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Study: 13% of Radio Listeners Think Group Contests Are Bad

NuVoodoo Media Services recently completed 12th and latest NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study revealing that 38% of respondents were aware of the practice of group contesting among radio stations. Among those who are aware, 13% think they are bad. Among the larger population, the portion who think group contesting is bad dilutes to 5% overall -- translating to one listener in 20 who thinks group contesting is bad. The NuVoodoo study found that, while over half of likely PPM respondents are aware of group contests, the portion who think group contests are bad represent only 7% of likely PPM respondents overall.

NuVoodoo Media Services President Carolyn Gilbert said, "In these days of 10-digit dialing for local calls in many markets, many stations employ toll-free numbers for local contests. We know the on-air announcements dispatching the legal requirements of group contest disclosure are hardly as noticeable as the promos and liners talking about the size of the prizes and the frequency of giveaways. The result is clear: Only a little more than a third of radio listeners are aware of the practice of group contesting. That presents opportunities for stations on both sides of the contesting equation."

Executive VP/Research Analysis Services Leigh Jacobs added, "Among those listeners who are aware of group contesting, the majority don't care one way or another. Some even think it's good, perhaps due to the larger prizes offered or more frequent chances to win. It's only 13% of those aware of group contesting who think it's bad. Stations running group contests need to lean heavily on big prize money and frequent chances to win. Stations running local contests up against group contests need to aggressively promote that only local people are going to win."

Executive VP/Marketing Mike O'Connor said, "There are steps you can take to reap the biggest benefits if you're running a group contest, including trumpeting loudly the size of the prizes and the frequency of chances to win - Those things are music to the ears of contest actives. Also, stations that offer group contests should run lots of winner promos with a variety of excited voices helping to convey the idea that many people are winning, and their turn could be next."

O'Connor continued, "If yours is a local contest - and especially if you're competing against a massively-funded group contest - there are steps you should be taking, including heavily promoting that it's a local contest with all local winners. Use a local number for call-in-to-win games and include the word "local" in your contest solicitations and promos. Give local winners star treatment on air and in social media (including video of winners receiving oversized checks) with details about their specific part of town, their place of employment, and other information of interest to local listeners. Don't forget that you're also fighting the opinion some listeners have that contests are fake - that no one really wins. Showcase everything possible to underscore your winners are local."

NuVoodoo Ratings Prospect Study XII was fielded in June to over 3,000 radio listeners between the ages of 14 and 54 across all PPM-rated markets.

Fisher Named Brand Manager at KOAS and KVGS/Las Vegas

Kris Fisher
Kris Fisher
Beasley Media Group names Kris Fisher as the new Brand Manager at Rhythmic Oldies KOAS-FM (Old School 105.7) and Hot AC KVGS-FM (Star 107.9). He'll begin his new post on Monday, September 24. Fisher most recently served as the Program Director at Beasley Media Group's WHHD-FM (HD98.3) and WCHZ-FM (Hot 93.1/95.1) in Augusta, GA.

"We're thrilled that Kris will be joining our team in Las Vegas. After a lengthy nationwide search it is especially gratifying to be able to promote someone from within our company," said VP/Market Manager Dennis Gwiazdon. "HD98.3 and Hot 95.5/93.1 have achieved some of their highest ratings under his direction. I'm looking forward to watching Kris work his magic for us here."

"Kris is a star programmer with proven success in our company and I'm proud that he will now be leading our stations in Vegas," said Beasley Media Group Executive VP/Programming Justin Chase. "I have no doubt he will win!"

"I'm honored and thankful to be given this opportunity to take such a huge step in my career," added Fisher. "I began my radio journey with the purpose of having fun and seeing the world. This is going to be an incredible addition to that journey. Dennis and his staff have a great thing going and I'm beyond excited to join our Beasley fam in Las Vegas."

Geraldo Rivera Launches New Show on WTAM/Cleveland

Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera
iHeartMedia's News/Talk WTAM-AM/Cleveland welcomes Geraldo Rivera with the debut of his new show, "Geraldo in Cleveland," premiering Monday, September 24. The program will air weekday mornings from 9-10am. In addition, Rivera will host a weekly podcast for iHeartRadio. The FOX News correspondent-at-large will discuss a range of local and national headlines, including the latest business, political and pop culture news.

"Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM," said Rivera. "History put me here by random chance and now I am a part of this great city where I fell in love with my wife of 15 years, Erica Rivera. I will continue to work on a national level with Fox News, and I look forward to sharing conversations and perspective locally with you every day. This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship with WTAM, iHeartMedia, and most importantly -- you."

"Geraldo Rivera is a once-in-a-generation broadcaster, storied journalist and tireless philanthropist," said iHM North Ohio Region President Keith Hotchkiss. "Bringing Geraldo to WTAM and making him part of an already solid foundation of talk show hosts and performers helps chart a new path for the future of WTAM and redefines our position in the Cleveland community."

Rivera began his 48-year career as a television reporter at WABC-TV in New York and was a member of the original cast of ABC's "Good Morning America." He had an eight-year association with ABC's "20/20" as an investigative reporter and produced and hosted "The Geraldo Rivera Show" for 11 years. Prior to joining FOX News, Rivera served as host of CNBC's prime time show, "Rivera Live," where his coverage of the O.J. Simpson civil trial verdict set an all-time CNBC rating record. Rivera is a veteran foreign correspondent who has been on the frontlines of many international conflicts since 1973.

iHM has also added Jensen Lewis to the WTAM line-up. Lewis, a former pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and current television broadcast host for the team, will join Nick Camino and Mike Trivisonno on the newly formatted Sports Feed 2.0 program, weekdays from 6-7pm.

Sun & Fun Media Names Closson as Sr. Account Executive

Tim Closson
Tim Closson
Sun & Fun Media appoints sales and veteran radio broadcasting exec Tim Closson as Senior Account Executive for the company. Closson brings over 24 years in radio and nearly 14 years in media and related sales to the company. He was previously Manager/Affiliate Sales for Country & Sports at Westwood One, a post he'd since 2014. Prior to that, Closson was a Media Sales Consultant for Time Warner Cable Media.

Closson was inducted into the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2017, in recognition of his contributions to Country Radio in positions including OM/PD at WUBE-WYGY/Cincinnati and VP/Country Programming for AMFM, Inc./Chancellor Media with oversight of stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis, Houston, Washington DC and Cincinnati. Closson was also Operations Manager for the Cincinnati Bengals radio network for Chancellor Media.

Sun & Fun Media Co-Founder/CEO Rob Koblasz said, "Tim is a Hall of Fame radio programmer and a seasoned sales executive with a deep understanding of what it takes to deliver ratings and revenue for stations. He will be an invaluable resource for our station affiliates."

Sun & Fun Media Chief Revenue Officer Dennis Green added, "It is a pleasure to welcome Tim Closson to the Sun & Fun Media team. As we look to grow our affiliate base and portfolio of products and services for stations, Tim's experience and track record will lend itself to success in our future ventures. When you have the chance to add a Hall of Famer to your team, it's a no-brainer! He will help us raise our game with our core business and development of new products for our current and future affiliates."

Closson said, "I'm honored and excited to join the team at Sun & Fun Media. Rob Koblasz and Roger Fray have built a tremendous company with a fantastic 22 year track record. And to be back working with Dennis Green (who hired me at WWO), we're poised for even more success... For me, it's like coming home."

Paul J Schneider to Retire from KBOI Boise After 51 Years

Paul J Schneider
Paul J Schneider
After 51 years, Paul J Schneider has announced his retirement from KBOI-AM (NewsTalk 670)/Boise, ID. After waking up the Treasure Valley for over five decades, Schneider has decided it is time to sleep in. He started his career at KBOI in June, 1967 shifting to radio in 1976. During the early years, Schneider anchored the TV news and voiced the television replay of BSU football. From there he was quickly ushered in as the radio play-by-play voice for Boise State football and basketball which he held from 1973 to 2008.

His radio career has spanned the encyclopedia of Treasure Valley history and during his career enjoyed one of the country's largest radio audience shares as a part of "Dunn & Schneider" which aired from 1973 to 1993. Since 2001 Schneider has hosted "Idaho Talks Live" with Chris Walton and throughout his career, he and his morning partners have been at the top of station ratings.

Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, who has been a frequent guest on Schneider's shows as a state legislator, Congressman, Lt. Governor and Governor, said, "I have appreciated Paul J Schneider's wit and wisdom as a mainstay on KBOI for almost my entire career in government. I have enjoyed waking to his commentary and his thought provoking analysis of the day's most pressing issues. I always looked forward to hearing his play-by-play calling duties for so many years as the 'Voice of the Broncos.' I especially appreciated his counsel and the great friendship we have developed over the years."

"I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday. I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV," said Schneider.

His storied radio career has seen plenty of benchmark moments, including but not limited to the first radio interview with President Richard Nixon in 1972 after Watergate; covering the prison riots at the Idaho Penitentiary in 1971 and 1973; and calling Boise State Football's first trip to the Fiesta Bowl in 2007.

Over 51 Years, Schneider has amassed several awards. Winner of over 50 Idaho State Broadcasting Association awards, Idaho Thoroughbred Horse Racing Hall of Fame, Citadel Broadcasting Legend Award, awarded Boise's Key to the City in 2017, and most recently, a 2018 Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.

Analyticowl Debuts Broadcast Predictive Attribution Tool

AnalyticOwl announces the launch of NumericOwl, a predictive attribution benchmark tool that helps advertisers and media companies predict response levels to aired commercials. It's based on real-world data and analysis derived by AnalyticOwl over the past three years by tracking billions of website and search traffic responses to some 10 million commercials on a minute-by-minute basis. The analysis is across key categories such as Automotive, Healthcare, Home Services, Financial Services, Legal and Retail.

The resulting benchmarks, the company says, helps set advertiser expectations as to potential campaign response by market size, day, daypart, station and station format, and as a result, create a framework to evaluate budgets and return on investment (ROI). Importantly, if campaign performance is not in line with NumericOwl benchmarks, the AnalyticOwl dashboard will provide a roadmap for optimization to ensure increased response and engagement.

AnalyticOwl Founder David Ballinger said, "We're excited to add another industry first for broadcast and consider this one of the holy grails of attribution data especially when used with AnalyticOwl's core optimization and broadcast analytics tool. In a few short years, and with the help of our media partners, we've not only become the leader of broadcast attribution analytics but also have been challenged by media groups to develop cutting-edge tools to prove the value and ROI of broadcast advertising, which, as our data shows, is an incredible opportunity in advertising today."

AnalyticOwl also announced that Townsquare will be one of the first to use the tool with its account executives. "We're excited to be one of the first media companies to utilize this incredible data set that has not existed in radio before today," said Townsquare Media Co-CEO Bill Wilson. "This new tool allows us to leverage historical campaign performance to the benefit of existing clients as well as expand opportunities with potential partners across all industries."

Local Media of Townsquare Media COO Erik Hellum added, "It is exciting that we can now leverage broadcast-specific data sets to show predictive benchmarks for advertisers across any industry, any market size, as attribution data continues to be a priority for both broadcasters and advertisers."

WLAC/Nashville Adds FM Simulcast, Expands TN Star Report

iHeartMedia Nashville adds a simulcast of WLAC-AM (TalkRadio 1510) on 98.3, flipping 250W W252CM-FM from a Country simulcast of WSIX (The Big 98), effective immediately. The 98.3 FM signal can be heard across southern portions of the Nashville area, including Williamson County and the Franklin area. WLAC will also air on WSIX-FM-HD2 and continue to broadcast on 1510 AM. The station features conservative talk as well as news, traffic and weather updates and serves as the flagship for Vanderbilt Commodore football and men's basketball.

In addition, WLAC's "Tennessee Star Report" has expanded and will now air from 5-8am, effective immediately. Steve Gill will continue to host the program weekday mornings with Tennessee Star Executive Editor Michael Patrick Leahy.

"I'm thrilled that TalkRadio WLAC can now be heard on the FM dial," said iHeartMedia Nashville Region President Dan Endom. "Listeners will now be able to hear Steve Gill, Glenn Beck, Rush, Hannity, and Dave Ramsey on crystal clear FM sound."

"It's been great being back on the air in Nashville over these last few weeks," added Gill. "Adding a big booming FM signal on WLAC will be a great opportunity for us to reach voters in the final month of this election season and we will be right in the thick of things."

Adams Radio Launches ''US98.5'' in Salisbury-Ocean City

Adams Radio Group flips its former Classic Rock frequency in Salisbury-Ocean City, MD, to Country as the new "US 98.5 Everything Country." The new format will be consulted by Keith Hill. Recently, Adams moved Classic Rock WGBG-FM from 98.5 to a new 25,000-watt signal at 107.7 that had previously been broadcasting Country. US98.5 is launching commercial free and it intends to play at least 50,000 songs before adding full commercial content.

"Salisbury-Ocean City has needed a country station like US 98.5 for a very long time. I am excited to be leading the effort to bring listeners a wider variety of country from Garth Brooks to today. Music that really is country too," said Hill.

Adams CEO Ron Stone added, "I could not be happier than to have Keith Hill programming this new station. No one else could be a better fit. After a lot of research, we determined our best opportunity for success was country on 98.5, a signal that serves the market very well. Salisbury-Ocean City needs a country format that does not ignore the best country of all time. The market is in for a real treat with US 98.5."

WPST/Trenton Names Joe Hyer Director of Digital Strategy

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media CHR WPST-FM/Trenton, NJ, appoints Joe Hyer as Director of Digital Strategy. Most recently, Hyer was with Entercom's National Content team in Philadelphia, where he handled content for AC and CHR outlets and Radio.com. Previously, he spent five years with Townsquare as a Regional Content Strategist of its digital content team ando led development of format-specific content for Townsquare markets across the country. Hyer has also held weekend duties at News/Talk WOBM-AM/Lakewood, NJ.

EMF to Acquire WPFM/Panama City from Powell Broadcasting

Educational Media Foundation (EMF) has agreed to acquire 54kW CHR WPFM-FM (107.9)/Panama City, FL, from Powell Broadcasting LLC. Terms were not immediately disclosed. Powell Broadcasting is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Powell Group and owns radio stations in Panama City and Sioux City, IA. EMF is a not-for-profit organization based in Rocklin, CA, that operates the K-LOVE and Air1 radio networks. Kalil & Co. brokered the transaction.

Candy Cintron Appointed PD of El Zol 107.9 Washington DC

Candy Cintron
Candy Cintron
Entercom appoints veteran programmer Candy Cintron as PD for WLZL-FM (El Zol 107.9)/Washington DC, effective immediately. She previously held the roles of Assistant Program Director and morning show producer for the station since 2015. Cintron joined the Spanish outlet in 2009. Cintron was also a 2018 mentee in Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group's 2018 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program.

"Candy has invested close to a decade of her career in making El Zol a vital, vibrant voice in DC's Hispanic community," said Entercom Washington DC Senior VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary. "This promotion honors her past, present and, most importantly, her future contributions to the El Zol legacy."

"It has been a pleasure working alongside the amazing professionals at El Zol," added Cintron. "I look forward to leading us into the next chapter of success and to continuing to engage with our vibrant, culturally rich and diverse community."

Alpha Media/Portland Names Tony Howard Interactive SM

Tony Howard
Tony Howard
Alpha Media/Portland, OR, names Tony Howard as Interactive Sales Manager, effective October 1. Most recently, Howard was VP of Sales & Affiliate Partnerships for Clip Interactive where he managed teams responsible for educating, training and supporting sellers from 600 U.S. affiliates. He's also worked for Tribune's KRCW-TV, CBS Radio and the former Clear Channel Radio (iHeartMedia).

Portland VP/Sales Amy Leimbach stated, "I've had the opportunity to work with Tony Howard when he was at CBS Radio and again when he handled affiliate partnerships at Clip Interactive. Tony is creative, competitive and has a drive to succeed, all qualities that correlate with Alpha's core values. I am looking forward to having Tony join the Alpha Portland team."

Senior VP/Market Manager Lisa Decker commented, "We are delighted to have Tony join the Alpha team to work with our clients to maximize their marketing results."

"I'm very excited and honored to be joining the Alpha Media team. Alpha Media is a creative and innovative thinking company that handles business in an authentic way. I'm very proud to become a part of this team and help to continue their vision," said Howard.

SoCast Introduces Digital Ad Platform for Radio Revenue

SoCast has launched SoCast Ads, a digital revenue advertising platform that company says can bring more and new dollars to radio. The platform enables the sale and management of online display, video and mobile across a station's digital assets. SoCast Ads uses data from a radio outlet's digital channels (web, app, social, etc.), along with extensions to other relevant digital ad platforms, to drive multiple revenue solutions for local advertisers. Forcht Broadcasting and Renda Broadcasting in the U.S. and Acadia Broadcasting in Canada have already signed on.

"We believe radio is poised to take its share of growing digital ad dollars, and the SoCast Ads platform opens that revenue stream," stated SoCast CEO Elliott Hurst. "By extending digital advertising offerings beyond its own assets, radio can deliver the full-service marketing expertise that local advertisers need."

"Radio sellers have to become digital marketing specialists," added SoCast COO Sandy Hurst. "There's more to selling digital advertising than the usual ‘spots and dots,' and radio sellers need to be equipped with best-in-class tools and know-how to help advertisers develop local campaigns across broadcast and digital platforms."

SoCast also includes digital ad selling and management tools, weekly campaign reports, geo-targeting and geo-fencing capabilities, strict advertiser brand safety measures and more. It was created specifically for radio and offers a suite of integrated products that can be customized to meet a broadcaster's specific needs. The SoCast one-dashboard-publishing model makes it easy for broadcasters to manage their digital content and ad campaigns across websites, mobile, smart speakers, video, audio and social.

iHM/West Michigan Ups WBCT PD Taft to SVP/Programming

Dave Taft
Dave Taft
iHeartMedia/West Michigan elevates Country WBCT-FM (B-93.7)/Grand Rapids PD Dave Taft to Senior VP/Programming duties for the company's West Michigan region, including Grand Rapids and Muskegon. He'll continue as WBCT's PD, a role he's handled since September, 2009, after serving as Assistant PD/MD, then interim PD of WBCT. He previously handled Operations Manager duties for then Clear Channel's co-owned cluster in Muskegon, and PD responsibilities at the former WSHZ-FM (Star 108).

Concurrently, Sports WMAX-FM (96.1 ESPN)/Grand Rapids Assistant PD and afternoon co-host Jim Costa is upped to Program Director. He replaces News/Talk WOOD-AM & FM and News/Talk WTKG-AM PD Phil Tower.

"Dave is an incredible programmer," said Regional Senior VP/Programming Tony Travatto. "He's got the perfect blend of expertise to grow our listeners and clients, and we know he will continue to dominate the media market in West Michigan with our team."

BMG CEO Beasley Unveils ''Beyond the Business'' Podcast

Beyond The Business
Beyond The Business
Beasley Media Group announces CEO Caroline Beasley recently interviewed Dr. Shawn DuBravac, author of the New York Times best seller "Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live and Communicate" (Regnery, 2015), during a two-part interview for her new podcast entitled "Beyond the Business." For over a dozen years, DuBravac served as chief economist for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer tech companies and owner and producer of CES.

"Podcasting is an area of growth in the audio space that I am personally very passionate about as we continue to grow as a company," said Beasley. "It was such a privilege to speak with Shawn and hear his valuable thoughts about the future role of smart cities, the transformation of automotive industry and more."

Shawn DuBravac is a well-regarded futurist and trendcaster who writes frequently on disruptive technological shifts. He advises companies and C-level executives on market opportunities and industry strategy. He is president and founder of Astra Insights which provides consulting, research and advisory services to CxOs on a myriad of topics including digital transformation strategies, business model disruptions, the pace of technological change and overcoming myopic thinking.

To download the first of the two-part interview session, go to www.bbgi.com.

WWO Collaborates with AP News Network for Ad Sales Rep

Westwood One
Westwood One
Westwood One has formed a collaboration with The Associated Press (AP) and its shortform news network for ad sales representation of their bartered breaking news wire service, photos, video, web content, sports scores, datasets and audio bites, among others. AP, which already has a presence on scores of stations across the country, offers audio news services for broadcast, podcast or live stream. AP is expanding its barter services in 2019, including its Presidential Campaign Kit.

"AP is very pleased to have our diverse content set and affiliate list represented by Westwood One in the advertising marketplace. Westwood One has a rich history of providing consumers relevant news talk, entertainment and sports programming." said The Associated Press VP/Local Media Michael Fabiano.

Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer added, "Westwood One has had a long relationship with the AP, and with our entry into the short duration ad market they were a natural partner."

Vipology Signs Major Market Groups in Smart Speaker Space

Vipology inks long-term partnerships with broadcasters Local Media San Diego, Leighton Broadcasting, Auburn Network Inc., Dickey Broadcasting Company, Big Thicket Broadcasting and Mapleton Broadcasting to utilize VS3 (Vipology Smart Speaker System) via Amazon's Alexa. VS3 details user data such as Sessions, TSL, Reach & Frequency and user locations to identify Hot Zips for programming and sales.

Vipology CEO Chris Peaslee said, "We're attracting the most forward thinking radio groups in the country because of our smart speaker system, VS3. Our industry leading sales capabilities have resulted in 1100% ROI for our partners. VS3 also generates incredible real time user data that supports programming and sales."

Inner Harbor Media/Syracuse, NY, VP/Station Manager Sam Furco added, "WOLF FM Syracuse listeners now listen nearly 3 hours per session, and we've increased our streaming TSL by 18% in just the last 60 days! We're on track to have more Vipology VS3 users than mobile app users."

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Quick Snaps
Premiere Networks: ''The Woody Show,'' which originates from iHeartMedia's KYSR-FM (ALT 98.7)/Los Angeles and syndicated by Premiere Networks, welcomed Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins in studio this week. The bandmates discussed a wide range of topics, including how they met, the evolution of Rock music and the upcoming Foo Fighters-curated Cal Jam 18 festival. L-R: Dave Grohl, Woody and Taylor Hawkins.