Advertisers chase audiences and audiences have been flocking in droves to country radio. As station ratings have increased, so has revenue, though not in direct proportion. Improving ratings is often only half the battle. The next hurdle is driving rate in the marketplace as stations concentrate on converting audience increases into revenue gains.
Alpha Media is now operating in a dozen markets and executives Larry Wilson and Bob Proffitt have turned to a former sales manager at their old company, Citadel Broadcasting, to become Alpha’s first corporate vice president of new business development. Lindi Glasgow joins the company from Entercom where she most recently as director of sales for its San Francisco stations. MORE
After a period of change and turmoil at Boston’s WEEI-FM (93.7), a new agreement between the Entercom sports station and its long-running morning hosts will ensure some stability ahead. Both John Dennis and Gerry Callahan have agreed to new contract terms. Specifics aren’t being released but Entercom says they’ll remain on WEEI “well into the latter half of this decade.” The Dennis & Callahan Show recently added a third host, Kirk Minihane. MORE
Curtis Media Group has hired Tammy O’Dell as director of sales for its five-station cluster in Raleigh, NC. O’Dell most recently served as market manager for Townsquare Media in Albany, NY. But she earlier worked in Raleigh as DOS for Clear Channel from 2003 to 2006. “I am very pleased to welcome Tammy O’Dell back to Raleigh in this critical role for our company,” EVP Trip Savery says.
Todd “Bubba The Love Sponge” Clem says a deal for a new radio show is “practically” done, writing on Twitter that he’s looking at a “multi-station/multimarket deal” that would be “much larger” than previous arrangement with Cox Media Group. Clem’s show was cut from Cox-owned “102.5 The Bone” WHPT, Tampa last week for what the host claims was his too large salary. Clem’s pay is pegged at between $1.1 and $1.5 million. Cox continues to distribute Clem to his affiliates through the end of the year when his contract expires.
For the second time in as many weeks, a Miami CHR station is launching a new morning show with a high-profile talent. Clear Channel will debut “The Joe Ferrero Show” on Spanish CHR “Mega 94.9” WMGE next Monday. Best known for prank calling Fidel Castro, Ferrero has hosted mornings in the market on “El Zol” and “La Kalle.” MORE
The Joy is gone from the Buffalo radio dial. Townsquare Media has rebranded hot AC WJYE as “Mix 96,” completing a long evolution from soft AC. The “Joy-FM” moniker had been used by the station for decades, dating back to its time as the city’s beautiful music station. Positioned as “Buffalo’s Best Variety,” the station has changed its heritage call letters to WMSX.
A new wave of younger, edgier acts made country radio cool again, attracting throngs of 18-34 year-olds to the format. And advertisers have followed. Close artist relationships are also paying sales dividends for the format. In many cases, the ties that bind station and artist pay off for sales as well as programming and promotions. MORE
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, the saying goes, but it may be more accurate to say there’s no FCC license without a regulatory fee attached. The FCC has voted to abolish a two decade-old policy of exempting expanded band stations, those stations between 1605 and 1705 AM, from a regulatory fee. MORE
The carmaker says radio will be part of its media mix as it launches a new multi-platform campaign tied into college sports and the culture of football fans. “This year we are putting a big spotlight on the food at these games,” VP of marketing Steve Shannon says of their ads. Besides radio, Hyundai will also place ads on TV, print and online outlets. MORE
After 32 years as musical director of “Late Night with David Letterman,” Paul Shaffer says the looming end of the CBS-TV show doesn’t mean he’ll step away from radio too. He’ll continue to host the “Day in Rock” and “60-Second Rewind” features for Envision Networks. “I’m not retiring, as many people have assumed,” Shaffer says.
Veteran Pittsburgh talk personalities Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent say they’ve turned down an offer to host a show on Iorio Broadcasting’s talk WJAS (1230) after the station wouldn’t allow the show to be streamed. “Terms offered precluded our ability to stream live to our audience, which was essential,” the hosts write on Twitter. Reached by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, WJAS owner Frank Iorio declined comment. Quinn and Tennent’s “War Room” previously aired at Clear Channel’s “News Talk 104.7” WPGB.
The tap has run dry for classic rock “107.3 The Brew” KTHR, Wichita. Clear Channel has switched the station to modern rock as “Alt 107.3,” joining recent modern rock launches in Nashville and Minneapolis. The new station will feature “all music hours” until Sunday, September 7, when the Kansas City Chiefs kick off their regular season on KTHR. MORE
The surging country format has Clear Channel flipping yet another Bull-branded station to country. Adult hits “The Coast” WSKX, Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester, NH flipped to “95.3 The Bull — The Seacoast’s New Hit Country” on Friday. It goes up against Townsquare Media’s country powerhouse WOKQ (97.5). WSKX isn’t a simulcast of “101.7 The Bull” WBWL, Boston. But in a region where people often drive into the market to work, there will be a “Bull” on both sides of the trip.
Head banging is fun and all, but when it comes to selling ads the way to go is country. That’s the gist of what’s behind a format change in Las Cruses, NM. Bravo Mic Communication’s eight-year old rock format “99.5 The Rocket” KXPZ will move to an online operation today as “Zia Country 99.5” debuts. MORE
Point Broadcasting’s classic hits “Rewind 95.9” KOCP, Oxnard-Ventura, CA will still live in the past with its new format. But now it’ll focus on rhythmic classics as “Old School 95.9” vowing to keep “Jamming the ‘80s.” The station is a sister to rhythmic CHR “Q-104.7” KCAQ. The move leaves Oxnard-Ventura without a classic hits station since last month Cumulus Media flipped “Classic Hits 106.3” KRRF to country as a Nash Icon station. Listen HERE.
Ingstad Broadcast Group’s adult hits “Bob FM” format was sent packing as “105.7 The Hawk” landed on KRSE in the Yakima, WA market. It aims to pull upper demo listeners from Townsquare Media’s rock KATS-FM which had a 6.3 share (12+) in the spring Nielsen ratings, topping KRSE’s 3.2 share. The “Hawk” branding has a history in Yakima — KIT-FM (99.3) carried the handle a decade ago when it aired a classic hits format. KRSE is currently running commercial-free and without an air staff, but personalities will be added in a few weeks.
U.S. radio stations have been required to air emergency alerts for decades, and now stations north of the border will need to do the same. The CRTC, the Canadian regulatory agency, ruled last week that most radio and TV stations must relay emergency alerts to the public starting March 31, 2015. Until now, participation in Canada’s National Public Alerting System had been voluntary. MORE
S.O.S. is the quest to always be in search of the newest, latest, hippest, and hottest ideas and concepts. Like most things, S.O.S. is not bad in moderation. But the truly afflicted are so busy focusing on every new idea that they become unable to focus at all. Eventually they are reduced to the attention span of a goldfish. Speed Marriott, CEO of P1 Learning, explains the effects of S.O.S. and how your team can avoid or even treat the syndrome before it's too late! Good Selling... Read this week's Blue Page Here.