Alpha Media is purchasing nine stations from Access 1 Communications. Access has five stations in Shreveport -- KBTT-FM, KOKA-AM, KDKS-FM, KLKL-FM, and KTAL-FM -- and four in Tyler-Longview, Texas: KKUS-FM, KOOI-FM, KOYE-FM, and KYKX-FM. Alpha will begin operating the stations under an LMA starting January 1. When all pending Alpha Media deals are completed, it will bring the total stations owned by the company up to 83 (that includes the pending purchase of six California stations).
Former Broadcasters Foundation executive and previous President of Eastman Radio Carl Butrum was a longtime close friend of Burton's; they worked together at Eastman Radio for many years. "Bill’s influence inspired countless individuals in the radio business," Butrum said. "Radio owes Bill our gratitude for his wisdom and for imparting to us his boundless positive attitude, which infected everyone who came into contact with him. We mourn his loss, but remember the great man with the Bill Burton Memorial Fund.”
The Peoria cluster of Alpha Media raised a record breaking $446,598 during its Drive for Miracles Radiothon hosted by John Riley. The money will be used to fund research, medical equipment, and educational opportunities at the Children's Hospital of Illinois. Program Director, Rick Hirschmann said, “John has such a passion for this hospital, and sharing that passion has translated into tremendous giving to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. The community support is truly outstanding.”
Reuters is reporting that Azerbaijani authorities raided and closed the bureau of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to silence one of the country's last independent media outlets. Station editor Nenad Pejic told Reuters the raid was a flagrant violation of every international commitment and standard Azerbaijan has pledged to uphold. "The order comes from the top as retaliation for our reporting and as a thuggish effort to silence RFE/RL." The station which began during the Cold War by broadcasting into Russia is funded by the United States. Police ordered employees into a room while they ransacked a company safe and confiscated documents.
Castfire is a video and audio publishing platform, and WideOrbit says the integration of Castfire with the Abacast Clarity platform -- which WideOrbit acquired in June -- will create the first digital on-demand content solution with the capability to dynamically target and insert advertisements based on parameters like device type, geography, dayparting, and others.
Max Media’s KDXE has joined this years format de jour with the launch The New FLY 107.1 “Throwback Hip Hop and R&B,” just nine months after a format change to alternative 107X. Fly 107.1 went live at 3PM on Christmas Eve jock-less with a promise of 15,000 songs in a row without spots which will take the station commercial free through February 1. Max Media says FLY 107.1 will complement sister station JAMMIN’ 101.5 “True Old School and Smooth R&B”
After a month of Christmas music, WERK-FM 104.9 Muncie rebranded itself as “The New Sound of 104.9 WERK-FM”. According to PD Jay Garrison, WERK-FM will feature music from 1975 to 2000 with artists such as Bryan Adams, Billy Joel, Madonna, Journey and Huey Lewis. Local talent Steve “Brownie” Brown in the morning, Zach Johnson, Paul Evans, Jay Garrison and Wade Stokes all remain on board.
Milwaukee Radio Alliance Vice President/General Manager Bill Hurwitz says, “The elves have left the building and now we are bringing ‘The Party’ to 100.3 FM and 1290 AM. Milwaukee is cordially invited to party with us at the all new Party 100.3 FM and 1290 AM and streaming at milwaukeesparty.com.” The christmas stunting has ended at Milwaukee Radio Alliance 100.3 and 1290 with a flip to rhythmic oldies. The mix will include hits from the ‘60s through the ‘90s, with artists like Diana Ross,The Bee Gees, Barry White, Donna Summer and Madonna.
Walgreens moved into the number one position on the Media Monitors weekly chart, airing a total of 38,809 commercials on the radio last week. The Home Depot, which typically occupies the top spot, was pushed down to number four, with 28,415. At number two was Berkshire Hathaway, for the company's insurance providers, with 33,520. The number three position went to Macy's, with 29,806, and rounding out the top five was McDonald's, with 27,064.
Every year, Radio Ink magazine and SONY present the Best Country Program Directors at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville (Feb 25-27). Each PD is honored with a profile in Radio Ink magazine and special pullout issues of those profiles are put on display at CRS. We are now accepting nominations for those awards. Deadline to submit is January 8. To nominate your PD GO HERE. Deadline to submit is January 8.
Radio's number one ambassador passed away Saturday at the age of 85. Bill Burton died as a result of head injuries suffered from a fall at home on Tuesday. He will be missed by an entire industry that appreciated him as its number one cheerleader. He was radio's biggest advocate. There is no funeral planned, but a celebration of Burton's life will be held at a later date. Here are some of the comments we've received so far from the many people who loved Bill Burton...
Charles "Andy" Whatley has been hired by Adams Radio Group as Market Manager for its cluster in Las Cruces, NM. Adams owns and operates KGRT FM (Country), KSNM FM (Classic Hits), KHQT FM (Hot 103), and KWML AM (Fox Sports). Whatley has owned and operated stations in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and McAllen-Brownsville. He's also held senior management roles with Douglas Broadcasting, including properties in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Most recently, Whatley served as Senior Publisher/Development Manager for Triton Digital and VP, Sales & Marketing for Mediaspan Online.
(by Jeffrey Schmidt) A Japanese company and a United States company decided to have a canoe race on the St. Lawrence River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. How does this relate to radio? Let me explain.
(by Loyd Ford) As we approach 2015, now is a great time to think about what creates a feeling of realness. Number one on the list is authenticity. But how do you create that feeling in your social media? Isn't social media fake? Not necessarily. In fact, as we take a look at the social media space you occupy, let's focus in on authenticity and being real. How can you make sure you are communicating those values to your audience in social media like you do on-air. Let us count the ways...
(by Wayne Ens) We're hearing a lot about digital cutting into radio advertising budgets...but does that need to be the case? According to a survey by technology research firm Gartner, sixty-eight percent of senior marketing executives said their company had a separate digital marketing budget. According to the survey, marketing executives are three times more likely to lead strategic growth initiatives in 2016 than they were in 2012.
For the third year in a row WFAN's Mike Francesa has been chosen the number one local sports talker in America by Radio Ink's panel of sports experts. That panel includes program directors, sports hosts, managers of sports stations, and consultants. Mike Francesa has over 27 years of sports talk on the books already, having started out when the format was hardly as cool or lucrative as it is today.
On January 5 Radioink.com begins a new feature called Manager of the Week. Every week we will profile a different manager about why that manager has been successful in the radio industry, how he or she leads others, what it takes to compete and win in a fragmented media world and how the current crop of managers can take radio in the right direction, more specifically to get back to increasing ad revenue. We're encouraging all readers to make nominations HERE which can include market managers, general managers, D.O.S.'s, sales managers, brand managers and Internet sales managers.
Thanks to Robert Sobczak for sending us this Blast From the Past. This is Larry Anderson at WGR in Buffalo. As a teenager and president of his High School Radio Club, Robert set up tours of Buffalo Radio stations. He took this picture in 1979. Read More About This Blast From the Past...