As we continue our week-long series looking back at radio's historic coverage of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, we now turn our attention to iHeartMedia's Senior VP of Programming for New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Bob Murphy. Back in 2005, Murphy was Regional VP of Programming for Clear Channel. Murphy was an important part of the team that put together URNO with Entercom and a major player in the successful product that group of extraordinary individuals delivered to New Orleans and the surrounding communities. We asked Murphy about some of the behind-the-scenes decisions made during those extremely stressful times, his opinion on the role radio played in 2005, how iHeart is commemorating the anniversary and much more. Here's our AUDIO INTERVIEW with Murphy.
As we approach yet another Radio Show (Atlanta 9/30-10/1), despite what appears to be universal agreement that it needs to be fixed, broadcasters are still waiting for the FCC to follow through with its plan to revitalize the AM radio dial. There's been a lot of chatter about it from the FCC. There's been a lot of fancy speeches about it from the FCC. And there's been a lot of promises made by the FCC that AM radio will be fixed so it can compete in the modern media world. And AM broadcasters wait....and wait...and wait. A brief history....
Good news from radio's biggest ad category. Car and truck buyers purchased vehicles at the fastest sales pace in 10 years. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for light vehicles rose to 17.8 million compared with 17.3 million a year earlier and was the highest since July 2005. Ford reported a 5.6% increase in August sales to 233,880 light vehicles. August was the fourth consecutive month that adjusted sales remained above the 17 million mark. The Wall Street Journal reports the reasons for the strong month were financing incentives, low fuel prices and optimism toward the economy.
eMarketer says 2015 will be "a benchmark year" for mobile ad spending in the U.S., as it surpasses desktop spending for the first time. According to eMarketer, mobile will account for 51.9% of total digital spending. eMarketer projects mobile advertising to grow by 59% in 2015, a higher rate than forecast in March, when eMarketer last released figures for U.S. ad spending. eMarketer estimates that U.S. adults are spending 2 hours and 51 minutes a day on nonvoice activities on mobile devices. More than half of that, or 1 hour and 31 minutes, is spent on mobile phones. Get the full story HERE.
General Managers and Market Managers have a lot of responsibility at radio stations across America these days. In addition to high revenue expectations, there's the constant challenge of selling radio in a world shifting to digital, managing multiple staffs and stations, finding and keeping good salespeople, and keeping their stations strong in the community. Those that execute those tasks do it flawlessly and make it look easy. They are the best in the industry and it's time to recognize them. Radio Ink is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Best Radio Managers in America. MAKE YOUR NOMINATION HERE. YOUR DEADLINE IS THIS FRIDAY.
Greg Guy at Patrick Communications fills us in on the details. WILT-FM in Wilmington, North Carolina, (3,100 watts @ 449' HAAT on 104.5 MHz) is purchased by Bible Broadcasting. The seller, Capitol Broadcasting, will pick up a check for $300,000 at closing.
This one is a construction permit in Boone from Positive Alternative Radio, a non-profit organization. Positive Alternative Radio will receive free tower space for 10 years from Curtis in exchange for the translator, for the purpose of installing, maintaining, and operating equipment associated with two other FM translators. Bob Heymann from Media Services Group brokered the deal. Curtis is expected to rebroadcast WXIT-AM, a News-Talk, licensed to Blowing Rock that covers Boone.
Entercom's Greenville (South Carolina) cluster of stations recently conducted its 8th annual two-day Radiothon for Children's Hospital at Greenville Health System. VP Steve Sinicropi was one proud boss. "I want to recognize the hard work of the staff at our six radio stations, our sponsors, our listeners, and the teams at Greenville Health System and Children's Hospital that have helped us raise $2,400,000 since we began working on this project eight years ago. Raising nearly $300,000 in two days is no easy task. I'm proud of the work our talented team delivers every day, and grateful that we have listeners and sponsors that respond and support our efforts to make the Upstate a better place for all of us."
One week from Wednesday, Pandora will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The company will thank listeners with what it's calling "Listener Love Day," a full day of music with no commercials. Founder Tim Westergren says, "Listener Love Day is a celebration of a decade of connecting music fans to the artists that matter to them. This is a thank you to each and every listener who has tuned in to Pandora over the past 10 years." The company says it now has almost 80 million listeners every month, logging over 74 billion listening hours, that have created over 8 billion stations.
That's according to the Triton Digital July Webcast Metrics (Mon-Fri, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.). Pandora more than doubled the active average sessions of second-place Spotify, with 2.2 billion compared to 935 million. iHeartMedia was third with 355 million, followed by Slacker with 52.4 million, and CBS Radio with 51.2 million. Amongst the traditional radio companies, Radio One listeners stay tuned the longest (average time spent listening) followed by Townsquare's listeners, then Hubbard. You can read the various July Triton Digital charts HERE.
Congratulations to WCCO's Sid Hartman who celebrated six decades with the Minneapolis station. The 95-year-old Hartman is a native of North Minneapolis and was a well-known newspaper columnist when he joined WCCO in 1955. Hartman is one of WCCO's most popular personalities. On Monday, he celebrated 60 years with the station. In 2011, Hartman was honored by both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers before a game for his contributions to both organizations, when he served as the acting GM of the Minneapolis Lakers. In 2014, the Minnesota Twins honored him with Sid Hartman Day and a youth baseball field in Hartman's boyhood North Minneapolis neighborhood was named Sid Hartman Field.
WDVD-FM in Detroit (market 12), is owned by Cumulus, playing "Today's Best Hits." Today, Lauren Crocker is joining the Blaine Fowler Morning Show at the station. Crocker was midday host for WDRQ/NASH-FM in Detroit. She's also worked in New York City as an intern for Cubby Bryant's show on WKTU-FM, on-air at B98.5 in New Jersey, Morning Drive at WFAS in Hudson Valley, and as Music Director and PM Drive host at Fun 107 in New Jersey before coming to WDRQ in 2014 to host the midday show in 2014.
Ryan Wild has is the new FM Operations Manager at NRG's Omaha cluster (KQKQ, KOPW, and KOOO). Wild joins NRG after six years in dual posts as Programming/Operations Manager for Mile High Stations Trust's Hot AC and Classic Rock combo WZSR & WFXF/Chicago and as Program/Music Director for AOL Radio, where he oversaw several station channels.
Some say TV's new golden age is nearing its end, and Tom Asacker and Mark Ramsey agree. Plus, when what passes for news online gets too nasty, who do we have to blame, the advertisers? Not so, say Mark and Tom. Plus, Tom raves about the TV news reporter who has had quite enough Kardashian news. Meanwhile, Mark rants about how Periscope lies with statistics and rants about how Disney is turning the Star Wars franchise into an infinitely bigger franchise. It's episode 26 of Media Unplugged with branding authority Tom Asacker and media strategist Mark Ramsey. LISTEN HERE.
Your new customer, the one you worked so hard to sell, the one that loved their commercial, the one you were so proud of, just called and cancelled their advertising. You sit there stunned, speechless, wondering what just happened. Why did the customer, all of a sudden, decide to cancel without warning? Chances are your new customer found themselves in The Zone of Doubt and Blame.
(By Matt Sunshine) "We need to hire more salespeople!" "We need to hire better salespeople!" These are the cries we hear day every day from the sales managers and executives in radio. While the strategy to simply hire more and better sellers might be a good one, you and I know it's just not that easy. If you are the one responsible for the hiring process and the on-boarding of these new sellers, you are probably left wondering how you're going to get that accomplished. You are not alone!
It's going to be a tumultuous 2016, and that's why we're so pleased to announce that Greater Media Chairman/CEO Peter Smyth and Sugarloaf Rock Capital Managing Partner Drew Marcus will be serving as co-chairs of Forecast 2016, set for November 20, 2015 in New York City. As Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads says, "With so many critical business and financial issues continuing to face the radio industry, we are extremely pleased to have Peter Smyth and Drew Marcus provide their guidance to this year's Forecast."
The awards are named after Detroit's own Bill Burton - the guy who tirelessly worked to promote the benefits of advertising on the radio to the automotive industry and whose famous mantra was "Be Fabulous." Bill passed away this past December. The "Be Fabulous" awards are a tribute to his incredible impact. HERE ARE THE DETAILS.
Radio Ink's third annual DASH conference in Detroit, held in conjunction with Jacobs Media, will take place November 4 and 5 at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport. If you were on the fence about attending, now's the time to jump off. Here's A LOOK at this year's agenda. The battle for audio space in the DASH continues to be one of the biggest issues facing broadcasters. This is a must-attend conference if you consider yourself a cutting-edge broadcaster.