Friday, November 30, 2007

Project Paper Doll

EBay (click to see all the dolls and bid on them) is where you can see the creative efforts of some of country's biggest stars, buy them and help The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
* Trace Adkins’ creativity extends beyond his music with his imaginative and delightful doll.
* Rodney Atkins created his doll with a personal touch and the doll embodies the cause of children that it supports.
* Dierks Bentley’s passion for music, the Children’s Hospital and motorcycle riding are all exhibited in his characteristically classic black doll.
* The Brooks & Dunn doll is attention grabbing and full of country pride just like the duo.
* Jimmy Buffett’s doll is designed upside down in true “Fins Up” style.
* Billy Ray Cyrus used his doll to send a message that is close to his heart.
* Charlie Daniels chose to design his doll around words that summarize the purpose behind Project Paper Doll, “Love Kids.”
* Jeff Foxworthy’s humor is demonstrated by his very amusing deer & hunter doll.
* Vince Gill’s doll exhibits his enthusiasm for golf and his consistent desire to help others through the sport.
* George Jones made this doll his own by outlining it with the titles of some of his greatest hit songs.
* Brenda Lee’s doll is just as spunky as she is! Martina McBride’s doll fits her personality perfectly with its ability to be both feminine and powerful.
* Tanya Tucker’s doll represents her classy southern style.
* Phil Vassar’s doll is extremely meaningful to the cause it supports, because he created it with his daughter.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Count Me As One Of The Many Fans Of Larry Nelson

Larry's famous voice has been silenced.

His family was with him as the end came at 3:28 a.m. this morning and they now ask for some time alone.
A memorial service is being planned and will be announced as soon as possible.

If you want to be inspired by a wonderful tribute to a great Pacific Northwest broadcaster click here (Remembering the KOMO Breakfast Table). Spend some time listening and thinking about the impact the best among us can have on the community.
I was at KMPS when Larry was at the height of his popularity in the early 1980's and I never drive by Mt. Vernon and La Conner without thinking about Larry's evocative yearly spring broadcasts from the tulip fields in bloom.

Will DWTS Make Julianne Hough The Next Carrie?

Hopes are high, of course, in her home state of Utah now that she has coached, partnered with stars and danced to the championship twice and she certainly has the all around talent to do it.

It looks like there's money behind her. Nashville vet David Malloy helped her last year with her ITunes hit, which got next to no radio airplay, due to getting no promotion to radio other than a bit of PR to keep the buzz building on her.

Malloy's backgound gives me hope that he knows she needs a major label's support.

And, as nice as "Unraveling" is, I think she also needs three absolutely undeniable great, great songs which define her as totally unique.

Country is an uphill battle for any female singer, since year after year three out of four of the hits are by males. The recycle bin next to my considerations stack is cluttered with great female singers who tried to make it on the national stage with just an indie label behind them and/or with songs that are just "pretty good."

It's not FAIR, but that is how it is.

TK Wins "I Love This Bar" Copyright Suit

A copyright infringement lawsuit brought against country big dog Toby Keith by folk singer Michael McCloud has been dismissed, and "I Love This Bar" scribe Keith has issued a statement regarding the favorable outcome:
"It is an awful thing to be accused wrongfully of copyright infringement. It goes to the core of what you are as a man, a singer/songwriter and an artist," Keith said. "You know it is being done to you by some greedy lowlife opportunist who just wants to get rich off you. In fact, Michael Snyder a/k/a Michael McCloud publicly bragged this lawsuit would make him a rich man, that I would buy him a comfortable life, retirement, house, car, 'big' boat, Harvard education for his children and other things. While he was talking, I was put in the terrible position of not being able to defend myself until the trial and I just could not wait for that day to come. I knew it would take no time at all for the case to be dismissed and it was, of course, with prejudice which means: He had no case whatsoever. I don't have a problem taking heat for my politics or my music. You can like my songs or not but they mean everything to me. I have always said that I may not always be a performer but I will always be a songwriter. So when this lawsuit was filed, it pissed me off. And no matter what it took, I was going to fight it. It was just too wrong. This guy can't sue me again for copyright infringement according to the judgment and I feel that maybe I landed a blow not only for myself, my reputation but for other artists as well. I hope so. As I said, the case was dismissed with prejudice. I didn't pay him or his lawyers a thing." -- Toby Keith

It's too bad that this kind of thing happens to artists, making it harder and harder for them to review any unsolicited new material by budding songwriters who try to hand them music and lyrics everywhere they go.

Anyone who knows TK knows that he could probably take you to the bar in Oklahoma which inspired him to write that song. Or, as Toby Keith says himself....
Call me wrong; call me right
But I bring my better angels to every fight.
You may not like where I am going
But you sure know where I stand."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ARB's PPM New York Fiasco Didn't Have To Happen

Jim Carnegie got the quote from Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil no other publication had today and Bob continues to say in public precisely what our friends at Arbitron need to hear:
"I think the next steps are pretty clear. Their customers, broadcasters and agencies, see little or no value in 6-11 year olds in the sample. They were there for TV purposes. Eliminating them allows the sample size to grow 12 plus, which should help at least get bigger numbers in the challenged age cells. The sampling issues must be dealt with, and I think an 85 index against target is a good floor. That's a "B" in High School and we're paying for an "A". If we don't get there, there should be a rebate to broadcasters and agencies that is significant enough to hurt, so it forces Arbitron to keep an unrelenting focus on the sample. Before another market rolls out, Philly and any other proposed PPM markets must get MRC accredited. Because of this snafu, customers are going to demand to know they are getting a quality product, and the MRC gives us confidence that the data is credible. No more waiting on accreditation. I don't think any of this is unreasonable, nor should it cost customers any more than the huge increases we're paying. It's going to be up to Arbitron to set a new direction here by telling their shareholders and Board that this is going to go slower, and frankly, that their profits on PPM won't be what they thought they were going to be. If they shut down their spin machine, and fix these problems, the industry will move into the Electronic Measurement age smoothly and with confidence. If not, Arbitron may be the Hooper and Pulse of the new millennium."

Back in 1999 when industry relations were less contentious between ARB and its customers I remember the company's Research VP Dr. Ed Cohen say that a good guide for proportionality indexes in all target cells is "... like the FM dial, between 88 and 108."

Even 85 isn't 88, but compared to where we have been in the past year, I'd take it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thank You, Oprah!

Let's hope that she does this Friday for country music 4th quarter music sales what she does for books and the other favorites she loves!

Rascal Flatts will make their first appearance on Oprah and for their portion of the show the band performs “She Goes All The Way” with Jamie Foxx and talk with Oprah about how the two acts came to record together. Foxx’s appearance was a surprise to Oprah.

Rascal Flatts performed previously with Foxx on this year's CMA Awards show, where the trio picked up another CMA Award for Vocal Group. Gary, Jay and Joe Don flew to Chicago for the taping last week after their performance and win as “Favorite Country Band or Group” on the American Music Awards in Los Angeles.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Three Eagles' "500 Feet Of Lights" In Mankato

“Only in Minnesota would people stand around in the freezing cold, and watch a radio tower get lit up,” said Jason Ceminsky of North Mankato, who came with his wife and two children. -- Mankato Free Press

The 500-foot lighted tower is being billed as the “World’s Tallest Christmas Tree” and just proves once again that certain radio stunts always work to get some nice publicity.

It's That Time Of Year.. For Countdowns Of Everything

"Great American Country wants fans to choose the Top 50 Videos of 2007 and there are well over 100 videos to pick from. Vote for up to 10 of your favorites each day, but you can only vote once per day through December 7th.."

Two of Toby Keith’s music videos - “High Maintenance Woman” and “Love Me If You Can” - are among the 100 plus video nominees, according to Keith's website, so it appears that even our artists get into the process of ranking and counting 'em down.

Country fans, thankfully, feel like they OWN their favorite radio stations and video channels and they love being asked to help co-create content with you. Some folks feel like the old tactic "building a new radio station for you" is passe for some formats and audiences, but definitely NOT for our listeners, in my experience!

Even if you routinely do weekly music testing all year round, now is a great time of year to report back to your music panel participants on your findings and changes you made in an email and on the air, so they know that you listen and respond when they speak to you!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"HeART," Inspired By Brickman & McDonald, Created At WIBW-FM

Inspiring artistic achievement makes 'em smile.. (Tourmates, Richie McDonald and Jim Brickman recently visited several radio stations to support their upcoming 35 city Christmas tour. The duo will begin a very ambitious tour schedule starting the day after Thanksgiving and going through New Years Eve.)

See the original video, then please (click to) listen to what Morris Radio's WIBW-FM's crew made out of it, which is airing now in Topeka.

"We’ve really been emphasizing heart in our approach to the relationship with the listener. Take a listen to this..if it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye .. you're a rock.." -- Keith Montgomery, Program Director & Afternoon Drive Personality, 94.5 Country - WIBW-FM, Topeka

Friday, November 23, 2007

I See Paragon's Bob Harper And RAISE Him One

Harper's blog post today isn't about birds, though it starts with that old DJ wild track calling for another canary. It's about a very wise broadcaster advocate named Bob, who is anything but a patsy, in spite of its title: "Patsies Pay More."

I am 100% certain if Paragon did a study for a client and, on presentation day, we told him: “I know we said there would be 600 respondents, but we’re pretty sure 507 will be okay. And, some of these age breaks only have one respondent, but we’re pretty comfortable with that, too,” we would never work in broadcasting again. But, yet, the PPM train persistently chugs along. The squeeze, now that PPM has left the depot: 1) Arbitron will want lots more money from Radio to quickly make their shaky product acceptable. 2) Agencies will be demanding accountability, posting, and guarantees. -- Bob Harper

Bob, I see you. In fact. I HEAR you and here's my ante: Is there any other broadcast research company which would have the temerity to actually contract for a project and then after delivering the results ask for either more money or propose changes in the methodology to cut their costs of doing the job right? Especially, after this company had developed and perfected that methodology for more than a decade?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Smart PR For The Holiday: Kiddie Table Stats and Facts

More than nine in ten adults surveyed (94 percent) have sat at a kiddie table during Thanksgiving, while 83 percent have sat at the kiddie table for Christmas and 47 percent have sat there during Easter meals.
More than one in four adults (26 percent) and almost half of the children surveyed (44 percent) think the kiddie table is just plain more fun than the adult table.

Plastic folding tables are all the rage. Most often, adults ages 18-24 years old say their kiddie table was a plastic folding table (37 percent), but only six percent of respondents ages 45 and older can make that claim.

Forty percent of adults ages 18-24 say their kiddie table was set with disposable plates and utensils, while only 11 percent of adults ages 45 and older make that claim. 84-percent of adults 45 and older report that their kiddie table had a tablecloth on it, but only 54 percent of people in the 18-24 age group say their table was set that way.

SO... grab a seat at the kid's table and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Garth's Next Major Announcement Is Monday (11/26) At 12 Noon PT

Garth Brooks' next concert will raise money for the victims of the recent California fires and for the future of fire fighting in the State of California. The concert will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.

According to Brooks’ spokesperson, California elected officials have come to Garth to ask his help in raising money for those affected by the recent fires.

“I’m flattered they’ve asked and I’m honored to accept. This is going to take a team effort like nothing I have ever been a part of before.” -- Garth Brooks.

For more information on Garth Brooks contact Nancy Seltzer at (310) 938-3562.

A&O Exclusive: Country Radio Listeners' Favorite Christmas Music

Albright & O'Malley client stations are currently conducting the first ever country radio listener online test of nearly 300 Christmas songs using the technology of Troy Research.

A few quick factoids from the data as of today, with the survey still in progress (each title was scored by an average of 500 members of A&O client stations email databases across the US and Canada):

Most popular (ranking songs by positive scores)
1. Angels Among Us - Alabama (4.44)
2. The Christmas Shoes - Newsong (4.29)
3. Let It Be Christmas - Alan Jackson (4.23)
4. Old Toy Trains - Toby Keith (4.21)
5. The Christmas Guest - Reba McEntire (4.19)

Most tired/burnt
1. Jingle Bells - Statler Brothers (28%)
2. Silver Bells - Dwight Yoakam (26%)
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Chet Atkins (24%)

Most recognized (highest ranking songs by familiarity percentage)
T1. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee (98%)
T1. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms (98%)
T2. Holly Jolly Christmas - Alan Jackson (97%)
T2. Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives (97%)
T2. Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry (97%)
T2. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Alan Jackson (97%)
T2. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer - Elmo & Patsy (97%)
T2. Frosty The Snowman - Willie Nelson (97%)
T2. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Andy Williams (97%)

For more info on the project, contact Mike O'Malley (732 937-5757) or Jaye Albright (206 498-6261).

Monday, November 19, 2007

'60 Minutes' Preview: Eagles

This Sunday on "60 Minutes," CBS News' Steve Kroft catches up with The Eagles, as they rehearse new songs from their first studio album in 28 years. (click to watch a preview)

Jennifer Nettles Does It Again With Another Awards Show Surprise

Sugarland blew me away on the CMA Awards and their latest coup was last night's Beyonce "duet" on ‘Irreplaceable’ at the 2007 American Music Awards (click at watch it, first in on stage performances from last summer and now on national TV)

"A good thing about a good song is it can be played in any genre. I'm up for anything. I love it." -- Jennifer Nettles

PS - I seldom engage in online disagreements with the folks who post comments on this blog, but I must respectfully at least partially disagree with "Anon" (below) who cast stones at these kind of award show duets with non-country artists.

Click here to listen to the entire 3:30 performance by Nettles and Knowles and see if you don't agree that they do what live music performance coaching expert Tom Jackson calls "Performance Plus."

Maybe I'm swayed a bit by the fact that Edison Research's Larry Rosin actually suggested that a country artist ought to do a duet with Beyonce in his CRS '07 research presentation as a way of bringing Hispanics to country music, but I'd say they propel the song to a new level and use all the possibilities a live performance offers to take a familiar song to new places to engage the audience in ways they've never heard or seen before. To me, that's what live performance should be about!

A special thank you to Jim Murphy (303-784-8757) for the great TV audio clip, who proves that one way you become the VP of Country Media at Jones Radio Networks in Denver is by being smart enough to always have the digital recorder going during every awards broadcast!

Trace Adkins Customized Video On Your/Your Competition's Website

TRACE ADKINS will star as a video spokesperson on the Web sites of 25 radio stations as part of Capitol Records' campaign to promote the new album beginning today.

The promotion also includes a contest to win a Dream Trip to Paris (and I don't mean Paris, Texas). Adkins appears on the Web sites through the use of the iAds Video Spokesperson from Innovate Ads.

Launching Adkins' new single, video and promoting the new album, the Adkins "Love Doctor" ad campaign kicks off today on three leading country radio station Web sites, and then rolls out nationwide over the next three weeks. The first stations to carry the ad are KMLE/Phoenix, WLXX/Lexington and KKNG/Oklahoma City.

Adkins stars as the video spokesperson on each station's Web site and promotes the radio stations by using the station's call letters, promoting the station contests and events. He offers them a chance to win a trip for two to Paris, France; view his new video; and/or buy his new album by clicking on him. The campaign concludes on Dec. 31.
The iAds Video Spokesperson brings the celebrity personality to a new medium--radio station Web sites--where the celebrity repeats the call letters in a video that is customized for each individual radio station: "This creates a personal connection between the celebrity and the visitor and is proven to increase click-through." -- John Cecil, president of Innovate Ads

This is the second campaign Capitol Records has done with Innovate Ads starring Adkins. Adkins was the video spokesperson for 15 radio stations Web sites in August--telling viewers about his new CD, inviting them to buy it by clicking on him, and communicating the stations' current promotions. More than 495,000 people viewed the Adkins Video Spokesperson ad on the radio station Web sites, and more than 57,000 clicked to go to his "buy page."

The campaign will run on the Web sites of "top" country radio stations in the following markets as chosen by the Capitol/Nashville promo team: Phoenix, Spokane, Visalia-Tular, Portland, Fresno, Bakersfield, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland, San Francisco, Madison, Indianapolis, Lexington, Philadelphia, Roanoke, Greensboro, Augusta, Atlanta, Columbia, Ft Myers, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, and Wichita.

Is it just me? If you were going on WebTV, wouldn't you get a haircut or at least tuck that pony tail into the hat? Where were the Queer Eye guys when straight guy Trace needed 'em? (smile)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Make Both Men And Women Laugh

Doug Colligan has a terrific article in Reader's Digest ("The secret to tickling his or her funny bone") on what's funny for men and women, but don't stop at just reading the article online.
Science journalist Kathleen Stein's The Genius Engine describes how researchers there used MRIs to photograph the brain as it processed a joke.

Neuroscientists Vinod Goel, PhD, and Raymond J. Dolan, MD, bombarded their captive audience with corny jokes (Q: Why don’t sharks bite lawyers? A: Professional courtesy), tricky semantics (Q: What do you give the man who has everything? A: Antibiotics) and slightly edgier stuff like this one from Chris Rock: “The only thing I know about Africa is that it’s far, far away. About a 35-hour flight. The boat ride’s so long, there are still slaves on their way here.”

The scientists watched the subjects’ brain cells spark into activity and pinpointed the neurological equivalent of the funny bone. It resides in a region called the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a neighborhood of convoluted gray matter tucked in the front of the brain where some of the higher functions of language and thought reside. Not only were neuronal responses positively ablaze in the PFC, but they also varied according to the funniness of the joke.
“When a participant laughed out loud a specific region lit up .. the brain’s comedy central.”

Be sure to click on the links as well:

Thanks to CJJR-CKBD, Vancouver PD Gord Eno for the tip!

Katz Radio Waves Is Back And It's Worth A Read

I don't know where it went for the last six months, but it's nice to have it back with great pro-radio material like this:
"Radio has a unique opportunity in today's digital world. The negative perspective might portray Radio as threatened by "new" media but nothing could be further than the truth. The digital world gives Radio the ability to expand its horizons to limitless possibilities, enabling Radio to morph from one medium into four"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Garth Plays To 159,775 Fans In Nine Nights


At one point during Garth Brooks' triumphant 9th and final show in Kansas City last night, he was presented a large plaque for drawing 159,775 fans during his 9-show series at the new Sprint Center (where Garth cut the ribbon to open the joint up). The Sprint Center General Manager, Brenda Tinnen, declared that an identical plaque would reside in a place of honor high above of the center until Garth comes back to play there again.


Based on an educated guess, average ticket price of $25, Garth's total audience would translate to a gross of just under $4 million dollars for the 9-shows. Estimating too, that 300 theaters with average seating of around 400 per house and an average ticket price of $10, adds and estimated $1.2 dollars for last night bringing the total (before tonight's theatrical replay showings of the final show), brings the total gross to $5.2 million dollars, unofficial estimate.


Everybody walked away from Sprint Center or their local movie house running the show, with an unforgettable experience that one of the greatest performers of the 20th and 21st centuries so far, has been gifting fans for nearly two decades. It was vintage Garth, full of love, power, timeless songs, unpredictable performances and patter from a master that has lost none, in the 8 years he's been retired, of that "thing" that comes out of him on stage placing thousands of fans in the palm of his hand, and him planted firmly in their hearts. It's amazing, but not unexpected that Garth remains, Garth.

There were fans of all ages crowding the stage. And, it was impressive to see young women, who were likely 10 to 12 years old when Garth released his greatest hits, all responding to the timeless tunes with as much passion and enthusiasm as their older sisters or parents. Not, only responding but singing word-for-word "the old stuff" (as Garth declared he was planning to perform each night).

Garth didn't swing on ropes or stage dive or fly overhead or run and jump like he sometimes did. And he didn't bother to color his graying hair to look as young as he did 8 years ago, he just presented Garth and all the energy, charisma and joyful performances that he has always offered his fans...and they loved it!


While there's nothing that can beat being physically present for the palpable Brooks' live experience, we have to admit the big screen presentation we saw came real close to feeling like you are right there. Produced and directed by Jon Small, the genius director of Garth's videos and concert DVDs, the incredible attention to a surround sound system created the feeling that you were sitting in the middle of a section of a 1,000 people, with hoops and hollers, clapping and singing happening around you as it does in a big arena. The visuals are HD quality on a grand scale(imagine a HD screen in your home 60 x 40 ft), with close ups of Garth so intimate you could see the joy and fire in his eyes. The music mix of the theater show was simply phenomenal.

The experience was so real that the audience in the movie house was cheering, and singing along. At one point, Garth addresses the movie theater audience saying, "You don't have a hair on your a__ if you don't get up on your feet and shout." The movie crowd did just that with the illusion of being a live participant at the show, complete.

If you didn't make it to the live movie house show last night, it's worth going to the replay tonight.

Watch for future theatrical tie-ins like this to be tried by other artists on tour.

MEANWHILE, don't forget that Garth's Kansas City shows started out as a thank you concert for Wal-Mart employees, and as a way to promoted his Ultimate Hits package. And, Garth will continue to do that next week on GAC when they present “Ultimate Garth-The Ultimate Hits.” For a glimpse of just how much the music means to Garth Brooks, country music fans need look no further than Sunday’s one-hour television special on Great American Country, Ultimate Garth -The Ultimate Hits, which airs Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. ET. GAC takes viewers behind the scenes to see how the top-selling solo artist of all time hand-picked songs and videos included in Brooks’ latest CD/DVD greatest hits collection titled, Garth Brooks – The Ultimate Hits.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CKRY Sets ($1.6 Million) North American CMN Record

The fifth annual Country 105 Cares for Kids Radiothon has raised more than $1.6 million for the Alberta Children’s Hospital in only three days.

The Country 105 Cares for Kids Radiothon is the only radiothon in Canada to top the million-dollar mark with only one radio station. In addition to this distinction, this year’s radiothon also broke the North American record for the most generous donation per listener – more than four and a half times the average gift in both Canada and the United States! In just five years the Country 105 Cares for Kids Radiothon has raised $5.8 million.

“Radiothon is very close to our hearts at Country 105,” says Garry McKenzie, General Manager for Country 105 and Corus Radio in Calgary. “The success of our five years of Radiothon speaks volumes to the dedication and generosity of our listeners. It makes us very proud to be part of this community.”

“What a great way to celebrate the amazing work of our caregivers and the tremendous spirit of the children and families who are cared for at our hospital,” says Steve Hoscheit, President & CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We are so grateful to have a radio partner so open to sharing its airwaves to benefit kids and families in our community.”

The fifth annual Country 105 Cares for Kids Radiothon took place November 7-9 live from the Alberta’s Children Hospital.

Dozens of children, families and caregivers captivated listeners with their stories of hope, help and healing Country music star and former nurse Paul Brandt again dropped by to co-host with the announcers and interview children in hospital.

MegaPrize, More Than The Culmination Of A Great Book Promotion

Last night in Barrie-Orillia-Midland and tonight in Kichener-Waterlook-Cambridge-Guelph, the Larche stations reward their listeners for their loyalty with a great show and some amazing prizes, presented with lots of fun and show biz.

If you're ever near Casino Rama during KICX Megaprize week, I strongly urge you to attend and see how loyalty is built, one person at a time, by creating powerful entertainment experiences!

Garth Wraps Up KC Run, Trisha Goes Online With New LP

I love the fact that you can grab interviews with Garth right on the home page of his site.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City newspaper music reviewers keep coming up with new angles on their flowing reviews.

Now, stations from Detroit to Orlando and all points in-between are previewing Trisha Yearwood's new LP online.

.. so, before you say "no" to that syndicated radio special for use on your air (let's face it, just how many artists can hold audience through a solid hour of their music?), consider your website.

Country Radio is starting to wag its own "
Long Tail," thanks to artists, labels and management with vision like these!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Country's Spring 12+ Share Was Great, Summer '07 = Back Down To Normal

Country held its own again 25-34, but dipped a bit in our core 35+ cells, as Arbitron's national summer listening trends based on the continuously measured markets, the top radio markets in the United States go online at:

* Format Trends

Monday, November 12, 2007

Xerox Does Brilliant PR And a Terrific Community Service

It's called "let's say thanks," and I'll bet you'll want to tell your listeners about it.

You can pick out a "thank you" card that the company will print and send to a soldier serving in Iraq. You can't choose who will receive your card, but the elves at Xerox say they will ensure that it gets to a member of the armed services. The company also said it will continue to offer the service for as long as it's needed.

Keith + Carrie = "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour"

Grammy Award winners Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood are set to hit the road together in '08, a 24-city tour that combines the music of two of the music industry's most powerful performers. The name of the tour combines the titles of each artist's most recent album. Tickets are set to go on sale as of December 1st.

"I'm looking forward to hitting the road with Carrie, and to bringing our audiences together for what I think will be a magical night of sights, sounds, songs and solos," -- Urban.

"I can't think of a better person to begin 2008 with than Keith. He is an amazing entertainer and a well-respected musician, singer and songwriter." -- Underwood

Cities on the tour:

Uncasville, CT
Rochester, NY
New York City, NY
Hershey, PA
Atlantic City, NJ
Roanoke, VA
Tallahassee, FL
Charleston, WV
Biloxi, MS
Bossier City, LA
Kansas City, MO
Wichita, KS
Omaha, NE
Denver, CO
San Jose,CA
Anaheim, CA
Baltimore, MD
Charlottesville, VA
State College, PA
Charleston, SC
Charlotte, NC
Raleigh, NC
Gwinnett, GA
Lexington, KY

Sunday, November 11, 2007

CMA Awards "Who Wore What" (Paper Cuts)

Leave it to the LA Times ("where did the sequins go?" to rate the outfits...

Carrie: style with substance, LeAnn Rimes' nude scenes, Michelle Branch "classy," Brad & Kimberly "country couple," Taylor Swift golden girl, Jewel "breast-dressed," Martina "dowdy" McBride, Sheryl "nun" Crow, Keith & ("pale") Nicole, Gretchen & Kid (pictured) "dressing down."
"I don't know about you, but I miss the sequins, the sparkles, the big hair and the overdone makeup. Mostly, I miss Dolly Parton." -- writer Elizabeth Snead

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Question Is: Do 37% Of Country Listeners Abuse Substances? (Or, Even GO To Mexico?)

From the "don't believe everything you read" dept...

Could country music be worse for kids than rock music? If you judge by the number of alcohol and drug references in songs, a new study suggests the answer could be yes.

Researchers who looked at the bestselling songs in several genres from 2005 found that 37 percent of top country songs featured references to drugs or alcohol, compared to just 14 percent of rock songs.

"It's not like country music is as wholesome as mom and apple pie," said Ralph DiClemente, a professor of public health at Emory University who's familiar with the study findings. But country couldn't hold a candle to rap music, whose singers referred to substance use in a whopping 77 percent of songs.

The study, released Wednesday at the American Public Health Association annual meeting, in Washington, D.C., didn't examine whether there's a link between song content and how kids behave. Still, research does suggest that children aged 8 to 18 listen to popular music about two hours a day.

"It's good for us to know that this exposure is there so that we can go the next step," said study author Dr. Brian Primack, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "We can talk to kids about it and say what we think is correct, and what is not."

The study researchers looked at 279 of the bestselling songs in 2005, based on Billboard magazine charts, in five genres they considered popular with kids -- rap, country, R&B/hip-hop, rock, and pop. In total, one-third of songs referred to substance use. Just 9 percent of pop songs and 20 percent of R&B/hip-hop songs did.

I'm with this Canadian site: "obviously."

Toby Keith's "Stay's In Mexico" is one of my personal fav's, but in spite of that have never been in Mexican waters sans my swim suit.. (at least, that I can recall)

Hopefully, Dr. Primack (who seems to specialize in researching - pre-judging? - others' behaviors) thinks THAT, too, is "correct!" (i.e., for me, what happens in country music stays in country music..)

I Only Have Two Complaints On This Clear Channel Contest

Here's the promo, heard in Washington, D.C.: The Money is in the Music -- with the WMZQ $1000 Cash Song Of The Day. Listen weekday mornings at 7:35 for the song of the day to play -- then be caller nine and you win $1000 for your workday or $5000 on Thursday. And we really, really want you to win -- so you've got an extra chance to enter online. Check our web site for a calendar of songs to listen for.

1. Could "we" please ban plural pronouns from all stationality? The words "us" and "we" offer one more opportunity to brand your product.

2, If you really, really, really, really want to get more people to participate, why not make more specific listening appointments than just one per day at 7:35 and tell me exactly when you'll play the song on the web-based music calendar, or even better on the air right now so I don't have to do anything but LISTEN?

OK, I am feeling better now, thank you.

Friday, November 09, 2007

November Hot/Not: Asking Santa For HDTV

This year’s frigid economic climate may have Santa’s sleigh on the skids come December…with soaring crude oil prices, a dismal housing market, and the credit crunch, only 37.3% say they are very confident/confident in chances for a strong economy, down more than seven points from October’s 44.8% and a whopping 13 points from ’06 (50.3%).

Thankful thoughts and the jolly holiday spirit generally lift consumer sentiment in Q4, but this is the first time in recent years this figure has declined from October to November.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE...What's Hot and What's Not: Stumped about what to get that special someone, but have a large wad of cash in your pocket? Check out your local electronics department, as more than three in four (77.3%) contend that HDTVs are what’s hot this month…online holiday shopping (favored among 71.7%) follows. Black Friday Shopping and MySpace are preferred among the younger set, while those 35+ are more likely root for the Boston Red Sox.

What’s Not? More than 80% indicate that they won’t take a walk on the wild side with leopard print. (duh!)

Tim & Faith, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts Songs Are The People's Choice

"Favorite Song" is country's lone rep among today's People's Choice nominees.

"I Need You" by Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, "Never Wanted Nothing More" by Kenny Chesney and "Stand" by Rascal Flatts are our nominees with winners to be named January 8 on CBS.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

First To Complain, SO.. I Need To Be The First To Compliment Too..

I think this speaks for itself (see below)... ...and, thank YOU, Kenny! And, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Sugarland and Taylor Swift, among others as well.

"...Young People...Are Looking For A Radio Experience That Reflects Their World...”

If you want to read an innovative application for a new radio station in Kelowna that it seems to me might be a template for what many of us will be doing in the future, click on the CRTC hearings on new licenses for the Okanogan.

You may want to look at all of the excellent presentations from the competing applicants, but at the very least page down to line #678 and read the proposal from the new owners of CHUM group, CTVGlobemedia for a mind-expanding presentation on integrating free radio and the internet in ways to attract young listeners.

They called it alternative interactive radio or “AIR-FM,”

To quote the application: “We do not believe young people have given up on radio. We believe they are simply looking for a radio experience that reflects their world.”

A big thank you to Rod Schween,GM at CHLB-CJBZ, Lethbridge for calling it to our attention! If this doesn’t happen in Kelowna, I’ll bet it does happen soon somewhere!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Rooster Puts On A Santa Suit

Is this the first solid Christmas music country station?

If you know any any others, let me know, but it seems that the first one of 2007 is the station which used to be called "Rooster Country 107" and then migrated to "107.3" and most recently to "93.3" has also just moved to Christmas music.

Listeners to WROO have to be wondering what other surprises CCU OM Gail Austin has for them in 2008...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How Many Artists Will Thank Radio On ABC-TV?

.. after resignedly watching the last few TV awards shows, I have to say two things.

1. The above is a rhetorical question (for reasons which elude me).
2. Garth Brooks "gets it."

Garth Brooks has now surpassed Elvis Presley as the top selling artist in the history of American Music and top selling solo artist Worldwide with album sales in excess of 123 million.

When Garth retired some 8 years ago, his total sales were around 104 million albums. Since then he's continued to sell 19 million more albums bringing his total to in excess of 123 million. That deed was announced officially yesterday morning on the steps of Capitol Records in Hollywood, when the RIAA General Manager, Joel Flatow, presented Brooks with his plaque commemorating sales of more than 123 million units. (take a listen to what Garth said)

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Old Stunts Are The Best Stunts

In Huntsville this morning just as Garth's "Ultimate Hits" collection hits stores, Clear Channel PD Jim Tice flips WDRM, Huntsville at 7:20 a.m to "Garth 102.1 FM," with all Garth songs all day long and the imaging customized by Garth for the rest of today.

Of course, 'DRM is giving away "Ultimate Hits" packages every hour all day, qualifying winners for a trip to K.C.

A personal story of branding numerous launching stations "Garth" in the early 90's: WBUL, Lexington, started that way, as did WOW-FM, Birmingham and Froggy 99.9, Fargo and quite a lot of today's very successful country stations consulted back then by either "A" or "O"..

However, ultimately, in Fresno when we did the stunt again, I knew we were in trouble when we then changed after a few weeks from "Garth" to "Frog" .. and almost immediately started getting calls from listeners saying they actually liked "K-Garth" better!

CMA Week Events

The 41st annual CMA awards show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sommet Center and will be broadcast live on ABC.

"Good Morning America" is in Music City all week and this evening's (free) "Music on the Horizon" concert at City Hall with Jennifer Hanson, Lady Antebellum, Chuck Wicks and Crossin Dixon.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), there's another gratis event, Chevy's Music Tour with Phil Vassar and Emerson Drive.

The three days of country music events lead up to the awards, beginning with today's Music City Walk of Fame Induction at Hall of Fame Park celebrates the careers of Rodney Crowell, Bob DiPiero, Vince Gill, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Killen and Barbara Mandrell. (For information, contact Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, 615-259-4730 and/or the Country Music Association at 615 244 2840.)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dave Foxx, Z100, New York's Brandmeister

Dave did this presentation on how he imprints Z-100's key images as integral to the brand at the European NAB a year ago. Am I the last person in the world to have found out about this terrific training video for production people?

Z-100, of course, no longer does those Power intros, they no longer call themselves #1 in their position and NAB Europe is meeting again for another year in Barcelona right now, but if you haven't seen it either, I promise you it's still worth the ten minutes' time and a trip to YouTube to watch and listen to! Foxx's advice and the way he communicates it is still state of the art.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Garth Hits The Hollywood Street On Monday

Monday morning Garth Brooks will be present on the sidewalk of the Capitol Tower building in Hollywood, near his Hall of Fame Hollywood Star, where he'll receive a special presentation from RIAA (Recording Industry of America Association). The public is invited to the event.
There's no word on what the event will celebrate, perhaps recognition of reaching another milestone in overall album sales, 110 million? Or certification of some of his highly collectible Box sets?
Fans can find out by checking into where the event will be streamed live starting 9:30AM PT.
One thing for sure: A&O's pal Neil Haislop will be there.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Keith Urban Tells All To People

And, it certainly appears, I do mean ALL:

Looking back on what has been the toughest year of his life, Keith Urban wouldn't have made it without his music and his wife, Nicole Kidman, the country star tells PEOPLE in its new cover story.
"I was going to lose it all," says Urban, 40, of the road he was on before rehab. "It was like, 'If I don't choose this moment to do the right thing and do something that's going to give me life, all of the things I'm scared of losing, I'm going to lose anyway.' "The Australian says he first began realizing he had a problem with alcohol after he first got to Nashville, in 1992: "It was how I dealt with a lot of loneliness. I wasn’t used to rejection. I wasn’t used to loneliness. It just seemed like nothing [my band and I] did was connecting or happening and it was very frustrating."Alcohol, he says, "was my diversion, my way of numbing myself to the rejection and the loneliness and the confusion."