With a battery of entertainment options to choose from, consumer tastes and media behavior are changing faster than ever. Audience preferences have become a constantly moving target. One of programmers’ biggest challenges is keeping up with them. But while technology is the disrupter, it’s also emerging as part of the solution.
Is it an olive branch worthy of ending a lawsuit, or a stick that could be used to beat radio stations into submission? That will be the question before a federal judge as he weighs a request by SESAC to dismiss a suit brought by the radio industry after taking steps that its attorneys argue undercut complaints made by broadcasters. MORE
A CHR battle has busted out in the Gateway City. Emmis has shelved its long running classic hits “K-Hits 96” format on KIHT, St. Louis to launch “Now 96.3 FM.” It takes on iHeartMedia’s “Z-107.7” KSLZ, which trended 4.8-5.7 in the Holiday survey for a fourth place tie in persons 6+. It’s the first new CHR to debut in St. Louis in 17 years.
A growing number of interns are taking on a new label: plaintiff. Now it’s CBS Radio that’s being sued by a former unpaid staffer. Camille Demere has sued the company for her time as a newsroom intern at all-news WCBS, New York (880) and as an online intern at CBSNewYork.com for nine months during 2009 and 2010. MORE
One of the hottest and most controversial trends in the advertising industry is earmarked for an infusion of dollars this year. Nearly two-thirds of marketers (63%) plan to up their spend on native advertising, according to a new Association of National Advertisers survey of 127 marketers. MORE
One recent trend in new radio facilities has been to include performance spaces for visiting musicians to play live when they’re in town. For Seattle adult alternative KEXP (90.3), an essential stop for tastemaker bands, making musicians comfortable has gone beyond just a well-appointed soundstage. MORE
The buyers of the roughly 400 Alfa Romeo 4C Spiders available to U.S. dealers this year will get a premium HD Radio-equipped sound system to go with their hand-built coupe this year. The Italian sports car will come with HD Radio as standard equipment. The Spider is the first Alfa Romeo model to integrate HD Radio.
In a rare move usually reserved for presidents and popes, Tribune news-talk “Radio 720” WGN, Chicago is breaking away from regular programming Saturday to give wall-to-wall commercial-free coverage to a memorial service. It’s the tribute to Chicago Cubs baseball great Ernie Banks, who died January 23rd at the age of 83. WGN sports director Dave Eanet will anchor the broadcast. Tribune says it will stream the memorial service as well, knocking its regular “Kathy and Judy Show” to its secondary WGNPlus.com website.
After moving out of its mid-summer position last year, the Conclave Learning Conference is returning to its normal July timeframe. The 40th annual programming conference is slated for July 16- 17 at the Double Tree by Hilton Minneapolis Park Place. This year’s Conclave will present its first annual Speed Mentoring Breakfast.
With the opening of U.S.-Cuban relations, efforts in Congress to power down Radio and TV Martí may finally attract enough support to pass. For U.S. broadcasters it could have implications since the Radio Marti broadcasts into Cuba have been a thorn in the country’s side and one of the reasons the Castro regime regularly stepped on U.S. stations’ signals. MORE
Winning the auction turned out to be the easy part. Paying for it is what has tripped up Ace Radio Corporation (ARC). With a $309,400 bid it won a construction permit for a Mertzon, TX-licensed Class A signal at 101.1 FM during Auction 62. But the FCC says the money never came, and it’s now demanding it pay up. It had given ARC until December 10, 2014 to submit its balance plus a 5% late fee. But no check arrived. So it’s canceled the winning bid and says ARC owes a 3% default fee totaling $9,282.
There are several staff changes in the office of FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Most importantly for radio, she’s named Valery Galasso as her policy advisor for media issues. Galasso had already been working in her office on consumer affairs and education issues. She earlier worked in the Obama Administration as a liaison between Vice President Joe Biden and Congress. Galasso replaces Clint Oden who heads to Capitol Hill to work for the Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee.