Top Radio News
Sports Radio Tuning Tied to Baseball Opening Day
Nielsen's PPM ratings for April confirm a seasonal increase in listening to sports radio stations when the major league season gets underway. Each year, the All Sports format's audience share peaks in the fall when football kicks off and the World Series takes place, remains strong through the end of the NFL playoffs and then spikes again in the spring around opening day.
This year, Major League Baseball's opening day -- March 29 -- was the earliest opening day ever and marked the first day of the April PPM survey (March 29-April 25). As a result, sports radio had its strongest April book since PPM measurement began in full in 2011. This month's 4.6% share among the total audience (ages 6 and older) is the highest April result for the format ever.
The return of baseball is not the only factor that coincides with a seasonal shift in audience on the radio. The summer season is just around the corner, and each year as habits and lifestyles change, so to do radio listening trends. For the Classic Hits and Classic Rock formats, the summer has turned into the most important time of year. Over the past four summers, these two formats have seen their audience grow more than any other and claimed the title of ‘format of the summer' as a result. Classic Hits saw the most audience growth during the summers of 2014 and 2015, followed by Classic Rock in 2016 and 2017.
This year, Classic Hits is positioning itself strongly in the months leading up to summer as the format had its best April book on record, while Classic Rock declined slightly compared to past trends. Particularly among Millennials (listeners aged 18-34), Classic Hits is on the upswing in 2018, following the strongest first-quarter results that we have seen for the format.
iHeartMedia/Minneapolis Ups Michelle Redberg to VP/Sales
"Michelle is one of the bright stars of our company. She has a contemporary approach to leadership along with a compassion for our advertisers and an understanding of today's marketing and business challenges," said Alexander. "Michelle's passion, skills, energy and drive made her an obvious choice to help lead our strong Twin Cities brands."
"I am honored to become a member of iHeartMedia's talented leadership team. Joining this organization has been an incredible opportunity and I look forward to contributing to our continued success," added Redberg.
NextRadio Launches FM Streaming Capabilities in Mexico
"We're thrilled that NextRadio is now available for use on both iOS and Android devices in Mexico," said TagStation President Paul Brenner. "We want to empower all users to enjoy local FM radio without having their content restricted by geographic location or choice of device."
NextRadio says it's still committed to unlocking the FM Chip in all phones but wanted to offer consumers the choice to listen to live local radio on any phone. NextRadio developed a streaming version until this goal becomes a reality.
iHeartMedia Revenues Down 3.1%, iHM Revs Drop 1.7%
David Bailin Named VP/National & Network Sales for SBS
Based out of the SBS New York office, Bailin will also collaborate with SBS' digital platform, LaMusica, with its respective sales and business development efforts.
"David Bailin is a dynamic sales executive who has a proven track record of success and a deep knowledge of our diverse marketplace, said Elisa Torres, EVP, SBS National and Aire Radio Networks. "We are excited to have him join our team and deliver innovative media solutions that are designed to super-serve our clients and Hispanic consumers."
Most recently, Bailin, was Senior Vice President, National Sales for Entravision Communications, where he oversaw network and national spot duties in the New York office. Bailin, a graduate of the University of Michigan, has over 20 years of media sales experience and has held similar roles for various media companies.
"I'm thrilled to join the SBS national and network sales team," said Bailin. "The opportunity to build on the success of a renowned company that has so many iconic media brands across multiple consumer touchpoints is what excites me the most. I'm looking forward to working with the team on creating competitive and engaging platforms for our clients and audience."
Jeff Hill Joins Cumulus Media/Chicago as VP/Sales
Hill joins Cumulus from WGN Radio in Chicago, where he was Director of Sales for eight years, having previously served the station as Local Sales Manager and Interim General Manager. Prior to that, he was Sales Manager for ABC Radio for eight years and formerly served as Local Sales Manager for WLS-AM and Local Sales Manager for CBS Radio's WCKG. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. An Illinois native, he earned a B.S. degree in Radio and Television from the University of Northern Illinois in Carbondale, IL.
"Cumulus-Chicago is thrilled to be adding a market veteran like Jeff Hill as our Vice President of Sales," said Marv Nyren, VP/MM Cumulus Media-Chicago. "Jeff's success in Chicago will allow our cluster to continue to build relationships with the ad community and compete at the highest levels of performance."
"I'm really excited to join the Cumulus Chicago radio group," said Hill. "I look forward to learning from the team and sharing my experience with the staffs of 101 WKQX, WLS-FM and WLS-AM."
Salem Media Group Agrees to Sell KGBI-FM/Omaha
Salem's Broadcast Media President Dave Santrella said, "Salem rarely sells its assets, but when we do, we make every attempt to ensure that the buyer will continue to program the station with a format that will make a positive impact in the community. The track record of University of Northwestern-St. Paul ensures us of that outcome and we couldn't be more pleased."
University of Northwestern Senior VP/Media Jason Sharp added, "We are grateful for the partnership we have experienced with Salem Media Group during this process. We look forward to expanding our network in Omaha and continuing the work of pointing people to Jesus through music and programming that makes an eternal impact."
Pending approval by the FCC, the parties expect to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2018. Greg Guy of Patrick Communications was the broker representing the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.
XHTZ-XHRM/San Diego Ink R Dub to Multi-Year Deal
VP/General Manager Gregg Wolfson said, "We are extremely excited that RDub! will continue to call Local Media San Diego his home. His ability to deliver relevant and compelling local radio to San Diego is nothing shy of impressive."
R Dub! added, "Apparently, I'm still foolin' ‘em! No, seriously, I wake up every single day and pinch myself. I'm not only so fortunate to do radio in the country's most desirable place to live, but I'm working with a company that truly believes in live, local and dynamic content! From our iconic brands and patented promotions like #EPIC48Hours, to the incredible pool of talent we have in the building-including Morton in the Morning and Jagger and Kristi-I'm so proud to play a small role in this incredible team, that is truly a family."
Envision Networks Launches Financial Planning Show
"Failing to plan is actually a plan... just a failing one," said Bowen. "Help your listeners reach their financial planning goals with the expert advice from Retire with Integrity."
"When we investigate new shows to offer affiliates, we look for compelling content that listeners want to hear," added Envision Networks President and CEO Danno Wolkoff. "The value of Retire with Integrity is the fun nature of the program and the appeal it holds financially for stations to sell to local advertisers."
Regional Media to Acquire Three in Canton IL
Regional Media lead engineer Wayne R. Miller said, "I am incredibly happy about Fletcher Ford (Regional Media CEO) and Jason Gilbraith's (Regional Media VP) acquisition of the stations. They are first class broadcasters that have brought life to a lot of stations across the state. I am proud to be a part of this operation."
Longtime employee Rhianna Kees added, "We are excited for this new chapter and look forward to continuing to provide the best in local radio."
Bill Whitaker to Receive 2018 Paul White Award
"Bill Whitaker has been an outstanding broadcast journalist for almost 40 years," said Radio Television Digital News Foundation Chair Vincent Duffy. "From his start at KQED in San Francisco, to his work today on ‘60 Minutes,' Bill has covered presidents, the OJ Simpson trial, and important stories all over the globe. Throughout his career, he has brought important stories to light, brought concern and smiles to our faces, and showed a generation of journalists how the job should be done."
Since joining "60 Minutes" in 2014, Whitaker's reporting has taken him to Asia, Africa, Europe, Mexico and the Middle East, including a timely investigation of the vetting process Syrian refugees undergo before coming to the U.S. and an interview with the highest ranking North Korean official to defect in decades.
Domestically, his award-winning stories have provided keen insights into the hot-button issue of race and policing in America with his reports from Cleveland, Chicago and most recently, Tulsa, Okla., where he got the news-making first interview with the city police officer accused of manslaughter for shooting an unarmed black man. He has chronicled the epic battle to capture and hold Mexico's infamous drug lord Joaquin "el Chapo" Guzman, and has also drawn attention to death penalty issues and America's heroin epidemic.
In 2017, Whitaker received the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from the RTDNF. He will be presented with this year's Paul White Award on Friday, September 28 at Excellence in Journalism 2018 in Baltimore.
iHeartMedia/Tampa Names Russell Robertson SVP/Sales
"I'm thrilled to have Russell join our team", said Soechtig. "His 10+ years of experience in iHeartMedia's Pacific Northwest & San Diego Regions coupled with his passion for helping clients grow their business makes him the ideal choice for SVPS in Tampa Bay."
Russell comes to Tampa from iHeartMedia Seattle, where he most recently served as the SVPS. He also served as the General Sales Manager for KOZ, KGB, KLSD, and Chargers Radio Broadcast for iHeartMedia San Diego.
"I am very thankful for the opportunity I had in Seattle and working with some amazing broadcasters. The opportunity to be in my home state working with the Tampa iHeartMedia team was an opportunity I had to pursue," said Robertson. "The last 17 years with iHeartMedia has allowed me the chance to work in amazing markets like San Diego, Seattle and now Tampa. My wife Amanda, my kids Tori and Zack and I are looking forward to settling in and making Tampa home."
Alan Kirshbom Named iHeartMedia Market President for Raleigh
"We are thrilled to have Alan leading our team in Raleigh and are confident he'll have an immediate and positive impact in the market," said Carwile. "Alan combines a proven track record of sales leadership, creating culture and driving revenue growth. He will provide a great compliment to our outstanding sales and programming leadership for our stations."
Kirshbom joins iHeartMedia Raleigh after previously serving as the Vice President and Market Manager for Cumulus in Memphis, Tennessee. He also served as Vice President and Market Manager for Entercom in Austin, Texas and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kirshbom began his career at WRNO in New Orleans and is a graduate of the University of New Orleans.
"iHeartMedia's Virginia/Carolina Region has assembled a world class winning team armed with all the innovative tools iHeartMedia has to offer," said Kirshbom. "I am proud and thrilled to call Raleigh my new home. Together, we will continue to raise the bar on delivering successful marketing solutions for our clients and serving our community."
Max Media/Norfolk Chooses Eastlan As Ratings Provider
"We needed a ratings system to again measure growth within our building," remarked Max Media Norfolk GM Keith Barton. "We feel Eastlan is a perfect alternative and costs a fraction of Nielsen."
Just up the road in Virginia, Centennial Broadcasting announced a long-term renewal with Eastlan in their Winchester/Leesburg and Fredericksburg clusters. Market Manager Mark Bass said, "We did extensive research before moving from Nielsen to Eastlan three years ago and discovered they have a lot of happy clients. Now after three years of experience using Eastlan, we find that contrary to what some would have lead us to believe, we've seen no negative impact or attrition from either our National, Regional or Local advertisers."
CRS Announces Morgan as President's Award Recipient
A Butler University graduate, Morgan has over 35 years of radio experience, the first 23 years with Susquehanna (now Cumulus) Radio, (WFMS/WJJK/WISG) in roles from Morning host to SVP/Market Manager. In 2007, Morgan joined the team at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, serving as President and COO of IMS Productions. In 2009, he returned to radio joining the Emmis team managing the Indianapolis cluster for seven years (WLHK, WIBC, WYXB, WFNI) and now the Emmis New York cluster (WBLS, WQHT, WLIB).
Morgan has been recognized for his leadership in radio, honored on multiple occasions as one of the top managers in radio, most recently in 2016. He's served the industry as President of the Board of the Country Radio Broadcasters and is a current Board Member of the Country Music Association, the New York Market Radio Group (NYMRAD), and the New York State Broadcast Association.
CRB/CRS President Kurt Johnson commented, "Charlie is simply one of the best at what he does. And he does a lot. It's hard to think of anyone who's made more impact as a leader across a diverse list of organizations in and around Country Radio, earning accolades at every step. He's been a fixture at CRB and CRS for years and is a good friend to artists, managers, labels, DJs... basically pro's in every part of Country music. Charlie personifies the spirit of CRS and I'm proud to give him the President's Award on behalf or the CRB Board."
iHeartMedia Seattle Names Mark Glynn Senior VP/Sales
"Mark has a successful track record in the Seattle market with strong established relationships," said Dove. "I look forward to working with him as we continue to leverage iHeartMedia Seattle's iconic station brands and unmatched market reach to build a robust sales strategy."
"I'm honored to be given the opportunity to lead the sales organization for iHeartMedia Seattle," added Glynn. "Audio is booming, and iHeartMedia Seattle is in a fantastic position to help advertisers get their messages heard by leveraging their eight iconic radio stations and lineup of superstar influencer talent."
Green Joins Sun & Fun Media as Chief Revenue Officer
Sun & Fun Media CEO/co-Founder Rob Koblasz said, "Dennis Green is one of the most respected, experienced and trusted affiliate sales executives in the radio industry, and we are thrilled that he is joining Sun & Fun Media as Chief Revenue Officer. With Dennis' considerable expertise in radio operations and network radio sales, we will be able to offer our affiliates more and better solutions exclusively for barter than ever before."
Green added, "I am excited to tackle my next challenge in the media world with Sun & Fun Media. This company has enjoyed a track record of success for 22 years and I look forward to helping lead the charge to expand the company's product offerings and grow its affiliate base. Thanks to Sun & Fun Media Co-Founders Rob Koblasz and Roger Fray for this opportunity. To all our current and soon-to-be affiliates: Prepare to be wowed."
Previously, Green was Head of Multimedia Syndication at Bloomberg in New York, and was also Director of Affiliate Sales and Operations, Illinois & Wisconsin Radio Networks. He holds a Master's degree in Sports Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. degree in Telecommunications/Political Science from Indiana University at Bloomington.