FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai continues to shout through his bullhorn for AM radio. On Wednesday, he did it in front of the National Religious Broadcasters President's Council in Washington, D.C., where he introduced a new idea - some might say a change in his thinking - for AM broadcasters to get a shot at an FM translator window. Pai amended his proposed edits to the draft AM radio order to reflect "Commissioner Clyburn's position." Clyburn recently backed away from her original idea of having the translator window in support of a 250-mile waiver. Pai said the Media Bureau would be instructed to implement the 250-mile waiver in 2016 and in 2017, following the incentive auction, and instructed to implement the translator window for AM broadcasters. Pai said Commissioner Clyburn has rightfully called "sound policy." Up until this day Pai has always been for an FM translator window right away.
Spotify makes the announcement of a deal with Katz Radio Group, which will become its exclusive audio sales representative for geo-targeted audio sales in the U.S. Beginning with Q4 2015 opportunities, Katz Radio Group’s digital division, Katz Digital, will offer Spotify geo-targeted audio solutions to advertisers and agencies. READ ON.
Even before Mary Berner starts her first day on the job as CEO, the rumors are flying about possible changes. The rumor circulating yesterday that Berner plans to shut down Cumulus' national Country format NASH is not true, according to sources we spoke to inside the company. Competitors of Cumulus were quick to circulate the rumor as well, hoping to kick the company while it's down. One of the first things Berner plans to do as CEO next week is visit Nashville and hold a town hall meeting at the NASH Campus. An insider told us Cumulus is "very committed to NASH and has plans to continue to grow it."
Twitter was the delivery method for "The Game" afternoon co-host Mike Bell who apparently didn't appreciate the fact that Jessica Mendoza was part of ESPN's Yankees/Astros Wild Card Game and made an extremely vulger comment about her on Twitter. We won't print what he tweeted but it was preserved by Boiled Sports and posted to Yahoo HERE. Bell deleted the post and apologized, however he's been suspended by the station indefinitely.
On Wednesday at 1PM Eastern, Radio Ink will host a FREE webinar with Fred Jacobs focused on the connected car and radio's future on the DASH. The dashboard in every automobile has become prime real estate and every company in the audio space wants a piece of that real estate. Is radio's place safe? What do managers have to do to keep their stations relevant. And, what do consumers want delivered to that space in their cars? Join us Wednesday at 1PM as we preview our DASH 3.0 conference being held in Detroit on November 4 and 5. REGISTER HERE . (An earlier version of this story stated the webinar was Tuesday. That was incorrect. It is Wednesday, October 14.)
The stations are in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, and the call letters are WBBE-FM (Bob 97.9 Adult Hits), WIHN-FM (96.7 I-Rock/ Rock), and WWHX-FM (Hits 100.7 CHR). Neuhoff CEO Beth Neuhoff (pictured) said, "We are so honored to welcome these terrific stations onto the Neuhoff team. Our tremendous respect for Connoisseur's culture and dedication to great local radio, the stations' great format niches and ratings success, and our fondness for the Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, community makes this cluster a perfect fit for the Neuhoff family of stations." The sale price was not disclosed.
In light of the recent Bubba ratings tampering issue in Tampa we wanted to know if the FCC even cared about this issue. For the answer to that question and the history the Commission has on the topic of ratings manipulation and distortion we turned to broadcast attorny John Garziglia for the answer. READ ON.
Ticketfly is a an independent live events company that focuses on smaller venues. Up until now Pandora's only revenue source was through its popular streaming service. That revenue is heavily controlled by the Copyright Royalty Board. This purchase helps Pandora diversify. Pandora founder Tim Westergren blogged about the purchase HERE.
Nominations are now open for Radio Ink's 2015 Best Local Sports Talkers in America list. For the past three years, WFAN's Mike Francesa has occupied the top spot. Can he do it again? Has another local sports talker (or team) had an outstanding year, big enough to overtake Francesa? Make your nomination for the 2015 Best Local Sports Talker HERE. See our 2014 list HERE.
Nielsen says with the release of the September ratings formats that popped during the summer are maintaining the momentum while others are rebounding from seasonal declines. Urban Contemporary is setting records and Country is moving to near-record levels. Spikes were also seen for Sports and Spanish-language music. READ ON
The ratings firm will be telling clients exactly what will be rolled out in November. Nielsen says the enhancements will result in better "code detection in accoustically challenged environments." The original Nielsen watermark technology detected a singal tone in one minute by the PPM. With the enhanced technology, that tone will now be detected 2.5 times in that same minute. Twelve stations in Baltimore were tested and Nielsen expcts to roll out the new technology to all PPM markets in November and December. The Thursday webinar for clients will be from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern.
It's a six-year extension between the NFL and SirisXM that will allow the satellite broadcaster to carry all the NFL games through 2022. SirisXM has been carrying the NFL since 2004. And for the first time, SiriusXM NFL Radio programming is available to subscribers on SiriusXM On Demand, giving them access to an extensive catalogue of show episodes, interviews, and more that they can listen to whenever they want.
eMarketer says there's been a "considerable slowdown," in time spent with devices by consumers. The new eMarketer forecast states growth peaked in 2012 and has been slowing down ever since. If you were at the Radio Show last week you would have never guessed mobile device use was slowing. What was surprising that not a single attendee fell down the escalator while looking at his or her device. READ ON
The 13th annual Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts luncheon will take place Thursday, October 15, at New York's Gotham Hall. The ceremony will honor nine leaders in the electronic arts and is sponsored by the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation. This year, former CBS and Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin and the Carter Family will be among those being honored. Here are all the 2015 honorees...
Cumulus' KNEV-FM in Reno has flipped to "95.5 The Vibe," Reno’s all-new Classic Hip Hop radio station, the sydicated format being fed to the station by Westwood One. The station was formerly programmed as Adult Contemporary Magic 95.5.
Radio imaging company Benztown has partnered up with Dash Radio, a digital radio platform. Dash features over 70 live channels and will, in turn, have full access to Benztown's production libraries.
She's been on-air with Ryan Seacrest (on KIIS-FM in L.A. and in syndication) for over a decade, and now Ellen K becomes somewhat of a competitor. Ellen K will move over to iHeartMedia's KOST-FM in Los Angeles beginning October 19. Longtime (30 years) KOST-FM morning man Mark Wallengren will shift to afternoons. READ ON. Bruce Scott was doing afternoons on KOST and he is no longer with the station.
Cahill is promoted to the new role of SVP of Programming for iHeartRadio & Premiere Networks. Cahill will report to Chris Williams and will also continue to work with Jennifer Leimgruber on Premiere programming projects. He'll also continue to serve as iHeartMedia's Classic Hits/Oldies Brand Manager.
Greater Media moves Steven Meyers to the newly created position of Director of Digital Operations. He most recently served as the Director of Digital Strategies. Prior to joining Greater Media Philadelphia as Digital Manager in 2012, Meyers was VP of Products and Development at Slamm, a digital agency based out of West Chester, PA, of which he was a founding member.
The 87.7 MeTV FM format is Classic Pop music. O'Dell is a from Chicago and has been in radio since 1980. He's worked at WCLR-FM/WTMX-FM, WNUA-FM, and AccuRadio.com In 2009, he became Operations Manager and PD at 87.7 WLFM-LP, and in 2012 he launched SmoothJazzChicago.net, a locally targeted and branded audio stream featuring music and air talent familiar to Chicago's Smooth Jazz fan base.
Spencer Graves will join Hubbard's 106.5 The Arch in St. Louis as host of the Morning Show. He'll be joining The Arch's current personalities Ricki & Brando beginning Monday, November 9th. Graves moves to The Arch from WSTW in Wilmington Delaware, where he's been hosting the #1 morning show for more than six years. Graves got his start in Roanoke, Virginia at age 17, and has also worked in Texas, California and Pennsylvania.
Veteran station rep Karen DeFriez will be joining Westwood One as an Affiliate Sales Manager responsible for clearances and on-air maintenance for the company's Country properties, including the NASH entertainment brand programming platforms.
iHeartMedia Panama City has hired Jake Navarro as Production Director and PD for Hip Hop station 99.3-FM The Beat (WEBZ-FM). Navarro moves to iHeartMedia from Magic Broadcasting. He's also worked at Froggy 101 in Scranton, WPOR in Portland, as well as working as a studio producer for KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.
(By Chairman Eric Rhoads) We received quite a few comments about Eric's editorial on the Cumulus management changes that took place on the first day of the Radio Show in Atlanta, the hometown of Lew Dickey and Cumulus' HQ. In case you missed it, here it is again. Check out the comments that follow.
(By Roy Williams) There are certain words and phrases used by young advertising professionals that I try desperately to avoid. Two of the most painful for me are "unique selling proposition" and "branding." When I was young, those phrases meant the same to me as they did to everyone else. But I take comfort in the words of Muhammad Ali: "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
(By Spike Santee) Selling packages is a good way to build up your business in radio advertising sales, if you are selling good packages, ones that are client focused, not radio station focused. The key to good package selling is the basic weekly schedule of advertising.
(By Paul Weyland) Rather than the useful information consumers need to know, most broadcast commercials are filled with meaningless cliches that no one wants to hear. Today's consumers don't like being "sold," but they don't mind being informed. Here are some talking points that listeners and viewers might like to hear from some of your clients.
The winners of the annual Radio Ink Radio Wayne Awards were named Thursday morning at the Radio Show's Advertiser Breakfast, in categories including GM, Market Managers, and Director of Sales of the Year, with Beasley chief George Beasley taking this year's honors as America's Best Broadcaster. Seen here is Radio Ink Chairman Eric Rhoads, with all the happy winners. Who else took prizes? Click here to find out!
Diane Fannon works for The Richards Group which is one of the agency partners for The Home Depot. And as you know, The Home Depot is one of radio's biggest and most consistent advertisers. Fannon was part of the advertiser breakfast at the Radio Show in Atlanta, along with Mike Hibbison, The Home Depot's vice president of integrated media, and Ed Gorman of Carat USA. Fannon said she loves using radio. HERE'S WHY.
Nielsen representatives were very detailed about the process they've been going through to enhance the technology the top 48 markets use to encode their signal and how that signal is picked up by the PPM. Some believe this was spurred by Voltair. Nielsen says this has been in the works for a very long time because of how complicated the process is and all the testing that needs to be done. Arun Ramaswamy leads Global Engineering for Nielsen. He explained that careful steps need to be taken to preserve the integrity of the currency and get the final product, an enhanced watermark, out into the market. He also said Nielsen worked extensively to hide the watermark better, taking a series of steps to make it more robust and strong. READ MORE.
You'll have to decide that for yourself. It would appear that if the Nielsen watermark enhancement delivers, it just might be. That's probably what Nielsen wants as time goes on. We did hear this interesting suggestion from a manager who saw both presentations at the Radio Show. READ ON.
It was standing room only - including about five Nielsen employees, among them EVP/Managing Director of Local Media Matt O'Grady - for Geoff Steadman's presentation about Voltair. Steadman began his presentation by saying, "Sometimes innovation is disruptive." That was the understatement of the Radio Show. Voltair has turned the ratings radio uses into a daily topic of conversation. The processor has everyone wondering if radio stations are being properly picked up by PPM, and managers are asking whether Voltair increases ratings. And some advertisers are wondering if all radio stations are playing on a level playing field.
It's exactly the kind of data radio needs to keep churning out and delivering to skeptical advertisers. This was brand new data released Wednesday by Nielsen's Carol Edwards. She said this was an independent Nielsen study, which looked at four major campaigns, done by four major department store brands. The results of that study showed that radio delivered $17 in sales for every $1 in advertising spent. The study also showed exposure to a radio campaign drove a 10% increase in overall sales, 3% increase in the total number of buyers, and a 6% increase in dollars spent per buyer. READ MORE.
Connoisseur CEO Jeff Warshaw is not one to hold back. He has opinions about the radio industry on what he believes is holding it back and ideas he believes will move it forward. He was probably only half joking when, during Wednesday's opening panel, he said the government should mandate that radio can only play 10 commercials per hour. He also believes that with iHeart and Cumulus as over-leveraged as they are, it's hurting the entire radio industry. We spoke to Warshaw after the panel Wednesday and asked him to elaborate on a number of the subjects he spoke about. Listen to what he had to say HERE.
Radio continues to churn out study after study that proves radio works for advertisers (see story above). So the question that continues to dog managers and executives around the country is, with so much evidence that listenership is still strong and advertisers are ringing the cash register, why doesn't the revenue follow. On a panel called "Agencies Speak," Wednesday afternoon at the Radio Show we got some answers.
Radio Managers are all hyped up about programmatic. It's understandable. They are being told it's how advertisers will buy all media soon and they are being lead to believe this type of buying will increase their revenue. They like hearing the revenue part for sure. Radio Show organizers certainly understand how big the issue of programmatic has become. The topic was covered in a ballroom, rather than a smaller meeting room, and it had two back-to-back panels that lasted 90 minutes. So what happened?
Wells Fargo analyst Davis Hebert gave Radio Show attendees an update on the economy and the Wall Street view of radio. It's a presentation usually given by Marci Ryvicker, however she has a scheduling conflict this year. Davis started out by providing some data on advertising and said radio's number one category, automotive, is still very strong. He said the projection through September is 18 million vehicles sold, which is the best that industry has done in a decade. The downside? Advertising spend is softening because dealers are having no problem moving vehicles. Hebert also said political ad spending is expected to hit $4.5 billion in 2016. How much will radio get? LET'S FIND OUT.
That was the message several radio executives wanted to get across at the first panel of the day at the Radio Show in Atlanta, Wednesday. Beasley Broadcast Group CFO Caroline Beasley said, "Pandora's revenue is about 2 percent of radio's revenue and even that didn't all come from radio. Their listenership has plateaued and they are now dealing with competition from Spotify and Apple." READ MORE.
(By Buzz Knight) Today is the most competitive time with regard to audio consumption. Everywhere we turn a consumer can turn to everything from personal collection as a choice, to multiple other audio options. We are one of many choices that hopefully over time can turn into a first choice habit. So why do great radio brands matter? Let me explain how we can learn from the value proposition of great brands and use this knowledge to fuel even greater radio brands?
(By Jeff McHugh) I remember the first time that I watched the motion picture classic, Casablanca. As a boy, I wanted to be a cool, tuxedo-wearing leading man like Humphrey Bogart. I remember watching that film wondering how someone like Bogart's character, Rick, got to be tough as nails.
(By Loyd Ford) Big users in social media give you less time to impress them. They're moving fast (at least between content they view). Maybe I should say it this way: They're moving on. Whatever your content is, "they" don't care. You have to give them something undeniable now. It's more than that. Much more. The visual has to be eye-catching in an environment where everyone is trying to be eye-catching.
Mark LaNeve is VP of marketing, sales, and service for Ford, and in that role he oversees it all: the automaker's sales and service, its marketing and customer care, and dealer relations for both Ford and Lincoln. If you're wondering what the future holds for radio and automotive, this is the man who can tell you.
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.
Opinionated, smart, and right in the heart of the digital audio transformation: That applies to both Adam Carolla and Norm Pattiz. And they'll both be at Jacobs Media and Radio Ink's DASH Conference in November. There are a lot of people doing podcasts today, but only a few know the secrets to making them successful. In this sitdown interview with Pattiz and Carolla, Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs will explore what it takes to create and grow podcasts that hit the sweet spot with listeners and advertisers.
Radio has seen plenty of in-car competitors before, and radio has thrived. But the "connected car" is something different: Consumers are immersed in the Internet in a way they could never have been with radio's in-car competitors of the past, and there's no reason to think they won't love it in their cars just as much as they do in the rest of their lives. With the "connected car" now a reality, can radio survive? READ ON.
Author and veteran political consultant and commentator Dick Morris is joining the lineup at Forecast 2016 as a keynote speaker, where he'll be speaking about "Decoding the Presidential Race." "We are very pleased to have Dick Morris join us at Forecast," Radio Ink EVP Deborah Parenti said. "In what is proving to be a most unusual political season so far, his seasoned perspective should be of especially high interest to anyone trying to gauge where the future of the country and its economy may be headed."
iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman will be the keynote speaker at this year's DASH Conference, November 4-5 in Detroit. Eric Rhoads, Chairman/Publisher, Radio Ink, which co-presents the Dash conference with Jacobs Media, said "Bob Pittman is not only the great evangelist of radio, but he is also leading the radio industry into the future. We are honored to have him present his compelling and thought provoking vision to Dash attendees." Pittman added, "Radio is unequalled in terms of its importance to the consumer, and nowhere more than in the car. The first thing most people do when they get into the car is turn on the radio - because our personalities are your trusted best friends sitting next to you, providing the entertainment and information you need throughout your day. And with the growth of the digital dash, we have even more opportunities to make radio available where our consumers want to find it."
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."
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.