From gridiron clashes to the run-up to the World Series, sports radio had a driveway moment in October. The format made ratings history with an average 5.4 share of listeners aged 6+ and a 6.0 share among audiences 25 to 54. News-Talk had its best book in seven months.
Country remained radio’s second most listened-to format across the three major demos of 6+, 18-34 and 25-54 in October. But after several years of sustained growth, October marks the third consecutive month of declining shares for the seemingly unstoppable format. MORE
It was a “graveyard smash” for Bobby Boris Pickett in 1962. Every year since, “Monster Mash” makes a ghoulish comeback on Halloween. The song had already racked up more than 300 spins as of early Friday afternoon across Mediabase monitored stations. Other spooktacular classics are also playing in primetime today as radio stations generally avoid risky tricks and put more focus on musical treats. MORE.
Radio stations will be required to post their political files online if FCC chair Tom Wheeler gets his way. But the mandate would be phased-in across the industry under a proposal circulated to other commissioners yesterday by his office. MORE
Satellite radio subscribers will be digging deeper in the new year as Sirius XM Radio announces a 1.4% increase it is music royalty fee. Users currently pay a 12.5% surcharge on their subscription. Starting January 5 it will bump up to 13.9%. A specific dollar amount will depend on the customer’s specific package and plan term. MORE
It was two years ago this week that Super Storm Sandy struck the Northeast. In the wake of that deadly storm and several other natural disasters, a growing number of states have adopted, or are considering, First Informer laws. One such law takes effect this weekend. MORE
Thanks to what Journal Communications says has been an “active political season” for some of its clusters, the company has posted a second consecutive quarter of growth. Political sales have “accelerated” in recent weeks according to president/COO Andre Fernandez, who said yesterday the company is booking as much as $600,000 a day in candidate and issue advertising buys. MORE
American Tower reports third quarter revenue at its U.S. tower rental and management division increased 9.1% while operating profits were up 22%. Towers remain a high-margin business as the company says its profit margin hit 75% during the quarter. American Tower operates 274 broadcast towers in the U.S. but that’s not what is driving the growth. MORE
Which holiday is it? Rather than rolling out the pumpkins, Summit Media AC “Lite 106.9” WVEZ, Louisville on Thursday hung its format stocking with care instead. It became one of the first stations in the country to switch to an all-Christmas format. It wasn’t much of a surprise that WVEZ flipped to holiday programming since it’s done so every year for more than a decade. Reaction on WVEZ’s Facebook page was decidedly mixed. Read the complete list of Christmas Format Flips HERE
How into Halloween are American listeners? On demand music service Spotify says of all the countries it operates in around the globe, the U.S. is by far the top spot for Halloween-related streaming. In fact, it says 75% of its Halloween streaming during the past three years has gone to America.
Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center is known for innovations in pediatric medicine. Now it’s continuing that tradition with a new outside space where patients and their families can escape the hospital’s stuffiness and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. The space is being named after the Boston radio station that helped fund it: Greater Media’s “Country 102.5” WKLB. MORE
Connoisseur Media buried “The Bone” at its Allentown, PA rock station on Friday for a fresh spin with modern rock. Positioned as “The Valley's Alternative,” the New Spin Radio WWYY (107.1) is mixing current hits from Milky Chance, Hozier and the Black Keys with classic alternative from Foo Fighters, Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The station covers the Lehigh Valley and Poconos area of Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.
After 15 years of oldies, Cumulus Media converted WORC-FM, Worcester (98.9) to its “Nash Icon” brand, adding eastern Massachusetts to a roster of nearly 20 O&O stations airing the traditional country format. Positioned as “playing the great icons of country music,” the format targets 30-50 year-olds with Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and other ‘90s country warhorses blended with compatible currents.
Taylor Swift has been on a radio blitz all week to support the release of her new album, “1989.” On Thursday she became the first artist to serve as co-host of “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” for its entire four-hour airing. Swift brought her relationship with Diet Coke along with her, with the soft drink serving as the show’s exclusive advertiser. The cross-platform takeover also included selfies of fans and Diet Coke projected on Clear Channel Outdoors’s billboards in New York’s Times Square.
Nielsen will hand out $95.3 million to shareholders as it announced a 25-cents per share dividend. It’ll come just in time for the holidays with payments in stock owners’ hands on December 9. Nielsen’s stock price was unchanged in after-hours trading Thursday following the announcement.