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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ESPN Radio Returns To Columbia


After nearly 17 months (last heard on WZMJ-FM), ESPN Radio is returning to Columbia, SC, as of January 1. The new location is L&L Broadcasting's WOIC-AM (1230) which will shift to sports from News/Talk. Market Manager Bill McElveen said, ?We?re excited to bring the iconic ESPN brand back to the thousands of sports fans in Columbia. ESPN?s dominance in the sports arena is unparalleled, and we are delighted to be partnering with them in this venture.?

The lineup of ESPN Columbia 1230 AM will include nationally syndicated shows Mike & Mike in the Morning (6 a.m. - 10 a.m.), The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.), and SVP & Rusillo (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.). Locally, The Zone hosted by Duane "The Shot Doctor" Everett will air 4 p.m. - 6 p.m., and Sports Hotline with Bobby Gist and Ernest Robinson will be heard 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In addition, ESPN Columbia 1230 AM will bring listeners every Charlotte Bobcats game broadcast and a full slate of national NBA games from ESPN Radio.

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NAB Lands Four More Members Of Congress


There are now 200 Representatives and Senators signed on to the Local Radio Freedom Act. The four new supporters of the anti-performance tax resolution are Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania, Robert Hurt from Virginia, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, and Bill Pascrell from New Jersey. The Local Radio Freedom Act is now co-sponsored by 188 Members of the House and 12 Senators.

Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 16) in the House of Representatives on February 15 along with 71 additional co-sponsors. An identical resolution (S. Con. Res. 6) was introduced in the Senate on March 6 by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

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Clear Channel Debt To Blame For Liberal Radio Failing


Louis Errol is the political anchor of NY1 News in New York. He has an opinion piece in the New York Daily News about the format flip about to happen at WWRL-AM in New York (Errol was once the morning man at the station). WWRL is changing from "progressive" talk to Spanish. His reasoning for the flip is Clear Channel's debt, not the possibility that listeners do not find liberals entertaining on the radio.

Errol writes, "The biggest pressures squeezing liberal talk radio are commercial ones. Deregulation of the airwaves allowed conglomerates like Clear Channel to borrow billions from Wall Street and begin buying up stations by the hundreds. Saddled with debt, Clear Channel has ruthlessly standardized its 840 stations and squeezed each for maximum profit. That meant eliminating progressive talk from its stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland."

Errol also writers, "Angry progressives claim such moves could also have a political motivation: Clear Channel is owned in part by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once run by Mitt Romney. That?s possible, but it wouldn?t explain the problems besetting stations like WWRL, which is owned by Access 1, a family-owned media company. Conservative radio hosts point to the struggles of their liberal rivals with great glee, but that is whistling past the graveyard. The reality is that conservative talkers are serving an aging, shrinking audience, while listeners who want a liberal take on the news can find it on hundreds of National Public Radio stations.

Read Errol's entire opinion piece HERE

(12/28/2013 3:12:40 PM)
Bite your tongues! The great Pittman and his henchman Hogan are radio 'visionaries' and their moves cannot and shall not be doubted or questioned. They know what they are doing and it is right because they do it! All hail these 'two wise men' for they are radio messiahs. Meanwhile, let's go to the French Riviera on the company dime and refinance our debt at an astonishingly high interest rate at a time when interest rates are at historic lows. Can you say Enron and criminal-Inquiry please!
(12/27/2013 4:35:07 PM)
Yup. Joe knows.
What's even weirder still is that there are many - maybe a substantial majority of radio executives - who would actually argue against this proposition.

Wack-a-roonies rule the airwaves because - if even intuitively - they have an understanding of how to manipulate... using radio as only one example.

(12/27/2013 3:39:44 PM)
The reason liberal talkers have failed is that they aren't fun to listen to. It just feels like one long lecture from a bitter, mean, know-it-all. Maddow, Olberman, etc., all sound the same- and they aren't people that I was to spend time with.

The much derided Glen Beck, even if he's wrong most of the time, is actually enjoyable to listen to. As soon as liberals figure this out, if they ever do, then they'll have an audience. Until then, no thanks.

(12/27/2013 11:20:53 AM)
Not that everybody appreciates the ramblings of another smart-ass, weed-hoppin' "ferigner", but here is the reason anyway;

Broadcasters on the right of the spectrum have learned to be bombastic, excited, excitable and enthusiastic to the point of delerium. (Or maybe, that's just the way they are.)

Liberal broadcasters, however, tend to present as lower-key, reasonable and rational individuals.

Electronic media, which includes us, is the last place to deliver rationality and reason - in other words: pure content - with any expectations of impacting on or influencing a broadcast audience!

For a Liberal to be successful on the radio, somebody is going to have to light a fire under their arse, first.

It's true. It's in all the papers! :)

(12/26/2013 11:12:05 PM)
C'mon now, the move to squelch so called "Progressive" or Liberal talk radio is totally driven by politics of ownership (and banksters ownership is beholden to).
In the few markets where any other viewpoint than extreme right has been actually given a shot, it's done well. Seems KLSD did much better under Air America than it did when it became the 5th sports talker in San Diego. And what a shitty signal on that one!

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Jim Farley Has Left The Building


Jim Farley started his broadcast career while attending Fordham University in 1966. He took a job as a copy boy at 1010 WINS in New York. A long and successful career was highlighted by his 17 years at WTOP where he was heavily involved in turning that station into the juggernaut it is today. Yesterday, Farley officially retired from his position as Vice President of News and Programming at Hubbard Radio's WTOP in Washington DC.

It was very emotional with a lot of hugs, goodbyes and cleaning out his desk. And, in keeping with his routine, even on his last day, Farley ate his lunch -- a sandwich brought from home -- at his desk while writing e-mails. There were a lot of people stopping by Farley's office to say goodbye, including several who came in on their day off. Farley admitted, "Leaving is harder than I thought it would be."

WTOP General Manager Joel Oxley said of Farley, ?Jim is legendary in our business, and deserves to be. His passion, creativity, energy, and intelligence have transformed WTOP from a second-rate product when he came here in 1996 to the best in the country today. He leads and inspires his people to be better every day. His enthusiasm is infectious not only in the newsroom, but throughout our entire operation and company. He is also one hell of a lot of fun to work with. I look forward to seeing him every single day and have for 17 years. I?ll miss him a ton both personally and professionally, but I am thrilled for Jim that he is going out on top. I?m also glad he is going to continue with WTOP as our programming consultant. Simply put, Jim is the best and I wish him nothing but the best!?

Farley spent his last day making sure the staff was compensated for the station's recent ratings. "Everybody participates in the upside here, not just drivetime talent and the PD like most radio stations that still pay bonuses."  Laurie Cantillo will now officially take Farley's position at WTOP, Farley's been training her for months.

Read our 2013 cover story on Jim Farley which ran on May 20.
Contact Jim Farley at

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Huckabee Quit Because Cumulus Didn't Clear Him


Reflecting on his brief career as a daily talk show host, Mike Huckabee told Politico that when he realized Cumulus wasn't going to make a real effort to syndicate him across the country, he took "an out" he had in his contract. Huckabee was marketed by Cumulus in April 2012 as less confrontational. His show ended in December of 2013 as Cumulus focused more on keeping Rush Limbaugh in the noon to 3 p.m. slot and adding Michael Savage to afternoon drive.

Huckabee told Politico, "I thought, OK, I can keep doing this with the unrealized hopes that they?re going to start clearing me on other markets and really make this thing where it has the footprint that it needs and the revenue that would make justifiable for me that kind of time. But, in reality, I just didn?t want to be pinned down without some kind of guarantee that that was going to happen. And when that wasn?t coming, you know, it was the right decision to make.?

Huckabee also told Politico that of all the things his done over the past two decades, being a talk show host was the easiest. "Being a candidate, being an officeholder and being a talk show host, far and away the easiest of those is a talk show host. It?s time-consuming, but the fact is you?re not responsible for the outcome of any of the ideas that you express. I can say whatever I want to. I totally control the medium. If there?s a caller I don?t like, I either don?t put him up or if he starts saying something I don?t like, I can push one button and he?s gone. How I wish I could have pushed buttons and caused some legislators to disappear. That would have been wonderful.?

Read the Politico piece HERE

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Portis Ticketed During WJFK Interview


Former Washington Redskin running back Clinton Portis (pictured) called in to WJFK in Washington to talk to his former teammate Fred Smoot and host Kevin Shafer about his old partying days when he was a player. Apparently he wasn't paying attention to how fast he was going. A state trooper pulled him over and gave him a ticket. Portis took it all in stride, blaming the radio hosts. You can listen to the interview HERE.

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Sarah Beebe Joins Jammin' Z90 Morning Show

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Sarah Beebe

LOCAL MEDIA Top 40/Rhythmic XHTZ (JAMMIN' Z90)/SAN DIEGO inks SARAH BEEBE as co-host of JAMMIN' Z90 IN THE MORNING, joining co-host RICK MOORTEN beginning JANUARY 2.

BEEBE comes to XHTZ from crosstown CCM+E Classic Rock KGB and has also worked on-air in SAN DIEGO at KHTS and KUSS.

In a press release BEEBE commented, "I'm so incredibly honored and excited to join RICK MOORTEN as his new morning Co-Host on Z90! I absolutely love everything about this station - the people, the music, and the fact that it's in my favorite city on EARTH.  I look forward to making proud those who gave me this opportunity, now let's get started and have some fun!

JAMMIN' Z90 PD R DUB added, "The chemistry between RICK and SARAH is undeniable, and her passion to win in this market is apparent.  She brings both great behind the scenes and in-the-spotlight morning experience, and her role here will be instrumental in helping build the nation’s next top-tier morning show."

In addition to the morning co-host slot, BEEBE will stay in studio as on-air host weekdays from 10 am to noon.

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Survey Finds Retailers Experiencing A 'Challenging' Holiday Season

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Many Consumers Spending Less

The sales staff could run into cranky store owners, as the 2013 holiday season is shaping up to be a rather challenging one for retailers and marketers. With continued uncertainty over the economy and less disposable income and savings, nearly one-third of all consumers are expected to spend less in 2013 than they did in 2012. This, according to a recent survey from Global research consultancy, TNS of over 2,500 U.S. consumers aged 18-64.

According to the study, about one in three (34%) are looking to cut back on their holiday shopping this year citing an increase in living expenses and their lack of disposable income. While significant, this doesn’t tell the whole story. Consumers who rely on Government programs such as SNAP and WIC are facing even tougher choices this holiday season, as the 16-day partial U.S. government shutdown and recent expiration of increases in the aid programs take their toll. Of those who are on the program, nearly forty-four percent are looking to spend less this holiday season. A telling number given nearly eight percent of primary shoppers use the SNAP/WIC programs, according to KANTAR’s ShopperScape program.

“We believe retailers have to go the extra mile this holiday season with compelling pricing, promotional strategies, and delayed payment options to attract the level of shoppers they are custom to seeing,” said TNS SVP and author of the study DANICA KONETSKI. “Our research indicates shoppers with lower budgets tend to be more brand loyal, so it’s important for retailers to be proactive and do what is necessary for the consumer this holiday season. Their efforts will go a long way in engaging customers and generate long-term trust.”

It may not be all doom and gloom for retailers this year. According to the survey, nearly 28% of all holiday shopping takes place within the two week period leading up to the actual day of the holiday (12/10–12/25). “Given all the outside factors that are impacting the holiday season, retailers have their work cut out for them, commented KONETSKI, “it’s those who listen and adjust to the customer needs that will come out ahead.”

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Judge Rules Pandora Can Keep Playing Songs While Negotiating A New BMI Deal

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No Music Pulled -- For Now

Some good news for PANDORA, which "can continue playing all songs under its license with BrOADCAST MUSIC INC. as the Internet radio service works out a new deal with the songwriters group, a federal judge said," reports BLOOMBERG.

U.S. District Judge LOUIS L. STANTON clarified an earlier ruling, which indicated PANDORA could lose access to some music on JANUARY 1st (NET NEWS 12/19).

“Nothing in the opinion impairs their validity,” STANTON RULED about pre-existing licenses.

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KSTZ Grants A Christmas Wish To The Family Of A Woman Who Died In 2011

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Brenda Schmitz

SAGA EVP/Programming STEVE GOLDSTEIN shared with ALL ACCESS a story that combines the magic of the holidays with the power radio. Hot AC KSTZ (STAR 102.5)/DES MOINES is receiving national attention after making a wish come true for a woman who passed away over two years ago.

BRENDA SCHMITZ gave her friend a letter that included three wishes that she wanted to submit to STAR 102.5 right before she died, and made her friend promise not to mail it until her husband had fallen in love again. The station holds a CHRISTMAS promotion each year where they help make listeners' wishes come true.

“When you are in receipt of this letter, I will have already lost my battle to ovarian cancer,” SCHMITZ wrote. “I told [my friend] once my loving husband DAVID had moved on in his life and had met someone to share his life with again, to mail this letter to all of you at the station.”

Her first wish, notes BUZZFEED.COM, "was a day of pampering for DAVID’s new love, a woman he met in OCTOBER 2012 named JANE. 'She deserves it, being a stepmother to all those boys,' BRENDA wrote. 'Make her smile and know her efforts are truly appreciated from me.' BRENDA also asked for a 'magical trip' for the family, and lastly, a night out full of drinks, food, and fun for the cancer doctors at MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL, where she was treated."

“We’ve been doing the CHRISTMAS Wish program for 20-plus years. We’ve never received a wish like this, ever,” OM/PD SCOTT ALLEN told the DES MOINES REGISTER.

All of her wishes were granted by KSTZ, with help from local sponsors, who sent the family of eight to DISNEY WORLD. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when we got [the letter],” ALLEN said. “It really inspired us to do something for her.”

Get some tissues and watch the event on STAR 102.5 here.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Research Director, Inc. Presents Exclusive Dec. PPM Analysis For New York, L.A., Chicago, San Francisco And Dallas

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Exclusive Analysis

‘Twas the book before CHRISTMAS, and wouldn’t you know, stations throughout the land turned to ho, ho, ho.  Their ratings were grown, ‘cause the meters were fair, in hopes that more revenue soon would be there. Welcome to the DECEMBER survey.  As you enjoy your figgy pudding and spiked egg nog, the data gnomes at RESEARCH DIRECTOR, INC. have been examining the numbers with elf-like precision to bring you this analysis. This is officially written as the DECEMBER book but the actual dates were NOVEMBER 7th through DECEMBER 4th.  And, it is really the tale of two surveys.  The first two weeks were reasonably normal -- barring local market conditions.  However, week three was not only the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday, but it is also when most stations flipped to all BURL IVES, all the time.  Week four kicked off with TURKEY DAY and quickly devolved into BLACK FRIDAY -- as such, listening patterns were in flux. So, prepare to unwrap the numbers.

New York: Guide Us To Thy Perfect Light

Half a book’s worth of jingling bells was enough to propel CCM+E AC WLTW (LITE FM) to its best showing since MARCH (7.0-7.6) and expand its lead on the rest of the field.  For comparison’s sake, last year the station was also #1 but with a slightly more enlarged 8.4 share.  YMF MEDIA Urban AC WBLS was seemingly unaffected by all these maids a’milking as it posted its best number in over a year (6.6-6.8) to remain a very solid #2.  CCM+E Top 40/M WHTZ (Z100) remained in its somewhat familiar #3 position despite unveiling its lowest number since FEBRUARY (5.4-5.2).  A year ago at this precise moment, CBS RADIO Classic Hits WCBS-F was sitting at #2 with a 6.8 share.  Recent ratings developments have seen the station slip a bit to #4, tying its year-low share of 5.1.  Rounding out the top five, as is its custom, was SBS Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA), which was down slightly (4.9-4.6).

The Yuletide spirit helped WLTW gain share 25-54 for the fourth consecutive survey and yielded a result that was pretty much on par with last year’s number.  The presence of Frosty did not deter cluster mate WHTZ as the station was up slightly to move from #3 to #2.  In a similar vein, WBLS had its best book in over a year to climb one spot to #3.  Alas, the same could not be said for WSKQ, which slid two spots down the ratings chimney to #4.  CCM+E Top 40/M WKTU remained at #5 despite a slight loss of share, while cluster brother CCM+E Classic Rock WAXQ (Q104.3) lost a bit more share to drop out of a tie at #5 into the #6 position.  CUMULUS Country WNSH (NASH FM) was also off slightly yet managed to move from #18 into a tie at #17.

WHTZ remained the dominant 18-34 station though its shares slipped for the second straight survey and were at their lowest since AUGUST.  WSKQ was not able to capitalize on this slide as its numbers fell to its lowest point since MAY, though the station was still safely tucked in at #2.  However, it might be hearing hoof steps (see what we did there?) as WKTU had its biggest score in over a year to leap from #6 into a tie at #3 with WLTW, which was actually down this survey despite all the holiday cheer.  Last month, two stations were all tied up in a bow at #4.  The tie was broken as both saw their fortunes fade a bit.  EMMIS Top 40/R WQHT (HOT) scored its lowest total in over a year to drop to #5 while CCM+E Urban WWPR (POWER) had its dimmest output since AUGUST to slide to #6.  WNSH matched its lowest full book share since the flip to remain at #17.

For the second month in a row WLTW was the leader 18-49 with a number that not only was its best since MARCH but one that was on par with last year’s total.  WHTZ remained at #2 despite posting its lowest total since JULY while WBLS again had its best book in over a year to move up on the rooftop two places to #3.  Securing its lowest total since APRIL forced WSKQ to drop from #3 into a tie at #4 with WKTU, which followed its best book of the year with something equally as tasty.

Los Angeles: Run, Run Reindeer

One of this year’s early switchers to all-elf radio was CCM+E AC KOST as the station actually flipped during week two of the survey.  And, it certainly looks like it made a smart move as the station soared from a tie at #6 to the top spot (3.6-6.3) with its best number since the last time SANTA dictated the playlist.  This year’s number, however, was not quite as robust as last year’s 7.1 but, still, not too shabby.  This allowed CCM+E to own the top three positions in the market as CCM+E Hot AC KBIG (MY FM) remained at #2 (5.3-5.4) and CCM+E Top 40/M KIIS (KISS FM) slipped from #1 to #3 with its lowest total in over a year (5.4-5.2).  EMMIS Top 40/R KPWR (POWER) had its best book in over a year (4.3-4.6) but must be on the naughty list as it slid out of a tie at #3 to land at #4.  CBS RADIO Classic Hits KRTH (K-EARTH) remained a fixture at #5 (4.2-4.1) while cluster brother CBS RADIO Top 40/R KAMP (AMP) had its lowest number since JANUARY to slide down the pole three places to #6.

Despite the incessant rat-a-tat-tat of that diminutive percussionist, KBIG was able to hold on to the top spot 25-54 for the twelfth consecutive survey.  This is not to say that all those drummers drumming did not elevate KOST.  The station moved swiftly up the charts from #8 to #2 with a share that was less jolly than last year’s.  KIIS managed to end a two-book slide and was rewarded with a drop in position from #2 to #3.  CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ had its best book since JANUARY yet slipped from #3 into a tie at #4 with KPWR, which moved up from #5 with its best performance in over a year.  SBS Regional Mexican KLAX (LA RAZA) got the proverbial lump of coal as it dropped from #4 into a tie at #7 with its lowest number since APRIL.

Last month, both KIIS and KPWR were tied for the lead 18-34.  Though both stations had positive ratings experiences this survey, the tie has been broken.  KIIS ended a two-book slide to reclaim sole possession of first place while KPWR had its best book in over a year yet slipped to #2.  KBIG remained at #3 despite some minor ratings slippage.  KAMP also remained where it was (at #4) despite a small downturn.  KROQ was completely flat yet remained stable at #5.  Apparently, the kids were not so terribly distracted by their electronic devices that they couldn’t spend a few minutes with their radios as KOST jumped from a tie at #13 to #6 though with a share well short of last year’s total.

Since they shared the #1 position 18-49 in JULY, KIIS and KBIG have traded the crown back and forth.  This time, KIIS has the jewels as it reversed a two-book slide.  KBIG ended a two-book surge and dropped back to #2 after two straight months on top.  KPWR – once again – had its best book in over a year to remain at #3 but it is clearly in the race for #1.  However, that may have to wait until the reindeer return to their stalls as KOST ambled up from #11 to #4 and we can likely see where this story ends next book.  KAMP was flat for the second straight month and slipped from #4 into a tie at #5 with KROQ, which had its best posting since JULY.

Chicago:  My Favorite Things

There is often debate about whether some stations go CHRISTMAS too early.  While every market is different, there is strong evidence showing that going all holly jolly in mid-NOVEMBER might be a good idea in THE WINDY CITY.  Consider CCM+E Hot AC WLIT (MY FM), which re-branded itself several months ago, then started caroling in week two of the survey.  As a result, the station rose from #12 all the way to #2 -- more than doubling its share in the process (3.0-6.5).  This is the same rank it had a year ago but with a heftier share than the 6.0 it had in 2012.  CCM+E Urban AC WVAZ (V103) was #1 for the twelfth straight survey (6.6-6.7) but the hand writing is in the snow.  CBS RADIO News WBBM-A was off slightly for the second straight month (6.0-5.9) and slipped a spot to #3.  HUBBARD Hot AC WTMX (MIX) unwrapped its lowest number since last year’s HOLIDAY book (4.7-4.3) and fell from #3 into a tie at #4 with CCM+E Urban WGCI, which moved up from a tie at #6 (4.2-4.3).  The two stations that were sharing a one-horse open sleigh last month at #4 are still side-by-side, just a little lower in the standings at #7.  CBS RADIO Country WUSN (US 99.5) had its lowest score since APRIL (4.3-3.9) while CCM+E Top 40/M WKSC (KISS) took on its lightest number since AUGUST (4.3-3.9).

Like the delicate snow globe, things got pretty shaken up 25-54.  First, WTMX’s eleven-month run at #1 came to an end as the station scored its lowest number since the HOLIDAY survey.  This opened the door for WVAZ, which had its best book since JULY and captured the top spot for the first time in over a year.   Bells will be ringing in the halls at WLIT as the station doubled its share to move from #12 to #3 – almost matching last year’s number.  WGCI had its best book since AUGUST to move up a spot to #4 while WKSC was not standing under the mistletoe as it dropped two places to #5.  CBS RADIO Top 40/M WBBM-F (B96) saw its three-book surge grind to a halt as the station dropped two notches to #6.

WGCI captured its seventh straight 18-34 crown and found its best book in over a year sitting under the tree.  WBBM-F was actually down slightly but must be on the nice list as it moved up one spot to #2.  This had much to do with the fact that WKSC shed a bit of share and took one small step back to #3.  CRAWFORD Urban WPWX (POWER) was off slightly but still held on to its #4 ranking.  WVAZ was also off slightly but remained at #5 though it is now tied with hard-charging WLIT, which came from all the way back at #17.

WGCI matched its best book of 2013 to remain #1 18-49 for the second straight survey.  However, it is hearing the sound of thundering hooves as WLIT more than doubled its share to move from a tie at #14 to #2 – exceeding its total from this time last year.  WVAZ had its best book in over a year and moved up a spot to #3 while former market leader WTMX continued its recent slide and fell two places to #4.  Both WKSC and WBBM-F dropped a bit of share, with KISS falling two spots to #5 while B96 dropped one to #6.

San Francisco: A Christmas Story

In the previous market we saw the effects of a station going to All Kringle, All the Time.  Here, we see that the two (yes, two) stations that made the peppermint-flavored switch both did it very late in the book.  As a result, it is difficult to get a gauge -- without looking at specific weeklies –-- how this affected the market.  We do know that CBS RADIO News KCBS-A scored its sixth straight #1 book (5.3-5.1).  And, cluster sister CBS RADIO Top 40/M KMVQ (NOW) had its best book in over a year (4.8-5.0) to move up one place to #2.  ENTERCOM AC KOIT once again turned to the frosty side of the force and seemed to derive some benefit from that as it moved from a tie at #4 into a tie at #3 (4.3-4.9) – a bit off from the 5.4 it had a year ago.  KQED N/T KQED was off ever so slightly (5.0-4.9) yet slid back from #2 into a tie at #3.  UNIVISION Spanish Adult Hits KBRG had its best book in over a year (3.4-4.0) to move up from #10 to #5.  Exactly a year ago the station was sitting at #18 with a 2.1 share.  CUMULUS Sports KNBR-A had its lowest number since MARCH (4.3-3.7) to drop from a tie at #4 into a tie at #7.  The “other” Christmas station is actually from SAN JOSE -- NEXTMEDIA AC KBAY.  But, it did flip for FROSTY and moved the needle a bit (1.8-2.0) to move from a tie at #21 into a tie at #20.

SANTA, schmanta -- KMVQ popped its best book in over a year to remain #1 25-54 for the third consecutive month.   KQED was off slightly but remained at #2 though it is just this much ahead of KBRG, which moved up a spot from #4 with its best showing in over a year.  KOIT had some modest gains and inched up a spot to #4 with a share that is just slightly inferior to last year’s.  A couple of cluster buddies are tied at #5.  CCM+E Hot AC KIOI (STAR) dropped in from #3 with its lowest number in over a year while CCM+E Rhythmic AC KISQ (KISS) moved up from a tie at #6.

Once again, CCM+E Top 40/R KMEL dominated 18-34 even though it had a flat book.  Cluster mate CCM+E Top 40/R KYLD (WILD) remained at #2 despite posting its lowest number in over a year and trails KMEL by over three full shares.  For five straight books KMVQ’s shares have been maddeningly consistent -- and we mean that in a good way.  The station continued to be the solid #3 performer in the market.  KBRG caught some meter love in this demo, as well, as it scored its best number in over a year to move up one spot to #4.  UNIVISION Regional Mexican KSOL had its best book since JANUARY to move up a spot to #5.  The kids were digging the yule tunes as KOIT moved up from #11 to #6.  KISQ ended its three-book surge and dropped three places to #7.

Last month, KMVQ had its best book in over a year to land in the top spot 18-49.  Well, the station did it again with an even bigger number.  KMEL remained at #2 despite scoring its lowest total in exactly a year while KBRG kept its momentum up by moving from a tie at #5 to #3.  KQED was off a bit but held on at #4 while the singing angels moved KOIT up two spots to #5 – a little lighter than it was a year ago.  KYLD was down for the fifth straight book and dropped from a tie at #5 to #6 while KIOI had its lowest book of the year to drop four spots to #7.

Dallas-Ft. Worth: Kissing Santa Claus

This is going to be one of those markets to watch as two different stations decided to flip the switch to an all-Christmas-themed format.  However, there are some twists here.  CBS RADIO Classic Hits KLUV went early, but this is its first year in the format as it inherited the stocking from clustermate KVIL.  The other option is also of a slightly different flavor as it is coming from SALEM Christian Contemporary KLTY -- which flipped late in this survey.  With all that said, CCM+E Top 40/M KHKS (KISS) is still the dominant market leader (8.3-7.9) and it remains to be seen if it will fall next survey.  CUMULUS Country KPLX (THE WOLF) was down slightly (5.5-5.2) to remain at #2 though it is now tied with KLUV (3.3-5.2), which used the power vested in it by the CLAUS to move up from #8.  CCM+E Classic Rock KZPS (LONE STAR) had its best book in over a year (4.6-4.9) to take sole possession of #4.  SERVICE Urban KKDA (K104) was flat (4.6-4.6) and fell a spot to #5.  The early results for KLTY were less than spectacular as the station fell from a tie at #2 to #6 with its lowest number since JULY (5.5-4.4).

Though KHKS had its lowest number since JULY, it is still well clear of the field 25-54 -- more than two and a half shares clear to be somewhat exact.  Behold the power of ELMO & PATSY as KLUV gained two full shares and jumped from #13 to #2.  KLTY slipped a bit to drop from #2 into a tie at #3 with KPLX, which had its best number since JULY to move up from #4.  KZPS remained at #5 with its best showing since MAY and is now tied with KKDA, which dropped down from #3.

As is usually the case, KHKS was very consistent and consistently dominant 18-34, stretching its lead over #2 KKDA to nearly two shares.  K104 did help by posting its lowest number since AUGUST.  RADIO ONE Top 40/R KBFB (THE BEAT) was down for the second straight book yet managed to move up a spot to #3.  CCM+E Hot AC KDMX (NOW) moved up a couple of spots to #4 on the strength of its second straight up book.  KPLX was down for the third straight month to remain at #5 though it is now tied with UNIVISION Regional Mexican KLNO (LA QUE BUENA), which bounced back from a bad month to move up from #9.  The Christmas effect made its mark here, as well, as KLUV made a bold move from #19 into a tie at #9.

A month from now we may be talking about how KHKS’s winning streak was brought to its knees by some lords a leaping -- but that will have to wait.  Once again, the station is dominant 18-49 with a full three-share lead over #2 KKDA.  KLTY had its lowest book since JULY to remain at #3 though it is now tied with KPLX, which moved up a spot even though it was flat.  KDMX was also flat and remained at #5 where it forged a tie with KLNO, which moved in from #8.  KLUV put on its CHRISTMAS shoes and took some large strides from #21 up to #7.

This concludes our first round of analysis for the DECEMBER survey.  Thank you for checking us out and if you have any comments, corrections, critiques, or just want to wish us a MERRY CHRISTMAS, you can find us on the usual platforms:

Twitter: @ResearchDirectr


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Longtime WINS Reporter Stan Brooks Dies At 86

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From CUNY TV's 'BuildingNY'

Condolences to family and friends of CBS RADIO News WINS-A/NEW YORK senior correspondent STAN BROOKS, who died MONDAY afternoon at 86 after a battle with cancer, the station is reporting.

BROOKS began his career at NEWSDAY and joined WINS in 1962 when it was still a Top 40 powerhouse and was News Director at the station when it flipped to all-News in 1965.  He became National Correspondent for WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING in 1967 and later returned to reporting for WINS.  He was honored with the naming of the radio reporters' room at CITY HALL in MANHATTAN as the "STAN BROOKS Radio Room"  just last week.  His last report aired on NOVEMBER 21st.

NEW YORK Mayor MIKE BLOOMBERG issued a statement today, saying, "Today, NEW YORK CITY today lost an honorable man, a legendary reporter and a trusted voice.... nothing ever stopped him from doing the job he loved, a job he did with class and integrity for 50 years. New Yorkers were lucky to have him on the dial."

WINS Director of News & Programming BEN MEVORACH said, "Like every challenge he has ever faced, STAN met this final one with the same class, dignity and humility that defined every day of his almost 87 years on this earth. There will never be another one like him."

And CBS RADIO EVP of Operations (and former WINS VP/GM) SCOTT HERMAN said, "Not only was STAN BROOKS a walking encyclopedia on NYC politics he was one of the finest, decent and most dignified men who ever lived. We were lucky to have him on 1010 WINS for the past 51 years and we will never ever forget him."

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Tennessee Radio Hall Of Fame Honors WIVK

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Award Winning

The Board of Directors of the TENNESSEE RADIO HALL OF FAME has chosen CUMULUS MEDIA Country WIVK/KNOXVILLE as the "Station Of The Year" for the inductee class of 2014.

The award is based on a station's historic long-term leadership in its respective market. In this case, WIVK has been the number one station in ARBITRON radio ratings for the KNOXVILLE market in every survey book since the market was first surveyed in 1970, with the exception of the APRIL/MAY 1971 ratings period, in which 990/WNOX-A (at the time a Top 40 station) was number one.

WIVK's former Owner/GM JIM DICK is also included in the 2014 Legacy category of inductees.

The organization's 3rd Annual Awards Banquet and Induction Ceremony will be held on SATURDAY MAY 3rd, 2014 at the EMBASSY SUITES HOTEL in MURFREESBORO.

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WXRV Ups Matt Phipps To The PD Chair

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Matt Phipps

NORTHEAST BROADCASTING Triple A WXRV (92.5 THE RIVER)/BOSTON has promoted 24-year broadcast veteran MATT PHIPPS to become the station’s PD.  PHIPPS will maintain his responsibilities as MD and full-time afternoon drive host (M-F 3-7p).  Phipps has worked at WXRV since MAY 2012, and previously for GREATER MEDIA and METRO NETWORKS as Assistant Dir./Operations and morning traffic host on WHDH-TV among other positions.

"He’s simply one of BOSTON’s brightest stars," said GM DONALD ST. SAUVEUR.  "MATT shares our independent and entrepreneurial spirit.  His respect for the product and THE RIVER’s audience is rivaled only by his passion for music and his willingness to innovate and have fun. MATT has quietly been improving the River’s music mix over the past year and a half, leading the radio station to all time listenership highs in the Boston DMA.  His fellow on-air hosts respect him enormously, and I’m thrilled to offer Matt this promotion.”

PHIPPS said, “Wow, CHRISTMAS came a little early this year!  As I said when I took over as Music Director, this is truly my dream job. How many stations in BOSTON can boast that they’re locally owned, independent, solar-powered and committed to a format based on new artists, singers and songwriters?  It’s an honor to be a part of one of the most experienced and passionate groups of on-air hosts in BOSTON.”

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Internet Advertising Revs Hit Record High

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Continued Growth

Here's good news for your sales department -- internet advertising revenues in the U.S. hit a record-breaking high of $10.69 billion for the third quarter of 2013, according to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report figures released today by the INTERACTIVE ADVERTISING BUREAU (IAB) and PwC US. This represents an uptick of 15% over the record-setting revenues of $9.26 billion reported in Q3 2012. In addition, it marks a 4.2 percent rise from the second quarter of 2013, which came in at $10.26 billion.

“These figures reflect marketers’ trust in interactive to deliver,” said IAB Pres./CEO RANDALL ROTHENBERG. “It is indicative of the digital age in which we live, and within which advertisers need to effectively reach targeted audiences wherever they are consuming information or entertainment — often on several screens at once.”

“Continuous growth has been a hallmark of the digital advertising space for several years now, and these numbers support the fact that interactive has become crucial to the marketing mix,” said IAB SVP/Research, Analytics & Measurement SHERRILL MANE.

“Once again, interactive marketing is seeing remarkable gains,” said PwC Partner DAVID SILVERMAN. “Digital’s momentum is undeniable, as interactive advertising has proved itself to be an incredibly powerful channel for reaching consumers that are spending more time on digital screens than ever before.”

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NextRadio App Wins A 'Pogie' Award

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Big Launch Year

The folks at NEXTRADIO have posted their last blog update of 2013 -- "a year that saw the introduction of the NEXTRADIO product to the marketplace and witnessed an extraordinary collaboration of industries to make it happen."

2013 Highlights

• Over 95,000 app downloads
• Over 5,700 FM radio stations tuned to from the app
• Over 53,000 hours of listening through NEXTRADIO
• A 4.3/5.0 GOOGLE PLAY STORE user rating

The app wraps up the year with an award. "We made the venerable DAVID POGUE’s list of 'the most amazing, incredible, deliriously exciting tech ideas of 2013.' What makes this award really special, besides the fact that it’s coming from a very well respected columnist and getting our name in front of his gajillions of readers, is that it’s an acknowledgement from outside of our industry that broadcast radio is actively participating in its own evolution. When others read his POGIE list, it may give them pause to see an FM radio innovation making the roster, but it’s where we need to be, and where we’re glad to be."

“…Music that consumes no data, with only one-third the battery drain: That’s a really big deal,” POGUE says in his write-up.

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holden Kushner Off Midday Show, Moves To Weekends At WJFK

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CBS RADIO Sports WJFK (106.7 THE FAN)/WASHINGTON has moved HOLDEN KUSHNER off the midday show and into a weekend hosting slot along with reporting and fill-ins, reports the WASHINGTON POST's DAN STEINBERG.

KUSHNER's co-host DANNY ROUHIER will host solo TODAY and TOMORROW and will then go on vacation for the rest of DECEMBER; no plans have been yet announced for the time slot.

The station recently brought back DON GERONIMO, who prominently co-hosted the DON AND MIKE show for many years on the station, as a solo host for evenings.

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Hudson Valley Noncomm Sold

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In other filings with the FCC, TABERNACLE BAPTIST COLLEGE is selling the construction permit for FM translator W235CA/BREVARD, NC to ANCHOR BAPTIST BROADCASTING ASSOCIATION for $10,000 ($7,000 for the station, $3,000 for a bus).

DAVID WILSON has closed on the sale of Silent WHDX and WHDZ/BUXTON, NC  to RADIO HATTERAS, INC. for $10.

1400 INC. has closed on the donations of FM translators K231BZ/HAILEY, ID and K239BU/ROSEAU, MN to MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO, which in turn closed on its own sale of FM translator W257CZ/HOUGHTON, MI to HOUGHTON COMMUNITY BROADCASTING CORP. for $15,000.  The latter translator will rebroadcast Adult Standards WCCY-A/HOUGHTON.

And VSS CATHOLIC COMMUNICATIONS, INC. has closed on the sale of FM translator K255CK/WEST POINT, NE to WAYNE RADIO WORKS, LLC for $15,000.

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Tribune Company To Acquire Gracenote

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Gets Gracenote

TRIBUNE COMPANY has entered into an agreement with SONY CORPORATION OF AMERICA to purchase GRACENOTE, the global leader in music technology and metadata.  GRACENOTE is the largest source of music data in the world, featuring metadata for more than 180 million tracks, which helps power more than a billion smart phones and tablets, as well as the world's most popular streaming music services.

TRIBUNE COMPANY will combine GRACENOTE with TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES (TMS), the premier provider of television and movie metadata, creating one of the largest entertainment metadata companies in the world.

"This transaction extends and complements TMS' best-in-class core competency in the metadata business, while also deepening TRIBUNE's slate of subscription services," said TRIBUNE COMPANY Pres./CEO PETER LIGUORI.

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Dan McNeil Is Back On WSCR-A After Rehab Stint

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Dan McNeil

DAN MCNEIL returned to CBS RADIO Sports WSCR-A (670 THE SCORE)/CHICAGO FRIDAY (12/20) at Noon. It was his first time behind the mic after having to take another personal leave of absence to address some personal issues.

CHICAGORADIOANDMEDIA.COM reports MCNEIL, "quickly addressed the 'elephant in the room,' referring to himself as 'drunky boy' and mentioning his numerous times away from the air -- be they from rehab trips, depression problems, suspensions, or contract troubles.  He quickly called himself an addict. According to MCNEIL, he broke away from his sobriety just a few months from exiting his 2012 trip to rehab. In AUGUST 2012, he started doing marijuana and Norco pain medications again -- first slowly and then more often. The drugs worsened his depression issues."

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Former 3AW/Melbourne Overnight Host Keith McGowan Dies

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Condolences to family and friends of longtime FAIRFAX MEDIA Talk 3AW/MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA overnight host KEITH MCGOWAN, who died SUNDAY night (12/22) of a stroke at 70.

MCGOWAN hosted 3AW's "OVERNIGHTERS" show from 1990 through his 2011 retirement.  He started his career at 3UZ/MELBOURNE in 1957, then worked at several stations in MELBOURNE, PERTH, HOBART, SYDNEY, and elsewhere over a 54 year career.  He also had a seasonal hit single in AUSTRALIA with "A Little Boy's CHRISTMAS Prayer" on FABLE RECORDS in 1979.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Mixed Revenue Projections From IBISWorld For Radio

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Updated Revenue Projection

The research firm IBISWORLD has updated a report on the radio industry that projects light at the end of the revenue downturn tunnel.

IBISWORLD writes, "The Radio Broadcasting industry is struggling to retain its relevance and audience due to competition from digital media. In particular, the industry suffers due to its limited interaction with listeners and heavy reliance on advertising. Prior to the recession, radio stations benefited from being a long-standing part of advertising budgets. When the recession took hold in 2008, companies in many sectors slashed advertising budgets and continued lowering them through 2010. Radio advertising was hit particularly hard as companies focused more on maintaining a TV presence and growing their footprint online. As a result, IBISWORLD estimates that Radio Broadcasting industry revenue will decline at an average annual rate of 2.5% to $17.3 billion in the five years to 2013, despite an estimated increase of 1.0% in 2013."

The decline is expected to end though -- with IBISWORLD noting, "The economy is projected to recover over the five years to 2018, with advertising budgets set to follow. The industry is well established within many companies' media mixes."

“Radio's role will not be eliminated overnight," notes IBISWORLD Industry Analyst JAMES CROMPTON, "but will instead diminish slowly as companies dedicate more resources to reaching consumers online.”

However, technology advancements will help the industry: satellite and digital radio have already become more prevalent. The report adds, "these formats offer consumers high-quality audio and a wider music selection that is comparable to other digital music formats. Nonetheless, new regulations may force radio broadcasters to pay performers higher royalties for playing their music. If this performance tax is enacted, it will lead to further industry restructuring. Consequently, IBISWORLD forecasts revenue will grow in the five years to 2018."

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KISV's Tino Cochino Heads To Phoenix And KKFR

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Tino Cochino

AGM Top 40/Rhythmic KISV (HOT 94.1)/BAKERSFIELD night jock and recording artist TINO COCHINO makes a big jump going to nights at RIVIERA Top 40/Rhythmic KKFR (POWER 98.3)/PHOENIX.

KKFR PD MIKEY FUENTES tells ALL ACCESS, "We're on a quest to build a team full of high performing individuals, TINO is going to fit in perfectly."

As he begins his search for a new night star, KISV PD J. REED commented, "It was just a matter time before the big leagues came calling for TINO!  He is very talented on so many levels when it comes to our business and I know he will dominate in his new position!"

Look for TINO COCHINO to start at KKFR in early JANUARY 2014.

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Pennsylvania AM Pair Sold

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IORIO BROADCASTING, INC. is selling Talk simulcast WBVP-A/BEAVER FALLS, PA and WMBA-A/AMBRIDGE, PA to SOUND IDEAS MEDIA, LLC for $750,000 ($140,000 of which will be in a promissory note).

In other filings with the FCC, INDIANA COMMUNITY RADIO CORPORATION is selling FM translator W275BD/GREENFIELD, IN to RADIO ONE OF INDIANA, L.P. for $275,000.

BIBLE BROADCASTING NETWORK, INC. is selling FM translator K289BU/WACO, TX to AMERICAN BROADCASTING OF TEXAS for $15,000.  The translator will rebroadcast Religion KBBW-A/WACO.


KCBR, INC. is selling FM translator K250BE/FLAGSTAFF, AZ to CALVARY CHAPEL OF FLAGSTAFF for $50,000.

EDGEWATER BROADCASTING, INC. is selling FM translator W288CW/LEWISTON, ME to MOUNTAIN VALLEY BROADCASTING, INC. for $35,000.  The translator will rebroadcast Soft AC WEZR-A (EZ 1240)/LEWISTON, ME.

SISTER GRACE, INC. is transferring FM translator W290CO/IRON MOUNTAIN, WI to WRVM, INC. as part of a settlement agreement of mutually exclusive translator applications.  WRVM is dismissing applications at ESCANABA, MI and MANITOWOC, WI, allowing SISTER GRACE's application at GLADSTONE, MI to be granted; the move also allows both companies' applications for new translators at IRON MOUNTAIN to be granted, SGI at IRON MOUNTAIN and WRVM at NORWAY, MI.

MTD, INC. has requested a Silent STA for KTUM/TATUM, NM and KWMW/MALJAMAR, NM due to the collapse of their tower structure.

JAMES J. CHLADEK has closed on the sale of Tropical WXMC-A/PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS, NJ to WORLD INDIA RADIO, LLC for $30,000.

And CTC MEDIA GROUP has closed on the sale of FM translator W290CB/NEW BERN, NC to BEASLEY's WNCT LICENSE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP for $65,000.  The translator will rebroadcast Beach Music WNCT-A/GREENVILLE, NC.

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Cumulus Completes Refinancing Of Senior Secured Credit Facilities

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CUMULUS MEDIA has entered into an Amended and Restated Credit Agreement, consisting of a $2.025 billion term loan maturing in DECEMBER 2020 and a $200 million revolving credit facility maturing in DECEMBER 2018.

The proceeds from the Term Loan along with cash on hand have been used to repay in full all amounts outstanding under the first and second lien term loans under CUMULUS’ pre-existing credit agreements. Amounts outstanding under the Term Loan and the Revolver, which is currently undrawn, will bear interest at LIBOR + 325 bps, subject to a 1.00% LIBOR floor.

The refinancing follows the entry into a $50 million, 5-year revolving accounts receivables securitization facility, which CUMULUS entered into on DECEMBER 6th (NET NEWS 12/5).  Advances under the securitization facility, which are subject to a borrowing base calculation, bear interest at LIBOR + 250 bps with no LIBOR floor.

“This highly successful refinancing transaction is expected to increase our free cash flow by greater than $30 million annually, extends our maturities through 2020 and simplifies our capital structure,” said CEO LEW DICKEY. “We believe our balance sheet has now placed us at a competitive advantage that positions us well for future growth opportunities.”

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Radiothon Raises Over $1 Million

Children?s Medical Center announced its 2013 Christmas is for Children radiothon raised more than $1 million. The annual four-day event is supported by CBS Radio and broadcast on 98.7 KLUV and La GRANDE 107.5-FM from the Seacrest Studio located in the hospital. On-air talent from both radio stations who participated as emcees in the weekend-long radiothon included Jody Dean, Edgar ?Shoboy? Sotelo, Rebekah Black, David Rancken, Jenny Q, John Summers, Carlos, Horacio, and Ana Cruz. One hundred percent of the funds raised through Christmas is for Children remain at Children?s to support patient care and hospital programs and services.

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Moran Leaving WCMF Rochester Morning Show


Another Entercom on-air personality leaves over money. Entercom Rochester says WCMF morning show co-host Bill Moran is leaving the show immediately. Operations Manager Bob Barnett said, ?We offered Bill Moran an extension on his contract including a salary increase. His agent informed us that he was not interested in continuing with us and that he had another offer. We are left with no choice but to move on without him.? Moran?s contract is scheduled to run out at the end of this month. Earlier this month, in Austin, JB of the JB and Sandy program was also offered more money by the company but opted to move on.

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(SALES) The Will To Learn IS The Way


?Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.?
? Benjamin Franklin

Burnt iron has a very distinct smell. In a foundry, the burnt iron leaves black dirt so thick it has to be shoveled.

I can smell that burnt iron today as if he was standing right in front of me. I can see the white circles around his eyes when he removed his glasses and the permanent ring around his hair from his hard hat. Dad was home from work.

Albert Schmidt was a foundry-man. Even though he was a manager, he spent much of his career working long hours in black dirt with 2000-plus degree liquid metal. Dad was the best at what he did. Years after his retirement, and still to this day, the phone rings occasionally with a question from the foundry.

I?ll never forget one year when we were on our annual cross-country trip from Detroit to Saskatchewan in our 1971 Ford Galaxy. Dad had a ?waste? problem at the foundry. He was determined to solve it. He hired a young man who had just started a career in speaking to help train his staff. Dad wanted to change the culture of his plant from one of ?it can?t be done? to one of ?let?s find a way.? During the long trip Dad listened to tapes from this young speaker . . . over and over. The man had a funny accent and told funny stories.

At that young age, I had no concept of what dad was doing. Today, though, I see that dad had a learning mindset. Harvard research suggests that only 10 percent of people have a learning mindset. A person with a learning mindset is defined as one who will seek out new knowledge and learning on his/her own. Sadly 90 percent of people today will not seek out new knowledge unless it's a requirement of their job.

If you have any doubts that a learning mindset is necessary to stay competitive, a quick fact check should clear that up. According to Workopolis 2013 research, here are 10 jobs that won?t exist 10 years from now:

1. Social Media Expert
2. Taxi Dispatcher
3. Toll Booth Operator
4. Retail Cashier
5. Word Processor/Typist
6. Switchboard Operator
7. Photo finisher
8. Librarian
9. Video Store Clerk
10. Newspaper delivery person

And Forbes magazine reminds us that these jobs didn?t exist 10 years ago:

1. Social Media/On-line Manager
2. Elder Care Services Coordinator
3. Sustainability Manager
4. Educational/Admissions Consultant
5. Search Engine Optimization Specialist
6. Medical Billing/Coder
7. User Experience Manager

"Obsolete" is an ugly word. Webster's Dictionary says that obsolescence is: the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.

Will you let your skills become obsolete? Or will you adopt a learning mindset and invest in your future?

Here are four things you can do to invest in your career:

1. Read books
2. Subscribe to Ted Talks on YouTube
3. Attend seminars or webinars
4. Take a class

What you do is not nearly as important as your commitment to always be learning. I?m not suggesting you do a one-time ?data-dump.? "Knowledge bites" are what Chris Lytle and I call them for our clients ? actionable information we provide each week that can improve sales immediately. Learning is a process, not an event.

I?ve always wanted to know more; to dig deeper. My professional career is focused on the mission of thinking big and making big things happen. I can trace those beliefs back to that long car ride when my dad introduced me to his new friend, Zig Ziglar. Dad credits Zig Ziglar and his training for helping him improve his plant?s operation ? reducing waste by 87 percent. The investment in learning is cheap compared to the cost of ignorance.

Chris Lytle and I are conducting a webinar series sponsored by Radio Ink. It?s called the Radio Sales Success Expander. Our mission is to provide you with actionable information to help you grow in your career. Please click HERE and read more about it, and if you think it can help you, sign up.

2014 can be the year you grow and develop . . . or it can take you one step closer to obsolescence. The choice is yours.

Think Big, Make Big Things Happen!

Jeff Schmidt is EVP and Partner with Chris Lytle at Sparque, Inc. You can reach Jeff at,,
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

NAB Makes Expo Purchase


The National Association of Broadcasters says it has purchased the assets of the Content and Communications World and Satellite Communications Conference and Expo events from JD Events, a trade show organizer. CCW and SATCON, held annually in November, are co-located at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

CCW is an event based in New York with a focus on content creation, management, and delivery technologies. SATCON offers education and exhibits serving companies in the satellite-enabled communications and content delivery industry. The 2013 CCW (which included SATCON) had 6,898 attendees, a 22 percent increase from 2012.

"We have made these additions to the NAB event family with the goal of growing both the attendee and exhibitor base of what has emerged as an important East Coast venue for the content community," said Executive Vice President of NAB Conventions and Business Operations, Chris Brown. "We look forward to developing this event and serving the unique needs of this very important media market."

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AUDIO)Tommy Edwards Remembers His Good Friend Larry Lujack


Larry Lujack and Tommy Edwards met in 1972 and developed a close friendship that remained strong until Lujack died December 18 when cancer took his life. The two would talk several times every month no matter where they worked or how far apart they lived, and each conversation ended with both men laughing. Edwards knew the end was near when Lujack stopped taking calls. We spoke to Edwards about his friendship with Lujack, what he meant to the radio industry, and how this one Chicago jock everyone called "Super" made such an impact on so many lives. LISTEN HERE

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WINS' Stan Brooks Dies At 86


For more than 50 years, Stan Brooks had been telling news stories on 1010 WINS. He never retired. 1010 WINS Director of News and Programming Ben Mevorach told Radio Ink last night, "He was the very essence of goodness, humility, and decency. His professional life was a testament to his belief that the story -- not the reporter -- was the star. There will never be another one like him. He was the station's very first news director when we flipped to all-news in April 1965, and though he stepped down a few years later to return to reporting, he was, and will forever be, the heart and soul of 1010 WINS." The CBS website has a very nice piece on Brooks' career and some great classic audio HERE

More New York coverage of Brooks HERE at the New York Post, at The Wall Street Journal and at MyFoxNY HERE

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(SALES) Less Words, More Love


In keeping with my annual time-honored principle of writing a ?less is more? article over the holidays, I throw this one up for you.

In their book, Leaders, Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus describe two distinguishing characteristics of top leaders. No. 1, ?They don?t dwell on their shortcomings? and, No. 2, ?They love what they do.?

A few years ago I was invited to give a speech at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas. It will be 20 years in 2014 since I gave my first speech at the NAB in Las Vegas. Time flies! The day before I gave my speech, they inducted Gary Owens into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The longtime radio and television personality was recognized for his (at the time) 40-year career, during which he rose from newscaster at KORN in Mitchell, SD, to one of the nation?s most recognized voices in St. Louis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He also frequently demonstrated that voice as an announcer on television during Rowan and Martin?s Laugh-In, for those of you who remember that TV show.

His acceptance speech that day was marked by the famous Owens' humor, which kept all of us in attendance laughing hysterically. He said, ?I wouldn?t change one show, one record, or one cough-button. I love what I?m doing. And when I find out what I do, I?ll let you know. I tried being serious once, but all I could get was construction work.?

Special Note: Special shout-out to Larry Lujack, the legendary voice of WLS in Chicago. As a small boy living in Lincoln, Nebraska, I picked WLS up on the cloud bounce on my shortwave radio in my basement. So sorry to see you go Larry!

Another note: Congratulations to Ken Hammock, Corporate Underwriting Consultant at WVFJ in Atlanta for cracking last week?s Vigenere Cipher code. Ken was a Navy cryptographer in the 1970s. No wonder you cracked it. Here?s what Navy cryptographers do, according to Ken: I used a computer source, found the repeating sequences to come up with a key of 7, 8, or 9... and then allowed the computer to come up with the suggested keywords. There were about 148 possible keywords. So I looked through those to find the common letters and decided that "princess" fit best. So I entered the key of 8 and the keyword "princess" and behold. 

The message Ken deciphered: Ah! There you are Rowan. Good work. I will see you on the next tour stop.

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or

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Cumulus Completes Refinancing


Cumulus announced it has entered into an amended credit agreement, consisting of a $2.025 billion term loan maturing in December 2020 and a $200 million revolving credit facility maturing in December 2018. CEO Lew Dickey said, ?This highly successful refinancing transaction is expected to increase our free cash flow by greater than $30 million annually, extends our maturities through 2020, and simplifies our capital structure. We believe our balance sheet has now placed us at a competitive advantage that positions us well for future growth opportunities.?

The proceeds from the term loan, along with cash on hand, have been used to repay in full all amounts outstanding under the first and second lien term loans under Cumulus? pre-existing credit agreements. Amounts outstanding under the term loan and the revolver, which is currently undrawn, will bear interest at LIBOR + 325 bps, subject to a 1.00 percent LIBOR floor.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

TALENT)The Radio Brain -- Part III


Very few words aptly describe these TV commercials, one of which would have to be ?spectacular!? Celebrities hanging off the rafters, throngs of extras, costumes to rival an old Busby Berkeley musical, lush, multi-layered audio, a plethora of static, steady-cam and dolly shots ? all woven together to capture, enrapture and draw in the audience for 26 seconds. Only then is the product/service or brand revealed.
Advertisers who are continuously investing millions of dollars in production costs alone for these spots are not doing so that their agencies can enter to win prizes at the local Ad Show and Quilting Bee. They do so because it is a strategy that works! The radio equivalent costs a measly few thousands of dollars ? whenever that happens, which is rarely. (The cost does not include the cheaped-out, hinky jingle package.)
Through my entire career, I have yet to find any radio folk who can argue ? in reasonable and rational terms ? how these massive production pieces are of any value or how they work. (The chance they might hold a listener?s/viewer?s attention awhile longer, however, is a valid attribute.) Nor have I found anyone who can address the practice with equally rational arguments about why they might not work.
Enter: The Radio Brain.
Radio people are going to have to learn that processing certain patterns of verbiage, pure content, and information are done most efficiently when accessed through the spoken word in an organic (non-electronic) environment or when read from ?hard copy.? These processing behaviors are automatic, dominant hemisphere (left-brained) activities. When someone is listening to the radio, the left brain may just as well hang out a sign that reads: ?gone fishin?? because it sure ain?t mindin? the store.
Meanwhile, the Radio Brain is taking in unique forms of language, feasting on any emotionalism being offered and gobbling up any scenery that is built and provided through sensory references. Very little in the form of reasonable or logical pieces of information are even considered ? never mind the hope that this info will also be stored away in some subconscious vault.
Sophisticated advertising agencies that are designing electronic media campaigns for the more heavily-funded political groups, already know there is little point in arguing in reasonable or logical terms when emotional bombast and fantasy-laden constructs are far more effective and easier to justify, especially when the ?facts? won?t fly.
Meanwhile, a little context might be helpful. Human beings started by grunting at each other, slapping vegetable juices on caves in the form of crude paintings, and trading naughty stories as long as some kind of skin or parchment was available ? thousands of years ago. The brain hemispheres have adapted to that, essentially constant, environment.
Then, one day, no more than a few generations ago, a whole new phenomenon was introduced into human experience ? the transmission of sound through an electronic medium. That?s the day the sub-dominant hemisphere (right brain) chimed in and said, ?I got this!? Broadcasting was born, seized by a pack of wild, roving wolves, and has been feeding on the population ever since ? unchecked and undisciplined,
While many broadcasters continue ? more out of habit and tradition than through education ? to argue using what, at first, seems suspiciously like reasonable and rational approaches for the inclusion of most ?content,? in programming and in commercials, our failure to provide massive returns for our advertisers does suggest otherwise. What those results suggest is that we (radio) still have a great deal to learn about how our medium actually works and what we can do to better exploit the potentials.
An understanding and appreciation of these new (to broadcasters) elements of neurology, psychology, and communicative philosophy will be essential for radio to break out of the doldrums in which it has been loafing for more than 30 years. Also necessary will be for broadcasters to acquire an understanding of the techniques and strategies required to take advantage of these innate, but, so far, unexplored qualities of broadcasting. Next comes the will to implement the techniques and strategies. These are no small challenges.
Ignoring this information, however, will guarantee the following: radio will continue to approach its audiences the same way it always has. Radio will continue to approach the advertising it generates for its clients in the same ways. Radio will continue to get the results it always has ? audiences and advertisers losing interest and loyalties. It will continue to garner no more than the 5-7 percent of available advertising revenues it can claim for itself today. Radio will continue to become a less-than-exciting medium to consider as a challenging and worthwhile career. Radio will continue to trot out the cheerleading corps that are an embarrassment to all concerned ? like being forced to watch old, fat, drunk men on the dance floor stumbling around and getting down with their ?bad? selves.
The general state of radio is not a well-kept secret. Amongst other media moguls and professional purveyors of their own communicative trades, radio is at the brunt of too many easily-constructed and cruel jokes. There are those in the radio business who have spent more time learning how to massage and manipulate data than being educated in how, specifically, electronic media impacts a population.
Again, the invitation stands to print this piece and read it as ?hard copy.?
Irony: When radio people are considering our own medium, we think about and generate language to express our thoughts about a right brain-accessing medium by processing information through our own left brains. In other words, radio people experience radio differently than does the casual listener. Alert: The Radio Brain and medics with top-drawer medications are standing by.

Ronald T. Robinson has been involved in Canadian Radio since the '60s as a performer, writer and coach and has trained and certified as a personal counsellor. Ron makes the assertion that the most important communicative aspects of broadcasting, as they relate to Talent and Creative, have yet to be addressed. Check out his website

(12/23/2013 5:23:39 PM)
The whole left brain/right brain thing is a bit of a myth -- a lot of New Age "woo" extrapolated from some Nobel-winning research in the 1960s:

The whole story is a bit more complicated:

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KRLD-FM Promotes Bowen To GSM


Robby Bowen has been promoted to General Sales Manager for 105.3 The FAN (KRLD-FM) in Dallas. Bowen joined CBS Radio in Dallas-Fort Worth in February 2005 as an AE for the station, which was at that time KLLI-FM. He later held the position of Local Sales Manager, and most recently served as Senior Account Director.

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Francesa Still On Top Without The Dog


New York Newsday has the details on the latest ratings in New York City where Radio Ink's #1 Sports Talker, Mike Francessa, continues to dominate his time slot. Since his old partner, Chris "Mad Dog" Russo left for Sirius in 2008, Francessa has never lost a step in the ratings. ESPN New York's Michael Kay (who does 3p-7p with Don LaGreca) finished seventh in the fall with a 4.3 share, his best rating to date and the highest ranking for a show in the station's history. Francesa told Newsday, "If that's the dent, good luck to him. Maybe I'll be able to find him in about another 50 years at this rate."

Read the Newsday piece HERE

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Home Depot Drops One Spot


The Home Depot had been radio's best advertiser for many weeks until last week when it was edged out by GEICO by 944 commercials according to media Monitors. GEICO ran 31,932 commercials on radio last week, compared to Home Depot's 30,988. Coming in at number three was Macy's (up from #7) with 29,053,. Fourth was Mcdonald's with 28,050 and rounding out the top five was AT&T Wireless with 27, 252.

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Maisano Leaving Curtis Media


One of radio's most successful seller is stepping away from his job, for now. Curtis Media's Senior VP/D.O.S Adam Maisano will exit the company at the end of December. Maisano says he'll be spending more time helping a family member recover from illness. ?It is with exceedingly mixed emotions that I leave this great job with our stations currently on such a roll, but over the last 18 months I?ve learned a lot about what?s truly important in life, and right now family has to come first.? 

Maisano joined Curtis Media as national sales manager in February, 2002 after serving in sales for Clear Channel in Augusta, GA, Statesville, and Greensboro-Winston Salem, NC.  Under his leadership, Curtis Media?s Raleigh cluster became the top-billing radio group in Raleigh-Durham.  In September, Maisano won the Radio Wayne Award as radio?s best Director of Sales in America.  He says he hopes to return to active radio management by spring.

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The Death of Radio's Great Communicators

Late last night we learned of the death of Larry Lujack. To those of us who have been around the industry for a few decades, that's like losing the Top 40 jock version of Paul Harvey. But there is more to the story. It's about the death of communicators in our industry.

As a teen in Indiana I was heavily influenced by Lujack's show on WLS, which blasted into our town from Chicago. He was different from the rest -- not like a regular DJ, but irreverent and funny. Very funny. I never met Larry, but I followed his career avidly in those days. It was a giant deal when "Super CFL" lured him away from WLS in the 1970s -- and an even bigger deal when WLS lured him back.

Years after I first heard his show, I was visiting Chicago on business and I happened to get up and roll tape on Lujack, as I did frequently in those days. That day, it turned out, was his return from time away after his son's death. Lujack's compelling story had me, and no doubt all of Chicago, in tears. Here was a friend who was suffering a great loss, and he was willing to talk about it to all of us, on the radio. It was that day that it dawned on me what radio is really all about.

Lujack wasn't just a local morning jock. He was a friend to everyone. A companion. Chicago lived his life with him, every step of the way. He held nothing back. He discussed his problems at home, his issues at work, his life -- and most of the time he had fun with it all. It was real.

Lujack's loss is a reminder that a generation of great communicators is moving on. More so, it's a reminder of the value of great radio communicators and the need for the relationships they have with listeners.
No, we can't live in the past. Things are different now. Debt is high, pressure is higher. And that means expensive people are being pushed out of our industry every day and being replaced by lower-cost alternatives or syndicated solutions. I recently visited a market I used to live in, tuned to my favorite station, and found that all the air personalities -- people I had a 10-year listening relationship with -- were gone.

That station no longer has any interest for me because only a part of my loyalty had to do with the music. I had grown familiar with their airstaff and had grown to love them. Yet they had all been replaced by less talented -- and presumably less expensive -- people. I was embarrassed for the station.

Larry Lujack's passing reminds me how long ago it was that I fell in love with his unique ability to communicate, and how long ago it was that I was first inspired by guys like Lujack, Fred Winston, John Records Landecker, and others from that legendary station. They inspired me to fall in love with radio and want to spend my life doing it. That was 44 years ago.

The radio industry I fell in love with was about great content. No matter how far we've come, no matter how much has changed or how tight the budgets are, it's still about great content, content that binds us to our audiences and creates deep loyalty. Yet how many times have we heard about air personalities who have been terminated after decades on the air because they "just cost too much"? Billing on a station might drop by half when a beloved talent leaves, even as management pretends one has nothing to do with the other. Larry Lujack made headlines back in 1984 with a then-unprecedented multimillion-dollar contract. If WLS was willing to spend that much to keep Lujack on its airwaves, imagine how much he was bringing in.

Friendships run deep, and radio's strength has always been the friendships between great communicators and their audiences. At a time when everyone wants a piece of radio and is trying desperately to draw listeners away, that sense of friendship could be the biggest advantage radio has. When we drive out high-profile, highly paid talent in the name of cutting costs, we may well be driving away the very thing that is responsible for our success. It's something few CFOs or people outside the radio business can grasp. Someone you've just met, however charming they might be, can never match a friend you've had for 10 or 20 or 30 years.

As more great talent are pushed out of the mega corporations, operators like Larry Wilson are going in another direction, believing an investment in great local talent can attract audience away from syndicated shows. We'll see, but Larry isn't often wrong. 

As an industry, we need to be very careful about the long-established talent we shed. If I were running Pandora, I'd set up a new division featuring nothing but displaced local market stars. Everyone talks about how a music service can't take radio's audience away, but there are hundreds of much-loved and out-of-work local personalities who'd jump at the opportunity -- and their listeners might well follow them. If I were running Pandora or another streaming music service, I'd be very interested in finding out.

(12/21/2013 4:41:32 AM)
A very excellent article Eric, You are definitely correct regarding Mr. Lujack. I loved this guy on the radio. His delivery was so much different than the other Jocks back then. I grew up listening to Larry Lujack in the mid 60's as a kid and just loved listening to him ever since. I followed him when he left WLS for Station WCFl. He's the one that made me interested into go into radio. To me, he's the one that put personality in radio. R.I.P."Uncle Lar".
(12/20/2013 10:24:29 AM)
There are only 3 air personalities that impacted my life over the years...The Greaseman, John Landecker, and Larry Lujack. As a kid growing up in Chicago, and listening to WLS religiously, Larry Lujack was a part of my every day life. It was Landecker's Boogie Check and Lujack's Animal Stories that made me want to be part of this business. I didn't know Larry personally, but the professional path I chose to take was a direct result of his genius. Thank you Larry
(12/19/2013 8:44:48 PM)
Dick (Summer) was no slouch either as he was "loping along with things to say an' do and kinda make happen."

I was working evenings at a 250-watt toilet in Ontario at the time, After signing off at midnight, I could catch Dick On WBZ.

He too, like Lujack and others had an ability to express his humanity along with his wit. It's true, Larry took cynicism to whole new heights, but by that time Vietnam had become a toxic cesspool and attitudes had changed, as well.

Eric's main contention, however is well-taken and sadly accurate.

The next group of performers, meanwhile, will not only have to be excellent personalities, they will need to be more cognizant of the medium they are taking on. No small challenge.

(12/19/2013 5:53:45 PM)
You've done some great articles Eric. But the one about Lujack was your best. I'm from Brooklyn. William B. Williams on WNEW was my guy. I must have been 8 years old. Willie was MCing a charity event at which Vic Damone was performing. It was for Big Brothers. They were both very personally and very deeply involved. Vic was appearing on Willie's show to promote the event. At the end of the interview, Willie let about 10 seconds of dead air go by. Then he very quietly said, "Vic, I really like you." I had never heard anything like that on the radio. I was stunned. It was real. It was warm. It was human. I tried to remember the feeling of that moment every time I cracked a mic.

A lot of years later, I got to work with Willie. I was the first morning man at WNEW-FM. About 9:30 AM, the studio door opened, The Norman Luboff choir sang a chord, there was a reflection of a great golden light in the control room glass, and the tectonic plate under Fifth Avenue shifted gently. It was Willie B. He walked over to me, held out his hand and said, "Kid you sound great." I didn't know whether I should shake his hand or kiss his ring. Some things you don't forget.

Good night Larry. You did good. If you get a chance, shake Willie's hand for me. He did good too.

You too, Eric.

Dick Summer

(12/19/2013 5:47:31 PM)
Eric - An excellent synopsis of what is missing from much of today's radio. Talents from that magical era created an intimacy with the listener seemingly grown cold today. Listen up broadcasters, what was once can be again although sadly without this original talent; Larry Lujack.

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The 1987 Larry Lujack Farewell Letter

He's getting a lot of well-deserved accolades for the impact he made on radio and the lives of those who worked around him. He was the talk of the town on Chicago radio yesterday. However, many of his friends say that Larry Lujack wouldn't have wanted everyone to make a big stink about him or his career. And that message came across many years ago in THIS LETTER It's a classic and you can read it here thanks to John Rook who also sent us this classic photo from 1969. Art Roberts, LuJack, The Dean of Chicago radio news, Lyle Dean & Charles Rowe Rook, WLS-TV anchorman.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Adam & Drew, Steve Austin Faves Of iTunes


The editorial team of iTunes has selected the Adam & Dr. Drew Show as the best new audio podcast of 2013.  Additionally, PodcastOne?s Steve Austin Show was selected as the Top Pick in the Sports/Recent Debuts category. Both are distributed by PodcastOne. Chairman Norm Pattiz said, ?We thank the editorial team at iTunes for selecting these programs. We will proudly display the ?iTunes Best of 2013? badge prominently when presenting and promoting these programs. Our lineup of the best-of-the-best in podcasting is validated with recognition like this.?

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(SALES) How To Make Your Salespeople Successful


Most sales managers believe that they invest their time growing and developing their people. But in reality, even though their intentions are good, that?s not what they?re doing.

Are you?

If you?re like most sales managers, you probably talk with sales candidates during the interview process about how important your sales organization considers the development and growth of salespeople to be. But actions speak louder than words. What do you actually do to make that happen? You may spend money on sales training, even hire a great sales trainer to come in and spend time with your team, but are your sales managers regularly reinforcing that training, coaching the sellers, growing them, and looking for developmental opportunities? Providing sales training is important, but investing time to grow and develop people is a different thing.

It?s what you do on a day-to-day basis that determines whether you are a developer of people or just a manager. That is the difference between spending time managing sales versus investing time developing salespeople.

But it?s not easy to make time to grow your salespeople!

After all, you have hundreds of e-mails that need your attention, a few dozen reports that must be completed and sent up the ladder, and a line of salespeople standing outside your door asking you to sign off on something so they can move it forward. At the same time, you have six to 10 internal meetings that you?re required to attend and that you have to be prepared for every week. Even though you may want to invest your time in your people, unfortunately, you?re tasked with managing the paperwork of the business. This situation is very common ? but just because it?s common does not mean it has to be this way. The best sales organizations are asking sales managers to make developing salespeople a priority.

And it?s not optional.

Spending time managing the business is important. But there will soon be no business to manage if you don?t invest your time growing and developing your people. Talented people want to grow, and they want to know that their leaders consider them valuable enough to invest in. If you don?t focus on developing your most talented salespeople, they will eventually find somewhere else that will. An exodus of top talent, increased turnover, and missed budgets that make it increasingly difficult to recruit top talent ? it all perpetuates the downward spiral.

Here are some ways you can invest in growing your salespeople. You can do this!

? Take the time to identify and understand their individual talents, and then align them with accounts and assignments that will grow them and help them to succeed.
? Spend time in the field with your salespeople ? not to close the business for them, but to coach them and help grow and develop them. It?s impossible to coach someone from the office if you?ve never seen them in action.
? Show them you care. Not just about hitting their budget, but you actually care about them. People grow when they know you care.
? Give them feedback, and make sure it?s specific and frequent. Imagine how it would make you feel if no one ever told you that you were doing a great job. Or if no one ever gave you any feedback except to tell you that you?re doing it wrong. And while the frequency of feedback is important, it?s also important that the feedback is specific. A simple ?great job? is not enough. To really help someone grow, you need to let them hear the specifics.

I could list a dozen more ways to invest in growing your salespeople, but I know your plate is full. Start with these, and let me know how it goes. Also, if you?ve found a favorite way grow and develop others, please share it with me:

E-mail me at or reach me on twitter @mattsunshine.

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ABC's Vic Ratner Retiring


On Friday, ABC News President Ben Sherwood sent a note to the ABC news division letting them know the "legendary work horse" is retiring at the end of this month after a 40 year career. Sherwood said, "Most careers can be captured in words. Vic?s career is captured in sounds. In his incredible 40 years on the air for ABC News Radio, Vic has painted vivid pictures for our listeners with a rich and imaginative vocabulary that brought stories to life and gave meaning to ?Gemini? and ?Apollo? and even ?filibuster? and ?quorum.?  With every syllable, Vic defined and embodied excellence."
Ratner said, ?I have been fortunate to work with and learn from exceptionally talented and innovative people at ABC.  Thanks to all of you for the collaborative effort, which makes us the best.?

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