Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Almost 60% of smart speaker owners worry about hackers using the device to gain access to their home or personal info and more than half say it bothers them that their smart speaker is always listening. These concerns are the top reasons non-owners have not yet acquired a device. Yet despite the worries, seven-in-ten existing smart speaker owners use their device daily, according to the latest Smart Audio Report from Edison Research and NPR. Read more

iHeartMedia New York has partnered with LGBTQ social advocacy and community engagement organization Pride Live for the second annual Stonewall Day, a global campaign to elevate awareness and support for the Stonewall legacy and the continuing fight for full equality for the community, particularly in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Read more

As the radio industry gears up for a new rate-setting process on streaming rates, one group head believes broadcasters should consider pushing for a new framework for how digital royalties are determined. Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley says as online listening numbers grow, the pay-to-play model that has increased costs with each new listener should be replaced with one based on a company’s revenue. Read more

Beasley Media Group rock WMMR Philadelphia’s “I Bleed for Preston & Steve Blood Drive” set a new record, with 1,143 productive blood units donated during the one-day event. Hosted by the WMMR morning show, the event is recognized as the largest blood drive of its type in the nation. Since its inception, the drives have amassed 16,410 single-day unit collections. Read more

For the third consecutive year, Jacobs Media is partnering with the organizers of Podcast Movement conference designed to help the radio and podcast industries to discuss how the two sectors can work together. In what’s been dubbed the Broadcasters Meet Podcasters conference-within-a-conference, the three days of sessions in Orlando this August will focus not only on successful podcasting strategies but also where podcasting is heading. Read more

WHB Kansas City afternoon host Kevin Kietzman pulled the family life of Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid into his argument on the team’s mishandling of players. Reid lost a son to heroin addiction in 2012. Trying to make a point about the coach’s disciplinary history with players, Kietzman said “a lot of things go bad on him, family and players.” Read more

KMG partners with Politicon for the “Unconventional Political Convention,” offering audio content to stations leading up to and during the two-day event in October… Townsquare Media’s “New Jersey 101.5” picks up five New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists’ Signature Awards…. Jane’s Addiction frontman and Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell joins LiveXLive Media as Global Brand Ambassador. Read more

Quick-service restaurants, a staple of radio ad diets, are on track to spend $4 billion on local advertising this year, according to a new report from BIA Advisory Services. Local advertising plays a crucial role for the QSR category, which includes well-known national brands and less-known regional and local favorites. Read more

This year marks the 50th anniversary that radio and television stations have been required to meet the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) obligations. To mark the anniversary, the Commission has launched a rulemaking proceeding that will examine whether the EEO rules are in need of revision. That includes looking at how the rules are enforced and whether broadcasters should provide more detailed information during EEO audits. Read more

Nearly six months after investing $250,000 to improve its signal penetration in the nearby market of Boston, ratings for hot AC WXLO Worcester, MA (104.5) are up by double-digits in the top 10 market. Now the Cumulus Media station says it’s received the greenlight from the FCC to split its signal based on the region’s geography. Read more

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Advertisers and marketers may want to think twice before pulling ads from a station that carries programming or content they may not agree with. “Sponsorship doesn’t mean you share values with talent,” Oxford Road founder and CEO Dan Granger writes in an opinion piece published in Adweek. Using examples from controversies surrounding Fox TV personalities, the marketing exec articulates an argument that also pertains to radio. Read more

Talk radio and the state of Rhode Island are cozy bedfellows. The Boston Globe offers in a lengthy feature story that while the radio format “crackles on airwaves across the country, few places of its size have the kind of intensive morning-to-night all-local talk programs that have long been a fixture in Rhode Island.” Read more

Global spending on digital advertising will reach $520 billion by 2023, a significant lift from 2019’s $294 billion in 2019, according to a new forecast from Juniper Research. The growth curve, which averages 15% annually over the next five years, will be driven by artificial intelligence-based programmatic buying capable of delivering highly targeted ads, the report suggests. Read more

Here’s to your health. With bathing suit weather finally here, there are five Nutritional Supplements vendors among the top 100 radio advertisers, more than we’ve seen since January 2017. Leading the way at No. 19 for the week of June 17-23, 2019, is Sundown Naturals, according to Media Monitors, which tracks national radio advertising in 85 markets. Read more

Monday, June 24, 2019

After 43 years in the radio business, Hubbard Radio President and Chief Operating Officer Drew Horowitz has announced he will retire at the end of the year. Credited with transforming “101.9 The Mix” from a ratings bottom-feeder into a Chicago powerhouse, Horowitz joined Hubbard in 2011 as Executive VP & COO when it bought Bonneville’s four biggest market clusters in a landmark $505 million deal. Read more

With just a month to go before Congress takes its annual summer break, supporters of an anti-performance royalty resolution are expected to spend the next several weeks padding their numbers. In recent weeks they’ve added another seven names of House members and Senators who oppose a radio royalty. The list now includes 182 House members and 23 Senators who are taking a stand with broadcasters. Read more

Terri Hemmert, synonymous with Chicago rock bastion WXRT for nearly half a century, is stepping down from her Monday-Friday midday shift and switching to “a schedule with much more flexibility.” Hemmert, a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, has been with the influential adult alternative outlet for 45 years. She will continue hosting “Breakfast with the Beatles” and serve as a fill-in talent. Read more

Changes are afoot at Cumulus Media sports KNBR San Francisco with the return of Greg Papa and the exit of longtime host Gary Radnich. Papa will be teamed with John Lund for a new midday program, effective July 16. The station also announces the creation of a new afternoon program, “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks.” With the changes Bob Fitzgerald also exits. Read more

American Public Media says it spent $100,000 per episode to develop and report In the Dark, the podcast series that in its second season uncovered new evidence that just helped a man on death row in Mississippi get his conviction overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. With 14 episodes in the series—including a just-released update— that puts production costs for In the Dark at more than $1 million. Read more

Some programmers are known for a tight playlist but a new station in Ft. Wayne, IN is taking that to a new extreme. Sarkes Tarzian debuts “99.5 The Twenty FM,” playing only the Top 20 hits, commercial free. The station broadcasts on the Ft. Wayne, IN-licensed translator W258BY at 99.5 with programming originating on WAJI-HD2. Read more

JVC Media debuts “True Oldies Y100.1,” originating on the HD2 channel of country WXUS Ocala-Gainesville and broadcasting on the Ocala, FL-licensed translator W261BA at 100.1. The new “True Oldies” outlet features Scott Shannon in mornings and will include local talent throughout the day. Read more

The Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFoA) elects three to its Board of Directors: John David, Senior Advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Jinny Laderer, Co-Founder and CEO of vCreative, and Deborah Roberts, award winning ABC News Correspondent. The new directors were voted in Wednesday (June 19), during the Foundation’s Board of Directors meeting in New York City. Read more

How do you pivot a company away from a pure radio focus that dates all the way back to 1961, into a multiplatform entity that can compete in today’s digital media world? For Beasley Media Group, it required a complete cultural shift, an out-and-out transformation that began with a series of executive retreats last year. CEO Caroline Beasley takes you inside the meetings and the pivot plan in the latest episode of the Inside Radio Podcast. Read more

When Lew Dickey launched Modern Media Acquisition Company in June 2017, he’d raised more than $200 million in the public markets to buy a media, entertainment or marketing company. But two years later, Dickey’s “blank check” has shrunk leaving the former Cumulus Media CEO with only about one third of the investment money he started with. Read more

On the heels of the House approving legislation that would give public radio and television its first funding increase in more than a decade, a Colorado lawmaker is proposing the government bring to an end to its funding of public media. Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has introduced a pair of bills that would cut off NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Read more

Traditional ads are here to stay. That’s the message top marketing executives are sending in a new survey. The State of Advertising report, released last week by the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), shows the vast majority of those interviewed disagree with the idea that five years from now traditional formats like radio and TV advertising will be a thing of the past. Read more

Direct response advertisers have opened brand advertisers up to the potential of podcasting. So says Kristina Lutz, Starcom’s President of Investment. In an interview with Digiday, she says the rigorous metrics direct response companies use to determine whether a medium is selling product is helping. “I’m seeing more brand advertising come into it right now,” Lutz says. Read more

NPR’s “founding mother” Susan Stamberg, who has hosted each of the public network’s news programs, has been selected as a Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree for 2020. Stamberg, who has been with NPR since its 1971 launch, is a National Radio Hall of Fame member and has won many awards and accolades throughout her career. Read more

Friday, June 21, 2019

After working without a contract for eight months, union employees at news KYW Philadelphia (1060) have finally struck a new deal with Entercom. Stephen Leshinski, executive director of the local chapter of SAG-AFTRA, tells the Philadelphia Business Journal the two sides have reached an accord, ending a contentious series of bargaining talks that at one point had the local Philly chapter calling for federal mediation to resolve the issue. Read more

“Opie Radio” on the Westwood One Podcast Network has come to an end. The latest episode from Gregg “Opie” Hughes titled “R.I.P.” opens with Hughes telling listeners that his run with the network has come to an end. Hughes plans to continue the podcast but felt he took it as far as he could with Westwood One.

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Voice-activated advertising platform Instreamatic will be integrated into the jācapps platform under a partnership between the two companies. The integration allows all jācapps radio clients to take advantage of measurable, AI-powered interactive dialogue advertising with their audio content. Read more

“The Voice” WEEU Reading, PA (830) will remain on the air, thanks to Twilight Broadcasting, which buys the station that was part of the assets of the bankrupt Reading Eagle Co. Twilight Broadcasting plans to continue with the station’s combination of local and syndicated talk programming with all 11 full-time employees remaining on board. Read more

Comcast will provide Amazon Music to its Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex subscribers, the first time the ad-free on-demand streaming service has been made available by a pay-TV provider. Amazon Music will be delivered over the internet and accessible on X1 alongside its traditional line-up of live, on demand and web content. Read more

As the audio market continues to expand, Millennials are listening to more types of audio content – more often and in more places – than any other generation, according to a new survey conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by iHeartMedia. Yet broadcast radio remains the dominant audio channel, reaching more consumers than any other media both daily and weekly. The new study also finds podcasts now represent almost 10% of audio listening among Millennials. Read more

Broadcast radio, traditional print, telemarketing, out-of-home and direct mail will carve up a combined $1.9 billion in political ad revenue in the 2020 election, according to a new forecast from data-management platform Tru Optik. Total election spending will reach $10 billion, with digital media lassoing almost 30% – more than double the amount from the 2016 presidential contest. Read more

The average commute time spent while driving has hit a new high in Los Angeles and Orange counties, reaching a hellish 80 hours of delay annually. That is almost double the national average of 42 hours. But according to the Southern California Broadcasters Association’s latest Quarterly Market Guidance Report, commuters’ aggravation is radio’s advantage. Read more

“In a world that’s so data driven, it’s still face to face. There’s nothing more powerful than face-to-face contact, relationships and finding where people's interests intersect.” So says Jarl Mohn, the soon-to-be-retiring CEO of National Public Radio, in the latest weekly podcast “Math & Magic,” hosted by iHeartMedia chief Bob Pittman. In this episode, the NPR executive also reflects on his beginnings in – and love for – broadcast radio. Read more

A proposal to allow the Mexican media conglomerate Grupo Multimedios Estrellas de Oro to enter the U.S. market with the acquisition of four South Texas radio stations has cleared its first hurdle at the FCC. “The petition has been found, upon initial review, to be acceptable for filing,” the Media Bureau announced Thursday as it set a comment period, giving the public an opportunity to weigh-in about the proposal. Read more

Record labels and streaming music platforms are coming together in an effort to stop inflated streaming figures that come from a “growing army of online bots,” that pose as human listeners inflating streams by up 4%, costing the music industry $300 million. A coalition of tech groups, record labels and music publishers has agreed to a code of best practices to curb the bogus numbers. Read more

While television networks are optimistic about the new season’s upfront advertising marketplace, looking for mid-double-digit percentage price increases, overall TV ad revenues show a flat and/or downward trend over the last two years. Standard Media Index reports that upfront-placed ad revenue for the better part of the previous TV season, October 2018 through April 2019, reached $19.3 billion, a decrease of 3% over two years. Read more

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of increasing forward funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to $495 million in fiscal year 2022, an increase of $50 million. The vote marks the first proposed increase in federal support of public broadcasting in more than a decade. Read more

One-tenth of one percent. That tiny fraction may be enough to cost Bob and David Sinclair an Austin FM. Their Sinclair Telecable aims to buy outright the six FMs they’ve co-owned with Emmis since 2003. But under current ownership limits, the most stations that are allowed on either the FM or AM dial in a single market is five. Emmis is hoping to convince the FCC to issue Sinclair Telecable a waiver and keep the cluster intact. Read more

Talia Schlanger, host of the syndicated “World Cafe” program, will step down this fall. She assumed full-time hosting duties of the show, based at University of Pennsylvania adult alternative WXPN Philadelphia, in April 2017. Schlanger, who succeeded longtime host David Dye, plans to “return to her own creative roots.” Read more

The iHeartPodcast Network and Tenderfoot TV partnership has already produced hit podcasts like Atlanta Monster and its second season Monster: The Zodiac Killer. Now the two companies are again teaming up to produce the latest iteration of the series with the release of Monster Presents: Insomniac. Unlike previous series, the latest podcast is taking a personal approach of how immersing himself in the world of killers turned host Scott Benjamin into an insomniac. Read more

Scott Kaplan, who hosted “The Scott & BR Show” on “The Mighty 1090” XEPRS San Diego, is hoping to partner with the Mexican owners of the signal and resurrect the station in time for the upcoming NFL season. The outlet was shuttered after its operators, Broadcast Company of the Americas, failed to pay rent to the station owners. Read more

Rocky “Rock-T” Turner, co-host of the nationally syndicated The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, has found a different co-host for his new podcast: his wife. Rocky and Krystal Turner’s podcast, entitled Perfect Pair, will looking at relationships and, as the show’s announcement says, “having the perfect ‘non-perfect’ marriage.” Read more

ABC Radio is offering three 4th of July holiday weekend specials… WBNS-FM and Ohio State continue talks about play-by-play rights as the sports station is being sold to Tegna… Cranston mayor approved to be fill-in host at Providence’s WPRO… MFM hosting a Distance Learning Webinar… NPR Playlists now available on Spotify and Apple Music. Read more

Entertainer Nick Cannon has segued his entertainment career to radio once again, as an on-air personality in the No. 2 largest market in the U.S. With the launch of “Nick Cannon Mornings” on Los Angeles-based hip-hop “Power 106” KPWR, airing weekdays 5-10am, the singer and TV host says his new role “feels natural.” Read more

The audio content pipe into the vehicle dashboard has grown in recent years and one of the growing players for in-car distribution is Waze, the navigation app owned by Google. It has just announced another deal with an audio company, this time it’s the podcast platform Castbox. The integration gives drivers an easy way to listen to podcasts on Castbox while remaining on the Waze app as they navigate to their destination. Read more

CBS Corp. is preparing to make an offer for sister media company Viacom in the coming weeks, following a meeting of CBS directors last week in which a potential deal was discussed, according to Wall Street Journal sources. Reps of both companies have already had preliminary discussions about such a merger. Read more

Programmer Ron Roberts has left Entercom hot AC “Star 94.1” WSTR Atlanta. Roberts joined the station in August 2018 from iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach, where he was Senior VP of Programming. His exit comes after a revamp of the station’s lineup in May that saw changes in mornings, middays and afternoons. Read more