The Senate is moving quickly to advance the pending nomination of Jessica Rosenworcel to Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. Just two weeks after her confirmation hearing, the Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a Dec. 1 vote on whether to give Rosenworcel a new five-year term on the FCC. If approved, her nomination would then be sent to the full Senate for approval. Read more

Radio’s charitable season continues with stations across the country stepping up to help the communities they serve. WTOP-FM Washington raises nearly $10,000 from its Week of Giving holiday charity campaign; KUBL Salt Lake City more than doubles the total of its 2020 food drive; and KRKE Albuquerque afternoon host LB Johnson hands out 100 turkeys. Read more

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Podcasting is in the final weeks of what is forecast to be its first billion-dollar revenue year, and one reason marketers are flocking to the medium is listening trends. The just-released third quarter Share of Ear report from Edison Research shows that podcasting has captured a 14% share of ad-supported audio listening among Adults 25-54, the age group that advertisers focus on more than any other. Read more

Despite the chaos of the pandemic, home improvement DIY projects remain a strong consumer vertical. The Farnsworth Group and the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) reported in its DIY Home Improvement Monthly Tracker for November 2021 that 32.2% of surveyed consumers said they “will definitely start some DIY project” during the next few weeks, which is consistent with August, September and October’s results. Read more

A month after Ed Stolz sought chapter 11 protection to block the sale of his three FMs, the Royce International founder is asking a federal bankruptcy court to force receiver Larry Patrick to turn control of the stations back over to him. Citing federal law, Stolz says any custodian with knowledge of the case cannot take any action – including selling the stations – and must transfer the property back to the debtholder’s control. The conflict will likely be decided by a judge. Read more

Demographic pop quiz: What’s the fastest growing population segment in the U.S.? Answer: 70+. Now 40 million strong, this generation that came of age in the post-World World II era of economic expansion is projected to reach 55 million by 2031—growing by 1.5 million annually. “The 70+ audience has a significant impact in the marketplace,” says AARP Media Solutions’ Mark Bradbury. Read more

Cox Media Group is defending its petition to extend by one year the looming deadline it has to sell alternative “97X” WSUN Tampa and CHR “Power 95.3” WPYO Orlando. It tells the FCC that efforts by Spanish Broadcasting System to hold Cox to the Dec. 17 deadline, which was set two years ago, are part of a strategy to force Cox to accept its low-ball offer to buy WPYO. “SBS believes it can obtain an artificially below-market price if it can force a sale now under an impending regulatory deadline,” said Cox. Read more

A new virtual mentoring program from the Alliance for Women in Media will connect young and new professionals with senior level executives in television, radio and digital media. AWM Connects, presented by the Ford Motor Company Fund and Ziploc Accessory Bags, is set for Dec. 15 from noon-1pm ET. Mentees interested in participating in the inaugural program should apply by Dec. 1. Read more

Inflation is showing up in all sorts of ways. The latest is in the annual cost of living adjustment to the rate that college and university stations are paying to use SESAC music. Pegged to the government’s Consumer Price Index, their cost is going up 6.2% next year versus a 1.2% hike this year. It is the same metric by which commercial radio’s new streaming rates are adjusted each year. Read more

Supply-chain problems and inflation won’t take the wind out of the sails when it comes to Thanksgiving weekend sales. That’s according to Deloitte’s 2021 Pre-Thanksgiving Pulse Survey, which forecast that consumers will spend an average of $448 during the Thanksgiving period (Thursday through Monday, Nov. 29), up 12% from last year. Half (51%) of consumers’ holiday budgets will be spent during the period. Read more

Country Broadcasting Services “The Catfish 99.7” WFWL Camden, TN, will sign off Wednesday, Dec. 1, after 65 years on the air. According to The Camden Chronicle, WFWL, which currently broadcasts at 1200 AM and on Camden-licensed translator W259BN at 99.7, went on the air in 1956 and was Camden’s only radio station for almost 20 years. Read more

Both the number of in-house ad agencies and agency employees have grown since the pandemic, based on a new report from the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF). More than three-fourths (77%) of the 265 companies surveyed say they have in-house agencies, a 7% increase since 2019, and close to half (47%) of those agencies have added more employees to their agency roster. Read more

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Country Broadcasting Services “The Catfish 99.7” WFWL Camden, TN, will sign off Wednesday, Dec. 1, after 65 years on the air. According to The Camden Chronicle, WFWL, which currently broadcasts at 1200 AM and on Camden-licensed translator W259BN at 99.7, went on the air in 1956 and was Camden’s only radio station for almost 20 years. Read more

Both the number of in-house ad agencies and agency employees have grown since the pandemic, based on a new report from the In-House Agency Forum (IHAF). More than three-fourths (77%) of the 265 companies surveyed say they have in-house agencies, a 7% increase since 2019, and close to half (47%) of those agencies have added more employees to their agency roster. Read more

Educational Media Foundation is bringing its list of Ohio stations to 20 with a deal to buy an FM in the Canton metro area. Also this week, a Spanish-language FM in Bakersfield, CA changes hands. Plus, three sisters become owners in Virginia. Check out all the buyers and sellers in this week’s Deal Digest. Read more

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Drive Time Metrics, which collects and analyzes audio listening data from millions of vehicles, has been granted a new U.S. patent (No. 11,171,792) covering what consumers are listening to or viewing in their vehicles. In tandem with four earlier patents, the Rhode Island-based company says it can collect, analyze and report data on audio and video media being consumed in a vehicle for the duration of a trip. Read more

Tom Tangney, one-half of the “Tom & Curley Show” on Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM Seattle, sets his retirement. Tangney will host his final afternoon program on Wednesday, Dec. 1. “I’ve worked in radio for 30 years and been on talk shows for the last decade, and now I want to try other things,” Tangney said. Read more

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The broadcast industry heads into the Thanksgiving holiday with a milestone in its battle to block efforts to create a performance right on over-the-air music airplay. The number of House members who have come out against the idea has just crossed the 200-mark. While it is still short of the 218 needed to block any bill from being passed, hitting the threshold may be enough to convince some time-strapped lawmakers heading into an election year that their time is better spent elsewhere. Read more

“Rush On The Radio,” a book penned by the longtime Executive Producer and call screener of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” has been released by All Seasons Press. The book by Bo Snerdley (James Golden) is described as “both a salute to the man himself and a chronicle of the program and the creative but disciplined forces behind its success.” Read more

Spotify and Netflix have partnered for an audio-video cross-promotion play. The newly launched “Netflix Hub” on the audio streaming platform offers official soundtracks, playlists and podcasts, along with exclusive Spotify content. Within the hub, fans can access official playlists for TV hits as well as the official soundtrack for Netflix shows. The section will also include Netflix-related podcasts. Read more

A suspect has been arrested and is awaiting arraignment in the grisly death of beloved Detroit rock radio personality John O’Leary, who was found dead of multiple stab wounds in the backyard of his Highland Park, MI home. O’Leary had been missing for nearly a week prior to his body being found underneath a porch at his home. Read more

The hard-hit consumer travel market will have to wait longer to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, according to a forecast from Publicis Media's Zenith research division. Global ad spend is expected to grow two to six times faster than the ad market as a whole over the next two years, up 36% in 2022 and 19% in 2023, when it will return to pre-COVID levels. Read more

A lawsuit filed by nearly 30 entities against four radio groups serves as a harsh reminder to keep tabs on the content of brokered programming broadcast on your airwaves. Audacy, iHeartMedia, Emmis Communications and SiriusXM are named as defendants in a suit brought by individuals and investment firms who claim the airing of a weekend show led them to invest “their hard-earned funds into a scheme that resulted in a total and complete loss.” Read more

COVID's impact on the home furnishing and appliance markets has benefited those businesses, and radio is going along for the ride with advertising that drives customers to stores or websites. That's according to Radio Advertising Bureau's latest “Radio Matters” blog with research showing radio campaigns delivered nearly 32 visits for every radio spot aired, and drove a 34% increase in foot traffic for furniture and 41% for appliance stores. Read more

With bargain hunters looking for fast meals amidst holiday shopping sprees, Wendy’s leaps 28-9 for the week of Nov. 15-21 with 29,660 occurrences to pull ahead of McDonald’s in the fast/casual category. Wendy’s hasn’t charted this high since Memorial Day weekend. The Golden Arches, almost always radio’s top fast food advertiser, ranks No. 17 this time around with 22,467 spots, according to Media Monitors. Read more

Throughout 2022, popular radio shows and podcasts from across the country will be hitting Los Angeles to participate in “Public Radio Palooza,” presented by news/talk KPCC (89.3). The series of ticketed live events is intended to celebrate “public radio’s unique ways of keeping us connected and informed, dazzled and entertained,” according to KPCC parent Southern California Public Radio. Read more

Fourth quarter retail ad spending is in overdrive as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just days away. For podcasters, there is an early indication the holiday season may wind up being merrier than a year ago. Magellan AI says gift industry ad spending increased 49% last month as the October 2021 total was nearly as big as the November 2020 haul. Read more

Hubbard Radio joins RadioDNS, the non-profit organization that is promoting the growth of hybrid radio worldwide. Hubbard takes an active role within the RadioDNS Technical Group, which creates and defines its technical standards. Hubbard VP Digital Strategy Jeremy Sinon says the company is looking forward “to contributing to the great work that RadioDNS is doing to help create data standards.” Read more

Monday, November 22, 2021

Emmis is spending $2.7 million on buying back its own stock. The company says just over a million shares of its Class A common stock were tendered as of Friday, Nov. 19, the deadline for shareholders to participate in a buyback program. Emmis was prepared to spend as much as $5.2 million to buy back as many as two million shares on the repurchase program approved by the company’s board. However investor demand fell short of that number. Read more

Ray Dunaway announces his impending retirement from Audacy news/talk WTIC Hartford (1080), after nearly 30 years at the station. Dunaway, who hosts “Mornings with Ray & Brian,” will step down on Dec. 24. “Having hosted morning shows since 1980, the time has come to sleep in (at least I hope I can),” Dunaway said. Read more

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Like most retail industries, the furniture business changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most furniture retailers were forced to shut their doors, reducing revenue to zero. “They had to suddenly rethink everything,” says Mark Schumacher, CEO of the Home Furnishings Association. How the industry and its customers adapted have implications for radio sales teams prospecting for furniture retail ad buys. Read more

KWJJ Portland, OR, helps erase more than $3.5 million in medical debt for the Pacific Northwest… KGB San Diego helps raise $1,455,471 during the annual 12-hour “Give-A-Thon” broadcast… WPTE raises more than $200,000 during its 20th annual radiothon to benefit Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters… The “Steve Harvey Morning Show Annual Turkey Give” will pass out nearly 9,000 turkeys. Read more

Nielsen will begin measuring individual linear TV commercials in the first half of 2022 as it prepares to roll out its Nielsen One cross-platform video measurement service later next year. Branded as Nielsen Individual Commercial Metrics, the feature is designed to make measuring national TV ads more comparable to digital video platforms. The new system will measure linear television at a "subminute" level. Read more

Registration is open for stations to participate in Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 2022, which will chart the impact of the pandemic on radio listening, the audience’s acquisition of gadgets like smart speakers, and overall changes in their lifestyles, locations and habits. The latest Techsurvey follows Jacobs’ pre-COVID survey in early 2020 and the 2021 edition that was conducted nearly one year into the pandemic. Read more

The Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD) elects four new board members and a new executive committee. Elected to the PRPD Board of Directors are: WDAV’s Tamberly Ferguson, KHPR’s Nick Yee, WGUC/ WVXU’s Jenell Walton and KRTS’ Elise Pepple. Executive Committee appointees include KERA/KKXT’s Jeff Ramirez (Chair), KXJZ’s Ben Adler (Secretary) and On Being Studios’ Matt Martinez (Treasurer). Read more

By a vote of 220-213, the massive Build Back Better bill that was passed by the House on Friday could help put more journalists in radio newsrooms if it becomes law. The roughly $2 trillion package absorbed the Local Journalism Sustainability Act that would provide a federal tax credit to local media outlets, including radio stations, that hire local news journalists during the next five years. Read more

Beasley Media Group is among the radio companies requiring its staff to be vaccinated. The move, announced in August, has mainly brought praise from employees. But CEO Caroline Beasley says it has also meant some people have opted to leave the company. “Everyone has their own reason not to get vaccinated, but we want to provide a safe working environment for our employees,” she said during a podcast interview. Read more

Federal Communications Commission staffers will have the option to begin returning to the office starting Dec. 1. The agency has reached an agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union on a multipronged return to transitioning from a work-at-home operation to one where the lights are back on inside the FCC’s headquarters. Read more

The latest edition of Barclays' monthly analysis of recorded music trends shows that for the U.S., equivalent-album streaming is up 11.5%, physical goods up 30.9% and audio streaming overall up 13.2% for January-September 2021. Meanwhile, indicators internationally and in America suggest the year-over-year rate of streaming music consumption is slowing down. Read more

Just over 14 months after instituting a “Two-Minute Promise” that limited spot breaks to no more than two minutes on all its alternative stations, Audacy has abandoned the practice. The decision was apparently made due to higher spot inventory demand. However, the promise continues at “107.7 The End” KNDD Seattle, where the concept first originated in 2014. Read more

The U.S. media and entertainment businesses' digital ad spend will continue growing for at least two more years, with combined spend passing $26 billion by 2023, according to eMarketer. “While the growth rates, format mix and device mix will vary as each industry faces different market dynamics, they both share a positive trajectory that reflects robust health in the overall digital ad market,” the analysis says. Read more

Ryan Hatch has been named Senior VP and Market Manager for Bonneville International’s three-station Phoenix cluster. He replaces Scott Sutherland, who was recently promoted to the corporate team as Executive VP of Regional Media Operations as part of a strategic focus to grow the Salt Lake-City based radio, TV and digital company. Hatch has been VP of Programming in Phoenix since 2011. Read more

Friday, November 19, 2021

Eric Ferguson is apparently getting out of town. The former morning host at Hubbard Radio hot AC “101.9 The Mix” WTMX Chicago has reportedly sold his home in suburban Hinsdale for $1.35 million. Ferguson, who anchored The Mix's morning show for 25 years, left the station in October following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abusive behavior from several women. Read more

Equity Media, owner of New Orleans' African American-focused talk radio station WBOK-AM (1230), has been sued by its former owners, alleging it still owes more than $100,000 for the purchase of the station and accumulated rent. "He's claiming we owe him things we don't," says Equity's owners, claiming the delay in settling the balance is a dispute about the value of the assets at the time of purchase. Read more

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Spanish Broadcasting System is asking the FCC to reject a petition filed by Cox Media Group seeking an additional year to find buyers for stations in Tampa and Orlando. Cox has said the deal market collapsed during COVID, making it nearly impossible to strike a deal without a “rush fire sale.” But SBS says it has put an offer on the table for CHR “Power 95.3” WPYO Orlando and an extension is “unwarranted and should not be granted.” Read more

The National Association of Broadcasters has added a fourth “content pillar” to its reimagined NAB Show, slated for April 23–27, 2022 in Las Vegas. A new showcase, dubbed “Intelligent Content,” will explore the impact of data, artificial intelligence and automation on the media and entertainment industry The showcase will show attendees how to use data in the content lifecycle. Read more

This month’s update from the Federal Communications Commission shows there were a dozen and a half radio call letter changes during October. They included a move by Loud Media of its WJMP call letters from one classic hip-hop “Jump” station to another a thousand miles away. Read more

Enrique Santos honored with MMCA's Radio Broadcast Award...Cox Media Group Tampa stations team up to “Feed The Bay”... Mojo Jones camps out for WZYP's 19th annual “Bikes Or Bust”...iHeartMedia KTGX Tulsa's Natalie Cash set to stay on scaffolding during the station's “Bikes For Kids” drive...Audacy WCCO's annual radiothon raises more than $365,000 to feed those in need. Read more

After beating its 2019 radio revenue performance in the second and third quarters of 2021, Spanish Broadcasting System says it is on track for a three-peat. The Miami-based broadcaster’s radio division is pacing ahead of its Q4 2019 revenue by 15% in the current quarter, management said during its quarterly earnings call with investors on Thursday. Read more

The U.S. ad economy expanded for the seventh consecutive month with an 8.2% year-over-year jump in October ad spending, according to the U.S. Ad Market Tracker, which is a collaboration between Standard Media Index and MediaPost. However, the expansion rate is decelerating, with October the first month to fall below double-digit growth. Read more

In what will amount to a dry run for the return of the radio and TV industries to the NAB Show next April in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show is slated for January. While safety precautions will be in effect, including a vaccine mandate, the CES is shaping to return to a live event with more than 1,700 companies committed to showcasing their wares at CES 2022. “The good news is that live events are back,” says Consumer Technology Association President Gary Shapiro. Read more

U.S. Census Bureau data reveals sales at “automotive parts, accessories and tire stores” increased 14.3% during the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, as more people were driving for work, shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities. Radio is where to reach consumers in their vehicles when they are more likely to be conscious of their auto parts needs. Read more

For the past 14 months Better Help, the online mental health service provider, has been podcasting’s biggest advertiser according to Magellan AI’s monthly ranking. The evidence that it is working comes in the brand’s latest move: it increased its podcast spending by 17% during October. Overall, Magellan estimates the top 15 podcast advertisers spent a combined $35.2 million during October as 11 of the 15 advertisers saw their ranking go up month-to-month. Read more

Thursday, November 18, 2021

The New Year brings a revamped lineup to WGN Radio, including a veteran host well known to Chicagoans. Lisa Dent, last heard in middays on the former country station “Big 95.5” WEBG, joins the Nexstar news/talker starting Monday, Jan. 3. She’ll be paired with veteran journalist Steve Bertrand, a 36-year WGN vet, who had been flying solo in afternoons. Read more