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Friday, September 30, 2011

Storey to Run Jamestown For Media One

Media One owner James T. Embrescia says Storey will be the new VP/GM and Director of Sales of its? Western New York radio cluster; WJTN, WWSE, WHUG, WQFX, WKSN. Storey?s broadcast management career began over three decades ago in Lorain, Ohio. Since that time, he has managed stations in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Sandusky, Ohio, Savanna, George and most recently, a group of twelve stations with locations in Panama City, Florida, Dothan, Alabama. and Los Angeles, California.

Embrescia says "Storey is a Market Manager, who can be best described as creative, reliable, and most of all, a great team player. His proven skills at managing markets and sales consultants make him a consummate radio professional. Jeff and I were successful teammates some years ago; and, I look forward to the same relationship as our stations plan for the future?.

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New Savage Book To Debut at #4

Talk Radio Network?s nationally syndicated talk radio host Michael Savage's new book, ?Abuse of Power? will be debuting as #4 on the New York Times Bestseller List on Sunday, October 2nd.  Savage made the announcement on-air during his radio program During the segment Savage told listeners that, ??Abuse of Power? will debut as #4 on the New York Times Bestseller List ? not bad for a guy who is banned from FOX News.?

?Abuse of Power? was released Tuesday, September 13th. ?Abuse of Power,? (a novel) tells the story of a smeared network journalist who uncovers a chilling terrorist plot. The book features the character Jack Hatfield, a hardened former war correspondent who rose to national prominence for his insightful, provocative commentary. But after being smeared as a bigot and extremist by a radical leftist media-watchdog group, he ultimately loses his job and finds himself working in obscurity as a freelance news producer in San Francisco.

One afternoon reporter/producer Jack Hatfield is on a ride-along with the SFPD bomb squad when a seemingly routine carjacking turns deadly after police find several pounds of military-grade explosives in the jacked car. This one event opens up a trail that leads Hatfield from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, London, Paris, and back again, as he works with a stunning Yemeni intelligence agent and a veteran Green Beret in order to expose the terrorist group known as the Hand of Allah, which has organized efforts to achieve their goals which dwarf the 9/11 attacks. Hatfield must make the choice between protecting his own life and investigating a terrorist cell whose goal is nothing less than total political control ? no matter what the cost.

Savage has written 26 books.

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Do What Bowie Said And Face the Changes

by Mike Stiles

Facebook has been going through a lot of changes, the bulk of which got rolled out at their recent f8 developers? conference in San Francisco.  Some say it?s the largest collection of simultaneous changes in the company?s history. An overall look at these changes can be found here at my Vitrue blog, but they range from small, user-oriented things such as floating nav bars, to changes brand Pages should be aware of such as the elimination of being able to directly message fans, to larger strategy-oriented shifts such as the evolution of profile pages into entertainment hubs where video and audio content will be consumed, shared and recommended. 

Without fail, every time Facebook changes the way it looks or the way you use it, people get on and howl about it.  By doing so, they?re implicitly saying Facebook should not innovate, improve, advance, evolve?none of that.  And to do so represents some kind of ?mistreatment? of Facebook users.  I can only assume these same people are staunchly opposed to Disney World adding any new attractions.

If anyone is waiting for Facebook to be ?finished,? they?re going to still be waiting when they?re playing checkers at an assisted living center.  Part of the genius and strength of Facebook is that it?s a kind of living, breathing product?with adaptability and flexibility that?s off the charts.  So why if Facebook is a heavily armed speedboat, does radio conduct itself like an aircraft carrier? 

Facebook at least requires development time to change and adapt.  Radio could and should be even faster than that, because there?s technically nothing that has to come in between an innovative idea and its immediate execution on the air.  But nope, we second-guess, double-clutch, focus group, run things through layers of executives and consultants?we choke.  Instead of trusting our instincts as entertainers, we seek out the current conventional wisdom of ?how it should be done,? then we act on those conclusions like a bunch of lemmings, unchanging?for YEARS!

Facebook, on the other hand, feels like it?s run by a bunch of brilliant minds driven by ADHD-like traits.  They?re never satisfied.  They?re always thinking about ?what can we do next??  They love to break stuff, then rebuild it into something better.  They can?t stand not to tinker.  And their innovators are allowed to roam free and make things happen, not hauled into an office and asked, ?Who do you think you are??  

Bottom line: Facebook?s ever-changing, ever-evolving approach is a model for all of us in the modern media world to follow.  Sure people scream when Facebook makes changes, but then what happens?  After a brief period of time, users figure out the new tools and new ways of doing things and come to the conclusion, ?Hey, this is better!?  Media that plays it safe, lives for not upsetting anyone, and makes it a corporate mission to never innovate, never improve, never advance, and never evolve will soon find its rightful place as a business school footnote.

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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New Website For Westwood One Sports

Westwood One debuts, a new destination for sports fans to find exclusive radio content. features pregame interviews with coaches and players, exclusive online commentary from Westwood One broadcasters, including Boomer Esiason, Jim Gray, James Lofton, Terry Donahue, Eddie George, Mark Malone, Tony Boselli and more. In addition, features broadcast schedules, announcer bios and a station finder to help fans locate local stations airing Westwood One Sports broadcasts.

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Sudden: WGAR Host Chuck Collier Dies of Heart Attack at 64

The Clear Channel Cleveland station posted this note to the station website. "On Thursday September 22 we lost a beloved member of the WGAR family, as Chuck Collier passed away unexpectedly. He was an Ohio boy, whose broadcasting career on the Cleveland airwaves spanned more than 3 decades. He loved radio and he loved Cleveland. Cleveland, along all of us here at WGAR and Clear Channel Cleveland, truly loved him. Anyone who ever listened to or met Chuck knew instantly the kind and caring human being he was. To his wife, his children and entire collier family ...our sincere condolences, along with our gratitude for sharing chuck with us. Rest in peace in peace."

Collier was one of Cleveland?s best-known radio voices. He was afternoon host and music director at 99.5 WGAR, as well as midday host on Majic 105.7. Chuck had been a fixture on WGAR for 40 years, starting when the station was still on the AM dial, and playing adult contemporary music.

Collier was born in Greenfield, Ohio, and raised in nearby New Vienna. After graduating from New Kenton High School, Chuck went to the University of Cincinnati. Chuck?s first radio job was in 1963 at WSRW in Hillsboro, Ohio. After college, he went on to WMWM in Wilmington, Ohio; WONE in Dayton; WSAI in Cincinnati; and WCBS in New York before joining WGAR in the early 70s.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Joni, daughter Melanie and son Jason. Funeral arrangements for Chuck are pending.

Take a look at Collier's WGAR web page HERE

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CBS Boston Host Takes Stand in Murder Trial

The man Mix 104.1 midday host Erin O'Malley was dating is charged with murder and she's playing a key role in the case. The Metro West Daily News reported on the case in which O'Malley took the stand yesterday. "I was very distraught, because somebody was dead and I'd been lied to for years," O'Malley said about her state of mind on Oct. 1, 2009, the day she discovered that Robert Upton, the man she'd dated for the past few years, had been charged with murdering a Framingham man."
O'Malley's testimony yesterday was part of the murder trial of Treefon Manoloules, the Southborough man prosecutors say instructed his son Christopher and Upton to murder his brother, Aris Manoloules. Treefon Manoloules is married to Upton's sister, Deborah. All three men are charged with his murder. Treefon Manoloules is the first to stand trial.
The paper says police searched O'Malley's apartment the day her boyfriend was arrested and came up empty. A few days later O'Malley said, she had a "gut feeling" the police missed something, and, with the help of her sister, found what appeared to be a gun case and a box of bullets in a brown paper bag leaned up against a box containing a fake Christmas tree. O'Malley said she pried open the case with pliers hoping she'd find nothing inside. Instead, she testified, she found a black Ruger P85 9mm handgun that prosecutors have said her ex-boyfriend had bought hours before he shot Aris Manoloules dead.

Read the entire article in the Daily News HERE

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

(AUDIO) Westergren: "It's The Playlist Stupid."

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That's the saying inside the walls of Pandora and that's their focus. In a wide-ranging interview with Radio Ink magazine, and right before he went before his entire national sales force in California, Pandora creator Tim Westergren spoke to us about his growth model, iHeartRadio, local advertising, broadcast radio and his many town hall meetings with listeners. He also says it doesn't bother him that Bob Pittman and John Hogan constantly call his creation "just a feature" and not a business and had nothing but compliments for the Clear Channel product that will be officially released tonight in Las Vegas. We were also able to get some feedback from Pandora listeners on what they think about you guys and how your station's sound. 

Westergren, who created the Music Genome Project, has morphed into a Pandora evangelist traveling the country hosting town hall research gatherings with listeners. The information he gathers is used to continually improve the product that, he says, competes directly with broadcast radio. Westergren does not consider iHeartradio his competition and says Pandora's revenue growth, which he doesn't lose sleep over, will come directly from radio. He also says he's tried iHeartRadio and considers it a well developed product.

Listen to our interview with Westergren HERE

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What if Your Talent Wants Out of His Contract?

In our "Ask The Attorney" segment we always try to come up with a question that have a real possibility of taking place at your station. This question came to us as a result of what's going on in Birmingham where Cumulus is battling with Paul Finebaum who has a signed contract but has filed a lawsuit against Cumulus. The interesting part of the Birmingham story is Finebaum is still on the air with Cumulus.

What should General Managers be aware of if one of their talents (under contract) decides to challenge the contract he signed by filing a lawsuit against them?

John Garziglia says:
If radio stations could operate without egotistical, big-headed, narcissistic air talent, it would make our business so much easier.  But, that is not generally the case, at least not as long as DJ-on-a-computer-chip ?Denise? sounds more like R2D2 than girl (she is sort of virtually attractive, however).  But back to the question at hand which concerns a falling out between contractual air talent and the radio station. 

If the radio station is being sued by the air talent, then either the air talent wants to be relieved of his or her obligations for continuing services under the contract, or the radio station failed to pay the compensation stated or otherwise failed to uphold its obligations and promises under the contract.  Hopefully, the radio station was well represented in its drafting of the contract. Every employment contract lawsuit is fact-specific and state-law specific.  There is no way to make general observations about such a lawsuit.

There are FCC rule-related and general observations that can be made about an air talent lawsuit situation.  While it may be obvious, the radio station is liable for everything that goes over the air emanating from the disgruntled air talent.  There are a variety of ways that air talent can create FCC and legal issues ? indecency, contest rule violations, payola, station ID, EAS, copyright infringement, and a general liability of the radio station for libel and slander. 

While an air talent who wants to leave his or her employment and is suing to do so would presumably not give the radio station legal reasons for his or her termination under the contract and a possible counter-suit, it all depends upon the integrity of the air talent and the desire of the air talent for continuing employment in our industry. 

High-profile experienced air talent will not likely jeopardize their career and their contractual claims by engaging in conduct that is a breach of the contract or radio station policy.  But, if an adverse situation does arise, it does not hurt to remind even experienced air talent what is required by the contract and radio station policy.  At this point, the radio station will have its counsel assisting in the defense of the lawsuit so that counsel should be fully consulted on any such issues arising. 

And looking to the future, once the lawsuit is resolved, it serves the radio station well to recap exactly what happened to lead to a lawsuit situation between the air talent and the radio station in the first instance, and what provisions in the radio station?s employment contract with air talent can be strengthened to attempt to avoid a lawsuit in the future.  Or, if a lawsuit is filed by disgruntled air talent who wishes to prematurely leave for greener grass, how the radio station might possibly be put into a better legal position the next time such litigation is filed by air talent wishing to walk. 

(9/22/2011 9:52:01 PM)
"If radio stations could operate without egotistical, big-headed, narcissistic air talent, it would make our business so much easier."


I've always felt the same way about management.

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Clear Channel Names Medina PD in DC

Ops Manager Meg Stevens makes the announcement in Washington pulling Medina from the Clear Channel cluster in Phoenix where he was PD for just under a decade at KISS-FM out there. Stevens says ?Mark?s history of success, leadership skills and passion make him the right choice to lead Washington, D.C.'s top rated station, HOT 99.5. We?re thrilled to have him join the team.?

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Tyler Moody New CNN Radio VP

Moody will now oversee the editorial and operations teams, including affiliate services and CNN Radio?s more than 30 anchors, correspondents, producers and staff. He replaces Victor Kong who decided to move back to Miami to be near his extended family. He will also lead the business in strategy, product development and execution.  Tyler is an eight-year CNN Radio employee who has guided the network through award-winning coverage of major events, including this year?s Sigma Delta Chi award for breaking news coverage of the earthquake in Haiti.

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Slacker Gets Lift From Facebook

Thursday at the f8 Facebook developer conference Slacker announced Slacker Radio on Facebook, "a new social and fully-customizable radio experience integrated with Facebook that makes it easier for people to tell their story and discover new music online with their friends." Senior Marketing VP for Slacker Jonathan Sasse says "We're announcing Slacker Radio on Facebook as a new way for people to connect around listening to music. Facebook users who add Slacker Radio to their Timeline are able to personalize their listening experience, publish their music story to the Dashboard and discover music with their friends on Facebook."

Slacker also announced "100 Days to Get Personal," which features 100 days of giveaways for Facebook users who add Slacker Radio to their Timeline. Everyone who enters receives a free month of Slacker Premium Radio and has the chance to win prizes including "meet and greet" trips with artists ranging from Katy Perry to Jane's Addiction, getaways with ESPN and ABC News, SONY 3D HDTVs, BlackBerry Playbook tablets, Live Nation Concert Cash and more.

"100 Days to Get Personal" Prizes Include:
?Meet and greet trips with popular artists including Martina McBride, Robyn, Colbie Caillat, 3 Doors Down, Katy Perry, Trace Adkins, Gym Class Heroes, Jane's Addiction, Nickelback, Chris Isaak, Daughtry, Jason Derulo and Coldplay
?ESPN prizes including a trip to "Guy's Guys Weekend" in Orlando with ESPN
?Two trips to New York with ABC News: One as a Good Morning America VIP and one to tour ABC World News with Diane Sawyer
?A New Years Eve trip with three friends to the Las Vegas House of Blues Foundation Room and see NOFX ring in the New Year
?SONY 3D HDTVs and Blu-ray players
?BlackBerry Playbook tablets
?Live Nation Concert Cash to see shows with your friends
?One-year Slacker Premium Radio subscriptions given away every day for each of the 100 days

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Emmis to Extend Big Brands With Jelli

Emmis has announced a partnership with Jelli to offer five online radio stations to fans that connect with Facebook's new music platform. Today at f8, Facebook's developer conference, Jelli announced that it has integrated with Facebook to make listening more social. Jelli will take some of Emmis most well known brands and extend them online. HOT 97 in New York, POWER 106 in LA and RXP will be branded and launched via the Facebook Platform and listeners will have 100% control of the music played.

With the announcement of Facebook's new music launch, HOT 97, Power 106 and RXP will now host five customized stations where listeners will have 100% control of what is played and when it is played. Stations include Hot97, Hot97 Throwback, Hot97 Funk Master Flex, Power 106 and RXP.   "This gives our listeners non-stop new music and it gives Emmis back-end metrics to see which songs are really resonating," said Jimmy Steal, Emmis Vice President of Programming.

With Jelli, every song is chosen by a group of listeners in real time.  The social functionality brings listeners together in a fun social atmosphere. Users can chat with other listeners, vote for what they want to hear and "rocket" their favorite songs to the top of the playlist ? all while sharing their music with their Facebook friends.

"Emmis has the strongest brands and communities in radio with HOT 97 in New York, POWER 106 in Los Angeles and RXP online," said Mike Dougherty , CEO and founder of Jelli.  "We are honored to help make these communities more social and engaged by combining their strength with the power of Facebook."

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tim Lewis News PD For Riverbend in Idaho

Riverbend Communications GM Steve Poulson says Lewis will be responsible for the news operation of Riverbend Communications which includes NewsTalk 690/1260, KBLI-AM/KBLY-AM,, and all newscasts for Class 97, KLCE-FM; Z103, KFTZ-FM; 105-5 The Hawk, KTHK-FM and K-Bear 101, KCVI-FM. Lewis has experience in news gathering and online and has been a talk show host for both news and sports. He's worked in Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, St. George and Pocatello with Clear Channel Communications, Crawford Broadcasting and Bonneville International.

Lewis is the recipient of the regional Edward R. Murrow award two times at KOA in Denver. Additionally, he has been named 8-times Sportscaster of the Year in three states: at KUHL-Santa Maria, CA; KSL-Salt Lake City, UT; and KOA-Denver, CO and, received many awards from the Utah and Colorado Broadcasters Associations. He has done play-by-play for Weber State, Idaho State, Ricks College and more. He is a graduate of Weber State University.

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SBS Gets Another 6 Months From SEC

SBS has been provided an initial grace period of 180 days (until March 13, 2012), to regain compliance with an SEC rule to get the value of the company back up to an acceptable level to stay on the NASDAQ. SBS has been in this battle with the $1.00 price level for quite some time now. The market value of SBS's Class A common stock for the previous 30 consecutive business days has been below the minimum $15,000,000.  If SBS does not regain compliance by March 13th, NASDAQ will notify SBS that the company?s common stock is subject to delisting from the NASDAQ at which point SBS can appeal again.

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Media Matters Gets Show on SiriusXM

The organization who's main goal is to take down Fox news will produce fresh content for SiriusXM. It's a two-hour program that will run on Saturday's live and repeat on Sunday. It will air for six weeks on SiriusXM Left. The show will be hosted by Ari Rabin-Havt, an executive at Media Matters, and Bradley Herring, an executive producer of the Media Matters Web site. They say they will analyze a ?cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio and Internet media outlets? and alert listeners to ?take action? against misinformation, according to a news release.

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(AUDIO) The Rock Radio Debate Continues

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(by Ed Ryan) Recently I wrote an opinion piece about Rock & Roll and my lost love for the format I grew up with. There was a lot of reaction to this piece, mainly split down the middle from readers. However, those that have worked in that format, disagreed 100%. They say the format is alive and thriving. And obviously there are Classic Rock stations doing quite well across the country. Someone who has developed a stellar reputation in the industry is Jeff Pollack. Pollack disagrees that the format is fading and sent a letter which you can read here as well. We gave Jeff a call to get specifics from him on why he believes this format isn't on a respirator. Here is that full interview. Although I'm not sure I agree that someone who listens to The Doors also listens to Jay Z and Eminem Pollack details how the format has changed, survived and spawned other splintered rock formats that do very well even today.  

Here's my full interview with the gret Jeff Pollack

Also, Check out Jeff's recent piece at the Huffington post.

Jeff's letter to Radio Ink after we ran THIS PIECE

People getting tired of Pink Floyd? So that's the reason for the recent format shifts? Glad we're all learning the real reasons from Radio Ink.
I know you were looking for a reaction and you got it, but maybe next time you should realize that putting forth such a confused conclusion based on what are actually wildly different competitive scenarios simply represents evolution and attrition, where the stronger survive and those who are behind sensibly explore their options. But to even hint that classic rock, around since the late 70's when legendary PDs realized the enduring appeal of the music, is dead, is just silly talk.
If your article instead pointed to some of the real challenges facing contemporary rock formats in PPM markets, I think more of us would have been interested. If you had asked for example, how a rock format, whether Active, Alternative or AAA, can hope to compete in PPM markets without being more cume focused in their music, that would be interesting. Or, without a big cuming morning show, how can you compete with the big stations in your markets, that would have been a more thoughtful discussion. Or why is it that certain rock stations effectively reach a large audience, while others argue themselves into a no win spiral trying to arbitrarily decide what is rock and whether a particular artist "fits" the format. Or addressed whether the current state of new music is a primary issue in the health of contemporary rock formats, a point made by Virgil Thompson in his rebuttal about how "current 'rock' is in a valley and has been for awhile". But instead, you dismissed all of the various permutations of rock in a sweeping manner.

The world is completely different than it was even 10 years ago. Rock fans today own Jay Z, Jason Aldean and Eminem records, listen to Lynryd Skynyrd and The Who, while others are perfectly comfortable with defining Coldplay and Nickelback as rock. The audience has decided that rock is a whole lot wider than many gatekeepers do. I would have liked a sensible debate about real issues facing rock formats going forward, not statements that are barely worth responding to. You can do better.
Jeff Pollack

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Pirate in Puerto Rico Slapped With $15K Fine

Eleuterio Lebron is the owner of this pirate station and receiver of the fine. In June the FCC started getting complaints and found Lebron's signal at 88.5. The bureau using its fancy direction-finding equipment located the building in Puerto Rico and agents determined the signals exceeded limits for operation. Lebron confirmed he was the station owner and he shut it down. The bureau also found out Lebron doesn't hold any license to broadcast, another item the government frowns upon. That earned him a $15,000 fine. 

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Senior VP For Scarborough Kathy Pilhuj Dies at 61.

Kathy Pilhuj was senior vice president of data collection at consumer and media research firm Scarborough Research and a leading innovator in the market research industry. Pilhuj spent 23 years with Scarborough before being hospitalized since the end of July 2011. She succumbed surrounded by family and is survived by her husband Gene, their children Nick and Kate, and their grandchildren Ariel and Daniel.

?Kathy had great energy and passion and was a respected manager, an inspiring mentor and a compassionate friend," said Dan Mallett, executive vice president, research and analytics at Scarborough.  ?She will be missed by all of us who had the great fortune of working with her.?

Pilhuj?s main responsibility at Scarborough was managing the company?s two telephone interviewing centers.  She was well known as an innovator, developing a number of industry best practices such as empirically-proven hiring tests, continuous every call measurement of interviewer performance and an over-arching quality/response rate concept called "best use of sample." Kathy also led the programming, IT and Data Collection teams and was responsible for dozens of servers and data lines and hundreds of internal programs necessary to collect and process Scarborough?s data.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pandora Launches Website Redesign

It's going to be a busy week for music apps with the iHeartradio concert this weekend and now Pandora nudging into the news announcing a new site redesign. The redesigns is focused on giving advertisers an enhanced platform to deliver their messages including bigger videos and enhanced social media opportunities for advertisers to connect with customers.

Pandora Chief Revenue Officer John Trimble says ?All the great advertising options enabled by the HTML5-based site redesign lets us execute even more creative and targeted ads at scale with highly measurable results for our partners. Advertisers can further leverage the Pandora personal radio experience to connect directly with listeners and tap into the passion music evokes.?  

The new site allows advertisers to take advantage of:
? New Look and Feel: A new centralized content area accentuates each ad execution by increasing the space and immersing the user via an integrated skin for campaigns. Additionally, the modern page design scales to provide more creative possibilities for advertisers with additional ad formats.
? Additional Screen Real Estate: Ads are seamlessly integrated across the entire site while listeners explore music and artist content and engage in robust social experiences, such as interacting with self and friend profiles and feeds.
? Simplified Cross Platform Execution: Smooth platform parity between web and mobile, making it easier to execute cross-platform audio and visual ad campaigns.
? Bigger Videos: Video ads have been upgraded to a larger, full-screen video overlay, prominently showcasing advertisers' videos.
? Enhanced Social Features: New opportunities for advertisers to connect with listeners as they share and engage with others in the Pandora community and their social networks.

Check it out at

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Coast Guard Interference Gets Man $17K Fine

David Edward Perka was operating an amateur radio with a licensee. However, he was interfering with the United States Coast Guard which is another one of those things the feds frown upon. The FCC says Perka was maliciously interfering with the Coast Guard on the International Distress, Safety, and Calling Channel in Annapolis, Maryland. Perka's license does not allow him to operate in the Maritime Service. The unauthorized transmissions consisted of Perka making threatening statements to the USCG. Perka later admitted to FCC agents that the transmissions on April 6, 2008 were intentionally transmitted to harass the USCG.

Perka requested his fine be forgiven based on his inability to pay. The FCC has specific guidelines once a request to forgive a fine is requested. For example federal tax returns and financial statements must be provided. Perka didn't provide any of that to the commission so how all he has to provide is a check for 17 G's.

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Online's Granularity Compliments Broadcast's Reach

(by Renee Casis) Combining online audio with the broadcast radio can be a benefit in a combination buy, according to agency panelists who participated in the Internet Advertising Bureau?s first ?Streaming Audio for Agencies Day? held in New York City this week. While online audio provides listener data culled from registrations and server-side resources, broadcast radio delivers the critical one-to-many mass reach. A Targetspot study revealed that adding Internet radio to broadcast can increase recall up to 3 times, depending on the category.

?The hurdle,? said Chris Fontana from MediaVest, ?is audio ? not digital or broadcast,? indicating that radio, whether on-air or online, still has work to do in conveying its compelling story to the advertising community. Agency representatives acknowledged the challenges of working across what used to be defined areas, and agreed that collaborative efforts between digital and radio buying had advanced.

Sponsored by Triton Digital and The Media Dash, the debut event was an opportunity for many industry experts and advertising agency representatives to share insights, research, and discuss broadcast radio and streaming audio as entertainment and advertising platforms. In conjunction with the event, the IAB released a Digital Audio Advertising Overview, compiled from various sources by the association?s Audio Committee.  Download the Report here:

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Stitcher Radio Picks up $10 Million in Financing

Internet talk radio company Stitcher has closed a Series C round of venture capital financing. New Enterprise Associates led the $10 million round, which included investments from return investors Benchmark Capital, New Atlantic Ventures, and tech veterans including Ron Conway. Ravi Viswanathan, general partner, NEA, will join Stitcher's board of directors. Stitcher will use the funding build out a direct sales team and drive product development, including enhancing its platform for content partners.

With Stitcher consumers can create personalized stations from more than 6,000 different shows that cover news, entertainment, sports and comedy. The shows are continuously updated with new episodes and content on a listener's mobile devices, with no need for downloads or syncing. Stitcher offers CNN News, NPR's Fresh Air, E!'s Chelsea Lately, Rush Limbaugh, TechCrunch headlines, Marc Maron, and Fox Sports. Stitcher is also available in vehicles through the Ford SYNC platform and the Buick IntelliLink in-car connectivity system.

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The FCC's How to Behave During a Disaster Top Ten List

The FCC and FEMA have released new tips for consumers aimed at preparing them for major disasters when communications networks are more likely to be compromised or damaged. Listening to radio comes in at number 7, despite the FCC consistently poniting out how unreliable cell service is.

Today's joint letter said "Consumers with questions about their particular mobile phone devices should contact their wireless provide or equipment manufacturer." Although it does not tell consumers how to contact their provider when disaster strikes and their phone doesn't work.

Without further is the governments Top Ten List during a disaster:

1. If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1.  If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1.  If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies.
2. For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks.  Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay.  In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross?s Safe and Well program (
3. Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
4. If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion. 
5. Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone.
6. If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed.  You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts. 
7. Tune into broadcast television and radio for important news alerts.  If applicable, be sure that you know how to activate the closed captioning or video description on your television.
8. If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call.  Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or ?tweet? without a hands free device while driving.   
9. Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1.
10. Check regularly to find other helpful tips for preparing for disasters and other emergencies. 

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Business Host Susan Solovic Teams With AdLarge

AdLarge Media has partnered with leading small business expert Susan Solovic for exclusive national advertising sales representation of her recenty launched radio show, ?It?s Your Biz with Susan Solovic.? Solovic said, ?Having the right business partner is essential for success. I am delighted to join with AdLarge on this exciting undertaking.  Their experience and knowledge of national radio advertising have given me a great deal of confidence for a thriving and lasting radio show.?

?Susan and her guests deliver advice on turning a passion into a business, initiating a new venture, obtaining financing, capping expenses, and implementing revenue-generating tactics,? said Cathy Csukas, AdLarge Co-founder and President. ?The informative discussions with reknowned business leaders provide her audience with keen insights in an environment that is engaging and relavent to small business operators searching to advance and increase their enterprise.?

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Monday, September 26, 2011

More Positive Radio Numbers From Arbitron

Arbitron has released cumulative audience estimates for the 56 RADAR-rated networks. Compared to the Arbitron estimates from one year ago, network radio increased its weekly reach among Persons aged 12 and older by nearly half a million listeners.  Network radio reaches almost three out of four Persons age 12 and older each week, according to Arbitron. The September 2011 RADAR 110 report saw an increase in key demographics reached by network radio versus the September 2010 RADAR 106 report period.

Arbitron posts RADAR Radio Network Cume Rankings for Persons aged 18-49 and Persons aged 25-54 HERE. The sample size for the RADAR 110 Report is 395,598 persons aged 12 and older. This large sample is designed to provide more stability for key demographic estimates, dayparts and Market-by-Market Analysis reports, which report all individual DMAs.

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Mobile is More Than Just Increasing Cume

By Ivan Braiker

I have fond memories of the first time I learned about mobile marketing, back near the dawn of the current millennium. My immediate reaction was, ?This is exactly what radio needs.? Since 2004, I have been an evangelist for mobile marketing within the radio industry. I?ve said that mobile will help stations increase cume. I?ve said that mobile will help stations engage with listeners. I?ve said that mobile will help stations build re-marketable databases. All these things are as true today as they were in 2004. But here?s the real story ? mobile will help stations make money.

In the abstract, radio is everything that can be heard, that keeps the audience engaged? the music, news, sports and talk. But in the real world, stations need revenue to survive and thrive. There?s a finite amount of airtime that can be devoted to ads before audiences turn the dial. Stations must get creative with new ideas to generate revenue. I don?t have to tell you that mobile phone penetration is over 96% in the US (source: CTIA). Stations know that their audience is mobile, but what many don?t know is how to leverage that to their advantage.

Here are a few ideas:
Sponsored Alerts
If your station isn?t already providing text message alerts to opted-in listeners, then it?s time to start. Popular options include weather updates, school closings, traffic alerts, programming alerts and more. These alerts offer sponsorship opportunities for your advertisers which deliver real revenue opportunities. For example ? a mom receives an SMS alert that her kids? school is closed for the day due to inclement weather. The alert is sponsored by the local movie theater and states, ?Not sure what to do with the kids? Get $5 off movie tickets today only!? The ad is timely, relevant and local ? all the ingredients for success. From an advertiser standpoint, they know exactly what they?re getting ? the number of people opted-into the database who are all local and relevant consumers.

One Day Only Sales
Air time is always at a premium, so offering advertisers low cost ten second spots for a limited time with vanity  keywords is an easy way to quickly add revenue to your bottom line. For example, a station in Knoxville recently encouraged advertisers to purchase  keywords including ?ski,? ?money,? and ?car.? For example, the ?ski? spot encouraged listeners to text the word ?ski? to be opted-in for snow reports exclusive to the sponsoring ski resort.  For the advertiser, the premium program gave the resort a market advantage over the three other competitive resorts in the area. For the station, the one day sale generated over $100,000 in revenue for the station.

Mobile Coupons
Mobile coupons have a wide reach, they?re simple to implement and they can be delivered via text message promoted in a short spot. Mobile coupons are unique in that they allow a station to actually track an ad from the time it airs in a given market, right through to the consumer?s final purchase stage. This high degree of traceability allows you to measure the success of campaigns in real time and make changes on the fly. It also provides an invaluable tool for your ad sales team to help them close the deal.

While I wholeheartedly still believe that mobile marketing is exactly what radio needs ? I?ve realized over the years that it is so much more than that. Mobile marketing is the road to revenue. It?s more than an engagement tool, it?s a money generator.

Ivan Braiker is a former broadcaster who continues to love the radio industry. He is now the CEO, Hipcricket and can be reacjed at

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Slacker Radio Offers Personalized ESPN Radio Content

ESPN Audio and Slacker have teamed to launch interactive ESPN Radio content which is now available to Slacker Radio listeners. Listeners using the free Slacker Basic Radio service now have access to an interactive, programmed ESPN station. Senior VP for Production Business Divisions at ESPN Traug Keller said "Offering new and different ways for sports fans to access ESPN Radio content continues to be rewarding and exciting. This new relationship puts the fan more in control by providing customizable ESPN content."

Slacker Radio Plus and Slacker Premium Radio subscribers now have unlimited access to the ESPN Radio integration, including an ad-free programmed station with unlimited skips and the ability to create highly personalized, myESPN Radio sports stations based on favorite sports, teams or ESPN programs. Subscribers also have the option to add hourly SportsCenter updates to any Slacker station.

Slacker is the first radio service to feature ESPN Radio in a personalized context, with up-to-the-minute coverage of all major sporting events and top news stories on both a local and national level. The interactive ESPN Radio station also offers access to content from multiple ESPN programs and platforms, including Mike and Mike in the Morning, SportsCenter, The Herd with Colin Cowherd and more.

The agreement between the country's largest sports radio network and the Slacker personal radio service now creates the most comprehensive and most personal listening experience for sports and music enthusiasts alike. ESPN on Slacker Radio is now available on the web, on home entertainment devices and on leading smartphones with optimized ESPN station creation on Android devices and the web. An updated Slacker app with ESPN for iOS has been submitted and will be available pending Apple approval.

The complete Slacker Radio experience includes expert-programmed music stations, ABC news, comedy, custom artist-hosted showcase stations and leading music festival stations along with the ability for listeners to create their own personalized radio stations. Slacker Premium Radio also includes on-demand access to the entire Slacker music library featuring over 8 million songs. The addition of ESPN to its increasing line-up of stations and services reinforces that Slacker Radio has the most varied and compelling range of customizable content offered by any radio service, while maintaining the most personal listening experience.

Go to for more information

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(AUDIO) Radio Managers: Are You Ready to Fail?

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Do you start your work day so worried about failing you never try anything new or innovative? Are you so fearful of what your boss will say or do to you that have just become part of normal? Seth Godin has a little advice for all radio managers, and that is, take a half hour every day, and go out and fail. The best-selling author and brilliant marketer releases his 14th book today, called "We Are All Weird." In it he argues the era of mass marketing is over and how we should all, including radio, focus on our tribes. Godin also predicts spectrum will be worthless in 5 years. And, he says radio loves to copy. "That's not winning. That's not poking the box. Radio needs more leaders and fewer managers. Great leaders are people who fail." Radio Ink editor Ed Ryan had a chance to interview Godin about his new book, his thoughts on radio and why people should fail. Listen to it here or download it from iTunes

Listen to Radio Ink Editor Ed Ryan's interview with Seth Godin
Purchase Seth's latest book below.

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Sabo Says Radio Lacks Innovation.

In the October 10th issue of Radio Ink magazine, Merlin Media CEO Randy Michaels is our cover story. In the issue we also speak to Merlin Chief Operating Officer Walter Sabo who tells Radio Ink he was very happy about the minute-by-minute coverage the radio trades and Chicago press gave the new company. "It underlines how little innovation has been in radio for the past decade, how few people are doing anything new. How little showmanship and craftsmanship there is."

Sabo also says Merlin is starting to bring that innovation back. "We are waking up the show business and competitive instincts of the radio industry. We are in show business. We are here to make a show. Our purpose is to get attention. That's why radio is here. Our purpose is to get attention, serve and audience, entertain an audience, inform an audience, and draw a crowd. I guess we are good barkers.

Sabo also says despite CBS's decision to simulcast its Chicago news station on FM, he expects his listeners will come from another source. "It has been my experience with the FM Spoken-Word stations that I have put on, like Real Radio in Orlando or New Jersey 101.5, we share almost nothing with the traditional AM talk stations. We are in a very different format, targeting a very different audience. You look at Real Radio in Orlando or New Jersey 101.5, less than 5% of that audience, less than 5% of the cume, is shared with the AM talk stations. In Orlando, it came from XL, MMO and the Classic Rock station. In New Jersey it was with the AC stations. I expect, because we are on FM, where the audience is, I expect the vast, vast majority of the share and the audience will come from music stations."

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"Radio Cheering For Clear Channel."

Clear Channel Radio President John Hogan is on the cover of this weeks Radio Ink magazine. Hogan discusses how Clear Channel plans to dominate the digital space with the release of the new iHeartradio app. He also discusses how and why Clear Channel succeeding is good for the entire radio industry. Here is the question Radio Ink editor ed Ryan put to Hogan. "You may not care about this, but do you think the radio industry is cheering for you, cheering that the iHeart app does well? Read on for his answer.

Hogan: "I do care. We think of ourselves as being in a class on one, but a healthy vibrant radio industry is good for everybody. We think that the kind of innovation and creativity that we can show is, hopefully,  things that the rest of the industry would cheer on. This is great news for radio. This shows that radio is relevant. I believe that we are going to be the first traditional media company to successfully make the turn into being a new media company." 

Hogan: "There aren't any examples yet of old media companies that have figured out how to do it. I believe that this will demonstrate, convincingly, that not only can we, but we are doing it. That should be great news for radio. It is a very competitive industry, but it is my belief that our colleagues in the radio business see this as a positive. Over the last 6 to 7 months, there has been a lot of positive news about radio, and Clear Channel has featured in much of that. What's good for Clear Channel is, I think, good for the radio industry. My sense is that our competitors feel good about this."

Pick up the latest issue of Radio Ink to read the entire John Hogan interview.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Immediacy Now Social's Advantage

The other day I was driving into Atlanta, listening to the traffic report on the local NPR station.  Apparently, there was a major accident directly ahead of me that had the 3 right lanes closed.  The announcer was very clear in pointing out 3 right lanes were still closed. I should have gotten off at the next exit and started taking the back roads.  But prior experience compelled me to stay the course. 

Traffic was actually moving pretty well, so I was soon at the location where the accident was ?still? being cleared.  All lanes were open.  No emergency vehicles, no wrecked cars?nothing.  Moments later, yet another traffic report alerted me to the 3 phantom lane closures.

From experience, I?d come to start assuming that what I hear in radio traffic reports probably happened 20-30 minutes ago.  I?m sure there was an accident.  I?m sure 3 lanes were closed.  But it was old news.  All of us in that area knew it, but the radio station didn?t.  Radio wasn?t giving the latest information.  They were giving the illusion they have the latest information.

Here was yet another example of something radio used to be valued for and do so well?live, useful, accurate information.  Infinitely faster than newspaper and television.  A lifeline in a world with no phones in cars.  But there?s a new media in town.  And people do have phones in their cars?really smart ones.

Take an inventory of all the information your station does or could disseminate:
? Weather
? Traffic
? Breaking News
? School Closings
? Album Releases
? Concert Info (including parking)
? Local Festival or Even Info (including parking!)
? Artist News
? In-town Celebrity Sightings
? Significant Deals from your Advertisers

This is all really valuable stuff to your listeners.  Are you going to make them wait until the end of an 8-song supersweep to get it, on the outside chance they?ll catch and comprehend it during the jock?s 7-second ?information break??  And will the jock have the most current info, or will they be reading off a card written last night?  Or is there a jock at all?

If you don?t embrace the immediacy of information at the same speed and accuracy that smartphone users can now collect and share it amongst themselves, your reputation as an information source will continue its slide into irrelevancy.  People will get the info somewhere else.  The only good news is you won?t be alone; the 30-minute network evening newscasts will slide into irrelevancy right along with you.

Takeaway: I don?t care if your religion dictates you play the Adele song 10 times in a row?the world doesn?t stop, and your station had better be posting and tweeting accurate information live and instantly so that your brand remains a go-to source for it.

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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Dickey Wants to Compete With Groupon

That's what the Cumulus CEO tells the Wall Street Journal. "We see this deal as giving us scale in the local arena. We'll have 2,000 local sellers in 120 cities that all have relationships with key vendors." Cumulus' daily deals program called SweetJack started back in April in Atlanta and now Cumulus is expanding it out to to Dallas and Houston. It rolls out into 18 more markets over the next several months.

Dickey tells the paper "DJ's can promote Sweetjack deals on air without using ad inventory. If, for example, SweetJack members receive an offer for unlimited popcorn at an Atlanta Hawks NBA game, the next day "our morning guys can talk about how full they are."

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Cumulus Makes First Major Change.

Fresh off final approval of the purchase of Citadel, Cumulus has made its first major change. Washington's 630 WMAL-AM will now also be available on 105.9-FM. The goal is to "compete directly with the nation's highest-grossing radio station," WTOP. Beginning today at noon, WMAL will simulcast its news and talk programming on 105.9 FM WVRX -- providing FM listeners in the DC area with access to WMAL's 85 years of programming and community service.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says "When we grew to 570 stations nationwide last week, after closing the Citadel deal, I told my team to be creative at using innovative ways for the newly acquired stations to bolster our community involvement and that's what our Washington, DC team has done so elegantly here."

WMAL GM Jeff Boden says ?By expanding our successful brand to the FM dial, we will be a viable listening and advertising option for many more people in the Washington, D.C., area. There are many potential listeners who never listen on AM, and we are now making programs of wide interest available to the largest possible audience."

Cumulus says, "this simulcast uniquely positions WMAL/WVRX to compete head-to-head with WTOP, whose $57 million in annual ad sales make it the highest-grossing station in the nation. While WTOP has a repetitive news-wheel format, WMAL/WVRX programming is interactive through a mix of news reports and call-in shows that allow for engagement with listeners. 

Programming simulcast as of noon today on AM and FM includes The Chris Plante Show, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and ?Morning Majority? (hosted by former Fox News anchor Brian Wilson, ?The Daily Caller?s? Mary Katharine Ham and WMAL veteran Bryan Nehman).

On Friday, following approval from the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission, Cumulus completed a $2.2 billion purchase of Citadel Broadcasting.

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MIW Mentoring Program Looking For 3 Motivated Women

After witnessing what the MIW mentoring program does, at the Radio show in Chicago, women interested in advancing in radio should not waste another minute reaching out to this organization. We would advise any women interested in advancing in radio to take apply for this program as soon as possible. Only 3 candidates will be chosen. There is no doubt women who enter the mentoring program will have access to some of the most successful minds in our industry. It's a rare opportunity to learn from radio executives who have paid their dues, made mistakes and gained success. They will provide 3 very lucky individuals with insight that can never be learned in any textbook.

This is the 11th year of the mentoring program, which matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals who are leaders in all aspects of radio. "This is a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio," said Lindsay Cerajewski, Chair of the 2012 MIW Radio Group's Mentoring committee and General Sales Manager at CBS Radio?s WUSN-FM in Chicago. ?We look forward to another outstanding program in 2012."

Three candidates from the radio broadcasting industry will be selected for the 2012 program.  For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, please go to The deadline is Friday, October 28th. The program is named in the memory of Mildred Carter (pictured), who, along with her husband, Andrew "Skip" Carter, founded the first African American owned radio station in the U.S. in 1950, when they turned on KPRS Kansas City, Missouri.  Mrs. Carter ran the Carter Broadcast Group for many years after the death of Skip Carter, before turning over control of the company to her grandson, Michael Carter in 1987.

The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) is dedicated to using its influence and resources to support women in radio to develop strong management and leadership skills. The MIWs are equally committed to advocating the advancement of women to senior positions in radio companies and corporations.

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Jack O'Rourke of KYW Philly Dies at Age 80.

Sportscaster Jack O?Rourke collapsed and died after covering a Phillies game. O?Rourke began his career at KYW in 1966. During that time he worked as a news anchor and served as the station?s City Hall bureau chief. O?Rourke lived in Secane, Pa., and leaves behind a wife, four children, seven  grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. O?Rourke also worked for NBC Radio in New York for 20 years before returning to Philadelphia in 1989. While at NBC, O?Rourke was presented the coveted George Foster Peabody award, which recognizes journalism excellence, distinguished achievement and public service.

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PD's Here's How To Keep 'Denise' Out Of Your Life

I recently wrote an article about the new 'artificial intelligence' radio personality, 'Denise' and got a lot of feedback. The spirit of my piece wasn't that a computer-generated disc jockey is the answer for anybody or that developing her was radio blaspheme, but that if today's radio talent want Denise's aircheck relegated to programmers' junk mail folder, you should make sure you don't sound canned, generic or like everybody else. 

I guess I'm just one of those delusional programming types who still believes in the value of our on-air talent and how you can be what distinguishes us from being just a jukebox or a Pandora.  In these days of smaller staffs and more duties, it's not uncommon to take an assembly line approach (even unintentionally), however it shouldn't be an excuse for being ordinary.  Much of what you'll see over the next several postings will seem terribly obvious to many but I'd challenge you to listen to a lot of radio in various markets and tell me that, save for a few driven, motivated stars, there's much inspired, passionate, fired-up radio going on.

SMILE, HAVE FUN AND GET INTO WHAT YOU DO!-  There's nothing more boring than hearing a radio personality sounding detached or uninterested.  Whether live or pre-recorded, think of some sort of 'pre-game' ritual to get fired up before your show.  Deliver your station's calls/logo and positioner with passion and enthusiasm (never just rush through it just to get to what's next).  If you don't sound pumped and interested in your listeners, they'll likely never be interested in you.

GO IN WITH A PLAN- It's been said that great radio talent is in show prep mode 24/7/365 and that makes a lot of sense.  What's the day's big buzz?  Who's saying crazy things?  What are your listeners talking about?.  It could be a hot movie or major local event, tonight's big game or some unusually great/ bad weather...there's always something.  If your listeners are talking about it, you should be talking about it.  The best talent aren't just great at talking but also at listening...hearing what's going on around you and your audience.  Prepare your breaks and how you're going to get in and get out of it so you're totally confident.  More than ever, being totally focused and concise is vital.

YOUR VOICE IS YOUR GIFT...SO IS YOUR MIND- When I got into radio as a teenager, I was worried I didn't have a good enough voice to be much and was told "it's not what voice you have but how you use it".  How true.  Examine your pacing, intensity, inflection.  And, use the great range God gave you as an artist uses different hues and colors.  The calls/logo doesn't necessarily have to sound exactly the same all the time, nor does your pacing.  Tailor your approach to the song you're presenting or coming out of.  If you just rip through breaks, they'll all tend to sound the same.  Just think of going through a fast food drive-through and how much of their introduction tends to sound like 'noise'.  Why?  Because they repeat basically the same thing the same way hundreds of times a day, smoking through it so they can take your order.  That's why many of us think, "huh???" when we hear them.  Since you're far more talented and skilled, please don't allow yourself to fall into that trap.

DITCH THE CLICHE WORDS/PHRASES:  In other words, speak your listeners' language.  "On your Tuesday", "your chance to win", "keep it here", "register to win", "by request"...many jocks say this sort of thing hour after hour, day after day, week after week, all at about the same pace, tone and intensity.  There are about a thousand ways to say nearly everything but most talent don't get much past #2 or 3.  If you have a crutch you're having a tough time breaking, one exercise is to get a legal pad and write your crutch phrase at the top; then, give yourself sixty seconds or so to jot down alternative words or phrases.  You won't even have to take that into the studio- the exercise itself will stimulate your mind and help steer you out of the ditch.

I realize a lot of these things might seem like Radio 101...basic, fundamental, obvious stuff.  Yet, as multi-tasked as you're asked to be, it's sometimes easy to just crank your show out and not put lots of thought and preparation into crafting your content so it sounds fresh, different and uniquely you.  None of us wants radio talent to become irrelevant and if we're constantly finding ways to stand out from the crowd, we'll more easily maintain our value.  Radio is, after all, the most intimate form of show business.  Are you putting on a show or just whipping through to get it out of the way.  That is our choice.

Reach out to JJ at or visit his blog at

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

HD Radio Has Best Radio Show Ever

HD Radio had a great showing at the Radio Show in Chicago last week. Six Chicagoland dealers provided cars that were on the floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel, including; Ford, VW, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru and Volvo. All the vehicles had HD Radio receivers built in, and all were impressive  implementations that show many of the new capabilities digital offers to broadcasters and listeners. iBiquity President and CEO Robert Struble says it was the best show the company has had so far. "That is driven by the progress we have made in cars and on the consumer side. Broadcasters recognize it is real now, and they are responding."

Struble had nonstop meetings at the show with many broadcast leaders. In one day alone he had 14 meetings. "We had a 'mini booth' in the  suite that showed all of our progress, and a few next generation devices which we cannot yet display publicly. We also made the point that the broadcast infrastructure has some catching up to do. The features available in the HD Radio receivers now being sold in many cases like album art have capabilities that most stations are not yet delivering. In our perpetual 'chicken and egg' rollout, the receiver 'eggs' are now in front of the broadcaster 'chickens'. That must be addressed, or we will miss our opportunity to compete in the digital dashboard."

Struble says the automobiles with HD Radio installed clearly highlight the difference between analog and digital. "In new cars, digital stations will have an advantage over analog utilizing those big bright screens in the battle for the digital dash. If I am broadcasting in analog, the consumer will see my frequency, and that's it. With digital, we see song title and artist, HD2/HD3 indicators, a tag button to save info on a song, and rolling out now, album art, which consumers have come to expect. These car displays show analog is being left behind."
There are now 19 different brands carrying HD which you can check out at High end guys like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Audi. Mass market brands like Ford, Toyota, VW, Hyundai and Kia. Struble adds "broadcasters can anticipate that the announcements of new automakers launching HD Radio Technology will continue at the same impressive pace we have seen."
These new vehicles contain a dash full of digital capabilities according to Struble. "Higher quality audio. New content with HD2, HD3 and HD4 channels. Scrolling text showing song artist, title and advertiser messages. iTunes Tagging, allowing listeners to store songs they like for later purchase on iTunes. And our latest, Artist Experience, which enables broadcasters to send images like album art to those big beautiful screens. Again, what you saw in these new cars is the night and day difference between analog and digital."
Struble says radio is the only medium in the car (or anywhere else for that matter) that is not digital. Hopefully enough said. People expect digital. This is both a matter of long term competitiveness and revenue and business upside for radio broadcasters. 

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Stop Gaming Your Listeners.

Most radio station program directors tell you they are on Facebook and Twitter.  Some will tell you how many ?fans? or ?likes? they have, but that's not really engagement.  It?s a moment a listener did something once.  Stations can use social media to compel action from important influential listeners. Unfortunately, looking at most radio station Facebook groups and pages, you can see many in our industry are trying to ?game? listeners with technology instead of building value relationships with actionable payoff. 

So, ask yourself if you really know your efforts are paying off or are you just going through the motions being hopeful that good things are happening? Here are five (5) ways to insure you are on the right path with your social media to build more valuable relationships: 

1. Recognize that all this social media has a human element and only authentic communication focused on benefits for the listener will actually work in connecting you with the listeners that will matter for your brand.  Bull is transparent.  Once listeners smell it, you?re done. 

2. Make sure your focus is listener-first and not radio station-first.  This requires focusing all efforts on the listener experience so you can make sure there is value aimed at the listener and designed with their passion in mind.  This is the reverse of many radio stations that are focused only on what they want listeners to do.  It is okay to have desires for what you want listeners to do, but you have to build that right so listeners are drawn in by what they want, what they care about and what they are passionate about.  Your team that works on contribution to social media must understand this idea and put it into practice regularly.

3. Be responsive.  Another way to look at this is to say, ?Listen to what they are saying about you in social media, about how they use your product and about what frustrations they may have about your product.?  But don?t just listen ? prepare to respond frequently and be ready to make their experience with you better.  Why?  Because putting in effort to make that experience better gets you noticed and often gets you loyalty. 

4. Work to draw listeners to your on-air for passions they want.  This is not contesting.  Too many radio stations spend almost their entire focus on contesting in social media and are quickly tuned out by listeners.  Contests can be good.  However, posts or tweets about contests should not dominate your social media productivity.  If they do, your social efforts will surely die.

5. Establish guidelines for how much of each type of content your team posts and who does how much posting.  Don?t have a plan for percentage of each kind of content?  Don?t have a plan for your personalities and how they interact with your Facebook page?  This is what many PDs and radio social media content control managers are unfortunately missing today at radio.  If you?re smart, you should be focused on these issues so you can have a productive plan that really provides benefits for your listeners and for your brand.
Social media platforms are already populated by a large percentage of your listeners and they are seeking validation, influence, voyeuristic opportunities and recognition.  People are more likely to fall under the influence of your personalities than your radio station brand.  Think of personalities as social entrance ramps to your brand.  Listeners will smell you quickly if you are only trying to game them. Instead, work to shift your focus constantly to listener causes, passions and benefits that really matter to them. 

Pour those things into your efforts, but have a plan.  That will insure you add value to listeners? social situations.  Sure, technology gives you potential access to influence people to spend more time with your radio brand.  If you forget the human element though, you?re already dead.  Now, let?s go out there and make sure you keep the actual listener value in your social media play, people.

Loyd Ford programmed very successful radio brands in markets of all sizes for years, including KRMD AM & FM in Shreveport, WSSL and WMYI in Greenville, WKKT in Charlotte and WBEE in Rochester, NY.  Learn more about Loyd here:  Reach out to Loyd via e-mail HERE Visit his Facebook radio social media page HERE

(9/19/2011 5:36:02 AM)
Loyd, as usual, you are right on the mark. I have noticed that many personalities may have FB pages, but they don't care about them, it's just another part of the job, like personal appearances. Radio and it's people used to be alot more accessible. Social media is a good way to help listeners feel close to us again. Great article.

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What it Takes to Rise to The Top.

Since he was a teenager, Steve Newberry wanted to be on the radio. That passion continues to this day for the CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting who still pulls a weekend airshift. "Some people love spending their Saturday mornings on a golf course, I love being at the radio station" Newberry tells Radio Ink. "Saturday mornings are less chaotic, so I'm not answering business calls or trying to solve other problems. It's just me in the studio and our listeners spending a Saturday morning together. The additional benefit is it keeps me updated on the technologies we're using and keeps me connected to our programming folks."

Last Friday morning Newberry won the National Radio Award by the National Association of Broadcasters which honors an individual who is an outstanding leader in the radio industry. Previous National Radio Award recipients include Charles Warfield, Ed Christian, Bruce Reese, Jerry Lee, David Kennedy, John Dille, Lowry Mays, Jeff Smulyan, Bill Stakelin, and Erica Farber. A moving video of his success was shown as Newberry, his family and close friends sat and watched from the front row. He says "the pictures were all familiar, but when combined with the unbelievably kind and generous comments by those it the video, it became surreal. I was stunned by the experience and so appreciative of everyone's efforts and kindness."

Newberry talks about the passion he had - and still has - for radio. "The magic of the sounds that came out of that radio on the kitchen counter drew me to this business.  The way my family listened to the morning news over breakfast, for a calming voice during tornado warnings and for school closings on snowy days.  The way John Records Landecker on WLS (all the way from Chicago) owned nights in Kentucky.  The way the entire State of Kentucky would stop and listen to Cawood Ledford when the Kentucky Wildcats played basketball.  It was such a part of my childhood."

Newberry says becoming a radio station owner is something he set his sights on early in his life. "I actually had that realization when I was in college, because until then, it seemed as if it was a goal too impossible to achieve.  My advice to someone wanting to achieve the same goal would be to set an objective, be willing to sacrifice, work hard and have patience.  It might not be easily realized, but if you are always learning and moving toward that goal, you are making progress.  Learn from every mistake and experience, and be tenacious."

We asked Newberry was the key to good community radio? "I can give you an answer, but that is a question we are always trying to answer and improve on.  We want to be connected to our listeners, and relatable to their lives.  We want to be responsive to their needs, and the needs of their community.  We want to always be in touch, but especially so in difficult times, and we want to focus more on what's happening outside our building then inside our studios.  Sometimes we get it more right than other times, but we are always trying.
And the key to being a successful manager in radio? "First, hire great people.  Surround yourself with great people, set realistic goals and expect those great people to do great things. Second, empower those people with a clear set of values  When an employee has to make an independent decision, they should be empowered to do so.  However, I adamantly believe an organization must have a set of core values to guide decisions when those circumstances arise.  Third, be a leader.  Leadership is difficult because it requires making difficult decisions, taking public positions and being criticized for those actions.  Leaders are proactive, not reactive and anticipate tomorrow's challenges rather than chasing today's distractions."

And, the key to motivating radio people to succeed? Like any profession, people respond to incentives and recognition.  A sincere "thank you" goes a long way, and being a part of a successful operation is always motivating. Motivating radio people has another unique component: the passion of service to our communities and listeners.  Anyone that has ever participated in a winter coat drive, St. Jude telethon, severe weather coverage or broadcast the return of troops from overseas gains an entirely different kind of motivation to succeed.  Passion about service motivates radio people to succeed.

Steve Newberry has been an owner and operator for over 25 years. His enthusiasm for radio is crystal clear whenever you speak to him or see him around other radio people. He has held many leadership positions in broadcasting including joint board chairman of the NAB, and a member of the board of directors and executive committees for RAB. As president and CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation. In this capacity, Newberry oversees 22 radio stations with facilities throughout Kentucky.

Congratulate Steve at

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Report: Nassau Broadcasting Headed for Involuntary Bankruptcy

Bloomberg is reporting that Nassau is facing an involuntary petition for bankruptcy from creditors for which the company owes over $80 million. Goldman Sachs says it is owed nearly $70 million of the $83 million from the Nassau debt. Fortress has also made a claim for more than $11.2 million, and P.E. Capital LLC. seeks $2.8 million. The Chapter 7 petition has been filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington. Nassau runs or owns stations in New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

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Done Deal: Citadel Shareholders Approve Cumulus Merger

September 15, 2011: Cumulus Media and Citadel Broadcasting will become one, as Citadel shareholders approved the cash and stock deal to merge with Cumulus at a special meeting this morning in New York.

Citadel said in its announcement, "The merger agreement has been adopted by 78.51 percent of the outstanding shares of Citadel Class A common stock and Class B common stock voting as a single class and 88.86 percent of the Class A and Class B shares of common stock voting."

The Department of Justice announced earlier this week that it had completed its antitrust review of the transaction, and the FCC gave its OK yesterday. Cumulus will spin off 15 stations to meet regulators' conditions.

The merger is scheduled to close tomorrow.

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Marci Ryvicker: "Radio Needs A Better Message."

Marci Ryvicker is a director at Wells Fargo Securities and someone who holds a lot of clout with some of the most powerful people in the radio industry. When public companies hold quarterly earnings conference calls, Ryvicker is always asking questions and she's usually first in line. Her reports on the broadcast industry are often quoted and you could tell she garners a lot of respect from the group heads who were on a Thursday morning panel that followed her presentation. Her message to broadcasters was; "you need to work hard to keep radio relevant."

Ryvicker said she sees tremendous upside for radio, adding, we just don't know when we're going to see that upside. She said she expects radio to be down 1% in 2011 and up only 3% in 2012. Ryvicker told broadcasters she sees 4 areas for growth; Automotive, NTR Revenue, political and mergers and acquisitions, although she's not to sure about that last one. Referencing Cumulus' purchase of Citadel, Ryvicker said that's "one slow growth company buying another slow growth company. Does that really equal growth?"

On the political front, despite this category being very good to radio,  Ryvicker says radio should be getting more political because of radio's local appeal. "You need a better message." And that may be coming with 2012 expected to be huge for political advertising. Cumulus just made a corporate hire specifically focused on political. Other companies have or plan to do the same.

Finally, Ryvicker threw out some numbers that some people have already started to dispute, and most certainly, others will question after reading this. She said radio listening is already down 6% and it's expected to drop another 6% in the near future as time spent with mobile devices is expected to double as consumer habits change. Recent Arbitron studies would counter Ryvicker's statement that radio listening is down. And if you listen to Bob Pittman of Clear Channel, Gordon Smith at the NAB and Jeff Healy at the RAB they've been saying quite the opposite all week long.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Study: Radio Still King Of In-Car Media

September 15, 2011: Despite increasing competition, radio is still the leading choice for information and entertainment in the car, according to "The Road Ahead," a new study from Arbitron, Edison Research, and Scarborough Research. The study, introduced at the Radio Show in Chicago, looked at consumers' use of 16 different in-car media and entertainment choices, and found that 85 percent of all drivers or passengers reported using AM/FM radio in the car, well ahead of CD players, in second place with 68 percent. AM/FM reaches nearly 90 percent of adults ages 25-54 in the car.

Arbitron SVP/Marketing Bill Rose said, "AM/FM radio has remained strong in a much more complex in-car media landscape and continues to be the first choice of consumers for in-car entertainment and information."

AM/FM also dominates in-car time, with 64 percent, while CD players take 21 percent of in-car listening time. All other devices combined add up to 15 percent.

Digital options like satellite radio and iPods connected to a car stereo "remain rather small," but are "growing and very well loved by those who use them." One in four people 18 and up have used and iPod or other MP3 player to listen to audio in the car, but 55 percent of 18-24s have done so. Six percent of people 18 and up have listened to Pandora via a cellphone in the car, compared to 20 percent of 18-24s.

Telematics services, which allow data sharing between a vehicle and information and entertainment networks, is attracting a "high level of interest," says the study. "More than 60 percent say they are interested in accident response features, stolen-vehicle recovery systems, parked-vehicle tampering alerts, and remote unlocking capability."

There's also interest in in-car media applications, such as pause, rewind, and replay for radio in the car and built-in wireless Internet.

"We are at the dawn of another wave of in-car media and entertainment options," Edison Research President Larry Rosin said. "In 2003 we looked at the in-car environment just as iPods, GPS, and satellite radio were starting, and these devices have now become more widely used. Today telematics and other in-car media options are bringing new capabilities that have captured substantial interest among consumers."

For the study, 1,505 people 18 and up were interviewed in July 2011. The interviewees were previous Scarborough Research respondents, chosen at random from a national sample.

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Great Showing At 2011 Radio Show

In 2010 The NAB and RAB held their first joint Radio show after years and years of throwing around the idea. In that first year attendance was 1,785. Thursday the two groups announced the 2011 attendance was up 24% to 2,206. And Radio Ink's very unscientific poll of attendees (we asked as many people as we could) was very positive.

Attendees enjoyed the breakout sessions and the vendors said foot traffic around their booths was strong. There were many positive comments about Bob Pittman's pro-radio speech, the keynote from Eddie Combs of Sears, Neil Golden at McDonalds and the wealth of information from the session featuring representatives from Allstate and Walgreens. No doubt, attendees love hearing from advertisers and how their stations can better serve their needs. The 2012 Radio show will be held in Dallas.

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2011 NAB Marconi Award Winners Announced

Winners of the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards were announced Thursday night at the annual NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show held at the Radio Show in Chicago, Illinois. The show was hosted by Elvis Duran from Z100 in New York who is also syndicated by the Premiere Radio Networks. Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. Here are the winners: 

Legendary Station
WTOP-FM Washington, D.C.

AC Station of the Year
WMGX-FM South Portland, ME
Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year
Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Networks
CHR Station of the Year
KPWR FM Los Angeles, CA

Major Market Station of the Year
WBEB-FM Philadelphia, PA
Country Station of the Year
KYGO-FM Denver, CO
Large Market Station of the Year
WCCO-AM Minneapolis, MN

News/Talk Station of the Year
WSB-AM Atlanta, GA
Medium Market Station of the Year
WDEL-AM Wilmington, DE
Oldies Station of the Year
WOMC-FM Detroit, MI
Small Market Station of the Year
WLEN-FM Adrian, MI
Religious Station of the Year
Major Market Personality of the Year
Kevin and Bean, KROQ-FM Los Angeles, CA
Rock Station of the Year
WAPL-FM Green Bay, WI
Large Market Personality of the Year
Dave Ryan, KDWB-FM Minneapolis, MN

Spanish Station of the Year
KLVE-FM Los Angeles, CA
Medium Market Personality of the Year
Van and Bonnie, WHO-AM Des Moines, IA

Sports Station of the Year
WBZ-FM Boston, MA
Small Market Personality of the Year
Dennis Jon Bailey and Diane Douglas, WIKY-FM, Evansville, IN
Urban Station of the Year
WHUR-FM Washington, D.C.
Spanish Format Personality of the Year
Edgar "Shoboy" Sotelo, KMVK-FM Dallas, TX

Marconi finalists were selected by a task force of broadcasters, and the winners were voted on by the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy. The votes were tabulated by an independent firm.

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Pittman: "There's Nothing Wrong With This Business"

It would have been an interesting sight to see if Bob Pittman gave his presentation side-by-side with Marci Ryvicker from Wells Fargo (see next story). The two seem to be telling two very different stories about the radio industry. Clear Channel's Bob Pittman had nothing but good news for Radio Show attendees, backed up with graphs, pie charts and a lot of cheerleading for the industry that he said he would defend vigorously if anyone tried to talk radio down. Pittman says "the consumer loves radio, radio is a companion, nearly everyone uses radio. This is not a product in trouble."

Pittman gave the crowd a lesson how to market the entire Radio industry and said he has never been around an industry that's runs itself down like radio does. And, of course, everyone knows he's right. Radio stations talk trash about other stations in the market. Radio reps talk bad about other sellers to advertisers. And, in the end that hurts the business and becomes part of why we continue to get 7 or 8% of the overall revenue pie. Pittman says Radio is not about towers and transmitters. "Our business is a brand. Radio is not selling a bunch of spots. It's about renting the relationships we have with our listeners to our clients."

So why do we underperform in the revenue department? Pittman says "we need to sell the medium. We need to tell our story. There is no good reason why we don't have more. Our fair share of the revenue pie is more than double what we have now. We're talking to people who have already decided what we're going to get. We just fight over that pie. We need to tell the story ourselves." Pittman also says advertisers get more bang for their buck with radio than they can with television. "Is TV more effective than radio? It's not even close. Radio reaches the influencers. Radio can do what TV does for a lower price." This coming from a guy who worked at MTV when it was first starting up.

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Fisher House Honors Clear Channel Radio

September 15, 2011: Clear Channel Radio has been presented with the Fisher House Foundation's Patriot Award in recognition of CCR's ongoing support of the group, which provides temporary housing for the families of service members needing medical care. Clear Channel Radio has raised more than $1 million for Fisher House over the past two years through PSAs, remote broadcasts from Fisher House structures, interviews, and website content.

"All of us at Clear Channel are proud of our commitment to the Fisher House and the many military families they serve," said Clear Channel Radio SVP Clay Hunnicutt. "Though we are a network of 850 radio stations across the United States, we pride ourselves on our local involvement. It is important to us that we're strong community partners in each of the 150 markets where our stations are located.  Our partnership with the Fisher House allows Clear Channel to make a difference in the lives of veteran families who live, work and play in our station?s neighborhoods"

Fisher House Chairman/CEO Ken Fisher said, "We're grateful to Clear Channel for the work they've done on behalf of our military families."

In the image above (l-r): Hunnicutt and Fisher.

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View the original article here Recordings Now Available on Phones and Tablets founder Michael Robertson says, "We're opening up so that all personal recordings can be downloaded directly to smart phones, tablets and PCs making radio listening even more convenient because consumers can move recordings wherever they like." Currently 5231 radio stations (4817- AM/FM and 414 international/net only) are in the system and 16,394 unique radio shows are available for download. Previously recordings in (like recordings in your typical DVR) could only be streamed requiring a full time network connection to play recordings.

All accounts at will have new functionality to automatically downloaded their recordings to iPad/iPhone/Android/Blackberry devices. Recordings are directly moved from service to their devices without a PC involved and can be scheduled to happen at a predetermined time each day. Recordings are downloaded and stored to local memory where they can be played with typical 30 sec skip buttons found in DVRs. To see how this works on iPad/iPhone see this video:

Downloads can happen over wifi or 3G helping users avoid data caps, spotty coverage or even no 3G service at all. Configuration options in the smart phone software can predetermine times of the day when wifi is likely available. Similarly, options allow for downloads to only happen as wifi is available for example at work or home to avoid 3G usage entirely.

Downloading is free for one show/series. If users want to record more series then that is available for $39.95/year to record up to 10 shows/series. See:

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

FCC Approves Cumulus-Citadel Merger

September 14, 2011: The FCC has granted its approval to the merger of Cumulus Media and Citadel Broadcasting, as expected. Citadel and Cumulus made the deal in March and got Department of Justice approval earlier this week. Citadel shareholder are scheduled to vote on the merger tomorrow.

In the order issued today, the FCC's Media Bureau notes that the transfer of control will put 228 current Citadel stations under the control of Cumlus Media. Per the order, a total of 14 stations must be divested, six  to comply with commission ownership rules, and another eight because the transfer of control "will terminate the licensees' abilty to maintain certain grandfathered ownership interests" in seven markets.

The applications filed by the parties for a transfer of control also included applications to assign 14 stations to a divestiture trust for future sale, and the FCC has made divestiture "prior to or simultaneous with" the completion of the merger a condition of its approval. The trust is "required to take commercially reasonable efforts to effectuate a sale of the stations without delay." The Department of Justice, which announced yesterday that it had completed its antitrust review of the merger, required the sale of three stations -- two in Harrisburg, aligning with the FCC's requirements, and an additional station in Flint, MI.

The markets where stations will be spun to meet FCC and DJO requirements are Nashville; Long Island; Dallas; Kansas City; Harrisburg; Montgomery; Fayetteville, AR; Macon and Savannah, GA; Columbus, MS; Myrtle Beach, SC; and Flint, MI.

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