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Thursday, October 31, 2013

How To Make Smarter Decisions

(by Eric Rhoads)
A recent article in Fortune cited the cost of mistakes, and how one incorrect decision can sometimes bankrupt a company. Another article, in Entrepreneur, said that one poor hiring decision has been known to bring down a company. And Harvard Business Review points out that decisions can be high-risk, and that executives must expand their decision-making tool kits because reliance on the tools they know best may well be misguided for make-it-or-break-it decisions.
As executives, we tend to fall into the trap of thinking we know all the answers. And that's why I created Radio Ink's annual Forecast meeting at the Harvard Club.
Though we all like to think our teams are the most capable and our ideas are the most sound, there is logic behind hearing what others within our industry have to say. One day invested, on November 20, is an opportunity to leave with a complete perspective on the radio broadcasting industry; you'll hear industry analysts, advertising predictions, industry trends in digital, trends in automotive and other advertising categories, technology, multiples, and regulatory issues faced.

Because of Forecast's "no press" policy, speakers and panelists tend to level with the audience, going beyond the standard answers meant for public consumption. The end result is a solid sense of where the radio industry is going in the year ahead. In fact, Forecast has become such a powerful prediction tool that we've moved it earlier this year, to November 20, so 2014 budgets can still be adjusted based on data points received.
As usual, the Harvard Club cuts off attendance at 200 people. There are still seats available, though we suggest that you register soon to be assured a place. You'll leave empowered with data that will help you make smarter decisions for your radio properties in 2014.

Forecast 2014
November 20, 2013
Harvard Club
New York
To register, call 561-655-8778 or go to

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Sun Names Gina Suarez Manager Of Affiliate Sales


Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. announced today that Gina Suarez has joined the company, effective immediately, as Manager of Affiliate Sales. In this new position based at Sun's New York City office, Suarez will report to Nick DeGregorio, VP Programming and Affiliate Sales.

As Manager of Affiliate Sales, Suarez will lead and supervise the affiliate strategy for The Marilu Henner Show and will work with all affiliate stations to promote and improve Sun's burgeoning group of products and services.

"As soon as we met Gina, we knew she was a perfect fit," DeGregorio said. "We wanted her enthusiasm and professionalism to be a part of the Sun Broadcast Group family. Gina is a master in managing relationships and is immediately a cornerstone of our growing affiliate sales team."

Suarez said, "It's a thrill and an honor to be part of the dynamic Sun Broadcast Group family. Jason [CEO Jason Bailey], Steve [EVP Steve Gallagher], Nick and the entire team are among the most passionate and dedicated in the business. I share their vision of bringing compelling programs like The Marilu Henner Show to the fore."

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Radio One's Sheila Stewart Killed In Car Accident

(10/25/2013 7:08:11 PM)
This HURTS soooo Much! One of my most heartbreaking moments! I like all of you hoped and prayed that it wasn't true, just an awful, cruel rumor! BUT, now as I wipe away painful, painful tears, my heartaches as if another piece has been taken away, MUCH TO SOON! Shelia was one of the "BEST" human beings GOD ever put on his earth! She was always willing to be of service to anyone or any cause, large or small to be of benefit to the greater good! How do you sum up the LIFE of such Woman? A "Wonderful, Beautiful, Brilliant, Talented, Kind, Loving and Unwavering Loyal Friend with a HEART OF PURE GOLD"! I can only say, I LOVED SHELIA STEWART, she was like a daughter, a dear sister-friend, confidant, head cheerleader, motivator, wind beneath your wings, just a SHERO! The press releases, stories and bios she crafted made many of us seem far greater than our accomplishments and achievements and she help us win the admiration and respect of many. I know for me, she made me appear and feel as if I was someone REALLY, REALLY SPECIAL and I THANK HER from the bottom of my broken heart! Shelia, professionally and personally was one of the most talented, respected, loved and admired News and Community Affairs Directors and Media Veterans in the business on so many levels. "She was a blessing and gift to us all"! To her greatest ever accomplishment becoming A MOTHER to HER GREATEST GIFT FROM GOD, HER PRIDE AND JOY, JONATHAN, her family, friends, mentees, colleagues and admirers, I can only offer what has sustained and gotten me through on the difficult days and long painful nights........GOD WANTED BACK ONE OF HIS SPECIAL"ANGELS" TO DO GREAT WORK IN THEIR BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL HEAVENLY HOME!! It will never be the same but somehow through the GRACE and MERCY of GOD it becomes bearable!

Your FRIEND of 20 Years, Diane Tucker-Banks
P.S. Had Shelia Stewart written this for me it would have been PERFECT!

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Local Radio Freedom Act Gains More Support


Six members of the House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors for the Local Radio Freedom Act. The bill, which opposes performance royalties or other new fees for broadcast radio, now has 177 co-sponsors in the House and 12 in the Senate.

Adding their support are Reps. Wm. Lacy Clay of Missouri, Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, Ralph Hall of Texas, David Scott of Georgia, Fred Upton of Michigan, and Randy Weber, also of Texas.

The bill was introduced in February by Reps. Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) with 71 additional co-sponsors. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and John Barrasso (R-WY) introduced an identical bill in the Senate on March 6.

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Pittman: iHeartRadio Theater's Will Make Money, Eventually


In a one-on-one interview with Ryan Faughnder at the L.A. Times following the opening of the iHeartRadio Theater in L.A., Pittman told Faughnder "Radio is the last mass-reach, real-time medium. We've never been more important to the consumer or the advertiser." The Theater in Burbank, which opened with a performance by Katy Perry, will air tonight on the CW. Pittman also spoke about the master plan for iHeartRadio which is about building relationships with the consumer through massive reach, not making money right out of the gate.

"We build something big, powerful and strong and we'll figure out how to make money on it. We've built this theater, and we haven't pre-sold anything. We don't know how we'll make money on it, but it's important to who we are." Right now, there's probably no one that does anything like what we're doing with the iHeartRadio Theater in L.A., the iHeartRadio Theater in New York, the iHeartRadio music festival and the iHeartRadio Pool Party in the spring. We're building out all these major events for our listeners, and they'll all come together financially, eventually."

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Townsquare's Dan Austin Leaving Albany


Dan Austin is stepping down as Townsquare's Albany (New York) Market Manager. He's been on the job for just over two years, his last day is November 8th. Austin tells the Albany Business Review he's staying in radio and we should know more about where he's landing on Monday. Austin was also GM for Albany Broadcasting in Albany from 2005 until 2008. He's also worked for Citadel and CBS.

View the original article here

ABC News Digital Launches the New ABC News App


Today, ABC News Digital unveiled the new, re-designed ABC News App for iPhone and Android devices. The app combines a best-of Top Stories experience along with unique, customized features driven by extensive user research. The redesigned app is now available in Google Play and in the App Store and delivers up-to-the-minute news coverage and live streaming video, plus personalized push alerts, exclusive interviews, and in-depth reports.

?We are proud to introduce our new ABC News phone app for iPhone and Android along with several innovative features that continue to enhance the user experience,? said Joe Ruffolo, Senior Vice President of ABC News Digital. ?We understand that the way our users are interacting and engaging with our stories is as important as the content itself. Through personalized alerts, editorial curation, deeper video, live capabilities, and individual inboxes, our users can better follow the stories they care about most.?

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Cox Buys Billboards to Get Bucs Coach Fired


The Tampa Bay Bucs are winless so far this NFL season and the sports community is not happy. 102.5 The Bone, owned by CMG in Tampa, has taken that unhappiness to the next level by purchasing billboards demanding the team fire the head coach. Cox is getting some nice local publicity from the billboard campaign and we're happy to do the same. Cox GM Keith Lawless tells Radio Ink, "The ?Fire Schiano? billboard is simply a reflection of the Tampa Bay community?s opinion of the Buccaneer?s Head Coach.  Our listeners have voiced their opinion that they are tired of a team, that on paper, should have a winning record.  This billboard isn?t a message to the Buccaneers as much as it is a message to our listeners that we are right there with them."

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Consumers Love Pandora. Don't Doubt That.


We can tell ourselves how much consumers love us like a high school sweetheart. But do we know how much love they really feel? And if they do love us, what are we doing to keep them feeling that way -- especially in the always-evolving auto dashboard? That is, what are we doing to keep their love in the most important delivery mechanism for radio, and one it has owned forever?

For the last year, the radio story, as told by many radio CEOs, has been about 92% penetration and hundreds of millions of weekly listeners. Perhaps if we ever see a comprehensive ratings system that provides an easy-to-understand number combining online and over-the-air radio listening, we'll know exactly how much listeners love us. But where the real rubber hits the road, the needle hasn't moved very much: Revenue has been flat, and at DASH in Detroit this week, SNL Kagan representative Justin Nielson said radio's big revenue growth will mainly come from digital.

What if an independent third party went around and interviewed consumers ? your listeners -- about what they listen to in their cars? The car is radio's Holy Grail, its dominant delivery point. At DASH, Edison Research President Larry Rosin gave us a snippet of what they're saying.

Rosin found out that listeners may still love you -- but they also love Pandora, and they want the ability to take Pandora with them in their cars. At DASH on Thursday, Rosin presented information from a sample of experienced connected car users his company followed around and interviewed.

The focus of the research was to determine whether consumers have an easier time using their DASH infotainment systems after having had time to play with them and learn about the features. These consumers, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, made quite a few interesting statements we thought you'd like to hear. While the research sample was small, to a person, these consumers fawned over Pandora. And it was without any prompting by the questioner.

Why were they not fawning over their local radio stations? Why were they not worried about finding their local DJs?

Here are some of the comments:

"I don't like listening to radio, messing with the commercials. Now I just listen to NPR or Pandora."

"Poor FM radio. I don't listen to it anymore because I don't have to."

"In the old car, we could only listen to radio. Now she [his wife] finds something with the stations we've got and she just sticks with it."

"I listen to whatever I was listening to last on my phone."

"When Pandora annoys me, I listen to satellite radio. I try to listen to something I've paid for first. I can listen to radio anytime."

"When I have a short drive, I listen to radio, usually NPR."

Also, not unexpectedly, they do not want to listen to boatloads of commercials.

Coming Monday in our headlines: an extended video interview with Larry Rosin about his latest research.

Watch the Edison Research video interview here.

(10/25/2013 9:37:46 PM)
The other take-away from this is that listeners also love NPR. Or at least appreciate it at a high enough rate to actually pay for it (which about 10% do — enough to float the boats of NPR and the rest of public radio).

For many years public radio was dark matter in Arbitron surveys: large (~10-13% shares) but not visible reported in "the book." Commercial radio could therefore ignore it easily.

But it's a force, and remains so because its consumers and customers are the same.

(10/25/2013 7:15:00 PM)
You need yet another conference and research company to convince you thaat listeners can do without radio, but LOVE Pandora!

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Beasley Q3 Same Station Revenue up 2.7%


Chairman and CEO George Beasley said, ?Excluding the benefit of political advertising in the year-ago quarter, same station net revenue rose approximately 4.4%. The third quarter revenue increase reflects growth in local and digital revenue, strength in our largest market clusters in Philadelphia and Miami, and continued growth in Augusta. Beasley says for its five markets that report to Miller Kaplan ? 76% of its third quarter revenue ? those clusters grew revenue by 6.8% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 1.4% for the quarter.

Beasley went on to say, ?In addition to our focus on core programming and expanding our on-air and digital advertising platforms, we continue to strengthen our balance sheet. Reflecting solid cash flows from operations, we made repayments totaling $2.0 million against the credit facility during the third quarter, reducing borrowings to $110.2 million at September 30, 2013 from $119 million at the end of last year?s third quarter. Our debt and leverage reduction initiatives over the last few years are delivering strong benefits to our income statement as third quarter interest expense declined year-over-year by over 25% or approximately $0.5 million while our leverage ratio is now at its lowest level in over 10 years. We intend to continue using cash from operations to further lower debt as well as pursue other initiatives that can enhance shareholder value. 

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Hannity Gives $25K to Fired Operator


Sean Hannity called the Affordable Care Act hotline during his radio program earlier this week and spoke with operator Earline Davis, who was later fired for agreeing to speak on-air. Yesterday, during The Sean Hannity Show, Hannity announced that he would be donating one-year?s salary to Davis and her family, in addition to launching a campaign to help her find a new job. Listeners can visit or email

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

At Forecast, Hear From Radio's Front-Line Advocates


The NAB and the RAB are the industry's leading trade associations, and they work hard to keep the industry positive about the future. That's important -- but it's just a small part of what they do. These groups are far more than just industry cheerleaders, and at Radio Ink's Forecast 2014, set for November 20, 2013 in New York, Entercom Communications CEO David Field will host a frank conversation with NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith and RAB President/CEO Erica Farber.

What will these top executives have to say about the real issues they see facing radio going into 2014? What will be the organizations' top priorities next year -- and what's on their radar? This is a rare chance to hear a candid (no reporters allowed) conversation between a leading radio CEO (and Forecast co-chair) and the heads of the trade organizations that represent and support the industry -- and it's only at Forecast.

David Field is president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Entercom Communications, one of the country's largest radio broadcasting companies and a member of the New York Stock Exchange. Before becoming Entercom's president in 1998, he served in a number of positions with the company, including COO and CFO. Before joining Entercom, Field was an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. Field serves on the boards of Entercom, the NAB, the RAB, and the Wilderness Society. He served as chairman of the Radio Board of the NAB from 2005-2007.

As president and CEO of the RAB, Erica Farber leads radio?s advocacy efforts by helping to drive business, grow advertising revenue, and communicate radio?s digital transition. Farber joined the organization in January 2012 as executive vice president, responsible for membership, services, and professional development.  Before that she was the CEO of  radio consulting and Internet service provider the Farber Connection LLC, a firm she founded in 2010. During her 15-year tenure at Radio & Records, Farber held various positions including COO, President, Publisher, and CEO. She has held nearly every position in radio sales and management, including rising through the ranks at the Interep Companies to servie as EVP/radio development director. Farber currently serves as chair of the Radio Creative Fund and is on the boards of the Ad Council, Arbitron, Broadcasters Foundation of America, and the Library of American Broadcasting.

Gordon Smith joined the NAB as president and CEO in November 2009. Before joining the NAB, he served as a two-term U.S. senator from Oregon and later as senior adviser in the Washington, DC, offices of Covington & Burling LLP. During his tenure in the Senate, Smith?s committee assignments included the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which oversees all broadcast-related legislation. His role on the Commerce Committee and as chairman of a Senate High Tech Task Force helped foster his interest in new media and new technology issues. Before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1996, he was elected to the Oregon State Senate, rising to the position of president of that body after only three years. Smith is an attorney who practiced law in New Mexico and Arizona before returning to Arizona to direct the family-owned Smith Frozen Foods business.

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Where Does Radio Fit Into the Vehicle of the Future?


Day two of DASH started off with a panel of national automotive representatives who provided insight into radio's future position on the dash of the connected car, and the news was good. Greg Ross (pictured, second from left) from General Motors said infotainment is big, and right now radio makes a lot of sense. "Radio is a core feature in our cars for the foreseeable future," he said. "There is great content. It's efficient. There are customer demands for getting it in different forms or at the time customers want to consume it."

Toyota's Wayne Powell (pictured at right) said out loud exactly what the radio audience wanted to hear: "We love radio. We put three tuners in many of our cars. We don't see removal of the radio tuner at any time at all. The data is clear that terrestrial radio is the number one source in the car. We don't see it going away. We're using the radio pipe in a more expanded way. That keeps the pipe alive."

Powell also said Toyota has key partnerships with companies like Clear Channel for both voice and data. "It's not just Internet connectivity," he noted. "It's total connectivity." Powell pointed out that Toyota vehicles even seamlessly switch from HD to analog when a customer listening to an HD station drives into an area where it's not available, and said Toyota needs partners like Clear Channel to make that happen. "Partnerships are critical," he said. "We can't deliver this alone. We use carriers, content providers, and
pipe providers." Toyota has even opened up an office in Silicon Valley specifically to seek out nontraditional, cutting-edge partners.

GM's Ross also said that eventually every car will be connected "to other cars, to the road infrastructure, and to the Internet." He went on, "All cars will be programmable, with the capability of adding and updating software after the car is purchased. It will be more precise to the tastes and needs of the consumer. 4G connection will be rolled out next year in GM cars. Virtually every vehicle over the next 18 months will have it."

(10/25/2013 1:32:06 PM)
Was there any discussion or insight given to Apple's mobile operating system being installed in autos?
(10/25/2013 6:03:30 AM)
"Automakers Get HD Complaints"

"But even when HD stations do implement HD Radio or put a multicast channel on the air, they’re not always able to pay attention to the alignment of the analog and digital signal. That’s a problem, because complaints about audio quality are starting to arrive at dealerships. IBiquity Senior Vice President of Broadcast Programs & Advanced Services Joe D’Angelo ticked off several: customers say the HD often echoes as if two signals are being received slightly out of time, or the audio sounds as if the station is skipping. Other complaints include the radio doesn’t pick up HD stations, ever. Or, the HD goes in and out. Owners have been slow to embrace the advanced data features that can make a radio display look like its competitors, such as satellite radio or Pandora, in the dash. Only some 400 stations have so far and that’s a problem, according to HD proponents; they believe that if stations don’t step it up, automakers will move radio down the center stack of priorities in the dash, so to speak."

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Dahl Not Attending His Own Hall Induction


Robert Feder writes Steve Dahl has decided to stay home from the November 9th ceremony that will induct him and his former partner Garry Meier at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. Dahl told Feder, ?I wanted no part of it until Greg Solk told me he got roped into inducting us. He said he didn?t want to do it if I wasn?t there, so I called Garry and left him a voicemail. I said it might be fun, but only if we did something together. He never returned my call."

Dahl says he then asked WGN GM Jimmy de Castro to check into it. "It?s been two weeks and even Jim has been unable to prevail. They used a shit picture of me, I?d have to buy a $5,000 table for my family, and they want to approve my 90-second acceptance speech. All of that combined with my general disinterest in the proceedings has made me anxious to stay home and listen to Garry explain how he got there ? and why ? in his allotted minute and a half. ?Maybe I?ll buy an ad in the program to promote my podcast.?

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Tom Poleman To Be Honored By Musicians On Call


Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment , will be honored at the upcoming Musicians On Call Gala to be held on November 12, 2013 at Gotham Hall in NYC. MOC is a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients. 

Launched in 1999, this will mark the first time MOC will honor someone for outstanding commitment to the organization. Through the years, Poleman has been an avid champion of MOC, serving as Board Co-Chairperson for over a decade and lending his time and support to help lighten the experience for patients being treated at hospitals across the country. 

"Tom Poleman has been a driving force behind Musicians On Call for over a decade," says Dr. Leslie Faerstein, Executive Director of MOC. "He has not only served as Co-Chairperson of the Board of Directors where he had helped to steer the course of MOC, but he has been a volunteer musician at the bedsides of patients many times ? most recently early this week in Los Angeles at the Mattel Children?s Hospital at UCLA. Thanks to Tom and Clear Channel's support, Musicians On Call has been able to raise funds to grow our Bedside Performance Programs to 42 times a week in 6 cities. It is most fitting that our first event honoring someone for outstanding commitment to the organization goes to Tom Poleman. He sets the bar high."

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A Read-Between-The Lines Pandora Shot


In that same interview with the L.A. Times, answering the question, "How does iHeartRadio work for Clear Channel at a time when Internet radio doesn't seem to be very profitable?" the Clear Channel CEO's answer was a clear statement disagreeing with Pandora's listening numbers. "Remember, we do all this at an incremental cost. If you look at iHeartRadio, Pandora and all the Internet radio players, it's only 8% of all the listening. The other 92% is broadcast radio, so we've not forgotten where the monster is." Pandora says it has 7% of all radio listening which would leave a 1% crumb for all the others. There was no follow-up question by the L.A. Times reporter. 

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Beck's Blaze Goes Live in Philly For One Week


Glenn Beck's TheBlaze Radio Network will launch TheBlaze Radio Philadelphia, a live and localized radio network on Monday, November 4. In advance of the launch, TheBlaze Radio Network will take-over WWIQ-FM (106.9) for one week starting on Monday to introduce Philadelphia audiences to its programming. TheBlaze Radio Philadelphia lineup will feature local news and weather twice per hour and traffic four times per hour during AM and PM drive Here's a look at TheBlaze Radio Network's programming...

Program lineup during the WWIQ take-over:
9AM ? 12PM:  The Glenn Beck Radio Program
12 PM ? 2 PM:  Buck Sexton
2PM ? 5PM:  Jay Severin
5PM ? 6PM:  Doc Thompson LIVE from Philadelphia?s O?Neals Irish Pub & Restaurant (611 S 3rd St, Philadelphia)

TheBlaze Radio Network's regular programming:
6 AM ? 9 AM:  The Morning Blaze with Doc Thompson
9 AM ? 12 Noon:  The Glenn Beck Radio Program
12 Noon ? 2 PM:  Pat & Stu
2 PM ? 5 PM:  Jay Severin
5 PM ? 6 PM:  Glenn Beck Show on TheBlaze
6 PM ? 7 PM:  Real News from TheBlaze

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Clear Channel Nashville Expands Duties for Bryan


Michael Bryan is named PD at WRVW 107.5 The River in Nashville. He expands his current duties as Operations Manager for Clear Channel Nashville and PD for WSIX The Big 98 to oversee programming for the heritage Top 40 station. Bryan joined Clear Channel Nashville as Operations Manager in 2012, overseeing all programming and operations for the five-station cluster.

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Former WNEW-FM NY Rocker Arrested


The New York Daily News is reporting that legendary rock and roll DJ Dave Herman has been arrested for trying to arrange sex with a 6-year-old girl in the Virgin Islands. Police picked Herman up at the St. Croix airport after allegedly attempting to set up a meeting with a 36-year old woman who was willing to let him have sex with the girl. It turns out the woman worked for the Department of Homeland Security. Herman allegedly wrote in an online chat room, ?I find girls that age incredibly sexy, soft, and their innocence is also a huge turn-on for me. Age 6 is the perfect time to start her being loved that way.? Herman is due in court Friday in St. Croix. If convicted, he faces 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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CBS Radio Baltimore To Launch New Country On 106.1


CBS Radio Baltimore announced today the launch of a new local radio station, New Country on 106.1. The station will sign on the air Friday, Oct. 25 at noon. and feature today?s biggest country artists, including Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and many other current artists both new and established.

New Country on 106.1 will be heard on-air, and streaming online at and the app for mobile devices. In addition to its presence at 106.1 FM, the station will be available on HD Radio devices at 101.9 HD2.

Robert Philips, Senior Vice President and Market Manager of CBS Radio Baltimore said, "We're excited to help put New Country on 106.1 on the air and round out our diverse range of programming in Charm City. Country radio today has a broad-based audience, including more listeners and younger listeners than ever before. Its cross-over popularity is at an all-time high, and country fans here in Baltimore are extremely passionate."

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SiriusXM Revenue Rises 11%. Plans Price Increase


SiriusXM reported third-quarter record results of $962 million, up 11 percent from Q3 of 2012. The company also announced it will be raising its price by six dollars per year for basic packages starting in January. This is the second price increase since a government ban was lifted following the merger of Sirius and XM in 2008. CEO Jim Meyer said, ?While changing prices is a hard decision, especially in the competitive audio entertainment market, we are assured that our subscribers see substantial value in our service and that this modest change will not considerably impact retention next year.? In 2011 SiriusXM increased the cost of its basic package by 1.50 dollars.

Meyer said the company "had a great quarter," adding more than half a million subscribers. We also saw double-digit growth in revenue for the seventh consecutive quarter, a new quarterly record for adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, and significant growth in free cash flow."

Adjusted EBITDA for Q3 was up 21 percent, to $296 million, with adjusted EBITDA margin at nearly 31 percent. Free cash flow was $245 million, up 26 percent from $195 million in Q3 of 2012.

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(VIDEO) Harsh Words From a Former Automotive Radio Advertiser


Barry Merrill (pictured, center, at the DASH conference) is the President and General Manager of Grand Ledge Ford Lincoln in Grand Ledge, MI. Unfortunately he is a lost radio advertiser and he blames the radio industry for his decision to turn all of his dollars over to TV. Merrill said there was too much turnover in sales reps, and they were just trying to hit their budgets -- there was no relationship-building. He went from spending all of his advertising dollars on radio to spending nothing. We asked Merrill to give the industry some advice on how to improve.

"When you call on us, use an all-around approach," he said. "Focus on new cars, used cars, promote our website and our Facebook page. Talk about what you can do to promote the dealership as a whole." Merrill says Ford is moving a lot of advertising to digital, including Pandora, and he says it's working."I like to advertise directly," he said. "I get more feedback."

Ford is now at 60% to 70% digital, up from 20T-30%. Merrill also asks, as radio sees technology evolving so fast, how radio is going to be engaged in that: "If it's a regular antenna connecting to the car and everyone else is digital, you are going to be left out of the game."

Here is our extended video interview from DASH with Barry Merrill.

(MANAGER'S PERSPECTIVE) While this may be true, there are always two sides to a story. It's doubtful that all the Detroit radio groups simply dropped the ball forcing this guy to abandon radio. There are too many good radio groups in that market. Would have loved to hear what they had to say about it.  
.... Major Market General Manager

What's your perspective? Leave your comments below.

(10/26/2013 9:35:57 AM)
Yet he is in the business of selling radios. One comes with every car.
(10/26/2013 9:07:26 AM)
Eric and Ed,

After considering all the comments (most of them, anyway), it appears to me that the car dealer you chose to offer his thoughts on media use was a poor choice. If the radio guys in the market who know him have him pegged as just a rate objector who relished the opportunity to get on stage and rip radio a new one, then he served no purpose in your intended forum.
RadioInk has made some questionable choices in their recent panel picks. Many of the tech "experts" are people looking for work and get some by opining that radio is nearly dead and only their services will save it. Others are agency reps who change their stance weekly as their ilk always has.
RadioInk is to be saluted for trying to get a conversation going that can be beneficial, but not if all the speakers have the same theme that the sky is falling, because the money people who are building and buying radio stations know that is not true.

(10/26/2013 12:13:13 AM)
"Live and local" is a phrase served with the Kool-Aid. And, like that famous (Jonestown) beverage, very few understand the implications of sucking it up.

Live and local can be programmed in the morning by anybody so inclined. And there isn't a reader here who doesn't know what a shambles and a sham that would be.

Anyway, "Ronnie's" next article deals with that very issue. It may be an opportunity to do something different - like: learn something new.

(10/25/2013 7:38:26 PM)
In Eric Rhoads impassioned separate message today detailing the far-reaching wisdom of his recent conference the ad director for Hyundai and Kia says unless radio maintains LIVE AND LOCAL they will be less of a factor.
Wanna eat your comments of late on LIVE AND LOCAL, Ronnie? We can start with this example of your nonsense.
(10/25/2013 6:45:17 PM)
Got it: It's the advertisers' fault and when it's not, it's the sales departments' fault. Anything to delay taking action on our own parts is acceptable.

So, here is the strategy: a.) Knock a series of homers out of the park for a half dozen different clients. b.) inform the desired advertisers of those results while asking them to drop by at their convenience.

Can't pull that off? Load up on personal supplies; get with station ownership and management; lock the doors; speak candidly and truthfully; participate in making decisions for drastic and dramatic improvements, and after that, determine if there is a personal future in this racket.

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(SALES) Digital is DEAD!


Procter & Gamble?s global brand building officer Marc Pritchard proclaimed digital marketing to be ?DEAD."

Pritchard urges marketers to look beyond the pipes and plumbing of digital and social media to what really matters: engaging people with creative campaigns. In his recent speech, Pritchard said to marketers, ?Try and resist thinking about digital in terms of the tools, platforms, or QR codes, and all of the technology coming next. Instead, the future lies in building brands with campaigns that matter, make people think, feel, and laugh. We have the chance to do all of those things now in a way that is so much more exciting than we did before."

Frequently, when I?m talking to business owners and the topic of marketing comes up, someone will say, ?We really need to create a better digital strategy. Many radio and TV stations are trying to ?maximize. their digital selling efforts.

This is likely to be unpopular, but my question to both is, ?WHY?" Please don?t misunderstand; I?m an early adopter. I think the digital world is fascinating, engaging, and distracting all at the same time. It can delight the senses, engage the audience, and go viral in a hurry. The problem, as I see it, is that it?s not the PLATFORM that is doing the engaging, it?s the message.

In my work as a brand strategist, I always start with the message, and the message always starts with the consumer or end user. After identifying the consumer, you analyze the competitive landscape to find your point of differentiation. Once you have created a brand marketing strategy, then and only then can you start to explore where to execute the strategy.

Digital is a ?platform. The cool thing about digital platforms is they are ?user controlled.  This is also the ugly side of digital platforms; all the control is in the hands or fingers of the user. So if you aren?t grabbing their attention and engaging them in the first few seconds, they?re gone. With traditional media -- television, radio, and newspaper -- they?re more likely to "sit through" the commercials. As an example, consider the gateway videos that play on certain websites or YouTube. So fickle is the audience that the producer of the content has to put a ?skip this ad" banner at the bottom. After five seconds, you can skip right to the content you want. Ninety-nine percent of the time I skip. That?s the ugly side of digital as platform -- you have five whole seconds to get my attention and keep it, or I?m gone. That?s a brutal reality and substantiates my theory that it?s not about the platform, it?s about the message and the strategy.

Pritchard talked about a recent campaign strategy for Braun electric shavers that initially ran only online. Pritchard says of the success, ?It wasn?t the digital component. It was the campaign.

Do you think consumers know the difference between a digital ad and a traditional ad?  That?s lingo only marketing people use. My dad, for instance, doesn?t distinguish an email blast, a Facebook gutter, or column ad from the radio ads he hears listening to the Detroit Red Wings. I?ve never had a discussion with him about the digital strategy of a company. He?s the first to tell me, though, when he finds an ad in poor taste or offensive. It was comical to hear him complain about the first time he got a ?porn pop-up. I still get a good laugh at that.

Here?s the big idea. You don?t need to worry about platforms, delivery methods, or digital, unless and until you have an outstanding brand strategy in place. Unless you start with the brand strategy, you will be chasing your tail after the latest shiny thing to come on the market in the form of another advertising tool.

Don?t be the tool. Be the craftsman/woman. Create your message; identify your core values, your point of differentiation in the marketplace, and your desired outcome. Determine how you are going to dramatize that and what you want your customers to do as a result of the message. Then determine what tools best fit within your budget.

Digital as a platform is not dead. Digital as THE strategy was dead on arrival. Many who tried to create a strategy around the platform saw an ugly and perhaps expensive death of their campaign.

Some companies have done amazing things with digital execution of a carefully created brand strategy. Starbucks, United Airlines, and Walgreens -- just to name a few -- have maximized brand strategy using digital. I know this because I have their digital products in my ?Passbook" on my iPhone. The caution is this: it?s not the cool app that matters to me, it?s that I can go to Starbucks or Walgreens, flip out my phone, and have them scan it for payment. That?s convenience. Book a flight, check flight status, board the plane, and get email or text alerts of delays . . . all part of a digital platform being used properly to maximize brand strategy and for MY benefit.

Strategy is and always will be KING. The platforms are just the vehicles that carry the king around. A car without a driver may look nice, but it goes nowhere. A platform without a strategy is cool . . . until someone with a driver and a cooler vehicle goes zooming by.

I?ll be at the DASH conference in Detroit this week. ( I?m looking forward to learning some amazing things about radio?s impact in the dash. Let?s find each other and talk about digital, technology, or anything else.

Think Big, Make Big Things Happen!

Jeff Schmidt is EVP and Partner with Chris Lytle at Sparque, Inc.You can reach him at,, follow him on Twitter @JeffreyASchmidt, or connect via LinkedIn 

(10/23/2013 3:04:23 PM)
Even as many radio listeners have scarred knuckles from banging out of stations during interminable spot-phusters, I like the part about radio listeners (bless their little hearts) tending to stick around, anyway, in so many cases.

Yes, we still have a shot.

Now, can we please get down to the presentations ("process") of the content? Huh? Aw, c'mon. Can we....?

(10/23/2013 12:09:28 PM)
Thank you for putting this so succinctly! You are focusing on what has always mattered...the right message, the right audience, and the right place. As a sales consultant on multiple platforms, I have been preaching this for years but it is challenging to keep clients focused when there are so many shiny things distracting them.
(10/23/2013 9:39:20 AM)
THANK YOU! I couldn't have said it better. The internet is just a delivery system--nothing more. It's the man or woman behind the keyboard--or the microphone, that matters.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Former KYW VP/GM Roy Shapiro Passes At 76


Roy Shapiro, who was VP/GM of CBS Radio's KWY/Philadelphia for 20 years until his retirement in 2003, has passed away at the age of 76. CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason said, "Roy was the backbone of KYW Radio for so many years and continued to make valuable contributions to CBS Radio through his wealth of knowledge in audience measurement research. All of us at CBS Radio will miss him -- not only as our colleague but as our loyal friend.?

Shapiro joined Group W/Westinghouse in 1962 and was with CBS Radio for 42 years, also serving as VP/GM of Group W Radio Sales and VP of Strategic Planning and Research in New York. He was part of the team that created the News radio format, at the time an industry breakthrough. Shapiro was heard on the air at KWY through his frequent editorials and served as a mentor and friend to broadcasters.

CBS Radio EVP/Operations Scott Herman said, "Roy was an incredible person and one of the brightest and smartest minds the broadcasting industry has ever seen. His legacy will live on through those of us lucky enough to be mentored by him and those of us blessed to be able to call him a friend."

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Nielsen Revs Up In Q3


Nielsen saw its revenues for the third quarter move up 2.7 percent, to $1.4 billion, while adjusted EBITDA rose 4.2 percent, to $398 million. Adjusted net income, meanwhile, rose 17 percent, to $193 million, while adjusted net income per share was 50 cents. Nielsen completed its acquisition of Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio) in the third quarter.

Nielsen CEO David Calhoun said the quarter "represented consistent growth driven by our ongoing commitment to innovation and global expansion."

He said the integration of Arbitron into Nielsen "is progressing smoothly" and that the company "is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead as we feel confident the combined company will continue to drive incremental value for customers and shareholders."

On Tuesday, Nielsen declared a quarterly cash dividend of 20 cents per share of common stock, payable December 9 to shareholders of record as of November 25.

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(IDEAS) What Can Radio Learn From TV?


With the beginning of a new era of audience measurement after the Nielsen Audio purchase of Arbitron, it's instructive to study some elements of television to decipher what radio can learn from the television business.

Some of these observations may have no direct bearing on TV ratings success but are worth your consideration. I'm quite certain that television has invested lots of their own research to help determine some of these important tactics.

1) Television has had a head start in understanding audience behavior while
maximizing its largest available audience. Television seems to have a better grasp of the short attention span in its packaging and presentation (just look at any local TV newscast.) Radio needs to do a more efficient job at catering to a short-attention-span society in the way it promotes and packages on the air and online. Writing that is colorful, quicker, and better is an important goal to attain and it is worth studying TV to emulate its success.

2) Radio can learn from the impactful appointment setting that TV has made commonplace. Remember the first moment we saw a TV newscast setting hyper-specific appointments? We may have been uncomfortable with that practice but eventually it became commonplace. Always go back to your product and inspect the effectiveness of your appointment setting. Ensure that you have a plan that is consistent 24/7 in appointment

3) Television has made the "art of the tease" a standard procedure. It is obvious if you watch any TV product that this is an ongoing area of perfection that they attain. The words and style are crafted in such a way that you are enticed to hang around for another "viewing occasion" Have you constantly reviewed every one of your tease methods? Monitor any television station and observe their tease methods so you can improve your process with your brand.

4) Television has worked at perfecting the art of "hyper-local" when a big
local story breaks. Even though we see a steady dose of national content, TV stations maximize the moment when a local story takes front and center. When the Boston Marathon bombing happened, all of the local TV stations performed at their best. Radio has proven in times of need the importance of a local "heart and soul" and we shouldn't forget about this critical priority. TV has realized that local is a part of their core attributes, and radio is no different.

5) Television has perfected the art of "seamless transitions," when one show ends and the next begins. The forward momentum and pacing is so strong you sometimes don't even realize one show has ended and another has begun. This is another area of TV we should study and note how it executes in a metered world. If you want your audience to hang around longer, mastering the art of
seamless transitions can help.

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at Knight was named among ?Best Programmers? by Radio Ink Magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.

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AdLarge Adds Fleming As VP/Midwest Sales


AdLarge Media ups its advertising sales presence in the Midwest and brings in Tom Fleming as vice president of Midwest Sales. Fleming is a 10-year-plus sales veteran with expertise in digital sales; he'll be based in AdLarge's Chicago office and report to Chief Revenue Officer/Radio Sales Don Wachsmith.

Wachsmith and Fleming have worked together before; Fleming was VP of Midwest Sales for Westwood One/Dial Global for several years. "Working with Tom again is something I always hoped would happen," Wachsmith said. "Tom knows the advertising community in Chicago and the Midwest, and he knows that servicing clients and helping them find solutions to their marketing needs are a formula for success. He is a perfect fit for what we are doing as a company at AdLarge."

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What Radio Can Teach The Automotive Industry

From zero to 60, the "connected car" has become a mainstream issue in radio in little more than a year. You can't attend a radio conference or convention without at least one panel devoted to the relationship between radio and the "center stack." And this week in Detroit -- the Motor City -- we're devoting the better part of two days to discussing the intersection of the radio and automotive industries and how we can learn from one another.

As you've no doubt heard by now, the list of participating brands is impressive, with speakers and presenters you never see at radio conferences. Toyota, GM, Ford, Panasonic, Pioneer, and other auto brands will be presenting, with many others in attendance. On the content side of the spectrum, we've got iHeart Radio, Pandora, TuneIn, and Aha by Harman set and ready to go. And we have sessions designed to show off what's next in connected car technology, as well as the innovations that are happening in radio.

But one panel that may surprise people is "Behind the Mic/Behind the Wheel," featuring some of Detroit radio's best shows and hosts. That's because radio's personality factor is what sets the medium apart, and it will be on display at DASH.

General Motors was kind enough to lend us a couple of well-equipped 2014 vehicles, a Buick Regal GS and a very cool electric Chevy Spark EV. So last week, we invited a group of Detroit celebrity DJs to sit behind the wheel and tackle the challenges of the "connected car" (something we urge all of you to do). And, of course, we captured it all on tape.

We're talking WRIF's top-rated morning show, "Dave & Chuck the Freak" (along with Lisa Way, who is pictured below), sports radio superstars Valenti & Foster from The Ticket (pictured above), and morning icon and TV personality Jay Towers from WNIC. Greater Media's Buzz Knight -- no stranger to managing big-name personalities -- will be moderating.
DASH attendees from the worlds of ad agencies, car dealerships, Tier 1s, and the OEMs will have a chance to see and hear from these local legends as they talk about -- and very likely laugh about -- their experience behind the wheel in connected cars.

Sure, it will be entertaining, but it will also serve as a reminder of what makes AM/FM radio different. And to the broadcasters in attendance at DASH, it will underscore the importance of great local talent and a sense of place amid all the technology.

Executives from the automotive world will see firsthand just how incredible local radio can be. While their center stacks may be filled with infinite streams from around the globe, custom "radio stations? from multiple services, and of course the hundreds of channels offered by SiriusXM, there is only one industry that brings consumers face-to-face with their hometown markets in a meaningful, tuned-in way: local radio.

So while our many radio-industry attendees will be on hand to learn and collaborate with these automotive gurus, there will be something else happening at DASH at the same time.

Detroit radio is going to put on a show of its own, demonstrating the power, magic, and allure of local radio and why it is different from everything else in the dashboard.

It's your guess as to who will be more impressed. But I know who I'm betting on.

There's still time to learn, collaborate, and partner at radio's most innovative conference, DASH at the Westin at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, October 23 and 24. To learn more,

October 23-24, 2013
Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Detroit, MI

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

FTC OKs Cumulus-Townsquare Deal


The Federal Trade Commission has given its go-ahead to Cumulus Media's sale of a number of stations to Townsquare Media. It's  a step forward, but the FCC still needs to approve the deal for it to close.

The FTC granted early termination of the antitrust review with its approval. As previously reported, the deal when complete will give Townsquare 71 new stations as Cumulus raises cash to buy Dial Global (now WestwoodOne).

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GM to Radio: Create Great Content


Greg Ross is the Director/Product Strategy and Infotainment, Global Connected Consumer at General Motors. His message to radio: "Create ways to get great content in the car." Ross says his industry no longer has to make a difficult choice about what would be put in vehicles, because of how GM now works with developers."Before, you had to pick a winner, technology or content," he said. "Changing content through software gives us the ability of not having to choose. We can work with a great idea. It's an exciting and different game. We're offering specialized and personalized content we've never been able to afford before."

Again, much of that is being done through the smartphone, and that's the way it will be for the forseeable future. But Ross did give one specific example of a company that creates excellent content and gets talked about quite a bit: SiriusXM. Ross said the satellite radio company is able to offer great content to consumers with ease of distribution, and today many vehicles are offered with a three- or six-month free subscription to the service the minute they roll off the lot. And even after the trial period expires, there the button sits on the dash, waiting for the customer to renew or showing an 800 number it's pushed. Ross' message was, "Bring new content and new ideas into the car."

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Eastlan Adds Eleven New Markets


Eastlan Ratings announced it has added 11 additional markets. They are \: Abilene TX, Casper WY, Cheyenne WY, Lake Charles LA, Lawton OK, Lufkin/Nacogdoches TX, Mankato/New Ulm MN, Odessa/Midland TX, State College PA, Texarkana AR and Wichita Falls TX. Eastlan CEO Mike Gould said,  ?We know where our bread is buttered and we are extremely thankful. Eastlan is a 100% radio focused brand. Our future is inexorably linked to the success of small and medium market radio broadcasters. Local radio is in the middle of resurgence as new ownership groups revitalize the industry in step with forward-thinking established broadcasters. Our purpose is to be certain the power of local radio is not diminished by research companies geared toward television or personal jukebox services like Pandora or Spotify.?

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Doyle: "Having Issues" With TRN


On his Facebook page today, Talk Radio Network personality Jerry Doyle said he is "having issues" with TRN, and said, "Hopefully there will be a resolution sometime soon. My apologies to you all but please know I am doing everything I can to get to a place where I can have some degree of stability in how you receive the show."

On October 18, Doyle said the TRN-owned-and-operated website had been down for several days and he hadn't been informed why; he said later in the day the site had come back up. Radio Ink has reached out to TRN CEO Mark Masters for comment.

The turmoil seems to be continuing at TRN; earlier this month Fox News personality Andrea Tantaros' show came off the air as she filed suit against the syndicator.

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Barbara D. Marmet dies; founder of WAFY-FM


Barbara D. Marmet, the founder, president, and chief executive of WAFY (Key 103.1 FM) in Frederick, MD, died Oct. 20 at a hospital in Raleigh, N.C. She was 88. The cause was a stroke, said a son, Richard.
Mrs. Marmet settled in the Washington area in 1953 and did volunteer work for the American Red Cross, the Navy League, the private Landon and St. Albans schools, and the United Way. She and her husband, a communications lawyer, moved to Frederick from Bethesda in 1984, and she continued her involvement in civic and community affairs groups. In 1990, she started the radio station, which played contemporary pop hits. She sold it 15 years later.

Mrs. Marmet had been a resident of Boca Grande, Fla., since 2002.

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Mobile Has Changed Expectations Forever


Those were the words of Ford Global Product Manager for SYNC AppLink Julius Marchwicki (pictured) during his keynote address to open the Radio Ink DASH Conference in Detroit on Wednesday. Marchwicki  dazzled the crowd with mobile statistics to back up his words, leaving no doubt about the role smartphones play in the lives of today's consumers and the impact that's having on his industry.

Marchwicki said the fundamental shift toward mobile devices started in 2008 with the iPhone and the growth of smarrtphones, and  that today there is tremendous global scale. He said there are 6 billion mobile subscribers in the world today, 1.8 billion mobile devices were sold in 2012, and there were 63 billion app downloads in 2012. Marchwicki's job is to mesh those two industries.

"We need to introduce technology that allows people to use their devices in a safe manner." Marchwicki said. Seventy-five percent of smartphone users believe it's important to connect their phones to their vehicle, and 46 percent of young adults would prefer phone access over buying a car. "Kids expect constant on-demand access to their entertainment now," said Marchwicki. "We've pioneered in this space, but we have not done enough."

Marchwicki  left the crowd with a pair of questions: "How do we educate consumers on how to find the content they want? How are they interacting with devices so you can deliver them what they want?"

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Katz: Pandora Has Only 4.4% Of Radio Listening


It's been a number virtually impossible to verify, yet most national media report it as the gospel: How much of the radio audience does Pandora have? How much are they taking away from broadcast radio, if any. Pandora has consistently boasted that it has about 7 percent of the radio listening audience. During his keynote address to DASH attendees Wednesday, Entercom CEO David Field said research from Katz concludes that number is more like 4.4 percent. This is the second major public event in which Field is openly challenging Pandora's numbers, calling them out to show some proof.

Here's more from David Field's keynote: "Pandora asserts they have a 7 percent share of all audience. They have no way to prove that. Look at the big picture. If you believe Katz, we are in a 20-to-1 position. Even if you believe Pandora, we are in a 13-to-1 position. Some people look at this as a winner-take-all sweepstakes. Nothing can be further from the truth.

"There can be a reasonable amount of fragmentation and room for everyone. Audio is booming. People are listening more than ever. Broadcast radio takes 19 percent of time spent with all media. We have a profoundly important relationship with the American public. Radio is in its golden age. We're in a really good place, and the future is bright."

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Mathes Named GM Of Noncomm KUOW


University of Washington's KUOW/Seattle will have a new GM as of January 2, as Caryn Mathes moves over from NPR affiliate WAMU/Washington, DC. WAMU's contributor base rose 58 percent under Mathes' leadership.

"We are thrilled to have a public radio executive of Caryn?s talent and abilities coming to the station, the UW, and our community to lead this wonderful public radio enterprise,? said Norm Arkans, UW's associate vice president of media relations and communications. "She has had great success wherever she has been and brings a fresh perspective and genuine passion for the role of public media in our society. Seattle and all of Puget Sound just got to be an even better place than it already is."

Mathes said, "KUOW is poised to be a leader in public media's next chapters on audience, content, and technology, and I know we will do great things in this regard."

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Don Geronimo returns to 106.7 WJFK-FM


CBS RADIO, Washington, DC 106.7 The Fan (WJFK-FM) announced today that long-time market veteran Don Geronimo is returning to the station?s lineup with a new show, starting Thursday, October 24 at 7 p.m. ?The Don Geronimo Show? will air weekday evenings from 7-10 p.m., Saturday mornings from 9 to noon, and Geronimo will contribute to the station?s Sunday football programming, ?Washington Gameday Uncensored.?

?I am thrilled to continue my relationship with CBS Radio and return to my roots at 106.7 The Fan,? said Geronimo. ?It's good to be back, it's good to be home and I can't wait to be a part of 106.7 The Fan. Radio is my life and I'm elated the next chapter will continue on WJFK in DC.?

?Don built an incredible following over two decades in Washington, and I?m excited to bring him back home to WJFK. Don is a passionate D.C. sports fan and will bring a unique perspective and approach to his new show.? said 106.7 The Fan Program Director Chris Kinard.

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(SALES) That Takes A Cake!


If you want an appointment with a prospect bad enough, you can get it if you are willing to do something extra to prove to the prospect you are deserving of their time.

Far too often, we just use the phone to try to set up appointments. And far too often we just leave messages on their voicemail over and over again, somehow expecting them to call us back.

When I work with media companies, I always try to emphasize with the sales reps it?s about being creative and rising above the clutter to gain a prospect's attention. That?s when they start to notice you in a world jammed with package-peddling sales reps. When the prospect sees that you?re willing to do the little extra to get the appointment, they are likely to at least see what you are bringing to the party/table/appointment.

A few years back, when I was working in Savannah, Georgia, I was given a list of ?20 Ways to Get the Prospect's Attention...Now? by Kathy Teague Enfinger. Here's and example of taking #4 ? " Cake: Let WWWW be the icing on your cake!" to a whole?other?level.

I was on the phone last week with my friend, D.J. Williams who has taught me a thing or two about creativity in commercials. We come from the same school -- you sell the creative process and ideas and it doesn?t matter if you?re in Timbuktu, you get in the door and eventually will get the business. D.J. does great creative, of course. D.J. is also on the street in Denver where the rubber meets the road and he sells for a living. He was telling me about an idea where he gets the appointment almost every time. I was impressed.

After he qualifies a prospect, he goes to work on sending them a cake to gain access to the decision-maker. I will let D.J. take over from here?

When I am doing the research for my spec spot on the client?s website, I just right click and "save picture as." I usually use the logo or try and find a staff photo so that everyone is included in the fun. I then send the pictures/logo to our sales assistant Del and he puts an amazing collage together with our station logos on it and puts it into a pdf and emails it to the bakery. They scan it right onto the cake and then I go and pick up the cake myself and personally deliver it to the prospect's place of business.

(D.J. either gets the appointment on the spot or follows up with a call to the key decision-maker, or he emails the decision-maker directly knowing he has their attention. Here?s an example of his follow-up email. Also, Saturday afternoon? Who does that? )

Good Morning's D.J. Williams.

I'm not sure if you heard/saw that I stopped by on Saturday afternoon and dropped off an awesome cake for your team! I've attached a photo in case you didn't see it.

Obviously, I have heard some of your recent commercial messages on WWWW and was wondering what I may able to do to get in on the fun!

We have some pretty cool things going on at Jammin 101.5 and 107.1 Jack FM that I'd love to tell you about and wondered if there might be a good time for us to meet this week?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Good work D.J.! You do more than ?talk about it??you actually DO IT!
Here?s the full list of ?20 Ways to Get the Prospect's Attention...Now.?
1. Colorful Tennis Shoe: All I am trying to do is get my foot in the door!
2. Hook and Lure: Once you try WWWW, you'll be "HOOKED."
3. Plastic Fish: Catch the big one -- Invest in WWWW!
4. Cake: Let WWWW be the icing on your cake!
5. Pie: WWWW deserves a piece of the pie...I mean invest in WWWW and don't miss your piece of the market!
6. Carrots: WWWW has a fourteen "CARROT" idea for you!
7. Squirt Gun or Play Money: WWWW can deliver more "Bang for your buck."
8. Basketball: DUNK your competition with WWWW.
9. Pizza: Let WWWW be the SUPREME TOPPING in your marketing campaign.
10. Plant: Your business WILL GROW with WWWW!
11. Puzzle: WWWW can SOLVE your marketing puzzle.
12. Watch: There is no TIME like right now to increase your market share!
13. Dice: Don't GAMBLE with your advertising dollars...Make a SURE BET with WWWW.
14. Deck of Cards: With WWWW, you'll always have a FULL HOUSE.
15. Airplane: With WWWW, the sky's the limit for your business's success!
16. Dart Board: Hit the BULLSEYE with WWWW.
17. Tools: WWWW will BUILD your business!
18. Golf Ball: It's always a HOLE IN ONE with WWWW. (If you made someone mad..."Sorry I tee'd you off.")
19. Red Hots (candy): Your business will be "RED HOT" with WWWW.
20. Alka Seltzer: Oh! What a relief it is to advertise on WWWW.
Have fun with your prospecting! Focus follows fun!
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or

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The New DASH Puts The Impatient Consumer in Charge in the Car


That was the big message after day one of the Radio Ink/Jacobs Media DASH conference in Detroit Wednesday as auto manufacturers, content providers and radio CEO's discussed the importance of focusing on content and simplifying connectivity. While the smartphone is that key connection between the consumer and the automobile, having to spend time connecting the device still seems to give radio a slight advantage at the moment. Consumers, especially the younger generation, have no patience. They want things now and if that means having to go through several steps to connect to TuneIn, iHeartRadio or Slacker, they move on. With radio, consumers understand they hit a button and their favorite local station comes out of the speakers. Just listen to the challenges Pandora is having with the connection issue.

George Lynch is the Vice President of Automotive Business Development at Pandora. He says the company is disappointed with the number of people using the service in the car. It has to be just like turning on FM radio. As soon as you get into two or three buttons, it doesn't happen and that's a frustration for us. We've got to to educate the dealers to make it simpler. Like AM/FM and XM. One touch. When they do pair the phone, they do listen.

A big takeaway from day one was the understanding that there's a need to educate consumers about the link between the smartphone and in-dash media. Ford's Global Product Manager for SYNC AppLink Julius Marchwicki said it's something his company continues to work on. "How do we educate consumers on how to find the content they want." Until the ease of connection issue is completely figured out, or even easier, radio seems to have a window of opportunity to stay focused on creating the best content possible for listeners. Entercom CEO David Field, in his keynote, outlined exactly what radio is good at. "Companionship. News and information. We connect with local communities. We set the mood for people. We are the number one source to discover news. We are a lifeline in case of emergency. Listeners having a very active experience with radio. When we hold events people show up."

Today during day two at DASH, we'll hear from local car dealers, advertisers and consumers.
Follow the breaking news on Twitter at #DASHCONFERENCE
Check out some of the pictures from Day one of DASH on our Facebook page HERE

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Seacrest Re-Ups With New Year's Rockin' Eve


Premiere-syndicated personality and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest has signed a deal to continue to host and produce Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest for an unspecified multi-year term. Seacrest began co-hosting the show with Clark in 2005 and became the sole host after Clark died last year.

Seacrest and Allen Shapiro executive-produce the show, which is presented by Dick Clark Productions. Seacrest said, "I think I will forever be both sentimental and grateful about my experiences with Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Allen and the DCP team, as well as everyone at ABC, are my valued partners in carrying Dick's vision forward. I'm humbled by their continued faith, and excited to work together to create new traditions and fun moments on the show that only live television can deliver."

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

NYC Sportscasting Pioneer Bill Mazer Dies


Bill Mazer, who was a voice and face of sports coverage in New York for decades, pioneering sports-talk radio and becoming a television fixture while earning the nickname the Amazin? for his encyclopedic recall of sports facts and figures, died on Wednesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 92.

When Mr. Mazer retired in 2009, he had spent more than 60 years in broadcasting ? 20 of them as a nightly sports anchor and the host of the weekend roundup ?Sports Extra? on WNEW-TV, Channel 5. Before then he had been a host of sports-talk radio when the very idea of the format was new.

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My Show Will Not Change


During the Thursday conference call, PDs wanted to know if "The Savage Nation" was going to change when it moved to afternoon drive. Savage answered "No." He still plans to ridicule powerful people He still plans to discuss politics. And he still plans to mix in his storytelling. Savage said, "This show will be the biggest shakeup in talk show history. The Cumulus radio stations are the best real estate in the business. I've always wanted to be on these stations. It took me 20 years to get here. I don't intend to blow the opportunity."

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Stitcher Crosses 12 Million Download Mark


Stitcher says its app has now been downloaded more than 12 million times and its content catalog has doubled in the past year, now offering more than 20,000 on-demand podcasts and radio shows. CEO Noah Shanok says, "When we started Stitcher, we wanted to make podcasts more accessible to all consumers and we're well on our way to achieving our goal. It's extremely gratifying for us to see strong growth in both the listening audience and on the content creation side."

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(AUDIO) Luce Releases Liquid Fire


Sean Luce's latest book on sales is called "The Liquid Fire." It's packed with short and informative chapters on Return on Investment, Prospecting, How to Increase Your Billing, Service After The Sale, and is 48 chapters in all. It's an easy read and a must-read for salespeople who want to succeed in 2014. You can never do enough sales training and, as salespeople know, a lot of training has to be done on your own time at your own expense.

When you get an opportunity to learn from someone who's been on the street and continues to meet with clients today, the decision should be a no-brainer. Here's Our Interview with Sean Luce about selling, and his new book. And you can order his book, "The Liquid Fire" HERE

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TALENT)L&L -- The Non-Option


Not everybody in radio has lost their minds. Still, there is enough mushy viscera hanging off walls and lampshades to attest that heads are, indeed, exploding. Everywhere, the insidious ?live & local? bug is burrowing into managers? skulls -- into their brains. The critters rapidly expand to 40 times their original size. Owees, pops, and splats ensue.
?L&L? is the newer brand of Kool-Aid being proffered as an analgesic beverage/strategy. Instead of alleviating pain, applying the strategy will be causing even greater discomfort . But, since talk is cheap, we can talk about it, especially if talking delays implementation -- a good thing.
Given the habits and assumptions the industry has established and been demonstrating for over 20 years, it is safe to assume the L&L protocol will be considered as no more difficult to inject into the programming mix as it would be to gag down an antacid tablet before scarfing the whole pizza.
Owners and management, including those in small and medium markets, who have never met a talent-expense they didn?t despise, may consider implementing a live and local strategy as no more challenging than throwing out a few more unshelled peanuts for the local squirrels. A memo should do it. A number of programmers take the ?local? portion to mean: reporting on a little more involvement in their communities and more references to local, geographical locations, and mentioning more activities close to home. I can also guess how listeners are just pining for more of that kind of content. Very soon they will be planning their weekends around the remotes at the quilting bees and cow pie-hurling contests. (??with free organic balloons for the kiddies.?)
Quite a few proprietors of small- and medium-market stations have been a little snotty in their insistence on how well they have been delivering L&L ?all along.? I am willing to go up and down the line and challenge these folks -- not as much on the local references or coverage, but on the ?live? portions.
A pulse and an ability to throw a mic a few times an hour hardly constitutes a ?live? radio program. It certainly won?t be demonstrating an appealing , effective, and influential form of broadcasting -- the kind that is becoming more necessary with each passing, missed opportunity to improve. By itself, L&L is a recipe for alienating, patronizing, and insulting audiences even more than we do now.
Meanwhile, a little historical context. Some years ago, every station was sporting a full stable of on-air presenters. Even the 250-watters had a minimum of six full-time jocks and a couple of swing guys. Medium-market stations, about eight full-timers. By the time I hit the majors, I was one of a dozen guys. There were no music sweeps. We played a tune and then we talked. We aired up to two minutes of spots and we talked some more ? into, and yes, sometimes over another tune. The point being: We were never more than a couple minutes away from making audience contact. Alert: That is the takeaway of all this -- more ?live?, skilled presenters on-the-air, much more often. (Scary, or what?)
Now, it wasn?t as if we always had a great deal to say or a clever, witty, or interesting way to say it. But, we were obliged to make the attempt! Some of the guys had no business being on the air, while others luxuriated in the opportunity to perform, and maybe even prosper. Some of us did all that.
None of us, meanwhile, had been formally trained for these gigs. But we did have our innate talents and direct or indirect access to colleagues whom we could attempt to emulate. And we were all aware of the traditions that governed much of our on-air behaviors. Plus, we were operating as a relative monopoly with only the other stations providing any relative competition.
With rare exceptions, however, today?s radio is an anemic parody of what radio was then. It?s just as well, too! If that exact model of radio were to be smuggled through customs and thrown on the air today, stations would be driven out of business, if only because of the exorbitant costs of delivering what would be generating limited returns.
There is hardly a small or medium market that doesn?t have its share of on-air presenters who were pulled from the same mold as so many other hokey performers. ?Luke Puken here, friends an? neighbors, playin? yer favorite country music an? takin? yer calls.? The Lite-A/C equivalent of that would be: ??. with Melanie Maudlin -- so glad you could spend part of your day with us, and I love to take your requests, right here on SPEW-92.?  (Any readers concluding those two examples as being quite acceptable only confirms that all my work is, indeed, still ahead of me.) And yes, I understand that some stations will continue getting along with that approach so long as a cab stand with some stronger personalities doesn?t sign on.
Music radio is in a bind and hung out -- clinging to branches jutting out of sheer 300-foot cliffs. Tough enough if it weren?t for those snarling, drooling saber-toothed tigers guarding the ledge. Radio is not yet in a position to increase the ?live? portion of ?L&L.? It would be an expensive, unproductive play. Most of the necessary, newly hired talent will be disappointingly ineffective, particularly if they are also compelled to dredge through all that added, arbitrary ?local? filler.
To be appealing and effective -- the necessary attributes -- talent will have to be trained or re-trained. There are no other desirable or applicable options beyond maintaining a death grip on branches sticking out from the cliff. The cavalier attitude offered by the criminal sentenced to a stretch of 2-5 of ?I can do that standing on my head? won?t be helpful. But, wait! There is one other alternative: Get lucky.

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

(10/18/2013 5:17:09 PM)
Quite so, BC.
Radio, however, has already retreated too far back. It just seems like the swamp behind them might be a route for a quick escape - even as it is loaded with rats, vermin, snakes an' 'gators.

Even as they crow about 90% penetration, they know this is a meaningless stat that even advertisers find less than compelling.

No, no. The bell is tolling ever-louder and more often for these organizations. Riders are approaching.

(10/18/2013 11:10:00 AM)
The problem with radio is not that it is not local enough. The problem with radio is that it all too often is not entertaining enough to make it more appealing than other ways I could spend my time.

In my opinion, all of the L&L talk will come to naught because in the end, the economics of the industry require low expenses (read: low wages), and very few creative talented young people seem to have much desire to work for low wages in the radio business these days.

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(SALES) Don't Get Hooked On Hopium


Adapted from "The Accidental Sales Manager" (John Wiley and Sons)

If you are an autocratic leader or you have a problem with losing your temper, you may intimidate people -- something that might compel them to feel as though they have to hide things from you. Or tell you what you want to hear.

Of course, if you yell at great salespeople, they will either laugh at you or find a better boss. That said, there are plenty of bad bosses whose salespeople are afraid to tell them what is really happening.

The Chicago Tribune had a special section on the city?s top workplaces. Employees who participated in the survey also got to add their comments. Here are five statements made by employees about their companies:

1. ?I have many opportunities to learn and grow at this organization.?
2. ?I get the formal training I want for my career.?
3. ?I feel genuinely appreciated at this organization?
4. ?My manager listens to me.?
5. ?It?s easy to tell my boss the truth.?

That last one jumped off the page at me.

Why shouldn?t it be easy to tell your manager the truth? I know sometimes the boss doesn?t like to hear bad news, but keeping bad news hidden is not the way for an organization to succeed. My late colleague Norm Goldsmith used to ask our Leadership Institute participants, ?Would you rather have an employee come to you with a smoldering ember or a raging forest fire??

Your reaction to mistakes and lost sales will determine how open and honest salespeople will be with you.

I?m not a shouter. I have rolled my eyes on a few too many occasions, but I don?t embarrass people in front of others. And I genuinely want them to improve. But one thing I learned the hard way is that salespeople want to please the boss. Sometimes, they try too hard to please the boss.

Let me tell you a story, because that?s what I do.

One of my salespeople got back to the office at 4:30 p.m. He walked quickly past my door. He had just driven to meet a potential sales training client in Stevens Point, WI. The 225-mile round trip and the meeting had taken up most of his day.

?Hey Michael,? I called to him.

He poked his head around the door and looked in my office.

?Come in,? I said to him. ?How was your meeting today??

?It was a great meeting,? he said. There was a smile on his face.

?So you got an order, then??

?It was the first meeting. I don?t have an order. . . yet.?

I continued debriefing Michael.  ?But you said it was a ?great meeting?.? What made it great if you didn?t get an order??

?Well, we talked for an hour and a half.?

?So he didn?t throw you out.?

?He really likes the way we deliver our content online and thinks we?re onto something with the time-released training.?

The conversation went on for a few more minutes as he described the client and the company. Then I asked the $110,000 question. I call it that because I was about ready to put this ?great? opportunity into our sales projections.

?What?s the next step, Michael??

?He wants me to call him in the spring.?

?It?s October. Spring is six months from now. And that entire season is 92 days long. Do you have a day in the spring when he wants you to call??

?No. He just said that he wants me to call him in the spring.?

?So let me ask you again. How was the meeting that you just drove 112 miles to and 112 miles back from??


?Use words that mean something, Michael. It was a continuation. You didn?t get a sale and you don?t have a next step on a certain date. That?s a continuation or a non-win. There?s nothing wrong with not closing. Nobody closes every sale. The mistake you are making is to call a meeting in which nothing positive happened a ?great meeting?.?

Salespeople like Michael get hooked on hopium. They present and they hope. And their sales process ends there.
Your job is to give them a reality check -- to help them look at failure as part of the process and not something to be ashamed of or worried about. What you want from your salespeople is honest communication. You want them to use language that describes what actually transpires.

I know it sounds difficult. But failing to foster this kind of straight talk can lead to some dire consequences. Consider my conversation with Michael. If I had taken him at his word that it was a ?great meeting,? I would have asked some entirely different questions -- and possibly received some less-than-accurate answers.

?How many salespeople do they have that they want to train??

?Thirty-eight, but they will be at 50 in the spring.?

?Do they want to train them all??

?That?s what he was talking about.?

?How certain are you that this will close in the spring??

?I?d rate it at 70 percent minimum.?

?I?ll put it in at 60 percent for now. Good work, Michael.?

Now, I have a six-figure order in one of our sales pipelines that has no next step, and no real business being in the pipeline. That?s at least a partial explanation for why "Chief Sales Officer Insights" reports 54 percent of the deals that are projected to close never do. Your people are blowing the sweet smelling smoke of hopium your way. You readily inhale it, and continue to blow it up the line.

Don?t. Ask questions. Make sure that a ?great meeting? means the same thing to your salespeople as it does to you.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Clear Channel Eyes More Political Revenue


Clear Channel has hired political operatives Will Leaverton and Brice Kornegay as Vice Presidents of Political Strategy, effective immediately. The company says, Leaverton and Kornegay will develop and execute "Go To Market" strategies for various outlets in the political marketplace using Clear Channel's local and national on air, digital, mobile, live event and outdoor assets.

Leaverton joins Clear Channel from the Bill Thompson Mayoral Campaign. Kornegay joins Clear Channel from BK Strategies, where he served as President since 2012. They will report directly to Nathan Daschle, Executive Vice President of Political Strategy and will be stationed out of Washington, D.C.

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We'll Be Ready When You Get Here, Tom


Meanwhile back at the office, acting FCC Chair Mignon Clyburn wants everyone to know she has everything under control. The lights are on and the computers are powering up. ?After a 16-day disruption, the FCC is open for business again. Our number-one priority is to resume normal operations as soon as possible, and the Commission?s dedicated staff is working hard toward that goal. We have already taken immediate steps to remedy disruptions caused by the shutdown and will be issuing further guidance very soon."

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Hannity Will Move to 660 AM in Dallas


And now the affiliate shuffle begins. With Michael Savage and Sean Hannity about to compete in PM Drive, there will be a lot of station changes announced between now and January 1st. Hannity will be dropped from all Cumulus stations as Savage moves into that position. When Hannity leaves WBAP in Dallas  listeners will be able to hear him live from 2pm to 5pm CT on Salem's 660-AM "The Answer."

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WGCH-AM Greenwich Sold


Forte Family Broadcasting, run by Rocco Forte of Sarasota, has filed an application with the FCC to purchase WGCH-AM from They will LMA the station starting November 4 until approved by the FCC. Forte is the former CFO of the Abate Insurance Agency and AIA Risk Services in New Haven. WGCH is a News/Talk licensed to Greenwich and is also part of the Stamford/Norwalk market, reaching Fairfield County, CT, and Westchester County, NY.   

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Dan Patrick Partners With PodcastOne


Norm Pattiz continues to stack his podcast roster, adding national sports-talker Dan Patrick. Listeners can now access Patrick?s podcast on-demand at PodcastOne. The PodcastOne CEO says, "Nobody does sports talk better than Dan Patrick. Nobody does on-demand audio better than we do. So it should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that we?re teaming up for the benefit of listeners and advertisers. With the addition of Dan Patrick, the list of stars on the PodcastOne platform has just become significantly brighter.?

Patrick joins other big names at PodcastOne including Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew, Steve Austin, Kathie Lee Gifford, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Jay Mohr, Jillian Michaels, NPR New York, NPR Los Angeles, 60 Minutes, and more.

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Flex And Sliwa Enter Hall Of Fame


Today, The New York State Broadcasters Association announced five inductees into its Hall of Fame. On the radio side, Emmis' Funkmaster Flex from Hot 97 and Curtis Sliwa from Salem's AM 970 "The Answer" become Hall of Famers. In the spring of 1992, Flex began mixing and hosting his own show, a specialized rap show on Hot 97. His show became the first pop station in New York to showcase rap, and he's been with Hot 97 ever since. He's now in syndication on weeknights and weekends. Sliwa's radio career began in 1991 on WABC and has continued for the last four years on AM970 "The Answer," where he hosts the morning show with former Governor David Paterson.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Michael Savage Will Deliver Cumulus The Numbers"


Michael Savage received a pre-game pep talk from the boss Thursday afternoon that wowed him so much he wanted a copy of it to play on his show. Cumulus co-COO John Dickey heaped praise on the veteran broadcaster as the company introduced the talker to PD's all over the country in anticipation of his January 1 move to afternoon drive. Cumulus picked up Savage after he left TRN and is moving him from his 9PM live slot to 3PM on many Cumulus stations. The Savage move comes on the heels of Cumulus and Sean Hannity parting ways. Dickey said, "I think he is going to do a wonderful job and ultimately deliver numbers, and that's what it's all about. I'm thrilled to be in business with Michael." Here's more from Dickey

The Savage Nation will air on more than 200 affiliates of Cumulus Media Networks, including 60 stations owned and operated by Cumulus. Some of the cities where include: New York (WABC), Chicago (WLS), Dallas (WBAP), Washington(WMAL), San Francisco (KSFO) and WJR (Detroit). Dickey said, "We believe having Michael on some of our biggest stations is really going to be impactful. Talk radio has gone through a lot of ups and downs in the last couple of years. Ultimately what I think is going to lead the way out of some of those low points is more compelling content. When you think about compelling content the things that come to mind tends to be people that are extremely smart, curious, intellectually adventurous and people that are not afraid to take risks. Not afraid to look at a lot of things that are wrong with our country and society and are able to relate that and tell it in ways that are humorous, insightful, direct and thought provoking. That's a very hard set of criteria, to be able to find someone to be able to carry off in today's day and in today's day and age it's been very hard set of criteria to to get talk show hosts to live up live up to since Rush heralded his show back in the 80's. Michael Savage has come into this business lined up wonderfully with all of those criteria."

Dickey continued with his praise for Savage, calling him an extremely well-read and smart person. "As we all know there is a fine line between intellectual genius and craziness and Michael walks that line wonderfully. He was of the most thought provoking people that I have ever met. He's a great storyteller. In talk radio we are in the business of theater of the mind, getting people to spend more time with us by telling compelling stories and challenging people. Michael understands that as well as anybody. Dr. Savage brings an amazing intellect, an amazing curiosity, a passion, an ability to tell stories, an unending curiosity to explore and challenge his listeners to join him on that journey. He wakes up every day living and breathing this. His energy is commendable, his desire to compete in every market that he's in, I have never seen anything like it before."

(10/18/2013 12:23:05 PM)
I own one of the many stations that lost Savage in his battle with TRN. While I'm selfishly sad for us... I'm very happy for Michael's success! He's one of the best (along with Thayrone and Beck)...after a year of struggle...he deserves his new timeslot and will surely rise to the top! Congratulations Michael and Mrs. S~ all the best from your pals at WAAM Radio in Ann Arbor!
(10/18/2013 10:57:56 AM)
Fantastic. I cannot wait for Michael to switch over in January. I just hope that he can continue along as he always has, and will not be told what he can and can't do/say on air. What makes him so entertaining is how he runs his show - HIS OWN WAY.
(10/18/2013 7:54:31 AM)
It might be a win-win for Cumulus and Savage, but does not offer much to the listeners in all of those markets.

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