Hopeck Takes Charge @ iHeartMedia/NYC
April 20, 2015

iHeartMedia announced today that Scott Hopeck has been named President of its New York City market cluster — including heritage News/Talker and New York Mets’ flagship WOR — effective immediately. A 20-year media veteran, Hopeck (left) has spent the past decade with iHeartMedia, most recently serving as Market President for it’s Phoenix stations. Prior to that he held a variety of management positions with the company including  Senior Vice President of Sales for iHeartMedia/Atlanta and General Manager of the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Before joining iHeart, Hopeck held positions with CBS Radio and Viacom. In his new job he’ll report to iHeart’s Executive Vice President of Operations Hartley Adkins who said, “Scott’s unique skills and experience in digital and technology are perfect for the evolution of this market from traditional media to world-class multiplatform media with a tremendous impact on advertisers. Additionally, his sports and MLB experience is ideal for the important and unique opportunities we have in New York.”

Talk And Media News Notes
April 20, 2015

Confirming what’s probably been the worst kept secret in Philly radio, Greater Media Sports/Talker 95.7 The Fanatic (WPEN-FM/Philadelphia) debuted a new morning show today (4/20), hosted by 15-year market Sports radio veteran and former crosstown WIP host Anthony Gargano. The show will be co-hosted by Jon Marks and also feature Sports Update anchor Maureen Williams and Producer Jamie Lynch. Concurrently ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Show moves to Beasley Media Group’s crosstown 610 Sports WTEL-AM  … Meanwhile, Mike & Mike hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic have launched the Mike & Mike Experience at the ESPYS Sweepstakes, where Grand Prize Winners and their guests will receive a ‘Greeny and Golic’ themed trip to Los Angeles (including airfare and accommodations). Winners will also be treated to a welcome reception at a Los Angeles hotspot, spa visits, a tour of the ESPN/Los Angeles studios and behind-the-scenes access to ESPN’s production. On the day of the ESPYS, the winners will get to walk the red carpet alongside ESPN personalities and some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. See more details HERE.

CONDOLENCES: To the family friends and colleagues of CBS Radio West Coast Regional Direction of Engineering Scott Mason (right) who died over the weekend. No other details were available. A statement released by CBS Radio/Los Angeles President and Market Manager Dan Kearny said, “Scott’s accomplishments were numerous, from being an on-air personality at KROQ and hosting diverse programs like the popular Loveline and the long running public affairs show OpenLine, to overseeing the design and construction of CBS Radio’s state-of-the art L.A. facilities on the Miracle Mile. Our thoughts today are with his family and all those who knew and worked alongside Scott during his amazing life and career. Due to Scott’s wishes, no funeral services will be held. A memorial will be planned in the weeks to come.”

Talk And Media News Notes
April 17, 2015

Following yesterday’s news that (now former) Entercom/Sacramento Market Manager Sean Shannon is headed east to replace the retiring Jon Pinch in the same role at Cumulus Media/Atlanta, today we get the other piece of the puzzle as Entercom promotes current Sacramento VP/Sales Lance Richard (left) to VP/Market Manager for the northern California cluster. Prior to joining Entercom in 2009, the 28-year media veteran’s resume included management stints at Emmis Communications, Monster.com and IP2M … Salem Radio Network hires Chris Himes as producer of the soon to launch Eric Metaxas Show. Prior to joining SRN, Himes served as Supervising Digital Producer at NBC, working 7 seasons at Saturday Night Live … AudioHQ has entered into an exclusive ad sales partnership with TuneIn. AudioHQ will act as the TuneIn representative for premium spoken-word content channels, as well as live play-by-play sports broadcasts.

Network/Syndication News Notes
April 17, 2015

NBC Sports Radio is now available to SiriusXM subscribers. The satcaster will air the 24/7 Sports network’s full line-up on Sirius channel 213 and XM channel 202. NBC Sports Radio’s programming airs on a reported 437 broadcast affiliates nationwide … ESPN Radio will begin its 20th season of live, national coverage of the NBA Playoffs with two games this weekend, when Golden State hosts New Orleans on Saturday at 3:30pm (ET), and Boston visits Cleveland on Sunday at 3pm … WYM Media Management’s syndicated Stephanie Miller Show and Doug Stephan’s Good Day both debuted this week on suburban Houston News/Talker AM 1560 KJOZ/Conroe, TX … And finally today, that’s Tom Kraeutler, host of Talk Shows USA’s weekly syndicated The Money Pit home improvement show, pictured with WRKO/Boston Director of Sales Melissa Capuanno during a recent visit to the Entercom News/Talker and show affiliate.

Welcome To Radio’s “Steroid Era”
April 16, 2015

While the annual spring NAB Show in Las Vegas is not generally known for being a hotbed of major radio news, this year’s edition has featured a lot of lively conversation from radio attendees over the reliability of Nielsen’s PPM, and the first public roll-out of a black box processor called Voltair that reportedly helps stations boost PPM-credited listening and, in turn, ratings and revenues. Paragon Senior Research Consultant Larry Johnson (left) weighs in on the controversy in a post to the company’s blog entitled, The Steroids Era in Radio is Here. “The history of radio ratings is littered with bogus methods to goose stations’ ratings,” writes Johnson. “Until there are scientific tests to either debunk or substantiate the effectiveness of the Voltair black box processor, we can’t be certain of its effectiveness.” Noting he’s previously asked Nielsen for their thoughts on the Voltair unit and received a flat “no comment” from the company, Johnson goes on to suggest, “Nielsen needs to step in for the sake of radio in general. With the decades-long, slow-but-steady decrease in radio Time Spent Listening and Persons Using Radio, any improvement in measuring true radio listening levels should be embraced rather than ignored. If a PPM booster is good for the goose, then it’s good for the gander.” Read the full post HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
April 16, 2015

FM talker New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW/Trenton, NJ) assisted local authorities in shutting down a pirate radio station that was broadcasting at 101.3 and interfering with the Townsquare Media-owned station’s broadcast signal. The illegal “pirate” was broadcasting Haitian music and Talk programming from a private home located in Linden, NJ, and was easily identified by a large (and apparently non-city code compliant) roof-top broadcast antenna (pictured). Reporter Katie Lannan at NJ.com has more on this story HERE … Sara Morris has joined iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC-based Government Affairs team as Senior Director/Government Affairs, reporting to Jessica Marventano, SVP/Government Affairs. Morris will also work alongside Dan Dukes, who was recently promoted to Senior Director/Government Affairs for iHeartMedia, Inc … A special NTS MediaOnline Today shout-out to CBS Radio News, which picked up four National Headliner Awards this year — all 1st Place finishes — in the categories of ‘Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Breaking News or Continuing Coverage‘; ‘Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Newscast’; ‘Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Feature and Human Interest Story’; and ‘Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators News Series.’ See a list of ALL of this year’s ‘Headliner’ trophy winners HERE.

This Just In: Former Cumulus Media COO Jon Pinch — who retired and then quickly un-retired last fall to serve as Market Manager at the company’s Atlanta cluster, a role he’s held for the past six months — has announced that he is retiring again and saying, “This time for real.” In a memo sent to staffers Pinch (left), who has logged a 45+ career in broadcasting, reports he will be succeeded by Entercom/Sacramento Market Manager and 26-year broadcast veteran, Sean Shannon, who will takeover as Market Manager for the Atlanta station cluster beginning next week.

PPM Comes Under Fire In Vegas
April 14, 2015

Attending this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas, media researcher Richard Harker — a longtime vocal critic of Nielsen’s Portable People Meter, calling it “the most opaque audience measurement method ever conceived” — reports that Telos Alliance Omnia team leader Cornelius Gould told a “packed room” at the NAB’s Technology Forum that radio has “not done enough to ensure that PPM meters properly record station listening.” During his presentation, Gould shared test results illustrating how gaps in PPM station encoding levels can potentially cost stations quarter-hours of listening. Talk radio is among the formats that have been noticeably hard hit since the implementation of PPM. In a post to his company’s RadioInsights blog Harker added, “PPM is not capturing all formats equally well. It is challenged by high ambient noise. Radio stations are losing quarter-hours and rating points through no fault of their own. And it is potentially costing radio a lot of money.” He also said Gould’s presentation was “very persuasive” about PPM’s shortcomings and that it was greeted with “enthusiastic applause” by NAB Show attendees. Read more HERE.

In-Car AM/FM Stable, But “Change Is Coming”
April 14, 2015

So said Edison Research president Larry Rosin (left) in a presentation to last weekend’s RAIN Summit, held adjacent to this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas. “To date, one location, one key location, has remained pretty resistant to change, and that’s the in-car [listening] experience. The challenges of bringing new options into the in-car experience, and especially the slowness with which the car market turns over, have made the in-car environment the most resistant to change. But as Sam Cooke sang in 1964 , ‘A Change is Gonna Come.'” Asking listeners about what entertainment platforms they use in the car (separating older model vehicles, 2009 and earlier, from newer cars with more built-in audio options) Rosin noted, “When it comes to reach, AM/FM is as strong as ever. In fact we got the exact same number for listening (85%) to AM/FM in older cars and newer cars.” Nevertheless, citing data from Edison’s 2015 Infinite Dial study Rosin says when people have more options available to them in their car, their usage of those options is increasing rapidly and dramatically — especially the use of iPods and SmartPhones. Read more of what Rosin had to say, and see additional stats from his presentation HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
April 14, 2015

Anthony Molaee is upped to Director of Digital Programming and Operations for iHeartMedia/New York. Tony (right) has been with iHeartMedia since 2007, and a part of the company’s New York team since 2013 … Alpha Media has officially closed on its previously announced acquisition of five stations in Shreveport. LA and four stations in Tyler-Longview, TX from Access1 Communications … Premiere Networks inks an exclusive, long-term national sales representation agreement with Futuri Media, including all of Futuri’s interactive radio programming platform brands: LDR (Listener Driven Radio), Futuri Mobile Apps and TopicPulse, a social media monitoring system for U.S. broadcast stations … Envision Networks announces the company will handle affiliate sales for Focus 360’s ‘Powered By Jelli’ Networks, billed as “the first cloud-based programmatic advertising platform for broadcast radio” …  … In Sports radio news, L.A. Sports/Talker The Beast 980 (KFWB/Los Angeles) signs an exclusive multi-year deal that will allow ‘The Beast’ to continue as the home town radio flagship of the NBA Los Angeles Clippers.

Fernandez Succeeds Mason @ CBS Radio
April 13, 2015

Andre J. Fernandez has been named to succeed the retiring Dan Mason (see above story) as President of CBS Radio. Fernandez begins his new job next week and will be based in New York, reporting directly to CBS Corp. President/CEO Leslie Moonves. “Andre is a terrific executive who brings a wealth of experience to this role – operations, financial management, programming and digital distribution, among many other attributes,” said Moonves. “He has had great success working in large and mid-sized markets, which has primed him to lead our major market operations. I’m confident Andre’s many qualities will make him a superb manager and help build upon an incredible foundation at CBS Radio.” Fernandez (right) previously served in several executive positions at Journal Communications, including President/COO and CFO. Prior to his time at Journal, Fernandez held a variety of financial leadership roles at the General Electric Company. “CBS is an exceptional media company and this is a terrific opportunity to join a world-class operation and continue its growth and innovation,” said Fernandez. “I’m very impressed with not only CBS’s collection of market-leading brands, but the interface it has achieved with its complementary TV and digital assets, which gives us great opportunities for further development. I could not be more pleased to join this outstanding team.”