News Bites for July 20...
...Alpha Media rebrands sports “ESPN San Antonio” KZDC (1250) to “San Antonio’s Sports Star.” With the new station brand, PD/morning host Rob Thompson adds hosting duties for “Halftime” from 12-2pm. He is partnered with Karl Schoening for the new local program. Thompson continues hosting “R&R in the Morning” with Rudy Jay, while “The Blitz,” hosted by Jason Minnix, remains in afternoons. Even after dropping “ESPN” from in its on-air moniker, KZDC will continue airing ESPN Radio programs outside of the locally-hosted shows.
...Tracy Brown, Chief Content Officer at Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ (91.5), is named a 2021 Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program Fellow at Columbia University. As part of the program, Brown will attend two weeks at Columbia Journalism School, then will be back at WBEZ for 18 weeks before returning for a final week at Columbia, according to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder. In other station news, Charmaine Runes joins WBEZ as Data/Visuals Reporter. Runes has been serving as Director of Fact-Checking at South Side Weekly and is a former research analyst at The Urban Institute.
...Andy Schuon, whose executive experience includes President of Programming and Marketing at CBS Radio, MTV, MTV2 and VH1, SiriusXM and Live Nation, went back to his radio roots appearing on Lotus Communications rock KOZZ Reno (105.7). Schuon credits the station for launching his industry career. “Little did I know on that day 40 years ago that it would set my life on a course that was straight out of the movies and to the top of radio, television, the record business and so much more,” Schuon told This Is Reno. “I was determined to get on the radio, and found out that KOZZ had an amateur hour on Sunday nights giving listeners a chance to host their show.”
...Johnny Dare, morning host at Audacy rock KQRC Kansas City (98.9), will return to the station after being hospitalized for the past week dealing with pancreas issues. Dare will make his return at 7am on Wednesday, July 21. “You'll hear the full story along with a few details you won't be able to scrub from your brain,” PD Bob Edwards wrote on Facebook, Tuesday, July 20. “Johnny is back tomorrow.”
...Auddia, developer of a propriety AI platform for audio that strips commercials from broadcasts to be repurposed as a subscription-based service for listeners, inks its fourth broadcast partner. Montgomery, AL-based Bluewater Broadcasting is the latest group to sign-on with the tech company. “I heard about Auddia from colleagues and loved the idea the minute I heard about the opportunity. After discussing with additional broadcasters and meeting the Auddia team, I decided we needed to participate on the platform to give our listeners the opportunity to engage our brands in a premium environment that the modern consumer demands,” CEO Rick Peters said in a release. “Broadcast radio is the last major media platform to put a premium experience behind a paywall. Consumers want choices when it comes to media consumption and they are willing to pay for those choices. Over 130 million consumers are paying a subscription for premium audio consumption. It is time for local radio to give our listeners this option and I am excited to join the Auddia platform to deliver a premium experience to our listeners.”
...3G Broadcasting news/talk WADK Newport, RI (1540) adds an FM simulcast on the Newport-licensed translator W266DI at 101.1. “This additional station will enhance the sound of the station and substantially increase our audience,” station owner Bonnie Gomes said in a release. “We are also diligently working to roll out new and exciting programming. 3G Broadcasting continues to be dedicated to our role as a credible, real-time community resource and the voice of Greater Newport and far beyond. This new addition aids in taking our group to the next level of service.”
...The SiriusXM Board of Directors declared a regular cash dividend of $0.014641 per share of common stock, payable in cash on August 30, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Aug. 6. Additionally, the Board of Directors approved an additional $2 billion of common stock repurchases, taking the Company's total authorization to $18 billion since the inception of the program in 2013.
...Audience estimates for Radio One news/talk WBT (1110), sports WFNZ (610), and hot AC WLNK (107.9) were “inadvertently suppressed” from the Nielsen Audio June 2021 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill Radio Market Report, Nielsen told clients Tuesday. The company will release a revised June 2021 Market Report on Wednesday, July 21 at 12pm (ET).