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<font size="5" style="line-height:110%">Programming’s biggest 2015 challenge? Keeping up.</font>

Programming’s biggest 2015 challenge? Keeping up.

With a battery of entertainment options to choose from, consumer tastes and media behavior are changing faster than ever. Audience preferences have become a constantly moving target. One of programmers’ biggest challenges is keeping up with them. But while technology is the disrupter, it’s also emerging as part of the solution.

Atlanta Falcons pick new radio flagship.

After one season as an Atlanta Falcons radio affiliate, CBS Radio sports “92.9 The Game” WZGC is taking over as the NFL team’s flagship station. A new multi-year deal with CBS ends a four-year run with Lincoln Financial Media, whose “790 The Zone” WQXI has been the Falcons flagship since 2011. MORE

Emmis vs. iHeartMedia in St. Louis CHR duel.

A CHR battle busted out this morning in the Gateway City. Emmis shelved its long running classic hits “K-Hits 96” format on KIHT, St. Louis to launch “Now 96.3 FM.” It takes on iHeartMedia’s “Z-107.7” KSLZ, which trended 4.8-5.7 in the Holiday survey for a fourth place tie in persons 6+. It’s the first new CHR to debut in St. Louis in 17 years. MORE

WIP’s Wing Bowl spawns unflattering Chris Christie video.

CBS Radio sports WIP-FM (94.1) used Friday’s Wing Bowl mega-event to release a seven-month old video showing New Jersey governor Chris Christie falling off his roller chair in the station’s studios during an in-studio interview. Christie’s friendship with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has become a sore spot among Philadelphia Eagles fans, who jeered when the video was shown on a Jumbotron at Wing Bowl, complete with Christie and Jones look-alikes. MORE

Former CHR morning man to host KGO nights.

In another instance of talk radio attempting to expand the conversation beyond politics, Cumulus Media has hired a former CHR morning man for news/talk KGO San Francisco (810). Best known for an eight-year run at Chicago’s “Kiss 103.5” WKSC, Drex (Kevin Buchar) will host 7-10pm on KGO. He earlier spent time in the Bay Area on former rocker KSJO, San Jose (92.3).

People Moves This Week.

A longtime Hispanic programming executive expands into a multi-format role at iHeartRadio…. Univision extends the contract of its CEO and recruits a new general manager of social media... A 50-year broadcaster retires… Westwood One appoints a new SVP of strategic sales partnerships. Read all of this week’s People Moves HERE.

SESAC offers — but radio’s not ready to say yes.

Is it an olive branch worthy of ending a lawsuit, or a stick that could be used to beat radio stations into submission? That will be the question before a federal judge as he weighs a request by SESAC to dismiss a suit brought by the radio industry after taking steps that its attorneys argue undercut complaints made by broadcasters. MORE

Ad buyer seeks tighter rules on ad bumping.

As broadcasters prepare for the onslaught of political advertising that the 2016 presidential race is expected to bring, the Federal Communications Commission has agreed to give a fresh look at an often-used policy. MORE

Now it’s CBS Radio that’s sued by an ex-intern.

A growing number of interns are taking on a new label: plaintiff. Now it’s CBS Radio that’s being sued by a former unpaid staffer. Camille Demere has sued the company for her time as a newsroom intern at all-news WCBS, New York (880) and as an online intern at for nine months during 2009 and 2010. MORE

ANA: Majority of marketers to boost native ads.

One of the hottest and most controversial trends in the advertising industry is earmarked for an infusion of dollars this year. Nearly two-thirds of marketers (63%) plan to up their spend on native advertising, according to a new Association of National Advertisers survey of 127 marketers. MORE

Radio embraces new crop of concert perks.

One recent trend in new radio facilities has been to include performance spaces for visiting musicians to play live when they’re in town. For Seattle adult alternative KEXP (90.3), an essential stop for tastemaker bands, making musicians comfortable has gone beyond just a well-appointed soundstage. MORE

HD Radio standard on new Alfa Romeo Spider.

The buyers of the roughly 400 Alfa Romeo 4C Spiders available to U.S. dealers this year will get a premium HD Radio-equipped sound system to go with their hand-built coupe this year. The Italian sports car will come with HD Radio as standard equipment. The Spider is the first Alfa Romeo model to integrate HD Radio.

Chicago’s ‘Mr. Cub’ gets ultimate radio goodbye.

In a rare move usually reserved for presidents and popes, Tribune news-talk “Radio 720” WGN, Chicago is breaking away from regular programming Saturday to give wall-to-wall commercial-free coverage to a memorial service. It’s the tribute to Chicago Cubs baseball great Ernie Banks, who died January 23rd at the age of 83. WGN sports director Dave Eanet will anchor the broadcast. Tribune says it will stream the memorial service as well, knocking its regular “Kathy and Judy Show” to its secondary website.


Patrick Communications

Radio's Forecast 2015: What's Hot & What's Not

— Jan. 14, 2015. Presented by Borrell Associates and INSIDE RADIO. Presenters: Gordon Borrell & Grey Persons. Moderated by Gene McKay. Download Presentation Here.