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The 40 Most Powerful People In Radio
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July 28, 2015

Top Story

Pittman Is Radio's Most Powerful

Pittman Is Radio's Most Powerful

This week Radio Ink's most popular issue of the year will arrive in your inbox (if you're a digital subscriber) or in your mailbox (if you're a print subscriber). It will not be available online, it's for subscribers only. The 40 Most Powerful People in Radio issue has been published since 1996 (see next story). Since 1996 only 164 people have even appeared on our list. In 2015 there remains only one executive who's been on the list since 1996. Not everyone agrees with who we put on the list -- or the order in which we rank them -- but we believe, after much debate, it's a true reflection of who holds the real power in our industry. The 40 Most Powerful is not a popularity contest. These executives control stations, they control revenue, they wield big-time influence and they hold the future of many radio employees in the palm of their hands -- for better or worse. A few years ago, Bob Pittman made a $5 million bet on radio with his personal investment in Clear Channel, and, for the fifth consecutive year, Pittman is radio's most powerful person. READ ON

The AT&T NextRadio Details

The AT&T NextRadio Details

Tuesday morning NextRadio announced to its customers that AT&T will be including FM chip activation in their 2016 smartphone device specifications. The next step is for AT&T to communicate their request to manufacturers to activate the existing FM chip in Android smartphones. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan was obviously ecstatic about the deal. He says when NextRadio hit 2 1/2 million downloads and the industry started telling listeners smartphones had FM chips, AT&T came knocking, looking for a deal. Smulyan also believe consumers are starting to reach their tipping point with data charges for everything they now do with their devices.


Someone Else Is Finally Telling Radio's Story

Someone Else Is Finally Telling Radio's Story

When the positive talking points about radio come from inside the industry, you have to wonder how many people (advertisers) outside the industry believe it. However, when a powerful publication like Forbes toots radio's horn, that's very helpful. In an opinion piece called "Radio: The All-But-Forgotten Medium With The Biggest Reach," political pollster Doug Schoen writes, "it's quite clear that we should all be paying more attention to radio, its reach and potential to help our businesses. It's doing the job with expert efficiency." Thank you very much, Doug, and welcome to the party. Better late than never. READ MORE.


SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 8% To $1.1 Billion

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 8% To $1.1 Billion

CEO Jim Meyer said SiriusXM's second quarter results should leave no doubt that demand is strong for SiriusXM. The company turned in a very good quarter and is raising guidance again for 2015. Free cash flow was up 11% to $371 million, net subscribers increased by 692,000, total paid subscribers hit a record 28.4 million (up 8%) and self-pay net subscribers grew by 519,000, the most in a second quarter since 2007. Total self-pay subscribers are now at 23.4 million. Originally SiriusXM projected 1.2 new net subs for 2015. That number has been raised to 1.8 million. Total 2015 revenue guidance has also been raised to $4.5 billion with free cash flow hitting $1.3 billion


Nielsen Reports Q2 Results; Revenues Down 2.2%

Nielsen Reports Q2 Results; Revenues Down 2.2%

Nielsen's second quarter 2015 revenues were $1.559 billion, down 2.2 percent due to the impact of foreign exchange, but up 4.8 percent on a constant currency basis, compared to the second quarter of 2014.


Is Mainstream Radio Only Playing White R&B?

Is Mainstream Radio Only Playing White R&B?

Singer and actor Tyrese Gibson tells TMZ he is angry at mainstream radio for ignoring his music, and especially his current hit single "Shame." He claims similar music by white artists such as Sam Smith, Robin Thicke, and Justin Timberlake are being played widely on radio, including on the Urban format, while his music is only on Urban stations. Gibson's new album Black Rose is currently number one on Billboard's R&B chart. See what Gibson had to say to TMZ here .


Panthers Continue To Prowl WQAM

Panthers Continue To Prowl WQAM

The Florida Panthers and CBS Radio announced an extension of the agreement to have Panther NHL games aired on WQAM/Miami for the 2015-16 regular season and playoff games. Randy "Red Deer" Moller returns as play-by-play announcer. Additionally, Moller will host a 60-minute Panther program on Saturdays. The Panthers will also receive promotion and be featured on other CBS Radio Miami stations. Panther games have been heard on WQAM since the 2010-11 season.


Chicago Bears Partner With Univision

Chicago Bears Partner With Univision

Univision Radio Chicago stations WVIX-FM/WVIX-FM and WRTO-AM have obtained the rights for Spanish-language broadcasts of Chicago Bears NFL games in a multi-year agreement announced this week. The deal allows for broadcasts of all regular season, pre-season, and post-season games. Hector Lozano and Omar Ramos will serve as the announcing team. For the past three seasons, Bears games were heard in Spanish on SBS' WLEY-FM.


A Fellow Broadcaster Needs Our Help

A Fellow Broadcaster Needs Our Help

Ken Hopkins is the PD and morning show co-host at KZZU in Spokane. On July 13, Hopkins went for a bike ride and was involved in a serious accident. He doesn't remember the last 10 seconds of the ride. As of now, Hopkins does not have the use of his legs and has no feeling from my his mid-chest down. He has a long road of rehab ahead but plans to return to KZZU as soon as he can. A GoFundMe site to help with his recovery has already raised nearly $15,000 to help him pay his medical bills. If you'd like to help Ken you can donate HERE.


CBS Sports Hosts Fighting With Each Other

CBS Sports Hosts Fighting With Each Other

Last week, WFAN/New York afternoon sports talk host Mike Francesa (pictured) ripped into the announcer of a CBS Sports Minute, Damon Amendolara, and the entire CBS Sports Minute segments that air on his station and all CBS-owned sports stations. Over the weekend, CBS Radio's John Kincade spent time on his show to back up Amendolara and rip into Francesa. Upon hearing that audio and hearing that CBS Sports Radio's Boomer Esiason sided against him, Francesa went on another rant against all of these men on Monday. The audio of all of these incidents can be heard on NJ.com.



COMMUNITY SERVICE

Radio One Baltimore Throws Unity Concert

Radio One Baltimore Throws Unity Concert

Nearly 18,000 people gathered at Baltimore's Druid Hill Park last Saturday to attend an eight-hour Gospel concert put on by Radio One's new Gospel station Praise 106.1 (W291BA/WLIF-HD2). Along with the music by over a dozen artists, the event featured station personalities and local politicians, all pushing for peace in the streets of Baltimore.


Radio's New Youth Format?

Radio's New Youth Format?

Bridge Ratings & Media Analysis President/CEO Dave Van Dyke visited the recent Vidcon, which celebrates Internet celebrities. While there, he saw where the attention of the younger demographic is at. Van Dyke also sees a format using these Internet stars that could resuscitate broadcast radio. Read his newest blog here.



AUDIO INK

Mobile Marketing Becoming Advertisers' Top Priority

Mobile Marketing Becoming Advertisers' Top Priority

Mobile ad platform xAd surveyed marketing leaders worldwide about the use and receptiveness to mobile and location-based advertising in their regions. They received 574 responses. More than half of the respondents viewed mobile marketing as a significant priority, with over 20 percent calling it a "top priority." Of the 80 percent of marketers using location targeting for their mobile ad campaigns, the top strategy they use is audience targeting, designed to reach a specific group of people. Read more...


Pandora Understands Clutter Turns Listeners Off

Pandora Understands Clutter Turns Listeners Off

Sponsored Listening is what Internet radio service Pandora is calling its new advertising product, which will deliver an hour of uninterrupted music after the consumer has some engagement with a sponsor's video or rich media unit at the beginning of their session. During last year's beta testing period for the product, Sponsored Listening resulted in a 12 percent lift in brand awareness and a 30 percent lift in purchase intent for advertisers.


iHeartRadio Partners With Snapchat

iHeartRadio Partners With Snapchat

On Snapchat, users can now enjoy new music from a specially curated iHeartRadio channel. The feature will also deliver pop culture and entertainment news. To check out iHeartRadio's Discover channel, Snapchatters can tap and slide on the iHeartRadio icon.


AdLarge Adds AP Audio

AdLarge Adds AP Audio

AdLarge Media announced it has entered into an agreement to be the national ad sales representation for the Associated Press' news digital on-demand service via the AudioBoom podcast platform. The deal broadens the reach of AP's breaking news audio service and allows affiliate radio stations to host on-demand audio on their websites and mobile applications.



PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Shredd & Ragan Renew With WEDG

Shredd & Ragan Renew With WEDG

Cumulus Media Buffalo announced the re-signing of long-running WEDG-FM morning team Ted Shredd and Tom Ragan. Although no specifics have been given out, the deal between the hosts and Cumulus was described as long-term. The Shredd and Ragan Show is a Comedy-Talk radio morning show that has been heard on 103.3 The Edge since March 1994.


New Orleans Broadcasting Icon Passes

New Orleans Broadcasting Icon Passes

Andre Trevigne, the longtime New Orleans radio and TV broadcaster, passed away this week at the age of 66 after a long illness. Her radio career began in Chicago in the early 1970s. There she worked at a few stations, including WJPC, where she was news director. Trevigne returned to her native New Orleans in 1979 and soon after began working in television news. She returned to radio in 1999, hosting a talk show on WWL-AM for a few years, followed by a show on WRNO-FM for a few more years.


Brian Thomas Blows Into The Windy City

Brian Thomas Blows Into The Windy City

Confirming a report from earlier, Cumulus Media announced that Brian Thomas will be the new PD for WLS-FM/Chicago. He replaces Jan Jeffries, who moved to WRQX/Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Thomas exits WNSH/New York for this opportunity. WPLJ APD, John Foxx, will serve as acting PD for WNSH while the company searches for a new PD. Foxx held the position of PD at WNSH prior to Thomas' joining the company last year. Thomas will continue to serve Cumulus as Corporate Program Director for the Country format, and will now also oversee Classic Hits for the company.


Westwood One Adds 2 National Sales Directors

Westwood One Adds 2 National Sales Directors

A pair of veteran media sales executives, Angela Codella and Roman Gwin, have joined Westwood One as additions to their salesforces. Codella joined the New York office as Director, National Partnerships, and reports to Ron Russo, EVP, Northeast Sales. She most recently was an account director for SiriusXM. Gwin has joined the L.A. office, also as Director, National Partnerships, and reports to Kim Bryant, EVP, West Coast Sales. He most recently served as national account director for the L.A. office of Total Traffic and Weather Networks.


Landecker Announces His Exit From Radio

Landecker Announces His Exit From Radio

One of the most influential radio DJs of the past forty years, John Records Landecker, announced on his radio show Monday night that he will be leaving his job. His final show for WLS-FM/Chicago will be Friday night. He did not wish to call it a retirement, as he plans on working on numerous projects, but for now, none of those projects will be in radio.



VOLATAIR COVERAGE

Albright Enters Voltair Debate

Albright Enters Voltair Debate

The raging debate as to whether Voltair is actually helping stations with ratings or not continues. Since consultant Randy Kabrich began analyzing real ratings data, going back years, and basically concluded that Voltair is not increasing ratings, the debate has gotten even more interesting. The latest to offer up an opinion is respected consultant Jaye Albright who says after a while all you start to see is contradicting and conflicting assertions. And that is certainly true. Let's face it, Albright says, "No one is admitting anything, not because they are hiding anything. No one knows enough as yet to draw any conclusions. I think we all can agree that Nielsen's decision to not open their webinar last week to the media was a mistake. What got reported the next day may or may not have been accurate." Read Jaye's full blog HERE.


The Voltair Call: Anti-Climactic

The Voltair Call: Anti-Climactic

(By Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads) Nielsen clients got on a conference call today with the company to address the Voltair controversy — and Nielsen addressed it by saying it doesn't support the Voltair unit. Company reps even went so far as to say they think it may introduce artifacts and noise into your audio stream. They also said they're making enhancements to the PPM service, to be introduced in the near future, and the Voltair is unnecessary. READ ON.


Now It's Telos' Turn to Explain

Now It's Telos' Turn to Explain

Many of you have spent a lot of money on a Voltair unit. Now you've been told by the ratings firm that impacts millions of dollars of revenue that comes into your industry that it does not support what the the Voltair may be doing to the ratings that control those dollars. If you take Nielsen at its word, that in some of its Voltair testing the PPM Watermark is being manipulated and, in some cases listeners can hear it, the folks at Telos Alliance should have to rebut what Nielsen representatives have said or explain why this is happening. READ ON.


Why Did Nielsen Come Out Against Voltair?

Why Did Nielsen Come Out Against Voltair?

On their special Tuesday afternoon webinar for clients when they were to reveal their Voltair testing results, Nielsen announced that they are not in support of Voltair. Nielsen stopped short of telling clients who have purchased Voltair to remove it. They also did not say that nobody is allowed to purchase the devices. Nielsen simply reiterated its "non-support for Voltair." Keep reading...


A Tense Moment For Radio, Telos Voltair, and Nielsen

A Tense Moment For Radio, Telos Voltair, and Nielsen

One of the biggest stories of the year is the discovery of an audio processor that, when placed in the audio chain of a radio station, allegedly makes radio stations more likely to get noticed by the PPM's detectors. In case you've not kept up, when PPM was launched, there was a lot of disruption in listening levels for certain formats and dayparts, and it changed the balance of audience power, market by market. READ MORE.



RADIO INK

SEND US YOUR CLASSIC PHOTOS

SEND US YOUR CLASSIC PHOTOS

Thanks to Charlie Tuna for sending us this classic when he received a studio visit from Henry "The Fonz" Winkler. Happy Days was taped next to the KHJ studios back in 1977 which is where Charlie did his morning show at the time. Send your classic photos to edryantheeditor@gmail.com


Do You Remember Mel?

Do You Remember Mel?

Nearly 20 years ago it was announced that GroupW/CBS Radio would be merging with Infinity Broadcasting. That would give Mel Karmazin control of 83 stations, a roster of stars including Howard Stern and Don Imus, Infinity Radio Sales, Westwood One Radio Networks and Shadow Broadcast Services. Enough power to put him on top of our power list in year one. He would remain in the top three for 8 consecutive years before leaving radio. Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays was a close second, followed by Jacor CEO Randy Michaels. At the time Clear Channel had 104 stations and Jacor owned 53. Of course, eventually those two would merge. Here's a look back at the entire 1996 list of the 40 Most Powerful People in Radio.






Blast From The Past
Dust off your old radio pictures and send them to edryantheeditor@gmail.com

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Station Vehicle Gallery
Radio stations from all over the country have sent in pictures of their mobile marketing machines. Here are some of the most creative vehicles being used in the industry today. Send your picture to edryantheditor@gmail.com.
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