As our Facebook friends and Twitter followers first learned late yesterday (6/29), Greater Media has officially ended the run of Detroit Sports 105.1 (WMGC-FM/Detroit). The station, launched in 2013, had met with little success at gaining ratings traction in the crowded Motor City Sports radio market in the face of stiff competition primarily from CBS Radio’s well entrenched 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM). “The change comes after much careful consideration of the direction of the station’s format and overall ratings over the past three years,” said Greater Media/Detroit Vice President and Market Manager Steve Chessare about the change in direction for the station. “We would like to thank our dedicated listeners and the entire Detroit Sports 105.1 staff for their many contributions to the station. They are true professionals and we are very grateful to them.” For now, WMGC-FM will air clustermate WCSX-FM-HD2’s Oldies programming until a new format is announced.
In a bit of ‘North of the Border’ broadcasting news, Howard Christensen, longtime Publisher of Broadcast Dialogue, announced today that the Canadian broadcast industry publication has been acquired and will resume publishing on July 21st, under new owner, Vancouver, BC-based Momentum Media Marketing, Inc. Momentum founder and CEO Shawn Smith (left) will serve as Publisher of Broadcast Dialogue, while industry veteran and journalist, Lisa Blackburn comes aboard as the publication’s new Editor. Meanwhile, Christensen takes on the new title of Editor Emeritus … ReelMIX 2016, the upcoming imaging event produced by ReelWorld and The Mix Group, has posted sessions and speakers scheduled for the September 28th and 29th conference in Miami. See the agenda HERE … 99.9 The Fan (WCMC-FM/Raleigh) will host the Sports/Talker’s first ever ‘Beer Academy’ on Saturday, July 16th at Bull Durham Beer Company, located inside the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Me Fine Foundation.
The Young Turks partner with mobile audio network TuneIn to make the online news and politics show — hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian (right)– available to the TuneIn app’s reported 60 million-plus monthly users … Westwood One introduces Veritone Powered By WW One, a “user-friendly platform that provides a dashboard to access all of a station’s programming (captured to the cloud) that is transcribed to text, searchable, and sharable with a one-click audio link and audience metrics.” The new service is a partnership between WW One and Veritone Media … PodcastOne inks a deal with podcast host Chris Jericho for production, distribution and product marketing for the newly created The Jericho Network. Lucha Libre legend Charles Ashenoff, known to wrestling fans worldwide as Konnan, will be the first host to debut on the new network founded by Jericho, host of the twice-weekly Talk Is Jericho podcast.
Tomorrow (7/1) marks the first Friday of the month and, as always, that means a new issue of NTS MediaOnline Monthly. In light of the latest deadly terror attack in Orlando, and a couple of recently reported instances of personalities getting into hot water for comments or actions on and off the air, the July edition of our monthly feature publication re-examines RTDNA’s 50 Questions You Need To Ask When Preparing Crisis Coverage. We also explore why you really need a separate ‘Damage Control’ plan in place — especially in Talk radio — before one of your hosts slips up and the “you-know-what” hits the fan. It’s an informative and timely addition to your summer reading list for the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend — and it’s only in July’s NTS MediaOnline Monthly. Look for it in your inbox first thing tomorrow morning!
Calling it a real favorite among the many remote broadcasts he does annually, KXL/Portland host Lars Larson (nice hat) recently took his show on the road for a pre-July 4th holiday broadcast from Hazel Dell, WA, home to what Lars says is, “Literally the World’s Largest Fireworks tent — 13,000 square feet of the best fireworks!” Larson is also syndicated nationwide by Compass Media Networks.
iHeartMedia has extended the company’s agreement with Joe Pags Show host Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo to continue hosting his daily 5-8pm (CT) talk show on News/Talk WOAI/San Antonio and News/Talk sister station KPRC/Houston. “Pags’ ability to connect with listeners across San Antonio and beyond is unparalleled,” said Matt Martin, Central Division President for iHeartMedia. “He’s able to bring the community together with his unique take on the latest news, and we’re excited to extend our partnership with him.” Commenting on his deal extension, ‘Pags’ — who can also be heard nationwide on Premiere Networks syndicated The Weekend with Joe Pags — said, “I’m proud to have called iHeartMedia home for more than a dozen years, and knowing this fantastic relationship will continue for many more years to come is simply amazing.” (Editor’s Note: Along with airing on iHM’s WOAI and KPRC, Pags’ weekday talk show is also syndicated nationwide by Compass Media Networks.)
In recent weeks, media researcher Richard Harker has added several provocative posts to his company’s RadioInSights blog with some tough criticism for radio on what he sees as the industry’s rather half-hearted efforts in the digital arena and reliance on cost-cutting vs. innovation to retain profitability. In his latest post, Is Radio Chasing Newspaper To The Bottom?, Harker points out how mistakes made by the newspaper industry — mistakes that have caused a drastic drop in profits at a time when that industry needed to reinvent itself — should offer a clear and valuable lesson for radio broadcasters. “Gutting content to protect profits hasn’t worked,” says Harker. “Gutting content may be looked back upon as newspapers’ fatal mistake from which it never recovered. And radio is following a similar course.” See the full post, along with links to Harker’s take on why he thinks TV is playing the digital content game better than radio, and why he believes radio’s increasing emphasis on a “live and local” mantra is basically a lie at most stations, HERE.
We now know what Cox Media Group/Ohio Market VP Julia Wallace (left) will be doing following her recently announced retirement at the end of this year. Wallace — who currently leads CMG/Ohio’s converged TV, newspaper, radio and digital group — is joining Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she’ll be the new ‘Frank Russell Chair for the Business of Journalism.’ Wallace will replace Tim McGuire, the former longtime editor of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, who held the Chair from 2006 until his retirement last month. “I’m so delighted to be joining the Cronkite School,” said Wallace. “The media business is changing fast, and the school is at the forefront of that change. I can’t think of a better place to work with this generation of students. They will be critical to determining the future of journalism.”
iHeartMedia veteran Tony Banks (right) has been elevated to the new post of Director of Talent Development for the Central Division, effective immediately. Banks will be responsible for discovering and recruiting new on-air talent as well as coaching, training and mentoring existing talent within the Central Division. In his new gig Banks will work closely with Tony Coles, Executive Vice President of Programming for the Central Division, and Dennis Clark, iHM’s Vice President of Talent Development. “Working with talent has always been my favorite part of the job and I am beyond excited to join Dennis Clark and Tony Coles to focus exclusively on talent development,” said Banks of his his latest role with the company. “For on-air personalities there is no bigger stage than iHeartMedia’s radio stations, and I look forward to working with these great shows.” iHeartMedia’s Central Division encompasses some 300 radio station brands — including many popular News/Talk/Sports stations — serving listeners in 52 markets.
At the recently held Alliance For Women In Media’s 41st annual Gracie Awards luncheon, six women from CBS Radio were among this year’s honorees. Grabbing a digital souvenir with their trophies and a couple of CBS Radio execs following the event are (L-R): Gracie winners Felicia Middlebrooks and Lola Vanderpuye (WBBM Newsradio/Chicago), CBS Radio EVP/Programming Chris Oliviero and the company’s SVP/Marketing Kenetta Bailey, and Gracie winners Marla Diamond and Jane Tillman Irving (WCBS Newsradio/New York), Loren Raye (103.3 AMP Radio/Boston), and Nina Hajian (92.3 AMP Radio/New York).