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Chad Heritage Joins Cumulus/Memphis to Program WGKX/WKIM

Chad Heritage
Chad Heritage

Cumulus Media has appointed Chad Heritage as Program Director for Country radio station WGKX-FM/KIX 106 and for Adult Contemporary station WKIM-FM (98.9 The Bridge) in Memphis, TN. Heritage imports from iHeartMedia, where he was National Brand Coordinator since 2009 and Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia, Little Rock, AR, since 2006. He also served as Program Director of KSSN/KMJX for the past 23 years. Under his leadership, his stations have won multiple CMA Radio Station of the Year for Medium Market awards.

"I'm beyond excited to join the extremely talented Cumulus team in Memphis," said Heritage. "I grew up listening to the legendary Kix 106, so this is truly a dream come true for me."

"We knew Chad was a good match the first time we talked to him," said Morgan Bohannon, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Memphis. "He's from the region, has had a very successful programming career and is the perfect fit to lead one of America's best Country brands with KIX-106. He's just the perfect fit for us and we're excited about his joining the Cumulus team in Memphis."

"Chad is the winning team member we've been looking for and I am excited to work with him as well as learn from him," said Danni Bruns, Operations Manager, Cumulus Memphis.

97.1 The Ticket Renames Studio to Honor Jamie Samuelsen

Entercom WXYT 97.1 The Ticket's Detroit broadcast studio will be renamed "The Samuelsen Studio" in honor of the late Jamie Samuelsen. The former station veteran and morning show host passed away from colon cancer on August 1.

"Jamie meant so much to our station and was a key part of our listeners lives," said Debbie Kenyon, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Detroit. "We want to honor him in a special way, not only as a great broadcaster, but an extraordinary person. We hope the renaming of the studio will serve as a way to keep his memory alive and add to his incredible legacy here in Detroit."

Samuelson was diagnosed with colon cancer in January 2019 and advocated for listeners to schedule colonoscopies during his final broadcast on July 27.

Clark Atlanta University Launches Partnership with Entercom

Clark Atlanta University has announced a strategic partnership with Entercom to provide students a unique and unprecedented opportunity to gain access to one of the nation's leading media and entertainment companies. The partnership will expose students to top representatives in programming, sales, administration, and on-air talent, among others. Additionally, it will create a pipeline for future job opportunities.

The initiative launches with a private, virtual event for students on Wednesday, September 30 at 7 pm EDT. Attendees include: Clark Atlanta University President George T. French and Entercom Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David Field.

"This is an exciting opportunity for our scholars," said George T. French Jr., Ph.D. president of Clark Atlanta University. "Partnerships with media conglomerates such as Entercom is a continuation of Clark Atlanta University's Mass Media Arts Department's legacy and dedication to ensuring our students are prepared and globally competitive in the communications industry."

Mass Media Arts (MMA), the second largest department in the School of Arts & Sciences, offers degree programs in Radio/Television/Film, Journalism and Public Relations with graduates excelling in many industries and professions. One of the department's key goals is to provide students with a learning environment that merges scholarly content with real-world opportunities. This relationship with Entercom is another pathway to the school accomplishing this objective.

"I am a huge advocate of students learning inside and outside of the classroom," said Garry Yates, interim chair of Clark Atlanta University Mass Media Arts. "We are committed to preparing our students to excel, whether they choose to be academicians or practitioners. We're ecstatic to establish this channel that will give them coveted access to such a media powerhouse like Entercom."

"This partnership with Clark Atlanta University builds on our focus to create a more inclusive and diverse team and workplace," said Rick Caffey, senior vice president and market manager for Entercom Atlanta. "We're excited to share our resources and insights in the form of real-world learning, beginning with this first virtual event on the future of audio."


Legendary Singer/Songwriter Mac Davis Dead at 78

Mac Davis
Mac Davis

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Member Mac Davis has passed away at age 78. Some of his most legendary hits as an artist include, "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me," "Naughty Girl," "Texas In My Rear View Mirror," and "Hooked On Music."

As a songwriter, Davis penned hits for artists such as Nancy Sinatra, Elvis Presley, B.J. Thomas, Bobby Goldsboro, Vicki Carr, Perry Como, and many more. While living in California, Davis began acting, appearing in The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard In Hollywood, Murder She Wrote, Where The Red Fern Grows, Beer For My Horses, and more. Davis was not only a poetic prodigy, but a friend to many in the music and entertainment industry.

Fellow artists mourn the loss of their friend and share fond memories that have left them forever inspired by the timeless, Mac Davis.

"American music has just lost a premiere singer, songwriter, entertainer, and a genuinely great human being. In a year already fraught with sacrifice and loss this is another one that is hard to process. Goodbye Mac Davis... until the day... " - Joe, Duane, William Lee, Richard - The Oak Ridge Boys

"Mac Davis was such a great guy and an amazing writer. One of the best in the business and a wonderful friend. This is a huge loss to the music industry. His family is in my prayers." - B.J. Thomas

"There's no way to express the grief that we feel about Mac Davis. The entertainment industry will miss this great talent and beautiful American. We pray for his family and those that love him" - Lee Greenwood

"This is another loss for the greatest era in American contemporary music with the passing of this extremely talented soul, Mac Davis" - Sam Moore

"I cherish the tours I had with Mac Davis and was thrilled to work the Nevada casinos with him. He made a huge impact in our world of country music, and greatly respected. Love you Mac." - Janie Fricke

"We've just lost one of the greatest singer/songwriters that I've known in my lifetime. Say Hello To Heaven Mac Davis." - David Frizzell

"I'm so very heartbroken with the loss of Mac Davis, one of the world's greatest writers, singers, and actors, but above all of that, he was a dear friend. He was always quick to shed light on other's talents and help them shine. I'm grieving for his precious wife Lise and their family. I pray God will comfort her during this very sad and difficult time. I'll always cherish the memories he pressed between the pages of my mind." - Kelly Lang

"Mac Davis was a music trifecta: he could write, he could sing, he could entertain-and he was great at all three. In the mid-'70s, I remember inching up to the television as a boy and watching the Mac Davis Show. My favorite part of the show was when Mac ventured into the crowd and asked the audience members to shout out a person, place, or thing. He then asked them to give him a scenario, and on the spot, he would make up a song. No wonder he became a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It was a big moment for me when I met and worked with my hero years later. The last time I saw Mac we were in the studio together and he was singing me one Beatles' song after another as his alter ego Max Birnbaum. I laughed until I cried. Mac had a wicked sense of humor. He will be missed. We have lost one of the greats." - Tim Atwood

"I came across Mac Davis telling a story about Elvis. He'd been invited to see a movie with Elvis at a theater. He told the story in such a warm and funny way that I watched him tell it several times and actually wished I could have met him. Then I learned that he wrote the song "Memories" and I was really moved. This is such a beautiful, incomparable song that words can't express my admiration for it. Here's to Mac Davis. You were a Good Ol Boy for sure and I sure wish I could have met you for a beer or two." - Don McLean

"I am praying for my friend Mac Davis and his family. I can't believe this and will see you on the other side. I love you Mac!" - Johnny Lee

Key Networks to Manage Ad Sales/Ops for Clear Media Network

Key Networks has entered into an exclusive partnership agreement with Clear Media Network to manage all network advertising sales and network advertiser inventory operations for the new 24/7 music radio network. The Dallas-based Clear Media Network was launched on September 1, 2020, and offers AC, Country and Adult R&B formats that are uniquely positioned, formatted and dynamically programmed for the unique needs of the independent radio operator.

Mark McCray, President of Programming and Operations, Clear Media Network, was most recently VP/Programming and Operations for Radio One/Dallas and Reach Media, and has network programming experience at ABC Radio Networks and the Texas State Network. Gary Spurgeon, COO, Clear Media Network, is a 42-year broadcasting veteran who was most recently SVP at Salem Media and prior to that, was VP/GM for Radio One/Houston.

Rich Baum, EVP, Ad Sales, Key Networks, said, "Mark McCray and Gary Spurgeon have a tremendously successful track record in radio management at both the local and network levels and their Clear Media Network's 24/7 music products have already been cleared in two Top 20 markets. That speaks volumes to their credibility and the value of their network product to local stations nationwide. Key Networks is thrilled to partner with them as they build out their network going forward."

"We are excited about having Rich Baum and the team at Key Networks represent our new music network," said Gary Spurgeon, COO of Clear Media Network. "This partnership will only enhance our market position and affiliate opportunities."

Gen Media Partners Creates IBA Radio Sales Rep Firm

Independent Broadcasters Association and Gen Media Partners
Independent Broadcasters Association and Gen Media Partners

The Independent Broadcasters Association (IBA) and Gen Media Partners (GMP) have announced the formation of IBA Radio Sales, a national sales and marketing team under Gen Media Partners, exclusively for IBA members.

"IBA membership has been growing exponentially, stated IBA President Ron Stone. "To date, we have 900 members and more stations are joining every day. The number one request from prospective IBA members from our survey, conducted a few weeks ago while we were gauging interest for an IBA, was 'we want our own rep firm.' This opportunity with Gen Media Partners, known for successfully representing independent broadcasters in all size markets, is the ideal national sales partner to represent IBA member stations with this creation of a rep firm dedicated solely to IBA members."

He added, "Our goal is for every independent operator to join IBA and reap the benefits of being represented by IBA Radio Sales. The Board and I are very excited about working with Gen Media Partners to build our national sales platform and the opportunities IBA Radio Sales will bring to our members."

"This is an incredible opportunity for Gen Media Partners and for IBA member stations," said Gen Media Partners CEO Kevin Garrity. "Gen Media Partners was built on the strength of independent broadcasters and creating IBA Radio Sales is a natural extension of that. Uniting as members of the Independent Broadcasters Association, owners and operators retain their independence while gaining the advantages of scale, allowing them to compete more effectively with large corporations. I encourage every independent broadcaster to contact Ron about joining IBA to take advantage of the significant benefits that membership provides, including the IBA Radio Sales national platform."

DeYoung Celebrates 35 Years in WPOC/Baltimore Mornings

Laurie DeYoung
Laurie DeYoung

Veteran radio personality Laurie DeYoung celebrated her 35th anniversary as morning host of "The Laurie DeYoung Show" on WPOC-FM/Baltimore Tuesday morning. She's been a staple of the Baltimore Radio scene throughout her career since she began broadcasting on the Country outlet in 1985. DeYoung has been nominated for multiple radio industry awards over the years, including being inducted into the Country Radio Hall of Fame in 2010 and named CMA Large Market Personality of 1994 and CMA Major Market Personality in 2014.

Additionally, DeYoung has interviewed many Country music icons over the years, including Dolly Parton, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood and more. For more than three decades, she has also maintained an unmatchable relationship with her local listeners, Country music industry tastemakers and artists.

Westwood One Renews Partnership with ''Chris Plante Show''

The Chris Plante Show
The Chris Plante Show

Cumulus Media's Westwood One has signed a new deal with Chris Plante which keeps "The Chris Plante Show" on the network for several more years. The program offers listeners the inside word on the day's top news stories with insight and a unique sense of humor. The broadcast is heard weekdays from 9am-noon ET and airs live from Washington, DC, on 130 stations including WLS-AM/Chicago, WMAL-FM/Washington DC, WHBO-AM/Tampa and KCMO-AM/Kansas City.

"WWO is excited to renew our partnership with Chris, as his unique perspective and strong journalistic background create an invaluable listening experience for his loyal fans," said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. "As we enter one of the most interesting and impactful elections of our time, it is more important than ever to provide the insights that inform a nation that is hungry for information."

"I could not be more thrilled to be on the best radio network in the best nation in the world in these most extraordinary of times," added Plante.


Podtrac Issues Weekly Podcast Data through September 27


Podtrac reports that podcast downloads were up 4% over the previous week and up 49% over the corresponding period last year for the week of September 21-27. The True Crime category showed the largest week-over-week download growth at 9%, while the Business category showed the lowest week-over-week download growth at 1%.

Download growth for the 52-week period from September 23, 2019 to September 27, 2020 was up 49% across all Podtrac measured podcasts. Downloads increased +16% for Arts, +41% for Business, +38% for Comedy, +16% for Education, +22% for History, +88% for News, +30% for Science, +27% for Society & Culture, +53% for Sports, and +41% for True Crime.

Week-over-week download growth for the week of September 21-27 was +6% for Arts, +1% for Business, +3% for Comedy, +5% for Education, +3% for History, +4% for News, +7% for Science, +7% for Society & Culture, -2% for Sports, and +9% for True Crime.

Learfield IMG College, The Solid Verbal Ink Relationship

The Solid Verbal
The Solid Verbal

Concurrent with the 2020 college football season, "The Solid Verbal" podcast inks a new, integrated relationship with Learfield IMG College, which represents the athletics multimedia rights to nearly 200 schools and conferences across the country. Hosts Ty Hildenbrandt and Dan Rubenstein have a dedicated audience affectionately known as "Verballers" who have helped fuel the podcast's national presence since its August, 2008 launch. Additionally, Hildenbrandt and Rubenstein will launch new programming and podcast products under "The Solid Verbal" banner.

"We're ecstatic to be working with the team at Learfield IMG College to grow 'The Solid Verbal' and reach more college football fans than ever before," said Hildenbrandt. "This is great news for our avid community of Verballers, and it gives us the opportunity to introduce entirely new podcasts to our lineup and present multiple avenues for new growth."

Rubenstein added, "We're especially excited to stretch our creative muscles even more as we enter into this agreement to continue to give our listeners what they crave most -- never-ending college football talk and alarmingly consistent incorrect game picks."

Hildenbrandt and Rubenstein will make appearances across Learfield IMG College's network of radio, satellite and digital channels, including College Sports Now channel on TuneIn, and the College Football Blitz and College Football Rewind shows terrestrially and on TuneIn and SiriusXM.

"We're constantly innovating our products and content by identifying new ways we can connect with fans and also connect with sponsors who invest in college sports and understand that undeniable passion and affinity," said Learfield IMG College EVP/Managing Director of Media and Partnerships Group Rick Barakat. "With their established audience and brand equity, it makes sense to bring Ty and Dan into our strategic growth plans to further build out our Learfield IMG College podcast network, by curating something really special for fans. We both bring certain collaborative elements to the table that provide benefits and synergies to each party."

K-FROG/Riverside to Honor Route 91 Harvest Festival Victims

Entercom Riverside and K-FROG (KFRG-FM) is inviting listeners to remember those who lost their lives as a result of the Route 91 Harvest Festival tragedy in 2017. To honor the victims and the survivors who still live with the trauma, K-FROG will host a virtual candlelight vigil via Facebook Live.

The free event, Thursday, October 1 at 8:00p.m. PT, will also include a reading of the victims' names.

iHeartMedia Launches News Podcast for Kids

iHeartMedia has announced the launch of "The Ten News," an iHeartRadio Original Podcast hosted by comedian and storyteller Bethany Van Delft. Intended for kids ages 8-12, "The Ten News" premieres today and presents topical news stories in a brief, informative, and entertaining ten minutes. The podcast is produced by Small But Mighty Media and Next Chapter Podcasts and is distributed by The iHeartPodcast Network.

"I'm excited to be part of a show that's not only cool and fun to listen to, but speaks to kids as smart and curious people," said Van Delft. "‘The Ten News' helps amplify kids' voices and empowers them to take action."

Publishing every Tuesday and Thursday, "The Ten News" will explore topics kids care about including current events, sports, science, gaming, pop culture, entertainment, and more.

Episodes will highlight stories from kids who are driving positive change around the world-from 15-year-old LGBTQ activist Ewan Barker Plummer to teen activist and founder of Earth Uprising, Alexandria Villasenor-and include interviews with experts as diverse as James Carville, American political consultant, and Caron Butler, NBA champion and author. From the Black Lives Matter Movement to the impact of COVID-19 on the climate, "The Ten News" breaks down complex topics and makes them accessible to kids.

"There shouldn't be such a glaring gap when it comes to news for kids that gives them context about what's going on in the world and is still entertaining," said Tracy Leeds Kaplan, Founder of Small But Mighty Media. "I needed something that my kids would love to listen to-but I could enjoy too. That's why I developed ‘The Ten News' and I'm thrilled to be working with iHeartRadio to bring this podcast to life."

"We're excited to reach a new audience-and generation-through this podcast," said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. "As we create new kinds of innovative content to engage younger listeners, ‘The Ten News' podcast empowers kids with information in a way they understand so they can form their own opinions and participate in larger conversations. We're happy to partner with Next Chapter Podcasts and Small But Mighty Media to help shape the next generation of leaders and decision-makers."


Auto Aftermarket Study Shows Radio Ideal Marketing Platform

Westwood One
Westwood One

Westwood One's Insights team reveals the results of the third annual study of the auto aftermarket category commissioned by Cumulus Media and Westwood One and conducted by MARU/Matchbox to determine the current state of America's auto parts retailers. The blog looks at the impact of Amazon and online shopping on auto aftermarket retailers and explains why AM/FM radio is the ideal marketing platform for the category.

  • AM/FM radio is the ideal platform to advertise auto aftermarket. Heavy AM/FM radio listeners visit more retailers in the category, make more shopping trips, and spend +26% more than the average. Two key consumer segments, do-it-yourselfers and ultra-heavy auto parts shoppers, are far more likely to be heavy AM/FM radio listeners.

  • Consistent brand equity and shopping patterns: AutoZone leads, but Amazon is a factor. Amazon, measured for the first time, earns a 10% share for "shopped most often in the past year." AutoZone, one of the first major national auto parts retailers, has nearly one-third who say they shop most at the retailer.

  • Brand perceptions: Amazon ranks second among do-it-yourselfers and the ultra-heavy auto parts shopper segment. Averaging a series of 14 different category perceptions, Amazon places second among do-it-yourselfers and the ultra-heavy auto part shopper segments. Three online auto parts retailers (PartsGeek.com, RockAuto.com, and Amazon) have a combined 19% average brand image among the ultra-heavy auto parts shoppers.

  • Brand equity: AutoZone leads, followed by Advance Auto Parts, Walmart, Amazon, O'Reilly Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts.

  • Brand opportunity: 27% of category shoppers cannot attribute perceptions to any retailer. Over a quarter of auto parts shoppers are unable to name a retailer for an average of the fourteen brand attributes. According to Les Binet and Peter Field, sales activation campaigns are the "carbs of advertising" and brand building campaigns are the "protein." Auto aftermarket retailers should heed their advice for an ideal mix of marketing investments of 40% sales activation and 60% brand building.

  • Heavy auto parts shoppers are more likely to purchase online. Over the last three years, eight out of ten ultra-heavy auto parts shoppers have purchased online in the last year. Infrequent shoppers are far less likely to have purchased online.

iHeartMedia Launches iHeartSports Network

iHeartMedia has announced the launch of the iHeartSports Network (IHSN), servicing more than 500 broadcast stations and their digital streams throughout the country, across multiple formats beginning today (9/28). The new network, with a monthly reach of 75 million listeners, will feature some of the biggest names in sports including Cris Collinsworth, Colin Cowherd, Dan Patrick, Joy Taylor and more.

IHSN will deliver short-form national, regional local sports reports to listeners on formats that index high against sports interest, including rock, country, hip hop, class hits, news, talk and sports.

Scarborough found that 83 percent of sports fans want a daily update. Nielsen confirms that 89 percent of sports fans listen to radio each week and radio listeners typically tune in multiple times day. Research also indicates that almost two-thirds of sports fans do not have the time to seek out additional desired information, so the iHeartSports Network will deliver sports reports to listeners conveniently and timely wherever they are.

"This is a product driven network responding to the interests of our listeners," said Greg Ashlock, President of iHeartMedia Markets Group. "People are passionate about sports and this will deliver the timely regional and local coverage they care most about along with the biggest national stories."

Entercom Welcomes Sarah Foss as Chief Information Officer

Sarah Foss
Sarah Foss

Entercom has announced the addition of Sarah Foss to the role of Chief Information Officer. Foss will provide strategic direction and oversight for the design, development, acquisition, operation and support of the Company's enterprise technology systems and programs. She will also collaborate with cross-functional executives to create a vision for how digital, data and analytics, and new technologies can help create a differentiated experience and drive efficiency in operations.

"This role is critical to our success in the constantly evolving media landscape and we're thrilled to have Sarah on board," said Richard Schmaeling, Executive VP and CFO, Entercom. "Her strong business acumen and enriched media technology intellect is incredibly valuable as we continue to evolve and elevate our business."

"I'm thrilled to be joining Entercom at this exciting time in media," said Foss. "We have a unique opportunity to leverage outstanding content and deep community relationships to reach new, targeted audiences through our digital and broadcast platforms. Smart technology choices will accelerate this for us."

Foss brings over 25 years of experience and a comprehensive understanding of the media technology ecosystem. She most recently served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives for FreeWheel Advertisers, a division of FreeWheel that provides a global media buying and selling platform to more than 1,200 advertising agencies around the world. Prior to that role, she was General Manager, Ad Tech for Imagine Communications, a market leader in advertising optimization and video infrastructure. She has also held various executive positions at global technology companies, including YANGAROO, Inc., Encompass Digital Media, VCI Solutions, and Harris Corporation.

She is also a co-founder of Tech Bae, a tech focused organization for women in the media and advertising ecosystem to connect for mentoring, networking, and community. She recently completed a decade of service to the Alliance for Women in Media in multiple board functions and is an honoree of several industry awards, including: three-time finalist for International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers' Woman of the Year Award; Individual Leadership Award from the TV of Tomorrow's Awards for Leadership in Interactive and Multiplatform Television; and Woman of the Year Award - Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations from the American Business Association.

Andy Winford Named Program Director 93.7 KISS Country/Fresno

Andy Winford
Andy Winford

Cumulus Media has appointed Andy Winford as Program Director of 93.7 KISS Country/KSKS-FM in Fresno, CA. Winford will hold a dual role, continuing as Program Director of KAT Country 103/KATM-FM in Stockton/Modesto, CA, commuting between the two markets. A 17-year radio broadcasting veteran, Winford has programmed KAT Country 103 since 2016.

"I couldn't be more excited to lead Central California's most powerful Country brand," said Winford. "The cupboard is full of excellent talent and a sales and marketing team second to none. Time to go to work!"

"I am thrilled to have Andy join our team in Fresno," said Patty Hixon, VP/MM Cumulus Fresno. "KISS is a formidable brand in Central California and having Andy take on this new challenge along with programming KAT Country in Modesto will provide a wonderful synergy never before seen in Central California. Two very historical brands will be super-serving our listeners during this most critical time in our lives."

Townsquare/Lansing Ups McConnell Adams to Director of Content

McConnell Adams
McConnell Adams

Townsquare Media Lansing has promoted McConnell Adams to Director of Content for the local media cluster effective immediately. He replaces Chris Tyler, who departs the company. Adams, who has been with Townsquare since 2017 and previously served as brand manager of the Company's WJIM-FM (97.5 Now) and 99.1 WFMK.

"I am truly blessed for the opportunities I have been presented by this amazing Company," Said Adams. "Our multi-platform, ‘Local First' strategy is second to none at delivering local, original content and entertainment. I am really excited to be working even closer with the talented team here to continue our amazing success."

"McConnell is a gifted programmer and leader and he has more than earned this opportunity," said Kurt Johnson, Townsquare SVP/Programming. "Growing and promoting our talented people is always a good thing."

"McConnell's ‘lead from the front' attitude and unwavering passion for our industry and local brands makes him the absolute perfect choice for this role," says Townsquare Lansing Market President Zoe Burdine-Fly.


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