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American Music Fairness Act Re-Introduced in Congress


U.S. Congress
U.S. Congress

The American Music Fairness Act, legislation that would impose a new performance fee on broadcast radio outlets, has been re-introduced in Congress. If passed, the Act would mandate a fee on over-the-air music airplay on free, local radio that many, including the NAB, say would jeopardize local jobs, prevent new artists from breaking into the recording business and harm the hundreds of millions of Americans who rely on local radio by forcing additional fees.

NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said in a statement, "Local radio stations and performers have built a strong, mutually beneficial partnership that has endured for over a century. This partnership provides enormous value for new and established performers, local broadcast stations and the tens of millions of radio listeners that rely on our uniquely free service. Unfortunately, AMFA would destroy that relationship with a new government-imposed performance fee that is simply untenable for local radio. We urge the record labels to join us at the negotiating table to discuss a win-win solution to this issue that would benefit both performers and local broadcasters. But this one-sided legislation is not the answer."

Introduced in the Senate by Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and in the House by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the AMFA would require creators to pay royalties for AM/FM radio plays, dismantling the current system that provides promotional value for new and existing artists in exchange for airplay.

"Music creators have been forced to give away their work for far too long. It is time for Congress to demonstrate that they stand behind the hard-working Americans that provide the music we all love by finally passing the American Music Fairness Act," said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe. "This bill has the broad support of artists, labels, small broadcasters, unions, and others because it strikes a fair balance by respecting creators for their work and protecting truly local broadcasters."

iHeartMedia New York Names Victor Giacomelli as VP/Sales


Victor Giacomelli
Victor Giacomelli

iHeartMedia/New York appoints Victor Giacomelli as Vice President of Sales for Urban WWPR (Power 105.1) and WWRL-AM (Black Information Network), effective immediately. Giacomellie joins from Audacy/Denver, where he was the Director of Sales. He previously served as the Director of Sales at MediaCo Holding Inc., formerly known as Emmis/New York.

Also Travia Charmont joins the iHeartMedia/New York team as Sales Manager for the duo from Audacy/Atlanta where she was a Senior Account Executive. Previously, she served in various manager roles at MediaCo Holding Inc. Both will report to iHeartMedia New York Senior Vice President of Sales Steve DeLusant.

"Victor and Travia are the perfect combination to lead our sales efforts for Power 105.1 and the WWRL 1600 AM Black Information Network," said DeLusant. "Both Victor and Travia have strong experience and knowledge working in the multicultural space. I am excited to have them join our team and watch them take our brands to the next level. Their additions will position our team for long-term success at iHeartMedia New York."

"I am thrilled to be joining iHeart and heading back to New York," added Giacomelli. "To lead sales at Power 105.1 and BIN in the country's largest market with the industry leader is truly a privilege."

"I am beyond overjoyed to return to the New York City market with the opportunity to join the iHeartMedia New York leadership team," said Charmont. "It is a blessing and an honor to be a part of these iconic brands and to serve our communities and partners in the number one market with the number one audio company."

CMG Orlando Ups Ashley Williams to Director of Sales


Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams

Cox Media Group/Orlando elevates Ashley Williams to Director of Sales. She's been with CMG for 15 years, crossing divisions from Radio, Corporate Digital and Television. Williams started her career with CMG in 2007 as a Television Sales Assistant and grew to a Digital Sales Specialist. In 2015, she joined the Corporate Digital Team in a pilot role as the first Local Solutions Specialist and was later promoted to Sales Marketing Manager. Williams joined the Orlando Radio Sales team in 2019 as a Local Sales Manager and was promoted to Integrated Sales Manager in 2020.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Orlando Radio sales team," said Williams. "We have an incredibly talented group, and I look forward to taking our team to the next level."

CMG Orlando Radio VP/Market Manager JC Campese stated, "I am extremely excited for our sales team and our wonderful clients to have Ashley Williams as CMG Orlando's new Director of Sales. Her diverse background with CMG and the trust she has built, both internally and externally, makes her the perfect choice to lead CMG Orlando sales into the future."

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Women In Radio to Host 7th Annual Conference in Atlanta


Women In Radio
Women In Radio

Women In Radio announces its 7th Annual "Cocktails, Cupcakes and Conversations" conference, taking place on March 11 from 12-3pm in Atlanta. This event is sponsored by Korbel, Originals by Africa's Best, Maple Street Biscuit Company, Foto Beauty Bar and Liquid I.V. The conference will focus on empowering women to take on leadership roles and will feature a diverse group of panelists representing different areas of the industry, including:

  • Terri Thomas, Operations Manager at Radio One Houston
  • Emily Ward, General Sales Manager at Audacy Atlanta
  • Rachel Carr, National Commercial Production Center Manager at iHeartRadio
  • Brii Renee', Radio Host at Streetz 94.5 FM and TV Host at Revolt TV
  • Leah Bekele, Vice President, Radio Operations & Lifestyle at EMPIRE
  • Meg Dowdy, Regional Content Director and Director of National Contesting, Townsquare Media

This year, Women In Radio has added another panel about the importance of building your brand and will feature experts in the social media, podcasting, and content creation industries, such as:

  • Morgan Richard, Social Media Specialist at SiriusXM/Pandora
  • Samia Burton, Founder, SE Media Group
  • Daniel Ware, Co-Founder, Breakr
  • Jasmine Snead, Marketing Manager, Witherite Law Group

"We are thrilled to be hosting our 7th Annual Conference in Atlanta and are looking forward to bringing together a community of women who are passionate about radio," said Women In Radio Founder Meaghan Taylor. "Our conference is designed to provide women with the tools, resources, and people they need to succeed in this industry."

The conference is open to anyone in the radio and podcasting industry. For more information and to register, visit the Women In Radio website at womeninradio.org.

FSR Provides 23rd Annual Super Week Coverage from Arizona


FOX Sports Radio (FSR)
FOX Sports Radio (FSR)

FOX Sports Radio (FSR) has announced plans for its 23rd annual Super Week coverage beginning Monday, February 6. Featuring interviews with NFL players, newsmakers and celebrities, FSR will deliver coverage before, during and after the Big Game in Arizona to listeners 24/7 via more than 600 local stations, FOXSportsRadio.com and iHeartRadio. FSR will feature remote broadcasts from its weekday lineup, including its signature programs.

In addition to coverage from Arizona, The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon (10pm-2am ET/7-11pm PT) will broadcast live from the Wynn Las Vegas Resort on February 9 and 10, providing insight for both sports bettors and sports fans, including breaking news and the best prop odds, picks, lines and point spreads prior to the biggest sports betting event of the year.

Throughout the week, FSR will feature guest appearances, including Christian McCaffery, Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith, Tim Brown, Brian Urlacher, Justin Fields, Brian Dawkins, Steve Smith Sr., Victor Cruz, Champ Bailey, Tony Dorsett, Earl Campbell, Ronde Barber, Shaun Alexander, Andrew Whitworth, Steve Largent, DeMarcus Ware, Malcolm Butler, David Tyree and more.

NAB Establishes ''Broadcast District'' at NAB Show


NAB Show
NAB Show

The West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center will be home to NAB Show's new Broadcast District, a destination for radio and television broadcasters offering premium educational sessions, networking and special events, April 15-19. The show floor features a marketplace showcasing next generation technologies, services and solutions that are meant to propel the broadcast industry into the future.

"We are excited to enhance the experience for broadcasters with a centralized location that emphasizes community building and makes it easy to navigate the Show," said NAB Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs April Carty-Sipp. "TV and Radio broadcasters will receive tangible takeaways to help them generate revenue, streamline expenses and innovate while getting insights into what's next for their business through a tailored experience designed to meet their needs."

Featured exhibitors located in West Hall include AJA, Amagi, AWS, Harmonic, Intelstat, LTN Global, MediaKind, Microsoft, Nautel, Planar, Signiant, Telestream, Vislink, Verimatrix, Veritone, Vislink and Vizrt.

The Broadcast District includes:

  • NAB Show Conference sessions focused on radio and television
  • NAB Small and Medium Market Radio Forum
  • NAB Diversity Symposium
  • NAB Leadership Foundation's Focus on Leadership Speaker Series
  • Broadcast Engineering and IT Conference

Also located within the Broadcast District is the TV and Radio HQ, a networking destination for broadcasters. Open Sunday, April 16 and Tuesday, April 18, from 9am-6pm, the Radio andTV HQ will feature:

  • NAB Member Lounge - For NAB members to host impromptu meetings, relax, connect with fellow broadcasters and enjoy complimentary refreshments.

  • NAB Sip-and-Speak Series - A daily series of quick, intimate Q-and-A discussions with the most influential leaders in broadcasting; complimentary beverages included.

  • Discussion Den - A forum for deep-dive discussions and workshops on topics of interest to broadcasters.

  • Resource Row - Includes NAB Affinity Program Partners offering exclusive services and cost-saving solutions for NAB members.

  • Happy Hour Events - Social gatherings for television and radio broadcasters, featuring entertainment and networking.

Storyglass, iHeartPodcasts Launch ''False Profits: Hillsong''


''False Profits: Hillsong''
''False Profits: Hillsong''

iHeartPodcasts and Storyglass launch a new eight-part podcast series "False Profits: Hillsong," a journey that dives into the Hillsong experience, from Christian rock music to celebrity pastors and famous fans, to global status, enormous wealth and shocking scandals. This series will trace the rise and fall of Hillsong's founder and peel back the layers of a culture of submission, exploitation and discrimination.

"We are part of a group who are committed to great storytelling and giving under-represented voices a chance to be heard," said Storyglass Managing Director Steve Carsey. "We are delighted to be working with iHeartPodcasts on this powerful, immersive and important series. Like us, they realised it was a story that had to be told. There have been many attempts to truly understand the inner workings of the Hillsong church, but this first-person account really brings listeners much closer than ever before."

VSin, DraftKings to Make First Appearance at Radio Row


VSiN
VSiN

VSiN and DraftKings will make their first appearance at Radio Row with a studio desk and live production complement, bringing its deep roster of football talent and sports betting experts to cover Super Bowl LVII. The team of emerging content creators, sports journalists and media stalwarts will be at the center of the action leading up to what has historically been the most bet game of the year for DraftKings.

Beginning on Monday, February 6, audio-visual programs such as Golic and Smetty, The Ross Tucker Football Podcast, GoJo, The Lombardi Line, The Sweat, Follow the Money, VSiN Final Countdown, VSiN Primetime and The GM Shuffle will anchor DraftKings' coverage at the Phoenix Convention Center as part of the NFL's annual Radio Row activities.

"We're excited to bring together this team of talented individuals to cover what has historically been the most bet game of the year at our company," said DraftKings Vice President of Content Stacie McCollum. "The on-site opportunity will allow DraftKings and VSiN talent to deliver real-time insights and enhanced content featuring celebrities and athletes as the media, entertainment and sports worlds collide in Phoenix for the big game."

"VSiN has distinguished itself as a leading voice in the sports betting space, in part, by staying at the center of the sports betting action," added VSiN founder and CEO Brian Musburger. "Super Bowl LVII is the first to be played in a legal sports betting state and we're thrilled to drop some of the industry's leading sports betting experts right into the action to help new and experienced bettors alike prepare for one of the biggest days on the sports betting calendar."

Special big game coverage will continue throughout the weekend on VSiN.com and across all of the network's audio, video and digital channels. Sunday's coverage will include 13 live linear hours featuring sports betting's team of experts, including NFL veterans like executive Michael Lombardi, former quarterback Shaun King and sportscaster Brent Musburger. Expanded coverage will include input from across the VSiN line up with additional insights from pro bettors and those setting the lines.

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Urban One Launches The Urban One Podcast Network


Urban One Podcast Network
Urban One Podcast Network

Urban One launches the new Urban One Podcast Network, effective February 1, the beginning of Black History Month. This effort expands the company's audio entertainment options for BIPOC audiences, as well as for advertisers who want to connect with the Black community. The network launches with more than 10 original shows plus partnerships with other Black-owned podcasts and networks. Powered by Black stories, the UOPN is a curated slate of premium content across diverse genres.

The lineup includes The Undressing Room Podcast presented by Macy's, Small Doses with Amanda Seales, The Amanda Seales Show, Fatal Attraction, Black Health 365, Rickey Smiley Morning Show Podcast, I Hate the Homies, Mind Body and Business with Maria More, Mompreneurs, Adult'Hood, Dead End Media, SZN Opener, Back Story with Colby Colb and more. The network, which boasts an average of more than 1.5 million downloads per month at launch, will continuously adding new original shows and partnerships.

"Given Urban One's history and legacy in creating premium audio content for Black audiences and the growing level of Black podcast listeners, this was a natural step to continue exemplifying our mission of "Representing Black Culture," said Urban One Chief Revenue Officer, Audio Division Josh Rahmani. "The network provides a natural partnership destination for BIPOC creators and presents advertisers the opportunity to connect with a niche audience that over-indexes for their response to brands that show up in podcasts, particularly podcasts with Black creators and hosts."

The Urban One Podcast Network has teamed up with Katz Digital as its third-party sales partner. "Katz Digital is both proud and excited to expand upon our exclusive partnership with Urban One, now adding their premium, culturally relevant podcast content to our current industry leading podcast offerings," said Katz Digital President Scott Porretti. Additionally, the new network is supported by a partnership with Publicis Media's APX Content Ventures and funding via its Inclusion Investment Fund.

Spearheading the network and its launch is Sierra Reed, Senior Director of Podcast Operations for the Urban One Podcast Network. Reed is a media veteran with over 14 years of experience as a content creator, published writer, journalist and senior business strategist. Through the launch of her own podcast almost 10 years ago and her own experience for storytelling, Reed understands the opportunity to service the multifaceted community that the network supports.

Reed said, "having the freedom to share and express is a beautiful thing, and what you learn and feel within that conversation and storytelling experience is invaluable. We want people of color to get into podcasting. We want the community to learn, grow, and be entertained in a way that is organic and not programmed."

Radio Hall of Fame Accepting Nominations for 2023 Class


Radio Hall of Fame
Radio Hall of Fame

The Museum of Broadcast Communications has announced that the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee will accept suggestions for 2023 nominees beginning Wednesday, February 1 through Friday, March 31. 24 names will be selected as nominees to be voted upon by industry personnel later this year. The induction will take place later this fall, with information on this year's induction ceremony coming this spring.

Radio Hall of Fame Co-Chairman Dennis Green stated, it is an honor to oversee the process of selecting the legendary men and women that have made radio the great medium it is today. Radio is special to millions of listeners from coast to coast and the Radio Hall of Fame looks forward to receiving the suggestions of names to consider for the ultimate honor our industry has to bestow."

Radio Hall of Fame Co-Chairman Kraig T. Kitchin commented, "The ideas and suggestions from both industry members and listeners has provided for excellent conversations and deliberations amongst our Nominating Committee members, each of them also bringing their own suggestions to the difficult decision making that goes on. When we hear from as many interested people as we do with suggestions, it only reinforces the value the value of a nomination, let alone an induction."

To submit honoree picks for consideration by the Radio Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, please visit here.

Mary DelGrande Promoted to CEO of vCreative


Mary DelGrande
Mary DelGrande

vCreative, a provider of workflow software for broadcasters, promotes Mary DelGrande to Chief Executive Officer (CEO). DelGrande, who has been with the company since November, 2019, will oversee the company's long-term growth strategy and operations. She replaces Susie Hedrick, who joined vCreative four years ago and took the helm from founder Jinny Laderer. Hedrick has accepted a leadership post at WideOrbit as President & Managing Director, Local Broadcast.

"I am proud of the vCreative team and what we have accomplished," said Hedrick. "We continue to drive the values that have made vCreative an industry leader, advancing our products and keeping our customers and industry at the center of everything that we do. Mary is the perfect person to continue to deliver exceptional results and I am confident she is the right leader to continue vCreative's legacy of innovation."

"I am honored to lead such a great team and humbled by the faith Susie and Jinny have placed in me," added DelGrande. "I am energized by the opportunities ahead for vCreative and I look forward to working with our team and partners to build on the tremendous growth and success we have achieved so far."

Before joining vCreative, DelGrande was Senior VP of Sales for Premiere Radio Networks where she was responsible for selling programs, services, research, and digital technology brands to radio.

Skyview Networks Suffers a Major Cyber Attack


Skyview Networks
Skyview Networks

Skyview Networks, which distributes CBS News Radio, has suffered a major cyber attack, foricing programming outages for hundreds of its radio affiliates across the U.S. The outage, which occurred on Monday just after 7am, interrupted delivery of CBS World News Roundup as well as other programming. Newscasts were back on air at 9am ET. Skyview is still investigating the source of the attack. The initiated threat detection analysis and noted that it is cooperating with authorities. 

"We have also involved industry-leading forensic experts to help us contain and investigate the incident. These efforts are fully underway," said Skyview President and CEO Steve Jones in a statement.

"No one is immune to pivoting, especially when circumstances are beyond one's control. We did it together with our radio teams during the pandemic. We are doing it now, with you," wrote CBS Radio Vice President and General Manager Craig Swagler in a statement. 

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Beasley Media/Philadelphia Names Rachel Pitts Digital PD


Rachel Pitts
Rachel Pitts

Beasley Media Group appoints Rachel Pitts as Digital Program Director for the company's Philadelphia-based radio cluster. The New Jersey native most recently worked in a similar capacity at Beasley's Tampa-based cluster for five years. Prior to that, Pitts spent 15 years working her way up the ladder in promotions, programming and digital at iHeartMedia in the market. In her new role, she'll oversee the digital content of WXTU-FM, WMMR-FM, WMGK-FM, WBEN-FM and WPEN (97.5 The Fanatic).

"I am excited to continue to help expand the digital footprint of Beasley Media Group," said Pitts. "To have the opportunity to work with the legendary talent and brands of the company's Philadelphia stations has been a big career goal."

"One of Beasley's goals for 2023 is growing our digital audience and Rachel has been one of the company's top digital content leaders," said Beasley Media Group Chief Content Officer Justin Chase. "She has helped to build a massive digital audience in Tampa, and we're excited to watch her develop a similar strategy for our amazing Philadelphia digital brands."

"I saw the difference Rachel made in Tampa and I'm confident she'll do the same in Philly," added Vice President and Market Manager Joe Bell. "Our digital content has exploded in recent months and look forward to Rachel leading the charge for continued growth."

Max Media Rebrands WVSP as Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1


WVSP-FM
WVSP-FM

Max Media Hampton Roads partners with Priority Automotive to rebrand WVSP-FM (ESPN 94.1) in Norfolk-Virginia Beach as "Priority Auto Sports Radio 94.1." The Sports outlet will continue to be Hampton Roads home for ODU Athletics, Norfolk Tides and air ESPN-syndicated shows such as Keyshawn, JWill and Max (6a-10a) and Greeny (10a-12n). The station will still be anchored by local air personality Tim Donnelly of "The Tim Donnelly Show" from 3-6pm.

"The partnership between ESPN 94.1 and Priority Automotive is a natural evolution for both companies. From the many youth organizations to college teams, Priority Automotive has been dedicated to sports in Hampton Roads for decades. Max Media is incredibly proud to be partnered with such a class organization," said President and Market Manager Keith Barton.

Priority Automotive COO Matt Elmer remarked, "This is an important partnership for us. At Priority Automotive we think sports ties everyone together, so this is a great opportunity for us to be a voice in the community and partner with the number one voice for sports in Hampton Roads, ESPN 94.1".

Benztown Offers Stations Free Black History Month Special


Benztown
Benztown

Benztown is offering stations a free Black History Month Special throughout the month of February, presented by Top 10 Now & Then. Urban AC, Rhythmic Oldies and Classic Hip Hop stations may air the music special multiple times throughout the month, now through Tuesday, February 28. The highly entertaining and engaging music special is free. For more information or to get the Top 10 Now & Then Black History Month Special for your station, visit here.

Nielsen to Market Share of Ear and Edison Podcast Metrics


Nielsen will market Edison Research's Share of Ear and Edison Podcast Metrics services to advertising agencies. Share of Ear provides deep insights about the complete audio landscape, including broadcast radio, streaming, podcasting, downloaded audio, smart speakers and other sources of audio content. Edison Podcast Metrics measures persons-based listening estimates using frequently updated surveys to provide a complete view of the rapidly growing podcast audience.

Nielsen is committed to providing a complete view of the unduplicated audience across multiple platforms. Edison services will be offered as part of Nielsen's portfolio of audio and podcasting solutions, including Podcast Buying Power and Podcast Ad Effectiveness studies, that support investment decisions in the ever-changing podcast ecosystem.

"The media landscape is evolving quickly and agencies have a vital need to understand how all the media puzzle pieces fit together," said Nielsen Agency and Advertiser-direct businesses head Jon Kaiser. "Edison's insights are best in class and Nielsen is excited to work together with them to provide media planners and buyers with deep insights into the total audio landscape and the rapidly growing podcasting audience."

"Share of Ear and Edison Podcast Metrics provide advertising agencies and clients with incredibly rich data about the total audio universe," added Edison Research President Larry Rosin. "We are excited to work with Nielsen to grow the audio space by providing information about the total audio audience to planners and buyers."

The Share of Ear and Edison Podcast Metrics services are based on surveys of persons ages 13 and older in the U.S. and are updated four times a year. Agencies interested in learning more about Share of Ear and Edison Podcast Metrics should contact a Nielsen representative.

CNN Audio Names Steve Lickteig as Executive Producer


Steve Lickteig
Steve Lickteig

CNN Audio appoints Steve Lickteig as Executive Producer of podcast and audio content, managing production and strategy. He's worked in the media and audio industry for over 20 years and is the co-founder of Small Good Thing, a podcast consulting and development company. Prior to that, he was the Executive Producer of Podcasts and Audio for NBC News and MSNBC. He also spent three years running the Slate Podcast Network. Before joining Slate, Lickteig was the Executive Producer of NPR's "Weekend All Things Considered."

Lickteig began his audio career at NPR in 1997 as an overnight production assistant and went on to work for every show produced by NPR News. He also spent five years as the Executive Producer of The Bob Edwards Show on Sirius XM and has worked as a reporter, producer and anchor at several commercial and public radio stations around the country. He started his audio career as a air talent at Country KOFO-AM in Ottawa, KS.

Lickteig will be based in CNN's Washington, DC bureau and starts his new role on February 6.

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