Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jack Ingram Proves That Hard Work Pays Off

His current Top 5 hit, “Wherever You Are,” is all about talent, hard work, positive attitude and perseverance ultimately paying off. Since joining Big Machine Records at its inception late last year and releasing his debut album, Live – Wherever You Are, in January, Jack has logged thousands of frequent flier miles, shaken countless hands and sung on TV and radio at 6am more times than ever before in his music career. And you’ll hear nothing but gratitude from the tired Texan, although a day off sounds really good. But an extended period of rest and relaxation will have to wait. Jack and his Beat-Up Ford Band will be opening a number of shows for country superstars Brooks & Dunn in the southeast next month. “I have a Top 5 hit on country radio and I’m going out on tour with Brooks and Dunn…are you sure you have the right number?” Jack asks with a hearty laugh. “Seriously, this feels great, it is great, and, after all, 5 is one of my favorite numbers.”

The song continues its climb to the top of the charts this week.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

M O'M's New Blog

Here's a new address to bookmark if you're looking for more radio insights.

Take a regular look and see why I am so proud to be associated with Michael O'Malley!

Stephanie Beaumont Joins FX-101.9, Halifax

You may recognize her name as a country music artist. Now, PD Allan Gidyk, President/GM Robert Pace and the MBS/Halifax team welcome her to their ranks: "Stephanie and her husband Steve have made their home in the Halifax area. She’ll join us May 1. We are all looking forward to Stephanie’s contribution to FX 101.9."

Gas Too Pricey? Make Your Own..

ABC News: Tennessee Man Sells Still and Kits to Make Ethanol at Home
You could be forgiven for not expecting the next John D. Rockefeller to come from Tullahoma, Tenn., of all places. But right in Tullahoma, in his garage-turned-factory, you can find Bill Sasher — the father of do-it-yourself ethanol. Doing it yourself means buying one of Sasher's stills or still-building kits. A fully assembled ethanol kit still costs about $1,400, and Sasher, who runs Dogwood Energy, says with the price of gasoline nudging toward $3 a gallon, business is booming. In the last two months, orders are up 300 percent.

There HAS to be a moonshine joke, to the tune of an old George Jones song, in there somewhere..

Friday, April 28, 2006

KRST, Albuquerque's Sticky Man Dawson McKay

The 92.3 KRST Get Up Gang with Dawson, Kristina, and Levi recognized Administrative Professionals by sending STICKY MAN to random offices. Levi, covered in thousands of little yellow stickies, let office workers pull a sticky note from his body to find out what prize was written on the back.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Top 3 Nashville Star Finalists Open Marathon

When the doors open for the Country Music Marathon & Marathon post race concert, three finalists will have been chosen from the current season of NASHVILLE STAR.

After being handpicked from tens of thousands of country music hopefuls in a nationwide search and performing on live television for weeks in intense competition, these three artists will open for Phil Vassar. Vassar is also one of the judges on NASHVILLE STAR so he was actively involved with selecting his own opening act. This concert will be the finalists' first ever arena stage performance before one of them is crowned the next NASHVILLE STAR.


Chris Young: Chris is a multi-talented 20 year-old with a flair for singing, song-writing and dancing. Chris considers himself an expert at Line Dancing and Hip-Hop. He is from Murfreesboro, Tenn. and has a fan club of hundreds who follow him religiously across the country.

Nicole Jamrose: A 33 year-old mother of two from Schererville, IN, Nicole brings her folk- infused sound to the show. Nicole’s Nashville Star auditions marks her one and only contention for any talent show title and she was blown away to find out that she was one of the 10 finalists.

Casey Rivers: Casey is a native of Lindale, Texas and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Lindale’s other NASHVILLE STAR alum, Miranda Lambert. Casey is 23 and claims he briefly dated Miranda in high school. He has already shared the stage with country music greats Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

CBS - 60 Minutes visits Cat Country 98.7, Pensacola

Pensacola, FL - CBS News Show "60 Minutes" films as Cat Country Midday Host Brent Lane Spins the new Dixie Chicks track "Not Ready to Make Nice!"

60 Minutes sent a film crew to Cat Country to find out what the Gulf Coast thought about the new Dixie Chicks record and boy did they let us know. Lane: "Phones rang for over an hour and as it turns out about 70% of our Cat Country fans aren't ready to make nice with the Chicks. "

Project Air Date on 60 Minutes is May 14, 2006.

Julie Roberts Plays At Dick Cheney's House

She recently took a trip to Washington, DC to perform and visit. She was invited to play for a VIP Dinner at the residence of Vice President Cheney. Later she visited Capitol Hill to meet members of Congress. Click for photos of her trip.

There are worse places to "Break Down Here."

Is Hot Apple Pie's Next Song "Behind Closed Doors?

Hot Apple Pie were captives on their own bus this past weekend due to a faulty door. After finishing their show in Sarasota, the band went onto the bus to refresh before meeting fans. When they tried to exit the bus to shake hands and sign autographs, they found that the bus door would not open. The group lowered a roadie out of the back lounge window to try to assist in the efforts from the outside where he was able to get the door opened. But the story doesn't end there: later that night, during a routine fuel stop, everyone exited the bus and went inside the gas station. When the guys got back, they found the bus door once again wouldn't open. Luckily the driver had left his window slightly ajar, so drummer Trey Landry was boosted through the window and got the door open so the group could get back on the road.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Dixie Chicks On "Good Morning, America" May 26

"Good Morning America" announces its 2006 Summer Concert Series lineup and as always, all the performances are free and open to the public at New York City's Bryant Park on Friday mornings throughout the summer. The action officially starts on May 26 with the Dixie Chicks.

ABC-TV has decided to make nice: "While you're waiting for your favorite artist to take the stage, start thinking about the one thing you would ask Natalie or any of the "GMA" musical guests if you could ask them just one question. This summer, "GMA" is giving you the opportunity to ask the questions. "

Bonnie Owens (Haggard) Dies

Thanks to Bill Miller's Blue Chip Radio Report for alerting me:

Word just in from Buck Owens' KUZZ Radio in Bakersfield is that singer/songwriter Bonnie Owens passed away yesterday (4/24/06) from complications of Alzheimers.

First married to Buck Owens when he was an orange picker and part-time entertainer, she was the mother of his sons Buddy (Alan) and Mike. After her divorce, the former Capitol Records artist then married Merle Haggard, seven years her junior, in a Mexican ceremony. She continued to work with Haggard after their divorce and remained a vital part of his business organization, as well as his touring backup singer. She was even a bridesmaid in Haggard's next marriage ceremony to Leona Williams.

Reports from Bakersfield say that her Alzheimers was advanced to the point that she wasn't aware of Buck Owens' death last month. A spokesman said her body will be cremated and her ashes laid next to Buck Owens in the family mausoleum. Bonnie Owens was 76 years old.

You'll pardon me, I hope, if I engage in a bit of personal rememberance. One of the most amazing evenings of my life was in 1975, when as the PD/morning personality at KUZZ I was fortunate to be chosen to emcee a benefit tribute evening to Bill Woods from Bakersfield. Bonnie was extremely instrumental in bringing Buck, Merle and many other Bakersfield musical luminaries to the stage to sing, jam and pay tribute to the amazing talents that created the Bakersfield sound. As usual, she was more concerned with putting others in the spotlight, not herself. Yet, I can testify that this wonderful human being was much loved by the people that she was trying to give credit to. God bless you, Bonnie. I'll never forget you.

Tech Stuff: Something To Watch While You Watch American Idol

Click on it to use your modem & the Internet to measuree speed dial votes for your favorite Idols: "Measure the busy signal & vote smarter, faster & more often." They were right last week!

Day #1 Of Soul2Soul II = 36,000 Fans For The Two Opening Shows

The Columbus Dispatch has both the pre-show story ("for new tour, country stars pack their lives into 22 trucks") and the post-show review ("country music’s first couple dazzling in tour opener").

Charlotte Country Listeners In Pursuit Of Secret Sounds

If you want to see how great radio can still motivate large groups of passionate people, sign up for WSOC-FM's e-letter and start watching their website for Secret Sound news. Here is today's, for example:'

"Thanks so much for playing the 103.7 WSOC Secret Sound. You can play every weekday between 7a.m-7p.m. Because you are a 103.7 WSOC Email Club member, YOU and only you will get a sneak peak at the exact contest times we'll play the Secret Sound each weekday!

"103.7 WSOC's Rob Tanner from the Tanner in the Morning Show will announce clues every weekday morning at 7:10a.m. and we'll give you a "clue review" every weekday at 3:10p.m. The 103.7 WSOC Secret Sound will be played at the following times today Tuesday, April 25:


"Clue for the Secret Sound Contest on Tuesday, April 25, 2006: Today's clue is a 'solid' one. "

Rascal Flatts - Twice As Popular As Toby Keith?

Music sales has always been a bit of a mystery, with lots of things happening behind the curtain, like paid display space, returns for credit, promotional copies, etc., but with Soundscan data now so prevalent at retail we're told that a sale is a sale and RIAA reports are based on real sales not just reports. However, fan site writer Kirk Fitzgerald asks an intriguing question today:

"Editorial: Rascal Flatts vs. Toby Keith

Here are the numbers of sales released in press releases for the first week of two albums:
Rascal Flatts 691,321
Toby Keith 329,831
How is this possible? Can someone explain this to me please. Why does a group like Rascal Flatts sell well over double the number of albums in the first week of sales.
Toby Keith has far more talent. "Get Drunk and Be Somebody" has been on the Billboard chart for 18 weeks, peaking at #3. "What Hurts the Most" has been on Billboard for 17 weeks, peaking at #1, and still there. Where is the support for true country music? Rascal Flatts, you have to admit, are not country. Toby Keith is far more country and in my opinion, holds far more respect in the tradition and heritage of country music. I will say, I do enjoy some of Rascal Flatts music, so don't get me wrong. I like the band, some. However, I just don't understand their massive success. Why do you think this is?"

Do your listeners agree? Or, is Fitzgerald out of date with today's tastes?

Phone Topic: Cell Phone Stories, Helpful Or Not?

Study: The
Cell Phone Is an Emergency Tool, a Driving Distraction and a Public Annoyance

Seventy-four percent of the Americans who own mobile phones say they have used their hand-held device in an emergency and gained valuable help. But 32 percent of men and 25 percent of women admit they sometimes don't drive as safely as they should.

Eighty-two percent of all Americans and 86 percent of cell users report being irritated at least occasionally by loud and annoying cell users who conduct their calls in public places.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Trace Adkins "Swings" For The MLB Fences

The country star debuts his new song at Click to grab the interview with Trace and hear it.

Sugarland On The Season Finale Of NBC-TV's "Las Vegas"

Last week, Sugarland performed three songs during the taping of the season finale of NBC’s hit show Las Vegas. Lyrics of their current single, “Down In Mississippi (Up To No Good),” were changed to, you guessed it, “Down In Las Vegas.” The song is incorporated into a scene with Vanessa Marcil (Sam), Nikki Cox (Mary) and Dean Cain (Casey).

In addition, Jennifer Nettles makes her national television acting debut during the episode. Nettles said, “It was such an interesting experience to see how a television series is filmed. Vanessa, Nikki and Dean, as well as the director and crew, were all very kind and made us feel at home.”

Kristian Bush adds, “Filming the episode for Las Vegas was exciting and surreal. This is what it must have felt like to be a guest star on Love Boat back in the day. Can't wait until it airs.”

Sugarland’s performance at Las Vegas’ Montecito also includes their hit songs “Something More” and “Just Might Make Me Believe.”

The season finale of Las Vegas which will air May 12 on NBC.

For more information regarding Sugarland: Regina Stuve, Director, Artist & Media Relations, Universal Music Group Nashville (615-524-7543).

Burt Reynolds, The Inspiration For TK Tune? "NOT."

Neil Haislop writes: If you’ve watched a re-run of the Burt Reynolds good ol’ boy classic, “Hooper,” recently you might have noticed what we did.

During the famous honky tonk barroom brawl between Burt Reynolds’ guys and a gang of tough locals led by football Hall of Famer, Terry Bradshaw, one of Burt’s gang shouts, “Get Drunk and Be Somebody!” So, I asked Toby if that had been the inspiration for his song and he said, “No, I’ve heard that all my life, it’s a common saying, and you can bet there’s probably been a lot of songs titled ‘Get Drunk and Be Somebody,’ but I never heard a record of it.”

Since we were chatting about Burt, I asked Toby how it was to work with him on Toby’s film, “Broken Bridges?”“Burt Reynolds was a complete joy and we were glad to get him,” says Toby. “And when I saw the edited version of the film the other day and he is completely spectacular, the consummate pro, he’s big time”

Toby’s film will be in theaters around Labor Day.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Dixie Chicks' Bumpy Comeback Is Turning Into A "Who Cares?" Event For Me

Don't count out Dixie Chicks before their new album hatches, writes The Nashville Tennessean: "... but even the Chicks weren't expecting the first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," to shoot up the charts."

... which makes me wonder why they released it and its
self-serving video? Note from me to their label, Sony Nashville: I told you so.

A Chicks publicist in Nashville, Kathy Best, said the ladies wanted to address that issue first. "That's the first thing they wanted people to hear," Kathy said. "Now we can move on to other things in the album." Nashville's WSM-FM 95.5 The Wolf started playing a second song, "Everybody Knows," yesterday. Afternoon personality Frank Seres got almost exclusively positive feedback from listeners, according to the newspaper's report.

You'll pardon me if I wait and see how many times they do something stupid again before committing...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cat Country Pensacola Listener Finds Kenny Chesney

Try this on for size to create fun and get your listeners involved in owning the show. (he was found at Hooters on Pensacola Beach!

The Stationality Files: Lines I Love

Heard in Vancouver, B.C., probably penned by PD Gord Eno or one of his creative crew and voiced by John Willyard:
"for the third straight year, JRfm is Canada Music Week's country radio station of the year and a radio station is only as good as its' listeners. That means YOU're the best in Canada too!"

My BS Detector Just Went Off.. Research Or Advocacy?

You see lots of biased data working under the pseudonym "research."
Here's the latest: "U.S. adults, or 22 percent, say the Internet is the most effective way to grab their attention about a product or service, according to a report....50 percent of U.S. adults (say) that the tube captures their interest most effectively...magazines, newspapers and radio lagged behind both the Internet and TV, with 12 percent, 10 percent, and 6 percent, respectively.."

Please note what business Burst is in and where they asked this question. Instead of asking this question on the internet, I wonder how it would have come out if we had asked it on the radio?

On the other hand, sometimes you don't even need to do the research to realize that a finding is correct, it just makes sense:

"The internet offers audience – and .. audiences want good creative."

Steve Williams at Atlanta's J93.3 Is In (MDA) Jail

I suppose you got his email too?

Hey! They are going to haul me off to MDA jail in about 5 minutes. PLEASE HELP BAIL ME OUT!! Thanks! Click the link below…

Steve Williams, Marketing and Promotion
Director, Atlanta's J93.3 (WVFJ-FM)
Direct: (770) 486-2826
Web Site:

Neil Haislop: Tim McGraw Beats His Manager In Basketball

Tim and Faith headed to Columbus yesterday to rehearse for Friday night’s kickoff show of the tour. And, what would a McGraw tour be without breaking out the baskets and hoops for their traditional, daily B-ball fun.

Three members of Tim’s Management took on Tim and a couple of his artist side in 3 on 3. According to Tim’s manager, Scott Siman, Management got "soundly" defeated. 3 hours later when all was said and done a runner had to be sent for more advil. While tipping his hat to the fact that “Tim can truly move well to his left.” Management is trying to recruit Portland Trailblazer center, Will Perdue for today’s games.

Tip: if "Soul2Soul II" comes your way this summer, start talking now about getting a bunch of your listeners to join the morning team to challenge Tim's team at the sound check for Swampstock or the Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Organization, reportedly his favorite benefits. He's also been known to do charity softball games too. Talk to your regional Hershey's rep. They are a tour co sponsor.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Radio, They Love You.. They REALLY Love You

A New Survey: Radio Has Strong Appeal, 74 percent Listen Daily

Americans rate the importance and relevance of local commercial radio very highly, despite the entry of high-technology competition, a national survey commissioned by American Media Services shows.

The survey found that 78 percent said radio is important in their everyday lives, and 91 percent said radio is important in American life in general.

The telephone survey of 1,004 American adults was conducted April 13-15, 2006, by Omnitel, the weekly omnibus survey by the national polling firm of GfK NOP of Princeton, N.J.

You'll pardon me if I worry a bit about that other 26%, that other 22% and that other 9%. We have work to do.

The Best Jokes On Earth?

That's what they claim.
YOU be the judge of that.

Kenny Rogers On "Ellen" and "Extra"

Kenny makes another quick trip to the West Coast next week to appear on the highly-rated talk show Ellen to perform his current hit single “I Can’t Unlove You” from his new album Water & Bridges on Tuesday, April 25. The same day he will jet over to perform on the entertainment magazine EXTRA.

In other Rogers news: this week, People magazine features the music icon - he talks about the new album, recent successes and his family.

Since the release of Water & Bridges, Rogers has appeared on American Idol, CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, CNN American Morning, CNN Showbiz Tonight, Entertainment Tonight’s The Insider and the CMT Music Awards.

Keith Hagan
, Paul Freundlich Associates (PFA) - 212 334 6116
Dixie Weathersby, Capitol Records Nashville - 615-269-2000

Monday, April 17, 2006

Jo Dee Messina Runs All 26 Miles In Boston

You can check out her time at all the checkpoints (and even learn her age) by clicking here, but I'll save you the time: the 36-year old's time was 6:05:34. Her bib number was #9999. She even wrote a blog about the experience.

CONGRATS, Jo Dee! You're right,
you ain't goin' down and we're so proud of you!

High Gas Prices Affect Budgets Less This Year (click on the chart to enlarge it)

With AAA reporting that pump prices have climbed more than $0.40/gallon since last year, and analysts expecting a summer price hike, how are consumers continuing to cope with this potentially budget-busting situation? Although one-third (32.3%) said gas prices were having no major impact last month, 27.1% say the same in April. Year-over-year, though, it looks as though pump prices are affecting budgets slightly less in '06.

What's Hot and What's Not
Gardening is what's hot this month (55.7% say so).

Game show Deal or No Deal, ever-present American Idol, and organic foods follow.
Fashion-wise, tiered peasant skirts are a hit with almost half of women, while espadrilles and skinny jeans appeal to about one in four of the fairer gender.
What's Not?
Grey's Anatomy's Patrick Dempsey, so perhaps he's not so McDreamy after all.

Thanks for the stats: BIGresearch, LLC . a Prosper International Company, 100 Old Wilson Bridge, Suite 205, Worthington , Ohio 43085, 614-846-0146,

The RAB Practices What It Preaches: ADVERTISING

As competition for radio ad dollars heats up amid the growth of Web radio and satellite radio, the Radio Advertising Bureau this week launched a new print advertising campaign that promotes radio’s effectiveness for advertisers and their agencies.

The ads take a humorous approach to the downside of not using everyday items. One ad, for example, shows a writhing soccer player who has failed to wear an athletic supporter cup. Using the tagline, “If it works, don’t ignore,” the ads aim to depict the consequences of overlooking something proven effective.

It's nice to see that the RAB hasn't lost its sense of humor. Local biz numbers so far this year for radio have been no laughing matter in many parts of the good ole USA. In February, RAB reported that national sales climbed 4% that month compared with the same month in 2005, However, local ad dollars dropped 3% in the same period, leading to a 2% overall decline from February 2005.

In Praise Of Albums Which Contain More Than Four Hit Songs

Eclectic Nashville gadfly Holly Gleason emails:
"Albums (v. hits)... It's so easy to get caught up in the songs we know… the ones that have been played on the radio so much, they ARE our subconscious, the very fiber of our being… that it's easy to forget how powerful albums are. Whole works, that hold together as a piece or a comment on a state of living. The collection of songs and they dialogue they have with each other: Born To Run, Exile on Main Street, Running On Empty, Harvest, Blue. Or even just collections of songs that hold together -- and expand what the “hits” are like Back In Black, Sticky Fingers, Big City, Heart Like A Wheel, Dixie Chicken, even Live at the Filmore
Sometimes it's so much more than a song or a moment, sometimes it's something from the core -- a larger truth, a reason to believe or cry or elevate. When I pull out a full-length work, I am often surprised by what I feel, remember, learn about myself all over again. There is magic in the music, no doubt… but there's also truths between the grooves if we'll just let the record keep playing."

What a clever come-on to plug something off the beaten track: The Pilgrim: A Tribute To Kris Kristofferon - Various ! She writes...
"He has led a life writ large: Rhodes Scholar, movie star, helicopter pilot, wildcatter, activist and especially songwriter. Here on this American Roots Publishing tribute, the man who gave romance to redneck living and dignity to cracked hippie reason is feted with bruised and heart-racing renditions of some of his best loved songs: Gretche Wilson's “Sunday Morning Coming Down” as real and raw as anything out there, while Rosanne Cash's “Loving Him Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again” is elegant and silken even as its stained with equal parts regret and wow -- and Brian McKnight's “Me and Bobby McGee” pushes the roadweary classic into an easy soul lament. Versatility and veracity mark Kristofferson's work -- and this survey of who Kristofferson is to the roots acts that matter is a fitting witness. Emmylou Harris, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin, Shooter Jennings, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, Randy Scruggs, Lloyd Cole and Jill Sobule, Willie Nelson and a code of Kristoffersons's 1970 demo of “Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends.” Brilliantly cast, better executed, a wonder to search out."

“Art is when you put everything in, then remove everything but the truth. “It's brave, but it's the only way.” -- Barbara Arrowsmith

What concept LPs from your collection do you especially enjoy?

CDB In Iraq Right Now

Charlie Daniels (and his full band) is currently traveling abroad to perform for US Troops as part of the Stars for Stripes tour: "We're going over to honor the men and women who protect our way of life. It's the least we can do."

Media Contact: Paula Szeigis, CDB, Inc 615-443-2112 x123

Stars for Stripes is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality entertainment to U.S. military forces deployed to remote locations overseas. Stars for Stripes strives to improve the overseas tour experience not only for the dedicated men and women protecting our national interests, but also for the celebrities, sponsors, and donors participating in these tours. Stars for Stripes, working in conjunction with Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE), USAREUR (United States Army Europe), MWR (Morale Welfare Recreation), and all branches of the U.S. Military regularly takes celebrity entertainment into the remote sites where the troops need the moral boost the most. Entertainers who participate in the tours experience military life first-hand as they live and eat where the troops live and eat, are transported in military vehicles, and perform for the most appreciative audiences they will ever entertain. For more information about Stars for Stripes, visit

FYI - In another bit of evidence that morning TV is trying to steal your at home listening audience, CBS Early Show will broadcast live with Dave Price and Charlie Daniels on April 18th, barring any unforeseen technical difficulties. Additional footage from this tour will be aired during a future segment on the CBS Early Show.

Remember back when a radio station would have been along for the ride too?

Those were the good ole days, when they used to bring these things to you. Now, we have to be more aggressive to get a piece of 'em!

Sara Evans: "I Detest Laziness In People"

Evans plays the Calgary Saddledome this Thursday as part of the Brooks & Dunn bill. She gave the Calgary Sun some quotables yesterday:

* She admits she is “very competitive” in both career and life. “I want to be my best. I’m kinda like Monica on Friends.”
Evans credits part of her determination to growing in rural Missouri: “Growing up on a farm every year is a struggle. Every year is struggle to make the farm payment. You grow up and know you can’t give up because there’s work to do every day, if you feel like doing it or not.”
Raising three youngsters is a full- time job itself, never mind adding touring, singing and songwriting to the mix: “I take it day by day. But for the most part, it’s really easy. I have a lot of help and that’s a good thing, so I can focus on the kids and what they need from me. I have an assistant who lives with me, a nanny and I have another assistant on the road. You need lots of help if you decide to do this.”
While life on the road is good for the kids, there is one thing that Evans doesn’t like: “Because I am a celebrity, people are always treating my kids extra special and I hate that because I don’t want them to think that they’re special because their mom is a celebrity. I want them to be special because they earned it.”

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Regukarly-Scheduled Newscasts - Should We Still Do Them?

As long as they are extremely brief, relevant, entertaining and interesting.. yes, at least for now. But, media blogger and consultant to the New York Times Jeff Jarvis has some advice to anyone who does news in any medium:
Throw out the clock. Newsrooms have to learn to tell what they know when they know it, not just when the edition is done. I ran up against newspaper editors who often refused to supply midday updates on the internet because “nothing’s happening today”. One wonders how they could then fill their pages that night.

WNYC's "On The Media" Gives A Beginner's Course In HDRadio 101

Phil Redo, former vice president of station operations at WNYC-FM, New York, and now the market manager for Greater Media in Boston joins reporter Bob Garfield to explain in just about six minutes all the latest in's and out's of HDRadio (click to listen in Real Audio):
"There are about 800 million radio sets in the U.S. and while some of them may be new, they are all so…old. The latest technology is digital or high definition – HD radio, for short – and without static. In New York and many other cities you can listen to this very broadcast in HD – that is, if you already have a pricey HD radio receiver."

When I Was A Kid, I Wanted To Be Hugh Downs

.. so it was really fun to read this Arizona Republic recap of Downs' (who is 85) talk last Wednesday for more than 200 people at the Peoria (Arizona) Chamber of Commerce's luncheon at Arrowhead Country Club, not far from his home.

He shared several stories about his life and career:

* While at the South Pole in 1982, he walked around the world in 24 steps, each one in a different time zone.

* His father told him to look for a job in his hometown of Lima, Ohio. One day, he passed by a bank with a radio station in the building and saw they were hosting auditions for radio announcers. He read a commercial on the air, and a station announcer told him he did a terrible job. But he had faith that Downs would improve and hired him for $12.50 a week.

* In typical Downs fashion, he made the talk to do a political endorsement. I have always admired this side of Hugh Downs, who has spent his life trying to do work that matters.

Who did YOU want to be when you grew up? Click on "comments" below and tell YOUR tale! I'd love to hear it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Cancon: Indie Artists Have Unreasonable Expectations and Impossible Hopes

Dispute: Six Indie Labels To Leave The Canadian Recording Industry Association

The CRTC is currently reviewing its Cancon policy. The last review occurred in 1998 when the quota of required Canadian music on the airwaves jumped to 35 per cent from 30 per cent. CRIA wants the percentage to remain at 35 per cent, but has proposed a new calculating method where emerging artists would count more in the quota system than classic songs by superstar artists like Bryan Adams.

The six labels will instead look to the Canadian Independent Record Production Association to lobby the government on their behalf. That trade organization put forth a proposal to the CRTC asking that Cancon be increased to 45%.

Ouch! They have to be kidding. (and, yet I know they are not) IMHO: these folks are living in the past. Here's an opinion I agree with:
"CanCon should be applied to media where there is limited spectrum and thus the broadcasters rather than Canadian citizens are picking what is aired on that limited spectrum. When there is a (verified and protected) competitive market where consumers can make their own programming choices, as is the case for retail music (dedicated record stores, not the limited selection in
big-box stores), Satellite radio, Internet radio or Internet downloads, I do not believe CanCon should apply."

I would add terrestial radio and TV to that list, since we're going to get killed by them in the long term if new media can play the hits and we're required by law to play a certain percentage of songs our listeners don't want. Terrestial media in Canada spend millions of dollars each year in Canadian artist development and some stations are already playing 40% Cancon and there's evidence that these broadcasters are already having difficulty in competing with the rest who only play 35%. Is the role of government to mandate what citizens have to listen to because it's somehow 'good for them?' I hope not.

I Love This Sweeper (Heard On Country 95.5, Lethbridge)

Reid Morgan writes 'em, Dave Morris voices them and I just heard this on CHLB and smiled: "Can Country 95.5 Change Your Life? Probably not. Can Country 95.5 Change Your Mood? You BET. Today's Best Country and Your All Time Favourites, Country 95.5."

Doesn't THAT just say it ALL for why so many adults punch in to country on their radios?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Country Music Hall Of Fame Gets Into The Movie Business

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will partner with a Nashville-based film production company to release three feature-length documentaries intended to run in movie theaters across the nation, according to Ryan Underwood at the Nashville Tennessean:
"Work is under way for the first two films — one about the Carter family that features Johnny Cash's last sit-down interview, two weeks before his death, and another about renegade border radio stations broadcasting to the U.S. from Mexico in the 1930s."

$20 A Song All Day On WSIX, Nashville

The promo: make your contribution to the Red Cross, and we'll play WHATEVER you want to hear. The more you donate the more likely we are to play your dig deep because anything goes! We care about Nashville and Middle Tennessee, The BIG 98 WSIX!

PS: The event ultimately raised $21,400 for the American Red Cross.

ARB & Edison: AM and FM Aren't Losing TSL To Digital

* Seventy-seven percent of Americans say they expect to listen to AM/FM radio as much as they do now despite increasing advancements in technology.
* Online radio reaches nearly one in five (19 percent) persons per week age 18-34 and 15 percent of persons 25-54.
* 12% of the 12+ population has listened to Internet radio in the past week.

* Twenty-seven percent of satellite radio subscribers live in households with an annual income of more than $100,000, nearly double the percentage of all households (14 percent).
* Podcasting attracts a youthful audience: one out of five who have ever listened to an audio podcast are 12-17 years old, and more than half (53 percent) are under the age of 35.
* More than one-third of Americans say they are “very” or “somewhat” interested in HD Radio.

Download The Infinite Dial: Radio’s Digital Platforms (PDF)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Paving The Road...

I hope
this is successful, so that they do it in more areas of the country next year, involving more radio stations.

Here's how WKHX is doing it in Atlanta on Thursday April 13:

Jeff Bates & Mark Wills, free at Wal-Mart, 1550 Riverstone Parkway Canton, GA. Outdoor areas open 4:00 PM, Showtime in the Wal-Mart parking lot is 7:00PM. Again, the show is FREE!

There will be pre-show karaoke and contestants get to take away a free CD recording of their performance and also in-store autograph signings after the show as well as photos with the stars at the autograph signing.

Are You A Strong Enough Personality To Bring Howard's Audience Back To FM?

An LA Times report says 'millions of terrestial radio listeners have just disappeared.'

RAIN's Kurt Hanson is pessimistic. He thinks you can't do it.

"As this audience experiments with other stations, analysts expect ratings to vacillate among the morning shows for months, even years, before the new listening patterns become habit. And even though most believe that the bulk of hard-core fans who couldn't live without their Stern have already signed up for Sirius, it's possible more may pony up Sirius subscription fees if terrestrial has nothing to offer them."

I'm not, IF we step up to the plate with compelling content.

It's a matter of longterm life and death. The opportunity is in front of anyone who talks on the radio. It's not enough to just be 'real.' You can be real boring, for example. Let's be real fun. Real entertaining. Real stimulating. Now. I know you can do it, but we have no time to waste.

Learning From Talk Radio: Local Wins

Benchmark Research's latest study shows local hosts gain ground:

1. More listeners classified themselves as political moderates and fewer identified themselves as conservatives.
2. Sixty-nine percent of respondents mentioned a local host when asked who their favorite radio personality was.
3. Seventeen percent of respondents also expressed that they wanted their (talk) stations to feature more two-way talk between hosts and listeners.
4. 49% of respondents said they’d consider a monthly subscription if their favorite host went to a satellite station.
5. 65% mentioned visiting their favorite talk station’s web site.
6. 19% said they at least occasionally listened on-line.

Dr. Rob Balon, CEO of Benchmark:
“First and foremost, talk radio should be about entertainment. Local hosts talk about things that impact folks on their own turf. Sometimes it is politics, sometimes water cooler stuff.; but it is what the listener relates to."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

LA Times: Post Spitzer, Less New Music On Radio

Charles Duhigg, Times Staff Writer, in last Saturday's editions:

"Many programmers say that fear of regulatory scrutiny has scared them into airing fewer new songs. Instead, many stations are sticking to older, more tried-and-true tunes that seem less likely to prompt speculation that money changed hands.

"Indeed, research shows that listeners are hearing fewer new songs on the radio today than they were a year ago. In the first quarter of 2006, "active rock" stations added 23% fewer new songs to their playlists than during the same period in 2005, according to trade publication Radio & Records. Pop stations added 14% fewer songs, additions on urban/hip-hop stations dropped 16% and the number of new songs played by "adult contemporary" stations fell 17%.

"Those declines occurred even as the number of album releases increased, according to Nielsen SoundScan."

Dugigg quotes a programmer as saying: "I don't want some investigator asking to see my e-mails because I took a chance on a song I liked."

CMT Video Awards: Now We Know Who Sophie Muller Is

The rest of the awards winners (click for their pictures and quotes) all familiar names, but then there was Sophie among them.

After the TV show Faith Hill explained how Muller got there too: "She's a fantastic director, one of the greatest that I've ever had the pleasure to work with. She's in London editing another video for me, for a song called 'Stealing Kisses.' It's amazing. It was an honor to work with her."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Family Radio La Crosse: World's Largest Office Party (#7)

One of the biggest parties in the history of La Crosse is about to get bigger.

If You Have HD, Promote It (Unless You're Country?)

And, those evil geniuses who work with Jim Cook, Senior Vice President of the Clear Channel Creative Service Group have come up with the creative for you to use.

OK, guys.. where are the country ones??? Aren't you the ones doing country in the Big Apple?

Is Clear Channel's Strategy Paying Off?

They took the hit last year with "Less Is More," so their 2005-2006 comps are easier than everyone else's.

Here's how it looks from San Antonio.

Jim Rose: Where Is Responsible Radio?

Rose is a prolific writer, dealing mainly with radio history and profiles of people, but now and then he gets his dander up:
We cannot ignore these huge protest marches which have clogged America's streets and highways the past few days. What is ironic is that most of the marchers are not even citizens of the United States of America! Where were the authorities? Two Los Angeles Spanish speaking radio stations have been using forceful words to stimulate and entice students to ditch their classes and take to the streets to protest American laws which most of them have totally ignored anyway. They have been challenged to jump up onto the 110 and 405 freeways and stop traffic. Many were arrested. Is this responsible radio?

America's lawmakers are letting themselves be duped as to what the real issues are. American citizens have been flooding lawmakers' phone lines and fax machines with protests of our own.

Email Jim Rose and read more of his thoughts from his home base in Houston.

Tim On TV: Some Memorable Moments

Tim McGraw’s “Reflected” Special on NBC Friday was a rich blend of performances in a live audience format (cool setting with fans watching from catwalks high above Tim and surrounding him on the floor (a mini preview of his upcoming Soul2Soul II tour set?), and intimate performances taped inside his home formerly owned by Hank Williams Sr. outside of Nashville. It opened in the live audience setting with a great version of “Live Like You Were Dying.”

Interspersed between the live show and performances at the house, were chats with Hank Williams Jr. who stopped by to reminisce about the home he had not seen since he was a kid. Tim told Hank that he covered his tunes while coming up and they tore into a cool jam on “Family Tradition.” Highlights included a lovely version of the song Tim co-wrote for the soundtrack of “Flicka”, “My Little Girl,” taped in the foyer of his home surrounded by a formally dressed string section. There were several vignettes with Tim, Faith, one microphone and one guitar in an intimate jam session, including some of “That’s Alright Mamma,” “Nobody Knows(It But Me)” the first thing they ever sang together), and a sensuous and sensational version of “I Need You,” a song Tim says he and Faith have recorded for one of their upcoming albums.

Review by Neal Haislop (323 857-0760)

Friday, April 07, 2006

If Your Listeners Have HD Radio Questions..

Heck, if YOU have HD Radio questions.. (click here)

Have You Gone Bowling Lately?

It's hot again. And, here are a few signs of that:

It's always been a favorite weekend activity for people looking to get out of the house, but now the thrill of bowling a strike is also capturing the attention of the couch-potato set. ABC-TV reporter John Berman explains on the 4/7/06 ABC-TV World News how the sport is gaining popularity and finding a growing television audience.

* USBC to hold 'Bowling with the Stars' charity event in Los Angeles
* Bowling gets OHSAA's OK
* Inaugural USBC Convention on the horizon

And, not to be outdone: Ice bowling.

There simply has to be a fund-raiser idea or a fun stunt in all of this somewhere! Here's how it's done, thanks to A&O's buddy Rick "Bubba" Taylor at KUPL, Portland.

Tuesday Is SHOES-day

Since promotional consultant Doug Harris made that suggestion to AC stations on the McVay Media website, it's been fun to hear how creative AC stations have been taking the concept and running with it. Like WJLQ, Pensacola's "Pick Your Purse," for example:

It's easy to win. Listen for the 3 songs of the day to be announced at 7:20am weekdays. When you hear the songs played in their entirety, be caller #7 at 850-476-1007 and win a $100 Simon Gift card from Cordova Mall. We will post the songs of the day here after 8am each morning. You will also be qualified to win the handbag for the week. In order to win, listen the following Monday at 7:20 for your name to be announced. You'll have 10 minutes to call to claim your hand bag. If you do not call, John and Wendi will randomly take the 100th caller to win the purse.

Country equivalents? Cash, of course. Doubling paychecks, live life free for a year, pay your bills, payroll/paycheck, ATM secret serial numbers. $5 family concerts. Cars, car repairs, car leases. Concert tickets, sound check parties, back stage meet and greets. Fantasy flyaways, family weekend getaways. If you've found others that work better than the hackneyed old 'win it before you can buy it,' I'd love to hear from you.

Columnist: Dolly at CRS and the Dixie Chicks NOT at CRS

Don Rhodes has written about country music for 35 years for the hometown paper in the home of The Masters. He joined a large group of managers and programmers from Morris Communications radio stations at CRS and put these random thoughts in his column this week that are worth pondering:

Things I learned during my recent visit to the Country Radio Seminar:

- The new buzz words are "terrestrial radio," which refers to traditional radio stations that broadcast from the ground as opposed to the new satellite radio stations.

- I was about 20 feet from Dolly Parton and Keith Urban when they sang Jolene and Two Doors Down at one show during the Country Radio Seminar gathering. They need to release Jolene as a single.

- Ms. Parton looks incredible to be 60 years old!

- Ronnie Milsap still has with him two Augusta guys who have been so much a part of his career: Warren Gowers and Jamie Brantley. They were performing with him on a Sony/BMG-sponsored show held aboard the General Jackson paddlewheel showboat.

- Brenda Lee has been working on a killer gospel album recording duets with folks including Dolly Parton, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn (individually), Charlie Daniels, Martina McBride, Ricky Skaggs, Huey Lewis, Trisha Yearwood, Allison Krauss, Delbert McClinton, George Jones, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris.

- Jaye Albright, of Albright and O'Malley radio research consultants of Washington state, said she has heard tracks of the new Dixie Chicks CD due out this month. She said, "If country radio doesn't play it, they cannot use an excuse that it's not good music."

You would think, however, if the Chicks wanted to get country music stations to play their new CD, they would have shown up for seminar week, shaken some hands and sung some of their new songs. It wasn't a smart move to stay away from the very people they need to help them.

- You can barely tell Dierks Bentley and Craig Morgan apart with that same blond curly hair, same slender build and same ruddy complexion. And you barely can tell Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood apart, either. Someone told me, "It used to be everybody who wanted to be successful had to wear cowboy hats. Now you have to be blond."

Don can be reached at (706) 823-3214.

Reba To Host 41st ACM Awards

The formal announcement came yesterday, though anyone who admired her work the past seven times she's hosted the TV special was not surprised. She's a gem!

Kenny Chesney Proclaims "Summertime"

The Luttrell, Tennessee native says:
“Hey, opening day just happened. We're on the road. It's getting warm. You know, sometimes you just gotta do what feels good, what feels like the song you need right now… I don't know about anybody else, but I'm completely over the winter. I'm ready for the tail-gaiting to begin… to hear the sounds of people's music to come floating into our bus compound at the shows -- and we DO hear you guys! You can sing great songs, and I have. You can sing songs that rock hard, and we do. But sometimes you just need a song that captures your imagination and puts you right where you need to be. For me, that's 'Summertime' -- and it's time! Oh, yeah… Is it ever!”

Tim McGraw's "Reflected" Special On NBC-TV Tonight

One reviewer who previewed the show from AP says "
McGraw acts, he sings ... he can't dance."

Tim's website presents the special (watch the opening with this click) in an even more positive light, of course.