After setting a national PPM ratings record in its core 18-34 demo last summer, CHR is poised to do it again. Heading into the summer, when CHR listening levels traditionally jump, it’s pacing nearly a half-share-point ahead of where it was at this time last year. One reason is programmers say CHR is hanging a “welcome back” sign for adults.
Ever since Tribune went into bankruptcy five years ago there’s been speculation that it may sell its sole radio station, “Radio 720” WGN, Chicago, despite its long lineage with the company. But in the clearest indication yet that the news-talk station isn’t on the block, Tribune has brought in a high-profile radio veteran to run it. MORE
Cumulus Media is making good on a pledge to expand the Nash FM brand nationwide. Today five stations start flying the Nash FM flag. The list includes “The Wolf” WPKR/WPCK, Appleton-Oshkosh/Green Bay, WI; “97.3 The Hawk” KHKI, Des Moines; “K-Country” WKAK, Albany, GA; “Idaho Country” KQFC, Boise; and WLXX, Lexington, KY. MORE
It was just last Sunday that Jim Zabel marked his 69th year in broadcasting, having spent his entire career at “Newsradio 1040” WHO, Des Moines. Zabel died Thursday, May 23. He was 91. Zabel was a Marconi Award winning broadcaster – the National Association of Broadcasters honored him 2003 for his 49 years calling University of Iowa Hawkeyes games. Zabel also worked at WHO-TV, which was a sister station or many years.
Saga’s four-station cluster in Bellingham, WA went into wall-to-wall news coverage Thursday night after a large section of a four-lane bridge on Interstate 5 collapsed, sending two cars and three people into the Skagit River below. Saga news/talk KGMI (790) dispatched reporters to the scene and the stations was simulcast on sports KPUG (1170), talk KBAI (930) and soft AC KAFE (104.1).
With its young-skewing audience — nearly half falls in the 18-34 demo according to Arbitron — urban format listeners are among the most digitally focused. So it should be no surprise that its core listeners are more likely to listen online or wake up with their smartphone than to a clock radio. MORE
Pandora added more than 700,000 paid subscribers during the first quarter after it instituted a mobile listening cap. It also made some progress at selling advertisers on buying mobile inventory. Yet Pandora also reported its losses widened to $28.6 million compared to $20.2 million a year earlier. MORE
Coast to coast, radio has been stepping up to help the Oklahoma tornado victims. Not just on-air but using social media too. Like a lot of stations, Cox Media Group’s morning show at CHR “The Big Ape” WAPE, Jacksonville (95.1) has been encouraging listeners to make a text message donation to the Red Cross. But they took it a step further with Twitter. MORE
What to do with a collection of rockers at a station event? How about get a guitar signed. That’s what modern rock “Live 105” KITS, San Francisco did last weekend at its annual BFD concert. It had a Squire Bullet Guitar signed by artists such as Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jimmy Eat World and Of Monster and Men. Now it’s up for auction with the proceeds going to the Red Cross’ relief efforts. Bid HERE.
Reversing course after asking a federal court to help it get out of a contract with its rep firm, Sports USA Media has instead recommitted to a five-year deal with AdLarge Media. The companies say their dispute, which led to the courthouse steps, was a “misunderstanding.” Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed. MORE
Just ahead of the start of hurricane season, the state of Louisiana has completed the installation of Alert FM. Louisiana will allow the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as well as managers from all 64 parishes and 42 colleges and universities across the state to send alerts. Besides alerts about natural or manmade disasters, Alert FM will also distribute Amber Alerts in Louisiana. The alerts are piggybacked on FM signals to special receivers or smartphones equipped with the Alert FM app. Around 90 FMs will be part of the network across the state.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have raised the expectation of listeners that they’ll get some sort of interaction with a station when they post a comment, ask a question, or make a request. It’s the latter that a new feature created by RadioTraks looks to address. MORE
Wilmington’s WHQR (91.3) currently airs a mix of classical music and public radio news programming. But if the station manager gets his way it will follow a trend in public radio and split into two stations. Cleve Callison reportedly said this week WHQR is on the hunt for a sister FM to create a dedicated classical outlet. MORE
Marketron will stage the first of two standalone user forums for clients June 19 in Washington, DC. A second forum is planned for the fall in California. CEO Jeff Haley says the one-day symposiums will involve broadcasters presenting case studies and best practices on the best ways to use Marketron’s trafficking, interactive and mobile products.
Digital streaming service Spotify will begin publishing a weekly list of its top 50 most streamed and most shared songs, according to the Wall Street Journal. While some programmers may use the Spotify 50 and the Social 50 as additional tools to help size up the hits, their purpose is marketing. MORE