Strength in numbers is increasingly radio’s morning show equation. Ensemble morning shows aren’t new; they’ve been a morning radio tradition for decades. But they are maturing and becoming more common, driven by a belief that a group of personalities with diverse backgrounds, outlooks and skillsets can attract a larger audience than one mega-talent.
Saying they’re eager to “turn the page,” Talk Radio Network has settled its lawsuit against WestwoodOne in a deal with its new parent company Cumulus Media. The suit, filed in August 2012 against its predecessor, Dial Global, alleged the network was using “monopoly powers” to dominate the network radio marketplace. TRN had also asked a federal judge to use antitrust laws to break up the company.
Clear Channel has appointed new programmers at a pair of its CHR stations. “Kiss 107.1” WKFS, Cincinnati program director Jared Fallon transfers to Philadelphia to take the same position at “Q102” WIOQ. “97.3 Kiss-FM” WAEV, Savannah programmer Deelo moves to Cincy to succeed Fallon. Fallon replaces Stan Priest, who left WIOQ in January. MORE
Salem Communications says company president and chief operating officer Frank Wright will leave the company’s board of directors when his current term expires later this year. Wright has been on the Salem board since June 2012, when he was at his previous job as head of National Religious Broadcasters. Salem’s working to recruit a new independent director. Wright, who joined Salem’s management team in December, says of his new job, “I love it here.”
Denver’s sports FM is on the move as Mile High Sports Radio ends a lease deal with two stations and secures a third signal. Under a deal with Cedar Cove Broadcasting, the sports talk format lands on 94.1 on the translator K231BQ and relayed off the HD2 channel of Lincoln Financial Media’s rhythmic CHR “KS-107.5” KQKS. MORE
When world light-middleweight champion Carlos Molina takes on "Canelo" Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo Saturday night in Las Vegas, morning man Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo will be sharing his perspective on one of boxing's biggest nights from a ringside perch. The longtime boxing aficionado will be joined by former World Champion Featherweight Abner Mares to break down the bout between the two native Mexican boxers in a live broadcast on SiriusXM Radio. MORE
Just three months into his tenure, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is preparing to put his mark on media ownership. While the current per-market limits on station ownership will remain the same, senior agency officials say Wheeler will propose abolishing the radio-TV and radio-newspaper cross-ownership bans. Specifics of his proposal haven’t been made public, but they’ll likely shift to regulations that rely on the local radio rules. MORE
Radio’s second-largest volume advertiser ran 40,568 commercials on Media Monitor-tracked stations last week. The only problem is the Vanda Pharmaceuticals ads appear to have violated FCC sponsorship identification rules. Radio networks have been scrambling to add a tag to the commercial that says the spot was sponsored by Vanda Pharmaceuticals. MORE
The Echo Nest may be the most important, but least known company in the world of webcasting. Its “music intelligence” technology is used by most of the biggest streaming services, including iHeartRadio, Rdio and Mog, along with SiriusXM Radio. It’s also used by Spotify, which has just struck a deal to buy the company. The sale means Spotify will now serve as a vendor to some of its biggest competitors. MORE
Pandora spooked investors Thursday after it announced it would discontinue releasing monthly updates on the size of its audience. Recent reports have shown slower growth and a decision to offer less transparency fed into those worries. Pandora has been releasing the metrics since March 2012 and the company says it will provide monthly numbers through June, after which the data will be released quarterly. MORE
In a move sure to make investors happy Salem Communications says it’s boosting the size of its quarterly dividend by 4.5%. It’s the fourth consecutive quarter that the company has increased the size of its dividend. The company has seen revenue grow as it expanded beyond radio, and that’s likely fueling some of the decision. “All of us Salem, both management and the board, continue to be optimistic about the ability to generate free cash flow for the company and enhance flexibility and capital allocation,” CEO Ed Atsinger said on the company’s earnings call last month.