Thursday, August 31, 2006

You Tube Does It Again: If You Can't Relate, You're Not In Radio...

"When I Grow Up I Wanna Work in Advertising"

"8th Of November" Inspires Memorial To Brigade

It started as a very moving song debuted at radio and on the ACM Awards in May, and now at Atlanta's Kicks 101.5...


For a moving personal story of the 173rd, call Steven M. Skow, President & CEO of INTEGRITY BANK, ALPHARETTA, GA. at 770-777-0324 and ask him why the bank is acting as repository for the fund.

Casual Dining Is the Biggest Casualty of Consumer Cutbacks

Casual dining restaurants are taking a huge hit as consumers reduce spending according to BIGresearch's August Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey (CIA) of over 8,500 consumers. The survey revealed 37% of these consumers are dining out less to offset higher gas prices, higher electric bills due to the summer heat wave, and rising interest rates. However, a much more telling picture emerges when that number is divided into income groups. In households with incomes below $50K per year, 43% have cut back on dining out versus only 34% of those earning more than $50K per year. According to CIBC World Markets, the industry as a whole is struggling through its worst slump in 15 years, and this could mean even more bad news for casual dining restaurants who have already seen sharp declines," said Joe Pilotta, VP of Research for BIGresearch. "Fast food chains are less vulnerable because they have a price advantage, which is what people need these days, especially those with mid to lower incomes."

According to a recent article in Kansas City Star, the bottom 5% of Applebee's customers have stopped dining there. So where are consumers who make less than $50K per year going out to eat? McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King topped the list with 41%. Applebee's had the highest number of customers making above $50K per year, followed by Olive Garden and Chili's.

Contact: Phil Rist at BIGresearch in Worthington, Ohio, at (614) 846-0146.

When Sammy Simpson Starts Blogging, I Start Reading

Sammy Simpson, a 20-year broadcast professional who has spent the last 15 years as a Program, Marketing and/or Promotions Director for some of the biggest radio stations in the U.S. including WHTZ, Z100 New York, NY and WWZZ/WWVZ, Z104, Washington, DC. He is currently National Director of Promotions for Bonneville International Corporation with radio stations in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Phoenix, St. Louis and Salt Lake City.

So, when he adds a blog to his output, it's worth bookmarking.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And, You THOUGHT You Were Having A Bad Day Today..

You may remember the scene from The Naked Gun when Drebin (Leslie Nielson) goes to the bathroom following a press conference.

His wireless microphone broadcasts his voice and bodily noises to the crowd outside.

CNN's Kyra Phillips had a similar experience Tuesday afternoon.

During President Bush's speech about the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the co-anchor of "Live From" took a bathroom break and either she forgot to turn off her wireless microphone or the control room forgot to mute her audio feed.

You can clearly hear the taps running and Phillips zip herself up at one point.

A big thank you to Music City gossip diva Nashville Kat for sharing this..

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Can YOU Top This (A Very Silly Air Personality Page)?

Inside this friendly, good-looking Salina, KS., midday guy's head lives a funny individual. Click on his station web page to see why I say that.. (stuff to steal!)

Americans Want Relief - NOT from Hurricanes or Heat - From American Idol

After a summer of banal performances from a slew of "American Idol" wannabes, it's no surprise that viewers are fed up. A new Circuit City survey shows that half of all Americans want relief. Since the study was done by CC, it should also come as no surprise that a second result is 34 percent of people who intend to buy a new TV in the next year will purchase either an HD or flat-panel set.

Per the Circuit City survey, if only half of Americans are fed up with amateur talent showcases, then networks still have some 150 million people to appeal to.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Gas Prices Are Not Impacting Everyone Equally

BIGresearch Survey Reveals Major Spending Gap Between Income Groups

Households with incomes under $50K per year are bearing a greater burden from high gas prices according to BIGresearch’s August Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey of over 8,500 consumers. Only 24% said high gas prices are having no impact on their spending. However, when broken into income groups, 30% of those making more than $50K per year reported no major impact, compared to only 22% of consumers making less than $50K per year.

“While economic concerns and rising gas prices are causing consumers to exercise more judgment in their spending across the board, not all income groups are affected equally,” said Joe Pilotta, VP of Research for BIGresearch. “There is a definite gap between those making less than $50K per year and those making more—and it’s only getting wider.”

The survey showed that 81% of consumers in the <$50K group felt they are the same or worse off financially than this time last year. To cope with higher gas prices, they are making some pretty significant changes, including deferring major purchases, dining out less, cutting back on travel and, of course, driving less. Those who make $50K+ per year are not making the same sacrifices. In fact, 78% of that group felt they were the same or better off financially than last year.”

Kenny Chesney Draws A Million Fans For The 5th Straight Year

There are a number of big tours hitting the road this year but only one of them belongs to a singer that’s played for a million fans each year for the last five years, Kenny Chesney.

According to his label during that time Kenny has played for 5.8 million fans and counting.

“It just feels like one big party,” says the singer/songwriter from Luttrell, Tennessee. “I don't sit around counting, because I'm too busy smiling and getting rocked by all these fans. You know, our fans bring it and throw it back at us every bit as hard as we do… so it's always the more they give us, the more we wanna send back -- and it's so loud and crazy every night! To me, that's not measured with numbers, but the cheers and the looks on those faces.”

Kenny reached a million fans in just 70 shows this year earlier that ever because he was the only country artist filling football stadiums this year in towns like Seattle, Tampa. Dallas, Nashville, Columbus, LA and now Detroit this weekend.

“And it's funny… we had someone come up to us the other night, and she said, 'You know, if we don't come see you, it's like it's not summer!' I gotta tell you, that felt pretty damn great,” says Kenny.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

In the Year Since Katrina, Americans Are Stockpiling Emergency Supplies

American Media Services latest study finds: Battery-Powered Radios, as Well as Candles, Food and Water, Are Popular Items

The survey found that a majority of Americans have bought candles or flashlights (62 percent) or checked the batteries for their emergency equipment (54 percent). Nearly half say they have stockpiled food and water (46 percent) and bought or checked a battery-powered radio (43 percent).

"Following Katrina, most Americans are taking advice seriously to stock up on emergency items -- and that includes a radio for getting information locally," said Ed Seeger, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Media Services (AMS), which commissioned the survey. "Radio plays an essential role in emergency preparedness. We hope that 100 percent of Americans would be prepared for emergencies by having a battery-powered radio on hand, as well as other essential supplies."

It's very smart (and cool!) to see a broker funding pro-radio studies like this. eh?

If You Need A Topical EXCUSE To Do A Zany Stunt, Here You Go..

Finn takes gold at mobile phone throwing contest..

SAVONLINNA, Finland (Reuters) -
Anyone wanting to throw away their mobile phone can do it in style and may even win a medal -- at the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship, Finland's latest contribution to offbeat athleticism.

Originally a local event in this small town close to the Russian border, the seventh annual contest on Saturday drew some 100 throwers from as far afield as Canada, Russia and Belgium.

The inventive Finns had already given the world the Sauna World Championships and the Wife Carrying Competition before coming up with a new way to make mobile phones even more mobile.

This year's gold medal went to Finland's Lassi Etelatalo, who flung a scrapped Nokia unit a forceful 89.00 metres. "I prepared by javelin throwing, I haven't really practised throwing mobile phones," Etelatalo told Reuters.

In the freestyle event, Dutchman Elie Rugthoven's phone landed outside the designated area, but he still won silver thanks to a phone juggling performance that impressed the judges. Lund says competitors all have their favorite throwing brand. "People choose by size, by color or by how it fits in the hand ... Some believe a heavy model will ensure a long throw, some want a light one."

For those who live on stats: the world record for a mobile-phone throw is 311.58 feet (or 94.97 meters) - better than the length of a football field - set by Finland's Mikko Lampi in last year's games. And if you missed the cable-TV coverage of last year's phone- throwing championship (we think that would be everyone, because we don't know when that broadcast happened), the organizers have a neat video of last year's action online.

Need I say more?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

New R&R Country Editor Wade Jesson Gets A Hometown Paper Profile

Deseret Morning News reporter
Lynn Arave: Utahn is an authority in country music radio

(I always wondered how to spell 'Utahn'..) but, seriously, i
t's especially sweet when they say things like this about you in your hometown:

Jessen is one of the most quoted and respected authorities on country music and country radio, through Billboard and R&R. He also maintains interest in politics, rural news issues and antique radio-and-phonograph collecting. He gained additional responsibilities when Billboard recently purchased R&R.

Keith Urban in Syracuse: "2 sisters, 2 wishes, 2 kisses!"

Writer Mark Bialczak was there when A&O clients WBBS, Syracuse welcomed Keith Urban,
...who spotted a homemade poster sign Friday night at the state fair grandstand, the country music star heck, with his marriage to actress Nicole Kidman, he's crossed over into pop stardom made two sisters from "outside of Albany" quite happy when he spied their sign. "Well, come on up. I'm not going to miss this opportunity." So up to the stage went Sharon and Claudia, telling all where they came from (and more than that in Claudia's case, as she explained about a recent joint replacement surgery to her thumb, earning raised eyebrows from Urban). They both got their kisses as the crowd howled. Urban was a great singer and fantastic guitar player. But most important, he was a tremendous entertainer. After bussing the two siblings, he jumped down in front of the stage. Then he climbed over the rail and strolled through the center aisle of the crowd, chuckling as he sang and withstanding the tremendous crush of those who strained for one slight touch with fame. But it was more than those couple hundred upfront who fell to Urban's obvious charm. By the end of the night, everybody was singing in the rain as Urban and his very fine five-piece band went through a repertoire of songs that regularly make country radio rotation.

TK Is One Bright Spot For Struggling Ford

Ford says its research shows that listening to country music is one of the top three activities that Ford truck customers participate in during their free time. They also are heavily involved in racing and outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

Keith, a third generation Ford truck owner, has been connected with Ford marketing efforts since August 2002, with the "Ford Truck Man" national advertising campaign. To accompany his concerts across the country, Ford launched a new "Hang With Toby" Web site that features a contest to win a 2007 Ford F-150 FX4 pickup and the chance to meet the country star and appear in an upcoming music video.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Lesson In Building Viral Buzz And Changing Habits/Attitudes

.. from the "Rumor Has It" website Snopes:
It has become fashionable to portray outdated societal behaviors and attitudes — ones we now consider desperately wrongheaded — to be worse than they really were as a way of making a point about how much we've improved. When we despair over the human condition and feel the need for a little pat on the back, a few startling comparisons between us modern enlightened folks and those terrible neanderthals of yesteryear give us that. We go away from such readings a bit proud of how we've pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and with our halos a bit more brightly burnished. The juxtaposition of wonderful modernity with a tawdry past also serves to reinforce the 'rightness' of current societal stances by making any other positions appear ludicrous. It reminds folks of the importance of holding on to these newer ways of thinking and to caution them against falling back into older patterns which may be more comfortable but less socially desirable. Such reinforcement works on the principle that if you won't do a good thing just for its own sake, you'll surely do it to avoid being laughed at and looked down upon by your peers.

The Image Voice You Choose Says A Lot

Walter Cronkite has recorded the voice-over opening to Katie Couric's revamped evening newscast, according to reports. Cronkite, who is 89, introduces the newscast and Couric in the short narration - but the voice is apparently unmistakable. CBS has been using the "opening" in rehearsals for the new newscast, according to the report. But no decision has been made whether it will be used when Couric launches Sept. 5.

Very smart move, I'd say, which should cause buzz in all the right places.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Oklahoma Rising"

Two native Oklahomans -- Vince Gill and Jimmy Webb -- will debut a song with that titles on Sept. 11 in Oklahoma City as part of the state's centennial celebration.

With music by Gill and lyrics by Webb, the tune provides a concise overview of the state's history, including the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s and the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. Gill was born in Norman, Okla. Webb, whose songwriting credits include "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston" and "Highwayman," was born in Elk City, Okla.

The 100th anniversary of Oklahoma's statehood takes place Nov. 16.

In Milwaukee, It's WMIL "Care-A-Van For Kids" Time Again

FM 106.1's 2006 Care-A-Van For Kids to benefit the Child Abuse Prevention Fund is off and running. WMIL OM Kerry Wolfe's team'll be out on the streets, making van stops through Saturday. Click here for a schedule of the great events lined up, including Tracy Lawrence with a special acoustic performance to kick the busy weekend off. An online and on-the-air auction, with items up for bid this year: a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill autographed guitar, Rusty Wallace autographed car hood, the t-shirt Phil Vassar wore when he performed at the zoo last week (also autographed), an autographed guitar from Country Thunder 2006 which includes Keith Urban's signature, a trip to the Hollywood premiere of Toby Keith's new movie "Broken Bridges", and tons more! Click here to access the online auction tomorrow through Sunday 5pm.

This annual week always proves that FM 106.1 listeners really care about kids.

First Starbucks, Now Cracker Barrel Gets Into The Music Biz

Here's the official press release:

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (“Cracker Barrel”) is taking a significant step in the music business by announcing an exclusive Songs of the Year CD and a special concert with one lucky person winning an all-expense paid trip for two to see the show.

The Songs of the Year CD will be released October 3rd followed by a November 5th concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall in Nashville. Available exclusively at Cracker Barrel locations and online at, this unique collection features today’s country superstars performing songs that earned “Song of the Year” recognition from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music or Grammy awards.

This collection of original recordings includes Trace Adkins performing “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down,” Trisha Yearwood singing “Back Home Again,” and a George Jones-Dierks Bentley recording of “Murder On Music Row.”

“Cracker Barrel is excited to feature such an impressive collection of songs and artists,” said Simon Turner, Cracker Barrel’s chief marketing officer. “This CD continues our tradition of connecting country music’s past and present. The artists are fans of these songs, too. These songs inspired them to become musicians and it’s very special to have all this talent on one CD.”

With a retail price of $11.99, the 12 track CD features original recordings by Lonestar, the Wreckers, Blake Shelton, Randy Travis, Jo Dee Messina and Jypsi plus several duets including Willie Nelson and Jack Ingram, Deana Carter and Heart, and Jamie O’Neal singing with Michael McDonald. Many of the artists will perform at the invitation-only Songs of the Year concert. The concert will be part of the official festivities associated with the annual Country Music Association Awards show in Nashville.

As a company that appreciates the importance of preserving history, Cracker Barrel collaborated with Vector Management on this project to generate support for the Country Music Hall of Fame (R) and Museum. Cracker Barrel and Vector Management will donate $125,000 to the not-for-profit Museum. The donation will represent a portion of proceeds from the sale of each Songs of the Year CD.

“The project honors the songs and artists that defined a generation of country music,” said Ken Levitan, president of Vector Management and a Museum board member. “People have emotional connections to these songs and remember hearing their favorite song on the radio and jukebox. The artists on this CD have those emotional connections as well and it’s why I think this CD is a natural fit for Cracker Barrel and the Museum.”

In conjunction with the CD release, Cracker Barrel is offering a chance for one person to win an all-expense paid trip for two to Nashville for the invitation-only Songs of the Year concert on November 5th. Fans can register to win and access full contest details by visiting In addition to the trip, contest prizes include Songs of the Year CDs and autographed prints from the concert. The Songs of the Year release bolsters Cracker Barrel’s growing collection of exclusive CDs on its music label.

The Cracker Barrel label also features exclusive CDs from Alison Krauss & Union Station, Amy Grant, Sara Evans, the Charlie Daniels Band and the Grand Ole Opry Live Classics series. Since creating its music label in 2003, Cracker Barrel has sold more than 2.5 million CDs.

I love the fact that a local country station is almost always on in the background at Cracker Barrel, though I know that fact drives the RIAA, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC crazy.. For me, live and local radio beats Muzak every time..

The Cracker Barrel Media Contacts are Jim Taylor at (615) 235-4082 and Kirt Webster at Webster & Associates PR, (615) 777-6995 x30

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Willie Nelson Is NOT Horsing Around

here to hear his impassioned plea on behalf of horses.

Anne Murray Announced for the CCMA Awards

What a classy announcement:

The Canadian Country Music Association today announced that international music sensation Anne Murray will make a special appearance at the CCMA Awards, Monday September 11 in Saint John, NB.

Murray, a Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, will be on stage at the Saint John Harbour Station venue to induct into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, her former Singalong Jubilee musical director and the producer of her first 10 albums, Brian Ahern, as well as present the Leonard T. Rambeau Award for International Achievement to her manager Bruce Allen. Murray’s connection to both will create a special moment that acknowledges the extraordinary accomplishments of each of these internationally recognized music industry legends.

The CCMA Awards will be held Monday, September 11 and will feature performances by many of Canada’s stars: George Canyon, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Aaron Lines, Corb Lund, Aaron Pritchett with Tyler Connolly (Theory of a Deadman), The Road Hammers and Michelle Wright.

The show will air live at 8pm (8:30NT) on CBC TV across Canada, with encore airings on CMT. The broadcast will also be carried in the U.S. on Great American Country (GAC), and in Australia on CMC (Country Music Channel).

More CCMA info from Sarah Barker at 416-947-1331 x 212 or at

Monday, August 21, 2006

Neil Haislop's Inside "Tim & Faith in LA" Insights

When doors opened Friday night for the second night of a three-day sold-out run at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, a very lucky fan, Christine Nevins, was greeted with a surprise. As the holder of the one millionth ticket to go through turnstiles since the Soul2Soul II Tour launched on April 21st, Christine and her husband Eric were whisked away to a private meeting with Tim and Faith, followed by the unveiling of a special gift – a Hershey, XM Satellite Radio-filled, brand new, Dodge Charger courtesy of Huntington Beach Dodge.

“I cannot believe this!” shouted Christine upon receiving her prizes. “This car is mine, she told her husband, and nobody is driving it but me,” she added immediately after Tim and Faith autographed the inside driver’s side door. Christine (39) and Eric (42) Nevins live in Oak Hills, California. They have three children, 21, 17 and 14 years old. Eric has been a police officer, going on his 20th year on the job, and currently works for the County of Riverside, while Christine is a restaurant manager for Johnny Carinos in Victorville, California.

Tim and Faith camps say, that industry experts predict The Soul2Soul II Tour will be the highest grossing country music tour ever and one of the highest grossing tours in any musical genre for 2006. The tour concludes on September 3rd in Las Vegas at which point it will have played 74 performances in 56 cities across America.

By now, with their monster tour nearing its end, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill must feel a certain fatigue factor coming on. But, if so, it didn’t show Friday night (Sat. morning) in Los Angeles. After nearly 3 hours on stage across town, when we caught Tim & Faith and their bands at their after-hours take-over of the legendary Whisky A Go Go, on the Sunset strip to revive their Bread and Water shows to benefit their Neighbor’s Keepers foundation.

"Everyone gets paid 'bread and water' so we can raise as much money for charity," says Tim. Besides, Tim and Faith and their bands letting down their hair for the intimate show, their friend and concert attendee at Friday’s show, REBA McENTIRE, made a surprise appearance.

TIM came on stage first a little ahead of the venue technicians still trying to get the lights and sound right. He opened filling an audience request to sing something by Haggard, obliging with an authentic version of Haggard’s, #2 1980 hit, “The Way I Am.” Then he followed that with a brand new tune he says will be on his new album, a unique, very cool song titled, “The River and Me.”

WHEN FAITH came on she kept TIM with her for a couple of numbers saying, “Stand over there and be my pretty boy.” Tim obediently hung in there to sing “Bridge Over Trouble Water” with her and soon left the stage to Faith who tore into a cool version of “Baby I’m Amazed.”

REBA JOINS IN – the highlight of Faith’s set came when Reba McEntire descended the stairs to the stage as a surprise guest and the crowd went wild. Reba did “When Will I Be Loved,” and then Faith joined her on Reba’s smash, “Does He Love You.” Only thing, Faith didn’t know the song. But, with Reba shouting the lyrics into Faith’s ear, she delivered an amazingly good rendition of the Linda Davis part of that hit song. When Reba left to thunderous applause Faith shouted, “Damn, that woman can sing!”

During the Whisky show Tim sang a number of songs he says have been recorded for his next album including a terrific remake of the Eddie Rabbitt smash, “Suspicion,” and one called “(The Difference Between) The Whiskey and You,” a hardcore country heartbreak song and another winner titled, “Train #10.”

TIM said his new album will be out in February. AND, he reported that his beloved Dance Hall Doctors band will have their own album out soon to be released on Tim’s on new imprint. He left the stage to them to perform a cool tune from their own upcoming CD, “It’s In My Blood.”

THE BENEFIT SHOW was for Tim and Faith and their bands as well as the Neighbors Keepers Foundation, since everybody was able to let their hair down and sing whatever they wanted to in an intimate setting, with no pressure like that involved in the huge arena show they’d just left. Tim was even moved to say, “I love this, this is more fun than the big stage, back when were playing the small clubs when there sometimes were just 5 people in the place.”

At that his pal, Darran Smith, waxed a bit less nostalgic saying, “Yea, back when we weren’t getting paid!” Note: No word on the amount of money raised at the Whisky show, but if the big bouncer on the door was right, between 200 and 300 people paid $40 bucks each to catch this special show, meaning they netted between 8 to 12,000 dollars from the door at least.

Kudos to the Whisky A Go Go, who waved their rental fees for the cause, and kept the staff on board until the show ended at 3:15 am. In addition to the Whisky show, Tim and Faith donated proceeds from their New Orleans show to hurricane Katrina gulf coast relief efforts.

One more thing…

As triumphant as the Sou2Soul Tour II was during it’s 3-night, sold-out run in Los Angeles, plus the celebration of a the 1 Millionth Fan, and the giving back at the Whisky, it was all diminished somewhat by the fact there was no big country station to shout about it all thanks to Emmis. Broadcasting’s surprise plug-pulling act at KZLA Thursday morning.

Because of the timing, McGRAW’s manager, Scott Siman, issued this terse statement:"When the largest tour in the history of country music rolls into a city you don't expect the country music station to close shop," said Tim McGraw's manager Scott Siman. "I fully expect an apology from Emmis for their actions. Of course it didn't affect our success but it was a major insult to every country fan in the LA area. As an industry, we will overcome their short sighted approach."

-- with thanks to Neil Haislop

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mike Stiles = "Notorious DAD"

What do you do when you're a morning guy at Atlanta's Family Station and yet you have an urge to do a hip hop video?? Click to watch the result on YouTube.

51% Of Radio Listeners "Occasionally To Regularly" Read The Newspaper While Listening

Media multi-tasking: hey, TV.. 'get used to it.'
"When you add new media to the mix, such as satellite radio, blogging, and instant messaging, consumers have more media options than ever vying for their attention. They're quickly growing accustomed to using more than one media option at once, so the world of traditional media is becoming even more fragmented. Media multitasking among consumers makes effective marketing and advertising an entirely new challenge. Suddenly, a 'once captive' TV audience has now defined itself as a 'moving target." -- Phil Rist, vice president of strategic initiatives for BIGresearch

Serving a fast-moving, mobile audience .. advantage, radio! We've been specializing in that for at least 60 years!

To see the study, click here and choose the free "Consumer Intentions & Actions (Monthly Executive Briefing)".

FX 1019 Helps With Making Of Video

Milkman reports: When Country star George Canyon needs a favor, who’s he going to’ call? FX1019 listeners heard afternoon host Bill Hart get a call from George recently, asking if he could round up 100 FX1019 listeners to help with the filming of his new video ‘Drinkin’ Thinkin’’. Bill, FX1019 morning man Pete Montana, Tara & Kevin from the FX1019 Summer Cruiser and hundreds of wannabe video stars gathered at the Rodeo in Burnside. After a night of filling out ballots and picking out winners, over 100 fans showed up the next day at the Marquee Club in Halifax to meet George, and enjoy the video making experience. Watch for the new video on CMT, you may recognize some East Coast friends.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Best Line Of The Day: "It's OK To Shoot The Bears, Just Not The Ones Named 'Cubby'"

I've been reading all the gossip on the event and hereby award
Tony Hicks of the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, CA for that line, the best of the day as his "People" column covered the amazing story:
Troy Lee Gentry, of country singing duo Montgomery Gentry, has been accused of killing a tame black bear that federal officials say he tagged as killed in the wild. Gentry, 39, and Lee Marvin Greenly, 46, appeared in court Tuesday in connection with a sealed indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Minneapolis. Authorities say Gentry purchased the bear from Greenly, a wildlife photographer and hunting guide, then killed it with a bow and arrow in an enclosed pen on Greenly's property in October 2004. Sounds like a real manly, hoot-hollerin' of a time. The government alleges Gentry and Greenly tagged the bear with a Minnesota hunting license and registered it with the state Department of Natural Resources as a wild kill -- a violation of the federal Lacey Act. Gentry allegedly paid about $4,650 for the bear, named Cubby. Wait a second. He paid nearly five grand for a bear, with a name, so he could kill it? Guess we know which country act Gary Bogue won't be paying to see anytime soon. The bear's death was videotaped and later edited so Gentry appeared to shoot the animal in a "fair chase" hunting situation, the government alleges. If convicted, both Gentry and Greenly face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $20,000 fine. Gentry's manager, Johnny Dorris, said Wednesday that Gentry, an outdoorsman and hunter, expects to be exonerated. He sounds very brave.

You can add this incident to Chris Gaines and The Dixie (verbal) Slips' country artist publicity gaffe file, which - fortunately - is much thinner then the ones for most other music genres. (be sure to click the link, it's a hoot!)

If you want to stop your listeners from going to satellite radio...

a. Have fewer (and better/fresher/more creative!) commercials
b. Improve your signal as much as possible and stream to they can get you anywhere too

Geoff Duncan in Digital Trends News writes: "A new analysis of the satellite radio industry reveals customers aren't lured by exclusive programming so much as ad-free listening."


Bon Jovi Props For Jennifer Nettles On Larry King Live

This August marks the 20th anniversary of Bon Jovi's breakthrough album Slippery When Wet and so he's showing up everywhere (including training camp for his New England Patriots!).

He was with CNN's Larry King last night and A&O's buddy Neil Haislop was listening with pen in hand:

BON JOVI told Larry King Live last night that JENNIFER NETTLES “hit it out of the park” when she recorded with him. King asked Bon Jovi how he chose Jennifer to be his duet partner on “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” He said, “With this one (song), when Richie (Sambora) and I wrote it, we thought it would be a great idea if we could get on country radio but knew that the format was closed to a rock band, so we sought out the help of a country artist. And our record company suggested a brand new one, and I said I'd like to have her fulfill three requirements; I have to like her voice. I have to like the songs that are on her forthcoming record. And then I have to believe that she delivers our lyric. Jennifer Nettles from a brand new band called Sugarland, knocked the ball out of the park,” he said. When King asked if the success at country radio surprised him Bon Jovi said, “Not really, to be honest with you, because I really do believe that a lot of the young country artists of this generation grew up probably closer to my music than they did to Patsy Cline and to Woody Guthrie and, you know, the originators of what was country.”

Bon Jovi went on to say that he enjoyed the country format “Very Much,” and added, ”I think in all honesty my next record will be greatly influenced by the Nashville scene.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Lesson In Stunting And Buzz Marketing From Chevy

MediaPost reports: It'll take more than a guy in a kayak to bring these balls ashore. Chevy brokered a major marketing deal this year at MLB's All-Star Game in Pittsburgh. Part of the promotion included placing oversized Chevy-branded inflatable baseballs floating in the Allegheny River. This wasn't McCovey Cove, the body of water outside AT&TPark (it was Pac-Bell Park when I was last there), where kayakers sit and wait for a Barry Bonds home-run ball, but a creative program nonetheless. Campbell-Ewald executed the campaign, which received heavy promotion during the Home Run Derby.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Did you know?" A 'Fun Fact' about the 2006 CCMA Awards

At this years CCMA show, Aaron Pritchett will be performing The Band's classic hit "The Weight" alongside Canadian rocker Tyler Connolly, frontman of platinum-selling group Theory of a Deadman.

How did this unlikely collaboration occur???

Tyler's wife Christine was in Aaron's video 'Lucky for Me' and the two kept in touch. Tyler ended up getting hooked on Aaron's music when he saw the 'John Roland Wood' video. Over the years, the idea of a collaboration was tossed around and finally the two decided to record 'The Weight'. The performance on the 2006 CCMA show will be the debut public performances of the song, so make sure you tune in Monday, September 11 at 8pm (8:30NT) to CBC Television to catch this highlight in music.

If you'd like an email of CCMA fun facts, just write to Sarah Barker, Publicity honchoess for the Canadian Country Music Association.

Women Shoppers: Price Saving Beats Time Saving by 3 to 1

ShopSmart (from Consumer Reports) magazine finds that 76% of American women enjoy shopping, but one-third say the most stressful part is waiting in check out lines, followed closely by 29% stressed by interacting with salespeople.

The ShopSmart Opinion Poll reveals:
Shopping does have its travails. One-third say the most stressful part is waiting in check out lines followed closely by interacting with salespeople (29%).

The average woman, says the report, spends 385 hours annually shopping:

"Shoppers rely mostly on friends and family (45 percent) as trusted sources
for shopping and products to avoid buyer's remorse, while the least trusted
sources of shopping advice were sales people (39 percent), and advertising
(31%). "

.. which is one of the reasons I reprinted it here. Sure, it's fun content and worth a mention or a phone topic. But, the primary point is: even Wal*Mart has a 'brand story' and stands for something important to its shoppers. What's YOUR brand story? What do you stand for? Do your listeners care?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Paragon At Boot Camp: Morning Radio's Momentum = +8%

30% of the respondents said that a morning show is important in their choice of a favorite station.

68% don't care if it's local or not. 22% do. 9% don't know.

What’s Hot? Ahoy Mateys! We’ve spotted Pirates…

Talking Points:
Unrest overseas likely causes slight downturn in confidence

Conservatism is the name of the game in personal finance.

You don’t need binoculars, a telescope, periscope, or any other seaworthy instrument to spot what’s hot this month…Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is a hit with seven in ten consumers, while almost 40% say the same for the Will Ferrell vehicle, Talladega Nights. Respondents “don’t lie”…Songstress Shakira comes in third and proves especially popular among those 18-34.

What’s Not? More than 85% are hoping that the bubble skirt trend bursts soon.

Friday, August 11, 2006

It Takes GUTS (Literally) To Do This Stunt

Click on "The Beauty of the Beer Belly" to see what this is about.

Confession: A&O works with B-105.1 in Cincinnati, and as much as I admire Ken's courage I have to also brag that neither Bill Wyte nor Amanda Orlando nor Statman has what it takes to do something like this (whew!)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Joel Whitburn Maintains Continuity As Trades Consolidate

In response to the recent merger of
Billboard and R&R, Joel Whitburn’s Record Research. Inc. has signed a new contract with Billboard to continue to compile and publish their chart information in annual books, including the long period compilations in hardback books such as their latest “Top Country Songs: 1944 to 2005.”

Meanwhile, R&R used to be the only source of Radio and Records chart historical data and they permitted any countdown show to count them down without paying a royalty, so it begins to look like the end of an era for the country charts maintained since 1973. Bilboard pop charts go back to 1958 and Whitburn's country songs data goes all the way back to 1944.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Americans Rate Television News and Talk Personalities

ABC's Diane Sawyer tops the list (click on the link to see these fascinating stats): "The assumption that on-air personalities are valuable components of television news and talk programming is beyond dispute. The latest validation of this old principle comes from CBS News' signing of former NBC Today show anchor Katie Couric to be the new anchor of the CBS Evening News, at an estimated contract value of at least $39 million over the next three years.

"Despite these types of astronomical salary figures, it is sometimes difficult to disentangle the impact of a single personality on a show's ratings. Some news and talk programming such as the morning news shows rely on an ensemble cast, and it can be the chemistry of the grouping that matters to viewers as much as the appeal of any one personality. Additionally, there is the impact of the environment in which a show is broadcast, including in particular the ratings of the programs that lead into and out of the show.

"One broad gauge of a personality's value can be a simple measure of how much average Americans like or dislike the individual. This is not a perfect measure, given that Americans sometimes like to watch an individual on television whom they profess to dislike. Still, such a measure provides a crude gauge of the relative likeability of television personalities." -- Frank Newport and Joseph Carroll

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

KSON Listeners Send A Pool To Iraq

Back in early June, listener Betty Stribling contacted KSON, San Diego, asking for help in getting a pool purchased and sent to her son-in-law, Jeff's unit in Tikrit, Iraq. KSON heard from Latreasa Harris and the businesses The Filling Station Pub and The Beach Club in Oceanside - together, donating $1,000. With Betty's hard work, and after several false starts because of the difficulty of finding the right size pool - and a shipper who could get it there - it was finally delivered. Jeff's Army unit in Iraq is now able to enjoy a bit of cooling comfort from home in the 100+ degree heat of Iraq.

After you View the photos I bet you agree with me: THIS is why you got into radio.

Steve And Amanda Wilkinson In A Car Accident!

Thanks to Chris Harding at BX-93, London, for passing along this word:

On their way back from Amanda performing a show in Carleton Place on Saturday night the Wilkinson's were involved in a car accident. As they were driving along Hwy 7 coming over a hill and a car was passing two cars on a double line coming the other way. To avoid a collision Steve pulled into the gravel but so did the other car. They collided. The Wilkinson's car suffered a lot of damage and the other car was totaled. Luckily no one was seriously hurt.

Tyler was following behind in another vehicle and was able to avoid the accident. Reportedly, everyone is fine with the exception of sore muscles. a close call that scared everyone. (Please, no jokes about their current LP title or that album cover photo! ;->)

For more information you can call Steve Graham at 270-271-5394.

Phone Topic: The Most Prestigious Gigs

Six occupations are perceived to have "very great" prestige by at least half of all adults:

firefighters (63%)
doctors (58%)
nurses (55%)
scientists (54%)
teachers (52%)
military officers (51%)

Low on the status list:

real estate brokers (6%)
stockbrokers (11%)
business executives (11%)
actors (12%)
union leaders (12%)
journalists (16%)
bankers (17%)
accountants (17%)
entertainers (18%)

Here are all the stats and trends. So, the question is: do you take a job for status, money or because you LOVE it? What jobs do your listeners LOVE?

Is It Me? The Financial Media? Or, Wall Street?

Reading a story headlined "Stations Report Mixed Results," by Wayne Friedman in Media Post this morning ("TV AND RADIO STATION GROUPS have been hit hard in recent months by lower ad sales from its top category--automotive. But one TV station group (Fisher!) has shifted into high gear..." ) made me wonder if any of these folks dig beyond the corporate press releases and analyst calls at all?

So, lessee, the moral is: sell a bunch of stations so you can report a good quarter?? What do they do next quarter to get more positive press? Sell more?

Isn't that called "going out of business?" Wall Street, where greed and short term thinking are wonderful things. Go figure.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Clear Channel Wants To Buy More Stations

Ron Orol writes that the largest radio broadcaster in the U.S. is pushing for a change in FCC ownership limits that would allow it to own more stations in the largest U.S. markets.

(I guess that is ONE way to work to get radio ad rates UP..)

KUPL's Waking Crew Renews Listener Vows, Soul To Soul

KUPL, Portland's Lee Rogers has picked the Tim and Faith show Tuesday night at Portland’s Rose Garden Arena for married listeners to renew their wedding vows. Rogers just paid the $10 bucks and is now an ordained minister. The solumn ceremony will be conducted from the back of a Chevy pickup truck just before the Soul To Soul Tour show. Afternoon personality Rick “Bubba” Taylor will do the play-by-play and morning chostess Alana Lynn will be Maid of Honor, sidekick/producer Jim E. Chonga will best Man and traffic reporter/wise guy Earthquake Jake will be, according to varying reports, Ring Boy-Flower Girl.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Are You In The Entertainment Business Or Do You Want To Be A Toll Collector?

Want to see 30 interesting, well-produced minutes of hypebole and exaggeration of the power of new media, designed by
CBC to get your attention? If so, there's no need to watch for the 8/21-23 repeat of the broadcasts. They are online now. Click to see the radio one and the read a transcript.

Podcasts, satellite radio, mashups and downloads, mp3, p2p, wma, burning, ripping, streaming. So many busy new music activities and listening methods, and none of it coming from the good old fashioned radio. What's a poor broadcaster to do? If radio is dying, what do we need to know about what's replacing it?

IMHO: The only two voices among all of the interviewees who appear to have a grasp on reality are Rob Farina (with over 1.2 million listeners, CHUM FM is Canada’s most-listened-to radio station, a stat which hopefully puts all the hype into perspective) and John Parikhal (who inspired my headline, above).

Successful radio, which of course does manage to still reach 95% of the 12+ population every week, just happens to be based on so much more than thousands and thousands of songs played whenever a popular DJ feels like it, music by the pound, and exposing unfamiliar new music first. In fact, if New Media finds a way to build a business model on those things, I'd say more power to them. If they seriously hope to take terrestial radio's audience away, they better come with more than paper swords.

Pew Study: Online News Is Just One More Source For Radio Users

A new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press indicates that one out of every three Americans regularly get news online (compared with one out 50 in the mid-90's).
People who say they logged on for news yesterday spent 32 minutes, on average, getting the news online. That is significantly less than the average number of minutes that newspaper readers, radio news listeners, and TV news viewers spend with those sources.

In 1996, people on average spent slightly more than an hour (66 minutes) getting the news from radio, TV or newspapers. Currently, they spend about the same amount of time (67 minutes), but now their sources include the Internet. Are you doing news the same way you did in 1996? If so, I hope you're OK with your audience getting older.. If not, maybe it's time for an honest look in the mirror.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Roper: Men Zap Spots More Than Women

Men will more likely zap through TV ads, according to a Roper survey. For its 2006 Media, Advertising and Brands study, Roper surveyed 1,000 people, and of the 24 percent of respondents who had DVRs, 65 percent of men said they skip commercials to cut down on the viewing time of recorded shows--but only 56 percent of women said they did. In a survey conducted last year, Roper said 11 percent of respondents were DVR owners, with 21 percent of men saying they used their DVRs to skip ads, compared to 10 percent of women. The difference, Ad Age notes, may well be "the evolution of the male channel-flipper." Says Brad Adgate, svp research at Horizon Media: "I don't think it's that surprising. Considering men control the remote at home, why wouldn't they control the fast-forwarding mechanism as well?"

On the other hand, 20% of women who own DVRs said they generally don't mind watching commercials and tend not to skip them. Eighteen percent said they let the commercials run but don't watch them. "They might use that time to actually do something else around the house, maybe clean something up, maybe make quick phone call," said John Bishop, a consultant with GFK Roper Consulting. "Maybe they are reading a magazine, multi-tasking, doing more things at once, where men just compartmentalize and probably just [are] only watching TV."

Phone topic: who zaps the most at your house? Even more important, how clever, fun, fresh, engaging, emotional and creative are your commercials and promos?

If You Stream Or Podcast Music, You DO Have To Pay

Brendan Holland and David Oxenford in the Washington, D.C., offices of Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremaine have a very insightful and helpful blog on broadcast law:
"In recent months, SoundExchange has been reaching out to webcasters
seeking to identify those who are delinquent in their royalty payments for music used on the Internet. Numerous broadcasters and webcasters have received calls or letters from SoundExchange seeking information about apparent underpayments or missing mandatory reports of royalty liability that should be filed regularly by webcasters. Some webcasters may believe that, as the rates for Internet radio music use for 2006-2010 have not yet been established, they don’t have to pay anything until those rates are set. That is not correct, as the legislation adopted in 2005 which established the Copyright Royalty Board also specifically required that fees be paid at the old rates until a new rate structure is adopted."

Review: The Dixie Chicks At Madison Square Garden

"New York is always eager to adopt homeless out-of-towners, especially — which is to say, only — if those homeless out-of-towners happen to be rich and famous.

"The Dixie Chicks have been homeless, in a sense, since 2003, when Natalie Maines, their lead singer and lead troublemaker, told a London audience she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” What followed was a strange and riveting spectacle: a feud between the Dixie Chicks and, it sometimes seemed, the entire Nashville establishment. (A word of advice to young country stars looking to remain country stars: Criticize the President if you must, but by all means leave Texas out of it.)"

Neil Haislop's Nashville IQ: Top Sellers, DR, AJ, Sugarland; Very Sad Freddy Fender Health News

Haislop headlines:

RASCAL FLATTS RETURN TO #1 as Me and My Gang sells 43,700 moving the CD back up from #2 to the Top spot this week…while THE DIXIE CHICKS’ Taking the Long Way follows suite by moving back up to #2 this week with 37,336 units sold…and JOHNNY CASH’S American V: A Hundred Highways, retraces its steps moving back up one from 4 to #3 this week, while RODNEY ATKINS’ #1 debut last week, If You’re Going Through Hell, slips to 4th spot with…CARRIE UNDERWOOD’S Some Hearts holds fast at #5 with sales of 26,800 units.

Sony/BMG has announced that after 15 years, Diamond Rio and Arista Nashville are parting ways, amicably. Diamond Rio had a dream start back in 1991 when their debut single “Meet in the Middle” met up with the #1 spot on the Billboard Chart and remained there two weeks. It was the first a 7 consecutive Top 10 hits that put them on the map to stay. At one point they were embraced by country’s greatest band, Alabama, and for a long time the seemed to be the heirs apparent country’s first super group. So far they’ve racked up 19 Top Tens, including 5 #1 songs. Their most recent hit came in early 2002, when “I Believe,” spent two weeks at #1.

Alan Jackson performed a private concert last night for volunteers and donors at the Grand Ole Opry. The concert will help raise money for the family of Hendersonville, TN, firefighter Jerrod Hawkins and his wife Amy and their two sons. Amy was paralyzed by a massive F-3 tornado in April while trying to protect her sons. Two songs from Jackson’s concert, “Remember When” and “Livin’ on Love”, will air as part of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the Fall.

DETAILS - In early April 2006, a massive F-3 tornado tore through the Hawkins’ hometown of Hendersonville, Tennessee. While Jerrod was on duty and could only watch the storm from his fire station, the tornado hit the Hawkins’ home directly, ripping the house from its foundation. Amy heroically saved her sons Jair and Cole’s lives by lying on top of them in the basement. Unfortunately the bricks, debris, and concrete that hit Amy caused permanent injuries: her vertebrae and ribs were crushed, her lungs were punctured, and she sustained serious head trauma. Amy was left paralyzed by the destructive force of nature . On July 28, firefighter Jerrod Hawkins and his family heard the good news that they will receive a new and renovated home in a remarkable seven days courtesy of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and the proceeds from Jackson’s concert.

MEANWHILE, Jackson is set to release his first new mainstream country album in two years, LIKE RED ON A ROSE, September 26th, produced by Grammy winning songwriter/performer Alison Krauss.

With “Want To,” Sugarland posts the duo’s highest debut to date at No. 36, tying for this year's 5th highest single debut. Previously, “Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good)” was Sugarland’s highest debut at No. 43 in March. The new song also claims this week’s Greatest Gainer trophy (up 3.6 million impressions) and the Most Airplay Adds (24 monitored stations), according to their label. The single is the first from Sugarland’s upcoming sophomore album, due in stores Nov. 7.

Digital sales of "In Terms Of Love," the latest hit single from SHeDAISY, have increased an average of 38% over the last three weeks. The song, co-written by Kristyn Osborn and Don Schlitz, is climbing the country radio charts and is currently at #32 in R&R.

Lee Ann Womack will be featured in the August 14 edition of Country Weekly along with some amazing kids from Vanderbilt University’s Williams Syndrome Music Camp. Lee Ann visited with the kids at the camp where they were able to record a song with her, along with Jedd Hughes and Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus. Lee Ann's new single "Finding My Way Back

Word came yesterday that singing icon, Freddy Fender, has been diagnosed with incurable lung cancer. Fender has resumed chemotherapy, and stated, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, "I feel very comfortable in my life, I'm one year away from 70 and I've had a good run. I really believe I'm OK. In my mind and in my heart, I feel OK. I cannot complain that I haven't lived long enough, but I'd like to live longer."

Fender was recently diagnosed with multiple malignant tumors in his lungs. In 2002, Fender’s life was saved by a transplanted kidney donated by his daughter. Fender exploded onto the American music scene in 1975 with his crossover country-pop #1 smash, “Before the Next Teardrop Falls,” (named CMA Single of the Year).

Contact Nashville's Answerman: 323 857-0760

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

MSN Money Discovers Country Music On Its NYC Radio

From his 16th floor office at WKTU-FM, program director Jeff Zuchowski has a breathtaking view across the Hudson River of Manhattan. Just the setting for programming the only country music station in New York, with favorites such as "Beer for My Horses" and "Life Ain't Always Beautiful."

It's very nice to finally start seeing HD Radio finally getting some PR, but of course here is the story in a nutshell:
What's more, radio needs to do more to make its programming more compelling, he said. "I don't see the technology itself is a solution. The technology needs to be married to better content," says David Bank, a financial analyst at RBC Capital Markets. Then, the biggest question of all: Will it make money? Matt Feinberg, the senior vice president for radio at the media-buying agency Zenith Media, sees potential in having many more types of radio stations. That gives advertisers more choices to target exactly the audiences they want to reach, something advertisers like about cable TV. But first, Feinberg says, let's make sure people are listening. "It has to have distribution and assimilation," he says. "At that point we start to look at it."

What Are You Doing on 9/11?

After months of reading emails from soldiers overseas and sending care packages, WAAF's Mistress Carrie is heading over to Iraq to meet all of her loyal listeners serving in the armed services. On September 7th Carrie will head to Kuwait, from there she will become an embedded reporter with the Mass. Army National Guard in Iraq for a special broadcast in memory of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.