Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Saturday Aircheck

1190 AM WOWO, Ft. Wayne, In. and Ron Gregory

Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, WOWO is currently transmitting on 1190 kHz at 50,000 watts during the daylight hours and 9,800 watts during the nighttime hours. An application is on file with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to add a fourth tower to the three tower directional antenna array and increase nighttime power to 15,000 watts.

From 1941 to 1995 WOWO was well-known, in both Indiana and areas to the east, as one of the clear-channel AM stations. This was due to the station broadcasting continuously at 50,000 watts of power both during daylight and nighttime hours. From sunset to sunrise, WOWO's directional antennas were configured to broadcast to the eastern United States. These directional nighttime broadcasts were branded as WOWO's Nighttime Skywave Service, the "voice of a thousand Main Streets". During the 1970s, the station's hourly ID (required by the FCC) stated: "50,000 watts on 1190, WOWO, Fort Wayne, Group W, Westinghouse Broadcasting."

Because WOWO's Nighttime Skywave Service caused WLIB, also 1190 kHz, in New York City to cease broadcasting at sunset each day and resume broadcasting at sunrise, Inner City Broadcasting bought WOWO in 1994 so that they could transfer WOWO's FCC clear-channel license to WLIB, owned by Inner City Broadcasting. This reduced WOWO's potential audience—referred to as WOWOland—from much of the eastern United States to a much smaller local region in northern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, and south-central Michigan. Before the power reduction, when WLIB signed off at night, WOWO's air signal came booming through the speakers into the WLIB air studio.

From 1973 into the '80s, Ron Gregory was the evening talent on the then 50kw WOWO. This aircheck is from February 1982 and is compliments of website.

Friday, July 29, 2011

FM News 101.1 Chicago Launches All News Format

Merlin Media's WWWN-FM launched a highly anticipated All-News fromat late Friday afternoon. The station is now known at FM News 101.1

The move today beats CBS Radio's 780 AM WBBM scheduled simulcast on 105.9 FM.  The simulcast was announced several weeks ago with a Monday, August 1st start date.

The Chicago Radio and Media website reports technical glitches with anchors sturggling to get comfortable with the new processes, initial reviews have been mixed at best. Station management decided to go with a "soft launch" and get the new format on the air, even though all of the operational pieces of the puzzle were not quite in place yet.

The station's website is under construction and not active.

However, Merlin did launch a brand new Facebook page Friday afternoon, click here. Also, there's a  new Twitter account (this is a link to 1011FMNew) and a YouTube page coming soon.

Friday - Another Day Of Chicago Radio Farewells

Two weeks ago, the entire on-air staff at 101.1 WKQX-FM said their farewells in advance of their station flipping formats.  Friday the 29th was another day of radio farewells, although not quite the sad & joyful ending that the Q101 DJs went through, according to a posting by Larz at

Friday was the final day on the air for the on-air personalities of WCFS-FM, known for now as Fresh 105.9.

As announced on July 14th, the same day as the Q101 DJs said goodbye, Fresh 105.9 goes away this weekend and gets replaced by the simulcast of WBBM-AM/Newsradio 780 on Monday.  Friday's shows for Scotty Smith, Rebecca Ortiz, Brooke Hunter and Eric "Shark" Austin were their last.

Friday was a formality. The DJs will do their shifts, collect their "paltry" severance checks and begin looking for work elsewhere. CBS insiders are claiming that the WCFS severance checks being handed out to their faithful employees are a "laughable" two weeks' pay, less taxes.

Read More.

Harrisburg's 92.7 FM Stunting, Goodbye Smooth Jazz

Hall Communications’ 92.7 FM WSJW, Starview, PA (Harrisburg market) began stunting Friday airing covers of "Staiway To Heaven" and cartoon clips.  The station has dropped its Smooth Jazz format, which had been airing since 2004.

The following farewell message is posted on the station website:
If you are visiting Smooth Jazz 92.7 website, you are probably looking for information about what happened to the Smoth Jazz Music normally heard on 92.7.

Smooth Jazz has concluded it's run in the area and a decision to air a new music format has been made. You will be hearing it on this station very soon. To say that this was not an easy decision for management to make would be an understatement. We know that Smooth Jazz 92.7 had many listeners who tuned in frequently to enjoy the music and we appreciate all of them.

There were many factors that contributed to this decision to change format, not the least of which is that listenership for Smooth Jazz in the area never reached predicted levels.

Efforts were made through the years to support and make this format viable but in the end a format change was necessary. On  behalf of Hall Communications and all the Smooth Jazz personalities, we thank you for your support of Smooth Jazz 92.7.
TomZTake: This Class C station is nestled between three metros (Harrisburg, York and Lancaster) and doesn't really penetrate any very well.

Iowa Talker Steve Deace Returning To On-Air

Steve Deace, the Iowa conservative who helped shape the 2008 caucus campaign from his former perch at 1040 AM WHO radio, will announce Friday that he’s returning to the airwaves as a nationally syndicated talk radio host, accortding to a story by Alexander Burns at

Deace, who left the Des Moines-based station WHO in February, will be syndicated by the Truth Radio Network and will broadcast over its Ames-area affiliate KTIA. His first show will be on Aug. 12, on the eve of the Ames presidential straw poll.

According to an announcement shared with POLITICO, his show, “Steve Deace,” has been picked up by stations in Richmond, Salt Lake City and Charlotte. In a statement, Deace said he expected his reach to grow further.

“Hopefully this is just the beginning,” Deace said. “We are looking forward to working with stations in Iowa to develop statewide coverage as well. Soon, we’ll be making life harder for political pretenders and Republicrats nationwide!”

Read More.

Detroit's Jevon Hollywood Injured In Car Accident


Please see updated posting concerning Hollywood's passing.

A 106.7 FM WDTW Detroit radio talent was injured in a car crash Thursday morning in Northville, outside of Detroit.

According to a posting at, police said Jevon Hollywood, overnight jock on The Beat 106.7, was involved in a car crash. Hollywood was hit when he entered the westbound lanes in the path of a vehicle, police said. The driver of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries.

Hollywood was recovering from serious injuries Thursday night.

The Beat's station website is urging listeners to send good wishes, click here.

Al Sharpton’s Radio Power Play

Al Sharpton wasn’t just pleasing prospective employer MSNBC when he became the first major black leader to endorse the controversial Comcast/NBC merger. It turns out he was also enriching his current employer, Radio One, the largest black-owned radio company in the country, which has paid him more money than he’s made anywhere else in his life, accorsding to a story by Wayne Barratt at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast has already reported that just months after Sharpton played a pivotal role in pushing the merger, he became a regular substitute host and appears now to be in line for a fulltime anchor post on Comcast’s MSNBC. As awkward as that coincidence is, how about a conflict of interest he did not disclose in his letters to the Federal Communications Commission—or his other pro-merger activities?

He was trumpeting a merger that’s already paid dividends to Radio One and its affiliate TV One, which reportedly pay him $700,000-a-year for his six-year-old radio show, commentary, and other appearances on TV One, and occasional blogging on their joint website, NewsOne.

While Radio One is the largest single shareholder in TV One, Comcast has been its partner since TV One’s inception in 2004 and, until recently, held almost as much stock in the television network, 34 percent, as Radio One, 36.8 percent. In fact, Comcast’s role in the launch of this network, which targets a national black audience, was cited repeatedly by the company when questions were raised about its diversity track record during the yearlong debate about this merger.

Alfred Liggins, the chairman of TV One and the CEO and president of Radio One, testified on behalf of the merger at a June 2010 congressional hearing dominated by black opponents of it, led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman John Conyers. He said then that Radio One’s holdings in TV One would grow to 66 percent “over the next 12 to 18 months,” but what he didn’t say was that Comcast would help to make that happen.

Within a few weeks of the Comcast/NBC approval in late January, Radio One’s ownership of TV One soared to 50.8 percent. Comcast acknowledged in an email to The Daily Beast that it facilitated this stock acquisition, though it said the terms of the deal were “confidential.”

Read More.

Caylee Anthony Tribute Song Sparks Tampa Radio War

Wild 94.1's Orlando and The Bone's Bubba the Love Sponge fight on air

When it comes to clashes between big radio personalities it's tough sometimes to tell the difference between staged confrontations for ratings and genuine fights over real arguments.

But, according to a story by Eric Deggans at,  an emotional battle between two of the Tampa's biggest radio personalities -- 94.1 WLLD-FM's Orlando Davis (right) and 102.5 WHPT-FM's Bubba the Love Sponge Clem -- sure sounded like a genuine, put-up-your-dukes fight.

The argument started as a conflict over an attention-getting song created by another personality who works for Davis' employer, CBS Radio.

Cledus T. Judd (left), the co-host of the morning show at 99.5 WQYK-FM, penned a tune called She's Going Places (Caylee's Song) with Gary Levox of the hit country band Rascal Flatts, trying to draw attention to the deceased, 2-year-old daughter of acquitted murder suspect Casey Anthony.

The song has drawn lots of attention already, with more than 520,000 views on YouTube; versions of the song on iTunes and are now sold with proceeds going to, a children's safety charity supported by HLN anchor (and outspoken Casey Anthony critic) Nancy Grace.

Clem has criticized Judd's song as  transparent attempt to earn ratings and attention from the highly publicized Anthony trial; Davis wrote an email to a co-host on Clem's show to complain. This morning, both hosts clashed in segments aired on both morning shows over who was in the right.

"You do everything for attention ... you're a hack," said Davis to Clem on air, unleashing a string of insults in which he accused the rival host of struggling to rescue a fading broadcast career by unfairly criticizing Judd. "You have ratings, but you're at the end of your run. You're a broke down Howard Stern."

Clem countered by alleging that was a questionable charity, saying the organization's tax returns show a large percentage of donations it collects fund staff salaries. "First of all, you're a liar," Clem said, challenging Orlando's statements about dominating ratings in young listeners. "Play the song on your air and let your listeners decide how...cheesy it is."

Read More.

Arbitron To Acquire Finnish Research Company

Arbitron Inc. announced Thursday that it has acquired Zokem Oy, a Finland-based mobile audience measurement and analytics firm for a payment of approximately $11.7 million in cash at closing with possible additional incremental cash payments through 2014 of up to $12 million based on future financial performance.
Zokem provides custom and syndicated mobile research panels, plug-and-play mobile media measurement tools and software building blocks for mobile device tracking to the leading companies in the marketing research, wireless, Internet, media and marketing industries.

Through its proprietary and passive mobile application, Zokem customers can track and interpret consumer use of mobile devices and media. The technology also provides information on network performance and effectiveness of mobile ad campaigns. Zokem currently operates panels in 14 global markets and has relationships with a number of the largest mobile industry participants around the world.

Zokem will operate as Arbitron Mobile, which will be led by Dr. Hannu Verkasalo, Zokem founder and CEO, and will report to Sean Creamer, executive vice president, U.S. Media Services for Arbitron.

Also Thursday, Arbitron has decided to let the Spring 2011 Birmingham survey stand as is. 

Cox Media's GM David Dubose contended that African-American listeners did not fill out diaries because their homes were destroyed in the spring storms and they had other priorities.

Here is the Arbitron decision:

Dear Birmingham Client:

Before publishing the Birmingham, Alabama Spring 2011 market report, Arbitron conducted a thorough review of sample sizes, sample representation, diary consent rates, return rates, response rates and other sample metrics. Based on that review, Arbitron believes that the Spring 2011 Birmingham radio listening estimates are reliable and that it was appropriate to publish the Spring 2011 Quarterly Report for the full 12-week period.

In weather-related crisis situations like the Birmingham tornado of April 27, Arbitron follows its standard operating procedures for assessing survey viability during a weather-related crisis in a market. The tornado of April 27 did cause Arbitron to suspend survey operations on April 28; Arbitron was able to resume complete survey operations in the market by April 30, with stepped-up monitoring and special interviewer training.

Throughout the remainder of the Spring survey period, Arbitron closely monitored the facility and technical status of Birmingham stations as well as the sample performance metrics in the market. Arbitron continually reviewed usability rates for household phone lines, consent and placement rates, the percent of diaries reaching their destination, and return rates.

Based on the results of all its reviews that were conducted both during and after the Spring 2011 survey period in Birmingham, the company continues to support its decision to publish the Birmingham, Alabama Spring 2011 market report.


Gregg Lindner
Executive Vice President
Service Innovation and
Chief Research Officer

Michigan Working On New Radio Deal

From Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is looking into a new radio deal since the current contract -- signed in 2006 -- expired after last season.

The previous deal was signed with CBS Radio, the Chum Radio Group of Canada and Radio One. U-M football was broadcast on WOMC-FM (104.3) in Detroit and CKLW-AM (800) in Canada, with basketball on WWJ-AM (950) and WCHB-AM (1200). Broadcasts of both sports were simulcast on WTKA-AM (1050). WTKA also carried non-revenue sports, including hockey and women's basketball.

Brandon said Thursday during Big Ten football media days that the deal is being negotiated by IMG but that Michigan is its partner.

It's a bit more challenging than the days when U-M only had to renew with WJR-AM (760), which covered half the country, or WWJ, with a vast local reach. U-M's deal with WJR ended after the 2005 season when the station signed with Michigan State.

CBS Radio might be a likely option because of the Detroit market's sports track record with play by play -- all four Detroit pro teams are on 97.1 FM WXYT -- and the extended reach of a 50,000-watt FM station and WWJ's strength during daylight hours.
Read More.

Mark Ramsey: Improve Podcasts And Make Money

SoJersey's KOOL 98.3 To Re-Launch Monday

With a firm commitment to programming that's both live and local seven days a week, Kool 98.3 WTKU-FM will re-launch August 1with hit songs from the 1960's through the '80's played by a lineup of personalities whose names and voices are familiar to radio listeners in southern New Jersey and throughout the Delaware Valley, station officials announced Thursday.

"Our goal is to position Kool 98.3 as South Jersey's Greatest Hits Station among all age groups," said Dave Coskey, president of Longport Media, LLC., which purchased Kool 98.3 along with four other local radio stations in May.

Paul Kelly has been named Director of Operations for Longport Media and will oversee the development and rollout of the changes, Coskey added.

Kool 98.3's new format will include Morning Wake Up with Dave Allen Pratt  & Tina Owen get the AM Drive duties. Also featured on Morning Wake Up with Dave & Tina will be NBC40 chief meteorologist Dan Skeldon's exclusive weather forecasts. During the midday hours, seasoned radio veteran Jennifer Scott returns to KOOL weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Afternoon drive from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. is Jackson T. Chase, one of the area's most recognized and familiar voices. Chase made his local radio debut in 1971 as the morning drive personality on WMID - The Jersey Giant - which was the region's premier station of its time. Finally, one of the most iconic figures in the history of Delaware Valley radio wraps up each weekday. Jerry Blavat, the legendary "Geator with the Heator," slides behind the microphone and brings his inimitable style and encyclopedic knowledge of music to Kool 98.3 Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For  weekends, Kool 98.3 has recruited Dick Fennessy, whose resume includes stints at Philadelphia's 1970s powerhouse WFIL, to anchor Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Then Mike Bowe, who spent more than 25 years as the morning and afternoon drive-time host on Philadelphia's WMGK, will take the 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. shift.

And on the first Sunday of every month, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., another voice and face familiar to Delaware Valley radio and television audiences will see his broadcasting career come full circle. Atlantic City native Tom Lamaine, whose media career began at WOND in the early 1960s, will revive "Tom Lamaine's Memory Lane," the show that launched his radio career and continued when he took the program to WIP radio in Philadelphia in the late 1960s. Lamaine went on to enjoy a long career at KYW-TV CBS3's "Eyewitness News" in Philadelphia.


In Philly, The Geator Rocks On

With a candid new autobiography, Jerry Blavat proves he's one of a kind

From Tim Whitaker,

The Boss with the Sauce.

The Man with the Plan.

The Rebel Jock who rocks the Big Tick Tock from his Tower of Power Clock.

You live in Philly three months or 30 years, you know the name Jerry Blavat.

The man is everywhere at once.

Now, with the publication of You Only Rock Once, his new autobiography, you get the chance to know him a lot better.

It’s all there, from the way he grew up in South Philadelphia with a mother he adored and a father he didn’t to how he started building his brand in high school as a dancer on Bandstand. The important storyline here is how he stayed religiously loyal to a brand of street harmony and soul sounds that connected intimately with neighborhood kids too tough to ever go Mod.

The Beatles? Never happened.

And he doesn’t spare the unflattering rough stuff that came his way either—from his scrapes with the law to his alliances with guys you wouldn’t want to be on a first-name basis with. The ride was not always smooth.

You hang with the Geator, you learn things—about American Indian tribes, for example (he’s a near scholar), and about old movies (he has encyclopedic knowledge) and about the early days of the record industry—lots of colorful and fun things, but sad and unsavory things too. (Lots of artists got screwed. The Geator knows exactly who did the screwing.)

Hang with the Geator and you learn the value of freedom and autonomy.

Instead of getting paid by radio stations, the Geator pays the radio stations. He’s done this his whole career.

He buys time on small AM radio stations so that he can do what he wants, which means he can play the records he wants, and he can sing and yelp through them all if the spirit moves him. Nobody’s going to tell him what to play or what to say. He sells commercial time to sponsors for his radio shows himself and airs spots for his many club appearances, which is where he earns his money.

He’s always gambled that his followers will remain loyal to him, that they’ll find him on the dial no matter how obscure the station, no matter how weak the signal. As he likes to say, he plays music “from the heart and not a research chart”—and where else are you going to find that on the radio dial today?

Read More.

Denver: Alice's Twist of Fate Helps Cancer Survivor

Cancer patient gets wish with help from Slacker and Steve

Daughter and Sherri
A Colorado woman fighting cancer got her wish to see her daughter when Alice 105.9 FM KALC radio hosts Slacker and Steve stepped in.

According to a story at Jusa Webb at, Slacker and Steve started a new segment on their afternoon talk show called "Twist of Fate" where they randomly pick up a telephone line and try to help grant a wish to one of their listeners.

Sitting in her car in the parking lot of her doctor's office after hearing the news that her breast cancer had relapsed, Sherri turned on her radio. That's when she found out about the Twist of Fate project and decided to call in and asked for help getting her daughter, who goes to college in Florida, home before her surgery.

That's where Slacker and Steve stepped in. They turned to their listeners and looked for their generosity to help Sheri get her daughter home.

Before long, listeners called in and donated everything from their extra frequent flier miles to meals and activities for the mom and daughter during their visit.

"It's not even us. We're just using the radio station and then listeners call in and give up all of this stuff," Slacker said.

Read More.

KFYI-AM Hopes Issues Show Gets Laffs

Gregg Paul
A veteran news reporter and an East Valley comedy aficionado are launching a new program on Clear Channel’s 550 AM KFYI Phoenix that will attempt to make the politically incorrect correct, or at least make people laugh if they don’t find the content appalling.

According to a story by Mike Sakal at, a “test run” of the one-hour show “Live Wire” will begin at 9 p.m. on Saturday with co-hosts Gregg Paul of KFYI and Tony Vicich, who oversees the Funnies Room and the popular Class Clowns Comedy School at the Tempe Improv.

Two other stand-up comics also will be sitting in on the program, which has a round-table format with co-hosts and their guests discussing hot-button issues throughout the region as well as politics and culture presented through a comedy perspective.

Tony Vicich
It’s similar to the way friends would be trading witticisms at the local bar or while tapping into a keg of beer at a party.

Paul, who said he wants liberal government out of his back pocket and conservative government out of his bedroom, said he presented a proposed outline of the show to program director Smokey Rivers about a month ago, and Rivers liked the idea.

“I think the program is going to stand out like a drunk who crashes a cocktail party,” said Paul, who has worked for KFYI for five years and does a weekly segment called “The Political Observer Moment.”

Read More.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Study: What Women Want From Morning Shows

Once again this summer Alan Burns and Associates interviewed over 2,000 women across the country to gain information about their radio usage and attitudes, their personal interests, music tastes, morning show content preferences, and digital media usage.

The results of the 2011 study are being presented by dmr in a series of 4 free webinars, each Thursday.  The second of the presentations today concerned "What Women Want From CHR and/or AC Morning Shows".

After music, these are the Favorite content features of morning shows.

For more highlights, click here.

Register now for next week's free webinar, "A Deep Dive Into Top 40," Thursday, Aug. 4 at 2pm EDT.

Pandora Radio Targets Local Sales With Ratings

Pandora beats all terrestrial stations among A18-34 in top five markets

Edison Research Thursday released audience analysis that showcases ratings for Pandora internet radio in top local markets in the United States.

The numbers were announced at a Pandora Radio Innovators Summit in Los Angeles where Pandora Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren spoke with media buyers.

"Radio is radio," said Westergren, "Pandora is simply a smart buy for local advertisers as well as national ones.

In fact, some advertising agencies are designating Pandora with the call letters 'WPAN.' Listeners are increasingly turning to Pandora personalized radio to listen to music at home, at work, in the car and all points in between. It's a great platform for advertisers to connect directly with their audience throughout the day."

Said Edison Research President Larry Rosin, "We analyzed and converted Pandora's data into AQH (average quarter hour), which is the standard metric for radio advertising buying. We believe this data demonstrates the significance and scope of Pandora's audience at the local level, especially among 18-34 and 18-49 year olds."

July Ratings
Monday-Sunday, 6.00 a.m. -midnight An average quarter hour (AQH) rating of 1.0 means an average of one percent of a target population is listening to Pandora for at least five minutes or more during any 15 minute window between 6.00 a.m. and midnight.

According to RAIN’s exclusive analysis of Arbitron ratings among the A18-34 demo, Pandora’s AQH is now higher than any terrestrial radio station in all of the five-largest U.S. radio markets.

In New York City, for example, Pandora’s 0.7 rating beats the top-rated terrestrial stations (Z100 and Hot 97), which each have a 0.6 rating. (Incidentally, that 0.7 rating gives it about an 8.0 share of all A18-34 listening in the market (to AM/FM plus Pandora combined).

Similarly, in Los Angeles, Pandora’s 0.9 rating among A18-34s is significantly ahead of the leading terrestrial station (KIIS-FM, with a 0.7 rating). In Chicago, Pandora’s 0.7 rating among A18-34s puts it ahead of the four stations tied with a 0.6 rating (WOJO, WGCI, WBBM-FM, and Kiss). Rounding out the top five markets, Pandora also leads in San Francisco and Dallas-Ft. Worth.

Read More.

Leslie Fram, Steve Cook Reflect on WRXP-FM NYC

From Rodney Ho,
Two key players from 99X’s heyday in Atlanta, Leslie Fram and Steve Craig, landed in New York in 2008 to build an adult-leaning rock station from scratch. Called WRXP-FM, Craig compared it to the early days of 99X: using mostly word of mouth and guerrilla marketing, as well as the programming smarts of Fram, the station grew steadily.

Craig, in an interview last week, said he was disappointed by the move: “We committed to this wholeheartedly. We put a lot of passion into it. The listener response was absolutely amazing.”
“We were firing on all cylinders,” he added. “We had a good run.”

WRXP started just as the economy was starting to crater in 2008. Emmis could never afford to spend the millions necessary to promote a new station in a market the size of New York. In June, the rock station ranked 19th in Arbitron ratings with a 2.6 rating, drawing 2.3 million weekly listeners. That’s not bad.

But RXP’s owners Emmis Communications needed to sell the station to pay off debt. Randy Michaels, the wild man of radio who ran Jacor, then Clear Channel (and was unceremoniously ousted from Tribune Broadcasting last year), recently purchased three stations, including WRXP. Rumor has it he wants to change 101.9 to FM talk.

So unlike 99X, which has survived in some way, shape or form, for 19 years, WRXP only made it three and a half years in the biggest radio market in the country.

Craig was befuddled when Emmis a few months ago eliminated the sales staff at RXP and merged them with the two Emmis urban stations in town. That made no sense to him. And as a result, he said, “as our numbers were going up, our revenues were going down.”

Fram and Craig are now pondering their next moves. Craig said he was given a very fair seven months severance, which is equal to the rest of his contract.

Fram, Craig said, “was very upset. She was the one controlling the ship. She worked herself to the bone. She did everything she could to make sure it was working.”  I reached out to her. She accepted an email interview but as you’ll see below, she assiduously avoids negativity to the press, even if she feels negative.

Q: Things seemed to be going well with WRXP in the ratings. Then the rug was pulled out from under you. What happened with the new company? Why couldn’t you convince the new owners that RXP was viable?
Read More.

August 1st Is Big Start Date For Radio

August 1st is the scheduled start date for CBS Radio's simulcast of News 780 AM WBBM on the FM dial at 105.9 in Chicago.  Some expect Merlin Media to end stunting on 101.1 FM New in Chicago and 101.9 FM New in NYC and unveil an expected female-oriented News/Talk format, possibly airing music on weekends.

Holly Steve, Miquel
And now we hear August 1st is the start date for Steve 'That Guy" Kramer on 98.7 FM WSJT, CBS Radio's recently launched Hot AC, branded at "Play 98.7" in Tampa.  Facebook Fan page is here.

Kramer recently ended a run at CHR Island 105.9 FM WILN in Panama City, Fl and he brings his ensemble with him.

He along with co-hosts Holly O'Connor and Miguel Fuller will  be jumping into a highly competitive AM Drive arena.

Tampa is also the location of an intense Top 40 battle between Cox Radio's Hot 101.5 FM WPOI and Clear Channel's 93.3 FM WFLZ.

By the way, Hot 101/5's new website is now up and active. Click Here.

PPMs Shake-up Jacksonville Country Radio

Arbitron Inc.'s new method for rating radio stations has produced some interesting results since the system was implemented last fall for the Jacksonville market.

According to a story by Mark Basch at, the most recent monthly data shows that urban adult contemporary music station 101.5 FM WSOL (also known as V101.5 FM) jumped to the top of the charts in June with a 9 percent average-quarter-hour share of all listeners age 6 and older, up from a 7.8 percent share in May.

But what really has the radio industry buzzing is an upheaval in country music ratings. For the past two months, WGNE (99.9 FM) has edged out WQIK (99.1 FM) as the top-rated Jacksonville country station.

WSOL's jump to the top in June is not a big surprise; music stations that appeal to younger listeners tend to get a bump when kids get out of school . But WGNE's move ahead of WQIK is unusual. According to Chris Huff, a Dallas radio ratings historian, that's the first time since 1979 that WQIK has been out of the top spot in local country music.

"The PPM is now giving credit where credit is due," said Bill Reese, general manger of Renda Broadcasting's four radio stations in the Jacksonville market, including WGNE.

Under the old ratings system, Arbitron compiled data quarterly from diaries submitted by area listeners . Since that system relied on recall and because WGNE and WQIK are so close on the dial, one of WGNE's theories is that listeners may have written down WQIK out of old habit. "Gator Country 99.9" is a relatively new station in the market, as Renda moved it from Daytona Beach to Jacksonville in 2005.

Aaron Wilborn, market manager for Clear Channel Radio's six Jacksonville stations, including WQIK, did not respond to phone messages seeking comment.

Renda has become a big player in the Jacksonville country music market. In addition to WGNE, which plays mainstream country music, it converted WMUV (100.7 FM) to classic country in 2009. WMUV was 11th overall in the June ratings with a 4.2 percent share, while WGNE finished seventh among all Jacksonville radio stations with a 7.2 percent share.

"It does give you a one-two punch," said Reese.

Reese said Renda has been aggressive at promoting country music with a free concert series at The Jacksonville Landing, putting on a total of 44 concerts since WGNE moved to the market. And Reese said the concert series is getting bigger, moving to Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for an Oct. 1 show. The stations will be announcing details of that concert soon, he said.

WQIK was not far behind WGNE in June, finishing eighth overall with a 6.8 percent share. Stark expects the race between the two stations to remain tight from month to month.  See Jacksonville market snapshot by clicking here.

Read More.

Is Third Sports Station Coming To Nashville?

The parent company of WPRT-FM 102.5 The Party went on a domain-registering spree last week, though the company won't definitively say the station is in for a new format.

According to a story by JR Lind at, Bayard "Bud" Walters, president of The Cromwell Group, registered dozens of domain names associated with the station, currently broadcasting in a Hot AC format.

Among the Web addresses now held by the Nashville-based company are:

Walters said it was mostly an attempt to protect the station's branding, but admits the company is "exploring some options" for the station.

Cromwell operates two other stations in the Nashville market: Christian station WQZQ 1550 AM and active-rock 102.9 FM WBUZ The Buzz.

The Buzz served as the flagship station for the Nashville Predators during the 2010-'11 season. Walters said that, when the deal was inked just weeks ahead of the beginning of the season, there was discussion of using the hockey team as the centerpiece for an all-sports format.

If The Party does end up using The Game — which would suggest a shift to sports — it would be the third all-sports station in the market, joining WGFX 104.5 The Zone and AM 560 WNSR.  See Nashville market snapshot by click here.

Read More.

Cincy Radio: Deters, Furman Swap Time Slots

From John Kiesewetter,
Starting Monday (8/1) Eric Deters will be on Real Talk 1160 AM WQRT 7-9 a.m., and Andy Furman returns to his 5-7 p.m. afternoon drive slot.

Deters had been 6-8 p.m. since joining WQRT-AM on June 13, after being fired by WLW-AM.

Jon Yinger, owner of the Christian Broadcasting System, explains the moves:
  • Deters’ hard news talk fits better with Laura Ingraham’s show 9 a.m.-noon. And the 7-9 a.m. slot fits better into Deters’ schedule as an attorney, and gets him home evenings to be with family.
  • Sports talk best fits in afternoon drive. Returning Furman to 5-7 p.m. will allow for more/better guests he couldn’t get to come to Fountain Square in the morning. Sports talk 5-7 p.m. will fit with Florence Freedom games at 7 p.m.
“What we found is that Andy’s audience is just not around a radio at 7 AM. It’s probably why no one else was doing this during AM Drive.
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Dave Pratt Set To Return To Traditional Phoenix Radio

Three months after returning to Valley radio through an internet-based set-up, longtime Arizona broadcasting personality Dave Pratt will expand his footprint to include the morning show for alternative-rock station X103.9 KEXX-FM, according to a story by Larry Rodgers at The Arizona Republic.

Pratt's show, which has been broadcast at and through several smart-phone apps since May 2, also will be heard on X103.9 starting Monday, Aug. 15. Pratt and his sidekick, Kassi Jayde, will be heard on the station 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays.

"The combination of traditional radio, along with digital and mobile technologies, has made it possible to stay loyal to each of you while keeping Arizona our home," Pratt said in a message to his listeners on his web site. His wife, Paula, handles Pratt's business affairs.

Pratt, 49, said he chose X103.9 because it is owned by the Riviera Broadcast Group, which has strong ties to Arizona.

Riviera executive Jose Rodiles said, "Dave Pratt is the most recognized on-air personality in the history of Phoenix radio. His track record over the past 30 years is well-documented, and the relationship he has with his listeners is second to none."

Pratt parted ways with country station 107.9 KMLE-FM in late 2008 and waited until this year to return to broadcasting. Pratt said the station let him go to save money, and KMLE never provided an official reason for the move.

See Phoenix market snapshot by clicking here.

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Opinion: Cumulus-Toledo Gambles On Andrew Z Show

From Jeremy Baumhower, for the Toledo Free Press
Following his legal troubles and many reportedly failed negotiations with various media outlets, Andrew Zepeda aka Andrew Z inked a deal with Cumulus Broadcasting. After a six month sit out due to a noncompete clause with his previous employer, Clear Channel, Andrew Z returned to morning radio July 18 on the 100 Watt HD station 100.7 FM The Vibe.

With technology changing media and how consumers get our favorite shows, Andrew Z had some pretty creative options and this signing was completely unnecessary.

When the Andrew Z “mess” happened, he was King of the Toledo Morning Airwaves, hosted a No. 1 Show, was Lucas County’s Weight Czar and was a media darling. Through all the negative press, Andrew Z has maintained the maximum limit of 5,000 friends on Facebook and a “fan” page with more than 2,000 “likes.” These numbers prove the power of his show.

In a town where radio ratings are not made public,  Andrew Z can demonstrate to clients a 7,000-member loyal, dedicated fan base he is reaching on a daily basis. Showing advertisers the amount of people your show and their commercials reach is key— it’s how the game is played.

To some, 7,000 people is not a lot, especially when Andrew’s previous audience was around 25,000 to 40,000 people.  I would disagree; 7,000 people who own a computer — and more importantly, disposable income — is a great marketable number. The more powerful aspect is that his fan base will grow as his show improves and word gets out.

The problem with Top 40 radio today is the listeners who must be targeted to get ratings. Top 40 stations play around 40 songs, which means they play same song every 60-90 minutes. That’s why it seems your one favorite song is always on. What does this mean? It simply means Top 40 stations target people who are less likely to  have extra money to buy music, an iPod, a smartphone or a newer car with satellite radio. Why would anyone wait through songs they do not like — and commercials — when they can play their favorite music off their iPod? Smartphones have apps like Pandora, where you can play the music you want commercial free.
See Toledo market snaphshot by clicking here.

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Jeremy Baumhower is a media expert who writes and produces for morning radio shows across the country. Follow him on Twitter @jeremytheproduc.

Report: iNet Radio Audience Increases 27%

The combined audience of the Top 20 webcasters in Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics for June 2011 is up 27% from last year, according to results released Tuesday and reported by Kurt Hanson's RAIN.

Pandora and AccuRadio led the way in year-over-year growth at 47% and 30% increases, respectively, in AAS (Average Active Sessions, which is essentially equivalent to AQH — i.e., average simultaneous listeners).

Presumably Slacker, too, would show impressive growth over June 2010, though they were not tracked in Webcast Metrics until July 2010. Slacker has grown 131% since July 2010 (though some of that was due to Triton Digital gradually incorporating the webcaster’s mobile audience).

Several broadcasters grew their online audiences year-over-year, too, with Emmis up 24%, Citadel up 19%, and Radio One / Interactive One up 8%.

Most month-over-month growth came from the pureplays. In the Domestic Mon-Sun 6a-12m daypart for June 2011, Slacker showed 7% growth over May 2011, AccuRadio 4% and broadcaster Greater Media 3%. Meanwhile, recovered after falling sharply in April and May.

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Target Friends Of FB Fans To Spread Your Brand

Forget Facebook fans; brands need to target the friends of fans. That's the takeaway of Social Essentials, a new service provided by ComScore, with help from Facebook. The service offers unprecedented insights into the influence of brands through social media, complete with detailed credit card behavior that can link web browsing patterns to purchase decisions.

A story by Gregory Ferenstein at reports ComScore recently released a white paper based on the data that shows why brands should focus more on the friends of their fans, and engage the most hardcore users with interactions that will ripple throughout their network's newsfeed. The data was collected through a massive survey of privacy-flouting Facebookers who volunteered to have their complete Internet behavior vigorously tracked.

Here's the key stat, as far as marketers are concerned: A meager 16% of company messages reach users in a given week, largely because the Facebook newsfeed usually only displays popular posts and few fans go to the brand's page on a regular basis.

The solution is to reach friends of fans through messages that are shareable, and promotions that require voting, checking in, or other interactivity. "Friends of fans represent about the most untapped potential in Facebook marketing," says ComScore VP of Marketing Solutions, Graham Mudd. For example, Starbucks's impressive 23 million fans pales in comparison to the number of friends of those same fans: 670 million.

In other words, for popular brands, the friends of fans represents "a very large proportion of the Facebook universe."

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Survey: 56% Of Americans Go Online For News

More than half of Americans, 56%, go online once or twice per day for news; nearly one-third go online for news three or more times per day, according to a survey from personal news service Ongo.

According to a posting at, the survey also found that 34% of Americans go to two news sites daily to stay informed, followed by 26% relying on three sites and 24% four sites or more.

Men were more likely than women to visit multiple sites for news, with 32% of men going to four or more sites for daily news, the survey said.

More than one-third of Americans, 37%, spend between 15 and 30 minutes reading news online each day. Some 26% spend between 31 minutes and one hour, while 21% spend up to 15 minutes, Ongo found.

The three most important news categories for Americans are national news (77%), followed by world news (75%) and local news (73%). Health and politics were the next most important news categories, at 50% and 49% respectively.

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Also Read:

GIGA.COM:  If your news site isn’t social, great design won’t matter

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tracy Dixon Gets WMAD Madison AM Drive Gig

A Rochester, MN radio personality is moving on to a new gig in Wisconsin.

Tracy Dixon, who is the voice in the morning on Clear Channel's The Fox 102.5 FM KMFX, announced Tuesday that she is going to Madison, Wis., to lead a morning show on Clear Channel's 96.3 Star Country, according to a story by Jeff Kiger at

"It is very bittersweet," she says. "(Rochester) is really one of the most giving communities I can imagine."

She'll wrap up her 12 years at The Fox with her last show on Aug. 5.

Her new show on Star Country on 95.3 FM WMAD in Madison will launch Aug. 22.

"This next month will be a whirlwind," she says of moving her family to Madison and taking on a job. "I seriously couldn't be any more excited."

Most of her time on the air at The Fox, she worked with partner Jake Duffy.

Then about three years ago, the station cut back on staffing and she became a one-person morning show.

"That was tough. I had to re-invent the way I do a morning show," Dixon says.

That certainly won't be the case in Madison.

She is partnering with another Madison Clear Channel personality, who is shifting from hosting his own sports show. Her team will also include a news and weather person and a show producer.

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Gaga Omaha Radio Gigs Ignite Social Media Frenzy

Two hours. That's all it took.

The World-Herald photo
Social media junkies spread word of a possible Lady Gaga radio appearance Monday in Omaha. And, in less than 120 minutes, little monsters swarmed the radio building.

Fans left their jobs in haste. They darted out of shopping malls. They tore out of restaurant parking lots.

A chance to see Mother Monster? That's epic.

According to a story by Josefina Loza at, Lady Gaga had been in town shooting video footage — involving Sarpy County cornfields, a barn with a piano and a biker bar — for nearly a week. Local fans have been looking for her, talking about her, tweeting and Facebook messaging each other about the pop star.

Emotions ran high Monday afternoon when a local DJ with 94.1 FM KQCH announced that Lady Gaga (real name: Stefani Germanotta) would be at the Journal Broadcast Group building in northwest Omaha for a live interview.

Immediately after the announcement, phones rang off the hook. Word spread like a California wildfire. People in Germany and England were listening to the station on the Internet.

More than 100 fans stood outside the radio station in 90-degree heat for a glimpse of Gaga. The 94.1 team handed out pop.

Inside, television reporters, cameramen and photographers scoped out the best angles to capture Gaga's entry. Access was tight.

Later, a throng of fans also gathered at the Clear Channel radio building for Gaga's interview on country station 103.7 FM KXKT.

The crowd at 94.1 impressed Mark Todd, director of operations for Journal Broadcast Group. He knew Gaga was in town, messaged a few people and started the media blitz. An Interscope record label representative flew out to oversee the operation.

Journal knew it would get an interview, but the station had only two hours to promote the appearance.

"We got word that it was going to happen last Friday afternoon," Todd said. "But we didn't know all the details until this morning."

Radio personalities Big Party, Jeff Degan and Molly Cavanaugh of Channel 94.1's "Big Party Morning Show" did the interview (listen here). Cavanaugh called in from Chicago, where she was visiting. Nobody told them what questions to ask.

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RIP: Dan Peek, Founding Member of America

Dan Peek, a founding member of soft-rock trio America, which shot to the top of the pop charts in the 1970s with bouncy, lightweight hits including "A Horse With No Name," "Ventura Highway" and "Sister Golden Hair," died Sunday at his home in Farmington, Mo., outside St. Louis, according to a story by Randy Lewis at

He was 60.

Peek's wife, Catherine, found him dead in bed, his father, Milton Peek, told the Associated Press. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Peek rode to mainstream success with half a dozen top 10 singles with fellow band members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell.

"It was a joyous time for the three of us, full of excitement and laughter," Bunnell said in a statement. "We created lasting music together and experienced a life that we could never have imagined."

Said Beckley: "He was a dear friend for many years. Dan and his music will live on in the great songs he shared with us all."

Peek left the group in 1977, devoting himself to writing and recording contemporary Christian music.

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Emmis' 101X Settles To End FCC Payola Probe

Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Co., owner of Austin radio station 101.5 KROX-FM,  will pay $12,000 to put an end to a five-year investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, according to a story by Gary Dinges at

A complaint filed with the FCC in 2006 accused the station, known on air as 101X, of engaging in a payola scheme that netted one of its hosts "valuable consideration" from a music store, a live music venue, a booking agent and a band manager.

Payola, according to the FCC, occurs when a station or one of its employees fails to report that it has received some form of payment for airing material.

The same complaint also claimed that 101X made it difficult for independent musicians to get airtime.

Emmis believes it did nothing wrong, market manager Scott Gillmore said, but opted to settle to end a costly, time-consuming legal battle.

"We basically consider this to have been a misunderstanding," Gillmore said Monday. "We would never want anything to happen that would even cause the appearance of payola."

In addition to paying $12,000, Emmis will also increase its training for staffers and strengthen its record-keeping procedures.

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Chicago's WWWN Stunts With On-Air Tune-Up

From Robert Feder, TimeOutChicago,com
Honestly, I’ve heard college radio stations deliver smoother newscasts than the ones they’ve been airing on Merlin Media’s new 101.1 FM. Since last week, the station (which officially changed call letters from WKQX to WWWN) has been supplementing its music stunting with hourly, six-minute newscasts testing various combinations of anchors and contributors. Granted, they’re still in rehearsal/test mode, and they’re struggling without the right equipment in place. But you’d think they’d work out their choreography off the air before subjecting listeners to samples of a format that’s clearly not up to par. A few of the clumsy trial runs I heard only made me appreciate the polished professionalism of all-news WBBM-AM (780) that much more.

Merlin Media’s plans to roll out a full-time news format on FM continue to have repercussions up and down the dial — even if rival station bosses would like us to believe they’re not reacting. CBS Radio execs tried to pretend that the impending competition wasn’t behind their decision to simulcast Newsradio 780 on WCFS-FM (105.9), starting next week. And now WGN-AM (720) managers are insistent that nothing should be read into the sudden return of “The Voice of Chicago” as the Tribune-owned news/talk station’s on-air slogan. Let’s hope CBS doesn’t try to deny the obvious now that it’s touting WXRT-FM (93.1) as “Chicago’s Original Alternative” on the heels of Q101’s demise.
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