With podcasting and other digital media regularly cited by pundits as the future of radio, a report by eMarketer on a recent study by Wondery.com and comScore.com suggests that future could be just a little further off than some predict. In a summary report of the study, eMarketer says, “Most Internet users are familiar with podcasts, but have either not listened to them within the past six months, or have never listened to them.” The survey found that about 1 in 5 online users reported tuning in to a podcast in the past half-year, and adds that of the 21% of respondents who have listened to podcasts recently, just one-third said they listen to them more than once a week. Meanwhile, in addition to its podcast listening analysis, eMarketer also makes note of a separate recent study by Bridge Ratings on the “abandonment rates” of podcasts among listeners in the U.S. The Bridge study reported a quarter of podcast listeners bail-out on podcasts that run 45-60 minutes, while shorter podcasts — especially those under five minutes — showed “significantly lower abandonment rates.” Read more HERE.
Cumulus Media has named John Abbot as Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer for the company, effective July 1st. Most recently EVP/CFO of Telx Holdings Inc., Abbot (left) brings more than 20 years of financial and operations management experience to Cumulus Media. He’ll succeed Joseph “J.P” Hannan, who recently resigned after a six year run to pursue other interests. In his new role, Abbot will be responsible for finance, treasury, accounting, tax, engineering, purchasing, real estate, information technology and systems. “We are fortunate to attract a leader of John’s caliber with such extensive financial and operational experience to Cumulus as we work to accelerate the progress we have made in the company’s multi-year turnaround,” said Mary Berner, President and CEO of Cumulus Media. “His expertise and versatility will be invaluable as we continue to focus on managing the business to improve revenue performance while maintaining cost discipline and exploring available options to improve the balance sheet. We thank J.P. for his significant contributions to the expansion of Cumulus and are grateful for his dedication to the business.”
NTS MediaOnline Today sends our congratulations to New York City’s ‘First Lady’ of Talk radio, Joan Hamburg, on being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Alliance for Women in Media’s 41st annual Gracie Awards luncheon, held yesterday (6/22) in NYC. Joan was introduced and presented with her award by long time pal and award-winning actor Alan Alda (pictured with Joan), who told attendees, “In a media industry where Talk radio is overwhelmingly dominated by men, Joan is a woman’s voice that is graceful and lively, but authoritative.”… GET WELL SOON WISHES: To FOX News and FOX Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto, who is recovering from open heart surgery that he underwent earlier this week. Cavuto, who has been off the air since the end of May, is scheduled to return to duty later this year … CONDOLENCES: To the family, friends and former colleagues of “Dandy” Dan Daniels — one of WMCA/New York’s legendary Good Guys — who died “suddenly” yesterday (6/21). CBS Radio/New York’s Classic Hits WCBS-FM — where Daniels had most recently been heard — has more HERE.
Cumulus Media News/Talker WABC/New York adds Always In Fashion, a new show featuring a behind the scenes look at the fashion industry, hosted by fashion industry power player and exec Mark Weber. The one-hour weekly business Talk program will feature Weber and “luminaries from the world of fashion sharing insights from the glamorous, fast-paced and highly competitive business of fashion.” Commenting on the new addition to WABC’s weekend lineup, PD Craig Schwalb said, “The minute I met Mark, I knew he had the right elements to effectively deliver a largely untapped new category to Talk radio – Fashion and Business – in a fresh and unique way to listeners and advertisers. We are excited to present Always in Fashion on-air, online, and on-demand at 77wabc.com.” WABC will be the first station to air Always in Fashion, which will get a planned national syndication rollout through KMG Networks (a division of Krantz Media Group) in association with Sungate Partners.
Chicago White Sox legend Frank Thomas recently dropped by CBS Radio Sports/Talker 670 The Score (WSCR/Chicago) to chat up his new cookbook, The ‘Big Hurt’s’ Guide To BBQ and Grilling. Pictured are (L-R): WSCR’s Mully & Hanley morning show co-host Mike Mulligan, Thomas, and Chicago Cubs and Score broadcaster Ron Coomer (who was sitting-in for Brian Hanley).
The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has announced the 2016 national Edward R. Murrow Award winners, recognizing outstanding work produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world. This year — the 45th anniversary of the awards — RTDNA is presenting 103 national Murrow Awards in 13 categories including Newscast, Investigative Reporting, Overall Excellence and more. For the third year in a row, ABC News Radio won for Overall Excellence at the network level. The Disney-owned radio news network also won awards for Breaking News and Hard News. Meanwhile, for the fourth year in a row CBS Radio News took home Best Newscast honors for the June 19th, 2015 broadcast of World News Roundup in the aftermath of the Charleston church shootings. Minnesota Public Radio also won an Overall Excellence trophy for Large Market Radio, while Delmarva Broadcasting News/Talker WDEL-AM&FM/Wilminton, DE took home Small Market Radio honors in that category. Congratulations to all of this year’s Murrow Award winners, who will be honored at Gotham Hall in New York City on October 10th. See a complete list of the 2016 winners HERE.
The NFL Los Angeles Rams will be coming at SoCal fans from two sides of their radio dials this fall, when the team returns to L.A. for the upcoming 2016-17 season. The Rams announced that ESPN Radio-owned and operated ESPNLA 710AM (KSPN/Los Angeles) is now the team’s official flagship radio partner. As part of the just-signed deal, KSPN will be responsible for all radio production efforts and for selling virtually all of the advertising inventory in game-day broadcasts and ancillary programming. ESPNLA 710 will also build and manage an extensive Rams Radio Network, feeding game-day broadcasts to radio stations across Southern California and markets beyond. Concurrently, crosstown Entercom-owned The Sound 100.3FM (KSWD) has also inked a multi-year deal with the Rams to simulcast game-day broadcasts and serve as the team’s official FM home. KSWD will also create exclusive Rams programming, including regular segments on the Classic Rocker’s popular Mark in the Morning show.
Recently, NTS MediaOnline Today told you about a long-running, friendly Twitter “war” between KFBK/Sacramento morning co-host Dan Mitchinson and legendary actor William Shatner. Well, it seems that Dan finally got to consummate his ‘Bro-mance’ with the one and only ‘Captain Kirk’ last weekend while covering the Wizard World Comic-Con, where Shatner was appearing. After grabbing an office wall souvenir (left), Mitchinson returned home to find a tweet posted from Shatner about their meeting that read, “And I didn’t even make fun of that jacket…out loud anyway!” … ESPN Chicago 1000 (WMVP) signs a multiyear agreement to broadcast every Notre Dame football and men’s basketball game beginning with the 2016-17 seasons. The new agreement returns the ‘Fighting Irish’ to WMVP, which previously served as the home for Notre Dame sports from 1999-2005. ESPN Chicago 1000 will produce Notre Dame basketball games, while IMG will produce Notre Dame football games, as part of IMG’s Notre Dame Football Network … Comedian Bill Engvall has partnered with PodcastOne to launch My Two Cents with Bill Engvall. New episodes are now available every Wednesday at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), through its PILOT program, is accepting submissions for its first-ever PILOT Innovation Challenge to “recognize creative ideas that leverage technological advances in the production, distribution and display of engaging content.” The program will also provide support to the winners for development. This year’s challenge question is: “How can local television and radio broadcasters engage their communities with next generation content on any device, whether big, small or moving?” A panel of judges from the broadcast, venture capital, media and technology industries will choose 10 semi-finalists in late September. A smaller panel of judges will determine the top three winners who will receive $20,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively, to assist with prototyping the winning concepts. Additionally, the top three winners will receive expert guidance, access to key broadcast executives and exclusive exposure at industry events, including the NAB Show New York and NAB Show. The submission deadline is September 23rd, 2016. Learn more about the PILOT Innovation Challenge and get full application details HERE.
On Monday (6/20) the National Association of Broadcasters broke ground at the site of its future headquarters, located at 1 M Street S.E., in the heart of Washington, DC. NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith and others spoke at the official groundbreaking ceremonies, after which the NAB’s Real Estate Committee and other dignitaries posed for the obligatory “group of people in business suits with shovels wearing hard hats” photo above. The NAB’s new headquarters is scheduled to open in Fall 2018.