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Rolling Stone: Top 40 Radio Has A Rap Problem

Posted: 31 May 2018 09:52 AM PDT

The post Rolling Stone: Top 40 Radio Has A Rap Problem appeared first on

Fresh Listen: KOLA Riverside In The New Millennium

Posted: 31 May 2018 09:30 AM PDT

It wasn’t that long ago that 99.9 KOLA-FM Riverside, Calif., was
provocative among Classic Hits stations for its forays into the ‘90s. Other
stations were planted in the mid-‘70s through late ‘80s, occasionally
crossing the date line for an early ‘90s song with a throwback feel—Spin
Doctors, Black Crowes, Michael Jackson, “Black or White.” KOLA pushed
further, both in terms of era and texture, into the Modern AC ‘90s that
most pop stations weren’t sure what to do with: Sheryl Crow, Green Day,
Matchbox 20, even Sublime.*
Many of those songs are approaching 2,000 spins now, Last week, I got an
e-mail from a friend within earshot. KOLA had cut its ‘70s down to less
than one an hour, now playing only megahits of the “Stayin’ Alive,” “Hold
The Line,” “I Will Survive” caliber. Filtered in over the last few weeks,
according to monitors: Train, “Hey, Soul Sister”; Fergie, “Big Girls Don’t
Cry (Personal)”; Green Day, “Holiday”; Justin Timberlake, “Rock Your Body”;
3 Doors Down, “Kryptonite,” and others from the early ‘00s.
The ‘00s aren’t entirely new territory for Classic Hits. Many stations had
pushed forward to the Uncle Kracker version of “Drift Away”; (it featured
Dobie Gray anyway). KOLA and KRTH (K-Earth 101) Los Angeles were playing
the No Doubt version of “It’s My Life,” not the Talk Talk original. KRTH
went as far as Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Kid Rock’s “All
Summer Long” has been OK by mashing up two playable ‘70s songs. But this is
as far as a major successful station has gone without an outright
transition to Mainstream AC like WOLL West Palm Beach, Fla.
The infusion of ‘00s is subtle—over the course of an hour, you might hear
one song. And judging from monitors, KOLA is still figuring out what works.
A few titles seem to have been backed off this week, including the Ataris
version of “The Boys of Summer” and Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone.”
There’s always a balancing act between the need to share interesting
developments with readers, and the potential to touch off copycatting for
its own sake. KOLA is very successful, but retweets do not constitute
endorsements, at least as it relates to your own strategy. KOLA has done
well for years by being both Classic Hits and gold-based AC station to the
Inland Empire. Not all the stations that have copied KOLA have as much room
to maneuver, and that’s certainly true of the Kelly Clarkson/Pink-era pop
that has become Mainstream AC’s omnipresent center lane. In most other
markets, it’s where a Classic Hits station need not go.
One aspect of KOLA has turned out to be very relevant in other markets.
Four years ago, Classic Hits was in danger of becoming “Classic Rock with
Jingles”—Boston through Benatar and Bon Jovi, relying on an occasional
Eurythmics or Tears for Fears title for the “pop” component. In a heavily
Hispanic market, KOLA has proven that the format’s journey extends beyond
Journey. Now, there are other Classic Hits success stories with a more pop
feel, including nearby Sunny 98.1 KXSN San Diego.
Some stations that venture into the ‘90s have added the decade to their
positioner. Others have acknowledged it as “seventies, eighties and more.”
So what about the early ‘00s. So far, KOLA has done well letting the music
position itself. Over the course of an hour, it was “the Inland Empire’s
Classic Hits,” “non-stop classics,” and “non-stop KOLA.” My favorite
though, at a time of decidedly savorless positioning statements, was this
one at the top of the hour: “The sound of summer in Southern California.”
Here’s KOLA just before 9 a.m., May 30:

Cranberries, “Dreams”
Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (:00 song)
Men Without Hats, “Safety Dance”
Maroon 5, “She Will Be Loved”
Salt-N-Pepa, “Push It”
Bryan Adams, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”
Cure, “Love Song”
Madonna, “Into The Groove”
Commodores, “Brick House”
EMF, “Unbelievable”
Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)”
Mariah Carey, “Always Be My Baby”
Toni Basil, “Mickey”
Tommy Tutone, “867-5309/Jenny”
Soft Cell, “Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go”
Taylor Dayne, “Tell It To My Heart”

The post Fresh Listen: KOLA Riverside In The New Millennium appeared first
on RadioInsight.

EMF Takes Over Operations Of WQME Anderson IN

Posted: 31 May 2018 08:53 AM PDT

Educational Media Foundation has begun operating Anderson Universitys
Christian AC 98.7 The Song WQME Anderson IN.

Indiana RadioWatch reports that EMF flipped the station to its Christian
CHR Air 1 network at 9:00 this morning. Anderson University announced its
intentions last year to sell WQME as part of a new strategic plan for the
school. A sale to EMF has yet to be filed but should be forthcoming.

As the university looked at the strategic plan and what our core
competencies are and the direction that we’re going, the radio station just
fell outside of that strategic plan. This was a difficult decision that
leadership wrestled with for quite a while.

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Hey Facebook Family, its Kurt from 98-7 The Song. Wanted to let you know
that this morning between 8:30 and 9, the

Posted by WQME 98.7 on Thursday, May 31, 2018

The post EMF Takes Over Operations Of WQME Anderson IN appeared first on

Cumulus Turns In Missouri License; Format Moves To New Frequency

Posted: 31 May 2018 04:30 AM PDT

Cumulus Media has turned in the license of Z104.1 KZJF Jefferson City MO
and has moved its Classic Hits format to sister 97.5 KJMO Linn.

Cumulus had originally filed its intention to place KJMO in a divestiture
trust along with three other stations as part of its post-bankruptcy
restructuring. With the pending deletion of the KZJF license the company
will no longer be required to divest any station in the Columbia/Jefferson
City market.

KJMO had been airing the Westwood One Good Time Oldies format as Cool 97.5.
With the assumption of the KZJF format it has adjusted its positioning to
Jefferson Citys Cool Classic Hits and has taken over as the Jefferson City
affiliate for Kansas City Royals baseball.

The post Cumulus Turns In Missouri License; Format Moves To New Frequency
appeared first on RadioInsight.

Bernie Eagan To Retire From Afternoons At B105.7 Indianapolis

Posted: 30 May 2018 05:33 PM PDT

Afternoon host Bernie Eagan has announced he will retire from afternoons at
Emmis AC B105.7 WYXB Indianapolis on Friday, July 20.

Eagan has been with WYXB since soon after its launch in 2002 after spending
over two decades at sister 97.1 WENS. Eagan is one of the few totally blind
on-air personalities in the country. Eagan told sister News/Talk 93.1 WIBC,
that he rarely mentions it on air because it doesn’t add to the show, it
doesn’t take away from the show. If it made a difference, they probably
wouldn’t have hired me.”

During his time at WENS and WYXB, Eagan has spent time as both morning and
afternoon host and served as APD of WENS during the 1990s.

The post Bernie Eagan To Retire From Afternoons At B105.7 Indianapolis
appeared first on RadioInsight.

Univision Names Vincent Sadusky As New CEO

Posted: 30 May 2018 03:14 PM PDT

Vincent Sadusky, former Chief Executive Officer of Media General, will join
Univision Communications as Chief Executive Officer effective Friday, June

Sadusky will succeed Randy Falco who will retire as President and CEO but
remain with the company as an advisor through the end of 2018. Sadusky
previously led the Media General and LIN television station groups and has
Spanish language media experience as Telemundo Communications Groups Chief
Financial Officer and Treasurer from 1999-2004.

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving
Hispanic America, and the rising, diverse American mainstream, today
announced that Randy Falco will retire from his role as President and Chief
Executive Officer. He will remain an advisor to the Company through the end
of 2018 to ensure a smooth transition. The Board of Directors has appointed
Vincent Sadusky, former Chief Executive Officer of Media General, to
succeed Falco as Chief Executive Officer, effective June 1, 2018. Sadusky
will also become a member of the Univision Board of Directors.

Haim Saban, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UCI, said, “Over the last
eight years, Randy has led the transformation of UCI into a modern media
organization with a diverse portfolio of assets, sterling brands and
content that audiences and marketers want, backed by strong earnings
growth, a significantly improved balance sheet and a team of motivated and
purpose-driven employees. Randy has always recognized and embraced
Univision as an incredibly unique company with a mission and vision that
goes well beyond traditional media. On behalf of the entire Board, I want
to thank Randy for his leadership, commitment and partnership, and
congratulate him on his retirement.”

Falco commented, “Leading UCI has been one of the most personally and
professionally rewarding experiences of my life. So much has changed – and
will continue to change – in the media landscape but through it all one
thing remains true: no other media company serves and supports Hispanic
America like UCI, something that is more important than ever in our world
today. I believe wholeheartedly in UCI’s mission and vision and am
confident that the Company will remain on a path for continued success with
Vince leading the way.”

Sadusky, 53, brings to Univision a wealth of knowledge and experience in
the media industry and a track record as an effective and innovative
leader. He most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of
Media General from 2014 to 2017, where he helped build a more
comprehensive, integrated and competitive offering across all of its
markets for the benefit of customers, advertisers and brands. Prior to
that, Sadusky served as President and Chief Executive Officer of LIN Media
where he helped improve ratings, enhanced LIN’s top-rated television
station operations, drove digital and subscriber growth and oversaw the
expansion of local news. Sadusky also played a critical role overseeing the
LIN Media’s merger with Media General. Earlier in his career, Sadusky held
several executive positions at Telemundo Communications, Inc., including
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.

Saban continued, “Vince is distinctly qualified to lead UCI through the
next phase of its growth, given his impressive track record of leadership,
vision, deep industry experience and relationships. This is a unique moment
for UCI, and we believe that we have the right strategy and team in place
to execute on the opportunities in front of us. On behalf of the entire
Board, we look forward to working with Vince to achieve great success for

Sadusky commented, “It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to
serve as CEO of UCI, a company I have long admired for its important
mission to serve as a lifeline and advocate for its community, and the
strong bonds it has built with its audience. I am eager to work with UCI’s
talented team to enhance the Company’s leadership position and underscore
its crucial role as a source of news and information. Over the last few
months, UCI has taken a number of steps to evolve and thrive in today’s
rapidly changing media environment and I am committed to ensuring the
Company is in the best position possible to serve its audiences for decades
to come.”

Univision continues to hold its strong leadership position as it finished
as the No. 1 Spanish-language network in primetime for the 26th consecutive
year during May 2018 Sweep and the 2017-2018 broadcast season,
outperforming Telemundo by double-digit audience advantages among Total
Viewers 2+, Adults 18-49 and Adults 18-34. Univision also ranked as the No.
1 network during primetime, regardless of language, including NBC, ABC,
CBS, and Fox, among Hispanic Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Total Viewers
2+. Additionally, Univision Deportes Network (UDN) remains the No. 1
Spanish-language cable sports network, delivering record-breaking ratings
for May in primetime, up +86% since the same time period in 2015. UDN
delivered two-times more viewers Adults 18-49 than Fox Deportes, ESPN
Deportes, and beIN combined in May.

Sadusky has been an active participant in the media industry throughout his
career, serving as a board member of Hemisphere Media Group, the National
Association of Broadcasters and NBC Affiliates. Sadusky currently serves on
the board of directors of International Game Technology. He received a
Master of Business Administration from New York Institute of Technology and
a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Pennsylvania State University,
where he was a University Scholar.

The post Univision Names Vincent Sadusky As New CEO appeared first on

Joe D'Ambrosio Joins WTIC Morning Show

Posted: 30 May 2018 03:09 PM PDT

Former afternoon co-host Joe DAmbrosio is returning to the daily lineup at
Entercom News/Talk 1080 WTIC Hartford CT as part of a shuffle due to the
stations loss of University of Connecticut sports.

DAmbrosio will join the “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” show as sportscaster.
He has been with WTIC since 1991, most recently as afternoon co-host with
Andy Gresh until April 2017. As part of the deal, DAmbrosio will exit his
position as play-by-play voice of University of Connecticut mens basketball
and football after 26 years.

He replaces Bob Joyce on the WTIC morning show. Joyce will stay with UConn
to continue as play-by-play voice of the womens basketball and mens hockey

Entercom, the unrivaled leader in sports radio, announced today that Joe
D’Ambrosio will join “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” on 1080 WTIC-AM from 5:00
a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EST, beginning on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

“Joe’s deep connection with and expertise of Connecticuts sports landscape
make him among the most respected voices in the field,” said Phil Zachary,
Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Hartford. “We are
pleased to announce this next phase of our relationship with him. Southern
New England has known and respected Joes work for nearly three decades, and
we are looking forward to his full-time presence in WTICs masthead morning

“I’m looking forward to starting the next phase of my career as part of our
terrific morning team,” added Joe. “Hartford has been home my entire life
and I’m thrilled to be able to continue bringing sports coverage to our

Joe is an award-winning sportscaster who has been with WTIC for 27 years.
He has been recognized with the Sports Media Association’s “Connecticut
Sportscaster of the Year Award” a record nine times and is the recipient of
the 2018 “Dean of Sports Award,” which was awarded at the Franciscan Live
Center Sports Banquet.

The post Joe DAmbrosio Joins WTIC Morning Show appeared first on

A New Groove For Lynchburg

Posted: 30 May 2018 01:44 PM PDT

DJ Broadcasting has flipped News/Talk 1000 WKDE Altavista VA to Oldies
102.1 The Groove WGVY with a new target market thanks to the addition of
its translator.

Launching on Thursday, May 24, 102.1 W271DB Altavistas 99w/194m signal
gives the station an FM coverage that includes the more populous Lynchburg
area. The new format is being positioned as Motown, Beatles More as it
focuses on hits of the 1960s and 70s and creates a crosstown competitor to
Lynchburg Radio Groups Oldies 103.9/106.9 WHTU Big Island/WZZI Bedford.

The post A New Groove For Lynchburg appeared first on RadioInsight.

Bring Back for What?

Posted: 30 May 2018 01:31 PM PDT

For a long time, I regarded the act of holding on to a current title after
its chart run as an act of independence on a par with going “off the menu”
and adding a new song not being promoted by a label. Keeping a proven hit
in power might not have displayed the same enterprise as finding a new hit.
But both decisions represented a willingness to curate a distinctive
station and put the audience first.
In recent weeks, with Mainstream CHR in the depths of a current product
crisis, programmers have been resorting to a lot of songs past their chart
peak to fill their current rotations. Look at a major-market CHR now and
you’re likely to see any or all of the following:
Megahits that will not go away in power: Stations still powering Dua Lipa,
“New Rules”; or NF, “Let You Down”; or G-Eazy & Halsey, “Him and I.” Or
something even older. (I’m still counting “The Middle” as a true power,
where we know it will stay for many stations until the end of summer at
“Stay Currents” that really stayed current: Former powers still in the
50-70x weekly spin zone. On most stations now, “stay current” is more
important than sub-powers. And the rate at which some stations are
spinning, say, Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” or Kesha, “Praying,” now is as fast
as power rotation on their Adult Top 40 competitors, where those songs are
often at 70x a week as well.
Songs That Finally Came Home: Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso f/Florida Georgia
Line & Watt, “Let Me Go,” is the best current example. It peaked at No. 15
at Mainstream CHR. It continued to grow at those stations that held on to
it, and now it’s an undeniable hit in New York/Long Island, Boston,
Atlanta, Greensboro,* and elsewhere (as evidenced by those markets where
multiple stations are playing it in power or significant rotation). Many
are the stations that made the same sort of late-breaking hit out of Cheat
Codes’ “No Promises,” which also continues to get significant rotation in
some places.
Songs That Never Quite Came Home: Songs like “Let Me Go,” or now Demi
Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me,” had a relatively unbroken trajectory, at
least at those stations that held on to them. But there are also stations
going back this week for Julia Michaels’ “Issues,” Post Malone’s
“Congratulations,” J. Balvin’s “Mi Gente,” Maroon 5’s “Cold,” and both
“Young Dumb and Broke” and “Location” from Khalid.
It’s not a new phenomenon. Last year, I had a dialogue with a CHR PD who
was wondering what good it did to again power Adele, “Water Under the
Bridge,” months after its peak, as PDs traded callout stories about its
success elsewhere. In Alternative, keeping records in power or sub-power
has been the template for years, and there are situations where “Feel It
Still” is living up to its name as a 60x-a-week current. It’s a function of
how hard it is for Alternative, with diminished ratings and less lateral
support, to break songs, but it’s also a self-fulfilling prophecy to some
I’m not talking about true bring-backs of two-year-old should’ve-been-hits,
or songs that were truly off the menu. WBLI Long Island, N.Y., tried to
revitalize We the Kings, “Sad Song.” Both WBLI and WPXY Rochester, N.Y.,
had runs with Ed Sheeran’s “Galway Girl,” a worldwide hit but not even a
St. Patrick’s Day event record for most stations here. WXSS (Kiss 103.7)
Milwaukee was by itself on Big Boi’s “All Night,” until it wasn’t.*
Rather, these are hits and semi-hits that linger. I support each individual
decision as an attempt by programmers to tame the available current music.
In the aggregate, though, each vote for an older record just demonstrates
the problems we are having with the new ones. It’s the same talisman of
hard times as the looming prospect of a series of artist comebacks. And
it’s not holding on to the hits that I regard as the issue. If there’s no
stronger power for your CHR now than “New Rules,” I understand. It’s the
mid-chart songs to which PDs are returning after seven months or so that
I’m wondering about. It prompts these questions:
What are we solving? A few of the songs in question help address CHR’s
tempo issues; e.g., “No Promises.” Few are adding any sort of sonic variety
to the format. In fact, going back for, say, Julia Michaels, “Issues,”
seems to happen at the expense not of another EDM ballad, but of the
uptempo titles that struggle most at the moment. If anything, these songs
are being used so that PDs will not be challenged by playing anything that
does not sound like those songs around them.
Are these songs experiencing a resurgence or a dead-cat bounce? When a
nine-month-old ballad rebounds in callout research and is propelled back on
the air, does it reflect deepening listener affection that took nine months
to manifest itself? Or is it briefly novel to respondents? Is it a one-week
phenomenon that will not withstand even a week of airplay (but will linger
on the radio for two to three weeks because the next wave of callout is not
for two or three weeks)? Call it a “dead-hit bounce,” maybe.
Why are we missing these songs in the first place? It is certainly possible
that an older Khalid or Post Malone title is being helped retroactively
because their artists’ stars continue to rise. Certainly, “Praying” has
subtext now that it did not when PDs were grappling with it last summer.
But “Young Dumb and Broke” certainly seemed a pop-culture anthem when it
was stumbling at radio the first time. What would two more weeks have done
for it at the time? Because it’s getting those two weeks now. Taylor
Swift’s “Delicate” is a good example of a song that seems to be kicking in
now with the benefit of patience, and without two other Swift tracks
distracting programmers.
What is the best use of our efforts? CHR programmers eagerly seize on a
Meghan Trainor, “No Excuses”; Halsey, “Alone”; or Niall Horan, “On The
Loose,” in an attempt to address the format’s tempo issues. Five weeks in,
that kind of song typically struggles for spins in the mid-20s/low-teens
chart range. It is almost as if PDs were looking not for an uptempo hit,
but for plausible deniability that they tried tempo songs and they didn’t
work. Regular readers know that the last thing I would suggest is hewing to
label priorities, but I’d rather invest a few more spins in an uptempo or
different-sounding song than to go back for mid-tempo and mid-chart titles
that only underscore the morass. Because neither slot is going to a proven
Is CHR’s present strategy working? Going in any way against “play the hits”
as a programming strategy is a little like Sandra Bullock in Miss
Congeniality failing to recognize “world peace” as the only correct answer
for beauty-pageant contestants. A few months ago, I would have had to admit
that there were a few more CHRs winning by relying more heavily on
recurrents than there were by aggressively finding new music; there aren’t
that many case studies for the latter, anyway. But this is mostly a format
of 4-share radio stations. And in the April PPMs, some of the CHRs least
affected by the format downturn suddenly developed problems as well. CHR
has likely issues that go beyond “this record vs. that record.” But it
doesn’t help when both this record and the next one are as joyless as they
are now.
Does “fresh” mean nothing now? “Look at all these songs on Spotify that
radio hasn’t acknowledged yet” is an easy shot for radio’s detractors. It’s
more feasible for a streaming service to add a dozen songs a week to a
playlist that competes on a different plane, but still siphons
quarter-hours from broadcast radio. But if anything makes radio sound
stale, it’s older songs that were barely hits.

The post Bring Back for What? appeared first on RadioInsight.

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