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Relevant Radio to Acquire 20 Stations from Salem Media Group


Relevant Radio
Relevant Radio

Relevant Radio has agreed to acquire twenty stations in ten markets across the U.S. from Salem Media Group for $16.95 million. Included in the deal are outlets in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Miami, San Antonio, St. Louis, Tampa and Youngstown, OH. SMG had said earlier that it would sell off some of its non-essential properties in an effort to reinvest in its more profitable stations.

Stations included in the deal are:

  • WAFS-AM (1190)/Atlanta
  • WWDJ-AM (1150)/Boston
  • KTNO-AM (1440)/Dallas
  • KTEK-AM (1110)/Houston
  • K241CM-FM (96.1)/Houston
  • KRDY-AM (1160)/San Antonio
  • KDMT-QAM (1690)/Denver
  • WSDZ-AM (1260)/St. Louis
  • K236CX-FM (95.1)
  • KXFN-AM (1280)/St. Louis
  • K287BY-FM (105.3)/St. Louis
  • WHKZ-AM (1440)/Youngstown
  • W298CX-FM (107.5)/Youngstown
Mark Jorgenson of Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage brokered the transaction.

FCC Settles Investigations Over the Misuse of EAS Tones


FCC
FCC

The FCC's Enforcement Bureau has announced a settlement with Meruelo Radio Holdings after the morning show on KDAY and KDEY/Los Angeles aired actual or simulated alert EAS tones in violation of the Commission's rules. The agency also reached settlements with a TV broadcaster and cable TV networks, where the companines will collectively pay over $600,000 in civil penalties, while each committed to a strict compliance plan to ensure such actions do not recur.

In the fall of 2017, Meruelo's KDAY and KDEY-FM included a simulation of an EAS attention signal in a promotion for its morning show. The promotion was broadcast 106 times on KDAY and 33 times on KDEY-FM's simulcast of KDAY. The company admitted to the violation, agreed to pay a $67,000 civil penalty and committed to a compliance plan.

The Enforcement Bureau has also released an Enforcement Advisory to reiterate existing law as it applies to the misuse of EAS tones. The use of actual or simulated EAS tones during non-emergencies and outside of proper testing or public service announcements is a serious public safety concern. The FCC's rules prohibit such broadcasting of EAS tones - including simulations of them - except during actual emergencies, authorized tests or authorized public service announcements.

These rules aim to protect the integrity of the alert system by helping to avoid confusion when the tones are used, alert fatigue among listeners, and false activation of the EAS by the operative data elements contained in the alert tones.

Veteran Radio Personality C.J. Morgan Dies at Age 63


CJ Morgan
CJ Morgan

Veteran radio personality C.J. Morgan, a morning host in New Orleans for nearly two decades, has died, reports wwltv.com. He was 63. Morgan's former station WQUE (Q-93) posted the news of his death Wednesday. Morgan spent nearly 15 years as the morning co-host on Q-93 and was known for the catchphrase, "Good Morgan! Good Morgan! Good Morgan!"

Morgan's former WQUE co-host Monica Pierre posted a Facebook: "He loved what he did. He was absolutely passionate about being on the air and connecting with audiences," she said. "He did so much prep work, an hour before the show and the moment the show ended, he would start working on the next morning's show."

wwltv.com's Dominic Massa wrote that Morgan, a native of Clarksdale, MS, attended Memphis State University as a music major and came to New Orleans market in the late 1980s after a successful run in Memphis. He also worked in radio in Tampa. Morgan later joined the talk radio staff at WBOK-AM in New Orleans. More recently, Morgan worked at WLOK/Memphis, where his career began.

Morgan is survived by his wife, three children and several grandchildren.

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NAB Launches 2019 Members of Congress Radio/TV PSAs


NAB
NAB

Public service announcements (PSAs) featuring members of Congress have been distributed to radio and television stations across the country through the 2019 NAB Congressional PSA Campaign. The program invites members of Congress and their families to be featured in free, professionally-produced spots that address issues of importance to their constituents. A total of 303 members of Congress (or their spouses or family members) participated in this year's PSA campaign.

"The NAB Congressional PSA Campaign provides legislators and their families an opportunity to share pro-social messages that can have a positive impact on communities across America," said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. "Local radio and TV broadcasters will be generously donating airtime for this initiative as part of our commitment to serving local communities."

The PSAs will air on local stations in congressional districts and/or states through the end of 2019. PSA topics include support for veterans, prescription drug/opioid abuse prevention, support for small businesses, cancer prevention, mental health awareness, and encouraging blood donations.

NAB has hosted the biannual campaign in off-election years since 1985.

Bentley Celebrates End of Summer with WWO Labor Day Special


Dierks Bentley
Dierks Bentley

Cumulus Media's Westwood One has announced that multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will host the network's annual "Workin' Hard Country" music special. This four-hour, end-of-summer program is available for stations to air over Labor Day weekend. Bentley will showcase work songs, summertime anthems and current hits along with tunes from Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Maren Morris, Keith Urban and other A-list Country stars. Many of the artists will also share stories about their pre-fame jobs.

Stations can air Westwood One's Workin' Hard Country with Dierks Bentley any time Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2, 2019, between 6:00 am and 12 midnight.

Bentley continues to be a dominant voice for the genre with over 6.4 billion overall digital streams. He's amassed countless nominations from the ACMs, CMAs, Billboard Music Awards and more while also earning 14 GRAMMY nominations. Additionally, Bentley will team up with Live Nation for his second annual three-day Seven Peaks Festival in Buena Vista, CO over Labor Day weekend.

Entravision to Host El Paso Strong Telethon on August 18


Entravision
Entravision

Entravision Communications will host the "El Paso Strong Telethon" to raise money for the victims and families of the tragic event on August 3. The telethon will take place on Sunday, August 18th, and be broadcast live 5-10:30pm MT from Entravision's broadcast center in El Paso, TX. It will air across El Paso's media properties: Univision KINT, La Suavecita 93.9 FM, La Tricolor 94.7 FM and The Fox 92.3 FM. The telethon will also be simulcast on Entravision's Univision station in Albuquerque, NM.

In addition, a three-hour live telethon broadcast will also take place from 6-9pm CT on Entravision's Univision Texas stations: McAllen, Midland-Odessa, San Angelo, Laredo, Lubbock and Corpus Christi.

The El Paso Strong Telethon will benefit the Paso del Norte Community Foundation's El Paso Victims Relief Fund. All donations will go directly to victims and their families. The broadcast will feature entertainment, live music, and El Paso community representatives, as well as other special guests.

"The tragic event in El Paso deeply impacted the local community and the entire country," said Entravision's Chairman.CEO Walter F. Ulloa. "On behalf of everyone at Entravision we would like to express our support for those impacted by this senseless tragedy. This telethon is a way for all of us to come together and support the El Paso Victims Relief Fund."

Auto, Insurance Advertisers Rise in First Part of 2019


Media Monitors
Media Monitors

There's definitely a car theme running through the latest advertiser rankings in radio, TV and cable. Just past the halfway mark of 2019, the top advertising categories are all related to driving: automotive dealers, insurance providers and fast casual-quick service restaurants. Home Depot, GEICO, Liberty Mutual and McDonald's aired the most spots thus far.

Local auto dealers revved up the number of radio spots they aired in the first several months of the year, finishing far ahead of any other category during the same period, according to Media Monitors' latest rankings of the top advertisers of 2019. The analysis covers the period from January 1, 2019, through July 31.

June's overall retail sales rise of 0.4% was driven by a 0.7% increase in auto sales, according to the Commerce Department. Car sales had a similar gain in May. To get their brand in front of interested consumers, insurance providers are right behind auto dealers in the number of spots they've aired this year. Local car and truck dealers led the way in the number of instances, focusing their advertising on both radio, where they broadcast the highest number of spots (7,659,729), and on TV, where they ranked 10th for instances (2,537,737).

At the same time, the insurance provider category ranked in the top three for each medium. Collectively, the advertisers aired most of their spots on cable (8,369,687), where the category ranked second. As a whole, they were number two in radio (5,280,802) and number three in TV (4,428,241).

The fast casual-quick service restaurant category ranked first among cable advertisers. The total number of spots for the segment was nearly 10 million. That achievement was accomplished by 156 advertisers. By comparison, the number two category was insurance, which aired 8,369,687 spots from nearly twice as many advertisers - 299.

iHeartMedia Q2 Revs Up 2.4% to $913.3 Million, Earnings Down


iHeartMedia
iHeartMedia

After emerging from Chapter 11 on May 1, 2019 with a streamlined capital structure, iHeartMedia reported second quarter revenue grew 2.4% to $913.3 million from $891 million in 2018. Excluding political revenue, revenue increased 3.9%. Digital revenue grew 32.8% year-over-year, while operating income of $181.6 million climbed 0.2%. Adjusted EBITDA gained 3.2% to $262.9 million. The company posted a net income of $38.7 million as compared to $11.1 million in the year-ago period.

"We successfully emerged from Chapter 11 on May 1, 2019 and are pleased that the restructuring process resulted in a capital structure that matches our successful operating business. We now have an iHeart business that will focus exclusively on increasing our lead as the number one audio company in the U.S. As demonstrated in our results, iHeartMedia's increased revenue and overall positive financial performance reflects the resilience and growth of our businesses and the value of our recent investments, particularly in podcasting and data and analytics," said President/COO and CFO Rich Bressler. "We are focused on building long-term shareholder value through a combination of operational and capital structure initiatives and we are prioritizing de-leveraging in our capital allocation policies."

Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman commented, "There are two segments of the audio sector -- radio, which provides companionship and connection when people want to join the world; and the music collection segment, which people use when they want to tune out and escape the world. As the leader in the radio, or companionship, segment of the audio sector, iHeartMedia uses its unparalleled reach and consumer connection to deliver a compelling experience for our audiences and revenue opportunities across our multiple platforms."

He continued, "As we look ahead, iHeartMedia intends to increase our share of radio advertising spend, participate in TV and digital advertising revenue pools, extend our leadership in podcasting and drive sponsorship revenue."

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iHeartMedia Indianapolis Debuts ''The New 97.5 KISS FM''


97.5 KISS FM
97.5 KISS FM

iHeartMedia Indianapolis flips Alternative W248AW-FM to the new "97.5 KISS FM" beginning Thursday at 5pm. As part of the launch, the new CHR outlet will will broadcast commercial-free. KISS will feature artists including Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone and Drake. An array of air personalities include KD, Rucker, Jake B and Catalina.

"We are thrilled that our listeners can now listen to their favorite songs and hit music that they love without commercial interruption," said iHeartMedia Indianapolis Senior VP/Programming Dave Hill. "97.5 KISS FM is going to energize our listeners and shakeup the Hit Radio/Top 40 landscape."

"We are thrilled to bring the KISS-FM brand to Indy," added Market President Brett Beshore. "The music, events and personalities featured on 97.5 KISS FM is the perfect formula and will contribute to building a great audience for our advertisers."

WWO Launches ''Steve Gorman Rocks!'' for Classic Rock Outlets


Steve Gorman
Steve Gorman

Cumulus Media's Westwood One has announced the launch of a new live weeknight show for Classic Rock radio, "Steve Gorman Rocks!" The five-hour program is hosted by The Black Crowes co-founder and former FOX Sports Radio personality. The program will launch on more than 20 stations on September 9 and will air live weeknights from 7pm-midnight, in all time zones across America.

Steve Gorman is the drummer and founding member of the iconic American rock band The Black Crowes. For three decades he has toured the world relentlessly, performing with artists who are mainstays of Classic Rock playlists today. Gorman will serve up a fresh take on Classic Rock radio, as the show will feature timeless CR music while weaving in his storytelling and perspective from the road and the main stage. The show will also have special guest artists and friends, up-to-the-minute information on concert tours and festivals, music news, and other topical lifestyle subjects.

"I've toured the world for over 25 years, leaving a small piece of my sanity at every stop," said Gorman. "Steve Gorman Rocks! is a natural extension of the life I've lived. I've got a unique perspective on the rock music we all love and plenty of stories to share. We're gonna have a blast."

"Steve brings current, relatable experiences from the rock world to the radio. The guy's really compelling," added Westwood One President of Programming Kirk Stirland. "With a foundation firmly planted in the rock music scene and real time use of social media and live interaction, Steve Gorman Rocks! will be a talked-about show on Classic Rock stations."

The program will alsp include audio and video content from April Rose, a well-known social media personality with more than two million followers. Executive producers for "Steve Gorman Rocks!" will be Troy Hanson, well-known rock radio programmer, who'll lead the production team, and Classic Rock radio expert Scott Jameson, from KQRS-FM/Minneapolis, who will program the music.

Veritone Inks Deal With ART19 for Ad Targeting in Podcasting


Veritone, Inc. has announced an agreement with ART19, a leading podcast hosting, content management, monetization, and measurement platform, to use aiWARE, making it possible for ART19's advertising partners to target ads based on the content of an individual podcast episode.

"ART19 knows podcast advertising works, and advertisers know that ads can be incredibly successful if they're reaching the right listeners at the right time," said Lex Friedman, chief revenue officer at ART19. "By adding aiWARE to our platform, we're empowering buyers to target ads to consumers based on the content of the episode they're listening to. Listeners appreciate contextual and relevant ads - and that means they pay more attention to them."

The ART19 sales team will be able to place contextually relevant advertisements within the podcast based on its subject matter. Programmatic digital audio ad serving generally allows advertisers to reach users based on a combination of targetable attributes derived from first-party and third-party user data (such as zip code, age, gender, device ID, or internet browsing behavior).

"We're always looking for powerful tools that benefit everyone in our ecosystem to keep pushing podcasting forward - for publishers, advertisers, and listeners alike," Friedman added. "aiWARE will lead to contextually relevant ads, which will serve publishers well in terms of revenue; yield great results for advertisers; and provide listeners with ads that feel native, custom, and in line with their interests."

iHeartRadio, Chelsea Handler Collaborate with Amazon Alexa


Life Will Be the Death of Me
Life Will Be the Death of Me

iHeartRadio has added a new Amazon Alexa skill. Now through August 23, Chelsea Handler fans can "wake up with Chelsea" by saying "Alexa, Good Morning." Once prompted, Alexa will share jokes and unique exchanges with comedian, best-selling author and podcaster Chelsea Handler. Fans can also listen to Chelsea Handler's iHeart Original podcast "Life Will be the Death of Me" anytime, simply by asking Alexa to play the show.

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NAB Opposes Petitions for Reconsideration of LPFM Rules


National Association of Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters

The National Association of Broadcasters is opposing the Petitions for Reconsideration filed by certain low power FM (LPFM) radio advocates of the Commission's recent order streamlining its rules regarding FM translator interference. The trade group says that "instead of raising any new evidence or arguments, the petitioners unfairly suggest that the Commission is somehow biased against LPFM service."

NAB says the Commission has "worked hard" to "balance the needs of translator, low power FM and full-service licensees." "It has crafted reasonable rules and policies for streamlining the resolution of translator interference conflicts that take into account the interests of all stakeholders, including LPFM licensees," NAB wrote in a FCC filing.

NAB submits that the Petitions should be dismissed as "the Petitioners have allowed their views on the Commission's priorities to cloud their judgment of the rational, even handed approach in the Order. Like many proceedings, the Order did not fully satisfy all the stakeholders. However, the Commission struck a reasonable balance overall that addressed the interests of translator, LPFM and FM licensees."

The major concerns filed by the Petitioners repeat arguments that were previously raised in comments on the NPRM in the proceeding, as well as in several other proceedings, which the Commission thoroughly considered in the Order. LPFM-C again claims that LCRA mandates equal regulation of translators and LPFMs, meaning that the creation of an outer interference contour limit for translators requires the Commission to provide LPFM stations with equivalent certainty.

The Commission fully addressed this issue in the Order, says NAB: "[We] clarify that establishment of an outer contour limit does not conflict with LCRA Section 5 because it is well-established that the LCRA does not require identical regulation of each secondary service." The trade group maintains that the Commission has considered this same question repeatedly, including in a recent NPRM that intends to "increase flexibility in siting while maintaining interference protection and the core LPFM goals of diversity and localism."

WWO News to Air Coverage of Woodstock's 50th Anniversary


Westwood One News
Westwood One News

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary music festival Woodstock in the summer of 1969 when four hundred thousand people converged on a local farm in upstate New York to hear 32 of the top musical acts of the time. Westwood One News will have full coverage all weekend, featuring correspondent Steve Kastenbaum reporting from Bethel Woods, NY and 50-year old sound from the Westwood One News archives.

In addition to this weekend's coverage, Westwood One will also celebrate Woodstock's golden anniversary with a half-hour special, "Woodstock: A Festival for the Ages." The news retrospective, hosted by correspondent Mike Moss, will run Labor Day weekend and will explore Woodstock's legacy with archived audio clips, news reports and interviews.

This special Westwood One News content is available to affiliated stations for unlimited use from Thursday, August 29 through Monday, September 2.

''Hollywood Unlocked w/Jason Lee'' Launches This Weekend


Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee
Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee

"Hollywood Unlocked with Jason Lee," a two-hour, original weekend program syndicated by Premiere Networks, launches this weekend on stations nationwide. Hosted by Hollywood Unlocked Founder/CEO Jason Lee, along with co-hosts Melyssa Ford and DJ Damage, this new show keeps listeners on the pulse of Hip Hop and pop culture. The special guest this week is Miami rap icon Trina, who opens up about "stripper rappers," having a lasting career and dating.

The program launches on August 17 and 18 on fifty iHeartMedia Urban Contemporary stations nationwide, including KRRL-FM (Real 92.3) in Los Angeles, WGCI-FM in Chicago, KQBT-FM (93.7 The Beat) in Houston, WRDG-FM (96.7 The Beat) in Atlanta, WUSL-FM (Power 99) in Philadelphia, WMIB-FM (103.5 The Beat) in Miami and WJLB in Detroit.

Additionally, the "Hollywood Unlocked Uncensored" podcast is available now on iHeartRadio.

ESPN's 30 For 30 Podcasts to Debut ''The Sterling Affairs''


30 for 30 Podcasts
30 for 30 Podcasts

The 30 for 30 Podcasts with The Undefeated will debut all five episodes from a new season of audio documentaries on Tuesday, August 20. "The Sterling Affairs" will examine the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, his rags to riches rise, his ultimate downfall, and how it all impacted the NBA. The series is reported on and hosted by ESPN Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne and produced by 30 for 30 and "The Undefeated." "The Sterling Affairs" were produced in collaboration with Western Sound.

The season features original in-depth interviews with Sterling's wife Shelly Sterling, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, legendary Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association Michele Roberts and NBA players Andre Iguodala and Blake Griffin, among others. "I grew up in Los Angeles and have lived and worked here most of my adult life," said Shelburne. "But I don't think I understood how power in this city truly worked until I started reporting on "The Sterling Affairs.' I thought I knew the whole story five years ago but after reporting and exploring the rich characters and overarching themes with the 30 for 30 Podcasts team, I can't believe how much deeper it goes."

ESPN Films and Original Content VP/Executive Producer Libby Geist added, "We were immediately drawn to Ramona's telling of this layered story, which is about so much more than one scandal. ‘The Sterling Affairs' is such an important example of 30 for 30 and The Undefeated bringing together sports and culture, providing context to a well-known event--or--man that we all think we know."

Episodes of "The Sterling Affairs" will be available on August 20. 30 for 30 Podcasts can be found on the ESPN App, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn and wherever podcasts are available.

KSU Football Continues Partnership with Dickey Broadcasting


Kennesaw State University and Dickey Broadcasting Company have extended their partnership to make WFOM Atlanta Sports X 106.3/103.7 the official home of KSU football for the 2019 season. The agreement makes Dickey Broadcasting Company and Atlanta Sports X the home of Kennesaw State football for the fourth consecutive year, the only radio station to cover the Owls since the program's inception in 2015.

Thanks to the generous support of Fifth Third Bank, the radio broadcasts will be presented by Fifth Third Bank for the entirety of the 2019 season. Fifth Third Bank will have a strong presence during radio broadcasts, including in-game interviews and halftime segments.

"We are thrilled to continue a partnership with Dickey Broadcasting Company thanks to the generous support of Fifth Third Bank," said Director of Athletics Milton Overton. "We have formed a tremendous partnership with David Dickey and his staff, and we look forward to continuing coverage of our championship football team on the radio sports leader in Atlanta."

Kennesaw State enters the 2019 season looking to become the first team in Big South history to win three consecutive outright conference championships. The Owls have won 10 straight league games and are once again the preseason favorite to capture the conference title.

"We are very excited to continue our great partnership with Milton Overton and Kennesaw State University," said President of Dickey Broadcasting David Dickey. "KSU is an important part of Dickey Broadcasting Company's growing sports-marketing platform-a platform that delivers more college football content than anything in the region. A big thanks goes to Randy Koporc, and all of the great people at Fifth Third Bank for their incredible support of this innovative partnership, and of KSU Athletics."

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Quick Snaps
Yea Networks: The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show took the opportunity to spread out across four of their affiliate markets last week for a Thursday Meet-Up with thousands of KiddNation members. Co-host Big Al Mack visited WDOD (Hits 96) in Chattanooga, TN, on August 8, where he was the guest of honor at the Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game. L-R: Big Al Mack and Brantley Bell of the Chattanooga Lookouts.

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