Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Younger You Are, The Less You Use Radio For News

Study highlights: (click to see crosstabs of the data)

Matures (those 59 years of age and older) are most likely to rely on more traditional media outlets for information, with at least eight in 10 Matures saying they watch local broadcast news (88%), watch network broadcast or cable news (88%), or read a local daily newspaper (80%) several times a week or daily.

Baby boomers (those 40 to 58 years of age) use the most varied types of media, with at least one in five boomers using each medium examined several times a week or daily. Along with Matures, Baby Boomers are most likely to watch both local and broadcast or cable television newscasts (83% and 74%, respectively), read local daily newspapers (66%), and listen to radio newscasts (64%) and talk radio (40%). Boomers and Gen Xers (those 28 to 39 years of age) are most likely to go online for news (68% and 70%, respectively).

Generation Xers are most likely to get their news several times a week or daily from local broadcast stations (69%) or online sources (68%).

Echo boomers (those 18 to 27 years of age) are the least frequent users of media, with only about half or less getting information several times a week or daily from each of the media types measured.

These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,985 U.S. adults surveyed online between January 12 and 17, 2006 by Harris Interactive®.

While broadcast television news appears to be the most popular medium sought, many adults also get their news several times a week or daily by going online to get news (64%), reading a local daily newspaper (63%), listening to radio news broadcasts (54%), listening to talk radio stations (37%), listening to satellite news programming (19%), and reading a national newspaper (18%).

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Billy Yates Answers His Own Email!

I just learned a little more about the music biz from the (so-called) "
one hit artist" whose 1997 hit FLOWERS continues to generate calls in many places. For the past 2 years, the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter has performed more than 100 shows all over Europe. I just heard that he was releasing a new song, "The Circus Is Over" in Europe and emailed asking if I could hear it. He not only gave me a listen, but he also gave me a LESSON as well:

I own my own record label and I put almost all of the money in my pocket from every single record I sell. I presently sell more records than most new artists on any given major label. After only 2 years of pursuing a career in Europe and in the UK, I'm now headlining shows there, drawing crowds (young and old alike) in excess of 10,000.
The future looks bright. Out of the 52 weeks last year, I held the number 1 spot on the European Country Charts for 26 of them. My new single, "The Circus Is Over" will more than likely debut at number 1 while well known American artists on major labels will be lucky to break the top 20 on any given single. Not only am I performing at large festivals, but I'm also playing in non-country venues as well to sold out crowds... venues where maybe only 1 or 2 country artists have ever darkened the door. I am breaking new ground.

I can go to Wal-Mart here in the States without getting all fixed up. Life is pretty damn good. Seriously, what I try to explain to people like yourself is that the world is much larger than the American borders. There are billions of people who love good music in all sorts of places. Just because we sometimes unknowingly choose to live in a small bubble, doesn't make our views pertain to every situation. Those views only apply within that bubble.
I would suggest that you save up a few dollars and travel to Europe (if you haven't already) and attend a large country music show (you have to plan way in advance... those shows sell out months early). Norway would be a great place to visit (it really is beautiful). Switzerland is really nice too. You would see the passion and excitement and then realize the truth in what I'm saying. There is a large number of country music fans who are smart and know good music. They know who plays on every record, who wrote the songs... everything there is to know about their favorite artists. They know who our mainstream artists are and they typically don't like them. They like their music pure and simple, just the way Americans used to like it. It really is like stepping back in time.. and I mean that in a good way. I love this business. When I'm not touring in Europe, I'm in my office on Music Row writing songs and getting them recorded. I own my own publishing company. I have my own full time song plugger who works hard. That allows me to spend much of my time explaining and educating just as I am with you. I encourage you to continue doing what you do with great passion, but I also challenge you to break out of the bubble. You'll be glad you did!

I then sent him some of my photos of my last four trips to Europe, Greece, Great Britain and Mexico, to let him know that I understand precisely what he's saying. You might want to take his advice as well!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Another Way To Figure Out What Topics Are Buzzy Today

.. Check out the web video sites:

You Tube
IFilm (from VH1)
AOL Comedy

..but keep in mind that part of what makes these so viral, of course, is that they often are not suited for family-safe radio, so some clean-up and adaptation is of course required.

What is a Video Podcast?
Ask a Ninja.

No One Will Tell You When The Entertainment Value Stops In Your Show

Since they paid for their seats at an NBA game, I guess we can assume that they'll still stay for the end of the game. But, can you say the same thing for your radio listeners? .. especially if they detect "the lack of energy in the building.."

I wish I had come up with a great way to capsulize the importance of that for radio, but I didn't have to. Mark Ramsey did it first on his fascinating blog, quoting former studio head Peter Guber on AMC's Sunday Morning Shootout: "It's not the zeroes and ones (digital content), but the oooh's and aaaah's."

Why Kids Are On MySpace

Cory Doctorow:
Danah Boyd has published an excellent paper on the hows and whys of the explosive growth of teen users of MySpace, the most popular social networking site ever:

Adults with authority control the home, the school, and most activity spaces. Teens are told where to be, what to do and how to do it. Because teens feel a lack of control at home, many don't see it as their private space.

To them, private space is youth space and it is primarily found in the
interstices of controlled space. These are the places where youth gather to hang
out amongst friends and make public or controlled spaces their own. Bedrooms
with closed doors, for example.

Adult public spaces are typically controlled spaces for teens. Their public space is
where peers gather en masse; this is where presentation of self really matters.
It may be viewable to adults, but it is really peers that matter.

Teens have increasingly less access to public space. Classic 1950s hang out locations like the roller rink and burger joint are disappearing while malls and 7/11s are banning teens unaccompanied by parents. Hanging out around the neighborhood or in the woods has been deemed unsafe for fear of predators, drug dealers and abductors. Teens who go home after school while their parents are still working are expected to stay home and teens are mostly allowed to only gather at friends' homes when their parents are present.

Just who uses MP3 players?

You'd imagine they're young, well educated, reasonably affluent, heavy Internet and TV users, and you'd be mostly right, but a new study from
BIGresearch delves a little deeper and finds that they are a lot like "US."

They appear to be more influenced by all forms of media, but the most influential media were traditional ones (like, for example, the one which still reaches more than 95% of the population every week!).

Word of mouth was listed as the top influencer, another reminder to create BUZZ and be seen as "real" and not just "truthy" as you choose your words.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Katz: Country Is #1, But ...

Compared to 1990's national format shares, teens, 18-24, 55-65 and 65+ shares are up but 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 are off from the previous high water mark for today's #1 12+ format.

What's different today, compared to 15 years ago?
The Classic Hits and Classic Rock formats are the only Rock-based formats to increase this Fall. Adult Alternative Rock, Alternative/Modern Rock and AOR have all seen declines over the past few years.

More and More Stations are Targeting Hispanics
The Hispanic format was one of the biggest winners this Fall, up 6% on a like-to-like basis since last year. In fact, current average market shares for the format are at one of the highest levels ever–ranking it #2 behind Country for the first time.

The Country format has shown continued increases, up now for the fourth consecutive year. The overall popularity of the Country format remains strong as it has led the way as the number one format for more than a decade. For Fall 2005, Country enjoys a 58% share advantage over the next closest competitor among Persons 12+ in the average market. However, a problem looming in our future is the fact that our audience is at best (Media Audit 2005 national data) 8.5% Hispanic, 2.6% black and 1.9% Asian (i.e., 81.9% white). Arbitron places country's ethnic listenership even lower and it will be interesting to see if that gets better or WORSE (my fear!) with ARB's new language-based diary placement treatments for Hispanic households and cell phone households (my hope!).

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It Keeps Popping Up In The Gossip Mags: Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman To Marry In March

Multiple sources, including Tvguide.com and
US WEEKLY, are reporting that March is the month Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman plan to marry. And, take your pick of rumored wedding sites, Tahiti, Australia or at Keith’s home in Nashville.

When The AFLAC Duck Falls Silent

You know that the BANG folks are still involved. Click to see Media Post's review of new TV ad campaigns, including the new "AFLAC Silent Movie."

Like Nick Michaels always says: "In an over-communicated world, a whisper becomes a scream."

Teens Believe Nation On "Wrong Track" Yet Hopeful For Future

According to a TRU Omnibuzz® survey of 1,183 teens aged 12 to 18, 53% say the country is on the wrong track, while only 18% say the nation is headed in the right direction.

Scores are worst for the environment. Only 17% of teens say they're satisfied with the country's progress on environmental issues, compared to 57% who believe the United States is headed in the wrong direction environmentally.

Sentiments on education—perennially one of teens' most important social issues—are similarly grim: 18% approve and 51% disapprove of the nation's track record. And, despite official word that the economy is growing at a decent pace, only 22% of teens say the economy is on the right track, while 47% disagree. Social issues are the bright spot in this survey—but even here only 28% believe things are improving, versus the 50% who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

With this level of discontent, it’s perhaps not surprising that political leaders fare poorly in the survey. Fewer than one in five teens (19%) say the United States' political leaders are on the right track, while 56% say they’re headed in the wrong direction.

TRU Trends Director Rob Callender says that last year’s natural disasters—and lackluster response efforts—contributed to teens’ overall feeling of unease about the world around them.

“For many teens, 2005 was a year plagued by disasters—both natural and manmade,” Callender explains. “Although the tsunami in Southeast Asia technically took place in 2004, teens generally listed that tragedy as the introduction to a year of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, floods, and fears of global pandemics. Political controversy and stories of high-level corruption haven’t done anything to reassure teens, either.”

Despite their gloomy outlook, Callender says teens haven’t yet given up hope.
“Optimism and faith in the future are integral parts of the teen mindset,” Callender says. “In a follow-up Omnibuzz survey, 60% of teens said they believe 2006 will be a better year than 2005. Only 11% think the coming year will be worse, although nearly one-third (29%) won't commit to an answer. When results were recalculated to remove ‘not sure’ as an option, an overwhelming 85% of respondents say things will get better, while only 15% say they'll get worse.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Family Guy FCC

Need a laff?
Flurl.com has the song and video (with language that is OK for cable TV but not, thankfully, for country radio .. so those FCC guys can just stay out of OUR bathroom!)

.. unless, of course, you play something without auditioning it first, like Willie Nelson's "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other" from Brokeback Mountain. The version Howard Stern played, downloadable from I-Tunes contains a $500,000 fine F-word! But, WHO would do THAT??

The Impossible Question?

Don Chase posts a new one each day on his morning show website. You can tell that this is a show with some benchmarks that are well-established. Nothing flashy or fancy, but they're all about getting the values right.

Monday, February 20, 2006

KSON Double Your Paycheck Testimonial TV Spots

Talk about
using your contest to sell your station's VALUES! Follow the links to learn how they got real folks to do these great spots, which you can view online. Also, if you want to check out something very clever, call that 800 # as well.

It Took Me Four Years To See This Great Chet Flippo "Thought Piece"

Memo to Universal, BMG, EMI and Warners and the other record labels: when you ship out those country CDs from now on, just slap 'em with a Red or a Blue sticker -- or a Purple. Red goes to Wal-Mart; Blue heads straight to Tower Records or Borders Books. Purple goes everywhere. (thank goodness CMT archives everything!)

You're Only As Good As Your Next Bit

Radio Morning Show Producer
Eric Rowe (972.743.3524) has put his 12 years with top names in an idea-filled new book.

Rowe has been producer for:
· Kidd Kraddick, KISS-FM – Dallas/Ft. Worth
· Roula and Ryan, KHXM-FM – Houston
· Steve Cochran, WGN-AM, Chicago
· Bo and Jim, KZPS-FM, Dallas/Ft. Worth
· Jeff and Anna, KHMX-FM, Dallas/Ft. Worth

Preview this book (PDF)

Little Texas, Restless Heart and BlackHawk Tour Together

Nashville PR guy Kirt Webster (615.777.6995) reports that the multi platinum-selling country band of the ‘90s, LITTLE TEXAS, is back on the road, but this time they are touring with Restless Heart and BlackHawk. The “Triple Threat Tour” will kick off March 3rd, with a two-night stint at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada.

I hope they have a great time together and of course all three of the groups are very popular with radio folks due to all the promotional appearances and meet & greets they have done over the years. 40+ listeners may still know some of their songs, but even they (other than the hardest of the old hard core fans) probably won't know the groups by name. Experience has taught me that adding three "C" acts on a bill still adds up to a show with "C" act drawing power. But, thank goodness, country remains a format where acts like these can tour and draw a bar or casino crowd for many, many years, as long as expectations of the promoter are realistic.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Your Own Virtual CRS

Many photos and session recaps are online now and podcasts of all sessions ($6 each) will be available on 2/21. A&O clients will share session notes and reviews of all the entertainment on our bi-weekly client conference call that same day. Clients: watch your email for instructions on how to join us.

Phil Vassar Nominated for Emmy

You didn't read that wrong. Yes, the Emmy Award is for television. Chart-topping singer, songwriter and performer Phil Vassar has been nominated for an Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Original Song" category for his composition "Live For Today," which Vassar performed the song, produced for a recurring series on NBC's Today Show, which he co-wrote with his wife Julie and Randy Wachtler. Vassar's recording was chosen from more than 100 entries to be used in a Today Show segment in which lucky viewers were enabled to live out their dreams. The country star debuted the song live on the Today Show last May.

GMA, CBS Morning News and Today are competing for your at home audience. Have you kicked up the entertainment value of your morning show to defend against them? They buy spots in your morning show promoting theirs! Are you doing the same thing in reverse? How are you staying top of mind with morning TV 'listeners?'

Mark Wills Signs With Equity Records, Worley With 903

Wills, best known for songs like "19 Somethin," and earlier hits "Jacob's Ladder," "I Do," and "Don't Laugh at Me" has signed to a new recording deal with Clint Black's label that also includes Little Big Town, and Texas country's Kevin Fowler. Wills was previously with Mercury Nashville before the merger at Universal Music Group.

Another artist who has found backers to keep plugging at radio playlists in spite of losing his major label deal: Darryl Worley signs with Neal McCoy's 903 Music.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cumulus Cancelled Their CRS Corporate Meetings Too

There is lots of very interesting information between the lines of this Saturday story:
Payola probes fill air at radio seminar.

CRS 2006 Attendence Stats = The Meeting's Future Is Assured

Country Radio Broadcasters, is reporting that attendance this year dropped just 1% from last year, despite rumors that circulated before the seminar that attendance would be off dramatically since several radio chains weren’t actively participating.

There were 1,913 full registrations this year, according to CRB, down from 1,946 last year. Another 766 came as ‘participating registrants,” meaning they attended just part of the trade show. That figure is up from 755 last year. Revenues from vendors were actually UP this year.

The much-reported fact that Clear Channel was not paying for its people to attend this year because (as they did for the past several years), they were not holding any revenue-generating group programming meetings before the CRS got rumors started that CRS attendance would be way down.

The fact: in 2005, Clear Channel registered about 90 people. Quite a number of those people paid their own way to CRS this year, and it was great to see so many of them who value the CRS and consider it an investment in their own careers. That is exactly how we have ALWAYS felt about Country Radio Seminar.

PS: podcasts of all CRS 2006 sessions will be online and available for downloading at $6 each on Tuesday, February 21.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Just Heard The New Dixie Chicks Album

This much I guarantee: if you decide not to play it, it WON'T be because it's not terrific (in my opinion, it may be their best ever!) and it WON'T be because it doesn't fit on a country station (it's definately contemporary country.. fiddles, steel and extremely tasty).

Decision time: April, when they start the media blitz with an appearance on Saturday Night Live and then all the TV shows they can book the week after that, including (I hear) a week on ABC's Good Morning America.

My guess: it's so good that many areas of the country and of course Canada will get it started. Then, it gets interesting as we find out what happens in the red states.

New York Is BEHIND The Rest Of The Country?

New York Press
Writer Sharon Gordin: The main reason New York City needs a terrestrial country radio station is this: though New Yorkers can wear Gretchen Wilson-“Redneck Woman”-inspired cowboy hats and boots, we’re actually behind the rest of the nation when it comes to learning of the genre’s newest artists, for once not making us the first to know about a trend.

WPLJ's Race Taylor: “Country music has changed very much over the course of the past ten or fifteen years—more than possibly any other format as far as the appearance of the artists, the quality of the product, and the flashiness in consumer appeal that they’re trying to achieve with their music videos.”

At KUPL, $35,000 for UCP

KUPL, Portland's 10th annual Valentine's Party featured a silent auction and entertainment provided by Asylum/Nashville's TRICK PONY, raising a cool $35,000. The UCP helps over 750 familes in OREGON and SW WASHINGTON deal with the effects of this devestating disease.

Keith Urban Does It Again at CRS Music City Jam

The Academy of Country Music and United Stations Radio Network sponsored Music City Jam with Keith Urban's typical knock-your-sox off vocal and guitar performances, Dolly Parton (pure class and looking as hot as ever!) as they duetted on “Jolene” and other Parton classics. Then, Pat Green got everyone singing "Wave On Wave" followed by the amazing vocals of Ronnie Dunn.

Toby Keith: New Music, New Movie

R&R reports: Toby Keith hosted an off-CRS site guitar pull at Rocketown on Music City's Broadway, and used the occasion to screen a clip from his upcoming film Broken Bridges.

Keith stars alongside Kelly Preston and Burt Reynolds: "I wrote and recorded the soundtrack, and Show Dog will put it out. The girl who plays my daughter, Lindsey Haun, sings her little butt off in the movie, too. I want to sign her to the label. I saw a 90-second trailer for the movie the other night, and it was really breathtaking to me. It was such a good experience, we've already agreed to do another one, and I'm writing the script. It's something I think I can have some fun with."

He also brought out young co-star Lindsey Haun who sings with him on the soundtrack's title cut. Haun plays Keith's daughter in the film.

Tim McGraw's New Movie, New Music

At Wednesday’s (2/15/06) Curb Records-sponsored luncheon at CRS 37 in Nashville, the movie trailer to promote the film “Flicka,” starring Tim McGraw, was world premiered on the big screens of the convention hall. The film shows snippets of McGraw’s character playing a strong and concerned father worried about his daughter’s attempt to tame a wild horse. The clip showed that Tim’s acting ability has continued to grow in this example of a strong and compelling performance. The supporting actors all showed a lot of strength and emotion in the teaser for the movie that seems to have more grit and intensity than the original “My Friend Flicka.”

Curb also debuted Tim McGraw’s new single, “When the Stars Go Blue,” from is upcoming Greatest Hits Vol. 2 album. It’s a very lyrical ballad that reveals some of the sweetest, highest register vocals ever from McGraw who continues to explore his singing capability in this new single, that may be related to the Flicka film project in some way.

Curb also offered up showcase performances from two newly signed artists, the high-energy chick duo, Bombshel and veteran star Clay Walker.

-- Neil Haislop

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Morning Punch: Top Talk Topics

*Vice President Cheney's unfortunate hunting accident. He's the first sitting vice president since Aaron Burr to shoot someone. The Morning Punch speculates that when The Veep said, "I'm going hunting, who's with me?" and his buddy responded, "I'm game!" Cheney forgot himself and...well, you know the rest.

*The Winter Olympics. Our comedy colleagues wonder, "Do participants in Olympic Curling practice by doing housework?"

*And the Saddam Hussein trial. The former leader of Iraq was forced to attend his trial yesterday, wearing a coat over his robe as he shouted "Down with Bush." Doesn't this sound a lot like your loony Uncle Larry shouting at the TV during the news?!?

Thanks to Radio Ink's archives for the photo and the lead on this new service from Morning Punch

Parody Song Takes Aim at Cheney

The Bob Rivers Show, takes aim at the recent mishaps of Vice President Dick Cheney with their latest release. The gold record-holding Seattle morning radio show host (KZOK 102.5 FM) has produced "Dick Cheney's Got a Gun," a hilarious rendition of Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun," skewering the Vice President's ineptitude. The new song feature's co-host Spike O'Neill on vocals and is available as a free downloadable mp3.

Fresh from the production of three parody songs for Super Bowl XL, The Bob Rivers Show ( www.bobrivers.com) has quickly turned their attention to the White House and the bungling in Texas. "We don't make the news," show host Bob Rivers said. "We just take shots at it. If I were Vice President Cheney, I would have immediately called (SNL executive producer) Lorne Michaels and asked to do the sketch myself. This could be all pre-planned. I picture Cheney asking his good friend Harry Whittington to take one for the team, upstaging stories of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Domestic Spying, and coke smuggling Air Marshals."

The Bob Rivers Show has made the audio available for download now (under "Audio.") No password is required. They do ask that full accreditation be given to The Bob Rivers Show when any of these songs are played. Fans can download their own copies from www.bobrivers.com.

Some Great Ones Got Their Due As CRS Opens

Legendary Houston DJ
ARCH YANCEY (on the air there for 30+ years), along with TERRY DORSEY and LON HELTON, just joined the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame. JONATHAN FRICKE and ED SALAMON were inducted into the Country Music Radio Hall of Fame.

I am old enough to know each one of them, to have been personally inspired by the great radio they all continue to create and can testify that the Hall Of Fame is a richer place now. It would not be an overstatement to say that where we are today is due in no small part to what they did yesterday.

Chuck Aly at RadioAndRecords.com reports that the always hilarious Fricke offered a career travelogue and joked, "U-Haul loved me."

Salamon contrasted his accomplishment with the chilly reception his ideas received during his first CRS presentation.

Dorsey called it his "second best Valentine's Day" noting he was celebrating his wedding anniversary.

Helton observed that induction is based on a person's contribution to Country radio, but that for him, "This night is about how Country radio has enriched my life."

Yancey called the evening one of his proudest moments and ribbed Helton for his long acceptance saying, "I didn't forget my watch."

Jack Lameier was presented the CRB President's Award and Ronnie Milsap was honored with CRB's Career Achievement Award.

Joe Nichols and Phil Vassar performed before Milsap summed up the evening in a snapshot of the artist and radio relationship. "I got to hear all those great call letters of all those great stations," Milsap said of the evening. "And I've been to all of them. I guarantee it!"

The Death Of Common Sense

CIQM, London's Rich and Elaine read a
Common Sense Obituary on their Morning Show the other day and so many people have requested it, that they posted it on our website.

PS: check out this fun contest.. a way to do sort of a "Christmas Wish" but 365 days a year.

Carrie Underwood Wants Chocolate Today!

Carrie Underwood reveals that chocolate may be the best gift for her this Valentine's Day...and you'll find new Valentine's Day liners by everyone from Carrie to Brooks & Dunn to Kenny Chesney to the woman who made "Valentine" a number-one hit, Martina McBride.

Maurice Miner (615-301-4448) puts it together each Monday for the RCA Label Group and it's worth a weekly Sunday night click.

Neil Haislop: Valentine's Day History And 2006

Valentine’s Day started when a man literally lost his head for the sake of love. It goes back in the time of the Roman Empire during the rule of Emperor Claudius II, known as Claudius the Cruel. It seems Claudius had involved Rome in a bunch of bloody and unpopular military campaigns. Not surprising then that Ol' Claudius was having a hard time getting soldiers to join the army. They didn't want to go out and get slaughtered for this fool. But Claudius, believed the soldiers just didn't want to leave their wives and families. So, to take care of that problem Claudius banned all engagements and marriages so his soldiers wouldn't have a reason not to go out and get slaughtered for him. Enter a Christian Priest named Father Valentine stepped in to defend love. He figured only God could decide who is married and who isn't. So, Father Valentine began marrying people in secret. Trouble was, some snitch ratted on Valentine, Claudius tossed him in prison and on February 14th in the year 270 he was beheaded. It wasn’t unil a few hundred years later when Christianity began to take over Europe that Father Valentine became Saint Valentine in honor of his sacrifice for the people's right to fall in love and get married.

Don’t forget to catch Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks appearing on Oprah for a very special Valentine's Day episode. Trisha and Garth will chat for the whole hour and perform their new duet "Love Will Always Win."

neil@countryforever.com or call 323 857-0760 for info on his daily Nashville interactive updates and United Stations all star country specials, including today's Garth & Trisha radio special.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Valentine Event: The Wal-Mart Wedding

That's what those rascals at WSIX in the afternoon, Big D and Bubba are doing this year. They archive all their best listener-generated phone starters, so they are always a good source of ideas to steal on a dry day..

Luke Lewis Thinks Radio Moves Too Slow

The UMG/Nashville co-chairman thinks
we're not active enough.

Katz Media Group and Arbitron say we rank #1. (and, incidentally, our share of audience just increased again)

Note to Luke: You don't get THERE without passionately focusing on the LOVES of your most active fans.

I rest my case.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Pop Culture Madness

Staying up with pop culture fads and trends is a daunting task. Pop Culture Madness works to help.

The guy who manages the site is in Wilmington, DE and his name is Joe (302-793-4913). When I emailed to tell him I was a fan, he emailed back almost immediately:
"PCM started in 1999, with a few random lists of songs. Top 10 worst songs of all time, etc.

"Through the years, we have added dozens of songs lists (sad, friendship, break-up), and added a feature seen nowhere else on the internet: The most requested songs of all time. Our annual
lists don't rehash old Billboard charts. Instead they have a top 40 list of songs that have outlasted the rest from their era. Our number one song for the year isn't "Ballad of the Green Berets" or "Winchester Cathedral" as Billboard states, but "Summer Wind," Billboard's # 25 song for that year. Why? Because, simply put, more people know "Summer Wind" than the other two. It was featured in the film, "The Pope of Greenwich Village", which gave it a whole new audience.

"We have over 400 joke/trivia pages too. We founded HotPopSongs.com last year to allow for the Hip-Hop, most of which isn't family friendly enough for Pop Culture Madness.

"We get many suggestions from visitors coming from the Country perspective, and given the size of the market, we want to build that section up. I have started the Top 40 most requested Country/Pop tunes list. Hopefully it will be done by the end of the month. I'm more a
pop/rock fan, although I like and appreciate Garth, Martina, Toby and a few others. I'm looking for an intern or two who are more knowledable about it for reviews and features. Also watching more Country Music Channel myself! :-)"

Friday, February 10, 2006

"Have A Heart," Standard Radio Makes Radio Proud

The "Have A Heart" Radiothon started at 6am Thursday February 9th and they broadcast live through to 6pm Friday. Various Standard Radio stations are raising funds for local hospitals to purchase much needed equipment for paediatric wards and to upgrade neo-natal units. One hundred percent of the money raised stays in local communities to purchase and upgrade life saving equipment.

If you want to be impressed with what a large group can accomplish, Google "Have A Heart Radiothon."

Another Reminder To ALWAYS Have Written Contest Rules

.. but, someimes even THAT can bite you. Rule #2 (if #1 is to HAVE RULES) is to be sure that they are also cleared by LEGAL. (i.e., discrimination is against the law)

Katz National Averages: Country Is Again Share Leader, Shows Slight +

My Seahawks may have lost, but it's even nicer to see my FORMAT win again and again. (I guess that country being the format leader isn't even big enough news after holding the lead for the last several years that the fact is now buried deep inside the Radio Ink story?)

Classic Hits
Spanish-language stations
Urban, Rhythmic
Rock-based formats

Adult Contemporary
Alternative/Modern Rock

Talk-based formats (News/Talk and All Talk) show flat performance despite the continued influence of weather-related and political issues in the Fall survey.

Dallas' 99-5 The Wolf & Cowboy Troy Hook University of Texas Fans

Check this out: .. a complimentary download of the Texas Longhorns' fight song.

When you click on download, you automatically get access to a free License for the song. Your license will expire after 30 days and at that point the song will no longer play.

The originator of “Hick Hop” wrote the song with his friends and often times collaborators Big Kenny and John Rich of the Grammy nominated duo Big&Rich. “I hear that Coach Brown has heard the song and likes it,” says Troy. “They tell me he’s been playing it for the team since we sent it to him and that’s really who we wrote the song for but hopefully other alums and fans of UT will want to crank it up for the Horns!” A clip of the song also became available this week (Feb. 7) as a ringtone exclusively to Cingular Wireless subscribers. Fans can download the tone via their Cingular Wireless handsets or text HOOK to 386. For more information visit CingularSounds.com. The tone will be available to all other wireless carriers on March 7.

Can You Say "Vagina" On The Air?

A letter writer to the editor of the Toronto Star thinks so. (gulp) She is even OK with "penus" and "anus."

The program director and general manager of CHFI, Julie Adam, turned down $20,000 in advertising revenue because the word wasn’t "family friendly." Other Toronto radio stations initially hesitated to run the ad as well because of the word, "vagina," but then ran the promo, noting that within context the word was used appropriately.

Get ready to make YOUR decision on this one, since the play (Eve Ensler’s "The Good Body") that ignited the controversy is a touring company.

Speaking of CFHI: here are their current TV spots.

Terrestial Radio Still #1 For Selling Country Music

Local Radio continues to dominate influence on music purchase decisions with nearly 80% of the respondents saying it plays the most important role in their buying habits. Television Music Videos followed in second place, with Word of Mouth recommendations taking third above Internet Radio, TV Commercials and Satellite Radio.

Which would you say influences your music purchases the most? (check all that apply)
1. Local Radio 77.7%
2. TV Music Video Channels 46.1%
3. Friends/Family (Word of Mouth) 28.8%
4. Internet Radio 18.3%
5. Satellite Radio 8.3%
6. TV Commercials 6.8%
Source: Tunecom/BIGresearch

Read the entire press release, quoting Tunecom's Joe Patrick and Big Machine Records' Scott Borchetta.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Trying To Convince Someone To Take A Risk And CHANGE?

Fast Company's Tim Manners has some great examples you can use.

February Fun

For Valentine’s Day, work a deal with the local phone company to setup telephones at a high-traffic location, and allow listeners to place three-minute calls for free.

Set up an answering machine and let listeners call in dedications for playback on Valentine’s Day. The outgoing message on the machine can include a plug for aparticipating sponsor, who also gets mentions on the promos. Turn this into a contest byawarding some of the callers prizes appropriate to the day.

Callers register for a chance to win a free deep cleaning for their homeor business, provided by a local sponsoring janitorial or housekeeping service.

Stores are clearing out snow blowers, shovels, winter clothes, winter implements. Help them!

Now is the time to plan one or more revenue-generating shows - Bridal Fair, Fitness Fair, Home Show, Outdoor Expo, Farm Fair, etc. Sell booths and line up entertainment (jugglers, magicians, mimes, etc. - to add to the atmosphere).

Coordinate with companies that are owned and operated in your region to present a salute to local products and services. Run a trivia contestabout the region, with the prizes supplied by these local businesses.

Set up a special trade show to which each participating merchant brings only items to sell at 50% off list price. This is good for clothing and other soft-goodsretailers in January—one of their slowest months.

I didn't make these up. They come from
Jay Mitchell's terrific Small Market Radio Newsletter (click to grab a free sample issue).

Just In Time For Valentine's Day: Love@AOL Dating Trends Survey

The leading way people met their last date continues to be through friends and family, with 21 percent of singles saying the friends and family connection was how they met their last date.

A January 2006 JupiterResearch consumer survey found that 5 percent of Internet users paid for online dating subscriptions in the last year, down slightly from 6 percent in 2005. Industry-wide user conversion rates fell for the first time since JupiterResearch began tracking the metric.

More findings from the AOL survey:

Despite the majority of women (54 percent) saying they would date someone who makes less money than they do, nearly half (49 percent) said that the guy usually pays for the first date. The majority of men (68 percent) agreed that they usually pick up the tab.

While 82 percent of women said it's okay for a woman to call a man after the first date, 49 percent said they never make the call. Still, more than three-quarters of men (77 percent ) said they usually call within two days after the first date.

If you're looking to text your love, consider this from Tegic Communications, a provider of software for cell phones. Among text messaging users:

60 percent have texted to say "I love you" or "I miss you."
27 percent have sent a flirty or sexy text message.
26 percent have sent a "Happy Valentine's Day" text.
7 percent have even sent a text to ask someone out on a date.

Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is coming up, so hunker down with your loved one(s). And, guys, most of the time actions (er, chocolate, flowers, wonderful surprises) speak louder than texts.

-- Tobi Elkin, Executive Editor, MediaPost

WBEE, Rochester's "Rascal Splatts"

Saddle up for one of the craziest contests yet--92.5 WBEE proudly presents Rascal Splatts.

Here's the promo: "Here's your chance to score a pair of FRONT ROW tickets to see Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean THIS Sunday (2/12) at the Blue Cross Arena. How you ask? Listen this Monday-Thursday for your official Rascal Splatts cue to call. Don't worry, you'll know the cue when you hear it!"

"The Little EAS System That Kept Crying Wolf"

Another EAS goof produces a false tsunami warning — for Alaska.

I take the liberty of reprinting Tom Taylor's M Street Journal report, because it bears repeating until someone in Washington DOES something to fix this pathetic situation...
No, Fairbanks isn’t about to get pummeled by 20-foot waves, especially in February. But a slip-up at a National Weather Service office sent the header for a tsunami warning out to the entire state Monday morning. That did touch off a big wave — of phone calls to newsrooms and radio station front desks. NWS says it’s trying to figure out how the erroneous header got sent. Once again we issue a plea to the FCC and other authorities to make the Emergency Alert System something that will truly serve the nation. How ’bout it?

Payola In "Prime Time"

Exactly the type of publicity radio does not need. Yet, competing media seem to love fanning these flames:
The teaser on abc.com quotes New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer saying that evidence 'clearly shows' some of the radio conglomerates have accepted payments from record companies and middlemen for guaranteed airplay. "The behavior has been unethical, improper, illegal and a sanction of some severity clearly should be imposed," Spitzer told ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross.

The nine radio companies receiving subpoenas from the attorney general are Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Entercom, Emmis, Citadel, Cumulus, Cox, Pamal and ABC. Spitzer says that much of the money went directly to corporate bottom lines, instead of PDs or disc jockeys, and that documents obtained from Sony BMG and Warner Music Group outline details of millions of dollars in payments, gifts and trips in exchange for airplay.

ABC News will air an in-depth “Primetime” report in a segment at 10:30 tonight (Feb. 9) on Spitzer’s investigation into the alleged participation in payola by nine of the nation's radio groups. Ross' reports on the music business date back to 1986, when he uncovered alleged organized crime ties to record promotion.

It seems, judging from what I hear on the air and see in monitored spins reports. at least one major group continues as of yesterday (2/8) to execute their national paid spins overnight 'new music' feature. What can they possibly be thinking?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Paying Millions for “Brand Damage”?

Comscore Networks online research gives Fed Ex and Budweiser brands high marks for effective use of their expensive Super Bowl ad time last Sunday.

On the other end of the spectrum, Burger King and Emerald Nuts tied for the most negative brand perception, with 20 percent of viewers saying the spots run by these advertisers actually damaged their perception of the brands.

Hopefully, this info motivates you to listen to all your current self-promotion and look again at your external marketing in the same light! Like the Hypocratic Oath says: "first, do no harm."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How To Recruit The Right Person For The Job

Thanks to a listener to Crystal Darche, middays at JRfm, Vancouver, who found this:

Put about 100 bricks in some particular order in a closed room with an open window. Then send 2 or 3 candidates in the room and close the door. Leave them alone and come back after 6 hours and then analyze the situation. If they are counting the bricks. Put them in the accounts department.

If they are recounting them. Put them in auditing. If they have messed up the whole place with the bricks. Put them in engineering.

If they are arranging the bricks in some strange order. Put them in planning.

If they are throwing the bricks at each other. Put them in operations.

If they are sleeping. Put them in security.

If they have broken the bricks into pieces. Put them in information technology.

If they are sitting idle. Put them in human resources.

If they say they have tried different combinations, yet not a brick has been moved. Put them in sales.

If they have already left for the day. Put them in marketing.

If they are staring out of the window. Put them on strategic planning.

And then last but not least. If they are talking to each other and not a single brick has been moved. Congratulate them and put them in top management!

$595,865 For St. Jude Gets KSON Listeners A Free Concert

Everyone who became a St. Jude/KSON Partner-in-Hope for $30 a month, received a FREE KSON/St. Jude Radiothon T-Shirt and
TWO TICKETS to the exclusive Partner-In-Hope concert Friday, March 10th at 4th and B, featuring Josh Turner ("Your Man," "Long Black Train"), Rockie Lynne ("Lipstick"), Susan Haynes and Trent Tomlinson.

The 21st Annual KISS Country Chili Cookoff, One Of The Best Ever

A great South Florida day and an all-star lineup made the 21st Annual KISS Country Chili Cookoff one of the biggest ever!

Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson Van Zant, Trick Pony, and Craig Morgan "rocked the house". The Chili Cookoff is sponsored by the South Florida Ford Dealers.

Check out the Pictures!

Chili Cookoff Winners: Bigge Brew Crew II, 2nd - Fire in the Hole, 3rd - Karin's Kitchen, 4th - Big & Little S, 5th - Sandyland

Shut Up And Play The Hits (Quite Literally!)

What a fun idea!

(three radio DJs drop out of 70-Hour GAG challenge)

Oops, I thought they were going to gag the DJ's and they couldn't talk for 72 hours.... (smile)

Monday, February 06, 2006

These (Do It Yourself) Bites Are Made For Poppin'

I thought the Pizza Hut Super Bowl spot was nice enough. Then I found their microsite .. built a few of my own custom mixes and now I can't stop singin' it..

Welcome to the club!

More than half of U.S. adults (54 percent) who watch the big game do so as much or more for the commercials as for the game itself, according to a survey commissioned by ad agency Hanon McKendry and conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. last week. The survey indicated that nearly one in five viewers (19 percent) would watch the game mainly for the commercials, while more than 35 percent are equally as entertained by the commercials as the game itself.

"We knew the Super Bowl commercials helped build some of the buzz surrounding the game, but we were a little surprised by the results," said Hanon McKendry President Bill McKendry in a release. "This information confirms that the Super Bowl is as much a media event as it is a sporting event."

Among the findings:

The ads apparently are less appealing to older viewers: 62 percent of viewers aged 18 to 34 watch as much or more for the commercials than the game, versus less than 42 percent of viewers aged 55 and older.

Women reported that they were much more likely to watch the Super Bowl for the ads than men: among those who planned to watch the game, nearly 20 percent more of women (62 percent) than of men (47 percent) planned to watch as much or more for the commercials than the game.

Among those who planned to watch the Super Bowl, retirees (38 percent) and the unemployed (49 percent) were less likely than students (64 percent) and part- timers (65 percent) to say that they'd be watching at least as much for the commercials as the game.

Harris Interactive fielded the online survey between Jan, 27 and 31 among a nationwide sample of 2,345 U.S. adults 18 years of age or older, of whom 1,629 planned to watch the Super Bowl.

-- Tobi Elkin is Executive Editor, MediaPost.

Novelty Songs, Country's Ticket To The Ratings Roller Coaster?

The percentage of novelty tunes on country playists more than doubled from 2004 to 2005. How is that affecting country ratings? Click to read A&O's pdf report and analysis.

We Now Have A New (RAB) Fight Song

TM/Century unveiled a new version of "Radio Gets Results" last week at the RAB Convention. It will be available for download (free) this week from the RAB website for both members and non-members. Meanwhile, here are a few "lyrics" we should all be singing in unison right now. (click on each of the links to see tactics of stations, owners and associations on this crucial initiative, because if we don't sell radio locally as a great return on investment no one else is going to do it for us!)

Buzz Off

The difficulties of buying 'buzz' and genuinely affecting behavior in a positive way are underlined in this bit of funny fiction from George Simpson of OnLine Media Post.

Friday, February 03, 2006

JRN's Bob Raleigh: HD-2 Doesn't Change THIS

Please stop for a moment and ponder this: What Is The Real Future Of HD Radio? by Bob Raleigh, Programmer/Consultant, Jones Radio Networks/Seattle (800.426.9082).

Fries: Walk With The Future, Embrace Change

Welcoming 1,500 Radio managers and sellers to RAB’06 Thursday (2/2) in Dallas, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) Gary Fries declared, “This is the future of Radio – you people who are here!”
Click for his entire keynote speech

Your Liability Lawyers And Insurance Comany Can Relax A Bit

Court throws out suit against Clear Channel in Spears hoax. An Endwell, NY, woman died after falling outside radio station.

This certainly does not mean that you still don't need to alert your insurance carrier and get signed releases for all stunts, but I can't resist: all's well that End(s)well for radio stuntmeisters everywhere...

Hub Magazine's Cool News: "The Idiotarod"

Tim Manners,
editor, reports that Brooklyn, inspired by Alaska's Iditarod and stealing from San Francisco's Urban Iditarod, a couple of Brooklyn, N.Y., roommates last Saturday staged the third annual Idiotarod, as reported by Joe Barrett in The Wall Street Journal (2/3/06). With apologies, perhaps, to Balto, "shopping carts take the place of sleds and human beings replace the dogs. Instead of more than 1,000 miles of snow covered back country, the course features about four miles of snarling traffic, crowded sidewalks, nasty potholes, stern police and a chaotic crossing of the Manhattan Bridge in which entrants sabotage one another with body checks. They also throw fruit." The teams -- each consisting of five people -- prepare for the race by decorating the shopping carts. One team "enclosed the cart in plywood and installed a batter and a propane tank. The finished product had working headlights, a hot-rod paint job and a sculpted 6-foot-high, fire-breathing snake head." Another team "featured cowboys, a busty barkeep and a working keg of beer. A team from the 'Mayo Clinic' dressed as doctors, smothered themselves in mayonnaise."

They were well prepped for what was to follow, as contestants at one point has to run "a gantlet of hurled bananas, maple syrup, ketchup and other goopy stuff." Strange stuff, indeed -- but
Brooklyn's Idiotarod is a growing phenomenon: "The first year drew about 150 runners pushing 30 carts. The second year, 600 runners showed up and about 1,000 turned out this year," according to Jeff Stark, who organized the race with Maureen Flaherty. "Organized" is a relative term, actually. Jeff and Maureen publicize the race on the web , but they don't bother getting permits to close off streets along the route" and in fact take pains to throw the police off their trail to make sure the race isn't stopped before it even starts. The police catch on quickly, of course, but play along, issuing "a few citations for drinking in public" but otherwise letting the Idiotarod run its course. So, what, exactly, is the appeal here? Says Jeff: "Art is one of the reasons that people will accept for doing things in New York ... You can get away with all kinds of creative high jinks." San Francisco's Urban Iditarod is set for "March 4, the starting date for the real Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome."

You can actually get interesting (and stupid) stuff like this by email every day.

20 Million ITunes Users' Qualitative Profile

17 year olds are nearly twice as likely to visit the iTunes Web site and use the application as the average Internet user. The site's traffic is 54 percent male and 46 percent female.

Jon Gibs, director of media analytics, Nielsen/NetRatings: "Consumers have clearly indicated that they are eager to control their own music libraries, one song at a time."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A&O Has Never Reported Our "Adds"

With the news that Cox joins Cumulus in no longer permitting their stations to report "adds" to trade publications, I have to admit that I am scratching my head over what all the fuss is about. In a monitored world, you can check BDS, Mediabase or Mediaguide for songs played for seven spins or less in a 7 day period and, presto, there are their ADDS!

I've always wondered how the clients of other consultants feel when they see their consultant's supposedly-proprietary rotation recommendations being posted in promo blogs, emailed, faxed and touted early each week to everyone, including the competition.

It's no accident that you never see Accu-Test info distributed in this way by the music promotion community. Our only goal is to help our stations win in the ratings and we consider that research-based info an important weapon in our clients' arsenal.

Don't be surprised if some other major groups and consultants begin to rethink their policies of reporting 'adds' as well. I think it's about time.

A&O has never done it, never will.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Know Thy Listener" by Mike Becker, Planet Jam Media

You probably know that your P1 listeners contribute upwards of 80% of your total TSL, but do you know what their names are, where they live, where they work, who their favorite artists are, what they do in their spare time or how about just which days and times they tune in? Learning more about your P1s is critical to almost every aspect of your station’s programming, and it's easier than you may think.

The first step is to motivate as many of them as you can to join your database. That will give you at least a name and an e-mail address. But don’t stop there. After they have joined, ask them to tell you more about themselves through surveys. You can create custom surveys easily with your StickyFish program.

There are several areas of information about which you should be asking. To make creating surveys easier, we’ve prepared some initial survey questions for each of these areas. If you’d like to add surveys in one or more of these areas to your program, just contact us.

Tuning In – Learn more about each member’s listening habits – what days and times they listen, and how long they are listening.

Spare Time – Ask questions about your listeners’ hobbies, causes, and passions outside of their work and family.

Music Interests – Gather information about your listeners’ tastes in music, including the different types of music they listen to and who their favorite artists are.

Around Town – Learn more about where your listeners go when they head out for a night on the town.

9 to 5 – Learn more about what your listener does for a living, where they work, and details about their daily commute.

Shopping – Ask questions about what they spend their hard earned money on and where they typically spend it.

The more you know about your listener, the more you can target the right information, the right offers, and the right contests to the right people.

IBM: The End Of TV As We Know It

Change is in the air and IBM offers six recommendations in the "Institute for Business Value Study," just released: Segment, Innovate, Experiment, Mobilize, Open, Re-organize.

In short, they state that
television has an inspiring past, ripe with innovation and
popular culture influence, but today, audiences are becoming increasingly
fragmented, splicing their time among myriad media choices, channels and

For the last few decades, consumers have migrated to more
specialized, niche content via cable and multichannel offerings. Now, with the
growing availability of on demand, self-programming and search features, some
experiencers are moving beyond niche to individualized viewing. With increasing
competition from convergence players in TV, telecommunications and the Internet,
the industry is confronting unparalleled complexity, dynamic change and pressure
to innovate.