Radio saw a surprise drop in first quarter auto ad spending that had many operators scratching their heads. The declines were apparently broader, also hitting TV and newspapers. With car sales still brisk, the cause for the reversal of a previously growing ad category was a mystery. Borrell Associates says it’s discovered the culprit.
One of Chicago’s best-known media executives is returning to radio. Jimmy de Castro has joined Tribune as general manager of news-talk “Radio 720” WGN, Chicago. De Castro has previously headed radio groups including AMFM and Evergreen Media. Most recently he ran the programming company The Content Factory. De Castro succeeds Tom Langmyer, who exited WGN last October. MORE.
An out-of-court settlement and the continuation of a long-term contract are the end zone for spat between Sports USA and its rep firm AdLarge Media which spilled into the courts. Sports USA asked a federal court in White Plains, NY to dismiss their case. “We are really looking forward to this upcoming season with AdLarge,” CEO Bob Moore says. In a joint release, the companies call the dispute a “misunderstanding.” MORE
Filling the hot AC format hole in Indianapolis, Entercom today launched “107.9 The Mix” on WNTR. The station had been adult hits “My 107.9” since 2005. Operations director J.R. Ammons says they’ll be currents-based by focusing on the “best of the 2000s” and target a female audience.
Regional Mexican “107.1 La Zeta” KLZT, Austin has a new Spanish-language sister station. Emmis has launched its second Hispanic-targeted station in market No. 37. “Comedy 102.7” had its last laugh as the translator-based station flipped to Spanish CHR “Latino 102.7” today. The comedy format launched in October 2011 and had been one of the formats best-performers, pulling in a 2.1 share (6+) in Arbitron’s April ratings. Listen HERE.
After moving its Jacksonville news/talker to a 100,000-watt class C signal in early May, Cox Media Group launched an urban oldies format on WOKV’s former FM frequency today. The lower-powered stick is now home to “Hot 106.5” WHJX. Clarence Natto arrives as program director from Cox urban AC “Kiss 104.1” WALR, Atlanta where he was director of promotions. MORE
Shares of Pandora’s stock surged in after-hours trading today after the web radio company reported better than expected earnings for the first quarter. Pandora says advertising revenue was $105 million, a 49% year-over-year increase. CEO Joe Kennedy said they had record mobile revenue, setting to rest fears some investors had that Pandora wouldn’t be able to monetize the fast-growing mobile part of their business.
It was two years ago that broadcasters came to the aid of Joplin, MO when another EF5 tornado killed 162 people. Having gone through what Moore, OK is facing this week, Zimmer Radio’s Joplin stations have been filling truckloads of donations to send to Oklahoma. MORE
Radio stations often give away concert tickets, cars and cash, but a national NTR promotion being done by Salem’s radio group pays forward in an entirely different way. The “Tuition Solution” gives listeners the chance to win half-off tuition at their pick from a list of private Christian schools. MORE
New York-based Mobile Transformation has dropped its lawsuit against TuneIn, which alleged the streaming company violated its patent for the way ads are displayed on its smartphone player. The suit filed in March had focused on the way visual ads are connected to audio commercials. Court papers don’t indicate whether any cash changed hands between the two companies.
Business is still brisk in the credit markets and Clear Channel is looking to take advantage of that. Bloomberg reports the company is looking to push out the due date for $5 billion of loans coming due by three years to 2019. It’s a move that analysts say would give Clear Channel some needed breathing room by reducing the amount of debt coming due in 2016 to $3.2 billion. MORE
Kirk Franklin was already a core artist for Sirius XM Radio’s gospel channel, now the Grammy-winning artist will become part of the brand. The company is rebranding the channel as Kirk Franklin’s Praise starting Friday. The station will remain commercial-free and will still feature other artists. But listeners can expect an extra dose of Franklin next week as Praise airs a live performance and a Q&A in front of an audience. Franklin says Sirius XM has shown a “real commitment” to gospel music. It also has the southern gospel “Enlighten” channel.