Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday Aircheck: AFVN Vietnam

American Forces Vietnam Network broadcast audio clips.

AFVN was a "voice of morale" for many soldiers serving during the Vietnam war all over the country from the "Delta to the DMZ".

Circa mid-late ‘60s.

FLASHBACK: The Story of WMAL Washington, DC

From The Blog Faded Signals:

WMAL, Washington, D.C., signed on in 1925.  It was a CBS affiliate from 1928 to 1932.  It joined the NBC Blue Network in 1933 and later joined ABC.

Evening Star Broadcasting Company, owners of the defunct Washington Evening Star newspaper, acquired the station in 1938.  The company put WMAL-TV on the air in 1947. It was the nation’s first high-band VHF TV station, broadcasting over Channel 7.  In 1948, it started WMAL-FM at 107.3 MHz (now WRQX-FM).

WMAL-AM adopted a full-service format in the 1960s, which many consider to be one of the best executed line-ups in the country.  The station tried to offer something for everyone.  Among the popular personalities on WMAL were Frank Harden and Jackson Weaver, who hosted the station’s morning show for more than 40 years. 

Today, WMAL is a news/talk station, simulcasting on 630 AM and 105.9 FM, which uses the call letters WMAL-FM.

Rick McClure created a documentary about WMAL’s history.   Here’s a link to the 45-minute video:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Report: Radio Doesn't Pay Well

But You Already Knew That!

Forbes has combed through data gathered annually by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the Labor Department, to find the 13 most surprising low-paying jobs. The BLS culls its information from surveys it mails to businesses, and it releases its Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Data each spring. The report shares information about hundreds of occupations, including hourly and annual wages, total numbers of workers in the profession, and the states and metro areas that pay the best.

To make the cut for the Forbes list, the average pay of employees in the profession had to be less than $50,000—when you’d think it would be more.

Among professions that you probably thought paid more than $50,000 a year: Radio and TV announcers, and reporters and correspondents.

Forbes reports “announcers generally speak or read from scripted materials, such as news reports or commercial messages—but their voices and personalities earn them only $40,510 a year, on average. The mean pay is as little as $17,150 for the bottom 10% of them. You’ll make less than $27,740 working as a radio or television announcer in Wyoming, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alabama and Kentucky—but you’ll earn $84,220, on average, in Washington, D.C.

Pay isn’t much better for reporters and correspondents. Those pros gather news by interview, investigation, or observation and share it with the public. Reporting and writing stories for newspapers, magazines, radio, television or other mediums will put $43,640 in your wallet each year, or just $20,000 for the bottom 10%.

Reporters in D.C. and Massachusetts earn an average annual income of $71,450 and $64,080, respectively—while those in places like Montana, Iowa and Idaho earn an average yearly pay of less than $29,500.

Fisher Reports Radio Revenue Flat Q4, Down Year ‘12

Fisher Communications, Inc. Thursday reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

Colleen Brown
"We are pleased with our operating performance in the fourth quarter and full year of 2012. For the seventh consecutive year, Fisher broadcast stations grew core market revenue share reflecting the quality and value of our local brands, and validating the strength and execution of our strategic plan," said Colleen B. Brown, Fisher's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As we begin 2013, we remain focused on building on our momentum and creating value for our shareholders."

Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Highlights

Revenues were $52.1 million, up 12% from $46.4 million but were up 20% when excluding Fisher Plaza revenue from 2011. Direct operating, selling, general and administrative and programming costs increased 5% or $1.8 million.  Adjusted EBITDA of $17.5 million, was up 65% from $10.7 million.

TV net revenue was up 23% year-over-year to $46.7 million driven by strong political issue and candidacy placements.  Radio net revenue was relatively flat at $5.5 million. Radio cash flow was relatively flat at $1.4 million; radio cash flow margin of 26% was also in-line with the fourth quarter of 2011.

Full Year 2012 Financial Highlights

Revenues were up 3% to $168.2 million, and were up 12% when excluding Fisher Plaza revenue from 2011.  TV net revenues increased 15% to $147.3 million due to increased political spending and retransmission consent revenue.

Radio net revenue declined 2% to $21 million. Radio cash flow was up 14% to $5.5 million; radio cash flow margin was 26%, an increase from 23% in 2011.

Groupon’s Andrew Mason Fired

Andrew Mason, the irreverent programmer and musician who turned a failed social action site into the daily deals phenomenon Groupon, was dismissed Thursday as chief executive.

A day earlier, Groupon reported weak fourth- quarter earnings, which caused investors to shave off a quarter of the Chicago company’s value. The news about Mr. Mason, released after the market closed, sent shares up more than 4 percent in late trading, according to a story at the

In a note to Groupon employees that was typical of his sassy style, Mr. Mason wrote: “after four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding — I was fired today.”

He added, “If you’re wondering why ... you haven’t been paying attention.”

Groupon said in its earnings call that first-quarter revenue would be about 10 percent lower than analysts were expecting, among other disappointments.

Jordan Rohan, an analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus, said Mr. Mason’s exit “was long overdue.”

“I view Mason as a visionary idea generator,” Mr. Rohan said. “Few would argue with how impressive the Groupon organization was as it grew. However, at some point it became the overgrown toddler of the Internet — operationally clumsy, not quite ready to make adult decisions.”

Tom’s Take:  Once must wonder how long JC Penney’s CEO Ron Johnson can last. Penney’s recently issued a disastrous financial report.  The huge losses come after Penney’s tried to market ‘everyday low prices’ and eliminate coupons and sales.  Well, the sales are coming back.  Personally, I’m not a ‘shopper’ but I do know this: people who are shoppers enjoy the ‘hunt’. And Penney's marketing strategy made the chain 'boring'.  JC Penney and radio have at least one thing in common:  Know your audience!   

CRS: It's Friday Already!

Here's Thursday's wrap-up.

Lew Dickey Talks NashFM At CRS

Lew Dickey
The addition of a country radio station in New York City will directly benefit the Nashville music community, the president and CEO of Cumulus Media said Thursday.

NASH FM, which launched last month, will focus on building relationships with Nashville record labels, Lew Dickey said. The new station depends on local labels for fresh music and views itself as the “promotional arm” of those operations, he said.

“Content is incredibly important to us,” Dickey said according to the Nashville Tennssean. “We just look at it as NASH is good for Nashville.”

The station already has had a cumulative audience of more than 1 million, Dickey said, adding that a spike in country record sales in the New York area followed the station’s launch.

The media company is hoping NASH FM will be viewed as “hip, fun and accessible,” characteristics that will help it transcend country music’s image and rope in new listeners, Dickey said.

“It has actually exceeded our expectations as this largely transcendent brand,” Dickey said. “That’s one of the things necessary to bring advertisers to the brand.”

Dickey shared his vision for the start-up station and the NASH brand during a morning presentation at the Country Radio Seminar. The annual gathering of country radio and music label executives and recording artists concludes today at the Nashville Convention Center.

Last month’s launch of NASH FM in New York marked the first time the city has had a country radio station in 17 years. With the addition of NASH, Cumulus now controls a market-leading 84 country radio stations.

Read More Now.

Country Aircheck’s Daily Buzz reports Dickey was sked about the company's management philosophy. "We believe in centralization where it makes sense. We view corporate as quality control and strategic planning ... every market is different, but the fundamentals that drive great radio stations – sales, promotion, programming – are all the same. That doesn't mean you play the same playlist in every market ... but there are a set of key fundamentals that, if practiced properly, will result in strong performance."

As for the perception of Cumulus within the label community he admitted, "There's probably a little bit of misunderstanding and maybe some overreach on our part ... but that's not the intent and that's not the steady-state of how we want to run the business. Radio and the label have a symbiotic partnership. We are the promotional arm for the labels. We want to have a very constructive relationship." 

CRS: Study Takes You Inside Listeners’ Homes

Country Radio Seminar’s 2013 research study was delivered in front of a packed house at CRS 2013, providing an in depth look into the lives and attitudes of Country radio fans and their interactions with the medium.

This year’s study was an ‘Ethnographic Study’, which profiled Country fans across the nation, examining them in their day-to-day environments to gather qualitative information regarding their use and consumption of County radio in an era filled with an array of music media outlets.

Radio consultant and CRS research chairman, Joel Raab said, “Going beyond X's and O's allows us to examine not only attitudes, but behavior. This added insight gives programmers new depth in understanding our fans.”

The fans selected for the study varied signifant in age and lifestyles and the results found that Country music touches the lives in deeply personal ways. And the study raises a key question: when Country fans/listeners respond with real emotion, why are radio stations becoming more and more like their automated competitors?

Among the study’s key findings were:

- Radio’s competition is no longer only between stations. The fight today is against all of the other media: Television(outlets like CMT/GAC/TCN), YouTube, Pandora, and even personal mobile devices.

- People are choosing to listen to the device that presents the path of least resistance. In the car, that remains radio. At home or in the workplace, there is a much more competitive situation: television, in particular, at home and the Internet at work.

- If one listens to radio today, it is often devoid of emotion. And yet when you talk to people in their homes, they place the emphasis on the emotions that country music elicits.

St. Louis Radio: Listeners Tune-Out Sports

Fans are tuning out St. Louis sports-talk radio in massive quantities and media writer Dan Caesar at calls it “stunning”.

The jock-talk format targets men ages 25-54 and figures compiled by Aribtron, which surveys radio listenership, show that there was a mammoth decline — 58 percent — in market share in the format over the past year.

According to the statistics, the three St. Louis sports stations — WXOS 101.1 FM, KFNS 590 AM and KXFN 1380 AM — combined in January 2012 to draw 13.5 percent of the estimated 549,100 men in the market in that age bracket. That’s about 74,000 listeners.

This January, their combined market share staggered to 5.6 percent. And because there were about 17,000 fewer men in the target audience than there were a year earlier, total sports-radio listenership was just under 30,000 — a whopping 60 percent loss.

The crash comes despite a notable year locally in sports. The Cardinals followed their miracle comeback run to the World Series title by falling one game short of returning to the Fall Classic, the Blues had a breakout year, there was much hoopla surrounding the Rams’ hiring of Jeff Fisher as coach then a significant improvement on the field. And there was Missouri’s bold move to the Southeastern Conference.

St. Louis broadcast historian Frank Absher, who has worked on the air, behind the scenes and has taught journalism at St. Louis University, says the point of “too much’’ finally has arrived.

“The St. Louis market is over-populated with all-sports stations and the pie isn’t big enough to keep all of them afloat,” said Absher, executive director of the St. Louis media history foundation. “Add to that the establishment of more all-sports programming by the major networks and we’ll see over-saturation.”

John Kijowski, who runs WXOS as well as Hubbard Radio’s other St. Louis outlets, attributes the decline in part to abnormalities in gathering listenership data. He points out that many stations appealing to men in other formats are down, too.

Report: ‘Today’ Show Rearranging Deck Chairs On The Titanic

Matt Lauer
The “Today” show has fallen harder than Jennifer Lawrence on Oscar night. A former NBC executive tells Confidenti@l at that as the former number one morning show slips into third place in NYC (even behind WNYW’s local morning show), replacing Matt Lauer is now seriously on the table.

 “They are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. They can shift things around, but it’s not helping,” Confidential quotes their source.

“Their short-term solution is looking for new experts to replace some of the familiar faces that have been on the show forever. What they also need to do is hire someone to shake up everything and have the discussion about what to do with Matt.”

“Today,” which had held the top spot in mornings for the past 16 years, is now behind both “Good Morning America” and Fox 5’s morning show “Good Day New York,” losing to both in the February sweeps.

“GMA” pummeled “Today” for the third week in a row, while “GDNY” won the coveted 25-54 age group.

Morale at “Today” is also at an all-time low, and staffers are fear-stricken over losing their jobs after what happened to departed co-anchor Ann Curry, former executive producer Jim Bell and NBC News president Steve Capus, who resigned in February.

Survey: Only 6% Rate News Media As Very Trustworthy

Most voters still get their news from television and consider the news reported by the media generally trustworthy, according to a new Rasmussen survey.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely U.S. Voters say they get most of their news from TV, including 32% who get it from cable news networks and 24% who get it from traditional network news. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that another 25% use the Internet as their main source of news, while only 10% still rely on print newspapers. Seven percent (7%) get most of their news from radio.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of all voters regard the news reported by the media as at least somewhat trustworthy, but that includes just six percent who think it is Very Trustworthy. Forty-two percent (42%) don’t trust the news media, with 12% who believe the news it reports is Not At All Trustworthy.

Read More Now (subscription)

Report: Radio Guru Turns Podcast Curator

The man who made a fortune bringing the Super Bowl, Bill O'Reilly and Grateful Dead concerts to listeners nationwide via their local radio stations has returned to programming. But now he's bypassing conventional radio.

Norman J. Pattiz, who created and turned Westwood One into one of the biggest and most recognizable radio networks in the country, is this week launching, a one-stop site that offers shows from hundreds of online broadcasters for listeners to browse and download.

"You can't look at radio as a bricks-and-mortar operation, and consumed on a radio over a certain frequency," Pattiz told the LA Times. "That's a recipe for disaster. So much of radio is being consumed online, and on the Internet."

Podcasts are shows available online that listeners can hear on their computers or download to their smartphones, iPods, tablets or other devices. Unlike conventional radio, a podcast can be saved, stopped, replayed and consumed at the listener's leisure.

Pattiz said PodcastOne gives him "the opportunity to put out content to a mass audience, without the constraints of having to convince a program director or a station group."

Andrew Z Plans To Ignore C&D From Cumulus

Andrew Z
Former WWWM Star 105 morning radio host Andrew Zepeda was served with a notice of demand to cease and desist from Cumulus Media on Feb. 28, stating that his morning radio show, relaunched Feb. 25 via smartphone app, is a violation of his noncompete agreement with the station that fired him in December. (See Original Posting, Click Here)

Sarah Ottney at The Toledo Blade reports Zepeda and his attorney, Beau Harvey, said they disagree and have no intentions of stopping the show.

Zepeda referred questions to Harvey, but said via text, “The only thing I can say is I will address it tomorrow morning at 7:30 on my show on the ‘Toledo’s APP Station’ phone app.”

Spaulding, who said the notice was filed Feb. 25, declined to share specific details of the former host’s contract with the station, but said Zepeda’s new show is “a direct violation” of several sections.

“I can’t speak specifically to his agreement, but typically an on-air personality like Mr. Zepeda or anyone that would be on this station or any station would typically have a noncompete, nonsolicitation and nondisclosure agreement within their contract that would last for a period of time after their separation,” Spaulding said. “Typically its engaging in any type of competitive business whether on-air, online or any of the like within a certain radius of where he or she was previously employed.”

“We don’t believe that the noncompete applies to Web radio and we’re pretty adamant about that,” Harvey said, pointing to a precedent set by a similar case in Stark County, Ohio, in which a judge differentiated between the Web and an FCC-licensed radio station.

Zepeda’s new show debuted 6:30 a.m. Feb. 25 on a free smartphone app called Toledo’s APP Station. It airs live 6:30-9:30 a.m. Monday-Friday and replays in a loop all day afterward.

FLASHBACK: Funny Song Request

Back in January 2010. WMMR 93.3 FM’s Pierre Robert was taking requests for a Double-Shot Tuesday and MMR listener Chris wanted to hear the theme song for Casino Royale and didn't know the title......then this happened.

Tip of the headphones to Lori Lewis.

NYC Radio: DJ Envy Talks On-Air About Affair

WWPR Power 105.1 radio personality DJ Envy has come clean about his affair with ‘Love & Hip-Hop’ star Erica Mena.

During the Breakfast Club morning show he hosts alongside Charlamagne and Angela Yee, Envy made the confession on-air Monday (Feb. 25). However, reports, he never mentioned Mena’s name directly. She’s since confirmed she was the other woman in this case in an interview with Vibe Vixen.

The radio jock told listeners that he was “insecure” for taking part in the affair, in which he cheated on his pregnant wife Gia Casey — they’ve been married for 11 years. While discussing his cheating ways, he did say that the other woman — Mena — was a “bird” and “beneath” him.

“It’s a difficult thing to do,” he explained. “Sometimes being married it makes you an insecure dude. I looked like I had everything. It was scary. My wife is gorgeous. She might meet somebody that’s smarter than me. It made me insecure.

Sioux Falls Radio: N/T KELO Starts FM Simulcast

People across the Sioux Empire will enjoy several new radio listening options beginning today.

KELO News Talk Radio will be extending their popular talk programs, including Greg Belfrage, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill Zortman and Mark Levin to 107.9 FM. The KELO programs will continue to be heard on 1320 AM. Special sports programs, including USD game coverage will also be heard on 107.9 FM.

KELO's owner, Midwest Communications, made the programming change as a response to listener input. 

According to the company's Vice President of Operations, Peter Tanz,  "People tell us they enjoy KELO's news talk programs but as radio listening habits continue to evolve, they wanted the choice of being able to hear those programs on AM, FM or via the internet.   By providing KELO on 1320 AM and 107.9 FM, the website and the 'Tune In' radio app, KELO fans can hear the station using the listening device they prefer.

Greg Belfrage
Midwest reports receiving extremely positive comments since extending sports station 1230 AM KWSN's programming to 98.1 FM, and now people will enjoy having the option of hearing KELO news talk shows on FM."

Long time listener Graham told Greg Belfrage on his program this morning that he was "excited to learn of the change. I live on the northside of town and sometimes there's AM static at night. The 107.9 FM will really help me get clear reception."   Another listener commented "this (FM 107.9) will be great when I'm going through the car wash."

107.9 FM has been playing "oldies" music from the 60's and 70's.  This music programming is being combined with the 70's and early 80's music programming currently on 95.7 FM.   Also beginning March 1st, "oldies" listeners will be able to enjoy their favorite music at "Kool 95.7 FM".

Florence, SC Radio: ESPN Radio Has New Home

WOLH 98.9 FM, a Miller Communications station, will be the local affiliate for the World Wide Leader in radio. The switch was officially announced on the Press Box Radio Show on Thursday, and program director Dave Baker said it is a multi-year agreement between the two parties.

WOLH’s previous format was for Jammin Oldies. ESPN has more than 350 full-time affiliates throughout the country.

“When you have the opportunity to pick up the gold standard in any format, you have to do it,” Baker said. “It seemed to make a lot of sense, so we went for it.”

The area had been without an ESPN affiliate since 100.1 FM switched from ESPN to a CBS Sports Radio affiliate in January. Baker said his station’s phones began ringing from people wondering if one of their stations would be becoming an ESPN affiliate.

“You have to give the people what they want,” Baker said.

Read More Now.

TuneIn Radio Unveils New "Trending" Feature

With the news that Pandora will be limiting free users to 40 hours of music, apps like TuneIn Radio are beginning to look a lot more appealing to consumers who want a free streaming model.

The popular live radio app has just released a new "Trending" feature, according to Charles Gantt at

TuneIn corrals over 70,000 live radio stations from around the world, and serves them up on your iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The new TuneIn Live feature is being billed as a "universal programming guide" and allows users to easily find what's currently trending on-air, as well as what programs and stations are hot at the moment.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Costs Surge, Pandora Mobile Cap Returns

As it struggles to deal with rising royalty costs, streaming radio service Pandora is bringing back an old idea by capping free mobile usage at 40 hours per month.

The company previously limited free monthly desktop usage to 40 hours, but it lifted the cap in September 2011. According to, CEO Joe Kennedy suggested that Pandora’s mobile business is in a similar position to its desktop business a few years ago — it needs to make more money. At the same time, Kennedy said his goal is still to offer free music to everyone.

He also noted that there’s a big difference between mobile and desktop usage patterns — there are desktop users who basically listen to Pandora all day while they’re at work, so a larger percentage of them that exceeded the monthly limit. On mobile, however, the cap should only affect 4 percent of users.

That may not be much consolation if you’re in that 4 percent. Kennedy said the company is also trying to make the system as straightforward as possible. You’ll get an alert when you reach 85 percent of the limit, and when you hit the cap, there are a couple of pricing options: You can pay a one-time fee of 99 cents to get unlimited listening for the rest of the month, or you can sign up for a Pandora One subscription, which includes unlimited, advertising-free songs.

Kennedy is placing much of the blame on the rising cost of music — he said that per-track royalty rates have increased 25 percent in the past three years, with an additional 16 percent increase expected over the next two years.

CRS - Day One Recap

CRS: Country Radio Has “At Home” Problem

Larry Rosin
Country music fans are dedicated radio listeners, but they are becoming increasingly disconnected from the music format when they walk through their front door, said Larry Rosin, co-founder and president of Edison Research.

According to the Nashville Tennessean, the time has come, Rosin said, to talk about the “hardware problem” facing country music.

Gone are the days when a majority of people listen to music on radios when they are outside of cars. Instead, they reach for cellphones and other mobile devices, such as laptops and tablets that don’t deliver a terrestrial radio signal.

Country radio needs to make sure that it is “easily available and top of mind” for people on those devices, too, Rosin said.

Providing access to radio on smartphones would be a “game changer for our industry,” said Jeff Smulyan, CEO of Emmis Communications, in a keynote address to open the conference Wednesday.

“Today, the only portable device that matters is the smartphone,” Smulyan said. “We need to be there.”

Earlier this year, Emmis represented a group of radio companies in a negotiation with Sprint Nextel that yielded a three-year deal that would make local FM radio signals available on some of the carriers smartphones through an app that Emmis would design. Smulyan said the goal is to get radio access on 300 million phones. The deal would require an annual investment of $15 million a year from radio, as well as an investment from Sprint, which would get a 30 percent share of revenue.

Boston Radio: WRKO’s Armstrong Welcomes Competition

Barry Armstrong
A prominent Hub business radio host said today he will “embrace the competition” Bloomberg Radio will bring starting Friday with the Boston debut of its 24/7 station on WXKS 1200 AM.

“I have a lot of respect for (Bloomberg). I think they’re a top-notch organization and it’ll be interesting,” Barry Armstrong, host of “The Financial Exchange” on WRKO 680 AM, told the Herald. “I think we’ll just continue to grow and try to put on a good show every day.”

Armstrong, founder of The Armstrong Advisory Group, added his show has “a nice headstart” ahead of Bloomberg’s arrival. “The Financial Exchange,” a daily, two-hour show which launched little more than a year ago on WRKO, was preceded by the show “Lunch Money.”

Armstrong said “The Financial Exchange” remains a hit with older listeners, particularly 55-year-old-plus men, a key demographic of the investment community.

“A lot of people say, ‘Who wants to be highly ranked among 55-year-old men?’ You know what, 55-year-old men and women have all the wealth in this country and we do really well there,” he said.

Bloomberg Radio goes live in Boston at 12:01 a.m. Friday. The station will also provide a signal for those with HD radio on 94.5FM-HD2.

LA Radio: NBC News 4 Profiles Black-Owned KJLH

KJLH is one of just two commercial radio stations in California that is black owned and operated.  Owner: Stevie Wonder!

"I love what I do and I love being at KJLH to do it," said Lon McQ, who has been behind the mic at KJLH for more than 30 years serving an audience that is primarily African American.

"They love R&B, hip hop. We play a little bit of gospel."

He makes himself laugh as he says, "We really haven’t got to Taylor Swift. She’s cool, ok, but we haven’t gotten to that."

NBC4 News spoke with McQ for nearly an hour before his three-hour show, which runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

View more videos at:

Toledo Radio: Johny D Brings Talk Show to WSPD

Johny D
For a dozen years Johny D. broadcast on WVKS-FM 92.5 (KISS-FM) in the afternoons and mornings, until he was fired from the station in 2007 and replaced by Andrew Zepeda and his Andrew Z in the Morning show.

Johny D. also logged time at WTWR-FM, 98.3 in Monroe, and then worked in Detroit, where he hosted an AM and FM talk show and sports talk show.

Most recently he served as program director and weekday host at WCKY-FM 103.7 in Findlay.

With the November departure of its controversial and politically divisive afternoon talk-show host Brian Wilson, Clear Channel's WSPD-AM 1370 recently announced the 44-year-old Johny D. as Wilson's replacement in the 3-to-6 p.m. weekday slot, according to the Toledo Blade.  With the hiring, the station takes a three-hour break from its mostly conservative talk-show-driven format in favor of a less political programing.

Added Kellie Holeman, Clear Channel regional market manager: "It's all about being relevant to the lifestyle. There's a lot of great people that live in this community doing a lot of great things and we're really just trying to talk about the things that matter to Toledoans, whether that's community events, charity, politics, family, sports, news, weather, traffic."

In the same conference-call interview with WSPD management, Johny D. referred to his program as "an overall show ... not just based on politics.

GR Radio: Movin’ On Up…Sorta

Scott Bakita
Bret Bakita, who has been a fixture on Grand Rapids sports radio for 19 years, broadcast his final show Wednesday  morning on Cumulus-owned WBBL-FM (107.3).

According to a story at, Bakita, who was program director at WBBL for most of his tenure with the station, announced at the start of Wednesday’s “Bakita & Bentley” morning show that he will be leaving.

“I'll be in touch and appreciate all the nice calls and comments that we've gotten," he said near the end of his broadcast. He also thanked his colleagues.

Most of Wednesday's show was dedicated to calls from coaches, friends and listeners.

Bakita, who joined a fledgling WBBL in May 1994, has accepted a job with Clear Channel Communications doing sports radio work for Wisconsin stations in Milwaukee at WOKY-AM 920-AM and Madison at WTSO 1070-AM).

“I was approached and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” he said. “Because of technology, I won’t have to leave Grand Rapids.”

Clear Channel also has affiliates in Grand Rapids with all-sports WMAX-FM 96.1-FM and news-talk station WOOD-AM 1300-AM, among others.

Al Roker: My First Big Break

Al Roker appears on NBC's "Today" Show, has his own show "Wake Up with Al" on The Weather Channel, owns his own production company "Al Roker Entertainment," has co-authored three mystery novels, written a couple of cookbooks, and a has penned a couple of New York Times Bestsellers.

So how did everyone's favorite morning forecaster go from a flannel shirt and overall wearing student at CUNY Oswego to media kingpin? 

Al said his first big break came from being in the right place at the right time when someone said the wrong thing at the wrong time.

KHJ: The End Of An Era

A historic radio tower was ripped to the ground with the help of a bulldozer Wednesday.

The massive tower came down in a matter of seconds, and with it, a chapter in L.A. history.

Crews worked four days to make sure the former KHJ tower fell safely.

KHJ went on the air in the 20s and in the 60′s it was the top 40 AM station for all of Los Angeles.

Video -
The call letters KHJ stood for kindness, happiness and joy.

R.I.P.: Richard Street of The Temptations Was 70

Richard Street
Richard Street, who served with the Temptations during the group’s second heyday in the 1970s and ’80s, has died in Las Vegas.

He was 70, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Street, a Detroit native, formally joined the Tempts in 1971 after a long association with the group, having performed with Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin in the ‘50s vocal group the Distants. Before joining the Temptations, he wore several hats at Motown during the 1960s, working in the label’s quality control department, recording with his group the Monitors and periodically filling in for ailing Tempts baritone Paul Williams.

He became a full-time Tempt upon Paul Williams’ departure, and was part of the Grammy-winning lineup that scored big on the pop charts with hits such as “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” (1972) and “Masterpiece” (1973).

R.I.P.: Songwriter Diane Lampert Dies at 88

Diane Lampert, a songwriter who penned lyrics to title songs for more than 20 motion pics, died in NYC of heart failure on Feb. 22, according to Variety.

She was 88.

Lampert was born in the Bronx, N.Y. in 1924. She had a string of successes in Hollywood and helped provide music for films starring Bob Hope, Cary Grant and Buster Keaton, among others.

Lampert co-wrote the Beatles song "Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees)" that wasn't released until 1994 on "Live At The BBC."

Her song, "Break It To Me Gently," won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance for Juice Newton in 1983.

Lampert also worked on songs performed by Brenda Lee, Steve Lawrence and Red Foley.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ACM Radio Awards Winners Announced

Today the Academy of Country Music is announcing the full list of radio award winners that will not be televised due to time constraints during the live telecast of the 48th Annual Academy o Country Music Awards.

This is the second ACM National On-Air Personality of the Year Award win for Cody Alan, for CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan.

Cody Alan
Alan, who also won this award in 2010, serves as both the host and executive producer for CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan and can also be seen weekly on CMT Hot 20 Countdown. Alan, a well-respected country music industry veteran, delivers fans access to the biggest stars in country and entertainment.  His consistent presence on CMT’s multiple platforms makes him a dynamic ambassador for country music.

Winners in radio categories will be invited to receive their awards at a private reception in Las Vegas on Saturday, April 6th, the day prior to the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.       


NATIONAL                          Cody Alan – CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan

MAJOR MARKET               Cornbread, Judi Diamond & Cap'n Mac – WIL-FM – St. Louis, MO

LARGE MARKET               Chris Carr, Maverick & Statt – WUBE-FM – Cincinnati, OH

MEDIUM MARKET             Rowdy Yates, Sunny Leigh & Carly Rush – KVOO-FM – Tulsa, OK

SMALL MARKET                Gator Harrison, Styckman & Cowboy Kyle – WUSY-FM – Chattanooga, TN


MAJOR MARKET               WYCD-FM—Detroit, MI

LARGE MARKET                KAJA-FM – San Antonio, TX

MEDIUM MARKET              KUZZ AM/FM – Bakersfield, CA

SMALL MARKET                 KCLR-FM – Columbia, MO

The 48th Academy of Country Music Awards is produced for television by dick clark productions and will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

FCC’s Media Ownership Rules Proceedings On Pause

The Federal Communications Commission's proceeding on media ownership rules is now officially on hold pending an impact study on how cross-ownership affects minority ownership.

It could be late spring, even summer, before the proceeding, already two years behind schedule, starts rolling again.

According to a story at, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski made the decision to delay the proceeding Tuesday, a day after the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council in a filing with the agency, offered to conduct and pay for the independent study.

"This is a big day for civil rights," said David Honig, the executive director for the MMTC. "We knew the FCC would consider our request, but we didn't think they would act so fast."

The study may have been just what Genachowski needed to get out from under, or at least delay, a proceeding that was going nowhere. From the moment Genachowski proposed the draft order in November, he found himself caught in a tug of war between the two Democratic commissioners that wanted a study on how the changes might impact minorities and the two GOP commissioners that wanted looser rules. And with media ownership rules a constant magnet for litigation, the MMTC's request made a lot of sense.

The draft order called for the FCC to lift the ban on owning a newspaper and radio station in a market, but keep the cross-ownership ban on newspaper and TV outside the top 20 markets and the ownership cap on the number of TV and radio stations.

GM's Internet cars: The End of FM radio?

High speed Internet in cars could soon become a feature as common as satellite radio or CD players. General Motors and AT&T have announced that so-called "LTE" wireless connections will come as an option in many Chevys, Buicks, Cadillacs, and GMC's next year.

Live traffic maps, Internet radio, and streaming movies are just the beginning for car interiors that could soon could be dominated by apps. reports Ford and BMW already have something like this, as does Audi. If the GM deal finally produces a critical mass of "internetobiles," what you have is a big opportunity or a big threat for regular FM and AM radio stations that also cherish the in-car audience.

Molly Wood, executive editor at CNET, joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio from Barcelona's Mobile World Congress meeting to discuss the future of car radio.

Keynote Address On Today's CRS Agenda

Jeff Smulyan
Jeffrey Smulyan, the Chairman of the Board of Emmis Communications Corporation, is the keynote speaker today, CRS 2013. Smulyan will address attendees at 10:15 a.m. in rooms 204-205 of the Nashville Convention Center.

The well-respected radio veteran, Smulyan, formed Emmis Communications in 1980 and oversaw its transition into a publicly traded company in 1994.

Based in Indianapolis, Emmis comprises of 18 FM and 3 AM stations in the United States and overseas (Slovakia). It also operates six local, regional and national magazine operations.

Smulyan acted as principal negotiator for the radio industry in the recently announced Sprint agreement, whereby Sprint customers will be able to access FM radio on smartphones through a FM radio chip. During his speech, he will focus on the opportunities and potential for growth of radio in mobile devices.

CRS Board member and Senior VP and Marketing Manager for Emmis Indianapolis, Charlie Morgan adds, “Jeff has not just been the radio industry's voice for the importance of making radio available on smartphones without using data, he has literally been the visionary for the way people will consume radio in the future.  To back up his vision, he has invested the resources to insure that the radio experience on a smartphone is state-of-the art visually, in addition to the audio experience.  The entire industry will benefit from his leadership and passion.”

Past opening day keynote speakers have included Bob Pittman, marketing guru Seth Godin and money management expert Dave Ramsey.

CRS Kicks Off With HOF Gala

It was a night of celebration Tuesday at the Nashville Convention Center as the 2013 Country Radio Seminar kicked off with the annual Country Radio Hall of Fame ceremony. reports five broadcasters were inducted into the Hall, and one country music icon was celebrated for his legendary career.

Among the 2013 class was legendary Texas broadcaster Gaylon Christie. With a career spanning five decades, the Holland, TX native has enjoyed a varied radio career with stints on-air, in sales, and as a station owner at the legendary Texas station KOOV.

Perhaps, according to Billboard,  the most emotional inductee of the evening was Bill “Dex” Poindexter, a mainstay of Chattanooga ratings winner US 101. In his speech, he referred to his wife Sheila – who passed away early this year – and the last text she ever sent him, one congratulating him for his induction. | Chattanooga News, Weather

Rounding out the list of winners was a man who has had more success – in terms of number one records on the Billboard charts – than anyone else. George Strait was presented with the Career Achievement Award. In a video that was shown to attendees, the MCA recording artist was celebrated by acts ranging from Taylor Swift to Alan Jackson.

CRS: A&O&B Client Confab Offers Roadmap

Mike O'Malley, Becky Brenner, Republic Nashville's Greg Bates, Jaye Albright (Country Aircheck photo)
The Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Pre-CRS Client Seminar touched on everything from being active, engaged and relevant with your audience via social media, digital tools and station branding, to tips for talent and what Gen Y will mean to our industry in the coming years.

Country Aircheck covered the proceedings and highlighted:

Of 6,272 Country P1 participants from 50 markets in the U.S. and Canada, 70% report being satisfied with the format. Of those who aren’t, song-repetition and commercials were top reasons. Country listeners are increasingly tech savvy, with 75% reporting using some sort of social media every day (up from 66% last year), and 31% report having an internet connection of some sort in their cars.

Rick Barker says stations too often use digital tools to “push” information to the audience without “engaging” them. “You have to offer value,” he says. Among his examples: teaming with new artists you can’t yet include in your playlist who are willing to offer free song downloads via the station website and social media. Attached sponsorships can help drive NTR.

“Content is key,” says Mike Stern. “Be a friend and a companion. Be a filter, give them something they can steal to use themselves, and focus on things that make you react.”

Steve Zielonka encourages programmers to “always be collecting data (ABCD)” and use it to engage the audience. “You can’t just send out irrelevant information anymore. They’ll delete you, they’ll mark you as spam and they’ll block you. There are always negative consequences.” Use your tools to conduct surveys, for example. “Ask, ‘Are you a Toby Keith fan? Here’s a chance for you to sing on stage with him.’ Then follow-up with other Toby Keith-related
contests. When you send a targeted email, you’ll see your open rates double and triple.”

Newcap Radio VP/Programming and Brand Like A Rockstar author Steve Jones says, “Brands are feelings that live in the heart of the customer. Jimmy Buffett’s biggest song wasn’t that big of a hit. ‘Margaritaville’ peaked at No. 7. But at his shows, people are painting their bodies, getting drunk and having a great time because he sells the experience of being a beach-bum.” Make it a point to understand your enemy and let them help define your brand. “Walmart’s slogan ‘Save Money, Live Better’ makes it all about saving money,” Jones explains. “Then Target comes in with ‘Expect More, Pay Less,’ basically saying, ‘You’re above that crap they’re selling at Walmart.’”

Arbitron: 3 Things You Should Know About Country Radio

Jon Miller
This week is the annual Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, and Arbitron’s Programming Services Team will be there.

On Thursday Jon Miller, Director of Programming Services leads the panel on “The Special PPM Report: The Country Radio Audience”. In advance of that, Miller digged into the Radio Today 2012 study to find a few interesting facts about the format and its national audience of 66 million weekly listeners.

1)         Country is enjoying record listening levels.

Across America, the format is at an all-time high with a 14.1 share of total (12+) listening. This means Country added nearly a full share point (0.8 to be exact) over the last year nationwide. That not only makes Country the most listened to format in America, but the total share is the highest recorded number for any format since Arbitron began tracking national format performance years ago.

2)         Country is the most widely programmed music format.

According to our database, there are currently 1,857 rated AM, FM, HD radio, and streamed Country stations. That’s more than any other music format, and Country radio reaches a collective audience of 66 million 12+ listeners every week.

3)         Country’s appeal is widespread.

The Country audience is spread across all ages and both genders. The format ranks number 1 in total ratings in every demographic except teens 12-17 and adults over the age of 55 (where it ranks second). And, the listeners are almost evenly split between men and women, with a slight edge to the ladies who make up 52% of the audience.

Arbitron clients can find even more information in the full Radio Today report by going here.

Awards: The Conclave To Honor Two Radio Leaders

Jaye Albright
The Conclave Learning Conference this July will take time to honor two leaders of the industry.

The 2013 Rockwell Awards will be given to longtime country consultant Jaye Albright, as well as Conclave Executive Director Emeritus Tom Kay.

Current Conclave Executive Director Bob Shannon stated, Jaye Albright represents “the best broadcasting has to offer. Always a student of radio, she’s also one of our best teachers and her influence on country radio is unmatched."

A founding partner at Albright & O’Malley & Brenner, Albright has also been  inducted into the Country Hall of Fame and was named one of the Most Influential Women in Radio in 2012.

Tom Kay
Shannon also commented on the award being presented to Kay.

"This is recognition for a job well done.  If it weren’t for Tom, the Conclase  wouldn't exist today. Giving him the Rockwell award makes all the sense in the world. I can’t tell you how pleased I am."

Kay, who began his association with The Conclave in 1976, retired at the end of 2012.

The Learning Conference in Minneapolis July 17-19. For more details, Click Here.