Last week during his earnings call, Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey called out iHeartMedia regarding national business. Dickey believes there's a "systemic" problem with national business and iHeartMedia is part of the problem. "There are fewer dollars left for the rest of the industry before iHeart is filled." Those comments didn't really go over well at radio's biggest company. We'll get a chance to see how others have done with national this week as Radio One, Entercom, Beasley, Townsquare and Saga all report earnings. READ ON.
It was supposed to be the next big thing in online radio. And another nail in the coffin of the dying medium of grandpa radio. Well, as we know, radio is not dead. And Apple apparently doesn't really know the radio business. Business Insider writes that "Apple Music is shaping up to be Apple's worst-received product launch since Apple Maps in 2012. It was supposed to be Apple's big splash into the world of subscription on-demand music and online radio. READ ON.
Pehaps more fuel for the NextRadio, iHeartRadio, and Rdio fire. eMarketer estimates that this year there will be 190.5 million U.S. smartphone users, representing 73.4 percent of Internet users and 59.3 percent of the population. By 2019, eMarketer estimates smartphone users will reach 236.8 million, or 85.5 percent of Internet users and 71.4 percent of all consumers. Among U.S. smartphone owners polled in May by Gallup, 52 percent said they checked their phones at least a few times an hour, with 11 percent doing so every few minutes. One-fifth looked at their devices about once an hour. About a quarter did so at least a few times a day.
According to The Detroit Free Press, radio's number one ad spending category will continue having a stellar year. The paper quotes Kelly Blue Book Analyst Michelle Krebs. "We are expecting 17.1 million for the full year, with quite possibly upside potential. We expect 2016 to be another strong year in the same range." Since July 23 General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler reported a whopping $6.8 billion in profit from their North American operations. Helping those comanies post great numbers is the convergence of rising prices, lower incentives and a shift toward larger vehicles that generate the most robust profit margins. Low gas prices and easy credit are also helping.
The Tom Brady deflategate saga is the gift that keeps on giving to Sports Talk Radio. So much for a reporter/journalist having a thick skin. ESPN's NFL expert Chris Mortenson canceled an interview with WEEI's Dennis and Callahan morning show. Mortenson's early reporting on the Tom Brady football deflation story turned out to be false and Mortenson has become part of the story. So, he decided he didn't want to field any questions from Dennis and Callahan, who of course are all over the story, being based in Boston. WEEI Brand Manager Kevin Graham explains what happened ...
The NFL's Dolphins and WNMA-AM have agreed to a multi-year agreement for the station to become the official Spanish partner of the team. 1210 ESPN Deportes is the only Hispanic sports station in South Florida. The games were being broadcast on Univision's Hispanic News/Talk station WAQI-AM.
Radio's Most Powerful Person, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman, was in Sonoma, CA, recently talking up radio to mobile-focused CEOs and CMOs. Pittman continues to be an evangelist for the power of radio. Pittman keynoted the Mobile Marketing Association's CEO & CMO Summit. He emphasized how mobile radio is at scale and showed THIS VIDEO as part of his presentation.
The management turnover continues at CBS. The Philadelphia Business Journal reports Jim Loftus accepted a buyout after David Yadgaroff was selected over him to replace Marc Rayfield in Philadelphia as market manager (CBS moved Rayfield to New York last month). Loftus was station manager at WOGL-FM and D.O.S. for the Philly cluster. The paper reports Loftus was offered market manager positions in Pittsburgh and Seattle but decided to take the buyout package that includes 59 weeks of salary.
Brittain thanked former manager Jim Loftus then called it a career. On WOGL-FM Friday morning, Brittain said, "One last time, I want to thank GM Jim Loftus, who started the same day I did, PD Anne Gress and the wonderful people who work here, including the people in the studio with me now. Some of the things I will miss are hearing the bells chime at Independence Hall on my way to work every day… Thank you to all of the people who called in this morning and wrote on my Facebook page. It's been a great ride." Brittain, host of WOGL's morning show, retired after more than 40 years in broadcasting, with more than 10 of those past years spent at WOGL.
Springfield Missouri, that is, where Matt Saunders is the new Market President for iHeartMedia's five stations in that market (KTOZ-FM, KXUS-FM, KSWF-FM, KGBX-FM, and KGMY-AM). The 25-year vet has been with iHeartMedia for more than three years, most recently as VP of Sales in St. Louis. In St. Louis, Saunders also held management positions at CBS Radio, Sinclair, and Emmis.
Jeff McCausland becomes the Market President for iHeartMedia's four stations (KZCH-FM, KRBB-FM, KZSN-FM, and KTHR-FM). McCausland began his career at iHeartMedia Wichita's KRBB-FM in 1990 as a seller. He went on to join KSAS-TV as LSM and then took on roles as NSM, GSM, and D.O.S. He most recently served as the GM for Sinclair's KSAS-TV and KMTW-TV.
One of Arizona's most recognizable morning news broadcasters, who's spent more than four decades on the radio, Ned Foster, is retiring. Foster's career has included stints at heritage stations across the country, including WBOS-FM and WBZ-AM in Boston, WOWO in Fort Wayne, and KFWB-AM in Los Angeles. In Phoenix, Foster has cracked the mic at KOY-AM and KTAR-AM and FM. Upon his announcement, Foster said, "It's hard for me to believe how fortunate I've been and how much fun I've had. I am humbled and gratified beyond words that so many people over so many years found it worth their while to tune in. Thank you!"
The station is located in Fort Wayne and owned by the Adams Radio Group. Stone joins the CHR/Top 40 station from WZRT in Rutland, VT, where she held the same position. "I'm extremely excited to start the next phase in my career. Big thank you to Robbie Mack and Chris Monk for giving me this amazing opportunity to join HOT 107.9." Stone has also worked in Detroit at WDVD.
Gene Dillard was 73 when he died, according to Philly.com. Dillard was South Jersey bureau chief for what is now Philadelphia radio station WFIL-AM 560. After WFIL, Dillard spent two years as a co-anchor for morning news at WPEN-AM/FM (now 950 ESPN). In 1983, Dillard became a freelancer offering his work to stations in New York City and Philadelphia. Since he retired in the early 2000s, Dillard hosted a show with the Rev. Anthony Campolo.
(By Steve Goldstein) This week, radio executives will get their much-anticipated 40 Most Powerful People in Radio issue of Radio Ink. Hate to say it, but the team at Radio Ink, while diligently assembling a list of the top radio executives, has missed several of the biggest names and biggest companies in the business. Tim Cook, Daniel Ek, and Tim Westergren arguably are doing more to change radio than just about anyone else. Big companies including Apple, Spotify, and Pandora clearly want in on the business of audio. That is an affirmation that radio is alive, and attractive. HERE'S WHY
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.