It didn’t take turning on the television to realize last week the new TV season was underway. A few minutes with radio would have done the trick. One year ago the television tune-in ads fell short of expectations, but in some metros the category has come roaring back.
FCC chair Tom Wheeler said today that the Washington Redskins name is “inappropriate” and confirmed the agency has begun looking at a petition that would bar the term from being used on broadcast radio and TV. “We will be dealing with that issue on the merits and we will be responding accordingly,” he said during a press briefing. Fellow commissioner Mignon Clyburn also signaled she has problems with the Redskins brand. MORE
The Los Angeles Dodgers will keep their radio play-by-play on iHeartMedia’s “Fox Sports AM 570” KLAC as part of a new multi-year agreement that will also see the team take an equity stake in the radio station. The size of the ownership position hasn’t been disclosed and the agreement is subject to Major League Baseball approval. MORE.
After seven years at iHeartMedia’s Atlanta cluster, Justin Schaflander will get the corner office. He has been promoted from VP of sales to market manager. Schaflander succeeds Matt Scrano who is taking the top job in Chicago. The company has also promoted Jason Mosher to VP of sales for the six-station cluster. He’s been at the stations for a half dozen years, most recently was general sales manager for country “94.9 The Bull” WUBL, talk WGST (640) as well as Total Traffic and Weather Network. MORE
The Associated Press has hired Michael Fabiano to lead its local radio and television media sales teams as director of local broadcast markets. He joins the AP from the consumer website Locate Real Estate where he was COO and SVP since August 2013. Before that, he spent six years at NBC including as VP/GM of digital publishing and VP of business development. MORE
After five years as a VP of programming for Westwood One, Tim Maranville is jumping to IRN/USA Radio Network as chief content officer and director of channel development. The network was recently acquired by Cross Platform Media Group. “Attracting talent like Tim speaks volumes to the validity of our growth expectation,” CEO Sam Hassell says. MORE
Between the Detroit and Toledo, OH markets, Cumulus Media is launching its next Nash Icon station on Friday at 5pm. AC “My 98.3” WMIM, Monroe, MI will switch to the ‘80s and ‘90s-artist skewing country format. Program director and morning host Chris King, middayer Rachel Marisay, and night host Mark Benson will all remain with the station in their current positions. MORE
Any doubts the programmatic buying locomotive is racing forward quickly get derailed at New York’s Advertising Week. A year ago the discussion at Madison Avenue’s annual showcase was what programming buying was going to become. This year it’s how it’s being used, and how many dollars will flow through computer-based buying systems. MORE
If the radio industry is feeling like its world has turned upside down, the message from Madison Avenue might very well be: join the club. Industry conferences are known for navel gazing, but head-holding may emerge as the theme of 2014’s Advertising Week. MORE
Mega telecom deals involving Time Warner, AT&T and DirecTV have all made the headlines this year, but the potential sale of Univision Communications remains the one with the biggest impact on radio. And the Spanish-language broadcaster is still reportedly on the hunt for buyers. MORE
For the first time the all-digital AM concept was put to the test on the West Coast as Seattle-area owner Andy Skotdal will power down the analog signals for “Fox Sports Radio 1380” KRKO and “Classic Country 1520” KKXA in Everett, WA this weekend. The FCC has given Skotdal experimental test authority from October 2 to October 6 and the stations will go digital-only from 9:30am to 4:30pm both Saturday and Sunday. MORE
The Gen Z radio Rorschach test could go a little something like this: I say FM radio, you say what? To the relief of many broadcasters the biggest number (23%) of those surveyed by Kassof & Co. said “music.” And less than 1% said “commercials.” That’s the good news. What’s the bad news? MORE
IHeartMedia’s Chicago market manager Earl Jones has been promoted to VP of urban operations for the company. Filling his shoes in the Windy City will be Matt Scrano, who returns to Chicago from Atlanta where he’s been running the iHeartMedia cluster since 2012. MORE
As part of a re-launch of its Sierra Mist brand, PepsiCo is turning to radio to help turn around sagging sales of the lemon lime soft drink. The target of the “Make Interesting Happen” creative is young adults, with digital and print ads also part of the strategy, along with experiential marketing elements. No budget has been released. Ad Age says the campaign was created by the Van’s General Store, an agency co-founded in 2012 by actor Liev Schreiber.
The FCC’s pending review of whether to allow Pandora to buy hot AC “Hits 102.7” KXMZ, Rapid City, SD pivots on the foreign ownership rule. And while many broadcasters see the webcaster as a rival, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council believes it could end up helping minority owners overcome a “severe lack of access to domestic capital.” MORE