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KUUU-FM (U92)/Salt Lake City Elevates DJ Erockalypze to PD

DJ Erockalypze (aka Eric Cabrera)
DJ Erockalypze (aka Eric Cabrera)

Broadway Media's Rhythmic CHR KUUU-FM (U92)/Salt Lake City promotes Assistant PD and afternoon talent DJ Erockalypze (aka Eric Cabrera) to Program Director, effective immediately. The California-grown turned Salt Lake City native, started at U92 as an All-Star Mixer in 2005. This is his second stint programming the station, as he was named PD in June, 2014.

Broadway Media President Steve Johnson said, "Eric has worked for and has been dedicated to U92 and this community for over 14 years and brings with him excellent programming experience, on-air and off-air creativity, and a great understanding of hip hop culture. Eric has a clear understanding of the public's interest and will be able to create programming that relates, captures, and keeps the audiences attention."

CMT Radio's Lauryn Snapp Adds On-Air Duties

Lauryn Snapp
Lauryn Snapp

Premiere Networks has announced that CMT Radio's Digital and Social Producer Lauryn Snapp will add on-air contributor duties for CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan and CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan. Effective immediately, Snapp will join award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan each night, bringing pop culture and lifestyle stories to the popular Country radio programs. When concerts and events return, she'll also join Alan on the road as he provides listeners with artist interviews and behind-the-scenes reports.

"Lauryn's winning personality and witty repartee make her a natural fit to join me on the mic every night," said Alan. "Her passion for music, culture, and fan engagement across our digital and social networks has quickly become an essential part of our programming."

Snapp joined CMT in 2018 from the Creative Services team at Warner Music Nashville.

Roland S. Martin Joins BIN as new On-Air Commentator

Roland S. Martin
Roland S. Martin

Acclaimed American journalist Roland S. Martin has joined the recently launched Black Information Network (BIN) as a commentator. Martin will curate daily exclusive custom commentary segments that spotlight a variety of perspectives and topics that are top of mind with the African American audience as they relate to politics, economics, lifestyle and more.

"When we launched BIN: Black Information Network, we knew how extremely important it was to provide a forum for trusted voices within the Black Community and there's perhaps no one more trusted and reliable in Black media today than Roland Martin," said Tanita Myers, Director of News Operations for BIN. "He has built a legacy that has paved the way for other Black journalists and continues to use his platform to bring a much needed perspective on topics that matter to both Black Americans and the nation in general."

Martin currently serves as the host and managing editor of "#RolandMartinUnfiltered" a daily digital show. Over the course of his journalistic career, he has captivated listeners and fans from all over the world with his memorable interviews with multiple U.S. presidents, top athletes, entertainers in Hollywood and more. He has been named one of the top 50 political pundits by the Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom and has made numerous appearances on a variety of American networks, as well as media outlets in Canada, Columbia, Italy, Australia and South Africa.

He was awarded the 2008 President's Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for his work in multiple media platforms and is a member of the Texas A&M University Journalism Hall of Honor at his alma mater. In addition, Martin has more than 30 awards for journalistic excellence, including Journalist of the Year in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists. He is also a four-time NAACP Image Award winner including being named Best Host for two years in a row as well as a recipient of the coveted Peabody Award for Best Political Team on Television for his coverage of the 2008 election.

"I am excited to provide daily commentaries to BIN. We are living in a time where we need more coverage about the issues facing African Americans," said Martin. "In addition, I am really thrilled to partner with the iHeartPodcast Network to distribute and market the ‘#RolandMartinUnfiltered' audio podcast. We have seen tremendous growth with the daily video show, and we can't wait to do the same with the audio podcast."


FOX Sports Radio Posts Record Digital Gains in June 2020

Despite having no live sporting events since March 11 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, FOX Sports Radio (FSR) has reported record audience gains across multiple digital platforms for June 2020/

June 2020 was FSR's second best month ever in terms of podcast listens. Year over year (June ‘20 vs. June ‘19), the network's total podcast audience grew +88% bringing the monthly total to more than 16.5 million for the FOX Sports Radio Podcast Network.

On the streaming front, FSR's audience grew +70% from April 2020 to May 2020. The following month, May 2020 to June 2020, FSR's streaming audience grew an additional +13%. Year over year (June ‘20 vs. June ‘19), FSR's streaming was up +55%, marking the network's second-best streaming month of all time.

WCTK-FM/Providence Ups Kevin Palana to Program Director

Kevin Palana
Kevin Palana

Hall Communications promotes Kevin Palana to Program Director of WCTK-FM (Cat Country 98.1)/Providence, effective August 1. He replaces current WCTK PD and Hall VP/Programming Bob Walker who is moving to Hall's Lakeland-Winter Haven cluster at the end of the summer. Palana is also WCTK's Production Director and afternoon drive host. Additionally, he'll handle programming duties for Classic Hits WNBH (BIG 101.3)/New Bedford.

"Kevin's programming credentials are top notch with previous successes in New London at WQGN and New Bedford at WFHN," said Hall VP/Programming Bob Walker. He is a true strategist and extremely detail oriented. Our Hall culture is about promoting from within, which makes this so much more special."

"Kevin has been a vital part of Cat County's success this past decade," added WCTK VP/General Manager Tom Wall. "He knows this market inside and out which makes him an excellent choice to be WCTK's next PD."

"I want to thank Tom, Bob and everyone at Hall for this opportunity," said Palana. "I grew up in this market and there is no place I'd rather live. I look forward to working directly with Courtney Kelley and Brian Mulhern of Cat Country mornings and the entire staff in Providence and New Bedford."

Listeners' Audio Day Starting Much Later During COVID-19

Edison Research
Edison Research

New data from the Edison Research Share of Ear study, conducted during the period of COVID-19 disruptions, shows that people in the U.S. age 13 and older began listening to audio a full 75 minutes later on average, as compared to before the disruptions. The study shows that pre-COVID-19, the point in the day when 50% of those in the U.S. ages 13+ recorded their first entry of their audio day was around 7:15am. During Q2 fielding of Share of Ear, it was not until 8:30am that half of respondents had recorded any audio usage.

"This finding challenges our thinking about how those in the U.S. listen to audio during traditional drive times," said Edison Research Director Laura Ivey. "With many people staying at home or working from home during Q2, they did not engage with audio as early as they did pre-COVID. This data shows that if Americans continue current work patterns, audio strategies may need to be adjusted."

Share of Ear Q2 findings are based on interviews conducted mid-May.

While most of the findings are exclusive to Share of Ear subscribers, Edison Research releases several interesting data points for the audio industry to consider since the data provides insight into U.S. listener behavior during COVID-19 restrictions.

SiriusXM Buys Podcast Producer Stitcher from E.W. Scripps


SiriusXM has agreed to acquire podcast producer Stitcher from The E.W. Scripps Company. Under the terms of the deal, at closing, SiriusXM will make a cash payment of $265 million to Scripps. The agreement provides that SiriusXM will potentially make up to $60 million in additional contingent payments based on Stitcher achieving certain financial metrics in 2020 and 2021. When combined with the SiriusXM/Pandora's ad sales arrangement with SoundCloud and the Stitcher & Midroll networks will reach over 150 million listeners.

"The addition of Stitcher is an important next step as we continue to develop and strengthen our offering in the fast-growing podcasting market," said SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer. "With Stitcher, we will expand our digital audio advertising presence and look to generate new ways for creators to find and connect with their audiences. Stitcher has a talented team with deep experience in the podcast space, and we look forward to working with them to better meet the needs of creators, advertisers, and listeners."

Stitcher podcasts include "Freakonomics Radio," "My Favorite Murder," "How Did This Get Made?," "SuperSoul Sunday" from The Oprah Winfrey Network, "Office Ladies," "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend," "Literally! with Rob Lowe," "LeVar Burton Reads," "Comedy Bang! Bang!" and "WTF with Marc Maron."

The deal comes on the heels of SiriusXM's recent acquisition of podcast management and analytics platform Simplecast. The addition of Stitcher, alongside the ad tech and monetization platform AdsWizz, will expand the company's existing suite of podcast hosting, analytics, insights and marketplace offerings.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020. Guggenheim Securities, LLC is serving as financial advisor to SiriusXM and Weil, Gotshal

Second Annual DtC Media Attribution & Awareness Report

Westwood One
Westwood One

Cumulus Media's Westwood One has partnered with LeadsRx and MARU Matchbox to conduct their second annual Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness study to understand the marketing effectiveness of direct-to-consumer firms and the state of their brand equity.

Even before the coronavirus, e-commerce was surging. In the first quarter of 2020, the U.S. government indicated e-commerce represented 11.8% of total U.S. retail sales up from 6.9% in the first quarter of 2015 and 4.8% in in the first quarter of 2010. eMarketer forecasts e-commerce will represent 14.5% of full year 2020 total retail sales.

"Direct-to-consumer brands are entering their second act now, seeking to grow through market penetration and attract the masses via TV and AM/FM Radio," said Cumulus Media and Westwood One Chief Insights Officer Pierre Bouvard. "This study validates the brand-building sales effect of broadcast media as TV and Radio drive seven times the search and site traffic lift of Google and Facebook."

Another key finding from the study is that AM/FM radio is a catalyst for increased effectiveness of Google and Facebook ads during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. During the pandemic in Q2 2020 radio's impact on Google/Facebook performance surged to 20.0%.

"Why is radio driving even more Google and Facebook impact during the pandemic? I believe it's because radio listeners at home are responding MORE to radio ads now than they 'normally' did last year," observed LeadsRx co-founder and CEO AJ Brown. "Radio has this 'halo' effect and sub-conscious impact. Even while listening in the background while checking email or performing other work activities, it's likely consumers recall an advertiser when getting on the internet."

The study includes the following highlights:

  • Combined, Radio and TV deliver seven times the site traffic lift of Google and Facebook. The combined site traffic lift of TV and AM/FM radio grew from 40% in 2018 to 63% in 2019. The lift of Google and Facebook fell from 17% to 9% during the same period.

  • AM/FM radio advertising enhances Google/Facebook performance during the pandemic. During 2019, Facebook and Google ads saw a 15% increase in performance due to AM/FM radio advertising. The first quarter of 2020 showed an uptick in the average lift to 16.4%, increasing to 20% when the pandemic hit in the second quarter.

  • Surprisingly, AM/FM radio is just as good as TV in driving site traffic and TV. Across all the attribution studies performed, LeadsRx found a $24,300 investment in AM/FM radio generated one point of search and site traffic lift; to attain a point of lift via TV advertising, a $25,581 investment is needed.

  • Heavy AM/FM radio listeners are 37% more likely to shop online than heavy TV viewers. According to GfK MRI, 59% of heavy AM/FM listeners have shopped online in the last year versus only 43% for Heavy TV viewers. For every dollar a DTC brand spends on TV, only 43 cents reaches consumers that shop online.

  • The profile of online shopper aligns more with AM/FM radio listeners than the TV audience. GfK MRI reveals online shoppers are nearly equally segmented into three age groups: 18-34 (32%), 35-54 (36%) and 55+ (32%). Heavy radio listeners mirror the online shopper profile: 18-34 (33%), 35-54 (36%), and 55+ (31%). The heavy TV viewer skews much older: 18-34 (14%), 35-54 (23%) and 55+ (64%).

  • There is a massive disconnect between the media selection for DTC advertising and which media audiences make the most online purchase. GfK MRI reports AM/FM radio represents 60% of the consumer e-commerce spend. Yet, according to Kantar Media, only 3% of e-commerce ad dollars are spent on AM/FM radio.

  • Per Nielsen's Media Impact optimization platform, a reallocation of 20% of a DTC TV buy to radio generates stunning growth in incremental campaign reach. The challenge for DTC brands: most online shopping occurs among those under 55 while most TV tuning is generated by 55+ viewers. Per Gfk MRI, 68% of online shoppers are 18-54, however only 36% of heavy TV viewers are 18-54. Nearly two thirds of TV deliveries (64%) skew 55+ a demo that only represents 32% of online shoppers. Radio to the rescue. Adding AM/FM radio into the DTC plan generates significant incremental reach under the age of 55.

  • Best practices to power DTC marketing effectiveness: Allocate 74% of marketing budgets to brand building, target broadly with emotional advertising that runs in all days and dayparts.
For the full Direct-To-Consumer Media Attribution and Awareness report, click here.


Atlanta Black Radio Stations Come Together for Voting

Black Radio United
Black Radio United

Atlanta's Black Radio stations have teamed up with the common goals of voter registration, voter education and voter mobilization in advance of the November 2020 election. The group created Black Radio United For The Vote includes Cox Media Group's WALR (KISS 104.1), Entercom's WVEE (V103) & WAOK-AM (1380 News & Talk), Core Radio Group's WWSZ (Streetz 94.5) and Radio One's WAMJ-WUMJ (Majic 107.5/97.5), WHTA (Hot 107.9), WPZE (Praise 102.5) & WAMJ-FM-HD2 (Classix 102.9).

The goal of Black Radio United For The Vote is to register black voters across metro Atlanta, and to get them to the polls in the coming election on November 3, as well as encouraging them to participate in the 2020 Census. Black Radio United For The Vote is partnering with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and its affiliates to make these goals a reality.

Each month through September, beginning on July 23, the participating radio stations will dedicate a full day of on-air programming to educate, inform and inspire Atlanta's black community to register to vote, check their current registration status, and participate in the 2020 Census.

"This is a first for Black Radio in Atlanta. I'm excited about uniting with these heritage stations for the common goal of serving our communities," said KISS 104.1 Director of Branding and Programming Terri Avery.

"Radio plays a central role in the communities it serves. As election season approaches, V103 and WAOK are proud to join other Black Radio stations in Atlanta to inform and inspire our listeners to exercise their right to vote," added Entercom Urban Format Captain and V-103 Program Director Reggie Rouse.

"Our Radio One Atlanta stations are proud to be a part of this historic cause and are happy to do our part to empower our community," commented, Radio One Atlanta Operations Manager Derek Harper.

"The way that Black America is coming together as one unit, I am honored and proud to be involved with Black Radio United. Our goal is to put aside our competitive drive and put our energy into bringing our community together as one unified voice. Streetz 94.5 is elated to serve our Altana community," said Core Radio Group President & CEO Steve Hegwood.

More information can be found at BlackRadioUnited.com.

Arkansas Broadcasters Assoc. Cancels ARKCON Over Outbreak

Arkansas Broadcasters Association
Arkansas Broadcasters Association

The Arkansas Broadcasters Association has cancel ARKCON due to coronavirus concerns. Instead, it will hold a virtual sales and management media summit on July 22-23. The following is the letter sent to ABA members:

Dear Arkansas Broadcasting Community,

As you know, we have been carefully monitoring coronavirus developments over the past few months.

In the interest of addressing the health and safety concerns of our members and partners, we have decided not to move forward with ARKCON 2020.

This was not an easy decision. Fortunately, we did not have to make this decision alone, and are grateful to our members and partners for helping us through the difficult process. ARKCON is the members' event, and it is important to us that we move forward together with that in mind.

For decades, ARKCON has provided superior value and the best possible experience for members and partners. In our best effort to continue that legacy we are proud to announce we will be hosting a virtual sales and management media summit on July 22-23. This two-day members' event will feature some of the best sales and management speakers in the country and be offered FREE to ABA members. Stay tuned for more information and specifics on how to register and participate.

We are forever grateful for each and every member and partner in our community. We are more excited than ever about this year's virtual media summit and a prosperous future together.


C. Luke Story
Executive Director

iHM/PA Celebrates 51 Episodes of ''Pop Culture Weekly''

Pop Culture Weekly
Pop Culture Weekly

iHeartMedia Pennsylvania will release the 51st podcast episode of "Pop Culture Weekly with Kyle McMahon," during a special "51st Episode Extravaganza" on Tuesday, July 13. The episode will feature a compilation of fan-favorite segments like "Hot Clips" and "What We Consumed" and highlight the greatest moments from the show's first 50 episodes. The "Feature Presentation" segment will also include clips from some of the show's most memorable celebrity interviews and a few surprises.

"Pop Culture Weekly with Kyle McMahon" will feature singer Martina McBride; Grammy award winner Michael Bolton; Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Founder of The Temptations, Otis Williams; Emmy and Tony winner and Best Actress Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo; New York Times bestseller Deepak Chopra; actor Rupert Grint; Tony Award winner and Hamilton star Christopher Jackson; multi-platinum Country artist Lee Brice; and TV's hit comedy team, "Impractical Jokers" during its special "51st Episode Extravaganza."

"51... that's way better than 50. Kyle has an incredibly unique blend of charm and wit that puts even the biggest pop culture stars at ease," said iHeartMedia Pennsylvania President Brit Goldstein. "We are proud of Kyle's work and can't wait to celebrate episode 51 and beyond."

Focus 360 Expands Jelli, Adds 94 Stations in 23 Markets

Focus 360
Focus 360

Focus 360 has expanded the reach of its targeted Jelli networks with 94 newly added stations in 23 markets, including many of the top 25, such as New York, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, San Antonio and others.

"We've seen a tremendous audience increase with the addition of these stations and markets across our targeted Jelli networks, including Female Focus, Rock Focus, Focus Information, and Focus Sports," stated Focus 360 Chief Executive Officer Phil Brown.

Focus 360's Female Focus Network showed a 52% increase with women 25-54 in the second quarter over the preceding quarter, and Rock Focus jumped 36% with men in that same age demographic during that same time period.

Focus 360 uses the cloud-based Jelli RadioSpot AdServer platform, which features a collection of cloud-based services. With RadioSpot AdServer and on-premise appliances, Focus 360 and their Jelli network affiliates are able to streamline radio network ad operations.


Beasley, RCN Business Partner to Award $200K in Marketing

Beasley Media Group Boston and RCN Business
Beasley Media Group Boston and RCN Business

Beasley Media Group Boston has teamed up with RCN Business to award a total of $200,000 in marketing support to assist the Small Business Association Grant Program in Boston. As the country starts to reopen in phases, small businesses are struggling to find the means to announce that they are open and welcome customers back into their locations. The customized program designed to help them get back up and running, without having to worry about marketing budgets.

The Small Business Association Grant Program will offer designated small businesses the opportunity to be considered for a $10,000 media schedule to use on one of five Beasley Media Boston stations beginning Monday, July 13. A total of 20 small businesses will be selected to receive a grant to help advertise their local business through a combination of on-air and digital media over the course of eight weeks on WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub), WBOS-FM (ROCK 92.9), WBQT-FM(HOT 96.9), WKLB-FM (Country 102.5) and WROR-FM.

"The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on small businesses, so it is more important than ever that we do what we can to help these businesses by letting patrons know they are open for business and following the proper guidelines," said RCN Boston Senior VP/General Manager Jeff Carlson. "We hope that by providing these advertising grants, small businesses in the communities in which we live and work are able to get back on their feet."

"RCN is a wonderful partner and we are so grateful for their commitment to helping small businesses in our community," said Beasley Media Group Vice President and Market Manager Mary Menna.

Nelson Interview Leads Off Season Two of ''On Something''

On Something
On Something

Colorado Public Radio's podcast "On Something," exploring the political, legal and cultural effects of cannabis legalization, launches its second season next week with a special interview. Music legend Willie Nelson joins host Ann Marie Awad to discuss his impact on Country music and the impact cannabis has had on him -- including his first interactions with it, his personal and political relationship with it, questions around cannabis and the criminal justice system and his influence on the legalization movement.

"We need to end the federal ban on cannabis, stop putting people in prison for it, and we need to open up the federal banking system and accept taxes nationally," Nelson told Awad. "I don't see anything wrong with that."

Season two will also explore stories from the intersection of cannabis and the American healthcare system. Listeners will meet a mother who faced allegations of child abuse after smoking weed while pregnant; talk with a pain researcher who, while battling cancer, used cannabis to treat herself; and visit Louisiana for an amusing origin story on the nation's first medical marijauna law.

Last season the podcast told stories of how pot first became illegal and how states addressed old cannabis-related convictions for crimes that are in many cases no longer illegal. Season one also looked at the conflict between legalization and immigration laws, the sometimes vague science behind CBD products and the question of whether legalization should be approached as a form of reparations for the War on Drugs.

The show also responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a series of bonus episodes that featured personal stories about how people are using weed to cope with these anxious times.

"The biggest changes in drug policy in America are happening in the states," said Ann Marie Awad. "On Something, through the power of personal stories and in-depth journalism, helps listeners understand what life after legalization means."

Podtrac's Top 20 Podcasts June 2020

Podtrac has released their ranking of the Top 20 Podcasts based on U.S. Unique Monthly Audience for June 2020. With the increasing popularity of shows which publish multiple times a day, beginning in December 2019, we now include theses shows in the Podtrac Top Podcast ranking. Previously these shows were excluded.

While the counts for these shows are IAB V2 compliant, it should be noted that a segment of their audience members may listen to these shows from multiple locations throughout the day and present themselves technically as multiple unique users. Visit Podtrac.com to sign-up to receive monthly updates to Podtrac's Top 20 Podcasts and Top 20 Podcast Publishers ranking reports.

IBA to Officially Form Organization Within Next Two Weeks

The Independent Broadcasters Association
The Independent Broadcasters Association

The Independent Broadcasters Association (IBA) is officially forming the organization within the next two weeks. Ron Stone said, "We have 496 owners and operators representing just under 3,000 stations that have signed up supporting the idea of the organization. The next step is the actual formation of the IBA into a legal entity, forming an initial board and getting to work on all the elements we have been discussing that will benefit independent operators choosing to be members of the IBA."

Stone added, "We will see more owners and operators sign up now that the decision has been made to launch, as many have said to me 'I will sign up when I know it is real.' The IBA will make a significant impact on independent broadcaster's bottom line. In three years, every member will echo that the IBA was exactly the right organization at the right time to meet the needs of independents."

The membership investment is a question many are asking, Stone says expect to have that answered soon as the board will take that up as its first task adding that "membership will be affordable and will not be a burden for any size operation."

Bud Walters was one of the early supporters of the concept of the IBA. "Independent broadcasters outside the major markets have a lot in common as we seem to be in a different business than large markets broadcasters. There is good reason to explore this idea of working more closely together," said Walters.

Owners and operators are still being encouraged to sign up at http://radioiba.org/ which will only remain active until the new IBA site is operational. Frequent updates will be emailed to those that have signed up on the site to receive communications. Additionally, those signed up will received specific instructions for membership once the new IBA web site (currently under construction) is launched.

There will be a conference call scheduled for all members in the next few weeks with Ron Stone and the initial board to discuss the mission and goals of your new IBA.

WWCD (CD102.5)/Columbus OH Names Laura Lee Interim PD

Laura Lee
Laura Lee

Laura Lee joins Alternative WWCD-FM (CD102.5) Columbus, OH as Interim Program Director and midday host, effective Monday, July 13. She replaces APD Rachael Gordon in middays, who resigned after 15 years with the station. Lee previously served as PD and afternoon talent at WRMR-FM (Modern Rock 98.7)/Wilmington, NC until exiting in a downsizing move after two years with the Sunrise Broadcasting Alternative outlet last October.

Prior to WRMR, Lee spent nearly 10 years at LM Communications in Charleston, SC, where she was PD and morning host on AAA WCOO-FM (The Bridge 105.5) and midday talent at Active Rock WYBB-FM (98 Rock).

Owner/GM Randy Malloy said, "We are excited that Laura Lee is part of the team and will rise to the challenge and look forward to the future."


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