After a slow start to 2013 — deal volume was off by 39% in the first quarter according to BIA/Kelsey — station trading appears to be picking up with several mid-market deals announced during the past several weeks. Brokers have been predicting a turn, and while it’s too soon to say if it’s the start of something or a mere coincidence in timing, a lot more stations are suddenly changing hands.
More than three dozen guitars, signed cowboy boots, concert trips, even cash has been collected by the Nashville-based Bobby Bones Show in the days since tornados hit Oklahoma. Bones floated the idea of a charity auction Monday on his show, and the merchandise has been pouring in from country artists. Fresh from a “Dancing with the Stars” win last night, Kelly Pickler today donated signed ballroom shoes. Several musicians have appeared on the show to play the guitars as they dropped the instruments off, and encouraged listeners to make donations. Video and a donations list HERE.
After six years as assistant program director and afternoon host at Cumulus Media’s CHR KRBE, Houston (104.1), Mat Mitchell joins Clear Channel-Phoenix as program director for CHR “104.7 Kiss FM” KZZP and rhythmic AC “Eva 95.5” KYOT. He’ll also host middays on KZZP. CHRs on the 20-year radio vet’s travelogue include “Mix 93.3” KMXV, Kansas City; “103.7 Kiss FM” WXSS, Milwaukee; “Y100” WHYI, Miami; and “Q100” WWWQ, Atlanta. MORE
“93.7 The Fan” KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh isn’t soliciting tapes and resumes for its weekend opening. Instead the CBS Radio sports talker is hosting a series of open auditions at bars and client locations where aspiring broadcasters can compete for a chance to host a year-long weekend show on the station. MORE
Willie Nelson may always be on Pueblo, CO listeners’ minds, but Clear Channel hopes sports will be on their lips. Classic country KCCY has reverted back to sports 13 months after it dropped the format. KCCY earlier aired sports programming from 2002-2008. “Fox Sports 1350” will go up against Pilgrim Communications’ “ESPN 1580 The Game” KREL.
With the immediate threat from the tornados now passed, broadcasters in Oklahoma City have turned their attention to helping the community meet their most pressing needs. At the same time programming is far from normal as region confronts extent of destruction. MORE
Cox Media Group’s parent company will give $1 million in support to the Oklahoma City relief efforts — half in cash, the other half in public service announcements across its media portfolio including radio. Cox Enterprises chairman Jim Kennedy notes the company owns multiple businesses in Oklahoma, including radio stations in Tulsa. MORE
Under typical FCC rules, noncommercial stations are only allowed to do on-air fundraising for their own benefit, not any other outside cause. But as it has done following other disasters such as the 2005 Asian tsunami and the 2010 Haitian earthquake, the FCC will allow non-comms to help this week’s victims of the Oklahoma City tornadoes. MORE
Core news/talk listeners are the most likely of all radio users to begin their day with broadcast radio, especially at home. More than half (54%) say they make radio their first media occasion, according to a breakout of 11,985 news/talk station database members who participated in Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey9. MORE
Sports talk host Paul Finebaum has reportedly signed a five-year, cross-platform deal that will give him a syndicated radio show, a television simulcast, and guaranteed appearances on ESPN’s flagship cable network. The Wall Street Journal says Finebaum will also leave the market he’s called home for decades, relocating to Charlotte where a new sports channel will be based. MORE
ESPN Radio has seemingly been immune to the downsizing experienced at other companies. Now, in a surprise move, the sports network is reportedly cutting as much as 10% of its payroll. The company isn’t disclosing any specifics, but a spokeswoman does say there are layoffs across the organization. ESPN declined to say how many jobs were eliminated at ESPN Radio. MORE
Scoring an exclusive music premiere used to hinge on a local station’s relationship with the label or the act. Today it often depends on how much on-air and digital real estate its parent company has to put on the table. And now Pandora is angling for a piece of the exclusive premier action. MORE
While a number of cash-strapped universities have sold their radio stations over the past few years, Dayton’s newly re-opened Antioch College is celebrating the purchase of news/adult alternative WYSO (91.3). School president Mark Roosevelt says the $3.7 million deal has “both symbolic and practical significance” for the college. MORE
The list of AM stations that are stepping onto the FM dial keeps growing. The latest deal is in the Marquette, MI market where Tom Mogush’s Taconite Broadcasting strikes a $40,000 deal to buy an FM signal from David Stout for the standalone “ESPN 970” WZAM. It will buy the Marquette-licensed W227CJ at 93.3. Stout’s Tomsun Media owns country/polka WTKM-FM (104.9) and oldies “Cruisin 1540” WTKM in the Milwaukee market. MORE