Looking At The Nash Icon Launch

Any time a company flips fourteen stations in one day it should be a big deal. Why was it that Cumulus’ launch of the “Nash Icon” brand on Friday came across very flat? The brand, then called “Nash Icons“, was first announced in May as a partnership between Cumulus and Big Machine Label Group as a 90s centric brand of “old hits and new material by 1990s country stars such as Garth Brooks, George Strait, Shania Twain and the Judds, along with a handful of similar acts from the late 1980s and early 2000s”, while Big Machine built a record label based around those artists. Yet when the stations launched on Friday there was not much difference between the “90s To Now” positioning Cumulus uses at many of their Country stations outside of a f...Read More

The Continued Demise Of The Local Night Show

Earlier today AllAccess reported that Clear Channel VP/Special Programming Projects Tim ‘Romeo” Herbster is taking over nights at nine of the company’s Top 40 stations. Herbster, who also hosts the nationally syndicated “Saturday Night Online” will be heard on “Z104.3” WZFT Baltimore, “Channel 96.1” WHQC Charlotte, “G105” WDCG Raleigh, “107.5 The River” WRVW Nashville, and five other stations yet to be announced. Romeo becomes yet another syndicated personality in the evening daypart. The AC format has long been the domain of syndication with the likes of Delilah and John Tesh. Rock has seen the growth of Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx, HardDrive XL, VH1 Classic Rock On Tap with Nik Carter, Nights with Alice Cooper, ...Read More

Did We Miss The Elvis Break?

Article appears courtesy of Complete Station Branding on Barter. When you log-in everything is branded with your VO, ready to go. In the early ‘90s, with hip-hop ascendant and top 40 radio in shambles, it was often suggested that hip-hop was the new pop music. This theory, frequently proffered by hip-hop stations that wanted to report to the top 40 chart, held that those who still saw top 40 as a mainstream variety format had missed a permanent 1956-style break with the past. The next generation of listeners wouldn’t be any more interested in mainstream pop music than Elvis Presley fans were in Doris Day records. I root for a healthy R&B/hip-hop format as much as anybody. But for now, it’s hard to deny that hip-hop hasn’t been the only music that matters to any self-respecti...Read More

State Of Talk: Moldy & Anthony

It’s been a record setting year for many Talk stations as some of the biggest stations in the format continue to set records for the lowest ratings in their format’s histories. Cumulus’ 770 WABC New York has dropped from a 2.2 in April to a 1.3 in June, while Clear Channel’s 710 WOR registered a 1.5 thanks to a little bit of a boost from New York Mets baseball. In Los Angeles, 640 KFI was leading the market as recently as 2012, now its down to 12th with a 2.8. Sister 1150 KEIB added Rush Limbaugh in January from KFI and has risen all the way up to a 0.8. 890 WLS Chicago was down to a 1.4 810 KGO San Francisco was the market leader in every ratings period for 27 years until 2010. By the end of 2011, the station shifted to mostly News as ratings continued to drop but ...Read More

IHeart Loopholes

As broadcasters and musicians take their fight to Congress over whether radio stations should be held to the same standards as webcasters and satellite radio when it comes to paying royalties to artists when they play their songs, a few companies have found loopholes when it comes to their online streams. reports that some webcasters have begun seeking out leases of HD Radio subchannels to subvert the need to pay royalties based on the current rules. However they fail to mention the biggest exploiter of the loophole. Every “Exclusive” music channel on IHeartRadio is tied to an HD sub-channel somewhere in the country. Classic American Top 40 is KPEZ-HD2 Austin. Nick Radio is WHTZ-HD2 Newark. The new All-Michael Jackson channel that Clear Channel launched today is or...Read More

How Translators Changed the Format Landscape

By Sean Ross For years, the easiest way to gauge the fortunes of a particular radio format was to track the format-change activity around it. Was a format hot enough that owners would entrust their multi-million dollar property to it? Was a format so hot that broadcasters might blow up a viable radio station to get there before a competitor? (Think of oldies WCBS-FM New York becoming Jack-FM nearly a decade ago.) In the mid-’90s, three new alternative stations in a week were a clear sign of the “new rock revolution,” and about as fevered a pitch as you could hope for. Last week, there were three new alternative stations in top 50 markets. But while alternative is considered to be on an upswing at the moment, two of those new alternative stations were on lower-powered FM t...Read More

The Curation Invasion

They had the insight early on to know how important human curation is. That technology by itself wasn’t enough — that it was the marriage of the two that would really be great and produce a feeling in people that we want to produce. – Tim Cook explaining why Apple acquired Beats Music. Apple has purchased Beats and Google is reportedly in talks to acquire Songza with the intent to enhance their music services with curated playlists chosen by programmers as opposed to just their algorithms. Sound familiar? This is the model that radio has used for decades. Meanwhile our industry is heading into the other direction. Station playlists are increasingly selected out of the corporate office with what the major record labels are pushing with little regard for trying to break new artists or ...Read More

Dave Herman’s Radio Legacy

Dave Herman is by all means a radio legend. Dave Herman died in jail awaiting trial on charges of attempting to have sex with a six year old child. Is it acceptable to celebrate the good while still realizing the bad? O.J. Simpson is still a member of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame with a tarnished legacy despite being found not-guilty of his murder charges. As Herman passed before getting his right to a fair trial, lets take a look at the radio legacy he left behind. Herman’s radio career started at 93.3 WMMR Philadelphia in 1968 when the then Beautiful Music station debuted his Freeform “Marconi Project” at night before expanding the Rock format to 24 hours the following year. After a brief stay at WABC-FM, Herman would join WMMR’s sister 102.7 WNEW-FM New York for...Read More

The War Of Words Over Rush’s Ratings

Liberal watchdog Media Matters For America has long been railing against Conservative radio voices such as Rush Limbaugh, so it was not a surprise when their Senior Fellow Erik Boehlert wrote a blog entry about the lack of ratings for Limbaugh since moving to 1150 KEIB Los Angeles, 960 KNEW San Francisco, and 710 WOR New York at the beginning of this year. It was a surprise though to see Limbaugh’s spokesman Brian Glicklich to publicly counter Boehlert’s post. Both entries are full of the usual rhetoric looking to skew the numbers towards the point they’re trying to make leaving the truth somewhere in the middle. Boehlert’s article is built around the miniscule ratings Limbaugh’s new affiliates have registered since their relaunches in January. Noting their fu...Read More

The Missing Piece In Nationalized Radio?

Clear Channel is consolidating sales much like it has consolidated on-air positions over the past few years. Cumulus continues with its rollout of the Nash brand. Univision is creating content hubs. The pieces that have defined American radio throughout history are slowly fading away in favor of nationalized efforts. Instead of going fully national though Clear Channel, Cumulus, and Univision are going about it in an even worse way. These companies are trying to have the best of both worlds and end up belonging in none with a mix of syndication, voicetracking, and maybe one or two live jocks if they are lucky on top of their attempt to stay relevant locally with a skeleton crew. Outside of North America nationalized programming has been a fact of life since radio’s inception. In the ...Read More

Fixing Radio: The Importance of Keeping it Local

This guest entry originally was posted on LinkedIN. A year or so after I lost my job as the midday DJ on KNRK in Portland, Oregon, I wrote this article for the Huffington Post about how corporate radio could be improved with simple, inexpensive measures that seemed to make a lot of sense to everyone who read it. Except for people in corporate radio, apparently, if they paid any attention to it at all, because things have only gotten worse since that blog was first posted. As I say in the Huffington Post piece, radio is our last free medium, and it needs to be valued. It will always exist in some form, so why do the big radio corporations seem hell-bent on killing it instead of bringing it roaring back to life? My suggestions on localizing radio aren’t crazy by any measure, and audien...Read More