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Insideradio.com - Inside Radio Newsletter
Friday, October 18, 2019

TOP STORY

Talk Of ‘Tipping Points’ For Podcasting At NAB Show New York.

Updated

Podcast revenues hit $479 million last year and are forecast to surpass $1 billion by 2021. While the medium is on a steady growth curve, a pair of inflection points potentially looming on the horizon could dramatically accelerate its growth. “We are a medium still sitting at a couple of tipping points that can revise those projections and suddenly you’re a 2-3-5 billion dollar industry before you know it,” Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network said Thursday at NAB Show New York.

Byrne said one major growth catalyst would be if Facebook, one of the biggest content distribution platforms in the world, makes it possible for users to post and share audio content.  “Once Facebook creates an audio product and makes that part of your news feed, you could really have a multiple on top of the number of people that consume podcast content,” Byrne said during the session “Cultivating and Sustaining Successful Podcast Brands.” Another potential inflection point would be Android embracing the medium. About 60% of podcasts are consumed on Apple devices, yet half the country uses an Android-powered device, which requires users to jump through more hoops to listen. 

The appearance of Byrne and other movers and shakers capped off a momentous week for podcasting in New York. A sold out Podcast Upfront put on by the Interactive Advertising Bureau attracted many of the industry’s biggest players. And for the first time, the NAB Show New York devoted a track of sessions to the platform. The HeartPodcast Network used the week to announce a string of major content deals, including an expanded partnership with Will Ferrell, and an alliance with Shondaland, the production house from acclaimed TV producer and writer Shonda Rhimes.

After years of living on the media fringe, podcasting is now attracting A-list actors, Hollywood movie studios and TV production houses, drawn by its ability to quickly and inexpensively develop new content and test it on large audiences. “It’s cheap and fast to make a podcast, you have total creative freedom and you can put your ideas in front of audiences at scale,” Byrne said. After launching new concepts in podcast form, content creators can then expand their ideas into derivative works such as TV shows, films, live tours, books and merchandising. “That is why you’re seeing Hollywood turn its sights toward podcast as the new goldmine of intellectual property,” Byrne explained.

Last week, iHeart cut a deal with filmmaker Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions to produce a series of fictional podcasts for potential future film and television development. Blum is known for weaving social commentary into horror films such as “Get Out,” and that sensibility will be part of the podcasts he creates for iHeart, said Holly Frey, host of “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” which came to iHeart as part of its October 2018 acquisition of Stuff Media. “Because of the intimacy of podcasting, it gives you that sense of what can I do, how can I make a positive impact and shift things,” Frey said. “That's one of the beautiful things about this medium. It has that extra impetus to really move us all forward to do better and to think more carefully about the way we go about our world.”  

Frey and Byrne first worked together at Stuff Media, where “Stuff You Missed in History Class” became one of its biggest shows. It has since expanded into books, TV and live events. Frey regularly takes her show on the road, recording it in front of a live audience at events that frequently sell out.

As a relatively new medium, podcasting is also providing an outlet for “marginalized voices,” said Media Village Head of Content Strategy E.B. Moss, who moderated the session. Said Frey, “You have all the technology you need in your pocket to start a podcast. Everyone has that opportunity, to bring their voice to the forefront and get attention they wouldn’t get in other mediums.”

As the NAB and the IAB shone a bright light on the shows, companies and hosts helping move the medium into the mainstream, Byrne said the best is still yet to come. “Audio has come roaring back into all of our lives,” he said, thanks in part to voice-activated digital assistants and smart speakers. Google is making audio a bigger component of search, not just through its Hey Google voice assistant, but also with plans to weave audio into the assets it delivers from a user’s search activity. “Search drives our lives every day,” Byrne said. “That would be a sea change in how audio yet again dominates our lifestyles even more than it does today.”

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New Podcast Listeners: Gen Z, Female And Diverse.

Updated

As the podcast space continues to expand, the new listeners it is attracting are younger, more diverse, and more likely to be female. More than three in 10 new podcast listeners (31%) are 13-24 compared to 18% for people who have been consuming podcasts for one year or more. Nearly two thirds (65%) are female, versus 49% for 1 year+ podcast audiences. And 30% are non-white, and nearly double that (17%) among those who have been tuning in for at least a year.

This is according to new data presented Thursday by Stitcher at NAB Show New York. The podcast company, part of E.W. Scripps, surveyed 11,826 respondents from its database who have been listening to podcasts for less than a year and 66,097 who have been listening for one year or more. The survey was conducted January-August 2019. 

“If you look back even just a few years ago, podcasting was basically a white guy in his 30s kind of a platform. That’s no longer the case,” Sarah van Mosel, Chief Revenue Officer of Stitcher said during the session “Audio Insights for your Podcast Strategy.”  “We’re seeing a real diversification of the space and that means it’s starting to look a lot more like what mainstream America looks like.”

The influx of young, female and diverse audiences has Stitcher working on new shows to appeal to this growing audience faction. Stitcher also uses data from its surveys to help guide partners looking to expand their portfolio of shows. Working with digital media publisher Vox Media, the two companies collaborated on a daily news podcast, “Today Explained,” taking an approach that differentiated it from the leader in the space, The New York Times-produced “The Daily.”   “It has a very different feel than ‘The Daily,’” Nishat Kurwa Executive Producer of Audio for Vox Media Studios said. “The host is really driven by delving into a diversity of stories representing the diversity of American society. There’s a lot of brevity and lightness even as they’re addressing serious topics.”

Data isn’t only being used to help steer new shows. It’s also become a critical ingredient in how podcasts are monetized. While Stitcher, which entered the podcast space six years ago, has long been using “baked in” host-read ads, it is now shifting to ads dynamically inserted into shows, using ad targeting technology from parent company Scripps’ acquisition of Triton Digital. “We’re pivoting away from show-by-show selling,” van Mosel said, to audience-based selling, where it can deliver the advertiser’s target across as many as 20 shows. Even with an ad unit menu that includes host-read, announcer-read and fully produced ads, van Mosel stressed the importance of using ads that are “appropriate for the show.” And there is still a learning curve.  “We’re just at the beginning of knowing everything that our predecessors f*cked up,” van Mosel offered. Podcast audiences are known for their deep engagement with their favorite shows and hosts. So when they hear an ad that doesn’t fit the show, “you’ll hear from them,” Kurwa said.

And with podcast listeners having built an “ad bubble” around them – many use ad blockers and avoid ads in broadcast media – van Mosel said there’s “a lot of pressure” on podcasters to get the ads right. Citing surveys it conducts with listeners who tune into podcasts on its platform, she said 90% of the time they take an action after hearing an ad on a podcast.  

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Beasley Names Todd Handy To Newly Created Chief Digital Officer Role.

Todd Handy joins Beasley Media Group as Chief Digital Officer, effective Nov. 1. He will report directly to CEO Caroline Beasley in this newly created role.

“Todd’s strategic thinking and clear understanding of our long-term goals, combined with his extensive digital media advertising experience and passion for innovation, made him the perfect choice to help us achieve success well into the future,” Beasley said in a release.

Handy has worked in the digital media space for more than a decade, having spent six years in local media, responsible for sales, advertising strategy and products, ad operations and analytics, programmatic sales and native advertising. He has also led publisher development, implementation and customer success for an ad tech video startup, and worked with digital pureplays in display, audio, video, mobile, performance marketing and retargeting and affiliate sales.

Handy most recently held executive positions with several companies, including serving as Vice President of Digital Media & Ad Tech at MarketStar, VP- Publisher Development at Tout and VP- Advertising Strategy & Products at Deseret Digital Media.

“I'm grateful for the opportunity to join Beasley Media Group in this role,” Handy added. “I've been impressed by the alignment and focus of the executive team and know of Caroline's commitment to diversifying revenue and growing the company overall. I look forward to bringing my prior experience together with Beasley's people, culture and properties to develop solutions that will benefit our listeners, advertisers and employees.”

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Radio.com Expands Distribution Footprint With New Strategic Partnerships.

Updated

Entercom is expanding its strategic partnerships for Radio.com as Autonomic Controls, DTS Play-Fi and the BluOS hi-res wireless multi-room systems are each integrated into the streaming audio platform and its on-demand and live digital audio content.  “We are committed to our position as a premiere destination for live and on-demand audio news, entertainment, music and sports content in the U.S.,” David Rosenbloom, Vice President, Corporate Business Development at Entercom said in a release. “The partnerships with Autonomic Controls, DTS Play-Fi and BluOS mark yet another expansion to the distribution footprint for Radio.com, ensuring that we are delivering the audio content our listeners want wherever and however they want it.”

As part of the partnership, Autonomic Controls and BluOS will integrate Radio.com and its audio content throughout the entire home via Autonomic’s Tune Bridge application and any speakers or amplifiers from NAD Electronics, Bluesound and DALI Loudspeakers that contain the BluOS platform. DTS Play-Fi users will be able to enjoy Radio.com on more than 200 products across 30 brands in the DTS Play-Fi ecosystem, including Onkyo, Pioneer, Klipsch, and Dish TV, among others.

The companies join a roster of home and auto-connected devices that carry Radio.com, including Amazon Echo, Amazon FireTV, Sonos, Roku, Google Home, Google Chromecast, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

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Gary Berkowitz: Best Practices To Prep For ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of Year.’

Forget Halloween, skip Thanksgiving. For retailers, it’s almost “the most wonderful time of the year.” Writes consultant Gary Berkowitz, “Many retail locations are already decorated for the season and soon, hundreds of radio stations across the U.S. will switch to all Christmas programming.” With this in mind, he presents a handful of programming ideas to foster “monster ratings.”

Sometimes when stations go to all Christmas music, jocks tend to "soften" or bring the presentation down, notes the President of Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting. “This is not a time to get soft and melancholy. If anything, the on-air delivery should be fun and exciting. Your on-air presentation should remain up and contemporary,” he says.

And when opening the mic, personalities should begin with the likes of: “B106.1 The Christmas Music Station.” Other effective positioners: 100% Christmas Music; All Christmas Music, All the Time; Non-Stop Christmas Music; or All Your Christmas Favorites all season. He insists, this is not a time to be politically correct: Say “Christmas,” not “holiday.”

“Reinforce these lines every time. It's critical to drive home the ‘All Christmas’ message,” Berkowitz writes on his website newsletter. “It will not get tired. Listeners love this time of year. Take advantage of that.”

In addition, he suggests dressing up the station website, social media and apps for the season. It’s essential that listeners “see” the same that they are hearing over the air. Add to that holiday jingles, with bells, chimes and ho-ho-hos.

Berkowitz also advises that it’s advantageous to get involved with Christmas promotions: local shows that are coming to town (Radio City Music Hall Christmas); while exploring contests like "Christmas Song of the Day."

All of this matters, but the consultant stresses that what is most important is a tight Christmas library. “For some reason, many programmers feel that Christmas libraries should be large. Check out the highest rated all Christmas stations and you’ll see. Playing the hits (and there are less than 200 of them) works,” he says. And this: “Radio geek alert: The first and last song of the season should be Andy Williams, ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.’ No particular reason. It’s just the greatest Christmas/Holiday song of all time.”

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For Louisiana Gubernatorial Race, The Winner Is Radio & TV.

An Ad Age Datacenter analysis of campaign spending data, in partnership with Kantar/CMAG, reveals that of the $193.5 million spent on radio and TV to date for the 2019-20 presidential, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial elections, a staggering $32 million has been spent by both parties on the Louisiana governorship alone.

The only race considered close in ad spend is the Kentucky gubernatorial race, in which incumbent Republican Matt Bevin is running against Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear. There, a combined $24.6 million has been spent by both parties in that 2019 race, Ad Age reports.

Adding to the obvious fiercely competitive battles taking place nationwide, when Inside Radio covered Ad Age Datacenter spending just a month ago, federal-level and gubernatorial races had reached $148 million at radio and television—a $45 million increase in a mere three weeks. The ongoing tally reflects spending on broadcast TV, local/regional cable and satellite TV, radio and Spanish-language local TV beginning Jan. 1, 2019, through Election Day.

Back in Louisiana, the election is being watched nationwide. Ad Age explains, “Because Louisiana’s jungle primary for governor is seen as a bellwether given that the incumbent is John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, and his challengers—Congressman Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone—are both Republicans who have the support of President Trump.”

In its story, Ad Age explains for background: “It’s early days, but Ad Age is already calling a winner by a landslide: Louisiana, for its so-called ‘jungle primary,’ in the Best Metaphorical Flourish race. The oddball system means that in Louisiana elections, instead of standard party-centric primary races, all candidates for a given office are lumped onto a single ballot regardless of political affiliation. If one candidate snags more than 50% of the vote, he or she can avoid a runoff election—if not, the two candidates (regardless of party) with the most votes face off.”

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College Radio WLFR At Stockton U Atlantic City Celebrates 35 Years On The Air.

As beloved college radio stations falter amid universities selling off their licenses, there’s reason to rally in Atlantic City. Variety WLFR (91.7) is celebrating 35 years of serving both the community and students of its base at Stockton University. Named for “Lake Fred Radio,” a campus body of water, the outlet came on the air in 1984 and joined the web in 2004.

 “Legend has it that 35 years ago this month, the lively melody of ‘People Get Ready’ by The Impressions blared across as radio station 91.7 FM went live on the air for the first time.

Over the years, WLFR has broadcast a variety of musical formats as well as community and sporting events,” writes Joe Molineaux, an on-air personality there, in the local Press of Atlantic City.

The university will celebrate the station’s “35 years of noncommercial, alternative programming” on its anniversary, Oct. 25, at the Campus Center Event Room from 6-10pm, featuring live bands, speakers and past and present DJs. According to the station website, WLFT is now part of the college's School of Arts and Humanities, and is staffed by a student manager Colby Culbertson, and community managers (Bill Grohls, Paul Glaser), under the leadership of fulltime GM Chad Roberts.

In his piece, Molineaux notes, “The DJs and those who have directed the station over the years have been encouraged to play artists who are not played on commercial radio… like R.E.M., Dropkick Murphys, Vampire Weekend and so many more have gotten their start and owe some of their success to college radio.”

Molineaux started working at the outlet in 2005, and now hosts “M4 Biz Radio.” He reflects that the station was then located in a small area in upper G wing on Stockton’s Galloway Township Campus. “With the growth of the campus, a new state-of-the-art studio was built in Stockton’s Campus Center,” he writes. Two years ago it moved from a "faculty adviser" model of station management and hired the full time general manager.

The station maintains the same mission now that it did back in the 1980s. According to its website: “We take pride in our diversity of music and shows and strive to bring you programming not found on commercial stations.”

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NBC News Teams With Wondery To Double Original Podcasts.

NBC News and Wondery have announced an alliance to develop a slate of news and politics podcasts beginning in 2020. As part of a multiyear deal, the companies will work together on series based on reporting from NBC News’ staff of investigative reporters, Adweek reports.

In addition, Wondery will take over ad sales and marketing for NBC News’ existing podcasts, opening those programs to Wondery’s network of advertisers in the U.S. and UK. “Any new programming the companies jointly develop and produce will be marketed and sold by Wondery’s sales team,” the magazine says.

“We are very committed to the space, and we thought this was a natural progression that we continue to grow our original slate,” said Elisabeth Sami, NBC News Group’s Senior VP of Global Strategy & Business Development. “With Wondery, we could end up at least doubling our original slate that we have today.” She added that the deal is intended to strengthen NBC News’ presence in the podcasting space—while also adding to Wondery’s news and politics programming offerings.

The partnership will first offer two or three new series, the first of which will roll out in early 2020. NBC News already has more than 25 original podcasts and showcasts; and it will continue to also develop in-house podcasts, as well as jointly owned programs with help from Wondery, according to Sami.

Hernan Lopez, founder and CEO of Wondery, said the deal with NBC News represents the podcast publisher’s biggest and most wide-ranging partnership to date with a news organization: “With the addition of NBC News, we are growing from having a very small presence into a very significant presence in the category of news content,” Lopez said.

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Elton John Shares Stories Befitting A Legend At iHeartRadio ICONS Ceremony.

Elton John made good on his status as the latest inductee to iHeartRadio ICONS, featuring a candid conversation Wednesday night at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles. Celebrating the launch of his autobiography, “ME,” the legendary singer/songwriter spoke with Jim Kerr, revealing intimate details of his wild life, as well as a performance of snippets from his gargantuan hit catalog.

John, “clad in a Carolina-blue embroidered jacket, pink pants and Gucci sneakers, easily toggled between the interview chair and the piano bench,” wrote Melinda Newman in her report in Billboard. “In the midst of his three-year farewell tour, John sounded incredibly strong-voiced,” playing pieces of “The Greatest Discovery,” “I Need You To Turn To,” “Border Song," “Take Me To The Pilot," “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Bennie & The Jets,” “Skyline Pigeon” and “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.”

Among anecdotes, he shared the fascinating tale of hosting John Lennon onstage. Newman explains the narrative in her story: After John played piano and sang backing vocals on John Lennon’s ‘Whatever Gets You Through the Night,’ John told Lennon he had to come onstage with him if the song reached No. 1, which it did, making it Lennon’s first solo No. 1. In what became the last major performance before his death six years later, Lennon indeed joined John onstage at Madison Square Garden in November 1974. “He loved New York, he loved America,” John says of the evening, which also led to Lennon’s reconciliation with Yoko Ono. The pair played “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “I Saw Her Standing There” as well as the new hit. “John was such a fun person. He was one of the naughtiest people I ever met and we got on like a house on fire,” John said. “He had a great sense of humor.”

iHeart also provided a summary, with some prize moments from the evening, including John speaking of his sobriety: “There's a lot of wonderful moments in there that made me obviously think of how lucky I've been, and how grateful I am to still be alive after all I put my body through, and how wonderful it is to be alive and to look back on this incredible journey.”

Regarding the movie “Rocketman,” he commented: “It was the film I wanted to make. We didn't make a PG film. We wanted to make an R film because my life has been R.” And his relationship with fans: “They can laugh with me. They can cry with me. I'm just human, and I've made a lot of terrible mistakes. Fame is not easy. And I was very happy to be onstage, and that was where I felt safest, but when I came offstage, I was still stuck with a little boy that was very insecure and shy before he became famous. So, I had a lot of work to do to catch up with that.”

And on growing older: “For the last bit of my life, I want something different, you know? I've played so many shows. I've loved it. I've had enough applause. I've been so successful. What more can I do? Music will always be part of my life. I will always be creative, but I owe my children and my husband the support of being there for them, and that's what I want to do.”

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iHeartRadio, Modelo Present Anderson .Paak Concert Series.

Updated

Singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist Anderson .Paak will perform at the Modelo Fighting Chance Concert Series, an iHeartRadio production. The event will visit San Francisco (Nov. 13), Atlanta (Nov. 15) and New York (Nov. 17) to raise money for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help refugees, immigrants and Americans in need, to achieve their full potential.

Modelo and iHeartMedia will give four fans the opportunity to win VIP trips to New York to see Grammy Award winner Anderson .Paak in concert at Brooklyn Steel on Nov. 17. Tickets for all three shows can be purchased through ModeloUSA.com/FightingChanceConcert.

“As someone who’s struggled, who not too long ago had no job or place to call home, I know the importance of being given a fighting chance,” .Paak said in a release. “Music was my fighting chance. Now, I’m thankful to team up with Modelo to give those in need a shot at proving what they’re made of.”

Funds raised from the concert series will support IRC programs as well as help those fleeing from crisis and conflict to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. In the U.S., the IRC offers a variety of financial and employment services, including job search assistance, skill-building workshops, business counseling and access to car, credit and small-business loans.

“Everyone deserves a safe place to live, a job and education for their kids, and the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Lauren Gray, IRC’s Senior Director of Global Corporate Partnerships added. “Through these concerts, Modelo, Anderson and his fans will help the IRC deliver comprehensive and critical resources to refugees and vulnerable families in the U.S. and across the globe.”

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iHeartRadio, Modelo Present Anderson .Paak Concert Series.

Updated

Singer, rapper, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist Anderson .Paak will perform at the Modelo Fighting Chance Concert Series, an iHeartRadio production. The event will visit San Francisco (Nov. 13), Atlanta (Nov. 15) and New York (Nov. 17) to raise money for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to help refugees, immigrants and Americans in need, to achieve their full potential.

Modelo and iHeartMedia will give four fans the opportunity to win VIP trips to New York to see Grammy Award winner Anderson .Paak in concert at Brooklyn Steel on Nov. 17. Tickets for all three shows can be purchased through ModeloUSA.com/FightingChanceConcert.

“As someone who’s struggled, who not too long ago had no job or place to call home, I know the importance of being given a fighting chance,” .Paak said in a release. “Music was my fighting chance. Now, I’m thankful to team up with Modelo to give those in need a shot at proving what they’re made of.”

Funds raised from the concert series will support IRC programs as well as help those fleeing from crisis and conflict to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. In the U.S., the IRC offers a variety of financial and employment services, including job search assistance, skill-building workshops, business counseling and access to car, credit and small-business loans.

“Everyone deserves a safe place to live, a job and education for their kids, and the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Lauren Gray, IRC’s Senior Director of Global Corporate Partnerships added. “Through these concerts, Modelo, Anderson and his fans will help the IRC deliver comprehensive and critical resources to refugees and vulnerable families in the U.S. and across the globe.”

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Deal Digest

Deal Digest – October 3, 2019

SALES – STATIONS

Minnesota – Leighton Enterprises files a $3.4 million deal to buy hot AC “Z-99” KXRZ, classic rock “KX-92” KXRA-FM and “News Talk Radio 1490” KXRA in Alexandria, MN from Paradis Broadcasting. The deal also includes two FM translators including the Alexandria, MN -licensed K262AT at 100.3 FM and the Glenwood, MN-licensed K289CL at 105.7 FM. Both signals simulcast KXRA. Leighton Enterprises will pay an additional $240,000 for the studio and land used by the stations. No programming changes are planned and Brett Paradis will remain with the cluster, serving as general manager. Leighton Enterprises already owns stations in St. Cloud, Fergus Falls, Perham, and Detroit Lakes.

Iowa – KMAland Broadcasting files a $2.9 million deal to buy the talk simulcast KMA-FM, Clarinda, IA (99.1) and KMA, Shenandoah, IA (960) from Ed May’s KMA Broadcasting. The buyer is a company created by a group of local residents.

Dallas – Linda Hammond’s Farmersville Investments files a $2 million deal to buy Spanish religious KFCD (990) from Vikram Shah Broadcasting. The deal also includes the McKinney, TX-licensed translator K260CX at 99.9 FM.

Georgia – James Powell files a $125,000 deal to buy WEBS, Calhoun, GA (1030) from Kenyon Payne. The deal also includes the Calhoun, GA-licensed translator W278CD at 103.5 FM. WEBS has been off the air since August citing financial issues. The filing says the transfer forgives the $125,000 owed to Powell by Payne for the construction of urban “Streetz 94.5” WIPK. Powell has been the director of Calhoun Community Radio’s WJRP-LP (107.7) and will resign from that post and any affiliation with the low-power FM in order to comply with FCC rules.

Florida – George and Esperanza Arroyo’s Florida Broadcasters files a $75,000 deal to buy the currently-silent WLBE, Leesburg-Eustis, FL (790) from Wendy Wolf. Florida Broadcasters will operate the station under a time brokerage agreement until closing. It already owns tropical “Viva” WONQ (1030) and Spanish urban “Urbana” WURB (1140) in the nearby Orlando area.

Syracuse, NY – Craig Fox’s Wolf Radio files a $25,000 deal to buy the currently-silent WOSW (1300) from Pathway Community Radio. The move reverses a 2017 deal that saw Wolf Radio sell the AM to Pathway Community Radio for $20,000. Wolf Radio already owns five stations in the market including country “92.1 The Wolf” WOLF-FM, classic hits “The Dinosaur” WSEN-FM/WFBL (103.9/1390), gospel WSIV (1540), and “Fox Sports 1490” WOLF.

Albany, NY – Joe Reilly’s Empire Broadcasting has found a buyer for its last station in market No. 66 and it’s a familiar name. Saratoga Radio has filed a $20,000 deal to buy the currently-silent WABY (900) and the Clifton Park, NY-licensed translator W231DU at 94.1 FM. Saratoga Radio earlier this year struck a $100,000 deal to buy classic hits “Star Radio” WSSV (1160) from Empire Broadcasting. Saratoga Radio has a local marketing agreement to operate WABY until closing. Empire still has a pending $75,000 deal to sell sister WPTR (1240) to Area Independent Radio.

Portland, OR – ProMedia Partners files an $8,000 deal to buy “Oldies 1260” KLYC from Celebrate Life Media. The deal also includes the McMinnville, OR-licensed translator K256DF at 99.1 FM. ProMedia will operate the station under a local marketing agreement until closing.

CLOSINGS

Austin – Emmis has closed a deal to sell its controlling 50.1% interest in in a group of Austin stations to its minority partner, Sinclair Telecable. Under the deal, Sinclair will pay $39.3 million to obtain full ownership of talk KLBJ (590), rock KLBJ-FM (93.7), adult hits “Bob FM 103.5” KBPA-FM, regional Mexican “107.1 La Zeta” KLZT-FM, alternative “101X” KROX, adult alternative “Austin City Limits Radio’ KGSR-FM (93.3), along with “Star 93.3” and “Latino 102.7,” which both air on HD Radio-fed FM translators. Emmis and Sinclair have been partners since Emmis purchased its controlling interest in July 2003 from Luci Baines Johnson, the daughter of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, former First Lady Bird Johnson who owned the stations from 1943 until the family put them into a trust in 1997. Sinclair Telecable is not in any way affiliated with Sinclair Broadcast Group, the television company that owns KEYE-TV in Austin. Bob and David Sinclair has said they plan to rename their radio company Waterloo Media.

Miami & Tampa – Immaculate Heart Media closes an $8,218,875 deal to buy four AMs and three FM translators from Salem Media Group in Florida. In Miami, Immaculate Heart Media files to buy Spanish Christian “Radio Luz” WKAT (1450), business news “880 The Biz” WZAB, plus the Miami-licensed translator W249DM at 97.7 FM which simulcasts WKAT. And in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Immaculate Heart Media files to buy Spanish Christian “Radio Luz” WLCC (760), business news “1380 The Biz” WWMI, plus the Tampa-licensed translator W282CI at 104.3 FM which simulcasts WLCC, and a construction permit for the St. Petersburg, FL-licensed translator W260DM at 99.9 FM. Salem still owns Spanish religious WOCN (1080) in Miami and three stations in Tampa including talk “AM 860 The Answer” WGUL and religious “Faith Talk 570/910” WTBN/WTWD. Broker: Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage

Williamsport, PA – Van Michael closes a $5.9 million deal to buy country WILQ (105.1), hot AC “My 107.9” WLMY, classic hits WBZD-FM (93.3), rock WZXR/WCXR (99.3/103.7), and sports “ESPN Radio 1340” WWPA from Daniel Farr’s Backyard Broadcasting. The deal also includes the Williamsport, PA-licensed translator W267BJ at 101.3 FM that simulcasts WWPA Michael, who doesn’t own any other stations, plans to retain the Backyard Broadcasting name for his company. Broker: Kalil

Portland, OR – John Scagg’s Way Media Group closes a $3.5 million deal to buy rhythmic CHR “We 96.3” KWEE from Keith Shipman and David Rauh’s 3 Horizons. KWEE will adopt a religious format. The move allows Way Media to upgrade its coverage of the market. It has already carried its Christian contemporary “Way FM” format on the Portland-licensed translator K283BL at 104.5 FM. The company says it will improve coverage from 800,000 potential listeners to 2 million. KWEE has been operated under a local marketing agreement by Alpha Media since August 2016. After the sale closes it will still own six stations in the market. Broker: Kalil

Houston – Joe Paulo’s KSBJ Educational Foundation closes a $1.3 million deal to buy AC “Shine All 9” KSHN (99.9) from Bill Buchanan’s Trinity River Valley Broadcasting. The KSBJ Educational Foundation already owns contemporary Christian KSBJ (89.3), Christian CHR “NGEN Radio” KXNG/KYBJ (91.7/91.1) in the Houston market. It also has just closed a deal to buy classic hits “92.3 The Eagle” KETX-FM from Telcom Supply (see below). Brokers: Scott Knoblauch of Spectrum Media and Bill Whitley of Media Services Group

Ft. Walton Beach-Destin, FL – Robert Williamson’s Florala Radio Group closes an $810,000 deal to buy gospel WTJT (90.1) from Okaloosa Public Radio. Florala Radio Group also owns gospel WKWL, Florala, AL (1230) and talk WGYV, Greenville, AL (1380).

Panama City, FL – Aaron Lee’s Great American Media closes a $700,000 deal to buy “Classic Rock 95.9” WRBA, adult hits “Bob FM 105.1” WASJ, country “Kickin 103.5” WKNK from Sam Rogatinsky’s Palm Beach Radio Group.

Tennessee – Josh and Holly Peterson closes a $650,000 deal to buy talk/variety “Thunder 1320” WMSR, Manchester, TN from Robert and Tiffany Clutter’s Coffee County Broadcasting. The deal also includes the Manchester, TN-licensed translator W300BL at 107.9 FM and the Tullahoma, TN-licensed translator W249CV at 106.7 FM.

Houston – Joe Paulo’s KSBJ Educational Foundation closes a $385,000 deal to buy classic hits “92.3 The Eagle” KETX-FM from Deborah Rand’s Telcom Supply. Brokers: KSBJ Educational Foundation already owns contemporary Christian KSBJ (89.3), Christian CHR “NGEN Radio” KXNG/KYBJ (91.7/91.1) in the Houston market. Telcom Supply also just closed on its deal to sell sister sports “1440 The Score” KETX (see below). Brokers are Greg Guy and Jason James, Patrick Communications.

Puerto Rico – Aurio Matos Barreto closes a $260,000 deal to buy tropical “Radio Hit 1250” WJIT, Sabana, PR from Juan Rosario’s JP Broadcast Corp. The sale also includes the Vega Alta, PR-licensed translator W267DD at 101.3 FM. Barreto has struck deals to sell most of his other stations on the market and pending those closings in addition to WJIT he will own romantica WCMA, Bayamon (1600) and the currently-silent WDNO, Quebradillas (960).

Tampa – Sam Rogatinsky’s Gulf Coast Broadcasting closes a $165,000 deal to buy the currently-silent WRXB (1590) from Walter Kotaba’s Polnet Communications. The deal also includes the Bradenton, FL-licensed translator W243AK at 96.5 FM. The station has been mostly off the air since 2017 for what Polnet said were “financial hardship” reasons. Rogatinsky earlier this year closed a $325,000 deal to buy three silent FMs in Panama City. He also owns ethnic Haitian WPBR (1340) in the West Palm Beach, FL market. Brokers: Dick Kozacko (for Polnet) and Eddie Esserman of Media Services Group (for Gulf Coast)

Florida – Christian Radio Fellowship closes a $50,000 deal to buy contemporary Christian WKWJ, Key West, FL (91.9) from Cornerstone Broadcasting. Christian Radio Fellowship currently owns religious WAFT (101.) in the Valdosta, GA market. Cornerstone Broadcasting still owns three stations in the Daytona Beach, FL market. Broker: Fowler Media Consulting

Houston – Ken Luck closes a $25,000 deal to buy sports “The Score” KETX (1440) from Telcom Supply. The deal also includes the Livingston, TX-licensed translator K272FY at 102.3 FM. Luck is the operations manager and sports director of KETX.

Texas – RCA Broadcasting closes a $15,000 deal to buy the currently-silent KCUL-FM Marshal, TX (92.3) from Access.1 Communications. RCA Broadcasting already owns talk KZEY Marshal, TX (1410) and KFRO (1370) in the nearby Tyler-Longview, TX market. Access.1 Communications also has a still-pending deal from December 2015 to sell its last remaining station in the Atlantic City, NJ market. The Domestic Church Media Foundation has filed a $75,000 deal to buy the currently-silent WGYM (1580). The Foundation already owns religious WSMJ (91.9) in the Atlantic City market.

Montana – Munson Radio closes a deal to transfer the license for KEIN, Great Falls, MT (1310) to Wayne Farree and Creed Evans’ Tiger Butte Broadcasting as part of a legal settlement. Tiger Butte Broadcasting doesn’t own any other stations.

Montana – The Miles City Seventh-Day Adventist Church closes a deal to donate religious KQQM, Miles City, MT (88.3) to Radio 74 Internationale. KQQM will become Radio 74 Internationale’s first station in Montana.

People Moves

Kendall Taylor

Kendall Taylor, APD/midday host at Beasley Media Group hot AC WDVD Detroit (96.3), adds Music Director duties. Read more

Gregory “G Moniy” Johnson

Gregory “G Moniy” Johnson is upped to afternoons at Beasley Media Group urban contemporary “Foxy 99” WZFX Fayetteville. Johnson had been part of the station’s part-time air staff. Read more

Brandon Fanney

Curtis Media Group appoints Brandon Fanney General Sales Manager of CHR “Pulse FM” WWPL/WPLW (96.9/102.5) and hot AC “Star 92.9” WQDR-HD3, which airs on the Raleigh-licensed translator W225DF at 92.9. Read more

Job Listings

VP/GM - SCRIPPS TULSA

Scripps has a rare opening for a VP/GM for our 5-station Tulsa radio cluster.  Read more

Job Listings

Director of Engineering

Legend Communications is searching for an Engineer to maintain our 23-radio station group. View details

Virtual Direct Response Idea Radio Ad Sales People Wanted

Here’s A Great Work From Home Ad Sales opportunity! View details

Promotions Assistant, Washington D.C.

The Promotions Assistant help the promotions or marketing departments with daily activities that promote the station(s), clients or events. View details

Program Director - Michigan

WHMI-FM, Howell, Michigan is looking for an experienced Program Director to replace our long standing Operations Manager who is retiring at the end of the year. View details

Staff Writer

The radio industry's leading news publication, Inside Radio, has an opening for a staff writer. We prefer applicants with an understanding of advertising, technology, and the entire broadcast industry, and the ability to compose a story that brings out the 5Ws, and allows the reader to answer, "Wha… View details

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