Saturday, October 4, 2014

R.I.P. Legendary Programmer Kevin Metheny

Kevin Metheny
Cumulus Media has confirmed that legendary programmer Kevin Metheny died suddenly Friday afternoon.

He was 60-years-old and apparently died from a heart attack. He was found unresponsive at his desk.

Metheny was Operations Manager of KGO 810 AM and KSFO 560 AM in San Francisco at the time of his death.

John Dickey, Executive Vice President, Programming and Content for Cumulus issues the following statement:

"Kevin Metheny's sudden passing this afternoon is a devastating personal and professional loss for his broadcasting family at Cumulus, and for the entire radio industry. Kevin was a legendary broadcasting talent who touched many lives in his remarkable 44-year career, and whose successes made an indelible mark on radio.

His reputation and accomplishments are simply unparalleled and we are grateful for having had the opportunity to work with him as PD of WJR in Detroit and most recently, as Operations Manager of KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. His Cumulus family extends our deepest sympathies to Kevin's loved ones. We will miss him profoundly."

Metheny could be heavy-handed dealing with his co-workers and employees whch  made him a constant target of criticism.  He imortalized by Howard Stern first on the air and in his best-selling book "Private Parts" as "Pig Virus" and then caricatured as part of a composite character called "Pig Vomit" in the movie version of Stern's memoirs.

Kevin Metheny had radio in his blood since he was a child in his native Oklahoma. His father is former radio programmer Terrell Metheny Jr.. The younger Metheny would often accompany his father to work at his radio station..

Metheny became weekend air talent at Album Rock KWHP-FM in Edmond, Oklahoma in 1970. The following Spring, he moved to Oklahoma Publishing Company's Top-40 WKY-AM in Oklahoma City, where he served as weekend and fill-in talent during his senior year at John Marshall High School.

Noted Seattle radio impresario Pat O'Day, founder of Concerts West, and then General Manager of Kaye-Smith Enterprises' KJR-AM & KISW-FM, hired Metheny as evening talent at KJR-AM, where Metheny was later promoted to afternoon drive. Following O'Day's 1975 departure, Metheny left KJR for a brief stay at Sterling Recreation Organization's Oldies KUUU-AM, before becoming afternoon drive talent and Music Director at Louisiana Governor James A. Noe's WNOE-AM, New Orleans, where he was promoted to Program Director.

Metheny next became Program Director of KDEO-AM, El Cajon, changing the AM Album Rock station to Top-40 Majic 91. After a debut rating book in which KMJC's ratings tripled, Metheny became Director of RAM Research for DPS/Cyberdynamics, working closely with initial RAM client, Fairbanks Broadcasting's Adult Contemporary WIBG-AM, Philadelphia.

After his acceptance of the Program Director assignment at WIBG, the call letters were changed to WZZD-AM and the format was changed to Top-40. After four quarterly rating periods Metheny served as Program Director of Hearst Corporation's Top-40 WXKX-FM, Pittsburgh, then at General Cinema's WEFM in Chicago, followed by Charter Communications' KSLQ in St. Louis.

Metheny was named Program Director of The National Broadcasting Company's WNBC in New York in 1980. After four years he accepted a vaguely defined position at Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company as Director of MTV Programming. Metheny led a clandestine management group in development of VH1, a response to a challenge to MTV by Ted Turner's Cable Music Channel. He was subsequently promoted to vice-president of MTV & VH1 Music Programming and Production, and then to vice-president of VH1.

Following the acquisition of MTV Networks by Viacom, Metheny toured Europe for a summer, then became Program Director of Gannett Radio's Top-40 KTKS-FM in Dallas. He subsequently moved to Savannah as Vice President & General Manager at WSOK-FM/WAEV-FM. After joining Phil Hall & David Isenberg in The Radio Group consultancy, he accepted the Operations Director position of Bedford Broadcasting's San Francisco Oldies and Adult Standards stations KFRC-FM & AM followed by Oldies KQOL-FM in Minneapolis.

Metheny then moved to Jacksonville, FL where he first worked with Jacor's Randy Michaels and where he combined programming and marketing operations of Jacor's Country WQIK and News/Talk WJGR with newly acquired Urban properties WSOL-FM, WJBT-FM, and WZAZ-AM.

Metheny was transferred to head programming for Jacor's Cleveland area radio group, consolidating operations at their combined six Cleveland stations, WAKS, WGAR-FM, WMJI, WMMS, WMVX, and WTAM. Following Jacor's merger with Clear Channel Communications Metheny was promoted to Regional Vice President of Programming, in which role he advised local Market Managers and Program Directors of 59 Ohio radio stations.

Simultaneously with the 2008 acquisition of Clear Channel by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners, Metheny left Clear Channel to become Program Director of the Tribune Company’s sole radio property, News/Talk WGN 720 AM.  Many consider Metheny's time at WGN as the station's darkest era, with mass firings and questionable hiring/programming moves. While he got along well with some employees at the station, many longtime staffers strongly disliked him and his methods. Their disgust was shown both privately and sometimes even openly.  He worked there until November 2010.

Metheny was known throughout his career for "coaching" all his on-air personalities, and during his stay at WNBC in NYC, he attempted to give the younger Stern some tips on improving his sound.

That included the famous directive to pronounce the station as "WNNNNNNNBC."

In January 2013, Metheny was named program director at Detroit's WJR, owned by Cumulus Media.

In June 2014, Metheny was named operations manager at KGO-AM and KSFO-AM owned by Cumulus Media.

D/FW Radio: Cumulus Rebrands KLIF-FM As Hot 93.3 FM

Cumulus has announces that Top 40 KLIF 93.3 FM has become the all-new HOT 93-3.

The former i93 and heritage Dallas CHR station debuted its new Hot Upbeat CHR format Friday at 5:00 p.m. Central. HOT 93.3 will feature all the hits, including music from artists such as Iggy Azalea, Pitbull, and Ariana Grande. The format shift will bring new opportunities, and Cumulus is currently seeking additional on-air talent for the station.

KLIF 93.3 FM (16.5Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Dan Bennett, Regional Vice President for Cumulus Dallas/Houston said: “The new HOT 93.3 will bring to Dallas Metroplex listeners the next generation of contemporary music. We are incredibly excited about how it will serve both our listeners and advertisers.”


Louie Diaz, Program Director for HOT 93.3 said: “The New HOT 93.3 will bring an energy and feel that is unique and totally customized for Dallas/Fort Worth. We will be live and local from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight and all over the streets of DFW! We think listeners will love the new sound of HOT 93.3.”

Portland Radio: KXL-FM Adds Robbins&Markley to Line-Up

Alpha Media/Portland has announced that Peoria’s own Robbins and Markley; Talk Talents on WMBD will now also broadcast 9a-Noon weekdays on News KXL 101.1 FM.

Keeping true to the Live and Local mission, Robbins and Markley will be producing an exclusive Portland centric show. They will continue to broadcast their Peoria show; weekdays 2pm-6pm CST.

Alpha Media Executive VP of Programming, Scott Mahalick commented on the announcement, “We’re very privileged and blessed to work with legendary talk talents such as Scott Robbins and Jamie Markley that can bring the Live and Local professionalism and energy to the Pacific Northwest.”

KXL 101.1 FM (97Kw) 60dBu Coverage
“We’re delighted to join the incredible staff at KXL. Words can’t describe how excited we are,” remarked Scott Robbins.

Jamie Markley responded, “When I was 10 years old, I think I was the only kid growing up in Illinois with a Portland Trailblazers shirt. Joining KXL in Portland is like a dream come true!”

NYC Radio: Ed Kalegi Joins America Weekend

Ed Kalegi
Envision Networks has announced host Ed Kalegi as part of the all new America Weekend lineup.

He is currently heard on WBBR 1130 AM NYC and will now be heard every weekend on affiliate stations of the Envision Talk Network with over 10 hours of original programming on Saturday and Sunday and no repeats.

“What a great opportunity! Every weekend I get the chance to talk with America about things that really matter to them and their lives,” said Ed Kalegi.  “It’s a mix of useful information and news on the lighter side along with some great celebrity guests!  It’s a crazy and busy world. My job is to make it informative and fun. If I made you think and I made you smile, then I did my job.”

“Ed Kalegi’s personality is a perfect fit for America Weekend.  He takes a unique angle on the stories of the week and peppers many of them with his special brand of humor, making for a memorable show each and every time,” said Michael Lichtstein, VP/Programming of Envision Networks®.“We couldn’t be more pleased to insert Ed into our already impressive roster of hosts.”

Designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most News/Talk stations, America Weekend covers the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners. America Weekend offers over 10 hours of new programming each weekend. In addition to Kalegi, the new lineup also includes hosts Mike Bennett, Valerie Smaldone, Leslie Gold, Smith and Sabatino, Animal Radio, and Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline.

October 4, 5 In Radio History

On the 5th in 1925...WSM-AM in Nashville, Tennessee began transmitting.

WSM is primarily associated with the popularization of country music through its weekly Saturday night program, the Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running radio program in history.

The Opry began as the WSM Barn Dance in 1925, but after only about a year on the air, the program's host, "Judge" Hay, referred to the programming as being "Grand Ole Opry" in contrast to the preceding grand opera program on NBC.

In 1932, WSM boosted its power to 50,000 watts, becoming Tennessee's first clear-channel station.

In addition to its vast nighttime coverage area, the station boasts one of the largest daytime coverage areas in the country. It provides at least grade B coverage as far east as Chattanooga, as far north as Evansville, Indiana, as far west as Jackson, Tennessee and as far south as Huntsville, Alabama. Under the right conditions, it can be heard in nearly all of Tennessee and much of Kentucky, and can be picked up as far away as the fringes of the St. Louis area.

The station traditionally played country music in the nighttime hours, when listeners from around the United States would tune in. Before the advent of television, the station broadcast long-form radio (both local and NBC network) programs in addition to music. After television became popular (thus largely eliminating the audience for full-length radio programs), WSM adopted a "MOR" (middle of the road) music format during the daytime hours, and continued to play country music at night. It was not until about 1979 that WSM adopted the 24-hour country music format of today.

WSM is credited with shaping Nashville into a recording industry capital. Because of WSM's incredible reach, musical acts from all across the eastern United States would come to Nashville in the early decades of the station's existence, in hopes of getting to perform on WSM. Over time, as more acts and recording companies came to Nashville, the city became known as the center of the country music industry. Disc jockey David Cobb is credited with first referring to Nashville as "Music City USA", a designation that has since been adopted as the city's official nickname by the local tourism board.

WSM's unusual diamond-shaped antenna is visible from I65 just south of Nashville (in Brentwood). When the 878-foot tower was built in 1932, it was the tallest antenna in North America. Its height was reduced to 808 feet (246 m) in 1939 when it was discovered that the taller tower was causing self-cancellation in the "fringe" areas of reception of the station (it is now known that 195 electrical degrees, about 810 feet, is the optimum height for a Class A station on that frequency).

On the 5th in 1945..."Meet the Press" premiered on NBC radio.

On the 5th In 1947…The first taped radio show, featuring a performance by singer/actor Bing Crosby, was broadcast on ABC. It served to demonstrate the capabilities of the new Ampex 200 tape recorder.

On the 5th in 1950…Following three successful years on radio, the quiz show "You Bet Your Life," with host Groucho Marx, began its 11-year television run on NBC.

On the 5th in 1952…After 11½ years on the air, the creaking door of "Inner Sanctum Mysteries" was heard for the last time as the series ended its run on ABC Radio.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nielsen: Music Is America's Top Entertainment

In a fragmented media world where technology is reshaping consumer habits, music continues to be the soundtrack of our daily lives. According to Music 360 2014, Nielsen’s third annual in-depth study of the tastes, habits and preferences of U.S. music listeners, 93% of the country's population listens to music, spending more than 25 hours each week tuning into their favorite tunes.

For hundreds of millions of Americans, this means that music is their top form of entertainment. When surveyed about their activities in the past year, 75% of respondents said they actively chose to listen to music, even ahead of watching television at 73%.

One reason music permeates so much of our daily routines is because it’s woven into our lives during all times of the day. Nearly a quarter of all music listening happens when we’re behind the wheel; and listening at work or when doing chores at home both account for around 15% of our weekly time spent with music.

Radio is the top platform for music consumption, as 59% of music listeners use a combination of over-the-air AM/FM or online radio streams to tune into their favorite artists and bands each week. Other popular platforms include consumers’ own individual music libraries (48%), on demand streaming music services such as Spotify, YouTube or Vevo (41%), and curated streaming music services such as Pandora or iTunes Radio (36%). These new technologies also support music sales. For those digital music consumers listening online or through a mobile device, 18% have purchased a song while streaming it.

Smartphones are the third most popular device used to listen to music behind radios and computers, but their effect on music listening is growing.

San Antonio: KZEP Is 'Hot' As RhythmicAC

Cox Media Group has gained some significant traction in the classic rock radio business in San Antonio — at iHeartMedia’s expense, according to the San Antonio Business Journal.

In August, iHeartMedia moved classic rock station KZEP-FM from its long-time home at 104.5, a full-power frequency, to FM translator 93.3. That switch made room for the new Hot 104.5 FM, a rhythmic station.

The new Nielsen radio ratings are in and Hot 104.5 grabbed an 8.1 market share in September, good enough for the No. 2 spot among subscribing San Antonio stations.

In August, KZEP had a 3.1 share on the same frequency. The previous month, it had a 2.4 share.

Don’t fret, rock fans. There is still a market for hair bands and head-bangers.

A competing classic rock station has gained some added traction as a result of iHeartMedia’s decision to move KZEP.

Cox Media Group has re-branded KTKX 106.7 FM as the “Eagle,” and pulled in more listeners with billboards that took a dig at iHeartMedia’s deemphasizing of classic rock in the Alamo City. KTKX, which registered a 2.0 rating in July, saw its share grow to 4.0 in September.

NYC Radio: Brigitte Quinn New Morning Anchor At 1010 WINS

Brigitte Quinn
Brigitte Quinn is the new morning drive anchor at 1010 WINS-AM, according to

Quinn was previously a co-anchor at WCBS-AM (880). She replaces Judy DeAngelis who retired Tuesday of this week.

In 1998, she was hired to help launch a new cable news channel called MSNBC and later became host of "NBC News at Sunrise."

She moved to Fox News Channel, where she was midday co-anchor of a two-hour live news and interview program.

Quinn has a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a master of fine arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, N.Y.

"I spent the better part of five months searching for the right person," said Ben Mevorach, station news director. "The more time I spent with Brigitte, the more she separated herself from an extraordinarily qualified field of candidates. She is sharp, smart, a master at breaking news and knows how to write for the new generation of news consumers."

Orlando Radio: iHeartMedia Ups Hector Marcano

Hector Marcano
iHeartMedia announces that Hector Marcano has been named VP/Hispanic Operations East, effective immediately.

In addition, he is being elevevated to the position of General Manager of WRUM 100.3 FM in Orlando and will continue to report to Linda Byrd, Market President.

Marcano has more than 30 years of experience in the media industry and as Vice President of Hispanic Operations East, Marcano will work with iHeartMedia's Hispanic radio stations, with a special focus in the Miami, Chicago, Orlando and Atlanta markets. He will spearhead the sales efforts with top prospects and develop custom strategies and campaigns that leverage the unique multi-platform reach and power of iHeartMedia. In his expanded role, he will create innovative advertising opportunities based on iHeartMedia's unmatched national reach and local activation through its radio, digital and mobile assets, as well as its event capabilities, to provide Hispanic advertisers with targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.

"I'm excited to have Hector play an even larger role with iHeartMedia," said Tom McConnell, Executive Vice President of Operations ­East, iHeartMedia. "His business acumen combined with his strong relationships and understanding of the Latin market make him the perfect choice for this position."

"Hector has been a game changer for us in Orlando," said Byrd. "He has great vision and a deep knowledge of the Hispanic Market. I'm thrilled to be able to expand his horizons and allow him to grow inside iHeartMedia."

"This is a unique opportunity that Tom McConnell and Linda Byrd have given me to contribute at an even higher level. I am thrilled to be able to use my experience and relationships to further unleash the power of our Hispanic stations in our great company, iHeartMedia" says Marcano.

iHeartMedia Unveils First-Ever Fiesta Latina Music Fest

iHeartMedia announced Thursday that it’s taking the power of its hugely successful iHeartRadio Music Festival to Latin music fans with its first-ever iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina.

Latin music's biggest names will perform live at the Forum in Los Angeles, Calif. on Saturday, November 22.

The inaugural iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina will celebrate the best in Latin music with a tremendous group of artists including Ricky Martin, Roberto Tapia, Alejandra Guzmán, Prince Royce, La Original Banda El Limón with a special guest appearance by Voz A Voz, Daddy Yankee, Jesse & Joy with more to be announced soon.  The star-studded event will be co-produced by iHeartMedia and Live Nation.

“Latin music has shown incredible growth on iHeartRadio -- so we decided to use the great format and cultural firepower of the iHeartRadio Music Festival to create a festival that celebrates these great artists and their music,” said John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises for iHeartMedia.  “Bringing this caliber of Latin artists together for a night of incredible performances will be an experience you can’t see anywhere else.”

The iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina is the newest of iHeartMedia’s incredibly successful major concert events, following in the footsteps of the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the biggest live concert event in radio history which features more than 20 A-list artists across every music genre on one stage, the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Concert Tour and the iHeartRadio Country Festival, which features today’s hottest country acts.
Beginning Oct. 2, iHeartMedia will launch a four-week nationwide promotion to give thousands of Latin music fans across the country the opportunity to win a trip to Los Angeles, Calif. for the first-ever iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina.  The promotion will run on all iHeartMedia Spanish-language stations as well as on iHeartRadio in key markets across the country.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. PT.  For more information visit  Proud partners of the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina include Ford Motor Company, Pepsi and State Farm®, with more to be announced soon.

Cox Makes Management Appointments In Three Markets

Cox Media Group (CMG) Radio has named new leaders for its station groups in Atlanta, San Antonio and Tulsa, effective immediately.

Donna Hall, previously Group VP with Cox Media – the media sales division of Cox Communications – returns to CMG to lead the five-station Atlanta radio group as VP and General Manager.  Hall began her career with Cox in 1987 as an account executive with the Dayton Daily News and joined Cox Radio in Dayton in 1989, serving in various sales leadership positions until becoming VP and GM in 1997.  She later became Senior VP of Marketing and Client Solutions for CMG Ohio for the company’s converged radio, TV and newspaper operations in Dayton.

Ben Reed, previously VP and General Manager in Atlanta, will now lead San Antonio’s seven-station group.  Reed returns to San Antonio, where he served in various leadership positions from 1987 until moving to Atlanta in 2012. He was part of original team that put KCYY on the air in 1987, and he helped orchestrate the purchase of KTKX, KONO, KISS and KSMG from various ownerships. During his CMG career, Reed has held various positions from Account Manager, Local Sales Manager, General Sales Manager, Market Manager, Regional VP and Group VP.
Dan Lawrie, previously VP and General Manager in San Antonio, now leads Tulsa’s four-station group. Lawrie is no stranger to Tulsa, as he previously was VP and GM there from 2003 until 2010.  He will help continue the great cross-platform collaboration work with CMG’s Tulsa TV group, as well as the strong partnership with Cox Communications. Lawrie began joined CMG in 1999.

“We are thrilled that we can tap such phenomenal internal talent across Cox for these important leadership positions,” said Kim Guthrie, CMG’s Executive VP of Radio. “Ben, Dan and Donna are proven leaders who know how to build strategic, award-winning teams.”

San Diego Radio: Dave Mason Returning To MaxFM

Southern California personality Dave Mason is returning to Classic Hits XHPRS 105.7 FM MaxFM as Midday host and Assistant.

Mason returns after a successful year-long run at KRTH 101.1 FM in Los Angeles where he was also assistant PD. Mason's departure from K-EARTH was announced earlier this week.

His first day will be Monday, October 13th.

AR Radio: Cumulus Adds AMS To KAMO-FM

Dan Hentschel
Cumulus has announced that it will debut “America’s Morning Show” on KAMO 94.3 FM NashFM on Monday, October 6.

Long time KAMO morning show host Dan Hentschel will move to mornings on KRMW- 94.9 FM Nash Icon in Fayetteville and KLSZ 100.7 FM Nash Icon in Ft. Smith beginning Monday, October 13. Hentschel has been entertaining Northwest Arkansas morning radio listeners for 40 years and is the most recognized name and voice in Northwest Arkansas radio. Married with three adult children, Hentschel has related his life to his listeners from his wedding at a Ford dealership to the birth of his children on the air.

Dale Daniels, Market Manager for Cumulus Fayetteville and Ft. Smith said: “Big Dan is an old friend the community of Northwest Arkansas has grown up with and is the perfect host for Nash Icon as he himself is truly an icon in the market. This along with America’s Morning Show on Nash 94.3 gives Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley an outstanding Morning Show lineup.”

KAMO 94.3 FM (25Kw) 60dBu Coverage
Hentschel said: “I couldn’t be more pleased to hand the mic over to Blair Garner and company. He is Country Radio in America and together with Terri Clark, Chuck Wicks, Robin Meade and Erika Grace Powell, they will bring a fresh take on mornings to NASH 94.3 listeners. I look forward to moving to mornings on the great Nash Icon stations in Fayetteville and Ft. Smith. It is truly the best of both worlds, and these are exciting times.”

Flo & Eddie Target Pandora

Flo & Eddie
About a week ago, SiriusXM suffered a crushing courtroom loss to Flo & Eddie of The Turtles, the 1960s band which produced hit songs like "Happy Together," "It Ain't Me Babe" and "She'd Rather Be With Me." Flo & Eddie have been leading the charge against the uncompensated use of their music — and using state-based misappropriation, conversation and unfair competition claims because sound recordings only began falling under federal copyright protection in 1972.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, next up for Flo & Eddie is Pandora, the most popular Internet radio service in the country with more than 200 million registered users. Represented by Harvey Geller and Henry Gradstein at Gradstein & Marzano, the duo filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Thursday.

"Pandora understands that having a vast range and array of music is critical to the success of any music service which is why pre-1972 recordings constitute a significant part of the Music Service," says the lawsuit. "Pandora offers and advertises stations dedicated to pre-1972 recordings, such as '50s Rock n' Roll,' '60s Oldies,' 'Motown,' 'Doo-Wop, '70s Folk,' 'Early Jazz,' 'Standards,' 'Classic Soul,' 'Jam Bands,' and 'Classical Rock.' "

The lawsuit continues by mentioning all the copies being made to populate Pandora's databases in order to stream music to the public.

"Pandora is aware that it does not have any license, right or authority to reproduce, perform, distribute or otherwise exploit via the Music Service any pre-1972 recordings (including The Turtles' Recordings)," alleges the complaint.

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R.I.P.: Gary Houser 'The Voice of Abilene'

Gary Houser
Gary Houser, a morning radio personality for more than 50 years, died Wednesday on his way to broadcast the morning show at KABI 1560 AM in Abilene, Kansas.

He was 79 according to

Dickinson County Undersheriff James Swisher said Houser was died in an auto accident.

His pickup truck "drifted off into the ditch" and rolled, accoridng to police. He said Houser was not wearing a seat belt.

Houser  was KABI

"He is the name that is synonymous with KABI Radio in Abilene," said Bob Protzman, general manager of the station. When KABI went on the air on April 5, 1963, Houser was behind the microphone.

Houser spent 15 years at KABI before joining KINA radio station in Salina, where he broadcast for 20 years. The last 15 years, he could be heard back at 1560 AM.

October 3 In Radio History

In 1901...The first record company, The Victor Talking Machine Company, is incorporated, later merging with the Radio Corporation of America to become RCA-Victor.

In staion WERD, the first black-owned radio station, went on the air in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 1952...The long-running radio hit The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet , now featuring a 12-year-old Ricky Nelson, debuts on CBS-TV, where it will run for another 14 years, bringing the total life of the show to 22 years!

In 1960...a program called "Flair" premiered on radio featuring with Dick Van Dyke.

In 1987...The Hot 100"Didn't We Almost Have It All" by Whitney Houston was #1 with Whitesnake in the bridesmaid's position with "Here I Go Again".  Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam were back with the #3 song "Lost In Emotion", followed by "I Heard A Rumour" by Bananarama and Europe's "Carrie".

The rest of the Top 10:  Prince and Sheena Easton with "U (sic) Got the Look", Heart's 23rd career hit "Who Will You Run To", which cleared the Top 10 moving 13-8, "When Smokey Sings" from ABC, John Cougar Mellencamp and his 16th hit "Paper in FIre" and Smokey Robinson in person with "One Heartbeat".

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beasley, CBS Radio Agree To Swap Stations

Beasley Gets 14, CBS Gets 5 Stations

Beasley Broadcast Group announced today that it entered into an asset exchange agreement with CBS Radio, whereby Beasley will exchange five stations in Philadelphia and Miami for fourteen CBS Radio stations in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Charlotte and Philadelphia.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, there is no cash consideration or other contingent consideration to be paid by either party beyond the asset exchange.

The planned asset exchange will substantially broaden and diversify Beasley's local radio broadcasting platform and revenue base with fourteen new stations that are geographically complementary to the Company's ongoing operations while also presenting financial and operating synergies with the Company's ongoing station portfolio and digital operations. Beasley Broadcast Group expects the transaction to be accretive to its station operating income in the first eighteen months of ownership. Station operating income consists of net revenue less station operating expenses.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014, subject to Federal Communications Commission approval, the expiration of the applicable Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period and other customary closing conditions. Upon closing, the proposed transaction will increase Beasley's portfolio of owned and operated stations to 53, including 33 FM and 20 AM stations, in twelve markets with approximately 7.7 million weekly listeners. Today, Beasley owns and operates 44 stations, including 28 FM and 16 AM stations, in eleven markets with approximately 7.1 million weekly listeners.

George Beasley
Commenting on the proposed transaction, George G. Beasley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group's 53-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the local communities where we operate, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results. The asset exchange agreement with CBS Radio addresses all of these strategic objectives as, upon completion, we will expand our station base by nine stations and add completed clusters in Tampa and Charlotte which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence. Furthermore, the transaction is also consistent with our long-term strategy to operate leading clusters in large- and mid-size markets."

"From a financial standpoint, the asset exchange will allow us to meaningfully expand our operating and revenue base without incurring additional borrowings or using cash from operations. Based on our expectation that the transaction will lead to station operating income accretion in the first eighteen months after closing, we plan to further reduce the Company's leverage ratio which is presently near its lowest level in over ten years. Overall, we believe this transaction represents a unique and innovative means for Beasley Broadcast Group to enhance shareholder value."

Mr. Beasley added, "Focusing on strong core programming and targeted localism is the cornerstone of Beasley's operating philosophy, and it has proven vital to the Company's ratings strength and success. While Beasley has operated in Philadelphia and Miami and understands the value of stations in those markets, as well as the revenue they generate, consolidation and ownership of the maximum amount of stations in each market has been a long-term and consistent goal for the Company. This transaction places us in the unique position of owning a full complement of FM stations in seven of the twelve markets in which we operate."

He continued, "Dan Mason is a much respected radio broadcaster and I hold him, as does Beasley Broadcast, in the highest regard. The properties we are exchanging in Miami and Philadelphia have been cultivated by committed and talented radio professionals and they enjoy deep roots in their respective communities. We believe they will prove to be great additions to CBS Radio's portfolio."

"As we look forward to welcoming the CBS Radio stations to Beasley Broadcast, and to integrating two new markets into our portfolio, we will continue delivering quality programming, effective online marketing solutions and dedicated service to the local communities we serve. Once approved by the FCC, it is my opinion that this transaction will create a win-win opportunity for both CBS Radio and Beasley Broadcast Group."

Michael J. Bergner of Bergner & Co. assisted Beasley Broadcast with this transaction.

Beasley-CBS Swap: Who Gets What

As a result of the swap, CBS Radio will for the first time have a presence in Miami, the nation's 11th-largest radio market. CBS already owns two television stations in the market, WFOR-TV and WBFS-TV.

CBS will acquire five stations from Beasley: 

  • CountryWXTU  92.5 FM  
  • Rhythmic CHR WRDW 96.5 FM “Wired 96-5”
  • Sports WQAM 560 am, 
  • Rhythmic CHR WPOW 96.5 FM “Power 96” 
  • Country “WKIS 99.9 FM Kiss Country"

Beasley gets 14 stations: 

  • CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1”
  • Urban WPEG “Power 98”
  • Urban AC WBAV “V101.9”
  • Country WSOC“The New 103.7”
  • AC WKQC “K104.7”
  • Sports WFNZ“610 The Fan”
  • Sports WBCN “CBS Sports Radio 1660”
  • Spanish CHR WYUU 92.5 FM “Maxima 92.5"
  • Rhythmic CHR WLLD 94.1 FM  “Wild 94-1”
  • Sports WHFS 98.7 FM “The Fan”
  • Country WQYK 99.5 FM 
  • Classic Hits WRBQ 104.7 FM“Q105”
  • Sports WHFS 1010 AM “CBS Sports Radio”
Tom's Take:  How quickly will CBS Radio put News KYW 1060 AM on an FM signal? And which one?

Report: Radio Disney Talking With Prospective Buyers

The process to sell 23 of Radio Disney Inc.'s radio stations is being led by Bill Schutz of media brokerage firm Schutz & Co., according to The Deal.

The Walt Disney Co. unit is selling stations off individually or in small groups, according to a source familiar with the situation who asked to remain anonymous.

Radio Disney has been contacting prospective buyers and has accepted verbal offers, the source said, adding that the company is in the contract stage for some stations.

Only broadcasters are in the current mix of prospective buyers, and there are varying levels of interest for stations on the block, according to the source.

Radio Disney announced in August it would be divesting all but one of its stations as it looks to shift its focus to digital and music-centric programming.  The stations on the block include 22 AM stations and one FM station.

While some of Radio Disney's AM stations are reasonably good, some are average at best, according to Larry Patrick, managing partner of Patrick Communications LLC. Some of the stronger stations will get 5 to 6 times their cash flow, but Radio Disney likely paid 10 times or more for its properties, he added.

Patrick said there will be "lots of little buyers," including religious and ethnic players such as Wilkins Radio Network Inc., Salem Communications Corp., Entravision Communications Corp.  and Univision Communications Inc. Smaller urban players could also be in the mix, he added.

Altogether, Radio Disney could fetch up to $100 million for its radio stations, Patrick estimated, while cautioning that the price tag is likely to come in lower.

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SiriusXM To Appeal Pre-'72 Hits Ruling

SiriusXM Radio will appeal a federal-court decision that found the satellite radio company had violated California copyright law by playing songs by the Turtles without the 60s band's permission, a company executive said at a conference on Wednesday.

According to The Wall Street Jrounal, a transcript of his remarks at the Deutsche Bank Leveraged Finance Conference, Sirius XM Chief Financial Officer David Frear said "we intend to appeal [the] decision all the way through the appeal process." The remarks represented the company's first comment on the matter since the decision emerged early last week.

The Turtles' founding members filed the lawsuit last year because Sirius XM, like many digital music services, has never paid performance royalties on songs recorded before 1972, the year sound recordings were brought within the scope of federal copyright protection. Older recordings are protected under a patchwork of state laws, such as California's.

The summary judgment issued last week in the case found that Sirius XM had "performed" the band's songs in California without permission—and in doing so had violated state law.

Mr. Frear said that the ruling implied that "every AM/FM station, bar, restaurant, stadium, Internet webcast or satellite guy has been operating in violation of California law since 1982. Not one case brought by one act ever."

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SiriusXM Unveils New Low Price Subscription Plan

In a low-key introduction SiriusXM has introduced a limited-time, low price package of more than 50 stations centered around the announcement of Joel Osteen Radio. During an interview earlier this month, CEO Jim Meyer gave a preview:
"Joel Osteen Radio again will be targeted at a segment, with special packages and special marketing, that we think complements, you know, our existing subscriber base will get out of it."
According to SeekingAlpha, SiriusXM is offering a $5.99 per month plan for a package called Basic Plus has suddenly appeared on the company web site:
Activate a Basic Plus subscription package, which includes Internet radio, pay $5.99 per month, and get free activation (a $15 savings). Fees and taxes apply. ... 
Offer Details for Radio: Buy the Onyx EZ with Home Kit or Vehicle Kit from Sirius XM by 2/15/2015 11:59 PM ET in combination with a new subscription for this radio and the radio is on us (a $69.99 savings). You also pay shipping and processing costs for the radio.
SiriusXM also is offering another package that includes includes news, traffic and weather for 22 locations, and a one-year subscription for $49.95.

The list of stations, besides local news and Osteen, includes more than a dozen music stations; sports talk; comedy; news from Bloomberg, C-SPAN, BBC, NPR and CBC; several religious stations and extensive Latin programming. It does not include some of the higher profile personalities like Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres or the company's extensive sports programming.

Orlando Radio: Non-Coms Make Biggest Moves

Non-com Contemporary-Christian WPOZ 88.3 FM Z88-3 has regained the #1 perch moving 6.8—7.0 in the September PPMs released by Neilsen Wednesday (6+ AQH Share). The victory comes as the Central Florida Educational Foundation launched its latest brand extension with a Gospel Format on 88.3 FM-HD3 and on 106.3 TransFM. The format spiked .06—1.9.

The other significant non-com highlight was achieved by WMFE 90.7 FM. The Orlando NPR station was up 2.3—3.5, besting Cox Media's WDBO 96.5 FM (3.5—3.4) and iHeartMedia's WFLF 540 AM /102.5 TransFM / WMGF 107.7 FM-HD3 (1.0—1.0)

After WPOZ, The Top5 includes Cox Country WWKA 92.3 FM at #2 6.3—6.7. Clustermate UrbanAC WCFB 94.5 FM Star was off 7.1—6.5 and ended up at #3. iHeartMedia's AC WMGF 107.7 was #4 and in fifth place it's CBS Radio's WOCL 105.9 FM with a 5.6—5.8 September showing.



18-49: WXXL...WWKA...WTKS tied WPYO...WCFB

Cume: WXXL-FM 477,700...WMGF-FM 470,000...WOMX-FM 435,300...WPYO-FM 392,900...WOCL-FM 379,200

Top 5 Morning Shows (18+ M-F 6a-10a)

  1. WCFB..Tom Joyner
  2. WTKS..Monsters in The Morning
  3. WPOZ..Ellis & Tyler
  4. WWKA...AJ & Ashley
  5. WXXL..Johnny's House

Nielsen Releases Third Batch Of September PPM Results

NielsenAudio Wednesday released the third batch of September PPMs for the following markets:
23 Portland 
24 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill 
25 Pittsburgh 
27 Sacramento 
28 San Antonio 
29 Salta Lake City-Ogden-Provo 
30 Cincinnati 
31 Cleveland 
32  Las Vegas 
33  Orlando 
34  Kansas City 
37  Columbus, OH

To view Topline PPM results for Nielsen subscribing stations: Click Here.

Bob Neil: What's Wrong With The PPMs

Bob Neil
Former Cox Media CEO and currently group consultant Bob Neil believes Neilsen's PPMs send listeners to radio’s lower-ad rivals, according to InsideRadio.

Neilne of radio’s most outspoken executives about the rollout of people meter-based measurement remains  a critic of the technology, thinks it’s  having a negative impact on how stations are programmed. “Absolutely, PPM is bad  for creativity,” he says, pointing to air personalities who’ve been forced to say very little out of fears that their ratings will drop.

“By playing to the methodology, we kill off what makes terrestrial radio special — the secret sauce that was between the records,” he says. “The notion that is going to be removed because we have to play to this  measurement game could in turn end up causing terrestrial radio to decline faster because by playing that game we sound  more like the ‘more music’ competitors and we’ll never win that game because we play more commercials than they do.”

Neil  says his prime concern about PPM-based measurement continues to be the size of the sample.

CT Radio: Chaz And AJ Listeners Replace Kids' Stolen Cash

Donation Jar Stolen
Listeners to CT morning radio hosts Chaz and AJ came to the rescue of a children's organization after a donation jar stuffed with cash was stoeln from  Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield, CT.

The entire disturbing incident was all caught on tape and now, the brewery's CEO is hoping that the public can help identify the suspect.

The entire burglary was caught on four of the brewery's 16 cameras, but the person behind this cold-hearted act is still on the loose.

The man seen in this surveillance video appears to look in the front door of the Thomas Hooker Brewery and he then winds up and throws a piece of concrete through the glass.

Quickly, the unidentified man grabs the donation jar inside with between $800 and $1,000 and runs out the door.

Chaz and AJ picked-up the story on their show and listeners donated cash...more than was in the jay, which to be about $800.  In about a half-hour, listeners donated $2500.  “This audience continues to prove that they care about our community and want to help those in need,” commented Chaz. “It is no surprise  that we were able to raise this much money in less than 30 minutes.”

The Chaz And AJ Show is based at Rock WPLR 99.1 FM in New Haven and airs on Connoisseur Media's Classic Hits WDRC 102.9 FM in Hartford and WFOX 95.9 FM in Stamford-Norwalk, CT.

Philly Radio: WIOQ Adds Raphael To Line-Up

iHeartMedia/Philadelphia has announced an addition of Raphael to its line-up on Top40 WIOQ 102.1 FM Q102).

He'll be hosting weeknights from 8 p.m. to midnight, effective immediately.

Raphael moves to Philly from Rochester, where he was an on-air personality and Promotions Director at WPXY. He will be based in Philadelphia and will VoiceTrac Rochester on iHeartMedia’s Top40 WKGS 106.7 FM KissFM.

"Raphael brings a fresh, unpredictable sound to Philly nighttime radio,” said Brian Check, Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia Philadelphia.

"We are extremely excited to have Raphael join Q102," said Jared Fallon, Program Director, Q102.

"He has great energy, a passion for radio and knows innovative ways to engage the audience... and
he's a huge Eagles fan."

"I am thrilled to be back in the Delaware Valley," said Raphael. "It's an honor to join the Q102 family. I'm ready to go from zero to sixty – the fun is just getting started."

Milwaukee Radio: Entercom Rebrands WSSP, Adds TransFM

Entercom Communications/Milwaukee has launched a simulcast of its Sports Radio WSSP 1250 AM The Fan on 105.7 TransFM W289CB, with an HD frequency at WXSS 103.7 FM-HD2.

Entercom purchased Translator W289CB for $300,000 from Kevin Youngers in April.

W289CB 105.7 FM (240watts) 60dBu Coverage
The Fan is the home of the AHL Milwaukee Admirals, select Milwaukee Bucks games, Green Bay football, Milwaukee baseball and basketball post-game shows, and even high school sports.

Billtown Radio: iHeartMedia Backs Off From News-Talk Again

iHeartMedia has launched an Active Rock format in Williamsport, PA.  'Rock 94.9' was launched Wednesday morning on a TransFM fed from the company's WRKK 1200 AM (licensed to Hughesville, PA).  WRKK has 10Kw-Day, 250 Watts-Night, Translator W235BA 220 Watts. The translator's antenna sits atop the Gennetti Hotel downtown.

The new rock station is now stunting with 10,000 songs in a row.  When that's finished, look for Rock 94-9 to feature 'Rover's Morning Glory' Show from WMMS Cleveland  and Premiere Radio's 'Sixx Sense' evenings.

W235BA 94.9 FM (220watts) 60dBu Coverage
The new effort breaks up a tri-cast of News/Talk WRAK 1400 AM, WRKK 1200 AM and 94.9 TransFM.

Fox Sports, Jay Mohr Extend Contract

Jay Mohr
FOX Sports Radio has announced the signing a new long-term agreement with national radio host, actor and comedian Jay Mohr.

Under the deal, Mohr will continue hosting "Jay Mohr Sports," which launched with FOX Sports Radio in January, 2013, and currently airs on more than 150 stations, including Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and Tampa.

"I'm so happy to be on the air with FOX Sports Radio and iHeartMedia for years to come," said Mohr. "I have always been a huge sports fan, and obviously, I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut. Now, for three hours a day, in upwards of 150 cities, it's actually my job. This is a dream come true for me. The old cliche is true -- 'Pick a job you like...' I love this job and hope to have many more multi-year deals after this one."

"Jay's unique, lightning fast, high energy sports talk program is unique, interesting, funny and fun," stated Premiere Networks Senior VP/Sports Operations Bruce Gilbert. "We're ecstatic that he has agreed to continue with us for several years to come."

Bob Pittman Visits NPR's 'Hear & Now'

iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson on NPR says radio is as popular as ever.  And he joked, that if he could, he’d "put an FM chip in every brain".

He also explains why iHeartMedia is interested in the radio market, and his own personal connection to radio, an industry he’s been involved in since he was 15 years old.

Derek Jeter Launches Website for Athletes

During his just-ended baseball career, Derek Jeter was notoriously tight-lipped with reporters, offering mostly sports platitudes about playing hard and wanting to win and rarely anything much deeper than that.

But now that he's done playing, he's decided that he wants to offer a way for athletes to communicate with the fans, announcing the launch yesterday (October 1st) of a website called The Players' Tribune, where athletes will be able to post content such as written posts, videos, photos, podcasts and more.

Jeter said yesterday, "You want players to feel like this is a safe place where they can get their message across how they want to portray it."

In his first post on the website -- the only thing that's on it so far -- Jeter admits that he didn't give much away during his baseball career, and offers up an explanation that he ties into his goals for the site: "I realize I've been guarded. . . . I do think fans deserve more than 'no comments' or 'I don't knows.' Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. . . . I'm not a robot. Neither are the other athletes who at times might seem unapproachable. We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend."

However, the former New York Yankees shortstop says he doesn't see the site as a replacement for reporters. He said, "We're not trying to take away from sportswriters. Sportswriters are what makes sports successful. I think we're sort of working in conjunction with them."