One of radio’s iconic radio stations is now one very big step closer to having its first new owner since signing-on nearly a century ago. Chicago’s WGN (720) is part of the massive $4.1 billion buyout of Tribune Media by Nexstar Media Group, a deal that the FCC on Monday announced it has approved by a party-line 3-2 vote. It removes the last big hurdle before a closing. The Dept. of Justice gave its blessing in July. Read more

Entercom “610 Sports Radio” KCSP Kansas City will remain the flagship radio station of the Kansas City Royals through the 2024 MLB season with the signing of a new five-year contract extension. KCSP has been the broadcast home of the Royals since 2008. Under the new agreement, select weekday afternoon games will air on sports sister “1660 The Score” KWOD. Read more

Cumulus Media has recruited veteran media finance exec John Toohey as VP of Finance. Toohey will work on financial planning and analysis, budgeting and special projects, reporting to John Abbot, Executive VP & Chief Financial Officer. Based in New York City and at Cumulus headquarters in Atlanta, Toohey replaces David Elrod who was Senior Director of Finance since May 2017. Read more

Triton Digital, the technology and advertising platform company working with digital audio companies, including podcast publishers, is adding some research knowhow to its team. Daryl Battaglia has been recruited from Nielsen to Triton where he becomes Senior Vice President of Market Development and Strategy, Audience Research. Read more

Tom Tolbert, the former NBA forward turned radio host, has signed a new multi-year contract with Cumulus Media sports KNBR-AM/FM San Francisco. Tolbert, who joined the station in 1996, is one-third of “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks,” with Larry Krueger and Rod Brooks, heard 2-6pm weekdays on “The Sports Leader.” Read more

Entravision names two new Senior VPs of Integrated Marketing as Erin Voden rejoins the company’s Washington properties and Robert McCauley is recruited to the group’s Palm Springs cluster. Both executives will be responsible for sales management and growth of the company’s television, radio and digital media properties in their respective markets. Read more

Jon Pardi to headline WIL-FM’s “JingleFest” on Dec. 7… CBS News Radio to participate in “Covering Climate Now” project through the news network’s “Eye on Earth” series… KTTH is the new flagship of the nationally syndicated “America’s 1st News” with Matt… Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta joins Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley on her latest podcast. Read more

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim expects the DOJ will take some action on the consent decrees governing how radio licenses music from ASCAP and BMI by year-end. In a possible trial balloon, NAB President Gordon Smith has said broadcasters may be willing to go with a “transitional decree” proposal as long as Congress puts a new framework into place to take their place for the long-term. Read more

Black Americans are 48 million strong and command $1.3 trillion in spending power. But their sway extends well beyond their financial muscle. Despite this growth in economic clout, advertising spend designed to reach black consumers declined by 5% between 2017 and 2018. “The decrease on a variety of media is at odds with the demonstrated economic power of black consumers,” Nielsen says in a new report entitled, “It’s In The Bag: Black Consumers’ Path To Purchase.” Read more

Entravision names two new Senior VPs of Integrated Marketing as Erin Voden rejoins the company’s Washington properties and Robert McCauley is recruited to the group’s Palm Springs cluster. Both executives will be responsible for sales management and growth of the company’s television, radio and digital media properties in their respective markets. Read more

A new survey of podcast listener habits and perceptions by Adobe Analytics shows more than half of them consume a show either on the way to work or while they’re on the job. That includes 42% who listen to a podcast while in the car. The survey also shows 60% of podcast listeners said they’ve looked up a product or service after hearing an ad and one-in-four went on to ultimately make a purchase. Read more

Monday, September 16, 2019

For the fourth consecutive year, Jacobs Media will offer exclusive tours for radio broadcasters at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The gargantuan technology gathering—with displays and showcases that include smart speakers, the connected car, 5G, AI, and many other new technologies that will impact the radio industry—is indeed like a city unto itself. A tour guide is a near necessity. Read more

As controversy continues to swirl around the legality of vaping products and CBD, broadcasters must continue to navigate a cloudy landscape when considering taking on ads for either product. While communications attorney David Oxenford has taken on the topic multiple times, now he writes that there are “New Concerns About Ads for E-Cigs and CBD.” Read more

With hurricane season in full gear, Greenville, SC’s Primary Entry Point or “PEP” station conducted a practice emergency broadcast last week from its broadcast tower location instead of its Greenville, SC studios. Salem’s “The Answer 94.5” WGTK-FM morning host Joey Hudson interviewed South Carolina’s Lt. Governor to demonstrate the station’s responsibilities as a PEP station. Read more

While Long Island-based attorney Richard Liebowitz has founded a cottage industry around suing large radio companies for alleged copyright infringement, in his latest lawsuit, he and one of his standard go-to clients are attempting to stick it to a small Missouri-based company – Zimmer Radio. The alleged guilty party is classic rock KCMQ Columbia, which is said to have reproduced a copyrighted picture of Van Halen on its website all the way back in September 2017. Read more

“Cali 93.9” KLLI, the Los Angeles reggaeton station that Meruelo Media launched in July, has assembled its first morning show, made up entirely of local LA personalities. “Cali Mornings” with co-hosts Carolina “Caro” Marquez and Mando Fresko, joined by sidekick Jessica Flores, bowed Thursday Sept. 12, with Marquez and Fresko behind the mic. Flores joins the lineup Monday, Sept. 16. Read more

Friday, September 13, 2019

Radio paid tribute to quintessential 70s and 80s rocker Eddie Money Friday, sharing the news of his death from cancer at age 70, and spinning his biggest hits. While Money first made his mark at rock and top 40 radio, today his music transcended formats with spins detected on active rock, hot AC, top 40, triple A, urban AC and his recently adopted home of AC. Read more

“The KVJ Show” on Hubbard hot AC WRMF (97.9) West Palm Beach has doubled their original goal and raised $200,000 in donations via a 52-hour radiothon that started Wednesday, Sept. 11 to help relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. In addition, iHeartMedia South Florida radio stations helped to fill more than 21 semi-trucks with contributions for residents of the Bahamas. Read more

August isn’t exactly known as the busiest month for business with lots of Americans stepping away from work to enjoy summer. But the radio industry showed no sign of slowdown last month, at least when it came to switching call letters. There were 33 changes last month according to the monthly report by the FCC. Read more

Bipartisan resolutions were introduced in the House and Senate this week that aim to bring attention to the “continued challenges of increasing diversity” across all media platforms, including radio. The resolutions, which the NAB supports, wouldn’t change any laws. Instead, they may be more of a message to the FCC as it continues to review its media ownership rules. Read more

Clearing the commercial log and rolling nonstop music has become a common programming tactic to jump-start at-work listening or to drive more quarter hours for the evening commute home. Commercial-free is practically de rigueur for new format launches. The arrival of overnight ratings for radio gives programmers the opportunity to see how the tactic affects audience listening patterns. Read more

As the definition of media continues to expand, marketers are challenged with “mastering the flow” of insights and information. Any disruption can interrupt that flow and create challenges, according to Kantar’s “Getting Media Right 2019” report. Its take: “You must understand how things move smoothly through the system, the outside influences that impact efficiency—and how they need to be measured or adjusted to manage and maintain momentum.” Read more

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has reached a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with Entercom covering staffs at news outlets WCBS New York, KNX Los Angeles and WBBM Chicago. The new contract results in pay increases as high as 19% for some of its lowest paid members. Read more

After tech problems plagued Entercom for the better part of the week, the company is slowly returning to some level of normalcy. Entercom’s companywide email system went back online Thursday after not functioning since the weekend as part of a reported ransomware attack. The company has yet to publicly comment on what caused the digital meltdown. Read more

Podcasting is still an emerging media that is on a steady climb toward the billion dollar market. Even more noteworthy, it’s poised to grab a bigger share of the overall audio pie. Magna Global projects podcasting will capture an 8% share of the audio market within the next five years—or twice its current take—as more brand advertisers embrace on-demand audio. Read more

Linear TV viewing has declined a dramatic 7.2% since the beginning of third quarter 2019—the worst quarterly decline on record, according to a new study from UBS Global Research. And there’s more bad news for the industry: For the first time, the 55+ viewing audience is faltering. Read more

Univision has returned KTNQ Los Angeles (1020) to Spanish news/talk with a new lineup that offers more than 14 consecutive hours of local programming. Following a 5-hour morning drive show, the former sports outlet will air a series of one-hour shows from 11am-6pm, covering subjects important to the market’s large local Latino community, including sports, community empowerment, politics, health and personal finance. Read more

Thursday, September 12, 2019

In what could be the first sign of more changes coming to Entercom sports “The Fan” WFAN New York, Chris Carlin, the lead of the “Carlin, Maggie and Bart” show has been let go. Carlin, along with Maggie Gray and Bart Scott, was hired as the replacement for Mike Francesa in afternoons when the latter entered his short-lived retirement at the end of 2017. Read more

As the co-founder and CEO of United Talent Agency, Jeremy Zimmer has been an innovator in connecting clients with their own branded podcasts—including Will Ferrell and Chelsea Handler. “You see in someone that they are a great storyteller, they live in a world that’s very interesting and compelling, someone who attracts other people in an interesting way,” he says in the latest “Math & Magic” podcast. Read more

Premiere Networks’ Fox Sports Radio unveils its weekend lineup for the 2019 fall season, adding a number of sports personalities, former players and analysts. The weekend programming offers around-the-clock coverage, including live game-day reaction to college and pro football and interviews. The radio network will once again simulcast “Fox NFL Sunday” and “Fox NFL Kickoff.” Read more

Daniel Baldwin, the actor turned radio host, quietly exited Galaxy Communications “ESPN Syracuse” WTLA (1200) in April. Two new local programs, “The Seth Everett Show” and “Centers of Attention,” now fill the late morning daypart Baldwin most recently occupied. Meanwhile, he is finishing a documentary and plans to open a drug rehabilitation center in upstate New York. Read more

SoundBetter, the gig economy portal that helps companies find everything from podcast editing pros to tuba players, is the latest acquisition by Spotify. And while not directly part of its stated goal to spend as much as $500 million to build its podcast business, the deal could impact some of the shows it distributes. Read more

Green Day is the latest addition to the lineup for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival… WMNX begins its first annual “Punt, Pass & Kick” competition at area high schools… KOST’s Ellen K to be voice of the Emmy Awards. Read more

Stressing that churn remains the company’s No. 1 challenge, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer stressed that “our whole intention is to get customers who love our product in the car, at home and on the go.” Speaking at the 2019 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference Wednesday at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, he added, “We have to work every hour, every day to keep our customers engaged and see our product as a good value.” Read more

Rolling Stone continues its dive into the practice of alleged payola and the affect it has on the radio and record industries. In its second article on the subject, the music publication says payola extends to all radio formats, something that is sure to draw the interest of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly who inquired with the RIAA after the first article was published. Read more

Wednesday marked 18 years since 3,000 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In observance of 9/11 Day, iHeartRadio produced 9/11 Day: Honoring Heroes, a 30-minute show that focuses on the importance of honoring our heroes and serving communities by doing good deeds. The show was hosted by Shelli Sonstein from classic rock “Q104.3” WAXQ New York, and it aired across all of the company’s 850 broadcast stations. Read more

Nielsen will re-issue August PPM ratings for the Nassau-Suffolk, NY market Thursday, Sept. 12 at noon. The original August ratings for Nielsen market No. 18 were issued Sept. 3. In a notification to clients on Wednesday, Nielsen cites two reasons for the reissue. Read more

Listener perception of contests can be a challenge to radio stations but understanding your audience’s skepticism could help you win over listeners and improve ratings. That was the overall message from NuVoodoo latest webinar, “Fall 2019 Contesting & Marketing Guide.” One of the ways to combat this skepticism is to “celebrate your winner,” NuVoodoo’s PJ Kling told attendees. Read more

The Podfront series, launched in January 2019 to showcase podcast content to advertisers and agency buyers, is in the Bay Area using the San Francisco Museum of Art as the venue to put the latest podcast creations on display. Nine show producers—including Authentic, Cadence13, ESPN, iHeartRadio, NPR, PRX, Stitcher, WNYC Studios and Wondery—are giving the ad community a first look at the new programming they have slated through the end of 2019. Read more

A decades-old radio-newspaper combination will remain intact in Illinois where the new owners of Champaign’s News-Gazette keep the paper’s three radio stations. Meanwhile in Erie, PA there’s a new radio-television combo as WICU-TV’s owners buy an FM. Both are allowed since the FCC lifted its cross-ownership prohibition. Check out the details and a look at radio’s other transactions in this week’s Inside Radio Deal Digest. Read more

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Widespread technical problems continued to afflict Entercom Wednesday as radio’s second largest company endured another day with no access to company email alongside other glitches. With no company email, thousands of employees had to rely on personal email accounts, landlines and cell phones for communication as the company worked aggressively to fix the problems. It’s believed Entercom is still trying to assess the full extent of the damage and is keeping quiet until it does. Read more

It’s a done deal. Lew Dickey’s Modern Media Acquisition Corp. has completed its merger with streaming music service Akazoo. Akazoo, which doesn’t currently operate in the U.S., expects to begin trading today on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the ticker "SONG," having raised around $55 million in new capital. Read more

The relief efforts for those in the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian continue. “The KVJ Show” at Hubbard hot AC WRMF West Palm Beach is in the midst of a 48-hour radiothon to raise money for relief efforts. In Orlando, Cox Media Group urban AC WCFB is holding a benefit concert featuring some of the biggest Caribbean acts with listeners asked to donate goods for entry. Read more

The National Association of Broadcasters has closed on the acquisition of its previously announced new headquarters, being developed near Nationals Park in Washington. The trade group paid $62.76 million, or about $483 per square foot, for the 130,000-square-foot building at 1 M St. SE, according to the Washington Business Journal. Read more

The Dixie Chicks, who appear on a new song from Taylor Swift, have once again sparked a reaction from country music listeners. Swift’s new song “Soon You’ll Get Better” is being played by a handful of country stations and some listeners have been fast to re-hash their distaste for the group over comments made by singer Natalie Maines—16 years ago. Read more

Syndicated talk radio host Todd Schnitt and Drew Curtis, creator of the news aggregator website Fark, are teaming up to launch a weekly podcast. “The Fark and Schnitt Podcast” says it will deliver a “fast-paced” and “energetic” take on unusual news stories with more “polished” production than most podcasts offer. It will focus on the news and current events with the whit and sarcasm that Fark is known for. Read more

PromoSuite VP of Sales Rachel Field is elevated to the newly created position of Chief Revenue Officer of the radio promotions management software company. In her expanded role, Field will oversee all of the company's revenue streams, including new and existing business, market forecasting and business development opportunities. Read more

“The Last Great Detroit Radio Reunion” is Saturday, Sept. 14 featuring Robin Seymour as the guest of honor… “Political Broadcasting 2019: A Refresher Course Webinar” is now available online… “Good Morning America” Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee will be the official keynote speaker at WBEN-FM’s “3rd Annual Her Story Luncheon” … Former Howard Stern show member Artie Lange is out of rehab. Read more

Wendy’s wants to take a bite out of the breakfast business from competitor McDonald’s. The fast food restaurant intends to expand its morning menu next year to all 5,800 restaurants in the chain, presenting an optimal opportunity for broadcasters to get their slice of the advertising pie as Wendy’s markets the new items. Read more

NBC News has been putting more emphasis on growing its podcasts and its latest show is a joint effort with the iHeartPodcast Network. Modern Ruhles, hosted by MSNBC anchor and correspondent Stephanie Ruhle, will be jointly produced by the two companies. She says the first season of Modern Ruhles will address issues including the #MeToo movement, masculinity, social media, privilege, and political correctness. Read more

Beasley is using its esports initiative to build a presence on college campuses and attract students to its competitive gaming content. Beasley XP has unveiled Checkpoint XP On Campus, a college-based collaboration with the School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. JMS will serve as the main content creation hub for a brand extension of Beasley’s “Checkpoint XP” show targeting college students. Read more

Technical issues are plaguing Entercom’s company-wide email system as messages to any company address that end with @entercom.com are being returned from Entercom Postmaster with the subject “Technical Issues” and the message, “We are currently experiencing technical issues with our email. Please contact our local markets via phones, or visit our website at www.entercom.com to find our contact information.” Read more

President Trump knows a little something about run-ins with the Internal Revenue Service and so an Alabama broadcaster is appealing to the White House for help in its decades-long battle with the taxman. The money is desperately needed by Shelley Broadcasting since the FCC has just revoked the license for the currently-silent WGEA, Geneva, AL (1150) after it failed to pay the $9,974 in annual fees it owes. Read more

A higher percentage of females listen to the online streams of AM/FM radio stations than listen to traditional, over-the-air broadcasts. Westwood One studied data from 88,000 registered listeners of Cumulus Media radio station streams and not only found that streamers tend to lean female, but they are also younger and listen within the station’s DMA. Read more

In another step intended to reduce piracy of its copyrighted audience ratings, Nielsen is removing all listener estimates from the local radio eBook effective with the November 2019 PPM report period and the Fall 2019 diary survey. This comes after Nielsen removed the ability to generate PDFs from listener estimates in the eBook starting with the August 2019 PPM survey and Fall 2019 Diary survey. Read more

Multiplatform media company Anthem Sports & Entertainment has acquired a majority interest in HDNet, parent of U.S. television networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies, and will assume operating management of the two channels that cater to music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle audiences. Joining as an investor and board member is prominent radio broadcaster, entertainer and TV host Steve Harvey. Read more

While marketers may depend on high-quality data to help decipher any number of riddles, that does not mean it is necessarily easy to acquire it—or that when they do, its quality is of value. A new report finds that marketing teams spend as much as 32% of their time managing data quality, and on average, 26% of their campaigns in the last year were hurt by poor data quality. Read more