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Thursday, June 30, 2011

14 Years As A Sports PD In Atlanta Is Long Enough

After 14 years as the Program Director of Sports Talk 790 the Zone (WQXI) in Atlanta Matt Edgar turned in his gloves and spikes and called it a day. Edgar started out as a producer at the station and worked his up to program director. He's been replaced by Bob Richards. Our Atlanta Blogger Chadd Scott caught up with Edgar about his time in Atlanta. Here's Chadd's latest Blog Post.

In your 14 years with 790, what is the biggest change you've noticed at the station? 
Matt Edgar: Being bought out by a much larger radio company, Lincoln Financial Media, is by far the biggest change.  I don't think people truly realize what Steak Shapiro, Andrew Saltzman and Beau Bock did back in 1997.  They started a radio station from scratch...and in a large market!  It will never be duplicated again. 

How about with sports talk radio in general? 
Edgar: I started in this business 17 years ago I would have laughed at you if had told me how big FM sports talk would become. 

What are you most proud of having accomplished at 790? 
Edgar: Our annual Camp Twin Lakes Radiothon which is in its 5th year.  Our listeners have helped us raise over a million dollars and the awareness we've created has been sensational.  And how my guys handle it every year is the amazing part.  This is not your typical radio or TV fundraiser with sappy stories and boring time fillers. 
What do you wish you'd been able to accomplish that you were not? 
Edgar: Ratings!  790 The Zone never received the ratings it deserved.  We sold tens of millions of dollars in advertising, brought hundreds of thousands of our listeners out to events, BUT we never had much in the ratings column to show for it.  Very frustrating! 
RI: What is your favorite memory from your time there? 
Edgar: It seems silly and idealistic but that's easy.....the people.  We were a family and it is one of those special places, truly special places in the world.  My favorite memory is the people of 790 The Zone.   
RI: Why are you leaving now? 
Edgar: The past year I have commuted 130 miles round trip each day and I just couldn't do it anymore.  I now live in the country community of Sonoraville and love it!    
RI: What do you think should be the top priority for your replacement? 
Edgar: Giving the station some new sizzle.  My message started falling on deaf ears, much a like a coach who's been there too long.  Bob Richards will do a sensational job and I look forward to listening each and every day! 
RI: What do you see as the biggest coming trend in sports talk radio? 
Edgar: FM, FM, FM!  It is where sports talk belongs and as the results have shown, it works.  790 The Zone belongs on the FM dial as well. 
RI: What most concerns you about the industry? 
Edgar: Too much syndication and conglomeration.  This is not an original answer for sure but being in a big market for well over a decade I see it all the time.  No one wants to swing and miss anymore.  That was one of the fantastic things about Big League Broadcasting, the willingness to not be too afraid to try something new.  There is nothing wrong with failing.   
RI: What are your plans for the future? 
Edgar: I'm starting a website to cover the local sports scene up here in Sonoraville.  It is called  We may be a smaller town but our high school sports appetite is as big as anyone's. 

 Chadd Scott is a blogger for Radio Ink from Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter @ChaddScott
or on Facebook

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The Late William B. Williams Goes Into Hall of Fame

June 29, 2011

William B. Williams, the host of WNEW?s iconic Make Believe Ballroom was inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame this week at the Sagamore Hotel in Lake George.  His widow Dottie Mack Williamns and son Jeffrey accepted on his behalf. Whitney Media Chairman William O'Shaughnessy  says of Williams, "He was a beloved fixture on New York radio back in the 60?s and 70?s.  He was also an elder of the Friars Club and walked with Martin Luther King down the dusty roads of Selma, Alabama.  The DJ began each program with ?Hello, World ? this is William B." (Listen to Williams HERE)

Also inducted were Joe Reilly, who led the NYSBA for 30 years, Regis Philbin, Rod Wood and Carrie Lazarus, and Arnold Klinsky, a Rochester television executive. The state-wide broadcasters association started its Hall of Fame in 2005.  Among those already enshrined are CBS founder William S. Paley, newscasters Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons, Walter Cronkite, Don Imus, ?Cousin Bruce? Morrow, Gabe Pressman, Barbara Walters and O'Shaughnessy.

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Latest Merlin Add: Jerry Rohira As VP/Production

If the trend continues Randy Michaels will make another staff announcement today as he has every day since the launch of his new company Merlin Media was announced. Yesterday, Jerry Rohira was added as Vice President for Production for Merlin.  Michaels recently agreed to buy Emmis' WKQX and WLUP in Chicago and WRXP in New York. Rohira was most recently creative director at Sirius XM. There is still no official word yet on what will happen to Emmis employees when Merlin starts running the three stations.  

"Jerry will be responsible for creating the highest level of innovative production that exists in American media," Merlin COO Walter Sabo said. "The overall sound, philosophy, and imagery of Merlin stations in all formats will benefit from his soundscapes."

Rohira said, "Merlin Media has shown a strong commitment to building a compelling company and a preeminent executive team. It's truly an honor to work alongside people who have the same love for the media business as I do, and I'm excited to dive into a creatively boundless environment along with them."

Since the deal to buy the three Emmis stations was announced, Merlin has brought in Sabo as COO as well as Greg Janoff as EVP of revenue and Andy Friedman as VP/Internet initiatives. Additionally, John Gehron is serving as chairman of Merlin's advisory board while Liz Aiello has come in as VP/New York, to oversee WRXP.

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Ramar Communications Sticks With Ivan Braiker's Hipcricket.

June 29, 2011

Hipcricket and Ramar Communications have extended their contract together. Ramar, the parent company of five television and four radio stations in Lubbock, Texas, uses Hipcricket?s HIP 7.0 platform to deliver sponsored news alerts, weather forecasts and other information and offers. Ramar also uses Hipcricket to integrate mobile into its CRM initiatives, engage audiences and deliver opportunities for additional advertising revenue through hyper-local mobile offers.

Braiker said, ?we live in a mobile world, and Ramar Communications realizes that by engaging on-the-go audiences, its stations will stay top of mind and ensure that they are the primary source for news, information and entertainment. ?Hipcricket?s mobile solutions truly make our experiences with our viewers and listeners interactive,? said Chris Fleming, Chief Revenue Officer and Radio General Manager, Ramar Communications. ?We?re looking forward to expanding our relationship with Hipcricket and taking advantage of the wide range of mobile products and services they offer.?  The two have worked together since 2008.

The HIP platform is capable of fueling all brands? and agencies? mobile marketing needs; from messaging (SMS/MMS) to 2D/QR bar codes, and mobile coupons to mobile web applications. The SaaS platform is behind more than 100,000 mobile marketing campaigns for clients including MillerCoors, Macy?s and Nestle, among others.

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Slacker CEO Jim Cady Says AOL Radio Just Got A Whole Lot Better

June 29, 2011

In about five weeks Slacker Radio will be the primary music provider for AOL Radio. On June 14th President of CBS Interactive David Goodman told his team the company decided not to renew its arrangement to provide music to AOL. With the aggressive approach CBS was taking with digital and with integrated into the player CBS decided to go it alone. AOL loses great CBS brands like WFAN and WCBS in New York, WIP in Philly and KCBS in San Francisco but picks up ESPN and News from ABC radio. Once the love affair ended between AOL and CBS, AOL reached out to Slacker and cut the deal annuonced yesterday.

AOL is not only touting its new relationship with Slacker, it's really playing up fewer commercials. On its website AOL says "We have heard you loud and clear - the new AOL Radio player will feature less commercials. Also, listeners who subscribe to the Radio Plus or Premium Radio products will get ad-free AOL Radio as part of their benefits." Slacker will provide access to ad-free radio and enable users to create tailored radio stations, save favorite songs and stations, review station histories, and skip up to six songs per hour, per station.

Slacker CEO Jim Cady told Radio Ink, "One thing that the partnership brings is the ability for us to provide the AOL listener a much more compelling experience. The experiences they have had to date have been good, but not necessarily up to what people expect today. We really look forward to working with them and providing a much more personalized service as well as tiers of service, to their listener base. The new service will deliver three product tiers to users: free AOL Radio with personalization and customization by Slacker, ad-free and feature-rich Slacker Radio Plus and on-demand access with Slacker Premium Radio.

As far as listeners go, this is a big win for Slacker. The arrangement with AOL Radio will double the number of listeners Slacker currently has. The partnership will enable Slacker to deliver its new radio offerings to a larger audience, allow AOL Radio and Slacker to develop new advertising opportunities for clients and integrate AOL Music?s original editorial voice across all its services. Upon the launch of the new AOL Radio player, Slacker will lead advertising sales within the player, enabling AOL to package a portion of the inventory for premium AOL Music integrated sponsorships

As far as Slacker goes, while the AOL brand is not what it once was it is still big. This should help Slacker nudge its way onto the headlines a little more than the media darling, Pandora. Cady says step two is getting those new listeners to become subscribers and ramping up the advertising. "There are a couple of things that are critically important to us. One is this increases our overall audience. We feel very comfortable that the business model we have works quite well, both from an ad supported perspective as well as moving into a couple of subscription tiers. The biggest thing we are focused on now is we?re putting more people into the top of the funnel, so to speak. I think that is a key element for this. In addition, I think it will dramatically increase our overall ad footprint and advertising exposure and allow us to be able to do some more interesting things with more advertisers because of the much bigger footprint that we will have."  Cady says right now you can never really be happy with revenue but advertising is a gross margin positive for Slacker. "It?s really about providing that service, but moving people into the paid tiers is doing well. It?s getting better and better on a monthly basis."

(6/29/2011 5:13:23 PM)
Congrats to Slacker and Pandora, as the flawed, fradulent, destructive HD Radio fades into litigation! LMAO!!!

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FCC Jumps Into The KUSF Fray.

June 29, 2011

Since it was announced KUSF would be sold by the University of San Francisco to Classical Public Radio Networks students have been trying to save the station. Yesterday a letter from the FCC sent to CPRN may have put at least a delay in that transaction as the FCC has requested a whole bunch of information and given CPRN 30 days to respond. A public service operating agreement was executed between the college and CPRN and the license was shuttled over CPRN, perhaps too quickly as far as the FCC goes, and that's where the red flags begin. Here is a list of information the commission wants by July 28th straight from the FCC's letter.

1) Have the Licensee and CPRN implemented the PSOA? If so, what is the Effective Date as specified in the PSOA?

2) On a weekly basis, from the Effective Date until the date of response to this inquiry letter, specify how many hours each week the Station broadcast
programming supplied by CPRN, and where and when, specifically, that programming was produced. Also, specify any dates and times when the Licensee preempted or rejected any CPRN programming. Describe the ability of the Licensee (including availability of necessary personnel and equipment) to originate programming at the Station?s main studio location from the Effective date until the Response Date.Describe the process by which and identify the individuals through whom the Licensee reviews and evaluates the programming supplied by CPRN for broadcast on the Station.

3) Identify by name, title or position, dates of employment, and specified tour of duty hours, all employees retained and paid by the Licensee at the Station from the Effective Date until the Response Date.

4) Identify by name, title or position, dates of employment, and specified tour of duty hours, all employees retained and paid by CPRN at the Station from the Effective Date until the Response Date.

5) Provide a copy of all documents (such as contracts, invoices, bills, checks written or received, credit card charges/receipts, receipts for electronic fund transfers, etc.), collated and submitted separately, from the Effective Date until the Response Date, related to the following:
a. rent payments for studio and office space;
b. rent payments for the transmitter site/building and lease of tower space for the Station?s antenna;
c. payment of salaries for any employees retained and paid by the Licensee at the Station;
d. payment of salaries for any employees retained and paid by CPRN at the Station;
e. payment of any utilities for the Station?s studio and transmission facilities;
f. payment for the acquisition or production of any programming aired by the station..

6) Provide a copy of all Documents regarding any request for reimbursement for Station operating expenses by the Licensee to CPRN.

7) Provide a copy of all documents related to publicity and/or promotion of the Station from the Effective Date until the Response Date.

8) Provide a copy of all Documents regarding any reimbursement for Station operating expenses by CPRN to the Licensee.

9) Provide a copy of all Documents from June 1, 2010, to the present, to or from Rev. Stephen Privett, Mr. Charles Cross, Donna Davis, Esq., and/or Mr. Stephen Runyon concerning the proposed sale of the Station, the PSOA or CPRN.

10) Provide a copy of all Documents from June 1, 2010, to the present, presented to, prepared for, or issued by the Licensee?s Board of Trustees concerning the proposed sale of the Station, the PSOA or CPRN.

11) Explain and provide the legal basis for the response to Section II, Item 3c and Section III, Item 3b of the Application that the Agreements involved in the transaction, including the PSOA, ?comply fully with the Commission's rules and policies.?

12) Provide an itemized accounting (listing donor, date received, and exact amount) for all donations, underwriting receipts, or ?other support? (as specified in Section 7 of the PSOA) received by the Licensee from the Effective Date until the Response date. Provide documentation to support the entries to the extent available.

13) Provide an itemized accounting (listing donor, date received, and exact amount) for all donations, underwriting receipts, or ?other support? (as specified in Section 7 of the PSOA) received by CPRN from the Effective Date until the Response date. Provide documentation to support the entries to the extent available.

14) Provide a list, and unredacted copies, of any agreement regarding the provision of programming to any other station, however titled, to which the Licensee, CPRN, or any party to the Application (including but not limited to Licensee and CPRN principals), is involved in any way.

15) Provide any Documents relating to agreements other than the PSOA between the Licensee and CPRN concerning the Station.

(6/29/2011 11:12:49 AM)

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NAB Looking For HD Radio Nominees

On July 1st, The National Association of Broadcasters will open the nomination process for the NAB HD Radio Multicast Award, which recognizes creative and compelling digital programming. The deadline is July 31. Established in 2007, the award recognizes an HD Radio multicast station at the forefront of creating unique, innovative or groundbreaking programming. The award will be presented during the 2011 Radio Show, September 14-16, in Chicago.

Previous award recipients include KBCO-FM Denver's "The Studio C Channel;" WRIF-FM Detroit's "Riff2;" WHUR-WORLD, an extension of Howard University's WHUR-FM; WAMU-FM for its Bluegrass Country station, 88.5-2; and WSTW-FM in Delaware, MD for its 93.7-2 "Graffiti Radio" channel. Stations must submit their entry online at beginning July 1 and may contact Melek Demir at or 202-775-3511 for additional information.

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Smulyan Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

June 28, 2011
Typically a lifetime achievement award is handed out at the end of someone's career. Jeff Smulyan would probably argue that a new phase at Emmis, under his leadership is about to begin. The Indiana Broadcasters Association will bestow upon Smulyan its lifetime achievement award at a dinner this October. President & CEO of the IBA Linda Compton says ?Jeff represents the very best that the Indiana Broadcast industry has to offer. ?We are delighted to recognize his unflagging passion for our industry through this lifetime achievement honor.? While not at the end of his career it was 31 years ago next month that Smulyan's Emmis broadcasting put WIBC on the air in Indianapolis.

The award, created in 2006, recognizes individuals for especially meritorious service, contributions to or achievements in the field of broadcasting in Indiana over the course of a career.  This is the Indiana Broadcasters Association highest honor and is presented to an Indiana broadcaster whose work is unusually beneficial and of superior value to their community and to the Association. The award ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Indiana Broadcasters Association and Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame event, to be held Thursday, October 6, 2011 at The Fountains, Carmel, Indiana.

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NAB Adds Smerconish To Radio Show

Syndicated talker Michael Smerconish will be the featured speaker at the Radio Show Luncheon, held Friday, September 16. The Katz-sponsored luncheon will be held at the joint NAB/RAB Radio Show in Chicago in Septepmber.  Smerconish is syndicated by Dial-Global. "Michael has taken a refreshing approach to talk radio by cutting through the rhetoric and establishing credibility and constructive dialogue with listeners," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David.

Prior to radio, Smerconish practiced law for ten years and remains a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. At age 29, he served as the presidential appointee under George H. W. Bush as Regional Administrator in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. After supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 general election, Smerconish decided in 2010 to formalize his personal political independence. He is the author of five books, two of them on The New York Times Bestseller list; a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer; and contributes to and MSNBC.

The Radio Show Luncheon will also include the presentation of the National Radio Award to Steve Newberry, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation.

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Learn How to Win From Our Independent Warriors

In the June 20th issue of Radio Ink magazine we interviewed several small market operators.  We wanted to know how these station owners and operators survive and thrive with only a handful of stations. They face many challenges competing against bigger, consolidated groups. They face the same revenue challenges when the economy goes into a recession. They also have a lot less red tape and corporate rules to deal with than the bigger groups do.

There are thousands and thousands of independent operators all over the United States. All of you will get value from reading our June 20th special report. In the issue, we interviewed Amador Bustos, President of Bustos Media Holdings, Ben Downs from Bryan-College Station Texas, Larry and Susan Patrick of Legend Communications, Galaxy Communications Owner Ed Levine, Scott Poesse of KBRX in Oneill, Nebraska, Dennis Jones from South Georgia and Larry Fuss from South Seas Broadcasting. The information they provided on how they win in their markets is outstanding.

If you do not subscribe to Radio Ink magazine, here is a link to our subscription page.For a taste of what these operators told us, we have added a link to our website. It includes all the information these Independent Warriors provided us that did not make it into the June 20th issue.

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Is The FCC's Vague Indecency Policy Finally Coming To An End.

June 28, 2011

Monday morning's order from the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the indecency case asks lawyers for both sides to address "Whether the Federal Communications Commission's current indecency-enforcement regime violates the First or Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution." For far too long broadcasters have been baffled by the "community standards" intepretation, not to mention the inconsistency between radio and TV rulings.

The granting of a hearing in F.C.C. v. Fox Television puts into question whether the court will overturn a 1978 ruling on indecency, F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation. The Pacifica decision, which upheld the commission?s finding that George Carlin?s classic ?seven dirty words? radio monologue was indecent, cemented the F.C.C.?s ability to police the public airwaves.

For sure broadcasters have not been looking for ways to make a mad dash to the microphone so they can drop the F-Bomb. They would however like to see an easily understandable rule or law they can share with their employees so everyone knows where the line is.  We wanted to know what it really meant for broadcasters now that the indecency policy of the FCC has made it all the way to the nation's most powerful judges. We asked attorney John Garziglia to address the topic for us.

"The Supreme Court?s acceptance of cert in the FCC v. Fox case may mark the final end to the FCC?s indecency enforcement.  Broadly stated, the issue that will be before the Supreme Court is whether, in an effort to protect children, our government can continue to restrict radio and television broadcast stations from the broadcast of programming that meets the FCC?s test of indecency, but is not otherwise obscene."

"A concurrent Supreme Court decision overturning California?s ban on the sale or rental of violent video games to minor provides several hints as to which way the Supreme Court will go when the FCC?s broadcast indecency enforcement is considered.  In this 7-2 decision, Justice Thomas dissenting believes that government has the right to restrict speech to children that bypasses parents, and Justice Breyer believes that the protection of children trumps First Amendment protections that video games might otherwise have."

"One of the significant reasons for the statute giving the FCC authority to regulate indecency on the airwaves, but not for other media, is the protection of children.  Indeed, broadcast stations are allowed to air programming that is otherwise indecent after 10:00 p.m. when children are presumably no longer in the audience.  If only two Supreme Court Justices were willing to find in favor of a California statue designed to protect minors from violent video games, it may be that the Supreme Court will likewise find that broadcast stations are no longer that special guest in the home that merits treatment different than cable, DVDs, CDs, MP3s and the Internet."

"If the FCC?s indecency enforcement is overturned, radio comedy could become a mainstream format.  Over time, we will likely hear radio personalities speaking in the vernacular of the community they serve, rather than restricting the use of words and thoughts that our government now deems illegal to broadcast.  Songs, for better or worse, will be the versions that our children are actually listening to on their MP3s, not sanitized airplay versions.  And finally, radio and television will be on a playing field that is level with cable and satellite, free to compete with the same horrible, offensive, shocking, titillating or boring content. Or, the Supreme Court could just punt and uphold the FCC?s current indecency regulations so that at least children will continue to be protected from broadcasters, even if children are not protected from the rest of the media world."

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Christian Broadcasters Snap Back at NAB LPFM Comments

June 28, 2011

Yesterday we told you how the NAB was sticking up for niche-formatted stations in its comments to the FCC about LPFM stations. Today we hear from the Christian Broadcasting community. They are none too happy with the NAB comments that an LPFM station could hurt a niche-formatted commercial stations revenue. John Broomall from the CCB writes, "No LPFM operator or advocate, including CCB, believes that LPFM has had (or will have significant impact on commercial broadcasters.  If this premise is correct, the FCC has an impossible task ? proving a negative.)"

Broomall says if a commercial station fails don't blame us. "Nearly 100% of the revenues generated by commercial stations is from advertising.  This is the only useful metric to consider. Evaluating the impact of a 100-watt LPFM that cannot legally air commercials having a five-mile radius coverage against a 100,000 watt commercial station with a 50-mile reach is like comparing mice to elephants. Elephants may be afraid of mice but 100K stations cannot blame LPFMs on any of their economic problems."

"Everyone wants to ?be successful?. Hopefully broadcasters want to ?serve the public interest? and have a positive impact or influence on their listeners. No one brags that they are failures in any way, including financially.  However, neither the IRS nor the FCC expects or wants non-profit organizations to hurt businesses economically.  Based on the purpose and design of LPFM, this low power non-profit service was not intended to have ?significant impact? on any business, including commercial full-service broadcasters. It is impossible to predict the future.  Prognosticators disagree as to whether history is a ?straight line? or if it repeats itself.   Individuals who are ?successful? at economic predictions don?t work for the FCC ? they are independently wealthy and called ?billionaires?!

Broomall founded CCB in early 2000 at the beginning of LPFM.  CCB has filed hundreds of LPFM filings with the FCC from routine Form 318?s to complex and highly disputed MX pleadings, all with a high level of success.  The Broomalls have a website and an Internet discussion group devoted to LPFM and have conducted workshops and seminars. 

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Arbitron Adds Counties to 10 Markets Changing Their Ranks

June 28, 2011

The markets affected by the change are: Albany, GA (Now 239/Was 262), Amarillo, TX. (Now168/Was 193), Bryan-College Station, TX. (Now 206/Was 233), Corpus Christi, TX. (Now 108/Was 137), Des Moines, IA. (Now 72/Was 91), Fayettville, AR. (Was 128/Now 127), Ft. Smith AR. (Now 159/Was 175), Jonesboro, AR. (Now 234/Was 284), New Orleans, LA. (Now 45/Was 52) and Portland, ME (Now89/Was 168)

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5 Tips To Make a Small Market Station Sound Big

June 27, 2011

by Kit Mann

When there were no such options such as Facebook, Pandora, Smart Phones, iPods and tablet apps, the small market listener would accept what was thrown at them by the two or three music stations that inhabited their markets. Stations were programmed by the owner or the owner?s son with very little attention paid to what was going on in the rest of the world.

Today, this approach to small market radio is akin to business suicide. Today?s small market listener has just as many options as their larger market comrades.  They will not simply support the local station because it is what they grew up listening to. They will just log on to their device and go elsewhere. Therefore it becomes the small market station?s responsibility to their advertisers to put out a quality product that can compete with what is available to the populace of their market.

Here are the five quickest ways to begin to build a station that sounds and performs like the other options available.

Local information, but don?t overdo it. Tight, focused news in morning drive with a locally driven content needs to be delivered in a large market, headline style. Focus on things that elicit loyalty; sports, local big stories and economic news. Any newscast that last longer than two or three minutes is a turn off. If the listeners want details, send them to your web portal for detailed stories. Get in, get out.Decide what you are, and be that.  Tight, smart play lists are the key. If you say that you are a rock station, stop playing old Motown songs just because the owner?s wife likes Motown. If you are Top 40, play the TOP 40 songs. Don?t pick and choose based on what you like personally. There are too many on demand options out there to steal your listeners when you stray from your format. Variety is ok; chaos will chase ?em away.Entertain and challenge with your morning show. Train and allow your morning show to elicit emotional responses. It is no longer good business for your morning show to be safe and beloved. It is perfectly ok?in fact desirable ? for your morning show to take chances and push buttons. Temper this with charitable events and make them part of the community. On the air though, they need to be trained to sound and act like the stars that you need them to be. Production counts. The number two biggest issue in small markets is the fact that commercial production is treated as a throw away. It is a full THIRD of your air sound, yet it is the first thing to be compromised. The spots need to sound like the station. Nothing sounds worse than a rock station playing cold voice commercials or spots with country music beds. Small markets have GOT to stop letting clients voice their own spots. Do they get to go into the local restaurant and cook their own food? Do they get to pull up to the local mechanic and fix their own cars? Train them to let the professionals do their job and then RAISE THE BAR on production values.Finally. IMAGING! The biggest difference between small market sound and big market sound is imaging. There are literally hundreds of voice guys looking for stations to image. One hundred dollars a month will go a long way to improving the presentation of your station. Go listen to a big market station online. Listen to what they say BETWEEN the songs. These things need a steady hand and a committed ownership, but do it right and there is no reason for small market stations to get trampled under the wheels of the big machine. Change is not coming, it is already here. We need to give our listeners a better product than they can get online and the loyalty will build.

Kit Mann is the morning host and program director of KBPY in Chadron, NE. A brand new signal that he built from the ground up this year. Or Or on Twitter at kitmannrocks

(6/27/2011 5:05:55 PM)
Good stuff, Kit. And, if we're being honest, there are stations in some larger markets who could use your advice.
(6/27/2011 4:52:34 PM)
Imaging voice for $100 a month? You'll get what you pay for. Step up to at least $200 and you'll BEGIN to get someone good. The best people wil not even work for that.
(6/27/2011 4:15:07 PM)
This is great information for us small markets! Thanks Kit.

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40 Most Powerful Flashback

In 1996 Radio Ink began what would become radio's bible of power, a ranked listing of the 40 Most Powerful People in Radio. On July 11th, 2011 our 16th edition of that issue will be released. It will feature many changes, shifts in power and up and coming movers and shakers. 1996 was also the year of Telecommunications Act that opened the floodgates to consolidation. At the time, Clear Channel only owned 100 radio stations. Of course that number would grow to over 1100 only ten years later before settling back to where Clear Channel is today at 840. Can you name the 5 most powerful people in Radio from 1996? Here are the 8 top names from that first list. You pick out the Top 5.

Dan Mason
Scott Ginsburg
Mel Karmazin
Steve Dodge
Robert Sillerman
Randy Michaels
Lowry Mays
Bob Callahan

List your rankigs below or send to

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Clear Channel's Pandora Feature Rolls Out on The iHeartradio App This Fall.

June 27, 2011

With Pandora now public, all eyes are on that company transitioning from a wildly popular music listening tool to a successful business model that can sustain serious profits for investors for years to come. Much has been written by digital gurus and self-professed Internet experts about whether or not that can happen. Fact is, as time goes by, Pandora may morph several times, finding new ways to generate revenue and profits. At this point in time, as Pandora deals with the high cost of music fees and figures out how to sell more advertising without diluting what listeners love so much, radio's big dog is waiting in the wings with it's own version of music curation.

Clear Channel is working feverishly to integrate Thumbplay into iHeartdaio and the company says a beta version of the revised app will be ready this fall. As the competition wedges into the Pandora space "it might even be harder to find a workable business model for Pandora." Who says that? Clear Channel's Bob Pittman.

The Clear Channel plan is to make the next generation of iHeartradio, with a Pandora-like feature, completely seamless and integrated into the app. It's almost as if Clear Channel is saying we're going to take your entire business model, Pandora, and turn it into a tab on our app. Thank you very much for creating a cool service, but it's really only one piece of the listening experience. It's not "THE" piece.

The question that intrigues us is what happens to Pandora when Clear Channel and its 750 plus radio stations and other marketing platforms begin to promote the new iHeartradio app with listener playlist creation as a "special feature"? Triton Media Group Chief Operating Officer Mike Agovino says "They have extremely large reach and if they promote the feature aggressively I would expect to see a significant jump in downloads and usage of the app. I don't think that their audience gains will necessarily come from Pandora. More likely this move just helps to grow the already growing online audio pie."

Everyone agrees that it's too early to declare winners and losers in the Internet listening game. CEO Bill Moore says "Online listening is still under 10% of all radio.  It?s a massive market, we are on the second batter in the first inning."

ABC's Steve Jones says ?It?s way too early to predict winners and losers in digital radio. One of the most important events was the Pandora IPO. It will be telling to see how the market values that company and, by implication, the other pure-play digital radio companies. (Pandora will begin trading today at $15.37). When you talk to some of these private pure-plays, they?re apprehensive. Pandora?s success could lift all boats. But, if the market is not supportive, broader vulnerabilities for online audio (such as royalties) could be exacerbated.  Still, these are early times and It?s still  very much a jump ball for everyone in this space.? ABC provides exclusive content for Slacker Radio.

In the recent past Clear Channel's Bob Pittman has called Pandora a "playlist on shuffle." Of course time will tell whether that characterization is correct or whether Pandora proves Pittman wrong. An example he's referenced is his experience with AOL's instant messenger, saying it was a successful product but they could never figure out a way to make it a business.

Slacker Radio CEO Jim Cady. "We would agree that Pandora is primarily a playlist generator, where you put in a song or artist and their algorithms produce a playlist that matches that criteria.  Our programming approach, radio practices, content offering and general philosophy is built very closely to that of broadcast radio and we believe that is a considerable benefit over the playlists that Pandora and others lean on for discovery.  It is very difficult to beat a well programmed radio station. Especially one that you, as a listener, can control - this is something we have built our entire service around.  We are very happy to employ some of the best radio programming talent to curate our stations and craft our experience, because radio is an art that does not translate to playlists."

Agovino says Clear Channel has another opportunity, perhaps the next generation of apps for the listener, "If I understand CC's execution correctly it sounds like this technology that comes from Thumbplay is not integrated with the their terrestrial brands. In other words, it's not a personalized Z100 or Kiss 108. If that's true, than I think they've missed the opportunity to take the value proposition to another level. I think a best of both worlds hybrid is the killer app."

For now, Pandora is the success story. They are the one making all the waves and everyone else is just sitting back watching how they do and what they do.

(6/27/2011 9:18:49 AM)
Clear Channel's willingness to take risks has kept the company on the cutting edge of change. It is "clear" that Bob Pittman is carrying on that tradition with the new iHeartradio App. as an answer to Pandora.

Of course, Clear Channel has the best possible promotional platform and the ability through its crowdsourcing efforts to discover and establish new artists both on air, on Web platforms and on other wireless applications.

No one can afford to be "risk averse" when dealing with the “sea changes” taking place in media. Clear Channel management and ownership are clearly placing a premium on vision.

(6/27/2011 5:29:04 AM)
But, I thought that radio is supposed to stop streaming, and put everything into the HD Radio basket. LOL!

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A Merlin Flip to Talk Is Inevitable

June 28, 2011

Why else would Randy Michaels pick FM Talk expert Walter Sabo as his COO as was announced yesterday? No doubt Sabo has the skills and experience to run a company, however he is also a huge fan and mega-promoter of FM Talk. This could also be a sign that Randy Michaels may have many more than just a few FM News or Talk stations in mind. Perhaps his entire Merlin business model is built on the FM spoken word premise.

There is no doubt that Michaels plans to have more than three stations as time goes by. It?s a stated goal in all his press releases that the plan is to grow. Sabo loves to go after a younger audience with talk on the FM dial. Perhaps the Michaels Sabo plan is to blanket the country with more and more news or talk stations that target a younger demo by using FM as the platform.

With Greg Janoff, formerly of 1010 WINS (New York) being added last week, and now Sabo, all signs are pointing toward some sort of flip to an FM News or Talk station. The speculation is that Merlin will flip WLUP in Chicago and keep Q101 alternative. In New York with Steve Swenson no longer running 1010 WINS and NEWSRADIO 880 perhaps Michaels sees a weakness .

Walter has unparalleled experience and a true passion for this industry, making him a perfect fit to lead Merlin Media's operations. He has founded two businesses of his own in Sabo Media and Hitviews, and that core competency will be hugely valuable to us," said Randy Michaels, CEO of Merlin Media. "Success requires building brands that are unique, desirable and difficult to duplicate. Walter has the vision, intelligence, leadership skills, and experience to move Merlin beyond current convention and to take advantage of emerging media opportunities. It also means attracting special, talented people, and Walter knows how to do that."

"We are attracting the best marketing and performing talent in all phases of the entertainment industry to build Merlin's compelling assets," said Sabo. "No other mass media company has our ability to innovate and then captivate a significant share of audience and revenue."

Sabo founded the New York-based Sabo Media in 1984, where he consulted content in all media, most recently at Sirius XM Satellite. Sabo began his tenure there pre-launch, continuing for eight and a half years consulting on all programming initiatives. In this capacity, he organized and staffed the programming department, initiated attractive subscriber channels and participated in the aggressive recruitment of Howard Stern. Today, Sirius grosses over $3 billion annually. Sabo Media specializes in profitable content solutions for firms such as: Group W, RKO Radio, Newhouse Communications, Viking Publishing, Press Broadcasting, Greater Media, AMC Movie Theatres, Standard Broadcasting of Canada, The CHUM Group, Clear Channel Communications, Gannett, Infinity, Dow Jones, and many others

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Katy Perry Nears Michael Jackson No. 1s Record

by Keith Caulfield, L.A.  |   June 24, 2011 3:55 EDT

To say that Katy Perry has been on a roll lately would be a grand understatement. But now, the star is nearing a feat only previously achieved by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. 

On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Perry's latest single from her "Teenage Dream" album, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," flies 31-4. As Gary Trust notes in today's Chart Beat column, if it hits No. 1 on the Hot 100, Perry will become just the second act -- and first woman -- to score five No. 1s from one album in the chart' 52-year history, as "California Gurls," the title cut, "Firework" and "E.T." all previously reigned.

Katy Perry's 'Friday' Flies Up Hot 100, Adele Still No. 1

Only Michael Jackson, with his 1987 set "Bad," has so far collected five Hot 100 No. 1s from one album release. "Bad" spawned the No. 1s "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," the title track, "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana."

Check next Wednesday (June 29) for highlights of next week's Hot 100, to be released in full in the charts menu the following day.

In other impressive and unprecedented Perry chart news, she was already the only artist with four 4-million-selling downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. As of this week, Perry pulls further ahead of the pack as the only artist with a whopping five.

Photos: Katy Perry's 30 Most Outrageous Outfits

"E.T.," which topped the Hot 100 for five weeks beginning April 9, surpasses the 4-million mark in download sales, according to SoundScan (4.06 million). Perry is now the only act to have five songs sell more than 4-million each. (Lady Gaga is next with three 4-million-sellers).

She previously hit the 4-million mark with "Hot N Cold" (4.91 million), "Firework" (4.53 million), "I Kissed a Girl" (4.07 million) and "California Gurls" (4.88 million).

More evidence of Perry's power? Adding to the pileup of her staggering sales and chart statistics, "E.T." became the top-selling download of 2011 as of the week ending May 1, when it overtook Cee Lo Green's "Forget You (F**k You)."

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Michael Jackson's Top 50 Billboard Hits

Michael Jackson's Top 50 Billboard Hits

In a career that spanned almost all 50 years of his life, Michael Jackson became a mainstay on the Billboard charts. It was his dominance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100, however, that entered him into the record books: As a solo artist, 13 of his singles went to No. 1 -- the most by a male artist -- and an additional four songs by the Jackson 5 also topped the chart.

Here, Jackson's top 50 singles are ranked based on a track's performance on the Hot 100. (Nielsen SoundScan started tabulating sales data for Billboard in 1991; as many Jackson songs were released before then, a measurement based on strict sales numbers would be incomplete.) Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. (For all of the details on how this chart was compiled, scroll to the bottom of this page.)

Michael Jackson Cover Story: It's A Wonderful Afterlife

Remembering Michael Jackson: Main Page

Jackson's Billboard chart history began with a streak of extraordinary success, as the Jackson 5's first 20 entries on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs all reached the top 10. This song marked the 10th top 10 in-a-row for the act on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, reaching No. 5 in 1972. On the Billboard Hot 100, the track peaked at No. 16. The title cut from the group's fifth studio album illustrated the maturation of Michael, then 13, from boy soprano to the tenor who would subsequently reign as the King of Pop.The Jacksons' 1984 "Victory" album spawned multiple hits, including this funky rock number, which peaked at No. 17 on the Hot 100. While it was the second single from "Victory," it yielded the first music video produced for the album. Ironically, though Michael and Jermaine Jackson share lead on the song, neither appears in the clip, which was choreographed by Paula Abdul.In 1973, Michael and his brothers weren't begging girls to stick around just yet. In fact, the Jackson 5's funk-flavored pop single "Get It Together" featured sweet vocals delivering a not-so-sweet message: "Get up off your high horse, girl." The band wasn't messing around in its lyrics or on the charts. Although the song peaked at No. 28 on the Hot 100, it was a No. 2 smash for the group on Billboard's R&B songs chart.The lead single from Jackson's 2001 studio album "Invincible" peaked at No. 10 on the Hot 100, marking the King of Pop's final top 10 hit on the tally to-date. Co-produced by Jackson and Rodney Jerkins, the song was ushered in by an unsurprisingly lavish music video directed by Paul Hunter. The clip features Chris Tucker as Jackson's comic foil, along with turns from Michael Madsen and Marlon Brando."Heartbreak Hotel" was released June 17, 1980, and was the second single off the Jacksons' "Triumph" album. It peaked at No. 22 on the Hot 100. "One time Michael called me into a Hollywood studio to play a solo on a song that turned out to be 'Heartbreak Hotel,' " says Paul Jackson Jr., his longtime guitarist. "I asked him what kind of solo he wanted. The solo I played on the record is what he sang to me note for note."The Jackson 5 lent its soulful pop to the 1970s musical "Pippin" in the form of the track "Corner Of The Sky." In line with the musical's plot, "Corner Of The Sky" is about seeking out happiness in life ("But I won't rest/ 'Til I know I have it all"). The song, which also appeared on the Jackson 5's 1973 album "Skywriter," hit No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 9 on Billboard's R&B songs chart.Few songs show off artists' vocal chops as well as this one, and the Jackson 5 reinforced their timeless family harmonies on this well-loved doo-wop classic. Thurston Harris introduced the song to pop audiences in 1957 and it has since been recorded by a wide range of acts, including the Allman Brothers, Huey Lewis & the News and Aaron Carter. The Jackson 5's version of the song reached No. 8 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 13 on the Hot 100 in 1972."I Wanna Be Where You Are" was released May 2, 1972, and appears on the album "Got to Be There." It was Jackson's third consecutive top 40 pop hit in the beginning of his solo career with Motown. The single peaked at No. 16 on the Hot 100 and would become one of Jackson's most covered songs, with Marvin Gaye, the Fugees and Jason Weaver doing their own renditions.In what remains his last studio album, "Invincible" in 2001 served as the long-awaited follow-up to 1991's "Dangerous." The former set featured three neo-soul-styled tracks, including "Butterflies." With the help of British duo Floetry on backing vocals, the single peaked at No. 14 on the Hot 100 and stands as Jackson's 37th and final top 40 appearance to-date.1975's "I Am Love" by the Jackson 5 was part soulful ballad (led by Jermaine) and part Michael-fronted, danceable funk/rock. But no matter the musical style, the message was the same: the brothers weren't letting their loves get away. The song was the Jackson 5's last top 20 hit with Motown, reaching No. 15 on the Hot 100 in 1975. It also went to No. 5 on Billboard's R&B songs chart.

Text by Keith Caulfield, Erin Clendaniel, Mariel Concepcion, Ann Donahue, Lindsay Fortier, Raphael George, Monica Herrera, Gabriella Landman and Chart Beat Columnist Gary Trust

How This Chart Was Created

The ranking of Michael Jackson's top 50 Billboard hits is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. For example, while "Billie Jean" spent one more week at No. 1 and two more weeks on the chart than "Say Say Say," Jackson's collaboration with Paul McCartney spent more weeks in the top 10 (13-11), the top 20 (16-12) and more weeks in the top 40 (18-17) than "Jean" did.

Prior to the Hot 100's implementation in 1991 of enhanced radio and sales information from Nielsen BDS and Nielsen SoundScan, songs had shorter reigns at No. 1 and shorter chart lives. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from Michael Jackson's entire recording career, earlier time frames were each weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those decades and the turnover rates that have occurred since the advent of Nielsen Music data.

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Prince to 'Hold Off on Recording' Until Piracy Is Controlled

by Sophia Schillaci, The Hollywood Reporter  |   June 24, 2011 3:06 EDT

Warner Bros. was no match for "the artist formerly known as Prince" back in the '90s, but in this new digital age, it could be the Internet that keeps him from releasing new music.

In an interview with the Guardian, the iconic musician details his hatred of the World Wide Web and what it's doing to music as a whole.

"I personally can't stand digital music," he says. "You're getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can't feel anything. We're analogue people, not digital."

Aside from damaging the product itself, Prince holds major issue with the lack of regulation when it comes to distribution on the web. The singer has long voiced his displeasure with sites like YouTube, where copyrighted content often lives without the artist's permission. Now, the artist says that he will not record any new music until there are more regulations.

"The industry changed," he explains. "We made money [online] before piracy was real crazy. Nobody's making money now except phone companies, Apple and Google. I'm supposed to go to the White House to talk about copyright protection. It's like the gold rush out there. Or a carjacking. There's no boundaries. I've been in meetings and they'll tell you, 'Prince, you don't understand, it's dog-eat-dog out there.' So I'll just hold off on recording."

For the time being, it seems likely that Prince will continue to make money off his live shows.

In 1993, Prince became involved in a legal battle with Warner Bros. over artistic and financial control. As a result, he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in order to break ties with the company. He has used many other pseudonyms over the years, including Jamie Starr, Paisley Park and Alexander Nevermind.

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Common Signs with Warner Bros. Records

by Phil Gallo, L.A.  |   June 24, 2011 6:06 EDT

After a decade in the Universal Music fold, rapper Common is moving over to Warner Bros. Records.

Warner Bros. Records co-president/CEO Todd Moscowitz announced the signing Friday afternoon at an outdoor concert by one of Warners' other recent singings, Texas-based soul-blues guitarist and singer Gary Clark Jr.

Moscowitz, who told the crowd to expect Jill Scott to be No. 1 on the next Billboard 200, said Common signed with Warners less than an hour before Clark took the stage close to 2 p.m.

Common's Least Controversial Lyrics, with Photos

"I'm very grateful to be a part of this family, to be a part of this team," Common told crowd in the Warner Bros. Records courtyard. "We have very inspirational, exciting music to team up with you. We're just open to what this change can bring."

No other details about the signing were available at press time.

Common, who turns 40 next year, was most recently in the news when conservatives expressed disdain over the rapper being invited to the White House in May as part of a poetry event. Their point of concern was a 2007 poem, "Letter to the Law," in which Common rapped, "burn a Bush cos' for peace he no push no button" on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam." The event went off as planned.

His last album was "Universal Mind Control" in 2008. It debuted and peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200, and No. 4 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It has sold 244,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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Chart Juice: Tinie Tempah Debuts on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

by Erika Ramirez, N.Y.  |   June 24, 2011 11:15 EDT

After conquering the Hot 100 chart with his first US single "Written in the Stars" - peaking No. 12 in May - Tinie Tempah debuts at No. 85 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with "Till I'm Gone."

"Till I'm Gone," featuring Wiz Khalifa, has racked up 1.1 million listener impressions, according to Nielsen BDS. The UK rapper's debut was seen coming from miles away. His album "Disc-Overy" debuted and peaked at No. 2 on R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart last month. "Disc-Overy" has been No. 3 on Rap Albums since making it's debut on the chart on June 11.

There's no doubt that Wiz Khalifa's feature on "Till I'm Gone" was the cherry on top. Wiz has two Top 10's in his back pocket: "Black and Yellow" and "Roll Up." "Black and Yellow" peaked on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at No. 6 in February and "Roll Up" peaked at No. 7 in April. "Till I'm Gone" is Wiz's seventh charting title, six of which debuted on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart this year.

Wiz Khalifa Talks Snoop Movie, Amber Rose, Next Single in Q&A

Tinie Tempah has seen success beyond the US charts. "Written in the Stars" peaked at No. 5 on the European Hot 100 on Oct, 2010. In March, "Disc-Overy" peaked at No. 6 on the United Kingdom Albums chart.

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Borrell: Auto Dealers Move Tons of Money Online

June 24, 2011

Some of these numbers may give you reason to make sure you have all your digital ducks in order. And, perhaps some savvy salespeople who new how to speak the digital language. Radio's biggest advertiser is moving advertising dollars to all things digital. The new Borrell report concludes that 32 percent of automotive ad budgets are spent online. That's more than they spend on any other medium. "The heyday of automotive advertising may not exactly be gone for good, but it sure feels like it. Borell reports that auto dealers will spend $22.6 billion online this year. "The pre-Internet era of TV and radio scooping up all the branding dollars and newspapers and magazines collecting the ?Big Sale!? dollars have faded." 

The Borrell study says the dollars are going principally to banner advertisements and paid search, with additional non-advertising expenditures paying for website design, inventory database management, lead-generation fees and search engine optimization. "The efficiency of the Internet to meet the car-buying public isn?t the main reason advertising channels have changed. The economy has shaken the basic underpinnings of the entire dealership system. In the past four years, an average of 86 new- and used-car dealerships have closed every week. That?s 17,000 fewer advertisers, with a few thousand more expected this year. What?s worse is that the biggest advertisers in the bunch ? the mega-dealerships created during the consolidations in the 1980s and 1990s ? have been hit hardest. And a new phenomenon ? where slightly-used cars are in higher demand than many new cars ? is rippling through the marketplace."

What?s in store for new- and used-car automotive advertising? Borrell is forecasting an overall increase of 7.2 percent, from $21.1 billion in 2010 to $22.6 billion this year. "Every medium except yellow pages is seeing an increase in auto advertising this year. but the largest dollar increase is expected for online media, up 11 percent this year, from $6.6 billion to $7.3 billion.

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Saga Boss Ed Christian Takes Pay Cut

June 24, 2011

Saga Chairman, President and CEO Ed Christan's new employment agreement says he will receive an annual base salary of $860,000. Christian has agreed to a 2.5% reduction to his base salary in conformance with the same current reduction to salary taken by all of the Company?s employees. On each anniversary of the new employment agreement, the Compensation Committee will determine the amount of any increase to Christian?s annual salary. The increase can not be less than the greater of 3% or a cost of living increase based on a consumer price index. Christian The company Christian started will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
Christian is also eligible for an incentive bonus at the discretion of the Board of Directors and an annual performance bonus of up to 100% of his base salary. The Saga compensation committee will determine the size of Christian's bonus based on his performance and whether specific goals are achieved. Saga has 91 stations in 12 markets and generates about $113 million in 2010 according to BIA. Christian

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to Start Your Own Podcast - Part Two

How to Start Your Own Podcast - Part Two
by Brian Baltosiewich

So, you?ve rediscovered your voice, found your passion again and you?re ready to podcast! What next? Chances are you have some gear in your closet or basement and you?re already good to go. Basic setup- you need a mic and a computer to record on- but you?re a pro, and you?re looking for a high quality sound. There are several different ways you can go from here.

At we have nearly 20 different podcasts, and they?re recorded in very nearly 20 different ways. Let?s start with the shows I produce myself. Several years ago I got a part-time gig calling college hockey games. The equipment provided by the  radio station was, let?s say, sub-optimal. Putting the headphones on was like putting my head in a vice.

So over the first few seasons, I slowly took the money I made calling those games and bought a piece or two of equipment, starting with headset mics that were more comfortable-  more like putting my head in a cloud. That process left me with two Sennheiser headsets, an 8-input portable Mackie mixer and assorted cables and handheld mics. I didn?t know it then, as podcasts didn?t exist, but I had assembled my podcast kit six years before I would need it.The only thing missing was the ability to go from the Mackie into my laptop. A $50 investment at Guitar Center solved that problem:  a connector that converts from XLR to USB. Bang. Podcast kit completed.

Today sells, effectively, what I assembled during my hockey years in one package. A podcast kit, small mixer with USB outs, mic, cables, and audio software. Retail price about $250. You?d need to augment with another mic or two depending on your podcast, but this is a  great way to start if you?re missing the pieces out of the gate. At Radio Exiles, many of our podcasters have their own studios, already set up for voiceover businesses, etc. Maybe our most unique recording method comes from Bob Cady and Doug Ray (Bob and Doug Coast 2 Coast.) Bob is in Florida. Doug is in California. Take a listen to their show and you would never know.

Here?s how they pull it off, without an ISDN line: Bob records his side of the show. Doug records his side. Separate tracks. They connect through a video call on Skype so they can see and hear each other during the recording. When they are done, Doug emails his track to Bob who combines the two tracks into one seamless track that sounds very much like they are in the same room, rather than nearly 3,000 miles apart. Edmonds and Foster, at, actually record their show using Skype. Skype is also a great way to incorporate guests into your podcast without springing for an ISDN line. It is much more reliable now than it once was, especially for audio only.

Other Radio Exiles podcasters (The Brad and Schu Experience, Bookmarks)  use the one mic method, with a high-end twist.  Blue is a company that has podcasters very much in mind, and they have several single-mic/omni-directional products that work very well. As an aside, these mics look really cool. Next week- post-production, distribution, and the necessary evil that is iTunes.

Brian Baltosiewich has been a broadcast professional for more than 20 years.  His podcast website, features professionally-produced podcasts from radio pro?s who have lost their gigs.
Reach out to him at or through their twitter account @radioexiles and on Facebook at

(6/23/2011 8:02:01 PM)

P.S. - The latest Yeti model of the Blue Microphones is the Yeti Pro ( which I have not yet received to review. I have posted a review of the Yeti...let me know ( if you are interested in it, and I will send the link to you. (6/23/2011 7:40:49 PM)
The way Bob and Doug do it is NEAT! I gotta steal that...

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An Old CBS Guy Becomes A New Merlan Man

June 24, 2011

Apparently Merlin has decided on a strategy of announcing one team member per day. Yesterday Randy Michaels announced Greg Janoff would be his EVP of Revenue. A title that seems to be gaining some traction these days in the radio industry. Janoff will be responsible for all revenue generation across all platforms. Janoff spent time at 1010 WINS in New York which just adds to the speculation that Michaels is leaning toward some sort of WINS format at some point at one of his stations.

Janoff comes over from My Damn Channel where he was responsible for building sales strategy and developing product offerings. Michaels said "Greg's superior talent in broadcast, especially within the digital arena, is a valuable asset to our company. With 26 years of experience in our industry, Greg has shown an innate ability to identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities like the digital extension of traditional radio. I look forward to working with Greg and having his track record of innovation put to good use on our team."

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BIA: Mobile Revenue Will Hit $4 Billion

June 24, 2011

BIA/Kelsey today released its five-year outlook for U.S. mobile local advertising. According to the firm, total U.S. mobile ad spending will grow from $790 million in 2010 to $4 billion in 2015. During the same period, BIA/Kelsey projects the local portion of that total to increase from $404 million to $2.8 billion. This makes locally targeted mobile ads 51 percent of overall U.S. mobile ad spending, growing to 70 percent by 2015.

Among the drivers of mobile ad revenue growth are smartphone penetration, mobile Web usage and related increases in ad inventory. BIA/Kelsey expects this to come about as large brand advertisers evolve their campaign objectives to the capabilities of the mobile device ? most notably, location awareness. The firm also says mobile advertising will move down to small and medium-sized businesses through a combination of local sales and self-serve tools. Exploding mobile usage, clearer ROI and a shorter purchase funnel will accelerate this demand within display, search and SMS advertising formats.

?Revenues will grow from not only ad volume, but also premiums placed on location-targeted ads,? said Michael Boland, senior analyst and program director of BIA/Kelsey?s Mobile Local Media practice. ?These premiums result from higher performance for locally targeted mobile ads when compared with non-local ads, due to higher relevance, immediacy and consumer buying intent, all of which are more prevalent in mobile than many other print and digital media.?
The outlook for mobile local advertising is part of BIA/Kelsey?s U.S. Local Media Annual Forecast (2010-2015). This forecast is available to clients of BIA/Kelsey?s Mobile Local Media advisory service, which provides research and analysis of the geolocal advertising opportunity, including content, delivery and advertiser adoption. To learn more about the Mobile Local Media advisory service and this mobile forecast, visit, or contact Steve Passwaiter at (703) 802-2973 or

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How to Increase Listener Participation And Client Involvement.

June 23, 2011
by Mike Stiles

Location based challenges are a way for radio to restore the glory days of listener participation and client involvement. Remember when you could get your listeners to jump through hoops and create an attention-getting spectacle to win a prize?  You still can.  But I?m not talking about that small core of diehard players who always show up, willing to perform any zaniness you come up with to win?whatever.  You know who they are, God bless ?em.  They sure do love you, but you have secret desires of seeing a lot more people than the ?usuals? show up. 

Want wider listener participation?  Want them to have fun with you?  Want to drive them to your clients? locations and prove the power of radio to them again?  Fine, but you should do it with your social media. Coca-Cola is using location-based service SCVNGR for a summer promo in which teens are challenged to go around malls, concerts and amusement parks, taking pictures or checking in to get an instant prize and/or accumulate points that?ll score them an even bigger prize.  Live Nation is aboard as well, offering challenges at 31 ?secret sound check? locations.

Radio can come up with check-in challenges that take the technology users have already shown they like to use to play games, and kick them up a notch with the creative elements your team are such pros at dreaming up.  What?s a client prospect more likely to get excited about, your morning show getting a few people into their parking lot on a Saturday to turn themselves into human banana splits, or experiencing an influx of hundreds of brand new people over the course of a week or several weeks?

SCVNGR passed 1 million users in February and is also working with brands like Subway, Sears and Swatch.  But you?ve also got options in Foursquare and Facebook Places.  The point is, there?s verification that the players did what you wanted them to do. 

What?s the on-air component for location based challenges?  Use your station to do what it does best, advertise the mobile/social game you?re running.  Use your left hand not to execute, but to be the promotional partner to your right hand.  Resist your urge to make on-air the driver, because your social is where all the real action is going to be happening?and that?s okay!  It?s your brand driving prospects into their stores, so it?s your brand they?ll come back to so it can happen again.

Mike Stiles is a writer/producer with a social network marketing company and head of Sketchworks comedy theatre. Check out his monologue blog, The Stiles Files.

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Chris Witting Has Advice On A Possible Chicago News Battle For Randy Michaels

June 24, 2011

Will Merlin take on CBS's WBBM and the other news stations in Chicago? The speculation and guessing involving those who love the inside baseball chatter is rampant. Chris Witting is the founder and CEO of Syndication Networks, a Chicago-based radio syndication company. He is also the CEO of Internet Radio.  Witting also has extensive experience inside the radio industry, being one of the youngest general managers in CBS Radio history, he managed and programmed stations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and other markets. Based in Chicago, Witting has a home field view of the speculation swirling around what Randy Michaels and Merlin Media might do once they take full control of Q101 and the LOOP.

"With Randy Michaels reserving the '1011WIIN' domain, and now hiring Greg Janoff, a former WINS New York executive, I can't help wondering if he plans to do some variation on the 1010 WINS news format here. That format consists of three 20-minute news cycles per hour. If so, is he aware that WMAQ first tried the 20-minute news format against WBBM, only to have it fail? I was at WBBM at the time. In our first head-to-head trend against WMAQ, WBBM scored a 7.1 share against maybe a 2 share for WMAQ. The research showed that Chicago prefers a thirty minute news format. The ratings seemed to prove that."

"Some years later I was at WMAQ, and now trying everything to beat WBBM isn't that a commentary on the crazy radio business. We now had WMAQ running a thirty minute news cycle with energetic production and writing, and fairly aggressive on-air promotion. We even brought back 'WMAQ's Gonna Make Me Rich'. All that plus the kitchen sink finally enabled WMAQ to beat WBBM, two books in a row. In one of those books, WMAQ had top cume in the market. Also helping MAQ beat BBM was midday stunting with the OJ trial and a hot Bulls team. Will be interesting to see what ratings boosters Michaels may try in non-prime dayparts, if any."

(6/24/2011 4:12:25 PM)
Chris, although you make an interesting point, I would point to the PPM which says that the average listening experience to any radio station is 8-11 minutes, and that the key to TSL is no longer "keeping them through the break" but instead getting them to come back more often.

And, if you take apart the Chicago PPM, you'll find Chicagoans are right there with everyone else. In fact, I'd venture a guess that WBBM per occurrence listening is in that same range. So shorter could be a play

(6/24/2011 1:51:38 PM)
@Radio Truth,

My point has little or nothing to do with AM vs. FM, or which generation is listening.

All news radio, by its very nature, must have some type of information cycle. You need to repeat the top stories at some point in the hour. If all news radio still exists in the year 2025, I believe a repeating news cycle will still be in use.

WMAQ beat WBBM back in the 90s by being more "aggressive" and by sounding younger. That should be very easy for Michaels to do, and that part is a no brainer.

But if he tries to do it using a shorter news cycle, that may not fly with Chicagoans. That was my point.

Don't drop that Kindle in the bathtub.

(6/24/2011 12:57:27 PM)
Chris may have been a young GM, but he's clearly an old thinker. Using the example of another AM station trying to beat out a heritage AM station isn't relevant to the discussion.

We're talking FM here and the opportunity to present aggressive news and information to a generation of listeners who either don't listen to AM or spend little time with it.

Wake up and smell the coffee Chris, put away your hard copy books and buy a Kindle.

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More About The Streaming Debate From Fred Jacobs. Did We Miss The Point?

June 23, 2011

Earlier in the week many of you read and commented on several articles we posted on whether or not it makes good financial sense to stream your signal over the Internet. Legendary broadcaster Jerry Lee made a strong case for why he doesn't do it, considering it a waste of his money. Of course a lot of broadcasters disagreed with that and let us know about it. Fred Jacobs has been on the cutting edge when it comes to adapting to technology and applying it to his business model with a goal of helping broadcasters. He's posted a blog you should all check out. It's a different take on the streaming debate and one certainly worth your time. Here it is...

OK, it started with this screaming headline in Radio Ink. (You have to hand it to Eric Rhoads ? he loves a good controversy and enjoys using his publication as a forum.)


And from there, a digital can of worms opened, eliciting comments ? often emotional ? from many different sides of the question. Continue Reading  HERE

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Non-Competes...Are They Enforceable?

June 24, 2011

As an employee are you getting job offers from the competitor down the street? Will the station come after you if you leave? As an employer do you worry your top salesperson is going to walk out one day and take all of her great relationships down to your biggest rival? Do you have the time and money to go after that salesperson if she does jump ship? The big question is, does that non-compete you both signed back when your relationship started have any enforceable bite? Those questions from Radio Ink readers and recent events in Chicago led us to throw a non-compete question at attorney John Garziglia.

PLEAE NOTE: John Garziglia is not giving readers free legal advise in this column. You should always seek the opinion of your own attorney.

The question from Radio Ink is ?I'm interested in another point of view when it comes to non-compete issues.  Are they enforceable? ?

John Garziglia says:  This is a topic upon which I could write a law review article, but I would put you to sleep after the second paragraph. 

The enforceability of non-competes is an area of law that is so fraught with disparate statue statutes and fact specific determinations that the most that can be generally said about the enforceability of non-competes is maybe. Your question does not indicate whether an employer or employee is asking the question, which broadcast station position the inquired about non-compete covers, does not state the length of time for the non-compete restriction, and what geographic area is to be restricted.  All of these facts and more are relevant to any commentary on whether a particular non-compete might be enforceable.

Let?s take non-competes first from the employee?s perspective.  Before accepting any position with a new employer, ask if you will be asked to sign a non-compete as a condition of commencing employment.  Whether or not you will be asked to sign a non-compete should be one of the essential details of your employment, like the description of the position and compensation, that should inform your decision as to whether or not to accept the offered position. 

Sure, you as a new employee could decline to sign a non-compete that is put in front of you on your first day of employment but how likely are you to do that?  Once an employee agrees to a non-compete, even if its enforceability is questionable, it is likely to affect subsequent employment decisions as the employee or a future employer will be unlikely to spend the time and money to go to court to try to overturn a non-compete. 

If you as an employee believes that a non-compete will have a significant effect upon your future employment prospects because you wish to remain in the same area for family or other reasons, it may make sense to have an attorney or agent actively assist in negotiating and narrowing down whatever non-compete you are asked to sign.  From an employee?s standpoint, if a broadcast station wants you enough, it may be flexible in whatever non-compete you are asked to sign as a condition of employment, provided the non-compete is negotiated before employment is accepted rather than when you are ready to depart for a better position. 

From the employer?s perspective, a variety of state statutes and court decisions control whether or not a particular non-compete agreement will be enforceable.  Absent a prohibitory state statute, courts will generally uphold non-competes that are reasonable in time and geographic restrictions as long as they serve to protect a legitimate business interest. 

As an employer, you can certainly have employees sign non-competes that have questionable enforceability to try to throw a scare into potential defectors.  But, it will be the star employee you lose to your cross-town competitor that will make you rue the day that you threw together a form non-compete based upon what you found on the web or got from a broadcaster buddy.  If you as an employer want to do a non-compete that is enforceable, then seek legal advice for that non-compete from a attorney practicing in this area of law in the jurisdiction in which you may one day seek to enforce the non-compete restrictions. 

For both the employee and employer interested in the enforceability of broadcast station non-competes, start by researching whether such non-competes are even enforceable in your particular state.  Massachusetts and New York are two states that immediately come to mind as prohibiting many broadcasting industry non-compete agreements.  But, employers can sometimes get around even tough restrictions on non-competes with creative contract writing.  For instance, do a Google search on ?Why Can't Howie Carr Change Employers?? for an example of such contract creativity.  And, if you really want to know about non-competes, there are many law review articles and court cases that will provide extremely relaxing bedtime reading.

Leave your comments below.

John F. Garziglia is a Communications Law Attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Washington, DC and can be reached at (202) 857-4455 or Have a question for our "Ask The Attorney" feature? Send to

(6/24/2011 9:54:20 AM)
Irrespective of enforceability issues, there's value to an employer in a non-compete. First, a competitor may decide to not hire someone who's hiring may lead to an expensive, time consuming legal battle. Second, an employee may agree to negotiate an exit that protects the current employer's business, while leaving the employee free to join the new employer immediately (e.g. agreeing to not sell to his current accounts for a six month or one year period)

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MIW Spotlight - Dial-Global's Eileen Decker

June 23, 2011

The 2011 Radio Ink Most Influential Women in Radio issue is now out and its packed with stories and features from women who are having great success in all aspects of radio. Eileen Decker is one of those women. Decker is the President of Sales for Dial-Global. Dial-Global offers formats, prep, programming, jingles & imaging as well as national advertising sales representation in some form to over 6,000 stations. Decker's responsibilities run deep at Dial. She has 35 people reporting to her and is responsible for Dial's ad sales revenue goals, ad sales representation and revenue for 70 producer partners. She also evaluates potential new business opportunities to grow the Dial-Global footprint in the marketplace and evaluates new processes and technologies to improve business and maintain and grow both current and potential client relationships. Sounds like a very busy day. Today's MIW spotlight is on Eileen Decker.

What's the day like for Eileen Decker? 

Hectic , but in a very good way.  I have a 2 hour commute so I use that time to read all daily trades before getting into the office.  I'm involved in all the day to day aspects and details of sales so that's non-stop communicating with various departments, Sales, Research, Traffic and Marketing. Weekly, sometimes daily management strategy sessions take place to keep up with demands and opportunities that present themselves and make sense for the continued growth of our company.

How have you gotten to this point in your career, where you have the kind of impact to influence others. What were the driving forces to get you here? 
I?m very fortunate to have worked for and beside many women over the years who were leaders in their field and I incorporated the lessons I learned from them along with my own style and ideals to come up with what I believe is a winning combination. The driving forces are my desire to be the best I can be at everything I do and have fun along the way.

Did you ever think you were going to be doing what you are doing?  

No, not to the level I am currently at.  I started at JWT, moved into the spot department negotiating both local TV and Radio but found myself more passionate about radio and then discovered the world of Network Radio working at DMM with clients like General Motors and AB.  David Landau gave me my first sales job at USRN in the '80, we were eventually bought by WW1, David and I parted until the purchase of Global Media where I

was NY Sales Manager and the rest of my career advancements have been achieved with the support of the management of Dial Global.

Your company has been on quite a role. In your time there, describe what that has been like. 

There is an energy and common goal unlike any other place I've worked.  The management cares as much about the employees as they do about the business. Every person has a role in our successes and are acknowledged and rewarded for their contribution.

What accomplishments in the future would you like to achieve, both personally and professionally? 

Professionally - to make a difference in the lives of the people I work with, provide leadership and be a role model to those just beginning their career in radio. Personally - enjoy the love and respect of my Father, sisters, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and extended family for many, many years to come.

How do you balance work and personal?

I'm very fortunate to have a husband and family that are supportive and respectful of my professional responsibilities and work for people who are supportive and respective of my personal responsibilities. 

What do you do to constantly improve yourself? 

Mainly listen - there are many lessons to be learned from those around me - some lessons learned are what not to do and other lessons of betterment are learned.  I'm always open to new and different ideas and stay aware and investigate new and emerging aspects of everything around me. 

What book are you reading now?

SEAL Team Six

Congratulate Eileen Decker HERE for being one of Radio's Most Influential Women.

To read more from the 2011 Most Influential Women in Radio subscribe to Radio Ink Magazine by clicking here or calling 561-655-8778

(6/24/2011 8:54:17 AM)
Eileen is incredibly deserving of this award. She is uniquely talented and clearly one of the hardest working women in broadcasting. One of Eileens best traits that was overlooked is her ever present sense of humor. She is a very funny lady. Eileen congratulations, i am honored to have been your colleague and client. You are amazing. Cris

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Sean Pendergast to Fill Midday Slot on Sporting News Radio

June 24, 2011

Mission Media Group which distributes content under the Sporting News Radio announced Sean Pendergast as the new host of the "Sean Pendergast Show," a national sports talk show running weekdays from 1 ? 4 p.m. Eastern Time.  Pendergast's show will begin on the network on Monday, July 4, 2011. The show will replace Sporting News Radio's current show, The Two Live Stews.  "We are fans of the Stews, but just felt the time was right to do something different with this daypart," said Gow.  The Stews show originates out of the network's Atlanta affiliate, Sports Radio 790 The Zone, WQXI-AM.

"We think Sean is a special talent," said Mission Media Group's President, David Gow.  "He currently hosts a local sports talk show in the Houston market, and he has a great track record.  We've watched how he handles callers and drives his show, and we find him to be funny, intelligent, and entertaining.  He is poised for the national stage."

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How To Manipulate Your Audience.

June 23, 2011

by Tara Servatius

The radio listener contest. It?s a classic study in audience manipulation. And it works when done well. Here are a couple of my favorites from around Charlotte right now. Charlotte?s Alternative Rock station 106.5 is running the classic send in a picture of the hottest person you know and we?ll all vote and see who wins contest. What is smart about the way they are doing it though is that they are asking people to get their social media friends on facebook and twitter to vote for the photos of their choice.

That means that listeners who enter have to paste the radio website on their Facebook pages to direct their friends to the contest. Presto. Mega-bucks worth of free advertising. And since most people have a couple hundred Facebook friends, this multiplies the exposure the contest, and ultimately the radio website gets.

I also love the big hair contest thatWRFX 99.7, Charlotte?s classic rock station is running right now where you send in a picture of yourself when you had big hair and the person with the worst hair wins VIP seating for four at the upcoming Def Leppard concert. What?s smart about the contest is that listeners can vote once every 24 hours, which keeps them coming back to the website day after day instead of just once. They also have to give the station their email address to play.

Tara Servatius was a drivetime News/Talk host at NewsTalk 1110 WBT in Charlotte. She was recently exiled.
Reach out to her at her website
Twitter Tara @TaraServatius

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Brazos Valley Radio Legend Roy Gene Munse Dies at Age 55

June 24, 2011

Munse was on the air for more than 30 years and Munse's morning show partner on KORA-FM Roger Garrett told a local TV station "Roy Gene's contributions to Brazos Valley radio have been priceless. Roy had a lot to do with KORA going from just an automated station which is what it was when he first got here into being a full-blown local information personality radio station, which for the longest time was just him, he filled up the radio himself. Munse was only 55 years old when he lost his battle with cancer. KORA-FM is located in Bryan, Texas.

Wednesday afternoon, Munse's friend and co-worker, Chris Austin read listeners a note written by Roy Gene's brother, Robert Munse that served to comfort those who loved the radio legend, "A man does not stay 30 plus years if he does not love the place and the people. Thank you to a lot of individuals, Bryan/College Station and the great State of Texas for making this house a home."A "Celebration of Life" ceremony will be held for Roy Gene Munse at the Kyle House at 3pm on Saturday. The Kyle House is located in Bryan.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Livio Makes Music Easy to Listen to in the Car

June 21, 2011

Bolstered by a $10,000 loan from his parents and driven by a passion for music, Jake Sigal founded Livio Radio in 2008 in the guest bedroom of his home in Michigan. Prior to launching Livio, Sigal paid the bills by working as a professional DJ and a product developer for Numark, where he invented the original ION USB turntable, designed to convert sound from vinyl records to CD or MP3 format. He was also listed as the co-inventor of the iDJ, an iPod-based mixing console. Sigal?s career path eventually led to Metro Detroit, where he worked as a product line manager for Delphi?s Consumer Electronics group and was responsible for producing XM-brand satellite radio products.

The focus of Livio is to provide products that are easy enough that grandkids to grandparents can use and enjoy. Livio makes consumer electronics, mobile apps, and in car technology to access music from all over the world. It works by connecting to the Internet to listen to AM, FM and Internet only stations that are also broadcast over the internet. Sigal says satellite radio was a big factor behind launching Livio. "XM and Sirius combined their dance channels into BPM which is absolutely horrible. As a huge fan of the old "Area 62" on Sirius, which just played hour long DJ sets from 2002-2005, it started getting cheesy with mainstream dance remixes. Eventually it was just a mix of random electronic genres which was trying to serve everyone which didn't please anybody.

Sigal says another reason he started the company is because he loves radio. "Music is the one common denominator that everyone can relate to. It is a true form of expression. I've been in music my entire life and it's what I live for. In fact I'm rocking out now to my favorite electro ice internet radio channel from Europe while answering these questions." Sigal says the Livio Car Internet Radio application allows consumers to quickly access over 45,000 stations by keyword, genre or location. "We have large preset buttons you can easily press while your phone is mounted in the car with a large screen to show the artist and title information. I wanted a clean way in the car to access my favorite 10 channels, which most are electro house. However I also love listening to NPR shows and WEEI New England sports talk. There were apps that could do this but I wanted more. That?s when our team decided to pursue the application and we received a top 20 award at CES just from the demo in 2010!

Sigal says company sales are doubling every year. "People love our aftermarket products with DICE to let factory stereos convert XM and Sirius radios to Internet radios (all without monthly fees). Livio now has more than 20 products available in the market. Check out the Livio products HERE

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