Alpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country's third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, "We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way." Goodman remarks, "I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform." Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.
PPM Analysis: Urban-Rhythmic Oldies. Our exclusive RadioInfo three-part series of extensive ratings overviews from Nielsen Audio's January 2016 survey period concludes with an analysis of urban-rhythmic oldies. It follows similar analyses of urban contemporary (posted Wednesday, 2/24) and urban AC (posted Thursday, 2/25). Included in this special feature are charts comparing "Holiday" 2015 – January 2016 ratings fluctuations; the format's year-to-year shifts; (6+) market rank and (6+) market share scoreboards; and a recap of how urban contemporary, urban AC, and urban-rhythmic oldies perform against each other (where applicable). Among the three urban-favored formats, urban-rhythmic oldies has the smallest sample base, lowest average 6+-share, and highest typical 6+market rank. See managing editor Mike Kinosian's entire January 2016 urban-rhythmic oldies overview here.
Breaking News. WNSH "Nash FM 94.7," New York City 10:00 am – 3:00 pm talent Shila Nathan congratulates Texas-based trio Breaking Southwest for becoming the first-ever winners of "Nash Next," a talent competition searching for rising country music stars. Cumulus Media's "Nash FM 94.7" kicked off the "Nash Next" tour this past Tuesday (2/23) at New York City's Gramercy Theater, where Breaking Southwest (now signed with Big Machine Label Group) performed with all of the "Nash Next" finalists.
Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than two weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN "ESPN Radio 103.3"; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM "Hot 93.3"; country KPLX "The Wolf"; KSCS "New Country 96.3"; sports KTCK "The Ticket; and talk WBAP.
BTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada's first in-vehicle HD RadioTraffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, "The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space." HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle's audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.
WCTO Stands Up To Bullying. Earlier this week, Cumulus Media Allentown's WCTO "Cat Country 96.1" morning show hosts Becca & Malone (left) joined Northampton (Pennsylvania) Middle School to not only lend their support but their hair to "Go Pink Day: Stand Up to Bullying." The local school initiative encourages students to help stop bullying.School administrators called Becca and Malone last week to ask them to mention the event on-air. The morning team was later invited to participate in the school's assembly. If 90% of the students wore pink, the principal and teachers promised to color their hair pink. As an added attraction, Malone even agreed to dye his hair pink. Becca & Malone also talked to the students about the effects of bullying. By the end of the assembly, pink hair dye was flowing as the principal, teachers, and Malone made good on their promises to go pink. Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio's winter 2016 book, WCTO finishes third (10.0); iHeartMedia CHR WAEB-FM "B-104″is first (12.2).
BFA to Fete Fritts with "Excellence in Broadcasting" Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year's Broadcasters Foundation of America's recipient of the Lowry Mays "Excellence in Broadcasting" award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, "whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship." Fritts' past recognition includes "Broadcaster of the Year" awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation's "Golden Mike" and "Chairman's" awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting's Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB's "Distinguished Service" award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.