news INSIDE >> Wednesday, April 25, 2012


news INSIDE >> Wednesday, April 25, 2012
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Inside Radio Revenue Tracker: A mixed March as big markets lag the rest of the industry. Exclusive. The overall
economy hit a speed bump in March from hiring numbers to housing sales, not to mention the impact of higher gas prices.
So it’s against that backdrop that industry revenue decreased 1% last month compared to one year earlier. That’s according
to a sample of 40 markets surveyed by Inside Radio. It was the first negative month
since last November when a similarly-sized decline was recorded. Large markets took
the biggest hit in March, and national business appears to have been down double-digits
in most top ten markets. Revenue Tracker data shows major market revenue declined
5% during March compared to last year. Radio’s two biggest markets, New York and
Los Angeles, both closed the books on first quarter with an overall revenue decline and
double-digit decreases in national billings. San Francisco and Dallas also saw declines
in national bookings. But not every top ten market was down: Philadelphia, for instance,
saw its revenue increase over March 2011. Still, there were some bright spots beyond
the lights of the big cities. Most medium and smaller markets showed growth, with
an average revenue increase of 2% for markets outside the top ten. Revenue in one
Southeast market climbed 8% last month, the best-performer of any metro in the sample.
The timing of the Easter holiday can swing revenue trends a few percentage points in
either direction, but like last year, the holiday fell in April so it had no impact on the March
data. Automotive advertising remains strong but it’s not been enough to overcome softer
spending by retailers and wireless companies. When asked about April, the message is
one of caution. “I’ve had lots of avail calls, but it’s hurry up and wait,” said one radio sales
manager. “I’m getting many more requests than orders.” While other managers have said
April was marginally better than March, they’ve been more optimistic about May pacing.
That’s critical since May has typically been the biggest-billing month of the year for radio.
What makes Pandora users tick? Control. A bit of armchair psychology and a pile of survey data may offer clues into why
some radio listeners gravitate to Pandora and others don’t. “Control freaks — that’s what you might call Pandora listeners,”
researcher Mark Kassof says, summing up his firm’s latest survey. Kassof says the perceived choices and control offered
by Pandora are the most-cited attractions by its users. Using that information could help over-the-air broadcasters tailor their
message as station apps are marketed to listeners. Kassof’s survey asked Pandora listeners in what way FM is different
from Pandora. Elements like song-skipping (4%) and personalization (5%) were viewed as differentiating factors by just a
tiny minority of consumers. Instead, three-in-ten (31%) said Pandora offers more choice while one-quarter (26%) said FM
has too many commercials. Kassof says the data shows a split among age groups on the issue of commercials — in an
unexpected way. Only 14% of 18-24s say FM’s commercials are a big difference, rising steadily to 39% among 55-64s.
It’s also worth noting the inverse of the findings: three-quarters of survey respondents said they’re not bothered by radio
commercials and seven-in-ten don’t see FM’s narrower playlist as a negative. In the Kassof
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survey, Pandora users compared the service to seven other music sources. Of them, Clear
Channel’s iHeartRadio was viewed as most like Pandora with one-in-five (21%) saying there’s
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no difference between the two online services. Spotify and Sirius XM Radio are also perceived
who talks up radio
as more Pandora-like than FM radio, which ranked fifth ahead of only compact discs and
YouTube. The findings are based on 1,177 online surveys among 18-64-year-old Pandora
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
listeners in the U.S., conducted from April 10-12. “The key will be for stations to focus on what radio does best, rather than
its limitations,” Kasoff says. “That’s community connection, local services and personality.” After decades of research he
says he’s concluded that in most markets, a plurality of listeners strongly prefer a station from their own town. That’s why a
station in Riverside or Long Island can beat big FMs beaming in from Los Angeles or New York.
RMLC and BMI explore settlement options. Following a money-saving royalty deal for the industry with ASCAP, the
Radio Music Licensing Committee’s attention has turned to BMI. Those long-stalled negotiations between the two are again
underway. A court filing says the RMLC and BMI are attempting to “explore a settlement” that would avoid a lengthy legal
battle in U.S. District Court. The three-sentence notice offers little insight into the negotiating points, but it’s likely to mirror the
ASCAP discussions that focused on reverting to a revenue-based model from the flat rate royalty set under the previous 20032009 contract. An interim rate set by the court two years ago has already lowered what broadcasters pay to BMI composers
and songwriters and RMLC negotiators may be working to go even deeper. Its new contract with ASCAP lowered industry
payments by $500 million. With a market share roughly the same or smaller than what ASCAP claims, BMI’s deal may land
near what radio pays to ASCAP each year. If that’s the case, broadcasters may not only be getting a retroactive refund dating
back to January 2010 from ASCAP, but one from BMI as well.
Merlin Media is ready to rock Chicago. Merlin Media is expanding its hometown cluster with
a deal to lease the low-power television station WLFM-LP from Venture Technologies Group.
On Monday Merlin will fade three-year old “Smooth Jazz 87.7” out and install a new format on
the signal. Merlin Media advisory committee chairman John Gehron says the company sees
an opportunity to “to expand the video and interactive components” for WLFM-LP, which also
broadcasts as an over-the-air television station at channel 6 and on Comcast cable channel 877
in Chicago. Gehron says the signal will focus on “underserved audiences” but the company isn’t
saying what format that will bring. Even so, modern rock is believed to be the most likely pick, and perhaps it may include the
shift of the “Q-101” brand that has remained alive as an online-only property since Merlin launched the all-news format last
August. The alternative rock brand celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and Merlin CEO Randy Michaels has moved to
secure its former WKQX call letters with the FCC. It could be packaged to advertisers with Merlin’s classic rock “The Loop”
WLUP-FM (97.9). In the meantime, over the next week the smooth jazz station will add news updates from now-sister “FM
News 101.1” WIQI. WLFM-LP was among the most successful of the so-called “Franken FMs” which use a low-power TV
station to target radio listeners. It had a 1.6 share (6+) in the March ratings with a cume of 478,100, according to Arbitron.
The clock ticks: LPTVs current radio expiration date is 2015. Low-power television stations like WLFM-LP, Chicago are
analog and as the government shifts broadcasters over to digital allotments they’ll one day lose their channel 6 dial position.
It’s a unique spot on the dial that allows people to tune into the audio at 87.7 FM. The FCC last July gave tactic approval
to the practice of marketing the television stations to radio listeners, rejecting some engineers’ efforts to have the stations
they deridingly call “Franken FMs” vacated. In fact the FCC even made it possible for some LPTVs to boost their power.
But ultimately the sun will set and they’ll be shuttled over to new digital dial positions. The FCC had considered a digital
conversion for the end of 2011. But ultimately it stuck with the revised analog sunset date of September 2015 for a majority
of the roughly 2,200 licensed LPTVs. Companies that own the low-power stations, like Venture Technologies Group and
Signal Above — owner of Spanish “La Nueva 87.7” WDCN-LP, Washington — hope to convince the FCC there’s no need to
rush them to digital. They point out hundreds of thousands of Americans enjoy the spectrum as a radio station. “Our position
is let the market decide,” Signal Above CEO Ray Fitch told Inside Radio last year. Venture Technologies Group CEO Paul
Koplin said the longer LPTV owners have until the sunset date, the more time it will give them to explore potential “technical
solutions” so that channel 6 stations can remain audio-video providers. “A lot of television stations have abandoned channel
6 and feel the frequency is a lemon — but we have made lemonade,” Koplin said.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Back to back retirements for a pair of longtime Cox air personalities in different markets. After 32 years waking up
Tampa listeners, soft AC “105.5 The Dove” WDUV morning host Dick Ring is retiring. His last day will be Friday. Later that day
in Atlanta, hot AC “B-98.5” WSB-FM afternoon drive personality Kelly McCoy will retire after 27 years with the station. Ring
says the lure of spending time with his wife at their new home in North Carolina beckoned. “I’ve enjoyed a career spanning
over five decades doing what I love,” Ring says. Cox says AC “Magic 94.9” WWRM afternoon drive personality Ann Kelly will
take over mornings on WDUV. Kelly has been with the Cox-Tampa cluster for 24 years but it’s been a dozen years since she’s
been in morning drive. The company’s other big goodbye comes in Atlanta, where Kelly McCoy will hang up his headphones
Friday after 27 years at AC “B-98.5” WSB-FM. His successor will be announced later this week. McCoy, 59, tells the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution his immediate plan is to spend a month at his beach home in St. Simons Island with his wife. “I plan to
retire from radio right now,” he tells the paper, adding, “The possibilities are endless in the online world.”
Retirement proves short-lived for Bruce Williams. Two years after he ended what was at the time the longest-running
program in syndication, Bruce Williams is back in front of the microphone. The financial advice host has launched a web-only
program. “I do miss doing the show,” he tells fans. The show will air five days a week, though only the Tuesday and Thursday
programs will be live. The three other days will be podcasts. Despite embracing new technology, in a note to fans Williams
admits his show and style are a bit of a throwback. “Some of you might say this is your grandfather’s type of talk radio and
that could be the case,” he writes, adding, “A lot of things our parents and grandparents viewed retrospectively were right
on point.” Williams first took to the airwaves at WCTC, New Brunswick, NJ in 1975 and moved to WMCA, New York three
years later. In 1981, NBC’s Talknet launched a national show that remained on the air for 29 years. Williams was inducted
into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1999.
The general election has begun on radio. Sure, primary voting is continuing, but a look at new radio buys confirms the
general election is underway. President Obama and Mitt Romney have just placed some new buys, although the numbers
are relatively small. The Romney campaign has placed a $9,000 buy in New Hampshire according to Politico. Republicans
think they’ll be able to turn the blue state red in November, so Granite State stations are likely to see more Romney buys in
the months to come. The Obama campaign has just bought ads in three swing states, Florida, Colorado and Nevada. But
only the Orlando market will see radio spending, where a $1,090 ad buy was made for April 24-30. The pro-Obama super
PAC Priorities USA has also spent $850,000 on media buys but it’s not clear if any of that will go to radio.
Inside Radio News Ticker…NAB Show crowd grows…The final attendance figure for last week’s NAB Show was 91,932,
which the National Association of Broadcasters notes is up almost 10% compared to a year ago. The Las Vegas event
attracted a large international contingent with 27% of attendees coming from 151 countries. The NAB says there were
1,600 exhibitors, up from 1,550 last year …Buffalo Wild Wings ups spending…“We’re increasing our advertising over last
year with national radio to cover all of our markets.” That’s what Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith announced yesterday
to investors of the growing fast food chain. She says they’re also adding TV ads. The chain spent $2.1 million on network
radio last year, a 134% increase over 2010. Buffalo Wild Wings is on pace to achieve 1,500 locations in North America in the
next five to seven years...Hyundai expands Sirius XM offer…Drivers who buy any car regardless of manufacturer from a
Hyundai dealer will get three free months of Sirius XM Radio if it has a pre-installed satellite receiver. Previously only people
who bought Hyundai models got the offer…Mario Lopez goes national…After a three-month warm-up on “104.5 My FM”
KBIG, Los Angeles, actor/TV host Mario Lopez’s radio show is being rolled out nationally. Premiere Networks will syndicate
the four-hour show starting April 30. Lopez, who hosts the TV show “Extra,” targets women with a heavy dose of celebrities
and artists. Like on TV, he’ll go up against “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, who does a radio show for Dial Global...
People Moves...Read the latest People Moves HERE.
Correction: The Nassau Broadcasting auction will be held May 3. An incorrect date was reported in yesterday’s Inside Radio.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
CBS Radio’s Tampa market
is seeking a Market Program
Director for its diverse cluster
of six radio stations.
790 The Ticket is searching for the next great sports-entertainment
morning show host(s). We know you know sports because that’s basic
entry into the gig. But, are you well read, well versed in pop culture
and not afraid to have fun? We need a news junkie with a sense of
humor that knows how to tell a story that’s relevant every day to Men
25-54. If Bob Costas, Charles Barkley and Louis CK had a baby would
it be you? Send resumes and samples of your awesomeness to:
A successful programming
track record with active music
formats is required, along with a
strong track record of coaching
programmers and air talent
to greatness. This is a senior
management position that
requires battle-ready
experience and skills.
Work with the best
programming minds in the
industry at CBS Radio!
To apply, please
visit our career center:
Equal Opportunity Employer.
Are you Innovative,
a Driver and a Closer?
Do you have a sales history
of developing and executing
successful business plans aimed
at meeting and exceeding
monthly revenue goals?
Radio Disney has an
Account Executive opening at
the San Carlos station.
The territory covers the Bay Area
with a satellite office in
San Francisco. If interested,
please apply at:
Equal Opportunity Employer
Tod Castleberry, Program Director
WAXY-AM 790 The Ticket
20450 NW 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33169
Or, e-mail resume and MP3 to:
[email protected]
No calls please. Lincoln Financial Media Company of Florida (a member
of Lincoln Financial Group) is an equal-opportunity employer.
Journal Broadcast Group is recruiting for a key leadership position. Our
VP Programming will work closely with our radio team to sustain, grow
and create strong, successful brands. Here’s what’s important to us:
How You Think: Show us how you think critically to evaluate and
improve programming.
How You Lead People: Show us how you inspire people, collaborate
across teams and build trust. Demonstrate that you can identify and
develop talent.
How You Deliver Results: Show us your track record for delivering
on ratings commitments.
If you’re ready to bring your strategic, people and results leadership
skills to work for a company that emphasizes local engagement and
values integrity, excellence, determination and innovation, we’d love
to hear from you. Cover letter and resume (no calls, please) to:
Steve Wexler, Executive Vice President
Journal Broadcast Group
[email protected]
Equal Opportunity Employer.
INSIDE RADIO, Copyright 2012. www.InsideRadio.
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advertise, call 800-640-8852. Classifieds, email: ads@ Subscribe to INSIDE RADIO for 12
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Call (800) 248-4242 to subscribe. Managing Editor, Frank
Saxe [email protected] 800-275-2840 x702/Senior
Editor, Paul Heine [email protected], 800-275-2840
x703. General Manager, Gene McKay 800-248-4242 x711.
Apex Broadcasting is growing and needs two Account Executives
to represent our Destin/Ft. Walton Florida stations. Stations
include ‘WAVE 1021’ (Adult Hits), ‘The Blaze’ (Active Rock),
Q92 (CHR) and ‘Highway 98’ (Country). If you’re an experienced
and successful Account Manager, with a good track record and
references, this could be the job for you. Life on the beach is great,
and so is your income potential at our four station cluster.
Self-starters with good independent habits preferred! Please send
cover letter/resume to:
[email protected].
Qualified candidates will be contacted immediately! E.O.E.