Entercom says it has reached a multiyear contract extension with the Texas Rangers to serve as the flagship station for the team’s radio network. The new deal calls for “105.3 The Fan” KRLD-FM Dallas to continue its role as the flagship station for the Texas Rangers Radio Network and the team’s English language radio play-by-play broadcasts. Read more

SiriusXM VP of Pop Music Programming Kid Kelly has exited after nearly two decades at the satellite broadcaster. Kelly also handled day-to-day programming of the “Hits 1” and “Venus” channels. SiriusXM Vice Presidents Alex Tear and Lou Simon will assume Kelly’s programming responsibilities. Read more

The iHeartMedia trifecta of Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman, President of Entertainment Enterprises John Sykes and Chief Programming Officer/National Programming Group President Tom Poleman, share honors with Cumulus Media President/CEO Mary Berner and Entercom Chairman/President/CEO David Field on the Billboard 2020 Power List. The annual list also includes SBS Chairman/CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr., Entercom’s Pat Paxton and Univision’s Jesus Lara. Read more

Programmers from iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, Entercom and Beasley are among participants for the Programmers Mentoring Breakfast at CRS 2020, February 19-21 at the Omni Nashville Hotel. Mentors have also been announced for the Women’s Mentoring Breakfast, along with the Digital and Streaming and Label Mentoring breakfasts. Read more

Radio’s 2019 closed out with more than two dozen call letter changes. The monthly tally from the FCC shows 26 full- and low-power radio stations adopted new call signs, some brought by sales, others by format changes. The list includes some calls that date back nearly 68 years. Read more

WKNY Kingston moving into new location which includes a performance space and community media center… Westwood One’s Jim Gray talks about years of interviewing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady… “Titus and Tate” podcast will be distributed by Westwood One Podcast Network with video on Fox Sports. Read more

Day Two of the Holiday 2019 PPM numbers show another all-Christmas station setting a new PPM era ratings high. This time it’s in Phoenix, where KESZ scored an astonishing 19.2 share (6+) for what ratings historian Chris Huff says is the largest PPM share ever recorded in the market. The iHeart AC shattered its previous record of 16.5, set in the Holiday 2015 book and repeated one year later, by nearly three shares. Read more

Ransomware is a major problem that’s on the rise, one that has brought the infrastructure of numerous companies—including several in broadcast radio—to their knees, costing millions of dollars and imposing substantial lost productivity in the process. A webinar on Wednesday that featured several experts on the topic sought to provide guidance on how malware can be avoided. Read more

Procter & Gamble boosted its radio advertising in a big way last year, more than doubling the number of spots it aired, compared to 2018. On Thursday the consumer packaged goods giant reported net sales rose 5% to $18.2 billion during the last three months of 2019, compared to the same period one year earlier. Still, it was a mixed quarter for P&G as revenue fell short of estimates for the first time in five quarters. Read more

As CEO of Black Rock City, the organization that oversees the annual Burning Man event in the Nevada desert, Marian Goodell says she’s learned a lesson that anyone in marketing should find useful. “We need to allow more big ideas to surface – and we need to help others manifest them, giving people the opportunity to think differently and be themselves,” she said on the latest episode of the iHeartPodcast Network’s “Math & Magic” podcast. Read more

Direct response advertisers who’ve dominated podcasting have had a relatively easy way to know their ads were working just by looking at how many times a special discount code was used. But as podcasters and other digital audio publishers work to attract more blue-chip brand marketers, new attribution tools will be needed. And that’s led Entercom to strike a deal with Claritas to use its data to help show advertisers how their podcast and other digital audio ads translate into sales. Read more

Friday, January 24, 2020

As CEO of Black Rock City, the organization that oversees the annual Burning Man event in the Nevada desert, Marian Goodell says she’s learned a lesson that anyone in marketing should find useful. “We need to allow more big ideas to surface – and we need to help others manifest them, giving people the opportunity to think differently and be themselves,” she said on the latest episode of the iHeartPodcast Network’s “Math & Magic” podcast. Read more

Direct response advertisers who’ve dominated podcasting have had a relatively easy way to know their ads were working just by looking at how many times a special discount code was used. But as podcasters and other digital audio publishers work to attract more blue-chip brand marketers, new attribution tools will be needed. And that’s led Entercom to strike a deal with Claritas to use its data to help show advertisers how their podcast and other digital audio ads translate into sales. Read more

A Democratic lawmaker in New York State thinks companies that generate income from consumers’ data should pay a tax. Earlier this week, Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato introduced legislation that calls for a 5% tax on gross revenues of companies that make money from data shared by state residents. The measure would also create a so-called “data fund” to distribute the money to residents. Read more

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Vowing to bring “the public to public radio,” Keith Woods is named Chief Diversity Officer at NPR. In the newly created position, Woods “will guide NPR’s push to expand the diversity of its audience work across NPR and help build a more diverse and inclusive organization,” the public media organization said. Woods was most recently VP of Newsroom Training and Diversity. Read more

A lawsuit filed by Somerville, MA mayor Joe Curtatone against former WEEI-FM Boston morning co-host Kirk Minihane and Barstool Sports has been dismissed. Curtatone sued after an interview he thought he was doing with a Boston Globe reporter, who turned out to be Minihane, was posted to Barstool Sports. A judge dismissed the case, saying Curatone had “literal knowledge” he was being recorded. Read more

The 2020 U.S. elections, a “resurgent” National Football League and the Tokyo Olympics are the key factors that will produce 3.8% advertising spending growth this year. That’s according to Dentsu Aegis Network, whose new forecast sees 3.9% expansion globally. Additionally, the firm puts 2021 growth at 2.8% in the U.S. and 3.3% globally. In the U.S., radio is expected to grow at a 2.3% clip. Read more

The first season of Katie Couric’s podcast “Next Question” amassed 1.5 million downloads as it dug into topics like the spread of online hate and the dangers of vaping. “The response to ‘Next Question’ has been phenomenal,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. In the second season, Couric will examine issues like America’s maternal mortality rate, the environmental impact of eating meat, and the 2020 presidential election. Read more

San Diego woke up without two of its local morning shows as Entercom dismissed AJ Machado and Sara Perry, AM Drive hosts at classic hits “Sunny 98.1” KXSN; and Dana DiDonato and Jayson Prim, who did the same for modern rock sister “Alt 94.9” KBZT. Machado and Perry segued to KXSN from AC sister KYXY in February 2018, while DiDonato and Prim came to KBZT in March 2017. Read more

Angelo Cataldi, longtime morning host at Entercom “SportsRadio 94” WIP-FM Philadelphia, was recognized with the “Bill Campbell Broadcast Award” presented by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association (PSWA). Cataldi, who wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer prior to making the move to radio decades ago, was honored at a banquet held on the 30th anniversary of him joining WIP. Read more

Anne Litt is named Program Director of Music at Santa Monica College news/talk/variety KCRW Los Angeles. Litt fills the MD role left vacant with the departure of Jason Bentley, who completed his ten-year term in August 2019. KCRW also names Paul Bennun as Chief Content Officer and Drew Tewksbury as Director of Digital Content. Read more

WHPT Tampa staffers directing and appearing in zombie movie filmed at the station’s studios… Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon part of Missouri Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Class of 2020… SiriusXM to offer multiple live broadcasts of Super Bowl LIV… StreamGuys to distribute Agile Broadcast products to broadcasters and podcasters in Australia and New Zealand… WKTN Kenton, OH schedules “Radio Day For United Way” for Saturday, March 28. Read more

While the holiday book, and all-Christmas music programming, tend to benefit AC stations that make the annual move, the formats that typically take the biggest hit when a market competitor goes wall-to-wall holiday hits are country, CHR, hot AC, regional Mexican, classic hits and urban AC. This proved true in most of the large markets included in Nielsen’s Day One Holiday 2019 PPM ratings. Read more

Katz Media Group has promoted Rick Ramos to Senior VP of Multicultural Partnerships. Most recently Senior VP, Director of Sales for Business Development at the rep firm’s Eastman Radio unit, Ramos will report to Eastman Radio President Tucker Flood. In his new role, Ramos is tasked with driving strategy to maximize the multicultural offerings of the rep firm’s audio partners, which include Univision, Radio One and Entravision. Read more

The National Association of Broadcasters jumped into radio’s royalty battle with Global Music Rights this month. It told a federal court in L.A. that it should essentially ignore the support the Dept. of Justice has thrown behind songwriters. GMR has just served up its expected response in the legal volley and it’s telling the court the NAB’s arguments aren’t only six months late—but they’re “self-serving, wrong, and dangerous for artists.” Read more

Politicians with deep war chests (see Michael Bloomberg) are wreaking havoc for non-political advertisers this year, causing available TV inventory to go down and prices to go up. That’s expected to bring a “big boost” to radio and out of home media in 2020 as advertisers replace TV with other media choices. But what happens after the party’s over? Here’s what radio will need to do to hang on to the new business it’s expected to book this year. Read more

It’s time for the yearly reminder about the do’s and don’ts when using the words “Super Bowl” on the air – without incurring the wrath of the NFL. “Simply put, the NFL views any commercial activity that uses or refers to the ‘Super Bowl’ to draw attention as a violation of its trademark rights,” attorney Mitchell Stabbe writes on the Broadcast Law Blog. Read more

It was a solid holiday retail sales season in 2019, at least on paper: According to the National Retail Federation, sales were up 4.1% over the same period in 2018 to $730.2 billion. The U.S. Census Bureau, meanwhile, also reported a year-over-year increase. But analysts and consultants aren’t quite ready to spike the football and commence with an end-zone dance. Read more

New year, new stats from Amazon Music as the streaming music service reports it has reached 55 million subscribers globally. Additionally, subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited grew by 50% in 2019. Amazon Music has grown nearly 50% year-over-year across the U.S., UK, Germany and Japan and has more than doubled in newer countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Mexico. Read more

A Boston FM’s Bay State reach is shrinking, thanks to a sale to EMF. Also this week, there’s a deal nearly five years in the making in Kansas City. On Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a buyer quickly becomes a seller – and it’s a familiar name. A big Nebraska sale just closed. Plus, an Iowa general manager becomes the owner. Check out the details in this week’s Deal Digest. Read more

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The radio community is remembering longtime media broker Glenn Serafin, who died Monday in Tampa from a stroke. He was 69. Serafin launched his own brokerage firm, Serafin Brothers, in 1993 and served two terms as President of the National Association of Media Brokers, from 2013-2017. Read more

Cumulus Media programming executive Emily Boldon returns to the company’s Atlanta corporate headquarters to focus solely on its portfolio of AC stations and on the expansion if its proprietary music scheduling system Stratus. In addition to her corporate role as VP of AC Formats and Stratus Music Scheduling, Boldon has been serving as PD of WWLI Providence since 2016. Read more

With the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs ready to face off in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2 from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Westwood One and Fox Sports Radio have set their game plan to cover America’s biggest sporting event. FSR will broadcast live from Miami for Super Week, while Westwood One will carry the game for the 47th consecutive year. Read more

For anyone who thinks most sports talk hosts take their subject matter way too seriously, there’s a new iHeartPodcast Network show built for them. The show is called “The Greatest” and it pairs comedians Megan Gailey and C.J. Toledano who, when they’re not recording a podcast or writing comedy, are living life as real-world newlyweds. Read more

While CES 2020 is now tucked into the history books, the buzz from the massive show continues as pundits try to sort out which technologies introduced there will have a meaningful impact in the next 12-18 months. To help radio get a better grip on CES, Inside Radio has partnered with Jacobs Media to present the webinar, “What Happened at CES 2020 (and what it means for radio).” Read more

Podchaser, the podcast database geared toward helping listeners discover new shows, is partnering with Triton Digital’s Omny Studio podcast publishing platform. The alliance means any podcaster using Omny Studio will be able to easily tag show hosts, guests, producers, and editors involved in the podcast. That could help Podchaser users discover new shows based on those guests and creators. Read more

Unemployment Rate registration for CRS 2020 is open through Feb. 12… SBS Spanish CHR “Mega 96.3” KXOL-FM Los Angeles will hold the Las Vegas version of its “Calibash” concert series Saturday, Jan. 25 at the T-Mobile Arena… WNSH New York begins “Valentines for the Troops,” a campaign to send letters to active military members for Valentine’s Day. Read more

More than ever before, consumers are paying for media — and spending less time with ad-supported options. That’s according to a new PQ Media forecast, which finds that our collective share of time spent with advertising-based media continues to decline. While time spent with traditional media was down slightly, broadcast radio tied with print books for fastest-growing traditional media, as both increased 1.7% in 2019. Read more

Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson has secured a new spot on the Atlanta radio dial more than seven months after Cumulus Media sold his old station to Educational Media Foundation. The former afternoon anchor of the defunct “Talk 106.7” WYAY will host 4-7pm on WTZA (1010) and the Atlanta-licensed translator W271CV at 102.1 starting next month, according to Atlanta Journal-Constitution radio and TV reporter Rodney Ho. Read more

A new study from Winterberry Group indicates that advertising and marketing spending should grow significantly this year. The specialist management consultancy sees spending reaching $389.5 billion, an increase of 7.2%. While spending on over-the-air radio is expected to slip 1.7%, digital audio, which includes radio and podcasts, is expected to rise 15.1%. Read more

The number of Americans that own a smart speaker grew 33% from December 2017 to December 2019. But the quantity of these devices in American households grew exponentially faster, rocketing up 135% during the same time span. The takeaway, according to Edison Research Senior VP Tom Webster: “Once you get one of these devices in your home, you love them.” Webster also identifies three paths that could help increase adoption in the future. Read more

The pace of advertising typically slows down in January, following the torrid clip of the holiday season. The latest spot counts from Media Monitors show this annual trend underway once again. Among the top 10 radio advertisers based on spot volume, there were roughly 12% fewer spot occurrences in the top 10 for the week of Jan. 13-19 compared to Dec. 23-29. Read more

Don’t get hung up on spot length. In the grand scheme of audio creative, there are much bigger factors that determine the effectiveness of a commercial. In a new blog post, Pierre Bouvard, Chief Insights Officer at Cumulus Media/Westwood One, identifies three best practices that can be used to develop effective audio creative. They include using only one message per ad, focusing on brand building and harnessing the power of emotional messaging. Read more

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Traug Keller, who is leaving his post as ESPN Audio Senior VP in February, already has a new gig lined up. Keller has been named Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer for the Catholic publication America Media, effective in March. The ESPN and ABC Radio veteran will be tasked with the commercial direction and development of the publication. Read more

A behind-the-scenes look at “The Howard Stern Show” was revealed by former cast member Artie Lange and former SiriusXM and CBS Radio executive Tim Sabean on a recent episode of “Artie Lange’s Halfway House” podcast. Sabean was the one responsible for telling Lange he was being dismissed from the Stern show, and Lange says the radio exec showed him compassion during his addiction issues. Read more

Aspen Public Radio, which consists of KAJX Aspen and KCJX Carbondale, has eliminated music programming in afternoon and evenings for more news and information programming, including an afternoon broadcast of NPR’s “Fresh Air” and the “BBC News Hour.” “Jazz for Aspen” host Jeannie Walla calls the decision a “slap in the face.” Read more

Entercom is bulking up the podcast linkup on its Radio.com Sports Digital Network by bringing one of its star morning show host’s podcasts into the fold. Boomer Esiason, who hosts mornings on sports “The Fan” WFAN-FM & AM New York (101.9, 660), is expanding his syndicated TV show Game Time into the podcast format on Radio.com. Read more

Ben Downs, VP/GM of Bryan Broadcasting, and Chris Cornelius, Director of Business Development at Morgan Murphy Media, and have been elected by the NABPAC Board of Trustees to serve as co-chairs of the NAB’s political action committee. Starting Jan. 21, Downs takes over as NABPAC radio chair from William McElveen, regional president of Alpha Media, while Cornelius succeeds Ralph Oakley, president and CEO of Quincy Media as NABPAC TV chair. Read more

The Infinite Dial webinar, presented by Edison Research and Triton Digital, is Thursday, March 19 at 1pm. A live in-person presentation will accompany the webinar this year… KGAF Gainesville, TX denied call letter vanity plate due to potential “vulgarity”… Rusty Walker Scholarship recipients announced for CRS 2020… MFM’s 2020 CFO Summit will be co-chaired by Beasley’s Marie Tedesco, Bonneville’s Kent Nate and E.W. Scripps’ Doug Lyons. Read more

“The Dropout” took home the coveted Podcast of the Year trophy at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Friday night in Los Angeles, amid a glitzy affair that brought the biggest names in podcasting together. The ABC News podcast, which tells the story of Silicon Valley executive Elizabeth Holmes and her technology company Theranos, scored the big win of the night with the winner selected by listener votes on social media. Read more

Steve Newberry stunned the industry last week with the news that he’s leaving the NAB to chart a new course as CEO of global ad sync tech firm Quu. On the latest episode of the Inside Radio Podcast, Newberry explains his sudden career lane change, and reflects on his work at the NAB – both as an employee and as a board member. He also outlines what he personally sees as some of the biggest challenges – and opportunities – ahead for the industry. Read more

Players in the Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) space will spend almost $4.5 billion on local advertising this year, according to a BIA Advisory Services report, “Insights into Local Advertising—QSRs.” The QSR category, frequently called “fast food” by the masses and a major radio spender, is an industry estimated to be worth more than $250 billion. Read more

The controversial English-language service run by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya has secured another outlet in the U.S., this time in America’s heartland. Alpine Broadcasting’s talk/religion KCXL Kansas City (1140) will carry the “Radio Sputnik” format for six hours per day under a long-term lease agreement that will pay a reported $324,000. Read more

Boston’s WBUR explores an emerging entry into daily on-demand audio news briefings offered by major newspapers dubbed “papercasts,” and the effect they can have on public radio. Differing from the more popular “The Daily” from the New York Times and the Washington Post’s “Post Reports,” WBUR’s Jack Mitchell says papercasts should serve as “a catalyst for stations to gather around the drawing board” when thinking about on-demand audio content. Read more

What are the key variables that could lead to television audiences avoiding commercial airings? Comscore says it’s partnering with researchers at Syracuse University on a new study that hopes to qualitatively assess what some of them are. The effort comes as the radio and TV industries try to keep consumers engaged despite an array of competing entertainment options that are free of ads completely. Read more