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Dorsey MM Alpha Media/Hagerstown-Chambersburg
RADIO ONLINE | Friday, September 30, 2016 | 11:55am CT | Share

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Alpha Media, Hagerstown-Chambersburg announces Ed Dorsey as VP/Market Manager. The market is home to WHAG-AM, WCHA-AM, WCHA-FM, WIKZ-FM, WQCM-FM, and WDLD-FM. Most recently, Dorsey held the position of Director of Sales in the Hagerstown-Chambersburg market.

Alpha Media EVP Eastern Region, Bill McElveen commented on the announcement, "We're delighted to have a market veteran of Ed's caliber take over the leadership of our great team in Hagerstown-Chambersburg. Ed has a strong commitment to live and local radio in the community."

"After 24 years in the business with the same radio stations, I'm honored and humbled to have this wonderful opportunity to continue my radio journey onward with a great company like Alpha Media," said Dorsey.

Mike Vincent Named OM Cumulus/Melbourne
RADIO ONLINE | Friday, September 30, 2016 | 11:51am CT | Share

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Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Mike Vincent as Operations Manager for its four-station group in Melbourne, FL. Vincent will also serve the cluster as Program Director of 107.1 WAOA-FM. Vincent joins Cumulus Media-Melbourne from WSJR/NASH FM 93.7 in Wilkes Barre, PA, where he was Program Director and Afternoon On-Air Personality. His 28-year radio career includes programming and on-air positions in San Francisco, Fredericksburg, VA, and Poughkeepsie, NY.

"I'm excited to have Mike Vincent join our cluster as OM," said Gary Mertins, VP/MM, Cumulus Media-Melbourne. "He is an experienced major market air talent and manager and will be a tremendous addition to our stations. I look forward to having him lead our programming team in Melbourne."

Vincent said, "It has been a longtime dream to do what I do best in the Sunshine State, and this dream could never have been realized without the help of my fellow Program Directors in Wilkes Barre, as well as the other PA markets. I also want to thank Melbourne VP/Market Manager Gary Mertins, Mike McVay, Charlie Cook, Greg Frey, and Doug Hamand, who all supported me in getting here. I am beyond excited to up my radio game with these stellar Space Coast radio brands and can't wait to get started."

FCC Streamlines Foreign Ownership for Broadcast
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 1:07pm CT | Share

The FCC has adopted rules to extend to broadcast licensees the same streamlined rules and procedures that common carrier wireless licensees use to seek approval for foreign ownership, with appropriate broadcast-specific modifications. The FCC also reformed the methodology for publicly traded broadcast and common carrier licensees and controlling U.S. parents to assess compliance with the statutory foreign ownership limits.

The Communications Act establishes a 25 percent benchmark for foreign investment in U.S.-organized entities that control a U.S. broadcast, common carrier, or aeronautical fixed or en route radio licensee. Licensees must obtain FCC approval before foreign ownership exceeds 25 percent.

The review by the Commission of proposed foreign ownership above 25 percent will stay in place. As a result, the rules modernize the foreign ownership filing and review processes so they are better adapted to the current business environment.

The FCC says that adopting a standardized filing and review process for broadcast licensees' requests for approval of foreign ownership will provide the broadcast sector with a clearer path for investment. The reformed methodology for ascertaining foreign ownership of publicly traded licensees and controlling U.S. parents will eliminate the need to perform surveys or random samples of shareholders, which the Commission finds are impractical for public companies in today's marketplace.

With this Report and Order, the Commission replaces the ad hoc case-by-case procedures for requesting approval of foreign ownership of broadcast licensees with a standardized filing and review process. The streamlined rules and procedures allow a broadcast licensee to request approval of up to and including 100 percent foreign ownership of its controlling U.S. parent.

The new rules require broadcast petitioners to seek specific approval only of foreign individuals or entities with a greater than 5 percent ownership interest (or, in certain situations, an interest greater than 10 percent). They also allow broadcast licensees that have foreign ownership rulings to apply those rulings to all radio and television broadcast licenses then held or subsequently proposed to be acquired by the same licensee regardless of the broadcast service (e.g., AM, FM, or TV) or the geographic area.

NAB Executive VP/Communications Dennis Wharton said in a statement, "The FCC has taken an important step in allowing broadcasters to more freely and fairly compete for investment dollars. This order extends to broadcasters the same application and approval process that has been open to our competitors for years, and establishes more streamlined ways for radio and TV stations to comply with foreign ownership limits. NAB applauds the Commission's decision and looks forward to greater investment in local sources of news and programming."

Nielsen Expands PPM Technology to 44 TV Markets
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 1:21pm CT | Share

Nielsen has announced that will expand the use of its Portable People Meter (PPM) technology -- previously used only for radio measuremnt by Nielsen Audio -- to provide direct persons measurement for Local TV ratings. The addition of PPM panelists to Local TV service will effectively double the sample size and provide local clients with ratings that better reflect precise measurement of local viewing behaviors and insights. Nielsen will begin to introduce PPM measurement for in-home and out-of-home viewing in 2017.

"As part of our overall local market enhancement measurement strategy, Nielsen is maximizing the strengths of various data sets, including PPM data and Return Path Data, to help our local clients understand their total audience by capturing all sources of viewing. Additionally, we are providing them with the tools needed to maximize their audience and grow their business," said Nielsen Product Leadership President Megan Clarken. "The media industry is in the midst of an important transition and people have endless options for viewing their favorite content. We are the only measurement provider that can directly measure the out-of-home television audience."

Additionally, in the first quarter of 2017, Nielsen will release a stand-alone service that gives local clients in the 44 DMAs the ability to see incremental audience provided by out-of-home viewing. The portability of the PPM technology will measure TV viewing in locations including bars, offices, hotel rooms, and other places outside of the home where TV is watched. Impact data for out-of-home measurement combined with PPM measurement of in-home viewing is expected in the third quarter of 2017.

WE 96-3/Portland Names Chris Stewart as PD
RADIO ONLINE | Friday, September 30, 2016 | 0:21am CT | Share

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Alpha Media/Portland, OR, names Chris Stewart (aka Lucky The DJ) as Program Director of KWEE-FM (WE 96-3). Most recently, Stewart spent the past two years at the company's co-owned cluster in Peoria, IL, as PD/afternoons on CHR WNGY-FM (Energy 102.3) and OM of Country WXCL-FM (104.9 The Wolf). Previously, he served as morning producer at WRDW-Philadelphia, nights at KQQB-FM/Spokane and Assistant PD/afternoons at KSAS-FM/Boise.

Alpha Media VP/Programming Phil Becker commented, "It has been years since an authentic, unique, and original hip-hop station has been in such a large market. Much like the station, Chris is an authentic, unique, and original programmer. WE are 'Lucky' to promote him from within the nation's fastest growing media company."

"I'm unbelievably excited and humbled for this opportunity to work with and learn from the absolute best minds in the industry. Alpha Media continues to provide incredible opportunities for their employees to grow. Thanks to SVP/Market Manager, Milt McConnell and VP of Programming, Phil Becker for the opportunity to program this exciting new brand. I have no doubt, WE will do exciting things," remarked Stewart.

During his time in Peoria, Stewart raised awareness for child abuse by breaking the world record for longest tag team radio broadcast and running 102 miles in 102 hours. Stewart was also an integral part of launching G102.3.

KBEQ/Kansas City VP/P Mike Kennedy to Retire
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 1:54pm CT | Share

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Mike Kennedy
KBEQ-FM/Kansas City VP/Programming Mike Kennedy has announced his retirement from the Steel City Media Country outlet at the end of 2016, following forty years in the radio industry. Following his retirement, Kennedy will continue to with KBEQ as its lead consultant. Kennedy was inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in June, 2015. Kennedy previously served as VP/Country Programming for previously owners Wilks and Director of Local Programming for CBS Radio there.

Black Diamond Closes on Northern Star Broadcasting
RADIO ONLINE | Thursday, September 29, 2016 | 1:33pm CT | Share

Black Diamond Broadcast Holding has closed on its previously announced acquisition of seven stations and a FM translator from Northern Michigan-based Northern Star Broadcasting for $1.95 million. The transaction encompasses multiple signals in Traverse City-Petoskey, MI, and includes WCBY-AM (1240), WGFM-FM (105.1) and WCHY-FM (97.7)/Cheboygan, along with WGFN-FM (98.1) and WQEZ-FM (95.5)/Glen Arbor, WMKC-FM (102.9)/Indian River, WOEZ-FM (106.3)/Onaway and W264CF (100.7)/St. Ignace.

Black Diamond, owned by long-time broadcast executives and life-long Michigan residents, Mike Chires and Norm McKee, currently own WUPS-FM/Harrison and WTWS-FM/Houghton Lake, both purchased in 2015.

Northern Star Broadcasting's President Del Reynolds said, "These radio stations are huge technical facilities reaching from Cadillac to Canada and Traverse City to Alpena. I believe that Black Diamond is the radio group to continue the tradition of being committed local broadcasters and will be honorable trustees of these FCC licenses. Our staff and our clients are the best in the country and we know that they are in good hands with Black Diamond."

Black Diamond Partner/CEO Mike Chires stated, "Del and Mary have done a tremendous job of building powerhouse stations that serve their communities extremely well. They have strong relationships with their clients, and the respect of broadcasters throughout the industry, especially in Michigan, which is the ultimate compliment. We look forward to continuing the legacy and the relationships they've built with their clients and communities these great stations serve."

Jason James of Patrick Communications was the broker on the transaction.

CBS Announces Proposed $1.46B Debt Financing
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | 3:15pm CT | Share

CBS Corp. said Wednesday that in connection with its previously announced intention to separate its radio business, CBS Radio, that it plans to offer $460 million of senior unsecured notes and to enter into a $1 billion senior secured term loan, in each case, subject to market and other conditions. CBS expects that all of the net proceeds from both the notes offering and the term loan will be distributed to CBS. The remaining net proceeds will be used by CBS Radio for general corporate purposes and ongoing cash needs.

CBS Radio currently reaches more than 72 million consumers nationwide each week. As a part of CBS Corp., the division owns 117 radio stations in 26 markets -- including all of the top 10 -- as well as an array of digital assets.

Vin Scully's Last Sign Off Available Via TuneIn
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | 2:22pm CT | Share

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Baseball's iconic voice Vin Scully signs off for the last time this Sunday, October 2. He's ending his monumental career after 67 years of broadcasting for the Dodgers. Many fans have listened to Scully for their entire lives, and will be tuning in to celebrate his monumental career and to witness the end of an era. Scully's broadcast will be available on TuneIn's MLB Radio this Sunday. TuneIn is available via iOS and Android.

Louisville Public Media Names Skoler as President
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | 2:12pm CT | Share

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Michael Skoler
Louisville Public Media, the parent of NPR News WFPL-FM, WUOL-FM (Classical 90.5) and WFPK/Louisville along with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, has announced that its board of trustees has chosen Michael Skoler as the organization's next President and General Manager. Skoler, who currently serves as Vice President of Interactive Media for Public Radio International, succeeds Donovan Reynolds, who retires September 30.

"I've spent the last dozen years working at the cutting edge of a changing media world," said Skoler. "I'm joining Louisville Public Media because I believe it has the passion to define the future for public radio -- a future well beyond radio or the web. In a world of online friends and endless news and music streams, LPM can help people share understanding, forge bonds, solve problems and lead richer lives. And we'll do that through audio, video, text, apps, events and honest conversations."

Skoler will begin his new duties on December 1. An interim management team consisting of LPM Director of Development Layla George, Executive Editor Stephen George and Chief Financial Officer Dennis Stovall, will assume leadership of the organization from October 1 through November 30.

"The board felt deeply that our next leader should possess a forward-thinking vision of the new media environment, while understanding the importance of maintaining quality service to our current radio audiences," said LPM Board Chair Todd Lowe. "Michael has experience in creating and leading digital strategies, fundraising and collaboration, and producing award-winning journalism. This makes him the ideal choice to guide our organization into the future."

Prior to PRI, Skoler was a science and foreign correspondent for NPR, best known for his coverage of the genocide in Rwanda. He was an early pioneer in crowdsourcing and founded the Public Insight Network of 250,000 citizen sources now used by more than 60 newsrooms nationwide. He is also a serial collaborator, having created the Public Radio Collaboration that brought networks and stations together for shared coverage from 2002-05.

''Too $hort's Boombox'' Podcast Launches Wednesday
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | 2:38pm CT | Share

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Too $hort
Too $hort launches his first podcast, "Too $hort's Boombox with Bobby Loco" on PodcastOne. The weekly podcast will feature conversations with Too $hort's celebrity friends, social media influencers, moguls and a wide variety of interesting guests. Each episode will also showcase exclusive Too $hort music. New episodes of the podcast will be available every Wednesday. The debut episode of "Too $hort's BoomBox" podcast features special guest Ice Cube.

More Advertisers Plan to Invest in Podcasting
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | 3:03pm CT | Share

Advertiser Perceptions and Westwood One have released new insights about podcast advertising. Advertiser Perceptions polled marketers and agency reps about podcast advertising in July, 2016, and compared the same poll in September, 2015. The poll found that the number of advertisers planning to invest in podcasting has doubled. More than one in five (21%) marketers and agency representatives said they plan to advertise in podcasts in the next sixth months, up from 10% last year.

More advertisers have already started investing in podcasting. More than one in five (21%) said they currently advertise in podcasts, up from 15%. Other advertisers are considering podcasting as a media investment in the near future. More than half (58%) said they have discussed podcast advertising for potential media investment, up from 41%. Twenty-eight percent of marketers and agency representatives said they "definitely would consider" advertising in podcasting in the next six months, up from 18%.

Westwood One President Suzanne Grimes and Executive VP/Corporate Marketing for Cumulus Media said, "Podcast hosts have strong, devoted listeners who trust what they have to say, both on the air and across social media. Advertisers are flocking to podcasts because they can create custom branded experiences natively woven into the fabric of the show and its digital extensions -- breaking through the clutter of our ever-evolving digital world."

"Podcasts are growing in popularity with advertisers, because, like broadcast radio, listeners develop personal relationships with the show and hosts," added Advertiser Perceptions Senior VP/Media Consulting Andy Sipple. "So ads that match the tenor and tone of the content come across like recommendations from a friend. The fact that podcasts are frequently more specialized or niche only makes the advertising that much more powerful."

Salem Philadelphia's Russ Whitnah to Retire
RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 12:00pm CT | Share

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Russ Whitnah
Salem Media Group announced that after 23 years at the helm in Philadelphia, Russ Whitnah has plans to retire as VP/GM at the end of the year. Whitnah has been the "face" of Salem in Philly since the company first entered the market with the purchase of WFIL-AM in late 1993. Whitnah took over as General Manager in January 1994 and in August that year, a second station, now WNTP-AM, was added.

"I look forward to passing the baton to the next generation of leadership in Philadelphia," said Whitnah. "Serving alongside my co-workers and our ministries for the past 23 years has been a tremendous joy and privilege. Working for Salem Media Group has been the most rewarding work experience of my life. The Salem leadership at the top levels of our company are without doubt the highest caliber professionals in the communications industry today."

Dave Santrella, President of Salem's Broadcast Division commented, "Russ has been a 'pillar' for us in Philadelphia. You would be hard-pressed to find a pastor in the market that doesn't know and love Russ. He has personified the Salem mission day in and day out for many years. I'm excited that he will be able to devote more time to his wife Trish, his parents, and enjoying his children and 14 grandchildren."

A national search for Whitnah's successor is underway seeking both internal and external candidates. Salem Operational VP David Ruleman is heading up this search.

Nationwide EAS Test Planned for September 28
RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 6:27pm CT | Share

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the FCC, will conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, September 28, at 2:20pm ET. Both agencies say the purpose of a nationwide test is to ensure that EAS remains "an effective means of warning the public about emergencies" and that periodic testing helps to assess the operational readiness of alerting infrastructure and identify any needed improvements.

The nationwide test will be administered by FEMA, in cooperation with the FCC and National Weather Service, and with the participation of radio, broadcast TV, cable, satellite and other service providers (EAS Participants). EAS Participants are required to file reports with the FCC after the test, which the agency will analyze to determine how the test performed.

FEMA's test message will be similar to the regular monthly EAS test messages in that the public should receive both audio and on-screen text conveying that this is only a test. Specific language will differ slightly as it will indicate that, "This is a nationaltest of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test."

The test message will be transmitted in both English and Spanish, with EAS Participants deciding which version to use for their communities. The test is intended to last approximately one minute.

September is National Preparedness Month. In addition to conducting the nationwide EAS test, FEMA and the FCC encourage individuals to take action to prepare now and throughout the year by preparing an emergency plan.

CBS Radio Plans $1.5B Debt Offering Ahead of IPO
RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 2:35pm CT | Share

CBS Radio Inc. is preparing to take on about $1.5 billion in debt ahead of its initial public offering (IPO) reports Rueters. Most of the proceeds will go to pay parent CBS Corp. in cash says the news agency's sources. The remaining funds will be used for general corporate purposes. The debt offering will be split between bonds and loans, and could come before the end of the year. The IPO was registered in July with the SEC, but CBS has not yet publicly disclosed how much debt the unit plans to issue.

Goldman Sachs Group, Wells Fargo & Co, Bank of America Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG are underwriters on the IPO, while JPMorgan Chase & Co is leading the bank financing, and Deutsche Bank AG is running the bond financing, Rueters sources said.

CBS Plans to use the capital rasied from the radio IPO for buybacks and investing in the business, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference this week. He also said that certain private equity firms, radio rivals and international groups have expressed interest in acquiring CBS Radio.

CBS Radio generated revenue of $1.23 billion last year, down from $1.3 billion a year ago, according to the IPO registration. The company owns 117 U.S. radio stations, including in markets such as New York and Los Angeles.

Fox Sports Inks Skyview Networks for Radio Solution
RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 7:05pm CT | Share

Fox Sports, rightsholder of Auburn University Athletics, signs with Skyview Networks as official radio network provider for Auburn's Football, Men's Basketball, Baseball and its weekly "Tiger Talk" show. Services include production and distribution of the radio broadcasts to the Tiger's radio network of 54 affiliates and the Auburn Sports Network TuneIn channel. It will also provide its AdView Inventory Management and Live Read capture software to control advertising inventory.

"We are excited about our partnership with Skyview and the long-term benefits it provides our corporate partners, network affiliates, and operations team. Skyview brings an innovative approach that will help Auburn stay on the cutting-edge of sports broadcasting," said Auburn Sports Properties VP/General Manager Chris Davis.

"We are proud to partner with Fox Sports, a premium brand and broadcaster, in its rights deal with the Auburn Tigers, a marquee property of the Southeast," added Skyview Networks President Ken Thiele. "We focus on reliability and tailored solutions for our clients. I believe that our software will provide the specialized tools Fox Sports requires for a successful launch of the agreement's debut season."

Benztown to Release Third Annual Benztown 50
RADIO ONLINE | Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 7:12pm CT | Share

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Benztown will release the third annual Benztown 50 List of Radio's Biggest Imaging Voices, a listing of the top 50 voiceover artists in the U.S. and Canada. The Benztown 50 list will be based on several criteria, including number of station affiliates, station size and market. Benztown has partnered with P1 Media Group to compile and analyze the data. The list is currently in development and will be released to the industry this fall. Voice talent can apply for the Benztown 50 from now through October 21 at

Benztown President Dave "Chachi" Denes said, "More companies than ever before are working to attract and engage consumers with distinctive, great-sounding audio content. That means that outstanding VO professionals that define brands and create excitement and interest have never been more essential to our industry's success than they are now. We're proud to shine a bright light on our industry's top VO talent and look forward to sharing the results."

P1 Media Group President of Research Ken Benson added, "P1 is proud to continue our partnership with Benztown in honoring the vital voices and considerable talent that play a critical role in today's audio branding. Our proprietary algorithm will be evaluating a tremendous amount of data to determine 2016's Benztown 50. We're thrilled to work with Benztown again to honor the unsung heroes of our industry."

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