NAB’s PILOT Launches ‘Innovation Challenge’
June 21, 2016

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.

NRHOF Public Voting Opens Today
June 20, 2016

Starting today (through June 30th), your station’s listeners can text to vote for their favorite radio personalities in two categories to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, on November 17th, in Chicago. 2016 nominees for the Spoken Word On-Air Personality category are: Premiere Networks nationally syndicated Talk radio personality Sean Hannity (right); WFAN/New York host Mike Francesa and SiriusXM host Chris Russo (for their years together co-hosting WFAN’s former Mike and the Mad Dog show); longtime WAMU/WashingtonNPR host Diane Rehm; and Westwood One/Cumulus Media nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage. Public voting is also now open for nominees in the Music Format On-Air Personality category. View them all — and get full text-voting information to share with your listeners — HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 17, 2016

Curtis Media Group officially promotes Trip Savery to President/COO of the North Carolina-based broadcaster. Savery has been working closely with company Chariman/CEO Donald W. Curtis for the past year, while also serving as SVP/General Manager for the company’s WQDR/Raleigh NTS MediaOnline Today sends a shout-out to FOX Sports Radio host JT ‘The Brick’ (right) on his pending induction into the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. ‘JT’ — heard nightly on a reported 260+ stations nationwide — will be among the Class of 2016 to be honored August 20th at the Four Seasons Las Vegas …  Alpha Media/Portland promotes KBFF Promotions Director Kelsey McDaniel to Director of Marketing for the seven station cluster, including News/Talk KXL, Sports/Talk KXTG and conservative talker KUFOCox Media Group/Atlanta welcomes Amanda Allwood as Promotions Director for its hometown cluster that includes heritage News/Talker WSB. Allwood was most recently Senior Manager of Promotions and Event Marketing for Sirius/XM in New YorkGus Swanson is promoted to Marketing Director at CBS Radio/Seattle. Swanson, most recently Digital Content Director for the cluster, succeeds Beth Sylves, who recently announced plans to step down in early July.

Dan Mason Un-Retires, Joins iHeartMedia
June 16, 2016

In a clear sign that veteran radio industry exec Dan Mason defines the term ‘retirement’ a little bit differently than a lot of us would, iHeartMedia announced today that Mason will join the company in the new role of ‘Senior Advisor for Broadcast Relations.’ Mason, who retired as President/CEO of CBS Radio in April of 2015, will report directly to iHM Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman and President/COO Rich Bressler. A company release characterized Mason’s hiring as testament to iHeartMedia’s position as “a 21st century media and entertainment company whose leadership is built on the unparalleled strength of broadcast radio.” In his new role, Mason will advise Pittman and Bressler on current and developing issues important to both iHM and the broadcast radio industry. Additionally, he’ll focus most of his attention and time on important issues affecting the broadcast industry, working with other broadcasters, vendors, government relations and important industry associations, including the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). “I’ve known both Bob and Rich for many years and have admired the inroads they have made in transforming iHeartMedia into the multi-dimensional entertainment company it is today,” said Mason — who makes news for the second time in as many days, following yesterday’s (6/15) announcement he’ll serve as the new Chairman of the non-profit Broadcast Foundation of America. “It will be great to join the team and I look forward to continuing my relationships with everyone in the broadcast industry from this new platform.”

RTDNA Names ‘Kaleidoscope’ Winners
June 16, 2016

In a week when so much news has revolved around hate and intolerance, it seems only fitting that the Radio Television Digital News Association has announced the 2016 winners of RTDNA’s Kaleidoscope Awards, honoring outstanding achievement in media coverage of diversity. Commercial radio broadcasters should take note that all of this year’s Kaleidoscope radio winners come from Public Radio. Winners include ‘Network Radio Syndication’ award honoree WNYC/New York, for Not The “Right” Kind of Gay; ‘Large Market’ radio winner KQED/San Francisco, for So Well Spoken; and ‘Small Market’ radio winner Alabama Public Radio, for Civil Rights-Gay Rights. This year’s Kaleidoscope Award winners will be recognized on September 19th at RTDNA’s annual Excellence in Journalism event in New Orleans. Check out all the 2016 winning entries HERE.

Mason Elected BFA Chairperson
June 15, 2016

The Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFA) has elected longtime radio executive Dan Mason as Chairperson of the charity that provides aid to broadcasters in need. Mason, who has served as co-Vice Chair of the group since retiring as President of CBS Radio last year, will succeed longtime BFA Chairman Phil Lombardo, who is bestowed the new title of Chair Emeritus. Several new Board members were also elected at today’s BFA Board meeting held in New York City, including Caroline Beasley, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Beasley Broadcast Group; Perry Sook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group; and Jordan Wertlieb, President of Hearst Television. In addition, Bill Hoffman, President of Cox Media Group, will now serve as Co-Vice Chair with Richard A. Foreman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Richard A. Foreman Associates. Leo MacCourtney, President of Katz Television Group, will take over as Treasurer of the Broadcasters Foundation, which has distributed millions of dollars in aid to radio and television broadcasters who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund or by joining the Foundation as a Member.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 15, 2016

Jim Turner (right), who hosts the daily talk show My Hometown on Salem Media Group’s suburban Orlando Business/Talker WBZW-AMApopka, FL, has been suspended for statements he posted about the Pulse nightclub shooting on his personal Facebook page. The Orlando Sentinel reports Turner will not host his regular 3-5pm (ET) show today (6/15) as management reviews if any additional steps will be taken in response to the now apparently deleted posts that were deemed to be offensive … Bonneville News/Talker KSL/Salt Lake City debuts the new KSL Newsradio Mobile App. The app is free and can be downloaded by searching for “KSL Radio” in the Apple app store or Android market, or at the KSL website HERE …  iHeartMedia/Delaware, University of Delaware Athletics and Blue Hens IMG Sports Marketing have agreed to a multi-year extension of their current radio affiliation agreement with  WDSD-FM/Dover to carry all Delaware football and men’s basketball game broadcasts, plus additional programs, through the 2020-2021 season. Partner stations in the deal include iHM’s Fox Sports 1290 WWTX-AM and 1410 WDOV-AM … The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) names legendary New York City radio personality Angie Martinez (left) as its 2016 MIW Airblazer. Last year, MIW formed an alliance with Talentmaster’s Morning Show Boot Camp (MSBC) to establish the award — given in 2015 to Los Angeles radio personality Ellen K) — to annually honor a deserving on-air personality in radio broadcasting. Martinez will be honored at Don Anthony’s 28th annual MSBC, August 11th and 12th, in Atlanta.

Radio ND’s Aging, Adding Expanded Duties
June 14, 2016

A new report released by the Radio Television Digital News Association says radio and television News Directors are getting older, on average, and that radio news managers are taking on additional responsibilities beyond news at their stations. The latest RTDNA survey of newsrooms finds the average age of News Directors has inched upward, with 47.6 cited as the average age for those heading-up radio newsrooms. And while the report found that the average TV news director has served in a News Director role for 9.8 years — often at two more more stations — in radio the average time newsroom leaders have held the role of News Director is up to 13.3 years. Overall, 70% of radio News Directors are full-time employees, with many also having job duties that range beyond news, including administrative tasks, other on-air roles, production and sales. Many News Directors told RTDNA they also serve as Program Director or General Manager of their station(s). Read more details HERE.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 14, 2016

A federal court today ruled that high speed Internet service can be defined as a utility, paving the way for the FCC to enforce its so-called ‘Net Neutrality’ rules and regulations that were released in 2015. While additional court challenges are expected, in response to the ruling FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (right) released a statement saying: “After a decade of debate and legal battles, today’s ruling affirms the commission’s ability to enforce the strongest possible Internet protections — both on fixed and mobile networks — that will ensure the Internet remains open, now and in the future.” The New York Times has more HEREWGN/Chicago and ABC News Radio have re-upped their affiliation agreement through May 2018. As part of the deal extension, reporter Ryan Burrow will continue as ABC News Radio’s national correspondent, based in Chicago … Salem Media Group CEO Edward Atsinger re-ups, with a new three year deal that will keep the company’s longtime chief exec in that chair through at least 2019 … New Hampshire-based Seacoast Media Group launches EDGE Radio, a new 24/7 online radio station providing news, weather, sports, local culture and music, focused on the New Hampshire seacoast region and southern Maine.

Talk And Media News Notes
June 13, 2016

The Fayetteville, NC Observer’s Paul Woolverton pens a profile of local WFNC morning host Jeff ‘Goldy’ Goldberg, who talks about how he’s found happiness and success in small town News/Talk radio, after years of working in a major market. Read the full story HEREWGN/Chicago and Roe Conn (pictured) renew their vows, with a contract extension that will keep the popular Windy City talker in afternoons at the Tribune News/Talker into 2020 … Jesse Bewley succeeds Jeremy Sinon (recently promoted to corporate duties) as Digital Director for Hubbard Radio’s hometown Minneapolis-St.Paul cluster, including Sports/Talker AM 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (KSTP-AM) … Haute Mom’s Life blogger Adrianna Costa extends her brand to a new podcast, in partnership with PodcastOne. On a mission to prove to mom’s and parents that “you can still have it all while you do it all,” Costa’s podcast is updated every Thursday and is available at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.