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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CBS Chicago Promotes Lindsay Cerajewski to GSM

CBS Chicago SVP/GM & Director of Sales Peter Bowen makes the announcement that Cerajewski is the new GSM at ?America?s Country Station, US99.5!?  Bowen stated "Since joining CBS in 2007, Lindsay has achieved at very high levels and has now landed her dream job. In the spare time she used to have, Lindsay sits on the Board of Directors for the Media Ad Club of Chicago?as well as Scarborough?s Radio Advisory Board, representing the Central Region. Congratulations Lindsay!  And with that, the search for a new LSM begins. Interested? Contact Peter at

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Entercom Kansas City Stations Win Awards

The Kansas Association of Broadcasters has recognized NewsRadio 98.1 FM & 980 AM KMBZ, as Large Market Station of the Year. In addition to the top spot at the 2011 KAB awards, KMBZ will also be recognized with 7 other first and second place awards in the Complete Newscast, Complete News Feature, Spot News, Special Program, and Complete Severe Weather Coverage categories.

?What a great honor for KMBZ!? says KMBZ Program Director, Neil Larimore. ?This is truly the result of a TEAM effort across the board! Everyone at KMBZ works hard every day to make sure that the best News and Talk radio product is put on the air, and these awards are testaments to their dedication to that mission! There is a reason Kansas City trusts NewsRadio 98.1 FM & 980 AM KMBZ.?

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Sales Rules of Engagement

by Wayne Ens

Yesterday I heard a radio ad inviting listeners to ?Go to our Facebook page and say you like us, and we?ll give you a free ice cream cone.? Do you think anyone believes that everyone who hit the ?like? button for that mall truly and sincerely likes them? Or is the credibility of those ?likes? jeopardized by the ice cream bribe?

Worse still, what if that mall is ?testing? the radio station to see how many new ?likes? they add? Will customers really jump through the hoops of going to the mall?s Facebook page, hitting the like button, then take time out of their day and spend $10 on gas to get a $2.00 ice cream cone?

Professional account executives need to help advertisers understand that sheer numbers of website hits, alleged followers on a social media site, or in any data base, do not indicate results or success. Success can not be measured by the number of hits or people on a list, but only at the cash register, or better still at the bottom line, over time.

A recent survey in Ad Age magazine tracked public engagement data for 300 of the top brands on Facebook over a one-year period starting in July 2010. The results show a clear 22% decline in average engagement. Other surveys reveal similar statistics for email marketing open rates. The goal of marketing is to capture and win the hearts and minds of as many customers as possible. Capturing names in a data base or via social media does not mean the marketer has won hearts and minds.

Marshall McLuhan was wrong. The medium is not the message, the message is the message! Account executives who steer their clients towards engaging, relevant messages, on air and online, will help advertisers win the hearts and minds of their customers, and subsequently win the hearts and minds of their clients. Only engaging relevant messaging wins hearts and minds.  The rules of engagement, in all media, are simple. Your message must deliver value, and value is measured by asking yourself these five questions;
? Is my message entertaining or interesting?
? Does my message educate or inform?
? Is my message fun or humorous?
? Did my message deliver rewards or savings?
? Did my message strike an emotional chord?

If your message is not delivering one or more of these values, your campaign is merely attracting names and numbers, not engaged customers. Our SoundADvice radio e-marketing system has an engagement rate more than six times higher than the industry average by simply following these rules of engagement.

Wayne Ens is President of ENS Media Inc and can be reached via e-mail Wayne Ens

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Cox Restructure Continues Post Bob Neil.

Cox has named new format leaders for its seven radio formats as part of its new radio structure. The format leaders, all program directors in various CMG radio markets who will report directly to CMG?s new Director of Radio Programming Steve Smith, will be members of the strategic team in their assigned genre or region. They will act as internal consultants for CMG?s leadership team and will provide insight into specific local formats based on their expertise.

Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR): Jeremy Rice, BLI 106.1 FM on Long Island
Adult Contemporary (AC): Steve Hunter, CMG Tulsa cluster
Rock: Michael ?Shark? Sharkey, WSUN 97X FM and WHPT 102.5 FM The Bone in Tampa
Classic Rock: Steve Smith, who also is CMG?s director of programming
Urban: Tony Kidd, CMG Atlanta cluster, and Phil Trueba, WHQT Hot 105 FM in Miami
Country: Len Shackelford, CMG Orlando cluster, and Randy Chase, KCYY 100 FM in San Antonio
News/Talk: Nick Roberts, CMG Ohio in Dayton and Louisville clusters

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Clear Channel VS. Pandora. Tale of The Tape

Might as well start comparing them now because in less than a month Clear Channel will unveil a new feature to its  iHeartradio Digital delivery application that will be a direct competitor for Pandora. Game on. Pandora President and CEO Joe Kennedy has taken the approach that radio is Pandora's business and his company is transforming the way consumers interact with the medium. Jab. There's no denying the Q2 revenue increase for Pandora was huge. It's also important to note Pandora, as it is today, is still a relatively young business and big revenue jumps are expected from a well-run company. Pandora is still losing money. Again, that's not to take away from the model they've put together. Consumers are into Pandora, there's no doubt about it. With the battle about to enter a new stage in Las Vegas, here's the tale of the tape:

As of Q2 
Clear Channel (radio) revenue: $781 million - Plus 4% over year prior
Pandora revenue - $67 million - Plus 117% over year prior

Clear Channel cash in the bank - $1.2 billion
Pandora cash in the bank - $95 million

Clear Channel's net loss in the second quarter of 2011 was $38 million (down from $77 million)
Pandora's net loss this quarter was $1.8 million (up from $1.6 million a year prior)

Clear Channel will hit back in less than a month when it unveils its iHeart radio feature at a small party you may have heard about. On September 23rd and 24th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas a menu of somewhat talented performers will sing a few of their favorite songs that radio helped make poplular. No doubt, in the audience, consumers from all over the country who made the journey to the desert will be doing something with their smartphone, be it taking pictures of the latest Lady Gaga costume or mocking their friends back home via Facebook or Twitter. Clear Channel will be sure to make that happen.

Pandora's President and CEO Joe Kennedy says "Pandora is personalizing radio and consumers are enthusiastically embracing the dramatically better experience. At the same time, advertisers continue their adoption of Pandora's multi-platform ad solutions."

It all brings back great memories of Vegas, the days of Hagler-Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard-Roberto Duran, when the fights were real and both sides always put on a great show. Hey fellas, no biting

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In Podcasting Not Everything Works

by Brian Baltosiewich

If you?re a radio personality looking to move into podcasting, there?s something you need to be aware of. Not everything that worked for you on the radio, will work in a podcast. And I?ll be honest with you, some who were lined up to be podcasters at Radio Exiles chose not to do a podcast, because of what I?m about to tell you. It?s that big an issue for some.

Podcasting, as a recorded program, virtually eliminates the ability to interact with your audience ?live,? and if your radio show was built around audience interaction and games and hearing stories from listeners? this may be a problem. Not that you can?t get your audience to interact at all- but the ?live? interaction is a challenge. Think about the logistics of the listener. They?re either streaming your podcast from the site, or more likely, they?ve downloaded the show from one of the several sources and are listening in their car, at the gym, someplace where interacting with a show host is less than convenient. If they?re streaming, they can easily send the show an email. If they?ve downloaded, they may have a thought about something you?re talking about at the moment they are listening, but a few minutes later that thought is likely gone- along with their motive to interact.

So, you have to get creative to get your audience to be part of your show. Use Facebook and Twitter to break the ice. Tweet or post potential topics for the show you are about to record and hope someone responds. If it?s compelling enough, they will. Then, you can use those comments, or even better- contact a couple of the most compelling people who responded and see if you can contact them by phone or Skype to talk during your recording. A couple of our Radio Exiles podcasters have set up toll-free phone numbers. These can be used for listeners to leave messages or comments, or for listeners to call in IF they know when you are recording. Facebook probably works best for this, a post like ?We?re recording this week?s podcast at Noon EST today! Talking about the economy! Weigh in with your thoughts at xxx-xxx-xxxx!?

This requires patience, and assuming your audience will remember when you?re recording and if they do, remember to call at the time you are laying it down, and if they do- that they?ll remember the number. This is a lot to assume, and don?t be disappointed if no one calls. Another important point? if listeners don?t respond, if they don?t interact? it doesn?t mean no one is listening. That?s an easy assumption to make, and it?s likely just not true. Don?t get discouraged. It seems like it should be? but it?s just not as easy for podcast listeners to do.

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

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Greater Media Boston On Top of Kenny Chesney Details

Kenny Chesney is taking no chances when it comes to Hurricane Irene. And, in light of the recent stage accidents it's better to be safe than sorry, even though fans on his Facebook fans are not real happy. Legendary Greater Media Country station 102.5 WKLB-FM recently served as the exclusive radio source in Boston for getting the word out about this weekend?s Kenny Chesney concert, originally scheduled for Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. The concert has been moved to tomorrow night in preparation for the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Irene. Fans are complaining the show should have been moved forward so they could prepare, not back.

 "The instant the decision was made to change the show date, Country 102.5 made announcements every 15 minutes to inform our listeners," said Station Program Director Mike Brophey. "As New England's most listened to country station, we were in the best position to touch the greatest number of fans as quickly as possible."

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More Advertisers Added to Chicago Radio Show

The RAB today announced the addition of top national advertisers to the 2011 Radio Show line-up. Six national advertisers will be participating in conference sessions along with regional advertisers which collectively represent well over $6B in radio spending according to the RAB. Those advertiser are General Motors, McDonald?s, Sears, MillerCoors, Allstate, Walgreens, Fifth Third Bank and MB Financial. Lori Hiltz, EVP Managing Director, MPG Chicago, who leads the Sears media account, said: ?Even as the marketing landscape continues to evolve, radio is more integral to our media mix than it?s ever been. No medium does what radio can to engage consumers, and help us reach the audiences that matter to us.?

Senior-level executives from major agencies representing well over $13B of advertising spend will also be participating. They are: Leo Burnett, Starcom Mediavest, Saatchi & Saatchi, The Richards Group, Carat, MPG, Compass Point Media (a division of Campbell-Mithun) The 2011 Radio Show, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), will be held September 14-16 in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency.

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Alabama Sports Talker Sues Citadel, The Company He's Working For.

This is a strange one folks. And it's a big enough issue for Citadel that COO Judy Ellis made a trip to Alabama to address the matter so you can bet Lew Dickey and company keeping at least one eye on this one. Popular sports talker Paul Finebaum has filed a lawsuit against Citadel, the company he is currently working for. The Paul Finebaum Show airs from 2-9 p.m. weekdays on WJOX-FM. People in the market tell Radio Ink Finebaum is claiming Citadel is not paying him according to the contract both sides signed. The Birmingham Business Journal is reporting the dollar amount in question is $75,000. Finebaum's contract takes him through 2013, however, there's also word he does not have a non-compete. It makes you wonder if there's a possibility he may want to jump to another station and if he can proved he's not getting paid he can declare the contract invalid.

But what makes this issue even more wacky is that the details of the case were sealed by a judge and that move is highly unusual. Atlanta employment law litigator for Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice Bill Long told Radio Ink "I know the federal judges here are loathe to have cases filed under seal, have set up Draconian procedures that have to be met to allow sealing, and usually, in civil cases, only allow it when trade secret type information is involved." Thursday afternoon, a federal judge ordered the case be made public, but the contents of the court filing remain under seal. Attorneys have until noon Friday to redact portions of the filing before the public can get a look. We contacted Finebaum's attorney Russ Campbell who said "Although the Judge has lifted the seal, we are not likely to have a comment in the near future. We will do our talking in the context of the litigation."

Another weird element in this story is that Finebaum and the WJOX-FM General Manager Bill Thomas are fiends, which may explain the lack of  non-compete. Thomas sent us a statement last night. ?Citadel has a positive and productive relationship with Paul. Our relationship will not change because of his legal filings. I personally have considered him a friend since the 1980?s, bringing him to WERC in the 1990?s, advising him during his negotiations with Citadel in 2007, and then joining him at Citadel in 2010 on his recommendation. I feel very confident that the actions of Citadel and its employees with respect to Paul have been appropriate, and I expect that to be demonstrated if his lawsuit continues. Paul is an important part of the best sports talk line-up in the South and we look forward to him fulfilling his contract with Citadel through January 2013. ?We are very mindful of the fact that radio is a locally focused business, and we remain committed to serving our local listeners and advertisers by bringing them the most popular radio personalities in the area, including Paul. The last two football seasons in Alabama have brought WJOX-FM a lot of national attention, and the season that starts next week should  be no exception. We look forward to continuing our long and mutually beneficial relationship with Paul and expanding the Paul Finebaum Radio  Network.?

Citadel Corporate directed us to their attorney James Mitchell who did not return an e-mail last night.

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(AUDIO) Pandora Revenue Jumps 117%

Internet radio company Pandora reported revenue for its second fiscal quarter after the market closed yesterday and the numbers were big. Not only that Pandora continues to tout itself as the one company that is "fundamentally transforming one of the last forms of traditional media, radio.? Listen to Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy's statement. Kennedy also says at only 3.6% of the total radio listening audience, Pandora has barely scratched the surface of its potential. "We are the clear market leader in Internet Radio. We have a tremendous opportunity to grow and we are investing heavily to do so.

Joe Kennedy 

For the second quarter total revenue was $67 million, a 117% year over year increase. Advertising revenue was $58.3 million, a 118% year over year increase. Subscription and other revenue was $8.7 million, a 112% year over year increase. Pandora officials also gave guidance for the balance of 2011 stating they believe Q3 revenue will come in between $69.5 million to $72.5 million and for the year revenue shoudl be slightly north of $270 million.

(8/26/2011 5:55:21 AM)
Over ten years, how much revenue has HD Radio generated? ZERO! LMFAO!

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Rick Caballo to Perform at Radio Show

The Radio Show Opening Night Party will feature Australian singer/songwriter and BMI songwriter Rick Caballo. The performance will occur on Wednesday, September 14 (8?11 p.m.) at the Angels and Kings club in the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.  The Opening Night Party will also feature a fundraiser for the Best Buddies Challenge. The event, free and open to all Radio Show attendees, is co-sponsored by Sciarrino & Shubert, PLLC, the Media Financial Management Association and Top Line Matters, and will feature a raffle to support the ?Little Rascals? Best Buddies Challenge team to benefit Best Buddies.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Toyota To Install HD With iTunes Tagging In 2012 Camry

Toyota says the new vehicle along with HD Radio Technology will make its debut at dealerships this fall. iBiquity President and CEO Robert Struble (pictured) says Toyota's announcement is very significant because, "It's one more very notable milestone in a long effort. There will be more to come." 19 automotive brands have announced that HD Radio Technology is or will be available as a factory installed feature including Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, MINI USA, Rolls-Royce, Scion, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Camry has been the best selling vehicle in the US for several years now.

Struble says this success, and others with automakers, are multi-year efforts with a huge number of interactions, with folks inside and outside of iBiquity working with the automaker. "I and most other iBiquity execs have visited with Toyota multiple times over the years, in their facilities in Japan and here in the US. The primary customer responsibility falls on our Detroit-based OEM business development team, who did a great job here. Toyota was ultimately very impressed with the nationwide HD Radio station infrastructure the broadcast industry has built, with the rapid adoption by other automakers and with the value that HD Radio offered to their drivers, especially some of the new features like iTunes Tagging."   

Earlier this year, Toyota announced the adoption of HD Radio Technology starting in 2011.  Scion recently announced that they are making the technology a standard feature with their 2012 audio products. Struble says automakers are recognizing the huge value they have in that dashboard and HD Radio is certainly parto of what's being offered to the consumer. "The growth in factory installed HD Radio receivers in cars has been phenomenal. We will see another doubling of sales in 2011. This is critical to broadcasters because of the amount of listening that goes on in cars and the new competition radio is seeing in the digital dashboard. And we see that rapid growth continuing."

iTunes tagging is a safe way to save your favorite songs and when installed on an HD radio, as Struble points out, local stations get it on the action. "I like a song I am listening to on an HD Radio station. I press the radio touch screen where it says 'tag'. The info on that song is stored in the radio. If my iPod/iPhone is connected in the car, the tagged info is automatically transferred to that device, if not, it will be transferred the next time I connect it. And when I next sync that device on my computer to iTunes, I will find a folder in iTunes labeled 'tagged' that will have all the songs I tagged. I can preview and purchase them at that point. And if I do buy, the station that I was listening to when I tagged the song will get a finder's fee on the sale from Apple.
Pretty cool feature. Certainly better than fumbling for a pen and paper while driving if I want to remember a song."

Today, there are over 2,000 AM & FM stations broadcasting with HD Radio Technology with more than 1,300 additional digital only FM HD2/HD3/HD4 multicast channels sending new exciting programming.

To get in touch with Bob Struble go HERE
For more information on iBuiquity go HERE

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Duluth Radio Legend Lew Latto Dies at 71.

The voice of a longtime Twin Ports radio legend is now silent.  Mark Fleischer, the operations manager for Midwest Communications, said Latto died while he was getting ready to drive into town for work at WDSM-AM where he hosted the morning show. The WDSM website says Latto began his radio career while still in high school in the 1950's and was the promoter and host of the Winter Dance Party at the National Guard Armory, one of the final performances of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens in 1959.  Over the years. Latto successfully entered into station ownership and has hosted talk shows on several Twin Ports radio outlets. 

Latto was inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall Of Fame in 2003.  For the last several years, 710 WDSM was home to "Lew Latto Live" on weekday mornings.  Today and tomorrow WDSM and KDAL will be running a special tribute show to celebrate the life and career of Lew Latto.  Phone lines will be open to share stories and memories of a true Twin Ports radio legend.  The tribute will run on both days from 7:06 to 9 a-m.

The Duluth News Tribune is reporting that Latto appeared to be in good health recently after recovering from heart valve surgery a few years ago.

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Text Messaging. The Stunning Statistics.

By Bob Bentz

Radio stations have been actively promoting text message marketing for several years now. When you think about it, radio is an ideal medium for text message marketing.  Since so much of radio listening is done away from the home and away from other forms of media, it?s easy to see why large and small market radio stations have embraced the most basic form of mobile marketing. But, what are radio stations doing with text message marketing?, a provider of text message marketing solutions to radio stations, has analyzed the interactive and broadcast text messages that its station partners have done during the second quarter, 2011 and released the following results.

An interactive text message promotion is when the radio station broadcasts a promotion and the listeners respond.  This involves sending a keyword to a short code (Text RESULTS to 84444) and then the listener immediately receives a text message back on his or her cell phone. Interactive text message promotions make up 72% of the overall text messages sent and received by radio stations. This is not surprising given the large amount of text messages that are done by radio station sweepstakes and contests.

Despite the urging of experts in the mobile marketing field, many text message promotions are surprisingly still not advertiser-sponsored.  According to the study, a full 32% of radio text message promotions do not have an advertiser sponsor included.

Overwhelmingly, the major force in radio text message marketing is sweepstakes and contests.  The response rate for radio station concert ticket giveaways dwarfs all other text message promotions done on the airwaves. 
?Doing a contest for a pair of tickets is great, but if you really want to get response and maximize the size of your P-1 database, we have found that the best producing text message promotions are those that involve something special like an opportunity to meet the stars backstage,? said Scott Bronenberg, regional sales manager at Advanced Telecom Services. Although it?s a small number, apps downloads are included in the study as well.  The category of apps downloads includes the consumer downloading an app from an interactive text message promotion or via a QR Code.

Once a consumer has provided a legitimate opt-in to a radio station database, the station can send broadcast text messages to the listener.  Of the total broadcast messages sent to listeners, 83% are news, sports, weather, and traffic reports.  Small and medium sized stations don?t do a lot in this category, but many large stations have listeners that subscribe to multiple broadcast messages and receive them daily.  An example of a broadcast message is a traffic report that a listener would receive every day for his commute or a baseball score.

The study shows that about two-thirds of all radio text message marketing promotions are advertiser-sponsored.  Sponsors of text message marketing promotions are from every major category of radio advertisers.   While retailers are the most popular sponsors of radio text message promotions, categories such as nightclubs and education tend to be over-represented compared to actual radio advertising dollars due to their young cell-phone oriented customers.

Mobile marketing continues to evolve and mature. While apps and QR codes are certainly the sexy new members of the family, the lowly text remains the ubiquitous must-have element to make or break a radio station mobile marketing campaign.

Bob Bentz is the president of Advanced Telecom Services ?a mobile marketing company providing its text message marketing solution to radio stations.  Advanced Telecom Services has offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

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Boyle on Bloomberg TV Tonight

All eyes will be on Pandora this afternoon and the Internet radio company announces its first quarterly earnings report as a public company. Bloomberg has asked Jim Boyle to join them to add perspective to the earnings. Boyle wrote on his Facebook page "For folks that like "car crash" watching, I'll be on Bloomberg TV at 6PM, eastern time, or so, being interviewed about Pandora Media's earnings -- in case you wanna see what I've been doing for 16 yrs and 11th or so time on TV -- sound byte time." Pandora will release numbers later today and have a conference call at 5PM Eastern

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Social Marketers Making the Same Mistake as Radio?

by Mike Stiles

I recently came across a study mentioned on Ad Age, a review of the 300 top brand pages on Facebook, that showed the engagement of leading brands is down 22%.  Some brands do better than others of course, but that was the net result. As a reminder, engagement is not about how many fans you have or how many you can collect.  It?s about how, and how often, the fans you do have are interacting with the content you?re putting out.  It?s basically a measure of how interesting, entertaining, or informative they think you are.

With engagement being down 22%, it appears brands are now running head-on into the same herculean task that we as radio entertainers have always faced?how do you make sure everything you do is fun, funny, useful, rewarding or compelling?  Because if you want people to stick around, and certainly if you want people to talk to their friends about you, you?ve got to be one or more of those things.

Music aside (it is what it is, and your listeners can hear the same songs just about anywhere), this task of listener engagement rests squarely in the hands of your on-air talent.  For decades, talent did an amazing job of this.  The good ones knew instinctively what to talk about it, talked about it with a unique personality that created fiercely loyal fans, captured the local voice and lifestyle, and they could keep all this up 4 hours a day.  That?s truly incredible.

So what did radio do?  Fired them.

The ones that are left are barely allowed to speak, and take their ?entertainment? instructions from ledger-clutching business managers.  Fun, huh?  Brands today would KILL to find people with the kind of power of engagement that radio threw away.  Because now they?ve got to engage their audience, and they?re finding out it?s not that easy.  It?s a very special talent.   

Michael Scissons, who wrote the Ad Age piece, says bad content is starting to take its toll on brand Facebook pages.  However?local pages have been seen to drive 36% better results.  That means the less content that?s pushed into local markets from an all-controlling mothership, and the more loca managers are allowed to craft pages to appeal to their local market, the more success they?ll experience. What did radio do?  Push content into local markets from a mothership and limit the autonomy of their local managers & talent. Wow. Brands must learn two things radio unlearned, that content is king and all engagement is local.

Mike Stiles is a writer/producer with the social marketing tech platform, Vitrue, and head of Sketchworks comedy theatre. Check out his monologue blog, The Stiles Files.
Find him on Facebook or on Twitter @mikestiles

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Sirius XM Wins Court Battle

Sirius XM won court approval for settlement with subscribers who sued the satellite- radio broadcaster over claims it broke the law by raising prices after acquiring its only rival. U.S. District Judge Harold Baer in Manhattan endorsed the accord in a filing today over the objections of some subscribers. ?I have reviewed the settlement?s substantive terms and conclude that they demonstrate sufficient fairness, adequacy and reasonableness,? Baer wrote. ?The vast majority of class members will benefit in the course of their normal subscription payments.?

Subscriber Carl Blessing of Florida sued Sirius XM in 2009, claiming the company violated federal antitrust law and state consumer-protection law when it raised some prices and levied a music royalty fee after Sirius Satellite Radio acquired XM Satellite Radio in 2008. The basic monthly charge is $12.99. Sirius XM increased the rate a subscriber paid to get service on an additional radio to $8.99 a month from $6.99. The class also decried a $2.99 charge for Internet access, which had been free. The music charge, assessed after new royalty rates with record companies were set, amounted to $1.98 a month.

The deal, valued at $180 million, provides that prices for basic service and Internet access, as well as the music royalty fee, will remain at current levels through the end of the year. Subscribers who canceled can reconnect without paying a fee. Those whose plans expire after Dec. 31 can renew before that time at current rates. Subscribers will get no cash.

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Is Your Successor Ready to Step In And Lead?

When Steve Jobs made his announcement yesterday he was also quick to inject the following statement: "I recommend the company execute its succession plan and promote COO Tim Cook to CEO." At your station or your cluster, do you have a succession plan? As we know, just a few short weeks ago the Buckley Broadcasting family lost owner Rick Buckley. It was clear Buckley had a plan in place if anything happened to him or if he decided to retire. Joe Bilotta was quickly voted in to run the company as he had been groomed to do by Buckley. What's the plan at your station if you retire or get promoted to a regional or corporate position?

Up until recently, radio industry veteran Marv Nyren was the General Manager at the former Q101 in Chicago for Emmis Communications. "Without making this sound overly simplistic, the best way I've found in preparing for my replacement is to include that person (or, persons) in as much of my responsibilities as possible. The more they get to participate in, the better prepared they'll be for handling those things on their own. I always tried to make sure there is an actual plan for my possible successor. What are the 3-5 areas this person needs to develop in order to be a GM? Finance, Technical, Programming, etc. Then, make sure they have scheduled meetings and responsibilities to learn and participate in as much as possible."

Wayne Leland is now in his second month as the GM in Norfolk for Saga Communications. As he ramps up into the market and into his GM chair, he also has to be thinking about who will occupy it next. Because, you just never know, and as a GM your first responsibility should always be to the company (and the listeners of course). "It is critical that as a GM my replacement is on the team.  A strong manager surrounds themselves with talent.  I would rather have a team of people that are far more talented than me. A weak manager is afraid of hiring people who are strong.  They want to be the most important person, most relied upon person in the building.  They get rid of the talented people to secure their positions.  Now maybe some companies have trained them to behave that way, but it costs you profits."

Leland goes on to say that a true leader teaches others, trains them and hires people who can multiply the efforts. "As a GM, I want our team to be made up of people who know it better than me.  I try to attract the talent by creating an environment they can be motivated in and let them run!  I am a big baseball fan and if you watch the Red Sox or Yankees (hate the Yanks, but admire how they make it happen) you will see they go get the best talent.  Well in radio the GM is the coach, he isn?t the star. Create a team of stars and you win every time!  On that team you have rookies and veterans alike, but one thing they all have in common is raw talent, the desire to win and a coach that will help them achieve the most possible."

Do you have a plan to replace yourself?

Thanks to Marv Nyren who can be reached HERE and Wayne Leland can be reached HERE.
NOTE: For those of you who had trouble listening to Leland's audio yesterday in his philosophy about bringing in great talent it is up and running again HERE

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jobs Resigns As Apple CEO

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has resigned, requesting that the company follow its succession plan and put Tim Cook in the CEO slot in his place.``I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,'' he said in a brief letter announcing his resignation. The 55-year-old CEO had briefly emerged from his medical leave in March to unveil the latest version of the iPad and later to attend a dinner hosted by President Obama for technology leaders in Silicon Valley.

Jobs wrote, "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come." Jobs says he would like to stay on as the board's chairman and an "Apple employee." He recommends that the company execute its succession plan and promote COO Tim Cook to CEO. Jobs' letter continues, "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."

Jobs, an Apple co-founder, is a pancreatic cancer survivor and has been on medical leave since January.

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5 Secrets To Developing a Winning Facebook Plan

by Loyd Ford

Radio companies are so lucky.  They have a business that focuses on people.  People depend on connection to personalities on our best brands  to help them get through their day, share music or celebrity news or changing weather and entertain them while they work.  If you look at the things  people depend on us for in ?companionship? at the radio station, doesn?t that look like some of the same things listeners do on their Facebook pages? People don?t generally connect to companies (see the Geico Gecko).  Adults (and children) connect and identify with personalities. 

Here are 5 important points to developing a Facebook plan around your personalities.

1. Build your Facebook plans around personalities.  You should have personalities that make good impressions on air and in the market.  They  interact with people well.  These people are your 21st Century front stage drivers for social media.  If they are truly excellent, they understand the mission  of their ?show? and the station at large.  They are open to learning and will help develop and engage your overall plan for the station by personalizing the  messages.

2. Post often on Facebook when you have really good content.  This does not mean only posts about contests.  In fact, your posts about contests should be certainly less than 20% of all posts on your Facebook page.  Be sure to develop a specific action plan that fits with the image of your station in the market, but you can include posts on celebrity news or gossip, things that impact your target audience in your city, and you should make sure you often turn posts around with a question to listeners at the end of the post.  This encourages participation.

3. Lead listeners back to the station from Facebook.  I experience calls all the time where listeners want to build their Facebook page.  We are broadcasters.  Our mission should be to use Facebook as a tool to engage (and re-engage) listeners with our product.  Because you have a webpage, you can do this is a variety of ways.  This can include sending them to see pictures or ?additional pictures? on your website.  Or it can be delivery of news with an appointment for follow up on the actual station ?this afternoon? at a specific appointment time.  However, the idea is to give value and promise more on the website and/or station with specifics.

4. Invite listeners to post pictures from concert events.  Why should we do all the work?  You?ve seen what reality television can do to seemingly normal humans.  If you have a big concert coming up, engage listeners to share their ?insider pictures? along with the pictures and video you will be posting from backstage and at station events associated with the concert event.  Share the love.  Listeners will love it and it will create new engagement by their friends, family and co-workers (because the listener who posts, brags).

5. Do good.  When personalities and brands engage in positive community service (targeted to benefit your audience or at least things your audience cares about), personalities and brands win.  When building your Facebook plan, you should decide ahead of time causes individual personalities should take up and get them engaged with listeners about the cause of Facebook.  This brings more warmth and passion to the personalities and your station brand.

Facebook is a great tool that can work side by side with your on-air content to connect listeners to you in a stronger way than your competitors who only ?have a Facebook page.?  If you haven?t had a staff meeting about Facebook and developed a full strategy that your entire team knows about, that is an excellent place to start. 

If you develop an actual plan for your Facebook activity that includes individual personalities, actual engagement over the content they can find more of on your air and expose your softer side by your personalities taking up causes and helping solve issues for your audience, you will have a winning strategy that will give you benefits for years to come.

Reach out to Loyd via e-mail HERE
Visit his new Facebook page HERE

(8/24/2011 6:47:38 AM)
The point about using Facebook to promote the brand is so important. Glad to see you list that here.

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(AUDIO) What's Going On Out There?

The only way to explain the current ad market in radio is "bipolar." General Managers across the country check in daily with Radio Ink to give us a flavor for how sales are developing and how Q3 pacings look and the theme is consistent, shifts and changes in momentum are normal and expected. Wayne Leland is one of Ed Christian's newest hires at Saga Communications. Leland was brought into the Norfolk market by Christian after running 12 stations for Citadel. Leland says control what you can control when working with local businesses. We spoke to Leland about how the market looks and what he deals with when the economy is like a monster truck stuck in thick mud. 

Radio Ink editor Ed Ryan interviews Saga VP/GM Wayne Leland

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Citadel Inks 3-Year Deal With Air Force

Citadel's KVOR 740 AM and KCSF 1300 AM and IMG College of Winston-Salem NC have agreed to a three-year broadcast agreement of Air Force Falcon Football games, as well as Men?s Basketball on KVOR, Women?s Basketball, and Men?s Hockey on KCSF. The stations will also broadcast live coaches shows featuring Falcons? Football Coach Troy Calhoun and Air Force Basketball Coach Jeff Reynolds. 

General Manager of KVOR and Citadel Broadcasting Colorado Springs GM Mike Knar said, ?Now, with the talents of IMG College, Air Force Athletics will reach even more fans than ever, offering more opportunities to experience Air Force Sports and Academy student athletics."
?We are thrilled to continue our relationship with The United States Air Force Academy, which dates back to 1982.  Over the past 29 years, KVOR has been witness to some amazing games under Coaches Deberry and  Calhoun?, said KVOR Sports Director, and play-by-play announcer Jim Arthur. 

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Stephen King Hires Liberal For Morning Show

Yep, that Stephen King. King owns two stations in Bangor, Maine where he held a rare press conference yesterday to let the community know he's hired 50-year-old Pat LaMarche to co-host a morning show on WZON AM and FM starting September 12th. LaMarche ran for vice president as a member of the Green Party in 2004.  LaMarche will co-host the show with 43-year-old Don Cookson, a former television reporter. King said, "We're a little to the left, but we're right." Nothing is more fun than standing up to a bully,? LaMarche said. ?There?s an awful lot of bullying going on out there right now.?

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

FCC Extends Filing Date For Biennial Ownership Report

by David Oxenford

In 2009, the FCC adopted a uniform deadline for all commercial broadcast licensees to file an FCC Form 323 Biennial Ownership Report.  The due date for that report was supposed to be November 1 of that year, but was postponed until July of 2010 when problems popped up with the new forms.  The next Biennial Ownership reporting date was scheduled to be November 1 of this year (two years after the originally scheduled date for the first report to use the new form) - but the FCC today issued a Public Notice postponing the filing deadline for one month, to December 1. 

This delay was justified so asto give broadcasters, especially those with many media interests held in different companies, more time to complete what can be a cumbersome process of filling out all of the reports and exhibits that need to be submitted.  Reports need to be filed by December 1, but all information still needs to be reported as of October 1 of this year - a standard reporting date that will remain constant each year to give the FCC a snapshot of the composition of ownership in the broadcast world.

The revised ownership report filing process was adopted so that the FCC could get an accurate report on the ownership of broadcast properties by minorities and women, a goal that has taken on added significance in light of the Third Circuit Court of Appeal's recent decision in Prometheus Radio Project v FCC, rejecting the FCC's efforts to diversify ownership in the media through the use of a system giving preferences to qualified entities, i.e. small businesses.  As we wrote last month, the Court found that the FCC's goal was to promote minority and female ownership, which was not fostered by its concentration on small businesses. 

One of the issues on which the Court faulted the FCC was the lack of information about the current broadcast ownership interests of minorities and women, so that the FCC could do a "Adarand study" as to whether there are effects of past discrimination reflected in the current ownership of broadcast stations that need to be remedied by affirmative action efforts based on race or gender.  These new ownership reports are designed to help to provide that information.

Noncommercial broadcasters are not yet subject to these new Form 323 requirements and the obligation to submit the reports at the same time as their commercial brethren.  The FCC is still considering whether to put noncommercial broadcasters on that same schedule.  Until that decision is made, noncommercial broadcasters continue to file every other year on the anniversary of the due date for their last license renewal application.

Commercial broadcasters should be aware of this December 1 date, and make sure to comply with the Form 323 requirements.  As this obligation applies to all commercial broadcasters, and now will have been in effect for two cycles, you can be sure that the FCC will not be too happy about broadcasters who miss this deadline this time around.

David Oxenford is a partner in Davis Wright Tremaine's Washington, DC office. David has represented broadcasters for over 25 years on a wide array of matters from purchases and sales of broadcast properties and the negotiation of programming agreements to regulatory matters.

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WMMR Philly Keeps Preston and Steve in The Stable

Greater Media Philadelphia has signed morning personalities Preston (Elliot) & Steve (Morrison) to a new multi-year contract at legendary rocker WMMR-FM. The duo has held wake-up duties at the station since May of 2005. Elliot said "WMMR, hands down, has the coolest staff I've ever worked with. I?m excited to remain in the family of a Philadelphia treasure.?  Morrison said, "We're ecstatic to extend our relationship with Greater Media not only for the joy that is being a part of a legendary station like WMMR, but also because we may now continue our extensive research into eradicating avian influenza."

?I've never seen a morning show at this level of success continue to work as hard at embracing fans, supporting clients, prepping for each show, hosting hundreds of events all while remaining the nicest and most fun people you could ever work with,? said  John Fullam, Market Vice President and General Manager of Greater Media Philadelphia.

WMMR has been a successful rock station for 43 years.

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Cumulus Brings in Sam Rogers as VP

Another former CBS manager finds a gig with another company. Rogers was most recently at CBS where he was Market Manager in Washington DC. He left CBS back in June.  Cumulus EVP/COO Jon Pinch said ?with the anticipated close of Citadel in September and the 2012 political revenue expected to break all records, this is an important new position at Cumulus. Sam is a true broadcast professional with over 20 years? experience in Washington D.C. radio and uniquely qualified for this role.? 

Rogers said ?to say I?m excited to join Cumulus is an understatement!  Cumulus is the sort of apolitical company that others aspire to mimic. It?s a platform that will offer political advertisers ease of purchase through their proprietary software systems and access to well over 100 markets coast to coast!?  Sam most recently was the CBS Market Manager in Washington. 

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(AUDIO) Earthquake Freaks Out Virginia, DC, New York.

A 5.9 earthquake is much more than a tremor according to those that cover such things. And in an era where strange things automatically make people think terrorist attack, the Tuesday shaker certainly had parts of the Eastern Seaboard freaked out for a little while. Steven Gaines is the Vice President and GM for Monticello Media in Charlottesville, VA. The epicenter was about 25 miles from the station. We spoke to Gaines last evening and asked him where he was and what he was doing when the earthquake hit.

Steve Gaines Speaks to Radio Ink Editor Ed Ryan
Salem Radio Network's Tom Tradup told Radio Ink, "Our SRN News Bureau in Washington was shaken-not-stirred for about 20 seconds. SRN News White House correspondent and SRN News U.S. House correspondent both ended up as ?street reporters? when both the White House and the Capitol (along with Union Station, the Pentagon, and most national monuments) ended up being closed as a precaution in case of aftershocks. Up the coast in NYC, our SRN studios in New York?s Empire State Building swayed a bit, and many buildings in midtown were evacuated, again as a precaution."

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To Improve Sales Leland Brought In New D.O.S.

With tough market conditions, finding a Director of Sales to take your station or cluster to the next level is one of the biggest decisions you'll have to make as a General Manager. What makes up the resume of a D.O.S. that's going to get GM's over the hump of a staggering economy and over the sales goal line every month? Let's find out. For Leland, having market knowledge was important to him when he began his search. Last week Saga brought in Carol Commander as the new D.O.S. and she certainly understands the Norfolk market as Leland was hoping.

Commander was first hired into radio by well known consultant Jack Rattigan. She progressed very successfully in sales in Norfolk and wound up launching two companies before returning to radio last week. Leland discusses exactly what he was looking for and how to spot the person that will help you succeed in driving your revenue. Ed Ryan interviews Wayne Leland PART TWO

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Former CBS D.O.S. Goes To Albany For Townsquare

Dan Austin will be replacing Robert Ausfeld as the Market Manager for Townsquare in Albany. Ausfeld told a local newspaper he was retiring after 38 years in the business, all of it in Albany. Austin was hired as the Director of Sales for CBS in Seattle back in May of 2010. He also ran stations in Albany for Pamal and a cluster in Syracuse for Citadel so he's familiar with the upstate New York markets.

The 61-year old Ausfeld told the Albany Business Journal he wanted to spend more time with his family. He has 3 children and 3 grandchildren. He started in radio at the age of 23 in the sales department of WPTR and advanced to General Manager in 1979. In his 38 years he's worked for 11 owners, all from the same office.

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BE Appoints Jeff Wilson Western Region SM

In his new role, Wilson serves BE customers in the western U.S. as the representative of the company?s RF and studio lines, which include AudioVAULT and The Radio Experience (TRE) studio brands as well as BE?s AM, FM and HD Radio,  transmitter lines. Wilson brings to his new role more than 15 years of broadcast equipment experience as BE?s service manager for digital products as well as a number of other duties directly impacting customer service and solutions.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

(AUDIO) "It's Our Job To Serve The Community"

While the Fairness Doctrine winds its way through Chairman Genekowski's shredding machine, most responsible broadcasters continue to do what's expected of them...serve their community. As Greater Media Director of Sales for Charlotte Trip Savery (pictured) puts it "our stations are very much invested in the success of our community, which is a critical component to our success as a local business. For nearly a century, WBT has served the greater Charlotte region. WBT shapes opinions, muses about issues, and provides timely news, weather, and traffic information.  It is not just a responsibility for us, it is an expectation." We spoke to Savery about WBT's role and responsibility in the Charlotte community.


Greater Media highlighted Savery for his and WBT's service to the local community in a new feature at  The new column is another way Greater Media is recognizing employees and by providing them with a platform to share their thoughts on a variety of relevant topics that are relevant to the broadcast industry.

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FCC Deletes Fairness Doctrine For Good

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is cleaning out his files and has found 83 outdated and obsolete media-related rules he didn't think were necessary so in the trash they go. The Fairness Doctrine was one of the 83 to go. Genachowski has consistently and repeatedly stated his opposition to the Fairness Doctrine, which he pressed to eliminate by the end of August.  The Fairness Doctrine is not currently enforced by the FCC and has not been applied for more than 20 years. 

Genachowski  said ?The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction.  As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead.  The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago.  I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books."

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Beasley Brings Dan Hunt to Philly

Hunt will be the new PD  for (Wired) WRDW-FM in Philadelphia starting September 6th. The 10 year programming vet will move from Providence where he was PD and Midday Host for WWKX-FM. Vice President and Market Manager Natalie Conner says ?Dan?s leadership skills and experience, along with Wired?s talented staff, make him the perfect PD candidate for us. We are thrilled to welcome him to our great team.?  Hunt said ?I'm honored to be the new PD for WRDW and excited to become aligned with such a great radio station. I can?t wait to start working with the amazing team at Wired 96.5.?

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The Fairness Doctrine Fallacy

by Broadcast AttorneyJohn Garziglia

The Fairness Doctrine was the wrongly-named rule that horribly discouraged any coverage of controversial issues, and was not generally enforced by the FCC, except when it was. There is a pernicious undercurrent to First Amendment thought that suggests that our Federal government has a role in enabling certain speech in the presence of other speech.  This thought process can best be described by imagining a person on a street corner with a bullhorn and asking, may our government require by law that person with a bullhorn to share his or her bullhorn so that more than one point of view may be heard?  Those who support such a bullhorn-enabling philosophy argue that our government encouraging speech in a content-neutral way is not antithetical to our First Amendment but rather supportive of it. 

Applying the bullhorn analogy to the Fairness Doctrine shows its practical fallacy.  The FCC?s Fairness Doctrine told the bullhorn owner (the radio station) that it must give its bullhorn to others to present other points of view, or suffer death (the loss of the radio station?s FCC license).  If a bullhorn user was to be subject to death for failing to share its bullhorn for other points of view, it is quickly seen that few people would risk picking up the bullhorn in the first instance.  This is, of course, exactly what happened with the Fairness Doctrine in place.  Few stations, other than those with large budgets for paying lawyers, wished to risk the loss of their license for arguably failing to present other points of view. 

It is worth noting that we still have the political equal opportunity rules.  If one political candidate is allowed the unfettered opportunity to speak on a broadcast station, all other candidates for the same public office are entitled upon request to an equal opportunity to speak.  At least with the FCC?s political rules, as difficult as compliance may often be, the right to an equal opportunity generally covers a known universe of potential speakers for a reasonable length of time.  But ask any station owner whether an air personality who runs for public office can be kept on the air.  Indeed, since an air  personality running for public office creates free equal opportunities for all other candidates for that same office, the FCC?s equal opportunity rule demonstrably stifles, rather than enables, speech. 

The Fairness Doctrine is finally put to rest.  It had not been enforced for more than 20 years.  That of course did not mean that it could not be or would not be.  But, with the Fairness Doctrine finally history, lively discussions on our nation?s airwaves can now take place without any vestiges of fear.  Really!  Of course, any programming or indecency complaint against a radio station license renewal application no matter how trivial can hold up a station?s license renewal for months or years.  But that is another subject, right?

John Garziglia is a Communications Law Attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Washington, DC and can be reached at 202-857-4455 or jgarziglia@wcsrcom

(8/23/2011 12:02:37 AM)
i don't understand the analogy; the bull horn is owned by a private individual, the airwaves are owned by the entire citizenry of the united states and leased to other citizens, under certain expectations and understandings. guess it doesn't matter with the death of local broadcasting, sadly i am old enough to remember when community groups, etc. had stations. paley originally said that commercial stations should underwrite public broadcasting; boy, he sure reeled that one back quickly!

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Nielsen Measuring iPad Viewing.

According to Broadcast Engineering magazine Nielsen is starting to measure cable television subscriber viewing habits on the iPad for Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. In the last 6 months, Time Warner?s iPad app has been downloaded more than 600,000 times. The magazine says "Nielsen is using a small piece of code on the iPad in conjunction with server-side software to measure viewing. O?Grady said a second step is to launch a ?friends and family? measurement test of the iPad apps with Nielsen employees."

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Chili Pepper Record is Rock's Shark Week

by Phil Manning

Shark week came and went on the Discovery Channel. This week of highlighting the plight of the shark creates major buzz every year. Then the majority of the public goes 50 weeks without thinking about a shark, but wow, the riveting video and more so the PROMOTION for shark week is rather, ahem, biting. And the website for this show is quite spectacular and robust. New camera angles, new cages, new stories?.the best of everything that television can do.

And obviously advertisers are lining up because of the buzz the show has built over the years. Alternative Radio---what?s your Shark Week? Is there a week or two during the year that you devote to something completely YOU? If you were to create your shark week, what is your shark? Please don?t say flyaways. And how would you create that buzz?

To me, the obvious is a new music week highlighting core and upcoming songs and artists. You?d build an amazingly robust website for this and you?d market it as much as possible. You?d have video, streaming channels, maybe even kick off a groupon like subscription curator?YOU. The 20th anniversary of grunge, Pearl Jam?s 10 and Nirvana?s Nevermind is upon us. Have you or are you doing anything major for historical landmark moment?

The current opportunity I see is this week with Alternative?s biggest artist-The Red Hot Chili Peppers. You?ve known for weeks that their new release ?I?m With You? is coming out on August 30th. You?ve had the chance to get together with Warner Bros. and RHCP management to create complete ownership of the Chili Peppers release in your market.  What have you done?

From my analysis, it?s being treated very haphazardly, like a fire just started in a trash can. No planning, just throwing water on it. Several stations have tweeted that they will be playing new tracks hourly; 91X/San Diego is streaming the full length at I have not seen nor heard one promo that this week is going to your Red Hot Chili Peppers SHARK WEEK.  Sure playing tracks on the air this week is vital and obvious, but are you going above and beyond? Are you making news?! Are you having fun?!!!

While I?d love to be sitting in the big boy (read: P.D.) chair, I?m not. But in addition to the above new music shark week ideas, I would do this for the Chili Peppers release:

--Rent a Flat Bed truck and completely deck it out all things Chili Peppers and my station.
All week, I?d take the truck to all my and my competitors? hot zips and play the full 
length over a sound system giving away Ice Cream (hello sales department), free
downloads for the new album. I?d have laptops available with headphones to more  
intimately listen totracks as long as they sign up for my database.

--Promo one week out that you?ll be playing a track an hour?.ALL WEEK. Take the time to
create some incredible imaging aligning yourself with the band and your history with
the band. Many stations are starting to throw tracks on now with no pre-promotion.
--Negotiate with my major league baseball team to have tracks played on the sound system between innings and get my logo on the Jumbotron.

What evolutionary or revolutionary ideas have you come up with? Play some tracks here and there and hope the listener catches them? In a properly montitored world, you would get a ratings bump. It is the biggest Alternative band on the planet. But that is not the point. The point is you are highlighting to your listeners your ?EST?, your strongest suit and having a ton of fun doing it.

Phil Manning is Editor at, covering the Alternative radio format with editorials, new music discovery and format news and analysis. He can be reached at

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Mitch Henck Joins Madison Morning Show

Henck will join Clear Channel's News Talker WIBA-AM in Madison. Henck joins morning hosts Robin Colbert, John Colbert, Phil Dawson and NBC 15 Meteorologist Charlie Shortino ?Mitch is a star in this market,? said Tim Scott, AM Operations Manager, Clear Channel Radio. ?He knows Madison and South Central Wisconsin, and the people who live here know him. It?s a perfect extension of his talents across WIBA.? Henck will continue to host ?Outside the Box with Mitch Henck? weekdays from 8-11:00 a.m.

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Fernando Perez New PD For Mega 101 Houston

Fernando Perez has been named as the new Program Director for CBS Radio's Mega 101 FM in Houston. He starts September 6. Perez brings more than 12 years of Hispanic radio experience to Mega 101 FM.  He most recently worked for Univision in Los Angeles as Program Director for KLVE. Prior to KLVE, he was the Operations Manager for the Univision Cluster in San Francisco.  Perez also had a two-year stint in Houston when he launched KROI-FM. CBS owns six radio stations in Houston, including 100.3 KILT-FM, HOT 95-7 KKHH-FM, MIX 96-5 KHMX-FM, Mega 101 FM KLOL, SportsRadio 610-AM and Talk 650 KIKK-AM, as well as the Texans Radio Network broadcast on 100.3 KILT and SportsRadio 610.

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Jackson New Affiliate Sales Director for Bob & Sheri

Greater Media says Jenn Jackson has been named Affiliate Sales Director of Greater Media?s Bob & Sheri Network. Jackson joined WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM as an Account Manager in August of 2010. Prior to that, she spent ten years with the Clear Channel Radio cluster in Charlotte and seven months in sales at WFMX-FM in Statesville, NC. Jackson says she's been a P1 listener of The Bob & Sheri Show for over 19 years. ?It?s an honor to be a representative for such a stellar program with undoubtedly, two of the best personalities in our industry.  To say I?m excited would be an understatement.?

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Detroit Radio Legend Goes in R&R Hall.

Steve Kostan (Weekdays 7pm-Mid - 94.7 WCSX) has been inducted into the  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has just unveiled a complete museum redesign telling the story of rock and roll in a more linear fashion. The entire museum?s technology has been updated, including the interactive kiosks On the Air: Rock and Roll and Radio. It?s a dynamic, multi-layered interactive kiosk that explores numerous disc jockeys who introduced millions of listeners to rock and roll, rhythm and blues, hip hop, funk, folk and many other sounds.

Curatorial Director at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Howard Kramer told WCSX morning man Ken Calvert ?There are a number of people we identified who we felt were really great exemplars of people who helped promote Rock and Roll, and Steve certainly falls in that category. I grew up in Southfield and radio was my first love. Hearing voices like Steve?s and Ken?s (Calvert) and Karen?s (Savelly) and Arthur Penhallow helped occupy my formative years. Steve was the guy who stood behind local music, and I thought that was an extremely brave thing to do. And Steve stuck with it, and I felt he deserved it.?
Kostan said, ?I was lucky enough to come along at a great and exciting time to be on Detroit rock radio. There was a fantastic Detroit music scene and I was able to stay in town the whole time and keep at it.? Kostan is extremely grateful to Fred Jacobs and Ken Calvert for hiring him into radio.  Steve celebrates 34 years in Detroit rock radio this Labor Day weekend! To hear more of the interview, log onto and click on Ken Calvert?s homepage. 

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WBAL Hires Merrie Street as News Director.

Miller resigned last month and Street starts August 29th according to an e-mail sent to staff by WBAL GM Ed Kiernan. Kiernan also announced that Dave Hill is the new PD for the station. Here is the e-mail Kiernan sent to his staff.

Merrie brings a wealth of experience.  Her resume includes:  Communications/Media Specialist, Communications Director, Congressional Press Secretary and Adjunct Professor.  Most importantly, she was Metro Network?s first Baltimore News Chief, News Director/Public Affairs Director/Anchor for WLIF and News Director/Reporter/Anchor for WPOC.  She was RTNDA?s ?Outstanding News Operations? winner during her tenure at WPOC.
After careful review of 1090AM/WBAL Radio?s long-term objectives and goals, Dave Hill has accepted the opportunity to be the Program Director of 1090AM/WBAL, in addition to his duties at 98 Rock.  Hearst Radio has one Engineering Director, one Marketing/Promotions Director, one Traffic Director, one Sales Director, one Digital Czar and now we have one Program Director (oh?btw, we have one GM).
Dave has a nine year history of success with Hearst Radio.  It?s a well deserved promotion for an outstanding executive and a terrific guy.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More On The ICBC Involuntary Bankruptcy

The dirty laundry about the Inner City bankruptcy are detailed in an 18 page court document filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in the Southern district of new York. In the filing, the creditors lay all of the blame at the feet of Pierre Sutton. The senior lenders are claiming they are now owed approximately $250 million after ICBC defaulted 2 years ago. The lenders also claim that a restructuring deal was put together for ICBC and Sutton pulled the rug out from under the deal, at the last minute, by changing out board members, including Charles Warfield (Warfield is still employed by ICBC just no longer on the board).

"On the eve of moving forward with this orderly chapter 11 filing, the parent company of the Alleged Debtors, at the behest of the parent company?s chairman, Mr. Pierre Sutton, forced the Alleged Debtors to back out of this deal, apparently to seek a greater recovery for himself and other existing shareholders. This decision was inexplicable, given that negotiation of the restructuring proposal had been ongoing for several month. Moreover, Mr. Sutton engineered removal of incumbent boards of directors at the Alleged Debtors and put in place new ?professional? directors. And, after having gone through months of negotiations, existing restructuring advisors either were dismissed or resigned and replaced with new ?hired guns.?

The creditors claim in their filing that the restructuring proposal included a 5-year employment agreement for Sutton at a base salary of $600,000 plus $20,000 in business related travle expenses. The creditors also claim the restructuring plan was approved by the Inner City board on August 13th then claim within 48 hours Sutton "commandeered the ICBC board of directors in order to block any further progress toward a restructuring agreement."

Dispatched from the board were Charles Warfield, Lois Wright, and Edwin Shirley, each of whom supported and voted in favor of the restructuring proposal  according to the filing. "Mr. Sutton apparently proceeded to disavow the restructuring proposal. Thus, after over two years without any debt service payments, over one year of maturity, and several months of protracted, good faith negotiations with the debtors, the Senior Lenders have commenced these chapter 11 cases reluctantly, as a method of last resort to preserve the value of the Collateral for all stakeholders and to drive an  otherwise stagnate default situation forward to a successful resolution."

We reached out to ICBC yesterday for comment but did not hear back.

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Happy 40th Birthday WYSP.

According to WYSP Program Director Jeff Sottolano August 23rd will officially mark the 40th anniversary of the WYSP call letters in Philadelphia. And as the station counts down the days before it flips to the WIP (all sports) the station is looking for some help in honoring the station?s rich history.  Sottolano says "whether it?s putting former jocks on the air for one last shift, airing old promos from that aircheck you?ve got laying around on a reel-to-reel tape, or sharing a photo of that backstage pass you?ve got from Live Aid, Program Director Jeff Sottolano wants to hear your story. Email him at or call at 215-625-6568.

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Prosecuters Want Prison For Former Citadel DJ

Federal prosecutors are arguing against a home confinement sentence for a former Rhode Island DJ who damaged her North Providence house in a $40,000 insurance fraud scheme after last year?s floods. 49 year old Lori Sergiacomi is sentenced next week. She used to work for Citadel owned WWLI-FM in East Providence, Rhode Island. Prosecutors said in court papers filed Friday that Sergiacomi should spend four months in prison, four months in community confinement and pay restitution to ?promote respect for the law. Probation with home confinement ?would, in effect, sentence the defendant to serve her term in the very house which she improved through this fraud scheme.??

Authorities learned about the insurance fraud during a separate investigation into a bribery scheme involving three North Providence town councilmen. Prosecutors say Sergiacomi, who did not have flood insurance, contacted then-Councilman John Zambarano after her recently renovated basement flooded. Authorities say Zambarano and an ex-insurance adjuster advised her not to file a claim with FEMA. Sergiacomi then hired the insurance adjuster, and her home was deliberately damaged to make look to make it look like it had been struck by a storm that never happened.

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Field Says Rock Format Thriving

More big names are coming to the defense of the the rock format in the wake of Friday's story. Entercom CEO David Field provides facts and examples of how the rock format is surviving and thriving in his company and others and wants to make sure the opinion piece we posted last week does not send the wrong message. Here is Field's letter.

Last week, in the wake of the CBS flip of WYSP to Sports, you ran a story essentially declaring that rock radio was dying, or at least in significant decline.  Respectfully, I think the story was dead wrong and needs to be corrected. You cited WYSP and a small handful of recent rock stations that have been eliminated to make room for spoken word FM brands.  However, you failed to mention the significant number of stations in other formats that have also been eliminated for the same reason.  In fact, the evidence shows that the only thing these stations had in common was that they were weak performers. 

For the record, here are a number of other recent format flips that demonstrate my point:
Our new sports station in San Francisco, The Game, was country
When we launched KMBZ-FM, we terminated an AC
In fact, we added an additional rock station this year when we put K-Fox on a full San Francisco signal

As for other groups:
o   WTOP-FM was classical
o   WSB-FM was hip hop
o   KIRO-FM was oldies/classic hits
o   The Ticket/Detroit was hot talk

Furthermore, rock stations are thriving in many, many markets.  A significant number of classic rock stations, active rock stations, AAA stations and alternative stations are market leaders in 25-54 and 18-34 demos.  And many markets support more rock stations than AC, country, CHR or any other format. The fact is that rock radio is generally thriving and I would hate to see false perceptions take hold. 

Thanks for listening,

There were additional blogs written this weekend about our opinion piece, HERE's ONE in agreement from former Radio guy Doc Searls#

Editor's Note, Editor being Ed Ryan
One of our competitors also decided he needed to defend his favorite format after we got the ball rolling. That's all fine. As I've said we're all big boys and girls and why write if you're not willing to take some criticism. What's silly is when respected writers like Sean refuse to say what they are criticizing. If you are going to call us out, then call us out. In his piece Ross writes "declaring any format dead is hubris." If you actually go back to my opinion piece, there were many question marks, no declarations. Sean, I'm not that full of myself. But if I have to listen to Baby I Love Your Way by Peter Frampton one more time I may drive my KIA mini van into a tree.
- Later this week, more facts and billing figures on the Rock format.

(8/22/2011 6:30:16 AM)
There's not enough room for what I write in my Friday Web column-newsletter about the demise of FM Rock radio. It's title is BYE BYE FM ROCK RADIO. ( Jim Rose; Houston, TX

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