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CBS Radio Names Roberts VP/Country Programming
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 12:54pm CT

CBS Radio names Tim Roberts as VP/Country Programming, effective immediately. He's currently VP/Music Programming for the company's cluster in Detroit, with direct programming oversight of Country station WYCD-FM, Classic Hits WOMC-FM and Top 40 WDZH-FM, a role he will retain. Roberts is a veteran Country music programmer having worked in the industry for the past 39 years, with 38 of those dedicated to the Country format.

By adding this new role to his purview, Roberts will be CBS Radio's lead liaison with the Country music community, including Nashville's top artists, labels, and management teams. He will provide programming guidance and expertise to the division's 12 Country outlets, while working closely with the CBS Radio Music Initiatives.

"Tim is universally respected and admired as one of country radio's preeminent programmers which makes him the ideal choice to lead our platform of more than eight million weekly listeners including many of the format's most recognizable brands," said CBS Radio Executive VP/Programming Chris Oliviero. "When you are blessed to have a Hall of Famer on the roster as we do in Tim, it is a no brainer to expand his reach and influence beyond Detroit. I am excited that Tim has accepted this additional responsibility for our company."

"I'm ecstatic to continue my collaborations with Chris Oliviero and the entire CBS Radio team as I expand my role to work with the Company's great and iconic country brands and all-star country programmers across America," added Roberts.

Roberts joined CBS Radio Detroit in 2006 as Program Director and Operations Manager of WYCD-FM and later added duties for WOMC-FM and WDZH-FM. Prior to joining CBS Radio/Detroit, Roberts served as a PD and/or OM for stations throughout the Midwest and West, most recently at WQXK-FM and WKKO-FM in Youngstown, OH, preceded by WWWW-FM in Detroit, KSAN-FM and KNEW-AM in San Francisco, KDRK-FM and KGA-AM in Spokane, KHAK-AM/FM in Cedar Rapids and WKKT-FM in Charlotte.


iHM/Tampa Names Pete Norden as Area SVP/Sales
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 12:47pm CT

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Pete Norden
iHeartMedia Tampa appoints Pete Norden as Area Senior VP/Sales, effective immediately. Norden has been with iHeartMedia for more than 19 years, most recently serving as Market President for iHM's cluster in Sarasota for the past nine years. An 28-year radio vet, Norden began his career an Account Executive in Destin, FL, for Opus Media. Before Sarasota, he was with iHM, then Clear Channel, in Panama City for 10 years, rising from the ranks of Director of Sales to Market Manager in 2001.

"We are very excited about adding Pete to our team," said iHeartMedia Tampa Area President Sam Nein. "Pete has an established track record of performance success, is a great leader and will be a very strong addition to our team."


FCC Expands FM Translator Area for AM Stations
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 1:04pm CT

The FCC is expanding the site locations where FM translators can rebroadcast AM radio stations. The Commission says that the amended rule provides "greater flexibility" for an AM station to place a rebroadcasting FM translator in a location where it will better serve its AM station's listeners. AM radio can now improve their service area by using an FM translator, which receives the AM signal and re-broadcasts it on an FM frequency. This is particularly useful for the many AM stations forced to reduce their power at night, since the FM translator can operate at the same power 24/7.

At issue is a current FCC rule that may make finding a location for these translators unnecessarily challenging. Under the old rule, an AM station could place a rebroadcasting FM translator either within its daytime service contour or within a 25-mile radius of its transmitter, whichever distance was less. The new rule allows the rebroadcasting FM translator to be located anywhere within the AM station's daytime service contour or anywhere within a 25-mile radius of the transmitter, even if the contour extends farther than 25 miles from the transmitter.

The current rule proved too restrictive for some AM broadcasters, especially those whose transmitters were far from their communities of license. AM transmission systems require large amounts of land, and many AM broadcasters have been forced to relocate to sites far from the cities they serve, where land is available or affordable. The FCC's rule change especially benefits these AM stations, and also helps other AM stations whose directionalized technical facilities currently limit the area where they can locate a cross-service FM translator.

The Commission first authorized AM stations to rebroadcast over FM translators in 2009. In 2016, two filing windows opened that enabled more than 1,000 AM stations to acquire and relocate FM translators to rebroadcast their signals. Because of these actions, nearly 2,000 FM translators are currently rebroadcasting AM station signals, allowing many AM stations previously forced to reduce or eliminate nighttime power to now provide 24-hour service to their communities.

In response to the FCC approving this order, the NAB Executive VP of Communications Dennis Wharton said, "NAB thanks the FCC for adopting this proposed rule change that grants more flexibility to AM broadcasters to locate FM translators. Broadcasters appreciate Chairman Pai's leadership on the issue of AM revitalization, and we will continue working with him and Commissioners Clyburn and O'Rielly to strengthen the AM radio band."


iHeartMedia Q4 Radio Revenues Climb 4.5%
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 1:36pm CT

iHeartMedia reported fourth quarter consolidated revenue increased 0.5%, while iHM (radio) revenues grew 4.5% to $939.1 million from $898.9 million in 2015. These revenues were up 2.2% when excluding political revenue. iHM operating income (OI) climbed 41.1% to $315.6 million from $309.3 million, while OIBDAN gained 2% to $377.1 million from $369.8 million. For the full year 2016, iHM revenues increased 3.6% to $1.72 billion as compared to 2015. Growth in broadcast radio and digital advertising was driven primarily by higher political revenues as a result of the Presidential election year.

"We continue to take major steps to transform our iHeartMedia and outdoor businesses into a leading multi-platform, 21st-century media and entertainment company," said Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman. "We are successfully building out new products and services for advertising partners to capitalize on our unique strength with the consumer -- such as extending iHeartRadio with new on demand services and to in-home connectivity devices, including Amazon's Alexa and Google Home."

President/COO and CFO Rich Bressler said, "We delivered growth in our consolidated revenues, operating income and OIBDAN in both the fourth quarter and full year 2016. At the iHeartMedia segment, fourth quarter revenue growth marked the fifteenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases in revenues, evidence of our company's successful transformation. Throughout the year, both our iHeartMedia and outdoor businesses benefited from the investments we are making to develop and deliver new products, while maintaining our tight operating and financial discipline."


FOX News Radio Host Alan Colmes Dies at Age 66
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 2:35pm CT

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Sad to report that FOX News talk host and FOX News Radio personality Alan Colmes died Thursday morning after a brief illness. He was 66. "America's Newsroom" co-anchor Bill Hemmer announced the news during Thursday's broadcast of the FOX program. Colmes was, of course, the former co-host on "Hannity & Colmes," a nightly political debate show that ran on the FOX News Channel from 1996 to 2009.

In a statement, Sean Hannity said, "The Fox family, Dr. Jocelyn Colmes, Monica Crowley and me personally have lost one of life's most decent, kind and wonderful people you'd ever want to meet. When Alan and I started Hannity and Colmes, there wasn't a day that went by where we didn't' say we were two most fortunate men in all television. Despite major political differences, we forged a deep friendship. Alan, in the midst of great sickness and illness, showed the single greatest amount of courage I've ever seen. And through it all, he showed his incredible wit and humor that was Alan's signature throughout his entire life. I'm truly heartbroken at the loss of a dear friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jocelyn, Monica and his entire family. He will be dearly missed."

Colmes, a liberal commentator, had appeared on FOX News since the channel's launch in 1996. He also hosted the syndicated "Alan Colmes Show" on Fox News Radio.


Triton Digital Releases the December Top 20 Ranker
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 7:07pm CT

Triton Digital has released its monthly Top 20 Ranker for December. The Ranker is a listing of the top-performing digital audio stations and networks measured by the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform, accredited by the Media Rating Council. Total listening for clients measured in December showed 4.87 million Average Active Sessions weekdays from 6am-8pm, and 4.14 million AAS during Monday-Sunday 6am-midnight.

Key findings from the Ranker include:

  • Midweek listening shows AAS peak listening occurring at 3pm. On the weekend, listening shows peak AAS at 1pm before gradually declining throughout the evening.
  • When compared to November 2016, the Holiday format showed the largest listening gains with a 66.52 percent increase in AAS during the Monday through Friday 6am to 7pm daypart, followed by AC and Top 40/CHR.
  • Looking at the Top 15 Markets as compared to November 2016, Detroit showed the largest listening gain with a 10.86 percent increase in AAS during the Monday through Friday 6am to 7pm daypart.
Here are the Top 20 for December, 2016:
  1. Pandora
  2. Spotify
  3. iHeartRadio
  4. NPR Member Stations
  5. Cumulus Streaming Network
  6. CBS Radio
  7. AccuRadio
  8. Entercom
  9. ESPN Radio
  10. Univision
  11. EMF Corporate
  12. Beasley Broadcast
  13. Townsquare Media
  14. Salem Communications
  15. New York Public Radio
  16. Hubbard Broadcasting
  17. Emmis Broadcasting
  18. Radio One
  19. Bonneville
  20. Prisa Radio


Andy Grammer to Perform at 2017 Golden Mike Award
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 7:12pm CT

The Broadcasters Foundation of America has announced that songwriter and recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2017 Golden Mike Award on Monday, February 27 in New York City. The annual black-tie gala is a major fundraiser for the Broadcasters Foundation's charitable mission to provide financial assistance to broadcasters in need. This year, BFA honors Paul Karpowicz, President of Meredith Corporation's Local Media Group, with the Golden Mike Award and Bill Hoffman, retired President of Cox Media Group (CMG), with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

As previously reported, three broadcast leaders will help present this year's Golden Mike Award -- Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) President Steve Lanzano, BMI President/CEO Mike O'Neill and NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith.

For information on how to reserve a seat or a table, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.


Entercom Q4 Revenues Up 5%, Earnings Decline
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 12:51pm CT

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Entercom Communications reported fourth quarter net revenues grew 5% to $123.2 million from $117 million in 2015. Station expenses increased 6% to $81.1 million from $76.7 million, while station operating income (SOI) was up 3% to $42.1 million. Adjusted EBITDA was flat at $35.2 million. The company posted a net income of $10.8 million (27 cents per diluted share) as compared to $13.6 million (34 cents) in the year-ago period.

President/CEO David J. Field stated, "Entercom posted another solid quarter of organic growth, completing an excellent year during which same-station revenues increased 4%, adjusted net income grew 13% and free cash flow improved 16%. And since the start of Q4, we have acquired a great new cluster of stations in Charlotte and successfully refinanced our credit facility to drive our interest expense down by roughly $10 million annually."

He continued, "Of course, our biggest news is our recently announced plan to merge with CBS Radio, a transformational event that will create scale-driven opportunities to compete more effectively with other media to accelerate growth. The combined company will be exceedingly well positioned to serve its listeners, advertisers, communities, shareholders, and employees and we are very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead."

As previously reported, Entercom announced an agreement on February 2 to combine with CBS Radio in a tax-free, all stock Reverse Morris Trust transaction. The merger will give the company positions in all of the top 10 markets and 23 of the top 25 markets. Based on Entercom's current stock price, the combined company will have a pro forma equity value of approximately $2 billion. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be continue to be led by David J. Field.


AudioHQ Signs With ART19 for Podcast Hosting
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 6:47pm CT

AudioHQ signs with podcast technology provider ART19 to provide podcast hosting and distribution. The partnership will furnish AudioHQ, a seller of streaming audio advertising, with data and targeting capabilities in podcasting. Additionally, ART19's WarpFeed technology will enable AudioHQ to target and serve fresh host-read ads across their entire podcast catalog.

"Rich data is at the core of our business," said AudioHQ CEO Matt Cutair. "With ART19, we are seeing major improvements in podcast data, a critical step for accessing agency dollars. It's an exciting time to be in the space and we're looking forward to expanding our footprint in it."

"AudioHQ is blazing a trail with highly-produced scripted content that is attracting new listeners to podcasting," added ART19 CEO Sean Carr. "We're thrilled to be part of their expanding business and to help make great shows like Bronzeville and We're Alive possible. They are playing an important role in the evolution of the medium."


Entravision Joins Interactive Advertising Bureau
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 1:46pm CT

Entravision Communications Corporation has become a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) trade association. As a member of the IAB, Entravision will offer its guidance and expertise as a leader in the media industry. By joining IAB, Entravision is also committing resources to training and getting its entire sales staff IAB-certified across all platforms.

"We are thrilled to become a member of the IAB and to be able to share the knowledge we have gained around our Spanish-language consumers and advertisers," said Franklin Rios, Executive VP of Digital for Entravision. "Our commitment to digital growth has been a huge priority and we cannot wait to uncover the exciting opportunities in the expanding digital marketplace."

"Giving digital teams the necessary tools and educational resources to excel in today's evolving advertising ecosystem is crucial to the success of any company," said Christa Babcock, Vice President, Learning and Certification, IAB. "We look forward to having Entravision join the growing IAB Certification program, and working together to further develop their expertise and achieve success for their partners."

Comprised of more than 650 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital advertising or marketing campaigns, the IAB and its members account for 86 percent of online advertising in the U.S. The organization is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry.


Benztown Releases Top Voiceover Professionals in Radio
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 1:47pm CT

Benztown has released its third annual Benztown 50 list, the radio industry's exclusive listing of the top 50 voiceover artists in the U.S. and Canada. Benztown enlisted P1 Media Group to compile and analyze industry data that was the foundation for the list.

More than 300 U.S. and Canadian radio groups provided information for this prestigious annual list, which was analyzed and evaluated by P1 Media Group's proprietary algorithm. The Benztown 50 list is based on several criteria, including number of radio station affiliates, station size and market.

The following voiceover professionals comprise this year's Benztown 50 in alphabetical order - not by any particular ranking. They will be honored at a reception in May at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Hollywood:

  • Jeff Berlin
  • Sean Caldwell
  • Joe Cipriano
  • Howard Cogan
  • Jude Corbett
  • Chris Corley
  • Jim Cutler
  • Cousin Deke
  • Ann DeWig
  • Kelly Doherty
  • Chad Erickson
  • Dr. Dave Ferguson
  • Scott Fisher
  • Dave Foxx
  • Donna Frank
  • Pat Garrett
  • Wendy K. Gray
  • Lynn Hoffman
  • Vanessa James
  • Steve Kamer
  • Dave Kampel
  • Jake Kaplan
  • David Kaye
  • Austin Keyes
  • Jeff Laurence
  • Harry Legg
  • Earl Mann
  • Scott Matthews
  • Mark Maurer
  • Rachel McGrath
  • Mocean Melvin
  • Jim Merkel
  • Damon Oaks
  • Rick Party
  • Drew Patterson
  • John Pleisse
  • Randy Reeves
  • John Reilly
  • George W. Robinson
  • Melody Sharp
  • Roberta Solomon
  • Joanna Stadwiser
  • Steve Stone
  • Jennifer Sweeney
  • Paul Turner
  • Rich Van Slyke
  • Rena-Marie Villano
  • Heather Walters
  • John Willyard
  • Neil Wilson


WKHX's Cadillac Jack Recovering From Heart Attack
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | 1:25pm CT

RADIO ONLINE is happy to report that Atlanta's WKHX-FM (Kicks 101.5) morning host Cadillac Jack is resting comfortably after surgery to install three stents to clear a blockage to one side of his heart. His wife, Donna, reported: "Caddy was swimming yesterday and began to feel dizzy. Fortunately my nanny forced him to call 911. It saved his life." She went on to say, "The crazy thing is he just had a physical with an EKG that looked fine. The doctors credit his commitment to fitness and the fact that he's only 43 for him surviving this serious a heart attack."

Kicks 101.5 Program Director Scott Lindy said, "The prognosis for Cadillac Jack is good and he should be home to recuperate later this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with Caddy, Donna and the kids as he gets back on his feet."


Podcast Hosts Ask Their Listeners to ''Try A Pod''
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 0:26am CT

For the first time, podcast publishers have joined forces to introduce new audiences to the medium. During the month of March, the hosts of hundreds of shows including "Stuff You Should Know," "Planet Money," "Missing Richard Simmons," and "Crimetown," will encourage listeners to introduce a friend, relative or co-worker to a new podcast, and, show them how to listen if they don't know how. Listeners will be asked to share stories of why they listen and their favorite podcasts using the hashtag #trypod.

According to Edison Research, one in five Americans listened to podcasts every month as of early 2016 -- a number that has grown by double-digits for five years. Even though podcasts are growing quickly and are available in more places than ever before, some people still don't know how to listen or where to start. Informally led by NPR, industry leaders including ESPN, HowStuffWorks, Pineapple Street Media, Midroll and WNYC Studios are working together to show new audiences how easy it is to listen.

"People come to podcasts for information and analysis to make sense of the world around them, to be entertained by excellent storytelling, to laugh and experience wonder," said NPR Senior Director of Promotion Israel Smith.

"As podcast fans are such loyal listeners, it makes great sense to reach out to our collective audiences, urge them to connect with friends who haven't yet caught the podcast bug, and share what makes their favorite podcasts so meaningful in their lives," added Radiotopia Executive Producer Julie Shapiro.


iHR, Google Team Up for iHeartRadio Music Awards
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 0:53am CT

iHeartRadio and Google are teaming up to launch a first-of-its-kind way to vote for the iHeartRadio Music Awards. For the first time ever, with the Google Assistant on Google Home, users can cast a vote using just with their voice. This year's winner of iHeartRadio Music Awards' Most Powerful Female Voice category will be exclusively determined from votes placed with Google Home.

By simply saying "Ok Google, start iHeartRadio Awards voting," users will instantly hear the voice of Ryan Seacrest. Ryan will then walk each user through the simple steps to vote using just their voice with the Google Assistant on Google Home. The campaign will run now through midnight the night of the iHeartRadio Music Awards, with the winner of the Most Powerful Female Voice award announced on March 6.

This year's nominees for Most Powerful Female Voice include:

  • Rihanna
  • Adele
  • Beyonce
  • Ariana Grande
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine)


Original Company to Acquire Illinois Duo for $390K
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, February 23, 2017 | 0:13am CT

The Original Company Inc. has closed on its previously announced acquisition of 50kW Country WRUL-FM (97.3) and 1kW Oldies WROY-AM (1460)/Carmi, IL (covering Evansville, IN) from Withers Broadcasting Company of Illinois for $390,000 cash. Also included in the deal was FM translator 250w W229AU-FM (93.7)/Fairfield, IL. TOC began operating the stations under a LMA at filing. Withers Broadcasting is headed by Executor Dana Withers, while TOC is headed by President Mark Lange. Patrick Communications brokered the deal for Withers.


Jackson Named WLUB/Augusta GA Program Director
RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | 2:09pm CT

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Blaine Jackson
Blaine Jackson is appointed Program Director for Country WLUB-FM (105.7 The Bull) and WLUB-HD2 (106.3 The Bull Icons)/Augusta, GA, effective immediately. Jackson joined iHeartMedia in 2010 as a parttime board op for its cluster in Macon, GA. Shortly after, she became PD of iHM's three stations in Newnan, GA. Later, Jackson returned to iHM/Macon, GA, to serve as PD for WIHB-FM (96.5 The Bull).

"We are very excited to have Blaine here to represent our two new Augusta brands," said Market President Ivy Elam. "We look forward to her delivering quality Country format programming that we know our listeners, partners and advertisers will love."

"I am excited to join the iHeartMedia team in Augusta. I grew up listening to country music, it's in my blood. To be able to combine my passion for the genre with my radio career is an amazing opportunity," added Jackson.


Cox/Atlanta Names Jaleigh Long as Director of Sales
RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | 9:34am CT

Cox Media Group (CMG) Atlanta Radio has named Jaleigh Long as its new Director of Sales, effective immediately. Long will oversee all sales efforts for CMG Atlanta's five-cluster group, which includes News 95.5 AM 750 WSB, B98.5 FM, 97.1 FM The River, KISS 104.1 FM, and Your Georgia Country 106.1/107.1.

"I'm thrilled to have such outstanding talent inside Cox Media Group to promote into this critical role," said Donna Hall, CMG Atlanta Radio's VP and General Manager. "Jaleigh brings deep knowledge of both radio and digital, fearless leadership, infectious energy and an unshakeable belief in radio. She is the right person at the right time to lead our sales organization."

Long joined CMG Atlanta Radio in 2014 as General Sales Manager (GSM). Previously, she was with South Central Media in Evansville, Ind. for seven years as GSM, and she started her media career in Indianapolis as an Account Executive for Susquehanna Radio. She is a graduate from University of Southern Indiana.

"I originally joined Cox Media Group because I wanted to be a part of a progressive company that values top talent and innovation for the industry," said Long. "Today, I know CMG is that company, and I couldn't be more confident in our management team to drive us and our sales team to deliver success. I am honored to lead this great sales organization."

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