NTS MediaOnline Today sends out “Happy Birthday” wishes to the crew of FOX News Channel, as the cable television News/Talker blows out 18 candles this week. It was on October 7th, 1996, that the fledgling creation of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and Fox News CEO Roger Ailes became a reality, as Fox News went live in homes all across America. Since then, FNC has risen to become the number one rated cable news network. Read more HERE … Philadelphia Eagles Running Back LeSean McCoy has joined SportsRadio 94WIP/Philadelphia as an on-air contributor for the NFL season. McCoy will join hosts Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis on Fridays at 5pm and will also be featured on The Chickie’s and Pete’s Players’ Lounge with LeSean McCoy, hosted by Ike Reese and Gargano Monday nights at 6pm … ESPN Audio has reached a nine-year, multiplatform agreement with the National Basketball Association, beginning with the 2016-17 season, expanding ESPN Audio’s exclusivity and including additional rights and opportunities. While increasing its English-language distribution rights, ESPN Audio will become the exclusive Spanish-language national rights holder through ESPN Deportes Radio on broadcast radio, satellite and all forms of radio devices including digital and third party platforms … Broadcast software company RCS ups Mike Powell to SVP/International Operations and Chief Compliance Officer. Based at the company’s White Plains, NY headquarters, Powell has been overseeing RCS’ international operations for the past 12 years.
According to Paragon Senior Research Consultant Larry Johnson, ‘Canvas Measurement’ is actually “Nielsen’s next big challenge.” In a follow up to a recent post on how Nielsen is planning changes in the way the ratings company measures television, Johnson says that while those changes might have the added impact of giving a much needed boost to PPM’s sample size for radio, he’s skeptical about Nielsen succeeding at measuring who listens to radio on all platforms with its current business model. “Getting accurate audience measurement of how people consume all audio media is more and more essential with streaming, podcasts, mobile phones as a platform, and time-shifting,” says Johnson. “Yet, how can a measurement firm like Nielsen purport to measure all sorts of different audio mediums in real and shifted time when they can’t even provide reliable PPM radio ratings? Something seems amiss with a business model that can’t deliver reliable radio ratings product, yet purports to geometrically expand to rate content over all sorts of platforms.” Read Larry’s full post HERE.
iHeartMedia/San Francisco names Suzy Rufail (left) as General Sales Manager for the company’s Bay Area cluster, effective immediately. Most recently Market Manager for American General Media/Albuquerque’s seven station cluster, Rufail’s resume also includes prior executive sales positions with Cox Media, Univision and Ramar Communications … Meanwhile iHeartMedia/Washington, DC also gets a new GSM, tapping market veteran Todd Freundlich for the job, effective immediately. Freundlich was most recently GSM at Cumulus Media’s crosstown WMAL … Recently arrived NPR CEO Jarl Mohn — known back in his commercial radio and MTV days as ‘Lee Masters’ — does a bit of reorganizing, upping SVP/Strategy Loren Mayor to COO, while current Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson exits. Poynter.com also reports that Mohn and NPR are continuing to search for a SVP of News as part of the network’s new organizational structure.
As our NTS MediaOnline Today readers learned via a ‘Breaking News’ email over the weekend, veteran radio programmer Kevin Metheny died suddenly last Friday (10/3) after reportedly suffering a heart attack in his office at KGO-KSFO/San Francisco, where he was recently named Operations Manager. He was 60. Someone who inspired both high praise from his fans and harsh words from his critics — most notably Howard Stern, who forever tagged Metheny with the nickname ‘Pig Vomit’ — Metheny was unquestionably one of the industry’s most colorful and creative characters who wore his passion for the radio business on his sleeve. Tributes to Metheny on his Facebook page continued to grow over the weekend, with one of his two daughters, Eleanor, summing up the many posts nicely in her own comments: “I’ve always know that I had the best and most supportive Dad who would do anything for us. I have unlimited fond memories of our family from being a toddler up until the last time I spoke with him. But I am just now finding out the large realm of reach he had in his 44-year career. Reading all of these different articles, tweets and comments by people in the radio industry has been one of the few bright spots of this week for us.” That’s Kevin pictured above in his early days at ‘W-NNNNNN-BC‘ in New York City.
Townsquare Media-owned FM talker New Jersey 101.5 (WKXW/Trenton) welcomes industry veteran Fred Bennett (pictured) as GM/Market Manager. He succeeds Lorenzo Caldara who exits after some 25 years with NJ101.5. Most recently Chief of Business Development at Jelli, Bennett’s radio resume includes stints with Metro Networks, Shadow Traffic and Westwood One … Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Sports columnist Rob Rossi will make regular weekly radio appearances exclusively on CBS Radio/Pittsburgh’s Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan (KDKA-FM) and News Talk 1020 (KDKA-AM) for the upcoming NHL season. Rossi will make regular weekly appearances on a number of The Fan’s shows, as well as a once a week drop-by to chat with KDKA Morning News co-hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway … David Honig is stepping down as head of the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council after a 28-year run. Kim Keenan, an attorney who serves as general counsel and secretary of the NAACP, will take over Honig’s duties as the newly named President/CEO of MMTC.
Cox Media Group (CMG) Radio has named new leaders for its station clusters in Atlanta, San Antonio and Tulsa, effective immediately. Donna Hall, previously Group VP with Cox Media, returns to CMG/Atlanta to lead the company’s five stations as VP/General Manager. Hall began her career with Cox in 1987 as an account executive with the Dayton Daily News and joined Cox Radio in Dayton in 1989, serving in various sales leadership positions until becoming VP/GM in 1997.
Meanwhile, Ben Reed, most recently VP/General Manager in Atlanta, returns to CMG/San Antonio, where he previously served in various leadership positions from 1987 until moving to Atlanta in 2012. During his CMG career, Reed has held various positions from Account Manager, Local Sales Manager, General Sales Manager, Market Manager, Regional VP and Group Vice President.
Finally, Dan Lawrie, who joined CMG in 1999 and previously served as VP/GM in San Antonio, now leads CMG/Tulsa’s four radio stations. Lawrie is no stranger to ‘”livin’ on Tulsa time,” as he previously spent seven years as VP/GM for the cluster from 2003 until 2010. He’ll help continue the stations’ cross-platform collaboration with CMG’s Tulsa television group, as well as a strong partnership between the stations and Cox Communications.
CBS Radio and Beasley Broadcast Group have signed a definitive agreement to swap 13 stations in Tampa and Charlotte, as well as one AM station in Philadelphia, for two FM stations in Philadelphia, and three stations in Miami. As a result, CBS Radio will for the first time have a presence in Miami, the nation’s 11th largest radio market. “This transaction reinforces our strategy to concentrate on large market properties,” said Dan Mason, President and CEO, CBS Radio. “We already have television duopolies in both Philadelphia and Miami, so these new stations will be a terrific complement to our existing local broadcasting portfolio, and a welcome addition to the overall CBS family.” Meanwhile, Beasley Chairman/CEO George G. Beasley added, “Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 53-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the local communities where we operate, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results. The asset exchange agreement with CBS Radio addresses all of these strategic objectives as, upon completion, we will expand our station base by nine stations and add completed clusters in Tampa and Charlotte which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence. Furthermore, the transaction is also consistent with our long-term strategy to operate leading clusters in large- and mid-size markets.” Talk formatted stations NTS MediaOnline Today spotted that are involved in the swap include: WQAM/Miami (which moves from Beasley To CBS), along with 98.7 The Fan and CBS Sports Radio 1010/Tampa (WHFS-FM & AM); CBS Sports Radio 1660 and SportsRadio 610/Charlotte (WBCN-AM and WFNZ-AM) and CBS Sports Radio 610/Philadelphia (WIP-AM), which all move from CBS to Beasley.
Radio sales veteran Jack Foley has joined Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One in the newly created position of Vice President of the network’s Business Development division. In his new role Foley — who most recently held a similar position at Radio Disney — will develop revenue streams and create growth opportunities for the company, its agency clients, and WW One’s partners across multiple platforms. “Jack’s outstanding record of success in radio, event sponsorship, digital, in-store audio, and experiential marketing is an ideal match for this position,” said Steve Shaw, President, Westwood One. “He has the ability to leverage all of our platforms and to create powerful marketing solutions for our clients.” Foley’s radio resume also includes prior executive sales stints at Entercom/Boston and Clear Channel/New England (now iHeart Media).
In a unanimous and bipartisan decision today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to eliminate the National Football League’s blackout protection. Noting there have been “significant changes in the sports radio industry since these rules were adopted nearly 40 years ago,” a release from the FCC said the NFL can still choose to pursue its own private blackout policy but said, “The NFL will no longer be entitled to the protection of the Commission’s sports blackout rules and must rely on the same avenues available to other entities that wish to protect their distribution rights in the private marketplace.” Enacted back in 1973 to help boost local attendance for NFL games, the ‘blackout’ rule kept broadcasters and cable operators from televising games that were not sold-out 72 hours in advance of the kickoff. Read the FCC’s official release on the vote, along with statements from the Commissioner’s HERE.
So says a new national survey from Vox Populi Polling commissioned by Katz Media Group (KMG). Vox Populi, which designs and fields surveys to uncover what’s happening within the political and public policy landscape, reports that radio is “an extremely effective way to reach swing voters.” By a 56-35 margin, the sample of some 1,059 active voters told researchers that radio ads are “more credible” than political ads on the Internet. Additionally, 61% of swing voters said that “radio is a good way” for political candidates to reach them. “This research illustrates that radio is both a habitual and influential medium for reaching voters who can make the difference on Election Day,” said Stacey Lynn Schulman, EVP/Strategy, Analytics & Research at KMG. “In the race for credibility, radio outshines online advertising by a wide margin in the minds of still impressionable voters.” Learn more about the results and the methodology behind the just-published survey HERE.