The coming year will either bring an acceleration to the ad recovery, a year where advertisers shift dollars to pay for Olympic spots, or a banner mid-term political ad year. Welcome to the world of media soothsaying. One thing that ad agency forecasters can nearly agree on: 2014 will be marginally better, and certainly no worse, than the current year.
The trend-setting Philadelphia adult contemporary station WBEB is changing its name. After two decades of using the “B-101” branding, the top-rated station is changing its name to “MoreFM” on December 26. The move is a result of extensive research studies that are the trademark of the station’s longtime owner Jerry Lee. The name “MoreFM” surfaced as an obvious choice during the research says general manager Blaise Howard.
Cox Media Group elevates Beth Bowers from local sales manager to general sales manager at top-rated news/talker WSB, Atlanta (750, 95.5). She succeeds Walt Phillips, who was promoted to director of sales for the company’s Atlanta cluster in September. In addition to overseeing sales for WSB, Bowers will partner on strategy and client opportunities with general sales managers at the cluster’s other stations: classic hits “97.1 The River” WSRV, urban AC “Kiss 104.1” WALR and AC “B-98.5” WSB-FM.
The Conclave, the annual radio programming conference held each summer, is in need to some “fresh eyes” according to executive director Bob Shannon. So after nearly four decades the Conclave board has decided the time has come to review the conference and the mission of the not-for-profit group focused on training programmers and air personalities. Shannon is hoping to bring in volunteers with a new perspective on where The Conclave should be heading in 2014. MORE
Record early-winter cold across much of America is causing headaches for several stations that have been silenced by burst water pipes. Several of Cherry Creek Radio’s stations in Great Falls, MT were knocked out by a burst pipe that brought down a studio ceiling last weekend. KAJ-TV says all are back on the air except for hot AC “K-99” KAAK. Meanwhile in Illinois, Quincy Broadcasting’s “News Talk 105” WGEM-FM and sports “ESPN 1440” WGEM in Quincy are both back on the air after a water leak took both stations off the air last weekend. Programming is still being adjusted while engineers wait for some new equipment to arrive.
Nielsen data shows radio is second only to television in the amount of time Americans spend with the medium. But radio’s ad share trails digital and even print. Clear Channel CFO Rich Bressler says his company has undertaken a “reeducation and repositioning” effort that if successful could help the industry get some of what he calculates are $19 billion in ad dollars that it’s being shortchanged. MORE
In the mobile world, an app’s stickiness is often measured by its 30-day user retention rate, or the percent of people who first used it within a given week who returned to use it another time within the next 30 days. Emmis says enough time has elapsed since the late summer launch of NextRadio to determine that its 30-day user retention rate is approximately 32%. Put another way, about one third of Next Radio users remain active 30 days later. MORE
After buying the rep firm Local Focus to sit alongside McGavren Guild Media five months ago, Genesis Media Holdings has struck a deal to buy Commercial Media Sales (CMS) from longtime founder Roger Rafson. With nearly a dozen potential deals in the works, Genesis is a company worth watching in 2014. MORE
A flashy three-minute video jolted a typically staid media conference yesterday in New York. The video showcased the iHeartRadio Music Festival. The message to Wall Street was even more loud and clear: radio is digital media. “We’re in the sweet spot of mobile,” Clear Channel CFO Rich Bressler told the UBS Global Media Conference. MORE
Perhaps radio and television stations didn’t skirt the line with racy content as much, or more likely, nothing controversial set of a letter writing campaign. Either way, an Inside Radio analysis shows the second quarter had the fewest indecency complaints filed with the FCC in a decade. The agency just announced that 227 were submitted during the second quarter. MORE
Sales managers are more nice than naughty, in Christmas-speak terms. Nearly half (47%) of Inside Radio readers say their station takes care of arranging holiday gifts for advertisers this time of year. Salespeople are their own elves too — 22% of those taking our unscientific survey say their account executives are left on their own to thank advertisers. MORE
Two-thirds of Americans 12 and older hear at least one network radio commercial each week. That’s according to quarterly data from Nielsen. It shows network radio’s reach in the key advertiser demos is even larger. Among 18-49 year olds, network radio reaches 70.6% of the population. Among 25-54 year olds, 71.3% hear network radio ads during a typical week. Nielsen says across all demos network radio’s reach figures are higher in the top 25 markets. That’s in part due to PPM-based measurement.
As more advertisers look to use radio in new ways beyond the traditional spot, the Radio Mercury Awards will expand its annual competition to honor the best campaigns. A new promotion of the year award will honor an advertiser that uses a creative promotion to pitch its product to listeners. MORE
Groups trying to force the Washington Redskins to change its name have taken to social media with a new strategy: Petition the FCC to cite radio and TV stations that utter the NFL team’s name for obscene or indecent language. The groups are using Facebook and Twitter to direct sympathizers to FCC Form 475B or the Obscene, Profane, and/or Indecent Material Complaint Form.
The Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) says 31 new or recently-hired sales reps and sales assistants have graduated from its 10-week fall training course. SCBA president Thom Callahan says the “inspirational and emotional highlight” was inviting two previous program graduates. “They were real life examples of success and showed our students that radio sales is an outstanding career choice,” he says. The classes were held in collaboration with the GSM Council of Southern California.
WMMR, Philadelphia (93.3) listeners and sponsors donated a record 386 tons of non-perishable food during the Greater Media rock station’s annual Camp Out for Hunger drive. Morning hosts Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison lived in a trailer on site at the holiday drive, which filled 37 tractor trailers with food and produced $240,521 in cash, even though the focus was on food donations. MORE