Radio's number one ambassador has passed away at the age of 85. Bill Burton died as a result of head injuries suffered from a fall at home on Tuesday. He will be missed by too many people to count, and by an entire industry that appreciated him as its number one cheerleader. Bill was everybody's friend. He was always positive. He was radio's biggest advocate. He was fabulous. There is no funeral planned, but a celebration of Burton's life will be held at a later date. Here are some of the early comments from around the industry about Burton, which no doubt will continue to stream in all day long.
Access 1 Communications has five stations in Shreveport -- KBTT-FM, KOKA-AM, KDKS-FM, KLKL-FM, and KTAL-FM -- and four in Tyler-Longview, Texas: KKUS-FM, KOOI-FM, KOYE-FM, and KYKX-FM. Alpha will begin operating the stations under an LMA starting January 1. When all pending Alpha Media deals are completed, it will bring the total stations owned by the company up to 83 (that includes the pending purchase of six California stations).
Internet pure-play streamer Pandora has responded to the Turtles. GIGAOM reports the company claims that lawsuits filed by the former members of the Turtles is an illegal restriction on the freedom of speech; Pandora filed an anti-SLAPP motion in L.A. this past Friday. SLAPP stands for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation; it's a law that provides defendants a fast process to challenge lawsuits that they believe threaten free speech. Flo and Eddie are coming after Pandora, claiming they are owed money for pre-1972 recordings. There isno federal law protecting recordings before 1972, so the two men are trying to use state laws to win their case.
Jaye Albright has an excellent piece today, ripe with great examples, about stations that compete for the country listener. Albright points out that it's been almost 20 years since the last competitive assault in Orlando for country. "That included Cox's K-92 buying the attacker just before it went country. Three years later they took it out of the format, leading the market for much of the intervening time with just one country station, part of a solid cluster with broad reach. Until now, as JVC launched 103.1 The Wolf on Friday." So, what should we watch for in Orlando?
The FCC slaps the fine on Davidson Media for EEO violations at its stations in Virginia. The commission says Davidson filled six full-time positions and failed to recruit publicly for three of them, relying solely on walk-ins to fill one vacancy and referrals to fill two. Under the commission's EEO rules, relying only on a licensee's private contacts does not constitute recruitment -- that requires public outreach. The four stations will not have their license renewals declined but they will have to pay the fine.
Univision San Antonio's KGSX has launched "Yo! 95.1 FM -- Classic Jams" and will feature music from Snoop Dog, Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., and others. Univision Radio President Jose Valle says, "We are pleased to bring yet another station that embodies the hip hop heritage to our audiences in San Antonio with the launch of Yo! In the words of Run DMC, 'The turntables might wobble -- but they don't fall down.'"
iHeartMedia has launched another throwback Hip Hop station, this one in Cincinnati, on a new FM translator. 102.3 The Beat, Throwback Hip Hop and R&B, went on the air Friday and will feature music from Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z and Tupac and others from that era. Market President Chuck Frederick said, "The all-new 102.3 The Beat will bring back the fun times of an original hip-hop and R&B generation while continuing to serve the local community, playing the music our listeners want to hear."
Alpha's 750 The Game (KXTG) in Portland, Oregon can now be heard on the FM frequency, thanks to a new FM translator at 102.9. Alpha Media Executive VP of Programming Scott Mahalick said, "Adding the FM frequency to our sports station will not only help increase revenue and ratings but will play a key role in opening up new live and local opportunities."
Jim Ryan has been named Senior VP of Programming at CBS Radio, making him the point person for all of CBS Radio's music stations. Ryan also extended his contract with the company as PD at WCBS-FM and WWFS-FM in New York City. CBS Radio Executive VP of Programming Chris Oliviero says, "Jim is universally recognized as one of the premiere music programming minds in the industry, and he surely has the ratings resume to back it up. This well-deserved expanded role will allow our stations and programmers to benefit from his world class experience and knowledge.” Ryan has been with CBS Radio since April of 2010.
Richard Trejo has managed KDAR in Oxnard during his 14 years with Salem. He started in radio in 1981 as an AE with KUZZ FM & KKXX FM in Bakersfield and went on to hold positions as GSM for Buck Owens Broadcasting, GM for the Park Lane Group, and GM at KDAR during his 37 years in radio. Trejo says his next gig will be "full-time grandfathering to our nine grandkids."
Sue Wilson has been promoted to Vice-President/Director of Operations for Rubber City Radio Group in Akron. She'll retain her programming responsibilities at Country WQMX and will also oversee the operations of News/Talk WAKR-AM, Rock WONE-FM, and Smooth AC WNWV-FM in Cleveland. Rubber City Radio Group President Thom Mandel says, "Sue is a treasure, and I know that having her intelligence, leadership, and media savvy available to us on behalf of all stations will be a huge benefit to all of us."
On January 19, Micki Gamez will be the new Assistant Program Director for iHeartMedia's KZEP-FM (Hot 104.5). She'll continue hosting middays and is thrilled about the added responsibilities. "As a native of South Texas," Gamez says, "to be able to work with the great team in San Antonio to shape the station is a fantastic opportunity."
Rich Davis is making the move from Minneapolis where he served as the PD for KDWB for the last three years. As Vice President of Programming for iHeartmedia, Davis will oversee all programming operations for Seattle's seven stations and serve as the PD of 106.1 KISS-FM.
Country outlet WMZQ-FM in Washington D.C. has named Aly Jacobs as its new midday Host. Jacobs has been working in Washington, D.C. since 2004 and has been on air at WMZQ since July 2013 as a morning show co-host and traffic reporter. PD Meg Stevens said, "Aly is the perfect fit for WMZQ midday's. Her warmth, positive attitude and community connection will take middays to the next level."
Every year, Radio Ink magazine and SONY present the Best Country Program Directors at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville (Feb 25-27). Each PD is honored with a profile in Radio Ink magazine and special pullout issues of those profiles are put on display at CRS. We are now accepting nominations for those awards. Deadline to submit is January 8. To nominate your PD GO HERE. Deadline to submit is January 8.
In January Dr. Drew Midday Live with Mike Catherwood will begin airing on KABC-AM in Los Angeles. Westwood One will begin syndicating Loveline starting January 1. Loveline already runs on 35 Cumulus-owned stations. Westwood One currently handles ad sales for Loveline and beginning January 1 will also be responsible for syndicating the nightly show to local radio stations nationwide. Loveline will continue to be available digitally via PodcastOne.
This time of year with so many market veterans loosing their contracts and management opting for staff changes, it's always a good sign to see a high-profile personality and management ink a new deal. iHeartMedia announced that Joe Pagliarulo and News Radio 1200 KOAI will be partners for another year in San Antonio. The Joe Pags Show will continue to fill the afternoon slot on KOAI.
(by Jeffrey Schmidt) A Japanese company and a United States company decided to have a canoe race on the St. Lawrence River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. How does this relate to radio? Let me explain.
(by Loyd Ford) As we approach 2015, now is a great time to think about what creates a feeling of realness. Number one on the list is authenticity. But how do you create that feeling in your social media? Isn't social media fake? Not necessarily. In fact, as we take a look at the social media space you occupy, let's focus in on authenticity and being real. How can you make sure you are communicating those values to your audience in social media like you do on-air. Let us count the ways...
(by Wayne Ens) We're hearing a lot about digital cutting into radio advertising budgets...but does that need to be the case? According to a survey by technology research firm Gartner, sixty-eight percent of senior marketing executives said their company had a separate digital marketing budget. According to the survey, marketing executives are three times more likely to lead strategic growth initiatives in 2016 than they were in 2012.
For the third year in a row WFAN's Mike Francesa has been chosen the number one local sports talker in America by Radio Ink's panel of sports experts. That panel includes program directors, sports hosts, managers of sports stations, and consultants. Mike Francesa has over 27 years of sports talk on the books already, having started out when the format was hardly as cool or lucrative as it is today.
On January 5 Radioink.com begins a new feature called Manager of the Week. Every week we will profile a different manager about why that manager has been successful in the radio industry, how he or she leads others, what it takes to compete and win in a fragmented media world and how the current crop of managers can take radio in the right direction, more specifically to get back to increasing ad revenue. We're encouraging all readers to make nominations HERE which can include market managers, general managers, D.O.S.'s, sales managers, brand managers and Internet sales managers.
Thanks to Robert Sobczak for sending us this Blast From the Past. This is Larry Anderson at WGR in Buffalo. As a teenager and president of his High School Radio Club, Robert set up tours of Buffalo Radio stations. He took this picture in 1979. Read More About This Blast From the Past...