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SBS Names Donny Hudson EVP/Local Media for Markets


Donny Hudson
Donny Hudson

Spanish Broadcasting System names native Miami executive Donny Hudson as Executive VP of Local media for Radio/TV and Digital for all SBS markets. He'll retain his role as General Manager, working out of the SBS offices in Miami. Hudson was recently appointed as a Radio Board Member of the Florida Association of Broadcasters' (FAB) Board of Directors.

Hudson has been General Manager of SBS Miami supervising all operations at WXDJ-FM (El Nuevo Zol 106.7 FM), WRMA-FM (Ritmo 95.7FM), WCMQ-FM (Zeta 92.3 FM), MegaTV and the LaMusica App. He previously held various managerial positions including SVP of Consolidated Sales, Local Sales Manager and Director of Local Sales.

Prior to joining SBS, he served as EVP of Sales for America CV Network/America TeVe. Previously, Hudson worked in sales at HBC for WRTO-FM, WAMR-FM WQBA-AM and WAQI-AM and then as General Sales Manager of WRTO-FM. He started his radio career at WSUA (Radio Suave) after graduating from the University of Miami in 1989 with a Degree in Broadcasting.

"Donny has proven to be an industry leader in the over 20 years with SBS. As General Manager, he has spearheaded numerous initiatives and alongside his team, has delivered incredible results for the company. His belief in "teamwork" is what has allowed him to be a great leader and respected by the staff, which is one of the most important qualities for success. Congratulations to our new EVP of Local Media," said SBS President/COO Albert Rodriguez.

"I am honored to have been selected for the position of EVP of Local Media. As part of the SBS family for over two decades, I have learned, grown, and most of all have been blessed with a team of incredibly talented professionals. I am a true believer that you are only a great leader, if you have an amazing team. I am grateful and honored for this opportunity," added Hudson.

Audacy/Chicago Ups Solk to VP/Programming & Operations


Greg Solk
Greg Solk

Audacy promotes Greg Solk to Vice President of Programming and Operations for its Chicago market, effective August 1. In this role, Solk will oversee programming and operations for WXRT-FM (93XRT), WBMX-FM (104.3 JAMS), WUSN-FM (US99), WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM (WBBM Newsradio), WSCR-AM (670 The Score) and WBBM-FM (B96). Solk had previously served as Brand Manager of 93XRT since 2017.

"Greg has been an invaluable partner who is respected and appreciated by his team at WXRT, across Audacy, and throughout the industry," said Audacy Chicago Regional President and Market Manager Rachel Williamson. "He has been influential in the success of many of the biggest brands across Chicago and I could not be more excited to promote him into this enhanced role overseeing our Chicago programming strategy."

"The past four and a half years at WXRT have been among the most rewarding of my career -- especially the opportunity to work alongside legendary talents," said Solk. "Along with so many others behind the scenes, this team returned WXRT to the top echelon of our great city's broadcast properties. Now, I look forward to continuing to work with Rachel and our group's superb brand/programming leaders. Together we will do our best to continue enlightening, entertaining and delighting the millions we serve on our airwaves and through our growing digital channels."

Solk began his programming career in 1983 at WLUP-FM (The Loop) in Chicago at the age of 21. He took on additional responsibilities with the creation and programming oversight of the ground breaking Comedy/Talk WLUP-AM in the Spring of 1986. In 1992, Solk headed to San Francisco to program AAA KFOG and then returned to Chicago two years later to create and launch Sports Radio 1000, WMVP.

In 1997, Solk joined Bonneville Broadcasting first to program Chicago properties, including the creation of The Drive, and then went on to become Senior VP/Programming for Bonneville in 2005, overseeing 32 stations in nine markets. When a portion of Bonneville was sold to Hubbard Broadcasting in 2011, Solk took on Senior VP/Programming for the company's seven markets and remained until 2016. In February, 2017, Solk joined then CBS Radio as Program Director and Operations Manager of 93XRT and WJMK (now sister station 104.3 Jams).

Benztown Offers Audio Tribute to ZZ Top's Dusty Hill


Benztown Audio Tribute to Dusty Hill
Benztown Audio Tribute to Dusty Hill

Benztown is offering an Audio Tribute to Dusty Hill, bassist for the legendary Southern rock band ZZ Top, and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, who died at his home in Houston, TX, at age 72. Listen to the audio tribute here.

Born Joseph Michael Hill in Dallas, TX, Dusty Hill, his brother Rocky Hill, and future fellow ZZ Top member Frank Beard played in local Dallas bands the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues. From 1966 to 1968, American Blues played the Dallas-Fort Worth-Houston circuit. In 1969, Hill was a member of a fake version of the British band The Zombies with Beard.

In 1968, Rocky Hill left the band and Dusty and Beard relocated from the DFW area to Houston, joining guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons of Houston psychedelic-rockers Moving Sidewalks in the recently formed ZZ Top just after they released their first single in 1969. Over the next half-century, ZZ Top released 15 studio albums and sold 50 million albums worldwide. Dusty played bass and keyboards in the band and was secondary lead vocalist. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of ZZ Top in 2004.

ZZ Top was initially a traditional, heavy Texas blues-rock band with classic rock radio hits including "La Grange," "Tush," and "Cheap Sunglasses." They enjoyed their most commercially successful period in the 1980s as a ubiquitous presence on MTV, and became known for Gibbons and Hill's signature long beards, sunglasses and furry guitars in their MTV videos. 1983's Eliminator album added synthesizers and featured three hit pop singles ("Gimme All Your Lovin'," "Legs," and "Sharp Dressed Man"), sold more than 10 million copies, and spent 183 weeks on the Billboard album chart.

In July, 2021, the band played their first performances without Hill in more than 50 years, explaining in an announcement that he had been forced to seek medical attention "to address a hip issue." The band's longtime guitar technician, Elwood Francis, filled in as bass player.

The Benztown Audio Tribute to Dusty Hill was written and voiced by Bill Royal and produced by Matt Anderson.

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iHeartMedia and NBA Team Up for New Slate of Podcasts


iHeartMedia and the National Basketball Association (NBA), today announced a multi-year podcast partnership, which will feature the launch of more than 20 new iHeartRadio-NBA co-produced podcasts. The new slate of NBA podcasts will be distributed widely by the iHeartPodcast Network with the first show set to debut this Fall.

The new shows will be produced using a wide variety of content from the NBA archives to tell the backstories of some of the greatest moments in sports history, along with a mix of the latest league news, player commentary, insider analysis, and much more - available on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are found.

"We are excited to expand the league's audio offerings to fans by teaming up with iHeartMedia to deliver NBA content and storytelling to the iHeartPodcast Network," said David Denenberg, Senior Vice President, National & Local Network Partnerships. "We look forward to reaching more fans with content about our teams, players and history through this partnership."

"The NBA is one of the toughest leagues in the world. These are relentless athletes, with a grueling schedule, at the absolute height of their game," said Kevin LeGrett, President of iHeartMedia Sports. "Their stories are the stuff of legend and deserve mass-reach audiences and top-tier brand partners. iHeart alone can deliver that."

The partnership provides the NBA and its teams access to iHeartMedia's massive reach across multiple audio platforms including podcasts, streaming and broadcast radio, as well as the opportunity to develop a new slate of groundbreaking shows each year.

Audacy Kicks Off Special Football Training Camp Programming


Audacy has announced special professional football Training Camp programming available live exclusively on the Audacy digital platform. "Training Camp Live," an in-depth look at professional football training camp and preseason storylines, will be available via live and on demand digital platforms and produced by the following nine Audacy Sports stations, each Monday and Friday from July 30 to September 3.

  • Boston - WEEI
  • Chicago - 670 The Score
  • Dallas - 105.3 The Fan
  • Kansas City - 610 Sports Radio
  • New York - WFAN 101.9FM / 660AM
  • Philadelphia - Sports Radio 94WIP
  • Pittsburgh - 93.7 The Fan
  • San Francisco - 95.7 The Game
  • Washington - 106.7 The Fan and 980 The Team

Local Audacy professional football experts will provide twice weekly insights into all of the market's team's training camp news. Shows will be hosted by various on-air personalities from each station.

"Training camp is the perfect time to capture pro football fans who are excited about the start of the season," said Matt Volk, Vice President of Sports, Audacy. "By identifying insiders throughout our markets, this exclusive digital content will give fans a front row seat to all of the training camp and preseason storylines surrounding their favorite team."

Live versions of the episodes will be available exclusively on the Audacy digital platform in both audio and video form. Episodes will be repurposed into time-shifted podcasts and will also be available on the app, website and through all other major podcast providers.

The Dana Show Welcomes New Affiliates


Nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Dana Loesch and Radio America are excited to announce the addition of these new affiliates:

WMBD-AM Peoria, IL, WTIB-FM Williamston, NC, WRHT-FM Morehead City, NC, WRTA-AM/FM Altoona, PA, WNWS-FM in Jackson, TN, and WKST-AM New Castle, PA. Dana replaced Rush Limbaugh on WPSN -AM in Honesdale, PA, WNTI-AM Somerset, PA and WNTJ-AM in Johnstown, PA.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 15% to $2.16 Billion, EPS $0.10


SiriusXM
SiriusXM

SiriusXM reported second quarter revenue rose 15% to $2.16 billion from $1.87 billion in 2020. Adjusted EBITDA was $700 million, up 14% from $615 million. The company posted a net income of $433 million (10 cents per diluted share) as compared to $243 million (5 cents) in the year-ago period. Second quarter net income included $140 million in insurance recoveries related to the company's SXM-7 satellite.

SiriusXM added 355,000 net new self-pay subscribers in Q2, a 34% increase from the 264,000 added in Q2 2020. Paid promotional subscribers decreased by 378,000. Continuing impacts of a new vehicle trial structure with certain automakers, and to a lesser extent, lower vehicle shipments due to silicon supply constraints, contributed to negative paid promotional net additions during the quarter. Total subscribers at the end of the second quarter were 34.5 million, an increase of 1% from the prior year period.

"SiriusXM added an impressive 355,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter, putting us on track to add 1.1 million self-pay subscribers this year - our best since 2018 - and we are increasing all of our financial guidance. The quarter was bolstered by record self-pay churn of just 1.5%, and we achieved strong monetization in our advertising business, with an increase in ad revenue of 82% from the prior year period and 20% from the second quarter of 2019," said SiriusXM CEO Jennifer Witz.

"SiriusXM's second quarter results give us impressive momentum heading into the back half of the year. We were pleased to raise $2 billion of new, senior unsecured notes in June with a coupon of just 4%, and we will use the remaining cash proceeds in August to repay our outstanding 2022 notes. In the first half of 2021 we returned approximately $965 million of capital to stockholders, comprised of approximately $844 million in common stock repurchases and $121 million in dividends. At the end of the quarter, SiriusXM's net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA ratio was 3.2x, and our $1.75 billion revolving credit facility was completely undrawn and fully available," added CFO Sean Sullivan.

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Dusty Rhodes Joins WGTS/D.C. as Chief Development Officer


Dusty Rhodes
Dusty Rhodes

WGTS-FM/Washington, DC welcomes industry veteran Dusty Rhodes as Chief Development Officer. In this new post, he'll be responsible for developing, organizing and implementing all aspects of WGTS' fundraising initiatives. Rhodes is responsible for the launches of WAY-FM radio stations in Denver, Portland, Louisville, Huntsville, Charleston and Tallahassee. He also launched and managed what remains WAY Media's largest station, 88.1 Way-FM in West Palm Beach, FL.

In addition to fundraising, Rhodes has worked as a morning talent, Program Director, General Manager, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President and a consultant for nonprofits in fundraising and leadership.

"I have always had a heart for Washington, D.C. I was born and raised there. I'm grateful and excited to be joining Kevin Krueger and the WGTS 91.9 team to serve this community at such an important and strategic time in our nation's history," said Rhodes.

"What an honor it is to welcome Dusty to our team. His experience in development and natural ability to connect with people will make a difference for both the immediate and long term for this organization," added WGTS President/General Manager Kevin Krueger.

The Baka Boyz Return to Daily Syndication


The Baka Boyz
The Baka Boyz

The World-Famous Baka Boyz (aka Eric and Nick Vidal) launch today on Beasley Broadcasting's Jammin'105.7 in Las Vegas (7-11pm) debuting as the second station in a national syndication roll-out. Compass Media Networks is partnering with Gary Bernstein's Oceanic Tradewinds in a multi-format, multi-daypart program offering.

"I still remember the first time I heard the Baka Boyz do their thing! Their energy, creativity and chemistry are undeniable and I'm excited to bring them to Las Vegas to entertain Sin City and make the lights even brighter! They've always sounded great and I love how they continue to evolve their brand both on the air and with social media. Combined with their incredible work ethic, we can't lose with the Baka Boyz on Jammin' 105.7!", says Tom Calococci, Program Director, KOAS-FM/Jammin' 105.7.

The Baka Boyz say, "It's time for us to raise the bar and get listeners talking about their favorite radio station and radio personalities once again. It's a sin so many in radio have forgotten about the importance of personality radio and what better place to reverse those sins than Sin City with the legendary Tom C. and Beasley Broadcasting."

"The Baka Boyz are undeniably one of the best ever to perform on the radio," said Bernstein. "Our first daily radio station KZCE in Phoenix BOUNCED from # 23 to #4 in PM Drive (from a 1.1 to a 4.0) when comparing the March 2021 pre-Baka Boyz numbers against the most recent June ratings (Adults 25-54 AQH Share/ Rank). We expect dozens of new station additions over the next few months as true programming greatness can't easily be duplicate and surely always stands out!"

The syndicated program will be delivered Content Only so stations can program their own music, whether its Classic Hip Hop, Rhythmic AC, Throwback, Urban AC, or even Pop or Rhythmic CHR.

Signal Hill Insights Findings Shared in RAB Presentation


RAB Business Accelerated
RAB Business Accelerated

As part of RAB's Business Accelerated initiative, Signal Hill Insights joins RAB for the live presentation "All Audio is Not Alike: What Each Type Brings to Listeners and Advertisers." In late June, Signal Hill Insights released the study "Radio on the Move 2021 Update," conducted using Canadian listeners.

Signal Hill Insights President and founder Jeff Vidler, will share the complete findings of the study, including the following insights:

  • Not all audio is created equal.

  • Listeners turn on the radio while on the go and in the car to receive information and feel more connected. Whereas music streaming services and podcasts are used by listeners for entertainment and to relax while at home.

  • Eighty-six percent of online music streaming service users say they listen to AM/FM radio on "a typical weekday."

  • Nearly one-in-five Canadians stream AM/FM radio in 2021 compared to 14% pre-COVID.

During the session, Vidler will also cover the implications for advertisers throughout North America who are looking to take advantage of audio's growing opportunities. This presentation takes place at noon CT on Wednesday, August 25. Registration for the presentation is free for RAB members. The presentation will also be available for on-demand viewing. To register, click here.

WPTF New Flagship Station for University of NC Tar Heels


WPTF
WPTF

Carolina Football and Men's Basketball have a new home on the radio in the Triangle area. In conjunction with multimedia rights holder Tar Heel Sports Properties, the Tar Heels have entered a new flagship relationship with Curtis Media Group and WPTF (98.5/680) for radio coverage of Football and Men's Basketball games in Raleigh-Durham.

The multi-year agreement kicks off with the 2021-22 college athletics season, and the first gameday broadcast on WPTF will be September 3, when Carolina Football plays at Virginia Tech. The stations also will broadcast coaches' shows for Football and Men's Basketball, and the weekly show "Primetime in the ACC."

"We are excited about this partnership with Curtis Media Group, which will help us tell the great stories of Carolina Athletics in the Triangle area and across the state," said Carolina Associate Athletic Director for External Communications Robbi Pickeral Evans. "We know that Carolina fans are excited about the year to come, and Curtis Media's wide reach will help us connect and stay connected with our supporters."

Fans tuning in around the Triangle will continue to hear the familiar voice of Jones Angell, playby-play broadcaster for Carolina Football and Men's Basketball. WPTF covers Central and Eastern North Carolina on AM and FM.

"As the largest privately owned radio group in North Carolina, we understand the power of the Carolina brand," said Curtis Media Group President and COO Trip Savery. "We are very pleased to welcome Carolina alumni and fans to listen to Tar Heel football and basketball on WPTF this fall."

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Study: Radio Listeners Show More Interest in Online Sports


Westwood One
Westwood One

In order to obtain a broad national perspective of the emerging online sports betting market, Cumulus Media's Westwood One commissioned a study in April across the twelve states where online sports wagering is fully legalized. MARU/Matchbox surveyed 718 adults over the age of 21 in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The key findings were outlined in this week's Westwood One blog.

  • In states with legalized sports betting, younger adults and men are the most likely to be interested in wagering on sports betting sites: When asked how likely they would be to visit or place a wager at an online sports betting site or app, 23% of adults 21+ say they are very or somewhat interested in online sports betting. Nearly half of adults 21-34 say they would be interested. Among adults 35-54, interest drops to 30%.

  • Compared to TV viewers, AM/FM radio listeners have far more experience with sports betting, greater interest, and greater awareness of online sports betting brands.

  • Nielsen Scarborough: Those engaged with sports betting are very light TV viewers, making linear TV a very expensive media option: AM/FM radio is far more effective at reaching the online sports bettor.

  • Ideal media allocation mix for online sports betting brands: 57% AM/FM radio, 43% TV: Among those interested in sports betting, 40% are heavy AM/FM radio listeners and 30% are heavy TV viewers, a relationship that converts to a ratio of 57% AM/FM radio and 43% TV.

  • Aided awareness: 70% are aware of FanDuel and DraftKings, four out of ten are familiar with BetMGM and Golden Nugget, and eight brands have aided awareness ranging from 20% to 29%.

  • AM/FM radio listeners have +44% greater aided familiarity for online sports betting brands compared to TV viewers, despite all the money showered on TV.

  • Brand scorecard: Among those interested in online sports betting, DraftKings and FanDuel tie for the lead, BetMGM places next, and a large group of brands occupy the next tier.

  • Among AM/FM radio programming format listeners, Sports, Urban, Alternative Rock, Adult Contemporary, News/Talk, Country, Top 40, and Rock fans show the greatest interest in sports betting.

  • Online sports-betting-AM/FM radio buys are under-weighted on Rock, Top 40, Adult Contemporary, Classic Hits/Oldies; AM/FM radio programming formats that are over-weighted include Sports, News/Talk and Classic Rock.

  • Podcasts represent a strong media platform for online sports betting brands as podcast listeners are +63% more likely to be sports betters, and podcasts reach 39% of sports bettors: Sports bettors listen most to News/Government/History, Comedy, and Society and Culture podcasts.

Radio Mercury Awards Add Two New Categories


Radio Mercury Awards
Radio Mercury Awards

For 30 years, the Radio Mercury Awards have highlighted creative excellence in radio advertising and continues today by recognizing creative excellence in all things audio as radio reaches beyond the dial. In 2021, to recognize the unique circumstances collectively faced, the Radio Mercury Awards is presenting two new categories.

  • Purpose-Driven Spot or Campaign to celebrate efforts that advance cause related and societal issues.
  • Insightful Voices Spots that portray the values, culture, and lifestyle of specific audiences in an authentic voice.

Check out all of the 2021 Radio Mercury Award categories here and showcase your work with the world, by entering your audio creative.

Salem Media Group Inks Sebastian Gorka to Extension


Sebastian Gorka
Sebastian Gorka

Salem Media Group has announced that Salem Radio Network has extended the contract for "America First with Sebastian Gorka," in a multi-year agreement. Dr. Gorka began the program in January, 2019, in the 3-6pm ET daypart.

"Dr. Gorka has proven to be a natural on the radio," said Salem Senior Vice President for Spoken Word, Phil Boyce. "His insight into current events, his courageous stand on the issues, and his unique sense of humor have blended together to make this one of the best shows in the Salem lineup."

Dr. Gorka grew up in London, learning talk radio by listening to the London radio stations when he was just a youngster. His parents were both freedom fighters from the communist takeover of Hungary, and instilled in him a love of freedom from an early age. He is an immigrant to this country, and has written three books on freedom, published by Regnery Publishing.

"Despite an incredibly hard 18 months for America, conservative talk radio is stronger than it has ever been and I am so grateful to Salem, my superb team and our amazing listeners for their loyalty and enduring love of country," said Dr. Gorka. "I am overjoyed at the chance to continue our shared mission to tell the truth and make America even stronger than before."

107.7 The Bone/San Francisco Ups Chasta Michaelis to PD


Chasta Michaelis
Chasta Michaelis

Cumulus Media promotes Chasta Michaelis to Program Director for Bay Area Classic Rock KSAN-FM (107.7 The Bone)/San Francisco. In addition to her new role as PD, Michaelis will continue to be heard weekday mornings as part of "The Lamont & Tonelli Show" and as midday host. Prior to joining the cast of morning show in 2012, Michaelis was an air talent for Metro Networks in San Francisco, following four years as air talent for Westwood One.

She has also been heard on Los Angeles stations including KRTH-FM (K-Earth 101), KSPN-AM, KFWB-AM and KABC-AM. Michaelis currently hosts and produces the "Rock Your Life" podcast and is also Host and Producer of Soundwaves TV.

Cumulus San Francisco VP/Market Manager Larry Blumhagen said, "I'm beyond excited to have Chasta moving into this new role. Her passion and connection to both The Bone and the Bay Area is exceptional, and her enthusiasm and vision will take an already strong station to even higher levels."

Michaelis commented, "I am honored to be at the helm of such an iconic station and thrilled to build upon the legacy of the KSAN call letters. I will continue to focus on building our rock 'n roll community in the Bay Area and providing a rockin' place for our Bonehead Family to hang. Thank you to Larry Blumhagen and everyone at Cumulus Media for putting their faith in me."

Westwood One Announces Changes to Affiliate Sales Team


Westwood One
Westwood One

Westwood One has announced new positions for Neal Weiner and Sue Falco in Affiliate Sales. Weiner is elevated to Vice President of Affiliate Sales for 24/7 Formats. He's a 26-year veteran of Westwood One and has been an integral part of the Affiliate Sales team working with 24/7 Formats, Music and Entertainment Shows, Sports and Prep Services. He began his radio career at Pirate Radio in Los Angeles, which was owned by Westwood One at the time.

In addition, industry veteran Sue Falco returns to Westwood One as Director of Affiliate Sales for the Music & Entertainment division, bringing her industry relationships across all formats to a new role. Earlier in her career, Falco spent six years at the company as part of both the News/Talk and the Country affiliate sales teams. She most recently served for ten years as Director of Affiliate Sales with United Stations.

"With more than a quarter century with Westwood One, Neal knows this business inside and out. And Sue's new role brings her full circle back to Westwood One, along with valuable experience and strong industry relationships." said Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales Stuart Greenblatt. "There are no better people to assume these roles and drive Westwood One's affiliate sales."

"We have fantastic new offerings in the pipeline for helping our affiliates to operate smoothly and efficiently, and to sound amazing," said Weiner. "I'm honored to assume this role at such an exciting time."

"Westwood One is synonymous with great programming and super-sized talent," added Falco. I'm thrilled to be back on the team with such a well-respected brand."

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