat trick – depending on your sports preference – in joining Los Angeles and New York with similar (6+) double-digit “Holiday” success stories. For the fifth time, a Clear Channel-owned “Windy City” outlet has reached that plateau – each time in a “Holiday” period and by the same station that historically plays all-Christmas music in that sweep. The minor difference is that it is former adult contemporary WLIT – now hot AC “My-FM.” Nonetheless, “My-FM” betters its 6.5 in December (6+, #2) by a whopping +5.1 to 11.6 (#1). Among those most adversely affected by My-FM’s gain is Hubbard‘s WILV “More Music, More Variety.” Off by eight-tenths (2.7 – 1.9), the adult hits facility drops from #10 to #17. For the past 12 monthlies (January – December) WILV had been in the 2.3 – 2.9 range; its 1.9 matches what it had one year ago (“Holiday” 2012).
- San Francisco – After a +.6 to 4.9 (November – December, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM tacks on an additional four full-shares (8.9) to advance from a tie at #3 to #1. Transferring from the top spot to #2 is CBS Radio newser KCBS-AM, off three-tenths to 4.8, its lowest since June (also 4.8). Co-owned CHR KMVQ “Now” loses one-half share (5.0 – 4.5), as it slides from second to third.
- Dallas – CBS Radio pulled a switch in all-Christmas music players this year, substituting classic hits-oldies KLUV for adult contemporary KVIL. On the heels of a November – December +1.7, KLUV adds a +2.0 (5.2 – 7.2), progressing from a tie at #2 to #1. This is the first time KLUV has crossed the seven-share barrier in its PPM history. Making gains of seven-tenths are Salem contemporary Christian KLTY “Safe For The Whole Family” (4.4 – 5.1, #4) and Clear Channel hot AC KDMX “Now” (3.8 – 4.5, #6). Knocked out of the top spot to #2 is Clear Channel CHR KHKS “Kiss” (7.9 – 7.0, -.9).
- Houston – After recording a +1.4 to 8.5 enabling the station to occupy the #1 spot for the first time since “Holiday” 2012 (November – December, 6+), Clear Channel adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” balloons to 12.2 (+3.7). Houston has only witnessed five cases of (6+) double-digits in PPM. “Sunny 99.1” is credited with all of them – each taking place in a “Holiday” sweep when it airs all-Christmas music. Sunny’s (6+) double-digit “Holiday” numbers include 11.3 (2012), 12.0 (2011), 12.7 (2010), and 11.7 (2009). Off by one-half share apiece in this survey period are Cox Media Group country KKBQ (5.9 – 5.4, but steady at #4) and CBS Radio CHR KKHH (3.7 – 3.2, #12, down from #8 in December).
- Philadelphia – Perhaps rewriting the record book in yet the most significant way among stations in the 12 markets Nielsen Audio released on Monday is Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary WBEB. First, a reminder of what took place in December: WBEB claimed top honors for most sizeable November-December gain for this batch of markets (+3.6). “More FM” (formerly known as “B 101”) repeats that accomplishment in an even more eye-popping manner, a +6.3, to a practically unheard of (for a top 10 market in PPM) 17.2. Thus, for the tenth time in PPM methodology, a Philadelphia outlet has hit double-digits (6+). In addition to doing it in this sweep (“Holiday” 2013), “More FM” racked up a 15.9 (“Holiday” 2012), 15.3 (“Holiday” 2011), 15.6 (“Holiday” 2010), and a 16.7 (“Holiday” 2009). In addition, it hit 10.9 (December 2013), 10.0 (December 2011), 11.7 (December 2010), and 12.9 (December 2009). CBS Radio all-news outlet KYW notched a 10.1 in January 2011. The gap between “More FM” and runner-up CBS Radio siblings sports WIP-FM (6.0 – 6.0) and classic hits-oldies WOGL (5.3 – 6.0) is a stunning 11.2 shares. Most notable of the stations taking the brunt of More FM’s +6.3 include Greater Media rocker WMMR (5.6 – 4.5, -1.1, #7), WMMR classic rock cluster-mate WMGK (5.5 – 4.7, -.8, #6), and Beasley country WXTU (5.1 – 4.2, -.9, #8).
- Atlanta – Two stations here are up by at least one full-share (6+) December – “Holiday” 2013; two others decline by at least one full-share. Progressing are Salem contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” (3.8 – 6.4, +2.6, #3) and Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B 98.5” (6.1 – 7.2, +1.1, #2). “The Fish” ranked #11 in December, while “B 98.5” finished fourth. Conversely, owing to a -1.9 (8.0 – 6.1), CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE tumbles from first to fifth, while talk WSB-AM (7.5 – 6.2, -1.3) slips from second to fourth.
- Long Island – It is highly uncommonly – although not completely unheard of – to have three music-intensive stations of the same format in a market’s top 10. Very rarely though will you witness a format occupying three of the top four slots (6+), as adult contemporary now does in Nassau-Suffolk. Clear Channel siblings WALK-FM (6.1 – 9.2, +3.1, steady at #1) and WLTW (3.8 – 7.1, +3.3, up from #7) are at #1 and #2, respectively, while Connoisseur Media‘s WKJY “K98.3” (3.4 – 4.7, +1.3) ranks #4 (up from #10 in December). Impacted by this all-Christmas music trio are Cox Media Group CHR WBLI (5.6 – 4.6, -1.0, #5) and CBS Radio-owned siblings WFAN (4.9 – 4.0, -.9, #8) and classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (5.2 – 4.4, -.8, #7).
- Middlesex – There is even more strong news for adult contemporary: The format is #1 and #2 in this New Jersey market (6+), with Greater Media‘s WMGQ “Jersey’s Continuous Soft Rock – Magic 98.3” (5.5 – 6.6, +1.1) advancing from a fourth-place tie in December to second. Winning ways continue for Clear Channel adult contemporary WLTW (5.0 – 8.5, +3.5). New York City’s “Lite FM” zooms from seventh to first, displacing classic rock sibling WAXQ “Q104.3,” which falls from #1 to #4 (6.4 – 5.7, -.7). Even though WCBS-FM was -.8 in Long Island, it posts a +1.1 here (3.5 – 4.6), progressing from #11 in December to #8.
Clear Channel Appoints Brown PD of St. Louis Combo. Three-year CBS Radio Atlanta urban AC WVEE “V-103” assistant program director Kathy Brown is moving to St. Louis to program Clear Channel urban AC KMJM “Majic 100.3” and gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah.” Clear Channel regional program manager Steve Stewart points out that, “Kathy has a great track record of creating successful and exciting radio stations. We are thrilled to have someone with Kathy’s level of experience join the team to help lead KMJM and KATZ to higher ratings and revenue success.” As she thanks Clear Channel “for this great opportunity to work with such a heritage brand,” Brown says she is “excited to work with the St. Louis team.” Brown previously spent 14 years with Radio One, Washington, DC in operations and programming.
New Three-Year Deal for KALC, Denver’s Jamie White. The “BJ and Jamie Morning Show” will continue through 2017 on Entercom’s hot AC KALC, Denver “Alice 105.9” as co-host Jamie White has signed a contract extension to remain with the station and continue working with co-host BJ Harris. Entercom Denver market manager Amy Griesheimer says, “I’m thrilled to have Jamie White continue with ‘Alice.’ Jamie’s unique viewpoint on life and being a single mom in the Denver suburbs keeps us all glued to our morning radios. No one embodies Denver females like Jamie…here we go!” White returned to Denver and the airwaves of “Alice 105.9” in January 2012 after several years working in Los Angeles with Danny Bonaduce and most recently in Sacramento hosting her own show. White started her Denver radio career in 1994 when she signed on to co-host the “Alice” morning show with Frosty Stilwell and Frank Kramer, known as the “Frosty, Jamie and Frank Show.”
Programmer Dan Hunt Joins Clear Channel Atlanta. Most recently with Beasley Broadcasting’s hip hop WRDW, Philadelphia “Wired 96.5,” programmer Dan Hunt is headed to Atlanta to serve as PD for Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s CHR WWPW “Power 96.1” and alternative WRDA “Radio 105.7.” In a statement, CC Atlanta vice president of programming Brian Michel says, “Dan has the kind of passion and persistence that will help our stations grow and achieve their goals. I am excited to have Dan join our programming team and take ‘Power 96.1’ and ‘Radio 105.7’ to the next level.” Hunt takes over for Rick Vaughn who left the cluster at the end of December.
Air Talent Moves at CBS RADIO’s KMXB and KXTE in Las Vegas. Program director Charese Fruge announces some talent changes at alternative KXTE “X 107.5” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1” as Nicole Cherry (aka MJ) moves from evenings at “Mix 94.1” to weekday afternoons on “X107.5” At the same time, Heather Schmitz (aka Jade) takes over week nights on “Mix 94.1.” Schmitz is a 10-year radio pro who has been working part time for both stations since last year. Additionally, Pauly Kover is elevated to full-time night personality on “X 107.5.” Fruge comments, “Both MJ and Jade are extraordinary women who are passionate about music, and along with Pauly, they have proven to be A-level players and talent. I’m extremely grateful to be able to promote from within once again.” Cherry says, “This is an incredible opportunity with CBS RADIO to play afternoon drive on the hottest ‘New Rock’ station in Vegas, and I’m thrilled for the chance to play on this rock solid team and be a part of the legacy that is X107.5.” Schmitz adds, “I’m excited to serve the community and have a blast weeknights on ‘Mix 94.1.’ If you want something bad enough, to quote Britney Spears (temporary Vegas resident), ‘You better work.’”
NYMRAD Announces New Executive Committee. At the New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD), the executive committee of the board of directors has some new additions and changes in titles: Felix Perez, general manager, Univision Radio New York, moves into the chairman slot replacing Clear Channel Music + Entertainment’s Joe Puglise who remains on the board of directors. Jennifer Donohue, director of sales, CBS RADIO New York, replaces Don Bouloukos as vice chairperson and Alex Cameron, SVP and market manager, Emmis New York, remains on the committee as secretary. NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan says, “I am very excited about working with Felix during this seamless transition of the executive committee. Felix has infused energy in his contributions to board meetings and under his leadership we will continue to develop initiatives that will advance radio in the vibrant New York marketplace.” Perez adds, “I welcome the opportunity to work with Deborah and our radio colleagues to advance the value of NYMRAD to its members and aggressively increasing the profile and revenue share of New York radio.”
Hartel to Head Up L&L’s Columbia, South Carolina Group. The new SVP and market manager for L&L Broadcasting’s Columbia South Carolina cluster is Mike Hartel – who most recently served as vice president and general manager of Curtis Media Group’s WBBB, Raleigh. L&L CEO Bob Proffitt says of the move, “We had the huge benefit of having Bill McElveen step up as not only an in-market radio veteran, but to help us in the recruitment process to get the very best fit and talent to manage Columbia. Mike Hartel is a great fit for our Columbia cluster with his excellent track record, interactive focus, and competitive nature – a perfect addition to our growing company.” Hartel comments, “I love what Larry and Bob are creating and I’m thrilled to be a part of their team. There is no place I would rather be than with a company that is hyper-focused on using live and local radio to serve our community, our clients, and our employees.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Moving over from his most recent stint at WestwoodOne’s 24/7 hot AC format, Blake Powers becomes the evening personality at CBS RADIO’s AC KVIL, Dallas…..Morning drive host Tim Leary signs a contract extension with L&L Broadcasting’s country WUBB, Savannah, Georgia “New Country Bob 106.9.”
CBS RADIO Unveils GRAMMY Awards Programming. In celebration of the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards taking place in Los Angeles on January 26, CBS RADIO is announcing its related programming. The company says that in partnership with The Recording Academy, GRAMMY Radio powered by Radio.com returns as the official streaming station for the fifth straight year. Featuring performances from the nominated artists, GRAMMY Radio is home to current and popular music from today’s celebrated artists. In addition to the nominated songs, the station includes news and facts about the GRAMMY Awards, as well as reviews and in-depth insight into a variety of pop, rock, urban, country and alternative categories. Fans can listen online at GRAMMY.com or Radio.com. Two CBS RADIO Los Angeles stations – rock KROQ and CHR 97.1 AMP will take over The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live with special musical performances by Young the Giant and GRAMMY Award-nominated Imagine Dragons, on Friday, January 24 and Saturday, January 25, respectively. Fans from cities nationwide will be in attendance for the intimate shows where the artists will perform their latest hits inside the Clive Davis Theater. A live show with GRAMMY Award nominated Capital Cities from the Conga Room will cap off the evening on Saturday.
DOOBIE: It’s Not the SIZE of the Playlist that Counts but Rather the Quality of What’s on it and How it Compares to the Competition Not to Mention How Well it Reflects Some Sort of Reality! That’s the long-but-apt title of a new thought-piece by RadioInfo music editor/director Duane Doobie posted today (1/20). The Doobster is mildly frustrated by the industry buzz generated by an article in this past Thursday’s (1/16) Wall Street Journal by writer Hannah Karp examining the size of radio playlists and the impact they are having on radio’s competitive battle with online music services, radio’s place in the hierarchy of music culture, radio’s impact on the music industry, radio’s impact on music and on and on and on…The article touches on some interesting points but according to Doobarino it does not have the benefit of history to see the bigger picture and thus it (and some of the things a number of radio people are saying and thinking) is ultimately misleading. To read today’s provocative and very important piece, in addition to some valuable RadioInfo picks in the worlds of pop, rock, country and EDM, please click here.
Clear Channel Flips to Spanish Contemporary on 105.7 in San Antonio. On translator K289BN in San Antonio, Clear Channel drops the rhythmic CHR branded “WiLD 105.7” and debuts Spanish contemporary “La Preciosa 105.7.” The station will feature the syndicated “El Show de Alex ‘El Genio’ Lucas” in morning drive.
USRN’s ‘The Classics’ Celebrates Beatles Anniversary. The weekly classic rock program “The Classics,” featuring WDRV, Chicago morning personality Steve Downes as host and written and researched by Howie Edelson, is paying tribute to The Beatles’ arrival in the U.S. 50 years ago on the weekend of February 9, 1964. United Stations Radio Networks says the program will be four hours in length and spread out over two weekends – February 1-2 and 8-9 – but will also make all four hours available on the weekend of the 8th and 9th. USRN is making the show available to non-affiliates on a one-time-only basis.
Drum Legend Carmine Appice Debuts New Label; Announces Ethan Brosh Release. Legendary rock drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, and more) is launching the new record label Rocker Records LLC and the first release will be from rock guitar wunderkind Ethan Brosh, due out March 4. Here’s what the label has to say about Brosh: “An honest-to-goodness guitar hero, Brosh, who grew up in Israel, is a daring six-string acrobat who plays with fire and precision, never sacrificing technical proficiency for flashy showmanship – although his dynamic, fleet-fingered solos, furious riffs and complex acoustic figures are wildly entertaining. Having added to his already bulging bag of tricks, the Berklee College of Music graduate, now an instructor at the school, soars to new heights on Live the Dream, pushing the envelope with supernatural guitar wizardry and drawing up stunningly inventive musical designs that are wondrous to behold.” Rocker Records LLC’s Michael Cusanelli says, “Rocker Records and Carmine Appice are excited to be working with one of metal’s up-and-coming young stars.”
Nielsen Speaks to Investors About Arbitron Acquisition. Nielsen CEO David Calhoun reiterates he expects the deal for his company to close on the $1.3 billion cash acquisition of radio ratings giant Arbitron by Monday, September 30 after receiving FTC approval on Friday. As had been reported for some time, the holdup was the FTC’s scrutiny of “Project Blueprint” in which Arbitron worked with comScore on a cross-platform, out-of-home measurement system for client ESPN. The consent decree planted in this deal means that Nielsen will be required to provide PPM data to the software for eight years going forward. Nielsen chief legal officer James Cuminale says, “The obligation on the part of the licensee is to use the components that we’re providing solely for cross-platform service and cross-platform service is defined as the measurement of the audience across many number of platforms including radio, online, tablets and TV, but at the least online and TV.” But the relationship between Arbitron and ESPN changes now. As Cuminale states, “We will become a provider of capabilities to a licensee and in the case of ESPN — and assuming it’s comScore who is the licensee — comScore will be a party that delivers that service to ESPN. So, there is a difference there. It transforms that relationship as defined in the decree.” The bigger picture for Nielsen in explaining why it wanted to acquire Arbitron is, as Calhoun states, it gives them the ability to “blend radio audience data with retail data allowing us to demonstrate ROI for the radio clients in our world and for the advertising clients in our world” and supply more complete data in mixed marketing models. As for Arbitron employees in the aftermath of this deal, there will be job losses as Nielsen has stated it expects to achieve about $20 million in synergies, although David Calhoun says there is nothing that says anything has to be done immediately. “So we’re going to do this at a logical and steady pace as we move forward.”
Townsquare Names Andi Poch SVP National Digital Sales. Townsquare Media announces it has brought Andi Poch aboard to serve as senior vice president of national digital sales. Coming from her most recent position as chief revenue officer at IconicTV, Poch is being charged with overseeing sales and marketing solutions efforts for Townsquare’s national digital business. Company EVP/chief digital officer Bill Wilson states, “We are thrilled to have Andi join Townsquare Media to lead and manage our national digital sales team as we continue to aggressively grow the business. Andi’s impressive background at premium entertainment and media brands, coupled with her dynamic leadership, creative ability, and deep sales expertise will bring an immediate and positive impact to our advertising partners and the solutions we provide.”
More RadioInfo Career Moves. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announces Stephanie Callihan is the new market manager for the company’s Wichita cluster, effective October 1. Callihan had worked with Clear Channel previously in its Austin and Los Angeles operations…..Chris Russell is named operations coordinator and AM drive host at Colonial Radio Group’s country WBYB, Kane, Pennsylvania “Bob 103.9.” Russell will be in charge of ops at the company’s eight-station cluster…..Bill Dollar exits Cumulus Media’s country WLWI, Birmingham “I-92” where he was PD and afternoon personality for the past eight years.
CC Has More Plans to Build Around iHeartRadio. According to a Billboard story from this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas during which Clear Channel president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes and president of national programming platforms Tom Poleman were interviewed backstage, the company is considering a mega-country music concert, its own awards program and the television expansion of the Jingle Ball concert promotion. Sykes and Poleman coyly said nothing is a done deal but teased a country music festival could be planned for Austin possibly as early as March of 2014. As for an MTV Video Music Awards-type show, the duo simply admitted the company is thinking about it. What Sykes and Poleman would say is they are going to produce the Jingle Ball concert tour in 12 markets in addition to New York and have plans to televise it.
MEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Jon Yinger – Broadcast Properties, LLC. In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Jon Yinger of Broadcast Properties, LLC located in Eastern Michigan. Like many of the professional media brokers spotlighted in this feature, Miller is extremely friendly to displaced radio personnel looking to go into ownership for themselves as well as first-time buyers. In addition to being a media broker he also owns a group of radio stations under the corporate name, The Christian Broadcasting System, Ltd., and owns and operates CBSat, a satellite network. Yinger says, “Sales prices are still low. There are a lot of great opportunities out there for the savvy buyer. It is a great time to buy.” To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.
Clear Channel’s KIXZ, Spokane Re-Brands. The CHR station KIXZ, Spokane changes its brand from “Hits 96.1” to “Power 96.1” under the guidance of new program director Bill “Stu” Stewart. The station continues to air Premiere’s Elvis Duran in AM drive followed by Ryan Seacrest with new staff announcements forthcoming.
CBS Radio Teams with WestwoodOne for National Regional Mexican Service. Dubbed “Fierro,” the 24/7 regional Mexican music format will emanate from CBS Radio’s KMVK, Dallas “La GRANDE 107.5 FM.” The format will feature the station’s on-air personalities and target the Spanish-language-dominant, core Male 25-44. The format is highlighted by established regional Mexican artists including Intocable, Duelo, and Presado, as well as newcomers such as Luis Coronel. CBS Radio VP of Spanish programming and KMVK PD Jimmy Gonzalez says, “Fierro’s strength lies in teaming the hottest Regional Mexican hits with some of the very best radio talent in any format. It’s a winning combination which will resonate with this target audience.” WestwoodOne is handling syndication and ad sales.
New York Securities Firm Investigating Cumulus-Dial Global Deal. Stating in a press release that it is investigating the board of directors of Dial Global, Faruqi & Faruqi LLC, says it’s looking into the board’s actions “for potential breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with their conduct related to the sale of the company to Cumulus Media, Inc.” The firm says, “Under the terms of the proposed transaction, Dial’s stockholders will receive $0.155 for each share of Dial common stock they own. This is despite the fact that Dial has traded as high as $3.40 per share over the past year.” Keep in mind that no suit has been filed – this is an investigation – and Faruqi & Faruqi specializes in class action suits.
BMI Reports Big Year for Royalty Revenue. Broadcast Music, Inc – BMI – reports it had a record-setting year for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013 with revenue up 5% over the previous fiscal year. During the fiscal year BMI paid out $814 million to songwriters, composers and music publishers. That marks an increase of $45 million over last year. The company cites a “consistent focus on building diversity in revenue sources, along with the successful implementation of a cost reduction program” for the results. The total represents the largest fiscal year revenue posted and royalties distributed in the company’s 74 years of operation and tops a five-year period in which BMI generated more than $4.5 billion in revenues and paid out royalties of $4 billion. BMI president Del Bryant says, “The success we are reporting today has been achieved in a very transitional period for BMI and the music and entertainment business. We are alert to the challenges that the restructuring of the industry presents, but we also see unprecedented opportunity. BMI’s dynamic and constantly evolving repertoire is able to reach the public across a myriad of platforms in which music is the core offering, or an essential part of the creative product. As this year’s results demonstrate, we have continued to capture the value that music contributes, and deliver it to our writers, composers and publishers.”
Remote Studio 101: $5 Ground Tester Can Save Your Life. “Freedom Feens” talk show co-host Michael W. Dean — nationally distributed by GCN – has been contributing columns to TALKERS on building and maintaining home and remote studios for radio pros who want to do it themselves. In this latest piece, Dean underscores the importance of getting the electric right from the very beginning. “Faulty grounding is more common than you’d think. In many states, a home or office can be sold without requiring ground testing. And many homeowners and businesspeople don’t think to test. They should, even where it’s not required by law. Compared to the other tests one would do when buying a property (foundations, termites, ground water, radon, etc.) testing for improper grounding of outlets is the cheapest, easiest test you can perform. You can do it yourself. And if you find any problems, hire a qualified electrician to fix things.” Read Dean’s entire column here.
Southern California Broadcasters Association Begins Sales Classes Tonight. The Southern California Broadcasters Association begins its fall 2013 Radio Sales Training Classes tonight in Los Angeles. SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “We are thrilled with the innovative and interactive series of radio sales training courses that we have planned for new sellers to Southern California Radio this fall.” Based on input from SCBA’s General Sales Managers Council, the course will focus on a variety of topics taught by industry experts including Mary Beth Garber, EVP radio analysis & insights/KATZ Radio Group (product knowledge); Karl Meyer, EVP/integrated marketing solutions/Entravision Communications (integrated media sales); Jeff Thomas, VP of sales L.A./Clear Channel; Cynthia Gilmore, senior training service consultant, Radio Station Services/Arbitron-Scarborough (selling with numbers); Chet Thompson, general sales manager/870 KRLA (managing everyday business challenges); James Fink, CMO/SVP of sales/Converze Media (getting to decision makers); David Criscitelli, local sales manager/KPWR, (interactive selling skills) and Thom Callahan, president/SCBA (strategic selling and new business development.) KRTH, Los Angeles GSM Amber Perry states, “Our new SCBU sales training courses are a must for any new seller to our business or someone who wants to sharpen their skills or needs a refresher course in selling their radio and digital platforms. As a graduate of these sales training classes, I can tell you it works!”
Reports of Mel Selling Sirius XM Shares Raises Eyebrows. In a release issued after yesterday’s closing bell, news from Sirius XM Satellite Radio that CEO Mel Karmazin will be selling an additional 30 million shares of the publicly traded company (Sirius XM SIRI) this fall has both Wall Street and radio industry observers speculating as to what it means. Considering the timing involved – Mel’s contract is up this year and major investor Liberty Media (LMCA) is closing in seeking control – there is evidence to support the educated guess that the company’s chief is heading for the door. Other possibilities include that Mel is simply cashing in his chips for a job clearly well done or that it is a maneuver to throw an obstacle in the way of Liberty taking control. The price to exercise the 30 million options shares is $0.43. This means the shares will cost Karmazin $12,900,000. If he were to sell them all at $2.50 the price would be a cool $75,000,000, delivering a profit of $62,100,000. Analyst Spencer Osbourne writes in the Seeking Alpha newsletter, “I can imagine that the news relating to an insider at Sirius XM selling 30,000,000 shares will not be well received by the market. Be prepared, because this news is going to cause some wild speculation and debate. I would not be surprised to see the stock price move down on this news. Between the Liberty cloud and now the Karmazin cloud, the uncertainty is building for Sirius XM.”
Jorge Sedano Joins WQAM as PD and PM Drive Host. The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that South Florida sports media personality Jorge Sedano is taking the program director role at Beasley Broadcasting’s sports talk WQAM that was left vacant when Lee Feldman exited for interests outside of the media field. Sedano, who left Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami in April to pursue TV work, will also become the afternoon drive host while current PM drive guy Dan Sileo will move to the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot left vacant by Michael Irvin’s recent departure. South Florida media chatter indicates Sileo was originally being considered for the midday slot but was hired for middays when he became available after exiting WDAE, Tampa and Sid Rosenberg was suddenly let go from the PM drive slot. Sedano recently was hired to host the pre- and post-game shows for Miami Heat games on the Sun Sports telecasts. He also is a part-time sportscaster for WFOR-TV, Miami – CBS4. Sedano tells the Herald, “From a lifestyle perspective, this makes the most sense. When I left 790, I needed to harness my skills and work on the craft and it’s led me to this position on the TV side, so it obviously paid off. I felt if I wanted to get back in radio, and it was a perfect situation, I would get back. This is perfect situation. I can put my imprint on the radio station.”
Yankees Baseball Stays on WCBS, New York for at Least One More Season. The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick reported it earlier yesterday and CBS Radio confirms it in a release. Apparently the Yankees have rejected overtures from ESPN to join the company’s new FM-enhanced sports talk outlet WEPN for they will stay with WCBS for the 2013 season. Numerous industry watchers had expected to see a big bidding war for Yankees baseball and perhaps we’ll see that next season but if this report is correct, it’ll be another year before CBS Radio and Disney/ESPN battle it out for Yankees rights.
Programmer Rick Vaughn Takes Reins of Power 96.1 in Atlanta. Vaughn was most recently PD at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s 103.5 Kiss FM in Chicago and now he moves south to head up CC’s new Atlanta CHR. Clear Channel Atlanta operations manager Brian Michel says in a statement, “I am proud to have Rick Vaughn — one of the most respected programmers in the country and a true Top 40 specialist — take the reins as PD for both the new Power 96.1 and our Rhythmic Top 40 product, WILD 105.7 & 96.7. I look forward to building great brands with Rick and making Clear Channel Atlanta even better.”
Emmis Delivers Good News to Staff in the Form of Bonuses. Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan issued an e-mail memo to staffers informing them that they would be receiving cash bonuses to reward their loyalty and dedication to the company during these tough economic times. Full-time employees will be getting a $1,000 bonus while part-time staffers will each get $250. RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison states, “We need to hear about more such moves in this business. Jeff Smulyan is not only a radio visionary, he is also an enlightened leader whose sensitivity to the needs and feelings of his employees is a management model worthy of emulation.”
Salem Communications to Pay Q3 Dividend. The board of directors of Salem Communications declares a dividend for the third quarter of 2012 that will pay shareholders of Class A and Class B common stock 3 and ½ cents per share. The dividend will be paid to all shareholders of record as of September 14 and will be paid on September 28.
Bill Rehkopf Returns to KDKA, Pittsburgh. The former morning news man at CBS Radio’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh returns to the Steel City after being involved in the start-up of the company’s Washington, DC all-newser WNEW-FM. Rehkopf was the featured morning drive anchor at the station. Now, he’ll anchor KDKA-AM’s “KDKA Afternoon News” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Current anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas remains with the station to work on the PM drive show. In a statement, Rehkopf says, “Working in the nation’s capital was extremely exciting and rewarding. However, my family and I have deep roots in Pittsburgh and this is a terrific opportunity at KDKA. It’s a perfect professional fit for me and works well for my family. I look forward to providing Pittsburgh with a quality program of essential news, information and entertainment to wrap up their work day.”
Future of Harrisburg Rocker Uncertain in Aftermath of Citadel-Cumulus Merger. Among the reverberations of the Citadel-Cumulus merger was a Department of Justice edict that Cumulus divest itself of two Harrisburg properties and one Flint, Michigan facility. That process commenced nearly a year ago and October 1 will mark the 12-month deadline to complete transactions in those metros. One Harrisburg property, country-formatted “Red 102.3” (WCAT-FM), is in the process of being sold for $400,000 and, as of last week, an agreement is said to be in-place for Flint’s, “Classic Rock Authority” WRSR-FM. Still left in a precarious position however is “The Rock of Central PA” – Harrisburg’s WTPA-FM – a facility that has been airing some version of rock programming for the past 32 years. According to general manager/program director/morning show talent Chris Tyler, “quite a few people” have “kicked the tires” for WTPA, but the station’s trustee, Georgia-based Eddie Esserman, has not been able to come to terms with anyone. “DOJ wants us to be run separately from the Cumulus stations and we are doing things through Eddie’s guidance,” Tyler tells RadioInfo in an exclusive interview. “We are at the point now where the DOJ is running out of patience, saying if we do not have a buyer by October 1, they want us to auction off the station. The FCC does not seem to have the same sense of urgency as the DOJ; Eddie is trying everything he can to put something together. He has received several bids but thought they were too low.” The concept that anyone could buy the station and do whatever they wanted with it did not sit well with Tyler so a “Save WTPA” campaign was launched. “It would be a shame for a new owner to decide to take the station in a new direction,” he comments. To read the full details of this real life radio drama read today’s RadioInfo feature story by Mike Kinosian by clicking here.
Ryan Seacrest and Partners Exit Bidding for Dick Clark Productions. According to the Wall Street Journal, after talks, Ryan Seacrest and his equity partners H Lee Partners and Bain Capital have decided not to stay in the running to buy Dick Clark Productions which produces the “American Music Awards,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” Experts believe the company will eventually sell for a few hundred million dollars.
New Jersey 101.5 Offering Talent Show Prizes from Weekend Music Show. Although known as one of the first and most successful FM talkers in the nation, Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton (“New Jersey 101.5”) also features a menu of hit music programming on its weekends. As a matter of fact, the station will be launching into its “Endless Summer Weekend” for Labor Day weekend featuring New Jersey’s “Top 20 Party Songs” from New Jersey artists such as The Four Seasons, Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, and Bon Jovi. This Sunday night the station presents the “BIG Joe Jersey Talent Show Finals” on the beach at Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach hosted by station weekend DJ BIG Joe Henry. The show will feature the best performers from the on-going summer-long contest hosted by Henry. This is the biggest year ever in the show’s 10-year history with the grand prize winner taking home $2,000 cash, a piano from Worldwide Piano and a new Honda Civic LX from Open Road Honda of Edison. Past contestants at this free event on the beach have gone on to perform on American Idol, America’s Got Talent, 0n Broadway and have even been nominated for a Grammy Award.
Affiliation Roundup. Benztown Radio Network morning show “The Todd N Tyler Radio Empire” hosted by Mike Tyler and Todd Brandt replaces the syndicated version of Mark & Brian at KXFM, Santa Maria/San Luis Obispo. Station OM Dave Daniels tells, RadioInfo, “We are excited to ‘blow up’ our morning drive with TNT! Todd N Tyler are the only guys with big enough feet to fill Mark & Brian’s shoes.”….. Tom Kent’s lineup of stations grows by five more on The Tom Kent Radio Network. They are WMXW (103.3 FM), Binghamton; WBBI (107.5 FM) Binghamton; WMTK (106.3 FM), Littleton, NH; WZNJ (106.5 FM), Domopolis, AL; and KSYZ (107.7 FM), Grand Isle, NE. Tom Kent tells RadioInfo, “We knew it was going to be a HOT summer with affiliates but somebody hose me down! Our stations keep telling us over and over that we suck far less than all the other guys! Seriously, we do radio with passion and that’s giving us a roster of winners with the same passion for great radio!”
More News. Scott Miller and Jeff Blanchard of the Scott & Jeff show will host what sources in Cleveland are calling a tryout show on Clear Channel’s WTAM, Cleveland Saturday, September 1 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. The duo was the morning show on CBS Radio’s crosstown classic rocker WNCX until the fall of 2010 when they were replaced by Maxwell…..Recent “Amazing Race” contestant Vanessa Macias lands a gig on Cox Media’s country Y100 in San Antonio (KCYY) on the Jeff Roper morning show. Macias was also a TV personality on KENS-TV in San Antonio…..Midwest Family Broadcasting flips classic hits KOSP, Springfield, Missouri to rhythmic CHR as “The Beat 92.9.”….The Dave Matthews Band launches its own Sirius XM channels this weekend with a live broadcast. “Dave Matthews Band Radio” will launch on Saturday September 1st at 11:00 pm EST and will run through Sunday September 30th on Sirius channel 142 and XM channel 43 and will be available as a 24/7 channel online on channel 714 and through the Sirius XM internet radio app…..Clear Channel is moving all seven of its Portland, OR radio stations and company administrative offices to a new 26,000 square foot home at Triangle Pointe, near Highway 217 and Interstate 5 in Tigard. The move will be complete by the end of September.
Attention Radio Sales Staffers! Your Job Was Born 90 Years Ago This Week. This week marks the 90th anniversary of the first sale of radio time. It was back in 1922 when New York radio station WEAF – owned by Bell Telephone Company – sold a 10-minute commercial to the Hawthorne Court Apartments in Jackson Heights, New York for $50. At about 5:00 pm on August 28, 1922 a pitch for the apartment complex was made to anyone who happened to be listening and the business of commercial radio was born. It didn’t take off like a rocket, as radio historians will tell you, but it certainly was the beginning of an industry. NPR produced a fantastic segment commemorating this event. Listen to the segment or read the transcript at NPR’s site here. (Photo: MTM Enterprises)
MASSIVE SHOUT OUT: Allen Shaw Remembers ABC-FM “Rock ‘n Stereo” Staffers. The former ABC Radio FM stations division president, who was one of the esteemed interviewees in the piece, e-mailed a note to RadioInfo’s Mike Kinosian stating: “Your article got me thinking about some of the people who worked at ABC-FM during the 11 years [1968-1979] I was there.” The legendary broadcaster, currently president and CEO of Centennial Broadcasting, proceeded to roll off a list of 56 names who worked at seven stations plus corporate headquarters. The stations are: WPLJ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; WDAI, Chicago; KSFX, San Francisco; KAUM, Houston; WRIF, Detroit; and WDVE, Pittsburgh. To see the 56 names, click here.
Dial Global Responds to Mark Masters’ TRN Lawsuit — Calls it “Frivolous,” “Spurious.” In a statement issued to the radio industry trade press, Spencer Brown, co-chief executive officer of Dial Global, states: “Despite the comments in Mr. Masters’ e-mail to the press distributed yesterday in which he announced his company Talk Radio Networks (TRN) is suing Dial Global, at this time, Dial Global has not been served a complaint. We have provided outstanding service to TRN for over 10 years and continue to represent several of TRN’s programs today. Based on the information contained in the complaint distributed by Mr. Masters to the press, which complaint was filed by a law firm run by Ron Severaid, TRN’s own internal legal counsel, we believe the complaint is entirely frivolous. We are confident we will defeat these spurious claims, assuming they are ever heard in a court of law.”
Clear Channel Flips WKLS, Atlanta from Active Rock to CHR as “Power 96.1.” The former active rocker “Project 96.1” is now history as Clear Channel Media and Entertainment flipped the station to CHR at 8:00 pm ET last night. The station will carry Premiere Networks’ properties Elvis Duran in morning drive as well as Ryan Seacrest. The station’s website features a custom video by artists including Katy Perry promoting the new station as the place for hit music in Atlanta.
GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED: Fisher Communications Re-Aligns News and Talk Programming in Seattle; KOMO to Air More News, KVI to Return to Conservative Talk. After 20 months away from conservative talk programming, Fisher Communications’ KVI, Seattle – reputed to be the first station to intentionally program all-conservative talk in America – returns to that format with local talk host John Carlson moving over from KOMO to host morning drive at KVI. When the lineup is finally in place, Carlson will be followed by TRN’s Laura Ingraham; Compass Media Networks’ Todd Schnitt; Cumulus Media Networks’ Mark Levin; Compass’ Lars Larson; TRN’s Michael Savage; and Cumulus Media’s “Red Eye Radio” and Don Imus will round out the overnight period. PD Paul Duckworth tells RadioInfo, “KVI stands for the best in conservative talk in Seattle. This is going to be one of the most hotly contested elections in history and people need a place to hear about it and talk about it. Get set for an exciting ride!” Meanwhile at KOMO-AM/FM, Bill Rice anchors the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon day part and Brian Calvert anchors the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot. Ken Schram – who had been hosting a talk show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm—remains with Fisher in his role as commentator on KOMO 4 television. Both Carlson and Schram will continue to provide daily commentaries on KOMO Newsradio.
Another Hot-Mic Casualty. Yahoo! News‘ Washington bureau chief David Chalian was fired yesterday after a hot-mic blunder during an online broadcast from the RNC in Tampa. Referring to the simultaneous occurence of the GOP convention and the hurricane floods in New Orleans, Chilian made an off-the-cuff remark, picked up by an open mic, saying that Mitt Romney and his wife Ann were “not concerned at all” and “happy to have a party with black people drowning.” Audio of the incident quickly made its way online, posted by media watchdog NewsBusters. Yahoo! released the statement: “David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!. He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended.” Chalian issued the following apology: “I am profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke. I was commenting on the challenge of staging a convention during a hurricane and about campaign optics. I have apologized to the Romney campaign, and I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Gov. and Mrs. Romney. I also regret causing any distraction from the exceptional coverage of the Republican convention by Yahoo! News and ABC News.”
Crawford Broadcasting to Purchase Non-Comm WNED, Buffalo. Western New York Public Broadcasting Association announces it is selling WNED-AM, Buffalo at 970 to Denver-based Crawford Broadcasting for $875,000. The pubcaster purchased WBFO-FM, Buffalo from the University of Buffalo in March for $4 million and president and CEO Donald K. Boswell says the corporation no longer needs the AM frequency for its programming. He also states the cash from the sale will go to pay down debt on the WBFO-FM purchase. WNED also owns WNED-FM that airs a classical music format and WBFO-FM carries the corporation’s news and information programming. Crawford programs both Christian and secular programming and has not signaled its intent for WNED-AM after the sale is approved.
Townsquare Media May Be Moving Hip Hop to Full-Market Signal in Albany. If the recent domain registration of Hot1057Albany.com and Crush991Albany.com are reliable indicators (and not decoys), Townsquare Media may be preparing to move hip hop off rock WQSH’s HD2 channel and onto the 105.7 main frequency and the 99.1 translator frequency. The company just let WQSH PD Terry O’Donnell and sister classic rock programmer Rob Dawes go in moves that happened last week.
Is Jim Rome Leaving Premiere Networks for CBS Radio Sports? That’s what Deadline.com is reporting. Jim Rome has been syndicated by Premiere Networks since he debuted nationally back in 1996. Recently he left ESPN – the cable giant that produced his television program – and signed on with the upstart cable venture CBS Sports Network. Now, Deadline is reporting Rome will leave Premiere when his contract is up and join the CBS Radio Sports network when it debuts in January and that the deal will also allow him to cover NFL, NCAA basketball and U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and other events.
GOP Platform Slams FCC as Being Behind the Times. According to a report by Brendan Sasso in The Hill, the Republican Party’s 2012 platform includes a section devoted to ripping the Federal Communications Commission as out of date. “The most vibrant sector of the American economy, indeed, one-sixth of it, is regulated by the Federal Government on precedents from the nineteenth century,” the party writes. Although created in 1934, the Commission took over some of the responsibilities that had belonged to the Interstate Commerce Commission, which was created in 1887 to regulate railroads. “This is not a good fit,” the GOP writes. “Indeed, the development of telecommunications advances so rapidly that even the Telecom Act of 1996 is woefully out of date. An industry that invested $66 billion in 2011 alone needs, and deserves, a more modern relationship with the Federal Government for the benefit of consumers here and worldwide.” The GOP accuses the Obama administration of being “frozen in the past” regarding government regulated communications. “It has conducted no auction of spectrum, has offered no incentives for investment, and, through the FCC’s net neutrality rule, is trying to micromanage telecom as if it were a railroad network,” the Republicans write. The FCC’s net-neutrality rules, adopted in late 2010, bar internet service providers from blocking or slowing down access to legitimate websites. Supporters argue the rules are critical to ensuring the openness and freedom of the internet. But critics claim the rules unnecessarily restrict internet providers. Both sides make good points. It is a complex and sensitive issue with enormous implications for the future of the internet.
After MidNite Announces Third Shift Award Winners. After MidNite, the mega-successful all-night country radio show hosted by Blaire Garner and syndicated by Premiere Networks, announces its “Third Shift Award” winners and the big winner is Keith Urban taking top spot in three categories. . After three rounds of voting on AfterMidNite.com, late-night country music fans made their final selections in 10 unique categories. Urban, took these three categories: Pedal to the Medal Award (song most likely to get you a speeding ticket) with “Long Hot Summer”; Male Pin-Up Artist; and Fantasy Duet, where fans selected Urban and Prince for a duet. “The reaction from our listeners was beyond what any of us expected,” Garner tells RadioInfo. “They really appreciated the fact that someone wanted to hear what they thought — those hard-working Americans awake during the overnight hours. This was their moment, their chance to let the artists know who they most support. They voted in droves, and we’re over-the-moon happy with what we created. We hope this is the first of many years to come for After MidNite‘s Third Shift Awards.” The festivities were capped with an on-air appearance by Urban himself who joined Garner on After MidNite this morning. “I’m hugely honored, and I want to thank everyone for voting,” states Urban. “I appreciate it, but I’m just asking everyone to please don’t send your speeding tickets to me.” Urban went on to share a story about a recent missed opportunity to jam with Prince: “I’ve never met him, and it’s one of those weird things. We were doing The Voice [in Australia], and Prince played this big show, and he did an after-party show that we all got invited to go to, and I thought, ‘He’s not going to go on until like two or three in the morning, and I’m not going to last that long.’ So I went home. I saw Seal the next morning on the set, and he’s like, ‘Man, you should have come down. Prince got us up on stage! He would have got you up there and jammed!’ So I was really kicking myself the next day that I missed it.” Here is a list of the 2012 Third Shift Award winners: Fantasy Duet: Keith Urban and Prince; Pop-A-Top Award: Blake Shelton; Underdog Artist: Kellie Pickler; Top Twit Award: Chris Young; Pedal To The Metal Award: Keith Urban’s “Long Hot Summer”; Female Pin-up Artist: Shania Twain; Male Pin-up Artist: Keith Urban; Song of the Year: Luke Bryan‘s “I Don’t Want This Night to End”; Artist of the Year: Carrie Underwood; Most Fanatical Fans: Scotty McCreery. The show’s producers tell RadioInfo the first-annual Third Shift Awards were created to give late-night country music fans the opportunity to recognize their favorite artists. The initiative began as a way to honor “third shifters” who make up the listenership of After MidNite, but the concept quickly engaged not only core listeners, but also artist fan clubs, record labels and even the artists themselves. Winners were chosen via a bracket-style voting contest on www.AfterMidNite.com from July 17 through August 22.
Sports Talk Radio Becoming Dynamic Segment of the Industry. Not only is sports talk radio growing in terms of numbers of stations flipping to the format, it is also becoming a hotbed of daily industry buzz. According to RadioInfo/TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is remarkable how much action takes place daily in the sports talk segment of the general radio industry – between the personnel comings-and-goings, wild promotions, and non-stop growth, this portion of talk radio is providing an informational field day, no pun intended, for we industry observers.” (See www.talkers.com.)
More News. KEZK (Fresh 102.5)/St. Louis music director and midday host Dana Daniels has resigned the CBS Radio AC station effective September 5 to take a position in Los Angeles with the American Cancer Society and be closer to her teen-aged son and family who reside in Southern California…. Former Nielsen/NetRatings executive Manish Bhatia has joined Arbitron in the newly created position of executive vice president, new product Innovation. A new media veteran, Bhatia will oversee cross-platform services and lead the development of new offerings/services outside of the core radio business. He will report to Arbitron EVP/COO Sean Creamer….The notable box office success of author Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film “2016 Obama’s America” which earned a remarkable $6.5 million at the box office last weekend in only about 1091 theaters can be attributed largely in part to the tremendous ability of news/talk radio to influence its audience to action. The unlikely low budget “blockbuster” was a favorite of the nation’s conservative hosts right out of the gate and there is little doubt that their positive chatter about the film which takes a very critical look at the President is a major cause of the interest being shown in it. Radio account execs should take note of this.