Top Story

    It was 25 years ago that a radio station in the nation’s No. 1 market began mixing contemporary and classic R&B acts to form the blueprint for a new style of urban radio. Despite some initial inconsistency, New York’s WBLS-FM today remains the unofficial flagship for urban adult contemporary. Nationwide, 172 stations are dedicated to the 25-54-targeted format, spinning core acts that range from Mary J. Blige and Usher to Kirk Franklin and Michael Jackson. Read more

    Inside Radio News

    Apollo Global Management has made no secret of its interest in purchasing the TV and radio assets of broadcasting company Tegna. The private-equity firm is looking to bulk up its ownership of TV stations, and first contacted Tegna about a potential deal at the beginning of the year, then with a letter to its board in February. It has since remained in contact. The publicly held Tegna is now acknowledging that yes, it has been twice approached by Apollo. Read more

    iHeartMedia is celebrating the release of Taylor Swift’s new album “Lover” by premiering a new track every hour beginning at midnight Aug. 23, the day of the album’s release. The airplay leads up to the 8pm airing of “Taylor Swift’s Secret Session,” which features the 10-time Grammy winner introducing songs and sharing details about the making of her seventh studio album. Read more

    Election Day may be 15 months away but political ads are already on the radio in rural Iowa. South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign began airing a flight of radio spots this week, targeting rural voters in Iowa. Read more

    Continuing to aim for a broader audience outside the car, SiriusXM sees college students as its next growth opportunity. The satellite broadcaster will offer a new subscription package for $4 a month to university students. The “Student Premier” package offers SiriusXM's “Premier Streaming” package at a 69% discount off the regular price of the sub, which is normally $12.99 per month. Read more

    FirstCom Music, the music production library used by radio, podcasters, television and other mediums, is partnering with the iconic Capitol Studios to create a new production music label, Capital Studio Masters. The first-time collaboration between the companies will make some of the best-known artists available to content producers. Read more

    The next CRS360 webinar, titled “Country Radio’s Podcasting Opportunity,” is Aug. 27… KDGS’ Greg “The Hitman” Williams will be inducted into the Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) Hall of Fame… Public broadcaster CBC/Radio-Canada signs a deal with Triton Digital to use its dynamic ad insertion technology… AdsWizz partners with Mediastream in Latin America to help streaming radio and podcast publishers better monetize their content. Read more

    Michael Kay returned to the YES broadcast booth last weekend and is scheduled to return to his weekday afternoon program on “ESPN NY 98.7” WEPN-FM New York on Aug. 26. Kay revealed that his doctor told him that there may come a day where he has to decide if his repaired vocal cords can handle both of his broadcast jobs. Read more

    CBS President and Acting CEO Joe Ianniello, who negotiated the merger of CBS Radio with Entercom, was passed over for the top spot in the CBS-Viacom tie-up. But the longtime CBS exec got a consolation prize of sorts: $70 million in a lump sum payment, to be paid when the CBS Viacom merger closes, as stipulated in a clause in his employment contract related to not being promoted to CEO. Read more

    For some podcasts the pre-roll ad may soon become an endangered species. At last week’s Podcast Movement conference several producers said they are toying with how to place the first spot break in their podcast since there’s a growing sense that some listeners are becoming conditioned to simply skip past the first few minutes of a show. Read more

    People Moves

    Matt Senne is named GM for Hubbard Broadcasting in Alexandria and Wadena, MN. Senne, who joins from Leighton Broadcasting Winona where he served as GM, will oversee country KIKV-FM (100.7) and classic hots KULO (94.3) Alexandria and country KKWS (105.9), sports KWAD (920) and classic country KNSP (1430) Wadena. Read more

    Dom Izzo, sports anchor at WDAY-TV, moves to Forum Communications co-owned news/talk WDAY (970) Fargo. “Hot Mic with Dom Izzo” debuts Sept. 3 from 9-11am. The station is simulcast on the Fargo-licensed translator K226CL at 93.1 and Izzo’s new show will be simulcast on WDAY-TV’s digital channel. Read more

    Jared Stillman and Floyd Reese, co-hosts of “Jared & The GM” on Cromwell Group “102.5 The Game” WPRT-FM Nashville, have signed new multi-year contract extensions, which will keep the afternoon duo together through Sept. 2021. Read more

    Morning host Ken Evans exits Cumulus Media “105.3 Hot FM” WHTS Grand Rapids. Read more