It's been his pet project for over six years. The hours. The presentations. The arm-twisting. The dealmaking. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan is absolutely convinced NextRadio will revolutionize radio. He believes it will make radio cool again. And if radio stations take the step to make their stations interactive, it will lead to more revenue. And who doesn't want -- and need -- more revenue these days? Smulyan tells Radio Ink now that AT&T is onboard he believes NextRadio will ramp up into the 300 million smartphones, he's been predicting, more quickly. So what can you do to help?
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. READ MORE.
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.
(A message from Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads) By now, everyone in the radio industry is probably sick of hearing about the controversy surrounding the Voltair unit, which supposedly boosts PPM recognition in Nielsen's ratings technology. I'm a little sick of it myself, frankly, yet since Radio Ink raised awareness of this issue, I feel we need to help bring it to a conclusion.
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'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. There was no mention of Voltair on the Nielsen call.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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...
iHeartMedia Louisville announced that Matt Jones (pictured), the voice of Kentucky Sports Radio, has renewed with his network of stations. Jones, now in his 5th year with the show, will continue to host Kentucky Sports Radio every weekday from 10:00am-Noon on WKJK/Louisville, WLAP/Lexington, and affiliates around the state served by the Kentucky News Network. Jones says on his Twitter account that the renewal agreement is for three years.
Public Radio International announced the immediate appointment Alison Ranney to its Board of Directors. Ranney comes to PRI with experience in public media, having served on the Board of Directors for Chicago Public Media's WBEZ for 12 years and was chair of its recent successful CEO Search Committee. Currently, Ranney leads the Chicago office of Koya Leadership Partners, a national retained search and human capital consulting firm dedicated to serving the nonprofit field.
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.
Andre Trevigne, the longtime New Orleans 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 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.
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.
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.
The Dallas Morning News reports Peggy Sears Newman died at age 61 of complications of a stroke. Newman worked at KBOX, KVIL and KLUV in Dallas. She broke into radio in 1976 by winning a KBOX-AM talent search for a morning show co-host for Allan Peck. She moved to afternoons at KVIL replacing Judy Jordan and later joined the drive-time crew as news director. She also sang solos on some of the KVIL Christmas albums. In 2000, Newman and many of the KVIL morning team followed Ron Chapman to KLUV-FM. She retired in 2002.
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.
(By Spike Santee) When a local business owner sets out to learn about advertising, they often imitate or mimic what they perceive to be successful advertising. They often try to do Call to Action advertising. That's when you see or hear an advertisement for a product or service with a big discount. The advertisement says that the offer is only available for a short period of time so you "must act now," "you must call before midnight tonight," "sale ends Saturday." Make no mistake about it, Call to Action advertising can be very successful if you have enough money to do it properly.
(By Loyd Ford) Everyone is always searching for the best angle for building a perfect social media "plan." People constantly want to "game the system" and I don't blame them. After all, there is so much to do in the average day of a radio personality, radio program director, radio promotions director and all other jobs inside a radio cluster. Who has time to do everything? Who has time to dedicate to building a whole persona on social media? Perhaps that's a good place to start to make things easier, more authentic, and more successful for you and your team.
(By Lisa Miller) Please let me begin by telling you that I have been very fortunate to have been married to a radio/TV personality for over 40 years and have enjoyed going to hundreds of rock/CHR/AC/country/urban concerts, many of which I attended with my husband on behalf of the radio station he was working for at the time. I have seen everyone from the Beatles to Elvis to RHCP to Michael Jackson, Muse and Marvin Gaye.
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.
(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.
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.
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...
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.
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 email@example.com
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. 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. 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
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.