Lance’s Line

How News Bias Limits Potential Audiences

In a year-long study on political polarization published today, The Pew Research Center has released data on how American’s receive and trust news sources. Among the takeaways from the study, Pew states that the 20% of the population who label themselves as “Consistently Liberal” or “Consistently Conservative” are the most likely to vote, donate to campaigns and participate directly in politics. The other 80% are classified as “Mostly Liberal”, “Mixed”, or “Mostly Conservative”. Among radio brands included in the study, NPR is considered the most used news source by 53% and most trusted by 72% of those at the extreme left of the political spectrum. Not surprisingly Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck are trusted by 0...Read More

Fox Sports Radio Bringing A Blueprint For A Revamped Talk Format

When iHeartMedia’s “Fox Sports Radio” debuts its new lineup on November 3, the network will have ten hours of its daily lineup that will be dedicated to general entertainment Talk as opposed to just sports. Rich Eisen’s first guests on the show that will add the radio simulcast on 11/3 were actor Paul Rudd, San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York and “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan showing an ability to stretch the format beyond just Sports Talk. The show’s producer Ted Mulkerin, comes to the program from CBS’ Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson bringing late night television sensibilities to a radio program. Dan Patrick has always had a pop-culture lean on his program, and Jay Mohr came to the program following a long run as a regular guest on the Opie ...Read More

Your Station’s Website Sucks

It doesn’t matter how they’re designed or what content management system it uses, the commercial radio industry has come to accept that their online home is going to suck. Where else can you go if you want to be bombarded with advertisements, promotional graphics, and rehashes of articles posted on TMZ a couple hours before with poor SEO to ensure nobody ever finds the posts? Just head over to your hometown radio station’s website and you’ll be all set. Where else are there bios of hosts telling all about how they’ve moved from town to town to town without establishing roots anywhere and how they’re favorite sports team and musicians have no connection to their current station? Give it up for that guy Otto Mation working simultaneous shifts across the co...Read More

Examining The CBS/Beasley Deal

The biggest radio deal in years is now on the books as CBS and Beasley are exchanging nineteen stations in four Top 25 markets. How will this affect each cluster? Philadelphia Philadelphia is likely the lynchpin of this entire exchange. CBS has been attempting to add an additional FM in the market for years, twice being outbid for what is now EMF’s 106.9 WKVP. With this deal CBS doubles the amount of FMs it owns in the market as it adds Country 92.5 WXTU and Rhythmic CHR “Wired 96.5” WRDW-FM to its Sports 94.1 WIP-FM and Classic Hits 98.1 WOGL. CBS drops an AM in 610 WIP, but still retains News 1060 KYW and Conservative Talk 1210 WPHT. CBS is now maxed out at six radio stations in Philadelphia as it also owns CBS 3 KYW-TV and CW “Philly 57” WPSG. If there were...Read More

iHeartMedia But What About Radio?

Clear Channel Media + Entertainment is a thing of the past. The company was founded as San Antonio Broadcasting Company in 1972 by Lowry Mays and Red McCombs with the purchase of a San Antonio station that today is Country “KJ97” KAJA. Following the purchase of 1200 WOAI in 1975 the company took the name of the term for the 50kW AM stations without any other signals allowed to broadcast enabling coverage over wide areas at night. After using the deregulation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to gradually swallow up competitors such as Jacor and AMFM, Clear Channel had established itself as the largest operator of radio stations by a wide margin. It wasn’t until 2008 when the company launched the iHeartRadio streaming platform and app. That led to multiple concerts and aw...Read More

When Is A Station Cursed Or Simply Mishandled

The CRTC this week approved 100.7 CFJL-FM Winnipeg’s application to relocate to 100.5 in part because “the frequency itself has become stigmatized as a station no one listens to.” While The Jewel format is fresh and new in the Winnipeg market, is enjoyed by those who tune it in, and is successful in other markets where it is played, it can not escape the stigma that comes with the frequency after so much time at the bottom of the ratings. Listeners have told our marketing department the station is a “loser”, and consequently, potential advertisers see the station as perpetually “last in the market” to our financial detriment. It is our belief that a change in frequency to 100.5 MHz will help Dufferin overcome and shed some of the negative baggage associated with the 100.7...Read More

Radio & Records War Against Change

It took all of nineteen days for the relaunch of CKMP Calgary utilizing the Quickhitz brand of shortened pop hits to come to an end. The backlash against the revamped format started when singer/songwriter Jann Arden went on a Twitter tirade about the station editing songs. That began a war of words as Newcap VP/Programming Steve Jones accused her of cyberbullying, while Paragon Media’s Mike Henry (co-developer of the concept) took potshots at those who critiqued those who criticized the concept. The quick turnaround came after what Jones claimed was “numerous legal threats from a variety of different directions.” What were these supposed legal threats? The music industry and the radio industry are reliant on each other to make money. Record labels promote songs to radio, ...Read More

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

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. DIYMedia.net 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

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

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