Saturday, December 31, 2005

Pop Goes The Future

After 9/11, America's NPR listening levels hit new highs which only started to peak in the last six months. Meanwhile, in Canada, when the CBC went on strike AM radio listening went up bigtime in every single BBM-rated market. So, just because public broadcasting isn't listed in your ratings book doesn't mean its not a factor in your station's cume and average quarter hours.

If, like me, you like to know what ALL of the competition is doing, a great read on the current state of public radio broadcasting is the blog of consultant John Sutton.

His New Year's Eve post - Pop Goes The Future - is a wakeup call for all of us, both public and commercial broadcasters.

John Parikhal Is Always Thinking

.. which is why I check his blog regularly... i.e.: "Joint Communications" creates #1 organic search result on Google for Joint Communications. Wouldn't you KNOW John would figure THAT out?

PS: Coming in 2006, John Parikhal and management guru Philippe Denichaud will release their new book "I Am Not My Job" -- a guide to emotional neutrality in the workplace and in everyday life to help you improve your performance. Resolution: I will be among the first to buy a copy. Watch for a review here as soon as it's out.

Happy New Year - A Great Greeting

Jon Badeaux was the "Real Don Steele's" engineer at KHJ in 1967, then worked for Westwood One and Broadcast Programming before doing the job for me that now takes four people to do and then going to Jacor/Clear Channel/Cincinnati, Entercom/Kansas City and now he is the corporate traffic guy for Backyard Broadcasting in Jackson, MS. So, when he sends me an email I read it. You'll want to use it on the air, I bet:

May 2006 be for you what 2005 was for the Chicago White Sox, Mariah Carey, Batman, Apprentice Randall, Johnny Damon, Craig Ferguson, Keith Urban, Spamalot, Hilary Swank, the Boston Patriots, Clint Eastwood, Jaimie Foxx, Maroon 5, Cate Blanchett, Felicity Huffman, Lost, Ray Charles, Roy Williams, Morgan Freeman, Everybody Loves Raymond, Jason Lee, Google, Carrie Underwood, Patricia Arguette, John Mayer, the USC Trojans, Kayne West, the 40 Year Old Virgin, Eli Manning, Alicia Keyes, Larry Brown, Survivor Danni Boatwright, Seal, Howard Stern, Naima Mora, Robert Blake, the San Antonio Spurs, Ann Womack, Peter & Lois Griffin, Roger Clemens, Ryan Seacrest, the X Men, the ipod, Paul McCartney, Kelly Monaco, the Wedding Crashers, Giacomo, Dan Wheldon, the basketball Tar Heels, Jack Bauer, and the guy who caught not one but two home run balls in that playoff game at Houston. And me. The happiest of new years to you!

2006 TV Buying Ideas, Ratings

If you plan first quarter TV and can't afford Super Bowl prices, cable is a very viable option. Country's female target watches a lot of TNT, USA Network, Lifetime, Food Network and HDTV. You can still get 350+ GRP levels at reasonable prices, I've found, if you use broadcast TV very selectively for reach against your target and then support it with the right channels on cable. (You may not need to buy spots on CMT or GAC, for example, since you probably already reach those same folks on your own on-air self-promotion! So, be sure to air the audio portion of your TV spot on your station to improve the frequency of your message.)

Suggestion: do web-based, auditorium music test or callout-based poll to ask your listeners what their favorite TV shows are, then place your buy based on an index of that data and the latest TV ratings data. There's no sense doing TV if you can't dominate the channels and programs that your target views!
TNT Ends 2005 on Top as Most-Watched Ad Supported Cable Channel
(From Mediaweek) - Not only did TNT conclude the year as the most-watched ad supported cable channel, the network also has the most viewers in the 18 to 49 demographic (1.17 million) and the 25 to 54 demographic (1.24 million) for the fourth year in a row. USA Network placed second, and FX's Nip/Tuck was the most watched show among 18- to 49-year-olds, according to Nielsen Media Research. -
Read the whole story...

That's a Wrap: GM Wraps HQ for Super Bowl - A Month before the Big Game
(From AdAge) - The Super Bowl isn't until February 5, but don't tell that to General Motors. The company has wrapped its Detroit headquarters in a 24,748-square-foot wrap that covers 20 stories of the building. The ad was given a seal of approval by the City Council but the National Football League and the Super Bowl XL Host Committee fought against the wrap, hoping to protect its sponsors from what it deemed "ambush marketing." -
Read the whole story...

Nielsen Finally Issues New Ratings, 'House,' 'Medium' Get Biggest Boost
by Wayne Friedman
Nielsen finally released a complete set of its new ratings including DVR playback, and the initial impact has been statistically negligible. The data, which measured viewing including DVR playback that occurred on Monday, was released on Thursday, two days later than Nielsen normally releases its so-called "overnights." When comparing Monday's "live" viewing to the "live plus the same day of DVR playback" viewing, there was little difference. -
Read the whole story...

JRfm, Vancouver's "New Year, New Gear"

This email arrived today, from Clay St. Thomas & Karen Daniels, The JRfm Waking Crew:

If you didn't get everything on your Christmas list here's your chance to win what you really wanted. It's a New Year, so we've got some New Gear for you.

93.7 JR-fm has put together an amazing prize package to get 2006 off to a great start.

Your New Year, New Gear package includes personal training for a year from
Fitness on the Go , yoga and active wear from LOTUSWEAR , $500 to spoil yourself on a new mp3 player at A&B Sound , and a gift basket full of hair products and gift certificates for a cut, colour and massage courtesy of Angelo's Salon & Spa in Port Moody and AG Hair Cosmetics.

To win just visit and enter! We'll announce the New Year, New Gear winner on Friday, January 13th. Good luck & Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

A Big Christmas Week For Country Music At Retail

Carrie Underwood’s CD "Some Hearts" remained #1 after it sold an amazing 400,625 copies last week making her the top country seller, plus she landed at #5 on the overall Top 200 albums chart ahead of Mariah Carey.

CARRIE’S success was just one indication of big final week Christmas sales with 11 country albums selling over 100,000 copies last week. On top of that, every country studio album (except for Christmas albums and a comedy album) experienced significant sales increases.

KENNY CHESNEY’S "The Road and the Radio" remained at #2 selling just under 269,000 units. THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY CASH CD remained at #3 with sales of 177,548. RASCAL FLATTS’ "Feels Like Today" held onto the #4 spot on the country album chart with sales of 172,369…while FAITH HILL’s "Fireflies" flew up two notches to round out the Top 5.

Last week Trace Adkins set a new personal record for one week sales when his Songs About Me CD sold over 92,000 copies. This week he breaks his own record again with sales of 134,157 units.

* Haislop, the guy "After Midnight's" Blair Garner dubbed "The Nashville Answer Man" writes and produces country specials for United Stations, including "Country Winners of 2005," hosted by Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles which is running around the country this week.

2005 Remix of Auld Lang Syne

Courtesy of Eric Miller at WLZW/Utica-Rome and our friends at McVay Media, here's a terrific 2005 remix of Auld Lang Syne (right click to 'save as' to your computer) for hand scheduling this New Year's weekend.

Even better, of course: build something similar .. but with local voices and events.

Country's STARS Of 2005

Who sold the tickets..
Kenny Chesney - $63 million - 99% capacity, 71 shows
Toby Keith - $32.4 million - 83% capacity, 58 shows
Rascal Flatts - $26.3 million, 89% capacity, 83 shows
Brooks & Dunn - 14.8 million, 63% capacity, 48 shows
George Strait - 14.0 million, 95% capacity, 18 shows

Who sold the albums..
1. "Greatest Hits" - Shania Twain
2. "Feels Like Today" - Rascal Flatts
3. "Greatest Hits 2" - Toby Keith
4. "Here for the Party" - Gretchen Wilson
5. "Live Like you Were Dying" - Tim McGraw
6. "50 Number Ones" - George Strait
7. "Be Here" - Keith Urban
8. "Honkytonk University" - Toby Keith
9. "Horse of a Different Color" - Big & Rich
10. "Twice the Speed of Life" - Sugarland

2005 in country will be remembered for two main topics, independence from major labels and relationships.

1. Both Toby Keith and Garth Brooks left their labels and set out on their own. Keith, with the opening of Show Dog Records and Brooks with his exclusive deal with Wal-Mart for his label Pearl Records. Craig Morgan had the #1 most-played radio song of the year on Broken Bow, as well as Jason Aldean having a very successfull year with his debut on the same label.

2. The marriage of Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, the engagment of Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, and the marriage in May followed by the divorce four months later of Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney all made mainstream entertainment news stories in 2005.

Country music lost KOCH Nashville and Dreamworks Nashville labels, leaving several artists including David Lee Murphy, Cledus T Judd from Audium, and Darryl Worley, Jimmy Wayne, and Jessica Andrews from Dreamworks without a major label. Sony BMG downsized with letting Tracy Byrd, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Bobby Pinson and Rachel Proctor being cut from the label's roster.

Country made the big move to New York City for the CMA Awards, "Walk the Line" stregthened the legacy of Johnny Cash, and many highly antcipated album were released such as Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson and Faith Hill. Sales were slightly off in 2005 by 3% this year for country music, though better than the industry as a whole in which was off by 4%. Note that 2004 sales were up 12% in country music, one of the best years EVER for country music retail sales.

Country Music Alive fansite

Thursday, December 29, 2005

2,000 Music Trivia Questions And A Board Game To Give Away

Genesee Depot, WI's Aleken Games’ Country Music Triviologies (MSRP $29.95) and Rock and Roll Triviologies (MSRP $29.95) combine for over 2,000 music trivia questions that span the history of the beginning of rock and country music to present day.

The games are available in stores including Virgin Mega Stores, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Country Music Hall of Fame, FYE, and other music stores, bookstores, hotels and game retailers across the U.S. and Canada, as well as online at,,,, and

10/30/05: Aleken Squeezes Country Into Little Boxes
6/30/05: Country Music Game a Hit in Nashville

For information contact:
Ken Eichstaedt at Aleken Games - 1-877-295-2740.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

WKHX, Atlanta Uses Its Website And Database To Drive Listening And Make $$

Here are a few ways they do it (and if you really study it, I know you will find many more):

1. A totally off air
boat show prize giveaway (no inventory is used, other than an email blitz to their database).

2. They also make use of
Ric Hansen's "Radio Parties."

3. They even
solicit prospects for on air and web advertising.

4. And, of course, they
promote their morning show.

Intrigued by the Radio Parties concept? Contact Ric Hansen via email: Radio Parties and tell him I said HI.

The TEN Most Important Dates of 2006 (First Six Months Edition)

The 2006 Point to Point Ratings Calender arrived in my mailbox yesterday, with its reminder that an ARB or BBM survey is not one 12 or eight week survey. It's 12 (or eight) ONE WEEK surveys, weighted and distributed across your survey area in four week phases.

For ARB, the three most important dates of Winter are January 5, February 2 and March 2. For BBM: January 9 and February 6.

For Spring, ARB's monthly phases start on March 30, April 27 and May 25. BBM: April 17 and May 22.

Of course, it would be terrific if you could dominate your market's top of mind awareness for radio in every week of each survey. BUT, it's a great start to begin with these very important dates .. and move on to more Mondays and/or Thursdays only after you have a great plan to create positive strategicly-driven BRANDING BUZZ on the first date of each phase first!

Bonus dates: if you have the ability to co-promote with local television, here are THEIR Neilsen winter and spring 2006 survey sweep dates - February 2-March 1 and April 27-June 28. That's when they need our help in creating top of mind awareness for their best programming. They'll be more open than usual to 'watch, listen & win' ideas. And, if you can afford it during those dates, TV's reach is at its highest, since those are the dates when they put their best foot forward.

(And, don't forget to talk to cable. Those same shows are on cable too, of course, often at much better rates and targeting the most important communities in your hottest zip codes areas..)

Pew: Top Ten Public Opinion Trends Of The Year

What Was–and Wasn't on the Public's Mind… And How Opinions Changed During 2005
Click (above) to read the full details how on some issues, notably presidential popularity and the Iraq war, attitudinal trends strengthened even as public attention to related news subsided from previous highs. In other cases, notably the disastrous Gulf Coast hurricanes, events evoked intense public interest while also feeding into an undercurrent of shifting opinion about national priorities.

Wal-Mart a Good Place to Shop But Some Critics Too
Holiday Greeting Flap: Ho, Ho, Hum - read this research and you'll see why Bill O'Reilly decided to run with it. His instincts on this one were right on target.

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in Washington, DC tracks attitudes and perceptual trends globally. Phone: 202.419.4350, Email:

Monday, December 26, 2005

Newcap Changes Three Formats on Boxing Day

Someone at Newcap apparently has no aversion to change:

CAFE 100, CKFE - Format: Adult Album Alterntative - Click here to Listen to CAFE 100 Live
CALIFORNIA FM - Format: Jazz/Blues
LIVE 88.5 Format: Alternative Rock. John Mielke (Milkman) has the official press release.

They flipped three switches all on the same (12/26/05) day! But, since "California FM" sounds just like the Breeze did (to me, at least), I'm left wondering why you'd change the brand and not the product in Calgary? In Ottawa, do they expect Standard's The Bear (CKQB) to move older and make room for them? And, in Winnipeg, can a specialty license compete for mass audience numbers? Clearly, Newcap thinks SO.

KSON To Double More Paychecks in 2006

Click to read their commitment/promise promo which was emailed to listeners today.

Jerry Dahmen: Loving A Wonderful Life

Profits from Damon's new book "I Love Life" benefit the Salvation Army for hurricane relief and other programs.

... but the real benefit will be to YOU, if you take time to read this story, as reported by Sioux Falls' KELO-TV's "Eye on KELOLAND" by Lou Raguse.

2006 Will Be Delayed By A Second

The scientific way to
explain it from the "INTERNATIONAL EARTH ROTATION AND REFERENCE SYSTEMS SERVICE" or the UK's National Measurement Laboratory.

CBS News and AP put it in plain language and, like I said:
2006 Will Be Delayed By A Second

Phone Topic: Best/Worst Vending Machine Snacks

MSNBC and Forbes have more details than you'll ever need to get the phones started. To cut to the chase:

Pop Tarts, Snickers, Doritos Nacho Cheesier, Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies, Hostess Donettes Powdered, Ritz Bits Sandwich Cheese Crackers, Pioneer Beef Jerky Original, Hostess Suzy Q's, Pepsi, Hawaiian Punch

Bottled water, Baked Cheetos Crunchy, Dried apricots, Red Jacket Orchards Juice, Balance Bar, Almonds, Rold Gold Classic Style Sticks, Skim milk, Diet Arizona Green Tea, Baby carrots, Dannon Light 'n Fit Nonfat Yogurt

Trivia: Who Is Argentina Brunetti?

Answer: “It’s a Wonderful Life’s” Last Surviving Adult Cast Member, Argentina Brunetti Dies at 98 in Rome, Italy.

Argentina Brunetti in It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) - one of her 135 film roles

David Kersh Gives Up

A sad lesson in the uphill battle that is the music business, from David's website today in his monthly newsletter to fans:

"Wow, how life can change in a moment! But for me, it has taken a long long time. I can't begin to thank all of you for the things y'all have given me in my life. You have brought so much joy and a sense of pride and accomplishment, not to mention, simply making me feel like a good human being.

I have so many memories that I will cherish as long as my memory serves me. I miss all the fun at the shows out on the road. I miss making music. Mostly I miss performing my stuff on stage and feeling that transfer of energy between us. It was soooooo much fun. I have been blessed in so many ways, one being a record deal and getting to make two cd's and three videos and all the photo shoots and all the trips all over the country to promote everything. God has been so good to me. He gave me y'all, which in turn, gave me a career. But, its time to let that chapter in my life close.

My heart is just not in the music business anymore. I can't deal with all of the BS that goes on in this industry now. Nothing is in my control anymore and it all just makes me a miserable person. Y'all know me with a big smile on my face, but it's just not there anymore. People used to tell me I had an aura about me and that I gave off such a positive energy, but that's gone too. Its time for me to find that fire again in something else. I wish I could explain further, but I know you all will understand. Most of you have heard many of the stories about the industry from me before. I know y'all want what's best for me too. But I must apologize for saying goodbye to everyone. Y'all have been here for me through it all and continue to be. I could never have expected to have such amazing people in my life and feel so much love from so many.

Now, you never know what God has in store for me. I may end up on some reality tv show in the near future or something. Maybe, in time, I will get back in the studio with the passion that I once had for singing and make another cd. I'm still on Curb Records and may have that opportunity down the road. For now though, I will be shutting the website down and closing the book on my singing career. I will miss y'all bigtime but will always be with ya as long as y'all hear my voice. I won't say goodbye, I will just say, See y'all down the road. Take care of yourselves and each other."

Kersh's recording career debuted on May 5, 1996, with the release of "Breaking Hearts And Taking Names," which peaked at #65 five weeks later. He then had two #3 charting songs, "Another You," and "If I Never Stop Loving You" in 1997, which remained on the airplay charts for more than 20 weeks each. His 1996 hit "Goodnight Sweetheart" took 22 weeks in 1996 to peak at #6. Then, his last two releases which came out in 1998 - "Wonderful Tonight" and "Something To Think About" - peaked at #29 and #46, respectively.

Born in Humble, Texas, on December 9, 1970, Kersh released two albums, 1996's "Goodnight Sweetheart" and 1998's "If I Never Stop Loving You."

Sincere best wishes, David, on the next chapter in your life. You may give up "the business," but the music, your talents and that aura folks spoke about will be with you in all of your future ventures!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Perfect "Boxing Day" (12/26) Song

Want to drive your competition crazy by playing a very hard-to-find cut that will make your listeners feel like you found something that describes their house on December 26th?

Comb your library
for this album, sold only through Target Stores in 2001 by BMG.

The tune is 4:54, with a :23 intro: "364 Days To Go" by Brad Paisley. Give it a listen. It's worth a few spins today, I'd say!

Do You Have VIDEO On Your Website?

Get inspired by clicking on
KZOK, Seattle's Bob Rivers Show site. (If you don't think that these folks are simply great, you may want to consider scheduling yourself a hearing test..)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Where's Santa?

NORAD's Santa Tracker

Winter In Winnipeg Brings Good Deeds

The new rock station's morning team Dick & Crash lived for 72 Hours on the FREQ107 Holiday bus and they didn't kill each other... instead, collected a ton of unwrapped gifts, money and food for our FREQ 107 families. Compelling stories.

Standard Radio Pop CHR Hot 103's Ace Burpee's Dad is reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Burpee's Blog - click here.

A&O's QX-104 friends just wrapped up their very successful "One Big Day for Christmas," and have beat the box office tickets to Brooks & Dunn with Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, Dwight Yoakam and Charlie Pride, coming to town in the next few months.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Radio World Asks The Tough HDRadio Questions

You know that newspaper that only the geeky folks at your station who wear pocket protectors read? Yeah, the one that's always laying around the engineering offices? You really need to read this week's edition!

Click the links to read the timely info from RW writers Steve Sullivan, Leslie Stimson and Anders Madsen

Gretchen Toes the Multicasting Water
Does something make a noise if there's nobody there to hear it? A small but growing number of commercial stations - approximately 70, as of December - are confronting that age-old riddle as they debut digital multicast channels to tiny audiences.

Alliance's Work Is Just Beginning
Challenges Ahead as Groups Coordinate Digital Promotion and Programming of Multicast Channels

Groups Will Divvy Up HD2 Pie
The announcement that several ownership groups are coordinating their multicast planning is historic for the radio community. It means the industry essentially is marketing multicast as a single new radio service, something consumers and retail salespeople can understand and describe in a few words.

HD Radio: Could It Ever Supplant FM?
Will HD Radio someday overtake analog FM in the United States? If so, how long until most commercial FM broadcast is at least accompanied by an IBOC modulated signal? Will stations ever really start turning off their analog entirely, as originally envisioned under the "hybrid" approach to a digital radio transition?

Who Is Going To Be Commercial Free Next Week In Your Town?


Who would have guessed that it would be a news-talk station? Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby? Between 7 and 9 am?


Has HDRadio/Our Lower Clutter Efforts Captured The Attention Of Streaming Media Listeners?

Something is going on (and it certainly appears to be broadcast radio!):

RRadio Network first surveyed the online radio audience in October 2001. Today it provides the only continuous picture of this group's listening habits, family financials, education levels, and social interaction.

1,854 persons responded to RRRadio Survey 34, posted at over 50 online radio station web sites.

One of the benefits of a continuing survey is the ability to ask, and then check response. While the Jan-March 2005 answers show internet radio, MP3 players, and satellite radio remain leaders among this early-adopter online radio audience, the reality of "What do you listen to most" shows differently.

They expect to be listening 60% more to broadcast radio in the next six months! The big loser in this prediction of future radio usage: satellite radio.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Willie Nelson, Iconoclast, Aging Hippie, Chamber Member

(.. biodiesel salesman..)

Willie Nelson gets into yet another hall of fame:

his hometown's local Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame!

...And, He's WORTH Every Penny

News Corp signs new $25m contract with Roger Ailes.

That's "Howard Stern money"! ($25 million per year for Howard, of course)

Anyone who has ever heard me talk about being a personality on the air has heard me endorse YOU Are the Message: Getting What You Want by Being Who You Are.

To understand what he's done at Fox News, read this book!

Dial A Carol

From Muncton to Champaign, they were playing those irritating, but lovable Christmas standards to raise money for good causes.

The events page at XL-96's website reports their day-long orgy of the barking dogs and grandma's reindeer raised $1,852 and an Illinois newspaper says that Snyder Hall on the UofI campus has been doing this for 45 years...

Policing Broadcast Standards

While 2005 (at least thus far) was marked by NO indecency fines in the U.S. due to considerable sabre-rattling by an FCC (and $7.9 million in fines last year!) which has made it clear that one of their top priorities is to make broadcasting safe for the family, 2004-2005 was the most active year in history for Canada's Broadcast Standards Council.

The CBSC's annual report is just out today, and it reports that there were 2,000 complaints from viewers and listeners in the past year.

Haislop: Pre-Christmas Country Album Sales Continue Strong

(Neil reports) Christmas season sales of country albums continue to be impressive.

Carrie Underwood’s debut CD, Some Hearts remains at #1 on the country album chart and climbs back to #2 on the overall Top 200 SoundScan chart with sales of 271,245 units, up 55% from last week. That brings Carrie’s 5 weeks total sales to 1,101,454 as it blasts past the Platinum mark in actual scans.

Question is, what’s the best part of all her amazing new success? Carrie says, “The coolest thing, I think…and it’s probably really stupid to anybody else…I’m so excited [that] I get to buy my family Christmas presents—like good Christmas presents—this year. Last year my mother actually had to give me money to buy my family Christmas presents. I didn’t have enough.”

For example, the balance of the Top 5 country albums were way up again this week.

At #2 KENNY CHESNEY’s The Road and the Radio was up 29% selling another 217, 510 copies, The JOHNNY CASH Legends of Johnny Cash was at #3, up 50% selling 154,000 units.

RASCAL FLATTS’ Feels Like Today, at #4, bounced up in sales again 50% to just over 139,000 CDs sold and MARTINA McBRIDE’s Timeless had a 53.5 % hike moving it up 3 notches to round out the Top 5 with sales of 105,637 units.

Reach A&O's buddy "The Nashville Answer Man" Neil Haislop at: or phone him at 323 857-0760. That dandy graphic at the top is courtesy of and its editor the passionate and knowledgable David Ross.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sound And Speed

NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet, has been added to the list of racing and country music celebrities who will be a part of the inaugural Sprint Sound and Speed - Presented by SunTrust - A Music and Motorsports Celebration, January 13 and 14, downtown Nashville.

Earnhardt is scheduled to participate in the driver/artist autograph sessions at the Gaylord Entertainment Center on Saturday, January 14. The 31-year-old recently picked up his third consecutive award from the National Motorsports Press Association as NASCAR's most popular driver. The NMPA Awards are the oldest and most traditional awards in NASCAR racing.

In addition to the autograph sessions, other activities at Sound and Speed include the display of the 2006 NEXTEL Cup Series and Grand-Am show cars, an exhibit of vintage cars, historic artifacts from racing and country music, interviews with both current and legendary stars of NASCAR and country music, performances by country music's top up-and-comers and a concert finale.

All proceeds from Sound and Speed will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp for chronically ill children and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum charities.Tickets are $20 for the festival, $30 for the finale concert (Montgomery Gentry, LeAnn Rimes and Keith Anderson) and are available through all TicketMaster outlets or at
Sound & Speed.

Media Contacts:
Allen Brown – RCA Label Group, 615/301-4340,
Mike Pigott – McNeely, Pigott & Fox, 615/259-4000,
Deb Mitchell – Victory Junction Gang Camp,, 336-495-2002

Does Milwaukee Journal's Tim Cuprisin Want To Be On Bill O'Reilly?

Looks that way...

"The followers of that supposed "War on Christmas" thing being pushed in prime time by Fox News Channel mud-wrestler-in-chief Bill O'Reilly will be surprised by the card that came from the news channel's press office. It has the evil words "Happy Holidays" emblazoned across the front. Oh, the anti-Christmas horror of it all!" - Tim Cuprisin, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal

I'll save you the click. Inside Fox News Channel's press office's "Happy Holidays" card is a funny version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," including these verses:

All of the other networks used to laugh and call Fox names.
Oh how the media darlings thought they'd win the ratings game.
'Til one foggy winter's day, Nielsen came to say:

"Fox News with your shows so bright, you will lead the pack tonight."

Never Check Email In The Morning

Julie Morgenstern first caught my eye in her columns on staying organized.

Now, her new book "Never Check Email In The Morning" puts her best tips in one place and is well worth a read.

My favorite: when you reply to an email, try to fit your entire response in the subject line. I admit it - I spend hours each day crafting long responses when short ones are all that's needed.

Hey, I think I just made my first New Year's resolution for 2006!

BIG Research? Or, BOGUS Research?

The 2004 BIG Research internet study of simultaneous media consumption put radio in 3rd or 4th place in terms of effectiveness when compared to other media being used simultaneously.

"When listening, 57.3% simultaneously go online, 46.9% read newspaper and 17.7% watch TV…SIMM usage poses challenge for media companies and marketers…who’s paying attention to what? 51.2% of radio listening multitaskers say they pay more attention to one medium more than the other…these same people put stock in what friends say, 77% of them said word of mouth is important or very important in influencing their purchase decisions..."

So, this morning, when they sent out their press release on the 7th update to the research and radio didn't even make the top ten I was more than a little bit skeptical.

This simply can not be true.

BIG Research's own video briefing puts radio high when it looks at usage while consuming other media simultaneously. As the original "word of mouth medium," radio simply had to be underestimated by the participants in the latest study, or by the writers of the new press release.

Their Media Center researchers make the point that the correct interpretation of research relies on understanding what questions were posed and how. "Most anyone between the ages of eight and 80 will tell you they watch television, they read newspapers, they listen to the radio, they navigate the Internet, they use their cell phones, and they learn from the screens around them. They do many of these things at the same time. The answer to the simple question is increasingly complex in the age of access. Here’s the paradox of our time: the more we know, the more uncertain we are about the future. Traditional market research mostly adds to the clutter of an unquantifiable world. Consider a study by a major research company that provided these stunning statistics: when asked if they thought life was better than ever, 82 percent of the respondents answered “yes.” When asked if they thought life was worse than ever, 82 percent of the respondents said “yes.""

Too bad that they didn't have room for THAT in today's (misleading?) press release!

If I am missing something, hopefully someone will educate me. If a client or one of your sellers brings this new report up, I'd recommend that they spend some time at the highly-credible Radio Advertising Effectiveness Lab.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

RMA Winners Keith Urban (artist) and Rascal Flatts (song)

They are all
highlighted on the NBC-TV special's webpage.

Click for photos as celebrities walked the red carpet (you can even view the promo trailer from this page as well).

The First "TV Production For Radio" Blog

(.. or, maybe I should say: "if you know of another one, let me know about it.")

But, unless I hear otherwise, I'd say Jeff Blackman, Director/Radio Marketing for Tony Quinn's IQ Productions in Atlanta (404.255.3550) is the first one in.

Here's the clickthrough to "News & Ideas Radio Blog."

The Family, P-J's and Books

KASE, Austin, morning guy Rob Mason's daughter is organizing a "Pajama Party" for a local elementary school where many of the students do not have even one book to call their own. The goal at the end of the "Pajama Party" is for each child to leave with at least one book to take home. She has teamed up with select Sonic Drive-In restaurants around Austin to be drop-off points for your new or gently used books.

Country 94.1 KFKF Operation Merry Christmas

No, that's not Santa up on the roof quite yet. It's Dan Holiday, doing his annual Toy-A-Thon in Kansas City.

Monday, December 19, 2005

MSNBC Columnist Gary Krakow Raves About HDRadio

He says: "Howard Stern might be leaving terrestrial radio at the wrong time. With the release of the first real digital AM/FM radio receiver, satellite radio may have some real competition to worry about." CLICK TO READ THE REVIEW.

A&O's Top Ten Researching 2005 Tunes

Country radio (according to the spin charts) didn't play the most popular 2005 songs as much as listeners would have liked. Based on listener preferences in weekly calllout, the top songs of the year just past, in order of preference by listeners at A&O client stations:

1. Keith, Toby/As Good As I Once Was
2. Lonestar/Mr. Mom
3. Shelton, Blake/Some Beach
4. Montgomery-Gentry/Gone
5. Rascal Flatts/Bless The Broken Road
6. Morgan, Craig/That’s What I Love About…
7. McGraw, Tim/Back When
8. Messina, Jo Dee/My Give A Damn’s Busted
9. Brooks & Dunn/Play Something Country
10. Urban, Keith/Making Memories of Us

For the most-played tune on the major charts, see below..

The Most Spun Country Song Of The Year

CRAIG MORGAN celebrates having the Most Played Song of the Year according to Billboard and the Most Heard Song of the Year according to R&R with “That’s What I Love About Sunday.” The tune was Morgan’s first single from his LP "My Kind Of Livin,’" and it stayed atop the Billboard country singles charts for 4 consecutive weeks and Radio & Records country singles chart for 5 consecutive weeks.

Craig was in an undisclosed location on a USO tour for the soldiers in Iraq when he heard the news today:

"When I heard this song, I immediately felt attached to it unlike any other song I'd ever heard," said Craig. "There are very few songs I didn't write where I have this kind of emotional attachment, but this one really talks about the things that are important to me. I'm extremely honored to have 'That's What I Love About Sunday' named Most Played and Heard Song of 2005. My friends at radio have been so supportive of my career and these are definitely the biggest awards I could ever ask for…it means to the world to me!"

According to Billboard, Morgan celebrates being #6 in the Hot Country Songs Artists category (based on audience listeners); #8 in the Top Country Artists – Male category as well as having two songs on the Hot Country Songs list: #1 - “That’s What I Love About Sunday” and #25 - “Redneck Yacht Club”.

According to R&R, Morgan also celebrates being the #5 Overall Most Valuable Performer and the #3 Male Most Valuable Performer.

In addition to that, Craig Morgan’s “That’s What I Love About Sunday” was chosen as the #1 Song of the Year for both Lon Helton’s and Bob Kingsley’s Year End Countdowns. Morgan’s current single, “I Got You” co-written by Craig Morgan, Phil O’Donnell and Tim Owens is steadily climbing the charts. “I Got You” is currently at #46 on Billboard and #42 on the R&R Country singles charts.

For additional information on Morgan, contact: Summer Harman, Director of Publicity for Broken Bow Records, 615-244-8600 ext. 24.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

FutureThink: Will You Some Day Have Two Newsrooms?

.. one for the analog listener and another for the digital/internet one?

Newspapers are having that debate now.

Don't think that this has nothing to do with radio. If we hope to create new audience on our digital side channels and streams, we need to create new content, not just niche our currently-strongest brands.

(And, as Rich Florida reminds us, none of this has to happen at your current address.)

Guest Exchange

The problem with this resource, of course, is that they are delighted when a major market station calls and undoubtedly a lot less cooperative if you happen to be in market #200. But, we have even unrated market morning shows and PD's who have learned how to get call-backs from celebrities and there's only one way to hone that skill: do it.

Start here.

No doubt, it is very competitive when you want the best guests. But, as with all things: the best ideas win. Do some homework on the person before requesting an interview and pitch a unique approach that may result in media coverage. Do the interview, but the process just starts there. Alert local media to newsworthy quotes, write a press release, podcast the best parts on your website, etc.

If they learn that you know how to create national buzz for both yourself and their celebrity from your morning show, they will start calling YOU, no matter how small your market.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Clear Channel Ratings Race Finalists

Out of 34 applicants, seven were "chosen" for the runoffs: Arbitron, Integrated Media Management, Media Audit/Ipsos, Mediamark Research, Paladin Adsolutions, RadioStat and Simmons.

Read CC's press release HERE.

Toby Keith, Winning Football Coach

Toby Keith, a former semi-pro football player himself, took a break from touring this fall to coach his son Stelen's team, helping them to an undefeated season and the championship in their 15-team league.

The Mud Dogs didn't allow their opponents any points during the entire post season. Stelen played center and nose guard for the team, and served as team captain, though injuries kept him sidelined over the last month of the season.

"It has been a true pleasure coaching the team and spending the time with my son," Toby said. "Having the Mud Dogs become undefeated champions is just icing on the cake."

John Zarling, National Promo Exec at Toby's Show Dog Records label told us this story. Drop him an email and ask him to add you to his weekly artist news email.

WMIL's Toys For Tots Timeline

FM 106.1 and the United States Marine Corps wrap up a very successful 2005 Toys for Tots drive a their "Toys for Tots Ball", featuring Little Big Town and special guests Carolina Rain.

For all the Milwaukee Toys for Tots information
click here.

PS: give a listen to Karen & Scott's Moo Crew Podcast visits with William Henderson, Alan Alda and John McGivern:
Listen to the podcast.

Friday, December 16, 2005

George Bush's Year In Review

If you clicked recently on the client only page of Albright & O'Malley's website .. and you were still left wanting more G.W. impressions and fun, you'll want to hear the latest parody song and video from Jib Jab.

What CAUSE Are You Fighting For?

Everyone needs a mission. But, rather than Jason Cage's (Alice, Little Rock's night guy) campaign to get Brittany to Divorce Kevin, I like the one being promoted by longtime radio vet Jim Rose:

A move is under way to
pursuade the USPS to issue a first-class postage stamp to commemorate ROY ORBISON's 70th birthday, which is April 23, 2006. ROY's wife, BARBARA, plus DWIGHT YOAKAM, BONO, DAN AYKROYD, PAMELA ANDERSON and others are joined together in this noble effort.

DWIGHT YOAKAM's letter to the postmaster general asked to respectfully request the consideration of issuing a commemorative stamp in honor of legendary popular music artist Roy Orbison. DWIGHT told The Nashville Tennessean, Roy is deserving of an honorary postal stamp and I hope we can count on your support. There is no doubt Roy lived a good life. He loved his family, he loved his music, he loved his fans, and most of all Roy loved his country.

Wink, Texas is ROY's birthplace. ORBISON was a member of Sun records' original Million Dollar Quartet - JOHNNY CASH, ELVIS PRESLEY and JERRY LEE LEWIS. ROY studied music at North Texas State University in Denton. NTSU produced another legendary singer - PAT BOONE.

(and, truth be told, I laughed out loud when I heard about what Cage is doing too!)

Inspire Your Webmaster

Click over the Dwight Yoakam's site and see what they'd done with FLASH. Very creative, capturing that Yoakam style, attitude and brand.

Mean Teachers From Your Past

KIX-106, Memphis morning guys Young & Elder struck gold with this phone topic. (CLICK to listen to many Y&E show highlights.)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Country Music Radio In The News

Several newspaper media columnists are watching country radio these days...

That's an incomplete list of the local stations that over the years have tried to make it in the country market, challenging KMPS-FM (94.1). None of those is playing country these days. KMPS, on the other hand, has a 30-year-plus heritage as a country station (first on AM, then moving to FM). But the station's position as the top-rated country format in the market appears to be too inviting to pass up (read more - Bill Virgin-Seattle PI)

The country music world has never been a real friendly place for liberal types.
God and the U.S. of A. are at the top of the priority lists of most country singers, even above trucks, guns and dogs. U.S. 95.7 FM, one of San Diego's two country stations, even proclaims its patriotism in its own name. So gung-ho patriotic songs should have been all the rage as the Iraq war passed its 1,000th day Tuesday, right? Well, not exactly (read more - Randy Dotinga-NC Times)

Jammin' Gone, Willie Rises In Denver
Some are wondering if it's a stunt, to presage a Free Radio launch in January... (me, among 'em..)

I would not have known if it hadn't been for Radio Daily News.

Have Insights, Will Party

"College Drop-In" parties take aim at understanding a student market that spent more than $230 billion in 2004, writes Steve Gold, chief creative officer, GoldnFish Marketing Group. (download PDF)

Are you doing Listener Advisory Panels with your core? If not, and you need help in organizing them, give us a call: 732 937-5757 or 206 498-6261.

Terri Clark Gets Locked Out Of Reba's House

Clark shares a story from a trip out west, where she visited Reba McEntire while in California. Terri and new husband Greg spent the night at Reba and Narvel's house, but accidentally locked themselves out of the house!

Says Terri "We got up, and went out to the beautiful patio area, and Greg left the door open. When I came out behind him I shut it, and we were stranded outside. A woman came to put Christmas wreaths on their gate and called security cause there were people in the garden, trying to get into all the doors (and there were a lot of doors). Just then Narvel drove in, but he couldn'd find us, and when several minutes went by and we didn't see him, we went around to the front door to try and ring the bell so he would find us. But we couldn't figure out where the bell was! Then Greg called him, and said "We saw you drive up, we are at the front door.."

Terri summed up the adventure by saying "I am just glad we didn't get arrested."

-- From Universal/Nashville's Katie Dean, who sends newsy weekly email updates on all of their acts. Email and ask to be added to her e-list and please say that I sent you!

CNN In :60, Today's Top Stories, etc .. Faster Is Better

Got a Minute? You can now click on a clip to hear a sample broadcast of "CNN in :60." It's the new, fast-paced one-minute news update from CNN (visit CNN). Meanwhile, Fox News calls 'em "Today's Top Stories."

Unless you are the market's News Leader, drop the words "news" and "information" from your "quick updates" and think about renaming them (I am hearing "Five Things You Need To Know," "Instant Update," "Reality Check," and similar brands more and more for what used to be called "newscasts."

Today, we all have Attention Deficit Disorder, but no one wants to feel that they are missing anything important.

Rednecks And Bluenecks

Want to talk politics and country music?

Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music, a new book from veteran Entertainment Weekly journalist Chris Willman. This provocative, nonpartisan tome takes off from the tack that everything you need to know about contemporary American politics, you can learn from country (and alt-country) music and its practitioners and proponents. Through exclusive interviews with dozens of key artists, including the Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith, Merle Haggard, Brooks & Dunn, Steve Earle, Sara Evans, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Daniels, Nanci Griffith, Gretchen Wilson, Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack, the book uses country as a prism through which to examine today's great American debates, finding surprising points of congruence as well as deep divisions.

Media contacts:
Ina Howard, The New Press - 212-564-4406 (
Tamara Saviano, Saviano Media - 615-385-1233(

Talk About "CLASS!"

Radio and Records reported this morning: CBS Radio Chairman/CEO Joel Hollander and Les Moonves, President/CEO of the new CBS Corp., stopped by The Howard Stern Show this morning to say goodbye to Stern. Moonves admitted to Stern that he was a fan and surprised everyone when he said he had purchased a Sirius radio subscription.

I'd like to hope that you'd be that classy if your highest-billing talent was leaving to join the competition.. I am not sure that I would be.

Forrester: Teens Are Communication Junkies

A survey of 5,000 Canadian and American on-line youth (12-21) has found that, for example, 87% of 15-year-olds use instant messaging, while nearly half of 12-14s have a mobile phone.

Forrester Research says more technology is being used at a younger age to connect with more people than ever before.

Chris Charron, Forester’s VP and Research Director says, “We are seeing a generation of young people for whom technology is not just a nice-to-have, it's a critical part of their lives.”

He calls them “communication junkies”, noting that 83% use Instant messaging and more than three out of four young consumers have a mobile phone.

Sammy Simpson: "Let's Do A Station Concert"

Are you familiar with Sammy's "ideas worth listening to" site for marketing and promotion directors? If not, click here.

It's ALL about baiting the hook to get your listeners to spend more time with your station and grow the images which drive usage, create excitement, add more exposure, increase visibility and provide more buzz.

And, wouldn't you know, now, he's podcasting a weekly program: Click here to download the first show Station Concert Building

What To Call Your New HDRadio Digital Side Channels

Thanks to
RBR's Jim Carnegie for raising some great questions: "Were they asking the right questions? It looks to us like people were offered two bad choices and they chose the one they found least objectionable. Can't we find something more consumer friendly than perpetuating the existing one-oh-whatever-point-thingamajig system? We think the radio industry needs to hire branding experts to try to come up with a more consumer-friendly way of numbering HD Radio channels. Harper told us that a few panelists offered other suggestions, "but none of them ever lit up the room." Maybe there isn't any better option than having the HD Radio FM band run from 88.1 to 247.9, but we'd sure like to see some other avenues explored. Radio has to get this right."

.. AND, to researcher
Bob Harper, who did the Cox focus groups, for his thought-provoking response: "I look at it this way. We were asking the first of what are sure to be many more questions concerning HD Radio and the way listeners will use the new technology. One thing you learn very quickly when you open the HD Radio box: there are many unresolved issues so it is very easy to be pulled off track and into a deep technical and theoretical ditch. Did we ask all the questions ... find all the answers? Certainly not. But our twelve national Focus Groups did clear up a big one for all of us: the industry needs a more intuitive and simpler approach than the so-called Layered option. If you take out a yellow legal pad and watch our twelve Groups on the web. You'll fill page after page with insightful listener comments on both Display options we tested. You will hear over and over in their own words that the Layered system confuses them and makes what should be a simple thing like finding and remembering a radio station more complicated than it needs to be. Branding pros should have a field day with all the anecdotal material."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Pop Culture Content Research

You probably know about Yahoo's BUZZ LOG (what the world is searching for). But, now, not to be outdone, Google also has one, called Google Zeitgeist. Click on both, next time you find yourself short of content ideas..

I Hope YOU Never Have To Do This

A&O's friend, K-U-Z-Z music director and D-J Karen Garcia was found dead in her apartment on November Seventh. It's so heartbreaking to think that, now, a reward is needed.

As a former KUZZ PD and morning personality myself, I can attest to what strong owners the Owens family is and what a tight knit staff (some of whom are still working there from my days 30 years ago) KUZZ has. These events make me sad and speechless.

WKHX: "Listen to Craig, Win a Disney Cruise for Four"

Here's how they are doing it.