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<font size="4" style="line-height:115%">Country radio confronts fickle young listeners.</font>

Country radio confronts fickle young listeners.

Despite softer Time Spent Listening, station satisfaction remains high among core country radio users. But passion for country music among younger listeners has eroded somewhat during the past year. Those are among the topline findings from a survey of 11,573 consumers in 67 markets in the U.S. and Canada, most of whom are country radio P1s.

Cumulus brings ‘The Vibe’ to Memphis.

On the heels of rocketing success of a classic hip-hop station in Indianapolis, Cumulus Media today launched “98.9 The Vibe” in Memphis. The format arrives on what had been “News Talk FM 98.9” WKIM. But unlike in Indy, Cumulus will face off against another classic hip-hop station: Flinn Broadcasting’s three-month old “Bumpin 96” WIVG. The suburban signal has seen its share quadruple to a 1.4 share (6+) since it went to classic hip-hop. That put it in a tie in with WKIM in Nielsen’s January ratings.

Programmer Dave Hamilton ‘un-retires.’

Two years after retiring and fleeing the harsh Minneapolis winters, programming vet Dave Hamilton is back in radio in his new adopted hometown of Palm Springs, CA. Hamilton launched classic rock “Q102.3” KRHQ on Friday as program director. The Marker Broadcasting station replaced “Smooth Jazz 102.3” KJJZ. MORE

Alpha kills Dayton's 'Fly' for 'Soft Rock.'

Dayton adult hits “Fly 92.9” is going soft, as in soft AC. Alpha Media has flipped WGTZ to “Soft Rock 92.9” with a record library that includes tracks from the 1970s to 1990s. Current on-air hosts Dan Edwards (morning drive) and Danielle (now afternoon drive) will be joined by Dayton radio veteran Paul Ellis (in middays) starting Monday. Alpha calls the format shift a “natural evolution” for the station.

Foo Fighters take live radio stage.

Alternative, active rock and mainstream rock stations owned by iHeartMedia will broadcast a live interview and performance from Foo Fighters March 17 at 10pm eastern from the iHeartRadio Theater Los Angeles. Taking a break from the arena and stadium stages of their current world tour for a theater performance, the band will be interviewed by comedian Chelsea Handler. MORE

People Moves This Week.

There’s a new integrated brand manager in Houston. A sports radio vet makes a trade of his own and heads from Los Angeles to Detroit. A regional director of business development is on the job in the Northwest. Michigan broadcasters say goodbye to a legend. And a longtime owner brings down the curtain on a 50-year radio career with one last air shift. Catch up with all this week’s People Moves HERE.

Radio’s tops in mornings for country listeners.

Stick close to country radio fans if you want to hear radio in the morning. That’s because FM/AM is used by more listeners than any other medium according to an Edison Research study commissioned by the Country Radio Broadcasters. MORE

Radio leads charge at Entravision.

Sometimes everything just clicks, and that’s the situation right now at Entravision’s radio division. “We’ve never seen it perform like this,” CEO Walter Ulloa said yesterday. He said radio is outshining the company’s TV group. MORE

Ad market to radio: it’s not you, it’s me.

Newly-released figures are putting radio’s 2014 revenue into perspective. Core U.S. ad spending grew just 1.6% last year according to Magna Global. That’s the smallest growth rate in six years. Not coincidentally, the RAB reported last week the radio industry also had its softest revenue numbers since 2009. MORE

The Inside Radio Q&A: Norm Pattiz.

More than three decades after creating a new model of syndication with the launch of Westwood One, Norm Pattiz has become the biggest evangelizer of podcasting. Three years ago he launched PodcastOne to serve as a portal for advertising-supporting podcasts. Inside Radio caught up with Pattiz to discuss the state of podcasting. Read the Inside Radio Q&A with Norm Pattiz HERE.

Brandmeier goes national, Miller goes home.

Westwood One syndicated talk host Dennis Miller has announced he will end his eight-year old radio show next month. The network has announced it has inked a deal to launch a new radio show featuring Chicago veteran Jonathon Brandmeier. MORE

Half of U.S. is online radioactive.

Internet radio is having a moment. More than half of the U.S. population aged 12+ (53%) has listened to it in the past month, according to new data from Edison Research. That amounts to an estimated 143 million Americans tuning to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet. The figure is up from 47% in 2014. See a chart of the growth HERE.

Religious radio sees net neutrality ‘power grab.’

In a vote that’s certain to be part of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s legacy, the agency yesterday approved a plan to recast the internet as a utility. It’s a move that’s drawing fire from the National Religious Broadcasters. “This is a power grab,” NRB president Jerry Johnson says. MORE

EMF breaks into Seattle market.

The Seattle market will have one fewer owner as Queen Cities Broadcasting sells its standalone classic hits “Q-104.5” KMCQ to Educational Media Foundation for $7 million. While EMF already has stations in Spokane and Yakima, the deal will put the company in the Seattle metro for the first time. The deal leaves Queen Cities with two Cincinnati stations: Spanish CHR “La Mega 97.7” WOXY and hot AC “99.5 The Edge” WAOL.

Duran buys $8 million New York penthouse.

When you need to be to the studio by 6am to host the most-listened-to CHR morning show in the U.S., it helps to live in the neighborhood. Elvis Duran is paying $8 million to buy a 4,000 square foot penthouse in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood, a few blocks from his radio home at CHR “Z100” WHTZ. The New York Post reports the new digs are the highest priced unit in the Leonard building and include a state-of-the-art sound system, a chef’s kitchen and an “enormous private roof terrace.” MORE