Tuesday, October 31, 2006

First Wal*Mart; Now China Gets Ticketmaster

Through an alliance with Beijing CSI Ticketing Development, Ticketmaster has expanded its global operations to China. The new joint venture will be called Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Ticketing Company. BGTTC will provide exclusive tickets for the XXIX Olympic Games in 2008. The Juyongguan section of the Great Wall was decorated with colors of the Olympic Ring by 5,300 Beijing volunteers. The Games of the XXIX Olympiad will be held in the last week of July and the first week of August 2008.

...America's revenge for exporting our manufactoring jobs: service charges!

A Song You Won't Hear Until You Watch The CMA Awards On TV

Martina McBride, with a good reason to have the digital recorder going next Monday night as you watch.

Sadly, that means her awesome duet with Raul Malo on the "You're Only Lonely" LP, "Feels Like Home," has little chance to chart as a single.. which is probably why this video of her is being distrubuted right now by RCA.

Need An Excuse To Get Off The Phone?

Click on this site and laff... (just don't use it when I call you, because I'll recognize all the sounds!)

Meet The Mobile Video Early Adopters

People, these days, are looking at their mobile phone screens, PDAs, iPods, laptops, even video programming in elevators.

DVD sales growth is still occurring, but at a slower pace than past years'. There is yet another media shift going on now. People are renting more DVDs in the TV category than any other. And of TV DVDs, the strongest growth has occurred in sales of one-hour TV dramas like "Desperate Housewives," "Lost" and "24," which tracked an increase of 48% year over year. The adult-animation category, which includes "The Family Guy" and "The Simpsons," rose 36%, while sales of science fiction titles increased 34% and half-hour comedies grew 7%.

According to eMarketer, iTunes is the leading Web site when it comes to paid video downloads in the US, with a 67% market share, compared to MovieFlix at 19% and CinemaNow at 9%.

Metrics to watch:
* 60 % of the folks who watch TV on their cell phones and other mobile devices do so between noon and 8:00 in the evening.
Mobile video usage is not just for the kids. Half of all mobile video consumers are between the ages of 25 and 36.
70 % of mobile video users are male (as is the case with most early adopter technologies).
Mobile video users watch about 22 % of the time at home, 22 % of the time while they're commuting, 16 % of the time when they're shopping (I suspect this means when their wife is shopping and they're sitting on a bench in the mall) and 14 % of the time when they're at work.
Among all mobile TV users, ABC News was the most watched mobile TV channel in Q2 2006, securing 40% of the total mobile TV audience.

Is it that consumers can't find the remote, or that they don't need to? --Seana Mulcahy, Online Spin/Media Post

Tim and Garth Are Proof Of Country's Enduring Superstar Appeal

Tim McGraw revealed at the press junket for his film “Flicka,” he’ll have a new album out in 2007 and he’s now in the studio continuing to record his studio album since the 2004 release of “Live Like You Were Dying.”

“FLICKA” stat: McGraw’s first leading role appearance in the Twentieth Century Fox all-audience film has now grossed over 14 million dollars and moves to number 5 on the box office rankings. The film had a solid first week in theatres and then wrapped up this past weekend with almost 5 million dollars in business.
McGraw, having passed muster in ‘Friday Night Lights’ looks like the genuine article as a rancher and carries off his serious scenes with aplomb.” -- Todd McCarthy of Variety

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has announced that Garth Brooks, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Artist of the Century, has made history as the company’s top selling music artist of all time. With nearly 20 million discs sold at Wal-Mart in the first year of his exclusive relationship with the retailer, Brooks has been able to transcend his retirement and continue his history-making performances.

The milestone comes just days prior to the launch of Garth’s most limited production release to date. The latest exclusive offering from singer/songwriter Brooks is a limited five DVD set, appropriately titled Garth Brooks: The Entertainer. This limited edition has already become the number one pre-order item on Walmart.com Music in 2006.

Last year’s boxed set release, Garth Brooks: The Limited Series, sold half a million copies in its first day of availability. With only one million copies available, fans can purchase Garth Brooks: The Entertainer beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 1 at 24-hour Wal-Mart locations.

Garth Brooks: The Entertainer contains more than seven hours of entertainment and highlights history-making performances in the form of 15 music videos, including three never-before-seen videos. Widely-acclaimed concert footage includes This is Garth Brooks (Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas-1991), This is Garth Brooks, Too! (Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas-1993), Live From Dublin (Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland-1997) and Live From Central Park (New York, NY-1997).

Word is Garth is planning to release another special DVD video collection next year, but there has been no word of anything 'new' on the horizon, unfortunately.

Huntsman Produces Keith Urban One Hour Radio Special

Beginning on Thursday, November 2nd, Keith Urban fans will be able to get a first-hand account, direct from Urban himself, on the making of his much anticipated fourth studio album, "Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing." The one hour special, to be made available to country radio stations nationwide, includes an exclusive interview with Urban, who speaks about the writing, the recording and the completion of songs from the album. For the one hour special, Keith will preview six songs from Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing, as well as an exclusive live performance of “Better Life” and “You’ll Think Of Me.”

The special includes an in-depth interview about the songs featured on the highly anticipated new release. When it debuted, “Once In A Lifetime,” the first single release from "Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing," became the highest chart debut (#17) for any artist since the inception of the Billboard Country Singles Chart in 1944. The song marks yet another in a line of upbeat, hits that have come to be one of Urban’s trademarks.

Radio stations wishing to participate should contact the program’s producer Huntsman Entertainment Nashville, 615 255 1100, or

The program does not contain national commercials and is non-exlusive. Love, Pain & the whole crazy thing is set for release on Tuesday, November 7th. The special was recorded, of course, before Urban checked himself into rehab at his new wife, Nicole Kidman's, insistence.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Poor Sara -- The Saga Gets Stranger

.. and the folks she called 'friends' (and 'husband'!) seem to be more and more bizarre:

Friday's headline:
Evans, mate reach accord on some divorce issues. Then, yesterday: "Nanny shops deal at Sara's label"

Alison Clinton Lee, 28, who vigorously denies Sara Evans' allegations of adultery with Sara's husband, is shopping a deal with Evans' label. "An attorney representing her contacted our Sony/BMG New York office to let us know that she was interested in a 'country-western' deal," says a label spokesman. Alison has recorded a song that is available for download at

"The problem is, if the Nashville music industry believes these allegations, they are going to close her out," says her attorney, Ronnie Berke. Says her publicist, Jason Rose, "No one would wish what has happened to Alison on anybody. I do hope that she can turn lemons into lemonade and fulfill her dream."

While label officials won't comment on whether they are considering signing her, it's a good bet that it's not gonna happen. Sara is one of their biggest stars.

Note to Alison Clinton Lee: you may want to practice writing the words "self destruct" on the blackboard 100 times...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Vancouver's Secret Sound = The Sound of Records Breaking

The press release from Eric Samuels, Operations Manager at Z95.3/650 CISL and Sr. VP Programming for Standard Radio:

Z95-3 Vancouver’s Z-FX, the radio contest which has listeners attempt to identify a mystery sound effect to win $100,000 culminated today with an on-line and in-office frenzy. The contest, which has been running since early September, having started at $500. Morning show hosts Nat and Drew will took phone calls non-stop from listeners until someone correctly guessed the “Z-Effect” was a A PROPANE TANK VALVE OPENING and wins $100,000. Remarkably enough, numerous on-line communities sprung up where the only thing the users have in common is the Z-FX contest. Included among them is the DiscoverVancouver.com community forum where twenty four thousand, two hundred and fourteen messages have been posted which have been viewed 461,555 times. The effect the contest had is reflected by this posting from an online community:
“OMG the drive into work was funny!! I pulled up to an intersection when it was time to call and I looked over at the truck beside me and I saw this guy on his cell, his hand drop and then he brought his cell back to his ear and it dropped again....I was doing the same. We both got eye contact and we both knew what was going on. A sly smile came upon both our faces, and a glint in our eyes as our fingers reached for that redial button! It was a show down I tell you! I couldn't help driving the rest of the way to work with a goofy smile on my face. hahaa. We have all gone mad!”

Reality Marketing Rocks Kansas City

KQRC posted a reward of $20,000 and ask listeners to produce their new TV commerials. Check out the 400+ .. yes, 400! .. which were good enough, and clean enough, to post on their website.

Ten Scariest Halloween Costumes

10. Osama Bin Laden
9. Osama Bin Laden
8. Osama Bin Laden
7. Osama Bin Laden
6. Osama Bin Laden
5. Osama Bin Laden
4. Osama Bin Laden
3. Osama Bin Laden
2. Donald Rumsfeld

And the scariest costume of 2006 is:

1. Donald Rumsfeld dressed as Osama Bin Laden

-- stolen from Jay Trachman's ONE TO ONE (with gratitude for more than 30 years of inspiration, thought-starters, advice and silliness!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Radio Better Be Able To Answer The Dixie Chicks"

The folks in Natalie Maines hometown got an advance look at their new "Shut Up And Sing" movie Saturday night and even in the city mentioned in their song "Lubbock Or Leave It" the kind of people who went to the preview were quite supportive.

* "Oh I loved it. It was great. I love the Dixie Chicks," one audience member said. "The people who come off looking really bad were the ones who were saying you shouldn't say what you said. They came off looking like ignorant hicks," another audience member said.
* "I've always been a fan of Natalie Maines, and I think she's awesome for sticking to her guns, and just saying what she believed, and I think that's her right," a third audience member said.
* "It didn't really show their political opinion. I think it showed America's political opinion," another audience member added.
* "I agree with them, and I hope they know that we still love them," another audience member said.

"During interviews they’re bringing up hot-button words like “censorship” and “corporate ban” — as they did on Larry King last night. Natalie Maines singled out Cox and Cumulus by name. The Chicks’ “Shut Up and Sing” flick opens this weekend and they’re doing lots of appearances (Oprah yesterday, Good Morning America today). Radio needs to be ready to answer the inevitable questions – and to remind people that those 12 words Natalie spoke from the stage in 2003 immediately angered a bunch of listeners."
- Inside Radio's Tom Taylor

Toby Keith: "I'm Tired Of Politics, All Politics"

For the third year, superstar Toby Keith has been named Nashville SongwriterAssociation International's (NSAI) 2006 Songwriter/Artist of the Year. Inthe past year Keith released his latest platinum selling album, "White TrashWith Money," which features 12 tracks that he wrote or co-wrote includingthe hit singles "Get Drunk and Be Somebody," "A Little Too Late," and hiscurrent single "Crash Here Tonight."

He's in Roanoke tonight and
Ralph Berrier Jr of "The Roanoke Times" got some (very timely!) quotes from him:

"Toby Keith wants to set the record straight: Patriotic songs did not "save" his career, and his support for American soldiers does not necessarily mean he's wild about the war in Iraq. And while he's at it, he doesn't think much of music industry executives, but at least they're better than the movie studio suits, and they're all better than Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Natalie Maines. And don't get him started about the current crop of male country singers, of which he is one, because he's not sure any of them will be remembered very fondly 20 years hence. This is all just his opinion, of course.

"Keith is free with opinions and doesn't care much what people might think of them, or of him. He's big and loud, with a personality and ego to match his college linebacker size (6-foot-4, 250 pounds).

"Over the past five years, he has earned the reputation as a flag-wavin', Ford pickup-drivin', million-sellin' red-state hero, who's proud to be "The Angry American" who supports the "American Soldier." Both are titles of hit songs he has written and recorded since the United States went to war following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"Mostly, though, he wants you to know this: He's just a big ol' easygoing country boy from Oklahoma who is flat-out misunderstood. "When I look back, I would say that I have learned a lot" over the past five years, he said. "If you take a stand on an issue, if you're a patriotic guy, or you say something to support the troops, you get sucked into this red state/blue state business. I'm tired of politics, all politics. None of it has anything to do with being a patriot."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Now That We Know 92% Stay Through All Our Commercial Breaks..

I can't WAIT to see how TV does on that score! (smile)

Nielsen Media Research is getting set to deliver its first-ever ratings of commercials, and some companies representing cable networks are balking at accepting them. Nielsen had been planning to release the data for the first time on Nov. 18, but has pushed that target date back to Dec. 11.

For years, Nielsen's clients had been content to receive ratings information on individual shows, which didn't break out specifically who was watching during the commercials.

There's been more of a clamor to break out commercials specifically, because digital video recorders are now giving viewers a chance to fast-forward through the ads and because the growing use of Internet advertising gives clients more of a choice in which to run commercials.

Currently, networks don't take into account DVR usage in setting ad prices. But the new commercial rating system will include measurements of DVR homes. Some cable networks believe that DVR owners are more likely to record broadcast programming than, for instance, news or sports on cable and that the new numbers will make broadcast commercial time appear more valuable than that on cable networks.

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Hot:" Gas Prices Down, So: Ready, Set, Shop!

58.7% agree that early holiday shopping is what’s hot this month.

Consumers contending they've become more practical in purchasing rises from 39.7% in September to 43.3%. Headed into holiday '05, though, 50.1% cited practicality, so they may be willing to pay more to retailers this year

FOX’s House, the baseball playoffs, and ubiquitous TV personality Rachael Ray also rate high among consumers, while fantasy football scores with men and Dancing With the Stars sweeps women off their feet.

Joe Pilotta, VP of Research for BIGResearch:

"... greater confidence in the economy... usually translates into greater spending for the holidays. Consumer expectations are the basis for action, lower price, more cash and greater spending."

The impact of gas prices are also lower as more consumers are saying fluctuating gas prices are having no major impact on their spending, 29.3% versus 24.4% last month. And, consumers are also anticipating lower pump prices at Thanksgiving than they previously expected in September. They anticipate the price of a gallon of gas will be $2.55 by Thanksgiving, which is almost $0.30 less than last month when they anticipated the price to be $2.84 a gallon.

Retailers, it looks like consumers are gearing up to spend some good cheer…the 90 Day Outlook continues to brighten in October from last month and last year, according to the BIGresearch Diffusion index (those who say they’ll spend less subtracted from those who’ll spend more). While Lawn & Garden took its seasonal tumble, all other categories improved:

Those of us hoping for a little something sparkly in our stockings may get our wish this year…6.2% intend to purchase jewelry in the next six months, up from 4.5% last year. Major purchase intentions also improve year-over-year for auto, computer, furniture, home appliances, house, major home improvement, stereo equipment, TV, digital camera, and vacation travel. DVD/VCR up slightly.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

When It Quakes In Hawaii (Oops), Snows In Buffalo (Good Job!)..

It's good old reliable, pervasive RADIO to the rescue. (or, at least that's how it should be)

Garth Finally Launches An "Official" Website

Several unofficial Garth websites have popped up during his career, but he never had an official site.

Eventually Brooks gave his blessing to the best of the unofficial sites, but had never established his own site until now.

Here's why: On November 1st Garth Brooks will offer an incredible collection and a must-have for anybody that ever experienced him live in concert or wished they had, Garth Brooks: The Entertainer.

The five DVD set includes full concert videos of his greatest concerts; This is Garth Brooks at Reunion Arena in Dallas 1991, This Is Garth Brooks, Too!, at Texas Stadium in Irving, Tx, 1993, Live From Dublin, 1997, Live From Central Park, 1997, and a 5th disc containing his greatest video hits.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

(I Am Hoping For) Urban Renewal (If I Didn't Use That, Someone Else WOULD Have!)

The 38-year-old Keith Urban added his name to the gossip columns this week along with Sara Evans and Kenny Chesney as he checked himself into rehab. He did not disclose the location of the centre or the nature of his treatment, but he has acknowledged struggles with cocaine and alcohol in the past.

This has not been the kind of week of headlines one would want for a format whose audience expects us to reflect their values story and keep it family friendly, while dancing with, marrying (or even cavorting with?) the stars..

Friday, October 20, 2006

Tired Of Trying To Explain "HD Radio" To Listeners?

.. send them to Jonathan Takiff's review in the Inquirer: "Two new HD radios put to the test"

It's a relief to see he likes the first one that costs under $200, now available at Radio Shack! When the price gets under $100, that will be a major breakthrough..

Bridge's Dave Van Dyke: Only 14 Million Satellite Radio Subscibers By New Year's

Bridge Ratings President Dave Van Dyke has been tracking it weekly, and he sees a weaker holiday selling season for XM and Sirius than had been predicted:
Based on continuing weekly retail interviewing of potential satellite radio consumers around the country, Bridge Ratings has revised its full-year subscriber projections for the sector. Reduced foot traffic in the retail outlets used in our weekly studies suggests a weaker
fourth quarter than previously expected which will yield a full year cumulative subscriber count for the sector under 14 million.

If you're surprised, I have some swamp land in Florida I'd like to sell you..

Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Extreme Makeover, Survivor, Heroes, Next Top Model... What Do They Have In Common?

I am a regular at Kent Burkhart's blog and his perspective is always interesting:
What do the following TV shows have in common? Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Extreme Makeover, Survivor, Heroes, Next Top Model, Sunday Night Football, One Tree Hill, Prison Break, and Ugly Betty. What do they have in common??? Well if you are a PD that programs to 12-17 year olds you BETTER KNOW that these are the most watched TV programs by teens as measured by Nielson Media Research (week of Oct 2-8). Your jocks should interview (by phone) some of the stars from the aforementioned TV shows. You as PD should set up some promotions/contests around them as well. Etc, etc, etc. Hey, this is what teens are viewing by the millions. There is something within these programs to help your station/personalities to be teen-positive.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

#1 #2 For Jimmy Buffett

JIMMY BUFFETT scores his second consecutive #1 debut album on the Billboard Country Chart with the release of Take The Weather With You, on Mailboat Records/RCA Nashville.

Take The Weather With You is the follow-up to his career first #1 debut album (on both the Top 200 and Country Chart), License To Chill, which featured duets with some of country’s biggest stars including Alan Jackson, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride and others. Selling 121, 361 copies in its first week, Take The Weather With You also debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart.

GEORGE STRAIT’S It Just Comes Natural slides one down to #2 with 88,358 scans
HEARTLAND debuts strongly at #3 with I Loved Her First on scans just over 61,000 units
ALAN JACKSON’s Like Red on a Rose slips gracefully from two to #4 scanning 51,190 more this week
RASCAL FLATTS’ Me and My Gang selling its consistent 35,000 units weekly (35,346 this week) to remain in the Top five down one to #5.

My advice to Jimmy: keep taking that "old man medicine."

Half Of Working Women Are On The Internet A Lot

As if you didn't already KNOW you need to be streaming, podcasting, on all of the emerging media platforms...

According to new research by The Media Audit, affluent working women with family incomes of $75,000 or more are growing in number and 94.3 percent access the Internet during an average month. From 2004 to 2005 the percent of affluent working women making five or more purchases on the Internet increased from 54.1 percent to 56.6 percent. The percent making 12 or more purchases in the same years increased from 30.0 percent to 32.2.

Bob Jordan, president of International Demographics, Inc., said
"From 2004 to 2005 affluent working women increased from 8.7 percent to 9.2 percent of the 137 million adults in the (markets surveyed)... (and) have also made some rather dramatic changes in their media habits." "The percentage of working women that spent at least 430 minutes a week on the Internet (heavy users) jumped from 48.6 percent in 2004 to 50.8 percent in 2005," says Jordan. "Heavy use of radio, television, newspapers and direct mail
all declined within this group. The collective Internet changes for this group are significant, and other media is... paying the price"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sara Evans Divorce - Could It Possibly Get Uglier? Yes! Read On..

Sources involved in the SARA EVANS divorce case tell gossip website TMZ that Craig Schelske, Sara's estranged husband, accused her of having affairs with celebrities.

The sources say that while they were still living together as husband and wife, Craig accused his wife of having affairs with KENNY CHESNEY and other unnamed "associates in the music business."

Sources also tell TMZ Craig accused Sara of having an affair with Tony Dovolani, her partner on Dancing With the Stars.

A rep for Sara, who did not want to be quoted by name, says Craig's accusations are absurd and untrue... In her divorce papers, Sara accused Craig of having an affair with the couple's nanny.

Sara also claims Craig had photos of himself having sex with other women and had at least 100 nude photos of himself "in a state of arousal."

.. As for Sara's connection with Kenny, the two toured together back in 2000and 2001. Kenny was briefly married to actress Renee Zellweger in 2005.

Again, Sara's rep says the two singers never had an affair.

George Jones Returns To CARNEGIE HALL 44 Years Later

Country Music Hall of Famer, GEORGE JONES, headlines a night of country music at Carnegie Hall this Halloween night (10/31). Kris Kristofferson will be his special guest.

The legendary performer last appeared at Carnegie Hall with Johnny Cash back in 1962. “I think we were one of the first, if not first, country shows to go in there," says Jones. "Mother Maybelle and the Carter Family and Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, were also on the show. That TV woman, Dorothy Kilgallen was real popular then and she was a columnist there. She gave us a headline that said ‘THE HICKS HAVE HIT THE TOWN.’ We had a great time. The place was packed and sold out.”

GEORGE JONES and KRIS KRISOFFERSON are old friends and the evening promises to be a Halloween “treat.” Jones recorded Kristofferson’s “Why Me Lord” on his Gospel Collection in 2003. Jones will be releasing KICKIN’ OUT THE FOOTLIGHTS...AGAIN with another old pal, MERLE HAGGARD on October 24.

For more info: Evelyn Shriver or Susan Nadler (615.242.1234)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tim McGraw Does Hollywood

.. and Neil Haislop has the stories: Tim McGraw will be honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce today, with a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. Asked how he feels about the honor he’s getting today, Tim said,
“What can I say about that, I thought for sure they were going to put it under a bus stop someplace, (it’s going in a great spot in front of the Virgin Mega store), but it’s in a pretty good place, and, it’s just pretty amazing to me that I could be from where I’m from and grow up in the middle of nowhere in cotton fields and such, driving tractors and cotton pickers as a kid and riding horses as a kid and being able to make a record, I mean every year I expect my career to start going away…I’ve been here a long time and waiting for it to start waning a bit but it just keeps getting better, so I just keep trying to get better at what I do and keep everybody interested.”

Seems Tim McGraw has been doing a more than promoting his new film "Flicka." The following update has been posted at DEF LEPPARD's official web site. "Fans who witnessed last night's [Friday, October 13] show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, were treated to a slightly different encore than what the band usually presents at the end of their shows. First of all, due to curfew restrictions, the band could only play one encore song instead of the usual two — resulting in the omitting 'Love Bites', the song they usually reserve for the lead-up to their finale anthem. However, the very performance of that last song surprised the thousands of fans at the Bowl when they realized that it was none other than country star Tim McGraw who jumped up on stage to sing along with 'Pour Some Sugar on Me'."

Can A Great "Team" Beat The Biggest "Stars?"

Yes, this is about shoes and the competition for your retail bucks, but it could also be about morning shows too.

Read "Team Adidas."

Nike is pretty happy with its position. "It's hard to build an identity for your brand around a team," says Nike brand president Charles Denson. "We built our brand around the athlete and his or her personality, creativity and innovation."

It would be nice if your radio station started with an 80 share, and obviously, it's best when you have a great TEAM comprised of the people your listener sees as big STARS too, eh? What did you do today to build your star power AND the rapport/chemistry of your whole team too?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New LA Country AM Launches At KZLA's Last Bash

Lots of rumors flew over the weekend in Orange County:

KZLA’s spirit lives on at Country Bash
Review: Gretchen Wilson is the highlight of a strong radio festival, but what was REO Speedwagon doing there? Some country music fans turning out for the annual KZLA Country Bash still protesting with T-shirts that read “Bring Back My Country – KZLA 93.9”. The line-up was stellar – Gretchen Wilson, Phil Vassar, Jamie O’Neal, SHeDAISY, and newbie Taylor Swift. However, one predominately featured act just didn’t make sense – REO Speedwagon. The classic rock act played an hour-long set just before headliner Gretchen Wilson. Following a true blue country boy like Phil Vassar, the band’s set was a buzz kill for country fans. Their performance was loud, calculated and completely ridiculous. It seemed more like a marketing tie-in for the band’s new album – presented to a captive audience – rather than a real rock ‘n’ roll show.

540 AM is going country
Saul Levine, president of Mt. Wilson Broadcasters: "We received a lot of letters and e-mails saying, basically, you are the last independent radio owner in the market. Please help us," Levine said. Whitney Allen, Paul Freeman, Brian Douglas, and Tonya Compos, who were on KZLA, will be on 540 AM. There will also be a new website, Levine said, called www.540country.com that will stream the format 24/7. Adult standards remain on 1260 AM, Levine said. "We selected 540 AM in large part because it has a better reach into Orange County, which seems to be the center of country music listening." Levine said he is working closely with the syndicator Dial Global, which will consult on the music programming.

It's ironic that country lived in LA right next door at 570 from 1978 to 1993. If the Dial Global connection means that 540 AM won't be local live, that would be regrettable.

Meanwhile, let's keep an eye on how Clear Channel's AC FM's do in the wake of Movin. There could be more shoes to drop this fall for Southland country music fans, but has Levine learned that no FM is going country? It would be hard to believe that he'd risk 540 AM if he thought a Clear Channel FM was waiting in the wings, contemplating a country launch.

One KTYD Morning Personality + 155 T-shirts = Guiness World Record

"Early Show's" Matt McAllister sets the world record for the most T-shirts worn at one time. Watch the stunt on AOL Video.

Trace Adkins On TV Today

Trace will be featured on ESPN’s “The New American Sportsman” (10/15) - (ESPN2-11am ET). The series entertains and informs viewers by showcasing some of the day’s biggest celebrities in some of the world’s most exotic locations.

This episode follows Trace and his brother Clay, on a fishing adventure in Costa Rica as they search for Roosterfish, Sailfish and various other species. Repeats: 10/16 at 2pm ET & 10/18 at 5am ET. (Pictured: Trace Adkins and Host Tom Ackerman)

Trace also recently made his third visit to "Emeril Live" for a show featuring great baseball foods. The segment will also air today at 8pm ET on the Food Network. Trace will perform "Swing" his single that was a summer grand slam on country radio and at Major League Baseball parks around the U.S. and give fans a taste of his brand new single, "Ladies Love Country Boys."

Trace Adkins' PR contact is Hot Schatz PR: Schatzi Hageman (615.782.0078)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Music Icon Freddy Fender Dies at 69

“Today is a sad day. The music industry and fans worldwide lost a friend and fellow musician. Freddy was a ‘true’ music icon. He will be missed dearly.” -- former long-time publicist Kirt Webster, Webster & Associates Public Relations

(Corpus Christi, Texas) – Freddy Fender, one of the most significant voices in Mexican American musical history, passed away today at his home in Corpus Christi, Texas, surrounded by his family.

Funeral arrangements were not finalized as of Saturday afternoon.

Born Baldemar G. Huerta on June 4, 1937 in the Mexican slums of San Benito, Texas, Fender’s music took him on a “rags to riches” journey from the Rio Grande Valley. Overcoming career and cultural challenges, Fender’s music has left a musical imprint on more than six decades. Fender migrated north with his parents in the late ‘40’s to work as a farm laborer in the upper Midwest. At 16, he dropped out of school to join the Marines.He began his music career in the ‘50’s, while still in his teens, billing himself as “El Be Bop Kid.” By ’58, he was cutting sides in Spanish, and finding success throughout Texas and Mexico. He switched styles to a more rockabilly feel, becoming Freddy Fender in ’59 and breaking the wider “gringo” market.

His major breakthrough to international audiences came in 1974 when his recording of “Before The Next Teardrop Falls,” topped both country and pop charts. He followed it with a gold record for “Wasted Days And Wasted Nights,” and another cross over smash “Since I Met You Baby.” Between 1975 and 1977, he had nine songs in the top 10 on the country charts. Fender is also credited with having written “Secret Love,” which became a number one hit for Doris Day.

Fender was named “Most Promising Male Vocalist” by the Academy of Country Music in 1975. The Country Music Association named “Before The Next Teardrop Falls” as single of the year that same year.

The beloved performer moved to yet another level in his career when he was tapped by Robert Redford to co-star in the film, “The Milagro Beanfield War.” One year later, tapped fellow musicians Augie Meyers, Doug Sahm, and Flaco Jimenez to form the “dream band” of Tex-Mex music, The Texas Tornadoes, whose popularity moved Hispanic influenced music to worldwide attention and international audiences of the caliber of the Montreaux Jazz Festival, where Fender and his companions received more than a dozen standing ovations for their high-spirited ethnic influenced music.Fender has continued to tour as a legendary icon whose audiences have shouted their approval in a multitude of languages. In recent years, health problems slowed him, but never silenced his music.

All I Can Say Is AMEN To This (Political Ads)

A letter to the editor and very much worth a click, perhaps even reading on the air:
"Lord, deliver us from political advertising."

The 92.5 XTU Firefighters Auction Sets Fire To Philadelphia

The votes are in and the auction for charity will be on October 17th. (click to see some 'adult' poses by these winning contenstants!)

Note the official rules: "All bidders will be bidding on packages for 4, so you and your hot Firefighter can each bring a chaperone :)."

The Top Firefighters will also win prizes for their firehouses as well. All Proceeds Benefit the Temple University Burn Center.

The David Lawrence Studio, A Very Classy Recognition For A Deserving Guy

The Kansas City Star's Aaron Barnhart:

It would be one thing if WDAF morning man David Lawrence were having a studio named after him at Entercom Radio's decrepit old headquarters in the KC suburb of Westwood, Kansas. But this is quite another: At a gala Wednesday night to christen Entercom's splendid new, 65,000-square-foot all-digital facility in nearby Mission, the studios of WDAF-FM were named for Lawrence, a man who was the No. 1 morning man in Kansas City for most of his 25 years on the early shift. Entercom CEO David Field flew in from Philadelphia and joined hundreds of other guests at the party, which doubled as Lawrence's goodbye and the ribbon cutting on the $12 million renovation that turned a three-story office building into the new home of the city's market leader in radio. Lawrence just moved into his spacious WDAF-FM studio this week; on Friday, he's moving out (as reported earlier, he's retiring).

Let me say this about the old Entercom broadcast center in Westwood: What a dump! It was meant to house three stations. In the end, after the 1996 Telecom Act allowed Entercom to go on a shopping spree, it had shoehorned in WDAF-FM, KUDL-FM, KYYS-FM, KBRZ-FM, KQRC-FM, KSRC-AM, KMBZ-AM and the classical station, which operated out of a modified closet because that's all there was left.

Hot: Holiday Shopping. NOT: Katie Couric

What's Hot and What's Not:
Ready, set, shop! 58.7% agree that early holiday shopping is what’s hot this month!

FOX’s House, the baseball playoffs, and ubiquitous TV personality Rachael Ray also rate high among consumers, while fantasy football scores with men and Dancing With the Stars sweeps women off their feet.

What’s Not? Is she too perky or just pesky? About 75% of consumers agree that they’ll be tuning out Katie Couric.

Freddy Fender Gravely Ill, But Now Back Home

Grammy Award-winning musician Freddy Fender, who was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year, was said to be gravely ill at his Corpus Christi, Texas home on Friday.

Family members said Fender, 69, a crossover pop, Latin and country performer, was "not doing well" and was unable to speak to reporters.

He returned to Corpus Christi this week after receiving treatment in hospitals in Oklahoma and San Antonio, Texas.

Do Your Listeners Know What YOU Stand For?

Folks who are discovering
Entercom's new country station in Greensboro certainly DO.
Brian Phillips is at CMT now and Dan Halyburton is at Emmis, New York, of course, and a lot of the original Wolf, Dallas, team have moved on as well, but it's still very cool to see something they created continue to have such power in so many different places. As one of the original parents of "Young Country," in the early 1990's at KDDK, Little Rock, and WYGY, Cincinnati, I think I know how they feel.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Sad Story From Sara

All of a sudden, Dancing with the Stars doesn't have as much rhythm as it used to.

Country music star Sara Evans has bowed out of the ABC series, citing "personal reasons" for not being able to tango on.

As it turns out, Evans filed for divorce Thursday from her husband of 13 years, Craig Schelske. A statement released by the singer's rep explained that she needed "to give her family her full attention at this difficult time.

"Ms. Evans hopes her fans and TV viewers...will respect and understand her need for privacy in the face of these recent events."

ABC told E! News that the network has no comment at this time and, wouldn't you know, you have to tune in next Tuesday to find out more info.

"It is too bad because dance has a really healing quality to it as well, and I think the family of DWTS could be a great support system for her," Inaba told Us Weekly.

"I watch them care for each other and sometimes it is good to be around people who care about you and I think that would be good for her. But she has to take care of herself and take care of her life, and I'm sure she is making a good decision for herself. We will all support her."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Nice Things Happen To Nice People, Milwaukee Edition

On Milwaukee magazine editor Molly Snyder just did a very complimentary profile of WMIL's eight year morning cohost, Karen Dalessandro. Listen to the podcast as Karen gets chatty with Molly

OMC: How has radio changed the most for you over the years?

KD: Technology. It's absolutely amazing how it has changed since I pulled vinyl records off shelves, put them on a turntable and edited tape with a razor blade. Now, everything, of course, is on computer. It's much easier and sounds better. There's no reason to reminisce about "the good ole" days.

OMC: Is country music your personal favorite genre?

KD: Having worked in just about every format including pop, rock and alternative, country is my favorite. I don't listen to country music exclusively, but it's the first button on my radio.

OMC: What's in your CD player right now?

KD: Quite a variety: Sugarland's "Twice the Speed of Light," some Nickleback, "Big and Rich." Also, I love Sheryl Crow and even AC/DC's "Back In Black."

OMC: Do you think the country world is more open or less open to female radio announcers?

KD: Way more open. It's a safe bet that you'll hear more women in prime time shifts (AM Drive/PM Drive) on country radio stations than other formats. Country music listeners are so passionate about everything on the radio -- the music and the disc jockeys. They're into the message, whether it comes from a guy or a girl, and as long as it relates to their lives. Gender isn't really an issue.

Dotinga: Fewer Ads On San Diego FM Radio

Most recently, Clear Channel stations ---- including those in San Diego ---- have begun running five-second and even two-second commercials. (Their one-second offerings reportedly haven't sold.) Not everyone is a big fan of the miniature commercials, known as "blinks" or "adlets."

"They sound shoddy and serve only to annoy the listener," said Darrel Goodin, general manager of KSON, KIFM and FM 9/49.

And Sean Ross, a radio analyst based in New Jersey, thinks the mini-ads "feel like clutter to me ---- no matter how short they are."

I love reading the
radio columns of North County Times writer Randy Dotinga. He seems to understand what's going on a lot better than most:
"There are plenty of annoying things on the radio, from nincompoop shock jocks to vapid play-by-play announcers.But nothing beats radio commercials, which tend to make eulogies look clever and witty. The good news: Your fragile ears are being bombarded with fewer and fewer of them, at least to judge by some new numbers. The J.P. Morgan Chase firm told The Wall Street Journal that the average commercial "load" per hour has dipped from 14.9 minutes in 2004 to just 10.8 minutes now. That's a decrease of a whopping 28 percent in just two years."

Video Killed The Radio Star? No Way!

Profits, it seems to me, are a wonderful thing.

It's been called sickly by analysts for years, but with growing ad revenue, dusty old radio isn't dead yet, Toronto's Globe and Mail reporter GRANT ROBERTSON discovers:
"These are heady days for the radio business. For an industry believed to be in decline thanks to the Internet, iPods and satellite radio, advertising sales have never been stronger. For the first time, commercial FM radio in Canada surpassed the billion-dollar mark for revenue this year. And together with AM radio, the industry pulled in a total of $1.33-billion. Combined pretax
profits for AM and FM were up 24 per cent to $255-million. Those numbers, well-known within the industry, would probably come as a surprise to people outside the business. As media companies grapple for advertising dollars in an increasingly fragmented market that has seen the Internet emerge as a major threat to broadcasting and print in the past three years, dusty old radio is making an improbable stand. "

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

For Some Reason, I Feel Sleeepy... Verrrrry Sleepy

Check out the weekly "spot ten" reports at http://mediamonitors.com/spotten.asp.

Who Would Have Ever Thought The World's Spokespeople For 'Anti-GWism' Would Come From Country Music?

Sydney Morning Herald music reviewer Bruce Elder was on hand as the Dixie Chicks' "Accidents and Accusations tour" hit Sydney's Acer Arena Monday night (10/9) before heading to Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne:
"In more than 30 years of reviewing concerts I have never seen anything like it. When Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, sang Not Ready to Make Nice, her swingeing attack on those who threatened her life after she had the affront to say she was ashamed George Bush was from Texas, the whole audience sang along."

I witnessed exactly the same thing in August when I watched the Chicks perform before a packed John Labatt Center in London, Ontario.

Don't ask me to explain what it means for their future as artists inside and outside their home country, because I have no idea. But, it's very clear that they are giving voice to something visceral in audiences from England to Canada to Australia, even as they are being forced to cancel dates in at least 14 U.S. cities from Kansas City, Houston, St. Louis, Memphis, Milwaukee and Knoxville.

"Flicka" Trots Into Nashville

Neil Haislop reports: This week starts the major push for the "Flicka" movie release on October 20th. TODAY (10/10) at the historic Belcourt Theatre, Nashville's non-profit venue for film, music and events, Tim McGraw will screen “Flicka” for the industry. The event will kick off with an acoustic guitar pull on the theatre stage featuring soundtrack artists the Warren Brothers, the Dancehall Doctors, Holly Williams, Catherine Raney and special guest, writer Tom Douglas (who co-wrote "My Little Girl" with Tim). THE GUESTS, Warren Brothers, Holly Williams, Catherine Raney and the Dance Hall Doctors, will likely sing the songs each act contributed to the Flicka Soundtrack Album that is being released by pre-order to WalMart prior to the film’s Sountdrack Album release Oct. 17th. (Warrens perform “Where Did I Go Right,” Holly Williams sings “Rodeo Road,” Catherin Raney performs “All the Pretty Little Ponies, and even the Dance Hall Doctors add their own rendition of “The Fireman.”)

Brad Paisley’s TIME WELL WASTED TOUR featuring Carrie Underwood and special guest Jake Owen sold-out the Lafayette, LA Cajun Dome in less than an hour this past Saturday – maximum capacity. The tour is on a course to exceed over 700,000 tickets sold for 2006 and will rank in the Top 5 of all country tours this year. Tour continues through Dec. 8. ALSO… BRAD PAISLEY CHRISTMAS – the 11-track collection of holiday songs delivers what Paisley does best, musically blending heart and humor topped with his stellar guitar work and arrangements. There are seven traditional favorites and four Paisley penned originals, including “Born on Christmas Day,” which he wrote as a 13 year old and performed on his first official appearance at the legendary Jamboree U.S.A. A highlight on the disk includes original audio from this performance mixed with Paisley’s voice today to create a magical listen. Paisley’s current single is “She’s Everything” – written by Paisley and Will Nance - a love song that Paisley wrote about his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley but can relate to any couple.

Dixie Chicks, the highest selling female group in any genre, will take a break from their “Accidents & Accusations” tour to perform on the “2006 American Music Awards” airing LIVE Tuesday, November 21, 2006 on ABC-TV. The twice nominated female sensation Pussycat Dolls, whose full length debut album “PCD” quickly became a top ten hit and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist nominee Nelly Furtado, who’s first single “Promiscuous” from her hit album “Loose” made it to #1, will also join the line-up giving electrifying live performances. The show, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will emanate from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA. and is produced by dick clark productions, inc.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Philadelphia's B-101 Attacks Bad Ads With Listener Testing

Facing unprecedented competition for advertisers and listeners, B101's research-minded owner, Jerry Lee, last year started Spot Q as a way to help advertisers and, at the same time, make the station sound better. Commercials are just as important as songs in the programming mix, said Blaise Howard, vice president and general manager. Bad ads "make people go away just as a bad song makes people go away."

Click to read Inquirer Staff Writer Stacey Burling's story from Sunday's paper

The pdf release B101 Blends Research and Radio to Create Advertising Innovation, presented at the Philly Ad Club.

CMT: Brad Paisley Cooks, Watches "Hazzard" Flick With Hazel Smith On 10/15

Smith reports:

If you want to see why Brad needs to add comedy to his resume, tune in. I've never laughed so much.

The movie (CMT is) showing is The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!.

Brad recalled that he was in the second grade when The Dukes of Hazzard was so popular on TV. Every day, no matter how hot it was, he had to wear a flannel shirt to school to look like those Duke boys.

Tim & Faith Embark On Their Second Decade Together

Great American Country noted their Friday 10th anniversary celebration with some very cool quotes:

"Faith can be two minutes before going on stage and she can take one of the kids to the back room and sit down and have a talk with her, and then walk right out on stage and do her thing," says Tim. "I’m more of a method kind of guy. I have to spend an hour before a show pacing and not talking too much to anybody."

"That’s a guy thing," says Faith.

"[I have to] get in on my zone," says Tim, "and [it's] the same thing with doing a movie. If I’m doing a movie I have to get kind of locked into it. So we’re just learning that through the years about each other--how we work is what’s important, too."

From all of the reports, Saturday's Swampstock was a success:

McGraw could not be reached for comment at the event, but a member of his staff said after the concert that he and band members were leaving Rayville quickly in order to make it to another performance.

Charlie Linker of Pensecola, Fla., came to the concert with several friends. The guys were working construction near Alexandria and secured a hotel room in Monroe to attend the event."Parking was horrendous, and the location wasn't very clear," Linker said. "But we came to see Faith Hill. We met up with friends here just to listen to music in a country setting."

Consumers Feel Better About Holiday Spending, Still Worried About Gas Prices

BIGresearch's September Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) reports the impact of gas prices is down, confidence is up, and consumers are feeling better about increasing their spending this holiday season. 42% reported that they plan to spend about the same if not more than last year.

Joe Pilotta, VP of research for BIGresearch, said "We are seeing this trend across the board, regardless of income. Compared to last year's survey, consumer price sensitivity is down in spite of wildly fluctuating gas prices."

Many people remain skeptical of falling gas prices. When asked if they expect gas prices to be more, less or about the same by Thanksgiving:

·44% of those surveyed said gas will cost more
·32% expected prices to be the same
·24% said gas prices will be less than they are now
·Respondents believe the average price of gas will be $2.84 per gallon

"... these findings indicate that consumers are taking a 'wait-and-see' approach to the temporary lows we're seeing at the pumps these days," said Pilotta.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Something To Hang Your Hat On

.. is the name of a benchmark done by WSOC-FM, Charlotte afternoon drive duo Charlie and Debbie, and I first heard it when they did an eloquent tribute right after Steve Irwin's death. Now, here's the latest one from last Friday:


A 17-year-old Boulder, Colorado, high school senior faces a $250 fine for playing Hacky Sac. His offense: "releasing projectiles" in a fountain area outside the Boulder County Courthouse. The boy he and a buddy were lobbing a Hacky Sac back and forth in the fountain area when a police officer approached, asked for the footbag, and requested the pair come sit by him. The teens did as they were told, but asked if the officer had the authority to take their Hacky Sac. The officer informed them it was "evidence in a crime" and that you couldn't "Hacky Sac on the mall."

I bring this story up: 1. For its ridiculousness 2. The fact that this brilliant piece of police work occurred in Boulder, Colorado. The same Boulder, Colorado that botched-and continues to botch-the JonBenet Ramsey murder case.

Speaking of which did you happen to catch the latest news on John Mark Karr. You remember him, don't you? Pedophile in exile in Thailand, extradicted to this country on child pornography charges in California, claimed to kill JonBenet-that John Mark Karr. To catch you up: not only did Boulder have to let him go, but yesterday a California judge dismissed the child pornography charges after prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence. This blight upon humanity is once again a free man.

All this in the wake of the funerals of the slain Amish school girls yesterday-the oldest of which is said to have stepped forward and asked her killer to "Shoot me first," in an apparent effort to buy time for her schoolmates. There is no depth to the bravery of her sacrifice nor the senselessness of all their deaths.

I know this all seems like disjointed rambling, but the point I want to make is this. Goverment, Moms, Dads, Teachers, Nieghbors...we owe our kids better than this. AND don't think for a second that, "Oh, that's happening in Colorado and Pennsylvania-not here." What do you think those states were saying when kids were shot in at school in Arkansas? Daughters kidnapped and held captive in South Carolina and Utah? I don't have all the answers or solutions-I, like you, am willing to help look-I just know, the children of this country-the greatest in the world-are entitled to be safe. Spend less time on inane "hacky-sac" patrols, and get it done. Period. And that's something we all need to hang our hat on.

Do your listeners know where YOU stand on the things THEY care most about?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

WSJ: Will Kenny Chesney Sing The SSB? Are Cards Fans Tired Of Country?

The Star Spangled Banner is becoming the center of a clash between differing agendas in baseball (click the link to read the Chesney story). The league, which is trying to attract the younger fans that have fled the game for basketball and football, wants to connote hipness with its singer selections. Broadcasters, meanwhile, are eager to cross-promote their own actors and recording artists, which is why Fox has lobbied for "American Idol" participants in the past. And then there are the teams, which seek out local talent with deep ties to their franchises.

If that weren't enough, there's one more problem: A number of otherwise attractive candidates won't go near one of these patriotic hymns for fear of falling flat on their vocal chords. Two stars who fall into that camp: Billy Corgan, of Smashing Pumpkins, and Jon Bon Jovi. (Mr. Bon Jovi has said only a New York Giants Super Bowl appearance would get him to sing the anthem.)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Freddie Fender flown to Hospital in San Antonio

Corpus Cristi Caller-Times: Freddy Fender was flown from a cancer treatment center in Oklahoma to a hospital in San Antonio late Wednesday after doctors in Oklahoma became concerned about his health, according to a longtime friend and his daughter.

Tammy Huerta Mallini, Fender's daughter, said the family chartered a plane to fly her father from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa, Okla., to a specialist at University Hospital in San Antonio.

(Click to read) Blood infection matter of concern for his doctors

ACM Playground Gets Built In New Orleans

.. and Vince Gill was on hand to help out. (watch)

Is It Time For A Country-Rock Hybrid?

Entercom seems to think so, as they launch in Greensboro.

Matt and Mike at Broadcast Barter Networks seem to feel the same way. (Listen to their new baby)

I admit, since this is not the first time this has happened in the last 30 years, I always worry that fragmentations hurt the format each time country has a growth spurt, causing shares to compress. So, I continue to hope that we can find a way to keep our wide demongraphic profile all under one big tent using values as the tie-breaker, but there's no doubt that the majority of country stations today may try to TARGET 25-34, but the fact is that they do best 35+. Thus, any time someone comes up with a new way to try to bring younger folks, especially younger men, into the country, I'm listening!

Acid test: will P-1 listeners spend enough time with stations like this to gain meaningful shares longterm once the newness wears off? Can mainstream leaders defend against them without losing their core?

RAB: Newspapers' Loss Could Be Radio's Gain

A retail exodus from newspaper insert advertising may be in store next year -- if a remark from the often-prescient Carat CEO David Verklin is true.

During a panel discussion at Media magazine's Forecast 2007 conference last week, Verklin, who heads up Carat's Americas and Asia units, dropped the bombshell that a major retailer has told agencies that future media plans would eliminate freestanding inserts -- the colorful supplements announcing sales and other commercial events -- from its advertising plan by 2007.

Chased down after the panel, Verklin declined to elaborate. But it's worth noting that the Aegis-owned company is currently pitching retail giant Wal-Mart, in tandem with DraftFCB, the new-breed marketing agency. Carat is also the media agency for Radio Shack. A source familiar with the shop's strategy said it has been advising the electronics retailer to cut back on FSIs for several years.