There’s more proof the all-Yule format packed more ratings wallop in 2014. New Nielsen data shows adult contemporary stations in PPM markets had an average 6+ share of 12.7 in the Holiday survey, up 5% from 2013’s 12.1 and reversing a two-year downtrend. On the other side of the spectrum Christmas music-free hot ACs made historic year-end gains.
IHeartMedia said Friday it has surpassed 60 million registered users for its iHeartRadio streaming service. The digital radio service doesn’t require users to register to listen to its live radio streams, so the app’s total reach is considerably larger. The company claims it hit nearly 90 million unique visitors across the iHeartRadio Network. MORE.
The week began with Alpha Media buying on the West Coast, now it wraps the week with a deal on the East Coast. Alpha agreed to buy a four-station Fredericksburg, VA cluster that’s been operated by Sandton Capital Partners since former owner Free Lance–Star Publishing filed bankruptcy last year. The stations include “New Country 93.3” WFLS-FM, rhythmic CHR “99.3 The Vibe” WVBX, classic rock “96.9 The Rock” WWUZ and talk/sports WNTX (1350). MORE.
To fill a pair of programming openings at its Washington-Baltimore cluster, iHeartMedia transfers 14-year company vet Tommy Chuck from Tampa. Chuck will program CHR “Hot 99.5” WIHT, Washington and country WPOC, Baltimore (93.1). At WIHT, he replaces Mark Medina, who was named PD of CHR “Z100” WHTZ, New York last month. At WPOC, Chuck succeeds Lance Houston, who moved up to Boston in August as PD of country sister “101.7 The Bull” WBWL. MORE
Hopes that country stations would give up less listening to all-Christmas stations in 2014 were dashed by new Nielsen data. For a third consecutive year, country took the biggest ratings hit of any format during the Holiday PPM survey, declining an average 14% from the November survey. MORE
Against a haphazard economy, marketer budgets that grew little if any, and a host of new competitors, radio’s largest revenue market closed the books on 2014 better than some had predicted midyear. Total market revenue slid 2% to $614 million, according to a preliminary tally from Miller Kaplan Arase & Co. MORE
If local advertising were a train, digital would be its locomotive. So says Borrell Associates as it stacks up all the various online formats and local ad mediums to chart where the biggest growth lies in 2015. For radio stations the best growth rests beyond the audio spot, according to the firm, which sees larger growth for targeted display and video advertising budgets. MORE
You know a format has arrived when it spawns a trademark lawsuit. Radio One has sued Flinn Broadcasting for trademark infringement, unfair competition and other claims related to Flinn’s use of the “Boomin 96” moniker. MORE
More than two years after FCC commissioner Ajit Pai first proposed the agency take steps to revitalize AM radio, the issue remains under study. While the timeline may be frustrating to broadcasters, commissioner Mignon Clyburn says it’s important the fixes that see the light of day are “strong, comprehensive and forward-looking.” MORE
It’s said to be an opaque process with all the action happening behind closed doors and high stakes for radio stations, which could be ordered to fork over more in royalties. It’s the SoundExchange audit process and two more companies — iHeartMedia and CBS — are the latest to come under review. MORE
The inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship averaged 69,000 listeners per minute according to ESPN, which bases the figure on network and affiliate streaming data. It’s an increase of 103% from last year’s BCS National Championship game. MORE
The new Republican-controlled Congress is off and running and one of the big hopes in some congressional offices is that the Communications Act will get a long overdue update. Speaking yesterday in Washington, two former FCC commissioners are, however, split on whether something will get done or whether an update is merely a white whale. MORE
The marketing bonanza that that surrounds the Super Bowl is also bringing a windfall to radio. PepsiCo is using the big game to introduce two new Mtn Dew Kickstart flavors and it will spend millions to air TV spots during the pre-game show. The soft drink maker says the “All Starts with a Kick” campaign will also tie-in national radio promotions as part of what the company says will be a “comprehensive marketing campaign.” No radio budget was released.